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Friday, July 29, 2011

Mars and Venus Revisited

       I had an experience a little while ago that got me thinking about how men and woman are so different.  I have heard the saying that women exist to civilize men.  As a guy who grew up in a male dominated family where sports and competition were strongly ensconced, I was rudely welcomed into the other half of the world when I had three daughters.  I also chose a female dominated career choice—social work.  I used to joke that if all the men in the world disappeared except for me it would take me a week to realize something happened.

       So what happened to me to bring all the differences between men and women to mind?  I had been out on a bike ride on our paths when I got a flat tire.  If you have ever tried to change and pump up a flat bike tire with one of those bike pumps that fit on your bike you know that it isn’t the easiest task.  I was four miles from home but I decided to walk my bike home where changing the tire would be much easier.  Walking along the path I had male joggers and bikers past me without a passing glance.  I even had one male biker almost run me over as if he was in the Tour de France.   After about 20 minutes and walking a mile a group of three women bikers approached.  They stopped, inquired if everything was OK and asked if I wanted to use a cell phone to call someone.  Realizing that I was about 100 yards from a road that my wife could easily bring our van and meet me I took up their offer.  Five minutes later I had my bike with the flat tire in the van and on my way home.

       On my way home I began to think what would I have done if I had passed a biker walking their bike on the path.  Would I be like the other men and just pass them by? What is it about women that make them more sensitive to people in need?  Is it the mothering instinct?  I began to re-examine my feeling that women spend too much time in meetings trying to see how everyone feels about something and not just get to the point and make a decision.  I guess I should have remembered how when one of my daughters would call from college unsure how to do something and I would offer fatherly solution after solution only to find that they didn’t want that but just to have me listen to them. So what is it with women wanting to have someone listen to them?  Don’t women realize men are problem solvers? Even when we don’t know much about something we still think we have the answers.  This may explain why women still are not represented well in elected government.

     So thank you to all you caring, helpful women. Here is one biker who is thankful you were there on the bike path that day.  Trust me I will pay it forward when I get the chance.  

   I have blogged int the past on the situation with Columbia Association pools.  CA has now developed a tool to continue the discussion of how best to utilize the pools. 
If you have something to say about our pools, then the Aquatics Commenting Tool (ACT) is just the ticket. ACT  -- -- provides another way (in addition to focus groups, public workshops, Facebook, the Task Force) to contribute and be part of the aquatics master planning process.  ACT’s pool-specific commenting feature allows you and other community members to express ideas about desired improvements for the future of Columbia’s aquatics and view comments from others.
ACT also allows you to explore outdoor pool visitation for 2010 -- which pools have high attendance? Which draw a majority of their visitors from the immediate area around the pool? And which draw folks from a very large area?
Visit for more information about the Master Plan process.


Jane Dembner said...

Thanks Duane for the post about our new on-line Aquatics Commenting Tool - ACT. Dozens of people have already used ACT and have let us know of their ideas for desired improvements at our pools. Do you have something to say about our CA pools? We're all ears.

Anonymous said...

I think you're drawing way to hasty a conclusion from this one sample. I would suspect that, in general, men are more likely to stop and help if a woman is in trouble. They probably won't stop for another dude, unless the dude is old and feeble or something. I doubt the women would have stopped had they been alone, unless a woman was in trouble. A pack of three reduced their risks when dealing with a man.