Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Irritating women of the NYTimes

The ever irritating MoDo, the Smurfette of journalism.

And Judith Warner, who illustrates why some women with loser husbands cling to evolutionary psychology rather than get a well-justified divorce:

My husband, on the other hand, on the rare occasions when he wields a suction hose, makes a quick and efficient job of it. This occurs about once a year, generally on vacation, and with a great deal of self-congratulatory huffing and puffing. It is usually followed by a nap.

My husband claims that our mutually grating differences in housekeeping style (or lack thereof) can’t be explained in the terms of sex differences; they’re just reflections, he says, of unique, nonspecific-to-gender differences in our own individual personalities. (I am a spaz; he is not. I am fussy; he is “lazy.” See the pediatrician Mel Levine, I say, on “The Myth of Laziness.”)

And yet, I have read (in the British press, I believe; the good stuff is always in the British press) that men and women actually do differ in their abilities to discern, say, chocolate-cake crumbs on an Oriental rug. Men don’t see them: they’re too busy seeing the Big Picture because, as the hunters in the hunter-gatherer equation, they needed the skills necessary to scan the distant horizon. Women do see them: they are better at seeing details, because — you guessed it — it is their evolutionary heritage to have the skills for doing things like spotting berries.

An evolutionary biologist I met last fall at the University of Connecticut told me that this is total bunk.

It pleases me — for mental health reasons, let’s say — to believe otherwise.

Judith Warner comes from the whaddayah-gonna do-men-are-big-lazy-self-centered-lugs-but-they-can't-help-it-and-we-love-'em-anyway school of "feminism."

She's kind of Erma Bombeck for the 21st century. Except Bombeck might have been more feminist.