Sunday, January 11, 2009
Female & Male Endings
[Content Disclosure: Gender, Understanding, Passion, Reminiscing and no poker]
“Those who restrain their desires, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” --William Blake
Well that certainly is one side of the equation Mr. Blake but a side I am familiar with. Not because I am what anyone would describe as a overtly emotional person. Just the opposite, but I have traveled with many manic, creative, socially high energy friends and lovers. I am not one to tolerate inane or insane behavior for its own sake, I generally just absent myself from such goings on. However, the wild creative energy that so often infuses artistic talent and emotional commitment does lend itself to over-percolation followed by incoherent eruptions. It is here where gender takes a role in my encounters with the varieties of the emotional precipice.
The few women with whom I have had messy, incomplete, unclosured endings; will invariably describe our final days as tinged with anger. My anger not theirs. I do not deny such characterizations. I object, of course, to the elevation of anger to a level commensurate with rape, murder and child abuse, but that is just a simplistic tactic of a gender unable to grasp the finer nuances of curling, the zone defense and beer pong.
Men on the other hand are completely different. I have male ex-friends, who would describe our defunct friendships in exactly the same way and anger would never be a factor. We were friends and then we were not. I have no idea if they have a "story" about how or why we became former acquaintances and I really don't care. Contrary to popular folklore men really don't "need" to be right in these situations. Two opinions, two positions, two points of view that irresolvable lead to an end. Done. Finished. No conversation required.
The other gender, from the land of hormones, wants completion, resolution and yes, closure; not to mention punishment. But, in my experience, these must happen without any bilateral process. They seek an ending that sheds a redeeming light on their unexamined behavior. (Play the "he was angry" card here.) How quiet they become when someone actually enters the conversation.
Desires come in all shapes, sizes and forms. Denying any of them is a sign of weakness. Controlling them is an indication of personal strength. Exploring them demonstrates courage. Being uncomfortable with your desires reveals your humanity and is never something to apologize for--ever.