Are Women Always Wrong?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Adam and Eve


Author of "The Feminine Mistake" Leslie Bennetts writes in The Huffington Post:

Everyone knows that authors have to be prepared for negative reviews. What I didn't anticipate was an avalanche of blistering attacks by women who hadn't read my book but couldn't wait to condemn it. Their fury says a great deal about the current debate over women's choices -- all of it alarming.

In the comment thread that follows, hcgorman asks:

Maybe it is the title?

You know hc, I had the exact same thought. And yes, I get that it's a play on "The Feminine Mystique." But maybe a lot of us are just tired of being told that no matter what we do, no matter what we choose, we're always wrong.

There is a lot to recommend this book on the substance. Women who give up gainful employment to raise a family risk a lot. I personally have known a number of women who derailed the career track to focus on childrearing, only to find that in a divorce their lack of earning power left them at a disadvantage in custody battles. Imagine devoting your life to your kids only to find that having done so means you could lose primary custody of them.

Bennetts goes on:

My goal in writing The Feminine Mistake was to provide women with what I saw as one-stop-shopping that would help close this information gap. My goal was to gather into a single neat package all the financial, legal, sociological, psychological, medical, labor-force, child-rearing and other information necessary for them to protect themselves. My reporting revealed that the bad news is just as ominous as I'd feared; so many women are unaware of practical realities that range from crucial changes in the divorce laws to the difficulties of reentering the work force and the penalties they pay for taking a time-out. I devoted two chapters to financial information alone.

What I find unfortunate in Bennetts's approach is not the pragmatism, but the hectoring tone and the conflation of financial remuneration with empowerment. Like many who have reacted to her book, I should disclose that I have not read it as yet. Perhaps having done so, I might feel differently, but nothing I've read so far, including her own words on Huffington Post, makes me optimistic. Nor does it make me want to read it. I can be insulted anywhere and I don't need to shell out $24.95 for the privilege.

Bennetts seems highly focused on women who left their careers because of rescue fantasies.

And yet millions of women continue to be misled by the fairy-tale version of life, in which Prince Charming comes along and takes care of you forever. Our culture programs women to believe that they can depend on a man to support them -- the classic feminine mistake -- and fails to explain how often that alluring promise is betrayed, whether by a change of heart or a heartless fate.

I'm sure those modern-day Cindarellas are out there. I haven't met them.

There are many reasons that women choose to return to homemaking and childrearing. One is the continuing perception that it is better for their children. And in case it slips our minds, there seems no end to the reminders; like this one from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The government-funded, ongoing study of more than 1,000 children found that very young children who spent long hours in day care were more likely to become aggressive and defiant in school, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through sixth grade.

I heard that sound-bite today. It made me feel like I had deja vu. As did reading the more complete coverage, which points out that kids who have quality daycare have better verbal skills and no increase in behavioral problems. (So if you're going to put your kids in daycare, be sure and be wealthy). But here's the kicker:

While that fact is continually highlighted, it is important to note that 83 percent of the children in the study did not display these behaviors. In addition, this is not a scientific study, and there was no evaluation of how many stay-at-home children displayed the same tendencies. [emphasis added]

So why was this even released to the press? This ongoing study has been marred by controversy from the beginning. From a Los Angeles Times story of 2001:

A week after a high-profile study cast a negative light on child care, researchers--including the study's lead statistician--are sharply questioning whether their controversial work has been misrepresented.

As reported last week, the study showed that the more time preschoolers spend in child care, the more likely their teachers were to report behavior problems such as aggression and defiance in kindergarten.

But several academics involved in the study said that its conclusion was overstated and that other important findings never reached the public. In the aftermath, a rift has been exposed among the research team, and questions from other experts have caused the researchers to perform additional analysis before formally publishing their findings.

"I feel we have been extremely irresponsible, and I'm very sorry the results have been presented in this way," said Margaret Burchinal, the lead statistician on the study, funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "I'm afraid we have scared parents, especially since most parents in this country [have to work]."

Several of those involved in the project accuse Jay Belsky, a professor at the University of London and one of the lead researchers on the study, of downplaying other important information when he presented the findings at a news conference last week. They accuse him of having an anti-child-care agenda.

Belsky charged that his colleagues are "running from this data like a nuclear bomb went off" because they are committed to putting an approving stamp on child care.

The pattern at that time was the same as we are seeing play out now. An alarm about daycare increasing aggression and the caveats ignored by most news venues. Because, lets face it, the idea that working mothers are bad for kids is part of an established narrative. And when facts and narrative conflict, narrative wins. So many working mothers feel like the trade-offs may be a necessary evil, but an evil none-the-less.

A number of women have embraced the return to "traditional roles." Along comes Bennetts to tell those women, that -- guess what -- wrong again.

Stay-at-home mom Nello had the same reaction that the aforementioned hcgorman and I did. Bad title.

Interesting title, no?
That’s what I thought too. And that is why I read the article that has heretofore been given the award for “Article That Has Upset Nello The Most Since She Doesn’t Know When.”

And I quote:

“I think it’s time to tell women, especially young ones, the truth: The feminine mistake- building a grown-up life around the notion that someone will take care of you- is an outdated idea that could jeopardize your future.”. . .

Alright.
Why am I upset?
Reason number one: Because I don’t like my life being referred to as a “mistake”.
Hell. Who does?

Reason number two: I wasn’t aware that I was “being taken care of”. I thought that my family was taking care of each.other.
But hey. I’m just a stupid Home Mom. What the hell do I know?

Reason number three: Because this Leslie Bennetts obviously hit one of my fragile nerves. Yeah. That’s right Leslie. I’m not afraid to admit that a part of me is afraid that you could be right. Maybe I did make a mistake...

So, yes, women tend to be a little sensitive to the whole, "you're wrong" thing. But, more importantly, Nello raises what I think is a crucial point. The idea that stay-at-home mothers just want to be taken care of is a canard. Families, whether single or double-income are interdependent units. The "traditional" family structure is at bottom a division of labor. The men worked outside the home. The women worked in it. But, particularly in a highly developed society like ours, work is not considered, well, work, unless it earns a wage and contributes to the GDP. One of the casualties of early feminism -- with its focus on freeing women from codified gender roles -- is an idea that NOW has embraced in more recent years: "Every Mother is a Working Mother."

This is not to say that the idea that money equals value is a trap only for women. I would love to take at face value Bennetts's assertion that working for a living imbues us with a sense of personal empowerment, but that's not been my experience. Too many women and men are living lives of quiet desperation as "wage slaves." I've personally known a number of women who ran back to home and hearth, because the promise of work as freeing and esteem building didn't pan out. What they found, when they snatched that brass ring, was that it turned their fingers green. They had babies and went home because it turned out to be the more fulfilling choice, after all. And wasn't personal fulfillment one of the major goals of the feminist movement?

To hear Bennetts tell it, stay-at-home mothers are not making proactive choices at all. They are passive and indolent.

Thus buffered from harsh realities, stay-at-home mothers can often preserve their illusions for quite a while. But over the long run, neither willful obliviousness nor a double standard that treats them like second-class citizens will save these women from the all-too-real problems I have documented in my book. The facts don't change just because you refuse to look at them.

I hope I'm wrong about this. Maybe the stay-at-home moms will devour the information in The Feminine Mistake and debate my findings in their book clubs. Maybe some of them will even reconsider their choices and start making more sensible plans for the future than relying on the blithe assumption that there will always be an obliging husband around to support them.

Gosh, Leslie, I can't imagine why you're getting such a negative reaction. You'd expect to be embraced when you tell a bunch of women who thought their lives were very full and rewarding, that they're really being feckless.

There's quite an industry in criticizing women. Many of its voices are female and sound like the mothers and grandmothers who always seemed to be harder on female children than male ones. We're not accomplishing enough. We try to do too much. We're too sexual. We're not attractive enough. We should make our own choices. Our choices are wrong. On and on it goes.

From what I've read so far of Bennetts's work the warnings themselves are sound, like telling women not to walk the streets at night. The world is a far less safe place for women than for men on every level; physically, sexually, economically, emotionally. I guess I've just gotten a little tired of being treated like I'm a fool because no matter what I do I can't adequately protect myself from it.

43 comments:

DavidByron said...

This diary comes across as just another feminist whine about how privileged women are. If you want to know what being told you are wrong all the time feels like, try being a man. Of course it's true that one choice you won't be criticised about as a man is your choice to work for a living --- because unlike privileged women you never had a choice.

You claim women who "give up" gainful employment (that wondorous prize) "risk a lot". Compared to who? They don't risk as much as a man who chooses to not work. Except it's not really a risk for a man. If you don't work then you will be a homeless bum in and out of jail. so if you are comparing women to other human beings then they actually risk little comapratively. They have safety nets.

You claim that,

I personally have known a number of women who derailed the career track to focus on childrearing, only to find that in a divorce their lack of earning power left them at a disadvantage in custody battles. Imagine devoting your life to your kids only to find that having done so means you could lose primary custody of them.

Devoting your life? Let's examine that typical feminist prejudice. One parent as you admit in your diary, is out working for a living to pay for everything the children NEED. This mere male you don't think of as "devoted" to his children. Instead the woman whom you admit makes no contribution by her "choice" of staying at home, she is the "devoted" one. Logically the parent who provides for the children ought to get them (ie the man) but we both know it's very rare that happens. The reality is that it is the father who devotes himself to the children and is routinely screwed for his non-choice. Post divorce he must pay the non-productive parent because he was earning more in the marriage. Literally he is penalised for his greater devotion.

Families, whether single or double-income are interdependent units. The "traditional" family structure is at bottom a division of labor. The men worked outside the home. The women worked in it. But, particularly in a highly developed society like ours, work is not considered, well, work, unless it earns a wage and contributes to the GDP.

No it's more that. It isn't considered work if
(1) you don't have to do it
(2) you have no boss
(3) can't be fired
(4) have no quality control, no goals, no commitments, no timetables
(5) it isn't productive

You think men don't do housework? Men know an easy ride when they see it. Yes you can do it professionally (eg making and repairing clothes, growing some food, cooking all meals from scratch, researching the best deals on all purchases, washing things by hand instead of buying machines, etc etc) and make a real productive contribution but why bother? Really the only excuse for pretending it is a full time equivalent job these days is the looking after the children line and as you just pointed out, the kids do fine without a housewife full time. Looking after a house is easy. Looking after kids full time is hard work, but not necessary or productive hard work.

I would love to take at face value Bennetts's assertion that working for a living imbues us with a sense of personal empowerment, but that's not been my experience. Too many women and men are living lives of quiet desperation as "wage slaves." I've personally known a number of women who ran back to home and hearth, because the promise of work as freeing and esteem building didn't pan out.

A choice not available to any men. Especially in overworked America everyone would prefer to work less. Women have that power. Men do not.

This is why the myth that looking after kids full time is necessary to the wellbeing of the children must be shored up because otherwise how can women's choices be seen as anything but slacking off selfishly? Wouldn't it be better for both parents to work equally but less than the husband does currently? Wouldn't that be fairer instead of forcing men to work harder and then double penalising them after a divorce?

From what I've read so far of Bennetts's work the warnings themselves are sound, like telling women not to walk the streets at night. The world is a far less safe place for women than for men on every level; physically, sexually, economically, emotionally. I guess I've just gotten a little tired of being treated like I'm a fool because no matter what I do I can't adequately protect myself from it.

I assume that's sarcasm and you in fact know it's a safer world for women in all respects? but the world must be told only to care about women because false victimhood is power. How else can women have the most choices and be called powerless too? Be the safest and yet still be the only people who can complain about their safety? That is feminism -- female supremacy and sexual prejudice.

DavidByron said...

btw the comment you quoted was from the 2nd comment at that site, a "hcgorman" not "micropainter".

Curmudgette said...

Yep. That's me. Typical feminist whiner. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And you, DB, are nothing if not predictable. I won't be debating you on this issue -- or anything really -- because debating with you is Sisyphean task, and life has provided me with more than enough of those.

Curmudgette said...

btw the comment you quoted was from the 2nd comment at that site, a "hcgorman" not "micropainter".

Noted. I'll make the correction. I hate the message boards on Huffpo, and have that trouble parsing that kind of thing in the past. Thanks for the heads up.

The Blogging Curmudgeon said...

Seems the Dead To Me philosophy is spreading.

DavidByron said...

Well I can see a case for avoiding talking about this issue with me, and that's all she said.

You know, Curmudgette, although it does generally become a heated topic I would think you'd be able to see past that enough to engage if you wanted to try. Your own piece had some recognition of the inherent contradictions of feminism. I wouldn't say you were a "typical feminist" although it is true that there tends to be shockingly little divergence allowed within that movement. You are sufficiently contrarian that I don't think you'd be able to fit as a feminist very well.

Since you are stuck with me anyway for a while, you might want to reconsider engaging with me on this issue. Think of me as a resource. Articulate sources of criticism for dearly held opinions are like gold, or at least I would think so. You really shouldn't pass up this opportunity just because of my bad reputation. And are you likely to find anyone willing to criticise your feminist views who you would NOT consider an asshole for doing so?

DavidByron said...

Oh, BC?
What exactly did you mean on Mo Betta when you said you "considered DavidByron my enemy"? You didn't reply when I asked there.

You can reply over there if you'd prefer to not post OT.

Curmudgette said...

DavidByron said...

Well I can see a case for avoiding talking about this issue with me, and that's all she said.


Actually, I said I would not debate with you on this or any issue. This has more to do with your debating style than the fact that we are diametrically opposed on key points. I would be willing to hash it out, but all debates with you are circular and come back to your certitude that you are right and anyone who disagrees with you is just tragically uninformed and irrational. You seem to think that if you pound people with your notions hard enough and never concede a point, you've won. What you lack in logos you certainly make up for in tenacity. You're like an energizer bunny of mean-ness when you get revved up. You resort to ad hominems and shock value at the drop of a hat. And as far as this issue goes, you display a palpable rage against women that, frankly, makes me very uncomfortable.

You are sufficiently contrarian that I don't think you'd be able to fit as a feminist very well.

Well then. It's a good thing that I'm not a feminist so that I can "fit" in anywhere.

DavidByron said...

I see you crossposted at MLW where one bastard dared to only give you a "10". But not a single comment. Do you think you will ever get any feedback from those people? Posting at MLW is like saying you don't want and can't face any criticism. It's worse the preaching to the choir. It's like switching on an applause track.

Not any topic. But on the topic of feminism there's only one response allowed at MLW. Unadulterated adulation. You asked for it and you got it.

It's not just that you refuse to debate this with me; you won't debate it with anyone. Why do you settle for the applause track?

all debates with you are circular and come back to your certitude that you are right and anyone who disagrees with you is just tragically uninformed and irrational

Well I am always right. Well, almost always. If you think otherwise -- well doesn't that make you arrogant? If you think otherwise then persuade me. With facts not insults.

That's called debate.

The fact that most people are uninformed and irrational is called "the human condition" and it's an assessment we have in common. The reason most people are uninformed and irrational is their refusal to engage in debate.

Your explanations here are just an excuse. We've never actually debated anything that I can recall and I don't remember seeing any show of false modesty on the occassions I've seen you debate others.

I'm a lot better critic than most people you'd meet even without consideration of the fact that you'd have a very hard time finding another lefty of any calibre who criticises feminism.

Face it: if you wanted your thoughts on this question tested then I'm your best bet, warts and all.

Otherwise -- well there's always MLW -- or any of hundreds of other applause track feminist sites.

DavidByron said...

Btw, I realise these remarks probably came out of your standard issue flame pack that you've had for ages, but don't you think in view of the episodes that just took place, you are accusing the wrong person?

You're like an energizer bunny of mean-ness when you get revved up. You resort to ad hominems and shock value at the drop of a hat. And as far as this issue goes, you display a palpable rage against women that, frankly, makes me very uncomfortable.

Oh? What do I do? Laugh at the suicide of their friends? What exactly qualifies you to pretend to know other people's state of mind?

"palpable rage" my ass. You flame more often than I do. Why the dishonesty? Why the excuses?

supersoling said...

DB,
Ever been a single parent? If not, you should try it. It's not for the weak or the faint of heart. I did it for two years and it wore my tail to the bone. If I'd been unfortunate enough, economically speaking, to be a single Mother, then my job and my chances of success would have been diminished by a third or more based solely on the incontrevertable fact that women do not earn as much as men do in this system.

I was struck though by the praise I recieved from these same women. I was praised because I am a man. For doing something that i see as only natural for any parent, but that society sees as extraordinary. The thing is though that the praise was unwarranted because I had it much easier simply because as a man I was afforded a better income. It had nothing to do with my worth as an employee. Only to do with the accident of my birth.

Curmudgette said...

Hey Super,
Nice to see you.

supersoling said...

Thanks,
I read your diary at BT and MLW. Normally I doubt I'd step into a discussion on the subject. Mainly out of ignorance. Better to read and learn. But, ya know, in this thread, I couldn't help myself ;o)

Curmudgette said...

Well you're welcome to step in anytime. As you can see I tolerate a wide range of viewpoints on my blog. I only delete spam or things I think might be legally actionable. Besides, I've been enjoying your viewpoint here and there around the web for a long time.

supersoling said...

Thanks again,
the feeling is mutual.

Peace

DavidByron said...

Look "super" on a feminist board you can lie as much as you like but cut the crap when you are talking to non-zombies, ok?

the incontrevertable fact that women do not earn as much as men do in this system

Feminist "incontrovertible facts" are lies. Oh wait. Do you mean women don't earn as much because they don't work as much as men? If that's all you mean we agree. The solution is to work as much as men.

That's kind of the whole point here.

DavidByron said...

Oh and I too welcome you. Where the heck does "supersoling" come from? Does that have some meaning?

But seriously, lying about the Gender Wage Gap is so 80's. The professional feminist boards like NOW never bother to say "equal work for equal pay" any more because they know that lie's been called out so many times, though it had a damn long run.

Well you did say you have a lot to learn.

The Blogging Curmudgeon said...

Hit any pregnant women in the stomach with a baseball bat lately, David?

Oh wait, you didn't actually DO that--you just expressed sympathy for any man who did it to avoid paying child support.

I always find it interesting--if more than a bit disquieting--to stand by and witness David Byron's obvious hatred for, and loathing of, women.

David, I say this in all sincerity: I'm grateful I've never met you and hopeful that I never will.

DavidByron said...

Ok so the hatred of me that you feel is due to your feminist zombie-ism. Alright I get it now.

Btw was that a veiled threat of physical violence there BC? Supersoling has already said he wants to physically attack me. I find it interesting that you feminists go on and on about violence and there's Curmudgette apparently very concerned because of my "rage" ..... but it's you lot who have this violent thirst not me isn't it?

It's like talking to Republicans when you lot get on the topic of feminism. There's no sense of irony in you as you go on about my alleged "hatred of women" for which you can find no evidence outside your own minds. Minds which are openly and indeed proudly full of hate for me it seems....

You all just completely lose any ability to see yourselves on this topic. You have absolutely no ability for reflection.

I guess... what does it FEEL like?

What does it feel like to be an idiot? I can't ask actual idiots because they have no capacity to articulate an answer. But you all know what I mean because you can easily see the behaviour you are exhibiting when it comes to others on other issues.

I look at how Republicans act on eg evolution or global warming and I have no point of empathy. I have zero idea of what it is like to do that. But you lot do.

What does it feel like?

Do you really want to kill me for just disagreeing with me BC? is there actual rage, the rage Curmudgeonette assign to me, perhaps out of projection? I've never wanted to kill anyone. I hardly ever get angry and never just because someone disagrees with me.

What is it like to be driven dumb by your prejudices?

DavidByron said...

That actually raises an interesting question. How can you tell if you are being dumb due to prejudices? I can easily tell the difference because I'm not dumb through prejudice, but for someone already struck, I should think it impossible.

However that is not the case here. If you are someone who is dumb with prejudice on one issue but not on others, and you are currently in your right mind, how can you come to see yourself?

I think there would have to be some trickery or analogy because if you just reflected on your own views directly you'd switch back to dumb mode immidiately when you recognised a change of topic.

For the moment I cannot think of anything better than free speech and the resulting benefit of hearing views you disagree with, however of course most dumbasses are against free speech for this very reason.

But not you guys.

keres said...

Hi Curmugdette.

I just stopped by to skim the vitriol. Pretty poor quality, in my opinion. Falls into the classic: you can love me, or hate men (which is why lesbians are really man-haters, didn’t you know), but you cannot ignore men (no matter how irrelevant they make themselves).

Me(n)
Me(n)
Me(n)
It’s all about Me(n)!

Pretty pathetic behavior, unless you’re three years old.

Keep up the good work.

DavidByron said...

Interesting. Instead of insulting individuals you insult an entire birth group. You must be a feminist.

supersoling said...

Soling is a class of racing sailboat, former Olympic class. I have one.

Sorry DB,
but anyone who advocates ending a pregnancy with a baseball bat would be met with violence from me. I won't ever apologize for that.

Your anger is misdirected. You should focus on the society that makes it rare, if impossible for women to make equal pay for equal work. If they were payed equally then more families could make the decision for the father, or whoever is making less money, to stay home with the children. As it stands few fathers can do that now and it all comes down to wages. It has nothing to do with needing to work harder.

Curmudgette said...

keres said...

(which is why lesbians are really man-haters, didn’t you know)


I always loved Roseanne's take on that. "Hate men? Why would lesbians hate men? They don't have to fuck'em!"

Nice to see you keres. Thanks for stoppin' by.

Curmudgette said...

You know supersoling, I never knew the derivation of your nickname, and like DB, I was a little curious. Bad on me. There are a number of sailers in my family. I spent the summers of my youth at a yacht club where my grandfather raced his Lightning. But I have no talent for it. I'm a wretched sailer. Embarrassingly bad. It was always just a lot of "Get on the other side of the boat. Now the other side. Now the other side. Whoa! Watch out for the main sail. Ooohh! What are you doing in the lake?" I exaggerate only slightly.

supersoling said...

It isn't too difficult to become an adequate sailor and that's about the extent of my talent. But to compete or win in a race is something entirely different. I get by because my boat is fast. And I learned the hard way to remind myself to get to the other side of the boat and to duck as the boom crosses :o)

Curmudgette said...

Well it was difficult for me. I just don't have the knack. Fortunately I'm an ok swimmer, or I might not have survived the attempts. I was sent to sailing camp when I was a kid -- and I mean "sent." I did not choose it. It was horrible. I won one race, and was chastised by the instructor because she couldn't figure out how I'd won when I'd done literally everything wrong. The last day I managed to get stuck under a my turtled boat, nearly drowned, and had to be dragged onto another boat because I had a full-blown anxiety attack and my arms and legs went numb. Pathetic. The whole thing left me horribly traumatized. You won't see me on another boat. Probably for the best. I'm so white I'm practically clear. I do best if I shun sunlight like a vampire.

DavidByron said...

Soling,
anyone who advocates ending a pregnancy with a baseball bat would be met with violence from me. I won't ever apologize for that

Do you also support violence against people who advocate for normal abortions -- which many believe kills (not merely injures) a person? Logically what you just said more than justifies attacks on women seeking abortions and on abortion providers. Do you see how anti-liberal and violent you are?

Are you in the habit of endorsing violence to shut people up? Are there other issues where you oppose free speech and endorse a beating?

Re. Gender wage gap, like I said even the feminist groups don't bother to claim this lie ("equal pay for equal work") any more. You're just ignorant. Look it up if you don't believe me. Look it up. I challenge you to find any statement saying that women are paid whatever it is less than men for the same work by a professional feminist site.

'Mudge,
Why would lesbians hate men?

I've always found lesbians to be the feminists who are the least hate-filled and I think it is because they know how nasty women are in relationships too.

You know supersoling, I never knew the derivation of your nickname, and like DB, I was a little curious.

Ok then here's something I've always wanted to as you. Is that picture of you, or is it of Alice Roosevelt Longworth or someone else? You're not pulling an SOJ on us are you?

DavidByron said...

Oh btw can one of you two mention at MLW that thing about old MLW diaries disappearing that I posted at Mo Betta? Perhaps it's nothing but Maryscott dislikes having content vanish.

Unless this diary appears for you. I just get an error message. That link is to the diary where she announced I was banned (which I refer to sometimes but mostly use it as a link to the site instead of the homepage - which is why I noticed) But it appears to be a range of diaries effected.

It's possible she's losing content.

Curmudgette said...

davidbyron said...

Ok then here's something I've always wanted to as you. Is that picture of you, or is it of Alice Roosevelt Longworth or someone else? You're not pulling an SOJ on us are you?


Nope. Dorothy Parker. A rather recognizable shot, actually. The BC used an HL Mencken photo and I used that one, way back when we first started the blog. Two very famous curmudgeons. Certainly not intended as any deception. Funnily, there is some resemblance, but only in that shot. I really don't look like Dorothy Parker. I am not, however, pulling a soj, and I resent the implication. I assure you, I am quite female. Soj never says either way, actually. Only implies. I've been very open about the fact that I prefer to keep my anonymity. Recent events have only affirmed my instinct on that score.

DavidByron said...

I resent the implication

You are kidding, right?
You do know I was kidding, right (about SOJ)?

I'm not kidding: I'd like to know if you were kidding.

I'm having a hard time with this. It has occurred to me recently that when people are throwing all this flame around they might actually be serious about taking on an intense hatred of the other person for no other reason than because of an on-line chat.

I hope this is only a minority of cases but it does make more sense of the very odd way that people sometimes have of claiming to know that I must be in a "rage".

I always dismissed such statements as mere flame because well clearly nobody can know what someone else is feeling. Different people write differently and have different emotions plus nobody's met anyone else so there's no way to calibrate your expectations and say, "Ah yes! I recognise that when DB says XXX it is because he's in a towering rage."

But now I am wondering if the truth is that some people are genuinely afflicted with the impression that they have mind reading powers.

Or is it simple projection? Do some people see a set of words and think "If I said that it would be because I was in a towering rage" and from this conclude that the other person being exactly like them must also be in a rage?

Assigning emotional "reasons" for speech is an obvious ad-hominem way of dismissing opinions and that is the way I assumed all these remarks were intended.

Then you said:

And as far as this issue goes, you display a palpable rage against women that, frankly, makes me very uncomfortable

So I would like to know what your thought process there was. Is that just feminist-y victim-me flame? You are hinting that your delicate feminine parts are threatened by this disgusting male so as to gain sympathy you can't secure through reason and logic? The usual feminist use of sex as a weapon?

Or did you think I was actually angry?

And if the latter... why? Why are you discomforting yourself by creating a bugbear of your own imagination?


I should think this goes without saying but if I didn't see something very good in you I would not be here. Plenty of other small blogs. I've never had the slightest rage, anger, or anything but good intentions and positive expectations in anything I've talked to you about. I figured that was the default assumption anyone would respectfully have of anyone else.

Is that not true of you?

DavidByron said...

I note that Supersoling could not find any claim that women are paid less than men for the same work at the feminist site equal pay dot org.

That feminist lie has been debunked for years now. They've moved on to new lies.

supersoling said...

Wage Gaps
Listed by job description.
Source, U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2004

supersoling said...

That should be, 2002, 2003.

DavidByron said...

Those numbers don't even take into account the extra hours men work more than women. They don't even pretend to be equal work.

They don't take into account anything but a very broad job title. No experience, no length of service, no level of education, no account of willingness to do unpaid overtime or to relocate to persue promotions. No attempt to equalize for important factors like number of children or married status or any of twenty odd other factors that are known to make a difference, all of which tend to explain why men are paid more because they work more.

It's a tiny bit better than the crap you first used which was just a reference to averaging all men and all women over utterly UNequal jobs, but it's very far emoved from being a comparison of equal work.

So you couldn't find a CLAIM of equal work for equal pay at the so-called equal pay day site huh? Were you surprised they don't even make the claim?

DavidByron said...

Look at the "profession" with the biggest gap for example - physicians.

According to you men are paid almost double what women doctors are paid. Does that sound even remotely likely to you? What planet are you on that you seriosuly think that a hospital administrater looks at his roster and decides to double the pay of all the male staff for no reason at all? What administarter would not save the hospital a fortune by either only hiring women, or else only paying men as much? It's just absurd. Only a moron would believe this lie.

"Physician" covers a lot of different jobs. Some jobs are nice and pay less -- like looking after children. Nice 9-5 jobs with no blood and gore. No stress. Other physicians work 80 hour weeks in surgery and with dangerous patients in emergency wards etc.

Do you think those two should be paid identically because they can both be called "physician"?

Now guess what? Men tend to go for the higher paying specialities and women the lower paying ones. Both sexes know ahead of time who will get paid what. Women don't work as hard because they know they don't have to. Women like to take it easier in life work wise. Women don't want to be that guy working 80 hours with street gang shotgun victims. Men don't want to either but they know that men's status is judged by their earning power. it's the sexism against men that makes them comopete and enter often dangerous jobs.

But remember that it's women who end up spending all the money men earn. Women account for 80% of all consumer purchasing monies. Who's better off here? The person who works hard or the one who takes it easy and then spends the others' pay?

Gender wage gap my ass.

DavidByron said...

Re the Duke lacrosse case, I was looking over at MLW to see who had been busy denouncing them as guilty without any evidence (ie you, in this case) and came across this diary.

In many respect the prototypical feministy victim diary. You claim to have been raped but as is almost always the case you also say you remained friends with the rapist and refused to report the incident, thus by your own account making you responsible for the rape of several other women by the same guy.

This fact however doesn't appear to have particularly occured to you or anyone else in commenting upon the diary.

The only way I can make sense of this attitude is that you really didn't think it was a big deal at the time, or for that matter since then, and this is implicitly recognised at some level by your feminist audience.

Can you explain that?

How is this rape a terrible crime when it happened to you and at the same time no big deal when you allowed the same crime to be repeated, knowing you should have reported it and stopped it from happening?

Do you regret your assumption that the Duke players were guilty?

Curmudgette said...

You're a lying sack of shit, David. Nowhere in that diary or anywhere else did I pronounce the Duke Lacrosse players guilty. I have numerous times said that it was a for a jury to decide on evidence. I think you're just trying to squeeze out any small opportunity you can to berate a woman... in this case me. Only a sick, twisted misogynist would blame a survivor for the further assaults of a serial rapist. I would tell you to seek help, but I don't think there is any help for you. I think you are sadly consigned to a life of batting your head against reality in hopes of someday changing it to conform to your wishes. My husband has read several of your entries on my blog. He just shakes his head and says, "What the hell happened to that guy?" What indeed? You are so fucking weak. Going from blog to blog, trying to hit as many psychic pressure points as possible; being as offensive and abusive as you can be so that you can make women angry at you and proclaim yourself the victim. Take it up with your mother or your wife or a therapist or a dominatrix... The blog world is not going to fill the obvious, gaping, God-sized hole in your psyche. And your attempts grow more sad and desperate by the day.

DavidByron said...

Yadda, yadda, yadda.... usual flame fest from you.

You declared the young men guilty in this comment. You declared that the accuser was a "rape victim":

Because, you see, rape is the only crime for which the victim is routinely blamed. And blaming the victim is exactly what you have done.
---------------------------------

As for your complaint that I took your rape story seriously and drew the obvious moral conclusion I am not surprised that you cannot face up to it. After all you're a woman and therefore innocent of everything, right?

You had a duty to report the crime and you refused to do so because the rapist was your friend. As an easily predictable result of your inaction the rapist struck again and again. The fact is those women wouldn't have been raped if you had done your civic duty.

What I don't get is that you magnify the importance of the rapes when you are playing the role of victim female. But then you turn around and minimize their importance to nothing when someone points out the corollary.

Surely this has occured to you before? Did you never think -- say after the first rape after yours -- that maybe you should do something to prevent what happened to you happening to others?

Are you saying that these events are so emotional for you even after many years that you can't speak about them rationally? It's funny how you were perfectly emotionally able to talk about the rape when it was to score points for your concept that three white boys were rapists, but even another year later you are just not able to discuss this... Hmm.

You do seem especially angry and full of rage. At least that is how I read your increased level of vituperative remarks. No wishing me "peace" at the end of this message....

I'll remind you that if you want me to quit commenting here you only have to ask me politely. Or in your case I'll accept impolitely too!

Or perhaps you'd prefer it if I only posted when I agree with you?

Curmudgette said...

David,
The last thing I'd want to do is censor or silence you. Unless you became so profane that I thought you might create problems for me with Blogger or something, or if you put up something legally actionable, say. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the scope of my views on free speech. I believe in a public record. For instance, I recently made the point to... someone, that I was glad David Duke had not been censored. Otherwise he might have been able to fool the voters into buying his cleaned up political image. But there was a record of every ghastly race baiting thing he'd said publicly in the past, so...

I think too many people have done you a favor by sending your hate speech down the memory hole. I firmly believe that a quick Google search of your name should bring up your moronic misrepresentations of my views, your vile, deluded ideas about women as a "privileged" class, your ignorance of how the legal system works in cases of rape, your sick need to try to verbally revictimize women who've been victims of assault, your endless compassion for men who beat pregnant women with baseball bats, your blinkered view of every component of reproductive health, your narcissism, your startling ignorance of women's work and economic realities, your obsession with the pulling the wings off of insects... Ok, I'm just guessing at that last one, but you get the idea.

P.S. My husband has a theory that you are typing with one hand when you write these screeds. Care to enlighten us?

DavidByron said...

I don't mind the hate filled crap or the hypocrisy about saying "peace" at the end of a flame fest but could you cut out the sexual imagery please?
----------------------------------

And the offer was an honest one. It's not a question of censorship. If you'd rather I wasn't here then I don't want to be an imposition. You wouldn't be banning me. I wouldn't feel I couldn't ever come back some time in the future for example, or just post some link that might interest you here or whatever.

At some point I will move on anyway. You're a great diarist but there is always a law of diminishing returns. At some point I'll pretty much have your views on everything down pat. It's best to move around about every six months.

Most people do prefer to ban people because it's all about power-over and using force. Feminists, especially, love to use force on people. They'd rather ban someone than ask them to please move on. Maryscott for example. I must have told her twenty times that if she felt my presence at MLW was a problem then all she had to do was ask me to move on and I'd honour that. She never did ask me. She just banned me and then posted some shit about me. She wanted to ban me. Just for the sake of it; as a vindictive act.

Typical behaviour for feminists.

You seem to be having a hard time hearing what I am saying because you want to think of me as the asshole here. It's a courtesy. I respect you (if not all your opinions) even if you can't seem to reciprocate. So naturally I have no wish to screw you over.

Is it that hard to understand?

DavidByron said...

ps. We agree about "the Google". I altered my handle to spell it without the space just to make it easier to Google. It helps to disprove comments such as the lies you just said about me above.

Unfortunately nothing can stop liars lying about you but it does help.

DavidByron said...

Actually to change the topic for a second, I guess I am not sure about your view of free speech.

It seems like to a lot of liberals when they say they believe in free speech what they mean is they grudgingly allow people who disagree with them to have the theoretical right to say stuff but in practise they wish they'd just shut the fuck up.

To me free speech is about the efficiency of hearing multiple perspectives as a positive good. That's why I am here. I tend to assume that's why people have blogs to begin with.

So to take David Duke as the example I don't see his right to speak as only useful for later on down the line using it against him and therefore longterm reducing his ability to speak in a sense.

The value of that sort of voice is that you get to see how well such an opinion can be argued without having to fuck your own mind over with evil trash. But if you don't do either one of those things (ie listen to the arguments of bigots or be a bigot) then how do you know they aren't right and you're wrong?

The human mind just doesn't function as efficiently with trying to hold large numbers of opinions "equally" or whatever. The assurance of knowledge comes from not only seeing the validity of your own views but seeing the problems in others. You can't really know you are right until you see that the other guy/s is wrong. And you can't do that if you don't know why they do what they do.

The feminism thing for example. I know the feminist position backwards and forwards and I therefore reject it from a basis of knowledge. You on the other hand....