A Gender Parable...

In Kevin Costner's film Tin Cup, Costner's character opens early in the film with a riddle offered to his drinking/golfing buddies:
A young man and his father are in a terrible accident.


Two ambulances arrive on the scene, each taking one of them - father and son.

Each ambulance goes to a different hospital.

When the son arrives at one of the hospitals, he is taken into the emergency room.

The doctor enters the emergency room where the boy is, and says, "I'm sorry - I can't operate on this patient... he's my son."

The riddle is: how is this possible?

...

Answer: the doctor is the boy's mother.

I had no idea what the answer was. When I told it to my feminist-wife, she was clueless too - and pissed when I told her.

How deeply are gender roles burned into your psyche? Why does it not even occur to most of us that "the doctor" might be a woman?

What other roles do you struggle picturing women in? Lawyer? CEO? Soldier? Commanding Officer?

What about pastor?

4 comments:

Bison Grazing said...

Pete great question ...perhaps it's our view of what a pastor is and not our view of women. We have, to my experience, viewed pastors needing to be hierarchical befitting a more classic "male" profile. The value of egalitarianism is that it disallows top down roll models.

2Pete said...

A good way of changing angles on the question to reapproach, Jim. But either way you come at it, the effect is a non-egalitarian reality where folks are parsed into narrow groupings. Don't you think?

Bison Grazing said...

I agree absolutely. Connie and I were in a meeting where once were the subject was her area of expertise. No matter what my body language tried to communicate this guy would only look and speak to/at me. I slowly leaned toward Con in the chair next to me until my face was almost cheek to cheek. He never got it. My point is that no matter... some will never get it. It's too out of time.

2Pete said...

Wow Jim,
Depressing. Almost hilarious, if it weren't so sad.

Popular Posts