We often see a women complaining about a men, to that man or to other women. We less often see the gender-reversed scenario. At least that is what I see, in friends, family, movies, and music. Yes, men roll their eyes, and perhaps in general women talk more about people. But women complain more, even taking these into account. Why?
The politically correct theory is that women's lives are worse, so they have more to complain about.
After all, men often ignore, disrespect, and abandon, even beat and rape, women. But slaves weren't know for being complainers, and they had the most to complain about.
Women also ignore, disrespect, abandon, and beat men. Women rarely rape men, but they do cuckold them. Men suffer more health and violence problems, and the standard evolutionary story is that men suffer a higher outcome variance, and so have more disappointments.
Clearly part of the story is that when women complain, others tend to sympathize and take their side, but when men complain, others tend to snicker and think less of them. But why are their complaints treated so differently?
One factor is that we value toughness more in men than women. Another factor is that men seem to signal their devotion to women more than vice versa. But I'm not sure why these happen, or if they are sufficient explanations.
Whatever the true story, the politically correct theory, that women complain more due to worse lives, seems both wrong and biased. Surely most people know enough men and women to see that their quality of life is not that different, at least compared to their complaint rates.
Also see Hanson's post on gender profiling.