If one were to depict the difference between women’s and men’s networks in a graph, one should take a circle for the female network and a triangle for the male network. Of course, this is a completely simplified representation, but it shows the tendential variations in the way men and women behave in networks. Male networks tend to be more hierarchical and characterised by -also internal- competition. They tend to be goal-oriented and productive. They have rough edges, drill their way forward and like to engage in conflict. A typical sentence is: “Let’s do something dangerous!” The most atypical sentence in a network of men: “You look depressed, do you want to talk to me about it?” Female networks are more egalitarian and more characterised by the pursuit of inner harmony. They are oriented towards balance and integration. Corners and edges are constantly “rounded off”. Conflicts are avoided or discussed until they are levelled out. Women don’t push their way in anywhere, they observe the given rules.
Men’s networks are much more like hunting communities, women’s networks like village communities. Men make plans on how to hunt down their targets, women gather information and opportunities. Men go for everything they can get (even if this is sometimes exaggerated), women tend to look for their “fair” share. Roseanne Barr wrote: “What women need to learn is that no one gives you power. You just take it.”