Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Why Does The Following Irritate Me?

Well, I saw that Leuschke, in referring readers to blogs that discussed his post, listed my blog.  Here is what he wrote:

"More people are weighing in (and no, I’m not spending my entire day trolling the web for related posts — I packed a whole box today!).
[He lists just the names of a bunch of blogs, pretty much without commentary, and then....]
at the chronicles of dr. crazy (woo, crazy sex-having! sorry, that was cheap.)"  

All right, it's a joke, and yes, I guess that the juvenile me would make the same joke if I happened upon my reasons for maintaining anonymity, and I wasn't me.  But it (nevertheless) bothered me.  Why, as soon as a woman mentions desire or sex or sexuality does it become a joke?  Am I just naive in thinking that male sexuality/desire/etc. is not coded in the same way?  Even women can have this giggle-reaction to frank discussion about female sexuality.  Admittedly, I notice it less in women who've had some relationship experience and who are older, but it still happens.  What is so goddamned funny?  Because as much as I hope this blog is entertaining, I'm actually thinking about real things.  And maybe that's why it's necessary to neutralize what I'm doing here with "woo, crazy sex-having!" instead of really engaging with it.

Hi. Blogger's comments weren't working earlier today, so I responded in the comments on my own site.

I must say that I, too, did a double-take when I read that comment. Something I was thinking about is how a male colleague who is known to be single and having sex is generally admired, but a female one is talked about as if she is a slut. I've seen this in action at my previous department. I suspect that in your case you would bear the brunt of the gossip for "crazy sex-having!" (woo woo) rather than your partner in crime. Why? Ah, well, it is much more interesting to pin in on the woman, isn't it? We expect men to be doing this ... after all, they're men. Women are supposed to resist, deny, hold back.

Another interesting thing is that acknowledging a male colleague's sex life (through office chit-chat or whatever) is generally not considered an invitation to hit on said male colleague ... but I've felt that when women (including myself) are portrayed as having any sense of sexuality/sexual being then they are open to unwanted advances.
Ah, Profgrrrrl, I'm glad you knew where I was coming from. There's been a fair amount of discussion about it over at Graham's site, and I posted a response to him over there.

I entirely agree with your take on the differences between how women colleagues are regarded re: sexuality versus their male counterparts. Sometimes I think that academia is just an overeducated version of high school - sluts and studs all over again.
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