Wednesday 5 December 2018

Are We Different?…

As someone who feels strongly about gender parity, and about striving for equality, today I witnessed unmistakable gender division which showed me that much as we might push for women and men to have the same rights and abilities, there are  fundamental differences in the way we see the world and the way we process logic which drives our behaviour to be different. 

Today I went to Cadbury World, Birmingham’s world famous chocolate factory, which sadly was not quite as fantastical and rich to me as it was when I was a youngster. Apparently Creme Eggs are not smaller than they used to be – I saw the chocolate moulds which allegedly prove it. Also allegedly they were not originally made with Dairy Milk – apparently that was only introduced in 2008 which I find incredibly hard to believe. Anyway, enough ranting about the loss of the deliciousness that was Creme Eggs. Today’s blog was about the differences between men and women.

At Cadbury World you do still get ‘free’ chocolate (albeit considerably less than you used to, ahem) and in a big mixed gender group today there was a significant difference in the way the males and females treated these freebies.

I am told that men see chocolate as sustenance, as immediate satisfaction, whereas women have a more emotional connection with chocolate, seeing it as a luxury to be savoured. Perhaps this is true, perhaps it is the way chocolatiers have conditioned us to be with their advertising over the years, but whichever of those it is, today when given freebies, almost to a man, the males ate each bar immediately, saving nothing for later, whereas almost every woman popped each bar straight into their bag to take home and have at a later time.

Could there have been any more perfect demonstration of the differences in the way men and women think than this? If I had surveyed every man about why he ate the chocolate or every woman why she saved it would I have received two sets of identical answers? Are we really that fundamentally different in the ways we see the world and the ways we think?

Or was it the behaviour of individual preferences imprinting on the group – one person makes an idle comment about saving it for later so the surrounding people do the same? One person excitably announces how much they love this type of chocolate bar and tucks in, letting those nearby know that it is ok to do so without judgment? I am not sure, but I do know what I saw, and it struck me as significant enough to reflect on it several hours afterwards. Are we fundamentally, internally different, divided by gender, or do we naturally seek to conform as a pack and create this division ourselves?

Elloise Hopkins.

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