Monday, January 02, 2017

CWR: “The Best Books I Read in 2016”
CWR editors and contributors share their favorite reads from the last year.

Carrie Gress:

Warriors vs. Worriers: The Survival of the Sexes (Oxford University Press, 2014), by Joyce Benenson with Henry Markovits

A priest-friend recommended this book earlier this year and I’ve been mulling it over ever since (I now own it in hardcopy and the audio version). At its heart, the book describes men as warriors and women as worriers. Tossing aside any politically correctness pretense, Joyce Benenson speaks directly about the difference between men and women based on her extensive international research across generations.

The book is broken into two sections. The first part discusses men and how the best way to understand them—whether on a sports field or in the boardroom—is as warriors. Competition among them is open, but the attributes of each are appreciated when there is a shared goal or enemy.

Women, on the other hand, are worriers. From the earliest of ages, females show great signs of concern about life in general and have a running interior dialogue to help deal with real or perceived dangers. Instead of a hierarchy like men, women operate from a very egalitarian mindset, which produces a lot of hidden competition with other women (along with limited resources). In fact, Benenson explains, this competition is so hidden most women don’t know they do it. Benenson offers three strategies explaining the ways women can dismiss or remove the threat of other women to which any woman will be able to relate.

This is an incredible resource, especially for those interested in understanding the opposite sex. It has perhaps the unintended effect of reminding us that the vocations of men and women are different, which is why our behavior, thought patterns, and relationships are different as well.