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This post is so meta!

So... reannon posted about a friend of hers who posted about a friend of his who was basically complaining that women get complimented on their looks while men get complimented by their brains.

When a woman is interviewed, she is frequently described physically, as in "the lovely and talented Ms. Donald," while men are rarely if ever described as "the dashing Mr. Kaufmann." (see there, a link to a link to a link!)

And they're all correct! We shouldn't be saying "The Lovely and talented Miss" if we aren't going to say "The dashing Mister"

From now on, if you want to compliment a man, you've got to talk about how pretty he is!

I would like to be known as the "Absolutely Dreamy greyweirdo" if it's all the same to you. Before you talk about my talent for profanity or my ability to make a funny, do discuss my soulfully dark eyes first.

The only problem I can see is that some writers just aren't sexy. In fact, some of them are pretty unpleasant to look at. I know some people think Neil Gaiman is good looking, but I don't think anyone is going to be able to call Harlan Ellison "pretty" with a straight face. No disrespect to the man, but pretty he ain’t.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Will try to remember that. Will probably fail.
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
You remember it, or I will start calling you Sugartits instead of Honey Buns which is what I'd planned on calling you.
Aug. 13th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
Well, there is a serious issue. Women are evaluated first for looks and second for talent, and if she doesn't have looks, she's not going to get her talent out there. That's not the case for men. That said, as I pointed out in the greater discussion, women don't feel free to COMPLAIN about it, because who's going to bitch about being called pretty? :)

That said, quite a few gentlemen of letters are dashing fellows, I must say. ;)
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
And you are absolutely correct.

I especially appreciate this as a black man, because when I walk into a room or discussion my IQ drops 50 points.

That's fun.

Like getting a fork in your eye.
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I think that's more to do with western society. Yours is very much a learned problem and one that we're getting over in slow but steady movements.

Women get roughly the same treatment no matter where they go.

Also, you a sexy man*.

*This is in light of my new rule.
Aug. 13th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
Yours is very much a learned problem and one that we're getting over in slow but steady movements.

Yes, it used to be 100 points.

And I wish I was kidding.

Aug. 14th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Can you clarify? Do you mean when you join a discussion people treat you as though you're not as smart as they are?
Aug. 14th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)

But it's even more than that. I'm not invited into certain conversations from the get go BECAUSE "I wouldn't be interested or know anything about it."

Then there is the condescending "you are so articulate and speak so well" which is not anything they would say to someone of a different race. The implied portion of that statement is "...for a black man."

And the other aspect of that is that some people assume that in disagreement that I am being the "angry black man" which again is condescending and implies that I'm stupid because I can't have a valid reason for disagreement.

Sometimes people do not understand the stupid they do.
Aug. 14th, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
Wow. That would not even occur to me. I am boggled. :(
Aug. 14th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, I used to get followed through stores. Because as a young black man I was going to steal something.

BTW, most shoplifters look more like you in race and gender than look like me. But it's one of those things "everybody knows" which they really don't. :)

I'm black.

Therefore I am scary and stupid.

This is slowly changing and it will have to change as our society blends and the lines of race blur, but it is still here.

The only saving grace is that I am short and doofy looking. This makes me less threatening.
Aug. 14th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
I remember a couple of years ago when there was this rising murmur of "our streets aren't safe anymore" in a small city I cover. People complaining to the city council that they didn't feel safe walking down XYZ Street anymore. There was enough of it that I requested to do a weekday ridealong with the cops, get a street-level view of the crime rate - was it really more dangerous than it had been? Do we really have gangs lurking on every corner?

The ridealong and subsequent analysis of the police blotter proved without a doubt that there was no greater level of crime than there had been for the last five years. A slight shift from coke to meth as the drug of choice was not sufficient to raise the roof on a crime wave. In fact, the only real change was that there were a lot more black and Hispanic people moving to town, fleeing much more crime-soaked towns to the southeast.

The reason the good townspeople were afraid to walk down XYZ Street was that they saw brown faces and were automatically afraid. It boggled me, and there was nothing I could write. "Town not so scary as you think, join the 21st century"? I had the advantage of my parents moving as often as we did, from southern California to lilywhite Midwest to suburban New England to urban Baltimore to rural Tennessee... My sister and I never developed those blinders. Society blends.

P.S. If you keep calling yourself doofy-looking I will have to smack you. I'd call you hawt but your wife would smack me. :)
Aug. 14th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
If you keep calling yourself doofy-looking I will have to smack you.

You have stumbled upon my cunning plan.

For to smack me you would have to be in my presence where I could actually HUG you in person.

*diabolical laughter*
Aug. 15th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Curses! Foiled! :)
Aug. 14th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
Sometimes people do not understand the stupid they do.

You could cast that sentence in gold and hang it over your door.
Aug. 14th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Dude, we all could.

Aug. 13th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
I know it's a serious issue, but I think this thing goes way deeper than anyone is giving it credit for. While sexism is partially societal it's also way down on our DNA to judge women more by outward appearance than any accomplishment. It's so automatic that even when you point it out to people and smack them with a stick every time they do it, they keep doing it until you get to the electric shock stage.

And it's also a way deep in the bone fact that no one wants to reject a compliment.

I think it's an issue that will never go away, so the only thing you can really do is also talk about men's looks, which is nice because no one ever mentions what cuties we are.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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