Monday, March 29, 2010

Piece of Advice #12: Drop the learned helplessness

You know what I mean, the "OMG, there's a spider climbing up the wall!  Whatever am I going to do?  Is there a man who can come and take care of this for me?"

Do you realize how ridiculous this is in a society that has claimed women are equal to men for over 40 years?  Women can do everything, right?  That's what we grew up learning.  They can go to the moon and blast through the "glass ceiling" and become rulers of countries.  Yet so many of them fall into "Save me!" mode when insects or mice enter the situation or they experience a flat tire, or the toilet overflows.

It's a strange juxtaposition that in the modern (feminist) woman's mind:

High status, high money job = women can do it, should do it, and are, in fact, obliged to do everything they can to elbow men out of these areas.

Low status, dirty, scary job = where is a good man when you need him?

Look, it's not that hard to change a light fixture, add coolant to your engine, snake your pipes, or plunge your toilet.  Spiders have about 1/1000th of the mass of child.  They aren't going to eat you.  It's simple enough to diagnose and replace a broken fuse in your car if something stops running right.  All this "guy stuff" is stuff guys did when women did "girl stuff."  But women don't want to do traditional girl stuff anymore because there's no status in it.

Here's the deal then: if you're not willing to trade guy service for girl service with men, you have to learn to either come up with something new, pay to have it done, do it yourself, or shut up about it.  You can't have it both ways.  Either you are as competent as men or you aren't.

If you are, man up already, and do what has to be done. Because it's looking a lot more like men aren't going to be up for continuing the double standard charade much longer.


  1. Much longer???

    Judging by the shrill pitch level these caterwauling strong/independent types are making over men ignoring their pleads for rescue from their "fulfilling" careers in exchange for a life of unbridled irresponsibility at rescuers expense, we are well past the much longer phase.

    Most chicks have reached the end of the road and are staring down into the abyss of spinsterhood with nothing but their cats and worthless graduate degrees as companions.

    So you want to know how much longer it is really going to be?

    All that way you came baby and every bridge you burned along the way has to be rebuilt by you.

    You know that hammer you used with childish glee to smash the patriarchy? You can start rebuilding with that.

    If you start now and hammer harder to get back in than you did to get out you might make it in another 40 years.

  2. Wow!

    I did not know that women like you still existed.

    And of course I mean this in a good way.


  3. hmm..gotta confess to being a *serious* arachnaphobe (as in, during my one year as a single mother, I got my *child* to deal with them for me), but I don't think it's a "girl" thing. They just seriously freak me out. OTOH, my oldest daughter *love* spiders, and is seriously looking forward to finding a bug zoo that will let her handle the tarantulas. (Since I'm a homeschooling mom, this is very, very challenging for me!)

    The other stuff? Heck, yeah.

  4. What some women don't realize (especially Hanna Rosin in her article "The End of Men") is that men design and build everything on planet earth. Men build, fix, and maintain all of the buildings, infrastructure, and machinery that humanity uses to run civilization. Cops, firefighters, soldiers, and security guards are almost all men.

    Most technology of all kinds is designed, implemented, and built by men. At my last job, the software that we created was primarily developed by men. We did have women who worked there and were mostly nice people. But we did have several women (non-developers) who strutted around like they owned the place and I couldn't even figure out exactly what they did all day.

  5. What a great post! I used to really over react to spiders, insects, etc. My husband LOVES bugs and informed me early in our marriage that he would really appreciate it if I didn't prejudice our future children against them with my anxiety. I honored his request and worked very hard to get over it with a great deal of success. I find them annoying but I don't scream over them anymore. I try not to even FEEL anxious over them lest the kids pick up on it) 12 years later I experienced my first mouse. I was flabbergasted at my childish response (screaming for 5 seconds straight like I was gonna die). I then DECIDED to get over it somehow and thought it through. I finally figured out that what scared me was the startle factor. The next morning I opened the same kitchen drawer but held an image of a mouse being there in my mind so it wouldn't surprise me. Lo and behold it was there! I did not feel an urge to scream. I did freeze, however. And so did the baby mouse. We stared at each other and then when my son walked into the room I told him to grab Mr. Mouse by the tail and feed him to one of the cats outside, which he did (I admit, I wimped out since I had help show up, but I didn't scream!). My point is that it is quite possible to overcome an over reaction. They are childish and uncalled for and should not happen more than the few times it takes to figure out how to "get over it."