If you are under the age of 30 or so it is unlikely that you remember the heyday of actor, comedian, and Star Search competitor Sinbad. Sinbad (or David Adkins) rose to prominence at the end of a decade dominated by family values and clean entertainment. His act would be considered quaint today, almost innocent in it’s PG earnestness. I bring him up in relation to today’s installment of the Internet Meme Demolition Derby because our victim today can be summed up by one of Sinbad’s common catchphrases (and one of the most mocked)… “Men and Women Are Different”. Sometimes it felt like that was Sinbad’s only joke. Now that’s not true at all, as a former aspiring comedian I have great respect for anybody who has the guts to get up in front of the brick wall and bare their soul in the name of laughter, and I certainly don’t want to anger the legions of Sinbad fans who still flock to see him perform, (ring in the New Year at the Orleans Hotel and Casino!). Still, I’m willing to bet that it’s the first thing a Gen X’er will remember about Sinbad.
Which is a roundabout way to get to our entry today… on the right.
This tickld entitled “man vs woman” was posted by user tacoassasin and before we go full metal snark on this one I’d like to say that Mr. or Ms. Assasin seems like an OK person if you go by the other things they’ve posted to tickld. Still, even those with good hearts can spread some toxic messages.
Entitled “Men vs Women” this meme is one of those listicles that gets shared with the enthusiastic message “#12 is sooooo true” by men and women alike, each believing that they aren’t being sexist or promoting a sexist agenda with stuff like this because the whole thing is played for laughs, as if jokes never actually hurt anybody.
From top to bottom by heading…
Nicknames: “If Laura Kate and Sarah go out for lunch they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Dickhead, and Shit for Brains.”
This one is right out of the Sinbad playbook. Women are proper, whereas men are encouraged to be informal. And somewhat crude. One can almost picture the different lunch locations. The women went to a delightful little bistro that Laura discovered that has a hummus plate to die for. The guys went to BW3’s
Eating Out: “When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
I guess this works out for the guys server, because $27.50 is a sweeeet tip. On the other hand it’s complete bullshit. Guys can be just as finicky about the bill as any woman. It’s like tacoassassin has never seen the opening to Reservoir Dogs.
Money: ” A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item she doesn’t need, but it is on sale.”
Men are practical shoppers, they get what they need and get out. Women are flighty and easily snookered by sales. Nothing sexist here…
Bathrooms: ” A Man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shampoo, soap, and a towel. The Average number of items in a woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.”
Get some conditioner dude, your hair will be much nicer. Once again we have the man being efficient and practical whilst the punchline is that the woman fills her bathroom with unnecessary fripperies that the man isn’t even capable of understanding. Man=Normal, Woman=Silly. Is this sinking in yet? Also, lets erase transgendered people and male transvestites who may very well require many of those mysterious female items despite still identifying as male. Also lets not talk about the fact that societal norms for female grooming are massively more complex and difficult to maintain than we require of men.
Arguments: “A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.”
This one looks like the man is the punchline, but lets not get crazy. The message of this quip is still one of women being unreasonable as opposed to men, who never ever argue in bad faith… really.
Future: “A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.”
Remember ladies, the only reason to go to college is to find a husband to take care of you. Guys, as soon as you walk down the aisle you might as well buy your funeral plot, because your life of fun and games is over. As we shall see in…
Success: “A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.”
I’m starting to think that whoever compiled this list is a big fan of Mad Men, except he thinks Don Draper is a hero, not an anti-hero. How much more retrograde could you possibly be? Remember folks, these are “so true” aphorisms. Somebody here really believes in Traditional Gender Roles (tm). Which makes me wonder how my family happened, with a female breadwinner and a stay at home husband. There must be something wrong with us!
Marriage: “A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.”
I tried in vain (for a whole 10 minutes or so) to find the origin of this quip, because I’ve heard it before. It’s the kind of bland aphorism that fills up curmudgeonly joke collections and Andy Rooney monologues. Henny Youngman and countless Catskills comedians made their careers with jokes like this. It’s complete bullshit of course, it’s only considered true because of the trope that it is somehow the woman’s job to civilize a man, to get him to settle down. And on the flip side, how dare the woman change/age/grow over the course of a marriage!
Dressing Up: “A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail. A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.”
Natural: “Men wake up as good looking as they went to bed Women somehow deteriorate during the night.”
I decided to tackle both of these together because they are both about “beauty double standards”. Women have a “uniform” of sorts that they put on every day no matter what they do for a living. Just the basic day to day maintenance for many women looks like “dressing up” compared to a guy. Men on the other hand must only reluctantly care for their appearance, else they appear effeminate or outright “gay”. And of course men are handsome effortlessly anyway (at least real men are) whilst women mysteriously wake up hideously transformed, like the Medusa capable of turning a man to stone with one look.
Offspring: “A woman knows all about her childen. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people in the house.”
I get it! Men are lovable doofus’s. It’s still 1955 and June is really worried about the Beaver, but while Father Knows Best, it won’t be Happy Days for long without a woman to look after My Three Sons! Seriously, it’s 2014 and if you do more that chuckle ruefully at this joke, maybe groan a bit, then I’m calling children’s services on you. It’s not just a lame joke that relies on outdated gender roles, (mom knows all that stuff because it’s her job as housewife to manage the houshold, usually with little help from dad,) it’s also an insult to every dad in history who was actively involved in his kids lives, as scout leader or soccer coach, not to mention SAHD’s or widower’s.
Thought of the Day: “A Married man should forget his mistakes, there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing”
Featured Image Credit: Some hardworking photographer who does nice headshots. No idea who… 😉
(Edited to clarify some language, Lou)