The Truth About Girls
By Tatiana Prophet
PART 1 - EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT GIRLS, I LEARNED FROM THE INTERNET
My name is Thatcher Stevens, but people call me Thatch. That is, my parents do. Everyone else calls me - well, there isn’t anyone else right now, except for my kid brother Blair, because I’ve been home-schooled all my life. Tomorrow is a big day for me. Tomorrow I leave for college.
Oh, I bet you think I’ve led a really sheltered life. But nothing could be further from the truth, because I have virtually unlimited access to the Internet. All my life, my parents have let me surf the Web as long as my homework is done. I can look at anything I want - except for what Net Nanny won’t let me into. But everyone knows that Net Nanny is there just so I won’t read any trade secrets or anything.
Yeah, the Internet has really helped prepare me for the real world. For instance, I was really afraid of meeting girls at college because I’ve never talked to any girl except my mom. My dad used to take me to the library, and I would look at the girls there. I couldn’t stop looking at them. I thought I would enjoy talking to them, but thanks to the Internet, I know the real story.
It turns out that girls are really the stupidest people in the world. Girls don’t even know how to use a road map - imagine that. In fact, girls can’t drive a car at all. Something about the double-X chromosome makes it really difficult for them to use their hands and feet to operate a car. Any day now, they’re going to make it illegal for girls to drive. The only thing I don’t understand is, why do car insurance companies charge girls less? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
Not only are they stupid, but girls can’t do things for themselves, like pump their own gas or balance their checkbook. My mom can do those things, but she’s the only girl who can.
Girls aren’t very fun to talk to either. Even if they weren’t so stupid, it wouldn’t matter because girls are only interested in a few things: shopping, marriage, diamonds, and having better clothes than other girls. A conversation gets boring really quickly if confined to those few topics.
Imagine living with someone as shallow as a girl. A wife is just about the worst thing that can happen to a fellow. Imagine - some guys got married before the Internet! Now, marriage rates are really dropping off because people are finding out the truth about girls. Marriage is pure hell. A wife doesn’t do anything but complain, take large amounts of cash from you, and refuse to make love with her husband. I swear it’s true. Right after the honeymoon, it’s curtains for sex, if you know what I mean.
Even a sheep, a dog, a bicycle or a computer is better than a girl. This is because any of these things don’t do the horrible things that girls do: cry, complain, get jealous, get tired when used too much, or correct you on your grammar. I haven’t figured out yet how a girl could correct a guy on anything, but she probably just pretends like she knows what she’s talking about.
Now that I know the truth about girls, I don’t have to bother with them. I can just hang out with the other guys talking about important things like art, music, film, science, literature, and theories about the origin of the universe - which girls would know nothing about.
PART 2 - THE TRUTH ABOUT GIRLS
My name is Simone Webb, and I am a junior at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I just started my junior year here, and I’m getting a big kick out of watching the freshmen acclimate themselves to the place.
One guy in particular has caught my eye. His name is Thatcher Stevens. We’re both from Atlanta, but I doubt he remembers me. A couple of years ago, the summer after freshman year, I went through a stage where I had nothing better to do than hang out in the library downtown for hours at a time. We used to sit at tables across from each other. Once I walked by his table and he was reading “Metamorphosis,” by Franz Kafka - one of my favorite books. It made me think that he was perhaps deeper than many of the guys I had met. Some days we would look at each other for what seemed like an hour, but it was only five minutes. We never spoke.
When I saw Thatcher walk into the dorm, I knew immediately that it was the guy from the library. He was with a group of guys - freshmen. And he brushed past me. Ever since, I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but I think he has been consciously avoiding me - or any girl, for that matter. I don’t think he’s gay. I remember the way he looked at me in the library.
I’m not sure what happened to Thatcher. But either way, he is always in the back of my mind, intriguing me. I just hope he’s not one of these guys who thinks all women attend collge just to find a husband, and that they are just shallow, greedy, self-absorbed prudes who can’t drive.
Being back at college, I spend a lot of time e-mailing my friends. The only thing about e-mail, though, is that people keep sending out these joke e-mails. Some are really funny, but some are sort of annoying. Mostly I get mad when they talk about women. I don’t know what kind of women these people are used to hanging out with, but it’s not me or any of my friends. For instance, I happen to hate shopping. I always have. Looking at all those manufactured goods, which will be dated and rejected in two years, somehow depresses me.
And another thing: I can find my way almost anywhere - with or without a road map. I’ve been practicing for about the last four years. When I first started driving, I had a knack for turning the opposite direction I should be going. A good friend of mine, Verlene Gardner (yes, a woman) told me that she could always find her way back home from anywhere. I observed her for a few weeks, and realized it was true. She didn’t even pause to blink as she whipped her Volvo through the city streets.
Her confidence staggered me. So I began to make it a point to always be aware of my location in relation to where I had just been. It took a little practice, but gradually, as the years went by, I realized that I, too, had developed the skill and the confidence to find my way through any city. Now, I take pleasure in trailblazing a new pathway from A to B just for the hell of it.
Everyone wired to the Internet knows that e-mails about men and women are not meant to be taken seriously. So why do I get mad when I read the part about women who have no sense of direction? Maybe it just takes me right back to the time that a man and I were arguing about which direction to go. Everyone else in the car sided with the man, but I ended up being right. The stereotype about women drivers is not new. It’s been verbally thrown around ever since the model-T. And I can’t help but wonder whether that’s why many women resign themselves to letting their men drive because, well, they’re just not good with directions.
Some of these stereotypes are going to be true for some of us, some of the time. For instance, I happen to enjoy spending as much time as possible in a steamy bathroom after my shower (this is one of the stereotypes you’ll find on several sites). Most men I know do not. Also, many men tend to forget important dates. But I’m sure there are thousands of women who do not enjoy a home-made steam bath, and just as many men who are more aware of important dates than they women they live with.
So far, I’ve mentioned stereotypes that are just annoying. But one that really irks me is the part about women and sex. Every man who writes these lists on women must be living with the most up-tight, petrified, prudish women who are really nuns masquerading as their wives.
Reading about how women shut their legs right after the honeymoon, or that the part of a woman’s brain dealing with sex is smaller than a pea, makes me ask myself whether the sexual revolution ever happened. How are we still at the point where a woman who does not enjoy sex is a wife, and a woman who enjoys sex is a “whore” or a mistress? It is this stereotype that is most damaging to the collective psyche, especially in the United States. I would venture to guess that the idea that a wife does not like sex too much is responsible for the failure of many marriages and relationships.
How? Unfortunately, this stereotype has some basis in fact, especially with millions of American women who are raised with a religious and morally conservative set of values. Our mothers raised us to be ashamed of our sexuality. We are unable to even begin to enjoy sex because sex is a bad thing. It is “nasty” and “dirty.” If you like pleasing a man sexually, you are all of a sudden the class “floozy” who gave every guy a blow job. So when do we get to learn how to enjoy sex? If we’re lucky, or maybe just smart, we realize that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We start to explore our bodies and those of our partners. We start to realize that sex is one of the highest ways to truly experience someone who is treasured.
The gender-based joke e-mails are only joking about men, women and sex. But their stereotypical statements do have a basis in reality. And in reading them, we don’t even realize how we continue to perpetuate the idea that women do not and should not enjoy sex as much as men.
A few of these gender-based e-mails are actually funny. But if they are, it’s usually in spite of content. For example, check out Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife, which makes more fun of the Bible (one of my favorite targets!) than anything else. Another example of something that was laugh-out-loud-funny to me, despite its focus on women’s supposed lack of libido: “A successful date always starts with the woman uttering the sentence, "You know, why don't we just skip the expensive dinner and stay here having freaky circus sex all night?” The implication? Expensive dinner, bad. Freaky circus sex, good. Women usually want the dinner; men usually want the sex. The reality? Men and women (who are reasonable people as opposed to the caricatures on the Internet) both tend to say: Expensive dinner, good. Freaky circus sex, good - in time.
Then there are those e-mails that are obviously trying to be funny, with emphasis on the word trying. These are usually along the lines of a-sheep-is-better-than-a-woman genre. (Remember to insert bicycle, dog, or computer where sheep is.) A couple examples:
And for some reason, the most personally insulting items of all, perhaps because they are so far from my reality, are the following:
This is where I start to feel sorry for the poor saps writing these jokes. Some of the examples are so specific that the incident must have actually happened to them. The following is from “Things Every Woman Should Know.” “Trying to provoke a large, dangerous-looking felon from across the room is not funny.” This gentle soul needs to find a girl who will lay off the sauce once in a while.
There is one stereotype that I will agree is universally true for all of us members of the fairer sex. The joke e-mails always talk about how PMS is the lamest excuse a woman can give for her behavior. But PMS happens to be a real factor for us. For one week a month, we go through the shedding of our uterine wall. The process is painful, it bloats us, and it changes the balance of those emotional tweakers called hormones. This means that for one week beforehand, we can sometimes be emotional banshees. And as such, we would appreciate it if men would give us a little consideration. On behalf of all menstruating women of the world, I ask that during this time, men do whatever we tell them to do - or else. If they don’t, we just might make them go sleep with the sheep.