In the 90’s bestseller, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”, Dr. John Gray creates stereotypes to help explain the communication gaps in human relationships. However, in his focus on the emotional he used the sex implicit in the ancient labels given to planets; he missed the physical and actual. He should have titled his book: Men Are from Venus, Women Are from Mars, because that is clearly visible.
First we need to understand the reality of Mars and Venus. Mars is cold, bitterly cold. The average temperature is −63°C (−82°F). Venus, on the other hand, is hot, terribly hot. The average surface temperature is 462 °C (864°F). So a Martian would find Earth not just a balmy place, but unbearably hot. To avoid melting, they would find coolest spots and then wear the minimum clothing and remove all insulation such as hair and fat. A Venusian would find Earth freezing and would do anything to stay warm, wear layers of clothing and put on as much fat as possible.
Let’s look at the reality of men and women on Earth. A picture from an Oscar awards ceremony shows show which sex feels that the earth’s climate is too cold and which feels it’s too hot.
Similary, the Emmy award winners show how men wear layers of clothing and women bare as much skin as possible.
A picture of the Emmy winner walking up to the stage shows the entire audience in line with the same pattern of men feeling cold — wearing layers of clothing to stay warm, including a tight choking collar to prevent heat loss and stop cold air from coming onto their bodies. Feeling hot, women are clearly shedding insulation to stay cool, avoiding collared clothing and letting air enter into their dresses and cool their skin.
On the streets one finds the same behavior. On the streets of Oakland, for example, during the Oakland Art Murmur where thousands and thousands of men and women crowd the streets, it is appalling obvious that the men are freezing and wearing hoodies while the women are skimping, baring as much skin as possible, revealing that they have removed all insulating body hair from everywhere except the top of their heads.
Globally this divergent behavior of the two sexes to the same climate is growing. On the Indian TV show Extraaa Innings, it is painfully clear that men hail from Venus, wearing as much insulation as possible including shoes and socks. Women occupying the same room at the same earthly temperature, are doing everything to avoid melting — their footwear just enough to avoid painful contact with hot ground.
It is so clear from observing presidential galas to high-school proms to malls, even aliens will conclude that Men are from Venus and Women from Mars.
John Gray’s book was criticized for creating stereotypes that were too extreme. This article may face the same criticism. However, the intent is not to create stereotypes, but to expose them. This particular stereotype is so entrenched and so opposite to natural human behavior that it cannot be explained. And its domination over the thinking of this species is so great, that even the most astute student ignores this disparity on the day they have a date or they have to climb on stage.
One can only wonder if this planetary assignment is actually true — there should be a creation myth where the first man was dropped in from Venus while the first woman was plucked from Mars. If it is not true, as most people would point out, the physical and mental stress of forever removing insulation or constantly putting it on must drive humans — in the same human-friendly temperature — completely batty.
It does look like men are preparing for global warming by getting used to heat, while women are preparing for an ice age, getting used to feeling cold. This stereotype may also shape our imagined space-age future. With all the interest in space travel and fantasies about settling down in the most inhospitable places, men are training to go to Venus, where they believe they will meet hot females and women are training to go to Mars, where they feel they will find the cool males they seek.
ps: if a stereotype can make us feel cold or hot, what else are the modern stereotypes making us do?