Recently, I went to the Swiss film premiere of ‘Como Nossos Pais’ (‘Just Like Our Parents’) by the Brazilian film director Laís Bodanzky.

The film is about Rosa, a mother of two, and her own mother Clarisse, and how each one deals with the natural catastrophe of life. Women take a strong part in this movie dealing with the emotional drama of everyday life with presence, creativity and humour, whereas the male characters appear to be more absent than present, escaping the situation in one way or the other, either physically or mentally.

After the film I had the chance to talk directly to Laís, who was present at the premiere, and I challenged her if it was really true that women in general can stay and cope with life’s drama better than men? What followed was a vivid discussion about the different ways in which men and women deal with difficult life situations.

When faced with life-threatening and especially emotionally charged situations (such as giving birth) women indeed appear to have learned through evolution to ‘just be’ with impossible life situations more than men. When there is no escape (eg, to the pain of giving birth) the only way through for the woman is to accept and surrender.

Men on the other hand seemingly deal with difficult life situations well when they feel they can solve it, fight it or change it. However when faced with impossible (emotional) situations with no solution in sight men tend to have a hard time to ‘just be’ with it, accept it or surrender to it. Most men in that case apparently would rather escape than surrender.

BEING as I understand it is the quality of allowing and accepting a situation just as it is, and DOING the quality of wanting a situation to be different from how it is. Thus the ability ‘to be’ with an (impossible) life situation is BEING. Not being able to be with it, but wanting it to be different is DOING.

From this perspective, it seems indeed that women are better suited for BEING than men, in particular when dealing with emotional life situations.

What is your perspective? Do women lean more towards BEING, men more towards DOING? Please comment below or write to me.