Oct 15 2005

Twisty’s Kwery Korner

Re: "Internets"

When did "internet" become plural? Exactly how many internets are there?

Meanwhile, here’s an article in The Independent explaining how "men are really bad for women really." Men, apparently, make women fat, when they cohabit.

While I do not necessarily disagree with the thesis that men are bad for women, check out this howler: women are more likely to become obese when living with men because men now "share" all the calorie-burning housework that used to keep their bitches buff ‘n sexay.

Because there is no tragedy more newsworthy than un-thin women, the article contains no word on whether cohabitation makes men fat. But I’m guessing it doesn’t, since they are obviously so fit from jogging to and fro the laundry room, the broom closet, and the dirty toilets, hefting vacuum cleaner bags and neatly folded fitted sheets.


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  1. wordgirl

    They don’t mention whether guys are fat because it doesn’t matter.Those rules are made by men…for men.

    Look at television shows in general or commercials, in specific. Dopey-faced, walrus-assed guy married to a petite woman in capri slacks who is worrying overmuch about streaks on their windows or what tempting dish to feed her man.

    Women are EXPECTED–nay—REQUIRED to be slim and cute while guys look bloated and belch a lot and television reinforces those expectations. You think we’ll ever see a sitcom where the wife is chubby and out of shape and the guy is gorgous? Not likely! That’s breaking the rules.

    My theory is that many women who stay home gain weight because being the only person who actually cleans the house (and I’m not talking about MANCLEAN…that’s another story) day in and day out is deadly boring and totally uninspiring. Eating is probably the only interesting thing that happens to those women.
    And, for the record, dragging the trashcans to the curb and remembering to put your used Q-Tip in the garbage instead of leaving it on the bedside table doesn’t constitute YOUR SHARE OF THE CHORES.

  2. Anonymous

    Re: “internets”. Actually uttered by our actual president in an actual debate last year: “I hear that there’s rumors on the internets that there’s going to be a draft.”

  3. Solmaru

    Hi Twisty! I read your blog all the time, but this is my first time posting.

    Until a flood of presents shows up on your doorstep from amazon I thought you’d like some of these cartoons:

    This one’s a wacky little short that a think made the word “Internets” popular. (also, remember Bush kept saying “Internets instead of “internet” in his last debate?)

    And here’s the link to an animator called Nina Paley’s site. I think you’d like her stuff. Watch the “Sita Sings the Blues” clips, they’re the best!

    Anyway, I hope these provide you with some fun. Sorry for sucking up space in your comments- I hope you feel better as soon as possible!

    Keep blaming!


  4. Amanda Marcotte

    Besides the age factor, my guess is because it gets really tiring being teased constantly for refusing to eat the stuff that your man eats. You’re supposed to be bone thin, yeah, but you’re not supposed to work at it.

  5. media girl

    Bush’s slip on “the internets” may have been because he knows there’s more than one internet. There’s “the internet” — the worldwide web. There’s the fast internet, for two. There’s one or more “darknets” that megacorps use for their own business. There’s the alternate internet Google seems to be building (they’ve been buying up rights to a lot of unused fiber cable). China has its own firewalled internet that blocks the rest of the www, with Microsoft’s, Yahoo’s and Google’s help….

    How many internets? 5 or 6? Who knows?

  6. Chris Clarke

    You think we’ll ever see a sitcom where the wife is chubby and out of shape and the guy is gorgous?

    Weeeeeell…There was Roseanne. That John Goodman guy was pretty studly, albeit in an unrealistic, unattainable to ordinary women kind of way.

  7. ursa

    So that means fat women are high status individuals who know how to get the best out of thier men.

  8. Josef K

    “Internets” is just a joke phrase used by people who are knowledgeable about technology to take the piss out of people who aren’t. It was then adopted by people who have no clue and used unironically. See also “webnet” and “Interweb”.

  9. Brooke

    Looks like Wikipedia took a swipe at the plural “internets” thing. Apparently it had a different meaning before Bush’s gaffe, but still denoted the utterance of a net-rube.

  10. J. Ascher

    “…neatly folded fitted sheets.”

    No such things exist, anywhere.

  11. ae

    Media Girl, that is so cute that you suggest dumbyass knew about Arpanet, et al. He’s a bonafide idiot, not to mention that (public) speaking is not his strong suit. I suspect it was, rather, a slip of his forked tongue.

    Wordgirl, re: Q-tips on the bedside table: Hee.

    I’ve heard a version of this chicks-get-fat idea, which goes thusly: the ladies “relax” after “getting their man” and no longer have to “take care of themselves” because they’re not “on the hunt.” I will let the prolific scare quotes reflect my feelings about that “theory.”

  12. kathy a

    i’ll leave the parsing of “internets” to those more knowledgeable. but don’t you secretly suspect that if someone said the word “googling” to bush, he’d figure it meant looking at someone in a way that would make laura mad?

    chris — right on top of things, as usual. although i thought john goodman was thankfully unattainable in that “ewww, turn it off” kind of sense.

    i’m not totally thrilled with my mid-late 40’s weight gain, but since i’d already been cohabiting for 20 some years before this change, maybe it isn’t, ya know, suddenly having a guy around who is into household chores. sheesh.

  13. Bella

    “men now “share” all the calorie-burning housework that used to keep their bitches buff ‘n sexay.”

    WHAT? Gah. ok, calming down.

    Have they not heard of the second shift?!? I thought that knowledge of the second shift had spread even to the patriarchy-embracing sheep -I mean, people- of the world.

  14. Eric

    Fun fact: Bush’s “internets” gaffe was made during the second debate, held at Washington University, a fact that’s one a of a scant few sources of school pride for me.

  15. The Fat Lady Sings

    Oh, Honey! I read that article, and a very loud ‘HA!’ startled my husband into saying, ‘What?’ My reply – ‘Nothing, Dear.’ That article was hilarious. Obviously they didn’t bother with research. Thanks for the giggle. Hope you are feeling better.

  16. ae

    J. Ascher, apparently it can be done.

    To echo Kathy A, as a cohabiting person of a decade, now in my mid-mid-30s, whose partner does the bulk of the housework, I can attest that this fact has had no appreciable effect on the size of my ass.

  17. alphabitch

    Yeah, it was the 2nd debate but there were prior references to it. Is W as dopey as we like to think? My worst fear is that he is not.

    And as for the cohabiting/fatness thing: maybe there’s something to it. My ass is, well, large-ish and I live alone. Any housework that gets done is done by me. On the other hand, I have in the past lived with men and they think I’m a slob and feel somehow that they need to complain about it. Like I fucking care. I keep the CDs alphabetized, my books are in order, and all the closets and cupboards are very efficiently ordered. What is this “vacuum cleaner” you keep talking about? What do you mean “wash the dishes?” The women with whom I have cohabited have just been grateful that I cooked, did the laundry and made sure the bills got paid. They never mentioned my ass, bless their hearts, and they were happy to dust, whatever the hell that is.

  18. rose

    The Bush internets goof always reminds me of the Brazilian joke. When Bush was informed that three Brazilians had been killed in Iraq he became very upset. He then asked “How many is a Brazillion.”

  19. Lil

    I’m so glad The Independent is covering the most important issues today concerning women’s health: greater likelihood of getting plump when sharing households with men.

    More interesting to me (and I am sure less interesting to The Independent) is this question: why aren’t women taking up more outdoor space? On the streets, for instance, in front of apartment buildings, men hang out, but women are mostly absent, unless they are going somewhere, performing some task, getting some groceries, taking care of the laundry, or walking with some social destination in mind. In the park, groups of men gather to play sports. I rarely see women doing the same.

    What does this question have to do with the Independent’s concern about married women’s increased food portions and alleged but unlikely lightened chore load?

    I guess because if we’re going to wonder about plumpness, I think we ought to wonder about the space we take up, when, where, how. I also see a correlation between this paper’s attitude that women’s bodies should be assessed for size and beauty (under the guise of health?), and women’s relative absence from public space. Do we stay inside to avoid being assessed? Does staying inside, cooking meals for our guys who are playing ball in the park, contribute to a plumpness that, yes, may be beautiful in itself, but perhaps does not make us feel fast and strong as we would if we were outside playing ball ourselves?

    Just making some intuitive observations here.

    Also wishing Twisty a full and restful recovery.

  20. nancy m

    “The sharing of housework between the sexes may also have led to women’s added weight.”

    Which women share housework with other sexes? When?
    Is the journo quoting the paper’s author? Is the author getting quoted from his paper or a phone “soundbite” dig?

    I can’t tell because the Lancet needs a cash subs to read the full article and the summary discloses nothing that could show the journo’s inspiration. Gobsmackingly otherwise, the summary calls everything the cause for obesity.
    Note that even the Lancet summary needs registration, so I had to spend my useful housework moments knitting this little pair of words for this thread. phorced and register. Don’t eat them all at once now. And bloody well log out when you’ve finished so that other gluttons get room at the table.

    For the assumption about housework, Wifework is a good primer for non-advanced patriarchy-blaming readers.
    You can always tell a good bit of patriarchy-blaming by the cries of “ad nauseum” and “chip on shoulder” in the reviews.

  21. Morgaine Swann

    There’s an obvious reason why women might gain weight while living with men. Men bring food into the house that a single woman would never buy. A vegetarian will start eating meat if she has to cook hamburgers for a boyfriend, where she wouldn’t even have looked at meat before. (personal experience)

  22. Kevin Hayden

    And all this time, I suspected the added weight was caused by all the peeled grapes and bon-bons we provide so we can obtain permission to watch a friendly game of football.

  23. Sara

    You know, it’s funny you should mention that article, because recently I noticed that the weirdest thing has happened ever since I moved in with my boyfriend in 1995: Not only has my weight increased, but I’ve actually gotten older, too. Like, not just a little older, but a lot older. Like, a decade or something.

    Weird, huh? Fatter and older.

    I don’t think it’s his fault, though, because the same exact thing has been happening to him. Isn’t that just bizarre?

    Obviously, this is a huge problem, very dangerous. We’d better break up, because otherwise we’re both liable to wind up dead.

  24. larkspur

    Sara, oh god, the exact same thing has been happening to me, too. Well, except for the moving in with the boyfriend part.

    But I keep getting older. Fatter and older. I’ve been getting older all over my whole body, but fatter in unexpected ways, ways that make me suspect that gravity is involved in this..this conspiracy.

    Also, the times when I’ve said “internets”, I totally knew about the ironical component. I should say “ironical” (with the “scare quotes”) because ever since Alannis Morrissette’s lyrical “imbroglio” (not to be confused with Natalie’s “Imbruglia”), I have questioned my own ability to “get” irony.

    Now, ironing, I just hate, unless I’m watching college football at the same time.

  25. Twisty

    Take the path of least resistance. You’ll wind up dead anyway, Sara.

  26. Ron Sullivan

    OK, Sara, thanks for the early-morning giggle. (Yes I giggle. I’m too old and bitter to apologize for it.) The same thing’s been going on with Joe and me, and it’s scary. We wear the same jeans now. One at a time.

    I figure it’s partly because we taught each other to cook, over the years, and partly because we run, OK, waddle with the wrong crowd. We had dinner with a clatch of them last night, and one of the courses included sausage salad. That wasn’t the meat course; the meat course involved shortribs, and the appetizers included little bitty sausages and deep-fried gizzards. And deviled eggs with caviar. There were veggies and fish too.

    I just like the idea of sausage salad, though. The ingredients were sausage, more sausage, I think a third sausage, and something involving duck.

  27. bitchphd

    Internets: ironic mocking reference to our idiot president.

  28. jayann

    “sausage salad. That wasn’t the meat course; the meat course involved shortribs, and the appetizers included little bitty sausages and deep-fried gizzards. And deviled eggs with caviar. There were veggies and fish too.”

    Dear God. You and Joe must both be amazingly f*t :)

  29. Chris Clarke

    Dear God. You and Joe must both be amazingly f*t :)

    Oddly enough, Jayann, this is not the case. I’ve eaten with Ron and Joe more times than I can count, and they pack it away to put me to shame, and yet they retain what I will advisedly refer to as more or less average body mass indices.

  30. aeonsomnia

    Ehh, this whole “wimmenz get fat when they cohabitate” thing seems like an effort to get women to believe “cohabit=gain weight”, so “get married=lose weight!” And what do you want to bet that some wingnut will soon be brandishing & parrotting this study as “yet more proof that women shouldn’t live with men outside of marriage”.

  31. Ron Sullivan

    C’mon, Chris, 36X30 Carhartts are for fat, well, not amazingly fat, but I bet we’re heftier than most of these lithe young things. (OK, so are you.) But I’m sure Jayanne ever-so-kindly meant “fit,” and that’s not true either. At least I’m not, since the lungs went kaflooey. You shoulda been around when I was doing all those steroids if you wanted to see me pack it away.

    No surprise that we don’t eat that way often, and if we had to pay for it we never would. This was at Brian and Stephen’s, their version of Oktoberfest. I didn’t mention the beer and the cider and and the gluehwein, did I? Or the kugel-ettes, or the poppyseed bread, or the pickled herring with ditto onions and pumpernickel, or the spuds and kraut, or the salmon-and-apple salad, or the roasted beet salad, or that cucumber thing. Or dessert.

    And then we all sat around making N*zi jokes. Gene was making them in ancient Greek. I forget why.

    As for shacking up vs. getting legal: I think we’ve been packin ’em on faster since the Sekrit Wedding a few years ago. That involved a picnic too, come to think of it.

  32. Chris Clarke

    C’mon, Chris, 36X30 Carhartts are for fat,

    Which is why I said “average body mass indicies.” I probably should have said “American” in there somewhere as well.

  33. jayann

    “and yet they retain what I will advisedly refer to as more or less average body mass indices.”

    Chris, if that’s true, it isn’t fair!

    ” But I’m sure Jayanne ever-so-kindly meant “fit,” ”

    LOL. I’ll pretend I did — ah: an Oktoberfest. I pig out on meals like that, terrific.

  34. kathy a

    sausage salad? this was a very dedicated cultural activity, now that i’ve seen all of the menu that you can remember, ron.

    i’m not sure we all have the same definition of cohabiting. i meant living with the person. after some time, there was a celebration and some legal paperwork — yummy feast, too! no appreciable difference in weight then, or for the ensuing 1.5 decades, more or less….

    is someone taking notes? i’m pretty sure we have enough data here to debunk the study from hell — but if the researchers need more information, my toilets just happen to need more cleaning, and i’m willing to make a trade.

  35. MsKate

    hmmm … internets … I have several innernets at least … like in my D/DD cup sport bras, my minivan, and in my kayak to keep stuff where it belongs in fore and aft hatches.

    Since when does a typical male do his share of housekeeping anyway? I know some who do it all because they are 1)not working outside the home and 2) picky about the house staying clean, but all the surveys I’ve seen put men as doing only a fraction of “their fair share” given work and childcare duties.

    It’s more likely that HE gets to go out and play basketball on the weekends and play after work here and there while SHE takes care of the kids! Nothing pisses me off more than when some selfish buttlump complains about his wife getting fat after having kids he insisted on having while refusing to “babysit” because “that’s here job” when SHE wants to work out!

  36. Ron Sullivan

    this was a very dedicated cultural activity,

    Multicultural. There was at least one Bush voter there, and at least one other Twisty-reader. And a FOAF of Landover Baptist Church and a professional Quaker. A Texan and a guy from Philly and a guy from Iowa. A knitter, wait, two knitters, wait, three knitters at least, four writers, a retired chef, and a beader who’s had stuff in juried Art Shows, a book artist. Ten people. Some overlap. More overlap after we’d all finished eating.

    i’m not sure we all have the same definition of cohabiting. i meant living with the person.

    That’s what I’d mean too, actually, but in my day “cohabiting” strongly implied shacking up. Maybe cooking at each other or making dinner a ritual has something to do with The Dread Fattitude, if it does exist.

    Oh yeah, I do remember my dad giving my mom a lot of grief about her getting fat. After six kids. He had the early heart attack, though, skinny as he was; his skinny brother had his and died at 40, his not-fat father at 50. Tell me about those health stats, right.

  37. pyramus

    “…neatly folded fitted sheets.”

    No such things exist, anywhere.

    They do in my mom’s linen closet. It’s the damnedest thing in the world. She tucks all four corners inside one another in a prestidigitatious origami move and folds the sides up somehow and there’s this neat packet of bedsheet and how the hell does she do it? I try but mine end up looking like a tangle of cats. Her linen closet looks like a department store shelving unit (you should see her towels), while mine is the wreck of the Hesperus.

    Since when does a typical male do his share of housekeeping anyway?

    Lotsa gay guys do housework. If more women married ’em they’d have to get their lovin’ somewhere else but on the plus side they would have much less housework to do and besides they’d be treated like royalty, and I think this could be a very worthwhile trade-off.

  38. Meribeth

    I wonder about the girth of the authors. I wonder what the authors do around their home. I wonder if the authors are doing “shrooms.” I wonder how far up their butt the reached.

    I also wonder if the household chores are really shared. And since we know that they didn’t check on men, I wonder how Lancet felt it was a publishable report.

    I wonder about their arrogance……..

    Anyway! I don’t know of that many evenings at a romantic dinner. Work, come home, eat, relax, bed….repeat. WTF?

  39. MsKate

    Did anybody else get contacted about the tall/short women study?

    I think I flamed the authors a new one when they e-mailed me. I told them I will be using their article as a prime example of overreaching and speculative conclusions when I teach research synthesis again.

    No reply at all …

    I think this is the problem with this article … did a bit of research, wanted to write a paper, got a brand name investigator to put name on it, pulled speculative causal conclusions out of ass.

  40. Sylvanite

    Yeah, I got e-mailed by the authors of the tall/short women study, too. Can’t say I was expecting that. I haven’t really followed up on it, though.

  41. the housekeeper


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