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Having Children Worst Move A Woman Can Make For Her Career

September 22, 2014

One of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have children. Mothers are less likely to be hired for jobs, to be perceived as competent at work or to be paid as much as their male colleagues with the same qualifications.

So begins the tale that most women know well, that once we birth, we age, we become senile, we become poorer, and we lose respect in the professional arena. Does the same hold true for men? Nope. Having kids is good for a man’s career, but for women, we would be better off not getting married or having kids. (See my post about women getting married and having kids:

For men, marriage is a lot better for their health, having kids helps their career, and they make more money as parents.

For men, meanwhile, having a child is good for their careers. They are more likely to be hired than childless men, and tend to be paid more after they have children.

These differences persist even after controlling for factors like the hours people work, the types of jobs they choose and the salaries of their spouses. So the disparity is not because mothers actually become less productive employees and fathers work harder when they become parents — but because employers expect them to.

The data about the motherhood penalty and the fatherhood bonus present a clear-cut look at American culture’s ambiguous feelings about gender and work. Even in the age of “Lean In,” when women with children run Fortune 500 companies and head the Federal Reserve, traditional notions about fathers as breadwinners and mothers as caregivers remain deeply ingrained. Employers, it seems, have not yet caught up to the fact that women can be both mothers and valuable employees…

I personally think that most employers just haven’t caught on to the fact that women can be valuable employees.

So what’s the parent penalty for women? Steep!

High-income men get the biggest pay bump for having children, and low-income women pay the biggest price, she said in a paper published this month by Third Way, a research group that aims to advance moderate policy ideas. “Families with lower resources are bearing more of the economic costs of raising kids,” she said in an interview.

Is it any wonder that no one pays any attention to our brains because we have vaginas and ovaries? Here is another article, published in the same week, pushing us to have kids sooner because our ovaries might fail!  A woman without childbearing potential? (Life, the horror, will it never end???)

The age of all Canadian mothers has been on the rise from 27 in the early 1970s to 29 in 2008 — in cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, mothers are even older. If you’re an educated, middle or upper-middle class woman in Canada today, there’s an expectation that babies will be pushed to the backburner for as long as possible.

But the delay can be misguided and, in hindsight, a very bad mistake. Having children earlier, a growing number of advocates argue, makes sense for a number of reasons.

Some ambitious women in their 20s are choosing to start families young, pressing pause on a career they plan to kick into high gear when their children are older rather than disappear from a successful job at the most inflexible time. These women report having lots of energy for their children, and like the thought of still being in their 40s when their children are in high school. They say their bodies bounced back quickly and life as they knew it changed, but didn’t disappear.

Cue the sound card: evil older mother music starts now! Warts! Yes! Saggy boobs–yes! Demon appearance–yes! Talk of withces–of course! Argue that it makes more scientific sense for women to reproduce instead of working–mainstream media onboard! Because, let’s just face it, we know we aren’t any more than our bodies’ appearance, right? “They say their bodies bounced back quickly,” is a much more appropriate topic than going to school, isn’t it? Sooo much more palatable than any discussion of jobs, because apparently we can’t win for losing.

Reproduce or earn money, seems like our only options are two.

Compare the two articles based on scientific studies (because we all know that if science says it, it is true, no?)

From the camp that proves it costs women lots more to have kids than men:

The majority of it, research suggests, is because of discrimination. “A lot of these effects really are very much due to a cultural bias against mothers,” said Shelley J. Correll, a sociology professor at Stanford University and director of the school’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Ms. Correll co-wrote a study at Cornell in which the researchers sent fake résumés to hundreds of employers. They were identical, except on some there was a line about being a member of the parent-teacher association, suggesting that the applicant was a parent. Mothers were half as likely to be called back, while fathers were called back slightly more often than the men whose résumés did not mention parenthood. In a similar study done in a laboratory, Ms. Correll asked participants how much they would pay job applicants if they were employers. Mothers were offered on average $11,000 less than childless women and $13,000 less than fathers.

These stats are true enough. Mothers are paid less. We all know it. We don’t have to have a study to prove what we all live with everyday, but I am glad she did the study just so that the doubters will have some proof of the discrimination.

And now from the Women Are Nothing More Than Expiring Ovaries:

A 2012 study in the U.K. journal Human Reproduction found that 67% of university-aged women and 81% of their male counterparts who say they want children inaccurately think female fertility markedly declines after age 40. That steep decrease actually happens from age 35 to 39.

Across North America there are still pockets in which it’s normal to be a young mother, says Michelle Horton, founder of, a website devoted to “redefining the young mom.” When she got pregnant with her son at 22 she was living in hipster-heavy Brooklyn, where it’s virtually unheard of to have a child under 30.

“We are in this generation where we have heard all of our lives you’re supposed to get your career done first, you’re supposed to do things in this proper order,” she said. “But we’re also seeing the generation before us struggling with infertility and saying ‘Gosh I wish I should have realized there’s no perfect time to have a kid and if it was really important to me, I should have done it before my fertility expired.

News to me: I never knew women expired.

Realistically, why is it that we are uber focused on women having kids at all? I wish I knew why we still lived by the Madonna/Whore code, but it seems we can’t take talk of ovaries out of the boardroom, mainly because they never make it there.

Distressing stuff, really. It’s no surprise that the labor market mirrors societal expectations:

In her research, Ms. Correll found that employers rate fathers as the most desirable employees, followed by childless women, childless men and finally mothers. They also hold mothers to harsher performance standards and are less lenient when they are late.

There was one exception in Ms. Budig’s study: Women in the top 10 percent of earners lost no income when they had children, and those in the top 5 percent received bonuses, similar to men. She speculated that in these rarefied jobs, employers see high-performing women as more similar to men, and that women might work more and negotiate for higher pay in order to afford household and child care help.

At the other end of the earnings spectrum, low-income women lost 6 percent in wages per child, two percentage points more than the average. For men, the largest bonuses went to white and Latino men who were highly educated and in professional jobs. The smallest pay bumps went to unmarried African-American men who had less education and had manual labor jobs. “The daddy bonus increases the earnings of men already privileged in the labor market,” Ms. Budig wrote.

The article then mentions how publicly-funded childcare helps mothers but then offers the unhelpful statistic that in countries with publicly-funded childcare, women face a steeper parenthood penalty.

The best solution for the pay gap, it seems? Giving men parental leave, too. Maybe when we treat the parents as equal partners at work, that will translate to more equal treatment at work, hmmm? Why shouldn’t the father have paternal leave? Take the gender out of it and make it parental leave, and then, when men got time off, the pay hits would probably level off. There is already a gender gap at work that seems acceptable: “It really takes 6 weeks for you to recover from childbirth?? That seems too long…” Perhaps we should just give everyone leave and then we would take the gender discussion out of it. If men are given equal responsibility, expected to be fathers, expected to take 6 weeks to take care of their children, take the physical recovery out of the discussion, we might have a much better glimpse of the true pay gap for women. I say we acknowledge that paternity is a responsibility and we may get more respect for maternity.



Rescue Dog From Canada Sees Snow for the First Time

September 10, 2014

Just because everyone deserves a good laugh, and I love a couple of rescue dogs myself…Smiles for everyone today…

UPDATE on Ray Rice–The Punch That Cost Him $13 Million

September 9, 2014

Ray Rice, after video of him punching his then-fiancee surfaced, just lost about $13million. The Baltimore Ravens just “released” him from his contract, which is a quaint way of saying he was fired, for punching his Janay Palmer, in the face, twice, knocking her completely unconscious, and dragging her body from the elevator, lying about it, and saying she fell or something. Other video watchers also said he spit on her.  According to online sources, Ray Rice’s punch cost him $13 million dollars in uncollected contractual pay:

That means Rice made roughly $28.194 million in six seasons as an NFL player. But he stood to earn even more.

Rice was due to earn $4 million in base pay this season, plus another $3 million in both 2015 and 2016, in addition to incentives of up to $1 million annually for all three seasons. But none of that money was guaranteed. So that’s approximately $10 million in base pay plus up to $3 million in incentives Rice now won’t see.

Hmm, not quite enough, if you ask me, but since I don’t have even a million lying around, well, 13 should suffice.

Ray Rice’s wife constitutes all of this abuse, her unconscious video and all with legs splayed and multiple punches as “true love,” and in a truly sickening twist, argues that her man deserves “everything he has worked for,” but seems to miss the point that he is getting what is deserved. She pens a truly sick “memoir” to the media about how they both regret that she was knocked unconscious. I am not the only one calling it like it is, the truth of an abused woman:

The most shocking thing you might read all day is the apparent statement from Ray Rice’s wife

So maybe there won’t be a happy ending for Janay Palmer, and this is where the inherent anger toward abused women comes from: how can you defend someone who knocked you unconscious?? Even in the face of stark factual visual re-enactment? Janay’s argument is that their “private” episode of aggravated assault, in an elevator for God’s sake, should somehow not be a part of the story? Or maybe it shouldn’t even be a part of the story if she didn’t tell it? Even Barack Obama commented on the video:

Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football, and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

See, the thing is, Ray Rice thought he was hidden. He thought he was in an elevator where no one can see him. He thought no one would catch him, and then he lied about it. Janay Palmer denies that Ray Rice did anything wrong, and she tries to shoulder the blame for his problems while unconscious.

It sheds new light on the song, “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” in which the lyrics argue that “he hit me and so I knew he loved me,” or essentially that he never would have hit me if he didn’t love me enough to do it. Then the lyrics say that it wasn’t until she was hit that she knew that she loved him. The kiss after the hit was supposedly the seal that “made me his.” It’s eerie, but it sure sounds like Janay Palmer.

Remember, they got married the day after Ray Rice was indicted on charges of aggravated assault for hitting Janay Palmer. Maybe his hit made her his, but it cost him $13 million in lost pay.

Apparently anyone who feels that there was insanity in this whole equation should listen to Adam Schefter. Adam Schefter laid it on the line on Monday night’s Sports Center:

Adam Schefter had criticism for just about everyone involved in Ray Rice’s domestic violence case — from New Jersey legislators who crafted the laws that allowed him to dodge incarceration and Atlantic County prosecutors who didn’t press for jail time to the Baltimore Ravens organization.

Monday night on “SportsCenter,” Schefter lined up the cuplrits and unleashed his fury, starting with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome for shoving head coach John Harbaugh in front of a microphone to explain Rice’s sudden release Monday and whether the Ravens had seen the video of Rice belting his then-fiancee and knocking her out cold in a Revel casino elevator in February:

“It sounds like the coach was not as much a part of the process as the people who were not a part of the press conference [and didn't] step forward to say what they had seen and when they had seen it,” Schefter said.

He added: “There was a failure at all levels, the political system and justice system failed miserably. Someone who hits a woman like that belongs in jail.”

Roger Goodall admits that the NFL, “fell short of our goals,” a rather euphemistic manner of stating “we fucked up big time…”

At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. We allowed our standards to fall below where they should be and lost an important opportunity to emphasize our strong stance on a critical issue and the effective programs we have in place. My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.

The public response reinforced my belief that the NFL is held to a higher standard, and properly so.

The NFL, thankfully, did “release” Ray Rice. Unfortunately, no one can save Janay Palmer.

Adam Schefter’s co-anchor has more to say about the NFL’s lack of response when the original video came out, which argues the point that there was no way Janay Palmer could have been dragged out of an elevator completely unconscious unless she had been viciously attacked–the NFL just got caught with the video in the media:

Even if Goodell hadn’t seen the video of the ferocious left hook delivered to Janay Palmer’s face, Goodell should’ve known something violent had happened in the elevator for her to end up unconscious when the doors opened.

“What did you think you were going to see when you see the video?” Riddick said. “Did you think you would see some people rough-housing and someone slip and fall? You knew you were going to see something inflammatory, that was very violent, that was very explosive. “

Added Schefter: “What did the league think happened in that elevator? Did they think Ray Rice gave her a neck massage and then dragged her out unconscious? It was the action and the reaction. It was the action of striking a woman with the force that he did and the indifferent reaction that he demonstrated when his then-fianceé hits the ground and he acts in a rather indifferent manner that she’s down on the ground.

“The NFL has said at various points it had access to the same evidence that the prosecution team had. Doesn’t mean they saw the video, but they were aware of it. Everybody was. It’s one thing to hear about it and it’s another thing to see it. And when you see it, you can’t help but be struck by the brutal nature of it.”

Riddick, former player personnel director for the Philadelphia Eagles, was asked if he found the commissioner believable when Goodell claimed in a statement Monday that the league asked for the video but never got it from authorities.

“Believable? I’ll just speak from my experience,” Riddick said. “Security teams, the ones I’ve been involved with, they’re very equipped to find out what they need to find out. That’s what your job is.

The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell should be fired. There is no way that he should have allowed the NFL to be put in this position, even if he owns up to it. Taking responsibility for a fuck-up means taking responsibility for leaving when you fuck it up so royally no one wants to pay for merchandise associated with people who are guilty of aggravated assault and dragging women’s bodies around. It’s not a simple matter of issuing a mea culpa–the commissioner should be gone. I am not the only one calling it like it is. Sun Sentinel writer Gary Stein argues the same thing:

Baltimore’s Ray Rice is now out of a lucrative job as an NFL players, because TMZ released a video of him knocking out his then fiancee.  Good. He got what he deserved. He should never play pro football again.

And now, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who makes maybe $40 million a year, should get fired over his handling of this whole incident.

When I just completed Gary Stein’s online poll questioning readers’ views of firing, 60% agreed that Roger Goodell tarnished the league by giving Ray Rice a simple 2-game suspension. Stein argues that Goodell had seen the tape when he gave Rice a 2-game suspension, but Goodell just didn’t care enough to give more of a punishment than he did:

Goodell basically disgraced the NFL with his handling of the incident, starting with giving Rice a puny two-game suspension after the initial incident became public.  Guys who smoke marijuana – now legal in some states – have been suspended for a year, but Rice got two games.

Now, finally, after the video of the Rice incident became public, Goodell did what he should have done in the first place. He brought the hammer down on Rice, suspending him indefinitely. Rice was also released by the Baltimore Ravens.

The question remains – had Goodell seen the tape of Rice smacking his then-fiancee? Goodell is one of the most powerful men in America. If he hadn’t seen it, why not? If TMZ can get it, can’t the NFL?

It will be a long time before the NFL recovers from this disgrace. They can’t do it with Goodell at the helm.

Ray Rice isn’t the only one disgraced–so is the NFL.  There is now a Facebook page devoted entirely to firing Roger Goodell:

As of just this moment, 10:32 am, Tuesday morning, there are 18,577 likes. Guess almost 20,000 people want Goodell fired.

Perhaps the one hit cost Ray Rice more than $13million, but it cost the NFL infinitely more. There is lots of money to be lost after an incident like that, and Goodell cost the NFL respect, integrity, and threatened the entire franchise. Guess that punch cost more than tens of millions, because it threatened all the men who covered up that atrocity, too.

Video of Ray Rice Punching and Dragging Unconscious Fiancee From Elevator–NFL Has Double Domestic Violence Rates. Is NFL Televised Prison Series League?

September 8, 2014

To say the NFL has responded with misogyny to NFL linebacker, Ray Rice’s knock-out punch to his fiancee, is a gross understatement. TMZ released footage showing Ray Rice punching his fiancee in the face, and the following footage shows just how injured she is as he drags her unconscious body out of the elevator.


That link above is the punch, below is the aftermath.

TMZ reports that, sadly enough, Janay married Ray Rice after this attack:

The punch knocks Janay off her feet — and she smashes her head on the elevator hand rail … knocking her out cold. Ray doesn’t seem phased … and when the door opens, he drags her out into the hotel.

An employee of the hotel  — which just shut down for good — tells TMZ Sports he was working there at the time and says the NFL saw the elevator footage before imposing the 2-game suspension.

We reached out to the NFL for comment several times — so far, radio silence.

FYI — Ray and Janay got married one month after the attack.

How sad is it that a man can brutally attack a woman, knock her unconscious, and then suffer only a 2 game suspension. Ray Rice appears to be a sociopath in this video, calmly dragging the woman he “loves” out of the elevator, as if she is nothing more than a dead body. NFL: misogyny much??

Ray Rice? Well, he says he doesn’t have a “problem with domestic violence”:

Ray said what happened that night was “a huge mistake on my behalf.”

“I know that a lot of people out there have lost respect … maybe not like me anymore. That’s my fault. I have to own that.”

Rice also says never planned on appealing any punishment the NFL decided to give — no matter how harsh. He also says the incident in Atlantic City was a “one-time incident.”

“I’ve never had a problem with domestic abuse.”

As if to underscore that Ray Rice doesn’t believe he has a problem, his now wife, Janay Palmer, issued a statement apologizing for her role in her unconscious elevator drag moment:

Rice was accompanied by his wife, his mother and his daughter. Janay Rice sat next to her husband during the press conference and, curiously, also spoke, apologizing for her “role in that night” though simple assault charges against her were eventually dropped. Footage from the night showed Rice dragging his wife’s unconscious body from an elevator.

Everyone knows to take blame for their actions in a fight when they have been knocked unconscious, right??

The NFL has an abysmal rate of domestic violence, over double that of the national average:

Note that murder scores relatively high, but the raw numbers are extremely low (there are two in the database, though a third case — domestic in nature — resulted in suicide). But there are 83 domestic violence arrests, making it by far the NFL’s worst category — with a relative arrest rate of 55.4 percent.

Although this is still lower than the national average, it’s extremely high relative to expectations. That 55.4 percent is more than four times worse than the league’s arrest rate for all offenses (13 percent), and domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of arrests for violent crimes among NFL players, compared to our estimated 21 percent nationally.

How do women respond to this NFL lunacy? Well, by offering a training camp for ways in which NFL wives might learn to be punching bags for their NFL husbands:

But if your NFL running back husband drags your unconscious body out of an elevator after punching you, after you attend a press conference at which you apologize for getting punched, will the NFL finally take a stand on domestic violence and punish your husband more harshly than if he had tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance


The NFL will suspend Ray Rice for two games. He will miss games against the Steelers and the Bengals, and will be eligible for reinstatement on Sept. 12. The article linked in this paragraph indicates that this suspension will be very hard on theRavens as they try to establish the rush this season*.

This is absolute bullshit — if you are a normal human being.

But the NFL knows better than you!

See, the NFL knows that drugs are bad, but punching your fiancée in the face is not as bad. Daryl Washington was suspended for a year — not for breaking his girlfriend’s collarbone, but for drugs! Because drugs are bad! Uniform violations are badPre-touchdown celebrations are bad! But domestic violence is apparently not as bad!

So how does the NFL view its own policy of a 2-game suspension for Ray Rice? Apparently in a strange light akin to Putin, or Russian mythology, as an “iron fist.” Not even kidding. The NFL considers itself an “iron fist.”

NFL Network just referred to Ray Rice two-game suspension as “the iron fist of the NFL.” It would be funny if it weren’t so offensive.-Michael David Smith

Since its “iron fist” incident, the NFL has instituted new polices. Brand new and shiny to be tested immediately:

The new NFL penalties were put in place under the policy, which previously had included “domestic violence and other forms of partner abuse” among acts subject to discipline. Under the new penalties, violations involving domestic violence or sexual assault would merit a six-game suspension for a first offense and an indefinite suspension of at least one year for a second offense.

The NFL had previously been criticized for being too lenient with a two-game suspension imposed on Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice in a domestic assault case. When he announced the new penalties. Goodell acknowledged he had erred in the Rice case. “The policy wasn’t where we want it to (be) and that’s my responsibility,” he said.

Hmm, policy wasn’t where we wanted it to be? Forget humanity, and let’s just take ownership of aggravated assault and assume that makes it better.

Besides, if the men haven’t been convicted, why not assume they are innocent? After all, there is money to be made on felons:

Since Goodell disclosed the new policy last week in a letter to team owners, two cases have emerged that potentially could fall under the disciplinary system.

Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, a rookie practice squad player with the New York Jets, was arrested Sunday in Florham Park, N.J., on a charge of simple assault following an alleged domestic violence dispute with his girlfriend, according to the Florham Park Police Department.

Also Sunday, defensive tackle Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers was arrested on domestic violence charges following an alleged incident at his 30th birthday party.

Both players remain with their teams.

“This is something we take very seriously, obviously, and we’re aware of it. And again, I’m not going to comment further on details or anything else because it is a pending legal matter,” Jets Coach Rex Ryan said Thursday at his post-practice press conference.

Maybe the NFL is really nothing more than a prison league televised game series. There is, after all, money to be made from thugs. Why not hire criminals if they get the job done? The mafia knew all about that.

Facebook Makes Us Sad

September 4, 2014

Full disclosure here: I am not on Facebook. I don’t want to be on Facebook as FB is way too public a venue for me to put most anything out there. I don’t like the idea of “sharing” anything with up to 300 people, or more. So, before I get into this, just want to throw that out there. The other thing is, FB, I have found, makes me depressed. It’s not that I am a stranger to FB, but it’s disheartening to see everyone’s pettiness or recipes or oversharing, not to mention that all that oversharing is also culled for commercial profit. But aside from that, what seems like pure happiness for some people really does cause unhappiness:

Study leader Dr Ethan Kross, from the University of Michigan in the US, said: “On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhance well-being, we found that Facebook use predicts the opposite result – it undermines it.”

What?? How is this possible? I know that people talk about loving FB. The average user spends about 5 hours per week on FB. That’s 5 hours that is not spent actually talking with people we care about, but vicariously reading about them, if we do, in fact, care about them that much. This latest study, as discussed on Huff Post, details the downfalls:

What seems like a harmless interaction is actually chipping away at the time you could be spending with your loved ones, and more importantly, is feeding a culture of‘compare and despair’ which Hay House author Louise Presley-Turner says is where we look at the lives of other people and envy them, rather than being happy with what we’ve got.

For myself, I don’t want to know if someone is happy with their spouse. I don’t want to know how much fun someone supposedly had over the weekend at whatever funhouse they visited with their kids. Apparently other people start to compare what they have and read the bragging commentary on FB and feel badly about their own lives. What purpose is there, really, for posting pictures of your kids to a couple hundred people to tell what you did over the weekend? What kind of communication is that? At what level is that really a form of meaningful conversation as opposed to simply bragging about “what you did” over the weekend that was so fun? And what is the desired response? What do people who post these things really expect to happen? They expect people to comment in the positive.

Personally, I find FB exhausting. I can only keep up with a a modicum of people at a time, and generally find that too much interaction can be tiresome. The idea of being socially required to click “like” on things is repugnant to me, and who hasn’t seen the tantrums thrown on FB about who the “real” friends are and how the “real” friends will get to continue or not continue to have access to the full grown adult complaining about a lack of FB interaction from people they have actively “friended.”

According to experts, this type of alert isn’t uncommonly exhausting just for me. It impacts all technology users:

“What I am saying here is that we need to understand the power of an e-mail or Facebook alert. It has the same psychological status as someone waving to us in the street – we have evolved to notice it, and to respond to it. This is why it is so difficult not to respond. The result is that even if we have resolved not to look at our e-mails or Facebook, if we by chance glance at them, we find it virtually impossible to ignore.”

No kidding. I wake up when I hear my phone go off with text messages, and I have waken up to e-mails coming in at 2am. My response is to switch it all off, but I know other people, have gotten emails from other people, who get up at 3am to write that email response.  According to experts, people are spending more and more time on social networking sites:

There is no absolute right or wrong, but Susie Pearl, happiness activist and HuffPost UK blogger says: “Monitor it for 3 days and find out. It will surprise you for sure how many times you check your phone and social sites. When you look at all that time spent every day, think about what else you could do with that time to make your life better and happier. Many of us don’t realise how much time we take up watching for messages. When you add it all up over a year – that’s a very long time.”

She adds: “Social media is accounting for around 20% of time spent online and this figure is growing. And, recent studies show that people using social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours a day every day. That’s a lot of time. You could write a book, learn a language, get a new skill or live your life in the outside world in that time.”

Three hours every day? That's time that could be spent with other people, not just typing about them. No wonder Facebook makes people unhappy, substituting an on-line life for active engagement in life can't be what makes us happy.

Leaked Photos of Nude Celebrities and Feminist Responses or Societal Sexual Violence?

September 4, 2014

I should preface this post with my sad resignation over the fact that my top blog post, in hits/reads, ever, ever, ever, was about vaginas. The concept of ugly vaginas, to be precise. And it had pictures. And it has a NSFW title. And it continues to be my top post. And it causes people to try to look at my profile pic, which I don’t have. It’s not me people are interested in, per se, but the concept of vaginas. If you want to read the post, click here:

I have been tempted to write about vaginas again, or more precisely, how women are worried about the cosmetology of their anatomy when it’s not even legal to show it on the street, but it gets a bit depressing to write about. So while it may seem like a nonsequitur, writing about naked women seems to draw lots of male attention that depresses me because it inevitably regresses to talk about women and nudity as though combining them is evil unless it is for male pleasure, and with rules that I can never keep straight.

We keep our pants all the time, except at the doctor and when men want sex? But then, men want sex a lot, so only keep our pants on when men don’t want sex? When does that happen? And certainly men want sex, even at work, so keep your pants on all the time and ignore sex? That doesn’t seem to be part of the rules. Keep your pants unless you are having sex with your husband? But then you can only have sex with your husband when you are of reproductive age (if you go with the conservative agenda that marriage is only for producing children–see same sex marriage arguments). Or maybe women aren’t supposed to wear pants ever, because men get to wear the pants. Unless a breeze happens upon you in a skirt (and it did, to me) and you expose your underwear by wind association and through no personal attention (and it did, to me), so you prefer wearing pants. Notions of pants and female nudity are confounding.

All of which leads me to question this concept of leaking nude photos of celebrity women as if, finally, men get to take charge by acknowledging women have female bodies. Nude picture leakage cost a past beauty queen her crown. Leaked photos cause embarrassment for the women, and in a disturbing twist, become revenge for men not getting the attention they feel they deserve, or the access to women’s bodies they deserve (read, rapist mentality):

Neetzan Zimmerman, the editor in chief of Whisper, identified a similar tendency:

Zimmerman’s tweet is prescient:

Shades of Elliot Rodger in the terrifying mentions of nude pic leak victim

Who is Elliot Rodger? Elliot Rodger was a killer who expressed rage toward women who didn’t give him the attention he felt he deserved:

He described seeing “two hot blonde girls” waiting at a bus stop. He flashed a smile at them and was ignored. “In a rage,” he wrote, “I made a U-turn, pulled up to their bus stop and splashed my Starbucks latte all over them. I felt a feeling of spiteful satisfaction as I saw it stain their jeans.”

(from another excerpt)

On PUAhate, a site that was taken down after the murders, Mr. Rodger expressed his disgust at women, questioning how they could resist his charms. He would urge other “incels” — or involuntary celibates — to fight back. “One day incels will realize their true strength and numbers, and will overthrow this oppressive feminist system,” he wrote. “Start envisioning a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU.”

This quote was taken from a NYTime article focusing on the emotionally unstable and violent young man that his parents never realized was so ill. It reminds me of the Sandy Hook shootings, yet another emotionally disturbed and violent  young man whose parents never identified as mentally ill. What do these threads have in common? The violent young men who feel they have a right to women, and these same men who will use nude photos as a form of taking what they want of women’s bodies in a tone that suggests violence, violence that spreads to other people.

The article I originally read about the leaking of celebrity nudes linked the publication of women’s nude  bodies to a feminist “frontier,” Why Leaked Nude Photos Are Another Frontier for Feminists, by Anna Altman. I would argue it’s less about feminism–after all these photos were published by men without the women’s consent–and more about society’s acceptance of violence against women. Women shouldn’t be held responsible for men posting nude pictures of them without the woman’s permission. Why is a woman’s nudity something that should be held against her anyway? Why is this the form of acting out against women? It’s more about taking sexual violence to a new level and Reddit and other sites allowing it to happen.

 It’s all about photos of vaginas not being safe for work, because they might be…vaginas? ugly? quell damage…ugly vaginas at work…ugly female body parts…ugly female body parts that men want altered by cosmetic surgery…naked female body parts…naked females…naked women…naked…naked…naked women…

See the theme here? Naked women are dangerous. Naked women should be controlled, by men, by the internet, by men for the internet, by men who will never get pleasure from those naked women except when they take it by force on the internet.


The Power of A Little Girl Who Set Her Mind

September 3, 2014

For those of you who might not think little girls are capable of much besides screaming, here is a video that proves otherwise. Seems this little girl was able to help a war veteran, save a dog, set up a fundraiser that was covered by news agencies and donate more money than most adults. How is that for the power of little girls?


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