That Ain’t No Lady

I’m sorry this post is so late.  I wanted to read the “offending columns” at SFWA before I wrote about it and last night I had the worst sinus headache of my life descend on me right after I put up the post for Mad Genius Club.  The remains are still with me.  I’m fine provided I don’t move my head in ANY direction.  So I’m developing very good posture as I write this.

There is a civil war raging in science fiction.  Of course, the immediate image that came to mind when thinking of this was the old Woody Allen sketch – back before therapy cured him of being funny – talking about the game of the nail biters against the bed wetters.

No, I’m not saying that you have to be crazy to work here – but it certainly helps.  Besides, the way the field was, and as hard as it was to break into writing, the sane people with healthy self esteem gave up long before being published.  It was only the ones driven by the demons of writing who stuck it out.  Then there is the nature of the work.  I swear I was normal socially and somewhat extroverted, but after I got published and had books due, I was so busy that the social life fell by the way side, and now large gatherings seem odd.

We are, most of us, painfully non-social people, more at home in our own heads than out of them.  With few exceptions, we were not the type to get picked first for… anything physical, when we were young.  We were the lonely kid in the corner, with a book.

But the thing is, we geeks punch above our weight.  And we geeks in science fiction, really punch above our weight.  We very much dream the dreams of humanity, as it were.  Or at least we do when we’re doing it right.

And that’s part of the issue.

Look, I have been ribbed by older pros ever since I started going to conventions.  I came from a background as teacher and translator, which means you dress well for public events.  Now, I was smart enough to dress “well for sf” which is different (though I’m now reaching the age where it should become similar.  Older women look funny in slinky, hugging outfits, so I’ll wear skirt suits and nice pants and blouse combinations.) but I still tended to show up put together.  I also have an unfortunate ability to stay up much after twelve.  I used to be a night person, then the kids entered school and next thing you know, my internal clock is set for six am.  And I rarely drink at cons, though I’ve been known to nurse a glass of wine.

So the old pros teased me.  They said stuff like “you people who come and stay in your top of the line rooms with breakfast included aren’t really science fiction.  Real science fiction is gritty and the writers and fans cram six to a room and some in a closet and sleep in shifts and eat maybe two meals the whole con.”

That was the scene in sf writing/reading a few decades ago – loud, youthful, boisterous.  Keep that in mind.  They were cutting edge and they knew it.  Did they embrace some pretty silly fads?  Well, look at pictures of the 70s world con for an answer.  Both in looks and in the stuff they wrote some of those people make me giggle.

But remember back then the fandom was weighted at the very young end.  In your mind, add about double the attendees at current worldcons, and make them age sixteen to twenty five.  Would they get silly?  Sure.  Loud?  Sure.  Boisterous?  Sure.  Would they sleep six to a closet?  From what I hear from friends who go to anime cons, you bet your bottom dollar.

Reading Resnick’s and Malzberg’s columns took me back to that atmosphere.  The columns are very much a “We were young, once and wrote science fiction” – very enjoyable and tons of fun as a sort of peek behind the scenes of the field.

It is about women they admired, women who shaped SF.  They even worry about the gender imbalance in guests of honor at world con and other recognition but identify the cause accurately as residing with the gender imbalance till the seventies since the honors and recognition tend to descend on the older writers in the field and women are just now reaching that stage.

So..

So how in living hell did these columns – innocuous and reminiscent – become the latest fire storm in the long-drawn civil war in science fiction.  And who is fighting this war, anyway?

Ah, sit around my children, and make long ears.  Aunt Sarah will tell all.  Well, actually not, but I always wanted to say that.  I have guesses and ideas at what is causing this series of conflagrations starting with Orson Scott Card’s non-calling-for-the-death-of-all-gays but opposing their belonging to his church (this my atheist, Budhist and various other flavors of Christian gay friends find a non event, btw.) and continuing to what can only be called the wilding hunt for Malzberg and Resnick.

This hunt has gotten out of control.  I won’t post links to the blogs, but they are on trial for being “older white men” and for being horrible horrible people who appreciate female beauty.  Words like misogynist are thrown around with abandon.  The columns are never posted and rarely ever quoted.  Instead they’re alluded to in the sort of tones you expect.  And what they’re supposed to have said and done grows in magnitude and “horror.”  At this point practically all the young and bien-pensant females in the field are outraged and feel that their womanhood has been slighted and that they’re being shoved right back into the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.  (Hey, if they could arrange for me to get pregnant they’d be miracle workers indeed.)

Anyway, so… I read the columns.

Earth shaking stuff right?  Hot and heavy sexism and lots of waggled eyebrows about how hot these “ladies” were, right?

I only have (for whatever reason in the transmission of the scans) half of the column about lady writers so I can’t swear that they didn’t talk about writers in bikinis, but if they did, from the tone of the rest of the column it was something like “And she wore a bikini that year at the pool in the worldcon hotel, and looked good in it too.”

Yep, the stuff of sexism.  I mean, guys, for the love of Bob (Heinlein – genuflects),  I was at least expecting a passing reference to an orgy.  I got that from Charlie Brown late editor of Locus, showing a party of us around his house and saying, about the hot tub that when they moved out there half of the sf people would get naked and get in the tub.  “Then in the mid seventies we took a look at each other naked, realized no one sane wanted to see us naked, put on our clothes and mothballed the tub.”

Even had there been something like that, it would be no more than the history of SF of the “we were young and hot once, and we read stuff about group marriages and got a little nuts.”

For better or for worse there is NOTHING in those columns that I couldn’t read aloud in church.

So, where’s the sexism?  Where’s the discrimination?  Well, they were talking about “ladies” you know, “Lady editors” and that’s an exclusionary term.

Okay.  Take a deep breath.  Now unzip your pants, lift your skirt, part your robe, and look right between your legs.  Unless you were the victim of a horrible industrial accident, there is a gender distinguishing characteristic there.

What’s more, that distinguishing characteristic and the biological functions it serves causes (my son, the human-biology-bs-holding-peeve in the next room) differences in how the brain grows, how the nervous system operates.  It affects how you move, how you eat, and to a certain extent – yes – what you think and how you think.

Now – okay, you can stop looking at your junk.  I’m writing here.  Some attention please! – does the fact that you’re an innie or an outie make you stupid.  Nope.  Does it make your conclusions less valid?  Nope.  (Not unless you’re the sort of person who thinks “because I have a vagina is a winning argument in every circumstance, instead of just the trump card on an argument with your significant other on who is going to do the dishes.)  But it will affect you.  It will call up emotions that either improve or destroy your writing.  It’s one of those bad things about having a body.  Men and women tend to have different “flavors” of writing… and of doing everything.  This is good.  Why would you want everyone to be alike?

And besides, men and women in general like each other.  That’s why humans continue to exist.  We even like looking at each other naked.  Imagine that!  It’s why naked bimbos (of both genders) on the cover make a book do very well indeed.  Which is something else the not-ladies got offended about.

So, having looked at these articles, they call these people ladies, they mention the one who was exceptionally beautiful and the one they thought was in love with her boss.  Are you angry now?  Is your essential womanhood and all hope of equality gone?  Are you now living in Sheri S. Tepper’s worlds?

What in H*LL is wrong with these people?  What are they offended about?  Mention that they’re female?

Look, people, women came into the workforce, and they were going to be great and powerful because they were so much better than men (an opinion justified by the fact that the few who made it in when it was tough were very god indeed.)  They asked no favors.  They competed with men on their own terms.

And the vast majority of them failed, because women are not men and the business world was geared for men.  Women had obligations and aspirations men didn’t have.

So they set about changing the business world.  Well and good.  No discussion of lewd subjects and men cannot be men and have to behave as sort of half-female-castrati.

But women are still not doing as well as men.  Glass ceiling and all that.  Look, you can burn me after I finish writing this – I’ll tell jokes with Resnick and Malzberg while I burn – but the glass ceiling might not be fixable.  Or it might not be fixable in ways that allow the business to continue operating properly.

The part that’s fixable is being fixed.  As with women guests of honor at worldcon, the apparent blockage comes from the fact there were few women with any business/working power till the seventies, and that there is a reason the old males in charge are called silverbacks, and it ain’t just because they resemble old gorillas.  It also ain’t their youth.

The other part of this is that women tend to take time off in their prime earning years to raise their families.  Even those that don’t take time off – I was trying to write through it – are affected by the kids’ vagaries and how they’re doing in school and…

I swear the first of you to say “but why don’t the fathers—“ gets a smack across the mouth as the young and callow twit you are.  If you believe in your heart of hearts that when your kid is sick or has problems at school you can march on to your business meeting unaffected, you have never had children and you never looked closely at older women in that situation.  Men just aren’t affected that way.  It’s biological.  Remember that thing between your legs?  Yeah.  It affects how you bond to kids.  Fathers love their kids (at least those allowed to know their kids and those who are sane) and all, but they don’t feel the compelling PULL to nurse them through illness or “fix what’s wrong now.”  My husband lost nights of sleep to my younger son’s issues in middle school, but he didn’t feel the need to go eat lunch with the kid and cheer him up.  Yes, there are exceptions.  My dad was to a great extent the caregiver and comforter when I was little – BUT in general the way to bet is that men and women are different, and women are more likely to be the caregivers of the family and lose work time and mind space to that.

Fair?  What does fair have to do with it.  Life isn’t fair.  Life is life.

This problem will be hard to “fix” even if most of the economy are contractors who stay home.

Then there is well… “the female way of approaching problems.”  Women don’t like confrontations.  I think this is evolutionary, baked in the cake from when the pregnant female needed the help of the band.  Women are likely to go around, give hints, and try to solve the problem by other means.  I know any number of women who thought they were being paid less than they deserved, hinted, got nothing, got another job.  While a man would have gone in and gone “Well, Joe, you know you’re paying everyone else three times what you pay me.”

That one – THAT one might be the strongest thing holding women back.  And there ain’t much you can do about it, other than push women to understand what’s going on.  You sure can’t fix it by whining about male privilege and insisting no one mention anyone’s gender.  It ain’t gonna work.

Now, what I want you to contemplate is that Barry and Mike were talking about women who overcame ALL of that to become luminaries in the field back when no special accommodations were made.  Was it relevant to mention their gender?  You bet your *ss three times.

If someone won the Olympic Marathon, would you find it relevant to mention they were missing half their left foot?  I would.

So, Lady Authors and Editors?  These men were taking their hats off to them for running a more difficult race and arriving ahead of most men.

How could the younger generation have misinterpreted it and viewed it as a put-down as a “you are saying they only won in the kiddy race.”

Ah.  That’s because the younger generation ONLY knows “girls” things as exclusionary and with special help.  Because the law and the constant fits thrown by people like the these young not-ladies, women are now given a leg up in practically everything, and special categories are formed that only women can compete in: women awards, and women banquets and…

These women, most of them ten years younger than I, aren’t stupid.  They know that while all the older women were telling them they were grrrls and had grrrl power and could do anything they wanted, they were also ensuring they got special breaks the boys didn’t have.

Therefore “lady” anything became a put down.  A second best.  They want to be judged as writers and editors, d*mn it, not “lady writers and editors.”

And they have no memory of the past and want to erase it.  Which is why by keeping alive the memory of SF Mike and Barry MUST be silenced.

What they don’t understand, these younger colleagues of mine, is that their attitude only perpetuates their exclusion.  By refusing to admit that once upon a time “lady editor” meant “fought it up from secretary hand over hand and gave up normal life for it in most cases”  they’re casting the shadow of their own mediocrity into the past and assuming that women always had special concessions made for them, and that they always failed to measure up to men.  And the only solution is to get more and greater concessions and keep men running with their legs in a sack, otherwise women will be swept back to the kitchen.  Maybe they REALLY think that.  If so, no wonder they’re angry.

Or maybe they feel inadequate compared to the giant women of the past, who made it big despite working in offices where pinching your secretary’s bottom wasn’t out of line.  I don’t blame them on that – I am not a quarter the woman either my mother or grandmother were.

But one shoulders one’s weakness and marches on does the best one can.  Either trying to erase the past or trying to hobble men is not the way to either success or self-respect.  Take your blinders off.  They were put there by crazy people who wanted to give you the appearance of success without the effort.

Women and men are different, yes.  That doesn’t mean they can’t both succeed.  This won’t be managed by denying their differences, though.  And it won’t be managed by making women into second rate men or men into second rate women.

You want to compete?  You have a dream of making it in science fiction?  Then shut up and write.  And stop being convinced everyone is making you a victim because you have a vagina.  That will only ensure you ARE a victim.  Also tedious.

Write, study, stay one step ahead of the changes in tech and in the field.  Work.  That tends to lead to success for men AND women.

And read the history of the field, and even if you think you’ll never measure up to the lady editors and writers of the past, keep trying.  If you quit you already lost.

Oh, and about “sexist” covers with female bimbos…  Those too are the history of the field, and history we could stand to learn from.  This is not an office where your co-worker is displaying a mostly nude female.  This is MARKETING.  Skin sells.  Your product goes out to the market wrapped in a way that sells or doesn’t.  I’d prefer it does.  Some of the worst offenders are the UF and paranormal romance covers, and I don’t hear any of the women who write them complain about it.  Why not?  Because skin sells.

But these tough grrrrls have internalized that any nudity is bad and anti-woman.  And they’re now using their grrrl power to sound like their Victorian Great Great Grandmothers.  Next stop, little skirts on the furniture legs, lest the leg evokes the female leg and incites bad sexual feelings in men.  Which might remind men they’re men and women are women and that would be bad because “exclusionary” and “Sexist” or something.

They have become caricatures and they’re making each other more so every day.

And now, can SFWA perhaps get back to doing the things it SHOULD do, the things that might entice me into renewing my membership?  You know… fraternal order type of stuff, widows and orphans and old age funds? Finding us health insurance? Actually standing up to bad contracts and worst accounting from the houses?

No?  Of course not.  Much easier to go after Amazon and supposedly “sexist” writers who use words like “lady” and talk about people being beautiful.

And this is the war in sf – between the increasingly irrelevant establishment trying to silence all the opinions they don’t like, and the rest of us who frankly m’dear don’t give a d*mn what they don’t want us to say.  Complicated by the spiraling down of the traditional houses (thank G-d not Baen) putting everyone under stress it keeps getting nuttier and nuttier.  They want to tell us what we can say and think.  We want to tell them to shut up.

The Card outbreak was a symptom of this and so is the Resnick Malzberg one.

So are the not-ladies going to realize that screaming isn’t working and won’t make them relevant?  Of course not.  It worked their whole lives.

Carry on.  They can go to hell.  I’m going indie.

Oh, and because you need more than one starter for a proper bonfire, there’s a related post over at Mad Genius Club. 

488 responses to “That Ain’t No Lady

  1. Oh god..
    “my son, the human biology bs holding peeve in the next room”
    I don’t know why but…this struck me as outrageously funny..*grins and falls back laughing again*

    • I had to re-read to realize “holding peeve” was NOT a variant on “holding court”. Now that I think about it, maybe we should have a Peeve Court. (For determining which peeve has the right-of-way, peeve contract violations, und so weiter. Or maybe “best of breed” peeve, peeve standards, peeve agility trials…)

      • Rob Crawford

        alt.peeves is that way –>

        You may run into Charlie Stross.

        • well, one of my pet peeves was his insisting at the local con that in a future when genes could be altered to say, improve your mathematical ability, you SHOULD ethically be entitled to it at government expense. Don’t make me think of that — it’s a peeve.

          • The Peeve Court finds in favor of plaintiff’s peeve. Said Peeve is valid and entitled to all rights and privileges thereunto appertaining.(smacks gavel)

            (I mean, really. Consider the implications of vast hordes of mathematicians roving the plains. While I value my mathematical colleagues the majority of them should not be out in public without a minder. They will wander into traffic if not stopped.)

            • I’m married to one and mother to one. And truly, consider, where does it stop. What if I want the nation to pay so I can jump rope (an ability left out of my make up — tragically) — am I entitled to it? No? Why not? Just because it won’t bring in money? (Bah, “Sarah Hoyt jumps rope in bikini” would get me a massive kickstarter fund, even now at my weight. Speaking of which, can they alter my genes so I’m skinny and beautiful? Why won’t the state pay for it?) Why, UNFAIR.

              • maybe that picture of you lounging as a youngster should have been a picture of you jumping rope? Although…given the camera tech at the time it would have been blurry as all hell.

          • Why should anyone, (excepting those wounded in defense of the country) ,deserve something at gov’t expense

          • Why should anyone, (excepting those wounded in defense of the country), deserve something at gov’t expense?

        • > alt.peeves is that way –> You may run into Charlie Stross.

          SNORT!

          Nice one.

          • Rob Crawford

            I hung around there back in the day. Biggest reason I’ve never read anything from Stross. Second biggest reason is that apparently there’s some bits he used that came from my college roommate, who lived in that newsgroup (and rasfwrj). Running into Novakisms when not braced would be bad…

            Mainly because it would remind me of how long ago that all was.

    • > Ah, sit around my children, and make long ears.

      “make long ears” – is that a Portugese phrase? I love it!

      • Actually no — Or at least, no idea. I got it from the book of Uncle Remus’s stories (in translation) that my brother read to me when I was a toddler. Yes, I know, I had a totally, totally Un-PC upbringing. No wonder I turned out so badly. Now my only hope is that I’ll live long enough and be well known enough to be nicknamed the Termagant of Science Fiction.

  2. It’s simpler than that, Sarah. The bimbos are masochists, and have a desperate need to be offended and hurt. But they don’t recognize that, perhaps because they don’t like themselves very much, so when they get offended and hurt they strike back. Now from my perspective, when someone has a need to be offended, which need is so deep and so desperate that they can find offense in the most inoffensive things, I consider it my Christian duty to them to offend them…and as deeply as possible. After all, why should the poor little dears have to settle for inadvertent offense when I can provide the real article, and enjoy doing so?

    • Speaking of masochists — the d*mn hamsters ate your email. I think it’s happening a lot at hotmail because someone else here complained. Could you send it to sahoyt at tazwriters dot com?

      • Sent.
        It’s quite possible, too, that they go femibonkers in order to keep the hurt going. Some masochistic females will do anything to get slapped around.

        • argh. You just cast some marriages form the village of my childhood into a completely different light in a second. Uh.

          • I do not pretend to fully understand it; indeed I do not. But I observe it. And it is widespread…pun not intended.

          • There is a subculture of American women* who believe that if their guy isn’t slapping them around it is because he doesn’t love them. Treating such tarts like ladies is cruelty.

            *Generally found in lower socio-economic class, perhaps because the upper class hide it better.

            • Culture usually explains a lot, but in this case I am not so sure it’s cultural as much as genetic. I had a girlfriend, oh, ages ago, a Nicaraguan. Beautiful thing, exquisitely feminine and quite tiny and delicate. She would gleefully and eagerly do things one would hestitate to request of a professional. But she _had_ to be knocked around, twisted, bent, tied up, hair pulled, etc, etc. or she couldn’t enjoy sex. And I just hated it; I’ve no use for any of that crap. But if one didn’t indugle her, she would pick the most intimate moments to, say, slap one across the face to ensure that one did punish her as she wanted.

              • Culture usually determines how the genetic impulses are expressed, not the impulses themselves.

                I would venture that your erstwhile girlfriend was troubled by a conflict between what “good” girls are permitted, sexually, and what she actually wanted/was willing to do, and needed the “permission” of the abuse.

                Or, maybe, she was just kinky. Ya never know and it usually ain’t worth the effort to find out.

                • I _suspect_ she wanted to feel _owned_, hence valuable, hence protected, by someone obviously willing to do violence to preserve that ownership and who could thus be counted on to protect. I used to think it was a more Latin/Iberian thing but I gather it’s not that localized.

            • But why does the woman not leave the man as soon as he manifests his violence? It is because, perversely, violence is the only token she has of his commitment to her. Just as he wants the exclusive sexual possession of her, she wants a permanent relationship with him. She imagines—falsely—that a punch in the face or a hand round the throat is at least a sign of his continued interest in her, the only sign other than sexual intercourse she is ever likely to receive in that regard. In the absence of a marriage ceremony, a black eye is his promissory note to love, honor, cherish, and protect.

              It is not his violence as such that causes her to leave him, but the eventual realization that his violence is not, in fact, a sign of his commitment to her. She discovers that he is unfaithful to her, or that his income is greater than she suspected and is spent outside the home, and it is only then that his violence seems intolerable. So convinced is she that violence is an intrinsic and indispensable part of relations between the sexes, however, that if by some chance she alights next time upon a nonviolent man, she suffers acute discomfort and disorientation; she may, indeed, even leave him because of his insufficient concern for her. Many of my violently abused women patients have told me that they find nonviolent men intolerably indifferent and emotionally distant, rage being the only emotion they’ve ever seen a man express. They leave them quicker than they leave men who have beaten and otherwise abused them.

              full text here:
              http://www.city-journal.org/html/9_1_oh_to_be.html

            • The last time I saw a good friend of mine, he was in the process of re-evaluating his marriage because his wife had started coming up to him and pushing him violently in the chest saying “You don’t hit it.” Push “You don’t HIT ME.” Push “YOU DON’T HIT ME!!” until he had to physically restrain her to keep her from hurting him. Evidently that’s the way her father treated her mother and the daughter equated it with love…

              • Hmm. . . you know — people whose behavior is uncontrollable and who pose a risk to themselves or others — we have nice secure institutions for such people. A good husband should first of all consider whether his wife needs the safety of such a place.

                Who knows, if she can control herself, the prospect may provide some incentive to do so.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Yes, the ones who recognize this tendency and find someone to do it formally and without anger fare much better than the ones who don’t recognize it and thus simply antagonize someone beyond their level of tolerance, so that they explode.

      • > . I think it’s happening a lot at hotmail because someone else here complained.

        Yep. That was me. Resent it last night. Will hit the tazwriters addr too when I get home tonight.

        • Hey TJIC,
          It’s always fun to run across someone in a context like this when you’re already acquainted with them from a different context…

          • Don’t leave me hanging – what’s the other context?

            • Never mind – clicked your username, got your domain, did a whois lookup. Was thinking of your your novel last night while re-reading Vinge’s “The Ungoverned”!

              • I was going to say… it was only this morning I was thanking you for liking my Author page on Amazon…. but I suppose just having Sharper in my wordpress handle isn’t enough to give an immediate connection to my “real” identify, especially as my name link goes to my needs-to-be-posted-on-more blog instead of the SharperSecurity.com book site. 🙂

                • Be advised that commenters here who have committed writing for money are often invited to publicly confess their sins, complete with information (such as Amazon links) allowing readers to purchase concrete (or digital, as the case may be) evidence of such miscreational acts. Watch for an invitation — there is usually one every few weekends.

                  • Yeah, I’ve been around here for a years or so, but I think I’ve only managed to make it into one of Sarah’s Instapundit linked posts with my latest book or story. I threw my most recent kindle short story into the threads of 3 out of her last 4 request/offer posts, but the only one I missed was of course also the only one she ended up with time to actually post and link to. Just happened to be unluckily a few days behind on my blog post reading at that point and she’d already posted first as a result. 🙂

                    I don’t mean to complain, though. Sarah does way more than most authors to encourage others to write and help cross-promote and I really appreciate all of her help and encouragement for everyone.

                  • sharper13 = Thomas Sewell

                    …who wrote “Sharper Security” http://www.amazon.com/Sharper-Security-Sovereign-Company-ebook/dp/B00A9CI3GM

                    a novel off in the direction of Vernor Vinge’s “The Ungoverned”. Both are set in post-breakup North America and deal with private security firms in a ancap / polycentric legal code environment. Fascinating stuff!

                    • Of course. And he’s one letter off my having a massive intellectual crush on him. If that first e in his last name were an o…

                    • Curious: do you ever get confused with Thomas Sowell?

                    • Thanks for the book plug, tjic. I actually haven’t read Vinge’s “The Ungoverned” (not sure how I haven’t…), but based on your earlier comment, plan to remedy that in the next few days in order to satisfy my curiosity.

                    • Ahhh Sarah… you wound me! But for the lack of a letter O!

                      Thomas Sowell is easily my favorite modern economist, so I can certainly understand your reaction. I once walked into a library to interview teachers with our Charter School’s newly hired Principal carrying a stack of Sowell’s books and was asked by him if they were all my writing. I hated having to say no and pointing out that dang letter O…

                      Mary,
                      Yes, I get mistaken for Thomas Sowell online at least a few times a month, mostly on twitter, where I am identified as an author. Whenever anyone is overly excited that I am following them back on twitter, I’m generally pretty sure they think I’m Sowell. I have a stock reply to ask if they’re mistaking me for him and that while I agree with pretty much everything he’s ever published, I have a slightly different name. The reaction is generally along the lines of “Oh well, I suppose I’ll still keep following you on twitter…”

                      My wife tells people who inquire that he’s the older black economist and I’m the younger white science fiction writer/amateur economist. I suppose that’s close enough….

                  • Yes indeed. And I’ve been bad about putting up easy compilations and linking at insty, but I promise to — it’s just more work, and I’ve not been feeling well. However, it has to improve here soon.

                    • If you’d like some assistance, I’d be happy to do much of the heavy lifting for you by going through the most recent unposted compilation threads each time, deduplicating the responses, then compiling them into html suitable for you to just copy/paste into a new wordpress article.

                      I very much appreciate the opportunities you give folks for mentions and would love to assist the process for everyone however I can.

                    • I might just take you up on it — it also necessitates (if I’m linking at insty) putting up the code for HIS routing for Amazon (since he’s kind enough to let me link) on each book. It’s that which normally daunts me.

                    • I’m a long-time Amazon affiliate guru back from my book review web site automation creating days. I have no problem adding Insty’s affiliate code to all the Amazon product links, appropriate Amazon image links, etc…

                      Basically, I’m happy to take all the heavy lifting off your hands and make it as easy as possible.

                    • Thank you. One is rather UNDER obligations these days, between family, cats, writing, publishing, promoting. ARGH.

                    • … it has to improve here soon.

                      Fer Gawds’ sake, gal, do not ever, ever, Ever say that!

                      [mutter] Good Lord, might as well ask “what could possibly go wrong” or “How much worse could things get?”

                    • Check your email (and spam folders, if necessary) for a message with a .txt attachment. Sent you a compilation of the most recent call for promotions.

                      Hope you’re feeling better.

    • Sounds like an immune system in overdrive, responding to false alarms because of a lack of real threats to the body. So, by providing a genuine provocation for their outrage you a) help them maintain healthy psychological immune system response and b) save many innocent bystanders from getting caught standing i front of the fan when the sh-t storm hits.

      Too few people recognize, much less acknowledge, your philanthropy, Col. Hoyt’s Huns, I say ye Tom Kratman.

      • I like that analogy – that it’s acting like a cultural auto-immune disorder. In fact, it’s part and parcel of the push to rename, relabel, redefine things as “threats”, while allowing actual systemic threats to fester un-named. Naming, after all, might convince the hoi polloi that something needs to be done about that systemic threat over there.

        It’s another ideological inheritance from Marx, isn’t it?

    • Oh! Yes! I can just imagine the reaction to, ‘Dear, you’re a chip off the old block, being so Women’s Temperance League, you know.’

    • Victimhood is a power source nowadays. If they weren’t offended, what would they use instead to have clout?

    • This brings to mind the PC crowd’s apparent need for the oppression that they constantly whine about. For example:

      Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

      Such malaise is not confined to one sector of the political spectrum, but currently it is most advanced on the PC Left.

      People who say that “The personal is political” may be correct, but not in the way the intend.

    • On the subject of masochism, what is with men who willingly parrot the same evil male privilege/noble female martyrs line? I see that a lot in science fiction circles–men who rant and rave about how evil “male dominant rape culture” or whatever the current buzzphrase is.

      Do they think it’ll help them get laid? Because it totally won’t.

      • Fucked if I know.

      • Does the name Vidkun Quisling suggest an explanation?

      • They want to get some, and they don’t think they can any other way.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Seems to make sense to me.

          That said, back before I had any interest in getting laid, when my sole reaction would have been wanting people to stay away from me, I had some opinions that were ‘feminism lite’. This was because I had some respect for the source, anti rape sounded good to me, I hadn’t thought about it enough, and I hadn’t been exposed enough to how it fit in with the abortion, contraception, LGBT and other things leftist hard feminist related.

          Even then, I think I had some of the history/pre-history sorted out as far as stuff went.

          Frankly, I think I needed the experience of sorting through opinions of a bunch of different feminists to help me conclude that they were objectively pro, not anti, rape, and my enemies rather than my allies.

          • The Daughtorial Unit has observed that laws permitting 14-year-old girls “access to health-care services” objectively facilitate child molestation.

            • Count me among the horrified with how many are willing to give a pass on molesting 14 year olds if the molester is sympathetic– say, an 18 year old lesbian, or a young and attractive teacher. Don’t get me started with the “grass on the field” sorts.

              REALLY makes me want to take notes on who should not be allowed without trusted supervision around my kids.

                • I greatly respect Mr. Smith, and really wish I could read more of his stuff; unfortunately, his factual subject matter gets in the way……

              • Many, if not most, of these young girls are not ‘in need of women’s healthcare services’ because of a relationship with their older boyfriends. They have been taken advantage of by men. Yes, they are often very willing participants, but they are really far too young to understand the consequences of their actions.

                • Of course a 14 year old that has a 35 or 45 year old telling her everything she wants to hear thinks that she’s willing; that’s why adult laws of concent don’t apply to kids, they are too easily manipulated to be responsible for themselves.

                  Wouldn’t believe how much I have to yell about this….

                  • Wouldn’t believe how much I have to yell about this….

                    I might.

                    The youngest girl we saw when I volunteered as a receptionist at a Pregnancy Care Center was 11, her baby daddy was in his thirties… I believe that her mother did not want to make waves, as the daddy was a ‘respectable’ man in the community. Respectable!

                    • Other than being a child molester and rapist, sure…. *headdesk*

                      Meanwhile, the hired hand– DEFINITE low end of the bell curve– at my folks’ ranch is a child molester on paper, because he was falsely accused by his girlfriend’s daughter. The girl admitted it was just to hurt her mom, but he’d already signed a paper admitting guilt so he could get out of jail and not lose his job. (His public defender told him it was the only way to get out of jail.)

                      We got that info from his parole officer. Just imagine how much money is wasted on a known fraud like that.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Not to mention that it being pretty much illegal for them to earn significant money, operate vehicles, often size issues, and so forth, adults have greater coercive ability.

                    • Foxfier…yeah one of my dad’s friendshad a similar problem. His friend’s absolute [4 letter word deleted so I don’t get in trouble] of a soon to be EX wife, during the divorce proceedings accused my dad’s friend of child abuse and molestation. She got the kid, he got charged and tried and convicted. Because no one wanted a convicted child molester on their pay roll he moved around a lot from place to place and job to job. He finally killed himself. His family never believed the charges and were thoroughly livid when he was convicted. Eventually the PI they hired got the [again word deleted] on TAPE, during a kibitz session with a girlfriend I think it was, admitting that she’d lied, because she wanted to destroy him and of course get any monies she could to support herself and the kid. by that time of course, my father’s friend had already committed suicide. That, that……..[deleted 4 letter word] was never charged and never did any time for what she did.

                    • Using law enforcement as a weapon needs to be punished. Especially things like rape accusations.

                    • I am reliably informed — by personages as august as professors at Duke University — that womyn do not make false claims of rape. Even if there was no physical act of that sort, males — simply by being male — committed psychic raped and must be punished. The simple awareness of male carnal desire is a form of oppression no truly sensitive womyn can be expected to bear.

                    • There was a very sad case here where the daughter of a man in law enforcement accused him of molesting her. Eventually, after much trouble and legal costs to the family, the girl confessed that she did this because she was disgruntled with the restrictions he had placed upon her and had thought it would gain her more freedom. It appears that the twit really had no idea how it would snowball or that it would nearly ruin her father.

                    • That is really sad– because there are real cases– and she just made it harder for a girl or boy who are really in trouble.

                    • Exactly.

            • They also objectively break the law because as medical professionals they are legally mandated to report it if they even suspect sexual abuse.

              • Daughtorial Unit noticed that aspect of Howard Dean’s boasting in his presidential run of how he had opposed parental notification laws because when a practicing doctor he had suspected a patient’s father of impregnating her.

                Had I not already concluded Dean was a corrupt and horrid person that straw would have done it.

                • Hold on, back up, say that again. He opposed parental notification because he suspected a patient’s father of impregnating his daughter? IF the father was responsible, wouldn’t you think he wouldn’t NEED notified his daughter was sexually active?

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    Not to mention that this would be a clear exception to the rule, anyway, since the actual notification should be to the authorities.

                    • Of course the authorities should have been notified. I believe that in cases of suspected abuse of all kinds that is the law. Therefore providing an abortion and sending the girl home is not only amounts to aiding and abetting the crime of abuse, it represents a failure of a responsible party to report. This was all kinds of twisted.

                      (BTW: All notification laws that I am aware of provide for a bypass of the parents or guardians of a minor seeking services by contacting a judge.)

              • The Daughter got in a major snit when a prominent presidential candidate gave the following reason for allowing underage girls to get abortions without anyone being notified — as a doctor he had seen a twelve year old girl and was pregnant by her, I believe, step-father. He had felt it necessary to ‘help’ her. So, The Daughter ranted, he thought it best to give her an abortion and send her back to the home to be further abused … this is considered compassion?

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Well, maybe he figured that the only other way for the person to get away without consequences was for the pregnant girl to be killed, and figured that just killing the baby was an improvement on that.

                  • Right, he’s never heard of foster care. Or throwing the stepfather in jail.

                    • I personally favor “giving the rotter a proper thrashing.”

                    • Which is what he should have done, of course. If they can pull a kid out of the home because he has a suspicious bruise, a pregnancy should be a ten flag alert.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      ‘the person’ refers to the original rapist. I was saying that his sympathies were objectively in favor of the rapist.

                  • except it … oh, never mind. Read the case of the young girl in Germany kept imprisoned in a sub-basement by her father. If her father didn’t want her to have an abortion, Dean would never have SEEN her. He was in fact enabling the abuser.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Yes.

                      People who primarily want predators to see justice do not come down on the side of cover ups.

                      I was more or less trying to say that there wasn’t sense drawing a line between killing the child, and implicitly warning the girl to keep quiet about it, and helping the other guy kill the girl and hide the body. One murder and and some rapes, versus two murders, and some rapes.

                  • The candidate had used this to illustrate how compassionate and caring he was towards women.

      • Do they think it’ll help them get laid? Because it totally won’t.

        Sadly, it sometimes does. Especially if they’re using the “act ‘nice’ (gutless, having nothing you will defend) to get in her pants” tactic. Raving about how horrible men is attracts women who think acting like cads is true freedom, and makes it appear that he actually believes in something above the beltline enough to defend it.

      • It might just be a leftist thing. At least, that’s the only explanation I can come up with for my brother.

  3. Regarding covers and “Skin sells.” One of the odd things is that women are compelled to look at women’s bodies. Its in the firmware.

    • Rob Crawford

      Ever notice how women dress for other women?

        • Sizing up the competition. The going from this to assuming all girls are two drinks away from some girl on girl action is, I’m sorry to break you gentlemen’s hearts, wrong. 🙂

          • Thanks for going there. I’m telling.

            • You’re just upset because I broke your dream. My guys always hate it when I remind them that’s false…

              • Rob Crawford

                Well, there is that romance author I mentioned…

              • Oh yea– poor boys–men– whatever– (AS IF)

              • False in that the meme is disassociated with reality. Does not in any way shape or form stop any of us from having a rich full fantasy life, however. I see it as a rite of passage to manhood for a boy to come to realize that a good many of those fantasies in his head should definitely remain right there in the dank dark far reaches. Pity how so many of our national and world leaders have yet to make that trip.

              • I have been reliably informed by a guy I used to work with (whose ex-wife left him for her girlfriend) that being with two women is not all it is cracked up to be, according to him they pay way more attention to each other than to you.

          • Rob Crawford

            Oh, I know it’s about competition. Men — at least my generation and older — don’t give a rip about labels on their own clothing, let alone on a woman’s.

          • Measuring the competition is part of it. Another part is that it takes another woman (or gay man) to notice the fact that you have matched colours and accessorized in ways to make an ensemble work. Most men are no longer likely to observe that the earrings create a jawline and> pick up your eye colour while working with the necklace to create a proper focus on the face.

            Guys these days are incapable of appreciating a woman’s use of colour, pattern, line and focus because boobs.

            • Some of us appreciate a well dressed woman.

              One reason winter is one of my favorite times of year. High necked sweaters, knee length skirts, boots.

              • Once upon a time in America many men* were capable of such appreciation. Not these days. Write it off to civilizational collapse or to general indifference.

                It is similar to the different ways readers and writers enjoy a story. Readers enjoy the effect, fellow writers enjoy the effect and how it was achieved.

                *Read Nero Wolfe for Archie’s oft expressed appreciation of feminine nuance.

                • Personally, I think female fashion took a – you should pardon the expression – plunge when the Minoans went under and it has not recovered since.

                  • Those would not work very well now. They require women who are in good shape.

                    • Often a problem, yes, though were Minoan fashions back in vogue one suspects most women would fix that.

                    • Some, yes. But you’d also get lots who wouldn’t and just complained instead. Possibly about men who cannot appreciate non-traditional beauty. 😀

                    • Yeah but…well…fuck ’em or, rather, don’t.

                    • I kid you not, some of the dresses I’ve seen on some of the Univision (Mexican) music videos look Minoan: skirts to the ankles and necklines to the waist. Which may go with the advice I read recently that you can have a short skirt or a low neckline, but only amateurs try to have both at the same time.

                    • Yes, if one wears a sleeveless plunging neckline and a short skirt one looks like one is wearing the letter “V”. Well, Ariel Bold, but you know.

                    • And I keep getting disturbing mental images of overweight, 60’s plus women in tubes and stretchy bottoms.
                      <> Must remember to acid wash my brain after that.

                    • I don’t know about your country, but with the increasing weights of women in mine many also seem to have lost any idea of what would look halfway decent on them. Stretchy is comfortable to wear, especially when one is overweight, and yes, I do that myself, but I do try to layer with something more flattering and long enough to cover the spare tire part over those trousers (and choose trousers with looser legs). But you see far too many women who kind of remind one of a sausage forced inside a too tight casing. Maybe it’s because so many now are fat that they find it less of an obstacle on the dating scene. Now I have always been fat – I had some rather serious problems with digestion when very young, and I suspect I may have some genuine problems with my metabolism, I didn’t lose weight even back in my 20’s when I hiked 3 months per summer in Lapland while working for Finnish Geological Survey – but I was one of the two fat girls in our school, fat young people were really, really rare back then. I remember starting to notice fat teens and fat 20-somethings more around only during the 90’s, and now it seems close to half of them are fat.

                • I’m actually very bad at this these days because I have neither the time nor the money to dress WELL and pay attention to all the little things. Now, when I was in college I dressed very well — most of the time in strict thirties style. Those of you who know Robert know this might be genetic. BUT the reason I dressed thirties style is that it was much more feminine and caused more of my desired reaction than mid-eighties attire… There is something in that. Not sure what, but there is something.

                  • I find women who are dressed nicely more attractive than those that dress and basically expose the goods for all to see.

                    My job took me into many office buildings and women in business suits…that is a look that I appreciate greatly.

                    • Dorothy Grant

                      It’s marketing. Speculating about what is beneath the covers, letting the imagination run wild at the hint of curve, is far more fun and interesting than viewing the meat on the budget rack splayed out in all its imperfections.

                    • And dressing nicely, without flashing all of one’s assets (as it were) suggests confidence that you don’t NEED to flash skin for men to find you interesting.

                    • One suspect that with the Minoans, the women always kept something hidden to preserve the mystery.

                    • Physical beauty (as differentiated from grace) is a rapidly depreciating asset that becomes prohibitively costly (in time, money and temperament) to maintain. It is also very easily replaced in the absence of strong social restraints.

                      Basing your market strategy on that alone, eschewing the elements of presentation and enhancements of wit, is a very poor strategy.

                    • Oh, I dunno, Yoli’s almost 52; she’s still pretty hot. Her grandmother kept a girlish figure, despite bearing 12 children that lived, until she died at age 97. Sometimes genetics wins out.

                    • Momma always said dress neatly and discreetly, don’t overexpose yourself for, ‘They will imagine it better.’

                • One of the major problems today, RES, is that if you let a woman know she’s very appreciatively dressed (“that’s a very becoming outfit”, “you’re exceptionally well-coordinated today”, or “those are very attractive”), will get you labeled as “sexist”, or that you’re a “stalker”. Men cannot win, or even be allowed to think that “winning” is possible.

                  I find that an attractive woman is still attractive in most anything she wears. There is a point, however, where what a woman wears can detract from one’s overall impression of her, including, sadly, whether she’s “pretty” or not. Most “modern” women don’t realize that.

                  • It’s why, unless that person is my SO, I pretty much ignore women.

                    Which gets me labeled “gay” by my female coworkers because I don’t ogle them… FML

                    • Why would the failure to take an active notice mean the you are gay? It is a sad state of affairs (sigh, no not that) when people need constant outside affirmation of that sort and attack when you don’t give it to them.

                    • Yep. Robert is often assumed to be gay because he doesn’t want to have a relationship when he is so unsure about his future and being a nice guy doesn’t want to have “just for fun” relationships.

                    • “Which gets me labeled “gay” by my female coworkers because I don’t ogle them… FML”

                      There is an appropriate response to that, although it may not improve coworker relations.*

                      *Then again having such coworkers refuse to speak to you because you consider a defecating cow more attractive might BE an improvement.

            • In our defense, in some cases, they’re so prominently displayed they may as well be on shelves with some track lighting overhead.

              • I can envision the comment now: If you’re going to put them on display, shouldn’t you have track lighting?
                I think for most of the women(?) dressing like this, it would go right over their heads.

                • Keep in mind that, in spite of what you’ve been told in the produce section, it is not — repeat, not — acceptable to squeeze the melons while shopping.

                  • While shopping, certainly not. After you’ve bought them, howev- ah, nope: not going any farther with this. I have more productive things to do. I need to get my office in working condition (no flat surface upon which to prop the word-makey-thingy) and do the word-making thing therein. Besides, my wife is at work.

                • Well, certainmènt, it would go over their heads. If you lit them from below, that would do weird shadow things on their faces.

                  (Runs)

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  Track lighting. Over their heads. I see what you did there.

                  Even if you didn’t intend to. 🙂

            • One important and oft overlooked (meaning: guys are in denial) about women dressing to impress other women is that it derives from the same principle that causes duck-hunters, when they gather, to compare shotguns with other duck-hunters, deer-hunters to show off their rifles and scopes, fishers to brag about rod, reel and lures to other fishers — but in no case do they debate the merits of their gear with ducks, deer or fish.

            • Sigh. Sorry, no. I know you hate to see the dream die. With most women — like me — it would take getting me so drunk I couldn’t function or stay awake…

              • You weren’t around when ‘ludes were popular, else you would realise that for a sub-set of guys this isn’t relevant (although I suspect you are aware of Rohypnol’s common use.) Most (emotionally healthy) guys despise members of that sub-set, viewing them as equivalent to child-molesters.

                But the point remains that being functional nor awake is irrelevant.

                I vaguely recall studies have found that when “hot girl-on-girl action” occurs it has happened primarily to draw the attention of guys, not out of any actual sapphic interest. A moment’s reflection should persuade that a) females are less interested in other females sexually than guys are sexually interested in other guys b) the vast majority of people are not people you want to see nekkid c) actual “hot” chicks don’t have to work that hard to get attention d) there are reasons people have to be paid to do porn and e) alcohol is not generally an enhancement of the drinker’s physical comeliness.

    • > Regarding covers and “Skin sells.”

      (cough) There’s a reason I picked up Dark Ship Thieves.

  4. Rob Crawford

    Ya know, the raunchiest conversations I ever had with a co-worker was with a woman. She’s since gone on to write romance books. Not kidding.

    • Oh. My mom and her sisters in the kitchen before a family occasion were not safe for man or beast to listen to.

      • FlyingMike

        I can attest to this phenomenology. At a gathering of friends a few years ago I let my situational awareness lapse, paying attention neither to the room population by gender nor to the flow of conversation in my immediate vicinity, when suddenly and with absolute certainty I was struck by the realization, once I re-keyed to what was actually being discussed by the exclusively female occupants of the room, that I was IN. THE WRONG. ROOM.
        Luckily my long ago escape and evasion training kicked in and as a result I am here today to talk about the experience, but it was a close run thing.

    • Ages ago, when I worked in-house at a publisher (not sf), I was often the only male in the editorial department. I lost count of the conversations I overheard that would have gotten me fired if any of them had heard me saying the same.

      • For the most part outrage is a ploy to distract and put the target on the defensive. Some portion of it is derived from the belief that it is unchivalrous of a man to assume that a lady is familiar with such terms (while she may object to being termed “a lady” she will be damned before accepting being treated like one of the guys.)

        • Well, I’m okay with certain types of talk from my best male buddies, whom I’ve known for years and for whom I am very much “one of the guys.” BUT from a new acquaintance I’d quelch it. Not so much because I’m offended it but because it presumes too much and if you let it go on they’ll assume you’re a certain type of woman. This happens, yes, and I think it’s subconscious. Every girl used to be taught how to “draw the line” and every boy how to “keep the line.” Not to do so signaled different stuff. Now? These poor chicks (Yes, I can use chick. I apply it to the guys too. Some of the worst man chicks are “supporting” the not-ladies) have no clue. So they want government to hold the line for them. As usual with anything government does it’s sort of like doing brain surgery with a wooden spoon.

      • The only time I really got in trouble in the military was for treating women the same as I would the rest of the people working for me. The two women involved wanted all the privileges of their male co-workers, but weren’t willing to do the same work. One of them was a woman Marine, the other an Air Force Sergeant I assigned to a TEMPORARY night shift.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Quite a bit of the time, entering the conversation with women when they are talking raunchy will lead to being attacked. Being a stealth listener (natural – the women just don’t notice there’s a man in their midst when I’m around), I’ve seen this happen many times. Even though I can often get away with joining in because of the stealth thing.

      • it was never a problem for me. alas I was always that guy that is “friend” material, not BOYFRIEND material…I got used as a bitching sound board by most of my female friends

  5. You had me in stitches today with the ‘stop looking at your junk’ thank you. I will join you in going Indie, and celebrating being a lady when I feel like it. Certainly never a victim.

  6. One last and I gotta get back to work …

    As for men not being nurturing like women, well we aren’t. But we do want very strongly to fix things for those we love.

    • Rob Crawford

      And the impulse to fix things gets us in trouble, because apparently we’re supposed to just listen.

      • Well, that tendency to fix things can lead to telling people who just posted something funny on facebook how to fix their problems, when 1. they didn’t realize they had a problem, or 2. already said they fixed it.

        That can get annoying really quick.

        On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > ** > Rob Crawford commented: “And the impulse to fix things gets us in > trouble, because apparently we’re supposed to just listen.” >

      • Yep– A good point for men– unless she says “I need help,” then you just do your non-listening, smiling thing. 😉

        • And nodding. Nodding helps too.

        • Sorry, Cyn, but quite a few women DON’T EVER say “I need help”, but things like, “That dripping faucet in the bathroom really annoys me”. That translates to men into “Fix the %$@@%$#@# dripping faucet!” Some women are so into “dropping hints” that they really don’t realize how those translate to men. Sometimes things work out, sometimes there’s a VERY LARGE PROBLEM. Been there, done that, don’t like it.

          • Well– I do know it took me a few months to realize the difference between me and my man after he tried to fix things a few times. I now say when I need something fixed. I don’t have many female friends so it is hard to find someone to listen to the drivel. 😉

            • Wayne Blackburn

              That puts you in a very small minority. That of women who actually try to work with their man, instead of expecting their man to read their mind.

              • Did I say he didn’t have to be psychic? Sometimes he does… lol Hey I am NOT that logical– only better than most.

              • Dorothy Grant

                Well, you know, no matter what “culture” pushes, there are those rebels out there, Odd people, who believe in a marriage of equals via bringing different strengths and weaknesses to the table, and working together to make a better, stronger relationship and life together.

                Although, I must admit, no matter how much I have learned when to ask for help and when to say to my husband “I just need to vent”, the stubbornness of jar lids is just one of those things where the “asking” is going to consist of “Yeeaaaaargh! Ow!” Followed by heavy thumping steps, and a pout while a jar is thrust at him. While I should ask him please and tell him thank you, the way my shoulders slump as he effortlessly removes the lid is enough to make him giggle. Although the chuckling seems to start when he hears “Khaaaaan!” from the kitchen even before I come downstairs with a long face and the bullion jar.

                • I’m bad on to ask for help thing…and I see you open jars the same way I do!

                  • Are you living in my kitchen? ARG

                    • Birthday girl

                      I use both these and they really help:
                      Armco Swing-a-way 711BK Comfort Grip Jar Opener
                      Jar Pop (search Amazon for this one)

                    • sweetie, until and unless the boys move out and G-d forbid my love pops off before me or moves to Timbuktu to avoid me, I have jar openers 🙂

                    • Birthday girl

                      Oh gosh, that was so man-like of me … sorry 😛

                    • Sweet, but man-like ROFL. I have a man for that btw. 😉

                    • Men do lots more than opening jars –

                      Brad Paisley – You Need A Man Around Here Lyrics
                      You’ve sure got a real nice place
                      So don’t take this the wrong way
                      But I can tell by your decorating taste
                      You’ve been alone too long
                      You’ve got more candles than a midnight mass
                      That fancy mirror adds a touch of class
                      But do you know how good a mounted bass
                      Would look there on that wall

                      (Chorus:)
                      You need a man around here
                      You can’t do it all by yourself
                      To me it’s painfully clear
                      That you could use a little help
                      Someone to kill the spiders
                      Change the channel and drink the beer
                      Seems to me that you sure need
                      A man around here

                      Thumbing through your stack of magazines
                      I don’t see a Maxim or Field and Stream
                      I haven’t been in a room this clean
                      Since they took my appendix out
                      Well you’ve gotta be kidding me
                      Don’t tell me that thing is your TV
                      My laptop’s got a bigger screen
                      Baby, there ain’t no doubt

                      (Chorus)

                      Someone to kill the spiders
                      And by the way, you’re out of beer
                      Seems to me that you sure need
                      A man around here
                      Yeah, it seems to me that you sure need
                      A man around here

                    • I’ve been known to resort to using a small nail to break the seal on the lid. Don’t judge me! It worked and I sealed the hole with tape after I got the *&^%ing lid off.

                    • Take a knife (not one you like) and punch a hole in the top, releases pressure and it will open easily. If you need to reseal it a large pipe wrench works also, just be sure to apply the pressure at 90 degrees to the neck of the jar, applied at an angle and you risk not having a jar to reseal the lid to.

                      I hurt my wrist in a car wreck and it was several months before I had enough twisting strength (my grip was as strong as ever, just couldn’t twist) available in my hand to open my thermos, much less stubborn jars.

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  Oh, I’m not talking about things like that. I’m talking about things like yelling, “Why didn’t you do [insert action here]???”, when the man has clue zero what he’s supposed to be doing.

                  It is a man’s duty and pleasure to apply light pressure to open jars after the woman has loosened the lid for him. 😉

                  • Jars involve all of our evolved hunting skills, ya gotta sneak up on ’em.

                    • oddly I find smacking them flat against the counter…lid down…helped in opening jars. it’s weird.

                    • Sure … with catastrophic degrees of “open”.

                    • Nah, not that hard. Just tap it. Sometimes it shifts the seal, somtimes it makes a flat spot so your oily fingers can get purchase, sometimes it gives your cramping hands a chance to recover without having to mime the international signal for, “Help I’ve just about ripped my thumbs out by the roots and I need arnica.”

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      My mother actually had a fairly unique method of loosening a lid: She would take a table knife, hold it by the blade, and strike the lid a nearly tangential blow with the handle. Rotate the jar about 15 degrees and repeat. After you go around the jar once or twice, the lid comes off pretty easy.

                      But that was only for when I wasn’t there…

                    • When there’s nobody bigger and stronger to do it, taking a fork or spoon and wedging it under the edge of the lid just enough to break the seal works, too.

                    • Running hot water over the lid can help sometimes, too.

                      On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > ** > Foxfier commented: “When there’s nobody bigger and stronger to do it, > taking a fork or spoon and wedging it under the edge of the lid just enough > to break the seal works, too.” >

              • Gee, Wayne, I find that yelling “grab the water cutoff!” works pretty well for conveying that mechanical assistance is needed. “The light bulb exploded and the fixture is smoking, can you throw the breaker” also gets results. No need to hint or to ask twice. 🙂

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  I find that those work very well, too. It’s the disgusted looks, the heavy sighs, and the crossing of arms and “humphing” (no, NOT humping!) that I can’t understand.

          • I should note that I raised four brothers so it shouldn’t have taken me that long to realize how a man’s mind works.

          • For all too many women it is a case of wrong-footing men: however he responds he will be wrong. While this can be an effective negotiating ploy, in the long run it tends to be destructive of relationships.

      • I do it to fix my problem, which is people who think that having a problem confers the right to interrupt me without question regardless of what I am doing, and without even apologizing, to monopolize my time with a core dump of whatever the problem is (which would be unpleasant at any time).

    • LOL.

      Thank you ever so very much.

    • Arwen Riddle

      If I want sympathy and listening, I talk to my mom or my sisters. If I want a list of possible solutions, I call my brother-in-law. Different relationships serve different purposes.

  7. I am minded of a saying I first heard from a gay friend, so I assume — possibly in error — it originate in the gay “community”: Fuck ’em if they can’t take joke.

    Seems to cover the situation quite well, I think.

    And I agree with Col. Kratman. It would seem to be a Christian duty to provide the needed/wanted/desired offense in full strength at all opportunities.

    ‘Morning, ladies!

    M

    • I first heard it in the Navy in the late 80s. So don’t know– where it originated from–

      • I heard it in the 70s from a friend who hailed from the Philadelphia/Wilmington region, but I’ve no cause to think it originated in that culture. OTOH, he used to work crew for sailboat racers, so it may be that it is a phrase common to the sea.

      • It was current in the Air Force as well – I heard exasperated people say it all the time, and it didn’t have any gay context to me.

    • I think I first heard that in Panama in 1967-68. I’ve heard it in a hundred other places around the world. It’s very prevalent in the military. It probably originated early enough it was considered old by Caesar’s legions.

  8. I’ve mostly been shocked at the way Sarah’s been describing the takeover of SF’s gatekeeper positions by the left in these past few posts. But these… not-ladies… that are whining so much at the moment are a direct product of their education– an education that has consistently shielded them from experiencing competition on a level playing field while dampening their ability to observe cause and effect.

    I attempt to dig into this with my current post:

    Kids Mostly Aren’t Allowed to Play Games Anymore
    http://jeffro.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/kids-mostly-arent-allowed-to-play-games-anymore/

    • You need to reduce that to “Kids Mostly Aren’t Allowed to Play”. The rest is superfluous, except in the “Redneck” part of the world. Heck, most kids aren’t allowed out of the house, much less to ‘play’.

      • Well there is that. A parent remarked to me that “kid culture” is being lost. That had never really crossed my mind until then….

  9. One possible reason to complain about talk of the women who made it before the special accommodations were made is that they are a thorn in the side of those who are now making it with special accommodations.

    It reminds one that it was possible without the changes. It highlights the fact that one is not the so special cutting-edge revolutionary they envision themselves to be. It allows you to be haunted by the realization of the uncomfortable possibility that perhaps you really did not make it on your merit. And it just may draw your attention to the fact that you find that your neutered counterparts are not as exciting as you might like. (And maybe there is something to Bogart and Grant …)

  10. Turnmeister

    Thanks Sarah. I’m an academic and you see the same thing here. For example I’m writing an article on a play that has been interpreted in Feminist terms and I’ve had to waste 2 pages and multiple days to justify, very nicely, since I want to publish it, why that is an incorrect approach.

    • Turnmeister, I grit my teeth when I’m asked why I don’t “do” women’s history. I had to add comments to both my books explaining why there are no women present in them (because there were no women in the region’s economic and political leadership during the period I’m writing about, natch.)

  11. Wow … the sf crowd has all the drama. hf is staid, in comparison.

    • Historical Fiction is limited by how people actually were, even if that limitation often seems ignored in such idiocy as inserting a modern post-feminist sensibility into Regency England or post-Union Texas. This engenders a connection to reality that SF/F lacks.

      Good HF depicts people as they were, not as we imagine we would be in such situation.

      • Which is why there’s so little of it. But yes, they still keep somewhat more anchored. Though we tend to get victimhood cant from the big houses, anyway.

  12. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Barbara Hambly had a (male) tough mercenary shocked by the jokes he heard women making in the bath house. [Evil Grin]

    • I remember that – and thinking it was very true. Guys were often shocked out of their socks, overhearing what women said among themselves when they got down and dirty! The poor dears were quite disillusioned, sometimes.

      • I had a Girl in Chicago back when. One morning I asked if she wanted to meet at our favorite place for lunch. She said she was meeting her girlfriends instead. I went there for lunch alone. the booths were trellised and screened by plants. I heard voices in the booth behind me and realized that the one holding forth was my GF. I was going to poke my head in and say hi on the way out. Then I heard what my girl was talking about. Us the previous night, in explicit detail. Very complimentary she was too but. A bit more detailed about individual touches etc. than I was comfortable with. I tried to pretend it never happened but, couldn’t look any of her friends in the eye afterwards. Yes there existed a woman who could embarrass me.

        • You realize that, had the situations been reversed and she heard you sharing with your buds details half so intimate you could never have made sufficient amends.

          And if you were to cite her comparable sharing you would never have received absolution.

  13. I wonder if the SFWA wymyn realize they were taking part in a giant attack of the vapors that would have done their high Victorian great-grandmothers proud? And then they egged each other on to ever-higher levels of hysteria (in the original meaning of the term, no less!).

    Thank you for common sense, Sarah.

    And, Col Kratman, as a Christian gentleman you are head and shoulders above the common! Thank you!

  14. I think like there’s a “proving your bona fides” bandwagon going on at this point, too. Where it’s gone beyond what the actual or perceived “insults” really were and become “Look, I’m enlightened and respectful, too! Just like you!” Which makes me wonder when we’ll start seeing people who condemned Resnick, Malzberg, and Rabe being called out for not having condemned them *enough*. This kind of thing always starts eating its own at some point.

    • SFWA is eating its own. I no longer have friends in the inner workings of the thing, but when this broke out I thought “I wonder how much membership has fallen in the last year?” They lost me, they lost the two men in the house, they lost at least five of my friends, all over their Amazon-is-evil and siding with the publishers who are eating them alive thing. I wonder how many more they lost. And like every organization, they — of course — are listing heavily left before they sink.

      • Yet at the same time if you proposed to add a sub-group to them composed of Indie writers, you’d get such a blow-back you would be knocked a mile backwards. Stupidity is a terminal illness. Some groups DESERVE death.

        • I’ve seen it discussed.

          Here’s the fifty buck question: do you want it open to people who publish at a vanity press? And if not, where would you draw the line?

      • I’ve sworn I won’t ever join them. Turned down the HWA earlier this year because they were (oddly enough) on the anti-Amazon bandwagon. I’m somewhat confused by the gleeful “eating of one’s own” in order to feel better about themselves. If the Siffwahh wants to remain relevant, they need to do what their charter says they’re supposed to do, and not be a PC-driven anti-everything we don’t like hegemony.

  15. Thank you for saying what I, as an Old White Man, can’t say, even though I continue to be a SFWA member. This is beyond silly. It is, in my humble and probably innately sexist opinion (being convex, and all) criminal and evil, and I think that Mike Resnick has handled it very well. They should not have responded, as they did in issue 202. They should have simply shut up and gone on to the next story. Jean Rabe, who the SFWA board appears to have sacrificed to the PC gods, asked them to respond, and she probably shouldn’t have, in retrospect.

    • Walt,
      You’re right and you’re wrong. This bullying has been going on for years — it’s only a civil war now, because we’re talking back. But if there were NO talking back, it would only get worse. And the plunge in printruns shows it.

  16. For pity’s sake, nobody tell the SFWA’s fearless explorers of possible futures that the Pope is Catholic. The shock could be too much for them.

    • And male, don’t forget that affront to their sensibilities. It’s all a male chauvinist plot I tell you.

      • You THINK you’re joking, but as the election of Francis showed, yes, they ARE upset about that. And about the fact he is Catholic and refuses to play to their beliefs…

  17. We have moved from “I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it” to “I disagree with you say and will fight to the death to be sure you never speak again.” This is NOT progress.

  18. Honestly, I don’t blame these “not-ladies” for feeling so profoundly insecure. In my view, the society that radical feminism has created – a society that no longer incentivizes male honor – is a society that is deeply injurious to women.

    Of course, I do blame these women for resorting to the jackboot in an attempt to resolve their insecurity. Instead, they should do the hard work of re-examining the outright lies they’ve been told about men, women, sex, etc. (But is that ever going to happen? Somehow, I doubt it.)

    • I agree with you, and I’ll quote Heinlein: “When women insist on absolute equality they always get stuck with the dirty end of the stick.” He goes on to say women should demand rights and privileges “all that traffic will bear” and he was right too. But if applied now it would be “rights and privileges to make us more like men.” And that’s wrong. I knew feminism was diving into a black hole when women started objecting to men opening doors for them back in the seventies. I mean, what are you, stupid? Take the privilege and run with it.

    • And it WILL happen. We’re headed to a crash point where it has to. But this nonsense might have ruined more than one generation and it’s going to crash our birth rate along with it.
      Yes, I have got Dr. Helen Smith’s book Men on Strike, and there will be a review Monday if I can.

        • That seems a good cue for this via Dr. Helen:

          “Opposing sexual harassment is a profession and, to some extent, an industry.”
          [SNIP]
          The DOJ/OCR Montana letter is a grab for power. To that extent, it is self-explaining. Opposing sexual harassment is a profession and, to some extent, an industry. The self-interest of the people who make their living opposing sexual harassment lies on the side of lower standards of evidence, broader definitions, and minimization of obstacles to new regulations. Regulatory self-aggrandizement is not a mystery, though it is usually mysterious to the regulators themselves who have a level of difficulty in apprehending their own motives akin to that of anorexics attempting to form an accurate picture of their bodies.

          But empire building is only part of the story. The Montana letter is a step in the long progression of feminism towards a surveillance society. Fifteen years ago Daphne Patai in her book Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism diagnosed feminism’s effort to write “a new chapter in the dystopian tradition of surveillance and unfreedom.” Patai saw the coming emphasis on “transparency, whereby one’s every gesture, every thought, is exposed to the judgment of one’s fellow citizens.” OCR is of course far from this level of intrusiveness, but not in spirit.
          http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2013/06/04/opposing-sexual-harassment-is-a-profession-and-to-some-extent-an-industry/

          • RES, that seems to be universal. I’ve watched “professional racists” at work up close and personal while I lived in Montgomery AL…. Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center being a prime example. Just a bunch of con men and their marks… and con women have joined them.

            • That’s the problem with those opportunistic infections — until repulsed variants will exploit the weakened immune system.

    • A common factor of religious cults is that they ascribe failure of achievement of desired goals to failure to properly adhere to prescribed procedures. If they repeat the rain dance until they get it right, the rain will come.

      It is much easier for these womyn to throw their tantrums harder, louder and farther than it is to engage in the hard self-criticism that is necessary for growth. Faith, unquestioned, is the only thing they believe will grant their desires. That their process precludes production of the desired results is unimaginable.

      They are also, as you noted, incapable of recognizing the effects of their actions — that would require the type of self-criticism and analysis they are most unwilling to engage. Such cults (Femynism, Communism, some sects of Christianity and Islam) are designed to explain failure as a result of insufficient Faith and will eventually find Faith insufficient to ameliorate bad teleology.

  19. 1. According to the SFWA site, the editor of the bulletin has resigned. I don’t know if that means she resigned or “resigned”.

    2. In recent decades I’ve read sf casually and have drifted away without really thinking about it. Now I begin to see why.

    3. In particular, I was impressed by Old Man’s War but the series seemed to turn to pablum as it continued and I gave up. Again, I begin to see why.

    4. Yo, SFWA! A professional society needs a Code of Conduct. And a fully empowered disciplinary committee. Get cracking. I’ll contribute just one item:

    No alien species shall be described as an enemy of humanity. No alien species shall be described as cognitively or morally inferior to humanity.

    Carry on.

    • You are an evil person. Welcome to ATH.

      • Thank you. I like it here.

        I generally throw a snit get restless and change my online community every couple of years, but here I am hopeful of an abiding relationship.

    • “No alien species shall be described as an enemy of humanity. No alien species shall be described as cognitively or morally inferior to humanity.”

      Coffee. Nose. It burns!

      Seriously, I scared the dog on this one, I laughed so hard.

      • 1. I just discovered that the SFWA by-laws provide for honorary memberships. The information—are you reading this, President Scalzi?—moved me to produce this second draft:

        Nonhuman characters shall be depicted in a respectful, inclusive, diversity-affirming manner. No nonhuman species shall be described as an enemy of humanity. No nonhuman species shall be subjected to cultural, cognitive, or moralistic deprecation.

        2. The by-laws also authorize SFWA officers to expel members by unanimous vote. I wonder if there are or will be calls for that.

    • Oh, how nice of Scalzi to “accept” her resignation after he and others basically threw her under the bus along with Resnick and Malzberg. I love how he makes the announcement and then closes comments. I have to wonder if he’s afraid there might actually be folks condemning the action and asking those pesky little questions like, “did you ask her to resign?” or “was she forced out of office?”

      • Personally, I’ve been ‘off’ Scalzi (and I was one of those who read ‘Old Man’s War’ when it was released, a chapter a day) when he blogged that absolutely sickening essay, in the voice of a rapist, in response to a fairly honest political candidate in the last election trying to sort out the complications of abortion with regard to the rights of a potential human being. The politician (whose name escapes at the moment) was a devout Catholic, and answered the question without the same slick grease that lets more single-minded pols escape unscathed when asked to give their opinion on the matter. It was clear to me what the moral question was – and yet Scalzi leaped right in and smeared him as the rapists’ best ally. I couldn’t even get beyond the first couple of paragraphs, the moral stench was so bad. It could be that Scalzi redeemed himself further along – but I couldn’t bear to read that far.
        (For the record, I became pregnant myself under unfortunate circumstances. Not rape, just damned badly misplaced trust in the Significant Other. I was offered an abortion when I was informed that the test was positive, but until the offer was tendered, I had no idea of what I would do. In that instant, I said ‘no’ – I raised my daughter as a single parent and never regretted an instant, or the fact that I was offered aclear choice. But I know and remember how hard it was. It’s a complicated question, and reducing a moral question to the level of being ‘the rapists’ best friend’ is several stories beneath contempt to me.)

        • I have another friend who did the same — kept the baby even though the SO was beneath contempt.
          I salute you. The moral choice is clear. It’s not the baby’s fault!
          Apparently Scalzi didn’t redeem himself, which is why Voxday calls him McRapey. Same reasons.

        • I can’t begin to count the number of young female enlisted that have told that same tale. We (DW and I) got fairly close to a number of them (DW ended up in the delivery room with one young lady). I also know of one case of rape that happened to a young lady that HAD worked for me, but was then working in Europe (her boyfriend’s brother raped her!). Most of them have chosen to keep the baby and rear it. It’s worked out surprisingly well for more than one of them. I know the politician you refer to. It was a “gotcha” question, and he should have been prepared for it. Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda — the trio of “what might have been”. There was a lot said about that incident, and not just by John Scalzi. The Left is notorious for having “scruples” that are right up there with their “morals” — it all depends on whose ox is being gored at the moment.

          • I can’t count them either, Mike – I was recruited by the nurse-practioner to be a volunteer counselor to the young airman who had opted for keeping their babies.It started even before I was released from hospital – they admitted another pregnant airman who had been in such a state of denial that she gave birth even before she had made any arrangements at all.No baby clothes, no crib for the kid, no babysitter, no place to live – nothing. At least, I had organized all that for my myself.

            “Here,” they said, “Talk to this young NCO who has gone through it!” Then, if the young airmen were agreeable to talking to me, the nurse-practioner would call me and give me their name and number. I almost always had to call them.

            The whole abortion issue is a very sore point with me. I especially resent people like Scalzi reducing it the way that he did.

        • Thank you.

          One of my Navy friends is a child of rape. Said person is awesome.

    • Clark E Myers

      I’d say Old Man’s War turns out to be space opera – politics rather than anything even close to my internal definition of mil-sf [my internal definition of mil-sf is rather narrower than most and not the common one – though granted politics is found everywhere as somebody said those who say they don’t play politics merely play it badly] – although again IMHO there was a glaring error in one of sky diving bits so it’s open to any sort of thumb on the scale – maybe Queen Victoria will slap Gladstone on the back and offer him a cigar?

    • “No alien species shall be described as an enemy of humanity.”

      Yep, when a real-life “Footfall” occurs, President Scalzi will go on national TV, and wail “why do they hate us? I blame circuses and their trained elephants!”

  20. Mama Taz? I’m gonna play cut and paste…and post my response from the MGC article [since it was in the same vein..] from there to here….

    I REALLY liked this bit..
    “And your proof is that men like to buy books with naked women on the cover? Oh, my dears, don’t worry – only hetero males. The rest of them like naked men on the cover – as much as women do. Crying that “females on the cover is sexist” is both denying the history of the field and denying a fundamental fact about humanity. We kind of like the opposite sex. It’s why there is still humanity around.”

    Now…….forgive me Mama Taz, because I’m gonna cut loose…

    Yep and let me turn that around for you bitter, busy bodying old biddies, screaming about this subject and saying Resnick and Malzberg are troglodytes and other fancy names. If you want to get all pissy about nearly naked females on some [nowhere near all or a major percentage of] book covers in Scifi….then how aggravating do you think YOUR panting like a cat in heat reaction to the male models on the covers of nearly EVERY GODDAMN ROMANCE PRINTED,[I swear] is to us guys? And do NOT tell me that ain’t true. I worked in a major big name, well known book store for 5 long years. I always got either a laugh or a surge of aggravation when the girl who was responsible for Romance was out….because they usually dumped it on me, and sometimes they dumped it on me even when she WAS there, so I got to know the section well…since it was right next to my area of responsibility. Especially those of us that AREN’T 6′ 2″ eyes of blue[or whatever color you prefer] long flowing locks in the breeze and a body sculpted by untold hours in the gym? Hmmm….didn’t stop to think about THAT one did you? Feeling a bit hypocritical now? No? well you fucking well should be! Now shut the fuck up, sit the fuck down , and stop screaming like a goddamn banshee, and go forth unto your chosen career, whatever it might be,and carry on with it proudly instead of squalling like spoiled brats..

    Oh and Sarah was right about another thing…the vast bulk of scifi fantasy nowadays is female written. It’s also oddly enough, outside of authors I’ve been reading for YEARS, comprises quite a bit of the NEW stuff I buy…because I like what those particular ladies write.. “but but..” Oh WILL you shut up?! I didn’t say there weren’t a lot of male autthors still on the shelves. I said most of the stuff that’s NEW..written NOW and in the recent past…is written by women. I didn’t say nothing was written by men or that that there weren’t a whole lot of male authors on the shelf! Jesus Christ pogo sticking across the Rockies on an inverted cross! You preachy, holier than thou wenches are hard of hearing.
    *walks off mumbling*

    PS..oh KilteDave? on the off chance you’re reading this here as well? Hush..:P

    • My sibling said that it was very hard not to laugh after seeing “The 300” at the theater, because of all the guys fighting to keep their stomachs sucked in as they left the movie. So yeah. Goose, gander.

    • Well said. (Although I’m afraid you’ve just offended banshees….)

      • Nahh…I doubt it.

        • well, you’ll know it if they scream. (Runs.)

          • not too worried about it frankly. 😛

          • What if they don’t actually scream?

            “I HAVE RECEIVED THE BADLY WRITTEN NOTE OF THE BANSHEE.”

            “OOOOOeeeeeOOOeeeeeeOOOOOeeee”

            • LOL. One of the novels my husband is halfway through on — and I NEED to get him to sit down and write — has “fantasy misfits.” You know, a diabetic vampire who has to follow people around and convince them not to have sugar before he has a bite. The soccer mom zombie. A ghost who’s afraid of the dark. I shall suggest a mute banshee to him.

              • Oh, I’d like to read that. In a similar vein – nyuck-nyuck – I’ve got a project fermenting in my head where the protagonist goes around frustrating “Chosen One” prophecies. Because turning tropes on their heads is fun.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Or worse, not completely mute, but who gets hoarse quickly.

                “Ooooooeeeeeoooooooeeeeee *hack* *choke* *splutter*”

              • I think a banshee with performance anxiety issues would offer some amusing opportunities.

                I now wonder whether werewolves suffer werefleas? What problems would a vegan ghoul* confront? Is this limited to “monsters” or do I have to fret over the problems of the young troll who is giving his family agita over his desire to pursue a career dancing tap, or the Norn who develops an allergic sensitivity to the threads she and her sisters must handle?

                *And now I ponder over whether that defines a ghoul who is vegan or a ghoul whose diet is restricted to vegans (low fat?)

                • How about a vampire with dental problems? Could he get a dentist to make him vampire dentures?

                  • How’s he going to get the appropriate X-rays?

                    Or do they not use silver any more in film, as they do in mirrors?

                  • That shouldn’t be a problem. I once went to the old Continuity convention in Birmingham which actually had someone there applying vampire fang caps to people’s teeth at about $1000 a set of four. Cemented and everything; someone demonstrated “vampirizing” a can of Coke….

                    Business went down somewhat after one of the recipients bit a hole in his girlfriend’s tongue while kissing…..

            • I want to add that banshee into my odd circle of family–

    • Why in the world would I do that? And “off chance?” That’s like suggesting “luck,” or – even more fun – “coincidence.”

      • are we at the 3rd stage AFTER coincidence/happenstance, yet? lol
        😛

        • I’m the wrong person to ask: I spent years as a professional paranoiac, and it kinda stuck. That being said, we’re among friends, so enemy action – in the friendly manner of siblings everywhere – is a practical certainty. It’s nice to feel at home . . .

  21. Walter Daniels

    Being as I’m disabled for 17 years (and handicapped since 19778), I see the “glass ceiling” from another side. I had to be twice a good, to get half the credit. Even though I never traded on my status. Having been raised with, “A lady is a woman, but not all women are ladies,” I’ve always had a problem with “feminists.” Equal Pay, or *equal* work, I’m fine. “Equal pay” for _”equivalent”_ work is another story. CS teachers are not the same as English teachers, Historians, or Mechanical arts teachers. Vastly different skill sets, and sadly, very different mental attitudes. Pay _all_ teachers more,and weed out the bad ones faster, H–L yes.
    I’m shattering the “code” when I say that Men need women to soften our edges Becoming ersatz men, is not the way to succeed. Using their differences from men, to do a better job, is. Generally, I’ve found women to be better bosses than many men. Not always, but many times. I have two “adopted” daughters, and an adopted granddaughter, I want them to succeed as people, not “women.”

    • any potential granddaughters I have, I want to succeed as people, not “women”

      • Mark Alger

        Which reminds me of an aphorism I coined by accident back in the day. A man is a man unless he’s a woman in which case he’s a person. Referring to the feminazification of job titles such as chairman, congressman, et al.

        The usage seemed (and continues to seem) that the correct form is used referring to men and the bastardized bowldlerized kowtow to political correctness when referring to women, when you end up with “Madam Chairperson.”

        Which doesn’t strike me as being very respectful of the desire for equality and does look a lot like special privilege.

        M

        • It’s also stupid. If “chairwoman” is negative it assumes women are inferior. It DEVALUES women in the name of feminism.

          This is why when we move I have to have a place for a punching bag. Because if I don’t let off steam SOMEHOW one of these days they’re going to be measuring the radius of destruction where “that author exploded.”

          • Wayne Blackburn

            How may megatons equivalent do you think it will be?

          • “Because if I don’t let off steam SOMEHOW one of these days they’re going to be measuring the radius of destruction where “that author exploded.”
            I’d say you could take my route and verbally destroy the idiots and let off steam that way…

          • I’ve found that when groups try to play musical chairs with naming, any confusion doesn’t last long. They get to have conniptions when others use last weeks approved language, but that’s about it. If all of the examples of a name are weak, whiny, and consider any difference in politics a personal attack, then calling them the glorious para-deity chair will just get that term moved to the list of terms that mean unqualified to be an adult, much less responsible for anything.

            But they do get to generate a lot of hot air on how not being taken seriously for being neither competent nor amusing makes everyone else a bad person.

            • in any debate one of my friends isn’t content and doesn’t consider it as having been worth while [when debating with someone with diametrically opposed ideals from his] or fun unless one of 2 things happen.
              1. they take to calling him names like “ignorant hillbilly” [which he got tonight, then shortly there after he, myself and a number of others were all blocked and deleted for daring to inject facts into the mutual mental masturbation circle jerk.] racist, gun nut or a host of other names and then the other side just gives up in a huff and goes away mad..
              2. they start crying and screaming and then walk away. *grin*

        • That’s a sexist term, Mark! Why isn’t she called “Madam Chairperdaughter”, or the genderless “Madam Chairperit”?

    • Regarding the “equal” vs “equivalent” issue, Thomas Sowell, in his excellent Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality demonstrated that the more broadly defined the category the more the variances in pay. To use a bluntly obvious example, there is great disparity in pay rates for professional baseball players, a disparity that is reduced when you narrow the category to major league baseball players. When you narrow the category further, to hitters, to hitters with power, to hitters with power who also hit for average you find that pay disparities largely disappear.

      In Academia you find the same effect when you subdivide the category of teachers into professors of Language vs History vs STEM and so on.

  22. The passing thought occurred to me that much as the French found out back in the late 30’s with the Maginot line, the job of gatekeeper becomes superfluous once the fence no longer performs it’s intended function.
    I see some valid comparisons between indie and blitzkreig here. No wonder they’ve got their knickers in a wad. They cannot win of course, but I suspect will make the transition as uncomfortable as humanly possible for those they consider the “enemy.”

  23. Clark E Myers

    Interesting to notice the only person who might really have suffered here is the suddenly retired editor – Looks to me as much a cat-waxing contest as a war and when was cat-waxing unusual among writers? Lots of folks have some popcorn and watch this sort of displacement activity for some twisted pleasure. Or who’s paying 5 cents a word for public arguments here?

    • Kate Paulk

      Um. No. Consider that publishers don’t need more than a whisper of an excuse to drop an author they consider “controversial”. And that right now the biggest noise is on how Eeeeevil and SEXIST!!! Resnick and Malzberg are.

      There’s a very good chance they’ll lose fans and publishers over this – which is a potentially significant financial loss.

  24. “I know any number of women who thought they were being paid less than they deserved, hinted, got nothing, got another job. While a man would have gone in and gone “Well, Joe, you know you’re paying everyone else three times what you pay me.””

    Susannah Breslin (freelance journalist published by Forbes.com) confirms this. She also prefers working for men.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/susannahbreslin/2012/05/02/work-for-a-man/

    • I wanted to talk about this subject with a personal experience. I was a typesetter for a publisher in SLC, UT in the mid 80s. Part of the package was that when I had worked for them for a year, they would raise my wage. When the year ended, I walked into the office and asked for my raise. I was told that I was a young female and that I would get married soon so he couldn’t afford to pay me the promised raise (yes, he was Mormon). I quit at the end of the month.

      And that has been my experience. You have to get the wage upfront because if you don’t, you will end up with a low wage. Plus you can ask for a wage, but the owner won’t give you one. If I have to ask for a raise, and don’t get one, then I am looking for a new job immediately.

      • BTW I wasn’t engaged and didn’t have a boyfriend. He based his assumptions on my looks.

      • My experience has been that when that happens, the man in question isn’t a chavinist, he’s just a dishonest ass. And he’s done it to men too, with a different excuse.

        • I am pretty sure you are right SPQR. It did teach me a valuable lesson though. (when you go into business with someone –and taking a wage is going into business– make sure you have it either in the paycheck or in writing).

          • Dan’s first boss was like that with females and just as bad with males, and Dan should have moved on MUCH earlier.

            • yea– The first time I dealt with such a man, I ended up working for him for more than two years. This was the second one– and I worked for him for one year. I found that I really liked the Navy because you had to do certain things to gain rank– i.e. you checked the boxes and you got the rank.

          • Cyn, and I have a specific set of second hand experiences on which I base that. Now there are a subset of such men who just don’t have the guts to pull that stunt on other men – and we can argue what that makes them until dawn.

          • Eliminating employment laws forbidding such discrimination would allow it to perpetuate. It would also encourage people to not assume it doesn’t happen and to address it more openly, both through preparation and denunciation. As it is, if you complain most people will opinie that if it wasn’t serious enough to file a complaint or otherwise involve the law, then you’re blowing it out of proportion.

              • If you ask he will put the other one so you won’t go limping through life… 😉

                There are some things that laws cannot fix, no matter how good the intentions. While there is help for the ignorant, I am not sure there is a fix for stupid.

                • It was backwards day yesterday– I read it backwards to what he actually wrote *sigh … The kerfuffle again– it is causing me stress in my reading life.

  25. How about “Neo-Victorian Prudes”? That covers the “caricature” aspect without opening any arguments about the chair leg story type stuff.

    • They have much to aspire to before they qualify as Neo-Victorians. Though there is a certain resemblance.

      Katie Rophie’s opening character in The Morning After did establish a strong similarity between the advice she got and Victorian advice. What she neglected was to provide even a hint of why the proper response is not “So what in the world was wrong with the Victorians, anyway?”

      • I was thinking along the lines of various “neo-druid/pagan/whateversoundscool” groups where it’s an information-free stereotype of what they WANT the group to be. (I seem to ATTRACT those sorts, because I’m interested in mythology…and most of them aren’t, but use the words…..)

  26. It just seems to me that the current crop of affirmative action programs only weaken the people they are supposed to help. Their supporters, in general, aren’t willing to go the the point of plucking out eyeballs, which is where you have to go to really put an iron grip on a society, but at the same time, they are perfectly willing to continually harass and piss off anyone they deem to be the “Other”, while drinking their own bathwater.

    I’m slowly plodding my way through de Tocqueville “The Ancient Regime”. His assessment of how the prerevolutionary French church managed to completely lose in its conflict with the atheists, even though the atheists themselves had little actual hold of public morals. Whereas England had a great big, no holds barred, public debate, the church in France decided to lawfare the atheists away, and mostly succeeded in makign the hornet’s nest bigger and more pissed off.

  27. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Long ago, I decided that I wouldn’t let people use their relationship with me to influence my opinion of right and wrong in matters of sex. Among other reasons, sex is a very easy way to hurt people, the drive is strong enough that many allow it to lead them to do so, some people like to hurt people that way, and some of those use anything you give them as a handle on you.

    There are a great many males whose actions I have contempt for. Now, perhaps I’m not as exclusive as I originally thought about being, back when I was a kid, and actively being enemies with everyone seemed like a more viable way to go through life. (That said, I do think I have found more allies than I thought I would’ve thought then.) Still, any guy who thinks that they can expect me to endorse them sleeping with someone other than their wife, with wife narrowly defined, as a condition of friendship, has another think coming. I see no reason to let the opinions most other men have of me sway me on these matters.

    Likewise with the females. There is one woman whose opinion matters to me, I feel satisfied that I have consulted with her, and found significant points of agreement. As for the remaining population of females, feel free to hate me, loathe me, call me a misogynist.

    I still think the feminists average out to being on the same level as the pick up artists.

  28. And, in a way, this is why I am not buying John Ringo’s zombie-apocalypse series (in the figurative, or literal, senses):

    The End Of Modern Technological Society means The End Of Modern *Social* Society — no more Pill; no more latex condoms; no more IUDs; none of it. It also means all that lovely automated stuff which keeps Modern Tech-Soc working is going to have to be replaced with Manual Labor (and that doesn’t mean “get a Mexican to do it”), which means a lot more warm bodies — particularly Man-Children.

    Simply put: The *real* story of Faith and Sophia is going to involve a lot of Sitting In Well-Furnished Rooms, Knitting Stockings, While Wondering If They’ll Survive Pumping Out A Unit Every Nine Months For The Next Fifty Years. Fourteen-year-olds leading strike teams? To quote one of Denis Leary’s characters: “Guess what — *NOT* happening!”

    Grey-goo (and zombie stories are the greyest and gooiest of grey-goo) is one thing; *nonsensical* grey-goo is entirely another.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Just going from the sample, I thought it was nice to see ‘virus’ zombie that was relatively thermodynamically plausible.

      Fifty years is probably an unrealistically long operational life for that ‘capital equipment’.

      15 to 45 is probably about the best that can be managed. Nine months spacing is something that seems likely to increase wear and tear to a level that would prevent that from happening. The big driver is apparently the age at which reproduction starts.

      A few computers back, I was playing around with population growth equations, trying to figure out more about what different assumptions meant for human populations.

      Ringo’s zombies are essentially, so far, living people with an induced mental illness that leaves them functioning on the animal level. It isn’t yet clear to me that it is entirely irreversible. There is another unanswered question that I am a) creeped out by b) having trouble phrasing. Anyway, raiding other populations for women is a traditional way of supplementing the reproductive potential of one’s own tribe.

      • You can’t do 9 months. VERY FEW people can conceive for a month after giving birth and some can’t conceive at all while nursing, which you’d think would be vital if tech is gone. And yeah, the 50 year thing made me wonder if there were enhancements. If you start very young, say 14, you MIGHT have 30 years. Maybe. If you’re one of the lucky ones. (Or unlucky. In my case I’m still technically fertile, but that’s “as fertile as I’ve ever been” which is er… Sahara level.)

        • I conceived my second while I was nursing my first, and I did so because I had been assured by my midwife that I could not conceive while I was nursing full-time. That said, the span between them is 18 months, which is not unheard-of (and I’ve heard it called Irish twins).

          Cedar Sanderson Cedar’s FaceArt & Balloons http://www.facepaintnh.com Cell: (603) 998-1647

          On Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 9:13 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

          > ** > accordingtohoyt commented: “You can’t do 9 months. VERY FEW people can > conceive for a month after giving birth and some can’t conceive at all > while nursing, which you’d think would be vital if tech is gone. And yeah, > the 50 year thing made me wonder if there were enhancements. If” >

          • True story – one of my baby airmen managed to conceive and start her second child barely three weeks after giving birth to her first. She and hubby took a weekend at the beach while her parents minded the baby, she and hubby got frisky … and nature took it’s course. She hadn’t even come off maternity leave! We didn’t get any meaningful work out of her for at least eighteen months, because she spent most of her pregnancies on medical bed-rest.

          • Why stop there? Heck, in that one book, Ringo’s advisers were telling him to make sure everybody having a period drank lots of caffeine and sat around. Whereas there’s a large number of women whom caffeine helps with cramps, but there’s about as many for whom caffeine sets off cramps and for whom exercise before and during reduces or eliminates cramps.

            And then there’s Darkover, where every woman in the world apparently has fibroids or endometriosis, at least in books written from 1970 on. (Which was probably a reflection on how bad the ob/gyns in Berkeley were.)

            • Okay… thought I was joking about this, but apparently the one character Hilary was actually the product of having friends and Darkover writers with undiagnosed endometriosis. So basically, they could champion all this feminist stuff but not go to their doctors, and not put in a foreword saying, “If you’re reading this and have these symptoms, go to your doctor and get checked out for endometriosis”? Sheesh, not really feeling the sisterhood of fandom here. Those stories scared a lot of pre-pubescent fannish girls, for nothing, and made endometriosis seem normal for others.

          • Well, my aunt was conceived while my grandmother was nursing my dad and she was ten months younger than dad — they WERE Irish twins — but it’s relatively rare. Your midwife shouldn’t have assured you. She should have said it was unlikely, but be careful anyway 😉

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I was thinking that 10-15 years, spaced every 18 months, might be in the range of medically possible for enough women to be viable without compromising the health of the infants too badly. That said, I don’t have data to support that.

          I really need to look into doing some more sophisticated models, figure out how to handle things like miscarriage rate. Because infant and fetal mortality seems extremely linked to tech level, which is linked to some of the reasons one might want to greatly increase the population.

          • I was under the understanding that two years between babies was better for the mother– She does lose calcium and other nutrients to the baby during pregnancy. Some women can only have one or two without have major complications. Other women like one of my sisters can have ten children with only a few complications (mostly at the end– the body wears out).

            • And three years is better yet. I had four, and the toll on my mind was the worst, my body *likes* having babies and would happily do more even at my age. But the PPD about killed me, so I think I’ll stick to restarting a career. I know not every mother has issues like I did, but I also think it’s more prevalent than is reported, mainly because new mothers in particular think that it’s a bad thing to suffer from. The media uproar over some cases a few years back didn’t help any – I hid symptoms because I was afraid of the reactions even of my family. It’s can you tell it’s something I stress over, even now? LOL

              • Oh yes– I can tell.. I did notice that stillborn babies are more common than reported. I know of at least two in my family.

                In my case I didn’t have children, but I also know I didn’t work really hard at preventing them (now I am in menopause). I have wondered for a long time if I was not very fertile.

                • A…mismatch, let’s call it, between the reproductive systems can prevent fertility. Of my dad’s brothers, only half had any kids; those that did, had no problems conceiving. The wives of the two that didn’t were from easily fertile families, same as the wives of the others…it just didn’t work out. Oh, and the sons of the ones that had kids have had no problem having kids, so it wasn’t freakishly high fertility in the families of the wives that had kids.

                  It was a bit further up in the conversation, but:
                  after my c-sections the doctors all told me to wait a year before becoming pregnant again, and nursing seems to reduce fertility, but shouldn’t be confused with chemical sterility.

                  • Umm– my sisters who were fertile (3) had a lot of children. The brothers not so much. My hubby had two children before we married. But he was also in his mid 40s and I was 31 when we married so that might have contributed. It was a first marriage for me btw– and no boyfriends or any encounters before the hubby. 😉 I just met him too late probably.

                    • *shrug* I know a lot of gals that didn’t have kids, and wanted them, think it’s either all their fault or that there’s something wrong with their husband; it was kind of interesting to find out that folks can be totally functional and sometimes they just can’t manage to get pregnant with a specific person. (To be fair, gals’ systems break a lot easier.)

                    • That was our diagnoses for the longest time, but it turned out the issue is that I have luteal phase issues. That’s just hard as heck to detect. So until the placenta is producing pregnancy hormone, they don’t hold. For Robert I actually got hormone shots from day one. Marsh… I don’t know. A miracle occurred.

                    • Well– I was in the Navy and I had to keep that trim figure so I was probably infertile because of it. 😉

                    • An interesting thing occurred to me looking at family-groups in photos recently. Given my completely different lifestyle, diet, etc, I track amazingly well with my relatives/ancestresses in Portugal at my age. The statistical difference is NOT significant.
                      My little cousin has been going through infertility forever, and they keep making her lose weight, and I wonder if that’s right. I mean, our ancestresses were er… boyant and had a bunch of kids. I wonder if the ideal bmi is “person specific” and if the “you must be thin” thing is making a lot of women infertile.
                      Yes, I know all these things tracked with fat: diabetes, heart disease even cancer. But are they caused by, or do they just exist in families that have this tendency to gain weight anyway? Also, how come as we got fatter and fatter, our lifespan kept growing?
                      I’m just asking, see? Medicine by statistics seems to me is the present day equivalent of treating epileptics with exorcisms.

                    • One of my most frequent grouses about Obamacare is: just as we’re learning enough about the genetic code to custom tailor medical therapy the government is forcing us into “one size fits all” treatment.

                      Mass production of clothing made it practical to have multiple ill-fitted outfits — unless you believe that men’s neck circumference is a reasonable indicator of chest and shoulder size … and that all women have bust, hips and waist ratios of approximately the same proportion with uniform vertical distances between them..

                    • I’m not even that good shape and sometimes I have to wear Large only because my upper arm has too much muscle to fit in a Medium sleeve.

                      Luck I like loose fitting clothes.

              • I should mention that PPD is a really hard thing– I think that when my mother handed me my brother (I was 14) after he was born, that she may have been suffering with it. She still dislikes that particular brother… Plus then it was not talked about or treated.

                So yea– I can see that it would have killed you–

              • PPD? I became fat, stupid and … not happy but very emotional. And this is why I HATE being pregnant. I love having babies though, and would have a dozen more even now if I could. I’m starting to understand why grandma (MY G-D, in my earliest memories she was only thirteen years older than I’m now.) was “grandma” to the whole village.

                • Post Partum Depression. I had it after all four of them. You know what I do for work right now I like playing with kids, and giving them back at the end! Not likely to become the universal mother. Pregnancy is great, after is rough. My hormones are messed up. It’s fascinating as I study, to find out how different each individual is, though. It’s amazing diagnosis works at all, sometimes.

            • On average, a woman in colonial New England had ten, if she lived through her childbearing years.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              As I recall, my modeling back in the day was with pregnancies spaced two years apart. (I was working it by steps, because I understood that way better than the differential equations I learned about population growth modeling from.) It was a very naive model.

              Oh, when I said 15 to 45, I was talking in ages, and comparing them to ‘period of reproductive utility’. This was my error in comparing apples to oranges, I should converted ’15 to 45′ to 30 years at some point.

              • Oh well– I am pretty sure that older women should have a much much longer time between babies. After 35 (I have watched my mother and sisters) it was harder to make a healthy baby.

                • yep. After 30 your fertility “falls off the cliff” in most cases, and you get maybe a kid every fiver years. In my case, right after peak years, all I get is miscarriages…

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Yes, the lower bound is set by psychology, and whether the body has developed enough, and the upper bound by not getting near as many healthy babies. Tech might be able to do something about parts of the upper bound, but there is unknown stuff going on there, some of which is a matter of human ignorance, and not just my own.

                    As for lower bound, that is probably more critical for growth rate.

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    Unless you’re my grandmother, who was pregnant 12 times between age 20 and when she died at 43, and had 10 who lived. On the other hand, it’s pretty certain the last one killed her. She died a week after he was born.

                  • My grandmother had 9 in 18 years, all two years apart, I have no idea if this was plan or happenstance. She died of breast cancer when my mom was 16, so there is no way of asking. The kids did tend to birthdays approximately 9 months later than the the months my grandfather was traditionally laid off, however. 😉 (he worked construction)

          • You also conceive less often if you’re stressed or ill.

            • Yes, your body shut down less essential systems in order to survive. This is why I didn’t conceive my son (last child) until 3 1/2 years after the child before him. I was sick enough to not remember her infancy. I really didn’t want another baby

            • Also if your body fat is not up to a certain level.

              • Which probably explains part of why men, in spite of billions of advertising dollars cramming skinny wraiths down their throats, still express preferences for a woman “with a little meat on her bones.”

                Same principle that causes a stripper’s tips to increase when she is ovulating. Hoomans is the cwaziest ani-mules.

        • Genealogists go by the rule of a child every other year — though they admit it’s a rule of thumb, not hard and fast.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      On zombies: realistically, I understand zombies as a way of having the intersection of rioters and druggies without having to outright admit it. Because admitting it in the open would have marketing and liability issues, and might prompt rethinking whether we should be bending over backwards for the rioters and the recreational drug users.

  29. Well, I guess Scalzi has put paid to any silly idea that he was going to put SFWA on any path to relevance. F’ing coward.

  30. I remember stacking 6 to a room at a con. I also remember threatening everyone if they did not take a bath either all together or separate I did not care and use soap I was going to get chemicals and scrubbing brushes off the maid cart and do it for them

    • I’ve seen people online, regrouping and trying to work out a better way to encourage bathing than handing out soap at the con. . . .

    • Rob Crawford

      What is it with cons and an aversion to bathing?

      • I gather that men, when long incarcerated, will sometimes use the opportunity of “shower time” to abuse less assertive members of the community. Women, according to the few documentaries I have seen, are even more exploitative of the opportunity provided. In either circumstance it is easy to understand cons developing a reluctance to bathe.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          I first read “incarcerated” as “incinerated”, and wondered what difference it made how long they were incinerated…

          • Well, of course the temperature matters more than the length of time, but you do need a certain minimum to reduce them to a suitably fine ash.

      • They’re busy doing other stuff.

        • I believe that logic goes: Hey, I paid for this party and I am going to get every penny’s worth. I can sleep, eat and bathe once I get home. I’m young, so hand me a candy bar, give me a nap and I’ll be good to go.

    • Have any of you ever seen what a GI scrub brush and lye soap does to a person? Used to do that with barracks people that didn’t bathe often enough. You only have to do it once to instill a lifetime desire for cleanliness in a person. You get wet, you get bruised, but the other guy gets clean!

      • A friend once came to a con defensively armed with Fabreze…

        This past year I had to explain to one young man, who worked hard as a gopher, that wet wipes were not a sufficient substitute for a bathing through a long weekend if a shower is available.

        • I have been camped out (on top of a mountain) working for the last couple weeks, while a sponge bath* is far preferable to nothing, I will note that I don’t want to be around myself, much less anyone else by the end of the week.

          *I WILL remember my Solar Shower next week.

          • You most certainly have my sympathies.

            In high school on a school trip I stayed in a rustic cabin in the Catskill in early spring for a week. Didn’t mind the lack of central heat or hot water. Didn’t mind the wood stove for cooking and heating, and all that it entailed. Didn’t mind the out house. (Although I considered thumping the other girl on the trip, who insisted on waiting until we were warm in bed to decided she needed to use it and insisted I go with her to check for critters.) The lack of a bathing facility I really minded.

            If I have been very ill with something that results in becoming a bed ridden lump, like the flu, I know I am in recovery when I wake-up with a burning desire to get myself clean . 😉

  31. You know perfectly well that what Resnick and Malzberg were criticised for was NOT “mentioning their gender” but putting the women down with references to whether or not they looked good in bikinis and the clear assumption that what they did was a lot less important than their appearance. As far as women not being able to write like a man and “their writing being a different flavor” not doubt that explains Robert Robert Silverberg’s insistence that the very female James Tiptree, Jr. had to be male because no woman could write like that. I suggest you check your own gender prejudice because there are more than a few women who are prejudiced against their own gender and you show strong signs of that rather sad malady.

    • WHAT IN HELL puts women down by saying they looked good in bikinis. And none of the article I read said that, so you must be reading braile.

      I used to look good in bikinis.

      WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I’m not prejudiced against my gender. I’m prejudiced against idiots male and female, and oh, my heavens, are you ringing the idiot bell loud and clear.

      I’ve lived where there is real prejudice and real discrimination against women. You American candy ass females are prize idiots conducting wars on language, while not a word is spoken about the abuses of Islam, say, because oh, my heavens, littlebrownpeoples.

      Lots of idiots have Marxism instead of brains. YOU show signs of that malady.

      • Lots to be said, you know, Sarah, for making “linguistic matricide” – the murder of one’s mother tongue – a capital offense.

        • Oh, heavens yes. Next time I come across another idiot typing something about “herstory” … well, let’s say it will be one time too many.

          Also, for the record, Silverberg was wrong about Tiptree. She’s nearly unreadable.

          • Geez louise– I wanted to say itstory for the wanna-be genderless. *sigh

          • Actually I’ve read several males that were nearly unreadable, so I would argue both men and women can write like that.

            MOST women do have a different flavor of writing than men however, not better or worse, DIFFERENT! Why are those on the warpath against prejudice always so prejudiced against anything different?

            • With my friends, women tend to write more character, and men more plot. But since good writers do both, once you become proficient it blends.
              Sorry — I just have very little patience towards New Wave male or female, and I’m still puzzled as to what Silverbob has to do with the price of potatoes. Boy, I bet he’d look awful in a bikini!

            • On the subject of unreadable males, does James Joyce count? The only thing I read of his was A Portait of the Artist as a Young Man, so I have no idea if (say) Finnegan’s Wake is as bad as it’s reported to be.

              Ooh, I just remembered one of my favorite literary games. You take two book titles and mash them together, then describe the result. For example, Gone with the Wind in the Willows – a Southern gentlemen (who happens to be a toad) fights to save his ancestral home in the midst of the Civil War. Or Huckleberry Finnegan’s Wake – a young Irish boy takes an incomprehensible raft journey down the Mississippi.

              Your turn! 🙂

              • My husband hates James Joyce with a burning purple passion. He’ll wake me because the book he’s reading quotes Joyce, and he feels a need to tell me he loathes Joyce.

                Eh. It’s all a matter of taste, right? I’m not crazymad for Joyce, but it doesn’t bother me that much.

              • I remember trying to wade through something by Joyce (I forget what), many years ago. Another truckload or two of No-Doz and I might have made it. . .

              • Thomas Hardy “Jude the Obscure”, junior year of high school. I loathed that novel and made sure our senior honors English class never read a one of his works.

            • One notes that Silverberg’s observation included the comment that he didn’t think that Hemingway could have been a woman, or Austen a man.

              • He doesn’t know some of the men/women I know. But that’s besides the point. Like thinking that Portuguese/English are practically the same language, he’s entitled to his opinion. Certainly they’re more so than Japanese/English, but all the same…

    • ” I suggest you check your own gender prejudice because there are more than a few women who are prejudiced against their own gender and you show strong signs of that rather sad malady.”

      I suggest that you look in the mirror if you want to see a specimen with an advanced case of that particular malady. You really believe it is prejudiced against women to say that they are strong enough individuals to both write an intrigueing story (based on its own merits, NOT the gender of the author) and appear feminine?

      • This is argumentum ad accusation — when someone opposes you, they’re prejudiced. It’s also known as Marxista excrementum in craneum. (Please, Tom, do not kill me for pig Latin. It’s deserved.)

        • Worse than that, really, Sarah. More than anything, this kind of argument is a claim of subhumanity on the part of the person disagreed with by the person disagreeing. It’s a kind of proto-Nazism: “Well, you’re just a subhuman Jew so your opinion cannot possibly matter.”

        • Well of course, if you expect the pigs to understand your insults, it’s best if you speak their language. (of course they don’t consider that an insult, rather it is proof of their superiority)

          • Oh, I also loved the “you know perfectly well” — how does this person know I know perfectly well, when I put right in my post that I didn’t have the whole post (but friends read it) and while I didn’t see anything about bikinis, I assumed if it was there, it was a passing reference. My friends (who btw are both female) who read the articles in full seemed puzzled by the thing about “bikinis” too, so if it was there, it was such a glancing reference it didn’t matter. But even if it WERE there — how did this person “KNOW” I “knew” perfectly well. I guess when you join the herd and start mooing they give you psychic powers. Who knew?

        • Pig Latin is appropriate when describing a sow.

          “You know perfectly well” is the linguistic trope of peripatetic scolds (however plumbed) incapable of basing their arguments on what has actually been said and thus project their inner confusion onto others in order to enhance one’s self worth through proclamation of victimization.

          It is handy in that it signals that nothing which follows merits serious attention or thoughtful consideration. It is the white stripe down the skunk’s back.

          Really, Sarah, your site is attracting a very inferior grade of troll these days. Can’t we find something rude to say about Andrew Sullivan, in hopes of improving the vermin?

        • Sarah, addressing the originator of this thread in it’s native tongue is far more courtesy than it deserves.

    • Kitteh-Dragon

      Jrtomlin – how very interesting. You claim psychic powers and abilities, go on to say demented things about bikinis that someone else told you, and end with sounding rather like a shrill magpie. How very, very Victorian of you. Were you waving your smelling salts under your nose to keep from fainting when the attack of the vapors hit? Real women, and real men, can take thinking about females in bikinis without all the histrionics – dare I say, hysteria (knowing what the root of that word, in Greek, is).

      Yes, sadly, such a low grade of trolls. This one will take a lot of catnip to even be palatable!

    • “[T]he clear assumption” was a figment of the silly feminist imagination. Resnick and Malzberg’s crime was daring to fail to genuflect to the Cathedral of Political Correctness but there was no actual substance to your or the other accusations against them.

    • Poppy cock.

      The women in my family have been breaking barriers for well over a century. They did it without the help of affirmative action, thank you. And they managed to do it without becoming pseudo-men either.

      Grandma Gertie was a southern grand dame who, when she served in the WACs, could tell an admiral to jump and he would have asked, ‘Yes, ma’am, how high ma’am?’ She also had an hour glass figure, peaches and cream complexion and honey gold hair — and would have been insulted if you didn’t notice she looked good in anything she choose to wear.

  32. “they are on trial for being ‘older white men’ and for being horrible horrible people who appreciate female beauty”
    Sounds like Wiscon types who expect men to be aroused by a woman’s ability to discuss the minutia of Maoist theory. 😉