Happy Historic Event of the Inauguration of Barack Obama Day! I hope you enjoyed it! I certainly have. Yet, while we do things like “hope” and “cry” and “pat ourselves on the back for ending racism in America because we are FOX News correspondents and therefore terrible and wrong all the time,” Science labors on!
For example, did you know that women are emotional? They are sooo emotional, you guys. More emotional than men, even! Women are so emotional that, even in their sleep, they keep having emotions and stuff! This is what Science, through its earthly vessel Jennifer Parker of the University of the West of England in Bristol, has discovered.
Well, actually, what Science has discovered through Jennifer Parker of UWE is that women have more nightmares than men do, and report having more intense emotional experiences of those nightmares, in their dream journals. This could be due to any number of factors – like, say, the fact that women are socialized to express emotion more freely than men, or the fact that it is not culturally acceptable for men to admit they are afraid of anything, or the fact that, generally speaking, dudes are discouraged from keeping dream journals in the first place and might therefore be less comfortable with whipping out the glitter pens and unicorn notebooks in order to share their deepest darkest secrets with a research team. This is not what Science and/or Jennifer Parker have determined to be true, however! Here, Parker explains:
“From our results it appears that men and women differ in the frequency of nightmares – women have more – and women perceive those nightmares to be more emotionally intense.
“I think that women use their dreams as a subconscious coping strategy.
“I believe these results show that women carry over their waking concerns into their dream life more so than men do, and they appear to have more difficulty with ‘switching off’ their concerns.”
For the record, while explaining her various crazypantsed generalizations, er, SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSIONS, Parker does not say that she actually did any research into what her test subjects experienced in waking life, so she’s apparently assuming that women are failing to “switch off” concerns (so emotional!) without really investigating said concerns in the first place.
Which makes no sense, because there are a ton of more or less non-gender-related things you can do to give yourself a nightmare: terrible, horrible, traumatic things, like reading The Lover before bedtime (young chicks and old dudes – I find this gross! IT’S A GOOD BOOK, I’M JUST SAYING) or watching Southland Tales, ever, or quitting smoking, which, for the record, is actually scientifically proven to give you screamingly vivid and weird dreams even when you use that gum that tastes like Satan’s asscrack. Like, last night, due to I think all three of these things, I had this terrible terrible dream about being forced (somehow!) into an arranged marriage with Wallace Shawn, and he was telling me about how many times per week I would be expected to, um, have dinner with Andre, and I had just reached the part where he was like, “I would like you to slap me around,” and then I woke up, hyperventilating, and my gentleman caller was there, and I was like “OH HOLY CRAP THANK GOD YOU’RE TALL, I mean, HERE.” This happens to dudes, too, I am thinking! Or, at least, it happens to someone else. Oh, God, please tell me it happens to someone else. It was so horrible.
Anyway. I have no problem with believing that women might be more able to access their emotional lives than men. I might even be willing to believe that they are under more emotional strain or experiencing more psychological conflict than men are, because, whatever, it’s a man’s man’s man’s man’s world and all of that. Yet conducting a study that is basically just you reading dream journals and then being like, “chicks have soooo many feelings?” Jennifer Parker, you had better be grateful that I am a person who resists puns in my daily life, because otherwise, I would be mighty tempted to conclude this post with some version of the phrase “wake up.”