A soupçon of good, a whole mess of lazy “advice”

For once here’s some relationship advice which talks about the way the men and women are TRAINED from an early age to act differently in response to life’s annoyances and pains. That’s a refreshing change from all those articles which try and paint gender-differences in emotional responses as being due to innate genetic XX vs XY differences.

I also like how this comedian I’ve never heard of (Steve Harvey) talks about MUTUAL compromises needing to be made with regard to acknowledging and respecting differences in the way people cope emotionally. It’s just a shame that he makes this out to be purely a man-woman thing.

In fact, Harvey’s advice engages in a helluva lot of stereotyping, as if these cultural gender traits are universally aligned in a gender apartheid, with no crossover or outliers, and that these traits cannot ever be modified by adult self-examination and consciousness-raising.

And there’s not one single mention of how it might just be possible that a couple frustrated by different styles of emotional response could just fucking maybe avoid perpetuating this emotional apartheid based on genitals in the way they raise their own children.

Read the whole thing.

Categories: gender & feminism

Tags: , , , ,

15 replies

  1. That was really irritating to read but I’m way too tired right now to pick it all apart.

  2. (the linked article, I mean, not your post Tigtog!)

  3. No worries, mimbles. I was too obstreperated to fully pick it all apart myself.

  4. “apartheid based on genitals”
    [tongueincheek=ON]Aaaah, forget the genitals, let’s MRI each kid, give the parents a sigma value for where the kid sits as far as corpus callosum thickness goes, fudge in indicis/annularis ratio, and then read the appropriate emotional response off a nomogram.[/tongueincheek]

  5. nomogram
    I imagine a nomogram is where you’re eating something so delicious you can’t pay attention to anything else.
    Or when it’s your birthday, and someone rings the doorbell and it’s a bunch of people all eating cheeseburgers, and they yell “Happy birthday!” through the crumbs.

  6. And I’ve wanted to ask this for years … why does it matter that someone would have the same shirt/dress/other item of apparel that I am wearing?
    Deus Ex Macintosh’s last blog post..Mad Muslim double-feature

  7. DEM — that has always puzzled me too. I’ve always liked accidentally bumping into someone wearing the same shirt (or other item of clothing) as me — I know immediately that they have good taste. 😉
    Kim, I love your definition of the nomogram. 😀

  8. Beats me DEM. Anytime I’ve seen someone with the same item of clothing as me I’ve felt a kind of “there’s a kindred spirit” warm glow.

  9. It’s not something I personally mind, and I can’t wear things I see other women in because I’m over 190cm tall, but it’s a status thing. If someone else is in the same clothes as you, it means that you don’t have more resources than them.
    It’s in a more pure form in the Firefly episode “Shindig”, in which a woman tells Kaylee Frye that her dress looks… almost store-bought. As best I understand, the stigma of wearing ready-to-wear is gone (that’s probably true in Firefly too, Kaylee has accidentally ended up at a party with guests equivalent to the small number of people who wear couture now) and what remains is this vestige, that it’s a serious challenge to one person’s status when a second person has their clothes. In this column, what is apparently particularly outrageous is that that it hasn’t happened by accident: the second person has deliberately flouted convention for the sake of a nice shirt. The whole thing makes more sense (if brutal sense) in the “we’ve ended up in the same clothes… and that means I have been revealed as buying my clothes from a store” form.

  10. @ Mary:
    That makes quite some sense, Mary. Yet another thing which started as a status marker for the elite and which wannabes started copying without understanding the nuances of exactly why it was supposed to matter. Like high heels originally being a status marker that people had carriages and didn’t have to walk long distances, which is why men wore them as well and why they were called “court shoes”, and now we have women walking miles of their daily commute in the blasted things.

  11. Whenever my colleague and I end up wearing something similar we just point and yell ‘twins’ at each other then go back to work. As work has finally gotten around to providing me with some uniform stuff, this will probably happen more often when she’s back from mat leave.

  12. I like Mary’s explanation of clothes as social-status-marker, but it could also be a product of the cultural emphasis on individuality, and consuming reified brands as a means of self-expression.
    I’d argue that predicating self-expression on the display of meaning-imbued objects is a neat way to sell more stuff.
    If a person’s identity is caught up in the display of particular objects, then that identity can be threatened by the revelation of that object as generic.
    Anyway, time for breakfast. I’m having marxism waffles (as you can tell).

  13. LOL!

    That ties in with some of the stuff Naomi Klein says about the co opting and branding of, well just about everything that is not yet branded, but I guess the extreme example is the coopting and remarketing of your resistance to coopting and branding.

  14. marxism waffles


  15. @ #12 The Amazing Kim,
    I suspect it’s a meetng of the two – certain fabrics/styles/brands are status markers but then there’s that reifying aspect laid on top – X a Prada girl, Y is a Manolo queen etc, Z is a Burberry dame. The known cost of the items is an important factor in their capacity for reification as an aspect of individuality.

    I’d argue that predicating self-expression on the display of meaning-imbued objects is a neat way to sell more stuff.

    @ #13 su,

    the extreme example is the coopting and remarketing of your resistance to coopting and branding

    This. Cynical bastards.

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