The Austin American-Statesman brings news that the city’s new, majority-female city council is apparently stoking some anxiety: city employees were recently treated to a very special training on how to deal with lady legislators. To wit: women talk a lot, and they’re really bad at math.
The Statesman’s City Hall blog reports that city employees who work regularly with the City Council were recently treated to a presentation on the incredible changes that the new makeup of the council will wreak on city government. Austin elected its first majority-female city council this year; it’s now made up of seven women and four men.
Obviously, that means more talking, according to Jonathan K. Allen, who was a former city manager of a small town in Florida. He knows this, the Statesman writes, because he has an 11-year-old daughter:
He learned a valuable lesson on communicating with women from his 11-year-old daughter, who peppered him with questions while they were on the way to volleyball. “In a matter of 15 seconds, I got 10 questions that I had to patiently respond to,” Allen said. Allen says female City Council members are less likely to read agenda information and instead ask questions. He says it’s tempting to just tell them to read the packet, but “my daughter taught me the importance of being patient” even when they may already know the answer to the question.
Great. This is going great. Let’s keep digging, Jon. Allen also told the employees that female commissioners would tell him to skip over all that boring math in budget presentations, saying: “Mr. Manager, I don’t want to hear about the financial argument, I want to hear about how this impacts the whole community.”
The Statesman says the city employees also got a talk from a real live woman, Dr. Miya Burt-Stewart, a business development and P.R. firm. She quoted from—this is real, this a real thing that happened—Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. She, too, said women like to talk a lot, while men communicate mainly in grunts and poop-throwing. I’m sorry. That’s zoo animals. She said men do something else. It’s all a little advanced for me. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the brave employees of the city of Austin, soon to be buried under a horrifying and ceaseless tide of talking and feelings.
Correction: An earlier version of this post said Allen was the city manager of a small town in Texas. It was actually Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. I regret the error.
Male city council members communicate by shooting guns into the ceiling, probably. Screengrab via The Simpsons/FOX