Is He Listening?

by Roy Street

Writing books that are read primarily by women isn’t always easy when you’re a guy with an alpha male ego. It’s a little like sneaking into the Women’s locker room in drag, then revealing your true identity with a limp smile. Notice I said limp smile.

Truth is, I like observing women. Uh, yeah. What guy doesn’t? But what I mean is as a writer I find them entertaining, especially the way they talk.

Deborah Tannen, the arch guru of male-female communication, says that women use conversation as a means of gaining closesness and connection, but for men talking is about negotiating status.

Status, huh? Is that true?

So I asked myself — what is being male actually about? What deep concerns weigh most heavily in the back of our minds?

I embarked on what would become a long, tireless journey that took me from the hottest nightclubs of Manhattan to the transcendent mountains of Tibet. Based on intense research and ancient translations dating back thousands of years I was determined to find some link within the cultural gene pool of early man and those of today.

Years later, my quest completed, I engraved my findings onto a clay tablet in a tribute to the Sumerian goddess of love and prosperity. If you were to clasp that tablet in your hands, these are the words you’d gaze upon . . .

Am I boinking enough booty? Am I kicking ass?

Oh, well . . .

Got an opinion on the subject?

I want to hear it.


27 thoughts on “Is He Listening?

  1. I like including comics :-). I’m not sure this particular one will have quite the effect you’d like. But the narrative beneath it was funny. “Am I boinking enough booty” is what women figure men are thinking most of the time lol.

  2. I’m assuming you got it right. I don’t pretend to know what goes on in the minds of men. That’s why I write women’s fiction. My male characters are not pov characters and they just relate to the main, female, characters. I do know that men are visual and that they usually mean what they say, it’s us who try to make it mean something more. One of my best friends’ mom told us that when it comes to men, it’s not what they say, it’s what they do. She said to cover our ears and open our eyes. I have found it to be pretty true to this day. But, then again, her sex advice was, “Don’t lay there like a dead fish.” Who knows!

    • Hi Emma. Interesting feedback. Thanks. Naturally men DO mean what they say sometimes. As do both sexes. Especially when people are in a caring relationship. Men as a rule, however, tend to be more guarded. But everybody’s different. My blog post is based on a stereotypical sitcom perspective. Of course in serious movies and books action heroes can be stereotyped too. And it works just fine that way. — R

  3. Women can commiserate w/ each other when one has a problem. A man always wants to tell you what you should do to fix it. I know how to fix it, I just wanna bellyache a bit & have you listen…you know, like I do w/ you….:) That’s why I sometimes have to tell DH, “OK, no fixin’, just listening.” He has been known to hold up a hand when I start talking, that means I’ve wandered into territory he refuses to explore, call a friend.

  4. Love the comic!
    “for men talking is about negotiating status” & in the case of my husband, handing out advice on every subject!!

  5. Ha! Still laughing at the comic. 🙂 I recently finished a book by Marc Shuster, written from a woman’s perspective. I was blown away… He writes women better than some women do (no offense to female writers, of course).

    If there’s any truth about writing, it’s that everyone’s different. I’m doubt I’ll ever write an entire book from a guy’s viewpoint, but I’m not opposed to it. I believe that women and men are different, but also more alike than most realize or are willing to admit… And I imagine that a great writer could write from a candlestick’s perspective and rock it.

    • Thanks August. Glad you came by. It’s all a form of creative channeling. The gender doesn’t matter once I hear the voice. Ill bet you’d have no problem with it if you wanted to go that route. BTW – I was over at your place and heard you sing. Whoa!!! What a gorgeous voice. I was in a hurry when I visited. But now that I’m back, I think I’ll shoot over there now and pay you some props.

  6. How brave of you. This could be a touchy subject. The comic was great way to break the ice.

    I write from both male and female POV and I find the relationship between how they think very interesting and challenging.

    But then again I like the mind dance between the male and female. 🙂

  7. Love this – total Mars/Venus thing. Hubby is one of the best male communicators I’ve ever had the joy of knowing but even he has difficulty going toe to toe with me when we are arguing or in a heated discussion.
    When I read “women use conversation as a means of gaining closesness and connection, but for men talking is about negotiating status.” I near fell over. So true. In our house, I want to be heard and feel connected. Hubby wants to go into ACTION! So when I’ve had a rough day etc I just want to talk and feel close. But hubby is in there trying to solve problems and make everything ok. It’s an all around hoot!

    • Hel-looo Natalie. Your domestic interplay sounds a lot like ours. Mars and Venus definitely ring true. Thanks for zooming in on my post. Seems like you and I share a similar sense of humor.

  8. Since I live with three alpha men (just so there’s no confusion, I’m referring to my husband and our two sons!), I understand exactly what you’re saying, Roy. 🙂

    I love all the differences between men and women, especially the one that allows men to willingly reach into the top cupboard to pull out what we can’t reach without pulling out a ladder. LOL!

    • Or opening stubborn jars. I definitely appreciate the differences between men and women. I also like to use those differences to create conflict and fun banter in my writing, which I’m guessing you do, too, Sheila. Thanks for chiming in.

  9. That comic is pretty funny! My aunt told me that men exaggerate and not to listen to them. That was when she was out here visiting and we were talking in the back seat while our husbands were up front. I listened to the men’s conversation, and I had to agree with my aunt. We had a good laugh!

    • Hi, Lynn. Yes. At times even serious male dialogue, depending on the subject, can make for great entertainment. I should know. When it comes to discussing certain sports, I can be a real drama king. Thanks for sharing. — R.

  10. love the comic. my grandmother, who was 75, told me that it’s important men think they rule the world and women must be gracious enough to allow them that thought. LOL

    thanks for a chuckle

  11. Cool comic! Did you create the blog’s banner too? It’s great!
    I disagree with the conclusion, though. I understand it’s played for a laugh, but I dislike generalizations. They lead to stereotypes. I’ve met quite a few men with so-called female behavioral characteristics, and vice-versa. Maybe gender isn’t such a great predictor of behavior, but that’s just my opinion.
    Nice reading writers talking about opposite gender’s POVs. It’s a fun discussion!

  12. Hi, Fabio. Thanks for the compliment. I love using the written word but also enjoy visual art. I do all the artwork on the website (banner, detour signs, paintings on the ‘About the author’ page, book covers.) As to stereotyping, I am a strong believer in NOT reinforcing stereotypical concepts of any groups. And doubt I will leave much of a dent in the social fabric of today’s thinking toward the average male.

    While you and I are not like the man in my cartoon, sadly there are many American white males who are extremely limited. Not to say they are bad dudes — just not self aware. And since standard situation comedy format revolves around exaggerating and highlighting people’s most obnoxious traits, it’s fair game. I consider myself in fact a work in progress. I have many typical male macho issues. But as you know I am also the same person who writes from a women’s perspective as well as the man’s. I greatly respect your sensitivity and principles on this subject. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

    • Argh, I just re-read my comment, and it reads very haughty. I was trying to voice an opinion, and I end up sounding like… a know-it-all typical male! Sorry about that. Besides, who am I kidding? I also know a lot of people who fit the generalization 🙂 I’ll know climb off my high horse. I am too a “work-in-progress”!

      • Fabio, your point was well made. And I like talking to you. I only wish more males were like you and I then the world would be a much better place. And if anybody disagrees with me — I’ll kick their ass.:)

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