Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lunch Blogging

I just got back from lunch with Bitter Bitch from The Bitch Girls who was driving through Knoxville with her lovely boyfriend on their way to a vacation of camping and shooting in Texas. SayUncle joined us and we all compared notes on what it was like to meet bloggers in person--some are nicer than they seem online, some are exactly like their online persona and others are downright mean. I must say, that at this lunch, all of the guests were warm, charming and friendly. Both Bitter and SayUncle blog anonymously so no pictures are forthcoming, sorry. Anyone else out there ever met any bloggers in the flesh and if so, what was your impression--same as their online persona or different?


Blogging Heads TV

Glenn joins Ann Althouse on Blogging Heads.TV to talk about ethnicity in law school, political polarization and the perils of videotaping reality. I came on for a couple of segments to discuss fighting "feminists," t-shirt modeling and reality TV. If you haven't watched Blogging Heads TV before, go take a look, it's a good show.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The "Harmless" Habit that Turns Men off to You

What is this harmless habit that Cosmo magazine is dishing about this month? Male bashing. Imagine my surprise when I saw that a cover story in Cosmo was very much pro-male. The tagline reads "Verbally bashing the male species is now a reflex for a lot of chicks. Problem is, the real thing getting trashed could be your relationship." Okay, so they phrase the problem with male bashing as one that is detrimental to females, but hey, at least there is a realization that it is wrong. The article has several good sections in it entitled, "How We Beat Up on Boys," "Why it Weakens Love," "Break your Bashing Habit," and "Start Male Boasting."

The advice is good and direct, such as telling women to stop telling their dates they are not like the jerks they usually date. "You're actually broadcasting for the most part, you think dudes suck." To break the habit, the author suggests when your girlfriends start guy trashing, you change the subject. Or, "if a girlfriend says that guys never commit, ger her to see how silly it is to make such broad statements by making one about women, like, 'I know, and women start shopping for a wedding dress after the third date.'" Cosmo gives suggestions (but should you really need this advice after the age of 12?) that women should ditch lines like "Men are dogs" or "Unless its football, it's too complicated for his brain." These tips should be a given, of course, especially given the propensity for the PC police to round up certain people and head them to the rehab center for similar sexist comments, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

And already, the word is spreading.


Interviewing Duncan Hunter

This week, we're continuing our series of presidential candidate interviews, by having a conversation with Congressman Duncan Hunter who is running as a social conservative in the 2008 election. We caught up with him in D.C. where he is preparing to go to Iraq tomorrow morning and he graciously agreed to talk with us about his campaign's "Core Principles" as well as his views on other issues. We talk about gun control, cloning, his opposition to "hate crime" laws and the war on terror among other things.

You can listen directly -- no download needed -- by going here, or you can download the entire file by clicking right here. A lo-fi version suitable for dialup is available by going here and selecting lo-fi. And, of course, you can subscribe for free via iTunes, and you should!

This podcast is sponsored by Volvo automobiles at

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Neo-Neocon has podcast studio envy--go by and say hi to her in her new home.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

If You Want to be a Leader--Quit talking about your Freaking Grandkids!

I saw this article on MSN about men's attitudes at work and how people are skeptical of female leaders. Naturally the article points out that women have the aptitude to be a leader but they are being held back because of their female status. Okay, maybe yes, maybe no. But the article points out that if Hillary Clinton wants to make it as president, she better take a look at their survey:

While Clinton hopes to smash through the ultimate glass ceiling to become the nation's first female president, the Work & Power Survey conducted by Elle and suggests that stereotypes about sex and leadership are alive and well....

One cannot live in a sexist society without absorbing some of those messages, which make women feel worse about themselves and suspicious of other women," said Janet Lever, a professor of sociology at California State University in Los Angeles, who helped conceive the survey. "The enemy is omnipresent cultural messages, not women themselves."

There are long-established attributes that are assigned to men and women, says Madeline E. Heilman, an expert on workplace sex bias and professor of psychology at New York University. Women take care of others and nurture, while men are seen as taking charge and being assertive. The problem is, she says, when we map these attributes onto the workplace the male attributes are much more sought after.

“I call this the lack of fit,” she explains, because the perceived attributes of women don’t fit the leadership mold. “When women succeed in areas they’re not supposed to they are disapproved of greatly, by everyone, men and women.”

Kolb doesn’t think people’s negative attitudes about women have anything to do with their abilities. She points to many surveys that show women are on par with men when it comes to leadership attributes. Unfortunately, she adds, in most surveys, including ours, women are not seen as having the same leadership potential as men.

If you don't want to be sterotyped in a traditional female role, then stop talking about yourself as being qualified for leadership positions because of your stereotypical female role! Newsflash: If you want to be taken seriously as a leader, then quit talking about how nurturing you are, how caring, how we need a "mom" for president and your darn grandkids. Seriously, does John McCain or any other presidential candidate run at the mouth about being a granddad, as if this is the main qualification he has for the job of politician? Of course not. Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton would do well for all women leaders if they would talk about why they are qualified to carry out the duties of Speaker of the House or President. The world's full of moms and grandmoms -- and dads and granddads -- who aren't qualified for high office. To be a leader, you must talk like a leader, whether you are male or female.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It's Hard Out There for a Parent

I checked out an interesting blog post by a woman named Stephanie Wilder-Taylor who is the author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom.The post was about her appearance on the Today show to talk about moms who have cocktail playdates with other moms and their kids. Women are apparently up in arms about other women who dare (gasp!) to have a glass or two of wine with their friends. The cocktail-drinking women want to be with kids but they dare to have a good time as they do so. Apparently, for parents to have a lick of fun is an anomaly in our kid-centered society today.

I watched the video which is here and found the judgemental attitude of the expert a bit much . The "expert" is described as a psychiatrist who is a professor at Columbia University affiliated Harlem hospital and has four children. She seems a bit preachy in her tone, especially in the video where she acts as if parents drink a glass of beer or wine in front of their kids is somehow modeling irresponsible behavior to the kids that will start them on a lifelong path to alcoholism. I remember my kid coming home once from a Dare program at school and telling me that the class was told by an officer that their parents should not be drinking around them at all, that this was setting an example that drinking was acceptable. It is? I don't think so, unless you are a raging alcoholic and that is not what we are talking about here.

The heroine in our story here, Ms. Wilder-Taylor points out in the show that it is about morality--that people are so judgemental about what parents can do, that parents, especially moms are stressed out. And the worst part? It is women doing it to other women. The breast feeding dilemma, working versus non-working mothers, now women can't have wine with their kids around. Hell, my cardiologist told me to quit being such a tee-totaler and have a glass of wine with dinner for my heart! If a doctor is recommending it for health, what gives these busybodies like the uptight psychiatrist the right to be dissing women who dare to have a little fun and engage in grown-up activities, and that includes the grown-up activity of a glass or two of wine and a good time. Parenting in our society has become so stressful that people no longer want to have kids. My advice? Go back to the martinis and grown-up rituals of yesteryear, when adults acted like adults and kids were kids. With the build-up of the nanny state over the past decades, it seems we are all now being treated as children. But for adults it is even worse, all the responsiblity and none of the rights of being a grown-up. How utterly childish.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Carnival of the Insanities is up at Dr. Sanity's place.

Dumbing Down Healthcare in the UK

NHS Blog Doctor takes a look at the poor state of maternity care in the UK. The top reasons for record numbers of women being harmed or dying in childbirth: lack of resources and the dumbing down of healthcare:

Midwives are doing work for which they are not trained; work that should be done by doctors.

Health care assistants are doing work for which they are not trained; work that should be done my midwives.

Read the whole thing.