"I want you to show me a stronger biological urge to procreate!"
You may already have gathered that I am fair-minded and incisive about everything, everything, with the the exception of gender essentialism. It's like an allergy: when people say things like "well, he is a man, after all" as though that explains all pernicious forms of behaviour, or "she's not just looking for a dalliance, because, after all, she is a woman and is therefore going to sabotage her birth control in order to give herself a baby" I come over all funny and have a near-uncontrollable urge to stab myself in the upper thigh with a pen.

I don't care whether Primitive Man was forced to develop certain coping mechanisms in order to hunt and gather or whether Primitive Woman was forced to develop different strategies in order to safely furnish and decorate her primitive hut. I've never understood why biology is destiny, when it's obvious that human beings are able in many circumstances to adopt behaviours that seem to mitigate against the propagation and survival of the species (vehicular traffic! self-doubt! men wearing sandals!). 

Many things support my view, which I would continue to support myself even in the absence of such supportive things. Many neurologists, it appears, are crazy proponents of the theory that women like hugs and relationships and men like math and nuclear war, and have devised skewed experiments and/or misrepresented experiments in order to prove it. There's no evidence that girls and boys learn in different ways, or that they benefit from single-sex schooling.

And yet, it's comforting, I suppose, in an age when we aren't allowed to stereotype other races quite so much, to be able to generalize wildly about large groups of people based on their private bits.

Just this week, Rotten Tomatoes' Greg Dean Schmitz wrote the following annoying thing: "Marvel may be setting a pattern with Thor 2, as this week, it was revealed that Marvel's top choice is director Patty Jenkins, whose one feature film was 2003's  Monster [...] and the pilot episode of AMC's series The Killing. If Marvel does indeed sign Patty Jenkins to direct Thor 2, this choice seems to suggest a story more female-centric than people generally think of when they think 'Asgardian mythology.'"

"Female-centric." What in God's name does that mean? Are all female directors interested in female things? And what are female things? I mean, if Marvel was kicking around the idea of signing, say, Nora Ephron, I'd concede they might be going in a softer, gentler direction (which still wouldn't make it unavoidably appealing to all women). But the woman who made Monster? That movie about the vicious lady serial killer? It certainly dealt with a woman, but it can't be said to represent any kind of "feminine" perspective. And, as far as recall, there are no 30-year-spanning female friendships punctuated by tragic cardiac conditions and songs in that film. If Patty Jenkins makes Thor 2, will she be unable to prevent herself from casting only women in all roles and turning it into a multi-generational tale of loss, perseverance, love, and casserole-making?

Then there's the new movie that should star Sarah Michelle Gellar and instead stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. The director describes it as "a psychological thriller with horror overtones and detective story overtones, but essentially, deep down it's a love story." "We've made the kind of movie with thriller and horror elements," he continues, desperate to ensure I'll never want to date him, "but women will like it." He's so right. If a movie has thrills and chills, but makes no attempt to represent a love relationship, my womb just refuses to sit still and pay attention.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.
9/28/2011 10:35:57 am

You are an amazing writer. Seriously, I love reading your column every week because I know: a) It will be an insightful perspective on whatever the topic is; b) it'll be written in the most attractive style. Thank you for CATASTROPHIZING.


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