As I have just moved house I am out and about a lot, joining things all over town; art classes, intervarsity club, walking and swimming clubs, continuing education classes, so I am meeting a fair few people. As I do this in a new town, one thing becomes ominously clear to me, I prefer being with men.
In the pub and cafe you can have a drink with a man a good conversation and sometimes a good laugh, for some reason this is rarely possible with women.
It was the same in London, when I was with a group of women the conversation seemed incredibly dull. The women I meet, in the main, not all of them of course, talk mainly about their children, the local schools, their child’s academic prowess. Childcare sometimes comes into this, followed next by shopping and food, local farmer’s markets, health care products, allergies and ‘intolerances,’ and all too often alternative remedies.
If I sit down with men there is a very good chance that I can mention politics, and unlike the women I won’t get blank stares of incomprehension or suggestions that we need a government similar to the one they now have in Greece, which one of the local ladies told me. In the main women never voluntarily talk about politics, they take as much interest in current affairs as tank battles of the Second World War.
Talking to men there is usually a sadly better level of general knowledge, varied interests, even if they are around traction engines and folk dancing, and there will be jokes. With the girls, forget humour. For some terrible reason most women I meet have had a total irony by-pass. Finding a woman with a sophisticated sense of humour is as rare as encountering a millionaire business woman or a leading actress.
True, women may be more sympathetic than men, they are keener to talk about their cats and you can get them away from the alternative remedies onto gardening sometimes. But a lot of the sympathy they express is about bonding together as victims. This involves a lot of weighing up of each other under cover of kindness, and low level bullying if any one woman stands out. In terms of real conversation it’s too often manipulative drivel, way down in the doldrums.