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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3448 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

16 responses to ““The formula for understanding women””

  1. Helen

    I have two for the bingo card already – Humour Deficient and Get a Life. Both from SATP, naturally! :-/

    That XKCD cartoon which one commenter linked to is the perfect riposte. If I ever get this joke as an email forward I’ll link to that and hit “Reply All”.

  2. Deborah

    I go my grump thoroughly on when I saw that post.

  3. Natalie

    Just to add, my immediate thought is when I see those jokes is that the implication is that women are hard to understand, because, you know, they are hysterical – those hormones, hah! Just when you think you understand them – it’s that time of the month!

  4. hannah's dad

    Is it me, or my computer, or did that thread just disappear from LP?

  5. Deborah

    If it’s just you, hd, then it’s me too. The thread is no longer on LP…

  6. hannah's dad

    Ta Deborah.

    Interesting.

  7. Casey

    When writing on gender, the author proposed that somehow, the written language cannot bear it eh? Oh please. Language does not come apart on its own. I tell you what can’t bear it. The sexist notions in the writing that feminist analysis cracks open. And so it just had to disappear. It could not be borne, this feminist analysis.

    Now what I said over there was, and you can’t erase it here, is that the little joke you posted was coming from a taxonomy of tropes, characteristics and attributes that range from the whimsical to the mysterious, to the irrational to the mad and that these are characteristics attributed to women (and to black people and to children and to the disabled). This taxonomy has a long history and is used to control and to demean women and to keep them out of the order of the rational and the law and world of the logos, which belongs to men, which is what that scribble on the blackboard represents, which is why there is a man there. Regardless of where that picture came from, it was used to form a narrative which borrows from this taxonomy of which I speak.

    The joke was a sexist one and I’m rather pissed the post was removed. I don’t think it’s the words that can bear it, don’t you?.

  8. tigtog

    I’ve just discovered that the thread was deleted. I don’t think that was the best response. I don’t feel I can say much more though.

  9. orlando

    I’m bewildered (wasn’t watching the thread). Could someone describe to me what happened?

  10. tigtog

    Casey’s comment is directed towards Brian rather than me, for a start, even though he isn’t engaging here.

    Brian’s post was rambly and ill-thought-through, and he tried to say later that what he meant was how differently everybody’s brains are, so that what he wanted to discuss was genetics vs culture in brain function generally, and not just gender and he’d rather we left gender out of it. However, starting the thread off with a gender-stereotype forwarded-email joke made it impossible for gender not to be the primary lens of the discussion, didn’t it?

    Apart from puerile contributions from SATP and UteMan the thread didn’t actually go where I expected, which was indeed a pleasant surprise. However, engaging with criticism of the decision to post the joke in the first place just didn’t happen. And then the thread got deleted.

  11. AJ

    There is nothing worse than generalizations, like that “all men” think the way you have portrayed them to think.

    Equality is a two way street and it’s a shame that progress for either side is hindered by generalized comments and deep seated prejudices.

    Women shouldn’t be pigeon holed any more than men, but ALL moody, irrational behavior by both genders should be called and deemed indefensible.

    Treat others as you wish to be treated!

  12. tigtog

    I’m curious as to where you are seeing any generalisations about “all men” in either the post or the comments, AJ. Care to be more specific?

  13. AJ

    Sure thing…..

    a woman should apparently not ever have different preferences and priorities from other women

    You imply what men think, by making assumptions about the way men perceive women’s priorities.

    “man could actually ask a woman for a bit of background on her current preferences and priorities”

    You make a generalization that men don’t – As a male I could make a sweeping statement such as “Women could stop talking and listen to their husband’s wants and needs for a change” – That would be met with rightful debate and condemnation of prejudice.

  14. tigtog

    AJ, you do understand that I am commenting on this particular image used in this particular joke, don’t you?

    I am not making a comment on all male assumptions everywhere, I am only commenting on the assumptions that form the pre-conditions for this particular punch-line.

    Do you have a different explanation for what assumptions are supposed to be being made by the target audience for this specific “joke”?

  15. tigtog

    Seeing as the LP post has now been deleted, here’s another version of the same image that was used:
    http://mitchieville.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/understanding-women.jpg

    Tagline of the original email-forwarded “joke”: “And thus, dear students, we have arrived at the formula for understanding women.”

  16. Helen

    Oh ho ho! My sides! My sides!

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