Thursday, April 1, 2010

Men and Women

Yesterday 69-year-old and still startlingly beautiful Raquel Welch was interviewed on Good Morning America. She has published a book called Beyond the Cleavage. (Hmmm!) She reflected on her role as sex-symbol in the 60's and 70's, it was hard for her to even say the word. In those days she had very little say on the trajectory of her career. After filming her first film, "One Million Years BC," she figured it would just "go away." Much to her consternation she got off the plane in London to find that the iconic poster of her in a goatskin bikini was everywhere and everyone knew who she was...or what she looked like anyway. Now, as her years advance, she wants to speak to the world with her mind rather than her measurements. Laudible, really, and her role at her age, and no sour grapes, either, since she's still a knock-out!

She talked quite a bit about how the genders communicate, and how they don't. Rightly she noted that we communicate very differently, and that men don't really want women to act like men. (She failed to mention whether women want men to act like women.) Great insight, and very necessary. She also suggested that a woman can have meaningful communication with a man without having to act like a man, but can retain her femininity. Also a great insight. I'm glad women that men are prone to pay attention to are saying such things.

What she didn't mention except in passing, was the how. The devil is always in the details, right? She mentioned that instead of driving hard for her wishes and getting...and she let the "b" word slipped--and promptly censored herself--though obviously the network didn't...she could have sought for a mutually common ground and compromised.

Hmmm...novel thought. Compromise, common ground, finding a mutually acceptable way forward. I don't think that is limited to gender-distinct communication. That kind of approach will bridge communication gaps between people of different ages, cultures and purposes. In fact, when each of us is willing to give up our little "world" and create with another person a third world in which both of us can live then there is community. Raquel, at 69 you're headed down the right road, you just didn't quite go far enough.

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