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December 22, 2004

Comments

Sheelzebub

Typhonblu, even if what you assert is true--and I don't think it is--men are the ones who have the lions' share of the power. The overwhelming majority of our senators and representatives are men. The overwhelming majority of our lawmakers are men. All of our Presidents have been men. The majority of the SC justices are men. The majority of CEO's, Fortune 500 company executives, and F500 company board members are men. The "disposeable sex?" The "uncared for sex?" Please.

Men suffer from violence because men are raised to be tough and violent. And instead of looking at that critically (which would ally them with us evil, nasty feminists), men's rights proponents instead focus their rage outward, at women. It's easier to blame us than work for real change.

Women are accused of victim-tripping when we utter a peep of discontent; and contrary to your opinion, I've seen women's mental illness/suicide be dismissed as histrionics, hysteria, and childishness.

I know of women who lost custody of their kids because they didn't have the money to fight for them. Their husbands--who worked full time while their wives raised the kids, cleaned the house, and generally took care of everyone--did. (They were able to advance in their careers because they were the cared for sex--not their wives.)

Of course, I suppose you'll just give me the flip line you did before--"What can I say? People suck." Not too dismissive, that. Perhaps we can throw that at every example you've given. It strikes me that the person who's being dismissive here is you, and you are being dismissive towards women.

typhonblue

Sheelzebub says(in quotes):

"Typhonblu, even if what you assert is true--and I don't think it is--men are the ones who have the lions' share of the power. The overwhelming majority of our senators and representatives are men. The overwhelming majority of our lawmakers are men. All of our Presidents have been men. The majority of the SC justices are men. The majority of CEO's, Fortune 500 company executives, and F500 company board members are men. The "disposeable sex?" The "uncared for sex?" Please."

The largest voting group is women. It is political suicide to offend women. Men have been trained throughout their lives to care for women more. It's called chivalry. So when these men, who have been trained to care for women more and men less, get into power, they benefit women. The most obvious example of this is... feminism itself. Feminism would *never* have happened in a true patriarchy.

As for CEOs, I'll give you the same speel I give everyone. CEOs don't make arbitrary decisions to benefit themselves (for the most part), they do what their board of governors tell them to. And their board of governers want only one thing, to please the stockholders. And the stockholders want only one thing: profit. And the only way to get profit is to appeal as much as possible to the consumer. And who are the biggest consumers? Western women. Therefore, through the power of spending, western women pretty much dictate *everything* in our world. From the products that are sold, to the services that are developed, to the content of 95% of movies, tv shows, commercials and consumer magazines, to the layout and atmosphere of the only public gathering places left to us-- malls.

"Men suffer from violence because men are raised to be tough and violent. And instead of looking at that critically (which would ally them with us evil, nasty feminists), men's rights proponents instead focus their rage outward, at women. It's easier to blame us than work for real change."

BTW, who is raising men to be tough and violent? And who is encouraging it? As a woman I will never have the experience of my partner manipulating me into fighting another woman so he feels more desirable.

But, regardless, what's more important to me is that men are raised to consider themselves disposable. The violence that comes out of this -- violence mostly directed at other men -- is just a symptom. Teach men that they aren't disposable, and they will treat themselves with more respect and avoid self-destructive behaviors. Violence being a subset of those behaviors.

"Women are accused of victim-tripping when we utter a peep of discontent; and contrary to your opinion, I've seen women's mental illness/suicide be dismissed as histrionics, hysteria, and childishness."

I assume you mean "attention getting". Since women attempt suicide more often then men by less-lethal means (btw, in patriarchal India the ratio between women's attempts and sucessful suicides is closer to *men's* in our society) there is a school of thought that holds women's suicide attempts are intended as cries for help.

Considering the difference in success rate between the truly desperate -- women in real patriarchies -- and western women, I'd say that conclusion has a lot of merit in many cases.

Plus your comparision is disingenous... I doubt any health professional would dismiss suicidal ideation in women without risking his or her job. So I assume you're talking about people who either are speaking *not* in their capacity as health providers, or aren't health providers.

"I know of women who lost custody of their kids because they didn't have the money to fight for them. Their husbands--who worked full time while their wives raised the kids, cleaned the house, and generally took care of everyone--did. (They were able to advance in their careers because they were the cared for sex--not their wives.)"

Strange. As I pointed out to another poster, there are laws in effect in many states that make the higher earning spouce pay for the lower earner, particularly in the case where the lower earning spouce earns nothing at all. I'm not sure why your friends did not take advantage of these laws, but that must have been a choice they decided upon for whatever reason they had since it *is* a resource available to them.

As for your other comment... I suppose you're of the mind that carrer advancement actually means something. All career advancment means is that the man in question has managed to please consumers(directly or indirectly) better then any other man.

"Of course, I suppose you'll just give me the flip line you did before--"What can I say? People suck." Not too dismissive, that. Perhaps we can throw that at every example you've given. It strikes me that the person who's being dismissive here is you, and you are being dismissive towards women."

I said that in responce to someone suggesting only men abandon responsibilities to their children.

But it's good that you brought this up because it highlights the essence of what I'm getting at. Most of the situations in which women are hard done by are due to acts that are illegal. And often additional resources exist to help women suffering from those illegal acts.

The situations in which men suffer are not illegal or they are illegal but men do not have anywhere near the same state funded resources to deal with them.

The fact that illegal acts happen is because "people are smeg", the fact that legal acts happen that hurt certain groups of people is because "society is smeg".

Big difference.

typhonblue

Amanda says(in quotes):

"My point is this--women are brought up to be more pleasant than men. In fact, it's probably the number one trait that parents try to instill in girls. As a result, it's likely that people, like cats, tend to react warmly to those who speak in soft, flattering tones more than those who don't. And those people tend more often to be women."

And women are the beneficiaries of being more pleasant as well. Because people who are pleasant are people who are cared about.

BTW, there was a time when the pleasantness of young men *was* important. When a young man was expected to be gracious, humble, poised and polite. That time was ancient greece... a *very* patriarchal society.

zuzu

CEOs don't make arbitrary decisions to benefit themselves (for the most part), they do what their board of governors tell them to. And their board of governers want only one thing, to please the stockholders.

Bwahahaha!

First off, Board of Directors. Second, you gotta be kidding me. You think Ken Lay was dictated to by his Board of Directors? You think he and the Board of Directors of Enron were altruistically doing what was in the interest of the shareholders? Bull! Every last one of them was self-dealing, and Enron stock tanked as a result. I don't know where you get your information, but I've actually seen the documents in the Enron case, having worked on it for a while.

You think Bill Gates does what the directors tell him to do? You think Lee Iacocca or Jack Welch did? The whole idea of a CEO is to run the damn business while the part-time board members, if they're not actually officers of the company, don't have to be involved.

Really, how old are you? High school? College freshman studying for your first Sociology final? Fresh from a stint in the Young Republicans? You certainly can't be in B-school.

typhonblue

Zuzu says(in quotes):

"First off, Board of Directors. Second, you gotta be kidding me. You think Ken Lay was dictated to by his Board of Directors? You think he and the Board of Directors of Enron were altruistically doing what was in the interest of the shareholders? Bull! Every last one of them was self-dealing, and Enron stock tanked as a result. I don't know where you get your information, but I've actually seen the documents in the Enron case, having worked on it for a while."

And everyone of them did something illegal. When a CEO acts outside of the interests of the BoG or BoD(they're called both, btw)s/he is often acting illegally. Let's just deal in what society thinks is *legal* shall we?

"You think Bill Gates does what the directors tell him to do? You think Lee Iacocca or Jack Welch did? The whole idea of a CEO is to run the damn business while the part-time board members, if they're not actually officers of the company, don't have to be involved."

BTW, I've seen too many CEOs removed by BoDs or BoGs to believe that somehow, somewhere most CEOs aren't legally responsible to their governing bodies.

Using a few examples of CEOs who built the companies they run -- and probably hold majority shares in -- is an example of what? That those CEOs couldn't give two hoots about the bottom line?

typhonblue

Young republican? Strange. I'd imagine a young republican would have more flattering things to say about the consumer system.

zuzu

You have plenty of flattering things to say about the capitalist system, since you seem to think that it has the best interests of women at heart and that corporations are run for the best interests of the shareholders, even though short-term profit means nothing if the company is so mismanaged or the books are so fraudulent that the stocks will lose value if anyone figures that out. You also seem to think that no corporation acts illegally or unethically.

Women, it may surprise you to learn, don't vote as a bloc. Like men, they make their own decisions, and sometimes, those decisions aren't in their best interests. Often that happens because someone -- a politician who wants their votes or a company that wants their money -- plays on fears and insecurities. Is that being good to women?

The government is pro-woman? Really. Because I never would have known by the way that state legislatures and Congress keep passing laws that restrict access to reproductive services, whether here or abroad (thousands upon thousands of women in poor countries have lost their access to basic medical care because Bush put the global gag rule back in place -- his first official act, by the way -- which stripped US funding to any organization that provided abortions, even if the US aid was used for other purposes) or in the military. And speaking of the military, even though women are sent into combat zones, with all the benefits and opportunities that arise from that status, they can't be classed as having combat jobs because the government won't allow that.

For whatever reason, you've hopped on the men's rights train and come across as fully misinformed and, yes, confused. You can't argue; you simply wave off any points that anyone else makes that don't fit into your world view. Really, you're pretty tiresome. And I can only surmise that you will have a terribly, terribly rude awakening if you wind up in family court someday.

typhonblue

zuzu says(in quotes):

"You have plenty of flattering things to say about the capitalist system, since you seem to think that it has the best interests of women at heart and that corporations are run for the best interests of the shareholders, even though short-term profit means nothing if the company is so mismanaged or the books are so fraudulent that the stocks will lose value if anyone figures that out. You also seem to think that no corporation acts illegally or unethically."

I never said that. I said that when a corperation does not act in the interests of the shareholders it *acts* illegally and unethically.

As for having the best interests of women at heart... I can't make a judgement on that, all I know is that the corperate sector serves the market and the biggest market *is* western women. Therefore if corperations were *not* serving the desires of western women, they would be going bankrupt.

Wiether or not the desires of women are the best interests of women is a metaphysical debate of another sort.

"Women, it may surprise you to learn, don't vote as a bloc. Like men, they make their own decisions, and sometimes, those decisions aren't in their best interests. Often that happens because someone -- a politician who wants their votes or a company that wants their money -- plays on fears and insecurities. Is that being good to women?"

Yes it is. Because they care what women think. Playing on someone's insecurities and fears only works if you are seen to address those insecurities and fears. And that's what politicians do, thus the rash of woman-focused laws that have come into effect over the last hundred years. (Maternal preference in child custody, equal pay laws, equal opportunity laws, affirmative action, battered women shelters, sexual harrassment laws, etc. etc.)

"The government is pro-woman? Really. Because I never would have known by the way that state legislatures and Congress keep passing laws that restrict access to reproductive services, whether here or abroad (thousands upon thousands of women in poor countries have lost their access to basic medical care because Bush put the global gag rule back in place -- his first official act, by the way -- which stripped US funding to any organization that provided abortions, even if the US aid was used for other purposes) or in the military."

Women *do* seem to be divided on how best to marshal reproductive rights. This divide is reflected in government policy.

Plus, how women are treated in third world countries bears no resemblance to how they are treated in first world countries. Quite a few third world feminists have expressed the opinion that first world feminists have ignored and betrayed their causes, simply because for *some* reason western women's interests are drastically different then the interests of women who live under real patriarchies. And, also, western women's interests recieve far greater focus.

The heroic women in third world countries are battling against sex-selective infanticide, dowery, lack of education, brutal working conditions, bride burning, genital mutilation, restrictive mores... In essence social attitudes that label *them* the disposable sex.

Do you think I dismiss them? I don't. I believe they are dealing with real problems. They are dealing with a society that is smeg. In contrast western women are dealing with people who are smeg. The difference is this: there isn't any way that western women could possibly be disenfranchised that isn't illegal or, more importantly, socially condemned.

"And speaking of the military, even though women are sent into combat zones, with all the benefits and opportunities that arise from that status, they can't be classed as having combat jobs because the government won't allow that."

Could you clarify what you're saying here? I'm afraid I don't follow.

Amanda

Typhon, my comment was made without putting anyone in the victim role, and yet in your eagerness to make men victims, you assumed that women are raised to bow and please in order to make the world better for them. God knows I wish it were so. But unfortunately, what bending and pleasing comes my way tends to get overpraised by me to keep it coming.

In your desperation to make men victims, you can't address the primary point I made which is that men, being louder on average, tend to scare my cats more. My cats aren't sexist man-haters. So far the person they fear the most is a female friend who works for crime scene and has a radio that is the bane of their existence. They hate her for very silly reasons. Might it not be a sad side effect of male upbringing that loud abrasiveness is treated as generally unpleaseant?

typhonblue

Amanda says (in quotes):

"Typhon, my comment was made without putting anyone in the victim role, and yet in your eagerness to make men victims, you assumed that women are raised to bow and please in order to make the world better for them."

Why else do they do it?

Actually, let me ask you a question. Do you think the owner of a race horse, making hot mash for that horse, rubbing it down and picking its hooves, cares about that horse, or how well that horse runs?

Women are taught to take care of men -- to please -- because men pay for the lifestyles women desire. Men make the big sacrifices -- lesser life expectancy, increased rates of occupational injury, less time with children, death -- so women can sit at home doing, in some cases, 70-80% less work then the average homemaker a hundred years ago. Nearly all of the really unpleasant jobs that used to come with homemaking are now taken over by men. Why do I say that? Because men, who are the main bread winners, are now responsible for furnishing the average homemaker with a dazzling variety of labor saving devices, plus all sorts of consumer goods that take the place of in-home production: soaps, clothing, canned goods, grocieries, light carpentry, house hold furnishings the list goes on. And even if a woman *does* work, the man is still expected to provide for the essentials(or as much as he can.) Thus women's emphasis on solvency and cash flow when seeking a man. The reverse not being true.

If women really cared about men... I mean *really* cared about men, they'd be homesteaders(or career girls who pay half their family's way). Thus relieving men of much of the financial burdens of being providers and allowing them some leniency to take care of their health and happiness instead of their paycheck.

Not only that, but it would be excellent for the enviroment as well. No more little baubles and useless consumer frivolities (almost invariably aimed at women) filling up the landfills.

Oh, and a lot fewer chinchilla coats.

Before you go giving me an example of a family in which the husband is a lazy leech/under-employed/etc. I'll just point out to you that this is not the *ideal* that everyone seems to be striving for. It's a situation that comes about due to class limitations, not for lack of desire.

Apparently every woman *wants* to either be a homemaker or take a job that's personally fulfilling but not dangerous/unpleasant or nessisary.(And who wouldn't if they could?) And if their man can't provide that for them, he's less of a man.

(Surprising how manhood seems to be all about sacrifice for women.)

"In your desperation to make men victims, you can't address the primary point I made which is that men, being louder on average, tend to scare my cats more."

Yes, men are taught they have to be louder in order to be heard. (I read a story written by a woman who dressed as a man that said something to that effect. She had the feeling--as a man-- that she had to be louder, pitch from further back, in order to be listened to.)

I don't believe people do things for no reason. When people are shouting I don't automatically think it's because they are rude, I think it's because they aren't being heard.

BTW, my spidey senses are tingling. I'll lay odds that the next detour is into wage gap territory.

thisgirl

Apparently every woman *wants* to either be a homemaker or take a job that's personally fulfilling but not dangerous/unpleasant or nessisary.(And who wouldn't if they could?) And if their man can't provide that for them, he's less of a man.

The fact that men have more work-related deaths and do more of the dangerous jobs isn't somehow indicative of man's sacrifice to woman; some male-dominated dangerous professions, such as firefighting, are hostile to allowing women. Also, that's more of a issue about improving work safety than inequality; what are you suggesting, that ALL workforces have to be forced fifty-fifty?

Amanda

Gosh, why would the wage gap be relevant when discussing women's dependence on men?

thisgirl

Duh, Amanda, don'tcha know it's just another feminazi plot? We just love playing the victim and all...

(Ooh, my "spidey sense" must be tingling too)

typhonblue

thisgirl says(in quotes):

"The fact that men have more work-related deaths and do more of the dangerous jobs isn't somehow indicative of man's sacrifice to woman; some male-dominated dangerous professions, such as firefighting, are hostile to allowing women. Also, that's more of a issue about improving work safety than inequality; what are you suggesting, that ALL workforces have to be forced fifty-fifty?"

Sure. Why not? After all if male-dominated professions are a sign that women are oppressed, then we should seek parity in *all* of them. Not just those ones that involve high pay, status and an office with a view.

BTW, it's *also* about inequality since, last time I checked, commissions on workplace conditions spent the lion's share of their effort and resources on dealing with sexual harrassment, *instead* of dealing with issues that impact men more* such as work place injuries and deaths.

Apparently a pinch on the bum is worth more then a man's life.

Strange patriarchy we live in.

*Even though there are some studies that have found that men report unwanted sexual contact at higher or equal rates to women.

typhonblue

thisgirl says(in quotes):

"Duh, Amanda, don'tcha know it's just another feminazi plot? We just love playing the victim and all...

(Ooh, my "spidey sense" must be tingling too)"

I mentioned it because on another blog entry one of you said something to the effect of "men make more then women, so if you really want women to pull their fair share, you need to change that."

BTW, I don't ever use the term "feminazi" because I do believe there is some positive benefit in the movement, particularly when it comes to third world patriarchies. Plus I believe it hides the true problem: woman-firsting. And I've seen *more* of that from traditional women then feminists.

La Lubu

Typhonblue, I am firmly convinced you must live on another planet. Did you just read "The Feminine Mystique"? Is all your analysis of feminism based on that? Because your statement, "men pay for the lifestyles women desire" and tag-line "career girls" (child labor is illegal, and though it still continues under the table, we don't generally refer to children as having a career), is so mid-60s upper-middle-class-suburban white woman it's laughable. It's textbook. It's certainly not reflective of real life.

And men on the construction site don't have any greater chance of dying on the job than women on the construction site. Since you are so blessedly concerned about the lack of women on construction sites, perhaps you can tell me which apprenticeship you plan to apply to? I mean, step up to the plate. You can do this too. There's plenty of hot, freezing, sweaty, dusty, muddy, wet, dangerous opportunities out here for you, too. But your chances of dying out here have nothing to do with sexism, and everything to do with the gutting of OSHA, as well as corporate greed that considers a certain amount of deaths on the job as the price of business. Add to that, faulty equipment, irresponsible and/or ignorant co-workers and/or foremen, lack of employer safety programs or policies, speed trumping safety and/or craftsmanship, bad weather, drunk and/or speeding drivers (if you're working on or near roads), and there you have it. But these factors don't discriminate according to sex. So, step right up! Come join me out here! We need more women!

That is, providing you're a woman, and not a boy posing as one.

typhonblue

Let me ask you a question La Luba. Why is it that, in some industries in a place like India, girls(who are the majority of child laborers) suffer greater rates of injury then boys?

Yes, *child* labor is dangerous. And yes, boys run as much risk as girls in those industries *when* they work in them. Futher you might also mention how agencies formed to protect children from dangerous child labor practices are understaffed and underfunded.

But all these points merely mask the real question. Why is that *girls* are disproportionately affected?

As for me being a boy... I must say if I am, I have to congradulate myself on such an incredible hoax-- since there are at least two face shots of me on my livejournal.

Amanda

'Cause womenfolk is inferior? *shuffle dance dance*

La Lubu

typhonblue, you still haven't answered my question: which apprenticeship are you applying for? Carpenters? Fitters (that's Steamfitters/Pipefitters/Plumbers)? Tinners (Sheet Metal Workers)? Ironworkers? Electricians? Painters? C'mon man, speak up.

And I like the way you neatly refused to admit you were taking a swipe at women with your "career girls" comment, instead opting to veer into a discussion on child labor. Just another fine example of "damned if you do, damned if you don't, if you're a woman". If you have a career, you're selfish/emasculating/a lousy mother/etc. If you're a homemaker, you're selfish/demanding/materialistic/etc. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Look. I know men get a raw deal too. They're getting---most of 'em, anyway---the same raw deal from patriarchy the rest of us are. There are men's groups out there that are addressing issues in a productive manner. The same way that feminist groups have and are doing. So...what exactly is your ish? You change more than the wind direction!

typhonblue

La Luba(in quotes):

"typhonblue, you still haven't answered my question: which apprenticeship are you applying for? Carpenters? Fitters (that's Steamfitters/Pipefitters/Plumbers)? Tinners (Sheet Metal Workers)? Ironworkers? Electricians? Painters? C'mon man, speak up."

The argument at hand is weither or not men are disenfranchised by suffering the majority of adverse working conditions.

BTW, if you tell me the duties of your construction job I will tell you what I'm doing to redress imbalances. I personally think this is a side-track from the argument, but I’ll play if you do.

Now, going back to my original point, you could argue that the benefits of men being the majority in some fields outweigh(or are equal to) the risks of men being in other fields. However I don't think this interpertation embraces the whole truth. For one thing, the entire corperate sector is, apparently, an organ of service for consumers. And women are the majority consumers, therefore all those CEOs, higher management types, advertising execs, product development and so on people are serving the interests of women to create the society women want.

In that context all the silly titles men get to take to their grave are meaningless. They have *nothing* do do with shaping the world we live in, being happy in life and are actually anthetical to having a fullfilling family life.

Does it matter that you're the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company when Susie-Q homemaker(one of a hundred million) has more power over shaping the public media and spaces then you?

And if you don't grok what I'm saying here, let me explain. Public spaces are malls, public media is tv, magazines, etc. What goes in these public venues are decided by what consumers want, and only what they want. Anything else is a flop, a loss of filthy lucre. Which leads to CEOs being fired, companies going bankrupt and ad agencies loosing clients.

Which is something I find immensely ironic. All radicals who think they're fighting against the patriarchy-- you know that network of male politicians and CEOs that make all the decisions-- are actually fighting against the moral, political, social, asthetic and sexual inertia of Susie Q homemaker. Who really *likes* her gas-guzzling SUV, hates terrorism, prefers plastic to paper, doesn't really want to think about the icky things gay men do(and feels, in her heart of hearts that maybe they *deserve* AIDS), uses toxic chemicals to make her house smell nice, make her lawn green and make her feel happy, is ambivalent about abortion even though she had one when she was 22 because lil' babies are so cute, and maybe, if she's feeling generous to the rest of the world, donates to a middle eastern war orphan's fund and recycles.

Funny world.

"And I like the way you neatly refused to admit you were taking a swipe at women with your "career girls" comment, instead opting to veer into a discussion on child labor."

I wasn't actually taking a swipe at anyone. If I offended you by my use of "career girl" I'm sorry. I probably was thinking career woman, but wrote girl.

BTW, the relevance seem obvious to me. Let me explain. The reason why girls are more often injured on the job in India is because they are more often employed in crappy conditions, and the reason why they are more often employed while their brothers are going to school is because they are considered disposable.

This case of discrimination is as obvious to me as that which men suffer in our society.

"Just another fine example of "damned if you do, damned if you don't, if you're a woman". If you have a career, you're selfish/emasculating/a lousy mother/etc. If you're a homemaker, you're selfish/demanding/materialistic/etc. Damned if you do, damned if you don't."

I'm sorry, I don't think I ordered these words.

My point with the only-if-I-want-to-worker/homemaker vs homesteader/careerWOMAN is that if women want to say they're doing something for men, maybe they could actually *do* something for men.

If you aren't interested in saying that you do something for men, do whatever you want. Just be honest about it. Don't take credit where you don't deserve it. It's called being honorable.

"Look. I know men get a raw deal too. They're getting---most of 'em, anyway---the same raw deal from patriarchy the rest of us are."

But we don't live in a patriarchy. I have lived in an honest to god patriarchy for ten years, and let me tell you... we don't live in anything *near* a patriarchy.

Let me ask you a question. I'll follow it up with a similar question after I've finished my response. What is the raw deal that a upper to middle class white western woman gets? I say upper to middle to cut out those women who are getting a raw deal because they are poor *not* because they are women. I say white to cut out those women who are getting a raw deal because they are non-white *not* because they are women. And I say western to cut out those women who are getting a raw deal because they don't live in a developed nation *not* because they are women.

What raw deal are these women getting because they are women?

"There are men's groups out there that are addressing issues in a productive manner. The same way that feminist groups have and are doing. So...what exactly is your ish? You change more than the wind direction!"

The manner of my approach changes only in responce to the issues brought up.

The core of my message is just this: men are disenfranchised in our society. *Men* not women.

And if you honestly think women are disenfranchised please tell me one way in which women are oppressed that isn't illegal, doesn't have a government program trying to address it, and isn't socially condemned.

Amanda

Man, all the more reason to want to be a CEO. Not only are you powerless and nothing is your fault (it's the fault of housewives, always), but you get compensated so well.

La Lubu

ok, typhon. My job is Journeyman Wireman. That means that I don't sit behind a desk, I get out there and perform the work...in a ditch, on the roof, on a deck....wherever. I climb ladders, use hammerdrills and other electrical or pneumatic tools, blowtorches, hand tools....whatever it takes to get the job done. I run conduit, pull wire, work with energized electrical panels and equipment. I wear Carharrts, bibs, steel-toed boots and a hardhat. I am an electrician. That means I do everything that a male electrician does. I am one of the people you drive past on those miserably hot or cold days, while looking out the window of your car and thinking, "boy, am I glad I don't do that for a living." But if you want to, you can. Especially if you're going to talk out the side of your mouth and say "women" (meaning me) "don't do those dangerous jobs". Put your money where your mouth is, sister.

The economy is not driven by consumer spending, believe it or not. Sure, it's a large part of the economy, but you are not taking into consideration the massive amounts of spending that is going on in governmental, military, energy, and healthcare. Then, extend that to the global scale. Have you picked up a newspaper lately? Certainly you must have noticed that the U.S. isn't the consumer giant that it once was, back in my parents and grandparents day. Now, the smart money is in China. One in every four people in the world are Chinese. The U.S. has a failing economy. The Chinese have a growing economy. China is spending money on technology, education, infrastructure, and economic development. The U.S. is not. Pay attention. The military has a much larger budget than Suzie Q homemaker.

By the way, who is Suzie Q homemaker? Do you realize that she represents around 5% of U.S. women? So how the hell could she possibly be driving the economy?! I still think you're stuck in the 60s, and even that is stretching it. Working class and poor women have always worked outside the home, long before we had anywhere near the opportunities we have now.

I'll leave it to someone with a clearer idea than I where the raw deals are for upper middle class white women in the U.S. But, I can think of one right off the bat....

A couple of years ago, in my city, a real estate agent was raped at gunpoint while showing a house to a man. She was a white, upper middle class woman. Clean-cut, well-dressed, churchgoing, pillar of the commmunity. She would have made Martha Stewart jealous. After the rapist left her in the house (he ripped the phone in the house from the wall and took her cell), she locked the doors and started screaming....she was afraid to step outside for fear that he would still be there and shoot her. A neighbor heard and called the police.

She had the rape kit done, there was trauma, she was able to identify her attacker from previous police photos....but still, no arrest. Why? Because even this clean-cut, well-dressed, upper-middle-class white woman couldn't convince the police that her bruises and lacerations (including anal and vaginal) weren't consensual. The man told her that they were...that they had been dating, and she wanted to get together in a client's house for some "rough stuff". Even with his previous arrest record (for minor league stuff...barfights, DUI, like that), they took his word over hers.

So, he raped and killed another woman in the following month. It wasn't until the other woman was murdered that they arrested him for the original rape. He was tried and convicted, and is now serving a life term (since then-Governor Ryan commuted all death sentences to life-in-prison in Illinois).

I did not know this woman. But one of her co-workers is my best friend, so I heard a lot more about this than what made the papers.

So...start with that---a raped woman won't be believed by authorities even with the protection of color, class, and status.

typhonblue

Zuzu says(in quotes):

"But if you want to, you can. Especially if you're going to talk out the side of your mouth and say "women" (meaning me) "don't do those dangerous jobs". Put your money where your mouth is, sister."

You still haven't adressed the point I made about men being *disproportionately* represented in hazardous jobs.

Following your logic, it shouldn't be a problem that the majority of CEOs are men, after all there are a *few* female CEOs, thus it's not a gender issue at all!

BTW, I said I'd play your sideline game and I will. It's quite a cooincidence, but my partner did the same job you do now. Because I'm the wage-earner, he's no longer a cable puller. A job that was part and parcel of the physical problems he now suffers. Thus I've saved *one* man from the physical trauma of hazardous work. And I've also addressed the imbalance by *one* man.

But I understand your underlying point. It's difficult question how to solve the gender imbalance in hazardous jobs. Someone has to do those jobs, after all. Kudos to you for doing something even more self-sacrificing then me to save a guy from a hazardous job. Now if we can only convince more women...

All I can say right now is that the gender imbalance exists. And that it is one example of the disposability of men in our society.

Now, as for your rape example. I can't comment to much since I don't know the particulars of the case. But several things come to mind. First of all rape as an act is illegal, but it is still up to the justice system to determine if rape, did, in fact, occur. For some reason in your example's case the relevant authorities did not think there was enough evidence to go to trial.(I assume. You didn't give me many details, so I don't know if the system dismissed going to trial or if the woman decided not to press charges.) In that case it becomes an issue of what is considered *enough* evidence: should we just take a woman's word for it, or should there be a certian level of corroberating evidence?

I don't know enough about this particular example to know why it was dismissed, and why the evidence wasn't enough to go to trial. Nor do I know exactly where you're seeing the disenfranchisment... Is it because the standard of evidence is too high for rape cases? Then what standard should we have?

As far as I can tell your example is similar to a case where a wealthy, white, western family is robbed at knife-point but there isn't enough evidence to take the criminal to trial until the criminal goes off to rob and kill another family. And using that incident to argue that we live in a communist state.

BTW, to use a somewhat relevant example. There was a man who preyed upon young male hitchhikers who were, I believe, between, the ages of 16 to 25. He took detailed records of the names and descriptions of the men he raped and managed to rape around 200 before he was caught by the police after one, and only one, of his victims went to the police.

Now which is the greater evidence of disenfranchisment? The fact that the woman in your example didn't get justice served because of a lack of evidence, or the fact that approximately 199 young men never went to the police in the first place?

"The economy is not driven by consumer spending, believe it or not. Sure, it's a large part of the economy, but you are not taking into consideration the massive amounts of spending that is going on in governmental, military, energy, and healthcare."

I believe that there are simple reasons why people expend effort, reasons that rarely have to do with helping other people. Because of that I believe the military is in the middle east because of oil, not because the Iraqis are so adorable and need our help. Now the question becomes... who does this increased supply of oil benefit? The majority car buyers and purchasers of consumer products(the prices of which are dictated greatly by transportation costs)? Probably. Since women are the majority car purchasers and the majority purchasers of consumer products, once again they're at the root of the spending.

Of course *you'll* say... but men also drive cars! Yes, to work. Where they are once again serving the interests of the consumer, by producing, marketing and overseeing the construction of consumer culture.

As for health care... women are also the primary beneficiaries of health care funds. And the government? Well, I'd imagine women get at least as much benefit from emergency services and infrastructure then men. (Actually more, considering women are more likely to use emergency services and use infrastructure longer.)

"By the way, who is Suzie Q homemaker?"

Supposedly the most powerless woman in the world, according to certain feminists. I used it for a bit of an ironic flourish. Replace it with western woman if you wish.

"So how the hell could she possibly be driving the economy?!"

Hmm... No need to take my word for it, why not just ask the marketers themselves.
Interview with the author of _Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment_


"Working class and poor women have always worked outside the home, long before we had anywhere near the opportunities we have now."

And men of all classes are still doing the work nessisary to create our society.

Funny how only a *very* wealthy man can afford to stay at home, while even middle class women often has the privilage.

La Lubu

typhon, I don't do my job in order to "save a man" from having to do it. I do my job for the same reason anyone does a job---in order to eat, have a roof over my head, a warm bed at night...that sort of thing. When I worked disproportionately female jobs, I worked the same amount of hours but couldn't earn enough to make basic ends meet. And by the way, people pull cable, but no one is a "cable puller". It either says "JW" on your ticket, or "Apprentice Wireman". But, I'll give you a break on that one, because some locals in large metropolitan areas can pigeonhole some people into 'specializing'. Asking a JW what kind of electrical work he/she performs is akin to asking a trained musician what kind of music they're qualified to play....the key word here being "trained". If you're a JW, you do it all, capisce?

When I brought up military and governmental budgets, I expected you to do a little more thinking. It's easy to say, "oh, the U.S. is in Iraq to fuel all those SUVs", and ignore the fact that oil is needed to fuel the military-industrial complex at large. If every U.S. citizen stopped driving tomorrow, and walked or rode bicycles to work (women too...I know you think women don't work outside the home, but trust me, we do), the U.S. military would still be in Iraq. But hey, don't strain your brain. You'll find out soon enough that consumer spending (especially on imported goods) is not enough to fuel an economy.

Where, exactly, is Planet Soccer Mom located in the galaxy? Because I've never been there. Read about it, but like Shangri-La, I don't think it really exists. (Help me out here, people. Wasn't there some sort of satirical film about a shopaholic mom, put out back in the late 80s? It was an independent film.....I never saw the whole thing....but it sounds like that film is playing an endless loop in typhon's head....anyway, I forgot the name of it).

Zuzu, you are right. This is performance art. This isn't just the ramblings of a naive, sheltered freshman, straight out of the suburbs, into the big city. After all, we've got such precious gems as "who is raising them (boys) to be violent?"...the answer is supposed to be "women", although one of the standard critiques of single mothers is that we're not raising "tough" enough men....but if we are, then we're raising violent men. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you love a man, and cook him dinner, wash his undies, massage his feet, you're only doing it because you're trying to keep your racehorse out there (bread)winning. If you don't do these things, well, that's just further proof you're a selfish you-know-what. Either way, DIYD,DIYD.

Sheesh. The rape case? Her bruising and bleeding wasn't enough. When the rapist was interviewed, he didn't have a scratch on him. Which means that she didn't fight back (while he held a gun to her head). Which means that, of course, she must have wanted it....after all, she didn't fight back. It wasn't until the DNA sample in the other, DEAD woman matched that of the real estate agent that they were willing to believe she was raped. Torn anal and vaginal tissues, and bruising on her body, was up until that point proof that she liked her sex "rough" (rough enough to warrant medical attention). See, she didn't believe that she was immune to rape because of her status or color. But she did believe, prior to this incident, that she would have been believed by the authorities. This experience radicalized her.

Hell....never mind. I'm still trying to stifle laughter at the thought of poor ol' typhonblue, trying to save men from on the job injuries, one man at a time. *snicker* Heyy...any of the rest of yous' "girls" wanna go to the mall later and spend some more of "his" money, or should we all just sit around watching General Hospital?


Amanda

Personally, I think to even things out, men who show up bruised and beating from getting an ass-kicking should have to prove that they didn't ask for it or self-administer themselves.

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