Friday, October 3

Sound Volume

I might just have discovered the real difference between men and women: Sound volume.

This Wednesday I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room when four boys entered it. Well, I would say they were boys, from their talking I gathered some were seventeen and some eighteen. A guy that age can hardly be called a man, if you want my view. They’re still boys.

As I mentioned already, I listened into their talk. I fact, I could hardly avoid it. They were talking as if they had to entertain the whole room. I wouldn’t find it wise to tell a whole room full of strangers (who might be related or at least acquainted with my teachers) that I was going to skip school. But then, I’m not a boy.

In the end, it doesn’t matter where you are. You’ll always find men and boys being louder than women or girls. There might be some slight exceptions (like the place in front of a hotel where a boy band is to be found), but the level of noise produced by men usually is higher.

Men are far more used to taking up space, too. While women often cross their legs, being careful not to take up more than the necessary space on a chair or bank, men seem to delight in expanding their space as much as possible. Just think of the last time you rode a train or bus or other public transport and sat opposite to a man. Isn’t it normal (and quite ridiculous) how they sit there with their legs spread so far you could think they were hung like horses and therefore couldn’t keep those legs together even if they wanted to? And what show they make of minimizing their space if the transport is quite full and they have to give up the two extra seats they’re taking up. You could think they actually paid for those extra seats and are doing the nice, old lady and the young pregnant woman a favour by giving them up.

Maybe that’s the true secret of men’s success in the business world. By being loud (and thus being noticed) and having no problem with taking up more space than they should, they get noticed a lot more often. As their bosses usually are men, too, they are far more acquainted with people being loud and taking up space (and being quite obnoxious), thinking those guys are the best choice for the new, better paid position in the company. The woman right next to the loud guy, who is far better at the job and would be the logical choice, simply is overseen.

What should women learn from this? Should we become just as loud and obnoxious as those men? I don’t think so. But we must learn to show men this is no appropriate behaviour. You can’t just take up space you don’t really need in a public transport. You can’t just scream your opinion through the whole room (unless, of course, you’re supposed to tell it to everyone in that room). And you can’t just treat everyone else as if they were inferior to you. Reality check: They’re not!

By simply taking it and not saying a thing, women don’t teach men anything.

Lesson for women: Don’t let those loud guys take up all the space and get away with it.

Lesson for men: Being loud doesn’t mean being clever and unless you’re really hung like a horse, try to keep your legs together in public areas. There’s nothing of interest inside your pants. (At least, nothing women might be interested in while in a public area.)

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