Sunday, March 04, 2007


Pretty Lady wishes to raise an Issue for Contemplation. She has no agenda; she would genuinely like to know your thoughts.

Her dear and lovely friend Badger has posted this list, on Women and Conversation.

Part of what many women experience online in highly male-dominated environments is:

- the discounting of the substance of what they're saying
- the demand that women be always calm and care-taking, while guys have permission to get angry
- the demand that women never be wrong, while guys can be wrong and correct themselves, be corrected, or change their minds
- never-ending commentary about looks, sexual banter and references to sexual tension, sexual commoditization, remarks on one's girl-ness
- the assumption that what guys consider is important is The Important Thing and what women consider important is trivial and can be dismissed
- always having your credentials and knowledge and background questioned; having to prove yourself over and over; basic competence, much less expertise, constantly doubted; condescension
- the struggle women have against internalizing all of the above.
Pretty Lady says, hmmm.

1) She has rarely had difficulty with the substance of her words being discounted, except when the individual being addressed was so subsumed in a Hormonal Fog that he was incapable of taking any information in; this, she considers, is merely an unfortunate biological accident. She does not believe in penalizing men for their biological instability and innate irrationality, in general. She thinks it's rather cute.

2) To her knowledge, Pretty Lady has never had anyone demand that she be calm and care-taking; neither has she ever bestowed or received permission for Having A Feeling. It just sort of seems to happen. Some of the more fatuous and self-satisfied of her male acquaintances have had the tendency to confess to Having Feelings, as though to an quixotic sort of weakness, but again, she regards this as a risible frailty on their part, having very little to do with her.

3) If someone demands that Pretty Lady never be wrong, this person obviously requires a robot for a consort, and not Pretty Lady. Pretty Lady believes that it is incumbent upon all gracious persons, when proven wrong, to Concede and Reconsider. If a person does not do so, this is called Intellectually Dishonest Narcissism, and Pretty Lady strikes these people from her address book.

4) Men cannot help being shallow. Poor fellows.

5) Men cannot help being Trivial and Boring, what with their constant detours into completely unimportant things like sports statistics.

6) Very tedious, indeed. This is why it is so lovely and relaxing to maintain long-term connections; it is such a delight to reminisce about those days of dumpster-diving for furniture.

7) Or indeed, with expecting oneself to maintain a certain standard of competence and intellectual honesty, while at the same time forgiving oneself for the occasional Egregious Lapse.

These are merely Idle Speculations, of a Sunday morning before brunch, of course. Pretty Lady is largely interested in knowing what her readers think. Hrm?


Anonymous said...

4) Men cannot help being shallow. Poor fellows.

Really? Are you sure men are so shallow? Well, I think I will disagree with this one (only because I am so shallow to address more then one at a time... heh).

I find the women at pandagon to be far more shallow then men on VD's sight. I mean people on pandagon are merely applause boards for the poster. If you disagree with something you are automatically labeled a troll. And they are alway s so upset they could puke!

Am I shallow, perhaps I am. But in my real world I don't think I am.

Chris Rywalt said...

In my circles, both in real life and online (although not as much recently), women are worshipped. I've had more than one woman tell me how, at normal human parties, they were ignored or simply tolerated; while at parties thrown by my friends, they were treated like visiting supermodels.

Women who are having difficulties in male-dominated environments either need to find a new male-dominated environment or grow some goddamn balls and stop playing the victim.

Pretty Lady takes this to something of an extreme, by not only growing her own balls but removing those of any males who get uppity. For which she should be praised.

Pretty Lady said...

Starbuck, dear, Pretty Lady cannot seem to post on Pandagon at all; for some strange reason, her comments do not make it past the censors, although you know how generally polite she is. So perhaps there is some sort of shallowness-filtration engine at work.

Are you sure men are so shallow?

Well, would you be proposing to Pretty Lady if she weren't so Pretty?

Pretty Lady takes this to something of an extreme, by not only growing her own balls but removing those of any males who get uppity.

Perish the thought! Balls are for boys. Pretty Lady likes her boys with balls, and herself with a certain Quiet Certainty and Self-Confidence which may be associated, in shallow person's minds, with balls, but which actual physical manifestation is purely optional.

Shall we compromise, and say that Pretty Lady is a gutsy kinda gal?

Anonymous said...

I think that the author of the original piece has finally experienced what it is like to be a man, in the sense of competing with other men. Men do not care what other men think, they believe that they are correct in their evaluations and summations. They respect competence, aggessiveness and intelligence when it is demonstrated. Showing weakness or hesitation in your ideas draws aggression, and other males will not hesitate to exploit that.

A competent woman can hold her own by not making emotional-based decisions, and by believing in her ideas 100%, and most importantly, have logical rationale for what you are asserting. The women who do this tend to succeed in male-dominated environments.

As for men being shallow, and preoccupied with trivial things, let me remind you of the entire industries devoted to things like pulp romance novels, kitschy home furnishings, the makeup industry, the Martha Stewart Collection, and the entire fashion industry to name just a few.

Just because you read Kierkegaard does not mean that the legions of Carries out there are capable of understanding anything more taxing than the average Cosmo sex advice article. I defy anyone to debate the wisdom of purchasing $500 worth of tools vs. a $500 set of high-heels. The tools can be used to build everything from a home to furniture and repairing them both, while the shoes - at best - bring out the shape of your calves. So who's more preoccupied with trivial and boring things? The man who shits, showers and shaves in 10 minutes or the woman spending an hour and a half putting on her face?

We know you maintain a certain degree of competence and intellectual honesty, although to tar men with this broad brush certainly seems to have qualified for one of your aforementioned Egregious Lapses.

Pretty Lady said...

Crom, sweetie, darling, love of my life, Pretty Lady has one word to say to you, and that is---


For Crom, sweetheart, your six kilobytes of refutation of Pretty Lady's cavalier, sweeping, tongue-in-cheek statement above comes across as a wee bit defensive. Perhaps even a tad emotionally so.

Because any detached, disinterested person might have sensed immediately that in making such a broadly dismissive comment regarding an entire gender, Pretty Lady was guilty of the same shallowness and superficiality that she was projecting onto others. Such a detached, disinterested person would not have hesitated in dismissing both Pretty Lady and her comment out of hand, without even bothering to argue.

It is then the fact of connection--the fact that you, my dear Crom, are a friend of Pretty Lady's, that you value her intelligence and her good opinion, that caused you to react thus irrationally and emotionally.

I would like you to consider this line of analysis, the next time you perceive a woman making what you would consider an irrational, emotionally-based argument. Perhaps she is responding to a very real threat to her system of affectional connections. Perhaps her emotional response is merely proof that she cares.

And just so we are clear, Pretty Lady possesses at least $500 worth of tools, alongside her closetful of fetching boots, which are as pragmatic as they are charming.

Pretty Lady said...

P.S. The only women who spend an hour and a half putting on their faces in the morning are denizens of the benighted backwater where you allegedly live; for some reason the cosmetic paradigm in South Texas has not advanced past that of pre-revolutionary France. Ladies everywhere else simply wash, brush, toss on a bit of eyeliner and lipstick and rush out the door.

Chris Rywalt said...

PL sez:
...but which actual physical manifestation is purely optional.

It's not like I think you've actually got testes hanging out your vagina, darling. Not like that Hustler cartoon of the Eastern European female weightlifter I saw back in junior high, which left a very strong impression on me, as you might imagine.

Anonymous said...

I admit it gracefully, I was taken in by your ruse.

However, my argument was not irrational, nor was my reason for making it. You are correct that I had an emotional reaction - one of dismay - that it had appeared you had jumped on the bandwagon of blaming the chaps and I reacted correctly, as friends are supposed to try and recalibrate you when you go awry. It appeared that this was the case and since I do care, I made an emotionally inspired argument against emotional arguments. Not exactly my most brilliant moment, but my heart was in the right place.

And surely you agree that despite the prevalence of blue eye shadow to be found here in the Lone Star State - Texas produces some the most beautiful women to be found anywhere in the world. ;-D

Pretty Lady said...

Graceful, indeed. Pretty Lady loves a quick study.

Blaming the chaps, though? Not at all. Pretty Lady was merely attempting to be illustrative, on behalf of the ladies out there who are sadly tempted to blame the chaps, when it ought to be clear to them that their personal, pro-active power is just lying there on the ground, waiting for them to pick it up and use it.

Because one's reaction to any given situation depends largely upon the context in which you choose to frame it, in your own mind. Some women choose to feel threatened, agitated, angry and assaulted when vulgarly petitioned by a crowd of construction workers; Pretty Lady merely nods graciously to her fans. If the gentlemen online are not interested in her concerns, she reflects for a moment that she is not particularly enthralled by guns and football, herself, and leaves them to it.

No blame-hurling is then necessary, at all, at all. Human interactions then become a universal appreciation of one another's cuteness.

Anonymous said...

Well, would you be proposing to Pretty Lady if she weren't so Pretty?

ummm.. yes, evidently. I really don't know what you look like. You are kind of elusive.

And just so we are clear, Pretty Lady possesses at least $500 worth of tools, alongside her closetful of fetching boots, which are as pragmatic as they are charming.

I got you beat.. I have about $80,000 worth of tools. I LIKE tools, and I LOVE to fix things.. And I am good at it too. Got something you need fixing that isn't an emotion? I can fix it.

Pretty Lady said...

I have about $80,000 worth of tools.

Okay, it is official. Fate cannot be evaded. Pretty Lady attracts men who are Just Like Her Brother--it appears to be a Law of Nature.


Starbuck, Pretty Lady now has an entirely new set of reasons for declining your most flattering proposals: 1) it would be incestuous and 2) you are too similar to her most recent ex-boyfriend, and the associations would be far too painful.

If you out-fix the ex in an even match, then we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

(sigh) I don't like violence. I can't fix your ex-boyfriend, I can only break those things.

I'll just slink off, rejected and broken hearted again.



(close door)

Anonymous said...

LOL Starbuck, that is an effective technique... Guilt-trip the girl into falling for you.

Let me give you some pointers. This technique does work -- with Goth chicks, provided you are a morose skinny boy with razor sharp cheekbones and a dog-eared copy of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar on the back of your toilet. Extra credit for any XTC cassette tapes scattered about your flat or a rosary hung around a framed picture of Charles or Marilyn Manson.

Our gracious hostess paints far too many pictures of light for such a dour vibe. She owns green clothing and vampires mean nothing to her, which definitively makes her ineligible for Goth chick status. I would suggest a more positive and/or intellectual approach.

Anonymous said...

nonono... I am not guilting her, the close door, just merely means I am going to change something. Perhaps to help her be more at ease with me.

Naw, I knew should would never be interested in me. I only jest.

But I believe I took it too far.