image Math is Universal, written Expression is Not.


Math has no language involved. It has letters, but the combination of letters can never be used to create a feeling or emotion.

The purpose of math is to solve a fixed problem. The end results, if correct, are the same no matter who conducts the equation. Math can also be used in the same form by people who communicate through different languages.

Writing is more complex. Words have multiple meanings, and when we write, they can have multiple interpretations by different people. One phrase written by one person with a specific intent can mean another thing to another person with a different intent.

That’s what makes writing so difficult. It is not universal. We have to be conscious of who we are writing to and who we are writing for. We then also have to keep in mind how that person reading our words could possibly interpret what we write.

Math is the same to both men and women. There is no difference in equations or outcomes whether a woman or a man performs a problem. The outcome will be the same assuming that the formula was done correctly.

This is not the same with writing. As a male, I could write about love, dating, relationships, emotions, feelings or any matters of the heart and it would be dependent upon who is reading my writing on whether or not it has an impact or is meaningful.

If another male reads my writing about such topics, it will be easier for them to relate to and understand my words. However if a female reads my words, it may be more difficult to understand my intent and purpose. It is not impossible that a woman may not relate to my words, feelings and emotions, it is simply human nature and less likely.

There’s a popular saying that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” This saying has a tremendous amount of different interpretations and meanings, but the main issue behind this statement all boils down to the fact that men simply don’t fully understand women just like women simply don’t fully understand men.

That’s what makes writing so difficult. It’s the audience to who we write to. If I write about how much I loved a girl of my past, a male may be able to more easily relate to my experience because they know as a male what it feels like to lose the woman of their dreams. My words will resonate more easily with a man than a woman.

If a woman were to read those same words, they may not be able to relate to the words I write because they do not know how it feels as a man to lose the woman of their dreams. Losing a man of their dreams may evoke different emotions and they may choose different wordings or outlets to describe their feelings. Dare I say there may even be a bias involved? A bias that could potentially work both ways depending upon who is doing the reading and who is doing the writing.

The same can obviously said about a woman expressing her feelings about a loved lost. Another woman reading it may be more sympathetic reading it while a man may not fully understand the different layers of a woman’s soul.

That’s what makes writing so difficult. It is not universal. The feminine versus the masculine in interpretation and expression can lead to vast miscommunication and misunderstandings.

Writing is an art form. Interpretation is an opinion. Bias is a conscious decision that each of us make when we decide to read and possibly accept the words written in their original intent or if we create our own different intent.

I wrote once about beautiful time in my life when I was accompanied by a lover who was everything a man could hope for. The way I described my love for her was open and honest, but it did leave a little room for interpretation. Men who read it wrote me, and connected with me in my original intent and felt my pain for my loss. Women who responded to me tended to react a bit different and offer their condolences, but suggest I was hanging on too long.

I won’t claim any of that as bias, but instead different interpretations based of the idea that men and women are inherently different and that one gender can never truly and whole-heartedly understand the other.

I’ve read a lot of articles released by women how “liberated” or “free” they feel after a break up, even when the break up was on amicable terms. Of course, these women don’t and can’t speak for all women, but it’s a lot of what is out there in the blogging community.

Most men do not think that way. If we do, we certainly do not blog about it in the way numbers and in the same way women blog about it. It is almost a double standard.

I am a man, and I associate and relate with many other men. I can’t speak for all men, but I feel confident stating as a representative of the male population that most of us do not feel liberated or free when someone we love leaves us. We feel hurt. We feel betrayed. We feel jealous. Our initial reactions and emotions are generally not poetic and beautiful. Most men are, or at least feel limited in that way. Some men can write about it, but not many. Not many in comparison to the number of women who write about it.

As a male blogger, I have felt the need at times to be validated by the emotions I feel and choose to write about. I do not always receive this validation, and often times I will see the same words I attempted to write about published by another female blogger. Maybe my writing is not up to par on some levels, but I do feel the male voice is disappearing a bit in the blogging community when it comes to the matters of the heart.

In a perfect world, there would be a proper balance. In a perfect world, language, words and interpretations would be universal like math. However this is not the reality we live in. The reality of the blogging community is that it is dependent upon who is participating and who is validating. What is confusing and unconvincing to one may be beautiful and speak to the soul of another. What speaks to the soul and is beautiful to one may be hokie to another.

My heart yearns to be heard and validated from time to time and when I feel so inspired, I write and search for that validation. As a male it seems to be a bit more challenging when writing and expressing matters of the heart, but as long as I live, breath, feel and have an emotional core, I will continue to express the feelings that exude out of me. Sometimes I will receive the validation, sometime I will not, but it will never deter me from expressing my feelings and emotions in written words.

Author: Adam Wilkinson

Image: flickr

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