The social sciences obstinately insist on Pascal’s mathematical mind, while women are more likely to give play to his intuitive mind, so it seems the two aren’t a good match. Still, all’s grist for the mill, so here are a couple of (at least purportedly) scientific findings regarding women I thought of interest:
- Women talk three times as much as men. Their brains are wired differently, it seems, and they even get a brain-chemical high from the sound of their own voices.
- Women prefer clothes to men. They form more durable attachments to clothes, and given the choice would choose new threads over sack time with their main squeeze.
The first article can speak for itself, although one point worth noting is the determination of the feminist researcher to spin her findings as evidence of masculine deficiencies. Why be so unpleasant? I would have thought that accepting the differences between the sexes is part of willing membership in the human race.
The second I actually found more interesting. It’s hard for most men to understand how women experience fashion. Women often speak of other women’s fashion choices, their choice of colors and patterns or whatever, as if they were major character flaws. In what may be the greatest literary work ever written by a woman, The Tale of Genji, people are mostly characterized by the aesthetic qualities of the notes they write to each other. Why are such things such a big deal?
Here are some random examples of the importance of fashion I noted just yesterday in the right-wing feminine blogosphere:
- Dawn Eden’s fondness for glamor photos (not to mention her extreme interest in pop culture).
- A weblog called “American Princess,” which proclaims itself the voice of “Right-wing extremism with impeccable fashion sense.”
- The weblog Some Have Hats, which uses as its logo a picture of a wonderfully graceful young woman with a very large black hat that evidently pleases her enormously. (“Some Have Hats” may refer to the pious custom whereby women cover their heads in church. If so, the blogeuse doesn’t seem to think of it as a particularly submissive gesture.)
Part of it may be that sensual immediacy plays a larger role in women’s experience. Taste, smell, color and texture all seem more vividly present to them. Also, they’re more observant in some ways than men. Show them clutter and they’re much more likely to be able to find things and to remember afterwards what was there. Put those qualities together with women’s attentiveness to social cues, their tendency to understand things relationally and make their points somewhat indirectly, and the sexual and therefore social importance of physical appearance for them, and it becomes understandable that visual self-presentation to others might take on much greater importance than it does among men.
Dunno, though. Any thoughts?