The itchiness of women

Itchiness in women is a sore point. Just the acknowledgement is a put down. I read a study of itchiness in women in the Atlantic magazine.
Mama itch with two of her female children. Little itches.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/the-evolution-of-bitchiness/281657/?utm_source=atlfb

What bothered me was the experiment. They basically proved that women could not contain their cattiness when the woman giving instructions wore a low cut blouse with their boobs hanging out, hot pants and boots versus when the same woman wore a more conservative outfit of a blue knit top with khaki pants.

Well duh, what happened to you dress for the job you aspire to. If you dress like a call girl, why would you invoke respect from women or men.

The inverse of this would be men would be more likely to make a sexual advance to a woman presenter dressed sexy. I think this is why I went home from teaching school, changed clothes, put on make-up and fluffed my hair up to go nightclubbing on Friday nights. I don't think men would have asked that haggard teacher that left work to dance.

As a teacher, I have been called an "itch". I've been white itch, fat itch, big tittied itch. I've been friends with black "itches" and fellow white itches, fat itches, you get the picture. These ladies were terribly nice in my opinion. I did know a teacher who bragged the students thought she was an "itch". Frankly, if the shoe fits . . .

I worked at a school that was supposedly filled with "itches". We worked for a woman who had a lot of guts. At the time I thought she was so courageous because she came from a very wealthy family. I learned that woman had a strong spirit and a keen sense of justice. She paid for every time she stood up for you, herself or someone else.

The study in the Atlantic made me think of a study by Margaret Mead. She went to fancy eastern colleges and tried to persuade the young ladies to eat turnip greens, etc during World War II. The gals did not eat more of the vegetables in response to Margaret Mead's august praise of the food. The commentator stated a flaw was Margaret Mead should have gotten a movie star, et al to do the touting of the food. Accomplished as Margaret Mead was, she was not glamorous. I don't have a source for this anecdote. It is from memory.

Which leads me to another item? Why are we raising kids to think someone giving them an honest opinion is their enemy. As a teacher, I sugar coated criticism. I also told kids I was paid to correct them.

I follow a blog of an incredibly intelligent and talented writer. She will be a force in literature if she does not implode first. She was chastised and released on twitter for taking another person's work and appropriating it as hers. Being 16, she was indignant that the scholar she had borrowed so heavily from told her to take it down and dropped it since she was a minor. If you read the blog post, it is child's indignation.

 This is the post.

In the comments, her friends agreed with her. Real friends would tell her there is a time to listen to the criticism. I thought of commenting. But, she was told by these women.

This was my beef with some gifted students when I taught school. They were bright and used to being told how good they were. They were that bright. But somehow, some thought they were perfect. This was usually combined with parents who had no tolerance of someone doing their child wrong whether the child was right or wrong.

I had a great deal of admiration for the father who called my young self and told me not to change a grade until his child brought it to my attention. I had taken high 90 something average and put like 85 in the computer. I just made a mistake. Some parents would have gone nuclear on me. It took about two days for the child to discuss it with me. I deserved an academy award for saying, "Oh you are right, let me fix it."

Do I like criticism? No. I like my life as easy as it can be. It just don't work that way. But I have benefited from some pretty mean spirited criticism. There is always something there to use. I have to remind myself when I get rejection for what I write. It has made me a better writer. It is also giving me the confidence to know whether I agree or not. But no I don't like criticism. I had someone read my first screenplay and he tore it apart. I laid in bed looking at the ceiling after reading his review. And you know, everything he said was right.

The argument in the Atlantic discusses that women don't like their loose counterparts because it makes it harder for men to commit to long term relationships with them. I get the logic. I just think that the argument demeans men and women. It is like all men only want a succession of one night stands. I agree with the pun that women have sex to have men say I love you and men say I love you to have sex.

I don't know, I don't know. But I do know men live longer with a spouse than being single. I also know I am not an "itch" when I speak my mind while being female. I'm old enough to know that nursing a grievance is not a sign of deep thought. Which is another thought and this post is long enough.





Comments

  1. That's why kids today can't survive in the world on their own. They've been coddled. Everyone wins. Everyone is PC. Guess what kids - that's not reality!

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    1. I agree. Life can certainly dish things out and being able to adapt and accept everything is not going to go your way is a life skill we all need.

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  2. I think it is with criticism that we do grow and help ourselves to improve if we take the criticism (hopefully "constructive") and fully evaluate why someone would have made the comment in the first place. I don't think there is anyone that likes criticism, but if don't critique or be critiqued, how is one to grow and learn?

    betty

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    1. It is ironic that what discourages us makes us develop more.

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  3. Everyone is so sensitive to criticism and feels so entitled. That indignant child is the perfect example. I just saw a battle over at Facebook where someone had taken another person's artwork (which she makes a living from selling) and adjusted it and made it her Facebook banner. The artist was nice, asking her to take it down since she'd changed it and it wasn't hers. The person said what was the big deal, she'd seen the image on Facebook, and she wasn't taking it down. (The artist did report her.) People see stuff online and they think it's free for the taking.

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    1. I would hate to be her mother. Better yet, she would hate for me to be her mother.

      She really was given a break for appropriating another person's work. I have heard of people sent a bill instead of a warning.

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  4. It's good to take criticism and get feedback. Kids today are waaaay to coddled. That everyone wins or everyone gets a trophy thing now is stupid. You learn a heck of a lot more from losing in many cases than you ever do from winning.

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    1. You said a mouthful with learning more. A little humility goes a long way with understanding what you need to do to be the best.

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  5. Ahh...you always have such thought provoking posts. I wish I could sit down and chat with you about things. Truly.

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    1. You would probably want to duck and hide, lol. You are so kind with your comment. Thanks.

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  6. Interesting post, Ann! I was never so glad to leave the high heels behind and to my surprise, not only the guys I had to boss around, but even my boss liked me better! Perception is indeed subjective. They thought I was unfriendly when I actually I was only uncomfortable with the way I felt I ought to dress for the position. Once I dressed like everyone else (jeans and tees) we all got along just fine;-)
    I agree, kids today have no clue because they've never had to.

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    1. I had a similar experience in teaching. I worked with a teacher who really went too far pandering to students. But I learned it was just as important to butter the students up as well as keep them in line. Thanks for your comment Diedre.

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  7. While one applauds for dressing to one's own wishes it may not be prudent to stick to it and remaining insensitive to others. It may attract snide comments or attract unnecessary attention. The best is dress according to the occasions and one can do no wrong. Going shopping is different from being in class as you've said. Very true, Ann!

    Hank

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  8. Criticism isn't one of my favorites:)

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  9. My 22 year old daughter and I talk about this subject a lot. I know when I was teaching that at least two of the principals who worked in my building called me a *itch behind my back. I know it was because I was never intimated by them and told them when they were wrong or made a mistake. Not that I was ever unkind about it but some men in supervisory positions can't take any criticism from a woman.
    On the other hand, my daughter proudly tells me that she learned out to do '*itch face' from me and when she's wearing people know not to argue with her.
    And the study about men living longer if they're married, did it now also say that unmarried women live longer than married ones?

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    1. Unmarried women live longer from what I have read. Maybe it is something about teaching that makes people label women itches. Congrats on raising a daughter who can stand up for herself.

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