The classic woman archetype
August 1, 2000 1:43 PM   Subscribe

The classic woman archetype is an endangered species. This is a continuation of this thread.
posted by ZachsMind (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
People were complaining that the guy linked to his own site. I happen to empathize with what he says in his essay, so I'm now making his link legitimate. The link is NOT mine. It has proven to stimulate discussion. It now falls within the guidelines of MeFi.

faith: "I'm not a "female person" as you seem to define the term. I'm just a plain old person. I like it that way." Faith. That is precisely his point. You do not see yourself predominantly as a woman, but as an equal. A person. This is noble and just. However, it has come at the cost of much. This is just another example of the Male Reaction to this.

Unlike Steven, I am not indicating this is good or bad. Men have not taken it very well. The Man Show is just one of the examples of how we're coping with it.

faith: And if being a "sensitive new age guy" isn't the real you, why are you being one? If you can't be yourself, then the problem lies with you, not with anyone else.

That is so amusing to hear a femaleperson say. Femalepersons asked men to become more sensitive. Many femalepersons have made several subtle and not so subtle demands of men in the last twenty or thirty years. Some have refused, and they were insulted and labelled 'chauvinists.' Others complied, and lost a part of themselves along the way.

This is precisely what Steven is referring to. Oh! But it's now OUR fault as men for trying to comply to the wishes of femalepersons, AND I might add we have done this with little or no compensation as a reward. Perhaps a pat on the head, or a sympathy roll for old times sake.

Men don't like it. We're not going to like it. We simply have no choice. Complaining about it as Steven has done, is one of many ways we have chosen to cope with it, and retain some illusion of self-dignity. But make no mistake. You 'femalepersons' couldn't castrate us and make us feel worse about the future.

Hate to break your illusion, Steven. That "Raven" you met? She's still a femaleperson. It's just that her chosen job is to give that illusion to those men who pay well for it.

I rarely go to strip clubs. The few times I have, I am sickened by the hypocrisy. It's all an act. And were I one who could suspend disbelief and believe for a nanosecond that these intelligent, talented and provocative female persons actually enjoyed anything about me other than my money, perhaps I could feel as you do. In today's society, I've learned the hard way that finding a woman is like salt-water fishing. Throw the line out there. Let it be known you are available. Wait for a bite. Try to be aware of when a woman is coming on to you.

God it's hard sometimes cuz they're purposefully very subtle about it. Wish they could just walk up to a guy and say, "I'm interested, let's go." But then they look desperate or something. They have to chase you until you catch them, making you think you're doing it the whole time. But make no mistake, you are right in that women --the classical definition of women-- are a dying breed. Men must adapt to the changing times.

In my experience, when a femaleperson acts like a woman, she's up to something. She wants something. The romantic illusions of yesteryear are just that. You're a MAN. Buck up. Adapt. Survive. Otherwise, I don't care how tight your handshake is, you're a wimp. Patience is the virtue of the 21st century male.

There are now men, women and femalepersons. Women are still out there but there are less and less of them.

Oh and Steven? A little secret for ya. Femalepersons are often actually women hiding behind their own version of machismo. If you're real lucky, you get a glimpse of the woman hiding behind the pretenses.

It just takes patience. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 1:50 PM on August 1, 2000

There are no more men, just "male persons". These malepersons are too weak and pansy-assed to cope with a woman who is equal to them in status and demeanor, and does not provide them with sexualized attention, touching and flirtation upon demand. These malepersons aren't interested in being with a real woman. They only want strippers and other females who devote themselves to providing men with sexualized attention. I know this is the case, because none of the malepersons around me are interested in dating me.

Or maybe it's because I'm already living with someone-- naaah. It's those damn malepersons!
posted by wiremommy at 2:13 PM on August 1, 2000 [1 favorite]

jesus christ people. This is stretching the boundries and testing my patience (I'm hovering over the delete thread link in my admin interface)...

Ok, I read the first three pages of the article over lunch. Why three pages? Because I couldn't stand to read another word, it's offensive! So there's about a million things I find wrong with the article, but the biggest one is this:

If you think an ideal woman that treats you right is a stripper, then you have some serious issues about how you deal with women.

A stripper is an actor. Someone that gets paid to strut around and arouse men. They're playing a part. They're NOT REAL. They're GETTING PAID CASH to act this way, which I doubt is how they act off stage (they have stage names, remember? Candy loves everyone on stage, but when Cindy goes home at night, she's wary of attackers).

And why, do pray tell, more women not act like strippers? Why would the only "women" you find be located in a strip club, I mean hey, any woman on the street can act like a stripper right? Why don't they? Could you imagine a woman walking down the street shaking her goods and talking up every man on the sidewalk, maybe asking for tips?

There's so many other things worth dissecting, but I won't do it. Steven, take a long, hard look at yourself. The only thing you can change is yourself. If the world is doing everything wrong, then look at yourself and figure out why it's the world's problem and not yours. I can't change the world, and you can't either. You can change yourself. But that's the tough part, admitting you have a problem and figuring out how to change it.
posted by mathowie at 2:24 PM on August 1, 2000 [1 favorite]

After reading the essay, I have to think the only meaningful breakdown is "women who will go out with you" and "women who won't." All that femaleperson vs. woman and Anglo vs. Hispanic stuff just sounds like a product of loneliness-induced dementia. That stripper was working you, Steven. Incorporating her into a unified theory of modern womanhood strikes me as the wrong way to go. I'm the least qualified person in the world to be doling out romantic advice, but when I was in your position, I put myself into situations where people drank a lot and waited for someone to look at me through beer goggles.
posted by rcade at 2:33 PM on August 1, 2000

Hey, Zach, this is a duplicate post! It was linked to earlier today, pay attention.

(no, you CAN'T win. :-)

On topic:

I'm glad there are fewer and fewer of what Steven wants in women. Maybe it's the difference in age, the fact that I've been raised by "female persons" of all stripes, I don't know, but damn, I can't imagine enjoying being with a person who's subservient to my every whim and desire.

Last night, I cooked supper, and took out the garbage. My girlfriend fixed the dining room table and vacuumed the rug. Tonight, who knows what we'll do.

I met her at our last place of employment - we've both since moved on to new and better employers. We became friends at work, with no flirting, no "womanly ways" or whatever, and fell in love outside our office.

She was, and is, a "female person" and I take serious issue with you insulting her.

I like people who are intelligent, dynamic, real people, not some characature of some old TV show. I love the fact that as I'm at home pouding away on my FreeBSD box, she's sitting there with me, offering - usually good - suggestions. She's a person. Plain and simple, a person.

Stop segregating people, and you'll find there's a whole lot more of the world for you to encounter.
posted by cCranium at 2:45 PM on August 1, 2000

LOL! I think we "male persons" are coping quite well under the circumstances. Thank you very much. Some better than others and each in their own way.

The difficulty though is how both genders see the other gender as an entity. Individuals should see one another as individuals and the gender thing should be irrelevant. However, there are also these feral drives that exist in everyone: what I believe Freud once referred to as the ID. Try as we might to deny our inner nature, there are times when a man just wants a woman, or a woman just wants a man (homosexuals please include your own variants here I do not mean to leave anyone out.) Sometimes you're just horny, y'know? It's natural. It's human. It should be considered normal.

No. Not anymore. Some femalepersons find it totally unsuitable under most circumstances. Men are to behave themselves. No whistling. No whooping or being silly. No comeon lines. In fact, even compliments and smiles are frowned upon anymore. There is no way for a man to approach a femaleperson if his intent is to try to start a relationship with more than aquaintenceship in mind from the first step.

EXCEPT for one exception. If the femaleperson found the guy to be hunk material before he spotted her. THEN it's okay., anyone?

I'm sure if Steven were to break it down for you, and detail each individual relationship he has experienced (successful and otherwise) we would see dramatic contrasts and subtle similarities. It is the similarities which often make up the framework for this new stereotype he's attempting to coin: this "femaleperson" mentality. It is where women differ that we see how individuality still exists and it is those "chinks in the armor" that some can use to dismiss this as tomfoolery and ignorance. I've seen it too. I know what he's talking about - femalepersons do exist. So do malepersons. There was once this old chauvinistic saying. Something to the effect of, "it's no crime to look baby."

It is now. or it might as well be.

I have learned the hard way, that if one simply stays the course and tries not to think about it, women start coming to you. Sadly, you don't get to pick the women. They pick you. I've found the selection to be delicious, though not what I would have picked for myself.

The trick is not to try to get any female's attention. Once you start trying they scatter. Pretend you don't care, and stop dwelling on it, and it comes with time and patience. ...If you have to ask what the "it" is that I'm talking about, you are just a gender person. Take two pills, an evening in a strip club, and call the Doktor in the morning. "Wake up, puppet boy."
posted by ZachsMind at 3:01 PM on August 1, 2000

I rather like a world with blurred genders, and I wish they'd hurry up and blur a bit more. People are much more interesting when they're people, and not just Man and Woman. I like being able to have female friends and male friends and not have to distinguish between the types. I like being able to do what's fun without worrying that I'm somehow betraying "my gender." I like starting from the idea that the treacherous gulf of misunderstanding which lies between the sexes isn't necessarily such a big deal after all.

The idea that they're them and we're us and that's the way it's always been and will be is so frustrating I'd rather give up and go live in a cave on top of a mountain somewhere than let that be true.

If the price of freedom from strict gender roles is increased ambiguity and a more confusing mating dance, well, that's alright - dealing with social complexity is one thing at which human beings are, as a species, talented in the extreme. Our ancestors mastered the etiquette of the formal ball, and a modern workplace is child's play to that. Besides, the best relationships seem to work out not when two people are hunting for each other, but when circumstance trips them into each other's lives and they just can't seem to step back out. Perhaps that it's harder to hunt for a mate at work than it used to be will turn out to be a good thing.

That it is a good thing doesn't make it any easier for the people who have to live through the transition. It can't be pleasant to get to like life one way, then have society turn around and change it on you in the space of a mere decade or two.

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:02 PM on August 1, 2000

Hmm. Bit of an unwarranted assumption there. I should say, "the mid-to-upper classes of the nations in which my ancestors lived mastered the etiquette of the formal ball..." Sorry about that :-)

posted by Mars Saxman at 3:05 PM on August 1, 2000

"In fact, even compliments and smiles are frowned upon anymore."

Zach, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you make ridiculous statements like that? Of course compliments and smiles are not frowned upon. People at my workplace compliment one another and smile every day. If your compliments and smiles are being frowned upon, perhaps it's because you're actually ogling and leering.

Yeah, compliments like "Nice gams, baby" are frowned upon, as they should be, just as "Nice ass, stud boy" would not be warmly received. Is that what you're mourning? Do you want to be able to whistle at women and yell "Show us your tits!" with impunity?

Believe me, I understand what it's like to be lonely and angry about it, and to begin to hate the opposite sex because you can't seem to get any play. But there wasn't anything wrong with men-as-a-whole when I couldn't get a date. There isn't anything wrong with women-as-a-whole, Anglo or otherwise, or "female persons", just because Den Beste can't get a date. Yeah, there have been cultural changes since the last time he dated, but it's a big world. With some effort he should be able to find some nice Republican lady who wants to fit his definition of what a woman should be.

I wasn't seeing anyone because I just hadn't met the one for me. So I got involved in other things to take my mind off my non-dating woes, and I met the right guy for me. I guess it would have been easier for me to sit around and write essays about how all men had turned into "male persons" who hate gender differences, despise women, and deprive women of attention and affection-- but strangely enough, I don't think demonizing the opposite sex is going to fill up anyone's appointment book.
posted by wiremommy at 3:38 PM on August 1, 2000

zachsmind wrote:
"Men are to behave themselves. No whistling. No whooping or being silly. No comeon lines. In fact, even compliments and smiles are frowned upon anymore."

see, the thing is, those things have never been acceptable. not in the 50's, not in the 40's, not in the roaring 20's, not in the 1800s, not in the 1700s.... those behaviors have never been felt by women to be respectful. or by men, for that matter, I don't think.

"There is no way for a man to approach a femaleperson if his intent is to try to start a relationship with more than aquaintenceship in mind from the first step."

there are plenty of ways to approach a woman. "would you like to have coffee sometime?" is usually a good start. if a woman isn't interested, of course, if she says "not, thank you" and doesn't add that she'd like to another time, then she's not interested, and that doesn't have anything to do with a set of "new rules"--she just isn't interested in you in that way. no big deal. if you continue to pursue her, she'll begin to think of you as a pest and then as a jerk.

here is something that has changed:
when my mother was interviewing for her first job out of college, she walked into one job and was told by the interviewer "oh, we didn't think any women would apply for this job." they chatted for fifteen minutes about the weather, and that was that.

sexual discrimination, anyone?

here's something women don't like:
men who, if you're not attracted to them, dislike you. I was unfortunate to work for and with two people like that. I wasn't interested in them in that way, there was no spark on my side, and I was subject to snide remarks and a lot of attitude from both of these men while I worked there. I finally made peace with the one (after he started dating someone); as for my boss, as some point or another I got tired of being at war with him and I started letting him touch me. not in personal places, but I really had kept a physical distance from him prior to that. he liked me better then.

isn't that gross?

at that same job (I was a waitress) I went out twice with a customer--as friends, as I thought. once I realized he was interested *dating* me, I declined the third invitation and explained as clearly and respectfully as I could that I wasn't interested in him in that way, and that I wasn't comfortable spending time with him (and his money on me) under the circumstances. he argued with me. if it didn't bother him, why should it bother me? but I declined.

he began talking about me to the other regular customers there. after he had a few drinks, he would move down the bar to the waitress station and begin quizzing me as to why I wouldn't go out with him. he was friends with the boss, and a regular at the bar, so management wasn't going to do anything. I had two choices: quit or put up with it.

sexual harrassment, anyone?

women have emasculated men because sometimes they are not interested in you romantically, or because they don't respond favorably to cat calls? is that really your argument?

posted by rebeccablood at 4:08 PM on August 1, 2000

Though several of you have attributed it to him, I didn't read anything about the desire to make catcalls in his essay or original post.

I can understand the distaste for the men whom you have experienced negatively in your past. But remember this guy can't be lumped with them, anymore than you wish to be lumped with all of the negative experiences he has experienced.
posted by Sqwerty at 5:39 PM on August 1, 2000

I can't believe I am responding to the infantile, narcisstic rant this guy posted on his webpage, and then linked to on metafilter -- always a classy touch. (Nice one!)

But this the web, and well, hell, the guy is enjoying the controversy -- he has yelled "fire" and we sure as hell are running -- besides why else would he do it except to give himself a few laughs, and the opportunity to take on his opponents. (From behind a computer.) -- so here is another two cents.

So, this guy couldn't get a date for awhile, and then decided this was a result of, more or less, the feminist movement. (i.e. women wanting to be seen, treated and recognized as people)

This is a classic response to 1970's feminism. -- Hey guy, you're not alone! -- As much as I would like to think his opinions are his, and no one elses, since I am a woman that likes to be treated as person (Wow. Revolutionary!) they obviously aren't.

Clearly, I am thinking of "Backlash" by Susan Faludi. Now, maybe if this guy read her book "Shafted" (I think that's the title.) -- the recent one, he might be able to have a rational, even interesting, discussion regarding the issues he brings up. One more fitting for what Metafilter is trying to be.

Instead, he sounds like a 13 year old boy who makes up sexual conversations with female action figures, but can't talk to girls.

Obviously, he has trouble relating to women with whom he isn't involved in a commercial transaction. (I pay x dollars, and you act like y kind of woman.- We all go home happy.)

So first off guy, you are not alone. Second, as person who also happens to be a woman, I find your opinions frighteningly immature. Maybe what you need are female friends, then you can bring the discussion to a personal level, not a public, political one which your essay proposes.
posted by birgitte at 5:41 PM on August 1, 2000

The Faludi book is called Stiffed. Read about it here but, if you disagree with Amazon's controversial patents, you can always buy it here.

Sqwerty, read more closely. Zach said "Men are to behave themselves. No whistling. No whooping or being silly. No comeon lines." The responses were mostly pitched as questions: "Is that what you're mourning? Do you want to be able to whistle at women and yell "Show us your tits!" with impunity?" -- "...women have emasculated men because sometimes they are not interested in you romantically, or because they don't respond favorably to cat calls? is that really your argument?"

No, nothing in the original essay or post addressed whistling, yelling at women, etc., but ZachsMind brought up that whistling and comeon lines are no longer acceptable, and that's what we're responding to.
posted by wiremommy at 5:57 PM on August 1, 2000

wiremommy-- thanks, couldn't remember the title.
posted by birgitte at 6:14 PM on August 1, 2000

wow this is retarded
posted by chaz at 6:36 PM on August 1, 2000

Thanks for your valuable contribution, chaz.
posted by wiremommy at 6:47 PM on August 1, 2000

The person being described here as me isn't anyone I recognize. I want to treat everyone politely, with respect. Everyone. I always did. That's how I was raised.

I don't now and never did grope women, or make catcalls, or whistle, or compliment women on their butts in lewd ways. I didn't even do that to the strippers, which is why I was characterized as a "nice guy" by them.

When I compliment a woman on her looks, I invariably say "You look very nice today." I haver never had any indication from anyone that they found that offensive. (I was even able to say that to female persons sometimes at work without getting into trouble.)

But people are beginning to respond to other people's characterizations of me rather than going back to the primary source, and with each passing post I'm becoming more and more demonized. Also more and more people are viewing this as an opportunity to take a cheap shot. I'm beginning to realize that a lot of the people participating in this thread never actually read my original article at all, but are simply making (incorrect) deductions about it from what other people have said.

I've learned my lesson. I won't ever share anything deep and important with MeFi again; it's clearly inappropriate.

Light and humorous, that's the order of the day. Jokes. And never a reference to myself or any mention of how I feel.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 6:52 PM on August 1, 2000

Steven, the person being described here ISN'T you, for the most part. We're reacting to ZachsMind's comments about whistles and comeons, not to you. We aren't ascribing those comments to you. The arguments in this thread are largely about Zach's writings, not yours.

When Zach agreed with you and contributed his own perspective, seeming to yearn for the halcyon days when men could whistle and howl at women with impunity-- well, that I had to contest, and some others did as well. They're mostly responding to Zach, not your essay.

However, sure, let's bring it back to your essay. You describe yourself as a nice guy who treats women with respect, but your attitudes toward women as libido-less, soulless "female persons" are hardly respectful. They're angry and hateful.

My takeaway from your essay was that women don't react to you the way that you would like them to, so you denounce all white women as unfeminine "female persons" who ignore you, isolate you, and persecute you because you want a hug. We all need closeness with fellow humans, we all need physical contact with our preferred sex. But if you aren't getting that closeness and contact, it's not because every member of the opposite sex has somehow turned into a robotic "female person" who hates hugs and cuddling. It means you're failing to connect with your fellow humans, which is something you need to work on and figure out.

I knew a guy in college who had the same issues with women, and therapy seemed to help.

At any rate, I find it disingenous that you're complaining about being demonized now. You said when you posted it that you were going to get fried for it. You were right.
posted by wiremommy at 7:28 PM on August 1, 2000

I know the original comment about catcalls came from Zach. I was merely pointing out that it had nothing to do with the original post. But that the reactions to it and other similar opinions (Zach's for one) were about as informed and complex as those you vilified. In the interests of saving space I'm only going to repeat one of the choice tit for tat phrases. It doesn't mean there weren't others, but that the herd mentality was just as narrow as the behavior ascribed to the authors who dare hold differing opinions.

"Instead, he sounds like a 13 year old boy who makes
up sexual conversations with female action figures,
but can't talk to girls."

You don't educate people with character assassinations. But you do run the risk of reinforcing their negative outlook. I tend towards appreciating personhood, but it is a lot more palatable with a less politically correct bent.

It doesn't matter if you are talking about gender, race, age or size. Vilifying the people who dare to voice their painful and isolated opinions doesn't educate, it deepens the isolation and often reinforces the negative stereotype.

posted by Sqwerty at 8:15 PM on August 1, 2000

What is so amusing here is that now I'm the one being demonized, for one sentence. It's as if the only thing I said was that I like catcalls. I don't even like catcalls. We're all personalizing all of this and it's really lovingly ridiculous.

Perhaps a "present company excepted" disclaimer would have worked? I'm not talking about anyone specifically. Maybe we only have men and women here and no 'female persons' or 'male persons'. It's actually a combination of the four, but we're splitting hairs and taking it personally.

Or rather, some of you appear to be taking it personally. I've been demonized on the 'Net more times than I care to remember, and usually it's because of misunderstandings, and taking something out of context.

Do I expect people to take me seriously? No I do not. Were I to, I'd often be disappointed. I do not live under the impression that somehow one phrase that I type will change the world, unlike some combinations of words I've read by others both here and elsewhere on the 'Net.

I just like sharing words. I like reading other's words and then introducing my own. It's why this place is more addictive than crack. We all enjoy doing that or we wouldn't be here. We're sharing thoughts and opinions here. We're going to disagree.

Steven was pointing out an irony in his last essay. That for several years he was only able to communicate with women on a distant level, because from his perspective, they had this social armor plating around them. They showed this attitude that were he to show any indication he was an aroused male, they'd yell sexual discrimination or chauvinism or what have you. And he accepted it. As many men do in this society today, to various levels of success or frustration.

The irony was it took a trip to Las Vegas and interaction with women whose job wasn't to sit at a desk or push papers, but to gasp! Actually attempt to arouse him for him to see that what he had experienced for the last several years was quite definitely not looking for him, and he's hoping to discover alternatives, perhaps possibly in this forum, or elsewhere.

I was not insinuating that Steven liked catcalling or whatever you call it. I was not insinuating that I like doing that. I don't. You can pretend however you want. The point is, that type of 'man' has been branded politically incorrect, and were a man in today's society to like such a thing, he'd have to keep it to himself anyway.

At work, or pretty much anywhere nowadays, one has to walk with blinders on. Head straight for wherever it is you're going. Perhaps you can occasionally "pez" a passing stranger, but the days of a man noticing a woman, doing a doubletake, and turning around and instigating a conversation are pretty much over.

Otherwise you're risking a lawsuit. Why? Because we have over the last several generations slowly built up these assumptions about strangers that they are not to be trusted. If they stop and talk to you they obviously want something. So up go the 'male person' and 'female person' shields.

I honestly don't know why I try in here sometimes. People have already made their assumptions about me. And THAT is the whole point to this thread. Assumptions. Women have made assumptions about men and for purposes of defense they put up this 'female person' armor plating. So the guy can't even approach her anymore without finding himself standing in the middle of a minefield.

Then a man experiences this from several women, and makes blanket assumptions about all of them. This is JUST as bad as the female person armor plating. However, it too is done as a defense mechanism.

The result is we build walls about us and the whole point of socializing becomes null and void. The battle of the sexes has become a cold war. In his own way, Steven was hoping his essay would be the equivalent of Reagan facing off with Gorbachev. He brought the link here to start a discussion on the topic. Not to have his character assassinated, but to have his thoughts and ideas considered, questioned, dismantled, or agreed upon, or otherwise examined.

Not the person. The thoughts and ideas. The fact he originally linked it himself should be irrelevant. It's the exchange of ideas that should be paramount.

But please. By all means. If you prefer to continue character assassination, by all means assume I enjoy treating women like sides of beef. It's not like I haven't proven in the past I can take it. Leave Steven out of it though. That wasn't his intent to be personally maligned just because he wanted to share his thoughts and ideas with this forum.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:59 PM on August 1, 2000

okay, mathowie,
its time to hit that thread delete button!

posted by lagado at 11:58 PM on August 1, 2000

You were right, Cranium. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 5:38 AM on August 2, 2000

Wow, I was? I think that's quite possibly the first time that's ever happened!
posted by cCranium at 6:00 AM on August 2, 2000

Leave Steven out of it though. That wasn't his intent to be personally maligned just because he wanted to share his thoughts and ideas with this forum.

When did this become the crybaby thread? Steven got kid-glove treatment from a lot of people, despite the fact that he committed the cardinal sin of MetaFilter and linked to his own site. Now we're supposed to feel sorry for him -- and for you? Feh.
posted by rcade at 8:31 AM on August 2, 2000

Sqwerty - I went a little over the top with that comment. I apologize if it offended anyone.

The thing is, I have a hard time taking this discussion and the original post all that seriously, so I got a little flippant.

Metafilter probably isn't the best place to raise these types of issues, and if someone is willing to open the door on this topic, they should be ready for any and all types of comments.

IMHO this forum functions best as an exchange of information. I've learned quite a bit from it. It doesn't function well as a place for personal rants. That's what a personal weblog is for.

If one opens the discussion with an inflammatory essay, one shouldn't be surprised by the response, particularly from the group defined and vilified in one's essay.

Really, is it that hard to figure out?
posted by birgitte at 9:19 AM on August 2, 2000

IMHO The original essay appeared to me as a personal view on the clash between the classic engineer and feminist positions.

One problem with indentifing with your job role is to find yourself confined by it. You can't go into a relationship with and engineer's approach.

The pitfall of casting generalizations on women's or men's mentality is that it ignores the individual and it's the individual with whom we deal with in day to day interactions. As society matures people tend to be more free. The definition of things like marriage hasn't changed, people's ability to choose did. As roles are relaxed and the level of tolerance for sexist behavior decreases, freedom rises. Those that feel the stress of this change are unwilling to adapt to a more open dialogue between the sexes. Relationships of today require a lot more openess to maintain then ever before.

As much as things have changed, the fundamentals of sexual selection have changed very little and if you have trouble with that (and I think this is what has been pointed out many times as the real problem) then you will tend to be alone.

Whatever personas you feel these women (or men) have taken on, it is their choice. It is their proctection and their way of dealing with the world. The thing to keep in mind that things like feminism were never meant to curb communication between the sexes, but to actually allow them to communicate without "sex" always butting in.

posted by john at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2000

That was beautiful John.
posted by Sqwerty at 1:37 PM on August 2, 2000

Hey! I posted something here and now it's gone? Is this a bug, or did I offend someone so deeply that Mathowie deleted it?
posted by grumblebee at 8:36 AM on August 6, 2000

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