While reading Chapter 1 of The Psychology of Women I was struck by the vast array of diversity within the psychology of women – white women, black women, lesbian black women, lesbian Mexicana handicapped Jewish women, Asian academic unmarried single mother women, and so on.
The list of hyphenated diversity continued to the extreme, way beyond the majority of heterosexual WASP with 2.5 kids struggling to juggle home, work, hubby, kids and still feel human and sometimes feminine.
But the list stopped at men.
This is about the psychology of women and all women are unique where as men are apparently just men.
I used to think I was a feminist, but having read chapter 1 of this book, I must say that I guess I am more of a people-ist.
And I really came to a grinding halt when the book moved into a criticism of North American-centric politics, citing as an example “How would you feel if you lived in Japan or Greece and your email had an identifier of .jp or .gc at the end of it to indicate your country of origin, whereas that of the US has no end identifier?”
Well, I would feel that since the Internet originated in the U.S., at the time of origin and construction it may not have even been thought possible or likely that it would become the world wide net. Therefore the originators did not think of designating the U.S. as a country since it only operated there.
As the Internet expanded, the end designation became useful in terms of the design of the infrastructure and possibly in terms of international internet security. I doubt there was any so-called ‘nation-centric’ significance attached to this at all.
Just as I doubt that there are intentional pejorative societal stereotypes attached to everything related to women.
Some parts of this chapter refer to stereotypes of women related to them being less smart than men. We now know that is not true.
But if it is not true, then why do women continue to do dumb things like wear stiletto heels?
And we know men are smart. That’s why they like to get together, drink beer, eat chips, burp and fart and shout at the TV while watching other men engage in full-body contact sports.
The type of very broad-based feminism described in the book I’m reading would push away that criticism – suggesting instead that the stiletto heel illustrates the modern woman’s freedom to choose her style for herself and that true feminism is all inclusive. And concur that men are obviously boors.
I say that both the stiletto and the beer bash represent the individual person’s right to choose to damage their feet for fleeting glances from others who can’t believe how much pain they must be in.
Years ago, a friend once said to me that stereotypes exist because there is some truth in them. I believe he was right. Why are Germans associated with beer drinking? Go to Germany and see.
What are Russian’s associated with vodka? Well, it’s the national drink.
There’s a lot of blather in the book about how if women ran the world it would be a different place – and no doubt it would be. But not necessarily nicer or kinder.
I had a female boss once who was the epitome of evil. The guys I worked with were much nicer and fairer to me and treated me as an equal once they understood I was equal to the job.
Isn’t it about people? Aren’t we in this together? Or am I being too human-centric in my view. Hope I didn’t make any of you feel bad. But maybe I made some of you think.
Michelle Stirling-Anosh is a Ponoka freelance columnist.