The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 December 2002

The crones of academe

I have always suspected that Departments of Women's Studies have nothing to do with me, except to the extent that I am considered a threat because of my membership in the half of the species with the external genitalia. Okay, fine. Maybe some people need to designate enemies before they can find friends. It never occurred to me, though, that we might be better off without those studies.

It has, however, occurred to James Lileks:

You know, if every "Woman's Studies" department was closed, and the student loans were used to create businesses that hired women instead of studied them like tragic butterflies impaled on the patriarchal pin, we might be better off. Granted, we'd be without PhD theses like "Rape Symbolism and Beatrix Potter: A Rake's Progress," but the culture would survive; the only noticeable effect at all would be a 17% decrease in Frieda Kahlo poster sales, and a 50% decrease in 33-year-old college students.

"Here Comes Peter Cottontail" is evidently more menacing than I had imagined.

But belligerent bunnies aside, all this makes me wonder what a "Men's Studies" curriculum might be like. Certainly the three-hour lab for home beer production would be inadequate, and the wisdom of Vince Lombardi can be exhausted in a few paragraphs. I am reasonably certain, however, that at no point will any of the instructors suggest, even for a minute, that women are capital-E Evil.

Posted at 7:41 AM to Almost Yogurt

If I ran a Men's Studies department, most of the curriculum would probably be devoted to studying women...

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 10:33 AM on 19 December 2002

And, to the dissemination of information of "what women think"......and how, that is, if any man has ever figured any portion of it out.

Posted by: Steve at 1:33 PM on 19 December 2002

I can generally figure it out about 0.7 percent of the time, which I am given to understand is slightly above average. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 2:03 PM on 19 December 2002

I'd have to agree with you. Women's language uses the same words but, otherwise, has absolutely no congruity with that of the men's version.

Posted by: Steve at 2:57 PM on 19 December 2002

Women's language applies completely different meanings to words depending on their mood when they're speaking, adjusted to account for what they've been through in the last 48 to 96 hours, with the span in question varying at random.

Fifteen Cray supercomputers in tandem worked for several years on calculating this phenomenon, and finally produced the following result:


Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 4:05 PM on 19 December 2002

Damn, but that is appropriate.

Posted by: Steve at 4:34 PM on 19 December 2002

Well, they won't suggest it if they want to have a class next week. My wife classified it thusly: men are just dogs -- happy most of the time, usually just to see you and especially if you talk nice to them, and very trainable. I didn't disagree, and told her that I was only tired of drinking out of the toilet when the seat was down.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at 7:51 PM on 21 December 2002