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An Englishman In New York: The Female Brain

Columnist David Thomasesson considers the vital differences between men and women.

Steve Kissing, an independent commentator reviewed the book “The Female Brain,” by Louann Brizendine, M.D. Although male and females are equals in the biggest sense of the word our bodies are different, and so too are our brains. No guys, we’re not talking size here, women actually see things differently. No surprise there, right chaps? After all we often wonder where the hell women come from…usually left field. http://www.amazon.com/Female-Brain-Louann-Brizendine/dp/0767920104%3FSubscriptionId%3D0G81C5DAZ03ZR9WH9X82%26tag%3Dzemanta-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0767920104

Well, there’s a reason for all of this and there’s absolutely no point in trying to understand it since it’s one of the world’s greatest truisms that women are impossible to fathom. Greater men have tried and been found wanting so, if you do succeed, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

Some of the key insights are as follows. Perhaps if we males try and understand them the world will become a better place and communicating with our women will become easier. Hopefully we’ll be more of one mind…yes, ours! See for yourself.

She remembers more

The hippocampus, that part of the brain mostly responsible for memories, is larger in women. That’s why women are better at retaining memories. Yes, the good ones and the bad ones, like that time you bought her a Thigh-master, the Dust-buster for the car, or the multi-speed food processor. Yes, I know they are noisy, have different speeds and are useful appliances, but they have no business on a gift list. Not unless you want the deaf and dumb breakfast all week.

And worse, those dreaded first date, kiss, holding hands, six month anniversary-type details which ladies, and this is important, are not ingrained in our minds because…they don’t matter! They’re history; you got your man, move on.

Learning point: If you don’t remember it, she will, so give it up, you can’t win.

She cries for a reason

And yes it is an attention getter, unless of course it’s at the end of Casablanca or the Sound of Music which she must have seen at least a dozen times, in which case it’s just a waste of Kleenex. Turns out that female brains, or is it brain there isn’t that much there surely, are wired to cry four times as much as we manly men. And it’s precisely because of our manly posture that results in tears on demand. We macho men aren’t too good at picking up subtle emotional cues in others (anger being an exception). Really, who knew? Sometimes tears are the only way for women to be noticed; otherwise we will continue to watch the latest episode of “Ice Road Truckers.”, with all the rapt attention it deserves.

Learning point: If you wish your wife cried less, paying attention to her tears. Catch them early and she can save the other three times for later; when it really counts. But be kind; tell her you’ll get back to her at the end of the two hour show “How to build things bigger”. And of course, after she’s brought out a few brewskies for you and the lads. In fact some sandwiches would be nice too. She’ll see you right.

Her instincts are solid

The parts of the brain linked to gut feelings are larger and more discerning in women. So disregard “woman’s intuition” at your peril; except for her giving directions whilst we are driving the car which, as we all know, is completely taboo since we men are never wrong. Even if we have to turn the radio down, but whatever you do, you never, ever, ever ask for directions. You will instantly lose all respect.

Learning point: None in this case; Eve leads by two to Adam’s one.

Her head is filled with words.

Now, watch your step here, this is an exceedingly dangerous area so we must tread carefully. We are in uncharted waters with dangerous shoals everywhere, and the added danger of pop-up storms, tornados, thunder and lightning.

A woman’s language center of the brain works differently than ours. As a daily average, women will speak some 20,000 words, while we guys utter about 7,000. It gets technical here so try and keep up Bond. They may also string words together into something called sentences, and constantly ask how do we feel, and why can’t we talk to them, I mean really talk to them. Sounds familiar uh? Not that they’re really interested, no it’s their way of dragging us up to be their equal in the gabfest they call conversation. Why does this matter? Who knows? Do we even care?

Thing is, a lot of words are spoken, but they don’t actually say anything; it’s just a background noise, a sort of low hum like an air-conditioner in summer. It’s there, it’s on all the time but you don’t always hear it; it’s the same with women. My wife calls it the passing train syndrome; best illustrated using the Doppler Effect. Picture this, you’re lounging on the couch watching the TV, and you become aware of a noise that wasn’t there before. It gets louder, closer, louder, closer, some words you hear some you don’t; such as ....don’t forget...tomorrow night...be late...and as the sound recedes the TV beckons. The next evening the reality of your convenient ears hits home as you answer the phone, not realizing how hot it is, to be confronted by one angry wife asking “where the hell are you?” I know, I know, it’s happened to you right? Unfortunately, the words missing or at least those that didn’t register as you watched Monday Night Football were...we’re going out...don’t....What’s the fuss about you ask? You continue digging your own grave telling her that the missing words you heard, or rather assumed you heard were...I’m going out...I might ...Easy to see where the confusion arose.

It’s the continuous noise you see, which is why we men sometimes struggle to focus on all 20,000 words, and why we sometimes struggle to find the right words unless, of course, we’re telling fart jokes, in which case the words flow effortlessly.

Learning point: Try and listen harder to all of the words, and respond aloud, but not with “yes, dear”, they don’t like that one. Above all, recognize that sometimes talking is her way of processing. “Talk it out” as Pat Sajak says to the final contestant on the Wheel of Fortune game-show. Do you remember when (cue for a song) as a novice reader, following the words with your finger? Well for women, talking aloud is a similar process; it’s just something they have to do.

And this reminds me of a famous ad in the classifieds:
“Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica for Sale; Wife knows everything”.

Yeow, something just hit the back of my head….

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