The Importance of Gender-Specific Meetings
“Authenticity is very important – be true to one’s self.” Laila Ali
I have been in meetings before that were not a men’s meeting, but it just happened to be that there was not a woman in attendance. We laughed, we shared, we took a couple of shots at the girls but mostly at ourselves. There was a vulnerability that was palatable. We took off the armor. Then, halfway into the meeting, a woman walked in. Middle age. Attractive. Suddenly we were in a very different meeting.
The atmosphere instantly changed. Looking back, I envision a pack of hyenas in just hanging out playing and reminiscing on their youthful day like pups. But when she walked in it was as if a giant turkey leg was thrown into the playpen and we all remembered we were hungry. I’m being dramatic to make a point. In actuality, the meeting just continued. No one pounced on her, and the way she impacted the meeting was so subtle to her but outspokenly blatant to us. No infidelities were mentioned, fear of women, loss in love and others genuine regular trials of life were all removed as acceptable conversation. Additionally, some chests puffed up, armor came back on, and the level of testosterone in the room increased.
What’s the Difference of Gender-Specific Meetings
I have accidentally walked into a women’s meeting before. You don’t get a foot in the door before a wall an invisible wall stops you. It’s hard to explain. It felt as if I may be walking into something sacred. When we split genders the possibility of something special appears. It may or may not always be conjured, but when the opposite sexes are in the same room, it’s not even available.
The reason is simple. Sex. Men compete with each other for as do women. Even if it’s not an external competition or we are not even looking for a partner the mind ups the ante when we are around the opposite gender. Our masks come out. The wanting to be attractive, not look foolish, or even just to be higher on the pecking order all come to the surface. This innate instinct populates the earth on its beautiful side and is one of the highest causes of murder on its darker side.
Men with men and Women with Women
Women show exponential growth in same-sex friendships. Possibly more than men. Men bond over building things, making money, or boyish things. Women, being based more on emotion, bond differently than men. They also appear to have more trouble initiating. I have commonly heard the women say, “I get along with men better.” Surely there are some obvious reasons why initiating a relationship would be more fluid between a man and a woman than women and a woman. Women often see other women as competition for obvious reasons.
When we can let down our guards, let people in, we can heal quicker, faster, and more deeply. Often lifelong bonds are created, and a higher degree of intimacy is found for all of life. It works similarly with the men as well. Just a little less noticeably, cause well, we have our reputations to keep.