Lessons from Search Terms: The Radical Notion that Women are People

Of all the ways blogging teaches you about human nature, I think the strangest is suddenly having access to a few random moments in the mind of a few random strangers whose google search terms randomly lead them to your blog. Having the word “women” repeated all over my blog means the ones I get seem to show me these snapshots of young men (hopefully very young) in the midst of existential relationship crises. Good times.

So I learn some lessons, today’s being, from the individual who asks: “why ethics are used for women at work”, the reminder that apparently, it is a radical notion, because the question would seem to imply that these creatures called “women” should for some reason be handled by methodology other than “ethics”, often summarized in my mind as…not being an asshole.

Which segues nicely into the desire to provide a response to the gentleman who asked “Does being an asshole work on girls?” though I know the chances are slim that he bookmarked my blog and will be returning. The lesson I would like to provide in return is: only if you think of women as a goal, a destination, an accomplishment. Not as, you know, people with whom you might like to interact, entities that you might engage in a relationship of ongoing mutual growth and support. I’m trying to describe this in a way that gets at a layer underneath the typical “Nice Guy” crap, in that defining interactions, especially flirtatious/romantic/sexual interactions, in terms of what “works” has pre-established that interaction as a transaction, defined what you want out of the deal and reduced your conversations to a series of steps that you can check off on the way to “success”. And that makes me kind of sad for the random search term people, because they’re missing out on a whole world of real conversation and community and camaraderie, and because inevitably, it makes the vast majority of their conversations with women either irrelevant or failures.

Now, the lessons that our random search term friends will take from the other hits they get from their google searches lead us into another realm of study entirely. Much more advanced issues at work there. Definitely not a topic for the introductory class.


2 thoughts on “Lessons from Search Terms: The Radical Notion that Women are People

  1. Oliver Jones says:

    There’s something profoundly disturbing about the association of ‘work’ with both ‘woman’ and ‘co-dependent romantic entanglement’, and it points to a horrifying internalization of capitalist patriarchal hegemony. But there are certainly usages for ‘work’ that can signify a healthier conception of the interpersonal gender exchange (or to speak in human, dating and sex and so on). Like “hey, this is working for me” or “we work well together” and so on, no?

  2. purtek says:

    True, absolutely. But ” on” as the preposition takes those possibilities away in this search string. Working for and working together have very different implications in terms of subject/object and patient/beneficiary than working on.

    I love that you just offhandedly toss off “yeah, yeah, horrifying internalization of capitalist patriarchal hegemony, that’s a given…what more can we talk about?” (that isn’t a sarcastic statement).

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