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How Stuff Surprises Me

You all probably have already seen all the interesting articles at How Stuff Works, but I just discovered it this week. I love this kind of site, where I can click for a short, informative article about ... just about anything. How Stuff Works is a lot like Wikipedia, except that it has actual authors and editors and, perhaps more to the point, some quality control. (Don't get me wrong; I love me my Wikipedia, but I also sometimes take it with a grain of salt.)

So I was doing that thing you do when you find a new website and clicking around from one interesting topic to the next when I saw the link for "How Women Work". Er. What now?

Okay, let's ignore the part of my knee-jerk reaction that said, "Women aren't stuff!" and move on to the part of me that said, "Let's see what this has to say before I get too cranky about it. And also, by the way, is the obvious partner article available?"

(At this risk of ruining the suspense, yes, there is a corollary article, "How Men Work".)

Mostly, these articles talk about the current research on gender development ("... from conception until the eighth week of gestation, men and women are almost exactly the same. The only difference is at the chromosomal level ...") and give a fairly broad brush overview of common topics of gender stereotypes, including emotions, the math vs. verbal ability question, hormones and the like. But I was surprised and pleased to see that the articles were reasonably condsidered, well-written, and, perhaps most importantly, contain links and references to back up the information they contain.

I still object to calling people "stuff", but, hey, life's no fun if I don't get to be offended at something, right?