By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator
Here I am today in the summer of 2015, aged 66, looking back to help you understand my story – a journey of discovery – about who we are as different types of women and men and how much more we can each do to understand each other.
When I was in my late thirties I became aware of something that had been growing in the periphery of my consciousness for some time. I had been gaining an awareness of something that was so powerful and far-reaching that I would spend the next 20+ years researching, defining and cataloguing my results.
During the late 1980’s; I was a devoted mother and an efficient wife as well as a successful business woman. As I continued in those roles, I grew to become a self-confident, authentic woman … a mature self-assured female who knew unequivocally who and what she was. As a very young girl, however, it was a far different story.
In my early years although I liked playing dress-up, I was not overly keen to be the frilly little princess, and do those girly things many of my girlfriends did. That’s not to say that I never did such things, only that there were other things I enjoyed equally and was naturally good at such as climbing trees and riding bikes and taking part in the kinds things that my brothers liked to do. As grew into my teenage years, I struggled to gain the assurance of being a ‘young lady’.
I remember daydreaming of being a young sailor on one of the romantic tall ships of earlier centuries … climbing up the rigging to furl the sails or to take them in during an approaching storm. In the jargon of the day, I would have been considered very much a “tom-boy.”
The maturing process was, admittedly, a little confusing for a while as I tried to work through exactly who I was and what I might be like as an adult. The one thing I knew intuitively, however, was that I was not cut out to be a femme fatale … that just wasn’t me!
Such meandering thoughts of ‘wondering why’ would reoccur on occasion as I continued my life’s journey and as my knowledge of myself continued to grow and expand. The one question I struggled over time was, “Are we born with the characteristics that give shape and form to the little boys or the little girls we all have grown from, and do the essentials change radically over time?”
Let me tell you what I know today and let me state for the record that I know these things because I have learned them by the careful application of scientific methodology and much reflection and observation during my research. For this process, I have been the Experimental Group and my findings have been validate by filtering them through the results generated by the Control Group which consisted of observing and hundreds if not thousands of people, men and women who have been family, friends and clients.
One of the first principles of life is that of observation. Remember when your mum or dad told you to “Look both ways before crossing the street” … and that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as they say. I know that I was born with my boyish physicality and a more left-brained mind-set. I know because my passions were always driving intuitively throughout my childhood and early development. I always got on talking with boys quite easily as friends whereas my girlfriends saw every boy as a prospective boyfriend. Don’t misunderstand. I was and am as female as my sister and my girlfriends. I developed my share of infatuations along the way, but I knew that I was seeing inter-gender interaction differently even then. Putting it simply, I was looking at boys and girls and their expectations through a different lens … the lens of purposeful observation.
It would please me no end to say that whatever gender based issues we may be dealing with at this point in time, they are largely inconsequential because men and women communicate clearly with one another and each enjoys a functional understanding of what motivates the opposite sex. As I continue down the particular road of discovery I began to travel a few decades ago, I am both unwilling and unable to dismiss the compelling and growing body of hard evidence that says “That is just not the case.”