Skepticism

Grrl Genius?

To be fair, I wasn’t being fair. I followed a link through iVillage.com, where I had been browsing around seeing what kind of crap they were throwing at women. I was, at first, impressed that on their “holistic health” page, they featured one article questioning the healing power of magnets and another claiming pretty conclusively that echinacea doesn’t cure colds. Then I clicked on a link to the blog of one self-proclaimed “Grrl Genius.”

Cathryn Michon has apparently written a few books under the “Grrl Genius” title — The Grrl Genius Guide to Life and The Grrl Genius Guide to Sex (with Other People). According to her bio,

When she had the world’s lowest self-esteem, she declared herself to be a Grrl Genius and wrote a book about how to have high self-e steem, and it has worked out great! When she was going through a horrible divorce, she declared herself to be a sex and relationshi p expert, despite the fact that she was not having sex and had never had a good relationship. That’s worked out great too!

Thus succinctly summing up everything that’s wrong with the self-help section of your local bookstore. I hope things have “worked out great” for all the people who took her advice, too.

I read her most recent entry and felt bad for snarkily giggling over this (bolding mine):

Here’s the crazy thing. Most fashion lines go up to size 12, but over 62% of women in America wear a size larger than 12. No that was not a typo. 62% of women can’t wear the clothes shown in the sugar-free tents of Bryant Park.

Can you imagine Detroit making cars that over 62% of consumers couldn’t drive?

So Michele Weston is a major Grrl Genius for publicizing the fact that people in the fashion industry apparently don’t want to automatically increase their profits by 62%. Fashion must be a pretty easy and profitable business!

I’m no math major, but I’m going to guess that 62% of the 150 million in America is a lot of women!

Okay, so then I felt bad. After all, not everybody can figure out that if you have, say, 38 customers today and 100 customers tomorrow, you haven’t increased your customer base by 62%.

Then I checked out her archives and came across this gem:

There’s a reason that 50% of marriages end in divorce: it’s how they start. With uneasiness and compromise and pressure leading up to a big overblown wedding. Everyone focuses on the wedding and no one thinks about the marriage.

I blame women for this, they are the ones who focus on marriage as “the goal.” I wish women would stop making marriage the goal, and start caring more about having loving relationships with people they actually like. Who actually like them.

So let’s check the logic here.

A. Half of marriages end in divorce because of a bad start.
B. Women are to blame for the bad start.
C. Women are the cause of half of marriages ending in divorce.

Wow. You learn a new thing every day, don’t you? Like, apparently women are marriage-obsessed and needy. Alert the media! Let the right wing know that gay people aren’t going to ruin marriage. Women already did it for them.

I think it’s time I declared myself an expert on something I know nothing about, and then things will work out great for me, too!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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2 Comments

  1. writerdd
    February 20, 2006 at 11:15 pm —

    My husband keep saying we need to start a business to take advantage of dumb people. I just can’t bring myself to be so mean, but he’s probably right that we’d get rich.

  2. Bruce
    March 24, 2006 at 12:11 pm —

    Ironically, if you haven't read her books, you essentially ARE talking about something you know nothing about. The Grrl Genius philosophy is very empowering for young women. As a father, I'm heartily in favor.

    You got her on a misssed word ("profits" instead of "market") and have lifted another paragraph out of context… sorry, but you're pretty superficial here.

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