Monday, November 19, 2007

Breaking News: Men Don't Think...

Or, at least, that's what this book review would have me believe.

Author Stephen Fried has a new book out, apparently, called Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry -- Inside the Minds of Married Men. If you're feeling really interested to know the mind of the married man, you can read an excerpt. I can save you the trouble: Think of the stereotypes associated with being "a guy" and being married, and you're pretty much all set. You'll gain such wisdom as "Men don't really remember, or care, about putting laundry in the basket" and "Men don't like to do the dishes" topped off with a healthy and humorous! dose of "Women think emotionally, but men don't."

To the credit of the paper, they've apparently picked exactly the right person to review the work, because the only person that I imagine would enjoy this book would be the sort of person who can read a review that opens with "We wives recognize that even the best husbands still suffer from that pesky Y chromosome: They have sex on the brain, they don't listen to what we're telling them and they suck at housework." and not want to scream.

I'm so glad to have my entire sex summed up thusly: we have sex on the brain, don't listen, and suck at housework. Oh, and did I mention that we men have the attention spans of gnats?

Like the comic I pointed out earlier, this book appears to be little more than a series of "here's a tired sexist stereotype that I'm going to reinforce with a humorous story from my personal life." Why is this shit funny to people? Oh, haha! He's a man and he hogs the remote, channel surfs, and doesn't want to talk to anyone while he's watching the show! That's so funny!

It's so very clever.

Only, you know, not.

If I ever start waxing nostalgic about how funny it is that *insert stupid sexist stereotype here* is so true!, please, someone, shoot me.

7 comments:

EG said...

"Men don't like to do the dishes"

Whereas women find it both thrilling and fulfilling?

Um, right. Lots of people don't like to do chores. That's...why we call them "chores," rather than, oh, "fun." The leap from "men don't like to do the dishes" to "therefore it's OK that men don't do the dishes" is...nuts.

Cara said...

What's that, someone is writing a book pathologising your entire sex based off of tired gender stereotypes that are completely useless for anything other than trying to keep the structures that created those stereotypes in place?

Well now, my dear Roy, you know what it's like to be a woman.

Hehe. :) I kid. Sort of.

Nique said...

Aren't you going to talk about what Something Awful did to Jade from Ubisoft?

Roy said...

Nique: I don't read much gaming news online (any site associated with gaming is blocked while I'm at work, which is where I'm online the most), so I actually didn't even know about it until I read the Feministe article about it.

It's disgusting, and the fact that the guy who made the comic is proud to have upset her is particularly disturbing.

Which is to say that, yes, I'm working on a post about this.

jeff said...

Why is this shit funny to people? Oh, haha! He's a man and he hogs the remote, channel surfs, and doesn't want to talk to anyone while he's watching the show! That's so funny! I know you're sort of asking this as a rhetorical question, but I imagine the answer is actually fairly complex--I think it involves the constant (and inasmuch as it is constant, sort of subtle) reinforcing of gender norms. It's comforting (to some) to think that one sees oneself/one's partner in such descriptions. It's comforting, to some, to imagine that men (and women) may all be placed in such simple categories (and the implication, of course, is that men who aren't this way aren't real men...

schrödinger's cat said...

Advice books for married couples are full of such stuff....

Women are sooo great at communicating and men are not. And it would be cruel, CRUEL I say!, to expect the poor dears to function at our level. So learn men-speak, dear wife-to-be.

And, oh, yes, men need sex. It would be CRUEL to deny them. Sex is so essential for them! So, if in doubt, close your eyes and think of England.

And about the housework: if they're asked to contribute they'll probably be rude. They'll grumble and they'll procrastinate and they'll refuse to listen. This is simply what they're like! Don't be rude in return. Surely you can do better than that! Remember you're a woman - you're the tender, subtle butterfly to his stomping rhinoceros. So simply leave the room to centre yourself, then come back and ask nicely. Veeerry nicely.

Oh, and remember about using men-speak!...

Dorothy Parker said it best: These are books that shouldn't be put aside lightly. They should be thrown with great force.

Derek said...

Sigh...

You know, I'm all for a book like this, if it would say that this is what men and women are like, but then have the author explore why. Ultimately, people do fulfill stereotypes and I would hazard a guess to say some do it unconsciously while others do it quite consciously. I would like to see a book discuss the reasons for that, though. I mean, I've studied these things in class, but it would be good for the general population, I think. Like, "men are unemotional and this is why...". And no, it's not because we are "physiologically programmed" for such things. I'm tired of nonsense like this.