I have been running  my business, Flirtology, for over 15 years. As both a social anthropologist and a small business owner I have watched the trends in the dating world over the years.

In early talks with my publisher last year, I championed hard to make sure my new book spoke to  both women and men. My publisher was not convinced, ‘but women are the main book buyers in this market’ she said, very reasonably. I explained that, first of all, it didn’t make sense to help half of the people. What about the other half? People need good partners. I also told her if guys weren’t buying the books, it was because they were completely left of this market when it came to any logical, reasonable information. She graciously conceded when I showed her the demographic breakdown from my newsletters and google analytics.

So, a recent trend that I couldn’t help but notice is the fact that my business has now doubled. Why? Because men are now active participants in wanting to learn the Flirtology ways. My book, in seems, has been instrumental in them contacting me. I couldn’t be more delighted.

Let’s face it; people are confused. In my attempt to redress gender roles and replace them with a new era of interaction and communication, I will write a 4-part blog series around the subject of women and men. Today, I will address the fact that men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus,  even if it might seem like it…

Thinking that men and women are from different planets is not only incorrect, but it makes our lives harder. And, let’s face it. Do we need any reasons to make our lives harder than necessary?

Look, there are some biological differences between the sexes; these differences are made even wider from the way we are socially conditioned into our roles from an early age: boys don’t cry, girls are pretty. Fundamentally, we have many more similarities than differences. And, our most important similarity is that we are all humans; we all want to be happy, safe and loved. Isn’t that the most important thing? By looking at each other as fellow humans, rather than as a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ makes it so much easier to make the initial contact with each other. Even more importantly, when we regard someone as ‘like me’ rather than as an alien from another planet, it’s more conducive to treating each other with respect and empathy.

The reason we are told that we are different as women and men, and have people try to seperate us, is because it’s easier to market to us that way. Segment and then sell. If you’re a woman, you’re even worse off. Have you heard of the ‘pink tax’. Studies have shown that the price difference that women pay vs men on personal products costs women an extra $1,351 a year. If it’s pink, you know you are screwed. There are many articles on this subject. And here, here, etc. Ah well, it’s a good thing we make as much money as men to be able to afford these extra costs. Oh, wait….

Besides the marketing advantage of segmenting, dividing people means you can control them more easily. It’s the us vs them mentality, which is used in many arenas besides gender. But when you get to know people as individuals, all of that fear, the stereotypes, the unknown, goes away. And, there you have it, just another human being standing there: just like you. Imagine our world, and how self-empowered we would be, if we all started thinking that we were together and not divided. Hashtag: mindblown.

If you are on board with what I am saying, next week I will discuss how to lessen that gap between the sexes. There will even be a task involved…oh, my!