Oppressive!

Imagine you were creating a world.

If you can’t, then you’re probably not a writer of science fiction and fantasy.  We create worlds on a regular basis, from those that are completely, enormously different, to those that are slightly different.

If you’re working on big differences say “imagine the Earth is always cooler” then one thing you need to worry about is a consistent history and how it influenced your present day characters.

So, imagine you created a species with sexual dimorphism.  This means that the sexes are different.  Men and women are not the same.  Men are generally larger, stronger, more muscular, and able to survive body blows better.  Women are smaller, more agile, more fragile, capable of enduring pain better.  (No, ladies, when your husbands are being such babies with an illness it’s not their fault.  They feel pain more than we do.)

Psychologically, the body imposes certain psychological differences.  The sex hormones have different effects on the brain from the time of gestation on.  I’m not an  endocrine specialist, so I can’t go into all the details, but I do know testosterone makes you think “clearer, faster, more incisively” and estrogen makes you think “deeper, more connected and layered.”

So in this species men and women have different but covalent specialties.  If you intend — we assume you do — for this species to eventually develop science and technology, then both modes of thinking are needed and complementary.  Sure, because any individual exists on a continuum, some men’s thinking will more layered and deeper and more connected, but men will be on the women’s low range for this, so having women in a project probably makes it better.

This is complicated by evolution which molds men’s and women’s social styles in different ways.  While both men and women work in groups — we are a social ape — they work differently in groups.  This is probably because men in hunting parties needed to respond well to overt hierarchy while women in gathering parties were more likely to have their children survive if they have deep sideways connections and sort of a behind the scenes power.  Because if you don’t have connections, everyone is going to let your kids be eaten by a bear while you’re picking berries.

Which means that men and women don’t have similar social styles.  We do interact well enough in romance, but we have serious issues when working together.  We’ll leave that aside for now.  (It’s not true in all cases, and what is required is a more male-working-mode, which is why as women go into work there is a push to function as men.  More on that later.)

Anyway, in this world you created, before technology, everyone lived a rather miserable life.  How?

Um… hunting and gathering or even scraping by on agriculture was a miserable life.  Men died early because of hunt accidents or later work accidents or deformities or illnesses acquired while working under all weathers.  Seriously, if you haven’t read about how banged up male skeletons we unearth, you can’t even imagine.

Being a woman was also a miserable life, in many ways, but it was differently miserable.  Most women worked at as safe a job as there was, and these jobs were often menial and monotonous.  That meant they were less likely to die of their work, which was good because for species survival women needed to be spared for child birth which in pre tech days killed a huge number of them.

Now for women who weren’t having children for whatever reason, or who were past the age of having children, their work was monotonous and usually more intricate then men’s, but far less likely to kill them.  There is a reason the civilizational hypothesis resting on old age passing on its knowledge is called The Grandmother Hypothesis not the Grandparent Hypothesis.

Men endured harder work, that was more likely to kill them early.  They were also more likely to die in war.

Introduce some tech and the resultant prosperity and for a brief moment in time, men’s work becomes SOMEWHAT easier, (it’s still harder than women’s because of it takes advantage of men’s greater body strength) and less likely to kill you.  Industrialized war, though, will kill men in batch lots (see WWI and II or heck the Napoleonic wars.)

The brief prosperity might (NOTE MIGHT) enable oppressive patriarchy in certain places and for a brief time (except in cultures where, because desert cultures it was always the safe path: for reasons like protecting women from raids by enemies, which I don’t have the time to cover right now) men, due to higher body strength could impose a sort of subjection on women, which was supposed to keep them safe, but also kept them in their menial, lower-impact, more-boredom roles.  Note this was only possible in certain societies and cultures.  That subjugation of women in Victorian age that all the feminist writers are obsessed with was only possible in the wealthy classes.

Nor were women there or in China and Arab countries (where the subjugation came earlier and stronger, for other reasons we have no time to get into but which tie in with the danger of existence in those parts of the world) without resort.  There is a reason poison is a woman’s weapon, but beyond that, anyone who comes from a very patriarchal culture knows how much mom rules the roost behind closed doors.  This is something no feminist writer from the US seems able to GET.  They don’t seem to understand the more covert forms of power, but only the in your face, overt and open forms of power.

Which brings us to today in your world building.

All of a sudden the sex that was kept protected and in boring work, the sex that was kept from war and pain as much as possible, is up in arms and screaming they must be liberated of these restraints and they must be given compensation for centuries of oppression.

As your mentor, reading your world building, I’m going to tell you “Waitafargin minute, why are the females the ones that’s considered oppressed?  The men were the ones killed in batch lots both by war and by trying to make a living.  It was the men who endured hard and dangerous work in all weathers.  Arguably it was the women who oppressed them by convincing them to go out there and to it.  Your worldbuilding doesn’t work, son.  This is highly implausible.  Even if you add in that period where in upper class western societies men could really oppress those women under their power, you’d have to be a ninny not to realize the women fought back with subversion and indoctrination.  See the myth of the woman as angel, for instance.  Non western societies are more complicated but there, too, life was horrible for men.  So let’s talk about this. Your world just won’t work.  Shouldn’t men be clamoring for redress of the evils perpetrated on them through centuries.”

And then you’d point out women are deeper, more connected, more layered thinkers, and mass communication and more importantly story telling for entertainment on a level that never happened before is what created the myth of the oppressed women.  Mostly because women were freeing themselves from the restrictions imposed upon them by nature (the pill; labor saving devices; etc.) and felt how free they were by comparison to their grandmothers, and therefore back-cast their grandmothers into vile and oppressive submission.

And I’d admit your world building MIGHT work, but dear lor, that’s a dystopia.  these women who don’t know the history of the race will push forth into men’s roles*, and in the process try to get revenge for ills that really never happened (except through the unforgiving hand of mother nature) by making men more feminine, and trying to subjugate them.  Neither of which role reversion will work well with the human animal, and will lead to miserable women, miserable men and a dramatic fall in reproduction which means putting the future in jeopardy except in those areas in which, for other reasons, women really are held in vile subjugation and their condition held to be less than human.  Which means, because the future belongs to those who reproduce, the truly oppressive patriarchy which subjugates women and twists men into caricatures of themselves will inherit the world, after your civilization’s comedy of errors runs its course.

Fortunately, this is just an imaginary world, and it will never happen here.  Right?

*Note, I’m in no way implying women shouldn’t work, or even work outside the home, or that women shouldn’t do things we traditionally view as “male” because technology now enables women to do these, and note that I said above a lot of it, such as scientific endeavors, can benefit from having a different perspective.  I’m objecting to the “OBLIGATION” to do these and do them in male fashion, which is a great part of social pressure.  Same as the femininization of men.  Neither are needed to have the sexes take advantage of tech to cooperate in life and work.

379 responses to “Oppressive!

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

    [Mild Spoiler] Of course, I really find this humorous because of this female character who discovers that carrying a baby gives her an advantage over the men who are “in her way”. [Very Big Grin]

  2. Funny enough, at work when illness goes around my mostly female co-workers tend to be nigh-unto-death-where’s-the-meds, whereas I tend to have a couple of mildly bad days (mildly as in, customers don’t notice I’m sick) that I work through without needing to take anything.

    Either I rolled _good_ on my Constitution score, or my ability to handle discomfort is superior to theirs.

    • Could just be stronger immune system.

    • because you’re an individual. These are “statistical groupings” which means you can fall anywhere on them.

      • Alternate Hypothesis on why women succumb less to colds, etc.: they have greater exposure and thus greater resistance.

        Changing nappies, supervising play groups and such mean that all manner of minor childhood illnesses are (re-)experienced by the mother, ensuring her immune system remains “refreshed” on those topics.

        Further, her monthly hormone cycles accustom her to higher levels of physical “discomfort” (the chickens don’t care about your cramps, nor do the milk-laden cows) and “soldiering through.” Never forget the degree t which toughness is an acquired skill. Illness is a different animal than bruises, stressed joints, aching muscles and the like and unfamiliarity breeds distress.

        • Yes, but there have been studies done on the actual neuro-receptors, and women seem to feel pain LESS.

          • I believe that is the case based on my empirical observations , but I also note that it’s the dudes who show up ill enough to infect everyone else in cubeland so as to not miss a day of work. Cubeland lasses, in the same circumstance, mostly take the day off.

            Perhaps this reflects the difference between “That [mammoth/elk/deer/rabbit] won’t walk into the camp and kill itself so we can eat it” and “those roots and berries can wait to be gathered until tomorrow.”

            This is obviously a clear example of the oppression of patriarchy.

            • That’s because of the competitive thing, yes.

            • > so as not to miss a day of work

              Try working for a place that considers more than three missed days per year as grounds to be fired.

              There are plenty of employers hardwired to “every ass in its seat” and damn the consequences.

              • I’ve done that. I count myself very lucky to now work for a place that has a “whatever, as long as there’s coverage” policy. When I called in with the dreaded lurgy, and said I was taking the entire week off so I didn’t give it to all my coworkers, the response was “THANK YOU!!”

                Sadly, the new mom whose kid is now old enough for daycare has started bringing in every sniffle variant running through the germ pool.

                • By the time I rose to a position in the Marines to be able to tell people to stay home, I would do it regularly, regardless of what they told them down at the clinic. “You can go back to work…” was frequently met by my “You look like shit. Go home.”

                  Nothing worse than having your training or operations impacted because of the good intentions that end up decimating the unit with the crud.

            • Despite efforts on my part, my wife has caught my cold. The interesting thing is that while I didn’t run any temperature, she ran a low grade fever for a few hours. Anecdotal reports are that women are running fever with this local crud, but no men have reported such. If they, like me, aren’t having fever with this, it’s an interesting difference in immune system response.

            • The week of the Storm of the (20th) Century, I had the flu, but by Friday was well enough to go to work. Saturday, I went in to work the storm like everyone else, and promptly relapsed. That night my supervisor noticed I was having chills and asked if I was still sick, and sent me home when I admitted the obvious.

              I went in to work because of a strong feeling that I needed to go. I could have said I still wasn’t completely over the flu and not have that held against me. But I felt like I had to be there. And it was a miserable feeling that night, not only because the flu had returned, but because I heard our trucks roll past and felt like I needed to work.

              At the time I theorized this sort of work gets into your blood, but I’m starting to think it was something else, something related to this discussion.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Well stuff can get into your blood, but you can also bond to your peers and feel bad because you might be letting them down for lack of effort.

            • richardmcenroe

              Women wander through the woods gathering nuts and berries, and holding up clumps of foliage and asking, “Does this fig leaf make my ass look huge?”

              Men stand battered and bloody around a mastodon carcass, leaning on their cracked and bent flint spears and saying, “No, I DON’T want to look at another one.”

              This also explains shopping.

          • The “women feel pain less than men” seems to me to be a clear evolutionary adaptation – for men, avoiding pain, and anything that in the past caused pain, equals avoiding serious injury. For women, that higher pain threshold, when combined with the odd things about memory of pain and the mind altering chemical reinforcements that happen while nursing, increase the odds that a second child will be born after a first experience of childbirth, which in the pre-medicine era and it’s concomitant very high child mortality rates meant much more successful reproduction.

            • When I was pregnant with my first, one of the conversations with ladies in my church that I remember, was about that memory loss. Seems that right around 7 months pregnant, that memory of the labor and ring of fire comes rushing back long about the time that it is far too late to do anything else. Kind of an “Oh, no! What did I just get myself in to?” kind of thing. But 7 months is one of those safer months to start delivering babies (still not the safest but safer).

              • Minutes after my wife delivered our first child, after she’d caught her breath and seen the baby, she said, more to herself than to me: “I could do that again.”

                Speechless.

                And we – she – did, for which I am eternally grateful and utterly in awe.

                One weird thing about guy-pains: in the heat of battle, even the mock-battle of sports, a guy can get seriously banged up – and not even notice. At the end, you’re bleeding and bruised and saying to yourself: “that was fun!” It’s when you get old and it starts taking days, then weeks, then indeterminate amounts of time to recover that it stops being fun…

                • Yeah, for most people, adrenaline can cover a lot of pain.

                  • One of our friend was out running on a high school track to get his exercise in (in his late 50s). He slipped on a patch of ice and broke his ankle in multiple spots. He was many yards from help. So he got up on his “good” side and rested the broken ankle on the good one and dragged himself to the building or his car. Somewhere where he could get help or call for help. He ended up with some road rash from dragging himself along too. He felt pain, but the “I need to get help” overrode most of it until he was safe.

                • One weird thing about guy-pains

                  Adrenaline does wonderful things for managing such pains.

                • Playing in the SCA there were times I’d get off the field, stip off my armor and see some humongous bruise and think, “Gee, I hope I took that.”

                • “Pain is weakness leaving the body”

                  I first saw that saying in the locker rooms of Texas High school football teams, although I think the Marines first coined it.

                • At the doctors the other day discussing kidney stones. He said “People have described it as almost as bad as labor pains.” My wife joined in, “No. It’s worse.” She has experience with both, so, I’ll take her word for it.

                  • OTOH, I have heard a guy say that actually, he’s had times when stubbing his toe hurt more.

                    The thing was, the kidney stone pain was constant.

                  • Labor pains are really bad but they’re not constant. I had a “thing”, not sure what it even was, where I had abdominal pain so bad I thought I would die. After an emergency room trip and a bunch of tests the morphine wore off and it didn’t hurt anymore so I went home. It was so much worse than labor that I can’t even compare the two.

                    I’ve no doubt at all that a kidney stone is worse than labor.

                • My wife did something remarkably similar. About 10 minutes after our daughter made it out, the wife asks “So, do you want to do that again?”

                  All I could do was laugh and gesticulate, “I’m not the one who’s gotta do all that.”

                • I felt NO pain on the first. Just lots of pressure, and a huge urge to push. The second one had pain – but not because of the labour itself.

                  Third one was a different kind of pain. Fourth was an emergency c-section. Pain came after.

                  • My mother-in-law described it as not so much pain as a lot of hard work. I’ve only had one so far, but the contractions did hurt. Not screaming pain, but I’m afraid I was kind of whiny.

                    • I prefer the natural method myself – more work but easier on healing in my own opinion. The second one had painful contractions but my memory is hazy on that because they knocked me out. Was disoriented enough to wonder where the baby went and plead that the nurses stop checking how much I had dilated. It hurt because they liked to time it to my contractions.

                    • Yipe. Being knocked out for it sounds… unsettling.

                      I was going to see whether I was willing to go without pain relief or not, but they ended up thinking they might have to do a C-section because of fetal distress (didn’t wind up necessary — yay! but watching my signature deteriorate on the consent forms was interesting) and gave me an epidural. I was really scared of the needle in the spine thing but now I get why everybody was so enthusiastic about that option.

                    • I like feeling it all. I really am sad that I remember nothing of the birth itself. The stuff before and after was not pleasant but at no point did I regret having the kids no matter how painful the labour.

                      Would be happy to go through it again.

                    • I wouldn’t want to be unconscious, but I don’t feel I missed out with the epidural. They’ve learned to fine-tune it so you feel almost everything except pain. …Oh, and temperature, apparently. At one point they washed me and I commented in surprise on the liquid apparently being warmed to body temperature — and got a look that made me realize it must not be. *laughing*

                      I’m planning to try again. Really hoping it goes as well as the first time. Wish you all the best.

                    • You too! More lil Hunlings sound awesome!

            • I remember about the pain, but I have no real tactile memory of the pain. (This is for all pain, really; I don’t think that being able to remember pain in a full sensory fashion is evolutionarily advantageous.) The thing I remember about it that was most unusual was how very directional it was.

              And yeah, it sucked, and yeah, I didn’t like it. But I have three kids because I’m stubborn, and it’s not like it was kidney stones or anything. (BTW, that pain scale that has 10 as “the worst pain you can imagine”? Useless. I can imagine quite a lot. There’s one out there that has things like “unable to talk” and “unable to move” that is a LOT more useful. Of course, it also has “BEES!” as one level…)

              • > pain scale

                A heart attack is quite painful. But it’s over quickly, one way or the other.

                A stone between the ureter and bladder isn’t quite as painful, but it’s the “gift that keeps on giving.” I don’t know if you can actually die of a kidney stone, but it doesn’t take long before it sounds like a wonderful idea.

                The messy compound fracture/crushing injury that left one leg an inch shorter than the other barely rates compared to the kidney stone. And bear in mind I rode the fracture out without painkillers of any kind, due to Soviet-level fusterclucks at the hospital.

                • Yes. You can die of a kidney stone. But only because it causes secondary infection. I had a 12 mm stone lodge in the opening from the kidney to the ureter. It completely stopped all fluids from leaving causing nice fiery pain in precisely half my body. The kidney was swelling and I was in danger of infection from the back up. Also, the sharp edges can cause little nicks and cuts that can allow infection in.

                  • And just such an infection nearly killed me. There was also a mass present (which turned out to be an old stone that had been encysted when it caused an earlier problem) which looked like cancer. Kidney Doc said 90% chance it was cancer, 10% it was only a really bad infection. Everything that Doctor Google told me agreed with that. Surgery was scheduled based on a cancer time frame, but it turned out to be an infection so I got weak faster and surgery was moved up. I could barely get out of the car and into a wheelchair when the day arrived. When I woke up I was a paraplegic with a machine breathing for me through a hole in my throat.
                    (Like the guy who got turned into a newt, I got better. I’ll probably never type 70 WPM but I can manage half of that and can get around for awhile with a cane or quad cane, or all day with a walker.)

                • Part of the problem here is that pain is a) subjective and b) variable within the individual. Subjectivity should be obvious. Individual variability includes such factors as awareness (studies have found an engaging video game as effective as prescription pain meds) and what the sufferer is accustomed to experiencing.

                  I am sure there are serious medical research efforts to determine and precisely quantify pain levels … if they haven’t simply given up in frustration.

                  “Gee, Doc, I was feeling okay until you asked me whether I was experiencing any pain.”

                  • And one pain can mask another. While removing my badly infected left kidney they also took out my gall bladder, which apparently was just short of critical. They found it while looking at everything before the kidney problem was identified. I never noticed because the kidney pain was so bad.

                • When I shattered my thumb, I didn’t think it was broken because it didn’t hurt that bad. So I flexed it. It bent between the two joints and then it hurt.

                  • When I broke my arm, it didn’t hurt much at first. But I could feel it was broken and that I was in shock, so I knew I needed to get an ambulance and go to the hospital before it started hurting.

                    Ho boy, it surely did hurt when the pain kicked in.

                    • I broke my leg skiing – I heard it snap while I flipped over. It never hurt, they got me to the hospital and the doc told my dad to hold me while he gave me something for the pain. The only thing that hurt was dad holding my leg hard while the doc stuck the needle in. Then they set it and I went on my way. Second most pain I felt was my mom’s shriek when she say me – dad didn’t see any upside to warning her what had happened until we got back. Smart man – well, sorta. She would tell the story as a scold for years. I still took the opposite lesson. 🙂

                    • I broke my collar bone screwing around before an acting class. I felt something “pop” and thought it was a dislocated shoulder. I went through the class (entitled Voice and Movement for the Actor, for irony’s sake) and the following acting class before going to the ER at Davis-Monthan (This marks the last time I was able to get medical care as a dependant.). All the time I kept trying to put my shoulder “back in place.” Because I waited so long, and kept messing with it, they couldn’t get the bone to set properly and now my left collarbone is about 1/2 an inch shorter than my right. Other than a sharp pain when it actually happened it was just a dull but strong ache until it finished healing. (A strong but dull ache which the T3+Codine they prescribed did absolutely nothing to.)

              • I hate the numerical scale for pain. I wish there was a scale that related to events. i.e. arthritis flare during two weeks of rain. worst pain I ever had. I’ve never had kids. When I was a teen no one ever mentioned that you can get pain relief during labor. It was all natural birth and Lamaze. For someone who needs multiple shots, and numbing to get the shots, for dental procedures. I decided that I really didn’t want kids. I married a man who didn’t want kids either and we’re happy with a small manipulative dog.

                I’m really bad on female and male skills. My excuse is that I’m from a damaged egg. My mother had breast cancer before I was born. Pregnancy hormones were thought to trigger it. So she was irradiated (1960) to sterilize her, so no pregnancy hormones. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. Some time later she tells her doctor”I’ve got a tumor.” He replies: “No you’ve got a baby.”

                • The problem with using events is that people don’t necessarily feel events the same way, either. And, for your specific example, have not had such an experience.

                  I just work on the understanding that 10 means, “unable to answer coherently” and go down from there. That seems to me to be a reasonable subjective scale measurement, but it does nothing for the objective event scale.

                  • Yes. I prefer one I saw once, where the top of the scale was, “I can do nothing except think about my pain.”

                    It went down with things like how much it was interfering with your activities and the like.

                    By it, I correctly picked out 4 when I was in the hospital after my hysterectomy. On the drugs, to be sure, but I had had worse menstrual cramps, and a lot worse headaches.

                    • I am grateful never to have hit 10 on that scale, but I’ve been told elsewhere to use the worst I’ve ever personally experienced for 10.

                      I must have settled on some reasonable understanding with my physical therapist, who told me to do exercises at a level that didn’t go past 4 to avoid re-injuring myself, since I don’t seem to have done so.

                • See, people use the numerical scale incorrectly.
                  Im of the opinion no one outside of an ambulance or fire crew should use it except maybe for E.R walk ins.
                  It should be “On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being no special pain and 10 being the worst pain YOU have ever felt (discounting childbirth), how would you rate your pain?”
                  Incoherent screaming means a ten.

                • Oh, yes. I’ve had arthritis since my 20s.

                  Spring, fall, and almost any day after a rain, when the pollen and mold count go up, and the pain level makes me downright grumpy.

                  If I can only get the new house done before my body craps out completely, it has triple HEPA filters in the air conditioning system…

              • I had a nurse insist that I take one of the stronger pain killers last time I was in– in the format of I said “well, it kind of hurts, even when I’m not moving” and she stated “you’re getting X and Y,” and I didn’t notice enough to argue with her. (I was also going on half an hour of sleep in the past day, though not due to pain.)

                I still think I would’ve been fine with just the big version of an OTC pain killer, but considering my recovery time was a full day shorter than any prior? ❤

                A good nurse is worth her weight in something really valuable. 😀

        • And it might be practice on my part. I was a bit of a crybaby as a kid, and _hated_ being teased for it, so maybe I was motivated to learn to tough it out.

          • also, apparently — weirdly — I just read (I’m reading The Red Queen, a book on sex and evolution) that testosterone lowers your immune threshold. Um… good thing I’m not a guy?

            • I wonder what that means for autoimmune conditions because those tend to hit women far more than men.

            • Patrick Chester

              So Man Flu is a thing?

              • For a lot of guys, apparently. I’m glad I seem to be somewhat of an exception.

              • I have often wondered if this is Nature’s way of saying “Take a break, darn it, or you’re going to get yourself killed!”

                Getting sick means that you’re not getting rest, which in turn means your brain isn’t functioning fully. I don’t know about other States, but Utah has this campaign implying that drowsy driving is as bad as drunk driving.

                Now, men are something like 90% likely to die on the job than women. This probably has something to do with construction, deep sea fishing, farming and ranching, and other dangerous jobs being done traditionally by men; it can be just as dangerous to show up tired for such work, as it is to show up drunk….

      • Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why everyone worries when the eldest offspring gets sick – if she’s sick EVERYONE is going to get it. But there’s been a lot of times where she’ll be the only one left standing and taking care of the rest of us, under some supervision from me. (It isn’t onerous; I make sure there are stocks of easily cooked canned goods or instant soups, which she knows how to prepare.)

      • Yes, one should avoid becoming a statistic; unless, of course, it’s to your benefit.

    • For illnesses, my constitution became badass after I had my tonsils removed, but when I’m in pain, it takes all my willpower to function. And even a mild headache will practically sideline me.

      • Still can’t figure out why doctors today seem so intent on not taking them out. All my kids still have them. The middlest of them frequently gets and coughs up tonsil stones, which are just as disgusting as they sound. Without tonsils, he wouldn’t…

        • Older son had problems with those (he still has his, too). He did some searching around and found that if you can get hold of a mouthwash that releases Oxygen, gargling with it helps. In the absence of that, using half and half Hydrogen Peroxide and water (which he says is really disgusting, by the way) does the same thing. It must have worked, because he stopped having the problem.

          • Such a gargle solution will also help address problems with food particles trapped between teeth (although flossing tastes better), especially at the far reaches of the mouth.

        • There’s an understanding that medical science still doesn’t really know how everything in the body fits together. Because of that, it’s generally better to leave a given body part alone until you don’t have a choice in the matter.

          • I had horrible and frequent tonsillitis when I was a kid, at the very height of the rage for surgically removing them. Our family doctor said, when I was about eight or nine, that ONE MORE bout of tonsillitis, and he would recommend that mine be removed.
            I think my tonsils heard that threat. Because I never had another round of it again, after that day. And I do, in fact, still have my tonsils. Wonderful what a threat can do.

            • I would think that was just a weird coincidence, except… Elder daughter was “One more ear infection and we put the tubes in!”

              Never had an ear infection since then.

          • Scientists practicing humility??? Is that allowed, or do they have to turn in their white lab coats?

            • Not allowed. Definitely NOT ALLOWED.

              During my most recent stint in Academia, we used to joke that our building was built with extra-wide hallways to ensure that Faculty could pass each other in the hall without bumping egos.

        • It’s been in the news recently around here that taking out the tonsils is coming back. However, 80% of the surgeries are to fix sleeping and breathing problems from chronically enlarged tonsils. Bad sleep as a child, snoring, etc. can lead to other things later on, so it is now a “good” surgery to perform again.

          • Wife had hers removed, um, ten years ago? I’d have to dig back to say exactly. Also some work to straighten her nose.

            Much quieter sleeper – and she gets through the whole night (usually).

            OTOH, mine are still in place, and I’ve never had sleep problems. (Well, last few years, but that’s the old age bladder thing going on, not on the top end.)

            • Curse that wretched prostate thing! I swear it’s in competition with the anus as to which is the most important body part.

              • Well, at least only half of us have to be concerned about that. I wonder, does prostate tissue atrophy during long periods of weightlessness?

        • richardmcenroe

          I think the thinking is the risk of anasthesia is worse than treating the tonsils with antibiotics.

          Also, drug sales reps.

          • I vaguely remember reading that people with tonsils had a longer life expectancy than those without. So having tonsils may be a life extender. On the other hand it may just be that people that don’t get tonsillitis are hardier. Causation can go either direction with correlation or possibly be orthogonal.

            Then again tonsils regrow on some people.

        • I think it’s the back-swing from the “kid had a cold, remove tonsils” level stuff that was going on before.

          See also, the insane resistance to (non-religious) circumcision among some doctors.

      • I had my tonsils removed at 3. Didn’t help

  3. There is a reason the civilizational hypothesis resting on old age passing on its knowledge is called The Grandmother Hypothesis not the Grandparent Hypothesis.

    Because Matriarchy!

    (I kid.)

    • Hey, I just realized the HTML quote markup no longer seems to have any effect in WordPress. Or was it blockquote that used to do things? I guess I’ll just use regular quote characters from now one.

      • Hm. This should be an obvious quote:

        Hey, I just realized the HTML quote markup no longer seems to have any effect in WordPress. Or was it blockquote that used to do things? I guess I’ll just use regular quote characters from now one.

        • Yep, the blockquote tag still works. (Although I like the style that puts it in a box with a different background better – but that is not the WP scheme that’s being used here. Reminds me to check my site’s CSS sometime along here.)

  4. “Fortunately, this is just an imaginary world, and it will never happen here. Right?”

    Right. Because, as we know, “forces” and things like that are an illusion, an overlay we put on events to understand how they work and to predict future events.

    Real culture takes place at the “atomic” level, individuals interacting. That is inherently chaotic and non-predictable. A sufficient level of personally empowering technology, like a cellphone with camera and internet, makes it impossible to predict what’s going to happen in places where women are held in vile subjugation.

    Except to predict that things are going to change, that is. “How you going to keep ’em down on the farm when they seen Paris?”

  5. Is it just me, or has every ‘Women’s Movement’ had more than it far share of flakes?

    There’s Carry (spelling correct, f’crying out loud!) National, whose full bore insanity is hilariously documented in Robert Louis Taylor’s VESSEL OF WRATH. Then there’s the fuss surrounding the possible affair between Henry Ward Beecher and the wife of a free love advocate (what the hell did the man expect?), which is studded with the nuttier stars of the Women’s Suffrage and Temperance movement.

    I’m not saying that women shouldn’t have the vote, or even that they shouldn’t serve in the military if they can pass certain basic physical requirements (and I acknowledge that the Limitary has often set such unreasonably high). I just think that for every stereotypical Male Chauvinist Pig you find in the real world, you encounter at least one full-bore Feminist nut who comes damned close to justifying the MCP’s piggery.

    • Most of the “feminist theorists” currently popular were women with serious mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. To say that the condition of their minds affected their scholarly work is to understate the case significantly.

    • (and I acknowledge that the Limitary has often set such unreasonably high)
      You and everybody you care about are huddled in a cave. Outside the cave, holding off relentless enemy, is a squad of military, who have been selected for a demanding standard of physical and mental capability. How much such capability is “unreasonable”?

      • If it means there aren’t enough rifles to hold off the enemy.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Even there, there’s the difference between “holding the wall” and “marching off to do battle”.

          There’s plenty of people, male & female, who not be up to long marches (including carrying loads) that could defend with rifles fixed positions.

          At 60+ years, I wouldn’t want to have to go on long marches but could help “holding the wall”.

      • You seem to be under the impression that the whole of the military is the infantry. I assure you this is not the case. There’s still a considerable ratio of support personnel to trigger pullers, and nearly everyone of those support personnel could be female, or even mildly disabled, with no loss of readiness. When it comes to it, yeah I want someone with the necessary capacity, but upper body strength alone doesn’t necessarily equate to it. Accumulated fatigue, and the ability to deal with it, is just as important. The issue there is that a man is likely to have less than I would, even if I may be able to deal with it better.

        • I spent two years in the Signal Corps; one of those in a combat zone. Let me suggest that just because your primary duty is not Infantry does not mean that you may not find yourself in a position where the only thing between you and the bad guys is your unit, armed with rifles.

          • See: Jessica Lynch, Truck Driver

            • Yup. I would honestly admit that my daughter was far better fitted and trained to encounter random combat as a Marine, than I ever was an AF-in-the-rear-with-the-gear troop.
              I never even had weapons training until I had been about five years into service. In Basic – we had a class about appropriate makeup, instead. No, I am not fibbing about this. A class in makeup. And we had cute little “utility” uniforms: blouse and navy-blue drill slacks or a wrap-around skirt. Ladies’ Auxiliary to the max.

              • makeup

                Wish you were talking Navy so it would be a better joke when I say, “Consider this gob smacked.”

                I guess the makeup was so that when the Life photographers showed up to document what a wonderful contribution to the war effort y’all were making nobody would see the resulting pictures and [make rude comment].

                • Pretty much, yes. I think that the effort put into ensuring that we were all ladylike and attractive was to defang the accusation that any woman who must want to do something so outre as be in the military must be some lumpy and desperately unattractive lesbian. (My great aunt Nan, who was one of the first WAAF recruits during WWII ran into this a lot.) For some decades, I have been told (and have no reason to doubt since it came from AF recruiters of the time) the application package for any woman wanting to join the Air Force included a head-and-shoulders photograph of the prospective enlistee. This also served as a means to enforce the color bar, as you can deduce.
                  By the time that I came in, that had gone by the wayside … but for the first couple of years, it was still very much the “Ladies Auxiliary.” I had to purchase my first couple of sets of fatigue uniforms out of pocket.

                  • The funny thing is, I’m initially gobsmacked, but then I think about how my wife doesn’t wear make-up except for special occasions (and I don’t mind one whit), and I also think about Heinlein’s “Space Cadet”, where cadets were trained in the fine points of manners, such as which fork to use for eating a pie. It may be fine in one culture (such as my household) to have nothing to do with make-up, but in another culture (such as in formal military sittings) you *should* wear make-up, but you can’t expect everyone to know how to apply it (because they may have grown up in my household)….

                    Little cultural things like that don’t seem important, but the idea of having to respect the culture of the natives of Venus (and asking them to respect Earth’s cultural norms) was an important point in the plot.

                    Now that I think of it, though, it’s still gobsmacking funny to think about learning about make-up in the military!

                    • The Navy’s version was “If I can tell you’re wearing makeup, take it off, you’re out of uniform.”

                      Officers probably got a slightly more in depth one, and a more girly RDC would probably have done better, but since I don’t wear makeup at all that was fine by me….

                    • I think knowing how to apply makeup is a critically important skill for women and men. You don’t want people showing up for the commando raid with their camo misapplied or using the wrong sort, such as desert camo makeup for a swamp crawl!

              • Having spent many hours training with female Marines in hand-to-hand combat, they’re still at a massive disadvantage (even the ones on the higher end of the physical performance curve) against an average size/strength male with little to no training. As someone else pointed out here, the idea that “the rear” is clearly delineated and mostly safe is a dangerous fiction. I used to train female Marines according to doctrine, then offer much more realistic supplemental training. Hand to hand (and martial arts) training tends to impart a very dangerous false sense of security to women.

                And don’t worry about the makeup classes in the AF, your daughter went through that too in Marine boot camp. She just got WAY more time on the firing line. 😉

            • In all fairness, Lynch’s Commander should take a significant amount of blame for not keeping up with weapons training. See also Leigh Ann Hester while we’re talking Iraq.

              • SFC Hester is by empirical evidence an actual female combat badass. The fact that there are not female combat badass stories in proportion to the number of females in the various combat zones speaks to how far over on the right tail of that particular bell curve she is.

              • Lynch’s commander is blameless, in my opinion. The people who should have been court martialed were the ones who made the “big-picture” decision to first cut training dollars to the bone for outfits like the 507th, and then who decided they really had to have a unit like that attached to the combat trains of 3 ID.

                The roots of the problem that resulted in the 507th happening go back to at least WWII, if not earlier. The mentality that the Army has, which persists in fantasizing about there being any such thing as a clearly delineated battlefield, has been false since at least 1941, when the Soviets revved up their partisan program in the rear areas of the Eastern Front. The US never paid real attention to that stuff, and when we encountered the North Koreans and Chinese in Korea, who promptly handed us our asses in the “rear areas” on multiple occasions, well… Let’s just say we went deep into denial, and ignored the obvious lessons on the wall. Same-same Vietnam, where we would have lost the war without the helicopter being able to provide logistics support.

                There are no rear areas, no clearly defined battle areas. The Army’s failure to recognize this fact, and to train and equip everyone accordingly, is what led to the 507th disaster. That commander was so completely out of the water when it came to the basics that it wasn’t even funny, and the guys he was around there in the combat trains of 3 ID couldn’t even conceive that they would be so poorly prepared mentally. One of my old bosses was right there in front of the 507th in the movement order, and the problems they had weren’t even apparent to him until they started moving. By then, it was too late to fix, and the die was cast.

                The 507th should never have been put into that position, period. What happened indicated deep flaws in how the Army conceived how to conduct war in this era, and in a lot of denial–Combat training is expensive, and when you refuse to plump the money down on the table to pay for it, don’t be really surprised when the units you fail to prepare perform accordingly.

                Blaming that commander is about like blaming a rape victim for what happened to her. He did everything that the Army told him to do, and the fact that they put him into that position with no real training, or the opportunity to train? Yeah… They programmed him and his unit to fail, and then acted all surprised and innocent-like when they did fail.

                • Respectfully disagree. The 507th proved with rare exception to be unable to run the weapons assigned to them. The commander is the guy who can blow off weapons training because the unit consists of truck drivers, not infantry. This was a big problem in the Guard through the ’90’s, but not everyone fell into the same trap. The silver lining to the whole event was that it caused the Army to address the training issues.

          • I was a satcom tech and from accounts I’ve scene, during the panama invasion guys in my MOS ended up manning some roadblocks and getting into firefights.

          • Speaking as an NRA member and an avid hunter and shooter; once they overcome their unease with firearms, women tend to become much better shooters than men. They don’t shake as much, jerk the trigger far less, and concentrate better than men do on the average. Probably the only reason they’re not the ones doing the majority of sniper work was that long lasting ban against women in combat roles.

            • Lyudmila Pavlichenko and Roza Shanina would agree with you about women as snipers.

            • I remember reading an essay by Tom Kratman, where he described his research in the history of women in combat. His conclusion was basically “men are best for offensive purposes, women are best for defending the fort”. Women being good for sniping would fit well in this conclusion.

              It’s not difficult to imagine why such specializations would arise in a hunter-gatherer society (or in human family/society dynamics in general)…

              • Sounds reasonable to me– I know that female technicians are very useful for reaching stuff that the guys can’t, unless they take stuff apart. Less likely to get focused on the “I did more” vs “I did it right, the first time” type competitions, which you want in the folks holding down the fort.

                It’s also much harder for the enemy to target one individual defender at the fort– and we KNOW that our current enemies do target women.

            • It is innate — women’s nervous / muscular systems* are much better at the fine motor control (learn your Bell Curve and <I<use it!) than are men’s, except for a few buy well into the right hand point of their Bell. Fine motor control is extremely useful when shooting.

              This suggests that women ought be better surgeons than men — greater stamina, greater fine motor systems — and maybe, on average they are, but we don’t draw surgeons from the middle of the Bell, do we? Besides, maybe men are more inclined to the type of arrogance needed to disassemble and reassemble a living brain. Other factors often intrude when you get into the pointy parts of those Bells.

              *I forget which, and it might be both. I’m not gonna spend time looking it up.

            • Being an NRA member does not equate a position of authority around here.
              Fallacy, presumes facts not in evidence.
              Lets look at the numbers for NRA smallbore competition: the presence of women in the competition is a normal scatter graph, not weighted toward the upper end.

              • You’re assuming that women and men shooters participate in small bore competition at equivalent rates. (I.e. that the interest in competitive shooting is the same.)

                I know that one of the best shotgun shooters I’ve seen shoot, Kim Rhode, is a woman. Of course, she’s been shooting since her pre-teen years.

                Anecdotally, among novice shooters women seem to be easier to teach, possibly because most of them hadn’t spent their younger years playing with toy guns and learning bad habits (they also listen better).

                • Nope, not what i meant at all. As i said, women seem to be scattered through the competition equally, not weighted toward the high end. They seem to be all over the score listing, not occurring more or less at any one end.

      • When you’re insisting that anybody loading the rifles, or fixing them, or running to get more ammo has to have the physical ability of a guy who’s going hand to hand or marching for 30 miles with full gear.

        • The problem is, you can’t predict when you’re going to have to do these things. Sure, in all likelihood, most soldiers are not going to have to do the Bataan Death March thing, but to plan as though you’ll never have to?

          Ain’t smart. At all.

          I shudder to think what the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir would look like with some of the units we have today. You can optimistically plan all you like, and say that “Well, the 234th Mess Kit Repair company needn’t have all those big, strong farm boys in it… We can fill it out with a bunch of suburban city girls who want to pay their way through college, no risk there…”.

          And, then one night, when the enemy manages to infiltrate your FOB, and you’re all fighting for your lives, that unit winds up being the only thing available to throw into the breach. Right about then, the decision to accept the risk inherent in manning that unit with 40% female soldiers may be one you’ll come to regret, because all of a sudden those assumptions you made back in peacetime about the things that unit would need to be able to do turned out to be a bit… Optimistic.

          The staff officer proposes; the gods of war dispose. Military history is littered with examples where elements which were not expected to see significant combat suddenly did, and the men manning those units had to step up to the plate.

          The Army Corps of Engineers was told to conduct budget triage during the ramp-up to WWII, and not to bother training hard for the units they had that weren’t going to be assigned to divisions. Instead, they took the prudent position and decided that every Combat Engineer unit out there would be run through a training regimen that was actually a bit tougher than many Infantry units went through. That paid off when the Germans attacked through the Ardennes during what came to be called the Battle of the Bulge, and one of the first units they encountered was the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion under LTC David Pergrin. The unit, attached to the corps headquarters, had been tasked with running sawmills and providing lumber for the winterization plan, and were scattered all through the Ardennes in the path of the German attack. This was something that the Germans came to rather wish hadn’t happened, because the 291st calmly put down their tools, and proceeded to completely screw up the German advance by way of blowing up every bridge capable of taking German tanks in their path, and conducting many, many minor anti-armor ambushes, all of which served to slow the Germans to the point where they ran out of fuel. Joachim Peiper was left pounding on the coaming of his turret hatch, cursing “…the damned engineers…”, as they literally blew the last bridge in front of him, which left his column of armor high and dry, without access to the fuel stocks they’d intended to capture.

          You don’t know when, you don’t know where, but you’d better be ready to dance the dance when the time comes. Necessity speaks, and if you can’t answer effectively, you’re going to go down to defeat.

          • You’re still thinking all Army, Kirk– and didn’t respond to the actual issue that it is wasteful and unreasonable to use all high octane fuel when 90% of your situations only take minimum grade.

            The truck drivers thing you pointed out is a prime example of a dumb place to put women– it only “makes sense” if the enemy doesn’t get a vote, and they do.

            From memory, directly came from the Stupid Office Tricks to reclassify working in a combat zone (pay wise) as not working in a combat zone (you need to be able to freaking fight.)

            • Terry Sanders

              As I understand it, his point is that you can’t predict *which 10%* will need the High Test. And if they need it and don’t have it, they die. And quite possibly get their friends killed, too. In which case *skimping* is wasteful and unreasonable.

              I’ll let you guys argue that, but I thought I should point out that he did address the issue.

              • Except that you can, unless everyone is in a combat zone– and even then, you can look at Israel for examples of figuring out the distinction between “reasonably possible” and “theoretically possible.” Thus the All Army part.

                • I can see both sides of this issue. In addition to the combat engineers, even the division bands had to put down their instruments and pick up their guns in the Bulge.

                  On the flip side, if you were doing stuff in the states in WWII you were pretty safe, so could use low octane there.

                  On the other flip side – say MPs guarding a military facility in the states now, and terrorists attack – is there really a rear area in the current world?

                  I have flip-flopped on this issue before and am still doing so – but I appreciate an open conversation on it.

                  -John

                  • Warning, we use elbows here. 😀

                    For the third flip side– that means that there is no cave. It’s not possible to protect non-coms by only enlisting those who are able to take on a front-line combat role at the drop of a hat, because everyone is now on the frontline all the time, military or no.
                    That puts us back at step one, and distributing a limited resource where it will do the most good. (and kicking the asses of those asses who insist on pretending that driving a truck during an invasion is not a freaking frontline the-bad-guys-ARE-GOING-TO-ATTACK job)

                    • Alrrighty then! Now we can discuss the optimal use of training resources. To do that we have to establish what our objectives are. Is producing a cadre of combat hardened females for some unguessable reason one of them?

                    • *looks back up the listing* It appears that pretty much the only thing everybody in this discussion agrees on is that it’s dumb to put your females in a combat situation….

                    • And yet, there’s a strong drive to do it. Makes you wonder, eh?
                      I’ve been flying a paranoid freak flag hallucinating a reason for this otherwise unreasonable project. I’d love to be refuted. But I’m kind of at “They hate you. Act accordingly.”

                    • And yet, there’s a strong drive to do it. Makes you wonder, eh?

                      No, I’ve met enough officers who don’t care about putting the lives of others at risk if it improves their career. Why would female officers be any different?

                      There’s also that the folks here are not likely to be in the “pretend men and women are identical, but women are better” mindset.
                      Or to have the belief that women are inherently peaceful, so the way to get war to end is to h ave more women in the military.
                      Or any of a dozen other reasons folks want female combat soldiers.

                    • Except, that’s not what we’re really doing, here: Instead of putting women and other physically unfit individuals into jobs where they’re not “expected” to see direct combat actions, we’re “mainstreaming” them into combat arms… Makes about as much sense as mainstreaming kids with Downs into places like MIT.

                      Which means that while they may get away with it for a little while, during the periods where everything is just going swimmingly, according to plan, and we can put these people into jobs commensurate with their physical strength, but when the shan hits the fit…? Yeah, you’re gonna regret that whole idea.

                      Combat isn’t predictable. You set your units that are going there up such that you’re only able to manage things under ideal circumstances, someone, probably the enemy, is going to set things up such that those ideal circumstances no longer obtain.

                      One of my original mentors in the Army was a guy who’d done a couple of combat tours in Vietnam; one of his favorite anecdotes was about the time he and three of his buddies stole the Lieutenant’s jeep to go on a beer run. On the way back, they took a shortcut through a really narrow-ass country trail. As they came around a sharp corner, they found themselves in shock as they encountered an equally shocked platoon or so of NVA who were literally forming up on that trail for some unknown reason. There was no room to turn around, but in the thirty or forty seconds immediately after coming to a halt, he and his buddies each jumped out, grabbed a corner of the jeep, and picked it up to rotate it 180 degrees and drive off like a bunch of madmen. By the time the NVA troops reacted, they were already gone in a cloud of dust.

                      My guess is that might not have gone so smoothly with the random selection of troops we have today, many of whom can maybe max the physical fitness tests, but who can’t actually lift very much weight when push comes to shove.

                      You can’t predict how things are going to go reliably enough to say that the literal weakening we’re doing of the combat arms isn’t going to have an effect. You want proof, go look at the various bridge companies out in the Midwest National Guard and Reserves, and then ask why they all quit doing competitive bridging exercises about the same time they brought a bunch of women on board as 12C Bridge Crewmen. Wasn’t that big a deal in the float bridge units, where a lot of stuff is mechanically aided, but in the dry span units that specialize in things like the Medium Girder Bridge…?

                      Hint: Look at the average construction times for those bridges before and after the change-over from all male to mixed. Assuming you can find them, that is–It wasn’t “politically correct” to publish those, and after a bit, those competitions quit happening.

                      It ain’t pretty, and the results we’ll see under fire somewhere like Korea or the Baltic states with all those cute little rivers…? Look for a few major losses stemming from the bridges not going in on time, or not coming out in time to remain available in the trains for future use.

                      Decisions like this have consequences. Remember that, and remember to blame the right parties when all this crap goes seriously south. Which it will, guaranteed by military history and the Gods of the Copybook Headings.

                    • You’re making the very large jump between “putting physically unsuited people into situations and hoping they don’t get into combat” and “everything in the military is combat.”

                      People aren’t widgets, and most of the really stupid stuff the military does is based on the assumption that they are– or the assumption that all military roles are (or should be) widgets.

                      There should be basic levels of ability, of course, but if it magically doesn’t matter any more that a chief can’t physically fight a fire in a confined space, then it shouldn’t matter for anybody else as a baseline and the “staff the fire fighting teams” becomes something you have to specifically staff for.

                • The problem is that under your theory, you’re effectively saying that 10% are for ever unavailable for deployment to the combat zone. (And when you consider that in Nam, and I understand also in the Sandbox, the entire country was a combat zone, that means that you have support personnel who can’t be used as replacements as necessary — as we now rotate units not individuals, that would mean that any units that contain any of the 10% can’t be deployed as well.)

                  • There are a lot of people who aren’t deployable to a combat zone– realistically, as a side note, there’s actually competition for combat deployable assignments, and you wouldn’t believe the pissing and moaning when someone finds out that they’re not allowed to take an assignment.

                    Right now those groups that are doing unit rotations have “combat deployable” as a unit specifier, and it’s not at all uncommon for units to rotate in without members. (That’s usually due to things like failing the PFT or hitting legal problems, plus the eternal curse of paperwork.)

    • Every radical movement does. It’s much easier to believe that you’re unhappy because society is wrong than because you’re a flake.

    • Is it just me, or has every ‘Women’s Movement’ had more than it far share of flakes?

      Pretty much ANYTHING that’s majority female in control will have more than its fair share of “characters.”

      If the groups are small enough, they stay characters rather than becoming flakes.

  6. ‘…I can’t go into all the details, but I do know testosterone makes you think “clearer, faster, more incisively” and estrogen makes you think “deeper, more connected and layered.”’

    I thought testosterone makes you stupid and estrogen makes you crazy… Or is that only near puberty? 😛

    • any sudden influx of an hormone will unbalance you, yeah.
      HOWEVER to the other sex we often present that way. I.e. women are going “He’s stupid why doesn’t he see pushing that lever will get what he wants but ALSO cause that and that to move, which–” And men are going “the train is going out of control and she doesn’t want me to push the lever? Crazy.” 😀

      • There are also differences in brain structure (promoted by presence of testosterone and estrogen in utero and in adolescence) that affect the thinking patterns.

        Add in the fact that male intelligence is diminished in the presence of “beautiful” women and you have circumstances rife with communication errors.

        • Add in the fact that male intelligence is diminished in the presence of “beautiful” women and you have circumstances rife with communication errors.

          A man only has enough blood supply to work one brain at a time. When a beautiful woman is around, the little brain takes most of the blood and causes a large drop in IQ of a heterosexual male……… 🙂

    • I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but your comment about puberty reminded me again;

      I used to regularly hear a ‘public service’ radio spot proportion to tel parents of the ‘warning signs’ that their child was experimenting with ‘drugs’. These included personality shifts, major changes in their circle of friends, mood swings, frequent flushed appearance, broken sleep patterns….

      I always wondered if the ‘public service announcement’ pillocks were aware that they were describing adolescence.

      • foxfirefancies

        I always liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s take on it, after the heroine has informed her mentor that Token Guy is acting…off:

        “So he’s unpredictable, hungry all the time, and prefers other boys to the company of young women. My GOD, he’s turning into a teenage male.”

        • Patrick Chester

          Giles: Xander’s taken to teasing the less fortunate?
          Buffy: Uh-huh.
          Giles: And there’s a noticeable change in both clothing and demeanor?
          Buffy: Yes.
          Giles: And, well, otherwise all his spare time is spent lounging about with imbeciles.
          Buffy: It’s bad, isn’t it?
          Giles: It’s devastating. He’s turned into a sixteen year-old boy. You’ll have to kill him, of course…

          Then, IIRC, Buffy gets irritated since Giles was the last person she’d expect to “Scully” her. 😀

    • I’d actually like to see a breakdown of exactly what hormones are increased when an adolescent is put in the presence of someone they are seriously attracted to. I’d bet they are more related to fear than aggression.

      • Well, fear does lead to anger, after all

        • It also leads to other forms of impulsiveness. In animals, it may lead to running in FRONT of the vehicle instead of away. In young males, it may lead to impulsive acts in an attempt to impress someone.

          I lived with fear a lot as a young man, so I’m familiar with things it can cause one to do.

          • No, I didn’t have a particularly hard life. I was perfectly able to be afraid of completely harmless things.

            • It’s a sign of a working brain.

              I just came across a major Washington State pass, in horrible weather where the pass had been closed SEVERAL TIMES for massive accidents.

              I was going about 45 with my flashers on BEFORE the chain up requirement; folks passed doing roughly the speed limit. (in six inches of slush, unable to see a decent distance due to snowfall)

              After chainup, they slowed to…oh, about 50. With chains on….

              The only major accident that I saw where I recognized a car was on the 3rd day, though.

              • During one ice storm, I was poking along on the principle of not driving faster than you’re willing to slide off the road, and came to a cop, running blue lights, at a bridge. Stopped and asked if it was closed. He said he was there just to make sure folks slowed down.

                Went on, thinking who would be that stupid, got onto the bridge. Next thing I know, some idjiot’s riding my bumper and trying to pass. On ice.

                He made it. Not sure if my invectives melted ice for him or if he was just lucky.

                • I was driving home from work last winter on I-80, it was dark and icy, so I poked along at 30-45 in the right hand lane. (the highway was empty) This guy blows by me at 70 and as I watched his tail lights shrink in the distance, all of the sudden I then saw his headlight, then his tail lights, then his headlights. He spun right off the road onto the grass along the side of the road (another 500 feet and there was a bridge embankment) as I passed him there was another spinout. There are some people who shouldn’t drive 4-wheel drive vehicles. They just think they are invincible.

                  -John

                  • I remember one return from an SF convention where my sister and I saw something like that ahead. We both sat very still while driving through that stretch.

                    We still both hopped from the car when we stopped for gas at a full service station. She wanted to do stuff to wipers; I wanted to hit the soda machine.

                    And I still love the highway signs with messages up: “Slippery Conditions Possible.”

              • Hwy 2? I used to have two drive that one regularly.

                • Nah, 90– Stevens is gorgeous, but somehow recently got a rep as the “secret route” that “smart people” who are “awesome drivers” use, so if there’s any weather at all it’s even more dangerous than Snoqualmie. There’s also a (definitely all of the East side, maybe state wide) ongoing fight between the environmentalists and the guys who handle the road– the road crews go through and mark the trees that look like they can fall and hit cars on the road. The environmental guys give them permission to cut about one in a hundred. Then the next winter, the trees fall…a whole family got killed a few winters back when a big tree right up by the road came down on their car, and I heard rumors that some vigilantes went and cut the @#$# marked trees themselves in several areas.

                  The real pisser about the tree thing is that it would be safer for the deer, too. Harder for them to jump out from cover.

                  • What is the environmentalist* problem? Is the Northwest running ut of trees? Are deer in danger of going extinct?

                    Never mind — the answer would only depress me, I’m sure.

                    *Remember: The root of “environmental” is “mental.”

  7. I went round, and round, and round with another member of the writers group that I was a part of, a couple of years ago. She kept insisting that no, American women were worse than second-class citizens, before they had the right to vote in the 20th century. I gave her examples of 19th century American women who were not, by any shred of the imagination, oppressed by the so-called patriarchy – women who built up profitable businesses and ran said business themselves (Madame CJ Walker, Lizzie Johnson, Victoria Woodhull), women who worked side by side with their husbands to build and run various enterprises (Mary Ann Goodnight), widows who were left the business and carried on profitably for decades (Elizabeth Colt), women who homesteaded in their own name, women who could vote in local elections in various Western states, held public offices … Nope, she wouldn’t credit any of it. I had never seen a mind so adamantly closed to information contradicting her belief.

    • It’s a fairy typical symptom of Liberal Progressivism. Admitting facts that run contrary to their fondly held faiths would necessitate facing that Progressivism has been a cheerleading section of monsters like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. That’s a lot of psychic damage to avoid.

    • If you get your facts from intellectuals, a great deal of them deformed in processing.

    • She’s probably also one who swears up, down, and any other direction of motion that Kris Rusch is making up everything in the opening essay in her new women of sci-fi/fantasy anthology.

      • Oooh, what’s the anthology called? I like Kris Rusch’s stuff and compiles.

        • She was flogging that anthology on Charles Stross’ blog a couple of years ago. She was going to redress gender inequality among publishers by insulting their customers until they bought her book. Or something lot that; it was kind of screechy, and even the SJW crowd there were stepping back and going “Whoa!”

          I know she’s held in great esteem by many here, but I felt no noticeable urge to read any of her stuff.

          • Pardon: she? I fear I lost track of pronoun associations and need clarification.

          • That’s a bit of a shame to hear. I’ve usually found that stuff compiled for anthologies with her involved will have a higher ratio (for me) on readability versus the ‘not my thing’ ones.

          • Heh. If you read it, you’ll find that the SJW’s are likely to hate it far more than regular fans. For one, it calls them out on a lot of their “Women invade science fiction!” and “opression!” nonsense by laying out the history of the field, and of women in the field, in a very matter-of-fact and even-handed manner.

            For another, every story she chose was a good story by an author who happened to be female – deliberately avoiding the “women’s issues” themed stories that other “female anthology rawr! Speak truth to power!” collections do. She even dared to put in stories whose protagonists were men, or everyday ordinary non-mary-sue women, or even mothers. You can tell she was going for “good story” over “Advancing the Narrative.”

            And yeah, you can tell she was a more than a little annoyed when she started, at being told that she, and Leigh Brackett, and Toni Weisskopf, and Andre Norton, and Anne McCaffrey, and hundreds of other women don’t exist… but by the time she finished, the driving motivation was a producing something well-rounded, enjoyable, and truthful instead of just a screetching screed.

            • Mothers can be a real trick. I’ve published five tales with the main character as a mother (and one with a father), but it definitely has effects throughout.

    • One of the most honest assessments of women’s status in the Colonial Era came from my family history class – we used the book, Women and the Law of Property in Early America. That text book about inheritance laws and customs was pretty eye opening. Southern women had the most “rights” because the properties were large and male and female death was so high, remarriage, step and half-siblings so common, that the large land parcels had to be able to pass to the correct children. Women held amazing rights for the time to run their own properties and decide who should get it. But even in the more Calvinistic North, up in Yankee country, where women couldn’t inherit, at least not the same way, there were traditions built in that allowed them great latitude for running things. In their cases, they may not get remarried because they could stay in control of their husband’s property and businesses. And up there, the widow’s portion was an iron clad guarantee so that mom and the unmarried girls wouldn’t get tossed out into the street (unless the property was too small or too much debt). It was sometimes even written in that mom was to get a room built on to the house for her own use, a set amount of wood for a fire every year, a set amount of cloth, etc.

      • Part of the problem with contemporary assessments of priior periods is that they suffer Chronocentrism, evaluating past eras by contemporary standards rather than examining how those practices evolved and integrated into culture to preserve stability and keep society functioning so that new generations could be created and incorporated.

        High mortality rates can require some strange adaptations. Not just overall mortality, either, but probability of age cohort x to reach age target y — e.g., likelihood of boys age two to reach adolescence, survive adolescence, and boys who survived adolescence to reach middle age; likelihood of girls age two to reach adolescence, survive child-bearing years and having survived that period to reach old age.

        • I think an additional consideration that is lost on the Chronocentrists is the automation of housework. I remember Grandmother spending hours ironing, and the first washing machine I remember had those wringers instead of a spin cycle.
          Part of the reason the modern Woman can do so much more is that so much less is required for the basic housekeeping chores. Nothing keeps them home, like taking the clothes out to the river to beat on a rock. Likewise, even the ‘finer’ feminine arts, say sewing, are easier in the machine era than hand stitchery.
          Not all was ‘women’s work’ either, the acceptance of gasoline powered grass cutting tools resulted in ‘mow the lawn’ becoming male-centric. That additional body strength probably had a lot to do with it, once riding lawn-mowers were common, my Mother would cut the grass.

          • Mi mama is still grumpy at the loss of the maids, the cook, and the gardener. Mind you, she’s very happy that the laundry can be done so very easily with washing machine, dryer, and electrically-heated iron that it’s no longer a full-time job…

            But as she informed me when I was 12 years old and she hauled me down to the laundry room by my ear, “When I was 12 years old, the maid hauled me to the laundry room by my ear, and made me learn to iron by starting on my father’s cuffs and collars! She said that I must learn, for that short span of time just after I married, when I’d be too poor to afford a proper maid, to care for my husband and do the laundry! And now, now you must learn so you can care for your husband! But in this country, clothes are so cheap that the cuffs and collars aren’t washed separately and put back on! And nobody has proper maids, because of the machines, so we must lower ourselves to do their work! We must go on, though, and you will be a proper woman! You will start with your father’s handkerchiefs!”

            …I LOVE AMERICA! GOD BLESS THE USA!

            And the only iron I own is used strictly on fabric airplane repair jobs.

          • …and this is a great moment, Donald, of cultural dissonance. You see, in parts of the world where the grass is cut by gardeners with machetes, it is very much a man’s job. Always and only a man’s job, from trimming the verge with the machete to killing the snakes in the verge with the machete…

            The idea of mowing the lawn as women’s work is completely foreign to me. Literally. It never even occurred to me that it might be women’s work, even as I tell my husband that I will take over the manly job of pushing the mower until he feels better…

          • Money is another major “makes women’s work easier” thing– I cook way more than almost any married lady I know who isn’t paid for it. Part of it is that I like cooking, part is that it’s so much cheaper!

            I spend a lot more time shopping, too, at least when our house is united, because you can cut your food budget way down that way– chest freezer plus shopping the sales and knowing odd workarounds (if you’re going to use the block of cheese as an ingredient, freeze it; it will generally crumble so nicely you don’t even have to shred the stuff, if you half-thaw and slice it) makes for much cheaper living.

          • https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/how-the-ctrl-left-drove-me-away-from-american-liberalism/#comment-19367

            That comment-story from me might be of interest for you to read.

            It’s fascinating how the ‘enlightened communists’ were more than happy to enforce their ‘standards’ by brute force, as opposed to common sense.

      • Oh, now, that can’t be true, I was told that Southern women of that era were so oppressed that even their fancy dresses were part of their oppression!

        Well, I read it on the Internet, anyway, and everyone knows that if it’s on the Internet, it must be true. 🙂

      • I like to use the example of the dower house to illustrate that women most certainly did own property, and were often explicitly given title to it as part of marriage settlements.

        Or, as I told my aunt recently after we binge watched a bunch of Jane Austen as part of her girls’ English Literature schoolwork, there appear to be a great many women in her books in control of property and money. And who use that control to try to control male decisions, including about whom to marry.

        • Don’t you <I<dare say anything critical of Lady Catherine de Bourgh!

        • Which is why when engagements were broken without “good reason” somebody could get sued for “breach of contract”. Once married, many of the women might not hold outright title but they still had control over far more things than you’d imagine. And if the marriage broke up for some reason (not even necessarily divorced), a lot more was involved that wife moving home to live with the parents.

          • I don’t know if it would have held up in the courts of the time (1840 – 1860), but have seen a will where the man left his property to his wife with the stipulation that, should she remarry, it would remain her property.

            • It would likely have stood up. At marriage, it would have likely gone into a trust for her to save it from her new husband taking over and either wasting it or willing it to his kids that weren’t hers too.

    • I had the great fortune to have a mother who was raised in another country. By her actions and reactions between my brother and myself, I’ve gotten plenty of “women aren’t worth as much as men.” Mind you, she doesn’t love me any less. She just doesn’t truly believe that I’m worth as much. (The two are separate; something feminists trying to write about other cultures and history often fail to grasp.)

      Personal exposure to true discrimination has innoculated me against the faux-oppression championed by people who have never experienced the real thing… and wouldn’t recognize it if they did!

      • Useful, isn’t it? When the big push for multi culturalism came in, oh about the early 90s, I was all for it because every culture has its blindspots and we would be able to take advantage of the wisdom we were blind while ensuring the insights we have mastered.

        No, it was just everything American sucks, and everything matter how stupid that any other culture takes for granted, is great.

        I am still pissed off at the missed opportunity.

  8. I dunno…just to be contrarian, I can think of counterexamples to a lot of that 😀 Males in traditional tribal arrangements have to have social circles with high trust too, since the dangerous activities rarely happen when they are alone. Hunting big game, raids on other tribes…you needed to know who you could trust to yell at the mammoth while you snuck up from behind or you’d both die. And that all the warriors would show up when needed. Achilles sulking in his tent because somebody else got his goodies, anyone?

    And then there’s the very human tendency to make Just So Stories out of something that originally was no more than a habit until you get weird customs like Romany women never walking between a man and a fire. Now maybe great-great-^10 great granpa was prone to flickering-light seizures and great-great…and so on granma got burned once because she was in the wrong place, but it’s hardly a genetic thing for *everybody*.

    So once *a* Just So Story got exploded as just that, and it happened more than once, there could well be a bunch of pissed off people who saw a trend and thought they were ALL Just So Stories and spinach. And as long as the filter is gender (or whatever) instead of “where on the strength spectrum, you, individual A, land” it will be perceived as a Just So Story. Especially when it is not strength but other characteristics that were defended as if they were just as clear as strength. They used to say women shouldn’t get college degrees because it would divert blood flow to the womb, too.

    Having some experience with higher mathematics and with weightlifting, I can state you don’t develop those characteristics without *doing* them. I doubt we really know what our innate capabilities are, because culture has put its thumb on the scale. Women (and men) who never lift anything heavy aren’t going to get very strong. Women (and men) who never learn more than algebra will do poorly on tests that use higher mathematics. We’ve already done plenty of tinkering with our reptile brain instincts, overwriting them so we can have social groups bigger than 150 related individuals. Habit is not a sufficient excuse to me. We’ve gotten to the point where we can decide based on an individual’s capabilities.

    • Of course males have circles of trust. They also have MUCH clearer hierarchies and tolerance of them in every human society.
      Again, these are broadly statistical characteristics. BUT most of these behaviors are observable in most societies. So the broad groups work. Just don’t apply it to any given individual.
      For ex, my brother is better at memorizing, and I’m better at reasoning. By sex hormones, it should be the other way around. (And yes, those effects have been tested.) Shrug.

      • This information about male hierarchies is interesting, as it will be useful in a story I’m working on. I had never really observed this, but I have never spent much time with groups of males, either. (Well, school, but sitting at desks listening to lectures doesn’t teach you much about male interactions.)

        • The thing about modern life and male hierarchies is that modern life allows some of us to ignore the status games and still find a mate and reproduce. If you go to the blogs like alphagame where they obsess over such things, and I have, I’m not in any of their categories. People who I recognize as “Alphas” in their hierarchy are people who I generally do not get along with, professionally or personally. They’re unable to take criticism of any kind; they want obeisance. Well, more then that, actually. When someone starts bragging about his latest conquest, and he’s married, and I look at him in disgust instead of admiration, it bothers him.

          • Yes. It’s not easy to fit geeks in these hierarchies.

          • “I’m think we do X by Y and Z.”
            *pause*
            “Anyone have a better idea?”

            And that’s real request, not a challenge. But at times you might not know it.

          • It’s plain old primate pecking order.

            The difference with H.Sapiens is, individuals can choose not to be a part of it. Which drives the control freaks half-mad and makes the followers skittish, but there’s always a price for independence.

            Some years ago I bought a couple of books that covered primate social structures, and they directly reflected my time as a corporate sarariman. It was almost depressing, actually…

    • Aside; did you know that the use of the word ‘spinach’ to mean garbage can be traced to a single New Yorker cartoon?

      “Eat your broccoli, dear.”

      “I say it’s spinach, and I say to hell with it!”

    • Oh, but there are PHYSICAL limits on statistics, no matter how much you train, btw. A woman olympic runner would have trouble winning a US high school male running competition.
      This is known as “no matter how equal we are before the law, sorry, hormones have consequences.”

      • Why weren’t the rioters punished more severely? They vandalized private property, they set fires and (some of them) assaulted people?

        Why do feminists want to to turn women into men and men into women? Aside of course from being crazy, and wanting power They are trying to destroy civilization. Everybody benefits from civilization. The insane way some women act makes you wonder if restraining them might be useful to society as a whole.Throwing tantrums because your candidate lost is just plain crazy.

        • Because the municipal regimes where the riots take place don’t care to do so, mostly. Often the police are deployed in such a way as to contain actual or potential violence, rather than catch the perpetrators, either due to necessity (e.g. limited resources) or because the municipal regime told them to do so. Most of the riots occur in Progressive-controlled cities.

        • I can’t remember which book it was, but one of the David Eddings books… I think it was in the Sparhawk series… has what are basically college kids who take part in trying to kill the main characters while over-throwing the gov’t, and the European Knight guys kill some of them, and the rest are arrested.

          This causes problems, because there’s basically a tradition of the rich kids at college trying to over throw the gov’t. It was even done by the guy who is king, because taht’s what you did at college.

          Yeah, a lot of the little terrorists aren’t even in college, and it doesn’t make the damage they do any less– but the ‘tradition’ of the spoiled freakign rich kids being indulged when they destroy **** and attack people is definitely there, and has been since my uncles were spat on coming home from ‘Nam.

          • The Tamuli trilogy, and yes. The thing is, for the Tamuli, it was recognized as a game, and never taken seriously; seen simply as a little childhood rebellion. Emperor Sarabian makes a remark about how he would have cut such a wide swath with the female admirers if only he’d gotten thrown in the dungeon, but no matter what names he called his father that never happened.

            Someone points out with amusement that he was married as a baby and then went on to have, by political requirement, 8 other wives…

          • IIRC, in the Eddings book the “leader” of that rebellion was one of the real Bad Guys in disguise, and he never actually put himself in danger by attacking the knights since he had a large supply of useful idiots to do that for him.

            *Cough* No parallels here, no sirree.

      • Possibly for outliers, but I still have doubts about the average or median. I will tell you why. It involves actual data along with a few anecdotes 🙂 .Women are still not encouraged to be athletes to the same degree men are, and when I was in junior high *actively discouraged* from strength training. So of course if you are picking from a smaller subset for comparison, you will miss any outliers of athletic women who just never wound up competing.

        A while back–it was during one of the Olympics, and I *think* it was in the Wall Street Journal, strangely enough–an article published a bunch of swim team scores, focusing on the University of Florida, which I gather is the ne plus ultra of swimming sports. As you might guess, the men’s team was faster than the women’s. But wait. They published the times for the men’s and women’s teams for several years. Oh look…both were getting faster. Oh look…the women’s team at the present time was as fast as the men’s team…five years ago (or whatever, but it wasn’t like 50 years.) Oh, and they also published the times of the men’s teams for other competitive universities that year. Oh look… the University of Florida’s women’s team could beat… the #3 ranked men’s team. THIS is why I say we don’t know what our innate capabilities are. If it was truly just sexual dimorphism, ALL men’s teams should be able to beat the UF women’s team. I don’t think a three-rank disparity is much, especially when (despite the title IX stupidity) women’s sports doesn’t get the same emphasis or support. Statistics require similar data sets for valid comparison, and we don’t have that yet. Please note I am not saying “It can’t be true because I don’t want it to be true and FEELINGS!” I’m saying we don’t have the right data to say one way or the other.

        • I’m going to invoke Chesterton’s Fence, here, and suggest that there may well have been reasons these traditions developed in the first place, and that tampering with them is something that should only be done with clear consideration and attention paid to the laws of unforeseen consequence.

          I’m not going to pronounce one way or another on the issues inherent to the dichotomy between sexes, but I am going to point out that I’ve personally witnessed things in this area that nobody wants to talk about, and which are not being examined, researched, or even acknowledged.

          Anecdotally, speaking as one of the people who was there when the Army decided to integrate women into the headquarters companies of line Combat Engineer battalions, I witnessed and participated in a bunch of stuff that makes me think we should be a hell of a lot more cautious about all this stuff. Most of the young women I had during the initial stages of that experiment wound up being separated for medical issues relating to chronic injuries, and I heard years later that a couple of them were going through hell trying to start families due to fertility issues. At least one of those young women had been a high school track and soccer star, good enough to help her team win her state’s championship her senior year.

          From that, I’m going to lay out the possibility that there may be good and prudent reasons we see traditional societies minimizing young women’s participation in such evolutionary frivolities as team sports and athletics, given the effect such things may have on long-term reproductive capacity.

          Now, I’m not saying that the fundamental conditions haven’t changed, in that modern medicine is better able to support and ameliorate the effects of such things, but that there may have been damn good reasons that such things were not a part of the culture back before the era medicine became sufficiently advanced.

          I don’t think we give enough credit to the old-timers; they dwelt in a different world, in terms of what was possible or wise; the status of things like women’s sports and participation in athletics may have had good cause, stemming from entirely rational subjective observation.

          Which is not to say that the standards prevalent then should be prevalent now, just that those standards had good reason to exist, in their milieu. Hell, some of them may still make sense–Get back to me about the cost/benefit ratio gained by putting young women into the combat arms in a generation or two, when we see how many of them are in the VA system for significant musculo-skeletal issues derived from them trying to keep up with the boys.

          Having been there, I’m not sanguine about the odds we’re going to like what we find out the hard way.

          • Speaking of integrating women into military units (and review the experience of those attempts which did not “dumb down” the physical requirements for ladies) it seems there ought be … well, not “Red & Blue” teams because politics associated with those shades, but … Green, Yellow and Red teams each dedicated to taking the results and subjecting them to the strongest possible analysis, with Green taking the policy affirmative, Red taking the policy negative and Yellow walking the middle way of proceed cautiously. Subject the question to the strongest possible arguments to see which best stand up, and do so with deliberation (n, careful consideration before decision, formal consultation or discussion) to ensure that pros and cons of such policies are fully aired.

            Of course, the politics of the moment may preclude such deliberative process as all sides seem more interested in generating heat than light.

            • Imagine if the NY Times, to pick one news outlet, deliberately admitted bias and used such a ploy as R/Y/G news coverage, looking at various policy debates in three-part analysis and reporting.

              Oh heck, imagine if they simply openly admitted on any given policy whether they were R, Y or G rather than leaving it to the consumer to suss it out.

            • I would also suggest that there be some consideration made for issues outside the strict purview of the military, such as answering the question of what the effects are on things like long-term health, fertility, and other associated issues for these women.

              I went into the whole thing with a fairly open mind on the issue; I left it feeling the institution had fundamentally betrayed its trust with regards to the long-term effects on these women, and more than a little angry that I’d been forced into the role I had been.

              There’s nothing quite like meeting one of your former soldiers who is hobbling around on canes at the ripe old age of 27 or so, and finding out that the successor leadership you’d entrusted her to had blown off their duties and failed to ensure she’d gotten the right work done to document her chronic health issues before separation from the service–Which left her with precisely jack and shit for medical benefits. The Army should have paid for her knee replacement surgeries, but because she’d failed to properly navigate the rocks and shoals of the separation process, she’d never gotten that stuff properly documented, nor had she been put into the medical retirement she fully deserved.

              I’m still pissed about that one, nearly 20 years later. Flat-out criminal neglect, all up and down the line. Not at all something I’m proud to have been an unwilling participant in, either.

              • The neglect of which you (rightly) complain may have its origins in the politics of the matter. There is undeniably pressure to show that these policies “work” which means documenting areas of cost for them will be institutionally suppressed.

                The same thing can be observed in the historic treatment of such issues as PTSD, either because such are accepted as collateral damage or because they do not wish to recognize such costs.

                Whenever society wants something to be cost-free you can be confident bad decisions will be made.

                • This has been A Thing in the military for as far back as my Dad’s experience manning a very remote USAF radar post in Alaska during the Korean War. His having someone knowledgeable help make sure he had a teeny tiny % disability documented appropriately is something that made a large difference later in life when he needed the VA’s help.

                  I don’t know if this is a senior-NCO-thing or a O-thing nowadays, but it does seem like one of the “looking after your people” items to me.

                  • Was that USAF radar post on an Island? My grandfather served on Kiska and Attu running a radar in WWII. 🙂 Funny if it would be the same place.

                    -John

                    • My Dad was a radar maintenance tech from 1953-1955 with the 629th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, which ran the Fire Island Air Force Station as a long range surveillance and interceptor direction center located on a lttle island in Cook Inlet offshore of Anchorage, AK.

          • I’ve told this story before. But back when women were first put on board ships, the CO of one held an exercise. A damage control drill. Set Zebra throughout the ship. That’s all hatches shut and latched. Had the female officers hand pick the 4 best enlisted women on board. Randomly selected 4 E3’s and below from a hat. Put them in OBAs and said, “Take the P-250 pump from Repair 5 to where it’s needed.” It’s not that the randomly selected men were faster getting it there, it’s that the women never got it there at all. And this in port sitting next to the pier, with no fire, smoke, flooding, pitching and rolling. He was told not to publish nor repeat the little experiment. But everyone on the waterfront knew about it.

            I went to firefighting school a few times during my career. Saw two people during that time freeze up and refuse to enter the burning compartment as lead hoseperson. Both female junior officers. That would be a career ender for a male officer or enlisted. Seems to not be for females. Maybe that’s changed since 1994, but I doubt it.

            • I remember reading an article that cited a similar exercise, with percentages. For men and women, it cited the percentage who completed the exercise, and those who completed the exercise to sufficient standards. (I.e., the first number is those who managed to complete the exercise at all, but didn’t meet the exercise’s passing criteria). I think it was a firefighting exercise, but Navy damage control would also fit the numbers I vaguely remember.

              What I remember is that the trainees ran through the exercise twice, once before they were trained on how to do it right, and once afterwards. That way it was possible to distinguish between “didn’t know how to do it properly” and “wasn’t physically capable of doing it properly even after being trained” by looking at the numbers difference for both groups. The one that struck me was the “carry heavy equipment up several flights of stairs to where it’s needed” test. Untrained men had a completion percentage below 100% (some never completed it at all), and a successful completion rate that was pretty low (most needed instruction on how to do it right). Untrained women: less than 10% completion, 0% success. After training, the men’s completion went to 100%, and success rate to something like 94%. The women’s completion rate stayed pretty much where it was before, and the success rate went up to (IIRC) match the completion rate — meaning that those who were physically capable of completing it could pass the standards because they knew how to do it right, but more than 90% of the women, despite being trained on how to do it right (which would include good carrying posture) just lacked the physical strength.

              That was the article that persuaded me that women in the military, or volunteer firefighter departments, was a bad idea overall. Because although some could hack it and be an asset to their team, the political pressure to hit 50% parity would be immense, and WOULD result in lowering the standards so that women who physically could not do the job would be accepted. Which would, in turn, result in more deaths down the road.

              I just wish I could remember more details about this article so I could Google it. Anyone have any idea which one I’m vaguely recalling? Have you read it before, and if so, where?

              • If the study you’re referring to was done by the government, it’s in the filing cabinet one drawer removed from the real unadjusted temperature records from the last century. The Center for Military Readiness probably has the most comprehensive records and studies of the differences between men and women when it comes to combat tasks and physical readiness. If you remember LT Kara Hultgreen, she was sacrificed on the altar of political correctness in an attempt to qualify a woman carrier pilot.

                • In the circles where keeping (a few) males on breeding plantations is the goal, it is well understood that female flag rank officers are required, and that the combat experience hurdle must be surmounted by all means necessary.

                  Keywords: immanentize eschaton eggs omelets

              • Working on a story where, within living memory, women were in the Faerie navy on parity with men. Also all sorts of types, from pixy to troll — though selkies and a few others low on magic were not favored. On ships that were conjured from flowers or eggshells.

                Then there was a disenchantment arms race.

                Now, the only trace of the flowers is that they still name the solid oak ships things like Daisy or Bluebell, selkies have moved in in force, pixies of either sex aren’t in the navy, and any woman serving on a ship is probably a troll-wife.

            • Ironically enough, the “blind” requirements have managed to make this a serious issue– there are guys in the Navy who can’t do the physical side, but are perfectly good in their assigned roles and aren’t going to reasonably be in a position to be the only guy to get the pump to X place.

              But the idiots decided to “blindly” assign me, at 5’3, medically trained and female to a hose team.

              This is like assigning your half-deaf Fireman (a rank thingie, for those not Navy associated– we have Seaman, Airman, Fireman, etc, or use to) to being on the communications team.

          • More than merely accepting the cultural traditions; if the tradition selects men for strength and women for fertility then the evolutionary/social evolutionary selections make the tradition innate to the DNA.
            I mean this in the sense that once humans evolved society (possibly no evolution just emergent behavior) then the Darwinian evolution stops and the social evolution takes over. Over enough generations, acceptance of those traditional values will result in their emphasis. Perhaps the whole situation we are in today would have been radically different if the women did the hunting and the men did the berry picking in our prehistoric past.

        • Then there’s the fact that the champion US women’s soccer team are regularly beaten by their preferred scrimmage team, a local U16 boys select team, made up of 14-15 yr old local boys. In fact, I do not think they have ever beaten this bunch of kids.

          • I wonder to what degree differences in skeletal structure affect this. I know the wider pelvis causes females to be more subject to knee injuries; might it also mean boys kick the balls harder and are more “mobile*) on the field?

            *mobile: able to change directions more quickly. Men may, because of greater body mass, be less mobile than the boys.

            • West Point did a lot of work on these issues, starting around 1976. The studies and the research done make for interesting reading, if you can find it.

              I’m still rather in awe of the fact that the work was done, and that nobody really paid a lick of attention to it as they went about changing everything. Were you to actually think about the effect of what they documented and described…? Yeah. You’d never do what we’ve done.

              I think there are some women who are able to “do it all”, in regards to military service. Those women are vanishingly rare, in the general population, and I suspect that there is a far larger swathe of the population that would suffer horrendous effects on their health and fertility from the things that those rare types can withstand.

              The real question is, is any of this crap really necessary? Is it cost-effective? I’m going to say “Absolutely not…”, and maintain that position until we are in a truly massive state of catastrophe akin to what the Soviets went through in WWII.

              In the grand scheme of things, is it important to displace fit males from the duties inherent to combat arms service, in order to further the military career potential for a few female officers with grandiose ambitions?

              I’m not going to see the end state of the experiment in another thirty-forty years, but I’m going to go out on a limb and wager that the real-world unforeseen consequences for many of these young women being tracked into the combat arms are not going to be trivial ones. Hell, I’m male and built like a damn Neanderthal–People have broken their legs on my shins, for example–And I still feel every year of service when I get up in the morning. I’m able to function, for a given value of that word, but I rather suspect that someone built on a lighter scale than I am would be in a lot worse shape after the same set of experiences.

              • I’m still rather in awe of the fact that the work was done
                ——————-

                You could still do things like that back in the ’70s. They hadn’t been done yet, so people weren’t aware that the narrative being built might not stand up to testing.

                Remember that Pat Moynihan was still a member of the Democratic Party in good standing at that time.

              • Oldest son quit the Marines after ten years as an infantryman because his body was worn out, and the 0bama DoD wanted to get rid of all combat vet non-coms they could so he was not given an administrative position.

                • My daughter bailed on the Marines after two hitches – and an injury incurred in combat training which damaged her body to the point where she has a VA pension. She collided at a dead run with another Marine, both in full battle-rattle. The other Marine was one of those tall guys, probably weighed 300 pounds with all of his gear on. Imagine a Honda mini bouncing off an 18-wheeler, was how my daughter described it.

                • the 0bama DoD wanted to get rid of all combat vet non-coms

                  Yeah, of what use are those combat vet non-coms when we’ve got freshly minted second lieutenants?

                  • Happy news; the Navy seems to have done some obstructive obedience… I know of “some” who fit that profile who are now officers.

              • is it important to displace fit males from the duties inherent to combat arms service, in order to further the military career potential for a few female officers …

                This would seem the critical point. Contrary to MSM propaganda reports, there is no insufficiency of able-bodied young men to fill the ranks of our infantry. The limits there are Congressional/Presidential, not social. We won’t fund a larger force. Our bad. It would be interesting to see a cost comparison of the training to get a hundred women up to combat readiness versus what it costs to get a hundred men up to that state, but we all know that ain’t gonna happen and we know why it ain’t gonna happen.

                I wonder whether women might be better suited than men for air-force or tank corps. I believe studies have proven that their smaller builds and (generally) more robust cardio-vascular systems make them less susceptible to effects of severe g-force changes …

                I would not doubt that a lot would feel good about having a Mamma Bear flying CAS in a Warthog.

                • Honestly – that was my impression also. Any military spec which wasn’t ground-pounding infantry or ship-crew requiring massive upper-body strength capable of carrying a third of their weight over umpty-ump miles – would physically be doable by women, Most Air Force jobs were physically doable by women, without any problem – and yes, I can say so from experience.

                  • Planes, maybe. Tanks, I’m not so sure about. For instance, I wonder if upper body strength would play a role in how effective a tank loader is. Remember that Western tanks by and large still don’t use auto-loaders for the main gun, and that there are good reasons for it.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      I think Kratman suggests that the issue is that four women can’t crack track the way four men can.

                    • And then there are the social issues which the colonel touches on.

                    • Actually, I understand that the autoloaders take even more strength, due to how high the round has to be lifted.

                      And then there is the issue of thrown treads.

                    • Yeah, they could actually pretty effectively automate most of the drive-and-shoot positions in a tank reasonably well, but all the maintenance is what keeps the crew at the minimum size it’s at now. As I understand it, keeping one of those things up and running with just TC+gunner+loader+driver is actually pretty much the lower limit, as three people just physically could not get the required work done.

                    • How fast can they change a tank tread?

                    • a 120mm shell used by the Abrams tank weighs in at 49 lbs. Not many women can quickly grab one of these from the storage are and slam it into the breech like almost any man can be trained to do.

                    • The Soviet/Russian designs use an auto-loader and a three man crew. The more recent Japanese tanks do too, as does the brand new South Korean K2 tank.

                      It might be possible to hand-wave the Soviets as not having the same maintenance expectations as the West. But I wouldn’t expect Japan and South Korea to fall into the same category.

                  • Hmmmm … yeah, several mechanical maintenance/repair situations that require contorting the body into awkward enclosures are probably better performed by women.

                    • Possibly. But I can remember one female worker panicking after descending into the starboard snake pit. (No actual snakes involved.) She couldn’t get out and actually lost consciousness for a while. Cutting through SUBSAFE piping to get her out was a no-go. Corpsman (small, quantity-1) went down to revive her. Took about 4 hours to talk and direct her out.

                    • That would seem to be an idiosyncratic rather than a categorical issue. It could be tested/trained for, perhaps by having recruits crawl into small enclosures in the dark … with it raining … perhaps with snakes, rats or spiders included?

                    • Sounds like a SEREing experience.

                • I wonder whether women might be better suited than men for air-force or tank corps. I believe studies have proven that their smaller builds and (generally) more robust cardio-vascular systems make them less susceptible to effects of severe g-force changes …

                  In general, no. Women have weaker spatial reasoning than men. While there certainly are women who have better spatial reasoning than most men, (just as there are men who have better emotional reasoning than most women), it’s not enough to overcome other factors. With regards to G-forces, the benefit of shorter stature that women have is offset by other weaknesses, so on the whole, it’s a wash, i.e. men and women handle G-forces roughly the same. An average woman handles the G forces as well (or poorly) as an average man, but a 5’8″ woman does NOT handle them as well as a 5’8″ man. This, however, works to the detriment of women with regards to high performance aircraft where such G-forces are likely to be encountered, because the physical dimensions of the aircraft limit the pool of men who can fly them, with the greatest effect on tall men, (most susceptible to G-forces), whereas the same limitations have the greatest impact on short women (least susceptible to G-Forces). Similar consideration applies to tanks, although there sheer strength comes into play much more, and 3D reasoning isn’t as important as it is in aerial adventures. The IDF recently looked into opening up their Armor Corps to women, and their conclusion was “uh, nope.”

                  • I want to clarify that in the above, I’m referring to women flying high performance aircraft that lay on the Gees. In short, Fighters, attack aircraft, and to a lesser extent tactical helicopters. Transports, tankers and bombers, have at ’em. (Although ’tis rumoured that a B1 can lay on some pretty serious G’s.) The 3d reasoning is also most critical with the combat aircraft, less so with the others. As for other air corps roles, hey, it’s the friggin’ air force, i.e. office pukes in uniform. Perfect for the pink collar set. :p

              • We have subjugated science to political correctness. In college, in 1972, I had a sociology professor that was routinely condemned by his students because he offered criticism of the differences between race and IQ. His criticism of nurture over nature was that only 1/2 the statistical variation could be attributed to the environment. Now, he neither claimed nor wanted to claim that the remainder was genetic; however, studies that refused to acknowledge that just as much variation was undefined as defined to a cause doesn’t ‘settle the science’.
                Of course, he didn’t use that phrase, but AGW is today’s tar-baby of incomplete science. If the theory sort-of fits to the political expediency, swear it is the gospel. If a contrary theory sort-of fits, to an equal statistical confidence, decry the contrary theory as not rigorous.

            • The boys were faster, stronger, and more agile than the women. Also, I’ve seen U18 soccer teams try to take on older squads. They always got beat. The older guys might be a touch less agile, but were stronger and had much more endurance.

              Did anyone ever wonder why Ronda Rousey never gave into the feminazis who suggested she could take on a man in MMA? She was smart enough to know that the smallest MMA fighter could take her down very quickly.

              • Did anyone ever wonder why Ronda Rousey never gave into the feminazis who suggested she could take on a man in MMA?

                No, because unlike those freaking morons, both Ms. Rousey and myself have actually interacted with guys competitively– even if I was just bouncing off of Marines while playing street soccer for PT and dealing with a brother/other relatives.

                My Marines weren’t trying to hurt me– but they also weren’t doing the “be nice to the girl” thing.
                (Very nice about helping me up, and several were horrified at how far I bounced, but because of my family I didn’t get into situations where I couldn’t bounce and be OK with folks not trying to hurt me. This makes a BIG difference vs women who have never really played with guys. Defending my Marines’ honor, y’know.)

                • A somewhat tall female friend of mine was repeatedly bumping me (her shoulder into my shoulder) one day as her way of amusing herself. I bumped her back… and nearly knocked her over by accident.

                  It doesn’t come up very often, but it’s not hard for a guy to seriously hurt a woman even by accident.

                  • Weirdly, I’ve generally had that problem with anyone, male or female, who is smaller than my size plus about 20%.

                    I’m not sure why. I’m not particularly strong. It could just be that I did a fair amount of gymnastics in my youth. But now that I’m a person of a certain size, I pause as i come to doors and look through, as if I’m crossing the street, to keep from hurting people.

        • And then, of course, speaking of swimming, there is Katie Ledecky. Who was apparently beating her male Olympic swim teammates handily during practices, because she’s apparently the perfect combination of body type and practice for long-distance swimming. The best part being that she didn’t really notice, because she was practicing.

          (The water negates a lot of the specific strength advantages that the male body has, and in any stamina contest, women have the advantage.)

          • Subcutaneous body fat has benefits in both added buoyancy* and prevention of thermal energy conduction. It may be that broader male shoulders and longer arm lengths** offer offsetting advantages.

            *I am unaware of any studies regarding the buoyancy advantages/disadvantages of pectoral fat deposits.

            *Are men’s arms proportionally longer? Materially so?

          • And, of course, a female swimmers hour-glass figure helps reduce wave drag!

            (Yes I know that the area rule doesn’t really work that way but there was funny cartoon about that in an old Aviation Leak issue)

            • Competitive females swimmers have a decided triangular shape, not hourglass. Swimming builds shoulders in all involved.

        • I’m going to have to make the opposite argument, here. Where it comes to the more extreme sports, it seems to me that the most aggressive women are mostly the only ones who are going to go into them, whereas a higher percentage of the general population of men will do the same thing, offset even more by the ones who don’t feel the need to prove anything.

          Thus, you get a higher fraction of the top of the women’s ladder, vs a more lackluster (by comparison) selection of men.

          • Quantifying this:
            What you’re suggesting is that we’re comparing (say) twenty-five* percent of the right-hand point of the male bell curve against five percent of the right-hand point of the female bell?

            *Numbers picked for illustration purposes only. No actual numbers for the percents of their respective bell curves are implied.

        • One thing worth mentioning about swimming, however, is that swimsuit technology has advanced quite a bit in the past few decades, enough so that the Olympics eventually started restricting the use of the latest suits. Without knowing the specifics, it’s impossible to say if this has an effect on the stats you read, but it’s entirely possible that what they’re really saying with the “the women’s team at the present time was as fast as the men’s team five years ago” is, “the women in the new suits can match the men in the old suits.”

          • FIS has restricted development of low drag skiing speed suits. In skiing it’s a bit of a safety issue. In a crash, a super slick suit means you retain speed while sliding uncontrollably until you encounter an object.

      • I think the real unanswered question here is “What is the long-term effect of all these wonderful things we’re “doing for women”…”.

        Fertility for a lot of women is not a given thing; the piper will demand his due, no matter what, and we don’t know what the price is going to be for a lot of this stuff. Stress-induced amenorrhea is a real thing, and not that uncommon among elite athletes. It’s also something I found a lot of the young women I had under me in the Army experiencing, some of whom later experienced difficulties starting families.

        I agree that it’s great that we’re seeing women’s participation in these things go up, but I also think that we need to be paying some damn attention to the law of unforeseen consequences, and start doing longitudinal studies about fertility and so forth, in order that we may give these women and their families the information needed for them to make fully-informed decisions. Anecdotally, I think there are some women who have gone through stress-related fertility issues, and looking back on the way traditional societies were organized, I strongly suspect that there may have been damn good reasons they structured things the way they did.

        In other words, it may be no accident that cultures like the Sarmatians apparently were are fairly rare, and that the societies we look at as being the “traditional” types were more prevalent. They may have simply been outbred by people who put their women into less physically active roles, and kept them there for the sake of producing more kids.

        • When I consider such bare branches as Alex the Chick or Amy Alkon, I experience mono no aware. So fine, so transient.

        • “What is the long-term effect of all these wonderful things we’re ‘doing…'”

          Now I find myself wondering if the “drinking the Kool-Aid” (or Flavor-Aid…) is the wrong metaphor. That would at least have immediate and obvious effect. Are we(or they) ‘Drinking the Radithor’? Nasty effects, but with some delay.

          • Relevant: Sam Harris Induces Cognitive Dissonance in Ben Affleck
            [SNIP]
            Watch for the moment Ben has to hallucinate Sam’s opinion from the reasonable position that many Muslims worldwide have non-liberal views to an hallucination about “All Muslims are bad.” Sam and Bill both clarify their viewpoints, with data, but Ben is struck deaf to it. All he can hear is the absurd absolute “all.” He is literally hallucinating.

            I mean that literally. If you asked him after the show what happened, his memory would be sketchy. Ben is both smart and well-informed, relative to the general population and Hollywood in particular. If you think he’s being dumb here, you’re wrong. It just looks that way. This is a literal hallucination.

            • Oohh! A Scott Adams post! They are always wonderful.

            • You can see it, and woah. It’s really terrifying how he simply shuts down his brain. In fact he never lets them finish talking at all, and basically shouts down anything that would be a contrary point of data.

              • It rather explains a lot of behaviour that tends to be marked off as rudeness. Pity, as rudeness is treatable.

                It ought make us wonder what our areas of Cognitive Dissonance are.

                • Mine is anyone justifying killing children for convenience; denying someone else choices in order to exercise their own, and only their own.

                  Though, I’m not sure those are cognitive dissonances, but moral lines I refuse to compromise.

                  • I think you may have put a finger on it– a lot of “I refuse to even try to accept the reasoning” things are moral objections (“this is simply wrong, even if it’s rational”)

                    This can turn into CD when someone’s world-view rejects the idea that they have any non-empirical starting points.

                    • Unlike the example by Affleck though I can still listen and argue or at least state why coherently. (Granted I am sleep depping atm) He just tried instead to simply shut it down.

                    • But you even pointed out that you recognize it as a moral starting point– he’s wedded to it being just the way things are, totally rational, etc.

                      But he can’t rationally defend it, because it’s a moral judgement. A baseline. A starting point.

                    • The word is “axiom”.

                    • Yes, but unfortunately it’s specialized vocabulary.

                    • I’ve always thought of the Declaration as the axioms of the American republic. “This is what we’ll fight kill and die for” avoids a lot of handwavium. I like Natural Law theory, in a consequentialist way, but I don’t think it’s sound.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      My thought about “Natural Law Theory” is that it was a Secular Attempt to make “scientific” basic Christian morality. 😉

                    • Some folks use it that way, and one of the things that makes it so useful is that you can use it to reach folks who don’t believe in God– but the more traditional meaning is that morality is real. Good is actually good, not just “I think it’s good.”

                      This looks like a pretty good (and FAST!) run-down on Aquinas’ formalization of natural law.
                      http://taylormarshall.com/2014/06/thomas-aquinas-natural-law-5-points.html

                    • Ahhhh I see what you mean. (Haven’t slept. Couldn’t.) For the moment though I can’t words.

                    • This is commonly displayed when someone engaged in discussion is confronted by a fact or facts which contradict a fundamentally held axiom, such as the Liberal’s belief that “all Republicans are racist” or “Republicans don’t care about the poor The Poor.”

                      The idea that Republicans simply do not care what “race” a person is is a null program for such minds, they are literally incapable of processing that. Nor can they accept that Republicans see poverty as a spiritual rather than material question, one solved by encouraging productive behaviour rather than just giving people money they haven’t earned.

                      They are quite simply blind and deaf to such propositions. It is why they argue that “if you agree a is a problem, you must also agree that the only solution is b — they are literally incapable of processing c, d or t as alternate solutions.

                      It is also why they go straight to Blankophobia when confronted by an incomprehensible response to an issue and withdraw to their safe spaces. They have not learned to recognize and process their cognitive dissonance and they blame the source of the challenging axiom for their emotional and mental distress.

                    • I should point out that there are ways to rationally defend moral starting points– there’s the entire area of “Natural Law Theory.” But they’ve ruled out most of those because they don’t support the conclusions desired.

        • Stress-induced amenorrhea is a real thing, and not that uncommon among elite athletes. It’s also something I found a lot of the young women I had under me in the Army experiencing, some of whom later experienced difficulties starting families.

          AMEN– and when it was happening to me, I didn’t have a clue what it was; I knew about the exercise/low bodyfat caused one, but that is…um… not a problem I’m likely to meet up with.

          Took about two years after I separated for my fertility to return– but I’ve got an extremely high fertility family, and didn’t engage in other things that can hurt fertility (my weight is always “high,” I don’t do extreme exercise, I don’t have a high number of “partners,” I don’t have a decade plus of hormonal birth control, etc)

          There’s also the issue that being in for more than about one renewal makes you a relatively older mother, and even in the same family delaying that first child lowers the chances of a second one even if they’re dearly wanted.

      • *Nods.*

        If you do martial arts it’s obvious. An experienced, tall, unusually aggressive young woman who’s played sports, lifts weights and trains regularly is still not going to move the punching bag anywhere near as far with a straight punch as some out-of-shape N00b male fresh off the street for his first class. It’s sobering.

        Look up what happens to female MMA or even karate fighters when a man claiming to be a trans woman in the same weight class fights them.

        It’s ugly.

    • Any pointers on how to get into category theory? I seem to have missed some prerequisites. I get Laplace, Fourier, Hadamard, yada transforms; but can’t quite elevate my viewpoint to see them as mathematical objects in their own right rather than techniques.

  9. This is something no feminist writer from the US seems able to GET.

    Things American feminist writers are unable to get does not seem a topic of sufficiently limited scope as to facilitate intelligent discussion. I recommend taking the inverse topic: “Things American feminist writers do get” although there exists the risk that we end up discussing the null set.

  10. This obscure Johnny Cash song seems somewhat appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRlri2UxPFY.

  11. I want equal death for equal work. I just read that women live 5 years longer than men (76.3 vs 81.3). I think men should protest until women are dying at the same age we are. It’s just not fair!

    • I think I read that men are 11 times more likely to be injured (or killed?) than women working.

      • 92.8% of workplace fatalities are men, 7.2% are women, i.e. 11.82 times. (Stats are from 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics data.)

        • One more example of how the patriarchy discriminates against Women! For every man who dies in a workplace incident* we need to kill two women, too, until the disparity is made up!!!!!

          *Does not include terrorist attacks.

    • Oppression! That makes Social Security more important to women!

  12. And I’m glad that the beautiful but evil space princess is feeling up to posting today.

    • Still have a mild cold, and still get tired easily, but I’m no longer trying to cough up a lung, and I’m no longer int hat place I was in yesterday where I JUST wanted to sleep.

  13. C4C

  14. “This is something no feminist writer from the US seems able to GET. They don’t seem to understand the more covert forms of power, but only the in your face, overt and open forms of power.”

    I don’t know if it’s so much that they don’t understand covert, intrigue-based power as they have simply come to lose patience with its comparative slowness (campaigns of rumour or exclusion take much more time than giving orders or starting fights), its limited arena and greater prep time (it generally only works where you’ve established yourself as part of a community, and then only within that community), and — in my view, this last is most important — the lack of visible glory in its exercise. What good is power exercised behind closed doors where nobody can applaud you for your triumph?

    The political journalist Robert Stacy McCain once wrote something that, if it is not quite a complete explanation of feminism, still to me rings true for a lot more of it than I suspect most would like: “Feminism was invented to grant unattractive women access to the corridors of power.” And power, like any drug, is more addictive the quicker and more intense the rush. Once you’ve gained a taste for sitting in the throne, the appeal of the shadows behind it is a lot harder to sell.

    • The political journalist Robert Stacy McCain once wrote something that, if it is not quite a complete explanation of feminism, still to me rings true for a lot more of it than I suspect most would like: “Feminism was invented to grant unattractive women access to the corridors of power.”

      McCain probably referred to it. That’s #24 in Rush’s 35 Undeniable Truths of Life. First published in 1988.

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    From the people who brought you Pussy Hats!

    http://archive.is/kklYS

    • scott2harrison

      That is wonderful. In one strike the majority of progressive women in your organization are identified through an action that allows, no, almost requires you to tell them “You’re Fired!”. The improvement in efficiency in those companies that act to seize this opportunity could put our economy back on track again.
      I am actually not certain if I am kidding or not.

    • And then I see the light switch story linked from that and wonder if there is any truth, and if so, where and what are those switches and when were they installed. Some very early electrical setups are not obvious in this age. And consider Design of Everyday Things (Previously, Philosophy of Everyday Things) which points out something as simple as a door can be, and often is, maldesigned.

  16. Mostly because women were freeing themselves from the restrictions imposed upon them by nature (the pill; labor saving devices; etc.)

    Noooooo, (in the low sense, not the wailing sense). Let me fix that for you: “Mostly because MEN were freeing women from the restrictions….”

    Men invented The Pill. Men invented the vast majority of domestic labor saving devices in question, i.e. the washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, dryer, etc. Those 4 are the Big 4 from a time saving perspective, with the washer and fridge being the monsters.

    • Don’t forget paper towels, Clorox wipes and disposable dinnerware and microwave ovens and crock-pots, and bread machines. Also, tasty precooked food..

      • Those are lovely indeed, but the sheer labor savings of not having to go to the market every single day, and kill and clean and pluck your chicken in order to cook it for dinner… not to mention the massive shift in food availability once refrigerated sections became available in grocery stores and in transports. One of my mother’s favourite cookbooks startsthe recipe for Arroz con Pollo with “Primera, mata el pollo.”

        As for the dishwasher… mi mama and mi tias still do not trust the dishwasher. Nor does my expat husband. They all wash everything before putting it in the dishwasher. However, I can tell a difference between Venezuela and South Africa: my husband washes dirty dishes and puts them away clean, then pulls them out and uses them. My mother still, when reverting to habit, pulls the clean dishes out, washes them, sets the table, and then washes the dirty dishes by hand, puts them through the dishwasher, and puts the clean dishes away.

        My father was mightily puzzled by this behaviour until one day he realized that Venezulanos whitewash their houses once a year not to stop mold from growing, but to cover up the latest layer of mold growth. Especially if you live in a rainforest downwind of a refinery.

    • Rather hard to know without a lot of specific detail, actually; a whole lot of stuff that is “Mr. so and so did X” was more like “the team of….” which may or may not include his wife, secretary, etc– both in the “ideas” format and the “actually doing a lot of the work” format. (not to knock ideas)

      I call it the “Bob’s BBQ problem.”

      When Bob puts on a BBQ, you know he’ll be there at the grill. You don’t know if he marinated the meat, made all the sides, or even had any involvement at all before the point where he’s standing there cooking it.
      The skill at the grill is still very, very important– I sure can’t do it, to my dad and husband’s displeasure– but there’s a difference between the guy who picks the meat, makes his marinade, prepares the meat and grills it vs the guy who takes the platter of raw meat from his wife and cooks it.

    • Power Line notes the passing of Swedish demographer and statistician Hans Rosling, star of a video illuminating the miracle of the modern washing machine (available at link) and the economy that provides it — among other videos.

  17. And I’d admit your world building MIGHT work, but dear lor, that’s a dystopia. these women who don’t know the history of the race will push forth into men’s roles*, and in the process try to get revenge for ills that really never happened (except through the unforgiving hand of mother nature) by making men more feminine, and trying to subjugate them.

    Extra horror:
    Those women who do take it seriously, and go into traditional men’s roles that are more dangerous like making war and high danger jobs (think Dangerous Catch, or whatever this year’s reality TV show job example is) who also reproduce will be taking the most dangerous aspects of both roles.

    So they’ll be dying even more.

    The ideology literally means killing off those women who try to “have it all” like we’re supposed to….

    (Minor note: I am, ironically enough, one of those gals– not because I wanted to do a guy’s job, but because when I joined I was one of two people in my entire high school who’d consider it, and I thought it needed to be done. I also reassured my parents by pointing out that statistically I would be more likely to die in college than in the Navy. Now I’m five kids in to doing a woman’s work, and the one closest to killing me was the “low risk” first pregnancy. Lies, damned lies, and statistics applied to specific examples….)

  18. But Sarah, Prehistoric Feminist Matriarchal Utopia!

    (jtmf!)

  19. Whenever one of my spring semester students imprudently mentions Equal Pay for Women Day, I give the entire class an extra credit opportunity: compare the rates of occupational injury and death for men and women in the US, and give the jobs with the most extreme rates for both men and women. Turns out few women want to be lumberJACKS or commercial fisherMEN. Maybe because they don’t like the job titles?

  20. I don’t have to like reality, I just have to live in it.

    The essence of the idea seems to be that only the badasses need to have dangerous glutes.

    I think I can ask some well-formed questions:

    1) How does the aggregate capability of the collection of cooks clerks drivers and badasses outside that cave vary as a function of the distribution of individual capabilities required to prequalify into the collection? How many Sgt Yorks, how many ^upthread heroines. Give historical justifications for the distributions you use.

    2) How do the people in the cave feel about this?

    3) How do the jihadi-chow unqualified troopers out front feel about this, and about each other? (Historically the females will be found dead at the center of a ring of dead males. That’s why IDF doesn’t do that anymore.)

  21. Internal consistency is what makes the world go ’round.

    Inconsistent attacks on same make puppies sad.

  22. And, not to throw a damp log on the fire, why do all these “labor-saving devices” come from slave labor in countries not yet as “enlightened” as those folks in Boston, Boulder, and Hollywood?

  23. Pingback: The Roots of Gender Roles