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Joseph Epstein’s Friendship: An Expose tackles a politically incorrect subject: the difference in friendship between men and women. So, let’s see what we really do think. I’ll give you some quotations from Epstein and you ponder them to see if you think they are true in your world.
#1: “According to the received wisdom of the day, women are better at friendship than men.” [The dispute here is not whether or not this is really “received wisdom.”]
#2: “Women not only — and quite naturally — find more common interests among other women, but they enjoy an easier candor on subjects of both significance and intimacy with other women.”
#3: “… at the center one feels the nature of friendship among women is somehow lighter, but also deeper, and often more genuinely disinterested because less rivalrous.”
#4: “… women — not all, of course, but women in the main — are more sympathetic to failure than are men.”
#5: “A sense of social consideration, a feeling for sociability, of making friends comfortable, is in question, and such skills aren’t always, or even usually, available to men, which is a deficiency.”
#6: “Conversation, for men, often becomes debate by other means, with points awarded for logic, reasoning, unassailable positions, firm conclusions.”
#7: Women use conversation for “making the other person feel secure, well disposed, good about him- or herself” while men “come away from lots conversations feeling, to a greater or lesser extent, better about themselves.”
#8: “Women seem to understand better than men that competition, good for the marketplace, the athletic field, and a few other places, is not so good for friendship.”
By the way, Epstein’s chp 8 was mostly a diary and I found it a snooze.
By the way, Epstein’s chp 10 is called “Boys will be boys.”

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