I’ve been thinking about language and the manner in which as a species humans choose to communicate-their choice of words and the nuance they attach to them. The effectiveness and also the lack of it as a medium of expression that words are.
I am of the opinion that for the all the words available to humankind and their varied definitions, it is at times silence or a touch that speaks the loudest, and has the greatest meaning.
Recently I have been engaged in a discussion of sorts about the conversational needs and differences between men and women-since women are pretty much a mystery to me at times I claim no authority or particular insights-but I am struck by what I consider to be a few notables.
Women are often described as emotional beings, and I suppose they are to a greater extent than men, or maybe they just show it more-aside from that they are notably gregarious, both of which manifest themselves in verbalizations- hence the commonly held opinion that women enjoy talking.
A part of this may simply be a coping mechanism to deal with what they have to put up with or the result of an innate joy and a desire to express that-a need to sing-maybe both.
I saw a flock of birds in a tree the other day-chirping and carrying on like it was a grand entry at pow wow, as I looked closer I noticed they were all hens and started laughing-I was asked what I was laughing about and when I explained it to a woman she began laughing as well and said yes the women of all nations always have something to say.
I think that like birds if one listens to the conversations of women they too often have the lilt of songs to them.
There is a fascination for me in what is described as “baby talk”, women are masters at this, it is the way in which adults will converse with an infant, even the most stoic of men will engage in this at times, often accompanied by exaggerated sounds and expressions- pure moments unfettered by convention or self conciousness.
Total strangers in a store will approach to bill and coo-it is a phenomena, a saving grace in the midst of the human condition.
Conversation shouldn’t be forced -it should be comfortable and natural-it isn’t volume, but quality. There’s a time to talk, a time to listen, and a time to forcefully speak out- knowing the differences qualifies the speaker and the intent.
People shouldn’t feel threatened or uncomfortable in the presence of another or in conversation, and I think that is the key-understanding their comfort level and contributing to it-whether it’s a loved one, a friend, or some one you just happen to be passing the time with. Obviously there are exceptions to this-but that’s what they are in my opinion, exceptions.
The women’s lib movement is another fascination to me-I understand the concept and agenda, but I also think there has been a trade off at times and that this should not evolve into a competition that it seemingly has for some.
I’ve know a few “libbers”, some of them very well rounded individuals and a pleasure to be around-others have been what I can only describe as manic harpies and shrews failing to understand that taking on the male characteristics of aggressive and loud behavior that is condemned in men is antithetical not only to the nature of women, but to what I assume the liberation movement is about.
Too often I think this liberation movement takes on a rhetorical air of masculinity that at least to me seems counterproductive-too much profanity, too many anatomical references, too much in your face for what I assume is shock value.
Maybe I’m wrong about that, but it is a behavior I dislike in men and even more so in women. The relationship between men and women shouldn’t be a competitive one-it should be balanced and respectful-yet it seems as though it is being driven in that direction-competition, aggression, imbalance, and a lack of mutual respect.
If we as men are so deficit in the “social graces” and/or our understanding, no lesson, no example, will be provided in mirroring any negative qualities we may have.
It is my nature to offer a basic respect to both men and women-beyond that respect is earned-since I am a man and would avoid the appearance of any bias I will leave the review of their counterparts to women.
For all our many endeavours we as a species find our greatest achievements in relationships-those of a husband or wife, a parent, a son or daughter, a sister or brother, and it is not only our actions that honor and facilitate these things but the manner in which we converse as well-the things we say, the things we fail to say-and those moments of silence that can be a blanket to wrap and comfort another in-wings to shelter and embrace with.