Contact Us    
84th Sort

On European women.

by Dear Jon
September 28, 2001

Bookmark and Share

84th Sort_Dear Jon-On European women. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Just what is it you have against European women?

European Woman

Dear Woman,

If the author of this actual letter really is a European Woman, I will eat a half-dozen gingersnaps in two minutes. I hate gingersnaps.

But so what? Anonymity is the beauty of an advice column, so I might as well take the bait.

As you are aware, media experts and school teachers rely on a device which helps them to answer questions and get their point across without bogging down. This device is called "generalization." Through "generalization," a school teacher can say that Adolph Hitler seduced the German public and, if not wildly popular, at least was willingly obeyed, without needing to apologize for all those special cases of German citizens opposed to Hitler who hid Jews in their wine-cellars and so on, because those exceptions really serve to prove the rule. Media experts talk about "Soccer Moms" as being Clinton's support-base in 1992 and 1996: these were white suburban women who cared as much about the economy as they cared about their personal rights. Not all Soccer Moms voted Democrat, but it served to paint a "Gender Gap" picture among suburban voters.

It is similar to the device used by the FBI, called "profiling." Through "profiling," the FBI proceeds in an investigation through hunches that are borne out statistically. For example, serial killers tend to target their own race. So if 12 white victims have been strangled the same way, than through "profiling" the FBI shrinks their suspect list to about 175 million "white people."

We should distinguish "profiling" and "generalizing," which are necessary for communication, from "stereotyping," which is always wrong to do. In that sense, "racial profiling" is wrong because it is stereotyping: the basis of suspicion becomes a person's color, even if there is nothing specific to be suspected.

I have nothing against European Women. The cultures are diverse and rich with history. Speaking very generally, one area of cultural distinction surrounds the issues of personal hygiene and standards of beauty.

The cultures of Europe stress the "I'm a human being," aspect of womanhood. Women, like men, are permitted to sweat, and are free to wear clothes and shoes for warmth and comfort rather than appearance and style. As in the United States, no distinction is made between men and women in Europe over the frequency with which one bathes. It just happens to be, very generally, that European men and women bathe (or shower) less frequently than Americans, very very generally.

The culture of the United States, however, stresses the "I'm the Cinderella Madonna Virgin Sex Goddess Look At Me Wrong and I'll Sue" aspect of womanhood. This means that women, very generally, have to shave their legs and their armpits, shower frequently, and wear clothes designed by demented fetishists.

Being encultured in this, men naturally expect women to dress and smell this way. This is not men's fault. We are encultured. It also gives American women an "out" in a relationship. If they want to stop seeing a guy and don't know how to break up, they could just postpone showering a couple days.

Not that women care what men think, ultimately: Women put themselves through this torture because they do not want other women to think meanly of them. Plus, American women do a fantastic job of critiquing other women with all the tact of a princess and all the sensitivity of a crocodile.

Maybe this should all change. I don't have much hope or imagination for that, though, not until 50 million working women throw any shoes with more than a half-inch heel out their windows and into the streets, to be driven over by their minivans, station wagons and SUVs.

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
Temporarily Unavailable
Published July 21, 2008

Our advice humorist turns his attention and trademark wit to affairs of the heart in his first and very affordable book (only $8.95!).

More Information
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
84th Sort
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Dear Jon
Sort 433: Going on Sabbatical
Miss Me? Let me know!
by Dear Jon, 6/15/10
Sort 432: Jokes and Horse Names
and other Random One Liners
by Dear Jon, 6/8/10
Sort 431: Piggy Tossing
and the new touring show: "Lord of the Flies."
by Dear Jon, 6/1/10
Sort 430: Forwarding Fear
Spam with a side of mashed logic
by Dear Jon, 5/25/10
Sort 429, Mixing Oil and Water
is like mixing politics and humor. All you get is a sticky mess and a lot of upset environmentalists.
by Dear Jon, 5/18/10
Sort 428: Handling the Truth
And other lessons for cable channels
by Dear Jon, 5/11/10
Sort 427: Dear Jon Knew When to Shut Up
by Dear Jon, 5/4/10
» Complete List (462)

RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon

Recently Published
View Article Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out
The transgressions of youth and social media follow us
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/12/18
So Who are We to Judge?
A timely question
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/4/18
Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright
An amazing comeback for a disgraced golfer
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 9/28/18
Bert and Ernie are Not Gay!
Attempting to make sense of a senseless claim
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 9/21/18
A Prayer for Hurricane Victims
Asking God to calm the storm
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 9/14/18
Are We Ready for Some Football?
A rhetorical question as the NFL season kicks off
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 9/7/18
A "Dear John" Letter to Senator McCain
An expression of thanks for a remarkable leader
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 8/31/18

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2018 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top