Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh, the fluidity of gender!

I feel like this was a discussion in the blogosphere I took part in a while ago, but I'm too tired/busy/bored to find it in the archives. But here goes--women aren't as funny as men. There, toss it out for all to see, and sit back and let the angry responses flow in. This time around, it's the esteemed Christopher Hitchens giving it a go. What I've concluded from Hitchens's piece is that I am not a woman. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, nevermind, I'm a dude. Here's the supporting evidence:

"Men will laugh at almost anything, often precisely because it is—or they are—extremely stupid. Women aren't like that."

I not only nearly collapsed laughing watching the "Borat" cheese sketch, in which he asks again and again what different things are in the supermarket, all of which turn out to be cheese, but I watched the YouTube video again and again, with an equally enthusiastic reaction each time.

Hitchens' point is remarkably graphic, and brings about that other popular blogospheric debate: a man says, "Women don't like sex," a woman says, "Yeah we do," and man #2 says, "Shut up, silly woman." Hitchens once more:

"If you can stimulate her to laughter—I am talking about that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight—well, then, you have at least caused her to loosen up and to change her expression. I shall not elaborate further.

Women have no corresponding need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift."

I do enjoy the subtlety. This would be lost only on that one girl who, in 5th grade health class, was genuinely distraught to learn that a penis goes into a vagina, or perhaps that such a thing as a penis exists, period. So Hitchens is saying, in case this wasn't clear, that laughter spreads a woman's legs, whereas men require no coaxing whatsoever. Further proof that I am, in fact, a man: I have not once had impure thoughts about George Costanza, who is the funniest entity ever created, and yet Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi, who's not all that amusing, falls more under the category of if you catch my drift. Yeah, for a man-liking, eyeliner-wearing, bra-needing individual, I'm quite the dude.

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