Male Brain, Female Brain

Male vs Female Brain

So last week I happened to mention that my super-duper-high-speed weight loss phase of the diet was over and presented “six days in a row at basically the same weight” as evidence. I thought it was a very straightforward statement, but the ladies did not quite take it as I intended. Paraphrasing several replies: “You can’t quit now Charlie!” “Hang in there!” “Cheer up or we will hunt you down and force feed you rice cakes!”

It reminded me of a blog post I came across a couple weeks ago. It was an essay of sorts on fiction writing, specifically, “How to write male characters.” (Primarily, of course, for female writers.) Here’s the brilliant excerpt:

I had always assumed that women understood men. We are, after all, pretty simple. Generally, we say what we mean. Guys don’t generally try to lay down a trail of hints that have to be figured out.

Apparently, a lot of women don’t know that. Apparently, when a guy says, “Your hair looks nice today,” a lot of women assume there is some hidden meaning, such as:

  • Your hair usually looks terrible. It’s about time you did something right with it.
  • Your makeup is a mess, but at least your hair is OK.
  • You’re fat. The hair compensates a little, but you’re still fat.
  • Let’s hop in bed, you nymph, you.

The reality is that when a guy says, “Your hair looks nice today,” the secret encoded message which he hopes you pick up is, “Your hair looks nice today.” In the vast majority of cases, that’s all he means. No more. No less. There is no implication that your hair looked bad yesterday or that your makeup suffers by comparison or that you have a weight problem or that it’s time for a roll in the hay.

Furthermore, the guy is not fishing for some return compliment. It’s quite plausible that the guy in question doesn’t even view his comment as an actual compliment. Likely as not, this guy is merely making an observation akin to “Nice weather we’re having today,” or “The Dow is up ten points today,” or “The Padres are making a nice run at the division championship this year.”

So ladies, when a guy says, “Your hair looks nice today,” the correct response is, “Thank you! That’s so sweet of you to say so.”

Some examples of wrong responses are:

  • “What was wrong with it yesterday?”
  • “Don’t you like my mascara?”
  • “I’m trying to lose ten pounds, so cut me some slack, all right?”
  • “Sorry, but I’m not that easy, you dirty-minded lecher.

You can click here for the original article. And I’ll try to be more careful next time. 🙂

p.s. Happy New Month! Can you believe it’s September already? Or September 2010 already?

p.p.s. Check out my new Facebook “Like” feature below. Go ahead and click it. Lots. Then I’ll be famous. I promise I won’t forget all the little people I stepped on to get to the top.

14 Responses to “Male Brain, Female Brain”

Skinny Sushi said
September 1, 2010 at 5:49 am

It’s not just men vs. women. I frequently post something that everyone misreads. I’ll post that I ate ten cookies but then, knowing how the internet makes it tough to communicate nuance, will be clear to say that I don’t feel guilty, that I’m still on track, that I’m feeling positive, and I’ll still get ten comments saying “just let it go” and “everyone has bad days” and “just get right back on course.” Sometimes it confuses me, and my theory is that people skim. They speed read for keywords or something and then just make up their own content from the words they saw.

    Charlie said
    September 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Oh! I’m sorry to hear about the cookies. It’s okay. Just let it go. You’ll get back on track. Everyone has bad days!

Anna said
September 1, 2010 at 5:59 am

Hahaha! Yeah, I’ve heard that men always say what they mean, but I dont believe it. 🙂

I just clicked your fb like button, but no idea what I’m supposed to be liking…lol Could be some naked man eating peanut butter at the hairdressers for all Iknow 😉

what a lovely day it is here in London town 🙂 Hope the US is equally pleasant

Anna 😉

    Charlie said
    September 1, 2010 at 8:07 am

    According to Facebook: “The Like button lets a user share your content with friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.”

      Anna said
      September 1, 2010 at 8:42 am

      oh right, is that all ….lol 😉

TexasDeb said
September 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

Along the same lines I read somewhere (how’s that for attribution!) women look at themselves and focus on what it is they see that they don’t like and so are chronically dissatisfied with their appearance whereas men glance in the mirror and think “this T shirt is awesome” and that is that. Or words to that effect.

So yeah, here we are in a new month but really…are you saying there was something WRONG with August!??

    Charlie said
    September 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I’ve always liked the phrase “I read somewhere…”

    Makes me think, “I wrote it down . . . and then I read it!”

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said
September 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

I have no idea what facebook like means either, I have a facebook account with but I don’t get it yet. I’m trying to. Someday…

When women say things, there IS usually WAY more to it than just a simple statement. We just don’t GET how SIMPLE men are so we stupidly presume they are the same. After 14 years of marriage, I’m starting to get it.

Helen said
September 1, 2010 at 10:45 am

Now I’m really pissed that my husband wrote that article about me… because I totally do not think he means my hair looks nice!

Woot for September 1 – just realized it’s the last third of 2010. But do you have some fascination with the Number “1”? Is that why you noted that?

Biz said
September 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

Ha, loved this post Charlie, and it could not be more true!

I can’t believe its September 1, because the last part of the year always seems to go by way too fast.

Happy Hump Day!

Love, your prettier sister Biz

What’s Up Saturday – 9.4.10 | Say Yes to Salad said
September 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

[…] post on the male brain versus the female brain also cracked me up, and made me think. It’s all about brains this week, […]

Joe Spammer said
September 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in actuality, the four acts of the mirthful opera known as the freshness, and they pass like bubbles of a grit of champagne. Whoever lets them break without having enjoyed them is a entire fool.

A grit of champagne? –Charlie

woze said
September 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

gah! i can’t find the facebook “like” feature. clearly, like many asian inventions, i was created to be completely useless.

    Charlie said
    September 23, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    It’s up there (point, point) to the right of my “signature”. Next to the stumble/diggy stuff.