Diane Ackerman – The purpose of ritual

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Diane AckermanThe purpose of ritual for men is to learn the rules of power and competition. Watching sports together, for example, they see the formal enactment of ritual, become loyal to a team, learn to conceal their vulnerability. The purpose of ritual for women (going to lunch together, sharing a favorite salon, etc.) is to learn how to make human connections. They are often more intimate and vulnerable with one another than they are with their men, and taking care of other women teaches them to take care of themselves.

In these formal ways, men and women domesticate their emotional lives. But their strategies are different, their biological itineraries are different. His sperm needs to travel, her egg needs to settle down. It’s astonishing that they survive happily at all.

Diane Ackerman   (1948-)

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