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December 06, 2004

Comments

JM

Indeed, the $10M difference in the payout between Rose and Holiday would have done quite a bit of renovating for that stadium. Not that one should thumb one's nose to $4M, but still...totally not cool.

I do think that being classy vs not being classy was their downfall...although they did play like crap the first half against So Miss, it was classy not to run up the score. Example of classlessness: Texas coaxh Mack Brown stumping for votes on national TV last week.

Miranda

It makes me angry, too-- and sad, and disgusted. I too wonder how on earth Dana could stay with Steve. Health-- physical *and* mental/emotional/psychological-- is the most important thing. If you're not crazy about how your significant other looks, find a way to deal with it or find someone new-- don't torture them. That sort of treatment from your significant other carries a lot of weight, with huge potential to hurt. This can't be good for either of them, but especially Dana-- gosh, my opinion is unsolicited, but I really think she should consider finding someone who helps validate her and gives her strength. Isn't that a sizable part of what relationships are about?

I think banning him from the mountain is an excellent idea.

zuzu

Wow. What control issues.

JM

Oh, and about that cad (which is way too polite), can you look into just having him banned from _California_ ?

Hugo

Well, on the Mt. Wilson trail there are some fairly steep drop-offs... a fella could fall a long way and never be found. ;-)

lorie

Maybe next year for the Rose Bowl - personally, I'm going for a Cal-Northwestern RB. A girl can dream, right?

Incidentally, we had a similar slight in 2000, although not by the BCS. As tri-Big 10 champs, we should have gotten a bid to the Citrus or Outback Bowl (depending on how the math shook down); instead, we were passed over by BOTH bowl selection committees and got a bid for the Alamo Bowl. Most reasoned that OSU or Michigan would sell more tickets and be a better media game than NU - we were furious. As it turned out, though, we ended up having the best time of all in San Antonio, as the weather was perfect and the people were wonderful all week. Meanwhile, it rained cats and dogs all week in Florida. :)

thad

Here's a Texan chiming in to say that Cal got the shaft. I'm not typically prone to extend much sympathy toward the Pac-10, but, after having watched both Cal and Texas play a few times each, I believe Cal is the better team. I'm also not usually inclined to give much credence to claims of West Coast bias, but Cal seems to have a multi-layered case for it. JJ Arrington will, in all likelihood, receive fewer Heisman votes than Cedric Benson, the star Texas running back, despite having a superior season by most any measure.

Among all but Longhorn faithful (and even among some of them), Mack Brown is known as a used car salesman of the highest pedigree. Looks like his pitch works on poll voters as well as it does on 18-year old athletes.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a graduate of Texas A&M; Texas is our biggest rival. That said, I believe all of this about Cal's superiority despite my Aggies having lost to the Longhorns. We also benefited from Texas getting the BCS bid, as it caused us to bump up to the Cotton Bowl (the Holiday would have been A&M/Arizona State had Cal made the BCS). So, no, I'm not a Texas fan, but I'd have plenty of cause to claim they are better than Cal. I just don't think they are.

Anyway, few of us care for the Red Raiders either, so work them over in San Diego, eh?

Amanda

I think it's just difficult for women to realize how thoroughly cruel it is for a lover to monitor her weight. After all, the rest of the world does it. I allowed previous boyfriends to complain about 5 pound weight gains because I had gotten used to my parents complaining about it when I was a teenager.

La Lubu

Mesca! Weekly weigh-ins?! And Steve isn't wearing that scale, in a manner that would make running quite uncomfortable?!!!

Naahh, there's something more going on here than him wanting a girlfriend that's rail-thin. This one's all about the control. He's a runner, right? Lives in Southern California? Probably has joined running groups similar to this one before? And has probably run all over the damn place? He's met plenty of skinny women....he doesn't want them. He wants an outlet for control freak/passive-aggressive behavior.

Dana can easily lose about 150 or so pounds of ass by dumping Steve.

Jeff JP

It would be really interesting to hear Steve's side of the story. Of course that would take all the wind out of the sails of those who want to dismiss him as a "cad," and ban him "from joining us on the mountain." After all, "Steve" is just a man, so he is presumed guilty of malfeasance unless he proves otherwise.

On the other hand, "Dana" is a woman, so she must be telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, right? She chooses* to stay in a relationship in which her boyfriend allegedly "asks her to submit to weekly weigh-ins as a condition of [his] remaining in the relationship." (emphasis in original) However, that choice doesn't seem to matter much to those here who...

--bash Steve and call him a "cad";
--accuse Steve of having "control issues;"
--suggest that he be "banned from _California_";
--jokingly imply that Steve could be subjected to physical harm by the so-called running "posse" ("a fella could fall a long way and never be found");
--accuse Steve of "control freak/passive-aggressive behavior"; and
--call Steve an "ass."

* The original posting did not allege that Dana lacked free will and the opportunity to choose whether to stay in the relationship.

The blatant hypocrisy of these rather nasty comments is really quite stunning for several reasons. First, those who made these comments are basing them solely on multiple layers of hearsay. "Steve" has not posted anything here. He hasn't even been quoted. It's interesting that so many who claim to support equality will mindlessly take the woman's side of the story as being true without hearing the man's side of it. Hell, none of the people who posted here even raised that issue as a concern. That alone is telling.

Second, whatever happened to liberals' love for "diversity," "inclusion," "multiculturalism," and "tolerance"? These words name noble virtues. When we truly live by them, we sparkle with all the best humanity has to offer.

However, here, I see demands for uniformity, exclusion, sectarianism, and intolerance. Moreover, the misandry that appears in this thread--and throughout this blog, for that matter--flies in the face of the so-called "equality" that so many commenters here claim to value.

In addition to being very poorly informed about Steve's point of view (whatever it may be), the comments here evince no interest in entering into a reasonable dialogue with someone who holds his point of view. The words are sharp, the condemnations swift, but conspicuosly absent are any sensitivity as to why men might be concerned about their wife's or girlfriend's weight. The self-righteous smugness has no interest in even raising that question.

La Lubu

Jeff JP, do you have reading comprehension problems?! "Why men might be concerned about their wife's or girlfriends weight?" Dana can run eleven miles on hills. Any "health" oriented concern is nonexistent. Unhealthy, out-of-shape people cannot run eleven miles on a freaking mountain.

Look, I AM a woman. And I've been through this. Not the daily weigh-ins, but similar situations like the kind Amanda mentioned. I had parents who shifted from encouraging me to eat, eat, eat as a youngster, to warning me of impending morbid obesity if I went for a second helping. I got practically daily reminders of how "fat" I was destined to be if I "kept that up", because my mom was only 105 when she got married, and I had already ballooned up to 115 pounds by the age of fifteen (uhh...ma is shorter than me by three inches, has narrow shoulders and nonexistant hips. me, I inherited the narrow hips, but otherwise am a mesomorph. My dad turned me on to weightlifting when I was around fourteen, because I already had the build for it. Didn't stop him from piling toxic body-issue messages on, tho'). Had a husband once who would vary his body issue bullshit on me, from telling me what a fat, ugly hog I was (5'5", 120 pounds, size five jeans), to telling me I wasn't a "real woman" because I wasn't built like the sexy, full-figured actresses from the sixties (like Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, etc.). F all of that!

See, I'd'a probably had major body issues, if I didn't have that strong rebellious streak in me that gravitates toward telling other people to kiss my ass if they don't like the looks of it. I've got the "v" shaped athletic build, and I've still heard all kinds of comments about my weight and/or shape. Which leads me to automatically assume that when a man is making an issue out of his girlfriends weight, and meanwhile she's merrily running eleven miles up and down a mountain, the ass problem is between his ears.

I'd LOVE to hear Steve's side of the story. It's a free, wide-open Internet. Let him come here and defend himself, you know?

You have had the privilege and luxury of never having to deal with this. All the women here have. All of us. Even the thin ones, even the ones who work out. All of us have had our bodies critiqued to the last detail, even by total strangers, who feel free (because hey, isn't that why women's bodies exist?) to say ridiculuous crap out loud and not even have the good sense to be embarrassed for themselves. (and don't even get me started on the nonsense that gets laid on pregnant women!)

Yep, Steve can show up here anytime. More than welcome.

Hugo

Oh, and I had so hoped, Jeff, that you would see me "sparkling" today with "the best humanity has to offer."

Please, what am I missing about why a man should be concerned about his girlfriend's weight, given that she is a fit runner? Other than health -- and most folks in this debate probably could not keep up with Dana -- what other concern of his do you consider even possibly legitimate?

And if you think "cad" is a word of intolerance, brother Jeff, I assure you that it was a word chosen with restraint on my part.

Cheers.

DJW

Jeff, for the record, based on what we know, I'm a bit troubled by Dana's decision to put up with this. It seems like a mistake to me.

Now that that's out of the way, let's look at the scenario. The party of the first part makes an outrageous and offensive request. The party of the second part tolerates this behavior. Both, to my mind, are errors. But doesn't it stand to reason that the first error is the greater one, the one more worthy.

And Hugo didn't point this out, so I will. It's not misandry that leads me to call out the likes of Steve, it's the opposite. Those of us who love our fellow men dislike seeing them succumb to the worst ugly stereotypes of typical masculine behavior.

Finally, good liberal that I am, I believe in inclusion, tolerance, and all that good stuff. Nothing about any of these values suggests that when people act like thoughtless jackasses, we should refrain from pointing that out.

djw

Let's complete our sentences, shall we?

But doesn't it stand to reason that the first error is the greater one, the one more worthy...of criticism?

La Lubu

X-ackly, djw. And like Amanda pointed out, Dana probably doesn't realize just how bad this behavior is, if she's heard it all her life.

And I'm more than willing to hold a reasonable dialogue with someone who holds a different point of view. But not every point of view. There are some points of view that are simply not worthy of engaging! Steve's issue is one of them.

See, most people grow up with some home training. We learn at an early age to stifle farts and belches if possible, and say 'excuse me' if one slips out. We learn to cover our mouths when we cough. Not pick our noses or teeth in public. And not to point, stare or laugh at people who look different (say, for instance, "fat"). And so on.

And this we do. We go on about our business in public refraining from rudeness to strangers. Most of the time, even from strangers who deserve a little rudeness returned to them. And we call that "being mature".

So, how does this home training get so garbled when it comes to our own family, or significant others? Because I don't think that even if Steve knew we were talking about him (his ears should be burning), he would come here and try to defend himself. Not because he'd be afraid of being shouted down (which he would be), but because he already knows this behavior is wrong. I doubt very seriously that he would treat a stranger this way.

And that Jeff JP, is the real issue here.

joe

Of course, Dana is the only one with the alibi. Steve could have also had a long life of abuse/ mistreatment and this might be the only way he knows to act—but let’s not give him any sympathy for that. For some reason he is the only one culpable and I might take a guess on this, but in fear of being labeled the likes of a misogynist. Steve may be in greater error, but I think Jeff has a point on there being at least one other side to the story and I do fear it might make Dana partly responsible.

joe

Then I thought, no it is probably best to ostracize Steve so he can continue with his maligned behavior, wouldn’t want him in the presence of good folk. Instead, continue to comfort Dana and by the way reinforce her cowering conduct so she is well prepared for the next jackass that comes along.

zuzu

I'm trying to picture what kind of abuse leads to micromanagement of a girlfriend's weight.

There is a HUGE divide between being "concerned" about your girlfriend's weight and having her submit to weekly weigh-ins.

That she actually does submit to them instead of telling him to fuck off is an entirely separate issue which does not negate the control-freakish behavior on Steve's part.

Let's remove this from the male-female context and try to think of it in, say, an employer-employee context. If you were the employee asked to submit to weekly weigh-ins (or having your bathroom breaks timed or your chair settings micromanaged) as a condition of employment, even if your weight/bowels/chair settings were of absolutely no cause for concern based on past performance, and in any case were irrelevant to your job function, wouldn't you feel that your employer was asserting control over you?

Amanda

Being abused doesn't give you license to abuse.

I do imagine that if she demanded he measure his penis and hand over the measurements, length and width and then kept track to see if it was growing, you all would say, "Maybe she was abused."

La Lubu

Alibi?! Dana has not wronged Steve because she is a bigger size than he prefers; rather, Steve is wronging Dana by haranguing and insulting her, thinking that if he can just make her feel bad enough about herself, that she'll magically become smaller.

Do I think she should stay with him? Hell no! In fact, I already said that. And if I knew her, I would say that in person. And no, this isn't just a minor social gaffe on Steve's part; I think this speaks to larger issues of entitlement and disrespect.

My sympathy is with Dana; Steve can find my sympathy between shit and syphilis in the dictionary. I don't think Steve is going to change. Then again, I'm not a gambler.

And again, back to the home training. Steve wasn't making running commentary on Dana's body with the rest of the group on the mountain....he had enough home training not to do that. He keeps the ugliness for behind closed doors.

Am I making a judgement call? I sure am. I believe Dana. Because I've been there. I've been treated the way Dana has.

With that said, I have to ask both you, Joe, and Jeff JP, why do you feel the need to jump to Steve's defense? Have either of you treated a woman you cared for the way Steve has treated Dana? Do you really feel that he is being misunderstood? Do you really think it's possible for an obese woman to run eleven miles on mountainous terrain?

Hugo

Yes, joe, I want to know how Dana might be responsible for the weigh-ins. I think she can do better too, and she may be responsible for her decision to stay with him -- but help me to understand what could justify Steve's behavior, given that health is already off the table.

joe

First, I am not like Steve. I had no roll models that instructed me in such behavior. Both of my parents are over weight/ obese (though neither when married) and I cannot recall one or the other ever jokingly making comments about the other’s weight. If a label is needed one could say my mother was sort of a feminist—she made all her boys do all the house and gardening work—I remember standing on a stool to do dishes. In a nut shell, she was very independent and took care of nearly all the business around the house—like the stereotypical father would. I imagine Steve’s behavior is learned, from who one could only guess: dad, male friends, football team, etc. I have some uncouth behavior and am over critical about many things; but, as may be the case with Steve, I can say most assuredly I learned this from my mother. But the thought of Steve’s mother weighing in his dad probably never occurred to some of those commenting.

Dana should take some of the heat for Steve’s behavior. It is one thing when a person is being wronged and has no idea of it happening or it’s beyond one’s ability to control the mishap, I cannot see much—if any blame given to the victim in these cases. Steve did confront her with an unreasonable request and she had every opportunity to respond with a “no”. Some commentators want to blame this on a learned behavior; unfortunately, Steve doesn’t have the same recourse. Steve’s behavior could have been undermined had she simply said “no”. Again, Steve’s request is wrong, but it is only fulfilled by her saying yes.

What is puzzling to me; if Steve’s conduct is a direct result of outside influences why ostracize him? Why not bring him into the fold and give him an opportunity to change—to learn how to be different. Think of all the subversive lessons you might be able to teach him if he were around “better” people. Is he beyond redemption?

zuzu

Joe, so you would hold Dana responsible for Steve's behavior because she should have told him to go to hell, but you'll excuse Steve's behavior because it was a direct result of outside influences?

Either way, you're shifting the burden of responsibility for Steve's behavior away from Steve and onto others.

Again, think of this in a non-gendered way. Would you blame the employee for the employer's behavior because the employee didn't quit?

joe

I said: "Dana should take some of the heat"
some!

Someone else insinuated that Dana's ability to say "no" was based on past conditioning. why is steve's behavior not based on past conditioning?

I never excused Steve's behavior. the fact she hung around, and may have done a few weight-ins places some blame on her.

your example, i believe, works the same way i am trying to explain. does one blame their employeer that they don't get paid enough, are worked too hard, manditory over time, etc. you don't like your job, get another one. in mutual agreements there are usually mutual responsibilities. is it easier to blame another.

the reason this is an issue at all is because of gender--and its appeal. it would be interesting if hugo had reversed the gender and told the story just to see the reaction. can you see my point, it is all about gender.

Hugo

I assure you, joe, the minute one of my male friends shows up for a Saturday morning run with red eyes, reporting that his girlfriend or wife has demanded that he submit to aesthetically motivated weigh-ins, I will be immensely sympathetic to him and denounce her as a wretch. I suspect I'll be waiting a while.

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