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.

Join the Conversation

  • tashkent

    I have a question for everyone.
    Do you think women’s magazines try to be less sensational and don’t stereotype men as much? Because to me it seems more of an American media problem than one of feminism in particular. To me it’s more annoying than offensive because I just can’t imagine any men I know taking it seriously, although I realize it has a lot of impact on younger guys. What is your take on women’s vs. men’s magazines?

  • Katxyz

    tashkent, Many women’s magazines are terrible about stereotyping both women and men. Cosmo is probably the worst offender. It regular prints pseudo evolutionary psychology articles (“How Male and Female Brains are different) and has “What Men Want/Like/All Act Like” articles every single month. Every female oriented magazine seems to have a “Ask a Man” columnist or “Man of the Street Feature” that’s similar to the “10 Things” Esquire feature.
    Many men’s magazines, especially the ones targeted at younger readers also stereotype men and encourage very limited views of masculinity.
    However, I think female stereotyping is more common across the board, in both male and female magazines, because women are featured prominently in both types of publications. It’s the classic example of what’s on both types of magazine covers: an idealized version of a woman. Even just sitting in the stand, the publications show the public how women should look and act.

  • SmallTownPsychosis

    My addition would be: “It is never funny to squeeze my boob and make a “ee-onk” bicycle horn sound.

    We have a winner!
    Also, goosing a woman when they are ahead of you on the stairs is not endearing. “Hate your fucking guts” would not be too strong of a description for how those things make us feel.
    When we smile and laugh a bit and say, “honey, don’t do that please” what we really mean is “I’d like to stab an ice pick in your neck right now, but I seem to be fresh out.”
    Of course, given that we have some concern trolls, I will qualify this to say that “we” and “us” is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 and all women. YMMV.

  • Shadow32

    Just as annoying as stereotyping is the “everyone is like me” article which presents theories on what men/women are really like based on the logic: I’m a typical male/female; this is what I’m like; therefore all members of my gender are like this and if they say they aren’t, they’re lying.
    The more open-minded versions of this article will usually throw in “This is what I’m like and my friends are this way too so all my gender are like this.”
    Being male, I notice this more in articles written by men, but I’ve seen it in a few written by women as well.

  • Shadow32

    In answer to your question, Shelby, holding doors for women is what I was taught, holding them for men is more of an add-on (I make no claims this is a good thing, but that’s my reflex). And I live in a part of the south where I’m more on the ill-mannered side for not doing more traditional courtesies–my female friends periodically chide me because I don’t pull out my date’s chair, for instance.

  • Shadow32

    In answer to your question, Shelby, holding doors for women is what I was taught, holding them for men is more of an add-on (I make no claims this is a good thing, but that’s my reflex). And I live in a part of the south where that’s largely expected and in fact, I’m slightly on the ill-mannered side for not doing more: I don’t stand up when a woman enters/leaves, I don’t pull out my date’s chair (something my female friends have chided me for not doing).

  • aren3

    The best way to make sure we will not go to bed with you tonight is… treating us like we’re some sort of ancient gods that need to be appeased with sacrifices of gifts and money in order to get us to do what you want.
    The most chivalrous thing a man can do is… gonna agree with whoever said “be a feminist.”
    Not all women are… the same.
    If you had actually been able to look in the girls locker room in high school, you would have seen… high school girls putting on PE clothes in a totally non-sensual manner.
    And for the record: I like dark-colored sheets because I like everything to be dark-colored.
    And as for the shaving of toes, my personal faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster forbids the removal of hair from any part of my body other than my head.

  • Andrea

    I fucking hate the goddamn locker room fantasy bullshit. A female high-school locker room contains UNDERAGE (for that matter), insecure girls who are changing as fast as they can so that no one will see whatever body part they are most ashamed of this week. Oh, and they’re probably not wearing matching push-up bras and thongs. Chances are, some of them even haven’t shaved their legs/armpits for a few days, so they may even be *gasp* HAIRY. Also, I don’t know about other high schools, but none of the girls at mine ever used the nasty showers. HEAR THAT BOYS? WE WEREN’T NAKED.

  • dananddanica

    well the locker room thing can extend out beyond high school Andrea. my high school girl friends said they were indeed naked as we had a really nice facility though still with open showers. college was the same and military facilities, at least at the bases I was were really great for women as they were the newest.
    theres a reason its a fantasy and not reality but it does indeed happen. though i wonder what women think goes on in a mens locker room.

  • jfaustus

    Theaetetus:
    Sorry for mistaking your gender. I was guessing, and shouldn’t have, based on “Thea” (the name of a friend I grew up with). My apologies.
    On your substantive point:
    Are you seriously claiming that words mean only what the dictionary says they mean? That, for instance, if I say “I feel like a million dollars” what I mean to say is “at the moment I perceive my body to resemble a pile of oblong pieces of paper covered in numbers and obscure Masonic designs?” Or that when someone says “say that again and I’ll kill you” they are contemplating murder?
    Ye gods (by which I do not actually mean to invoke pagan dieties, but rather to make an exclamation of general frustration), huge swaths of this very site address the nuances of meaning.
    You declare that you did not mean to be crass and dismissive in your original comment. Fair enough. As I said a fre comments ago:

    On the semantics of “many”, I guess what you meant to say was that too many guys pretend to decry chivalry in order to manipulate women into bed. Or maybe just that it is wrong when a guy pretends and manipulates. Agreed completely on both points. One is too many.
    But that’s not what you did say.

    I’ve provided several examples of statements using the word “many” that I would find offensive. I imagine you would, too. I’ve stated why I would find them offensive: a) because they obscure complexity and are therefore reductive; and, b) because they rely on gratuitous quantification, which is sloppy and adds nothing to the discussion. I’ll add now what I didn’t say before: gratuitous quantification undermines the force of numbers generated by serious research.
    You have yet to respond to any of those points, choosing instead to cite the dictionary and to attack me for being unable to grasp your point, for decrying chivalry as a manipulative tactic to get women in bed, and now for being dishonest.
    I asked you to drop the personal attacks, and now I ask again. Otherwise, I don’t think I have anything further to say to you.

  • ShelbyWoo

    A female high-school locker room contains UNDERAGE
    Yeah, it’s kinda skeevy that Esquire thinks (and there probably are a few) that grown men still care what goes on in a random girl’s high school locker room. *shudder*
    I also agree that most girl’s high school locker rooms were full of self-conscious girls trying to change as fast as possible so the other girls wouldn’t see [insert body part(s)]. Looking back, no one notice those parts I was trying to hide because they were too busy hiding their own bodies. Sad.
    Shadow32: That makes some sense. You know, I’ve never gotten the pulling-the-chair thing, for some reason, it makes me uncomfortable and little nervous.

  • http://daltonator.net/durandal/blog/index.php?paged=5 Marshall Lucky

    I fucking hate the goddamn locker room fantasy bullshit. A female high-school locker room contains UNDERAGE (for that matter), insecure girls who are changing as fast as they can so that no one will see whatever body part they are most ashamed of this week. –Andrea
    Voyeurism is part of human nature. Even more so for boys (who are also underage) who don’t know shit from Shinola when it comes to the opposite sex. Curious youths assume that since girls are undressing/getting dressed that it would be fun (for the boys) to be in the locker room and showers and watch. The idea that someone would “hate” the fact that underage boys have lusty instincts for underage girls (or vice versa) shows a rather unhealthy attitude. It’s just a phase and most boys grow out of it.
    Yeah, it’s kinda skeevy that Esquire thinks (and there probably are a few) that grown men still care what goes on in a random girl’s high school locker room. *shudder* –ShelbyWoo
    No, it’s just that normal adult males can look back and laugh at the types of fantasies they had as teenagers, as well as the idiotic and embarassing things we did back then because we thought it would improve our chances of getting laid. I’d be more worried about the kinds of people who never got over the humiliation of popping a boner just as the teacher asked them to solve and algebra problem on the chalkboard, than someone who at the age of 14 thought the girls’ locker rooms and showers were like something out of one of those late night tit-flicks on Cinemax.

  • http://daltonator.net/durandal/blog/index.php?paged=5 Marshall Lucky

    I fucking hate the goddamn locker room fantasy bullshit. A female high-school locker room contains UNDERAGE (for that matter), insecure girls who are changing as fast as they can so that no one will see whatever body part they are most ashamed of this week. –Andrea
    Voyeurism is part of human nature. Even more so for boys (who are also underage) who don’t know shit from Shinola when it comes to the opposite sex. Curious youths assume that since girls are undressing/getting dressed that it would be fun (for the boys) to be in the locker room and showers and watch. The idea that someone would “hate” the fact that underage boys have lusty instincts for underage girls (or vice versa) shows a rather unhealthy attitude. It’s just a phase and most boys grow out of it.
    Yeah, it’s kinda skeevy that Esquire thinks (and there probably are a few) that grown men still care what goes on in a random girl’s high school locker room. *shudder* –ShelbyWoo
    No, it’s just that normal adult males can look back and laugh at the types of fantasies they had as teenagers, as well as the idiotic and embarassing things we did back then because we thought it would improve our chances of getting laid. I’d be more worried about the kinds of people who never got over the humiliation of popping a boner just as the teacher asked them to solve and algebra problem on the chalkboard, than someone who at the age of 14 thought the girls’ locker rooms and showers were like something out of one of those late night tit-flicks on Cinemax.

  • http://daltonator.net/durandal/blog/index.php?paged=5 Marshall Lucky

    Oops, sorry about the double-post!

  • Theaetetus

    jfaustus:
    Are you seriously claiming that words mean only what the dictionary says they mean?

    In a certain manner, yes. Colloquialism and slang aside, because this was clearly neither colloquialism or slang, words do mean their meanings. Some means some, all means, well, all, and many means many. Why are you being so pedantic about this, particularly when the pedantic view would be “hey, you’re right – ‘many’ does actually mean less than ‘all’. I guess that completely destroys my criticism of your point.”
    That’s what you should have said…
    Instead, you prop up a strawman:
    I’ve provided several examples of statements using the word “many” that I would find offensive. I imagine you would, too.
    Yes, and was this one? ‘Cause if it was, it’s purely due to your reading of it. As I – and many other posters here – explained, “many” in this case meant exactly its dictionary definition.
    You turning “many” into “all” and then proceeding to be offended at it? That’s a whole pile of fail.
    You have yet to respond to any of those points, choosing instead to cite the dictionary and to attack me for being unable to grasp your point
    You’re right. That’s kinda the definition of a strawman argument. I haven’t responded to your points about how the word “all” can be too expansive and offensive because – get this, Sparky – I didn’t use the word “all”. That’s a strawman, and since you built it, you can shove it up your ass.
    I asked you to drop the personal attacks, and now I ask again. Otherwise, I don’t think I have anything further to say to you.
    Suits me, doody-head. You’ve taken up way too much of this conversation and ended up steering it into whether “many” means “all” – really only one short step from whether “no” means “yes”. Good day, Sir.

  • harlemjd

    Not all women are interested in hearing what changes they could make to their hair/make-up/clothing to be more attractive to you. (in fact, damn few of us are, especially if you’re a total stranger or someone we know to be married)

  • adaerid

    At the end of a first date…don’t expect her to invite you in and don’t piss on her ivy bushes, just cause she didn’t. (This happened a long time ago on Blind Date-who remembers that episode?)

  • literarycritic

    I haven’t responded to your points about how the word “all” can be too expansive and offensive because – get this, Sparky – I didn’t use the word “all”. That’s a strawman, and since you built it, you can shove it up your ass.
    Wow, Theaetetus. Someone has a real problem with the slightest intimation that he might be wrong!
    But you are wrong. The point of jfaustus’s comments was not, in fact, that “the word “all” can be too expansive and offensive.” Instead, it was that the word many can be too expansive, and hence offensive. And you did use the word ‘many,'” and you did use it in a way that could be construed as offensive due to its over-inclusiveness. It ruffled my feathers, too, honestly. I see jfaustus’s point, and I agree.
    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.”
    You would find these statements offensive if they weren’t clearly being used as counter-examples. I know you would. You know you would. You’re just denying it now because you don’t want to see the obvious corollaries between how you said what you said and how other people excuse the sweeping generalizations they make about women. Because you would never make an offensive statement. Of course not.
    It really was a valid criticism. You could’ve just accepted the point and moved on, but that would’ve been too gracious.
    And it’s so mature to call someone “doody-head” for asking you to stop personally insulting them. Really, good show!