November 30, 2005

Complementary Flavors

Alicia made an comment on another blog that rings true:
I think that by nature and learning women focus on process and men on outcome/accomplishment - and that is one of the many reasons why God gave us humanity in these two complementary flavors.
My wife and I were recently remodelling the kitchen and she was more attuned to the aesthetics while I was to outcome (i.e. "will this work ergonometrically?").

George Will and Cokie Roberts on ABC's "This Week" seem examples of this male/female difference. Cokie is interested that we get along. Cooperate. It's who is at the table of power that is important rather than the resulting usage of that power. And for George Will the accomplishment is important - it's not whether you cooperated that's important, but whether you reduced the sum of misery in the world (no matter who gets hurt in the process).

Both styles can be deadly. Men are tempted to use a bad means to a good end and that leads to the demonic. (Will is a bad example of this though, since he's extremely principled.) And women can increase the sum of misery in the world since as Flannery O'Connor said "when you govern by tenderness, tenderness leads to the gas chamber." Both outcome and process are obviously important.

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