A very popular and successful book in the USA was called "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus
." So, it seems that men and women are from two different planets and don't really understand each other.
I thought Serena's post was very clever and helpful.
Many of the problems or mysteries of women and men are cultural. We are taught that "men" are this .... and "women" are that ....
As a child, I was taught this nursery rhyme:
Boys are made of hammer and nails and puppy dog tails.
Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.
A saying I was taught in school around age 9:
Spring is in the air, the birds are signing and the flowers are blooming. The boys are just beginning to think about what the girls have been dreaming about all winter.
At the time, I was perplexed why the teacher recited that with a shy smile and such pleasure. I wasn't sure what she was talking about either. What would girls dream about all winter and boys only think about once it was spring? I had noticed animals and insects having sex at age 5 and learned they were making babies, but it was only later that I understood the conection. I should point out that this was many years ago: when no one talked about sex openly or without a sense of shame. You never even heard the word "pregnant" on TV. A woman might be "in the family way" or "expecting" and all married couples on TV or movies slept in separate beds. (Does it really surprise anyone that America is such a violent country with all its long history of sexual repression and frustration?)
When it comes to man and woman and how they relate or often don't relate, there are several points to note. (I want to focus on "mating" or "long term coupling." I think the short term "fun" stuff will be much clearer afterwards.)
1). Men pose or display or fight to get the attention of women. A woman notices, and then she chooses
-- unless force is involved, despite any appearances to the contrary, she's doing the choosing of who, when, how and where.
Every woman is different. Each one could tell you about the choices she's made before, but the bottom line is, she finds herself drawn to a particular man, and reasoning is something she does when she wonders about the choice. Reasoning is involved, but the choice is made on a deeper level that lies beyond conscious control -- also please see point 6.
(I'm only looking at the situations where such decisions are made by the heart, not those based upon money, power, social status etc. alone. All those things do play a part in attraction, but only a part.)
2). A woman will notice whether she is sexually attracted to a man within minutes of meeting him. It is very rare for a woman to find herself attracted to a man she was not sexually attracted to in the beginning. Best advice for a father to tell his son, don't chase women who don't want you to chase them. (This is a not so big secret: women might tell a man this one.)
3). When I watch men and women, individually, in groups or in couples, I notice both sexes behaving in masculine and feminine ways at different times. So, the cultural rules are just rules and expectations we have been conditioned to accept and don't have a lot to do with nature.
4). A friend of mine (a guy) once shocked me by saying "If it weren't for women, us men wouldn't do much of anything except, drink beer, watch football, and play or fight or masturbate." As I have thought about it, and looked around, I've found he is right.
What was that saying in ancient Greece? "Fight harder, the women are watching."
In the USA, women often will say about their husband, "I chased him until he caught me." This goes back to the biggest secret that women hide: they do the choosing, not the men. It's not that they really hide it, they don't really think about it themselves, they just do it instinctively. It's difficult to give away a secret you don't recognize yourself.
Once a woman has chosen a man, she then "activates" him. She gets him interested in her or gets his motor going. She then runs away to see if he will chase her. And she will run until she is sure of his motivation. Only then will she let herself be caught.
All perfectly understandable, once a woman chooses a man, she is the one that has to live with the consequences.
5.) I think the most important thing that a woman wants in a man is the confidence to be himself (after all, she has "seen something in him" and she wants him to be who he really is.) She also wants him to be strong enough for her to be able to show him all that we can be.
There's a song (At the End
by iio ) where a woman tells the man she deeply loves that she doesn't mean to hurt him when she does, and to just let her be when she gets crazy. In general, women have a much greater range of emotions than men.
The image of the pagan May Pole dance -- it happens around the summer solstice -- comes to mind: the young women dance around a tall pole holding ribbons attached to the top. They dance around in circles until the pole is completely wrapped up, then each one selects one of the young men, taps him on the shoulder, and run off in hopes that he will follow.
In native American Indian cultures, they have celebations where the men stand in the center with their drums and beat on them and sing while the women dance around them in a circle.
There's a pattern here that's repeated in many ways.
6.) In so-called "primitive" cultures, they still have coming-of-age or initiation ceremonies. Boys become men and girls become women.
There are differences between initiation ceremonies for boys. What they all have in common is having to be brave in frightening circumstances, and overcoming fear and pain. Often there is great pain inflicted upon and various type of body mulitation. Most of the time, a group of boys are intiated at the same time.
For girls, it is very different. One day, she finds herself bleeding. She may or may not have been told much before this time. Either way, she is wondering "what is happening to me?" She typically is taken into a dwelling and sat down. She is then told if she has been told before, that this is happening because she is becoming a woman. She is no longer a girl.
She is then left to sit there until she comes to grips with what is happening and what it all means: "Life has come and claimed her as its agent." She has no choice about it at all. It's something that has happened to her. The only true choice she will have in the matter is which man (or men as the case may be) she will choose. And that choice is something that will primarily come from within herself: it has a mystery all its own.
On the other hand, we see in the boys' intiation ceremony, that something is done to them. Becoming a man is something that requires effort on their part or on the part of someone else. It's not something that just happens.
7.) I'd end by saying, we are people first and women or men second. But simple biological facts give one sex a choice of whether or not to serve as an "agent of Life." Most of the differences and the secrets derive from that basis.
That's my thoughts on the question. Hope that helps some and isn't confusing. (We could talk about the differences between solar and lunar consciousness, but I find it a bit confusing and difficult.)