This subject deserves an article, so I expand on concerns triggered by Her Highness Prettybeans at 2109. It’s about the merit or demerit of females when they use little white lies to improve or protect the feelings of loved ones. It’s described as part of the female nature in #94 in the list of Female Blessings at Birth at blog top.
Prettybeans triggered a new vision of both sex differences and an ethical conundrum. I throw out the following analysis to invite dialogue and help women figure out their own lives a little better.
- Men deal more in facts, women more in feelings. Facts expressed at least cause paper cuts in relationships. Paper cuts hurt but can be prevented with little white lies, about which women are experts.
- The female conscience seems more sensitive because women are more prone to guilt than men. Honesty and dishonesty to men aren’t gray issues. But they are to women as are so many other things where feelings dominate.
- Both sexes are made to be compatible with the other. So the womanly ability to use little white lies is part of their design. It means, at least to me, that honesty for women depends on their motive. If they gain personal advantage, it’s dishonest. If it disturbs their conscience or produces guilt, it’s dishonest. If they try to motivate someone to do something, it’s manipulation and therefore dishonest. If they simply smooth interpersonal feelings without personal gain, it’s not dishonest although it’s not totally honest either.
Not sure if the logic would hold against a superior mind, but it makes sense to me. The difference between acceptable and unacceptable little white lies is determined by the motive behind them. Personal gain is the dividing line and each woman has the conscience and sense of guilt to judge whether she’s being honest or dishonest.
Now take that to the relationship interface. As we all know, honesty should prevail. Women now have a standard, if my analysis holds up under scrutiny of better minds. To my thinking, a wife’s little white lies with no guilt and clear conscience don’t disturb a husband’s feelings as dishonesty. He’s not eager to accuse wife for something that brings pleasantness without hurt to him.
Sir Eric at 2109 agreed that little white lies “done with good intention” are acceptable. We can presume that good intention means without personal gain for the woman and without attempt to manipulate. Accepting Eric and I as authority figures, it follows that men find well-intended little white lies acceptable. It means they can abstain from judging wife as dishonest for neutralizing ill feelings, even though it seemingly indicts them as co-conspirators in dishonesty. People dedicated to one another live easily with such a dilemma.