For instance, yesterday, this popped up on my newsfeed:
Seriously, I think I need to delete my facebook account. This little gem of "gender difference" pissed me off. Any men out there insulted by this? Well, you have every right to be. This absurd journal entry is insulting to men because we all know loads of men who are conscientious and sensitive and who legitimately care for the people around them (and even if they do have motorcycle, would still notice their wife crying). Why promote stereotypes that show women as overly-emotional children and men as unfeeling giants?
Well, perhaps her husband didn’t notice his wife crying because women do it ALL THE TIME apparently. This fascinating piece of prose has also been floating around facebook:
“A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman," she told him.
"I don't understand," he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."
Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"
"All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.
The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.
Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?"
God said, "When I made the woman she had to be special.
I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world,
yet gentle enough to give comfort.
I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.
I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.
I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.
I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.
I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.
And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."
"You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."
You now have two choices. Like this photo and move on with your life
Share this photo on your wall as a tribute to all the women in your life.”
I love it that in this meme, the only people who are worth anything are mothers...um, way to be exclusive....except while women are super special, being one must suck since it seems like everyone has the right to treat her like crap (according to the author anyway).
Oh, and I guess all women understand the eternal truths of, “I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.
I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.” Gee, I’m so grateful that I was made to protect my husbands heart and I’m so glad he has a free pass from God to be a jerk to me, because well, he’s just testing my resolve and commitment to him.
Really, to whoever invented this thing, can you not see how problematic what you wrote is? And WHY did you choose a picture of Casey Anthony of all people to represent the beauties of womanhood? 99% of America is convinced this woman murdered her child…don’t you think you might be sending a mixed message here?
But yet, the madness continues!
"Yes, I'm a female. I push doors that clearly say PULL. I laugh harder when I try to explain why I'm laughing. I walk into a room and forget why I was there. I count on my fingers. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I say it is a long story, when it really is not, just to get out of having to tell it. I cry a lot more than you think I do. I care about people who don't care about me. I am strong because I have to be, not because I want to be. I listen to you, even when you don't listen to me. And a hug will always help. Yes, I'm a girl!!!!! Re-post if you're a girl and proud to be one"
Because it’s not enough to be a compulsive crier, women are also bad at math, can’t read and are super proud of the fact that we love to be emotionally abused….oh wait, I don’t like being emotionally abused. Does this mean I’m not a woman?
And it’s not enough to love being abused as a woman, but men should love it too!
True men adore it when their loved ones treat them like crap and a true woman is demanding, whiny, clingy and abusive. Isn’t this sweet? Also, what in the hell are "car directions" and since when did use of the remote make you an adult?
Wait! Don’t stop reading and go bang your head against a wall yet, I have more!
Instead of just ragging on men and women and creating absurd stereotypes, let’s also set up destructive mottoes for relationships because jealousy is always a good mark of a healthy, functioning relationship. It’s also a nice determiner of masculinity and maturity.
I also love how truly practical many of the memes are…would you like to test the fidelity of your spouse and partner? Well step right up, because it’s easy to do! All you need is a trunk, your loved one and a dog.
Thanks facebook for teaching me all things I ever needed to know about being a man, a woman and in a successful relationship.
Ok, back to reality now, I really don’t blame facebook. It’s not Mark Zuckerberg’s fault that the rest of the world likes really stupid memes and has decided to share them on his internet site; Pinterest contributes as well (damn you internet!).
To me, while these cutesy little mottoes are problematic, the bigger issue here is that no one seems to see them as problematic. People are posting this left and right and hailing them as adorable pictures and worthwhile advice. What has happened to our society that hurtful, mindless kitsch has become something to, not only be admired, but shared?
To my mind, the problem is logic. Our society values the kitschy and, supposedly, heartwarming over thoughtful consideration. If people would take the time to really consider what it is that they're reading I think a lot of people would realize the underlying message that's really being conveyed. Ours is a society of thoughtless speed; it's time that we took a few minutes to consider the consequences of what we view and share on the internet.