The Realtor And The Undertaker

Whenever a woman says that she is open about her feelings, we have two quantities, a known and an unknown. Her outward display is the known, and the inward reality is – as with every other human being – the unknown. There is no independent access to the latter, so we cannot check the emotional display against the deeper reality, or even whether there is one. So the emotional display is purporting to validate itself, to be its own guarantor, which is a logical impossibility. Not even another woman can stand surety for the conformity of emotional display with deeper reality, because she has no more privileged access to another woman’s secret heart than a man does; the entire sex cannot stand surety for the emotional truth of the entire sex either, both because that is the same logical impossibility as afflicts the individual case, and in any case there is something called collective self-interest, and even conspiracy to defraud.

The only verifiable component of the claim that women are more open about their feelings than men is that women make a greater show of emotion (or rather, of something alleged to be emotion) than men do. This is undoubtedly the case, but it is not quite the same thing as the genuineness of that emotion. That real-estate agents talk more, and louder, and longer, and more enthusiastically than undertakers does not make a real-estate agent any more trustworthy than an undertaker.

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