Organisation - February 8, 2018

‘He exchanged small toys for big ones’

Lieke de Kwant

The defence of his thesis went well and Wenbo Liu is now showing his parents around in the Netherlands. While they are on the train, he takes some time for a phone call to explain his remarkable proposition about his own sex. ‘Yes, men can be childish. I see it when I look at myself and my male friends.’

Wenbo Liu received his PhD on 26 January for a study on anaerobic manganese- or iron-mediated pharmaceutical degradation in water.

Proposition: Men remain kids throughout their lives.

‘Many of us are crazy about things that are similar to the toys we used to play with in our childhood. One friend of mine, for example, is a big fan of cars. He knows everything about car brands, car parts and car performance. Like many boys, he used to play with toy cars when he was young. When he grew up, he just exchanged small toys for big ones.

Many men also like to go on adventures and explore the unknown. Of course women do too sometimes, but often they care more for their community. Males sometimes pay less attention to the welfare of others; they basically want to do as they please.

One friend of mine always prepares little surprises for his girlfriend. Little childish gifts like a shiny stone that he picked up from the road and put into a box. His girlfriend complains; she appreciates his efforts but says the gifts are not useful. But my friend just keeps on doing it.

Another example: my father. He is a big fan of eating meat. However, because of health issues my mother has forbidden him to eat too much meat. At every meal he complains about the small portion, and at every meal my mother tells him he behaves like a little boy.

And me? I like to play computer games. I really like it! But I manage to restrict myself to playing for about five to six hours a week.’