Give Me My Smelling Salts, Ho! A Blast From The Past From April 2015


Give Me My Smelling Salts, Ho! A Blast From The Past From April 2015

[And stop calling me Ho – SAH 2020]

I don’t make much secret of the fact that I grew up in an actual honest to goodness sexist society. And by sexist I mean one that believed that women were sort of second best when it came to human beings.

No, this wasn’t micro-aggression, but the actual, stated opinion of most people in the society, including women. Teachers thought nothing of saying in front of a class “this might be a little more difficult for you ladies, since it requires logical reasoning.” They expected, in a co-ed class, that men would be better than the women at just about anything involving academics. In craft class, women were shunted to sewing and such, and I was told that no, I couldn’t do carpentry because that was weird and unnatural.

I don’t think it’s the same now. EEC, and a determined campaign to make women “equal” – which is probably… Never mind. We’ll get to that.

Fortunately or unfortunately I have a really hard time staying told. What I mean is, the more they told me I was inferior and had to defer to the better male brains, the more I set out to prove to the guys that I could run circles around them, mentally speaking.

It always gave me great pleasure when, by the end of the year, the teachers looked to me, and not to whichever boy they’d decided was the prodigy when they asked a difficult question.

This wasn’t always easy, particularly since by culture I was expected to take a great deal of the housekeeping off mom’s hands, while most boys went home and had no other duties than to study. But I studied harder; I read more; and by gum I worked to be better.

So – is this an extended whine about discrimination?

Shrug. No. I don’t know if I would be me – pig headed and stubborn as some species of weed – if it weren’t for those “handicaps” thrown in my way. I don’t know if I’d ever have learned to work hard, either. You see, if I had been handed things on a plate, I don’t know if I’d ever have made an effort. I’m very lazy, after all.

And if I hadn’t fought to be admitted to the confraternity of “the best” in each class, I’d never have understood the strange comradery that can flourish between men and women, when the men know a woman has bested them at their game and earned her position among them, they – at least the decent ones – tend to treat her as an equal.

Now, there are downsides to this, and we’ll talk about it in a moment.

I imagine, though I have absolutely no backing for this, that I resemble, in spirit and experiences the feminists of the 40s and 50s, when the point was to prove you could be as good as a man, and when the sort of work required and (perhaps in the fifties) effective contraception made it possible for women to have equivalent professional lives.

At least what I’ve read from those time periods, women’s attitude seemed to be “We can do it. We can be better than men, work harder than men, take knocks like men. And we ain’t no wall flowers.”

There was the inherent belief that, yes, the world was biased, but it was up to us to prove we could make it despite the bias. This was my belief when I lived in Portugal too.

I realized things were different in the US – very different – when my American literature teacher, fresh off the plane, used “he” to refer to indeterminate gender in a class full of females, in my third year in college and then started apologizing and ritually abasing himself for his “sexism.” The class of 20 some budding linguists blinked at him and said “but that is the default pronoun for indeterminate gender in English!”

I’ve never seen a man so astonished. Which prepared me for what I call “the feminist war on language” through the late eighties and nineties in this country.

Though I might say nothing prepared me for the piece of strangeness that was “Herstory.” Seriously, women, learn philology and stop embarrassing people with vaginas. It was as stupid as when preachers use English to decide that there is some arcane meaning in the Bible. It’s as though they don’t realize languages evolve. Which begs the question of whether they understand societies change, or whether they live in an eternal now, but that’s a question for another time.

And then things got ever weirder. One started getting dinged for not using his/her in any correspondence of non-fiction.

It made me a little …. Uncomfortable. Both as a linguist and as a human being. Look, language is language. Language isn’t sexist because language isn’t anything. Yes, there are fossilized meanings and fossilized attitudes in language, but they don’t “intend” or “mean” anything beyond well, the explicit meaning.

This is hard to explain, but suffice it to say half of my teaching career (teaching ESL mostly, but also French and briefly German) was spent saying “there is no why in language.” I.e. don’t ask me why “bread” is “bread” in English but “pao” in Portuguese. I don’t mean there is no explanation of how those words came to be used. Of course there is. Different invading people, different pervading cultures, etc. That’s what philology does and it’s fun for a winter’s night. (Okay, so I have a weird idea of fun.) BUT it’s not a LOGICAL reason. A lot of my students would say stuff like “but bread makes no sense. It doesn’t sound like the thing.”

I think the war on “he” as the default for indeterminate is the same kind of thought. “But it could be a he or a she. So we should mention both. Even if it just makes sentences really awkward.”

That was only part of what made me uncomfortable, though. What really bothered me was this sense that the woman (and it was always women) enforcing the he/she had this need to be noticed, even in a sentence that didn’t refer to them. It was as though they were saying “AND a WOMAN too.” (There are any number of oral story telling techniques that do just this, so you’ll say something like “Five hundred men, three elephants, and the flea in the captain’s beard.” That was sort of the feeling I got.)

Still, you know, language evolves with culture, and I figure this was part of it and just wished they’d settled for something other than he/she or a “they” that broke the number concordance. (Yes, I know Shakespeare did it. He did all manner of foolish things, as well as brilliant ones.) I thought even “it” would be better.

But the disturbing trend continued to grow. Bookstores started labeling history sections “herstory” with no irony whatsoever. College educated women honest to goodness thought there had been as many female medieval fighters as male and there was a vast conspiracy to hide this. (Where women were supposed to come up with the upper body strength for those weapons I don’t know. Yeah, some managed it. Maybe one in a thousand.) A vast conspiracy involving millions of people through the ages. A conspiracy of which we had no record. A conspiracy that never once broke ranks.

Then there was the sisterhood thing. You know, where every and any woman is supposed to understand me better than a man. That was jaw-dropping. I mean, I’m supposed to have more in common with Mary who does tatting for a living in some little village in England than with, oh, Larry, say, who writes for the same house I do in America.

And there was the “men are afraid of you” thing that was brought up as to why I didn’t get along with my boss when I was a lecturer in college. (It probably had more to do with the fact I didn’t intend to make a career of it, and wasn’t going to jump through his hoops. Oh, also, I was a smart-mouthed kid with no social sense.) This is used to explain any man not liking any woman nowadays and particularly any man criticizing a woman’s performance of her job.

But when I first realized things had gone off the rails was when a professor, in a well reported snit, ran out of a lecture hall, crying and threatening to throw up because a college president mentioned statistics and the relative, statistical position of women in intellectual fields and said it was the same as the relative IQ curve. That is, that women mostly occupy the middle ranks, while men claim more geniuses and more morons. This is a statistical fact. It doesn’t mean any woman is or isn’t a genius or a moron (you have to test the woman for that) but as a statistical fact it explains some of the distribution of women we see in intellectual and STEM work. (It also tends to mean those women at the top are good, as they fought all sorts of assumptions to get there.)

THIS – this statistical fact – caused an educated woman to feel personally insulted.

I thought this was insane, and perhaps she was off her meds. But the incidents just kept coming; too many for me to remember much less mention.

The ones that come to mind, though, are the dongle thing and the shirtstorm.

The dongle thing is where a woman heard two geeks talk about dongles and assumed a sexual meaning. Now, the descriptions of the actual event are so muddled, I don’t know which was true. It is entirely possible that the guys were just talking about dongles, and she read a dirty meaning into their words. Or it’s possible that they were making veiled dirty jokes.

Here is the thing: neither of them was about her. What I mean is, men have a different sense of humor than women. Any woman who’s fought her way to the top of a male dominated field, who finds herself considered one of the guys learns this very quickly. And the wise woman – you know, one of those that JUST wants to prove she’s good enough? – turns a deaf ear to it. (Or joins in, depending on personality. But if you want to continue pretending to yourself and others that you’re a lady, you just don’t hear those things. You learn to filter them out.) Guys do the same in a female intensive grouping. Trust me, the things we think are funny and joke about are just as shockingly bizarre and offensive to normal males. Both my gay and straight male friends have on occasion, hearing me talk to a female friend, said the equivalent of “stop. You’re tearing my illusions apart.”

However, the woman who overheard the talk knew it was all about her. (Even though I haven’t found anything saying that it was directed at or even referring to her.) She overheard this talk, and it was bad talk, and it made her feel uncomfortable. And so she set out to destroy the men’s careers. Because every place should be made safe for a gentlewoman of delicate sensibilities to wander through with impunity and without some word – even one she misunderstood – sullying her virgin-like ears.

Shirtstorm was more of the same. Rose Eveleth, Vagina Vigilante, might not know much about probes or comets, or have much interest in them. One gets a feeling in her mind aerospace is that icky thing that sweaty, nerdy boys do. So, forced to cover it (or snatching it up as a prize assignment) for her paper, she paid attention to the one important thing in the world: herself. And since she’s female, she projected her prejudices onto all other females, and decided women everywhere would be put off science by a man’s shirt decorated with “space pinups.” A shirt made by a woman. A shirt worn amid a team whose leader was a woman who saw nothing wrong with it. But Vagina Vigilante was on the job! One gets the feeling she didn’t do very well at science, and now she had a REASON. It was the sexism of the field, manifest in a shirt.

Which totally justified making a rocket scientist cry on the day of his greatest triumph. After all, people like him had ruined her life, right?

But it gets worse than that – there was an entire campus filled with supposedly educated (ah!) women terrorized by the statue of a sleep walking man.

And then there’s the ever-elastic definition of “sexual assault” which – I’m not making this up – can now be ratcheted down to “Looked at me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable” or, for that matter “failed to sexually assault me.” Oh, sorry, that last was the definition of racism. Some Palestinian woman looked at rape statistics and found that Israeli women are raped by Palestinian men in much higher numbers than Palestinian women are raped by Israeli men, and immediately concluded this is because Israelis are racist. It beggars the mind.

Another thing that beggars the mind is the progressive image of women as great warriors. You know, in all the movies and half the books (often without supernatural explanation) a 90 lb chick can beat 300 lb men. And women were always great fighters throughout the ages. And, and, and…

And yet, women are peaceful – peaceful, d*mn it. This is why “peaceful planet of women” is a trope on tv tropes. Not just a trope, but a dead horse one.

Attempts to square that circle have included the explanation that women are only violent because patriarchy. There needs be nothing else said because in this context, and with apologies to the ponies, Patriarchy Is Magic. Honorable mention on trying to square the circle must go to Law and Order’s attempted episode on Gamer Gate where the game the woman designer had written was about Peaceful Amazon Warriors.

An episode in which my younger son accidentally touched a girl on the behind – in 3rd grade, when Mr. Hormone hadn’t visited yet and he had no clue behinds had anything to do with sex or being sexy – and the school tried to charge him with sexual harassment (Which stopped cold when I threatened to write about it for various mags and make them a laughing stock) gave me some insight into why women are reacting this way.

It’s not all their fault, no.

That little girl had it far worse than my son. Because you see, for having been touched by a rather innocent little boy, who was reaching into a group and trying to get her attention (to play “the space game” which was sort of a LARP in which they were in a spaceship in an alien planet. Hey, he’s mine.) this girl was put in COUNSELING sessions and was told that her life would never be the same, because she’d been – gasp – sexually assaulted.

I lost touch with the kids from that class, and don’t know if she still thinks she was victimized, but let’s say she was a little strange for months after the incident.

Of course, she was actually bureaucratically assaulted.

You see, the directive to make the sexes equal is being applied top down by a thousand little bureaucracies, none of them very sure how to accomplish this. They’re also in general trying to force the sexes to be equal, which is impossible, instead of equal before the law, which is desirable. This further muddles their attempts, particularly when you throw in the lovely academic theory most of them imbibe that “gender is a construct.” And gender might be, but whether your genes are xx or xy still affects your upper body strength (men have more), your endurance of pain (women have more) and several other things you can’t make equal by declaring it so.

The problem is bureaucracies are stupid. They can’t see finer shades such as “allow exceptional individuals to be wherever they belong” or “just let people be people.” No, they hear “make women and men equal and by gum, they’re going to do it if it requires being at war with reality. It’s kind of like performing brain surgery on your sofa, using a rusty saw and a soup spoon. Even with the best of intentions, you’re going to do more harm than good.

Now, do I think it was okay for the culture to be as it was in Portugal, where I was assumed to be an idiot because I lacked 250grams between my legs? Oh, heck no. But I also don’t want a culture where little girls are mollycoddled and little boys berated both in compensation/punishment for things that happened before their grandparents were born.

For one, it makes girls into sissies. For another it makes a lot of men give up on society.

And the girls into sissies thing is dangerous. Women who’ve been mollycoddled all their lives will think that anything is an attack or an aggression. Like, you know, being called Ladies. Or pinup shirts.

This means, more and more, as the younger generations come in, professional and academic environments with women become mine fields for men and histrionic opportunities for women.

And sooner or later, looking at our throwing up, swooning, crying, trigger-warned, peaceful amazon warriors, someone is going to say “you know, women are too fragile for the workaday world. Let’s put them in burkas and lock them up in purdah.” And then it will all be needed to do over again, the fight to let those women who can and will compete do so.

On behalf of my future great great great granddaughter whom I don’t want to have to endure that kind of things, stop this feminist charging forward to the fainting couch and the smelling salts, like some Victorian maiden that never actually existed.

Stop trusting what the bureaucracy tells you. Men are not the enemy. Most men welcome women who can work with them as equals. Yeah, they’ll still try to protect you and avenge you, because they, the same as you, have instincts. An unfortunate side effect of having physical bodies.

Accept them as they are so they can accept you as you are. Demand their best behavior, but don’t demand they stop being men. And don’t make them walk on eggshells around you. The power might feel good but in the end it betrays you, because it means you’ll never belong as a co-worker.

Oh, and fight the war for equality on the cultural level.

If we took over a Middle Eastern country tomorrow we could (and should) fix the laws, so women are the same as men before the law. But we couldn’t fix the culture the same way. If we made laws giving women job preferences, or telling men what they could or couldn’t do around women, what we’d do in the end is what’s happening here: women who are used to being protected/infantilized/subjugated by men transfer that relationship of power by putting all their trust to government.

And since government is force, it’s more abusive than any husband. And the end result will be subjugation.

Fight the culture war now. So your descendants don’t have to fight worse ones. Humans are not widgets and bureaucracy is stupid.

Make your own judgements, and tell bureaucrats and their fainting maidens coterie to go smell some salts.



361 thoughts on “Give Me My Smelling Salts, Ho! A Blast From The Past From April 2015

  1. > I was told that no, I couldn’t do carpentry because that was weird and unnatural.

    …and then you moved to America and became the Terror Lady of the Hardware Aisles…

  2. > Most men welcome women who can work with them as equals.

    It’s a shrinking percentage. Mike Pence isn’t the only man who makes a point of not being around a woman without some kind of chaperone.

    The shrieking violets and the de facto “guilty until proven innocent” in the workplace have poisoned social interaction with whatever women are out there who don’t have their heads full of crazy.

    1. I think men do still welcome women who can work with them as equals. The problem is that it now takes men longer to let down their guard around a given woman and accept her as an equal. This is an obvious defensive measure with unfortunate consequences.

      1. For a long time, I had a policy of never being alone with a man or ever inviting a man into my home because I didn’t want a bad reputation. Now, I avoid being alone with men and would never invite a gent home—because the risks to him are too great.

        Thanks for nothing, wymynists.

          1. Shadow, there’s a follow-up on that one. Apparently the attacker was a childhood friend of the victim, who had been involved in a brawl recently and may have had a brain injury.


            ““He [Knight] loved Mason,” Knight said. “Mason and him grew up together, they had Halloween parties together, they hung out together, our families knew each other. This wasn’t about politics.”

            “There was something wrong with Mason,” she added. “He had gotten into a fight and somebody beat him up. I don’t know, I can’t explain what happened to my son. I never thought Mason would do this to my son. But it wasn’t about politics, I can tell you that right now.””

            48-hour rule seems to be in order.

    2. Part of the problem is that many women are so conditioned as to want men to notice their sexuality and are offended when a man notices sexuality. He must notice her sex and then act as if he didn’t notice she’s female.

      This conflict between instinct and conditioning is a surefire inducement of insanity.

      1. It does NOT help that an astonishing number of romance novel plots (especially “modern-era” ones) adore this particular trope. “I must not openly notice her gorgeousness, but secretly I’m in love with her!” while the female lead–who apparently has nothing better to do–dithers over the “he loves me he loves me not”

        Ugh, ugh, UGH.

    3. Who can really blame them for that? A dear friend of mine who has since passed used to have a passion project that he had dedicated his life to, and even before being a victim (real or imagined) had fully become a instant path to social power he was worried about being alone with customers for that very reason. As soon as I stopped volunteering on that project for dumb selfish reasons, guess what kind of accusations popped up? It didn’t matter that no one who knew anything about him said it was nonsense, the mere baseless accusation was enough to destroy his life’s work. If I were a man, I’d never be alone with a woman either unless I knew her well.

      1. I’d never be alone with a woman either unless I knew her well.

        As feminists keep reminding us, every man is a potential rapist. Hard to believe that and believe they demand the right to be alone in a room with a potential rapist man.

        1. “Every man is a potential rapist.”
          Wouldn’t the world be a better place if instead they thought, “Every man was a potential friend or lover”?

        2. What bugs me is that they’ll flip out when women actually behave like strange men might be a threat, such as not staying in an elevator alone.

  3. >> “This is why “peaceful planet of women” is a trope on tv tropes.”

    I searched and couldn’t find it. The closest I could find are the “Lady Land” and “Women are Wiser” tropes. Sure you’re not thinking of one or both of those?

      1. But this sounds like the sort of trope SJWs are into. I don’t see why they’d censor it.

        I know there’s an alternative site called All The Tropes, which claims it was formed to avoid censorship policies at TV Tropes. I don’t know if they’ve avoided SJW convergence but it might be worth checking out.

  4. (Where women were supposed to come up with the upper body strength for those weapons I don’t know. Yeah, some managed it. Maybe one in a thousand.)

    They don’t seem to think that upper body strength matters. Or if they do, they’ll explain that the only reason modern men tend to be stronger than modern women is that boys are encouraged to weight lift while girls are encouraged to do yoga, and if we had the same training, we’d all have the same strength.

    Like our hostess’s, my mind boggles at some of the things that otherwise intelligent women believe. I’ve gotten extended lectures on how Yoda was right, “size matters not,” and neither weight nor height is of the slightest importance in a physical fight.

    No, I’ve never gotten one of these women to explain why the fighting sports have strict weight classes such that a bout with major marketing behind it will be canceled if one of the combatants is an ounce over the maximum limit. Presumably they think that the World Boxing Council just has a scale fetish or something.

    1. One of the few TV shows I watch is NCIS, and the climax on last night’s show was a hand-to-hand fight between a female Marine (maybe 110 pounds) and a medium-large (oh, 180 pounds) guy villain. At least, it showed her using some leg strength, but I had to roll my eyes a lot…

      1. What were the relative training levels, and did she have surprise?

        IOW, it isn’t impossible, but I’d have to explain a few things to write it.

        1. She was an active duty marine. He was a larger relatively healthy if a bit out of shape businessman.
          She had recently been deafened in a work related accident and he was sneaking up behind her with a strangling cord.
          She saw his reflection in the side of a kettle and was braced when he attacked.
          Personally, I attributed her success in taking him down to superior training in martial arts skills. That, and she realized very quickly that not only was she fighting for her life, but that her attacker most likely was responsible for the murder of her boyfriend as well.

          1. Had I the time and talent, I would write a story the theme of which was “A large man can beat a small woman…unless he has made the mistake of threatening her child, in which case she’s going to tear off one of his arms and beat him to death with the sticky end.”, and then sit back and watch the Wokescolds have an aneurism.

          2. “And an ambush ambushed isn’t very nice.”

            In other words, she wasn’t surprised, and cool enough under stress to take advantage of his lack of a plan B.

          3. While not in any way an expert on fighting (hand-to-hand or otherwise), I’ve heard that a person/group launching a surprise attack that isn’t one (ie the victims were ready) are in the same boat as the victims of a real surprise attack.

            In this show, the attacker is taken by surprise by the fact that the victim was ready for him.

            1. Most attackers reaction to the unexpected is to flinch or hesitate. I’ve seen it in martial arts competitions. I see it all the time in fencing. You see it in the reports when mass murderers are confronted with armed (or even any kind) resistance. And even the Larkin self-defense courses capitalize on this.

              Consider this. 250lbs, 6 ft 2 inch man rushes a 5 ft 4 in, 160 lb woman with the intent of shoving her so she falls to the ground. Woman expects it, is relatively trained in martial arts take downs, dusks so he misses the shove, grabs his arms and does a hip throw using his momentum. Follows up with as many stomps to the face or throat as needed. Unless the guy is a trained martial artist himself, he’s not going to expect it, and he’s going to have a WTF? immediately followed by an “Oh SHIT” moment just before she knocks him out or crushes his windpipe.

              But as I say, it requires training, and situational awareness for the woman to be able to do that. If the guy suspects she knows, or doesn’t fully commit to the initial attack, it’s not usually going to work.

              1. > Most attackers reaction to the unexpected is to flinch or hesitate.

                You can find a ton of surveillance video supporting that on YouTube. Not just one, but groups of three or four attackers with machetes and/or firearms, totally confuzzled and running away when their victim – often an old lady – lights into them with broom, or in one case, simply throwing small packs of potato chips at them.

                They have their scenario all planned out in their minds, and the second things deviate from the plan, they go “TILT!” and it all comes unstuck.

                No, not every single time, but often enough that “do anything” is a viable defensive plan…

                1. I think my favorite was the would-be gas station robber with a gun who ran away (probably crying) when the employee (albeit a not-small male in this case) whipped out a sword and ran at him screaming.

                  (Alas, I think the employee got fired for DARING to be armed at work…)

                  1. My favorite was in NOLA back when TimeSaver was still in operation. Robber had shotgun with relatively long barrel. put it over the counter and it was just a hair past the cashier (male, college age) who looked down noticed he was not covered and grabbed the gun, pulled the robber over the counter. He and robber disappear from the surveillance tape for a moment, then robber comes flying over the counter and runs out the door, followed by the cashier with the shotgun.
                    Another favorite was young punk trying to pick old retiree’s pocket. Retiree was retired Marine Sargent. Many roundhouses were delivered.

                  1. In weird situations, I’ve found exactly that. Throwing books, rocks, or just screaming and charging can scare even big guys. You disrupt the script in their heads, see?

                    1. Actually I tend to evaluate everything around me as a weapon. “How can I stab someone with THAT” or “What can I use to bludgeon the attacker”
                      I’ve at times been more creative than I care to detail.
                      I AM a bottle covey.

                    2. “For a NakedKill adept, it has been estimated the typical western room contains just over 200 lethal weapons.” — Trevanian, Shibumi.

                  2. While Scream and Leap has it’s tactical value, maybe not so much strategically (IOW words don’t plan on that being a primary response. Just ask the Kzinti*).

                    Darlin’ Daughter is above average in height and has several years of martial arts training including the use of impact weapons, but I’m much more confident in her ability to take a good sight picture and squeeze out 5.5 lbs of pressure against an average goblin.

                    She is quite capable of Scream and Leap if need be and other options are not available, but that ain’t exactly plan A.

                    *The Kzinti are much more real to me, and certainly more interesting, than any of the other fictional characters discussed so far. Probably one the more realistic as well.

                    1. It’s 110% a thing you do when someone expects you to fold like a wet napkin.

                      Kus if they’re thinking of you as an average guy, you’re dead.

              2. I’ve been getting amused by looking at the Witcher show– lots of stills of the bard and the witcher next to each other.

                Amazing what three to five inches (different results on searches) and 60-80 pounds (200lb as Superman, dehydration yoyo for the Witcher) will do, eh?

                1. I can’t help but think him doing that dehydration thing is a Bad Idea. (On the other hand, actors do crazy crap like that…) Though I only read about him doing it the once, for the bath scene, so…::shrugs::

                  I sort of lost interest about four and a half episodes in, but I do find his endlessly varied scowls and grunts hilarious. He makes an excellent straight man to…well, pretty much the entire rest of the cast, while also still holding his own in the funny.

                  1. From quick skimming, he only did it once or twice, and under strict medical supervision– contrast with high school wrestlers who do it every @#$@# time they do weigh in, so eh.

                    It’s like the directors don’t want to shoot the golden goose.

                    1. Ah, well, I’m glad they’re being smart about it. Because he clearly found the role he was born to play, and it ISN’T Superman. (Though I thought he made a more-than-tolerable Supes, it’s just that movies they stuck him in suuuuuucked. Superman should NOT be grim and gritty. Whereas the Witcher should be…and he’s STILL funnier as Geralt.)

                2. Christopher Reeve’s, Superman was probably the best to date, with just the right amount of humor, other than being a bit sappy when it came to Lois Lane. Brandon Routh did okay, but I think Singer was trending too dark with him. I think Routh could pull off a much better, mature version of Superman today. Henry Cavill did a tolerable job as the Man of Steel; but it was the direction and story writing that went way too dark. DC & Warner Bros screwed up by not understanding that while Batman is the obsessive and driven Dark Knight of the new Moon; Superman is the Sun God descended to Earth as the ideal man, beyond the minor flaws of wondering where he fits in in all this.

                  1. I loved Reeve’s Superman (well, he’s also the Supes of my childhood) but I never did like Margo Kidder as Lois. Routh was okay–but I liked him MUCH better in Chuck and later in the Flash tv series.

          4. OK, I was figuring she had the hand-to-hand training, though her specialty was drone piloting. The “what took you so long!?” was a nice touch.

            In real life, she would have been very lucky with the near miss from the thrown hot water. I do *not* want to contemplate how painful it would have been if it hit her in the eyes.

            Oh yeah, additional points to the show-writers to not have the senior boss be the villain of the piece. (Using his attitudes as a red herring was good, too.) They did continue the minor trope where the first person (exceptions if it’s a relative of the victim) the investigators talked to was the perp.

          5. The big question is whether he realized she was a serious danger. Because his thinking otherwise is a BIG advantage.

          6. You can’t rule out the part rage/willingness to do violence comes into play in a fight. I’ve seen a woman who was VERY comfortable with extreme violence (and admittedly not anything like the 90 lb. Barbie-esque model that Hollywood usually casts) flat out DESTROY a man in a straight-up fight. Granted, the man in question was one who believed he could “put a woman in her place” with a good stout slap and wasn’t expecting a fight, and the size difference also wasn’t typical Hollywood. He only had a couple inches and around 20 to 30 lbs on her. The meaningful difference was that she no longer had that instinctual pressure against harming another human being — I dated this woman. It was an interesting few months — while he expected to be able to slap her once and she would cave. She didn’t cave. His teeth (most of them) however did as she literally stomped on his face — after grounding him like a rag-doll — until we were able to pull her off, which wasn’t easy.

            No, this is SO VERY NOT a typical outcome, and nothing like the 90 lb. super model wiping the floor with the 250 lb. trained soldier that Hollywood likes to portray… actually, if it were possible to put that particular woman into the body of a reasonably athletic 90 lb. Barbie and re-run that fight, it might be interesting. My money would still be on her based upon rage/violence issues alone. So who knows?

    2. Fencing may not have weight classes, but at the high competition levels, women only fence women, and men only fence men. Doesn’t mean we can’t have a co-ed open tournament; but the majority of women fare worse against the majority of men in those. I’ve beaten women with slightly more experience than I had using greater physical strength and mass. And I’ve lost to women who were more agile and had better point control, better patience. But the smart way to bet is always on the man when a man and a woman fence each other.

          1. As one of my all-time favorite videogame companions (Garrus, from the Mass Effect trilogy) once said: “I had reach…she had flexibility…” (Referring both to a sparring match against a female soldier of his species, which ended in a draw, and the, ahem, extracurricular activities that followed it.)

    3. Yoda was right, “size matters not” — when you’ve got a magic effing sword.

      Same thing with Female Thor — it does not mean a woman is as powerful as a man, it means that a woman with the power of Thor (read the inscription on the hammer, dammit) is as powerful as a man with the power of Thor — because the determinant is the power of Thor.

      Put a woman in Iron Man’s suit and she’s as powerful as Iron Man, just as a woman with a gun is equal to a man with a gun*.

      *Certain restrictions apply: a woman with a gun is probably going to need a smaller gun than a man because wrist and hand sizes (statistically) dictate what size gun can be effectively handled.

      1. Same with Superman/Supergirl.

        Who the hell cares about relative musculature? They’re Kryptonians under a yellow sun.

        1. Right? As long as they make at least a decent token nod to “this is why this works against all laws of reality” I’ll give it a pass. It’s when they treat it like it’s perfectly normal and get upset when people go “That’s not how it works” that I get irked.

          Take Blindspot, for instance. Interesting premise–and the female lead IS big enough to make me at least somewhat believe she could hold her own in a fight (and, in fact, the actress possibly has, or at least indicated she is willing to. She’s 5’10 or so, Texan, done martial arts for most of her life, and has said she hasn’t experienced much in the way of harassment in Hollywood from the Usual Suspects. Well no, honey, because they’re pretty sure you’d pound them into a pathetic stain on the pavement because I suspect you’d tell them you’d do so if they made an inappropriate suggestion.) But the thing that made me go “No, nope, nope, nope” was their claming that this (amnesiac) character was a Navy Seal. Sorry, no, because if nothing else? There would have been too many people crowing about it, and not even a fictional world could make me believe otherwise. (I ultimately gave up partway through the first season because I really hate the ‘convenient amnesia’ plot, and the reasons they were giving for it…were making NO sense. Unnecessarily convoluted plots just don’t work.)

          1. You know, the “secret black ops group” option gives so much more room for anything you want to pull out of your ear. I know it was over-used for a little while, but if you’ve got someone strange you want to use anyways, why not?!?

            1. Ehhhh… ::waggles hand:: Possibly it’s the overuse of it that turned me off, in that case. Especially since I find the idea of ANY truly kept secret by a government entity pretty laughable. (But then, I work for the gov.) They might ADMIT to something, but 99% of the time it was already an open secret. See, for example, Area 51. Or the horrendous experiments the CIA got up to with MK-Ultra. It might initially be waved about as ‘kooky conspiracy theory’–but it isn’t a SECRET. People might think it’s nutso, and not believe it–but it’s not a SECRET.

              I can buy little stuff, individual-level stuff staying secret for a time, but only for a time. :p

              1. Yeah, but as a buy-in it’s relatively cheap, compared to the other.

                Especially if you basically make them “It’s the SEALs but when they need a woman.” Or someone who can Spook as well as do other stuff, so being covert is important.
                There’s rumors of that anyways.

          2. I doubt you could find 10 women in the U.S. who could become Navy SEALs.
            Heck, they’ve barely gotten a dozen women to pass Army Ranger school.

            1. “they’ve barely gotten a dozen women to pass Army Ranger school”
              From what I read they got handles on their backs about midway so they could be carried across the finish line and they STILL had to fudge so things.

              So they passed for some values of passed.

              1. So they passed for some values of passed.

                HEY! Same value of passed as many* public High School graduates!

                *In large urban districts, strike “many” and insert “most.”

            2. I’d be surprised if you found ONE. Because in addition to the unusual physical capability she’d require, she’d also have to have the DESIRE to go through all of that!

              I might, had I ever been inclined to be an actual athlete, have developed the physical capability. But as I told the Army Recruiter who spent a year or so chasing me around when I was 24–for my language skills, I think–I’d still have to go to boot camp. And nevermind the pushups and so on, I only run when chased. And even then, it depends on how big the threat chasing me is (it had better be pretty danged big). 😀 I do NOT like strenuous physical activity, generally speaking (and am very, very lucky to still have a decently high metabolism, or I’d have serious problems, lol.)

        2. Which is another point in “Wearing the Cape’s” Power level was independent of physique.

          1. Yep, but it is common practice in the Wearing The Cape universe for men with super strength to wear costumes that make them look more muscular.

            Wasn’t apparently common for women with super strength to do the same.

              1. Astra/Hope didn’t mind that as it made her look closer to her actual age. 😉

                1. And then the poor kid found out her breakthrough made her stop aging at physically-19, and so there was NO CHANCE now she’d ever get taller/better endowed.

                  Though I wonder about that with Atlas, then–I think it was a later addition to the canon, or meant to be specific to HOPE’S breakthrough, because I think Atlas was aging normally? At least, Astra never indicated, upon meeting him, that he looked like he was still 18 years old. Just that, out of uniform, he was skinnier than expected. Which, now that I think on it, might have been an indication–but how many 19 year olds are good at judging age by faces? She knew Atlas was 28 years old, therefore this must be what a 28 year old Atlas looked like…

                    1. From what I’ve seen, it’s more of an oddity of particular types of breakthrough. Any breakthrough that involves resistance to injury seems to carry that advantage. Atlas, Astra, and Harlequin don’t; Blackstone does, because he doesn’t go beyond human physical abilities.

                  1. PS

                    I hope it was an oddity of her breakthrough as in the last book there was a mention of a 6 year-old Ajax (who broke-through thanks to a major attack on her home-city). 😉

                    1. Yeah, hopefully O.O (Although since Ajax type and Atlas types *are* different…)

                      I think you’re right, though, I think it’s somewhat unique to Astra/Hope (and of course various other breakthoughs.) Certainly, it makes the whole best friends are a vampire and a cybernetic ghost, as well as the Kitsune thing less fraught with angst, heh. Though, as she wails, she’s gonna get carded FOREVER.

      2. This is the one thing that might save the projected “Dr. Jane Foster becomes the New Thor” in the next Thor film (where I gather it’s crashed and burned in the comics, largely because they were so damn heavy handed with the preachy, and also they HAD to make her be an emaciated cancer sufferer, too). That, and the fact that Taika Waititi did not only the best of the Thor films (Ragnarok) but probably one of the most fun of all the Marvel films (it’s probably my number one favorite, because it’s just a blast), and so I think he could make it work and be fun and not stupid SJW preachy. (I am less sanguine about what they’re doing with Captain Marvel–the first film was fine, not one of the best by a long shot, but it was entertaining and not actually as man-hating/preachy as some have claimed, at least I didn’t find it so. But now they’ve hired a barely-experience known SJW “screenwriter”, and…ugh.)

        And at least in the MCU, they’ve set up that Thor himself is not interested in the “God of Thunder” role and would prefer to go out and do other stuff, like annoy the life out of Peter Quill (which is a truly worthy goal), and now that he knows that OTHER people can indeed be worthy to wield Mjolnir…

        1. Someone really ough to point out that without Odin someone has to actually rule Asgard and really can’t be dashing across the multiverse. IIRC they did exactly that with the animated “children of the Avengers” storyline a decade ago.

          1. Someone IS ruling what’s left of Asgard (in the MCU, at any rate): Valkyrie. Thor essentially made her the ruler when he took off with the Guardians. And, given that she’d already been running things post-Snap while Thor drank himself into The Dude-Thor, I think the Asgardians were probably cool with it by that point. They’re pretty much reduced to a smallish fishing village anyway–though after the Snap victims got restored (because they lost ANOTHER half to that, after Thanos’ crew slaughtered half of them on the spaceship) they might be able to claim ‘small town’ status.

            Loki might have done a decent job of it post-Ragnarok if he hadn’t gotten that version of himself (probably) killed. What the (probable) alternate-timeline version of Loki will do we won’t know until his tv series drops, but I doubt it will involve ruling Asgard without a lot of character development. (I’m really hoping they do some of the stuff from the Agent of Asgard run, though–that was FUN.)

            1. Loki, as we saw in Ragnarok, lacks temperament to be a good ruler. He is, after a, a god of mischief, of chaos. He hasn’t the patience, he is not inclined to think of long-term consequences and self-sacrifice surely isn’t in his tool-kit.

              Given their recent experiences I expect the Asgardians are suffering sever PTSD. First Hela pops out of nowhere and eliminates the cream of Asgard’s warriors, then they have to escape onto the spaceship where Thanos demonstrates the falsity of their godhood? Hug me, Momma, I don’t want to play in this world any more.

              1. I think Loki at the END of Ragnarok, when he’d finally worked out the last of his issues with Thor, and seemed to have finally let go of his chronic backstabbing disorder, might have done all right in the breach. But ONLY if there was no one else he could view as a possible rival/or who might frown disapprovingly at him–and given that his reaction at the start of Infinity War was to ensure that HE was the one in a position to be killed rather than Thor (though of course there is always, ALWAYS the question of “but is he really dead” where Loki is concerned), it’s arguable that he’d reached the point where, if Thor died, he knew he’d just go completely around the bend. (So he selfishly ensured that, whether he actually died or not, he wouldn’t have to deal with it. Because he IS, as you said, Loki.)

                1. Loki has it in him to BE the hero. He just doesn’t have it in him to the maintainer-sustainer. Thor has more of it than Loki, both in training and temperament; but between the loss of his father and mother, all his Asgardian friends, defeats by Hela and Thanos, he’s suffering MAJOR depression and feelings of guilt and inadequacy. He’s lost his mojo. And even a recovering alcoholic like Valkyrie can do a better job ruling the Asgard than he can, AT THIS TIME. So Thor going on walk-about with the Guardians makes sense.

                  1. I agree, Loki couldn’t do it long term, he’d get bored and then start screwing with people again.

                    Poor Thor. Though I AM looking forward to him trolling Peter Quill, because they KEEP hitting the manchild-jerk reset button on Quill, and it needs to STOP.

          2. And I think the appropriate term is, “Rule The Asgard”; keeping in line with they are a people, not so much a place. (And Norway would have issues over sovereignty of their territory.)

        1. I think a lot of people have said that, including Larry Correia.

          And been ignored or demonized by the left.

    4. Yoda was right because being able to use the Force wasn’t dependent upon muscle mass or similar. Swinging a lot of melee weapons is, however.

    5. SJW types do not understand that almost any human behavior or ability occurs in a bell curve. Lack of women in STEM is because most women are not interested. Alternative gender tomfoolery a vocal minority not statistically relevant.

      1. The reason most women aren’t interested is …. interesting?
        Like this: it’s not that women are less apt in sciences. Sure, some are, but if there’s a difference, it’s tiny.
        BUT women are in general far more apt in VERBAL-social specialties than men.
        So even women gifted in sciences tend to prefer the verbal/social specialties where the males, btw, are also more articulate.
        When they say they’re made “uncomfortable” in the sciences A LOT OF TIMES it means “I hate working with these awkward male nerds with no social sense, who say the most bizarre things.”
        Note not all women, but it seems to be a strong majority.
        Mostly we know this because in high-equality societies where women aren’t pushed either way they go for verbal-social occupations MORE than in low equality societies where they’re pushed to female stuff. (And there’s the inevitable rebels.)

        1. When they say they’re made “uncomfortable” in the sciences A LOT OF TIMES it means “I hate working with these awkward male nerds with no social sense, who say the most bizarre things.”

          And when they try to ‘relate’ to the other women, about half the time they get either flat out rejection or hostility– because geek-women are either not picking up what they’re putting down, or recognize it as a threat. (correctly or incorrectly)

        2. One other factor which people unfamiliar with what TOP LEVEL mathematics and STEM demand is that there is a qualitative difference that hits at those heights. Many folk, male and female, simply top out and can go no higher. These are people who did fine with Algebra, nailed Geometry (Plane <I<and Solid) and even did okay at Calculus — but that’s just the entry fee for the highest levels of Math and they’ve nothing left to play with once they’ve paid it.

          It’s as absurd as somebody who’s a pretty good club tennis player or weekend golfer imagining they could go pro. Or telling a gal, “You’re pretty, you ought try modeling” as if modeling is merely having your picture snapped. Unless you understand the demands of the top levels it is all too easy to say, “She’s gotten good grades in Math all through High School, she ought be able to get a degree in it.”

  5. “…they’ll still try to protect you and avenge you, because they, the same as you, have instincts.”

    Best take on this I’ve seen is:
    “Men protect women and children NOT because the women and children are weak;
    Men protect women and children because the women and children are important!

    What’s a successful species, again?

    One that HAS a next generation.

  6. What do you get when you put a man with no social sense, together with a woman with no social sense.?

    Absolutely nothing, or a married couple.

    – – –

    Ah yes, sexually dimorphistic humor. Reminds me of the time I had an HR case against me because a group of women eating Krispy Kreme donuts in the office were moaning so loudly I stuck my head out of my cube and remarked that they sounded like the scene from, “When Harry Met Sally.”

    1. A group of men standing around the water cooler and making anatomy jokes is an HR complaint in the making. A group of women standing around that same cooler and talking about their periods in detail is just something those sexist men need to deal with.

    2. Having tasted Krispy Kreme donuts I am inclined to agree that such a response is wholly unjustifiable by the quality of the product and must surely be a game of out-performing one another in an effort to inflict discomfort on male listeners.

      Krispy Kreme are excessively sweet and that is before they’re glazed. Nobody could genuinely moan from the “pleasure” of eating them, although the sugar coma they induce might induce some groaning.

      Besides, even were they that good such a display is triggering to we diabetics and must be suppressed.

  7. the more they told me I was inferior and had to defer to the better male brains, the more I set out to prove to the guys that I could run circles around them, mentally speaking.

    You’re saying that from the earliest days you were trained to believe what you observed, not what you were told.

    It is easy to see how that made you into the deplorable person you now are.

  8. Guys do the same in a female intensive grouping. Trust me, the things we think are funny and joke about are just as shockingly bizarre and offensive to normal males.

    Yeah. When I fell into an airplane and broke my collar bone in Panama, they sent me back to The States. My light duty constituted mostly of updating maintenance manuals at a desk in an office full of women. Until I learned to tune stuff out, some of the things said made even me blush. Indeed, I suspect it was kind of a game with them.

  9. Regarding sexist wokeness in popular mass media, I really began to question my consumption when we were watching Person of Interest and I was joyfully explaining to dh how Jim Caviezel’s character was a symbolic penitent who would eventually become a saint blah blah blah … then they brought on that girl who started doing all the action scenes … waaaahhhh i want my Jim Caviezel back! Why am I to be deprived of my enjoyment on so many levels for this imaginary superchit?

    The final insult that ejected me from mass media popular culture was the episode of (supposedly mundane non-superhero girlfriend) Agent Carter when she went down to the docks at midnight to meet a source or maybe a suspect and ended up beating up the 5-man goon squad sent there by the double-crosser. And she never even kicked off her heels or ripped her contoured tailored jacket. Her hat might have fallen off in the scuffle. I’m done with that crap, whether TV or movies. At least Buffy’s prowess came from a forthright supernatural “gift.” So now I spend a lot of time surfing podcasts, etc. and finding interesting stuff out there.

    1. I will point out, at least, that both Agent Carter and Shaw fought VERY dirty indeed. Though there isn’t really an excuse for Agent Carter emerging unmussed from most of the fights other than “the costuming department would murder us all if we blow their budget by messing up her clothes” with a side order of “the actress loved her costume so much SHE would murder us if we ruined it”

      (And I have long since decided that Peggy Carter is an under-the-radar superhuman who used her connections–probably up to and including blackmail–to keep the fact that she was one secret.)

      I actually didn’t mind Shaw overmuch. Reese was still my favorite (the joke in our family was he was Batman, while Finch was Bruce Wayne, though given how much Finch enjoyed dressing Reese up in VERY nice suits, he wouldn’t have minded Reese taking over the Bruce Wayne part either, so he could go full agoraphobe). 🙂 I found the fact that REESE had far better manners and was far more of an asset in normal social interactions entertaining. Shaw was very much a blunt, uncouth instrument and Reese was who you happily dressed in a tux when you needed subtlety. You could even make the argument that, later on in the series, he and Shaw were send-ups of the usual gender stereotypes: he was well-bred and cool headed in pretty much any given situation, you only sent her in when you didn’t mind things being broken and people being miffed. He was the well-bred gentlemen, Shaw was just a brute. (Who was only in it for the dog. And, later, Root. Sort of.)

      1. “(And I have long since decided that Peggy Carter is an under-the-radar superhuman who used her connections–probably up to and including blackmail–to keep the fact that she was one secret.)”

        I’m a comic collector in remission, starting in the 1970’s. Worked in a Comic Shop through High School (which was a trip, because this was before comics were even slightly respectable, and we made the rent selling Hustler and Soldier of Fortune). I’m fairly sure that there has been at least one storyline with Peggy Carter being super, and probably several.

        1. And we know that they continued on with attempts to replicate the supersoldier serum (and ended up with Hulk at one point) for decades and decades, both pre and post the successful one with Steve. Whose to say Howard didn’t come up with a somewhat weaker version of it at some point? Wasn’t good enough for what the US Army wanted, but fine for a dedicated agent who wanted an edge against all the weird crap she ran into?

          Heck, now that they’ve gotten the rights to the X-Men, maybe Peggy’s a mutant, just low-grade enough power-wise that it went largely unnoticed.

  10. I daresay that a large part of the problem is that, long ago in ages unknown, linguists decided to divide languages into three components: masculine, feminine and neuter. While there are good reasons for the three groups (although little explanation why a noun is “feminine” in German but “masculine” in French and neuter in Spanish* — and thankfully, English largely did away with all that entirely) the “gendering” of those groups is essentially without reason; early grammarians might as sensibly termed the groups “Red,” “Yellow,” and “Blue” or “Animal,” “Vegetable”,” and “Mineral.” It is a nomenclatural convenience devoid of deeper meaning accessible to any other than college sophomores of all ages with too little to occupy their time.

    One might as well get stressed over the existence of irregular verbs and argue they are part of a cultural dominance scheme privileging verbs of a particular type. I am sure there is a ideological correlation among verbs irregular, discernible to a thousand PhD candidates desperate for a thesis, but that does not require I find their conclusions credible.

    *assuming there is such a word; I lack linguistic background to offer up an example

    1. Part of the problem is that neuter is considered derogatory in English. If referring to a person of indeterminate gender as ‘it’ wasn’t considered insulting, we wouldn’t have the current silliness.

      I’ve been amused by the Chinese approach (at least in Mandarin) which is essentially to have ‘he’ and ‘she’ be homonyms, but with different characters for each one.

    2. “ linguists decided”

      With the exception of artificial languages like Esperanto, linguist don’t decide much of anything. They catalog the decisions that societies made.

  11. >>The problem is bureaucracies are stupid. They can’t see finer shades such as “allow exceptional individuals to be wherever they belong” or “just let people be people.”

    Sigh. Too true, but I’m not sure it isn’t true of human nature rather than just bureaucracies.

    1. Bureaucracies, I suspect, have the propensity to condense and weaponize such stupidity. They tend to attract and accumulate the kind of idiots people who imagine bureaucracies effective at combating Man’s fallen nature and then demand the bureaucracy attempt to fix such problems in order to justify their status/existence.

      It is human nature to want to inflict one’s biases preferences of “proper” behaviour upon others, but it requires bureaucracy to empower such oppressions.

      See also, ‘You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.’

      1. That bastard phrase “There Ought To Be A Law!”, and it’s twin “Something Needs To Be Done!” have a lot to do with the rise of the Bureaucrat.

        1. “There ought to be a law!”, and “Something needs to be done!” are sure signs of insecurity or laziness by the person uttering them.

          It’s the one who gets up and says, “Fine, I’m going to go get it done.” or even the one who gets up and just does it without talking about it, that are the real movers and shakers. And you usually don’t have to worry about them going all legalese on you.

      2. Before any considerations of institutional philosophy intrude, the nature of any bureaucratic system is set by Parkinson’s Law and the Peter Principal. THEN you add the fluency of ideology, if any.

    2. To arrive at the gestalt intelligence of a mob, find the sum of the IQs apocalypse the members and divide by the number of legs. To arrive at the effective intelligence of a bureaucracy, take the highest IQ in the system and divide my the number is layers.

      1. My, but I screwed that post up. For ‘apocalypse’ read ‘of’. No idea how THAT happened. ‘My’ for ‘by’ is probably simply me typing on a touch screen with my thumbs (outdoors in gloves with the thumbs cut off)

      2. I thought it was find the highest IQ in the herd and divide by the number of heads. Guess I’ll have to alter my methodology.

          1. They remember to breathe,

            Meh. Breathing is a function of the autonomous nervous system. No intelligence is employed.

  12. Where women were supposed to come up with the upper body strength for those weapons I don’t know.

    Here is another example of your having unfair knowledge. People pandering to that idea relied upon women having little or no experience with wielding a broadsword or rapier. It looks easy enough when Flynn and Rathbone do it in the movies, so standing in the scrum of a shield wall cannot be anything too demanding. People who’ve never run a mile have no idea how exhausting swinging a sword can be.

    Or, as the saying goes: “Everything is simple if you don’t know shit about it..”

    1. I think that’s why I loved the Paksennarion trilogy (and I liked the books that continued on with other characters after) so much: Paks was BIG. She was easily six feet, a very strapping girl. I was a little less appreciative of the OTHER, more normal sized females in the merc company–but even so it was still highlighted that training was HARD, and the women who stuck it out ended up being very much in the minority. I’m one of those myself–including unusual natural physical strength–for a woman. Even as a mostly-sedentary almost-40 year old, I can lift and move stuff that most women (and a few men) would struggle with (though now I pay for it, heh.) But I never thought that was NORMAL. (I’m a six-foot Amazon–I rolled my eyes at Buffy, but at least that had the excuse of “because magic.” Much as I love Firefly, there is NO excuse for River Tam.)

      1. The other thing to remember is that the merc company was fighting with the same tactics used by 5’6″ Roman legionnaires against 6’+ German barbarians…. and she showed clearly what happened to those (including Paks) who forgot to use them.

        1. Also: this is why I loved the casting of Gina Carano in the Mandalorian. One look at the muscles on her arms and shoulders, and I absolutely would believe she was a former Rebel shocktrooper. SHE looked like she could pound most things that weren’t absolutely huge into the dirt. (And since the actress DOES, as a MMA fighter…)

      2. While River Tam was supposed to be the main story arc of Firefly, Mal should have sent her off somewhere to borrow a cup of sugar and then boosted for the sky.

        Super powers and bouts of psychotic rage would be a “do not want!” on any sane person’s spaceship…

        1. 1) Mal didn’t know about the superpowers until she and Simon had been crew for a while, and he’s nothing if not loyal to his people. Just ditching them at that point would have been out of character.

          2) He hated the Alliance and probably enjoyed thwarting them by keeping her hidden.

          3) Would YOU want a psychic, super-powered River hunting you down for betraying her and her brother (you know he’d have had to ditch Simon as well)?

          1. And, of course, the point of Mal Reynolds was that while he TALKED the talk of a cynical, pragmatic, ruthless smuggler…he wasn’t, not really. He was a big damn hero, and nothing he did would actually change that. I’m pretty sure the moment he saw that River was essentially a young, vulnerable girl-child he was stuck–nothing about his innate sense of protectiveness would allow him to abandon her–nor, though I’m sure it annoyed him, to abandon her brother, since they were a package deal. The revelation of superpowers later was inconvenient, but did not dislodge the “child in need of protection” image in his head.

            *Jayne* would have–or rather, sold them to the Alliance. But he wasn’t in charge, and the one time he tried it, he got a memorable demonstration from Mal that “hero-type” is NOT weak.

            I mean, there’s a REASON that it took Saffron a little longer than usual to take over the ship…

              1. And then Mal almost threw him out the airlock after–to the point that Jayne honestly thought he was going to do it. And I think he would have, but for Jayne begging him not to tell the others the real reason why, and so he gave him a second chance.

          2. Another point is the organization had more people like River, she was just their strongest one to date. Had the series continued, I’m sure we would have started seeing some of them deployed against Serenity and crew, and River would have been necessary to counter many of them.

      3. I saw Summer Glau in person once — her autograph booth was right next to Kevin Conroy’s, and his line was four hours long. She doesn’t look attractive at all … more like a cancer patient on chemo. No muscles at all; I think I could have broken her wrist with one hit.

        1. I have always suspected that she is probably one of the naturally-waiflike, but add in the “in Hollywood must lose 20 pounds” thing, and I bet she does look somewhat unhealthy. :/

      4. Until after fifty, I could hold my own with most men in stuff like lifting and moving furniture and endurance at such work. Just not as good as the GOOD ones.

        1. PRECISELY. I wouldn’t stand a chance–even at my fittest–against actually athletic, in training men. (Which I am okay with. In the event I was fighting for my life against one, I have the imagination and the will to do a LOT of nasty things to them that don’t require me to beat them in a contest of strength.)

          I was still somewhat stunned about a year ago when the parents invited a couple of our local missionaries over to help us unload packages of tile from their trailer. I also helped, because Mom–who is also unusually strong for a woman–is past sixty and in stage 3 renal failure (THANK you, overmedicating doctors!), and has a bum shoulder, so lifting heavy stuff is a no go for her. (And dad was recovering from gastric bypass, and also couldn’t lift heavy stuff.

          Those boys are between 18-20 in age–and I still, at the age of 38, could lift more tile for longer. (the tile packs, I think, were, oh, maybe 30 or 40 pounds? Maybe more for the bigger tile.) I was a bit astonished, but after talking with them found that neither one was a farm kid in any way. Neither had they been athletes (no judgement there–most of my family purely HATES actually playing sports, and after having been pressured into it by THEIR parents, my parents told us flat out we could play sports if we wanted, but they weren’t about to make us). But still…sheesh.

          Mom has mentioned, more than once, that for her hitting 60 was the wall and she lost the bulk of her previous strength. I figure I’ll be looking at something similar–possibly sooner, since to a certain extent she got things reset a little bit by having her system flooded with pregnancy hormones at the age of 41. (Unless I am very lucky, that’s not likely to happen for me.) So her joints got re-suppled, heh.

          At any rate, I suspect the heavy, HEAVY dosing of Celt genetics (plus Vikings) in our family tree is part of it. My tiny leprechaun of a great-grandad was known for crazy feats of strength well into his 80s. (Up to and including beating the soup of a much younger, much bigger man he caught abusing a child. And I’m not kidding when I say Grandpa Stock looked like a leprechaun in a Stetson. He was maaaaybe 5’5″, and shrank with age. Most of this grandkids and great-grandkids are all above average height, both male and female. Celts, man: if you feed ’em, they grow BIG.)

          1. Mom has mentioned, more than once, that for her hitting 60 was the wall

            Past sixty it has been less a matter of lost strength than irrelevant strength. When Arthur Ritis comes a calling the question is not “Are you strong enough?” but “Can you actually exert what strength you have?”

            Surprisingly, back spasms have much the same issue. How much you can dead lift is irrelevant when your back locks pulling up your pants.

            1. Enforced leisure time has something to do with it as well. After the podiatrist did drastic things to my big toe*, I was confined to the reclining chair for 12 weeks, and then only able to handle light duty. Getting up the hills around the property was quite the challenge when it hadn’t been earlier. OTOH, muscles and other infrastructure are getting better.

              (*) Protip: if feasible and you need bunion surgery on both feet, look into getting them both done simultaneously. I didn’t and regret it. I would have needed the rolling walker longer (switched to a cane in a week or so), but one round of recovery seems to beat two rounds. YMMV, and the doctor gets a vote veto.

              1. Plantar fasciitis has similar issues. You stop doing a lot of walking or running simply because it hurts too much. And the less you do, the quicker the pounds come on, or back. Bad feedback cycle. Getting my feet ultrasonicked once a week and it seems to be working.

                1. I had orthotics for PF since the early 1990s. About 7 years ago, I got another pair from a relatively new podiatrist. He taught me stretches for the Achilles tendon/plantar fascia, with instructions to do them 3 times a day. I did so, and in 6 weeks, the PF was almost gone, and now, if I don’t use orthotics (some boots just aren’t a good match), it’s no big deal.

                  I had to halt the stretches (the Achilles and the plantar fascia are linked, but it’s supposed to slide through the heel. Stretches restore the slide–with luck and persistance) when the toe was healing. After about 10 weeks postop, I could resume, and it took about 4 weeks for the plantar fascia to behave.

    2. I had a somewhat similar conversation about women in a Roman formation. One commentor stated that men might get distracted when they realized they were swinging a sword at someone with breasts. I countered that the regular daily workout Roman troops underwent would likely make those breasts much less noticeable. The response back was that women in the modern military regilarly went on foot patrols and still had breasts. I countered by bringing up daily twenty-mile forced marches carrying full battle-gear, and then digging in each night when the encampment spot was reached.

      1. Given Roman armor styles, I doubt that breasts would be apparent to the attacking forces, particularly since they would have spent much of their time with a sputum between them and the enemy while closing to contact.

        And unless the Romans really screwed up, they would never get into a melee where that would be an issue either. If things go the Roman’s way, then their formations won’t break up into individual “combat” until it becomes time to kill the enemy wounded and capture the rest for the slave pens.

        1. Yeah, but you know how those sorts of conversations go. If the person who suggested the idea actually had any real idea what they were talking about…

          Plus, IIRC, I think I remember reading that armed women were one of the things that popped up in the “armies” that the natives of Britain used to send against the Romans (along with chariots, naked men, etc…). While the Romans had trouble throughout the entire occupation of Britain, so far as I know stabbing armed women wasn’t one of the things that gave them pause.

    3. Here is another example of your having unfair knowledge. People pandering to that idea relied upon women having little or no experience with wielding a broadsword or rapier.

      Bows especially fall in this category. Even among people who are willing to admit that there’s a difference in upper body strength between men and women will say that, of course women could fight with bows, because bows don’t require any upper body strength…

      Yeah, I know. Archers, you can all stop laughing now.

      1. Man, back when I was in the best shape of my life (about 18, accustomed to bucking several tons’ worth of feed and haybales every week), I tried archery at an SCA event. I could juuuuuuust draw a 100lb bow and make an okay shot (I hit the target, but nowhere NEAR the bullseye)–but holy hell, did I hurt the next day, and for most of a week after!

        Now I’d probably cripple myself, heh. So yeah, that whole “women are archers” nonsense makes me snort. Women archers in films should be built like freaking BEASTS around the arms and shoulders.

        1. Oh, to this – I did archery in college, because I HAD to do something in the PE line, and archery was rather fun, as well as being a leisurely sport, but pull a hundred-pound bow? IIRC, I think the ones we had for class were a thirty to forty pound pull and that was quite enough for us unathletic sorts hiding out where we could.

          1. Not to mention the fact that if you don’t position your arm JUST RIGHT, it’s like having a high-speed baloney slicer run along the inside of it. (I was told this is especially a problem for women, because our elbows are jointed slightly differently to men’s? Dunno, but I certainly experienced it once and it only TOOK once, even the one time I tried archery.)

            I think I’d enjoy archery, though. Definitely would be happy with a forty-pound bow, I’ve got nothing to prove. 😀

            1. Oh, yeah – I remember the lesson about positioning your arm holding the bow juuusssst right. A lesson which most of us only had to take once …

                1. Oh, we started with arm guards from the get go – but the bowstring could still thwack your arm above it.

            2. When I was in college archery (with fencing as a chaser. I’m Odd.) I had a permanent bruise on the inside of my bow-holding arm.

              1. That reminds me of stories about Amazon archers cutting off one breast (to prevent it interfering with the bowstring, prevent damage to the breast or, likely, both.) I didn’t notice Hollywood adhering to this representation in Wonder Woman or any other film pretending to present Amazons. There might have been push-up bras, I couldn’t say.

                Modern CGI greatly reduces the problems of accurate representation, of course.

                1. Interestingly, Roman and Greek art showing Amazons (often with breasts showing) show them with two breasts.

                  (Mentioned in Adrienne Mayor’s book “The Amazons: Lives And Legends Of Warrior Women Across The Ancient World”)

                  1. Meh. Artists! What you gonna do? They paint (sculpt) what they wanta see.

                    Actually, in those days pre-anesthesia it seems improbable that such major surgery (there are a lot of blood vessels involved there) would be undertaken routinely, although as rite of passage it wouldn’t be too improbable. But a lleather or bronze breastplate would seem to serve at least as well.

                  2. If I remember my English teacher right (the good one), the chopping-off-a-breast thing was metaphorical/symbolic– that is, they sacrificed the essence of womanhood to be a warrior.

                    1. Had to be, given the absence of antibiotics and the likelihood of dying even from relatively MINOR wounds. Chopping off an entire breast…well, if the shock didn’t kill you, the infection likely would, and the survival rate would be very low indeed.

                    2. As a ritual thing it would likely have involved a ceremonial cleansing (not that they knew about germs, but they’d probably have learned that clean people were less likely to fester) and (dang – getting old an memory develops holes; what’s the term?) sealed the wound with heated iron/bronze. Might even have sprinkled wine/vinegar over it and covered it in honey, which we’re now learning has remarkable anti-infection and healing promotion capacity.)

                      The method of removal might even have preserved a flap of skin to cover the wound. Wouldn’t be comfortable, but damned little was, back then. And there is also the fact, as documented in multiple well-researched* fantasy novels, that they’d have had herbal ointments to numb the wound and promote recovery.

                      It also seems likely that most women (especially highly athletic ones, which Amazon warriors would might well have been) would have had small breasts, given that the diets historically didn’t offer tons of fat or calories.

                      *No, I’m selling it, not imbibing it.

                    3. Yes: Cauterize.

                      Let no one else’s tits evade your eyes!
                      Remember why the good Lord made your eyes
                      So don’t shade your eyes
                      But cauterize, cauterize, cauterize!

                      Sorry. I should probably go lie down now and reboot my head.

          2. I also took archery for a PE credit in college. I had the idea of learning archery and then carrying arrowheads and bow strings in my E&E gear, with the idea I could fabricate bows and arrows in the field.

            Then I tried to actually learn archery. Hit the targets, didn’t kill anyone, tore up the skin on fingers of my left hand, and decided to stick to firearms for reach out and touch them. I could do better with a slingshot (Y type) and I sucked at that as well.

            A few years later at a Rendezvous encampment watched a bow maker and what it took to make a decent bow for even subsistence hunting, and buried my original E&E gear idea with several others that had made unfortunate contact with reality.

      2. They should read Bernard Cornwell’s Agincourt novel (well, actually, everybody should, once they’ve run out of tales from Sarah and other hunovelists.)

        Aside from firing an arrow every ten seconds using a tow meter tall yew bow requiring 105-lb of pull* (not even recurved, much less all the fancy crap used to ease draw on a modern bow) there is a fundamental question they need to consider how, after they’ve shot their quiver, they’re keeping their middle-fingers attached when the surviving knights and men-at-arms come at them.

        *if you cannot do six chin-ups a minute (one-handed) for five minutes forget that bow.

      1. I’ve tried story-telling. It ain’t easy.

        Well, it is easy, but telling a story in an interesting and entertaining and even compelling way is not easy. Stringing out words in “beautiful prose poems” is easy but it isn’t worth anyone’s beer money.

    4. See female heavy fighters in the SCA. Armor AND Weapons + Shield. Those that succeed really deserve it. The ones who keep fighting even when they are BAD also get a lot of credit.
      One of the things I loved about the SCA – as long as you went on the field and TRIED what you had to say was respected.
      The Light fighting had many more women but it was basically the same.
      Also the fact that the SCA didn’t divide the fighters. If you were a fighter you fought all other fighters.

      Fighting that one legged Knight was a pain, damn I took his leg now I am in trouble. Single sword with him hopping around on one leg, a real pain.

      And women winning the crown in their own right, now that is feminism that the Feminist HATE.

      1. There’s also the fact that (successful) female warriors are more likely to look like Brienne of Tarth …

        … or Marie Dressler* than a Victoria’s Secret Angel (or even Gail Godot.)

        *For fans of early Thirties film. She starred opposite Wallace Beery in several films, most notably in Min and Bill and Tugboat Annie.

        1. Here is Marie Dressler giving Jean Harlow a terrific double-take …

          … and reassurance in the film Dinner at Eight, in which Dressler received top billing, above such luminaries as John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, and Lionel Barrymore.

      2. Don’t know if you ever heard this one. I tried to find the actual recording by Leslie Fish, but couldn’t.

  13. women mostly occupy the middle ranks, while men claim more geniuses and more morons. This is a statistical fact.

    Put another way, women average better than men but are generally not as good as the best, nor as bad as the worst. Of course, hardly anybody is exactly average.

    1. For the life of me, I can’t see anything outrageous in admitting that women cluster around the average, while men are more apt to be outliers in comparison.
      Comes of having been raised by parents with a scientific bent, I guess.

      1. That makes sense in terms of evolution/natural selection.

        Women must be conserved. Lose a few, and the tribe is at a significant disadvantage.

        Men can be risked. If there is more variability in men, the gains from the overachievers should exceed losses from the ones born with disadvantages.

        Which makes the ‘progressive’ goal of absolute equality even stupider. Because they can’t raise the bottom, only cut off the top, and the bottom is lower for men.

        Which secretly thrills them, I’m sure.
        Delenn: “What is our status?”
        Lennier: “Damage is substantial, but auto-repair systems are functional. Setting course for Babylon 5.”
        Delenn: “Who said we were leaving? They destroyed ships from League worlds — murdered their crews — destroyed White Star 16 — and now, they will pay the price.”

        1. Don’t forget the other side– you are going to lose a lot more women.

          Because pregnancy, child-birth and feeding the kid are demanding, physically.

          That genetic study that identified that you’ve probably got a lot more female than male ancestors should’ve beaten folks over the head with this. HEll, I know that someone here mentioned they had an ancestor who had like a half-dozen different wives who were sisters, because the gals kept dying in childbirth. It wasn’t the polygamy thing that folks like to make of it, it’s “damn, another woman died, and I need the other half of the house to keep the kids alive.”

          1. That’s a plot point in the next Merchant world book. The MC has got to marry, and soon, because he can’t raise two children and work. Alas, a lousy family with an OK daughter knows this . . .

            1. Oh, and this is why the guy married sisters. You don’t want an “accident” to your kids while you’re away on business or in the field. Their aunt will probably be nicer.

              1. Yeah, there’s a REASON ‘evil step-parent’ was such a theme…

                (And I gather that even now, it’s statistically more likely for kids to suffer abuse/death at the hands of a step-parent. Which horrifies me, but then my family is strange and adopted four kids, so…)

                1. I’ve got a cousin where before a family reunion, we got the warning of death if we DARED make any kind of a comment about her toes.

                  Her birth-mother burnt them off on a stove. I think they adopted several other kids, too, not like I cared, they’re just cousins.

                  At a guess, the adoption process itself selects for kids vs victims and vs competitors for love-interest’s attention.

                  1. Yeah, 3 of the 4 my parents adopted were too damaged by previous abuse to really be made whole again (one is institutionalized–he’s a danger to himself and others). The parents did their best, but it was rough going for many years. Even so–they’re still part of the family. We may not be on much of speaking terms with 3 of the 4 these days, but they’re still my siblings and I never thought of them as otherwise. (I mean, I was an only child for NINE YEARS–and pretty much prayed every night of those for a sibling. Because I wanted one, and also because, well, I’m a pathological introvert, and it meant my very loving parents would have someone ELSE to focus some of their attention on, heh. Though I didn’t realize that until I was in my teens.)

                    Heck there’s actually a 5th, but he’s the unofficial one who joined the family when he was 20, lol.

                    1. Heck there’s actually a 5th, but he’s the unofficial one who joined the family when he was 20, lol.

                      K, my husband is one of two kids. Girl and boy.

                      He functionally has at LEAST six sisters, because of all the girls that his sister dragged home because they had no parents; my in-laws officially only have 6 grandkids, but functionally have 25 or so, depending on if the foster-sisters are sisters or cousins, and heck if I can tell. My kids call them all cousin.

                      We’re working on cousin-adopting a sweet Marine, too. ‘cus Carlos is someone anybody would be proud to claim.

                    2. I think just on looks and behavior my older son is related to you guys too. If he ever meets you I suspect he and his family will become part of the tribe.
                      And we? Well, G-d might have blessed me with 11 children after all. He just gave them to other women, but they’re finding me as adults.
                      Some really need me. Their blood parents are…. uh…. between inadequate and malevolent. And some have perfectly nice parents, but just belong to us, too. (And the parents kindly share ;))
                      So, no biological grandkids yet, but four functional grandkids, and probably more…. (I adopted one of the commenters here, but I don’t know if her son counts. Mind you, he starts telling a story, and he’s ALL mine. Not that I knew him till a couple of years ago, but I’ll take credit. Adoption genetics!)

                    3. *points at Himself’s sense of humor per decedents more numerous than the stars in the sky*

                      You’re a quite decent auntie, too. My kids solidly have you places as “some kind of a cousin” in their mental astronomy.

                  1. Indeed. And that is why I basically took a vow of celibacy for some fifteen years or so. I didn’t want to take the risk of letting an abuser or a perv ANYWHERE near my daughter. (Besides, I hardly had the energy for anything else, being a parent and career military!)
                    The gentleman I eventually did get into a relationship with for a decade was a retired teacher, a veteran, and served as kind of an uncle to my daughter … about the time that she graduated from HS.

                    1. /sigh
                      Little girls I don’t have a problem with. They’re usually scared of me for 5 to 10 minutes, and then for the next 5 or 6 years think I’m some kind of toy bear to play with. Once they turn teen, I think they sense that I’m not comfortable with the old rough and tumble games with them anymore, and tend to drift to other groups. Makes me wonder if that was Lewis Carroll’s problem, and not the latent child molester that many have tried to turn him into.

                  2. No, but…given the de-emphasis on the necessity of marriage in most Western cultures nowadays, I think it’s functionally the same thing.

                    Hell, I rage-quit the last no-longer-“young” LDS singles group I was in on Facebook a few years back when an astonishing number of the men in it started sounding off about how they weren’t ‘interested’ in a woman who already had kids (the discussion was between some of us women about whether or not we’d thought about becoming foster moms/adoptive moms even if we hadn’t found a husband, and there were plenty of divorced women with kids in the group as well). I don’t get the “but it has to be MY biological kid” attitude at ALL.

                    Though my mother said that she decided my father was a keeper when, upon learning that she wouldn’t be able to have kids (as it turned out, not quite true, but it was difficult–except for the seventh-kid-but-third-birth-kid) his immediate response was “That’s okay, we can adopt kids.” So I suppose I had it hardwired in, heh.

                    1. my mother said that she decided my father was a keeper when … his immediate response was “That’s okay, we can adopt kids.”

                      Arguably the greatest ending line of any movie, ever.

                    2. I’ll bet they’d paid attention to MGTOW sources, where the assumption is that a divorced woman probably screwed over her ex-husband and won’t take responsibility for her part in why the divorce didn’t work.

                      The thing is, MGTOW is calibrated for women who partook of post-Sexual Revolution sex culture, which LDS ought to be avoiding most strenuously, at least those of us who genuinely believe (as opposed to being in it for the ‘wholesome social atmosphere’, i.e. Utah Mormon issues).

                      I wouldn’t say that it’s an automatic red flag, but if a single Sister has children, a single Elder looking to court her needs to seriously investigate what happened to the father, how she treats him, why they aren’t still together, how she treats the kids in relation to their father, etc.


                    3. And what you experienced is a combination of culture and biology regarding stepchildren, only from a single man’s viewpoint. Biologically, those men who didn’t want to get involved with a single parent woman were correct in not wanting to invest in the care of another man’s child, even if it gave him access to a woman of child-bearing age. Not when they can start with a clean bill of slate and invest all of their resources in their own biological children.

                      And I also understand the rage-quit part from a biological perspective. Single parent Moms are also looing for more resources for their children, and it’s irritating when you both fail to land the prize and have to deal with the emotions of being rejected. I want to say it’s not personal, but damn it, it sure feels that way!

                    4. What’s MGTOW?? Not familiar with that one.

                      Though yeah, a sensible person of EITHER sex who is looking at dating/marrying a person who has been divorced should look at how all that went down, and pay attention to what they say and how they say it. Especially and definitely if there’s kids, because that other parent is, hopefully (and provided they weren’t an abusive monster), still being a parent to those kids. So yeah, that does add a level of sensible “let’s take it slow while I get the lay of the land” to things and it should. It’s the “I won’t even consider dating someone divorced/someone who has kids” thing that’s…troubling.

                      And…look, I get the biological thing, to a point, but…we’re not mindless slaves to our biological imperatives, or we SHOULDN’T be. Because…don’t we have great big brains? Are we not capable of going against our instincts? (You’re not gonna convince me that going INTO SPACE doesn’t violate a HUGE number of instincts and genetic programming.)

                      Also, in the case of that particular FB conversation…well, look, the guys coming in and ‘blessing’ the women (and a few men, who were either interested in the discussion or were themselves single parents or singletons who had never thought of fostering/adopting on their own) who were having the conversation that if she dared to do any such thing HE wouldn’t even ask her out, so she’d better not do THAT (with the underlying HOW DARE YOU HAVE A LIFE THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE EXCLUSIVELY MEEEEEE)…well, I wasn’t the only one who went nuclear on them. I should note, this bunch that intruded also had a lot of overlap with the subset of men in the group who also spent a lot of time whining about how all women were shallow and manipulative and only interested in how much money they made or how good looking they were, and so we were all awful, awful witches who never ever gave them–the NICE(tm) guys–a chance. So there was that as well. They were a nasty little wart in a group of otherwise decent men–but the problem was, they were almost the only ones making their voices heard, of the men, so…Believe me, I know perfectly well that it was a case of Not All Men, but this bunch was getting increasingly more obnoxious, and moderators on that page were, apparently, either nonexistent, spineless, or they agreed.

                      So yeah. I get caution, I get biological drives, what I do not get is the “And I can’t POSSIBLY go against it or consider something different” attitude.

                      I mean, sheesh. I like most of you a good deal better than I like large chunks of my own family (biological and otherwise), and would happily accept you as friends/family, and I haven’t even MET any of you in person!

                    5. Men Going Their Own Way– the guys who theoretically drop out of the relationship market.

                      Theoretically because it seems to range everywhere from simply not looking, all the way to “Look, dude, can you please become an atheistic cross-fit vegan so it will tone down how much you incessantly talk about yourself?” style virtue-signaling to try to get the attention they feel owed.

                    6. Ahhh, okay. I’ve heard of it, just not under that particular acronym.

                      Hey, I’m not a fan of all those women with vastly detailed lists either. (or of the men with them, for women). It’s embittered a lot of people on both sides of the dating thing, and it’s only causing harm. (And it’s a silly teenager thing that we SHOULD outgrow, barring the truly make-or-break things we require for a marriage to work. Which…yeah, sadly means there will be some loonies who have a 50 point itemized list, sigh…)

                      I have precisely ONE make-or-break thing on my list these days. (And it was short even when I was younger, heh. For example, the “taller than me” thing went by the wayside when I was about 19, because…well, I’m 5’11” in my bare feet.)

                    7. *snickers* My mom got snarled at when she gently suggested to the gal who lead the local prayer group, during the Mandatory 15 minute long itemized prayer of EXACTLY what she wanted in a replacement husband (divorcee), maybe she could let God decide what kind of a guy the lady needed…..

                    8. Hahhaha, we have one of those. Not for a spouse–she’s in her 90s and widowed and NOT looking–but she…tends to give sermons when she says the opening or closing prayers. You can always tell when we’ve got either a new bishopric (we have lay clergy, and they tend to get shuffled on a regular basis every 3-5 years) or that they forgot about this particular sister’s tendencies.

                      They forgot a couple of weeks ago. Yep, fifteen minute prayer. And of course, we also all feel hugely guilty squirming in our seats about it, because they are such SINCERE and loving prayers, too…

                      Personally, while I’m sure God is totally on board with longer prayers–it’s nice when your kids want to actually TALK to you, after all–He’s also snickering at the rest of us squirming.

                    9. I must not frequent the right groups. I can’t hardly recall the last flame war I watched or was involved in. Yeah, it does sound like a bunch of them were arguing at the 3 year old level. Of course when someone gets involved in a lengthy argument with a 3 year old, it kind of makes you wonder which one is smarter. Probably why Congress is so irritating.

                    10. Heh. My argument consisted mostly of a “You guys are jerks, you’re jerks elsewhere on this group, and it’s frankly not surprising you can’t find a spouse” post before I left the group, lol. ‘Cause yeah, there was no arguing with their “all women should worship meeee and I don’t understand why they aren’t” approach to the courtship arena. The kid thing…that hit close to home with me (even more so now, on multiple levels, though I am not a mother), and was just the last straw. (And since there were no moderators shutting them down to speak of, I could only see it getting worse.)

                      Now, the “mid” singles group that I’ve been attending church with off and on (it’s a 3 hour drive though)? Lovely group of people. It’s also in person, too, which I’m sure helps keep out the trolls.

                    11. When it comes to marriage it can be surprising how emotional and immature people become.

                      That’s the sort of thing makes me glad I’m wallaby.

                    12. Yeah, and especially if you mix in a religious culture where marriage is a really, REALLY big deal. (And also mix in the whole “no sex before marriage” thing–which of course, being humans, not everyone manages, but enough make a good big go of it that there’s also a crapton of sexual frustration to boot, heh. To the point that our general authorities came out some years ago and said “That whole “get married civilly, have sex, get divorced the next day” thing that’s trending in some places in our Church right now? KNOCK IT OFF, THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS.”)

                  3. That’s a combination of “not married” which is more dangerous even if they are your blood parents, and “not your blood relative” which is more dangerous even if they are married. Both is worst.

                2. Usually mom’s new boyfriend, who’s obeying the genetic imperative to expend his efforts raising HIS offspring.

                  1. Sometimes.

                    Sometimes he’s also obeying his genetic imperative to spread his DNA far and wide. There’s a disturbing number of sexual abuse incidents that involve a woman’s boyfriend and her daughter.

                    1. Frankly, I think we as a society need to get back to the teaching people that genetic imperatives are all well and good–but you have a BIG big brain, and that should be making the decisions, NOT your stupid monkey-genes.

                    2. This isn’t my only model for the future, but sometimes I wonder if the mainstream post-Sexual Revolution culture is just too rotten, and that the future is up to those sub-cultures that have preserved monogamy, to act as seed corn once the rest stop breeding enough engineers and whatnot to keep infrastructure going.

                      I hope not. It’d be messy. I’d rather that we get leaders and storytellers who can nudge the Overton Window enough to turn us back to ‘the future belongs to the children of those who have them and raise them well’ as our mainstream culture. But sometimes it looks a lot like we need to fort up and hunker down for a couple of generations.


                    3. You know Sara, for those monkey genes to still be influencing behavior, they must still have some benefit. We don’t have to like it, but we should acknowledge and understand that they are operative.

                    4. Technically, they don’t have to have a benefit– they have to be insufficiently bad to remove all of those with the inclination from the gene pool before reproduction.

                      Like how cancer tends to not kill folks until AFTER they’ve reproduced.

                    5. No. Actually they don’t need to have any benefit. Evolution is not instant. And often is harmful in the short term, before the trait gets weeded out.
                      Evolution= you isn’t understanding it at all.

                    6. Mmm. Perhaps, but if we didn’t learn to go against them, we would not, for example, have gotten into space. Or any number of other things.

                      Also, given that this particular bit is a response regarding a boyfriend (or stepfather) sexually abusing his partner’s DAUGHTER…no. That is not a good monkey gene. That is a BAD monkey gene, and it needs to die.

                      Genetic imperative to spread DNA is NOT an excuse for abusing a child (or a teenager), or for infidelity in a relationship/culture where fidelity–from both parties–is expected.

                      Killing offspring not one’s own is also, technically, a monkey gene/genetic imperative–would you argue, then, that it’s still a useful one we should heed?

                      (I realize you’re responding more to the earlier conversation about not wanting to raise kids not your own and that FB group I mentioned–that’s something rather different, and my objection to that is the attitude of “all men are like this.” I am not arguing that a man with this view should date/marry a woman with kids anyway. Quite the opposite, in fact. Nor should she complain about it–not when her kids’ safety is possibly at risk here. And I’ll just personally hold out for a man who is just as cool with adopting as he is with biological fathering.)

                    7. On adoption: adopted children tend to marry people like their adoptive parents. So that, and stepparenthood, can indirectly benefit your genes.

                    8. If they’ve been around since before we forked from the chimps, presumably they’ve offered some sort of advantage over that period, to persist into the modern day across all humankind.

                      But maintaining First World plumbing, transportation, and electricity requires that we produce high-quality offspring; presumably we’ll need even better if we want to be a space-faring civilization. So we need to maximize our two-parent households, where fathers and mothers work together to ensure that the primary caregiver loves the offspring to the irrational extent needed to maximally cultivate those children’s prospects and potential.

                      Thus the bar for ‘barely tolerable transgressions’ needs to be a lot higher than it was a hundred years ago, rather than a lot lower (as it is today).

                      (This doesn’t address widows and orphans, of course, but they are far from the majority of single-parent families today, unless I’m misinformed on the subject.)


                    9. Good point Fox. you’re right, usually doesn’t get weeded out, except by accident, unless it’s detrimental to the organism in its current environment.

              2. I can see that logically but I think of all my brother in laws as actual brothers so the mind just boggles at this point.

          2. Dan’s ancestor. He’s descended from the youngest whom this guy married when he was 40 and she was 11. She started having kids as 13? 14, and had seven. Unlike her 4 (?) sisters, she survived to old age. But yeah.

            1. Both my grandfathers were considerably older than the women they married, although both my grandmothers were above what we’d consider the age of consent today when they got married.

              Dad once observed that he thought women a generation younger than him would bore him, if Mom passed away and he needed to marry to provide us with a step-mother as we finished growing up. I didn’t have enough experience at the time to provide the proper rebuttal, but . . . well, they got together because of a shared hobby, not because Mom was within XY years of Dad’s age.

              There’s a reason I ask girls if they like to read before I flirt with them. If I despair of fathering my own children, girls my age or older who don’t like to read won’t magically become less uninteresting to me.


              1. They shouldn’t become less uninteresting, technically. Even if children aren’t on the table, you still have to LIVE with her. And, given that I know you are also LDS, it’s supposed to be eternal and all… To paraphrase the Great Austen: Men who don’t want to be bored for the rest of forever had still better find a spouse who is interesting to them. 😀

                1. Right, but Dad was assuming that women closer to his age would be more likely to be interesting. I think, instead, that he lucked out when he met Mom, because they have so many interests in common that they never run out of things to enjoy together.

                  Most women XY years younger than me don’t read (possibly outside of porn^h^h^h^hromance). But that’s equally true of women my age, just as it’s true of women XY years older than me. That’s the rebuttal I didn’t know enough to make, back then: It’s not the generation gap or lack thereof that matters when seeking an eternal companion, it’s the overlap of shared interests.

                  That said, I probably don’t have any business asking any sweet spirit if she wants to be my forever First Reader until I get at least a dozen books finished and up on Amazon.


                  1. Blame the school system. They have been doing their darndest for at least a couple of generations now to kill any love of reading in kids–and therefore the adults they become.

                    Even in my family of bookworms, I still ended up with sibs who don’t like reading much. ::shrugs:: I started so early, the school couldn’t kill it. (And being a natural speed reader and a good memory means I got away with skimming most of the assigned crap I couldn’t get out of.)

                    I *did* come out of it with a deep loathing for “modern literature” and that if famous people–ESPECIALLY Oprah–recommended it, I’d probably hate it. (One of my classes, we had to read Beloved by Toni Morrison. And then stuff by Tom Wolfe.)

                    1. Heh. I’m the one pushing the “public education is child abuse, and child sacrifice for those singled out for grooming” line, and while it stings when people I like get offended because they decide I think they’re abuse-adjacent or worse . . . well, I think people who support professional moneyball are similarly adjacent to the assaults and rapes committed by professional athletes, and then covered up by their managers. Albeit often out of ignorance in both spheres, by the parents and fans.

                      I have no charisma, I speak not with a tongue of lightning or as an angel, I hold no expectation of convincing anyone . . .

                      But it’s plain and verifiable truth, there for anyone to look and see, and I dare not say in the sight of God that the Emperor is clothed.


              2. My great-grandmother, by marrying my great-grandfather, became the stepmother of her classmate and best friend.

        2. Commander Ivanova, Interstellar Alliance:
          “This is the White Star fleet. Negative on the surrender. We will not stand down.”

          Captain Thomson, Earthforce:
          “Who is this? Identify yourself!”

          “Who *am* I? I am Susan Ivanova. Commander. Daughter of Andrei and Sophie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance, and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see.
          *God* sent me.”

          1. Starships are ALSO great equalizers. 😀

            I am also very fond of the “Only one human captain has ever survived battle with a Minbari Fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives, be somewhere else!” scene.

            1. I love Ivanova. I was always sorry there was whatever it was that happened that caused her to leave and not be in the final season. (I gather they all resolved it years later, and she has as much as said part of it was her alcohol abuse problems at the time making her not particularly communicative. But she’s since doing a lot better, and remembers her time on B5 very fondly. Especially now that she–and everyone else–also know the full story of what was going on with Michael O’Hare (Commander Sinclair).)

              1. Later, Claudia Christian played an Ivanova-like character in a rather strange British SF comedy called Starhyke. Think of a cross between “V” and Star Trek, written and directed by some Monty Python types.

              2. >> “Especially now that she–and everyone else–also know the full story of what was going on with Michael O’Hare (Commander Sinclair).)”

                I hadn’t heard of this. What happened?

                  1. Now that makes all the actor character shuffling make sense. I thought he was great for the part, and like a lot of people, resented the way he was written out without explanation. Now we know.

                    1. O’Hare’s illness might have been why Captain Sinclair came across so well. He portrayed Sinclair as a gentle, thoughtful man, who spent considerable effort to consider the long term consequences before taking an action, though he was fully capable of taking immediate action when required. And he built an organization that he directed, but didn’t depend on him to operate. I think the defining episode for his character would have been “By Any Means Necessary.”

                      Boxleitner’s Captain Sheridan, on the other hand, was a jerk, the kind of ‘leader’ who rubs me the wrong way. I would have been figuring out how to “accidentally” depressurize his quarters when he was asleep.

                    2. Eh, I didn’t find Sheridan to be a jerk, just a bit more forceful in personality than Sinclair. Though even Boxleitner would crack jokes about John “Nuke ’em!” Sheridan’s favorite tactic. (Though to be fair, Sheridan only did that TWICE, once to the Minbari during the war, once to the Shadows–though it worked very well both times, since neither foe expected it.) He’s the sort of stroppy, clever, implacable hero I find very entertaining. (Though I was not a fan of the whole post-resurrection thing. Again, though, neither was Sheridan, when it came down to it…)

                      I did come to really like Sinclair’s rather gentle nature, and “By Any Means Necessary” is easily my favorite Sinclair episode as well–that showed he was a trickster at heart as well. Which, of course, would lend itself well for his ultimate destiny. It couldn’t have been easy dealing with having to not only pretty much change species (at least mostly) AND have to be the unifying central religious prophet-figure for a culture that HAD to last the next thousand years, and if he screwed it up he was screwing pretty much the entire galaxy up down the line, and it’s implied that he wasn’t exactly given detailed instructions on how to do it, just…general guidelines. (And given the Vorlon way, very vague ones I’d bet.)

                      In one of the novels–which have been declared to be canon–we at least learn that at least Catherine Sakai DID join him back in time, so he at least got the love of his life back. Though of course that caused problems for their children and grandchildren, since it’s not really made clear whether or not Catherine underwent transformation as well (and I think, given the hints that their kids got DRIVEN OFF Minbar, she not.)

                      These days, I’d say I like Sinclair and Sheridan about equally (I find Sheridan and Delenn to still be one of the most adorable couples ever in scifi), though I do wish we’d had more time with Sinclair.

                  2. Now that makes all the actor character shuffling make sense. I thought he was great for the part, and like a lot of people, resented the way he was written out without explanation. Now we know.

                    1. Yeah, it wasn’t ideal. (Though I admit to liking Sheridan a lot more–but I also didn’t come into B5 until the second season was airing, so that was probably part of it. That, and Sheridan is JUST the type of character I adore. Though on rewatches of Season 1, I also have come to love Sinclair as well.) Though JMS said that he had an ‘out’ written in for every character in the show, so that at no point did B5 depend entirely on ONE character/actor. (Of course, unexpected departures still had him scrambling. I think the ONLY one that worked as smoothly as he’d planned was Talia’s exit.)

                    2. And even her exit felt rushed to me, because she’d just started expanding her relationship with Ivanova.

                    3. It was still a bit rushed. I’ve heard differing accounts, but apparently putting them together (and the actress herself admitting that yes, here’s what happened), it boiled down to: with the rather nasty divorce she and Jerry Doyle had just undergone, she really kind of wanted to leave the show. Barring that, she wanted more screen time/bigger paycheck. (And she also rather wanted to get into newscasting.) So essentially she set it up as a situation where she’d win either way: either they’d boot her from the show for pulling the prima donna “MOAR SCREENTIME MOAR MONEY” act, or they’d actually give her more money and more screentime. They went with the “fire her” route, and she got to leave and go do something that made her happier. And, eventually, she reconciled with her ex (as friends) and others in the cast.

                      It would have been interesting to see how far they’d have gone with Ivanova and Talia, given that it WAS still the 90s, and they had to be careful not to freak out the network…

                1. He suffered from severe schizophrenia–and could not act while on the meds. Him blinking near-constantly when he came back for that wrap-up two-parter and seeming kind of stiff? He was on the meds by then. Off the meds, he was super paranoid and one step away from a complete meltdown. And the only person involved with B5 who knew about it was JMS–O’Hare came to him because he couldn’t function any longer without medication (and Claudia Christian–who did NOT know about diagnosis–had already told JMS she wasn’t going to be willing to work with O’Hare any longer, because he was freaking her–and a lot of other folks on the cast/crew–out). O’Hare was desperate not to quit if he didn’t have to, because it was the first season, and he was afraid that if he quit mid-season the network would cancel the show (they would have) and he didn’t want to be responsible for all the rest of the cast and crew losing their jobs. JMS swore to keep his secret and that if he could make it to the end of the season he could write him out in a way that would keep the network happy. So O’Hare held on–by the skin of his teeth, apparently–and made it to the end of filming.

                  Ultimately, the illness still destroyed his life and ultimately killed him (I gather from side effects of the medications), but…knowing the full story makes what O’Hare did a fairly heroic act, because it DID save a lot of jobs (and careers). And JMS promised him he would keep the secret until O’Hare’s death (because he felt that the fans ultimately should know what happened, which is why he wouldn’t keep the secret until HIS death.)

                  Here’s a link to the full detailed story:

                  1. he was also a nice guy when dealing with the public. I saw him at an east coast con and encountered him when he couldn’t sleep, and we ended up chatting for 2 1/2 hours. somewhere we have pics of him singing happy birthday to my little sister….

                    1. Yeah, that’s pretty consistent with everything I’ve heard of the man. Despite his many and nasty demons he was wrestling with, he was a true gentleman. I hope he’s found some peace and quiet on the other side.

                      I’ve actually never really heard anything bad about most of the B5 cast–apparently Andreas Katsulas (G’Kar) was an absolute delight to know, and even the two who had the most bitter falling out–Jerry Doyle and Andrea Thompson, who had been married and had a nasty divorce while on the show together–sorted things out in later years and were friends again. They generally sound like they were a good bunch of people to know/work with.

                    2. Even Ed Wasser (Morden) was a really cool guy in person. He was supposed to be on a DragonCon panel with Stephen Furst mumblety years ago. Furst couldn’t make it due to some sort of family emergency literally that day. So he walks in and asks “And where is Mr Cotto?” in his Morden voice. Someone who shall remain nameless piped up “I think I saw him down in the Dealer’s Room; something about a sale on pikes….”

                      He just turned to the audience and did Vir’s little wave with that grin on his face. Good panel.

                      OTOH, the actor who played Byron the telepath turned out to be an even bigger jerk than the character; he was at the same con IIRC, got absolutely blotto, and was poured into the elevator Saturday night while complaining loudly about what an imposition it was dealing with fans……..

                    3. Somehow, I am not terribly shocked that Byron is a twerp in real life…

                      My favorite Babylon 5 outtake was courtesy of Mr. Wasser–when Sheridan has him arrested (upon discovering his link to Sheridan’s wife) and is standing in the security room and declaring “That man is SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!” And on the video screen Morden suddenly grabs his throat and topples over “dead.” Great stuff–after seeing that, it was awfully hard to “hate” Mr. Morden. (The actor was actually also in the pilot, as an unnamed young officer on the bridge crew. This led to many fan conspiracy theories, but both he and JMS said “No, that’s not supposed to be Morden…”)

              1. Ivanova wasn’t so much bisexual as *alone*. And so was Talia.

                Talia was Psy Corps; not quite Gestapo, and the whole telepath squick thing. Her dating options were pretty limited. Ivanova was second-in-command; the whole of the crew was off-limits to her, and when would she ever have time to get to know one of the civilians?

                Talia was basically “grooming” Ivanova; she could read her mind, after all. But as we saw, it wasn’t something Talia could turn off; so it had a profound effect on how she interacted with others.

                JMS was trying to emphasize their isolation from normal society, but most people seem to ignore that part.

                1. >> “Talia was basically “grooming” Ivanova; she could read her mind, after all.”

                  Not without Ivanova knowing it. And she wouldn’t have taken it well.

                2. nope, she wasnt able to read ivanova as well as you think. ivanova admitted to being able to block her mom…

                  1. There were a couple of episodes where they sent her in to handle the initial reception of Bester, because unlike the rest of the crew she would at least know if he tried something and might be able to hold him off long enough to signal. Then they shot him up with something to turn off his psi.

      2. Ah, but if the Progressives admit any degree of reality too their daydream, the whole thing collapses.

        In comic books, this can be ignored. OK, nobody with the sense God have a turnip is going to work as ‘muscle’ for The Joker, but tell me a good tale and I’ll ignore it.

        As a basis for policy, it sucks suppurating donkey balls.

  14. this statistical fact – caused an educated woman to feel personally insulted.

    Well, one might engage in an extended discussion as to the precise meaning applicable to “educated.” Or one might suspect that this was mere deployment of a time-tested female strategy of responding to logic with emotion/tears — just as men have learned the advantages of strategic employment of rage.

    One might, but I won’t.

  15. [F]orced to cover it (or snatching it up as a prize assignment) for her paper, she paid attention to the one important thing in the world: herself fashion.

    Fixed that for you.

    Extended discussion of men’s understanding of the uses and importance of fashion deleted, because nerdy guys have no such understanding. “Pretty colors” and “Covers socially required zones” is about the extent of it. Anyone who has seen nerdy guys dressed up understands that their definition of “pretty colors” is idiosyncratic at best.

    Heck, matching colors (or, gawd save us, patterns) is or might as well be, random.

    1. Look, I am the shepherd of a mathematician AND an almost-engineer. The former has been told never to leave the house unless I inspect his clothes. (Though now he has some sense, borne of years of my making sure he dresses properly)
      The engineer I’m waiting to pass on to a younger woman with more patience.

      1. One of the reasons I joined the military. The color matching and what to wear decisions have already been made.

        1. Yes! So much this – so easy what to put on in the morning! Ensure that the uniform of the day was clean, pressed, polished – good to go!

      2. Your math major doesn’t have any more sense than he had before. What he has is a checklist to follow from Mom, when he remembers the checklist!
        (Yes, my two boys have similar problems. And the fashion sense of the trans one is just plain weird. He makes Tom Baker and his Dr Who scarf look normal.

      3. Even if I could tell the difference between various shades of dirtcolor, I’ve never been able to understand why I should *care*.

        This “color” stuff really messes people up…

        1. Different colors of dirt indicate different territories, This has indirect effects on game and probably direct ones on gatherable plant food.

          1. Well, different colors of dirt weren’t the only indications of “not my own kind”.

            Language, customs, etc are other markers of “my own kind” or “not my own kind”.

            When the modern idiots divide people into “white vs non-white”, they ignore the difference between (for example) English and Polish. Both are “white” in their little minds.

            For that matter, Mexicans aren’t Ecuadorian (for example) but to the idiots they are somehow the same.

            In addition, Africans see the differences among themselves (more tribal than national) that the idiots ignore.

    2. I am still in mourning over a shirt I got in the PI– it’s a tie-died cotton Hawaiian style shirt, which fit perfectly when I was seriously unhealthy. IT had white palm trees on it.

      It’s freaking AWESOME and I’ll never be able to wear it again. Maybe in a few years my daughter can….

  16. This Blast From The Past is very timely, given the spreading report of a columnist (libertarian and the paper’s most widely read columnist) being fired for having written that the sexes are, beyond doubt, binary.

    Which is not exactly what he wrote. His column was about the way the Left (i this case, the AP Stylebook) co-opts debate by defining the words to be used, and doing it without input from the [sane] people.

    He used the binary sex thing as an example, pointing out that the dwarves who control the language impose their victories without fighting, through edicts that “all good people” obey even when they make no sense. Nobody died and elevated the minders of the AP Stylebook royal; they have abrogated unto themselves a status and authority they’ve never earned. Same as SJWs have asserted only they get to define “fairness” in our society, same as bigots once defined everybody’s proper “place.”

    Screw that — they ain’t the boss of me and their credentials don’t impress me much (although I acknowledge their attempt to oppress me much.) I ain’t buying what they’re selling and they’ve not authority enough to make me swallow it; no matter what they say, I say it’s spinach and I say phooey!

    1. But, but, but…I love spinach!
      I would have called it what it is. They can claim it’s chocolate all they want, but I know that smell, and I ain’t tasting it!

    2. Doesn’t keep them from trying to gain the legal authority to impose their whims on you.

      “I says, “Pig Pen, this here’s the Rubber Duck.
      We just ain’t a-gonna pay no toll. ”
      So we crashed the gate doing ninety-eight
      I says “Let them truckers roll, 10-4.””

      – C.W. McCall, “Convoy”, 1975

      Heck, if we can dream about doing that with the 55 mph speed limit (and most of us violate speed limits several times a day); well, when it comes mandatory re-genderization of the language, I aim to misbehave.

  17. endurance of pain (women have more)

    Which calls to mind: for all the female sneering about “man flu” the evidence is compelling that men do experience upper respiratory infections more seriously, with greater inflammation and discomfort.

    Seems sexist to dismiss discomfort simply because a man experiences it more greatly than does a woman; I am sure if cases reversed it would be symptomatic of patriarchal oppression.

    1. I just wish my husband got man flu. Instead, he’s the Typhoid Mary of head colds; they hardly bother him at all, which means that when I catch it, not knowing he’s sick, I’m laid up for days.

    2. While I don’t mock the man-flu, that is circular.
      “Guys whine more about the flu” and “guys say the flu is more uncomfortable” are the same statement, damn it. “Guys say this sucks more” Oh, gosh, thanks for the update!

      They need to find some kind of kind of objective measure for how much being ill sucks, and go from there; my guess would be that women have a higher ability to deal with low-grade annoyances.

      Basically, a physical version of “inside of this is OK” for women, while guys have both higher highs and lower lows.

      1. I only ever tease the ones I love about it, but never actual mocking. I’ve seen my dad keep it together through what–barring a small (and rather astonishing) miracle–would have been a crippling and disfiguring injury (though I do admit he was doing something VERY foolish that caused it, but we didn’t tease him about until years after the fact). Baby brother almost had half his HAND pulled off by a log splitter, when he was only about 14, and held it together (and got out of it with just some interesting scars on his fingers/palm–much to the astonishment of the doctor who treated it during healing). So yeah. Men are NOT wimps compared to women. Not by a long shot.

        On the flip side, you might argue that women can endure certain kinds of pain for LONGER, but that’s hard to really quantify, given that individual pain tolerances vary.

        (I do give the hairy eyeball to women who claim to get faint at the sight of blood though. It’s like…”How d’you survive that whole menstruation thing every 28 days, then?”)

        1. I seriously don’t “get” the blood thing. Even with a sister who fainted at the sight of anybody else’s blood, and after meeting Marines who fainted at needles.


          Dear Husband mentioned during the Evil Christmas Flu that I hadn’t been sick at all.

          I’d been sick to my stomach…but not puked. Just like everyone over the age of 3. Other than that, all reported symptoms were the same.
          I just… it made me FEEL BETTER to keep going.

          K, I feel bad, but… I keep going.

          Meanwhile, I KNOW that dear husband deals with muscle and nerve pain that would have me on the floor. I’ve randomly gotten nerve clumps where he uses tricks from his therapist to loosen the knot.

          It’s like a knife.

          But he keeps going.

          WE both keep going, because we can, so we will.

          1. Yeah, I’m fairly sure it’s really a “depends on the individual and what they deal with” thing.

            I mean, my dad gets faint at the sight of blood–but only when it’s not ABSOLUTELY VITAL that he hold it together. Which means he’s fantastic in the immediate crisis–directing people, getting pressure put on wounds, etc etc–and then turns green and gets wobbly once everyone is safe/on their way to getting treated. And I guess for some folks it really IS a phobia of needles (though I don’t get it, but then again I endured years of allergy shots). My next-younger brother also gets wobbly at the sight of blood but, as I found when he and I stopped at the scene of a car accident some years ago, it doesn’t bother me one little bit.

            My problem is vomiting: apparently, my stomach thinks that no one should have to vomit alone, so I usually have to leave the room if another human starts upchucking. But if it’s just me and the stomach flu, I get to have HOURS of agony before I can do anything about it. Bodies are weird. ::shrugs::

            1. Oh monday friday, I totally PISSED OFF several folks who had to wax poetic about how sea-sick they were, because after they spent some 40 minutes talking about it I came around the corner and screamed at them to shut the monday friday up.

              I have never had an issue with motion sickness.

              I do have an issue with the smell, especially combined with folks waxing poetic about it.

              That said, apparently my adrenaline response where I am screaming at folks works to fix it….

              1. Oh, ghod, do I have the issue with carsickness. It was often so bad that I had to lay down in the back of the car, on long road-trips as a child.. I thought perhaps that I might have grown out of it – but no. A couple of long trips in the mountains as an adult passenger put paid to that notion! I’m OK when I am the driver. And don’t suffer much from sea-sickness, as long as I can be in the open air, and above-deck. Make of that which you will.

                1. I can ride in a car, no problem. I can’t read in a car. Or a bus, or a train. I can read on an airplane, though.

                  And don’t get me started about ships. I’m OK up on deck, where I can see the horizon. I can tolerate the incessant rock, rock, rock while lying flat on my back. Sitting, walking, working — forget it. BLAAAECCHHH!!

                  I found this out while in the Navy, about two minutes after the ship got out of the harbor. I did not have a good time in the Navy. About the fourth time I showed up at sick call, the corpsman just gave me the bottle of little pink pills and told me to come back when they were gone. Bonine. It keeps you from yacking, but that’s about all it does. You don’t really feel any better.

                  After about two weeks at sea I could stop taking Bonine, but still didn’t feel much better. A few weeks in port undid the acclimation, though, and I had to go through the whole process all over again the next time the ship put to sea. Not a good time.

                  I did learn a whole lot of alternative expressions for regurgitation from my ever-helpful shipmates. Feeding the fish. Praying to King Neptune. Calling Ralph on the big white phone. And so on.
                  Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here — this is the War Room!

                  1. Yeah, I was FINE reading in a car (and did so constantly) until I was about twelve or thirteen. After that…I spent years curled up in misery in the back seat on family trips (and because I also tend to have a cast iron stomach–unless someone else is actively barfing in my presence–I didn’t even get the relief of tossing the cookies at the roadside, sigh.)

                    Since the advent of the ereader, I have found I can read in cars again, so long as I am in the front seat. I sometimes still get a little queasy, but not badly so. (It also might have something to do with moving out of the windy roads of hill-country NE Oklahoma and back to the Rocky Mountains, where the only really curvy roads are in the mountains proper, and most everything else is straight, or has really, really wide curves happening, heh.)

                2. In most vehicles on most roads, I’m perfectly fine.
                  However, sitting in the inward facing bench seats of the PNG standard Toyota Landcruiser 70 ‘troopcarrier’, riding along the mass of potholes PNG calls highways, I get a bit queasy after about an hour.

            2. I do have a thing where when I am sure everything is fine, I fall all to bits.

              LIke, not speaking English anymore.

              But it’s only after emergencies are over.

              1. I have that problem if I lose my temper (not the not-speaking-English part, but the falling apart thing)–because, well…like our Esteemed Hostess I think I got the berserker gene. I can count on ONE hand the number of times I have become truly, incandescently enraged in my life. I’ve gotten annoyed. I’ve gotten irked. But I almost never truly get angry, and when it happens, I have to go have a shaking, trembling (and usually crying, argh) sit-down reaction afterwards. Last time it happened was when I stepped between next younger Brother (at the beginning of the height of his years-long issues, one of which included some severe anger management issues), and Baby Brother (still a kid at the time–I’m old enough to be his mother) who he was severely bullying. I was home from college for the weekend, and had my infant nephew in my arms. That was…probably twelve or thirteen years ago? Before that, it was on my mission when I punched a guy for grabbing my companion’s butt and went full berserker screaming at him (in Romanian, no less, albeit I think rather short sentences at that point). And it happened twice when I was a teenager. (Though I am told my toddler temper tantrums were EPIC.)

                1. The only example of safe-enough-to-flip-out I can think of is when this poor guy rear-ended me at a red light, because a big truck was going half into our lane, and then I noticed the left turn light went read— we got into the parking lot, I was 6 months pregnant, I identified he was a good person…and I fell apart.
                  On the upside, I screamed at the cop who came to write it up, and made it very clear that there had been another vehicle which caused the accident and I THINK that kept him from trouble, but even now I am unclear on what happened.

                  The cop REALLY wanted to write the dude a ticket, but… I was seriously unhinged. I do not wish to think what would’ve happened to the traffic engineer responsible if they’d shown up.

                  Red light camera, of course. It went from green to red in like a breath.

            3. Group vomiting is probably nature’s way of saying, “If that other bloke ate something bad, you probably did too, and therefore should join in the upchucking thereof.”

              1. Makes sense, but man is it irritating. (Another thing to love about our modern age: food poisoning is rare-ish. I’ve only ever actually had it once. Though as a result I can’t eat honey mustard to this day…)

                1. Actually, there was a study a couple decades back which found that about 90% of “stomach flu” cases were actually food poisoning. And it’s not all that rare, tho getting less so as the importance of keeping hot food hot and cold food cold continues to penetrate. In these modern times, the majority of food-borne illness arrives via fresh vegetables. (Natural selection at work.)

                  Me, I learned very quickly to never, ever eat at Arby’s after 8pm, because after that you could count on getting your bowels loosened, even if you avoided the condiments. I’ve twice had the royal cleansing from restaurant gravy, and now no longer eat same unless they demonstrably keep it nigh to boiling. And many a time my super-sensitive tongue (I’m somewhere waaay out beyond ‘supertaster’) has rejected some restaurant dish, only to later learn I was the only one of the party who didn’t get sick.

                  Occurs to me to wonder how much this as a family trait contributed to the unusually-low child mortality among my traceable ancestors.

                  1. I’ve heard that about the stomach flu as well. It makes some sense…but I come from a tribe that does 97% of it’s own cooking and keeps a clean kitchen, so it’s rare. And the times I have flu that involved vomiting…no one else had it (and we’d all eaten the same thing, and no one else got it–but DID contract the same bug after the expected incubation after being exposed to a virus) so I’m skeptical about it. Or else we actually get that 10% that isn’t food poisoning, heh.

                    Tell you what, though, the one time I *knew* I had food poisoning, I really could tell the difference.

                    1. I know the last one was stomach flu because the daughter in law had it, then passed it to son — now, entirely possible, since they eat together — but Dan and I DON’T. And I got it next. If Dan got it it was so mild it barely bothered him.

                    2. Yeah, norovirus (stomach flu) — if you’re paying attention, you can distinguish it from food poisoning. The latter usually has a queasy/burpy/gassy stage first, and if you can upchuck the offending meal before it enters the intestine, usually you won’t get any sicker — or if it’s too late, down whatever oral antibiotic comes to hand, that will minimize the symptoms (doubtless just by reducing the load of evil bacteria). And food poisoning doesn’t hop from one person to the next over time, unless one is handling another’s effluent (there have been cases where that happened).

                  2. Oh, Texas de Brazil, in Denver, ANY major holiday. Stay away. After the third time we got it (the third wasn’t even a holiday, just a busy day) we went “not coincidence.”
                    We actually haven’t been back at all, though normal days seem perfectly safe.

                    1. Heh. While I LOVE Chili Dogs I no longer dare eat them. Great going down, not so much coming back up or racing through.

                      Mac & Cheese for the win! Fried Rice binds well if you can handle the carbs.

                    2. The last time I actually threw up was in 2008, and it was what told everyone that my pancreas was gangrenous.

                      My body does not treat meals as “lease with option to buy”; they’re at least going to surrender a toll in nutrients on the trip.

                  3. A question or two about classification comes to mind, there, because I have seen norovirus listed as a cause of food poisoning.

            4. An associate referred to himself as “a social barfer.” He never got queasy until someone else did. Since he was (at the time) a professional aerobatic pilot, that was a Good Thing.

            5. While the acid and cottage cheese smell of vomit is bothersome, it’s the sound of someone losing their cookies that I unfortunately find most empathically stimulating. I can clean it up, I just can’t listen to it happening without severely wanting to join in.

              1. I agree. I hate the smell–but I have the trick of plugging my nose without touching it, so I don’t have to deal with it. Sight doesn’t bug me. But the SOUND…(But even then, so long as I go at least two rooms away, I can deal with it. It’s so weird.)

          2. The blood thing is actually a primitive gene that remains in some people. The kind that causes Opossums to go stiff? Like that.
            My brother has it. Six one, built like a brick shithouse, his wife goes with him to any blood draws to make sure he doesn’t LOOK.
            Hell, he once fainted at the sight of a basket of eggs against a windshield because in the light it looked like blood.
            It’s instant, no thought involved. And a pain in the ass to the people who have it.

            1. That makes sense; my late sister was way tougher than I am, could deal with much worse stuff–but if I took a chunk out of my leg, *I* had to help *her*.

            2. Huh. I guess it’s just always puzzled me with women in particular–does the blood they have to deal with every month not trigger it, then?

                1. Heh. Eyes closed would surely make a BIGGER mess…

                  Yeah, the only one I actually know who really DOES have an issue is male as well. I’ve *heard* women say it, but never witnessed it, and am too pathologically polite to straight up ask them. Or I was. Nowadays, if I hear another one claim it, I might just bluntly ask.

            3. My eldest brother cannot handle the sight of *his* blood. He learned this the hard way in HS Freshman biology, when they were doing a “find your blood type” lab. Circa 1960, and it was a needle and a goodly drop of blood. Not sure he ever got a blood type.

              That lab (O+) didn’t bother me (7th or 8th grade for me) though I dislike sticking myself with needles. OTOH, spring loaded lancets are no problem. I’ve had some major cuts with no fainting, and on one occasion I drove to the ER since I didn’t trust the default ambulance destination. That time, I needed a wait for a hand surgeon to come in (didn’t quite sever a tendon in the finger), so I was sitting quietly while the adrenaline faded. Other disasters involved somebody else driving; $SPOUSE didn’t quite crash after she got me to the clinic for one.

            4. Huh. Sounds like a prey response gene, probably left over from when we were defenseless little monkeys, if not before — blood means someone is being killed and instant avoidance is required, meaning play dead so the wolf or big cat chases someone else. So, yeah, involuntary. Does it occur in any other primates? I wonder if it’s actually a juvenile trait (go silent so the bear won’t find the nest) that’s been preserved in some adults because of our tendency to select for neoteny.

              Me, being wired 100% predator, prefer to watch the scalpel cut and the needle go in and the blood flow out, and am not at all bothered by blood (mine or otherwise, and having dealt with some spectacular kennel fights, I’m far from virgin. Ripped ears bleed like a stuck pig.)

              I knew someone in high school who was all ick and at least played at fainting at the sight of blood, who when the day arrived to choose your fate, to everyone’s shock decided she was going to Johns Hopkins to become a surgeon. I never heard how that turned out…

                1. I have that too. I can deal with the needle being there. I can deal with it being used (injection or extraction), and withdrawn. But I look away when it goes in.

                  1. Ah reckon Ah’m odd, then* — when Ah go to the Blood Donation drive or when they draw blood for tests Ah like to watch the insertion all the way. That way Ah can relax at the proper moment.

                    Ah’ve ne’er had a catheter, an Ah think Ah’d lief as not watch that going in.

                    *S’okay, ah’m used to it. Ah’d feel odd if’n ah weren’t the odd one.

                    1. Getting a needle in my veins can be a bit of a challenge; they’ll roll away with little warning. This has led to some frustrating attempts at starting an IV. I’d rather not watch; I’ll just hold the arm or hand still so they can play their stabby games with my veins. When they nick the vein, it makes for an amazing bruise. Bad when it was a blood donation needle, and equally bad with the fine gauge needles for IVs or blood tests because of the warfarin.

                      (I get my INR/prothrombin time measured via blood draw for various bureaucratic reasons. The clinic that does the test via finger stick does much more complicated things as a mainstay, but the overhead costs and scheduling for the stick are the same as for the infusion patients. Tried it once there and never again.)

                  2. I deal better with giving blood if I can see them do the insert– but I’ve noticed it freaks out a lot of the folks who do the draw, and them being freaked out makes it a lot worse than me tensing up wrong.

                2. I find watching the needle go in rather amusing. Some nurses can do it so well that you can’t even FEEL the needle, not even an initial prick, which means watching it disappear into your arm is downright weird.

                  And yes, I was one of those weird little kids who’d run a pin between epidermis and dermis, having discovered one could do so…

                  1. I’m getting monthly (usually; it’s more often right now) blood draws, and I’m seeing the gamut of experience in the techs and nurses. Best case it’s a tiny sting. Worst case, yikes! (My rolling veins have brought a fair number of people to distraction, ranging from trainee techs (what *was* I thinking to agree?) to surgical prep nurses. OTOH, when they expect it and know how to trap the vein, it’s a piece of cake.)

                    I’m happy digging out splinters with a pin or knife, but I’d be a lousy junkie.

                    1. I am very, very UNhappy digging splinters out with a razor knife and sharpened tweezers, but it’s such a relief when you finally get them out. A tiny piece of really fine wire is the worst — you can feel it jab in when your finger runs across something in one direction, but you can’t find the damn thing.
                      Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

                    2. Things like this, I prefer to do for myself. I pulled my own baby teeth for this reason. Which is some feat considering that my baby teeth were …. Neandertalish (so are my adult ones) meaning they were more like normal people’s adult teeth. I pulled them all out myself, including molars.
                      Because I’m not right in the head.

                    3. The worst splinters I had was some steel swarf when I was changing shoes in the shop. I had a few splinters near the tips of a few toes, and could *not* see them. (Didn’t have the money to go to a doc for the excavation.) IIRC, it took several months before there was enough of a fester so that the splinters would start to slide out.

                      I’m more careful where I change footwear nowadays.

        2. They have done studies, measuring neuron (?) reaction and clenching of muscles, etc. And they DO get more inflamation.
          Well…. not than me. Autoimmune has side issues.

          1. Back in the day, sure, but I’ve heard MODERN DAY WOMEN claim to do the same. 😀 As I said, next time I run into one, I’m gonna ask her how she deals with the monthly arrival of Shark Week…

        3. It’s a good thing men aren’t wimps compared to women.
          I think we have far more “hold my beer” moments than women do; and we know that usually results in some spectacularly interesting injuries.

          1. I laughed myself nearly sick the first time I encountered the saying “Boys: Easier to raise than girls, harder to keep alive.” Even the brother of mine who had TWO open heart surgeries before he was five? Yeah, broke so many bones doing stupid stuff. (And my father–an alleged adult–managed more than all the boys combined just in our childhoods…)

            Me, I finally broke my first bone (my nose doesn’t count, though I’ve broken it four times) this winter. By tripping on a damn piece of flooring. AND, it was my pinky toe. Soooooo ridiculous. :p

      2. They need to find some kind of kind of objective measure for how much being ill sucks,

        They have. You could look it up rather than sneering.

        Is ‘Man Flu’ Real? Men Suffer More When Sick, Study Suggests
        By Rachael Rettner – Senior Writer 2017-12-11T23:32:25Z
        When a man complains of cold or flu symptoms, it may not be fair to dismiss his laments as simply a case of “man flu.” Men may really experience worse symptoms than women after catching a respiratory virus, a new review suggests.

        The review was published today (Dec. 11) in a special Christmas issue of the medical journal The BMJ; the holiday edition features research that is more lighthearted than the journal’s usual fare.

        “Man flu” refers to the idea that men may exaggerate the symptoms of a minor illness, such as a cold. Although the term is commonly used (particularly in the United Kingdom), no scientific review so far has examined whether the term is appropriate or accurate, said Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, who authored the BMJ review.

        In a search of the scientific literature, Sue found evidence that men may have a weaker immune response to the viruses that cause flu or the common cold, and as a result, men may have a greater risk for serious symptoms, and even death, from these viruses. [Men vs. Women: Our Key Physical Differences Explained]

        For example, a 2008 study found that women had a stronger immune response to the flu vaccine, meaning they produced greater levels of antibodies against the virus strains in the vaccine, compared with men.

        Other studies from Hong Kong and the United States have found that, compared with women, men have a higher risk for hospital admission and death from the flu.

        “The concept of man flu, as commonly defined, is potentially unjust,” Sue wrote in the paper. “Men may not be exaggerating symptoms but have weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women,” he said.

        It’s not clear why men may have a weaker immune response to respiratory viruses, but hormones could play a role, with the “female” hormone estrogen, in particular, providing a protective effect against these viruses, Sue said.

        For example, in a 2016 study, researchers exposed male and female human nasal cells to estrogen in a lab dish, and then infected the cells with the flu virus. The investigators found that the estrogen reduced the levels of flu virus in the cells from female donors, but not male donors.

        What’s more, other studies have suggested that the “male” hormone testosterone may lower the body’s immune response to flu viruses, Sue said.

        Still, more research in this area is needed, in part because some of the studies include in the review did not consider factors like smoking and preventive-care visits, which could affect people’s overall health and their ability to respond to cold and flu viruses, Sue said. The current review was not able to include research on respiratory viruses that did not separate out the results by sex.

        Some researchers have speculated that men’s apparently weaker immune response to certain viruses has an evolutionary explanation, Sue said. For our ancestors, the effects of testosterone (i.e., increased muscle and bone mass) may have outweighed the potential immunosuppressive effect of the hormone, he said. (More research, however, is needed to examine this hypothesis.)

        Sue also noted that there could be benefits to the extreme energy conservation that men seem to require when afflicted with flu. “Lying on the couch, not getting out of bed or receiving assistance with activities of daily living could also be evolutionarily behaviors that protect against predators,” Sue wrote in his tongue-in-cheek conclusion. “Perhaps now is the time for male-friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.”

        1. RES, when yelling at folks about looking it up rather than sneering, read the damn comment.
          Not a crap ton of “more research needed” and maybies.

          I’m aware at some folks glancing at the effect and going “Gosh! No Clue! More research needed!”

          That does not mean… you know.. more research is here.

          1. RES, when yelling at folks about looking it up rather than sneering, read the damn comment.

            To quote my excerpt from your comment, preceding my reply:
            They need to find some kind of kind of objective measure for how much being ill sucks,

            The rest of my reply (which involved no yelling, no ALL-CAPS typing) addressed the existence of exactly the type of evidence you had called for, with but one of the items responsive to your “suggestion.”

            Which kinda sorta suggests more research has been performed and published.

            As for your sneering:
            ‘Guys whine more about the flu’ and ‘guys say the flu is more uncomfortable’ are the same statement, damn it.

            The two statements are not equivalent to the careful reader and are not an accurate expression of the two positions.

            Anybody who’s raised a child should understand the distinction between whining and experience of discomfort. The first is an emotional expression while the second is recognition of physical reality. It is the difference between subjective and objective states.

            Finally, given the many times you’ve chewed somebody a “new one” for disagreeing with you you best learn to take a shot when you’ve earned one, especially so mild a one as I gave you.

      3. I’ve had malaria more times than I can count, and have had Dengue fever once (it’s bad- super super bad).
        A few years back, I had to load a Cessna 206 during a downpour while in the middle of a malaria attack- at 5:30am. I’ve also driven myself to the doctor after 3 separate super painful injuries- tearing my left ACL, aggravated tendonitis in my right shoulder (in a manual Hilux on dirt roads), and a third degree burn on my shin. I’m no stranger to functioning while in pain.

        Back when swine flu hit the US, I was working on a car when it hit me. I had just two simple bolts to replace, and the car would be officially finished, maybe two minutes worth of work. I was physically unable to take two minutes to tighten two bolts, I was that weak and drained. I could only go home and lie down.

    3. The Feminist sneering that always bothers be was the dismissing of the admiration of sports starts, war heroes, etc as “Macho bullshit”.

      Ladies, you can dismiss these emotional (for men) subjects as “Macho bullshit” OR complain that men don’t talk about their feelings, but not both. If you want men to talk about their feelings, you are going to have to accept that their feelings are not necessarily going to be the feelings you thinks they SHOULD have. And if you dismiss their feelings as incorrect, they will (SURPRISE!) stop talking to you about them.

      1. Feminists: Men should talk about their feelings.

        Men: You really annoy us.

        Feminists: Sexists!


      2. Your complaint would be valid if the intent of the feminists was to get men to talk about their (men’s) feelings, but it is a Kafka-trap in that what feminists really want men to talk about is their (feminists’) feelings.

        That is why Bill Clinton’s “I feel your pain” schtick was so effective.

  18. An episode in which my younger son accidentally touched a girl on the behind – in 3rd grade, when Mr. Hormone hadn’t visited yet and he had no clue behinds had anything to do with sex or being sexy – and the school tried to charge him with sexual harassment (Which stopped cold when I threatened to write about it for various mags and make them a laughing stock) gave me some insight into why women are reacting this way.

    What bothers me most about this is I’d lay money that same school was not charging assault with deadly intent– and bullied parents into not doing it, too.

    A LOT of the managing bullying stuff is making sure the long term obvious criminals are protected from any possible negative effects.

    1. Oh, yes. In middle school when they were going after younger son for dropping a pencil (not joking) they had a kid holding a classroom hostage at knife point, who didn’t even end up with a detention.

      1. Family friend’s son had his head slammed in his own car door because he gave his FREAKING FIRST COUSIN a lift to school, which the moron who liked her took as hitting on her.


        But the parents were bullied into not pressing charges on attempted murder.

        1. Heinlein was rather prescient about the long term effects of allowing the young to get away with anything, only to hit them with real punishments once they hit an arbitrary age limit.

          1. Well, he was right. It is kind of a waste of resource to “raise” a kid to physical maturity only to have to shoot them dead when they go violently feral. Not to mention stupid.

  19. Okay, once again WordPress is being a right pain in the tookus.

    This time there are three new comments showing under ‘IT’S JUST SOME PEOPLE TALKING’ but when clicked on, they go nowhere. The comments have not been posted to the articles, and I’ve been trying for several minutes.

    I don’t expect Sarah to fix it. I suspect it’s just WordPress being WordPress, and all we can do is gripe about it. So, GRIPE!

    I feel better now.
    I used to think I was paranoid. I thought people were out to get me.
    Now I know the truth — they ARE out to get me.
    I feel so much better.

  20. In the area of feats of athleticism, one can find a particular woman who can best the average man- especially average men who don’t practice, are out of shape, ect.

    But, when you get into men who do practice, the women are very often outclassed, especially when you have the higher levels of male competitors.

    Yet, people often try to use the first point to disprove the second, and it’s foolish.

    1. You have to remember how women argue. Men arguing in the general (example (IT IS JUST AN EXAMPLE!!!)) “Women are bad Drivers”. The woman speaks up “The insurance sent me a check for being a GOOD DRIVER!” and as far as SHE is concerned the argument is over. She has disproved his statement and NOTHING he can say will change her mind. See Allstate commercial.
      He arguing in the General. She brings up an exception and believes that disproves his statement.

      Years ago I wrote this and was SHOCKED, Shocked that a woman answered “Well I don’t argue that way.”

      BTW: I love the stupidity of Feminist arguing in favor of Trans competing against women. It shows their complete lack of intelligence and the ability to reason also their grasp of reality.

  21. This seems somehow on topic but I’m danged if I can find an excuse. For the record, I doubt he has enough such friends to constitute a quorum.

    Robert Downey Jr. Says That “90 Percent of His Black Friends” Loved ‘Tropic Thunder’
    Tropic Thunder doesn’t exactly stand up to the harsh light of 2020 (or 2008, for that matter), but star Robert Downey Jr. is still defending the controversial comedy. Last week, the Dolittle star appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience to discuss his new film, but things invariably turned to the 2008 comedy, which stars Downey Jr. as an Australian method actor who undergoes “pigmentation alteration” to play a black character. Despite the Tropic Thunder blackface controversy, the actor stood by his decision to darken his skin, telling Rogan, “It was impossible to not have it be an offensive nightmare of a movie, and 90 percent of my black friends are like, ‘Dude, that was great.’”

    1. Ooops – second paragraph, read that last sentence twice:

      When asked about his experience on Tropic Thunder, Downey confirmed that he wasn’t the first star asked to play Kirk Lazarus. “I think Sean Penn had passed on it or something like that — possibly wisely,” said Downey Jr. “And I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that after Iron Man.’ And then I started thinking, ‘This is a terrible idea, wait a minute.’” After some back and forth, the actor decided to listen to his heart. “My heart is, a) I get to be black for a summer in my mind, so there’s something in it for me,” he told Rogan. “The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion — just my opinion.”

      1. Is that the term for drawn on the computer or the term for digitized (as oppose to the AutoCAD 12 term for lets go to the vending machine)?

        1. It’s a term for 3-d render. Daz 3-D sells models and settings, you put them together, light them, and then “take a picture”.
          I can draw, but this takes way less time.
          NOT that it’s markedly easier. I spent almost a year rendering naked people with no hair in contorted positions because I couldn’t figure out the controls.
          BUT I wasn’t feeling well enough to write, so I spent the time learning it.

          1. don’t feel bad, a bunch of the stuff i did for White Wolf is lit horribly because i was trying to do realistic lighting.

              1. well, i took a bunch of cinematography classes… my lighting is marginally better… but you’ve seen me try to explain it to others… “no, you don’t actually want natural lighting’ etc…

                    1. And part of the problem with the tutorials is that I don’t KNOW THE LANGUAGE. So I’ll go through them and maybe get a trick or two, but it’s like listening to a lecture in Italian now, when I catch a word in three, if spoken. (Written is easier.)

                    2. i have a bunch of books on filmmaking that i had read, but still didn’t understand lighting until i actually did it.

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