"Women's Issues" are "Side Issues?"

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COMMENT 199 continued:

I wanted to share this that I ran across about DSK since my last comment so that we have the same info. as much as possible: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/26/10873102-strauss-kahn-handed-preliminary-charges-in-prostitution-probe

The article talks a little more about the operation, as in how it was financed and DSK's connections and possible role. "Judges had the option of putting him under investigation for having potentially benefited from misappropriated company funds if he knowingly attended prostitute sessions paid for by his executive friends using expense accounts." The article mentions that "In itself, using prostitutes is not illegal in France."

Last, but of course not least, "The maid, an immigrant from Guinea, has insisted she was truthful about the encounter and is pursuing claims against Strauss-Kahn in a civil lawsuit. A hearing is set for Wednesday on Strauss-Kahn's claim that diplomatic immunity should insulate him from the lawsuit. Strauss-Kahn is not expected to attend."

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I never cared for that Mars/Venus stuff either, Zenzoe. I appreciate Tay's contribution, but we all evolved together, and only one little gene separates men from women. Of course, there are times when I tell people I came from Pluton, the planet where everybody is endowed with a ton of Peace, Love and Understanding, or I am a highly evolved fish called a Giant Mudskipper. That's all part of being a silly Homo Sapiens.

I think the entire DSK is disgusting. I heard that there is another progressive candidate in France who is leading in the polls over Sarkosy, and I am glad for that. I think the madonna/whore syndrome is still prevalent among large swaths of the male population, and so is the sexual plaything attitude among many males toward their female counterparts. As for me, I find my wife to be an exceptionally classy lady, with or without clothing. Of course, that perception is all in the eyes of the beholder. It is better that we men should treat women with respect in general and see them as classy, than treat them disrespectfully and see them as prostitutes.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

This weekend, I went to a Mills College event here in Honolulu. Mills graduates women who have not had to deal with the "boys" while they learn to be leaders among other leaders, and it is always a joy for me to find powerful and confident women who are not trying to prove anything or play any games with gender. All they do is do creative and excellent things. I am glad to have married one and to have sent a daughter there too. They always introduce me to the finest women around, and it makes these myths even more ridiculous and the games pathetic.

My own male pride is enhanced at getting rid of the crappy images of macho insecurity and the idea that men have to be such idiots about women. For example, in the beer ads on tv, the bimbos come off as smarter than the guys. Pathetic.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Nimblecivet, yes, it’s good to have the same info, as much as possible. And, yes, I’ve read those articles.

I’m hoping you, NC, have the same info I have too, about prostitution and human trafficking. Sometimes it helps to get a real person’s story of sex trafficking:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/06/sex-traffick-romania-britain

Then, the issue of violence against women and misogyny, in general, needs a fresh look, at just how commonplace it is. The following article covers some of the facts and myths about prostitution, who buys it and benefits from it and sex trafficking:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/07/17/the-growing-demand-for-...

I’m not convinced that women choose to be prostitutes. I’m not convinced that anyone chooses to sell her, or his, body. It’s like somebody described it in the above article: If you choose to jump from the window of a burning building, was that actually a choice? Women turn to prostitution for many reasons, but rarely because they enjoy having body-and spirit-numbing sex with many men during a day, or a week, or putting themselves under the control of men who don’t respect them. Many prostitutes were abused sexually as children. That experience can determine a child’s future in prostitution. Choice has nothing to do with it.

I remain convinced DSK’s crime is not a matter of mere lust. It’s more a matter of VIPs gone wild—power turned evil. Fortunately for him, I won’t be on his jury.

Quote Natural Lefty:
It is better that we men should treat women with respect in general and see them as classy, than treat them disrespectfully and see them as prostitutes.
Quote DRC:

My own male pride is enhanced at getting rid of the crappy images of macho insecurity and the idea that men have to be such idiots about women.

: ) for the rest of my day... thanks for that. Keeps my head from exploding from thinking about what happens to people out there.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,like i say, the Mars & Venus/divide & conquer is a 1% tactic,we are living and learning.The naked women argument is bankrupt and a distraction.Whatever DSK politics are,we should expose the 1% for what they`re. Zenzoe,i learn to respect women when i had to be man of the house at ten yrs old when my father die, and a girl beat me in a track race at 14 yrs old. I still can`t believe she won.(joke)

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tayl44
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Quote tayl44:

Zenzoe,like i say, the Mars & Venus/divide & conquer is a 1% tactic,we are living and learning.

Divide and conquer, yes. Living and learning, yes. Always.

Quote tayl44:

The naked women argument is bankrupt and a distraction.Whatever DSK politics are,we should expose the 1% for what they`re.

The 1%—naked and exposed for what they are. Always useful. ; )

Quote tayl44:

Zenzoe,i learn to respect women when i had to be man of the house at ten yrs old when my father die, and a girl beat me in a track race at 14 yrs old. I still can`t believe she won.(joke)

Wow, I'm so sorry you lost your father at such a young age. I can't imagine how difficult a time that must have been. It is tough to have to grow up so young.

I walloped a boy at badminton in high school once. Big mistake. I liked him, but he wouldn't speak to me after that. Back then, we were supposed to pretend to be uncoordinated and frail, but, especially, to build a guy's ego. I was supposed to try to lose, even at a dumb game like badminton. We didn't have many secure boys like you around, or so it would seem. : ) Of course, later, after I was married, I didn't have to pretend to lose— try as I might, I could not beat my husband at tennis. And, believe me, I tried! ; )

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I read the articles, and I am glad you posted them. I hope others read them as well.

I'm not sure if people are unaware of the issue or they just look at it as "that's the way it is." Unfortunately I have not yet run across any information about what treaties are in place regarding the extradition and prosecution of traffickers. I'm sure that information is easy to find though so when I have a chance I will look it up.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thanks, NC.

Yeah, I don't know if people care, either, nor do I know anything about treaties, etc. I do have a hard time thinking of the issue of trafficking as a "distraction" from other issues (not that you said it was). I tend to think it all fits together with the general miasma of human corruption and excess on the planet. And I don't think it's going to get any better, as long as we avoid the main problem for our species, global climate change. I mean, once the extremes of weather begin to disrupt civilization itself, you can be sure these ills will proliferate. People depend on the law for protection, and once that's gone, it's gonna get even uglier. On the other hand, maybe, with enough hurricanes, heat waves and flooding, the interest in rape and exploitation will fade; maybe they'll be too busy trying to stay afloat to bother anybody. Na-aa-aaa...never happened before, not likely to happen in the future...

Well, I continue to believe more good people exist than bad, and I know lots of brilliant people are working on these problems. We may pull through yet. :-)

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,Thanks,life isn`t easy period.The boy you beat,you also won something on life? I like girl before and more after.Yes,women was suppose to be the weaker sex than & now.For women to be more than a side issue,power respect power,women will have to risk their life for same goals as a man.And you cannot "let love get in the way",men never have that problem.(or most don`t) Can you imagine a man suppressing or abusing a women willing to be a suicide bomber for any issue? I say this to make a extreme point,a women will have to pick a place to become a "mother bear protecting her ideas". There are other men in the world to beat beside your husband and did you ever play "badminton" with him?

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote tayl44:
Zenzoe,Thanks,life isn`t easy period.

I know. Did you see Democracy Now today, the 68 year-old Marine who accidentally activated his medic alert, only to be shot dead by racist police?! http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/29/unarmed_black_veteran_kenneth_cham...

Quote tayl44:
The boy you beat,you also won something on life? I like girl before and more after.Yes,women was suppose to be the weaker sex than & now.For women to be more than a side issue,power respect power,women will have to risk their life for same goals as a man.And you cannot "let love get in the way",men never have that problem.(or most don`t)

Well, tayl, I wasn’t the athlete I thought I was back then. I also played on the girls’ softball team and thought I was pretty good, that is until we played against a team from across town made up of African American girls. Long story short, the game amounted to the likes of Venus & Serena vs. the likes of Kathy & Heidi, if you can imagine how that would go. ;-) But I didn’t really mind. I had never seen such awesome speed and talent. You could do nothing but admire it.

I suppose you’re right— power respects power, but I’ve never really been all that competitive. When I beat that boy at badminton, it was probably that I thought he was up for it; I’m normally rather protective of other’s vulnerable feelings and don’t see physical “weakness” as an opportunity to pounce. Being a bully is not my idea of something to be proud of. Not that you meant to imply that one should be okay with being a bully. I’m just picking up on the thing about power. I tend to put power at the lower end of our hierarchy of values. I’m sure you do to.

Quote tayl44:
Can you imagine a man suppressing or abusing a women willing to be a suicide bomber for any issue? I say this to make a extreme point,a women will have to pick a place to become a "mother bear protecting her ideas".

Oops! Careful there, now, tayl. The FBI may be watching... they’re not so good at metaphors, y’know. ;-) Yes to mother bears, though!

Quote tayl:
There are other men in the world to beat beside your husband and did you ever play "badminton" with him?

Contrary to rumor, I’m not really out to compete with men. I tend to be comfortable with “losing,” where I see excellence, and I don’t need to be “the best.” As for my former husband, no, we never played badminton. But he wouldn’t have minded if I did win; he wasn’t a macho sort of dude at all. I used to beat him at Scrabble. He didn’t seem to mind it—after all, he was an engineer. What do you expect?! (Just kidding!)

Truth be told, though, I have been known to be a challenge to a few men I’ve worked with who have assumed unfounded superior attitudes about their skills, especially when it was obvious they neither had my background or talent. I mean, that was when I got my dander up. Fortunately, I had higher-ups could see what was what, so all turned out well. :-) And, mostly, I'd find the men to be good sports, overall.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I love and respect Amy Goodman/DN,but i`m getting burn-out on bad news,if the world don`t start hearing some solid solutions,the world is headed for a "break-down",only God knows what form it will take.Basketball is my sport,and i admire & learn from better talent.Being a bully isn`t power,what i meant about winning something else,a future partner respect should be beyond ego.I like the joke(engineer) If you want women to be more than a side issue,you better put power to the higher end,just be better at using it.I don`t worry about "Big Bro",they better worry about a Bigger Bro call "justice". And i would imagine "mother bear's" know something about justice. You be a challenge to men,no way Jose.(joke) and most men being a good sport,again,no way Jose.Why cannot women work with other women? Have to go before you start WW4

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe in comment 185:

I saw one article that said women dominate men, by numbers, at most universities now, except the engineering schools.

I also have to wonder whether that includes the "geek" disciplines of computer science, programming, etc., after reading this article: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/03/bay-area-leads-nation-number-sugar-daddies

Quote the article:

“The stereotype, which isn’t right, is of an old and lecherous man interested in exploiting young women,” Wade said, adding that he got the idea for the site after graduating from college as a “completely shy nerd with no social skills whatsoever.”

Would it be a mere coincidence that women are underrepresented in specifically that area which is most lucrative, and then wind up turning to "sugar daddies" whose arrested state of development is all too clear from movies such as "Revenge of the Nerds?"

Here's another quote I found interesting in that I see it as more proof of my assertion that actual behavior tends to contradict artificially imposed social norms according to basic human tendencies:

Quote the article also:

“It’s a city of love, and now it’s a city of arranged love,” Wade said. “Arranged marriage is a really old concept, but at least people are arranging love among themselves and being upfront and honest.”

Not to mention that the arrangement is not permanent.

Zenzoe, I did not see your revised comments about the DSK thing until I went back looking for the above quote. I think you could serve on his jury. I didn't say though that the prostitutes in Thailand are willing, I said that the capacity for self deception means that the customers from wealthy countries who are not familiar with the conditions of poverty can fool themselves into thinking that they are. After reading the articles you provided I am more open to the idea that buying sex should be illegal. If we cannot solve the problem of human trafficking then its too harmful to encourage it.

On the other hand, since "it is what it is" if it is legal and there is some way to ascertain that woment from other countries who would take the job are doing so without being under the threat of violence then as distasteful as it is a radically liberal approach would see it as being something that should not be illegal. To make a comparison to undocumented workers in the construction trade, etc. which is already a legal trade I favor blanket amnesty. I hope you will point out any inconsistencies in my logic.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote nimblecivet:
Quote Zenzoe in comment 185:

I saw one article that said women dominate men, by numbers, at most universities now, except the engineering schools.

I also have to wonder whether that includes the "geek" disciplines of computer science, programming, etc., after reading this article: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/03/bay-area-leads-nation-number-sugar-daddies

Quote the article:

“The stereotype, which isn’t right, is of an old and lecherous man interested in exploiting young women,” Wade said, adding that he got the idea for the site after graduating from college as a “completely shy nerd with no social skills whatsoever.”

Would it be a mere coincidence that women are underrepresented in specifically that area which is most lucrative, and then wind up turning to "sugar daddies" whose arrested state of development is all too clear from movies such as "Revenge of the Nerds?"

Here's another quote I found interesting in that I see it as more proof of my assertion that actual behavior tends to contradict artificially imposed social norms according to basic human tendencies:

Quote the article also:

“It’s a city of love, and now it’s a city of arranged love,” Wade said. “Arranged marriage is a really old concept, but at least people are arranging love among themselves and being upfront and honest.”

Not to mention that the arrangement is not permanent.

I suppose one could say that anyone in an intimate relationship with a person in a higher economic bracket is a “sugar baby,” which is, in my opinion, code for “whore.” I suppose one could say that all people selling a part of themselves (accepting financial gain for “services”), whether it’s one’s body, mind or soul, are whores, both men and women. Capitalism, and the hierarchies that go with it —racism and sexism— makes whores of us all, one could say, I suppose.

All the “geeks’ I’ve known have been socially adept and perfectly capable of finding relationships, or even “mere” sex, without assistance from some website. In fact, of the geeks I know today, all would cringe with disgust at the idea of purchasing a “sugar-baby,” for real, rather than as fantasy (fantasy which may happen, for all I know). I think you have to be a misogynist at heart to go there with actual cash in hand. I mean, wouldn’t you say the inequality of such an arrangement would be rather grossly obvious?

One wonders how much of the phenomenon of sugar-daddy/sugar-baby relationships derives from an unequal, misogynist society, in general. Not that I would deny the very shy geek his pleasures and comfort, nor question his right to spend his cash as he pleases. But, I might question the implicit shy factor there. If these guys are so shy, how did they get so rich? Well, they’ve been busy, you might say. But no, I’m not buying it. I think they’ve got a certain fantasy in their heads about being a “captain of industry,” a man among men, who has certain entitlements, among them to have a sex object on his arm, a “sex object,” which is code for status object in that case. With money comes status and all the material goods that go with it: He buys a butler; he buys a Porche; he buys a woman. It’s all part of the package. The woman bestows status on such a man, just like his Porche.

As for the sugar-baby phenomenon, as to why more women don’t go into those more “masculine” fields and make their own damn money, I think we might look at what happens to girls from the get go, with the polarized socialization that our society inflicts on them. (discussed on my blog Big Lie) You might check out this short film: http://blip.tv/free-speech-tv/sexy-inc-our-children-under-the-influence-... Go into any toy store. What do you see? Watch a few ads on children’s television, or the videos marketed to children by Disney and the rest. Sure, there’s Dora the Explorer, but there are a whole lot more Cinderella and other poor-girl-marries-rich prince themes. Not that little girls don’t gravitate happily toward the princess stuff, and the decorate-your-house stuff. But, it would be nice if there were more ways for girls to try on other roles and see how those fit them.

My understanding is that even in school girls receive less positive reinforcement and encouragement for those more “masculine” interests. For example, the boys get called on more often, etc. (I’m sure there’s an article someplace, but I’m being a slacker today.). Not that the girls don’t thrive and excel in school. They do.

Quote Nimblecivet:

Zenzoe, I did not see your revised comments about the DSK thing until I went back looking for the above quote. I think you could serve on his jury. I didn't say though that the prostitutes in Thailand are willing, I said that the capacity for self deception means that the customers from wealthy countries who are not familiar with the conditions of poverty can fool themselves into thinking that they are. After reading the articles you provided I am more open to the idea that buying sex should be illegal. If we cannot solve the problem of human trafficking then its too harmful to encourage it.
On the other hand, since "it is what it is" if it is legal and there is some way to ascertain that women from other countries who would take the job are doing so without being under the threat of violence then as distasteful as it is a radically liberal approach would see it as being something that should not be illegal. To make a comparison to undocumented workers in the construction trade, etc. which is already a legal trade I favor blanket amnesty. I hope you will point out any inconsistencies in my logic.

Gosh, no. I’m not going to agree with making prostitution illegal. I kinda like the French way: Prostitution, legal; pimping, illegal. I don’t really care what people do with their body parts in private. I do care that thugs not be allowed to exploit vulnerable women.

Sweden has an interesting take on the subject: Selling sex, legal; buying sex, illegal. How that’s logical is beyond me. But maybe it works. Maybe, since you were in part convinced that making buying sex illegal was the way to go, you could explain how that would make sense. Right now, I don’t quite get how you could have prostitutes without buyers.

I wouldn’t be on DSK’s jury, because I’ve already lost the presumption of innocence there. I’m so biased, I’d be thrown off the case with the first round of voir dire.

Quote tayl44:
“Why cannot women work with other women?”

I don’t know, tayl. I don’t know that women don’t work with other women. I do know that we tend not to be as good at being teammates. And I do know we tend to compete with each other rather than support each other. But it all depends on context. I’m sure in many professions, say in law, women do mentor and support each other. I have a feeling that the more secure you are as a person, the less mean-spirited you will be. Still, given a culture that promotes women as objects, where less attractive women have less power and status —Ruth Bader Ginsberg notwithstanding!— you can’t be surprised at the snipe factor, if you will. I don’t know if that addresses your question, but there it is. ;-)

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think it is good that women's culture does not drive them into money-making at the expense of "vocation" and pursuing meaning and purpose. It is a real step up from finishing school, marriage, a world tour and home. The biggest illusion for either gender is that making less than one's spouse should be an insult or cause for shame. Useful equality is about being able to do things that matter and bring deeper rewards than the paycheck can measure.

How we judge and evaluate "power" is interesting. Money is a really bad measure of what ought to matter. But so is "bimbo power" where women have to be cover girl beauties to avoid being dismissed as 'hags' or other terms of misogyny. If "power" is the ultimate aphrodisiac, why was Bella Abzug treated as a a big-mouthed and unattractive woman? She was a powerful woman. She would have been fun to be around. Men like criminal Hank the K get by with power and a phony accent.

The women I know work very well with other women. I mentioned the Mills reception I went to last week. These women become confident without having to fight the boys to get there; and they work easily with others of either gender who will look them in the eye and remember what they have said. On the other hand, I see women who have had to fight for the right and who continue to dress for male acceptance as if it were the way to get respect. The problem with power cultures is that those on the short end internalize the messages as well as those on top. Seduction becomes part of power and status even if it is just in appearance and style and not really about getting dates. That could cause friction among women too.

BTW, Z, I caught the White Plains horror show on Amy Goodwin last night. Who gets shot really does matter. Another power culture case.

The Swedish Plan just turns the tables to make the crime about using money to debase someone else. In Graeber's measure of humanity, it is those who rip the other out of their human context who are guilty. I think this is what the law is trying to get at, but the logic is flimsy at best.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Women in general prove to be more cooperative, but not always. I tried to think of competitive games I played with girls while growing up, but it's difficult to think of any although I had friends who were girls. Perhaps gorwing up with older brothers had something to do with that. I find males to be much more competitive as a whole, although sometimes women are too, especially in the workplace. An interesting finding from developmental psychology is that a lot of men, but not women, tend to be stuck in Erikson's Industry versus Inferiority stage which is the competitive stage of the elementary school years in Erikson's theory. In other words, men tend to be endlessly competitive even though it is childish, but women tend to be cooperative. I often felt that my female graduate advisor had a strong competitive streak though, even when it meant being competitive toward me. I have noticed the overcompetitiveness of faculty members at various times. I am not that competitive-natured myself. When I do compete I try to do my best and win, but I don't believe that life is about being competitive.

I do remember that my brother and his fiance beat myself and one of my male friends at ping-pong. They were married for 21 years then had a bitter divorce, and now they don't speak to each other -- very sad stuff, and as for their ping-pong prowess in making a good team, it didn't extend to real life.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Gosh, no. I’m not going to agree with making prostitution illegal. I kinda like the French way: Prostitution, legal; pimping, illegal. I don’t really care what people do with their body parts in private. I do care that thugs not be allowed to exploit vulnerable women.

Sweden has an interesting take on the subject: Selling sex, legal; buying sex, illegal. How that’s logical is beyond me. But maybe it works. Maybe, since you were in part convinced that making buying sex illegal was the way to go, you could explain how that would make sense. Right now, I don’t quite get how you could have prostitutes without buyers.

It looks like you deleted the articles you linked to after editing your comment and I am at a different computer so I can't pull the quote about how the legalization of prostitution is certain countries resulted in increased human trafficking. But the author of that article was saying that the research indicates that the Swedish model somehow results in less human trafficking. I suppose that is due to the ability of law enforcement to pursue johns.

The Examiner "sugar daddy" article quoted the guy who ran the website (the "article" was really an ad for the website, obviously) as saying that prostitutes are "sleazy" because they are just engaging in sex acts with whoever while "sugar babies" offer genuine companionship. I suppose his idea could be compared superficially at least to the idea of the concubine or mistress where the companionship includes some kind of personal interaction like music appreciation, nice restaurants, etc.

I think in a lot of these relationships men might enjoy "handing over the reins" within a certain proscribed context where the female is supposed to embellish his awareness of things like art and the finer pleasures of life. He can thus enjoy being in a social situation where someone else teaches him about important things in a non-threatening way while he enjoys her spontaneity and how interesting she is.

I remember getting the impression from an Alice Walker novel that women actually look to men for much the same type of thing actually. In her novel "Temple of My Familiar" all the characters have jobs and so their relationships don't have any kind of power-differential in the sense of one being dependent upon the other, if I'm remembering correctly. I'm recalling a passage in which one of the female characters (I think there's a little humor here) hangs on to every note of her boyfriend's guitar solos while he is practicing. lol.

As far as capitalism making whores of us all I don't know. Some people on the upper end of things believe that the value of what they offer is worth the reward so its an equal transaction between people with very specific requirements of who can participate with each other. Capitalism may accentuate certain things that were always there. Like in pre-modern times not everyone was allowed to take a family name. The conditions of feudalism for the lowest rungs of the peasantry formed the definition of "common" with its connotiations, eg "common whore" being something of a redundancy. With low life expectancy and no control over conditions common people violated rules lifetime monogomy, racial and religious requirements for partnership, etc.

Slavoj Zizek a philosopher somewhere said something I find interesting, that capitalism accomplished a thing which the state could not: the fine-tuning of social roles according to demographics. He was talking about race, and of course that changes over time. Like it used to be more so than it is today that the woman cooks in the home but in restaurants its a man's job. And whether that man can be black or not depends. Sometimes the woman wouldn't cook if the family was wealthy but a black servant would. Today, its more like segments of the economy are delineated. Depending on local parameters, taxis, restaurants, liquour stores, construction jobs of various types will go to one racial category or another. I think somewhat the same applies to gender.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Hm-m-m... I come here, find DRC's comment, go away to write my response elsewhere (word processing), then come back to find NL's and NC's interesting posts—oye... but first...

Quote DRC:

I think it is good that women's culture does not drive them into money-making at the expense of "vocation" and pursuing meaning and purpose. It is a real step up from finishing school, marriage, a world tour and home. The biggest illusion for either gender is that making less than one's spouse should be an insult or cause for shame. Useful equality is about being able to do things that matter and bring deeper rewards than the paycheck can measure.

That’s a great point, DRC, in as much as to complain about women’s “failure” to reach parity with males by money-standards alone may be to buy into the sick values of the culture as a whole. How lovely for women to feel liberated from such values, to strive to fulfill human values instead.

However, I’m not sure about your saying it’s a “step up” from marriage and home. Not that I think women’s vistas should ever be limited to marriage and home, but I do not want to dismiss that life as being without value. After all, family has communal overtones, and I consider it essential for the happiness of the individual. I’m not the sort of feminist who wishes children to be raised apart from their parents. Therefore, I, for one, still think the housewife should also feel proud of her role, regardless of the absence of a paycheck. And besides, I can think of two house-husbands, for example, who have no reason whatsoever for feeling “unequal.” So why should housewives with children feel unequal? I certainly don’t see them as being less than their husbands. I realize that the woman’s movement tried to put them down for awhile, and the conservatives fetishize the family, but that doesn’t mean we should reject its value, just to be contrary.

Quote DRC:
How we judge and evaluate "power" is interesting. Money is a really bad measure of what ought to matter. But so is "bimbo power" where women have to be cover girl beauties to avoid being dismissed as 'hags' or other terms of misogyny. If "power" is the ultimate aphrodisiac, why was Bella Abzug treated as a a big-mouthed and unattractive woman? She was a powerful woman. She would have been fun to be around. Men like criminal Hank the K get by with power and a phony accent.

Who is Hank the K? Sorry, I’m not hip to that one. Anyway, I’ll know we’ve arrived when a Bella Abzug anchors a show on CNN. That’ll be the day.

Quote DRC:
The women I know work very well with other women. I mentioned the Mills reception I went to last week. These women become confident without having to fight the boys to get there; and they work easily with others of either gender who will look them in the eye and remember what they have said. On the other hand, I see women who have had to fight for the right and who continue to dress for male acceptance as if it were the way to get respect. The problem with power cultures is that those on the short end internalize the messages as well as those on top. Seduction becomes part of power and status even if it is just in appearance and style and not really about getting dates. That could cause friction among women too.

True, and true, and more true, but I think that sometimes a close look will reveal some complexity. Women can work very well together and be highly effective in doing so, all the while wishing for a rival’s demise—& that ol’ schadenfreude thing nobody wants to own up to. I’m exaggerating, joking, in part, but it can be true. I mean, we’re not too different from men—we’re human and suffer the same flaws that come of striving to survive in the United States of Arse.

Quote DRC:
BTW, Z, I caught the White Plains horror show on Amy Goodwin last night. Who gets shot really does matter. Another power culture case.

I know. Isn’t that just so so sickening? I cried along with his son. Couldn’t help it.

Quote DRC:
The Swedish Plan just turns the tables to make the crime about using money to debase someone else. In Graeber's measure of humanity, it is those who rip the other out of their human context who are guilty. I think this is what the law is trying to get at, but the logic is flimsy at best.

I agree with the notion of making it a crime to use money to debase someone else, but I don’t see how it would work in practice, where women essentially can sell their own debasement. Would this be an unfair analogy: What if selling drugs were legal, but buying them illegal? The pusher, legal; the addict, illegal? I’m not sure. It’s probably a false equivalency, but it sort of works. Actually, if I have to state my real preference, I think prostitution should be decriminalized, but not outright legal, so that the police and society can regulate it somewhat. If it were simply legal, then how would the police have the power to question prostitutes long enough to discover they’d been trafficked and were doing business under duress?

Quote Natural Lefty:

In other words, men tend to be endlessly competitive even though it is childish, but women tend to be cooperative.

If Erickson had never been a teen-aged girl, he'd never have known the half of it. ;-) Although, I suppose the cliquishness there could be described as "cooperation," though with painful results for those who get rejected.

Quote NL:

I do remember that my brother and his fiance beat myself and one of my male friends at ping-pong. They were married for 21 years then had a bitter divorce, and now they don't speak to each other -- very sad stuff, and as for their ping-pong prowess in making a good team, it didn't extend to real life.

There's something inherently ironic about the notion of "ping-pong prowess." And funny. But yes, the story isn't funny. My husband and I were great as a doubles team, not so good otherwise, though we managed it for 13 years. Maybe couples need an enemy, just like countries, for solidarity.

Quote Nimblecivet:

The Examiner "sugar daddy" article quoted the guy who ran the website (the "article" was really an ad for the website, obviously) as saying that prostitutes are "sleazy" because they are just engaging in sex acts with whoever while "sugar babies" offer genuine companionship. I suppose his idea could be compared superficially at least to the idea of the concubine or mistress where the companionship includes some kind of personal interaction like music appreciation, nice restaurants, etc

I don't know, NC. I suppose. But I'm not convinced concubine or mistress status would be especially liberating, or emotionally fulfilling, or good for one's self-esteem. I suppose it would work for some women.

I haven't read that Alice Walker book. Now you've piqued my interest.

Quote NC:

As far as capitalism making whores of us all I don't know. Some people on the upper end of things believe that the value of what they offer is worth the reward so its an equal transaction between people with very specific requirements of who can participate with each other. Capitalism may accentuate certain things that were always there. Like in pre-modern times not everyone was allowed to take a family name. The conditions of feudalism for the lowest rungs of the peasantry formed the definition of "common" with its connotiations, eg "common whore" being something of a redundancy. With low life expectancy and no control over conditions common people violated rules lifetime monogomy, racial and religious requirements for partnership, etc.

Slavoj Zizek a philosopher somewhere said something I find interesting, that capitalism accomplished a thing which the state could not: the fine-tuning of social roles according to demographics. He was talking about race, and of course that changes over time. Like it used to be more so than it is today that the woman cooks in the home but in restaurants its a man's job. And whether that man can be black or not depends. Sometimes the woman wouldn't cook if the family was wealthy but a black servant would. Today, its more like segments of the economy are delineated. Depending on local parameters, taxis, restaurants, liquour stores, construction jobs of various types will go to one racial category or another. I think somewhat the same applies to gender.

So so interesting. Right now I'm at a loss for words... I've been sitting in this chair too long and my buttinsky's going to sleep. ;-)

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Hank the K is Kissinger, the original "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac" source. When you look at the power geeks like the Greedspan, you long for hunks.

As a liberated house-husband and co-parent, I have learned a lot about my own dignity and worth. Being on the wrong side of denial has been a career buster, but what I have received is much better than what I might have gained. In my work, I always cautioned the love-struck that marriage was for people too crazy to do otherwise and that the only one you would ever betray would be the one who just might not run away. That and the get 60 for giving 40% relationship was the only advice I could give. The rest of the preparation was letting them tell each other the story of discovering how much they needed each other so they would trust need and not try to earn love.

My other piece of wisdom was that a divorce is better than a bad marriage. I have seen way too much honor poured down a rat hole to want to justify the effort. The kids are better off with an honorable truce. I am blessed and very lucky to be in the 4th decade of bliss, and I have not worked a day of my marriage, but out of gratitude, I have done a lot more than I would have out of obligation.

I distrust all "mistress" relationships, but not all "on the side love affairs." Power needs to be equalized and mutuality is about needing one another, not being equally 'dominant.'

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DRC
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Quote DRC:

When you look at the power geeks like the Greedspan, you long for hunks.

When I look at power geeks like Greedspan, I long for Alka-seltzer.

I wish we'd had a wise counselor like you, DRC. As it was, we were told, "Don't worry about the children; children are resilient," which was a lie, or so I discovered. Divorce wounds children deeply and unalterably. If I'd known how much they'd be hurt, the divorce never would have happened. After all, my husband and I never argued about anything (he had few opinions), which was one of my dubious complaints—"Who is he?" Ah well, it's getting late, and I say too much. Luckily, all's well with everybody. Thank goodness life is long.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I must have been suffering from amnesia last night, when I wrote #220. I do remember one opinion of his: I had a subscription to The Progressive back then. I remember I tried discussing an article with him: He said something to the effect of, "Why do you read that magazine? You're only allowing yourself to be a Communist dupe." I don't remember arguing with him about it, or standing up for myself. I don't think I could have articulated at the time just how invisible his comment made me feel. So, I guess the question must have been, "Who am I?"

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I know a number of kids who wonder what took their parents so long to get a divorce even though they had lived through a long truce, staying together for the kids. If the kids know that is why their parents are not separating, it brings a different kind of dissonance and guilt. If there is a lot of conflict, it is obvioiusly not good for them; but if there is just a dogged commitment to persisting, they don't really get the images of a adulthood that they need either.

My counsel would have been not to stay together for the children. It would also have been to explain to them why you were letting each other find a better path apart than you would have together. Your partnership as parents would not end, only change its form. Your love for them would be constant and better able to be expressed because you both would be happier people.

I would have had to know you both as people rather than dealing in the abstract; and that would apply to your children as well. Everyone is resilient if support is there. Few are tough enough to go it alone and being tough is not exactly being open to change. There is no question that divorce is not easy or superficial, but marriages that are endured leave their scars on everyone too.

Keep on evolving.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I agree that girls and women have their own forms of competitiveness. Perhaps the research has not caught up sufficiently to that fact yet, and hasn't asked the right sort of questions yet.

I find cognitive dissonance to be a very powerful and dangerous thing, especially the effort justification aspect of it. It goes a long way toward explaining why nations become involved in wars ("they are our allies; we have put a lot into the relationship, we promised to help them"), why they find it difficult to exit from wars ("we must not let our heroes die in vain"), why couples who aren't compatible get married ("He/she must be the one; I love him/her and my whole world revolves around him/her"), and why they don't get unmarried when they know the relationship isn't working ("We must make this work; we have put so much into this relationship; we must stick together for the sake of the children").

Zenzoe's comment that divorce inevitably scars the children is true. However, sometimes children are better off if the parents divorce, as when they are being abused. Fortunately, life is long and people with good mental constitutions are very resilient, so the scars of childhood can usually be overcome.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thanks, DRC. It's so kind of you to respond, and I agree with much of what you write there at #222. The thing is, I'm a little bit uncomfortable turning the focus on my personal crap (I almost came back to write, "Well, enough about me, what do YOU think about me?" You know, that old joke.), but at the same time, the personal speaks to the universal, wouldn't you say?

The question "who am I?" seems to me to be central to women's issues. If you're married with children, a stay-at-home-mom, married to a man who doesn't have enough respect for your mind to even have a conversation about politics, a man who has had the experience of testing himself in the world, and so forth, then you might not know exactly who you are, except as a role, as "wife and mother."

Then, how does a women with no access to birth control answer that question? Who is she—baby factory, non-person, one denied the opportunity to evolve as a person? (yeah, yeah, yeah, women with lots of children can have strong identities too...blah blah. Regardless, I'm sure you get my point.)

The international news recently told of a woman in Morocco who committed suicide. Why did she do it? Because in Morocco a rapist will not be prosecuted for rape, if he marries his rape victim. So, that happened to her. There she was, the "wife" of this bastard, being beaten and raped anytime he felt like beating and raping her. Who was she? Did she ask herself, "Who am I? They tell me I am nothing, but I am a woman, a person who cannot bear to live like this." Does Moroccan law consider the question, "Who are women?" at all, or do they simply rely on their patriarchal tradition that has women as things?

"Who am I?" Well, first off, I am not a thing. I am not a role. The rest should be an open opportunity for discovery, the same as for men.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Natural Lefty:

I agree that girls and women have their own forms of competitiveness. Perhaps the research has not caught up sufficiently to that fact yet, and hasn't asked the right sort of questions yet.

I find cognitive dissonance to be a very powerful and dangerous thing, especially the effort justification aspect of it. It goes a long way toward explaining why nations become involved in wars ("they are our allies; we have put a lot into the relationship, we promised to help them"), why they find it difficult to exit from wars ("we must not let our heroes die in vain"), why couples who aren't compatible get married ("He/she must be the one; I love him/her and my whole world revolves around him/her"), and why they don't get unmarried when they know the relationship isn't working ("We must make this work; we have put so much into this relationship; we must stick together for the sake of the children").

Zenzoe's comment that divorce inevitably scars the children is true. However, sometimes children are better off if the parents divorce, as when they are being abused. Fortunately, life is long and people with good mental constitutions are very resilient, so the scars of childhood can usually be overcome.

My generation might have been the first to let go of the notion, "we must stick together for the sake of the children." I'm sure that was a factor for us. Anyway, unique situations require unique solutions; what works in one case might not work in another. Everybody's different, even families. Ours wouldn't have been bad for the boys, or for me, had we stuck together for awhile longer, until they were old enough to cope. Inevitably, though, the outcome would have been the same, unless I'd managed to learn to love someone who was so different from me. I've seen that amazing miracle in others, but I don't seem to have the saintly character required for it.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It is not at all "saintly" to endure such diminishment. My outside eavesdropper intuition is that the guy who does not take you seriously as "you" is the one who is not the role model for children. Once again, the ones standing up for their humanity become the "special interests" rather than the real problem. I think your boys will do a lot better knowing you as a real woman than as "wife and mother" where that is not really you.

Learning to "love" somebody who cannot really love "you" is not worth the effort, as I see it. What it teaches the next generation is not a good thing.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I’m so glad to hear it, DRC.

Well, I must have been onto something, because now he’s married to an uber-conservative Catholic woman, and they belong to a country club and live at the edge of its golf course. I consider it validation of my instincts. But I wonder if he has ever told her he’s an atheist. ;-) (catty ex-wife stuff on my part, I suppose.)

I’m having deja-vue. Have we discussed this before?

Whatever, I’ve mentioned before how I’m partial to Erich Fromm’s definition of love: Care, respect, responsibility and knowledge. I suppose if we’re going to claim to be good role models for our children, or anyone, we’ll have to balance all of those things, or at least try. I doubt either my husband or I managed it: He did responsibility very well, and care, but he lacked the respect and knowledge; I, if I’m going to be honest here, lacked most of it. Not to be overly hard on myself, but something seemed to be missing there, as I look back on it. It was as if my soul had rendered me blind and deaf, running on unconscious drive, so that I could do the thing nobody wanted me to do. You don’t behave like that without eventually feeling the shame; we women must self-sacrifice, or we earn the shame of our non-conformity.

Quote Wikipedia on Erich Fromm:
Fromm believed that freedom was an aspect of human nature that we either embrace or escape. He observed that embracing our freedom of will was healthy, whereas escaping freedom through the use of escape mechanisms was the root of psychological conflicts. Fromm outlined three of the most common escape mechanisms: automaton conformity, authoritarianism, and destructiveness. Automaton conformity is changing one's ideal self to conform to a perception of society's preferred type of personality, losing one's true self in the process. Automaton conformity displaces the burden of choice from self to society. Authoritarianism is giving control of oneself to another. By submitting one's freedom to someone else, this act removes the freedom of choice almost entirely.

I still grapple with doubts about my choices. At a certain point, you wake up and feel safe in looking at what you’ve done. Fortunately, however, somebody must have been doing something right— my sons do well now and act as great role models for their own children. And I don’t mean to say that if one’s children have problems, it’s all your fault. I’ve just been very very lucky to come out of it all with my relationship to my sons fully happy and intact, and a sense of freedom like never before. Yowza!

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,yes your answer addresses part of the question.(culture) But in my opinion,women evolution will have to answer the other part of the question.They say "all is fair in love & war",that may be true for men,but not women.All is fair in love for women,but women don`t fight wars.Men have a history of fighting to the death side by side in war or the hunt for food,we have very strong natural reasons to work together.The first law of nature being self presevation leading to survival of the fittest,these rules shape society.As our ideas of self presevation & survival become more civilize,we can start working together as "one"! How many people believe that controlling nature is better than working with nature these days is a good idea? How many people think that controlling women is better than working with them? Only the 1% think that way,how to counter a tactic like that? To say a women is as good as a man,play into the 1% game plan,we can argue till hell freeze over about the differences of the sex's.A better tactic is "why are we making war instead of love"? And "who`s behind this divide"?? The #1 focus should be "who and why are the reasons for war between men & women"? The only reason for the gender war is "self presevation of the 1%"! Time for men & women to make love and make war on the "dividers"! Zenzoe,this question of the divide between women and men is as important as the divide between the 1% and 99%,the answers can be key to why "humans cannot work together"! Is it culture or system??

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Tay, I would put it as dominators against mutuality. When power is about winning instead of resolving, and when it is us against them, there is no reason to think of healing or what to do with or about the losers. Dominators expect the dominated to internalize "their place" and respect the victor.

Zenzoe, this applies to your sense of not being very good at the Fromm Four. You give your ex good marks for the patriarchal 'virtues' of caring for and being "responsible for," but he did not give you respect nor did he provide you with "knowledge" you could share. I would suggest that he lacked in caring for "you" instead of providing for and being 'responsible' to the duties of his position. You did not find wisdom in his authority, nor did you find him caring for what you needed as more than "wife and mother." "Spouse" is another thing. As he saw it, of course, he was being a good "husband." He was not a soul-mate.

That you were restive in this deprived and subject status does not make you lacking in caring or responsibility toward your children. I am sure you cared for and about them. You may have been working out your own knowledge rather than having wise woman status well in hand. You may have found "respect" difficult when you felt it absent from above.

Even more important, now you can give them all of the four in your grandmother years, even before they have children themselves if that is still (possible) to be. How your sons treat their wives will be better for having seen you evolve from subservience. As they see the patriarch and his new 'wife,' they will see why you could not be yourself in that role. If they think "Dad" is who they want to be, God help them.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote DRC:

Zenzoe, this applies to your sense of not being very good at the Fromm Four. You give your ex good marks for the patriarchal 'virtues' of caring for and being "responsible for," but he did not give you respect nor did he provide you with "knowledge" you could share. I would suggest that he lacked in caring for "you" instead of providing for and being 'responsible' to the duties of his position. You did not find wisdom in his authority, nor did you find him caring for what you needed as more than "wife and mother." "Spouse" is another thing. As he saw it, of course, he was being a good "husband." He was not a soul-mate.

That you were restive in this deprived and subject status does not make you lacking in caring or responsibility toward your children. I am sure you cared for and about them. You may have been working out your own knowledge rather than having wise woman status well in hand. You may have found "respect" difficult when you felt it absent from above.

Even more important, now you can give them all of the four in your grandmother years, even before they have children themselves if that is still (possible) to be. How your sons treat their wives will be better for having seen you evolve from subservience. As they see the patriarch and his new 'wife,' they will see why you could not be yourself in that role. If they think "Dad" is who they want to be, God help them.

I think I'll just sit here and bask in your understanding for now. Not really used to it, y'know. All I can say is, thank you for that, DRC. :-)

Quote Tayl44:

Zenzoe,yes your answer addresses part of the question.(culture) But in my opinion,women evolution will have to answer the other part of the question.They say "all is fair in love & war",that may be true for men,but not women.All is fair in love for women,but women don`t fight wars.Men have a history of fighting to the death side by side in war or the hunt for food,we have very strong natural reasons to work together.The first law of nature being self presevation leading to survival of the fittest,these rules shape society.As our ideas of self presevation & survival become more civilize,we can start working together as "one"! How many people believe that controlling nature is better than working with nature these days is a good idea? How many people think that controlling women is better than working with them? Only the 1% think that way,how to counter a tactic like that? To say a women is as good as a man,play into the 1% game plan,we can argue till hell freeze over about the differences of the sex's.A better tactic is "why are we making war instead of love"? And "who`s behind this divide"?? The #1 focus should be "who and why are the reasons for war between men & women"? The only reason for the gender war is "self presevation of the 1%"! Time for men & women to make love and make war on the "dividers"! Zenzoe,this question of the divide between women and men is as important as the divide between the 1% and 99%,the answers can be key to why "humans cannot work together"! Is it culture or system??

Tayl, I wonder what you think of the tactics of the Yes Men? Seems to me their ideas expose the ugliness of the 1% as well as any others. I especially liked their Dow Chemical hoax on BBC World. But my all-time favorite Yes Men commentary was their SurvivaBall: http://www.survivaball.com/index.php  Humor can be a fine, creative weapon, yes?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,i say humor is the best weapon,you can laugh to keep from crying. The Yes Men is #1 in my book too,including all the tactics you mention.I would take the tactics to another level,i try talking about "pull up your boot straps" protests.Example,all is talking about national health care,the 99% can occupy a clinic and start a single payer medical service with help from all that want a "national health care". Another idea,remember,"fight them over there rather than here"? The GOP war on women,"the women should take the war to the GOP". If republicans call women prostitutes,all women should go to them for a new line of work? You agree,fight them "over there,not here?

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote tayl44:

I would take the tactics to another level,i try talking about "pull up your boot straps" protests.

How about "pull yourself up by your own jock straps," instead?

But, yeah, it should be a women's war on the GOP. I mean, wasn't Rush projecting a bit, when he referred to Fluke as a slut and a prostitute? You have your pimps (the 1%) and whores (Republicans in Congress, and also financially-supported-by-a-right-wing-media-cabal, Rush Limbaugh). Or, I suppose you could see the 1% as the sugar daddies, and Rush, et al, as the sugar babies. Rush, as Sugar Baby. I love it.

The day Democrats propose that any man wanting Viagra must first suffer a trans-penile probe will be the day the Dems prove themselves to be as pathetically goofy as Republicans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQyUnbAo7V8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eupSzKFe5aU

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,what about this,"pull up your pants"? yes,i would say it`s pass time to go on the offensive,the 1% is running out options,war,religion,gender,race don`t work like they use too.We can take all these issues and throw them right back at them.I think a lot of democrats have already prove they`re as bad as the opposition,if not worser.What`s the 1% next option? What about a messiah for the rich,somebody out of hell come to save them from the poor? A sugar daddy messiah,i bet that`s something they can pray to beside the money god. But the best offensive the 99% can do is "Stop giving the 1% our money"!

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

How Goldman Sachs 1%ers rushed to pull up their pants (& check out the illustration of this "side issue."): http://www.commondreams.org/further/2012/04/02

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,when the light of truth come on the 1%,it will make organize crime look like "nothing"! Because they made it "legal"! Thank God for "universal laws",that when broke,there is "justice to pay".

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Did anyone else notice that Aung San Suu Kyi was one of the winners of the elections in Burma?

The three basic components of the platform she stands on are:

1) Rule of Law

2) End to ethnic conflict (outlying tribes such as the Karen)

3) Respect for the constitution

I'm not sure what their constitution is like but I'm guessing that this dovetails with the concern that this election will initiate an ongoing democratic process.

I wonder if the buddhist character of the people accounts for the fact that a woman can be elected in the context of such dire circumstances. As far as why it took so long for her to take her rightful place, it seems that for some reason China has pulled back from the regime.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It is not such news there to have a woman elected to anything. She is a celebrity superstar in Burmese politics, and her election does undermine the dicator/generals who like to elimnate their opponents. It's a family affair.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I assume y’all saw Amy Goodman’s coverage of Su Kyi on April 2? (I can’t find the full transcript.) I only knew her name and basic details about her before that show, which is yet another reason I love Democracy Now! The interview didn’t cover, as far as I can recall, if Buddhism played a part in her popularity. One thing that was mentioned, however, was that the people in Burma appreciated the sacrifice she made in leaving her family in England —husband and children— to devote herself for so many years to democracy there, even choosing not to return to England during her husband’s terminal illness. As I listened to that part, I couldn’t help thinking about what DRC said to me about how my being “restive” did not mean I didn’t love my children, and I wondered if he would extend such understanding to Su Kyi. Personally, I can’t imagine leaving my kids for such a long time, but then, I’ve not been blessed with her particular talents, either. I never had an entire, oppressed people needing my help! Nor do I have the encouragement of that kind of charisma.

Also today, after reading tayl’s comment at #235, and wondering about the implications there, then wanting a new way to describe the masculinist spirit that informs so many of our problems, I came up with the word, hominist. But, naturally, I had to search it first before I could use it, which brought me to this:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hominist&defid=388995

Oops. Not exactly what I had in mind! Eeesh! (Sorry ‘bout the crude.)

Speaking of crude, please check out the following, a video that puzzled me the first time I saw it. I’m thinking it must be some sort of white-guy parody of sexist rap music (music which I realize is not all sexist), ‘cause I can’t imagine anybody actually being such a dumbass:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqXi8WmQ_WM 
Could somebody please explain it to me? What’s funny about it?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,the video is a "mating song" in today's world.Young people use words that was offensive to us,in the reverse,like "he is my dog",mean he is my best friend.I could imagine the ladies could come up with a video even more "dumbass".I think it`s progress? That`s what make it funny.

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

After viewing those materials I fervently hope for an imminent large-scale natural disaster to sweep america.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote nimblecivet:

After viewing those materials I fervently hope for an imminent large-scale natural disaster to sweep america.

LOL!!! It's our only hope. I asked my son what he thought about the YouTube "music" video. He just said he couldn't stomach it and stopped it after the first few lines.

Quote tayl44:

Zenzoe,the video is a "mating song" in today's world.Young people use words that was offensive to us,in the reverse,like "he is my dog",mean he is my best friend.I could imagine the ladies could come up with a video even more "dumbass".I think it`s progress? That`s what make it funny.

Tayl, I appreciate your responding so honestly, but "mating song?" I hope you'll think again on that one. But let me see if I understand what you mean. I'd like to know whose mating song would it be? Who gets turned on by that? How could "women are stupid, and I don't respect them" mean "I love and respect women;" and how many young women do you suppose would be attracted to a guy who insults and degrades them? How many women would take such insults as compliments?

Here are Jon Lajoie's lyrics to the song, "Show Me Your Genitals." To my mind, these lines only make you laugh because they're so bloody stupid.

"Women are stupid, and I don't respect them,
That's right, I just have sex with them,

Show me your genitals, your genitals,
(What!)
Show me your genitals,
(Your genitalia!)
Show me your genitals, your genitals,
(What!)
Show me your genitals,
(Your genitalia!)

You're talking to me about stuff, why?
I'd rather see your titties,
Now you're talking to me about other stuff, why?
I'd much rather see your titties,

I can't have sex with your personality,
And I can't put my penis in your college degree,
And I can't shove my fist in your childhood dreams,
So why're you sharing all this information with me?

It's not sexist 'cause I'm saying it in a song,
That's right bitch, now take off your thong, and...

Show me your genitals, your genitals,
(What!)
Show me your genitals,
(Your genitalia!)
Show me your genitals, your genitals,
(What!)
Show me your genitals,
(Your genitalia!)

Knock knock, who's there?
It's me, wondering why you're not naked,
Knock knock, who's there?
Me again, still wondering why you're not naked,

I wanna see your bum, I don't care what you say,
No I don't have feelings, 'cause feelings are gay,
Something something in the month of May,
Bitches love my penis 'cause it's really big,

Girl's brains are much stupider than men's are,
So they should always listen to us, 'cause we're smart,
Women are only good for three things,
Cooking, cleaning, and vaginas,

Show me your genitals, your genitals,
(What!)
Show me your genitals,
(Your genitalia!)
Show me your genitals, your genitals,
(What!)
Show me your genitals,
(Your genitalia!)

I can give good sex to you,
'Cause I'm really good at sex,
I can give good sex to you,
'Cause I'm really good at sex,

Aww yeah, that's right,
Shake your...bums,
I'm out of here,
I gotta...go have sex with a lot of girls."

Oye.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,i`m 61 yrs old,i feel the same as you do,but i remember what`s like to be young and "kill everybody over thirty" . Every generation have "their ways" of rebelling. I could imagine being high on whatever and playing that video at a party,talk about LOL,they would have to call rescue! And than imagine what happens after all the laughing?? The only way to get the young to act as the older's,an example have to be set.So far,the 1% is setting a pretty good example! We had the so-call sex revolution,this generation is having a revolution againt the whole mating process,the definition of love is changing.Why? Because capitalism & communism cannot support a relationship,reason being they`re failures. Two wrongs don`t make a right.

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Hm-m-m...yes, tayl, I remember the rebellions of my youth. I remember how annoying adults were, from that perspective. But I also remember how clueless I was, how vulnerable, and how my father clued me in to a few realities and protected me from disrespect by boys. (Most of the boys I knew back then were respectful, though. Can that be said today? I'm not so sure.)

Who protects young girls today from the increasingly commonplace sexism they face? On the one hand, you seem to say this young male sexism should be accepted as a "revolution;" on the other hand, you seem to imply responsibility for this changing "definition of love" lies with "capitalism & communism." I'm not following.

But, still, you didn't answer my questions about the attitude in the song. The reason I asked is this: The song relies —if it is indeed a "mating song"— on the myth that women like to be abused, or are turned on by abuse. Surely this guy feels confident in his attitude, because he believes the myth. But who can blame him? Everything in the culture supports the myth, especially pornography.

I girl might be attracted in her teens by the "bad boy" image. But once she discovers just how selfish these guys are, sexually and every other way, if she has any brains and self-esteem at all, she'll gravitate toward men who treat her with respect, that is, grown-ups.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,i will try to explain starting with the big picture.Starting a family base on capitalist & communist economics will have a very good chance of failure,because both systems are "failures".Would you agree? When a system is failing,all its standards are going down,from civil to sciences.Plus,you have the criminal 1% using "divide & conquer" of lower standards,from climate change to racism,etc..Would you agree? The young will have all the more to rebell in a failing system,its the reason for the "attitude" in the song,in my opinion.Women who understand the anger at the divide & conquer and failure of the system can do the same kind of song to turn a negative into a positive.Calling the song a mating call is making a joke of the real life mating call of "life of love in a fail system". Remember when jeans wasn`t allow in certain situations? Our generation change all that,this generation is changing the "bum look"! When we older hear rap and etc..,we shouldn`t take that stuff to heart,most of the young don`t want live that way,they`re just telling it like is.We don`t understand that,we really lose them.All they want is a system that can "support love & family".Hope i having lost you?(joke)

tayl44's picture
tayl44
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Lost me? No way, José. But I'm going to have to come back later to try to respond more fully.

I do think you're the most persistent person I know. If you were a dog, I wouldn't want to take your bone away from you. ;-)

Speaking of dogs, once, when my kids were small, I burned —to hard crisps— a batch of the morning's pancakes. Our dog, Arlo, was right there waiting for scraps anyway, and so I put him in the back yard and the burned pancakes in his bowl. Well, he did eat the first one. But then he buried the rest. I loved that dog.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,when i have a good bone,please leave me alone.Your dog Arlo,show "true love",what did the kids do?(joke)

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Tayl, you haven’t lost me, at least not entirely. If I understand, you’re saying we cannot expect young people to reflect anything but society as it is. A sick society produces sickness, plain and simple. Anyway, if that’s what you’re saying, I agree.

The problem is, young people who think a music video such as “Show Me Your Genitals” is funny, or cool (many young people do not) are not “telling it like it is.” Perhaps they reflect society as it is —crass, commercial, materialistic, sexist, empty, meaningless, callous— but they’re not telling it like it is for them, individually, behind the bravado. I think you see this too.

Simply put, I don’t think it’s honest. It’s a cover-up. It’s not a rebellion against the previous generation; instead, like much of adolescent posturing, it’s an act driven by insecurity, self-doubt and inexperience. I have a feeling that if our Genitals guy (who is too old for the attitude) were to come clean, so to speak, we’d witness something quite different. It would be something like, “I feel stupid and I get no respect...It’s scary to feel, ‘cause I might look gay ...get close to a woman, I can be hurt... I get scared and angry; I might lose control, might be humiliated ...being a pig helps me deny... I long for myself, my own tenderness... but it's something only weak, inferior females should have, not real men.”

The thing is, Tayl, they’re already lost. And, where sexism exists in rap music, I do take it to heart. Or, I take it seriously. It drives out all the poetry and life and eros and joy and sensibility and all things tender and truly erotic from the lives of the young who consume it. As cocaine is to the body, sexist rap is to the soul— take in enough of it, and you’re gonna get sick. (Notice I didn’t say all rap, just the sexist kind.)

The whole damn society longs for real poetry; and I don’t mean kitsch, or silly rhymes, or sentimental love songs. But I do mean sentiment (There’s a difference between sentimentality and sentiment, in my opinion.). Soon, even the Repugnants will grow sick of their own crass, anti-democratic, kitschy cruelty. Isn’t that what the so-called war against women is all about? They’re so lost to themselves, so invested in the taboo against knowing who they are, they want to do everything in their power to keep women “feminine” (powerless and humiliated) i.e., keep “femininity alive” (and not in the Republican Party), because it is absent inside themselves. As long as the Feminine resides alone in women, it won’t be alive in their policies. A place for everything and everything in its place. Right?

Sexist rap is right-wing and conservative, not some liberal, rebellion thing. It is just as invested in depriving women of power and equality as is the Republican War on Women. Don’t kid yourself. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s about sex; it’s not, just as rape is not about sex. And, as far as women who insist on equal rights are concerned, it’s all the same to us. And, believe me, them’s fightin’ words.

Quote Susan Griffin:
In the midst of terror, the myth of Psyche and Eros gives us a map through our own souls back into a state of joy.

As for your comment at #246, tayl, yeah, I guess he liked those pancakes well enough to save them for later. And the kids? They laughed with me, and that’s true love too. :-)

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yesterday I was taking a little walk for some excersise and came across a little rally the unions were having on the front steps of City Hall. They were advocating for more jobs to be created by the opening of a hospital in San Francisco. Also at issue is keeping open a hospital called St. Lukes that typically serves the underpriveleged. The construction trades were represented but I took a flier from someone representing the California Nurse's Association. I didn't see any of them on the steps so I'm not sure how closely they are working with the trade unions. Anyway, from the flier:

Quote Mary Michelucci, RN with "39 years of service":

I am disgusted that CPMC would easily sign a contractt with the trades unions, but the unionized nurses at St. Luke's and the California Campus are given no consideration! Why would an almost all-male workforce be afforded union protections, but not an almost all-female nursing workforce? Additionally, in this deal, there are no transfer rights for nurses to the new facilities. This project is supposed to be about jobs, but it appears only for construction, not for current CPMC employees, and especially not for nurses."

Quote Susan Blaschak, RN "30 years of service":

CPMC {the new hospital being built} has demonstrated a resistance to maintaining an adequate number of beds for the underserved population south of Market that receives care at St. Luke's Hospital. Without the advocacy of my union along with many other community and healthcare activists working together, St. Luke's would have already been closed by CPMC. Unions are extremely necessary when dealing with corporations in healthcare, and we, as nurses, need to maintain our union status here in San Francisco.

I mentioned the ongoing process involved in this new hospital being built in one of Natural Lefty's threads. Its suppossed to be some process where all the stakeholders get together and forge an agreement. The hospital could be built without the consent of the unions of course, but the other parties have an interest in gaining their consent because this is one of the last vestiges of unionization in the private workforce that has control of the labor market of this sector. I assume this mean that the agreement reached will be legally binding is such a way that if the nurse's unions are not able to get their demands met (including the recognition of "card check" at this workplace that would have been instituted as the nationwide standard under the apparently dead-in-the-water "Employee Free Choice Act") then they would not be able to strike, etc. once the hospital is up and running and the agreement has taken effect. Notice also how keeping St. Lukes open in the face of the CPMC being built increases the total number of jobs in San Francisco while ensuring at least the level of care afforded by St. Lukes to the underserved.

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nimblecivet
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Despite all the accusations of me being 'muddled' coming from those that ignored my point, I do think that I asking a clarifying question that is coming to the Supreme Court in a real world context is pertinent to this issue. In Fisher vs. The University of Texas, it's a female that is now going to claim 'reverse discrimination' in an 'affirmative action' scenario. I excerpted out some comments from Paul Burka's Texas Monthly article on the case here:

....The concept of affirmative action dates back to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and it is built upon a paradox. It employs a measure of inequality today in the hope of achieving greater equality in the future. Back in the sixties, the hope was to level the playing field and help make up for the disadvantages encountered by members of particular minority groups, who had been discriminated against for generations. No one dreamed that, just a decade or so later, affluent white students would claim that they were victims of reverse discrimination.

But that's the argument that Abigail Noel Fisher, a white applicant to UT, is making. She was an eighteen-year-old high school senior in Sugar Land when she applied for admission in 2008. At Stephen F. Austin High School, she ranked 82nd in a graduating class of 674 students and earned a grade point average of 5.11 out of 6.0. Her application cited numerous extracurricular activities and volunteer efforts. In short, she was the kind of student most colleges would be happy to have on their campuses. Instead, UT turned her down, even though it had accepted less-credentialed minority applicants.

If you agree with the premise of affirmative action, when it comes to government playing favorites in such cases, who is to be considered in a 'more favorite' position, minorities--or women? I just wanted some clarifying remarks on just how this was to work in the real world--and this case points out one of the problems with it. When government 'plays favorites', who decides who gets 'most favorite' status--and why?

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Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I doubt you have studied how admissions works or what role the HS GPA plays in an over-all attempt to have a good learning environment. Do you know that a number of students get admitted to better schools than the ones that turn them down? It is a bit of a crap shoot for the applicant, and colleges have learned the value of a diverse student body. It may well have been that there were too many just like her in the pool.

When government does nothing to correct structural and inherited inequities, it also plays favorites you know. When poorly funded urban schools have to compete with rich suburbs, government "plays favorites." When we get to liberty and justice for all, you can lead the Kumbaya Chorus, Kerry. Until then, stop being such a jerk about affirmative action.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

That, of course, as usual coming from the great 'community interest minded man of God' that you claim to be, ignores the point I make here. And, like the gnostics, I do agree that ignorance is the ultimate sin. And, I am now understanding that there are two types of ignorance: one is the ignorance in lack of knowledge and, the other, is the ignorance despite the knowledge. The ignorance despite the knowledge is the one that I suspect Jesus would have applied to the hypocrites--the only persons Jesus ever spoke against. And, Jesus, the man of love and peace, did speak against hypocrites....

And, especially coming from a government supposedly 'of, by and for the people' that stipulates 'equality before the law' and 'all men (and women) being created equal' offering the same position to some without using the same judgment as with others is the epitome of a hypocritical stand....despite the knowledge--and rational assessment--that would refute it.....that such a government's premise is based on 'equality'--but, paradoxically, applied 'unequally'....

Who's 'muddled' here? Or does that accusation even require a rational assessment in your world? Your so-called 'new world paradigm'.....and, now that I'm on it, tell me once again how you want to 'rehabilitate' the DNA-proven child rapist-murderer but 'punish to the fullest extent of the law' the 'hate criminal'.....

Fisher vs. The University of Texas. In the interest of affirmative action, which way should the Supreme Court decide?

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Currently Chatting

The GOP war on workers has killed again...

It’s time to stop the conservative's war on working people in America.

Since the birth of our nation, conservatives have always been wary of average working-class Americans having too much political or economic power. John Adams, the second President of the United States and a Federalist (precursor to today’s Republicans), was very wary of the working class, which he referred to as “the rabble.”

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