Friday, 30 September 2011

The Male Mind

Back in the 80s, I worked at a communications company (they were all the rage) owned and run by four male partners. As a freelancer, I was given free office space in return for 'priortizing' their work. There were two other women working there under the same deal.

The three of us used to go out for lunch a couple times a week and talk inevitably turned to the partners. They didn't like each other. More mystifyingly, they didn't trust each other.

Partners would ask us gals suspiciously about the doings of another partner. We owed nobody any loyalty but it was uncomfortable.

Mainly, it was just plain weird. Every lunch ended with us shaking our heads and wondering how people who didn't trust each other could be in biz together.

Maybe it was then or later that I twigged: Men much more than women can compartmentalize. Hive off the personal from the business. I've seen it in sweetie. He used to employ a raging misogynist racist occasionally because the guy was a genius with an air brush. After much prodding from me, he agreed to shut the asshole up when he got on one of his rants. But he still used him.

(I fully realize I've opened a can of worms here. Men do this, women do that crap. But over my long life, I've seen many many more men than women willing to overlook personal failings, value failings, character failings, if someone is useful to them.)

OK, the reason for this. Today, on Twitter, someone retweeted a message from a male voter saying he'd just voted in an advance poll for Sarah Thomson, the Lib candidate in Trinity Spadina, my riding. I replied asking if the the voter knew that Thomson when running for Toronto mayor endorsed privatizing libraries and killing Transit City. Dude replied that he did know that, but did I know that she is the best choice for TrinSpa.

I replied that anyone who would privatize libraries was not my kinda person. In increasingly patronizing replies @Fizbandu, aka Bradley Hammond, kindly pointed out that these were quite separate jurisdictions.


Here's his second-last tweet. (The last one was just dumb and irrelevant to this.)
@fernhilldammit @ThomsonTO You need to understand that as a MPP there is no direct connection, again municipal council. #VoteON

I need to understand that, do I?

Well, Bradley needs to understand that what a person says in one context is entirely applicable to any other context.

If Sarah Thomson would privatize libraries, what else would she privatize?

Inquiring minds. . .

But to the male mind, entirely separate issues.

The floor is open for excoriating me for essentialism, sexism, anti-maleism, whatever.


Purple library guy said...

Well, I think that's essentialist and sexist. I'm a guy and I don't think that way, thanks.

But I also think the second deal is a separate and stupider category from the first. I mean, one can certainly make a utility-based argument that someone's moral characteristics may have little to do with their skill at graphic design and therefore if you want them to do graphic design (but they're not in charge of the message) it might be worth overlooking their moral characteristics. Personally, I think it's never worth it having assholes or prima donnas around no matter how skilled they may be, but the argument can be made.

But if someone pushes bad policy based on bad ideology in one political leadership position, they can be expected to do the same in a different political leadership position. It's not two different categories at all. Expecting them to change their stripes is just stupid--it's not like hiring a good graphic designer who's immoral, it's like hiring someone who did terrible graphic design on one job and expecting them to do good graphic design on a different job because, c'mon, it's a different job!

So no matter what the first situation might be, the second situation isn't a guy thing it's just a stupid people thing.

tal said...

Well, this certainly explains how we got where we are today.

Very astute observation and God help us!

OtnosmohT said...

Pursuant to your comments about Sarah Thomson and the Liberal Shills you quarrel with on twitter, I would like to add a couple of points.

What motivates this woman? Let's go back to the Municipal Election, where yes, she was running on a center right platform (road tolls - a user fee much associated with Libertarians, privatizing libraries and other city services et al) but then once she realized she couldn't win, she pulled a 180 and endorsed the exact opposite in George Smitherman. It was speculated back then that her endorsement would lead to a nomination in one of Toronto's riding in this election, and the silly woman did nothing to dispute that as she frequently told people at debates or while canvassing that she was running Provincially the next fall.

Perhaps you can't accept this as it is hearsay, but here are a few facts one cannot:

A) How many times did Sarah Thomson call herself a Conservative? 10? 15? Every time she was at a debate? That's enough for me ....

B) In March, after the disaster in Japan, she was quick to criticize the government's dependence on nuclear energy on both her facebook page and her twitter page. Of course once her nomination went from rumors to becoming official, she was quick to distance herself....FROM HER OWN COMMENTS!!

C) Then there is the issue of the Womenspost. Once touted as a "Multi Million dollar corporation" she now refers to it as a small business. Using the small business label, she claims that the HST is good for her small business and has led her to hire new staff.

It's true she did hire new staff - UNPAID STAFF that is and anyone following twitter in the past few months must definitely be familiar with her calls for an "volunteer intern" (you know what that means - UN PAID LABOR!!). I've also heard from a previous staffer of hers (a visual minority woman) that Thomson paid her less than minimum wage, as the contract she signed was an honorarium.

So what's the point I am trying to make? Sarah Thomson does not have the support that she and her group of mass tweeters believe she should (or go to great lengths to show us that support for her is actually much higher on social media pages) is that Sarah Thomson has as much depth as tracing paper.

She's a liar and this government has enough of those already in Government. The past 8 years has been nothing but back tracking on previous pledges (like closing nuclear plants, not raising taxes or fees amongst many many others) and quite frankly, I believe that Ministerial positions are suited to people of a higher quality than "I married a rich dude and I use his money to publish my vanity publication".

This is not an endorsement for Rosario Marchese as I have far too many questions about the NDP policy. I don't even live in the riding of Trinity Spadina, I am not a member of the Federal/Provincial NDP/CPC nor do I volunteer with each of the following parties (Green, PCPO, ONDP, OLP). The choice is obviously your's Trinity Spadina but one should be aware of exactly what the Liberal Candidate in Trinspa is - a flake.

Thank you please follow @otnosmoht on twitter for more.



tal said...

I have often thought the missing limb from the Y chromosome was responsible for much of the problem. While I am not a believer in "biology is destiny", in order to overcome an issue, one must be cognizant of the obstacle. The law of karma says were are born into the circumstances in which we are to learn what we need to know for our advancement:

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