The Culture of Motherhood -Cedar Sanderson

The Culture of Motherhood-Cedar Sanderson

Without mothers, the world would not be the place that it is. And yet, in our self-hating society, motherhood is denigrated, despised, and belittled. Mothers are mocked for becoming mothers, and then challenged to perform beyond human limits. When they fail? Mocked again. It’s enough to make you wonder why they bother.

Let’s put this into perspective. Only a very small portion of the world’s societies demand that a woman keep maintaining a career while trying to raise her children. As a result, neither the children nor the career get full justice. But in our society, should the mother choose her children over her career, then she is ‘giving in to the patriarchy’ and this is a shameful thing in the eyes of those who ought to be supporting her.

I am not saying that motherhood means mewing yourself up in the house with the children, your husband the only source of adult human contact… that would drive most people mad. I remember those days, and how helpful the internet was. I also was helping start up, then running full time, a successful small business from the time my first child was still in diapers. The phone and the internet made it possible for me, and had I been able to drive, I could have done even more.

With the technological advances of our society, there really is no more reason for a mother to need to leave home. And yet there is more pressure every year for her to do just that, to leave her children with minimum-wage daycare workers, and go off ten or more hours a day to pursue a career.

In a conversation elsewhere, a story was told, set in the late sixties or early seventies, of two men talking. One had recently been married, and the other was congratulating him, teasing him a little on his good luck… and commenting that now the new wife would be able to stop working and focus on raising a family. The teller of this tale in the modern era was horrified. The worst kind of harassment, it was proclaimed, to subdue this poor woman to merely having children.

But let’s look at this again. At one time, O my Children, men were expected to take care of their families. If they did not, they were expected to creep off into the night in shame. For the newly-married groom in this conversation, to be unable to allow his wife the support so that she could, if she chose, stop working and have fat happy babies which she could put her whole attention to raising… would be a bad thing. So the other man was not condemning the woman to a slattern’s life of dirty dishwater and enforced slavery.

Because she had the ability to choose. And that is what we are taking away from the young women of today. We are altering the culture of motherhood in such a way as to leave girls with an unspeakable choice: family, or work. Could they have both? Yes, but chances are they will be pushed into a career that means they must choose between one or the other, and whichever they choose, they will be made to feel guilty about it.

I am a mother. For the first twelve years of their lives, I was able to be at home with them, running a business, yes, but still there constantly. When that became untenable, I was still able to support them. But then I had to work out of the home, two or three jobs at a time. I know both sides of the coin, and I know which I would choose if I could do it again. But my eldest daughter is learning in her high school classes that if she wants to have a baby and pursue a PhD at the same time, that’s a wonderful goal, and she should do it. I’m biting my tongue and trying not to discourage her – she is brilliant, and hardworking, but she has no idea what babies or work or even really, school, entail. She’s going to have a very difficult time if she tries that path.

And here’s the final thing I have to say about the culture of motherhood these days. We are losing the extended family. Only, perhaps not in the way you might think. Where once the grandmother (or both grandparents, but men have ever lived less long than the tough old women are granted) was an integral part of the family, helping raise the little sprouts, giving the mother some breathing room, they are now… not. Families are often scattered. But even more I am seeing a trend where mothers, unable to bear up under the pressures placed on them to work, have children, and dispense with a steady caring man in their life: they give up. I know several families, and I am sure you do as well, where the grandparents are now parenting again. I know of one where the great-grandparents are, as none others are capable of taking care of an infant.

We face an epidemic of broken families. We have for a long time, I know. But I think back to that long-ago conversation, to a man’s promise to support and love his wife, implicit in the joking with another man. How twisted we have become, that it is now possible to say that is harassing a woman, to tear her away from her family, force her to work, remove her supportive partner from loving her through all the trials of motherhood… is this a good thing? When did mother become a bad word?

254 responses to “The Culture of Motherhood -Cedar Sanderson

  1. Ascher Goodrich

    This article is silly. A woman doesn’t need a husband, or any family at all, to raise children. She merely needs the warm companionship of big government.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I desperately need to find some mouthwash.

    • After that, I’d say you needed it!

    • AND pour some bleach in your ear. Don’t forget that part. Makes you deaf, but cleanses the brain 😉

    • Sad thing is, if you turn it around a bit, I hear this from folks who think they supporting marriage… women are supposed to be able to replace their husband at any time, no problem, and to fail to “prepare” that way is to fail. 😦

      • It depends on what you mean. When my father’s father died, his mother had to step up, and this meant farming. Even with sons and daughters it was non-trivial. But my father does have a nice memory of when she used a farm implement to run a suitor out of the corn field.

        Preparing for the absence of the main breadwinner is not only things like knowing about the family finances, but how to do minor repairs. All here can probably manage that, but some women find this intimidating because they never watched when repairs were made, or were never shown when growing up, and don’t know where to start.

        Fling scorn this way as needed. But my wife had never been around plumping and electrical repairs, and when we married simply didn’t know where to start. Now she does. And even if she should hire should I kick the bucket, she’ll know enough not to get hoodooed.

        • That’s the kind of stuff I teach my kids, never mind any full adult (and, sadly, my husband’s family never learned most of it– he had no idea how to remove that trap under a sink to retrieve an earring!) — no, what I am still nagged about is not keeping “my career” sufficiently up to date to replace my husband, on my own, if he drops dead.

          True, this is from the same group that is horrified that we aren’t organizing our finances around paying the kids’ way through college, but still.

          • That eventuality (may it not happen) is what life insurance is for. It is usually a good deal cheaper than keeping a carrer up-to-date just in case.

          • Ditto, and was one pleased papa when one of the kids had isolated a problem before I got home from work one day.

          • Ditto. We betrayed womanhood by getting married and having kids, attending to those kids is simply beyond the pale, and we should be guilty that we aren’t earning at least as much if not more than our husbands because what if they lose their jobs?
            But you know, who cares what those shrews think? I spent today on the mountain with the home school group. Whole lot of mothers, more than a few fathers, and no one said anything about how we ought to be working. There was a whole lot of talk about Saxon and Story of the World and those sorts of things. A very refreshing group of people.
            And yes, one of mine was last skier off the mountain, escorted by the ski patrol. Again.

    • You hit the nail squarely on the head.

  2. Part of it is dislike of children, hence the big emphasis on abortion. I had a friend the other day go off on a rant about her dislike of kids. Shocked me actually. Also the current economic times makes it hard to live on a single income unless that income is both large and stable. When my father worked, life-long employment, generous benefits, and pensions were the norm for white collar jobs. We’ve all had to deal with the current norm.

    • I think a lot of people have no idea what to do with a baby, and it ties into this culture we have created. If you spend no time with younger siblings, of course the little ones will be alien to you. On the other hand, I changed my first diaper at the age of 19, so YMMV. Three years later, when I had my first baby, I took her in stride. Of course, it helped that she was such a sweet, easy child.

      • A rather amazing concept. A little over half a year after our first was born, an uncle said “It was quite an adjustment, wasn’t it?”
        My wife and I gave him a blank look and asked “What adjustment?”
        He smiled and said “It’s like you’ve always been a parent, hasn’t it?”
        As we looked back, it was, but we never realized it.

      • I am the only child of two people who were both the youngest child in their families, and they married late, my mother had me three years after that and she was 38 then. End result was that I had absolutely no contact with babies or toddlers when still a child myself. And never had children myself. Might have something to do with that. The smaller critters can look adorable from a distance but I have no damn idea what to do with them so I always keep my distance if it is up to me (favorite joke by a couple of friends who have had kids seemed to be, when theirs were babies, to hand me one – both had babies who weren’t freaked out by that, and almost always when I was securely sitting somewhere, although I did manage not to drop the bundle those couple of times when I was standing – and tell me to hold it for a while and then watch and giggle for a moment….).

        And I’m not really any better with kids a bit older either, not until they start to hit that age when they at least sometimes seem to respond almost like an adult would. Toddlers are scariest, they can already do things and need, it seems, completely different handling than somebody who understands some reason would, and I have no idea what kind.

        And nowadays you can’t really get that training to deal with these strange little beasts unless your close friends or family give it to you, or you get it professionally. Parents, it seems, can now go ballistic if a non-family/too distant family or not-their-teacher person says anything to one of theirs, especially if it is an order, doesn’t matter what the kid is doing. The stranger danger scare, I guess. It sometimes pretty much seems that children are specifically being taught not to listen to anything a stranger says to them, no matter what it is.

        • (About that ‘hand her the baby’ joke – I have been told that I have a pretty expressive face…)

          • And if I had found a man who wanted children… I was quite prepared to, if that had happened, then have them and do my best, although I have always suspected I might not have made a good mother. But I never got any kind of urge to have any as a single woman.

            • BULL. Yeah, you would have made mistakes – everyone does – but you, Pohjalainen, would have made a good mother. Because you would have tried and you would have done your best. You would have turned to your friends who had experience when you had questions or troubles – if you didn’t figure them out on your own.

            • I didn’t know babies, and I don’t like kids as a group.

              Mine aren’t “kids,” they’re people, and family, that happens to fit in that age category…..

              • Yes, I guess it helps when you know their individual quirks. 🙂

                • And, regardless of what you may have heard, none of them are cute at two in the morning.

                  • Mine are.

                    It’s how they survive coming in at 2AM, about a half hour after I got back to bed from soothing a sibling, and informing me that they had an accident and want to sleep with mommy. (Usually, it’s that their water cup leaked. But you have to go check, so it’s 3AM before that is finished, and they take up half the bed, minimum, and you have to change their clothes either way and pry away the comfort blanket that is of course soaked…..)

                    Thank God I don’t have an office to show up to on top of this– they get some understanding for why they’re grumpy the next day, and learn that their impulses have results, too. (IE, grumpy mommy.)

                    • Everyone raises their kids different- and most of the methods seem to work. We NEVER let the kids sleep in bed with us, ever. And currently have 4 well adjusted adult children and one teen child eating his way to adulthood.

                    • I live in fear of our eldest hitting teen-hood; she already randomly decides that she’ll eat, and will finish her food, and mine, and start on anyone else who is slow to clear their plate!

                  • Not true. Minion #4 (my current avatar) manages it in spades. Of course that makes it all the more exasperating: “Quit smiling and cooing and being playful and adorable and just go to sleep! I have to get up for work in a few hours!” *sob*

        • William O. B'Livion

          The smaller critters can look adorable from a distance but I have no damn idea what to do with them so I always keep my distance if it is up to me

          I hardly had any contact with children until my youngest daughter was born (sad story about the oldest, but I didn’t have a lot of contact with her).

          Thing is, it’s not really that hard. You feed them milk until they start wanting to try other stuff, you clean their other end when it needs it, and in between you talk to them, keep them warm and make sure they don’t stick metal stuff in the outlets.

          Been doing it for 1.5 or so million years, can’t be that hard.

      • You mean we’re NOT supposed to throw them out with the bath water? Dang it! I knew I was doing something wrong… 🙂

        I would have been 15 when I changed my first diaper – was living with my sister and sister-in-law when my oldest nephew was born. I think I’ve changed the diapers at least once on all seven of my nieces and nephews. If I ever have children, my future wife will be blessed to have a husband already trained in dealing with wee-ones.

        • I was informed that I was too tech challenged to change Little Bit’s techno diapers any more. They were/are cloth affairs with a whole bunch of snaps, tabs, and other adjustable accouterments. Hey, at least I got it on the proper end and it caught 90% of the outflow! Give me the old fold-n-pin models or disposables, or train me, OK?

          • William O. B'Livion

            I changed a diaper in the back of a minivan doing 75 down the interstate wearing a suit and tie.

            Didn’t spill a drop.

          • We had a diaper service with our first. For a few months. But he was such a prolific pee producer that we found it was cheaper to buy the disposables (washing them ourselves simply wasn’t going to happen at that point), because of the charge for going over the weekly allowance.

      • I have known people to get haughty about how you can’t have a large family without forcing the older children into parental roles — on blogs where much of the commentariat were born into, or had had, large families. Much mirth ensued, which could be summarized, “Force? You can’t STOP them!”

        • I had a friend who was pregnant with her second, and confided her worry about her (four-year-old, I think?) daughter resenting the coming brother. Knowing the characters in this little drama, my response was, “WHO are we talking about here?? I figure inside a week she’ll try to take him away from you and raise him yourself!”

          I was later congratulated on my prescience.

          • “…herself…”, that is.

          • I had similar concerns about the arrival of Minion #4. Minion #3 had been the youngest for so long, and had become used to having all of the Oyster Wife’s attention during the day, I was concerned about the adjustment. A valid concern, I think, but it all turned out well: #3 dotes on his baby brother more than anyone else. It warms the cockles of my shriveled, black, mercenary heart.

        • Yes! We have had to sit my eldest down I don’t know how many times and reiterate ‘you are not the parent of your siblings.’

        • Heh. I’ve always been very determined that my oldest sister is not the boss of me. And younger siblings maintain that I’m not the boss of them.

      • “I think a lot of people have no idea what to do with a baby, ”

        Coat it with egg, roll it in flour and spices, and fry.

      • I found that if I could get through a big stinky diaper before I had my coffee, my day wasn’t going to get much worse.

      • I changed my first diaper at nine years old (more or less). Plus I cared for my siblings from six until I left home. So it surprised my friends with families when I could calm a fretful child quickly and easily. Mind you, it doesn’t mean I want one. 😉

    • Once went through reading up on “childfree.” There’s a range of attitudes. From the pathologically narcissists who bragged of having no children for hedonistic reasons and then demand moral superiority because overpopulation or something, down to pathological child-haters who would save their pets in preference to a child, and who will tell parents to keep their children from squealing about the “child-free”‘s dog because that sounds like rabbits and has driven dogs to kill. (Online, of course. Had I met the last one in real life, I would of course have called the cops to report someone was keeping a dangerous dog.)

      Don’t research the topic without a strong stomach.

      • Yeesh, no wonder they didn’t have kids. If they can’t take a dog out in public without risking it killing someone clearly they realize how utterly incompetent they are.

    • But historically large benefits and pensions were NOt expected. We raised our kids (mostly, still, completely until 11 years ago) on one income. Large? Stable? Ah. Tech industry. Inconvenient? Oh, h*ll yes. we drive 5th hand cars, I cook everything from scratch. I haven’t had clothes not-from-a-thrift-store for 20 years. Most of our furniture is bought used and refinished (and we’re getting rid of about half of it which is falling apart.
      BUT the kids were raised with me in the house. I think it helped.

      • Good point. My husband has been at his job for 20 years and we knew we’d be on our own when it came to saving for retirement. We were poor the first 10 years we were married but I’m glad I stayed home.

    • Oh, it’s completely possible to have one parent stay home with the kids. I did it while my son’s father was only making $10/hr (in the 90’s, mind you.) We had to sacrifice, clip coupons, use hand-me-downs and shop at thrift stores, but we did it.

      People are simply too selfish and greedy anymore. That’s why they don’t like, or want, kids.

  3. Don’t you wish that the parents of all those anti-child, anti-breeding people had felt the same way?

    • There are those who complain about overpopulation when faced with children. Oddly, it never occurs to them to leave.

      • I usually invite them to commit suicide to relieve the pressure on holy mother gaia…..

        • oddly they never seem to be willing to take one for the team, do they?

          • No they don’t do they? I usually finish up when they refuse my offer by calling them a hypocrite who has no room to criticize me and others who have children.

            • I prefer pointing out that if we were willing to all live in NYC concentration, we woukd all fit in Texas.

              • yeah, bu AlGore and Whatsisname Caldoron say we need to live even more condensed. Now, I’d be very happy in a very small house, but I’d need a very large garage/shop. Except for storage and work needs I have lived in 200sqft … easier to heat and cool … but it is just me and the felines. Thing is, I certainly don’t want a neighbor within 200 feet of me.

                • 200sqft house for the cats and I, 2000sqft shop? I *might* be able to live with that. Not sure that’d be enough room for the shop, though…

                • What is this fetish everyone has with small? Small houses, small cars ad nauseum.

                  • Cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain/operate, and easier to keep clean.

                  • I was ahead of the curve I guess. I love old Rear drive Dodge Colts (Mitsu Lancer/Gallant elsewhere), and liked my Uncles old camp (it only lacked a barn/shop)
                    that was an A-Frame of maybe 500 sq with the upstairs.
                    Now it is getting carried away, (The Smart car is silly to me … a Toyota Starlet or old Honda CRX is small enough) and people are bragging about living in 150 sq shacks, If you’re in 150 sq and it doesn’t have wheels, your being a bit silly. I have seen someone with iirc 70 sq but they lived out in west texas in the sticks and they had a toilet and bath house that were not included in the “house”

                    • Lord yes. Drove my old 76 colt till rust had it sagging in the middle.

                    • I had two ’76s, the second got a 2.6 and 5 speed from a 80’s Challenger/Sapporo, lowered, much wider 14 inch tires, and struts and brakes from said Challenger, then it needed a carb so it got a Ford two barrel, then the head was from a first gen Conquest Turbo, shaved so much I had to run premium gas. I was going to make it a dirt track car but decided a Toyota was easier to make power for nearly no money. I could build 4 engines for the price of one gasket set. When I di doutside sales for an Auto parts company I picked up a ’73 GT 2.0l automatic that I soon converted to a 5speed. It had 41,000 when I bought it and drove and additional 250,000 miles and for some of the time it had a broken speedo cable (twice it went a few weeks with no speedo cable). I’d still own it but some putz tried to park a pickup through the front end.
                      I’d like another, and I have thought of getting either a first gen, or the third gen as well. Prefer either the first or second though.

                    • You really want me to feel guilty about never getting around to buying an electronic ignition from my brother to go in my 76, don’t you? It had the the little four banger Mitsu put in a bunch of forklifts.

                    • Yeah, I learned that after rebuilding my waterpump myself … no one had a replacement and the ones who listed on had the later 2.0/2.6 counterbalanced engine pump. So I borrowed a buddy’s press and made my own. Later I change sales routes and a customer had a mechanic who once worked for a Mitsu lift truck dealer. The second ’76 had the electronic cam driven ignition, and I converted them both to the later alternators with onboard voltage regulators. Not long ago (last fall iirc) I came across anold voltage regulator that had been changed out but not tossed. I had files the contacts on it several times to limp along (that one was due to me being broke, not availability of the part) until I got a new one.

              • NO! Don’t you dare bring those people here. 🙂

            • Yeah, I short that by telling anyone whining about reducing population and whatnot “You First”.

  4. Yes economics are a big part of this. Real wages have stagnated for 30 years. There have been tremendous increases in productivity – but business kept them and increased compensation to the executives. Meanwhile the currency has been debased at a relentless 2% a year.
    How has the working man kept up? He hasn’t but just to survive putting the unused half of the work force in has been necessary.
    Business and government both fail to look past very short term goals.
    Just as business assumes the consumer will always be there – and some other company will pay their workers enough to buy their products – they assume children will always be there just like air, somehow. A new generation of suckers, er, consumers.
    When it doesn’t happen.. well look at Japan.

    • One reason why they have stagnated is the increase in the labor supply, also known as women working for wages.

    • We also demand a higher standard of living. Sort of like that commercial where the guy boasts of all the things he has and says “How do I do it? I’m up to debt to my eyeballs.” How much could we trim from our bills if we forgo:

      Cell phones.
      Internet.
      Computers
      Cable TV
      Air conditioning.

      Worth considering, though we’re not likely to forgo the first three, or the last in some parts of the country.

      • we don’t even do that, Timid. We Don’t use credit. we forego FIRST GENEration tech. Six years ago, we bought used nokia phones ($20) for all four of us to read in. I don’t have an ipod, I have a nokia player, bought used. Yes, we NOW all have kindles and mine is a paperwhite, because I had a good year three years ago. But our phones are still Paygo and cost us $50 for four every three months.

    • Must disagree. Increases in private sector productivity have -not- been kept by businesses. They have been kept by government in the form of taxes and regulations.
      To the point where all the industry that can move, has moved. They all moved to China, Indonesia, India and etc. where they could do business without the confiscatory tax regime we face here at home.

      The only reason we put up with it here is we can’t move to China too.

      Where does this leave families in 2015? With a houseful of adult kids, for one thing. The great unmentioned migration of the late 2000’s was adults moving back in with their 60-80+ year old parents, because they lost the house but Mom and Dad’s was paid for.

      The other, rather more covered phenomenon is called “Failure to Launch” in the lamestream press. This is the situation that sees kids going off to college for four to six years, getting a degree in Advanced Wymin’s Studies with a minor in Ecology Agitation and Bomb Making. Then they find they are qualified for exactly nothing and are fundamentally unemployable, and they move back home to rot in some burger flipper job forever.

      Because all the jobs left North America. Because the government confiscated all their profits.

      Be not deceived, my friends. Businesses do what they -have- to do, because mathematics is a cold and unfeeling mistress. If you want to stay in business, you do what the math says. Only Government ignores mathematics, and look where that’s got us.

      • Bingo! Not that a lot of businesses would not have been happy to pocket an increase, I trust most businesses about as far as I trust governments. But the huge increase in the size of the State was paid for by something, and only some of it can be accounted for by the national debt.

        • it’s not most businesses, it is the big ones who also tend to be in the pockets of gov’t (and vice versa) who have gotten things so it is very hard to compete with them. The smaller ones tend to be struggling just as much as the rest of us, and if they don’t, they get offers they cannot refuse.

    • Oy Mackey. Statistics? Bullshit real wages have stagnated. No, seriously. Only if you compute buying power very speciously. It’s a favorite lie of the Marxists, for some reason. It’s NOT true. I had to go to Walmart, which I almost never do, because I don’t have time to make curtains, etc.
      The prices on such stuff are CHEAPER than when I got married 30 years ago. Yes, it’s made in China. Your point is?
      Tech? Our first computer was 2k and I had to save every chapter to tape because it wouldn’t take more. This one was $300, rush into the store and buy when it was obvious that I could afford it, after getting a check for royalties from Japan. It’s faster, stores… fifty novels so far and is far from full.
      Refrigerators? Okay, it’s four times what it was in the eighties, but we’re buying much bigger. For the same size it’s about half again as much and yes, wages have increased that, even in retail. I have friends there. They’ve actually doubled.
      Now, if you are comparing to certain things such as cars or houses, the burden of regulations has made that insanely expensive.
      Food? Eh. Buying from scratch, it has all quadrupled, but the last doubling was the last five years.

      • foodstuffs are higher. Meat especially, but that is in part due to Fuel laws (not only are we stealing food from the world to make our cars go, it is making our eating critter chow more pricey), and high transport cost due to the fuel price, and higher grass prices (hey, hay) because of drought, and the cost of using fuel to make the rolls/squares and get them from where the grow to where they are needed. Hay though has dropped this year and last, but is still around $45 for the regular stuff, but $99 for the high quality.
        Few years back it was $99 for the regular stuff.
        Gas has dropped (it is back to what it was when the current usurper in 1600 penn got in) but that will be temporary … the Saud are trying to bankrupt Russia, Iran, and the Frackers. Sadly for the Saud, they need $90 oil to pay for all their stuff (meaning they are going in the hole very fast too) but Fracking in the US and Canada only needs $70 to make it quite profitable, and when it hits that will be back to poking holes in the ground.

        • There’s also been a lot of work done to close off federal land to grazing– which makes it so that the fires are more damaging (especially if the rule of “only put out fires where we know they weren’t caused by nature” is followed), the public lands are more expensive, and the public employees can spend more time harassing the neighbors– and to impose “animal care standards” to increase the cost of making food.
          (Especially horrific is how many of these supposedly for-the-animals standards make it so the animals are worse off, like the anti-crating things which result in entire litters of piglets being smashed to death, or ‘free range’ and ‘social’ chicken farming which means you lose all the weakest birds to being pecked to death, which is a really horrible way to die.)

          • ah, well it ain’t like this crap is being pushed by folks who know a thing or two about how things actually work.

            • Sometimes I think the ONLY regulatory agency that has folks in it that know how the industry they regulate works is the NRC. Every other regulator is populated by gender queer studies and sociology majors.

              • Patrick Chester

                ….and now I have a nightmare of the NRC being run by gender queer studies and sociology majors.

                I’ll try to be offplanet if that happens.

      • Don’t forget that part of the fridge price increase was due to banning freon which is another eco-moron regulation. Anyone who has studied chemistry knows that oxxygen blocks UV better than ozone and if we run out of oxygen in the atmosphere, we have worse problems than UV.

      • Gardens. This is one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to the move to Arizona. Because I don’t give a rats backside where it is I know whom to bug (the mom) about what plants will grow and be nomnoms. *nods emphatically.*

      • Computer hardware… oh, wow.

        30+ years ago, a 20 MEGABYTE hard drive would run you well north of $2k. Around the early ’90s, I was thrilled when the price per MEGABYTE of storage was running at about a dollar! I could get a 20mb Seagate drive for only around $200!

        I picked up a 60 gigabyte SSD at a local store for $48. Cost per megabyte?

        0.00000008 cent.

        We live in amazing times.

    • William O. B'Livion

      Funny, I look around my decidedly lower-middle class neighborhood and see well fed kids, houses with more cars and trucks than parking spaces (not everyone of course, but even the folks 2 doors down have **2** smart cars they part in the garage with their other car while one is in the driveway).

      I see people with 60 inch TVs and computers for everyone, storage sheds (yes, shedS plural) in the back yard and garages full of crap whinging about how bad off they are.

      30 years ago “poor” people made do with 19 inch TVs and hard wired phones (wireless, not cell, but wireless was just coming in for the middle classes, and the wealthy drug dealers had cellphones).

      Today “the poor” have cellphones and 40 inch TVs.

      30 years ago almost no one in the middle class had RVs or powerboats. Today they’re almost common.

      • “Today “the poor” have cellphones and 40 inch TVs.”

        Actually, I broke down and purchased a 60″ TV because all the single mom’s on AFDC, food stamps, and whatnot whom I work with in my part time job all had 60″ TVs, not 40″, and I didn’t. But I bagged one on sale at the evil walmart, with a 24 month no interest credit offer. Better terms then the rent-to-own stores are giving the welfare queens.

        • Tiger Direct got us the 40 inch– smallest thing we could find that wasn’t a monitor, because the one my husband bought when he got out of the Navy was showing signs of possible electronic problems in one of the HDMI inputs.

          We don’t have a room big enough for a 60 inch to not be a pain.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            To this day we have not bought a TV bigger than 13 inch. IIRC. Monitors are a different matter.

        • I forgot to mention- we don’t actually watch “TV”. We do have a large selection of laserdiscs, DVD’s and blurays, and now that we (finally) have DSL, Netflix. But the last only because my daughter is paying for it.

    • Feather Blade

      “Unused half of the workforce?”

      There is no such thing. That supposedly “unused half of the workforce” was working raising kids and cleaning houses and taking in washing from their neighbors, and running the kitchen garden and keeping the chickens and other small livestock.

      There was no unused half of the workforce.

      …except in the minds of the communists and other such unsavory busy-bodies who saw anyone not working for them as not working.

      • If they thought about what women did as home-makers at all, it was probably to bemoan how inefficient it was– kind of like how we’re supposed to live in bread-boxes piled sky high, with only public transportation, because it’s “efficient.”

        That seems strange, since having two parents that duplicate efforts is obviously inefficient… but that’s only a problem if you assume that a household should include two parents.

        • Feather Blade

          They really, really want to be the Auditors.

        • Well, the work a woman does in the home is nontaxable. Which is a horror to our would be rulers.

          • This, right here.

            I’m convinced that this is the reason that the state has been pushing the marginalization of stay-at-home mothers for decades, despite the obvious social costs. You can’t tax something that doesn’t draw pay, and the social policy makers have been pushing to get women out of those non-paying positions and into the work force for a reason. Once they accomplish that, they can tax the woman working, and all the people who are now providing the services she used to provide for free to her family.

            It’s quite clear, once you step past the BS, and look at the actual motivations.

            • Jeebus… I really, really need to lay off the melange. I posted this earlier today, and what do I find on Twitchy a few minutes ago?

              http://twitchy.com/2015/01/27/beyond-parody-lefties-unbelievable-take-on-stay-at-home-parents/

              Apparently, I’m wired into the zeitgeist, or something. Tomorrow, I’m changing the brand of coffee going into the espresso machine, I promise. I thought I was being darkly cynical, but apparently not.

              • Patrick Chester

                It’s usually helpful to never think progressives have reached their limits. Granted, I get surprised by their antics sometimes, but I still try to remember they have no limits on what they’ll do.

                • Remember that if they were campaigning for definite results, once they got them, they would have to go home and be good — in ordinary, quotidian ways — to gain their daily moral ego-boo, and not much of that. As long as they campaign, they can give themselves extra ego-boo for being arrogant bullies.

              • You’re going off of the same goal– “Exagerate for effect.”

                Problem being, you recognize that more is not always better, and that reductio ad absurdum is a thing. They don’t have the perspective to recognize the absurdum.

              • I went back to the original article. Oddly enough, with no comments, its comment section is closed.

      • Birthday girl

        Yes, this is straight out of the Communist Manifesto. The usurping of child care to the collective so women could do “real” work and be “equal” with men. The destruction of the organic family is explicitly described there.

  5. When did Mother become a bad word?

    When it became expedient for the left wing of our Big Government political regime, is when. When it became profitable for ugly fat women with bipolar disorder to write books about the patriarchy is when.

    I’m old enough to remember the uproar over The Pill. That was touted as the defining event in Modern Times, the event which freed women from their ancient chains of motherhood. Now women were able to boink indiscriminately and still -plan- their families.

    These are the two beloved things of the Left. Boinking and planning. Because they’re perverts and control freaks.

    Also it’s much easier to control a mass of women with children when there’s no man around taking care of them. They scare easier that way.

    • When did Mother become a bad word?

      When the SJW confused independence with selfishness.

    • I question that it has EVER been profitable for the likes of Andrea Dworkin to be published. Oh, the publishing industry was happy to payhe “royalties”, but I seriously doubt that overall that kind of book breaks even. It’s vanity printing and the vanity involved is the publishers’.

      • It was quite profitable for Andrea though, as it pushed her into the upper ranks of the Intelligentsia. She’s a Name now thanks to those unreadable tomes that currently collect dust in Wymmin’s Studies libraries and remainder book shops.

        • I’ve read some of her works. Had a tendency to get incoherent.

          Also, there’s always the amusing little denial that she said all intercourse was rape. Given that she poured contempt on the notion of women’s consent being meaningful, I don’t think she was entitled to quite the high horse she would get on about it.

    • The Pill was, feminists declared, going to usher in a golden age of marital stability and happy childhood. The Pope was less optimistic. Indeed, by reading the grumbles of feminists nowadays about hookup culture, you can get a good idea of what he thought the likely outcome. (One could even be scientific and go with the theory that makes better predictions.)

    • When it became profitable for ugly fat women with bipolar disorder

      Thought you were talking about me during pregnancy for a sec.

      Beyond the one-liner, this does have a point: pregnant women are a really good target for emotional attack. It doesn’t even have to be active– my husband was laughing the other day because of one of the (many) indignities of pregnancy that’s never in the movies. They’re not trying to idealize it, but if folks’ notion of “pregnancy” is wildly different than what it actually is like, then they’re going to respond very poorly.

      Heck, there are women every year who give birth shortly after finding out they were pregnant– I was talking to a group of mothers who’ve had several kids, and they couldn’t understand how someone wouldn’t KNOW they were pregnant.

      I can totally see it– especially if you’re a little heavy and thus always trying to lose weight. First trimester, you drop ten or fifteen pounds– you’re elated. At long last, you’re getting results from doing all the things you’re supposed to do to lose weight. (and there’s always something new-ish to attribute it too, as well– if you’re doing a food diary, then the not feeling like eating will lower how much you record yourself eating, and no, if you’re not expecting it, nausea doesn’t instantly indicate “I am pregnant.”) You don’t notice a disruption in your cycle, because your cycle is already very likely screwy, especially if you’re dieting.

      Then the second trimester hits, and no matter what you do, you gain weight– absolute minimum, your body is making a lot of blood, but that isn’t something you can see. You just know that your face flushes easily, you’re gaining weight, the scale keeps going up no matter what you do. The ‘helpful’ comments start: “Gee, you were looking so good a few months ago– why don’t you go back on that diet?”

      Third trimester, all of that, but more. If you aren’t feeling for the kicks, it’s possible to not figure it out. Pain in that area is not that unusual for a dieting woman.

      And still, she doesn’t look “pregnant,” because she isn’t slick and lean except for the huge baby bulge. She just “looks fat.”
      I was 8 months pregnant and people at the play group had no idea, because I didn’t look like an actress with a pregnancy bump belted on.

      • This last time I was pregnant, I got a lot of odd comments (odd to me, at least.) “But you’re so small!” was the oddest one, because I have BIG bumps and big babies in them, and I’m a tallish woman to begin with. What it was was gestational diabetes and me keeping to an obnoxiously strict dietary regime; I actually lost ten to fifteen pounds in the first few weeks I was on that and didn’t gain back more than a couple of pounds before the end of the pregnancy—a total of 27 pounds weight gain over the whole pregnancy instead of my usual 40+. (This being the usual, instead of this.) I also got a lot more pregnancy-related comments earlier on, when it’s less obvious.

        I should also note that I talked with a young woman at the park who had recently had a C-section and given that child up for adoption; she had been surprised to be pregnant because she was on TWO forms of birth control at the time, both hormonal. (I suggested that maybe barrier BC was going to be the way to go and she laughingly agreed.)

      • Yet there IS a point where the bulge from pregnancy is significantly distinguishable from that of being overweight. But if you’re not used to seeing it, I guess it can be hard to pick out.

        • If you know what you’re looking for, instead of “what is on TV and pregnancy magazines and in the movies,” it’s a major difference.

          Having pregnancy as a possibility is another aspect. (Have I ranted, recently, about how quick doctors are to tell couples that they “can’t possibly get pregnant”?)

          But if you look at all those women, you’ll notice their body type rather completely ignores a wide variety of normal female body types. Even the maternity clothing industry doesn’t provide much.

          My build is a lot more on the traditional peasant build, and I notice that every time I look at one of those stories and the lady isn’t obese (really obese, none of that BMI nonsense), so’s she.

          Even maternity clothing stores don’t have stuff for those of us who look more like a hobbit than an elf– I’ve worn my normal clothes for the majority of all three kids’ baking, with only minor modifiers at the end.

          • This is too true. When my ex was pregnant with my oldest I got chewed out by a girl who didn’t even know her. Apparently it was not polite to mention, when asked, that my ex didn’t look all that different at six months pregnant than she normally did because she was a big girl to start with. It was true though.

            • Heh. I got griped at by one of our friends because I did NOT ask about her being pregnant. She wasn’t quite to the point I could be sure she wasn’t just gaining weight.

              • The first rule of dealing with women:

                Never ask a woman if she is pregnant.

                The second rule of dealing with women:

                If a woman looks like she is pregnant, see rule number one.

                You did the right thing. She was probably just moody.

                • I did a comedy routine while eight months pregnant and I repeated the line of “not asking a woman if she’s pregnant unless she’s crowning” and went on to say “I’M NOT GOING TO SUBJECT YOU TO THAT.”

                  The delivery room has a big mirror. When they asked if I wanted it, I said HELL no.

              • See? Hormonal whicky-whack– if you’d asked her too soon, she’d have growled that you’re not supposed to do that. 😀

          • I did happen to remember, after I made that previous comment, that the woman who it took the longest to be sure about, for me, was actually one of the skinniest women I knew. I never did figure out where she hid that kid until late in the sixth month.

            • Some women just hide it better than others. I had a young lady working for me who I was constantly getting harassed over, because our bosses simply didn’t believe her skinny ass was pregnant. Despite all the prenatal appointments, and everything else, since she “didn’t look pregnant” at seven months, they were convinced she was pulling some kind of fast one on me. Even right up until she had the baby, she only looked “a little bit pregnant”. It’s all down to genetics and how the body is built. Some women get huge, some don’t. My young lady gave birth to a full-term, normal-weight baby boy, and never really looked like she was past about the first trimester. I think she gained a total of ten pounds over her baby’s weight at birth, and then was back at her normal weight inside of sixty days.

              And, yes… Every woman in the unit hated her ass, for that. With undying passion.

      • Birthday girl

        ” If you aren’t feeling for the kicks, it’s possible to not figure it out. Pain in that area is not that unusual for a dieting woman.”

        I know this is YMMV territory, but my bog, my innards still aren’t the same since I was pregnant. And no, not wine. Baby standing on the liver, head on the large bowel, stretching … for hours on end … gah, it even hurts to remember … that one turns 20 in a few weeks. I guess you aren’t talking about that kind of thing …

    • The Other Sean

      “Mother” becomes a bad word when there is an implicit or explicit second part, as in “That’s one ugly mother.”

    • It’s easier to control people who are isolated. If sex becomes largely loveless, then families do not form, and thus people are more isolated.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Also, kids whose upbringing has been screwed up that way are easier to manipulate. If they are screwed up to the point that the only remedy is the noose, that can be used to manipulate others still.

  6. I think it’s a bit of a misnomer to consider it a career vs family thing. For millennia the home was just as much a business as plowing the fields. it’s only with the decline of each family running their own small business that the term “working mother” has come to mean employment outside the
    home.

    It’s perhaps worth considering Proverbs 31:10-31 as an example. Then consider this passage, dating maybe as late as a three thousand years ago, was the norm for a long time, and is hardly a SJW’s idea of a stay at home mom. And that has stayed true somewhat even to this day. Tell a stay-at-home mother that she’s not working and see what happens, but let me know first where I can sell tickets.

    I’m ambivalent on the subject, raised in a home of a working mother in the modern sense, with grandmothers who were of the traditional variety, and knowing that tradition was hardly the life a SJW thinks.

    Ah, well, The side benefit of all this is that SJW aren’t as likely to breed.

    • And during those millennia, there was no sharp division between working for money and for use. A woman who made cheeses might sell some as well as feed her family.

      In the 19th century, in fact, there was a grave debate about the dangers of wage labor to democracy. Youngsters lived in other people’s homes, and were unmarried, and worked for wages. Properly independent adults were married, in their own homes, and worked for themselves, either using their own handiwork or selling it, not their labor, to support themselves.

      • And even if you didn’t mean to sell any cheeses, the neighbors might drop by and offer you a trade or some cash; or something might come up, like a bill, that you might be able to pay with barter….

    • I had Proverbs 31 in mind while writing this, and have referenced it in earlier essays. I tend not to include direct Biblical references when addressing a (mostly) secular audience, but I’ve been feeling more an more like it’s time for me to take that passage and really dig into it. But that’s a topic for a different blog, not here.

      • My point was the historic aspect. It dates from 10th – 4th Century BC, and is an easily found reference. It’s quite lengthy, so I just referenced the text.

        Sort of like when Job says the Earth hangs on nothing, and, realizing this is from a pretty old book, illustrates the principle that not being technologically advanced is not the same as being stupid. The same as reading speculations on antipodal continents from around the 2nd Century AD.

        Honest: I don’t even have a Chick tract on me. 😉

  7. “…to leave her children with minimum-wage daycare workers…”

    You say that like it wasn’t the main target of the effort. They’re not kidding when they say, “cradle-to-grave.”

    M

  8. I definitely agree with you on this. I have long noticed the change of seeing mothers as cherished people change to be hated and despised. I remember back in East Germany, when my mom gave birth to my youngest brother, they made her wash her own dishes, insisting that she not be ‘dependent’ on help or end up being undeservedly spoiled. She had an emergency ceasean and ended up having a severe stress reaction that in Filipino is known as binat (usually translated as ‘relapse’, but is akin to a whole body muscle and tendon strain response, like when leg muscles seize or cramp up due to overworking them.)

    It was always so striking to me that the reason for refusing to be gentle and caring stemmed from … well, envy that even for a time, someone might need to be taken care of, pampered or told to take it easy and someone else isn’t at the same time. It’s childish jealousy, akin to ‘why does she get a cookie and I don’t?’

    In the ‘old days’ the traditions were to take care of a new mother to give her time to recover from the birth, whether by ‘isolating’ her for a period of time (I’ve found it usuallly is said to be a month) and she is cared for by other women, and if she’s a new mum things might be taught to her about motherhood and childcare – if she isn’t already experienced in taking care of her siblings by then.

    Now we isolate families from each other and mothers most of all.

    • BINGO!!!

      I remember when my youngest brother was born, both of my grandmothers and damn near all of my aunts came by in shifts to help Mom, and she did the same when all my cousins were born. When each of my 4 sons were born, Mom came in for a couple of weeks to help and so did Judy’s sister, in shifts. Both our families take family seriously.

    • East Germany not only had nasty old biddy Communist nurses, but nasty old biddy Communist nurses who used to be Nazis, and/or who had been raped during WWII by the invading Soviets.

      So yeah, they may have had Issues. Or they may just have been evil and nasty.

  9. Motherhood is a state which has been very weirdly treated historically. Seriously. People don’t realize this, but motherhood is a state that HAS been promoted by the state for its own uses. Really. Sometimes it has been totalitarian governments, but sometimes not too.

    The Nazis, of course, had fitness programs for girls and women. Girls grew up listening to lessons in school about how they should look attractive and be friendly in order to attract a mate. Why did they need to attract a mate? To produce the next generation of soldiers. The Nazis were evil but they were not stupid. They knew where babies come from and they were a society dedicated to perpetual war. They needed to replace casualties.

    Speaking of replacing casualties, the European democracies and – to a much lesser extent, the United States – had losses of their own to make up for in the wake of World War I. They didn’t quite take the path the Nazis did later though. Instead they invented a holiday named Mother’s Day (yup, the same holiday we celebrate here) as a way to create more prestige for mothers and encourage women to have children. This is the reason that I can read things about how Mother’s Day is sexist and holiday and a manifestation of the patriarchy and not explode. It’s a stilted point of view to be sure but they’re not exactly wrong.

    Part of my confusion about the way women are treated in the here and now is that governments don’t seem to understand the benefits of human reproduction for their population. It’s become cool to import labor from third world countries. I hear this leftist crap about motherhood all the time. I just don’t understand the reasoning.

    Cedar speaks of the breakdown of the family and of motherhood, but I think she misses another important thing. Thanks, once again, to the state fatherhood has become something to be feared. See, back in the days when I was a wee little Jimbo fathers were expected to be married to mothers and live with them and take care of them and their children. But times have changed. Nowadays divorce and single motherhood have taken the purpose of fathers away and forced them into what is basically indentured servitude. In the here and now a woman who has a man’s child is a threat to take half of his income for the next eighteen years. There’s no real incentive to have a kid as a man anymore either. Where does that leave us? I’m not sure but it doesn’t sound like anywhere good.

    • I would also point you to the case in Kansas courts right now where a man consented to be a sperm donor to a lesbian couple so that the couple could have a child. The terms of the contract stated that he would have no financial obligation to the couple or the child – that he was providing the sperm period, dot, end of sentence. Kansas child welfare pursued a lawsuit for child support against him – against the wishes of the female parents – because he can’t sign his responsibilities away, so the contract was null and void.

      As a man, there is something to be said about having a prenup that says you get custody of the children if you get divorced.

      • Well, ya know…

        Male privilege and that poor kid and never mind contract law and IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN DAMMIT!!!

        Or sumfin…

      • I’ve only heard of one case where a DNA father- actually 2 of them at once- got out of paying child support. A woman had sex with both halves of a set of identical twins on the same day. DNA said they were both the father, which isn’t possible, so the judge, instead of ruling as one would expect that both males had to pay child support, ruled that since she couldn’t prove which one was the father, that neither could be forced to pay child support.

        Which brings up a hypothetical I’ve always wondered about. Identical twin sets marrying is not uncommon. If a set decided to have an extramarital affair, and a child resulted, then the other male half said- “Wait! I had a vasectomy!”, how would the courts rule? Vasectomies don’t always work….

        • If they got the vasectomy done correctly, he’d be able to show the paperwork proving that he’d had a zero viable sperm count after it, and get a new one done showing he still had it.

          The occasional failures that I’ve heard of are either healings (where the sperm count would show up now) or a failure to properly use the vasectomy (not showing up for the tests after the operation, where they check until you’ve got nothin’.)

          • Actually, Fox… I think a vasectomy is useless evidence so far as determining paternity, these days. Back when, it was kinda/sorta evidence, but these days, about all you’re going to get by presenting evidence of a tested, successful vasectomy is probable cause to require genetic testing. And, even then, in some states you’re still going to be on the hook for paternity, actual genetic evidence being beside the point. The theory is, if she has the kid inside of wedlock, you’re the presumptive father.

            I know of a case where the wife had two kids by two separate fathers during the marriage, and the husband discovered that he was utterly sterile when he went in to have a vasectomy done. Doctor told him he didn’t need the vasectomy, and couldn’t perform the operation in good conscience. The guy goes “But… I’ve got two kids! I can’t be sterile…” Doc’s reply was that there was some sort of genetic problem and that he was unable to produce viable sperm, and likely never had been. Which led to a long talk with his wife, a divorce, a pair of genetic tests done indicating that he had no genetic ties to his kids whatsoever. The following court case left him still paying child support, because he’d failed to challenge the paternity issue until well past the date where he was legally able to. He was on the hook for child support, college, and the whole works. Seriously screwed-up situation, for him–He simultaneously lost his wife that he’d thought was faithful, his kids, his chance for kids, and been shackled to pay for raising another man’s kids for 22 years. I met him about five years after this all happened to him, and I have to say it was still affecting him then. I doubt he’ll ever get over it, either.

            • I’m familiar with presumptive paternity– even know of some kids who benefited from it, because their mom was raped and her husband *didn’t* have to fight for parental rights over the kid.

              Varies by state, as does how to break it.

              Seriously screwed-up situation, for him–He simultaneously lost his wife that he’d thought was faithful, his kids, his chance for kids, and been shackled to pay for raising another man’s kids for 22 years.

              How about the kids? They went from having a mom and dad to having no dad, and their dad wanting to have nothing to do with them– just because their mom was scuzzy.
              While it gives some ground for the X-Men style “we loved you for all of your life up to now, but you’re a mutant so we hate you” storyline, someone who can abandon their children because they’ve got the wrong genetics has some issues.

              • Shoot forward 15 years:
                the guy goes to get tested for some DNA problems related to the inability to produce sperm.

                He finds out that he is a chimera– and the kids are, in fact, of his body. The doctor wasn’t exactly wrong, the genetics for the part of his body that had been tested hadn’t been able to produce enough sperm to result in a pregnancy. However, the genenetic pattern in other areas was, in fact, the parental ones for the two kids.

                He goes to visit his now-adult children, expecting…. what? That they’ll magically be OK with him having abandoned them as soon as he thought their genetics were wrong?

                Expect them to throw aside those years as easily has he’d dumped the years from before he thought they weren’t related?

                • Oh, yeah–I can see that as a possibility in some cases. Chimerism is flat-out scary, given how much weight we put on gene testing, these days. I’ve a suspicion that we need to be testing like tissues, not samples from random body parts. I could easily see a chimera getting away with rape, for example, if his gonads were putting out cells from a different line than what’s inside his mouth for a cheek swab. I’d even bet we’ve already freed a couple of these types, already. But, at worst, the cell lines would look like they came from two different siblings, not completely different people.

                  I don’t know of any chimeras that wouldn’t show up as being somehow related, and in the same general family line. At most, the chimera might have integrated cell lines from two embryos that had different fathers, but the mother’s genes are still going to be there, her having provided the eggs for the two embryos. Maternal mitochondrial DNA isn’t going to change, so long as what we’re talking about is outside the laboratory. It’s not like the fathers are going to be bringing their own eggs along, to implant in her womb. So, if my friend was a chimera, which I don’t think he was, his genetic contribution should have made it look as if his brother or other close relative got his wife pregnant. In his case, the two kids were wildly divergent from any possible genetic contribution he could have made. They didn’t look like anyone else in either family, and he’d always presumed they were just throwbacks to people he’d never met. Turned out, not so much.

                  As for the situation the kids in the case I’m talking about found themselves in? The way they behaved after all this started coming out was absolutely horrible, encouraged by the mom. I’ve really got no sympathy for them, based on the crap I witnessed personally. He was still sending them birthday cards and so forth, but they’d be returned unopened with profanity scrawled on them. Because I was the mail handler (yeah, as a friggin’ Staff Sergeant, too) at the time, I had a pretty solid handle on whether or not they were actually returned looking like that. The story he told, and what was witnessed by other peers who were around at the time all this happened, was that the minute he called his wife on her BS, the wife and kids all three formed a unified front against him. You could tell, in other words, that the kids were chips off her block. Highly narcissistic little crew, from what little I saw of them. I ran into her and the two kids from this deal about three years later, because she’d married a third guy that was an officer in our branch.

                  After that experience, I believed everything the first husband ever told me, even the War of the Roses-type things I’d found ridiculous at first hearing. Example? The wife claimed his dog as the “family pet” during the divorce proceedings, got the poor thing, and as soon as the dog was officially hers, she took it to the pound and had it put down. She’d gone specifically looking for a place that used engine exhaust to do it, and then sent pictures I saw later of his dog being shoveled out of the enclosure with a pitchfork where they’d gassed it. The kids were there, in the pictures, with smiles on their faces. I don’t understand how the hell the “shelter” let that happen, but the Polaroids she sent sure as hell weren’t telling lies.

                  Yeah, without the photos, I don’t expect anyone to believe me, either. I know I thought he was full of shit about everything that went on, but after actually meeting her? Don’t doubt it a bit. And, when those pictures of his dead dog fell out of a book when I helped him pack up his house when he went to retire right before I did? Let’s just say I take his word now for about anything that he said happened.

                  Some people are just vile, and don’t deserve to be termed human, I’m afraid. It’s unfortunate that some of those people are also mothers.

                  • . At most, the chimera might have integrated cell lines from two embryos that had different fathers, but the mother’s genes are still going to be there, her having provided the eggs for the two embryos.

                    You’d think so, but remember that we found out about chimeras because DNA testing proved the mother “couldn’t possibly” be the mother.

                    Some people are just vile, and don’t deserve to be termed human, I’m afraid. It’s unfortunate that some of those people are also mothers.

                    Truth, problem being that some of them are also fathers– it’s not like it’s a radically new idea for the male side to declare the kids aren’t his, so he shouldn’t have to care for them. (Ex brother-in-law claimed that, even though their boy should be named “Mini-me.”) That’s why the ‘presumption of paternity’ laws came about. Puts an resulting harm on the ones who actually have a choice in the matter, the ones that got married.

                    Yes, it royally sucks because the nice people always seem to end up having terrible taste in mates, but there’s a reason we have such strict rules about marrying. There’s only so much that can be done to protect people from themselves.

                    • Every so often, I have to remind myself that while I’ve got a much broader background on displayed human behavior than the average person gets, that background is also horribly skewed by having been in a predominantly male-oriented culture most of the time I was seeing this stuff. There’s a lot less drama going on around me, these days, since I retired to my hometown, and I can honestly stay the hell out of other people’s business, which helps immeasurably.

                      So, yeah… My sample set is seriously skewed. I know that there are a lot of men out there who’ve behaved as utter scumbags, but the majority of the “scumbag victims” I knew were mostly from the male side of the house. So, most of the incidents/events I personally witnessed or knew of had male protagonists. The unfortunate fact is that society in general tends to ignore these guys, and also tends to sanctify the female victims at the same time. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat down to Sunday breakfast with my Mom, and her friends, for example, and heard nothing but nonstop stories of how so-and-so was done wrong by the men in her life. It’s far more evenly distributed than what those two data sets would suggest in isolation.

                      Dear God, while there are days that I miss the Army, I do not miss the drama. You take a twenty-five year career, do a PCS move to a new assignment every two years on average, and you get to observe a whole lot more of human behavior behavior–Good, bad, and the utterly outre. Especially when you consider that everyone else is moving around just as often, and that the unit you join today is going to have a personnel turnover of around 100% by the time you might leave it in two years. Add in having to maintain overwatch on everyone working for and around you, just to keep abreast of what’s going on in relation to personal interactions that might affect the mission and what you’re doing…? Then, having a natural tendency to be the guy everyone confides in, because “…you’re such a good listener…”?

                      Yeah, I’ve got fodder for a couple of decades worth of bad soap opera scripts, the majority of which would have to be toned down in order to be sold, because they’re just that ‘effing unlikely and hard to believe. Before I joined the Army, I honestly thought that “people wouldn’t do (X) to each other…”.

                      At this point, I can’t think of a single thing, up to and including the sale of one’s own children for human sacrifice, that would particularly phase me. I mean, I might be shocked to learn that someone in particular had masked the capability to do something like that, but I wouldn’t be particularly surprised that someone did it, either. If that makes any kind of sense…

                      On the good side of things, I’m also not really surprised when otherwise disreputable and scruffy people do good things, either. I had a guy in one of my old units that I’d pegged as “Most likely to date-rape” in my head. I mean, if there was ever a real-life Quagmire, that was him. If a girl that worked for me ever so much as glanced in his direction, she got an emphatic warning from me. And, about everyone else in hearing would back me up on that warning, as well.

                      Imagine my surprise one weekend night where I went in to make a barracks check, and he brings in a gorgeous young thing who’d gotten, literally, drunk off her ass at a club and who he’d found passed out in the shrubbery on the way back home. I see him come into the battalion Staff Duty office, carrying her in a fireman’s carry, and gently drop her off on one of the couches, solicitously make sure she was turned so she wouldn’t choke on her vomit, which she’d already done down the back of one of his expensive suits, and which he completely ignored her doing. That fact alone blew my mind–You’d have had to know him to grasp what a fastidious and picky person he was, and to see him completely ignore that stream of vomit down his back? And, then go talk to the Staff Duty NCO about how he’d seen a bunch of guys at the club trying to get her drunk enough to take advantage of, and then express the concern that she’d been roofied, or something? Being more concerned about her, and getting “the right thing” done in her situation? You want to talk about behavior completely out of the boundaries of expectations you had of someone, that was it.

                      Despite my earlier prejudicial impression that he was a bad guy, he was actually (at least in this case…) acting more like a big brother to this young lady who he couldn’t have had more than a passing acquaintance with. There wasn’t a damn thing that would have stopped him from taking her up to his room in the barracks to take advantage of the situation, either. And, to tell you the truth, I’m a bad person for having pre-judged him as being something other than a decent human being. Although, to be honest, I wasn’t the only one around who’d done that.

                      If you’re a budding novelist/storyteller, and don’t feel like you’ve got enough life experience to really be able to do it right? Take my advice–Join one of the services and then just sit back and keep your eyes open. You’ll find more than enough grist for your literary mill in very short order.

                    • Take my advice–Join one of the services and then just sit back and keep your eyes open. You’ll find more than enough grist for your literary mill in very short order.

                      Better, hang out looking sympathetic at bars and fast food places near bases. Or talk to the buy-me-drink girls, if you don’t look sympathetic. (Being female is usually enough around Navy, though, especially if you’re good at seeming oblivious.)

                      Navy, here– part of why I started noticing that the stories were awful familiar, not just person to person, but the same person, making the same mistake, over and over.
                      (Although the most painful guy seems to have finally been picked up by a girl who doesn’t want to destroy his life– his first wife drained their bank account and sold the house while he was deployed, he only found out when the IRS came after his clearance and she was in jail for drugs. Dealing, IIRC, with her boyfriend. His paycheck was their pin money. He is, of course, one of the most incredibly nice guys you’re likely to meet.)

                      With Army, though, you’re even more sample-screwed– Army may as well have “good eats here” painted across the top for predators. Mostly female, but some male, too– from what I’ve seen in the last decade or so, anyways. Policy treats members like equipment.

                    • With Army, though, you’re even more sample-screwed– Army may as well have “good eats here” painted across the top for predators. Mostly female, but some male, too– from what I’ve seen in the last decade or so, anyways. Policy treats members like equipment.

                      Want a sample for the sort of stuff I got faced with, on a routine basis?

                      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/24/kat-hoffman-dwarf-stripper_n_6534644.html

                      Now, the only really unusual thing here is that the guy in question here is in his mid-thirties, and the girl is 26. Most of the cases I ran into, one or both of them would be under 21. And, working for me. I always had the “interesting” ones, God help me.

                      And, don’t get me wrong–They’re probably both really lovely people. It’s just that the whole “optics” thing is so stereotypical that it isn’t even funny. I mean, this is the normal stuff junior enlisted get up to, but cubed. Not just “gonna marry a stripper”, but “gonna marry a dwarf stripper”, along with “we’re giving interviews to the international press about doing it, too…”. I mean, this made the Daily Mail and a whole host of other foreign tabloids. Only in the Army…

                      [sigh]

                      Not to be judgmental, but that gentleman in the above story (and, I do apologize for linking the Huffington Post here…) has the trifecta going for developing “issues”: Full-body tattoo, dating a dwarf stripper, and now, nation-wide notoriety. Care to guess who got called in to some Command Sergeant Major’s office, the morning after this story broke? It wasn’t him, it was probably his first-line supervisor and the next level up in the chain-of-command.

                      Undoubtedly, there was some Sergeant First Class out drinking with one of his buddies that night, and going “Jeez, Fred… You know what SGT Buscher did, this morning? Can you believe this shit? A dwarf stripper, national news, and he’s in my platoon… Who the hell did I piss off? Was I an axe murderer, in a previous life? I mean… A dwarf stripper, fergawdsake? He couldn’t be happy with bringing just a regular stripper to the dining-in, like the privates do? Fertheluvuvgawd… Why me? And, why the hell does the s’madge think I had anything to do with it? From the way he sounded in his office, this morning, he thinks I cooked the whole thing up, just to spite him…”.

                      Oh, yeah. If I were still on active duty, that’d totally be me.

                    • Full-body tattoo, dating a dwarf stripper, and now, nation-wide notoriety

                      …there is no way the story can live up to that summation, especially since I know the Army requires that he has a waver for that tattoo if he had it before he joined…..

                      Totally sending it to my husband.

                    • Texted the summary to my husband, told him to guess the service.

                      He guessed Army, then added he would’ve gone with Marine except for the stripper part.

                    • Yeah, tell me about it. You can usually gauge the branch of service by the shenanigans the younger troops get up to. For some damn reason, the Army has this “thing” for dating/marrying strippers. The other branches? Not so much–The Marines seem to go in for the full-blown hookers, from what my friend the Gunny tells me, and the Navy has a tendency towards stuff that made the Gunny just shudder. I’m told, now, that the Air Force has a bit of a taste for underage goth/cosplayer types, and one of my acquaintances over at what used to be McChord AFB told me he’d taken to going to the local Comicon conventions to keep an eye on his troops out of sheer self-defense. There was some convention one year, and I don’t remember which one it was, where he’d had three guys in his flight turn up with underage girls they’d picked up at the convention all get caught living in the dorms with them. Fun times for the leadership, from what he was telling me.

                      It’s not like the Army hasn’t done the underage thing, either, though. We had one guy in my unit in Germany who turned out to be hiding a fifteen year-old runaway German girl out in the training area, and bringing her into the barracks when his roommates were out. Holy crap, did that bring down the fire and sword when the whole thing was discovered during a health-and-welfare check. And, why was it discovered? The young lady in question was found hidden in his wall locker in the middle of things…

                      I will say that the Army guys sometimes don’t do so badly with the strippers, though. One of my guys married a stripper in her thirties, who had three kids by three different men, and while we were all predicting utter disaster for him, they actually made a pretty good pairing. Despite her having about 15 years on him.

                      Ran into them both in later years, long after he got out of the Army, and the differences were amazing. Where she’d been prone to wearing what could charitably be termed “hooker outfits” when they’d been dating, when I ran into them after about ten years, she was dressed more like your typical Mormon housewife, which was what she’d morphed into during those years. Painfully wholesome, in other words. Three more kids with her husband, too…

                      Never have I been more grateful to eat my words.

                    • It’s entirely possible that it turned out well in part because everybody was assuring them it was Certain Disaster.

                      Not so much–The Marines seem to go in for the full-blown hookers, from what my friend the Gunny tells me, and the Navy has a tendency towards stuff that made the Gunny just shudder.

                      Oh, he heard about the Ho-Downs and such? (For those curious– that is where two or more females race to sleep with the highest number of different males, usually on a deployment. There’s also some that are even crazier who go for multiples.)

                      Yeah, each service definitely has different kinds of crazy.

              • That thing about each service having its own special brand of crazy? Couldn’t agree more. I’d love to have someone do a bit of real sociological research, and try to find out why, though. Is it something that flows from the service, or something that flows from the type of personality that picks that service?

                Heck, it goes right down to what jobs the recruit picks, too–There are things that go on out in some of the support branches that you never, ever see anywhere else. Only in the Military Intelligence units would you find a group of fairly smart people that choose to go AWOL and cause a theater-wide security panic when they are missed, everyone thinking that they’ve either been suborned or kidnapped by the Soviets. Turned out, they were all on a beach somewhere in Florida, awaiting the Solar Convergence…

                That’s only something that’s going to happen in an MI unit, and probably never occur in an Infantry outfit.

                Of course, I’ll lay long odds that the most aberrant behaviors are going to come from the combat arms types. That’s just the way we roll…

                • Only in the Military Intelligence units would you find a group of fairly smart people that choose to go AWOL and cause a theater-wide security panic when they are missed, everyone thinking that they’ve either been suborned or kidnapped by the Soviets. Turned out, they were all on a beach somewhere in Florida, awaiting the Solar Convergence…

                  Read that situation off, husband guessed either Intel or the weather guys. (That might only work for Navy weather guys, though.)

                  • I don’t think the Army has large enough weather units to really show up on the scope, to be honest. I did have an Engineer-branched meteorologist-degreed officer as a boss, once–He did better weather forecasts off the cuff in the field than the official guys did, with all the equipment. It was convenient, but spooky, to have him around. You’d be doing something in the field, and he’d drive up and tell you “Hey, it’s gonna rain like hell in about an hour… Roll your stuff up, and get out of here…”. Since we were in a wadi prone to flash floods, this was kinda essential. The official weather guys hadn’t said squat about any cloud bursts or flash flooding, but he’d somehow picked up on it. Sure enough, we’re up on the hill above the area we’d been working in, and there goes a biblical wall of water through our project.

                    Someone finally pulled their heads out of their asses, and did a branch transfer with him to whatever branch of the Army it is that handles weather. He was desperately unhappy as an Engineer, I can tell you that much.

                    And, yeah… MI is special, in every sense of the word. You have no idea how grateful I am that I had the sense to ignore the guys at MEPS when I joined, and pick combat arms. I more than qualified for MI, and probably would have fit in there, but I doubt I’d have been able to put up with the majority of my peers over there. If I could go back and meet my seventeen year-old self, I’d have to shake his hand for that decision. Positively inspired–I can’t imagine what kind of mental shape I’d have been in after twenty years of riding herd on some of those knuckleheads.

        • Depends on whether the presumption that he’s the father of his wife’s children is rebuttable..

        • In a lot of states, infidelity doesn’t make a difference: If you’re married to the woman, the kid is legally yours. Breaking that assumption is quite often very expensive.

          Guy I know was on a one-year deployment, and couldn’t take leave during it. He arrived home at the end of it to find that his wife was six months pregnant. Despite the rather obvious facts of the case, he was still legally on the hook due to the laws of the state where she was residing when he returned. Challenging that cost him some ungodly sum of money in lawyers bills, along with his divorce. Whole thing was quite nasty.

    • Augustus Caesar passed laws penalizing anyone who remained unmarried or had no children, and encouraging childbirth by allowing the emancipation of women whose fathers were still living after three or four living children.

    • The destruction of fatherhood walks hand-in-hand with this, yes, but that’s another essay 🙂 This one was sparked by a specific conversation about the ramifications of motherhood.

      • Fair enough. I wasn’t trying to criticize. I just typed what came to mind.

        • Just agreeing with you. And it is hard to see it all around you. As a guy, you must feel the kicks against fatherhood more keenly.

          • Yeah. I live with this reality everyday. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a guest post and send it to our beautiful (but evil) hostess and see if she likes it. I’ve err… never submitted anything for publication before (and this isn’t that precisely, but it’s close) and it makes me a bit nervous to contemplate.

  10. Once upon a time, those who would wreck society so they could impose their noble blueprints upon others resorted to bombs. But despite their efforts, society endured.

    So now the radical bombers aim to instead dissolve society from the inside out. Those institutions that perpetuate tradition, such as marriage, the family, etc., are savagely attacked as tools of “oppression.” Sadly, they’re making headway. Spreading social dysfunction is not an unfortunate byproduct of feminism and the LGBT lobby, but the intended effect.

    Next stop: Utopia!

    • You know, it’s odd. I’ve never read an account of a Utopia of any sort that didn’t inspire me with a strong desire to look up the people responsible for it and belabor them about the head with a blunt object.

    • Well, it’s not exactly new. Socialists were intent of replacing the family with the state before Marx was even old enough to call for anybody’s death. (Just look at Mary Shelley’s parents for a couple of prominent examples.)

      The bad thing, is that over the last half-century they’ve actually been succeeding in their agenda. And doing so while maintaining a public facade of pious goodwill.

  11. I think I shall go hug my family lots when I get home. I’m realizing ever more how rare it is.

    • Do that. One tends to think that they way you’re living is perfectly normal.

      We certainly do, most of the time. Then once in a while you might be reminded that maybe it’s not quite the case.

      Our three kids, for example, grew up with the idea that it’s usual to have, oh, 50 or 70 cousins (Mom comes from an American-born [mostly] Chinese background; a dozen aunts and uncles on one side, thirteen on the other, and all the attendant cousins, nieces and nephews. I have two sisters, a couple of cousins I’ve met a handful of times in 60 years, and my dad was an only child. Imagine the shock when I married into her family. It’s eased a bit over the past 40 years.)

      A while back our son, the baby at 31, dropped by, and in the conversation noted that, with only a couple of rare exceptions, none of his friends, or his age cohort in general through school and since, came from homes with two parents, most being separated through divorce.

      And ended with “Thanks, Dad”. The room still gets dusty when I remember.

    • Same here. I’ve found that the more I learn of others’ families, the more I appreciate mine, individually and collectively. I’ve been profoundly blessed, and I am reminded of it often.

  12. Girls nowadays are being set up for failure and unhappiness. They’re being told that they can have everything they want, with only minimal effort, no trade-offs, and if they fail to “have it all” (something nobody has ever actually achieved), it’s because of a grand conspiracy against them.

    I’m trying to insulate my daughters from this, but it’s pretty darned ubiquitous.

  13. I know someone who, these days, would be called a First Wave feminist. She’s disgusted that the current crop seem to have forgotten that one of the original goals of feminism was to elevate the status of motherhood—that is, to promote the idea that motherhood was not a lesser occupation. (As a side note, I have a feminist argument against abortion—namely “pregnancy is not the only thing a woman can do, true, but pregnancy is something that ONLY women can do, and by promoting abortion, you’re saying that a woman’s value is only when she’s not pregnant… which means she can only compete in those arenas that are dominated by men.” While I consider myself a feminist, it’s closer to First Wave than otherwise.)

    And say what you will about Elizabeth Warren (and please do; it’s entertaining), the book The Two-Income Trap has some valuable insights in regards to the detrimental effects of expecting that a household needs two incomes to operate appropriately. Major takeaways: treating two incomes as one larger income is a quick way to get overextended, especially as there are now two points of failure rather than one (that is, two places where job loss or illness can have an impact on the family finances.) Houses that are functionally identical in neighborhoods that are roughly equivalent can vary widely in price due to the local school quality (which can give homeschoolers an advantage—not in the book but my observation.) And being able to have one parent remain home is not just a blessing but the simplest way to avoid that trap.

    We’ve planned our finances that way; when we bought our house, we treated my income as nonexistent, which is good because I got downsized a couple of years back, and though we had to scramble a bit, the house was still affordable. I had learned basic economy from my parents but it’s nice to have that little extra information.

    • Houses that are functionally identical in neighborhoods that are roughly equivalent can vary widely in price due to the local school quality (which can give homeschoolers an advantage—not in the book but my observation.)

      ‘s why we’re able to afford the foreclosed home we’re looking at– the schools nearby are threes on a scale of ten.

      • We’re actually in a good school neighborhood, but the key is that the entire district we’re in is good, so there isn’t a huge variance neighborhood-to-neighborhood. (Which is good for us, because the specific IEP stuff my kid needs does require people trained in areas I have no experience in, and it means he gets in the classes with the best teachers.) We bought a foreclosure at what turned out to be pretty near the bottom; nice location, nice neighborhood, UGLY but fixable (which is why we under-bid and got it. Silly people not realizing how easy it is to paint…)

        • Ours is “ugly” because the design is straight out of the late 40s to early 50s– which my husband and I love, but everyone else would have to spend major money to “fix” so that there’s a ton of wasted space and stylish design. (gag)

          Unfortunately, we have enough people who have the money to “flip houses” and have the family money to keep doing it; they buy the stuff that just needs some cosmetic work, put thousands of dollars of stylish improvements into it, then put it back on the market for double the price. Where it sits for years….

          • There are some bad design choices in this house, by which I mean “what’s with all the unused space in the kitchen? And why is there nowhere to hang towels in the bathroom? And WHY is there a step-up entryway when all you do is step down again?” (I have friends with physical disabilities. I notice such things.) Some of it’s attributable to cheap design, like converting a 3-bed to a 4-bed without realizing the vast improvements you could make by minor tweaks to the floor plan. And some of it’s just baffling. (WHY no towel bars or places to put them? What the hell?)

            • How can their possibly be no place to put up towel bars? Unless it’s one of those bathrooms that you have to practically step into the bathtub to close the door.

              • Ugh. “there” not “their”. Bah.

              • The bathrooms are not big, no. About five feet deep for the “master” bathroom. But when we moved in, the walls were taken up by 1. Door, 2. Oversized shower stall (not quite big enough for one of those dinky things they call a tub these days), 3. Window/Medicine Cabinet over sink, and 4. Wall-length mirror over sink & toilet. (The other bathroom is similar, though it has a shower-tub and no window.) We’ve taken down the mirrors, but the little wall space there is is literally too narrow for the towel bars we’ve found. (I’ve recently seen a pivoting Ikea style that might work.)

                Oh, did I forget to mention that the manufactured “marble” counters went over the toilets in such a way that you couldn’t access the tank? We had to saw that thing away, it looks awful and rough, but we can’t afford to renovate and replace the sink cabinet (which has split faucets, much more expensive to replace and not even symmetrically placed!)

                We’ve been in this house for more than five years, completely unable to hang towels in the bathroom. It’s one of those subtle annoyances you get used to but never understand.

            • I still can’t figure out WHY so many townhouses have an “entryway” that’s two stories tall and has a stairway going up on one side, and a long hallway on the other…and eats about the same amount of floor space as the smaller bedrooms, makes the place hot as heck up stairs and cold as heck down, etc.

              I can sort of imagine it’s to make the places “look bigger,” but… wow, it sucks.

    • It does seem odd that so-called “feminists”, in their supposed love of all things female, would spend so much time and effort denigrating the one thing that literally ONLY WOMEN can do, and without which, HUMANITY ENDS…

  14. Professor Badness

    I’m still confused about what is so great about a job/career?
    Most of my jobs have been endured, not enjoyed. Being with my children is far more enjoyable, (granted, I am the father and endure less of the hardship of child rearing.)
    All my wife ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom. And our popular culture would denigrate her for it?
    I’m sorry, but Motherhood is the hardest and most ungrateful of jobs, and Mothers should be celebrated.
    (But then ,this gets back to my diatribe about how this wouldn’t be an issue if traditional Judeo/Christian values were the mainstream norm.)

    • It makes you more like a man. Because feminism is the radical notion that women are people, and people are men, so women have to be men.

    • IIRC, and I am not a women’s history person by any means, it was the ability for women to support themselves if they wanted to, and to ease the burden of the labouring [spelling deliberate] man. And then came WWI and WWII, especially in Europe, with the huge population losses, so work became a positive requirement instead of a valuable option. Interestingly, one of the complaints by the die-hard socialists and Communists before WWI was that as soon as working men got benefits and wage increases, they had their wives and daughters stop working, like the middle-classes could already do.

      • Yes and no. Women worked primarily during the wars to help out with the men gone. It makes sense if you think about it. With all due respect to the men fighting the war, they weren’t available to build the stuff they themselves needed to use to fight the war with.

        What really caused a lot of problems, especially post WWII was that the jobs were taken away from the women who had done them and done them well and given to the men when they got back. I’ve often wondered (and if someone has a good history of this let me know) what effect that had on the Womens’ Lib movement in this country especially. The radicals of the 1960s-70s were the children of these women. Methinks that this may not just be a coincidence but I have absolutely no evidence to show in defense of that theory.

        • What really caused a lot of problems, especially post WWII was that the jobs were taken away from the women who had done them and done them well and given to the men when they got back.

          I’ve heard this claim, but only from sources nearly half a century later– usually in the form of a character that’s a very, very modern liberal cut-and-pasted to back then.

          Part of the problem with the theory, for the US, is that we didn’t completely remove the male half of the species. It was the young men that were in very high demand.

          Another is that a lot of the women working was for the war effort itself– which makes sense, since if things could’ve been done to the same degree by women with the old setup, they would’ve been offered jobs. (Well, they were offered the jobs that they could do. Look at how many of the horror stories of the industrial revolution focused on women and children actually being able to do jobs that could get you injured, publicly.)
          Coming up with ways for women to be able to do the same jobs as men took a lot of investment.

          • I’m not sure about “characters” but if you read some of the labor histories written about the period they claim this. Then again, Labor History and SJW go together like Useful Idiot and College History Professor, so YMMV.

            • I don’t trust the labor movement of the time any further than I could chuck the empire state building into a head wind; they make PETA look honest and principled. (Yes, even those activists that abuse animals on tape, against company policy, and then post it as evidence of animal abuse by the company. Really low opinion of the thugs, like Earth Liberation Front level low.)

            • Only stuff I can find with any kind of documentation is, I kid you not, Marxist.org and a PBC special that asserts gov’t policies pushed hiring men over women…but doesn’t support it, other than quoting some professor whose research was watching movies and TV shows from various times.

              • I’d have to look it up. I’m talking more scholarly histories of the type that are used in college classrooms than something you’re likely to find on Youtube or the majority of the Web. Granted, I don’t have the syllabus for that class any more and it’s going to be difficult, but I’ll see what I can come up with.

              • It’s nothing but anecdote, but neither of my grandfathers, who were both of draft age during WWiI, was drafted. One spent the war building tanks and the other discovering antibiotics.
                The pharmacologist’s wife, my grandmother, dropped out of law school at 21 to marry him. So she had a bachelors (I have her graduation ring) and half a law degree. Her mother, my great-grandmother, graduated from Julliard (born in 1894, not sure what her graduation date was: we have a certain tendency to go to college before eighteen).
                Which would be why I have very little patience with feminists who want to claim women couldn’t go to college prior to . . . well, whenever.

              • Patrick Chester

                …but doesn’t support it, other than quoting some professor whose research was watching movies and TV shows from various times.

                I should do a special on the mysteries of the Dragonballs.

                • Mysteries of the Dragonballs: Proof of Alien Life? Tonight on the History Channel we’ll be looking into …

                  • Patrick Chester

                    …martial artists staring at each other for 3-4 episodes.

                    • If I remember right, the original wasn’t that bad. The “standing there, staring and yelling, for several episodes” thing was largely a product of cutting out the stuff that they thought wasn’t appropriate or– pause for an exchange of ironic expressions- “didn’t make sense.”

            • Popular entertainment of the time doesn’t mention it, but does focus on the lack of homes for the returned GIs and their new brides. I suspect the women moved out of the factories to working at home.

              • There’s one scene I recall, don’t know the movie but it was apparently about moving into Levvitown or one of the other suburban developments.

                The house is still under construction, workers moving all around, while the wife is trying to decide on which shade of green to paint the walls. She’s dithering back and forth, comparing paint swatches, and finally makes a decision and tells the foreman to paint it some odd shade. The foreman confirms it, nods, leaves the house as the painters are walking up.

                “White, Blue or green?” The painter asks.

                “Green.” The painters nod and go in, The foreman goes on.

                Really wish I could remember the name of the movie… 😦

          • I don’t know about the first-hand history, but I CAN tell you that this claim was made further back than that. I heard it in the ’70s (that’s as far back as I can remember).

            • That would make sense, since that’s when the teachers who assured me that it was impossible that my grandmothers (and great-grandmothers) worked outside of the home would have been getting their education. (there just weren’t a lot of jobs that women were as effective at as men)

              • Let’s see – if I remember enough of what you’ve said about your grandmothers, that would put them near my brother and sister’s ages, or maybe just a bit older. The only reason my sister didn’t go to college is that she took a year off of school to work and make some money, got a job at the bank, and never went back to school. She’s now a VP at the bank where she works, and is ready to retire soon.

                Side note: If there’s one thing I resent about my sister (who has far more to resent about me – I was spoiled rotten), it’s that fact. Because it caused my mother to tell me NOT to do the same thing when I graduated high school. I’m certain that had I gone out and gotten a job for a year, I would have gone back to school with a vengeance, so I wouldn’t have to work with the “normals” ever again.

                • That would be my parents– you’re about a decade younger than my mom. (Still, I’m impressed— I’m lucky if I can remember who’s got kid-kids vs grandkids.) The grandmothers were married before WWII, with the eldest born before daddy deployed over seas. (Both did the “daddy holding his baby boy” picture that’s so classic.)

                  Found something cool, though:
                  http://bpwfoundation.org/index.php/resources/timeline

                  The “National Federation of Business and Professional Women” was founded in 1919. Reading a bit of the old scans they put up, it was aimed at… well, the same kind of woman that buys that kind of magazine now. :shudder:

                  A bit more to the point, the American Bar Association has this for 1918:
                  First Two Women ABA Members
                  Mary Florence Lathrop of Denver and Mary Grossman of Cleveland are the first two women elected to membership in the ABA.
                  Lathrop, a noted journalist and probate lawyer, serves on the ABA’s General Council from Colorado from 1928-1930. She is the first woman member elected to the General Council, which is composed of one member from each state, and whose responsibilities include nominating officers of the Association.

                  Grossman becomes the first female municipal judge in the United States in 1923 and serves on the Cleveland Municipal Court until the age of eighty in 1959.

                  If you go to their site and click on the “more” link, it takes you to a PDF where you find out… this was not “discovered” until 1988, although folks had held on to Lanthrop being the first elected rep.

                  Grossman was a legal secretary for 16 years before getting her ‘LL.B’ (bachelor of laws, Legal Dictionary tells me– so BS in Law?) at 32, and going into business for herself for a decade, then being elected a judge. Kept getting elected until she was 80 and retired.

                  Definitely not easy, but not some kind of freakish thing discouraged by force.

                  • Ok, so your grandparents are pretty much contemporary with my parents (who got married in 1947). And I wouldn’t remember, either, except timeframes have come up frequently lately, and I keep forgetting how much younger you are than me, so I get whiplash when I’m reminded.

        • A thought that might make sense– what if the “forced” was in the SJW form, where it means “different outcomes, so there must be a force acting”?

          I know that women did work outside of the home– I’ve got a teacher, a boarding house/stage(later train) stop hotel manager, a reporter and a stenographer that I know of; the only one I’m pretty sure didn’t work outside of the home was a Nanny Ogg type that moved the entire clan to the USA.

          It wasn’t easy, because most jobs required the kind of ability you generally find in able-bodied men– there wasn’t any kind of “policy” involved, it was reality. You only get woman lumberjacks when there’s no better option. (I’m quite sure here were some, although I’ve never heard of it.)

          So the folks in the 60s decided that if their mothers hadn’t stayed in the workforce, then it wasn’t easy because they were forced back.

          Well, they go out and find that it’s not easy to have a family and a job, either– so that means there must still be some sort of conspiracy involved.

          They don’t want it to be possible for women to work outside of the home, they want it to be easy— as easy as they imagine it is for a guy. If it’s not easy, then….

    • A-freaking-men.

      Too many people don’t get that first sentence. I mean, I work and I always have. I got my first job at fourteen and was working full time hours (without the full time status) by the beginning of my sophomore year of high school. By no means do I consider myself lazy. But DUDE…

      Work is, to me at least, a way of earning a paycheck. Nothing less, nothing more. I have made friends at work but I have never truly had an emotional connection to the job itself. It often mystifies me when I talk about needing a new job that pays more. “What kind of job do you want?” is a question I’m not really prepared to answer. I want a job that pays money. I can only be happy writing or teaching history at the college level and neither of them seem to be a viable option at the moment. At the same time, I need more than I’m getting now.

      It’s like the time I worked my tail off and got promoted to supervisor at my old job. I knew the work better than any of my peers and, while I can’t say I knew the supervisor gig better than any of the supervisors, I knew the software the supervisors used better than any of them. I could do workforces job, too. So, finally, I got the promotion I deserved. Sort of. The raise I was supposed to get never materialized. Inquiries about it were met with, “I’ve got a meeting,” “I need to be in Taylor (other office thirty-fiveish miles away)” or “I’ve got to go to the bathroom (female boss. I would have followed a dude into the bathroom and talked to him while he was handling his business.) So I stepped down.

      The reactions I got were almost universally, “You worked so hard for that promotion and you just GAVE IT UP!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!” But the bottom line is that I hadn’t worked hard to get the JOB, I had worked that hard to get the PAYCHECK that came with it. As it was I was losing money (in performance bonuses since I was off the phone) and not getting anything to make up for it. So yeah, I stepped down. I’m still not sure why they wouldn’t have.

  15. Josh Kruschke

    The really sad thing it’s not the patriarchy taking away women’s ability to choose.

  16. Christopher M. Chupik

    On a barely-related note: I was flipping through a kid’s environment book recently and my eye fell upon the statement: “Animals are the eyes and ears of Mother Earth.”

    Big Mother is watching you!

    • Hmmm, do elephant ears taste as good as the “elephant ears” from the donut place on the road to the school?

    • Patrick Chester

      …and now I find myself remembering the various mass extinctions in “Mother Earth’s” past.

      • Josh Kruschke

        Mother Earths a bitch that has tried to kill me on any number of occasions, and but who has had the last laugh in those situations??? Huh, huh ??

        Me that’s who!!!

        :p

        • Mother Earth literally tried to kill me once:

          I was working on removing some stones from the base of the basement wall we had just removed. They were behind the base of the wall, but needed to be removed to put the new block in to rebuild the wall. I was working with a crowbar to loosen them when my dad yelled, “Look out – get out of the way!”. I jumped back, and watched a wall of dirt fall where I had just been bent over. Not collapse – because of the clay content in the soil, it fell as a unit, about 16 inches thick.

          But yeah, I had the last laugh, too.

  17. Eh… it’s both under-and-over-rated IMHO.

    I was raised in an odd family, as ya’ll probably have figured out by now. I was taught and observed if the dude ain’t around you do it yourself and you do as well as you can. Then when dude gets home he shows you how to do the rest and pats his Amazon on the shoulder.

    This has caused a few problems for me.

    “I will do this thing and you will NOT get in my way.”
    “Okay…”
    *35 minutes later*
    “I have done this thing and can actually do it.”
    “….wait… why were you doing this thing if you didn’t know you could do it…”
    “….I seriously have to explain that?”

    • “….wait… why were you doing this thing if you didn’t know you could do it…”
      “….I seriously have to explain that?”

      /amen

      Although my darling adds in “of course you can do it, but it’s easier if you let me help!”

  18. I don’t know if there’s any actual way to figure out beforehand a successful marriage, though I’ve been able to predict, with a 100% success rate, several doomed to fail. I do, half jokingly, tell people that for a man the key to a successful marriage is to let the wife make all the unimportant decisions, and to remember, that in the end, there really aren’t all that many important ones. I say half-jokingly because I know a lot of men in successful long term marriages who say the same thing. And like me, live by it.

    There are a host of other things involved, like knowing your future partner. Had a young man I work with ask me if he knew a church I could recommend to get married in, since his fiance wanted a church wedding. So, I asked, “What religion is she?” He didn’t know. “What religion are you?” He had never actually attended church, even in childhood memories. “Well, what church were you baptized in?” He didn’t know if he had been baptized…. Odds of a successful marriage occurring with that knowledge in hand- not very good. Told him to go back to his bride to be and start discussing questions like that. And I find that a lot of the successful marriages I know of are mixed marriages like mine- one a good Roman Catholic, and the other one a Protestant of one kind or another. You’re forced to deal with that difference before you go any further.

    • Key to a successful marriage? R-E-S-P-E-C-T. As in, my mom cut the word “obey” from her wedding vows, in 1965, but she had a deep respect for my father and we never saw more than low-grade frustration between them. You can’t have a marriage without respect.

  19. I’m a homemaker and PROUD of it! My kids aren’t brats and they are learning what I want them to know about life, not someone else. That’s why liberals don’t like us. We threaten the indoctrination factories that “schools” have become. I’m not exaggerating.

    • My kids aren’t brats and they are learning what I want them to know about life, not someone else.

      Bingo.

      If I had a paying, 9-5 job, the Princess wouldn’t be in bed right now. She’d be throwing a fit at daycare, and getting what she wants. Which would teach her that it’s how she gets what she wants. (Basis of reasoning: she started doing this after she was sick and cranky, and mommy did what she wanted. Can’t really blame her, she is a kid…but I do need to head it off at the pass before she thinks this is the right way to deal with people!)

      We threaten the indoctrination factories that “schools” have become.

      I don’t recognize your name or picture– but you’ll clearly fit in here. Lots of us are very aware of how bad schools have gotten, either from personal experience, our kids, or listening to the folks who have that experience.

  20. This is one of those threads I really can’t contribute too. I know next to nothing about raising kids (“The key to rocking a child to sleep is choosing a large enough rock.”) and I don’t know how to treat a lady — and I’ve consulted multiple first-aid manuals.

    Seriously, it’s been so long since I last had sex, I forget who gets tied up. Although it probably involves a lot of duct tape to stop the whole running away screaming thing.

    • Professor Badness

      ….uh…you don’t…uh…with the…hmm.
      Somebody else want to take this one?
      (Besides, you’re a mad scientist. I’d think you’d have something better/kinkier to use.)

      • For some reason, this brought to mind the Flintstones episode where some Mad Scientist mistook Barney for some famous scientist and kidnapped him to get some secret formula. Since Barney was a new dad, he gave him the ingredients for baby formula.

      • What happens in the interrogation Chamber STAYS in the Interrogation Chamber. 😉

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