SUZANNE VENKER GETS DESPERATELY NEEDED ATTENTION AND THE FJM TREATMENT

There is ample money to be made Uncle Tomming in the conservative media; there's no quicker way to a book deal, columnist gig, or TV appearances than to be something other than a white male. Flap-jowled white guys are 90% of the intended audience, and they love nothing more than being able to feel like they are totally not sexist/racist because, look, a woman/black person just said it! Thomas Sowell says there's nothing racist about George Zimmerman! Ann Coulter says women are responsible for getting raped! See? It's totally OK for us to say it if they can say it.

The market is highly competitive, though. The number of female writers, for example, willing to whine on behalf of men that it's really, really hard to be a white male in America is not small. They struggle to stand out by tripping over themselves to declare just how oppressed men really are. They can all stop now. We have found the winner, the writer with absolutely no dignity, willing to say anything, and with no limit to how wide her unhinged jaw opens. I have no idea who Suzanne Venker is (her tagline identifies her as the author of the hit book How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage, which I honestly didn't make up) but oh my god does she take the cake. We're about to examine her FoxNews.com opus "Men – The New Second Class Citizens." If this is liberal trolling, it's almost too obvious. If this is a real person writing a real thing intended to be taken seriously, there is no god.

Are you ready? You say yes, but just wait.

In November of last year, I wrote an article for Fox News called The War on Men (which I subsequently expanded to an eBook). To keep it pithy, in the piece I focused on one effect of this war: the lack of marriageable men.

Pithy:
1. adj. Concise and forcefully expressive
2. adj. Containing much pith (of fruit or plant)

By the end of this piece you will agree that she is likely referring to the second definition here.

But there’s so much more to it. The truth is, men have become second-class citizens.

"Hey guys did you like my last exercise in pandering? Well you have seen nothing yet, absolutely nothing. I can pander even harder! It felt pretty good when I told you that you're not married because women are bitches or society won't let you hit them or whatever insipid red meat I threw at you, but there's more! You're an actual second-class citizen, not unlike pre-Civil Rights African-Americans! Look, you even have separate bathrooms, just like they did!"

The most obvious proof is male bashing in the media. It is rampant and irrefutable. From sit-coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot to biased news reports about the state of American men, males are pounced on left and right. And that’s just the beginning.

Well, that's settled. Are you convinced? I'm convinced too. It's irrefutable, after all. Sitcom dads are dolts, whereas the other characters on sitcoms are really complex, intelligent, mature, and multidimensional. Also, biased news reports. Always biased news reports. Bias bias bias. People probably think fire burns things because of bias.

This is the laziest shit I have ever read. She is not even trying. She just throws out, like, three keywords in one paragraph without even the usual feeble attempts to justify them. Since EVERYONE KNOWS these things we can just throw them out there and move on.

The war on men actually begins in grade school, where boys are at a distinct disadvantage. Not only are curriculums centered on girls, rather than boys, interests, the emphasis in these grades is on sitting still at a desk.

So let's just get this straight: The argument, if we can be generous and call it that, is that boys are at a disadvantage in school. That's what we're gonna go with? I feel like a sympathetic blackjack dealer watching a nice customer try to hit on a hard 17. I'm looking over my shoulder to make sure the pit boss isn't looking, then I whisper "Nah, you don't wanna do that."

He tries to hit again. Once again, I give him the little "Dude, seriously…stand" face. Still trying to hit. OK, fine, here's your Jack of Clubs. Nice job, Stu Ungar.

Plus, many schools have eliminated recess. Such an environment is unhealthy for boys, for they are active by nature and need to run around. And when they can’t sit still teachers and administrators often wrongly attribute their restlessness to ADD or ADHD. The message is clear: boys are just unruly girls.

Boys are "active by nature". Straight from this 1913 Madison Grant textbook on Human Nature. Boys also have a preponderance of concentrativeness according to these skull measurements!

Actually, Dr. Venkman, schools are cancelling recess because of shortages of non-academic staff (THAT MEANS BUDGET CUTS) and constant funding-dependent pressure to perform on standardized tests. You're in favor of bigger education budgets and less emphasis on testing, right?

Oh, and Ritalin makes boys girls. When I was 8 the Rialto Theatre in Joliet, IL had a show on its marquee called "Boys Will Be Girls" and my dad had to explain the idea of a drag show, which in hindsight I bet was pretty funny. But now I wonder if it wasn't a show about boys on Ritalin. Which makes them girls.

This gets worse, folks. These are, comparatively speaking, the good arguments.

Things are no better in college. There, young men face the perils of Title IX, the 1972 law designed to ban sex discrimination in all educational programs.

This has turned into a journalistic Sharknado at this point. Come on. Is this even serious? THE PERILS OF TITLE IX. Male readers, do you remember THE PERILS OF TITLE IX during college? It was basically all I thought about for four years.

Boy it sure would be funny if she had no goddamn idea how Title IX even works. But that can't happen, what with this being a professional writer for a major media outlet.

Under Title IX, the ratio of female athletes is supposed to match the ratio of female students. So if not enough women sign up for, say, wrestling and ice hockey, well then: no more wrestling and ice hockey.

That is not even a tiny little bit how it works. Not even close. This is like writing, "One of the big disadvantages to being female is sexual harassment" and then continuing to explain that sexual harassment is when a woman is catapulted into a barn.

The total number of athletic scholarships must equalize under Title IX, so ice hockey for men could be offset by women's gymnastics, for example. Or the teams could operate without scholarship athletes. But according to Venkelmeyer, schools that have 50 male football players on scholarship can only have a football team by giving 50 football scholarships to women and WHAT AM I EVEN DOING HERE, PEOPLE? AM I ALIVE ANYMORE? WHY? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? HELLO? IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, SEND LIQUOR. SEND ME LIQUOR.

What was once viewed equal opportunity for women has become something else altogether: a demand for equal outcomes. Those are not the same thing at all.

*scratches ass with keys*

Yeah, that follows logically. Just do whatever you want from this point on. I'll just amuse myself with these jacks.

Title IX is also abused when it comes to sex. In 1977, a group of women at Yale used Title IX to claim sexual harassment and violence constitute discrimination against women.

Where did they get the idea that things like rape and domestic violence constitute a discriminatory environment for women? Boys are active by nature! They need to rape! After all, look at how these college girls dress.

I don't even know who's writing this response anymore, I shot myself a few paragraphs ago. Now I'm reading a BuzzFeed piece called 17 SIGNS YOU'VE BEEN SHOT IN THE HEAD OR TORSO. It's really funny. Lots of movie stills from The Sandlot and 1990s Nickelodeon shows.

Genuine harassment and violence should be punishable offenses, obviously.

Well that's big of you!

But the college campus is a breeding ground for sexual activity, which makes determining wrongdoing (and using Title IX to prove it) extremely difficult. Sexual misconduct does not necessarily constitute harassment—and women have as much of a role to play as men do.

You all knew we would get here, right? I mean, you saw this coming. You read the first paragraph or two and you were like, Jesus tittybanging Christ, this isn't going to end without her explaining how men are victims in sex crimes. You just knew. You shall not be disappointed. In a certain sense of the term.

Here again men are in an impossible situation, for there’s an unspoken commandment when it comes to sex in America: thou shalt never blame the woman. If you’re a man who’s sexually involved with a woman and something goes wrong, it’s your fault. Simple as that.

"and something goes wrong"

Don't you hate it when you're dating a woman and "something goes wrong," guys? You think the relationship is going well and then you slap her around a little and suddenly everything is all like BUT OFFICER… and everyone's making YOU the bad guy? How's that for fair.

Note the passive construction: the male doesn't do something. Something happens. You're a victim of external forces. When things, uh, "go wrong."

Judith E. Grossman shed light on this phenomenon in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. A former feminist, Grossman concedes that in the past she would have expressed "unqualified support" for policies such as Title IX. But that was before her son was charged with "nonconsensual sex" by a former girlfriend.

Oh cool, so she was a "feminist" until her son raped someone. She sounds credible. When parents change their tune to excuse and defend the behavior of their Precious Snowflake children, that's usually a sign that they have the intellectual and moral high ground. LET'S LISTEN TO HER, EVERYONE.

"Title IX has obliterated the presumption of innocence that is so foundational to our traditions of justice. On today’s college campuses, neither "beyond a reasonable doubt," nor even the lesser "by clear and convincing evidence" standard of proof, is required to establish guilt of sexual misconduct," she writes.

Those would be really relevant points in a courtroom. Isn't it a shame how some universities don't follow the standard sexual assault trial script of putting the victim on the stand and talking about how she dresses like a whore and is a giant whore and whores all whore-y like? Oh, the horror of an environment in which there are fewer (BUT STILL PLENTY OF) loopholes to escape trouble when you bang someone who isn't conscious.

Being a man is hard.

When men become husbands and fathers, things get really bad.

They get…ATTACKED by SPIDERS!!

In family courts throughout America, men are routinely stripped of their rights and due process. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is easily used against them since its definition of violence is so broad that virtually any conflict between partners can be considered abuse.

Well technically that's after a divorce, not "when men become husbands and fathers."

And come on, anyone who knows anything about our legal system knows that it's really, really easy to get a man charged with and convicted of domestic violence and my god, I read all of Going Rogue and Atlas Shrugged and an essay by Stephen Baldwin and yet this takes the cake as the absolute dumbest goddamn thing I have ever read. This is like trolling the "Men's Rights" forum on Reddit, but worse. It's as if a council of 15 year old boys, convicted rapists, and apes with serious head injuries wrote this by committee.

"If a woman gets angry for any reason, she can simply accuse a man and men are just assumed guilty in our society," notes Dr. Helen Smith, author of the new book, "Men on Strike." This is particularly heinous since, as Smith adds, violence in domestic relations "is almost 50% from men and 50% from women."

Yep. I have nothing to add – that's how enforcement of domestic violence laws works. This is correct in every way.

Shocked?

Not really, given that none of this is true, cubby!

If so, that’s in part because the media don't believe men can be victims of domestic violence—so they don't report it.

TO THINK THAT THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY AT LARGE COULD PLAY SOME SORT OF ROLE IN THE UNDER-REPORTING OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

They would rather feed off stories that paint women as victims. And in so doing, they've convinced America there's a war on women.

Well then I guess the best solution is for the media to report less about domestic violence, amirite?

What kind of recent events in various state legislatures could lead people to the crazy notion that there's some sort of "war on women"? Must be all that reporting about domestic violence.

Yet it is males who suffer in our society. From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced. Unlike women, however, men don't organize and form groups when they've been persecuted. They just bow out of the game.

OK, this is fake. This cannot possibly be real. It was fun and you had me going for a while, but you got greedy with "His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced." You blew your cover. Fun while it lasted, though.

"His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced."

I yield. This has broken me.

America needs to wake up. We have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction – from a man's world to a woman's world.

Yes, which is why America is controlled, top to bottom, by women.

Friends, one criticism I receive often is that I ignore the substance of an argument in favor of mocking the person making it. And my defense is that some arguments are so goddamn stupid that it would be excruciatingly boring to waste time refuting it. This is a perfect example. Can you imagine anything less interesting than explaining in a serious tone that this is not correct?

That's not equality. That's revenge.

Fuck you.

No, wait, let's do the Scooby-Doo ending.

*pulls off mask*

WAIT A SECOND! Suzanne Venker is actually…Marcel Duchamp!

Do your best, Coulter and Malkin wannabes – you will never, ever top this. This is the Sistene Chapel, the Led Zeppelin IV, the Citizen Kane of pandering to an audience of angry white men. I'd be in awe of it if I didn't have such a splitting headache from stupid right now.

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69 Responses to “SUZANNE VENKER GETS DESPERATELY NEEDED ATTENTION AND THE FJM TREATMENT”

  1. Xynzee Says:

    Why Ed??!! Why??!!

    Why do you inflict such grevious harm upon yourself? You need to start loving yourself there man. That was like watching someone punch themselves in face or cut their own toes off.

  2. Alex SL Says:

    Wish I could write like you.

  3. Anubis Bard Says:

    Once, when I was a teenager I came home from school hungry and I poured some raisins and mini-marshmallows into a bowl, covered it with some Hershey's chocolate syrup and ate it. This made me remember that for some reason.

  4. c u n d gulag Says:

    Well, she's certainly got a point.

    After Title IX and Affirmative Action, and all of the women Presidents recently, both white and black, it's no wonder the White American male feels like a 2nd class citizen.

    Men can't just wave their manhood around anymore because of all of the "Conceal What You're Carrying," laws, written by the mostly female state legislators, and signed into law by all of those damn women governors.
    "Zip it! OR, WE'LL SNIP IT LAWS!" as White American males call them.

    And, if they want to get Viagra to please their better half, female state legislatures have demand that a catheter be shoved up their pee-holes, and a stress-test be done on their hearts, before they get that prescription filled.

    And if White American males want to vote, with all of those new Voter ID laws, stating that the only acceptable forms of ID have to come from NOW or Planned Parenthood, they won't be able to, and they'll lose whatever little remaining power they once had.

    What's next?
    Because of the concussions sustained when two or more manly-men slam into one another, the NFL will now be the National Feminist League, with women playing 2-hand touch?

    White American males are now like a nation of sweaty, nervous and edgy Rodney Dangerfield's:
    'We don't get no respect, Johnny!'

    WILL THIS BIGOTRY, SEXISM, AND DISCRIMINATION NEVER END?!?!?!

  5. Kelly. Says:

    Did she even google Title IX?

    This was so funny, until it wasn't any more. I'm just glad all these men consistently overcome these obstacles to consistently outnumber women in virtually every position of power or leadership role.

    And what's the link between rape and Title IX again? Better read her ebook.

  6. Anonymouse Says:

    The rightwing drumbeat to strip away women's rights and women's education is certainly very loud. They're attacking women's education and Title IX and even the very presence of women in college…what is this, the USA or Afghanistan?

  7. c u n d gulag Says:

    Fyi – and I believe this says it all:
    Suzanne Venker is the niece of Phyllis Schlafly.

    And yes, that old Zombie still "lives!"

  8. JazzBumpa Says:

    Well, I'll say this for Suzanne Venker.

    She sure knows how to write to her audience.

    Don't overlook her good qualities. Spelling and grammar were more or less in the acceptable range.

    And neatness counts.

    WASF!
    JzB

  9. JazzBumpa Says:

    c u n d -

    Suzanne Venker is the niece of Phyllis Schlafly.

    As Bill Maher once said about Drs. Paul, the greater and lesser:

    "The shit doesn't fall far from the bat."

  10. AL Says:

    "So if not enough women sign up for, say, wrestling and ice hockey, well then: no more wrestling and ice hockey."

    This is exactly how college sports work. If you want to play, just go ahead and "sign up."

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    JazzBumpa,
    I always say, "The turd doesn't fall far from the sphincter."

    And that them thar turd's, proof!

  12. Buckyblue Says:

    She had me at pithy….and then not.

  13. Stefan Says:

    But that was before her son was charged with "nonconsensual sex" by a former girlfriend.

    Oh cool, so she was a "feminist" until her son raped someone.

    Really Ed? Thats how you argue against that?

    Do you know the outcome of the case? If not how do you know he raped her? Guilty until proven innocent? Thats exactly the point she made before. Men are by default guilty.

    You may want to read http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/06/18/malestrom-pt-1-the-rights-and-wrongs-of-anger/ for a start.

  14. Benny Lava Says:

    Sorry man, you were trolled hard. I'm just going to repeat this once:

    The key for any young conservative pundit is to troll liberals. In the early years of Limbaugh, about half of his listeners were pissed off liberals. Nowadays it is all ditto heads and most of the liberal callers are paid actors but you find the same thing with most other conservatives in the media. Trolling liberals is how they got popular.

    If you really want this kind of stuff to go away just ignore it.

  15. Misterben Says:

    This is one of your best FJMs ever. I laughed all the way through, simultaneous to feeling more and more horrified that this woman has an audience. Amazing work.

  16. Jimcat Says:

    Lest we tar the whole Schlafly family with the same brush, remember that Phyllis' nephew (and, I'd assume, Venker's cousin) Tom Schlafly makes really good beer.

  17. sluggo Says:

    If she spent more time taking care of her husband, she would spend less time writing crud like this.

    Proof positive of the inferiority of the female mind.

  18. sluggo Says:

    That was sarcasm. Please save the hate mail, for some other time.

  19. Xynzee Says:

    I did a google on her. I consider it interesting that for someone so anti-feminist she lists herself as: Author, Speaker, Wife, Mother.

    Which is fine except for the fact she spends her time chastising other women about staying home and only aspiring for the latter two.

  20. acer Says:

    @Benny Lava:
    I understand why that sort of cynicism is so popular right now. It's hard to believe anything is true on the internet.

    The approach you're describing might work for an AM radio host who wanted attention from Time and Newsweek in the early '90s. But Venker already writes for the biggest conservative media entity there is.

    In his early days, Rush had a definite sense of mischief, however juvenile. I read this through again, and I'm not getting that here.

    It's hard to accept that this is what Suzanne Venker actually believes. But I'm pretty sure that's the case.

  21. grumpygradstudent Says:

    "Catapulted into a barn"

    I laughed very hard at that line.

  22. Major Kong Says:

    I seem to recall that back in the days of all male schools the students damn well had to sit perfectly still and any sort of "active by nature" behavior was punished severely.

  23. acer Says:

    @Major Kong:

    That part confused the hell out of me.

    Then I fought through my Ritalin haze and recalled a more innocent time, when spry young lads had free reign to run about the classroom.

    I can still hear the snapping bra straps.

  24. David Says:

    Schlafly beer is THAT Schlafly? Wow. I liked those beers on a recent trip to Missouri, even brought some back to Florida. I'm going to go wallow in cognitive dissonance.

  25. Sarah Says:

    If you really want this kind of stuff to go away just ignore it.

    The problem is that there are people who are not ignoring it, and are not only not ignoring it, they're eating it up like candy. And then they're going out and voting, and showing support for measures that would restrict abortion and make it harder for women, minorities and young people to vote, go to college, get jobs that are not dead-end prospects, and otherwise have meaningful and fulfilling lives. If we're going to fight these people successfully we have to be able to understand how they think. (And besides, mocking them is kind of fun, too.)

    I read the blogs of a racist and misogynist shitbag who is well-known among the science fiction and fantasy writers' community. I have bought several of his books, but I either got the Kindle versions when he was offering them gratis or I bought them in hard copy, used, and so far from various chapters of Goodwill Industries. This has allowed me to hit three birds with one stone: I can (1) fulfill the maxim of knowing one's enemy, (2) refrain from giving the shitbag any money or other direct support beyond adding to his page hits, and (3) actually take money from him by getting his wares from him for free or getting them used and sending the money he would have received to an organization which aids women and people of color.

    @c u n d gulag: I love you. Please consider writing a blog.

  26. Well, mostly Says:

    Ed has explored this matter at great personal sacrifice: the trauma is unimaginable. Take the rest of the week off and let the healing begin. Liquor, yes. Liquor.

  27. Nick Says:

    Thank you, Ed. Someone posted this to a forum I'm part of a couple days ago and I hate-read the whole thing, wishing that someone could adequately express how terrible it was.

  28. J. Dryden Says:

    @ Stefan: Like you, I was a little queasy at that particular bit of FJM snark, so I went and read Grossman's article. I am no longer queasy. It's not that Grossman's son clearly did it (her story is too vague to draw any conclusions) so much as the fact that the outcome of the case pretty much rebuts Venker's argument: the kid wasn't expelled because the college authorities dismissed the charges against him.

    And Grossman's article is appalling itself–it reads like the summation of an attorney with a guilty client: attack the witnesses, attack the system, do everything except address the actual facts of the case. Grossman is shocked–shocked!–to discover that the college does not demand "beyond a reasonable doubt" (the criminal standard of conviction) but instead demands a mere "preponderance of evidence," as if that's some kind of Dreyfus-kangaroo-court style of pretrial conviction, instead of, oh, I don't know, the standard of civil courts, which is entirely appropriate for a civil institution. Because, hey, if her son has only done 50.1%-worth of sexual assault, he's being railroaded.

    And go even further down the rabbit hole–read "Fuck You, Judith Grossman," an article that attacks her for ever having been a feminist (implying that she got what she deserved) and argues that it's her poor innocent son and the misandrist legal system that's really the villain of the piece.

    And so on. Follow the trail of links and it's like cresting a hill and looking down on a sea of hatred, of "bitches have it coming" and "men need to step up and be men with their women, hint-hint," and "we need to legislate the hell out these out-of-control harridans."

    I snapped at Rick Perry's latest comment about how, in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict, America's legal system was color-blind, because it was so willfully oblivious as to constitute either madness or Dickensian evil. But Perry at least only claimed a *level* playing field. Venker, Grossman, and the roiling mass of misogyny lurking within the American male believe that the deck is stacked *against* the dominant party. That's a level of 'Holy Shit No Way' that reminds us that THE HANDMAID'S TALE is more than slightly plausible.

  29. JohnR Says:

    Eh, the second sentence says it all: "All the good ones are taken!". This sort of crap pops up frequently in some form or other. Deep articles were probably being written in Sparta, circa 200BC, about the increasing feminization of boys and how men weren't as manly as they used to be because of emasculating women. She's writing for her audience. I'm just amazed she didn't go into how a good thrashing every day makes a woman happier. That usually goes with the territory. She didn't really deserve your attention, Ed, but if it keeps you happy, why not.

  30. Canuckistani Says:

    Surely this kind of piece on Foxnews.com is to attract click-throughs. Like the freak show at an old-timey carnival or circus – come for the clowns, stay for the fetus in a jar!

  31. Drangus Says:

    I'm going to make a note here that women's issues are infinitely worse than male issues and they are still dealing them as I write this comment. Probably always will be dealing with them.

    I genuinely have the belief that just because an argument is posed by a bastard, it doesn't mean there is underlying truth in the argument. There are some issues with males not being addressed. There is a noticeable difference in testing and a noticeable difference in college attendance. I went to college in a school that was nearly 2/3 women. I didn't have a problem with this at all. I do however believe that it isn't a representation of the population in general (I would like to see equal opportunity for everyone).

    Academia being as it is, boys are more likely to do worse in school then much more likely to choose to either join the military (and possibly die) or commit suicide or both. Those are facts.

    Does it make me a misogynist by admitting that there is a problem? Or is purposeful ignorance the only way to not be a misogynist. I'm genuinely concerned about that notion.

    I don't suspect this conversation to go very well for me, so I will bow out at this point. Hope you all have a wonderful day.

  32. sluggo Says:

    I never realized that my gender made me a second class citizen, I always thought it because I was part of the 47%.

  33. grumpygradstudent Says:

    Both women and men can be evil assholes (Margaret Thatcher, anybody?) But, in general, I look forward to a United States run primarily by women by the time I die. I think it will be a better place. I'm not an essentialist. I don't think there are unique inherent female traits and unique inherent male traits, and the logic of capitalism tends to make people brutal regardless of gender, but I'm hoping there's at least something to the idea that women are raised with more emphasis on empathy than men are. Maybe that'll help pull us out of this Ayn Randian paradise we've been cultivating for 30 years.

  34. Jimcat Says:

    Drangus: nobody is denying that there are problems specific to men. But that is not the focus of Venker's article. Venker is trying to say that not only do men have problems, but that their problems are vastly more challenging than those faced by women. Even worse, she's implying that women have virtually nothing to complain about.

    An article that focused on male school performance, graduation rates, and incidences of depression and suicide would be relevant and not likely to get mocked, especially if it backed up the reporting with valid data. That would have been a very different article from the one that Venker wrote.

  35. Hazy Davy Says:

    1) What you and others have said: this qualifies as Pauli's "not even wrong".

    2) I'm biased by being the father of an elementary school aged boy. And while I don't think there is a war on men, this one section hit me as close to right: "The war on men actually begins in grade school, where boys are at a distinct disadvantage. Not only are curriculums centered on girls, rather than boys, interests, the emphasis in these grades is on sitting still at a desk. "

    When I was growing up, there were lots of studies that showed that, regardless of the curriculum, classroom management distinctly favored boys. Boys were called on when they raised their hands, much more often than girls who did. When opportunities for growth or presentation were available to a select few, boys got the nod at much higher rates, even in classrooms where the teachers distinctly didn't think so.

    But—behavior for boys and girls is *different*. Much different, at that age. Sure, there are overlaps by the outliers. But by 2nd or 3rd grade, to my observation, the girls are already much better at following directions. And the boys are already much more inclined to explore their landscape and try to do things "the wrong way". And yes, the boys have a much harder time sitting still. Laugh if you want, but my anecdotes are large in number, and I've looked for disconfirming evidence, unsuccessfully.

    And, more than was the case when I was growing up, the ideal student is a girl—one who follows instructions, colors within the lines, and sits still.
    Nobody wants a disrupted classroom, and stronger teachers understand the distinction between disruption and self-distraction or exploration.

    But really, the students that are rewarded are those who are more like girls. [Flame On!!!]

    3) I've advocated the same as Benny Lava—ignore them, and they can troll themselves, and have their own echo chamber. It's attention they want—positive, negative doesn't matter. But what's troubling is noting that their audience seems to be growing, even if we ignore them.

  36. John Doheny Says:

    "From sit-coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot"

    Riiight. Unlike the good old days back in the 50s, when American husbands and fathers were represented by stalwart intellectuals like Ralph Kramden in "The Honeymooners" and Dagwood Bumstead in "Blondie."

  37. Major Kong Says:

    "From sit-coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot"

    Since most shopping is still done by, wait for it………women, the advertising executives presumably feel that those type of commercials appeal to the demographic they're trying to reach.

  38. c u n d gulag Says:

    @Sarah,
    Thanks!
    Others have told me the same thing.

    But I'm much better being the fat wise-assed kid, sniping and "schticking" from the back of the classroom, than being up in front of it.

  39. Tom Says:

    Drangus, you don't even identity what "worse" means. There is no possible way, modulo inventing subjective metrics, to compare how different people are challenged by different issues. Did you even read what you wrote?! Bah.

    Ed, I am really shocked that you're pandering to these brazen boobs; Surely a professor should place a higher value on truth and facts? The only race related evidence (an SMS from Martin calling GZ a "craker") was inadmissible due to Nelson being completely tendentious.

  40. Anonymouse Says:

    Gulag, I agree with Sarah. You have many important things to say. Consider blogging!

  41. acer Says:

    @Drangus:

    From prostate cancer to PTSD in veterans, there are major public health concerns that are exclusive to men, and they need to be addressed.

    Venker goes off the rails when she looks at human rights as a zero-sum game.

    Feminism (at least of the sort I take seriously) doesn't want men to suffer; it wants men and women to grow and adapt. That's the part that really bugs Venker and her ilk.

  42. acer Says:

    I would read his blog, too, but I sort of like getting my daily fix of Ed and Gulag in the same place.

  43. Tyler Says:

    Perhaps Gulag could occasionally throw us a bone with a guest post? I'm sure Ed would appreciate a day off here and there.

  44. Doomed, we are Says:

    Sarah, you read Beale?! Are you sure that won't give you brain cancer? Though there is some merit to keeping an eye on people who want to repeal women's suffrage, I suppose.

    Sure does suck for straight white men. O the humanity.

  45. Arslan Says:

    "udith E. Grossman shed light on this phenomenon in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed."

    THIS. This is the thing that drives me up the wall about conservative punditry; they cite other pundits and their opinion columns(or ghostwritten books) as sources.

    " A former feminist, Grossman concedes that in the past she would have expressed "unqualified support" for policies such as Title IX. But that was before her son was charged with "nonconsensual sex" by a former girlfriend."

    WHAT…THE…FUCKING…FUCK? "Oh yeah I used to be really concerned about rape, until my own son was charged with it. Then I started to see the positive side!"

  46. don Says:

    Well I have to admit that from my own boyhood through adulthood as a White American Male, I fought through (well, stepped around as best I could, actually) a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about my very existence. But nearly all of those grievances, assumptions, and taunts, especially the fist-adjacent ones, were coming from other White American Males.

  47. Benny Lava Says:

    There have been a few criticisms of my ignore it advice. So I understand why the ignore it tactic isn't appealing. Because you think you are in a losing battle. But hear me out on this.

    For every piece of writing there is an audience. Who is the audience for this? I'm guessing not the readers of this blog. Instead the audience is probably white men. People who already believe half these arguments. I don't see how spreading attention does anything to counter it. All it does it drive a few angry clicks to read the excrement in whole. So then what? All those clicks help it go viral. If nobody reacted to it, it would fade away like so many other conservative op eds.

    As far as winning or losing? The battle is already over. Congratulations guys, you won. Doesn't feel that way does it? Don't worry, the Union didn't feel like winners immediately after Gettysburg. The fact is that the demographic changes that conservatives fear most are already happening. The cake is already baked people. White people are a minority of the 5 and under crowd. In 13 years they will be voters.

    What's more, the conservatives put everything they had into the 2012 election. They spent the previous 4 years working diligently to shore up the white vote. And it worked. They got better percentages of the white vote in 2012 than 2008. And white men even moreso. They still lost the election. 2012 was a watershed election because it was the last time that the old conservative coalition could put an election into serious play and even then they still lost.

    All this tells me that feeding the trolls is not effective. I don't see how being familiar with their arguments will help things. You won't change their minds, they won't change your mind. The cake is already baked. To paraphrase Max Plank progress marches one funeral at a time.

    My only caveat is to watch out for those wide eyed loonies preaching a new faith to the young. Like Ron Paul. But he is no troll, he drinks the Kool-Aid. And his writings are so different because they have a different audience. There was nothing in this piece that was an attempt win over converts. It was preaching to the choir and goading the opposition. These things are a dime a dozen.

  48. sinned34 Says:

    This is like writing, "One of the big disadvantages to being female is sexual harassment" and then continuing to explain that sexual harassment is when a woman is catapulted into a barn.

    I totally LOLed, and then my coworkers looked at me funny. But don't worry, I'll fight through their taunts, assumptions, and grievances about my very existence, to eventually become a second-class citizen. Or something like that.

    My brain hurts. Ed, if you find yourself in the Okanagan, drop by and I'll pop open a bottle of Appleton 30 year rum I've been saving for a special occasion.

  49. Sarah Says:

    Sarah, you read Beale?! Are you sure that won't give you brain cancer? Though there is some merit to keeping an eye on people who want to repeal women's suffrage, I suppose.

    Sure does suck for straight white men. O the humanity.

    LMAO. Actually, right now I'm really just observing the drama over his attack on N.K. Jemisin. But I do have slightly battered copies of A Throne of Bones and Summa Elvetica which I'm thinking about reviewing for the blog I want to start next year. I may also pay Mark Oshiro to read portions of them on camera just for the lulz.

  50. Sarah Says:

    What's more, the conservatives put everything they had into the 2012 election. They spent the previous 4 years working diligently to shore up the white vote. And it worked. They got better percentages of the white vote in 2012 than 2008. And white men even moreso. They still lost the election. 2012 was a watershed election because it was the last time that the old conservative coalition could put an election into serious play and even then they still lost.

    But that still leaves out the question of what happened in 2010. (Actually, I know what happened in 2010–a whole lotta liberals thought they were "punishing" Obama and the Democrats by not voting. Turns out the ones who are getting punished are women, minorities and poor people. Oops.) And now that the Voting Rights Act has been gutted, the question of what will happen in 2014 and 2016 are still up in the air.

    Meanwhile, abortion rights are in serious jeopardy. Which is more or less par for the course–they've been in jeopardy as far back as I can remember, and as someone who is old enough to remember the William Kennedy Smith trial I'm not too surprised about how they are flinging around new definitions of rape too. But I thought the issue of contraception had been put to bed. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they want to do away with no-fault divorce next.

    Complacency is what is causing our backslide towards the era of back-alley abortions, public lynchings shootings of young black men in the name of self-defense, and greater inequalities of wealth and income. It isn't going to help if we have more complacency, by pretending that pundits like this aren't part of the problem.

  51. acer Says:

    @Sarah:

    Wow.

    I find Scalzi smarmy and self-satisfied as a blogger. But Brake is such an incredible, incredible ass.

    I wouldn't want to like anything he made.

  52. acer Says:

    Beale

  53. Sarah Says:

    I find Scalzi smarmy and self-satisfied as a blogger.

    Really? I like him. At the very least he has enough self-awareness to be aware of his own privilege. He seems to be on board with the idea of paying it forward, and using his privilege to try to better the lives of women and minorities. His efforts to get more of them involved with the sf/f genre are nice too. Not to mention, he gets attacked by He Who Shall Not be Named (or sees the shitbag attacking someone else), he organizes a fundraiser and gives the money to charity.

    Plus I finished Old Man's War last week and I really enjoyed it. I told my dad that if he didn't buy a copy of it for himself, I would buy one for him.

    But Brake is such an incredible, incredible ass.

    I wouldn't want to like anything he made.

    Eh, I read Twilight and I survived. I'm sure I'll be all right.

  54. acer Says:

    I like Scalzi's fiction and he seems like a nice guy. Maybe I wish he were more openly flawed. I like Ed partly because of his mood swings.

  55. Daphne Says:

    What you do, Ed, is called addressing the subtext. It is not only wise but the only approach to bad faith players.

  56. Sarah Says:

    Oh look, a state legislator in Utah thinks that compulsory education is, like, so 20th century. Guess what party he belongs to. (Of course, we're talking about Utah, but that doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't be afraid.)

  57. Xynzee Says:

    @Sarah: if knowing that I'd saved my kid from being able to read Twilight. I'd aim for illiteracy too ;)

    On serious note, where do they find these people?

  58. c u n d gulag Says:

    Sarah,
    Remember a few years ago, a bunch of Republican politicians (who else?) in the state of Texas wanted to have schools stop teaching "critical thinking?"

    Yes, because "critical thinking" led to children be 'critical,' and possibly push back against their parents and their wishes.
    Especially, on religious beliefs.

    And who wants a child who's not a good Jesus-bot?

    According to these types of people, everything you need to know about life, is in the Bible.
    As told to you by your Minister.

    God forbid you have the ability to read if, and interpret the teachings for yourself – or, maybe even use "critical thinking," and decide that maybe religion, or Christianity, wasn't your cup of tea.

    Our Christians are really Polytheists – they worship the gods "Ignorance" and "Obedience" – among others.

    And so, they want to doom future generations of Texans to be just as f*cking stupid and ignorant as their parents.

  59. Arslan Says:

    There is a simple test a man can take to see if he's oppressed.

    If you go out at night, what do you think are the odds of you being raped?

    Have you ever considered the previous question in your life?

    How often are people you are not attracted to giving you insincere compliments on your appearance?

    If you are upset about something and voice your opinion, do people chalk it up to hormones or the time of month?

    Are you socially condemned for having multiple sex partners?

    Is the government constantly trying to regulate your access to medical care?

    When you interview for a job, do you think the interviewer is wondering if you'll get pregnant soon(if they are, you might want to reconsider working for such a company)?

    Are you admired for having lots of sexual experience?

    Are you constantly being told how you should look, how you need to be married, and how to appeal to women?

    Have you ever had to consider prostituting yourself, or trading sex for shelter and food?

    Are you constantly being told from childhood to imagine your wedding day and your ideal wife?

    Do clubs and various venues involve drunk idiots trying to get you to take off your clothes in public, only to call you pejorative names for obliging?

    How often do you get groped in social situations?

    Do you get offered all kinds of favors from people you have no attraction to, only to have such kindness withheld when you don't reciprocate with sex?

    Obviously there are plenty more questions but it seems to me that if men are indeed facing oppression that is anywhere near what women fact, there need to be at least a few positive answers to those questions.

  60. Buckyblue Says:

    Sarah et al. Gulag writes some of his best stuff over at Mahablog, which is a damn fine blog in its own right. If you haven't been there, definately worth a visit.

  61. Benny Lava Says:

    Sarah,

    By all means people should go out and vote. But I don't really see what part reading punditry will play or how it really helps. Every time someone like Limbaugh or Coulter says something sensational, ratings go up. They are being rewarded for bad behavior.

  62. Sarah Says:

    Yes, because "critical thinking" led to children be 'critical,' and possibly push back against their parents and their wishes.
    Especially, on religious beliefs.

    When I was a kid my parents would periodically get bit by the religion bug and decide that they and all of us kids had to start going to church to "give an hour to god," save our souls, avoid eternal damnation, et cetera. After a few weeks they would start finding excuses not to go and our attendance would fall off. Getting me to go to church when I was a teenager and they were cycling through this process was like pulling teeth. My mom was actually furious at me for years because I refused to participate in a confirmation ceremony over which was presided by John Paul II. What's really ironic about that is that she has since left Catholicism and is cycling through the same process with my dad at a local Lutheran church.

    God forbid you have the ability to read if, and interpret the teachings for yourself – or, maybe even use "critical thinking," and decide that maybe religion, or Christianity, wasn't your cup of tea.

    Aaaaand the irony/hypocrisy there is that most of these people are Protestant. Protestantism got its start with people questioning the authority and the infallibility of the Catholic Church.

  63. AndErrorsSon Says:

    Perhaps I am a little late to the party as this comment thread has garnered over 60 comments already. However, against all odds I have found a mostly untouched topic (I say mostly as a J. Dryden touched on this briefly in an earlier comment). But after reading the "feminist when convenient" Grossman's opinion piece a couple things stuck me. One, this reminds me of Sarah Palin's Mother Bear (I will generously call a) movement. And secondly all the surely angrily typed trite by Grossman was all for naught. The system she claims to have helped put into place worked, furthermore it worked in her favor. The charges against her son were dropped, so her venom-laced language was wasted. At most she was fuming that her son was "grilled" for two hours. Her son was inconvenienced for two hours, time he could have better used to eat pizza and play Call of Duty, to answer questions, it's easy to see how men are second class citizens.
    P.s. I apologize for my grammar, I went to a public school that didn't teach reading until the second grade.

  64. witless chum Says:

    @AndErrorsSon
    Yeah, exactly. Grossman's complaints seem pretty lame given that the system worked, assuming her son really was innocent. Which, maybe he was? Insane and/or malicious women exist, but it's fair to note that Grossman comes off as fully in must defend my kid mode, so she's probably the least credible person possible to discuss it.

    Also, one of her top three self-qualifications for being a feminist is, seriously, a Ms. Magazine subscription.

  65. planb247 Says:

    I work at Schlafly Beer and as Tom Schlafly has made clear in recent interviews, not ONE DIME of that beer money goes back to Phyllis. So drink up freely!

  66. Sharkbabe Says:

    Thanks, this was full of out-loud laffs.

    i especially cracked up at

    SEND LIQUOR. SEND ME LIQUOR.

    and

    ATTACKED BY SPIDERS!

  67. Aaron Schroeder Says:

    For the uninitiated (like me) isn't "Keep it pithy" a Bill-O-Reilly-ism?

  68. Elle Says:

    This is glorious.

    (I shall spare the general company my lengthy thoughts on education and gender, apropos of Dragus and HazyDavy's comments above.)

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