You don’t know a lot about women, do you?

There are no two ways about it: Men and women approach the issues of life differently. I’m not saying that one way is better than the other: Just ‘different’!

It is a bit like talking different languages; misunderstandings are not easily avoided if one doesn’t see the joke in a weird phrase and takes it with a bit of humour. Talking different languages is a rather obvious obstacle while having the two genders of the same species interact should be straight forward, shouldn’t it?

See it is a cultural thing; it is how interaction within a gender works fine and is trained from childhood on, which then backfires when the two mingle. For example take a random problem occurring: The guy will decide on a way forward quickly, without having all the facts and being very confident that he will be able to troubleshoot should it be necessary. It is all about getting into the game, and checking out the competition. Amending the plan as he goes along, he is flexible to changes but prone to mistakes. It is a high risk strategy which is very successful when it works, but very disastrous if not.

A gal would gather all the facts, would come up with plan A, B, C and probably D and then realise that the guy already pulled all the resources. For her it is about planning success and if it is a problem where time is not an issue – or guys are not around - she usually is successful in a very efficient way. Since she has at least three strategies, and knows her stuff inside out she is flexible in a more planned way, hence a high probability for a successful end.

See, depending on the problem both strategies have advantages and are equally successful, it’s just that in mixed teams woman usually are the...slower... backup crew doing the nitty-gritty work in case  the male boss misjudged the situation and details are needed, while he is out there showing his face and hence earning the praise.

It is not about which style is more valuable, both approaches are needed to ensure success, it is about how society values the ‘face’ of a project and not the busy bees in the background.

Thus it is established that henceforth we are talking about differences in a non-judgmental way – oh well, I may get a bit judgmental at times, but be honest; it’s more fun that way. So let’s get more specific.

Women are highly competitive!

Despite the common business wisdom that women are not good in competing and hence they have trouble in climbing the career ladder, be assured: Women are competitive; more than any man ever will be. Only that their way of showing it differs from the male approach. The full on, mock-fact bullshit is not their style. A woman who enters this arena usually lacks these early playground years when guys practice their skills by fighting over toys and showing off their penises. Additionally she can’t avoid being a woman between men and that’s when the latter feel an itch in a certain area depriving them of concentration. Thus untrained, with men paying attention to the wrong arguments she is bound to become a bitch when she wins, and when she loses, the male world is put back into the right place and she becomes woman instead of business women again.

In regard to social competition there is rarely a mix between genders. For men it means ‘man against man’ in sports, cars, mistresses,… basically about a lot of things one can buy. For women it either means ‘women vs. oneself’, or women vs. women: And it’s about everything one has to work hard for. The title of best mum, cook, gardener, figure and dresser is always at stake and usually being member of several social circles that means a battle on many front lines. Well, we tend to buy things as well, but when we overdo that we have lost in the eyes of our peers already: ‘Look at her! She got another dress and those shoes. Is it really necessary to only buy brands? Bitch, it’s all her husband’s money!’

Guys come home with a trophy in their hands; for the new car the garage gets cleaned out, for the ugly sports cup the mantelpiece gets cleared from the carefully chosen decoration – nothing of the male success can be overlooked. A woman loses an inch around the waist, wearing the new dress – she has to draw a banner across the room saying: ‘1 inch, new dress’; the kids do well at school, they get the praise not mum for spending hours on end doing homework with them; the new pie recipe goes unnoticed because it’s just another dinner; and when she comes out on top against her girlfriends, then she is right to be bit pissed off when there is nobody to put her on the pedestal which she deserves.

Women need to know!

This relates to the earlier mentioned male bullshitting skill. Men can easily, let’s call it: stretch some facts - and can get away with it - with males. This is their way of testing the cognitive capabilities of their competitors. Women always seem to fall short of those cognitive capability because they are not trained to succeed in that sort of test. They have a hunch that something might not be quite correct but they want to get their facts right before they answer and hence they miss their slot while guys just fire back with bullshit. Like in sex it seems that for men it is a lot about timing while for women it’s more about quality. To ensure quality in every aspect of her life a women needs to know what makes her counterpart tick at a very early stage of contact, best even before contact. Hence they will collect information wherever they can in order to have all the pieces of the puzzle in place when needed, and thus women are called nosey.

Women assume!

If they lack knowledge women assume. They are masters in the game: ‘Find the missing piece‘, and their deduction skills are nothing short of a CSI. So guys: be very careful if you are thinking about cheating: this skill and all of the above will blow your cover, in this game you are going to lose.

However, as importantly, they are assuming that everybody else is assuming, too. This is when a great skill can horribly backfire.

For example: Women show affection by doing something nice for someone, like preparing the favourite dinner, make sure that there is always beer in the house, or having that favourite shirt always ironed. This is concept lost on a male brain. They usually show affection at the beginning of the relationship and that has to be enough for the rest of life. Telling the secretary the date of the anniversary so they will get reminded in time, already is quite something. They did commit themselves, didn’t they? What else do we want from them?

Since women can’t accept that, we try to train them to do nice little things to show their love. For example we make them bring the rubbish out by asking: ‘Darling, could you please do me the favour and bring the rubbish out.’

See, they don’t get what we mean by ‘favour’, for them it’s a set phrase and they think that a household task needs to be done – no hidden meaning for them. Now! Woman assumes that he caught her drift and when the rubbish is flowing over again he might pick up on it, taking it out to ‘do her the favour’ hence showing his love… and of course he won’t, he doesn’t have a clue. Over time women assumes that he doesn’t love her anymore since he won’t even do such a tiny thing for her. How is she then to expect something bigger, and wasn’t he staying longer at work last week, and he is always with his mates and never with her… boiling in her own broth and losing perspective she assumes that her marriage is over.

Women have elephant brains!

The tiniest suspicion will sit in a secret organ that science hasn't discover yet and will survive forever. And there is a miraculous sorting mechanism. Even over a long period of time she will know whether or not events are related and she will gather the information. However, this will not go on forever: once in a while steam needs to be let off. This either happens on a monthly cycle when thresholds are weakened, or when the reservoir is full. In this case conversations usually open with phrases which have no answer, like: 'What are you thinking?' Nothing, of course! One can assume - see above - that between tasks men rarely think. So this is always a good starting point to light the fuse.


It only needs small things to make a woman happy. However, DO! Don't buy, at least not at the beginning, and don’t make too big gestures unless you have built up to it over time! You don’t want to make her suspicious, do you? Remember the CSI thing…once you are under suspicion you are doomed!

Phrases like: ‘I thought you’ve been very busy lately so I did…fold socks, take rubbish out, sort the newspaper pile…’ will shoot her over the moon. Well, it does help to actually do it.

And you may want to pick up on her cycle in order to know when this magic is definitely in order. But please! Never mention, or you risk instant explosion.

And for the rest of it: Make her laugh once in a while!

Rika's Column

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Author: Rika