Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus*

Genrich L. Krasko


“What are little boys made of, made of?

What are little boys made of?

“Snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails;

And that’s what little boys are made of, made of.


“What are little girls made of, made of?

What are little girls made of?

“Sugar, and spice and everything nice;

And that’s what little girls are made of, made of”

Mother Goose Rhymes


Increasingly more people—even those who have never studied genetics—are becoming aware of the important role heredity plays in our lives. The media is in the forefront of disseminating all kinds of information having to do with all kinds of predispositions. These efforts to bring new information result in stressing the idea of diversity. “People are so much unlike each other. And what can we do about it? People are different by nature.” We also learn that human qualities are predisposed, if not through genetics, then through evolution.

The so-called social Darwinism is flourishing. Conferences are held, and dozens of university professors are doing research trying to prove that some of the conspicuous features of our social behavior are the result of natural social selection. As such, they are positive, for they improve the chances of society’s survival. We learn that love and romance are directed by rules originating from the Stone Age, which since have been enforced by natural selection. Even an addiction to adultery is the result of the evolutionary process. “Lifelong monogamous devotion just isn’t natural, and the modern environment makes it harder than ever.”[1] No question that the “inherent” difference between men and women is also the object of scrupulous attention in our society.

And now, here is an important new revelation: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.[2]  This is not the very first book (to say nothing of the numerous articles in popular magazines) devoted to explaining problems in relationships between men and women by focusing on and stressing their inherent differences.


    After the first book: Man Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus (1992) and its tremendous success, the avalanche of Dr. Gray’s cosmological theories followed. Here is the impressive chronology:

•  Mars and Venus Together Forever: Relationship Skills for Lasting Love (1996). An extended 1998 edition had a new subtitle: A Practical Guide to Create Lasting Intimacy.

•  Mars and Venus in Love: Inspiring and Heartfelt Stories of Relationships That Work (1996)

•  Mars and Venus in Bedroom: A Guide to Lasting Romance and Passion (1997)


•  Mars and Venus on a Date: A Guide to Navigating the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving and Lasting Relationship (1998)

•  Mars and Venus Starting Over: Finding Love Again after a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or a Loss of a Loved One (1999)

•  Practical Miracles for Mars and Venus: Nine Principles for Lasting Love, Increasing Success, and Vibrant Health in 2001 Century (2000)

•  Mars and Venus in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Improving Communications and Getting Results at Work (2001)

•  Mars Venus Cards (Small Card Decks) (2001)

•  Mars and Venus Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or the Loss of a Loved One (2002)

• Mars and Venus in Touch

•  Truly Mars and Venus: The Illustrated Essential Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (2003)

•  Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress (2008)

•  And a new book published in 2010: Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Hormonal Balance - The Key to Life, Love and Energy

    As one can see, Dr. Gray also believes (based on his “astronomy” model) that stable relationships can be achieved by appropriate training and developing the adequate love skills (see[3])


Of course, the book’s objective is to help people somehow overcome difference in their everyday relationships. The subtitle of the book reads: A Practical Guide for Improving Communications and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships. A couple of more quotes on the dust jacket (presumably from the book reviews) suggest that the book is “a superb guide for understanding male-female relationships,” and “a valuable, much-needed book. A contribution to the understanding of the communication styles of men and women.”  Moreover, the book “replaces worn-out theories with fresh awareness appropriate of our time.”  In the above quote, I would like to emphasize the words our time, for what Dr. Gray believes is the fundamental and inherent difference between men and women is but the ugly reality of our time and our current existential crisis.

In the introduction (p. 5) Dr. Gray explains the main idea of the book: “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is a manual for loving relationships in the 1990s. It reveals how men and women differ in all areas of their lives. Not only do men and women communicate differently but they think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently. They almost seem to be from different planets, speaking different languages and needing different nourishments.”  Dr. Gray recognizes (p. 5) that the question why “is a complex question to which there are many answers, ranging from biological differences, parental influence, education and birth order to cultural conditioning by society, the media, and history.”  However, he takes for granted that if what he believes should be changed in male-female relationships, the situation will be sort of normal. There will be nothing ugly, nothing unhealthy, and nothing crying for change—if men and women behave according to the profound differences he has discovered.

Hundreds of people attended Dr. Gray’s seminars where “they were amazed to learn that their differences were not only normal but were to be expected” (p. 3). Dr. Gray refers to many letters of gratitude from couples whose love and relations had been restored and salvaged after attending the seminar. It well may be true. But if the book’s picture of the man-woman relationship is true, and the recipes suggested by the author do work, then Dr. Gray’s book is a guilty verdict against our present society, and, first of all, our educational system.

What I am going to discuss is an inherent part of our crisis. In my view, it is a direct consequence of the extremely low educational and intellectual standards of our society today that has exacerbated the grave societal illness—the loss of meaning in the lives of millions of people, a significant segment of the population. The meaninglessness of life finds its direct manifestation in gender relations and stereotypes.

I am going to use Dr. Gray’s book for textbook examples of gender relations today. I strongly recommend that you, my reader, read the book, and decide for yourself whether what I am going to say is right or wrong.

The book is easy to read, because, as in a magazine or newspaper article, the most important thoughts are singled out and printed as bullets.

Let us look first at the most important men’s qualities:


      “A man’s sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results” (p. 16).

      “To offer a man unsolicited advice is to presume that he does not know

      what to do or that he can’t do on his own” (p. 17).

      “...when a woman offers advice he does not feel she trusts his ability

      to do it himself” (p. 19).

      “Men also become particularly frustrated when a woman talks about problems

      that he can do nothing about” (p. 38).

      “Not to be needed is a slow death for a man” (p. 46).

      “A man’s deepest fear is that he is not good enough or that he is incompetent” (p. 56).

      “It is difficult for a man to listen to a woman when she is unhappy or disappointed because he feels like a failure” (p. 58).


What about women? They are completely different animals:


      “A woman’s sense of self is defined through her feelings and the quality of her relations” (p. 18).

      To women, “to share their personal feelings is much more important than

      achieving goals and success” (p. 18).

      “To forget her own painful feelings a woman may become emotionally

      involved in the problems of others” (p. 37).

      “The biggest challenge for women is correctly to interpret and support a man

      when he isn’t talking” (p. 67).


In short, men are the Doers, the Achievers, and the Problem Solvers—and, God forbid, don’t even question their abilities. Women simply cannot comprehend these simple facts, and want to talk, to discuss, to give advice, and to help men (obviously, because they think that men need help).

Well, of course, the men are also wrong. They do not understand that when women talk, they do not mean to discuss problems (therefore do not need men’s solutions). They just need loving attention. They want to be needed, to be loved. If both parties understand that they are from completely different planets, the peace is (and relationships are) restored, communication lines are established, and everyone can simply live “happily forever after.”

Some of you may remember a remarkable book that was published in the late ‘60s. It had been a bestseller then. You can still find it in bookstores today, and students still study it in psychology classes. The book’s title is I’m OK, You’re OK, by Dr. Thomas Harris.[4] At that time, back in Moscow, our friends, my wife Zeya and I were fascinated with this book, and spent many hours discussing it.

The book is an attempt to understand one’s ways of transaction—the structure of one’s communication. The main idea of the book is as follows: Every human being’s personality has three distinct components (Dr. Harris calls them states). They may be called Parent, Child and Adult. The first two are inherited from the early years (0 to 5), when a child is defenseless—depending for most his or her needs on parents. The Parent component containing categorical imperatives like “You should long be in bed by now,” “Listen to what I am saying,” “Be quiet, daddy is watching TV,” for example, are inherited. The Child component reflects defenselessness, lack of self-esteem, fear of doing something wrong, self-pity. The Adult component, on the contrary, is developed during the process of maturing. It includes the ability of sober analysis, detailed discussion of problems, objective reflection of one’s own and other individual’s behavior, and responsibilities.

I remember what struck us most of all in this concept was that communications between people are possible only if the partners are in the same state—on the same wavelength—so to speak. Thus Child-Child, Parent-Parent and Adult-Adult communications are possible and may be successful, while Child-Adult or any other crossover combinations are simply doomed to failure.

A few funny examples: Man (Parent): “Where are my socks? How many times must I tell you that their place is in this drawer?” 

Wife (Adult): “I just finished my laundry, and your socks are in the dryer.” 

Or: Wife (Child): “You don’t love me. I am so tired, and you don’t even talk to me.”

Husband (Child):”You always accuse me (switching to Parent). What on earth do you think I am doing now?” 

Here is the best example of an Adult communication: Husband returns home from a business trip. Wife is not at home, the house is in disarray, and dust is everywhere. He writes with a finger on the dusty polished surface of the dining table (Adult) “I love you.”  It is easy to see the possible reactions of the Child (“I work like a dog, and you don’t even care...”) or the Parent (“How many times must I tell you...”) level.

When one reads Dr. Gray’s book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, one cannot help but notice in astonishment that almost all the attributes of men’s behavior are those of Dr Harris’ Child mode. Women are closer to Adult by their attributes as Venusians. Although being the Child in his self-esteem, Dr. Gray’s man changes his hat, and in his dialogues with woman typically responds as the Parent. The latter just confirms his insecurity and tendency to enhance his macho image. And there is no Adult-Adult interaction whatsoever between Dr. Gray’s men and women.

Let me give you a few more examples, which I hope will convince you that Gray’s man is the Child, while, at least in the book’s examples, a woman often behaves as the Adult. However, in her transactions with men, under the strong man’s Parent pressure, she often also resorts to the Child.

An important place in Dr. Gray’s theory belongs to the concept of Cave. The Cave is where men hide when they need to solve their problems. While in the Cave, the man is impossible to reach, and a dragon guards the entrance to the cave:


      “To feel better Martians go to their cave to solve problems alone” (p. 31).

      “Never go into man’s cave, or you will be burned by the dragon” (p. 71). (Lack of self-confidence; fear to endanger his macho image.)

          “To feel better Venusians get together and openly talk about their problems”(p. 31). (Discussion is a typical feature of the Adult mode.)

          “It is difficult for a man to differentiate between empathy and sympathy. He hates to be pitied” (p. 82). (An obvious emotional underdevelopment of the Child.)

"         “When a man loves a woman, periodically he needs to pull away before he can get closer” (p. 92), (But that is exactly what little children do when they play with each other.)"

         “To a certain extent a man loses himself through connecting with his partner” (p. 97). (For a mature person, connecting with someone dear always enriches life.)


Dr. Gray gives many examples of husband-wife conversations. Here is one of them:

“When Tom comes home, he wants to relax and unwind by quietly reading the news. He is stressed by the unsolved problems of his day and finds relief through forgetting them. His wife, Mary, also wants to relax from her stressful day. She, however, wants to find relief by talking about the problems of the day. The tension slowly building between them gradually becomes resentment. Tom secretly thinks Mary talks too much, while Mary feels ignored. Without understanding their differences they will grow further apart” (pp. 29-30).      

In this example, Mary demonstrates a typical Adult approach. She wants to discuss the problems of the day. With Tom the situation is different. According to what we already know about men, a stressful day, or unsolved problems mean a wounded ego. He cannot discuss anything with his wife, because any discussion would reveal his inability—his frustration as a man. He is a typical Child. And their crossroads communication is impossible.

What is the solution according to Dr. Gray? First of all, Mary should understand that Tom is in the Cave, and leave him alone. What about Tom? When Mary attempts to discuss with him the problems of her day, according to Dr. Gray, she does not, in fact, mean to find any solutions, she just wants his loving attention (“she wants empathy, but he thinks she wants solutions,” p. 15).

Honestly, if I were a woman, I would get mad at the suggestion that when I am trying to discuss something, I do not really want a discussion. Instead, I just want to attract the precious attention of an SOB watching a football game. The recipes of successful interaction that Dr. Gray suggests are insulting to a woman who really wants to discuss something. And the following advice is simply disgusting: “When a man is in a negative state...treat him like a passing tornado and lie low” (p.203).

When your wife begins complaining about the problems at her work, instead of immediate cold advice: “Why don’t you quit your job?” (one of the negative scenarios to be abandoned, according to Dr. Gray), you should let her talk. Make a sympathizing face and produce—every half a minute or so, while your wife is talking—the syllables like “Yeah?” “Oh.” “Really?” “No kidding!” for example (p. 23). In fact, Dr. Gray implies that it is not necessary to actually listen to what your wife is talking about. If you understand the Venusians right, she also does not mean to tell you anything meaningful at all! Talking is just a way the Venusians relax. “...just listening with empathy to Mary express her feelings would bring her tremendous relief and fulfillment” (p. 23). What is important is just to show her that you are listening. Then you will be rewarded. “I love talking with you. You make me really happy. Thanks for listening. I feel much better” (p. 23).

Perform this kind of fraud every day, and your relationship/marriage will be salvaged. Of course, in return, your wife must stop giving you advice on what route to take when you drive to a party, and stop making any remarks regarding your appearance, your shirts or your ties.

What is interesting, in all Dr. Gray’s examples—both negative and positive—when a wife begins her attempts to start Adult-type communication, as in discussing her day or her problems, her husband never prompts her for details, never really wants to talk with her, listen to her, to ask questions, to discuss. Why? Simply because Dr. Gray’s man does not respect the personality in his partner, and he is scared to death of unwillingly showing his incompetence, in no matter what aspect of human relations. He is simply immature—both emotionally and intellectually.

At this point, I should apologize for the ironic approach I have been taking. But, I am afraid, and perhaps many women will agree with me, that an alternative would be anger.

While reading the book I tried to be as objective as possible. It was difficult, since both Dr. Gray’s men and women were so far from people I know, my friends (both American and those back in Russia), as if we, in fact, were from different planets. A reader who accuses me of being pro-women, can see that, in most of the examples of Gray’s book, the woman is sort of second class, not very important to a man as a human being. She is often kind of a nuisance (although of course, man, as every child, needs to be needed—to be loved). Obviously, she plays no significant role in his emotional life, and in his personality as a whole.

If this is true—and the critics in a loud chorus insist that Dr. Gray’s book is only a bit short of expressing the century’s greatest truth and revelation—then this may well be an explanation of the enormous percentage of divorces in our society today. How can two people live together as one, if they mean almost nothing to each other? I must apologize for believing that mostly men initiate divorces. Are men simply not mature enough to be husbands and fathers? This is what Dr. Harris, in I’m OK, You’re OK, says about that: “...the average marriage contract is made by the Child, which understands love as something you feel and not something you do, and which sees happiness as something you pursue rather than a by-product of working toward the happiness of someone other than yourself” (p.155).

In today’s America over 60 percent of adult women work. Over 50 percent of university students are young women. It means that the number of women with university diplomas is roughly equal to that of men (actually, by 2008, women with bachelor’s and graduate school degrees will significantly outnumber men). Yes, many of women have to sacrifice their career for their families. In addition, if one is to believe Dr. Gray, on top of all their loads of work, family responsibilities, discrimination at the work place, when they return home they must think of how to woo their Child husbands. Should they somehow bribe the dragons? Or is it better just to resign themselves and do their best to preserve the family?  But is it worth salvaging a marriage that is not based on mutual respect?


      Wooing and bribing—that is exactly what Dr. Gray recommends to women as 25 Ways to Superglue Your Marriage in the June, 1997 issue of McCALL’s magazine. (I came across that shabby issue while sitting in my dentist’s reception room.) I wonder how many women have chosen to follow those recommendations.


Attendees of Dr. Gray’s seminars may be quite honest when they write that understanding the man-woman differences saved their marriages. What is sad is that millions of American couples, even those believing that their marriages are happy (i.e., following Dr. Gray’s advice, if they believe in the Martian-Venusian theory) are deprived of true happiness, and perhaps have never even known true love.

Here I would like again to mention a book, first published over 50 years ago, but seeming to have been written about our problems of today. This is Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving. Our current problems are easily projected on what Erich Fromm was discussing then, and his concepts are fully applicable to our times. The book’s prophetic power is so strong that I cannot help thinking that after that book, and those by Viktor Frankl, nothing more should have been written about our decades' long crisis. One should just read them over and over again—these “worn-out theories” —to find answers to the burning questions of our time. But alas, it is human nature—awareness of wisdom is short-lived, and one needs to be reminded again and again about insights that people have always known.

This is what Erich Fromm writes in the forward to his book (p. vii): is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him....all his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality.

 And further on:

We refer to love as the mature answer to the problem of existence, as opposed to those immature forms of love which may be called symbiotic union.

Dr. Gray believes that love can be preserved if one follows easy recipes based on the knowledge of inherent man-woman differences. One may be sort of trained how to love. This is definitely wrong, for much more is at stake: “The affirmation of one’s life, happiness, growth, freedom is rooted in one’s capacity to love, i.e., in care, respect, responsibility and knowledge” (p. 50; italics are Fromm’s).

Thus, once again, the main problem is the lack of maturity—adultness in man-woman relations. Listen again to Erich Fromm:

Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence (p. 86).

Love... is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence...There is only one proof for the presence of love: the depth of the relationship, and the aliveness and strength in each person concerned (p.87).

However, is it possible that Fromm’s concept of love is something absolutely unattainable in our time for ordinary people—for the millions to whom, in reality, Dr. Gray’s book is addressed? Has love in our society really disintegrated? (as Erich Fromm claims in the chapter of his book entitled Love and Its Disintegration in the Contemporary Western Society). It is true, in a sense, and that is where the most serious problem of our society lies.

And yet, just forget for a moment about Dr. Gray’s cosmic theory. Just imagine that Tom and Mary are both mature persons. Tom respects Mary as an equal, as a dear and trusted friend. They read books and discuss them. They read a lot to their children. On weekends they (perhaps they have two children) all together go to museums or bicycle or go hiking.

Tom is a computer programmer (but he might well be a university professor, an engineer, a businessman, a carpenter, or a salesman). Mary is a nurse (or she might be a university professor, a department store manager, a medical doctor, a policewoman, a school teacher, or a homemaker working at caring for her children).

If Mary comes home from her work early, she makes dinner, while Tom picks up their children from (perhaps) a kindergarten. Sometimes it is Tom who cooks and serves dinner, while Mary is busy with something else. For Tom, it would be absolutely impossible to grab a newspaper or switch on a TV, while Mary is making dinner or is arguing with the kids.

At dinner, they discuss their day. Children, of course, are first. They tell everything that happened in their kindergarten groups—what books Miss Ann read, and how Betty fell and broke her nose, and what they learned about the dinosaurs.

As parents, Tom and Mary know that in most cases TV is meaningless to their children and even harmful for them. Public television programs are an exception. Although Mary and Tom do not completely agree with the PBS’s educational philosophy of learning through entertainment, they actually have no choice.

As for Tom and Mary, while one of them is reading to the children or doing something together with them, the other sometimes watches the News Hour with Jim Lehrer— the source of most of the news for them. Unfortunately, they have no time for daily newspapers.

When the children are in bed, Tom and Mary finally have a little time for themselves. They discuss their day. Mary tells in detail what she was doing during the day. Tom knows the names of her colleagues. She tells him of a difficult patient and what she did when her doctor was suddenly called to an emergency room. He tells her about the program he is currently working on. He spent a few hours today trying to fish out a very stubborn bug.

The day is almost over. They may have just 20-30 minutes left for reading in bed. Tonight he reads a recent issue of the Atlantic Monthly (or The Commentary), while she is absorbed in an article in the Archeology Review. Then a hug, a kiss, and the day is over.

Is this a fantasy? In fact, I do know quite a few families like that. My own family is like that. It is normal. It is as it should be.


      I would like to refer the reader to the book by Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers.[5] As the authors write in the very first chapter, they themselves belong to families very much like that of my Mary and Tom. Their book, based on long and serious sociologic research involving interviewing hundreds of married couples, is a proof of what I am talking about. Mature people—respecting each other, sharing their duties and responsibilities in both the household chores and the upbringing of their children—create a happy, loving family.


True, there may be conflicts and misunderstandings. But what is important, my Tom and Mary deeply respect each other. Both are people of high self-esteem and dignity. Both Mary and Tom get angry when she is addressed as Mrs. Tom Smith. Tom is proud that Mary is in charge of the family’s finances. He will be happy if tomorrow she is promoted and her salary becomes higher that his. (It is already much higher if Mary is a MD, and Tom is a programmer.) In such a situation, Dr. Gray’s Tom may develop a heart attack (at least, according to the statistics, the chances of this sad event’s happening for him would triple).

What is it that distinguishes Dr. Gray’s Tom and Mary from mine? My couple lives a full, although quite difficult life. Each one of their days, each one of their minutes is filled with meaning. They live in a wide world. They belong with it. Reading for them is not just entertainment, but a part, a mode of life. It enhances their feeling of reality, their feeling of belonging. Their life is full of good music, though they cannot afford to go to concerts of Itzhak Perlman or Evgenii Kissin every time these give concerts in their city.


    Unfortunately, not many of those who love and need classical music can afford live concerts today, especially if a star is on stage. For the money, most people (especially college students) are ready to pay for a seat the grand piano is far below and as small as on a TV screen. The quality of sound—and one came to listen to music—is far from what one would like to hear. CDs are more affordable, although the stars’ CDs are also too expensive for ordinary people to buy without hesitating and procrastinating for a long time. And for those who love classical music, listening to it is not entertainment, but an important and necessary component of their spiritual lives.


The key to a life full of meaning and purpose is in maturity. But one does not have to be a PhD or even have a college education in order to live a meaningful life—to feel and appreciate the eternal wisdom of Shakespeare, the beauty of Frederick Chopin, or the quiet elegance of Renoir. Twelve years of public school could offer all that. I hope—I believe—the day when this will come true is near. If not, our civilization is doomed.

Returning to our astronomy lesson: Once again, I did not intend to make this essay a book review. But, in discussing the crisis that our society is facing today, I could not pass up this important issue. Yes, men and women are different. They are different both physiologically and psychologically. Perhaps, to be a policeman or a fighter pilot is easier for a man than for a woman, but a woman would probably be a better gynecologist or a kindergarten teacher than a man.

What is important—and this is the gist of my book—one’s life must have meaning. Every individual must be able to fully develop his or her personality, to realize one’s dreams and aspirations, to achieve goals, to find the task of one’s life, and even turn it into the mission. In this respect the American Dream—the dream of affluence and wealth—is not sufficient anymore to bring happiness. Often, having achieved affluence, an individual finds oneself in an existential desert with nothing to do (but, perhaps, make more money), nobody to love, and nothing to hope for.

Another dream that also originates from the very first days of existence of this great country should become an active American Dream today. The endless quest for self-development and creativity, the dream of making the world better, of leaving a trace—though modest and humble—that will make the world better than it would have been without one’s having lived—is the true way to happiness. This dream and aspiration can have a profound and everlasting meaning in one’s life.

With the meaning, comes the whole direction of life. Every day is full. Every day is difficult. You need a friend, a supporter, a spouse. You respect him or her, for you have the same time vector. You develop together, and you are together in happiness and in grief.

Let me repeat: the main problem of Dr. Gray’s men is not that they do not understand women as Venusians, creatures from a different planet, but that they simply do not respect them as individuals and, alas, sometimes even as human beings (hence the cruel abuse, and even murder, of thousands upon thousands of women in America by their “loved ones”).

The main problem of Dr. Gray’s women is that when they need a man’s friendly help, they instead run into a dragon at the cave entrance. Their only chance to attract a man’s attention is to play the Child with him, only to have the Parent in response.

Many more women go to work today not only because families need extra income, but also because they have a profession they love, or they want to develop their personality, widen the horizons of their life, and make it more meaningful. Unfortunately, in our society today, all this for a woman is more difficult than for a man. Some of the features of our man-dominated society are so ugly, that when you think about them, you simply cannot comprehend how they could have happened.

Only one, but to me, one of the most disgraceful examples: The United States is the only democratic country where a woman does not have maternity leave guaranteed by law. In most European countries, a woman has at least a few weeks of paid maternity leave, and she may extend her leave as unpaid for a longer period of time.

Now, when a woman carries her baby there is a man, who will soon call himself this baby’s father. He says he loves his wife. But if he does how is it possible that he allows her to drive to her work place and work for eight hours till almost the very moment of birth? And we are the richest nation in the world! Do we know the numbers?  Do we know how many miscarriages or birth complications occur because a woman has to work during the last week of her pregnancy? Two weeks? A month? Two months? Has anybody cared to investigate this important issue?


In Denmark, for example, a woman is entitled to take four weeks off prior to giving birth and 24 weeks afterward. The amount of pay received during the leave varies—some places pay full salary during the whole leave; others, a part of it. However a woman is entitled to a minimum of approximately $450 a week from the government if her workplace does not have an “acceptable” plan. However, most workplaces do have reasonably good maternity leave policies. Additionally, a new father is entitled to two weeks off with the baby, which is then deducted from the mother’s leave. Quite a few men actually do take the leave. In less socialistic Germany, women are entitled to two months of paid maternity leave prior to giving birth and two months after. Then, up to the seventh month they receive from the government approximately $400 a month. The government continues paying up to this amount (depending on the total family income) till the baby is three years old. Of course both the Danes and the Germans pay high taxes. But this is just a case when you get a lot for your money. By the way, they also have free college education.


Why do men not insist, when they elect their congressmen and senators, that a maternity leave law be a condition when voting for the future legislator? Even if they, the men who care for their pregnant working wives, comprise only, say 20 to 30 percent of married men, that would still be millions of them—a strong political force. Yet it is not a political issue. Both those who vote for Republicans as well as Democrats have wives who expect children. Do they not understand that it is simply inhumane and irresponsible in the 21st century to endanger the lives of their as yet unborn children by forcing their wives—their loved ones—to work till the very last day?  My brain refuses to comprehend that.

Women are becoming stronger. A social Darwinist could say that women, as a subspecies, have survived in male-dominated societies only because they have developed superior qualities that have enabled them to mature against all odds. The role of women in our society in the 21st century will increase manifold, no matter what the proponents of “the traditional values” would say.


    I have a very troubling thought. What if the addiction of our society to guns is, to a significant degree, simply the consequence of the immaturity of good many American men? A child plays with a toy gun—it gives him the illusion of being powerful and strong. I do not want to argue here with the proponents of unrestricted right to own guns, referencing the Second Amendment to our Constitution. There are quite a number of authoritative opinions of legal experts that the Second Amendment is irrelevant to this problem. Again I challenge the social scientists. Is there any correlation between one’s educational level and one’s stand on the gun control issue? What percentages of those who do not care to vote are addicted to fire arms? By the way, women mostly support gun control. I wonder why. Is it because they are more mature than men?


Again, what we see as an ugly gender polarization is the result of the same tragic twist of our life. The American educational system does, albeit unwillingly, whatever it can to prevent millions of people from acquiring maturity. As a response to the popular demand, the media, and the whole mass culture, like an avalanche, buries the last hope for achieving adulthood. And yet maturity is the necessary condition for a happy, meaningful, and fulfilling life. As in the case of racial discrimination, no training can break the Martian-Venusian relations among men and women. The only remedy is education. The Child matures and becomes Adult only through education. That is why today’s America needs a new, thoughtful, and well-developed educational system.


*  Genrich L. Krasko, 2010

[1] Robert Wright, The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life (1994).

[2] John Gray, PhD, Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus. Harper Collins Publishers, 1992

[4] Thomas A. Harris, I'm OK, You're OK: A Practical Guide to Transactional Analysis. Harper &Row, New York and Evanston, 1969.

[5] Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers, She Works, He Works: How Two-Income Families Are Happier, Healthier and Better-Off, 1996.




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