Saturday, March 1, 2008

But women don't like getting dirty

A friend from college frequently states that she loves the smell of horse manure. It is a very positive smell for her. I teased out of her one day that she would not actually enjoy the smell of, say, a bag of manure from the garden center. It was only in connection with having actual living horses in the vicinity that the smell was positive for her: being around horses was such a positive experience that nothing associated with that experience generated negative emotions for her.

Having my hands and clothes get soiled at work is a similar experience for me. It's not that I have any positive feelings for oil and dirt, it's that the work I do is enjoyable for me: enjoyable enough that the grime that never completely washes off isn't something that concerns me. I don't believe the experience is any different for men: my coworkers are washing their hands all day long and most shower as soon as they get home from work. None of them seem particularly attracted to soiled hands or clothing. And yet I've had more than one person be very surprised I work where I do, where I get dirty, because "women don't like getting dirty".

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