Friday, December 30, 2011


(stay tuned to the end of this post for our Comment of the Week winner!)

Happy New Year! And welcome to the final dude-centric Q&A of the year!

As we all know, guys are like cenotes, those mysterious sinkholes found in the Yucatan that are at once fascinating and highly dangerous. They draw you in with promises of fun and excitement but could lead to hypoxia-induced hallucinations. This phenomenon is known as The Bends, Decompression Sickness and He's-Looking-for-a-Substitute-Mother Syndrome.

Well, think of me as your emergency flotation device, ready to rocket you to the surface using my reality powered man-sub.

Here's today's question:

Q: Do boys feel threatened or more insecure when a girl appears more knowledgeable about a stereotypical “guy” topic (cars, sports, etc.) in front of his friends?

A: Yes. This is because a guy knows that when a woman exhibits superior knowledge in a stereotypically male area of expertise she is obviously trying to diminish his manhood.

Seriously, guys actually think this way.

I'll try to explain why.

Men are governed by something I'll call Lesson TransferenceTM, a process whereby guys acquire (usually through trial and error or by looking up the cheat code online) a simple understanding about one scenario and then assume this rudimentary knowledge applies in all related scenarios.

It's the reason why your boyfriend feels qualified, based solely on his Madden NFL standing, to offer drunken summaries of how he would lead his favorite football team to the victory that has so far eluded the team's vastly more experienced but obviously incompetent coach.

So when faced with the unfathomable (defined for our example as a woman with superior knowledge about, say, bacon), a man will paw through the mental Post-its and BBQ stained napkins where he writes down the simple rules he acquires in search of one that might explain such outrageousness.

Eventually he'll find a hand scrawled note on an old Transformers, Dark of the Moon ticket stub that states: if a bro knows more about something than I do and tells me so in front of other bros, he's showing off and trying to make me look bad.

See? Simple. Probably learned on a playground in third grade and further revision was deemed unnecessary.

But wait, you say! I'm a female bacon expert! Doesn't that ticket stub wisdom apply only to other bros? I've got a uterus, for God's sake!

Negatron, good buddy. Thanks to the magic of Lesson TransferenceTM, a lesson learned is a lesson transferred, no matter how wildly inappropriate the application of that lesson to the new scenario might be.

Insane as that is (and, seriously, you will never go broke betting against the male brain), the upside is that, on some level, a guy's insecurity in this example actually argues that he sees women as equals. Otherwise, he wouldn't treat them just as poorly as he does his other male friends. And just like he did with his closest buds, he'll eventually see your superior knowledge as a resource and not a threat.

So if you're a woman and you know a ton about male stuff, speak up! Our files on bacon and sprayable cheese have plenty of room for expansion.

And if you know ANYTHING about sprayable bacon, call me. I'll be right here, eating my legacy bacon and dreaming of the future.

Copil Yanez is on a quest to go beyond sprayable bacon into the realm of inhalable bacon. Until then, he's happy to answer your questions on any topic. Send your questions to copil[DOT]yanez[AT]gmail[DOT]com.


Comment of the Week!

Each Thursday we ask you a question. On Saturday we pick the author of our favorite answer to win a prize from THE VAULT as a thank you for participating. This week, we'll be closed for New Years so we're announcing our winner early!

Yesterday we asked you to tell us about your favorite book of 2011. Our favorite comment was from...

I *love* your choices, guys. 
The best book I've read this year is Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, because I think it surprised me the most. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of out-and-out romances. I like them, yeah, but they don't generally jump to my 'favourites forever' list. And frankly, ANNA doesn't have an extraordinary premise. BUT...I dunno, it might be Perkins' unusual execution of a not-very-unusual story or the added bonus of it taking place in Paris (PARIS!), somehow, ANNA turned out extraordinarily awesome. I was giddy while I read it, giddy after I read it, and I still feel giddy with joy when I think of it. A book that has THAT effect? Definitely deserves a best book award.
Thanks, Bee! What did we like about your comment? First, you acknowledged our good taste, mega-mad points for that!

Second, and more importantly, we really loved that this book was an unexpected surprise for you and that it still leaves you feeling giddy! Just like a good book should!

Thanks for your great comment, Bee! Please send us an email to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who participated this week! And check back next Thursday for another chance to win some fab stuff from The Vault!


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