Monday, January 10, 2005

one difference between men and women

This is really interesting. I don't like making broad generalizations about "men do this and women do that" (although I often can't stop myself); I really do believe that many of the differences between us are socially constructed, and hence not worth setting in stone by nattering on about either sex being constitutionally incapable of a thing, or more naturally skilled at another thing, or whatever.

But I've noticed something small yet telling that I want to bring forward, and I think it has something to do with who feels more secure in the world.

Just got home from rehearsal--the first one I've felt really good about in a while; we were learning a new choreography, and I was getting it, quickly. There were even parts that I was grasping before some of the more experienced members of the troupe. I'm not necessarily doing it well, mind, but I'm turning in the right direction at the right time, etcetera.

Anyway. Although I was feeling all charged up and perfectly capable of walking the seven blocks home, I accepted a ride from Yvette, possibly the kindest person I have ever met. And hot, too, but firmly married, if you were even thinking about it. Firmly. So she drove me all the way home, taking all the one-way streets instead of just dropping me at a convenient corner and speeding off; she pulled up in front on my building, and waited until she'd seen me go through the front door before she drove away.

This is such a small thing, but I cannot think of a single time I have ever gotten a ride home from a woman who hasn't waited to make sure I made it into the building before leaving. While quite a few men have essentially slowed to twenty and put a boot to my butt; unless they're hoping for a little tonsil massage, many of my male acquaintances seem to be more concerned about getting on with their journey than making sure I'm safely home (AX being, as he so often is in any discussion of "what men do", a notable exception). Although, come to think of it, even some of the ones I've kissed goodbye haven't then watched to make sure I get that door unlocked without interference. And interference is always on tap in this neighborhood.

I don't think it's that men don't care about their female friends. I think they just don't think about it. The same way a lot of men don't give the same kind of thought to which streets they use to get home after dark that women do, or hesitate before going into certain bars, or a whole host of little decisions that pattern a woman's day.