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  • Random Thought

    Posted by Jonathan on November 6th, 2011 (All posts by )

    A man talking to a woman about maps is like a woman talking to a man about shoes.

     

    21 Responses to “Random Thought”

    1. Tatyana Says:

      Men can talk?

    2. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Tatyana: Wise men keep their mouths shut. Especially around sharp tongued women like you.

    3. Tatyana Says:

      Robert, I don’t want to believe you intended to pay me such questionable compliment like that.
      What I hinted to with my first comment, is that observations like in the post are usually too generalized and stereotypical to be true…(and I presented an example of it).

      For instance, one of my regular stops in blogosphere, Dustbury is written by [undoubtedly] a man with an interest in women’ shoes. But we love him nevertheless(c). And even this here blog is not free of the subject of shoes: just type the word in the search window. And with good reason, they’re certainly worthy of discussion!
      On the other hand, I know (and I’m sure you do, too) many women who have absolutely no difficulty with maps. Orienting ourselves in space, however, is another matter: generally, women use “landmark” system and men -“2D or 3D geometry”, i.e. vector/directional system.

      As a matter of fact, just this morning I was reading an interesting post on the subject of gender-specific traits written by an Australian-Russian neuro-biologist. If you’re interested, tell me and I’ll summarize it later.

    4. James Augustine Says:

      Then again.. ratchet down to my age demographic, and I would give good odds on the proportions of your stereotype being 25/75 for women who read maps, and 25/75 for men who care about shoes.

      On the neuro-biologist post, by all means summarize and linkback.

    5. Rignerd Says:

      In my limited experience (1 wife) it is far better to remain lost for days than to call and ask her to look at Google maps for directions. I can see that some shoes are different colors and shapes, I could probably make some of them with a little practice, what I don’t get is that EVERY oufit must have it’s own pair of shoes and they don’t always get worn together.

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      A man talking to a woman about shoes is either 1. homosexual or 2. heterosexual and thinking strategically about points farther north than the lady’s feet. So, a man possessing female shoe knowledge falls into one of two polar groups. He is either effeminate and actually cares, or he is using shoe lore (gained from female relatives) to make facially plausible critiques of the lady’s shoe selection. An airy dismissiveness and a light but firm touch are called for in this regard. Deftly done, this creating a disequilibrating effect which may be exploited tactically. The third category, a man simply trapped out of courtesy in a numbing conversation, is too shuddersome to contemplate. Feigning an urgent need to go to the bathroom is a sort of nuclear option, but it may be called for if shoe talk goes on too long.

      A man talking to a woman about maps is simpler. It is wasting at least two people’s time in almost all cases.

    7. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Tatyana: ;-)

      I should add that my daughter, who is 20 something female who lives near Lincoln Park, loves to go to Map Society events at the Newberry. She also loves shoes.

    8. tyouth Says:

      Sigh, I’m a slow learner. Many times I’ve asked wifey to navigate for me in the passenger seat; many times I’ve been disappointed.

    9. Tatyana Says:

      Tyouth, here’s opposite example: I don’t drive, but I have always been the navigator (but only if I look up the route in advance and trace it on maps; as long as my sense of direction is not disturbed). Recently my sister told me about our twice removed cousin who visited from Canada. She was laughing her heart out: the guy couldn’t read the map nor follow GPS navigator and he took 40 minutes getting from his hotel to my sister’s place that should take him no more than 10, with 2 google-maps links she sent him. She couldn’t understand how he was able to travel from Ontario, with his lack of orientation.

      James Augustine: I am working on it; I’ll post an update when I finish.

    10. Bill Waddell Says:

      With the advent of GPS any feminine map weaness is no longer relevant …. but male ignorance of footwear lives on and on.

    11. setbit Says:

      I often compliment women on their shoes or jewelry. It’s one of the few ways a man can affirm a woman’s appearance without undue risk of sounding skeevy.

      That’s very different from having a conversation about shoes, though. I limit myself to simple approval, rather than trying to sound knowledgeable, which almost certainly would come across as gay or calculating. I trust my basic aesthetic sense and the fact that it’s difficult to give a bad compliment.

      I particularly remember one young woman who, when I complimented her on a set of very nice high heels she was wearing, positively gushed with pride as she told me that she found them at the Goodwill for $4. She was engaged at the time, and I remember thinking, “Oh yeah, this one’s a keeper.”

    12. Lexington Green Says:

      Thriftiness as well as good taste is a very nice combination.

      Too bad she was somebody else’s keeper.

    13. Bill Brandt Says:

      From a male perspective I would say “what is there to talk about in shoes?”

      Either they are comfortable – or not.

      Either you like them – or not.

      What else is there?

      And yes, there are men who couldn’t find their way out of……

    14. setbit Says:

      “Too bad she was somebody else’s keeper.”

      No sorrow; my own keeper is a keeper for many of the same reasons. When I told her about the exchange, she had the same reaction I did.

      “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”

    15. Kirk Parker Says:

      Tatyana, you need to send your humor detector in for recalibration.

    16. Tatyana Says:

      Kirk: ya think?

    17. Lexington Green Says:

      Setbit, good that you’ve got a good one of your own.

    18. Tatyana Says:

      Setbit, there could be number of approaches to conversation about women shoes (or jewelery, for that matter.) For instance: to look at a pair of shoes as an artifact. From design/aesthetic/functionality/appropriateness of materials points.
      That’s the approach I use when forced to discuss men’ watches…

    19. Tatyana Says:

      James Augustine: done. There follows are lively and informed discussion in the comments, but I stopped at the post itself.

    20. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Hmm … am I an outlier? I do like shoes, especially ones that make my feet look tiny, but I’d never expect anyone, male or female to notice, especially in casual conversation.
      On the other hand, I love maps. I’m a map-oriented sort of person: I have to be able to orient myself, with regard to direction of the compass-points, and to local landmarks … not just when I am visiting a place – but when I am writing about it. Where is north, in relation to this place, what direction is the water flowing in, does the morning sun come in through the windows at how much of an angle.

      And where is the nearest Goodwill … I’ve actually picked up some quite nice shoes at Goodwill, or ThriftTown. Just have to go for the ones that are new, or just barely worn. Anything with obvious signs of wear is icky, and I am not that thrifty…

    21. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I taught both my daughters to navigate by map when they were children. I’d have them sit next to me in the car with the map unfolded in their lap, and track our movements on the map. It didn’t take long before I had complete confidence in their navigational ability. Fun for all of us too. I also taught them not to be afraid of being lost – we’ll just figure where we are and find our way back, not to worry! And we always did.

      In return, they taught me a little about shoes, and lots of other things along the way too. My children were gifts from God. I treasure them. The youngest was just married several weeks ago. She’s a professional diver and has her captains license. She can not only navigate on land, she can navigate on water and under water (I’m not kidding about the last one).