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Why do questions that involve issues between men and women always draw so much response and get people so worked up?

Asked by MRSHINYSHOES (13951points) September 26th, 2011

Do you notice how questions that involve issues between the sexes always seem to draw a lot of responses, and often results in long and heated debates? Why do people get so touchy and involved about the subject, about men vs. women, women vs. men? Are men and women so vastly different that we have to debate about it so fervently? It suggests to me that there is a lot of repressed dissatisfaction and frustration out there.

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33 Answers

syz's avatar

I haven’t noticed much heat on the types of questions that you describe (religion, politics – yes). Examples?

SpatzieLover's avatar

IMHO, People want to defer personal responsibility. Instead of saying, I’m a schmuck for not communicating better or working on my listening skills, they blame the opposite sex instead.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Gender is integral to some people’s identities. Others think the battle of the sexes is one worth fighting. Yet others see actual inequalities that exist between the sexes and want to combat them. Frankly, as you know, I put little meaning into a gender binary but that only means I debate the issue more what with all the sexism and transphobia around.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

^^ Ze is wicked smart.

People get worked up by whatever personal identities they hold strongly. Men and Women who think of themselves as men and women first will get emotional around gender questions. People who get mad about religion and politics will react emotionally to those topics, because they identify as religious or atheist or Tea Party. It is how they think about themselves inside which controls their emotionalism re: a topic.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought I’d prefer ‘ze’ as a gender neutral pronoun, if you’re talking about me, thank you! :)

Blackberry's avatar

I haven’t really seen it lately, either, but I think it is because people do not know how to word their questions and responses in a tactful way. Instead, it is “Why are some women bitches?”, “Because some men are assholes”. Then, there are people that automatically get offended: “I’m a man and I’m not blah blah blah!”

wundayatta's avatar

Because that’s what really matters to people. Relationships are very important and so is the social glue that binds us together. In our cores, humans are like other primates: tribal creatures. We make sense in community; not so much on our own. Primary relationships are the key to it all.

We have varying moral ideas with respect to relationships. Some believe in strict rules and others are more open. We discuss these rules because they are crucial to the community and they are crucial to social cohesiveness. They hold the key to peace between communities, as well.

These are probably the most important issues that humanity faces. There is no wonder such questions receive so much attention.

Blackberry's avatar

It also doesn’t help that our biology, paired with immovable societal rules, makes it seem impossible for men and women to get along on a long term basis.

J0E's avatar

Because I’m right and you’re wrong.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry What is this biology, as you understand, that you speak of? Is this something about how men are hard-wired to reproduce and ‘spread the seed’ and women are hard-wired for monogamy? Please say no.

Mariah's avatar

Because there are still problems out there with the various genders not receiving equal treatment that are worth getting worked up over.

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Crap, is this an old theory now? Have I been left behind? I don’t think it is even a fact of life, but I assumed it was pretty plausible for a substantial amount of people.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@Mariah I hope I did not come off as dismissive.

Sex, religion, and politics are the most important things in most peoples lives. They are often forced to pick a side, whether they want to or not.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blackberry Well, as MattBrowne always tell us (and he loves to ‘be objective’ and all science-y) there are two ways to ensure reproduction of offspring (which is all that we’re actually hard-wired to do, evolutionarily speaking and that instinct is the same for all people, regardless of gender) – one is to spread the seed, another is to invest in a smaller amount of offspring with one person to ensure their survival. However, we are not hard-wired for monogamy and by ‘we’ I mean women, too.

Mariah's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Oh no, my reply was directed at the original question.

Blackberry's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Essentially, it’s only about caring for the offspring so however that is done doesn’t matter? Makes sense.

Seaofclouds's avatar

“Are men and women so vastly different that we have to debate about it so fervently?”

Yes we are. Men and women have so many differences and not just biologically. We are treated differently when in the same situation and we have different societal pressure for how we should do things. With all of this, it’s really easy to see and understand why some questions about male and female roles and responsibilities can get so heated, especially when you have a man saying what a woman should do/be doing and vice versa.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think people get “all het up” over things that they take personally. I know I do.

No offense to anyone here, but I frequently see women saying things like “All men are assholes”, and many of the men who respond like to play along and laugh about it. On the flip side, I see a lot of men who say things like “All women are emotional wankers” and the women don’t typically like to play along. Perhaps there is something truthful in saying women are too emotional? We women do, in the long run, create far more drama than men.

Nobody get yer panties in a bunch. Since I’ve got tits and a vagina, I can make fun of women for being emotional. Especially since I’m emotional myself. So there. :P

BUT on the other hand, sometimes there are statements made about women that are extremely sexist and warrant a good bitchslapping. And I see far more sexist statements made about women than I do about men. It’s no secret that men typically have more sexist opinions than women do. And a lot of women have experienced setbacks in the workplace, and on the dating scene, because of that sexism. I guess some women are just fed up with that sort of thing and point it out every time they see it.

Hibernate's avatar

Dunno, maybe we like them ^^

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate “Nobody get yer panties in a bunch. Since I’ve got tits and a vagina, I can make fun of women for being emotional. Especially since I’m emotional myself. So there.“I take particular issue with women thinking they can generalize their own gender just because of ‘tits and vagina’.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir And that right there is what I mean about “women” being emotional. It was a joke, intended for laughs, and it still offended. And that doesn’t negate the fact that women do typically cause more drama than men.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Do you really think anything you say gets me emotional, whatever the intent? Hardly anyone does on Fluther. Also, things you believe aren’t called facts, they’re called opinions

woodcutter's avatar

Because the truth is, people don’t have near the sense of humor they think they do.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think you get emotional over things that you’d rather not admit, yes. I’ve “known” you too long to not know that. Anyway… you don’t like my sense of humor and I don’t like how you inevitably turn every single thing into an argument for one of your causes. Let’s just move on.

wundayatta's avatar

Humor appears to require knowledge of a person and their opinions. I have a very dry sense of humor so of course, people are often thinking I mean what I say when actually I mean just the opposite. People either need to know me or they need to have a sense that what I am saying is absurd. If they don’t they don’t get me and they think I’m serious.

I may be around here a lot, but I doubt if very many people get me or my humor. It’s no doubt the same for most people.

Sometime people speak truth in jest, too. So if someone says women are emotional, and says they have the right to say that because they have tits and vagina, that can either be taken as being self-deprecating or it can be taken as being highly presumptuous and righteous. On the internet, it is worse because you can’t see body language or hear tone of voice.

Humor is perilous on the internet. Who knows. I might like @WillWorkForChocolate in person. If what she’s saying is self-referential and wry, I’m sure I would like her. But it doesn’t come across that way on the internet and so I am left thinking she’s an “asshat” like me. Hmm. I might be putting her in too elevated a company, but there it is.

[You tell me—was that humor or an attempt to get away with an insult acting as humor? All depends on who you think I am, doesn’t it?]

These kinds of impressions last a long time. I think they are part of what is so interesting about inter-gender relations. It’s also interesting that when people bonk heads, they can get interested in the person who is driving them crazy. They can also get annoyed as hell and want to ignore that person even if they are sinking into a pit of tar.

But we just don’t really know each other and so I think it can be fun, when you find a button, to push it. You don’t know the person. It’s hard to care about them if they don’t behave in a sensible way, or they aren’t polite or just seem to be touchy as all hell, so if you don’t care that much, you feel free to play picador. Poke them and poke them until they see red and watch them run wild, charging at everything they see. It’s quite a spectacle and people pay big money for that in Madrid and Mexico City.


No one said anyone had to be friends. No one said we had to make nice all the time. If they did, this place would be as bland as a hymnal. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I used to get emotional. I still do when it matters and it doesn’t matter to me anymore on Fluther, not anymore. My ‘issues’ are just like anyone’s issues, just like your issues.

bob_'s avatar

‘Cause bitches be crazy ~

Cruiser's avatar

Women have class and men are impatient….is that so hard to figure out?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cruiser Ya, especially since it isn’t true. :)~

rooeytoo's avatar

I HATE being told I cannot or am incapable of performing any task because I am female. My femaleness prevents me from producing sperm, that is about the only thing I can think of. I may not be able to perform certain tasks because of my size but that surely doesn’t mean that a woman who is 6’ tall couldn’t do it.

I should think men would be equally offended if they were told the same thing. But It seems that more men are becoming nurses, secretaries, etc. without nearly the struggle that women go through when it is vice versa.

When I was young a female doctor or dentist or vet was an oddity, now it is commonplace. That is probably why women get upset and argue. If they had passively accepted that they are not capable of becoming doctors, etc. that situation would still be the norm.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It could be because there are differences between men and women that most men don’t have a clue about.

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