Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Believe the Hype: Men are from Earth, Women are from Earth

I have an aversion to all encompassing statements (never, always, forever, every, all, none), grand narratives, fundamentalism, essentialism, and the like.  Sometimes I forget.  When I'm feeling down because of relentless pain, I feel never, always, forever, every, all, and none.  It takes every fiber of my being to avoid it. And, it is always painful to fight.  Authors of grand narratives always have an agenda.  I suppose all authors have an agenda.  I will always have an agenda.  It is never the same agenda as yours.  DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

My agenda may be the same as yours.  We don't know unless we talk, unless we reason, unless we contemplate, unless we research, unless we try to never be always.

Because I consider myself a gender scholar, I am particularly wary of those that declare women are this and men are that or that one is better than the other.  The history of (Western) civilization has taught us that men are better at everything except perhaps nurturing.  Our gender system denies that there are wide and wonderful variations among women as a group and among men as a group and that there is much overlap between them.  I've known many men to be more nurturing than some women.  I've known many women to be more cutthroat and aggressive than some men.

Having a vagina or having a penis does not make you what you are.  It is what you DO, how you FEEL, how you PLAY and WORK with or, often and unfortunately, against others.  Western civilization likes divisions, likes clear categorization, likes never, always, forever, every, all, none.  It likes things and people to be put in their place.  It likes hierarchical binaries--normal/deviant, good/evil, man/woman, white/black, heterosexual/homosexual, friend/enemy, love/hate, mind/body, liberal/conservative, left/right, doctor/patient, beginningometriosis/endometriosis.  It likes to exclude, denigrate, punish, often but not always, for simple self-aggrandizement. 

It does not like ambiguity, commonalities, working together.  Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus.  Bullshit.  We are all from the same planet.  We would do well to stop emphasizing difference and stop warring with one another so that we can enjoy our wonderful and varied humanities and work toward something greater knowing that it will not be perfect or easy.  We would do well to work toward something greater believing it is in humanity's interest that we do, feel, play, and work together perhaps not forever and always but the best we can while we are here.  



  1. More words to avoid...

    normal (shudder)

  2. Also, please refer to the following:

  3. Love the Joyce/Kool Keith juxtaposition. I got them right except for one. I'm amazed at myself. But, yes, I hate typical, average, and normal. Ugh. Yet, when I write for journals, I must say, "On average, such and such..." It sucks because I'm typically not interested in the average.

  4. I thought for sure "Kissed the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump" was Kool Keith. Wrong. Face palm.