Kept Women (and Men)

There is something objectionable about a perfectly-capable-of-working adult being ‘kept’ by another adult. It seems to me the epitome of laziness and immaturity to be supported by someone else, to have someone else pay your way through life.

But, I suppose, if someone wants to pay someone else’s way, if a man wants to ‘keep’ a woman (or vice versa), and that woman (or man) wants to be ‘kept’, I suppose that’s no business of mine.

But then why should I subsidize their keep? What has your wife (or husband) ever done for me? And yet I must subsidize her discounted income tax. Her discounted car insurance. Her discounted health insurance. Her discounted life insurance. Her discounted university tuition. Her discounted club membership. Hell, even her discounted airline ticket.

If he wants to pay her way, fine, but her way should cost the same as mine. Why is her way discounted just because she’s not paying it herself? Why do we roll out the red carpet for kept women?

Even if she is paying her own way, why should she have to pay less than me just because she’s married? Why should spouses get a discounted rate on all those things?

In particular, access to company benefits irks me: you don’t even work here, why should you be covered?

Two married adults should pay the same as two single adults. End of story.

Basketball, Gymnastics, Hopscotch, and Double Dutch

The neat thing about television coverage of the Olympics is that women’s events are shown a lot. Often within close temporal proximity to men’s events. Comparison is inevitable. And interesting.

Consider basketball. Men’s basketball isn’t even a sport anymore. The guys are simply too big. Give me a ball small enough to hold upside-down with one hand, and I’ll be doing some pretty fancy dribbling too. Give me a net so low to the ground I can just reach up and touch it, and I’ll slam dunk every time. And give me a court I can cover in five strides, hell, I’ll play a whole game without even breaking into a sweat.

And yet Read the rest of this entry »

Games for Girls (Seriously? In 2012?)

Okay, so I went to bored.com, clicked on Games, then clicked on Girls.

Mostly because I was irritated that there even was a separate section for Girls (and surprised there wasn’t a separate section for Blacks)—alongside Popular, Animations, Stickman, Shooting, Escape, Puzzle, Action, Skill, Walkthru’s, Mobile, and More. Why do girls need a separate section? Are they not interested in any of the other sections? Are none of the other sections ‘for’ them?

Anyway, so what do I find when I click on the Girls tab? This:

Sugar and Spice and everything Girl! Play celebrity, dress-up, cooking, sports, and puzzle games designed just for little ladies young and old alike! Like to run restaurants? Become a princess? Go on a hot date with the boy of your dreams? It’s all here!

Seriously? In 2012?

I’m a girl, or at least female-bodied, and I have to say I’m very interested in Action. Specifically, Shooting. Failing that, Escape.

Combining Family and Career

People say that women can’t have, can’t combine, a family and a career, that it’s having family responsibilities that keeps them from advancement – the inability to work late or on weekends, the tendency to need time off to tend to kids…

I’m not so sure.  I’ve never had such competing obligations, and I don’t have a career.  I think the family thing is a red herring.  Women just don’t get hired into career-track jobs nearly as often as men, and when they do, they don’t get advanced.  (And not because their family responsibilities get in the way.)

In fact, it might be an advantage to be a mother, because you’re seen as more adult then, you’re seen as an authority.  Certainly one carries oneself with more authority, I notice that a lot: as soon as someone becomes a parent, the authority they are to their kids spills over, and they start acting like they know everything with everyone, like they have a right to tell everyone what to do.  It’s especially obvious with women because it’s the first time they have, or are seen to have, authority. Women without kids aren’t grown up yet, they aren’t granted any sort of authority, certainly no position of responsibility.  It’s as if becoming a parent proves you can be responsible.

But of course it does no such thing: witness the very many irresponsible parents; indeed, becoming a parent in the first place is, for many, due to irresponsibility.  And, of course, there are many other ways of demonstrating responsibility.

Trust – the movie

I’m so bloody sick and tired of men who assume center stage is for them.  The way the movie ends, and most of the way it plays out, it’s about the dad, about how he can’t deal with his failure to protect his daughter.

Mom’s not quite so important, apparently, despite her greater empathy with the whole experience: not only is she too beating herself up over her failure as a parent, for, after all, she’s as much the girl’s parent, but also she must surely be saying to herself ‘It could’ve been me — at 13.’

And that’s what the movie’s really about.  The real story, Read the rest of this entry »

Walking Alone in a Park at Night

In a rape trial, that the woman was walking alone in a park at night has been considered relevant – presumably it’s a mitigating circumstance: the accused can be excused for thinking she wanted it if she was walking alone in a park at night.

What!?  Why? Why is it that a woman walking alone in a park at night is understood – by men – to be implying consent to sex with any and all men?

Are parks designated sex zones?  I suppose in a sense they are.  Lovers often meet there for clandestine encounters.  Yeah, for consensual clandestine encounters.

Okay, but parks at night are also popular mugging zones, perhaps because of the poor lighting which makes escape easier in the event they are policed.  Okay, but a woman walking alone in a park at night is more at risk for rape than for purse-snatching.

So why is a woman walking alone – ah, is that it?  A woman unaccompanied by a man is unowned?  Up for grabs?  Literally?

Making Kids with AIDS

What has been glaringly absent in news stories about children with AIDS in Africa is comment about why there are so many children with AIDS.  “We are going down,” a woman says, “Theft will go up, rape all over will be high.  People –  ”  Wait a minute.  Back up.  “Rape all over will be high”?  And that’s just one more unfortunate circumstance beyond their control, is it?  What, as in ‘boys will be boys’?

Excuse me, but when someone knowingly infects another person with a fatal disease, he’s killing her.  And if someone takes away someone else’s right to life, I say he forfeits his own.  And not only is the HIV-infected rapist guilty of murdering the woman he rapes, he’s guilty of murdering in advance the child he creates (whether he himself is HIV-infected or whether he rapes an HIV-infected woman).  There’s something incredibly sick about knowingly creating a human being that will die, slowly and painfully, because you have created it.

So, the solution?  Drugs, yes.  But the kind vets use when they put an animal down.  (Or, if mere prevention rather than justice is the goal, castration.  At the very least, vasectomy.)  I mean, let’s have some accountability here!  Those 20,000 kids with AIDS didn’t just appear in a pumpkin patch one morning.  Someone made them.  With a conscious, chosen, deliberate act. 

 

 

 

Grey’s Anatomy, Flashpoint, and Who knows how many others (I don’t – and this is why)

Why didn’t Bailey get the Chief of Surgery position?

For the same reason Ed jokingly says to Greg, when he questions his rank, “Should I get you a dress?”—and they both laugh.

Because in 2012 being a woman is (still) (STILL!) (STILL!being subordinate.

I love that on Grey’s Anatomy, so many main characters, surgeons every one of them – are women.  Actually they outnumber the men.  8:6.  And yet Owen gets the Chief position.  Richard, then Derek, then Owen.  3 of the 6 men get to be Chief.  0 of the 8 women.  Bailey’s been there longer than Owen.  And longer than Sloan, the other contender.  And yeah, okay, Kepner got the Chief Resident position even though she was there longer than Karev, but he didn’t want it.  (And we see it primarily a position of responsibility, not power.)  At one point, the Chief (Webber) said he was grooming Bailey for Chief of Surgery—what happened?

And Sam gets to be team leader in Ed’s absence.  Not Jules.  Again, she has more seniority on the team.  And is just as competent (if not more so—she can shoot and she can negotiate a crisis).

This is why I stick to my Cagney and Lacey, Murphy Brown, and Commander-in-Chief reruns.

(We’re going in the wrong direction, people.)  (And just when did we turn around?)

Making Taxes Gender-Fair

Since men commit 90% of the crime, they should pay 90% of the tax that supports the judicial system. Prisons are expensive to build and maintain. As are prisoners – they don’t work while they’re in prison, so we have to support them. Then there’s the expense of the police forces and courts that get them there. We already require that they pay the bulk of car insurance premiums because they’re the worse drivers. So what’s stopping us from going further, making the system even more fair?

And since a large percentage of their crime is violent, it follows that men are responsible for far more ER visits than women (assuming no gender differences with regard to illness and other injury) (actually, since men take more risks than women, there probably is a gender difference with regard to injury) (don’t forget the driving thing), so men should pay more of the tax that supports the healthcare system.

Oh and the military. Men are the ones who thrive on aggression, they get off on the excitement of fighting. They want to join the military. They want to go to war. So let them pay for it. Let them pay the $530 billion required by the military budget.

Then there’s all the environmental stuff. All those beer cans, empty cigarette packs, fast food cartons – most of the litter along the highways was put there by men. As they continue to drive their big gas-guzzlers with the high emissions. And the companies that dump toxic waste, and clear cut forests, and dam river systems? All run by men.

We could call it the Gender Responsibility Tax – a $5,000 surtax could be levied on each and every male. Payable annually, from birth to death. By the parents, of course, until the boy reached manhood.

The Soaps vs. The Game

While both ‘the soaps’ and ‘the game’ have been criticized as poor viewing choices, only the soaps have been dismissed as fluff. However, a close examination reveals that, in fact, the soaps have more heft than the game.

In both cases, Read the rest of this entry »