Did the patriarchy write this?

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For fun, I will debunk Cosmo’s stupid checklist about what women can do that men can’t.

1. Get pregnant: Sure, guys contribute but they’ll never get as close (literally!) as we get to our own babies.

YAY! Everyone I know who’s been pregnant is superhappy that she’s the one who gets to go through hours and hours of excruciating pain. On the other hand, many women love the experience of pregnancy. This one’s all right– but I wouldn’t necessarily call it awesome. After all, with the ability to become pregnant comes the obvious pain and otherwise crappy side-effects, doctors who don’t listen to your preferences when it comes to giving birth, know-it-all friends and family, the inability to choose whether or not to remain pregnant without people having a very painful opinion about it, and of course, being murdered.

2. Fake it: Cue the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally. Enough said.

Wait, are you saying that we’re supposed to like “faking it”? When did this become an enviable thing to do? If you’re consistently faking it, there’s a problem with your sex life that isn’t being addressed. It probably has something to do with being insecure, having an inconsiderate partner, or some variation of both.

3. Ask for directions: We have no problem pulling over and asking for help. Consulting the GPS doesn’t count either, boys.

Feminist critique? Of course we don’t have a problem asking for help. It’s all we have after having the feeling of being helpless and incompetent ingrained into our systems from day one.

4. Look sexy while sipping fruity cocktails: What guy do you know can look hot with a pink drink in his hand? Oh, and by the way, we look damn good drinking beer too.

Way to make fun of men who like fruity drinks. This could also be easily read as homophobic. Also, where have you been? Women are routinely ridiculed for apparently only liking fruity, pink drinks with umbrellas in them. When is this actually seen as a positive thing? Oh, right, when men can’t do it because of a societal expectation to not look feminine. Right.

5. Live longer: It’s a fact, women live five to ten years longer than men. Plenty of time to take a few more vacations, have a few more orgasms, and maybe hook another hubby.

This is all fine and dandy until you mention stupid things, like finding more husbands. Thanks for reaffirming that we should only care about dudes.

6. Have multiple orgasms: No need for us to wait and, um, reload.

Good point, although many men are capable of multiple orgasms, so this is only a good point if you don’t consider the inaccuracy of it.

7. Multitask: We can talk to our BFF on the phone, while watching America’s Next Top Model and doing lunges. No sweat.

I love talking to my BFF on the phone about how I’m doing lunges so I can feel like I’m a worthy person while I watch a bunch of uberskinny hot chicks compete for the title of Skinniest Hot Chick, or Hottest Skinny Chick. Makes me feel awesome.

8. Get a new last name: Or just drop it all together, à la Fergie and Madonna.

My husband changed his last name, as did I. Actually, if you want to change your name, all you have to do is fill out some paperwork and go to court. Male or female. Pretty straightforward. You don’t even have to be getting married.

9. Wear skirts: They keep us sooo much cooler in the summer than men’s shorts. Plus, a hot mini is sure to score us a few free drinks at the bar.

It’s becoming painfully difficult to avoid sarcasm here. Guys can wear skirts, too. There aren’t any real rules regarding what men and women can wear– only social norms. Stop reinforcing them. And we all know that the more free drinks you accept from a stranger at a bar, the more you’re expected to have sex with the dude buying them for you. Because at bars, single women are apparently viewed as prostitutes– only, we’ll accept beer and fruity alcoholic crap instead of cash.

10. Get out of a speeding ticket: A little smile and a “Sorry, officer” is all it takes to get off scot-free.

Except when it isn’t. Like all the times I got speeding tickets, no matter how hot I looked.

11. Become a cougar, not a dirty old man: Sure, the idea of an older man sounds hot, but the reality is often a skeezy shmuck. Cougars, however, are fierce. Like: Demi Moore.

Demi Moore is hot because she spent a great deal of money of extensive plastic surgery. She’s able to be married to Ashton Kutcher because they look the same age, and they look the same age because of her plastic surgery.

12. Wing it on the dance floor…convincingly: Guys will be so busy checking out your shaking booty, they won’t even notice you’re not a great dancer.

Men are incapable of existing around women, because there are butts around! Oh god, don’t let them see boobs, or they might start the place on fire!

13. Wear high-heels: They add four inches to our height and make our legs look fab. Hey guys, what do your ratty old sneakers do for your physique?

It doesn’t matter what guys’ ratty old sneakers do for their physique, because nobody associates shoes with a guy’s attractiveness. Unlike women, who are constantly valued only for their physical appearances.

14. Flirt with the bouncer: We bat our eyes at the doorman and get in the door with no cover charge. If a guy were to try it, we’re thinking he might get kicked out of line.

We get in because we’re women, not because we bat our eyelashes. Women get in because men will buy them drinks, and everyone wants to see a hot woman dancing. And let’s please stop encouraging women to use “feminine wiles” to get what they want. That reinforces the idea that that’s all we have. And that’s infuriating to women like myself, who want to be accepted based on merit and character, not looks.

15. Blame it on PMS: Just say the words “cramp,” “tampon” or “period” and men instantly let you have your way.

And then everyone will blame your legitimate anger or sadness on PMS, even when you’re not on the rag!

16. Grow out our hair: We miss a haircut appointment and our hair just looks longer and sexier. Guys miss theirs and they start looking like they’re homeless.

Homeless people suck, and so do long-haired guys. Got it.

17. Cover up a zit: Both men and women are prone to blemishes, but one of the sexes has a multitude of concealers and creams at their disposal to cover them up.

Poor guys. It totally sucks when a guy wants some concealer for the zits he rarely gets by virtue of all that testosterone and lack of significant hormonal fluctuations, and that mean old lady at the cosmetic counter slaps his writs and tells him he’s the wrong gender for cosmetics.

18. Get aroused without the entire room knowing it: We don’t have to cross our legs or grab the nearest textbook whenever we get turned on in public.

Yeah, I’m actually really happy about this particular difference. I don’t envy random erections, at all.

19. Wear a thong: They make our ass look great and are a surefire way to turn on a guy. If a dude tried donning one, well, it would just look gross!

What, exactly, would be grosser about a man wearing a thong, compared to a woman wearing one? Is there a significant different between men’s butts and women’s? Who cares, anyway? Thongs are hideous and uncomfortable and actually look really stupid on everyone.

20. Get a manicure: Hanging at the nail salon is just a normal day for a woman. But a guy getting a mani/pedi is bound to get weird looks.

If this were even true anymore, it would not be worth celebrating that only women can get away with doing. And anyway, I don’t know any woman who thinks sitting at a nail salon is part of a “normal” day. Who are these people? I am beginning to suspect their existence.

21. Make a longer list of our talents. The Askmen* list was pretty short with only ten measly items on it. Oh, well. Looks like we win again!

Cute! It’s a boys vs. girls contest! I love these. Yay.

God, I hate Cosmo.

*I’ll write a post about the Askmen checklist some other time.

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79 Responses to Did the patriarchy write this?

  1. Danny says:

    “20. Get a manicure: Hanging at the nail salon is just a normal day for a woman. But a guy getting a mani/pedi is bound to get weird looks. ”
    Oh Bo-Effin-Hoo I can’t waste $30 to make my nails look nice for 2 weeks? Fine. I think I’m better off with just trimming my own nails my self by hand for free.

    Oh April I’ll be back to critique the rest of this.

    And I’ll be taking a crack at that Askmen list in the near future…

  2. femspotter says:

    Actually, number one IS a very big deal. I’m going through it now, and despite the downsides you infer, I have never felt more beautiful or powerful in my life! I just wish men knew what they’re missing so we could rub their collective noses in it…AND so that they wouldn’t use it as a tool of domination: punishing us with crappy maternity leave; failing to help out around the house before, during and after we’re pregnant because pregnancy helps us conform to traditional gender roles; making ridiculous comments about how they know it ALL because their wives went through the SAME thing (ain’t nothing the same about it, buddy!).

    Yeah, right on with number four, April: my husband always orders an appletini while I get a Scotch or a dirty Stoli martini and inevitably the drinks get switched around by the time they get to our table. What’s wrong with the picture of a hetero man with a bright green drink in hand?!

    Okay, number 10 and the like are just pathetic! Is this about what socially confirmed “hot” women can do that men can’t? And what about when a straight female cop pulls you over for speeding? What do you do then? Tell her, “I’ll be your best friend…”?

    11: George Clooney could date an 18 year-old and nobody would have anything bad to say about it.

    15: Okay, just because Sarah Palin plays every “I’m just a girl and nobody loves me” card in the book doesn’t mean that the rest of us exploit our femaleness to get ahead!

    • April says:

      Actually, number one IS a very big deal. I’m going through it now, and despite the downsides you infer, I have never felt more beautiful or powerful in my life!

      I just threw in all the potentially negative aspects because a lot of women really hate pregnancy, and don’t view theirs in the way that Cosmo implies we all should.

      I’m personally quite excited to experience pregnancy myself, so I totally known what you mean.

    • femspotter says:

      There are a lot of women who are pregnant who don’t want to be for various reasons. I went into it by choice and feel very lucky. I have a wonderful, supportive husband whom I try not to take for granted because I know that’s not ubiquitous. Some days are good and some days are bad, but I try and keep in mind that I’m a miracle worker in this state and mostly I feel that having Ellie is the most important thing I will ever do with my life. (pause for snickering from the radfems)

  3. Melissa says:

    …not to mention, there isn’t a single thing on this list that men “can’t” do. And there isn’t a single thing on the list that men haven’t done. (Yes, men have even gotten pregnant). Way to totally erase not only trans people, gay people, and pretty much everyone who isn’t gender-conforming, list-writer!

    Also, women wouldn’t HAVE to “fake it” if society/the patriarchy were willing to accept other kinds of sex and other types of orgasms as valid. But no, if the orgasm doesn’t come from the almighty penis, it doesn’t “count!” (Of course, there are individual men who don’t think this way. But it seems that society as a whole does.)
    And also on #10, I bet that wouldn’t work if you weren’t white, Ms. List-Writer! Now in addition to erasing all LGBTQ people, you’ve erased all people of color. How nice it is to be white, cis, and straight, huh?
    And 14 erases gay people even MORE, and then 15…you think it’s a GOOD thing? Once a month, nothing you say will be taken seriously, and frankly…it’s not just once a month, either! If a man doesn’t want to listen to what you have to say, it’s just “she must be on the rag” and easily dismissed.

    • femspotter says:

      Well, as a white, cis, straight woman, I can say that only number one relates to me; so, I think the list even marginalizes us unless we fit into the rigid confines of socially acceptable “hotness.” (Though, if you believe Debrahlee Lorenzana, there are negative outcomes for beautiful women too.) And number one doesn’t apply to women who aren’t able to have children and women who don’t want to have children.

      I dispute that men get pregnant. It’s because of existing female biology that a “he” gets preggers, not his will to be a man that causes pregnancy. (Dammit – I’m not willing to let any man take away from me this privilege!!!) So, while yes, he’s called a “pregnant man,” it’s not maleness that makes it so.

      I totally agree that this list perpetuates the gender assumptions that hold women, transexuals and homosexuals back. While it may have been written with the best of intentions – i.e. to glorify femaleness, it does backfire and have the opposite result.

  4. Jim says:

    Well spotted, April. Here’s the question – what doe sit say about the writer’s feminism if the wrter is a feminist, and how far from Patriarchy is it really?

    “I dispute that men get pregnant. ”

    I get what you mean, femspotter – calling a man whose partner is pregnant is a linguistic trope, not biologically accurate. However there is clear evidence that fathers go through a lot of the same hormonal changes as mothers if their in physical proxiimty, even down to post-partum depression. (That still is far short of actually being pregnat.) Also there have been cases of men surgically implanted with embryos and forming placentas. Don’t know about full-term, and I guess the broth pretty well had to be caesarean -as with more and more women, apparently.

    • femspotter says:

      Sarcasm: It’s lovely that men would try and take away the one cis privilege women have!

      My husband is loving and helpful, but pregnancy is happening to ME! ME! I resent men trying to suggest that pregnancy is a right for them to abscond from women or that they suffer through it in any way other than externally. When scientists find out what really causes PPD, then men can claim that it ails them. Why surgically implant anything in a man to achieve male pregnancy? (BTW, I was referring to the People Magazine phenomenon of the pregnant man who had been a woman and was simultaneously undergoing a sex change.)

      As to the writer’s feminism: here’s one instance where I would champion the term “fun-fem,” which I’ve been saddled with and normally despise. (Sorry if you intended for only April to answer that.)

    • Jim says:

      Who cares who intended to reply. I like your reply.

      Men go through some of the same hormonal changes but that’s not pregnancy. But hormonal changes are about as internal as you can get.

      Cis women have plenty of privileges – we all have different prvileges – in a world run by men, cis women are born with a meal ticket between their legs. That’s why men will marry a women who makes half what they do. Comparing privileges is a squabbly waste of time.

      Anyway, do you consider pregancy a privilege? That’s real gratitude, on acosmic scale. I like you.

      “When scientists find out what really causes PPD, then men can claim that it ails them. ”

      Hmmmmm. Why is it necessary to understand a condition fully before you accopet that it is real? Isn’t symptomology enough? How well understood is breats cancer, compared to say, cervical cancer?

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100518101618.htm

      Ten percent is a big enough population to take the condition seriously, I would think.

    • femspotter says:

      “Cis women have plenty of privileges – we all have different prvileges – in a world run by men, cis women are born with a meal ticket between their legs.” I despise women who use their sexuality or femininity to get ahead. Consider how that statement you made only applies to accepted beauties. Sarah Palin can use that “meal ticket,” but Hillary Clinton can not, for instance. That’s appalling that you think it’s feminist to exploit men by female sexuality to get what we want! Does that mean I should sleep with my boss for a promotion instead of using hard work and my smarts?!

      Been working on my latest post all day. Hope this paragraph speaks to your pro-men-suffer-through-pregnancy-too-wah stance:
      Men think pregnancy is ALL ABOUT THEM! According to CNN, dads-to-be run the risk of postpartum depression too. Okay, I’ll buy that. But they don’t run the risk of maternal mortality, fistulas, varicose veins, back spasms, incessant heartburn and much, much more due to pregnancy. So sack up, dads! Now, it is true that the males of many species can act as incubators for embryos during the early months of fetal development. But only seahorse males have the unique privilege of being “pregnant dads-to-be” simply because of their inherent anatomy. While transsexual human males have given birth successfully, their pregnancies are due to inherent female anatomy (though, by choice, these men are known as “males”). Why would a cis male want to serve as a fetus incubator? Is it that he just can’t stand that females have one power that he doesn’t? Why does science need to find out if this unnatural occurrence is possible when there are so many other challenges it could be conquering: Alzheimer’s, autism, maternal mortality, etc.? By the way, guys, early scientists believed that women were “just incubators” and, until a couple of hundred years ago, didn’t believe female anatomy played any special role in conception and delivery of newborn babies. We know better today. I happen to believe that our reproductive anatomy may be the one cis privilege women have over men. So back the fuck off! And just because your wife has given birth, doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me how to run my pregnancy “the right way.”

    • Danny says:

      “But they don’t run the risk of maternal mortality, fistulas, varicose veins, back spasms, incessant heartburn and much, much more due to pregnancy.”

      True. We just have to hope that we will be allowed to be in the child’s life. Say what you want about the men that run out but the ones that are trying to be there are struggling and people pretty much act like they don’t exist.

    • femspotter says:

      I’m sorry that has been your experience but it’s not pervasive. Fundamental Catholics value paternity even in its least ideal form: that’s how they justify rape as a legitimate means of conception that doesn’t allow morally for abortion. Doulas and midwives make a case for men to participate in labor as much as possible. We just took the hospital tour tonight and my husband confirms that he doesn’t feel neglected by the mere 30 percent of the discussion that centered on fatherhood.

    • Danny says:

      Don’t waste your apology on me save it for the men you are trying to write since their situations don’t happen that often.

      Interesting that when one woman is wronged its call to arms but it takes a significant amount of men to be wronged for it to matter.

    • femspotter says:

      “Don’t waste your apology on me save it for the men you are trying to write since their situations don’t happen that often.” I don’t understand what that means. But I’m not apologizing if that’s what you think. I am expressing sympathy since you seem to have been hurt by a vindictive mother.

      I think you are being dismissive of how serious the issue of poor paternity is, btw. “Say what you want about the men that run out but… ”

      This article about paternity testing is heartbreaking.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/magazine/22Paternity-t.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=paternity&st=cse

    • Danny says:

      No I’ve never been hurt by a vindictive mother but I do see that there are a lot of men out there that have and I think they are the ones being dismissed.

      “I think you are being dismissive of how serious the issue of poor paternity is, btw.”
      The thing is there are plenty of people that will speak up about bad fathers, in fact Obama is on his way to making an annual tradition of choosing the one day of the year that is normally set aside to honor dads to go to a church and bash them. What I don’t see anywhere near as much of is attention for the dads that have been hurt by vindictive mothers and the courts who are happy to enable them.

      If a dad runs out on a mom and kid he can be chased down, have his salary docked and possible tossed in prison. I’ve yet to hear of a single story of a woman being punished for paternity fraud and its still extremely rare for family courts to enforce child visitation with anywhere near the tenacity they enforce child support payments with.

    • femspotter says:

      I don’t think there’s a lack of sympathy for this occurrence but the law has to recognize somebody as responsible for every child that’s born and the most obvious person is the mom. It’s never in doubt who the mother is at the time of birth.

    • Jim says:

      “So back the fuck off! And just because your wife has given birth, doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me how to run my pregnancy “the right way.”

      Indeed. In fact the wife should keep her mouth shut too. Where do women get off judging each other so much on mothering?

    • femspotter says:

      As a mom-to-be, I relish the advice of the women I meet who have been there. I think that’s my call.

    • Jim says:

      Maybe you’ve just been lucky so far.

    • Jim says:

      “Men think pregnancy is ALL ABOUT THEM! ”

      With respect, you probably don’t know very much at all about what a new father, or any father, feels about fatherhood or pregancy of family life. Do you?

      You speak for yourself.

      And that was hardly what I was saying, was it? Was it?

    • femspotter says:

      And as I mentioned, Jim, that is an excerpt from my blog and doesn’t apply to you in its entirety. Does it? 😉

      Yes, would that we all stuck to speaking ONLY about our own experiences…

    • Jim says:

      I just assumed “men…” applied to men.

  5. Melissa says:

    Yikes. Implying that transmen are “really” women is pretty transphobic.

    @Jim
    Oh boy. I hope she doesn’t consider herself a feminist! Give the rest of us a bad name. lol

    • femspotter says:

      I am not transphobic. I am referring to a man in transition (FtoM) who gets pregnant. It’s his female biology that allows for pregnancy. (Hmmm…how did I take a wrong term and land on Feministe?)

    • Melissa says:

      Sorry. I hope I didn’t offend you. I didn’t mean to say that YOU were transphobic, just that the conversation was.

      Just because he got pregnant due to his female reproductive system doesn’t make him any less male, and doesn’t justify putting the word “he” in quotation marks.

    • femspotter says:

      I am a queer theorist not a transphobic; so I’m sorry if I offended you. My point was to make it clear that female anatomy is what allows for pregnancy. As for how anybody wants to define themselves, that’s for them to decide and not me…hence, the quotes.

    • Jim says:

      ‘My point was to make it clear that female anatomy is what allows for pregnancy.”

      Female anatomy produces an egg, uniquely. After that human anatomy of any flavor will do the rest.

      “It’s his female biology that allows for pregnancy.”
      A transwoman doesn’t have a uterus? Does the reconstruction go that far?

    • femspotter says:

      “Female anatomy produces an egg, uniquely. After that human anatomy of any flavor will do the rest.”

      Wow, that is so not true! Women’s bodies were designed to stretch and deliver babies. Men’s bodies don’t do that. When in your life will you be pissing or shitting out a baby, I wonder? Or do you plan to give birth “Alien”-style through the chest? LOL

      It is my understanding that female oppression is historically based on the assumption that male anatomy makes men superior to women, who in turn have inferior anatomy (broad strokes). I struggle to find other instances where our anatomy gives us advantages (privileges) over men beyond the awesome experience of carrying a child to term and giving birth, though I’m happy to learn. I love being a woman for many reasons, but I don’t relish many of the biological inevitabilities that come with it such as menstruation for one. That’s not to say that men don’t have biological woes.

    • Jim says:

      It is my understanding that female oppression is historically based on the assumption that male anatomy makes men superior to women,”

      That is a pretty theoretical position to expect of peolple in the midst of their daily lives shaping and changing culture. It [propbably has a lot more to do with economic resaons, like just abouit everything else. One economic pattern that is clearly linked to male dominance is pastroalism. Livestock is very mobile wealth and crucial to survival in many environments and cultures. Because it is so mobile, it is uniquely subject to raiding. besides that it is subject to predation. Either way it requires lots of protection, and men typical did that work. The same holds true for big stores of grain accumulated in agriculture, but to a lesser extent.

      ” I struggle to find other instances where our anatomy gives us advantages (privileges) over men beyond the awesome experience of carrying a child to term and giving birth,”

      Women generally are smaller than men in almost every community and require less food. That can be a big advantage. Japanese seaweed collectors used to be women, because they were believed to have better cold tolerance.

      As for being valued in this or that society, that had as much to do with skills as strength. You may be able to live off of sheep’s milk without having grown up making cheese, but it’s pretty hard to learn how to spin, weave and make clothing unless you start at a pretty early age. Men and women were both uniqueley essential to producing food and clothing – well, everywhere.

      “That’s not to say that men don’t have biological woes.”

      Both sexes have the worst biological woes from being human. Bipedalism makes for narrow hips, which make for hard births, epscially when human babies have such big heads. It also makes pregnancy uniquely backbreaking among mammals. I think most of men’s biological woes are culturally imposed, from doing the wrong kind of work in harsh or dangerous environments to which no human is well-suited.

      “When in your life will you be pissing or shitting out a baby,”

      LOL! Yeah, like I said, caesarians. Not natural.

    • femspotter says:

      If you want to use the pastoralism argument as the route of female oppression, recognize that it is based in the assumption that men are stronger physically and more suited to physical labor…thus superior…which is the “broad strokes” point I made.

      So you lecture me on writing about my own experiences only and then claim to know extensive information about what sheep farmers go through and how moms lecture and judge other moms? Are you a sheep farmer, a mom?

    • Jim says:

      No. just watched some do their thing.

      And you’re right about physical size of men versus women being crucial to pastoralism. And that is certainly strong enough for a “broad strokes’ comment.

      But I don’t think that’s the whole story. There’s something else though. Men seem to have alwys had the role of guarding territories and food stores, all the way back into hunter-gatherer times. I don’t know why this would be – I can’t see hwo a woman would be so much smaller and weaker when it came to using weapons or whatever, so I have to guess it was just a cultural division of labor going way back. And I don’t how widespread that really was either.

      Because why is it that it’s male gang memebrs that defend turf? Nowadays it is probably just customary? But when did the custom arise and why? It probably is a lot older than pastoralism.

      And ipastorlaism is only a partial expalnation anyway. China has never had a pastoral culture and gender roles have traditionally been very strict with women hemmed in on mosts sides. (Not that men had much more room for maneuver.)

    • Jim says:

      She is not the threat on that score. The radfems have been smearing feminism’s name for so long no one even notives anyone else.

    • April says:

      Ugh, radfems. I tried being open to their perspective on various blogs, but that lasted about 5 minutes before I couldn’t stomach anymore.

  6. Tamen says:

    Why does it never occur to women that men both can and do fake orgasms?

    Actually it’s quite sad as it reveals a lack of knowledge about male physiologi and sexuality. No, men don’t always orgasm when we have sex and no, we don’t always want to carry on until we orgasm. Especially when alcohol intoxication has made it difficult to orgasm while still having no problem maintaining an erection.

    There can be ejaculation witout orgasm and vice versa. And when a condom is involved a male orgams is even more easy to fake than a female orgasm would be.

    • Jim says:

      “There can be ejaculation witout orgasm and vice versa.”

      Yes. That is a central tenet of Body Electric work.

  7. Paul says:

    After reading both this list and the male version at AskMen, all this really shows me is that there really isn’t much one gender can do that the other can’t. I mean, am I the only one that thought both lists were reaching pretty hard?

    A few comments though (in no particular order):

    Men can fake orgasms, granted we don’t usually need to, but it is possible. Also, it’s worth noting that ejaculation =/= orgasm.

    Take it how you will, but women can KEEP pregnancy thankyouverymuch. Especially multiple-birth pregnancies, I saw a picture of Octomom while she was still pregnant… it looked like Aliens on Steroids.

    I thought the point of me getting myself a GPS was so I wouldn’t HAVE to ask for directions?

    Visible erections: Yeah ok, I’ll conceede my jealousy on this point. It sucked a lot walking down the high school hallway while trying to hide that post-janitor’s-closet-makeout-session boner you’re sporting.

  8. David K says:

    “3. Ask for directions: We have no problem pulling over and asking for help. Consulting the GPS doesn’t count either, boys.”

    I have no problem asking for directions, and of the occasions on which people have asked me for directions I think the best part of them have been men… what men don’t like is being nagged and criticised by back seat drivers – but then women don’t like that either, so. Asking for directions is the men in a cars equivalent of reverse parking to women in cars.

    “10. Get out of a speeding ticket: A little smile and a “Sorry, officer” is all it takes to get off scot-free.”

    In the UK, cops rarely stop people for speeding (unless it’s real extreme speeding 100mph+) but we have tons of automatic speed camera that aren’t interested in your good looks, only your licence plate.

    “13. Wear high-heels: They add four inches to our height and make our legs look fab. Hey guys, what do your ratty old sneakers do for your physique?”
    Since I’m 5’11 already, I don’t need to add 4 inches to my height at the expense of buggering my knees up in the long term and sore feet in the short term.

    “18. Get aroused without the entire room knowing it: We don’t have to cross our legs or grab the nearest textbook whenever we get turned on in public.”
    The ENTIRE ROOM? Now I feel inadequate 😉
    Actually it’s not the random erections that are a bother, it’s the pre-emptive ones. It’s very hard to look cool and intellectual when chatting someone up if your telegraphing your other desires…

    “16. Grow out our hair: We miss a haircut appointment and our hair just looks longer and sexier. Guys miss theirs and they start looking like they’re homeless.”
    In all senses of the phrase: It’s like the 1970’s never happened, isn’t it?

    “5. Live longer: It’s a fact, women live five to ten years longer than men. Plenty of time to take a few more vacations, have a few more orgasms, and maybe hook another hubby.”
    Actually after my grandmother was widowed she did mention that her some of her female friends were wary of leaving their husbands alone with her… diabetic, two false hips, but still good looking enough to be a husband thief, my grandma 🙂
    Seriously tho: older women’s love lives, you don’t ever hear about that on TV…

    “11. Become a cougar, not a dirty old man: Sure, the idea of an older man sounds hot, but the reality is often a skeezy shmuck. Cougars, however, are fierce. Like: Demi Moore.”
    Demi Moore was born in 1962. George Clooney was born in 1961. DM’s boy was born in 1978, GC’s girlfriend was born in 1978. No further comment.

    “8. Get a new last name: Or just drop it all together, à la Fergie and Madonna.”
    Never heard of Moby or Elvis then?

    “6. Have multiple orgasms: No need for us to wait and, um, reload.”
    Multiple Orgasms versus Period Pain – I think it’s safe to say: swings and roundabouts. But women only get 80odd% of the goes on the roundabout, and 25% of time on the swings – too busy playing dolls apparently.

    • Danny says:

      “11. Become a cougar, not a dirty old man: Sure, the idea of an older man sounds hot, but the reality is often a skeezy shmuck. Cougars, however, are fierce. Like: Demi Moore. ”

      I hope feminists remember this the next time they want to declare that there is no stigma attached to older men dating younger women. “Dirty old man” has been around much longer than “cougar”.

    • Melissa says:

      Actually, I thought this was another level of WTF in the original list…I have never heard the phrase “dirty old man” used to refer to an older man dating a younger woman. I mean, after all, if the younger person is dating him, then it’s probable that she finds him attractive and not “dirty.” I’ve only heard the whole “dirty old man” thing about older men who sexually harass younger women.

    • April says:

      Not to mention the fact that the younger woman is immediately thought to be a
      gold digger” and not actually genuinely interested in the older man.

    • femspotter says:

      I think consenting adults should sleep with whomever they want and not care about the labels people come up with.

      “Cougars” are being banned from cruise ships. Is this happening to men as groups based on a sexual identity?

    • Danny says:

      Banned from cruises? When and where has that happened?

    • Danny says:

      In that article the cruise line said they were trying to stay away from the party image. Now if they turned away this cruise but still allowed other types of partying I’d be on board with you.

      Now, in an effort to once again show you I’m not dismissing women as much as you have already decided I am, I will say that a few weeks ago when Google started blocking links to a site that is geared toward the older woman/younger man crowd as “not being family friendly” while still allowing links to content for the older man/younger woman crowd is very unfair.

      And frankly I don’t like the whole cougar thing anyway. I’ve been attracted to older women for a long time and even not being an older woman myself I find the word distasteful. First because this cougar business doesn’t seem to be so much about actual attraction as it is about pop culture (as in its currently the cool thing to be in to). Second I mean really its referring to them as animals. From the racial point of view I know how ugly that can get. Thirdly by extension if older women are animals and I’m attracted to older women what does make me? So I’ll just keep right on calling them older women even after its no longer hip to be attracted to them.

    • Tamen says:

      Well, not exactly banned, but because I am a man I am not allowed to sit next to a child travelling alone on for instance an British Airway flight (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1243625/Businessman-Mirko-Fischer-sues-British-Airwars-treating-men-like-perverts.html). The reason for this is a very negative assumption of my sexual identity. The same goes for the existence of women only hotel floors.

    • Danny says:

      And don’t forget nearly being arrested for taking pictures of their own kids playing.

    • Tamen says:

      This is a long dead thread, but I just want to point out that the BA policy and the mentality behind it increases the risk of stuff like this to happen: http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/2490950,southwest-airlines-sued-woman-sex-drugs-boy-071210.article

    • April says:

      Ick. No doubt, it does allow for this kind of thing to happen, because women aren’t seen as predators; that label is strictly reserved for men.

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  10. Danny says:

    “18. Get aroused without the entire room knowing it: We don’t have to cross our legs or grab the nearest textbook whenever we get turned on in public.”

    Well now it looks like I wasn’t crazy for feeling in embarrassed back in my early puberty days when I was first learning what erections were. And it didn’t help to have girls (who probably to this day still don’t realize that erection does not equal sexual desire) laughing at them either. Yeah its so easy growing up male…

  11. Danny says:

    “I don’t think there’s a lack of sympathy for this occurrence but the law has to recognize somebody as responsible for every child that’s born and the most obvious person is the mom. It’s never in doubt who the mother is at the time of birth.”

    I have to disagree because like I say its much easier to see the bad dads attacked and from there all dads demonized than to see someone actually try to help the ones that are trying to be good dads.

    The problem is said law then allows that mother pretty an awful lot of control over the child even after birth.

    • femspotter says:

      Somebody has to have “control,” Danny. Think about the child not about yourself. Wait – this isn’t even happening to you! Again, you negate the occurrences of dead-beat fatherhood.

      What you and your MRA comrades are doing is tantamount to an ambulatory person with a scratch on his knee complaining about said scratch to a paraplegic. Should that scratch be taken seriously? Should it be washed and treated and bandaged or even seen by a doctor if severe? Yes, of course. But you wouldn’t complain about a scratch on your usable legs to somebody who doesn’t have the use of legs. Or perhaps you would. I think that’s insensitive on your part.

    • Danny says:

      1.Really when did I say there aren’t any bad dads?

      2.When did I say I was an MRA?

      3.Why do you keep accusing me of trying to compare who has it worse when literally the only person that’s been doing in this thread and the “Who Writes This Material?” thread is you?

      4.That’s a lot of nerve calling me insensitive when the vast majority of what you’ve been saying in these last 2 posts could have been summed up with “what about teh wimminz?”

      5.”Should it be washed and treated and bandaged or even seen by a doctor if severe? Yes, of course. ”

      Which is actually more than what you’re willing to acknowledge. AS far as you’re concerned you would deny the existence of the scratch with the patient right in your face showing it to you.

    • femspotter says:

      Omg – Danny you obviously don’t read what I write or attach. I love men and I sympathsize with their woes. I also think women have a much greater and longer standing list of problems. We’re overdue for remedies. And I’m never going to pity chubby movie stars for you! They’re movie stars and thus valid in our culture. We live in a culture where females are secualized from a very early age and while I see problems for little boys with athletic expectations too, sexualization of little girls is more relevant to our rape culture…so yes I think rape is a much bigger problem for men. Read my comments and links and yours too while you’re at it and recognize you are also guilty of the who has it worse Olympics. And as for my mentioning overweight actors of the dramatic variety: if Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie packed on 20 or 30 lbs like Crowe or Travolta, they’d be out of jobs.

    • femspotter says:

      Rape is a much bigger problem for women – that’ll teach me to type on an iPod!

    • Danny says:

      Guess its a good thing I didn’t ask for your pity then.

      No I’ve merely been trying to show men don’t have it as easy as you’re decided we do.

      Tell you what let’s just call it a day because we are only bumping heads repeatedly to no avail.

    • femspotter says:

      http://www.bettermen.org/

      This organization helps dads be better dads.

      And P.S., Casey Anthony is being tried against the death penalty. (And don’t go inferring that I champion her alleged act of killing her child!) Moms are “attacked” for being bad moms too. If you’d like I can start posting links to articles about shitty moms who leave their babies in dumpsters or cars with cracked windows, etc. Society is aware of and disdains bad moms too.

    • Danny says:

      Yeah and while you’re at it make sure you add in links to women who are able to neglect their kids but “agree” to give up custody in order to get a lighter punishment, people who defend women suspects with nothing more than “but a woman would never do such a thing”, and women who plan and execute homicides then say they did it in self defense.

  12. femspotter says:

    Danny and Jim, here’s an interesting article on paternity in Sweden. I’d love it if the U.S. got on board with these European countries that value fatherhood so highly. I’m sorry that you feel motherhood is glorified and fatherhood demonized in our culture. As a mom-to-be, I don’t see it that way and I feel shit on daily by Western medicine and by men (fathers included).

    “Society is a mirror of the family,” Mr. Westerberg said. “The only way to achieve equality in society is to achieve equality in the home. Getting fathers to share the parental leave is an essential part of that.”

    I completely agree with that statement. Then maybe we could learn to value stay-at-home care so “housewives” AND stay-at-home dads (I know two) wouldn’t have to feel like lesser human beings because they can’t measure their worth by the size of a paycheck. One of the reasons I will continue to work after giving birth is because of this pressure. My job, however, is not protected and can be downsized during my leave. I am entitled to six weeks of “disability” only with partial pay. But, sincerely, I am sorry that you feel fatherhood is under attack. It shouldn’t be that way.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/world/europe/10iht-sweden.html?scp=2&sq=sweden&st=cse

  13. Daran says:

    …being murdered…

    Everything in the linked to article is wrong. I mean that. Literally everything. Blog post forthcoming.

    • April says:

      I’ll admit, I didn’t read the article thoroughly. I have heard that the #1 cause of death for pregnant women is homicide about 2 million times, and I knew that if I didn’t link to something after saying that, a bunch of people would demand stats, so I half-assed it and put one of the first articles I could find. It was a half-assed blog post.

      If you’ll be talking about the actual claim that homicide is the #1 cause of death for pregnant women, that’d be interesting.

    • femspotter says:

      http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3316485&page=1&GMA=true

      It’s one of the top causes: number 3, 20% in the U.S.

    • April says:

      Thanks for the link!

    • Daran says:

      I have heard that the #1 cause of death for pregnant women is homicide about 2 million times

      Saying a thing over and over makes it true?

      BTW, Have you read Huxley’s “Brave New World”?

      If you’ll be talking about the actual claim that homicide is the #1 cause of death for pregnant women, that’d be interesting.

      I wasn’t. I was just going to refer you to this post.

      Women are much less likely than men to be murdered at every age group. Moreover “it’s unclear if homicide is any more common among pregnant women than it is among non-pregnant women of a similar age”. Murder is cause #3 only because the death rate among women of child-bearing age is generally so low. But “Women of childbearing age are the demographic with the lowest death rate” isn’t a slogan to impel folk to rage against the Patriarchy.

      In fact, the post I’m preparing will focus more on her points about murder in Guatamala City and the Mexico Border. I already critiqued one of the articles she cited.

    • April says:

      Murder is cause #3 only because the death rate among women of child-bearing age is generally so low.

      Excellent point. But this:

      Women are much less likely than men to be murdered at every age group.

      is irrelevant to any point that either you or I made. I was not comparing the likelihood of women being murdered to the likelihood of men being murdered.

    • Daran says:

      this:

      Women are much less likely than men to be murdered at every age group.

      is irrelevant to any point that either you or I made. I was not comparing the likelihood of women being murdered to the likelihood of men being murdered.

      With respect, I think it is relevant. The rhetorical effect of the statement that “Murder is the number one cause of death of pregnant women” is that the murder rate for pregnant women is high. That is the message you took from the claim, and that is what you cited it for. You didn’t cite it for the proposition that death rates from all other causes are really low.

      Therefore, independent of the proposition’s literal truth, it is legitimate to question whether this rhetorical message is true. The statement that “the murder rate for pregnant women is high” does not refer to some absolute scale of murder rate severity, because no such absolute scale exists. All non-zero murder rates are absolutely high because the ideal murder rate is zero.

      When we talk of this group, or that one, suffering a high murder rate, then, what we are saying is the murder rate is high in comparison to the murder rates suffered by other groups, which in the case of pregnant women, means non-pregnant women, men, and children.

    • April says:

      When we talk of this group, or that one, suffering a high murder rate, then, what we are saying is the murder rate is high in comparison to the murder rates suffered by other groups, which in the case of pregnant women, means non-pregnant women, men, and children.

      I wasn’t comparing the number of pregnant women murdered to the number of men murdered on average, or to the number of non-pregnant people of either sex of the person being murdered. What I, at the time, believed to be true was that homicide was the number-one killer of pregnant women, which was surprising, because I, like most people, would assume that, should the cause of death for pregnant women be tracked, the most common cause would be something related to the experience of pregnancy, or the childbirth itself. Homicide is not something that a person in a developed nation would expect to be a number-one (or even leading, as the statistic is later proven to mean) cause of death for pregnant women, as it is unrelated to the direct reality of pregnancy or childbirth.

      I was never attempting comparisons between pregnant female homicides and rates of non-pregnant male homicides or causes of deaths because it was entirely irrelevant to the point I was trying to make, which is that the fact that homicide is even a leading cause of death for pregnant women is a huge problem. Who is responsible for these homicides? Would you argue that it’s random murderers committing them, and not the partners of the pregnant women? Because while I don’t have readily available stats, I will confidently say that that’s the point being made, more often than not, by the people citing those stats. And that’s a systemic issue worthy of discussion and remedying.

      And of course, how could you compare the two? Only women can become pregnant, so you can’t compare that state to any other that a man might be in if he’s murdered, but that’d be deliberately obfuscating. It comes back to systemic intimate-partner-violence, in which the most affected victim is typically female, who is typically the only one who can become pregnant (as many male-identified transgender people also become pregnant).

      The point I’m making doesn’t, in any way, discredit any men or boys and their experiences with violence or coercion or any other frequently-referred-to-as-female experience. I’m not even attempting a round of Oppression Olympics. I’m simply mentioning a frequently-cited piece of, yes, rhetoric, that has relevance to the topic at hand, which is pregnancy.

  14. femspotter says:

    ““But they don’t run the risk of maternal mortality, fistulas, varicose veins, back spasms, incessant heartburn and much, much more due to pregnancy.”

    True. We just have to hope that we will be allowed to be in the child’s life. Say what you want about the men that run out but the ones that are trying to be there are struggling and people pretty much act like they don’t exist.”

    Again, this comment from you is your trying to one-up women’s issues over men’s, so you started the who’s got it worse olympics in this thread too when I was talking about my fears and annoyances in pregnancy.

    • Danny says:

      Nope didnt try to say men had it worse just correcting your presumption that men have nothing to deal with.

    • femspotter says:

      Okay to calling it a day…but that’s not my presumption…for the 100th time. In the U.S., two women die from pregnancy every day. I’m scared sometimes…doesn’t mean anything other than that: I AM SCARED FOR ME. Doesn’t mean men have what you call a cakewalk in general. It’s frustrating to be continuously misrepresented here as on Feministe. What I meant to point out to you, Danny, is that you chose to bring men’s issues into a discussion about the dangers of pregnancy. Sorry if I misread that you are sympathetic to my pregnancy concerns. You keep accusing me of the one up thing, but it was you who first commented against my statements.

      🙂

    • Danny says:

      I brought it up because you started by getting bent out of shape and accusing men about trying to make pregnancy all about them.

      But fine whatthedevil ever…..

    • femspotter says:

      Danny, I was referring to my own blog and my own experiences. The idiotic crap that I’ve been told by men in the last few months could fill a book. I was speaking from personal experience. One of my coworkers remarked to me just the other day that he knows I’m having a girl because I’m “carrying wide” and his wife…blah, blah, blah. Then there was the guy at the pool who yelled across the pool and told me I look I’m due today…and I don’t even know him. I was standing there in my bathing suit. I posted an excerpt from my blog to illustrate a point. Jim was pontificating about how much he knows about pregnancy too. You attacked me. I never commented on anything you wrote.

    • Jim says:

      Hey, I was “pontificating” about my one personal experience of the hormonal roller-caoster a new dad is on. My wife and I were laughing at each other as we kept breaking into tears over our boy. It’s called “having your milk come in.” Gte ready for it. It’s a hoot because it’s so silly. The same hormone governs milk and tear production.

      My whole point is that men have their personal exoperiences of pregnancy and dealing with newborns. Maybe your childs’ father is not in the picture so you’re not seeing this, and that’s fine too, just not the whole story.

  15. Sarah says:

    The nail salon one’s the worst. I mean, really? I only visited nail salons one time, when I had a job giving out promo crap door-to-door to small businesses, and that was enough. The toxic fumes in those places were unbearable for even 1 minute, “hanging out” there would be torture.

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