"I quite agree. The more I come to understand of women's thinking the less sense it makes to me." James concurred. "There seems to be so little logic in it." He said, a man to whom the concept of 'emotional intelligence' would have seemed the supreme oxymoron, despite the fact that as a male he possessed more than his fair share of it and used it in his work.
He recalled that Newton had made disparaging comments in jest about women at their last meeting, and at the time James had pulled him up for it. Now he was doing it. Admittedly he had been defending their intelligence, and was still of the opinion that there were many very intelligent women out there, it was their reasoning and motivation he was questioning.
Why, only the previous day he had gone from being blissfully and obliviously unattached to having Agnes Dundas declare her interest in him which had been completely out of the blue, and and then had sort-of partially become engaged to Lady Mignonette, thanks to her aunt the Duchess hoisting herself with her own scheming petard, assuming that James was far more conniving than he actually was. The impulse to run screaming could at times be overwhelming.
Sighing gently and running his hand down his tired features, James reached for his glass and sipped his own wine, considering Newton's question. "I suppose that one could present a situation to a group of men and a group of women, ask each group to formulate their own interpretation of the events and then compare the interpretations." He said thoughtfully.
"I have never heard of such being done however, and it would be most difficult to interpret the results without a bias, since any investigator must belong to one camp or the other." He pointed out with a faint smile, although the concept of a serious female investigative scientist was a little absurd.
Unfortunately for James it would be one hundred and forty years before the parents Philosophy and Medicine would give birth to their child, Psychology, and another one hundred years before the discipline would be taken seriously. The knowledge that in some two hundred and thirty years time someone would publish a book which began with the premise that men and women actually evolved on different planets and were completely separate alien species* as an explanation for their differences in thinking might have comforted him slightly.
"I suppose I should count my blessings and simply be glad that I am becoming a court physician as I planned, and be content with that." James mused wryly. He had however envisaged treating fevers and sewing up duelling wounds, not dispensing psychotherapy to the hysterical masses. He was, perhaps, over-reacting slightly, but the events of the last week had come as something of a surprise, and the encounter with the Savoyards as a rather rude shock, regardless of how beneficial the final outcome might be. At least that morning he'd been called to the explosion at St Marks, which had seemed positively sane by comparison.
* Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray.