Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Attraction to All Things Uncertain

I guess in a way it is everybodies job in life to become good at evaluating how mentally and/or emotionally stable people are (including ourselves) and there are glaringly obvious extremes as well as hard to pick borderlines, people that surprise us with an unexpected departure from their normal stable facade etc.

But to me one observable gender divide: I simply can't explain, can't even begin to speculate as to why, I mean literally everything I ever wondered about evolutionary imperatives and social conditioning doesn't serve me here in furnishing an explanation is:

Women's social hierarchy's tend to center around the least stable personality.

The kicker is, my brother pointed this out to me, and he has aspergers. The manager-tools dudes frequently point out that people form hierarchies in almost any context (if you put twenty people in a room, they don't emerge with a committee) we naturally tend to explicitly (in organisational contexts) elect a leader, or implicitly (in social contexts).

It is rare to find somebody who doesn't have any head candy to chew through, but my personal experience confirms that generally male social groups tend to follow the lead of the guy who is relatively emotionally and mentally stable. The guys with the biggest esteem issues are left to tag along or isolate themselves.

I'm just observing, not evaluating (well not much) but as much as my outsider perspective can ascertain, in female social groups the role of who calls the shots versus who tags along or is left behind is reversed.

Perhaps the best public example there would be is the dynamic of the 4 central characters in Sex & The City, where SJP (I can't recall the characters name) was clearly the biggest head case of the bunch, that was followed by the relatively stable Miranda, and even the remarkably consistent Samantha. The other character was also admittedly a head case with her pursuit of the perfect marriage and baby or something, and also SJP needed to keep sabotaging her own relationships and making bad decisions and what not if for no other reason than to keep the show going for another season/movie.

I mean I don't really believe in any pressing need for girls and guys to socialise seperately, I imagine it just occurs through social conditioning and laziness. But in high-school at recess Girls and Boys tend to cluster together. Outside of any female only social context though, my brother's observation doesn't hold up, because instability is not viewed as a desirable quality in any other context.

But I am left to wonder why, why oh why does this behaviour seemingly exist. Is it an illusion, do the women I respect cluster around the women I don't respect out of a pitying sense of charity and caregiving, rather than an endorsement that they may have something valid to say?

I don't want to get anybody in trouble, nor stir up any paranoia but I have also observed a possibly related gender divide of women who have friends they simply hate. They don't like them, as people, yet spend time with them, schedule them into their busy lives, speak on the phone with them, go to clubs with them and buy gifts for their birthdays, and they don't like them. They find them annoying, they often have very astutely judged their character and are willing to divulge this evaluation to third parties such as me.

This only adds to my perplexedness, because it shatters the easy explanation that a misogynist/loser would fall back on 'women are poor judges of character', nothing in my experience says they are, generally they will privately confide that they know somebody is a train-wreck but then gather around and hang on their words as if they were a wise or something.

Perhaps its just a morbid fascination with train wrecks.

I literally don't know. But I am 80% certain this is a general phenomena.

1 comment:

Yalei Wang said...

actually true