Hold my Beer and Watch This- Cedar Sanderson

Hold my Beer and Watch This- Cedar Sanderson

There is some debate over what jobs men and women are best at. In the current cultural push to make women fit into slots previously held mostly by men, some inconvenient truths are overlooked, ignored, denied, and finally, outright lied about. Because the honest truth is that if we discard outliers on the data set, there are some jobs in which a man is better suited than a woman.

Let’s take for instance a snow-shoveling job. Yes, if it involves automation, or climbing into a sturdy truck with a plow on, the playing field is leveled. Doesn’t matter the sex of the person behind the machine. But there are still many places where it needs to be done by hand, and if you’re doing it hour after hour… the average teenage boy is more capable than a grown woman. Upper body strength is not the forte of most females.

Note that ‘most’ there. Look, I am acutely aware that not every person fits neatly into a labeled box. However, when you’re talking biology, you’re going to have an observable, quantifiable trend. Men are better at lifting and toting. Women are better at having babies. It just is. One of the biggest problems in our society today is the deliberate overlooking of that fact, and the desire to push everyone into the same mold.

When little boys are expected to sit still in class at age 6-7 just the same as little girls, you’re going to suddenly see a difference in the sexes. Unless you refuse to admit it exists, so there must be something wrong with those little boys. They need to be medicated, and have special remedial reading classes, because they aren’t learning the same way the girls are. Or, you know, we could stop treating children like widgets in a factory and serve their individual needs. Which includes acknowledging that boys don’t belong in a classroom setting as soon as girls do.

Only… only then you get some Umbridge-style female elevating her nose so high it’s a miracle she doesn’t drown when it rains, sniffing, and proclaiming “boys are not as smart as girls.” You’re wondering at this point what I’m getting at, other than our society being effed up.

  • Boys and girls are different.
  • They have comparable levels of intelligence
  • Their Physical strength is unequal
  • Their temperament is different
  • Ergo, they will be better at different jobs.


Look, it’s not rocket science. It’s pure biology. The reason women have historically not been found in some jobs isn’t that they were being kept out – and no, I’m not denying that some were indeed kept out, or forced out – it’s that they were ill-suited for those jobs.

Which brings me back to the title of the essay. Men are far more likely to take risks that your average woman would consider insane. For far less reward than she would do a similar action in. This isn’t about intelligence, folks. We can all think of some bright men who have done things that ought to have won them a Darwin award. Not all men, no, same thing as above. I’m not poking you into a box labeled ‘Male: handle with care’ and leaving you there. Some men learn caution early. Others never learn it at all.

But without this sense of valor, where would we as a human race be? Cowering in caves, no doubt. Not that we’re all come down from cavemen, but that’s where we’d have wound up without men who wanted to see what was over the next hill, and then, to the Far Blue Hills.

Where were the women? Some went with their men, sure. But mostly, the women stayed home. I read a book some time ago about William Dampier, who circumnavigated the globe not once, but twice. His legacy lived on until modern times in the charts of currents he mapped. But his wife was at home in England, managing a home, family, and business on her own. At one point, he was gone for eleven years before returning to her. Was she any less strong than he? Certainly not. Here was a man addicted to the adrenaline of exploration, while she had to keep the family going. He wasn’t sending money home – in fact, I believe he was considered dead at one point. I’m talking about an era three hundred years ago, which isn’t precisely ancient history.

This is still an observable trend. The modern woman wants to have security, to take care of her family. The modern man wants to work hard and provide for that family (I’m talking ideals, here, folks.) But our society, in forcing both sexes into roles they don’t fit well, has been warping those desires for so long that boys and girls are no longer sure what is acceptable for them. The girl of today is told that she is to want a career, something big and splashy like doctor, or President. She’s supposed to go through 8-12 years of school after highschool to work toward this, and then, well, it’s a career, so twenty years? That makes her 18, 28, 48… and motherhood is going to have to happen in there somewhere, because if she waits until after all that, it’s too late.

Now, I was told recently by my precocious 15 yo daughter that she intends to get her doctorate, and I applauded that. She also told me that she was going to have babies and do it, while keeping straight A’s. I did my best to keep a straight face. Babies are not the same as kittens or puppies, but… If you have a baby, and put it straight into daycare, and see that child perhaps 2-3 waking hours a day while you work full-time, and then school when the child is 5-6 years old and daycare after school, and camps in summer, and…. You get where I’m going? Is it any wonder we’re raising feral, confused children? Their parents treat them like pets… or trophies. Or something, but certainly not as the loved products of a happy family.

Am I suggesting that women today should return to the kitchen and stay there, barefoot and pregnant? Listen, you dummy, I don’t think that’s where women ever were, unless they wanted to be. I wanted to be, at one point, because I love my kids, and I love cooking, and I grew up hating shoes which carried over into adulthood. But I was also running a successful small business from our home, and managing the kids, and would have homeschooled them had I the opportunity. I’m not, by any means, something special there. Women through the ages – go read Proverbs 31! – have been doing just that. Being in the house does not mean doing nothing and stagnating.

Sure, there were times I felt like the walls were closing in and I would have given much for an adult conversation. Fortunately, the modern woman has some advantages there, like cheap transportation and the internet. She can get out of the house, and she can talk to anyone at any hour of the day or night.

And men? Men are being treated like second-class citizens, because they are blamed for things they never did. Men who were born to an era where girls are hired first, simply because quotas dictate, are hurt and confused as they are punished for things that they were likely only taught in school from a tilted perspective, and for things that were made up wholecloth.

Equality does not mean standing on the backs of men and grinding them into the mud for sins they did not commit. It ought to mean standing side by side in partnership, working as a team, and acknowledging that while females have strengths, so do males. More, I would say, is to acknowledge that women have weaknesses. Because the title of this essay was not intended to mock men for their foolhardiness. We need that spirit of look what I can do, if we are ever to free our feet from where we stand now, and take that next step off into… the frontier. Wherever it may be. Men have ever been the explorer, and the women who loved them kept the homefires burning.

“Watch this” isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.



256 responses to “Hold my Beer and Watch This- Cedar Sanderson

  1. Christopher M. Chupik

    “Equality does not mean standing on the backs of men and grinding them into the mud for sins they did not commit.”

    This. A thousand times, this.

  2. I think that this is the biggest disservice that third wave feminism is doing to women: glossing over any possibility of faults. If the possibilities of a woman being bad or evil is never acknowledged, how can young women avoid doing evil unintentionally? It is only by acknowledging the possibility of evil in the human heart that we can endeavor to avoid it. As a society we’ve done a great job at exposing evils where we ignored them in the past (racism, misogyny, child abuse, domestic violence, and more) but we can’t stop pushing that envelope now (crimes committed by women, crimes committed by government, and crimes committed by the elites).

    Keep being awesome Sarah!

    • You’re missing the point. The new leftism:

      “There is no such thing as bad people, only people who make bad decisions.”

      They don’t believe in evil. It helps them justify anything that a “disadvantaged” person does.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Disagree. The Lefties do believe in “evil” (even if they don’t use the term). It’s that they focus on “groups” rather than individuals. White males as a group are “evil” thus an individual white male is evil unless he acknowledges the evils of his group and submits himself to the dogma of the Left.

      • No, no, no — only people who are forced by the confines of their culture to make the decisions they do — and then there are conservatives.

        Point out the first group by their account fits the definition of mentally incompetent and suggest a mental institution, and things get interesting.

      • “They don’t believe in evil. It helps them justify anything that a “disadvantaged” person does.”

        Hell, it helps them justify what THEY do.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        They don’t believe in evil? Sometime tell that to Bush and Palin.

    • Was not Sarah. Was Cedar.

    • Alex Welk said, “I think that this is the biggest disservice that third wave feminism is doing to women: glossing over any possibility of faults.”

      This is starting really young. I teach Good News Clubs, Bible classes for elementary-age children which are either held at a public school after school, or as release-time classes during the school day. We get a lot of children who have never been to church, so we have to start from the very basics of Christianity (who is God, what is the Bible, why did Jesus Christ die on the cross, etc., etc.). In teaching the children about sin (because the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross would have been totally unnecessary if there was no sin), we explain what sin is, give some examples that are pertinent to young children, and then ask the children to give some examples of things they have done that are sin. Inevitably there is at least one child, usually a girl, who will tell me she has never sinned, never done anything wrong, never gotten in trouble.

      Usually it’s a young girl, five or six or seven years old, but at that age *I* knew I had done wrong things! If I was naughty, I got spanked, so you bet I knew I had done something wrong! I might not have called it sin, because I was one of those ‘unchurched’ children, but I certainly knew that I wasn’t perfect!

      These parents are doing their children a grave disservice to allow them to grow up thinking that they can do no wrong! Later on, if life experiences don’t correct that thinking, they may very well end up as one of the SJW’s or ‘Glittery Hoo-Ha’s” (I really think someone should TM that phrase, LOL!). It makes me deeply sad when I see children going down the wrong path, especially when they are so young, because they were all born with tremendous potential.

  3. Another biological human rule is to absolutize any differences we see. If men are better than women at X on average, it will quickly be labelled “men’s work.” And vice versa for “women’s work.” We’re not good at things like a .54 correlation between sex and skill in job Q.

    • I’ve noticed that too — essentialism seems to be hardwired into our brains and population thinking comes only as a conscious effort, and even then it’s incomplete at best. We deal poorly with outliers and misfits, tending to view them somewhere on a spectrum of DOIN IT RONG and willfully transgressive, needs harsh punishment, with no room for the possibility of legitimate difference from the typical.

      • And it doesn’t matter what two groups you are dealing with. . . but sex tends to be a big one.

        • That actually made some sense for many many centuries – civilization has always been fragile and we live in a hostile world. To deviate from what was expected of one could get people killed back then, so in order to build an enduring society, people had to conform themselves a lot more. It wasn’t even about one Hermey who wanted to be a dentist instead of a toymaker – it was about one Hermey who, by his example, might lead a fifth of the elves to abandon their tasks in favor of mapmaking, ice sculpture, and professional hockey. A small, tight-knit community in the midst of great perils can ill-afford that.

          We tend to remember only the outliers who became the innovators and pioneers of new and better ways to do things; many others’ names have been lost to history because their oddities got them eaten by tigers or trampled by mammoths – and those were the lucky ones, since it could also lead to an entire tribe being wiped out by enemies because one person thought that it was a good idea to let those strangers through the gates to talk things over like sensible folks.

          We live in a much safer society (at least for now) so we can tolerate and even celebrate a wider range of eccentricities or even outright misanthropies… but even then, not too many. There are also much more sinister outliers, who preach inhumanity and destruction, and when they gain a fanatical-enough following – and it doesn’t have to be very large – then you get open war, and there has never been a society or a superpower that could ignore that, or turn a blind eye to those who root for such monsters. We’ve been trying it ourselves for a while now, and it ain’t working out so hot.

          • That is a thing, true, but there also seem to be deeper cognitive levels involved as well. There were some very interesting studies about how people respond to “edge of category” vs. “center of category” which indicated that they were thinking in terms of essences and accidents rather than populations.

            Does anybody else remember a reference to a study in which subjects shown an image that crossed category boundaries displayed physiological stress responses similar to being showed images of danger? That these responses were happening too fast to be a learned response, but was coming from the deep levels of the brain where the categorization system was? It’s one of those things I sort of half-remember, so I’m not sure if it was an actual study or something referred to in a work of fiction somewhere.

            • I seem to recall something similar to that, though I’m not sure from where or when. It’s certainly possible that our ancestors triumphed over similar populations that didn’t exhibit this innate reaction to possible danger, giving a genetic component to the phenomenon.

              Of course that takes us somewhat out of the realm of mere eccentricity and into the murky borders between nature and nurture. How much control does the will have over that innate response? Are some people’s reactions simply stronger due to genetics, and are others’ reactions stronger due to being reinforced by upbringing and surroundings?

              • Group qualities are just great for marketers, but lousy for dealing with individuals.

                Unfortunately both the government and a sizable chunk of the population seem to be determined to label everyone according to some weird combination of obvious externalties and political opinion, and stick us in the appropriate box.

  4. C4C

  5. It’s a miracle I survived to adulthood. There are days I look back at some of the things I did and think “You should, by all that’s Right and Holy, be dead by now.” Fools and children, I guess.
    One of the statistics that feminists over look is how much longer women live than men. Can we complain about “Equal death for equal people” or some such nonsense?

    • I should have died before I reached puberty. I used to jump off 20 foot haystacks (yep, and I have a fear of heights too). It didn’t stop me from falling off horses, down stairs, or off haystacks. Bitten by black widows, dogs, rusty nails, etc.

    • If you cannot look back on your childhood and wonder how you made it to adulthood you are not a man.

      • There are two ways to take that. 1) You didn’t have enough adventures growing up to push yourself and know your limits. 2) You haven’t grown up enough to do the amount of introspection to realize what you had done.
        IMAO, the first step to truly becoming an adult is internalizing the fact that you actually CAN die.

  6. Re: your daughter’s career. Might I suggest investing in a Winnebago? Otherwise, you’re being set up for babysitting. A lot of babysitting.

  7. You, Cedar, are hereby adjudged to be guilty of double-plus ungood badthink. You have obviously not studied the workings of our Benevolent Feminist Overladies (TM) closely enough. If you had, you would know the truth.

    The truth is that men are evil, vile and something else bad using those same four letters. They commit PIV and hold women down because penis. They cannot be trusted to act like proper men should, which is to say just like women. Not that all women act the same way, because suggesting that would be sexist, but that’s how men should act.

    As punishment… Hmm… You shall have to…uhhh… Well, there’s just no punishment severe enough for this level of transgression. Just know, deep in your heart of hearts that you have been disloyal this day. Nevermore shall your name be clear of taint. I mean seriously.

  8. Equality is the official ideology of the ruling class. Any facts that disprove it only show there’s a need for more programs, more bureaucracy, and more taxes to enforce it.

  9. C4C

  10. Liked the hat tip to Louis L’Amour.
    He seems to have been an influence on you. It shows in your writings.

  11. Gimme my beer back when I’m done.

  12. The core of the problem, to me, is that Sanderson is mounting a factual and statistics based argument to SJWs, people who don’t understand the difference between average and median.

    They’re not about to be swayed by this. They don’t get it. This is going to get worse.

    I saw a piece on Drudge the other day to the effect that 19 (nineteen, not a typo) students in Patterson NJ passed the SAT and would be able to go on to college. This while the Internet serves up all the instruction on how to do -anything- that any kid could possibly ever want.

    Talk about starving at a banquet. That’s the environment you’re making this argument into. It isn’t that you are wrong, its that you’re arguing in Ancient Egyptian and only other scribes can hear what you’re saying.

    • Is this an error. I did not have the impression that the SAT was pass/fail, rather that it was an aptitude rating and that the colleges individually set the level that they would accept.

      Did you perhaps mean another test?

      • Yup. SAT has a big range.

      • Here’s the article: http://www.nj.com/passaic-county/index.ssf/2014/10/only_19_paterson_high_school_students_are_college_ready_report_finds.html
        The cutoff score for “college ready” is 1550 according to the article, and 19 out of 594 students meet or beat that on this year’s SAT. Please note that isn’t all the high school students of college entry age in Patterson, that’s the ones who could be assed to take the SAT.

        I would opine, given my experience with colleges in New York state, that if a kid only got 1550 there’s not a hope in hell he or she would be able to do more than flunk out in the English Major stream, much less understand an argument based on data and statistics. I’ve tutored kids who couldn’t even read a chemistry 101 textbook that did better than 1550 on the SAT.

        Such students form the backbone of Womyn’s Studies departments and other related bird courses. They can’t count and they can’t read a technical article, but their parents have money so its all good. Three year degree in SMASH THE PATRIARCHY!!!, $100k. Such a deal.

        You can’t really debate such a person unless you take a couple of years to educate them on the basic facts of the topic at hand, plus the basics of logical argument. Without that they seem to think that they are entitled to their own entire world of opinion and hearsay being given equal weight to direct observations. This is why they rage against statements like “pain hurts” and “the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.”

        I used to spend a lot of time “debating” Lefties about gun control. I’ve literally had people object to “the sun rises in the East and sets in the West” being incontestable. When you start getting objections to things like that, you know the only thing that’s going to make an impression on them is a heavy blunt instrument.

    • Possibly it was meant that they received the minimum score required by the colleges in question. Many of them do have entrance minimum requirements.

      • 1550 was the cutoff mentioned in the article. Don’t know if any schools will accept a kid who got 1550 or lower. If they do, they’re going to have to teach the kid how to read.

        • Okay, i seem to be missing something, I got I think around 1380 combined math and reading on the SATs back in75, that was considered pretty good. 1550 is now bad?

          • As I said, something isn’t right there; 1600 is perfect; I got National Merit Finalist with 1320 in 1979.

  13. I don’t think most people understand how much technology changed the family.
    A 150 years ago, a housewife was a full time job. Cooking on a wood stove, keeping a milk cow and chickens, washing clothes on a rub broad and lighting the house with oil lamps.
    Things slowly changed up to 1940 when women went into the workforce in large numbers because the men were fighting the war. This was a new kind of war where the factories were as important an the army. Rosie the Riveter became a national icon and women learned that they could do these jobs.
    Another major change was that we wired the nation for electric power and “Labor Saving Appliances” like electric stoves and washing machines, but above all refrigerators sold in the millions. Now women could turn that milk cow into hamburger and fry the chickens.
    Now women didn’t have to stay home.
    Then came the Pill and women’s life changed forever.

    • If you look at middle and upper class women in the US and parts of northern Europe, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, where you had the luxury of “separate spheres,” there’s a big change. Other wise (excepting the Pill and it’s descendants), women have been managing the household and running businesses, or otherwise doing work to support the family, since the first time someone started specializing their labor. It’s now a lot easier to do, especially without older children or hired/apprenticed servants because of that domestic technology you list, but I’d argue that in some ways, we’ve gone back to the older pattern. BUT hormonal birth control and the sexual revolution, plus the Marxist tilt in modern women’s groups, is indeed new.

      • Until the Industrial Revolution, there really was no sharp difference between the household work and the business. A woman churning butter could be doing both at once because the family would eat some, and she’d sell some. Etc.

        • Even after the IR got rolling well, that was true, especially for farming families. For example:

          Well into the early 20th century, during the winter when not much else was happening on the farm (hah!) there was time for the (mostly) women to devote to weaving, having spent part of the rest of the year spinning, etc., to get things ready for that weaving. In the spring, the entrepreneurs that had contracted with them for weaving work would come by, pick up the finished goods, pay for them, and arrange for the next season’s output.

          Said entrepreneurs had previously sold them the looms that they used. Win-win.

          In a lot of farming families in some areas, that income might be almost all the cash money they’d see for part, or most, of the year. And we’re not talking about barely getting by operations.

        • That and a very common “business” for women with property was running a boarding house.

          • In the 1920s a woman with the right references would be hired from several states away to run a boarding house for the rail road— and get word that they’d made her an offer with such a quick turn-around that she’d leave the house in the time her son was at school. (My divorced great grandmother; she arranged for the neighbors to watch him. Yeah, MUCH different support structure.)

    • William O. B'Livion

      The thing is, life has gotten a lot more *complicated* since then, and having *an* adult at home (at least when you have kids) tremendously lowers the stress levels all the way around–if you can afford it.

      Having someone that can do the household stuff during the week (laundry, shopping, lawn work etc.) means that on the weekend the family can do family stuff without making the week frantic.

    • Housewife is a full time job again, unless you contract it out– we don’t have the support structure we use to. Social Security, families being spread out, etc had made it so we simply don’t have the same support structure.

  14. The difficulties for women who wish to have both children and highly-educated careers are significant, especially if they wish to avoid the absentee parent syndrome. Any time lost while having children will result in career setbacks, due to changes in the knowledge base of the career while they are away. That is, unless they want to put aside the education and career until after they have either stopped having children or have some old enough to take over caring for their siblings.

    The exception being careers where they can keep up by reading current topics in their field while they are out of the loop due to child care. An example would be the legal profession, though I expect even there, there would be a backslide due to lack of active time spent on casework.

    • Well, they could achieve rather more if they are willing to be the bread-winner and have a house-husband.

      One feminist, more rational than most, described a mixer held by male law students inviting all sorts of women from the nearby liberal arts schools. She would be willing to believe that women were as committed to their careers when they threw mixers for men from the nearby liberal arts schools.

      • You’re right, there, and I should have mentioned that. The downtime necessary for most pregnancies (leaving aside the difficult ones which require things like bed rest after the second trimester, or other such troubles), including recovery after the birth, is generally a recoverable time lapse.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Except that (most) women in those sorts of professions don’t want to marry “down”. They want a man who makes as much or more than they do AND have a career AND a family AND a really nice house with 2 BMWs in the garage. Xanax is covered under most health insurance plans, right?

        • Life is full of trade-offs.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Nooooooooooo! That’s not fair!! I want it all!!!!! [Very Big Evil Grin]

          • I remember seeing several articles in the likes of the NY Times and IIRC Huffpo / Salon of women complaining about how they can’t stand their househusbands.

            It’s almost like a lot of that “he never appreciates how hard the housework is” is projection because they don’t value it themselves.

    • Academia has a similar problem, once you hit the research-level universities and colleges. If you are not researching, teaching, and doing departmental and academic service (not always the same thing), you’re going to be clawing for tenure and failing. Once you have tenure, you’re going to be slow getting raises and promotions if you take time off to have a family. Assuming a woman graduates with a PhD at age 27 (young, but do-able in some fields), gets hired tenure-track right out of school, and makes tenure in five years, she’s 32. She’s just on the edge of the high-risk pregnancy pool (starts at age 35, not allowing for individual variation). If she doesn’t get tenure, she’s in a world of hurt unless she can find a job in the real world ASAP.

    • A multi-year hiatus in a career, no matter the “keeping up to date” is often career death. Ask anyone, male or female, who’s been unemployed long term. This is not a good thing for the country, if you include “raising a lot of productive young citizens” to be good for the nation. Nor is it good for companies to be leery of hiring the long term unemployed.

      Of course right now, there are so many negative incintives to hiring at all it’s a wonder anyone has a full time job with medical and retirement plans. Any one with a job would be insane (or very daring!) to quit to either raise a family, start a business, or both.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I agree with Pam on “multi-year hiatus in a career” resulting to career death. Big gaps of time between jobs on your resume does not look good to the people hiring. As they will reasonable wonder “is this person a trouble maker, etc.”.

        The only difference IMO would be “taking time off to have a child” is more understandable to the hirer but even there the hirer might reasonable wonder (assuming the woman can still have children) if this woman is going leave his company to have another baby.

        Is it “fair” for the hirers to look closely at big gaps of time between jobs?

        I don’t know about “fair” but the gaps raise reasonable concerns for the hirers.

        Oh, my resume contained “big gaps between jobs”.

        • Mine, too. Didn’t help that the gap was when I was post-60 and trying to get my own business off the ground.

          Now that I’ve given up pretty much (at least in looking for work in my main field in Silicon Valley) and moved out to the middle of Minnesota, I’ve started getting job offers.

          Too late for the headhunters; we just bought 40 acres of howling wilderness. Which we get to clear and build a house. (What was that upthread about “watch this”?)

          • There’s a story a-budding in there! I hope you’ll share that story as you progress. That’s some exciting stuff!

        • Activist Mommies have not done mothers any favors; if you can’t do your job, suing the company to make it so you are given a different one with the same pay (when if you’re smart enough to do it, it was obvious you’d lose that ability when pregnant/if pumping every thirty minutes) doesn’t make anything better.

          Don’t get me started on “we should make businesses responsible for a six month paid vacation for new mothers” type laws. Should be called the “put people out of business if they’re crazy enough to hire anybody who isn’t sterile” programs.

          • Contractors. No “employees”. You’re fired when you’re hired.

            No business smaller than a provincial government can afford to have “employees” in the original sense of the word. Thank an activist for this business model.

            • There was an NLRB ruling against McDonalds this week that said parent companies can be held responsible for “unfair labor practices” by contractors / franchisees.

  15. I have been torn with having a family and traveling. I chose to travel and to work (well, being the oldest of nine children, I still say that I already raised my children before I was twenty). So I gave up certain things to follow my need to seek. My late-hubby and I were well-matched with these needs. Plus as you get older your needs change. I learned through him that I liked to have a place to return to–

  16. It’s also interesting that feminists always have endless sympathy for women who wanted careers and didn’t get to have them. Their sympathy for women who wanted to marry and have children and had to have careers instead is decidedly limited.

  17. Driving a big rig (snow plow) is not for (forgive me) sissies. Controlling the steering, gears and hydraulics, handling the plow and tire chains, and sitting up high enough to see over the wheel require big people with big muscles. Trucks don’t level the field for the sexes if you are thinking body size or sex. Being built more like “skinny arm Rob Lowe” [except of course I am much handsomer and have longer hair] I would’t try to run a snow plow myself, other than the little one on a small John Deere garden tractor.

    • You’re going to the extreme, here. There are plenty of jobs that used to require big people with big muscles that can now be done by essentially anyone, because they are done with powered equipment.

      And we actually are now at the point that we could build a powered exoskeleton to allow someone to do the job described above, as well.

      • My ex-wife worked in a copper mine in Arizona. They usually preferred women to drive them because they tended to drive with finesse instead of trying to out muscle it (at least as she explained it to me.) Trying to out muscle a 300 Ton haul truck is just kinda silly.

      • But that powered exoskeleton would make the job more expensive, even impractically so, when compared to going out and hiring the biggest and strongest men in the labor pool.

        (Which then becomes the more expensive path when some EEOC bureaucrat gets involved and fines you for not hiring some ballerina to work the loading dock.)

        • Oh, we’re not to the point that it would be economical yet, but I don’t think it will be long before it would.

          • Oh, it would be required by law LONG before it wold be economical. That’s how these laws work. They say they’re good because they require what Industry would do anyway, just “sooner”.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            It’d need maintenance. If something needs powered motion conforming to human motion, it’ll generally be more expensive than something simpler designed only for the powered motion needed to do the job.

            I’m a mecha fan who thinks that the genre is more fantasy than sci fiction. This fall I did figure out a way to do young kids operating giant humanoid robots equipped with hand held rayguns and laser swords, without needing so much of the traditional bullshit excuses.

      • So we’re all going to be Ironman someday?

      • William O. B'Livion

        They can, until something goes wrong.

        Tanks can be driven by skinny little runts.

        Breaking a track is not easy.

      • A lot of physical jobs involve moving heavy things. They go from “One person can do it” to “Needs a second person” to “Needs a machine to help.” Those levels are each reached more quickly with women workers than men. And in they are happening in a space only one person can fit into, you need a male type person (or a female outlier) to do it.

        Women simply _cannot_ take over some jobs. Sure they took over secretary, teacher, bank clerk . . . but those aren’t jobs that require strength.

        • Note: frequently, women who “can lift more than guys twice their size” are just using their brains instead of brute force, and the guys are either being foolish or just haven’t “got” it yet.

          Those guys I got to try the method my mom taught me– lift with your weight– and adjust it for male hips became really amazing.

      • “And we actually are now at the point that we could build a powered exoskeleton to allow someone to do the job described above, as well.”

        As with the flying car, the powered exoskeleton turns out to be a lot harder to make than it looks like it should be. There has yet to be one developed that was even remotely safe for the driver/wearer, much less anyone in the immediate vicinity. They fall down a lot, for one thing.

        The other thing about them, so far anyway, is user fatigue. People get really tired really fast wearing them, because they have to adapt themselves to the motions of the suit. Latency between wearer movement and suit movement means there’s a lag between you moving your leg and the suit moving. That equals fatigue.

        The Oculus Rift VR headset is a perfect example of this. I remember John Carmack giving an interview about it, and the biggest single technical hurdle was sensor/video latency. By the time the motion sensors report your eye moving, the time available to rewrite the screen becomes too short for smooth visual effect unless the video card driving the thing is immensely fast.

        Apropos of the subject of women vs. men in certain jobs, it appears there may be operational differences in the way the sexes see things as well. As in physical difference in how they see.


        It turns out there’s some evidence to suggest women use a different set of brain circuitry to judge distance than men do. Men use parallax, which is the same system Oculus Rift uses. Women often report nausea and motion sickness when using parallax-based VR equipment. Fascinating article.

        • I don’t know, HULC and its relatives seem to be doing pretty well…


        • Uh, most people get nausea and motion sickness from using VR gear for too long, not just women. ‘VR sickness’ is a real thing. Those of you with sensitive inner ears may want to avoid it.

          • That goes with a comment I made at MGC a day or two ago. When your eyes and your inner ears tell you two different things, you can get queasy feeling.

            I never had a problem with that playing Doom, though that’s one of the early games where it was reported. However, another game, using the Doom engine, which came in boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal, that I played with the boys, caused me to get the shakes and a cold sweat. Even though I didn’t really notice while I was playing, but when I got done and sat back, wow!

            • Wayne, that comment was aimed at you and Sarah… you *seriously* may want to avoid OculusVR and the like.

              • I’m not too worried for myself (even if I was likely to play it, which I’m not, because I don’t get into modern games much because they take up too much time), because I normally have a good control over such things affecting my stomach. That one game is the only one that ever bothered me, and to this day I have no idea why.

                • Ok, I just wanted y’all to be aware.

                  Also, be aware that their design isn’t really made to fit over eyeglasses, and at least the early version I used (second developer version) the adjustment wasn’t enough for my eyes. I had to cram my ‘near distance’ glasses under it. I personally find this funny considering how many people developing for it are likely to wear glasses.

          • What VR? People first reported the issue playing DOOM on an ordinary PC…

    • Thank you for pointing out the (non)obvious. I drove a snowplow for three and a half years, when I was younger. It only *looks* easy. Controlling a 20+ tom truck, on ice that’s also nearly *40* feet long, is dangerous. We had one _rear ended_, because the teen female driver “didn’t see it.” How the h–l you can miss *two* yellow _headlight_ sized lights, flashers, etc., I don’t know. We’re talking a vehicle, 13 feet tall, and almost ten feet wide, covered with flashing lights.
      I could “lift/carry” over 100 pounds, and I could barely control one, if the power steering went out. Even with PS, they were a B—h to steer. No way a 98 pound _anyone_ can control one easily. Most of our driver weighed 160 or better, and were not “weak.” We had to be strong enough to break up salt sand clumps on the salt bed. (13 feet in the air), in heavy icing conditions. Lift and place plow connections (mechanical and hydraulic), in heavy clothing. Driving in heavy traffic is the “easy part.”

      • Heh. I drove without power steering for years in my vehicles that were designed to have it, but didn’t for various reasons. If the p/s ever went out in my work truck, I am not at all certain I could muscle it off the road safely- and it’s a much lighter vehicle than a salt truck (I think around 15T is as much as we carry). Even *with* power steering, it’s no picnic.

    • I must point out that I was talking about a pick-up truck with a plow on the front, not one of the monsters that keeps our highways clear. I agree, that’s a much more challenging job. I was actually flashing back to the fall I was looking for a job, any job, and applied to shovel snow (almost got hired on as the guy’s office manager, instead). –Cedar (commenting on my Mom’s account, because I’m traveling).

  18. When I first started as a Probation and Parole officer the street in front of the courthouse had a parking corridor in the middle of the street. I enjoyed looking out the third floor window at the amazed faces on reporting day. This massive (30 yard or better) dump truck would park in the middle lane, and my client, all five feet tall with a skinny body, would step on the ladder by the door and climb down her ladder to the street to come to my office. Even traffic stopped to watch.

  19. Am I suggesting that women today should return to the kitchen and stay there, barefoot and pregnant?

    About two years ago, I was visiting my sister. I can’t remember the exact situation, but it was something like one of her friends had brought by a “dead” computer and I was doing the basic “Open it up, reseat cards, clean it” thing, while installing software on hers and doing some sort of home repair. Ended up having a very good discussion on guns and some ridiculously high-flown topic, and after he’d headed out I was finishing up and started to laugh… the entire time I’d be quite literally barefoot and (seven months) pregnant, in the kitchen….

    Somehow, that didn’t matter to someone who actually respected the expertise I was willing to apply. 😉

    It’s not like I was doing anything unusual for our family, either; if anyone’s familiar with Lady Ramkin’s speech about what, exactly, ladies of her family had done, you’ve got the right idea. (Although mine were a bit more “load the guns and take shots when you’re caught up” than “serve a 12 course meal with nuts and two dessert options.”)

  20. I am currently working as an engineer on a team developing a military vehicle. It is being designed to be used by either men or women. So when there are discussions about access or stowage, the human factors guy will occasionally point out “the 4’10” woman can’t reach that” or “that’s too heavy for women in the bottom 5% of strength to lift”. Fortunately for me, it is the job of other engineers to try to design around that. It’s not always easy.

    Sometimes reality is sexist.

    • Boss: (after watching me struggle to get an airplane moving pulling it by hand with the tow bar) “Why are you having so much trouble? It’s not that heavy.”
      Me: (a foot shorter, 100 pounds lighter, and not male) “Poorer leverage.”

      The plane in question was a Piper Seneca light twin. And no, the boss didn’t get the hint. (Other employee was using the tug tractor to move an even larger twin.)

    • Great. So you’re going to have to design it so that the 6-foot men who will be the primary users get to bump their heads every damn time.

    • It just kills me that they think a 4’10” woman is going to be stowing her gear in a military vehicle. What’s she going to do if they hand her an ammo can of .308? Get a hand truck?

  21. Nothing to disagree with. Plenty of watch this in history.

    Still I suspect courage with No Bands Playing, No Flags Flying has done as much or more to advance humanity.

  22. To me, one of the big problems you touched on are that women tend to be more risk adverse than men. Why can’t we go to the moon? It might be dangerous! Why do children ride in the back seat in a car carrier until they are 16? They might get hurt! Why can’t children play dodge ball? The might get hurt, and besides being ‘it’ is socially demeaning, and could scar them for life. Don’t get me started on chewing pop-tarts into the shape of guns…

    Like so much else wrong with our society, it is a problem of equality of outcome versus equality of opportunity. We can give every boy and girl a chance to be the best they can be with their God-given talents and skills. We can not make them all earn the same salary, or fill all professions equally. My big question is why would we want to? Equality means dumbing everyone down to the lowest level of anyone, only way they can be equal outcomes. Very bad idea.

    • Problem with that theory: I’ve seen more male leadership types end things because it might be dangerous.

      The oh-lord-hide-she’s-coming sorts are more likely to be female, but they do both good and bad.

      Too much separation of power from responsibility, so by the time someone has power he’s been taught to NEVER risk being Held Responsible.

      • It’s training to be risk-averse. If you have so much as one person get a scratch during training, you just shot your career down the crapper. Tom’s mentioned that in several pieces of his writing with respect to the military.

  23. OK, I’m just going to tell a story to illustrate Cedar’s point.

    My wife used to teach one class a week on the Navajo Reservation near Crownpoint. She traveled there by small plane (neither she or I was the pilot). I went with once. She was in the classroom and I took a walk into the semi-desert near the town. The walk included climbing a relatively sheer sided mesa. When I got to the top, I found an abandoned Navajo house. On further research I learned that houses were abandoned because someone died there.

    My wife would have never have climbed the mesa.

    • To belabor the obvious– reality is sexist– your wife has a higher chance of not climbing back down if the wrong person followed her.

      I still horrify my friends and family because I like to take walks.

      • There’s a reason, besides ongoing orthopedic problems, that I take a heavy cane or walking stick with me when I go out. Especially since I do most of my walking before sunrise/after sunset.

      • We were in the middle of a semi-arid empty part of New Mexico. The only folks around were her students (nice Navajo kids) and the pilot. There was nearly a zero chance that anyone would follow her. I saw exactly one person on the walk, and that was from the top of the mesa looking out over the landscape.

        • I am from BFN.

          Those are the only people you KNEW about. The ones that you don’t know are there are the ones that will not just make sure you don’t walk back down, but that nobody finds your body

          • Which is one of the best arguments I can think of for always going armed, preferably with something of significance. And, it’s not just in BFN, either–Soft, civilized semi-rural areas have the same damn issues. We just had the cops run someone off of Washington’s Most Wanted into the river, up here, where he drowned. Before that, he’d shoplifted liquor down at the local Safeway, and had been living out at the “homeless camp” where they set fire to the side of the mountain last year… I think the local idiots are going to start insisting on the cops roisting that camp more often, come summer.

            One of the things I have to keep reminding people who move up here from the city or other benign environs is that there are largish predators around that don’t see a significant difference between small game and people. And, that obliviously moving through the local woodlands is like trolling chum for the big kitties that follow the deer down into the valley where the houses are. I found a cougar kill not too far off the beaten path from one of the local walking paths, which tells me that it’s not just my paranoid imaginings.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Yah, that idea that “humans aren’t the natural prey of cougars (or other large predators)” is meaningless if they are hungry enough.

              Of course, I believe that the reason humans aren’t the natural prey of large predators is because we kill off large predators that routinely prey on us or at least we used to.

              • “Used to” being the problem. Now, my Plano subdivision has coyote and bobcat sightings. Fortunately, this is TX and we can carry concealed; unfortunately, shooting in suburbia is not without it’s problems.

            • And, of course, being armed doesn’t help if you don’t notice what’s after you in time, and it only gives you a CHANCE.

              • Cougars are notorious for their sneak attacks.

                • CombatMissionary

                  I’ve heard those attacks are even sneakier when the potential victim is plied with a little alcohol. 😉

              • Depends on what you’re carrying. ~:)
                In bear country, you don’t carry anything smaller than .300 Win Mag. .338 is better.
                In Canada of course that means you don’t walk around in bear country, because you can’t even carry bear spray, much less a BFR.
                Sadly, most of Canada is bear country. Drive two hours north of Toronto to Muskoka cottage country, and there’s bears. Idiots walk around like its a city park anyway, every couple of years one of them gets eaten.

                On the whole I prefer Arizona. On the one hand there’s coyotes eating the rabbits around our condo. On the other I can carry a .45 in case the coyotes get ideas. As a Canadian I have more civil rights in Arizona than I do in Ontario. Which pisses me off I must say, because there’s coyotes around my place in Ontario too. Nervy ones.

                • Your Canadian “coyotes” are also frequently known to be mostly wolf, and act like it.

                  There was a singer lady who was killed by a small pack of “coyotes” in an area where they’re known to be something like 95% wolf. (But they’re called coyote because then you can actually deal with the dangerous ones.)

                  • Having seen up close what a 94% wolf hybrid looks like, if it’s got that much wolf in it, it’s going to be able to be ridden by hobbits. The ones I’ve seen are able to stand 4 legs on ground and the nose hits the center of my 5’10 chest.

                    • Pretty much, yeah.

                      I only found out about it– blogged it at the time– because they way the described the “coyotes” hunting this girl didn’t sound right, and the mention that they were well over a hundred pounds each REALLY didn’t sound right.

                      Incidentally, there’s a word for a stable population of coyote/wolf hybrids. It’s “red wolf.”

                • You want, in fact, to be loaded for bear.

          • What does BFN mean?

            I have a hunch that you folks don’t understand what the “empty part of New Mexico” is like. There is nobody there and there is little to no vegetation. Since I was walking inside the boundaries of the Navajo Reservation, there was even less likelihood of anyone being around. Further, the base of the mesa was a mile or more from my wife’s class.

            My tale was simply an illustration of Cedar’s point. Men are (generally) more adventurous than women.

            Another illustrative story. I lived in San Francisco during the time of the Zodiac killer (look it up). Most nights I walked from North Beach to Fisherman’s Wharf late at night. I kept my eyes open, and stayed alert. The sidewalks were empty most of the way because of fear (and the time of the night) of the Zodiac.

            • What does BFN mean?

              I have a hunch that you folks don’t understand what the “empty part of New Mexico” is like.

              Not being familiar with the phrase “bum-f*** nowhere makes me have a hunch that your notion of how unusual your knowledge is, is greatly exaggerated.

              I was a teenager before I ever lived in a place that wasn’t legally uninhabited.

              • Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve always heard BFE (E for Egypt).

              • CombatMissionary

                Where I come from, we always called it “BFE”- “Bum-f*** Egypt.” No idea why.

              • Sorry, but I am from a time when cuss words were spoken (if at all), not turned into acronyms. Even in my time in the military, most folks didn’t use cuss words.

                • Exactly how old are you? I know profanity has been standard military speech at least since the Korean war.

                  • World War II, as well, according to my grandfathers– and from what I’ve been reading in novels written shortly after WWI, they used what they considered absolutely horrible curses all the time then, too. (Example, in Dorthy Sayer’s Gaudy Night the gate keeper served under Lord Peter, and I don’t know if he goes a whole paragraph without mentioning that their language was filled with curses.)

                    I seem to remember from when I was playing around with world-origins that acronyms only became popular after a lot of folks had served in the military, so it’s possible that if someone was frequently around those one does not curse around they might have happened into a group where folks actually did not curse except in acronym. (That is, after all, how I was exposed to BFN– the ranchers I was around were mostly vets, except for the guy who’d been too old to draft for WWII.)

                    Seeing as how that was in response to not recognizing an acronym and piling on the assuming others are ignorant of not-that-obscure knowledge for pointing out a (possibly fatally) bad assumption, I figured it wasn’t worth responding to.
                    Anyplace you can get to, others can, too.

                    • I stuck only back to Korea because that was as far as I could go with personal knowledge of the vets still using the language and blaming it on military habits. Add me to those who knew BFE but not BFN, though i understood it from context

                    • From my great grandfather’s (when he was alive) father, back to the Civil War. And like as not Akkadian grunts were swearing at each other, the guys they were fighting, the stupidity of the leadership, the gods, the weather, the dirt, and the bugs back when a good bronze blade was cutting edge military tech.

                      Cussing may well be an integral part of the human condition. I’ve heard swearing so clean you could use it as antiseptic, cussin’ so mean it could strip paint off a battleship, and everything in between, and I’ve not heard it all, from every culture and people I’ve come into contact with so far.

                      But one thing my great grandad *did* imply, is that there is a world of difference between cussin’ and blasphemy. The latter was *much* less common a century and more ago, I’m given to understand.

                  • I’m 75. You’ll note I said most.

                    • To expand a little. Cussing was not normal speech in the military or in civilian life. Nowadays, folks cuss as a part of normal speech. Earlier in my life most everyone, including me, would cuss with reason. And that’s the difference between when I grew up and now. My kids have been known to use F… for no reason other than small emphasis.

  24. “I read a book some time ago about William Dampier, who circumnavigated the globe not once, but twice. His legacy lived on until modern times in the charts of currents he mapped. But his wife was at home in England, managing a home, family, and business on her own. At one point, he was gone for eleven years before returning to her”

    I remember a discussion about the end of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy,


    Talking about Elizabeth as a single mother. Which was ridiculous. She was the perfectly respectable wife of a sea-faring man, raising his son in his absence on a voyage.

    • I stopped taking phone interviews when, after identifying that my husband was deployed (school, not shooting), informed me that counted as seperated and asked me “single mother” questions. (Gov’t contracted survey.)

      Like, the one lumped into “divorced” in marriage statistics.

      Remember that when you hear about “divorce” statistics….

  25. “We need that spirit of look what I can do, if we are ever to free our feet from where we stand now, and take that next step off into… the frontier.”

    That spirit will never die. It’s so hardwired into us it’s beyond dominant, it is pervasive. Humans are curious creatures, wanting to know “what’s that? What’s beyond the next bend?” is as natural for us as breathing air and not chlorine is.

    Of course, the stupid, the stupidly awesome, the awesomely stupid, and the mind-bogglingly hilariously stupid… That, we men get to take credit for whilst winking at the knowledge that the amount of truly stupid stuff we do to impress a girl far outweighs all our other stupidities combined. *grin* And, being humans as we are, sometimes it even works…

  26. CombatMissionary

    Third-wave feminism: the ideology that declares that the worst woman is better than the best man.
    Also, that all gender roles and personality traits are merely social constructs.

    • The “social construct” thing is one of my pet hates. I like to do the Zen nose grabbing experiment on people who spout that crap. “Did that seem like a social construct?” is what I usually ask them.

      • What is the “Zen nose grabbing experiment”, and what is it supposed to demonstrate in this context?

        • “One day Hyakujo was walking with his teacher Baso. Seeing a wild goose flying in the sky, Baso asked Hyakujo, ‘What is it?’ ‘A wild goose, master,’ replied Hyakujo. Baso asked, ‘Where is it flying to?’ Hyakujo replied, ‘It is already gone.’ There upon Baso clutched Hyakujo’s nose and wrenched it. Hyakujuo cried out in pain. Baso demanded, ‘Do you say it has flown away?’

          This is the Zen story.

          In the Phantom version, when someone says “reality is a social construct”, you grab their nose and twist it. Thus is the “social construct” canard disproved.

          Plus, you get to twist their nose, which they deserve for being PoMo idiots.

    • CombatMissionary

      Wow. I must now go flagellation myself for being a member of the CISgender imperium. And I should get a skirt.

      • Ehhh, just accept your role as a permanent member of the oppressor class and roll with it.
        I mean, when one has been unpersoned for being snarky about a Toni Morrison novel or for sitting comfortably, what else is there to do?

      • Don’t be ridiculous. If you amended all your behavior, they would have to invent new grievances.

        • CombatMissionary

          Yes. I read an article examining the finer points of the devolution of SJW culture into civil war recently. Something about the Social Justice Noun? 😀

      • Professor Badness

        I know from experience that a great kilt is very comfortable. You just have to learn all the rules for wearing such a free flowing garment.

  27. OK, speaking of hold my beer and watch this . . .
    I’m working on teh terms list and FAQ (including “things Skippy is not allowed to do anymore on this blog”), I’ve got C4C, GHH, SJW, VileProg, BBQ, Hun/Hoyden, Evil League of Evil, WordPress delenda est, Usaian, to be carped, Raiding Party. Under “Skippy can’t do” are defend Marxism (it’s become indefensible), argue/debate theology, argue/debate the American Civil War (because we all know Stand Watie was the best general on either side and the science is settled), ad hominem attacks even if SPQR and I do dress funny, and unnecessary swearing.

    What have I missed?

    • “You’re a BAAAAD man/woman”?

      Or should we just assume they’ll get that in context?

    • Fish attacks.

    • Necessary swearing is still in, though, right? Because necessary?

    • Do you want to try and explain the interdimensional diner/bar/coffee house/reading room/shop/loading dock/… ?

      Or leave it to baffle them in context?

      “What’s behind that door?”
      “Hm. That’s a new door. We’ll have to mount an expedition. Lemme just get my pack.”

      • I mention not messing with the coffee machine, bring good beer, ask before you throw meat on the grill, and the cats and the Door into Summer. That should be enough to prevent unwanted bloodshed. I’m up to over 1400 words, not counting the links I have not added yet.

        Under Skippy is not allowed to . . . I’ve added “shill books excessively.”

      • Maybe justlink to posts about it?

      • Professor Badness

        I occasionally wonder how I even got in here.
        I must have wandered through one of those doors. I don’t remember there being this many intelligent/insightful people where I come from.
        Or mythical creatures for that matter. (Squints at dragon, trying to find the zipper).

        • Don’t look too close. The dragon’s farsighted and sometimes confuses near in things with dinner.

          • Professor Badness

            (Counts fingers and toes, then limbs, then family members.)

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Then there’s the nearsighted dragons. One of them thought a video camera pointed at him was a SAM launcher. Had to pay a ton of wergild because of it. [Wink]

        • Leave the dragon’s zipper alone. I was out of sutures (we use a few) and he was leaking. Leaking dragons are irritable dragons.

          Besides, I think he uses it for a pocket, now. You really don’t want to be found rifling a dragon’s pocket.

          • Professor Badness

            But what would I find?
            (Thinks about it for a moment.)
            You know, maybe I don’t want to know.
            Besides the chance of falling in a pocket dimension.

            • Falling into a pocket dimension is a given. He’s fond of them, for keeping it all (he is the dragon who has it all, ya know).

              And it’s really more — what would find you. He keeps some feisty pets.

          • Dragon’s pockets can be rifled? What caliber, pray tell?

            • Depends on which dimension he’s set it to. Some of those are of great honking diameters…

              • And once you get past 3′ diameter shells, it’s more theoretical than practical… If you can lose anti-aircraft bullets in the *rifling* it is no longer a trifling matter. *grin*

    • Stand Watie! An Oklahoman the best general of the war? And you call yourself a Texan. (Tut-tuts disapprovingly)