Thursday, March 12, 2015

Reviewed in Brief: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

There are certain cultural events that one can't help but remember; Toy Story, Harry Potter (the movies or the books), Michael Jordan playing for the Bulls... 

One of mine is the release of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (MAFMWAFV) ((good lord could there be a longer acronym?!)) in the 1990's.

I've never read it, but even as a little kid I remember hearing it being discussed. It was EVERYWHERE. News, Oprah, coffee club chats - you name it, someone had an opinion about it.

This stayed somewhere in a dusty file at the back of my mind until the appearance of a comedic, partially animated one-man show of the same name appeared at the Pantages last weekend. I knew I had to see it, if only to know what the heck all the grownups had been talking about years ago.

It turns out that there was something to all the hype. As told by Peter Storey, MAFMWAFV is valuable because it gets quarreling couples to think outside of their own perspective. And despite the narrative's heavily heterosexual/pro-marriage preferences,** the point is something we all should remember: you yourself are never the center of anything.

There are always multitudes of perspectives, and problems, and blessings to consider in any relationship, and a number of ways of expressing oneself in regards to them. Happiness is achievable in any relationship as long as both parties approach it as a work in progress, keep lines of communication open, and from time to time can truly lay down their swords to hear and respect what the other partner needs.

Storey presented his information with a wink, and it was a gratifying way to spend a Saturday evening. I would love to see this come around again and for a longer time, but be expanded to reflect more relationship and gender-ed perspectives. Underneath the stereotypes, there is a lot of truth to be found here, and it deserves to be shared.

**Not that there's anything wrong with either of those things - just that more perspectives need to be validated and included, such as homosexual relationships or transgendered partners or expanding the definition of what a 'man' or a 'woman' is.