Of Logic and Lady Parts
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain
Yesterday, someone insulted my intelligence, questioning my ability (as a WOMAN) to be logical. And normally, I’d just let that go, because that opinion is loosely based, not in reality, but in bullshit.
Except, really. No. That’s not okay.
A friend of mine and I were having a twitter conversation about logic – technically, it was in regard to asshats on the internet and how they tend to FLAIL and sputter at things like REASON. In the midst of that conversation, another Tweeter (Twitterer?) joined in with the quip, “No offense, but…” followed by a graphic that depicted men’s logic as linear – and women’s as, well, a hodgepodge of intersecting, crazypants lines.
This does not fly. Certainly, almost always, when someone begins a sentence with, “No offense, BUT…” whatever follows is, indeed, a steaming pile of WTF, lightly coated in NO. This was not an exception by any means.
Logic is not gender-specific, folks. A man can have haphazard logic just as easily as a woman. Unless he is SPOCK, because he’s not so much a MAN as he is a Vulcan. But I digress.
The beautiful thing about people is that we are all people – inherently different, based on things like personality and interests. As a woman, I am not predisposed to erratic behavior or subpar reasoning skills. This is not some kind of genetic inalienable absolute. Sure, I can be irrational. I’ve shouted. I’ve had FEELINGS, and I’ve done The Wacky. But that isn’t because I have lady parts. It’s because I am a person. And people have moments.
But I also have to point something out. My ability to be logical is not mutually exclusive to my ability to have conflicting, or confusing, thoughts. Because, hey, life is nuts sometimes. And it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Occasionally, I wish it did, but I also think that might be a bit boring.
I’m very good at reasoning things out. I don’t approach a situation hysterically, even when I have The Feels, or passion about something – and I certainly don’t need someone to hold my hand to walk from Point A to Point B. I am not, in fact, an idiot.
See, accusing someone of being illogical based on her sex isn’t just a sign of bullshit. It is also a sign of an entire mentality wherein we craft false opinion based on stereotypes – thinking, somehow, that it’s okay to pull that kind of crappy move. It’s not. This isn’t a whoops moment. It’s not an accident. It is, in fact, a pervasive bit of misogyny. Perhaps in its most mild form, but it is still there. You cannot wash away the stink or sting with an, “Oops! Sorry. My bad. It was a dumb moment.”
That’s not a moment. It’s not a joke. It’s an insult. And I don’t care for those.
Here are some fun facts about me. I have an IQ of 143. I argued my way through graduate school. I don’t routinely use words like pastiche and la parole, but I can. Just because I don’t talk like that in my everyday life doesn’t mean I’m not capable of it. I just don’t want to be the toolbag at a dinner party who people need a dictionary to converse with. To suggest that I cannot, as a woman, be logical is an attempt to underscore my education, my intelligence, and (honestly) who I am. I would never walk up to a man and assume he’s full of logic and reason, simply because he possesses a penis and a pulse. Logic and reason isn’t genetically encoded to the Y chromosome. In fact, I wouldn’t assume anything, because that’s a shitty thing to do to someone you don’t know well – and I’d argue that it’s also a shitty thing to do to someone you DO know well.
It is a shame that I have to say this, but I do: think before you speak. Is what you’re about to say rude? Insensitive? And possibly made of NONSENSE? Okay. Then, to be frank, shut the fuck up. Don’t be a troll. Don’t be a dick. And don’t insult my intelligence.