Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today's Hilarity

Richard Cohen offers us a bouquet of laughs with his new column starting:

Why is there no female Tiger Woods?

Why are there no female sex scandals?

Then he goes on the way one does in these kinds of articles: First you bash men as creatures who are driven by their pricks, pushing them along in wheelbarrows and obeying their every urge. You explain, patiently and kindly, that evolution has made men like that (thanks evo-psychos*).

But for some odd reason, all this male-bashing can only end up in one place: Putting women down! It's very very funny. This is how Cohen ends his column:

The reason the Glass Ceiling has not broken is that women have other priorities — maintaining relationships and being a mother. This is the way it is, and this is the way it has always been. As any of Tiger Woods's cocktail waitresses could tell him, Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

N'est ce pas?

I don't know about you but I'm enjoying this shit. Take that last paragraph and tweak it a little:

The reason the Glass Ceiling has not broken is that men have other priorities -- they don't care to maintain relationships or be a father. This is the way it is, and this is the way it has always been...

But Cohen doesn't say THAT. His writing is about as informed as mine would be on the topic of the division of labor in an anthill. He doesn't know anything at all about the Glass Ceiling so of course it doesn't exist! He walks through it every morning and still has hair!

All of that is shorthand for Cohen's privilege to ignore the culture and the environment, both of which are different for women than for men. It could be that our biological inheritance explains the dearth of female Tiger Woodses. But I'm pretty sure that a culture which condones the male type (nudge-nudge) and disapproves of the female type has a role to play, too. And so do writers like Richard.
*I have written much on the topic of how we know what men did in prehistory without any actual evidence. The way these theories have become "common wisdom" is pretty disheartening for those of us who'd like to see that evolved brain actually be used.