Friday, January 25, 2008

"A man is a sperm bank, a meal ticket, a handyman and an early retirement plan,..."

Reaons heterosexual men are staying single and "fabulous" according to this Seattle Times article by The Associated Press (Thanks Dan). However, when you read the article, you will wonder why these guys feel so fabulous. It seems that discrimination against single men is prevalent:

Experts say society still favors married men over their single counterparts, though. The most common complaints come from the workplace, where many say they are discriminated against.

"Especially as you approach your mid-30s and 40s and all your colleagues around you are married, there's a lot of unsaid words that go on and feelings of inadequacy at work," says Sherri Langburt, founder of the new Web site SingleEdition.com, an online community for happy singles.

Those include speculation about a single man's sexual preferences and, concomitantly, a difficulty in making friends with heterosexual co-workers because colleagues might question his motives.

Single men often say they are asked to work on holidays, put in longer hours or travel more for business. Employers often assume that without a spouse, unwed workers have extra time to spare, says Nicky Grist, executive director of the Alternatives to Marriage Project. That organization is for people who choose not to marry or cannot legally marry.

Particularly in the powerful worlds of business and politics, it's often all about appearances and presenting oneself as a stable man with a solid foundation, Grist says.


Perhaps as more men stay single, these stereotypes will change.

122 Comments:

Blogger JG said...

A lot of the problems that were mentioned involve corporations or other large organizations.

I think men should think about avoiding work in that kind of environment ANYWAY - everything seems to be getting very female-oriented and PC.

I hated working in a company and have been happily on my own for a couple of decades.

There are plenty of opportunities for that. In the professional area, doctors, lawyers, accountants, IT people can obviously all get out on their own. You can start a small company, provide a skilled trade or provide other non-professional services.

I also noticed a pretty big change in attitude between men in their thirties and those in their forties or fifties. When I was in my thirties and single, men my age seemed to be crowing about their settled married status and using it as something to brag about or demonstrate that they were better than you.

Big change in my (late) forties. What divorced men who are forking over a bundle of money think is obvious, but I've noticed a whole lot of married men my age seem to almost be envious of me because I remained single. I don't feel any pressure at all any more to get married.

6:52 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

JG,

Yes, it seems that being self-employed is the best way to avoid much of the discrimination and the problems that one might encounter as a single person in the corporate world. And although self-employment can mean more hours and hard work, at least the work is directly rewarded for the most part and the boss is usually satisfactory.

7:27 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Jim said...

This just doesn't apply to single men. I am married with no children and I have been asked to work longer shifts, overnight shifts and holidays because I have no children or family to take care off. I am employed in a mostly female workplace (a hospital) and female supervisors/coworkers can't see the discrimination. "But you don't have to cook" is the reason I heard for working Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

8:06 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

I remember interviewing for my first "real" office job ... my wouldbe boss, a young man in his early 30's was quite upfront with me

"I like your education, your attitude and your obvious intelligence. But I just don't hire young women. Why should I waste my time training you when you will just get pregnant and leave?"

9:46 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

As a professional woman, single (never married), who has previously worked in corporate, family-owned and for public employers (currently self-employed), I can attest that the discriminatory attitudes that singles without children are somehow "lessers" are pervasive for both men and women.

No, we're not seen as "sperm banks" but much of what you've written here holds true in a variety of workplaces for single people of both genders. There is nothing wrong with family values, but employers indeed do "discriminate" between those with children and those without, those paired up legally and those who are not.

Luckily, the benefits and freedoms sometimes still outweigh the negative vibes from others, especially if you're able to extract yourself from working for others and signing on to the insurance and benefits plans.

To me, the best way to end these situations is to pay straight salary, and allow the market to provide the insurance and benefits packages. Healthcare became coupled with employment only after WWII, when employers were looking for incentives to attract new workers. It's well past time to sever that link, as people and careers become more mobile, and most people have the opportunity to invest for their retirements outside of their workplaces.

In short, if you take a look at the bigger picture, it's not so easy to stuff this one into the "discrimination against men" box, as it is a sign of something bigger. (No, as a single, I don't want to have to subsidize your multiple children's twice-a-year dentist visits with flouride treatments, and numerous healthcare needs. Nor do I think it a positive that you can get maternity and paternity time off for breeding purposes, while others are not permitted the same personal sabbaticals -- even without pay -- for their own personal use. I do wonder how many "single" moms would not put themselves in that position if they could pursue other projects without joining the parenthood club.)

Self-employment, like home schooling, seems the way of the future if there is no substantial change in the way employers divvy out the benefit packages.

9:57 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Dale B said...

Perhaps I've been lucky. I've always worked for large organizations and have never had a problem with this sort of discrimination, or any other sort for that matter.

At my present employer the sorts of things that the previous commenters mentioned are explicitly forbidden, in writing. On rare occasions a newer supervisor will sometimes try to pull such nonsense. HR or higher management always finds out and stops it immediately.

This isn't new either. I've been here 27 years and this has always the way things wroked.

10:06 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Nor do I think it a positive that you can get maternity and paternity time off for breeding purposes

breathtaking

10:20 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

"I like your education, your attitude and your obvious intelligence. But I just don't hire young women. Why should I waste my time training you when you will just get pregnant and leave?"

This is something that feminists of any stripe have not quite worked through from principle to practice. The principle being "cannot discount a woman as a candidate for a position because of the likelihood that she will suddenly change gears to 'mommy track.'" Now, this principle just happens to be the law.

For example, of the several of my fellow law school graduates, very many of the female graduates have either taken the “mommy track” (about 5 years out) or downshifted from the 70+ hours a week job to something else. In view of the fact that attorneys generally do not become truly profitable until 3 – 5 years in practice, you might presume that firms’ instincts (at least the managing partners responsible for keeping the firm profitable) are at odds with feminist principle and employment law. In short, especially with the coveted BigLaw jobs, many female hires become losses – both in terms of the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in new associates before profitability and in the cost of replacing the vacancies.

I’m not certain that there is a good answer to this problem acceptable to both feminists and many women on the one hand and the businesses and entities in the hiring market on the other.

10:29 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Mary,

Yes, I think this attitude is also prevalent against women who have no children. But that's a given and is discussed frequently, the discrimination against men is not mentioned as often and therefore, I think is important to point out.

Darleen,

Since this discrimination happened to you, then I assume you would be dismayed, to say the least, to see sexist attitudes like those mentioned in the article take place towards men in cases of reverse sexism.

10:30 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

"...very many of the female graduates have either taken the “mommy track” (about 5 years out) or downshifted from the 70+ hours a week job to something else."

----------------

As I understand it (there was a study floating around about female lawyers from ivy-league universities), most female law graduates are sitting at home 15 or 20 years later. They are not even taking a "mommy track" or downshifting, they are simply sitting at home.

The reason is also clear - you can either have a good lifestyle by BEING a lawyer - with all of the stress that goes along with it - or, in the case of female lawyers who have met hundreds of potential lawyers in school and practicing lawyers at work, you can have the exact same lifestyle by MARRYING a lawyer. No stress, no responsibility, just nice lifestyle.

10:44 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

"you can have the exact same lifestyle by MARRYING a lawyer. No stress, no responsibility, just nice lifestyle."

Why yes, I was rather being polite in not mentioning it, but this phenomenon has also come to my attention through experience - including the experience of the partner in the next office under whom I work.

I wonder sometimes if the enmity placed between men and women by feminism encourages young women to establish a “record” of sorts – in other words, to set forth a certain direction of material and career success to remain unfinished, but to which they may refer as an objective “accomplishment” that lessens the dissonance between the feminist ideal and the SAHM or part-time with kiddies reality. Things are confusing for men and women nowadays, I suppose.

11:06 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Hey, at least these single men don't get called "spinsters".

11:08 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Nooo. Often they get called far worse.

11:16 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

"Nooo. Often they get called far worse."

Dirty old man, Crumudgeon, Pedophile, etc. . . .

11:21 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Speaking strictly as someone who worked in education for 15 years, I can attest to the discrimination against single men. It's very difficult, almost impossible, for an unmarried man to get hired in a public school system, because the first question the superintendent or principal is going to ask is, "Are you married?" Followed immediately by, "Why haven't you gotten married?"

Answer: My personal life is none of your business and none of your concern because it does not affect my ability to do my job. But you can't say that in an interview.

I suppose the reason why public schools are hesitant to hire single men is because they automatically assume the reason why an unmarried man would want to be a teacher is so that he could have access to school girls, which is ridiculous.

I worked at one high school where a teacher, who was married at the time he was hired, immediately divorced his wife so he could marry one of his students as soon as she turned seventeen. And he was subsequently promoted to department chair. The hypocrisy is obscene.

It's perfectly okay for a married man to abuse his position in the classroom and take advantage of a child, but a single man won't be hired because of the fear that he will do exactly that. Think about it.

The same is true of corporations. T. Boone Pickens was famous for refusing to hire single or divorced men. Married men only need apply.

This goes to a cultural mindset that says a man is only stable if he is involved in a relationship with a woman. Otherwise, he cannot be trusted. This is ludicrous.

I can see the rational behind a company preferring to hire married men. They have wives and children to support, and so are more likely to work hard and less likely to leave for another job. What I do not understand is why that assumption leads to the conclusion that single men are less likely to work hard and more likely to leave for another job.

There are lots of reasons why a man would choose not to marry, the foremost being the inability to find a suitable mate. And that has more to do with the attitudes of women today than it does with him.

I've been reading The Millionaire Mind, by Stanley and Danko, which is the sequel to their best-selling The Millionaire Next Door. It's very interesting. The vast majority of millionaires, over 90%, are married and have been for an average of 28 years. But what is most illuminating is the importance they place on having a supportive spouse, not on being married per se.

I've never been married. And I can speak for the millions of men in this country who haven't. The reason why is because the vast majority of women in this country have bad attitudes. They walk into a relationship being hyper-critical and not supportive. I look upon that as being her problem, not mine.

Is she going to be my life partner? Is she going to be my helpmate? Is she going to be the mother to my children? If the answer to all three of those questions is not an unqualified yes, then she isn't worth 50%. She isn't worth the time of day. Not to me or to any one of the other millions of single men who won't have anything to do with her. She can buy her own house.

I see this as a cultural problem. The modern American woman walks around with this attitude that she doesn't need a man; her career and independence are all-important. But then men are blamed and discriminated against for not being married to a modern American woman.

It's perfectly okay for a woman to delay marriage in pursuit of her career, but it's not okay for a man, since he's not allowed to pursue a career unless he's married to begin with. Such are the fruits of feminism.

11:34 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Matthew said...

Frankly, the world has a lot of selfish people. Too often arguments are just a battle of the a**holes. Single vs Married, With Children vs Without Children, Men vs Women, etc., and there are plenty of bad examples all around.(My favorite is the self-righteous parent with out of control brats vs the child hating misanthrope—on an airplane) That said, in a sane world where people are decent, I don't have a problem with mild discrimination in favor of people with children, or any other obligation beyond themselves (charity, caring for an elderly parent, etc.)

11:39 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger MikeT said...

As witnessed by the fact that older career-oriented women with young boyfriends are called "cougars" and older career-oriented men with young girlfriends are called dirty old men. As always, a heaping dose of irony for the fact that the second relationship makes much more biological sense than the first one.

11:47 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Matthew said...

I can see the rational behind a company preferring to hire married men. They have wives and children to support, and so are more likely to work hard and less likely to leave for another job. What I do not understand is why that assumption leads to the conclusion that single men are less likely to work hard and more likely to leave for another job.

They work hard, that's not the issue. It's that they leave, and the belief exists because it is true.

11:51 AM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Quasimodo said...

"I've never been married. And I can speak for the millions of men in this country who haven't. The reason why is because the vast majority of women in this country have bad attitudes."

Really? You know that many?

IMHO, the reason people make these kinds of comments is because they would not give people (men or women) with the "right attitudes" the time of day. You're attracted to the wrong sort is the most likely problem.

Check your values.

12:55 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

Even as a single guy myself, I don’t think we are going to get very far, and I cannot support the griping about everything in life that is not absolutely, entirely “fair” by modern standards. If married men get a little more leeway, or a little less scrutiny, I suppose that is fine.


As for the “meal ticket/sperm bank/retirement plan” etc. business – I think that there is a certain measure of suspended adolescence inherent in feminism, or at least in the confluence of feminism and our material culture. We become adults when we learn that life is not a matter of getting everything we want or desire, but a matter of trade-offs, sometimes requiring that we take on unpleasant or onerous tasks in order to achieve something else that is desirable. This is at the heart of the ability to have healthy, mutually beneficial adult relationships, in my view – whether they be with an employer or a spouse.

The simple idea that anyone can “have it all” is pure tripe, but young women are now raised with “having it all” as their minimum expectation. Thus, many “get it all” at the expense of others, namely their husbands/ex-husbands and children, without much compunction, as feminism has rationalized ill treatment of children and men as a revolutionary and wholly just act, striking against the 50s patriarchal bogeyman.


All of this has made it increasingly difficult for men to establish relationships with women that are healthy and have the constituent elements of a stable marriage. Women used to be “stereotyped” as fickle – as the saying went “a woman’s prerogative is to change her mind . . .” This was in pari materia of the rest and remainder of the traditional perception of women as not capable of the standards of truth and consistency applied to men. Interestingly, feminists do not labor against this perception by holding women to traditionally male standards of honesty and consistency – there really is no feminist answer to the prevalence of women initiating divorce (other than as “evidence” of how awful men are) or dropping out of the career world and not “using” their education. The very fact that women are entitled to be both fickle and domineering in relationships is terrifying to me, a young man, in the context of future marriage and family. It is as if I can be accused of being a horrible misogynist for considering women to be prone to bouts of fickleness right up until the day she abandons me and her family because she is “bored” or feeling “less than fulfilled.”


It kind of seems to me that feminists encourage women to act out the worst cartoons of a 50s Ward Cleaver cum Hugh Heffner in reverse as if a man who is 30 is deserving of some kind of “payback.” Quite odd, actually, because I believe the quotient of happiness for all involved, including women, has declined.

1:02 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Mary brings up a good point. This is not just a gender issue.

My side of it came from needing to take occasional time off as a single father (back when I was one.) I was told that I would have to use flex time or vacation hours while single moms were told to just do it!

Perhaps this is the other side of the prejudice against hiring unmarried women.

It all sucks.

Trey

1:12 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Earnest Iconoclast said...

When I was unmarried, I would work extra hours or on holidays so that my coworkers who had children could take the time off. As a single man with no children, I did, in fact, have more flexibility in my schedule.

When I got married, I would still work extra as needed, but not quite so much.

Now that I have children, I sometimes ask to have some time off to take them to the doctor or go to parent-teacher conferences. I generally make the time up or take benefit hours, but I expect a little flexibility.

Medical insurance is a little odd because we currently have a combination of a "health cost sharing plan" and a true catastrophic insurance plan. And the law currently favors linking this to employment.

1:42 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Kim du Toit said...

"Employers often assume that without a spouse, unwed workers have extra time to spare"

...and it's not an altogether-incorrect assumption -- just like the one which says that married men are more stable (in that they're less likely to just pick up and leave), or the one which says that young married women are likely to get pregnant, take time off and be therefore less productive.

Nice thing about generalizations is that they're, generally speaking, not without truth.

What bugs me is that people moan about companies which make decisions based on these generalizations are excoriated.

1:49 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Kim du Toit said...

"A man is a sperm bank, a meal ticket, a handyman and an early retirement plan"

They forgot "bed-warmer"...

1:58 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger grahamcstrouse said...

Well, we can all finally agree on a form of discrimination that somehow manages to injure almost all of us.

Solidarity!

Singles ARE singled out, men and women. There's been at least one apples to apples studies comparing equally qualified single and married men with equivalent backgrounds & experience that determined that single men with similar qualifications in particular fields make about 26-27% less then married men.

Women...well, I've got a very close friend whose so embroiled in the Mommy Wars she won't even talk about it with me save at the edges. She's married, 33, a professional web-designer/manager in the bay area. She and her husband have two kids & they both get dumped on. She's switched jobs 4 or 5 times in the last few years. He stays home and home schools the girls. She works to support them financially.

There IS a legit problem, particularly in law, medicine--especially medicine, where each doctor is quite literally an investment. And too many women DO drop out after a few years.

My old field, print journalism, that one's really nasty, believe me.

One of the ways newspapers keep costs down is by hiring pert, able young women right out of school at typical entry-level j-wages based on the assumption that most of them will go Talking Barbie in a few years & say "Reporting is Hard!" & go do something else or get married.

And then they can higher another kid at the same minim salary.

Which is what often happens.

Men get resentful (trust me--all the things I've said I wished I didn't...). It's so bloody hard to crack into the field & the women (and men) who DO stick it out get tarred unfairly with the same brush as cupcakes. Sexism in journalism is so bizarre and cruel and convoluted. Somehow everyone who gives a damn gets discriminated against & the cupcakes & corporate stooges & cigar-chomping thug owners all get there piece of the pie.

The US military is bad news, too. The first time the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower sailed with a mixed crew the ship had to abort the mission because so many women got pregnant-it's an easy out and it's bad on morale, to say the least. And in so many ways.

But again, how do we be fair to the folks who are genuine, men and women?

Who about some kind of professional pre-nup (or, ahem, a variation on alimony). It could at least work for careers where training is subsidized, privately or by the govenment.

You want out before your contract is due? Do you have a REALLY good reason? Yeah, well, show me. Okay, if it's something spectacular, maybe you get a pass.

Otherwise, YOU PAY BACK THE PEOPLE WHO PAID YOU IN AND TRAINED YOU.

I'm sure reasonable settlements could be reached.

Some fields, this wouldn't work, but a doctor or a soldier or a scholarship lawyer or scientist, well, someone else paid the freight. Now you don't want the ride. Fine. Pay it back.

This should apply to men and women, btw.

Basically, I see this as a way of separating the truly dedicated professionals from the kids who are still playing at career day when they're 29 years old and suddenly BORED.

More respect for those who stick to their commitment, fewer wasteful expenditures on flighty types & less discrimination all-around.

Oh, and if you're single and you work the rot shifts to keep the married couples happy?

You get paid more, not less.

Works for me.

-G

2:03 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

If more and more men remain unmarried (which is likely IMHO) this dynamic is going to create a lot of social pressures.

Kay S. Hymowitz in City Journal posits that young men avoid responsibility and don't get married. Ala "Knocked Up" or "Forty Year Old Virgin." IMHO that's a misreading, the declining living standards (in the 1970's the average 30 year old man could buy a house, not so today despite lower consumer electronics goods prices) of men lead them unable to have a "differential" i.e. higher earnings etc. So they're priced out of the marriage market and substituting with entertainment.

2:07 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

As a single, childless male I should probably be all huffy about the alleged persecution (and de facto in tax terms) that I and others like me are subject to, but I just can't get worked up about it. Society has an interest in perpetuating itself by producing a new generation. If I'm not contributing to that new generation then there's no reason for society to offer me the rewards that it offers those who *do* so contribute.

Very Darwinian of me I suppose, but that's the way I see it.

2:31 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

Kim du Toit wrote, "...and it's not an altogether-incorrect assumption"

Sure it is. A stay at home spouse should enable a man to have as much or more free time as the single man. I think what's at play here is an assumption about what constitutes free time. The time a single man spends shoring up his relationships is considered "free" while a married man's time shoring up his relationships isn't.

2:37 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger grahamcstrouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:02 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger grahamcstrouse said...

Right, Kim, and everyone knows that Jews are avaracious theives & Evangelical Christians are abortion clinic bombers. Oh, and the French smell funny, Asians all look alike and black people aren't so smart but they're very musical.

3:07 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Jason, I'm with you. I'm a 26-year-old single female prosecutor. The only other lawyer in my office is a 31-year-old single male. We both have more work than we know what to do with; the number of cases in our jurisdiction tripled last year because our city is growing rapidly, and the crime rate increases a lot faster than our budget does. We both enjoy our job, but it's not the kind of job I can envision doing once I'm married and a parent, and neither can he. It's too time-consuming, too stressful, and too emotionally draining.

The average prosecutor is 28 years old and single. It's a great job to have when you're single and have the time and energy to devote to it. Once you have a family, you're probably not going to want to spend your time surrounded by the scum of the earth, dragging your family through the quite literal trials and tribulations that the job entails. The job comes with too much baggage.

Society needs children to perpetuate itself. It's hard for me to get too riled up about the idea that families are favored. I'm willing to throw in my share of blood, sweat and tears before I procreate. And when I leave my job, it won't be because I'm a "29 year old kid at career day who's BORED". It won't be because I'm not a dedicated professional. It will be because my life circumstances have changed and I can't put into the job what I used to be able to put into it. If that's not a legitimate reason for changing jobs, I don't know what is.

3:22 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Sid said...

Even in the Army, single soldiers were treated in an unfair manner. Our company First Sergeant would openly say "put the single men on duty over the holidays so the married men can spend time with their families." We had a few running jokes about it, but it did hurt morale and cause some problems.

I would assume that single women in similar situations have been exposed to similar treatment.

3:48 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Matthew said...

If you're at a baseball game sitting next to a 6-year old kid and a fly ball comes towards him, do you grab it and keep it? We give the dad or mom time off for the same reason the crowd screams, "Give the kid the ball!" Let the fathers spend the holidays with their families.

A civilized society is always going to discriminate in favor of people who have obligations and responsibilities beyond themselves.

5:39 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

One of the ways newspapers keep costs down is by hiring pert, able young women right out of school at typical entry-level j-wages based on the assumption that most of them will go Talking Barbie in a few years & say "Reporting is Hard!" & go do something else or get married.

Maybe this is why my company hires so many "pert, able young women right out of school." The turnover for them is probably the highest of any group in the company. The company falls all over itself trying to please the women but essentially tells the men to suck it up and quit whining. Single versus married doesn't seem to matter much.

My company doesn't "discriminate in favor of people who have obligations and responsibilities beyond themselves." It's very much along gender lines.

7:40 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

When I became a single dad, abruptly and beyond my control, my work life immediately changed. The new choices necessary cost my 25 year career position first, then four more career quality jobs after that. I finally settled to where I am now at less than half my income of ten years ago. I work a little over nine hours a day, and four hours on Saturday. But I am home almost every night.

My kids need me, and family always comes first. There never was a choice for me, but to look elsewhere. What I learned is there is no company anywhere worthy of my complete loyalty, working the extra hours, going the extra mile. It is not returned in kind.

7:56 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Lt. A .L. Murphy, ret. said...

Ever notice that any observation about discrimination against men or anything negatively affecting men-- always draws the chams and darlenes and their fellow travelers-- who change the subject to women and blah blah blah or endless " yes, but " women blah blah blah..
God forbid that anyone should take men's concerns seriously or -- GADZOOKS !-- feel that they deserve as much attention as THE MODERN ENTITLED WOMAN.
Some women will always rush in and divert the discussion from men back to the real concern-- women ! This may happen to men ... but... us gals blah blah blah... she may have tried to kill him but violence against women blah blah blah..... do women ever listen with any empathy or concern or are they always waiting their turn to talk... to change the subject to the only important topic-- themselves, the gals.


What a howler, darlene-- that little vignette is bs-- unless you are in your 90s. And most of those stories are just that-- stories, like Betty Friedan was a normal suburban housewife and Joe Mccarthy was .. well.. a Mcarthyite !.

Discrimination against women in the past is massively exaggerated- cf Mrs Graglia's book " Domestic Tranquility" ( Hey , Lino ! )-

HECK-- I was just watching a Andy Griffith episode circa 1962. Barney was grilling Helen because she was not going to cook for Andy or quit her job teaching when and if she and Andy married. And Andy replies that this is the 20th century and women work now... this is 1962 in Mayberry NC.



Quoting Andy Griffith is as close as we can get to the gospel-- the Southerner's Aristotle.

7:57 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Fuzzy said...

I'm a single man who just took a job out of state. We're currently looking into extending the hours of a rotating helpdesk position by one hour on each end of the shift.

I plan on volenteering to pick-up at least the extention at the end becuase, well, I'm a single guy and I do have more time, and I don't have to take care of a family.

I don't blame anyone here for feeling like their treated unfairly, but like kim du toit mentioned, it's usually true that we're able to do these things.

One of the nice things about being single is that I was able to just pickup and move across two time zones to take this posisition without having to think about what impact it would have on my spouse or family.

9:42 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Lone Star JW said...

Why is discrimination against singles a bad thing?
While I think there should be compensations for having to work holidays I don't think folks with children should work Thanksgiving and Christmas (as two examples) when they have unmarried collegues who can work. The whole point of society is pass its values down to the next generation-- that generation is made of the kids at home. Family men and women should have family days off and singles should work to allow it. When I was a single guy, my 'company' always arranged for the single guys to work so the family guys could be at home. We singles got other breaks other days. I think I would have helped hang (in an non-fatal, non-confrontational, way so that he could take the chance to grow sort of way) my boss if he had given me Christmas off so a father of five could spend that day at work.

10:08 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

murph

I'm 53, so do some math, eh?

Maybe what I should have added to my personal anecdote was that I didn't get mad, I didn't try to sue, I didn't whine or fall on the ground and have a tantrum. I just thought to myself "this guy is a jerk and why should I work for him even if he offered me the job anyway?"

There are equal opportunity jerks out there and yeah, it's a real bummer when one runs up against obnoxiousness... it can be a cut-throat corporate culture to a bored waiter. But for all that is holy, why the friggin' "poor me" whining?

I can recall my GRANDFATHER, getting up on Christmas morning, watch us open a few presents, then running off to work so the younger men with families could have the whole day off. He did it CHEERFULLY.

I work in a DA office with about 30 attorneys ... we have four who do job sharing so they can have more time with their kids. We've had two men recently take paternity leave. We have a couple more that work particular areas (such as the pre-pre calendar) that allows them to come in early and leave early so they can take care of their kids.

Either find a job that fits your needs or go into business for yourself...but STOP THE SELF_PITY.

11:05 PM, January 25, 2008  
Blogger cinderkeys said...

"There's been at least one apples to apples studies comparing equally qualified single and married men with equivalent backgrounds & experience that determined that single men with similar qualifications in particular fields make about 26-27% less then married men."

That surprises me. A lot. I thought family commitments tended to limit earning potential. That employers might assume they can make their young, single employees work ridiculous hours, but that the extra work would mean more raises and promotions later.

No?

12:56 AM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger tomcal said...

Your headline is true. No further comment needed.

3:19 AM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Lone star jw says:

We singles got other breaks other days.

Please, clue us all in about these other breaks on other days. People with kids will leave work early for their child's activities, won't come to work at all if their kid is sick. Yet, if a single person who has worked 60 hours one week wants to leave a few hours early on a Friday, it will be those same parents that will scream the loudest about it.

Yes, single people have extended families they want to see over holidays, they don't all live in convents. If a job requires a portion of their work force to work on holidays, that obligation should be divided up equally among staff and people should be given their schedule months in advance so the employees can accommodate. Any employer that demands its single employees to work every major holiday will find itself light on workers pretty fast.

9:17 AM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Lone Star JW said...

Cham:

My job required 24/7 manning. For my boss and coworkers Friday night was family night. All the family guys were happy to work an extra Friday night to accomadate the desires of the singles.

My main point remains: Choosing to be single or married is a choice, and just as people should not be descriminated against on the basis of birth (race, national origin, religion) people should be discriminated against and for based on their choices in life. (married, single, beggar, thief)

10:52 AM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

I would venture a guess that most people get married at some point or other in their lives – now, therefore, we may postulate that because people in power and authority in employment relationships tend to be older, they are most likely to be married or to have been married. They probably empathize with other married people, and/or see the same issues/struggles in their married employees that they themselves experienced as younger people, and seek to accommodate them. Therefore, it is natural that married employees are favored over non-married employees.

This further buttresses my belief that the normal manner of being for both men and women is to aspire to and to become married at some point. Simply because one has not found a “suitable” candidate for marriage does not alter the fact that, in view of societal and cultural norms, that person’s behavior is aberrant.

What I do not find productive is the enmity between men and women fanned by comments such as Cham’s – in general terms, I think that feminists need to create a constant “battle of the sexes” mentality in order to invite reactionary behavior from men for the purpose of finding empirical evidence of misogyny about which to complain. It is a poison that I prefer not to make for them in order that they poison my well.

The overwhelming majority of men and women still find it beneficial to cast their lot in life with a spouse – men love their woman and women love their man. I think what is productive is not to push “men’s rights” as an antidote to feminism, or to constantly demand accountings of what is numerically “equal,” but to stress the centrality of harmonious, committed relationships between men and women to human happiness. I don’t think that we get very far convincing people – male or female – that they are somehow being cheated by an unseen hand, or that the person to whom they are committed or married is receiving more benefit than deserved from the relationship.

To that end, I think that the sperm bank/meal ticket/handyman/retirement plan paradigm is not anything to get too upset about as long as the woman receives these gifts with gratitude as part of an overall shared life with her spouse – indeed, in such a circumstance, the man receives things of infinite value in return, and his labors for his wife are a bargain. Much of the problem exists because many of these “sperm bank etc.” benefits vest early in a marriage for a woman due to no fault divorce and the bifurcation of distribution of marital property from the divorce itself.

11:52 AM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Alec Leamus says:

What I do not find productive is the enmity between men and women fanned by comments such as Cham’s – in general terms,

How are my comments fanning enmity between men and women? Did I make a reference to gender in comment #42?

12:20 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mister-M said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:20 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mister-M said...

Dr. Helen,

I've just discovered your blog and wow, what an amazing read.

When you factor personality disorders into the equation, the problems rise exponentially.

The Psycho Ex-Wife

The gory details of my own story, open for support and criticism, of course - as one who was terrorized by a spouse whom we strongly suspect of having borderline personality disorder.

Sometimes, it takes a shock to the system to discover how bad men, fathers, and families (including women) can have it due to the way laws and legislation has developed over the course of the last 30 to 40 years.

I can't imagine a young man today getting married and/or having children with the divorce and family court systems tilted so heavily in favor of women today.

The system is a mess and families and fathers are suffering greatly as a result.

~Mister-M

12:23 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

Darleen Click wrote, "But for all that is holy, why the friggin' "poor me" whining?"

You might try taking your own advice. Stop whining on about how men need to do things for you. Man up yourself, "independent woman."

Women often label as 'whining' men looking after their interests. We are just supposed to "man up" and put up with stuff.

No Darleen. We'll keep presenting a reasonable case for change. You will unfairly characterize it a whining. And we'll just repeat our case.

12:41 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

how men need to do things for you.

Care to source your assertion?

We'll keep presenting a reasonable case for change.

Channeling Silky Pony now? I don't see any 'solutions' above. Are you proposing yet more Nanny laws to the workplace, this time to make corporations less family friendly?

12:54 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Either find a job that fits your needs or go into business for yourself...but STOP THE SELF_PITY.

Good advice. I wish the feminists would have listened to it 40 years ago. (Can you imagine the reaction if a public figure made this statement to women?)

1:16 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Peter said...

I worked Thanksgiving and Black Friday this past year, at triple time wages. The married guys were lining up to volunteer to take my place. So much for family comes first.

4:33 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

I don't see any 'solutions' above. Are you proposing yet more Nanny laws to the workplace, this time to make corporations less family friendly?

No. We propose to change the work culture by discussion and consent. That's why charges of whining belong with you, not with us.

It is telling that the only changes you can imagine to the status quo are new laws. Typical false dichotomy.

Stop whining about the people you disagree with, and offer reasons why you disagree. Comparisons to your grandfather aren't very persuasive, obviously.

4:45 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

cham, there are a few commenters here from Protein Wisdom. Darleen Click is the Andrea Dworkin of PW, and Alec Leamas is its Jack Benney.

Mr. Leamas is rather a comic genius. I delight in his syntax most especially. For example, this is pure genius: I think what is productive is not to push “men’s rights” as an antidote to feminism. How keeps that high-pucker-factor voice in his writing, I'll never know.

Darleen is the typical advocate of special rights for women.

5:22 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Darleen is the typical advocate of special rights for women.

Still can't source your Carnac assertions, can you?

Comeon, Jeffy. What "special rights for women" have I proposed?

5:32 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Taran said...

The structure of the article was a microcasm of why so many men stay single. The female author started with a title eluding that the focus was going to be on men, but then the scope shifted to including women, and comparing them to women, two websites (run by women and marketed to women)... . An honest and more bold take would have been to stay focussed and follow up on the message she was writing about- why men find single life more beneficial. Even here, as has been posted earlier, any topic about men threatens some women who have to inject there story. That is the crux of the problem, you are not the purveyors of all that has to do with gender. Spare us the oppressed mantra and anecdotal stories that read like the veiled misandry of Marie Claire, the View and Lifetime network, accept that men may actually want to focus on issues regarding men, and not include and aquiesce to the women's perspective. Believe me, the female experience and feminist indoctrination began in pre-school, we got it. Men Going There Own Way, or the marriage strike, call it what you like, but the author was right we don't need a battle cry or a hit television show, we are reacting to a society construct that we consider too flawed to risk promoting.

5:36 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

dadadvocate

contrary to what passes for "accepted wisdom" among some of the commenters here, not all feminists, even 40 years ago, were/are gender feminists. Equity feminists are those that want sex not to be a factor before the law save in areas were biological reality dictates notice. What passes for "feminism" is really a figleaf for Leftism. Anti-traditional-family, anti-marriage, anti-military ... all far-Left positions promulgated as "women's issues" (ie CodePink and ilk). There are plenty of conservative and libertarian women who reject the Left-femisism while embracing the ethos that all human individuals have the right to pursue their lives according to their talents. We don't ask for 'special rights' at all. Just no statutory discrimination arbitrarily based on sex.

5:43 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Here's a "change in the workplace" story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/fashion/24WORK.html?_r=1&sq=law%20firm&st=nyt&oref=slogin&scp=5&pagewanted=print

not through Nannystatism, but through societal changes.

Over the last few years and, most strikingly, the last few months, law firms have been forced to rethink longstanding ways of doing business, if they are to remain fully competitive.

As chronicled by my colleague Alex Williams in the Sunday Styles section earlier this month, lawyers are overworked, depressed and leaving.

Less obvious, but potentially more dramatic, are the signs that their firms are finally becoming serious about slowing the stampede for the door. So far the change — which includes taking fresh looks at the billable hour, schedules and partnership tracks — is mostly at the smaller firms. But even some of the larger, more hidebound employers are taking notice.


There are enought very talented men and women that are saying "I'm going to find a job that fits MY needs" and willing to walk the walk that businesses are changing.

5:54 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

dardarleen - I have no disagreement with your equity feminist vs. gender feminist distinctions. But, the gender feminists still have a lot of influence. And, if a public figure made the statement to women you made above, all hell would break loose.

Life will never be fair and we should do the best we can. However, we shouldn't excuse the inequities either.

6:29 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Darleen,
Me thinks you protest too much.

Why wouldn't a gender neutral sabbatical policy for all good workers who have put the time in, as well market- not employment- based insurance plans, be more equitable than the current system you seem to support? So women are the more likely sex to get pregnant and have to nurse...

If you allow time off, even without pay, for people who pursue other life choices (assuming the business can compensate for those temporarily "lost" workers) isn't that clearly a more libertarian position than allowing special privileges for those families that choose to breed, often over and over and over again?

Aren't the single workers in effect subsidizing your life choices, via time off and insurance plans? If you can't afford em, don't have em is my basic thought. And recognizing that at certain times in their lives, individuals will choose differently than you and your darling daughters and twin grandchildren... why should your type prosper and pass those costs on to others for all the rest of us to share?

Please don't give me the "we need to encourage people to have more babies to pay into SocSecurity" line either. That often encourages quanitity, not quality, and the wrong types to breed. I do stand by my claim that many, especially single women, join the parenthood club soley for the special benefits.

And you shouldn't make the argument either that currently childless people have no "family" to care for, or that the younger members of society (children in families) are somehow more worthy than older members of families. I know the FMLA also allows time off for care for aging parents in medical emergencies, but why must it be restricted to that. Why not -- voluntarily -- allow the sabbatical time for those who would like to help parents relocate before they are aged and in medical decline, who would pursue their own projects other than bearing children, etc? Again, assuming the company is capable of absorbing the temporary loss of the productive worker.

You sound to me like one of those feminists who wants to have her cake, eat it too, and then make others pay to buy her another piece. (ie, your comment that band parents see the football game as just a warmup for what your kids do/did. Sorry, no football team = no special halftime performance for the band.)

I note that you're a government worker though. I suspect your mind has been warped by years of feeding off the taxpayers, special rights for women, and thinking yourself a conservative who can't even see the special privileges you live on. Choice. Market driven. If you pay more, and ask for volunteers, you will fill the shifts. Whether one wants to spend the holiday with their children, or their parents/extended family etc. Just because you popped out a few kids though should not give you special rights. Again, it encourages the wrong kinds to breed ("do for me, do for me, do even more for me"!) solely for the special treatment.

We need less of that kind, not more.

6:37 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Taran said...

Darleen, why do you not wish to allow a discussion that is on topic? In case you and other women have forgotten. The topic is an article written by a woman unable to stay on topic, just like yourself, that stated men are staying single and enjoying it. Dr. Helen, then asked the question why? She observed that it sounded like the amount of discrimination faced by single men was incongruent to their stated happiness. Do you have any thoughts on why men are choosing and enjoying staying single? Or is your fragile ego too threatened when a topic does not revolve around you as a woman?

6:38 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

taran

when did Dr. Helen appoint your thread monitor?

6:39 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

And what of those who make sacrifices to allow one parent to stay at home with the children?

Why penalize them and allow those who "want it all" to benefit at the expense of others who understand you must often give up a little to pursue your individual choices?

6:40 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Mary

So women are the more likely sex to get pregnant and have to nurse

Oh heaven's, I forgot, which other sex get's pregnant?

I note that you're a government worker though. I suspect your mind has been warped by years of feeding off the taxpayers

Is this where you propose to privatize the police/fire/courts? Cuz, babycakes, that's where I work. One of the actual legitimate functions of the government.

(ie, your comment that band parents see the football game as just a warmup for what your kids do/did. Sorry, no football team = no special halftime performance for the band.)

Hmmmm... did you miss out when someone was handing out the 'recognizes humor' gene? Glad you've decided to remain an evolutionary dead-end.

6:46 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

And what of those who make sacrifices to allow one parent to stay at home with the children?

maybe you should read some of the other commenters here who kind of think that icky stay-at-home stuff should be banned.

6:47 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

BTW Mary

same question to you as Jeffy

what "special rights" have I advocated via legislation?

6:52 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Breeder Wars:

http://www.darleenclick.com/weblog/archives/2006/08/breeder_wars_1.html

7:00 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Oh heaven's, I forgot, which other sex get's pregnant?

So you think based on this that women then deserve special "equal" treatment then? Again, you simply can't have it all. There are plenty men who find themselves as single parents who simply put your special treatment theories to rest. You should read the comments, like Trey's above, in this thread before spouting off.

Is this where you propose to privatize the police/fire/courts? Cuz, babycakes, that's where I work.

No need to namecall. I merely picked up on where your entitlement attitudes clearly come from -- your "service" as a government worker. Please, don't put words in my mouth either. Nobody said anything about privatizing those services but you. I don't think we make special "equal" jobs as firefighters, police officers, or courtrooms solely because you want women to be "equal" there too. Again, if you're saying women have special biological functions (ie/motherhood) then please recognize that biologically stronger men do too. I don't want quotas anymore than I want special privileges for those who see their pregnancies as special cause for time off. Neutral sabbaticals, like neutral job requirements for police and firefighters. Either you're up to doing the job physically, or you're not.

did you miss out when someone was handing out the 'recognizes humor' gene?

I think many currently single people -- men and women -- stopped laughing on topics like this long ago, when they realized the joke really was on them.


Glad you've decided to remain an evolutionary dead-end.

Ouch.
Again, I suspect you're assuming too much about me and my future, but thank you for clearly demonstrating the entitlement attitudes that Dr. Helen's original post spoke of in the sad treatment and attitude of single, childless men (and women) in the workplace.

Clearly, we all can see where you're coming from here, and don't try to respond that you were just being funny either. Go ahead and eat your cake, but please recognize that the rest of us out here are not planning to keep you continually stocked in it once it's gone -- because you're a big ole childbearing woman after all, and a grandmamma at 53 to boot!

7:14 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

and a grandmamma at 53 to boot!

Actually, make that 51 if the twins are 2 years old now. (amazing what you can learn by perusing one's blog)

Perhaps you should make sacrifices, not gender equality demands, and recognize that sometimes when you choose X, it means you have to let go of Y, for the time being at least... Sadly, your generation of women was somehow raised thinking they could have it all -- now! -- because somehow they had the numbers at the time, and were entitled.

Times have changed,my friend. And personal choices matter.

7:19 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Sorry, I don't play the "breeder wars" games.

I fully support those who choose larger families and can support them with no special help subsidized by other workers, and those families that are capable of working harder, delaying, scrupulously scheduling, or otherwise sacrificing to allow one parent to stay at home, of either gender -- again, without their personal choices being subsidized by special privileges in the workplace.

7:22 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Wait a minute... the twins are FIVE now. So you were only 48...

That "equality feminism" time off and subsidized insurance coverage sure is good to some, eh?

Nevermind those single men (and women) who believe in waiting/sacrificing until you can pay your own way and afford your own personal choices without dumping on other biological lessers.

7:47 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Mary

what you have is some real issues and you're projecting them without ever actually listening to the people you attack as "breeders" (and my 'evolutionary deadend' was an inkind response)

You keep thinking I'm a "want it all, special privileges, can't makes choices" advocate, but you can't actually substantiate that assertion. Indeed, my 'breeder war' link gives lie to your whole rant.

If anyone is exhibiting an "entitlement" mentality it's you. What makes you think you're so put upon as a single? That kid you sneer at at the next table could be the surgeon who saves your life in the ER your regional trauma center; or the cop who answers your 911; or the prosecutor who gets a guilty verdict on the criminal who burgled your house..

oh, but no. They are just government workers with an "entitlement" mentality who should not suffer to have ever been borne.

I've made lots of choices in my life, some good, some poor and I've lived up to every responsibility without the incessant whining I hear from the terminally juvenile "but that's NOT FAIR". My only "demand" is that I be considered equal before the law. Everything else is up to me.

I actually felt a little sorry for that guy in who said he was never going to fall in love because he didn't like the feeling. How sad. But obviously, his voluntary disconnect from other humans is not that unusual. Et tu, Mary?

8:01 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

Mary

I don't see what my grandsons have to do with you. And maybe you should scroll down a bit and see where my daughter is now an ICU nurse (after years as a paramedic)!

But heck...she is the child of a breeder and ::::gasp::: she's working at a state-of-the-art regional medical center (oh the entitlement mentality! oh the horror!), I'm sure you won't want her to treat you.

8:07 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

with no special help subsidized by other workers

even if what you assert is true (and it isn't in most cases), are you proposing a LAW that businesses cannot offer the benefit packages they choose to offer to attract workers they want?

"Little Johnny is diabetic so we are banning anyone in class from eating anything with sugar."

Way to GO, Mary!

8:11 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Taran said...

Many thanks to Darleen and Mary for demonstrating for the last hour why men choose to stay single and are loving it. No amount of discrimination is this unbearable. The prescient statement "an evolutionary dead-end", does seem to apply.

8:22 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Darleen said...

taran

some males are choosing to stay single

men are a different story

thanks for demonstrating

8:30 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger zelda said...

Who is raising these sorry excuses for life forms -- the beleaguered single guy who thinks life is "So. Not. Fair."? The constant whining, the professional victimhood, the simmering resentment. Wait, I've got it! Single men are the new angry housewife.

Happy to pass the mantle. You wear it well, Dollface.

10:11 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger rwellor said...

How can a "forensic psychologist" reference an article that used the methodology that one did?

There is not one single statistic or fact relating to discrimination in that article. Instead it's a hodgepodge of demographic shifts tossed without connection, into
quotes from (about 5) people who feel discriminated against on semi-related grounds. The best one was from Mr. Gulvin"

"A man is a sperm bank, a meal ticket, a handyman and an early retirement plan,"

lose with women much?

10:24 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

I like your education, your attitude and your obvious intelligence. But I just don't hire young women. Why should I waste my time training you when you will just get pregnant and leave?

Darleen wants employers to ignore the propensity of women to drop out of the workplace, as a matter of law, yet she labels as 'whiners' those single men who want to change how they are treated by discussion, consent, and the marketplace. [Darleen that's my 'Carnac' assertion.]

In other words, only women get to 'whine.' Because accommodating the law to gender always means giving a benefit to women, only women get to have their biology accommodated by the law.

Darleen's basic method is to construct straw man assertions:

"are you proposing a LAW that businesses cannot offer the benefit packages they choose to offer to attract workers they want"

No one's advocated for a law, but you've upheld special privileges at law for women like maternity leave [A 'Carnac' assertion!]

"What makes you think you're so put upon as a single?"

Who feels "so put upon?" We're just letting people know we don't want to subsidize other people's lifestyles unless we voluntarily decide to do it for ourselves. Mr. Manager, please don't assume I have more free time than Mr. and Mrs. Married. Ask maybe.

Darleen thinks that's way out of line. That it's 'whining.' Yet when women call for changes in the workplace they are considered noble victims. [Darleen that's another of my 'Carnac' assertions.]

Taran has a point. Darleen's irrational manner of discourse isn't unusual. It's good to be single so you can offer your elbow like a gentleman, and drop-off the man-haters at the curb.

11:03 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

Darleen wrote, We don't ask for 'special rights' at all. Just no statutory discrimination arbitrarily based on sex.

No one will believe you because in practice the law always redounds to the benefit of women. VAWA is a massive statutory discrimination in favor of women, for example. The rape-shield laws is arbitrary and based on sex. The list of such special treatments is long.

Alec Leamas wrote, I think what is productive is not to push “men’s rights” as an antidote to feminism, or to constantly demand accountings of what is numerically “equal,” but to stress the centrality of harmonious, committed relationships between men and women to human happiness.

No. Men's rights is an attempt to redress laws that favor women. It's a necessary component of gender harmony. We simply can't ignore that Radical Feminists scored many, many judicial and legislative wins in the last forty years. Even if you are a gender equity feminist like me, you can't ignore that some of these laws need to be changed.

11:29 PM, January 26, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

This might seem like a great opportunity for me to ask a pressing question from the parents. What I want to know is why a 12 pound baby requires one stay-at-home-parent AND a full-time working parent to take it to a well-baby visit to the doctor? And why, when most doctor-patient visits these days last less than 15 minutes, does the well-baby visit last 8 hours? And why are well-baby visits never scheduled in advance but always seem to occur last minute on days when a critical project at work is due or there is a big meeting with an angry customer?

Inquiring minds want to know.

8:30 AM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Cham,

I assume you've never had kids or had the fun of taking a niece or nephew to the doctor shortly after birth. The waiting room is crowded; the baby is often screaming and both parents--especially if it is a first child--are often stunned and wondering if they can handle the doctor visit alone. Not to mention the germ infestation every time one goes there--the baby, if well is often infected with some disease du jour from the other kids in the waiting room, sick or well room, it seems to make no difference. As for pediatricians? They seem to revel in keeping parents waiting for what can seem like hours or days if one has a cranky kid.

I am not advocating for special rights for parents over singles and you ask some good questions but the reality is, that 12 pound baby can look innocent enough but is a lot of work!

9:01 AM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

I have to agree with Dr. Helen. Of and on, since they were about a year old, I've had to take care of my two nieces for up to two months at a time. It is a lot of work. It's not hard work, but it requires constant vigilance and minor attentions. And I mean constant.

Caring for children is wearing.

12:52 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

There may be a subconscious theme percolating through this thread, which is that "love is both intoxicating and delusional..." and that monogamous coupledom is in fact a lot of drudgery for all the same reasons that we generally despise work, and domesticity is a really clever way to socialize people for conformity, both personal and corporate.

What can you really admire about a culture that has concluded that "love is hard work?"

2:25 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger John in Nashville said...

According to elizabeth, "The average prosecutor is 28 years old and single. It's a great job to have when you're single and have the time and energy to devote to it. Once you have a family, you're probably not going to want to spend your time surrounded by the scum of the earth . . ."

Interesting characterization of cops, snithches and her fellow prosecutors.

2:54 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger SBW said...

I am certainly glad that I don't work with a lot of the posters here. (Certainly not all).

Single men--or women--are not truly single unless they have no family or close friends. Damn straight as a single man I'll take Christmas off, as my mother has a particularly virulent form of cancer, and even in my thirties I'll spend as many holidays with my Mom & Dad, and siblings, as possible. Your assumed privileges as a parent do not trump my ability to spend what could be the few remaining holiday times with my mom. As the less than far sighted parents on this post don't seem to grasp, you will probably greatly appreciate your single adult children having time off to spend with you in your elder years.

I was also disappointed to here the comment about holiday duty assignments for the Army. It was certainly not that way in my command, if for the only reason the younger (mainly men) personnel needed time off from their duties, and also, time to meet potential spouses.

During normal times I couldn’t care less. I work lots of hours because I enjoy my job (on salary, no bonuses for my position).

3:29 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

"Mr. Leamas is rather a comic genius. I delight in his syntax most especially. For example, this is pure genius: I think what is productive is not to push “men’s rights” as an antidote to feminism. How keeps that high-pucker-factor voice in his writing, I'll never know."

I beg your indulgence for my revelry in our matchless inheritance of fine English speech, as I have ceased to trade in only in simple, declaratory sentences long ago.

3:29 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

who should not suffer to have ever been borne.

Dear Darleen,
Don't be a dutz. People should bear and care for their children, but not expect others to chip in to pay the costs of raising them.

It's that gov'mint have-it-all mentality of yours showing.

My only "demand" is that I be considered equal before the law.

Reread what you've written here. You want it all, and you want others to support your choices.

Why not wait until you can afford them before you go demanding the laws recognize your delicate plight?

That's wonderful about your daughter, btw. Tell me, how much did she taking advantage of the subsidized day care laws, or the public schools that now pay for breakfast as well as lunch times, and after school daycare programs because of course women should have it all -- get educated on the public dime while taxpayers pay for her woman-student childcare costs, and continue throughout the kids' schooling.

Darleen, you're in it so deep you want to whine about banning sugar in the classroom when it's you and yours who are expecting the classrooms to do the parenting roles.

Privatization, homeschooling, self employment. The more I see gov'mint workers like you justifying themselves, the more I'm sure me and mine have the higher quality of life and want nothing to do with those of you who want to pass laws putting us in your pathetic little boats -- single males or females. Look around you at what's happening today in our country, the overall decline, and accept it's because of people like you wanting to have your children, have someone else feed them too via special programs, and then let your daughters follow in your pathetic examples.

I love children, but independently raised ones who don't rely on special "women's biological rights equity" laws necessary for the rest of the taxpayers to take away the need to plan, sacrifice, and make priorities in their lives. Look: you're a government worker. Probably you do the same kind of mediocre job in parenting too, but still I say, why should the rest of us continue to compensate you? Enjoy it while you can; those days are drawing to an end as people catch on to how women like you "work".

4:25 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

“Men's rights is an attempt to redress laws that favor women. It's a necessary component of gender harmony. We simply can't ignore that Radical Feminists scored many, many judicial and legislative wins in the last forty years. Even if you are a gender equity feminist like me, you can't ignore that some of these laws need to be changed.”


My friend, I quite actually believe that we agree on the name of the disease – it is only in deciding upon the cure that we depart.

Feminism is error. The inverse of feminism is also error. One, or both, together or in opposition, will utterly fail to restore a harmonious equilibrium between the sexes. Feminists are perceived, rightly, as frivilous and ridiculous. The argument that a man is a capable wetnurse is a ridiculous proposition regardless of who posits the same into the discourse.

Many young women cling to a vestigial feminism only for so long as they need it, viz, until the prospect of building a stable life with a man becomes a tangible reality. This represents a restorative trend and a tremendous opportunity. Women cannot be blamed for hedging – with one foot in the career world – while their future is less than certain. We must welcome the other foot as soon as it arrives, without pompousity and self-satsfaction – less than this is weak and picayune.

If we would like to undo the manifold harms of feminism, we must first offer women respect and kindness, and then offer them men who understand and accept the burden that men must bear in this life. The half-truth of feminism is that women bear their own unique burdens in life – how unappealing to all women must be the man who demands the most juvenile satisfaction of sameness, while at the same time refusing to offer from his abundance of strength and patience?

This is precisely where the men’s rights movement fails, and represents a counterproductive force. I believe that there are gross iniquities written into the law that disadvantage men, however, they will never be cured by appeals to feminists to be internally consistent and to apply their various ideologies equitably – if those appeals would ever have been productive, they would have been so by now. Feminists are in a zero sum gender war without end, and they can always fabricate a new bogey that justifies the unjust as applied to all men.

Nursing greivances will only yeild a nasty, irrelevant “male feminism,” every bit as self-consuming as feminism proper. There is no profit in this endeavor that inures to the benefit of human happiness.

In short – be a man – the unyielding but noble man who you would be if feminism was never dredged from the murky depths of human misery. If more men could do this, we would give women the gift of freedom to be what we so long for in them, and contribute much to human happiness.

4:31 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

sbw:

Thanks for recognizing that free choice via neutral policies, and respect for families with older members are just as important to society as encouraging women who haven't planned properly and don't have their cards in order to have babies prematurely.

Helen:
If things are so bad at your pediatrician's office that it takes 2 parents to wait hours for an appointment, it's time to find a new doctor.

Yes, there are plenty of women (and men too) out there capable of handling a 12-pound sick baby alone. And they've for generations with no special help. Unless you think the women today are cut from an inferior cloth and it takes 2 to do what one used to be perfectly capable of. Low expectations tends to breed low results, and poor planning forces others who didn't put themselves in that position to pick up the slack. Surely if you can't handle taking a sick infant to a dr's appt. alone, you should be thinking of giving that baby another sibling or two? That's exactly what the special treatment of parents in the workplace does, however. Encourage the wrong sorts to continue breeding.

4:38 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Alec,
Men can't wetnurse, but many are quite capable of cooking, feeding a family healthily (it's the protein, people!), and raising responsible children, particularly sons.

And plenty of women can work independently to bring home the money necessary to pay for this lifestyle. Let's knock women off the "I'm special" pedestal, leave the laws and policies neutral allowing for free choice, and recognize that hard work, sacrifice, and voting with your feet (ie/employment, schools, pediatrician's offices, etc) is the best way to raise healthy independent families that can function without special privileges or need to be subsidized on the public dime.

Of course, self discipline and understanding when you choose X, you might have to give up (or work harder to attain) Y is necessary.

4:45 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Lt. A .L. Murphy, ret. said...

A few thoughts per alec, while enjoying Darlene,
the quintessential woman...
its always so easy...
just give them a mike or a pen and women prove your point for you.
Its always amazing that they never are aware of their gross bias and no attempts to point out the obvious contradictions and howlers ever helps.. they just remain the same..
the dementia is indeed a "sickness unto death" for most women,
forever clueless,
like the racist white Southern who has looked and looked and looked and just can't find ANY racism here in Memphis, or Birmingham, or Oxford or Tuscaloosa or Little Rock in the 1940s... ...


1.You are right that feminism and most women ( my addition) will not respond to logic, rationality, empiricism, or morality and that appeals to justice, equality, and fairness are useless.
They are a determined, vicious adversary who recognize no real restraints on the pursuit of their perceived self-interest.
They have defined their self-interest and pursue it relentlessly, regardless of harm to men and boys. Civilized discussion is impossible . Feminists and most women are waging war on men and boys. Negotiation is thus not an option-- they must be confronted and destroyed.

2. Feminism is not " frivilous " at all. As a set of 'ideas" it is of course, "nonsense on stilts" and no intelligent person should be guilty of such a moral and intellectual depravity as "feminism ".

But it has inflicted massive harm on our society, on men and boys, and will continue to unless it is destroyed or we are at least immunized against is practioneers.

3. Misandry, bias against men etc is not somehow , by someone, "written into the laws"-- Feminists/women have seized control and they have deliberately written laws that intentionally favor women and harm men.
They are a hate group imposing their bigotry via the law.
To such groups we do not offer " respect and kindness", shoulder our unique male "burden"-- we give them the bayonet-- in the front and out the back ( metaphorically speaking).

That men have failed to respond to the assault on them by white women is the problem. AND respond with the force-- not merely of reason and morality-- but of fortitiude against an implacable opponent who honors nothing save her own self-interest.

4. There is no such thing as a "gender equity feminist"-- to be a "feminist" means you are dedicated to womanism and so the conjuction of " equity" and "feminist" is an oxymoron. There are only people who believe in Equity and Fairness-- and there are no "feminists" who are within that group, by definition.
The hilarious self-serving construction by Darlene that men and women are equal EXCEPT when biological reality dictates otherwise-- that is , we are equal when it benefits women and we are different when that benefits women ! Its the same old anti-male . pro-female garbage. Bet the gals will never find a biological difference that leads to a public policy that favors men ! Hey-- you giuys are stronger so you alone can be drafted !! Men die earlier, so men should have to pay higher taxes than women in order to supplement women's incomes in their golden years alone.
Every biological differemnce feminist acknowledge will ALWAYS work to womens' advantage-- thats what being a "feminist" means-- its bigotry.

5. The inverse of feminism is indeed an error-- but where are all the men behaving as feminists/ most women-- relentlessly seeking to harm women and write misoygyny into the law ?
Men are merely asking women to stop the hate, stop the total selfishness, stop lying about men and boys -- no attempt is made to favor men, just work toward fairness.
Whatever men's groups exis tthat resemble feminism are equally reprehensible. Where are they ? Men are just trying to stop women from harming us-- not trying to harm women. The inverse of "feminism" is pathological-- but its irrelevant , because there are no significant number of men seeking to do such things to women solely for men's benfit.

The Cure ? Deal with those who are seeking to harm you and are immune to reasoned discussion-- by "offering them respect and kindness".. men adopting our masculine burdens... don't nurse grievances .. and the bizarre 'be a man" ?

Rather --
" Don't wait for orders, guys-- mount your horses and ride to the sound of the guns "--
take on femininsts and women's misandry wherever you find it -- and its ubiguitious. Don't tolerate women's vile sexism-- in all its many forms-- toward men.

Isaac Bickerstaff

6:54 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I better go buy my burqa now, I don't wish to wait until all the good colors are gone.

7:06 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

"A few thoughts per alec,"


Lt,


This is a war for hearts and minds, not one in which victory is achieved by decimating "the enemy." They are our lovers and friends, our mothers, sisters, and daughters.

In large measure, victory lies with making them feel loved and respected without recourse to the fool's paradise of feminism. Becoming the caricature that the feminists inveigh against by way of a “frontal assault” serves only to drive more women into their camp.

9:35 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

"In large measure, victory lies with making them feel loved and respected without recourse to the fool's paradise of feminism."

Ah, the tired redemptive tyranny of love!

Recommended as a strategic pathway to "victory?"

Is that to say - "conquer them with kindness?"

Yes, I've read about this ... and "war is peace" and "freedom is slavery..."

10:01 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

"Ah, the tired redemptive tyranny of love!

Recommended as a strategic pathway to "victory?"

Is that to say - "conquer them with kindness?"

Yes, I've read about this ... and "war is peace" and "freedom is slavery...""



I don't suppose I would be going too far out on a limb to presume that you are a would-be slave who cannot find a master interested in taking her bondage upon himself?

10:17 PM, January 27, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

Well, in your conceptual world, projecting your self-imposed slavery (and apparent gender reversal) unto my voice is probably not much of a stretch.

In mine, I would simply hand you a saw and say do whatever you wish while hanging out there on your speculative limb.

Saw away man!

3:08 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I'd like to hear in a concrete way how Alec plans to oppose feminism with his advice to "be a man".

My opinion is that the "be a real man" thing usually comes from women when they want something from a man. If you are internalizing that, Alec, and trying to live up to what is essentially a tool of manipulation, you are going to be manipulated in life.

Now be a real man and quit giving that advice to other men.

4:08 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Mercurior said...

but is it slavery when a lot of men dont realise it is slavery.

a lot of these females, they use the words whiney, whinging, be a real man, when men dare stand up for themselves. a sort of you have to obey me and what i say but if you disagree.. then you are a wimp.

its not that men want to be back amongst the leaders again, we just want to be treated the same.

4:12 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

“Well, in your conceptual world, projecting your self-imposed slavery (and apparent gender reversal) unto my voice is probably not much of a stretch.”

Quite the opposite – and I beg that you not find offense in my mistake as to your gender, “M.,” as it should have been so plainly obvious from your moniker and your bitching that you are a veritable He-Man.

5:27 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

“I'd like to hear in a concrete way how Alec plans to oppose feminism with his advice to "be a man".

My opinion is that the "be a real man" thing usually comes from women when they want something from a man. If you are internalizing that, Alec, and trying to live up to what is essentially a tool of manipulation, you are going to be manipulated in life.

Now be a real man and quit giving that advice to other men.”


Friend, you are totally misinterpreting my comments. I am proposing Aikido as the preferred method in place of the bare-knuckles brawling that others propose – though they quite rightly respond to injustice. There is a reason that Michael Corleone lived to oversee the demise of his enemies while Santino died a young man, attempting to satiate his anger.

Listen, your fight is with feminism and committed feminists – not all women. While it is certain that a majority of women bandy about some feminist ideas, particularly in their youth, they are not committed feminists – I am merely saying that anything that you do that can at all be perceived as misogynist, or motivated from anger (no matter how righteous) only buttresses feminism and discourages the kind of behavior from women of which we would all like to see more.

In other words, my concrete prescription for men who want to restore justice and harmony between the sexes is “first, do no harm.” We are fighting an ideological war against feminism and its errors – the way to win is to unite your base of support while splitting your adversary into factions. Because those willing to go on a “woman strike” are few, this means recruiting women into the fold by presenting a more appealing face than the contentiousness of a “male feminism.”

The 60s era activist “movement” paradigm is (and was) counterproductive to the achievement of the social changes for which it agitates. Feminism is still organized as an activist movement and the paradigm is itself integral to its identity and lore and in this sense is very limiting. I believe it is a horrid mistake to mirror feminism by presenting a list of grievances and making all manner of demands. The best way to fracture women from feminism – even their own – is to offer them something appealing that feminism simply cannot provide. Men who are men – and who are not deformed by their reaction to feminism are that something appealing.

Once again, it is only your method that I find wanting.

6:35 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

a.l. - Man I really don't like that old "just the opposite" schtick which is typically a faux-apology.

But I like everything else you wrote -

"I believe it is a horrid mistake to mirror feminism by presenting a list of grievances and making all manner of demands. The best way to fracture women from feminism – even their own – is to offer them something appealing that feminism simply cannot provide. Men who are men – and who are not deformed by their reaction to feminism are that something appealing."

Now, you are compelled by your own logic to define - "men who are men... etc."

Because you are dangerously close to saying that the criteria for being "not deformed" would be a profound ability to ignore modern western women.

I did not say "not desire them;" merely -- an ability to ignore them.

9:24 PM, January 28, 2008  
Blogger Mary said...

Now, you are compelled by your own logic to define - "men who are men... etc."

Can I play?
I think he means, "Men who don't want to be just another girlfriend. Men who understand, appreciate and celebrate our basic differences, without thinking one is superior to the other. Yin-yang, complementary like. Men who understand it doesn't take 2 to go to the pediatrician's office, where you're more likely to have the whole family catch the little ones' bugs, but who do know there is a role for mothers and fathers in raising a child."

The sooner modern feminism uncouples itself from support of abortion (and I don't mean the pro-choice movement, but true support of abortion -- either the procedures or the after-the-fact pills and remedies) the better, I think.

9:09 AM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

(a.l.) - "I am merely saying that anything that you do that can at all be perceived as misogynist, or motivated from anger..."

So, a priori, men's anger is disallowed as a legitimate expression; and, misogynist sentiments are likewise discredited and banned from discourse?

If men from earlier generations had only applied your philosophy sir, we would all be speaking fluent German today.

Get it?

12:37 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I think men are in this boat today specifically BECAUSE of the "be a real man" thing.

Whatever the little lady wants, she gets. Be a man and give her what she wants. Be a man and don't say anything (or whine). I'm going to chivalrously protect women with VAWA. Women are equal to men, but they have to be treated like ladies and given special privileges.

On and on.

1:00 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I just have a problem with the back-and-forth thing.

I wish society would simply figure out which one it is: Are women equal to men (meaning also equal with regard to responsibilities) or are they a separate class to be treated in a better way (but children are also treated in a better way).

Just pick one and tell me which one it is, so I know how to act.

What I see now is some women beating men over the head with the "equal" thing and others getting advantages from the bat-your-eyes, throw-out-the-possibility-of-sex thing. Which also means the act-like-a-child thing, and I don't consider the latter women to be equal in terms of responsibilty.

1:04 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

To decode the "be a real man" rebuke that women so often employ -

that translates into "shut up and do not express what you are feeling because I don't care..."

This provides women with a perfect Catch-22 power and control dynamic over men.

If the man expresses his rage, he is a wimp. If the man shuts up and "takes it like a man," he is a wallet.

Dr. Helen is suspiciously silent. I always imagine her lurking and taking notes with a very expensive red ink pen.... ;-)

2:04 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

“Now, you are compelled by your own logic to define - "men who are men... etc."

Because you are dangerously close to saying that the criteria for being "not deformed" would be a profound ability to ignore modern western women.

I did not say "not desire them;" merely -- an ability to ignore them.”


Well, I believe that feminism has had a corrosive effect on women – but also on men. It has changed the modern man in such a way that he is now, in many ways, supine, weak, etc. and his development is arrested at some undetermined juvenile stage. Even when the modern, feminist-era man stands up for himself, it is in the context of having engaged in feminist bargaining with women for some time – and so, he is perceived as a boy lashing out in frustration. He is not respected as a man, and invites mistreatment. In nearly every account of I have read of a man who has been abused by an ex-wife in the family courts, the prologue recounts how “modern” and feminist-friendly the relationship was up until the day he was summarily evicted from his own home. In short, when a man engages in the feminist paradigm with a woman, the whole misadventure is a lost cause.

So, as I have been saying, the first step in a restoration of the relations between the sexes must be the return of men to the station of being men. Men must accept the burdens unique to their sex with resolve and in good nature, and not look for opportunities to use the responsibility for these burdens as leverage in those typically feminist quarrels with women regarding numerical equality of contributions to a male-female relationship. To do so is to accept the feminist paradigm of same qua equal. I believe feminism is, at heart, an ossified adolescent bill of particulars regarding life being “not fair.”

To the extent that a woman holds feminist views (but is not wholly defined by them) you must treat this adolescent part of her in the way that you treat any adolescent behavior – you refuse to engage on all the small things. You don’t argue about the correct “equal” position of the toilet seat, about who gets more room in the bathroom, about discretionary income spent on potpourri and hair products or whatever when your cigar budget is so much the tighter. Deflect these invitations to engage in the feminist paradigm (i.e. a man invoking feminism and asserting his right to “equal” qua same) with wit, and marginalize their importance. Let children have their toys, my grandmother was fond of saying.

When I have a conversation about the sexes and the rest with women, I make a point of not engaging, and of not ceding the “equality” wordplay either. I simply assume the attitude that the whole feminist dust up is a silly thing made up by silly, unhappy people, and shift the emphasis to how happy men and women can be in their individual, a-political relationships that so often organize themselves in the traditional paradigm. For example, have you ever been amused by the re-interpretation of the SAHM phenomenon – so antithetical to the Friedan bill of grievances – as an acceptable “feminist” choice? You see, the dissonance between what a woman will chose from the available alternatives and the feminist ideal is great, and so often betrays feminism. The important thing is not to harm the cultural ebb of feminism by saying “no fair, you want to be equal, but then you have babies and stay at home with them and no man can do that . . .”

Conversely, it is important that a man does not gratuitously assert the authority consequent to his responsibilities in a committed/marriage relationship, or to use the same as leverage to gain advantages. What does it profit for a man to demand that the dinner consist of fish opposed to chicken and use as his justification the fact that his wages purchase the meal, ignoring the woman’s efforts in preparing it? This is “petty patriarchy,” and lends credibility to the feminist cause.

Think about what young women with feminist tendencies (not the committed ones who use feminism as a substitute for a personality) and men not marrying have in common – it is uncertainty and anxiety at the prospect of becoming dependent upon another. I have often thought that the uncommitted young woman with feminist sympathies is motivated out of this anxiety, and the prospect that she will find herself alone for the duration of her life and thus she needs to plan a path of independence unless and until a man redeems her plans of marriage and building a life with another. Mitigating their anxiety, treating them with respect and not ‘punishing’ them as they transition out of their partial feminism will do much to diminish their feminism and feminism in general.

2:37 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

“(a.l.) - "I am merely saying that anything that you do that can at all be perceived as misogynist, or motivated from anger..."

So, a priori, men's anger is disallowed as a legitimate expression; and, misogynist sentiments are likewise discredited and banned from discourse?

If men from earlier generations had only applied your philosophy sir, we would all be speaking fluent German today.

Get it?”

Oh goody goody gumdrops, the first Godwin. I never said that a man should not express anger. I merely meant that in pressing your case as a matter of how you will be perceived, you must be mindful not to resemble the stereotype of an angry misogynist. That is all. This is not a large scale industrial war in North-central Europe, in case you haven’t noticed. It is an ideological war of propaganda and perception. What matters, to me, is achieving the goals of discrediting feminism, harmony between the sexes, increased human happiness, domestic tranquility, and strong families. Punishing harpies and crones is far down on my list of priorities, however gratifying that may feel in the moment.

Have you not seen the manner in which Barack Obama has dealt with the penultimate angry, ball busting, 60s leftover feminist? For the most part, he has remained confident, cool and calm, and talked past her and over her, and made her look small, petty, and juvenile. For the most part, he has decided not to take the satisfying but short sighted stratagem of descending into the morass of “what is an acceptable way to argue with a woman who is cutthroat but can cry the next moment.” I think he has acted like a man of old and, in an oblique way, raised the question in the public’s minds of whether this stumpy, whiny little wrinkled creature belongs on stage with him, alternately taking jabs at him and retreating behind a curtain of tears and the claims of “sexism” leveled by surrogates. Sometimes, he looks at her incredulously, almost to say “whatever are you doing?”
Exhibit “A” of a deft propaganda win against feminism:

http://www.nownys.org/pr_2008/pr_011108.html

3:24 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Alec Leamas said...

�Just pick one and tell me which one it is, so I know how to act.�


You see, you are acting within the paradigm of feminism here. You must decide to be the man you would be if there were no feminists, if so many woman weren�t of two minds. Of course, your plea itself is a bad start, as if women can dictate how you will behave � where one choice is to be a person who submits himself for feminist approval. You see, if that is a possible option, there is no real choice � thus your perceived double bind.

Reject the feminist paradigm.

4:02 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

M.,

"Dr. Helen is suspiciously silent. I always imagine her lurking and taking notes with a very expensive red ink pen.... ;-)"


No, it's blue. Seriously, as long as people aren't calling names etc., I try to stay out of the way at times.

5:01 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

"You see, you are acting within the paradigm of feminism here. You must decide to be the man you would be if there were no feminists, if so many woman weren�t of two minds."

---------

Yeh, either that, or I was kind of joking.

I don't really want society to tell me what to do.

6:31 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger M. said...

"Men must accept the burdens unique to their sex with resolve.."

And now, Dr. Helen should write something about sex, uniqueness, resolve, and burdens...

Use the blue pen, Dr. Helen.

Though red becomes you.

8:02 PM, January 29, 2008  
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3:50 AM, June 08, 2009  

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