Yup! We’re different.

(Please note. If you are a woman, I do not recommend reading this article. If you choose to continue reading, please express your anger against me silently and inwardly.)

Now I’m on what you might call a homestay in Japan. A while back, I got word from the neighbors, “Tomorrow’s low tide and you know what that means?” Well, of course I did not. Well, it turned out that in this fishing town, low tide means you have to go digging for clams. First of all, I don’t know low tide from high tide from Adam. I don’t move with the tides or know what to do when the tide is changing. Having grown up in Brampton, I guess I’m mostly familiar with Tide with bleach.

But I was excited about going digging for clams. I got my gloves, boots and digging stuff and went downstairs to dig for clams. I guess I was just a little bit too excited. I started having visions of finding a bag of clams, coming back home, making a fantastic clam chowder and eventually wowing friends with my fantastic, amazing clam chowder. Quite another thing happened when I got down there.

I’ll just preface this by saying that this article has nothing to do with clams. Anyway, we got down there. I was with 4 Japanese seniors, 3 ladies and one man.  We started digging. We noticed we weren’t finding any clams, so I dealt with this the way I deal with everything, by changing the topic from clams and cracking a lot of jokes.

Eventually, I decided to go check on one of the other women who were off digging clams on the other side. This woman had the reputation of being a naturalist and good at that sort of thing. In fact, rumour has it, she never buys tea bags because she can just go up to the mountains nearby and pick what she wants to make tea. She also knows how to sew Kimonos, grow her own vegetables, and is just a good person to stay nearby if trouble ever breaks out or something.

I walked over to where she was on the other side, looked at her bucket, and she had maybe 5 clams. I thought. “Well, this is not at all what I expected from you MacGyver San.”

So, I gave up on her and walked way over to the other side where her husband was. This guy had about 40 or 50 clams in his bucket! I had zero clams. His wife had about 5. The other 2 women had about 2 or 3 or so and he had a bucket with over 40 clams! I’m going to propose a bold new concept which I hope doesn’t get me in trouble.

Men and women are different.

There are some things that men just know how to do!

There, I said it. Feminists you can hate me all you want. It’s true. I have scientific evidence. I have a relative who for the purposes of this article we’ll just call Exhibit Man A. He grew up without a father and has had no training. But he knows how to fix cars, finish basements and fix most things that break. Tell me, how does he know how to do all this? I think he knows how to do it because he is a man. And there is something inside of a man, which I’ll just call a hunt/fix/build/ gene that is supposed to know how to do certain things. If you’re a man, and you don’t know how to hunt/fix/build/lead, there’s a little part of you that is supposed to want to at last try.

I know a woman whose husband doesn’t even pretend to try to find/fix//build/or notice and it pretty much drives her insane. I think it would drive me insane too even though I don’t want to be unfair to us women and pretend we’re just sitting around helpless.

In fact, to be fair, I should mention here that I did once meet a woman in Mississauga who innately knew how to put Ikea furniture together. However, for the rest of us, we are kind of secretly hoping that men will call upon some inner built-in manliness and take care of these things.

If the car breaks down and you are a guy, and just pick up the cell and call CAA (The Auto Club) without even going outside and pretending to look under the hood, I guess I’d be slightly inclined to get a ride home with the CAA guy.

I may discuss what to do if you can’t pretend in another article, but in the mean time, for the men who aren’t pretending, the hunt/fix/build/ types, I have to say, I’d really like to send a shoutout to you today.

There’s something kind of cool about the fact that you’re wired up a little differently. There’s something very cool primitive, and wonderful about it.

In a book I read by Steve Martin, there was a quote from one of his plays.  It said, “A real man can take care of something other than himself.” Yeah. Take care of something. Take care of someone. Fix something. Build something. Hunt for something. Catch something. Protect something. Be a man because when a man shows up and starts behaving exactly like a man, I think I kind of like it.


This article was originally published on May 15th, 2010.
Obsolete links from the original article have been removed where applicable.

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