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Author Topic: Men & Women  (Read 18041 times)
G M
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« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2012, 03:37:53 PM »

Much love to the BLP community!
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G M
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« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2012, 04:11:18 PM »

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/rtd-opinion/2012/mar/09/tdopin01-save-the-males-ar-1751559/

Should colleges and universities adopt affirmative action for men? By their own standards, the answer appears to be yes. Economist Mark Perry calls attention to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows that for every hundred men who have a bachelor's degree by age 24, a whopping 148 women of the same age do.

In every other academic realm, the existence of a statistical disparity — such as the fact that fewer men than women pursue advanced degrees in certain science and technology fields — is taken as definitive proof of gender discrimination.

For instance, in 2010 the American Association of University Women lamented the "striking disparity between the numbers of men and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics," and concluded that "we must take a hard look at the stereotypes and biases that still pervade our culture. Encouraging more girls and women to enter these vital fields will require careful attention to the environment in our classrooms and workplaces and throughout our culture."

We look forward to a robust debate on how institutions of higher learning can correct the discriminatory circumstances that are leading them to graduate nearly three women for every two men.
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ccp
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« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2012, 04:36:23 PM »

" Don't forget bi-racial, lefthanded, paraplegic history month!
« Reply #50 on: Today at 01:37:53 PM »"

Good news GM!,

The latter, at least, has been remembered:   

http://www.loc.gov/disabilityawareness/

Oh how I celebrate!
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G M
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« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2012, 05:14:03 PM »

#Invalid YouTube Link#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Qhm7-LEBznk#!

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JDN
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« Reply #54 on: April 14, 2012, 12:24:19 PM »

Memo to Ann Romney: Motherhood is hard work, but it’s not a career, argues Leslie Bennetts.

When Rosen said that Ann Romney had “never worked,” it was perfectly obvious that she was referring to the classic definition of work as something one does for pay: “the labor, task or duty that affords one his accustomed means of livelihood,” as Webster’s dictionary puts it. All mothers know that motherhood involves a lot of hard work, but let’s stop pretending that that’s the same as working for a living. It isn’t. When you’re a stay-at-home mom, somebody else is bringing home the paycheck.

Equally misleading was Mrs. Romney’s retort that her “career” was being a mother. Again, Webster’s defines “career” as “a field for or pursuit of a consecutive progressive achievement, especially in public, professional or business life,” and also as “a profession for which one undergoes special training and which is undertaken as a permanent calling.” Motherhood is many things, but as a matter of pure semantics, it’s not a career. It’s also not a “permanent calling,” since kids grow up.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/13/the-myth-of-the-stay-at-home-mommy-job.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #55 on: April 14, 2012, 11:26:55 PM »

To have slandered a woman publicly who raised 5 boys born over an 11 year period, 30 years from pregnant to getting them to 18, survived breast cancer and lives with MS that she "NEVER WORKED A DAY IN HER LIFE", that is okay?? Not to mention that campaigning IS a job, the highest job Obama ever had before he was President.  Speaking at events like CPAC, lobbying the legislature on MS awareness, work on behalf of at-risk youth, Board Member of the New England Chapter of the MS Society, board member of the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund, director of Best Friends, an organization that addresses the special needs of adolescent, inner-city girls by providing educational and community service opportunities, she worked as a volunteer instructor at the Mother Caroline Academy, a multicultural middle school serving young girls from inner city Boston and served on the board for Families First, served on the Women's Cancer Advisory Board of Massachusetts General Hospital, board member of United Way - none of that is work.  What a bunch of bullsh*t. 

35 trips to the White House, this wasn't an accident; the whole thing down to the phony apology and scapegoat is puppetmastered. 

"Career" is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person's "course or progress through life". "It can also pertain to an occupation".

Yes to the condescending and disingenuous among us, that was a CAREER choice that she made.
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G M
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« Reply #56 on: April 14, 2012, 11:56:20 PM »

She wasn't a "working mother" like Michelle, who had the classic Chicago Graft "no show" job.

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
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JDN
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« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2012, 11:04:41 AM »

To have slandered a woman publicly who raised 5 boys born over an 11 year period, 30 years from pregnant to getting them to 18, survived breast cancer and lives with MS that she "NEVER WORKED A DAY IN HER LIFE", that is okay?? Not to mention that campaigning IS a job, the highest job Obama ever had before he was President.  Speaking at events like CPAC, lobbying the legislature on MS awareness, work on behalf of at-risk youth, Board Member of the New England Chapter of the MS Society, board member of the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund, director of Best Friends, an organization that addresses the special needs of adolescent, inner-city girls by providing educational and community service opportunities, she worked as a volunteer instructor at the Mother Caroline Academy, a multicultural middle school serving young girls from inner city Boston and served on the board for Families First, served on the Women's Cancer Advisory Board of Massachusetts General Hospital, board member of United Way - none of that is work.  What a bunch of bullsh*t. 

Yes to the condescending and disingenuous among us, that was a CAREER choice that she made.


I never slandered her; she sounds like a wonderful woman, but she never "worked" a day in her life.  I was reading the Sports page this morning.  A good article on Ramon Sessions (thank you Minnesota).  http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakers-ramon-sessions-20120415,0,1711842,full.story

What popped out was the comment about his mother, Ann, who worked at a coffee shop in a hotel for 20 years in Myrtle Beach, S.C. "She was always getting up at five in the morning, supporting me and my sister,"  Now THAT is what I call work.  Not volunteering for the girl scouts, coaching your son's little league team, etc.  "Work" means making money because you need the money to survive.  It's doing something you don't necessarily want to do, but have to do to put food on the table and pay bills. 

To quote Fitzgerald, "The rich are different than you and I." 

The Romneys lived in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., an exclusive suburb outside Detroit, but George Romney, chairman of American Motors Corp., prided himself on not spoiling his children... The children had chores, though they also had a maid, a cook, and a laundress."  Ann Romney had a similar upbringing.

In contrast (not claiming I grew up poor) I always had a summer and part time job since I was 10 years old.  My father worked full time AND my mother worked full time (RN).  Somehow she raised two boys, cooked the meals, cleaned the house, and worked 40 hours a week for money.  That's "WORK".  She never called it "work" having to make dinner for the family (no servants in our house), but she did call it "work" being an RN although she loved her job.  However it wasn't a "choice"; she did it because my family needed the money. 

I volunteer in a Neighborhood Watch Program.  I volunteer at my church.  That's volunteer work; I want to do that.  My WORK is my 9-5 job to try and make money.  I've never said, "I have to go to WORK" when I was driving to my church to help serve food to the poor downtown. 

In contrast, Mrs. Romney, who from all I can tell is a very fine woman, intelligent, kind, and a good mother, grew up very rich, married a rich guy in College, and has never WORKED a day in her life.  Lucky woman.  Nothing wrong with that.  I too might like a life of doing whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it.

Again, it reminds me of Sessions mom.  After he signed his pro contract, "He picked up the phone and called his mother, Ann, who worked at a coffee shop in a hotel for 20 years in Myrtle Beach, S.C.  Sessions said. "I said, 'Mom, you don't have to work anymore.' It was the best phone call I ever made. I bought her a house in South Carolina and she's just hanging out watching every game."

She no longer has to WORK anymore....
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JDN
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« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2012, 11:10:39 AM »

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Michelle Obama graduated from Princeton undergraduate and then Harvard Law School.  I have friends here in LA who work for large law firms as associates.  They are only 30 years old, some even younger and many make $300K plus.  Michelle Obama's salary for her job (work) is in line with her education...

What is your point?  That is what the market, the job market (work) will pay for superb education. 
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G M
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« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2012, 11:29:50 AM »

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Michelle Obama graduated from Princeton undergraduate and then Harvard Law School.  I have friends here in LA who work for large law firms as associates.  They are only 30 years old, some even younger and many make $300K plus.  Michelle Obama's salary for her job (work) is in line with her education...

What is your point?  That is what the market, the job market (work) will pay for superb education. 

Funny enough, they created this job for Michelle and Buraq started pushing earmarks to her employer. When she left, they dissolved the position. Must have been a crucial position and not some sort of Chicago corruption like their real estate deal with Tony Rezko.
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JDN
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« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2012, 11:38:22 AM »

That's not the way I understand the facts.  She was more than qualified.

"For one, the column suggests that Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 had a role in his wife’s promotion and pay increase in 2005. We can’t say what the hospital’s motivation was for promoting her. But Michael Riordan, who served as the medical center’s president at the time, told the Chicago Tribune that it had nothing to do with her husband. "She was hired before Barack was Barack,” Riordan told the newspaper. "She is worth her weight in gold, and she is just terrific." The Tribune reported that Riordan "had planned early on for the position [of executive director of community affairs] to evolve into a vice president’s post as a way of showing the organization’s commitment to community outreach." Riordan said: "I knew where I wanted to go with this position. … I wanted to identify someone to grow into it."  And Easton said at the time that her increased salary was in line with those of other vice presidents at the medical center, who were earning between $291,000 and $362,000, according to the newspaper."

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/michelle-obamas-salary/
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G M
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« Reply #61 on: April 15, 2012, 11:54:08 AM »

Graft.

For one, the column suggests that Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2004 had a role in his wife’s promotion and pay increase in 2005. We can’t say what the hospital’s motivation was for promoting her. But Michael Riordan, who served as the medical center’s president at the time, told the Chicago Tribune that it had nothing to do with her husband. "She was hired before Barack was Barack,” Riordan told the newspaper. "She is worth her weight in gold, and she is just terrific." The Tribune reported that Riordan "had planned early on for the position [of executive director of community affairs] to evolve into a vice president’s post as a way of showing the organization’s commitment to community outreach." Riordan said: "I knew where I wanted to go with this position. … I wanted to identify someone to grow into it."  And Easton said at the time that her increased salary was in line with those of other vice presidents at the medical center, who were earning between $291,000 and $362,000, according to the newspaper.
 
Second, the column implies that her "networking" was what caused her then-senator husband to request a "$1 million earmark for the UC Medical Center" back in 2006. But that’s unsubstantiated also. He did request the funds for the "construction of a new hospital pavilion" at the University of Chicago, but both Obama and hospital officials denied that the request was influenced by his wife’s position. And during the campaign, Obama’s aides were quick to point out that the request was one of many projects that the former senator made in 2005 and 2006 that were killed by Congress.
 
Lastly, the column questioned the hospital’s decision not to fill the position vacated by the first lady, asking: "How can that be, if the work she did was vital enough to be worth $317,000?" It’s true that after her departure, the hospital did not fill the position of vice president for community and external affairs. But the column doesn’t mention that she had reduced her work schedule to part time well before she left and wasn’t making that much money when she officially resigned. Easton told us that "the responsibilities related to that position have been absorbed by those in other roles." Dr. James Madara, CEO of the Medical Center, announced that the Office of Community and External Affairs would be "reorganized" under Dr. Eric Whitaker, executive vice president for strategic affiliations, according to a hospital press release.
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JDN
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« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2012, 12:02:06 PM »

If money was her sole motivation (it wasn't) she should have/would have stayed with the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin LLP, an excellent firm with offices world wide.  I know
some people who work in the LA Office of Sidley Austin; they are paid very very well.  Associates make over $300K.  Many/Most partners make over $1,000,000 per year.

Sorry, you accusation of "graft" is all conjecture. 
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G M
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« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2012, 12:06:29 PM »

So I guess she couldn't hack it there. Another "diversity dud" like her husband. Good thing he is able to soak the taxpayers to support her luxury lifestyle.
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JDN
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« Reply #64 on: April 15, 2012, 12:21:17 PM »

Actually, I think she just preferred public service.  She left Sidley to go to become the assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago.  I have a friend who recently left an excellent law firm here in LA; she was making $300K+ but decided to go to work in the DA's Office.  She loves her new job, but she is making about one third of what she was making.  She was on partner track; she just didn't like working for a large law firm.

As for "diversity dud" well, "her husband" was a Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, a U.S. Senator, and is now President of the United States.  Hardly what one would call a  "dud". 

Taking this thread back to it's title, i.e. "Men & Women" rather than the issue of "corruption" and "graft"; in both/all instances these women were "working"; i.e. going to a job to make money.  No one is claiming to "work" because they went to the PTA meetings.
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G M
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« Reply #65 on: April 15, 2012, 02:06:47 PM »

Actually, I think she just preferred public service.

Hysterical.

Professor at the University of Chicago Law School

No he wasn't. Another make work graft job where he accomplished nothing.

a U.S. Senator

One term, with nothing but Moochelle's graft job to show for it.

is now President of the United States

EPIC FAIL. Worse than Jimmah Carter.
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G M
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« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2012, 02:19:24 PM »

"Professor at the University of Chicago Law School"


http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/04/which-is-it-mr-president-professor-or-senior-lecturer.html

Which is it Mr. President, 'Professor' or Senior Lecturer'?



 By Nancy Thorner -

Hearing the main stream media repeatedly portray President Obama as a former Constitutional Law professor, Obama's recent kerfuffle on April 2nd with his veiled threat remarks directed to Supreme Court brought forth the skeptic in me.
 
If President Obama is really a Constitutional Law professor, how then could Obama not know there was ample precedent for the Supreme Court to overturn a law, even if, as Obama claimed, it was were passed by a strong majority of the democratically-elected Congress?


Overturning unconstitutional laws has been a part of the Supreme Count ruling for more than two centuries.  Furthermore, the health care law wasn't passed by a strong majority.  It barely passed the Senate, and in the House 34 Democrats voted with all Republicans House members in opposition.    http://www.factcheck.org/2012/04/obama-eats-his-words/
 
In speaking with a friend who was a Chemistry Professor at Loyola University in Chicago and also served as Department Chairman for six year, she explained that at the most you are an Adjunct professor if teaching only one course or so, meaning you have a part-time teaching position and are retained only as long as the professor receives good student reviews.  My professor friend went on to explain that adjunct professors are a blessing for many institutions that cannot afford full time faculty, they make much less, and have no benefits.
 
Resorting to fact check I came up with a document entitled:  "Obama a Constitutional Law Professor?"   http://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/obama-a-constitutional-law-professor/
 
Question:  Was Barack Obama really a constitutional law professor?
 
Answer:    His formal title was "senior lecturer," but the University of Chicago Law says he "served as a professor" and was "regarded as" a professor.
 
A  University of Chicago Law School media site informed me that in 2008, in response to media inquiries, a carefully worded statement was released regarding Obama's status as a "Senior Lecturer."  The statement related that Obama was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004 during which time he taught three courses per year.  As a Senior Lecturer Obama was considered to be a member of the University of Chicago Law School faculty who ARE regarded as professors.  In other words, Obama served as a "professor in name only" in his part-time position at the University of Chicago Law School, without any of the qualifications implied by a professorship appointment.   http://www.law.uchicago.edu/meida   
 
But the story doesn't end here.
 
In a blog post by at DougRoss@Journal on March 1, 2010, "To be (a lawyer) or not to be... ", comments are offered from one who corroborates that Obama's "teaching career" at The University of Chicago, was to put it kindly, a sham.  This evaluation came about after talks the individual had with the highest tenured faculty members at Chicago Law about Obama, who was Barry at the time.  Among them were:
 
*  Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn't even considered.
 
*  A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach.
 
* The Board told Obama that he didn't have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position.
 
* Obama was described by other professors as being lazy, unqualified, never attending any of the faculty meeting.  It was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool.
 
* Some doubted whether Obama was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because, if so, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school.
 
The same blogger then asked reader to consider:
 
1.  Having surrendered his license back in 2008, Obama is no longer a lawyer (allegations that the surrendering occurred to escape charges that Obama "fibbed" on his bar application.).
 
2.  According to a Chicago Sun-Time article:  "Obama did not 'hold the title' of a University of Chicago law school professor."
 
3.  According to Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago School of Law, "He did not hold the title of professor of law."
 
4.  As a former Constitutional senior lecturer, how could Obama cite the U.S. Constitution during a State of the Union Address with a quote that was from the Declaration of Independence?:
 
"We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal…."  The notion that we are all created equal" is not "enshrined in our Constitution" it’s from the Declaration of Independence.
 
This mistaken attribution is an understandable faux pas for the average person, but Obama is supposed to be a Harvard-trained constitutional lawyer.     http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/03/to-be-lawyer-or-not-to-be.html

Why does the media continue to refer to Barack Obama as a former law professor at the University of Chicago.  Professor does roll of the tongue better as when saying "special lecturer" or "professor"?
 
Might it also be a continuing effort by the media to portray Obama as a highly intelligent man or intellect following that idiot of a president that proceeded him, George W. Bush?
 
As for the University, possibly it likes to play up Obama's connection.  It's just another university trying to convert names into money?
 
But what about Bill Ayers and his rehabilitation from fugitive terrorist to a retired Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago whose connections with Obama are unmistakable?
 
All signs point to his rich father, Thomas Ayers, who was CEO of Commonwealth Edison and a major power player in the Chicago establishment.
 
This is just another example of "The Chicago Way", that now also exists in Washington, D.C. enthroned in the White House.
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JDN
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« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2012, 02:29:15 PM »

GM; he was a Professor at the University of Chicago Law School.  He choose not to pursue tenure track but he was nonetheless a Professor; even the University calls him a Professor.

As a Senator, while you may not agree with his accomplishments, others do.

and now he is President of the United States.

Again, while you may/don't agree with his accomplishments/viewpoint, calling him a diversity "dud" when in fact he was a Professor at Chicago, he was elected to the U.S. Senate AND was elected to be President of the United States hardly is a resume that I would call a "dud".  Actually, it is rather impressive.  Who among us has a resume by the age of 50 even close? 
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JDN
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« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2012, 02:31:30 PM »

GM; I think we are getting off track here.  Debates about Obama's qualifications, issues of supposed graft, etc. don't belong on Men & Women.  The issue on this thread, among others is working women, etc.
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G M
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« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2012, 02:46:12 PM »

GM; he was a Professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

Having trouble reading? Even Buraq can read a teleprompter, it's his strongest area in fact.

1.  Having surrendered his license back in 2008, Obama is no longer a lawyer (allegations that the surrendering occurred to escape charges that Obama "fibbed" on his bar application.).
 
2.  According to a Chicago Sun-Time article: "Obama did not 'hold the title' of a University of Chicago law school professor."
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G M
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« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2012, 02:48:27 PM »

GM; I think we are getting off track here.  Debates about Obama's qualifications, issues of supposed graft, etc. don't belong on Men & Women.  The issue on this thread, among others is working women, etc.

Moochelle's "diversity" graft jobs doesn't mean she knows what it's like to be a working mother.
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JDN
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« Reply #71 on: April 15, 2012, 03:27:38 PM »

GM; I think we are getting off track here.  Debates about Obama's qualifications, issues of supposed graft, etc. don't belong on Men & Women.  The issue on this thread, among others is working women, etc.

Moochelle's "diversity" graft jobs doesn't mean she knows what it's like to be a working mother.

Good, we are back on track now.   smiley

She went to work.  She got a paycheck.  By definition, she is a "working mother".  Whether a woman is a high priced Harvard educated lawyer or a bus driver, raising a family AND going to a job is a lot harder than clipping coupons or attending the PTA meeting.  It's work....

Unlike Ann Romney born with a silver spoon (no criticism intended; lucky her), Michelle Obama didn't have a choice; Michelle Obama's dad worked for the water plant and her mom was a secretary.  They rented an apartment.  No rich family money there...  Just day by day hard work.  Michelle rose from nothing, she was a gifted student from an early age, then she went to Princeton then Harvard Law School.  To an associate position at Sidley Austin (probably 60-80 hours a week) probably earning in today's dollars nearly $300K.   She continued to go to work and draw a paycheck AND raise a family.  To mumble or complain how she got the job is irrelevant. People often get jobs because they know people.  The fact remains, she worked...  AND raised a family.




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G M
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« Reply #72 on: April 15, 2012, 03:34:31 PM »

Lt. Worf, like her husband have nothing but chips on their shoulders, probably in part due to their understanding of how they lacked talent and ability but coasted along on affirmative action hiring and Chicago Graft jobs.

Or, can you point out a brilliant scholary or legal paper published by either one of them? Maybe you can show me Buraq's school records.
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JDN
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« Reply #73 on: April 15, 2012, 03:47:19 PM »

GM; I can't point out any of my earlier referenced friend's (2nd in her class at Berkeley Law; not Harvard, but not bad either) brilliant scholarly or legal paper published by her either, but I do know she worked nearly 80 hours a week as an associate in a big firm downtown earning a little over $300K last year before she was 30 years old.  I never saw her school records either, but trust me, she is a smart girl.

She WORKED hard at the law firm.  She is working hard now in the DA's Office.  She is engaged.  Probably she will have children soon.  And, I bet she will continue to WORK full time in the DA's Office AND raise a family.  Probably, she will also somehow find time to volunteer for various charities.  I doubt if she would call that part of her life "work". 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #74 on: April 16, 2012, 07:25:12 PM »

Please forgive me for momentarily steering things back off course, but FWIW, and I do have a bit of background in this area, I vote a clear win for GM on the matter of whether Baraq should properly be said to have been a Professor.

Also, I give the edge to the notion that Michele's gig was a politically motivated gift.

Concerning "work", while I get JDN's point, I think the intention of those who take the position is usually to disparage women who choose to put as much time and effort as they can into raising their children.  Time is finite, and if you are, for example, working as an attorney, your children are going to get A LOT LESS of your time and effort.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #75 on: April 17, 2012, 09:09:35 AM »

"I think the intention of those who take the position is usually to disparage women who choose to put as much time and effort as they can into raising their children.  Time is finite, and if you are, for example, working as an attorney, your children are going to get A LOT LESS of your time and effort."

One point to that would be that it is a private, family decision, outrageous to be disparaged publicly for it implying she is unworthy of having an opinion to express on civic matters. 

The attack on stay at home moms I believe is borne out of the guilt the others often feel for subcontracting and outsourcing the experience of raising of your children.

Among my own experiences with the soccer moms and girl scout moms I found that the stay at home ones tended to be equally educated and informed and usually more so than the career moms.  In Ann Romney's case she has a Harvard degree at least by extension.  In most neighborhoods that is impressive alone besides serving on all the boards posted previously.  In fact and in law these women and a couple of stay at home dads are in equal partnership with the careers and accomplishments of the spouse.  These successful men (or women) did not marry the maid or the babysitter; they mostly married their equal.  If Ann Romney's economic thoughts were naive or stupid wouldn't you think you could attack them on the merit instead of on the person.

FYI to anyone who hasn't tried it, taking off 2 or 3 decades to raise children may be the most rewarding experience possible, but when you are done companies don't just put you back to either the level where you would risen or even to where you left off.  That is the difficult transition the women's activists, if they cared, should be addressing.  MHO.
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JDN
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« Reply #76 on: April 17, 2012, 10:33:21 AM »

Please forgive me for momentarily steering things back off course, but FWIW, and I do have a bit of background in this area, I vote a clear win for GM on the matter of whether Baraq should properly be said to have been a Professor.

While you are entitled to your opinion, may I point out that his employer, the University of Chicago disagrees with you.  "Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track."  When GM quotes a biased unqualified blogger, who quotes other bloggers, it isn't particularly relevant versus the source itself. 
http://www.law.uchicago.edu/mediaauthorties


Also, I give the edge to the notion that Michele's gig was a politically motivated gift.

That wasn't the discussion; it may have well been a gift although the hospital says differently and she was eminently qualified; many of us I dare to say have gotten jobs and/or assignments due to personal contacts.    The issue was the question of "work".  Yes, she did "work". 

Concerning "work", while I get JDN's point, I think the intention of those who take the position is usually to disparage women who choose to put as much time and effort as they can into raising their children.  Time is finite, and if you are, for example, working as an attorney, your children are going to get A LOT LESS of your time and effort.


I'm glad you get my point.  I have no intention of disparaging women; I like women.   grin  But staying home has nothing to do with "work".  Further, "time and effort" raising children by itself does not make a better child.  If that alone were true all the stay at home welfare moms would be producing great children rather than gang bangers.  As for it being "borne out of the guilt the others often feel for subcontracting and outsourcing the experience of raising of your children." that simply isn't true either.  Actually, study after study shows "not only do working moms not harm their children. The evidence suggests that they're actually better off when both parents work!"  And in most families, both parents do work.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201111/do-working-moms-raise-healthier-kids



"FYI to anyone who hasn't tried it, taking off 2 or 3 decades to raise children may be the most rewarding experience possible".  It may well be very rewarding and fun, so is lowering my golf handicap, but after the first year it's not necessarily rewarding to the child anymore than if you went to work 9-5.  And please don't call it "work".  Going to baseball games, girl scout meetings, or PTA meetings, just sitting and talking with your child is not "work".  It is a joy and pleasure; at least that's what my parents told me.  I think anyone here would be happy to have been raised by Sheryl Sandberg, COO and 2nd in charge of Facebook and mother.  She is a "working mom."  Further, would I want her opinion on world matters?  On business matters?  Etc.?  Absolutely!  But do I want these opinions from "stay at home moms"?  Probably not....  And, while Mrs. Romney may be a very fine lovely women, her "working" opinion doesn't count for much.  Plus her children are long gone; she's still a "stay at home something".  Again, nothing wrong with that, I wouldn't mind coming from a family that are multimillionaires and marrying a multi multimillionaire either and staying home to work on my golf game or do whatever I wanted, but I would never say I was "working". 






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bigdog
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« Reply #77 on: April 24, 2012, 02:54:33 PM »

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_do_they_hate_us

But let's put aside what the United States does or doesn't do to women. Name me an Arab country, and I'll recite a litany of abuses fueled by a toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend. When more than 90 percent of ever-married women in Egypt -- including my mother and all but one of her six sisters -- have had their genitals cut in the name of modesty, then surely we must all blaspheme. When Egyptian women are subjected to humiliating "virginity tests" merely for speaking out, it's no time for silence. When an article in the Egyptian criminal code says that if a woman has been beaten by her husband "with good intentions" no punitive damages can be obtained, then to hell with political correctness. And what, pray tell, are "good intentions"? They are legally deemed to include any beating that is "not severe" or "directed at the face." What all this means is that when it comes to the status of women in the Middle East, it's not better than you think. It's much, much worse. Even after these "revolutions," all is more or less considered well with the world as long as women are covered up, anchored to the home, denied the simple mobility of getting into their own cars, forced to get permission from men to travel, and unable to marry without a male guardian's blessing -- or divorce either.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #78 on: April 24, 2012, 06:26:53 PM »

BD your post reminds me of this:


« on: January 23, 2003, 01:28:05 AM »     


Why Feminism Is AWOL on Islam
Kay S. Hymowitz
 

U.S. feminists should be protesting the brutal oppression of Middle Eastern women. But doing so would reveal how little they have to complain about at home.

Argue all you want with many feminist policies, but few quarrel with feminism?s core moral insight, which changed the lives (and minds) of women forever: that women are due the same rights and dignity as men. So, as news of the appalling miseries of women in the Islamic world has piled up, where are the feminists? Where?s the outrage? For a brief moment after September 11, when pictures of those blue alien-creaturely shapes in Afghanistan filled the papers, it seemed as if feminists were going to have their moment. And in fact the Feminist Majority, to its credit, had been publicizing since the mid-90s how Afghan girls were barred from school, how women were stoned for adultery or beaten for showing an ankle or wearing high-heeled shoes, how they were prohibited from leaving the house unless accompanied by a male relative, how they were denied medical help because the only doctors around were male.

But the rest is feminist silence. You haven?t heard a peep from feminists as it has grown clear that the Taliban were exceptional not in their extreme views about women but in their success at embodying those views in law and practice. In the United Arab Emirates, husbands have the right to beat their wives in order to discipline them??provided that the beating is not so severe as to damage her bones or deform her body,? in the words of the Gulf News. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot vote, drive, or show their faces or talk with male non-relatives in public. (Evidently they can?t talk to men over the airwaves either; when Prince Abdullah went to President Bush?s ranch in Crawford last April, he insisted that no female air-traffic controllers handle his flight.) Yes, Saudi girls can go to school, and many even attend the university; but at the university, women must sit in segregated rooms and watch their professors on closed-circuit televisions. If they have a question, they push a button on their desk, which turns on a light at the professor?s lectern, from which he can answer the female without being in her dangerous presence. And in Saudi Arabia, education can be harmful to female health. Last spring in Mecca, members of the mutaween, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue, pushed fleeing students back into their burning school because they were not properly covered in abaya. Fifteen girls died.

You didn?t hear much from feminists when in the northern Nigerian province of Katsina a Muslim court sentenced a woman to death by stoning for having a child outside of marriage. The case might not have earned much attention?stonings are common in parts of the Muslim world?except that the young woman, who had been married off at 14 to a husband who ultimately divorced her when she lost her virginal allure, was still nursing a baby at the time of sentencing. During her trial she had no lawyer, although the court did see fit to delay her execution until she weans her infant.

You didn?t hear much from feminists as it emerged that honor killings by relatives, often either ignored or only lightly punished by authorities, are also commonplace in the Muslim world. In September, Reuters reported the story of an Iranian man, ?defending my honor, family, and dignity,? who cut off his seven-year-old daughter?s head after suspecting she had been raped by her uncle. The postmortem showed the girl to be a virgin. In another family mix-up, a Yemeni man shot his daughter to death on her wedding night when her husband claimed she was not a virgin. After a medical exam revealed that the husband was mistaken, officials concluded he was simply trying to protect himself from embarrassment about his own impotence. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every day two women are slain by male relatives seeking to avenge the family honor.

The savagery of some of these murders is worth a moment?s pause. In 2000, two Punjabi sisters, 20 and 21 years old, had their throats slit by their brother and cousin because the girls were seen talking to two boys to whom they were not related. In one especially notorious case, an Egyptian woman named Nora Marzouk Ahmed fell in love and eloped. When she went to make amends with her father, he cut off her head and paraded it down the street. Several years back, according to the Washington Post, the husband of Zahida Perveen, a 32-year-old pregnant Pakistani, gouged out her eyes and sliced off her earlobe and nose because he suspected her of having an affair.

In a related example widely covered last summer, a teenage girl in the Punjab was sentenced by a tribal council to rape by a gang that included one of the councilmen. After the hour-and-a-half ordeal, the girl was forced to walk home naked in front of scores of onlookers. She had been punished because her 11-year-old brother had compromised another girl by being been seen alone with her. But that charge turned out to be a ruse: it seems that three men of a neighboring tribe had sodomized the boy and accused him of illicit relations?an accusation leading to his sister?s barbaric punishment?as a way of covering up their crime.

Nor is such brutality limited to backward, out-of-the-way villages. Muddassir Rizvi, a Pakistani journalist, says that, though always common in rural areas, in recent years honor killings have become more prevalent in cities ?among educated and liberal families.? In relatively modern Jordan, honor killings were all but exempt from punishment until the penal code was modified last year; unfortunately, a young Palestinian living in Jordan, who had recently stabbed his 19-year-old sister 40 times ?to cleanse the family honor,? and another man from near Amman, who ran over his 23-year-old sister with his truck because of her ?immoral behavior,? had not yet changed their ways. British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels reports that British Muslim men frequently spirit their young daughters back to their native Pakistan and force the girls to marry. Such fathers have been known to kill daughters who resist. In Sweden, in one highly publicized case, Fadima Sahindal, an assimilated 26-year-old of Kurdish origin, was murdered by her father after she began living with her Swedish boyfriend. ?The whore is dead,? the family announced.

As you look at this inventory of brutality, the question bears repeating: Where are the demonstrations, the articles, the petitions, the resolutions, the vindications of the rights of Islamic women by American feminists? The weird fact is that, even after the excesses of the Taliban did more to forge an American consensus about women?s rights than 30 years of speeches by Gloria Steinem, feminists refused to touch this subject. They have averted their eyes from the harsh, blatant oppression of millions of women, even while they have continued to stare into the Western patriarchal abyss, indignant over female executives who cannot join an exclusive golf club and college women who do not have their own lacrosse teams.

But look more deeply into the matter, and you realize that the sound of feminist silence about the savage fundamentalist Muslim oppression of women has its own perverse logic. The silence is a direct outgrowth of the way feminist theory has developed in recent years. Now mired in self-righteous sentimentalism, multicultural nonjudgmentalism, and internationalist utopianism, feminism has lost the language to make the universalist moral claims of equal dignity and individual freedom that once rendered it so compelling. No wonder that most Americans, trying to deal with the realities of a post-9/11 world, are paying feminists no mind.

To understand the current sisterly silence about the sort of tyranny that the women?s movement came into existence to attack, it is helpful to think of feminisms plural rather than singular. Though not entirely discrete philosophies, each of three different feminisms has its own distinct reasons for causing activists to ?lose their voice? in the face of women?s oppression.

The first variety?radical feminism (or gender feminism, in Christina Hoff Sommers?s term)?starts with the insight that men are, not to put too fine a point upon it, brutes. Radical feminists do not simply subscribe to the reasonable-enough notion that men are naturally more prone to aggression than women. They believe that maleness is a kind of original sin. Masculinity explains child abuse, marital strife, high defense spending, every war from Troy to Afghanistan, as well as Hitler, Franco, and Pinochet. As Gloria Steinem informed the audience at a Florida fundraiser last March: ?The cult of masculinity is the basis for every violent, fascist regime.?

Gender feminists are little interested in fine distinctions between radical Muslim men who slam commercial airliners into office buildings and soldiers who want to stop radical Muslim men from slamming commercial airliners into office buildings. They are both examples of generic male violence?and specifically, male violence against women. ?Terrorism is on a continuum that starts with violence within the family, battery against women, violence against women in the society, all the way up to organized militaries that are supported by taxpayer money,? according to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, who teaches ?The Sexuality of Terrorism? at California State University in Hayward. Violence is so intertwined with male sexuality that, she tells us, military pilots watch porn movies before they go out on sorties. The war in Afghanistan could not possibly offer a chance to liberate women from their oppressors, since it would simply expose women to yet another set of oppressors, in the gender feminists? view. As Sharon Lerner asserted bizarrely in the Village Voice, feminists? ?discomfort? with the Afghanistan bombing was ?deepened by the knowledge that more women than men die as a result of most wars.?

If guys are brutes, girls are their opposite: peace-loving, tolerant, conciliatory, and reasonable??Antiwar and Pro-Feminist,? as the popular peace-rally sign goes. Feminists long ago banished tough-as-nails women like Margaret Thatcher and Jeanne Kirkpatrick (and these days, one would guess, even the fetching Condoleezza Rice) to the ranks of the imperfectly female. Real women, they believe, would never justify war. ?Most women, Western and Muslim, are opposed to war regardless of its reasons and objectives,? wrote the Jordanian feminist Fadia Faqir on OpenDemocracy.net. ?They are concerned with emancipation, freedom (personal and civic), human rights, power sharing, integrity, dignity, equality, autonomy, power-sharing [sic], liberation, and pluralism.?

Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking, is perhaps one of the most influential spokeswomen for the position that women are instinctually peaceful. According to Ruddick (who clearly didn?t have Joan Crawford in mind), that?s because a good deal of mothering is naturally governed by the Gandhian principles of nonviolence such as ?renunciation,? ?resistance to injustice,? and ?reconciliation.? The novelist Barbara Kingsolver was one of the first to demonstrate the subtleties of such universal maternal thinking after the United States invaded Afghanistan. ?I feel like I?m standing on a playground where the little boys are all screaming ?He started it!? and throwing rocks,? she wrote in the Los Angeles Times. ?I keep looking for somebody?s mother to come on the scene saying, ?Boys! Boys!? ?

Gender feminism?s tendency to reduce foreign affairs to a Lifetime Channel movie may make it seem too silly to bear mentioning, but its kitschy naivet? hasn?t stopped it from being widespread among elites. You see it in widely read writers like Kingsolver, Maureen Dowd, and Alice Walker. It turns up in our most elite institutions. Swanee Hunt, head of the Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard?s Kennedy School of Government wrote, with Cristina Posa in Foreign Policy: ?The key reason behind women?s marginalization may be that everyone recognizes just how good women are at forging peace.? Even female elected officials are on board. ?The women of all these countries should go on strike, they should all sit down and refuse to do anything until their men agree to talk peace,? urged Ohio representative Marcy Kaptur to the Arab News last spring, echoing an idea that Aristophanes, a dead white male, proposed as a joke 2,400 years ago. And President Clinton is an advocate of maternal thinking, too. ?If we?d had women at Camp David,? he said in July 2000, ?we?d have an agreement.?

Major foundations too seem to take gender feminism seriously enough to promote it as an answer to world problems. Last December, the Ford Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundation helped fund the Afghan Women?s Summit in Brussels to develop ideas for a new government in Afghanistan. As Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler described it on her website, the summit was made up of ?meetings and meals, canvassing, workshops, tears, and dancing.? ?Defense was mentioned nowhere in the document,? Ensler wrote proudly of the summit?s concluding proclamation?despite the continuing threat in Afghanistan of warlords, bandits, and lingering al-Qaida operatives. ?uilding weapons or instruments of retaliation was not called for in any category,? Ensler cooed. ?Instead [the women] wanted education, health care, and the protection of refugees, culture, and human rights.?

Too busy celebrating their own virtue and contemplating their own victimhood, gender feminists cannot address the suffering of their Muslim sisters realistically, as light years worse than their own petulant grievances. They are too intent on hating war to ask if unleashing its horrors might be worth it to overturn a brutal tyranny that, among its manifold inhumanities, treats women like animals. After all, hating war and machismo is evidence of the moral superiority that comes with being born female.

Yet the gender feminist idea of superior feminine virtue is becoming an increasingly tough sell for anyone actually keeping up with world events. Kipling once wrote of the fierceness of Afghan women: ?When you?re wounded and left on the Afghan plains/And the women come out to cut up your remains/Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains.? Now it?s clearer than ever that the dream of worldwide sisterhood is no more realistic than worldwide brotherhood; culture trumps gender any day. Mothers all over the Muslim world are naming their babies Usama or praising Allah for their sons? efforts to kill crusading infidels. Last February, 28-year-old Wafa Idris became the first female Palestinian suicide bomber to strike in Israel, killing an elderly man and wounding scores of women and children. And in April, Israeli soldiers discovered under the maternity clothes of 26-year-old Shifa Adnan Kodsi a bomb rather than a baby. Maternal thinking, indeed.

The second variety of feminism, seemingly more sophisticated and especially prevalent on college campuses, is multiculturalism and its twin, postcolonialism. The postcolonial feminist has even more reason to shy away from the predicament of women under radical Islam than her maternally thinking sister. She believes that the Western world is so sullied by its legacy of imperialism that no Westerner, man or woman, can utter a word of judgment against former colonial peoples. Worse, she is not so sure that radical Islam isn?t an authentic, indigenous?and therefore appropriate?expression of Arab and Middle Eastern identity.

The postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault, one of the intellectual godfathers of multiculturalism and postcolonialism, first set the tone in 1978 when an Italian newspaper sent him to Teheran to cover the Iranian revolution. As his biographer James Miller tells it, Foucault looked in the face of Islamic fundamentalism and saw . . . an awe-inspiring revolt against ?global hegemony.? He was mesmerized by this new form of ?political spirituality? that, in a phrase whose dark prescience he could not have grasped, portended the ?transfiguration of the world.? Even after the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and reintroduced polygamy and divorce on the husband?s demand with automatic custody to fathers, reduced the official female age of marriage from 18 to 13, fired all female judges, and ordered compulsory veiling, whose transgression was to be punished by public flogging, Foucault saw no reason to temper his enthusiasm. What was a small matter like women?s basic rights, when a struggle against ?the planetary system? was at hand?

Postcolonialists, then, have their own binary system, somewhat at odds with gender feminism?not to mention with women?s rights. It is not men who are the sinners; it is the West. It is not women who are victimized innocents; it is the people who suffered under Western colonialism, or the descendants of those people, to be more exact. Caught between the rock of patriarchy and the hard place of imperialism, the postcolonial feminist scholar gingerly tiptoes her way around the subject of Islamic fundamentalism and does the only thing she can do: she focuses her ire on Western men.

To this end, the postcolonialist eagerly dips into the inkwell of gender feminism. She ties colonialist exploitation and domination to maleness; she might refer to Israel?s ?masculinist military culture??Israel being white and Western?though she would never dream of pointing out the ?masculinist military culture? of the jihadi. And she expends a good deal of energy condemning Western men for wanting to improve the lives of Eastern women. At the turn of the twentieth century Lord Cromer, the British vice consul of Egypt and a pet target of postcolonial feminists, argued that the ?degradation? of women under Islam had a harmful effect on society. Rubbish, according to the postcolonialist feminist. His words are simply part of ?the Western narrative of the quintessential otherness and inferiority of Islam,? as Harvard professor Leila Ahmed puts it in Women and Gender in Islam. The same goes for American concern about Afghan women; it is merely a ?device for ranking the ?other? men as inferior or as ?uncivilized,? ? according to Nira Yuval-Davis, professor of gender and ethnic studies at the University of Greenwich, England. These are all examples of what renowned Columbia professor Gayatri Spivak called ?white men saving brown women from brown men.?

Spivak?s phrase, a great favorite on campus, points to the postcolonial notion that brown men, having been victimized by the West, can never be oppressors in their own right. If they give the appearance of treating women badly, the oppression they have suffered at the hands of Western colonial masters is to blame. In fact, the worse they treat women, the more they are expressing their own justifiable outrage. ?When men are traumatized [by colonial rule], they tend to traumatize their own women,? Miriam Cooke, a Duke professor and head of the Association for Middle East Women?s Studies, told me. And today, Cooke asserts, brown men are subjected to a new form of imperialism. ?Now there is a return of colonialism that we saw in the nineteenth century in the context of globalization,? she says. ?What is driving Islamist men is globalization.?

It would be difficult to exaggerate the through-the-looking-glass quality of postcolonialist theory when it comes to the subject of women. Female suicide bombers are a good thing, because they are strong women demonstrating ?agency? against colonial powers. Polygamy too must be shown due consideration. ?Polygamy can be liberating and empowering,? Cooke answered sunnily when I asked her about it. ?Our norm is the Western, heterosexual, single couple. If we can imagine different forms that would allow us to be something other than a heterosexual couple, we might imagine polygamy working,? she explained murkily. Some women, she continued, are relieved when their husbands take a new wife: they won?t have to service him so often. Or they might find they now have the freedom to take a lover. But, I ask, wouldn?t that be dangerous in places where adulteresses can be stoned to death? At any rate, how common is that? ?I don?t know,? Cooke answers, ?I?m interested in discourse.? The irony couldn?t be darker: the very people protesting the imperialist exploitation of the ?Other? endorse that Other?s repressive customs as a means of promoting their own uniquely Western agenda?subverting the heterosexual patriarchy.

The final category in the feminist taxonomy, which might be called the world-government utopian strain, is in many respects closest to classical liberal feminism. Dedicated to full female dignity and equality, it generally eschews both the biological determinism of the gender feminist and the cultural relativism of the multiculti postcolonialist. Stanford political science professor Susan Moller Okin, an influential, subtle, and intelligent spokeswoman for this approach, created a stir among feminists in 1997 when she forthrightly attacked multiculturalists for valuing ?group rights for minority cultures? over the well-being of individual women. Okin admirably minced no words attacking arranged marriage, female circumcision, and polygamy, which she believed women experienced as a ?barely tolerable institution.? Some women, she went so far as to declare, ?might be better off if the culture into which they were born were either to become extinct . . . or preferably, to be encouraged to alter itself so as to reinforce the equality of women.?

But though Okin is less shy than other feminists about discussing the plight of women under Islamic fundamentalism, the typical U.N. utopian has her own reasons for keeping quiet as that plight fills Western headlines. For one thing, the utopian is also a bean-counting absolutist, seeking a pure, numerical equality between men and women in all departments of life. She greets Western, and particularly American, claims to have achieved freedom for women with skepticism. The motto of the 2002 International Women?s Day??Afghanistan Is Everywhere??was in part a reproach to the West about its superior airs. Women in Afghanistan might have to wear burqas, but don?t women in the West parade around in bikinis? ?It?s equally disrespectful and abusive to have women prancing around a stage in bathing suits for cash or walking the streets shrouded in burqas in order to survive,? columnist Jill Nelson wrote on the MSNBC website about the murderously fanatical riots that attended the Miss World pageant in Nigeria.

As Nelson?s statement hints, the utopian is less interested in freeing women to make their own choices than in engineering and imposing her own elite vision of a perfect society. Indeed, she is under no illusions that, left to their own democratic devices, women would freely choose the utopia she has in mind. She would not be surprised by recent Pakistani elections, where a number of the women who won parliamentary seats were Islamist. But it doesn?t really matter what women want. The universalist has a comprehensive vision of ?women?s human rights,? meaning not simply women?s civil and political rights but ?economic rights? and ?socioeconomic justice.? Cynical about free markets and globalization, the U.N. utopian is also unimpressed by the liberal democratic nation-state ?as an emancipatory institution,? in the dismissive words of J. Ann Tickner, director for international studies at the University of Southern California. Such nation-states are ?unresponsive to the needs of [their] most vulnerable members? and seeped in ?nationalist ideologies? as well as in patriarchal assumptions about autonomy. In fact, like the (usually) unacknowledged socialist that she is, the U.N. utopian eagerly awaits the withering of the nation-state, a political arrangement that she sees as tied to imperialism, war, and masculinity. During war, in particular, nations ?depend on ideas about masculinized dignity and feminized sacrifice to sustain the sense of autonomous nationhood,? writes Cynthia Enloe, professor of government at Clark University.

Having rejected the patriarchal liberal nation-state, with all the democratic machinery of self-government that goes along with it, the utopian concludes that there is only one way to achieve her goals: to impose them through international government. Utopian feminists fill the halls of the United Nations, where they examine everything through the lens of the ?gender perspective? in study after unreadable study. (My personal favorites: ?Gender Perspectives on Landmines? and ?Gender Perspectives on Weapons of Mass Destruction,? whose conclusion is that landmines and WMDs are bad for women.)

The 1979 U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), perhaps the first and most important document of feminist utopianism, gives the best sense of the sweeping nature of the movement?s ambitions. CEDAW demands many measures that anyone committed to democratic liberal values would applaud, including women?s right to vote and protection against honor killings and forced marriage. Would that the document stopped there. Instead it sets out to impose a utopian order that would erase all distinctions between men and women, a kind of revolution of the sexes from above, requiring nations to ?take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women? and to eliminate ?stereotyped roles? to accomplish this legislative abolition of biology. The document calls for paid maternity leave, nonsexist school curricula, and government-supported child care. The treaty?s 23-member enforcement committee hectors nations that do not adequately grasp that, as Enloe puts it, ?the personal is international.? The committee has cited Belarus for celebrating Mother?s Day, China for failing to legalize prostitution, and Libya for not interpreting the Qur?an in accordance with ?committee guidelines.?

Confusing ?women?s participation? with self-determination, and numerical equivalence with equality, CEDAW utopians try to orchestrate their perfect society through quotas and affirmative-action plans. Their bean-counting mentality cares about whether women participate equally, without asking what it is that they are participating in or whether their participation is anything more than ceremonial. Thus at the recent Women?s Summit in Jordan, Rima Khalaf suggested that governments be required to use quotas in elections ?to leapfrog women to power.? Khalaf, like so many illiberal feminist utopians, has no hesitation in forcing society to be free. As is often the case when elites decide they have discovered the route to human perfection, the utopian urge is not simply antidemocratic but verges on the totalitarian.

That this combination of sentimental victimhood, postcolonial relativism, and utopian overreaching has caused feminism to suffer so profound a loss of moral and political imagination that it cannot speak against the brutalization of Islamic women is an incalculable loss to women and to men. The great contribution of Western feminism was to expand the definition of human dignity and freedom. It insisted that all human beings were worthy of liberty. Feminists now have the opportunity to make that claim on behalf of women who in their oppression have not so much as imagined that its promise could include them, too. At its best, feminism has stood for a rich idea of personal choice in shaping a meaningful life, one that respects not only the woman who wants to crash through glass ceilings but also the one who wants to stay home with her children and bake cookies or to wear a veil and fast on Ramadan. Why shouldn?t feminists want to shout out their own profound discovery for the world to hear?

Perhaps, finally, because to do so would be to acknowledge the freedom they themselves enjoy, thanks to Western ideals and institutions. Not only would such an admission force them to give up their own simmering resentments; it would be bad for business.
The truth is that the free institutions?an independent judiciary, a free press, open elections?that protect the rights of women are the same ones that protect the rights of men. The separation of church and state that would allow women to escape the burqa would also free men from having their hands amputated for theft. The education system that would teach girls to read would also empower millions of illiterate boys. The capitalist economies that bring clean water, cheap clothes, and washing machines that change the lives of women are the same ones that lead to healthier, freer men. In other words, to address the problems of Muslim women honestly, feminists would have to recognize that free men and women need the same things?and that those are things that they themselves already have. And recognizing that would mean an end to feminism as we know it.

There are signs that, outside the academy, middlebrow literary circles, and the United Nations, feminism has indeed met its Waterloo. Most Americans seem to realize that September 11 turned self-indulgent sentimental illusions, including those about the sexes, into an unaffordable luxury. Consider, for instance, women?s attitudes toward war, a topic on which politicians have learned to take for granted a gender gap. But according to the Pew Research Center, in January 2002, 57 percent of women versus 46 percent of men cited national security as the country?s top priority. There has been a ?seismic gender shift on matters of war,? according to pollster Kellyanne Conway. In 1991, 45 percent of U.S. women supported the use of ground troops in the Gulf War, a substantially smaller number than the 67 percent of men. But as of November, a CNN survey found women were more likely than men to support the use of ground troops against Iraq, 58 percent to 56 percent. The numbers for younger women were especially dramatic. Sixty-five percent of women between 18 and 49 support ground troops, as opposed to 48 percent of women 50 and over. Women are also changing their attitudes toward military spending: before September 11, only 24 percent of women supported increased funds; after the attacks, that number climbed to 47 percent. An evolutionary psychologist might speculate that, if females tend to be less aggressively territorial than males, there?s little to compare to the ferocity of the lioness when she believes her young are threatened.

Even among some who consider themselves feminists, there is some grudging recognition that Western, and specifically American, men are sometimes a force for the good. The Feminist Majority is sending around urgent messages asking for President Bush to increase American security forces in Afghanistan. The influential left-wing British columnist Polly Toynbee, who just 18 months ago coined the phrase ?America the Horrible,? went to Afghanistan to figure out whether the war ?was worth it.? Her answer was not what she might have expected. Though she found nine out of ten women still wearing burqas, partly out of fear of lingering fundamentalist hostility, she was convinced their lives had greatly improved. Women say they can go out alone now.

As we sink more deeply into what is likely to be a protracted struggle with radical Islam, American feminists have a moral responsibility to give up their resentments and speak up for women who actually need their support. Feminists have the moral authority to say that their call for the rights of women is a universal demand?that the rights of women are the Rights of Man.

Feminism Behind the Veil

Feminists in the West may fiddle while Muslim women are burning, but in the Muslim world itself there is a burgeoning movement to address the miserable predicament of the second sex?without simply adopting a philosophy whose higher cultural products include Sex and the City, Rosie O?Donnell, and the power-suited female executive.

The most impressive signs of an indigenous female revolt against the fundamentalist order are in Iran. Over the past ten years or so, Iran has seen the publication of a slew of serious journals dedicated to the social and political predicament of Islamic women, the most well known being the Teheran-based Zonan and Zan, published by Faezah Hashemi, a well-known member of parliament and the daughter of former president Rafsanjani. Believing that Western feminism has promoted hostility between the sexes, confused sex roles, and the sexual objectification of women, a number of writers have proposed an Islamic-style feminism that would stress ?gender complementarity? rather than equality and that would pay full respect to housewifery and motherhood while also giving women access to education and jobs.

Attacking from the religious front, a number of ?Islamic feminists? are challenging the reigning fundamentalist reading of the Qur?an. These scholars insist that the founding principles of Islam, which they believe were long ago corrupted by pre-Islamic Arab, Persian, and North African customs, are if anything more egalitarian than those of Western religions; the Qur?an explicitly describes women as the moral and spiritual equals of men and allows them to inherit and pass down property. The power of misogynistic mullahs has grown in recent decades, feminists continue, because Muslim men have felt threatened by modernity?s challenge to traditional arrangements between the sexes.

What makes Islamic feminism really worth watching is that it has the potential to play a profoundly important role in the future of the Islamic world?and not just because it could improve the lot of women. By insisting that it is true to Islam?in fact, truer than the creed espoused by the entrenched religious elite?Islamic feminism can affirm the dignity of Islam while at the same time bringing it more in line with modernity. In doing this, feminists can help lay the philosophical groundwork for democracy. In the West, feminism lagged behind religious reformation and political democratization by centuries; in the East, feminism could help lead the charge.

At the same time, though, the issue of women?s rights highlights two reasons for caution about the Islamic future. For one thing, no matter how much feminists might wish otherwise, polygamy and male domination of the family are not merely a fact of local traditions; they are written into the Qur?an itself. This in and of itself would not prove to be such an impediment?the Old Testament is filled with laws antithetical to women?s equality?except for the second problem: more than other religions, Islam is unfriendly to the notion of the separation of church and state. If history is any guide, there?s the rub. The ultimate guarantor of the rights of all citizens, whether Islamic or not, can only be a fully secular state.
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« Reply #79 on: May 06, 2012, 04:32:29 PM »



So the person who claims not be sexist and really likes women thinks that stay at home mothers should just shut up about money and world matters; leave the "big" thinking to men or women who got paid for work (because they are more valuable than mere housewives).  Ironically, the men who defended the guy who wanted an at home wife are the ones who actually value the work of the women and don't intimate that they are second class citizens because motherhood doesn't receive a paycheck.

BTW, parenthood is rewarding because of the challenges.  Parenting > golfing.  One is sacrifice, the other is indulgence.

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« Reply #80 on: May 09, 2012, 08:45:49 AM »

http://www.cracked.com/blog/3-mistakes-women-make-when-dealing-with-men/

This is hilarious, thought provoking and hard hitting.  It is also NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
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« Reply #81 on: May 15, 2012, 02:10:11 PM »

http://www.psypost.org/2012/05/people-see-sexy-pictures-of-women-as-objects-not-people-11643

"Perfume ads, beer billboards, movie posters: everywhere you look, women’s sexualized bodies are on display. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that both men and women see images of sexy women’s bodies as objects, while they see sexy-looking men as people.

Sexual objectification has been well studied, but most of the research is about looking at the effects of this objectification. “What’s unclear is, we don’t actually know whether people at a basic level recognize sexualized females or sexualized males as objects,” says Philippe Bernard of Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Bernard cowrote the new paper with Sarah Gervais, Jill Allen, Sophie Campomizzi, and Olivier Klein."
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« Reply #82 on: July 20, 2012, 04:16:07 PM »



C.S. Lewis, "We scoff at Chivalry and are shocked to find scoundrels in our midst."

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« Reply #83 on: July 29, 2012, 02:05:35 PM »

http://townhall.com/columnists/monacharen/2012/07/27/can_we_still_call_men_heroes
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« Reply #84 on: August 01, 2012, 05:55:35 AM »

http://higherunlearning.com/2012/02/26/chrisbrownandthesoundsofyoungmeninfreefall/
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« Reply #85 on: September 20, 2012, 08:52:56 AM »

And then are things the ACLU which I disagree with, as does the author of this piece:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0920-20120920,0,7364093.column
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« Reply #86 on: September 22, 2012, 07:59:54 AM »



A dangerous dish on the cultural menu
Monica Gabriel and Kara Eschbach | 21 September 2012

 

In case you haven't noticed, 2012 has been declared The Year of the Women in the United States. Everyone wants to talk about women: Democrats at their National Convention; shocked multitudes following Rep. Todd Akin’s outrageous statements about women and rape; leading columnists debating options for a pregnant Marissa Meyer after her being named CEO of Yahoo!, it seems that every time we open a newspaper, turn on the TV, or surf the internet, there is a feverish conversation around who women are and what is and is not good for us.
 
So it is hardly surprising that when Hanna Rosin, author of the controversial 2010 Atlantic article “The End of Men” (which has spawned a book, just published, of the same name), released one of the book's juicier chapters in the latest Atlantic, it ignited the conversation anew. Her piece, entitled “Boys on the Side”, proves to be just as provocative as the title suggests.
 
In it, Rosin takes a contrarian view of the hookup culture flourishing on at least some college campuses, contesting the typical women-as-victim narrative. If your idea of hookups assumes there will be a broken-hearted girl crying into her pillow because “she thought it was love,” you would be quite mistaken. Not only are college women not upset by the new world of casual sexual relationships, says Rosin, but they have actually become the leaders in initiating and perpetuating the system.
 
More than just acknowledging that casual sex is the new norm, Rosin posits that this development is actually the necessary ingredient for further female progress. Just as birth control affords women sex without the babies, the appeal of the college hook-up culture is sex without the love that can lead to burdensome monogamy and steal our professional dreams.
 
Rosin bases these conclusions on interviews and research conducted with college women who, at the time, were immersed in this culture themselves. Can we really conclude from these anecdotes that hooking up is good for young women, and therefore something to be applauded?
 
As late 20-somethings looking back on a decade of witnessing the no-strings-attached trend first hand, we can’t help but be skeptical. Yes, it may look on the surface that the world is our oyster: we are pursuing prestigious, well-paying careers, living in vibrant cities and traveling the world. Perhaps if we only worshiped at the altar of the shattered glass ceiling, this would be enough. But the reality is that most of us don’t, and our definition of the good life has as much to do with love and intimate relationships as with career aspirations.
 
By denying this, Rosin’s analysis misses out on the huge downside presented by the hookup culture, namely, that when we habitually separate sex from intimacy, it hurts our chances of being able to form the kinds of committed relationships that would one day lead us towards the very thing we have been avoiding but claim to desire: marriage.
 
In one of the surveys she cites, 90 percent of respondents said they wanted to get married. One comment she quotes stands out as particularly encapsulating the attitude of young adults towards marriage: “I want to get secure in a city and in a job.... As long as I’m married by 30, I’m good.” But the reality, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center survey, is that only 44 percent of adults aged 25-34 have achieved that goal.
 
If “hookups haven't wrecked the capacity for intimacy” as Rosin claims, and if the only lasting effects are Facebook photos and alcohol-hazed memories, why are our prospects for attaining committed intimacy plummeting?
 
Some may say our expectations changed as we matured and that we decided we would prefer to delay or forgo marriage. But in the aforementioned Pew report, 61 percent of those who aren’t married say they want to be, so that doesn’t fully explain what’s going on.
 
What seems far more likely is that separating sex from love can be habit-forming. Sensory experiences can actually change the physical and organizational structure of our brain, meaning―as Dr. Freda Bush and Dr. Joseph S. McKissic reveal in their book Hooked―that years of equating sexual pleasure with emotional detachment and objectification could have long-term effects on one’s sensory memory and ability to maintain healthy, committed relationships in the future.
 
The other stumbling block seems to be in the deliberately self-seeking and habitually utilitarian lifestyle that gives rise to casual and detached sex―as one survey respondent in a study by NYU sociologist Paula England put it, just being “100% selfish.”
 
Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness and founding director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues have found that fostering internal character strengths are the key to happiness and life satisfaction. Their studies have  indicated that the most important character traits are what they call “heart strengths” -- gratitude, hope, zest, and the ability to love and be loved -- and that these are enhanced with practice.
 
So, when you practice being altruistic by reaching outside of yourself to serve another, you in fact become an altruistic person. On the other hand, it would follow that after practicing being a selfish person for 10 years, it should be no surprise that you reach the end of your twenties and find that selfishness is a bad habit that stands in the way of long-term happiness.
 
None of this is to say that women should not pursue careers or that they need to “find a husband” early in life. But it is dangerous to believe that there aren’t long-term consequences to teaching ourselves to value our careers first and to use people for momentary sexual gratification without any promise of long-term commitment.
 
How hollow is the victory of economic progress if our deepest emotional desires are thrown to the wayside?
 
Rather than taking Rosin’s assessment at face value, young women today would do better to take charge of reshaping the terms of women’s empowerment. Career and healthy romantic relationships are not mutually exclusive; it may be difficult to have both, but if we truly value this as an important part of our happiness, we should want to foster a culture that supports working just as hard at healthy, committed relationships as it does at working on our PhDs.
 
While we might laugh and shake our heads at the embarrassing Facebook photos of our college days, and we’d be the first to admit they don’t define us, we also have to be honest: they represent hurdles to our relational futures that we wish we didn’t have to clear.
 
Kara Eschbach is the co-founder and editor in chief of Verily Magazine. Monica Gabriel is a columnist for Verily, and currently works in advertising at TIME Magazine.
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« Reply #87 on: September 25, 2012, 10:18:49 AM »

http://www.mercatornet.com/Newsletterv0810/view_txt/the_end_of_men_and_women

The end of men - and women
Carolyn Moynihan | 24 September 2012

 

It would be easy to misunderstand the meaning of Hanna Rosin’s now celebrated theme “the end of men”. The title of the American writer’s 2010 Atlantic magazine article, and now of a full-blownbook, signifies not the total redundancy of men as sub-species of the human race (although a biology professor recently suggested we were near that point) but the end of masculinity as we have known it. What is in sight is the end of men as providers and protectors, as leaders and authorities -- roles based on their physical strength and capacity for fatherhood.
 
As I have noted before, this also means that what Rosin calls “the rise of women” (the subtitle of her book) is actually “the end of women” in the sense that femininity has no meaning once masculinity disappears.
 
Her prediction is based on long-term changes in the workforce which have now given women an edge over men in some respects, and resulting domestic changes. She assumes that this is a good thing, that we have arrived at a kind of evolutionary point from which women can lead men towards a new balance of power -- if only men will learn from women how to adapt to the new economic and social climate.
 
Is she right? It depends on what you mean by adaptation. Few lament the passing of the strict role segregation of the “patriarchal” era, or higher education for more women and their increasing role in professional life and public leadership. But the attempt to push this trend towards a strict equality that refuses to give any significance to sexual differences is a denial of reality that will have serious consequences for the family and the whole of society.
 
One can reject such assumptions, however, and still benefit from Rosin’s presentation of statistical trends and their impact on particular lives, since they are potentially revolutionary and we do have to contend with them.
 
The “mancession” and the house-husband
 
Men -- working class men anyway -- have been hard hit by the changing economy. The decline of manufacturing and the rise of the service and “knowledge” industries have made male strength and the skills based on it increasingly redundant and left large numbers of men unemployed. This process has been accelerated by recent recessions to the point where people talk of a “mancession”. Around one in five of men of prime working age today are not working.
 
Rosin observes that men who have lost their old jobs find it hard to accept the jobs that are available -- typically “women’s work” such as sales, teaching, accounting, nursing and child care. It is easy to appreciate that a man accustomed to using heavy machinery in a textile mill is not thrilled at the prospect of sitting in front of a computer in a call centre or looking after toddlers in daycare -- let alone collecting the meagre pay packet for such work.
 
Women, by contrast, have seized the opportunities of the new economy, and by early 2010 had become a small majority of the US workforce. While men start again at the bottom of the ladder in some new activity, women are climbing into managerial positions. They study part-time at community college and get new qualifications. At universities they outnumber men and outstrip them in completing degrees. Young women overall earn more money than young men, says Rosin.
 
Why? Because women are “plastic” and willingly adapt themselves to the new conditions, and because the new jobs happen to value skills that come naturally to them: things like sitting still and concentrating, listening to people and communicating openly. Men need to learn from women’s flexibility and skills, Rosin suggests.
 
Becoming a house-husband while your wife spends all day (and perhaps half the night) at the office is one way to learn. Rosin paints a picture of wives becoming breadwinners and husbands looking after the kids and doing the housework and shopping -- while, perhaps, doing some freelance work or trying to start a new business. Just the way mothers at home have tended to do. College girls in Kansas tell Rosin they expect to be the breadwinners. One talks about men as “the new ball and chain”.
 
Rosin lays out this whole scenario from her vantage point as a married woman with a husband, who could well be one of the new-style plastic men (David Plotz is the editor of the Washington Post’s online magazine Slate and Rosin runs the site’s XX blog), and three children. The new work and domestic dispensation has worked for them, presumably.
 
Further down the social scale, however, the imbalance between men and women in education, skills and employability is wreaking havoc on the family. Women with jobs and prospects don’t want to marry down; they would rather, it seems, join the swelling ranks of single mothers. Nearly 60 percent of births to women with high school degrees or less now occur outside marriage, and while some of these women may be cohabiting with the father of their children, such relationships are notoriously unstable. Marriage is becoming a luxury of the educated elite.
 
It’s the family, not the economy, stupid
 
So much for trends. But what are we to make of them?
 
One can accept that working class men should be more adaptable. They should contribute more to childcare and domestic work -- as many already do. They should be happy to see women succeed in the workforce and, if they are unemployed with a family, they should be grateful that at least one parent is bringing in a wage. All this can be taken for granted.
 
What should not be taken for granted is that society is evolving to a point where gender based roles don’t count at all. What we should not accept is Rosin’s cheerful assumption that masculinity itself is doomed -- and with it, necessarily, femininity.
 
The distinctive masculine and feminine roles of the past have a sound basis: male and female biology and its orientation towards procreation and the family. And it is the needs of the family - in particular what is best for children -- that should shape the economy, not the other way round.
 
Since one of the parents must invest more heavily in nurturing young children, why not the mother, who has been favoured for it by nature? Why not let men play second fiddle at home and invest more heavily in providing for the family’s material needs? Why not look to the father as the protector, since his physical strength fits him for the role?
 
This is not to deny that women can combine motherhood and careers, or that at times mothers will have to be breadwinners and fathers play the domestic role, but all this can happen without the need to discard the norm of sexual complementarity altogether. Studies consistently show that mothers of young children typically prefer part-time work to full-time.
 
The pill, sexual culture, and the end of the human race
 
There is no evolutionary inevitability about current trends, as Rosin seems to suggest.
 
The current feminised form of the workforce is not the outcome of some inherent law of production and distribution. It is, to a large degree, an artefact of the contraceptive revolution and the abrupt end that brought to a more natural level of fertility and the domestic culture that went with it. As Rosin herself notes, women came flooding into the workforce in the 1970s, after the pill and legalised abortion became available.
 
Feminist ideology also played its part in this revolution with its insistence on equality -- a term that meant, in practice, sameness. And so we arrived at the notions of gender equity and the interchangeability of women and men in both the public and domestic spheres. Some of the consequences of this should alarm us.
 
In a revealing chapter of her book, published separately in the Atlantic under the heading “Boys on the Side”, Rosin describes the sexual customs of some (presumably typical) college women. Practically every serious-minded person who has commented on the trend of “hooking up” -- that is, casual sex on the agreed basis that there is no emotional investment or commitment at all -- regards it as harmful to young women. But Rosin reports that today’s ambitious college girls are appropriating the hook-up culture as a way to stay focused on their career track while getting their rightful share of sexual pleasure. (See “A dangerous dish” for further comment.)
 
From the point of view of human dignity, of course, this points to the “fall of women” rather than their “rise” and yet, disturbingly, Rosin completely approves of it. “To put it crudely,” she says, feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hook-up culture.”
 
It’s Rosin’s views on sex, ultimately, that undermine her judgement concerning the future of either men or women, but we are obliged to her for showing so clearly on what morally precarious foundations the rise of women now rests.
 
What is clear is that the end of men (masculinity) would also mean the end of women (femininity) and the reduction of both sexes to a state of plasticity that makes them perfect ciphers for “the economy” (the political and financial establishment). That way lies the end of the human race itself.
 
Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet.
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« Reply #88 on: December 03, 2012, 09:00:40 AM »

This Just In: Boys Like Sports Obvious? Not if you're a blank-slatist..
By JAMES TARANTO

"Males Play Sports Much More Than Females," reads the headline on a press release from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. Dog bites man, right? No. "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle," George Orwell observed. In today's academic world, the insight that the sexes are different is as revolutionary as Winston Smith's insight that two plus two make four was in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four."

The GVSU press release announces a new study, published in the online journal PLOS ONE:

The new research, led by Robert Deaner, associate professor of psychology, shows that, on average, American men actually play sports about three times as often as American women.

"The existence of such a sex difference might seem obvious. However, many scholars, advocacy groups and the United States courts believe the sex difference in sports interest is non-existent, small or rapidly disappearing," said Deaner. "This view is based on the fact that women comprise 42 percent of high school sports participants and 43 percent of intercollegiate sports participants."

The study looked at sports participation in noneducational and intramural settings and found that male rates were vastly higher. Women's propensity to exercise approaches or exceeds men's, but men are much likelier to engage in competitive physical activity.

Deaner acknowledges the politically incorrect nature of his findings:

Deaner said the results challenge a "blank slate" view of human sex differences, whereby men and women only differ because of the social environments that shaped them throughout their lives. An evolutionary perspective, by contrast, holds that even when men and women and boys and girls receive similar encouragement and opportunities, major sex differences in some kinds of motivation will reliably emerge.

"Sports are one such area because they function as arenas of physical competition, and men have, on average, experienced greater physical competition throughout human evolutionary history," Deaner said. "This is one reason why men are physically larger and stronger than women. In addition to these physical differences, boys and men are predisposed to be more interested in sports than girls and women. This interest drives them to refine the physical and social skills that were important components of men's physical competition during our evolutionary history."

So why are the female participation rates in high school and intercollegiate sports so much closer to the male ones? Because the federal government, in the name of "equal opportunity," has made a priority of increasing female participation at those institutions under 1972 legislation commonly known as Title IX.

In practice Title IX has led to the imposition of quotas, as institutions abolish male sports teams to compensate for the lack of female interest. Still, that 43% figure the press release cites isn't as close to parity as it sounds. Since 57% of college undergraduates are female, male students are 1.76 times as likely as female ones to play intercollegiate sports. To put it another way, all else being equal, men would account for nearly 64% of intercollegiate athletes if they made up half the student body.

Feminist blank-slatism amounts to little more than a wholesale rejection of Darwin's theory of sexual selection, or at least to an adamant denial that the theory applies to man. It's curious that the left spends so much effort mocking religious conservatives as "antiscience" for doubting or rejecting evolution. Although this attitude may be misguided, it has far less real-world impact than blank-slatism.

Probably without meaning to, Deaner illustrates another theme this column has struck in recent months--that of totalitarian feminism. "We certainly don't dispute the need for Title IX or its tremendous benefits," he ritualistically declares at the end of the press release. You must love Big Brother.

Oops, make that Big Sibling.

Over at the American Enterprise Institute website, Charles Murray calls our attention to an example of academic blank-slatism that is either hilarious or horrific, depending on your mood. It's an abstract of a paper from Psychology of Women Quarterly, on "benevolent sexism," which Murray defines as "gentlemanly behavior." Get a load of this:

Previous research suggests that benevolent sexism is an ideology that perpetuates gender inequality. But despite its negative consequences, benevolent sexism is a prevalent ideology that some even find attractive. . . . A structural equation model revealed that benevolent sexism was positively associated with diffuse system justification within a sample of 274 college women and 111 college men. Additionally, benevolent sexism was indirectly associated with life satisfaction for both women and men through diffuse system justification. In contrast, hostile sexism was not related to diffuse system justification or life satisfaction. The results imply that although benevolent sexism perpetuates inequality at the structural level, it might offer some benefits at the personal level. Thus, our findings reinforce the dangerous nature of benevolent sexism and emphasize the need for interventions to reduce its prevalence.
That last sentence is a doozy. Benevolent sexism is "dangerous," the authors are claiming, because it makes people happy.

Murray asks: "When social scientists discover something that increases life satisfaction for both sexes, shouldn't they at least consider the possibility that they have come across something that is positive? Healthy? Something that might even conceivably be grounded in the nature of Homo sapiens?"

The innocent tone of these questions is affected. Having been cast in the role of Emmanuel Goldstein after his classic 1994 book, "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life," Murray understands the nature of blank-slatism better than most. In fact, the central thesis of that book is a fundamental assault on blank-slatism.

Most of the attacks on Murray and co-author Richard Herrnstein involved the neuralgic question of racial differences in intelligence. But that was an ancillary topic, the third of the book's four sections. The main argument was that American society has become more stratified as its institutions, especially educational ones, have gotten more efficient at sorting people by intelligence and produced what Murray and Herrnstein call a "cognitive elite."

That process of sorting is known as "meritocracy," a word that implies intelligence is morally praiseworthy, a virtue. That proposition is easier to justify if you are a blank-slatist. By contrast if, as Murray and Herrnstein argue, intelligence is largely a matter of genetics, then the cognitive elite's credentials are a measure of luck more than merit. It may be that intellectuals, and especially those in academic institutions, so fiercely defend blank-slatism because their own sense of self-worth depends on it.
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« Reply #89 on: January 21, 2013, 06:30:11 PM »

http://www.westernjournalism.com/between-feminism-and-gun-control-women-are-screwed/
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« Reply #90 on: March 18, 2013, 06:50:49 PM »

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/seven-myths-about-women-in-combat.htm

Myth #1 – “It’s about women in combat.”
 
No, it’s not. Women are already in combat, and are serving well and professionally. The issue should be more clearly entitled, “Women in the infantry.” And this is a decidedly different proposition.
 
Myth #2 – “Combat has changed” (often accompanied by “There are no front lines anymore”).
 
This convenient misconception requires several counters. First, any serious study of military history will reveal numerous historical examples about how successive generations (over millennia) believed that warfare had changed forever, only to find that technology may change platforms, but not its harsh essence. To hope that conflicts over the last 20 years are models of a new, antiseptic form of warfare is delusional.

The second point is that the enemy gets a vote – time, place, and style. For example, war on the Korean Peninsula would be a brutal, costly, no-holds-barred nightmare of mayhem in close combat with casualties in a week that could surpass the annual total of recent conflict.
 
The final point on this myth reinforces the Korea example and it bears examination — Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, where warfare was reduced to a horrific, costly, and exhausting scrap in a destroyed city between two foes that fought to the death.
 
The standard for ground combat unit composition should be whether social experimentation would have amplified our opportunity for success in that crucible, or diminished it. We gamble with our future security when we set standards for warfare based on the best case, instead of the harshest one.
 
Myth #3 – “If they pass the physical standards, why not?”
 
Physical standards are important, but not nearly all of the story. Napoleon – “The moral (spirit) is to the physical as three is to one.”
 
Unit cohesion is the essence of combat power, and while it may be convenient to dismiss human nature for political expediency, the facts are that sexual dynamics will exist and can affect morale. That may be manageable in other environments, but not in close combat.
 
Any study of sexual harassment statistics in this age cohort – in the military, academia, or the civilian workplace — are evidence enough that despite best efforts to by sincere leaders to control the issue, human instincts remain strong. Perceptions of favoritism or harassment will be corrosive, and cohesion will be the victim.
 
Myth #4 – “Standards won’t be lowered.”
 
This is the cruelest myth of all. The statements of the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are telling.
 
They essentially declare “guilty until proven innocent” on anyone attempting to maintain the standards which produced the finest fighting force in the world. There are already accommodations (note that unit cohesion won’t be a metric), there will be many more, and we will pay a bloody price for it someday.
 
Pity the truthful leader who attempts to hold to standards based on realistic combat factors, and tells truth to power. Most won’t, and the others won’t survive.
 
Myth #5 – “Opening the infantry will provide a better pathway to senior rank for the talented women.”
 
Not so. What will happen is that we will take very talented females with unlimited potential and change their peer norm when we inject them into the infantry.
 
Those who might meet the infantry physical standard will find that their peers are expected, as leaders, to far exceed it (and most of their subordinates will, as well).
 
So instead of advancing to a level appropriate to their potential, they may well be left out.
 
Myth #6 – “It’s a civil rights issue, much like the integration of the armed forces and allowing gays to serve openly.”
 
Those who parrot this either hope to scare honest and frank discussion, or confuse national security with utopian ideas.
 
In the process, they demean initiatives that were to provide equally skilled individuals the opportunity to contribute equally. In each of the other issues, lowered standards were not the consequence.
 
Myth #7 – “It’s just fair.”
 
Allow me two points.
 
First, this is ground warfare we’re discussing, so realism is important.
 
“Fair” is not part of the direct ground combat lexicon.
 
Direct ground combat, such as experienced in the frozen tundra of Korea, the rubble of Stalingrad, or the endless 30-day jungle patrols against a grim foe in Viet Nam, is the harshest meritocracy — with the greatest consequences — there is.
 
And psychology in warfare is germane – the force that is respected (and, yes, feared) has a distinct advantage.
 
Will women in our infantry enhance a psychological advantage, or hinder it?
 
Second, if it’s about fairness, why do women get a choice of whether to serve in the infantry (when men do not), and why aren’t they required to register for the draft (as men are)?
 
It may be that we live in a society in which honest discussion of this issue, relying on facts instead of volume, is not possible. If so, our national security will fall victim to hope instead of reality. And myths be damned.
 
Gregory S. Newbold served 32 years as a Marine infantryman, commanding units from platoon to the 1st Marine Division. His final assignment before retiring in 2002 was as director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.
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« Reply #91 on: March 21, 2013, 09:24:44 PM »



http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x1xv47_BrainwashingInNorway_hjernevask-english/1#video=xp0tg8
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« Reply #92 on: June 18, 2013, 03:51:34 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324021104578549891063938034.html?mod=opinion_newsreel
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« Reply #93 on: June 19, 2013, 09:41:41 AM »

http://live.wsj.com/video/opinion-a-war-on-men/2CDEC491-967B-4695-924E-53C9C68EDB8C.html?mod=opinion_video_newsreel#!2CDEC491-967B-4695-924E-53C9C68EDB8C
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« Reply #94 on: June 29, 2013, 03:23:33 PM »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021293/How-mothers-fanatical-feminist-views-tore-apart-daughter-The-Color-Purple-author.html

How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart
By Rebecca Walker
Last updated at 1:18 PM on 23rd May 2008

She's revered as a trail-blazing feminist and author Alice Walker touched the lives of a generation of women. A champion of women's rights, she has always argued that motherhood is a form of servitude. But one woman didn't buy in to Alice's beliefs  -  her daughter, Rebecca, 38.

Here the writer describes what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a cultural icon, and why she feels so blessed to be the sort of woman 64-year-old Alice despises  -  a mother.

The other day I was vacuuming when my son came bounding into the room. 'Mummy, Mummy, let me help,' he cried. His little hands were grabbing me around the knees and his huge brown eyes were looking up at me. I was overwhelmed by a huge surge of happiness.
Rebecca Walker

Maternal rift: Rebecca Walker, whose mother was the feminist author of The Color Purple - who thought motherhood a form of servitude, is now proud to be a mother herself

I love the way his head nestles in the crook of my neck. I love the way his face falls into a mask of eager concentration when I help him learn the alphabet. But most of all, I simply love hearing his little voice calling: 'Mummy, Mummy.'

It reminds me of just how blessed I am. The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother  -  thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman. You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.

In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from 'enslaving' me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late  -  I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck.

I was raised to believe that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. But I strongly feel children need two parents and the thought of raising Tenzin without my partner, Glen, 52, would be terrifying.

As the child of divorced parents, I know only too well the painful consequences of being brought up in those circumstances. Feminism has much to answer for denigrating men and encouraging women to seek independence whatever the cost to their families.

My mother's feminist principles coloured every aspect of my life. As a little girl, I wasn't even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her.

I love my mother very much, but I haven't seen her or spoken to her since I became pregnant. She has never seen my son  -  her only grandchild. My crime? Daring to question her ideology.

Well, so be it. My mother may be revered by women around the world  -  goodness knows, many even have shrines to her. But I honestly believe it's time to puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution.

My parents met and fell in love in Mississippi during the civil rights movement. Dad [Mel Leventhal], was the brilliant lawyer son of a Jewish family who had fled the Holocaust. Mum was the impoverished eighth child of sharecroppers from Georgia. When they married in 1967, inter-racial weddings were still illegal in some states.

My early childhood was very happy although my parents were terribly busy, encouraging me to grow up fast. I was only one when I was sent off to nursery school. I'm told they even made me walk down the street to the school.
Alice Walker

Alice Walker believed so strongly that children enslaved their mothers she disowned her own daughter

When I was eight, my parents divorced. From then on I was shuttled between two worlds  -  my father's very conservative, traditional, wealthy, white suburban community in New York, and my mother's avant garde multi-racial community in California. I spent two years with each parent  -  a bizarre way of doing things.

Ironically, my mother regards herself as a hugely maternal woman. Believing that women are suppressed, she has campaigned for their rights around the world and set up organisations to aid women abandoned in Africa  -  offering herself up as a mother figure.

But, while she has taken care of daughters all over the world and is hugely revered for her public work and service, my childhood tells a very different story. I came very low down in her priorities  -  after work, political integrity, self-fulfilment, friendships, spiritual life, fame and travel.

My mother would always do what she wanted  -  for example taking off to Greece for two months in the summer, leaving me with relatives when I was a teenager. Is that independent, or just plain selfish?

I was 16 when I found a now-famous poem she wrote comparing me to various calamities that struck and impeded the lives of other women writers. Virginia Woolf was mentally ill and the Brontes died prematurely. My mother had me  -  a 'delightful distraction', but a calamity nevertheless. I found that a huge shock and very upsetting.

According to the strident feminist ideology of the Seventies, women were sisters first, and my mother chose to see me as a sister rather than a daughter. From the age of 13, I spent days at a time alone while my mother retreated to her writing studio  -  some 100 miles away. I was left with money to buy my own meals and lived on a diet of fast food.

Sisters together

A neighbour, not much older than me, was deputised to look after me. I never complained. I saw it as my job to protect my mother and never distract her from her writing. It never crossed my mind to say that I needed some time and attention from her.

When I was beaten up at school  -  accused of being a snob because I had lighter skin than my black classmates  -  I always told my mother that everything was fine, that I had won the fight. I didn't want to worry her.

But the truth was I was very lonely and, with my mother's knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.

Now I simply cannot understand how she could have been so permissive. I barely want my son to leave the house on a play-date, let alone start sleeping around while barely out of junior school.

A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things.

Although I was on the Pill  -  something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend  -  I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don't remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.

Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I'd never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.

As a child, I was terribly confused, because while I was being fed a strong feminist message, I actually yearned for a traditional mother. My father's second wife, Judy, was a loving, maternal homemaker with five children she doted on.

There was always food in the fridge and she did all the things my mother didn't, such as attending their school events, taking endless photos and telling her children at every opportunity how wonderful they were.
The Color Purple

Alice Walker's iconic book was made in to a film in 1985, and starred Whoopi Goldberg and Margaret Avery (pictured)

My mother was the polar opposite. She never came to a single school event, she didn't buy me any clothes, she didn't even help me buy my first bra  -  a friend was paid to go shopping with me. If I needed help with homework I asked my boyfriend's mother.

Moving between the two homes was terrible. At my father's home I felt much more taken care of. But, if I told my mother that I'd had a good time with Judy, she'd look bereft  -  making me feel I was choosing this white, privileged woman above her. I was made to feel that I had to choose one set of ideals above the other.

When I hit my 20s and first felt a longing to be a mother, I was totally confused. I could feel my biological clock ticking, but I felt if I listened to it, I would be betraying my mother and all she had taught me.

I tried to push it to the back of my mind, but over the next ten years the longing became more intense, and when I met Glen, a teacher, at a seminar five years ago, I knew I had found the man I wanted to have a baby with. Gentle, kind and hugely supportive, he is, as I knew he would be, the most wonderful father.

Although I knew what my mother felt about babies, I still hoped that when I told her I was pregnant, she would be excited for me.

'Mum, I'm pregnant'

Instead, when I called her one morning in the spring of 2004, while I was at one of her homes housesitting, and told her my news and that I'd never been happier, she went very quiet. All she could say was that she was shocked. Then she asked if I could check on her garden. I put the phone down and sobbed  -  she had deliberately withheld her approval with the intention of hurting me. What loving mother would do that?

Worse was to follow. My mother took umbrage at an interview in which I'd mentioned that my parents didn't protect or look out for me. She sent me an e-mail, threatening to undermine my reputation as a writer. I couldn't believe she could be so hurtful  -  particularly when I was pregnant.

Devastated, I asked her to apologise and acknowledge how much she'd hurt me over the years with neglect, withholding affection and resenting me for things I had no control over  -  the fact that I am mixed-race, that I have a wealthy, white, professional father and that I was born at all.

But she wouldn't back down. Instead, she wrote me a letter saying that our relationship had been inconsequential for years and that she was no longer interested in being my mother. She even signed the letter with her first name, rather than 'Mom'.

That was a month before Tenzin's birth in December 2004, and I have had no contact with my mother since. She didn't even get in touch when he was rushed into the special care baby unit after he was born suffering breathing difficulties.

And I have since heard that my mother has cut me out of her will in favour of one of my cousins. I feel terribly sad  -  my mother is missing such a great opportunity to be close to her family. But I'm also relieved. Unlike most mothers, mine has never taken any pride in my achievements. She has always had a strange competitiveness that led her to undermine me at almost every turn.

When I got into Yale  -  a huge achievement  -  she asked why on earth I wanted to be educated at such a male bastion. Whenever I published anything, she wanted to write her version  -  trying to eclipse mine. When I wrote my memoir, Black, White And Jewish, my mother insisted on publishing her version. She finds it impossible to step out of the limelight, which is extremely ironic in light of her view that all women are sisters and should support one another.

It's been almost four years since I have had any contact with my mother, but it's for the best  -  not only for my self-protection but for my son's well-being. I've done all I can to be a loyal, loving daughter, but I can no longer have this poisonous relationship destroy my life.

I know many women are shocked by my views. They expect the daughter of Alice Walker to deliver a very different message. Yes, feminism has undoubtedly given women opportunities. It's helped open the doors for us at schools, universities and in the workplace. But what about the problems it's caused for my contemporaries?

What about the children?

The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn't take into account the toll on children. That's all part of the unfinished business of feminism.

Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: 'I'd like a child. If it happens, it happens.' I tell them: 'Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.' As I know only too well.

Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They've missed the opportunity and they're bereft.

Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.

But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them  -  as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.

I hope that my mother and I will be reconciled one day. Tenzin deserves to have a grandmother. But I am just so relieved that my viewpoint is no longer so utterly coloured by my mother's.

I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters  -  a happy family.


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« Reply #95 on: July 05, 2013, 10:36:12 AM »

http://www.mercatornet.com/Newsletterv0810/view_txt/feminism_through_the_life_cycle

Feminism through the life cycle
Nicole M. King | 5 July 2013

In the Introduction to the tenth anniversary edition of The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan wrote, “It’s frightening when you’re starting on a new road that no one has been on before. You don’t know how far it’s going to take you until you look back and realize how far, how very far you’ve gone.”

Indeed. Forty years after that statement and 50 years after the publication of The Feminine Mystique, the road that Friedan embarked upon has led women to places they have never been before—entering the workforce and academia in ever-higher numbers, yes, but also historically low fertility rates, no-fault divorce, and abortion on demand. The emotional consequences for women have not been rosy. Stevenson and Wolfers report that, in spite of the fact that all objective measures of women’s happiness have risen, both women’s subjective well-being and their well-being relative to men have fallen since the 1970s. For the first time in the last 35 years, men report higher levels of happiness than do women.

Friedan’s diagnosis of “the problem that has no name”—women’s sense of purposelessness—was justified, but her prescriptions have been disastrous. The road that Betty Friedan and second-wave feminists paved has led women to lives new and unfamiliar, but not to a solution to the problem. In following the impact of feminism through three broad categories of the life cycle—education, child-bearing years, and the empty nest—we see that the promises of feminism have fallen flat, as women have bought into a feminist mystique that has left them more alone and conflicted in their pursuit of fulfillment than ever before.

Education

Friedan oft laments what she calls the “sex-directed education” of women. Women, she discovered when interviewing college girls to write her book, embark upon higher education primarily to meet a man and cannot be bothered with academic pursuits. Friedan professes herself to be horrified. When she was in college, she writes, women used to linger outside the classrooms for hours, debating war, marriage, sex, art. Women of 1963 were too occupied painting their nails and keeping dates to bother with the end of Western Civilization.

Friedan argues that women have reached this stage because they have been long trained that their primary purpose is sexual. High-school and college curricula have become increasingly “functionalist,” oriented toward a woman’s sexual function of bearing children.

Friedan’s answer is an education that prepares women for a meaningful career outside the home. Women should go to college not for some vague liberal arts degree, but for a degree that sets them on a specific career path. For this to happen, she says, they must learn to explore their sexuality outside of marriage. And although she does not say it, the implicit lesson is that girls must learn that denying their fertility is a necessary step to success.

Women have learned their lesson only too well. We face now a new “sex-directed education,” one that explicitly tells young girls that they are sexual beings expected to engage in intercourse before marriage and also expected to protect themselves from the hazards of an unwanted pregnancy. This new sex-directed education is enforced by a variety of the nation’s most reputable bodies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a statement recommending that doctors prescribe emergency contraceptives like Plan B in girls’ early teens, before they actually become sexually active. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that children (boys and girls) receive the HPV vaccine as young as 11 or 12.

The educators are doing their job well, as is seen in current levels of contraception use. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 61.8 percent of women ages 15-44 use some form of contraception, and 98 percent of women who have ever had intercourse have used contraception. Of these, the more educated the woman, the more likely she was to “protect” herself, with daughters of college graduates the most likely to use contraception at first incidence of intercourse (83.9 percent). Yet in spite of all of this contraception, a staggering 41 percent of births in 2011 were to unwed mothers. Women have more chemical and mechanical means than ever before to keep themselves from bearing children, and yet, almost half of babies are born outside of wedlock. The implication is clear: Sex and marriage no longer go together, and so, babies and marriage no longer go together, in spite of the fact that research overwhelmingly shows marriage to be the best environment for raising children.

In promoting no-strings-attached sex, this new sex-directed education has both prevented marriages from occurring and damaged the marriages that do occur. A recent study has shown that women who have sex before marriage increase their chances of divorce, and those who have sex before the age of 18 double their odds of a split. Women are being educated to be sexually active before marriage, told that the best way to ensure a career is to postpone marriage and children. To do so, they subject their bodies to one of a number of chemical or surgical procedures, while engaging in behavior that endangers their future marriages.

The functionalists may no longer write the curriculum, but we still have a “sex-directed education,” one that is far more damaging than any functionalist text ever was.

Child-bearing years

Once they reach adulthood, Friedan argues, women of 1963 took pride in checking the box for “occupation: housewife” on the US census. A cult of femininity and motherhood had developed whose design was to keep women in the home. At the same time that women chose “occupation: housewife” as their calling, however, that occupation was becoming less and less fulfilling. Friedan accurately notes the rise of the consumerist household: “Why is it never said that the really crucial function, the really important role that women serve as housewives is to buy more things for the house. In all the talk of femininity and woman’s role, one forgets that the real business of America is business.”

The home was no longer a place where a woman felt useful. The state had taken over the education and care of her children for the majority of most days. Her husband spent all his waking hours in an office or shop miles away. The home did not produce anything. Friedan’s solution to the increasing irrelevance of the American home was for women to leave it, just like men did. Seek meaning in a useful vocation, she advised. Hire help to care for the children and do the cleaning.

Women have taken her advice, leaving home and children to the care of others in ever-increasing numbers while searching for more fulfilling lives elsewhere. But those careers, it turns out, are not as meaningful as they had hoped, and most women still cannot squelch that maternal instinct that drives them to want to bear and care for children more than anything else in the world. Kay Hymowitz argues in “The Plight of the Alpha Female” that “women are less inclined than men to think that power and status are worth the sacrifice of a close relationship with their children.” Women, she says, generally prefer being with their children to spending their days in boardrooms and conference calls.

Hymowitz reports on a longitudinal study of Booth School of Business graduates at the University of Chicago. The study found that although these new graduates began their careers in equal numbers and earned roughly equal salaries, half of the women had quit in ten years. Ninety percent of the men remained in the workforce. These women, among the best and brightest in the business world and probably well able to afford childcare, chose to leave profitable careers to stay home.

Hymowitz also points to some interesting statistics that indicate that women still tend to plan their most intense career-pursuing years around the possibility of having a child. A recent survey of students conducted by University of Wisconsin psychologists showed that most female students were already thinking about ways to cut back their work hours once they became mothers. Similarly, a recent survey of 1,000 mothers conducted by Forbes revealed that while only 10 percent of stay-at-home mothers wished they still worked, about half of working mothers wished they could stay at home. Study upon study has indicated that most women want to have children, and most women who want to have children want to stay home with them or at the very most work part-time.

This reality is emphasized by the very few number of what Hymowitz calls female “alphas”—those at the very top of any given career path. Of Fortune 500 company CEOs, only four percent are women, and Hymowitz argues that this represents women’s choice to avoid such careers more than anything else. The same goes for politics—men are still the overwhelming majority in both the Senate and the House.

While the data indicate that women still want to have children and want to stay home with them, however, the stark reality is that fewer women are having fewer children. The mean age of first birth in the US is a bit over 25 years, according to the US Census Bureau, while the preliminary data for 2011 indicates that birth rates for women ages 30-34 are actually higher than birth rates for women ages 20-24. The overall US birthrate, however, is at an all-time low of 63.2 per 1,000 women, ages 15-44—a total fertility rate of 1.9. Women are either foregoing children or pushing back childbearing until late ages.

What the data do not show is how many of those women, ages 15-44, would have liked to have children after delaying childbirth into their 30s. Recent mathematical models have estimated that by 30 years of age, 95 percent of women have only 12 percent of their eggs remaining. As later childbirth has become more popular, so have reproductive technologies such as IVF, technologies whose health impact upon both child and mother are still relatively unknown. Ironically—and sadly—women discover that the high-powered career is not that important to them, while perhaps simultaneously discovering that their fertility is not as buoyant as they had hoped.

The other group in the category of career-minded women are those who manage to have children, but also believe they can “have it all”—in the words of Anne-Marie Slaugher’s recent piece in the Atlantic that reignited debate over the compatibility of family life and a high-powered career.

More women are acknowledging that “having it all” is a delusion, because the lingering reality is that most women still feel a sense of guilt about leaving children for long hours, guilt that men simply do not feel at the same levels. Those women who choose to try to juggle a 60-hour work week with soccer practice, school, and music lessons find themselves torn between two worlds, facing inner conflict that leaves them unsatisfied with their roles. Predictably, those women who do attain the “alpha” jobs are more likely than women in the general population to be childless.

The Empty Nest

In interviewing her subjects, Friedan found that many housewives lived in fear of what would happen when the babies were gone. One purportedly told her that she envied her neighbor, an interior designer: “She knows what she wants to do. I don’t know. I never have. When I’m pregnant and the babies are little, I’msomebody, finally, a mother. But then, they get older. I can’t just keep on having babies.”

The contemporary American woman faces perhaps an even starker reality. In 1963, the average woman still had babies. Lots of babies. When she was older, she may still have at least one or two of those children living nearby, and probably a few grandchildren as well. Now, however, with the age of first child rising and the overall birth rate declining, women are increasingly alone in a vulnerable stage of life. With five children, one or two might have stayed close to home. With two, the chances of having a child living nearby dwindle. The children a woman does have are likely postponing their own family as well, denying Mom and Dad both the health and emotional benefits of caretaking.

In addition to being childless, the baby-boomer female is increasingly likely to be divorced. Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin have shown that while the divorce rate for the population at large has remained essentially the same over the past 20 years, divorces have doubled among adults aged 50 and older—so-called “grey divorces.” Most of these divorces stem from remarriages that have fallen apart, as remarriages are much more likely than first marriages to dissolve. What the rise in divorce among this generation means is that all the health, emotional, and economic impacts of a divorce hit women in a stage of life of great transition, when overall health is more likely to be declining. For women in particular, who are much less likely than men to have had a career and consequent savings, the economic impact may be severe.

At the very time of life when a woman should be able to rest and enjoy the fruits and fulfillment of a life well-lived, then, while still being of some use to her family, she finds herself increasingly isolated. If she is like most women, she has not allowed herself to develop a career to the same level as do men, because she wanted to be around for her children when they were growing. The result is that she has not given herself wholeheartedly either to career or to childrearing. Now, in the so-called Golden Years, she has little purpose in life, no comfort in either work or family.

After Friedan

The problems that Betty Friedan outlined were real. Industrialization and the consumerism of the 1950s meant that the American household was reduced to little more than a comfortable hotel, where people slept and perhaps ate a meal or two while conducting their real work elsewhere. Little surprise that women felt stifled and unfulfilled by the role of glorified purchaser. And for Friedan, self-fulfillment was paramount. Women could not be “fulfilled,” she believed, unless they held meaningful paid employment. The home was no longer enough to provide fulfillment. But what do these women who have followed Friedan’s advice—divorced, childless, grandchildless—have to show for their “self-fulfillment”?

The modern American woman who has tried to follow Friedan’s command to pursue a career and raise a family on the side finds herself in constant conflict with her own nature. For inside most if not all women lies a powerful desire to have some children and take care of them. In trying to straddle the worlds of career and homemaker, today’s woman finds stressed, tired, and, according to most studies, wanting to return home to be with the children. In her later years, she is more likely to be alone and separated from her children and husband.

We are no better off today than we were in 1963, and in many ways, we are worse. What, then, is the solution? How are women to be “fulfilled” by the role of wife and mother? The problem lies not in some kind of gender disparity, as Friedan thought, but rather in what Wendell Berry calls in The Unsettling of Americathe “sexual division of labor.”

Labor has always been gendered, Berry argues. Women have tended to focus on the domestic, while men have tended to do the work outside the home. But only with industrialization has the sexual division of labor been so pronounced. Men have left the home to work for money, an abstraction, while women have stayed at home doing work that was menial and automated. “Home became,” says Berry, “a place for the husband to go when he was not working or amusing himself. It was the place where the wife was held in servitude.”

The only way for both sexes to be fulfilled in their work is for work to become human again, for the home to reclaim its authority in American society, and for Americans—men and women—to resume the roles that are rightfully theirs. For that transition to happen, men and women both must make choices that go against the grain. Growing a household garden, homeschooling the children, a small home business, a home office—all these would help.

There are signs that we may be moving in the right direction—David Houle’s The Shift Age argues that Americans are changing the way that they work, foregoing a structured office environment and hierarchical system in which they do not see the end results of their labor for more project-based work that is also more likely to be amenable to flexible hours and home life.

Let us hope that the trend continues. Until the home becomes productive again, we will continue to see the problem that has no name, because women will still lead lives that deny their fundamental human nature and gifts.

Nicole M. King is the Managing Editor of The Family in America. This article was originally published in The Family in America, a MercatorNet partner site, and is republished with permission.

 
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« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2013, 10:40:29 AM »

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http://www.mercatornet.com/Newsletterv0810/view_txt/the_other_problem_that_has_no_name


The other problem that has no name

Ryan C. MacPherson | 5 July 2013

In 1963, Betty Friedan named the problem. The opening chapter of her Feminine Mystique is aptly titled, “The Problem That Has No Name.” There Friedan verbalized what countless housewives thought and felt but did not know how to say: the American dream was a disappointment for women. Marriage, children, a house in the suburbs full of modern conveniences—all these trappings of success failed to satisfy the deeply human yearnings of women. The trappings were, she argued, traps; the middle-class home, a “concentration camp” where women were held captive by a culture that expected them to find fulfillment in their families while secluding themselves from the ambitions of the university and the workplace.

With the problem thus named (and the Nazi metaphor apologetically retracted), Friedan volunteered a solution. If the “feminine mystique” reduced a woman’s identity to the categories of wife and mother, then the first step toward liberation would be to envision a woman’s life course as independent from both her husband and her children. Marriage and childbearing would have to be construed as choices, not obligations, and other choices would have to be permitted the spotlight at center stage.

By Friedan’s account, one choice was paramount: a woman must have a career of her own. To serve this end, women must also have suitable educational opportunities. Friedan called for a feminist “GI Bill” that would bring wives and mothers into university classrooms. Both as to education and employment, Friedan’s goal was for society to treat women more like it had been treating men.

But to pose the problem and solution in this manner left other problems unnamed, unanalyzed, and unresolved. Beneath the feminine mystique, and foundational to Friedan’s portrayal of and plans for women, lay three other cultural assumptions, which may be termed the career mystique, the masculine mystique, and the education mystique. Fifty years after The Feminine Mystique, all three of these problems, plus the one Friedan named, continue to vex women—and also men and children.

The Career Mystique

A record percentage (38.3 percent) of American women had paid employment in 1963—surpassing the wartime peak (35.0 percent) occasioned by “Rosie the Riveter” in 1944. The problem Freidan perceived was that postwar women did not, because they could not, work the right kinds of jobs at the right times in their lives. Legal strictures and cultural expectations, argued Friedan, denied women the opportunities to choose careers that truly suited their abilities and aspirations. One of her unspoken assumptions was that men have both chosen and enjoyed their careers with hardly any legal or cultural impediments—an assumption that would be difficult to substantiate throughout most of human history, even in Friedan’s 20th Century America.

Another of Friedan’s core assumptions, known as the “career mystique,” holds that adult life cannot be fulfilling apart from continuous, paid employment away from home in a field that one selects and enjoys. Friedan was emphatic that employment before the childbearing years does not suffice; nor does re-employment after the children are grown. A career follows a “continuous thread” of employment throughout the course of a “life plan that can encompass marriage and motherhood,” if and when a woman chooses. “The women I found who had made and kept alive such long-term [employment] commitments,” explained Friedan, “did not suffer the problem that has no name.”

Friedan further asserted that a career must center around “some meaningful pursuit (which necessarily means competition, for there is competition in every serious pursuit in our society).” The measure of a career, therefore, is not simply that a woman chooses it but also that her society values it. In the capitalist market, paid employment designates work that is worthy of the career mystique. The contributions that wives and mothers make to their homes and communities do not fit that bill.

Friedan blamed women’s magazines for selling women short by glorifying housewifery and discouraging paid employment beyond the home. Surveying periodicals in the New York Public Library, she “found a change in the image of the American woman, and in the boundaries of the woman’s world.” In the 1930s, magazine articles featured “career women—happily, proudly, adventurously, attractively career women—who loved and were loved by men.” By the 1950s, “the happy housewife heroine” had taken over: “The new mystique makes the housewife-mothers, who never had a chance to be anything else, the model for all women.”

Subsequent analysis, however, has not supported Friedan’s conclusions. Joanne Meyerowitz’s study of eight major magazines—ranging from the “highbrow” Harper’s to the “middlebrow” Reader’s Digest and including also Ladies’ Home Journal and Ebony—has revealed that articles spanning 1946-1958 typically presented a “joint endorsement of domestic and non-domestic roles,” celebrating “the woman who successfully combines motherhood and career.” Contrary to Friedan, Meyerowitz discovered that maternal roles received higher emphasis during the Depression years than in the postwar era, with careers outside the home commonly being exemplified for women during both periods. In other words, the success of The Feminine Mystique may be explained in part by its ability to ride the reinforcing wave of a “career mystique” already present in mid-century popular literature.

Long hours of hard work for paid employment away from one’s family somehow were—and today still are—expected to deliver the American dream, whether that dream be a house full of children in the suburbs or, as Friedan emphasized, the self-actualization of one’s individual identity. As a program of deferred gratification, the career mystique also guarantees a lifetime of income security, stretching into retirement, in exchange for the decades of labor during one’s prime. But this mystique seldom has delivered its promises. The success rate was highest among postwar middle-class professionals and unionized production workers, who unwittingly provided Friedan’s female readers some contemporary male models to emulate.

Friedan, however, was only setting women up for failure by replacing the feminine mystique with the career mystique, since the latter cannot exist apart from the former. As Phyllis Moen’s subsequent analysis has revealed, the outcomes once enjoyed by middle-class men never could be expanded across the population because “the feminine mystique provided the platform undergirding the career mystique. It is no accident that those most successful in climbing career ladders in business and in government have been men with either homemaking wives or else wives who put their own careers on the back burner.” Postwar careers—as codified by Social Security, healthcare, and retirement plan regulations—essentially required a 4o-hour (or longer) work week to be consistently maintained for four consecutive decades of one’s life. Because this schedule left precious little wiggle room for family caregiving by the working spouse, career success required a division of labor between the breadwinner and the homemaker. The career mystique and the feminine mystique were, therefore, not alternatives as Friedan suggested, but rather two sides of the same coin.

Nevertheless, many women—and a growing number of men—attempted during the late 20th Century to maximize their potentials simultaneously as a spouse, a parent, and an employee, only to discover that real wages were declining, as was the quality of their family relationships. Moreover, the declining earning power of men eroded their identities as family providers while women expanded into the role of co-breadwinner. But men also lacked something that the career mystique never had been able to provide them; in fact, their careers had long ago taken from them an important component of masculinity.

The Masculine Mystique

Three decades after Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, men’s-rights advocate Andrew Kimbrell published The Masculine Mystique: The Politics of Masculinity (1995). He begins by outlining a “hidden crisis” concerning “the grim condition of the American male.” Society brands men as self-interested, efficient, power-seeking, promiscuous, competitive, insensitive, and manipulative. This masculine mystique refuses to acknowledge traditional masculine traits, such as “generativity, stewardship, generosity, teaching, husbandry, [and] honor.” Lacking affirmation and guidance, men are failing. The gender-gap in life expectancies widened notably in the 1970s and 1980s (despite Friedan’s prediction that women’s employment would relieve men of the breadwinner burden and boost their longevity). Men’s lives are more vulnerable than women’s to heart, lung, and liver disease; to violent crime, including murder; to workplace injuries; to undiagnosed depression; and, to suicide.

But staying alive is just half the challenge, notes Kimbrell. Girls outperform boys in school, while boys are disproportionately medicated for hyperactivity, attention-deficit disorder, or other symptoms of maladaptation to classroom environments. Fewer men enroll in college than women; of those who enroll, women have a higher graduation rate. Women also outpace men in master’s programs, by an 18 percent spread. Meanwhile, men’s real wages are declining, while women’s wages are rising. About two-thirds of homeless people are male adults, as are 94 percent of the nation’s incarcerated criminals. “Millions of fathers,” laments Kimbrell, “have lost meaningful contact with their children as family courts discriminate against men in child custody decisions.”

Of course, most men are neither homeless nor imprisoned, and a slight majority of married men never get divorced. But even among those faring well, Kimbrell detects that “men are increasingly torn between the necessities of their job and their desire to have time for their families.” Yes—men, too, suffer from a problem that has no name.

Friedan had promised women that they could have it all—a career if only society would let them and a family if they wanted—but men are discovering this dream to be just as ephemeral for them as it has been for women. Why so out of reach? Perhaps because it is just as unnatural for men to pursue a career apart from their families as it is for women.

The separation of men, and men’s work, from the family may well be the most significant personal and social disruption men have ever had to face. For generations industrial society has been conducting an unparalleled anthropological experiment: What is the effect of virtual father absence on the family, children, and the redefinition of men’s role in society? … Boys have had to attempt to develop a masculine identity in the absence of a continuous and ongoing personal relationship with their fathers, uncles, or other male elders. . . . Thus boys’ major sources of instruction about the masculine derives from cultural images of masculinity promulgated by the masculine mystique.

Culturally pervasive images of manhood reduce half the human species to, at best, “productive, emotionless, competitive machines” or, at worst, promiscuous animals. Either way, precious few men model the virtues of “generative, caring fathers” to their own children, much less to the broader society.

Kimbrell’s analysis closely tracked that of Alexander Mitscherlich’s Society without the Father, which first had been published in 1963, the same year as The Feminine Mystique. Unfortunately for American women and men of Friedan’s generation, Mitscherlich wrote in German, not English, and his entire book laboriously navigated through psychoanalytic theories of mind and culture, whereas Friedan was apt enough to write a lucid opening chapter and save the erudition for the middle of her volume.

Originally entitled Auf dem Weg zur vaterlosen Gesellschaft (literally, On the Way toward a Fatherless Community), the 1991 English printing of Mitscherlich’s opus expressed in its translated title the fulfillment of the transition envisioned a generation earlier: Society without the Father.

By the 1990s, American (to say nothing of German) society had become fatherless in two significant respects. First, as Mitscherlich had warned in 1963, the “working, teaching father” had gone extinct, replaced by a father who still works, but now out of his children’s sight, and therefore he cannot teach because he is not present to model for them how work is done. Children of the industrial era have been raised typically by “invisible fathers,” by which Mitscherlich meant “the disappearance of the father image so closely associated with the roots of our civilization, and of the paternal instructive function. The imago of the working father is disappearing and becoming unknown.”

Mitscherlich made clear that he did not here mean only the occasional physical loss of a father due to divorce or death, but also the near universal social displacement of the psychological father who nurtures his sons in the discipline of meaningful labor. Mitscherlich ascribed the cause of this displacement chiefly to industrialization:

The progressive fragmentation of labour, combined with mass production and complicated administration, the separation of home from place of work, the transition from independent producer to paid employee who uses consumer goods, has led to a progressive loss of substance of the father’s authority and a diminution of his power in the family and over the family.

It is worth noting that “authority” and “power” in this context refer primarily to the father’s influence in shaping children’s identities during their formative years through shared productive activity, not to autocratic leadership as such. In fact, Mitscherlich, who suffered political persecution for his opposition to the Nazi movement, recognized in the family-present father a needed bulwark against totalitarianism in the state.

Mitscherlich next posited “fatherlessness of the second degree”: the disappearance of tangible, personal relationships from authority structures beyond the family. Children raised in the absence of a teaching father become absorbed into a mass “sibling society” in which an anonymous bureaucracy, not an authoritative individual, governs. The absence of identifiable leadership fosters a conformity that cannot easily be challenged, because one is not sure who is responsible for directing its course. Not only was Mitscherlich’s work insightful, it also was predictive. America has become that second-order fatherless society of neutered siblings seeking their individual shares of an egalitarian utopia.

By the century’s end, a generation of men who had never observed their fathers working—but at best had only seen them go away to work—had themselves become fathers of sons about to enter the uncharted territory of Guyland. Sociologist Michael Kimmel explains that Guyland is “a kind of suspended animation between boyhood and manhood,” broader and deeper and more perplexing to its inhabitants than the “adolescence” introduced a century earlier by psychologist G. Stanley Hall:

Guyland is the world in which young men live … unhassled by the demands of parents, girlfriends, jobs, kids, and other nuisances of adult life. In this topsy-turvy, Peter-Pan mindset, young men shirk the responsibilities of adulthood and remain fixated on the trappings of boyhood, while the boys they still are struggle heroically to prove that they are real men despite all evidence to the contrary.

Although Kimmel does not quite acknowledge this, Guyland is the millennial generation’s “sibling society,” a subculture of conformity in which young people try to become individuals but lack an appropriate model for male maturity. Kimmel denies that Guyland is “a case of prolonged adolescence,” and yet surely the aimless drift of today’s video-game playing college sophomores was unknown to pre-industrial societies in which boys became men by working with fathers and uncles who mentored them.

The Education Mystique

Like Friedan, Mitscherlich emphasized the importance of education, but beyond that facile comparison they shared little agreement. Friedan envisioned intensive “intellectual ‘shock therapy’” programs to prepare housewives to compete successfully against men in the job market. Bowing before the altar of the college diploma, she professed, “education, and only education, has saved, and can continue to save, American women from the greater dangers of the feminine mystique.” Mitscherlich, by contrast, offered a child-centered view of education: “Society must educate itself to subordinating all competing interests to the education of the child.” He saw this task as “essential for the survival of the specifically human way of life in the fatherless mass society.” Nor was Mitscherlich’s “education” a utilitarian device for delivering information or skills to future employees; it was a formative enterprise, a lifestyle for shaping a child’s character by developing relationships of trust within the family and, by extension, the community.

Friedan brought to attention some things that needed to be re-thought. She opened some pathways for women’s education and employment that never should have been blocked in the first place. But, unfortunately, she structured the discussion in such a way that promising alternatives were overlooked during the generation that came of age reading her book. Wives and mothers left their homes for careers, rather than working with their husbands to bring productive labor back into the home; women thought it would be easier to put childbearing on hold while the career never paused, only to discover too late that fertility is easier to shut off than to turn back on; children, instead of spending plenty of time with mom and not enough with dad, soon found themselves spending hardly any time with either parent while being whisked from daycare to school to after-school care to sports practice to a future for which no one had ever modeled for them the commitment, cooperation, or constructive power of familial interdependence.

Beyond The Feminine Mystique

Fifty years after The Feminine Mystique, America needs not better career opportunities or expanded education for women, but a revival of domesticity among women, men, and their children. Public policies that encourage homeschooling, home entrepreneurship, family flextime in the workplace, and a shorter work week may prove more helpful than those that focus on gender equality in the labor market. To require employers to treat all workers identically simply reinforces the career mystique’s distorted view that a worker is a worker and nothing else. It was this ideology that displaced husbands from their wives, fathers from their children; lamentably, women in their quest for equality have embraced the same dream, realizing too late the social fragmentation it causes.

Insofar as Betty Friedan drew attention to the work-family tension felt by many women, she provided a valuable service, but unfortunately her critique of the feminine mystique played too easily into the hands of the career mystique.

As Stephanie Coontz has noted, “The career mystique is not the inevitable or the only way to organize work and family. Through most of history, workers didn’t balance work and family. They combined the two, integrating responsibilities rather than juggling them.” Mitscherlich reminds us that what was once true of work, also was true of education: character formation passed from parent to child through shared, meaningful activities. A revival of the “working, teaching parent” can rescue both masculinity and femininity from the modern mystiques of impoverished definitions that limit human flourishing.

Ryan C. MacPherson is Senior Editor of The Family in America. He teaches American history at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. This essay has been republished from The Family in America, a MercatorNet partner site, with permission.
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ccp
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« Reply #97 on: July 11, 2013, 10:25:20 PM »

It's starting.....

****Washington state gets rid of sexist language

 Claudine Zap July 3, 2013   
 
Achieving gender-neutral language is no small task, says a Washington state lawmaker from Seattle. (Thinkstock …

In Washington state, the word "freshman" is out. And "first-year student" is in. In total, 40,000 words have been changed as part of an effort to rid state statutes of gender-biased language.

The bill, signed into law earlier in the year by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, went into effect this week.

And it was no small task. "This was a much larger effort than I had envisioned. Mankind means man and woman," Democratic state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle told Reuters.

"Fisherman" is now a "fisher." "Penmanship" is called "handwriting." And "manhole cover" is, well, still "manhole cover." Some words don’t have an easy replacement.

Others do: "His" is now “his and hers.” "Clergyman" is now "clergy." "Journeyman plumber" is now “journey-level plumber,” according to the Daily Mail.

According to Reuters, Washington is the fourth state to officially remove gender-biased language from the law. Others are Florida, North Carolina and Illinois. Nine other states are considering similar gender-neutral laws.

"Words matter," Liz Watson, a National Women's Law Center senior adviser, told Reuters. "This is important in changing hearts and minds."

France recently officially banned the term "mademoiselle" from official documents. The Gallic term means "miss," and French officials contended it forced women to acknowledge their marital status.

The French also bid adieu to "maiden name," which they dismissed as "archaic." They should know: Paris only recently got rid of a law that banned women from wearing pants.****
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #98 on: July 15, 2013, 11:59:16 PM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/14/average-penis-size-american-men_n_3591649.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
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Karsk
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« Reply #99 on: August 21, 2013, 09:24:08 AM »

I came across this article this morning:

http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/19/school-has-become-too-hostile-to-boys/


Christina Hoff Sommers  is an academic and advocate of boys.  Her first book "Who Stole Feminism" is an objective analysis of the source materials  used in certain arguments.  She is not deprecating to women and believes that a failure to raise boys is actually a society and a women's issue.

I raised two boys and a step son who was slightly autistic and pegged with being ADHD.  Education for boys has always drawn my interest.

Sommers is basicallly saying that they way schools are today punishes boys for their basic nature.  She cites instances of boys who are very young being expelled for playing cops and robbers.

My own experience with schools as a teacher and as a parent are that school policy is usually based on minimizing problems and keeping things on an even keel.  Very little actual policy goes into what might be best for kids though I know that there are a decent number of teachers who see such things and want to address them. 

Its good to have an alternative plan.

I thought I would throw it out there....what would a school look like if it were designed to meet the needs of boys?

I spent a year homeschooling my two sons.  In that year we focused on the practical skills...reading, writing, math.  That took about 2 to 4 hours per day.  Then we had adventures.  We explored the woods, we went on canoe trips, we did martial arts, learned about firearms, archery, we climbed an old growth douglas fir tree to the very top using rock climbing gear and had lunch while we watched the forest.  The boys built things out of wood. One project was to build a bridge that I could walk across using some logs and rope.  We raised rabbits and they got to see what sex was all about by breeding them.  This was by the way, hilarious.  In that year, one of my boys discovered that he liked math.  He advanced 2 years in math that year.  My other sons discovered that he liked writing and art.  He now works for an animated movie company as an animator/illustrator.

Part of the secret to education is identifying the gifts that kids have and simply saying "You are good at that" and then helping them to discover what they can do with who and what they are.   The longer I taught, the more I realized that beyond the three Rs, the actual subject matter taught is almost superfluous when compared to the importance of getting kids to value their gifts and show them how to trust their own instincts about how and what they ought to be focusing on.   

One idea in education is to mitigate weaknesses instead of building strengths.  Practically speaking, when a kid is not so good in math, public schools have a system that acknowledges that to some extent and then tries to fix the problem.  So a kid who may indeed have gifts may fly under the radar after being labeled with a problem.   Very rarely does a parent teacher conference convene to discuss the discovery of a kids abilities in order to create a plan to allow the kid to engage in his passion.

This is true for boys and girls.

When it comes to boys, innate gifts are varied and diverse.  In some respects I think that men have to go through a process similar to women where they question every role or preconceived notion of what they think they are in favor of discovering who they actually are.  This was a large part of the original positive notion behind feminism.  Throw off the roles and be who you are. 

If men did that, they would discover a greater diversity in themselves, greater freedom to be.  They would also be able to honor innate male characteristics...protector, provider alongside other skills and talents that are unique to the individual. I do not think that this happens now to any great extent.  The approach in schools in particular are to mostly lump boys into a large preconception of what they are and unfortunately that is often filled with negative slants.

I know from my homeschooling experiment that boys need a huge amount of time to run their bags off.  My sons barely stopped to breath all afternoon and during our adventures.  If I gave them that, then they could strongly focus on the skill development that I felt was important as well.  Though in my sons cases even within the basic skills they differed in their desire to focus and this did not hurt either one of them in the end. They each had their passions and we ran with those. 

If you have strengths and weaknesses and you have X much time and energy to devote which will result in an increase in 10% in either the strength or the weakness, which would you focus on?  If you focus on a weakness perhaps that weakness is at 70%. Then an addition 10% of effort will result in 80% and quite possibly a kid whose eyes are rolling into the back of their head with boredom.  If you focus on their strengths, then an additional 10% of effort will raise a kid from 90 to 99.99999%.   You get the idea.   When schools focus on mitigating weaknesses, they are normalizing but that normalization is not necessarily what is best for the kid. 

When they literally, as a result of policy turn away from certain kinds of passions and interests and behaviors that make many boys thrive they prevent boys from finding their passions.   This part of the problem is not unique to boys but there is much more interest in helping girls to "be all that they can be" right now than to do the same for boys.

Cheers,

Karsk
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