The letter "W"
may "stand for women," but the numbers suggest that men
are giving Dubya the edge. Garry South, a political adviser and aide to CA Gov.
Gray Davis, recently told The Times that when men are asked to compare
the candidates to cars, Gore's a boxy and useful Volvo, while Bush is a Maserati
or Mustang convertible. South figures "[Men] are saying, 'Wait a minute,
that guy's like who I'd like to be.' " Meanwhile, the forthcoming December
issue of Psychology Today
tries to unearth uncommon common ground in the persistent scientific debate
over whether men -- and women -- can't help but be the way they are. Plus,
The Times reports that experts and commentators continue to claim that
-- whether by the slings of feminism or the arrows of patriarchy -- "masculinity
is under siege." And in the middle of everything, BG receives the letter
below, which serves to set beneath me the Maserati of soapboxes. Vroom vroom!
Gender: Mind the Gap
Dear Breakup Girl,
I started reading a serial in an online women's magazine a few months ago
that has all the guilty pleasures of a soap opera (plus I've been reading it
while I am "writing my thesis"). It was told from the point of view of
the woman. It was fairly realistic (for a soap opera): the woman had a job,
a messy divorce, a small child, friends, gray hair, a life.... interesting stuff.
Recently they added a new serial, supposedly from the point of view of a typical
man. So far, this "typical male" has done nothing except lie to his girlfriend
and string her along, attempt to cheat on her (twice), and try to sleep with
someone barely old enough to be legal. He's supposedly a magazine editor, but
he never works, or talks about it; he doesn't have friends or hobbies. Just
sex. Bad sex. Sex and lies.
I submitted a complaint to the chat room (nothing formal, just some pleasant
whining), expecting other people to say, "Hey, yeah! This new series is unfair.
All men aren't like this. The typical man is a human being! The typical man
is my father!"
It didn't happen. Men and women wrote that that's just the way it goes; men
are naturally pigs, etc. One woman even wrote that it's normal for a man to
go through a phase of infidelity, and that she was interested to see what would
"make him" commit.
Argh! I am so sick of these dumb generalizations about men being afraid to
commit, women being too ready, etc. When we were children, boys were my friends.
They still are, and this stuff makes me feel bad. Not that what is said about
women is any better.
I guess my question is: when did everything become so antagonistic? What good
does calling anyone names do, let alone the entire other half of the species?
Can't we all just get along?
"Can't we all just get along?" BG says sure!