...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Friday, January 26, 2007

Another unfunny "Friday Funny" from the GirlTalk gang

Call me a humorless feminist if you must (and if you do, please do so tongue firmly in cheek) but where's the humor in making fun of men for being inconsiderate, selfish slobs? Isn't that the premise behind all of those crappy According to Jim-type shows? Haven't we reached a cultural consensus that According to Jim is not funny? Isn't that kind of "humor"--the kind that reduces men to inconsiderate Homer Simpsons and women naggy, wet-blankety, emasculating Marges--actually incredibly insulting to both men and women? I thought so. So why are conservative evangelicals/Reformed folks still laughing?

This week for their Friday Funny, the ladies of GirlTalk linked to a post on a blog called ManSpeak. (Interesting contrast between the names of the blogs, by the way: the women of GirlTalk infantilize themselves in their blog name, while the men of ManSpeak proclaim their manliness in their own title. The men are also allowed to have favorite books and favorite cuts of meat in their bios, while the GirlTalk ladies don't even allow themselves hobbies: "Interests? What interests? We're wives and mothers. We don't really have time for interests. But that’s OK.")

The post on ManSpeak, far from being "funny," was really depressing: it's an anecdote about one of the guys who basically invites himself over for a homecooked meal at a female friend's house ("So it more closely resembled me saying: “You’re cooking for me, it better be good.” As if it would be the most enjoyable thing for her to cook for me! I am so arrogant!) She, being humble and loving to serve, agreed.") then blows her off at the last minute. See, it's funny because we women are so neurotic that we plan everything and spend money on ingredients and arrange flowers and everything, whereas a man would have just microwaved something. "So, when I called to cancel dinner on my friend, she was about 95% of her way through the 40 hours of work that went into preparing the meal. But I didn’t give it a second thought!"

...Are you laughing yet?

I would not be surprised if the comment I left on ManSpeak were removed. So, here it is: I know a standard trope of conservative evangelical/refromed theology is stark gender essentialism, which usually translates into the old “women are emotional / men are inconsiderate” thing…but really, what you describe? You treated your friend like dirt because you thought you were entitled to a home-cooked meal then blew her off. Call me a humorless feminist, but this isn’t funny and I’m surprised it was linked as the “Friday Funny” on the GirlTalk blog. What’s the humor in this: “Oh, MEN! They’re so inconsiderate!” Feminists actually have a higher opinion and respect for men: we hold them accountable for their actions and assume men can show consideration towards others.

Between this one and the Men Are Just Happier People post, unfunny Friday Funnies from GirlTalk may just become a regular feature over here at Everybody's Got Something to Hide.