Prevention (India Edition)
I was taken aback on reading your note in the latest (July 2007) issue of Prevention magazine (India Edition).
Here’s an extract of the note that I found particularly startling:
“I know of a man who had devised a simple way to sort his laundry. He would fling them on the wall in front of him. If they stuck, thanks to the grime, they were ready for a wash. If they didn’t, he would use them until they did.”
From this you conclude that “men are wired differently” and that “men don’t waste their time fussing about cleanliness”.
You also go on to call the July issue of Prevention a “user’s guide to men”. You seem to have decoded men in entirety.
I am sorry to say but this is the worst kind of gender-based over-generalisation I have read in my life.
First, you have simply declared that “men” care little about cleanliness.
Ms. Chakraborty, just because you happen to know an unkempt, scruffy man who doesn’t wash his clothes till they become “sticky” doesn’t mean that all men do the same. Far from it…in fact there are as many men out there who fuss about cleanliness as there are women.
Then, you mention men not being interested in “cooking elaborate meals”. I would like to draw your attention to an interesting statistic: 79 percent of all lead kitchen positions including chefs are men; and these guys cook nothing if not elaborate meals. Not that it makes any difference. Chefs or not, if you ask me, cooking elaborate meals is a matter of personal interest and has nothing to do with gender.
If I sound like I am writing in defence of men, then I am not. I am only writing against gender-based over-generalisation.
To prove my point, let me give you an example of another common and absurd over-generalisation – this one stacked against women:
“Men are better and safer drivers than women”.
You’d be pleasantly surprised to know that in 1998, American women caused only 27 percent of fatal crashes while American men caused the rest. (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, USA)
Moving on, the article you refer to in your editor’s note (Steal His Routine, Prevention, July 2007) is equally absurd. It says:
“Guys go from fast asleep to ready for work in 20 minutes flat.”
Are you kidding? It takes me at least, and I mean at the very least, an hour to get ready for work from the time I wake up! I prefer two though. I know many of my male friends who need similar timelines to get ready in the mornings. On the other hand, some of my female friends are quicker to get ready.
Any kind of over-generalisation only reflects prejudice. Physiological differences are all right. But behavioural differences between men and women are not rules. I think it is unbecoming of a magazine like Prevention to take such a biased view of half of the world’s population. I hope you prevent such a prejudiced view of the world in your future editions.