Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shakespeare Said It First

Hanging out at lunch yesterday, my manager is talking to our latest hire.  The topic lately has been husbands getting in trouble with their wives, and I think this will be a funny story because my manager's wife has told me that she reads the blog ;).

Anyway, our latest hire happens to be female, and chooses to argue the woman's point of view by citing an example of how she and her fiance had a disagreement that could have turned into an argument, but instead they were able to work it out.

"Yeah, but you're engaged!" manager tells her, "It'll change once you're married."

"Hang on a sec," I tell them, and bring out my phone.

*tappity tappity tap*

"Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives."

"...did you just quote Shakespeare at me?"

"Yes I did, and I double checked to make sure I got the quote right.  Once again proving that Shakespeare said it first, whatever the subject."

"You have a *Shakespeare* app on your phone?!" new coworker says.  "That is so cool!"

Oh, wait'll she gets a load of me.  How long you think before I've driven her crazy?  Anybody want to take that bet?

[ In case my manager's wife is reading this, might I suggest having "I have no other but a woman's reason: I think it so, because I think it so.  - William Shakespeare" locked and loaded the next time Mr. Manager isn't seeing your point of view. :) ]


CRS said...

I love giving credit to Shakespeare, but even he can't lay claim to the invention of sexism.

Duane Morin said...

That quote's hardly about sexism, though? "Both men and women behave differently during the wooing, then they do after they are wed."

Gwen said...

I do the same thing all the time! The other night, some friends and I were discussing why an acquaintance can't maintain romantic relationships and I spontaneously quoted Benedick's "all graces in one woman" moment. From memory, because I keep forgetting to update my Shakespeare app.

CRS said...

I agree that the main quote in your story can be interpreted as a fairly even and innocuous comment on both genders, though I don't think that's the only interpretation. It was the final quote that I was mostly responding to, and I only meant to point out that the patently sexist claim that women are irrational in their beliefs is much older than Shakespeare.

I did not intend to accuse you and you colleagues of being as sexist as Shakespeare. I think that your claim that married couples can get along is a "woman's point of view", your quoting a famous male intellectual to prove your point, and combined with your postscript quote that women have no reason for the things they believe, does point to a very old cloud of ideas that is certainly intertwined with, if not fundamental to, sexism. But having a discussion about those ideas is different than taking them for granted.

JM said...

"I love giving credit to Shakespeare, but even he can't lay claim to the invention of sexism."

--No, he can't. Most of his women are smarter than his men. He couched his 'sexism' pretty well, don't you think?