A Little Theory of Mine About Men and Women

OK, I admit it, I am bored. I should be writing and no blogging is not writing (raised eyebrow). Yet, I had this old (and perhaps sexist) idea bouncing in my mind for awhile.

Hence the title.

It goes something like this: a key difference between men and women is that men are possessive and women are territorial.


I know, kind of strange. I’m not surprise to see you scratching your head.

When Harry Met Sally, for the purpose of this post I will assume that you all have seen the movie.

To wit, the scene when Harry and Sally are helping their best friends move in together:

She doesn’t like it because it doesn’t fit the decor, the space, that is, the territory which is now hers. He, on the other hand defends it because it is his coffee table. The object has an intrinsic value to him regardless of where it is.

Another example. Why do you (ladies) put those decorative towels in the bathroom towel rack? Or buy scented candles/soaps? And why do you get so upset when we (gentlemen) use them?

Because they are your “markers”. They serve to mark a space, i.e. a territory as yours. We, on the other hand, see them as object to be used in a space that is totally utilitarian (and you can’t get more utilitarian than a bathroom).  Soap is for washing, towels for drying, candles for when the lights go out.

I hear the grinding of teeth. Yes, I know.

Final example: an attractive couple walks into party.

Women, “What is she/he doing here?”

Men, “What is she/he doing with him/her?”

Notice the difference in word use? One denotes territory the other denotes ownership. The women see an intruder in their space, the men wonder how one part of the couple acquired the other.

But men collect things that have no function and only keep them for their decorative value?

True, but how you notice how men build a space for things they like? We build spaces to keep our toy collection, baseball cards, cars, etc. The function of the space is to keep/preserve the items. The focus is on the item, that which the man possess.

These are, of course, generalizations. Men can be very territorial and women can be extremely possessive. This is about how we view the same thing from a different perspective.

And how does this fit into writing? Ever wondered how to write a character of the opposite sex? Well, this is one thing to keep in mind when it comes to the sexes. Remember that these views are not universal nor are they mutually exclusive, but they are (as far as I know) real.

Now I open the floor to our distinguished reader while I slip into a comfortable nomex ™ fireproof suit.


Less than a week away from the start of the Behind the Headlines BlogFest. Find an news article you like and write the story-behind-the-story.  Make sure to link back to the original post in your blog and spread the word around.

Starts April 5.


6 comments on “A Little Theory of Mine About Men and Women

  1. Interesting theory…hum. I get it, but I have to argue the bathroom (towels and soap) part of the argument. I would much rather they get used, this way I know people are washing their hands. 🙂
    Very insightful of you to notice the difference–are you a women in disguise? Just kidding.

    I will use this when drafting my characters.

    BTW, I read your spring story (don’t remember the name) it was touching. (Another reason I suspect you may be a woman–okay, kidding again, heh heh heh)I hope to find the time to read the previous installments.


    • Nope, I’m not, but I grew surrounded by them. Bound to learn a thing or two along the way. 😉

      Oh and about those stories, sure no problem, read away! 😀


  2. Hmmm, I don’t know. In most of the arguments I have with the missus, me getting owned is familliar territory.


  3. Hmm. I have neither fancy soaps nor fancy guest towels in my bathroom. Anything that’s in there is meant to be used. And though we may have candles, my husband couldn’t be bothered to light them if the power goes out, he’d rather waste the batteries in a flashlight.

    AND, while I keep my collections of faeries and dragons on a shelf in my office, my son-in-law has his collection of G.I. Joes spread throughout their apartment.

    You did, however, raise a valid point and I’ll be taking a closer look at my male characters in the future. 🙂


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