Flutterby™! : Speaking for a gender

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Speaking for a gender

2001-06-27 03:44:15+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Just heard Susan Estrich on City Arts & Lectures, speaking on a lot of things, including grand generalizations about "women's issues", and I couldn't help but think that if Howard Stern presumed to speak "for men" I'd go postal.

[ related topics: Politics Political Correctness ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:59+00 by: Dylan

I often ponder this subject. It's laughable to me that a person today can't make a broad general statement about the interests of, say, gay folks or Nicaraguans or (in other words, pick a group...), but we still feel perfectly reasonable saying "women's issues", or "men are so x, y, and z".

The fact is that opinion in *all* those groups is a lot more varied than is comfortable for most people to accept. I know plenty of beehived housewives in Texas and elsewhere who wouldn't give up their lot for the world...and to them, women's issues are a lot different than what we usually think of.

To say that "women want" a thing, or "guys think" a thing is the height of bullshit. And you know, I could almost (not quite) stomach political correctness if it wasn't so obviously and blatantly hypocritical. Anyone who spends a lot of time berating people for their differing opinions, allegedly in defense of the downtrodden, needs to shut the hell up.

Particularly amusing to me, though, is the amount of time both genders (at least their heterosexual members) spend thinking about "what women want", or "what men are thinking"...do *you* feel any sort of empathic bond with your gender like this? That you know what each and every one of them wants and needs? Speaking of "women's issues", or "men's rights", or any of the other horrifyingly generalized concepts so prevalent these days, is a fantasy.

Many women want what we traditionally think of as "men's ideal"...casual sex with little to no emotional attachment. Many men are broken inside because they had ridiculous romantic fantasies about love and life...which they don't share because that's "women's stuff". And then...there are the ones who are just what they're expected to be, and every conceivable shade of feeling in between. We're people, not RPG characters. We don't have attribute scores and charts to determine how we think, feel, believe...I don't know where our feelings and beliefs come from really, but I know that expecting any large group to all want the same things is the height of folly.

And most irritating of all (to me) is that I find myself asking, "what do women want?", too. Let's face it, humans are flawed, and we try to compartmentalize everyone and everything. It's the only way to deal with the mind-boggling complexity of a world with billions of souls coexisting at once. Let's face it...we can ponder these things forever, but it's like asking the meaning of life.

Wow...Holy Tangent, Batman. Happens that I've been thinking about this subject most of today, so you touched off a rant. Believe it or not, this was heavily edited because I kept saying things that I couldn't quite find a way to put across right. If this thread goes anywhere, maybe my thoughts would clear. I'll spare you all writing them down when that time comes.

And Dan, please don't go postal, even though I've heard Stern make plenty of comments which more or less have him "Speaking For Men".

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:59+00 by: Larry Burton

No, I don't think I ever want to see Dan go postal. ;-) Something tells me, though, that if he ever did walk into his workplace with a gun ready to shoot, it would be computers running Windows that would be on the receiving end of his anger.

Dylan, I don't know how much further this thread could possibly go after all you said. What else is there and how could anyone disagree with any of it?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:59+00 by: Dan Lyke

Dylan, Stern may make such proclamations, but my impression is that he's always making them in jest. Estrich seemed deadpan.

And yeah, I don't know where else to take it. Seems like you said most of it.