Weekly Feminist Reader

What’s behind the birth-control price spike?
A hilarious review of “daddy” comedies.
On the serious harassment problems with a high school ROTC instructor in Tennessee: “Flash your breasts at the chief and you could smoke cigarettes on campus, students alleged in statements to investigators. Run topless in the gymnasium during an unauthorized sleepover and the chief turned a blind eye to drinking rum in a West High restroom.”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez decries the trend in his country of teenagers getting boob jobs.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye.
Iraqi refugee women and girls are being forced into prostitution in Syria.
Ok, ok, I know it’s Rush Limabaugh and I should expect this. Still.
Jodie Foster talks about her latest role as a woman avenging a group of men who assaulted her. She says:

But is there a streak of feminist empowerment in your character’s actions? A cop in the film says, “Women kill their friends, husbands, shit they love.” You kill strangers in the street.
Such a big part of the female psyche is that we hate inwards. What if there was a woman who said, “I’m not going to be that kind of victim. I’m not going to hurt myself, I’m going to hurt you.” What would that feel like? This was no feminist design on my part — although I call myself a feminist — but that’s exhilarating to women who see this movie.

The fembot, reconsidered in light of the new Bionic Woman show and those awful Heineken ads.
A conference this weekend devotes itself to advancing the science for a male birth control pill.
Clarence Thomas says of Anita Hill, “She was not the demure, religious, conservative person that they portrayed. That’s not the person I knew.” In other words, that sexual harassment was totally warranted! If you’re not demure, you can expect it.
On what happens when the Tyra Banks show tries to tackle the topic of women and porn.
Congress approves yet another 90-day funding extension for abstinence-only programs.

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116 Comments

  1. oenophile
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    “Don’t worry, you can still think we are all ripping fully grown babies out of the womb and slaughtering them to make our slut stew”
    That was totally inappropriate and out of line. I’m not surprised that no one called you on it, because anti-lifers get a lot of hugs around here.
    Apologise. Re-read my post, then apologise again.

  2. alawaric
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Cajn – Am I the only one thinks condoms are just not that terrible? I mean, I’d rather not wear ‘em, but hardly a big deal … and if you’re not worried about STDs, the natural lamb ones, while pricey, are even better.

  3. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Alaric, you’re probably not the only one who doesn’t think they’re terrible, but I personally hate them. Personal preference, I suppose.

  4. JenLovesPonies
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    “For y’all who think that this will stop pro-life talking points… um, yeah, talk about missing the point.”
    I mentioned what to me is the least offensive pro-life talking point, that we kill babies, often for the hell of it. If you would like to discuss other even more offensive pro-life talking points, let’s discuss what’s happening in Aurora and what is being said about pro-choicers and the pro-choice position at those town council meetings.
    I do not think being anti-choice and being a feminist is possible. You feel free to disagree with me if you want. But I am not going to apoligize for mocking the pro-life position. Apoligize? You are out of your mind. Get your pro-life allies in Aurora to shut up and stop offending people at every turn.

  5. ShifterCat
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    We watched the premiere for the new Bionic Woman series last week, and I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised. Too many of the “hot woman kicking ass” shows have been cheesy eye-candy with heroines who are painful to watch whenever they’re not leaping about. The characterization for both the pro- and antagonists is decent so far, the dialogue is stuff that you could actually see people saying, and the writers are willing to credit the audience with being able to infer things unshown and unspoken. Also, they’ve touched on some issues of surgical modification, such as body hatred (the villainess says at one point, “I’ve been cutting away all the parts of me that are soft”) and body/mind disassociation. Plus, they’ve been showing more male than female skin, which makes me guess that they’re aiming the show more at women. Colour me impressed.

  6. oenophile
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    And male contraception is a difficult sell to pharmaceutical companies. “It’s taking normal young men without a disease and testing a drug in them for years — that’s an issue,”
    But doing the same thing with a normal young woman, that’s just fine.

    I took a semester-long course on the law of medical technology, so I feel somewhat qualified to explain the statement.
    There are all sorts of requirements for clinical trials and for FDA approval of a drug. Usually, there is a proportionality requirement: the side effects cannot be worse than the disease that the drug intends to cure. Chemo, therefore, can cause hair loss, vomiting, nausea, and a host of other issues, because it’s better than cancer. A drug to treat muscular aches, however, would not be acceptable to be on the market with those side effects.
    The basic problem with the male pill, therefore, is that there is no benefit to the man’s body or health. As such, in theory, any level of side effects are unacceptable.
    Drug companies don’t want to spend between $100 million and $800 million on drug development if the FDA is going to say, “Well, there are a few side effects, such as weight gain, depression, and a slightly increased risk of cancer; however, this drug doesn’t actually improve the health of the people who take it, so ANY side effect is completely unacceptable. Sorry, you can’t market it.”
    It all has to do with the way the statute is written and the FDA regulations. It’s not intentional sexism; it’s just that the statute doesn’t even contemplate the fact that a person could take a drug to benefit the health of another person (and, of course, his or her own mental well-being).
    If it upsets you, then the solution is to figure out how to get the FDA to go through rulemaking procedures to change this.

  7. buggle
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    UCLA, no serious side effects for most women? That is just not true. Many many women can not use any type of hormonal birth control. Many others can use it, but suffer pretty bad side effects. Most of us just consider “not getting pregnant” to be more important than the side effects. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Big difference.
    Alaric-condoms are fine for some, but they aren’t enough for me, no way would I take that risk and just use a condom. Condoms break, they fall off, people think they are using them right, but they aren’t. There are lots of reasons why people don’t want to only use a condom.
    Alaric- if someone says something here about men, and it doesn’t apply to you, then don’t worry about it. And yes, it IS sexist to be worried that your wife/girlfriend/date is making more money than you. As it is sexist to want to ban breast-feeding mothers from public. We aren’t “dismissing” men’s concerns, but this isn’t really the place for a bunch of men to talk about their sexist ideas. You go make your own website if that’s what you want.
    Calling someone a man-hater is wrong, and you know it. You feel justified because you think women here make anti-male statements? Well gee, THAT’S a good reason to act like a pig. Gimme a break.
    Oenophile-the benefit to men would be-not getting a woman pregnant. That’s a nice benefit.

  8. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    maybe you need to think really hard and try to understand why men might find public breastfeeding uncomfortable, or why dating a woman with a higher net worth would be intimidating, rather than dismissing those concerns as “sexist attitudes.”
    Alaric, I have thought long and hard about it. I’ve discussed it at length with people. And I blame the patriarchy.

  9. Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Sorry to sound like a right-wing whack job here (I guarantee you I’m not …) — but do I see some inconsistency between “even high doses of hormones such as in the morning after pill are safe enough to be given OTC” as well as “make birth control readily available even to young-’uns without their parents’ permission — even those who are too young to even consent to having sex in the first place — after all, what’s the risk to the young-’uns” as well as “condoms are so effective” … and then on the other hand all these statements about “female birth control pills have so many side effects” and “condoms break, etc.”?
    Some of the statements here would make excellent fodder for right-wing, anti-contraception campaigns … that’s all I’m sayin’

  10. kissmypineapple
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure how saying that female birth control has lots of side effects (check out the giant list of them that comes with every pack) is giving fodder to right-wing nutters. Nor is admitting that many people use condoms incorrectly. (Most use them incorrectly because of abstinence only education.)
    My BC caused me to develop vulvodynia. It took two years to figure it out, and now I have to take elavil to balance the excruciating pain. Having a baby seems like a worse fate right now, though Mr. KMP and I are exploring other options.
    Also, we don’t really have great data on the long term effects of FBC either. I’ve been on hormonal birth control for six years, and I’m pretty young. Other women have been taking it for well over a decade, and we don’t know what that does to their bodies.
    UCLA, you can talk about women having too many periods, but there is nothing natural about tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant for ten years straight. No other women in my family could take hormonal birth control. Their bodies couldn’t handle it. I had breakthrough bleeding for two months and constant nausea. However, we don’t have other options that are as effective, so yeah, we’re excited about male BC. And yeah, the knee jerk reaction is a slap in the face to all of us who are essentially giant guinea pigs. I’m also not sure what the pleasant side effects of FBC are supposed to be, other than its principle purpose. The weight gain? The mood swings? Not being able to hold down food? The cramping if you miss a pill? The $600 some women have to spend on it each year?
    It’s okay to worry about side effects, but it’s not okay to ignore the fact that women have been suffering through them for years. And oenophile, what exactly is the great health benefit of FBC? Not being ushered into parenthood too soon? Wouldn’t that be the exact same one for men? B/c, other than that, I can think of no other health benefit of my birth control.

  11. marle
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    DAS, right-wingers will say anything, and misinterpret everything we say, no matter what. So I don’t think we should really worry too much about this conversation.
    That said, the side effects of BC are less than the side effects of pregnancy, so I don’t feel bad promoting them even to teenage girls. Even if the side effects are too bad that they decide not to continue taking them, the side effects stop when you stop taking the pill so it’s worth trying it once to see if you can take it. The worst I’ve heard happen with ECP is heavy cramps and nausea, and if you don’t want to be pregnant then it’s certainly better to deal with the cramps. Even if a girl is under the age of consent, it’s probably legal for her to have sex with boys her own age and if she is better she try the pill than not. Even if she has to stop because of side effects, she’s no worse off than if she didn’t use it in the first place, and she knows where she stands with it. Besides, one of the bad side effects of the pill is to reduce your libido, so she’d be better at abstinence then. :P
    As for condoms, they’re very effective when they’re used correctly, but people don’t always use them correctly. Still, better to try than to not use condoms at all.

  12. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Buggle – re: condoms, my point was just that if the side effects of the female pill for my partner were as bad Cajun makes them out to be, I’d rather just use condoms.
    I’m not in favor of banning mothers from breast-feeding. I just think it is odd to belittle guys whom breast-feeding makes uncomfortable as “wanting those breasts for themselves” as some people did earlier here. Basically, it’s an attempt to de-legitimize guy’s feelings and experiences. I don’t see why breast-feeding can’t be solved with people being polite – and when it’s not possible to cover up or go outside, it’s probably better to make adults uncomfortable than to make an infant go hungry.
    Re: dating, the article referred to a different scenario, of being intimidated by wooing a woman who made more than you. There are actually many reasons why a guy might find this intimidating that don’t have to do with sexism. Of course, you wouldn’t know that, would you, because guys voices aren’t really present here. (Even the NYT article didn’t talk to any men). Maybe guys just worry that high-income women really care about money, and they won’t “measure up” to them. Maybe they worry that they’d go broke trying to emulate the woman they’re courting’s lifestyle. (and are too proud to want someone to pay for them) Lots of different reasons.
    And no, I agree I was wrong with my language in this case, but I don’t see why it’s always wrong to call someone a male-hater. Suppose they said they wanted to see all guys castrated, would that be enough hatred for you that it’d be okay to call them on it? Feministing.com is pretty liberal in its use of the word misogyny… why the double-standard?

  13. AnneThropologist
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    UCLA:
    For the record, breast feeding does not completely stop ovulation – it merely inhibits it. It is also widely-variable on an individual basis.
    I breastfed exclusively, feeding on demand, and had regular periods from the beginning.
    My sister (with similar practices) did not have a period for 10 months, and conceived again without ever menstruating.
    I’ve seen the articles that speculate that the effect is more pronounced in baby-wearing, continuous-breastfeeding societies, but I’ve never seen any hard data to support that claim.
    I just wanted to clarify – lactation does NOT prevent menstruation or pregnancy. It is NOT reliable birth control.

  14. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    There are actually many reasons why a guy might find this intimidating that don’t have to do with sexism.
    If that were the case, both men and women would be turned off by partners’ making more than them.
    But that’s not the case…
    And what, per se, would cause a man’s pride/ego to bruise if not… sexism?!
    So yeah, it’s the patriarchy at work (blaming the patriarchy is not the same as blaming all men).
    Oh, and your insinuation that breastfeeding moms aren’t “polite” is outrageous. Clearly you’ve never actually seen a woman breastfeeding. Calling men’s opposition to breastfeeding sexist is not an attempt to delegitimize men. It’s calling a spade a spade.

  15. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    If that were the case, both men and women would be turned off by partners’ making more than them.
    That’s a bizarre statement. Because men and women have different values and look for different things in a mate, that’s sexism? I thought we all agreed, finally, that men and women are different? A lot of guys want to date women who will look up to them slightly — both literally (I like dating girls slightly shorter than myself) and metaphorically. (I don’t think I’d feel insecure dating a girl who made more money than me, but I probably would if she also was smarter and more athletic than me). There’s nothing wrong or sexist about that — it’s just a matter of personal preference.
    I did not say or imply that breastfeeding is, in itself, impolite. I am certainly not opposed to breastfeeding, what a ridiculous statement, I was breast-fed myself. It simply makes me uncomfortable on a gut level. And it would make me MORE uncomfortable to see a guy breast-feeding, so there is nothing sexist about it.

  16. Posted October 2, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Melissa Rose — Yes, I noticed the “cackling” description.
    And to various people — yeah, Lush Bimbo doesn’t know squat about software Q/A or the process of debugging. As a software pro with over 30 years experience, I have seen no difference in the tools and techniques that women programmers may user over men programmers. Each programmer has their own styles, and men and women both use various tools with various frequency, confidence and success. It isn’t gender biased.

  17. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Alaric, you should look up the definition of “sexism”, honestly. It’s not sexist for a man to look for a woman who’s slightly inferior in a way? It’s a “matter of preference”? Did you ever stop for a moment to consider the implications of what you’re saying? What if someone said “I don’t mind having a Black friend, but I would be uncomfortable if he doesn’t look up to me slightly”? Would you still think it’s a “matter of preference” or would you find it racist?
    We don’t live in a void, we are all prejudiced in some way, but we can AT LEAST be honest and acknowledge it.
    And as for men breast-feeding… I know it’s physiologically possible, but puh-lease.

  18. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Because men and women have different values and look for different things in a mate
    Sorry to disappoint you, but the world is not so clear-cut. People have all sorts of motivations and look for completely different things. If you still believe all women want a big strong male to rely on and all men want a sweet and nurturing little thing, you might want to go out and meet more people.
    I’m childfree and extremely focused on my career, my boyfriend is much more romantic than I am, he’s the one who wants to get married, etc. And I know literally TONS of people who don’t fit gender stereotypes.

  19. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Scarlet. I don’t know if I could have handled explaining the definition of “sexism” to him.

  20. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome, Sarah. :o )
    I think it’s pretty hopeless though.

  21. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s like saying, “I prefer my black friends to have less power in our friendship. It’s just a preference though, not racism!”

  22. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Scarlet, are you being serious, or are just parodying feminism? I’m not sure.
    The dictionary I consulted defines sexism as “discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women.” By that definition, everyone except the bisexuals are sexist when it comes to dating, since the rest of us rule out half the population based on sex. Do you have a better definition?
    And since when is being shorter or making less money being “inferior”? That’s a weird way of looking at things.
    If you still believe all women want a big strong male to rely on and all men want a sweet and nurturing little thing, you might want to go out and meet more people.
    Never said this, never implied it, never meant it.
    I do think that many men — not all, and maybe not even most — want to be slightly dominant in relationships. To be the one who leads when dancing and the one who drives the car on trips. What’s wrong with that? If that’s not what you’re looking for, don’t date those men. It’s like BSDM… do you think there’s something wrong with guys who want to be dominant in the bedroom, and women submissive?
    I’m childfree and extremely focused on my career, my boyfriend is much more romantic than I am, he’s the one who wants to get married, etc. And I know literally TONS of people who don’t fit gender stereotypes.
    And I respect that. Do you respect the women who “want a big strong male to rely on”? Or the men who want to fill that role? Isn’t that just their preference? Who are you, Scarlet, to tell them that that is wrong, immoral, or sexist? Get off your high horse and try RESPECTING DIFFERENCES.

  23. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    No, you get off your high horse, Alaric and answer my question: if someone tells you they’d rather be friends with a Black man who’s slightly inferior to them in some way, do you think they’re being racist or do you consider it a simple matter of preference?

  24. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of definitions, this is what Merriam-Webster has to say:
    Main Entry: sex·ism
    Pronunciation: ‘sek-”si-z&m
    Function: noun
    Etymology: 1sex + -ism (as in racism)
    1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
    2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
    I don’t know how we can spell it out any more.

  25. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    And since when is being shorter or making less money being “inferior”?
    Are you THAT clueless? And I’m supposed to be “weird” and “a parody”.

  26. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Scarlet, if you answer my questions, will you answer mine?
    There is nothing wrong with a guy per se who wants to be the “alpha dog” in his relationship with his buddies. (See HBO’s Entourage). If a guy just wants that relationship with his black friends, though, then of course that would reveal he had some racist views. (The same with a white guy who only wanted to be dominant in his relationships with black women).
    Now seriously – I’d like you to answer my questions. Do you really have a problem with a woman who just wants to be a housewife, or wants a big strong guy to rely on?
    And what about the submissive men, who want a women to be dominant in their lives? Anything you see wrong with that?

  27. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with people who like being either submissive or dominant, I personally prefer egalitarian relationships, but to each their own. I objet to you saying, and I quote, “A lot of guys want to date women who will look up to them slightly — both literally (I like dating girls slightly shorter than myself) and metaphorically. (I don’t think I’d feel insecure dating a girl who made more money than me, but I probably would if she also was smarter and more athletic than me).”, and pretending there’s nothing sexist about that. You’re basically saying you don’t want your partner to outperform you (and even that you want her to be, yes, slightly inferior to you, hence the reference to “looking up to you”) and you still don’t see the sexism in there?
    I don’t know how I can get any clearer than that…

  28. Scarlet
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    BTW, I’ve never watched “Entourage”, but I find it pretty pathetic to “want to be alpha dog all the time”. Sounds a lot like kids who throw a tamper tantrum whenever they lose at a game.
    People who cannot stand competition have a big insecurity problem.

  29. Posted October 2, 2007 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Interrobang: Grace Hopper didn’t invent the term. But it is a cute story in any case.

  30. 13lesslee
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    from my experience, having seen my parents divorce and remarry multiple times as well as having seen many of my friends’ parents (and now my friends themselves) follow the same example i would say that having a big strong guy to rely on is not neccessarily a safe choice for a lot of women.
    people change, stuff happens and relationships fall apart. i would rather rely on big strong me as well as building a decent emotional support network (friends, families, lovers) rather than relying on the one man in my life.
    and that’s why i’m a feminist, because feminism gives empowers women by giving them options rather than restricting women and men to tired old rigid gender stereotypes.

  31. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Scarlet, you still haven’t answered my question about a woman who wants a big strong man to rely on, or who wants to be a housewife? Do you have a problem with that?
    Yes, I don’t want my partner to outperform me in every (or multiple) aspect(s) of my life, and no, I don’t see that as sexist.
    I rarely date non-white women, either, to be perfectly honest, and I don’t see that as racist. It’s just a matter of individual preference…. I don’t have a problem with women who do outperform me, that’s just not who I’m looking for in a mate. I wouldn’t have a problem with a woman making more money than I do, but if she was smarter and stronger as well? Not happening.
    You say you don’t have a problem with people wanting to be dominant in a relationship, but you have a problem with them seeking out “inferiors” to date. That’s two sides of the same coin, though, no?
    Re: Entourage, I don’t think it’s a question of not wanting competition – some people just want to be in charge. And are bossy. Alpha males and beta males.
    13lesslee – sure. Feminism should be about giving people choices, not judging them. If someone wants to have a relationship based on traditional gender roles, that should be just as fine as an egalitarian marriage. To each their own, right?

  32. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    P.S. How could a guy ever feel needed in a relationship where his partner completely outperformed him?

  33. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Alaric, if you prefer traditional gender roles (only want to date/marry women who let you make decisions, drive, be smarter and more athletic and make more money) then you are sexist. Your anxious masculinity is practically jumping off the monitor.

  34. 13lesslee
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    if a couple chooses to maintain a realtionship based on more traditional gender roles, of course i really could care less in a general sense.
    but, if one of my girlfriends maintained that what she wanted out of life was a big strong man to rely on, i would be a tad skeptical.
    individual choices are not made in a vacuum and are influenced first by individual personality and secondly by what cultural ideals we are surrounded by.
    i, for one, am super-glad that relationships are becoming more egalitarian. i think this will prove to be beneficial to both women and men in the long run.
    honestly, it sounds like you want permission from the feministing commentors to date the kind of woman who you don’t regard as being your equal.
    for the record, i look up to my s.o., not because he’s my better, but because he’s pretty awesome and we make a great team.

  35. sojourner
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    “P.S. How could a guy ever feel needed in a relationship where his partner completely outperformed him?”
    How pathetic!

  36. 13lesslee
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    besides, i think it’s much more important to want to be with someone rather than to need someone.
    being overly reliant on people can breed a lot of resentment.

  37. Mehitabel
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Don’t feel bad, Alaric. According to SarahMC’s definition, I’m a sexist too, and I’m *gasp* a woman.
    Yes, I prefer traditional gender roles (no!), two-parent households (heaven forbid!) and a husband who is physically stronger than I am. I love to feel protected and cherished with him. I KNOW that I can take care of myself. I did it for a long, long time. But I like it this way much better.
    I don’t think your masculinity is anxious. It’s just masculine.

  38. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Puh-leeze SarahMC. Your brand of hyperjudgmental feminism is precisely why more women are turned off by what passes for feminism these days. If a woman wants to stay home and be a housewife, what’s wrong with that?
    Just because a woman prefers a traditional gender role, she’s a sexist? Why?
    13lesslee, no I’m certainly not interested in anyone’s permission here. If I cared that much about their opinion, I’d be posting about how much men suck…
    Mehitabel – Thank you!

  39. Jessica
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m going to barf.
    SarahMC, you rock.

  40. 13lesslee
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    if you don’t care for their opinions, why do you keep asking if it’s okay for a woman to be a housewife?
    of course it’s okay for a woman to be a housewife if that’s what she chooses, but many of us don’t think it’s okay that you want to date someone you don’t consider your equal.
    why do you care what they (we) think? why do you keep asking?

  41. alawaric
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    of course it’s okay for a woman to be a housewife if that’s what she chooses,
    But she’s choosing a traditional gender role. Isn’t that — according to SarahMC — by definition SEXIST?
    but many of us don’t think it’s okay that you want to date someone you don’t consider your equal.
    Well, just because someone makes less money than me, or isn’t as smart or as strong than me, doesn’t mean she’s not my equal. That’s your phrasing, not mine … I don’t think it’s ever acceptable not to treat the person you’re with, with respect.
    That said: Why can’t a guy *choose* to date someone who wants to be a housewife, who wishes to stay home and take care of the kids? Why would that choice be okay for the woman but not the man?
    Is it okay for women to prefer traditional gender roles, but not men? Who’s the sexist now?
    And I don’t care that much what you think. … I’m just trying to expose the holes in your logic.

  42. 13lesslee
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    okay, no holes in my logic as i earlier stated that more egalitarian relationships will benefit both genders.
    men also suffer under the constraints of rigid gender roles by being expected to be stoic, emotionally distant providers.
    without such traditional gender roles, men could expand their worlds as well by, for one thing, taking time off work to become full-time dads. that would be cool if that’s what a guy wanted to do.

  43. 13lesslee
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    also, you define your partner in negatives- according to you she is “less intelligent, less physically strong and making less money than you.”
    yet she is your equal? does she have any defining characteristics other than how she measures up to you?

  44. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Why do you keep talking about housewives, Alaric? Housewives are not necessarily less intelligent or weaker in any way than their husbands. But it’s clear you think so because you keep using them as an example of an “inferior” spouse.
    Whether or not you’re a sexist depends on your motives. If you want your spouse to be a SAHS because you just got a fantastic promotion that will allow to you be the sole breadwinner and your spouse would prefer to stay at home with the kids, you’re not necessarily a sexist.
    If you want your spouse to be a SAHS because you believe it’s the woman’s role and couldn’t handle being out-earned by her, then, well, you know.

  45. Mina
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    “Oenophile-the benefit to men would be-not getting a woman pregnant. That’s a nice benefit.”
    Also, consider vasectomies.
    The “he gets no direct benefit so no side effect is acceptable” idea pplies to vasectomies as much as it would to male contraceptive pills.
    However, IRL permanent surgical sterilization has already been approved for both men and women. Therefore, temporary pharmaceutical contraceptives someday being approved for both men and women doesn’t seem so unlikely…
    “UCLA, you can talk about women having too many periods, but there is nothing natural about tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant for ten years straight.”
    Indeed. There’s also nothing natural about having all of the girls in a small town reach age 18 and having none of them die of childbirth at younger ages.
    “I’m also not sure what the pleasant side effects of FBC are supposed to be, other than its principle purpose.”
    Personally, it reduces symptoms of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome for me. I was even hairier a couple of years before I went on the pill. Now I’ve made it down to being only as hairy as my mother. Being a bit less hairy than before, I’m a bit less likely to suffer workplace discrimination for looking intersex (we just had our “sensitivity training” at work today, and that isn’t covered the way sex, sexual preference, race, religion, and national origin are).
    Of course, this wouldn’t be a notable side effect for everyone. I just wanted to point out that it is a positive side effect for some people.
    “If a woman wants to stay home and be a housewife, what’s wrong with that?”
    This is what’s wrong with that (and it applies anywhere someone is one sex partner away from welfare or homelessness, not just in Africa):
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23730-2004Nov30.html

  46. Mina
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    “Oenophile-the benefit to men would be-not getting a woman pregnant. That’s a nice benefit.”
    Also, consider vasectomies.
    The “he gets no direct benefit so no side effect is acceptable” idea pplies to vasectomies as much as it would to male contraceptive pills.
    However, IRL permanent surgical sterilization has already been approved for both men and women. Therefore, temporary pharmaceutical contraceptives someday being approved for both men and women doesn’t seem so unlikely…
    “UCLA, you can talk about women having too many periods, but there is nothing natural about tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant for ten years straight.”
    Indeed. There’s also nothing natural about having all of the girls in a small town reach age 18 and having none of them die of childbirth at younger ages.
    “I’m also not sure what the pleasant side effects of FBC are supposed to be, other than its principle purpose.”
    Personally, it reduces symptoms of poly-cystic ovarian syndrome for me. I was even hairier a couple of years before I went on the pill. Now I’ve made it down to being only as hairy as my mother. Being a bit less hairy than before, I’m a bit less likely to suffer workplace discrimination for looking intersex (we just had our “sensitivity training” at work today, and that isn’t covered the way sex, sexual preference, race, religion, and national origin are).
    Of course, this wouldn’t be a notable side effect for everyone. I just wanted to point out that it is a positive side effect for some people.
    “If a woman wants to stay home and be a housewife, what’s wrong with that?”
    This is what’s wrong with that (and it applies anywhere someone is one sex partner away from welfare or homelessness, not just in Africa):
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23730-2004Nov30.html

  47. Mehitabel
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    What the HELL does AIDS/HIV have to do with women wanting to stay home? That’s some crazy extrapolation right there.
    I work. But if my husband and I have kids, I’ll be a full-time mom and stay-at-home wife. Am I to assume that: a) I’m now considered brain-dead; b) I’m higher-risk for AIDS now; and c) that if my husband dies or leaves me, I’m screwed?
    I’ve read the article that you linked to several times, and while I can see how this is an issue in developing nations, I don’t see how it’s relevant to American stay-at-home wives/husbands/SOs. As a matter of fact, stable and happy marriages protect people.

  48. Mina
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    “Whether or not you’re a sexist depends on your motives. If you want your spouse to be a SAHS because you just got a fantastic promotion that will allow to you be the sole breadwinner and your spouse would prefer to stay at home with the kids, you’re not necessarily a sexist.”
    Exactly. There’s a big difference between the “I’d rather date A people than B people” attitude and the “A people are better than B people” and “more people should be A and less people should be B” attitudes.

  49. SarahMC
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    There’s still a motive behind “I’d rather date A people than B people” though. Why would you rather date A people than B people?
    Is it because you’ve internalized the patriarchy’s mandate that as a man you earn more, lift more, know more and have more control?

  50. Mina
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    “What the HELL does AIDS/HIV have to do with women wanting to stay home? That’s some crazy extrapolation right there.”
    Not after many housewives out there have already got AIDS, because, being housewives, they couldn’t afford divorce…even if and when the only options their husbands gave then were divorce or unprotected sex.
    “I’ve read the article that you linked to several times, and while I can see how this is an issue in developing nations, I don’t see how it’s relevant to American stay-at-home wives/husbands/SOs.”
    It’s relevant because depending on one’s sex partner for a living means having less say in how, when, and whether to have sex – and therefore less ability to avoid unsafe sex.
    This applies no matter how developed or undeveloped the surrounding nation is.
    “As a matter of fact, stable and happy marriages protect people.”
    Stability and happiness don’t require a spouse staying one sex partner away from poverty.

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