Thursday, 2 August 2012

GIRLS AND BOYS

Part 1:  Subtle Sexism
Men and women are undeniably different. The psychological consequences of both our physical differences and our cultural upbringing take a serious toll on the way we communicate , magnifying the gap between us. But, once we get down to it, at the end of the day we are all human. And as humans, we are prone to errors.

One such error is more evident on the men's side - the tendency to attribute some universal issues, such as problems in communication, to women. How many times have you heard those vaguely sexist remarks such as "ah, women!" or "don't even try to understand, its the way girls are".

The issue here is not whether or not there are differences, but separating which of these differences are gender based. Many traditional problems such as one person being stubborn, misunderstandings and the limitations of language are unisex - but are quickly summed up as "thats women for you''.

To clarify - the next time you have fight with a girl about the time she takes to get ready and put makeup or the fact you are a lazy slob, simply ask yourself whether you would be having the same fight with a guy. If the answer is no - then ask yourself why? Is it because the innate diferences between men and women, or simply because the guy you are thinking of does not communicate in the same manner as your girlfriend?

Everyone can get stubborn, aggressive, introverted or even let himself get tangled up in his own lingual inadequacy - avoiding pinning any of these issues as a "girl thing" or a "guy thing" is key to solving them.

Part 2: The Geekette

I promised more on this topic in an earlier text I wrote about geeks and nerds. First things fist, allow me to explain what the Geekette is.

As mentioned before, most real nerds and geeks are social outcasts. As such, they fall victim to some of the pitfalls of social ineptitude. These include a sense of privilege that is completely unfounded - the idea that they deserve a Geekette.

What is a Geekette? It is a fictional being that loves all the things they do. A girl that shares a passion for every single hobby they indulge in. "But Matt!" you say "You silly scoundrel! I've met lots of gamer/nerdy/comic-fan/whatever girls! They exist!". To that I say - off course they do. The problem is the Geekette is not simply that - the Geekette is a a product of a guarded, bitter personality, a recluse. The problem is many-fold:

Firstly this person, this Geekette, must love all that they love, but must also not have her own attitude or opinion - they must agree in all respect with the nerd. This is a consequence of their segregation and isolation - nerds are used to fighting over the internet and constantly being judged. They want a girl who has no spine, who will never fight with them - just endlessly agree and share in enjoying their (his) hobby.

Secondly, the Geekette must be hot. This is a subjective trait, off course, but most geeks have unjustifiably high standards in regards to the beauty of their fictitious partner. This inability to work on their own appearance but to expect perfection ties in with the next point.

Finally, we arrive to the biggest issue - the sense of entitlement. Like a large part socially flawed individuals, the nerd/geek assumes that he is right and the world is wrong. As such, he demands some sort of payback - call it hope, call it pride, but the geek believes he DESERVES a geekette. Other people make the same mistake all the time - they assume THE ONE will one day come to them, with no effort invested. What makes this especially painfull in the case of nerds is the fact they strive for a Geekette while completely ignoring the fact they might need to work on their own appearance and personality. They want it all, with no investment - and ignoring the fact that the Geekette does not exist.


Unfortunately, the situation is by no means alleviated by the fact some girls have picked up on this insurmountable need geeks have for Geekettes. I spoke a little in my other text on how even some celebrities have picked up on the demand for "hot nerdy girls". This widespread cruelty is demonstrated by a large number of girls easily sensing this need for a Geekette, and playing it for some sort of gain. Nerds can be used as resources - and if all you need to do to harness this resource is wear a Battlestar Galactica shirt and know your anime, then it is a pretty cheap resource.

This is sad not only because it is ruthless manipulation on the side of those "fake geekettes" - its also grievously insulting to female geeks and nerds. Imagine how a gamer, geeky girl (remember, shes not a Geekette - a geekette is a non existent super hot nerdy girl with no real attitude) must feel when she notices her male contemporaries fawning over some faux-gamer girl with hot-teacher glasses and a tight shirt that emphasizes her boobs and her fake love of Skyrim.

What can be done? Well, not much. I consider myself a nerd/geek and I can identify some of my downsides such as an abysmal stubbornness. This stubbornness will stop most people to reacting to advice or accepting the Geekette does not exist. What you can do is to try and boycott quasi-geekettes and, hopefully, work on bettering yourself and/or your nerd friends by slowly introducing them to the fact the geekette isnt real - but your friend Ana you play Mass Effect with might be just as good.

NOTE: Here is a well written text on a similar topic,written by Forbs' Tara Brown.

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