Ladies, do you ever, like, wake up in the morning and get totally confused? Like, you don’t even know what day it is, or what planet you’re on, or what you want for breakfast? Don’t be alarmed! Your lady-brain just can’t comprehend the cage!
Too bad there is no one in the whole wide world who can help you. You, women of the world, are an inscrutable enigma that baffles even the sharpest minds, according to this Nebraskan clown, who just happens to be a state senator.
State senator Bill Kintner (Republican, duh) is many things. He’s pro-life. He’s a Christian. But dang it! He just can’t figure out them ladies!
“No one understands them,” he opined. “They don’t even understand themselves. Books and books and books have been written about it, and no one understands it.”
Books! Books! Billions of books on what goes through the minds of women and no one has a clue! What’s a poor fella to do?
Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that he refers to women as “it.” Lest you think this guy only sounds like bumbling misogynist (which he definitely does), he also doesn’t hold that high of an opinion about men.
“Men are very easy to understand. Very basic, very simple,” he added.
Kinter! Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re making important decisions for your state! I’m sure you’re not that simple.
Oh dear…maybe I should put this in language you can more easily understand. YOU NOT STUPID. YOU CAN THINK GOOD. UNDERSTAND?
Oh forget it. Here are some shiny keys. I need to talk to the adults for a second.
If you’ve lived in the world, conversed with people, and have a basic level of self-awareness and empathy, you instinctively know what’s wrong with Kinter’s statement. If you were literally born yesterday or are particularly dense, let me lay it out for you.
It’s simple, really. Women are people. We have inner lives and individual motivations, just like regular people. We want to live our lives the way we want without jerks constantly telling us that how we look is tantamount to our value; to walk down the street free from harassment; to have access to decent healthcare. You know, like literally everyone.
You want to know why billions of books have been written about how women are? Because those books are for people who refuse to take a damn minute to think about what it must be like to be another person. Or are just too afraid or obtuse to talk to someone different. The same goes to some extent for those asinine articles in women’s magazines that ask some variant of “What do men want?” Newsflash! That magazine doesn’t know! But you know who does? The guy you want to have some kind of relationship with! Why don’t you just ask? It’s not rocket science, people.
Men and women (and all shades in between) are not different species. We all have our own perspectives and experiences. Those perspectives are valid. I’m not suggesting that we sanitize the vast array of human experience to ignore very real social inequalities. But women (or people of color, or whoever) are not impossible labyrinths; understanding different perspectives is not a Sisyphean task. It just takes a little effort.
And, you know, if you want to actually get a female perspective, it would help if you didn’t refer to that whole group as an “it.” That’s a pro-tip from me to you.
Image credit: Flickr