Wine is for Men*

Thanks for reminding me, San Francisco Chronicle!

You intended to impress your date by taking her to one of the city’s most elegant fine-dining establishments. Moments after being seated, you’ve been presented with a leather-bound wine list the size of the Manhattan telephone directory. Fifteen hundred wines and not one word of useful description on any of them.

As you mop your brow, your date looks over at you lovingly and asks a silent question: “Could you possibly be so stupid as to not take this man’s expert advice?”

I’d wager that, if asked, Stephen Yafa would completely disavow any personal appreciation for the tired narrative** of Men Act Suave, Women Coo Appreciatively – but when you’re writing for a deadline, you conjure your folksy lead from whatever cultural cesspool is convenient. Even if your gratuitous second-person fluff casually excludes half your readership, for no good reason, when they are still eating breakfast and are therefore extra-sensitive to such slights.

*Sure, I’m being heteronormative by not including queer women in my post title. But come on, when we’re dealing with stereotypes, everyone knows all the lesbians drink beer and the bi women girls drink fruity cocktails (assuming their fake IDs pass inspection, that is).
**And is there a better term for such bits of discourse? They’re too complicated to be proper cliches, too banal to be myths, and too specific to be archetypes, but they clearly come from some Platonic Realm of Cultural Construction and not individual acts of careful thought or creativity.


  1. des von bladet wrote:

    I’ve pondered this without result, so I propose “ledemes”. I think they’re mostly _learned_ from the press, and all.

  2. criminy.crickets wrote:

    Hmmm, there are also significant transmission vectors in email forwards and especially “funny” greeting cards, though but.

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