Six Things You Should Never Say to a HUMAN BEING
So, Single Edition (tagline: “Where I Am One”) is this cute site that offers articles, advice, product suggestions, shopping tips and more for those who are romantically unattached. They “recognize that life presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for singles,” and they “offer a fresh perspective, some genuine advice and even some hands-on assistance that can help make the difference in your life.” I discovered them back in 2007 when I was interning for my heros, Em & Lo, at the Daily Bedpost as a senior in college, and signed up for their newsletter.
The articles in their newsletter are generally fluffy and meaningless, and rarely offer any truly helpful advice, however they are entertaining and quick reads, so I usually open up at least one or two of them when I get it in my inbox. This past week I was unpleasantly surprised to find the gem, “6 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman“, with the description:
“Women, they are everywhere. From our Mother’s [sic], and sisters and daughters to gal pals and love interests, there’s no escaping them. You may love them, can’t live without them, but ever feel like you are walking on eggshells around the leading ladies in your life?”
First, please note the high level of particular editing on Single Edition’s pieces. In fact, in writing this post, I happened to notice that their article about six things you should never say to a woman actually only includes five. High quality stuff, huh?
And then – okay, seriously? Are we really playing the card that men and woman are so different that you can’t speak to them in the same way? You can’t say the same things to them? Why not say they don’t deserve to be paid the same amount of money, while you’re at it?
I mean, to be honest, I don’t put a lot of stock in most of Single Edition’s articles – they once put out a piece about how to handle the “Thanksgiving Third Degree” and their suggested response to the potential question of, “Is there a special someone we should know about that you’re hiding back at home?” was, “Sorry, I am not gay.”
However, I just couldn’t resist commenting on how loaded this piece really was. First, only one of the “six things you shouldn’t say” is biologically specific to women (“You must be getting your period”). The rest, with the exception of one (“You look fine” – ???), are things that I think you shouldn’t say to anyone if you’re truly worried about offending them. From the mouth of a man or a woman, I don’t think any PERSON would appreciate the following things being said to them:
- You’re crazy
- Why do you have to be so dramatic?
- You analyze everything to death
And I discount completely “You look fine”, because that sounds like a compliment to me, or at least a reassurance, so I don’t know who that’s upsetting besides the author of this piece (who, by the way, seems to be a woman). Everyone, regardless of sex or gender, loves to receive a compliment, but “You look fine” is not a criticism, no matter who it’s spoken to.
Single Edition insists that “You’re crazy” sets women off because it suggests that they are “less intelligent, less rational and less well-grounded” than men. Really? Because I think that telling someone, “You’re crazy” means you are suggesting that they are less intelligent, less rational and less well-grounded than you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man saying it to a woman or a woman saying it to a man, no one likes hearing that someone thinks they’re insane, and it definitely inspires feelings of inferiority.
“Why do you have to be so dramatic?” and “You analyze everything to death” – guess what, everyone is guilty of both of these, depending on their personality, what’s going on in their lives at a certain point in time and how their trip in to work was that morning. Point being: don’t relegate only women to being over-analytical and dramatic. I will give kudos to Single Edition’s piece for pointing this out for the dramatic comment, but they still lose for implying that this is something that is okay to say to men but not to women because only we might take offense to it (instilling a further implication that we are, in fact, more dramatic?).
I am not defending the period comment, but I will say that I do hate when ANYONE thinks that just because I am expressing an opinion (sometimes loudly) that they can ask if or assume that I am menstruating.
In honor of this piece, I have come up with five equally sexist things you should never say to a man:
- Is that it?
- I’ve seen bigger
- Why don’t you cry about it?
- You’re so insensitive
- Are you drunk?