Tensions are growing in the battle of women vs. men.
Last week, the president of Harvard said innate biological differences may be the reason women don't do as well in math and science as men. He cautioned that more research is needed. And then he was assailed for having the audacity, as a university president, to comment on academic research.
The week before another item appeared. New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd lamented that men are avoiding highly accomplished women. She said men prefer secretaries, flight attendants and nannies women who will make them the center of their universe.
Both Dowd and the Harvard president are exactly right.
Decades of neurobiological research show biological differences between men and women do exist. One brain study shows that men listen with only one side of their noggin, whereas women use both. Another shows that women can listen to two separate conversations, whereas men can barely follow one.
The male brain takes in less sensory detail than a woman's, which is why it's harder for us to find items at the supermarket. It's also why we don't notice dust, which, apparently, is a collection of fine particles that settle on furniture.
With superior spatial skills, most men are better drivers than most women. Most men are better at math and science than most women. I know I can get arrested for saying this, but men and women are different.
Which brings us back to Dowd.
"Art is imitating life, turning women who seek equality into selfish narcissists and objects of rejection, rather than affection," she writes.
Maureen, Maureen, Maureen, men aren't avoiding highly accomplished women. We're avoiding highly accomplished women like you.
I spent six years in Washington, D.C., the land of highly accomplished women. These women, if you'll allow me to generalize, are passionate about their corporate careers. They eagerly log 60-hour workweeks. They are competitive, driven, ambitious.
They are neurotic, stressed out and unpleasant.
A typical date with such a lass involves: 1) listening about her job, 2) listening about her career, and, 3) listening about all the idiots who are standing in the way of her next promotion. To wit: dating a highly accomplished D.C. woman is like dating ourselves.
When a man dreams of a woman, Maureen, he dreams of a being distinctly different than himself. We long to be in the company of a soft, feminine, eloquent creature. She moves with an easiness and grace that sends an electric charge through every corpuscle in our body.
She is smarter than we are, but she listens, nurtures and reassures. Her presence fills us with peace, making our silly stresses go away. She reminds us what is important in life beauty, family, charity, laughter. She reminds us how foolish, worldly and self-absorbed we usually are.
But these days, "she" has become "he." Most every television show and commercial portrays every man as a hapless idiot and every woman as the strong, smart, decisive savior. She is competitive and valiant and, like Jennifer Garner, she kicks the bejesus out of anything in her way.
We don't want women who kick, Maureen. Nothing makes a man less easy than a woman with a powerful kneecap.
I know you think you're progressive and that we are backwards, but you're wrong. In a truly progressive world, men and women will celebrate their unique differences. Women will be highly accomplished AND feminine and graceful they'll even understand and appreciate how simple men really are.
Perhaps one day, university presidents will be able to discuss ANY research, even if it draws conclusions that are out of sync with the politically correct currents of the time.
But until then, we're going for the nannies, Maureen. I hope to marry one some day. In fact, I recently tried to hire one, but the nanny agency assured me I had to be a family.