Monday, November 22, 2010

Mars - Venus

I've just completed reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. This is a relationship book based on trite one-dimensional male/female gender profile descriptions. It seeks to help us relate to the opposite sex more successfully by teaching us that they are a wholly alien species. Our ways are not their ways and their ways are not our ways. Curiously, in this age of political correctness that refuses to let shadows sleep even in the dead of night, this book has been termed a "classic" by many due to its commercial success. As it was recommended by a friend whose judgement I trust, I took the time to read it, even though I am not in a relationship.

Let me embark by saying that there is a sliver of useful information wound through this book, but it is quite a chore to pull it out. This book was so repetitive in stating and restating its few points, that I groused aloud at several points. Apparently, according to the vast research of Mr. "Dr." Gray (who is not really a Dr. and was a long-time member of the cult lead by Maharishi Mahest Yogi), women are incessant needy whiners, whose illogical ramblings and hormonal exuberance can be appeased only by their mates nodding and saying "hmmm" or "that is interesting" at regular intervals during their diatribes. On the other hand, men are solitary prehistoric, genetically de-evolved semi-humans, who scratch and grunt and only come out of their man caves for ego stroking and sex. Ouch, my words are quite harsh. However, it might be that some of my negative feelings toward the subject matter arose because of my past relational failures and the fact that I did see a reflection of my life from time to time in the pages of this book that stirred up some negativity within me.

Actually, even though the book seems to be packed with an over-the-top amount of saccharinity and dialog that no two humans would ever utter regarding their feelings, regardless of whether or not they were playing a role in a soap opera, Gray's central tenet rings true. Men and women typically communicate differently and that needs to be appreciated for a relationship to survive and thrive.