I have a confession about Man Trouble.

You know, trouble with men. The state of women being mystified, bamboozled, thwarted, and generally frustrated with the opposite gender.

My confession is: I don't have it. It's not that men are perfect; I've certainly met some people with dicks who were, well, dicks. But I think I've met just as many women I'm tempted to describe by a four-letter word beginning with c, and I don't mean cute.

I can think of personality quirks and traits that seem more prevalent in the male gender, too. There's the eponymous Male Answer Syndrome, which is the inability to answer a question with "I don't know," even if you actually don't fucking know. Men have to be carefully trained if you want to vent to them about something that's bothering you without having them immediately begin to offer solutions. "Do not try to fix this! Just nod your head, and every time I pause, say, Oh wow, that's terrible, darling. Keep saying that until I either calm down and start saying, Well, maybe it's not so bad, or I ask you what you think I should do."

However, petty quibbles like these are not the stuff that generalized feminine rage is made of. I've never sat around a table in a bar with three other women complaining about What's Wrong With Men. I'm a pretty pragmatic girl, and perhaps I deal easily with men because I share some emotional styles with them. I once seduced my English Lit professor, a broody emo poet. We went to see Henry & June, but I now realize he was much more comfortable analyzing Miller than emulating his sexual adventures. At the end of our rather lackluster fling, he looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, "I don't know, Matisse, you're very feminine... but somehow, you're very masculine, too."

Or perhaps I regard men serenely because I took about seven years off from them and dated women instead. Let me tell you, there's nothing like being completely frustrated by a lover of the same gender to make you realize that intimate partnerships are subject to hitches, stumbles, and misunderstandings no matter what your bits look like.

I've loved and lived with both women and men. Women versus men to me seems like the difference between driving an automatic versus driving a stick. They both have their pros and cons, but in the end it's not about one being empirically better than the other, it's a matter of what style you prefer. recommended