By Jeremy Au Yong – Dec 18, 2006
The Straits Times
HAVE always thought that the reason men get into so much trouble with women is that they (men) are insensitive clods.
That’s why – in any given relationship – the man is forever apologising to the woman for some digression or other.
While the woman – for some reason – never seems to do anything wrong. They don’t even break wind.
Recently, I began to question this long-held notion. I thought: “Sure guys can be thoughtless fools, but they can’t be wrong all the time.
“Could it be, just maybe, men aren’t always to blame? Maybe women are just making a meal out it – like sissy footballer Didier Drogba.”
I wondered if the modern woman was exploiting men’s “insensitive” reputation and then using anger and a remarkable ability to cry on demand as a way to gain relationship leverage.
One night out with the boys – after about five to seven beers – I decided the answer was “Yes”.
What ultimately swayed my decision were the stories my friends told of their run-ins with their girlfriends.
JT told of the time he was hit by a girlfriend’s anger tsunami because – this is true – he didn’t talk to her enough at a dinner party.
What’s interesting is that many of the other guys were at this same party and mainly chatted among ourselves while the girls engaged in their girl-talk. No one – evidently not even JT – noticed anything amiss.
That is until he went home and she gave him the dreaded silent treatment. His story led me to a few observations about the nature of female anger.
Observation 1: Women would rather get angry with their men than get what they want.
If there is a window of opportunity to get what they want, a woman will wait until it closes so that she can get really angry with a man and he cannot do anything about it.
JT’s girlfriend could have easily asked him to give her some attention at the party. That’s what a guy would do. But she chose to wait until it was over so that she could get angry with him.
Observation 2: Women often commit the same crime as men but don’t get in trouble for it.
Like I pointed out to JT, his girlfriend didn’t talk to him either. It takes two to not carry out a conversation.
Observation 3: A man will not always know what he did to make a woman angry.
Women are aware of this and often entertain themselves by making men squirm as
they are made to guess what their crime is.
Even on the off-chance men get it right, women will never admit it.
Girl: Do you even know why I’m so angry with you?
Me: Because I made you wait at the bus stop for two hours in the pouring rain
and instead went to play computer games?
Girl: No, it’s about Respect.
Mike and Chris also had to endure such engaging conversations.
Mike was essentially done in by being himself. You see, he can be rather indecisive. He has always been like that. He tends to hem and haw when placed in a position to make a decision anything more complex than which floor he wants the lift to stop on.
His girlfriend had happily accepted this trait for three years when, all of a sudden – while trying to choose a pair of socks – she got all moody on him. Chris’ case was even more surprising. We have always regarded him as the perfect boyfriend. He is attentive, charming and romantic to the extent of leaving his girlfriend little impromptu love notes written on cute little cards with teddy bears on them.
Yet, even he is not immune to the wrath of the modern woman. Although, his girlfriend actually had to go to some trouble to get angry with him.
In discussing how they should celebrate Valentine’s Day, she suggested they do “nothing” as it was a “commercial, heartless affair, created by executives”.
So Chris happily let Valentine’s Day pass without special attention.
As you experienced boyfriends already know, his girlfriend flew into a blinding
rage: “How dare he take me seriously! He doesn’t care about me!”
Which leads me to…
Observation 4: A woman is capable of getting angry at nearly anything.
Observation 5: If for some reason a woman cannot find anything to get angry with, she will devise one.
Looking at it together, I am forced to conclude that women secretly don’t mind a lot of the stuff we do. They must just enjoy the power trip they get from being angry.
So what’s a poor guy to do?
Ignoring it is possible if you don’t mind dying alone.
I say, play them at their own game. Next time she does something that could, in theory, upset you – cry.
This story was first published in The Straits Times on Dec 18, 2006.