Friday 11 February 2011

It's all about sex

One of the odd things about moving from being a hospital based nurse to being a Carthusian monk to being a hospital nurse again is the gender mix. From an overwhelmingly female environment to an exclusively male one back to an overwhelmingly female one. Apart from noting that men and women are not the same as each other is there anything more profound to be said about it all? I did see something of a group dynamic thing. In the monastery certain roles normally fulfilled by women are not left vacant but filled by men instead. That is to do with a willingness to expose personal vulnerabilities. Usually men will be reluctant to express fears or desires in a group situation but are secretly glad when women do it for them. In the absence of women you might expect these things to be unmentioned but apparently really felt needs are more important than maintaing a macho front. Conversely in more or less female only settings women are less inhibited about appearing decisive, assertive and willing to lead. Interesting.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny Steve, I've had the opposite of you in my working like or the same as you depending on how you look at it. I've worked surrounded by men.
    In the music business as a session musician, they were exclusively men. Only session singers were female, but the musicians were inevitably male, as were road managers, engineers and producers.
    I've also worked in electronics factories a couple of times to make ends meet and I worked in an all-male environment.
    As a teacher I worked in boys schools, with a great time in a Catholic School which was mixed.
    What a shock! Teenage girls can really squeal at an incredibly high pitch at deafening volumes!!!

    I live in a household full of males and I think because I've spent so much time around men my conversation has become 'male'. So I like talking about cars, gardening, DIY and problems with DIY,motorbikes, cricket and of course religion and philosophy. Oh yeah, it was all men at Campion Hall and very male dominated at Heythrop too.

    I agree with you though that men and women communicate indifferent ways, and tend to do things differently when in exclusive company.