In case anyone didn’t know, men and women speak different languages.  Occasionally, the differences generate anger.  The following letters from readers will illustrate some of the areas of tension between the sexes.

“Mainly, [men] just don’t make an effort,” writes Sandra S. from Milwaukee.  “I am so tired of helping men to grow emotionally.  They are totally in la-la land about themselves and their feelings.  In total denial.  They can be fat and ugly, and think they are handsome movie stars who deserve 18 year old beauties.  They can arrive for a date, pick a fight with me, and be totally unaware that they are mad at their boss, until I pull it out of them.  They have no idea why their previous relationships failed.  Most of them hate their mothers and don’t realize it.”

“Try and get them to put the toilet seat down, and I feel like I’m teaching them toilet training all over again.  Why this power struggle with men all the time?  Tell men to loosen up.  They are all so rigid in their thinking.  Big and strong and brave, and terrified of emotions.  They are boring!  Most of them only talk about themselves, work and sports.  They are not emotionally supportive; don’t know how.”

A man from Milwaukee complains, “This is 1993.  Why do women still have this thing about only considering men who fit what I refer to as the ‘ers’–older, taller, bigger, wealthier, stronger, smarter, more power, etc.?  I’ve also lost friendships with women because once they found a man, they let all their friendships go.  When they break up, they expect me to be their friend again, as if nothing had happened.”

An anonymous women from Denver challenges men on their sex drive.  “Women want to be more than a means for relieving a man’s need for an orgasm.  I don’t think most women enjoy giving this ‘favor’ on a routine basis.  Many men who don’t feel they’re getting enough sex [are] more often than not seeking ejaculatory relief rather than truly meaningful intimacy.  For the partner who feels that he is not having his sexual needs met with the frequency he would prefer, I suggest that masturbation is a reasonable and responsible solution.  When I have a basic bodily need, I usually can take care of it myself; I go to the bathroom when I need to go, I eat when I am hungry, and if I can reach it I scratch it when I itch.  The capability that humans have to masturbate affirms their need for sexual release without imposing on a reluctant partner.”

Paul C. from New York City, however, writes in to say, “When my wife and I got married, she decided to quit her job and live on my income.  She now spends her day taking walks, shopping, going to movies, reading books, etc.

“How do women get away with being so soft?  I would love to quit my job and do nothing, but I am a man, and therefore I have to work my butt off every day.  Why is it so unequal between men and women?  Men, literally and figuratively kill themselves working, and women get choices about what lifestyle they want to live.  I don’t have any such choices.  Any woman who complains about ‘putting out’ sexually ought to see that she is in the luckier position.”

I will comment on these issues in next week’s column.

“Men have a much better time of it than women.  For one thing, they marry later.  For another thing, they die earlier.” H. L. Mencken

“A woman means by unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others.  Thus, each sex regards the other as basically selfish.” C. S. Lewis