Antifeminists regularly charge feminists like me with assuming men and women are the same. Which is a bit silly. I don’t know any feminist who assumes men and women are the same, whether the differences are due to biology (I can’t grow a baby in my belly) or culture (women are far more likely to while away their evenings reading or writing fanfic about Sam and Dean). I think the confusion amongst the antifeminists on this point stems from the fact that the specific things they think are different between men and women are often nothing more than sexist nonsense, and feminists can’t help but point this out.
No, if you want to see the ways men and women really are different, it helps to start with actual data rather than a bunch of retrograde sexist assumptions you pull out of your ass. The folks behind the OkCupid dating site have lots of data – users of the site fill out detailed profiles and answer countless questions about themselves in order to find others like them – and they know how to crunch it. Which means they can tell you with a great deal of precision what the men and women who use their site think about all sorts of things. Which is why OkCupid’s blog is so often a source of wonderment.
Take the latest post – thanks to Feministe for alerting me to it – which presents an assortment of creative charts — like the one above, depicting some of the actual differences between men and women on the site.
Who knew that men who mention “poetry” in their profiles were more likely to be into rough sex than dudes who talk about “boating?”
And what about guys who are into both poetry and boating? There must be some. I mean, many of my favorite poems involve Nantucket, a small island reachable only by boat.
Most of the rest of the charts in the latest post don’t specifically contrast men and women, but are interesting in all sorts of other ways. (You may have to change some of your assumptions about vegetarians.) If you want more on gender differences (not to mention intersting stuff on race), I’d suggest looking back through the OkCupid blog’s back catalogue. Here’s an interesting post on The Mathematics of Beauty. And then there’s this classic, which is probably a big part of why the fortysomething women I know who’ve used the site have gotten so, so many messages from horny guys half their age.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I love the OkCupid blog
And so, I think, will you
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