Gender Issues

3 02 2008

Whenever I receive some hoary old joke by email, I usually consign it immediately to the rubbish bin. In fact, anything with “FW:FW:” in the subject line is automatically dumped without reading. Some time back, however, I received an email from a female acquaintance that I actually read and gave some of my attention.

The joke she emailed me was one of those ubiquitous Men/Women/whatever are better than their presumed opposites because… internet memes entitled, “Men have it easy”. I spent some time considering this nonsense and wondered why this sort of thing is so popular.

Human males and females are different. Accept it. Physiologically, both genders have been designed by evolution to accomplish the same task (spamming the environment with rough duplicates of themselves) in slightly different ways. Neither gender is superior to the other, they’re just different. Cope.

One of the biggest offenders in creating and maintaining the artificial “gender wars” is the person who wrote, “Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus“. Instead of accepting the biological fact that males and females are designed differently, this person (and the scads of others trying to sell books) focused entirely on social differences- even going so far as to dredge up some very tired astrological metaphors to sell the ideas.

Here’s an astronomical fact to counter the metaphor: Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it.

I’m not going to dwell on the evolutionary pressures that created the physiological and behavioral differences between males and females. I will state that those evolutionary pressures have largely vanished- rendered mostly obsolete by the social, technological, and economic changes to our environment we have created over the past ten thousand years or so.

The fact remains that males and females are different, and there’s damn-all we can do about it. In my opinion, it’s a Good Thing that those differences exist. My wife and I are both very intelligent- just about different things. We complement each other. The two of us are more than the sum of our individualities. That synthesis of personalities is a valuable social and economic survival tool for us. Instead of getting wrapped around the axle about the existence of those differences, people should be celebrating them. Make use of the strengths from this individual diversity.

And now, having run that into the ground and begun barking at the hole, I present the “Men Have It Easy” joke that started this train of thought. The original points are followed by my responses (in italics).

Men have it easy.

1. Your last name stays put.
This is largely a matter of choice these days.
2. The garage is all yours.
Ditto.
3. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
YOU want the fancy trimmings, you do the work. We’d be satisfied with a Justice of the Peace and NO ceremony.
4. Chocolate is just another snack.
To most rational creatures.
5. You can be President.
Nothing says you can’t.
6. You can never be pregnant.
Of course not! If men got pregnant, the species would have gone extinct millennia ago!
7. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
Speaking for ALL men, we would appreciate it if you wore a white t-shirt to the water park. Seriously.
8. You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Ditto
9. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
It’s called, “the value of abstract knowledge”. Learn about cars so you can catch the bastards when they lie to you .
10. The world is your urinal.
Unless someone is watching. Then it becomes a misdemeanor and a lifetime on the Sex Offender’s Registry.
11. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
Prior Planning Prevents Poor Piss Performance
12. You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
See #9. Women can learn this if they want to .
13. Same work, more pay.
You don’t have to accept lower pay. We don’t.
14. Wrinkles add character.
Character adds character. Wrinkles are simply proof that we have poor skin-care habits.
15. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
See #3.
16. People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.
Please tell your boobs to quit staring at my eyes.
17. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
This is another one of those not-difficult-to-master skills. Practice.
18. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
We manage this trick by insisting that our shoes not cut, blister, or mangle our feet. Try it sometime.
19. One mood all the time.
You’re just jealous because we can successfully control our emotions.
20. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
It’s called, “efficiency”. Cope.
21. You know stuff about tanks.
And dumptrucks and back-hoes and front-loaders and road graders. Try watching the Discovery Channel sometime so you can keep up.
22. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
A five-day vacation SHOULD only require one suitcase. What the Hell are you packing?
23. You can open all your own jars.
A complaint which has been rendered largely invalid by technology .
24. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
Really? From whom?
25. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Unlike some genders, men are quite capable of such traits as forgiveness, understanding, and logic.
26. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
If YOU are dumb enough to pay tons of money for clothing no one is going to see, that is hardly OUR fault.
27. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
Precisely. Cope.
28. You almost never have strap problems in public.
Some women need to wear bras. Why is this fact embarrassing?
29. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Not exactly. We are unable to see a reason why this is a national emergency.
30. Everything on your face stays its original color.
What do you have on your face that changes color and why?
31. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
See #20.
32. You only have to shave your face and neck.
We don’t have to shave anything, and neither do you.
33. You can play with toys all your life.
So can you.
34. Your belly usually hides your big hips
This is true of some women, as well.
35. One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons.
What does the season have to do with a wallet or shoes? Seriously.
36. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
Why can’t you?
37. You can “do” your nails with a pocket knife.
So can you.
38. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
So do you.
39. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
See #20.

Current status: Bemused

Current music: Electric Requiem by QueensRyche

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One response

4 02 2008
prairieflounder

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” -RAH.

Viva la Difference!

-pf

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