Friday, September 25, 2009

Beginning, again and again...

I had a great conversation/interview with a women who is hoping to make a ski film by and for women. No more "duh" mentality Warren Miller films, with extreme (and extremely expensive) ski locations, with the occasional (male, of course) skier sitting around in a stone-out haze waiting to ski. We got to talking about how and why women take up the various sports they do and we realized that in our own lives, and in the lives of so many women we knew, they had taken up different things all through their lives, often for a boyfriend or husband, both when they got together or as solace after breaking up. But there were lots of other reasons, too, for which women had taken up a sport. And ultimately, the women stick with sports because they love them--they are pursuing their passion.

The interesting thing that she and I had noticed about our own lives, and the lives of our other women friends, was that men seem much, much, much (I could go on) less likely to take up something new after, say, the age of 25. Certainly, it's pretty rare to hear about a man who took something up for a girlfriend (this was pointed out to me early on by a women I interviewed). It's equally rare to hear about a man being "taught" how to do something new by his girlfriend. Because here's the hard part about pursuing new activities as you get older--you have to be willing to be a beginner again and again and again.

So, here's my question--are women more willing to be beginners than men? And if so, why is that? Or, as one woman has suggested to me, is it that men take up many more new things when they are younger (and, in their turn, perhaps women are more tentative and take up fewer new things in their youth), so that there is less that is truly new for men to try as they get older? Is that why women take up their boyfriend's activities and not vice versa--because they just have more activities to be taken up?

I'm more inclined to the first of these possibilities (women's openness to beginning again), than to the latter, but really, I just don't know. I'm asking. What have others experienced and observed?

Let me know!