Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Femme mentale

Like most women I am unpredictable. There are moments I feel the jagged edge of the glass ceiling, and others where I embrace a mini and stilettos. Sometimes I convince myself that men are the chosen people, until I remember that they have to shave daily. So, it was this week that I opened the Guardian with unfettered excitement over a feature article entitled "Do women really talk more?" There is something about scientific studies into gender differences that I find irresistible.

That is, unless they turn out to be predictable, sexist claptrap. Which was sadly the upshot of the Guardian's challenge of the media hyped myth from the U.S. bestseller, The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine. Namely that women talk more - 20,000 words a day compared with 7,000 for the average man - and they talk twice as fast. And no drumroll needed: the claim remains unsubstantiated (which is spin for untrue).

Which we could have guessed all along. A bit of Googling easily turns up at least nine different versions of this claim, ranging from 50,000 vs. 25,000 down to 5,000 vs. 2,500. A few minutes of "deeper" research reveals that none of the authors of these claims actually seems to have counted, and none cites anyone who seems to have counted either. Because when it comes to the sexes you only need to compare George Michael with George Bush, Kate Moss with Kate Middleton, or your partner with your ex to provide a useful reminder that both sexes are complex and, indeed, that similarities (as well as differences) abound.

So next time if all they can offer up is 1950s sexist propaganda, let's ask they at least make sure it's the real deal:

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:15 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

P = Prehistoric
M = Monster
S = Syndrome

LOL - the best ever :-)

6:39 pm  
Anonymous Bill said...

This is hilarious
Long live YouTube and of course City Slicker

6:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was an actual government video?!

6:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling all men -- pass this around it could save your life!

6:49 pm  
Anonymous Deborah said...

That was great! I would love my husband to treat me like that when my Prehistoric Monster Syndrome comes around. LoL =) I should get a mask and pretend to turn into a monster.

6:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't need a mask!

6:50 pm  
Anonymous Paula said...

This illustrates the benefits of menopause. Middle age smooooothes it all out. But the universal query, "Does this dress make my butt look big?", can occur at any epoch in a marriage. Caution.

6:51 pm  
Anonymous henry said...

Double jeopardy in lesbian couples than eh?

6:52 pm  
Anonymous honkman said...

I have not laughed so hard in ages. The calendar idea is ace unless she finds it.

And I always thought PMT was

P= Predictable
M = Motherfucking
T = Tantrums

6:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course its complete nonsense. Genuine research would reveal that women speak far more than that.

7:00 pm  
Anonymous max said...

And in the same vein ...

7:00 pm  
Anonymous Keith said...

P = punchbag
M = me
S= senseless

A lesson to all men out there. the monster costumes come out after the first six months but never get put away.

This is no halloween party

7:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is nobody else going to stand up for us ladies and fight back against this misogynistic words.
CS - I am not sure the feminists would be happy with the tone of your blog.

I for one am offended!!!

7:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh do shut up woman!

7:18 pm  
Anonymous Beth said...

The monster bit at the end is fab. Who comes up with this stuff?

7:27 pm  
Anonymous Gwyn said...

Sometimes, I feel like the Incredible Hulk when I have PMS.

Can't wait for menopause to kick in :-(

7:52 pm  
Anonymous nathan said...

Bring on the war of the sexes CS

12:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that they couldn't prove that women speak more than men? They must not have sampled my girlfriend - or my mum for all counts.

12:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awesome video

12:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool blog

Like your topics chosen

Signing up now -

11:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P = post
M = mental
S = sanity

11:38 am  
Blogger Shep said...

God I'm dying to respond to this post. Such an easy target...

1:41 pm  
Blogger hungech said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:49 am  

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