Monday, March 03, 2008

How about “Charlotte Allen dumb”?

Holy fucking shit, dudes. Did you guys SEE that completely pointless and revolting essay in WaPo about, ahem, how dumb women are?

The essay is called “We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?” The author, Charlotte Allen, uses as her starting-off point her disgust that women are screaming and fainting at Obama rallies. “What,” you say, “women are screaming and fainting at Obama rallies? Why didn’t I know this?”

Well, you didn’t know it because it’s not really so true. The author cites some talk show host who has “tracked” five women who have fainted at Obama rallies since September. Now, bear in mind that these rallies commonly have over 10,000 people in attendance, so I’m not really sure why five women fainting is such a big deal that one must twist one’s drawers in print, but hey, I don’t write for the Washington Post. I just point and laugh at the people who do.

I suspect that starting off with Obama is really just a ploy to make her look neutral when she digs in with relish on the topic of her hatred of Hillary. But first, let’s watch her establish her premise that even outside of Obama rallies, women are dumb:

I'm not the only woman who's dumbfounded (as it were) by our sex, or rather, as we prefer to put it, by other members of our sex besides us. It's a frequent topic of lunch, phone and water-cooler conversations; even some feminists can't believe that there's this thing called "The Oprah Winfrey Show" or that Celine Dion actually sells CDs. A female friend of mine plans to write a horror novel titled "Office of Women," in which nothing ever gets done and everyone spends the day talking about Botox.

Well, there’s also a thing called “professional wrestling,” sweetheart. And for every Celine Dion CD you got, I raise you two Toby Keiths. Plus, as far as the Botox comment goes, I think maybe you might do well to broaden your friend horizons a bit. Maybe rub elbows with the hoi polloi every now and then. Because when I socialize with the gals I work with, we don’t talk about Botox. We talk about the stupid things our husbands/boyfriends do.

We exaggerate, of course. And obviously men do dumb things, too, although my husband has perfectly good explanations for why he eats standing up at the stove (when I'm not around) or pulls down all the blinds so the house looks like a cave (also when I'm not around): It has to do with the aggressive male nature and an instinctive fear of danger from other aggressive men. When men do dumb things, though, they tend to be catastrophically dumb, such as blowing the paycheck on booze or much, much worse (think "postal"). Women's foolishness is usually harmless. But it can be so . . . embarrassing.

Huh? What the hell kind of essay writing is this, anyway? It’s just so contradictory and random and lame and…do you think maybe she’s trying to demonstrate how stupid women are by being a woman and writing a really stupid essay?

And if eating standing up at the stove and pulling down the blinds in the daytime are the two best examples of her husband’s stupid behavior, then that guy has got to be some kind of graceful, all-seeing god. I don’t know about you, but I would be scared to live with a guy who didn’t try to stuff too much garbage into the garbage bag and then have it break on the stairs so that he slips in the coffee grounds and falls and chips his tooth. I mean, if the guy you’re living with doesn’t waste about $300 bucks and about 1500 hours every year playing fantasy football, then yeah, I would start to feel like maybe I was the stupid one, too.

But okay, let’s get to the part where she rips Hillary:

Take Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign. By all measures, she has run one of the worst -- and, yes, stupidest -- presidential races in recent history, marred by every stereotypical flaw of the female sex.

Wow. Quite a charge. I can’t wait for her thoughtful and well-reasoned examples.

As far as I'm concerned, she has proved that she can't debate -- viz. her televised one-on-one against Obama last Tuesday, which consisted largely of complaining that she had to answer questions first and putting the audience to sleep with minutiae about her health-coverage mandate.

She’s going to take one comment out of 20 debates and use that as the proof that Hillary can’t debate? And where does boring people with the minutiae of health-care plans fall in the range of stereotypical female behavior, anyway? Somewhere in between buying shoes and asking people if you look fat?

She has whined (via her aides) like the teacher's pet in grade school that the boys are ganging up on her when she's bested by male rivals. She has wept on the campaign trail, even though everyone knows that tears are the last refuge of losers.

Tears are the last refuge of losers? Readers, sister Allen has some issues.

And she is tellingly dependent on her husband.

She is? Because, see, I thought the whole joke about the Clintons was that they didn’t ever sleep together or talk, or fuck each other, or, well, do anything other than work for each other’s campaigns. Now Hillary’s too dependent on Bill? Dang, sweetheart, I’m not a big fan of the Hills, but give the bitch a break one damn time, will you? Her husband was PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR EIGHT MOTHERFUCKING YEARS. He might have a good idea every once in a while.

Then there's Clinton's nearly all-female staff, chosen for loyalty rather than, say, brains or political savvy. Clinton finally fired her daytime-soap-watching, self-styled "Latina queena" campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, known for burning through campaign money and for her open contempt for the "white boys" in the Clinton camp. But stupidly, she did it just in time to alienate the Hispanic voters she now desperately needs to win in Texas or Ohio to have any shot at the Democratic nomination.

So, which stereotypical female flaw was Hillary exhibiting there? Firing someone incompetent? I don’t get it. Did she do it while wearing big fluffy slippers and curlers in her hair?

What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental?

We do?

Take a look at the New York Times bestseller list. At the top of the paperback nonfiction chart and pitched to an exclusively female readership is Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love." Here's the book's autobiographical plot: Gilbert gets bored with her perfectly okay husband, so she has an affair behind his back. Then, when that doesn't pan out, she goes to Italy and gains 23 pounds forking pasta so she has to buy a whole new wardrobe, goes to India to meditate (that's the snooze part), and finally, at an Indonesian beach, finds fulfillment by -- get this -- picking up a Latin lover!...

....Then there's the chick doctor television show "Grey's Anatomy" (reportedly one of Hillary Clinton's favorites)….I swear no man watches "Grey's Anatomy" unless his girlfriend forces him to. No man bakes cookies for his dog. No man feels blue and takes off work to spend the day in bed with a copy of "The Friday Night Knitting Club."…At least no man I know. Of course, not all women do these things, either -- although enough do to make one wonder whether there isn't some genetic aspect of the female brain, something evolutionarily connected to the fact that we live longer than men or go through childbirth, that turns the pre-frontal cortex into Cream of Wheat.

Wow, then there must be something evolutionarily connected to the fact that men don’t live as long as we do or go through childbirth, that makes them watch NASCAR.

Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true. Women really are worse drivers than men, for example. A study published in 1998 by the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and public health revealed that women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men's 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women.

See, I would look at that statistic and say, despite the fact that women have 74% less driving experience than men, their accident ratio only varies by six tenths of one per cent.

The only good news was that women tended to take fewer driving risks than men, so their crashes were only a third as likely to be fatal.

And yet we’re the stupid ones.

Those statistics were reinforced by a study released by the University of London in January showing that women and gay men perform more poorly than heterosexual men at tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness, both crucial to good driving.

Do you hear that, gay men? You’re dumb too!

The theory that women are the dumber sex -- or at least the sex that gets into more car accidents -- is amply supported by neurological and standardized-testing evidence. Men's and women's brains not only look different, but men's brains are bigger than women's (even adjusting for men's generally bigger body size). The important difference is in the parietal cortex, which is associated with space perception. Visuospatial skills, the capacity to rotate three-dimensional objects in the mind, at which men tend to excel over women, are in turn related to a capacity for abstract thinking and reasoning, the grounding for mathematics, science and philosophy. While the two sexes seem to have the same IQ on average (although even here, at least one recent study gives males a slight edge), there are proportionally more men than women at the extremes of very, very smart and very, very stupid.

So…women have almost exactly the same IQ average men, and yet they are dumb?

I am perfectly willing to admit that I myself am a classic case of female mental deficiencies. I can't add 2 and 2 (well, I can, but then what?).

Yes, then what? Use that knowledge to buy chocolate and driving lessons?

I have coasted through life and academia on the basis of an excellent memory and superior verbal skills, two areas where, researchers agree, women consistently outpace men.

Whoa, there, sister. Not so fast with the “I have superior verbal skills.” Some people, namely those who have made it this far into your sorry-ass excuse for a controversial diatribe, would beg to differ.

…So I don't understand why more women don't relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home.

Well, sweetie, I’m not sure how keen the job market is right now for tender-hearted interior decorators. Not that it doesn’t sound like fun.

Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts' content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.

I was going to say something flip here, and call that bitch the “c” word (cunt), and end with a pow! You know? Like I do.

And then I started thinking about this story that I heard on the news recently about an Afghan woman who was killed for teaching little girls to read. And then I thought about all the teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and what a trial it must be to work for that bag of nutsacks.

See, I guess, the basic reason why these things make me so mad is not that they’re full of flawed logic and idiotic points, although they are. They make me mad because women like Ms. Allen, before she goes quipping about our driving and our tv shows, and painting us all with her big dumb brush, might do well to try to understand how real women live everyday. And then, the next time one of us sits down after work at night and puts up our feet with a Lean Cuisine and a romance novel, she won’t be so quick to call us dim.

Plus, she’s a cunt.


Larry Jones said...

I'm confused. If the premise is correct, that means the managers at The Post hire dimwitted writers (i.e., women), which means management is not very astute, which means The Post isn't very good, which means the premise is probably not correct.

dguzman said...

It's obvious that this woman has internalized the misogyny of the patriarchy, and I'm sure she's curried big favor with her probably male bosses by fulfilling their "women are stupid!" fantasies. Now all she has to do is get drunk at a frat party and make out with a female coworker (which of course happens to every woman) and she'll likely be promoted.

Holy shit, that woman is a saggy left testicle. (She's not good enough to be a cunt.)

David said...

Thank you for this. It's the kind of effete pseudo-sociology that all too often passes for journalism these days.

Her essay, I mean. Not your critique.

'Bubbles' said...

I rarely use the C-word, but in this case it is easy to make an exception.

Who was she trying to appeal to? Scary.

Grant Miller said...

This totally reminds me of a book I read once called "Men Are From Mars. Women are from Venus."

Cap'n Ergo Jinglebollocks said...

well, don't forget folken think Obama is a Muslim, and since THAT changes everything....

REmember Ron White: "beauty fades, but stupid if forever."

Some Guy said...

I agree. Big cunt.

What a useless piece of journalism.

Jess said...

What's the cunt doing writing for the Washington Post, anyway? Shouldn't she be at home taking care of her 7 babies and cooking dinner for her husband?


Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

I love to eat standing up at the stove.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Reading all your comments gets me steamed up all over again. I know a lot of people wince at the use of the c-word, but to me, there's nothing worse than someone who trades in dangerous ideas in a frivolous way for the sake of personal gain.

Hey, I understand that it's difficult to pen a piece that discusses the oppression of women in a new way, and a way that's likely to attract eyeballs over at WaPo. So how much easier is it to play the devil's advocate, only instead of enlightening the devil's argument, to trade upon the tired, non-novel novelty of hearing an anti-woman argument from a woman!

Because you know what? Ann Coulter already beat her to it, and also beats her in the sheer outrageousness and insincerity of her various theses. Just like I very much doubt that Coulter, who has claimed that women should not be allowed to vote (because they generally do not vote in ways that please Coulter), would really advocate her own right to vote being taken away, so I very much doubt that Allen would appreciate if society's approach to our sex were premised upon the opinion that we were all mentally deficient.

So then why write crap like this? WaPo has claimed, in the wake of the controversy, that the piece was "tongue-in-cheek." Notice that they don't claim it to be satire, because of course it would never pass the sniff test on that. Indeed, I examined the piece for any hint that it might be satirical before writing my rant against it, and you know what? It's not there. In fact, there's nothing there. All WaPo ended up with is a pointless, half-hearted, handful of poo flung in the direction of women everywhere, and now they're going to have to clean up the mess and put their little naughty monkey back in her cage until she can learn to write what she believes and believe what she writes - two things, I might add, that my old junior high school journalism teacher told me were "the starting point" for any piece.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'm sensing some anger here. Am I right?

Anonymous said...

So, is Cunty McCunterson telling me my recent donation to NOW will just be spent on trashy magazines and wine coolers?

GETkristiLOVE said...

I SOOOOO recognize that photo!