Friday, January 18, 2008

Men Have Boxes, Women Have Wires?

This is comedian Mark Gungor at a Marriage Resource Seminar:

You can access a slightly longer version of it here.

Essentially he says that cognitively men compartmentalize and women integrate. I have a question to any men who watch this video. Is this true? I understand that this may be a simplistic generalization, but if true, this would explain much: I identify with his description of the female brain. I hear men talk about how they don't understand their wives. I think I understand my wife pretty well, but I'm sure I don't understand other men very well.

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Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

I unfortunately can't condone this type of seminar. Am I taking it too far? Maybe, but what this gentleman is doing is profiling all men and women (seems to focus on men mostly) as "wackos" simply to emphasize his comedic routine. Definitely not what I see as building up the body (especially at a marriage seminar). I guess this is one of my pet peeves.

Although obvious, we all are made differently, and men do tend to lean more toward being task-based whereas women lean more toward relationship-based. Doesn't mean that we're one or the other. I actually think the more well-rounded men and women have a good combination of both traits.

This type of comedic routine has no place in a marriage seminar. Here's some specific quotes:
"The rule is, the boxes don't touch". Ok, he's basically saying that when it comes to discussing a topic (aka box), we're so boneheaded that we can't discuss anything outside of that topic. Pathetic. Degrading.
As he's discussing how women remember everything, he makes mention that men don't remember very often because we "simply don't care". Wow. "And women care about EVERYTHING!!!!"
Then he talks about men having the "nothing box", basically stating that we can think about absolutely nothing and still breathe. Again, profiling men as something one step up from your average rock.

I'd probably have laughed a little at this if I viewed it on the Comedy Channel, since it would have fit nicely there. However, at a marriage seminar, the premise of going TO a marriage seminar is to enrich your marriage, not belittle each other. Definitely out of place.

Ok, sorry, stepping down from the soapbox...

Fri Jan 18, 04:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

One last thing....

It does appear that the Marriage Resource Center of Miami Valley is predominantly funded by a government establishment (64%). That probably explains some of it.....

Fri Jan 18, 04:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

Sure, I understand all that, Bro. However, I do know that comedy is funny because it has some aspect of truth to it. I was wondering if what he purports of the difference between male and female minds has any bearing in truth, whether or not his caricatures are propagandistic.

Sat Jan 19, 02:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Scott said...

@Mark Pemberton
I have to strongly disagree with you about it being degrading at all.
As a man, when I am talking about my car, I don't think about the fact that the garage I park the car in has a shelf that needs a new paint job. If I talk about my car to my girlfriend, she'll bring that up. I have my Car box out. I am talking about the car. When she brings up the shelf, I get my Garage box out as well. They are separate subjects. Men compartmentalize, but ARE capable of multi-tasking. This is a humor skit at a marriage seminar. It leaves out the specific details of some stuff, but does an excellent job of setting the basic stage for further work to be done at the seminar.
Try taking your wife/girlfriend fishing. Bring a stopwatch. Everytime you two are talking, run the stopwatch. Stay there for 8 hours. See how much time is on the watch when you leave. Probably 6+ hours. Now go with your guy buddy. Do the same thing. You'll probably clock under 3 or 4 hours of conversation. I've gone and talked probably under 30 minutes. THAT is what the nothing box is. The "I'm zoning out but still deriving enjoyment from life". Women's brains are constantly making connections, which prompts dialogue. That's how they work.

Tue Oct 26, 06:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...


I think it's interesting that you need to explain the mind of the stereotypical man to a man when your unspoken premise is that such stereotypes are accurate.

Maybe it runs in the family, but like my brother I don't have a "nothing box". My mind is engaged constantly.

I'll qualify one thing here. I would expect this to be considered acceptable at a secular marriage seminar. There are better ways, even humorously, of laying a foundation for following sessions. I would expect a Christian marriage seminar to handle it better. Given the lack of disparity between the divorce rate of Christians and non-Christians in the cultural West, such an expectation is probably unreasonable.

Tue Oct 26, 10:02:00 PM GMT-5  

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