Login   Sign Up 


The Battle of The Sexes

by Zettel 

Posted: 28 June 2004
Word Count: 656
Summary: Tongue in cheek! Hopefully a bit of fun.

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

I admire the key journalistic writing values: directness, succinctness, simplification without distortion, readability and impact. I have used journalistic genres therefore to try to improve these aspects of my general writing which often lack them. I have tried 3 forms: film reviews, letters to the editor, and a couple of articles. This is the second of the articles. Thanks to group members for kind comments on the first article (Generation Gap). Most feature writers I return to in the press have a particular 'voice' sometimes serious, often tongue in cheek. This one is definitely tongue in cheek!

The Battle of the Sexes

Whatever happened to the battle of the sexes? No one talks about it any more. Did we win? Fat chance. The expression the ‘battle of the sexes’ like an old soldier, didn’t die it just sort of faded away.

That women often fall for bastards but usually marry the nice guys is a perfect demonstration of the triumph of pragmatic emotional insight over romantic passion. Men are the romantics, not women. We always believe love is all that matters. Women are far too emotionally intelligent to believe such a farcical proposition. They lack that metaphysical arrogance that persuades men they can make anything come true. And it is a cosmically stupid, definitively male perception that physical and moral beauty are indivisibly linked. But women quite like us to believe they believe love conquers all. Good strategy. Great tactic. Lulls us into a false sense of insecurity. Women lose their hearts to men. Men go out of their minds over women. QED.

If we men were in with the remotest chance of competing let alone winning, the military metaphor of a battle would hold up. But even current linguistic usage has surrendered the ground. This language game is no longer played. The form of life in which it lived just died. Peacefully, in our manly sleep. A battle is a good, honest, open confrontation. Naked even. But the other side, using its far superior secret intelligence, has infiltrated our lines. Only men fight battles they know they can’t win. It’s part of our charm.

Murky guerrilla skirmishes about our feminine side, our new man-ishness, have unmanned us. Our newly tender gender has landed us up to our necks in confusion. The marvellous subtlety and lightness of flirting has somehow darkened into a form of harassment. Someone took the fun out. And the gay guys have just laid down their arms so to speak. God help us, (if She will), they are even fraternising with the enemy half the time. And gay women are so confident they induce a sense of total inadequacy in me. Maybe Eddie Izzard’s on to something: he likes women so much he wants to be one. Can I join? I’m a bit anxious about the medical.

It is of course an a priori, quasi-mathematical truth, that we men are not ‘in touch’ with our emotions. This is in fact a deeply subtle sophism. Women really want to say that we are not in touch with their emotions. But this sounds like a complaint and as such could be honestly resisted. Not being in touch with our own emotions on the other hand is a fault requiring profound, and literally endless, self-improvement. Guess who we need to help us in this futile exercise? Everyone knows the typical guy is totally beyond emotional redemption.

I miss the battle of the sexes: the uncomplicated and seductive whiff of an honest fight. Ideally with no holds barred. Win, lose, or even more deliciously, draw, there was an endearing clarity and mutual respect about the whole process that the current subversive phoney war (and even more phoney, peace) demonstrably lacks. Then there were rules. Of course both sides flagrantly broke them and cheated mercilessly. But the bond between respectful opponents runs much deeper than that between polite but phoney friends.

Zettel June 2004 (Word Count 553)

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Nell at 21:11 on 28 June 2004  Report this post
Hi Zettel,

This is good writing and had me smiling all the way through. You say it's tongue-in-cheek but I think you may have hit on something here: It is of course an a priori, quasi-mathematical truth, that we men are not ‘in touch’ with our emotions. This is in fact a deeply subtle sophism. Women really want to say that we are not in touch with their emotions. Hmmm... I'll think on that. You've achieved a nice balance between humour and truth and tied it together with the language of war - very clever - and it works well.



Al T at 21:48 on 28 June 2004  Report this post
Hi Zettel, you write very well, but I can't help thinking that I have been living on a different planet from you. You should check out some of my former male colleagues in the City, and then you would find that the war you so miss is still raging. It ain't over yet.

Peacefully yours,


Richard Brown at 17:57 on 29 June 2004  Report this post
Assuredly clever. Could fuel a thousand furious disputes, but that's good journalism! I'm sure Adele is right that the battle still rages (especially in the City! - Adele, do you fancy writing a counter piece? - could be a challenge and great fun).

There are some very witty and thought-provoking one-liners in here. Although ready to argue at almost every full stop, I really enjoyed the reading of the piece. But Zettel, if it ever appears in a newspaper or magazine, and it surely is very worthy of publication,take cover! Please, for your safety, don't rely on your thesis of peace!


Al T at 19:38 on 29 June 2004  Report this post
Richard, my entire novel, which I'm currently editing furiously, is a counter piece! I hope I'm not being too indiscreet in revealing that I now have a little insider knowledge on Zettel, and it seems that we haven't been living in entirely parallel universes!

I agree with you that this is very good polemic.


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .