Friday, March 31, 2006

Please Comment

Please contribute to a debate that is currently raging (okay maybe just simmering). The comment below was posted on Raymond's blog in March. The subject of Raymond's post was his annoyance at stores who do not post their legally required notices such as liquor licenses, freezer licenses, ect. When Raymond notices that someone is not following the rules he likes to make trouble for them. This is one of his hobbies. Many comments were posted in response, and this one stood out to me. Please comment on the comment and let me know what you think of the statement:

"# re: On the alert for expired food-handling licenses Tuesday, March 21, 2006 4:54 PM by Wang-Lo Many anthropoligists believe that the human male most naturally pays attention to larger aggregates and abstractions, while the female is most in touch with practical everyday details. Usually men undertake work such as associating families into tribes and tribes into nations. Organizing the big hunt is manly. Usually women perform the tasks of making and repairing shelter and clothing, gathering and preparing food, and tending the fire. Fixing lunch is womanly. This means that it is usually men who set up things like food handling regulations and a department of health to enforce them. Actually filling out the proper forms or properly posting the latest certificates would fall to some administrative assistant or secretary, usually a woman. So a man would be satisfied that proper health laws were on the books, but a woman would insist that the posted certificates be up to date. In other words, Raymond, you complain like a girl too."

6 comments:

Raymond said...

I didn't car whether the statements were true or not. I just liked the punch line.

::Wendy:: said...

i'm too busy fixing lunch to comment on this

::Wendy:: said...

Ignoring the first sentence for a while. He describes 'manliness' and womanliness' based on description of 'usual' activities and roles. My personal experience aligns with his description. That within society men more commonly do some things and women to usually do other things. He makes no VALUE judgement in this description.

He does imply, not say, that it is NATURAL by reference to the 'beliefs' of specialists like anthropolgists and by the implication that the gender-based role differences are common across societies. Here I'd quibble. Mainly because I know of psychological research that supports a contrary position for handling abstract concepts, women tend to be better at it, guys are more spatially-physically oriented. But it is a normal distribution within any gender, so many women will have stronger visio-spatial skills and many men will have stronger verbal abstract concept skills.

For me, the main problem is making a static set of gender-based expectations, perpetuating them through discussion and using them to relate to people in ways that offend and overlook the individuals abilities and strengths. That happens way too often. I can tell numerous stories of where I've been discriminated against because someone has applied a stereo-type of femaleness to me....

Joy to the World said...

I must be fair here. I do not blame Raymond in any way for this post. He did not say the things, and he did not have an obligation to refute them.

Joy to the World said...

Wendy's first comment is my absolute favorite one I think I've ever gotten. The second comment makes a lot of sense. I still feel that the writer is implying that men do the important stuff while women take care of the insignificant.

::Wendy:: said...

my 'gut' reaction was - that guys sexist. It made me angry. I was suprised by the strength of my negative emotional reaction to his comment - its like I naturally made lots of assumptions about him