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Archive > An Informal Poll - Positive Male Traits?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 29, 2016 02:59PM) (new)

Good evening All.

I'm curious as to your opinions, and ideas, on this:
What, if any, traits normally considered masculine are good/useful/positive ?

What I would like is a simple reply listing whatever positive traits you can think of, several, one, or if you can't think of any, or believe there aren't any, simply reply with 'none'.

Please try to consider the question and not simply dash a 'none' reply off, and keep to the question, a negative trait list will be far too long :-) Someone else can start a positive female traits topic, but I'm not volunteering for that, I suspect, hope, this will be enough work.

I'll give it a week and then collate the results, I'll be interested to see the answers. Note, I will not suggest any, my life has been sufficiently unusual to give me a fairly unique, but skewed, view of things. A note to the Mods, not sure if this should be here or in miscellaneous, but it looked more appropriate in this section, but by all means move it if you think it appropriate.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Kendall (_pochemuchka_) | 35 comments Could you suggest a trait that you consider feminine and good, for contrast? Because I'm afraid I need more clarification about what you're asking.


message 3: by Agatha (new)

Agatha (agatutza) | 2 comments I am not sure I get the question exactly, but assertiveness and courage are usually considered as "male" and are definitely positive in my mind. Not that there aren't women who are not assertive or brave, but...


message 4: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments And I in turn wonder about the purpose of the thread. Is it to boost the image of men? As in, aren't we speaking positively enough about men without being reminded of positive traits usually displayed in men?

Because I can think of a bunch of traits that are positive in men, but not so positive in women. Off the top of my hat, "he is a great leader, strong and forceful" but "she really is denanding, difficult, and very bossy, not pleasant at all".

I like to isolate the individual and analyse that as a package solution. Viewed like that, I can't think of a single trait that I have ever seen only in men.


message 5: by Bunny (new)

Bunny I agree with Heather I don't believe there is such a thing as a masculine or feminine trait. To the extent that there are societal assumptions and stereotypes about which traits are masculine or feminine I don't agree with those assumptions and stereotypes and don't want to support them. Also I don't understand the purpose of the question which makes me hesitant to answer it.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Amanda wrote: "Could you suggest a trait that you consider feminine and good, for contrast? Because I'm afraid I need more clarification about what you're asking." I suppose we could start with the classics, nurturing, collegial, social, are viewed as more feminine.


message 7: by Kikki (new)

Kikki (kikki-not-kiki) Any trait that I can think of that is considered 'masculine' is a trait that I also consider 'feminine' so I guess my answer would be none? Since I don't see any trait as having a specific gender standing?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Agatha wrote: "I am not sure I get the question exactly, but assertiveness and courage are usually considered as "male" and are definitely positive in my mind. Not that there aren't women who are not assertive or..." Absolutely, as you say, it's more of a spectrum, and you can find people with any of them.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Aglaea wrote: "And I in turn wonder about the purpose of the thread. Is it to boost the image of men? As in, aren't we speaking positively enough about men without being reminded of positive traits usually displa..."

I can think of some traits that are only very rarely not found in men, but none of them are nice. At an individual level, you're correct, but I was thinking more as a group.

To explain the original kernel of the idea for this, I was listening to Miss Watsons' speech at the launch for He for She at the UN, and she used the example of a father telling his son to suppress his emotions ( I'm paraphrasing that, but that was I believe the core of it ) and using the example as a negative.

However, my own life has shown me that learning to push the emotions away, to hold them in box until a later, more appropriate time is useful, and isn't something that can be learnt on the fly, it takes practice.

That lead me to the question, what are the good traits, what do people think of as positive ways of thinking, or is it all just opinion? The reason for asking is I am well aware that my life experiences are so far outside the norm, that I truly do look at things differently, so I'm curious to see what other people think. As an example, so you perhaps understand, when I was 10 years old a police officer taught me how to check a car I was getting into for bombs, and that perhaps colours my thinking :-)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Heather Acosta wrote: "I don't feel as though I can answer this question. I don't believe that there is such a a thing as masculine or feminine traits, except as we have assigned them as a society. In the natural world, ..."

Not so sure about evolving out of the rut, the average summer beach doesn't look much different to me :-)

On the natural world front, in the mammalian one, perhaps, though it depends greatly. Herd animals work in different ways, whilst the bull or stallion may be the nominal leader, it's the alpha females that the rest follow, at least in my experience with cattle.

I'm not sure that 'in the wrong' is correct though. As an example, I would have said ' adventurous ' ( as in exploring the world ) might be a positive, usually male, trait. However, I don't view it as a negative female trait, quite the reverse, but as I said I have a screwy point of view.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Bunny wrote: "I agree with Heather I don't believe there is such a thing as a masculine or feminine trait. To the extent that there are societal assumptions and stereotypes about which traits are masculine or fe..."

A purely masculine or feminine trait, as you say Bunny, I don't think there is one, only a distribution that may skew to one or the other, or evenly.

I'm not really thinking of stereotypes though, I'm perhaps viewing it more from the point of statistics, if you analyse the characters of people, and then look at the information, what would you see. Peoples' instincts can be remarkably astute, the human mind can make intuitive leaps on remarkably little information, that can be borne out by the facts in the end.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

To answer the general theme of these comments as to why ask the question, it was idle curiosity, to see what people think of as good traits. I could find any number of bad traits, and ones called bad that I view in a different, harder, light, perhaps not as good but as useful.

Further, why ask here, well, it was the largest, possibly available, pool of people who would have the wit to answer it. Belonging to Goodreads is something of a self selecting grouping of those who read more than normal. I'm not a 'people' person and dislike crowds, so this is as good a place as any, but it is of little moment, ignore it as you wish.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

κικκι. What doesn't kill me better run, because now I'm fucking pissed wrote: "Any trait that I can think of that is considered 'masculine' is a trait that I also consider 'feminine' so I guess my answer would be none? Since I don't see any trait as having a specific gender s..."

Ha, I like your tag line. I agree, I can think of no trait that solely one or the other, what I'm thinking of is more the gut instinct perhaps. I had thought originally to ask about traits that were thought of as negative in some ways, but could be positive from others, but I thought it was likely to be to much of a 'downer'


message 14: by Kikki (new)

Kikki (kikki-not-kiki) XD haha I'm glad you like it. I saw the quote and it made me grin.

This topic does make you think though, in terms of traits that are labeled as something feminine or masculine. Not everyone might even realize grouping traits as masculine or feminine are bad, while others know that the traits shouldn't be classified or labeled as more for one gender than another. So its cool to read the different answers people post, though at the moment most comments seem to be on the same train of thought XD


message 15: by Bunny (last edited Mar 01, 2016 04:21PM) (new)

Bunny James, I will share with you one experience that I think is relevant here. I have two young relatives who are fraternal twins, one a boy and one a girl. They have their own unique personalities of course, as we all do. But what was fascinating (and a little bit frustrating too) was to watch how two children of the same age, of the same family, of the same background, in the same circumstances, and showing the same behavior, were so often understood and explained differently by the people around them like teachers, passers by, friends etc,. simply because people knew that one was a boy and one was a girl.

So for example when they were very small and were trying to walk each one would maybe fall down and cry. If it was the little boy people would say he was angry or frustrated because he was trying to walk but hadn't learned yet. If it was the little girl people would say that she was sad, or hurt or that it was too hard for her. Same behavior, do you see? But different explanations.

I saw this over and over again. If he went out into the garden alone he was being adventurous. If she went out into the garden alone she must be lost and in need of rescue. If he got mad and threw something, it was because he was angry and aggressive. If she got mad and threw something it was because she was overwhelmed and couldn't control her emotions. If he helped me carry groceries to the car people would tell him he was a big strong boy lifting up those heavy groceries. If she helped me carry groceries to the car then wasn't she sweet being mummy's little helper learning how to shop.

The behavior wasn't different, what was different was the lens through which it was being seen.


message 16: by Bunny (new)

Bunny So I could say that courage is a positive trait that is often considered to be male, but I would also have to say that its nonsense to call that a male trait because people of all genders can have courage.

Or to take a very interesting example that I recently read about. Aggression is often spoken of as a particularly male characteristic. But some social scientists did a study recently where they measured how violent men and women were while playing a video game under two different circumstances. In the first the men and women knew that other people could see them and in that case women were less aggressive than the men. But in the second, the people believed that no one could see them, that they were playing anonymously, and in that case the women were more aggressive than the men.


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 82 comments I'm not sure what to reply, as the positive traits I admire in men I also admire when they occur in women, and vice-versa, and what about gender fluid people? Is there another option than saying "none"? It seems like the poll is structured to be biased towards a gender binary. You need a third option where the answer is "gendered traits are a cultural construct" or something.


message 18: by Bunny (new)

Bunny Sign me up for the third option.


message 19: by Kathrine (new)

Kathrine | 6 comments Bunny wrote: "... But what was fascinating (and a little bit frustrating too) was to watch how two children of the same age, of the same family, of the same background, in the same circumstances, and showing the same behavior, were so often understood and explained differently by the people around them like teachers, passers by, friends etc,. simply because people knew that one was a boy and one was a girl.
"


Very well described, Bunny! I regularly experience similar situations and find it extremely frustrating.

I wonder if you have ever reacted to the friends/passers by etc who are explaining the twins´ behavior as either masculine or feminine? Do you have any advice on how to start a conversation/discussion on the topic? I ask because I personally find it hard to question (especially parents´) analyses of their own children's behavior, but I would really like to find the words to make them start thinking about the message they are sending to their children and society in general.


message 20: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I'm not sure what to reply, as the positive traits I admire in men I also admire when they occur in women, and vice-versa, and what about gender fluid people? Is there another option than saying "n..."

Yup.


message 21: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 149 comments I don't know if it counts, but for me, it was my male friends willingness to be an emotional punching bag. When they realized that I needed someone to vent to, they would tell me that I could hit them any time I needed.


message 22: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments I'm very glad to see this thread. One of the things Gloria Steinem asserted repeatedly in her interview with Emma is that there are no such things as masculine and feminine traits. At the same time, she said that if men get in a room together for a negotiation, they argue, and when women do it, they become conciliatory. "That's why we need each other," she said. I agree with that point, but if anything, it proves that there are indeed differences between masculinity and femininity and between men and women.

Of course, every human being is a mix of masculine and feminine traits, regardless of gender. Some women can put up a strong argument, and some men are wonderfully nurturing. As a matter of fact, those are usually the kinds of men I prefer. So in my particular brand of feminism, I'd like to see the entire world become more feminine, ie less competitive and more collaborative.


message 23: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Stanley | 77 comments I like to examine things scientifically. The predominant difference between male and female specimens of 'Homo Sapiens' is the amount of Testosterone floating about in their bodies. In male specimens, the gonads produce masses of testosterone so the effects of testosterone on behavior are probably the only true, non-cultural, biological 'male traits' to this end there are a few articles worth reading:-

http://www.menshealth.com/health/7-cr...

This article suggests testosterone encourages dominance, optimism and risk-taking. All of which can be positive or negative traits depending on the context.

If you look at this detailed article, there are more effects:-

http://www.healthline.com/health/low-...

Note, under Central Nervous System it cites self-esteem and competitiveness as well as aggression and dominance. These could be construed as negative or positive traits in males depending on the context. The same article also cites muscle growth. Being physically strong IS a useful trait. That is difficult to deny. Most of what you might consider 'male traits' are positive or negative depending on the context. The only one which is universally useful is probably the physical strength element.

I suppose the aggression, competitiveness and dominance elements are perhaps clues as to how humans almost universally live in patriarchal societies. If high testosterone DOES increase these traits it's not surprising our world leaders are more often male. Unfortunately, this is perhaps also partly why the world is a bit of a mess. If you consider the opposite of these traits as female - peaceful, passive and submission - it makes you wonder if we'd live in a more peaceful world if infact women more almost universally world leaders. However it's possible women's natural traits mean this scenario is unlikely to ever happen.


message 24: by Bunny (new)

Bunny Unfortunately a considerable amount of the research on sex differences in humans suffers greatly from confirmation bias. That's the tendency to see what you are expecting to see - whether it's there or not. Some of this is not as much a flaw in the science as in the reporting of it. A study that involves a very small number of subjects and has flaws in its methodology will get lots of attention if it confirms the status quo. Less so studies that don't, no matter how well designed. So this means that the jury is really out a on a lot of this stuff more than people perhaps realize.

A good book on this subject is Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference.


message 25: by Andrea (new)

Andrea It seems to me that the traits we have attributed to men have a feminine counterpart; that society gives different words to basically the same emotion or action. This to me speaks to how men and women are similar, but we are raised to demonstrate or recognize these similarities in different ways.

For example, I know many men who are very good fathers. No one would describe them as "nurturing," however they are devoted, protective, proud of, demonstrative. All words that describe the emotional process of development and care of a child. I consider these men nurturing, but I don't expect others to necessarily think of this word when describing them.

Other positive traits for men would be enduring, supportive, conscientious... the fact that these words, or their similes, could also be used to describe women doesn't take away from their truth.


message 26: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie | 16 comments Bunny wrote: "James, I will share with you one experience that I think is relevant here. I have two young relatives who are fraternal twins, one a boy and one a girl. They have their own unique personalities of ..."

Bunny, your story struck a nerve with me. Especially since I have heard others making the same comments about their children before. Granted, the children were not twins and in some cases, not even siblings, but still this saddens me. Thank you for sharing this story.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

κικκι. What doesn't kill me better run, because now I'm fucking pissed wrote: "XD haha I'm glad you like it. I saw the quote and it made me grin.

This topic does make you think though, in terms of traits that are labeled as something feminine or masculine. Not everyone might..."


Kikki, For me it's perhaps the most interesting part, what people think and beyond that, why they think that. In many ways I think it's one of the flaws of modern societies, the battle lines are drawn, ' if you don't agree with X, you're evil! ' Few ask them to explain, it may me they hold good reasons, or different reason, or they may find that the reasons seem small and unimportant in their explanation. A book I'd say should be required reading is How to Have a Beautiful Mind by Edward de Bono, it has some superb bits around this.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Bunny wrote: "James, I will share with you one experience that I think is relevant here. I have two young relatives who are fraternal twins, one a boy and one a girl. They have their own unique personalities of ..."

Bunny, I can understand that people might do it, but it seems weird to me, but I grew up on a farm in the country, there was always things to go out and see, and play with, and our parents were both out working, so we'd pretty much all be out there at the same time, so again, not the yard stick to judge by.

About the only thing else I'd say is this, Feminism, or equality, whatever you wish to call it, is still comparatively young, not even a century old, and no matter what laws, or books or movements it has, it's about changing people attitudes, and that is a slower process. Generational even, and the it will take time, and seeing that equality in action before it becomes the norm. So we need to see, female car mechanics and electricians and so on, until no-one even notices it or remarks it.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Bunny wrote: "So I could say that courage is a positive trait that is often considered to be male, but I would also have to say that its nonsense to call that a male trait because people of all genders can have ..."

Interesting, You wouldn't happen to have a link to it? I'm working with some game designers at the minute, it would be interesting to see their take on it as well.

I was going to say that I wondered if a lot of peoples actions are less to do with what they themselves would choose to do and more what their peers think, but that could be argued as a definition of what a societal group is, a group of like minded peers. When you add in things like mobs and riots, where people get caught up in the action and do things so out of character as to be amazing, it perhaps less of a surprise. Humans are weird :-)


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Elizabeth wrote: "I'm not sure what to reply, as the positive traits I admire in men I also admire when they occur in women, and vice-versa, and what about gender fluid people? Is there another option than saying "n..."

Interesting point Elizabeth. You are correct broadly, it is taking it more as a binary, but you could also argue it as being those who identify as male and those who don't, which covers any other possible bases :-)

In either case, good point, and I'm not sure how to integrate that, but in some ways it evolved away from that now into a question of what are good traits period. I'd say, change the question as you think it needs to, in either case it will be interesting, either the question or your answer.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathrine wrote: "Bunny wrote: "... But what was fascinating (and a little bit frustrating too) was to watch how two children of the same age, of the same family, of the same background, in the same circumstances, a..."

My personal feeling is you probably won't be able to ask a question or do an analysis to tell them a better way, I think you probably need to show them a better way. Think, I don't know, Adventure scouts or something, get boys and girls together and take them to different places to learn and see people, both men and women, together if possible. Make it so none of them see any real difference in what they can and cannot do. And if they learn something useful or find an interest, even better.

As a slight example, near where I live, there is an outdoor Kindergarten, year round outdoor, and since I live above 60 degrees North, that's not to be sneezed at. Come the summer, all of the children are out collecting wood, and catching frogs, getting covered in mud and all the time the lady who runs will be standing in the forest, barefoot with a sheath knife on her belt, egging them on to go and explore, and be confident. Sadly, not likely to happen in the middle of a city, but there are other ways to install that confidence I think.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Jessica wrote: "I don't know if it counts, but for me, it was my male friends willingness to be an emotional punching bag. When they realized that I needed someone to vent to, they would tell me that I could hit t..."

I could make a joke at this point, but I won't, since my sister and others vent to me as well. Not sure why, since I look more like a thug. But an interesting one, none the less.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Kressel wrote: "I'm very glad to see this thread. One of the things Gloria Steinem asserted repeatedly in her interview with Emma is that there are no such things as masculine and feminine traits. At the same time..."

Not gotten to the interview yet, too many things going on currently, I'm hoping for a quiet weekend.

Personally, I like all the disparate ways of thinking and doing, because sometimes a different point of view is the insight you need. I also suppose it depends on at what level and to what extent, personal, business, societal, it happens.

For instance, less competitive on personal level, perhaps, I could be sold on that, but externally in a company setting, I think more competition is better, though it's the competition to give people something better, and not the normal screw them over kind.

Collaborative, again, it depends on the extent, if it means working together, all to the good, in fact I think it works better, since in most cases each persons skills can be used to the greatest extent, but if it's used to, not suppress really, but dampen ideas? Then it could be a problem. Like the tiny number of scientists who suggested plate tectonics and had the entire geological world telling them they were wrong, until they were proven correct.

In the end, I think the differences can make us more interesting, and perhaps stronger together, since we can each play to our strengths. Note, by strengths I mean strongest abilities, and the weird thing for me is that using any other word or words there, just seems weird, like a song you know that has a different word to normal. Have to go look at where the phrase came from , it's perked my curiosity


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Andrea wrote: "It seems to me that the traits we have attributed to men have a feminine counterpart; that society gives different words to basically the same emotion or action. This to me speaks to how men and wo..."

Interesting points Andrea, and ones I hadn't considered. There's a joke that the English language didn't develop, it followed other languages into dark alleys and mugged them for their words, and the number of ways to describe the same thing makes me believe it.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Kenzie wrote: "Bunny wrote: "James, I will share with you one experience that I think is relevant here. I have two young relatives who are fraternal twins, one a boy and one a girl. They have their own unique per..."

Kenzie, and Bunny, I'm not sure how to say this, might not come out as I would wish or as clearly. One of my personal, foibles I suppose, is I believe people are so much more capable than they themselves think, and that children are as well, and that we cosset them too much, both as children and adults. That we do too much, and in that doing, we make them less than they could be.

I'm not sure where it seems to get lost, or even what exactly gets lost. Sometimes I think it's nearly a lack of confidence, the knowledge that they can do things for themselves and succeed in them. Other times I think it's that they don't know what they are capable of enduring, and coming out the other side as a functioning, whole, human being.

Those might seem strange, but as I intimated before, my family has been Police, Military, Judicial, and sadly more involved in anti-terrorism, and terrorism, than anyone could wish for, so those points are perhaps more prominent in my mind than for most people.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, to summarise all the comments, I think we'll go with ' Well it all depends on....'


message 37: by Bunny (last edited Mar 02, 2016 06:06PM) (new)

Bunny James wrote: "Kathrine wrote: "As a slight example, near where I live, there is an outdoor Kindergarten, year round outdoor, and since I live above 60 degrees North, that's not to be sneezed at. Come the summer, all of the children are out collecting wood, and catching frogs, getting covered in mud and all the time the lady who runs will be standing in the forest, barefoot with a sheath knife on her belt, egging them on to go and explore, and be confident..."

I worked for a little while in a similar sort of outdoor school and was one of the ladies standing in the forest. Although not always barefoot since part of the time it was winter and there was a lot of snow, so then I was standing in the forest in heavy winter gear egging them on to explore and be confident.

The particular group of students I worked with was of mixed age, with the youngest being five and the oldest nine. There were nine children and two adults in our group and we had school outdoors all day, two days a week all seasons. It was a wonderful experience. I learned as much as they did.

Although in my case it was only a little above 40 degrees north, 60 is definitely more impressive! ;-)


message 38: by Lisa (last edited Mar 02, 2016 09:38PM) (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) Bunny wrote: "James, I will share with you one experience that I think is relevant here. I have two young relatives who are fraternal twins, one a boy and one a girl. They have their own unique personalities of ..."

I had a similar experience recently. My daughter is 9 months old. My husband loves spending time with her: they garden together, cook together, go for walks and fix his bike. Usually this means that she is on her blanket playing while my husband chats to her explaining what he is doing.

Last week he was fixing his bike with my daughter sitting next to him. He was explaining what he was doing while she watched, absorbed. Our neighbor walked past with a, 'What are you doing? She can't fix a bike! She's a girl.'
My husband's response was great, 'Actually, she can't fix a bike because she is only 9 months old and doesn't have the strength or knowledge. But if she wants to learn when she is older, I will teach her.'

I imagine that if my daughter were a boy, my neighbor would have been full of praise about learning mechanics so early in life.


message 39: by Bunny (new)

Bunny Oh I LOVE "actually she can't fix a bike because she's nine months old." That's great! I was reading recently about how the bicycle was a great liberating force for young women around the turn of the last century because it gave them a degree of freedom of movement they'd never had before. You had to be pretty well off to own a horse, but a bicycle was within reach for a shop assistant or a secretary and with a bicycle you could go places!


message 40: by textual (last edited Mar 02, 2016 11:44PM) (new)

textual silence (textualsilence) | 16 comments Interesting point: the question from the thread reads "male," yet the question having clicked on the thread reads "masculine." The two are not interchangeable, yet that's how they are read much of the time, and seemingly without any thought to how problematic that is. Not a criticism, just an observation :)

Good human traits? What would those look like?


message 41: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Stanley | 77 comments Bunny wrote: "Unfortunately a considerable amount of the research on sex differences in humans suffers greatly from confirmation bias. That's the tendency to see what you are expecting to see - whether it's ther..."

I haven't read that book. There might be something in her theory though. It's true that human brains are very plastic and adaptable. I've been watching David Eagleman's series on the brain and this is definitely true. However, these traits as you might call them are driven by hormones, so even if culture and society reinforces our preconceptions about gender identity, the difference at a base level is still there. It would be unethical of course to do it, but I'm sure if you monitored a group of and males and females behavior and then pumped them all with the opposite hormone while suppressing their own gender specific hormone and continued to monitor their behavior and personality - you would see changes. Our behavior isn't exclusively driven by the wiring in our brains, it's also driven by hormones. You might find you rationalize and defeat the response to a situation your hormones are trying to evoke, but people actively trying to suppress their natural instincts. Males and females naturally behave differently. You can see it by studying other species. Primates have clear and defined roles for males and females in their society. I'm not saying this is morally right and something that should be encouraged, I'd like see more equality, but to really strive for greater equality and fairness we should recognize that men and women are naturally inclined to have different traits.

I'll refer you to this statistic:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...

"The total UK prison population is 85,847 (0.13% of the population), 81,928 men (0.26% of men in the country) and 3,919 women (0.01% of women in the country).[1] Men are 22 times as likely as women to be imprisoned."

I'm certain if you took the gender prisons populations of the world's countries and subjected them to a Mann Whitney U-Test you'd be forced to reject the null hypothesis.

Yes our brains are plastic and adaptable, but human behavior is largely driven by hormones and whether or not we're actively trying to suppress our natural behavior - there is a biological reason for males and females having differing traits, that is separate from the brain.


message 42: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments James wrote: "For instance, less competitive on personal level, perhaps, I could be sold on that, but externally in a company setting, I think more competition is better, though it's the competition to give people something better, and not the normal screw them over kind.

Collaborative, again, it depends on the extent, if it means working together, all to the good, in fact I think it works better, since in most cases each persons skills can be used to the greatest extent, but if it's used to, not suppress really, but dampen ideas? Then it could be a problem. Like the tiny number of scientists who suggested plate tectonics and had the entire geological world telling them they were wrong, until they were proven correct."


A good book on the advantages of collaboration vs. competition in the workplace is Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City. "Yes, and," is the principle behind improvisational theater. You agree with the scenario the first person came up with and add to it. "No, but" is the precise opposite of that. It happens all the time, of course, because we've all been socialized to believe that by saying, "No, but" to whatever the last person said shows that our ideas are better. And then nothing ever gets accomplished because everyone is arguing over whose way is best.


message 43: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Stanley | 77 comments Kressel wrote: "James wrote: "For instance, less competitive on personal level, perhaps, I could be sold on that, but externally in a company setting, I think more competition is better, though it's the competitio..."

I remember an episode of Dilbert where they had to come up with a bad idea for the boss so he could choose the other one and have some influence and feel useful. I know loads of people who actually do this though! If they want the boss to agree to something rather than ask for permission, they offer three suggestions, an expensive one, an impractical one and the right one!


message 44: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments Once again, I wish Goodreads had a "like" button for posts and not just reviews.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Bunny wrote: "James wrote: "Kathrine wrote: "As a slight example, near where I live, there is an outdoor Kindergarten, year round outdoor, and since I live above 60 degrees North, that's not to be sneezed at. Co..."

It's half the fun, watching them learn, helping them figure out how to learn. I think it's something we neglect to teach.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Lisa wrote: "Bunny wrote: "James, I will share with you one experience that I think is relevant here. I have two young relatives who are fraternal twins, one a boy and one a girl. They have their own unique per..."

Lisa, my neighbour has a, well grown now, but when he was little, 2yrs old and older level, he used to take him with him to his work, odd job carpentry, house building and so on, and by the time he 4-5 years old he would sit and design things, like doors for a garage, and he already knew how to lay out the boards so the doors wouldn't sag.

It's one of the issues I think with the modern safety paranoia, kids don't get out and see things happening, because you can learn so much just by seeing how people work and do.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Matthew wrote: "Interesting point: the question from the thread reads "male," yet the question having clicked on the thread reads "masculine." The two are not interchangeable, yet that's how they are read much of ..."

That's what I'm asking :-) (At least to the latter part of your comment.)

On the Male / Masculine, true, they're not precisely interchangeable, but for most they are, so I'm not going to worry to much about it for now.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Kressel wrote: "James wrote: "For instance, less competitive on personal level, perhaps, I could be sold on that, but externally in a company setting, I think more competition is better, though it's the competitio..."

Yep, it's actually one of the themes of the de Bono book I talked about. In may ways I think part of the problem large companies have is their high level staff and boards don't really know each other and view each other as rivals. Smaller companies, people will know each other, and most of the time be friends, which will knock a lot of that out.

In many ways it's why I prefer competition at the external company level, if you make your company ( or anything else really ) run better than the rest, you'll drive them out, or they'll have to adopt your methods to keep up. If the companies aren't so structurally rigid you can actually get them to start on that path.


message 49: by Aglaea (last edited Mar 04, 2016 01:22PM) (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments James wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Interesting point: the question from the thread reads "male," yet the question having clicked on the thread reads "masculine." The two are not interchangeable, yet that's how they a..."

Actually I have to say that the reason people use them interchangeably is why there are so many problems.

Male is biological sex, whereas masculine has to do with gender, the social construct that we connect with males.

And when a male feels pressure not to show feminine traits, because society tells him that a male should behave in masculine ways only, we have feminism stepping in. So it is something I feel we should worry about at least a bit.

Perhaps it might also be a good idea to note that people may have responded with the above distinction in mind, or have been confused precisely due to how vague the distinction was left?


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Martyn wrote: "Kressel wrote: "James wrote: "For instance, less competitive on personal level, perhaps, I could be sold on that, but externally in a company setting, I think more competition is better, though it'..."

Or the old classic, you can have fast, good, or cheap, pick 2. There's all sorts of solutions.

One I heard of, unsure if it's true, but strikes me as likely, was a company had a problem with sending out empty boxes of toothpaste. So they spent a large pile of money on sensors and equipment that would detect an empty box, sound an alarm and stop the line. So the director was delighted when after installing the system, empty boxes stopped appearing. Then he looked at the number of times it was detecting boxes, and after the first couple of weeks, it wasn't detecting any, and he was confused, they spent all this money and it was needed. So he went down to the production line, and there he found that someone had rigged up a fan, which would blow any empty boxes into a bin beside the line. When he asked, one of the staff had rigged it up because they got tired of the noise of the alarm and having to get up to fix it.


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