Saturday, October 20

It's a woman/man thing. We wouldn't understand.

Seeing as I'm probably already on double-secret probation from certain concerned feminist blogger's collectives... for my panties, references to titty-fucking, not to mention my occasional admiration for things George Will has said, I might as well come clean and admit the rest.

1. I love the blog Hot Chicks with Douchebags, the sole purpose of which is to deride scenes like this:

Yes he is a douchebag. And yes, from the safety and comfort of your laptop screen*, the two young women have, as the auteur of HCwDB, Douchebag 1, would say, "poetic boobies of boobage poetry."

*In other words, you don't have to attempt conversation with them about YOUR latest post quoting George Will. Do. Not. Attempt.

I can only read HDwDB about once a week. Otherwise my sides hurt too badly. And you are either like me and applaud DB1's book deal as a victory for all of us, or you think it another end of civilization as we know it. Okay.

2. I'm addicted to the morning drive show Lex and Terry. Not only is it occasionally eye-rolling sexist (Drunk Bitch Friday is particularly unfunny on the face of it, I admit) it is a, (gag) ClearChannel product. And I can't get enough.

Lex and Terry are guys. They talk sports, and I don't know what they are talking about, and I absorb the testosterone like a sponge anyway. They give love advice to men and women. (And in a great irony, they seem to assume that all of their women callers are hot chicks and their men callers are douchebags, unless proven otherwise. Women callers who clearly use men or are otherwise treating fellow human beings poorly get called on it. Men callers who claim to be in monogamous relationships are told to behave like adults. It's very refreshing.)

Sue me. I can't get all uppity about two guys whose website has a countdown clock like this:

3. I love love love certain men's magazines.

Yeah Maxim (aka the magazine for guys who can only aspire to be douchebags) stays on the magazine rack unread. But given the choice between Mother Jones and Esquire, I pick the "Women We Love" issue every. single. time. Ditto for GQ. The November issue of Esquire is typically good, and not just for its profile of Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich (which is not online, dang it). I love their section called "The Vocabulary": "Yeatsian pounce" is reading Yeats or other like poets to "warm the cockles of both her heart and her loins." Hardly something that would impress a "hot chick" but would a "brainy chick" if you did it right. And then there's "Yoko," who is this,

But is also:

(n.) nickname for any woman who is a major force in her husband's personal and public life, significantly shaping his image and career through force of will, personality, or a whole lot of red hair. Can be added to the last name for comedic effect: "Yoko Bryant," "Yoko Kucinich."

I like new words and stuff. I also like letters sections that have the cahones to run "Context-Free Highlights from Letters We're Not Running."

All of this brings me to two life experiences. I remember in 9th grade thinking I would go to Smith College (I was a legacy, my paternal grandmother was class of '20 and great aunt somewhere around there, too.) By tenth grade I realized that every friend I had was a boy. I didn't talk to girls at school very much at all. Ever. I did not apply to Smith.

I also remember when the National Museum of Women in the Arts opened several years ago. My mother, an artist and a fine one her own self, said she would not want to be included in such a project. She called it a ghetto.

Not gonna separate ourselves from the menfolk, is what it means. Take it, Patty Loveless:

There are lots of women's writing essays about male language power versus female language power. Ursula K. LeGuin's Bryn Mawr commencement address in 1986 is a classic example.

You came here to college to learn the language of power - to be empowered. If you want to succeed in business, government, law, engineering, science, education, the media, if you want to succeed, you have to be fluent in the language in which "success" is a meaningful word. ...

Is that what this is about though? That good funny writing based on politics and social commentary must somehow come from dominant paradigm (meaning male) language?

I don't think that's it.

It's true, dear reader, I do not know exactly where this essay is going, but I don't want it to turn into a 1980's graduate school paper: Blogs, Boobs, Brains and Bravery: Humor and Gender in Early 21st Century Electronic Media. Don't make me write what I wouldn't want to read. No, this essay is all about ME.

And yet someone (okay yeah a guy) told me recently that the appeal of my blog to male readers is that many men can't talk politics with their girlfriends and I'm a surrogate. Oh really?

I've been working on this post for about three days and as one friend told me, "Leonardo said art is never finished, only abandoned." So here. We'll continue this conversation in comments.


  1. i like this. it loops and turns and loops again. much like my thoughts go.

    it's so simple and yet so impossibly hard to do.

    treat everyone as we would want to be treated.

    that takes care of most everything. unless you are in the small group of people that get off on being treated badly.

  2. Anonymous10:17 AM

    There should be another post dedicated to your use of the phrase, "double secret probation" which is taken from one of the truly quintessential guy movies of all time.

  3. Blue Gal,

    Fantastic post. A few comments, if I may.

    1. Honey, you ARE a guy, in many ways. This is not to say that you are masculine, but rather to say that I would never characterize you as girly. Ever. I would however, characterize you as an intellectual hermaphrodite.

    You've preferred to keep male company I think for the same reason I prefer to keep mostly female company. There is a part of you who enjoys the male dynamic of power and assertiveness, just like there's a large part of me who enjoys the female dynamic of being effusively emotional and utterly unwilling to compartmentalize my discourse with other people.

    2. I agree. To truly reach gender equality, we have to stop seeing the world through the lenses of either purely masculine or purely feminine paradigm. I would safely wager that you are far more female that you give yourself credit, and I far more masculine than I give myself credit.

    Perhaps intelligent people find conventional gender roles constraining and appear as mostly a synthesis of gender rather than indebted strongly to one side or the other.

    3. I think gender is forged both by nature and nurture. Like, when Freud talked about penis envy, it was because he couldn't see how much Victorian culture stole from women.

    They believed that education was
    unfeminine and would result in know, when your womb
    becomes detached and wanders around your body. How are you supposed to
    respond to that?

    Would you have kept exclusively male company if you hadn't been told everywhere in this culture you couldn't do the cool stuff you wanted to do because you were a girl?

    I doubt you would have thought twice about gender if I
    weren't for the trappings, the clothes and the behavioral expectations.

    I used to think gender was fluid along a 2-d continuum, like the
    Kinsey scale, but now I see it's fluid along a 3-dimensional spectrum.

    It's just that society tends to quash all but a few points. When we
    can open that up, we will all be free.

  4. A few more points: The women I have been attracted to and sought out as both lovers and friends have not been classic female types. They're often the sort of women who have almost exclusively male friends and openly express their distaste of most members of their own gender.

    I hasten to employ the Yoko analogy--because I see Ms. Ono as the classic example of a narcissistic, manipulative, selfish pseudo-intellectual--and no, my critique of her has nothing to do with her gender.

    I make a point to seek out company with other such intellectual hermaphrodites. Perhaps there's a bit of a generational divide at place here. I see you as ahead of your time. The way you present yourself places you much more in line with women from my generation.

  5. Anonymous12:03 PM

    BG -

    I think your friend is right about the attraction of your blog and that of say..Politits or Blondesense.

    There are a great many men out there who want to engage women on weighty issues such politics or other intellectual pursuits, like, say, Walt Whitman's poetry...or W.B. Yeats.

    My experience is much the same in that outside of the blogsphere, most of my conversations with women skew towards non-political topics. I don't know why that is because it's not like these women are incapable of it. For whatever reason, they just don't and sometimes it's frustrating as hell.

    So, don't sweat what the feminists think of you for engaging men. We like you just as you are. Thanks for this post.

  6. Comrade knows me personally and has seen me in an academic setting which is why he knows so much. Thanks CK.

    And Spartacus I'm honored to be held in the same light as Politits and Blondesense. Those babes are exactly what I'm talkin' about.

  7. Blue Gal,

    You are quintessentially feminine in that femininity is smart, attractive, no my book.

    Whoever called that other crap feminine was just distortin'!

  8. Anonymous1:19 PM


    I ♥ you, bluegal!

  9. btw on topic you folks know I'm no fan of Hillary...but seriously, Peggy Noonan can fuck me.

  10. '...someone (okay yeah a guy) told me recently that the appeal of my blog to male readers is that many men can't talk politics with their girlfriends and I'm a surrogate'

    Bosh, I say. You're a fellow intellect with whom one can analyze and mutually reason with over alternative paths and solutions...This 'tits and panties' business, merely the sizzle that sells the steak.

    That said, as in any transaction, what is given is not necessarily what is received. Perhaps there are some men out there who just cannot bring themselves to share their dirty political fantasies with their spouses, and thus they seek out like-minded individuals, some of them even professional, to indulge in their intellectual intercourse with.


  11. Anonymous1:54 PM

    BG, honorary "intellectual hermaphrodite," surely you meant to write, "Peggy Noonan can get fucked by me." Or was the passive voice too repulsive for that version?

    If I don't talk politics much to you, it's because I have my own BG here at home. I was very fortunate to marry a woman with the same politics and same sense of humor as me. No need for a surrogate. I only wish I could get her to start blogging again.

    And as for politics, make sure you check out the brief screed I just posted :)

  12. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Um, anything you want to add? :-)

  13. "I love their section called "The Vocabulary": "Yeatsian pounce" is reading Yeats or other like poets to "warm the cockles of both her heart and her loins." Hardly something that would impress a "hot chick" but would a "brainy chick" if you did it right."

    A post to which one can only, properly add "Hell yes!"

  14. Anonymous10:28 PM

    'Gal, yours was the first blog I ever visited. And read. And loved.

    And frankly, if it hadn't been written by a woman, I probably would have dismissed it as yet another person speaking from my heart, albeit with a clarity and an edge and a sense of humor to which I could only aspire.

    But it was (and is) written by a woman who "broke out of the mold" to inform and amuse and surprise and delight me, a woman who speaks her mind without too much regard to who might think she's wrong or off-base or detrimental to "Teh Cause." A woman who's smart enough (and knows it!) to trust her instincts and lay it on the table to be scrutinized, digested and assimilated by those of us who have had the privilege of swapping air with you.

    Would there were way more like ya, 'Gal.

  15. Anonymous10:49 PM

    PS, I too visit HCw/DB, but less frequently now that I'm old. Seems to take my ribs longer to heal, and cleaning up the puddle is getting to be a pain in the ass! >:(

  16. Anonymous10:39 PM

    strong women are just that, strong

  17. Men, women, who cares as long as they're uppity!
    -- David

  18. You speak of hot chicks and brainy chicks as if these were not the same thing. This confuses me.

  19. poetic boobies of boobage poetry

    Them's a lot of excess syllables to say "surgically enhanced"...

  20. Three days and worth it.

    My Significant Other picked up Men are From Mars etc... (it resides in our "Unintentional Humour" section) and concluded she's a dude. Works for me, apparently.

    Oh, and Maxim is for folks without the balls (metaphorical or otherwise) to buy actual pornography.

  21. You are wicked, BG, to lure me into looking at HCwDB. I am now hopelessly addicted.


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