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Polis Report

Yin vs. Yang

By Bernice Yeung

If the pile of self-help/humor books on the shelf at the local bookstore are any indication, the latest battle of the sexes has become a stalemate. The directions might read: Assume stale roles; stand still.

Following the lead of the Men are From Mars phenom, a slew of chirpy new books allegedly explains the fundamental differences between men and women, some of them in less than 150 pages.

Michael Levin, who wrote A Man's Guide to Being a Woman's Best Friend and A Woman's Guide to Being a Man's Best Friend, suggests that peace--and even friendship--can be established, as long as both sexes succumb to stereotypical gender roles (men: "Take her out when she hasn't had time to prepare dinner." And to her: "Tell him how big and strong he is.")

San Jose State grad Lorene Machado, author of Was It Something I Said?, dedicated countless hours to linguistics studies in order to produce her "gender translation guide," which explains that when a man says "I love you," he really means, "I want to sleep with you." When a woman says, "I'm almost ready to go," what she really means is, "I only have to try on 13 more outfits." And so on.

And so, as Mike Nichols concludes in his book,Women Are from Pluto, Men Are From Uranus, the difficulties between the sexes are really a cruel joke instigated by a bitter, man-less Mother Nature. While we all pull ourselves off the floor from laughing, it's worth pondering, how, somewhere between chivalry and the feminist movement, a new war was declared. A war, it would seem, on evolution.

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From the January 16-22, 1997 issue of Metro

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