"He's a man", "she's a woman"… So what?

While I’m on my mental vacation I’d just like to point ya’ll to a post by alley rat entitled Why Do Women Cheat?. It’s a critique on a pop-science article that uses essentialism, bad evolutionary science, and a big dose of idiocy to say that since “monogamous” female birds cheat for supposed “reasons”, human women do it for the same “reasons”. Yeah. Right.

Anyway, the conclusion of the article caught my eye. It gave me a warm fuzzy, so I wanted to share it:

While I’m at it, I’ll just mention that I think that the absolute weakest explanation for anything people do is “well, he’s a man” or “well, she’s a woman, that’s how women are”. No, people. That may be how YOU are, but don’t include me in that. The reason I got interested in feminism when I was a teenager was because people kept telling me what I was like, and they kept being really, really wrong. People told me that I wanted to get married and have kids; people told me that I couldn’t enjoy sex without love; people told me that I was a romantic, delicate creature. People told me lots of shit that was supposed to be true because I was female, and that wasn’t true at all. And it wasn’t true of most of my female friends, but a lot of it was true of my male friends. And I realized that people had been telling me a bunch of lies, things that were “social convention” and things that were stupid rules that I was suposed to follow whether or not they actually suited me. And the same thing applies to every boy I’ve ever been close to, only probably to a more severe extent. They got told all kinds of untrue things about themselves too, because when you’re born people look at your genitals and they think they know who you are. But they don’t. And so, to close this rant, I’d just like to say a big “Fuck off!” to all the lies. Human beings are infinitely more complicated than our biology (whatever that may be, anyway) and if you ignore or downplay the role of culture in behavior, you are doomed to telling lies.

Right on, alley rat.

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6 thoughts on “"He's a man", "she's a woman"… So what?

  1. Last I looked, the only feathers I have are on the masks I make and the only bills I have are the ones on my Visa statements.

    Maybe eggs confer upon their bearers similar qualities, and the…person hypothesizing as to why women cheat is on to something.

    Being a pseudo-intellectual is only funny when you’re not doing it for real. 🙁

  2. That extract really struck a cord for me. I think for me it
    become a issue when people kept telling me as a teenager ‘you need
    to learn how to cook for your future husband’. It turned me off
    learning how to cook for a very long time and made me think why do
    I have to be the one doing all the cooking?

    I think i have been questioning the ‘lies’ every since.

    I detest the saying ‘boys will be boys’.

  3. DS: Tell me about it -.- Pop-science = teh eval. Sometimes it’s the reporters jumping to wild conclusions based on data that shows a correlation between one of the many elements that supports their bigoted ideals. Other times, I’m sad to say, it’s the researcher taking their own data and doing the same thing, all the while ignoring other factors that contribute to the behavioural expression. Seriously people, it doesn’t take a degree in science to know bad conclusions when you come across them. If I can do it, newspapers should be able to as well.

    Kristy: That’s how I feel exactly! Although for me it wasn’t so much people telling me I need to learn how to cook for my future husband and just an observation of my parents (before the divorce my mom was a SAHM and my dad still doesn’t know how to cook anything but grill-type food) coupled with the messages coming in from society loud and clear.

    The awful thing is that it made me lose several years where I could have been learning the basics of cooking (me and the oven still have issues). When I went off to university, I decided that eating out or eating mac and cheese every night just wasn’t acceptable, so I had to learn how to cook. It turns out that, for whatever reason, I turned out to be a pretty damn good cook. Although any future spouse I may or may not have will be disappointed if s/he thinks that I will be the one doing all the cooking; when my ex and I lived together he would cook half the time and the other half be my sous-chef. He did teach me how to do a mean shake and bake, though, LOL ^^;

    And “boys will be boys” is not only an odious phrase, it’s also not even correct. Sometimes boys will be girls and girls will be boys. Heck, leaving transgendered issues aside, throughout Western history one of the highest compliments you could give a woman was that she was like a man. 😛

  4. Actually, your cooking has come SO far. I remember when hot dogs in the micro was a feat for you. LOL

    I also think a lot of people tend to hide behind the “boys will be boys” idea. They use it to get away with behavior under the guise that it’s not really *their* fault, being it’s what is “expected” of them. I think this goes for both boys and girls. Guys who refuse to learn how to care for themselves and woman who refuse to learn how to survive without a man would probably be the far extreme of this mindset. I might enjoy being a rich man’s wife, but I’m not banking on it LOL

  5. Naw, hot dogs were never a feat. I had already learned bacon by then, which is much more complicated. Stir fry, now that was a feat. And it still is in my mom’s wok. Ho-ly that thing is wierd! I burnt the eggplant dish I got from your magazine, although not too badly and the rest of the recipie was good. Mom went back for third helpings, LOL.

    A-fucking men to your statment about “boys will be boys”, too. Sometimes it bloggles my mind that such an idiodic saying is still used to “defend” bad behaviour.

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