Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Annoying Gender Stereotype

I don't even know who should be more offended by this, men or women:

“Professor” Sheridan Simove has produced a 200 page book entitled “What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex”. The work has sold out online on Amazon following heavy promotion in student unions across Britain. The £4.69 item, which was intended as a novelty gift, is being used by students as a notebook.
Of course, gender stereotypes make the world seem more comprehensible, so people don't mind being insulted as long as the hope of reducing humanity to a facile set of stereotypes is offered to them. 


Anonymous said...

Great last sentence.

When I was relatively young, I figured out that gender stereotypes, racism, nativism, conspiracy theories etc., were all mainly due to most people finding thinking to be painful.

Since I never found thinking to be painful, I didn't understand any of those things until I viewed them from that lens of reduced cognitive cost.


Clarissa said...

Very true. Most people would go to any lengths to avoid the painful necessity to think.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, Montreal bookstores were selling a book entitled 'What Men Know about Women', with all its pages empty. So this new 'book' is nothing new.

I am sure that the 'author' of this plagiaristic 'masterpiece' should have substituted 'men' with 'me' to make the 'book' a bestseller.


Clarissa said...

So this is not even original? How silly!

NancyP said...

There are no original jokes.

beautype said...

Yes - I appreciate your point that "gender stereotypes make the world seem more comprehensible;" hence their prevalence. I find it difficult, outside of academic settings, to find an openness to challenging stereotypes of this sort, perhaps because they are for many the last bastion of self construction, a reservoir of identity that is too painful, almost literally, to rework.

I have spent many frustrated moments trying to give counterexamples to my mother's certainty that women are natural "nesters," while men are "protectors." After a while, I gave up and decided that her thinking is the way the world makes sense to her, and that to undermine it would perhaps be destructive if it pulled the rug of references through which she identifies and maps the world. I also decided that if I represent an alternative to this template, she could make up her own conclusions in her own way. All this to say that this concrete example (the book)is probably embedded in a vast scheme of symbols by which the world - and the self - becomes intelligible. To challenge a single coordinate in the network "pulls", like a net, on the others, meaning that to tug at one ends up tugging at many others, only obliquely connected but nonetheless with a vital relation to it. Okay, so there's way more thinking than I intended. But what are these things for if not exploring new thoughts?

Clarissa said...

These are fascinating thoughts, so feel free to explore them here as much as you like.