Geography matters -- for both sexes

"It matters not a whit whether girls or boys are better."

By Salon Staff

Published June 12, 2000 7:35PM (EDT)

The geography of sex BY STEPHEN S. HALL (06/06/00)

Stephen S. Hall is perfectly right. Boys have no imagination at all. His daughter proves everything. I could never understand why anyone ever read such deadheads as Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Faulkner, much less listened to the music of Bach, Wagner or Duke Ellington. Pure bores. All memorization. It matters not a whit whether girls or boys are better in geography or spelling. Each has his/her unique personality and yes, each sex is no doubt better at certain skills/perceptions than the other. But the attempt to prove that boys or girls are therefore superior is purely child's play -- or rather, adult nonsense -- and thoroughly sexist.

-- Bob French

Stephen S. Hall might do well to check an online map of St. Louis Park, Minn. Zoom in a little on the center of town. Notice the plethora of railroad tracks. Maybe his immigrant grandfather did know where he worked. He's right about all this geography "gender gap" nonsense, but I wonder why he feels the need to belittle the boys who do well in these bees? Because he's the father of a little girl? A geography or spelling bee is ultimately a game. A game has rules and a goal (usually). All these kids did was play a game and win on the national level. If Hall wants to think that defines them as nerds and unreflecting fact-gatherers, that's his problem. Girls may be better at "discriminating between the study of obscure, irrelevant facts and knowledge with context and import," but I wonder how he knows that? Whose context, we'd like to know, and whose import? St. Louis Park, after all, is not St. Louis, irrelevant fact or not.

-- Tom Dolan

Salon Staff

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