Laura Bennett was one of my favorite designers on Project Runway, but I’m groaning over this recent blog entry in the Daily Beast (submitted by friend and reader funnyface).
Bennett, like many women, knows something is wrong but doesn’t have a working understanding of gender theory. There is nothing wrong with that. But she expresses her frustration with inequality by taking jabs at men and uplifting women in a fashion that’s merely a cheap imitation of real empowerment (PhDork bemoans this tendency here).
How did [men] surpass women in status, power, and wealth? I don’t hate men, I live with far too many of them to survive day-to-day harboring such feelings. I just know that women are the more capable sex. As early as the age of two, girls leave boys standing bewildered in their dust as they speed along the social, emotional, and intellectual racecourse of life.
Men surpassed women by oppressing us in a system called patriarchy. As children, even as fetuses, girls tend to outpace boys developmentally. Beyond that, I’m loath to attribute social, emotional, and intellectual differences to biology; most of these gaps are due to socialization.
Bennett relays a few anecdotes featuring her husband and children that typify her claim. Her daughter has always been self-sufficient and independent whilst her sons want their hands held through the simplest of tasks. Then she said something that made my skin crawl:
The multitask gene is obviously linked to the X chromosome, because I know of no men who carry the trait.
Just because you know of no men who carry the trait doesn’t mean their alleged inability to multitask is inborn. By Bennett’s own admission, men “rule the world.” They could not have managed to operate Fortune 500 companies, run medical practices, or govern the majority of countries on the planet if they were unable to juggle multiple tasks at once. I mean, what does it say about women if these buffoons have kept us under their idiotic thumbs all these years, amirite Laura?!
They appear inept at domestic multitasking because they don’t want to do that shit! And they know they don’t have to because eventually the women in their lives will. Also: It’s possible your husband misplaces his glasses so often because he’s getting old.
At the end of her essay, Bennett sort of laughs and shrugs and mourns for us girls, who managed to fuck up our chances at world domination even with the wind at our backs. I understand that her article is meant to be cute and amusing, but it just serves to advance myths and stereotypes about gender that do both sexes a disservice.