Friday, May 27, 2005

Gender issues?

I know… I seem to end up talking (writing) a lot about stereotypes relating to gender.

The enlightened intellectual in me wants to believe that we are each individuals. Although we are influenced in a profound way by our gender (genetically, culturally, environmentally, and lots of other adverbs), we have the ability to rise above all that and see things from the perspective of a person rather than as a man or woman.

But let’s face it; stereotypes become stereotypes because there’s an element of truth in them. (Yes, that’s the unenlightened redneck in me. I’m glad you noticed.)

Besides, pointing out stereotypical behavior in others is fun! It gets reactions. It gets comments. It gets people upset, and that’s fun too.

So, here we go...

Why is it that women are afraid of things they don’t understand? (THAT ought to get a rise out of some of you!)

Example? Computers. Women I work with, my wife, and even my daughter Christina (not as much, and you’re getting better) refuse to click or hit “Enter” unless they understand (or think they do) EXACTLY what that action will cause to happen. When in doubt, they’ll stare at the screen for a while and then ask someone else.

When they DO ask me, I will begin hitting various keys and clicking parts of the screen to see what happens. They always want to know, “What did you just do? Why?” Sometimes it’s, “How did you know that would work?”

Well, I didn’t. But staring at the screen waiting DEFINITELY isn’t going to work, so the odds are in my favor if I just do SOMETHING.

“Oh, but it might do something I DON’T want to do!”

So? Whatever that is, it’s probably not permanent. It can be corrected.

“But I might lose my data!”

So save the file as a new name first, so you’ll have the original AND the version you’ve altered, and THEN start clicking. But do something!

What? Exceptions? Of course there are exceptions. Yes, some men are just as bad. And yes, some women with a more adventuresome outlook on life don’t hesitate. Those exceptions just prove the rule.

OK, I’m ready for the firestorm of comments and response. Take your best shot.

Tomorrow I’ll go back to a cute poem or something non-controversial. (Maybe.)


P.S. :

Boy, did MY bluff get called today! I’ve always said I had a “public” blog, meaning I identify myself, my home town, and enough information about me that anybody can find me if they want me. (Makes me keep this blog cleaner and in slightly better taste than it might otherwise be.)

But then I posted a comment on the blog of someone who is a regular here, and told her I knew where she lived (even though I don’t).

Well, today she called me at work! Proud of herself that she had tracked down my office phone number. Wanted me to guess who it was.

Can you imagine? The NERVE of some of these women!


Robin said...

This post made me laugh! I'll agree that as a general rule my gender has a predisposition to caution, interpreted as inaction by you.

We are merely thinking through the possible consequences BEFORE making a move, unlike many of our male counterparts! ;)

Anonymous said...

I so had to laugh because the males in this office are soooo not like that, they are exactly like the stereotype of the women you posted about. LOL

Karyn Lyndon said...

I tend to be a push-the-button-now-
and-ask-questions-later kinda girl...but that's because after years of working on computers I know it's really hard to screw something up that bad. There's always a "back" or "undo" button (although I have lost ENTIRE chapters before which really hurt.)

What you may be experiencing is that perhaps the less computer savvy around you might glean something from your massive man-brain about the process so they don't have to ask you how to do it next time.

But the truth don't really KNOW what you did to fix you?

Duke_of_Earle said...

Karyn, Karyn, you missed the point again!


It's not that I know how to fix the problem, it's that I'm willing to try something rather than just freezing into inaction.

Men don't have massive brains. Some are obsessed with other areas in which they think size matters, though.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the stereotypical women, I'll provide proof that women and men think differently.

If a woman falls into a toilet because someone left the seat up before her, she'll yell at her mate rather than realizing she deserves whatever bath she received for blinding placing her bare behind somewhere.

When a guy does this, he simply yells "#$@!@$" at no one in particular, cleans up and goes about his way. The women blame others, the guy just gets mad.

Karyn Lyndon said...

John, John, YOU missed the point...massive man-brain was obviously sarcasm.

And now suddenly we're talking about other massive regions of the body? I'm surprised at you! You're gonna have to pick your own day of the week to talk about sex...freaky friday is MINE!!!

Monica said...

Oh, my, I see you've managed to get yourself in a little hot water here, your royal dukeness.

Calling out women on technology and then getting found at work by a woman who outstalked you! LOL.

You are staying on top of the trouble pile today, aren't you?

Have a great weekend.

Duke_of_Earle said...

OMG Karyn. Please read my comment again. Did I mention anything about "regions of the body?" No! I was thinking about cars, actually.

I know you obsess about propagating, but please!

Duke_of_Earle said...


Yes, you at least get the point. I think I was "hoist on my own petard" in the "who's more technically savvy" contest. I've been "one-upped." I bow to her superior sleuthing skills. (More alliteration! Or is that sillibance?)

Karyn Lyndon said...

Oh, well THAT'S a relief...because men who say size doesn't matter drive teensy weensy sportscars.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you about woman being afraid of technology, especially computers - we have that in our office. Though I am quite adept when it comes to computers (most times), I do not enjoy messing around with our server or router or ADSL box when our computers are down. That is one situation where I will not push buttons at all.

Did you know that I posted something on internet security last year as I had managed to locate some bloggers via the internet white pages? It is amazing what they store on the net.

Have a great weekend John.

Anonymous said...

First - yes I am a little afraid of the computer! But compared to my husband I am a regular nerd. And thanks for acknowledging that I AM getting better.

Second - so who was it that managed to track you down? I want to pay my respects to HER!!!

Duke_of_Earle said...

Ah, Christina. I will tell you privately, but I feel her identity should be kept from the blogging world unless SHE chooses to self-identify.

And she may. She's pretty egotistical. Smart, yes. Clever, certainly.

I'll email you the answer and you can pay her all the respects you like.