Monday, February 27, 2006

The Fairer Sex, The Fouler Sex?

What men desire is a virgin who is a whore. Edward Dahlberg

Now, I’m going to generalize a bit here, but it’s a bit unfair at times that a man can be crude and that’s fine, because he’s just being a man, but when women talk straight, then they’re being extremely unladylike.

It goes to the heart of Mr. Dahlberg’s comment. There’s still an idea in society that women are supposed to pretend to be all modest and innocent, but once you get behind closed doors it would be good if you aren’t so innocent.

Or even inexperienced, I suppose.

Evilkev and I have been re-watching one of our favourite shows, and we came to one of my favourite lines:

The Greek

You should have had a son.


But then I would have had a wife.

Ah yes, one of the great trials of life. Wives. Lord knows I wouldn’t want one.

Especially this one. I mean, it begs some obvious questions about what legally defines a marriage when a seven-year-old girl marries a dog. Because you know, in most places, the lack of some, um, particular bonding activities would nullify the marriage.

And in some places, that’s illegal.

Not to mention…well, okay, never mind. I’m just not going to go there on the blog. I’m sure you’re all wondering the same thing as me and then I have to ask myself, do I really want to know?

I found it rather ironic, though, that I’d just received this.

Jokes play to the stereotypes, but there was something in that which my friend and I both found sadly true.

The tendency of women to be jealous of each other.

It isn’t universally true, but it definitely is something that comes up. It’s certainly something I’ve experienced, both ways.

Do guys get jealous of each other? You know, that just isn’t something I see, in my experience, much. It makes me wonder what it is about women that can make us sweet us pie and tough as nails, loving and generous and yet cruel and vindictive.

Because I see all of that in me. And I think most women have at least seen those extremes in others, even if they haven’t expressed them themselves.

I’ve heard some crime writers talk about how women seem to take things just that bit further, they’re willing to be that much more graphic.

I wonder about that.

Are we more cynical because we have to live with men?

Or are we more competitive because it’s been harder for us to survive independently in the past?

Or are we just more fair on the outside because we're expected to be, and inside balance that out with a foul streak?

Tossing my rambling sexist thoughts aside, I’ve put it out in stages that I’m going to have a contest! And with that in mind, there will be something today and tomorrow I’ll mention, and then on Wednesday, just before I leave town for a few days and abandon you to suffer blogdom without me until next week, I’ll post a trivia question and tell you how to enter.

For now, I leave you with the news that Sandra is now complete. Until somebody tells me there’s a horrendous typo or something. But you might want to check it out, as it might help you with the trivia contest.

Oh, and the prize is a copy of the Spinetingler Anthology, featuring 2 short stories by me, one that’s only appearing in the anthology, and a previously unpublished short story by The Multi-talented Birthday Boy, Stuart MacBride! Don’t forget to drop by his blog and with the old man happy birthday, you never know how more he’ll have.

I’ll have Tuesday Tips tomorrow and another trivia clue.

And now I expect you all to tell me how right or wrong I am about women.

Or how much you love my website.


Bernita said...

Have found women to be more competitively catty, perhaps because there weren't as many open and obvious means to compete as for men. Guerrilla methods.
A lot of it seems based on the perception of the other sex as "possessions" and the concept of ownership.

Christa M. Miller said...

I do love your website. :) I was looking at it last night. Looks great!

About men vs. women... honestly, I disagree. Men and women have unattractive qualities in common... they're just expressed differently.

Men DO get jealous of each other. It comes out as competitiveness. Why else would two suburban neighbors continuously one-up each other with bigger lawnmowers, weed whackers, etc.?

My husband is the sweetest, most generous, caring guy I know. He also has a dark side that makes me very uncomfortable. Men are more willing to look only at the short term for things like revenge (i.e. they are generally more willing to risk things like prison if it means killing the person who harmed their family... whereas we think in terms of responsibility to family, etc. that tempers the impulse for revenge).

I have heard it said that girls and women fight dirtier than boys and men - cops say it all the time. You could argue that this is because men are more used to working out their aggression in more constructive ways, while we are, as you say, expected to be all sweetness and light. When it comes out, it would be more vicious.

However, when my husband and I fight? We both fight dirty (words only) in different ways, but it all evens out in the end: we both feel terrible, so we make up.

Bottom line: men and women: equally wonderful and nasty, for entirely different reasons. IMHO. :)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks re: the website.

And those are some interesting thoughts.

I never thought of the one-up-manship thing, but then, my husband is so not into that. I even do all the yardwork, or it wouldn't happen.

But then he does like having all the latest technological gadgets...

Trace said...

I love the website! Don't forget to put a link to it under my fave writers on my website!

JamesO said...

Without wanting to upset all those worshippers of Intelligent Design, there's a good evolutionary explanation for the difference in behaviour between men and women.

Women have to carry around a child inside them for nine months, during which time they become increasingly unable to function unaided. Even once the sprog is born, it will cling and require female-specific nurturing (i.e. milk) for a good many months, if not years. Women are thus dependent on the support of others, usually men, (and I'm speaking in an evolutionary sense here, not pejoratively) for their survival.

Men, on the other hand, need only to be good providers in order to secure and keep a mate.

So it makes sense for women to be more cunning, but also better able to see the long view. This inevitably leads to acts of incredibly creative vindictiveness as well as grudges nursed over lifetimes.

With men, on the other hand, it's all about how big your muscles are. Who's got the most powerful truck or the latest widescreen plasma telly.

Of course, once you throw in the societal mix, then things get more complicated, but this is probably a good starting point.

Christa M. Miller said...

My husband isn't into yardwork competition either, but he is part of a fantasy baseball league. No Girlz Allowed. Which is just as well because of the way they talk. Wanna hear about male jealousy? My husband's arch rival (one of his best friends) told him he should have named his winning team last year "The Boner Igniters" because of what the lineup did for him. Nice, huh?

M. G. Tarquini said...

I LOVE the site, sandra! It came out beautiful.

Here's the Italian take on the whole man/woman thing:

Men...women...what are you gonna do?

Erik Ivan James said...

Great site, Sandra! Your photography ability is also excellent.

On men & women...neither deserve each other.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes, there definitely is a difference between male and female interaction.

For better or for worse...

Actually, there will be a panel at Harrogate this year, "debating the relative merits of male and female crime fiction, in which (Mark Billingham) and Ian Rankin take on the formidable team of Denise Mina and Val McDermid."

I'm looking forward to that, since Mark is one of the guys who has this theory about female crime writers...

And Erik, you're probably right!

And I'm glad you guys like the website! It still isn't 100% done, but it's pretty close.

I think.

Kate said...

Great website! I know this conversation finished ages ago but I thought I'd better let you know.

Also, I think there often is a difference between men's competitiveness and women's competitiveness. Men usually just want the biggest or best of whatever it is. Women often compete for men's attention or to be more attractive to men or to be more whatever it is they think men should find attractive.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Hey, I'm always interested in opinions! So post away, no matter how late!

And I'm glad you like the website. Still some tweaking to do, but it's getting there!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Love your website!

My money's on...we're more cynical 'cause we have to live with men!