Man Zen

One photograph sheds light on gender differences

A moment of perfect contentment for keepers of the Y chromosome. Photo: Gilley

"Why were you guys so mad at each other?"

I didn't understand the question at first--what she even meant by it. Then, slowly, it dawned on me: When my wife looked at this photo of Brad Gerlach, Joe Curren, Steve Barilotti, and Jon Schmauss, she saw estrangement. She saw alienation. She saw disassociation. She thought it was some sort of cold shoulder party.

This reaction reminded me how demonstrative an image can be. That I could relate the differences between the sexes without having to write a book. That, in fact, I could reveal the whole Men-are-from-Mars thing with a simple image. That when it comes to showing what one gender considers as discord and estrangement and another recognizes as complete peace and harmony, I could do it in one shot.