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October 15, 2009

A Little Thought Experiment

Interesting:

googletheo.jpg

But what I thought was even more interesting was what you find if you compare what single men and single women search on:

GIRLFRIEND.jpg

It's tempting to see a bidirectional cause and effect thing going on here, but I'm not sure that's valid. Even more curious, however, is what happens when you change just one word ("is" to "does"). That focuses the question more on what men and women are actually doing as opposed to how their behavior is perceived by the opposite sex. I would think that would be slightly more accurate since it isn't passing through the filter of interpretation:

WHY DOES.jpg

Finally, what are the differences between single and married behaviors by both sexes?

WHY DOES2.jpg

What is the takeaway here? Well, for one thing farting is a much bigger problem in male/female relationships than we ever suspected....

As a final experiment, I eliminated the behaviors that married men and married women BOTH objected to. What is left was thought provoking:

WHY DOES3.jpg

Posted by Cassandra at October 15, 2009 07:11 AM

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Comments

Whoa! Your world frightens and confuses me...

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 08:00 AM

Your "final experiment" presentation is genius.

People who ask computer search engines for answers instead of their spouses, not so much.

Posted by: tomg51 at October 15, 2009 08:14 AM

I'm surprised the nagging thing made it onto Google, because it seems to be one of those words that means "shut up" and not necessarily a behavioral description for which someone is actively searching for an explanation.

Many of the women I've talked to get REALLY irritated by the use of that word, and from their perspective it seems as if they get called a nag whenever they remind their spouses that things around the house need to get done and they need help with it.

Not that I'm saying that women are flawless martyrs and if those men would just get on the train and do as they are told things would be peachy perfect (true as that may be - I KID!). But it does seem to be a "safe" pejorative to label women with whether it is true at the moment or just used to end a conversation someone doesn't want to hear.

Like calling someone a racist, but not as nuk-ya-ler.

Posted by: airforcewife at October 15, 2009 08:22 AM

It's all about the focus on, consideration of, effort extended on behalf of, and appreciation for... as M'lady points out in many of the men<-!understanding->women pieces she posts...

I suspect that most people in a relationship, male or female, would like to think, based on empirical evidence, that their significant other cares for and is devoted to them.

Most of this stuff is so basic, so intuitive, so easy, even this cave man gets it. Frightening.

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 08:31 AM

I totally agree that it's better to talk to your spouse, but I will admit to having searched on questions that confused me (not always about my spouse, but just about men in general).

Being on the Internet has made me aware of some fairly widespread attitudes and behavior in men that I'd never really seen before, or had seen but thought was just on the fringes. For a long time, some of the things I saw shocked me and shook my faith in human nature.

A lot of it has deeply upset me, and when something upsets me, I try to figure it out so I can understand.

I have to say that being on the Internet has given me the very strong impression that an awful lot of men neither like nor respect women. As someone who has always liked and respected men, that's pretty disturbing.

I don't know what to think about that.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 08:41 AM

"I have to say that being on the Internet has given me the very strong impression that an awful lot of men neither like nor respect women."
Being a father of two grown daughters, I share your concern...

I don't think it was this way, at least on this scale, when I was dating Walkin' Boss. Certainly not when I was a child.

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 08:45 AM

Should I press the "Google Search" button, or the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on this?

Posted by: Boquisucio at October 15, 2009 08:46 AM

afw:

I couldn't help noticing on that last comparison that no matter which starting point you look at it from, the last comparison works very well from a cause/effect standpoint.

Before someone jumps all over me, let me repeat part of that last sentence: "no matter which starting point you look at it from".

I think men are more likely to ignore you if they think you nag them. But on the other hand, if someone responds to you the first time, there is no reason to "nag" - a nag is usually a persistent reminder or criticism that results from being ignored.

Like so many other things, I think marriages that fail often do so because of a negative feedback loop - one partner does x so the other responds by doing y. And the cycle of violence commences ;p

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 08:47 AM

Many of the women I've talked to get REALLY irritated by the use of that word, and from their perspective it seems as if they get called a nag whenever they remind their spouses that things around the house need to get done and they need help with it.

AFW, I don't presume to speak for anyone other than myself, but I can explain what the difference between "reminding" and "nagging" is to me.

Reminding: "Honey, don't forget, you said you'd take out the trash after dinner."

Nagging: ""Honey, don't forget, you said you'd take out the trash after dinner. And you need to, because the chicken package will really start to smell. And the trash is coming tomorrow. And don't forget to close the lid on the trashcan. You know those neighborhood dogs will knock over the can if you don't..."

Prod, don't stab. Mind you, I understand rationally what she's doing. She's trying to justify why she's reminding me. She doesn't want to seem like she's nagging me, so by giving me all the reasons it needs to get done she's being logical.

The problem is, I don't NEED the reasons. She reminded me I said I'd do something, and that's all I needed. Giving the reasons AFTER reminding me feels like she is badgering me over and over again about it.

That's my perspective anyhow.

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2009 08:55 AM

I have to say that being on the Internet has given me the very strong impression that an awful lot of men neither like nor respect women. As someone who has always liked and respected men, that's pretty disturbing.

Cass, don't let it get to you. I remember exactly when it was I lost my faith in the common intellect of my fellow citizens. I was working at a pizza stand in King's Dominion amusement park in Virginia. Folks would ask, repeatedly, stupid questions. Illiteracy could explain some of it, but other elements aren't covered by that.

The problem with being exposed to the public is that you count the hits, and not the misses. I get that phrase from another blog I read that talked about airplane crashes (Bill Whittle's I believe). Folks will always take notice of a plane crash, but never think of the hundreds of thousands of planes that landed safely that same day. Similarly, you get exposed to the worst of humanity on the internet. And in this particular case, you're taking examples of people asking questions of google because they don't understand why their other half is doing things they don't like. Folks have no need to ask "Why is my wife so good to me?" or "Why is my husband so loving?" People who are happy with their spouses behavior don't need to ask why. You're counting the hits, but can't see all the misses.

I hope this helps.

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2009 09:02 AM

I understand rationally what she's doing. She's trying to justify why she's reminding me. She doesn't want to seem like she's nagging me, so by giving me all the reasons it needs to get done she's being logical.

BINGO. I know that on the rare occasions I ask my husband to do something, I always feel the need to justify my request. I tend to avoid asking him to do ANYTHING.

What is sad to me is that guys nearly always resent this, when the very fact that the woman is justifying her request shows she's NOT trying to be a jerk about it.

To me, nagging is when you make a request and then belittle him or launch into a recital of every single thing the man hasn't done that you've asked to, or every disappointment in your relationship. And I've seen women do this.

We also (sometimes) micromanage HOW a task is performed. Sometimes this is important, like when your husband puts a red shirt in with your load of white laundry and the whole thing is ruined beyond repair. But often it's not.

It doesn't matter how the dishwasher is loaded unless the dishes aren't getting clean or he is breaking your dishes.

In our house, the person who performs the chore makes the rules and the other one is expected to STFU unless there's a pretty compelling reason for stepping in. Ironically, my spouse is more likely to criticize the way I do something because he's more meticulous and methodical and I'm more freeform :p

So gender stereotypes don't always fit!

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 09:06 AM

I hope this helps.

It does :)

My poor spouse has come home a few times to find me in tears over some ugly thing I've read on the 'Net. I always ask him, "Honey, do all men think this way? If not, why don't more men speak up when one of them says something that is clearly hateful?"

He says that men just shrug that sort of thing off, and also that they know their manhood will be questioned if they're decent.

I've seen this happen many a time to some poor guy who tried to do the right thing. I have to say that I still have trouble understanding why anyone would say nothing. It gives the impression of consensus even when that's not the case.

I think the thing that disturbs me most is the impression I often get that certain attitudes are accepted by men in general. When someone says something ugly or disgusting and other men applaud or approve it and not one objects, it's hard to come away with any other impression.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 09:16 AM

My problem with disagreements is that I'm not as smart as I think I am. Afterward, I think of something that I needed to say, typically that bolstered my side. But I don't want to bring it up, as it re-instates the "discussion", so I tell myself I will think faster next time. Right. Like that works.

My the key for holding things together is the future, not the present. Not the argument, but having plans for a vacation, an event, a visit, a dream, preferably several, spaced out over this week, next month, this year, and so on. Something to look forward to. And to think - is my spouse who I want to do this with? I should hope so. Seeing as how I should have made list, and the compromises entailed, with my spouse.

If you can't think of things you want to do together next month, you're doomed.

Posted by: tomg51 at October 15, 2009 09:22 AM

I don't think it was this way, at least on this scale, when I was dating Walkin' Boss. Certainly not when I was a child.

I agree, bthun. My Dad always spoke highly of women. It was obvious from his behavior and speech that he liked women, thought they were smart and good people, and enjoyed their company.

That's what I looked for in a boyfriend - someone like my Dad. If a guy didn't like or respect women (and there are lots of men out there who don't - you can sense it in the way they treat you from the get go) I stayed far, far away from him no matter how "nice" he acted.

Sadly, there are also many men who will ditch the kind of woman they say they want in a heartbeat for one who acts the way they say they don't like :p

This is really no different from women who continually date players and losers. I think there are a lot of behaviors that are mutually objectionable no matter what sex you are. They're just inconsiderate and/or destructive.

And then there are other behaviors that seem to be more closely linked to whether we're male or female. I don't see one sex as being any better than the other in this regard.

On the Internet I hear men complain constantly about the way society sets a lower standard for women and how (consequently) women don't behave as well as they used to. I think that's true. But what's kind of funny about this to me is that women are behaving more like men do, both now and in the past and men don't like this one bit. Why do they condone objectionable behavior when a man does it but condemn it when a woman does it?

I rarely hear anyone acknowledge that a man who behaved the way many men behave today would have been shunned by society when I was growing up. Men, too, are demanding that behaviors society has never approved of be not just legitimized but mainstreamed and approved of.

I would not want to have to raise a daughter in today's climate.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 09:24 AM

Right. Like that works.

Heh :)
I do the same thing.

You are wise to let it go and focus on the good, though. Men are good at that. Women often have a harder time, but there are good reasons for that.

Still, we need to try harder.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 09:26 AM

"I rarely hear anyone acknowledge that a man who behaved the way many men behave today would have been shunned by society when I was growing up."
There may be a few old, moss-backed knuckle-draggers around who would ack that sentiment. I know that on more than a few occasions, I've had younger fellows snort and sneer at my sense of propriety regarding conduct towards others in both public and private settings.

Ah, whacha gonna do with witnesses and forensic science being what it is?

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 09:42 AM

You do the same thing?
I suppose that's why bringing it up again rarely solves it, it just shuffles the chairs around.

Hey, nothing about crying?
That's bizarre. My wife and I cry for completely different things. Hers don't make any sense at all :)

Posted by: tomg51 at October 15, 2009 09:42 AM

I tend to cry when I get angry.

I have never figured that one out :p And crying just makes me angrier, which makes me....

Oh, never mind.
Heh.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 09:46 AM

I think the thing that disturbs me most is the impression I often get that certain attitudes are accepted by men in general. When someone says something ugly or disgusting and other men applaud or approve it and not one objects, it's hard to come away with any other impression.

Well, let me give you another similar thing that makes me angry, and perhaps it will help.

Some piece of human filth rapes a schoolgirl in Okinawa. The fact that this particular waste of oxygen happened to belong to the United States Marine Corps suddenly gave the press the excuse to tar everyone who happened to serve in Okinawa with the waste of flesh as child rapists. And what could those Marines say about it? Nothing. They were not allowed to defend themselves.

Does that mean they approve of the behavior of the rapist? Of course not. Does their silence mean they approve of the press' characterization of them? Of course not. Does the fact that they did not allow the locals to put the rapist on trial mean they were defending him? Of COURSE not. But you can see how there would be that presumption.

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2009 09:59 AM

I cry reading these: Medal of Honor, scroll to the Korean War.
I cry seeing the last helicopter leaving Vietnam.
I can make a presentation to 1,000 people, but can't describe talking to a man who jumped from the bow of a tanker hit by lightning when he saw the deck rising up towards him, and lived, but the man next to him didn't, without falling apart completely.
OK, I'm shaking.
Really weird. Must get back to work.
Later. Like maybe at lunchtime.


Posted by: tomg51 at October 15, 2009 10:01 AM

All seriousness aside, I think I might have to turn to Google for answers if my wife was peeing on me.

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2009 10:03 AM

I assume that the Marines on Okinawa at that time were UNDER ORDERS not to talk about it. Not really the same thing for men who aren't Marines remaining silent - or even applauding/condoning - abhorrent behaviors in other men....

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 15, 2009 10:04 AM

I manage some things over at The Victory Caucus. One of the things I took care of was the Forums. More recently, we'd been the victims of p0rn spam. Some of those disgusting images included unclothed women peeing. I don't get it, but apparently it does something for someone... Luckily, I was able to have the admin shut the forums down because I just couldn't keep up with it anymore...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 15, 2009 10:08 AM

Let me note here that the question was not, "Why does my GIRLFRIEND want to pee on me?" but "Why does my BOYFRIEND want ME to pee on HIM?" :p

And you dudes wonder why we don't understand you?

*running away*

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 10:11 AM

In the spirit of all seriousness aside... I can't speak for anyone else, but if my SO attempted to do that to me, she'd be tied up in the garage. On a line which had a radius not to exceed the area of newspaper spread upon the floor.

Bad! Bad SO. No Martinis for you.

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 10:23 AM

Whew! What a relief!

I've been known to be open to experimentation, but some suggestions just don't merit serious consideration.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 10:40 AM

I suppose the part that amazes me is that such nonsense -is degradation still considered degrading?- is wide-spread enough to make it statistically significant enough to appear at the top of your google queries.

As I initially said, frightening and confusing that there are half-bubble off plumb types in statistically significant numbers...

BTW, when was the bubble recalibrated?

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 10:59 AM

"I would not want to have to raise a daughter in today's climate."

Welcome to my little corner of hell.


"BTW, when was the bubble recalibrated?"

It hasn't been for a very long time -- which, as you know, is necessary for accuracy.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 15, 2009 11:23 AM

I have to say that I still have trouble understanding why anyone would say nothing.

Because you can't reason a person out of something they didn't reason their way into.

And you can't punch someone through a computer screen.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 15, 2009 11:35 AM

I think the way some men treat women (i.e., like trash and with no respect) harkens back to the discussion we had about women and promiscuity.

People have a way of being treated commensurate with the way they behave. And unfortunately, too many men see the Britney Spears wannabes as ALL women, rather than the ridiculously dysfunctional ones. We all suffer for the omnipresence of that representation in our society.

It goes back to women being our own worst enemy. It's certainly not THE reason, or the only reason, nor does it absolve those with outdoor plumbing from their own problems and issues, but it's a definable point on the downward spiral.

Posted by: airforcewife at October 15, 2009 11:50 AM

Why is:
"WDMB want me to pee on him?" at the top?

Initial request and WTF curiosity momentum.

First person to ask a WDMB question was the pee query.
So next girl, wanting to know WDMB buy me diamonds?, types in WDMB and sees the pee query pop up. WTF? And she clicks. So now google has 2 searches for the same thing, and only one for diamonds. And so on.

At least I hope this is the answer.

Posted by: tomg51 at October 15, 2009 11:56 AM

I assume that the Marines on Okinawa at that time were UNDER ORDERS not to talk about it. Not really the same thing for men who aren't Marines remaining silent - or even applauding/condoning - abhorrent behaviors in other men....

My point exactly. Sometimes silence means something other than acceptance. Sometimes it just means there are other reasons not to respond.

Because you can't reason a person out of something they didn't reason their way into.

and

And you can't punch someone through a computer screen.

are actually more to the point.

As a general rule, there's not much point with arguing with an idiot online (and for 100% clarity sake, I am NOT implying anyone here is an idiot). If they're not just merely trolling, then the odds are, if they say abhorrent things about women, other men speaking up about it isn't going to make them change, and could in fact, simply provoke more such statements.

Now in a personal (meatspace) setting, if random dude says something abhorrent, odds are one or more men will shortly straighten him out. Which is why such statements don't really occur all that much in person (as opposed to online).

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2009 12:08 PM

I agree re the erosion of societal standards and mores, but isn't this exactly what the boomers wanted? Wasn't the 60s all about rejecting their parents societal standards so everyone could be free, groovy, and do whatever they wanted? Everything was permitted, drugs, unrestricted sex, etc. In the 70s, the boomers brought full hedonism to the fore. It wasn't called the "Me" generation for nothing. "If it feels good, do it" was the mantra.

In the 80s, boomers figured out they weren't going to stay young forever, and that an endless party didn't make for much of a future. So the narcissists became yuppies and focused on material wealth and achievement, but again without much concern for morals or society standards.

I find it hilarious that the boomers, now approaching retirement, finally are getting around to bemoaning the social and moral anarchy they themselves helped create. "Girls Gone Wild" behavior would not have been tolerated in their parents' day, but is little different from the "free love" attitude ushered in by the boomers themselves in the 60s and 70s. Also, the same boomers who now are talking about respect for the elderly, had no such respect as youths. Who came up with the idea of "Don't trust anyone over 30"?

I look at all this and say "Duh!", what did you boomers think would be the end result of you actions? Or was the narcissism so all-pervasive that no-one really thought at all?

Posted by: a former european at October 15, 2009 02:10 PM

On a lighter note, I think the problem of gassy spouses is hilarious! Now I know why women like candle stores so much.

Posted by: a former euroepan at October 15, 2009 02:13 PM

My guess why "Why is my so mean to me?" is so prevalent is that the two sexes have different concepts of what nature of behavior = "mean". Certainly there's overlap, but equally certainly there is behavior that one partner thinks is mean that the other partner thinks is not - or doesn't even think of it at all.

Posted by: RonF at October 15, 2009 03:18 PM

"Or was the narcissism so all-pervasive that no-one really thought at all?"

DING DING DING!!!
We have a winner! You may keep your beet for this evening's dinner.
0>:~}

Posted by: DL Sly at October 15, 2009 03:24 PM

oh, and picking nits: when you are excluding commonalities I don't really see a difference between the search terms "Lie" and "Lie to me" just as I wouldn't for "Like me" v/s "Love me".

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 15, 2009 03:26 PM

Huh... the 'lie to me' should have been 'lie'.

I'm not sure whether 'lie to me' and 'lie' are the same thing.

I think people lie situationally. So a person might have some arcane rule for what situations allow them to be less than truthful.

If a guy lies all the time, that's one thing.

If he only lies to his wife, that's another.

But I'll accept the nit - it's not an unreasonable interpretation either.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 03:29 PM

I look at all this and say "Duh!", what did you boomers think would be the end result of you actions?

The Age of Aquarius. Well, not me, personally - even at my most teenaged and liberal I figured human nature was human nature - but many boomers did, in fact, believe that some basic change in humankind (astrological, evolutionary, whatever) had occurred that would make everything different. And better, of course. Which would make the answer to your second question:

Or was the narcissism so all-pervasive that no-one really thought at all?

Yes.

However, the boomers didn't raise themselves. Back in the 60s and 70s when so many adults were wringing their hands over how the world was going to hell in a handbasket, cooler heads would remind us that every generation since the beginning of time had thought its elders had done everything wrong and the boomers were just following in that tradition, perhaps a little more enthusiastically.

I found this reassuring until I realized that in previous generations the elders either laughed when their kids told them they were total screw-ups or they threw the kids out of the house. The baby boomers' elders, however, said, "You're right. Okay, kids, tell us what we should be doing instead." It was the parental equivalent of giving a 13-year-old the keys to the liquor cabinet and the car.

The sad fact is that no one "grew up" a lot of the boomers so a lot of us have had - are still having - to grow ourselves up. If you think it's hard raising a kid right, try raising your 50-year-old self right.

And, no, this isn't a "let's all blame the boomers' parents" claim. They had their reasons for being less firm (and probably less confident) than parents before them. Some were historical: like they had a brutal time with the Depression and WW2 and they wanted things easier for their kids. Some were demographic - we had them outnumbered and surrounded. Some were economic - many boomer's parents had a lot of money comparatively speaking so family discipline was no longer essential for family economic survival. And I suspect some of it had to do with science - when science is the deity it's harder to make an argument for values that have been time-tested and found to work but don't lend themselves easily to quantifiable formulas.

Posted by: Elise at October 15, 2009 03:32 PM

"Why is:
"WDMB want me to pee on him?" at the top?"

I'm sure that's due to the efforts of some spammer. They spam links to some pr0n site in a thousand different forums, and if Google's algorithms aren't quite smart enough to pick up on it being spam, it rises to the top of the list. Miss Ladybug mentioned forum administration; I do that myself. Fortunately, there are some really good tools now, and with a certain amount of due diligence (like banning a few entire Russian/Ukranian networks whose total purpose for existing is spamming), I only have to deal with two or three a week.

But back to the topic: I hang out on Glenn Sacks's site a lot, and as you can imagine, there are a lot of guys there who are pretty down on women. But in most cases, it's because they've been hurt very badly by a woman. They need to blow off some steam, and there are very few places these days where it's acceptable for a man to do that. Then, there are some who really are misogynist. And then some of them are just plain trolls. The interesting thing is that most of the trolls are women who come over to bait the men, which is the opposite of what you see across most of the Internet where this sort of thing comes up.

What does this prove? Well, Cass talks about getting the impression from the Internet that most men don't care much for women. If you were to spend a lot of time on Feministing, though, you would get the impression that most women don't care for men. And you could get the same from Glenn's trolls. However, for every troll at Glenn's, there are at least two other female posters who will jump in and say that yes, they want to see true equality in divorce laws, and get rid of hiring quotas that favor women. And that they recognize that men in general, and husbands and fathers in particular, get pretty shabby treatment from the current popular culture.

Let's not forget how many children are growing up in broken homes these days. If you're a male teenager, and you've never had a father figure in your life, and all you know about sex relations is from TV and movies, it would be easy to get the impression that being married means being neutered. Whose fault is this? How is a 14-year-old supposed to know different? Example from the other perspective: I've noticed a problem among many young women these days -- not all, certainly, but quite a few -- that they don't really think of men as human beings. Meaning that they don't think that men have feelings, and therefore, they don't have to worry about hurting men. Where did they learn that? Most likely from popular culture, and from what they were exposed to while they were growing up. If they didn't have strong parents to tell and demonstrate to them otherwise, then yes, they might just get that view. It's not their fault; when they are 8 or 10 or 12 years old, how are they supposed to know different? (And yeah, I'm pretty pessimistic on the future of gender relations in the West.)

Finally, allow me to offer up Cousin Dave's Three Simple Rules for Women Asking Their Husbands To Do Stuff:

1. Don't ask your husband to do things at random times. Now, I'm not just talking about wanting the lawn mowed *right now* in the middle of the football game, although that's part of it. What I really mean is, when your husband is in the middle of doing some task, don't hit him with reminders of other tasks that need doing. Men are pretty single-task focused, especially if it's a difficult task. If I'm in the middle of fixing the car or cutting down a dead tree, and you ask me about something else, all you've succeeded in doing is breaking my concentration. I won't remember it once you walk away, and later we'll both be pissed because you will have to remind me again, and I'll resent being interrupted. Wait until I'm done with that task, and then we can go over other tasks. And under no circumstances do you walk up to your guy while he's in the middle of something and demand, "Haven't you got that done yet?"

2. Keep task requests down to a few at a time. Nobody likes to be barraged with a laundry list of things to do. If there really is a laundry list of things to be done, then the two of you need to organize it. Make an actual list, and then (this is important) figure out which things are top priority and which things will take a long time to do. If the front door needs to be refinished, and it has to be taken off the hinges to do, chances are it's going to take all day. Refinishing a door is a lot of work, and you can't very well stop for the night and sleep in a wide-open house. So if the vacuuming really needs to be done today, the front door will have to wait until tomorrow.

3. As Cass said, it works best if you keep task requests short and to the point. Once we've been reminded of the task that needs doing, it will most likely be obvious to us *why* it needs doing. If you give us a long-winded justification for why the task needs doing, it sounds like you're talking down to us. If there is a non-obvious explanation, do it like this: "I just threw some rotten vegetables into the trash. I know it's not full, but would you take it out anyway?" See, this way, you are asking us to do something on your behalf. That's much better than being told that we're too stupid to understand why it needs doing.

4. Okay, the fourth of the three rules (comfy chair!): If you have some insanely complicated way of doing something, you're on your own. I have been married to my dear lovely wife for 16 wonderful years, and yet I still do not understand how she sorts laundry. I always sorted laundry into whites, light colors, and dark colors. She sorts laundry into about 15 different piles, according to criteria that are unfathomable to me. Every one of these piles has subtle yet vitally important variations on exactly how they should be washed, dried, and folded. The upshot is this: I am responsible for my own underwear, socks, T-shirts, yard/housework clothes, and towels. The rest of the laundry is her problem.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at October 15, 2009 03:38 PM

"WDMB want me to pee on him?"

The pilot light went out in the water heater, maybe?

Posted by: BillT at October 15, 2009 03:48 PM

After over three decades of marriage, all I can add to Cousin Dave's list is to stand and toast Cousin Dave with my regularly scheduled 30 mL shot of Nyquil.

Salute!

Posted by: Average Neanderthal at October 15, 2009 04:17 PM

I'm not sure whether 'lie to me' and 'lie' are the same thing.

They aren't at all the same thing in normal usage.

As search terms... I'm not sure. Seems laziness could confound things.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 15, 2009 04:37 PM

"WDMB want me to pee on him?"

Ooh, I can answer that one seriously too!

1. It's a fetish... but one that's not quite as bad as others. It's a bodily fluid from a loved one (and it could be worse, look up bukkake). And some women like the smell of sweaty men, so...

2. It's sterile, it's warm, and the cleaning-up together can be fun. Assuming you were doing it in the bathroom.

3. Lack of experimentation during youth. You know how kids like to play with mud, and their own excreta? Yeah, some people never grow out of it.

4. It's relatively harmless. Plus, you gotta figure some men are endlessly fascinated by the nature of women's plumbing fixtures.

But, uh, I won't ever be asking that question. Some things are just out of bounds.

Posted by: Gregory at October 15, 2009 08:42 PM

Dave:

As usual, great comment.

Women are huge multitaskers. My husband had to tell me the 'don't talk to me when I'm in the middle of something if you want my full attention" thing.

I genuinely didn't understand b/c I can do 3 or 4 things at once. But when I'm tired or stressed my ability to do that is degraded, so I can also understand needing to do one thing at a time. So once he told me, I began trying to do things differently.

With us, it's not so much me asking him to do things b/c I rarely do that. It's more me wanting to have a conversation or ask him his opinion on something. I don't mind being asked a question when I'm watching TV b/c I hate TV and only pay attention 1/2 way.

It does surprise me, a bit, to hear you and Yu-Ain say you perceive being given a reason as 'talking down' to you. That is just so foreign to me.

To me, that's a sign of respect: IOW, "I don't expect you to say 'how high' just because I say "jump". I'm not the boss of you, so if I want you to do something I need to give you a good reason."

I dunno... I am not arguing that this is how it's perceived. I just don't understand WHY that's how it's perceived.

At any rate, if I want the trash out I just take it myself. But my husband, if he's in the room, will almost invariably stop me and offer to do it. I don't expect him to - he just does it anyway.

And I never have to remind or nag him. So I guess we are weird that way. Or else I am just extremely lucky.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 10:32 PM

Cass talks about getting the impression from the Internet that most men don't care much for women. If you were to spend a lot of time on Feministing, though, you would get the impression that most women don't care for men.

That is true. But is it reasonable to expect courtesy or rationality from a site like Feministing? It's a site created for women to marinate in resentment and nurse grievances. It attracts that kind of person but sites like that are hardly a big draw for most people because they have lives.

Neither do I expect people to be reasonable or nice on overtly male sites, like ones that do nothing but post p0rn. It's not reasonable to expect to find guys who respect women (much less care what they think) on a site like that.

I might not care for the way they talk about women, but I'd have to hear them first. Since I don't frequent that kind of site it's easy to avoid.

What bothers me is encountering that kind of stuff on general purpose political sites with large, mixed sex audiences. When people (especially conservatives who pride themselves on their supposed moral superiority to liberals) say irrational and offensive things like 'all women are selfish/evil/stupid [fill in the blank]' in public, as it were, that seems different to me.

I will admit to thinking people like that are still living in their mothers' basements, but there seems to be a disturbingly large number of these fellows about :p

Posted by: Cassandra at October 15, 2009 10:53 PM

I will admit to thinking people like that are still living in their mothers' basements, but there seems to be a disturbingly large number of these fellows about :p

Actually Ms. Cass, that's not mutually exclusive. If they're still living in their mothers' basements, then what else have they to do in the evenings except troll the internet.

It does surprise me, a bit, to hear you and Yu-Ain say you perceive being given a reason as 'talking down' to you. That is just so foreign to me.

It is foriegn. We were raised differently than girls were, we don't even share the same hormones (in the same ratios at least) nor the same chromosomes. Our brain chemistry is different. It will seem foriegn because it is. It's neither bad nor good, it just is.

At any rate, if I want the trash out I just take it myself. But my husband, if he's in the room, will almost invariably stop me and offer to do it. I don't expect him to - he just does it anyway.

That's the sign of a good man. It's also an advantage you ladies have over we neanderthals. As an experiment, pretend you are having difficulty lifting something heavy when there is a man nearby. If he instantly volunteers to carry it for you, he is a gentleman. If he does not immediately come to lift it for you, you can up the ante by saying "Excuse me, but this is too heavy for me, and you're so strong, would you mind moving this over there for me?" Batting of eyelashes is unnecessary. If he refuses, he's a less polite term for a burro. If he moves it, he's an average man.

We're easily manipulated like that.

Posted by: MikeD at October 16, 2009 10:45 AM

It does surprise me, a bit, to hear you and Yu-Ain say you perceive being given a reason as 'talking down' to you. That is just so foreign to me.

I don't remember saying this. Certainly not on this thread.

If I did somewhere else, I think it's an inexact characterisation.

I don't mind being given the reason (though I don't particularly need it, not because you're "my boss" but because I *trust* that you have a good reason for it, and that's good enough for me unless I see a particular reason against it). I don't even mind being given the second and sometimes even third reason.

I do mind the 16th reason. At this point it seems like you don't trust me that I am fully aware of the thing's importance.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 16, 2009 11:09 AM

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