That’s the meat of the punchline for a joke posted at LP in the intent of kickstarting a discussion on gender differences. Some of us already have a good idea of the inevitable evopsychobabble lines that are going to crop up in comments (anyone for bingo?), and although I don’t think that author Brian intended for that to be the outcome, my gigantic surprise if it ends any other way will be so enormous as to be visible from space.
I hate that joke, because it’s just another variation of the “but what do women want?” groan/moan that implies that, unlike the man speaking (who of course is fully entitled to hold and change his individual preferences as an autonomous adult) and the men listening to him, a woman should apparently not ever have different preferences and priorities from other women, and certainly should not ever adjust her preferences and priorities at any time according to changes in knowledge and/or circumstances. And if she does, oh woe! How ineffable, mysterious and inconceivably inscrutable that woman (and therefore all women) must be!
Or, you know, a man could actually ask a woman for a bit of background on her current preferences and priorities, while assuming as a matter of course that she does actually act from paradigms that are at least as rational as he thinks his own are (seeing as people actually are not nearly as rational as we believe ourselves to be).
Just a thought.
The formula for understanding women is just as “simple” as the formula for understanding men. Everybody is complicated, and nobody has the right to marginalise another person’s complex views and wants as if they are a hivemind simply because that would make it easier for them to conceptualise the world.