Sex, Gender, and Marx, Oh My

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Yesterday I almost linked this post at instapundit.  I didn’t, not because there’s anything wrong with the post, but because the writer who is a friend went just a little too far.  He went just a little too far in a way that particularly irks me: that of ascribing something transitory and of the time to #yesallwomen.  And yes, I’m aware he exempted me by name in his post and other women by implication.  But that’s not the point.

As I keep telling the author, he’s a very bright man, and in general a good thinker, but he’s young.  So he’s very much a creature of his times, and some of the attitudes he has and the conclusions he takes are captive of their time, and if he were a little older or younger, he would have a different view.  (This starts with the name of his blog.  Only a very limited view allows you to see the West declining.  We’ve done that before, and we recovered, and unless I’m very wrong, the declining started 100 years ago and we’re now on the great rebuilding, the great re-learning.  Yeah, sure, it’s just the first stirrings, and you and I won’t see the West fully resurgent again, but our grandkids have a good chance to.  So I laugh at it and make duck noises.  He’s a good sport about it.)

In the same way he’s a creature of his place.  So he views #yesallwomen as American women of the late 20th century, who are, sorry, creatures different from most women throughout most of the history of humanity.

Oh, I’m not saying that “gender” is a social construction.  I spent the week with two toddlers, one male, one female (practice grandchildren) who are being raised, for various reasons, in a VERY non-traditional situation.  And yet you look at them, and yep, even if you put the boy in a dress, you’d know which one is the girl and which is the boy.  Their way of showing they’re tired, their preferred mode of play, even their way to obtain something are all exactly what you’d expect of their sex.  (The little girl is also obsessed with pink, which is funny.  Maybe that’s chromosome coded?  As Pratchett put it, if built by a little girl, it will be pink.  Now, I was never fond of pink, favorite colors were yellow, then red.  But you know, exceptions and statistics are neither of them the only valid way to reason.)  There are plenty of reasons for our brains to function differently according to the sex-hormones infused into us from gestation onward.  That’s because it makes our brains different in structure and operation.  And yeah, some of us are for various and probably gestation-hormones (you try to get a straight medical history out of my mom!) less stereotypical female.  But hell, even I have no sense of direction, can’t imagine in three dimensions, and frankly plot from the character out.  Other women are EVEN LESS stereotypical female and can reason visually in three dimension, can find their way blindfolded through the Minotaur’s labyrinth, and plot from “what happens” out.  The fact that statistically those are male characteristics doesn’t mean no woman can do it, and the fact that statistically most women can’t find their way out of a wet paperbag, can’t do visual stuff in their heads, and have novels full of long meaningful conversations signifying nothing doesn’t invalidate the exceptions.  That’s not how statistical distribution works.)

So, sure, male and female brains are different.  But the differences that my young friend pointed out are culturally coded.  There is no reason that women would be more averse to exploration, less interested in space, or more interested in using the government as a sort of super-daddy.

In fact, judging from ancestresses, in a country of immigrants, and from correspondence I got to see, I can tell you women were often the ones going “Let’s try x y or z country.  Let’s lift up and travel with nothing and no guarantees, because it might be a better life for my kids.”

In my own family, my mom is the one always willing to try the next thing, and dad is the one who would rather stay put, with his network of connections, his professional credentials, etc.

And I was born where I didn’t belong and went in search of my homeland.

But yeah, okay, we could be exceptions.  Except that… back at the time of the moon shots, my little friends, in an all girl school, were as excited as I was.

Sure.  Sure.  Mom — who is the least distributionist of my parents, will use that “Why do x when we could use the money to do so much good” thing.  I’ve heard it verbatim.  But do you know what she uses it for?  To justify not having pets.  The truth is mom doesn’t like animals (while dad does) and hates anything like cats that she can’t control.  So instead she dresses her hatred of animals (not socially acceptable) in a pious “We can do charity with that money.” (Much more socially acceptable.)  Keep that in mind as we go forward.

I’m going to ask you to engage in a thought experiment.  Imagine that for whatever reason, our state decided to combat discrimination against redheads.

Redheads are historically a discriminated-against group.  In Europe children who were red-headed were often assumed to have the devil in them.  They were often ill treated and one suspects in early times either killed or neglected/beaten to the point it amounted to the same.  They were, at least according to some crazy legends, the children of Lilith, and so not exactly of the same seed of Adam and Eve as the rest of us.  (The rest of us notionally.  Back when my hair had color it was a dark mahogany brown that turned dark red in the sun.  Guys engaging in the lean-against-the-wall-and-call-out-to-girls Portuguese male national past time would yell out “Oh Ruiva” to me, and ruiva in Portuguese means redhead — in Spanish the equivalent means blond.)

There were euphemisms for the hair color: ginger, foxy, strawberry blond.  But all those eventually became tainted because of what they referred to.

Let’s suppose that when our government started to expand into social engineering, they decided redheads were traditionally discriminated against, and thus must be protected against discrimination.  There would be mandatory (proportional to population) numbers of redheads hired.  There would be a prohibition de facto if not de jure against using terms like “ginger” because using them would be “racist” and you’d find yourself ostracised and unemployed.

These would be the least harmful of the provisions.  Yes, I did say least harmful.

The most harmful would be that little redheads would be told in words and more importantly in deeds, from a very early age that they’re a class set apart and that something is not quite right with them.  I mean, if everything were right with them, why would people need to be restrained, by law, from mistreating them?  Obviously there’s something inherently annoying/hateful about them which caused all the historical discrimination and that discrimination is ONLY not happening today because the powerful government stands between them and their would-be abusers.

Now, little redheads would, of course, know there was nothing wrong with them as humans.  They’d look into themselves and know they were no better or worse than other people.  So they were the victims of injustice and only the government kept them safe.

You’d find that redheads under that regime were some of the most in American terms “progressive” people around, always ready to throw in with the government against the individual and always ready to attribute anything bad in their lives to “oppression.”

They would be an interest class, interested in redistribution (surely there’s still some discrimination going on where the government can’t see, and they don’t have everything that’s due them) and strict enforcement of the preferential rules applying to them.  They would also see discrimination in every look, every sneer, every use of the word “red” around them and other micro aggressions.

Now in our world this wasn’t done to redheads.  But if there are parallel worlds, this wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.  They were after all very badly treated, historically.

We do however have various groups that were treated this way, considered historically oppressed and set aside by government as protected classes.  This by the way is all according to Gramsci’s neo-Marxist theory.  (Marx expected the proletarian to “rise up” and be the instrument of communist revolution, but by Gramsci’s time it was obvious the proletariat was rising indeed, not in revolution, but to middle class.  So a new theory of “oppressed classes” was needed and Gramsci came up with the oppressed classes as the third world, basically.  And yes, he’s the twatwaffle you have to thank — ultimately — for the stupid “white privilege” theory.)

Our government, in many ways is has created a Gramscian society, by trying to protect people from “discrimination” (visible and invisible, in thought, word, deed, in what we’ve done and have failed to do.)

It is de-facto impossible to protect people from ALL discrimination.  All humans discriminate, and often on stupid things.  I, for instance, hate all willowy blondes on sight.  Most of them I’ve known have proven despicable human beings.

And yet, my best friend from childhood fell under that classification (for a Portuguese idea of blond) and I’ve been friends with many of them.  It just means I recoil on meeting them, but I’m open to being proven wrong.  Now of course, that means if I were hiring, willowy blonds would start at a disadvantage.

Sure, the government could protect willowy blondes against my heinous discrimination, but here’s the thing, I’m one of 300 million, and everyone else has things they discriminate against.

Even if race is a more widespread form of discrimination, it’s not the only one, and protection against it will be imperfect, and MUCH WORSE will feel the protected people think there’s something wrong with them or at least with the way they present, and wish protection forever.  Regardless of whether there’s any reason to expect discrimination or not.

But then the US government (and most governments of the civilized world, in imitation of the US as usual) decided to make #yeseverywoman a protected class.  Yep, we, women, who stand at 51% of the population, became a “minority” for purposes of hiring, firing, protecting against offense, etc.  (And more injurious things like divorce and child custody laws, even.)

But Sarah, you say, women have traditionally been discriminated against.  Yeah and?  So have redheads.  Is there a reason to enshrine that in legislation that perpetuates both discrimination and self-loathing and dependency?

I don’t think so, and last I checked (just looked again) I am a woman.

I also believe most of the reasons women have been discriminated against IN BUSINESS historically have been valid.  As have been the reasons to keep most women subordinate and in the house.

Listen, dummy, before contraceptives and the ability to do genetic tests, there were good reasons women under-performed men, and why most men would want to keep women confined and under strict rules.

Kids are the future.  Men can’t have them.  Women can.  And historically, women couldn’t AVOID having them.  And men had no way of knowing if the kid was his (part of the discrimination against redheads is because redheads are a recessive gene and can show up unannounced in a dark haired family, thereby leading to suspect the mother of infidelity.  Hence “redheaded stepchild.”)  Part of the civilizational contract, due to how difficult and expensive humans are to bring to adulthood is that men provide for the woman and their offspring.  BUT of course that means the men had to make sure the offspring was theirs.  Which meant social restrictions and a subordinate state for women.

Yeah sure, the guys should just have trusted their women.  Because, what? You’re willing to stand by #allwomen in the matter of fidelity?  If you are, you have some issues we should talk about. Like illusions of omnipotence.  Or raging sexism that considers women less/more than human.

Those historical reasons no longer apply, and as women started pouring into the workforce, those “anti discrimination” laws were no longer necessary.

(But Sarah, some guys really consider women less capable.  Yes.  Possess your soul in patience, we’ll get to that.)

Sure, women still generally make less than men, but that’s because of those brain differences.  Women, individually, prefer different kinds of work.  My son’s starting engineering class was 80% female, and no wonder, considering his engineering club in high school had 8 publications for “women engineers” and none for male.  He’s now in his final year in one specialty and the year before last in the other, and guess what?  It’s all male.  I mean all.  (What part of this is because idiots who tried to encourage the little girls NEVER gave them bad grades in STEM or told them they had to study harder which left young women maleducated, I leave to your judgement.  It’s another of those watchmacallit, unintended consequences of intervention.)  Even those women who excelled at engineering decided they didn’t like it and went instead into business or art.  (Yes, younger son IS disgruntled.)

And the truth is the more abundant “soft sciences” and “arts” pay — because more people qualified — less than hard STEM professions.  DUH.  When you separate avocations by what they actually do for work, the difference between male and female pay disappears, or female are slightly higher.

There is also, alas, social style.  My career has suffered from a very female issue: I’m less assertive than my male colleagues.  I know I am, but it’s such a back-brain thing, it’s hard to overcome.

Anyway, my belief is that we should do away with ALL protected classes, race and gender both.  Yeah, sure, there will be jerks who discriminate against you.  But there will be jerks (hi, y’all) who discriminate against willowy blondes, too.  THERE IS NO WAY TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION.

Besides in the long run, the free market takes care of discrimination.  The jerk who won’t hire or serve willowy blonds will lose their work and business to the jerk who preferentially hires them.  If they’re a big enough demographic in the area, the first jerk goes out of business.  As for the willowy blondes, they can leave a job where they’re discriminated against and find one where they aren’t.

I walked out of a job when I found the boss was discriminating against me for being Latin (he thought I was Mexican, but that’s something else.  Also, stupid and ignorant.) I found a better one, paying twice as much, where the store was much better run, too.  I’ve walked off other jobs for the same reason.  It never meant being unemployed forever.

There is no UNIVERSAL discrimination.  And if you think there is, you ought to get out more, and take Gramsci off repeat on your ipod.

And the creation of “protected classes” by law has too high a price.

Are women raised in the late 20th century and early 21st in the US in general “progressive” and in love with daddy government?

Well, how not?  They believe everyone would mistreat them and discriminate against them, if government didn’t protect them.  They believe this, despite the fact that men in their lives are (like #yesallmen) by and large decent and fair, because they’ve been told from earliest age how hated/discriminated against they are.

And they’ve seen evidence, too.  If they weren’t hateful, why would there be a whole apparatus against discriminating against them?  And look how men are so mad at that apparatus (of course they are.  It amounts to discrimination AGAINST THEM, but never mind) it means they want to hate and beat on women!

Hence, “no space exploration we need that money.” “Daddy government, look, they’re taking stuff they stole from us and playing at space shots!”

This is transitory.  It has to be, because a species divided against itself cannot stand.  I just wish the failure mode of this insanity not to be a return to outmoded female oppression, ala Islam.  Our science if better now.  There is no reason to keep women under sofa covers, ignorant, and confined to the house.

However, right now, the future is looking uncommonly burka-y, because of the way women have been trained to behave and the horrible consequences to society.

Me?  I want a world where men and women are equal under the law.  Sure, same pay for same work (the free market enforces that anyway, more or less.)  Sure, equal legal rights in marriage.

Other than that, let people sort themselves out, and stop breaking them into protected and aggressor, privileged and mistreated.  It doesn’t do anyone any good, and does much harm.

Let individuals be individuals and you’ll be amazed how soon the Marxist shackles are thrown off.

It’s impossible to enslave a free individual. The most you can do is kill him/her.  But shackles on their minds and convince them that they need protection forever, and not only are they slaves, but they’ll help enslave others.

Don’t let them.  Teach your children well.  Reason yourself out of fear.  Work, live, do well.  The statists can’t control you then.

 

 

 

372 responses to “Sex, Gender, and Marx, Oh My

  1. “Work, live, do well. The statists can’t control you then.”

    No…the statists will damned well TRY to control you. Which is precisely what we’ve been seeing for all of my lifetime, with the 2009-2016 period being particularly bad.

    I think a backlash is forming. A terrible riposte, the consequences of which will echo for the rest of this century.

  2. Even those women who excelled at engineering decided they didn’t like it and went instead into business or art.

    Thus has it ever been, even back into the ancient Times of Reagan when I was laboring in the vineyards of Engineering School.

    Note, however, from my subsequent labors in the vineyards of industry, that most of the women engineers I worked with, who had stuck with it and not changed majors in the face of the Unfairness of Engineering, were really good engineers.

    • Yup. Tip to women – Engineering programs are Very, Very Hard. But they will put you in the path of men who are smart and of good character. Don’t be fooled by the ‘geek/nerd’ reputation…those are the Computer Science majors.

      • All of the “yugogurl” ra ra garbage not only causes miseducation where someone who would make a great RN or NP tries for med school, gets tons of debt and falls out. (Can’t think of what comes under engineer. My UG it was business degree as fallback. Supplier interaction or the like maybe but they are our sworn enemies.) But as people run into people dragged into position for diversity they will start to assume that level of competence for the entire group. Plus the legal liability is to point that I do not interact with other employees outside of working hours.

        • Landscape architecture comes to mind. At Flat State U it involved a lot of physics, flow-dynamics, soil structures, botany, and other bits-n-pieces as well as design and aesthetics. They made me look like the piker I was (comparatively speaking).

      • I knew of two women who started in Electrical Engineering… I think one made it fully (power emphasis, fwiw) not sure of the other. I knew one guy who started in CompSci and moved TO Engineering as he looked around himself in CompSci and the level (or lack thereof) of intellect scared him something fierce. This was, however Back When.. Back When Vaxen were still a thing and 200 MHz was crazy fast for a clock…

        • I’ve mentioned this before. One of my sons graduated with a degree in EE. He and another white male veteran, both at about the 1/3 point in the graduating class, were the last two hired. All the females and minorities were hired before the last few white males. He was hired several months after graduation when the first of the new hires washed out and needed replacement. Within 5 years, considerably less than 1/2 the female graduates were still in the field.

          I vaguely remember i ancient times back when I was in HS stories that a lot of doctors teaching in medical schools asked females”Why should I waste my time teaching you? In 10 years you’ll be married with kids or will have left the field because of the time and energy required to be a successful doctor.

          • Which is one of the point raised about equality of pay. Remove the long absences for raising a family, and pay jumps a lot closer to equal. Never completely though. Women do NOT bargain the same way as men, and usually will accept a lesser final offer.

          • Of course the gals get hired first! Since they work such brief careers it makes it almost impossible for a hiring company to maintain a “proper” ratio in order to avoid getting targeted by disparate impact regulators. There needs to be a constant churning of Innies to offset the fact Outies stay on the pay ledger longer.

      • Computer Science majors are very smart, cute,cuddly, and make a nice living.

    • Byzantine_Corporal

      ^^^THIS^^^

    • I received an engineering degree in 1981. I worked as an engineer/programmer for 13 years. Finished at my peak, turning down a promotion to head an 80-person department because … BIOLOGY … baby hunger hit me hard and fast. I quit high-paid work in favor of raising and home schooling babies. Now I wonder whether women who take places in restricted-entrance fields such as medicine should be required to commit to X years of work in that field. I am discouraged at how difficult it is to find a doctor (we recently moved cross-country) because most of the women doctors work only part time – yet they took up a full slot in med school, so fewer doctors working per med school slot is not going to improve medical care … sigh … equality hurts people … sigh …

      • I had a co-worker who took about six years completely out of the workforce – had twins, raised them to school-age. Then went back to work. Men don’t grudge that – look at the way men react to babies. 🙂

        • OTOH, I have seen more inter office warfare conducted against the coming-back-from-having-the-baby women by other women than any men.

          • Is there anything more vitriolic than the “Mommy Wars” between mothers who stay at home and mothers who put their kids in day care?

            • Started looking for work when baby was 6 months old. Then too ours was an only child (not by choice, but what can you do); good day care VS play dates, former was better. Hubby being in timber, we needed to have backup income. Hubby worked the same job for 35 years, and got laid off every year, 2 – 12 weeks. Also, because I worked, he requested work areas where he worked straight 8 hours, rather than work that required overtime (which they got paid). His co-workers appreciated that.

          • Haven’t seen that myself. I’ve seen single women with no kids get irritated at their “married with kids” co-workers because of the assumption “Oh, you don’t have kids, so you won’t mind working late on Friday to take care of this little niggling issue that needs to get dealt with before the weekend.”

      • “I am discouraged at how difficult it is to find a doctor (we recently moved cross-country) because most of the women doctors work only part time – yet they took up a full slot in med school” Perhaps the number of slots in med school needs to be substantially increased….surely the marginal value of a physician, even one who works part-time for much of their career, greatly exceeds the marginal cost of their education?

        To what degree are the constraints on med school capacity a matter of rational investment…versus underinvestment…versus disguised price-fixing via supply control?

        • Yeah. A lot of women also go through medschool and become administrators because they don’t like the dirty doctoring stuff.
          Yet Obama mandated that 68% of the admittances be female.

          • Many woman doctors here, but they gravitate towards the disciplines that allow you to have ‘hours’: ophtalmology, dermatology, non-OB gynecology,… Then again, the socialized system does such a poor job of rewarding the higher-stress disciplines that male doctors are starting to go private (just working the minimum number of ‘public’ hours needed to retain hospital privileges, if they need access to a public one’s ORs, for example — and working the rest private at market rates).

            • In Oregon, I’ve dealt with 3 women practitioners. The opthamologist who did my cataract surgery is in practice with her semi-retired father (he’s handling the followup visits for my over-the-mountains cornea surgeon), while my dentist (a DDS) started working with her DMD father. He retired, and she brought in a young DMD (male). I’m pretty sure all the hygenists at that practice are women. (Techs at the eye practices are usually famale, maybe 10-20% are men.)

              There was an OB-GYN working at a clinic 20 miles from the local city, but she left because she couldn’t get practicing rights at the local hospital. This was in early 2008, and the old-boy network was really strong. I think it’s faded a bit.

              • There are a lot of women doctors in the area where I live (Greater Cincinnati area), and all but one of the ones I have met are very good. Even then, the other one (a neurologist my wife started seeing) might know her stuff well, but when she denied the advice she had written down for us on the previous visit, we stopped going.

      • yet they took up a full slot in med school

        The problem here is that there are too few slots in med schools. Artificial caps ought be lifted and more attendance encouraged. Not all should have to become physicians, either.

        This is an example of the unseen costs so beloved by libertarians economists. We see the woman doctor who works … forty-eight hour weeks for ten years, four week vacation (48*48*10=23,040 hours) then takes six years off for two kids, comes back at part-time for ten years (30*50*10=15,000 hours) then works another fifteen years at nearly full time (36*48*10=25,920) producing 66,960 hours of medical care over a forty-one year period. A male doctor over that same forty-one years produces (52*50*41=106,600 hours medical care, or almost sixty percent more — assuming he (as men are wont to do) works slightly longer hours and takes less vacation — without figuring in the fact that married fathers tend to increase their working hours.

        Power Line had a good post in this regard, addressing Nancy Pelosi’s filibluster and her praise of an illegal immigrant child who increased the burden on k-12 schools, blocked an American kid from college and another one from med school and who now earns praise from the Pelosicrats because he is earning the MD that could have gone to a number of native-born Americans.

        See: The Forgotten Man

        • My understanding is that the scarcity is not so much with the Universities not offering enough positions in the medical school as it is slots in the government subsidized residency programs.

          • It’s both. When my son applied there were 2500 people with the requisite four point average, requisite experience in hospitals, requisite EVERYTHING for 180 slots in the incoming class. They decided by interview.
            Yeah.

            • Yes, but nothing would be worse than letting someone go through school, rack up average $250,000 in loans, and not be able to get a residency, thus not be able to practice. Government is not expanding residency slots because hospitals get reimbursed for them by the government.

      • I finished up my second degree, Computer Science, two weeks before the birth of our son. None of the guys said a thing. More than a few of my co-female students “how could you get pregnant your senor year”. My response was “oops. After 10 years we finally figured out how this works.” I went BACK to school, because a) one of us had to get out of Forestry (mid-’80’s – thank you spotted owl) and b) we weren’t making any progress on starting a family, and it was not looking good. Just because someone upstairs has a sense of humor …

        • Does he ever. I was accepted for doctorate two weeks before getting pregnant with Robert after 6 years of trying. Then we found out I had pre-eclampsia.

          • SheSellsSeashells

            I used to work with a woman who had four sons, only the first of whom was intentional. The second was an oops, the third made it through the Pill, and the fourth was an IUD baby. (Family legend also has it that I popped out waving an IUD and going “nyaaah nyaaah.”)

            • We were trying to have eleven. We have two and the second is a miracle, I HOPE from G-d. BUT after six years we’d more or less given up.

              • My mom miscarried.

                Then she had twins.

                • It’s Sarah’s place to go into details or not, but from what she has told friends in other places, her second was more a miracle baby than when my mother had a miscarriage, then an ectopic pregnancy, leaving her with only one fallopian tube, before she had me at the age of 37.

              • My sister was told she could NOT have kids, “tubes were blocked”, they have pictures. They tried IVF, everything, nothing worked. They adopted. #2, #3, & #4, dads response … well they are cheaper (insurance would pay, adoption, not so much). Also, they had #’s 2.5 & 3.5 too, which were tubal & they had to abort.

                Yes. Bit envious. I had at least one miscarriage & a couple of suspected ones before we finally had our son (yes looked into adoption, never happened). Not even a hint after his birth. It’s been 29 years, ain’t happening.

      • I don’t know about the medical thing, depending on the setup. We have Kaiser, which is as close to a universal shift-work health care system as you get. (IOW, you don’t have all the craziness of referrals and insurance permissions, since every doctor at the hospital is working “for the company” as it were, and it frees up a lot of time that would otherwise be eaten by paperwork.) There are a *lot* of women doctors there, especially in OBGYN, and a lot of them are moms. But because they’re all on shifts and salary, and because the system is already set up to slot medical types in and out as needed in a way that’s invisible to the patient, they can take the time off for kids and not affect the overall flow of work. Yes, they do less medical work over the decades than the childless, but I don’t think that forty years of work is inherently a better investment than forty years minus a few years of kids.

        The artificial limit on med school slots, yeah.

        • Kaiser was founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser

          … an American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. He established the Kaiser Shipyards, which built Liberty ships during World War II, after which he formed Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel. Kaiser organized Kaiser Permanente health care for his workers and their families.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_J._Kaiser

          as a cost saving center, self-insuring his employees rather than buying through a third party insurance provider.

          Henry Kaiser was accustomed to large scale, physically hazardous projects. In 1931 his firm was one of the prime contractors in building the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, and subsequently the Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River. This gave him an appreciation for the benefits of self-insuring and the benefits of economies of scale.

          It is no surprise that his corporate descendants might still appreciate the exigencies of the working life.

          • There are rumors that Amazon may set up its own healthcare system for its employees.

            I used to work IT at a very large hospital; I never quite figured out why they paid through the nose for third-party healthcare instead of just comping their employees…

            • There are many companies who self-insure, only farming out the administrative tasks to the insurance companies. Once a company reaches a certain size, they comprise a large enough statistical universe that it becomes a reasonable proposition (The main character in Heinlein’s Year of the Jackpot made part of his living determining whether companies met that criteria [it’s different for different industries]) I’d be surprised if Amazon didn’t already do that. Unless you’re talking about them taking over the administrative function, too.

          • It has its flaws—a lot of the doctors do “checklist care” and have trouble working outside their areas of expertise—but I’m still surprised a lot of other hospitals haven’t adopted their approach. For one thing, it keeps “denial of insurance” from happening (which is frustrating to doctors as well as patients), and another is that the doctors aren’t paid “on commission”, so they don’t feel the need to work excessive hours in order to make book (and that keeps patients from having to pay for “specialists” who just pop their heads in the door.) I like the idea of well-rested doctors, don’t you?

            • Yeeeeeeeees. I know how much more I screw up sometimes when working tired. I know there are times a doctor will have to work odd/long hours due to emergencies, but I would really like there to be enough of them available that they can rest enough for their brains and immune systems to work.

    • I didn’t change majors from engineering in the face of Unfairness; I changed majors when I came to the realization that I was hating almost everything I was doing. (While pulling a B average, as it happens—as my dad said, “If you were enjoying yourself, you’d be getting As.”) My nearest brother* stayed in engineering, so I got to meet a few of the women that stuck with it, and they were big engineering geeks, go figure.

      *The rocket scientist. Note that *I* was the “smart one.” I always told him that didn’t mean a whole heck of a lot. I… may have looked up to him a little bit too much to be clear-sighted when choosing my major.

    • There are women who have the mind for it. A friend’s second daughter is in the process of college applications and is looking to pursue engineering.  She has been headed in that direction pretty much since she took part in her first Science Olympiad in elementary school, although she didn’t know that was what it was at the time.  Last year she took part at a summer program at Yale.  The icing on the cake for her was having others her age who not only thought interesting what she knows to be interesting, but could talk about it on a level with her.

      • I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere that the women who will stick with engineering and computer majors clear to the end are the ones who had an interest when they were kids. If you went crazy trying to figure out how to build working machines in Minecraft, then you might have a future in STEM.

        If you decided on a STEM major because your undergrad advisor suggested that it might be easier for women to get a job with one of those degrees (because companies do tend to make an active effort to hire women in those fields due to their scarcity), then there’s a good chance you won’t make it.

      • I got an Engineering degree.

  3. I’ll point out that historically, there’s another reason why women were subordinate. Women were noncombatants.

    Military service has been an almost exclusively male province throughout history. Women might study fighting arts (hey, it’s a great way to meet men), but if they actually fought, it was an extreme desperation measure.

    Which meant that in a feudal society, women could not fulfill the obligations of military service required of either a liege or a vassal. This was the rationale for the Salic Law. It’s also why the Swiss didn’t grant women the vote until 1974, IIRC – not with every adult Swiss man having his militia rifle and uniform parked in the closet.

    The ancients were not as stupid as we like to think they were.

    • And women are weaker, physically. In more brutal times, this really counted. It’s more “Women and smaller men were subordinate.”

      • Yes. I’ve known women who had fighting spirit equal to any man. They’d drop dead before they quit. But load them down with full kit, and drop dead is precisely what would happen. Fighting is heavy work.

    • AAAAARGGHHHH…

      Dude, quit buying into the lies you were told by complete dumbasses: Women were never, ever the “subordinate”. Who the hell held primacy in the home, raising the kids? Who decided (mostly) who was getting laid legitimately, who was going to have legitimate kids? Who really causes nine-tenths of the supposed problems for women?

      Yeah; other women. You listen to about ninety percent of what women bitch about when it comes to men, like our “supposed demand for good looks and high fashion”, and what it boils down to is actually self-imposed competition with other women. Men, in general? We don’t give a two shits and a damn about what shade of lip gloss she’s wearing or whether or not her jeans are the latest style. Hell, most of the time we don’t even notice when she changes her goddamn hairstyle or hair color. All that supposed crap “women do for men…”? News flash: It’s really for other women. Competition.

      Here’s a fact to remember: Power ain’t just the overt crap that comes from the strength of someone’s right arm. Look at Eleanor of Aquitaine, for example, how much trouble she caused Henry and their sons. If women were powerless in the feudal societies, how the hell do you explain her and all the other various “womyn of power” in the history books?

      Men had influence on the battlefield; women exerted it in the home and bedroom. Sure, you can try and force her to your will, but when Mama is performing ninety percent of the child care, raising your kids? Bubba, you may have taken her prisoner, raped her into those kids, but the second generation? They’re not going to be your kids; they’re hers, and the reality is, you lost that battle entirely, while fooling yourself into thinking you won.

      • Law vs. actuality – legally women looked subordinate on paper. Thus the historical follies that resulted when people started writing Wymyn’s Herstory and so on.

        • Preee-cisely.

          Somewhere, there’s a list of all the post-Roman Empire wars and so forth that had significant female involvement in their getting started, beginning with the Goth’s coming into Italy at the invitation of the wife of the assassinated Valentinian III, Licinia Eudocia. Reportedly, this was because the oldest daughter of that marriage, Eudocia, had been betrothed to the son of Gaiseric, and… The whole thing was a dynastic soap opera.

          But, that whole list puts paid to the idea that women of that era (or, for that matter, any other…) were powerless pawns at the mercy of men. Reality was, they had a hell of a lot of power, both indirect and direct. Denial of that fact is just purely counter-historical; the power may not have been as overt, and may not have gotten written down by the court historians, but it was there, and it was highly influential. Especially, behind the scenes–There’s no telling what we don’t know about a lot of things that happened, in terms of what the real motivations were. For example: There’s a scholarly paper out there which outlines a fairly convincing argument that King Philip of France was heavily influenced by his wife, Joan I of Navarre, to do what he did to the monastic order of the Templars. She was motivated because she felt threatened by the Templars working to build a base outside the Holy Land, akin to what the Teutonic Order did with Prussia. The Templars were supposedly eyeing lands near where they were based in Champagne, which was Joan’s hereditary fief…

          So, yeah; powerless? My ass.

          • All you have to know about the fate of the Templars is the same thing you have to know about the reason Jews kept getting invited and expelled from European countries. It also explains Henry VIII and a lot of other historical figures’ actions.

            1. Kings love to borrow money.

            2. Kings hate to pay money back.

            3. Kings eventually realize that they can kill or expel their bankers, grab the banks’ money, and never pay anything back.

            Re: soft power vs. hard power, that depended on the country and position. Women did often have feudal obligations, if they were a hereditary lord, hereditary sheriff, etc. Usually they married or hired a guy who could do the direct troop leadership, but there were an awful lot of Norman-descent women doing it themselves. Sometimes they just wore the armor and stood back, but sometimes you got a Matilda of Tuscany with a significantly bloodied sword. (Lots of tall, strong Norman ladies in a Europe full of short men.)

            OTOH, soft power was often exercised by men, or exercised on their behalf. After St. Thomas Aquinas had exasperated his rich and royal kinsfolk by insisting on being a Dominican begging friar instead of Abbot of Monte Cassino, and been imprisoned back home at Aquino for his pains, it was two of his sisters and a brother who decided that it would be better for all concerned for them to mastermind his escape. (They went Pauline and lowered him down the cliff in a basket, with their own linebacker-like muscles – they were a tall and muscular family, including the ladies). Having tired everybody out, they pretty much left him alone until he got famous as a scholar, at which point his French royal relatives decided it was cool to invite him to dinner or make donations to the Dominicans, without torquing off their Italian family.

            And yet Thomas Aquinas was the last guy to be described as in any way feminine. Even when he was being passive, he was passive like a freaking stone wall or a bulldozer.

            It’s not so much what you do or how you do it, as what you do with it and how you think about it. Within the individual variations in how you do a task (and there’s a lot of variance within the members of each sex), you will still tend to see a fair amount of difference by sex. Those differences will express themselves very differently in different cultures (girls tend to go crazy for whatever color is locally defined as “girly,” not for a certain universal color), but every culture will see those differences.

            And that’s not bad. It’s very useful, as long as neither side gets exasperated with the other. As soon as you treat one sex or another as the enemy, things go to pot. (And yes, that stinks if your local representatives of a sex are big jerks, but that’s part of what exogamy is for.)

            • Those differences will express themselves very differently in different cultures (girls tend to go crazy for whatever color is locally defined as “girly,” not for a certain universal color), but every culture will see those differences.

              Hm…. if a kid can recognize, very early on, “this color means girl,” that might explain why so many of my city-family relations went horse crazy and stayed that way, but the very idea to my sister and I (on a ranch, around horses since forever) was as silly as a girl at eight or so going nuts for jacked up pickups. (And not the road princess sort, either.)

              They figure out this is of that to which I am deeply drawn, and act accordingly.

          • During the Roman Empire, the husband and father had absolute right of life and death over his wife and children.

            One reason that Christianity took over was demographic: Christians were disproportionately women, and pagans were disproportionately men. (The Christian habit of raising all their children and even collecting abandoned babies to raise in orphanages helped there.) Because the children of a Christian mother were overwhelmingly Christian, regardless of the father’s legal right to kill them for it.

      • KIRK, damn it, yes, women were legally subordinate in a lot of countries. Men were head of household. Hell, where I grew up women needed their husband’s permission to work outside the home.
        One thing is to put it in historical perspective, another to be stupid.

        • I wanted to post a video of this, but what came up in my search engines was less Oliver Twist and more “Oliver Twisted!!!!

          “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.”


          Happily, a more careful search, one not using the synonym for donkey, provided a couple excellent clips.

          • And this other one, from (I believe) a BBC adaptation of the original text, reminds that what women consider a bloody nuisance can be, to men …


            … a precious jewel. Many things are more prized by those not tasked to do the maintenance.

        • Yeah, nobly born women did have a lot of power. Poor women, not so much. A female acquaintance of mine, who was a Marine officer in the 1960s, said she was only able to get away with commanding her two subordinates by finding female power roles they could recognize. I forget what she did with the Anglo guy, but for the Latino guy, she said she “went medieval on him.” She played the lady of the manor, and did things that no Marine office would do, but the lady of the manor would, like visit his family, make sure his wife had help when she got sic, that sort of thing.

          • And the caveat to that is that a poor man was of lesser status than a noblewoman. And neither one had much of any.

          • That “lady of the manor” trick is very, very potent. Queen Elizabeth I being its greatest exponent, with Queen Victoria a close second.

            Classically raised Western men WANT to be chivalrous, to serve a Lady. The problem is the terrible shortage of Ladies in these benighted times.

            • This … I’ve never seen men so chivalrous, as they are when I dress up in my late Victorian-style author drag. (With hat, reticule, gloves, corset under it, and high-buttoned shoes.) Works like a charm.
              The only thing to equal it is – having car trouble. Pop up the hood, look puzzled at the mysteries within … and in five minutes, male chivalry is dropping out of the sky, wanting to be of service. Never fails, or at least, never fails in all the time that I have been living in Texas.

              • This gave me a bit of a chuckle because i stopped in a parking lot one day because the woman I saw obviously could NOT get the hood open. 🙂

              • It’s one of the reasons I love Texas!

              • I know how to change a tire. First time I had a flat (popped it on a curb corner; poor driveway design), I was all set to go forward when S.K., Polynesian discus thrower, offered to change it for me. I stopped short of asking him if he’d need the jack. (I simply cannot think of “Samoan” without “big, burly” in front of it. He’s why.) Had to call my dad in to fix the other flat, because I had no idea that the spare was ratcheted up in the undercarriage. (He picked on me for not looking in the manual…)

                • The spare in my ’65 truck didn’t have one of those nifty winches. You were apparently supposed to have one or two hefty friends to straight-arm the wheel back up underneath while someone spun the big wingnut on.

                  For the next ten years, the spare rode in the back of the bed…

                • *snickers*

                  We had a priest I’ve mentioned– the MiniSamoan.

                  Six foot three, and only about three and a half foot across!

                  But if you saw him with the rest of the Samoan men… you realized why we called him the MiniSamoan. 😀

                • Yes. Dad’s are like that. Only thing daddy didn’t teach me was car mechanics … his answer for that “that’s grandpa”. Grandpa was a mechanic for Chevy Dealership. Dad didn’t do the car stuff. OTOH. Hunt, Fish, & Camp, yep.

                  • He also taught me how to use a chainsaw, which has actually been a useful skill even in suburbia. (And culminated in me spending one Sunday using a chainsaw on a pole while standing on my roof… good times, good times.)

              • Heh. Reminds me of the time the tailpipe dropped half off in one of my cars – I had some wire with me and was lying on the ground after having nearly fixed it back in place temporarily when two young men stopped to check if I was okay or needed help. Guys seemed a bit disappointed that I didn’t. The age difference between us was big enough that I could have been their mother, and I was dressed in old jeans and somewhat worn hoodie, but I’d guess it was perhaps the “that could be mom” when they saw an older fat woman lying one her side next to car parked on a bus stop while doing something underneath it which got to them. 😀

            • Yep. It’s not a handicap. It’s a HUGE advantage. Hence my looking at Elizabeth Moon like she was nuts.

            • The other problem is the shortage of classically raised Western men…this whole mess is a two-way street of poorly raised and untrained people running around blaming other people for their problems. Which sometimes has a grounding in reality, but more often is a way to avoid looking in the mirror and asking yourself some hard questions.

          • well, yes. if you’re a woman in power, you have to do the “dependents and family and little gifts thing” but that’s no big. That’s “forms of power.”
            I MEAN that women were discriminated against in law and economics. SURE men didn’t have it easy either. They HAD to support the family. Sure women shaped the kids, and terrorized the next generation at times. BUT —
            The civil, legal and financial power was not with them.
            Women who didn’t have stable families/decent husbands/etc were at risk.
            UNDERSTANDABLE. Guys had to know whose the kids were. BUT the truth remains.
            Note no woman alive was discriminated against in any heinous way, nothing that they might not have been discriminated against for other reasons.
            Yeah, sure, different forms of exerting power — btw was it Elizabeth Moon? She did something like that as a complaint in a panel, and I looked at her like she had two heads. Women can acquire great power that way. It’s something men can’t do. Anymore than women can do the shouty dominance. And woman power is stronger in that case — but that’s just because we’re ALL great apes, and some instinct counts.
            I was talking about discrimination BY LAW though.

            • Yes, it was – thought at the time she said it, it wasn’t said as a negative at all, just as, I had this problem, here is how I solved it, and it really worked well. I knew her early on in her writing career – like at Paksenarrion, and the beginning of the Hunting Party series, then, for various reasons, I didn’t see her much after the 90’s. She seems to have shifted quite a bit since then in her beliefs. She’s in Austin, that could explain a lot.

              I agree on the discrimination by law, as well.

              Plus, on women wanting Daddy Govt – my parents are silent generation – Dad from a well-to-do family, Mom from dirt poor (she never took any of her friends to her home after school). Dad described Mom’s neighborhood as a place where the men got drunk after work, then went home and beat up their wives, who had to try to pick what was left of the paycheck out of his pockets while he was sleeping it off so they could try to feed the kids for the week. I can see how any of these women would prefer a government paycheck that was hers outright, than to living in this situation. Work options are way better, though.

        • Oh, shoot, women didn’t get the right to vote in the US until, what, 1920 something. Women owning property is various and sundry back to the four daughters of that guy who went to Moses with their problem; i.e., I don’t know the answer to that one myself.

          • 1870, in Utah. Then again, in 1895. But…Mormons, which complicated matters.

          • From its first constitution written in 1776, women and non-whites in New Jersey had the right to vote, subject to the same property restrictions as white males. But in 1807 the vote was restricted to white males only as a result of party politics. The Democratic-Republicans wanted to restrict rights of non-whites generally, and feared women would tend to vote Federalist in the upcoming 1808 election.

            Wyoming Territory granted women the right to vote in 1869, and they retained that right upon statehood. Next came Utah in 1870, as Confutus mentioned, then Washington in 1883.

            • Taft refused to sign Arizona’s first attempt at Statehood, because it’s proposed Constitution was too liberal on things like women’s rights. So we rewrote the Constitution, Taft signed our statehood, then we amended our Constitution to put the stuff he didn’t like back in.

          • “More enlightened European country” Belgium only granted women the vote after WW II. There were women members of parliament before that, mostly for the Socialist party — who opposed extending the vote to women because “the poor dears would vote for the wrong party” 😉 😉

        • Legally subordinate? Yeah; effectively? LOL… It is to laugh. Maniacally.

          For as many family/social situations you can cite from personal knowledge or experience where the woman in a traditional society was abused and put through hell, I can probably point to an equal number where a woman ran everything, from behind the scenes. And, abused the hell out of her extra-legal privileges to do so, to boot.

          One thing I’ve learned in life, through personal observation and reading of history is this: What is on paper doesn’t always translate well into what really goes on. The women in most of the “traditional” societies I’ve observed and experienced had at least as much influence over what the hell went on around them, they just exercised it differently.

          This is the thing that flatly pisses me the hell off, with all this crap: You think my paternal grandfather wanted to literally work himself to death? No; he was on that damn construction site where he died, trying to support the family he inadvertently started with my grandmother, and to “keep her happy”. Such a beneficiary of the patriarchy was he…

          Who had the real power, in that whole situation, precisely? Her, or him? On paper, he had it… 1930s Colorado, which while it was ahead of the game in terms of a lot of things, it was still pretty much in line with the rest of America and the English-speaking world in that era. So, by today’s standards…? Patriarchy, in full force and flower. Yeah!

          In the reality of that time? She decided she casually wanted him in a dance hall one night, she cut him out of the herd, got him, and the rest flowed from there. Mostly her choice, her decision–Or, so the family story goes. He’s not around to tell his side of that courtship rite.

          His family never approved of that “do the right thing” marriage; after his death, she was ostracized and estranged from them, and they tried to take my dad from her for fairly good reasons; she really wasn’t wired that tightly, had no visible means of support, and… Well, let’s leave it at that: They had good reasons. Objectively, and knowing what followed? I fullheartedly agree with what they did.

          Yet, again, the question: Who had the real power…? Factually? She did; she kept my dad, and inflicted a childhood of unending chaos on him and his later half-brothers–My dad went to something like 13-14 schools in his childhood, all over the Western US. For a period, they were what would have been called “homeless” today, living on the streets of Denver. The chaos she brought into those kids lives through her choices, which she was fully “empowered” to make, were things that flowed unto the generations, I might point out.

          I reinforce: She got to make them. My grandfather, for all his supposed “power”, got no lasting influence on his kids or grandkids; my grandmother…? Oh, holy hell, did she get a say in what went on, for generations still to come. Or, not come–Mine looks to be the last, in this lineage, due to the collateral effects that still linger from the choices and decisions that she made.

          I repeat and reiterate: WHO HAD THE REAL POWER? Was it him, mouldering in the early grave he went to, well before his time, and entirely against his probable self-actuating desires? He was going to college, when they met; after, there was no money, and he had a pregnant woman to support. As well, there was a hearsay admission that she’d deliberately gotten herself pregnant to “catch him”, although I never knew if that was truth or just jealousy talking. Charitably, it was just two young people doing what young people do, bumping uglies in the night.

          There wasn’t really any “power equation” there; just two young people making poor decisions, colliding on a dance floor. That’s the reality of it; no fantasy patriarchy or matriarchy put them there, just poor decisions and circumstance.

          To go back to the original point I’m making, though, who had the real power-to-influence-events there? Was it the eeevul, awful man in the situation, with all the legal authority on his side that you cite as evidence, from that pre-WWII traditional society? LOL… Yeah; sure.

          Truth is, he was as trapped as she was, just in a different way. Slightly different form of trap, too, but still… Trapped.

          Similarly, I look back on the reality of the situation my step-father’s family knew in even more traditional “patriarchal” Eastern Europe. Again, coincidentally enough, my step-dad’s mother set her cap for an older man, claimed he got her pregnant (which was an apparent lie–No resultant child), and that left him stuck in what amounted to a lifetime of indentured servitude to her whims. At least, that was the way he saw things when he was in his seventies…

          Catholic, you see–No divorce possible. Every time he got a little bit ahead, she sold whatever it was out from under him. And, while I heard mostly his side of the story, which I’ll freely grant, the fact was, she wasn’t exactly the victimized passive party in any of that drama–Despite what the law said, or what “patriarchic tradition” of the rural Balkans dictated.

          Factually, even in the most supposedly misogynistic traditional societies I know of, the balance of power between men and women has always been pretty much that–A balance. Men got the public face of things, women got final say in private, and I suspect they wanted it that way for many reasons, not the least of which was that they could exert more influence behind the scenes, and appear lily-white and innocent in front of their peers.

          They were usually stuck in the community, having to work together with the other women on collective labors like the washing, so it was valuable to have a convenient scapegoat, when it came to things like collecting debts.

          Which was how it worked for my stepdad’s mother–She appointed herself the collection agent for her husband’s blacksmithing, going around and strongarming payment from other men (and women…), even for things he’d written off as charity. And, then not telling him about it, either… My step-grandfather had quite the reputation around the valley as a two-faced lying bastard, thanks to his “powerless” wife. The right and wrongs of those transactions? No idea; I just know his perspective on the dynamic that went on between them and their community. She may have been “right” to do what she did, in service of supporting the family–I honestly don’t know.

          Yeah, that’s village life in the patriarchy, up in the mountains of the Balkans. The men run everything… Or, so they’re led to believe. That’s what these papers in the courthouse say, anyway…

          Hell, even in Saudi Arabia, and most Arab societies I’ve observed personally, the complaints of women about being subordinate to men as a group are mostly bullshit, because who the hell is it that’s actually passing on those misogynistic values to their sons and daughters…? The women. Who enforces most of the mores and values of that society, and passes them on to the next generations…? The women.

          The men aren’t generally engaged in the raising of the children, until the teenage years, and then only for the males. In general, especially in the polygamous marriages, the men are mostly absentee fathers, distant and inaccessible.

          You watch an Arab family in Kuwait doing their shopping, as I have a couple of times, and the thing you notice first is the little boys running around like little wild men, while the little girls are damn near whipped into compliant submission by their mothers (or, governess… it was hard to tell, sometimes, what the relationships actually were).

          There’s power-in-name, and then there’s power-in-reality. Give me the second, and you can have the first–Which, I will submit, is the bargain most women have made, down the ages.

          What was the line supposedly used by the Jesuits, again…? “Give me a child until he is seven and I’ll show you the man”, wasn’t it? Who was it that mostly “had the child” until the age of seven, even back in the “old days” of the supposed patriarchy?

          Much of the problem we have with this “power” bullshit is that many women in general don’t recognize just how much they had (and still have), or the true nature of it, and that they envy the hell out of what they project men to possess. So, wanting both their cake and the eating of it, they’ve reached for what is really a non-existent bauble that’s actually out of reach for everyone…

          Thus, much of the unhappiness for all and sundry, plus dysfunction in society in general.

          I look back at the lives of my forefathers on both sides of my bloodline, as well as that of my stepfather’s, and I’m pretty sure that the collective answer you’d get from them on this issue would be “Power? You want it? Here you go… It’s done nothing to make me happy, and led to my misery or early death in all too many cases…”.

          ‘Cos, for them, you see, power included that nasty, nasty word “Responsibility”.

          The women would probably mostly think these modern women were idiots, and would continue enduring on the way they always did, doing their best to keep the family running and viable–Which, in the end, was their real legacy and source of “power” in society.

          That, my friends, is a true power, beside which much of the structure of formal law and tradition is meaningless.

          Which lasts longer, and whose legacy endures? In my generation, that would be the acts of my grandmother on my father’s side, whose power and choices still resound, dampening out the far wiser choices made by those on my maternal side. She had the power and ability to screw up multiple lives, used it unwisely, and nobody could stop her–‘Cos, see, she was a woman and a mother, thusly beyond criticism or real societal censure.

          Even when she really should have gotten it, for her own damn good, and that of her minor children. I don’t hate her for her choices, nor do I want to lay blame on her–But, I do want to make it bloody well clear that she wasn’t the powerless, passive victim of fate and circumstance that the many and varied apologists would have her be. She had the ability to make those choices, enforce them, and did so–So, she owns them, along with the follow-on ramifications and side-effects.

          My grandfather, he who had all that supposed “legalized traditional power” in these things… Yeah; right–That’s why he died in his twenties, crushed to death under a dump truck, trying to support a family he didn’t plan or intend to start. Societal expectations and the realities of life put both of them in that situation, and I refuse to accept the ridiculously bigoted idea that he was some asshole beneficiary of a fantasy “patriarchy”. I obviously never got to meet the man, but I do know he died trying to do the right thing, which is enough for me.

          “Power” between men and women. The whole idea is such specious bullshit that I want to vomit, because the entire argument is based on a childish and immature understanding of how the world actually works.

          The conflict here reminds me of the contratemps of childhood, where one kid is arguing they want to do the “clean” work of taking care of the farm animals, not wanting the “dirty” work like mucking out the stalls.

          There is no clean; there is no dirty–There is just what needs doing. The nature of the work has little to do with it, and to be jealous of the kid whose chore it is to haul the feed around is both immature and ridiculous. You do what you can do, and if you’re the bigger kid who can handle the pitchfork and wheelbarrow, well… Start forking, bitch; you lost out on the lottery of life. Work needs doing, animals need caring for. The littler kids can haul the feed around, and hold the bottles for the calves. Such is the nature of “privilege”. There ain’t no “cool jobs”, anywhere–There is just what needs doing. Get to it.

          And, that’s what we’re really arguing about, here–An immature dissatisfaction with the necessities and roles biology and a functioning society place on us. Many women envy men, their supposed “power” and “superior role” in society, and miss entirely the misery and degradation that the majority of men endure for those supposed “benefits”.

          This honestly wouldn’t piss me off so much, if I ever heard the usual suspects acknowledge that fact, and say they wanted to share the curses along with the blessings, but that’s never the case: They want the gravy, and nothing but.

          Remind me, again… Who in my immediate family lived into her seventies, got to meet her grandchildren, and who died crushed under a set of duallies in his early twenties…?

          Sure sounds like Grandfather got the “clean” job there, now don’t it?

          • There’s irony in that there rant.

          • Yes, most women were effectively subordinate due to lower body strength and no legal rights. Look at china and the Middle East where much of this remains.
            Sure, some women were tyrants. Some women climbed. BUT the vast mass of women was vulnerable to any reverse. Do you think Anne Boleyn was powerful? In the end?
            Pardon my language, but I have very little patience for people who only see one side of things.

          • Kirk, here’s the thing you’re missing: that worked out the way it did because your grandfather was a decent human being. If he hadn’t been, your grandmother would have been up a brown and smelly creek without a paddle.

          • If I had not once freed a friend’s braid from the mangle on a wringer washer I might have more sympathy to your argument.  Life has held all sorts of dangers for both genders.

        • And google the common law crime of “Petty Treason” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petty_treason (“High Treason”/hoogverraad was against the sovereign. I didn’t understand growing up what exactly the ‘hoog’ in ‘hoogverraad’ referred to.)

      • It’s “The pen is mightier than the sword.” thing, which is true… over time. But as the founder of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick noted, “The sword speaks louder at any given time.” which is also true.

        Mr. Big can get It (for whatever It might be) Right Now. But M(r)s. Big can set the long march… but it IS a long march.

      • Men had influence on the battlefield; women exerted it in the home and bedroom.

        Who was it instructing sons, “With your shield or on it“? Would such instruction have been as potent coming from fathers?

      • True…though Elanor of Aquataine was an outlier. She was Duchess of Aquataine in her own right.

        My point was that politically, women very rarely held official power. Vast influence, though.

      • “We don’t give a two shits and a damn about what shade of lip gloss she’s wearing or whether or not her jeans are the latest style.”

        Strange, but I’ve been reading studies that show that men really do give two shits and a damn about those things in a women. It’s just that they don’t rise to a conscious decision level so most of us are oblivious about them.

        • Yeah, you bring in two women, one with all the frosting, as it were, and one without, and I guarantee who the guys will be looking at (I’m not judging here, just pointing out reality). They don’t care about the details on how the sausage is made, but they care a lot about the overall effect.

        • I can’t speak for all men, but to me it’s the whole package, not any one specific detail, that does it.

          • You need bait if you’re going to catch any fish to take home. Sure, some folks know an ugly fish tastes good. But most are going to throw that carp back in and keep fishing for a trout.

            • I wasn’t speaking of ugly 🙂 More like: I’m not going to obsess over the specific lipstick or stockings or brand of shoes or whatever — the general impression and vibe are what count to me. Somebody who doesn’t care at all about her appearance is still a turn-off to me, as is somebody obsessively trying to signal membership in certain crowds (“Birkenstock Brigade”, slutty dress and big tattoos,…)
              Overweight? If the woman has an engaging personality and carries herself with aplomb, a few extra pounds actually just make her more huggable. If she frets constantly about her weight and is insecure, now THAT is a major turnoff.
              And… as I’m very auditive, the sound of her voice is a big factor for me 🙂

            • There’s a lot of carp bait in these waters though.

        • Makeup yes, but latest style I doubt. That would require a statistically-significant number of men to actually pay attention to women’s jeans styles. Whether her jeans fit her nicely, yes, most men are going to notice. Ditto if she’s picked a good shade of lip gloss that enhances, rather than detracting from, her natural beauty. But whether she’s wearing the latest style of jeans or a style from ten years ago, THAT part I doubt most men would notice. I doubt that even at a subconscious level, most men know enough about the trends in women’s fashion to pick out that particular detail.

          Mike: were those studies you read about fashion? Or about details like nicely-cut clothing and well-applied makeup? The latter, I could easily believe would matter even for men who claim they never notice makeup (because they’re not consciously aware that they notice it).

          • Aeh… Actually, guys do notice if you dress “weird” or “like somebody in an old music video.”

            I remember when my older brother was young, and was very wont to denounce fit, skinny women who were not dressing in recent style as being like unto “cows.” He was unable to describe why he thought that, but the commonalities were pretty clear.

            Men are big picture about fashion. It’s women who analyze the whys of attraction, and focus on tiny points. But the tiny points are supposed to join together to create the big picture, to which men are attracted.

            And why shouldn’t men be? If a woman cares enough to project the very best, isn’t she making a public statement that she is interested in attracting guys? Shouldn’t guys interested in being attracted reciprocate the interest? It’s a self-selection process.

            • Men and women process data differently …


              1. Do you notice anything different?
              2. Do you think this dress kinda makes me look … big.
              3. So, whatcha thinking?
              4. Honey, do you think that woman’s prettier than me?
              5. Honey, what’s wrong?

    • Women did fight in some ancient societies, outside of “desperation measures”. But not without a form of fighting suited to their weaker* physical stature (specifically horseback archery). And, according to much of what I have read, most of those societies didn’t allow women to continue in combat once they were married.

      (* Weaker in many ways directly related to hand-to-hand combat.)

      And, of course, even in those societies – which were an outlier in many ways – the warrior women were generally at one end of the bell curve.

      Then, of course, there were all the “specialty” groups, like female bodyguard groups, the possibly-not-mythical Amazons, etc. All outliers – or they wouldn’t receive the attention they received. And outliers for lots of good reasons.

      • Amazons WERE mythical. Turns out the grave finds they were basing “they existed, in the Russian steppes” on? Yeah, dna shows those were young males. Bah.

        • But how do we know that those individuals identified as males? You’re erasing all those transwomen from history through the tyranny of DNA! Clearly those Russia Amazons were a specialized force of nonbinary, gender nonconformist individuals, identifying as women and using their superior physical strength and understanding to outsmart enemy troops, making them one of the most highly decorated forces in Herstory! The reason for the rather modest burials was twofold, one, they were a super secret, near legendary force and to protect their reputation it would never be publicly acknowledged when one of them died, but also because, thanks to their gentle and super understanding feminine nature, they were also amazingly modest and insisted that their grave goods instead be given to the less fortunate in their society.

          Am I doing good think yet?

        • The DNA has gone both ways. There are men’s graves that were misunderstood as women’s, and women’s graves that were misunderstood as men’s. Lots of people of both sexes with weapons, lots of people of both sexes with “peaceful” grave goods.

          That’s not too surprising. Happens all the time with finds of crime victim bones.

          Steppe cultures had a lot of incentive for both sexes to be able to fight and hunt, and steppe cultures had crossbows and other high-tech stuff, as early as 2500 years ago. There’s textual and historical evidence of various tribes doing whatever worked, with whoever had the moxie to be in charge. It wasn’t anything like we’d think of as patriarchy or matriarchy. People were more concerned about keeping the fire and the sky and the herds happy.

  4. “THERE IS NO WAY TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION.”

    And what i more important, and needs to be emphasized, the Political Left, which makes the most noise about discrimination, has no intention of preventing it. Nothing their history asserts anything to the contrary.

    • They just want it as power.

      • There is no intent to PREVENT discrimination going on. Today we simply are changing who may be discriminated against with governmental force.

        Until the societal toxic stew can be negated balkanization can only continue until something snaps.

        • It is generally ignored over-looked that almost all of the serious discrimination which we now have laws to prohibit was originally government imposed discrimination. All those “no colored allowed” and separate drinking fountains type stuff were due to laws enacted by government so that those who wanted to discriminate wouldn’t have to bear the costs of that discrimination.

          It is one thing to have a sign at your factory entrance announcing “No Irish Needed” and quite another thing t have that sign when your competitor has a sign announcing “Now Hiring – All Eager Workers Accepted.”

          As a Supreme Court justice once noted, the solution to discrimination by race/sex is to not discriminate by race/sex.

          • Good point. Walter Williams has hit this hard over the years. All money is green, no businessman will turn away a paying customer unless the Government makes him.

            • One notable exception… you turn away green if having X as a customer would actually alienate a sufficient number of your other customers. There is a reason some restaurants used to require coat and tie from their patrons. Similarly, banning attire associated with a gang affiliation can help a night spot’s positioning in its’ market.

              In the discrimination context, this requires a significant economic group which believes in such discrimination and is willing to enforce their preferences by shopping elsewhere. The good news is I don’t think these preconditions are generally met anymore…

          • One of the interesting things I encountered doing some research was in railroad industry journals from the first decade of the 20th century. There were a bunch of articles about railroads attempting to lobby, or fight in courts afterwards, laws mandating segregated transportation. This was true even for many of the southern-based firms. Why? Ideology aside, the steam railroads didn’t want to have to maintain and haul extra coaches just so blacks and whites could have separate cars, and the street railroads didn’t like the way partitioning or back-of-the-streetcar requirements screwed up the flow of passengers entering, exiting, and paying.

        • > PREVENT discrimination

          When the ADA passed back in the early ’80s, segregated busing, segregated bathrooms, segregated hotel rooms, segregated water fountains, and segregated parking were suddenly a thing.

          I wondered what Rosa Parks thought of that…

    • Devil’s advocate: yes, it can be done.

      In Germany, when you apply for unemployment you are put on a waiting list for jobs in your field and area. When your name comes up the agency will send you an interview appointment. If you don’t show up, you have to show the agency a good reason why or they revoke your benefits. If you show up and the employer doesn’t offer you the job, HE has to show the agency a good reason or the agency can order him to hire you. If he offers you the job and you don’t take it, again you have to show the agency a good reason.

      Only after three such applicants have struck out is the employer allowed to hire someone of his own choosing.

      The result is that discrimination of any kind (or the existence of “unemployable” people) is impossible unless the agency colludes to allow it to happen. But of course there is also a certain amount of under-the-table employment (“schwarzarbeit”) and a much higher “structural” unemployment rate, because this system forces employers to accept staff with subtle flaws the agency doesn’t notice.

      I would love to hear stories from there about how this really works in practice.

      • It’s not impossible. It’s only more difficult. A skilled interviewer can always find a reason to reject an applicant. I know people who could make this happen. None of them is me, however.

        • Besides, your example only includes hiring. It doesn’t address how management treats its employees. If you are going to “prevent discrimination”, it has to be done EVERYWHERE, in all interactions between people. Just not possible. There will always be someone who can outplay the rules.

          • I wrote a short story once where, in order to prevent discrimination and harassment, a company banned all human-human interactions. Instead, every employee was assigned a robot. You could communicate with your own robot, then it would go through the HR system to find an appropriate way of communicating with the robot of the person you needed to talk to, who would then give the communication in a completely PC fashion.

            I don’t know if the story was any good, but it was damn cathartic after going through the stupid “anti-harassment” training program.

            • “Anti-Harassment” & Diversity training. Remember a card game. There were about 15 tables of 6 people each. Each table got a set of rules, then rules were taken away, and couple of rounds were played. Winners were moved two tables away. Start playing a round. Got my hands slapped – Once. Oh carp the rules are Different. What I ended up doing was paying attention to who either got their hands slapped more than once, or had the winning hands pushed toward them; not many, but some (mostly managers). Then too the ones who hadn’t moved didn’t know what was going on. At discussion time the instructor requested anyone who had moved to not say anything until asked. Everyone who didn’t move was asked what happened. Their answer was “of coarse the one they got ‘won’ because obviously they cheated before, but not the person that moved from their table.” When it was the mover’s turn, as a group chorused (okay shouted) “The Rules Were Different!” It was interesting to see who caught on faster than others. My attitude was “so, what else is new, hasn’t it always been that way?”, & I’m not that well traveled, not even within US (FWIW, never had a passport before required to go to Canada, still only have the ground card version). For others, not so much.

      • I think I’ve read about that; doesn’t the government (unemployment office) determine just what your field and area should be?

        The reason I remember this is that there was a kerfuffle over the unemployment office determining that a young lady was best qualified to be a whore mattress tester and she lost her benefits for having refused customers.

        • I heard about the case I think you are referring to. The lady was a bartender, and the authorities wanted to call that job “entertainer” and thus lump it together with whores, forcing her to justify refusing that job.

          I never did hear how it turned out. I’m sorry she lost, if she did.

        • Here we go, apparently it’s happened repeatedly, even after they made an official policy that they could not revoke benefits for refusing the job (note the line about women ‘feeling pressured’) and finally they started asking during the pre-interview if the folks looking for work are willing to work in “adult entertainment.”

          And they still tried to give a house cleaner a job at the bar in a nudist club/whorehouse.

          http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/outrage-after-job-center-suggests-brothel-job-for-young-woman-in-germany-a-882021.html

          • Keep in mind that in Germany such work is legal, although whether or not it is licensed is unknown to me. If you need 100+ hours training to be a hair-braider or nail polish applier technician it would seem logical to require extensive training for prostitutes.

            Insert joke about union whorehouse and the “girls” going by seniority.

      • I seem to remember it came up in the news a few years ago– because a lady was automatically assigned to an opening at a whore house, and she challenged the ruling that going “um, no, not selling my body” was not an acceptable excuse, and won.

  5. America in decline? I don’t think so. America the nation might be declining, Gulliver bound by the little people of laws and regulations and that which is not forbidden is mandatory, but America the idea just tossed a flippin’ car out past Mars. Great ideas, once loosed in this world, have lives of their own and are not easily restrained.

    Don’t Panic.

  6. It be all your fault! 🙂

    leaperman

  7. Much of the problem lies in how so many of us have acquiesced to the BS the Marxists and their fellow-travelers spout.

    We were discussing this in yesterday’s thread, and one of the things I was trying to point out was the manner in which a lot of our traditional institutions like the small-c church just rolled over and said “You ladies were/are right…”, instead of giving those harridans of the pulpits any sort of push-back, at all.

    See, here’s the thing: Much of what women enjoy doing, in life? Men hate that kind of crap, and we only go along (as a group… individuals differ) in large part because we want to maintain peace in the home and get laid occasionally. Fussy little ceremonials? Decorated whatsits, and long, droning sermons? Anathema to the male mind, ambrosia to a lot of women. So, when Aunt Sally decided to carry on her missionary work to the real world, and start breaking up saloons, calling for Prohibition…? Few of the males tried to push back, overtly. Why? Because they’d already ceded the ground over which the fight was to take place, that of the public commons.

    You see this same crap today–Where, oh where, are the public spaces for men? The fraternal clubs, the private spaces away from the nattering annoyances of the female world? The refuges, the bonding spaces for other men to join in fraternal amity and networking?

    They’re all dead, mostly, because the activist girls wouldn’t allow them to exist. And, we’re all the poorer for it, because instead of there being some internal controls on the Harvey Weinsteins of the male world, which those fraternal organizations used to somewhat serve as, they’re all gone. Time was, you pulled some shit like Weinstein was known for, and you’d be blackballed, pushed out of the lodge, and find your networking opportunities severely circumscribed. That was an ideal, but it did happen, and we’re all the poorer because those controls simply aren’t there.

    Similarly, the schools… Oh, dear God, don’t get me started on the schools. Everything in the primary grades is geared towards the mindset and preferences of little girls, all the fussy little workbooks and darling little problem stories. You see nowhere that they gear things towards the boys, who would do far better not being chained to their desks and doing fussy abstract works. You want to engage the boys, you really need to keep them on their feet, doing things in the physical world, engaged in struggle with reality. Math classes for boys ought to really be done in a format where they’re out on the ground, using the tools of math to actually, y’know, do things. But, since the schools have long since been taken over by the feminine, we simply can’t have that, and we’ve taken to drugging the boys into quiescence, in order to make the jobs easier for the teachers. Who are, coincidentally, mostly female.

    All of this has come about with no push-back from the men’s side of the cultural equation, because the majority of the men have simply abdicated responsibility or care to the women, who have demanded and gotten moral primacy in these arguments through… What, exactly? Why have we allowed this, why do all of us countenance the insanity?

    Because, it’s not just the boys that suffer from these problems we’ve created for the men. It’s the women, as well, who suddenly discover in later life that they can’t be all that they want to be without decent partners, and that, oh, “Woe is me, woe…”, all the suitable men for them? They trampled those into the dust on their way into the promised land of false “gender equity” that put them “on top”, with the taste of ashes in their mouths.

    And, all the while, the real villains of the situation are off on the sidelines, quietly garnering more power in the chaos, using Marx and Gramsci as their tutors, seeking ever more power from ever more illicit justifications.

    • Anathema to the male mind
      For some measure of men, yes. Plenty of men appreciate the ceremonial.

      • I was trying to figure out if in Kirk’s universe the Catholic church was founded by females. Then I decided not to touch.

        • Nyah – Kirk’s military. They despise ceremonial stuff.

        • Ah, but the Catholic Church developed its liturgy in an age when there were few books, fewer people who could read them. And they were competing with pagan faiths that had a lot of complex ceremonial.

          • If you declare the Pagan faiths were all run by gals worshiping the mother-goddess, please tell us which state so we can avoid the carp.

          • and pagan faiths were mostly female? Please. Marina Gimbutas is an idiot, and I’m feeling testy. Men and women like ritual and ceremonials. And Kirk lives in a parallel world.

            • People like pageantry.

              It’s a sign that everybody is feeling safe enough to go out in public and move slowly. It intersects with stories, dances, religion, and play.

              • This must be one of the reasons I don’t fit in the normal world. I HATE pageantry.

                • *waggles hand*
                  Half the time, I’m with you.

                  Had a realization a few years ago– part of that is because it wasn’t MY kind of thing.

                  I don’t hate silly little decorations, I just don’t share the same taste in silly little decorations as, say, my mother in law; she goes in for the hideously huge clunky stone necklaces, and rather expensive easily snagged lacy stuff, while I like things like a simple, sturdy white-gold chain with a filigree heart that 90% of people will never see, and black velveteen on dark gray cotton in the pattern of vines and blossoms.
                  (Or really bright, tie-dyed Hawaiian shirts– both are oddly practical forms of “pretty,” in that one you hardly even notice it’s there consciously and it can’t be damaged, and the other you could have a kid that just ate half the frozen treats in the fridge get sick on you and you wouldn’t NOTICE the stains.)

                  • /sigh
                    /b after really.

                  • OK, I think we have different understandings of the term, though I’m too lazy to go look it up right now.

                    I think of pageantry as processes to be followed, that don’t have any obvious purpose, not just a dressing-up in attire one would not wear every day. I’m not averse to dressing up to attend some function or other, up to an including wearing a Tux for a wedding.

                    • To go further with the wedding analogy, I didn’t have a problem being the groom, but (even if I were female), I would hate to be in the bride‘s spot.

                    • *grin* Generally, if someone’s calling it pageantry, it’s not to their taste; technically it just means elaborate display or ceremony– say, like fireworks.

                      Clothes and jewelry were just the best example I could think of for something that doesn’t really have a point besides “it’s pretty” or “it’s neat,” and that’s annoying if it’s not fun to you, but you can grasp the point if it’s either neutral or fun to you.

                      I guess the whole “light candles on a cake and sing happy birthday” thing would work, too, but that’s a little too “well, of course, that’s just what you DO” for a good example.

                      (Three words to strike terror in my heart: Dress. Shoe. Shopping. *shiver* Expensive torture.)

                    • “Three words to strike terror in my heart: Dress. Shoe. Shopping. *shiver* Expensive torture”

                      Amen. I own 4 pairs of shoes. Two pairs are hiking boots.

                    • I own, in shoe arena
                      1. one pair of loafers
                      2. one pair of slippers
                      3. one pair of sandals
                      4. one pair of winter boots.

                    • I have two pairs of tennis shoes (one suited to “I need to walk through a field that is 90% cow poop, and I need to be able to sprint” type uses), a supposed pair of “combat boots” that I bought ($9, walmart–the polish for them doubled the price) because they will work as dressy shoes I don’t need nylons with and I can use them for cos-play, a pair of “ballet style” flats for when I will be wearing nylons or face death, and my Navy dress shoes. Not really sure WHY I kept the dress shoes, but they make a pair of slacks look “dressy” so oh well?

                    • My shoe count is inflated by having discovered a loafer and a boot I really like shortly after their discontinuation, and haunting eBay for spares.

                      …Also by attempts at dress shoes that I wore a few times and then found something less uncomfortable, etc. I should…. probably clear some of those out.

                    • Goodwill is nice for that.

                    • I discovered ball room dancing… my search for comfee dancing shoes, and my need to keep ‘work shoes’ at the office for work appearance has inflated my shoe count.

                • Meh. I don’t hate pageantry. I just eschew any personal involvement with it.

                • Yes. & I grew up with Eastern Star & Masonic Lodge (okay latter didn’t “see” much of), then Jobs Daughters. Bailed, politely, as soon as I could get away with it (disappointed grandma & mom something awful, but we were too busy don’t ya know). I think what finally did me in when my “make up” which FYI, I did not wear, was not perfect (hey it wasn’t running, I wasn’t wearing any). I got told I should wear (whatever) & just touch it up when I got there. Uhhh, this was when I was still working in the woods wearing boots with thick soles & heavy duty rain gear (not like we were walking trails) in the pouring down rain, from that to Formals, etc. Uhhh, no. Just no.

      • Plenty of men appreciate the ceremonial.


        I don’t recall there being any women’s equivalent of lodges.

        • Ah, we have them here in Boonieville … there are clubs affiliated with the Agricultural Extension Service (colloquially called homemakers clubs), every livin’ church, Tri Kappa and a literary society honoring the local poet for the local elites, Eastern Star, not to mention the womens’ affiliates of the Eagles, etc. Some of them file reports in the local newspaper, including attendance, the song of the month, the thought of the month, the educational presentation given, etc. Serious business for these ladies.

        • Actually, in the French Masonic tradition there are. Look up the WP pages of Le Droit Humain (est. 1890 or so, mixed-gender) and the Grande Loge Féminine (all-female).

        • Then you were never active in and/or aware of the Junior League, many PTAs, the Woman’s Temprance Union, League of Woman Voters, YWCA, Woman’s Club, National Organization for women, etc

          • I suspect you do not have an accurate understanding of what such men’s lodges as those depicted on The Honeymooners were. The organizations you cite (I note you omitted the B’nai B’rith) operated far more like the Jaycees and far less like the social lodges, with elaborate costuming and rituals..

            • You are underestimating the degree of ritual and dress up which used to be associated with a Junior League tea…. Let’s just say a number of folks broke out high end cocktail/tea dresses and pearls in the high end areas.

              • The Junior League tea still depended on clothing people might ordinarily own, and might wear in other circumstances such as a cocktail party or a symphony concert. Lodges generally required costumes which could not ordinarily be worn outside the environment of a lodge gathering.

            • Example:
              The Knights of Columbus have freaking swords and funky hats, and capes.

              The Lady’s Auxiliary wears their Sunday clothes.

      • Fair is fair…there has been a decided move away from ceremonial in the last century.

        • As women became more powerful?
          Bah.

        • That’s the aesthetic of “We’re too good for ceremonials and dressing up. Also, that would require us to learn how to do it, and not to just do whatever we feeeeeel like.”

          Some people don’t want to bother; but the aesthetic was seized upon by control freaks as a way to constantly get attention. That’s why SJWs can always make an off-topic speech, for example.

          So yeah, if you were an SJW Sixties/Seventies Catholic priest with control issues, you attacked ceremonial in every place you could, and replaced it with the Ceremonial Of Me. Ditch the Gospel and read My Favorite Secular Song Lyrics! Look at Me!

          Now, it’s true that women have caught up with this. But it was an SJW guy thing first.

      • I FINALLY remembered the story I was trying to think of– Chesterton’s short mystery, “The Twelve True Fishermen”.

        Totally freaking soaked in ceremonials.

    • A couple of comments:

      “Where, oh where, are the public spaces for men?”

      You’ve got a point here. Harvard is getting rid of all single-sex associations, and not just school sanctioned ones: any student who’s part of a single-sex organization is no longer eligible for a leadership position in any official club. However, while this sanction applies to men-only clubs immediately, women-only clubs can remain “gender focused” for a while until they’re phased out.

      I’m looking forward to the inevitable Title IX lawsuit, because I see no way this can be defended under that law.

      “You see nowhere that they gear things towards the boys, who would do far better not being chained to their desks and doing fussy abstract works.”

      You don’t really have a point here. Math isn’t abstract because the girls like it that way, math is abstract because that’s the nature of math. Actually, I’ve heard the feminist groups make this same complaint: girls don’t do well with abstract problems and thus teaching math descriminates against them.

      I think very few minds, whether male or female, can handle abstraction very well (though if I had to guess, I suspect there are more boys than girls that can). I’m too biased on the question of what should be done about this, though, because I’m one of those who DOES do well with abstraction: if you took away my lesson deriving trig identities and instead gave me a practical where I had to use them to measure the height of the school tower, I’d throw a fit.

      • Math isn’t abstract because the girls like it that way, math is abstract because that’s the nature of math.

        Yeah. BASIC math, and some of the early parts of algebra could benefit some people by going out and seeing it in the real world, but once your problem involves more than four or five steps, it’s hard to imagine hands-on being very useful.

        I mean, sure, in a few weeks here, I’m planning to take four yardsticks, a plumb bob, and a carpenter’s square and level and go measure one of the trees in my back yard, but at the end of the tedious process of setting up and taking measurements, I still have to write down numbers and go work out the formulas. Does doing it yourself give you a feeling of accomplishment? Maybe, but if you need that kind of feedback to learn math, you might become a surveyor, but you’re not likely to become and engineer.

        • This makes me think of an episode of The Simpsons – ‘Girls Just Want to Have Sums’. 

          Is the number 7 odd, or just different? Really!!!

          Lisa has it right, ‘Confidence building can’t replace real learning.’

    • Side note on the long, droning sermons–not really. If you look at what people are complaining about with the “feminization” of the church, it’s a de-emphasis on sermons and an increase in singing–and it’s not old-school hymns, but contemporary 7-11 songs half the time.
      Most guys would much rather talk about doctrine than how they feel about Jesus.

      • Bingo. The churches I’ve been to that are the most traditional in gender roles (no women in leadership positions, that sort of thing) also tend to have sermons with the theme “I’m going to pick a book of the Bible, and for the next N weeks, we’re going to go through it one chapter at a time and I’ll explain each chapter in great detail.” So going to church is practically like attending a theology class at your local seminary. And remember, these are churches with rules about how all the leadership positions should be filled with men. That particular bit — long sermons that some people would find boring (though not me; I love that kind of sermon and wish more preachers did that) — is not a feminine attribute.

      • *shuddeR* Oh, gads, the feeeeeeeeelz are all, so long as you agree with the most emotionally abusive person in the room. If you have more sympathy for the girl he slaughtered than the thug she’s ministering to, you’re Evil and Judgmental and such.

        (As my English teacher put it– Earth Mothers of both sexes.)

      • And they’d rather sing songs like “Onward Christian Soldiers” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

        • Or “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” or “It is Well with My Soul” or…really, anything that isn’t another “Jesus is my boyfriend” song.

          • My sister in law does church music. She HATES Boyfriend Jesus songs (and when she pointed out which ones they were, they turned out to be the ones I tend to hate though more for the ‘droning repetition’.) They have rather taken over. Makes part of me want to write church music. (There is a strong, probably hereditary, streak of ‘It is broken, I am here; therefore, I must fix it.’ In my family.)

      • Some of us women would rather about it, too.

    • Your rant about the schools is something I’ve been ranting about for a decade. Public school seems to be organized specifically to hamper boys. Grades on how nicely you work with others (NOT a strength for boys, especially smart ones), art work projects graded as importantly as the logic and problems, doing busy work neatly. And the explosion of ADHD meds because of it. When I went to medical school (30 years ago), ADHD was 1-3% of kids. Now, it’s not unusual to have 20% of the boys on meds. Biology changing? I don’t think so.

      • This is true, but if you see Blake’s post at MGC last Wednesday you’ll know why. It’s not male-female. It’s aiming for the middle. And most women gather in the middle.
        It would have, btw, driven me nuts as all the pretty-pretty projects made me want to strangle someone, and group projects consisted of me saying “Shut up and take the A. I’ll do the project.”

      • In fairness, what we now know about post-natal neural development suggests that ADHD could be an induced condition — a possibility which makes Sesame Street‘s rapid-fire image use a possible threat to children’s mental development.

        I look forward to the class action suit charging Children’s Television Workshop with damaging young minds and suppressing research into the effects of its short-attention span theatre.

        • Remember how half the country got the vapors when Romney had the temerity to suggest that Children’s Television Workshop probably didn’t need government support?

    • my high school algebra II teacher couldn’t tell me exactly what quadratic equations were *for*… even though most of that year consisted of doing quadratics over and over and over and over and over and over….

  8. My late wife must have been doubly oppressed. She was not only a redhead, but also left-handed!

    • Mine, too! Vertically and gravitationally deprived (5’1 1/2, 90 lbs), too. So easy it was to oppress her!

      (Got some nice beachfront in central Florida, for those who got indignant at the above…)

    • Mine too. Though statistically redheads are more likely to be lefties.

      • Please clarify! Do you mean redheads are more likely to be sinister or socialist?

        • He could have embraced the power of “and” and be implying that redheads are more likely to be sinister socialists. 😉

        • Shortly after we moved into center city Philadelphia Daddy was being investigated by the FBI for a clearance so he could handle a particular case.  The neighbor was overheard explaining his suspicions to an agent, ‘They have only one child — and he’s a red head, you know.’

  9. > redhead

    That’s an interesting example, because two things we learned when the sequenced Neanderthal DNA was that (at least the handful they’ve done so far) Homo Neanderthalensis had red hair and a severe melanin deficiency.

    For extra amusement, plot the geographical incidence of red hair vs. the Industrial Revolution…

    • Hey now, I resemble that statement! (Loved the lecture at my last physical: stay out of the sun and you need more Vitamin D. My thought: Pick one!)

    • And then there’s the 10k-old UK Homo Sapiens sequence they just ran that yielded blue eyes and dark-to-black skin.

      • Blue eyes are a genetic defect. One of the “normal” color genes is fragile, and when it breaks you wind up with mutant blue eyes, which are recessive, but can show up in offspring much later. But blye eyes can also crop up spontaneously, which is why you can find small numbers of them all over the world. Not from Aryan invaders in ancient times, but more akin to a club foot or cleft palate.

        Prettier, though.

        • Um… which SET of blue eyes? There’s, last I checked something like three unrelated combinations of genes that result in blue eyes. At least one is dominant, not recessive.

        • Don’t remember where I saw it, but as I understand it, Red hair is a mutation that occurs in approximately 1 in 240,000 children who have no family history.

          • I was born with reddish brown hair. Even now, it’s more a brownish black, than the typical blue black that most Asians have, but for a while I had lovely auburn hair in my teens (with naturally sun-bleached highlights of gold. Was fun.)

            • I was blonde when very young, though now, what little is there if I grow it out, is grey but was brown most of my life.
              You know how some dark haired folk (especially hispanics and blacks) bleach the hair and it goes an orangey thing?
              Was in line at the grocery once, and the cashier, who I had seen many many times over the years I went there but who had been missing for a few months, had somewhat splotchy orange in her hair like that, a sorta tortoise shell cat look. The lady in front of me, also a regular, was giving her “advice” about how girls like her shouldn’t try to bleach their hair, and she should just be happy with her normal “black”.
              The cashier looked up at her, looked to grind her teeth, and replied “Unfortunately for me, this is my normal coloration, I dye it dark brown to hide this pattern, but I was visiting my sick grandmother in El Salvador and have not touched my hair since before leaving.”
              She apologized and left without saying anything else.
              Once she left, the girl looked at me and said “I dye it just to shut up old bats like that.”

              • That’s when you deploy the purple.

                • bad dye jobs are quite common up here. Seen some very sad attempts at “cutting edge” and the older the people, the worse the attempts

                  • my mom, who had walnut-brown hair as a young woman is dying her hair progressively darker as she gets older. Now it looks like an improbable wig.
                    I think I’ve tweaked to part of the reason. After menopause, my hair started absorbing dye like crazy. When this job fades out, I’m buying blond dye. This is supposed to be light brown but looks asphalt.

                    • Benefit of being bald. I don’t worry about that.
                      Mom is bald as well, but her wigs are all grey hair interspersed. Middle sis is bald as me and also waers wigs.
                      My poor Bro-in-law. Married a shapely woman with long hair and now has a chubby bald human for a spouse.
                      Isn’t that s’posed to work the other way? (~_^)

              • Once I and three other co-workers ganged up on a Korean co-worker to assure him we had ALL been blond when children.

                I don’t think he believed u.

            • Thor Heyerdahl did a lot of archeological and anthropological work in Polynesia, and noted several times that they kept encountering islanders with red hair.

              At the time (1950s, mostly) they simply attributed it to Europeans in the woodpile.

              The Easter Islanders went through considerable trouble to cap some of the moai with red stone. We don’t know if it was intended to be hair or a hat.

              On a speck of land two thousand miles from the nearest continent, the moai face out to sea. Behind them is a five-mile-long ribbon of concrete; when NASA extended an existing runway as an emergency landing strip for the Space Shuttle.

          • Red hair is basically a matter of having a lot of latent genes hook up with each other. Everybody has red in their hair in various proportions; but what’s unusual is to have the black and yellow and brown hairs not show up.

            This is also why redheads go white so early; the brown and black and yellow colorings last longer, so if you don’t have them….

            If no coloring genes are present at all, you are albino.

            • I’d heard it the other way, that redheads keep their color longer. Can’t give empirical evidence since my redheaded aunt and uncle did not live near enough to see them before I was an adult and they are considerably older than my mom. (Also, I started graying in my mid-20s, and I do not have red hair.)

              • I’ll have to ask my sister, because I don’t remember when she started going gray, but I do remember that my mom was coloring her hair since before I was old enough to remember (which would have been when she was about 44).

              • Oh good. Not just me. Rate I’m going I’ll be shaving head by 35.

              • I started going silver stripes at age 13, but I earned them. Now, it looks as if I have year-round sun-streaks. If I wear my hair down they are more noticeable.

              • I didn’t ever heard earlier or later for going white, the thing my family focused on was whoof is that white– one of the things mom taught us to look at for identifying families is that the guy with the really gorgeously white full head of white hair that isn’t very, very elderly was probably a red-head.

                Hm, maybe that is the thing– my mom is salt’n’pepper from being mahogany brown, and probably won’t be actually white until she’s 70 or older. Her hair was still definitely not the original color at 50 or so.

                Maybe the dividing thing is on what you consider still having their original color? As TXRead points out, she just looks sun-streaked, rather than the getting gray hairs I’ve got.

                • Spousal side of family’s paternal line is Scots-Irish redheads who go beautifully white after they hit sixty or so (remember: 55 Is The Law!) and then gradually fade ouot, the way Bilbo is described as doing.

              • From family experience my family (Heavy scotts/Irish genetics) the red goes white first. Which is why I went from a classic Titian to a darkening auburn with white strands. The redder stuff is going white first (Not even 40 yet, *sigh*) and my hair is getting strange. Dad’s beard had red in it and the red went white before the brown. Not sure if other sources of red might respond differently but there’s a couple of data points.

      • Obviously he hadn’t had his line desegregated yet.

  10. I didn’t see anything wrong with his post . . . but then, I’m a guy. 😛
    Say! Don’t point that carp-a-pault at me. I already bought the cats their food.

  11. “There is also, alas, social style. My career has suffered from a very female issue: I’m less assertive than my male colleagues. I know I am, but it’s such a back-brain thing, it’s hard to overcome.”

    Yes. ^^ This ^^

    • Three recent items from NY Post’s Page Six illuminate this:

      Alicia Vikander: Julianne Moore defended me on set
      Alicia Vikander is singing Julianne Moore‘s praises for coming to her defense after an unnamed man made an inappropriate joke on the set of 2014’s “Seventh Son.”

      “I was really embarrassed, and I would have just laughed it off,” Vikander, 29, told Vogue. “But Julianne [Moore] turned to him and said, ‘If you ever do that again, I’m walking out of here and I’m not coming back.’”

      The event led Vikander to realize that women can speak up when they’re made to feel uncomfortable.

      “She was just, like, ‘Don’t you f—ing say that again.’ It showed me that she had the power. And that meant so much to me,” Vikander said. …

      pagesix.com/2018/02/08/alicia-vikander-julianne-moore-defended-me-on-set/

      Women can speak up????

      Claire Danes reveals the advice Jodie Foster gave her
      Jodie Foster helped Claire Danes navigate Hollywood’s dark side.

      “[Jodie] said, ‘You gotta ask for more money, ’cause there is more money,’ ” the actress, 38, said on Monday’s episode of “The View.”

      “ ‘They’re not going to generously offer it to you, you have to make that demand and be explicit about it,’ ” she added. “I was very, very lucky to have amazing mentors and guides and people who were able to be very candid with me.”

      [pagesix]com/2018/02/06/claire-danes-reveals-the-advice-jodie-foster-gave-her/

      Ask for it??? ASK for it? Shouldn’t they just … know you want it and offer it up?

      Ellen Pompeo: Women need to point the finger at themselves
      Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid actress on a TV drama in January, signing a two-year extension with “Grey’s Anatomy” for a whopping $575,000 per episode.

      Pompeo revealed her $20 million payday to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, but now tells Jimmy Kimmel she came forward about her big salary to teach other women a lesson.

      “As women, you know, it’s not only about what’s done to us or what’s not given to us. It’s what don’t we ask for,” the 48-year-old told Kimmel. “… I think that as much as we can point the finger at other people and [say], ‘You don’t give us or you don’t treat us fairly,’ we also have to point the finger at ourselves and say, ‘Did we ask? Did we step up and have the, uh, gumption, to ask for what a man would?’

      “We have to own part of it. And sometimes we’re too shy; we’re too afraid to be seen as difficult to really speak our mind.”

      She said that, right now, “People are blaming people. There’s a lot of finger-pointing, but there’s less people owning up to their side of things.”

      [pagesix]com/2018/02/09/ellen-pompeo-women-need-to-point-the-finger-at-themselves/

      Okay, that’s just crazy talk.

      • > ’ It showed me that she had the power. And
        > that meant so much to me,” Vikander said. …

        Because she was raised in a box with no access to media, and didn’t know about grrrrl power, #meetoo, or #smashthepatriarchy?

        Forgive me if my skepticism overflows here.

        • It’s Hollywood.
          Here’s the deal: everything that Hollywood says about pay gaps, raging misogyny, and rampant sexual harassment? It’s more true there than anywhere else in the First World.

      • As with everything else in life, it depends. Part of successfully standing up to demand respect and higher pay involves a ruthless and accurate assessment of just how easily replaceable you are — and the unfortunate fact is that when it comes to basic supply-demand equations, young pretty actresses are in a lot higher supply than demand, especially at the entry level. (Or the producers go out of their way to make the actresses and their agents think they are, anyway, especially if they haven’t yet struck gold with a successful recurring franchise.)

        Though I have a low opinion of unions in general, the Moore/Vikander example above shows how it might actually be a very useful approach to take. It’s a lot harder to replace multiple parts than a single one, especially if the A-list senior talent is prepared to walk off the set along with the C-list newbies.

      • Meanwhile, over at Google and Facebook, the latest editions of the employee handbook reveal that if a guy asks one of his female co-workers out on a date, she gives him an answer that’s pretty much anything other than yes (such as, “I’m busy that night”), and he asks her again later, then it’s sexual harassment.

  12. Byzantine_Corporal

    Sursum corda, youngerson!

    After 40 years or so, the deep-toned antiphonal chants of the monastery become quite comforting. That this coincides with the end of T-driven vim is simply coincidental.

    For every x belonging to S
    There exists y belonging to T
    Such that for all f belonging to U
    {eps such that f(x, y, eps) == 0} is compact.

    Amin

  13. Sarah, you forgot that red-heads are more likely to be vampires. In some parts of the Balkans, it was assumed that anyone born a redhead would become a vampire after death, and so the corpses were staked even if the individual had been the model of good behavior and Christian devotion while alive. Because everyone knew… The Church did not approve, as you can imagine.

  14. *kicks proxy hard*
    Now I have to re-do the stupid comment…………….
    (Yeah, yeah, I know, back-up the comment before hitting Post.)

    There is no reason that women would be … more interested in using the government as a sort of super-daddy.
    I disagree with this. Women, in general (whether through evolution or designed-in or the Curse of the Fall), are looking for a protector and a provider. So, when they look at gov’t, they see it functioning in those roles as a matter of course. They have kids to raise.

    Now, I might be reading that differently than you intended. But, women’s and men’s views of gov’t tend to differ based on those hard-wired gender points-of-view.

    In a better society – one where men are manly and appropriate gender assumptions are held – women might not feel the need to push gov’t into actually doing those things because the needs are being met much closer to them – by family, friends, and potential family. But, the basic tendency will still be there. IMO

    • (And I just cursed out the proxy server – before hitting the mute on the telcon I’m dialed into. Maybe they didn’t recognize my voice.)

    • Um…. not true. Because women can also identify government with “interfering mother in law” for lack of a better term. BUT if they think that everyone is out to get them, they’ll clutch at government.

      • women can also identify government with ‘interfering mother in law’ for lack of a better term.

        Dang. I wanted to be the one to tell him!

        And please note that polls clearly reveal that a woman’s marital status closely tracks her partisan voting: single women want more government, married women are more likely to have their fill.

        Married women are also more likely to have children and to have “negotiated” with medical care providers, school administrators and other fingers of the government’s claw.

        • The question is whether it is the chicken or egg though. Does the increase in desire for government drive people to effectively marry the state or does the effective marriage to the state mean that you need to expand the state just as a “good wife” would support husband’s career.

          The presence of the government hammock means that you can be a single parent by your own choice and have no significant consequences. In addition we have been lionizing them as long as I’ve been alive whether you were a widow, sperm donor left or you divorced him or just never married in first place. So instead of being looked on as in error with deliberate childbirth out of wedlock you’re a great person. And because of many reasons we now have few chances to allow mentoring by the same sex parent. Thus the child runs risk of being unsure of what expected or to expect. For a significant minority it seems they are in a state of extended adolescence until they latch onto something, often government as mommy and daddy.

      • *nod*

        Women tend to look close for support– it’s only when love, family, friends, network and outer network have been disqualified that they’re going to start recruiting a mechanism.

        See also, why so much of the social arguments are built on cherry-picking (or flat making up) examples of how the existing system failed, rather than arguing that the different system is better.

  15. … find their way blindfolded through the Minotaur’s labyrinth,

    Blindfolded? Alright, maybe not a model or such, but not that bad looking, I should hope.

  16. And to make the world ever so slightly more surreal… how can we start a couple hashtags trending?
    #AllToasters
    #NotAllToasters

  17. But the differences that my young friend pointed out are culturally coded. There is no reason that women would be more averse to exploration, less interested in space, or more interested in using the government as a sort of super-daddy.

    Possibly situationally triggered, too/or.

    People who feel unsafe are less likely to take risks, and more likely to look for protection– and breaking down the culture has done a lot to make damned sure that both men and women don’t have anywhere to turn but the gov’t. That is not going to make most folks feel secure enough to go exploring.

    • Maybe. Or maybe more inclined. As in “what have we got to loose?” Or “i’m going to make my fortune, like the gold fields of ole California & Alaska!” FWIW, they didn’t pay attention to history, you know the one where the ones that made their fortune on those “gold” fields weren’t those panning or digging for gold.

    • The Pill works by inducing false pregnancy in women. Pregnant women are repulsed by risk. For instance, many women report that their husband’s smell has become repugnant to them; that’s their system recognizing he’s not closely related to them, and so strange. (The smell is actually attractive before she became pregnant/went on the Pill.)

      Maybe a factor.

  18. Redheads: My first love was a redhead, and my wife is.

  19. A lot of laws would have to change.
    Number 1 is the law that the man is responsible for his wife’s kids no matter what. If they aren’t his and he divorces her he should not be required to support them, the bio father should.

    Next something has to be done about The mother having 100% of the say on having the kid or not and the father has no say and then has support payments for 18 years. I know, I KNOW he should of thought of that before BUT SO SHOULD SHE AND TOLD HIM! This is just WRONG.

    • Presumed parentage goes by state. And it protects the rights of *everyone* involved– and it can be challenged if the father thinks they’re not his.

      Also, custody is not automatic. Know way too many women who got “joint custody” and it took years of fighting to be able to take the kid in for required medical without dad’s permission– but the dad could haul him in and make a follow-up appointment on the mother’s custody days, and she was on the hook.

      In one case, that father is now telling everyone who will listen that the mother “neglected” the boy’s surgeries to correct club foot, even though there’s still court records showing where he had to be forced to allow her to take him in for the surgeries. On her own dime.

      You’ll have a lot more effect if you argue using facts.

      • Had a case described to me by a lawyer back in … 2010? (He wanted my take on it)

        Couple – the guy being an American citizen, but of Filipino descent, marries a Filipina and gets her a green card; her job as a nurse has her as the higher income, so he’s househusband. They have two kids, and along the way, she cheats on him.

        The courts rule in his favour – he gets the house, custody, alimony, as if he’d been the woman. The lawyer was surprised. Admittedly I was too, but I figure that the fact the guy in the equation was an American citizen versus the green card holder was a big tipping point. Still, I’m actually surprised that he got the everything as if he’d been the wife.

        • Alimony is supposed to correct for who blighted their career for the kids, so that makes sense.

          There are some really HORRIBLE people out there, and they tend to be put forward as normal.

          • As the saying goes, “Hard cases make bad law.”

            Horrible people make hard cases.

          • This same logic would imply we have to let the “rape culture” liars abolish due process for men, because only a few horrible women would abuse such power.

            Bah! The rational way to judge a rule (real or proposed) is by the incentives it creates. Give women the unlimited ability to enrich themselves at an innocent guy’s expense and the number of women willing to do it will increase dramatically. This is why the MGTOW movement is growing.

            • This same logic would imply we have to let the “rape culture” liars abolish due process for men, because only a few horrible women would abuse such power.

              ….How?

              Seriously, lay out your thinking on that, because it doesn’t look like it follows at all.

              You marry someone, you’re combining futures. If one works inside of the house, and the other gets a paycheck, then why on earth would that not get the exact same protection that people in a business that dissolves get?

              • The extreme case is one I actually saw, and knew the participants. Guy marries hot lady. They are together less than two years (no kids). Once eligible for alimony she takes off for another state, with most of his property too. In hindsight it was clear she planned it from the beginning. He was ruined financially and so depressed he engaged in risky activities that killed him.

                I have no problem with alimony if it amounts to a pension plan for the work involved in raising children. But it should take at least 7-10 years to vest, or at least to become an amount to live on, just as pension plans at outside jobs usually do if you have them at all.

                • Again, can you explain your logic?

                  “I know of a case where someone plotted and preyed on a guy” is not justifying your claim that the logic of alimony means due process shouldn’t exist in campus rape accusations.

    • the man is responsible for his wife’s kids no matter what. If they aren’t his and he divorces her he should not be required to support them, the bio father should.

      At the very least he should have legal right to sue for reimbursement from bio father. Might have right to sue mother once the child is grown. The child ought not be targeted as the child is also an injured party.

      Exceptions in cases of abuse might merely motivate alienated wives to conjure up complaints and evidence.

    • I understand the thinking here, but I’d like to argue for the best interests of the child. It’s NOT HIS FAULT! Someone needs to take care of him, and if the husband of mom won’t, and bio dad won’t, we are taking it out on the only innocent party. State laws vary, but I could wish that they erred on the side of making it easier on the child, regardless of what his mother did.

  20. “THERE IS NO WAY TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION. Besides in the long run, the free market takes care of discrimination.”

    Part of the problem is that when you’ve invested your career into fighting a particular conflict, you find yourself incentivized not to declare it actually “won” in any kind of permanent way, or to have reached an acceptable and sustainable new status quo. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a man to declare a struggle won, even for his own side, when his salary depends on the struggle continuing.

    This in turn isn’t helped by the fact that it’s always easy to start such conflicts based on low-hanging fruit and the most emotionally provocative examples. When “fighting discrimination” means not “preventing people from using their best judgement on who will be a suitable coworker or fellow neighbourhood dweller”, but “keeping poor travelling Black families from being denied a night’s accommodation anywhere in town in life-threatening weather,” it’s a lot easier to understand the impatience with the free market as a solution.

    Which, in turn, may tie back to another observed difference in male/female psychology: Tolerance of risk, which is in large part based on how aptly one can imagine worst-case scenarios, how strongly one responds to those scenarios emotionally, and how easily one can empathize with other people reporting such scenarios. If women do tend to have less sympathy for “moon-shot” projects and more sympathy for direct charity, perhaps it is because the imagined hypothetical benefits of the moon shot just don’t carry the same emotional weight as the perceived real costs of the lost charity.

    • See: March Of Dimes. OK, the problem we fought is conquered; now how are we gonna keep money flowing in to keep these now phoney-baloney jobs?

      • One could demonstrate the first malady successfully addressed, and pick a new one to defeat.

        That seems proper. Repeating multiple cycles seems helpful.

        • One notes that the Marches selected a much more loosey-goosey target for the next.

          I think they should dissolve the original organization and have to found a new one.

    • Women tend to have less tolerance for risk beforehand. But they tend to reward successful risks more, too.

      Tolerance of risk during the risky activity, and of the person risking it — seems to vary a lot by culture, and by publicity of commitment to the risker.

      I think this is why the incidence of Dear John letters is so variable at different times and places, or even within a time and place. It’s kind of an edge area, for women’s psychology. If the culture has made a definite decision that Women Stand By Their Man, it’s easier for women to do the right thing. But if there’s no cultural support and pressure, there’s a big temptation for women to rid themselves of cognitive and emotional dissonance (and possibly of evolutionary reproductive pressures) by ridding themselves of the man.

      (Excessively bitchy behavior is usually a sign that a woman is feeling insecure or unsafe. Feeling weak or undecided makes us cranky.)

      Just a theory, though.

  21. Tangentially related (more so to Amanda’s post from yesterday):
    Study shows that everyone on the planet can have a first world lifestyle with more socialism.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/a-basic-standard-of-living-could-be-environmentally-sustainable/

    One quote from that link: “This implies that wealthy countries should be able to reduce their consumption without reducing their quality of life. But this would require a shift from the pursuit of GDP growth to what the researchers term “alternative economic models such as a steady-state economy.””

    • You KNOW there’s someone or some people who would mess this up BIG TIME. To have more (MORE) for themselves.

      • You mean, like the underpaid and under appreciated “researchers” who authored the study underneath this fluff “news” story?

      • Duh. MOST people. 90% of the people. AT BEST this “socialism” would stay at the surface, while EVERYONE including the officers would be stealing behind the scenes.
        BAH. Ants could do this. NOT HUMANS.
        Also, who gets to tell me when “you’ve made enough money” They can fuck right off.
        In the stone age they’d have insisted on giving everyone the same flint knife, and never trying for more. They can fuck off.

        • I realize that humans are not machines, but we still respond (largely) to incentives. If 10-15% of people will always do the right thing, no matter what, and 10-15% of people will do the wrong thing, no matter what, that still leaves 70-80% of the population who will do what is most convenient to them—and the incentives for socialism are set up to freeload.

          And if you think people can’t freeload without money, I invite you to think on “group projects” in schools.

          *Why has the English language eroded away a generic indeterminate plural? I have had more misunderstandings with “you”, when I wasn’t addressing anyone in particular…

          • well, precisely. That’s what I was saying. 90% of them would be corrupting the system but hiding it.
            And thank G-d. Who WANTS stagnation for himself or his descendants? TRULY?

            • Those who think they have set themselves up in a position of power and wish to cement it. I mean, volatility may mean that their grandkid actually has to work.

      • The USSR had big time inflation. The thing was, it wasn’t in MONEY. It was in FAVORS. The police chief, your son’s teacher, and the piano teacher your daughter used to have got winter coats not because they would pay more, but to avoid arrest, to encourage him to recommend your son for advanced study, and to reward her for getting your daughter into the conservatory.

        And no matter how much you scrimp and save and forgo other things, you can’t save up enough to do a favor.

    • The only effective “steady state” economy is found in the grave.

      This explains much about those who attempt to produce steady state economies.

    • [W]hat the researchers term `alternative economic models such as a steady-state economy.“

      I don’t care what they call it, I say it’s spinach and I say, “Phooey!”

    • The study is fucking insane. There is NO finite pie. And humans aren’t robots. NO ONE is going to reduce their consumption to “save the environment”. Also, first world HOW? Is Portugal first world. Socialism doesn’t work and has never worked. And these idiots can f*ck right off. They’re cooking the books.

      • The only setting where it has sort-of worked is small communities where everybody knows everybody, and where membership is both voluntary and carefully vetted. In other words, monasteries, kibbutzim (1st generation), and (in a sense) the military. (AND EVEN THERE, A FEW BAD APPLES that somehow make it past novice or provisional member CAN RUIN THE MONASTERY OR KIBBUTZ.) I can see something resembling it being practiced among the crew of a spaceship or space station. In a civilian society at large it’s a recipe for disaster, which gets a worse disaster when responded to by doubling down.

    • When does everyone get their brain implants to turn off their desires and initiative and drive to improve and…

      Because that’s the only way socialism works. Total mental slavery.

  22. Gosh durn it, Sarah, I was a kid when the Civil Rights movement and Women’s Liberation were going on and my memories of them are vague. Now you’re provoking to research the history of this mess and pin some names and dates to it.
    From what I can find, Marxists did become involved in the civil rights movement, although it seems to have been *after*, rather than before J. Edgar Hoover thought they were. Martin Luther King followed after Gandhi more than Lenin; Stokely Carmicheal seems to have been a racist first and an admirer of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara afterwards; and Malcolm X, started as a violent thug, converted to Islam, and likewise later flirted with communism afterwards. The likes of Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright have followed after them. Much of the Left’s fascination with Islam can be traced to these sources.
    The Civil Rights Act (1964) and the EEOC (1965) were primarily in response to black activism.
    The feminists (most prominently, Betty Friedan, ) founded and launched the NOW, afterwards in 1966, in emulation of the success of black activists and in order to take maximum advantage of the Civil Rights Act and liberate themselves from the obligations of children and family. They have been setting themselves against nature and culture based on biological reality from the very beginning.
    Much of what the current generation thinks of as the natural order of things is a distortion created and reinforced by agencies of the federal government, in the mistaken belief that the benevolent hand of Uncle Sam will fix all our problems.

  23. You could do quite a bit to break the cultural stereotypes if things were let to fall out as they may. But right now we don’t give all the information to the governmental defined “lesser” protected groups. Engineering is 75% math, 23% dealing with bureaucracy and 2% playing with rockets and stuff. But that’s our sole intro to the field for many people. So when stuff gets going they get overwhelmed. Same with campus rape epidemic. We have made bad judgement or even lack of willingness/awareness to say no a firing penalty for males and we don’t even chide females who file false reports and destroy lives because he broke up with her six months later and he didn’t say no when she came into him drunk, or as in one case when he was reportedly passed out drunk and she took advantage. When you give a weapon to people they will use it. They may not realize they’re destroying the ground beneath us all as they do.

  24. https://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/australia-is-real-i-swear?utm_term=.dsoGaELLA#.vdg43mbbO

    Somewhat related- How does one get a Ph.D. in sociology- or anything- and remain ignorant of the basic fact that Australia is both a continent and a country? At least the prof was fired. From this job…

  25. All this reminds me of part of a conversation in, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.

    “Why can’t these American women stay in their own country? They are always telling us it is a paradise for women.”

    “It is. That is the reason why, like Eve, they are so excessively anxious to get out of it.”

  26. I hate seeing otherwise rational people putting people into boxes and judging those individuals according to the loudest assholes in the box.

  27. “Redheads are historically a discriminated-against group. In Europe children who were red-headed were often assumed to have the devil in them.”

    This is not as unreasonable as it sounds on first hearing. ~:D The red hair is usually a warning.

    I sometimes wonder if the red comes with some other genetic fun and games that increase impulsivity and aggression. They seem to have a real tendency to lose their shit -way- more than other people.

    Wonder if Neanderthals were gingers.

    • Neanderthals, yes, but it’s not the gene in most of our redheads.
      Incidentally, as dark as my hair was, it went bright red when the sun shone on it. Also incidentally, I went completely white at 28.
      On the more confusing and shouldn’t be possible side, my eyes were chocolate brown as a child. They went light hazel in my thirties. They’re now trending greeny.
      My favorite cousin went from the same chocolate brown to BRIGHT green in his twenties. I have no explanation.

  28. Miscellaneous thought for you … while STEM salaries start well compared to the B school folks, I believe there is a crossover point… At some level of education, the Nonmedical STEM folks end up with slightly lower levels of lifetime earnings than the business school folks.
    https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2011/collegepayoff.pdf (See figure 4, pg. 9)

    I suspect that the higher you go, the more people/soft skills you need to succeed long term.

    • Once you reach a certain level the available positions in the tech side start to dry up. But management positions are still widely available. When your career path is truncated at 7-10 yrs experience because of the management theory of engineers as widgets (so a 5 yr can be replaced with a kid just out of undergrad) means that the aggressive career oriented will jump.

      • From the IT consulting shop perspective, that 5+/10+ year hardened Delivery lead / PM or technical architect is VERY necessary and the kid needs a ton of expensive training to get anywhere near that. The problem is you need only 1 lead per team (or 1 PM and 1 technical lead if the project is big enough). The other problem is that lead needs to have developed a lot of nonSTEM skills along the way as well in order to do a good job in what essentially has become primarily a management type role.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      Yup. My husband is a good programmer, but his soft skills keep getting him right to the border of management before he frantically evades it. Being able to *write* has done more for his careers than the degree and experience have, I think.

  29. Women could level the sexual playing field quickly, if they wanted to.
    Just “cut” all sexually predative women from the female circles. Refuse to have anything to do with them. If married, insist on excluding them from social activities, EVEN if that woman is dating/married to your husband’s best friend.
    It was the way women have kept other women in line for eons. It worked.
    Eliminating that power from women was one of the WORST things to come out of the sexual “revolution”. Women, being more social creatures, can’t take this, and generally will capitulate to the norms without a fight.

  30. You had me at “twatwaffle”, which is now my new favorite word. Shouldn’t twat-waffle be hyphenated?

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