Posted in Muzik

Men are geniuses because …

… they don’t have to do housework.

At least very few do, and even so, men hardly do a fraction of the housework that women do.

Since I do housework, I’m not a genius lah.

This post is a response to Monkey Monyet King’s ‘Have Malaysian men become imbeciles?‘ I have my views to share on that, but first.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, says the primary trait of geniuses is that they’re obsessive.

Gladwell talks about the physical genius (genius need not necessarily be confined to elderly men with electrocuted silvery hair) and cites cellist virtuoso YoYo Ma. That Yo-Yo practises obsessively would be obvious.

If you practiced a musical instrument (but not the harmonica, okay) obsessively and played like YoYo Ma, then society might call you a musical genius. Or if you practised kicking a ball obsessively and played like Pele, people might call you a soccer genius.

Unfortunately, not many women have the time, and in most cases lack the means, to take up a particular activity – with the caveat that this activity is something that’s admired by society – to push an obsession to genius level.

Make up a list of the world’s geniuses at the top of your head and see how many women are on it?

If you were obsessed with mengemas for example, nobody’s going to praise you as a genius housewife.

But unfortunately, like it or not the floor needs to be swept/vacuumed/mopped or for some, polished too.

Shelves and cupboards have to be dusted, tables wiped, things cleaned.

Laundry done. Dishes washed. So the upshot is: Women where got time to cultivate genius, ah?

This posting will be continued with a discussion of two other genius traits, i.e. Isolation and Insight. And like I said earlier, I have some thoughts too on Monkey Monyet King’s question: ‘Have Malaysian men become imbeciles (the opposite of geniuses)?’

Today is heavy housework day. I’ll blog again during my next housekeeping break. There are tupperwares in the sink waiting to be washed.

In the meantime, you might be interested in a non-political posting titled ‘Kaitan bola sepak dengan frying pan‘ from the early days of my blog.

It’s about Prof. Daniel Shechtman’s discovery of quasi-crystals. He’s one in a long line of scientists who advanced their fields by challenging the conventional wisdom and were shunned by the establishment because of it. But like all edifying anecdotes, he was vindicated by his 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

In theory, quasicrystals should make the best frying pan ever. Do read (click HERE) to find out the link between frying pan and football.

I’ll be back.


This post continues with ‘Political genius 101 for Monyet King


I have no Faceook or Twitter.

16 thoughts on “Men are geniuses because …

  1. oh oh …did not expect to trigger a response from you. The mystery can only deepen :)

    p.s. BTW, it is Monyet King, not Monkey King. There is a big difference, you know.

  2. 1000% agree – housework and chores , taking care of kids take a lot of our time. Most of the time it goes unappreciated bcos thats what is expected of a woe- men :) I gave up a long time ago and much happier for that – my time/money is my own, my mess is my own, dating sure beats having to take care of a spoilt brat 24/7 . I travel wherever and whenever and make friends as I like. Am glad the trend has caught up. Probably find a really interesting and good guy someday that is worth my trouble but not in a hurry nor am I worried sick over it. World pop growth certainly doesnt need my contribution..Hve really good friends you can count on . Live life to the fullest.

  3. Did my last comment spur you to make this blog entry?

    Does the disparate nature of genders– some of which are caused by societal/environmental factors and some due to inherent physical traits–call for special ‘interventions’ in order to level the playing field? For example, should someone intervene and do your housework for you so you can more free time to cultivate your ‘genius’? Must housework be the sole domain of women?

    Logic isn’t as easy as you think.

    Perhaps you should re-read Gladwell. I think a section in the same book you refer (Tipping Point), he describes a simple logic test that many humans would fail. I recall it goes something like this–

    There are 4 cards. They are I, Z , 5, 8.

    1. On one side of each card is a number and on the other side is a letter.
    2. Cards with vowels on one side must always have even numbers on the other.

    Which are the cards must you turn over to prove the second point?

    In your blog entry above, you think that you have reduced your problem to a simple syllogism. Though adding more free time could allow you more time to write blog entries, it doesn’t necessarily mean you would! So your assertion probably fails. Or could you find a way to write blogs and do housework? Say, why cant’ you listen to educational tapes, verbally dictate blog entries and vacuum at the same time?? I thought women are multi-taskers (based on anecdotal evidence I hear).

    By the way, Gladwell is in no way a scientist. He is a journalist, like you. Gladwell makes science accessible to the general public. He writes ‘popular science’, which sometimes makes generalizations that are wrong.

    After perusing Monyet king blog, i have to say his musings are NOT always spot on (though he seems right about Lynas). Science isn’t simple. His entry about men becoming imbeciles is based on anecdotal evidence, which makes it highly suspect. Plus, I could add that based on my anecdotes a company would need persons with forcefulness of character in order to succeed. This would undermine the need for applicants who are good solely based on academic merits. Men would probably win over women in this regard. Is that fair, ie to judge based on a subjective trait like ‘character’?

    TO come full circle, I ask again would you need ‘intervention’ to allow your inner genius to blossom? Should we try to minimize housework for all women in order to let their creative juices flow unimpeded? Let’s call this new policy the New Female Policy, NFP. We give women special rights so they get to do less housework and incentivize men to perform more housework. Let’s codify it in an official document, say a constitution. Years from now, do you expect men in color coded shirts to demonstrate in the streets demanding ‘gender equality’ and display thuggish behavior like the guy in this video:

    Let me ask you this– in the video, who is the more DAPster-ish?? The client or the lawyer? What if I say that both are DAPster-ish and that it seems to be a common chinese trait, would that be scientific of me? No.

    1. Replying to your comment,

      “Though adding more free time could allow you more time to write blog entries, it doesn’t necessarily mean you would! So your assertion probably fails. Or could you find a way to write blogs and do housework?”

      If I had more free time, I’d still need to do housework b’cos it’s so very backlogged. The dog sheds her fur every day. And I haven’t even replaced the battery in the wall clock yet.

      Sigh, the window panes are also dusty. Then the curtains need to be washed. Ditto the floor mats. Sofa cushion covers need to be changed. So much work!! :(

      It’s quite typical for a woman to have a list of undone housework nagging at her.

      Tell me which man worries about a list something like I’ve described?

      Can I find a way to write blogs and do housework? It is the blogging that causes the pots, and pans and plates to pile up in the sink.

      I’m now replying you wearing a damp apron. However, blogging (writing mentally) is one of the few activities that a woman can engage in while standing at the sink up to her arms in soap suds.

      As for the gender merits of job applicants, maybe Monyet King can reply you himself.

      1. I think you didn’t get the point of my comment. Continue your housework, woman!

      2. Im a ‘house husband’, seriously you little tiny sexist p$g out there, if you think its easy think again believe me the chores goes
        on….n..on…I m just thankful to be spare from the 9 months ordeal.

  4. So much agree with you….it kill my mood just to think that i need to sacrifice my weekend to do all the chores…

  5. hi helen,

    for whatever it’s worth, martha stewart [re: is considered as some sort of a “mengemas genius”.

    well, at least in the US of A. but then americans are pretty liberal with the meaning of the word. they have genuises for all manner of activities, regardless how frivolous or mundane.

    if you are able to become filthy rich at/from doing something — that being the american yardstick for excellence and they make no apologies for it — you’re a genius. the kardasians, for example, are genuises at being famous. even if that doesn’t require any einsteinlike greys, it evidently still needs a lot of ingenuity.

    to go back to martha [and perhaps also to ingenuity], the irony of her being a “mengemas genius” is that, except for back in the days when she was a schoolgirl in joisey when she learned from her mother to cook, sew and do all the houseproud thangs women in those days did, reliable sources have it that martha doesn’t do a lick of housework. so we can chuck that bit about the need for obsessive practice for martha’s kind of genius.

    everyone knows [well, maybe some housewives in the US midwest still have to be gently disabused of their notions of martha’s living, i mean of living a la martha] that she was a consumate career woman and was successful, i.e. a genius, at everything she did/does. heck, she even managed to do a stint in the slammer with such panache that it is now the textbook case in the USA on how to do time with style and class.

    martha has legions of minions in her connecticut estate to keep that showcase of martha’s living the epitome of good housekeeping… of the genius kind, that is.

    guess what i’m trying to say in a roundabout way is that in these days of managed appearance, perhaps to be a “genius” at something may simply mean to have the smarts and the wherewithal to manage impressions.

    why, it’s even done at your blog. some of your visitors for example, aren’t above inserting in their comments whether called-for or not — either in passing or by way of anecdotes, between arguing a point here and agreeing to a point there, a patronizing jab here and a scathing jab there — how knowledgeable, informed, educated, worldly, travelled [if not also domiciled abroad and in several countries, at that], how impressively employed and are more remarkable in experience, etc etc, they are, in case their pithy points and counterpoints alone do not give the total strangers here, who are mostly just as anonymous as them, the desired impression.

    however, i have to say that some, by virtue of being able to express themselves better or to marshal their thoughts better, which could well indicate superior intelligence or just better schooling, do it with more subtlety than others. not that the need for ego-tripping is any less obvious though. :)

    p.s. being a woman and probably programmed by either nature or nurture to fret about these things, i’m mentally sighing that writing the ianity above has cost me a pile of unfolded laundry and the time i need to figure out what to unthaw for dinner. dammit, why can’t i be a martha stewart…


    LOL, somehow we (women) do fret about dust & dirt. About Kim Kardashian, she’s one of the Twitter Queens with 14.9 million followers. Kinda reminds me of someone (local) in the desperately seeking publicity department. — Helen

  6. Geniuses…I scoff.
    So many ways to make household chores easier.
    -Eat out.
    -Get a maid
    -Get a dishwasher machine
    -Get an robot cleaner (iRobot)
    -Send dirty clothes to laundry shop
    -Live in a serviced apt.
    -Buy disposable cutlery, plates and bowls
    -Don’t have pets
    -Don’t have kids (or if you do, teach them to clean up after themselves)
    -Have less things
    -Get a smaller house

    1. I already live in a 2-bedroom house. How much smaller can the house get?

      Have you forgotten that earlier in this posting, I said I live on the edge of a Chinese New Village (where people ride their kap chais without helmet)? And that I do my grocery shopping in the small Chinese sundry shops?

      As for the rest of my chore descriptions, they reflect my level of income.

      Unless you’re aligned with the DAPsters who are adamant that I have millions stashed away in Swiss banks courtesy of BN for my sterling efforts in doing what? Drawing thought bubbles for Kim and compiling photos of Lil’ Kim-in-waiting (?!) …

      Sheesh, you’re like Marie Antoinette saying, “Let them eat cake”.

      You’ve been away from the country too long.

      Here are the wages of other Malaysians.

      Malaysian Institute of Economic Research data reportedly shows that, in 2010, 34 per cent of private sector workers earn less than RM800 per month and 43 per cent less than RM900. Not long ago, Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam said that 33 per cent of Malaysian workers earn a monthly salary of less than RM700 per month.

      source: here

      And from

      “The average monthly gross household income for the bottom 40 per cent as a whole has increased from RM535 (1992) to RM865 (1999) and RM1,345 (2007). For the middle 40 per cent, average monthly gross household income as a whole (Malaysia) has increased from RM1,392 (1992) to RM2,204 (1999) and RM3,282 (2007).”

      1. OB.

        Eat out – $
        Get maid – $$
        Dishwasher – $$$
        Robot cleaner – not available in Malaysia Kalo ada still $$$$
        Laundry – $$
        Svs Aprt – $$$$$$
        Disposable plates & cutlery – hmmm possible, thanks!
        Kids – Too late…
        Pets – Too late…
        Less thing – Too Late….
        Small place – current place 1000sf how much smaller can I go ?

        If i were to spend that much $$$$$$ I ll still be stuck home and NO HOLIDAY…..

        A friend of mine bought that robot for his mom, not sure from where (S’pore or mail order). Disposable cutlery = plastic, throw = pollution. — Helen

  7. Helen,

    Plastic cutlery can recycle maaaa….save $$$$$ maa…
    Paper Plate can recycle maaaa……make $$$$$ maaa…
    So can go better and longer holiday maaaa…..
    pppssssss..helen, can I have a tiny bit of your millions…aaaaa……

    1. In addition to the millions (USD yah, not ringgit), I osso have a yacht and private Greek island (place of origin of the name ‘Helen’) in the Mediterranean. So I’m already a financial GENIUS already lah. No need for me to be modest anymore ,)

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