Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
When I talk to non-divers about diving, two questions, always the same ones, arise. Girls: "Aren't you afraid of sharks?" Boys: "Are you going deep?" Syndrome Sea teeth in these ladies, fantasy Abyss in the gentlemen's room!
Two films, two fantasies, two fears of the unknown?
I am not a shrink. But I do have my two-bit sexist theory about how men and women perceive diving.
Disclaimer : Careful, eh! Nothing serious in all this, all the following is to be taken with irony and to the nth degree !!! 😉
So the girls always ask me: "Aren't you afraid of sharks?" On the female side, it seems that the fear of the big beast full of teeth dominates. Underwater variant of the fear of the big bad wolf?
Boys, on the other hand, always ask me: "Are you going deep?" On the male side, it looks more like performance anxiety. Variant of the farthest peeing contest?
In short, scuba diving inspires fears and fantasies, which are well symbolized by these two films: The Teeth of the Sea (Jaws) from Steven Spielberg for fear of sharks and Abyss from James Cameron for the intoxication of the depths.
Dedramatize and demythify ...
Many people do not know that clownfish attacks (without consequence) and triggerfish (sometimes painful) are more frequent than those sharks. And that you don't even need to feel the exhilaration of the depths to come across harmless gray sharks, white tip or black tip, Whale sharks, Wobbegongs or zebra sharks ...
→ See all my articles with sharks in (with or without teeth)
Well, these questions, from non-divers, I can still understand ... They do not know the underwater world.
But where it gets funny is that these differences between male and female reactions are also observed among male and female divers on the same boat...
Would they have looked too much The big Blue ?
Some gentlemen, when they come back on board, after a dive, absolutely need to know how deep the others have come down. Ordis dive on the wrist, they go there their virile comparisons, measuring the meters as they had to measure the centimeters in the playground.
Ri-di-cu them! 😆
Some have watched too much The big Blue Luc Besson, too, no doubt ...
The little game of comparisons becomes very funny, when we move on to the "contest" of those who consume the least air. There, the girls are often the big winners!
There's nothing we can do about it, it's a question of size and morphology. Women are generally more air-efficient than men. Real champions. Everyone leaves with about 200 bars in their bottle.
But when the gentleman comes back with 50 bars or less, the lady often still has 80 or even 100 bars in stock! 👌
The macho doesn't stay underwater for long
So, I laugh in advance when I see some couples disembarking on a boat... Those who do not have much diving experience yet, with a guy who plays macho and know-it-all in front of his partner and the rest of the group.
She will listen carefully to the briefing and follow the advice of the guide. She will dare to ask questions and will make sure not to touch anything underwater (and she has seen JawsWell, she knows that the beasts that populate the seabed are full of teeth and sharp pointy things).
In general, she will have a long, pleasant dive. She will see lots of cool stuff, because she will constantly keep an eye on the guide who is there to show her (provided that the guide does his job well, but that's another debate). She will come back delighted. With a bit of luck, she will even have seen a shark. And won't be afraid of it anymore.
His companion, on the other hand, often does not need advice from anyone. At most, he will deign to ask questions about the depth. Explaining that he can go beyond the 25 or 30 meters maximum announced at the briefing. That's how it is: some males don't see the point of doing so-called "recreational" or "leisure" diving, without decompression. And they have even more difficulty to understand that in some exotic places, where the water is warm and full of fish, there is not always a rescue unit or a decompression chamber nearby...
As a result, this kind of guy will empty his air tank at full speed, wanting to go down too much, to swim too much. You can spot him quickly, underwater: he is the one who waves his arms and legs like a madman, stirring up the bottom, making the fish run away...
Moreover, he is also the kind of person who gets offended if he has to get back on the boat before the others, with one of the guides, simply because he has sucked all his air.
Do you go deep? Aren't you afraid of sharks?
Yes, all this is very caricatural, I agree... But so are some behaviors (whether in diving, driving a car, or in everyday life).
Fortunately, I also met a lot of couples who were diving in good harmony, forming admirable pairs underwater!
Nevertheless. Every time I start a conversation about my diving with someone who knows nothing about it, I know in advance the question that will be asked, depending on whether my interlocutor is a man or a woman: "And you go deep?" or else: "Aren't you afraid of sharks?"
In short, it's impossible to escape the clichés that haunt the female and male imagination when it comes to diving. It is Jaws or Abyss !