Truly, This Is a Shoe That Does Not Fit!

woman's show stepping on man's necktie
This electronic photogravure, boldly entitled "woman_man_conflict.jpg", depicts the very soul of Man today. I declare its creator a Great Artist and his work to be the Mona Lisa of our Time!

Image description: a plain white background with a woman's cheetah-print stiletto boot stepping upon a man's black-and-blue silk necktie.

[A Grumbles Exhortation: the contents of this e-missive are entirely inappropriate for Ladies. Please close this web-window now, lest the graceless references herein sear your delicate nerve-terminals quite beyond reclamation.]

Gentlemen! There is a fine high color in my bravely-whiskered cheeks as I dispatch this communication. Friday last, my yeoman Bruce and I were vigorously lubricating our accelerators in preparation for a jaunt to Dix's Dram Shop for the evening antifogmatic when an abrupt e-missive cut short our exertions.

My old friend Major Taint had alerted me to a brazen yet sonorous voice—heretofore unknown to us at Grumbles Manor—whose brave ejaculations invigorate the electronic broadside known, I believe, as The American Scientific Man:
Something has me mildly riled up, a ridiculous little scandal involving the silliest accusations of sexism and secretions. So permit me today a slight diversion from the usual. If you’ve ever wondered why some feminists have earned themselves such a bad name, and are at all curious about how some intriguing new experimental research demonstrates that this negative view of feminism is more than just my personal opinion and in fact runs very deep in the modern psyche, then read on.
Such bold prose! As well you know, I am generally no colluder with natural philosophy scriveners. But Dr. Bering writes as though he'd been beside me, vigorously matriculating at the knee of Emmett Q. Crumblecorn himself in the School for Fancy Lads. Tighten your braces, good Gentlemen—read on, indeed!
One afternoon in the ninth grade, between classes, while stealing like some trembling, creeping vine through the hallways of my school and with my ears pricked for gossip and gambit, I was accused of a very terrible thing. An irate African-American boy, in whose sinewy neck I saw the arterial pulsing of tempered rage, told me a rumor that made my heart sink. The news was that on the school bus that very morning, I, Jesse Bering, had happily expelled from my mouth the mother of all racial epithets.
What onerous obloquy is this? Young Master Bering, just a trembling vine of a lad with pricked ears, living at the mercy of gossip and gambit and, one would ken, imminent physical threat! Sinewy necks, arterial pulsings! Rage! I quite see, Sir—say no more.

And then, our Dr. Bering must face fresh indignities, this time at the lashing tongue of a suffragette!

My opinion of lady doctors is no secret, yet I assure you I am the picture of masculine objectivity as I recount this outrage: a lady doctor, one Emily Nagoski, accused our trembling vine of one of the most reviled and stringently punished crimes known to Man: a distaste for the corporeal expression of The Feminine. Dr. Bering recounted a natural philosophy experiment—whose outlines are far too coarse for me to relate here—and observed that the scientists, Baker and Bellis, must surely have "stomachs of steel". I see nothing in that jaunty phrase with which to disagree, but our lady doctor is unable to leave a hard-working man in peace:
Apparently collecting ejaculate requires no particular digestive toughness, but ejaculate in cervical mucus requires industrial strength gastric abilities. Should we conclude that Dr. Bering himself has felt nauseated by the fluids of any female sex partners he may have had? Indeed, the blatant, unapologetic, flinching gynophobia made me wonder if he’s gay, which it turns out he is, but that doesn’t make it okay for him to discuss female fluids as physically disgusting.
First, allow me to admit that I can conceive of no worthy purpose for which a natural philosopher should absquatulate with the intimate humors of an individual, much less those of a Lady. I cannot countenance such slobberchopsity! Men of Science should limit themselves to the increase of our national defenses and to the important questions of medicine, such as the utility of bladderwort tincture as a panacea for Ocular Monocle-Spasm. Thus, I verily suspect that these men Baker and Bellis are soaplocks and bunko artists. But I digress! My purpose is to expose a craven assault upon a blameless natural philosophy scrivener.

I confess to confusion at Mrs. Nagoski's comment that a manly distaste for feminine humors suggests that Dr. Bering is "gay". After a bracing ride in the airship, Bruce and I feel quite gay—giddy, even—yet I am no more appalled than usual at the thought of such feminine unspeakables as those which confronted brave Baker and Bellis. Still, the lady doctor has seen fit to apologize, though she does not retract her grave charge of "gynophobia".

Thus, this hollering harridan left the good Dr. Bering no choice but to defend himself. Indeed, any Man who quavered like a base poltroon before the forked tongue of this suffragette would soon find his whiskers doused by my hand with a quartern of Geneva! (Pardon my righteous spleen, gentle Readers, but as the Ladies are not present, I feel I can speak freely.) Dr. Bering is far more measured than I:
...the sad truth is that these are precisely the same people who for decades have been undermining important, intellectually informed scientific debates by scaring male (and female) researchers into submission while screaming misogyny—most often at curious, promising young evolutionary psychologists who haven’t even the slightest tremor of a sexist agenda
Even now, the thought of spittle-flecked Suffragettes swells my manly organ of thought with ire at the utter destruction wrought by the frail sex upon curious and promising young natural philosophers.

It is a rare occasion upon which I can be inveigled into consensus with a Frenchman (even one with an incomparably noble whiskulature), but Gustave LeBon was quite right: a woman with a man’s education is indeed a dangerous chimera1. The good Mrs. Grumbles, by contrast, is quite unconcerned with matters of men; she is content to mount her stallion Andre of an afternoon, then return home, the picture of satisfaction. She sits beside me now, her cheeks quite flushed as she mends my puce silk waistcoat.

As for the puling palaver of our lady doctor and her ilk, I have no doubt that the wise Dr. LeBon would have left these suffragettes at the mercies of police back when they were clamoring for the vote we so graciously granted to them. The great evolutionary biologist E.D. Cope asserted that men who make common cause with suffragettes are "effeminate and long-haired"2—would that his sage observation had been heeded in time.

But back to the science! Dr. Bering supports his delineation of these hectoring harpies irrefutably with scientifical data. To wit: the IAT, an ingenious little Babbage-engine-based examination invented (to my chagrin) by those hornswogglers up at Harvard:
So implicit bias is said to be evidenced by faster reaction times when stereotype-consistent words are paired with a marginalized social group (e.g., black-lazy) relative to other groups (e.g., white-lazy), and slower reaction times to pairings of positive words with the marginalized group (e.g., black-intelligent) relative to the comparison group (e.g., white-intelligent). The idea is that, when asked to match positive concepts to words describing marginalized outgroup members, participants’ latency of response captures a dragging of their cognitive heels because they’re working against the grain of their inner bigot.

So guess what happened in Jenen’s IAT study when college-aged men and women were asked to match the category “feminist” with either positive or negative words? The most pertinent findings were that the participants were significantly slower to associate positive words (“happy,” “joy,” “peace,” “wonderful”) with the feminist than they were negative words (“awful,” “evil,” “nasty,” “terrible”).
Pertinent findings indeed, Sir. See what a reputation these suffragettes have duly earned! By Dr. Bering’s line of ratiocination, all such implicitly espoused negativities—laziness, &c. —are the just wages of various groups’ chosen behaviors. Let that be a lesson to all who would be socially undesirable!

In sum, I was fairly roused to a standing ovation as Bering unfurled his proud body of work in defense against this womanish assault.
So don’t call me a misogynist, because that shoe just doesn’t fit. As the ladies at Jezebel know very well, I had much to say about the evolution of female bitchery and verbal aggression—because it’s fascinating. But in prior blog posts[...]I’ve also talked at length about the wanting aesthetics of the human penis...
Yes, fascinating, and may I doff the lid of my mustache wax tin to your even-handedness!

In closing, Gentlemen, I quite concur with Dr. Bering: foolish feminist—be careful!


1A desire to give [women] the same education, and as a consequence, to propose the same goals for them, is a dangerous chimera...The day when, misunderstanding the inferior occupations which nature has given her, women leave the home and take part in our battles; on this day a social revolution will begin, and everything that maintains the sacred ties of the family will disappear.-- LeBon, Gustave, 1879, Recherches anatomiques et mathématiques sur le lois de variation du volume de cerveau et sur leurs relations avec l'intelligence. Revue d'Anthropologie 2nd series, volume 2, pp. 27-104

2Cope, E.D. 1890, Two perils of the Indo-European. The Open Court 3: 2052-2054 and 2070-2071

Both of these sources are quoted by Stephen Jay Gould inThe Mismeasure of Man, p. 105 of the 1981 edition. Please forgive the sullying of my hands with pages penned by an unrepentant Marxist; I confiscated the book from my niece Eugenie's reticule and have yet to burn it.

[Previous Grumblings: Benjamin H. Grumbles, Progress: Dagnabbit!, A Day in the Life of Benjamin H. Grumbles, What in the Sam Hill Are You Rascals Thinking?, Friday Cat Blogging, Damnable Milkshakery, Grumbles' Gashouse, Dash It All, McCain Is Off His Trolley, I Say, Somebody Bet on the Bob-Tailed Nag, Grumbles Writes Letters, Hosiery Is No Laughing Matter, Fear Not, Shakesvillians!, Bunsen's Balderdash!, Taint a Good Man, A Hearty Yawp of Well Wishes, The Grandest Male Organ, Bully for Science!, A Grumbles Extolment!]

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