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It’s true, Some women are really stupid.

March 3, 2008

Proof? Charlotte Allen’s latest….. what shall I call this article… hmmm… garbage. Yes, her latest garbage proves once and for all that some women are fucking morons. #1 on that list, Charlotte Allen.

(I appologize to the fatosphere, this article is not fat related, but I am filled with rage and it must be vented.)

Now I want to clarify this fact very carefully, some men are also fucking morons. Case in point Mr. I’s friend who visited last weekend provoked my dog until it bit him, after multiple warnings. This, also fucking stupid. And not even an interesting kind of stupid, more the kind that has caused me to lash out violently towards this indivudal on multiple occasions. (Note to men and women of all ages, never tell an angry feminist to “Settle.”)

Anyway, I know feministing didn’t want to give this article too much sway by fisking it, but there is some “logic” I just couldn’t let pass.

Firstly:

I can’t help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women — I should say, “we women,” of course — aren’t the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women “are only children of a larger growth,” wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?

Ah, the classic “Women are emotional beings while men are stoic and logical” crap. Look kids, men have emotions too, emotions that might even get away from them sometimes if they hadn’t been socialized from a very young age to suppress any emotion besides anger lest they be “A Woman.”

Women on the other hand have been told from a very young age that they are emotional and weak, and that to make the stoic logical men love them they should display their joy fervently and appear weak. Because what’s more important to a woman than acceptance by the patriarchy? I don’t know Charlotte, why don’t you tell me.

On we go. She then goes on an incredibly patriarchal screed lambasting “Chick Lit” and women’s music taste. And y’know what who says that John Grisham is better than Helen Fielding? Who says that Aerosmith is better than Celine Dion? A society which undervalues anything having to do with women ever does. It all comes down to preference ultimately. I prefer Helen Fielding to John Grisham, because sometimes her plots surprise me, and frankly I’d can’t think of two bands I’d rather listen to less than Aerosmith or Celine dion. But somehow just because women prefer it, or it is mostly about emotions, or humanity, suddenly means it is less valuable or less valid? WTF, seriously. WTF.

Has this woman never watched the Spike Network? Or payed any attention to the amount of time and energy wasted on what may be one of the world’s biggest resource drains of all time, professional sports? There are more pages devoted to sports in the Chicago RedEye than to world news. It hurts me deeply. This stuff has NOOOOO affect whatsoever on real life and it just goes on and on for pages, and there are alredy like 10 tv networks devoted to it as well. If the average man reserved a FRACTION of the attention spent on profesional sporting events for something actually important like… oh… I don’t know… ANYTHING ELSE then the world would be a better place. (I’m a little bitter about this, but if you’d spent hours and hours listening to your coworkers discuss the minutia of whatever sport is relevant at the moment while you actually like… did work.. you’d be bitter to. HOURS people. )

Also, I know some women like sports too, these women are also stupid, professional sports are a giant diversion to keep your attention from how much the world sucks. If you don’t know how much the world sucks, you’re letting “the man” win. And he’s already like 2000 games ahead. Want your team to win? Fine. Memorize ever stat of every player since the league began? Get a useful hobby.

Okay, I’m almost done being crazy:

Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true. Women really are worse drivers than men, for example. A study published in 1998 by the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and public health revealed that women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men’s 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women. The only good news was that women tended to take fewer driving risks than men, so their crashes were only a third as likely to be fatal. Those statistics were reinforced by a study released by the University of London in January showing that women and gay men perform more poorly than heterosexual men at tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness, both crucial to good driving.

Okay first of all if we’re talking about accident’s per million miles driven 5.7 v. 5.1 then it doesn’t matter who drives more, because those figures have already been normalized. (You don’t understand this because you are a journalist  you chose not to learn math Charlotte, not because you are a woman. Most journalists do not understand math, I know this, because I do understand math.) Since men drive 74% more miles a year than women that also means that they cause 74% more accidents each year, which are two-thirds more likely to be fatal. So this boils down to: male drivers kill way more people every year.

Second point, if men drive 74% more than women, men are getting more practice. And anyone with a teenager can tell you the way you learn to drive is practice. Driving is a skill, skills take practice. (contrary to popular belief) That is why people under the age of 25 pay more for car insurance. So maybe the problem is women are more frequently encouraged to give the wheel over to male drivers and therefore get less practice at the skill that is driving.

Sorry, too much thinking for your little brain Charlie? lets move on.

I am perfectly willing to admit that I myself am a classic case of female mental deficiencies. I can’t add 2 and 2 (well, I can, but then what?). I don’t even know how many pairs of shoes I own.

Uhm. So you’re an idiot therefore we all are? As previously mentioned you are a JOURNALIST, people become journalists because they couldn’t hack the math requirements for any other major in college. You apparently have an irrational fear of math.  It’s just so icky and scary, so lets leave it for the logical man types.  So you can’t add 2 and 2, or count over 10. But how dare you assume that you’re stupidity applies to the rest of us?

So I don’t understand why more women don’t relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. (Even I, who inherited my interior-decorating skills from my Bronx Irish paternal grandmother, whose idea of upgrading the living-room sofa was to throw a blanket over it, can make a house a home.) Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts’ content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.

Relax? *deep breaths* I have to get this out of the way guys, I’m sorry, language warning.

FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING BITCH CHARLOTTE ALLEN. FUCK YOU WITH THE PATRIARCHAL DICK OF DOOM.

Look lady, I”m not any good at any of the things you mentioned, I hate kids, I hate decorating. I haven’t lived in a home since I lived with my mother and she had to hire a decorator. In fact, I’m good at math, and driving and visiospatial thinking, and reading intellectual books and having business savvy, and not getting overemotional even though I’m very upset. But apparently because I have a VAGINA I’m supposed to be bad at all these things. Therefore you’re telling me, and Millions of women like me who have math or engineering related careers, that we’re weird, that there is something unwomanly about us. So please forgive me if I’m not going to relax while some idiot who has no respect for members of her own gender who are fighting for acceptance in their fields publishes this garbage in a national newspaper.

I’m going to be pissed all day. Can we vote this person out of the gender? Her and Ann Coulter? Off the Island? Please?

(Let this post serve as an example of the theorum: In any post in which you call someone else stupid you will find at least 3 really stupid mistakes that you made and didn’t catch before you published it. Sorry if there are more.  Update ^300,710: Edited to stop being an asshole about journalists.  Sorry.)

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32 Comments
  1. She didn’t call you “wierd” Shinobi, she called you an ‘outlier’. Just because she doesn’t understand statistics is no reason not to borrow the language.

    Geez. Settle.

  2. Gah! The little bit that tried to suggest “tongue is firmly in cheek with this comment” didn’t come through!

  3. It’s okay, I totally got it. I actually don’t mind being an outliers, but I don’t really think that I am, having met many woman smarter and more mathematically inclined than myself.

    You know what’s funny, when that guy told me to settle that is EXACTLY what he said. ‘Geez Settle” And then he got smacked, which is so out of character for me.

  4. Jen permalink

    Can we send her hate mail? Please?

  5. I’m totally on board with 99 percent of what you’ve written. The article is infuriating and ridiculous. What I didn’t enjoy is the constant denigration of journalists:

    …people become journalists because they couldn’t hack the math requirements for any other major in college

    I was not a journalism major but make a good portion of my living as a journalist. I didn’t become a journalist because of a lack of options. Just as Charlotte Allen should not stand proxy for the stupidity of all women she should also not stand as a sign of the stupidity of all journalists. I speak five languages and hold a Master’s degree from an Ivy League university. I can “hack” pretty much anything thrown at me.

    Saying that people become journalists because they can’t “hack” math is roughly akin to saying that people become engineers because they can’t “hack” speaking and writing. Everyone has weak and strong suits, and being naturally good at math doesn’t make one smarter than being naturally good at other things.

  6. Please do Jen, Please do.

    Nicole,
    You’re right. All journalists are demonstrably not stupid. I have a very large chip on my shoulder when it comes to journalists in particular who report science information. I do actually work with them on a fairly regular basis for my job, and all too often their methods of information gathering seem to point to “How can I make the information fit my headline.” vs, an actual attempt to gather information. However just because I have had bad experiences I am not justified in making those comments because not all journalists could possibly be like that. So I also apologize for making blanket statements in an article criticizing others for making the same. (See comment about doing stupid things in articles critizicing others for being stupid. I suck)

    I would actually agree with your point about engineers, after having lived with several during college. (They now make robots for the government. They are perhaps the most socially inept individuals on the face of the planet.)

    Perhaps I should come up with a better word than hack though. I firmly believe that everyone could do most math if they were taught it as a skill to be learned, as are reading, writing, and social skills. Unfortunately the way math is currently taught in many schools leads lots of individuals, especially girls, to fear it. So that is not to say that I don’t think most journalism majors COULD pass these math classes, it is that I think many of them chose majors so that they can avoid them. Not because they aren’t smart enough, but because they are irrationally afraid of math. What it boils down to, I think journalism majors should have to take more math and science classes so they know what they are talking about when they report on science info, and so they aren’t afraid to challenge the information they gather.

  7. pennylane permalink

    I’m not, alas, particularly good with math or statistics (though I am a gender outlier in other ways–in fact we’re probably all “outliers” which makes her argument D-U-M) and *I* could figure out the problems with her use of the driving statistics. That said, I wish I had a better grasp of statistics, the better to explain when people are being jackasses.

    I will say with some certitude that dogs are good judges of character and statistics prove that 96% of the time when someone is bitten, they deserved it.

  8. caseyatthebat permalink

    So…. Charlotte Allen wasn’t being facetious? She meant this seriously? I’m asking because it boggles my mind that any woman with the platform that she has would use it to be so fucking stupid, AND to reinforce such terrible and WRONG stereotypes. Why the fuck does she assume that other women suck at life as much as she does?

    Oh, and I did notice that her email address is listed at the bottom of the article. Just sayin’.

  9. If she was being facetious she’s not a very good writer. i didn’t really read any satire into that at all. Plus she is the head of some group (independant women’s forum? or something?) that essentially just wants women to go back into the kitchen.

  10. You know, I have suffered all my life from extreme math fear, and even I understand that it’s actually both useful and important to know how to do basic addition and subtraction.

    Oh, and Ms. Allen? If you can’t count all your shoes it means one of two things: either you’re afraid to realize how damn much money you’ve wasted on footwear you aren’t wearing, or you desperately need remedial counting classes ASAP! In the meantime, you can slip off your shoes and use the toes to help you. Yes, they work every bit as well as fingers.

    Does she really think math and science don’t have a place in the kitchen? You do need to be able to measure and count to make a successful meal. It’s also helpful to understand what the ingrediants do in chemistry terms, so that if you’re out of one you can make an appropriate substitution. Here’s a hint: you can’t change baking soda for Diet Pepsi and expect your recipe to work.

    There are few things I hate more in the world than pure prejudice masquerading as science. This is the current intellectual equivilant of studies that ‘proved’ black people were not as intelligent as white people because of poorly organized ‘studies’ measuring relative brain size. It’s known as grabbing hold of the wrong end of the stick and beating madly about the bush with it.

    Me? I like to read Anthony Trollope and listen to Melissa Etheridge. My husband is more of a Shakespeare, Steely Dan kind of guy. He’s pretty in touch with his emotions, and I’m no freaking idiot. Screw Charlotte Allen and the horse she rode in on.

  11. Karen permalink

    Just because she can’t count to 21 with her husband’s pants on doesn’t mean I can’t. Just because she believes the thing about average being six inches and |……………| is average, doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t estimate spatial relations. And just because she can make a house a home doesn’t mean my husband isn’t twice as good at housekeeping than I am.

    There, with that out of the way . . . I really like the superficial part. Y’know, the only people who ever seemed to think I was superficial were men after sex? And the women who were upset because they weren’t getting it because someone was focusing (pointlessly) on me. And every time my dad and I have a disagreement about spaciality I turn out right? (My dad has absolutely amazing spacial ability.) And I don’t think she’s factored in the idea that girls are told from the moment they walk into the classroom that they will, no doubt about it, not be good at math. I remember laughing at that in class. I’d love to see someone compare two groups of people who had not been trained in social norms from birth, but the difference between learned behavior and innate behavior may be a little to much for her dim little mind to grasp.

  12. littlem permalink

    Queen of the Patriarchal Apologists.

    Also, extraordinarly sloppy logic and use of statistics to attempt to bolster her argument.

    Never mind, for example, that most medical research — even with respect for medicine for women — is performed on MALE cadavers.

    (Certainly establishes a hypothesis about some women, in a sick way.)

    Also?

    Nauseating.

    That is all.

  13. littlem permalink

    Speaking of sloppy, it should read “extraordinarily”.

    So blinded by rage my proofreading skills have been severely impugned.

    Apologies.

  14. Yeah, I can’t even BELIEVE this got published today (as in, in the year 2008), especially in what is considered to be one of the top, and certainly among the most influential, newspapers in the country, if not the world. I’m also an outlier, being a scientist who’s logical and good at math and not prone to being overly sentimental (i.e., not the type to blub regularly over tv or movies, though I’m very caring and compassionate towards friends and loved ones). I’ve been tempted to blog about this article myself, but I knew I couldn’t do it without getting all worked up and spewing up a bunch of curse words. Besides, you and others have said it all so well, probably so much better than I could, already!

    OK, so I apologize in advance for this, I don’t mean to troll or nitpick, but the geek in me can’t let it go. You said:

    Since men drive 74% more miles a year than women that also means that they cause 74% more accidents each year, which are two-thirds more likely to be fatal.

    …but since women supposedly have 0.6 more accidents per million miles driven, wouldn’t men cause slightly less than 74% more accidents annually? That is, the number would first have to be corrected by the 0.6/million mile “surplus” accidents by women? OK, [/geek] 😉 Great post, as usual!

  15. littlem permalink

    “There are few things I hate more in the world than pure prejudice masquerading as science.”

    SO eloquent.

    With your permission, may use as a quote under an avatar somewhere.

  16. From the film “Hoffman” starring Peter Sellers (a man who seemingly loved women),,, “It isn’t only homosexuals who don’t like women, hardly anybody likes them…” He wasn’t speaking specifically about them being um… not so bright, but in fact about them just being women.

    always adding fuel to the fires, maxdname
    visit my stuff sometime
    How many crack whores does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    One: but her pimp has to slap the shit out of her before she’ll do it right… I wrote that yesterday

  17. Kira
    You’re right. I doubt the 12% increase in accidents per million miles makes a big dent though. I wonder if that is a significant difference actually. I’d like to assume that it is or it wouldn’t get reported… but one never knows these days. {/geek}

  18. Max,
    We know no one likes women. That’s why we have to fight twice as hard for everything men get. Thanks so much for being a walking example of why feminism is still necessary.

    As was previously mentioned I don’t have an anti troll policy, because I like to torment their little brains with logic. Feel free to vent your rage here ladies.

  19. stanfaryna permalink

    Although young dogs may lack better judgment, adults can be excellent character judges- at least regarding that person’s relation to you. I used to have a pair of brazilian filas and the bitch was dead on – even if I had to put her in a room for the safety of the idiot because there are some social conventions that… idiots don’t understand. Dogs seem to understand things- just fine.

    I don’t know why some people insist that every dog must be so sociable that it allows anyone to get up front and intimate with it. Why they tend to ignore both human and dog warnings remains a mystery to me.

    Worse are the self-proclaimed “dog people” who get on their hands and knees and present themselves to the wary big dog as the ready and complicit snack…

    To apparently deaf ears- I have often tried to explain that Brazilian Filas have a bred-in instinct to distrust strangers and die-kill to protect their family. Their fierce loyalty and commitment to their human family or owner is what make them legendary. Indeed, a pair can make a great companion for single women who owns a house and a little fenced-in land (1/4 acre would do). But this is a 8 to 12 year commitment from the human too.

    If interested in a fila, there is only one American fila breeder I can recommend with confidence, Dawna Berg at Eshabeta Kennels. Her website is at http://www.filadog.com/welcome.htm

    Hopefully, this so-called dog-bite victim doesn’t cause you any legal headaches. The law does tend to be on the side of fools…

    Other things

    Most people (male and female) prefer to do the group think thing than a little critical, independent thinking for themselves. We are all guilty of it to some degree (more or less). This may explain why prejudice of any kind is so hard to overcome.

    I think more about this in a post, here:

    http://stanfaryna.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/prejudice-authoritarians-and-the-american-democracy/

    Stan

  20. Shinobi–Thanks for your response and changes. I totally agree, actually, that journalists should have more math/science training so that we can avoid the study-press-release articles so prevalent in health care writing, among other things.

  21. littlem, I would be proud to have you use my quote in any way you please.

  22. Stanfaryna,
    THanks for your thoughts. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to sue us as my pup didn’t even break the skin. He’s very soft mouthed and is also missing part of his right canine. (We’ve only had him about a year but he is an adult.)

    You are right, Groupthink is incredibly hard to overcome, as are stereotypes. That’s why people who can have to fight against it.

  23. I bristle when I read contemporary articles that press forth the patriarchical stereotypes of women. Especially written by women; you know there’s a big dick out there laughing and using this article as “evidence” that since a woman wrote about her sex being inept at certain things and better at others (interesting those are only the cultural historical stereotypes), it must be true! From the horse’s mouth, yanno. 😛

    Ugh. I recall writing something a bit back about how though study findings showed x, y, and z about ‘reasoning’ abilities of women in comparison to men, in fact, even assuming those study findings are true, there are other assumptions — like what makes a good mathematician (lots of number crunching is the purview of an accountant, statistician, or applied mathematician, and not necessarily an abstract mathematician who is more familiar with structures than numbers) which underlie the study’s conclusions. In fact, if one were to read the findings literally, one could deduce that women would be better at abstract mathematics.

    But I’m not trying to imply that: my point is, when you’re trying to prove a particular point, it isn’t that hard to cook the books, testing only certain things under certain assumptions, leaving other things out, writing your definitions to support the desired result, etc.

    Study findings are interesting to read, because if they’re sufficiently ‘clean’ of statistical manipulation, they can say any number of things. It isn’t the numbers that are the problem, it’s the people who are trying to make the numbers push their particular agenda.

  24. Piffle permalink

    It’s also interesting that pretty much every IQ study done shows approximate parity between men and women as far as IQ number goes (assuming that you think IQ tests measure anything significant). Direct studies of IQ show women are *not* dim. I’m not dim, my daughter is not dim; and neither are my sons or husband. None of us are, unfortunately, particularly good at housework; but we all can have a good conversation about lots of subjects.

    I think there’s also a point to be made that it should be considered better driving to have a few more accidents with a steep decrease in fatalities.

    And when women care about something, they have remarkable visual/spatial skills in things that matter to them; note the needle arts. Quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery and so forth all require the ability to visualize how forms and colors fit together to make art; and these media are traditionally dominated by women.

    I’d also second the previous poster about cooking needing math and science skills. Organic chemistry lab and cooking were strongly reminiscent of each other. Not only cooking, but creating budgets and measuring medicine for kids require math. Frankly, she’s not someone I’d want around my kids if she can’t handle addition, she could make fatal errors.

    She may be too dim to add; but that doesn’t mean that other women have similar problems.

  25. Fat actuary permalink

    Shinobi, if you’re not going to have an anti-troll policy around here, could you please at least start recruiting some real trolls who will spark actual arguments? Try to get one, if not more, with a sense of humor or something. Seriously, no offense, but the ones you have now…yawn.

    And, you know what? I don’t get what’s so horrible about Allen’s article. I know for a fact that the only reason the nice men on the actuarial exam committees give me passing grades is because they feel sorry for me, because I’m just a girl and I clearly can’t do all those numbers good enough to pass by myself. And this type of affirmative-action-favoritism will come back to bite them in the asses real soon, since women are entering the math and science professions in droves these days. By the time they’ve totally taken over and turned NASA into a weird combination of Planet Lesbos and Sephora, I don’t think anyone will be able to count their shoes.

    And that’s when the USSR will win.

  26. I think you are my new best friend. That article was really lame!

  27. And the final vote? Is for Charlotte. I’m sory Charlotte your time here in the gender is up. Please extinguish your torch and leave the island.

  28. Fat Actuary,
    I”m sorry, I know, my trolls are not up to snuff. But I have hope that with careful care and feeding of these trolls we can attract more that are up to a higher standard. (I seriously doubt that these trolls could possibly evolve, so I’ll settle for attracting new ones.) I wish I’d known that about what pushovers the actuary dudes are… hmmm not to late to start my exams. Do they give an “oral” exam? hehehehehehe

    Leaf,
    FINALLY! I can’t believe it took this long for her to get voted off!

  29. Fat actuary permalink

    Yeah, they’re all about the oral exam… play your cards right and you’ll never even have to look at a calculator. How else is a girl supposed to get ahead?

    And I totally forgot to credit the Planet Lesbos terminology to this post:

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/02/teenz-korner-is-feminism-even-necessary.html

    Not sure if he coined it, but it’s the first time I ever heard it. Then I takez it for mine.

  30. Hi!

    Very interesting article, I definitely feel (and taste) your rage. However, I kinda disagree when you said:

    “Also, I know some women like sports too, these women are also stupid, professional sports are a giant diversion to keep your attention from how much the world sucks. If you don’t know how much the world sucks, you’re letting “the man” win”.

    I totally understand you’re mad but just because someone likes sports it doesn’t make them stupid. Furthermore, just about everything can be considered a “distraction” from how much the world sucks. Just about everything’s a diversion; music, movies, you name it. It can also be argued that most people know how much the world sucks anyway, but are either too apathetic/too poor/too busy/too powerless to begin to change it. Some try though, kudos to them. Hell, I’m Black (and a woman!), we pretty much have chapters written in the History Book of Humanity on the “whole world sucking” shit. I’m sure even the poorest of people have distractions–sometimes these things can lift your spirit.

    The man has already won. He wins everyday. He’s been winning for the past 500 years. We stay middle-class with our starbucks coffees and college debt; and little African/Chinese/Indian children pick the beans while their parents make our clothes. Sad, but true. Hm…I was hoping to end this post optimistically but it’s kinda hard right now…and awkward. Uh…keep up the great work! 🙂

  31. jennyb permalink

    I’m okay at math but crunching numbers bores the shit out of me. You start with a bunch of numbers and then end up with another number and then you………oh wait, you’re done….Zzzzzzz

    I love your blog by the way! When you were listing your attributes you forgot to add “I’m a good writer!”

  32. Good thing for you there are people like me who like crunching numbers. (Don’t ask me why I like it, I think it has to be some weirdly shaped brain thing.)

    I’m glad you like my blog! I guess I just don’t think of myself as a writer. I just spew my thoughts in no particular order and hope they make sense. I’m thrilled, and a little shocked that it is working!

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