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September 06, 2010


Too funny:

All I ask, as a woman, is for consistency. When we turn to the bonobos to be our guides, let's not be quite so selective about the take-home message. Let us try to examine every species more thoroughly.

For example: true, women have "pendulous breasts," but hey, men have pendulous ears, and what could those possibly be for? Any serious evolutionary scholar can plainly see that the human male is designed to be listening to women at all times. That's why their ears are larger.

Ryan claims that, since the male organ is "the longest [and] thickest," we cannot deny the evidence that "prehistoric promiscuity" is part of our primate inheritance. Yet this fascinating investigation is cut short. If we continue traveling further upwards, we discover that a man's arms are also generally longer and thicker than a woman's.

From a strictly scientific standpoint, here we see a strong indication that a man is evolutionarily adapted to give out more back rubs than he gets. Sure, today an individual man can refuse a request for a massage, but when the next wave of natural selection works its magic, he may find that his massage-phobic genes are out of the running.

Once at the Toronto Zoo, my family witnessed a male orangutan picking nits off his baby's hair, while the female lolled about peacefully, grooming herself under a tree. Can there be any clearer precedent, from an evolutionary perspective, for men to scrape the dinner plates while women get manicures?

Another time on YouTube, I saw a female gorilla munching on stinging nettles, even though they seemed to bother her. It was a humbling, yet powerful directive for me to go shopping even though I couldn't really afford a new outfit.

Ladies, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It is time to stop arguing with evolutionary theorists when they use bonobo behavior to justify their own low standards.

Why should men have a monopoly on the totally arbitrary selection of chimp behavior that renders their own predilections normative under the guise of scientific observation? I am picking up my pad of paper, I am ready to take notes and I am headed for the zoo.

Do the gorillas speak to you, too? If they don't, simply write to let me know what behavior of yours you'd like to rationalize, and I am confident that working together as a scientific team, we can find a gorilla somewhere out there doing that very thing with a vengeance.

Posted by Cassandra at September 6, 2010 10:38 AM

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Well, we can broaden our selection of primate precedents to the gorilla. It's widely thought that the alpha male gorilla runs the organization. What's less widely bruited about is that the alpha female is no shrinking violet. It's true enough that in any stand-up one-on-one confrontation, the alpha male will defeat, easily, the alpha female, and she'll accede to his wishes. This time. It's a Pyrrhic victory, though. If the matter is important enough to her, she'll get her female buddies--all the beta females, even the wimpy little gammas--and go explain the situation to the alpha male, often with the gorilla equivalent of a Chicago baseball bat. The fact is, the alpha male rules the roost because the alpha female says he can.

So you see, it really is all _your_ fault. I'm going back to my sofa and putting my feet up on the table with my beer on my belly and watch The Battle. Or football. You're in charge.... [g]

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 6, 2010 12:16 PM

Eric...I couldn't stop laughing. Are you telling me that my husband is letting me rule because I say he can? Isn't that like a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman?

Posted by: Cricket at September 6, 2010 12:23 PM

Nope. I'm saying your husband is in charge because you allow it. No impersonation; you're the true power behind the throne.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 6, 2010 01:04 PM

All I ask, as a woman, is for consistency.

A woman did *not* write that sentence.

Posted by: BillT at September 6, 2010 01:22 PM

Well, I think that is true to a certain extent, but I never thought of it in terms of 'power.' More like 'influence.'

And then, it became a team effort as the children came along. When we first married, we both had a lot of rough edges. Even though I grew up in an environment where manners and behavior were shaped by example and admonition,
my husband grew up where it was mostly admonition.

He got really annoyed at me one time for verbalizing something. It took me a couple of months to figure his aversion to me saying anything out loud was not because he didn't love me, but it was important that I did not come off as lecturing. And it wasn't even emotional.

Sooooo.....I had to change that part of myself.
I would suggest things. If what I suggested gave him something to think about, he would come back and ask for more of my thoughts regarding the subject.

He is so cute though...he is finishing off the deck and has dragged me away from my beloved college studying *koff koff* to see his handiwork and to ooh and aahh over his ability to provide.

Posted by: Cricket at September 6, 2010 01:46 PM

"A woman did *not* write that sentence.

You are correct, sir! She typed it.

Posted by: DL Sly at September 6, 2010 01:49 PM

Cricket, well, if we're going to take the matter seriously, you're right; although I might quibble of the lack of distinction between power and influence in this context.

When my wife and I met we were both officers, and we were both used to being in charge, and we both _liked_ being in charge. I had a socialization advantage there due to the distinct way in which society gender-based socializes the children, even in the egalitarian US, but we had to learn to get along with each other as well as loving each other (which seemed to occur right from the jump, given the length of our courtship).

We both had to adjust, and to recognize that (our biggest challenge) one of us taking over wasn't a denigration of the other's ability. And both of our egos had to learn that the other really was better at some things, so the one needed to step back and accept OCR status, vice OPR. We're a hunting pair, but who's in charge depends on the situation. The hard lesson to learn.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 6, 2010 02:38 PM

You are correct, sir! She typed it.

And a sterling job of it, too! It's so refreshing to see that the art of taking dictation and transcribing it has not been completely lost...

...I'm really dead now, huh?

Posted by: BillT at September 6, 2010 03:27 PM

Well, I see influence as the wise use of one's power. Ferexample, the Chylde Labour Units are getting to the age of needing more than 'Because I am the parent.' If they *see* me doing the dishes, they will expect me to continue to do them, out of aggravation because I hate a dirty kitchen, not because I love doing dishes.

Therefore, it behooved me to create 'quality time' with the intended victim...uh...child by doing dishes with them and making it fun.

So far, it has worked pretty well, and we have been aided by a dishwasher upgrade from the voice activated digital one ("It's your turn to do the dishes ___________") to a Maytag.

Life is good.

Posted by: Cricket at September 6, 2010 04:29 PM

Well, we had a rule: "I cooked; you got the dishes." And my brother and I took turns between washing and drying. Until we convinced Mom that a damp-ish towel was less hygienic than letting the dishes air dry in the rack. So then she always cooked, and we washed half the time.

We never did get an automatic dishwasher, though--Dad's view was that he already had two boy-powered; he didn't need to spring bucks for a machine.

I look at influence and power by their outcomes. Both achieve the same thing in a (non-dysfunctional) family, and so they're essentially interchangeable. In a dysfunctional family, though, influence is virtually non-existent; only power exists.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 6, 2010 06:10 PM

I think the mother on My Big Fat Greek Wedding said it best:

"The man- he is the head of the family. But the woman? She is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants."

I love that movie.

Posted by: airforcewife at September 6, 2010 06:40 PM

I love that movie, too, AFwife...

My brother and I had to do the dishes once we were old enough. We lived in gov't quarters, except for the time we were in San Antonio, and I wasn't old enough then to have that particular chore. Got lucky, though, in Augsburg. During the time we were there from '78-'82, they installed dishwashers in the quarters, and of course, those were still there when we returned in '86. My brother and I got that chore again, though while at Bliss in between....

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at September 6, 2010 07:24 PM

"All I ask, as a woman, is for consistency."

As a man... Naked and a sandwich has always worked for me.

Posted by: Russ at September 6, 2010 11:57 PM

Huh. That works for my wife, too...

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 01:00 AM

...she says the good thing about me being gone all the time is that she loses weight.

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 01:20 AM

Maybe I would have been clearer if I had said,
Naked and a sandwich was always enough for me.

Then again, I could keep trying and make it even more murky.

Posted by: Russ at September 7, 2010 02:12 AM

since the male organ is "the longest [and] thickest," we cannot deny the evidence that "prehistoric promiscuity" is part of our primate inheritance.

Why couldn't it have simply been listening for predators out in the boondocks where the light doesn't shine, except from the moon and stars.

Getting eaten, I think, was an earlier and higher priority item than infidelity.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 7, 2010 10:36 AM

Nekkid sandwiches?


The nice thing about the dishwasher is hiding of the dishes. It's a FlyLady thing; if you have a clean sink, you can go to bed with a clear conscience.

With regrad to the semi-damp dishtowel, you had something there. A friend of ours is a retired pharmacist. He told us that if we could rinse the dishes in scalding hot water, they would dry in seconds, and be cleaner than a towel. He was trained at a time when being a pharmacist meant he could just about give you the same advice a doctor would.

My mom would then boil the water for the silverware and the dishes, then let it cool a bit for the glassware.

It did cut the labor in half.

Posted by: Cricket at September 7, 2010 10:40 AM

The nice thing about the dishwasher is hiding of the dishes. I keep trying that. My wife asks me to take the dishes out of the dishwasher and put them in the cabinet. I respond that they are in their cabinet. She is not amused.

With regrad to the semi-damp dishtowel,...a retired pharmacist...told us that if we could rinse the dishes in scalding hot water, they would dry in seconds, and be cleaner than a towel. Now that's disappointing. Here, I thought my brother and I were running a scam on our gullible mother. Now you're saying us poor dumb child-males were being played by a female.

See? You are in charge. It is all your fault.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 7, 2010 10:52 AM

...a retired pharmacist...told us that if we could rinse the dishes in scalding hot water, they would dry in seconds...

And he was able to retire because he invested heavily in burn salves...

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 12:31 PM

Nope. Just poured the water over the clean dishes in the drained. Mom had it angled so the water ran into the sink to be used as rinse water for the silverware. That was during the drought CA was in.

Posted by: Cricket at September 8, 2010 05:26 PM

Yeah, but Cassandra, once when my girlfriend and I spent an afternoon at a zoo, a monkey scooped up a handful of its own poop, and it threw its poop at my girlfriend, and since then, my girlfriend has noticed that, frequently when we're together, other girls become bitchy and catty with her for no apparent reason, similar to that monkey's display of hostility towards her. Is there something Darwinian there that you're overlooking?

Posted by: SPQR at September 12, 2010 10:41 AM

Very likely :)

Or it could just be that you are one hot tomato. So to speak...

*running away*

Posted by: Cassandra at September 12, 2010 10:58 AM