It is a widely accepted dogma* that women like to discuss their feelings. Men are all about remedying a situation and have no desire to analyze. The conjecture is that this creates much of the disparity between the sexes. It has been the basis of books, sitcoms, and countless comedy acts. Even with our progress in LGBT issues and greater acceptance of the gender spectrum this bias persists. I have stumbled upon an exception. I know that another common axiom is that the exception proves the rule. That is rather faulty logic.
If there is one place that men love to discuss thoughts and feelings it is in meetings. There is one constant to every single meeting I have ever been involved in and that is there will be men gathered around a table blowing hot air. Place a bunch of male executives at an overpriced, highly lacquered table and present them with something new and they will dissect it like a twelve-year-old girl with a text message from a crush.
There will be meetings, committees, subcommittees, and action plans. None of the action plans will be implemented until each member of each team has gathered data and presented it in power point. They will utilize charts, graphs, pivot tables, and the never-ending litany of meetings. Meetings where we talk about how the project feels, what each executive and manager thinks about the project, and what possible road blocks could present to impede progress. It will take a minimum of three meetings, spaced no less than a week apart, to decide on a plan of attack.
In the mean time, the women involved in said meeting (usually just me) are watching the deadline inch closer and closer. The women (me) wonder how we are going to have time to implement anything if and when we ever decide on a game plan. First there is the sense of exasperation as the women (me) are forced to listen to each executive voice their concerns (fear of change) in turn. Then there is aggravation as no one ever wants to hear a different point of view unless it is a new reason that the project won’t work (justifying the fears). Somewhere around meeting number three the women (me) will take notes and formulate a strategy. They (me) will then begin to quietly but assertively execute that program. By meeting number four it is apparent that change is happening and the project is taking shape. At meeting five the men congratulate each other on a job well done. The women (me) get asked to type up all the minutes and compile a report on the project.
I hate meetings like this. I am a list maker. There is always a list, either allegorical or prosaic. My goal in life is to cross items off of those lists. Now, I don’t ever want the same thing to enter back on to the list therefore I am a big fan of getting it right the first time. When I am presented with a new task I want to find out what I need and just make it happen. Discussion ad nauseam is infuriating. Let’s just get to work and get it done. But we can’t. Because everyone has to feel 100% comfortable with every bit of minutia before we can effect change.
This is when I really want to break out the radio-active nipples and shrink those whiny ass, disconnected, blow holes down into binary and incarcerate them in the phone app. The talking would stop, I would not longer have to deal with the egos, and there wouldn’t be a chain of command in my way of progress. Because nothing sets off executives more than stepped upon toes!
*Disclaimer: I do not personally subscribe to the gender normative behaviors that are prevalent in western culture. I don’t think that anything is inherently male or female, masculine or feminine. My interpretation is that these are gross generalizations of accepted segregation of roles based on social labels that are outmoded.