‘WHY MEN DON'T LISTEN & WOMEN CAN'T READ MAPS’ by Barbara & Allan Pease is a book written to help each come to grips with the opposite sex, it'll help each in understanding oneself. It begins with a loud proclamation ‘the only thing they have in common is that they belong to the same species. They live in different worlds…’ and goes on to examine how the sexes are intrinsically inclined to behave in different ways. How man’s self-worth came to be measured by the woman’s appreciation for his struggle and effort and woman’s, from the man's appreciation of her home-making and nurturing skills. But as times changed, when ‘the family unit is no longer solely dependent on men for its survival and women are no longer expected to stay at home as nurturers and home-makers’, need arose for a new set of rules, leading to a new set of questions. This book is trying to provide some answers. The authors begin this with a short analysis of the lighthearted and common descriptions of the male and female brain, and the aptness of the choice of description. Thereafter they go into the social compulsions of each sex, how they fare in intelligence, exchanges, verbal ability and motor functions. While describing how communication, multi-tracking, reasoning and other linguistic functions manifest differently in male and female brains, the authors make it very easy for us to grasp the complex differences in male and female behavior, and how, this would have been causing uneasy male-female relationship. For example, “Women can speak and listen simultaneously, while at the same time accusing men of being able to do neither.” Thoughts, attitudes, emotions and other disaster areas are then examined, amply demystifying the behavioral quirks of both the sexes. Now comes sexual compatibility. Assuming our animal origin and the dangerous beginnings of our life in wilderness, the authors explain the occurrence of peculiarities in male and female sexual features, like premature ejaculation, based on fairly simple causes like the natural desire of the species to thrive. Further aspects, like the travails of married life, bliss and other regions of attainment are then discussed, bringing this enlightening discussion to a close.
Right now, this is my favorite topic. Especially while writing the book on male nature (The Unsure Male), I had the occasion to consult many different books on human nature and its origin. All of those, including this, is based on a premise – man began his life as one of the other beings in matters of food, clothing etc, but entirely different from them in matters of sex. If you agree with that, this book is an excellent treatise on human nature. In fact this can act as an encyclopedia of ‘eccentricities of man-woman persona’. For, there is no imaginable quirk in man-woman relations that is not covered in this. This thus is a worthy study, though I am not fully in agreement with its findings. (That man began his life like any of the other species, and that he found in mating, a horrifying experience, like all other species, and that he took necessary steps to escape from the post-mating agony, unlike all other species, and today all that we find as peculiar to human life is the leftover of those ‘necessary steps’, is, the gist of my book)