"Biggest mystery? Women. No one understands them. They don't even understand themselves. Books and books and books have been written about it, and no one understands it."Oh Bill. Bill, Bill, Bill. Let's review all that's wrong here...
1) No women are not a mystery...we're people. And the amazing thing about people is that we can be talked to. It's this kooky little trick called communication where you can actually learn from us by listening. But make no mistake, we're not a united people. We all have different thoughts, opinions, needs, etc. So you can't just talk to one and make any "all women" statements. But maybe, just maybe, you could go out into your district and communicate with the women you are suppose to represent...just an idea for ya, Bill.
2) BTW: listen up, women he "represents"...right there in black and white he's admitted that he's been elected to represent you, but he doesn't understand you, so I'd wager that he's probably NOT representing your interests.
3) "...no one understands it." IT? Really, Bill? Please see #1, specifically the "women are people" part. GUH.
4) Hey, asshat. We actually do understand ourselves. Like...if you talked to one or two of us, you might fine that we're doing A-OK.
5) CAN WE JUST STOP WITH THE WOMEN ARE SO MYSTERIOUS BS ALREADY?! Seriously. I mean, I understand in a world where women are facing 784,132,198,517,552 oppressions, that the whole "women are so mysterious" line falls to the bottom of really sexist shit to address, but come on already. Every time this comes up I see it played out in a "Yuk, yuk, WOMEN, *eye rolle* amirite?" way or in a "Women are such mysterious, complex, beautiful creatures" way and I don't care for either! In each case the speaker is othering women, and othering is a classical way to justify oppression. When you see a group as less a part of humanity, the guilt that can be associated with treating them like shit is lessened.
So I can't believe I have to emphasize this again, but BILL, women are people.
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Thank you for addressing this! During the last election, I ran across a few articles about the "female vote", which I guess was relevant in light of the many dumbass comments from politicians about rape and the laundry list of anti-choice bills introduced. But the tone of many of these articles was so condescending and, as you said, "othering". And the there was that CNN article about how women's menstrual cycles might affect the way we vote. (Because of course women are slaves to their hormones and not at all capable of making reasoned decisions based on research, logic, or observation.)ReplyDelete
I just wanted to shake the person who wrote it and say, "We're a different gender, not a different species! Stop talking about us like you're Jane Goodall observing the apes in their natural habitat!"
"No women are not a mystery...we're people"ReplyDelete
I think "People are a mystery" would be fine and fairly accurate... women may be mystifying, but it's not like men are any clearer or more logical... I have no issue with people finding the entirety of humankind to be confusing.
"I think "People are a mystery" would be fine and fairly accurate... women may be mystifying, but it's not like men are any clearer or more logical... I have no issue with people finding the entirety of humankind to be confusing."Delete
Yes, that's a much better idea thecupcakeace. HUMANS in general are a very complex and unique species, which is what makes the world interesting (for the most part). So yeah, if people are fascinated by the complexity and confusion of the human race, then that's fine. Just don't single out women! That's just stupid and sexist. And of course don't single out men. Just treat us all as equal and whole. (yeah better said then actually done...)
Anyway, thanks for addressing this issue! When I read on Shakesville that Kintner said that, I was livid! Who the hell does he think he is?! Saying all that crap about how WE don't even understand ourselves? Seriously? Does he honestly think we are "stupid" enough that we need help running our lives or something? Gah!!! It all just goes back to that old sexist statement that "women don't know what they want" crap. It's a very scary thought, but you are right; many people (especially men) still don't think women are actually human.
I agree! When people say women are a mystery they are putting every single woman into one category, as if we're all the same. There's two major problems with that, one is that every woman is an individual and unique just as any human being(men) so you cannot put them in one box to describe them all. The second problem is by saying women are a mystery, what you're saying is they're different from men and a man's behavior by default is what's normal and if women don't act the same, we wont take the time to actually listen to their experience so we can understand them but instead we're just going to call them a mystery, simply because they're not like men and women aren't important enough for us to care to understand.Delete
Maybe instead of looking at women only through a male POV try giving them the same credit you give men. Let women tell you what they are and what they are not and you'll learn all human beings are complex and different.
Also having stereotypes created by men about what women are like and what women should be or how women are suppose to act only add to the women are a mystery because their idea of how women act doesn't match up with the reality because there is not one simple reality that is true for all women.
I've said before that if males habitually project all their negative personality traits and emotionalism onto women, they will not have the listening space to hear what women have to say. Hence women will appear "a mystery".ReplyDelete
"It" refers back to the noun "mystery", not the noun "women".ReplyDelete
Not convinced that he intended "it" to refer to "mystery" rather than "women", or not convinced that Standard American English grammar parses "it" to refer to "mystery" rather than "women"?Delete
That his misogynistic viewpoint hasn't infiltrated his use of language such that he would refer to women in the collective as "it."Delete
But even if he meant "it" to refer to the "mystery of women" instead of "women" that sentence is incredibly redundant, so you should be able to see why I'd be confused. I mean, if something is a mystery, it's presumed that it's not understood, right?
Not redundant at all, I think. If the referent if "it" was the noun phrase "Biggest Mystery", it does not follow that -no-one- understands the mystery. To say "no-one" understands it is to add information. (If "mystery" admits of degree, then "understanding" admits of degree.) At least, it seems so to me.Delete
But more interesting to me is your statement that you are "not convinced" that he was using "it" to refer to "mystery" rather than "women". While I welcome your sharing this, what concerns me is whether you -are- convinced that he was using "it" to refer to "women" rather than "mystery".
Maybe I spoke too harshly when I said that I am "concerned" with whether you are convinced of that. The answer is, quite rightly, none of my business. What I am "concerned" with is my own safety, nothing more. I hope I did not cause offense.Delete
I'm actually not particularly mysterious. However, I'm also not particularly open, because when I express my opinion, I tend to get shot down. Thanks to the Christianist patriarchy, methinks.ReplyDelete
Carrie, I don't know if after expressing your opinions you have been asked questions that you don't know how to answer. But if you were so asked, would you ever consider this to be a case of your opinions being shot down? (I ask because I am in some ways rather slow (hence my moniker), and oftentimes questions that I ask in an effort to understand what a person appear to illicit anger rather than answers.)ReplyDelete