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Men & Women: A Cross Cultural Relationship Essay, Research Paper

Men & Women: A Cross Cultural Relationship

In the Story ?How to Talk to a Hunter?, Pam Houston makes many assumptions about the differences between what men and women expect from a relationship. The relationships men and women hold can almost be viewed as cross cultural in nature. In this story Houston elegantly mimics an average relationship and the problems and differences that arise.

Women are much more focused on intimacy in their relationships then men. To a women friendship and connections are key to a happy and successful life, and intimacy helps achieve these friendships and connections. ?A women desires the condition of desiring? (708). Women try to achieve closeness with men and sometimes can perceive closeness when it really isn?t there, ?he?ll give you a key and just like a women you?ll think it means something? (708).

Women often ignore signs that commitment is faltering or non-existent to avoid being hurt and to prolong the wonderful blissful feeling of being ?in love?. ? The machine answers the calls and you?ll hear a women?s muffled voice between the beeps?(708). Even when women are blunt and bring up commitment or ?monogamy? (709), men usually can talk their way out of it. ?He?ll say he is scared and confused. Of course this isn?t exactly what he means? (709). When it does not work out, women are usually more upset, no matter how many signs there were that this might happen.

Men though, are the exact opposite. Independence and status are key in their world and the primary way of establishing status is to tell others what to do. Men tend to shrink away from commitment and are more self centered, ?A man desires the satisfaction of his desire?(708). A man tends to keep distance in a relationship, and has a greater tenancy to unfaithful. ?We all do it, we can?t help it were self destructive? (711).

Men are less likely to be upset when it does not work out, of course this is because they never wanted the commitment in the first place. A commitment can be sign of faltering independence. A relationship involves compromise, and compromise means not always getting your own way. This can also be viewed as lacking independence, ?he will say whatever he needs to win?(711). ?They lie, they cheat, and we love them for it? (711). People say ?men can?t help it they?re raised that way?(711).

Its true, although you can grow up in the same house or on the same street, men and women essentially grow up in different worlds. Boys tend to play outside in groups with games that have winners and losers. These groups tend to have definite leaders, boys have a tendency to boast about their skill. Their activities tend to encourage competitiveness to achieve status. Men are also encouraged to be rough and not show emotion

Girls on the other hand usually play in smaller groups, and the centre of their life is a best friend. Girls tend to play games that everyone gets a turn or that has no winners, like house and skipping and their activities lean more towards cooperation rather then competition.

Houston makes many assertions and stereotypes about men and women in her story ?How to Talk to a Hunter?. These stereotypes come from a long line of proof and examples that most men and women can act in this exact manner. She accurately represents that relationships between men and women are, although natural, almost cross-cultural in nature, and these conflicts are mostly a result of learned behaviour.



Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers, ed. John Schilib and John Clifford (Bedford/St.Martin?s).

Macionis, John J. Sociology: 3rd Edition. Prentice Hall Canada Inc., Ontario, 1999


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