The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mars and Venus

So, lately I have been wondering about something. For years I've described myself as a feminist, in the why-the-hell-wouldn't-you-be sense that (I would hope) almost everyone is.

I am, however, dead against certain other forms of feminism. There seem to be a few voices in the world that, I am convinced, are being paid off by time-travelling Edwardian misogynists. Whereas the good ol' boys of the Industrial Revolution held that science and technology were male concerns that women's brains were unsuited to, these difference feminists hold that science and engineering and critical thinking and all rational thought are the product of the male mind: alien, and perhaps harmful to women.

What I find interesting, though, is where the idea of the male gender has gone. I kind of liked the old ideal of manhood back around the eighteenth century or so- proud, rational and sanguine. It's a pretty poor description for any human being, but a pretty good ideal for everyone, I reckon. What we have now is, if you'll excuse me a moment while I destroy any claims to classiness I may have had up to this point, exemplified in recent James Bond films. No, really. To be a man now is to be aggressive, forthright, and a little bit stupid. Masculinity is associated with a joie-de-vivre bordering on childishness. It's being a 'bloke'. There's a curious sense of inferiority to women. There's a defeatism that set in about the time that someone realised that while women's brains are blasted with hormones every month or so, ours are soggy with testosterone from the age of thirteen until we kill ourselves fishing with dynamite. There's an idea that we're good for opening jars and such, and that's about it.

It's all in good fun and might even be progress if it weren't for the whole discrepencies-in-earnings and thats-womans-work kind of things that still go on. Me, I'm going to keep on trying to be John-Stuart Mill, and anyone's welcome to come along.


At 2:23 pm, January 16, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

Two interesting side-notes:

1) I always use "guys" to be gender-neutral, ("bloke" being the British slang for man), but "guy" singular implies male.

2) The whole "science is for men" thing comes exclusively from academics in the humanities, and normally women. I think what they actualy mean to say is "Science is hard", which is correct.

At 6:21 pm, January 16, 2007, Blogger Maxwell Edison said...

It's a well known fact that reading heats women's brains up to the extent that they become completely irrational.

Also, women don't understand science because of the menstrual cycle.

This is 100% guaranteed to be true.

At 7:11 pm, January 16, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

By "trying to be John Stewart Mill" do you mean isolating yourself from society and refusing to study at Oxford? Or do you just want Mega-Sideburns (which I endorse)?

At 8:58 pm, January 16, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

1) Actually, the mental strain of education doesn't cause women to become irrational- that's their natuive state. However, it does cause infertility and a loss of that doe-eyed innocence that determines their intrinsic worth.

2) Actually, you have it backward there. Science doesn't understand women (and, by extension, the Navier-Stokes equation) because of the menstrual cycle.

3) I'm talking about wearing a waistcoat. Isolation and facial hair are already taken care off by the breakdown in my social abilities caused by the demonic influence I unwittingly bought into my life in 2005 by playing D&D.

Three posts, three personas: but which is the real me? (Hint: Yesterday I thought about doctorate programs as choosing a prestige class.)

At 7:21 pm, January 17, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

But the real question is determining level. Obviously you'd be Physicist ?/Environmental Scientist 1, but what level would you be in physicist?

At 8:33 pm, January 17, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

I was working on one level per year of education past 16. That'd make me Student 2/Physics 4/Environmental Engineer 1. The two being A-levels- I don't know how the American system would compare.

It means you're looking at doctorate programs (prestige classes) no sooner than level 5, which is satisfying.

I could do these all day. My pal Paul is Student 2/Engineer 3/ Pilot 2. Dan is Student 2/Apprentice 5. My dad is something like Burnout 1/Docker 2/Programmer 2/Farmer 17/Lumberjack 1/Farm Manager 3.

The big problem with all this is that I will be hugely dissapointed when I'm 45 and am unable to survive falling any distance or perform five attacks in six seconds.


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