Between men and women

What sets them apart, and yet makes them complementary beings

Published - September 23, 2017 08:01 pm IST

Both men and women belong to the human species. However, they are different in many ways. Their differences can be seen from physical features and psychological set-up. I have a feeling that most men consider women as a gift to mankind. There are, however, misogynists who hate women for reasons known only to themselves. They say there is a woman behind every successful man. Similarly, most Frenchmen believe there is a woman behind every crime. Hence the legal aphorism “Chercher la femme” (Look for the woman).

Aesthetically, women are in the forefront in promoting music, the arts and poetry. They have enriched literature immensely. William Shakespeare’s Portia in Julius Caesar, E.L. James’ Anastasia in Grey, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita in Lolita are fictional characters, but we find them in real life as well. Even if you spend 90 per cent of your waking life thinking about women, you will not understand who they are or what they are! This is the very reason for Dr. John Gray to write a fine book titled Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

Women bring out the best in men in terms of inspiration. Men try to do better in life to satisfy themselves and a particular woman. Women are so charming to look at in a world dominated by overambitious men

who spoil the world’s beauty. Women can also be nasty if you hurt them. In a way, women fluctuate from extreme ecstatic pleasures to extreme melancholy.


A young man lives in abject terror of rejection when he approaches a woman. When he finds that he is unable to make headway in charming a woman, he starts wondering what went wrong. A man wants to control almost everything in his life. He can easily control a woman who depends on his income. He also wants her to depend on him emotionally. Marriage compels man to look after his woman. But in some marriages the husband gets weary of the woman he chose and starts looking elsewhere for pleasure. Women suffer a lot in most marriages, but they only grin and bear. They have no way out except divorce. However, they very often decide to suffer in silence because of their children.

The unpalatable truth is that you cannot judge men and women equally. Their sensibilities are so different that even a trained psychologist will not be able to understand their real feelings. Meanwhile, there are a few women who break the glass ceiling and become successful in the corporate world. In order to reach the top of their career they have to fight hard with ruthless men. In the process most of them lose their feminine charm. At this stage some of them wonder whether it is good to be successful in their chosen profession or whether they should remain women with their charm intact.

Women are more resilient than men. Look at the war widows in any country. They have to raise a family without the sole breadwinner killed in the war. The best example is the Vietnam war that lasted decades.

Vietnamese men fought the American invaders valiantly and most of them died in the process. In the meantime, Vietnamese women lived through hell looking after their children. When a man goes to war, he will either return home as a hero or die as a martyr. But a woman has to live with her self-esteem intact. Such women who suffer during a war should be honoured for their courage.


With westernisation, more and more women are trying to show they are equal to men. They compete with men and reach the top of their careers. By doing so, they begin to lose their femininity. The hard truth in life is that if you wish to become somebody in society, you will have to compromise. In the process of compromising, you stand to gain something and also lose something else.

There are obvious differences between men and women. For instance, women are generally more talkative than men. They also use body language more than men. Psychologically, men tend to use the left side of their brains when matching rhyming words. However, women use both sides of their brain for the same purpose. Women are more adept at verbal and non-verbal communication.

It is somewhat strange but true that more men than women become philosophers, scientists, architects or chess champions. This is because men’s brains are capable of processing scientific facts easily. Controlled experiments done in the 1970s show that men are superior in terms of numerical reasoning then women. However, women have good memory power and verbal abilities. Most women are good at learning languages and are also good teachers.

Limbic system

Scientists tell us that men’s brains use more glucose at rest in the ‘old’ limbic system that deals with emotions. For instance, when a man loses his temper he tends to attack his opponent. Women do not generally do so. They may frown rather than hit someone. On the other hand, a man’s brain is larger than a woman’s but it shrinks substantially as he ages. The size of the woman’s brain remains the same.

Men and women handle life’s problems in different ways. When nothing seems to work women go into depression. In a man, anxiety is triggered by apprehension. He knows what he can do and what he cannot do. While depressed men are likely to have less sleep, depressed women tend to have more sleep. On the other hand, depressed men will try to hit the bottle or smoke incessantly. Most women do not resort to such harmful activities.

The world is a strange place. Most men and women marry and produce children. However, some men and women keep away from matrimony. Most unmarried men become womanish and they behave like women. On the other hand, unmarried women become vehemently independent and slightly mannish in their behaviour. In normal circumstances we do not like to see men behaving like men and women trying to take on men’s roles. In short, men and women need each other in more than one way!

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.