This discussion seeks to identify the key issues involved by highlighting the traits specific to each gender.
Before a comparison may be made between the apparent gender issues in the two plays it may be prudent to compare the background and situation in which they are set. While Sure Thing seems to involve a modern setting, Trifle paints more of a mid 20th century picture. It is interesting to note the difference in the dealing of the two genders with each other in the plays. What would instantly become apparent is the degree of informality involved with a greater boldness registering itself in the female3. It is asserted that this may be attributed to a greater awareness today of equal rights for women, but more importantly to the women recognizing their own potential.
In this light both plays may be examined to contrast the difference in the manner of interaction of women with men. At the same time, it can also be made out from both plays that as opposed to men women possess a more sensitive and understanding nature that seems to be missing in men4. Interestingly it would appear that it is because men lack in this area that they sometimes struggle to ask a girl out and fail miserably if they are able to pluck up enough courage.
Owed to this nature it may also be said with some conviction that women would prefer that men tell them the truth when asked5 as that may reflect to them the degree of sincerity a man possesses. Ironically they may not sometimes like the truth and the man may end up in a worse position than before. It should be noted here that this notion seems to put women in a superior position often requiring men to measure up to them. This may also be one of the changes that time has brought about in the female gender. Women once generally regarded with contempt may today be surrounded by men on the verge of worshipping them.
It is interesting to note another difference between the setting of the two plays here. It appears that all characters in Trifles were married while this was not the case in Sure Thing. Can it then be argued that women lose the aforementioned superiority after a man is able to successfully marry her Or to put it more crudely, when the man has had his way with her6 Would it be correct to say that women-with an air of superiority-regard their would-be suitors with contempt and are themselves regarded with equal contempt after those suitors are through with them The answer to these questions would lie in giving Trifles are contemporary setting. Only then would it become obvious whether this reversal of contempt has been remedied by time.
It may also be asserted with confidence that while men sometimes fail miserably to understand the psyche of women, the latter would have no such trouble. Often a man would only be successful in asking a woman out if he is able to understand what the woman wants-it is true that he would have to agree to most of it. This is well illustrated by the final situation depicted in Sure Thing and it would appear that the maxim "opposites attract" would have no application here whatsoever.
All said, it is also true that the modern woman no matter how sensitive and romantic would be practical enough to choose success over failure in her man. This is well illustrated by the "Harvard" line in Sure Thing. The final situation in the said play adds to this requirement by also requiring the 'sophisticated' suitor