Bear with me.
Men are from pleasure. The seat of every motive is an individual desire to experience pleasure. Pleasure can come from a number of sources, but is largely dependent on external expression and recognition. Bonus points if the recognition, in particular, comes from other men. Pleasure is so motivating that men will create it by force; or come to experience force as pleasure. Kryptonite (if you will) for men is, above all, absolute obscurity, and a close second is inutility.
Men are intensely, thoroughly, and infectiously immediate and present. They have fantastic and quick creativity born from the need to remove or navigate obstacles to pleasure, which may be numerous and could appear at anytime. Because men always have to be ready to grab the next pleasure opportunity there is a springiness to their aura. Everything is possible up until exactly the moment it is not. However, impossible is just another word for opportunity. Men want sex, which gives them a thrum, and a psychic heat. Charged by or perhaps sourced from their continuous and rapid production of new cells (sperm) in an organ that is not only visible and tangible but affects the way a man walks, stands, and sits. The only area with similar levels of constant cell production rates is the gut.
Many make the mistake that men are not emotional. Men are intensely emotional. However, their primary negotiation with the world is trading some form of effort for some form of pleasure, thus the common range is narrow: joy, aggression, hope, play. These emotions are easily externalized and warmly recognized. The other emotions are present and deeply felt, but the rules and tools are different.
Women are from other. When women go through puberty they develop new bodies that are different from the ones they are born with. They grow new parts and gain a stunning and weighty capability (child-bearing). But they keep the same mind. Women also become public, not as their own self-conception, but as a body that has an identity over which she has no control. No matter her actions, in many cases in spite of them, she is always, first, a woman. A perception that may be completely separate from the identity she has developed for herself. A woman must always prove that she is more or different than her construction.
The seat of motive for women is in the relationship between the identity of their bodies and the identity of their self. This relationship is unique to each woman and it changes, thus women’s motives are highly varied and subject to change. If a woman becomes pregnant, her body changes again, eventually quite publicly. Again her mind remains the same, while she becomes the secondary recipient of most of her body’s resources, and the tertiary identity perceived when she is out in public. The relationship and her motives change again.
Woman are not always present. They have others’ perception, their own ideas, and sometimes the growing of another human being (or its possibility) to think about –at baseline. Women are incredibly creative and adaptable, always navigating, at least, their body’s perception in the world, and their own identity in that body in the world. Puberty is a significant loss and a tremendous gain. Children transition to womanhood experiencing a breadth of emotions, that shift as that relationship between body-self and self-self changes. Women want sex, but like their motives this desire is unique and variable. Women have no Kryptonite.
I am thinking out loud about this because it is how I make peace with the world I live in. For men, I want to generate a paradigm that can explain war and rape and fatherhood and monogamy, and the way men speak to and treat me. For women, I am actually trying to explain me, and projecting my understanding of how I am perceived by the world, and looking for where the twain meet. I made an effort to ‘universalize’ it, but not all women feel dis- or separately represented by their form.