speaker4thedead had a very incisive reply to a private post that I thought was worth sharing with a larger audience:
When a woman bitches about a problem, she wants someone to verify that she’s justified in feeling what she feels. She’s not neccesarily asking to be told that she’s right.
When a man bitches about a problem, he either wants a solution to it or wants to be told that he’s a complete fucking idiot. (though someone would be expected to back up the latter)
So… It can become a real problem when someone interprets an online bitch-session according to the rules of the wrong gender.
Obviously, there are some generalizations here; but in my experience this rule is widely applicable.
On rare occasions I have bitched for the sake of seeking validation (and I usually indicate as much, when I am). At all other times I want to know if, as speaker4thedead put it, I’m a “complete fucking idiot”. Any other interpretation is likely to lead to misunderstandings.
Do with this knowledge what you will.