CULT OF MEDIOCRITY

Being raised in a country that pretends it is a meritocracy sends most of us toward adulthood with some questionable expectations about how life is going to work. It doesn't take long for the national myth of "Work hard, be the best, and you will succeed!" to reveal itself for what it is. At some point you realize that there are an awful lot of people at The Top who only meet the "success" part of that formula…too many to be a coincidence. Often there is an urge to lie to ourselves, because we don't want to give up on the idea that we might someday Make It. But by the time one enters the workforce permanently, all of the illusions are gone. Most of the people at The Top are mediocre at best, idiots at worst, and they achieved thanks to an extraordinary array of advantages that almost none of them are willing to admit they had.

Damon Young – the always, always worth reading Damon Young – has a great, blistering take on Sean Spicer as perhaps the most relevant current example of what happens when people (almost inevitably, as in Spicer's case, white men) rise to the top in politics without having any actual talents or qualifications for the positions they're given. They're in completely over their heads, having been given a tremendous amount of responsibility they have no idea how to handle; really, honestly, literally no idea whatsoever. People like (all of the) Trump(s), Kushner, Spicer, Bannon, and the like are where they are because they're rich, white, and male in a country in which a disturbing number of people seem to think that those are the REAL important characteristics to look for in a leader. None of this education or experience or competence nonsense like we had with O'Bummer and his fancy law degrees or Killary and her decades of public service. Just give a rich white guy the keys and everything will be fine. If he's not a great person, well then how did he get so rich, HUH?

White men like me often read these takes and get defensive; "I'm a white male, and *I* certainly haven't been given a job in the White House or as a CEO because of it!" True. Absolutely true. But the point is not that all white men are hugely successful without having earned it. Instead it is that the vast majority of people who are hugely successful without having done much to deserve it are white men. In a society where so much boils down to connections and "pedigree" – going to the right schools, having the right last name, being in the right social circles – it is entirely logical that after two centuries of limiting those necessary forms of social currency to white men, most of the people who manage to benefit from them will be, well, us.

We've all seen how this works at the smaller scale – when a 23 year old is put in charge of your workplace because he has a fancy degree, or when the boss puts his idiot kids in charge of adult employees with decades of experience. Now we're getting a chance to see how well it works when we scale it up to the national level. Spoiler alert: It works just as well.

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118 Responses to “CULT OF MEDIOCRITY”

  1. Darren Madigan Says:

    I just wanted to take a moment to say I always enjoy what you post. It's always cogent, lucid, well reasoned, stylishly written, and usually both witty and funny. I appreciate what you do. Thanks.

  2. AfghanVet Says:

    Spot on. I marvel at how once one makes into the CEO/President ranks, at more than a self-started LLC, they will somehow be able to find another CEO/President level position regardless, and sometimes in spite of, their performance at their previous company.

    Absolutely astounds me that company boards everywhere in America are willing to dismiss evidence that is firmly planted right in front of them or find rationalizations for absolute piss-poor performance.

    This doesn't even address those that are hailed as geniuses for extracting as much value out of company as possible to provide short-term profits to big shareholders (and themselves) that inevitably leaves the company ill-prepared for long-term sustainability.

    Obama grew the economy after saving it from the ashes every freakin' quarter, but it wasn't fast enough or sharp enough to provide short-term profit taking, which meant that "investors" had to actually evaluate a company for it's long-term value. This is NOT what they teach at B school finance anymore. It's all about gaming the system; gambling on short term fluctuations and how to get in and get out profitably as fast as possible. How to make money for executing the process without being responsible for results. Moving numbers on a spreadsheet.

    Are there "good" CEOs and bankers? Sure. But they are on the 20 side of the Pareto ratio for sure.

  3. BruceJ Says:

    There are times when I worry that Poul Anderson's novel Brain Wave is real, but that rather than moving out of the force field suppressing our brains, we're moving into it.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1228628.Brain_Wave

  4. Major Kong Says:

    The military, for all its faults, is probably the closest thing we have to a meritocracy in this country.

  5. Nunya Says:

    Afghan Vet nailed it. Once a person enters the rarified atmosphere of the C-Suite, they seem to always be able to land another job with the same title despite having failed utterly in previous attempts.

    The people on the seats of boards have a vested interest in protecting people like themselves from any possible downside. They'll happily prop up a failing member of their team because, deep down, they know they're unqualified and undeserving of their position and, particualrly, for their pay.

    One of the dangers of decribing people like this as "white men" is that it created a natural defensiveness to the vast majority of white men who were not born into privilege and have none of these nepotistic networks to propel us to the top.

    Using the term "white men" is ignoring that the real advantage is being born to the very small group of very influentual and very rich countries. Being white is most likely one of their characteristics but it's by no means a causal factor. It is and always has been more about class than race or gender.

  6. Loyaltothegroupofseventeen Says:

    How much time do you need to spend sympathizing with Nazis in private before you start slipping into holocaust denial talking points completely unprompted in the middle of a press conference?

  7. ChickenLady Says:

    My husband and I were talking about white male privilege a couple of months ago. He said he knew that in general, white men were considered to have privileges, but that he had earned his position and all that came with it. I pointed out that of course he had earned it, the difference was that he had been given the opportunity to earn it. If he had been black, or female, or disabled, would his ascension have been as easy? Nope. He realized then how easily he was able to breeze through some doors that are inexplicably difficult for others to get past.

  8. J.D. Says:

    @ Nunya

    I think this is a real danger, as well, and is why Hillary lost the Midwest. There are a lot of poor white people in these parts who hear various liberal cries for racial justice and hear that as people coming to take what little they have. If white people have it so easy, then how come their life is so shitty? And if we improve the relative lot of non-white people, then is their life going to get even shittier?

    It's a socioeconomic class thing. And of course, as Ed points out, a lot of the current socioeconomic class structure stems from past and current racial injustice. I think liberal populism has a real opportunity here. Bernie addressed the socioeconomic part well, but failed at addressing the racial roots of that structure. Hillary spent some time addressing racial justice, but didn't convince people that she was enough of an economic populist. But a candidate that could do both would have a large and energetic following, especially in a certain upcoming election against a certain 74-year-old wealthy ignoramus who has proven his incompetence time and again.

  9. Nunya Says:

    J.D. – I agree with your assessment. I think liberal populism has a real future but the more we divide and conquer on the basis of race and gender, the more distant that possibility becomes.

    Right now, the right is winning the battle for hearts and minds. The more you tell white men that they’re all evil oppressors that don’t deserve what they have, the more it’s going to put them on the offensive.

    As a pinko, Left Coast liberal, even I’m starting to get increasingly agitated by the seemingly endless hatred of my race, gender, and heritage and I never thought much about any of those things until they were all simultaneously attacked.

  10. Brian M Says:

    Nunya: Especially when the oppression accusations always seemed to be thrown about by amazingly obtuse, arrogant, and self righteous 22 year olds with green hair and five nose rings.

    My hackles go up when I see some of these people arguing, and I generally AGREE with much of their program (not all, but certainly more than the program of their opponents)

  11. maaya Says:

    I'm so old that I remember one of the basic precepts of Murphy Brown was that a callow, young, white guy was put in charge of the show. It was a LOL then, not so much now.

  12. April Says:

    To all you white men – as a lefty, pinko, feminazi (white) woman, let me say that it isn't maddening that you get more privilege than every one else (well, yeah ok, it is, but that's not the main thing) – the main thing is, SOME of you refuse to recognize and acknowledge that privilege and SOME of you do everything possible to keep others without those privileges – i.e. white, male – from advancing (and, as Ed keeps saying, in most cases that is a Venn diagram of a single, overlapping circle).

    You white men who admit you started with a leg up in the birth lottery and do whatever you can to help the rest of us succeed are GOOD PEOPLE and anyone who gives you undeserved shit is an asshole.

    Period.

    (Please note – I speak for every single human not in the white, male category. There was a vote. I won.)

  13. April Says:

    Did you guys read how straight Dutch men are walking around holding hands to show support for the gay guys who were attacked for being gay and holding hands?

    Thems some good-ass white males, there.

    Just saying.

  14. c u n d gulag Says:

    Imo, I think it's more about class and gender, than race.
    But of course, here in Murka, being part of the upper-class/caste means you're almost certainly white.
    And you can be a white female from a very wealthy/powetful family, go to the same Ivy League schools as the guys, and still not end-up a CEO – but become a wife.
    Not a working/raise the kids/cook/clean/take the kids to sports/cultural activities kind of blue-collar wife; but a go to lunches with other rich wives/help in some charity in town/politic to advance your hubby's career kind of wife – until you get old and he buys you off so he can get a newer, younger trophy wife!

    In other countries, it's less race, and more a case of differing priorities as to which class/caste, gender, and religion you are.
    But, even there, race is still a factor – but more often than not, it's based on the "purity" of your gene-pool.
    You can figure out where the priorities lie, based on the part of the world we talk about.

    And in almost all of these countries, marriages are between men and women of the same class/caste.
    You don't want to marry "beneath your (families) station." It's embarrassing. You'll be shunned!
    But you also don't want to end-up being judged a "gold-digger."
    Greedy social-climber. You'll NEVER be accepted!

    After writing the above, I think I'm coming to a conclusion as to the cause of at least one of the world's problems that had never occurred to me before:
    Inbreeding!
    With all of intra-class/caste marriages, you end-up with less of a family tree, and more just some twisted and almost barren branches directly on top of the trunk and roots.

    Inbreeding has caused countries – even empires – to fall!
    It was a factor in the demises of Ancient Egypt, China, India, and Rome.
    More recently, by the beginning of the 20th Century, all of the generations of inbreeding amongst royal families in Europe, resulted in some really obviously twisted Kings, Queens, and Princes/Princesses.
    Kaiser Wilhelm II was kind of like a German mix of George W. Bush and Donald tRUMP.
    Tsar Nicholkas' son, the Tsarevich, was a hemopheliac.
    And let's not get into England's royal family at that time! ZOINKS!!!

    Maybe the lack of understanding and empathy, and instead, having a callous disregard for life and dignity coming from the world's tippy-top .00001%, is a result not only of a near complete lack of contact with us riff-raff types, but of inbreeding among the "New Gilded Ages" "royalty."
    It kinda explains at least a few things for me.

    What say you?

  15. mago Says:

    The Habsburgs come to mind as well.

  16. Nunya Says:

    April, I understand the concept of white privilege. I've benefited from growing up in a stable, middle class white family.

    That being said, when I'm told that my opinion isn't welcome because I'm a white male or told to "check my privilege" from an upper class white woman who I knew had far more advantages than I ever did, the whole exercise loses its meaning.

    I'm in my forties now and wasn't subjected to the level of general loathing that young men and boys are now facing but I'm growing increasingly more interested in seeing that they aren't ground under the increasingly oppressive boot of social justice. These kids never had a chance to oppress anyone despite what historically oppressive blood they may carry in their veins.

    Divided we fall, and right now we're all falling apart.

  17. jcdenton Says:

    @Nunya

    "Check your privilege" is an incredibly useless slogan from the pop feminists (despite my empathy for its core meaning). It is however not the entirety of the feminist discourse about privilege and oppression.

    Most of the loathing comes from younger and frankly non-academic feminists (men and women), who can't properly capture the nuance between privilege and agency – the difference between having privilege and the kind of moral responsibility you have for acting towards others who don't have it.

    Having unearned privilege is not evil in and of itself, at least not in the personal context since you may not have chosen to be born into privilege. However, having privilege and choosing to ignore its implications or continuing to treat others as if privilege or lack thereof didn't play a role in socio-economic outcomes *is* evil.

    As for you white, wealthy female antagonist… I guess she has no idea about how intersectionality works.

  18. April Says:

    @Nunya – First of all, as I said, they's assholes. Second, sure – being rich pretty much conquers all. A black, handicapped, Jewish? (atheist? Rastafarian?), ugly (it's a valid point – pretty people whatever their gender have more advantages than ugly ones), fat (same here – or maybe same thing?), mean, lazy, transgendered person who is very rich will almost certainly do better than a poor white man, no matter how nice and hard-working he is. No question. (I tried to include as many of the things that disadvantage someone in current society. This does NOT mean I think most of those things are bad things to be. "Mean" and "lazy" suck, of course.) And you are absolutely right that somehow we have to convince young white men that the progressive agenda which helps the "others" will help them as well. It's not a zero sum game. "We must all hang together or surely…."

    HAVING SAID THAT…I have been lectured by even well-meaning white men on matters they know nothing about concerning women, women's bodies, the things that (can or do) happen to us, the choices we make…Look, I try to be as educated and enlightened as possible. Yet I remember an essay I read once which basically said that as a white person I should pretty much shut up completely about black issues because, no matter how well-read or well-intentioned, I don't have black skin and thus can't possibly know what being black is like in our society. It was a point well-made.

    Now please understand I'm not saying you said or did anything wrong. See my point #1. What I am saying is that besides support for people who are "other" to us, the best course might be to allow THEM to decide what the best agenda is for their group. As a white person (post essay) I try very hard to not make statements about "what is best for black people/what black people want/etc.". I suggest that men of any color do the same for women (and all of us for gender-fluid people.)

    Again, see my point #1. Some people are just assholes, no matter what.

    And….eat the rich. (They are delicious! All that fois gras…)

  19. April Says:

    Shorter version – people above don't get to express their opinions about people below ie, white people on black people, men on women, rich on poor…etc.

    And yes, we need to unite for policies that benefit the majority.

  20. Nunya Says:

    April, thanks for your response.

    One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his intrinsic masculinity is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his ancestors, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of his immutable qualities of being born with an XY chromosome.

    It is actually that bad. I work with several early twenties young men that are so damaged that they are borderline disfunctional from the guilt they carry that has absolutely no basis in fact.

  21. Nunya Says:

    And two, I'll accept good information from whatever person provides it. FDR was a wealthy patrician but his ideas improved this country immensely.

    I reject your guilt and maintain that we are all human. Any attempt to silence a person for their race, gender or privilege is something you should fear and despise out of sheer principle.

  22. jcdenton Says:

    @Nunya

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his intrinsic masculinity is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his ancestors, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of his immutable qualities of being born with an XY chromosome."

    If this isn't just trolling, I'd say that feminists by and large do not actually advocate the majority of these positions. To obviate no-true-scotsman fallacy arguments, I would say that they're still feminists, just ones utterly incompetent at thinking. I have a feeling that the criticisms they've encountered is far milder or far more juvenile…

    When feminists argue for redistributionism, they're not saying white males shouldn't advance in society, they're saying white males *already* run society. Being told that you should not see the same easy path of racism/sexism-greased advancement that your forebears saw must, I'm sure, make some white men feel like shit. However, no one is actually seriously going to stand in their way, and moreover their still-existing privilege will give the majority of them a soft landing.

    Many men have upbringings steeped in toxic masculinity (I did!). These are things they can outgrow with some self-education and self-reflection.

    We're all shaped by our ancestors to a certain extent. Their deeds set the stage in part for our own successes and failures. No one is born truly Tabula Rasa. Many have profited by the brutal work of the ancestors and are born into relative abundance because of it. Being aware of the debts your ancestors racked up isn't pleasant, but it's a part of becoming a better human being.

    "I reject your guilt and maintain that we are all human. Any attempt to silence a person for their race, gender or privilege is something you should fear and despise out of sheer principle."

    Ah, yeah, now you're conflating the difference between racism and the recognition that pervasive racism shapes how we behave. Feminists don't reject the idea that a good idea can come from some external source. They reject the idea that white men are the natural arbiters of knowledge and reason, or intrinsically know what is best for other groups based on a series of incredibly biased (but socially-normalized) experiences. So yeah, I guess if you or I barge into a BLM meeting to tell them how to run their shit, they'll probably throw our asses out… and would be right for doing so.

  23. April Says:

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his intrinsic masculinity is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his ancestors, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of his immutable qualities of being born with an XY chromosome." Change "man" to "woman", the male pronouns to female and the XY chromosome to an XX pair and you are talking about every female who was raised in a strongly religious – nearly all of them, as far as I can see – household. And to a lesser degree, to nearly EVERY female.

    I was not allowed to play the drums in grade school because I was a [GASP] GIRL. (Yes, that was the only reason. Back then, they were open about it.) Oh, and girls don't become scientists. I was told "teacher or nurse". Yes, that was a while back and things are different (somewhat) but my point still stands. And for what it's worth, any complaints about this stuff usually received this response from most men; "Pfft. You're making something out of nothing. Suck it up."

    Look – discrimination is bad wherever it rears its horrible head. And two wrongs don't make a right. (Bad Chinese joke here…) Humankind (not "mankind" – laugh it off if you will, but that genuinely bothered me as a child – "why don't girls count?') will only advance when ALL of its members are given equal opportunities and enough resources to develop them. Apparently Bill Gates told the king of Saudia Arabia that they would never be a world leader because they were ignoring half of their talent.

    And FDR (rich) advocating for the poor is not the same as some rich person telling discoursing on what poor people should do to become rich. (Be born to rich people.) AFAIK FDR didn't go around spouting bullshit about how the poor think, or work (or don't) or other nonsense. He saw that they needed jobs and money and infrastructure and education and used his power to give those to them.

    Very different from what I was saying.

  24. Nunya Says:

    I am not trolling and will address your comments tomorrow.

    That being said, just what about feminism shows the slightest concern for men and their issues? Being told by any group that you are intrinsically guilty based on immutable qualities will result in one thing… segregation.

    If you hate me, why on earth would I associate with you? Why would any person subject themselves to a beating, verbally or otherwise just to be allowed to be a slave to a group that despises them? If white men are truly on power, why the hell would they ever do anything to help people who are hell bent not only to remove them from power but to extract revenge?

    I've been an active lefty for most of my adult life but I'm telling you, the left is rapidly losing me and literally millions of former progressives who simply cannot stomach a cult ofollowing victimization led by delusional, irrational people.

    I don't hate myself for being white or male or American.

    In all of the haste to hate on Western culture, let me ask one question… Since the Enlightenment, what other culture did it better than the west?

  25. define and redefine Says:

    @ April –

    Hilariously, in places that are notorious for being…um…unfriendly to gay folks (Lookin' at you, Saudi Arabia), dudes walk around hand in hand pretty often. When I worked there, a couple of dudes I worked with tried to hold my hand. Bein' a red-blooded straight 'Merikan male, I wasn't having it. (In all seriousness, the culture in which one is steeped is a powerful thing. I wasn't into it because of what it symbolizes in our culture.) One of them, a Pakistani doctor who was a good friend of mine, didn't really get why I was hesitant to hold his hand. I had to explain to him that, in American culture, holding hands between two adults usually indicates dating and/or a relationship.

  26. Clamx Says:

    You're indulging yourselves in the nuances of this or that.

    I'm an advocate of live and let live. Which is a pretty straightforward maxim: Live and let live!

  27. define and redefine Says:

    "Since the Enlightenment, what other culture did it better than the west?"

    Isn't that what Steve King said recently???

    (sorry…couldn't resist.)

    "They reject the idea that white men are the natural arbiters of knowledge and reason, or intrinsically know what is best for other groups based on a series of incredibly biased (but socially-normalized) experiences. So yeah, I guess if you or I barge into a BLM meeting to tell them how to run their shit, they'll probably throw our asses out… and would be right for doing so."

    As someone of Muslim descent, yeah, I totally get this. These days, even on the left (Bill Maher and I guess Sam Harris), you get a shit ton of white folks who are either Christian or of Christian descent trying to explain to Muslims what Islam means.

  28. Nunya Says:

    Alright April,

    You win, those execufucks will be slightly less dazzled tomorrow:
    April 14th, 2017 at 1:13 am

    You said:

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his intrinsic masculinity is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his ancestors, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of his immutable qualities of being born with an XY chromosome." Change "man" to "woman", the male pronouns to female and the XY chromosome to an XX pair and you are talking about every female who was raised in a strongly religious – nearly all of them, as far as I can see – household. And to a lesser degree, to nearly EVERY female.”

    My Response:

    Exactly what time period are you referring to? If you want to believe we’re still living in Ward Clever’s 1950’s, I’d suggest that you revise your calendar.

    How many families are religious? Exactly what about I just said about secular MEN happening today has any bearing on your argument? Why are you incapable of feeling a moment’s remorse for a poor, delude, fragile young man? Trust me, these guys are thoroughly fucked up.

    You said:

    I was not allowed to play the drums in grade school because I was a [GASP] GIRL. (Yes, that was the only reason. Back then, they were open about it.) Oh, and girls don't become scientists. I was told "teacher or nurse". Yes, that was a while back and things are different (somewhat) but my point still stands. And for what it's worth, any complaints about this stuff usually received this response from most men; "Pfft. You're making something out of nothing. Suck it up."

    My Response:

    Oh My God! The horror!

    My dad had a trumpet and a tuba from his time with music. I wanted to play the Saxaphone or the guitar. He told me to fuck off and I didn’t study music as a result. Who do I blame for that? After all, we were both white males.

    My reply:

    Discrimination is bad wherever it rears its horrible head.

    You said:

    Shorter version – people above don't get to express their opinions about people below ie, white people on black people, men on women, rich on poor…etc.

    My Reply:

    If that isn’t the definition of racism and sexim, please let me know why. It seems that you have taken a group of people who you have never met and know nothing about and applied a filter based on nothing but their natural-born, immutable, physical characteristics. By any definition, that makes you a sexist and a racist.

    You said:

    Again, see my point #1. Some people are just assholes, no matter what.

    My reply:

    Mirrors, while historically very expensive, are available to nearly every consumer today.

  29. Nunya Says:

    Define and Refine,

    I think what you're getting is a bunch of Atheists of formerly Christian descent saying that, hey, I have equal contempt for all religions but there is this one that is killing a shit ton of innocent people. Maybe it's time for an Islamic reformation. The other to branches of the Big 3 monotheistic religions did it and they're still in business.

    Also, the free speech thing in America is kind of huge. If you start telling me I can't say something and that's not going to end well.

  30. April Says:

    @define – There's a difference between walking hand-in-hand in a culture where that's no big deal, and doing so where people get beaten up for it. That takes courage, and makes a big statement.

    @Nunya – I don't think you're a troll, and have never said or even implied such. Look – here's the thing – apparently some (and I say "some" because I know a lot of feminist males who don't seem to feel mistreated. Not saying you or your friends aren't, just pointing out this isn't universal) men are now being treated as women have been, and still are in many places and circumstances, for, well, forever. Yeah, it sucks. It sucks for us too.

    Feminism is like civil rights; the people being discriminated against are seeking equal power to the ruling class, which is men, and white. So I can see that someone who is both might feel that the world is against them. But the facts are still the facts; the majority of people in power are white males. Still. Everywhere. (Ok, in non-white countries not WHITE males, but the majority race in that country. Same thing.)

    Feminists don't try and do things like regulate men's reproductive options, except as joke or to point out the absurdities. (Ex. proposing bills that require the wife to agree before her husband can get Viagra, defunding vasectomies from insurance companies. Almost nobody is serious about this (extremists exist everywhere)). Feminists DO point out that equal rights affect men as well – Planned Parenthood treats men, too. And it's not feminists who decry stay-at-home dads, or women serving beside men in the armed forces, or sexual liberation for women (if you guys aren't going to pay for sex -yeah, yeah, I know, you pay one way or the other…cry me a river – you have to have non-sex workers willing to fuck you), but it's true – most of the changes feminists want WILL benefit women more than men. THAT'S BECAUSE WE'RE THE ONES IN THE HOLE!

    But you are also right that people with power don't want to give it up. Why would they? Extract revenge? Where? (Guess my "Castration Monthly" hasn't come yet.) No one is telling you to hate yourself. Again, the white males I associate with don't seem to feel that way. If they do, they hide it well.

    As for Western Civ in the Scandinavian countries where there is more equality between the genders, they seem to be doing it pretty damn well. I'm not throwing out all WC, I'm just saying for those of us who AREN'T white males, we're still getting the short staff.

    And, you know, feel free to become a republican, where men are still kings. In the end you'll get screwed over just as much as the feminists next to you, only the white rich power males who are doing the screwing will whisper sweet nothings in your ear while they pollute your planet, and take all your money and rights, because in the end, they think about as much of you as they do of me.

  31. April Says:

    @Nunya – say anything you want. I'm not trying to stifle your freedom of speech. But don't get mad if the people you are "whitemansplaining" things to get upset.

    For me? I'm going to take what I think is good advice and not tell people of color how they should behave/think/say/ or do to make the changes THEY feel need changing (unless they advocate violence. Then I might have to show them the error of their ways.)

    Also, just to point out that women's rights are STILL being violated by the white males in power – reproductive rights, rape ("What was she wearing? Where was she walking? What did she say?") and sexual molestation – my god our leader is a sexual predator BY ADMISSION! WHY ISN'T HE ROTTING IN JAIL??? job pay, insurance equality (pregnancy as a pre-existing condition)….

    One more thing – it was YOUR DAD who kept you from playing an instrument. It was the ENTIRE SYSTEM that kept me from playing the drums. You CAN see the difference, can't you?

  32. Nunya Says:

    Jcdenton,

    You said:

    If this isn't just trolling, I'd say that feminists by and large do not actually advocate the majority of these positions. To obviate no-true-scotsman fallacy arguments, I would say that they're still feminists, just ones utterly incompetent at thinking. I have a feeling that the criticisms they've encountered is far milder or far more juvenile…

    My reply:

    We may travel in different circles but I can assure you that in my corner of the world, there is absolutely no concern for men or their suffering here in the PNW. Numerous discussions with my wife of nearly 20 years (a very successful feminist) has yielded me next to no sympathy for men. I may be alright but my sex is evil. (This only erupted over the last 3 years)

    You said:

    When feminists argue for redistributionism, they're not saying white males shouldn't advance in society, they're saying white males *already* run society. Being told that you should not see the same easy path of racism/sexism-greased advancement that your forebears saw must, I'm sure, make some white men feel like shit. However, no one is actually seriously going to stand in their way, and moreover their still-existing privilege will give the majority of them a soft landing.

    My reply:

    Redistribution is the fundamental aim or Marxism. While I support elements of his theory, do you really think this is the best course of action? Redistribution from whom to who? The big oppressors are long gone. Young women under 30 make more than their male counterparts. Is it cool to take their paychecks to subsidize their underperforming male counterparts that have been falling behind academically for 20 years? I mean, it’s only fair.
    Why should girls be 2/3 of college graduates? Should we rescind the degrees of the most entitled? That seems the most egalitarian solution.

    You said:

    Many men have upbringings steeped in toxic masculinity (I did!). These are things they can outgrow with some self-education and self-reflection.

    My reply:

    My father is what most people today would call a hyper-alpha-masculine man. He was a Vietnam Veteran Navy bomber pilot turned big city cop, but also earned a law degree. He wasn’t a particularly gentle or kind man but he was brave and managed to save over 100 lives during his career. He wasn’t sensitive in the modern sense but he worked ungodly hours to provide for his family. Oh, and he got shot twice while on duty while still managing to bring the suspect in alive.

    He wasn’t a role model in many ways but I can tell you that society cannot function without without people like him. He had the best advice I ever receive from anyone. He told me that he did his job so that his son wouldn’t have to.

    You said:

    We're all shaped by our ancestors to a certain extent. Their deeds set the stage in part for our own successes and failures. No one is born truly Tabula Rasa. Many have profited by the brutal work of the ancestors and are born into relative abundance because of it. Being aware of the debts your ancestors racked up isn't pleasant, but it's a part of becoming a better human being.

    My reply:
    Of course, we are the product of our lineage. I’ll admit to being from a really old, but roundly unremarkable American family. Despite being here since the 1600s, it turns out that none of my family ever owned slaves. That makes me part of 90% of American whites.

    Yeah, we absolutely agree that our forefathers made mistakes. The thing that we all forget is that they tried to correct them. As I recall, over 600,000 men died deciding the fate of slavery. Is that payment enough? Didn’t our horrible, white ancestors also pass the Civil Rights Amendment? Did JFK not pass the Fair Pay Act in 1963? Has America remained stuck in 1950? The rhetoric of today would suggest that it has.

    You said:

    "I reject your guilt and maintain that we are all human. Any attempt to silence a person for their race, gender or privilege is something you should fear and despise out of sheer principle."
    Ah, yeah, now you're conflating the difference between racism and the recognition that pervasive racism shapes how we behave. Feminists don't reject the idea that a good idea can come from some external source. They reject the idea that white men are the natural arbiters of knowledge and reason, or intrinsically know what is best for other groups based on a series of incredibly biased (but socially-normalized) experiences. So yeah, I guess if you or I barge into a BLM meeting to tell them how to run their shit, they'll probably throw our asses out… and would be right for doing so.

    My reply:

    You seem to have a profound misunderstanding of the way of the world today. As a CIS, white, old man, I am absolutely not entitled to an opinion in public or the workplace if it places the slightest criticism on anyone deemed to be oppressed by the current system. If I make the slightest misstep in my wording, I will be fired and blackballed for life. So tell me… who has the power in that scenario? Who is really calling the shots? If I, based solely on my white skin and penis, can be singled out for extraordinary rendition based on a misunderstanding will be summarily shitcanned and permanently ostracized, just what, precisely is my advantage?

    I tell you this as a long-time reader
    of Gin and Tacos, a formerly devout lefty, a citizen of the #2 most left leaning city in the country. The left is losing. The left has become more totalitarian than the right and that disturbs me greatly.

    The vision of the right wing will be horrible for us all. The more the left obsesses with social justice and intolerance, the worse the chances to improve this country will fare. I’m asking you to go beyond your current thinking and try to find a way to unify the people of America. I shit you not, if you’ve lost me, the left is fucked. I am a self-professed pinko and am willing to entertain ideas that will simply destroy your world view. That scares me and it should scare you.

  33. Nunya Says:

    April,

    While you explained to me that I don’t have the right to comment on the experiences of anyone “beneath me” on the hierarchy of oppression, let me take a moment to describe the life of men, a thing, as a woman, you also could not possibly comprehend:

    These are the immutables of being a man in America:

    1. No one will ever be sympathetic toward you: Yes, no one will help you. There are no shelters, hotlines, handouts, assistance leagues, or advocacy groups. If you fall on hard times, fuck you, you’re homeless. (P.S. 75% of homeless people are men)

    2. You are expected to make the right decisions, no excuses: Oh you had irresponsible sex with that girl while drunk? You will be forced to pay child support for 22 years. Your choice has no bearing. The woman can walk away, even after giving birth with no repurcussions.

    3. 70% of divorces are initiated by women. 97% of alimony is paid to women. 80% of child custody goes to women. It’s sexist for you to complain about any of this.

    4. Men suffer 97% of workplace deaths. No one cares about this.

    5. Men commit suicide at a rate 350% greater than women

    6. Women control 80% of the spending in the US but earn 46% of the income. This is never mentioned in any media source but the alleged wage gap still is

    7. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING. NO ONE CARES.

    And you wonder why men are getting tired of hearing about “mansplaining” and “manspreading.”

  34. Major Kong Says:

    Well, that escalated quickly.

  35. geoff Says:

    @April, "Change "man" to "woman", the male pronouns to female and the XY chromosome to an XX pair and you are talking about every female who was raised in a strongly religious – nearly all of them, as far as I can see – household. And to a lesser degree, to nearly EVERY female."

    Thankfully I was not raised Catholic, but even *I* know that we'd all still be runnin' around in Paradise if it weren't for a stinky GIRL!! (sarc!)

  36. Katydid Says:

    I'm sorry, I'm just sitting here laughing at a lot of the indignant responses, Nunya. A man has drunken sex with a woman and is FORCED to financially support *the child he created*? To quote you in a response to April: THE HORROR! Know what the mother gets? Raped, plus the responsibility to actually raise another human being, mostly likely having to resort to the court system (time, money, aggravation) to try to collect the paltry sum she's awarded, all while the man whines about money taken from his (probably larger than her) salary.

    As someone who's worked more than 30 years in two predominantly-male careers (military and IT) and who has a lot of female friends who are divorced, I've seen both sides of it. The men who bring in bagels for the whole office to celebrate that their own flesh and blood has turned 18, so they no longer have to provide a penny to that child, the men who brag about ways to dodge child support for 89 days at a time and making a small payment on the 90th to avoid the feds, men who drive expensive cars yet piss and moan that their ex-wife wants the kid to go on a class field trip to a museum and DARES ask him to chip in $10 for the field trip bus fare.

    Meanwhile, as Judge Judy points out, the women most often get the children (because they ASK for them), and kids have to eat every single day. Kids outgrow their shoes before the month is out. Kids lose their winter gloves and half half-days at school when the babysitter is on vacation. Who pays for that, day in and day out? The mother. Meanwhile, it's not unusual for the people whose sperm created these kids in the first place to be $30k, $50k, $90k in arrears.

    Oh, and as for your getting your feelings hurt that you can't say offensive things anymore? You CAN, but now you're slightly-more-likely to be held accountable for what you say. If you walk into a meeting spewing obnoxious crap and get told to leave, you're not being persecuted, you're being held accountable. I know, it's a new concept for many white men.

  37. geoff Says:

    @cu, WWI: Family Feud!!

  38. Katydid Says:

    @maaya; Murphy Brown was a great show for a lot of reasons. Candice Bergen had a long, long, LONG history in show biz, and if she'd been a man, she would have been a multi-millionaire several times over.

    @gulag; a couple of years ago I went to the wedding of a co-worker's son. I'd known the co-worker and her family for 20 years. The groom was a 26-year-old high-school dropout who'd been on and off drugs and had a drinking problem and worked in his father's company as an "intern". The 26-year-old bride was finishing an MBA and worked fulltime in the life-insurance business while going to school. The groom's father asked the DJ to play the song "Golddigger"…because the bride was Hispanic! Get it! BWAH, it's funny 'cuz she's not white, and she's a chick, so obviously she's a golddigger looking to the white guy to support her! <–note: that is not my belief, but that is a quote of a remark I heard.

  39. April Says:

    When I told my now-ex husband I wanted a divorce (which he didn't want) [yeah, Nunya, I'm one of them ball-busting feminazi lesbos (but I'm being redundant, right?) who threw a good man out!] he threatened to sue for custody of the girls. I just had to laugh at him. I told him to "go ahead". Nothing more was ever heard about it. He wasn't interested in raising small children. We agreed on a generous visitation schedule which he didn't even come close to meeting. That is, there were many weekends he didn't take the girls. And he never took them for the 6 summer weeks he was allotted.

    To be fair to him, he paid his (generous – established by him. Then again, he was a surgeon.) child support always on time and without complaint.

    Oh, and I might mention that I stayed in the small town in nowhere's ville to keep the kids close to him. HE'S the one who moved away.

  40. Katydid Says:

    An interesting read for those who think women hold all the cards and the poor, poor men are just whipping boys in socieity: http://jezebel.com/federal-investigators-find-credible-evidence-of-sexual-1794317981. Yet another national park where the women employees are routinely sexually harassed, assaulted, and abused simply for being born with two X chromosomes. The comments are equally enlightening.

  41. Katydid Says:

    @April; I've heard many of my divorced friends talk about how the ex-husbands don't even bother to show up for their visitation.

  42. April Says:

    "Women control 80% of the spending…" Of course the do. It's called "shopping". Shopping is a chore. Women do most of it. You could also say that women get to control of most of the major purchases – like the washer, the dryer, the stove, the fridge…maybe even a whole car. (Those kids don't get to piano/dance/karate lessons on their own.)

    Pfft. I'm going back to "The Expanse".

  43. Major Kong Says:

    I often wonder when I see a man (it's almost always a man) sitting in the car in a supermarket parking lot, while the wife presumably shops.

    Are these guys afraid they'll turn gay if they set foot inside a grocery store?

  44. April Says:

    Something has just occurred to me…there is one area where women have a distinct advantage. Over the course of my life there have been times where I wasn't working (voluntarily) for a year or two. (I tended to drop out of the work force and live off savings for a bit….not something in retrospect I would recommend, hence being in China now as an old lady to save up enough for a piece of carpet for my cardboard box.) The woman advantage is that, when in interviews I'm asked why I have these gaps in my work history I can say (and get away with) "I was living with someone who was taking care of me."

    Wasn't true, but society still allows women to do that without repercussion.

  45. Tim H. Says:

    I've seen examples of bad behaviors from both genders, I usually think of it as being human. Now I have dishes to do.

  46. Safety Man! Says:

    @ major kong

    The military also has the most minorities in positions of leadership. I wonder if the two are related…

  47. democommie Says:

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his intrinsic gayness is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his abominable desires, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of his immutable qualities of being born with a 'non-standard issue of sexual characteristics'"?

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young woman that has been told that his intrinsic comopetitiveness is toxic since childhood, has internalized that she doesn't derserve anything that she might have ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of Eve, and that she should be prohibited from advancement simply because of her immutable qualities of being born with XX chromosomes and XY competitiveness*"

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his intrinsic 'Illegalilty' is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his 'Illegal' ancestors, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of his immutable qualities of being born to ILLEGALS?"

    "One quick question though… what do I tell a young man that has been told that his Islam/hinduism/animism/atheism is toxic since childhood, has internalized that he doesn't deserve anything he has ever accomplished, is, at birth, guilty of the sins of his ancestors, and that he should be prohibited from advancement simply because of religion/atheism"

    My guess? Tell all of them that the people who try to feed them that line are, at best, well intentioned idiots and at worst, privileged assholes.

    The movement of feminism has been a pain-in-the-ass for lots of folks–particulary the PWM that it rightly bashes. OTOH, feminism is a movement like unionionism; it came into being due to unadressed inequalities. It will die when it's no longer needed–which is to say, "never".

    * Not believing that for a second.

  48. The Palace Cat Says:

    OMG sooooo many white guys. It's always about race in America. Always. Even when it's not about race, (economic insecurity) it's actually about race. https://theintercept.com/2017/04/06/top-democrats-are-wrong-trump-supporters-were-more-motivated-by-racism-than-economic-issues/

  49. Safety Man! Says:

    @ April

    I want to go way, way back in the conversation.
    You mentioned the sound advice that people who aren't black refrain from making any comments about black life. I want to pitch this to the group, the problem here is that we have a democracy, and although I'll never truely understand what it means to be a black man in our society, I've better damn well have some cliff notes because otherwise there will never be any social or legal progress. I think the goal should be to make sure the cliff notes come from you and not Fox News.

    Unfortunately right now I see more Balkanization (See Trump, Donald).

    On a side note I think class arguments might go over well in the future, if the outrage over United/ Chicago PD is any indication.

  50. April Says:

    @palace cat – (love that nick btw!) Just imagine the outrage and action that would be occurring if all the things that rump has said and done had been said and done by Obama.

    (my favorite is "5 children by 3 baby mommas")

    Yes, race.

    But – sexism too. Replace Hilz for Obama. Same results.

    White males rule.

  51. April Says:

    @DC. slow clap.

    Wouldn't have ever thought of all those examples.

  52. April Says:

    And thanks, Safety man for your affirmation.

  53. Jestbill Says:

    ' I try very hard to not make statements about "what is best for black people/what black people want/etc.".'

    As I said in a previous conversation, "If I were you" is not a good way to address someone else's problem.

    If I had not been born male and white, I'd probably not be alive. Privilege may be all I've got.

    A lot of what is said on these issues is theater. Yes, people have opinions and try to communicate them accurately, but if pressed they really can't do more than wave their arms and yell. Their beliefs came with their culture and will not be conquered by argument or logic.

    I mean Original Sin is still a Thing.

  54. negative 1 Says:

    "But the point is not that all white men are hugely successful without having earned it. Instead it is that the vast majority of people who are hugely successful without having done much to deserve it are white men."

    I feel like though this should be obvious, this does more to explain the fight above (which mirrors one in society) more than anyone else.

    It's like a joke when you think about it. Everyone shouting that the most important component of privilege is race, or gender, or class; convinced that the most important one is the one they're missing. Duh — you have to have all 3, no partial credit given. I'm white and male but I was poor, so no CEO for me. And before I get accused of joining in this argument above everyone should know that in 15 years of white collar financial employment my bosses (except the current one) were all women and all went to pretty prestigious private universities. But, they were all white. Let's all keep yelling about who has it worse, though, because that's productive. It's telling that we keep talking about how to saddle each other with our *dis*advantages.

  55. Mo Says:

    democommie wins.

  56. Periscope Says:

    While April and Nunya are in the showers (thanks for the great conversation BTW) maybe a notion about the topic of the day: It seems that some of the mediocrity in high office is correctable if there were constitutionally required standards of competence. If someone could fake being a surgeon or a nurse until they made it, or if someone fancied themselves as a lawyer but never had to pass the bar, or if a civil engineer thought he/she could design a dam or a building without having to pass the PE exam, we'd be totally fucked as a society. The crazy thing is, we elect an incompetent con into the highest office because "we" (technically, the electoral college system) liked his populist ideas – and he meets the only two criteria for the office. If there is such a low entrance bar, should we expect anything more than mediocrity? My oversized idealism brain lobe wants to believe that tweeking the constitution might help.

  57. jcdenton Says:

    @Nunya

    As a white, male feminist concerned with men's issues, I'm going to try to address your list from that perspective:

    "1. No one will ever be sympathetic toward you: Yes, no one will help you. There are no shelters, hotlines, handouts, assistance leagues, or advocacy groups. If you fall on hard times, fuck you, you’re homeless. (P.S. 75% of homeless people are men)"

    Feminism sez: This is a result of the theory of essentialism espoused and promoted by patriarchal society. Men are essentially defined by modern culture as being self-reliant, non-crybaby bread-winners who have to get shit done and not ask for help. Asking for help and showing vulnerability or weakness is a strike against your masculinity. Feminism would like to fix this problem by doing away with essentialism

    "2. You are expected to make the right decisions, no excuses: Oh you had irresponsible sex with that girl while drunk? You will be forced to pay child support for 22 years. Your choice has no bearing. The woman can walk away, even after giving birth with no repurcussions."

    Really? Single mothers are some of the most vulnerable and poverty-stricken groups in the US. Child support often goes unpaid and the social safety net for single mothers is a shit show. Also, the reality is that the majority of the blame for "irresponsible behaviour" is heaped on the girl, not the man. See Steubenville.

    "3. 70% of divorces are initiated by women. 97% of alimony is paid to women. 80% of child custody goes to women. It’s sexist for you to complain about any of this."

    Feminism sez: This is the theory of essentialism again. Most courts see women as essentially the caregivers and homemakers. They are the "essentially" caring and nurturing sex. Feminism addresses this by saying to do away with essentialism and judge custody cases on the basis of parental competence. However, if you don't see feminists actively campaigning for this, it's because they're busy making sure that women don't lose their fundamental reproductive rights (a somewhat bigger issue).

    "4. Men suffer 97% of workplace deaths. No one cares about this."

    Feminism sez: Not sure if this figure is accurate. However, a huge issue with workplace accidents is that they occur in blue-collar and manufacturing sectors. Guess where women are generally treated as pariahs: blue-collar and manufacturing jobs. When US men went to fight overseas in WW2, the women who worked in factories also suffered higher workplace accidents.

    "5. Men commit suicide at a rate 350% greater than women."

    The CDC sez: Men and women *attempt* suicide at the same rates. However, because men are more likely to use firearms and women are more likely to use pills, men are going to be much more successful in their attempt. Mental health is a pretty serious issue in the US for both sexes. Feminism would like to address this problem, but seriously, feminism can only address so many problems at a time. Again, I would say essentialism is part of the problem here. Men are less likely to seek help with mental health issues because that would contravene the modern image of masculinity. Also, feminism works hard to make sure that mental health issues aren't demonized or stigmatized in modern society.

    "6. Women control 80% of the spending in the US but earn 46% of the income. This is never mentioned in any media source but the alleged wage gap still is"

    Feminism sez: This is a pretty nonsense statistic. If by "control" you mean women are often saddled with running household finances because they are considered homemakers and caretakers by default, then yeah, I guess they do "control" the finances. Men telling women they have to take care of household finances isn't some kind of conspiracy or wealth redistribution scheme.

    "7. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING. NO ONE CARES."

    I'm sorry that you don't feel like you have a voice. However, part of having a voice is having something relevant to say, and part of that is listening to people's actual experiences. Women and POCs experience a large amount of shit that you don't (by extension, we experience some negative things that they don't but the system is overwhelmingly rigged in our favour). If you listen to people's experiences, maybe you'll figure out why they're having trouble empathizing with some of our problems while dealing with larger ones of their own.

  58. Professor Fate Says:

    I am always suspicious of statistics cited without any context especially when used to prove 'no no we are the oppressed masses '

    And by the by 100% of the people who die in childbirth are women – and judging by the recent moves in congress and in the various statehouses, they want that number to increase.

  59. Robert Walker-Smith Says:

    As a white man in the United States, I do not feel oppressed *for being a white man*.

    I look back on my life and see a number of situations in which I was cut slack, treated with respect or consideration, and generally got away with it *because* of being a white man in the United States. I'm not a CEO or plutocrat – in my understanding, that's not what privilege means. In John Scalzi's piquant phrase, I'm playing the game on the Easy setting. It's not that it's easy for me, it's just easier than it is for my husband and our sons. As for class issues – if I'd been born into a poorer family and lived in a poorer school district, I wouldn't have had orthodontia and speech therapy. Crooked teeth and a stammer would have negatively affected almost every part of my life.

    Also, the term 'toxic masculinity' is not code for 'masculinity is toxic'.

    April, Democommie, jcdenton, thank you for going into such detail in your responses.

  60. Whitt Staircase Says:

    Just wanted to call attention to an interesting point raised near the start of this thread, before all the sturm & drang. It was the comparison of the administration of Dimwit J. Turnip to a hostile takeover. In effect, the U.S. gov has been taken over by a corporate raider type, who wants to sell off the assets, plunder the pension funds, & monetize anything of value strictly for his own (& his family's, & a group of shareholders') private gain, leaving the original company a shattered shell, with many of the low-level workers out of a job. This is done in the name of 'efficiency' or 'Making America Great Again' or some other nebulous goal. The only thing wrong with this parable is that corporate raiders are supposed to be ruthless & competent, which does not fit into the Mediocre White Man scenario. But still, it has some illuminating features.

  61. Katydid Says:

    >>4. Men suffer 97% of workplace deaths.>>

    Really? That must be so comforting to the family of the woman killed at work this week by her estranged ex for the supreme crime against him of walking away from him after he abused her.

    Margaret Atwood: "Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

  62. Katydid Says:

    My first Commanding Officer to 21-year-old me: "You're going to have to be 3 times as good as any of the men around you to be considered half as good. You can do it."

    Believe it or not, that was a kindness and has stood me well in my career.

    In my time as a supervisor of non-white, non-male employees, I realize the steeper hill they have to climb than my own. Being born white and male (gotta be both) are not guarantees of success, but it's a big head start up the ladder, that's for sure.

  63. Chautauqua Says:

    Just took out my 1A draft card from 1968 and looked at it. Seems almost quaint.

  64. Interrobang Says:

    Also, men do have the ability to "walk away" from paying child support, in the same way that a woman can "walk away" from raising a child by putting it up for adoption, BUT the point at which they get the choice to do that is different between the sexes. (That's biology, suck it up.) If you don't want to pay child support, (what in law they call) your last clear chance to do that is before you have sex. Sorry, but again, biology. So if you don't want to take the risk of fathering a child that you then have to support, your options are:

    1. Abstain entirely
    2. Have sex with dudes
    3. Don't have penis-in-vagina (or penis-in-ass) sex
    4. Insist on using a condom or other birth control device you control
    5. Talk about what would happen with an accidental pregnancy with your partner beforehand while you're both sober and make sure you agree on abortion
    6. Have a vasectomy (and freeze sperm for later if you're intent on having biological children once you finish your irresponsible fucking-strangers phase)

    That's it, and them's the breaks. If you don't do that, then you blew multiple chances to get clear, and you need to grow up and be responsible. That is to say, if you don't want a kid, don't leave your gametes sitting around in someone else's reproductive tract where they could get made into a kid. (Somehow, I have managed to avoid having any children or being responsible for any children, despite some "promiscuity" and some drunk sex.)

  65. Safety Man! Says:

    Generally we tend to frown on workplace deaths no matter the gender…Fatality rates may well be skewed towards men, but I would bet my hat that's simply because men still dominate construction jobs, which themselves dominate workplace deaths. My most recent was a woman who lost her toes to a forklift, so hooray equality.

  66. Katydid Says:

    Running errands this evening took me to a part of town I rarely find myself in, and as I entered the stripmall parking lot, I remembered this was the same stripmall that had the store that where a woman's face was melted off by acid because she broke up with her abusive boyfriend. That store is now closed, or at least moved; the storefront is now empty.

    And yes, women still die in childbirth. I was nearly one of them, because pregnant women are still considered to be hysterical dimwits, and when I presented myself to the ER with classic symptoms of eclampsia, I was told I was just "attention-seeking" and should go home and have some ice cream. Instead I went into seizures in the exam room and almost lost my youngest as well as myself.

  67. democommie Says:

    It's not the time to go into it but I've got an attention span like a gnat sometimes, so I want to lodge the question for future take-up.

    Is a reason that men tend to die of truly preventable shit like non-genetically ensured heart attacks that they are into that "man, strong, not ask for help like weak woman!" thinking?

    I think that in most cases when somebody says that "This happens to ME or MINE." it is likely that it happens to others in precisely the same way. Being a white male and an old white one, at that, I get treated like a special snowflake 'cuz old, white, guy. I also, often, get thanked for my service which was non-heroic–all of that is okay. I just don't want it to be JUST me that gets that sort of treatment.

  68. April Says:

    @DC – your timing is impeccable! I just this second finished teaching a class about stress hormones. When stress hormones are present, even at low levels, for a long period of time there is increased wear-and-tear on the general functioning of the body. For anyone who is constantly holding in emotion, or fighting against internal or external stresses without using typical stress relievers like meditation, physical activity, or shouting (or swearing) this person is keeping his/her/they body flush with said hormones.

    I think you're safe.

  69. April Says:

    (I put a grin after that, but it didn't print. Some sort of HTML thingy no doubt.)

  70. April Says:

    https://wonkette.com/615563/brave-mens-rights-activist-fears-7-eleven-has-gone-the-way-of-the-cuck

  71. Ormond Otvos Says:

    I pay no attention to "-ists" of any type.
    Most of the above I've read with pity.

    Tend your gardens.

  72. Sasha Says:

    This is what I mean by the profound dishonesty and falsity of belief that underlies the entire worldview of the average not very intelligent college graduate. It's a way of thinking that might make sense to small minded people, but seems utterly absurd to anyone who thinks on a global scale.

    First, something that has to be America was planned, constructed, and physically built by white people. America was a white nation, with a small black minority, until not very long ago. Literally everything that made America a desirable place to be was physically built by these now long dead white people. Look at any pictures of the working class from before 1960. Blacks tended to do agricultural and domestic work, Mexicans (except for small hispanic/tejano populations) generally would come for seasonal agricultural work and then return home. Chinese never numbered more than a fraction of one percent. Whites did the road building, the factory construction, the ranching, etc. etc. Even though some black entrepreneurs did become millionaires, even 100 years ago, most businesses were set up by white people.

    So, America was 90% white until just a generation ago.

    Setting that down, a couple points to make:

    1) The only people who can complain about being discriminated against in America's past are blacks. Everyone else chose to come here, or are in the country because their parents made that choice. They cannot complain, at all. They should blame their parents for coming to America motivated by greed. Blaming America is beyond absurd.

    2) America is a majority white country. During the period when it rose to superpower status (as opposed to the current period of decline), America was 90% white. So, wow, you think in a white majority country most of the nepotism you will find will be white?

    In China, what ethnicity do you suppose are most of the unqualified people who are in their jobs due to nepotism? Think they're Kenyan?

    In Vietnam, what ethnicity do you suppose are most of the unqualified people who are in their jobs due to nepotism? Think they're Peruvian?

    In India, what ethnicity do you suppose are most of the unqualified people who are in their jobs due to nepotism? Think they're Saudis?

    I'm not saying nepotism and people rising above their competence aren't problems. I'm saying that to call it something specifically white is beyond absurd.

    This is something the virulently racist hate movement known as 'progressivism' does often: Describe a behavior exhibited by all humans everywhere, and try to convince white people they are somehow uniquely evil for engaging in it. I've worked with Chinese often enough to know they are very, very discriminatory in favor of Chinese. Jews are too. Also Indians. All are quite privileged, especially Jews. Why no mention of them?

    Finally, what, Sean Spicer is the best example they can give of someone being promoted above their position? I can think of many, many better examples. Some white males, some not.

  73. Katydid Says:

    LOL, aren't you precious?!? Careful, Sasha, your disdain for actual education is showing and your points are all too closely plagiarized. Maybe work a little harder on that next time?

  74. Katydid Says:

    April, that was a great link.

  75. democommie Says:

    Ormond, buddy:

    Fuck the pity, try awareness; it works waaaaaaaaaay better.

    Sasha:

    "This is what I mean by the profound dishonesty and falsity of belief that underlies the entire worldview of the average not very intelligent college graduate. It's a way of thinking that might make sense to small minded people, but seems utterly absurd to anyone who thinks on a global scale."

    I'm assuming that your a college graduate. Projection is never your friend.

    "The only people who can complain about being discriminated against in America's past are blacks."

    It's good to get that out of the way, upfront. It saves me and others from the time-wasting exercise (and intellectual atrophy) of reading any more of whatever you wrote.

    You're a bigot and a stupid bigot at that, college degree notwithstanding.

  76. democommie Says:

    In other news.

    Happy First Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox! Do not eat too many hard boiled chocolate rabbit's eggs!

  77. MS Says:

    Nunya is a great example of the modern MRA, found in great numbers in Reddit. Missing entirely the point of Ed's piece, he feels that white men are the true victims here and is willing to cherry-pick as many facts as needed to support his belief.

    This is what you're dealing with, and why it's not useful to argue on the internet. You're never going to convince this dude that he's not oppressed. Heck, Donald Trump thinks he's oppressed.

    And yeah, when his wife gets tired of his shit and leaves him, that's going to be even more evidence of his oppression.

  78. Sasha Says:

    Demo: I've lived in China. I was discriminated against and faced racism there.

    Do you think I had any place to complain about that?

    I don't. It's a Chinese country. I chose to come. The effects of choosing to be an outgroup are on my shoulders.

    If I had children there, and they suffered racism, the #1 person they should blame would be me.

  79. Katydid Says:

    LOL, it gets better. You lived in a foreign country and experienced prejudice, therefore you claim prejudice cannot possibly exist in the United States. Is that your point? Really? Maybe you should try going to a community college and taking a class in basic logic?

  80. democommie Says:

    "I don't. It's a Chinese country. I chose to come. The effects of choosing to be an outgroup are on my shoulders."

    And this has exactly nothing to do with non-white or female or gay or any combination of the above (not to mention a fuckton of other folks) who were BORN here and face discrimination, lack of access to services and institutional roadblocks from mostly, um, mostly, white males.

    Get your hearing checked, dude, you're tone deaf.

  81. April Says:

    @MS – I totally agree that arguing anything with a True Believer is a waste of time if your intention is to convert said TB. But internet forums have lurkers, many of whom may not have made their minds up yet on one topic or another. It's important that people who can present clear, logical rebuttals to nonsense whenever possible.

    Who knows how many minds we change?

    In addition I would argue that the truth needs to be continually presented or else it will get lost in the deluge of crap.

  82. Nunya Says:

    What I find truly astonishing about the responses to this topic is that the very thought that the evil, white male might have concerns that need to be addressed is met with absolute incredulity.

    In every case, the mention of a man's problem was countered with a "what about this person's problem?"

    Even the guy claiming that feminism cares about men's issues explained away the suicide numbers as men using guns more often and that the women in WWII probably were injured in factory jobs while ignoring that the men were OFF FIGHTING THE BLOODIEST WAR IN HISTORY. I guess those 400,000 men that died were all irrelevant.

    So no thanks. I think I'll look for another group other than feminism to look out for the needs of men and boys.

    As for the initial mention that the left is driving away men, and white men in particular because it's hard to support a group that despises your existence, I think your comments more than prove that to be true.

    When the upper middle class white women get sent to the back of the proverbial oppression bus as intersectional feminists are now calling for, you can bet that they will change their tune.

    In the meantime, when you wonder why formerly solid blue districts get their asses handed to them in the mid-terms, look no further than your disgust and hatred of a giant voting block that you actively wish to disenfranchise.

    When that comes to pass, take a good look in the mirror. Your irrational ideology just fucked this country for a generation.

  83. April Says:

    @Nunya – You need to bone up on your reading skills. Absolutely NOBODY said white males were "evil". I'm sorry that you are so mired in your own peevishness that you can't see that women, gays, transgenders and POC's have much greater problems in our society than straight white men do, and that helping the disadvantaged will, in the long run, help non-rich white men as well. As I said before – rump and his minions don't give any bigger fuck about you than the do about me.

    Mid-term losses? We'll have to see, won't we? I suggest you take a look at the crowd pictures of the various marches taking place all over the country; there are plenty of white men who can't ALL be gay taking part.

  84. April Says:

    From Daily Kos

    For anyone who tries to claim that progressive policies aren’t also majority – and by definition centrist/mainstream – policies, check out these Q-poll results for Virginia.
    “Virginia voters support 94 – 5 percent, including 90 – 8 percent among Republicans, background checks for all gun buyers.”
    By a 62%-32% margin, Virginians support limiting people to one handgun per month.
    “If more people carried guns, Virginia would be less safe, 53 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say it would be safer.”
    “Virginia voters support 59 – 35 percent allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.”
    “By an overwhelming 92 – 6 percent, voters support allowing adults to use marijuana for medical use if a doctor prescribes it.”
    “Virginia voters also say 59 – 30 percent that increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid coverage is a ‘good idea.'”
    Quinnipiac didn’t poll on other issues, like support for clean energy or LGBT equality or a woman’s right to choose, but previous polls have found support for those as well.
    Given that General Assembly Republicans are almost universally in the minority on all these issues, and given that they control the General Assembly, it’s perhaps no wonder that only 38% of Virginians approve “of the way the state legislature is handling its job.” Now, the key is to translate this sentiment into votes this November, specifically votes FOR progressive/Democratic candidates and against right wingnuts/Republicans.

    VIRGINIA! Plenty of straight white males there.

  85. April Says:

    Also too this:

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/4/15/1653245/-View-from-the-Left-Why-the-force-could-be-with-Democrats-in-2018

  86. unyon Says:

    @Nunya:

    What I find truly astonishing about the responses to this topic is that the very thought that the evil, white male might have concerns that need to be addressed is met with absolute incredulity.
    In every case, the mention of a man's problem was countered with a "what about this person's problem?"

    Another SWM here. What precisely are these overlooked issues? Are we being denied access to education? Regularly shot in the street mistakenly? Having our reproductive rights stripped? Maybe those other examples provide context, which might lead to actual understanding here.

    I agree with you that the issues you've referenced aren't trivial- but they also aren't unique to the demographic subset that you've identified. I'm not American, but where I live there are specific programs that deal with workplace injury, treatment, and retraining. There are specific programs that deal with an education system that doesn't work well for that subset of rambunctious, fidgety boys. There are mental health programs that are available to be accessed by boys and men as anyone else. And there are special programs that encourage men to get past historical mental blocks against seeking treatment, especially for issues specific to men (like colon and testicular cancer).

    What, pray tell, are you looking for here? What are we looking for here? We're supposed to get wound up as a society about injustice in men's visitation rights, but ignore the millions of single women in poverty dealing with deadbeat dads? fawn over young men that are having trouble finding their identity, yet continue to ignore aboriginals that were subjected to cultural genocide? None of the mens issues you've identified are systemic. What law should change? What regulation? What policy? What new program would make a lost 20-something losing his life to his PS4 would turn this around?

    Look, I'm not a feminist. I'd like to be, but even though I believe in equal rights, I do a damned shitty job of showing it. My wife still carries most of the burden of our family housework, even though I try to be more sensitive to it. Our gender roles tend to be pretty traditional- I do most of the blue jobs, she does the pink ones. I'd say it works for us, but mostly it works for me and I'm a self-actualized selfish prick. So I'll say what April and DC and the more sensitive people here won't say, because they're trying to find common ground with you- Your skin needs to be thicker. When we (I mean all men, young and old here) can't handle being called out on our bullshit, when we need others whose systemic situations are objectively and measurably worse than our own to mollycoddle us, then we deserve derision.

    Might that radicalize young men? Possibly. It certainly seems to everywhere else in the world, where idle young men seem to find the most destructive applications of their anger and misplaced energies. But if the price of equality is that there are consequences in getting called out on your bullshit, then welcome to the real world.

    So to summarize, from one old white guy to another, and if I can channel your father: Quit being a whiny bitch and suck it the fuck up.

  87. April Says:

    @union. – "slow clap"

  88. April Says:

    "unYon" Site needs an edit function.

  89. Nunya Says:

    Thanks, UnYon, that was a great reply and I don't disagree with most of it. I got turned on to the struggles men and particularly boys are facing. My nephews have both been forced on Ritalin because they are normal boys. Their sisters are both star pupils.

    My nephews are being told, from a shockingly young age, that their gender makes them likely to be violent or rapists. They are stripped of the ability to rough house or be competitive in any way. Since all four of their collective parents are very type-A, that seems an impossibly tall order.

    As for being an old fuck, you are correct. After watching literally dozens of my friends finding themselves divorced by wives that cited no reason other than not being extatically happy, they were reduced to near abject poverty by a famuly court system that still thinks it's the 1950s.

    Despite being an old bastard, I have no idea what a pre-social rights or pre-feminist world looks like. Racism and sexist were always a shameful thing. As I now see my race. gender and heritage treated like shit, I have been well-trained to recognize it for what it is: naked prejudice.

    I have absolutely no problem with equality for everyone. Let's strip the barriers and let.everyone be all try can be. But while we're at it, don't call me a racist piece of shit and then ask me.to give you a few bucks.

    My thin skin has damn few outlets in the current climate. Defending my position or even having a debate in real life has such immediate and dire consequences to my career that I have to resort to the fucking Internet to have a voice.

    Let's strip those barriers and have a real discussion of the merits that doesn't result in a twitter mob demanding for the blasphemers to be immediately fired for their profane words.

    Until that happens, I don't like the way the future looks. As you mentioned. the most dangerous force in the world is masses of unemployed men without prospects. Ignore that at all of our peril.

  90. April Says:

    @Nunya – I googled "teaching young white boys that they will become rapists or criminals" and – SHOCKINGLY – I couldn't find any sites or curricula that does that. Refs. please?

    I did, however, find this.
    http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol6/604-gurian.aspx

    Re. marriage. No one knows what goes on inside a marriage. Did those wives try and get their former husbands to go to marriage counseling? Did their pleas for discussion about the situation fall on deaf ears? Did the women read marriage-help books to try and fix the problem? Was there violence inside the homes that no one outside the home knew about? One hand can't clap. Did you ever talk with – or better yet, listen to – the wives' side, or did all your information come only from the disgruntled ex-hubs?

    Re. activities for active boys. Are these families living in a cave? There are sports programs all over the place for both genders….why aren't these boys involved? Are there communities where boys aren't allowed to "rough-house" or wrestle each other in the back yard?

    Re. talking about this in public. If your listening and logic skills here are any indication of your RL interactions, it doesn't surprise me that your "complaints" result in condemnation. While some of your complaints have validity, they pale in comparison with those of the others, and your dismissal of the real, and endemic, and much more serious problems of the others and your unwillingness to admit that doesn't exactly make you a sympathetic character. It's like a rich person complaining about how hard it is to get good help to people who can't put food on the table. Perhaps if you were more willing to be empathetic about the problems of others you would find that people would be more willing to listen to the issues that affect you and your "kind".

    Again, I agree that things are shitty all over for everyone who isn't rich (and preferably white). And unless we unite against the cabal who is trying to take everything from the rest of us, things will get shittier still. But the answer isn't to rant and rave about the more petty things that affect the more privileged among us, but to attack the worst problems first. As a native white American I will never be affected by repugs deportation efforts. I will almost certainly never be shot or beat up by a cop for carrying a candy bar or a water pistol or for no reason at all. Being past the age of child-bearing I will never need access to an abortion or cheap contraceptives. But when I get back to the US THESE are the issues I will put my efforts into fixing (assuming the right of free speech and assembly still exist.)

    If you, too, put your efforts and anger into THOSE issues I'm sure that, over time, people would be more willing to listen to your complaints re. white males.

  91. Nunya Says:

    As an aside, the US has none of the programs you mentioned are available in your country unless you can afford to pay for them out of pocket.

    Perhaps sacking it up is an option where you live but it's a path to ruin in the wild west of the good old USA where the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  92. Nunya Says:

    April, I'll quote you back to yourself…

    "I totally agree that arguing anything with a True Believer is a waste of time if your intention is to convert said TB."

    You have become tiresome and I'm sure your ex-husband grins everything he signs that alimony check. It's SO worth it to never have to listen to you again.

  93. April Says:

    @Nunya – Shrug. Again, I'm not talking to you specifically. Others are listening. And shooting down bullshit with logic and reason is never a waste of time.

    Child support. As our daughters are now grown, he no longer gives me a dime. As it should be. (At least in my situation. I'm not speaking against life alimony in other circumstances.)

  94. Nunya Says:

    Cheers to your husband. I wish him well.

  95. April Says:

    So do I.

  96. Nunya Says:

    April

    Oh, and these "families living in caves" is my widowed, attorney sister. Maybe try being a little.more sensitive to people who's stories you can't even imagine. Thus is a fellow woman you're dressing down.

  97. April Says:

    So why aren't her boys in sports programs? Why aren't her boys wrestling with other boys in the back yard? As an attorney, she presumably has SOME money, and obviously has a good education – why isn't she looking for and advocating for help and resources to get her boys the help you say they need?

  98. April Says:

    (Oh, and btw your reading skills fail you again. I didn't SAY they were living in a cave….see, that's what a question mark means.)

  99. April Says:

    (Should be "Please review what a question mark means.)

  100. Nunya Says:

    April, you are a horrible person. I only wish you didn't spread you hate onto your kids. Absolutely unforgivable at any level.

  101. democommie Says:

    I don't where you live Nunya but there are fucktons of programs available (many of them being pared to the bone to save money for 1%ers next palace building project) for all sorts of shit.

    Women, specifically, benefit from many of them, disproportionately–because they are, disproportionately, affected by sexual and physical abuse by men.

    Black/brown/mixed race/aboriginals benefit from many of the, disproportionately–because they were (until comparatively recently) disproportionately, affected by policies of forced assimilation, genocide, eugenics, cultural nullification, and horrific atrocities.

    Gays–same, same.

    You're correct in stating that many thousands of men died fighting in wars. Those wars were IN EVERY MOTHERFUCKING INSTANCE started by men. Not one war in this country or anywhere else on the planet in the last century was started by a group of women intent on subjugating, removing or exterminating the people of another nation. The instances of wars started by women, throughout recorded history, are exceedingly, if not vanishingly rare.

    "As for being an old fuck, you are correct. After watching literally dozens of my friends finding themselves divorced by wives that cited no reason other than not being extatically happy, they were reduced to near abject poverty by a famuly court system that still thinks it's the 1950s."

    Family court systems that were set up and still are largely administered by MEN. There are, afaia, NO states in the U.S. that have female legislative majorities, female court majorities at any level or female governors who simply ignore the wishes of those institutions.

    There are a couple of young women who advertise locally as compassionate, dedicated attorneys seeking to help men who are being cheated by divorce court judges. They are both quite attractive and use that very attractiveness as a selling point. It's cynical as hell and probably an effective marketing tool.

    I grew up with six sisters. Three of them became healthcare professionals, one a journalist and one a quite competent executive assistant in several different situations. 3 of the 5 who had successful careers also had families to raise and did a great job of that as well. One sister did not have a career but was a mother and grandmother by the time she was 40. She had serious problems and ultimately died at a far too young age due to lung cancer.

    I and my 4 brothers went our different ways. Two of us are licensed professionals, 1 ea EE and CPA. The other 3 including me–schoolin' di'nt stick. A lifetime of knocking around and doing whatever it took to put gas in the car (or resole the shoes) and food in the pantry–it's been enough for me, I can't speak for my brothers.

    We all had absolutely the same opportunities–except we didn't. My sisters were systemically barred from all sorts of activities and career paths. They didn't imagine it, neither do I.

    Systemic, entrenched, male hierarchical power structures have created virtually every problem faced by all of us.

  102. Katydid Says:

    Another point for Nunya–men died in wars precisely because women were not allowed to. Who decided this? Men.

    Also, nobody is forced onto Ritalin. I had 2 kids (1 of each) recommended to be on Ritalin, in part because of the No Child Left Untested regime of Bush-n-Cheney that cut money for recess, gym, the arts and music left children with no way to burn off their energy. Know what helps behavior? Playing outside in the yard after school (which is also FREE). Martial arts, yoga, and meditation–the last two can be done for nearly-free by taking videos out of the library or going on Youtube. Taking family walks after dinner. Cutting out the processed crap most kids get exposed to (despite common belief, children won't die if they don't eat fast food, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs at home).

    Nunya, it seems you enjoy playing the victim. Everyone and everything is out to get you and yours, and you're passive victims to it.

    The idea behind feminism is that women and men are equal. Women's groups have fought for shelters for men who suffer domestic abuse. Women's groups have fought for many things that benefit men. You just won't see it.

  103. Katydid Says:

    @DC; very true. Women are routinely denied opportunties even today. In my field, one of the ways you network and advance yourself is by working on proposals, which often require evening and weekend hours. Nobody likes it. You don't get paid for it. But if you want to make connections, the hours spent working together can do it.

    A couple of years back (like 2 or 3 years) I reluctantly volunteered my services to the proposal coordinator and was told in all seriousness, "You can't work proposals–you have a husband at home and who's going to feed him when he gets home from work?!?" (Archie Bunker, was that you?) I pointed out that my husband was a grown man and is certainly capable of digging through the refrigerator to assemble himself a meal, and how insulting that someone would think otherwise.

  104. democommie Says:

    Katydid:

    I have a friend who has been married three times. He wants a strong, independent, asseritive woman who will have his supper on the table at 6PM. He's been married three times.

  105. Katydid Says:

    @Demo; yup, they want someone who can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never, ever let him forget he's a MAN! (old perfume jingle from the 1970s).

    And also, while they're at it, handle all the social activities, send out the Christmas cards, keep a perfect house that would make Martha Stewart weep with envy, raise the children to be millionaires, and never, ever get bigger than a size 2.

    Of course, any woman who might voice exhaustion or disagreement with any of that is a ball-busting feminazi.

  106. quixote Says:

    @ChickenLady: "of course he earned it, the difference was that he had been *given the opportunity* to earn it"

    The clearest summary of the situation I've ever seen.

  107. quixote Says:

    Oh and by the way, I'm one of those people who voted in that poll April was talking about. She's right. She won. Long ago. Just take what she's saying on board, and you can save all that energy being used for hand-waving.

  108. April Says:

    AWWWW Quixote – thanks.

  109. April Says:

    DC – I dated a guy like that ONCE (that is, I went out with him one time). HE'D been married SEVEN TIMES.

    (Thanks for my morning laugh, btw.)

  110. Katydid Says:

    @DC–wow, you're from a really big family. Must have been fascinating growing up!

  111. Katydid Says:

    On the topic of Sportzball; on the tv right now is the news that a new statue has been raised in honor of Jackie Robinson, a ground-breaking baseball star. Why was he so famous? Was he the first African-American man to have any skill whatsoever in baseball? No; he was the first one *to get the chance to demonstrate his skills*, and he did it while fighting overt racism and a segregated country. (Look, Ed! I'm actually commenting on topic with your post!)

    How many other talented men were denied the chance to play simply because of the color of their skin? We'll never know. They were never given the chance to try out.

  112. April Says:

    @Katy – And on that note, how many women in history had their ideas/writings stolen by men? Again, we'll never know.

  113. Well paid socialist Says:

    @April, re: "Yet I remember an essay I read once which basically said that as a white person I should pretty much shut up completely about black issues because, no matter how well-read or well-intentioned, I don't have black skin and thus can't possibly know what being black is like in our society. It was a point well-made."

    Every rule has an exception. This rule's exception is John Howard Griffin, who darkened his skin to pass for black and then lived as a black man in the south, taking notes on what life was like. He published his experience in the excellent book _Black Like Me_ in 1961.

    It should not be a surprise that he temporarily moved to Mexico (from his home in Texas) for his own safety after the book's publication.

  114. Katydid Says:

    @April; there's a movie coming out later this month (maybe on tv, maybe an actual movie in a movie theater, I'm not sure) about a woman scientist struggling to be taken seriously. It's a very real thing.

    Pretty much every professional woman has been in a meeting that was called to discover the answer of what two-plus-two is. A woman will speak up and say, "It's four" and either be roundly ignored or told she doesn't know what she's talking about. Then a man will say "Four" and the room erupts in cheers for his sheer brilliance.

  115. SaintRidley Says:

    Fuck off with that "only blacks can complain" shit, Sasha. Newsflash – white people took over my land. We didn't move here. They moved on top of us.

  116. democommie Says:

    @SaintRidley:

    Now, now–I'm sure that ther regret doing that and LETTING YOU LIVE!

    Phil Sherman is supposed to have championed the ignorant savages that he didn't exterminate when he found that they were being taken advantage of on the "Reserves".

    @ Katydid:

    It was and IS interesting (not always in fun ways) I will be seeing the remining family (seven surviving sibs and a pile of offspring) in about six weeks. I am working to record a song I wrote about 18 years ago, about family photos and family. A very generous local musician is willing to work with me and I saw both him and the sound engineer this evening at an open mic that the former hosts in one of the local pubs.

  117. Nunya Says:

    Can we please get a racial and gender inequality argument that has taken place on the last twenty years? Jesus Christ, a lot of you are convinced that were still in nor only the 1950s but.in the deep south.

    It turns out a.lot of shit went down since then.

  118. democommie Says:

    "esus Christ, a lot of you are convinced that were still in nor only the 1950s but.in the deep south."

    Baloney.

    But, the fact of Trumpligula is proof that a LOT of other folks would LOVE to be living back in the 1850s–in the deep south.