Friday, March 14, 2008

Too Many Boxes!

A long time ago I saw a woman interviewed on TV, I can't recall her name, but she had a fair degree of fame, and was a leading feminist in her time.

But I sure remember the following exchange of dialogue, recalled as best I can:

"Looking back on your life what do you regret most?"

"I regret not being born a man."

Interviewer (male) completely shocked.

"Why on earth with all your accomplishments as a woman would you say that?"

"Well, us women you see always carry around in our heads far too many open boxes. At any one time we can have 8,9,10 boxes open. The what's for dinner box, the oh I need to do laundry box, the why was he in such a bad mood when he left for work this morning box, the why isn't Kimmy doing well at school box, the what is the deadline for this project I'm working on box, the Mum is getting older and forgetful box. You get the picture? Now a man only has one box open at a time. A much better way of living. When he's at work, that's it. He has the work box open. At my age, I'm completely exhausted from having so many boxes open all the time".

I could so relate to her at the time I saw this, being a working single mom then and envying the men I worked with who seemed to deal with life a lot better than I did. Who were far more focussed.

It was one of those moments that explained the wiring of women's and men's brains so well.

I imagine it must be based on our primitive past. The men focussed on the hunt, the women on the cooking, children, clothing, firemaking, wall decor for the cave, etc.

This post was inspired by the above cartoon, why I don't know. Maybe because my boxes are overflowing at times and I'm losing my nouns :>)

I did a web search on this phenomenon of too many boxes and nothing came to light.

I'll be very interested in the comments.


  1. I think my daughter puts me in the 'Crazy' box

  2. It's an interesting and befuddling subject, WWW.

    I tend to think that the way we are wired has more to do with our astrology type than with our gender (but I would, wouldn't I? :-))

    Of course, many women do have a variety of concerns going on at the same time and they've adapted to the need. A man - say a single father - could adapt just as well, if he had to do so. Equally a woman, single, no children, no ties can live with one box open at a time.

    Some women can't cope with all the boxes, some men can't even cope with one box, this is where I see astrology coming into things.

    Using a very broad brush to paint the picture, I agree with your views, but getting down to fine detail, I do think there's more to it than just male/female. :-)

  3. GM:
    I'd beg to differ. I'd say she puts you in the Grand Champion of Bloggerville box!
    You are perhaps correct though I haven't known too many men with the capability of keeping more than one box fired up at a time, even in merely a conversational environment. When I'm with women friends we're all over the place with no one finding anything amiss, men leave the room throwing their hands up!
    But our astrological beginnings may have a lot to do with it and the many responsibilities in our lives!

  4. I'm loathe to say men and women have different brains, it must be something to do with upbringing, but the sexes do seem to differ in this respect. Personally I have plenty of boxes lying around (new house, new job, gardening, blog, housework, books to read, music to listen to etc) but yes I only keep one or two open at a time while the others are firmly closed. Otherwise I just couldn't cope. Jenny manages to keep a lot more boxes open which is enviable.

  5. i think i agree with her (and maybe you?) that women have more trouble closing the boxes than men do.

    men seem more able to compartmentalize--"i'll think of it later," or, "i don't want to think of that now."

    i have a lot of trouble doing that.

  6. it's a pity you haven't can't get the video I posted on my blog to work....I think the box issue is not a gender difference but perhaps a pure brain processing difference.

    I think woman are more allowed, culturally,to live in the right hand side of their brain in our thus, many of us women are capable of multiple boxes.

    and ps I love the box concept...have been enthralled with it myself on occasion....but the whole dichotomy of feminism with their gender-specific 'isms' sometimes just irks me...especially now that I know I think more like a man according to the BBC gender ID test....vilified, I was lol....have u done it? I'm quite curious to know.


  7. Nick:
    Not so much different brains (nothing to do with intellectual capacity of intelligence) but the wiring of multi-tasking a little different? As I say I don't quite know.
    Exactlly, there's always another distractive responsiblility (I was going to say distraction but that weakened what I was saying!)
    I tried the video a few times with no luck :>( but I will do the BBC test and let everyone know.

  8. I completed the BBC test and find I think more like a man too. Whatever that's supposed to mean (maybe more mathematically inclined??) Perhaps the test is sexist. Who accords the principles of male/female thinking anyway?
    all I know is I'm a genius at multi-tasking (can knit, read, converse and watch a movie at same time). Though, :>( age is slowing me down.

  9. "[I]...can knit, read, converse and watch a movie at the same time..."

    So, you're the one always sitting behind me in the cinema!


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