(First, again, another apology for the inconsistency of the posts around here. I’m hoping it will all even out soon as I figure out a new schedule for blogging in balance with my new schedule barrista-ing. Until then, I will continue to post as often as possible. Even if they’re not super long/in-depth posts.)
Last night, as I was cooking an amazing Pad Thai, my oft-referred to boyfriend Daniel was engaged in killing a small spider he caught in the kitchen. As often happens in this situation, there was a slight comedy of errors in the finding/losing/finding again and the ultimate slaying of the beast.
Throughout this process, he griped “Where is she? I have to kill her! There she is!” And, despite the fact that he argued the same point as he always does (there are more of them), I had to remind him that it feels awfully wrong to call the bugs/insects/etc. that he so enjoys killing all female pro-nouns.
Today, I read this:
scientists used totally different language to describe female and male behavior. They described male animals as engaging in “harassment,” “manipulation,” and “coercion,” while females got more passive terms like “resistance” or “avoidance.” Even literal emasculation was somehow recast as powerful — a male spider whose severed genitals remain inside its mate’s body after sex was described as “manipulating” her.
The article went on to identify what’s truly important about this subject matter, that
sexism goes so deep that it even affects descriptions of spiders. . . And while arachnid gender roles may seem a little silly, it’s important to consider what this study might say about how easy it is for unconscious biases to slip into science.
I would feel more vindicated if this actually supported my situation, which of course it doesn’t, but I do think it shines a light on something that we forget to consider. It’s important to remember that when we consider philosophy/politics as a part of our daily lives, we we go out of our way to live distinctly one way or another, that these beliefs we seek to overturn have permeated all depths of our society.
Because, as the article points out, these slight differences and biases may overshadow moments of true discovery.