I have been indulging in my favourite passion which is reading and yesterdays topic was the science of socialising. It was highly appropriate as I was waiting to meet many people that I hadn’t seen for a while. As it’s difficult for me and many of the people that I met yesterday; it’s good to be versed in the latest psychological research.
I consumed the following books as I ended up waiting significantly longer than I expected – Social by Matthew D Lieberman, Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and The Social Animal by David Brooks. Each has there good points as they take slightly different viewpoints so emphasise different characteristics. They address the biological issues as well as there relevance to our lives in a social context.
Our brains have evolved to get the most out of situations by cooperating with others but my brain is different. It evolved to focus on problem solving with the exclusion of everyone and everything else. Now if I was a man I would be in an excellent position to earn lots of money. Capitalism is all about money after all. If I could work all hours without attending to my bodily needs that seems to be a recipe for success. It’s not a healthy one and not one I subscribe too. I don’t have the drive, desire or ambition to gain lots of money. I’m not able to be singleminded enough to pursue business whatever the cost. I’m no Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk.
So I’m stuck with the brain of a man but the body of a woman. Queen Elizabeth 1st is quoted to have said on the arrival of the Spanish Armada “I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a man”. Emphasising that women’s bodies are incapable of success but if you have male body parts you can conquer the world. I think that is demeaning towards women but you have to remember she was a rarity in her time and only through not marrying did she have power.
We have to accept ourselves for who we are but equating masculinity with profit and femininity with care isn’t the way to go. We need to redefine our ideas about what is necessary for the pursuit of our goals in society.
Learning more about the need for human connection and how it empowers us is a very good idea. We are all human at the end of the day and to quote the car ad “Without emotion, we would be mere machines”.