Recently I met up with an old friend. I remembered that we initially discussed about religion and then we moved on to talking about China and USA’s economic relationship and then lastly to the difference between how most men and women function emotionally and mentally. It was at the last topic when he said – ‘You think like a guy’. I have always thought that I think differently than most women (not in terms of sexual expression or clothing preferences but in terms of making decisions and problem solving) but to have someone else point it out only confirmed my self-analysis. I reflected on it the whole day after hearing that. I consider that as a positive trait to be embraced on a personal level but it can also be a negative thing in terms of society’s general perception regarding a woman who thinks like a man.
On a personal level, I take that as a compliment because I do value logic over emotions. But I don’t dismiss the important role that emotions play in humanity. It would be illogical to think that emotions have no value at all. What does it mean when I say I value logic? Friends have pointed out that I am direct and straightforward. Well, I do value straightforwardness, being direct, and honesty. However, I do aim to be civil when expressing my honesty and straightforwardness. I don’t want to look immature when doing so. Another point is that I value pointing out mistakes in people’s understanding regarding certain matters. I don’t want people to have a wrong understanding of a concept. My act of correcting them is how I show that I care for the person. I don’t want the person to look like a fool. But I know most people take things personally when I correct their misconceptions regarding certain things. Even so, people’s perception about me in that department is the least of my concern.
When it comes to society’s perception regarding a woman who thinks like a man, negative perceptions would usually be placed upon her. Firstly, society values women who are more emotionally supportive even when what the other person actually NEEDS to hear is the truth. In my opinion, this is what I call DECEPTION. I’m not saying that being emotionally supportive is a bad thing, but if it’s being expressed in an unsuitable situation, then problems could occur and we are not really doing the other person a favor. Secondly, society considers being honest, straightforward, and direct as being rude. It would be more frowned upon if a woman does it. There are implications if women are being told not to be direct and straightforward just because it can be considered as rude. One of them is that we can be taken advantage of if we don’t really mean what we say. We need to be direct and straightforward because we have a mind of our own, we can form our own opinions, and when we say ‘no’ it really means ‘no’. Honesty is really the best policy, when it’s being done in a civilized manner of course. Thirdly, this kind of gender expectation is what leads society into thinking that women cannot ‘think’ and that they are emotional creatures rather than rational ones. Although being logical and rational are the traits that are usually being associated with men, it would be uncritical of us to stereotype women to be incapable at all of thinking logically and rationally.
So, having been pointed out to have a mind that is similar to most men in terms of making decisions and problem solving, I embrace this side of my personality and I don’t intend to change it. It’s not because I want to stand out or because not wanting to be similar with most women, but it’s because it goes in parallel with my values. When it comes to society’s perception on a women who thinks like a man, let us acknowledge that a woman can be logical and rational and these traits shouldn’t be seen as negative traits when a woman possesses them.