I’m Not A Widget

I almost titled this post “I’m not a woman” but the speculation would be insane. For the record I’m not “a woman”. I’m not “A man” either or “A mammal” for that matter.

I’m me.

I’m getting somewhat sick and tired of being lumped all in a group, and having things said about me that go something like “Women think” or “Women want” or heaven forbid “Women hurt most.”

Yeah, I know I often refer to women or men as a group. Sure. What I mean by that, in that instance is “A statistically average woman” which is a bit of a mathematical fiction. (Though not as much as a perfectly spherical cow, of uniform density, in a frictionless vacuum.)

Which is why I tend to talk about groups. The social mode of women comes out when there’s a majority of women in a work place or an industry for instance. It doesn’t tell us anything about a particular woman in that industry or that place.

So, why have I got that bee under that particular bonnet now?

Well, it’s not a bee. It’s probably a cicada, because it’s really noisy, but–

It’s the whole “drive to make everyone equal.” It drives me a little insane. I’m starting to suspect for some people — at least those who aren’t just stupid and insane — the drive is because of some perceived, (and perhaps real) injustice and mistreatment in their childhood from which they never recovered. At least I’m puzzled at “feed them and exercise them alike” in the comments on “two by two” referring to males and females, and that’s the only explanation I can find.

For those who’ve never raised kids, even in Portugal, which is a for-real sexist country, and was more so when I was little, sure, you might send your daughters to the village school, and your boys to the private school, for reasons of the boys making contacts that would help them in later life, mostly, but you didn’t refuse to feed the women/feed them less, or exercise the boys more than the girls. Heck, till I went to the all-girl school, we had gym with the boys. Also, until puberty, I could beat them all at rugby. Then testosterone gave them an unfair advantage.

Boys and women eat and exercise differently (boys tend to prefer more violent sports. Not all boys, of course.) because the hormones pumping through their veins and dictating their development are different since before they’re born. It’s not how we treat them, it’s what they are.

Which then brings us to making all women alike.

Recently I got yelled at (which is why my posts are going to be at weird times, until things stabilize) for my bizarre sleep-hygiene. Apparently — clears throat embarrassedly — while you can learn to sleep just under 5 hours a night and function fine for years, it’s like the joke my mom told about the Spaniard’s donkey “Just when she learned not to eat, she died.”

So I’m under strict orders to get off the net two hours before going to bed (backlit screens in general) and…. other stuff.

Why does this have anything to do with making women equal to men, or women equal to all other women?

Because the reason I got into this predicament was that I really, really — REALLY — wanted to write stories. And that meant that I had to steal sleep somewhere, so I could raise the kids, refinish the furniture, cook the food, and break into publishing, then keep up a more-active than normal writing life.

Look, would you impose that on any other woman? Even another woman who wanted to be a writer? I wouldn’t and I did it. I just really, really, really wanted to be a professional writer. And a mother. And the lack of enough hours in the day (or night) had to be overcome somehow.

On the other hand, I know women who spend two hours every morning (or evening) on their “beauty routine.” I never had patience. I don’t even remember to slap on moisturizer most of the time.

To force all of us to behave according to one or the other pattern would be painful, and probably stupid, not to mean lethal, if you mean my routine, because it is, as I’ve been assured “Killing yourself on the installment plan.” (I’m trying to fix it, okay?)


“Women want!”

I don’t know about you, but I want a lot of things, and very few have anything to do with the equipment between my legs, or the hormones in my veins.

Yes, I wanted to have and raise kids, but so did my husband, which is why we went through infertility. That I was the one who’d bear them, was just the situation. I mean, no, he couldn’t do it.

I wanted to stay home with the kids, but it also was more convenient, because it was easier to steal sleep from that than from a conventional job, and I go a little bit loopy when not writing. But also Dan had better prospects, period. So I was the one who stayed home.

But I wanted a career, so I broke myself working for it.

Look — I’m me. I’m not “a woman”. I am physically weaker than most males, true. But for most of what I want to do that doesn’t count.

And intellectually I have more in common with Dave Freer than with most women, even my female friends. Because we both know what it’s like to want people to write our stories. And we’ve both worked crazy stupid hours to do it. And we both have the experience of trad pub. And–

Why is it that the promoters of equality are literally that. They not only want to make men and women EQUAL and believe that’s possible to a level it biologically isn’t, but they want to make everyone equal.

Poor sleep and crazy work times for everyone!

Only, of course, I wouldn’t be allowed to write. To strike a blow for equality, I should absolutely be an engineer, or at doctor, or at least a high powered lawyer.

Because …. women aren’t allowed to want to do things that don’t prove they’re as good as or better than men.

All animals must be made alike. Particularly if they don’t want to.


I’m not a widget. I’m not part of any lumpen group. I’m not following any group I’m forced into.

I’ll be over there, doing my thing.

And the equalizers can learn to leave me and those like me the heck alone.

189 thoughts on “I’m Not A Widget

    1. Yet, judging by the group has come scarily close to becoming the dominant mental framework in the US today.

      Note all the references to ‘communities’, almost always defined demographically….’This policy will be good for our black communities”…not even ‘black people.

      Rose Wilder Lane said:

      “Nobody can plan the actions of even a thousand living persons, separately. Anyone attempting to control millions must divide them into classes, and make a plan applying to these classes. But these classes do not exist. No two persons are alike. No two are in the same circumstances; no two have the same abilities; beyond getting the barest necessities of life, no two have the same desires.Therefore the men who try to enforce, in real life, a planned economy that is their theory, come up against the infinite diversity of human beings. The most slavish multitude of men that was ever called “demos” or “labor” or “capital” or”agriculture” or “the masses,” actually are men; they are not sheep. Naturally, by their human nature, they escape in all directions from regulations applying to non-existent classes. It is necessary to increase the number of men who supervise their actions. Then (for officials are human, too) it is necessary that more men supervise the supervisors.”

      1. Yes. We must take each person individually. And purposely contorting what was said is at best disingenuous.

        We cannot say “all Blacks are [insert characterization here]”. Nor all Whites, Democrats, baseball players, Trump supporters, or science fiction authors.

        Mind you, I still weakly lean toward the idea that the only good communists are those at (or rapidly approaching) room temperature.

          1. Thank you. It was part of my career at one point.

            Now I’m surrounded by Americans who are sometimes worse that the folks we were fighting.

            We needed to pay more attention to our local elections in the 60s, 70s, and 80s…

              1. I have paid attention to them, and noted them to be so gull of enemies foreign and domestic that I have begun to think treating them like the USAAF treated Tokyo and Dresden in WW2 might be needed.

                  1. While the Reader agrees with the need to save the facilities, he thinks the Dresden model might be appropriate for the Ivy League schools. It would leave a mark that won’t be forgotten for a while. Don’t forget the salt.

                    1. Can we have a group of “visiting researchers” slip in and grab the really important books out of the Special Collections first? Because there are some truly amazing tomes and titles that are in Ivy League libraries, languishing for want of people to read, discuss, and debate over them. And some great art, but that might be a bit more difficult to “research.” (Although, the way things are going, you could probably come in dressed in black bloc, claim that you are taking the paintings to deface as a blow against the [whatever]-supremacist hegemony, and the curators would hand you ten more.)

                    2. The Reader thinks a false flag Antifa raid would be the best way to preserve those materials. The folks in charge would surrender immediately. They would however, need enough copies of Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto to stage a simulated book burning while retreating with the real material.

                    3. As long as it doesn’t tip them off. No trying to “research” brontosaurus out of the Yale Peabody, for goodness sake.

              2. Okay, I was thinking School Boards, too; but yeah, we let far too many communists take root.

                It was already there when I started voting, so don’t geel too guilty; but I probably could have done more to oppose it.

      2. Yeah, how can a bunch of lily-white elitists yammer about ‘Our Black Communities’ in the first place? They’re betraying their core beliefs — that the white elitists own the ‘Black Communities’ so they’d better do what they’re told.
        There is no shortage of people convinced they can create the perfect world. They just have to eliminate all those imperfect people who don’t fit in it.

    2. Ahem. So, if I judge Congress as a group, that makes me a pea-wit eh? The let me state you can’t trust our government, only some individuals.

      1. If the Congresscritters are Republicans, it’s “Trust But Verify”.

        If the Congresscritters are Democrats, it’s Don’t Trust Them.


  1. Preach, Sarah! Liberty at its base means the capacity and the freedom to do what you want to do, not what someone else has decided you must do due to some (inevitably) deficient social theory de jure.

  2. But then the system won’t work.

    The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

    He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

    Adam Smith

  3. One thought about that experiment that crystallized this morning (I think it was floating around the back of my brain beforehand), what stories do we tell these hypothetical children?
    If we’re trying to raise them like Pratchett’s dwarfs, it seems that that would cut them off from much of human history and literature.
    Even fairy tales.
    And as our hostess frequently points out, we are a people of story. We need it to develop our brains properly.

  4. Joke follows

    “Comes the revolution,” the orator declared, everyone would live the good life and eat strawberries and cream.

    “I don’t like strawberries and cream!” responded one of his listeners.

    “Comes the revolution,” the orator declared, “You’ll eat strawberries and cream—and like it!”

    [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

    1. And if you have an allergy to strawberries or cream then I guess you weren’t meant to live.

      Only a wrecker or a hoarder would dare deviate from the approved menu with an inconvenient allergy.

      1. Well, that’s how they operate isn’t it? Deviations from The Way are not retrained or repaired, they are removed.

        That’s how you get to the Socialist Worker’s Paradise. You just kill off everyone who doesn’t fit. The only problem Communists have had to date is they can’t identify and kill all the unfit quickly enough. From the happenings in the Communists nations, they’re working on that.

        1. Not just the nation state. I think you get there by degrees. Ex: big orange box started advertising internally that you could (especially as a leader) join an “Affinity Group” . Of course voluntary…at first. It quickly became obvious that all such affinity groups corresponded to the politically aligned grievance industry. No while male need apply. It went downhill from there.

          I think the same officious busy bodies in our govt start there esp in HR and iterations thereof. Pity, great company but wont shop there now, and my career ended soon after my protest of the stores mandatory involvement with the pride parade.

          1. Look at any university in Canada. Anybody that didn’t “Fit In” with the plan is gone. Zero non-Leftist professors in all but the hardest of the hard sciences, and then only because Leftists suck at math. (Why to Communists steal innovations instead of making their own? Because they have to.)

            This is how they do it in Communist countries too, just on a much, much larger scale and you end up dead instead of fired. The university Leftists would like to do it that way too, but they lack the power at the moment.

            I do agree that most of these idiots do behave like Karen from HR. Sorry to hear about your job change, but on the bright side you can hold your head up. I prefer self-employment, Karen doesn’t make it past the front gate here. Big dog, you know. Trained to bark at officious dweebs.

    2. I remember a similar story about someone in the USSR wanting to emigrate to America. The officer kept asking him if this was bad, or that was bad, and the man kept replying “I have no complaints.”
      The officer finally asked, “Then why do you want to go to America?”
      “Because there I can have complaints.”

    3. Rousseau’s General Will, picked up by the German philosophers and “improved” by others. Shudder “True freedom is obeying the General Will.”

      No thank you!

      1. The General Will has Major Malfunctions, and deserves Corporal Punishment. But in public, not in Private.

        1. We’re not FORCING anyone to get the jab. You may certainly quit your job, never travel, stay out of any and all public places and test as many times as we tell you to at your own expense.

          But it is completely your decision. We aren’t going to make you. How dare you even suggest such a thing.

          1. I have yet to submit to their testing. Whenever the question comes up, I just say “No.” They act shocked and they bluster, and I smile and repeat myself. “No. Nuh uh. Nyet. Not happening. You can forget it.”

            That way they can refuse you entry or whatever, but they can’t slip you the “positive” test they keep under the counter and quarantine you for two weeks. (Oh, lurkers don’t think that’s happening out there? Bless your little hearts.)

            1. yeah got myself a case of the woohan a few weeks back. The drug that shall be nameless solved that problem BUT about 10 days later I was scheduled for a surgical procedure at a local hospital. The first thing they told me was I had to get a covid test. Didn’t have any place to get one locally so they had me come to the hospital. I told them I had had the bug a couple of weeks back and so I would probably test positive which I did. Operation put off for 10 days. And the first they asked when I showed up the next time was if I had had the clot-shot.

              1. So can .452, but electronic earmuffs work great if you need to hear normal sounds. I wish they’d been available back in the ’50s and ’60s; if they had been (or if ear protection had had the amount of coverage it gets now) I wouldn’t have the degree of tinnitis I do. 😦

            1. There is freedom of religion in this country, and therefore every man may select his caliber of preference in accordance with his own criteria.

              1. given a range-0ption I like the .260 Remmy. By time they figure out where the pill came from you can be packed up and on your way home, heh, heh.

            2. There is something to be said for the .458 varieties if one is going for the heavy and slow side of the portable artillery spectrum.

              1. Hey, if “heavy and slow” is your thing, go for a 4-bore double. A bit pricey, of course, but guaranteed to stop anything on any number of legs. 🙂

        1. “You first, I’ll follow …” then, very quietly, very softly, “way, way, way, waaaaayyyyy, far behind, so far behind you might not think I’m there”. Won’t be behind them, but what they don’t know won’t hurt them any.

    4. Come the revolution, remember this: It is not cannibalism to eat communists.

        1. There is that. I would not advise eating the brain of a communist. Assuming you can find it.

  5. The rapidly spreading Farmer’s rebellions give me alot of hope. Did the Globalists/WEF puppet-masters expect this? I don’t think they did, judging by how fast they memory-holed that article bragging about how they were going to make Sri Lanka rich and prosperous. Reality is trying to slap them awake and the widgets are acting like unpredictable people instead of widgets.

        1. Grocery stores heck, many of them think food comes from restaurants. My daughters were appalled that in visiting many of their wealthy friends they (our girls of say 10-14 age) were far superior cooks to their friends moms who had reheat or dial takeout as about their cooking limit.

      1. The farmers that won’t go along will be removed from farming.

        It may start through liquidating the farms, but may include liquidating the farmers. The latter is traditional.

        We may soon see ten times the refugees/migrants coming here than we have now. (Legal and illegal)

        “Induce famine and poverty” is the tried and true game plan of despots who see their pending removal.

            1. Time to restart the production lines for the GM Liberator. Cheap, effective and terrifying.

              1. Cheap I’ll grant you, but effective? Only if you can get within a yard of your target and don’t mind taking 30 seconds to reload after each shot. Ian is right, we can do better today.
                ‘Progressives’ trust violent criminals and terrorists with guns more than they trust you.

                1. All true, but the Liberator is not a self defense weapon, it is an ambush weapon whose only purpose is to get a better weapon.

      1. Commies go after EVERYTHING and it always ends up badly-and goes downhill from there.

  6. I could see “feed them and exercise them alike” being a concern for activists in Middle Eastern or Asian cultures that tend to kill off or undervalue female children. “Exercise them alike” might have been a concern among the genteel classes in the late 19th/early 20th c. West, where the man of the house might have a sedentary job while also having sporting/outdoors interests, and the woman of the house was not really encouraged to have those interests, and her day job was basically as a household administrator (also sedentary job) who outsourced childrearing responsibilities (the part most likely to require some kind of physical activity) to nurses and boarding school

      1. Just pointing to the fact that a lot of people recycle old rhetoric without stopping to think whether it’s all that applicable today. And that America has accumulated a lot of newcomers from cultures where this might still be a live issue.

      1. It was almost perfect, actually. Only missing the accent over the à so that it’s the word “to” rather than the present tense of “have”. Which, for 30 years rusty, is impressive.

    1. Can’t beat that reply, When Moses asked what to tell Pharaoh the Author basically told him “Tell him that I Am sent you”. If its good enough for the Author…

    1. I’m so glad I don’t write for the Babylon Bee. Just when you think satire has reached the peak, along comes the Progressive reality and says, “Oh yeah? Top this!”

    2. Hey, they gave the owner 24 hours. That’s pretty generous by their standards. That said, I have to wonder if they understand what agreed means, the owners didn’t agree to anything.

      You’d have to be made of stone not to laugh uproariously.

  7. I want to be the best version of me there is – achievable, but ephemeral, the better me is a constantly moving target.
    I want to be the best there is. Also ephemeral, as you will always find someone better than you at anything.

    What the equalizers, the levelers, want to do is eliminate both the opportunity, and the incentive, for anyone to better themselves. But they never want to do it themselves, and they always want privilege and wealth by parasitizing the rest of us.

  8. “So I’m under strict orders to get off the net two hours before going to bed (backlit screens in general) and…. other stuff.”

    “Button up your overcoat, when the wind blows free. Take good care of yourself…”

  9. “And the equalizers can learn to leave me and those like me the heck alone.”

    They don’t get slapped down enough. Or hard enough.

  10. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
    ― George Orwell, Animal Farm

    I am so tired of the Left trying to assign me to a group and atomize me at the same time.

    1. You belong to this group but only the wise ones know what you really need.
      Yeah, no. I’m convinced this is why the good Lord gave me middle fingers.

      1. You are a bad influence. The urge to say, “Here’s my finger. Here’s my other finger,” grows ever stronger.

      1. I find it interesting there hasn’t been word one about the shooter aside from his name. No social media history, no statements from the family, no school background, nada.

        1. Fox News had a segment on the Five today. How he is being vilified for carrying a gun in a Mall who asks people to not bring guns into the mall. Not that it is illegal to do so. Just that the mall doesn’t “want you to”. Or at least that is what the prior policy says. Any bets on whether that stays the same Now? I would think they’d at least have it stricken, under “oops, that was a bad idea, glad someone disregarded”. But who knows. It was suppose to be an open ended unprotected target rich environment.

          I am glad those around him are protecting him from the suspect cancelling mongrels.

          1. I’ll make the point that I keep making: The mall can’t stop you from carrying concealed, because in Indiana, “No Guns” signs do not have force of law. All they can do is ask you to leave if someone discovers you’re carrying, and charge you with trespassing if you refuse.

            The main reason Simon Malls has a “No Weapons” clause in their code of conduct is because they went through a period about seven or eight years ago in which local teen gangs were invading the malls here and raising hell. But they simply can’t enforce it if you’re carrying concealed and they don’t know it.

            1. Springboarding. Please make sure you know your local laws. In Indiana “no guns” or “no weapons” (Hell, that would mean that I couldn’t bring myself into the place) signs do not have force of law. Some places are “no guns” or “no knives” by statute and it’s the explicit law that prohibits weapons therein with the signs merely informing one of the fact. Elsewhere, the signs mean nothing.

              Other states, however, are a different matter. Always, always, always, know your own laws. You would not want to unintentionally violate the law (well, more than you have to because “three felonies a day” and all that).

              1. Interesting thing in Oregon. The no weapons signs reference a law that specifically exempts concealed carry permit holders.

        2. He doesn’t want 400 Leftists bused in from California and NYC to showing up in front of his house I expect.

          Also, he was smart enough to bring a gun to that gunfight, so he probably doesn’t have anything on social media.

          Watching the reaction from the Leftist-controlled news, that guy may very well have been better off to let Shooter Boy go nuts in the mall. That’s certainly the message they are trying to convey. “Don’t get uppity, peasants. Lie down and die like you are supposed to.”

          1. I mean, I’ve seen nothing about Shooter Boy other than his name, and that only in passing. Except I believe all,three of his fatalities had Hispanic surnames.

            1. no retreat route. I don’t think that letting him go to town was an option he even considered.

              That is how I read it too. Not so much he didn’t have a route out, but they wouldn’t make the route out without getting shot. He then stood between his girlfriend and everyone else retreating out the distance door. Hero, multiple times.

              1. While putting 8 of 10 rounds into Mass Murder Guy from forty yards, apparently.

                The grandfather he said taught him to shoot should be very proud.

    1. It’s rather remarkable that when we have some sort of mass shooting event and the usual suspects stampede to the cameras to implore us to “DO SOMETHING!” The something that they want to do is NEVER give people more guns to defend themselves.

      The something is ALWAYS, take everyone’s guns away. Except the criminals, who, by definition, are not going to abide by the law.

      1. I know.

        Heaven forbid we have “vigilantism” (sarcasm off, JIC). Never mind that what the hero who stopped the shooter wasn’t involved in “vigilantism” in any shape or form (by the definition of “vigilantism”). Heck they’d be screaming if it was an off duty or reserve police who are (most jurisdictions) required to carry off duty. (Note. For anyone involved in scouting, that is a huge, um, discussion/debate topic. Firearms, of any kind, by anyone, are not allowed at BSA scouting functions, unless sanctioned and the appropriate BSA trained individuals are in charge of that piece. Not anyone with a legal concealed. Not anyone legally open carrying. The debate “what about those required by profession and law are required to carry 24/7 when not at home, on duty or not?”

          1. “unless sanctioned and the appropriate BSA trained individuals are in charge of that piece”

            Generally Summer Camp. Or the troop we were involved in had access to council trained individuals (all the troops did) for trips to gun ranges. They are (were? since not involved in BSA now) the marksmanship/rifle, etc. meritbadges. The latter, the council appropriate firearms were provided, but if a scout had access to family provided appropriate (22? cubs would be BB) firearm, then a parent could attend bringing that weapon for their scout to use (after being checked by the council qualified experts).

            Naturally our leaders always had to go to pre-check the said gun range with scout not appropriate weapons before that day. But while children of said leadership may be present, no scouts were.

        1. That’s a heck of a policy, and it makes me assume that it was a) recently (for values of recent) established, and b) cynically intended to keep and/or chase those darn redneck/Deplorable kids and their parents out of the organization.

          1. Not recent. We haven’t been directly involved since 2010. We started, with Tigers, Fall 1995. Not that we knew of then. (Lions, kindergarten/age 5, was reestablished a lot more recently.) Debates came up later when we got involved at the district, council levels, with training; including at Woodbadge, both times (participant, then training crew). Policy is not “new”. One can argue whether or not the policy was followed 100% or not. Publicly, even here, policy was followed 100%; even on long wilderness backpacking where one never knew what might be encountered, no matter how prepared … just like there are no cougars in the NE US …

            As far as:

            “b) cynically intended to keep and/or chase those darn redneck/Deplorable kids and their parents out of the organization”

            They’ve already lost Baptist Church, a long time ago. More recently Latter Day Saints. Neither over the firearm policy. Everyone else? Not like the progressives were particularly involved in BSA … GSA, yes. After all the preferred teaching medium, camping, is yucky, don’t ya know.

            Remember, it isn’t illegal to carry a firearm in our national parks wilderness (buildings are different), open carry or concealed, based on the laws of the state the national park resides in. OTOH it is illegal to Fire said firearm, no matter what. Instead, carry bear spray. (Note: Not kidding. 100% the policy.)

            1. I gather the woke crowd has hit the BSA pretty badly; looks like they’re trying to remake it into a LGBTBBQ version of the Young Pioneers. I don’t know if Pete Seeger “folk” songs or”Arise ye Wyxmyn” will be mandatory…

              Wasn’t aware of the prohibition against firing in National parks. In my condition, back country hikes are not a good idea, especially if the terrain is much more difficult than Flatlandia, so encountering/shooting a bear isn’t all that likely. No comment on other predators. We’ve also been to Crater Lake enough times that that part of the bucket list is long fulfilled. No plans for other parks (Captain Jack’s Stronghold in Lava Beds is a fascinating hike, but was tough when I had two functional knees. (for values of functional–the right knee has a long history))

  11. That was an interesting thread on two by two. The experiment proposed… Well, I try and treat my children as individuals, not genders. But their interests certainly overlap with the average interests of their gender. And nutrition… One size fits all makes me very twitchy. No one in my family (growing up or current) had an eating disorder. We all needed different quantities or types to thrive (yay Allergies! Pointing up different nutrition needs whether you like it or not). And we ended up with size/strength differences, very visible ones. The parents let us try different activities as interested so we all tried soccer and gymnastics. I tried ballet, they did track and field. Just hated the running. Lots of my female friends loved it, it wasn’t too boyish for me. People are different. But genders are different in average behaviors too.

    1. My sisters and I each have a child born the same year, all in the same grade, graduating same year. January, June, and August. Two girls and one boy. All three were given Raggedy Ann/Andy dolls as toddlers. All three were given dinosaurs. All three were given trucks and cars. All three were given Legos. How they each played with the type of toys were night and day between the girls and the one boy. Which toy was gravitated to. No expectations, no directions, no guidance. Did we each cater to our own child’s expectations and wants? Yes. The point? Us more probably than my sisters, but then their older children weren’t “onlys” after age 3, either.

      1. I had 3 boys 2 girls and a final boy. The oldest daughter was surrounded by boys because all her cousins were boys too so of course she played with trucks and whatnot. When she played with cars and trucks there would be a running conversation between all the vehicles and she would make little garages for each one and create neighborhoods with Hot wheels tracks and couch pillows. Her brothers and cousins made engine noises and racetracks. She didn’t really play with dolls at all until her sister came along. She preferred to play with dinosaurs most of all. She would dress them in little outfits she made out of various craft items, make jewelry for them to wear and have tea parties where T-Rex was always warned he could NOT eat or menace the other guests. She had no girl cousins or aunties to show her to do this, she just did. Our final boy came along and he inherited every kind of toy there was. He would torment the girls by throwing the dolls through the basketball hoop and his T-REX always ate the other guests at tea parties. (When we watched the opening of Serenity, the girls yelled ” That’s Stephen!” When they heard “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal.”) His main activities were digging up the yard with his Tonka trucks, watching train videos and being tattled about by his next oldest sister.

        They were all different, but definitely there were certain patterns of behavior.

        1. Our son is second grandchild, only boy until the last grandchild, a boy, came along 13 years later. He was always leading the girl cousins around climbing this or that. They’d help him rearrange the train or hot car tracks. Trust me, all the girl cousins are now girly girls. What you are describing is exactly what happened with him and his cousins. If they were playing “cars and trucks”, his were crashing into things, and digging up dirt, theirs weren’t. When the girls all got to the gossip age, they did gossip, he stopped talking, much. He might have a reputation among his cousins as being quiet.

  12. When we are all equal… The one thing that gives me hope for the human race is that we still have the genes of telephone hand set sanitizers. At least until the “equalizers” do something really stupid.

  13. I resemble “I’m not a widget.” I originally thought I’d be a scientist or a doctor. I took a lot of math and had a 27 year career as a applied mathematician, mostly statistics. Then one of my kids needed homeschooling so I did that for 8 years, then some math tutoring and now I’ve graduated seminary and am doing pastoral care and chaplaincy. Nothing went according to my plans. I don’t imagine anyone else could have chosen better. I wouldn’t want the interference. For me, God is in control and calling the shots. People can keep their hands off.

    1. I wanted to be a Forester. Not only the outdoor aspect, but to be able to influence policy. Never to eliminate logging, but the standard 80 year rotation can be extended out another 40 or 30 years. Even clear cutting has it’s place. But noooooo. I’ve had people, who knew me in HS and first round of college, whip lash when they hear I wrote software for 35 years. Not that my math was bad. But my first computer class I had nothing, nada, absolutely nothing, good to say about it. I’m good at software. I am very, very, good at it. I am also good at supporting it, to the point where I don’t get repeat questions, because I took the time to explain it thoroughly the first time. Saves time over all. Theirs and mine. Not everyone, there were a few (“What? It is 9:30 AM and X, Y, or Z, hasn’t called?).

    2. I wanted to be an actuary, but the actuarying exams are very rigorous so i decided to become a banker. The banking exams aren’t nearly so rigorous. They only ask one question: “would you sell your mother?” I answered: “that depends on how much you are willing to pay.”
      They said, “you”re our boy” and 40 years later I’m a semi-retired banker.

    3. I loved model rockets as a kid. Me and the neighborhood boys would have contests to see who could get theirs to go the highest.

      Mine had pink glittery fins.

      The better to track it’s trajectory with.

      I never once had any boy tell me I couldn’t run my rocket. I had one and I wanted to compete so I did. They never said anything about the glitter either other than speculation that it might create extra drag. But since it got high enough to be competitive, it didn’t seem to be an issue.

      I was usually the only girl at their lunch table too. Easier than trying to fit in at the mean girls table. And at that school they were all mean girls.

      1. I played with a wonderful model fire truck (big steel Tonka thing with a working hook-and-ladder!), did model rockets, studied ancient Egypt and wanted to be an archaeologist, always played Han Solo when we played Star Wars all over the adjoining back yards, and wore dresses sometimes, read a lot, collected dolls, and climbed any tree I could possibly climb. In high school, I ran around with a mixed pack of guy and gal nerds. We shared a table at lunch with the other semi-outcast group and ignored each other.

        1. I played Robin Hood, was fascinated by archeology and history, climbed stone walls, explored Roman mines, wore dresses when forced (but that’s because mom was neurotic about me tearing/getting dirty in dresses, not pants.) was fascinated by space exploration, inherited all my brother’s boy geek-friends, and had boy and girl geek friends.
          I’m very much female, and like males. I’m just…. Odd.

  14. “It’s the whole “drive to make everyone equal.””

    Oh, for F sakes. Why would anyone listen to those a-holes?

    Human beings are not equal. We never were, and failing some sort of obscene mass extinction/cloning process to replace the entire population of the Earth with copies of one guy, we never, ever, will be.

    Western Civilization works on the notion that all men are created equal, and stand as equals before the law. But that is A) a polite fiction and B) only means that the gods do not have favorites, so far as we can tell.

    That this notion of equality is demonstrably untrue is not important. Everybody can see that the brain-damaged drug addict destroying the bathroom at Starbucks is not the equal of the girl behind the counter slinging the coffee. She is his superior mentally, physically and morally. The differences are not subtle.

    However, behaving toward each other as if it is true is the best system Human beings have yet devised for getting along and getting things done together. Therefore they both get a hearing in court after she shoots him in the ass when he attacks her, even though he doesn’t deserve to be heard. It is the principal that keeps us all honest.

    Those who drive to -make- the detestable, woman assaulting drug addict the moral equal of the hard working barista girl are lying, rent-seeking parasites only in it for the money. What they said is not important, and we do not hear their words. May they all contract boils.

  15. The odd thing is Ms Fish honestly doesn’t seem to understand why so many people are responding with horror at her proposed experiment.

      1. I asked her to describe the proposed “experiment” in detail, exactly as any scientific experiment should be: Process, subjects, variables, expected results. And no, I think it’s a terrible idea, for the reasons several have noted, including myself. But I also have no idea, other than the vague generalities she stated, what it’s supposed to consist of. And it may be that once she begins to actually consider the nature of the experiment, she may come to agree. Vague generalities are nice (“Make everyone equal!”), but there are always those pesky details…”Well, dead people are all equal”.

        1. The only way to make the people equal is to make them all dead. Should we be so unwise as to entrust our governance to an AI, we would soon find that out.

          1. No argument here; that’s why I asked for the details. Maybe she meant something other than what she seemed to be saying, and just expressed it poorly; G-d knows I’ve done that often enough!

            And if real AI, as contrasted with “expert systems”, happens within the next century I’d be amazed.

            1. There’s been more on this back in the “Two by Two” post. Still no details; read it for yourself. (Sarah, I don’t know the etiquette for this sort of thing, discussions across multiple posts; if I transgressed I apologize. Any guidance?)

                1. OK; thanks. I tend to think of discussions of this sort as I would on Usenet; I need to get over that, Usenet being the toxic swamp it is.

      2. Some parents would volunteer.

        The results would be hopelessly warped by the selection bias in the children’s genetics.

        1. Some parents Munchausen their toddlers into surgery. Some parents (the same ones) need to be sterilized and have their victims removed from their “care”.

  16. Sara, Well said!

    People have strange ideas about what “equal” means. As far as I know, it mens “the same” or “can be replaced by”. But then, I have a math and computer science background. People are not equal and have never been equal. They have frequently been treated as interchangeable (think peons, slaves, serfs, etc.) but even then they weren’t exactly the same. If people were equal, we’d all be the same size as the average size. There would be no need for bespoke clothes. There would be no sexual dimorphism. There wouldn’t be differnt languages. There wouldn’t be any humanity.

    1. People are not mathematically equal. They possess aequalitas, which is how the Romans translated “isotimia” from the Greek.

      And it’s amazing what WordPress won’t let you talk about, which is a historical fact about the Romans. Sigh.

  17. SIGH

    So yeah…

    I was walking out of church a few months ago and someone staged one of those “consent” things. You know, where dude asks his girl if he can hold her hand? Then someone looks at me and says, “Isn’t that great Jim? You’d do that if you had a girlfriend, right?”



    I don’t degrade myself by begging.

    So, desperate female (and seriously, she’s hot. I weigh close to 400 lbs. and am the only dude who shows up by himself on Sundays. She must be having trouble getting a second date or something ) looked at me after I said now and says, “What if I want you to touch me.”

    It took a second for my brain to kick back on, and then I said, “If I have to ask permission like that I don’t want to touch you.

    “Do you not think I’m pretty?”

    “Oh, you’re beautif…”

    “Isn’t that all that matters TO A GUY?

    (emphasis mine)

    My thoughts: Ok, now on top of making your man jump through hoops, you’re both shallow and vapid.

    So yeah, crap like that kills me. I’m a dude, but not every dude or average dude. And for the record, I look for brain power. My last GF had a degree in Neuroscience and another one had an honors degree in Computer Aided Design. So no, looks aren’t all that matter.

    1. Just from your brief description, my cray-cray-dar just spiked max.

      Activate your jamming, take evasive action, and exit the encounter on afterburner.

  18. This is what the feminists don’t get. If they think that all men are horndogs and act accordingly, that’s what they’re going to find. Sure, having a nice face and figure will get a first look, and why not? Men are physically wired to recognize and prefer young and healthy potential mothers. But there’s a control system sitting on top of that base programming that gets a deciding vote by looking at other signs and factors like potential for companionship and even character. If there’s nothing underneath the surface, men find out sooner than you might wish and turn off even faster than they turned on.

    1. Several years ago, I read an article by a woman who was commenting on “why men don’t commit”.

      She apparently noticed that plenty of the woman who complained about “men not committing” were also the type of women who attempted to manipulate men into becoming the “type of person” that the women wanted. Worse, these were the type of women who would say “don’t you love me” when the men noticed and complained about the manipulation.

      The woman who wrote the article basically said that if a woman is a manipulator and not honest about it, that she didn’t blame the man for leaving her.

      IE Men aren’t stupid and will see the attempts by the women to manipulate them. If the woman lies about the attempted manipulation, then the man will leave because they don’t trust the woman.

      Oh, my thought was, after reading the article, I could imagine the fun-and-games if men tried to manipulate women into being the “type of person” that the men wanted. 😈

      1. Common report says that women are more likely to be sneaky and manipulative. But it doesn’t get them what they really want. I should know–it was tried on me. At length.

        1. They seem to imagine that they are smarter than the people they are trying to manipulate. 😉

          1. Imagine is right. I may not be smart enough to read minds, but I can sense that I’m not getting the full picture and something is being held back. The one I’m thinking of could have given lessons to Aes Sedai in dancing around the truth.

            1. Some men do manipulate some women. And yes, it’s fairly common for men to decide they’re going to mold their women, too. It’s just more shamelessly talked about by women, in this current society.

  19. On a completely different subject, Sarah, did you get the guest post submission I e-mailed? Not sure if it didn’t get devoured.

  20. Ah, sleep hygiene. It helped me deal with my insomnia better than any drugs. The stories I could tell about the wacky crap (and at least one dangerous event) I did while taking Lunesta…

    Keep the sleep schedule and follow the sleep hygiene guidelines, Sarah. They do make a difference that you will notice and your family will notice.

    On the individualism point, it must be balanced with voluntary associations. My stint in the military taught me that for most of life’s problems you need 10 ordinary folks working together than 1 Einstein.

    1. I’m already more awake during the day. I’m already not as tired/sleepy all the time. BUT … well, see, I always did most serious work after dinner, since the kids left school. Now I’m having to change everything, and I’ve been singularly unproductive this week.

  21. Both NAWALT and, “Speaking as a woman, I…” tropes are equally tiresome and phony.

    It is as if there is no substitute for mature judgment. One makes errors, learns from experience and teaching, refines the judgments, practices humility, and so on.

    Group judgments and individual where warranted, each in their place.

    And no, me getting mistakes in my accounting figures does not disqualify arithmetic.

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