Vinita Dawra Nangia
Who needs whimpering men trying hard to connect to their emotional side? Studies show that men are just as sensitive as women, and they don’t need tears to prove that!
How often have you heard a man say, “I fail to understand, why is everything my fault?” This intimidation, to me, is the reason most men refuse to let their guard down around women! A guy feels he is always under a microscope around a woman, being examined for various flaws! One wrong step; a mismatched outfit; an insensitive word; the slip of an eye or tongue; a delay, or just the wrong facial expression – he can be blamed for anything, any time! Sigh! I do believe sometimes women are rather tough on guys! They intimidate men with their over analysis. Men on the other hand, are becoming more suspicious of women! As women make strides, men become ever more protective of what they consider their domains. The female accusation, “Men are so out of touch with their emotions!” has become almost a macho flag that every man carries proudly, “I’m not good at emotions – what do you expect, I’m a man!” But is that really true? A man may talk less about his emotions, but does that mean he feels any less? True, women are four times more likely to seek counseling than men, but that’s because a woman finds it easier to talk about her problems. She seeks opinions, like-minded discussions, peer advice and then processes the information before deciding what to do. A man’s first instinct, on the other hand, is to go for action. Evolution has geared him for that, and action is the language he speaks and understands better than discussion. His primal hunting instinct urges him to act fast rather than sit around discussing! Maybe for the same evolutionary reason, there is a neurological explanation to why men don’t indulge in dissection of feelings. It’s a scientific fact that the area of the brain that connects the left (rational) and the right (intuitive) hemispheres is larger in women than in men. As a result women can think and feel at the same time, while men need to separate the two activities. A group of Stanford scientists put this to the test by examining through MRI the brain activity of 12 men and 12 women when they were shown some brutal pictures. Nine different areas of the women’s brains showed higher activity, while in the case of men, just two areas were affected! You may imagine this is because men are less sensitive; but that’s not true. Men are just as sensitive as women and feel just as deeply, but they are programmed to react differently to the same feelings. In fact, another research shows that boys had higher levels of stress hormone in their bloodstreams than girls did upon hearing a recording of a baby crying. However a man’s threshold for feeling deep emotion is lower than a woman’s and emotional arousal may end up giving him health problems. Men are more vulnerable than women to health risks at every stage of their lives. If action counts more with men, when a man takes over paying the bills and dealing with the work around the house, what better way to show he cares about your convenience and safety? When he tells you not to slog it in the kitchen, it shows he cares about you even though he may not actually say it. He may not repeat declarations of love, but if he drives you back and forth from work every day without complaining, need he say more? I wonder how many women really appreciate men who are “in touch with their feelings.” Speaking for myself, I would rather not have my guy dissolve in helpless tears; I need him to be strong and action-oriented. Let me hasten to assure all diehard feminists, this is not to say that I am the wilting, helpless types myself! However, I do propagate understanding and appreciating the basic physical and physiological differences between the genders, and attempting to balance them to form a complete circle of power. That would benefit us all far more than harping, a la Professor Higgins, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Or even, why can’t a man be more like a woman!!