Yet in New York City, in many (if not most) adult courses, the women are numerous and the men are few — for approximately the same reason that men behind the wheel don’t ask for directions. It goes against the male grain to acknowledge ignorance about a subject, said professionals who organize classes....You want to explain the behavior of the people who are not doing something, so... why not ask the people who are doing it? Talk to the women and the educators who attract them to find out what's motivating the men who aren't there. Because, after all, you know that if you're going to explain gender difference, you've got to assume that whatever the women are doing is good, and it's the men who have the problem. So: You know those men. They think they're so smart. You can't tell them anything. They won't ask for directions.
Thomas Dare-Bryan, the manager and a wine buyer for Morrell & Company in Rockefeller Plaza, said that the makeup of the shop’s wine-tasting classes changes weekly but that they, too, mostly comprise women, some of whom have told him they wish there were more men. “They have actually come out with that statement,” Mr. Dare-Bryan said.
He offered this explanation for the disparity: “It’s argued that women are better tasters of wine than men. A higher percentage of women have more taste-bud receptors.” So maybe they are getting more out of the class. But, echoing others who lead classes, he added: “It may also come down to the fact that men think they know more about wine anyway, so they don’t need to learn more about it.”
But it would be so easy to turn that around and present the male side as positive.
Men prefer to look at something they have decided to do and figure it out on their own. They like to observe, analyze, and discover. They accept the risks and enjoy the excitement of trial and error. They don't like sitting around having someone tell them what to do, and they aren't intrigued by the prospect of meeting women who spend so much time doing something they loathe.
Now, I just made that up, but it was no more made up than the explanation in the article.
ADDED: Thanks to Glenn for linking -- with one of those lines that made everybody have to click. And I should say that yesterday, I listened to the Glenn and Helen Show episode about "The Dangerous Book for Boys," and I'm sure that was affecting my mind when I wrote this. Actually, one of my commenters, Kirk, says "Now you're channeling Dr. Helen." So let's look at some more comments.
Classes typically don't work for men's schedules, especially the high earning/high potential men these women want to meet....Yoga pants... speedolike in their clingyness... 2 feet away and you have to look through him... You know, I think women like yoga -- in part -- because they think they look sexy wearing clingy clothes and contorting their bodies into positions dictated by instructors. And, theoretically, they want the guys there, but when they see them there, similarly dressed and contorted and following instructions, they find it hard to control their revulsion. Tragic!
Classes for physical things are less helpful to men (much higher chance of some past experience than women) and in things like yoga it just highlights the differences between the genders. Some guy you don't know is likely going to turn you off when he's sweating, grunting, and inadvertently displaying assorted hair or body parts, especially in a yoga class (yoga pants are almost speedolike in their clingyness) where he's 2 feet away and you have to look through him for the pose.
Most classes are also not welcoming because they're set up as "safe" spaces for women. Hard to make contacts for a guy, not geared towards his style of learning, unwelcoming of male interaction with teacher and classmates...
Most classes are also not welcoming because they're set up as "safe" spaces for women. Does the classroom these days suggest the standards of avoiding sexual harassment and "a hostile environment"?
My wife accuses me of being a typical man and never asking for directions. However, she wants me to do all the navigating, while she doesn't know North from South.I'm seeing a lot of comments about men being willing to read maps and instruction manuals. So this thing about men and directions may not be so much about men thinking they already know things, but that they don't want another person explaining it. If women won't read directions, maybe they shouldn't criticize men for not asking for directions. The gender difference may be more about help-seeking and face-to-face interactions.
If we get a new computer, she won't read the directions to use it, but she starts talking right away about signing up for a computer class, or having a consultant come over to show us the way. I don't get it. Our minds work in different ways.
Why don't the women try going to a shooting range instead?Good idea, but there's something a little frightening about meeting strangers where the very first thing you know about them is they shoot guns. On the other hand, they will know you do too.
There's also a lot of talk in there about wine-tasting, and it provokes Smilin' Jack to say:
How can there be a class on how to taste wine? Just unscrew the top and pour it into your mouth, and you can't help tasting it. What's next, classes in breathing?Well, that yoga teacher is probably telling you how to breathe, if you can see her past that guy's thinly veiled genitalia.
But go in and read all the comments. And don't miss "just about the best straight line I've heard in a long, long while."