Men as wholes, women as sums of their parts. i

From Electric Literature

Describe Yourself Like a Male Author Would’ Is the Most Savage Twitter Thread in Ages
The challenge is a fierce indictment of what happens when you try to write a character you don’t respect or understand

The injunction to women describe themselves as a man would has received a lot of notice. One interesting fact that is that women apparently found it easy to describe themseves as men do, and everyone seemed to get that it was a matter of focusing on parts. Boobs seem especially prominant. Men are seen holistically, but women are not.

One further interesting and possibly related fact is that we all seem in general to notice women’s parts first. (See references at the end.) I think it is important that vision is implicated in these differences. At the very least, it means that our explanations of non-holistic view of women are constrained. They need to account for the difference in vision.

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I expect that readers won’t have any problem understanding “holistic,” but we can just note for illustration the following example. With the house below advertised for sale, a holistic description might go, “Pretty Victorian two bedroom home close to the city center with West facing garden.”

Journal Reference:

Sarah J. Gervais, Theresa K. Vescio, Jens Förster, Anne Maass, Caterina Suitner. Seeing women as objects: The sexual body part recognition bias. European Journal of Social Psychology, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.1890
Cite This Page:
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “How our brains see men as people and women as body parts: Both genders process images of men, women differently.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120725150215.

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