Remember that riddle that goes something like this?
A boy and his dad are involved in a horrific road traffic accident involving a giraffe, a kangaroo, a 12-string guitar and Biff Byford. They’re taken to hospital and the boy’s just about to be operated on when the surgeon exclaims, “This is my son!” How is this possible?
The riddle used to be – and may still even be – classified as a ‘lateral thinking puzzle’, the idea being that only lateral thinking will get you to the answer that the surgeon is the boy’s mother. Except it’s not linear thinking that would prevent you from working out that the surgeon is female; sexism, pure and simple, would make you assume that the surgeon is male.
I don’t proclaim to be an absolute angel on this, by the way. The other day, I said to Amélie that I might take her to the doctor because of her cloth ears (to be fair, she’s had a cold that’s blocked her ears up a bit). She asked what the doctor might say, and I said, “He might make you take a hearing test,” to which Amélie responded, “He? How do you know the doctor is going to be a man?” We’re fortunate enough that we simply don’t visit the doctor enough to have a regular GP who we can name, so it was a fair question and a fair cop. And inwardly I was proud that Amélie challenged me on it.
Anyway, I digress. I was reminded of the ‘lateral thinking puzzle’ when I read this post on hellogiggles, the title of which pretty much tells the story: I F-ing Love Science Facebook Run By A Girl, Stupid People Respond With Their Outside Voice. It’s a rant and a funny one and worth reading for the final line.
Post title lyric taken from Girls Aloud – Biology