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Sunday, February 06, 2005

She's A Jar

"Girls' opinions are always unicorns and rainbows anyway," Ben said.

We were talking about why he couldn't hang out with Lan anymore. Lan and Ben's ex-girlfriend apparently got into a discussion of some sort, and Lan ended it in what is often a typical Lanian fashion--he called her a "fucking Nazi." This was obviously said in jest1, but Ben has a tendency to take things like that more seriously than say, a jelly donut or a coffee table would.

"Girls' opinions are always unicorns and rainbows anyway2. So if a girl starts talking about unicorns and rainbows, you can hardly look at her and go, 'Unicorns and rainbows!? You stupid bitch!' even if it is pretty stupid."

At the time, I took this as gospel, because it seemed to fit with my typical experience of women's opinions. I didn't really have a defense for Lan calling her a fucking Nazi, except to say that I'm sure he was joking, and not to take things like that too seriously.

Later though, I re-told the conversation to my sister, and she seemed perturbed.

"That's one of my greatest fears," she said. "That people will treat me differently just because I'm a girl." She then went on to tell me a story about how she was hanging out with a boy she's currently dating and his friends. They got into a soccer game, and the boys played extra nice with her: the goalie took a smoke break when she got close to the goal, no one defended her, and they gave her the ball even when she didn't really deserve it, much like a university that uses affirmative action gives a minority student with poor test grades admission to their school. She was frustrated--she didn't want them to coddle her just because she's a girl (in fact, she didn't want to play in the first place because she worried about this very problem).

"I mean, they didn't do that shit to the Swedish guy, and he sucked just as bad as I did," she pointed out.

RA got involved in the conversation, and I brought him up to speed.

Meg wanted clarification. "When he says 'unicorns and rainbows,' does he mean that he thinks women are more idealistic?"

I thought for a minute.

"I don't know about that, but I would say that women in general are less realistic."

"Those are two very different things," RA said.

"I know, that's why I made the distinction."

"I don't know if I agree with that," RA replied.

"I do. I'm not saying that all women have their head in the clouds, and can't make decisions about the world we live in--I'm just saying that if one gender is more based in reality, it's men. We're wired differently: women usually have a higher level of emotional intelligence and can communicate more clearly, but men think more logically and make more rational, realistic decisions."

Meg chimed in, "As true as that may be, I don't want a guy to not tell me what he thinks just because he assumes my thoughts are going to be stupid. I always want to be treated equally."

"And with the exception of sports, you probably will be. This is because you aren't stupid like other girls are, and that is because you're related to me."

Then she kicked me in the calf.

Rewind to about eight months ago. I'm sitting in a nice restaurant with Lan and CF (a girl). I ordered the grilled salmon, which was delicious.

CF said, "Lan, do you make a lot of girls cry?"

Seeing exactly where this was going, I thought to myself 'After Lan tells her that he does (which is true), she is going to tell him that he shouldn't be proud of that.'

I looked at Lan, waiting for his reply.

Straight-faced and with out inflection, Lan spoke one word.

"Yes."

"That's nothing to be proud of, you know."

Lan and I looked at each other and said simultaneously, "I knew she was going to say that."

"Which is why I answered the question simply and as straight-forward as I could. I'm not proud of it; it's just a true fact that I probably do make more girls cry than the average man."

Ironically, Lan probably makes more girls cry than the average man simply because he follows the philosophy that my sister's soccer opponents didn't--he treats people and ideas based on merit, not on gender. However, as MO (a friend of Lan's and an acquaintance of mine), once said, "That's no way to get laid." True again, but then this turn of events got me thinking that if the case is that we have to "endure" womens' unicorn/rainbow/why-children-should-rule-the-world theories in order to get laid, then women are really no better off in terms of garnering respect based on merit from their gender-opposites than they were at the beginning of time.

Then I wondered if perhaps the problem isn't that men don't respect women because their ideas aren't rational, but if the standards we apply for handing out respect are imposed by men, for men, in an all-too patriarchal society that caters only to the male ego.

Then I was distracted because I hadn't jerked off that day yet, and settled down to some internet pornography, which I found quite satisfying.


1But, as Lan says, all jokes are only made in half jest. However, Ben's ex-girlfriend is Korean, and I doubt the Nazis would have accepted her in the party, had she been alive at the height of their popularity. So how true could that joke actually be? I mean, maybe they'd accept her now, since they're probably hurting for members, but who really gives a shit?

2"Well, not always," Ben said later. "But in certain areas they are."

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