Dreams Whose Time Has Passed

Years ago, I was talking to an older writer friend and she said wasn’t it weird how the future they expected and anticipated, with refectories and public crèches never came to pass.  I pointed out that, though they weren’t provided in a centralized manner, it had come to pass.  Back then (early 2000s) we were living a rather hectic life and often stopped for take-out – along with every other family with two working parents, also stopping for takeout.

It is natural for science fiction writers to think of centralized solutions for the future they want to happen.  This is natural not only because most science fiction writers older than I (and even more younger than I, but the reasons are different.  The younger ones were indoctrinated rather than taught) thought that the only way to achieve brand new patterns of living would be through top down imposition, but also because it’s easier to write a government solution for something, than the myriad, lurching confused, responses of the market – no matter how much more efficient the second is, in the long run.

This is the exact same reason we often end up with our characters saving the world or something of the sort and in my case often in the space of two weeks (I like stuff to go fast) because it’s much harder to say “And then some guy in China did this, and then…”  Also, makes for lousy stories.  The climaxes just are no fun, if you have to show a bunch of people no one heard of before doing a tiny bit to turn the situation.

Anyway, my friend was shocked at the idea, just as she was shocked at the idea that as it was most people WERE being raised by strangers in daycares.

This brings me to a fascinating paradox.  We are supposedly living in an age when feminism won and therefore we have all become… men?

Look, I know some of you – possibly because I WAS saying heretical stuff – interpreted my blowing steam post as meaning that I wanted all women to go back to the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

Actually, I don’t believe in broad groups and that very much includes “male and female.”  No, I don’t think that those are “social constructs” – sorry –  even if some of the ways the inherent tendencies express are very much a cultural thing (after all, Elizabethan men wore make up.)  BUT I do think that when you talk about the statistical female and the statistical male you are not, in fact, talking about anyone who exists.  You’re talking about “in general, it is this way.”  Lies, damn lies and statistics.  Depending on where you hang out, you might not know a single woman who is in the center of the IQ curve, who loves shopping and whose greatest ambition in life is to have babies.  (I do know some women like that.  It always strikes me as offensive from a writing POV, the same way my Chinese dry cleaner annoys me.  I mean, shouldn’t these roles be less stereotypical?  What was the Great Author thinking?)

Although there is, broadly speaking, a female brain and a male brain, very few people have a perfectly gendered one.  My older son, in the few minutes before my eyes glaze completely over, has gone on about hormone baths in pregnancy and also how your hormone balance throughout life will affect your epigenetics.  Pregnancy does change your brain too, if you have kids and heck, an extended period on some contraceptives changes your brain too.  And one of the characteristics it changes is how well you fit your gender prototype.

Stereotypes of course got to exist for a reason.  Meaning they have SOME predictive value.  If you know someone who is madly craving a brood of children there’s a good chance the person will be female (though apparently once upon a time it was my dad.  And the partner who didn’t want ANY was my mom.  So they ended up with two.)  But in your circle of acquaintance, the person who really wants kids might be Joe, and the person who is a type A career driven maniac might be Mary.  And in ten years it might be reversed.

So – what do I mean by all of this?  Why am I confusing you?  There isn’t enough coffee for this – just this: people are not the group they belong to.  Humans aren’t chips to be moved around a board.  You can’t say “Group A was advantaged for centuries, so we’re going to punish their descendants.”  Not only aren’t their descendants the same people who got an advantage, but the reason that advantage existed might now be completely gone.  (For instance part of the reason males had an advantage in career was that, frankly, they couldn’t get knocked up.   Which meant their lives were less likely to be interrupted by stopping to have have babies [and trust me, it does a number on your brain] than women were.  Reliable contraceptives have stopped that.)

In fact, the ultimate definition of evil is always treating humans like things.  Humans have this tendency, statistics or not, to be highly individual.  Take me, for instance – for a while in my life (we were furnishing and rehabilitating a house) I hung out with the good old boys outside the hardware store, waiting for it to open.  I still like carpentry.  I was a tomboy until I had kids, and in some ways I still am (as you’d see, if you could glimpse me fighting the boys with nerf swords, up and down the stairs.)  So you’re thinking I’m a boyish type female.  I’ve certainly never had trouble competing with men intellectually or professionally.  BUT I love doing crochet, I enjoy dressing up and make up and if you saw me out – in high heels – for an evening with my husband you would think I was the girliest girly who ever stepped.  (The only form of shopping I like is for shoes.  Deal.)  I also wanted to have a dozen children.  (Stoopid lack of fertility thwarted me.)  And I chose a career that allowed me to work at home and raise the boys rather than the more monetarily rewarding career I could have had in translation or teaching.  (The fact I really wanted to write is neither here nor there.  The reason I quit my technical translation job was that I had pre-eclampsia with Robert and it does interesting things to your brain.  The reason I chose not to go back was that trying to establish myself in writing, instead, allowed me to stay home and raise him myself.)

The point is, if you try to fit me in either role, you’ll get me very upset.  (And trust me, no one wants me very upset.)

And I fit about as well in “the thing to do” now as I would have done when the “thing to do” was to “be a good wife and mother.”  I chose to have a career AND to raise my own kids.   So the career had to be one that allowed me to raise the kids, but I failed at soccer mom 101, because I was busy writing. Both were perfectly reasonable.  I had to do something intellectual or I’d go batty(er) and I always wanted to write fiction.  At the same time I’d seen the result of kids raised by strangers, knew there was a good chance my kids would be outliers of the type that always do worse in daycare, and I decided no, I wanted to raise them.

Yes, I spent years being looked down upon because I stayed home to raise the kids.  A gentleman who BARELY escaped having his head bitten off, this only because he was too stupid to talk to, at a party for a company Dan worked for in the late nineties, asked me what I did for a living.  I told him I was a writer – at the time I had sold my first novel, had five stories published and WAS working 8 + hours a day on getting the career off the ground.  Yes, I was normally working with the kids playing legos at my feet, or reading in my research chair.  He asked what I’d had published, and when I explained, he curled his lip and said “In other words, you’re a housewife.”

Now, the anedocte is illustrative of two things: first, he thought being a housewife was bad.  In fact, he thought it was so bad that he decided I was lying about writing (I still wonder how easy he thought it was to sell five stories and a novel.  Let me tell you, at the time, not easy) to cover up my condition as housewife.

He wasn’t the only one.  All through my life I’ve run into people assuming that a) because I’m married; b) because I chose to have kids;  c) because I chose to raise my own kids, I must have the IQ of warm milk.

Without an exception, the people making this assumption were feminists – whether male or female – and would have said that they were for female equality…

I’m fairly sure the shows showing every position of power from police captain to corporate exec as female (for double points female of color!) also think they’re striking one for equality.

My question is…  If we must all be equal, why must we all be equally male?  Why shouldn’t it be equality of opportunity: jobs have certain requirements, if you can fulfill them we don’t care what gender equipment you were born with.  (Unless the job is prostitution, where legal, of course.  Oh, wait.  That falls under requirements.)

I don’t at all oppose showing women in positions of power – though I’d prefer if it were made clear there is a price in both cases.  The stay-at-home, no-job mom will be paying a price in employability and also in social standing.  But the career woman also pays in an often (though not always) lonely life and in childlessness.  There is no perfect path.  You lays your bet, you takes your earnings.  BUT I do oppose showing women in EVERY position of power (or just about.  Sometimes you’re allowed a minority guy in those roles.)

Why is it that from promiscuity while young (though I think that is because of the misguided late-nineteenth century idea that if we all had all the sex we wanted there would be no neurosis.  We should be past that now) to single minded pursuit of career as an ideal, we are pushing women into male roles and giving male roles the high status even as we disem-power (totally a word.  Deal) REAL males.

It’s as though we’ve determined the best  thing possible for society is for everyone to be males or ersatz males.  And ersatz males are better.

In a truly feminist society wouldn’t the female roles be more valued?  Wouldn’t we have guys bragging how they stay home with the toddlers because they’re way better at it than their wives?  Wouldn’t we have women embarrassed to admit that kids were put in daycare?

And you know, the puzzling thing about this, is that – no sentimentality considered – traditional female roles were of paramount importance.  The raising of the next generation is not only vital, but perhaps the most vital to the continuation of the civilization.

It is also one done very badly by strangers, be they the government or private people.  It is not the first time a civilization has tried this.  In fact, squinting and from a distance, our pursuit of status through abandoning of the raising of our own kids is exactly what Rome did, and what the French aristocracy did, and what the British aristocracy did.  And every time – mark me – every time the kids thus raised either brought the civilization that created them down, or had a d*mn good whack at it, even if saved by peripheral events.

The fact that we consider raising kids low status shows how far we’ve come to devaluing women in this supposedly woman-centered society.  This is just like the promiscuity that is supposed to “liberate” women actually results in young men who never feel the need to commit to a monogamous relationship.  Who is it liberating?

Look, the old model was restrictive and oppressive.  No doubt about that.  There were, I’m sure, excellent scientific brains that could have advanced humanity but instead were expended in the dark dankness of a cottage, rocking the cradle, because women weren’t to be taught.  (For that matter, I’m sure that there are excellent brains covered by burkas in places where women are simply what’s between their legs.)

The new model is restrictive and oppressive.  Young women are taught that wife and mother is not an honorable choice even if they are working at home AT THE SAME TIME.  Even if their profession is demanding.  For that matter, young men are taught that staying at home to raise kids is somehow wrong.  (For a brief time my husband was the “kindergarten mom” and I went out to work.  The sneers were WORSE.)

Are there women who would do very well in combat?  Probably.  And given other psychological arrangements (like, perhaps the instincts of their male colleagues cause problems, so perhaps an all-female unit, if it can be managed) if they meet the requirements men meet, let them do it. There are women (vanishingly few) who can fireman-carry a 400lb man out of a burning building.  And if they pass the tests, for the love of G-d why not let them do it?

But please don’t push them into it, don’t lower requirements for them, and don’t sneer at them if they choose NOT to do it.  Value what used to be called “men’s work” and “Men’s ways” and “women’s work” and “women’s ways.”  It’s all human work.  It all needs doing.

In the same way – I know a few couples this way – if the man is more nurturing and wants to stay home with the kids, suspend the jokes.  And if the man wants to be an engineer and the woman wants to stay home and cook and sew and raise babies, what business is it anyone else’s?  Why should people be made miserable to fulfill dreams of past generations?

Oh, sure, I’d prefer a future in which because of tech we have even more flexibility: a future in which most people work from home and parents can supervise their kids’ education which is mostly online.  A future in which human potential is highly augmented by labor-and-time saving technologies.

But even then it won’t be universal, and the best way to GET there is to stop grouping people: by color, by gender, by … whatever.

Let each person do what they’re best at and WANT to do.  You’ll find that people are best at what they like – or at least they work harder at it.  And that everyone is better off, when people are allowed to do what they feel called to do.

I believe in individuals.  Whether the individuals want to be barefoot (pregnant is more difficult, because some of those will be male and others will be infertile) in the kitchen, or suited up in the boardroom, or driving a truck, or exploring Mars, or teaching toddlers, or nursing the sick, or fighting wildfires, or fighting on behalf of their nation, or researching scientific puzzles, or writing a novel WHILE rocking the cradle.

I think each person should do what they want and are best suited to, and that we should stop counting heads and thinking there’s a “problem” if there’s more outies than innies here or there.

Let’s stop pounding square pegs into round holes.  It ruins both the holes and the pegs.


133 thoughts on “Dreams Whose Time Has Passed

  1. From each according to his self-defined and demonstrated ability; to each according to his self-defined needs, if he can swing it.

      1. I agree with you. However, this would deny control freaks and power junkies their ability to demonstrate their power by controlling your life.

  2. Heh. Try being a male “housewife,” the primary care-giver to a 6-year old girl child (dolls and all that stuff…) I must admit to a kind of joy in engaging the morons who seem to think that one-size-fits all – and that THEIR view of how the universe should be IS the way the universe should be. Sigh. Enjoy your blog!

    1. My husband got a taste of that. He was working from home for about two years, and I was teaching in Junior college. He took the kids to school, picked them up, took them on outings, made cookies, etc. Even though our kids were boys, we KNOW the sneers.

      Forget it – living well is the best revenge.

      1. “Honi soit qui mal y pense”: I have every intention of home-schooling my daughter, and publicly smackdowned said sneers with “at least he’s not paying strangers to raise his kids” on more than one occasion.

        1. Your children will remember what you did for them when they are older.

          Our mom raised us, and we remember.

  3. Ever notice how judgmental are most of the people who decry others’ being judgmental? Ever notice how flustered they can get when called on their prejudice?

    “So, you’re just a housewife?”
    “So, you’re judgmental about the career choices others make?”

  4. On the meme that women are much more inclined to shop than men … walk into an audio equipment store with a guy, or a gun shop or a good hardware store or … well, you get the idea. The issue is not which sex most enjoys shopping, it is what they shop for.

    1. I first GOT a Kindle because I had one too many times of staying int he car, cracking my jaw with yawning, while the guys were in electronics shops and I only had an almost finished book with me.

      1. I must be weird because I like to shop in electronic stores. I also run interference for the hubby. I talk to the salesperson while he shops. LOL

        1. Shame that there aren’t any real electronics stores any longer….

          I rate that the Radio Shack down the street has no parts bins one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

            1. I have only ever seen one Radio Shack that was worth bothering to go into, and it was an affiliate or some such (owned by a private individual, not the chain) so the owner could stock what he wished. What he wished to stock was the items that sold 😉

    2. One of the main differences being that most of the things men like to shop for are more durable, thus not purchased as often, and therefore there are fewer stores to accommodate them. So you have 5 stores (clothing, shoes, housewares, etc), where the majority of browsers are women, for each one store (hardware, guns, etc) where the majority are men.

    3. Unless it is books or food, I’m a tactical shopper. Go in, execute the mission, egress as efficiently as possible. Shoes, eh, the problem is finding a maker with a last that fits. Once that happens, then it goes something like this:
      “Welcome to Shoe Haus! How can I help you?”
      “Freetime, seven medium, one in black and one in brown.”
      Look of extreme puzzlement, followed by, “Ah, yes, Ma’am.”

      1. Once I found shoes that fit well and didn’t fall appart if I looked at the crosseyed, I’ve just added them to the list of things to be re-ordered from Amazon.

        Aside from food and clothes for work I do all my day to day shopping online. I could do the latter online; except that I find the store’s shipping prices more objectionable than the time spent doing a loop from the entrance, to the appropriate racks, to the fitting room (sanity check against mis-tagging), to the register, and back to the door. There’s too much variation between what brands X, Y, and Z call a given size of pants for me to order anything dressier than denim shorts online and be confident of it fitting well enough.

        Forget 3d printers; I want an auto-tailor.

          1. I think the inventor should at a minimum know how to sew his own buttons or torn pockets. Next!

        1. I HAVE to order Robert’s shoes from Amazon. Depending on make, they’re either 15 or 17. You can’t buy them in town, and they’re rarely available from Denver.

            1. My feet are too narrow. I buy cheap shoes at Wal-Mart and pull the eyelets together when I lace them up. I might start ordering them if I can find narrow ones somewhere.

              Back when they had such variety (letter widenesses rather than Wide, Medium, and Narrow), my mother wore AAA shoes with an AAAA heel. I inherited her feet.

                1. My arches fell when I had pre-eclampsia and acquired forty pounds plus of WATER (on top of the sixty or so I gained from bed rest.) This is a good thing. Now they’re merely “abnormally high” instead of freakish. I used to have all sorts of issues because only my toes and heels touched the ground.

                  1. I’m the opposite. I had flat feet as a child and had to wear shoes with extra-high arches to correct that.

                    1. Good heavens is right — my feet are more like suburbanbanshee– plus my narrow heels rub on certain types of shoes. (I can blister easily by just rubbing) ARG

                    2. I wear 10 1/2 wide shoes, but that’s only because I can’t split pairs. My left foot is 10 1/2 wide. My right foot is 11 medium. I also have arthritis in my feet, so I put in the cushion insoles. That sometimes makes the shoes too small to fit my feet the first few times I wear them, until the gel molds to my feet and the shoes stretch.

                1. I have narrow feet also, it used to be not to much problem to find shoes that fit, but now they seem to make them all wide. The last couple pairs of boots I ordered the same model, same size as what I already had (and this is like the sixth or seventh pair of the same model I have owned) and they are to wide.

            2. Cyn, try New Balance; they manage to fit my 11EEEE feet comfortably and at no too horrible a price. When I was younger I had to buy my shoes from cop uniform stores.

              1. Thanks SDN– I remember that New Balance used to have shoes in the military stores and I didn’t have problems with them. I will look into it–

              2. my younger son wears New Balance a special model that prevents his turning his feet inward — though at this point that tendency might have been corrected for.

        2. My problem is everytime I find a pair of shoes or boots that I like, fit comfortable provide support, last more than a season, etc., they discontinue them.

    4. RES, I used to only spend time shopping for books and computer software. Now that I can try those out online, if I go to any kind of store it’s in and out.

      1. He has me do the grocery shopping.

        But that’s really the only in person shopping we do. Everything else is done online most of the time.

        1. There is no substitute for doing your own produce shopping. You’ve just got to squeeze your own melons, handle the cukes yourself and look your potatoes in the eye.

          1. When I lived in Manitou Springs (AKA Boulder South) I discovered that Wednesday morning was the day our gay neighbors shopped (not sure why.) I discovered this, by finding the store er… straining at the seams with gay males.

            Listening to three guys who were as bad as y’all about the puns discussing the cucumbers put me off cuke salad for years. Also, needless to say, completely shocked my innocence, etc.

  5. “What do you do for a living?” is an easily answered question.

    It depends — are you hiring?
    Whatever is necessary.
    I am a professional assassin.
    Pleasing my spouse — he/she has access to my throat while I’m sleeping.
    Upsetting applecarts.
    Preaching the gospel of our lord, L. Ron.
    Selling Amway products. Have you ever considered …
    Selling Life Insurance. Have you ever …
    I’m in sales.
    Defrauding the government.
    Defrauding the People – I’m a politicians
    Defrauding the People AND the government – I’m a civil servant.

    1. “I am a professional assassin.”

      You too? You know what we have to do when we find a third … form a union.

      1. It is vitally important that the public be protected from the scourge of non-uni… er, amate … umm, unprofessional assassins. KIDS: Do NOT try this at home, we are trained professionals with years of experience. Always look for the union label*.

        *Not to be confused with the motto of the Guild of Defamers, Rumourmongers and Muckrakers (DRM, for short.)

      2. The problem with unions is that everyone gets the same pay scale, I prefer to bid high-risk or high-skill jobs for a higher rate, rather than charging the same as for your run of the mill, everyday, garrotting.

        1. Not all unions set uniform pay rates for all members; in instances where there exist significant differentials in talents/skills (e.g., professional baseball, the Screen Actors Guild) the unions tend to establish minimum wage scales from which members can bargain upward.

          They also act to define minimal working conditions and to enforce and resolve contract disputes. For example, should a client attempt to avoid paying a high-priced member by hiring a lower-fee member to resolve the issue, the union would act to ensure the payment to the first assassin was remitted to his (her) heirs.

  6. I suspect the sneerers equate “raising children” with “put food in one end, clean the other, prevent ravaging by rabid weasels, dump at school building daily”. Whereas the splendid and worthwhile commenters (and our serene Hostess, of course) view it more as “mold worthwhile human being whilst instilling intellectual curiosity as age- and individual-appropriate, and taking pride in unique achievements of same.” (this of course *includes* the feeding, cleaning, and intercepting rabid weasels.) Thus, the view that there is no intellectual challenge. I know perfectly well what my poor mother put up with raising me, and “intellectual challenge” is a concise summary. She confessed she suspected I had read the stages of development book and deliberately skipped a few years.

    1. Huh, I’ve always viewed childrearing as, “practice social experiment once the prototype is fully prepared and calibrated.” At least, that seems to be the way mine went, though I suppose you’d have to ask my parents for their take on it. My wife and I have spent many an evening discussing our plans when it comes to our as-yet-in-potentia offspring. Mostly it comes down to “good food”, “plenty of exercise”, and – most importantly – “teach them to think for themselves”. We plan to impress many interesting folk (such as your fine selves) into aiding us in this world-shaking endeavor (hey, it’ll shake our world, at the very least).

      1. See, schools tell you “You have to volunteer and back us up so kids know how important education is to you.” I never felt a need to backup the stupid things the schools did. In fact, I was more likely to take my broom and go for a flight around the principal’s office. So I was considered a bad mom when it came to being “pro education.”

        But my older kid was talking to me the other day about why he and his brother engaged in such “weird” explorations as studying Greek Mythos or learning to do animation.

        “Even when we were rock bottom broke, and we could see you and dad were doing without stuff that would really help you, you’d buy us stuff to pursue learning: books, art supplies, courses, museum memberships.”

        Seems to have worked. They’re interesting people and will probably be life-long learners.

        1. My parents managed to make it perfectly clear how important they thought education was, without backing up the school (they would have been more likely to do something like you, although I think my mom would have put the broom to a better use in the principals office than flying 😉 )

          1. You were lucky– my parents discouraged me from schooling. I kept trying until I finally acquired my degree in 2001. Oh well– it shows how stubborn and one-track-minded I am when I decide on doing something. I made college a goal when I was five.

        2. My mother was never a pro-education mom, either. One grade we were assigned a “reading log” where the parents were supposed to sign off that I was reading each night. My grades were suffering from lack of appropriately signed logs, as I was just as likely to read each night as I was to eat or breathe, and filling out a log never entered into my mind.

          My mother, God bless her soul, wrote my teacher a note saying that she was illiterate and would be signing all future reading logs with a simple “X”.

          My teacher, having seen me under the shade tree with a book at recess, went along with it.

          1. I trusted my kids so much that as each got proficient at handwriting, we spent weeks teaching them to forge my signature REALLY WELL. Why? Because between both parents working and the kids bringing home approximately five forms a night, all of which had a grade hanging on them, even when they were things like “I read about the danger of bandaids at recess” or “My child shall not bring peanut butter to school” and must be turned in on the dot — this was the ONLY way the kids didn’t end up with Ds through my not signing stupid administrivia.

            I’ll just note it’s also useful when some weird fee comes up, I’m away from home, and they need to use a check (well, now they have their own checking accounts, but not last year or before.) I’d just tell them where the checkbook was, and they could sign the check.

            I’d like to point out that the kids NEVER abused this, so my confidence was warranted. Sometimes they’d forget to tell me that there was a field trip or something till right the day before — but heck, I could (and did) sign the form and then forget all about it.

            And just in terms of teaching them that you can go around the stupid hoops instead of THROUGH them it was priceless.

  7. As for particular physical attributes being required to be a prostitute, I read about a man who cross-dressed and worked as a prostitute for something like a year. When asked how he managed that his reply was (supposedly): “I have very quick hands.”

    I did NOT read any further, lest I discover just what that meant. But, realistically, if you eliminate any emotional connection to your partner (i.e., employ them as a “thing”) then what difference does it make who or what is kissing, licking, rubbing and otherwise stimulating your parts?

  8. This so-called feminism is about keeping the angry old guard in their now accustomed role of making money and not kids while sucking cash in well protected sinecures in dying industries like publishing or in academia or in government. All the old guard business networking groups in New York honor the first minority this, the first woman that and have expensive dinners in their “honor”. Basically they all work to keep the little guy out more than to promote anything and in this economy most people are little guys looking for a well deserved break. This means whites, blacks, women and cultures not even invented yet are being left out while the elites make their insider cash off “concern”. That is what is so disappointing about the young sniffing Obama. He is for these old farts not for them. When you say “she is such an old feminist” about people like Hilary Clinton the smarter ones nod and the dumb suckups get offended.

  9. As a relatively new “customer” I truly enjoy your common sense thought process. Sooo lacking out there today.

    1. CAUTION: The FBA (Federal Bureaucrat Association) has found “common sense thought” processes to be potentially dangerous to their health and advises only highly limited use of this risky product, preferably under the supervision of an appropriately trained bureaucrat or therapist.

  10. So much to comment on, but I’ll restrain myself to one thing that you talk about but don’t name: Social Justice. Because it’s a phrase and combines two good concepts together, people accept it as a good thing rather than the opposite. There is no such thing as Social Justice, there is only Justice. Justice only applies to individuals not societies. You can treat me justly and I can treat you justly. I cannot treat the Chinese, the Native American, the Portuguese, Men, or Women justly, but I can treat each of them I encounter justly. The concept of Social Justice guarantees the opposite of Justice in many if not most cases.
    Like its fellow oxymoron, Political Correctness, it’s a phrase designed to mask its evil intent. Who thinks politics and rectitude go together?

      1. Well, what is meant when the term is generally used is evil.

        There are some other valid definitions that get jacked. Kind of like “equality” doesn’t need to mean “women act like cads, and you can’t complain about it in either sex”… but that’s how it tends to be used.

  11. I have often wondered how giving special advantages to women, Native Americans, blacks, pick your minority; constitutes equality.

  12. It’s the largest difference between liberals and conservatives. Individuality. I have no problem competing with men, on a intellectual field, but I’m 4’11”. I’m NOT competing on a physical field. Not unless I can wrangle a way to rig the rules…..

    1. Leverage– but I am 5’8″ 😉 so I am better at the physical field (except for the illness). Even I know that I can’t take a man in my height and weight class w/o leverage.

    2. I trust you are familiar with this story:

      ONE of the famous duelists of early New Orleans was Bernard Marlgny, a member of one of Louisiana’s oldest and most influential families, who was a master swordsman and a crack shot with a pistol. He was elected to the state Legislature in 1817 as a member of the House of Representatives and took an active and a leading part in the many disputes that arose between the Creoles and the Americans. At the same time Catahoula Parish was represented by James Humble, a blacksmith and a former resident of Georgia, who was noted for his great stature — he stood almost seven feet in his stockings. The Georgian replied to one of Marigny’s most impassioned speeches, and made various allusions so pointed and personal that the Creole considered himself grievously insulted, and challenged the blacksmith to a duel. Humble sought the advice of a friend.
      [MORE: http://www.anvilfire.com/article.php?bodyName=/21centbs/stories/blacksmith_duel.htm ]

      Thus began one of the most legendary “duels” in American History.

      1. Would that be the one that as challenged party he got to choose the weapon, and chose sledgehammers in six feet of water?

        1. Ayup – the challenging party was 5’9″ and rather slight of build.

          To my great regret, Youtube does not appear to offer a clip of another classic duel, the one between Lord Wellington and Edmund Blackadder.

  13. Equally steam-out-of-the-ears inducing: the manosphere guys yelling about how the women in combat thing is great because “now they will have what they say they want”… using the feminist actitwits as interchangeable for all women. Even women who have been arguing long and hard against the insanity of the idea of drafting the only baby-makers in existence for combat roles.

  14. [Channels too many of the wymynists I’ve heard] But, but, *whine starts here* you don’t understaaaaaand. If one woman in the 1st world is denied her impossible dream, then everyone is oppressed! You have to support us because we’re trying to break the cultural hegemony of the patriarchy! *end whine*

    If there is one profession that I detest, in addition to career politicians and bureaucrats, it’s that of professional victim.

  15. I hope you didn’t think I was criticizing you in that previous long winded post of mine. I pretty much agreed with you. I just wanted to clarify my own position wrt someone else’s comment.

    In fact, the above is pretty much exactly what I think also.

  16. In re: one’s own abilities, I’m reminded of a homily I once heard about the diversity of gifts. The priest in question was talking about how everybody’s gifts were needed and wanted in the Church to build up the Kingdom, and absolutely none could be left out without missing a lot of God’s will…

    …and then every gift he came up with was not only something openly churchy, but something extroverted, to boot. Apparently the Kingdom was not to be built anywhere off parish property, or by anyone who was cerebral or shy.

    Not a stupid guy. Meant well. But people are completely blind to their own biases, unless they’re very very careful.

    1. Yep. It’s been very hard to NOT demand the kids be good writers — as is, at their worst they tend to be better than their classmates, because they’re afraid of the curled lip and the “that’s appalling.”

      1. It is reasonable to demand that what they do, they do to the best of their abilities. Of course, they are free to not be writers, but if they write they should write good.

        1. Pretty much anybody can be a reasonable prose writer, just like pretty much anyone can speak up with a coherent sentence. Most Americans used to be taught that in elementary school, and by reading good normal writing all the time. Competence is supposed to be ordinary, darn it.

          But yeah, my dad and mom vetted our prose when it came to reports and presentation, and Dad was not afraid to wield the red pen. Many’s the night I had to rewrite a bad draft.

  17. Bravo. Have felt exactly what you have expressed so many times. Funny enough now having hit 50, feel more empowered and happy with my work life than ever before; even if hubby and some family still don’t think it’s a “real job”! (Hubby wouldn’t dare say it; but often his requests speak volumes about what he really thinks!)

    1. Do you mean, in terms of asking you to do things, while you’re working? If you work from home it’s impossible to get through their heads you’re “at work” My colleagues who are male have the same issue.

      I can’t get my husband to “get” it even in the years I’ve made a needed 1/3 of my income. If I say “no, I can’t take the day off and find the paper you misplaced” he thinks I’m being mean. It’s not that he doesn’t take my work seriously it’s “you’re home and have no supervisor. Surely….”

      1. That’s ok, I could never get my wife to understand that when I am at work (in a factory job, no less, even before I had an office job), that calling me at work should be “emergency only”. Or maybe it’s just that I could never get through that “emergency” didn’t mean, “Where did you put such-and-so?” if it wasn’t immediately necessary before I could get home.

  18. This is an awesome rant, from start to finish.

    As to why “feminists” push for a society where femininity is devalued: every feminist I’ve met has been a very unhappy person (there are, in fact, studies showing that lefties are much less happy with their lives than everyone else).

    I think that part of their motivation is “I’m unhappy, therefore something outside myself is making me unhappy (FALSE), therefore I will try to change the entire world rather than changing myself”.

    1. Yes! We each choose how we react to events in our lives. We can choose to be miserable, or we can choose to be pleasant. It’s amazing how putting on a pleasant attitude can result in feeling more cheerful after awhile.

      1. We’ve been trying to our son lately. Apparently he’d decided to be miserable in school, and works really hard at it. It’s quite discouraging.

        On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > ** > naleta commented: “Yes! We each choose how we react to events in our > lives. We can choose to be miserable, or we can choose to be pleasant. It’s > amazing how putting on a pleasant attitude can result in feeling more > cheerful after awhile.” >

        1. As long as he doesn’t start refusing to go, like my younger son did, I wouldn’t worry too much. I was really miserable in school, but got over it starting in the year I graduated.

          You can always do things like tell him to smile (you may have to do something else to make him smile, like tell him NOT to, or accuse him of being afraid his face will break if he does), and when he does, ask if he doesn’t feel even a little better. He may tell you he doesn’t, but it will sink in, and you’ll make your point. Right now, though, he’s probably getting a perverse satisfaction out of being miserable, but it should pass.

            1. That’s why it’s important to show that it’s not something that needs to be forever. We had to get my son professional help, but now he’s an “A” student.

        2. He’s a boy. Public school? Um… Take a closer look. He might have reasons. Younger son ended up clinically depressed and fortunately he’s not me, or he’d have killed someone. Can you homeschool? There are all sorts of resources on line.

  19. Whenever I want to piss off a feminazi, all I have to do is say/type the following:

    “The best feminism has managed is women consciously aping all male behaviors.”

    (It’s related to the line I use to piss off anti-whites: “The best [ethnicity]ism has managed is [ethnics] consciously aping all White behaviors.” This line works best when dealing with black-supremacists, because not only are they offended by the entire comment, the use of the word “aping” causes them to go… well… ape-shit. >:) )

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