Boys and Girls

I wasn’t exactly a tomboy.  It’s more that, as I am now, I was almost completely oblivious of gender, in pursuit of things that were “interesting.”  (Not people who were interesting mind.  There my preference was and is male, and right now is concentrated on one person.  And he’s very interesting indeed!  So interesting I married him.)

Not that I wasn’t aware of being a girl, or of what was expected of girls.  Because I was born very small and very premature, my mom decided the normal clothing for girls in Portugal, which was skirts and skirts only (though this wasn’t a modesty thing.  This being the early sixties, most of the skirts even for kids were above the knee) would get me sick more often than wearing my brother’s cut-down pants.

Was this true?  Who the heck knows?  Maybe my legs/feet would have been desensitized to cold.  But it was easier for mom to cut down my brother’s worn-out pants and because she was an expert seamstress to make me pants from the same fabric, minus worn spots.  She also sewed leather patches on the knees, because I was forever falling.  That alone might have made me less sickly, because in that place, at that time, any scrape could turn into a serious infection, and I was always doing harebrained things like exploring nearby woods and balancing on top of my grandfather’s wood discards (he was a carpenter.  Sometimes he recycled wood, like architraves from pulled down buildings.  For some reason these in Portugal were often made of mahogany or Brazil wood or other woods it would be criminal to just throw away.  They also made lovely rickety piles in the background for me to play acrobat on.)

Anyway, the fact I always wore pants and had an extreme allergy to metal and therefore couldn’t have my ears pierced (there might be other reasons.  My dad has a horror of piercings, and the words “savage” and “mutilation” will drop from his lips when this is mentioned) made me in the local kids’ views “half boy.”

I didn’t like this, and – like the boy named Sue – I learned to fight before I could walk.

And I liked playing with dolls.  Okay, most of the playing with dolls involved styling their hair.  (People tend to think I’m nuts when I tell them hairstylist was a profession I actually considered/would have taken if I hadn’t qualified for college.)  This meant after about two years my dolls were bald and had to be replaced.  (Which explains the “good dolls” I was never allowed to play with.)

Weirdly, I never played dress up myself, except for, when mom was away, putting on her satin nightgown, her pearls and her high heels, and strutting about playing at being Empress of the known world.  But since I mostly spent that time directing imaginary armies and having imaginary people put to death, I’m not sure it’s a girly thing as such.

I didn’t take much to needle work until I was out of the house.  I think this is because my mom had a tendency to huff at how slow/clumsy I was, take the project out of my hands and finish it herself.  I don’t know what she thought she was doing, but she MUST have done something – which involved my discovering a passion for cross stitch/sewing during my exchange student year.  I still like it.

But I like making things – that’s something that remains – so I used to follow granddad around and learn to build stuff.  He called me his “boy” which means “helper” and was highly amused because none of his sons or grandsons took an interest.

I also liked reading – but when I wasn’t sick  (An intermittent thing) – I was a very active sort of kid, so I didn’t read all the time.  I built cities out of legos; I built landscapes out of dirt; I spent my time exploring fascinating places.  And I loved the equivalent of matchbox cars.  Not ball games, because I was dreadfully uncoordinated, and therefore barred from most of what the boys in my generation and place played at – mostly soccer – as much as out of the girls elastic or rope jumping and various games of dexterity/balance.

But the other games girls played, which mostly involved insipid stuff like telephone and gossip, and sitting quietly around bragging to each other, or treating their dolls like real babies, were really uninteresting after a while.

In my mid-teens, I developed an interest in making paper dolls and their elaborate wardrobes, but again, I like making things: paper, cloth, wood, clay…  I find making something out of nothing fascinating.  (Which now I think of applies to writing as well, I suppose.)

But even then, most girls weren’t interested in MAKING their paper dolls.  They were interested in collecting them and getting the real expensive ones.  Making the dolls characters in stories, and playing your made up story on the kitchen table was either annoying or boring to them.

The boys on the other hand, were often doing interesting stuff.  Okay, at my age when I was in elementary school, this involved (mostly) beating the snot out of each other, something that bored me as much as the girls’ mind games.

But my brother was ten years older, and his set, even in the village, did stuff like make little sail boats out of wood and sail them in the irrigation ditches.  Or play cowboys and Indians with pop guns around the village.  Or go watch the ox team draw up water for the irrigation ditch.

If I was well enough I was usually counted on to be trailing them, my hand in Alvarim’s (who it must be said had infinite patience for my following him around.)

And they collected comic books, and discussed them passionately.  And they read westerns (so did my cousin Natalia, but though a little more girlie than I was – she read romances – she was more like me than the conventional girl.)  They discussed that too.

I also hung out with my male cousins, on mom’s side, a year and two years younger than I.  They were tamer (at least around me) than the boys my age who seemed to pound each other’s head into the ground every other minute, but they played my type of thing.  Legos, and cars on pretend roads, and pop guns, and plastic swords…  Fun stuff.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I spent a lot of time around boys and young men, and then men.  I have the gift of “fading” which Wayne Blackburn claims to have too. (And I see no reason to doubt.)

Though at fourteen or so I decided I liked guys’ attention and know (or knew.  Right now I want ONE man’s attention, and he’s all too easy to get it.  I go up to him and kiss him.  that’s it.) how to get it, and can dress to attract it when I so choose, most of the time, if I’m out with a group of men and we’re just buddies (I now have a relatively large group of female friends, which is odd for me – though they’re Odd too, to be honest – but over half of my friends and the people I relate to, are still male) I have the ability to “fade” as a woman, so that while they don’t think of me as a guy (if you asked them they’d go “Uh?  No, Sarah is a chick.” Though they might say a lady if they thought I cared.) they also don’t think of me as a woman.  This means I hear more things, and know more things about men – apparently – than the average woman.

When I read Self-Made Man where the author spent a year as a drag king passing as male, I spent two thirds of the book going “how come you didn’t know that before?”  The differences were more in the milieu in which she passed, which was mostly working class.

Look, I have working class friends, like I have female friends.  I don’t judge people by the level of education they have attained.  But there is a sort of inverse-prejudice among normal manual laborers about “eggheads” particularly women eggheads.  So, I retain very few working class friends who aren’t Odd and usually better read than I.  She was submerged among NORMAL working class people.  So there are cultural differences there.

But the rest – bah.  I knew all that stuff.

I can well imagine why the modern feminists are the way they are.  They started off by playing with all girls.  (One of my earliest memories is of being dragged by the back collar away from a group of local (and very low class) boys with whom I’d been playing tiddly winks, while Grandma proclaimed “Boys play with boys and girls play with girls.”  My reaction to this was a mental – I wasn’t stupid enough to say it – “Poo! I’d rather play by myself than with those ninnies.” But I think it took in most girls.  Or perhaps they didn’t need the admonition.)

I suspect their first exposure to boys in a group was in some traumatic situation.  There were plenty of those for me too.  For instance, in elementary boys and girls attended separate school rooms, side by side.  The boys used to boil out of their side, in a pack, and do the stupid carp boys do when they’re showing off for each other: pull our pigtails, steal our books, laugh like hyennas.  There was also a group of multiple-year-repeats (meaning they were sometimes five years older than the rest of us) who were thorough bad lots, and who did worse, including feeling us up (which felt just wrong, and frankly was, since until fifth grade, when we went on to middle school) we were all basically boys except for one crucial difference.  Flat as boards, and just as scruffy. It got so bad, our teacher was afraid of them, and sometimes wouldn’t let us out until a father showed up to drive them off.  Most of these guys now have prison records, so this wasn’t just being fluffy.  This is when I discovered the weapon-like capabilities of my book bag, and would often lead the way out swinging it left and right.  (I was tall and big for a Portuguese girl of my generation.)

Anyway, those boys horrified me, though being me, it was less “Oh, ick, ruffians” and more “Oh, they make me sooooo mad.”

But I can see most normal women going “oh, ick, boys” and when the feminist establishment and for that matter the school itself preaches to them that men are a sort of untermench that have – inexplicably – oppressed women for centuries, they go a little crazy and start imagining things about men that even they would realize was insulting if someone said them about women.

Which brings us to this insanity.

They talk about boys being lazy and stupid, and they view this as perfectly logical.  There is a sneering hint that men are defective women.

Perhaps it is because I read a lot of history, and have come across texts detailing how women are defective men, and how women couldn’t learn like men, and how—

If you told any feminist that in a school system most teachers were men, the learning style was competitive/non cooperative – designed for most boys over most girls – that it required them to do things – instead of just reciting things – that it was designed for male development milestones and that most male teachers had been taught girls were bad/lazy – and girls were failing in record numbers…  They’d be up in arms.

But the same thing applies to boys, in our system right now, and the response is that boys are bad/defective.  And when boys won’t read books with girl main characters, it’s the boys who are broken, but back in my day when girls didn’t like books with boy main characters, we needed more books with girls as heros.

I’m tired of this stupidity.

I went through a genuinely anti-girl system, particularly when it came to the sciences.  It was assumed and not even questioned that I was stupider than all the boys, and it always shocked the teachers when I came up top of the class.

Well and good.  That’s fine and dandy.  I didn’t like it, and it should have been corrected.  (Most of my teachers were female, btw, they just believed boys were superior.)

But correcting it with myths of boys as defective and broken girls serves no one.

For one boys treated that way get broken.

I’m not going to say girls aren’t suited for STEM degrees.  If I hadn’t had digit dyslexia (not quite disnumeria.  I could figure out numbers fine, I just switched the representations around without realizing) I’d have taken engineering.  And my science grades were always great.

What I’m saying is that most girls, unless insanely pushed, have no interest in STEM degrees.  Just like most girls had no interest in playing with pop guns and could discuss dresses and frills for hours.  (Which bored me stiff.)

Men and women are different.  Women are more social-group-integration directed, for instance.  Also my teachers who believed “men are smarter” were not just victims of the patriarchy. Women IQs and general performance tend to cluster in the mid ranges.  This makes most women smarter than about half the boys.  But the other half of male IQs clusters more towards the exceptional end.  (There’s still a contingent in the middle, which is why it’s called average.  But boys throw out way more morons and geniuses than women do.  Which of course, makes the life of female outliers h*ll on Earth, but never mind.) Because of the self-selected environment – to go on to fifth grace academic (as opposed to vocational) track you had to pass a comprehensive exam that only about 1/3 the kids passed (sometimes less) – there were more exceptionally smart males than exceptionally smart females in the sample.  The morons of both kinds had been weeded out and there were more “normalish high” females.  Also, females hated having better grades than their friends and adjusted (this seems to be evolutionarily driven) while males committed to an academic career excelled and competed.

To be fair, though, the system as was allowed to me excel even as a female, while until college it seemed like the boys were getting downchecks FOR being male, regardless of what they did.  In college it’s somewhat more fair (and challenging.)  Also, I don’t think the teachers were indoctrinated against females and into thinking women were evil.  They thought us dumber, that was all.  Also, not one of my teachers ever suggested I should be MADE to behave like a boy or that females were obsolete.

The hate that pours out of this stuff when I hear it, besides seeming the personal problem of a generation of feminists, makes me sad for the boys getting this in school.  And girls too.

Look, boys might be “better” at science (grosso modo, on average, for certain sciences – I know extremely competent women in science.)  And girls might be “better” at social things.  But every lab needs someone who also understands how to coordinate a team of brilliant and not very social people. And every soft science should have someone who wants to measure and count and test against reality.

If we handicap and one gender, we handicap both and – eventually – civilization itself.  And let’s face it, we modern women are creatures of civilization.  Remove antibiotics and the pill, and life as a female becomes short, brutish and nasty.

That is one way to resolve the gender war.  But not one I’d wish on my descendants.

 

 

 

285 responses to “Boys and Girls

  1. I used to prefer playing with boys too, until school when that resulted in rather merciless teasing. The couple of boys who had been my friends gave up first and I was rather pissed at them because of it. 🙂 After that I have mostly had female friends. But it seems I’m one of those people who falls between the sexes in some ways, I like several ‘manly’ things (not group sports though) better than a lot of feminine stuff and the way I learn best seems to be somewhat closer to the average male than the average female. So preach on, sister, I fully agree that where we are now, or where we seem to be going, is not good.

    The older system definitely did have its faults (since I’m not good marriage material I rather do like living in a system in which spinsters have lots of career choices and can become valued members of society instead of maybe having to rely on some reluctant relative’s financial support) but the way the efforts trying to fix those faults seem to have ended, well, it seems awful lot like trying to fix a too short blanket by cutting off a part in one end and then sewing it to the other end. Sorry, genius, the bloody thing is still too short.

    (That is, btw, one parable used here, people say something like ‘a fool repairing a blanket’ when somebody acts stupidly and everybody knows what they are referring to – do you have something similar, or possibly the same one, said a bit differently? There are some others too, all kinds of obviously stupid stuff these imaginary people called ‘Hölmöläiset’ do, but that blanket one is the best known. ‘Hölmö’ is one of the milder words used for ‘fool’).

    • Hmm. The cutting off the blanket and sewing it to the top to make it longer was an example given to me about the stupidity of Daylight Savings Time. The US is probably not the best place anymore for anecdote studies since you never know where it came from or how it got here.

      • Not studying, mostly just collecting. There have been occasions when some sort of saying would have been just right for some bit of dialogue, but finding appropriate ones in an other language can be surprisingly hard. Maybe because they are exactly those cliche bits writers tend to avoid and you don’t see them nowhere as often as you hear them. So I know Finnish ones but far fewer English language ones.

      • You know, cutting off the foot of a blanket and sewing it onto the top (or pulling it up) works really well when your feet are warm but your chest is cold.

    • I read a collection of Finnish folk tales as a child, and one thing that stuck with me is the story of the fool who has his wife cut a strip off the bottom of the blanket to sew it on to the top. I have explained current economic policies by deducing that he became the president of an academy for policy makers.

      I can’t think of an English expression that is quite equivalent.

    • When the ’60s feminists bra-burners began to make it clear that their goal was to turn the tables — female superiority rather rather than bring parity — they both strengthened their movement and routed it onto a side track. Strengthened the movement by ensuring heavily committed membership, side-tracked by ensuring they would never be the mainstream because they ignored (denied) the entirely legitimate desires of many women (and men) for the lives the feminists demanded they abandon.

      It is one thing for a person to desire to be a doctor, an architect, an engineer, a lawyer or banker regardless of their plumbing; it is quite another thing to deny that the vast majority of people want none of that, they merely want something with regular hours, decent pay and working conditions and which they can go home from at day’s end. Most people don’t aspire to high status careers, and at the bottom economic rungs the benefits are mostly non-financial: schedule flexibility, ability to wear comfortable shoes, pleasant working conditions.

  2. Amen Sarah.

    Ya know, on the blog of one of Larry Correia, the phrase “cismale gendernormative fascist” has become a running gag. For those out there who are unaware of the meaning of this ‘delightful phrase’ is as follows:

    Cismale – A person who was born with a penis and has no desire to have it surgically converted into a vagina. This type of person is, to the modern feminist movement, therefore an evil, two-legged rape machine and oppressor of woman.

    Gendernormative – Technically, person who believes in “traditional” gender roles. Men working, women in the home, etc. To many modern feminists this really means “any man who doesn’t subordinate himself to a woman.”

    Fascist – This used to be a form of government that existed primarily in Germany, Italy and Spain that was a form of dictatorship. Most consider them to have been right wing. Now it means someone who does not follow the diktats of the left.

    Larry thinks it’s funny and to a certain point I agree. The thing being that I don’t think a lot of people see this as an insult, which is the way it was intended, and don’t take offense to the term when, IMNSHO, they should. Basically, he was told that he was evil because he was a man. That’s what it all boiled down to.

    The myth of female superiority is also rampant. Witness the old joke that goes “If a man says something and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?” IF you can’t read an article like the one that Tapson was referring to and not get the point. My point, I guess, is that I see a lot of women in this country trying to do to the same things to men that they hate men for doing to women.

    *SIGH*

    That sentence was really awkward. I wish I could come up with a better way to say what I mean.

    Anyway…

    Let’s not kid ourselves. Women such as Hanna Rosin are out to make men the permanent underclass. She stated that men are not obsolete because “we haven’t figured out a way to harvest sperm without them being, you know, alive”. So that’s nice. Men are useful only for their reproductive capability. That’s good. At least I won’t end up scrubbing the floor. I _HATE_ scrubbing floors.

    Rosin’s points are valid if they’re being viewed from a place where women are _NOT_ given gender preference due to both Affirmative Action policies and fear of gender discrimination lawsuits if not enough women are hired. They are therefore invalid because that is _NOT_ the case. Men are held back to promote women. That way there is no gender discrimination going on.

    Uh oh. I see you at the back of the class waving your arm in the air all red-faced. You want me to call on you so that you can refute this because isn’t hiring men because of gender just as discriminatory as hiring men because of gender? Not to the left. To the left men are the “privileged class” and therefore they are to be retaliated against. Refusal to hire men because of gender, again from a leftist prospective, is the way it should be. It is literally NOT POSSIBLE to discriminate against men, regardless of what you do to them.

    • My latest prayer is “Lord, if I’ve done anything good in my life, let me reach through the computer monitor and strangle idiots” — if I get it (unlikely. I mean, I’d have to have done something good in my life) — there will be a lot fewer feminists.*
      *Feminists in their current incarnation. I was all for feminism when it meant “the ability to compete with men on an equal footing and the right to be equal before the law.” I just hate the soft sisters who are more interested in bringing men down than raising themselves up. I hate the crab bucket.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Great. Now I’m imagining some leftie blogger somewhere freaking out when ghostly hands come out of their monitor.:-D

      • Oh, I understand the distinction. I call myself a feminist because there isn’t a better term for it (humanist is already taken), but that’s partly because I refuse to cede the term to extremists. Basically I take the view that certain things which harm women also harm men, such as the view that women have to always be completely on their guard lest they be seen as sluts because All Men Are Sexist Pigs—which, as you may note, manages to slam both genders pretty hard. I, for one, believe that men are perfectly capable of behaving with restraint and wisdom like, you know, reasonable human beings do.

    • “That’s good. At least I won’t end up scrubbing the floor. I _HATE_ scrubbing floors.”

      That just means that the floor they grind your face into with their jackboots will be dirty.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      And men can’t complain about it. Literally. According to radical feminists, we literally have no right to complain, because we’re so privileged. We have privileges we don’t even know about. So we have to keep quiet in the face of rampant misandry.

    • Not sure I have this straight, so beg pardon if it’s not, but… I hear a lot of booshwa from grievance feminists that women tend to be cooperative and nurturing and supportive, whereas men are the opposite (and bad therefor). Then I see portrayals — presumably authored by folk of the same mindset alluded to above — in which the main drive of the women portrayed seems to be to cut other people down, both men and women alike.

      Am I getting this right? Am I right that this is an inaccurate portrayal?

      M

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IMO the “women tend to be cooperative and nurturing and supportive” is what feminists believe. The “cut other people down, both men and women alike” is what the feminists do. There can be a big gap between what people believe and what they do. The feminists are just more extreme in this human tendency.

      • Perhaps some women are nurturing to those they care about. Most women though live and die by the crab bucket. You try to escape, they pull you in. This fosters a cohesive group, which attracts people — male and female — who never left the nursery, and makes them rhapsodize about the wonders of an all-female society. There? Did it clear your doubt?

        • There is nurturing and there is “nurturing” — the latter is to the former as skinwalkers are to normal people. In the guise of nurturing much harm is done.

          A truer depiction of such nurturing is offered by Don Quixote’s daughter and housekeeper to the village priest in the confessional.

      • Birthday girl

        Fits my personal experience, for the most part. Best job I ever had was in an engineering department with … wait for it … all men (other than me).
        There was one jerk in that group, but I tried to man-up and ignore him. Heh.

      • “When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
        And the women come out to cut up what remains,
        Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains”

        Yep, sounds real nurturing.

    • et’s not kid ourselves. Women such as Hanna Rosin are out to make men the permanent underclass. She stated that men are not obsolete because “we haven’t figured out a way to harvest sperm without them being, you know, alive”. So that’s nice. Men are useful only for their reproductive capability. That’s good. At least I won’t end up scrubbing the floor. I _HATE_ scrubbing floors.

      Rosin’s points are valid if they’re being viewed from a place where women are _NOT_ given gender preference due to both Affirmative Action policies and fear of gender discrimination lawsuits if not enough women are hired. They are therefore invalid because that is _NOT_ the case. Men are held back to promote women. That way there is no gender discrimination going on.

      Women will only make men the permanent underclass if men cooperate with them in this goal. It is true that some men, the hipsters and the professorate for example, do seem to be cooperating in this venture but I don’t think it will last. Moreover I think you’ll find many women who will not cooperate in this goal either. Of course there may be a few ugly moments as the would-be underclass rebel but it won’t last long, and there may in fact be no ugly moments because I think the chances are pretty high that in a generation or so the people like Rosin who believe in female superiority will have neatly weeded themselves out of the gene pool by failing to reproduce.

      • “It is true that some men, the hipsters and the professorate for example, do seem to be cooperating in this venture but I don’t think it will last.”
        But enough about Pajamas Boy!

      • I agree. For the record, I never said that it would HAPPEN, just that it was the GOAL.

        That much being said, I believe in callin’ ’em as I see ’em. And in this case, Rosin is a disgusting, bigoted, sexist.

        Your point is valid though. Prejudice, regardless of type, is taught in the home. Women who have this type of an attitude and fail to reproduce have no one to teach their bigotry to. That’s a win for our side.

        • Except a lot of them get to indoctrinate other people’s kids in schools and college. Though that too might be passing.

          • I think there might be a little bit of a crisis as a result. Since the Feminist-whipped men are still able to get closer to women than traditionalist men, who are getting shut out (At least if you live in a state as blue as Washington, Oregon, or California.). Real manhood may have skipped a generation, and the current crop of “educators” are doing their best to stomp out the embers.

          • True, but the idea that everybody ‘should’ go to college is part of a bubble that is going to pop fairly soon. The large debt that present graduates leave with, especially the masters and phd ones, will only ever be partially repaid. The indoctrination will have to be significantly reduced along with the courses we used to call basket weaving where a lot of it happens.

            Once that happens,colleges will have to be more focused on teaching stuff that is actually worth something to society, STEM being the prime examples. It will be a lot less fun for the remaining feminists.

            As professor Reynolds is fond of saying, something that can’t go on forever won’t and debts that can never be repaid won’t be repaid.

            • You already see it to an extent with rise in popularity of tech schools. But the truth is that the majority of jobs need* no more than at most a high school education.

              *A high school or lower level of education is all that is needed, but the current fad is to require higher education to be eligible for positions that will never make use of any education more advanced than what most sixth graders have.

              • Going back, a good deal of the problem with the current world of meaningless credentials actually stems from the way the genius social engineers attacked the testing industry back in the 1960s. Once they successfully made it impossible for businesses and government agencies to test for aptitude and skills, those entities moved on to looking at educational attainments as a proxy for aptitude. Which is the how/why of what led to the explosion in the education sector took off when it did.

                Now, I’m not going to claim that the situation was analogous to how GM bought up and destroyed a lot of the small urban mass transit systems, in order to sell more buses and cars, but… It damn sure looks that way. The activists who worked against the “unfair” aptitude testing industry were mostly academic theorists, and although the results were very indirectly attained, here we are. Damn sure looks suspicious, fifty years in, doesn’t it?

  3. Good gracious, Sarah. You were Conina, Barbarian Hairdresser!

  4. I had no female friends except one or two for the longest time. Plus when I moved with the Navy I didn’t keep my female friends. I have longer lasting friendships with men, including my hubby. Until I became ill I mostly worked with men as well. Even though I have three girly sisters, they confused me (girly women).

    The only reason I would be considered feminist was because I expected same pay for the work I did. Also if I took a job that had a male bias (like electronics) I was expected to work as hard and lift as much, which I did. It helped that I am five foot eight inches and can be imposing when I want to be.

    • But… I wanna open a company that employs all women so I can pay them 70 cents on the dollar and make a killing by the savings in payroll…

      Wait, that’s a problem? 😛

      • I do know the soft spots although I won’t kill you yet. 😛

      • You can do that easily. Only offer part time work less than 20 hours a week. It won’t take you long to discover that the vast majority of people who take you up on that offer are women with (school age) children.

        OTOH just because you pay them 30% less does not necessarily save you anything because you need 30% more of them total to handle absences due to family emergencies etc.

        There is a pay gap. It is between mothers and almost everyone else. (google Tim Worstall and gender equality). And even in the mothers category it is highly correlated to the amount of time the mother wishes to spend with her children.

        • Yep. And you know, I was thinking about this, since the galoots are probably going to leave us (G-d willing) in the next five years, (Well, Robert, hopefully sooner. Everything crossed) and I realized even in my job, working from home, etc, even NOW it’s a significant undertow. I have triple the housework, even when they help, simply because it’s a bigger house and more complex housekeeping. I have a lot of time spent advising/instructing/discussing. I have more cooking…
          It’s not that I’m complaining, it’s just that. I realized even in my career, they probably cost me half-income, and since without them I’d have promoted a lot more, probably more.

        • It was just a joke on the whole pay inequality hooraw.

          Really, I wouldn’t want a whole group of women working together. The backstabbing and catfighting would drive me more insane than i already am.

          • I know it was a joke. But that doesn’t stop it from also being a way to make a serious point

            • Really?
              The venomous women were supposedly the talented employees I had headhunted to achieve my utopian dream – a female- only company with happy, harmonious workers benefiting from an absence of men.

              What, pray tell, would happen in this day and age if a man were to say he wanted a a male only company benefitting from an absence of women?

              Good lord, talk about a double standard.

              • yep. Um… this might be a whole article, too… at some point. There is a sort of hysteria in women-only environments. They’re fine with even one guy in their midst, provided he’s fatherly and in a position of power. I think it might be evolutionary. G-d, the feminists would hate the idea.

                • The problem is if the fatherly figure becomes the husband-father (i.e. polygamist societies). Then you see the womanly society become scary.

                  • Yes, of course. I meant offices, not marriage. I think institutionalized polygamy is the worst thing possible for women.

                    • True – just had to get it out there.

                    • Well, I don’t think it’s a *good* thing for men. Although some foolish men might think it would be a good thing.

                    • Who thinks multiple mothers-in-law is a good thing?

                      (That’s how the Biblical Adam lived to 930 years—no in-laws.)

                    • Polygamy is actually part of my family history. My impression is that it was pretty difficult for all concerned. However, it’s interesting that some of the most vocal defenders of the Mormon system of polygamy were women. Intelligent women, too. I think the Marxists would call this “false consciousness” but that’s B.S. Anyone who thinks Mormon women are all Stepford wives hasn’t met many Mormon women, and I think this was true back then as well.

                      There were a number of cases where one wife obtained a higher education while the other wives were raising children. I believe Utah’s first female M.D. was such a case. The intent was to have a highly qualified midwife available for the community.

                      The handling of divorce was highly skewed to avoid certain abuses. My impression is that Brigham Young almost never refused a petition for divorce from a polygamous wife. He almost never granted a petition for divorce to a polygamous husband.

                      Not saying I’d ever want to see the system come back; just that it’s a far cry from a Turkish harem. But then the religious framework for the practice was quite different.

                    • Maybe you can answer a question for me. In the Mormon tradition, what were the legal obligations of the wives towards one another? Especially if the husband pre-deceased them? Were there *any* such obligations?

                      My understanding was that it was a one-to-many relationship, the man had multiple wives, but legally the wives each only had one spouse, the husband. Is that correct?

                      And does anyone know the answer for other polygamous societies?

                    • It’s a good question, Jabrwok, to which I do not know the answer. But I know someone who probably does — I’ll get back to it after I’ve talked to him.

                    • I’ve always been struck by how much of polygamy is actually driven by the women themselves. When you stop and think about it, polygamy is not a concept that a male with any brains would come up with–It’s not in his benefit, at all, to be tied to multiple women at the same time with formal marital ties. Ideally, the male is going to want to spread his seed among as many women as possible, so a male working out his hypothetical “best case” is going to come up with serial “love-em-and-leave-em” structures. Think Hugh Hefner–That’s the male ideal, right there.

                      Polygamy, on the other hand, is a structure that strikes me as having been invented by older women in a society with surplus females, and a dearth of successful males. The older women don’t want to lose their position to some random younger chickie, and they may not enjoy sex anymore, or feel that they have the chops to keep the male around. So, what does she do? She subcontracts the sex out to a younger, more nubile woman, and maintains the relationship as a senior wife. It’s a defensive move against the natural male proclivity to seek younger, more fertile women.

                      Polygamy is one of those things that could only have been invented by a woman, to be quite honest. A permanent, formal relationship with multiple women simultaneously? No male in his right mind would seek out such a situation, especially once he’d experienced the joys of having to ride herd on the catfighting, and lived through having all of them sync up their periods. No, the ideal male situation is multiple serial relationships, one at a time, not five at once. Down that path lies misery and madness.

                    • No, no. You’re thinking in modern terms. Back when women did all the agricultural work and household was a true grind, polygamy was a male thing. Older forms of polygamy — cough — Islam — are actually awful for older women, often making them the slaves of the hot new fling.

                    • It’s interesting that the Old Testament story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar has Sarah being the one to suggest Abraham take Hagar as a second wife.

                    • Replying to Sarah, here…

                      Yeah, it didn’t work out so well, for the older women, in practice. But, I’ll continue to contend that it was their idea in the first place, because if it had really been up to the men in those societies, they’d have simply left the older woman for the latest hot young thing. Polygamy gets the woman a chance to keep a seat at the table, while if the men had set things up, she’d have been abandoned entirely.

                      Ugly situation, all the way around, but I’ll still contend that it was a structure the women themselves came up with in order to prevent themselves from getting screwed out of their place in society.

                      Long-term monogamy is so much more stable that it’s not even funny. Polygamy only really works in societies that have wildly differing gender-based differences in mortality. Introduce modern medicine, and you get the current instability in the Arab world.

                    • To Joel…

                      “Who thinks multiple mothers-in-law is a good thing?

                      (That’s how the Biblical Adam lived to 930 years—no in-laws.)”

                      I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and suggest that if you don’t get along with your in-laws, odds are very good that you’ve made a fundamental mistake in mate-selection in the first place: She’s all too likely to turn into her mother, and he’s all too likely to turn into his father, over the long haul. In-laws last for a considerable fraction of your marriage, but your partner is basically for the duration. If they’re not like their parents now, then they probably will be as they age.

                      In other words, take a look at their Mom and Dad. Don’t like them? Odds are pretty good you’re not going to like how your partner changes over the long haul, either.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Chuckle Chuckle

                      One fantasy story expressed that idea. After the male-female finished off this female “monster”, the woman told the man that the “monster”- was her mother and asked if he still wanted to be committed to her. His reply was that she hadn’t met his father. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                    • No. No. No!

                      Let’s just say there’s a reason we live hundreds of miles from both families and leave it at that, shall we?

                      Children are not reflections of their fathers. Or not always. Don’t pretend that Cyn and I for instance, are just chips off the old block.

                    • I certainly have no idea where I came from, if boys are like their fathers. Except for an aptitude with math, there’s so little in common between my father and myself I really don’t know how I got the way I am.

                    • My brother looks like grandad… has dad’s “mischievous” sense of humor (read: it’s a shock I haven’t killed him, nor him someone else) and supposedly has mannerisms of my dad’s granddad, minus the accent.

                      There’s a lot of option in who the kids will be.

                      She says, nervous, because she has recognized the mannerisms of her Dragon Lady grandmother in her middle daughter…. (it’s a grand goal, but painful!!!!)

                    • Foxfier
                      I’m apparently like my “dragon” great grandmother. Enough like her that her daughters in law swooned at my sight when I was eight. Mannerisms and walk and everything. I just write instead of running a business.

                    • Traditionally, the in-law one has conflict with is the one of your own sex– ie, the ones that theoretically is most like yourself.

                      For those familiar with family dynamics, this should start a large, flashing “NO DUH” sign.

                    • LOL, @ Sarah…

                      I hear you. I really, really do. But observational evidence indicates that one will generally morph into either one of one’s parents or grandparents, depending.

                      And, as a side issue: Your kids will more often than not resemble one of their grandparents.

                      Which is why I’ve never really had much enthusiasm for reproducing. Were I to throw a analogue of my father, I don’t think I’d manage to get out that demon-spawn’s adolescence without earning a sentence for infanticide. Which, were I to truly get a jury of my father’s peers, would likely earn me a verdict of “Justifiable Homicide”.

                      It’s no joke, either: I once visited an office he worked at, when he and I were still talking to each other, and engaged in conversation with one of his subordinates. The nice lady was sort of taken aback to find that I wasn’t quite the asshole my father was, and we had an interesting conversation. Turns out, dear old dad was as much of an ass at work, as he was at home. At the end of the conversation, nice lady asks me: “Are you… Uh… Planning on having kids…?”.

                      When I indicated that I probably wasn’t, she pumped my hand and said “Thank you, for that…”. Subtext for that comment was quite clear.

                      Which goes to indicate what a wonderful human being my dad was, I’m afraid. And, oddly? I completely understood where she was coming from.

                    • My younger kid is my dad. We can live with that. Older kid is exact mix of Dan and I. I can live with that too.

                • “There is a sort of hysteria in women-only environments.”

                  From my own experience, I have to disagree. Whether a women-only group functions depends on whether there’s a strong and decent female alpha in the group. You may not spot her because she won’t be behaving like a male alpha, but you can tell she’s there.

                  Not to say there isn’t greater emotionalism in women-only groups, of course there is. But I wouldn’t call it hysteria, or would I call the group a failure.

                  • Interesting. My experience is in scholastic environments…

                    • maybe the shriller women go to academia?

                    • Shriller or more driven. You can’t get through the grad school grinder without a lot of focus and drive. Now, whether that is a good focus (“I’m going to be the best historian ever”) or bad focus (“I’m going to break the power of the patriarchy from within the ivory tower! ROARRR!”) varies greatly, in my limited experience. And it becomes self perpetuating, because the liberal arts side encourages the development of acolytes.

                  • Interesting – I haven’t seen a functioning women-only group–

                    • well, the women in the family formed a women-only group and it worked, but there was still the implied presence of men, if that makes sense?

                    • I have but, it involved a strong, stern grandmother and her descendents. And the granny was somewhere between granny Weatherwax and a patriarch

                    • Yes, exactly. My grandmother!

                    • I have to wonder what things were like in those older all-female organizations my grandmother belonged to, like the PEO and the Garden Club. She never talked much to me about the internal dynamics, but things couldn’t have been as dysfunctional as I’ve observed in a lot of modern situations you’d think would be analogous, or she’d have never stayed active in those organizations all her life, as she did.

                      Makes you wonder what the hell was different, and what we’ve lost, as a society. Or, if things were really the same, and it’s just that nobody talked about all the catty infighting outside the group. Could go either way–But, those organizations did manage to get a lot done for the community, so it couldn’t have been that bad. Could it?

                      One thing I do notice, looking back: The old-timers were a lot better at separating things than we are. The old fraternal organizations? Male-only, and gave men a chance to get off and do their own thing, recharge, and go back to things with the wife and kids. Men today? It’s all family, all the time, and you can see the corrosive effects on their commitment to the families, in all too many cases.

                      Friend of mine served with me for a couple of years, and got out of the Army not too long after our assignments separated us. Ran into him at the mall, and was surprised to see him with a different girl than his wife. We got together for lunch a bit later, and I was surprised to hear him say that what broke up his first marriage was his wife’s insistence on him getting out of the Army–But, not for the reason you’d think. He didn’t miss the Army, at all, and he’d really wanted to get out, himself. What he figured out did it to their marriage was that he’d had no “break from her and the marriage” after he got out, and it drove both of them nuts. Which ended the marriage, due to having “too much of each other”.

                      I think a good case could be made that there needs to be some “alone time” in many relationships, time that we just don’t respect any more, for either gender.

                    • Someone mentioned further up– guys present by implication.

                      Lady’s auxiliary.

                      Probably that had an effect.

                      God knows that my husband alters my behavior.

                    • I do understand that one (more alone time). I learned that it helps that the hubby has a room he can retire to when he needs time alone. I don’t bother him there except for food issues.

                      When I was staying with my brother (during the worst of my illness), I found that my sis-in-law expected me to wait on her at all times. It is either an extrovert thing or a generational thing. She was exhausting because I must laugh at all her jokes and listen to all her stories over and over again. If it was just a visit then it was fun, but to live with that– it was hard.

                      So maybe that need to be the center of attention that some women have is part of the problem? Plus it does help if as Sarah pointed out there is a strong older women who are in charge of the younger women– it is a training thing. I noticed that most younger women today do not know how to be a lady — or even the basics of cleaning, housekeeping, laundry, and cooking. Also caretaking. This is taught by an older woman– it is one of the things we have lost.

                    • My grandma and her sisters are like that. They are fierce old ladies.

                    • My great-grandmother was that way– except no one else in the family has taken up that mantle except me.

                  • My experience is as an outsider tech-support person coming into *many* different office environments. I would have plenty of time to observe office politics as I sat at some person’s desk, working on their computer. The best environments 1) had a strong and *nice* woman as office manager or lower-level boss and 2) a sense of shared goals. Women are just like men, we need goals. Without them, we dissolve into interpersonal warfare, struggling for a greater share of the office resources.

                    What always amused me were the way these all-female groups would react to me, the outsider woman. I baffled them. The decent groups would try to “rescue” me, bringing me into their circle. The not-so-decent saw me as a way to assert group identity by excluding me.

                • In an oddly fip-side-of-the-coin, “all guy” work environments are greatly improved by having a female– either a “you don’t count” girl or a “lady”– in the mix in a non-leadership position where at least part of the power structure views her as a sister or daughter.

      • You mean underpay like the White House does? Be careful, lest you get what you pay for. 😉

  5. I wonder if this is the reason for what I perceive as a rise in the rates and social acceptability of BDSM? I have a feeling that a lot of those “feminists” are a chunk of it, as masochists not sadists. Simple desire for justice could cause a woman who spends every waking moment opposing and belittling men to atone by being the bottom is such a relationship. Or of course it could be that their hate for men is so strong it overflows into their sex lives. I am not saying any of these things are true, just wondering. If you have read Ghost you know as much about “the scene” as I do

    • Nope. Man-hating women in the BDSM scene don’t change their stripes. The worst examples are the Dominatrix types who specifically look for confused submissive males and take them on a long journey towards transgenderism. And once they finally convince them to go under the knife, they lose interest in them and abandon them for the next one. One less male to pollute the earth.

      It’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever witnessed.

      I could say more, but It’s time for work.

      • Very disturbing– and enough to make me nauseous.

      • Glad for the information but nauseated by your example

        • Well, basically you have the BDSM community which gets its origin and history from the gay leather community, and thus to its very roots is left-associated. And that politics permeates every aspect of their sexuality. Male Dominants are right up there in the “Gendernormative cismale tyrant” category, and are only tolerated because non-lesbian women who want to get in touch with their submissive side need SOMEone to play with. But the community has LOTS of rules to protect her, aside from backchannel gossip to shoot down any male top who takes his role too seriously. Dominant women are of course, the goddesses of the scene, and demand respect (whether they deserve it or not) and this is reinforced by the statistically improbable number of submissive men who throw themselves at them. They are dismissed as being “A Dime a Dozen”, but they’re a good source of cash for the kilobuck of cowhide they need for their wardrobe.

          The biggest difference in the roles I’ve noticed is that dominant men typically respect and cherish the women who submit to them (with some prominent exceptions) but dominant women are almost always degrading and devaluing submissive men.

          Sounds like feminism gone wild there.

          (I suppose part of why this is prevalent in the community is that any male top who wants to preserve his sanity, once he hooks up with someone compatible gets the hell out of dodge. They couple-up and stay home.)

          • Yeah, I noticed it’s the Superdommes who shred the fem-subs, especially the subbies who live in D/s relationships. So, as you say, the hetero couples with a male D stay home, or go to private get-togethers. (I stay just close enough to the scene to follow some of the fuss, but not to get involved.)

            • That’s the Seattle area. I’ve pretty much dropped out of that almost a decade ago (During that same long period of unemployment in the early 2000’s that I stopped going to Cons in).

          • I think you’ve visited the wrong community. Or maybe it’s regional. If they’re getting their feminist politics mixed in, they’re doing it wrong.

            Unless of course the sub is ultra-conservative and that’s the preferred flavor of abuse. Hm…

            Not my scene, but I’ve known all kinds of fun people over the years. All kinds. Keeps the xenobiologist in me happy.

      • This expresses a trend throughout the feminist mind set: the Marxian adage about not wanting to belong to “any club that would accept me as a member.” Their desires are essentially self-defeating.

        Taking it out of the sexual politics arena, I recall a proclamation statement from Her Royal Clintoness expressing her happiness that women had achieved numerical superiority in college admissions. Putting aside the Tarantoian argument about healthy women desiring men who they can look up to and accepting the stipulation that women seek men who are their equals, having college attendees being more than 50% female means a portion of women will be unable to pair up with a man who is her equal. Such women will be forced to “marry down” (for certain values of down, most of which are tightly held by the sort of woman who thinks it a good thing if college attendees are 60% female, even though it sentences 20% of those females to “marry down” or do without.

        Polygamy is one way to address that disparity, but I doubt it is one acceptable to such proponents of female supremacy.

  6. One of the many marriage seminars I’ve attended (and the ONLY one that didn’t bash males in some way) reiterated the expression, regarding genders: “Not wrong, just different”. (Emerson Eggerichs, if anyone is interested.)
    Sure, women incline one way. Yes, men incline another way. Neither is bad – just different.
    From my viewpoint anyone not liking liver and onions is pathetic.
    And anyone liking hominy grits is sick. But that’s me.

    But the only way the present discourse (or miscourse) will be solved is by right minded ODDS speaking out whenever they run into it. And maybe enjoying the following consternation.

    • “From my viewpoint anyone not liking liver and onions is pathetic.
      And anyone liking hominy grits is sick. ”

      I used to quite like liver and onions, but my tastes moved elsewhere decadesa go. De gustibus non disputandem est.

      And grits is a criminal waste of good posole.

      • I don’t mind the taste of liver so much as the texture.

        On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 10:06 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

        > Kent G. Budge commented: “”From my viewpoint anyone not liking liver > and onions is pathetic. And anyone liking hominy grits is sick. ” I used to > quite like liver and onions, but my tastes moved elsewhere decadesa go. De > gustibus non disputandem est. And grits is a criminal ” >

        • I think that hominy and grits are two different things entirely. Grits are a perfectly fine breakfast food, as long as I don’t have to eat it. I prefer my liver to be chopped chicken liver.

          • I hate liver of all kinds.

            • Liver’s fine if you have enough catsup.

              Let’s see . . . I’ve been married for thirty-four years. I fixed beef liver once, because we were curious about a specific method we heard about. That’s it, for 34 years. Mind you, chicken and turkey livers occasionally show up in gravy, but that’s a bit different than having it as a main course.

              • My understanding is that liver is good, if you first soak out all the nasty toxins into milk. (Basically, you cut it up, marinate it in milk or buttermilk overnight, and then you either throw out the nastified milk part or give it to the animals.)

                • Probably you would want to cook the milk first, if you plan on giving it to your own animals. If you’re just going to throw it out in the woods somewhere, I guess it doesn’t matter much.

                • It’s the texture that gets to me. Though I used to love it, then we got a bad batch when I was ten…

                • You’ve got a whole beef to eat, why do you want to start in on the guts?

                  Seriously, the liver is the bodies filter, sponging out all the nasty toxins, why would you want to eat all the nasty stuff that has been filtered out of another animal?

                  There is nothing wrong with grits except that most people don’t use enough salt to bring out the flavor. Although personally I prefer polenta liberally mixed with crumbled sausage and cheese, made into patties and fried.

                  • Because the liver is also nature’s multivitamin. All those vitamins that are fat-soluble, rather than water-soluble, like vitamins A, D, E and K? They get stored in the liver. So you could pay a couple hundred dollars a month for an expensive multivitamin, or you could eat liver & onions once a week and get the same nutritional effect at a cost of a few dollars per week, max.

              • Roll the chicken livers in flour and fry in butter with pepper, then when done put on tortillas with cheddar and cottage cheese. Cook on the skillet until the cheddar melts.
                Chicken liver burritos is food of happiness.

          • Grits are great with bacon bits and shredded cheese mixed in.

          • I can’t stand either hominy or grits *sigh

          • sanfordbegley

            Hominy Grits is more or less correct. Hominy is parched corn, grits is that same parched corn ground as fine as grit

            • Grits are simply Cream O Wheat only made from corn.
              I like them just fine, though I scandalize my southern friends by eating them with a large dollop of grape jelly mixed in.

              • I grossed out a paramedic by eating grits with breakfast (well, when else do you eat them?) I thought he was going to faint.

                • Whenever you feel like eating grits. (but then I am someone who has pancakes and sausage and eggs for supper at times, so my sense of appropriate meal food may be skewed).

          • Grits – sandpaper with calories.

    • Birthday girl

      The best part of liver is the bacon wrapping. 🙂

  7. Being a outlier girl on the IQ scale may be as unpleasant as you say. On the other hand, being an outlier guy on the IQ scale means you’re competing with ten other outlier guys on the IQ scale for each outlier girl on the IQ scale. I think I mentioned the family tradition of bachelorhood in turgid detail a while back, and I submit that a hypothesis to explain this has suggested itself.

    I was a pretty typical boy in many respects. I liked playing in the dirt. I had my toy gun with which I imagined shooting imaginary people. (Imagining choking the living scatology out of very real people seems to be more an adult thing.) I liked doing sfuff with my hands. I like setting fire to things, which, shocking as it sounds, seems to be very typical primal boy behavior. When I hit puberty, I became girl crazy, which seemed like typical pubescent boy behavior in that benighted age.

    But I never got into sports. Not really. This could be because, while I had reasonable fine motor skills (see: doing stuff with my hands), I had abysmal large muscle coordination. Or it could be that my older brother, who sometimes bullied me, was into sports, which kind of spoiled the whole idea. Or it could be that sports simply held no fascination for me whatsoever, which is what I thought at the time.

    It’s surprising how much this disinterest in sports has separated me from my heterosexual male peers. I could compensate by drinking or whoring, except that I have absorbed a religious tradition hostile to both activities. That leaves kvetching about politics. 😦

    • Snerk. I will confess to totally Not Getting It about *watching* sports, quoting stats, etc. (although living in Seattle these days, I have to be quiet about it…) I actually enjoyed *playing* football in grade school, but then they got all prissy and said we couldn’t tackle, which takes ALL the fun out of it. I suspect they did that because I was rather good at it. The boys may have complained about me 😉 Nowadays I pay a very patient and resigned trainer to box with me, but even he complains now and then.

      I just wish I had known about Explosives Camp (yes, a real thing) when I was of an age to do it…

      • Yea – I find football without tackle not fun at all. And I hate basketball (sorry to fans) with a passion. I do like watching baseball on the field. But really I am not a sports fan… I used to like doing individual sports when I could do them. (Karate)

        • Of all the sports notable enough to be worth taking the time to loathe, basketball is the one I loathe the most.

          It probably does not help that one of my high school’s first experiments with coed physical education was basketball, and this meant that when one of the other players kneed me in the crotch when the coach’s attention was elsewhere, I got to lie on the floor clutching my balls and groaning in agony in front of twenty wide-eyed girls.

          I do actually enjoy playing volleyball and softball, as long as it’s just a friendly game. In fact, I contributed significantly to the gut-beating administered by Mel’s Ant Farm (the Caltech astronomy department softball team) to Downs Syndrome (the Caltech physics department softball team.) N.B. The physics department was located in the Downs Building.

          It probably didn’t hurt that half of both teams were foreign graduate students who had to be taught how to throw a softball. Soccar …

          But I don’t follow professional sports at all and rarely even bother with college sports. It irritates me when the local paper decides to print the comics in the sports section because then I miss the comics on my first pass through the paper, and have to look at the table of contents to figure out which section they were in. Which further means that, when I go back to look at the comics, my eyes perforce must notice the headlines about the latest sports idol to beat up his girlfriend or be caught taking steroids.

      • sanfordbegley

        Explosive camp? You’re never too old to learn. Where do I sign up?

        • Jay Nordlinger had an article at NRO about explosives camp a year or so ago. He added that there would be a piece in the next print version of NR.

          The joke practically wrote itself.

          • Explosives camp (camp: providing sophisticated amusement by virtue of having artificially (and vulgarly) mannered or banal or sentimental qualities; “they played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect”; “campy Hollywood musicals of the 1940’s”)??????

            The mind boggles. A “nancy boy” SEAL team?

            • Trust me on this… Explosives can be used ironically. Been there, done it, have a variety of T-shirts explicating same.

              Think Bill Murray, in Caddyshack.

        • http://www.emrtc.nmt.edu/explosivescamp/

          There’s no age limit – but I think I’d have a hard time finding any of my high school teachers for a letter of recommendation. They’re long retired or dead…

      • Funnily enough my wife is far more into sports (both watching and doing) than I am. In fact in our house, the person sprawled in front of the TV watching the game is almost always her.

        When I was an inky schoolboy I mostly hated team sports and since almost all sports we did were team sports that perforce meant I didn’t do organized sports. But fortunately said school also allowed things like cycling and rock climbing if you whined hard enough and long enough and also showed some sense of responsibility so you didn’t need to be closely supervised so I did those instead.

        • I have a lot more respect for sports ever since I started watching sports anime. Yowamushi Pedal (high school bike roadracing) is probably the best right now, but I really enjoyed Eyeshield 21 (a very explanatory football anime sponsored by NFL Japan, with hilarious characters) and Giant Killing (pro soccer). There are also tons of famous baseball anime, and both Slam Dunk and Kuroko’s Basketball are very popular.

          Maybe it’s the outsiderish take, since a lot of Japanese anime fans aren’t natural fans of sports, either. But there’s also a lot of heavily stylized eye-training and tactics discussion going on, so you can start to watch sports the way sports fans do; and there’s usually a lot of educational examples that show why this works and that doesn’t.

      • Some of the spray-painted Seahawk cars aren’t half bad, amazingly.

        There’s a little hatch-back that looks almost professionally done, other than the colors. (It looks like one of those faded team tee-shirts. Pretty cool.)

        Zero desire to watch.

        • The current popularity of the Seahawks tends to boggle my mind. Since when I was growing up there the Seahawks were a standing (well except for Dave Craig, he was usually laying wherever he was sacked) joke, and NOBODY would admit to being a Seahawks fan.

          And I don’t think I have watched sports on TV since they took boxing off of the standard TV channels.

          • At least three years ago they started at “twelfth man” thing, where the fans are the extra player, and started tripping earthquake sensors with cheering nd carrying on….

            I think part of it is fad, but there really are big fans.

  8. Western Intellectual Feminists will enjoy a world where they rule over men …. right up until the technology starts breaking down and they discover that a degree in “Gender Studies” doesn’t prepare you for tearing down a transmission. Then, if they are lucky, those of us (male and female) who have been keeping our heads down will take over and civilization won’t collapse. If they aren’t lucky the oppressed and fed-up males will turn the world into the nightmare Patriarchy the feminists are always complaining of.

    Sort of like how Western Intellectual Revolutionaries have enjoyed each Communist Revolution right up to the point where the thugs took over and started liquidating them.

  9. Let me preface by saying, I enjoyed the post, the look into the life of the early Sarah, and the calm and rational assessment of the realities of gender relations in modern civilization. And then I went and read the linked article. And that was a red-hot poker right square in the middle of the rage button. Please take the following in that context and dismiss it as the ravings of my inflamed canted brain. Thanks

    “Obsolete does not mean worthless,” Rosin patronizes. “It means outmoded… We don’t have to turn men into eunuchs. We can keep whatever we like about manhood but adjust the parts of the definition that are keeping men back.”

    Let them reap what they sow. They’re so lost in their warped reality they can no longer see the shadows cast by the light of this world. And the fools cannot imagine. I’ve some experience of “less enlightened” cultures. I’ve some experience of cultures that treat women as chattel. And I’ve got unfortunate news for the feminists of this ilk. It ain’t the patriarchy that keeps those women down. It’s brute force. You don’t have to turn men into eunuchs? What makes you think you could? What makes you think you’d live after the attempt? You don’t need men? Really? Hm. Okay. Reap it.

    Men need women, you know. I think the modern world and our interpretation of gender relations as a complimentary relationship, a partnership is a grand thing. But, you know all men need women for in that partnership? Companionship. In the absence of that? Eh.

    History, not to mention some simply wonderful sarc modern societies, have shown that this culture we know, this society we enjoy (some of us, anyway) is not the only way to organize male/female relations. Some of those other ways? Well, women don’t have to worry about attending conferences to smugly congratulate each other on their superiority and discuss how they’ll keep men around as ornamentation. All they have to worry about is staying alive. For another night.

    See, men can function just fine in brutal societies. Men can adapt and handle what needs to be done. They can face the challenges of other men, defend what’s theirs and even prosper. Is it a pretty society? Or one I’d ever want to see from the inside? Most definitely not. But it’s one the male half of the species can function and thrive in. And the female half can survive.

    Those societies where women were not literally oppressed (as in held down with actual, applied violence) were societies wherein men were taught to value women, for themselves, for their contributions, for their unique character, for the beauty of the complimentary nature of the genders. Strip that away, deny the civilizing influence and the results…

    Well, blood and pain and death. And some take death as a sweet release. Hobbes’ “nasty, brutish and short” is a veritable paradise.

    Let it burn. Let it all crash down around their heads. Let them reap.

    It needs to be said, I suppose: I don’t want society to revert. I don’t want the horrors I know could happen. I’ve said it here before, I prize restraint and control. And I don’t want to see discrimination against women or anybody else. There is no call for a return to the past, here. But if modern feminism does not relearn that the ability of women to ‘dominate’ men is an artifact of the learned restraint of men…

    • “See, men can function just fine in brutal societies. Men can adapt and handle what needs to be done.”

      I’m not unsympathetic to the point you’re making. Really, I’m not.

      But without my metformin, I’m blind and crippled within two years.

      • I’m under no illusions that we would all prosper in such a society. I myself have entirely the wrong temperment, and I’m a product of this culture. I’d be dead in the first wave, if only from standing in opposition.

        It is not desired, but it is feared. At least by the rational.

        • I’m over 50 with high blood pressure, near-sightedness, and a bad knee. And, like Eamon, I’m a product of this culture. I doubt I have the psychological callousness to do some the things I’d have to do to survive in a Hobbesian world. My best bet is convincing some local chieftain I can be useful somehow. “Not only can I read and do sums, your bigness, I can teach you and your kids to do the same.”

        • Well the good news (sarc) is that you’d be far from alone. The greens will be ecstatic that Mother Gaia is recovering from the cancer of exploitative humanity. At least they’ll be ecstatic until they too perish.

          • And there’s the fact that primitive cultures treat Mother Earth as well as any other unprotected woman.

        • The point here is that the category “men” would prosper, even if numerous individual men would not. Contrarily, while individual women may well prosper (Lady Macbeth, f’r ‘xample) the category “women” would suffer.

  10. There’s a story to be written here. Give the “radfems” what they (claim they) want: a eco-friendly non-hierarchical matriarchal society where men have no say in running things. (Sort out the contradictions yourself, whoever writes the story.) Follow the consequences.

    Bonus points if radfems think your story is eutopian but everyone else reads it the other way.

    • Interestingly, in the Dine Ba’histi (the Navaho creation story), there is a time when the men and women went their own ways for a year or so. In the beginning the women had the advantage because they had the gardens, but things went down hill and finally both groups agreed that they needed each other.

    • Heh. Back when I was starting writing, I played with exaggerations of the current mess. But the characters rebelled. Wretched witches kept falling in love with big strong men. I think it may have wound up as “equal opportunity offense.” (Which may explain my sales numbers!) And yes, I did also have a misogynous Mage community. The wizards, both male and female, tended to be loners.

    • What’s always aggravated the living hell out of me about these people we term “radical feminists” is that they’ve always focused so thoroughly on “male privilege”, whateverthehellthatis, while completely ignoring the obverse side of the equation, which is “male obligation/duty”. They want the one, but ignore even the existence of the other.

      Every time I run into these fools, I have one response to their ravings: “Do get back to me, when you’ve done away with the male-only Selective Service registration requirements…”. And, that’s only the tip of the iceberg, and one of the most openly visible things you can point at, with regards to the existence of such things as “male obligation”. There’s a whole host of other things that are baked into society that women just don’t “get”, like the fact that men are expected to accept denigration and verbal abuse from women that would get another male a visit to the dentist.

      There’s a whole lot of willful blindness perpetrated by these radical feminists. They’re oblivious to an entire world of things that they just don’t see, with regards to the male/female roles in society. And, because of that, their theories and the natterings based on them are fundamentally flawed.

      • Yep. Unless you’re in very rarefied settings, people will still frown at the husband staying at home while the wife works. Now we’re getting to not care, and if I can make enough that Dan can retire (unlikely for the foreseeable future) Ogni soit qui mal i pense — but it does affect decisions. And men are still, without thought, supposed to defend females — any females — in situations of danger. And…
        I think part of the issue is that the “feminists” want the good parts of being a man and none of the bad ones.

        • Yea the plan for us (hubby and I) was that I would get my masters in Adult Education and teach or work in a college setting so the hubby could retire. Except when I was in the middle of my Masters, I became ill with this disease. Plans had to be scuttled. He is still working.

        • I suppose the aggravating thing is really that they’re in denial that there are any bad parts…

          I suspect that things like this cropping up are a sign that we’ve been too successful for too long, and have managed to raise several generations of foolish humans that have managed to lose sight of the realities of the world we live in, and why nature has so thoroughly differentiated things between the sexes in our species. We’re not lions, and I don’t think that most women would be happy in situation that was analogous to a lion pride. There are good biological reasons things are set up the way they are, and going into total denial over it is just plain stupid and counterproductive.

          Supposing we don’t manage to wipe ourselves out, there will probably be a technological “fix” available one day to wipe clean the slate of gender differences in individual cases. When that happens, I don’t think a lot of these radical feminists are going to be very happy, once they discover just what a huge pain in the ass it is to be male. From where I sit, I’m still convinced that it’s the female gender that’s got most of the privilege, along with all the, ah…

          • I’ll admit, there have been times, usually while dealing with second-and-a-half world “restrooms” and other sanitation scenes, that I’ve been very envious of people with external plumbing. Otherwise no, not really. I’m happier in a world of manly men and womanly women.

            • Yep. That’s the type of penis envy I’ve experienced, because I grew up in Portugal. Being able to just whip it out and pee without looking for a place… Most of this envy was experienced at age six, when most of my playmates were boys, mind.

          • “Whenever women have insisted on absolute equality with men, they have invariably wound up with the dirty end of the stick. What they are and what they can do makes them superior to men, and their proper tactic is to demand special privileges, all the traffic will bear. They should never settle merely for equality. For women, “equality” is a disaster.”

      • “Every time I run into these fools, I have one response to their ravings: “Do get back to me, when you’ve done away with the male-only Selective Service registration requirements…””

        Would it be too Neanderthal of me to suggest that I don’t want to live in a society that puts its young women into combat situations?

        Yes, I’m hairy. And my ancestors came from northern Europe. Whatcha getting at?

        • “Women and children first. When a society forgets that, get out of there fast. You might save yourself. That society won’t.” Robert A. Heinlein.

        • My theory has always been that if they want the honey, they’d better be willing to ante up when it comes time to go knock over the hive for it.

          Good idea, for society overall? Hard to say, but I’ve always been a believer in treating people as they ask. If they can’t handle it, oh well–It should teach them a lesson or two.

          Where we’ve gone wrong as a society is that we’ve decoupled these people from the consequences of their actions, across the board. I’ve had to put up with verbal abuse from women in leadership positions that would have earned another male a trip to the emergency room. After enough of it, I’ve sadly come to the conclusion that if they want to act like a guy, then they ought to be treated like one–Which means that verbal abuse earns a woman what it earns a man, which is generally a good beating.

          One observation I’ve had, over the years, is that male leaders will rarely, if ever, resort to the demeaning sort of verbal abuse that often is the first resort of females put into leadership roles. Why? Because that literally got beaten out of them as children, and they understand the real consequences on long-term teamwork and atmosphere. All too many females in like positions turn to the catty sort of behavior that’s demonstrated in works like “Mean Girls”, and the like, which is incredibly destructive to any kind of real team-building with a male-majority element.

          I’ll never understand how the hell that shit even works in a female-majority environment like a cheerleading squad, for example. I had the misfortune of being exposed as a passive witness to some of that sort of thing, and the contrast between how males handled similar inter-group issues and conflicts couldn’t be more staggering than if you compared night and day. If those girls were guys, and doing the same thing? There would have been killings…

          • They don’t.

            And the demands have resulted in female officers fighting to “allow” enlisted women to die for their promotions. even though putting women in combat situations was insanely unpopular in every not-directly-connected-to-your-name survey.

            • Yeah, I do have to reserve most of my animus over the whole idea of putting women into direct-combat probable slots at the careerist female officers who are more worried about their career prospects than what’s best for the institution, the women and men serving in it, or the nation it defends. The military is not something that should be thought of as a “career” sort of thing. That mindset should be anathema to someone who truly has a vocation as a soldier, male or female. You do what is best for the nation, the institution, and the people within it in that order. The minute you start putting your almighty career anywhere in that order, you’ve fundamentally failed as a member of the institution.

              Most of the career enlisted women have more common sense than that, at least the ones I worked with. Most of them have observed the effects of long service in the combat arms on their male counterparts, and want nothing to do with the entire idea.

              The ones I feel sorry for are the younger women who’re getting rooked into these jobs and positions. I had the responsibility of leading some of the first few enlisted women assigned to a Combat Engineer battalion in the headquarters company. Even in the admin slots, we literally broke them within just a couple of years, and what really angered me was that I had a part in that, and had no other option than to participate.

              Of the first three we got in, two were medically retired or discharged with overuse damage to major joints. One of the best of them I ran into about four years later, on crutches due to destroyed knee joints and a bad hip that i have to blame entirely on the training we did. What was really special? Whoever had been running things after I left that job had let her get discharged without ensuring she got the long-term medical benefits she deserved–They’d just let her finish out her term of service, prevented her from re-enlisting, and didn’t make sure that she had the right evaluations done when she got discharged. As a result, no military medical care after her service. I considered that a major case of leadership malpractice, to be quite honest.

              When she came to us, she’d been a star athlete in track and soccer at her high school. When she left the Army, she was essentially a cripple. Not one of my prouder memories of my time in the service.

              • I remember the letter/column the lady Marine officer had in the Wall Street Journal about her medical problems. As you say, Kirk, they weren’t from combat injuries, but from the daily pounding and long vehicle rides interspersed with moments of intense excitement and bouts of PT.

                • *little lightbulb*
                  Guys deal better with external damage; gals deal better with internal damage.

                  This is a GOOD thing, since women are the ones who have to go through several months of internal damage for the species to survive.

              • For a current example of the kind of woman who does such, look at the growing storm over Wendy Davis and try it with the plumbing reversed: a man allows his wife to work to pay his way through law school and dumps her as soon as the last tuition bill is paid. Dumps the kids, too, except for a regular check … and gets praised for his ambition and willingness to allow nothing to get in his way, not wife, children of human decency.

        • You do realize that there are plenty of non-combat positions in the armed forces that women could do, right?

          In fact, most draftees didn’t go to combat. For one thing, it’s pure numbers. Right now our “tooth to tail” ratio is around 8 to 1. For every trigger puller humping around in the Hindu Kush there are 8 fobbits making sure he and his rifle get fed. For another, it turns out that giving a rifle and a bunch of grenades to someone who really doesn’t want to be there is a rather Bad Idea.

          Of course, the way our Army is structured is completely incompatible with conscription, so it’s mostly a symbolic gesture. If we were ever in such dire straights that conscription were necessary, women would already be in the middle of combat, because we’re fighting on US soil.

          • Private Jessica Lynch was in a “non-combat” logistical/maintenance role, you know.

            • Gender or assignment criteria played little role in what happened to the 507th. That was more a case of the Army still being locked into the mindset of the linear battlefield 60-plus years after it was no longer a reality.

              The 507th happened because the Army chose to ignore reality, and did not properly prepare the leadership of that unit to participate on a modern battlefield, and did not spend the money to have that unit do any of the training that would have enabled them to survive as a unit.

              My boss during most of 2005-2006 was an officer in the unit that was immediately ahead of the 507th in the march order of 3ID as it moved north into Iraq. His recollection of what went on was mind-boggling, to anyone with even the slightest experience of modern war. Were one to characterize the 507th’s level of preparation and readiness for what they were to encounter, I’d have to say that your typical Girl Scout troop was probably about as well-prepared.

              The gender of the involved parties was immaterial. The Army’s corporate responsibility was paramount, and the Army utterly failed as an institution to properly prepare those leaders and soldiers for what they were tasked with. I can’t even blame the individuals, though many have–If you’re never allowed to train properly, and they weren’t, then you shouldn’t be surprised when failure happens. Bottom line? The institutional Army chose to economize on combat training for the 507th, and then put those men and women into a tactical situation where they were very likely to encounter direct combat.

            • And flight attendant Lorraine G. Bay wasn’t even in the Army. Welcome to the Long War.

      • THIS^^^^^^^

        It drives me crazy. Maybe it’s a small thing, but I have a forteen year old niece who does crap like this. She’s a “liberated woman” (Ok, girl she’s forteen) who not only wrestles against boys but does quite well and does fairly decently in school. She likes to play paintball with the boys and won’t take crap from anybody. But just let a man leave a toilet seat up or not open a door for her and it is ON.

        I don’t get it. It’s the twenty-first century right? A woman can do anything a man can do right? So, can a man open a door? Yes. Can a man put a toilet seat down? Yes. That means that women can too.

        On a more serious note, let’s talk about child support. I am divorced from the mother of my two daughters. I work two jobs. She works one. I made about thirty-five thousand dollars last year. She made six figures. She has custody of the kids. She has ALWAYS made more than me. I pay a higher amount of child support than I would otherwise because I’m the “primary breadwinner.” Now, I’m not denying my responsibility to my kids, but what makes me the “primary breadwinner?” My genitalia. No other reason. No woman in this situation would be considered a “primary breadwinner.” “Male obligation” is exactly what it is.

        • Perfect example of what I’m talking about.

          And, God help you if you lose your job or ability to earn what you are, because the courts sure as hell won’t. I’ve got a friend who was in your situation, and who experienced drastically reduced earnings when his business tanked during the crash. His wife earned more money than he did, but guess who took him to the courts in order to maintain the money she had flowing in from him, and guess where he wound up? Bankrupt.

          Would that happen to a woman? I’m going to have to say, probably not.

      • Birthday girl

        The jerk I mentioned in my comment above once told me, after I had done an “I toldja so” to him, “If you weren’t a girl, I would have punched you right in the face.” I think he was serious. So yah, male obligation there … no hitting girls, even though I had been nasty to him. That incident really opened my eyes.

        • Women are often blind to the effect of what they say, not realizing that the reason men don’t participate in the sort of thing that goes on between women in similar settings is that they’ve been conditioned to a.) not deliver the consequences of such conduct to females, and b.) that men are going to get the crap beaten out of them when they do it. Literally. You learn the dynamic in grade school, and out on the playing field.

          There’s an clear difference between male vs. female interaction on this level, one that is difficult to define. A male in a more senior position is going to deliver an epic ass-chewing when someone does something wrong, but it’s not going to be couched in the very personal terms that women generally communicate such things. It will be an impersonal ass-chewing, focusing on the wrong act. A woman in similar circumstances will generally step far over the normal inter-male boundaries, and turn it into a personal attack, one that oftentimes she turns into something where she’s interpreting the “wrong behavior” as an attack on her, rather than something that was done in good faith.

          I lack the glibness to be able to fully communicate what I’m getting at, but I’ve noted that very similar approaches and words will garner diametrically opposite reactions on people, based on the gender of who delivers them. When you’re getting your ass chewed on by a male leader, it is quite often shrugged off, and the reaction is “Well, I f-ed up good, that time… Won’t do that again…”. Similar situation, when delivered by a female boss? Very different reaction, one that usually leaves the male subordinate seething for days or weeks. With the female leader left completely oblivious to the effects she’s had.

          Yet, were she to take a more feminine approach, she’d generate a lot less animus, and be far more effective. I used to work for an outstanding female officer in the Army, and when she let you have it, it was nothing like what you’d get from a male leader. Her technique was more a “I’m disappointed in your performance, when I know you can do so much better…” sort of thing, that left the recipient wandering off by himself to cry manful tears at his failure. A much more effective approach, and one that would never work for a male leader–He’d get laughed at, to his face.

          You cannot translate the dynamics of what works for a male leader into techniques that will work equally as well for a female leader. And, when you add in what I have to assume are “natural proclivities” for being catty, bitchy, and turning things into personal attacks that I’ve seen displayed all-too-often by females cast into traditionally male leadership positions, it’s a disastrous thing for the organization.

          Usually, the big difference is that the male leaders are interpreting a failure or a mistake as an attack/failure for the group/organization. The ineffective female leaders have the tendency to turn the situation into a case where they’re interpreting the mistake or failure as a deliberate indirect attack on them, personally. Which casts a totally different light on how the individual on the receiving end takes things, to say the least.

    • Funny you should mention that, the new short I’m working on has men in space and women running the Earth and Colonies.

  11. Culture is often so subliminal you can’t point to a time you were told in so many words “boys do this and girls do that”. For example, I was never “told” that it was disrespectful to walk over graves. I’ve never been to a formal funeral, even. I’m not religious or superstitious. Yet there I was in Westminster Cathedral in England, VERY uncomfortable walking over the pavement gravestones. Even seeing other people do it didn’t help. I just *couldn’t*. And I still don’t know where I picked up that very American cultural quirk.

    Being a woman in tech and science is MUCH better than it used to be, but I did come across some blatant misogynistic attitudes in the general population. I was burbling happily to some friends of my parents about how much fun I was having doing electronics and wiring and such, and he said “Guess you’ll make someone a good husband someday.” It was a smack and intended as one, complete with sour look. But I’m happy to report it was a shock because I usually *didn’t* get that kind of response. Still, it happened. It just doesn’t happen as often as the Glitter Hoo-Haas think it does.

    • Heh. A woman I used to work with at the helpdesk left for some sort of job in a banking or financial management firm (I never knew exactly). I found her on AIM one day and said Hi. While we were chatting, she told me about how there were a bunch of misogynists in her office, and how, on day, one of the worst ones was complaining about his new laser mouse (they were fairly new then) – how it wouldn’t work. Just going on and on. She told me she walked over to him, picked the mouse up off the glass desktop, put a piece of paper under the mouse, and all of a sudden, it worked fine! She said the look on his face was priceless.

      Regarding superstitions – I always used to try not to step on the cracks in the sidewalk when I was younger, and as far as I know, never heard the old, “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back” saying until I was much older.

      • Oh, and my kids have the same thing about graves, but the thing is, in Portugal it’s NOT disrespectful and here they’ve never been near graves. They couldn’t have “picked it up” — I think it’s just the idea “there’s a dead person under there” and the memory of a thousand horror movies, and the hand coming out…

      • Clorinda Madsen

        Her experience reminds me of a time I complained that my car, which my boss had helped find for me, was smelling of gas. The guys, including the boss, kept telling me that it was just an “old car” issue. Don’t worry about it. I took it in anyway, and they all acted like “Ok. If it will stop you from worrying your pretty little head…” Then the garage called work. Because it was a friend of the boss, he talked to the boss. I didn’t pay for that repair. My boss did or the garage absorbed it. Turns out, I was right. Some mechanic in the past had laid the cruise control line too tightly across the gas line and it had rubbed a hole in the gas line. Every time I stepped on the accelerator, I was shooting gasoline into my engine.

        The attitude that I was a girl and therefore didn’t know cars and was just being paranoid stopped after that.

        • Well, I do run into that in the US, but mostly it amuses me. I’m still the handy-person for the house unless it’s plumbing or electrical (electrical is different than in Portugal, and plumbing scares me. Actually they both do. We’ve more or less always lived in Victorians.) So we go to home depot. I’ll get wallboard or something I’ve never done before, and start asking about it.(Portugal is different.)
          The employees start explaining it to Dan. He says “Why are you talking to me? She’s doing it.” They look shocked. After that, we’re fine.
          Eh.

          • If you meet them in a plaid flannel shirt, tied at the bottom, cut-off jeans, and sneakers, they’ll never bat an eye. At least, around here they wouldn’t.

          • Birthday girl

            Yah, I’m the handy one here, too. Once, hubby accompanied me to Big Blue to buy lumber and I was asking for and receiving help, including getting a large piece cut, etc. He was just standing around watching. Later he said “I never would have gotten as much help as you just did.” Thing is, would he have asked? I ask about everything … and the best sources of tips and info seem to be the retiree men who work there and really get going on the topic and tell me WAY more than I ever wanted to know. But it’s fun …

            And Wayne, I”m too old to dress that way, but a battered t-shirt and jeans and hair in a ponytail seems to work just fine … if not quite what you seem to have in mind … 😛

            • I doubt you’re older than some of the women I was thinking of. I was talking basically any look that says, “I work on stuff just like the guys”. Mechanics coveralls are good for that, too (and more appropriate for the current weather, I’ll have to say, now that I thought about it).

              • Once you get enough layers on under your coverall/snowmobile suit, no one can tell how many chromosomes you have.

                • Usually when I fix houses before we move/sell, I go to these places in a flannel/hunting shirt covered in paint, and old jeans ditto. They still act like “What?” — um… could be the accent.

                  • It’s the accent. They hear you speak and think Eva Gabor and then the theme to Green Acres starts running in their hindbrains.

          • The shocking thing is that you found someone at Home Depot that knew enough to attempt explaining it; not who they were explaining it to.

            • well, the explanation (how to install a shower enclosure) was wrong as I found when I started putting it effect. So I looked online.

            • That’s a store to store thing (sometimes a day to day thing). I’ve run into a couple (okay, maybe it’s a rare thing) that could go home with you and rebuild the house, as needed (retirees, granted); a few that are actually knowledgeable in their department, and have taken the time to acquire the necessary retail level knowledge to assist the average customer and the smarts to bail on the conversation when the water gets too deep; a bunch that can tell you where stuff is located. And then there’s those others:

              “We sell plumbing stuff?”
              “See all these little pieces of plastic? Plumbing fittings.”
              “Really? What do ya do with ’em?”
              “Well — take this one here, it looks about the right size. You take this and you twist it on the end of your…” *anatomy redacted, for the children*

              • Don’t blame the employees; blame the company. Home Depot and Lowe’s both have a company policy of firing their senior experienced employees after a certain amount of time, other than those in managerial slots. They don’t want to pay the people working out on the floor what they’re worth, and even the retirees who’re just supplementing their incomes can’t stay employed there–They get run off the job by the managers, and it’s a deliberate company policy to prevent them from becoming senior enough to start costing them real money in terms of pensions and benefits.

                I’ve watched the local big box stores churn through employees like crazy, over the last few years. You get in someone who knows what they’re doing, they’re gone in a year or two, max. Meanwhile, the managers who can’t keep the place stocked are still there, and the idiots back at corporate headquarters are still micromanaging the stock from Minneapolis or wherever they’re based.

                These big-box stores of today? They’re going to have their asses handed to them when someone invents a paradigm that allows the local stores to set their own stock, and keep qualified employees around. Whether it’s Walmart or Home Depot, they’re all going to die on the vine when that happens. You can’t match local conditions in Bumwad, Idaho, when you’re running things by remote control from Miami, Florida.

                • The nature of these things means it’ll probably be one of those fired employees who comes up with the new model. Which will please me.

                  • Hell, I may do it myself.

                    Think “Amazon showroom”, coupled with experienced advisers. You’re not buying the product, you’re buying their expertise. The product gets delivered, and you either use what the adviser told/taught you to do it yourself, or you hook up with an in-network contractor who will do the work for you.

                    I think actually showing people what “right” looks like in this context, along with how hard “right” actually is to do, would likely do a lot to discourage casual DIY types from getting in over their heads.

                    Small, local guys and stores can’t compete on the product pricing. But, the big-box places can’t (won’t, really…) do the personal touch and so forth that you get from dealing with actual professionals who have experience and who know what they’re doing.

                    • Throw Amazon, Angie’s List and const. tech support in a blender with a dedicated UsTube channel…

                    • Angie’s list is a lifesaver!

                    • The paradigm could probably be extended, too. How many people actually know how to set up and run a small office for business, these days? I mean, just the petty little minutiae of developing tracking systems, finding the right office supplies, and all of that?

                      You could move right into most domestic tasks, like cleaning and auto maintenance, as well.

    • That is weird. I was always the handy-man of the house, though I have a much older brother, and none of my family friends thought it was weird to come for dinner and find me, in my Sunday best, kneeling on the sidewalk with my tools, fixing the doorbell. (I could only sort of fix it. The doorbell was either malicious or haunted. Take your pick. When it started ringing incessantly, though, my mom called me down, and I brought my tools.)
      And take in account I think I’m older than you, and Portugal is STILL unabashedly patriarchal. Not as bad as it was in my day, where people wondered at my dad letting me have male friends and not locking me up for going to have coffee with boys. (Remember, Islamic influence lasts a long time.)
      School teachers… were something else, but I wonder how much of that was experience because of the bias I mentioned.

      • That’s a wonderful vision 😉 But, gets back to my idea of cultural inheritance, only on a family scale. My father thought it was perfectly natural for me to get his hand-me-down drafting tools, because he LOVED being an aeronautical engineer and would never want to withhold that delight from any daughter of his. (Bear in mind drafting tools for airplanes assume a 6′ drafting table. Some of these compound curves were nearly as long as I was). And he clearly got that from *his* family. My great-uncle was a telegrapher (and a union rep for the telegraphers). One of the stories he loved to tell was how he made sure the women telegraphers at his “shop” got the same pay as the men, because “they do the same work, don’t they?” This was in the 1910’s, so before women got the vote, even. Now, he would have been *horrified* at the idea of women in combat, or changing tires, (or marrying another race, I suspect) but he had a very stubborn idea of fairness that had nothing to do with affirmative action or set-asides, even way back then. But he loved telegraphy, and made sure I got shown how to use a dual-pole telegraph key. Because I was family and telegraphy was wonderful and I should know about it. So cute…

        And I have totally inherited the “Honey-do” list for my mother, now that my father isn’t around 😉 Now that I think about it, when my great-uncle passed I got HIS Honey-do list … Family. What can you do?

        • The obverse of Sabrina’s situation has always struck me as a bit absurd–What the hell kind of family is it where the kids are still being carried along by mommy and daddy for basic life-support stuff when they’re old enough to be going to high school or college? I mean, seriously–I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was about 12, cooked for myself when necessary, and the whole family occasionally, from the same age. You do what needs doing, and you take care of yourself.

          To me, that’s the natural order of things. I cannot fathom the mentality where I, an adult, would have it any other way, and yet I see this crap all the time: “Oh, I don’t have clean clothes–My wife didn’t do laundry this week…” or, when I was in the Army, “I’ve never done my own laundry–How does this machine work?”. Actually had an idiot in my basic training platoon who thought you dumped the entire package of detergent in with the load, which led to us finding the laundry room filled with suds waist-high one evening… The drill sergeants loved that one: FRONT! BACK! GO! HOW DO YOU DO LAUNDRY, DUMBASS?

          I just don’t get it. Why the hell would you martyr yourself, when the people you’re “caring for” are perfectly capable of doing their own life-support? A division of labor, I can grasp: You’re better at cooking, so you cook. I’ll do the laundry, or whatever–But the mentality that says “I’m doing all the life-support in the household, because… Woman.”? I just don’t get, period. If the men and adolescent kids in a household are not invalids, doing the basics of taking care of themselves and their possessions should not be a case of feminine indentured servitude, unless you’re absolutely insane. Chore lists, anyone? Division of labor?

          And, I’ve met a few women that just thrived on this sort of martyrdom, as well. Had a couple I socialized with, and it was a common topic of discussion with the wife about how she had to do everything around the house–Which struck me as a bit odd, because I’d known her husband while we lived in the barracks, and he was a bit of neat freak, more so than the average guy. When I spent some time at their house a few years later, when we were at another assignment together, things had gotten to the point where she was constantly bitching about the issue.

          From observation, I figured out where the problem was–It wasn’t that he wasn’t doing anything around the house, it was that he wasn’t doing it the way she wanted it done, soooo…

          Cue the constant bitching about the vacuuming, the laundry, etc. I watched this for a couple of days, and then I had to let her have it when she started up bitching to me about it for about the thirtieth time: “Tammy, you do realize what you’ve done here, don’t you? You’ve trained Rob not to do housework, because what he does is never good enough for you, and you just go behind him to re-do it, and then you play this role of martyr over the whole thing…”.

          She didn’t like hearing that, one little bit, but when I pointed out to her that one of her big complaints was that he wasn’t vacuuming the carpet and leaving nice, straight lines parallel to the walls, she finally had to admit that I had a point. Rob would vacuum, but he did it in a haphazard herringbone, which to her, apparently, was not “proper vacuuming…”. She’d go behind him, and re-do it, bitching the whole time about how he hadn’t done it “right”. And,then she wondered why he didn’t do it very often. Hell, she even bitched about how he washed and ironed his own uniforms, and would re-do the ironing behind him.

          After spending a week with those two, I still don’t understand why they were still married. If I’d had to live with her as a roommate, there would have been a killing after a month of that shit. I guess the sex must have been spectacular, or something…

          I suspect there’s a reason I’m still single, after all these years.

          • I do MOST stuff around the house because I work from home. Even then the guys pitch in. Oh, and I cook rings around all of them except Robert, and Robert rarely has the time…

            • Didn’t really mean to address your situation, Sarah–Just the general theme of “household martyr” I get from a lot of the women I’m around.

              It’s a vicious circle, and I suspect that it ruins or makes many marriages/partnerships unnecessarily unpleasant to be a part of. And, what really amazes me is how it’s passed down like fine china from one generation to another.

              You have a situation in a lot of relationships where the girlfriend/wife simply moves in and appropriates the household chores, doing them to her own standards, which the male in the relationship often acquiesces to, simply because he’s just not that OCD about the lines in the carpet left by the vacuum, or separating his laundry into whites, pastels, and colors. So, the woman colonizes the chores, and then complains that she’s the only one doing them… Which “he” isn’t doing any more, because he’s tired of listening to her bitch about how he’s doing them.

              You watch and observe enough of this stuff as an outsider, and you really start to shake your head at the general insanity of it all. Frankly, I regard someone trying to do my laundry for me as a violation of my personal “space”, but I’ve actually had women who took that as insulting. Go figure.

              And, then I hear bitching about how “…you never do the laundry…”. Uhm… What relationship are you thinking of, again, dear? Because, it sure as hell isn’t this one…

              • I’ve bumped in to this. My (gentle) reponse is usually along the lines of “I’ve been doing my own laundry since I was 10, haven’t had to throw anything out, yet.” As to cooking, I used to do it professionally, you really want to lecture me about how to crack an egg? My cleaning technique was refined in the army, you wanna compare obsessiveness?

                Not that I’m above learning new techniques. My grandmother’s still got secrets I want to learn. But if somebody’s looking for a domestically helpless male to boss around — best to look elsewhere.

                • “But if somebody’s looking for a domestically helpless male to boss around — best to look elsewhere.”

                  And, I think that’s a node, right there: Domestic chores are a very passive/aggressive way to one-up a partner, particularly when you frame it as a power/control situation. Which I think a lot of women, and some men, actually do.

                  My dad was married around nine times that we know of, and my mom was his first wife. His demands for domestic “perfection” were very similar to what I see a lot of women doing with their husbands, and it was all about “trumping the partner”, and putting them in their place. End result, in every relationship he was in? She’d quit doing anything, because nothing was ever good enough for him. Looking back on it, I’m kind of amazed that he’d have picked this stereotypically female passive/aggressive technique to make his little power-play, but I guess I shouldn’t be. The man was remarkably petty.

                  Honestly, if you’ve got to put that much energy into organizing and maintaining domestic necessities, there’s something else going on inside the individual’s head, and it’s likely a sign of mental instability/deficiency in some people.

                  • We might be chasing each other around the comments…

                    I don’t know why anyone stays in such a relationship. Intellectually I do, but not viscerally.

                    • I suspect that some are doing it deliberately, whether they’re conscious of it, or not.

                      My dad was like that–He’s driven away everyone who ever cared about him with such thoroughness that it can’t be anything other than deliberate. Watching him meet someone new, and how the relationship evolved was a study in psychological abuse, whether it was a mate, or a work relationship. It was like it was the only way he knew how to interact with other people, and he was so totally self-involved that he never understood what he was doing. Complete lack of introspection and self-knowledge–In some respects, it was like watching a machine built for destruction. As a kid, it got to the point where you could observationally go “Well, it’s the third month after they got married, he ought to be doing X, right about now…”. And, when I’d visit him under the divorce decree, there he’d be, doing X.

                      Dysfunction is amusing in others, particularly when seen at a distance. Within your own close family, it eventually just becomes tiresome. And, eventually, unforgivable.

                    • Because that’s how their parents did it?

                    • @ Emily

                      Exactly so.

                    • Some people resolve to be different than their parents. Some who had uncomfortable relationships with their parents, decide not to have children. Not everyone who doesn’t have children is self-centered. It could be a rational decision not to have a child at 40, and a fear that one could be as unpleasant to their children as their parents were to them.

                    • Exactly.
                      Or we decide to have children and raise them differently — not for them so much, but for us. What I mean is, my kids might have turned out better if raised like I was. But I couldn’t DO it.

                    • For me it was a conscious decision not to have children til I met a woman I felt I could spend my life with. Then it was too late, not fair to a child to bring it into the world when you should be its grandfather, not its father

                    • Don’t see why not. Pshaw. Also Pfui. You have a longer life expectancy than your grandfather did — likely — when he reproduced. And that’s not going further back in history.

                    • And none of my business, but since I have the fertility of a rock, I’m allowed to tell other people this: they’d be lovely kids.

                  • No, I know what you mean — my mom is that kind of housekeeper and managed to make every male in the family helpless. Even I only did chores under direct orders, and took no joy in them.
                    In my case, it REALLY is a case of “I’m home. I can run a load while I finish the chapter.” When I worked outside the home it was different.

                • After the third pair of pants “donated” because “I shrunk them,” I wrote on the dryer “DO NOT USE SETTINGS MARKED RED.”

                  Then I used dry-erase on everything marked “high heat.”

                  Shrinking problem mysterious disappeared.

                  It was, of course, because I stopped washing them in whatever cheap detergent offended the fellow…..

              • I’ve had to apply bleach to get rid of “not sure where the smell is” messes for guys. (found in a matter of seconds)

                I’ve also had to explain that chunks of food on the floor, even if you do have kids, attracts nasty insects.

                Guys tend to have a different standard for clean. Even those who think they’re OCD.

                Different roles.

                • “Guys tend to have a different standard for clean. Even those who think they’re OCD.

                  Different roles.”

                  Totally true. Male tolerance levels for things like “mess” are set much differently than the equivalent female ones, and they also tend to be in totally different areas. A male will walk by something in his living quarters for weeks before it draws enough of his attention to register as an issue. I speculate that this may be due to the primordial role differentiation, where the males were out in temporary hunting camps, while the females stayed in more permanent semi-fixed locations.

                  There’s also a huge difference in what each gender sees as significant issues–I could really care less what state my living quarters are in, but things I view as life-threateningly important are going to be obsessively worked on and kept organized, no matter what. When I was on active duty, my field gear would be obsessed over, micro-managed, and customized beyond recognition. Same with weapons, and other such items. Living spaces? Not an area I cared about, and still don’t.

                  Women I worked with, on the other hand? Used to drive me nuts, because they’d have perfectly organized and arranged living areas, but their field gear would be in a state of mis-fitted disaster at all times. Where I’d have spent literal hours obsessing over the adjustment and modification of where straps and fitted buckles were arranged, to ensure comfort and serviceability, they’d show up for road marches with gear that wasn’t even assembled properly. And, no amount of mentoring seemed to get through to most of them–It was like I was trying to discuss color with the blind. All I’d usually get would be this deer in the headlight look, and a “Well, it works for me…” reaction.

                  Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, there was a little voice screaming out “But, that buckle is going to dig into your baaaaaack…”.

                  Anyone who tries to tell you that there aren’t hard-wired differences between the sexes is delusional.

                  I can’t think of a single woman I worked with in the Army who kept a personal modified set of her own field gear, while there were a bunch of guys who did. If the ladies had extra gear, it was to get by on inspections, not because she wanted her very own stuff that was hers, and hers alone.

                  I’ve seen some of this sort of thing in the civilian workplace, as well–There are two butchers I knew down at a local grocery where I used to live. The female one just used whatever came to hand to do her cutting. So long as it was sharp, it was no big deal. She didn’t pay attention to the minutiae of what brand it was, or anything else, she’d strictly focus on abstract functionality. Does it work? OK, that’s the end of it. If it doesn’t? Throw it away, grab something else.

                  The male butcher? Holy schnikes… He had a personal collection of cutlery that would boggle the mind. He took his stuff home at the end of the day, and kept his knives in a padded case that he’d bring into work every morning and set up like he was performing some weird-ass Japanese tea ceremony. Get him started on discussing his tools, and you could be trapped there with him telling you about esoteric German steels and the appropriate sharpening techniques he used for each different type, and how to select just the right blade for a particular cut…

                  I’ve never, ever met a straight woman who was that OCD about setting her tools up. I also can’t think of a woman I’ve met who had a massive emotional investment in a particular tool, either. Guys, on the other hand? Guys will name their tools, anthropomorphize them, cuddle them, and damn near take them to bed with them.

                  Women? They’ll take care of them, use them, and that’s about it. There’s no emotional stake, there. My mom breaks her favorite sewing machine, and it’s “Oh, well… It was old, no biggie…”.

                  Let one of the males in the family break a favorite tool, or have someone else break it through abuse, and there will be fits of anger, recriminations, grudges kept for years, and manly tears shed in private.

                  I think you can observe something similar in kids, too: Little girls will identify with things they can visualize as other people–Dolls, stuffed animals, things like that. They’ll take them to bed, cuddle them, treat them like they were real babies, animals, or whatever. Little boys, on the other hand? Give him some clearly inanimate object, like a fancy flashlight, and he’ll identify with it like it was that little girl’s stuffed animal. I’ve never seen a girl do that with something that wasn’t a surrogate for something living that she could nurture. Boys will devote themselves to some flippin’ inanimate object like a tool, and treat it like another person, a valued family member.

                  Yeah, tell me there’s no difference between girls and boys. I dare ya.

                  • I have known one straight girl that named her vehicles, and fairly obviously loved them more than her men. She certainly kept them a lot longer. 😉 I knew another that not only named her vehicle, but also her guns, and very much cuddled them, she was however openly bi* and pretty obviously ‘the man’ in any relationship, whether with male or female.

                    *She admitted this, and had relationships with both sexes, but at the time I last knew her (we both moved away, and lost touch) she was still a virgin while in her late 20’s.

                  • Weird. I’ve seen a couple of young adults get that attached to a car, but that’s about it. And I have known women who would get very attached to a particular “tool” of their own (sewing machine, mixing bowl, stand mixer, etc – usually a high-dollar item), but I can’t remember seeing a young boy get so attached to something like that.

                    Most of the time that I hear anything about a child becoming that attached to anything it’s their “security” item, like Linus’s blanket in Peanuts.

                  • Maybe it’s just the kids I’ve been around, then. I may be fooling myself with my observations, but I’ll swear I’ve seen this with multiple kids. Little girls make emotional investments in things that are clearly anthropomorphic, right along with little boys. The girls, however, I’ve never seen take something like a new flashlight to bed with them, and cuddle up with it. The boys will, and if you watch the kids freak out over a lost toy, the girls will always have identified with something like a doll or a stuffed toy. The boys? A good chunk of the time, it’ll be something completely off the reservation, in that regard–A flashlight, a wrench their dad gave them, or in one case I remember well, a damn toy hammer. Now, I’ll grant you that these objects of value don’t have a lot of longevity, but the passions are just as strong.

                    As an aside–I’ve never run into a woman who named a body part the way some men have, and who will refer to it unironically in the third person, as though it were a different entity. A lot of guys (weird ones, I’ll grant you…) have done this.

                    Males are not wired anywhere near the same way women are. And, I’d have to say that women are usually a lot more rational about these kinds of things than men. My mom breaks something in the kitchen, she throws it out without a second glance–My stepdad, with one of his favored tools? Sheesh… Break it, and you’d think you’d abused one of his children, from the drama.

                    You also don’t see a lot of women who spontaneously identify a “lucky shirt”, or something like that, when it comes to something relating to an abstraction. Sure, she’ll have her threadbare “lucky panties” she wears when she goes out, but she’ll rarely, if ever, have a “lucky shirt” she wears on game day to “help her team win”. The girls I’ve known who do that are usually just rubbing blue mud into their navels, trying to fit in with the weird guys she’s hanging out. The guys themselves, however? They’re actually believers in that crazy stuff…

          • ‘Tis funny, I was mentioning this elsewhere in the comments. I suspect it gives them a sense of power in the relationship, in the beginning. Then the work wears them out and they forget how they created the situation.

            • Or, they’re simply playing out the scripts they observed their parents act out for them in childhood…

              Human beings are organisms that are virtually created for and by mimicry. Monkey-see, monkey-do. I meet someone’s mother or father, and I suddenly gain immense insight into why that someone has an ‘effed up marriage, and the scary thing is just how many people are unconsciously re-enacting the failures of their parent’s marriages in their own.

      • My father taught all of his boys electronics, wiring, and car maintenance. When I got interested, he would sent me to the kitchen to continue with the canning, dishwashing, etc. I still hate canning.

        Ironically when I went into the Navy, I was enticed to go into electronics because of my ASVAB scores. Ummm.. nice going dad. Yes, it was very patriarchal where I grew up– I was expected to like lace– I mean lace…

        I do like to crochet, knit, and cross-stitch– but my hubby also likes to do crafts too so it doesn’t seem feminine.

        • The funny thing is that I was expected to like lace and embroidery and make my trousseau. I never did. THEN when I was safely married and not expected to do that stuff, I did start enjoying it. Either it was my hand-eye coordination, as I suspect I had the same issue younger son does, or I’m really contrary. Take your pick..

          • Hmmmmm, there’s a dilemma.

          • Well I do have astigmatism which sometimes makes cross-stitch and embroidery hard. I finally got a pair of glasses that I could use while I was doing my crafts and it helps a lot.

            But I suspect in your case both– hand-eye coordination and stubbornness. In my case I was stubborn, but didn’t get to show it until I finally broke away from home. (knocked over the traces, and so forth) 🙂

            • <nods.
              Shook the sand from my sandals.
              But let's not kid ourselves, either. There have always been women like us. The amazing thing is living in a society that allows us to be us. That the feminists are doing their best to ruin it for us is one of my pet peeves.

              • My pet peeve too– I like to do what I like to do and be what I want to be. Also, I have this need to make sure the hubby has clean clothes, food, and a place to sleep. He wants to protect me and help me to stay healthy. I think we do complement each other.

                • Yes, on wanting the guys to have clean (and ironed) clothes, and food, and looking after them. You know, I read an article the other day that more millenial guys than girls cook and I thought that is an interesting shift — and probably due to intensive school indoctrination in feminism. Women being afraid to do things for people they love, because they’re afraid of being oppressed — now that’s sad.

                  • Very sad. I do those things for love– I do think doing something for my hubby shows my love more than just saying it. Also I learned in my own family that if someone says they love you, it might mean they want you to do something for them, which is not love at all.

                  • Yes on the indoctrination. Back in the mid-1990s the students at my undergrad college (all female) announced that they wanted home-ec courses because so many did not know basic cooking and household management. The administration almost fainted and they still don’t have home-ec. They are, however, a sustainable and LEED certified campus. *pathooy*

          • Do I have to pick…?

          • Well, we know you’re really contrary, but possibly the other was part of it, too. 🙂

        • You see, I love canning and baking and I suppose I’d like making pies if I liked deserts. And I used to rely on my girlfriend to at least talk me through electrical work – If it hadn’t been for her I would still have no ceiling light because I was not about to change a wall switch without some idea of what I was doing or someone checking the work.

  12. “… I was usually counted on to be trailing them, my hand in Alvarim’s…”
    Thank you for making my day. It’s great that you were a tomboy, but it’s incredible that a teen brother ten years older than you would help you be a tomboy in front of his friends.

  13. Look, boys might be “better” at science (grosso modo, on average, for certain sciences – I know extremely competent women in science.) And girls might be “better” at social things. But every lab needs someone who also understands how to coordinate a team of brilliant and not very social people. And every soft science should have someone who wants to measure and count and test against reality.

    Team Mom. It makes up for a lot.

  14. Clorinda Madsen

    In West Texas in the late 80’s, a required course to take in 7th, 8th or 9th grade was a home ec. course. Either sewing or cooking. Everybody had to do it, boys and girls. Wonder if it survived the feminism invasion?

    • I wish my school had offered one.

      • Mine did, but it was an elective, and I was too clueless to realize that were I to take a class which was almost all female, I might actually figure out how to wrangle a girlfriend out of the situation:-P.

      • sanfordbegley

        In the late 60s my junior high required the boys from shop class to switch with the girls in home EC for 2 weeks. The girls learned lefty-loosey and how to hit the right nail. the boys learned how to sew on a button and make french toast. My High School offered a one semester course called Bachelor Keys which was an expansion of survival housekeeping and cooking for boys. I took the course because I could then prepare my own lunch, within guidelines. 40 years later some of the boys I went to school with introduce me as the best pizza maker ever from one ,one, pizza I made for that class

      • Born in 1940, it was a natural thing for boys to learn to cook, sew, iron, and clean house. I still remember getting chewed out because the neighbor’s son could sweep the corners better than I did. I still do a lot of cooking for myself, I like spicy, my wife and son- bland as vanilla. Pies, cakes, cupcakes, compote, raise the fruit, then fix it. Wine is a recipe too. Repair my own clothing, etc. Son is a better cook than the daughter, which isn’t saying much. Her idea of cooking is turn the heat on whatever, leave and return when the smoke alarm says the meal is ready. Heedless to say, I married for companionship. Oh, for the record, I enjoy a good liver and onion dinner (supper) after a hominy grit (instead of potato,) egg and bacon breakfast.

    • It was a required course for me in 7th Grade. But the teacher was a Black Feminazi who was positive that any disagreements with her because of either her race or her sex, not due to her incompetence and general all-round stupidity. We weren’t taught much useful, we did cross-stitch, made English muffin pizza (using boughten pizza sauce, pre-sliced pepperoni, and pre-grated cheese). The only thing made from scratch, and only real cooking period was that we made cookies one time, but we were only allowed three cookies apiece, and the rest she would take to the teachers lounge. Under my suggestion, my cooking group substituted salt for sugar.

  15. I always played with boys because I had brothers, and because my mother didn’t want me to play alone with any of the other girls on the street. (They lived out of earshot, and Mom didn’t approve of their parents.)

    I’m not handy at anything except needlepoint and related skills, and that within limits. Getting born into a mostly engineering family, and (I learned much later) looking like my mom’s incredibly tidy and crafty mom, was sort of a mismatch. I’m pretty good at rhythmic activities, though, as long as I don’t have to learn forty thousand steps, and I’m good at carrying heavy things (an essential archives skill).

    I liked playing with dolls okay, but I would play with pretty much anything until I got bored, and then I would go read because that was much more interesting than anything. I was pretty good at math, but I always had to work at it and I always found it soothingly boring, rather than interesting.

  16. Boggles the mind, it does.
    Those women met in a hall built, I would bet, almost exclusively by men. The raw materials that made up the building were gathered, grown, refined, transported, assembled by… men.
    They got there in automobiles designed (maybe, maybe not), by men. Again, raw materials gathered, transported, refined, transported again, made into parts, transported again, assembled, transported YET AGAIN… by men.
    They used bathrooms that were put in place by men, an electrical system wired up by men, a heating / cooling system put in place by men.
    They drove home using fuel gathered and refined and transported (ad nauseum) by men. On roads paved and maintained by men.
    But men aren’t necessary.
    This poor woman (and there is no other appropriate description but poor for someone so bereft of intellectual, moral, and spiritual foundations or principles, though there are perhaps a number of inappropriate responses) probably went home and congratulated herself with a glass of wine. Wine cometh from grapes. Grapes cometh from farmers. Farmers are overwhelmingly men. Glass cometh from manufacturies. Probably also staffed by men, running machines designed and built by men.
    And yet men are unnecessary.
    Thirty seconds of thought would put paid to that silly argument. What I am left to wonder is – where were the men in that audience? Were there any? Good heavens, were there any participating in the panel?
    In using the language this poor woman was reportedly using, she was setting the terms as exclusionary, competitive, rivalrous in nature.
    Meaning she was using the language and thought she accuses men of using.
    In short, in p!$$ing all over men, she demonstrates her own Freudian envy.
    What can I say more at that than, in the terms of my newfound home in Texas, Bless Her Heart.

  17. A perfect expression of boyness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MOGGnOvGis

    Sung by a woman. Because lots of girls have the same view.

  18. We’re losing the war on poverty because our schools turn boys into eunuchs
    By Melanie Sturm
    As a binge-TV watcher, I’ve relished devouring serial dramas in advertising-free gulps. But “Breaking Bad” — the story about a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned clandestine meth-cooking badass – didn’t appeal.

    Then Anthony Hopkins declared it an “epic work” with “the best actors I’ve ever seen.”

    Midway through season two, I understand why Walter White is heroic. As men increasingly check out of work, marriage, and fatherhood, it’s hard not to root for a man fiercely determined to secure his family’s future before dying — despite his morally abhorrent methods.

    That there are dramatically fewer men willing and able to safeguard family prosperity is perhaps America’s greatest — and most unrecognized — problem.

    Consider Sunday’s “Shattering the Glass Ceiling” discussion on ABC’s “This Week.” Lamenting unrealized opportunities and unsolved problems when “women aren’t fully utilized,” businesswoman Carly Fiorina and co-panelists were oblivious about two key facts.
    Read More…

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