DOES Everybody Know It?

I’m an American, so there are some things I believe at almost a religious-faith level: I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe a miracle occurred in Philadelphia.  I believe freedom is better than slavery.  I believe in an honest day’s work.  I believe there is no challenge we can’t surmount if we just get off our duffs and roll up our sleeves.  I believe we have the ingenuity, the know how and the sheer cussedness to overcome any trouble – if we only want to.  I believe the future is better than the past.

What I don’t believe is ninety percent of what is thrown at me by media, entertainment, schools or “experts.”  Why not?  Because all of these people have been lying to us since mass media has been mass media.

Oh, come now, Sarah – you say – do you think there is some giant conspiracy where all these people get together and decide what lies they’re going to tell?

No.  I’m disinclined to believe in massive conspiracies.  I think when those exist they come out sooner or later.  Although lately the discovery that some massive conspiracies had been going on – jornolist, hide the decline – and kept secret to an amazing degree has made me wobble a bit, but no, I don’t actually think there is a massive conspiracy to lie to us.  Not in the sense that they get together and get directives from somewhere on what to tell us every morning.

There might be a core of that going on, here and there, in some places – editorial boards, both journalistic and in fiction, might actually decide what’s acceptable and what isn’t as an opinion.  A core of teachers of education might get together and decide what to put in books, what to say in curricula.  Some scientists with access to publications might decide that it’s a good idea to twist the results a certain way and discredit everyone who disagrees.

In fact, to some extent we know all of this happens.  We can point to instances.  I’ve been present, for instance, at a meeting in a con, years ago, where three chance-met editors were discussing a story they’d all rejected but which ALL OF THEM still remembered and which they all agreed had been very well written, even though the author was an unpublished nobody.  Now, none of them came out and said that they’d rejected it for politics (even though none of them knew I could hear them.  It was one of those sitting arrangements of hotel lobbies where I – sitting quietly and waiting for Dan to come back from going to get the book for my reading – was practically invisible.) However, there were tells, phrases like, “I tried to tell him we couldn’t publish it. I mean, it’s not the sort of opinion we promote.”  “It was over the line, of course.”  “I wouldn’t even dare take it to meeting.”  AND the final, big tell, “I dared to suggest he might want to try– ” voice drops to a whisper, shocked at itself.  “Baen.”

So these people were discussing a book that was so great they all remembered it, even though it had come through slush and the name, therefore, was unknown to them.  But it never occurred to them that the reading public might want to read it.  Or if it did, it was a thought so forbidden it wouldn’t be mentioned.  As for the reason the book was that offensive?  Well, they’d suggested the only house that publishes every political opinion.  (BTW to this day I wonder who this was.  The book’s title and the author’s name were not actually ever mentioned in my hearing.  I hope he found his way home, as it were.  Hey, maybe it was Larry Correia.)

I’m sure my friends in journalistic, academic or scientific fields can point to instances of the same thing.

But these are no grand conspiracy.  In fact, these are downstream from what causes the problem.  Group-think isn’t caused by conspiracy.  Conspiracy is caused by group-think.  These people trying to work around logic, self-interest and self-preservation – like the editors I mentioned – are in fact not able to think about things clearly.  Group think has edged their mental map with “do not go” areas.  They don’t dare consider, for instance, that other than the “approved” opinions might be okay to hold.  They don’t dare consider that other than the “approved” opinions might be allowed to go out to the public.  No.  They can’t think about that, because then they’d have to think about how people hold these opinions.  They’d have to think whether they make sense.  And that would risk them falling into apostasy and being shunned by their group.

Better to pass up on a bestseller.  Better to commit what even they must have known was gross injustice and pass up on major talent and buy instead the mediocre and safe that they can make a bestseller by investing tons of money.  Better to stay in the group.  Better to echo what everyone in their group believes.

That’s what is at the center of it all.  People, you see, are social animals.  People want to fit in.  Throughout history we’ve had astonishing examples of people doing the most bizarre things to fit in with their group, from sacrificing their first born, to cranium deformation, to giving up washing, to voluntarily giving up on reproduction.

Possibly our strongest instinct is to fit in with our family, our tribe, our group.

And mass media, mass communication – such as it existed in the early twentieth century – made this a dangerous instinct.

Where the great dystopians of the twentieth century failed was thinking there needed to be constant surveillance, that big brother needed to watch you.  Pffffff.  Big brother might need to watch one or two or ten of the more influential people and remove maybe a hundred trouble makers.  Then all he needs to do is convince people that this is what every sane person believes.  Who wants to be thought insane?  They’ll fall in line of their own accord.  They’ll police each other.  They’ll police themselves and every word coming out of their mouths.

I know.  TRUST ME.  I went through school, in the humanities, at a time and in a place where even questioning one of the shibboleths of Marxism would get you failed and routed out of the educational system and into “manual apprenticeship.” Not that the teachers were bad people, but they all knew Marxism was true and socialism the perfect society, so if you didn’t believe that way you were too dumb to be in school.  Later, holding the opinions I do, I survived in publishing in the bad old days, I KNOW.  So does anyone who has ever lived in a totalitarian regime.  Or who has ever worked in corporate America or in the entertainment-industrial complex.

It’s all social pressure and the influential few, and the “cool kids” whose opinions are the same we hear repeated everywhere.

It’s gotten so that if something is anything “everyone knows” I doubt it.  We talked yesterday in the comments of the Red Scare and McCarthyism.  These are words that we’ve been trained to hiss and boo at.  Why, Hollywood has made movies about how bad it was.  And yet, all I can say about it is: I don’t know what the truth was, but I doubt it was anything as it is depicted.

Why?  Because if it were anything as is depicted it wouldn’t now be depicted that way.  Look, in the entire time I’ve been aware of that period of history, I’ve heard exactly one dissenting opinion about it.  Mind you, that opinion was a doozy.  Robert A. Heinlein, no lesser person, let drop in the middle of an essay he had no problem with McCarthy.  We were at war and what he was doing was no more than was required to identify the sixth column among us.

This had all the more strength since for much of his early life Heinlein was a sympathizer with many of the goals of international communism, including one-world government and a controlled economy.  (Yes, this changed.)

However by that time I was already getting an uneasy prickle at the back of my neck because… look, Hollywood is as much moved by group think than anyone else.  More so.  They’re cultural showboats with very little substance who want to be admired for the courage they don’t have while they take absolutely safe positions.  If it was safe to talk about how evil McCarthy was then enough people whom he had “persecuted” must have survived in the machinery of power to make being against him the safe position.  (You’ll know we’re living under tyranny when Hollywood falls in line to kiss the tyrant’s boots.  No?  Have you ever HEARD them criticize a tyrant?  Castro?  Lenin?  Where are all the movies about Stalinist errors?  Oh, Hitler.  Sure, Hitler is the safe one to attack the designated hit.  But why is Black Fascism the source of all evil and Red Fascism is almost idolized?  And there’s, btw, another indication that maybe there wasn’t a red under every bed – but there were enough reds to make the despicable horrors of communist regimes “cool.”)

I’m a libertarian.  I believe in freedom of opinion.  I get a creepy-crawly feeling about anyone being interrogated about their beliefs.  But I’m realistic and I grew up during the cold war.  I get a creepy crawly feeling about Americans, born free, choosing to betray their own to international communism – a beautiful mirage that brings only death.  So, was Joe McCarthy as bad as they paint him?  I’ll tell you one thing – he was ineffective.  For all the rest I’d have to do primary sources research which I don’t have, so I’ll withhold opinion.

More and more I feel that way about what everybody knows.  Most of the idiocy is so in your face, so obvious, that all you need is to ask yourself a few questions.  Of course, if you do you will fall into apostasy.

But take the fact that “women are better than men.”  There is nothing men can do that women can’t do and do better.  That’s a fact, right?  It comes at us via books, movies, news…  Everything.  The only reason women were kept in a subservient position for centuries was that men held them down.  Now they’re excelling beyond men because they were always better.  This is true right?

WHY?  Why would you believe that?  First there is the bare, open fact – what I like to call “your lying eyes” fact – that men are stronger than women in the physical sense.  Every profession that requires strength now admitting women has lowered its requirements.  No, I’m not saying that Suzie is not stronger than Bobby.  For a given Suzie and Bobby, Suzie can carry him under one arm.   I’m saying that if you pick the strongest men and the strongest women then pit them against each other in feats of strength, I wouldn’t put my money on the woman.  She’ll lose almost every single time.

Yes, okay, but that’s brute force, not of great importance in modern society.  What about intellect?  Women are smarter, right?  I mean, look at it, we removed the barriers and they’re getting into colleges in much greater numbers than men.

Except that, say, forty years ago, with no real barriers in place, men got into college in much greater numbers than women.

Oh, yes, you say, but that was discrimination.  The learning and teaching style was more geared towards men.  That’s cheating.

This is me looking at you.  This is me looking at you and inviting you to think why 75% of men succeeding is cheating and 75% of women is “just fair.”  Have you ever thought the learning/teaching style is now simply adjusted to favor women.  No?  WHY NOT?

The truth is that men and women aren’t equal.  One of the ways in which they are NOT equal is in neural development.  Another way is in learning styles.

I’ve herded two boys through the American school system as it is now, and let me tell you, despite the fact both of them test on the high end of IQ measurement, it was a slog.  It PARTICULARLY was a slog in middle school when most boys fall behind.  Part of this is that middle school directives as far as I know countrywide require a lot of putting tab a in slot b at precisely the right time.  I.e. teachers who claim they are teaching the kids “responsibility” set a homework turning in schedule and require it it to be turned in on the right days WITHOUT FURTHER REMINDERS.

If you’re nodding along with this, you don’t realize that girls develop – neurologically – earlier than boys, and that boys do not get the “future time schedule thing” till much, much older.  Like, around 18.

There are other issues.  Women are social learners.  They do best in groups.  Women are best at learning through repeated acitivies.  Men are better at the big concept, then trying it out.  Women are better at sitting still…

Look, the data is not top secret on this.  We know the relative IQ distribution of men and women.  Enough tests have been done.  Neither gender is smarter than the other on aggregate, but the distribution is different.  Men cluster at either end and women cluster in the middle.  This means men have more morons than women, but they have more geniuses, too.

(All of these are statistical – I for instance, learn like a male.  The American school system as it is now would have made me a sixth grade drop out.  It almost managed that with my boys.)

If more women than men are making it to college, we’re targeting our education to the learning styles and preferential cognitive modes of women. That doesn’t make women better than men.  It makes the game rigged.  And it can hurt us as a nation and as a species in the long run.

You don’t think so?  You would voluntarily throw away brilliant for “middle of the road” – WHY?  And what does it mean for humanity at large?  Who knows – but that’s what we’re doing, because everything from the media to books to commercials tells us girl power is the way to go and men are poopy heads.

Peer pressure can kill you.  The “truths” you don’t examine can kill you.  It can drives us to voluntary self-extinction.  I know several people who have voluntarily sterilized to avoid “overpopulating the Earth.”  First, this would only work – even if overpopulation were a threat, which as you all know, I don’t think it is – if some number of people all over the world chose to do this.  Second, HOW DO YOU KNOW THE EARTH IS OVERPOPULATED?  Do you have a couple of strangers camping on the sidewalk because there’s no other room for them?  Oh, food production.  Indeed.  This is why food is so scarce that…  No?  In fact in countries that aren’t run by the worst possible of Kakistocracies the problem is too much food?  THEN HOW IN H*LL do you know we’re overpopulated?

Oh, numbers.  Yes.  But as Mark Twain reminded us, there’s lies, damn lies and statistics.  Who collects these numbers?  Who writes them down?  What are their biases?  Do you trust them?

(I would enjoin everyone who believes population numbers to look at the numbers of deaths from AIDS in Africa, and track if they’re shown in population figures – bet you they aren’t.  I’ve heard from friends in places like Mexico city that for them to have the population they supposedly do they’d need different water sources and much more of it. As in what they have now would permit the bare survival of about HALF the population they supposedly have.  Heinlein thought Moscow was much smaller than the population figures the Soviets gave.  Turned out he was right.  When the Sov Union fell we found that their population was in the process of collapsing, not expanding… and yet, I BET YOU those numbers were never revised down, and progression has been applied to expand them.  I don’t have time to poke into these things – not and write – but I bet you we are already contracting.  Incidentally, as a bit of specious reporting, someone in the news yesterday in The American Interest was banging the drum of “overpopulation and global warming” in reference to the present drought and the fact it will cause famine in poor countries.  No mention was made of the fact we’re burning grains to make ethanol to burn in our engines.  By government fiat.  Bah.)

I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And I believe it is every thinking human’s duty to poke behind what everybody knows.

Our society is too large, too distributed.  You could be doing something that will kill you or destroy your society in the long run because “everybody knows.”  So don’t.

Resist the group.  Dig your feet in.  Ask the inconvenient questions.  Useful ones are “Why?”  “How come?” and “When did this change?”

Now go forth and cause trouble.

(And if right now you have that uneasy feeling at the back of your neck that I’ve gone nuts, because how can I doubt that stuff? — Yeah, that’s how we’re all controlled.  It’s no grand conspiracy.  We’re monkeys.  We want to fit in.  Dare brave that creepy crawly feeling.  Examine premisses.  What everybody “knows” can kill you.)

369 thoughts on “DOES Everybody Know It?

  1. > “I dared to suggest he might want to try– ” voice drops to a whisper, shocked at itself. “Baen.”


    I’ve read blogs by editors at several of the big houses, and the thing that bugs me is not just that the editors are so very left of center – it’s that they seem incapable of understanding that people of good will might possibly be centrist or right of center.

    At one point I assumed that there was still some openmindedness in one of these blogs. When blogger X mentioned “the medicine I need is being banned by the FDA – it’s good that they ban all of those other medicines that I don’t need, but clearly they’re making a mistake here” I replied “In the one case where you actually know the details the FDA is doing the wrong thing…so, really, in 100.0% of the cases where you’ve got an informed opinion, you think the FDA is doing something massively destructive. Why not support a legal regime where everyone can make their own decisions?”

    This resulted in flames, name-calling, and “disemvoweling”.

    No, banning someone from comments in a personally owned blog is not “censorship”, but it is indicative of a censorious mindset.

    Most of the Big Names in SF have a fairly censorious mindset, and I think it’s because they – like many of us – had hard, low-status childhoods and have finally achieved some measure of fame in a very small niche and LOVE the adulation they get…and anyone who disagrees with them is not engaging in “legitimate” political debate (i.e. things like arguing if The Chosen One is awesome or actually SUPER-awesome), but is a traitor to the religion.


    When I finish my novel I’ll either self publish or submit to Baen. I’m not going to give the lefties a chance to sneer at politics well grounded in the Constitution, economics, and reality.

    1. I do think there may be a cause and effect relationship. You see in writing you get to push your characters around like so many chessmen on a board. If you want to write a collectivist paradise in which there is no collective action problem, you just do it.

      To be sure, which is the cause and which the effect? Does pushing around characters like chessmen encourage the mind to stiffen? Does the stiffened mind naturally incline toward writing so you can push characters around like chessmen and see the wonderful paradise you could get if you just shoved all the real and stubborn people into gulag? Or is it a dialectical effect, where they feed on each other?

    2. Yes – the problem with your three editors is not that each did not want a book that had opinions they profoundly disagreed with – I wouldn’t want to buy a book that had opinions I profoundly disagreed with, either (and I wouldn’t be the right editor for such a book). It’s that they didn’t have any other editor at their houses with a different point of view who would happily take the book. At a small publishing house, that wouldn’t be so bad, but not at a big one. Talk about group think!

      1. No. I didn’t detail the whole conversation. It wasn’t opinions they PROFOUNDLY disagreed with. Sorry, I should have said it. It was as one editor expressed it “A certain whiff of something.” And the others agreed they’d got the same “whiff.” It was in other words “suspicion of non-compliance.” And yes, you are also right on the rest.

      2. Bu, but if we allow other editors, with different viewpoints, to work here then we would be in danger of bumping into them at the coffee pot, or in the hallways and they’re just sooooo icky. And their ideas are simply infuriating (especially since we can’t rebut them, dangit!)

        When we praise diversity we don’t mean allowing neanderthals to soil our enlightened environment, what with their ignorant questions and irritating observations (there was one at the Starbucks this morning, going on about the lack of daycare facilities and breastfeeding areas at the Democrats’ Charlotte Convention, when we all know it is Republicans who are warring on women.)

        1. Well, of course. If you associated with people who think differently they might taint the purity of your broad-mindedness and tolerance and acceptance of other people.

  2. In a foreword to “Sam Hall”, Poul Anderson made a comment about the Red Scare (don’t know if it was original to him). He said during the Red Scare people were shouting from the rooftops that they had to talk in whispers.

    Oh, “Sam Hall” was about a facist America and was written during the “Red Scare”. Who would have thought that was possible. [Evil Grin]

    1. “people were shouting from the rooftops that they had to talk in whispers.”

      Reminds me of people marching downtown in gay rights parades, carrying signs claiming they have to hide in the closet. Funny thing, I have never seen a lot of closets in the middle of a fourlane street.

      1. How about the college idiots that spit on soldiers or assault the police, then scream when they’re arrested that they’re being oppressed?

        1. Do not give those moral lackwits the benefit of the doubt. They are conscious and deliberate agitators, attacking the underpinnings of our polity with malicious intent. Give them the back of your hand. They deserve no better.


        2. “Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help! I’m being repressed!”

          Because any excuse to quote M. Python is justified.

          1. The most hilarious part of that scene, to me, was the one guardsman using a pepper mill in the guy’s face. No one I talk to seems to think it was that funny.

              1. (hangs head) Maybe I’m remembering it wrong. I just looked up the scene and it’s not there. Dangit.

                1. There was DEFINITELY (I have three young kids) a scene in Shrek 2 where they are resisting arrest by a group of knights. One of the knights has a yard-long pepper grinder and does it right in their face. The first time I saw that I laughed my ass off and remembered this little nugget from back before anyone knew who Ben Stiller was.

  3. As a corollary: places where the male way of teaching is still applied (the hard sciences, mainly), give women students a hard time. Since the system won’t adjust to you, then if you can’t adjust to the system (which is innate in the male students), you are out of luck.

    This has the result that women are still very scarce in physics and engineering. And it hasn’t much changed in ages.

    Although I agree that most of the world’s scientific discoveries have been made by men (and women who work/think like men), I often wonder what’s been missed by this system.

    Professions where the system has changed are full of women: medicine, law. Is it better or worse? I don’t know – but women were banned from these professions, too, not that long ago.

    Possibly the requirement to do physics at cutting edge levels is a single-mindedness that few women are allowed. We still have a world where a man can reproduce successfully because some woman will bring the results of that reproduction up for him (whether in a marriage or not), and where women will never be able to compete (just the sheer numbers and the investment necessary to rear a human). What is obvious is that there are more men who are capable of cutting-edge physics in the pool of candidates, so they can afford to pick the best/most stubborn/most intelligent, and still have plenty (ask any academic in research – the posts are few and hard-won).

    For this to change, women will have to find a way of doing the research that takes advantage of female traits. Hasn’t happened yet – but I’d still love to see what is being missed be discovered by people who think differently (ie, women). And they won’t get any more help from men than they’ve already gotten.

    In case you’re wondering, I’m a woman with a Ph. D. in Nuclear Engineering from a major university – obtained in 1978. The stubborn way. I never got the chance to try – there weren’t then and still aren’t enough women to try an alternate way. We haven’t achieved critical mass. It’s still a man’s world.

    1. ABE, you’re outdated. Women are now 75% in engineering and hard science classes. They ARE NOT teaching these in “the male way” anymore. Trust me. My kids are in college in the hard sciences.

      Is this good? No. I believe women should have the chance to pursue hard science. But we shouldn’t put barriers in the way of men, either.

      1. I went through the Navy “A” school of electronics in 1988. It was really hard then and only 30 percent of the women made it through the school. When I was at my duty station about two years later, they gutted the training. At that point there was a rush of a women through the school. Many were good at their jobs, but there were a lot of them who were more into their makeup then their jobs.

        Electronics is the kind of job that you don’t wear jewelry, cut your nails, and put your hair up in a pony tail or bun so that you can work unimpeded. Many women can’t do that.

      2. The Daughter has commented that there are some fields in science and math where, if you want a life other than professional, you don’t go there. She went on to say that this is why women are far less likely to choose to enter them.

        1. I’m not sure how to explain this, and I’m sure someone will tell me it’s social conditioning. It might be in part, but it’s other things, like… hormones. Women are not evolutionarily designed to devote their lives to things other than children. Oh, sure, some are that way. There were always nuns who gave up their lives for G-d. There were always women engaged in some other great work. They’re a minority.

          I’m as close to having a vocation — not religious — as anyone else. Writing chases me down, corrals me, makes me do it. HOWEVER I hit my mid twenties and I NEEDED to have a baby. I always sorta wanted children, if that makes sense, but thought I’d be perfectly fine without them. Except I wasn’t. Until I had Robert I couldn’t think of much anything else. Then I was CONSUMED with raising him until he was about three. It was like being one person in two bodies. And then we had Marsh. I can’t imagine how wrenching it would be to give them to strangers to raise. I didn’t even consider it. (And as I’ve said elsewhere, I think on a society wide level having most children raised by strangers is suicidal. But that’s something else.)

          Yes, in the future working arrangements might allow a lot more mothers to do what I did and work from home, but some professions will never lend themselves to that. What is this mad idea of equal (or larger) numbers in every field? I thought the idea of equality of results was French, not American? WHY would we want young women to act against the way they were designed and selected to act for tens of thousands of years? WHAT DO WE GAIN BY THIS?

          1. Interesting… I became baby hungry when I was twenty-eight and it lasted only a few months and then it was over. I raised four of my brothers and spent a lot of time (I have four sisters) with my sisters so that imperative to have children didn’t really hit me. Every once in awhile I wonder what it would be like to have a child. I already know. My mother gave me my brother when I was fourteen. I raised him until I left home at in my twenties.

            I watched my sisters marry inappropriate men because they were consumed by wanting children. I guess I am in the minority. Except the youngest, my other three sisters married before they were twenty. I was 31. My brothers all married around that age.

            I know it is a strong biological urge. My urges were something else. I wanted to make my mark on the world. I haven’t yet 😉 but I am still hoping.

            1. I never got the urge at all. I’m an only child and have never dealt with babies much, so that may have something to do with it, perhaps I might have wanted kids if I had been exposed to them a bit more. As it is they are these weird and somewhat scary creatures I mostly prefer to avoid until they get to about that age where they can get a driver’s license. I do hope things stay that way since now I am too old to have one.

              1. You do know the powers that be — G-d, the universe, the narrator of this tale — have a sense of humor. Somehow you’ll find yourself raising a baby…

                Actually, seriously, I too find them terrifying. It’s worse when they’re yours. You bring this… creature home, and suddenly realize you’re responsible for his being here at all. And he can’t do anything for himself, not even blow his nose. It’s… staggering. Some days I think I should have stuck with cats. They can’t grow up to be mass murderers. Not that D’Artagnan-cat wouldn’t try, but because he lacks opposable thumbs and keeps dropping the ax.

                1. “Until you have a child, you do not understand how literal it is when people say you ‘have’ a child. It’s right there. You can’t put it in a drawer and go off to the movies or something. It’s YOURS, and you ‘have’ it, and you are going to ‘have’ it until one of you dies. Probably you.”

                  You want to get really depressed, read an essay – and there are several – on the marginal utility of being born. It is, by most rational accountings, negative.

                  1. Oh, don’t fret about for a moment; most babies are cereal killers. Also applesauce killers, strained spinach killers and pudding killers.

                    I am sure that any serial killer raised by you would be extremely successful and dispatch victims with style and elan.

                    1. Marshall spent three years eating by osmosis. I’m sure no food ever made it into his mouth. Instead, he rubbed it all over his skin. It also went on the floor, the ceiling and the chair. He kept growing, so I’m assuming he’s an alien.

                  2. From the “they don’t teach this in schools and your parents are unlikely to cover it either” file, my wife and I had thoroughly planned out having our first child. When she took the first EPT, we both felt it important to be there, so she left work and I left class.

                    I was expecting one of two outcomes. 1) It’s positive and we laugh and love and call our parents. 2) It’s negative and we just make with the love to try, try again…not calling our parents about that.

                    What actually ended up happening was a positive. However, instead of an overjoyed wife, I was confronted with a woman gone fetal on the corner of the bed and crying her eyes out like someone had just died. I had no friggin’ clue what to do with that.

                    Someone had just died, just not in the way that occurs to first-time parents.

                    1. The “OMG, a baby…I’m going to be responsible for… oh Lord…” hit her, not something more…um…dire? (Number three, still happens.)

                    2. Yes, it’s terrifying but we still wanted/want more. About five years ago we admitted — grudgingly — it was unlikely to happen. It wasn’t till this year that the idea of someone leaving a baby on our front porch started to sound like a mixed blessing “we’re almost fifty. The energy…” However in the plans for “we win the lottery” right up front there’s still “Isn’t there that orphanage in Cambodia that has a deal with our church? “Twin” girls!” I say this in case there is ANY doubt I’m not all there, and my husband is not much better.

                  3. Pojalainen, my wife and I had one daughter shortly after we were married. After years of trying (and one miscarriage), we learned she couldn’t have any more. We adopted a son. Later — MUCH later — we adopted another daughter. We were sure she was going to be the last one — we were just too old to raise any more.

                    Well, surprise. A few months after my 60th birthday, we became the permanent guardians of a two-year-old. My wife will be 70 next month, and Timmy was 7 last March. G_D works in mysterious ways, for HIS purpose. You may not go seeking it, and it may never happen, but if it does, accept it as being Someone Else’s will, and enjoy it!

              2. Ha! Yep, me neither! I find infants to be from an alien species: they look funny, they smell funny, they eat truly disgusting things, when they get older, they speak another language, and I don’t find any of the really young ones automatically “cute.” I do not speak “child” and am nonplussed when something about two and a half feet tall looks at me, says something completely incomprehensible which has the questioning sound at the end of it, and then stares at me unblinking, waiting for an answer. I usually start looking frantically for some woman who looks like she is not terrified by small aliens and point to them or reply “uh, go ask your mommy!” Never had the urge, don’t deal well with them until they can at least form complete sentences and really only after they reach about 12 and can actually comprehend some logical thought.

                I HAVE ended up with foster children but they were all past that magical age 12 point and the younger ones belonged to someone else and I only had to interact with them on a very limited basis (like hubby’s grandchildren who visited in the company of their parents and left the same way). I have adopted “nieces and nephews” some of whom are older than I, but at almost 60 I’m pretty sure I won’t ever end up raising one *whew*. Kind of like I knew I would NEVER need to take my dad’s physics, trig, analyt, calculus or algebra classes because I would never need the higher maths or sciences. I was right… I have managed to get along just fine without them AND children for my entire life and do not feel deprived!

          2. I know that Sarah has read Tom Sowell, but I am truly uninterested in discussing this topic with anyone who hasn’t bothered to learn the fundamental concepts and principles of thought. At the very least, read his 1984 book Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?

            1. I just downloaded it to my Kindle, in fact. I’ve got 30 minutes a night slotted for political research toward that whole king thing, RES. The Brits that have read the sample are freaked out about it.

          3. For the gain: whatever is being MISSED by the men and their male outlook.

            For an example of this: Margaret Mead’s contributions to anthropology (not sure I’m picking the right science here) – many primitive societies being studied by men wouldn’t let men talk to the women – so half of the information (how women and young children live in those societies) were being missed – and the profession therefore ignored it (since they had plenty of other stuff to study). Of course it seemed the information was unnecessary – no one was looking for it.

            Precisely because women don’t look at things the same way as men, something is being missed. And so many of the women who DO go into these fields learn to think like men (hey – they’re barely keeping their heads above water!) so they can be colleagues with men, compete with men – that their effect is effectively diluted. You need women to go in and do things their own way – maybe it won’t give us anything but you can’t really say it’s been tried – before you can vote on whether it makes a difference. I don’t know if someone has done the analysis for law and medicine, but I prefer women physicians, myself.

            1. Ehgads. Margaret Mead’s contribution to mythology. Bad example. VERY BAD EXAMPLE. Her studies have been completely discredited. And anthropology is largely a female field.

              You could have brought Madame Curie up. She did great work. BUT here’s the thing if there’s no barrier the great ones will make it through. If you push people out of their natural bend, all you end up with are flawed whatevers — scientists, writers, etc. And you make people unhappy to boot. Why should you tell a girl who wants to be a linguist she should be an engineer instead and make her feel inadequate because she doesn’t like it.

              Look, the thing is, you can’t play these games without barring people who WOULD have been great from whatever field they really want. You can’t. All you can do is favor one and kick out the other.

              If women have great contributions to make to the science, if they REALLY want to get in, they’ll make it in without special assist, provided we don’t stop them.

              Again, I’ll quote Pratchett The greatest happiness in life is finding what you’re REALLY good at and doing it. Why should we put blocks in the path of both males and females, because we are selecting for characteristics that have nothing to do with the job?

              1. And btw, no, I’m not projecting. I wanted to be an engineer. I was stopped, partly because of mom — and no, it wasn’t gender discrimination. It was that the engineering college was 99% male, and she thought I’d get pregnant. Yeah, I know. — and partly because I’m digit dyslexic. I didn’t know this was a real malady and I couldn’t understand WHY my equations went wrong. WHEN I figured out what wrong as an adult, because I met someone who had the same problem, I learned to compensate.

                Would I have been happier as an engineer — for most of my life probably. Would I have brought a unique perspective? Well… I liked building stuff and creating stuff. So I might have. OF COURSE I still would have had to write, so… who knows? As it was, I was instead a VERY BAD LINGUIST.

              2. Ever notice how nobody seems to be addressing the greatest inequity in our world — the inability of men to be mothers? Why aren’t scientists working to allow men wombs? Why does not the NSF fund grants for such research? Raw bias, and a cruel desire to deny men parity!

                1. I’d pay money into a Kickstarter for that.

                  If they met their goals, would they add in research into surgery to allow non-C-section deliveries?

              3. “Besides, I’ve been around for some time and I’ve noticed that them as has it in them to shine will shine through six layers of muck, whereas those who ain’t shiny won’t shine however much you buff ’em.”

            2. Ooooh, bad example. Later research has indicated that the Samoans pegged Meade for a gullible twit and played a massive practical joke on her. She still has her defenders, but the “Twit woman!” faction seems to hold the upper hand at Wikipedia.

              1. Yep. Also, let’s face it, the soft sciences are now and since the floodgates opened the domain of women. The hard sciences don’t depend so much on how you look at them — well, perhaps quantum magic does, who knows? — they’re… cold equations.

                1. A sexist might point out that in the hard sciences, questions usually have a Right Answer, which is right no matter what the group consensus is, whereas in the soft sciences a lot of the questions are either so multivariate as to be unresolvable or are unfalsifiable in the first place. (It’s not like we can create another whole group of Samoans and run the experiment again. Well, okay, we could. But it wouldn’t be practical.) This isn’t entirely limited to women/men: even lots of men have the same issue. Quoth Dave Barry:

                  Here is a very important piece of advice: be sure to choose a major that does not involve Known Facts and Right Answers. This means you must not major in mathematics, physics, biology, or chemistry, because these subjects involve actual facts. If, for example, you major in mathematics, you’re going to wander into class one day and the professor will say: “Define the cosine integer of the quadrant of a rhomboid binary axis, and extrapolate your result to five significant vertices.” If you don’t come up with exactly the answer the professor has in mind, you fail. The same is true of chemistry: if you write in your exam book that carbon and hydrogen combine to form oak, your professor will flunk you. He wants you to come up with the same answer he and all the other chemists have agreed on.

                  Scientists are extremely snotty about this.

                  If they were particularly obnoxious, they might extrapolate that if men have a natural inclination toward Truth and women have a natural inclination toward Harmony, that men (ON AVERAGE) might do better in fields where what’s important is that the answers agree with experiment and that women (ON AVERAGE) might do better in fields where what’s important is that the answers appeal to and resonate with the maximum number of people.

                  There is a reason that “mansplaining” is considered a valid attack on an argument in some circles, and that there is no corresponding female version. And that statement is not nearly so sexist as you might think.

                  1. This is what I was trying to say. Also, stuff like psychology does involve well… words. Older son is good at it. Younger son goes “AHHHHH. WORDS” and hides in a corner with his math book. 😉

                2. Women also mostly avoid the dirty sciences (Geology…) where you need to go somewhere unfriendly, do hard physical labor, and get covered in dirt, oil, grease, or other stuff.

                  Not that I cared when I was trying to get work as a geo, although I did lose out on a couple of cases where it was a toss-up between me and a male applicant, and the facility in question had never had a female there before. Simple math. It’s cheaper to stay unisex than to retool for one female who might be the only one there for years to come.

                  1. So true – this reminded me of the story my hubby tells of when they got the first female in EW school. They didn’t have a female bathroom. And then the next year they got their first female instructor. The men had to put on their pants (oh yes, they would take off their pants and hang them up so they wouldn’t get wrinkled). So yes, women need facilities.

                    Oh yes, and the first time the Navy had to figure out how to put women on working ships. –its all logistics

                  2. i never got my papers because that pesky seasonal affective disorder got bad enough to make me unable to study successfully during the winter months, and being able to pass exams only for about two months in the fall and two in the spring out of the nine does not a good student make, but I did work for the Finnish Geological Survey for 6 summers, and one summer for the Ontario Geological Survey. In Finland, three summers in Lapland. And I loved it. Well, admittedly there were some moments, like that time I managed to find quicksand when jumping out of canoe (my coworkers thought it was hilarious, I had one foot on hard sand and the other sunk in the sand up to my thigh). Or the several times I managed sank into the mud in one of the swampy spots (lots of that up there). And the mosquitoes were a bit bothersome at times. And it’s really nice when you can see the thunderstorm coming while it’s still several kilometers away, but you know you are too far from the camp to have any chance of getting there before you will be soaked (the Lapland summers were all in the northernmost part, no forest there, just small patches of stunted birch trees in some of the better sheltered spots – you can see far).

                    But I really would have loved that kind of work. I hated to give up trying to study for my master’s (got pretty close to bachelor’s, but there were a few courses which were taught only in those months when I was not able to pass anything), but after a while I really had no choice but to do that. University doesn’t cost much here, but living expenses in this country are pretty high, so in the end I just had to find a full time job.

                    1. By the way, for us – there rarely were any separate facilities for women, the one thing was that the Survey made sure there were always two of us instead of just one in the crews, presumably to avoid rumors, and maybe so we could back each other up in case there had been problems. We used the same bathrooms and often the same sauna at the same time as the guys (and sauna we usually had even in the tent camps, a tent with a sauna stove). Never had any problems, and I never heard of any, and since there weren’t that many women studying geology at that time I knew most of them, or at least knew somebody who knew somebody, so if there had been any rumors I probably would have heard at least something.

                    2. Men aren’t ravening lascivious lecherous beasts just waiting to rape, molest and harass women? Do Womyn’s Studies professors know about this? Maybe your experiences and those of every other woman you know are just anomalous data points that somehow miss the true pattern. Or perhaps y’all don’t have consciousnesses sufficiently raised to understand that when a man speaks politely to you he is actually attempting to demean you and strip you of your identity as powerful and self-sufficient womyn?

                    3. Classic instance of a producer-oriented system at a time when the world increasingly supports customer-oriented business models. On-demand video is destroying the network delivery model; on-demand news is crumbling the MSM and the first colleges/universities to develop an effective on-demand delivery system will own higher education. It is absurd that you should have to take your coursework and exams according to the convenience of a system that pays you no respect.

                    4. Apparently on-demand education is fast approaching:

                      Colorado State Takes Next Step in Online Ed Revolution: Course Credit

                      Over the past year a number of workable delivery methods have emerged in the realm of online education: Coursera, EdX and Udacity, to name a few big ones. The question now is how quickly traditional universities will jump on this bullet train.

                      We can add Colorado State to the list of the online Sooners. The school announced it will give transfer credits to students who complete one or more of a selection of online courses and pass a proctored exam. As the New York Times reports, the proctored exam is the key component of this feature, as it reduces the risk of cheating and increases the value of the credential:

                      Udacity announced its arrangement with Pearson VUE earlier this year. Only students who take a proctored test at a Pearson VUE center, for a fee of $89, will be eligible for credit at Colorado’s Global Campus. But Bob Whelan, the president of Pearson VUE, said it would be some time before either edX or Udacity exams are ready.

                      At the moment, this appears to be something of a trial, as it’s limited to just three courses. But if all works as planned, the program will expand, and other schools may follow suit.

                    5. Yes, absolutely. I enjoyed my time as a geo and would have gone back if the company hadn’t gone under.

                      My experience is that if you pull your weight and do your job, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got an innie or an outie. You’re “one of the guys” – a team member with strengths and weaknesses. They don’t object to helping with the stuff you can’t do (like hauling bags of sample that weigh more than you do – a bag holding a meter of damn near solid lead ore is HEAVY).

                      Of course, the rabid feministas wouldn’t be caught dead in that kind of setting. It’s the sort of thing they think isn’t needed – and never mind that it’s what will happen everywhere if their econut friends have their way.

                    6. Ah, samples :D. I once hauled a frame mounted backpack about half full of rock samples for about two kilometers, from the camp to the lake where the plane would land, all by myself. Got there, but it took a lot of time since in the last meters I stopped to rest about every second or third step, and when I finally was there I damn near fainted. Fun times. Fortunately I had started several hours before the plane was due.

                      Not the smartest thing to try, I should have done several trips, but I figured that since I could lift it, if just barely, and then walk with it, when I tried that in the camp, I could do it, only of course the damn thing seemed to increase in weight by every second step or so. And then I was just too stubborn to give up.

                    7. This is in reply to Kate Paulk. I once carried a very old man about 35 miles on my back. He’d broken his ankle, and we were that far from friendly civilization. It took me three days, and at the time (I was 24), I could leg press 720 pounds. He weighed about 90 pounds when we started, and must have weighed 250 when we finally reached our destination. That’s one of several dozen reasons I have a bad back today.

        2. I agree with your daughter, and it’s not just in science and math. In general, men are more willing (and more pressured) to devote everything to their jobs, while women aren’t – I’m certainly not. I think this is a big reason we don’t have more women CEOs. Women are more likely to take the mommy-track, even when we don’t have any children, or families, but just want more diverse lives.

          1. Heck, even with writing. I’ve long ago come to the conclusion that part of the reason more of my male friends are bestsellers is that they do A LOT LESS around the house/with the kids. For the male friends who are primary childcare/housecare, they’re exactly like most of the women. OF COURSE yes, it might be social conditioning, but some of it at least has to be evolutionary, on the face of it — most men prefer to concentrate on career, most women on family. And sometimes we’ve got to anyway, by circumstances. We were lucky Dan could devote a lot of time to the boys in their elementary school years, because he’s MUCH better with kids that age than I am. Would it be better to continue that way? Possibly, but my career couldn’t support us.

            1. I remember thinking, even as a teen, how I’d see the boys getting completely obsessive about things, completely focused for days on just one thing (and this was before computer games really hit), and I’d have things I could have been just as obsessed by (like writing), but I wouldn’t be allowed to get away with it, as a girl – just being female is a lot of work, even doing the bare minimum that geek girls do.

                    1. That may be true, but some of us have mental short circuits that cause us to lose what would have been a snappy retort while in the middle of delivering it, causing much irritation.

                    2. That may be true, but some of us have mental short circuits that cause us to lose what would have been a snappy retort while in the middle of delivering it, causing much irritation.

                      Here. This should help with that.

                    3. Oh, thank goodness! I was attempting to turn up a midi file for the music accompanying a poem I posted, and when I typed in the artist’s name (Dillon Bustin) Amazon’s auto-suggest, upon reading the first three letters, suggested things I’d NEVER thought of shopping for. I am traumatized yet. The colors! The shapes! The gadgets! THE PRICES!

                    4. I usually think of the perfect comeback about three days after. Not much good then. It always comes out of the blue, and I say to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that at the time?”

                      I do that with jobs, too. I can work at a job for four or five years, then suddenly see the light – just as I’m about to change jobs. It always pays off later, but it’s frustrating at the time.

              1. YES! aye there. And to be honest, that was an issue. In the society I grew up in, I was expected to learn housekeeping. I was not allowed to just close the door to the room and study or read. I don’t think there’s much the same issue now — maybe there is — but I can’t say. I don’t have girls. The boys don’t do enough but it’s not because they’re boys, it’s because I don’t own a chair and a whip. As for the other stuff — ehgods… when hormones hit… how much time wasted fixing my hair? Fortunately it was naturally good, but all the same…

                1. I had the same thing happen to me. So I did my homework on the bus or at school, which meant my grades were not as good as they could have been. Then when my parents went to homeschooling, I did all the housekeeping, canning, babysitting, etc. I didn’t get the opportunity to go back to school until I went to junior college (from 13-18 I got most of my schooling from reading plus I had to hide to read).

                  1. I had to hide to read, too — not because I was a girl… or maybe it was. Well… mom hated anyone reading (long story. Her dad was not very nice to his family and he was a great reader) including dad. But my bother was of course allowed to read because he was, of course, a genius. I’m not sure this had to do with his being a boy. There were other factors. I, on the other hand, was supposed to be learning housekeeping and sewing, because how was I going to look after a house (turns out badly, but never mind.) So, I spent a lot of time reading, then flinging the book under the nearest piece of furniture when mom approached. She must have thought I sat around with my hands on my lap, staring at walls a lot. No wonder she thought I was lazy 🙂

                    1. My mom had this saying about how you had to get your experience from “real life.” From my perspective “real life” wasn’t interesting. It was usually drudgery. I think that is why I liked the Dragon stories… brain farting all over the place today.

                      My mother liked to play baseball. I had thick glasses at the time (started wearing them at 7) and I don’t know how many times my glasses were broken by balls because I couldn’t catch them. I still dislike team sports. And so forth. I had no common interests with any of my family.

                      When I started going to junior college (I worked to get the money), my parents just assumed that I would become an elementary teacher. They were appalled when I joined the Navy. Let’s just say that I had some wild times with the family. My nerves settled a lot when I finally had a constant paycheck and I was away from them.

                      My mother claimed I was lazy too… I wasn’t… I still dislike housework as well. I would use the word hate… but you already posted about the words love and hate… 😉

                      Plus I have a real dislike of logic and rhetoric. I saw it twisted into pretzels by my parents’ logic. It was hard to tell what was truth and what was lie. I now assume the whole lot of it is lies.

                    2. I has a rather different experience. My family had its own twisted logic. I was expected to excel in school, to do my homework, to read … why are you wasting your time with those paints?!? I was expected to have a career in a profession. When I didn’t I was told I was letting down the whole cause of womanhood.

                    3. Eh. I was supposed to be a teacher, then when they realized I could go higher, a professor, or a diplomat. Alternately, of course, I could have been doctor. But not an engineer. Blah.

                2. The Daughter is strict as all get out when it comes to the keeping of and proper practices in a Chemistry lab. I doubt that she has a single iota of housekeeping impulse in her body.

                  1. Weirdly, I thought this about Robert who can be pretty slapdash in his room, particularly at exam time, and who only cleans the rest of the house when told/asked to — however when living on his own for two summers, he turned into my mom. The toothbrush to clean between tile grout came out. It was very masculine housekeeping, all disinfectant and scrubbing, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cleaner place in my life. You could have performed brain surgery on his kitchen table.

                    1. The Daughter, when I mentioned that I had posted this about her, said I was to tell everyone she is sensitive to bleach, ammonia and vinegar fumes. At any rate she uses this as an excuse. Someday we will have to try her on a breathing mask (;-)). She also tends to doing too many projects which are at all various stages and is reading too many books at any single time to bother. (You do know it will only get dusty or dirty again, don’t you? Whereas, in a lab, we are talking SAFETY.) I have no idea what her place was like when she was on her own, as it was a bit of a distance to visit her in Tokyo.

                    2. I used to be a good housekeeper — not like Robert, but good — and then I started writing and there never seems to be enough time…

                      I think Robert just hates gunk. Or it might be an environment-control issue.

                  2. We’ve been forced to recognize that neither of us are getting any younger, and the housework requires more energy than we have. I have three things on my agenda: get rid of my daughter’s two dogs, get the yard emptied of all but Timmy’s toys and the few things we want to keep, and hire someone to take care of the housework and yard work. It may be hard on the pocketbook, but it’s GOT to be done.

            2. There is evidence to indicate that, in general, men are more “free range” in their child-rearing approach and women more “hands-on.” (Your mileage may vary, we are talking about mean statistics here.) I doubt one is preferable to the other so much as there is a balance to be maintained.

              Beloved Spouse and I have observed that, in a stable family, the father has more freedom to tease a youngster — the potential threat of maternal abandonment is just too threatening for a child to take. While this denies mothers the amusements of certain kinds of parent/child interaction, the key should be what the child wants/needs.

                  1. These days the outliers are usually in politics, because nobody can out lie a politician, and that is what has us up this creek sans paddle, sans culottes.

                    1. Lawyers are evil. Liers meanwhile — from the French, lier, meaning to connect — are very good if boiled down and made into glue.

                      Both are good with new potatoes.

                    2. Hmmph. I prefer to think my spelling deployable.

                      Excessive punctiliousness about spelling renders puns punchless when they ought be pungent*.

                      *Note this example of anti-male bias; one never sees the term punlady. Rank discrimination, I tells ya!

          2. There was research a decade or so back (I heard about it through Michael Medved’s talk show, which has not been carried locally in about that long) indicating that when a man becomes a father (father, not sire, which includes marrying the mother of his child) his work hours and productivity increase. It has probably been suppressed in the intervening years.

            Just so, there is ample (as yet unsuppressed) research showing that women tend to place a higher value on work/life flexibility. Perhaps society ought adjust to favor such a preference, or perhaps some people ought stop griping that the world is not the way they want it to be and try living in the world as it will be.

            1. The way that guys are supposed to provide for their families is to work hard and make more money — I don’t see why responsible guys wouldn’t go with the flow if they aren’t the house-husband type.

              Mind, my sire — for all that my parents were married — would’ve been an outlier there, betcha. Possibly in the political sense.

              1. Even house husbands often work their tails off– Mr. Lileks is everywhere, and was from when his daughter was first born. Newspaper, the Bleat, Ricochet (listen to the Podcast while it’s free!) And right now he’s on the Hugh Hewitt show, too!

                1. Dan worked in a traveling job when the kids were small — but between assignments he got to stay home — and he often had six month stretches. Then he’d be gone for three months, but sometimes I went with him. Now he also will work from home — in winter, two or three days a week — the guys thing both parents home AND working is the way of life. We used to cal this benevolent neglect. Both of us kept an ear out, neither of us hovered. My best memories are of us working in the vast office in the last house, with the kids playing legos on the floor between us.

                2. Another good example, IMNSHO, is Moe Lane. Game creator, writer for a major conservative site (he’s a major force at, unabashed geek, and full-time stay-at-home dad. His wife is, incidentally, an engineer herself. 🙂

        3. I’d add aviation to a large degree to those fields. When you are starting out, you don’t have time to have a relationship or family unless you already are in a stable, established one. And you are too poor to support anyone, even yourself at times. (When I was starting out in the mid 1990s, the commuter airlines paid $15K per year, minus uniforms and training). Then the schedule kills you. You are going to be in your mid to late 30s before you really have the stability, the income, and the benefits to be able to have children, and then you are going to take a seniority hit (if you are airline). If you come into it via the military, things are a little different, but not by much.

      3. I can’t speak for universities in Colorado, but in my discipline at my alma mater, I really do not hear of very many female students. I keep fairly current with what the graduating class will look like for that major, and it certainly isn’t 75% female. Now, I did get the impression of more female students in some of the other disciplines, but I don’t follow those near as closely.

        1. I’m talking about the percentage of females in STEM classes in the college my kids attend. 75% might be an exaggeration — I think those include humanities’ degrees– but most degrees in the country are going to women and at least half the men are foreign students. However, the Chemistry students association at my sons’ college recently sent out an email saying that 73% of enrolled students in their field were now female, so they only had a little more work to do to achieve their goal. (I have no idea what that is. 100% female?)
          And the STEM classes enrollment is anywhere from 60 to 70+ % female.

          1. There are reasons why my alma mater or my discipline might be unusual, and there are reasons why my ‘methodology’ might oversample males. (Information gathered randomly during other activities often does not fit good experimental design.)

          2. As more women are now enrolling in colleges than men imbalances in ratio of participation which seem to favor women are bound to occur. Since the goal is to remedy the terrible imbalances created by a lack of women already seen in the fields this must happen. Now, may I go and recover from having to think like those people?

            1. Unfortunately – I had to think like those people for awhile while I was in college for an English Literature degree. No wonder I get headaches now (actually I have had migraines for years).

              1. One of the reasons I abandoned plans to pursue a degree in English: I’m a terrible liar, and I could not contort my brain sufficiently to truly care about the pile of monkey feces that is literary theory. Especially after I had a professor who explained the origins and purpose of the entire field of literary analysis: literally (heh) to give English professors something to publish.

                1. Oh yea – you are totally right. I had the choice of taking a computer science degree (I already knew about as much as I could about that having repaired computers, etc. for a living), a psychology degree (hell no), or an English Literature degree. I was going to go for German language at first, but after the first year , I couldn’t find all the right classes so decided English Lit (this was on the Ramstein AB– UMUC). We called them the “run amoks.”

                  So it was interesting. What made it worth my while is that one of my professors didn’t care about what I wrote about as long as it
                  was well-written and entertaining. I found that I had a talent for fiction with her. She was great. We had fun. I survived.

          3. They are including biochemistry majors, which skew female. Your sons will find lots of women in the lower level courses and in biology, and many fewer in advanced courses in chemistry and physics, at least if the percentages are typical.

            This all annoys me anyway. A few years ago, I looked up the percentages of chemistry PhD’s for a grant (to get NSF funding you have to show “broader impact” and address diversity), and found over the ten years I was looking at the percentage of women increased, but the numbers were pretty flat: a few more women got degrees while fewer men did, so the percentage looked like “progress.”

            Thanks, by the way, for giving me the courage of my convictions to homeschool my kids. I dread the conversations where I won’t fit in, but I won’t put my son or my daughter through that crap either (and my local elementary had a theme of “I am a citizen of the world” for their winter concert).

            For the record, I am a female professor of chemistry who still teaches in a “male” style (lecture, grades are over half based on exams). We exist, even if the administration keeps telling us we need to adapt.

            1. (to get NSF funding you have to show “broader impact” and address diversity)

              Emphasis added.

              Sigh. Because that’s what is the most important criterion for distribution of taxpayer dollars (aka: enhancement of bureaucratic control over the field. Einstein wouldn’t ever have gotten a grant from these folks.)

        2. Don’t worry, Bob, the Dept of Ed (federal level) is starting to push representative percentages for STEM programs, so that if the rest of the university is 60% female, then the engineering course enrollments need to be 60% female as well. Because that will do “so much” to interest women in the hard sciences. *eye roll, head shake, toss paper wad*

          My Intro to Ecosystems Biology (massive weeder course) at Flat State U was about 50/50 when we started the semester and 50/50 when we ended. With 30% fewer total students. However, any undergrad who has made it through physics I or chemistry I, biology I (the pre-requ courses) and either biology II or wildlife management I, is going to be predisposed to handle the science (and the fact that we were drinking data from a fire hose. My paw to Shiva, that was the hardest class I’d ever taken).

          1. That first paragraph … Stupid, stupid, stupid. Not you, TXRed, the department of Ed’s not-thinking. HEAD -> DESK.

          2. Engineering is INTRINSICALLY interesting. Physics is intrinsically interesting. So is chemistry. The sciences explain how the world works.

            Unfortunately, most kids encounter terrible math teachers on their way through school – and, with the current curriculum, ONE bad teacher can lead a child to hate math from that point on. The kid can’t catch up. No one every stops to analyze WHY the kid can’t do math (usually it takes a little debugging, and then you can explain to the kid where their logic went astray).

            Compounding this is that when a guy gets a C in an engineering class, he just goes on to the next one. When a girl gets anything less than an A in an engineering class, she tells herself she isn’t cut out for this stuff, and switches majors!

            This is SOCIAL stuff. Different programming. Maybe it has to do with war.

            1. Most of the teachers we have are terrible. And ABE this is not my experience, not just with our kids but with our friends kids. Girls are POSITIVELY pushed into the sciences. Boys, otoh are constantly told (Yes, in school, yes, in class) they are inferior, badly behaved and not as smart. (No? What do you think saying girls are better and smarter and should show up the boys in every way MEANS?)

              1. Re: Girls are POSITIVELY pushed into the sciences

                This is very true. Yes, I can understand the (IMHO flawed) argument of “You are lucky enough to have gotten into [good college] so you ought to become a medical researcher and help the world.” But my major and my career should be my own choice. Yes, I know many people on this blog would hope that their own kids wouldn’t go to college and then get a non-STEM degree, but I doubt any of you would actually want to shove a student who wasn’t interested into a field where they’d be unhappy and end up doing something else with their lives anyway.

                1. I’m very glad the boys chose STEM, but for a long time I thought Robert would end up as a Classics professor somewhere, and I’d be okay with that — except for the fact that unless he met a VERY determined girl, he’d become the prototypical bachelor wandering around a book-crowded room, completely happy by himself, not seeing the sun for days.
                  As is, he lectures us on biology and illnesses and poisons. I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

                  Unless he meets a girl with a strong stomach, I’ll never have grandchildren that way!

                    1. I’m obviously living in the wrong part of the country (Texas) because I get sleepy when the sun comes up, have no melanin AT ALL (won’t get skin cancer because it didn’t take long to figure out I would never have one of those gorgeous tans all the other girls sported in high school…) can’t tolerate sweating and get a headache when too much light gets into my eyes. I love fall and overcast/rainy days. Is there such a thing as anti-SAD? If so, I have that.

                  1. At least he’ll be a handy resource if you need to figure out how to poison a character, or cure a sick one.

                  2. …he’d become the prototypical bachelor wandering around a book-crowded room, completely happy by himself, not seeing the sun for days.

                    You say that like it’s a BAD thing.

                  1. It ought be a fundamental principle that any degree be reasonably able to fund itself. Maybe colleges would try variable pricing, factoring in facility cost (I am guessing that particle physics entails more of a physical plant requirement than does, oh … Middle English Poetry) and long-term earning probability.

                    Right – like that will ever happen. Can you imagine the psych and anthropology and fill-in-the-blank studies departments bidding for students?

                    1. I would love to see that, actually. Yeah, I agree that I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, but it would be a genuine pleasure to see certain programs at various universities scrambling to show that they’re actually useful, whether providing you with experience in your desired field, with skills, with specific knowledge …

                      Plus, in the departments like “Women’s Studies” where some of what they have to say is very worth thinking about but the job prospects are NOT THERE unless you want to go teach women’s studies to the next generation in an endless loop, the useful thoughtful stuff could get transferred to psychology, neuroscience, anthropology or philosophy wherever it fits and the horse puckey could get filtered out or at least become more obvious.

                      Sure, in some ways I’m a hypocrite, but I only switched majors after demonstrating to myself that I could make a living with these skills when I graduate, so I’m not entirely foolish.

                    2. I have to disagree. The point of education is to make a better human being, and the liberal arts form the core of that. Making a more employable person is the realm of training, whether teaching accounting, electrical engineering, basket-weaving, or nuclear physics. They are both vitally important to our daily living, but I think we are ill-served by mixing the two.

                    3. That is the argument, yes. But I wasn’t talking about the pricing of an education, I was addressing the price of a degree. Education does not require a degree and does not stop when a degree is issued. The purpose of a degree lies in its utility in marketing the skills that the degree supposedly represents.

                    4. I’m disinclined to say that someone who has voluntarily placed themselves tens-to-hundreds of thousands of dollars into a category of debt that lies — on the inescapable-predation spectrum — somewhere between debt to the IRS and debt to the Mafia in order to obtain a credential which is of no measurable market value whatsoever has thereby become a better person, except to the extent that a small child who learns the meaning of “don’t touch that, it’s hot!” by fondling the burners of an active stove has become a better person by it.

                      And, in defense of the small child, at least HE can be treated with burn cream and bandages.

                2. This goes for both sexes. One of the few ways you can *almost* insult me is to insinuate (or just say) that I’ve squandered my gifts. Yes, I have. However, they’re mine to squander and the rest of humanity hasn’t any claim on them. If I contribute to society equal to my needs, that is the most that can be morally required of me.

                3. In my family we have major two diseases: law and medicine. Quite a number of did not pursue STEM degrees, but took history. The Daughter was also interested in Japanese history, particularly the Meiji Restoration. At present, there is not any call for non-native Japanese in the field. Somehow on her own she developed this strange idea that she likes to eat regularly and that it would be a good idea to be able to pay her bills.

                  1. My family runs to medicine and engineering. I’ll point out my mom’s issue was my mom’s issue. My older female cousin who was raised with us is a chemical engineer. It’s just that you know, I had two boyfriends in sixth grade, so mom KNEW I was going to go through the engineering class… (RIGHT>>>>>>>) If I didn’t want to be a doctor, then I could try law or something aberrant like language. I think since I won the Prometheus I was forgiven for being a writer. I mean, if I’m going to do stuff I shouldn’t, they want proof I’m good at it, or something.

                    1. “I mean, if I’m going to do stuff I shouldn’t, they want proof I’m good at it, or something.”

                      I have that attitude towards my children. I want them to be well-adjusted, moral members of society, and I work hard at that, but if they go bad I want them to do it well. If they get busted, it had better be for cracking safes or staging coups in third-world countries, not sticking up some schmuck for his wallet or boosting random cars for joyriding. Shoplifting is right out. 🙂

                      If they’re something as disreputable as writers, well… they had better at least make nomination for the Campbell. 🙂

                  2. CACS – I was wondering what our two major diseases is in our family and I have to say: Music and Electronics. My two youngest brothers went into accounting for banks, which is what my grandfather did in his later years. He was a bank examiner.

                    Electronics used to be a good field (technicians not engineers) with good money until recently.

            2. I don’t recall ever being so full of myself that I thought my interests were INTRINSICALLY interesting. Rather the opposite, actually.

              Now, what bra to best display one’s wares, that strikes me as intrinsically interesting.

              1. But you know you’re an engineering geek when you look at said wares (as a man, or, I suppose, as a lesbian, but I don’t know about that), notice stress lines in the material, and start thinking about how to redesign the outfit to distribute the stress more evenly.

                    1. I look at what women subject their feet to and *shudder* — maybe because I have an idea about the effect of the stress loads on their arches and toes.

                    2. weirdly the most comfortable high heels I’ve found are crocs high heels. (They don’t look like crocs either) I bought them because my supposed “Easy Comfort” pumps were biting my feet on the way to worldcon last year and I needed high heels with my formal for the Prometheus Award. So … there was a croc store at Denver Airport. We thought “no way” but they had this high heel sandal. Ten minutes later, I was wearing them while running for my gate. They look formal and are perfectly comfortable. Since then, I — who swore once I’d never wear crocs — have bought croc houseslippers. that way if if I step in cat throw up or whatever, I just wash the shoe, and it’s fine. And they’re comfy.

                    3. Dang it, tried to use that nifty “post a picture” thing… Like these? If they’re that good, I might actually buy a pair. Expensive, but it’d be nice to have something besides men’s dress shoes.

      4. Not that outdated. Have two just out of college (comp. sci., mech. engr – both boys), and one in college (Mech engr and product design – girl), and from reports, the FEEL of the teaching – the way stuff is presented – hasn’t much changed. My opinion, of course, based on stuff reported to me, textbooks I’ve perused, class notes I’ve read, homework problems – there is a lot more there to modernize, but it doesn’t feel any different from the stuff that used to drive me nuts.

        Ditto that my daughter has not had ONE female professor in ALL her engineering classes.

        And I read the Bulletin of the Am Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women – and the changes are quite minimal – especially the higher you go in the profession (asst prof, tenured prof, principal researcher, lab director).

        And who goes when research funds get eliminated? Most recent hire. Yup – much more likely to be the lone woman on the faculty.

        I’m not saying NO change – I’m saying not nearly enough compared to law and medicine and even chemistry (for some reason).

        Let’s both hope that the present generation finally makes a change – and the next gets at least a few more women.

        1. I wonder if women in that profession are not sufficiently rara avis that the private sector outbids the teaching sector for their services.

          Back in the nineties I recall reading that schools were having problems retaining computer science instructors because anyone good enough to teach the discipline was able to earn significantly more working in the discipline.

        2. WHY? Seriously. WHY?

          If women don’t want to go into engineering, why push them? If women WANT to go into engineering, let them. But if they don’t, WHY? Why spend time indoctrinating them from cradle that they have to be this or that and somehow failed if they aren’t. Pardon me, but what does a vagina have to do with engineering?

          I’m talking here about my younger kid’s class — he’s a natural engineer for good and ill. I hung out in his engineering classroom when I picked him up from robotics. There were at least FOUR magazines in the classroom: women in robotics, women in engineering, women in science, etc. Not only wasn’t there a “boys in engineering” but there wasn’t a NEUTRAL ONE.

          Look, turn it around — if I said “most of the degrees in foreign languages still go to women. And of course in hard times male translators get fired first. Let’s hope this changes and we get more men in languages.” Wouldn’t you say “WHY?” I would. Who cares? What does language have to do with possession of a penis.

          As for teachers, role models, etc, in the last ten years you can usually count on the fingers of one hand the males in any given large K-12 school. Our boys are being educated by women and largely to fit with girl-style of learning. Hence the ritalin. They’re also dropping out and graduating at the bottom of their classes. Of course, the ones who make it to college are the top of the boys and highly competitive, and the women are… normal. Which means by the end of college, we might not have done girls in the sciences any favor.

          I know you’re going to say “but women are traditionally barred” — but it’s been A HUNDRED YEARS. My boys never barred any woman from studying anything she wanted. My husband never did. My father in law never considered it. (Portugal is a different ball of wax, but even there I have cousins and other female relatives who had “male” careers way back. My mom is in fact the only one to ever try to bar me from a “male” profession (woodwork.))

          So… we’re equalizing what? We’re punishing the boys for what? WHY do we need half pointers and half targets in EVERY MALE FIELD (but not every female field. And btw, that would be JUST as stupid.) WHY not give ALL kids a good foundation, then let them sink or swim on their own?

          1. Group responsibility, group punishment, all for imagined group privileges. I don’t care to belong to a group of more than two, and even there I have questions about Beloved Spouse’s judgement.

            1. THIS is my main “Why would people want group marriage?” I love my husband and he has enriched my life, but this four thing with the boys in the house? I can’t wait till it’s just two. (As much as I love the snot-nosed brats.)

          2. Exactly Sarah – I agree with every point. I had an opportunity to work six months in a care facility. Most of the boys were on some type of mood enhancer (or dehancer ugh). It was really horrible for them. It was done to keep them compliant. Why should boys be compliant?

            1. Because they MUST behave like girls. I started telling the schools no, I wasn’t going to dope either boy when they were three. And on this, while Marsh is typical boy — cars, guns, balls, climbing rocks, tearing clothes and now the more mature Math, Science, not very verbal, — Robert was extremely verbal and a lot like me, good at science but possibly better at verbal. He still got the “we should put him on Ritalin.” WHY? “He’s too large. He scares the other children.” BAH.

              1. I remember watching a lecture by a school reform advocate (I forget the name … Diane Ravitch?) on CSPAN when she explained that as a former teacher she had not called on boys more often in class because of a preference for boys, but as a method of imposing discipline on them. Not everybody is a Hermione Granger, eager to bask in teacher’s attention.

                1. Egads. As someone who has taught — YES. If boys are ignored they get up to the most… er… interesting things. And as someone who was mentally a boy till I DISCOVERED boys… er… I think the statute of limitations has run out on tampering with the school’s electrical system so they had to cancel after-dark classes. Probably. At any rate it was Portugal and I’m here. Mwahahahahahah

          3. Sounds like things have gone overboard in your sons’ classes (typical), but I can give one answer to why there would be things like that for the girls: because too many girls don’t otherwise get exposed to engineering or the uses for math in their lives. I never did. When I went to college, being an engineer never even crossed my mind; I had no idea what engineers did or what that would mean for me as a life, despite the fact that I was very good at physics, biology and math. And I’d have been quite good at engineering and probably liked it a lot as a career. Boys seemed to know all along that that was what they wanted to do; somehow, they were exposed to it as they grew up in a way I never was.

            It’s particularly bad in low income families for girls. I have a friend who teaches bilingual 2nd and 3rd grade students, so she sees a lot of first generation Hispanic girls who have no clue that science or math is anything they want to pursue. My teacher friend finds, even when she had projects to expose all the kids to these kinds of things, the boys (being boys) are in Me Grab It First and Fight Over It mode, and the girls, trained to be passive, hang back and never get a chance to handle anything, so my friend has to split the boys and girls out. When the girls actually get a chance to play with things and see it as a possibility for them, they like it a lot. (Most of the things holding us back are the fences in our own heads.)

            OTOH, that’s no excuse to ignore the boys. And that’s a whole different matter from the classroom styles favoring girls over boys. No reason not to teach the full range – there are plenty of girls (like me) who did better in the male format, for one thing.

            1. I did better in the male format, too.

              I hear what you’re saying, but note the bilingual. At this point, unless we’re IMPORTING them these kids know about the opportunities. And this was a 12th grade classroom for Principles of Engineering. I THINK those girls — many of whose mothers were engineers — KNEW what they could do. Truly. Oh, and lower income — that’s a whole other ball of wax. These kids do need guidance but ALL OF THEM DO. Possibly more so the boys. I wanted to write a post called Who Killed Trayvon Martin not based on his being shot, but on the lifestyle he led, which contributed to his being shot. His story is so typical of falling away from school in middle school (when boys and girls differentiate the most) that I would bet it’s the Girl-Geared schools doing this to boys.

              The issues isn’t the geniuses. The geniuses will come through in the end — or destroy themselves in spectacular ways — but we are MAIMING average boys even more. They fall into an hyper macho culture of violence because that’s the only place their masculinity is not denied and blocked.

              And btw has anyone considered the appeal of extremist, female-hating religion to boys raised this way?

              1. I think we’re both fine with exposing kids to things, maybe even a nudge here or there, but no pushing. Certainly not at the expense of other kids in the class who deserve just as much attention.

                And I’m completely with you on the problems boys have in school now.

                And you could do a whole blog on the anti-male attitudes out there!

              2. I know that at least for me personally, exposure to constant claims of women being oppressed when I can see with my own eyes that while it may be happening, it sure as Hell ain’t happening around here makes me a lot less sympathetic to such claims than I used to be. And that exposure to very real cases of men and boys being actively mistreated in the name of women’s superiority makes me a lot more defensive about it than once I was.

                Yes, on the whole, women have it rougher than men in a lot of ways. No denying it. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it makes things worse for women AND men. But there is such a thing as overplaying your cards. There comes a point where constant shrieking and playing the victim actively discourages sympathy that otherwise would be extended.

                1. Men and boys being actively mistreated in the name of women’s “superiority” makes me furious! (The idea that women, or men, are automatically superior is so wrong on so many levels.)

                  The women who still trumpet this are the ones who are so damaged, irrational and truly inferior that they have to have a scapegoat rather than look at themselves. And yes, I completely agree, there’s been an understandable backlash from the guys.

                  1. And we’re creating more of these damaged women by telling girls they can AND SHOULD do everything and at the same time treating them like fragile flowers. Could you live up to being a superwoman AND a victim? I couldn’t. We’re breaking these girls in two. They too end up on meds — usually as teens.

                2. I agree with you there Marc. When the women scream about unjustness for too long when it isn’t unjust… (okay I am going to screw this up), then when something comes around that is really unjust, the men (and others) won’t even consider it.

                  It really pissed me off when some of the feminists turned rape into a joke. A woman could claim rape when she had the morning after regrets. (I wasn’t going to use this example but I saw it a lot in the Navy). I saw young men lose their careers because of these women. I found it despicable.

                  1. Heck, nowadays if a woman in college accuses a man of rape it’s almost impossible to refute, unless he has witnesses. My boys — both of them — are terrified of dating.

                    1. Understood Sarah – I would advise them to stay away from women all together. Maybe have you find a girl for them ;-). Matchmaking will be back in business.

                      BTW I was in the Navy from 1988-1994 so it has been happening a lot time now. (buyer’s remorse)

                    2. Even if he has witnesses, as he may not be permitted to call them to testify on his behalf. Because cross-examination of the victim exacerbates the trauma he is denied that defense, too.

                      Under the current regimen, if a boys has a girl slip him a roofie and a viagra he could still be found guilty of rape. And if she gets pregnant he will be liable for child support without having any say in how that child is raised.

                      Unhappily for you fiction writers, if you tried to pull something like that outta your bum you’d never be able to sell it (in either sense of the term.)

                  2. My sister, acting as a tutor at the college she’d graduated from, saw one of her male charges accused of rape by a girl whose counselor convinced her that, because she hadn’t really wanted to have sex, even though she never indicated it at the time, that counted as rape. The boy was horrified that she had thought that and cooperated with everything, but was still kicked out of school with rape on his record. (Granted, this was at a small school in Vermont, which is a pretty extremist place.) Yes, despicable.

            2. Regardless of gender, I see great value in exposing children to a wide variety of professions and disciplines. I am reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s account of his father’s dinner table: how almost every day he would have some man of experience as a guest; tradesmen, scholars, anyone with knowledge or wisdom to share. Then he would draw them out in conversation over the meal. I want to do that for my family, though it requires an end to my hermithood if I’m to actually find people worth inviting outside of my tiny social circle. Perhaps if some of you lived a little closer… Wishing aside, and back to the point, exposure is vital. Parents ought to take responsibility for it, especially those of us who are supportive of people doing what they love and are good at.

              1. See, that is something schools should do.

                Dump the endless drugs, bullying and happy-clappy PC junk assemblies, and instead let folks come in to talk about what they do for a living.

                About as likely as ditching the sort-by-year thing to put folks in classes that match their current abilities, but I can dream.

          4. The thing about fields like engineering, it should matter if the students are very diverse, or homogenous. The answers should be homogenous regardless of who is giving them. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SEX THE DESIGNER OF THE BRIDGE IS to the poor bastard that is driving across it when it collapses. Lower standards or changing to less efficient teaching methods to adjust for the preferred male/female student ratio is criminal.

              1. Because one good Talleyrand quote deserves another:

                On hearing of the death of a Turkish ambassador, Talleyrand is supposed to have said: “I wonder what he meant by that?” More commonly, the quote is attributed to Metternich, the Austrian diplomat, as a response to the death of Talleyrand in 1838.

          5. Disclaimer: I’m old. When I was in school, girls were actively discouraged from taking higher math or science classes. Every excuse and rationalization was used under the sun: girls just can’t understand those things; well, you’re going to end up getting married and having kids, so why work so hard to get a degree you won’t ever use; women just don’t think like men so you are never going to really understand math/science enough to really excel in it; home economics was still an ordinary course in high school and boys were not allowed to take it because they would just be either a) wanting to be the only boy in a class full of girls or b) they were just trying to skate out of taking something “responsible” like, oh, woodshop or auto mechanics. I graduated at the height of the “women’s lib” movement and was appalled at some of the things some women wanted to legislate or cause to be changed about society, even though women were actively discriminated against in most employment (a woman at a meeting was obviously a secretary taking notes, not a participant), paid less for doing the same job as a man, and actively discouraged (called “ball-busters” or “dykes” or of trying to take some man’s breadwinner role) from trying to break into an all-male field of endeavor, regardless of their qualifications. However, I was never insulted to have a man open a door for me, call me ma’am (except when I was 16 and the male was 10), or be asked to bring my boss coffee. I figured if they were willing to pay me what they were (I made excellent money at the time) to stop doing something productive to go get my boss and/or his colleague coffee, well, that was their decision – I was getting paid the same either way so I did not feel demeaned.

            Even though society seems to be addicted to the pendulum model, first swinging too far one way, then swinging back too far the other, I was not aware that the message being given in school was that women were obviously “superior” to men or that teaching styles had been completely altered to be female-oriented with the boys being forced to try to learn in an environment that devalued them. I have always thought men and women were DIFFERENT – neither superior nor inferior to the other – just different, with different strengths in different areas. It has never made any sense to me to try to lump everyone into large single groups and say “men/women are ALL thus and so” because that is just idiotic. My sister found sitting around discussing quantum physics a fun way to wile away the afternoon and I would have been bored to tears, but I could design jewelry or draw or paint while she looked at me like I was an alien creature and had no comprehension of artistic creativity.

            I probably will never understand the “all one way or all the other” mentality and really can’t understand why otherwise intelligent people would espouse such behavior. Bending over backward to address an inequity to the extent of punishing future generations does NOT fix anything — it simply causes further inequity and will never “correct” the imbalances.

        3. ABE – Your observations may have to do with your location. Of course, I don’t know what that location is, but to give an example: I live in Kentucky. I read things by people lamenting the horrible way that men are treated when they do things like open a door for a woman, or compliment them on their appearance, or even speak to them respectfully, if they use the term, “ma’am”. I look at the men and women around me, and I say, “I don’t see ANY of this. Only ONE woman that I have known in the past 40 years has acted in such a fashion to me.”

          But I’m from Kentucky. These stories are coming from big cities. My Sister-in-Law was ecstatic to move back here from Pittsburgh when my brother retired, because she said that no one appreciated manners there. She taught her son to do things like open doors for women, and they would either ignore him, or else would turn their nose up at it. So, if you’re from an area that is less Urban, perhaps it’s the environment particular to your locale that makes the difference. Or, I could be talking out my ass, and you went to an Ivy League school. I don’t know, it’s just a possibility.

    2. women were banned from these professions, too, not that long ago

      “It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you so much as what you know that just ain’t true.”

      re “Banned”: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Research the instances of a man being raped by a woman (yes, it does happen) and then being forced to pay child support for the outcome of his being abused, then tell me “it’s still a man’s world.”

      What it is is a fallen world, and getting into arguments over whose side fell first and whose side fell farthest and whose side tripped the other does nothing to address the fact of the fall.

  4. I’ve heard a good number of people approve of McCarthy. Among other things, the declassification after the Cold War ended produced a lot of evidence in his favor.

    1. McCarthy is one of the prime modern examples of the principle than an idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it. Turns out he was mostly right, he was just so obnoxious about it that it was easy to discredit him via mass-media.

      1. Darn it. Meant to add: “About the Reds, anyway. His vilification of homosexuals – whether he was right about them ‘infiltrating’ everything or not – is an entirely separate question.

        1. Yes. Except that with other “despised minorities” of the time the reds DID use them, starting in Oxford. One of the reasons not to keep out minorities, whatever we think of them — but also a reason not to have special treatment because it will create resentments in victims AND beneficiaries who get the message they’re not good enough to make it on their own. The thing in 300 was morally true fiction. In a free society the “rejected” are a danger. We are a social animal. We might aspire to angels, but we’re always part ape. The rejected will have their revenge, particularly if the rejection is unfair.

          1. Community organizers are trained in using this aspect of the rejected to radicalize folk. That is why people get told that if you believe A then you must agree B … and that to be a good blankinist you must not only decry such-and-so, but also support this-and-that. It is a classic sales ploy, getting you to purchase an appetizer and ending up selling you the whole menu.

          2. My father did his 2-year stint in the Navy in the 50’s, just after the Korean War and told about a guy he knew whose job was to discover gays in the military. The reason was not because these were bad people but because they were a security risk because of the potential for blackmail. Not right or good, but the reality for the time. My father always said it with a sad shrug.

      2. I have argued that the worst thing that McCarthy did was to so turn off so many people to himself that they failed to notice what he was talking about might be true and have refused to entertain the idea again. He legitimized anti-anti-communism. Then, when communism was questioned, all that had to be done to silence the questioner was to accuse them with the trump card of McCarthyism and of course, any enemy worth its salt would take advantage of this.

        1. Of course, if I were writing this, he would be on their side all along. But one also has to wonder about the demonizing power of mass media. It’s much diminished now, but still we’ve seen it in action in recent times.

          1. It can still have incredible short-term effect (George Zimmerman / Treyvon Martin, Duke Lacrosse Players / George W Bush cheating to get out of military service, aka “fake but accurate”) but they are no longer as able to suppress counter-narratives.

            Sometimes (as in, three days before an election) that is all that is needed.

            1. What’s interesting is that they do not seem to be learning the lesson. I see absolutely no impetus to be more careful in reporting since if you make a mistake you WILL get called on it, and it won’t be a Letter to the Editor on the bottom of page 27 six months later. It will be bright flashing letters on Drudge Report and/or MSNBC, in about an hour.

              Aside: it isn’t just journalists who aren’t learning that lesson. Ustream cut off the live stream of the Hugo Awards over the weekend. After a day or so the CEO published a non-apology apology citing technical circumstances outside of their control. Within five minutes, several comments were posted pointing out that either he was lying through his teeth or that he was admitting that his company was massively incompetent and that there was no third option. I mean, seriously? You’re going to try to mollify several thousand pissed-off science-fiction geeks with technobabble? That might have worked if you’d cut off the Lucies, but we are the people who make tech work. What made him think that was a good idea is just beyond me.

  5. As an aside on the ubiquitousness of Marxism, I noted that a Con in Orlando had an advertisement in the WorldCon program which featured a quote from Che Guevara about revolution.

    Congratulations, Orlando con promoters: you’ve guaranteed that I will never, ever attend your convention, and that I will go out of my way to recommend that other people likewise refrain. The world is full of quotes about revolution which do not require the glorification of brutal, thuggish mass-murderers. Next time, just quote Goebbels: he was much more articulate than Che.

  6. *was mentally forming a response for the McCarthy thing, then gets blown all to flip by the mention of the “massive drought.”*

    SCREW the ethanol problem– the gov’t destroying one of the best water control systems on earth is an even bigger problem than subsidizing burning food as really elaborate solar energy.
    Anybody remember the flooding last year? Where the Feds decided to put things back in “natural order”— well, here’s a hint, it’s not natural to have water not either overwhelming most of your land, or not being around when you need it.

    The EPA routinely steals water rights in poorly thought out attempts to save this or that animal– in one case, in Klamath Falls, they confiscated the water rights to make the water deeper for a fish that needs shallow, warm water to breed. That’s why the suckerfish were so common in the area– they LOVE irrigation ditches. (There may have been more to it, they held on to the water rights until a guy connected to the guy in charge had bought out the bankrupt farms.)

    Drove down to San Diego last month. Hundreds of miles of what use to be great farm land– dry and covered with tumble weeds. Some of them have signs about it being induced by politicians.

    Up here in Washington, they keep taking more and more water rights for the salmon– even as they club them to death if they return. (No link for that, it’s first hand knowledge– they were hiring in my area until there was enough protest about removing the “genetically inferior” fish and leaving them to rot that they agreed to club the spawning salmon and turn them over to the corrections department to feed prisoners.)

    1. There are some real nutty things going on in California, Oregon, and Washington state. It used to be just California and then it spread. It is now spreading to Idaho, Utah, and Nevada.

    2. OK on the fish thing up in North West, but there are real problems with the Southern California farming thing. Those farms required far more water than was provided for by local rains. Owens Lake that was used as a water source is no longer existent, dry since 1926, the water having been drawn out for farming faster than it could coming in. Mono Lake was being drained dry as well. Much of the water used in southern California comes from the Colorado River Basin — the other side of the Rockies. Yes, part of the Colorado River distribution that was discussed on the blog recently — where the water was assigned when at six hundred year high. Cities in southern California now pay the farmers in the Imperial Valley not to grow so that they can have water.

      1. The 1926 thing would make sense, except that this is in the last decade. A lake going dry 70+ years before a problem happens? When I know, first hand, that Northern Cali sends water down to SoCal’s cities?

        If they’d been developing the water system sensibly, there’d be just the usual water problems. But they haven’t, the cities have exploded, and environmentalists get to mess up the system that does exist.

        1. The lake that died in 1926 is indicative of thee long term problem. They have used more water than the area has for over a century. In 1901 the water from the Colorado River Basin was already being moved into southern California. Yet they continued to expand farming. As you note the cities, also, have grown a great deal. So, now, with their rain fall inadequate to meet their needs and with the imported water from the Colorado River basin and from Northern California there simply remains not enough for the farms AND the cities.

          1. And because of CA, it is getting bad in Nevada and the other States. CA likes to steal water for their cities. Plus LV is starting to do the same thing. They want to steal water from Northern Nevada.

            1. Which is why there are now regulations barring transfers of water from one river basin to another in many parts of the country. You can move it around inside a basin pretty freely, but if it enters the ocean at the mouth of River A, you better not cross the upstreams and cause it to arrive via River B.

              Plus, the regulations facilitate opportunities for regulators and those who empower them.

          2. Went and looked up Owen’s Lake.
            While Searles and China Lakes dried out because of regional changes to a hotter and drier climate, Owens Lake became desiccated largely due to the diversion of the Owens River in the early 20th century to serve the needs of Los Angeles, 266 kilometers (165 miles) to the south.

            Not stated: It’s next to Death Valley, and it going dry wasn’t because the water was “dried up,” it’s because the river was diverted in its entirety. This would be like using the areas flooded when various dams were built as proof that an area has too much water.

            Checked on Mono Lake; it’s one of those lakes that’s something like the great salt lakes. Incidentally, it’s up the valley from Owen’s Lake.

            As further evidence it’s an induced issue: environmentalists in ’06 took water that LA had been using since the 70s and made them divert it into the dry river bed.

            And on the LA side of the mountains, things like this: Lake Elsinore went dry in the ’50s. They mention how much damage the floods do, and how bad the dry times are, which are both indications that you need to improve your water management systems. It won’t be 100%, but if you’re hurting for water you should spend money on that, not on possible but unknown environmental impacts on populations that clearly lasted this far.

      2. “Much of the water used in southern California comes from the Colorado River Basin — the other side of the Rockies.”-CACS

        Isn’t “the other side of the Rockies” relative to Southern California the Missouri River Basin?

        Other reasons to check a map are (1) the Colorado River Basin includes a good portion of Southern California, (2) some Colorado river water is piped to Denver, a city that is on “the other side of the Rockies” from the colorado River Basin, and (3) the Colorado river forms the border between California and Arizona and despite all the poor-mouthing about Los Angeles taking some Colorado river water, Phoenix takes much more!

          1. Correction — there is a small patch in the far south central section of Arizona that is not in the Basin.

    3. I have first hand experience with both the clubbing of the salmon and the Klamath River sucker fish debacle. (Knew people that worked clubbing salmon and some farmers from around Klamath Falls who lost their water rights) There is a reason I no longer live in Washington, and why I didn’t move to Oregon when I left. The lunatics are running the asylum.

  7. You would voluntarily throw away brilliant for “middle of the road” – WHY?

    Trouble, trouble, trouble… I don’t think we can afford to waste any of the brilliant males or females. I also don’t think that this means we should short any of the middle either. There are far more middle, and they will fill most of the jobs. They will raise most of the children. And they will do most of the voting. And at the moment I don’t think that we are properly serving anyone’s educational needs, including the girls who are being fed a bunch of poppycock.

    1. There once were a variety of institutions of higher education that existed to serve the different learning styles of men, women, whites, blacks, NorthEastern scions of elite families and MidWestern farmers’ kids. Whatever happened to the idea that such diversity gives us strength?

      1. My bet is that it was discovered that some places were more favored by the good teachers, probably for pay reasons, and so the Unfavored places got less-good teachers, and that ain’t right either.

        (As for all the rest… I can’t speak to neurotypical anything. I’ve got an edge-case going through school. Genius IQ and organizational deficits, diagnosed at the same time. (The Special Ed people kind of love her, because she’s extremely unique… Plus she probably helps their overall averages, single-handedly, for the work she can do… when she remembers to write down assignments (so she’ll do them at home) and turn them in instead of losing them in her bags.))

        1. Part of it is explicable by the recognition that a Harvard Law degree looks better on the firms’ letterheads than does a Boston University law degree. My brother, who got his degree from BU Law, notes that it is the BU grads doing most of the work — they got hired for what they can do, not for how they appear.

          Mind, he may be prejudiced, but that has nothing to do with whether he is right.

        2. Special ed???? For organizational deficits?????

          Just tell her to do the work in class and turn it in early. Can’t lose it that way. Never take homework home if you can help it. And if you forget, write the essay in the first five minutes of class before the teacher gets around to calling for it.

          Disorganization is the best organization. It has always worked for me.

          1. I have to admit to writing more essays before the teacher asked and reading more blank papers than I can count, but Suburban, you’re missing something I ran into with the kids and which, unless I’m very wrong, Beth’s kid is running into: they don’t let you turn it in early. What I said about peg a in slot b? Yeah. they’re a lot bigger on “forms” and “the right time” than they were in our time. I tell you, I wouldn’t have survived it. Neurologically it wasn’t till 18 — delayed development that’s typical for boys. I’m just a precious snow flake — that I could CONCEPTUALIZE the right time and follow bureaucracy to that degree.

            Is it evil and wanting to crush the kids’ spirit? Well… one can never discount what RES calls demonic possession, but I THINK what it is actually is that teachers ant to diminish their work by demanding the kids be the adults. I’ve suspected this since Robert had to be operated for on his ACL and couldn’t go to school for two weeks — painkillered out of his mind. As a straight A student in IB — in a system where more than half the grades (no, I’m not joking) come from homework — he was frantic. So, at the beginning I went and asked for his homework for the two weeks. Shock. Surprise. The teachers didn’t have that ahead. I ended up going every three days, and half the time they forgot they’d assigned some (and wouldn’t remember till it hit their inbox. It was the kids’ responsibility.) His grades ended up at B because it took him weeks to figure out everything he’d missed and by that time he couldn’t turn in half of it, because it would be worth 0 anyway.

            This is the type of experience that makes you go “Wait, the kids have to be SO organized because you’re preparing them for life, but YOU don’t bother with minimal organization ALL our teachers had twenty years ago? And they’re PAYING you for this?”

            1. In support:
              I had a year-long project for a class.

              Finished it two months in, turned it in, got COVERED with “A+++!” and “Best I’ve ever seen!” I worked my little tail off and it WAS good.

              Come the end of the year, she gave me a D— for not turning in the final project. It was something like 75% of the grade.

              After we took it in and raised holy heck, she GRUDGINGLY raised it to B, because I’d “turned it in late.”

              1. Tying in with Sarah’s comments about late development, I was very late at developing both planning and social interaction skills (I’m still kinda awkward with social interactions), and there were projects in Social Studies classes and English Lit classes in middle and high school that I did very poorly on because I didn’t have the slightest notion how to plan them nor how to present them.

                On the other hand, in high school Geometry, I did one of the most difficult proofs of the year in 6 fewer steps than the next best in the class.

            2. It is a common mistake to assume that schools are about educating students, akin to thinking McDonalds serves food to its customers.

              Schools exist to indoctrinate students, to train them to be good obedient employees. Thus the correct performance of the process required for turning in a project is more important that the quality of the project submitted. Their goal is that students learn to follow procedures — the projects are simply maguffins.

              As to immaturity among teachers, two points. First, the system naturally attracts and retains the immature, just as other systems naturally attract and retain those capable of maturity. There are a variety of reasons and this may be a topic I will want to develop for a guest post for Sarah.

              Second: notice the incidence of female teachers having sex with their students. It requires very little consideration to realize that such is an inversion of the natural order of female attraction to older, more powerful and accomplished males. Thus one can conclude that there is likely a disproportionate percentage of emotionally underdeveloped female teachers in the system.

  8. If it was safe to talk about how evil McCarthy was then enough people whom he had “persecuted” must have survived in the machinery of power to make being against him the safe position.

    Random thoughts:

    I’ve worked in corporate American for twenty years and peoples’ opinions run the gamut from left to right (the joke is that marketing and communications people tend to lean left, IT and accounting people tend to lean right, but there are exceptions in both groups). What is oppressive is that, for the most part, you just don’t talk politics at work. Or religion. And we’re not supposed to send any jokes around, for fear of offending anyone, because big companies get sued by those kinds of people who get offended (professional offendees?)

    I remember “Question Everything” bumper stickers and t-shirts in the 70s – only the people wearing them were some of the least questioning people of all.


    But… but… Ehrlich… The Population Bomb… Malthus… IRISH BABIES! We’re all gonna diiieeee!!1!!1!

  10. Physics Phd, 1994. Math minor. Female, and always have been 😉 The gender ratio in advanced physics in my time at grad school was ~25% women, with 14% making it to the defense. I don’t think there was much “teaching style” to blame at that level since the style, such as it was, was “toss them in the deep end” and men and women struggled with it pretty much the same.

    We don’t have enough data to make good conclusions about the inherent abilities of men vs. women because culture still biases so much of what we see. Hear me out, please. Muscles that aren’t used never become strong. Math, my old friend, is the mental equivalent. It is the most abstract of the sciences and hence can’t be learned without *some* instruction and lots of practice. You can be the most brilliant mind in the universe–on your own you will never intuit the meaning of the complex contour integer sign without an explanation. In grad school I noticed the gender ratio in the neighboring chemistry department was much more even, and found out the reason was the lower math prerequisites vs. physics. This *despite* the fact these women chemists were doing much the same research as I was–they just did it the “hard” way in my view, with less math. They were just as smart as I was but hadn’t built up their math muscles *early* enough.

    And speaking of actual muscles, let’s agree to point and laugh at the folks who think passing a law saying 50% of all firefighters must be female magically makes them strong enough to do the job. Beyond stupid. HOWEVER. I’ve seen powerlifting competitions, ordinary local ones. There are plenty of very, very strong women out there. But again, you have to be lifting weights and keep lifting weights to be strong. As long as the culture subconsciously tells girls they *can’t* be strong, and anyway they really need to make sure their hair is curled to attract a mate, they won’t try to be strong. Their inherent ability has nothing to do with it. Yes, the top strongest humans may always be male. But I think the real distribution curves have a lot more overlap than people think. I read a fascinating sports article (it had to be fascinating, I *never* read about sports…) that compared the top swim teams. Yes, the fastest team was always the men’s team (U. Florida, if I recall). The women’s team for that school was the best women’s team — and it was as good as the #3 men’s. Consistently, over many years. THAT’s the kind of data we need to collect.

    1. I have no idea how old you are, but since the eighties at least girls have been PUSHED into math and hard sciences starting in Kindergarten. The ratio of those who can do it at boy level are still lower.

      Look, again, we have date on this, and it’s worldwide. Women just develop verbal earlier and are WAY better than men. We’re also better at multitasking. There’s tons of things we do better than they do NATURALLY. Psychologically we also seem to more inclined to bond. Possibly because strong community bonds helped our ancestresses raise kids. The “bond” is partly “fit in” which might prejudice our skew towards the middle. On the other hand… maybe not.

      Again, there are things we NATURALLY do better. No one is trying to convince the guys to be better at language arts or multitasking, are they? So why are we twisting the girls?

      What you’re going to say is “but that’s not where the money is” — uh… why not? Perhaps because the only people who take that path are the ones that don’t/can’t do sciences, so people have a low view of it. perhaps it is because our teaching in the humanities often makes me think we’re raising girls for the marriage mart or victims for pressure groups.

      Perhaps instead of making girls a “client class” who need “a leg up” we let people be people and let the ratios fall as they may. If I had a daughter and she were gender-typical (unlikely, but possible) I’d MUCH rather she were a good Classical Scholar or Communications Major than a bad and reluctant engineer.

      1. On the other hand, if I had a daughter and she were as atypical as I was, I wouldn’t stand in the way of her going into engineering. I just believe people are people and when we shove them into cubbies by gender (or race, or sexual orientation) and then try to equalize the cubbies, we treat them like things, not people. And that — to pick up on an RES thread — Pratchett is right about. It’s a sin. It’s a horrible sin.

      2. Verbal ability, communication, is a critical element in bonding. Bonding is also highly useful when entrusting your progeny to other tribal members to supervise. (Summarizing previous arguments ab Hoyt.)

        OTOH, bonding is useful when hunting large animals to the extent it means your brothers will run to, rather than from, your anguished scream … but not so useful when having to deal with the loss of hunting pals.

        BFF is an almost purely female concept.

        1. “Best friends” is a female concept?? Are you totally unversed in poetry and prose from the time before Alcott?

          Sheesh, it’s not so long ago that men were arguing publicly that women were incapable of friendship or even of being friendly equals, since they were always natural rivals in everything and way too territorial. Heck, true love is a latecomer in literature and mythology, compared to the glories of male friendship, war buddies, and so forth.

          1. Of course, part of the reason we don’t hear much about female friendship from back in the day is that it wasn’t always popular as a topic, and that there weren’t always women around as a corrective. Shakespeare liked to write about women hanging out with other women.

            But yeah, whenever writers from a historical period do trouble to picture women’s social world in depth, we find a lot of women with strong friendships.

            1. Um. How many are projections of male friendships? I don’t think it’s that women are too competitive or whatever, but watching my mother and the village women TM they were more into shifting alliances and being “somewhat friends” with a large circle than really close friends with one person. That said — who knows what portion of that was shifting hormonal states? Also, for the record both mom and dad are still friends with their best childhood friends.

              1. Actually I didn’t have any close female friends until I started going into my 40s. Even now I only have one woman that I see once a month for lunch. My sisters? meh. I didn’t fit into that circle well. I didn’t understand the games they were playing–still don’t.

                1. I had one very close friend from childhood. She married a Frenchman. Our different experiences have divided us. About ten years ago, we had a political argument — I don’t know if she realized it was an argument, as I was still in my “I will not talk politics phase” so I just absorbed the body blows her words caused and shut up and stopped calling her. (I know, I know, not FAIR. Did I ever claim I was perfect. It was a bad thing.) I held “radio silence” for six years. I’ve since tried to contact her, but got no answer. CALLING her is iffy because my French is really rusty. I can read it, I cannot understand it, specially spoken by her now young adult kids, very fast and colloquially.
                  Since then I haven’t had a friend at THAT level, till very recently. Yeah, I do now have three or four really close female friends (as well as my usual large number of male friends.) They’re very weird women. Which is why we get along. I too never understood mind games. One of the guys I dated played girl mind games. It drove me insane because I don’t even get them from WOMEN.

                  1. Guys who do the immature woman mind-game junk is getting more common….

                    I’m kind of worried my girls will turn out “girly”– I’m not sure I’ll be able to relate to them like I can with my mom, and it’s worrying. On the other hand, my sister is “girly” and complains about how other folks say stuff and don’t mean it, even when it’s important, so there might be a genetic leg up here. (don’t know my inlaws good enough to know what his side is like)

                    1. There’s absolutely no chance my girls are going to be “girly”, at least not wholly. While both of them (8 and 5) like the dresses, love princesses, pink and purple, etc, they are both extremely scrappy. The 8-year-old, a red-head with freckles, doesn’t have a choice. Red-heads HAVE to be scrappy in grade school.

                      In any case, I have treated them like boys for the most part since they were infants…I grew up in a family of three boys and that’s what I know. I wrestle with them, bought the 8-year-old gloves for the speedbag and heavy bag in the garage/gym, and have taught them how to shoot, fish, and work with tools.

                    2. Good for you Scott. I was my Dad’s tomboy (four daughters, the boy came along with the youngest girl was 12) until I became, ahem, a young lady. I then spent 13 years in the Boy Scouts as a leader and trainer. I have hiked further than I like to remember. Earn my Woodbadge credentials and camped all over the states. I can hunt, fish, and do all that guy stuff (I don’t like chopping wood though). I love guns and shooting. Of course, coming from farm stock, I can also grow, can, and freeze food, butcher animals (I don’t like that either), quilt, make soap, and make do with what I have available. Herbal remedies were a part of my growing up too. Teach your girls everything, because you never know when they might need the information. My dad also taught me how to work on a car (the old kind), change tires, change the oil, and basic maintenance on all our mowers and tractors. Comes in handy to have that information as an adult.

          2. Sigh. I was going to answer this, then I didn’t, but now you pushed it to my doing it again. GIRLS TALK ABOUT BEING BFFs, but very few actually stay BFFs. That is an almost exclusively male concept though they don’t talk about it.

            Men bond and I absolutely think it has to do with war and hunting and quests. Women have social circles: a mile wide. An inch deep.

            (I do both. But I think we all know I’m weird, right.)

            1. To most women I’ve known (I’m excluding my wife, and a couple of our friends…I’m most emphatically _not_ excluding any female member of either of our families), “best friend” means somebody you really like hanging out with. Which is certainly a praiseworthy trait, for a friend, but it has a tendency toward transience, and even while it persists, is pretty superficial.

              For guys? Your best friend is somebody you’d give your life for, without hesitation or regret. “Greater love hath no man”, and all that…even for those of us who aren’t Christians, it just goes without saying.

              Some women get it. My wife, for one, and as I said, several of our friends. There’s a reason I’m married to her and friends with them. And yes, Sarah, you’re weird. Every woman I’ve ever voluntarily maintained an extended contact with is weird. And all of them seem to have trouble, as a consequence, in relating to most other women.

            2. Oh yes. That’s why I have acquaintances, colleagues, and friends. Friends number two, perhaps three. To me “friend” means someone who can call at 0300 and say, “um, you got a few grand? I need to make bail,” and I’ll do it. And vice versa.

              1. Since none of my friends have needed to make bail, I haven’t worried about that. I do mental health checks on my guy friends (most of them are in their sixties and single). Our friends to be exact. Which is my way of being a friend. 😉

                My hubby laughs when I tell our friends that they are too isolated. I question them on what they are doing and then give suggestions. lol I can’t quit being the big sister I guess. The guys blink their eyes earnestly and tell me their extra curricular activities.

            3. I have to disagree with this. I’ve been friends with both males and females growing up. The guys do things together, often large team games, but don’t get psychologically close much and don’t really care who shows up, everyone’s welcome in the game if you can play.

              Females are more discriminating, it’s much more important to have things in common, because women talk about everything and share everything as the basis for their friendships. My female friends and I were very close, and we’ve stayed friends – I’m still in touch with my best friend from fourth grade and my two from high school and all my college friends. Female friendships can get as close as lovers without the sex, particularly among teens. (That being said, I saw plenty of girls who’d have fights with their friends and be friends with someone else the following week, but they treated their boyfriends the same way.)

              I tell people, serial killer Ted Bundy’s male friends had no clue about him; if Bundy had been female, her female friends (if she’d had any) would have known something was wrong right away.

              The two gals I know who didn’t have close female friendships growing up – that was because there wasn’t anyone for them to be friends with; both were super-bright in small towns (I knew a third super-bright gal from a small town, but she had a couple of other super-bright gals to bond with, though all three were royally screwed up). I might have gone the same way, but fortunately, I attended large schools where even an odd duck like me found fellow odd ducks.

              1. I didn’t have friends — I had clients in the feudal sense. I mean, I had a very close friend or two, but most of my “female friends” were the vulnerable odd ducks whom I protected (more often with fists than otherwise.)

                Um… I’m not sure I agree about guys. They communicate, you know? They just use a lot fewer words. But they usually have a very good idea of what their friends are up to. I should point out I grew up in the middle of my (almost 10 years older) friends group, and they usually knew MUCH more about each other than you’d expect. I sort of know how. They compact more into each word and they observe each other’s behavior a lot more than the words. If a guy tells you “so and so is a rock” he usually is. People like Bundy are out of the norm. Psychopaths deceive people. That’s what they do. There have been female equivalents: women who were nurses and very connected and with lots of friends who’d vouch for them, and all the time they were poisoning patients, or whatever. Psychopaths are psychopaths.

                1. Oh, didn’t mean to imply Ted Bundy was the norm, but that his friends were.

                  And yes, guys do talk, but I went on enough first dates as a teen where the guy spilled out everything, all his hopes, all his dreams (and I just sat and listened, because he wasn’t going to listen to me) to get that he’d never had anyone he could talk to like that. Girls will listen and not ridicule, while too many young guys would attach another guy for opening up like that. (Not all – reading, geek, non-sports guys are more likely to be talkers and listeners. I’m being very general here, for both males and females.)

                  Now, older guys are different. The older men and women get, the more like each other we become, in my experience.

                  If you had a few close friends, that’s pretty typical of girls – one or two very close friends, though if all you had in common was that you were odd, but not the same kind of odd, that might not last. If all you had in common was surviving school, that wouldn’t last much past school (though I’ve had some good meetings at high school reunions with people like that, because, really, we all just survive high school, don’t we? Even the ones you thought had no problems.)

                2. I’m lucky, I guess. I learned a lot of the same kind of behaviors that psychopaths learn to fit in. With most people, I just pretend to be somewhat normal, because it’s better than the stares I get when I talk about things I’m actually interested in.

              2. Uh, have to disagree about Bundy, my mom met him, he was playing with her younger brothers, other than an adult man playing with kids that weren’t related to him she didn’t see anything wrong with him. She was sixteen at the time, and didn’t realize who he was until a few days later when her dad gave her a pistol and told her to carry it with her at all times (he recognized him from the description given by my uncles).

                1. IIRC, the crime writer Ann Rule was buddies with Ted Bundy when they worked at a suicide hotline together at night. She thought he was a really nice guy. (And to her, he was. Just not to a lot of other people.)

            4. In a world where someone will claim they have 26 or more BFFs! what is really meant by BFF? Not much. I may be a stick in the mud, but I still use archaic words like acquaintance to describe relationships. In my mind my life includes a number long acquaintanceships. I have some friends, but they are rare. Good/close friends are rarer still, they are something different, special, and to be treasured. I have only one best friend, that is The Spouse.

              1. I am single, so my best friends are a few other women, but, from my observation of married people, if your best friend is not your spouse, you’ve got a serious problem with your marriage.

              2. I’ve had to start using the word “acquaintance” more as I’ve become more active on these here intertubes. How else to describe people that I have never met in person, wouldn’t know if I saw them, but I know all their children’s names, many of their likes and dislikes, and have traded letters and/or emails sometimes for years?

                1. Me too. The problem is people seem to get touchy anymore about being called that. Like you’re entitled to friend status ten minutes after meeting someone and can only be an “acquaintance” if you do something to be demoted.

                  1. It’s the DANG extroverted people. I know people that never end up in my acquaintance queue. A lot of people I can handle for short times and then I want to hide under my bed. We live in a world that things introverts are bad (a disease).

                2. well, I’ve made a couple of friends before I met them in person, but they’re even rarer than making friends face to face. And absolutely, a friend is someone that if he calls you in the middle of the night requiring you to drive 500 miles to go help him hide a body, you go.

                3. We could coin the word e-quaintence. I sometimes think on how strange it is to so so much about others and to realize that if we were to pass each other in a hall we would wouldn’t recognize each other.

          3. Ummm, I said “BFF”, not “Best friends”. Big difference. I also think there are big differences between male friendships and female friendships (non-sexual, same-sex friendships) that I am not interested in exploring at the moment. I suspect that guy friendships are as similar to gal friendships as the British and American terms “joint”, “boot” and “shall I knock you up, then?” are similar

            1. RES – you are right. They are totally different. 😉
              I noticed that I have a strong loyalty component, which helps me with my marriage. Maybe I have only known really young girl friendships and older friendships, but they mostly seem like alliances than friendships.

              The one woman that I see every month is my only friend here besides my husband.

              1. It strikes me that female “friendships” are about sharing feelings (often in destructive ways, such as “Truth or Dare” type games) and male friendships are about sharing activities, NOT feelings. Must ponder further.

                  1. No, not always about feelings. Sometimes you just like to get together and talk about how that new, thin, pretty woman in the office must be a complete slutty bitch.

                    1. The biggest difference in that situation, which I have witnessed many, many times, is that women seeing a new, good-looking women get instantly catty. Men, seeing a new, good-looking men, think two things…1) I bet he gets laid a lot and 2) I need to go out with him so I can get laid a lot.

                    2. If you listen to the bioethicists, Scott, there are two entirely different processes going on. Think farmers vs ranchers.

                    3. My experience is that when good women get catty about another woman, it’s because the woman deserves it. As a straight woman, “pretty” doesn’t do squat for me, I don’t like or dislike a woman because of her looks any more than a straight man will like or dislike a man for his. If she’s a bitch AND she’s pretty, the pretty does compound it, but I’ve seen the same with males – the good-looking-ness makes a creep worse (maybe because creeps and bitches mis-use the power they get from their looks).

                      In general, if my male friends don’t like a guy (and for guys, if your female friends don’t like a woman), there’s something wrong.

                    4. Such people typically are highly inconsistent in their treatment of their gender-mates (for want of a more felicitous term.) Women notice a woman whose charm-light only comes on in the presence of a man, just as men notice the change in posture of some men when a woman enters the room. It makes a difference in your view of a performer when you get to observe the backstage behaviour. In the case of women, they are generally more aware of the artifices available for attracting male attention and see past the eye make-up, hair extensions and control undergarments, perceiving the underlying structural foundation where men see only the gingerbread and paint.

                      They are also privy to the “secret handshakes” and know their true meaning. In his autobiography Lenny Bruce writes of his wife meeting other women who would be all friendly and gushing while surreptitiously giving her waist-length red hair a tug. Mrs Bruce had to explain what was going on to Lenny.

                      Sometimes those air kisses are less an affection display than they are a ruse to whisper in the other person’s ear “Rub those tits against my man again and I’ll scar your face.”

                  2. Scott – Women’s physiology allows them to read the faintest expressions of children. It also allows them to read the faces and body language of other women. If you trust your woman and she says something like that about another woman, then take her at her word. There was something off about the young lady.

                    I don’t always think a younger thinner woman is a slut. However, if she is trying to look at lot younger (older woman trying to be a younger woman) our attitudes are pretty spot-on. 😉

                    1. Oh, fine, have it your way. Suck all the fun air out of the joke 🙂

                      Just don’t mention that voodoo/black magic thing you gals do when a few of you live under the same roof for a while. Every three weeks or so…you all go nuts at the same time.

                    2. Scott, I think your joke fell on several dead ears. I have also watched women get catty in that situation, especially with women who are not particularly self-confident.

                      In fact, I’ve gotten caught in the middle of a pair of women who, as far as *I* was concerned, were both very nice and considerate, but towards each other, the claws were always out.

                    3. Well, sure — panthers are always careful to avoid spooking the prey. Their only concern are the potential competitors for the carcass.

                    4. having been a rather pretty girl once, who had no clue she was pretty and who has no idea of competitiveness that way — I compete in writing/knowledge/logic… girls can get, to quote a phrase “downright mean” and the Odds like me will be baffled.

                    5. I always wondered at the women who would cling to her man around me. I kept thinking it was because they lacked self confidence. I enjoyed an intellectual conversation as well as the next — and I admit that I really had no idea what signals they thought I was sending. I was not interested in more than a good conversation. What? That? I have a husband of my own. I mean, just to start with what kind of man does that to his wife and why would I want him if he would do that to her?

                    6. There are other senses involved besides visual (when deciding a woman is on the make). There is a certain hormone release I think. It just makes me antagonistic.

                    7. Maybe I wasn’t clear CACS. I don’t cling… I come forward when I see the “on the make” female. My hubby has asked for rescue and would rather I was near if I know something is “not quite right.”

                  3. My word RES – you got it.
                    When I was young and beautiful (*snort), women didn’t try to snuggle up to my man because I would smile at them and then guide my hubby to other places. I think I scared them a little because I was 5 ft. 8 in. tall and looked athletic.

                    Now it is a different story because he is older. The women that used to poach now talk to him like a grandfather. I laugh at the stories. But if have told the hubby to be careful of one woman or another because she was on the make.

                    1. NOW I AM WONDERING whether the ostentatious sharing of “confidences” between women isn’t a form of Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine. Women compete as viciously to be Queen Bitch as men strive to be Alpha Wolf, it is just that their processes and signals differ. Men commonly forget this, women rarely do.

    2. Physiognomy. Women are structured differently, for example the pelvic structures, for reasons that should be obvious, are not the same. It is less compact, canted differently, and the spread and placement of the connection to the thigh bones are not the same. As a consequence they suffer more knee injuries than men when pursuing sports like soccer. Therefore we can conclude that they are not able to compete equally with men in certain sports.

      1. SOME women will be, and I’m not saying we should stop them. But the question again is, why twist most people into where they would never naturally go? WHAT does it serve? Other than destroying our competitiveness re: societies not playing crazy games. I’ll point out this type of thing has been tried in the past. Cultural revolutions and what not — usually not on the genders — what happens is that as soon as pressure ceases it defaults to normative for the human race. And usually works much better.

        I’m all for giving opportunities to learn, to try, to strive. I’m not for blocking other people on the same path.

    3. I watched a documentary one time that followed a woman who had decided to have a sex change. They had decided to check on male/female differences in strength and areas of intellectual skill.

      The project started by having this woman take a battery of tests, particularly math and language ability tests. They also timed her on her morning jog. She then began taking the hormones preparatory to getting the sex change operation. Periodically, she would take the tests again, and she kept a log of her time in her jog.

      Over the next months, her language score on the tests went down, while her math score went up. Her jogging time went down faster than could be accounted for by mere practice, as she already had a regular routine.

      Hormones appear to have significant influence on how you process things, as well as making a huge difference in your musculature.

      1. I’ve discovered this to my chagrin, as has any woman old enough to to have hit the hormonal madness pre-menopause. One of the things I have to stand with the feminists…. I don’t need hormonal replacement, my problem is of another kind, but from my own issue, I KNOW why women choose to have hormonal replacement. I’ve heard bloggers excoriate women for that in the same way they excoriate men for viagra saying it’s “wanting to be young forever” — no, it’s not. It’s that if your hormones are out of kilter before full menopause hits, you can’t think and you can’t function. In the case of my issue symptoms range from depression to something very close to the memory issues of early Alzheimers. And my issue is NOT severe. If women are to function in jobs during that time, you SIMPLY have to have hormones. That’s all.

        On the other hand and I mean this — why aren’t American feminists incensed at the uterus phobia? Ever since I started having hormonal swings, shortly after Marshall was born (as a result of the treatment for near-lethal pneumonia. The antibiotic had hormonal effects and sent me on a weird cycle, spinning ever weirder. Not complaining. I like being alive.) every time I went to a doctor I got asked if I wanted more kids, and if not, we’d just take out my uterus. As it turns out it wouldn’t have fixed the issue which was only diagnosed this year. In fact, it might have made things even weirder. BUT it was the universal solution. “We’ll just take your uterus out.” Look, it’s there for a reason, and it’s not just babies. Until proven differently, I’ll assume it needs to be there. How many doctors would say “Do you want to have any more kids?” to a guy experiencing some hormonal issue. “No, then, we’ll just take off your testicles.” WHAT? NO.

        1. Chagrin is right!!! I am going through menopause a second time. The first time was when I was 41 and I was put on cytoxan. It shut down my cycle within three months. Since I have been put on my third chemo… everything came back plus perimenopause symptoms. I have rage. It is not fun… it is not easy… It shuts down the brain. (I found B-12 really helps me). I am not happy about it. Plus I found out that younger women who have lost their uterus for whatever reason, go through a second menopause during the time they would have gone through menopause.

          I wish there was more info on what women really go through with menopause. I would take hormone pills except it would interfere with the treatment of my disease. For all the equality and women’s rights—(arg I hate to say that)– it has only been recently that the medical profession is admitting that women get different symptoms for say… heart attacks?!?!!

        2. Weird. Around here, women who have had as many as three children almost have to throttle their doctors to get them to even do a tubal ligation. Hysterectomies are generally reserved for women who are approaching or post-menopausal, or have some sort of other problem, such as Polycystic Ovary or bad Endometriosis.

          As far as hormones go, unfortunately, the wife can’t take them, because her breast cancer was positive for estrogen/progesterone receptors. 😦

          1. Try the Seattle area. When the doctors found out I had ONE prior child, they kept trying to set me up for sterilization during the second c-section. “Are you sure you don’t want your tubes tied?” “What part of ‘I have a religious objection’ are you having trouble understanding?” (No, I didn’t say that…but I was tempted.)

            To the point of my having to yell at the SOB, while I’m in labor, that NO, I DO NOT WANT TO BE STERILIZED! Read the papers I signed THREE TIMES! Months in advance!

            1. Well, of course, there’s a lotta Catholics around here, and most of the Hospitals are Catholic-owned…

              You should have said it. Maybe threatened mayhem. You were in labor – built-in excuse for being short-tempered. 🙂

              1. Sad thing is, the first doctor I chose specifically because he was part of a Catholic medical group. He swore he’d never had someone mention Catholics aren’t supposed to sterilize themselves.

                1. I read that, and my mouth just fell open. I presume he had never gone to church, nor bothered to learn doctrine (bad that I know more about it, when I’m agnostic).

                  1. Worse yet, he’d been in this group…specifically aimed at Catholics… and in 25 years hadn’t had ANYONE offhandedly mention it?

                    I know there are a lot of “Cultural Catholics,” and a log of “Christmas and Easters,” but…yeah, startled me, too. Then again, there are nuns that walk women into abortuaries, so I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked at humanity…..

                2. Picks jaw up off floor. WHAT?
                  I’m used to being treated like a moron — in previous times — when I said no, I wasn’t using contraception because we wanted more kids than two but that, THAT is second only to the idiot in Charlotte who told me perhaps I had infertility problems because G-d didn’t want certain people to reproduce. (Yes, also a doctor.) Mind you, he also told me that I shouldn’t adopt because when G-d sends babies he knows in whose womb he puts them. I’m not going to mention his mainstream protestant faith, because I have friends of that faith who are not even close to morons much less insane. THAT doctor clearly thought he talked to the Creator every morning over breakfast. Alternately he said all that because he was furious because I, at 24, refused to have a very expensive laparoscopy to find out if I had problems common to peri-menopausal women. (I didn’t. I had hormonal issues.)

                  1. And this btw is the advantage over government-paid care: I walked out of the moron’s office and found another doctor, and eventually had Robert. If he’d been my assigned doctor or able to put crazy sh*t on my universal file, I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Heck, he might have decided to have me sterilized with or without my consent. (I’m still puzzled at the “certain people” considering we were young, healthy college graduates, supporting ourselves.)

                    1. I’m still puzzled at the “certain people” considering we were young, healthy college graduates, supporting ourselves.

                      Who didn’t give him the respect he CLEARLY deserved, didn’t instantly jump to do what he wanted, and probably give the same oddball vibe that I give off. I can’t count the number of folks who walk up to me now to express their shock that I’m a “such a good mother.”

                      I swear, half the time they want to moan about how only idiots breed, and half the time they’re talking about “intelligent women wasting themselves on motherhood.”

                    2. I swear, half the time they want to moan about how only idiots breed, and half the time they’re talking about “intelligent women wasting themselves on motherhood.”

                      Oh, holy mackerel. Please stop! You’re going to give me an aneurism! I just found out I had high blood pressure, for crying out loud!

                      (clutches chest) “Elizabeth! I’m comin’! This is the big one!”

                    3. I swear, half the time they want to moan about how only idiots breed, and half the time they’re talking about “intelligent women wasting themselves on motherhood.”

                      I sometimes complain about idiots breeding, but honestly I think it is only that their idiocy makes them stand out, rather than that they are the only ones having kids.

                      For the second part, I have to wonder, how do these idiots expect to continue to have intellegent future generations if no intellegent women ‘waste themselves on motherhood’? Intellegence is genetic, and obviously the people who express such opinions managed to miss inheriting those genes.

                    4. As I mentioned, a relative would tell me that I was letting down the cause of liberated womanhood by not getting an advanced degree and entering a profession. She also expected at least two kids from each of her children and myself. Then she would told us how she could not understand how any intelligent woman could withstand the mind numbing company of children all day. So who was supposed to do most of the foundational raising, training and education of the next generation of children she expected? Apparently not smart people, for according to her they would not want to do this kind of work. How did she expect that to work out? She probably didn’t think about the implications of that

        3. Aw, c’mon now – y’all know Female Hysteria is a long documented syndrome. Along with Male Stupidity.

          OTOH, there are women who are probably using such treatments to preserve their “youthful appearance” — Lord knows, if they’ll consent to injection of deadly muscle-deadening neurotoxin into their faces, there probably isn’t anything they won’t consent to. I view such people in the same way I do folk who buy ADD diagnoses so their kid can get special treatment, those who diagnose ADD because doping the kid is easier than involving them in classrooms, and the !@#&s who made pseudophedrine bleeding impossible to buy in reasonable amounts, forcing me to live with sinuses not designed for passage of air.

          There is a special place in Hades for those people bent on mucking things up for the rest of us, and they can’t go there soon enough.

          1. Aw, c’mon now – y’all know Female Hysteria is a long documented syndrome. Along with Male Stupidity.

            If I was still drinking coffee in the middle of the day, I would be snorting it all over my monitor.
            Funny, a few weeks ago I came across the treatment for Female Hysteria from the 19th century. I about died laughing.

        4. The places I hang out, I usually hear the no-kids-ever people begging the doctors to take the thing out, and the doctors whining, “But you might want kiiiiiids someday!” Be nice if one could swap them around with the doctors who are all, “Eh, it’s like an appendix, right?”

  11. BTW, thanks for the wonderful topic – and the commenters you attract. Great to read.

    My boys are now employed – hope yours are when the time comes. I think there is a lot more room out there. But sadly the computer startup that employs my eldest has far more men than women, even in this day and age, and ditto the engineering firm that employs middle son.

    There are provinces in India where female embrycide leads to 800 girls born for 1000 boys. This is not going to end well.

    And you can partly blame employment woes on the fact that schools, to stay in business, produce far more Ph. D.s than can be absorbed by the market, which leads to a lot of unhappy Ph. D.s driving cabs.

    I can see problems. Solutions, not so much.

    1. I totally agree with you on selective female abortion and the dying rooms in China, which mostly are devoted to female infanticide. No, this won’t end well — but we’re ALSO not a good a example for them. If the more… er… traditional cultures see what women are doing here, and how schools are treating boys, they will only harden. And won’t boys punished for being boys, in turn go “Turn about is fairplay”?

  12. The HIV deaths in sub-saharan africa dissappear into the numbers of population growth. Nigeria, second largest aids death total in 2010 in all of africa lost 220,000 to aids, while growing in total population by 3.7 million.

    There was a substantial jump in the death rate in Nigeria in the 1980s, but the growth of the birth rate outstripped it so hard it’s not even worth discussing.

    Never-the-less, the well documented numbers of orphans makes the death rates seem pretty much correct.

    This is rather different than the mis-representation of total population you described for Mexico City and Moscow.

    1. Rick — to some extent. I know that Portugal has substantial immigration FROM Africa, and I bet these are still counted.

      You sort of need to ask yourself what benefit there is to claiming lower population and which to claiming higher population when the country is a net-receiver of subsidies? Then ask yourself how well they count mobile people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. A lot of these kids are born infected with HIV so just saying “the population growth” doesn’t explain it. I think there’s room to be looked at FAR more closely.

  13. See ref for Eric Raymond’s attempt to launch “prospiracy” as the proper term for this phenomenon. (That which would be properly called “conspiracy” except that there’s no active coordination between the conspirators, but rather simply the emergent consequences of a shared worldview. Much more resilient than a proper conspiracy, since the participants don’t even necessarily know one another, and certainly can’t blow the whistle on one another.)

    1. There is already a term for it: it is “Pink Conspiracy,” which has been around since the 1950’s (or earlier depending on who you listen to) but because a) there was apparently some forgettable movie by that name and b) everybody assumes that the word “pink” has something to do with feminism or women in general (or homosexuals ditto,) nobody wants to use it. It hasn’t anything to do with women or homosexuals it has to do with a certain subset of people who are referred to as “Pinks.” In hindsight a better term could have been coined.

      While I see where he was going, he makes a serious etymological mistake: the root word of “conspiracy” is not just “con,” but “conspire.” Literally, to breathe with or to breathe together (with the implication of whispering secrets.) “Prospiracy” would be people who were in favor of breathing. 🙂 I think if you want a Latin word, “Consentiacy” or something like it would be better – “to think together,” or group-thinking. Or perhaps “concredicy,” group belief. No, I don’t speak Latin, and I have no idea how to properly conjugate/compound Latin words. But you get the idea. 🙂

  14. I’ve been out all day, so didn’t see your post until a few minutes ago. Brilliant, as usual. 100% agree with what you wrote. Just wanted to let you know, I linked it on my FB page for all my falling off the edge liberal friends to read. I expect it will cause some discussion. Thanks.

  15. Once again, I am compelled to write.
    1. I (agnostically) count my blessings for people like you. Whether born here or naturalized, citizens like you make me feel embarrassed for my lunk-headed brothers & sisters. They, at best, pay lip-service to the Constitution while eviscerating its substance wherever they see it in our nation’s fabric. And laugh up their sleeves at our “Naivete.”

    2. I count my blessings that I was raised in small-town America in the seventies, when a public-school education still had some value, and we even recited the Pledge of Allegiance, including that “gauche” under God bit. I am at best, a cultural Christian, but I fervently believe that Separation of Church and State *ALSO* means Separation of State and Church. Either it cuts BOTH ways, or it’s a sham.

    3. In Deity we trust. All others pay cash. And you have to be deliberately blind to not notice the massive bill that’s about to come due. The problem is, that kind of willful blindness is the conventional wisdom these days. Of all of the Big Lies of the Left, and sometimes the Right, it is their most monstrous, ever. It is the greatest threat we have ever faced, and they’ve connived so many of the publically (mis)educated that it doesn’t even exist.
    (Apologies to misquoting Jean Shepard.)


      1. It’s always fun explaining to people that a meaning very much like that is actually what the founders had in mind when they put “In God We Trust” all over everything.

  16. CACS sorry if I sounded belligerent. … The cling comment hit me the wrong way. 😉

    What I wanted to say was my hubby and I know when we feel uncomfortable with a person (male or female). I can’t explain it more clearly because I just don’t know why we can tell. I just know that if he is uncomfortable I know and I am right there.

    Also, I don’t get bitchy with just any woman. My hubby works with mostly women who I have met. They are very independent and great women. I don’t get vibes from them. But, if a woman wants to be rescued (her keys are left in the car) over and over, then I start to get suspicious.

    I had one instance (not recently…) where a woman who was married tried to lure my hubby to her home. Her hubby was traveling for work. She told my hubby (friend at the time) that her car wasn’t working. I also had another piece of information that she was bragging about how many men she had slept with on the Navy base. I warned him that she was using her “problem” so that she could sleep with him.

    He gave her a very nice … no thank you … but I have to work speech. Not long after that her husband accused her of infidelity and a lot of the men on the base were named in the divorce suit.

    For some reason women think that my hubby can save them. He is helpful. Because he is helpful, some of these women think that he is easy to manipulate. I play the mean one for him sometimes.

    On the other hand, he has saved me from some uncomfortable situations with guys. We watch out for each other.


    1. Oh dear. I didn’t mean to target you with the word cling, Cyn. 😦 What you describe is watching each other’s back — something good couples do for each other.

      I recognize that there are those who have no compunction about trying to gain the interest of a married person. I know, also, that some men see no reason not to take advantage of variety without commitment. I was reflecting upon my experience with those women who seem to operate out of constant fear that any women must be targeting their husband. As a happily married ODD it took me a while to learn that someone might think this way. It must be a very sad way to live, particularly if you have real reason to believe it might happen.

      1. No problem CACS – I was having a menopause moment and I took B-12 and felt better. I have seen the clinging type and have often wondered why a woman (or man… can happen to either) would want a person who was that paranoid or that unfaithful.

        As an Odd too, I have walked away from relationships when I realized that the guy thought that he had a “free” card. It is not my thing.


Comments are closed.