.. We men have a fair claim to be the Gentler Sex:
(c) 2014, Davd
When people talk about fury and violence, an expression often used is “stirring up a hornets’ nest.” How many of the people who say that, realize that most bees, wasps, and hornets [and stinging ‘soldier’ ants] are (non-reproducing) females? Those kamikaze-like attacks from a disturbed nest are carried out by females! The males [often called by the name drones] are quite peaceable.
Listening to Handel’s Messiah one Christmas Day : “For we like sheep have gone astray, every one .. to his own way.” Oops! A flock of adult sheep is more than 90% females. (As for the juveniles, the lambs follow their mothers to the age when the majority of males are castrated… by the time the lambs reach an age to go astray—the majority are females, and of the minority, a few are entire males and the most are “wethers”—the sheepish equivalent of eunuchs.)
The most feared military unit in World War II, not in battle* “but to be captured by” was made up of Russian women, two colleagues with strong interests in military history, told me. Not Nazis—Russian women. They treated the men they captured more harshly than any other unit—at least, than any other unit that ever made itself a reputation—and if there had been a meaner unit it more than likely would have made a reputation.
How many times, watching movies or “live theatre”, have you seen a man slap a woman’s face? How many times have you seen a woman slap a man’s face? .. and does he hit her back? Dare he?
When i was a boy, girls seldom slapped our faces but some kicked our shins and then danced away singing “Can’t hit a Gir-rul” to the Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyAAAA—Nyah! tune. In some cases, it seemed they attacked simply because they could get away with it, or because we weren’t paying attention to them. (We didn’t nag them to pay attention to us…)
In his book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman recalls [p. 130], “As i was entering a restaurant … a young man stalked out the door, his face set in an expression both stony and sullen. Close on his heels a young woman came running, her fists desperately pummeling on his back while she yelled, “Goddamn you! Come back here and be nice to me!” Which of those two was the more violent?
(No hint from Goleman, nor from what i read on men’s websites in 2011-12, that the woman would be punished—but if the sexes were reversed …?
Perhaps Kipling should have the last words, written a century and more ago, before the First World War. He starts his poem with an encounter between peasant and bear: If the bear is male, he may avoid a noisy human; if the bear is female, she will attack. Click the link to see how he continues in reference to our own species.
Kipling is not always exact;
—he writes fear where i would write prudence, for instance;
—he is more sure of women’s fidelity to their mates, than men today who have been through divorce—or whose friends have;
—read in today’s context, he overstates the dangers of childbirth**
—but the difference in fury v. restraint, is clear enough.
… So which is the Gentler Sex?
To offer further examples for the collection or to look into blogging for everyman, use the contact form or write to replies [at you can probably guess what]
* The most impressive battle units in the European war, or so i’ve heard, were made up of Estonians fighting against the Russians, and Japanese-Americans fighting against the Germans. The Finnish units fighting against the Russians were also impressive, but the Estonians, who like the Japanese-American unit were volunteers (while the Finns were regular army soldiers), were even more so.
** The largest single reason why women now live longer on average, than men, is that childbirth is far safer today for women, than in his time and earlier. War is still very dangerous for men, as are many of the jobs done mainly by men. Warren Farrell’s two interviews in New Male Studies mention some telling details.