again, i’m going by the most basic notion that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. and yes ladies, i can be a bit sexist. it’s part of my ignorance which you’re all duty-bound to cure. it seems that much of literature gives relevance to the notion only when men are involved. as a married man with an 8-year old daughter, i note the absence of the notion of cowardice in women in two ways:
lying - a lying man is basically a coward (or just doing business.) a lying woman is simply trying to survive.
physical danger - in many situations, a man has just cause to put himself in physical danger and is viewed-down when he avoids it. very seldom do women find themselves in such a situation, unless it’s dire. it’s hard to generalize but hey, others do. one thing i remember clear as day was our pre-nuptial interviews, when the priest asked me if i was willing to die for my wife. i said ‘yes’ with full conviction, though images of painful, lingering death filled my mind. and no, my wife-to-be was not asked a similar question.
Lying is not necessarily indicative of cowardice. People lie for all kinds of reasons, including good reasons. And women will lie even if it isn’t a life and death situation, just like a man will.
Of course, women can be cowards. Anyone can be cowardly. Women can be courageous too. Plenty of women have died for causes they believed in. Plenty of women would put themselves in danger for their families.
No, it’s true most women don’t go around picking physical fights. Most women aren’t raised in a culture that encourages that in women. And the men who do recklessly put themselves in danger are, for the most part, shitheads. If there are women who do likewise, they are shitheads too.
Not in this one. I’ve had to fight, physically and mentally, most of my life. I protected my younger brother (for various reasons) when we were young. And I protected him at the end of his life.
I was in my early 30s the last time my stepfather came at me, swinging. If I didn’t know how to fight I probably wouldn’t be here.
If I say I never lie, I’d be lying. But I try really hard not to. I’ve been known to contact someone after talking with them because I embellished something I said. This, this, and this was completely true. But I “put a little English on it here” because it just made the story better, I let them know. Usually there’s a moment of silence followed by a little laugh. Anybody who knows me knows I can’t get to sleep that night if I don’t clear things up. Maybe that’s why I like to write; I can create my own worlds where things are the way I really want them to be.
Nope. I’m like the little old lady who’s caught carrying a gun in her purse and is asked, “What are you afraid of?”
Not a damn thing.
Of course women can be cowards. I often am myself. It generally takes the form of risk avoidance, and the willingness to stick with not even close to ideal situations because it’s easier and safer than risking reaching for the alternative that might work out even worse…the possible failure is a more compelling disincentive than possible success is an incentive for change.
It’s that sort of cowardice that kept me at my current job until this year when we’ve gotten so few hours I literally could no longer pay my bills by staying. Eventually I gathered up all my braveness, tried hard to squelch the voice in my head that said that there’d probably be more contracts at work next year, and got very serious about looking for a new job, which I did find.
To find female cowards, look to those who stay in bad jobs and bad relationships, especially those women people shake their heads over because “she could do better.”
Both men and women can be cowards. Both can also be very brave. There are many stories of truly heroic women – like the one who recently pulled a man from a burning vehicle while everyone else just drove by.
As with many things, I do think men tend to go to the extremes more frequently. So there might be more incredibly brave men, but also more incredibly cowardly men, while women would cluster a little bit more toward the middle.
It sounds like your examples (use of different terms; priest’s questions) have a lot more to do with perception than reality. The perception of women as the weaker sex, needing protection, certainly has contributed to the idea that women are less physically brave, but that doesn’t make it valid.
“You’re not going to tell on me. It’s Guy Code. Guys don’t tell on each other. That’s something that chicks do. You’re not a chick, are you?”
Show a man a positive pregnency test and see how brave he is.
mac_bolan00 - Your question is so broad and vague as to be unanswerable. But it sounds like you are asking about the general perceptions and expectations of male and female behavior with respect to traditional notions of “bravery” and “cowardice”.
Traditionally, being larger and stronger, men have had the expectation of being the “protector” and “provider”. Women, OTOH, were expected to play a supporting role. Lacking real power or authority, women were typically forced to be a bit more “tactical” in order to assert their interests.
I find it interesting that you leave an exception for lying when conducting business. As a general rule, people don’t like to do business with people they find untrustworthy.
Also, a lot of people use the term “cowardice” when someone refuses to engage with them in a confrontation in the same manner where the initiating party believes they have the advantage. Why would I agree to fight some guy twice my size in a stand-up toe-to-toe straight up fight when I can kick him in the nuts and crack a bar stool over his head? I’m fine being the “coward” enjoying a Jamba Juice while some idiot who started the fight is in the hospital (ironically also drinking through a straw).
Me too (well, I don’t always kill them, but I dispose of them in some way). His fear of spiders approaches a phobia; I’ve never for a second felt any fear of or disgust towards spiders, can’t even understand it. So I don’t think it counts as bravery in my case.
I’m less squeamish in every way than most men I know, actually. But that’s just natural. It’s not like I have to strive to overcome fears. Gushing blood, dying animals, shit and vomit etc just doesn’t elicit much of a reaction from me.