Friday, July 11, 2008

...and what do you mean by that?

A good friend picked me up & chucked me over his shoulder into a ditch tonight, via email.

He has been helping with my inquiries into the Great Divide of man & woman. Previously he pointed out to me the female habit of reading things into conversations & assured me that what he says is what he means. I have done my best to accept & incorporate this strange notion into our chats. But...tonight I find that I have slipped up again. What really gets me is that I couldn't see it until it was pointed out to me. It brought into sharp focus the huge difference in the very fabric of male & female conversation.

Our whole society revolves around the words we speak to each other - at no time in recorded history has the spoken word been so relied on - the 'communications' business takes the very words from our mouths & transmits them anywhere in the world.

So what happens when two different languages are spoken, using the same words?

I am a woman - I speak the woman's language - the most modern analogy I can think of is to say I have a decoder, when someone speaks to me I decode it. What that means for me is that when you say something I will check for all kinds of hidden messages, tone of voice, the way you phrase things, to find out what you really mean - women do this automatically, we can read each other at 500 paces. Men are just downright contrary because they do not NOT say what they mean. What would have happened if the British had put un-coded messages into the enigma machine - it would probably have blown a gasket. I really don't think women are born with decoders, I think it's part of the subtle training of childhood. I have an idea that women throughout the centuries of patriarchy have developed a type of underground communication system, using the same words as their menfolk but in quite a different way. A language that allowed women to understand each other but confusing enough to the opposite sex to allow some freedom of speech. Now this is just an idea, I am very open to alternatives or additional suggestions, the idea is to open some healing & understanding between the sexes.

Perhaps here is the ultimate Babel - when man & woman started talking in different tongues.

In one way it's very funny, but it's also tragic when we do not understand each other.

There is a great scene from the movie Sliding Doors which beautifully illustrates this divided communication. The cheating boyfriend is confronted & confused by his mistress - it goes like this;

Man: 'But you didn't say that's what you wanted."

Woman: "Jerry, I'm a woman, we don't say what we want, but we reserve the right to be pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating & not a little bit scary."

& that movie was written by a man.

I hadn't planned on starting this topic with language, but it popped up & bit me in the ass so I took note. I shall present ideas as they come to mind in the hope of clearing away some of the sludge that has accumulated over the centuries. I can't help feeling that a healthy respect & partnership between the sexes would create something akin to a healthy & functioning immune system for this world - an immune system capable of dealing with any diseased agenda.