Monday, May 17, 2010

The Female of the Species...

Not too long ago, I posted something about what I’ve learned about life from reading Robert Heinlein. There were thirty-two items on that list, which by no means covers everything I learned from reading Heinlein, instead of from my family, but does cover a good bit of conventional wisdom that isn’t. I decided to go ahead and write a bit more about each item on that list. First up:

Men are more sentimental than women. It blurs their thinking.—Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long.

Men tend to be fairly straightforward, with at least a basic sense of honor. Not every man has the same sense of honor, but whatever morality they play by does tend to guide their behavior, and make them somewhat predictable. They tend to have at least a few rules in an unspoken code of conduct. They tend to try to play within the rules of whatever field they try to accomplish things in. They tend to believe that others will play by the same set of rules that guide their own behavior.

Women, on the other hand, don’t tend to play by any set “rules,” whether spoken or unspoken. As a sex, women tend to be backstabbing, conniving, vicious harpies. They tend to be manipulative, and willing to do anything to get their way.

Nowhere do we see this as clearly as in the recent mandatory Medicaid debates: sure, Obama and his camp did things the Chicago way (as in, “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse,”), but he followed Chicago rules in the game. He did a lot of back-room deals with money. He did a fair few threats.

He played by a certain set of rules—Chicago mob-style rules, but rules, nonetheless—to accomplish what he wanted to do. And he made compromises to get what he wanted the most.

Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand engaged in a win-at-any-cost campaign that’s currently having repercussions on those she forced into voting her way. She doesn’t look likely to lose her seat, but many of those she coerced, blackmailed, browbeat, and/or guilt tripped do look likely to lose theirs. Even some in the Senate that looked like sure-things for re-election are finding that they’re vulnerable.

She doesn’t care. She didn’t play by any given set of rules, but she got the job done to get the president’s plans the votes they needed to pass.

I hate to say it, and it’s going to sound sexist, but this is just the way women work. Men really have no defense against it, mostly because they don’t understand the way women’s minds work, biologically.

I think Kipling said it best:

She is wedded to convictions -- in default of grosser ties

Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies! --

He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,

Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.


Unprovoked and awful charges -- even so the she-bear fights,

Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons -- even so the cobra bites,

Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw

And the victim writhes in anguish -- like the Jesuit with the squaw!


…And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

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