Men vs. Women: Summer Vacations

Category: Men vs. Women Series

Summer vacation at the beach

Well, my son’s last day of his sophomore year in high school just took place while my freshman in college returned home a couple of weeks ago. It’s summer. And, many of us are planning summer vacations and other warm-weather pursuits. You might wonder how or why this is fodder for this column series on the differences between men and women? Simply, I believe almost everything has the potential to explore and contrast how men and women look at, do, behave, and otherwise proceed with life. Summer and summer vacations are no exception.

I will, as always, put forth generalities and unverified observations that will strike some as wrong and others as politically incorrect. A generality is simply THAT – a generality – in which an observation is made that is often true but rarely is 100% accurate. As for being politically correct, I choose to be truthful instead. What you may be taught in so-called Gender Studies at colleges is often NOT the truth, but I welcome (respectful) disagreement.

Summer vacation comic

Without further preface, let’s dive into summer, men and women, alternating between each sex – yes, I prefer the word sex to gender, thank you very much!

~~ Men like vacations that include golf and/or other physical activities. Men do not like sitting on beaches except for the “view” and by that I don’t mean the water. When the sun is out, going sightseeing has little appeal to men and hanging out in museums even less.

~~ Women enjoy warm-weather destinations so they can oil or sun-tan lotion up and sit and read the latest edition of Cosmopolitan, other women’s magazines, or the newest hyped self-help book.

Life after summer comic

~~ Men want to do the FUN excursions on trips that offer physical activity, so if it’s a vacation to Hawaii, the guys want to scuba, surf, sail, golf, play tennis, or do a downhill bike-ride from the top of a volcano.

~~ Women like the spa. Women can spend all day – at a vacation resort – “relaxing” in the spa while spending absurd amounts of money for the very same services they can get back home at a fraction of the cost. Men thoroughly don’t get this and see it not only as a big waste of money but an equal waste of time. Why go on vacation to do the same thing you can do at home is the view of most men.

Comic about Summer

~~ Now, spending money on something of value like a helicopter ride to the top of a waterfall from which you dive into a gorgeous pool of water, now THAT is money well spent! We men know the value of a buck!

~~ Shopping. Again, women love this activity and it doesn’t matter where they are. If there’s shopping available they want to participate. And, again, this mystifies their men who see it more – yet again – as a waste of time and money. But, those rugs in Morocco, leather goods in Italy, everything in Hong Kong, and cloisonné in China are simply irresistible.

Comic about a lazy teen

~~ Men throw all diets out the window on summer vacations. It’s a time to binge drink, binge eat, and binge snack. If men are on an all-inclusive trip, whether it is a cruise or Club Med-type vacation, it means it’s time to chow down. If there’s free beer and liquor, men are in heaven.

~~ Women pretend to continue their diets on vacation. They protest constantly about the temptations in front of them and how badly their clothes fit. Let’s not even talk bikinis. But, as evidenced by mainstream cruise passengers, women protest but indulge just as much as their men, possibly with a bit of guilt but ultimately no regret until they return home and get on the scale.

Sunburn comic

~~ Vegas is cool for men any time of the year, even in the horrid heat of the summer. Not the same for the gals, I think? On this one, I’d like some feedback?

~~ For women, there really is one word on this topic: Pamper. Now, I don’t mean the diapers, I mean that women really like to be pampered on their summer vacations. Part of that pampering means choosing a vacation where the kids are taken care of. This also works for dad so cruises and all-inclusive resorts are great because they have “kid’s clubs” and the like to keep those pesky kids at bay. But, the pampering for women goes beyond just some time off from the kids. We’ve already touched on the spas and shopping, but other services the ladies like include having the bell-caps carry the luggage to their rooms. We guys would rather lug ‘em ourselves and save the time and money!

So, what are my summer plans? Golf, of course. Two trips to Park City to golf, bike, run the rapids, hike, play tennis, and otherwise “relax.” And, lots of summer concerts because I live in Los Angeles where the options are endless. That also means six days in San Francisco for the Outside Lands Music Festival. What are you doing this summer?

Please read and/or comment on any of the other columns in the Men vs. Women series.

How about skipping that $5 Starbucks latte and splurging $2.99 (for the Kindle on Amazon) or $2.79 for the PDF of my new e-book? Enjoy my own informercial for it! This e-book is really a virtual journey. It’s filled with 100 photos, 7 original videos, and links to many of the stops on the trip. Click on the book cover image below to find your purchase options: 

Book Cover from The Empty Nest

  • TPAM

    I believe the internet affords the luxury of being able to write your mind. Therefore, I have to say and meaning no disrespect, it is always inadvisable to begin by claiming truth (even in an indirect manner or in reference to personal truth). Gender studies is exactly what it says it is – it does not claim truth. It’s the logical study of any topic using gender and its representation as its prime focus. In my generation, the lines between men and women are becoming increasingly blurred. You say a generality is not 100% accurate. Ignoring the direct implication (that a generality is therefore wrong and useless), I believe generalities allow people to find what they want to find, to see the world through their own ‘experience-and-mind-tinted’ glasses – to make things ‘fit.’ I know people simplify complex issues for entertainment, and I may altogether be taking a light-hearted subject too seriously, but as the patriarchy continues to falter people will begin to see that the inherent differences between men and women are inconsequential to modern life. Basically, all the ways both sexes carry out their lives are the same, it’s only through subscribing to outdated and arbitrary concepts (e.g the ideas of manliness such as ‘boys don’t cry) of either sex that we makes these differences. I know many people of different genders and sexual orientations that have all sorts of holidays (or no holidays in one man’s case as he’s spent all his money shopping). Your divisions or generalities provide no basis for truth, only entertainment.

    • Bruce Sallan

      I respect the sincerity of your comment @disqus_phAimEpA4H:disqus but thoroughly disagree. Most Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies and most Liberal Arts and even History departments at most colleges are claiming “Truth” when it suits them. In many places, they are trying to claim new “history” or deny inherent and VERY truthful REAL differences between men and women.

      Yes, I write this series of columns mostly to entertain and it’s “My” truth which is clearly implicit or at least I hope it is.

      Respectful disagreement is good for us so I welcome your comments now and in the future…

      • TPAM

        I don’t think you’ll mind me continuing this one as you’re an even-minded person. You said:

        “Most Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies and most Liberal Arts and even History departments at most colleges are claiming “Truth” when it suits them. In many places, they are trying to claim new “history” or deny inherent and VERY truthful REAL differences between men and women.”

        Sorry, I’m naturally wary of any statement that has an almighty ‘them.’ I can see no basis for this belief. If you have one, it would be an enlightening experience to read it. What are these real differences, new histories and truths?

        I’ve encountered similar mindsets before and I’m always met with hostility when I ask for a qualification of their statements and beliefs. I would be grateful for your considered response.

        • Bruce Sallan

          Happy to continue the dialogue @disqus_phAimEpA4H:disqus. Simple example is California’s new law that textbooks be changed to include minorities, LGBT, and women whether REAL of not! This is happening in place all over the country. I doubt you listen (no slur intended) to conservative talk radio but people like Michael Medved and Dennis Prager cite example after example of these sort of things…

          • TPAM

            I’ll set aside that you didn’t mention any real differences between men and women (although if you have the time, I’d like to read some).

            I’ve seen news articles (here in Ireland) about the proposed changes and the opposition it’s received. Not much happens on the emerald isle so certain US events make it to our news.

            Seems to me that the changes are an exercise in accuracy. To leave LGBT out, at the very least, would render the social sciences exclusive and, therefore, redundant. Basically, gay liberation (etc) is a major part of US social history and its intentional absence would be censorship. So, to leave it out, would be a fundamental breaking of US constitution. It was this logic that got the law passed. This is before you consider that in every class of 30, there’ll be approximately 3 children of LGBT orientation. Some mention of their ‘heritage’, will help them feel part of society.
            What problem do you see occurring as a result of this new law or why is it a negative thing to you?
            Also I’ll see if I can get transcripts of their broadcasts because I’m always looking new things to read.

          • Bruce Sallan

            How do you not see the differences @disqus_phAimEpA4H:disqus – if only by implication when I say men do one thing and women do another, the inference is one doesn’t do that – or the opposite – or something like that! Leaving LGBT in or out should be dictated by THE TRUTH rather than desire to make every group part of history whether they were or not! It was basically all white men that founded the U.S. Are we supposed to deny that reality? Or make some of them gay whether they were or not? Also, I completely dispute your 10% number. The real stats as I know them are much less.

            As for Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, they both have subscriptions services for a modest monthly fee. That is the best way to get to know them. OR just google either of their names and read some of their regularly published columns…

          • TPAM

            The inclusion of LGBT into the social sciences will not rewrite history. They won’t suddenly declare that George Washington was a homosexual. This idea that they’ll rewrite history is nonsensical. The gay liberation movement was a major part of 20th century history. Thousands of people marched the streets to fight for their human rights. It used to be illegal to drink in a New York bar if you were homosexual. Even oral sex, in general, was once illegal in many states. These things and many more like them changed due to the actions of many many activists. One march had nearly 100,000 people involved. These were real events. Real events that can’t be denied. LGBT inclusion into society only occurred in the past 50-60 odd years.This recent major social and legal shift was being ignored in US schools. Their inclusion won’t rewrite history but tell recent history (real events that happened). To think that anyone would rewrite history making the founders of the US gay, somehow brainwash the population of this, is paranoia. I have read through one of the proposed textbooks (emailed to me by a US lecturer) and it only mentions the social and legal changes of the 20th century.

          • TPAM

            The generalities you speak of aren’t genetically encoded. More women like shopping than men but many men also like shopping. This ‘difference’ is cultural and environmental. Woman are brought up to present themselves in pretty fashion, men are not. Hence, women will shop. Men are encouraged into sports where as women are not. These things are engendered after birth. That’s why the arbitrary differences you speak of are superficial and only apply through the acceptance of a standard male or female. There is no such thing as a standard male or female.

            This is before we mention all our minds use logic to make sense of surroundings. So the internal mechanisms are very similar. There are differences but the ones you have highlighted are created by parenting or the lack.

          • Bruce Sallan

            We clearly disagree @disqus_phAimEpA4H:disqus in that I sincerely believe men and women are hard-wired significantly differently while you believe our differences are more cultural and environmental. This blog series is meant to entertain and perhaps stimulate discussion. It is not a scholarly work, though I do believe I am writing the truth as I see and believe it.

      • David W.

        You wrote, “Most Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies and most Liberal Arts and even History departments at most colleges are claiming ‘Truth’ when it suits them.”

        Do you have any credible evidence to support that comment? Surely you do not want me to read your comment and conclude that, say, 75% of those organizations are doing what you’re saying; I would be operating with nothing to base that on.

        You may claim that you don’t have to be particularly precise because this is little more than an opinion blog. I counter that by proposing that you owe your readers more than the opinion itself if the opinion enters the territory of accusation. It is one thing to express an opinion about the best way to deal with a tough parenting issue, say, or your opinion of your offspring’s choice in music; it’s another thing to use terminology borrowed from data analysis, to attempt to discredit organizations and professional endeavors taking place within them.

        When you write about how you are writing “my truth,” you are, ironically, doing precisely what you say those organizations are doing…i.e., saying that “x” is true when it suits you. I would think you would want to move beyond that, if only to stand on higher moral ground and have the bulge on the organizations you disdain.

        What’s even more ironic is that in humanities and liberal arts disciplines, the concept of “truth” has been debated and examined carefully and critically for several decades. It is true that some scholars have as a result claimed that the concept of truth is bogus, that we can never know “the truth” outside of our own experience. But few are that extreme, and would say what you are implying, i.e., that truth is often (not always) a subjectively experienced condition.

        I suspect that the discomfort I have when I read your comments began when you mashed together several terms and concepts–such as truth, fact or facticity, opinion, perception, intuition and a few others–and called that melange “truth.”

        • Bruce Sallan

          I just cannot do “critical thinking” like a college student or professor @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – as you know, one of the things I’ve always admired about you is your memory. I don’t have that encyclopedic memory as you do! I know what I believe in my gut. I’ve heard enough from others I respect about what transpires at colleges and universities and the statistics – which I just heard recently – but CANNOT cite where – of 20 to 1 imbalance of Democrats/Liberals to Republicans/Conservatives at colleges is what I believe to be “true.” Evidently, the University of Colorado is conducting a study about the ideological diversity at its school soon – or now. They are searching for the right company to conduct the study – and they acknowledge that their college is not very diverse in idealogies – after all, they had the famous professor there, whose name I can’t recall, who was a 9/11 conspiracy believer who condemned US for what happened to US.

          • David W.

            OK, fair enough.
            I propose that those who generate and publish information, as well as those who consume that information, owe it to one another when communicating in the public sphere to hold one another to a certain level of rigor. I see little or no value in reading opinion that is poorly informed; WELL-informed opinion, yes…opinion that is based on little or no credible evidence, no. I’m at a point in my life when I simply have sworn off consuming cant and bombast.
            On any topic of interest, I can find poorly informed opinion easily; I can generate it myself. For example, I have a great many personal opinions about parenting–what’s right, what’s wrong. But I am not a parent, I have never studied parenting in any meaningful way, I don’t read parenting blogs except for yours. I have talked with some parents over the years about their experiences, but that’s really the extent of my knowledge. So ultimately, I elect to not go public with my opinions about how to best rear kids because my opinions are be so poorly informed. In the private sphere, yes, I express those opinions (although only with very few people, whom I know will let me “ventilate”).
            There is always the possibility that someone with a “beginner’s mind” and limited experience with or exposure to a topic (like me regarding parenting), and thus with a certain fresh perspective, may utter or write something impressive or useful, despite being uninformed or poorly informed on the topic. But it’s also possible that the person’s opinion will be superficial or off base because it originates with an exposure to less information than necessary.
            Regarding the issues we are discussing about colleges, college departments and truth, you are poorly informed. You refer to Dennis Prager and Michael Medved as sources of some kind of information that apparently pertains to those issues. The information seems to be something along the lines of a series of brief reports issued by them over the years. Let’s not weight, or call special attention to, the fact that both of these very smart guys, and articulate presenters, are radio talk show hosts with a commitment to building and maintaining audience. Nor to the likelihood that their best bet to preserve and expand that audience is to give the solid base of listeners plenty of information that will rouse them to indignation, so they’ll tune in again for more.
            [ I will finish in a second reply.]

          • David W.

            [Here is the second of two parts to my reply.]

            First, sorry for the formatting of the first reply … don’t know why the lines I skipped between paras did not show up.

            So …

            Instead, let’s weight and pay more attention to the fact that there are about 1,300 institutions of higher learning in this country, with about 900,000 faculty members. Some calculation suggests a great many hours per year are spent in the names of those institutions delivering instruction. Some of those professors are bound to get it wrong some of the time. But if you don’t want to spend some time hanging around college classrooms, to see what exactly is or is not going on in the instructional endeavor — and if you are going to again and again and again in your columns beef about this matter or that pertaining to the profession of college teaching — inform yourself with stronger sources than the cherry-picked material presented by commercially-driven media professionals. Or share those opinions in the private sphere and use the public sphere for something other than accusations based on poor information.

            By the way, the 20-to-1-are-liberal information you shared is not pertinent to the question of whether or not college professors and departments say such-and-such is or is not “the truth.” It would only be remotely pertinent if you wish to argue that liberals are congenitally and habitually unable to accept that any truth exists other than that which they consider truth. That would be a laughable claim to try to make, nearly impossible to argue without resorting to rhetorical trickery.

            Finally … some interesting rhetorical trickery is on display in your reply to my earlier post. You suggest that your critical thinking is insufficient to a certain task of some kind; you talk about having a poor memory; and credit me with encyclopedic knowledge. Here is the trickery:

            How good or bad your memory is, and how encyclopedic my knowledge is or is not, is completely irrelevant to the matters we are discussing. The effect is potentially that you sort of “humanize” yourself in a way that a reader will perhaps buy what you are selling … “Oh, Bruce is such a humble, nice guy,” etc.

            The critical thinking comment is trickery as well. The use of the phrase “I just can’t” in that passage presupposes that you see yourself having some specific incapacity, perhaps small or circumscribed but ostensibly relevant, as a critical thinker. Yet when I read your biography, I read about your MBA, a quarter of a century in a successful show business career (one of the most hard-edged, competitive, cut-throat industries around) at executive levels, and your success in establishing yourself as an author and commentator in another competitive world, that of social media. I cannot accept the idea that one who has done all that has any particular limitation on his ability to think critically.

            Therefore, as I suggested, if in your public communication you don’t do some critical thinking that you think I or others may wish or expect you to do, you are CHOOSING to not do it. I can’t imagine why you would make that choice, however.

          • Bruce Sallan

            I love you @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – but, we’re going to just have to agree to disagree about this. I actually think your arguments are largely accurate as well. However, regarding parent vis-a-vis you and college, vis-a-vis me, you don’t have to be “an expert” (and the definition of one is often highly subjective anyway) to want to express an opinion.

            I have read and listened to a LOT of material about college and college bias in the classroom. As I mentioned, I even recently heard of this to-be-done study at the University of Colorado (didn’t you go there?) that might reveal interesting results if it’s a fairly done study – which, as we would both agree I hope, is often not the case.

            And, now my own son has finished his freshman year at a relatively elite college in Boston and regaled me with stories of liberal nonsense that he was taught – often in classes in which that subject bore no relation whatsoever to the intent of the class.

            Call in circumstantial, if you will, I think there’s too much preponderance of evidence in the media I consume supporting the imbalance of (political and religious) diversity in the ranks of those 900,000 faculty members you mentioned!

            And, finally, I will admit to having a bias because of my values and political bent, but will you admit to having your own bias or defensive posture when it comes to any general statements made by me or others that this or that is a common thing at colleges and universities?

          • David W.

            I never suggested that one must have expertise on a topic he or she wishes to weigh in on. I proposed, rather, that when going public (as opp. to speaking or writing in private), and in particular when making accusatory comments, one’s responsibility is to not do so until one has an informed opinion on the topic, which is one step beyond simply having an opinion about it.

            “Informed opinion” is different from being an expert. One cannot be an expert in every topic that one has some interest in; but one can inform himself or herself sufficiently prior to weighing in on such a topic in a public forum. I suggested that anecdotes issued by Dennis Prager and Michael Medved are, for the reasons I describe, less than impressive as evidence of professional malfeasance among professors, because they don’t sufficiently reflect how a consequential majority of professors do not do those bad things.

            And remember, the specific focus of this thread originally was your claim that in certain departments, a certain set of ideas is put forth as “truth” and I attempted to counter that. In what you have written since about liberal bias and more really addresses that.

            I don’t mind agreeing to disagree, but I will not be framed as being defensive. I simply have an obvious stake in, and therefore a standpoint regarding, a public message that makes claims about some aspects of higher education that are inaccurate. Call that a bias if you will.

            I have N*E*V*E*R denied that professors tend to be politically liberal. I only take issue with claims that such an affiliation automatically or virtually always hampers the quality of, or approach to, the work a professor does in the classroom. In many cases it does, yes, and Dennis Prager and Michael Medved and others have many anecdotes to share about specific offenses that are embarrassing to the education enterprise. But these events do not occur to the extent that the conservative media would have it.

            As for your son’s reports about liberal nonsense being issued in the classroom, I would like to hear what comments along those lines he attributes to his professors, how often such comments arise and from how many professors. Please consider that a professor’s comment designed simply to stimulate critical thinking and class discussion is not necessarily liberal nonsense, but effective teaching.

            Please also consider that if the professor says “x” and Student A disagrees with it, Student A is not only welcome to express that disagreement, but is (in my opinion) duty- or honor-bound to do so, for a variety of reasons, most of them developmental. If you say, “But the professor will flunk the student who disagrees,” that certainly could be true, in principle. In common practice, it is not true. Professors relish disagreement; they like to get into discussions during class. They don’t like uninformed or inarticulate disagreement, though.

            Also, just because a comment is grounded in a liberal ideology doesn’t mean it’s nonsense. It could be thought of as nonsense by a student who has grown up in an environment in which conservative ideology prevails. It is, however, the responsibility of that student to learn how to hear, reflect on and, if desired, intelligently dismiss or disagree with the comment. To stop at saying it’s liberal nonsense when it may not in fact be is to shoot one’s self in the foot as a student. Yes, the comment may be liberal nonsense, but that gets us back to what I wrote earlier in this paragraph, as well as in the preceding two.

          • Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – fair enough, I withdraw calling you “defensive.” Instead, I’ll call myself defensive when it comes to referring to Michael Medved and Prager’s revelations at “anecdotes!” While I may not do my research, they sure do! Yes, it’s second-hand references (and wouldn’t stand up in “court”) but I, for one, trust the source explicitly!

        • TPAM

          I like your style Mr. W and not only because I agree with you. You got your point across in a admirable manner. I always struggle with this. Do you have a site?

          • David W.

            Thanks for the kind words. No personal site; I don’t have a blog and so forth. Ultimately, Bruce and I go back a long way. I have in the past responded to him PRIVATELY in crude language–very thrilling and cathartic to do so. Publicly, however, I address his ideas in an intentionally tame voice.
            Ultimately, though, we are friends, have been for DECADES, and on a few issues have agreed to disagree. On the issue of universities and college teaching, Bruce likes to make me angry; and I like to defend my profession (I am a college professor).
            Together the two of us often collaborate on Bruce’s evolution of technology series articles. Our mutual affection and respect and our long time as friends far outweighs our point-counterpoint feelings about specific issues.

          • TPAM

            Like you said, I think, perhaps, the ‘decades’ help (along with your friendship, of course) in finding that equilibrium. Although I’m not complaining, I don’t have too many ‘decades’ to my name. What you said makes a lot of sense and I can apply it to people in my life whose opinions frustrate me. I often get too hung up on ‘logical sense’.

            I think you should write more online! But I suppose your job involves a lot of that already. I hope to go to university some day. I have top grades and a top IQ (although these tests are somewhat pointless I think), but poor life choices have made it a difficult option. At the moment, I just admire men like yourself and there’s something irresistibly charming about Mr.Sallan’s site (and probably him too, if I knew him).

            Thanks for your time, both of you.

          • Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – Exactly!

          • Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_phAimEpA4H:disqus – David is a gentleman and a scholar – AND a great writer! He co-writes Tthe Evolution of Technology series with me: @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus

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  • David W.

    I can’t imagine going to Vegas in the summer…isn’t it hotter than blazes there?

    • Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – that’s why the guys don’t leave the gambling tables, bars, strip joints, and sports betting area – or restaurants!

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