Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal wedding: Women see romance, men see history. Both like the story.

I'm quoted in the CS Monitor about the royal wedding...please don't tell Lord Westover!
Royal wedding: Women see romance, men see history. Both like the story.

Royal wedding: Women see romance, men see history. Both like the story.
Royal wedding pageantry around William and Kate's big day is here, and men and women are focusing on different aspects. But the appeal of the basic story line means both will be watching.
· Royal wedding: A flag showing a picture of Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton flutters in the wind. Men and Women in the US are both interested in the royal wedding, but their reasons are very different. Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
By Gloria Goodale, Staff writer / April 28, 2011
Los Angeles
Will and Kate’s big day is almost here. But while Americans of all ages and professions have beenfeasting regularly and deeply on this banquet of public pageantry, one thing has become quite clear – men and women are sipping from decidedly different cups.
Women have a slight edge when it comes to celebrating the event. According to, a “social decision engine” that tracks the activities of some 100 million users across social media such as Facebook and Twitter, women make up some 57 percent of those planning social events to watch the wedding broadcast.
For the men who are tuning in, their interest is more geared to the externals – historical details and symbolism – says Thomas Smith, an Atlanta-based public relations professional.
“I’ve been following the coverage in print and online,” he says, adding, “I’m very intrigued by the pageantry and processions and preparations.” Adds Robert Westover, a 40-something ex-Marine from Washington, D.C. “I’m very keen on the symbolism of who sits where and the remarkable history of the buildings and all the ceremonies.”
Head/heart split
There are powerful evolutionary and social reasons for this head/heart split between men and women, says Patrick Markey, director of Villanova University’s Interpersonal Research Laboratory.
Social learning reinforces the message. “Think about what we expose daughters to,” he says, adding every day “we read them a fairy tale about a prince or they hear a Disney story about Prince Charming or watch a movie about Cinderella.” These two combine for a very powerful influence both conscious and not, he says.
However, that said, many women are relieved to know that this time around Prince Charming isn’t looking for an aristocratic, pretty virgin 13 years his junior, says Stephanie Coontz, professor of history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., via email.
Rather, he is looking for an equally educated, same-age mate that he's known for 8 years, she says. “I am seeing more interest from these women this time around – they find it reassuring that the heir to the throne picked a real-life person with a mind of her own rather than a cartoon fairy-tale princess,” she adds.
Women from coast to coast are gathering in groups of girlfriends and multiple generations. From quiltmaker Roberta Levin, who watched Diana and Charles wed thirty years ago and wants to see her son come full circle, to public relations professional Elizabeth Anderson, who will watch surrounded by a bevy of female relatives, from her daughter to her mother and a slew of in-laws and nieces.
In the end, though, the story draws in both men and women, says Beth Amorosi, president of Ammo Communications.

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