Esquire needs your help to say stupid shit about women

Just saw this on a couple of email lists and, well, wow.

Esquire is asking the women of America to take part in something huge. How huge? It just might be the largest survey of American women in the history of survey. Our goal is to interview 10,000 women – you read that correctly: 10,000 – and we only have one question: What is something that men don’t know about women?
Building on our popular monthly feature 10 Things You Don’t Know About Women (examples below, or by clicking this link ), we want to educate the American man about women in a way no one ever has: By directly asking 10,000 of them.

Finally, Esquire’s readers can understand those wacky creatures called women. By hearing random thoughts from them.


Feministing readers, let’s help them out, ok? Here’s the rest of the message, leave your responses in comments.

What exactly does Esquire want you to tell us? It could be a secret about the female species that you want to finally let us men in on. Could be a helpful hint, or a piece of advice no one’s ever had the heart or guts to give us. It could be something that you wish men would get through our thick heads.
When we ask celebrities, here is the kind of thing they tell us:

  • We find dark-colored sheets creepy. And they don’t conceal stains. – Jane Krakowski

  • We can scan a room faster than you can. Within sixty seconds we can spot every girl to watch out for and all the men we’d like to meet. – Carmen Electra
  • Women grab their crotches, too. We just have the decency to do it in private. – Padma Lakshmi
  • When you hug a woman at the end of a date, if you have any romantic intentions whatsoever, do not “bro-patâ€? her on the back. – Minnie Driver
  • We don’t want to hear the sound of you brushing your teeth and going to the bathroom at the same time. – Connie Britton
  • If, when asking a lady to spend the night, she says no, accept it and do not try to tip the scales with an offer of breakfast. Any girl who is swayed by the prospect of an omelette is probably not a keeper. – Liz Vassey
  • We shave our toes. – Ana Gasteyer
  • Best girlfriends can be very affectionate with each other. Just because we occasionally hold hands doesn’t mean this thing’s about to turn into Girls Gone Wild: Ultimate Spring Break. So simmer down. – Christina Applegate

So think hard about the unexplored pockets of male ignorance, and help us out. Help all men out. In the end, you’re really helping yourselves.
Now, if you’re stuck, here are a few fill-in-the-blanks to get the wheels spinning. (Or, not. Feel free to ignore these and express your own creativity here.)
“The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is…�
“The most chivalrous thing a man can do is…�
“At the end of a first date…�
“Not all women are…�
“If you had actually been able to look in the girls locker room in high school, you would have seen…�

Based on one of their suggested topics I’d say “The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is…â€? to ask for the deepest darkest secrets of womankind for an Esquire article. And, “Not all women are…â€? anything. Which is why this is dumb.
Anyway, help me out, people. Entertain me until Lost starts tonight. A little Thursday silliness never hurt anyone.

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118 Comments

  1. LynstHolin
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    “If you had actually been able to look in the girls locker room in high school, you would have seen…�
    Vestigial tails.

  2. Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Not all women are… characterized through sweeping statements about the whole gender.
    Or not all women are fucking stupid, like Esquire makes them out to be.

  3. harlemjd
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Wow, there are so many good answers I could give if this were being written as a serious piece. Like, “odds are, a woman you care about has been raped.” So many men hear the statistics and don’t stop to think about what they actually mean.

  4. Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    LynstHolin, I laugh-snorted. Thank you.

  5. zaneopal
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    “If you had actually been able to look in the girls locker room in high school, you would have seen…�
    Nothing, because the girls all changed in the bathroom at my high school.
    Though I loved the vestigial tales comment.

  6. Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Love this: “In the end, you’re really helping yourselves.”
    Because a) all women need men to really understand them, even lesbians and b) why does esquire assume that men need everything spelled out for them? Of course, they are talking about their readers. Man, let the generalizations FLY.

  7. Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Not all women are…
    stupid enough to date men who believe the shit they read in Esquire magazine.

  8. SarahMC
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    :eyes roll out of head:
    harlemjd, you should submit that one!! THAT is the type of thing men need to know about women.

  9. tgood
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    As someone who is regularly accused of not having a sense of humor about topics pertaining to women (rape, domestic violence, etc.), even I was taken aback by this post. My husband at one time subscribed to Esquire and I would occasionally read articles in it (and this regular column). As men’s magazines go, it’s not nearly as bad as some stuff out there (not great, I admit, but not Maxim or FHM). Having said all that, I don’t think anyone at Esquire seriously thinks they’re going to “demystify” the topic of women this way. It seemed to me to be offered in the spirit of humor and a way to poke fun at some stereotypes that exist. None of the posts says anything pertaining to rape or violence or the wage gap or anything all that serious, they’re just jokes about the way men and women interact and how we often misinterpret eachother. Male behavior mystifies me constantly, and I regularly poke fun at my husband for some of the very stereotypical male behavior he displays (especially while watching football). It goes both ways, and we laugh about it. This seems fairly harmless, although I know I’m setting myself up for a rash of comments on why I should be taking this more seriously.

  10. tgood
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, didn’t realize that post was so long when I was typing it…

  11. Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Mine would be: “Feminist chicks do not dig men dumb enough to read stupid surveys like this.”

  12. SM
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Jen, what the hell email lists are you on?? ;)
    Brash Lion, you’re exactly right. It’s the old game of making women constantly feel like they have to explain themselves. Because we’re so… different. And because the idea that men could actually consistently put effort into understanding different subjectivities is just… unrealistic.

  13. KittenFluff
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, my boyfriend subscribes to this and other stupid men’s magazines (including Details, Men’s Vogue, and GQ).

  14. Jovan1984
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Not all women want men to pay for their date.

  15. diptutod
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    What don’t men know about women?
    That we’re human.

  16. Xana
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    “The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is…�
    …read Esquire?
    “If you had actually been able to look in the girls locker room in high school, you would have seen…â€?
    …a bunch of young women rush to the door to punch/shove/beat your ass out of the locker room.

  17. Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    “They love Circuit City ads.”

  18. Foxfire
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Not all women are: this mysterious other that requires massive amounts of figuring out. We’re just PEOPLE.

  19. Peacenik
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Hmm. Sounds like the celebrities pretty much covered everything. I’m guessing the other 9992 responses are just going to be “yup, Christina Applegate was right on.”

  20. Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Women are not penis-receptacles, I repeat women are NOT penis-receptacles.

  21. Waterpixi
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Jacqueline & diptutod, exactly!!! I don’ like that the Esquire announcement even refers to us as, essentially, a completely different species.
    Enough. I need to go shave my toes.

  22. jfaustus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I grew up in the Midwest among real men and women (not like this bunch of hairy-legged harridans and whimpering she-males). You effete left-Coast sophisticates may mock Cosmo, Maxim, and Esquire but they speak to the souls of the heartland. And this is what they say:
    1. Women are irrational, unhinged creatures who must be managed as meticulously as a rabid tiger.
    2. Women are coldly calculating creatures who will weigh a man’s worth in a nanosecond and proceed to manage him as meticulosly as a circus lion.
    3. Women want sex all the time. All. The. Time.
    4. Women couldn’t care less about sex in and of itself, but instead use it in a well-honed carrot/stick game designed to produice diamonds, trips to Aruba, and floors without dirty clothes.
    5. Women speak a totally separate version of the language where they mean the opposite of what they say — except when they don’t.
    6. Women have complete control over the language and deploy it as a precision weapon to produce diamonds, trips to Aruba, and floors without dirty clothes.
    /snark
    The sad thing is, growing up in the Midwest I knew far more people who believed this shit than didn’t.

  23. thegoddessmelissa
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    “The most chivalrous thing a man can do is…�
    wake the f*ck up to the fact that Chivalry is an expression of misogyny that assumes women are stupid, helpless, less-than-men creatures that are to be either kept or coveted by you, the man, depending on your social station. And- if YOU asked ME out, you get the check. And vice versa.

  24. annajcook
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    *tsk* ;) feministing readers just aren’t getting the basic premise of oppositional gender: femininity (read: “all women”) must be a mysterious Other in order for the gender system to work correctly. Otherwise, men might actually be more like women than not which is too scary a thought to contemplate for many in the mainstream media.
    I hate the “dumb dudes” premise of the entire article. It not only belittles women by trying to make women mysterious (but ultimately more “date-able” if you decode them), it reinforces the stereotype that all men interact with women for the purpose of getting laid, and can’t think intelligent human-like thoughts beyond that objective. What could be more contrary to a feminist vision of male-female relations than that?
    And I don’t know . . . I’m actually kinda a fan of dark colored sheets . . . and part of the reason is that they DO hide stains :) !

  25. Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Goddamn lot of mouthy penis-receptacles up in here, up in here.

  26. annajcook
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    5. Women speak a totally separate version of the language where they mean the opposite of what they say — except when they don’t.
    Snort! It’s a good think I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read that :)

  27. Olivia
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    The most chivalrous thing a man can do….repsect women.
    Not all women are….puzzles to be solved.

  28. jfaustus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    [grin] Glad I got a chuckle!
    norbizness: Yup. And hairy-legged harridans too.

  29. Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The most chivalrous thing a man can do is . . . stop believing in bullshit concepts like chivalry, stop treating women like they’re fragile and helpless and to start respecting them as, you know, people.
    Women don’t exist for male pleasure.
    Not all women . . . want to fuck you.
    If you say that we’re PMSing and we’re not, we’re going to be even more angry at you and for a much longer time. If we actually are PMSing, seriously dude, how the fuck do you think that’s going to help?
    The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is . . .to vote Republican. Act like a patronizing ass. Read Esquire Magazine. Laugh at rape jokes. Laugh at other sexist jokes. Say something racist or homophobic. Talk shit about other women you’ve slept with. Wear Axe cologne. Brag about how much money you make. Watch lots of sports. Say that you don’t like cats.
    Well, okay, those are just ways to make sure that I won’t go to bed with you. Also, not being husband but also not being Bono or one of the hot dudes from Lost. That’s instant lose.

  30. Kristen
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is…thinking you can manipulate me into going to bed with you.
    The most chivalrous thing a man can do is…decry chivalry.
    At the end of a first date…act like a human being and treat every women like a human being.
    Not all women are…anything. We’re people not stereotypes.
    If you had actually been able to look in the girls locker room in high school, you would have see…people in various states of undress.

  31. Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    http://www.esquire.com/women/10-things-you-dont-know-about-women/10000things
    They would also like a photo with your submission, so no fatties plz.

  32. crshark
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    “And- if YOU asked ME out, you get the check. And vice versa.”
    Oh, that’s lovely. You want to spend time wth me? Pay up, Bud.

  33. Kimmy
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    What’s wrong with that arrangement? When I suggest we eat out, I pay. When my boyfriend suggests we eat out, he pays. Seems perfectly fair to me. Especially since he likes to eat out more than I can afford to.

  34. Theaetetus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Kristen: The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is…thinking you can manipulate me into going to bed with you.
    The most chivalrous thing a man can do is…decry chivalry.
    But for many men, isn’t the latter a method of the former?

  35. vtcheme
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    To all of you who decry chivarly, did it ever occur to you that chivarly can be a sign of respect? That it is a sign that “I am a nice guy. I’m not a Neandrathal.”
    I like opening the door for women. Not because I consider her weak or inferior, but because it shows I am paying attention to her. Same for pulling her chair out and holding her coat.
    I’ll always offer to pay the check. Why? Because it is polite. I’m sure she can pay, but that isn’t the point. It’s because it is gentlemanly. Of course, if she says “no, we can split it,” ok, fine.

  36. Kimmy
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Vtcheme, do you do the same thing for men? Do you hold doors for men? Do you offer to pay the check for male friends when you eat? Do you pull out their chairs or hold their coats?
    You don’t? How shocking. Is it because you don’t pay attention to men? Is it because you don’t respect men? Is it because you don’t wish to be polite to men?
    Or is it because you’re still viewing women as “other” rather than as just people? I think we all know the answer to that.

  37. jfaustus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Theaetetus. Although this thread is about the stupidity and unfairness of trafficking in stereotypes about women, it’s good to be reminded now and then that all (oh, sorry, “many”) men are pigs and if it seems otherwise they’re pretending in order to better serve their penises.

  38. Shinobi
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is to be reading these survey results with the hopes that you will figure out a way to make us go to bed with you.
    Not all women are interested in you. Not all women are the same. Not all women are going to put up with your misogynistic bull.

  39. Theaetetus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    jfaustus:
    Thanks, Theaetetus…. [many] men are pigs and if it seems otherwise they’re pretending in order to better serve their penises.

    Uh, don’t thank me, Sparky. My point was that many men do pretend to be nice in order to better serve their penises. That wasn’t clear?
    For example, in the post immediately following mine, we see:
    I like opening the door for women. Not because I consider her weak or inferior, but because it shows I am paying attention to her. Same for pulling her chair out and holding her coat.
    See, call me crazy, but I’ve always been of the opinion that you show someone you’re paying attention to them by, well, paying attention to them.
    Holding a chair makes you a waiter, and holding a coat makes you a tailor. Holding a conversation… But I can see that that concept may be a little bit beyond you both…

  40. viceabbess
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    but jfaustus, i do want sex. All. The. Time. guess i am a good fit for the esquire survey ;0

  41. Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Nice Guy (TM) alert!!!

  42. roro80
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Glancing your way does not mean I want to kiss you.
    Kissing you does not mean I want to go home with you.
    Just because I like kittens doesn’t mean I’m not tough as nails.
    I am just as smart as you, despite what the blondness may indicate.
    And yes, I am, in fact, coming after your job. Muahahahaha!

  43. crshark
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Kimmy – Not a thing. Your use of the word “arrangement” is the key. Whatever you and your bf have worked out between y’all doesn’t need to be justified to anyone, least of all to some dumbass anonymous commenter like me. However, I inferred an undertone of expectation from the original comment, and that’s what I was reacting to.
    Just curious, may I ask if you have the same arrangement (i.e., the inviter coughs it up) with all your dining companions, or just your bf?

  44. jfaustus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Do they really? Pretend, I mean? Many? How many is that? 200? 2,000? 2,000,000? The guy you’re referring to seems to genuinely believe that ‘chivalry’ and ‘acting gentlemanly’ are good things in and of themselves. That’s certainly misguided, but is it a deliberate, sinister manipulation designed to get in women’s pants? Seems like a stretch to me.
    And “many”, by the way, is code for “pretty much all”. As seen in statements I bet you would find as offensive as I do, such as “many women say ‘no’ when they mean ‘yes’”, or “many women wer revealing clothing because they want men to stare at their bodies,” or “many women are teases who use sex to get what they want.”

  45. SarahMC
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    vtcheme, “chivalry” is sexist because it’s a model of courtship that is very one-directional. The man is active while the woman is passive.
    If it’s polite for a man to pull out chairs for women, then aren’t the women being rude by not pulling chairs out for men?
    It’s a double standard.

  46. azliza
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    The guy you’re referring to seems to genuinely believe that ‘chivalry’ and ‘acting gentlemanly’ are good things in and of themselves.
    uh yeah.. and then they genuinely believe that they’re entitled to a goodnight kiss or a goodnight fuck.. and some of them believe they’re entitled to rape a woman. genuinely believing something doesn’t make it any less slimy, IMO.

  47. Glossolalia Black
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    “The most chivalrous thing a man can do is…�
    … to treat me like a beloved equal and not a “special lady”.

  48. Theaetetus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    jfaustus:
    Do they really? Pretend, I mean? Many? How many is that? 200? 2,000? 2,000,000?

    Well, we know the answer isn’t zero. And any more than that is too many, isn’t it?
    I leave the specific data-gathering and statistical analysis as an exercise for the reader.
    The guy you’re referring to seems to genuinely believe that ‘chivalry’ and ‘acting gentlemanly’ are good things in and of themselves. That’s certainly misguided, but is it a deliberate, sinister manipulation designed to get in women’s pants? Seems like a stretch to me.
    Not really… First, he’s posting it here, which implies that he’s not as misguided as we’d like to think. Second, while “sinister” is not the right word (because it carries malicious connotations), “deliberate” and “manipulation” certainly are the right words.
    Finally, giving him the complete benefit of the doubt, he could honestly be misguided, believing he’s being nice, but is actually being dishonest and manipulative. So… no.
    And “many”, by the way, is code for “pretty much all”.
    Nope, it’s code for “more than some” and “less than all”. Don’t read things into something that aren’t there, simply because of your anger at other people using hyperbole. I certainly wasn’t using it.

  49. Theaetetus
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    azliza: uh yeah.. and then they genuinely believe that they’re entitled to a goodnight kiss or a goodnight fuck.. and some of them believe they’re entitled to rape a woman. genuinely believing something doesn’t make it any less slimy, IMO.
    Well, isn’t that chivalry? An unspoken, but implied, contractual obligation that enables a guy to then say, “why won’t you sleep with me? I bought you dinner and held out your chair! If I knew I wasn’t going to get any, I would have done something I’d enjoy!”

  50. azliza
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    oh yeah… i always forget that part.

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