Thursday, 26 February 2009

Johnathan Pearce almost gets it right, then gets it very wrong

Oh Johnathan, I want to like you, I almost succeed, and then you go and undo all of my progress. I was with you through most of this analysis of the varying reactions to the ridiculously smart Gail Trimble.

But then you had to go and say this as your closing assessment:
And then again, I will openly confess to having a weakness for brunettes with brains and a cultivated voice. I see the young lady has a few male admirers on the web. Good for her.
Good for her not that she is trouncing all challengers, not that she does not feel obligated to hide her pride at achievement as so many would want we uppity women to do (you mentioned this earlier but where was your follow-through?), but that a few men online - you included - find her hot. Because at the end of all the bothersome question-answering, is that not the ultimate success?


  1. Oh come on, I think it was obvious that I was being playful in that last comment which was not in the least meant to detract from what I said earlier. No need to take offence, please.


    Johnathan Pearce

  2. Lol. Well since there's no need...

    Your last comment was not meant to detract from what you said, but it wholly did. Because you were arguing the validity of Ms. Trimble being proud of her own accomplishments just because she has real old-fashioned intellect, and then you did what so many seeking to dismiss that same intellect have been doing in the media. You reduced her to her sex appeal - the extent to which she might be appealing to men.

    Sometimes it's not what we say, but what we don't feel the need to say. Why comment at all on her looks? As if that is supposed to make her more palatable. Because a woman who is taken just on the face value of that which makes her remarkable - her intelligence - is not enough? Her smarts have to be buoyed by beauty?

    And I realize it was playful. Playful is usually the tone of such things. But don't worry, I don't feel moved to tears about it. And thanks for taking the time to come over and respond.

  3. I agree with you, and left this comment at Pearce's post:

    "I read Mar's comment, and I don't agree that she seems like someone who always wants to complain. I think she makes a very good point. I, too, had a negative reaction to Pearce's playful comment at the end of the post. It sounds like he is backpeddling, trying to imply that we shouldn't take the post too seriously. Well, why not? It seems serious to me.

    Playful comments seem to be a guy thing, one of those gender-based style differences in communication.

    I would be very interested in hearing anything Mr. Pearce would like to share about the reason for the playful comment here. How did it enhance the message, in your view? Maybe we can strike a blow for cross-gender understanding."

    Sarah Rolph

  4. Great comment, Sarah. Thanks for posting it here. It amazes me that some of these people call themselves progressive and enlightened, in fact single themselves out as such in comparison with the rest of the population, yet when they make a comment about a member of a group and other people in that group take offence, they dismiss it. Because actually listening and trying to see how these people might be reasonable in their opposition rather than crazy banshees might challenge them too much. Gail Trimble herself has been quoted as saying that she doesn't mind the attention to her looks, but she wishes people wouldn't feel the need to comment on her looks at all. And that is exactly the point.

    But I guess that Gail, you, I, and several other people who might find that last sentence dismissive are just uptight and over-sensitive.


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