I just realised that I've begun this post twice, in draft form. I only got as far as the subject line, but an interaction with my neighbour just now reminded me that I wanted to write about the topic. In my 3 years of living in Australia, I have realised that, much moreso than in the US, it is difficult to get men to acknowledge, listen to and communicate with you if you are a woman. One example - our neighbour has been using our driveway to get access to his own backyard, in order to install an inground pool. As a result of doing so, we need to organise a new fence. Here in Australia, both neighbours on the side of the fence being put up have to agree to the type, size and colour of the fence, and split the cost. (This means you have 3 different sets of neighbours you have to work with to get the fence done around your house, by the way.) In the beginning, M_ next door would come over to chat to us about the fence, but only communicate with hubs. He barely looked at me, and he certainly didn't ask my opinion. Granted, hubs lived here a few years without me and M_ doesn't really know me, but it is obvious I'm the wife, which means the fence is my fence as well. It's taken over a week to get any acknowledgement. When hubs went next door to talk to M_ about the fence, he simply advised me he was going, but didn't suggest I come with. Had I not insisted in being involved in the discussions taking place, I'm not entirely sure my opinion would have been requested. This seems to happen a lot with Aussie men; you have to work harder to be heard. Never before living here have I realised that there is not a feminine equivilant to the word emasculation. There should be.
P.S. In this instance, the title should perhaps have been, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (and that's with a u, as Robert Frost was American).