【洋書多読】Why men don't listen & Women can't read maps by Allan & Barbara Pease

Why men don't listen & Women can't read maps by Allan & Barbara Pease

 

295 pages

 

日本語版でも『話を聞かない男、地図が読めない女』などのタイトルでお馴染みの本です。

 

私が図書館で見つけたこの本はなかなかの厚さですが、字が大き目で快適に読み進めることができました。

 

単語はときどき英検1級レベル~のものがチラホラ出てきますが、比較的読みやすい文体となっています。

 

※読書中に見慣れない・忘れている単語を見つけたときはすかさず"What does ~ mean?" とSiriに訊いて確認します。もちろん英語にセッティングしてあるので"Could you read it for me, please?"と丁寧にお願いして読んでもらいます。かなり速く(ときどき不自然な感じに?)読み上げてくれますが、これを聴き取るのもよいリスニングの練習になります。

 

それより何より、男性と女性は根本的に(biologically wired) 違った思考をする生き物なのだということをあらためて認識しました。

 

考え方・行動は人によっても微妙に変わってくるものだろうから、とりあえず性別で括ってしまうのは少々乱暴な気がしますし、本の中で提示される科学的根拠に対して懐疑的なレビューもあるようですが、私自身はこの本を読むことで今まで理解不能だった(特に)男性の行動パターンにはこんな理由があったのかと腑に落ちました。

 

そして男女の性質は生まれてからの環境によるところよりも、お腹の中にいるときにすでに決まっている (biologically wired) らしいことからも、男女の性別の間で揺れ動き悩める人々への理解を深めるに至りました。自分自身で選択したりコントロールしたりできずに生まれ持つものなのであれば(例えば肌の色や左利きのように)、それが原因で差別ということなど理にかなわないということがわかります。

 

もう一つの発見としては、この本の中にあるテストを行った結果、自分はものすごく『男脳』よりであるということ。

 

確かに電話の最中に騒音があると全く集中できないし、二つ以上のことを同時に行うのは苦手、忙しい一日の終わりにはおしゃべりでストレスを発散するというよりは何もせずじっと火を見ていたいタイプであるのは確かです(苦笑)。

 

そしてなぜに男性の多い職業が存在するのか?そもそもそういうものに対して女性は興味を持たない傾向にあるかららしい、とか、なぜに男性は縦列駐車 (parallel parking) が得意なのかとか。

 

※ちなみにこのparallel parkingは文字通り縦列駐車という意味もあるようですが、男性特有の性質を表す別の意味もあるようですね(苦笑)。

 

科学的根拠とか深いところを追及するというよりも、『あ~、これあるある』とかなんとかブツブツ言って笑いながら面白可笑しく読みました。

 

みなさんも一度英語で読んでみてくださいね♪

 

I guess many of you have heard about this book whose Japanese title saying " 話を聞かない男、地図が読めない女" -which is almost equivalent to its English one. The Japanese version first came out nearly two decades ago, and if my memory is correct, the book got much people's attention back then, probably by getting a lot of media coverage or something. I suppose that might be because the notion of the book seemed to be very new to people in those days. Some people (especially the bored?) love something new, - although the novelty always appears handsome, and it soon wears off-, right? Joking aside, it's been quite a while since the book was published, and I feel a little hesitant to admit this, but I'd never had the opportunity to read this book until I'd happened to find it at the nearby library just a few weeks ago. I was looking for some interesting English books to read, and the moment I found the title of this book, I couldn't resist the sudden temptation of borrowing it. That reminded me of someone who was talking about this book and even recommended I read it a long time ago. That person is one of those I could never forget. In other words, stumbling upon this book brought back some fresh memories of him. I thought "For the very first time in such a long time, why can I miss this great opportunity? I'm sure this is not just a coincidence. This might be meant to happen, and I'm sure I was destined." No exaggeration, but it was true that it made me feel so curious to know and discover what it was going to be about in English even before I read it in Japanese. And also, I kind of felt as if I could understand him more by reading it.

 

So, with that book in my hand, I felt pretty excited.

 

Though looking a bit bulky, the book itself turned out to be pretty easy to read. What makes it so, for me at least, who is in her 50s, is that it's written in relatively larger print than ordinary books. That was REALLY REALLY kind to me. Let me totally be honest with you now - in fact, nowadays, this makes me happier than ANYTHING ELSE in the whole world. No, I'm not exaggerating this time, either.

 

About the vocabulary, some difficult ones on the STEP Test or "Eiken" first grade level can been seen here and there sometimes, but it is not very frequent. So, don't worry. 85 to 90 percent of the book is written in very simple English, so I hope you don't find it too difficult.

 

As for such difficult vocabulary, in my case, every time I encounter such ones that don't familiar to me or I know I've learned, but somehow I forgot, I make it a rule to instantly depend on Siri for its meaning. It's very handy and quick. ONE of the GREATEST INVENTIONS of the 20th CENTURY! My phone's English setting always allows me to practice listening Siri speak natural, pretty fast, but sometimes rather somewhat artificial English. It's absolutely a great way to practice and improve your English listening skills.

 

In terms of the content of the book that I hoped to know, it was really intriguing, enlightening and, from time to time, very amusing to learn which made me laugh a lot. It seems to me that something about men that always confused me and want to give up understanding have vanished in a flash. Oh, I should've read it much earlier, especially before I got married. Then I would not have to be single by now.. No way? lol

 

This book taught me how different men and women might be, and the reason for it sounded very persuasive to me. We are different species because our brains are biologically wired differently even before we were born (That's also the reason why some occupations are popular among men and vice versa although this situation has been recently changing due to so-called "equality between men and women" which might violate natural law, according to this book?) This is exactly what is meant to be, and we can never control it ourselves (we might be able to, however, if we try to be as conscious as possible to change?). Some irregularities happen when something very very stressful happens to the mother in a very early stage of her pregnancy. In often cases, it confuses the baby's gender. The most tragic thing for people concerned is that they all don't know what's happening to the baby, and won't know, either, until it finally emerges in later life. It could be around earlier like when the child starts elementary school, but for a lot of people (maybe much more than you could imagine), their sufferings continue throughout adult life. It must be very hard for such people who happened to be born that way (no offense, but...) If that's something that you can't control or you are born with (e.g. your skin color, your left-handedness, etc.) , what's the point of discriminating against such people? Their plight and agony must be too much to bear. Some people go as far as rejecting their own identity and have to choose death as a consequence. I'm afraid that this is a very sad and dire situation. This is one of the things that this book taught me about which made me think a lot.

 

Another thing that was eye-opening to me was that large percentages of me might be consisted of by "male brain patterns," even though I've believed that I am female in my whole life until now. That was really astounding to me. There was this "Brain-Wiring Test" which comes with 30 questions, each of which has 3 choices. Aside from the nature of this test, I really wanted to take this kind of test. I'd always wanted to take multiple-choice questions done in English. All you read (or hear) is English, of course, and the smoother you can understand them, then the more you can realize that you're understanding your target language. It's very rewarding for you, because even if you have no trouble doing it in your mother tongue, doing the same thing in your foreign language is another story. The easier you find such questions to answer, the closer you feel your target language is to you, and the more encouraging your learning can be. That's why I got so thrilled about taking that test. The result, however, did astonish me, but at the same time, deep down inside, strangely enough, it did ring a bell to me, too. Obvious examples are; I can't do more than two things at the same time because doing it totally distracts me from concentrating on anything. Especially when I have to talk on the phone, the more serious the conversation is, the quieter I really want my environment be. Another thing which is noticeable to my tendency, in terms of masculinity of my brain, is that after a very hard day, I don't think talking a lot can make me feel easier (like many women do). I'd rather feel relaxed by doing NOTHING. I'd rather isolate myself and immerse myself in my own world by "fire-gazing." When I was extremely busy all day, after a day's work, I would be feeling physically exhausted with my mind empty. If I had not only a busy day, but also a BAD day, it could be even more remarkable that I would be even emptier-minded, and I need to do some "fire-gazing" (equally meaning doing nothing) to fill the energy void and comfort myself. (If I had a very busy, but FULFILLING day, it probably makes me content. Even so, I still don't know whether it makes me a chatterbox, or a "fire-gazer" after all, though...)

 

There are tons of other examples that I find very informative although some people doubt that there were enough scientific evidences shown in this book to support theories. Still, for me, who is not good at such complicated matters, it was interesting enough to read, and I was actually enjoying myself. So, it's highly recommended. I'm sure that reading this book will throw light on some ideas about your partner (or whoever, maybe even yourself!) that you have always found it incomprehensible.