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May 30 2010

Spinster aunt is only mildly inconvenienced by having to post something to her blog

Do I have time to write a post today? Hell, no! So I’m re-publishing an excerpt from one of Helen Huntingdon’s comments on the recent ultra-controversial science post. Do I have time to link to the specific comment? Hell, no! To read the whole thing, type “Helen Huntingdon” into the new search engine (over there on the right) and see what pops up.

The other day someone told me you can’t really get to know someone without living with them. Unsurprisingly, it was a dude who said this, since he was arguing why het couples should live together (married or un-), no matter how statistically risky this is for the woman. I said that if this was true, it must be possible to identify something of value that cannot be learned any other way, so what would that be? He couldn’t come up with anything that wasn’t obviously absurdly false. I said that the assertion that to “truly know” someone you must live together is probably nothing more than cultural myth, but that this one conversation hadn’t produced evidence warranting drawing a conclusion either way.

It’s too bad I don’t have time to enlarge on this theme, but I do have time to continue the tradition of pointing out what I great post I would have written if I didn’t have to drive 20 miles to put white gunk on a horse’s eye. It would have had something to do with widely accepted but bullshit cultural myths, such as “rabbits are rodents,” or “it is possible to boost your self-esteem by losing weight.”

Name your bullshit myths below!

UPDATE: the damn search engine is suddenly not acting right. Will fix it soon.

92 comments

  1. Hector B.

    something of value that cannot be learned any other way, so what would that be?

    To support the mythiness of living together: An alternate way to learn how day-to-day life with one’s beloved will be like is to go on a two-week camping trip. I’ve always found that if you can survive two weeks surrounded by dirt (sleeping on it, trudging over it, often eating some of it) with another person without either person wanting to kill the other, that person is a keeper. One week is not enough — the point where murder seems to be a good idea (what’s 25 to life, anyways? you can get a lot of reading done) usually occurs between the 10th and 13th day.

  2. nails

    Some foods are ‘good’ and some are ‘bad’, and eating that food impresses some kind of moral value on the eater, but only if they are female.

    I hear this all day every day, women talking about how bad they have been for eating food x.

    In fact, the step spawn has taken on this alarming myth as a truth. She will discuss how a food is “so tempting” all the time, when temptation implies bad. We have had this discussion a few times. I hope she doesn’t get the food sickness most women (especially in utah) are afflicted with. Its the stuff of life, dammit!

  3. rootlesscosmo

    Name your bullshit myths below!

    “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face, with sober senses, his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.” Yeah, right.

  4. yttik

    There is that pesky myth that keeps trying to say that science is vastly superior to the intuition of untrained women, women like Firestone, the mentally ill painter, or Robin Morgan, the child actress and poet.

    When I think of all the time I wasted reading these women’s unscientific feminist manifestos, I could kick myself. WTH was I thinking trying to suggest that perhaps women were more qualified to define women’s experiences then science was?

    Can science and women’s intuition co-exist at the same time? Of course not! This is a dominant/submissive culture. Only one can sit on top and have value.

  5. Orange

    That people catch colds and flu because they (1) didn’t dress warmly enough, (2) let their neck get cold, (3) went out with wet hair, or (4) got rained on. These kinds of air and water exposures do not entail the transmission of pathogens!

  6. Helen Huntingdon

    The “great men” myth — we’ve all heard it — “great men of history”, “great men of science”. Almost invariably they were not great men, but abysmally abusive fucktards who happened to do one or several great things. There’s a big difference. You can’t be a great man if you beat the wife, rape the slaves, or run out on the kids.

  7. Comrade PhysioProf

    Hell, no! * * * Hell, no!

    Jill Psmith: the John Boehner of radical feminism (without the fucked up fake tan).

  8. Helen Huntingdon

    There’s a really pernicious one in technical subcultures, where a type of heroic figure is the techie who is so great at what they do that they’re allowed to be abusive assholes because they’re so great that makes it okay.

    Holding such figures up as heroes leads to the undesirable effect that all too many try to imitate those heroic figures, including the asshole bits. They actually think being an asshole makes them more like their hero, and then some world-weary alpha geek has to whack them on the nose and say, “no, deary, you haven’t got that level of chops and you never will.” So they eventually learn to shut it in the workplace, but instead go home and assert their heroic assholery to the girlfriend or the kids. Ick.

  9. goblinbee

    The myth that you could ever “truly know” someone, by any method.

  10. goblinbee

    Nails, you’re in Utah? I spent 31 years there. Just moved to Portland in 2006.

  11. xtinApdx

    My favorite: criticizing people will cause them to say “oh wow! I never thought of that-thanks!” and they will immediately change the behavior that the critic finds so offensive because of course they didn’t have a reason for doing said behavior.

  12. Jezebella

    Bullshit myth: “Jesus died for your sins.”

    Feh.

  13. Rachel_in_WY

    Then there’s the myth that it’s necessary to “truly know someone” to make a relationship work. Hand in hand with the “relationships require complete honesty” myth.

  14. Triste

    How about the myth that science is some mystical entity which is capable not only of speaking (i.e. “Science says harblwarbl”), but of spewing anti-feminist nonsense. And here I thought that science was the ever-changing body of knowledge obtained via the proper application (by anyone, be they man, woman, or hyper-intelligent critter) of the scientific method.

    Or perhaps the myth that the reasoned arguments of women not wearing labcoats and poking at rats is somehow unscientific? I thought we had already gotten past the idea that “science” includes only so-called “hard sciences” like physics, chemistry, biology, etc. The application of reasoned arguments is in fact precisely science, and the social and political sciences are precisely the field in which people like Firestone did their work, regardless of whether or not they were “official” members of the dudely scientific community.

    Or how about the myth that because men are currently dominant in the scientific community, we as feminists should shun science? Hey, you know where else men are currently dominant? Every workforce in existence. Perhaps our next move as feminists should be to get back in the kitchen, which the mens have not yet invaded.

  15. Alexa

    That evopsychology is intuition gone wrong. Evopsych is surely what happens when science does a job – explaining behaviour in it’s most scientific terms- that should be done by intuition.

  16. Alexa

    That men can be feminists too.

  17. Judi

    A few mythy turds that are especially stinky:

    1. Women are more vain than men. Just look at those generals and popes prancing around in their pretties!

    2. Women are more emotional than men.

    3. Charisma is a signifier of other worthy qualities, and is therefore a useful qualification for leadership. Lots of idiots and assholes have charisma, and they are dangerous.

    4. Having children makes you happier than not having them.

    Yikes, there are gajillions of them. Enough for now.

  18. yttik

    “Perhaps our next move as feminists should be to get back in the kitchen, which the mens have not yet invaded.”

    The men have invaded the kitchen. They are now called chefs, treated with great respect, and paid for the job. It is also now a skill revered by science and called Gastronomic Sciences, the Physiology of Taste, and the Culinary Arts.

    Thankfully a man finally invented cooking in the early 19th century or we’d all still be eating nuts and berries and whatever carrion we could scrounge.

  19. kurukurushoujo

    Women are more vain than men.

    That’s my favourite, too. I can remember sitting in biology class in my last year of highschool and watching an evolutionary psychology documentary about mate selection in the human species (with all the supposedly sacrosanct explanations about human desire resulting out of evolutionary circumstances). There was a segment about what types of individuals were preferred by different groups of men and women- I don’t know the methodology but I think certain personality traits were attributed to certain physical features. For women there were, I believe, 8 types and only two of them were very similar to the point of being interchangeable. For the men, however, there were only 3 types (!) and they all looked so similar that I can’t tell what distinguished them looks-wise even today. One seemed as tall as the other, their body-shapes were almost exactly the same and the only thing to tell them apart was the colour of their hair. None of the women was fat while at least the conservative type favoured by traditional women was allowed to be overweight. (Neither the types for men and women were anything other than white which is a another problem.)

    Well, I don’t see how you can have such narrow preferences (which is the case with most men because they never stop to think why they desire what) and still claim that the evil women are vain.

    (I don’t say that’s because of genetic differences- the documentary claimed that it was like that but the results in themselves can also be interpreted sociologically.)

  20. arlene

    Never put off tomorrow what you can do today.

    Bollocks.

    * opens good French red*

  21. arlene

    Ahem, that might not be a myth so much as considered lore.

  22. MPMR

    That the economic system we have in the US is a free market system.

    That the wage gap can be entirely explained by how women take time off to care for babies.

    That if a blogger doesn’t let you post whatever you want on their blog, that blogger is censoring you or infringing on your constitutional free speech rights.

  23. janicen

    That women must “enhance” their appearance with make-up because in all species, the male is naturally more beautiful. This is proven by the fact that male birds are more colorful than female birds. I kid you not, I was told that by an older brother when I was a child. His kids still believe it.

  24. janicen

    Another proof from nature: That women are inherently bad as proven by the fact that it is the female mosquito who will bite you. Same brother.

  25. nails

    I heard this myth once that 4 posts about one subject is never enough, so the blametariat must always rehash the same bullshit in every subsequent posting. I guess it’s true!

    In all honesty, I was contemplating making a joke post about science/intuition myths, because of how much we have all been talking about it and how obviously this wasn’t supposed to be a continuation of the same shit from the last 4 threads. But I guess people aren’t going to let this one go. Might as well jump in then, eh?

    “When I think of all the time I wasted reading these women’s unscientific feminist manifestos, I could kick myself. WTH was I thinking trying to suggest that perhaps women were more qualified to define women’s experiences then science was? ”

    See, what I don’t understand is how you decided that the feminist manifestos contained truth without using some, you know, reason. We are all having these conversations where we try to convince each other of certain viewpoints and we make arguments that appeal to the idea that there is some actual truth out there that we can demonstrate to other people and spread around. I don’t understand why anything matters at all if the point isn’t to find some truth, and science has proven itself useful in doing so over and over again. I want to be as certain as I can be in what I understand about the world. I am not sure why people would show up to argue about this again unless there is some kind of reality that you are trying to convince others of. It is the machinery of thought. I don’t know what you are on about with the ‘science to explain women’s experiences’ thing, because no one made that argument in the first place (to my knowledge, feel free to point out where it happened).

    “That evopsychology is intuition gone wrong. Evopsych is surely what happens when science does a job – explaining behaviour in it’s most scientific terms- that should be done by intuition.”

    If you think the “job” of science is to explain behavior in the most scientific terms you are mistaken. Evolutionary psychology does not have adequate evidence for the arguments made. A glance at how evolutionary biology works is a model for evidencing a claim related to evolution, and EP does not come close.

    Other strawman arguments- no one excused the great dudes of sciences behavior at all. The closest anyone got in the threads was pointing out that the knobbery of various science dudes does not make their discoveries or theories less true. If it did somehow, I would be interested in knowing how that works. But then again, I am using a computer, so it is hard to argue that none of this shit works.

    I have a genuine plea here- how do you all suggest I see the world? I see science as a quest for truth, and that the truth has been found before using the scientific method. It is hard to explain technology without it. What is my alternative?

  26. Lizard

    That there was an era in which married women universally or near-universally stayed out of paid labor markets to stay home and take care of kids, and that in return for their femininity/adherence to gender roles, they were protected by men from domestic abuse, rape, and other bad things. Really, any myth in which adherence to gender roles by women is rewarded by their protection by the good men in the society from the bad ones.

    On the negligible historical accuracy of cultural myths regarding “traditional family values,” Stephanie Coontz’s The Way We Never Were does a lovely job, or so I recall from my freshman year of college.

  27. nails

    MPMR- I totally agree about the “free market”. God, as if there was not an entire military tinkering with it constantly either with aggression or massive contracts to fund the R&D of private empires. The only reason that kind of talk gets on tv is because it is useful in making poor people vote against their own interests.

  28. Nolabelfits

    That loving your kids means you will happily clean all the toilets and do all the shit work and if you don’t happily clean all the toilets and do all the shit work you must not really love your kids.

  29. nails

    Traditional family is a huge cultural myth. Nuclear families, where people move away from their parents to start their own families with kids that will move away (and only one wife) are just weird in a historical context. I think that it is an optimal place for abuse to take place because of the secrecy of it all.

  30. sargassosea

    That funfeminism is cool ‘cuz doods like it.

  31. Baroness Czerny

    That it isn’t possible to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet without meat.

  32. nicolien

    That only men are competitive.

  33. Saphire

    I agree with nicolien – it’s a human drive, not just a male drive to want to be independent and confident.

  34. Saphire

    Oh, must have skated over the negativity from nicolien’s comment fist time round. How is it a myth that only men are competitive?

    People always say women are competitive. Except they make out we’re heartless, cold, baby-hating bitches in the same sentence.

  35. Helen Huntingdon

    That plenty of uninterrupted sleep is self-indulgence.

  36. Occasional lurker

    “Women just aren’t interested in [fill in the blank.]“

  37. Maren

    That being falsely accused of rape is worse than being raped.

    No shit, a close friend and I had to spend like an hour arguing with her fiancee over this, and then I had to go out to the store for a couple of hours while they attempted to come to some kind of terms that could save their relationship, and in the end I still don’t know what compromise they struck. He was just convinced, based on the experiences of a couple of buddies, that women everywhere were dying to get dragged through fake rape trials to get back at exes, so the legal system should be skewed to protect The Menz.

  38. Kelsey B.

    That my generation is the most self-absorbed, least empathetic one in the history of the U.S. WE weren’t the ones that voted for Reagan. Fuck, you can’t even blame us for Bush.

  39. Larkspur

    That my generation is the most self-absorbed, least empathetic, most spoiled, most ruinous one in the history of the U.S., and so ungrateful, too, after all our Greatest Generation parents did for us. It’s just so fortunate that WWII coincided with the maturation of the Greatest Generation, because if it had been postponed till we Baby Boomers had had a go at it, würden wir alle tragen unsere Papiere und sprechen Deutsch.

    Hmm. There may be a small flaw in my reasoning. But hell, it feels right, and that’s the important thing, ja?

    By the way, my cousin and her husband-to-be spent six months traveling very frugally throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. She was the veteran frugal roughing-it traveler – no hotels, just hostels, camping, the occasional friend’s sofabed. He, not so much. They not only lived to tell the tale, but they still got married.

  40. wiggles

    @janicen – Just the other day I got a faceful of this old one:
    Men, unlike women, age like fine wine and grow more handsome and distinguished. And did you know women universally think Sean Connery is a total dreamboat?

    On “women’s intuition,” if there’s a grain of truth in it it’s that marginalized people, as a matter of survival, tend to have insights into the workings of things that privileged people don’t. Also, people who think women are dumb and irrational are so surprised when a woman figures something out for herself they consider it a noteworthy event. The trope of the magical minority seems to work much the same way.

  41. FemDoc

    One of my favorite myths is that men do ANYTHING out of pure selflessness. In reality, they are compensated for EVERYTHING they do, with money, medals, respect, social standing, you -name-it.

    A woman, on the other hand, is “selfish” for doing the same damn things. Well, either that, or “unbalanced”.

  42. B. Dagger Lee

    I’m on a leprechan’s keyboard, aka a phone, so cut me some slack on formatting.

    Culturalmythobullshit: creativity walks hand in hand with mental illness.

  43. Judi

    5. The busier you are, the more worthy and important you are.

  44. Comrade Svilova

    Everything about humans must be so because of some evolutionary advantage that [blank] confers. Hence the schools of thought that say that depression must be actually *good* for you and, of course, Ev Psych. Ahem, natural selection doesn’t produce *perfection* necessarily, and even if it did, we’re certainly not at the end of the journey yet!

  45. amy

    thanks for the opportunity to share bullshit myths. there are too many but one i recently ran into was a horrid book by a woman who probably calls herself a feminist. it’s a book called “hot, rich and green” by rebecca harrell tickell i haven’t read it, but the title makes me want to puke. you can be rich, you can be “green” and you can be, most importantly, hot–here’s how! i fucking hate how-to books and their bullshit myths.

    i have a feeling this book is one huge, bullshit myth that is marketed towards women who want to be “successful”-but of course, being successful, or even making a living doing your souls work isn’t really important–you’ve got to be most importantly, as the title suggests–hot, too! oh, and let’s throw in “green” since that’s such a great buzzword these days. it’s like a freaking rendition of the spanish term, puta madre.

  46. liberality

    That corporations are “persons” under the US Constitution. They get all the benefits of personhood without any of the problems. They can not be held accountable.

  47. Rebekka

    That evolution or natural selection has a “end” and so we’re “evolving upwards” towards a state of perfection.

    That’s not how it works.

    Also, who knew about the rabbits!

  48. Jodie

    That evopsych is science.

  49. Bushfire

    Myths that suck:

    1. If you eat 500 less calories every day, you’ll lose one pound a week.

    2. Poor people are just lazy; if they worked harder they could make more money.

    3. Boys are doing poorly in school because education is “feminized”.

    4. Women have a choice not to have sex.

    5. I think I’m gay because I watch Queer as Folk. (quote from my dear old dad).

    6. Leg hair on women is “unnatural”. (quote from my uncle).

    Ok, I could go on but my blood pressure is starting to rise.

  50. Jill

    “That corporations are “persons” under the US Constitution. They get all the benefits of personhood without any of the problems. They can not be held accountable.”

    That’s not, technically, a myth.

  51. minervaK

    1. That there is such a thing as an ‘American culture.’

    2. That the upholding of this nonexistent ‘American culture’ should be the raison d’etre of the United States.

    3. That (insert minority here) are coming over to ‘our’ country and taking ‘our’ jobs and that is why we hate them, not because we are racists.

    4. That America was made ‘great’ by white males who ‘pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,’ completely unaided by enslaved and/or underpaid minorities and women ALL OVER THE FUCKING GLOBE.

    5. That #4 is not still the case.

  52. Lizard

    That cancer is associated with a certain personality type; that recovering from illnesses is strongly correlated with being positive/upbeat.

    The inherent nobility of female self-sacrifice, particularly in the form of being the kind of wife and mother whose primary identity is in those things and who is completely economically reliant on her spouse. (See: this fucking maudlin 19th century poem with the line “Woman, how divine your mission”; the various religious propaganda that comes up on google for ‘nobility of motherhood’; and wretched country music regarding the singer’s mother that rivals the poem for maudlinness.) Related to this, the idea of women at the more moral sex, used as a reason why (rich/middle class) women should not participate in paid labor markets and seen in the wretched phrase “my better half.” (We have, of course, also seen the myth of women as the less moral sex, which has probably been used to give similar justifications.)

  53. ivyleaves

    That the legal system isn’t ALREADY “skewed to protect The Menz.”

  54. awhirlinlondon

    The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.

  55. speedbudget

    Religion.

  56. Helen Huntingdon

    My imaginary friend can beat up your imaginary friend.

  57. Helen Huntingdon

    If your Nigel loves you, he won’t treat you badly.

    If your Nigel only understood that something hurt you, he’d stop doing it.

    Abusive men are unhappy and psychologically disturbed.

    He’s such a nice guy, and she’s cranky and morose, so clearly she’s the problem in that relationship. (Guess why she’s cranky and morose? My next-door neighbors at one point had everybody — including me — fooled with that one, until I realized what I was hearing through the wall proved what kind of guy he really was.)

  58. yttik

    Myths appear to actually not be myths at all, but rather pieces of truth people have gleaned from lots of observation.

    One problem I have is that truth doesn’t stay put. You can’t arrive at truth and declare this is the way things are and now you can relax and feel secure about it. Rabbits for example really were rodents until the early 20th century. Rabbits of course didn’t change, our perceptions of them did. Pluto was a planet for most of my life, but now it’s just a rock.

    I think another myth is that there can be only one truth, and that it must the biggest, baddest, most dominant Truth there is.

  59. nails

    How does more than one truth work? Is there such a thing as a square circle?

  60. Helen Huntingdon

    The Indiana legislature had a go at more than one true pi about a century ago. Didn’t work.

  61. Princess Rot

    Ooh, I’ll bite.

    #1: Unborn fetuses are worthy of personhood and individuality separate from the woman it is currently inhabiting, at any stage. It’s “rights” can trump hers with legal justification.

    #2: Tying in to #1 – anti-choicers are not misogynists.

  62. Comrade PhysioProf

    Everything about humans must be so because of some evolutionary advantage that [blank] confers.

    This is one of the most prevalent and difficult to eradicate myths about all of biological evolution. It is almost certainly the case that the vast majority of traits of all organisms have never directly conferred any fitness advantage.

  63. Jeff

    yttik, Pluto’s properties didn’t change when we stopped calling it a planet and started calling it a Kuiper Belt Object (or trans-neptunian object, whatever the hell the designation is these days). The same with rabbits, their DNA is what it is, whether they’re classified as part of the order Rodentia or Lagomorpha. Our poor and incomplete descriptions of the world don’t change reality, unless you’re that weird kid from The Twilight Zone.

  64. janna

    Intuition is really just the brain’s ability to take in the nuances of what’s going on and produce a conclusion in fractions of a second. Sometimes the conclusion is wrong, but often, it’s right. It’s not just something women have. Since when are radfems such gender essentialists?

    Also, I don’t think it’s a myth that there’s such thing as American culture. There’s no group of people who exist together absent a culture. I think “America has no culture” is a myth.

  65. Jill

    Not a myth: The taxonomy of furry woodland creatures undoubtedly has some pretty dull and dudely practical applications, but it’s also a fun hobby enjoyed by spinster aunts who inhabit woodlands the world over.

  66. rubysecret

    Myth: That if some of the women in a family group have some influence over some things, then it’s a matriarchy.
    This implication was made in a NatGeo magazine article a few months back regarding the FLDS cult, and after reading it I practically had dry heaves.

  67. kristinc

    “You can’t arrive at truth and declare this is the way things are and now you can relax and feel secure about it. Rabbits for example really were rodents until the early 20th century. Rabbits of course didn’t change, our perceptions of them did”

    This is the kind of thing that goes hand in hand with fundamentally misunderstanding how science works. See, the taxonomy of the rabbit changed because someone did science. The reason a rabbit is not a rodent isn’t because someone just changed their mind and decided lagomorph sounded more white-lab-coat cool; it’s because rabbits observably don’t share certain traits with the species called rodents.

    So, for a value of “really were rodents” that equals “actually shared distinguishing traits with other creatures called rodents”, you could say that no, rabbits were never really rodents.

    And “You can’t arrive at truth and declare this is the way things are and now you can relax and feel secure about it” exactly describes the scientific process, as opposed to received wisdom like religion and the mythical sort of women’s intuition, which are static.

  68. Eronarn

    “That my generation is the most self-absorbed, least empathetic one in the history of the U.S. WE weren’t the ones that voted for Reagan. Fuck, you can’t even blame us for Bush.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100528081434.htm

    Of course, there’s always the question of whether what they’re measuring is ‘actually’ empathy, or whether empathy even matters if young Reagan voters were more empathetic than young Obama voters. But there is probably at least some amount of truth to this “myth”.

  69. Jill

    I hate to say it, but in the interest of clarity: Rodentia aren’t a species. They’re an order.

  70. mearl

    My favourite: men NEED sex. It’s actually in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in the “basic physiological” rung along with food, water, air, sleep, homeostasis and excretion.

    I’d like to meet someone who died because they didn’t have sex.

  71. mearl

    Whoops, I’m tired. I meant I would like to HEAR of or READ about someone who died because they didn’t have sex.

  72. Jezebella

    Whoa, Mearl, I never noticed that!! What a crock.

    I note with interest that “sex” is a basic physiological need, but “sexual intimacy” is two rungs up in the “love, belonging” category.

    It is my understanding that infants need human touch in order to thrive, but trust a dude to define the human need for physical contact in sexual terms only.

    for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

  73. utahgirl

    That in order for the majority of humans to be happy/productive/well-fed certain other humans must necessarily be horribly oppressed, and that’s just the way things is. (viva la revolucion!)

  74. KJB

    Inspired by the post following on from this:

    That there is some kind of contractual obligation every time dudes interact with women, especially on a romantic level. It reminds me of the square on the antifeminist bingo card that says “You should…”

    Unfortunately in my culture, women promote this idea with absolute dedication. I should allow my spirit to be broken and change my personality because ‘nine times out of ten, the woman must bend.’ That is an actual quote from my mother.

    Also, a brilliant one from my sister yesterday in response to my wearing shorts with tights:

    ‘Modesty is a virtue.’

    Also, that chastity is a virtue. If this is true, why did paedophile priests feel the need to assert their rights over children?

  75. tinfoil hattie

    That fat people don’t know we’re fat, and your helpful shame and ridicule will be the magic bullet that makes us as thin as you think we should be.

  76. humanbein

    Why did the dude find himself seemingly unable to come up any legitimate reason to support his myth that men and women need to live together before marriage?

    He refused to say it out loud, but any dude knows: To see if the sex is just as hot, and to have easier access to the sex.

  77. AileenWuornos

    That womyn can’t play instruments or drive manuals.

    Pfft

  78. CassieC

    Utahgirl’s myth is my fave, and it is my life’s work to chip away at that one (using science, yall!). I should get back to work, obviously.

    Also what nails and Jeff and kristinc said.

    I didn’t know there was a dominant male vs. female myth about co-habitation.

    I’ve successfully argued for co-habitation on my cultural grounds (parents to younger self: “Don’t you DARE marry anyone before you’ve lived with them for 5 years! Now go out and be merry and promiscuous: you’re too damn young to settle down!”) with boyfriends who had their own cultural/myth reasons not to co-habitate (“My parents will have a cow! Divorce rates are higher for couples who’ve co-habitated!”)

    I don’t regret the relationships, the co-habitations or the breakups, but lordy-lord would I have regretted a marriage to any of those untested dudes. My parents were right, in my opinion.

  79. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Recognizing you have a problem with something (drugs, alcohol, food) and why is the hardest part of recovery.
    This is hogwash of the purest ray serene.

    Dadnabbit, I fully comprehended that my addiction to cigarettes was physical as well as psychological. I understood perfectly well that good ol’ Mr. Winston Lights 100s was probably adding something to my drug of choice to make it harder to kick. This understanding in NO WAY made quitting any easier. It did not diminish the hot shivers and cold sweats one teensy little bit. Understanding the entire merry process did not make me one little smidgen less cantankerous.

  80. kristinc

    “I hate to say it, but in the interest of clarity: Rodentia aren’t a species. They’re an order.”

    Absolutely. Apparently my grammar was off: also in the interest of clarity, I meant “the group of species that are referred to as rodents”.

  81. minervaK

    ‘Culture’ was the wrong word. ‘Values’ works better. To wit:

    1. That there is such a thing as ‘American Values.’

    2. That the upholding of these ‘American Values’ should be the raison d’etre of the United States.

    3. That (insert minority here) are coming over to ‘our’ country and taking ‘our’ jobs and that is why we hate them, not because we are racists.

    4. That America was made ‘great’ by white males who ‘pulled themselves up by their bootstraps,’ completely unaided by enslaved and/or underpaid minorities and women ALL OVER THE FUCKING GLOBE.

    5. That #4 is not still the case.

  82. Hermionemone

    That the best use of 1.6 Trillion dollars (sixteen hundred Billion) is to spend it on military armaments, armies, and programs of national defense (and offense) around the world, propping up the balance of aggression between factions of the P, rather than directly on all persons’ individual security, nutrition, healthcare, education, clean air, water and environment, comfort, happiness and contentment.

  83. Helen Huntingdon

    Why did the dude find himself seemingly unable to come up any legitimate reason to support his myth that men and women need to live together before marriage?

    If this refers to the dude in my original story, he wasn’t arguing that people should live together before marriage, but that het couples should live together in some manner. He was responding to a remark I made to a friend, that the easiest route to dealing with certain potential relationship problems is never to let the guy live in your home. At least then he’s easier to oust from your life if he starts acting like a jerk.

  84. Jane Q Public

    1) Women are naturally more inclined to housework and haberdashery.

    2) Porn doesn’t hurt anybody.

    3) The battle of the sexes.

    4) Having children is a rewarding and fulfilling “experience” for women. Furthermore, all women want children, because they are naturally inclined towards child rearing (and housework and haberdashery).

    Side note and personal anecdote: my father is a great believer in number 4. See, dear old dad really thinks that even when a girl says she doesn’t want any kids, she’s just saying that to make her man feel comfortable (because guys naturally don’t want kids). Also, dad thinks that women need to have these babies they say they don’t want by the time they’re 30. Presumably because it is all downhill from there?

  85. Jill A

    One of the myths I hate most: Anyone affected negatively by an aspect of the kyriarchy cannot be ‘objective’ about it – only white, het, cis, able-bodied men of the middle/upper class can have a truly objective viewpoint, whatever the hell that means.

  86. MPMR

    Jill A, I agree. Like the discussion in the media of how all these female Supreme Court nominees can’t be objective. “Sotomayor will be biased toward Latinas! Kagan will be biased toward gays! They’ll both make the legal system so *unfair* to men!”

    Another: Free markets protect the environment.

  87. blah

    ‘How is it a myth that only men are competitive?
    People always say women are competitive.’ (Nicole)
    A big advantage with myths is that you can have as many contradictory myths as you like.

  88. Danielle

    That women aren’t funny. There is so much contempt for women wrapped up in that bullshit statement.

  89. Danielle

    Our fearless blogger being Funny Woman Exhibit A. I laugh at this blog, both the posts and the comments, almost as much as I learn from it. There really are some truly funny people around here.

  90. Danielle

    And I apologize if I’m belaboring the point. Or rather, THAT I’m belaboring the point, but I’ve read Twisty passages aloud, to more than one man, without disclosing that it’s from IBTP just to see the reaction. Not saying “dudely approval” equals “genuinely funny,” just saying that the shitheads who don’t think women can be funny are proven wrong, all the time, by their own brethren.

    The “women aren’t funny” myth makes my skin crawl for some reason.

    By the way, for any of you who partake herbally, I’d suggest spending some time in the IBTP archives under the influence. You will laugh. Hard.

  91. Rididill

    ‘My favorite: criticizing people will cause them to say “oh wow! I never thought of that-thanks!” and they will immediately change the behavior that the critic finds so offensive because of course they didn’t have a reason for doing said behavior.’

    haha YES!

    Mine: ‘your sexuality is a powerful asset’

  92. N

    That there are “more important problems in the world” than “them women’s rights” and that patriarchy, sexism and misogyny can be parked while the road is clear to deal with other unjust systems.

    Talk about hysterical laughter (at stupidity) and hysterical rage (at stupidity).

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