Female bonding vs male bonding

Yesterday I was thinking about snobbery. I sometimes tell people, “Some women are snobbish about looks, some about money…Me? I’m an intelligence-snob.” What that translates into, my dear men, (the women never need to have things explained in simplistic terms!) is what traits we consider the ‘differentiating factor’ between us and them

You see it everywhere….that which we consider important is what we look for in other people, gravitate to those who have it and shun those who don’t. Hence the looks-obsessors preen together and turn up their noses at those who don’t worship beauty. The material girls fly to the monied like iron filings to magnets. The achiever types will only hang out with others with degrees and awards and trophies. And those like myself seek out other chronic thinkers and generally view the remaining as part of the scenery.

Men are different however. I’ve tried and tried to think of what it is that draws men together and I haven’t been able to see any discernable patterns. Slobs, dandies, studs, nerds, bad boys, good boys, jocks….all of them hang around in an almost unnatural (to me!) bonhomie. Their interests, their occupations, their personalities may span the entire human spectrum but they all look comfortable being together. Because when it comes down to it, there seems to be only thing that they even consider bonding on. Hence my conclusion: Men are only ever snobbish about sex-related issues.

Ever notice how a group of guys sitting around and chatting will invariably be in agreement when it comes to bitching about ex-girlfriends, gossiping about the new ones around, discussing the latest ‘techniques’ (and god alone knows what other rubbish) and exchanging new ideas to torment the opposite sex (Long live Bill Waterson for the creation of G.R.O.S.S….I don’t think men ever grow out of that!!!)

This morning I read about what Sagnik calls The Sex and the City syndrome (and I’m willing to bet half the population just sat up at the sight of the ‘s’ word!!). I enjoy doing the sort of id quizzes that he describes. I have also been accused (especially by men) of ‘thinking too much’. It occurs to me that women like to identify with others, with each other, to bond and to group. We like looking for things in common, people who are ‘like’ us. Men on the other hand, driven perhaps by the primitive lone hunter instinct, prefer to stake out their turf and not have any competition from someone with similar intents or interests. There is probably a basic human need to bond (there I’ve said it…they belong to the human race too!!) hence they bond but only on a very basic level. None of the messing around with shared wavelength for the XY-factor.

Is that perhaps a more rational viewpoint? Or am I going to be accused to thinking too much again by the testosterone brigade?

About Ramya Pandyan

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelgänger of Ramya Pandyan. I am a writer-storyteller. I work as a Content Specialist, consulting, training and delivering Social Content that drives conversations & builds communities. Tweet me at @ideasmithy or write to me at Ideasmithy[at]gmail[dot]com.

Posted on April 28, 2005, in Battle of the sexes, Seriously speaking. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. no i really think uve hit the nail on the head – women bond more they look for other women to shop with , talk to , confide in.
    with men they are okay with being alone.

  2. You think too much.. you do.. but thats why you come up with fascinating theories dissecting the male vs female psyche.
    Somehow, I’m either unconvinced, or confused by what you’ve laid out here. Are you saying that women have narrower cliques since they have a greater need to bond and group, while men are generally comfortable with the entire brotherhood coz they are lone wolves at heart!
    Or am I just snaking around your words to goad you into thinking some more and coming up with many more such beguiling hypotheses?

  3. What abt a girl-guy attraction? Do you think girls go for guys who are similar to them? It is very probable that females try to hang out with like minded females. But when it comes to men I think girls go for traits they crave rather than possess..

  4. Naturally generalizations dont work.
    In my opinion, u’r right at one level and wrong at another. Loyalty is kind of a big deal for chaps …..wimmen?….not so much.
    Besides, you seem to make out that this bonding thing among women is somehow a good thing?…..ever hear that women can never live together without tearing each other’s hair out?…..why do u think that is?…too much familiarity breeds…

  5. I think you have it all wrong. It’s not your fault you just don’t understand men. Men bond across social boundries because these things are made up and not important. Men have bonded together since before the dawn of civilization and have needed to ever since. One guy out hunting with a spear is bear/lion food. Ten stand a good chance of bringing something home without casualties. Not much has really changed that would affect that kind of bond. Women naturally make more distinctions about social differences as part of their biology. It’s important when you are looking for the best guy to have kids with, but counterproductive when you need to kill a mammoth.

  6. Wow, this is an old blog that the author doesn’t appear to maintain anymore, but still, for anyone that stumbles by..

    I think David above has a point, and there is an interesting and related article here: http://dotpeople.com/pairbond/powerbalance.html

    Also, from a male perspective, men do (at least from my experience) gravitate toward other male friends with similar interests. I think we can get along with other guys from different backgrounds, maybe better than women apparently from the blogger’s experience, but I still think men prefer buddies with similar interests. Anyway, I think there are lots of factors: personalities, cultural & societal perceptions of gender roles etc, and then the biological aspects mentioned by David.

  7. All I know, for me to be able to be friends with another man. I need to be able to trust him, that’s usually gained with shared experiences or displays of loyalty or courage. Most of my best friends are men I originally hated until we had a fist fight. Then I some how grew to respect them or at least saw a quality in him that I could appreciate. I have friends who I hate say 60% of their personality qualities but the 40% I do like, is enough for me to overlook the rest. You got to be able to accept the good and the bad of your friends, and I think males do that slightly better then females.

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