Thursday, September 06, 2007

She's rational/he's a flake...

There seems to be a common point of view that women are more susceptible than men when it comes to new age woo-woo (and indeed old age woo-woo: horoscopes, homeopathy and the like). Men are the rational ones, we're more... "intuitive" (read: flakey, gullible, and prone to uncritically accept answers that "just feel right").

I've often wondered if this has any basis in fact. After all - for every Randi there's a Uri, and 66% of the very rich UK fortune tellers I can name, are men: Jonathan Cainer and Russel Grant for the guys, Mystic Meg for the gals. Maybe the "XY = rational, XX = addlebrained" divide is just the way the media plays it. Are all the loopy guys, and rational women, hiding?

Well, my suspicions were further piqued on receiving this email:

I am contacting you from [TV Channel]. We are producing a new programme called [Hopelessly Derivative Programme Name] and I was wondering if you might know someone who would like to take part. The premise of the show is opposites attract. We are looking to match people together who have different viewpoints so there will be interesting discussion and have them spend a long weekend together to see if romance [1] can take place over opposing views.

We are looking for a sceptic man in his 30’s and 40’s to be on the show.

Do you know any sceptical single men who might be interested? ...

Let me know if you need any more information

I look forward to hearing from you

Best wishes

[Researcher doomed to work for terminally unimaginative program execs][2]

Now I may be wrong - they may also be matching a new-agey man with a rational-chick (I'd volunteer but I'm off the market). Maybe they tried it the other way round, but smart women are much prized by smart partners, and we're all off the market by now. Perhaps the dumb bunnies are all that's left. But I have a sneaky feeling that they believe idea of matching, say, one of the Skepchicks with this guy[3] would be too much of a stretch for their viewers.

[1]For some reason I hear "romance" in scare quotes...
[2]My words, not the researchers - though I wonder if in her heart of hearts she wonders if this is what the masters in Elizabethan literature was for...
[3]Or heck, Randi and Uri - I'd Tivo that!

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