Ok ladies. I’ll tell you straight up, I’m a feminist. At least I’m pretty sure I am. I dunno, I never went to college and took a women’s studies class, but I did grow up with a strong, working woman in the dominant role in my household. I never for a second believed my ovaries to be a hindrance to anything I should want to do, besides maybe pee on a wall. I’m in my late twenties, don’t have much interest in renting out uterus space to any would-be dependents and I see no problem whatsoever in demanding my boyfriend wash the dishes. In fact, I expect it. I have always encouraged my girlfriends to assert their independence within their relationships, which, I can assure you, has earned me the ire of more than a few of their gentleman callers. In fact, were I drunk enough, you could probably talk me into getting a tattoo proclaiming ?Down With The Patriarchy? in huge letters across my bosoms. You know, if it was tastefully done.
So it’s because of that that I feel weird about what I’m about to tell you, but I’ve got some bad news, girls. That spare tire around our collective mid-section? It’s probably there because we aren’t doing enough housework. So get in the kitchen and make your man a sandwich. That’s right, hop to it, Toots. Put some muscle in it. I know you’ve got it in you.
?As some of you may have guessed, I’m referencing a recent study led by University of South Carolina fellow Ed Archer that was recently reported on by the New York Times – “What Housework has to do with Waistlines” and ABC News “Study Tying Women’s Weight Gain to Housework,” among other media outlets. The study looked at the amount of time spent on housework, leisure time physical activity and non-work related screen time, based on a collection of ‘time-use diaries? kept exclusively by women.The conclusion of the study is as follows:?
?From 1965 to 2010, there was a large and significant decrease in the time allocated to Household Management (HM). By 2010, women allocated 25% more time to screen-based media use than HM (i.e., cooking, cleaning, and laundry combined). The reallocation of time from active pursuits (i.e., housework) to sedentary pastimes (e.g., watching TV) has important health consequences. These results suggest that the decrement in Household Management Energy Expenditure may have contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity in women during the last five decades.
Get out the pitchforks, huh girls? This jagoff obviously wants us barefoot, pregnant and beating our wash against a rock! And not only that, but the whole reason he wants us to do these things is because he thinks we’re fat!
Of course, the Twitterverse has been ablaze with outrage over these sentiments. A few standouts:
??And in other news, the 1950s called and they want their article back.?
?WOMEN: You’re fat because you don’t do housework anymore. (Nice double whammy.)??
And from Jessica Valenti, contributor to The Nation and loud and proud feminist:?
?Am I fucking hallucinating or did @nytimes just tell me American women are fat because they don’t vacuum enough??
Hashtags accompanying these Twitter responses ranged from #whyweneedfeminism to #whywasthisevenastudy. A few even referenced my impending chest piece with the hashtag #patriarchy.
A lot of nerve, huh? Fat women need to clean more so they can stop being fat? As one Twit (or is it Tweeter?) put it ?Oh yeah? Then how come MEN are fat too?? Good question! Why all the focus on women’s weight? It’s not like every man is sporting six pack. This is obviously another attempt by men to fat shame us!
Actually, as it turns out this was a follow-up to a study published in 2011 examining the increasingly sedentary nature of jobs in the U.S workforce over the last 50 years. That study concluded that American workers were on average, burning 150 less calories per working day than their parents did, ‘thus materially contributing to the rise in obesity during the corresponding time frame, especially among men,? as quoted by the New York Times.
The trouble with the study on employed workers was that it mostly ignored women, as so many worked inside the home, not the work force. That prompted some researchers to give us gals a second glance. Even employed women tend to do the majority of the brunt work around the house (unjust as that may be), and it has a significant impact on energy expenditure that the labor-only study did not account for.
It appears that though women continue to bear the burden of most household chores (and childcare*), they are spending far less time actually doing said chores now than they did in 1965. In 1965, women were averaging 25.7 hours per week on housework. By 2010, that number had whittled down to just 13.3 hours. Now hold on, nobody is accusing you of whiling away the hours with your hair in curlers while you watch the soaps (yet). Continuously advancing technology has played a huge role in making housework infinitely more time-effective and easy to complete. Think of your grandmother’s ancient vacuum cleaner- that thing probably weighed as much as your average adult in 2010! Now consider your itty bitty Swiffer thingy, or better yet, your Roomba. Hey, I know managing the on/off switch can be exhausting, but you gotta admit: You’re expending less energy to get the same jobs done.
Think of how much more we go out to eat than our predecessors did. Sitting down and being served is a lot less tiring than standing up in the kitchen while you prepare and clean up a meal. Even if you are preparing meals at home, it’s no doubt less exhaustive to do so with the aid of food processors, microwaves, and for clean up, dishwashers. Boy, those things are awesome. You just load it up, press a button, then sit down and relax. Right? According to the calculations put forth by the author, non-employed women in 2010 burned an average of 360 fewer calories per day than their 1965 counterparts. For working women, the number is 132 fewer calories burned.
So what are we doing with all the extra time technology has won us? Well, it appears us dames are spending a lot more of it in front of the tube and all incarnations of the screen than we used to. Double the amount we did in 1965, actually. (It’s not just us, men do it too- ironically, more so when they hang around the house doing chores.) Now listen, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Information, entertainment and whatever you’d classify Honey Boo Boo as are all great. But spending your time online or in front of the TV is simply not physically active. Everything you currently do is displacing something you used to do, and unless you used to spend all your free time in a coma, no doubt the increasing hours you sit with your eyes glued to a screen use up less energy than whatever you did in the past. Or it’s cutting in on your sleep, which of course has health consequences as well. These are sobering thoughts. As soon as I’m done writing this thing I’m unplugging the computer, I swear. Perhaps I’ll even do a little laundry… or maybe I’ll go clean the gutters and make my boyfriend do the laundry. Boy do I hate housework.
Besides more time spent watching T.V, over the years there has also been an increase in leisurely physical activity, such as playing sports and time spent at the gym. Hey, we’re not totally lazy. Technological comforts simply afford us more time to do the kinds of activities we like to do, not just drudgerous things we must do! Trouble is, it’s only been an average increase of 1.2 hours per week. For the most part we tacked it all on a few decades ago, no doubt an allowance for some spandex and leg warmer required aerobics routine, whereas sedentary screen time just keeps going up. We just don’t move around as much as we used to, and that probably contributes to our increasing weight. I don’t think this is exactly a groundbreaking study.
I personally find it relevant that housework, while physically demanding, is usually done at a fairly relaxed and even pace, and unless it’s a hot day, you probably won’t break a sweat. This is significant because it means that housework is less likely to be such a drain on the body that it slows the metabolism. This stands in contrast with the effects of excessive exercise, something that many of us engage in attempts to make up for the sedentary way we spend the rest of our lives.
Another interesting thing to consider is that while the average woman of 1965 was indeed less heavy than women today, the average 1965 centerfold would be laughed off the pages of today’s magazines. She was heavier, hairier and far fleshier than anything the current culture would dare to celebrate. When we look at ourselves and see how far off we are from the cartoonish ideals of today, it can be easy to become depressed and decide to do something desperate, like go on a bajillion day juice fast or make yourself lofty promises of many grueling hours to be spent at the gym. These efforts are extreme, and not usually sustainable. We end up on a yo-yo, punctuated by periods of elation and shame, depending on which way the scale is sliding. Perhaps it’s because we’re heavier than we used to be that we idolize women with figures that are nearly impossible to maintain. Or maybe we associate a softer figure with a weaker person, and so to prove our status as more-than-a-homemaker, we aspire to eliminate all renegade traces of body fat that dare to reside somewhere other than our breasts. Whatever it is, I think we’re making things a lot harder for ourselves than we need to.
So ladies, I think we can save the outrage for a more worthy cause. The take-away from this study isn’t that you need to quit your job, don some June Cleaver pearls and make more work for yourself around the house in order to lose a few. The point is simply that there is a clear correlation between more sedentary lifestyles and weight gain. Housework was singled out merely because it is a laborious activity women have traditionally engaged in, and on average, none of the activities we’ve replaced it with are as rigorous. But if you don’t like housework, fine! Get someone else to do it, get the Roomba to do it, or just let the place rot, who cares! But by all means, try and do something in your daily life that necessitates regular activity. Take a dance class, start a dog walking business, grow a garden, coach a softball team, chop wood, become a meter maid. Hey, whatever gets you moving.
So long as your hackles are still raised in indignation, get a load of this…COCA-COLA actually funded the study! Clearly that makes the whole point moot!*?
*The study didn’t take into account the effect of child-rearing activities. Apparently, the way the subjects recorded their activities made it impossible to distinguish between child-rearing and other housework. This is probably because so many women are doing both at the same time.
*Coca-Cola probably funded this study because it aims to do a little blame-sharing on the obesity problem. Soda and all processed foods are currently being branded public health enemy number one, and while I don’t doubt that dietary changes play a part, there is a whole picture to consider when looking at the generational weight gain we’re experiencing. The study concludes with ?Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world and yet is all too often under-emphasized in clinical, educational and public health settings. While the attraction of simple causation in the etiology of obesity is powerful (e.g., economic forces cause obesity), the development of effective strategies and tactics to ameliorate the effects of NCDs and obesity necessitates a broad understanding of the complexities of human behavior and energy metabolism, inclusive of energy intake, energy expenditure and physical activity. I can’t argue with that.
I hope all the feminists aren’t going around ‘demanding’ that their husbands do housework. Otherwise they are no better than those men that ‘demand’ their wives do the cooking and cleaning.
Hey sister, most men aren’t yet programmed to understand that they should be pulling their weight around the house. That appliance ad featured at the top of the article wasn’t too long ago, so I have no problems with making sure my partner isn’t sticking me with all the bitch work.
Is feminism is about programming men? Well, I’m self-programmed, Gumm! I don’t need that feminism garbage. I love cooking. My wife takes the dishes. Interdependence, NOT independence.
Hell yeah! I’m all about interdependence! In fact, I insist on it!
Also, I don’t really know what the hell feminism is about. Alls I know is almost every married woman I know does all the housework, whether they like it or not, and I think that sucks.
“Also, I don’t really know what the hell feminism is about.”
It originated as a reaction by Marxist women against their Marxist asshole boyfriends who treated them as bed-warmers and servants. Proving that Communism and Capitalism really aren’t that far apart, I suppose.
Whoa, really? Neat.
Respectfully disagree. Feminism as taught in women’s studies depts is a logical extension of communism as it is about tearing down the family as the basic unit of society. Notice how even Julia, with rather tepid version of feminism, expresses how she feels about having children.
Wow. I think having kids is great, I love families. I just don’t personally know that I’m game for it, nor that it’s the most useful contribution I’m personally suited to give the world.
I thought feminism was basically about women being free to do whatever they want with their lives, like vote, own property, have children or not (when they want to or not), have a job, be paid equitably, not be treated like a common servant in their own home and not be forced to live in subservience to their husband. I don’t think these things and the continuing existence of families are mutually exclusive, but again, I’ve never taken a woman’s studies class, so if you did and that’s what they’re peddling, I’m surprised.
Well, I grew up in feminist capital of world (Santa Cruz) and I have taken women’s studies there, so yeah, I think you would be a little shocked just what goes on in women’s studies! I thin probably most people have a “soft” definition of feminism like you do. Yet still: planks of modern feminist thought that are now mainstream- birth control,abortion, working outside the home, state run day care for the poor sobs who decide to have kids, divorce no longer being shameful, babies out of wedlock no longer shameful…l am not arguing the merits or drawbacks of these things but merely pointing out they combine into a weakened family structure- The goal of Marxist s everywhere.
Let’s see, first of all, you haven’t defined what “hard” feminism is. You make a caricature of some form of feminism that may have a basis in reality (we don’t know because you didn’t specify) to attack feminism in general.
Then you say something peculiar. You aren’t “arguing the merits drawbacks of these things but merely pointing out they combine into a weakened family structure-THE GOAL OF MARXISTS everywhere.” [BOOGAH BOOGAH]
So what are you saying there? Are you arguing against abortion, birth control, divorce?
Also what do you know about the goal of Marxists everywhere? I am probably what you would label a Marxist, so instead of some straw man, you have a flesh-and-blood incarnation here. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe it’s not that people want to destroy the family but that they want to transform it?
Our entire country was thrust into a Civil War over the question of slavery. Should black people and those who opposed slavery have remained silent for the sake of preserving unity? It appears to me that this is not an unfair analogy from your above statement. You are saying, I don’t have anything against abortion, divorce, per se. It’s just that they weaken the family structure. And, if I follow your logic, anything that weakens the family structure as it now exists, must be discouraged.
That’s really interesting Thomas. So what would a ‘transformed’ family unit look like to you? I think it’s great that we live in a time when we can break down the structures that don’t work for us anymore and create our own type of relationships, family units, careers trajectories etc. It might be scary for some, but I think it’s exciting.
I don’t know all the details here, but it looks to me that the Marxist goal is to break apart the family structure because it’s assumed that this mere *structure* is the root of all evil that is capitalism (inheritance being passed on etc). Take note, I believe capitalism is evil too.
I take issue with this because it misses the point in one major way, and it’s the cause of immense damage in its implication as being observed today.
In Marx’s days as to this day, oppression did not come from a ‘class’ of people, it came from a few specific families (one of which, the most powerful, he doesn’t even mention in any of his writings). The bourgeois *class* was merely the puppets of this concentration of power, but they didn’t actually *hold* power. Thus any wealth-reducing program/revolution directed at the class itself would be absolutely meaningless if one turned a blind eye to the true holders of power (I mean, whatever money was directed from the upper middle class could easily be funneled into the hands of this invisible uppermost elite if no one’s paying attention and as long as the masses are content with receiving at least a fraction of that sum).
And in fact, Marxists tended to do just this, turn a blind eye, see the Paris Commune for example. Marx et al may have been critical of this major blunder (of not attacking the central bank), but fact still remains. They did not, while they could have at least tried.
In essence, Marx was ‘wrong’ about the bourgeoisie–in his days they were still only the middlemen *just* as in feudal times. In doing this, he (inadvertently) protected the more elusive interests of the uppermost elite. And the fact that he distinguished between two types of capitalists/bourgeois classes only made matters worse and the true reflection of power relations even more murky, cause he’s still mistaken. I’d say the bourgeoisie/upper middle class was the most oppressed class of all, because while they had material comfort and enjoyed a more secure status, their administration of life was completely in the hands of the far upper class.
Misplacing the true source of oppression has the obvious consequence of strengthening said oppression.
As for the implications of breaking apart, or transforming, the family structure if you rather call it that, well, again, that effort has been misdirected. If there is indeed a danger of strong family structures being the source of evil, the aim should be to weaken those few families at the very top, NOT the masses of families on the bottom!! But that’s exactly what’s happening. If it’s not clearly visible in a country like the US due to the higher percentage of religious remnants (or “residual fragments of people”), travel to places like Sweden or any of the Nordic countries. A divided lower class, is a conquered lower class. Removing oppressive institutions such as religious prohibitions against divorce, abortion etc is just a bait. Their only purpose is to serve as easy vehicles for shredding each and every strand of the cultural fabric/glue that keeps people/the masses united. So we’ve been granted a few much sought after liberties at the expense of our further subjugation. When instead we could have demanded liberation from unnecessary social structures without having to split people apart and thus drastically decreasing our chances of true liberation.
Prohibitions on divorce and abortion among other things, were vehicles of oppression that belonged to a now fading system of domination. But in having done away with abortion restriction, we’re seeing popular support for sterilization campaigns overseas in the name of stabilizing population growth. And we’re gladly going in to get our own tubes tied, because having tubes means being ‘tied’ down.
Feminism is much like Marxism in that it misses the point entirely by pointing an unsteady finger in the proximity of evil. I don’t think people realize the repercussions in misidentifying the real cause of the problem. How self-defeating it is.
If we’re busy fighting what we think is the enemy, the true enemy can only gain in power and resources.
In feminism, man is the enemy, woman the victim. Honorable, ‘free’ work is paid and outside the home. Slave work is unpaid work, being done in the home. In my view, the common man is the victim, the common woman is the victim. Paid work is slave work because for the vast majority, you’re not receiving in pay the equivalent of the amount of work you put in. Not so in the home. You receive exactly according to the amount of energy you put into your work (housework, childcare). In the mythical 50s, I’d say the victim was the family, and the man more so the victim than his wife. As happens with human psychology, the abused becomes the abuser. It’s an easy way to cope when you feel like you have no other recourse.
And before you think it, no, this does not in any way mean we should not direct efforts at relieving horrible conditions for abused women, socially or physically.
So, feminism can be a great way of splitting families apart, by putting the ultimate blame on the abusive men, when in truth, the uppermost elite is the main problem, pitting women against men (and their sons and brothers and fathers for that matter). It’s messed up. I support women everywhere and always encourage those who are in abusive relationships to get out of it. But at the same time, I refuse to call myself a feminist and join some delusional gender/class struggle. I mean seriously, if you don’t a man who’s going to beat you and shame you into taking on a heavier workload at home, then don’t marry one! And certainly, don’t raise one. While I have a few friends who have married assholes like that, I also have a good amount of friends who have married men who don’t feel like it’s their god given right to not raise a finger at home. But yeah, men naturally don’t seem to gravitate towards an equal concern for tidiness and homely stuff like many women I know. And perhaps this is why in most cultures, women and men have had separate work duties.
Also, with the demeaning attitude towards housework (like a lower form of work), is it any wonder that anyone wants to do it? Man or woman, doesn’t really matter.
Wow, none of those things are shocking to me at all. In fact, the lack of access to some necessitates the existence of the others. Look, I haven’t taken any of these classes you’ve been exposed to, but I’m not completely ignorant on the subject. Perhaps there is an orthodoxy of women going around demanding that we all get fat and have multiple abortions just to piss men off. Okie dokie. I’ve never met them, and i’ll tell you, I’ve known some hardcore feminists. So these spitefully fat women are just a teeny tiny subset of what is a broader movement that fights the assumption that men are in charge of everything outside the home and women should just keep busy with the children and the sewing.
In reality employees are slaves. In the past 90 percent of people had their own businesses. Now because of the industrial revolution 90 percent are paid slaves called employees. Most employee jobs suck. Feminism romanticizes work outside the home but most of that work is drudgery too. And far fewer women make really high incomes than men. Most single mothers struggle financially. I don’t think that it is because of discrimination but a reflection of the different interests and aptitudes of most women. Women are the worst bosses in the world I can tell u that much from experience. Out of a number that I have worked for they have pretty much all been borderline neurotic basket cases, bitches, catty, conniving, and unreasonable and overly emotional, doing things based on emotions and often out of control. I don’t think I would ever work for a woman again. Also responding to the comment on Marxism, destroying the traditional family is most definitely a plank of communism. What constitutes a family is defined by biology and nature. Nature and biology require a male and a female to procreate. A male and female and their children or offspring are a family. You can deviate from that, but it would be just that, deviant and based on observation and study is a far less stable healthy structure much more prone to members with mental problems, physical illnesses or disintegration. A strong family structure makes a society stronger and better able to fight tyrants and that is why tyrants like communists want to destroy it and encourage deviancies. I believe the Marxist planks are in the communist manifesto. Google and you should find info. Capitalism is not evil. Monarchies are not evil. It is the evil and sinfulness of people that is evil and evil people can make any form of government or any economic system evil. People who are immoral, greedy, exploit and steal from others especially the poor lacking political power, who are murderous and corrupt will destroy any society whatever kind of government even if it could have been good with moral, good people. A capitalist free market system will be corrupt with corrupt people. There is no system that will provide peace, prosperity, and safety for a society whose populace is immoral and corrupt. There are many quotes to this effect by America’s founders such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. There is a Ben Franklin quote in which he says that our form of government is wholly unsuited to any other than a moral people. In other words if people are not moral and law abiding, if they don’t love and refrain from harming and using those around them instead caring for and serving others, our constitution and bill of rights will be useless because people will ignore them. Unfortunately this is what is happening and we have had a long string of elected officials of both parties who think they are above the law and can do what they want for their own ends whether it is constitutional or good for the long term health of the nation.
I can’t believe this repeating argument about how feminism is stupid because work outside of the home actually sucks. Really, you’re suggesting that the idiot men do all the grunt work while we do the meaningful work of child rearing, and it shows a distinct lack of respect for men! And also, it’s a bogus argument because society is FULL of roles that are not a bit like slavery, and even if that is what society is, if women want to join in the misery, why not let them? Jesus! These generalizations are just too much. Neurotic basket cases? Wow!!!
I want to see the reputable study that proves the “disintegration” of children who live in non-traditional homes.
Here is the first of many that popped up in a Google search that says the opposite:
Uhh, Tierney.. That is a bit wild.. Where did you study
And by the way, any “true” feminist would not be worried about losing weight, as that is just submitting to an outdated patriarchal ideal. I’ve known several who got as fat as possible as a big fuck you to the patriarchy- their equivalent of your tattoo I suppose.
Tierney, why do you pick on stereotyped images drawn from First Wave Feminism? Women don’t have to give up their sexual identity in order to be feminists.
Hey man, the tattoo is a joke. There’s no way that thing could be tastefully done.
Agreed Terry, on that last bit on Communism and Capitalism.
One thing that I have a problem with in general is that women feel that there is something ignoble about housework and childcare. These are pretty damn important functions and they help the world go ’round as much or more than the executive at a mid-size firm in Manhattan. It’s kind of like the whole women in combat=feminist triumph. I would say a reduction in defense spending would be more of a feminist triumph. It’s the women becoming doctors is good, men being nurses funny line of thinking. We should laud and respect traditional female roles whether woman or men are doing them– they are fundamental to the orderly functioning of our lives and our society. Viva la housework! Off to scrub some toilets…
I absolutely agree. “Women’s work” makes the world go ’round, for sure. I think that the fear of “merely” being a housewife is already easing, but it is understandable that women have felt uneasy about it, considering how hard their foremothers fought to give them the right to do something else. I also think stay at home dads are pretty awesome, too.
As far as celebrating women being doctors and men being nurses, I think actually that’s pretty cool. What better way to prove that “women’s work” is valuable than by men voluntarily taking it on? I’m all for breaking down walls and sharing the load, and I’m certainly all for women being let into fields they had previously been kept out of.
Asserting that a real win for women would be a decrease in defense spending, rather than allowing women in combat, I think is a bit of a stereotype. I don’t think that the women in uniform who sued and pushed for this legislation would prefer we withdrawal our troops from around the world so that they can get back to promoting peace and health within the home. Obviously they’re more interested in being in the military, and since those women exist and are capable of doing the job, than we must allow them to do it, as a society. And we must let them be doctors and we must let men be housecleaners and nurses and all that, too. Clearly traditional roles don’t easily fit everyone, or this would never even become an issue. No?
Oh! You were saying that it’s good when men are nurses! I misunderstood you, sorry! I just woke up, I’m a little bleary eyed.
Don”t worry my writing wasn’t too clear– someone needs an editor! But, yes– yay for male nurses, stay at home dads, etc… expanding roles is good and still…
regarding women in combat– perhaps it is a feminist win; but, maybe that’s why I wouldn’t define myself as a feminist per se. Having all boys, I can tell you my values lie in promoting a peaceful future for them, not in them respecting women as good soldiers. I think there are true male and female domains (not that men and women can’t be accomplished in either) and I would prefer feminine values to be promoted as opposed to women in male roles (again, not that they shouldn’t be allowed to– though I think that has more to do with human freedom in general). As my favorite feminist, Germaine Greer said– the opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy but fraternity. Another good quote (paraphrased) is that she didn’t fight to get women from behind a hoover to be on the board of Hoover.
Maybe it’s because I don’t have a formal education of any kind so I don’t know what “the goals” of “feminism” are. But here is what I do know: Monica Lin Brown, awarded the Silver Star as a Combat Medic in Afghanistan, used her own body as a human shield to protect wounded soldiers she was treating during battle. She dragged theses soldiers as far out of harms way as she could, but still as the shrapnel and flew, she protected them with her own body while continuing to give them treatment. This is a woman who is obviously devoted to what she does and is not afraid of the combat zone. What your values are and what Germaine Greer or Gloria Steinem or Phyilis Shlafly think all women should do doesn’t mean a thing. What matters is that Monica Lin Brown volunteered to serve in a way that defies 1950’s women’s work and she has done so, with valor. She is an asset to her field and she wants to be there! Why the hell would anyone stop her? Because they themselves don’t like it? Then don’t do it. No one’s stopping you from cleaning the toilets, why stop her from her chosen work?
And why is the promotion of peace tied in with whether or not we allow women on the battle field? If you broadly feel that we should have NO ONE on the battlefield, ok then. But how does the inclusion of women make for a less peaceful future?
Ah. Again I reread your statement and you’re saying that while you don’t think it’s a win for women really, women should be allowed to serve. But that it’s a human rights issue, not a feminist issue. I getcha. But to me, of course that’s what it is! It’s a human rights issue, and wherever females are precluded from the right to exercise their will, that’s an injustice. Enough of those injustices existed so feminism was born. So to me, women earning rights is a feminist win as well as a human rights win. There is no separation.
What if women now end up being drafted if there is a war, thanks to these examples being set? Will you still see that as a human rights victory?
The Real Amy, I can’t directly reply to you, but I don’t really get the point of your question. Look, I don’t ever think drafting anyone to be soldiers is a “human rights victory”. Ever. But if people are going to be drafted, no, I don’t think that broadening it to include women is wrong, if that’s what you mean. Why should I? Because we’re delicate flowers that can’t stand the sight of such pain? Bull. And maybe if all this talk about women being such peaceniks is true, perhaps if the draft were to extend to them, they’d use their strength as the majority of the electorate to vote to keep us OUT of these stupid wars to begin with. Maybe it would make enough people uncomfortable that they’d think twice about invading some country full of brown people and oil, if their wives had to share the risk, too. And again, remember, the face of warfare is changing. We’re not typically charging at people across a field with guns in hand, there are many many many positions that aren’t very dangerous at all. I just had a friend come back from Kandahar where he sat on a computer for four years. Anyway, aren’t women required to sign up for the military already, all over the world? Like in Israel? Big deal.
To Julia Gumm: It’s your deal to decide what seems reasonable for the masses of women everywhere, but as the opinion of the masses have a history of setting a precedent for public policy, I’m going to share my own two cents here in the hopes to perhaps change your mind a little (and others’). I know, not very politically correct or enlightened, but here goes.
In the case of a draft, a large number of people is usually needed, and while dads alive and present is important to the well-being of a family, mothers alive and present is perhaps a notch more important. I know I’m generalizing here, but that’s necessary in this case. I’m going by the assumption that the majority of mothers are not neglectful or abusive, but in fact offer that emotional protection to her children that men don’t do in the same way. Ask my son for example, who will gladly proclaim that he loves his dad the most (with no concern for his poor mother’s heart breaking!), they’ve been extremely close since he was very little. But when we were separated from the kids’ dad for 10 months recently, he said that while it was extremely difficult, it was nothing compared to how it would feel like being separated from me, his mother (I think he said something to the effect of dying a little, and we’re certainly not closer than him and his dad are). In all likelihood, ensuring that mothers to children of a certain age would not be drafted in the midst of national crisis, is perhaps too much to hope for.
And yes, The Real Amy’s concern is certainly warranted. Examples like these do have a clear history of setting expectations for the entire society. One example is daycare for all children over the age of 12 months in Sweden. Before daycare was publicly funded, few children were in daycare. A couple decades later, 94% of all children between 1 and 5 are in daycare. It is not uncommon for the parents of the remaining 6% to be harassed for choosing to keep them out of public daycare (even when not employed), and there have been quite a few charges of child neglect on no other grounds but this.
I don’t consider myself a delicate flower, but that doesn’t mean I have the sort of bravery that men typically have by nature, nor the strength. I’m not saying that all men are brave, certainly not the case, nor that no women are brave enough for combat, but yes, yes and yes, there’s a reason why men are genetically capable of growing more muscle mass than women. And if there was nothing to it, why has it been traditionally the male members of all/most tribal societies who’ve been warriors and hunters? Besides generally being stronger, the male brain operates differently, making them more able to focus on only one thing at a time, whereas women tend to be able to focus on a multitude of events simultaneously (which is beneficial in many circumstances, but distracting in other highly tense situations).
But let’s see here, in the words of a female Marine combat vet, the best woman is no match for the best man. While women tend to be great at shooting, they’re not as strong and thus has difficulty carrying off a much heavier wounded male from the battlefield. Nor will she be as good at running for long periods of time with very heavy gear on. A woman’s strength fluctuates with menstruation, a man’s doesn’t for obvious reasons. For half of the month, she will have half the strength. As we all know here, it’s due to lower metabolic function before ovulation. And while PMS can be eased through better nutrition, that isn’t likely for everyone: “how would you like fighting through PMS symptoms while clearing a town or going through a firefight?” And yes, you put women and men together in close quarters and nature will take its course, children will be conceived. And it does frequently threaten unit cohesion (imagine jealousy dramas for example). There’s the problem of sexual assault, and because trust is needed for effective and safe combat, a woman who’s been assaulted will be at greater risk if she’s unable to trust her fellow soldiers.
It costs a million dollars to train one soldier for combat. Women end up being evacuated at three times the rate of men. About three quarters of them are due to being pregnant. So, you got the million dollars tax money wasted, plus cost of evacuation. Women are much more susceptible to infections, which is another concern in combat (if the goal is to win a war, not merely fight for the sake of fighting).
What frightens me in the feminist debate is that the minority of women who gravitate towards typically male roles (and who perhaps can pull them off as well as their male peers), have a much stronger voice than the remaining majority of us women who gravitate towards gender-defined roles. I’m all about women and men having equal worth; the idea that it’s no big deal to draft women is, when all is said and done all about women’s lesser worth.
Thank you Josefina, you summed it up perfectly.
Well Josefina, again I’ll say that not all roles women perform in the military are the kind where you run across a field and catch an infection. That reminds me of a Newt Gingrich quote from the 90’s that always made me laugh, something about men being suited to go hunt giraffes and women getting infections in foxholes. I forget the whole thing. So listen, if the military is going to start drafting women, if they were to think it was worth their while to do so, I betcha anything they wouldn’t be sticking them with “infection” duty, whatever the hell that is. And if you’re a quaking aspen of a woman, you probably won’t pass the psych requirements, anyway. Also, the military monitors women in war and I’ve read nothing official that mentions how women are all really crappy at their jobs while they’re PMSing. Sure, we might get more tired, but we’re good and muscling through. That’s what we did in the cave, with babies on our hips, soup on the fire and a wolf at the door, right? No time for naps then, either. If a man is better at a job than a women, he’ll probably get it. If a woman is better, she’ll get it. Lots of different skill sets the military needs filled. And about nature taking it’s course,
Well you know what, my mother died when I was ten. Very sad experience. But I managed to muddle through. Truth is, my dad was always home more than she was anyway, so having my dad pass could have been just as or more traumatic, anyway. There were economic factors that made life harder for me when my mom died, no doubt. She earned all the money! But my dad was the one who I talked to and who baked the birthday cakes. Most of my girlfriends growing up were raised by their dads, interestingly enough. We’re all pretty well adjusted, I’d say. So I think losing any parent sucks and what sucks more depends on what each parent did and what you value more. Are women the more nurturing ones most of the time? Yeah sure. But not always. Besides, I’m sure there would be some kind of exception for new mothers, if this theoretical draft were to ever be put in place.
Nature taking it’s course? Jealous dramas? I think people generally behave like professionals in the military, and I think top brass agrees after ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Besides, there are already women in the military!
Besides this entirely fictitious draft we’re mulling over, what exactly about the feminist debate threatens your right to do traditional women’s work? Is it merely that you feel it is unappreciated work? I agree that that is an unfortunate backlash of early feminism, but I think we’re seeing that turn around with all the DIY hype, for example. In order for something to change, sometimes you gotta pull it hard in the other direction. With time it levels off. Women who don’t speak up also can’t expect to be heard. Yeah, maybe it is the more outspoken women going out and pushing their case who have more clout than you- that’s because they’re trying to get people to listen. If there is a majority of women who wish for society to listen to them and their concerns about how far feminism is going, I’m sure they’d only have to say the word and they’d be eagerly listened to.
A woman who has been sexually assaulted should feel better once her assaulter has been punished and discharged. I’m so glad congress is finally pushing for stronger penalties and better processes for dealing with rape and assault in the military. But keeping women out of the military because of it is exactly like telling college girls not to wear short skirts and drink around their guy friends. The problem is not the women. You’re not just arguing against a draft, it seems, you’re arguing against women participating in the military at all. And I would guess, homosexuals, following this line of logic.
I’m sorry, this is just bothering me too much. Kids don’t “die a little inside” when their mothers dies. Kids are tough and resilient and they carry on better than adults can, usually. If someone posed a hypothetical to me “how would you feel if your mom died?” before she did, I’m sure I’d have imagined my world, sense of self and security coming crashing down. But it happened unexpectedly, and just as unexpectedly, I did not feel any of those three things. My friends would always ask me how I dealt with it because they never could have. That’s crappola. You just never know how strong you are until you have to be. Having your mom die sucks, being separated from your mom sucks. But using a child’s projection of how they think they’d feel in that situation as proof of your argument that mothers are more valuable to their children is? I don’t think that’s solid. My recounting to you my personal experience also does not mean that losing your mom young can’t be the hardest thing in the world, of course. This is just a matter close to my heart and I think I can speak to it.
And another thing, I HIGHLY doubt the government would see it fit to draft both parents in a family. If the woman is the stronger one and better fit for duty, I’ll bet she’d be the one chosen. Obviously you think women like that should be able to serve anyway, so no problem. Also, I think this discussion is useless because ground troops are becoming less and less crucial to our foreign fights. The day we have to whisk unwilling, frightened mothers away from their clinging children to charge a foreign army on the battlefield is a day I doubt we will ever in a million years see. No matter what happened with kids in daycare in Sweden?
Just checked good old Wikipedia…the only nation on earth that require women to sign up for the military limits it to women without children. And here are all the nations where women are free to join the military…many in direct combat roles:
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
People’s Republic of China
And NONE of them REQUIRE women to serve besides the aforementioned Israel, which exempts women with children. I think this is an over-bloated “what if” that is not based in reality whatsoever.
I think what you’re saying is that women’s roles are valuable and to make women do men’s work as a way of proving their value is, in essence, degrading women. Sure! “Women’s work” is important! Someone has to do it! It’s the warm and fuzzy stuff that makes life run smoothly, no doubt. But no one is making women do anything! All that’s happening is women are ABLE to do things that were once only open to men. You don’t want to do them. Then don’t! You don’t think it’s good for society that other women want to do them, maybe? If so, then I’d say too bad. And the other side of the coin here is that there are many men who love to cook and clean and take care of babies and can’t stand violence or icky things or who I, as a relatively strong female, have whooped ass in sprinting contests and arm wrestling competitions. I am laughing out loud thinking of MANY of the dudes I know charging ANYONE on a battlefield. Talk about quaking aspens!
Yay Susan. I’ve worked both outside the home and in, and I find doing work directly for my own comfort and hygiene and that of my family, much more rewarding than slave working for some shitty corporation. The only downside is the isolation if you’re a stay-at-home mom, but that’s not housework’s fault.
Me, too, sistah! And if making my household sanitary also makes my waist a little smaller– that just makes it more awesome. I also agree that being some cog in the corporate machinery only seems like a ‘having it all’ on t.v. In real life, I’d rather be CEO of mia familia– a lot more respect and autonomy and I don’t have to feel bad that I’m making the world a worse place. Copy on isolation, though– that’s why I would love to see more public money channeled to parks, playgrounds, community centers, etc and in reference to my above rant on women in combat, I think if women really ran the world — money would be diverted to community, family, healthcare, cancer research eduction and away from F-15’s and Halliburton.
Hey look, I don’t enjoy being a cog in a wheel either. But are you saying that men do and that that’s there place? Sounds like a pretty dim view of men, to me.
Thinking that the world would be a beautiful, peaceful place if only women were in charge also, I think, takes a pretty dim view of men. No doubt about the benefits of bringing women into powerful positions, but women are already heads of state around the globe, are CEO’s of major companies, run the IMF, have led uprisings (some violent) and run powerful departments in the U.S government. Would Hillary Clinton be doing anything all that different from Barack Obama? I doubt it. Or would Sarah Palin have channeled public money into parks and healthcare? Heck no. We’ve had a lot of champions of the ideals you mentioned in the Oval Office in the U.S.A- all of them with testicles intact. I think.
I get your point, but I think it’s just too broad.
For sure, it isn’t just about women. But I think Susan’s point was more about women from the lower classes being in charge. Women in the elite are not really women, or human for that matter. They just happen to have a vagina.
And no, men do not deserve to be cogs in the wheel either. My husband and I constantly talk about how we can be our own boss. He certainly doesn’t love working his ass off for a tiny share of the profits, nor do I.
Wow! I’ve got just as much anti-rich prejudice as the next once-was-trailer-dweller, but not human or woman at all? Really! Joke? Or funny cuz it’s true kind of joke?
Josefina, you’re bringing up interesting points about society and politics that I’m afraid I don’t have the gusto to reply to here. Maybe in my next article I’ll mention what political party I’m registered under and we’ll see what digressions will bloom.
Yeah– we’re on the same page– women don’t do anything differently from men– the problem is the system more than gender— power, violence, domination. Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton are prime examples for women — Barack Obama is a classic example for what difference it makes when a minority becomes president: none. As my man Prof. Griff (public enemy) said : the empire needed a facelift– a black one. Ain’t nothing wrong with women working, not being mothers, being ultimate fighting champs- whatever. I just don’t think it’s a simple as valuing one kind of labor over another. Housework, fence-building; bed pan changing/ chart reading. It’s all needed. Ack– I’ve become tiresome, I know.
So now we’re in complete agreement! It’s not about who does the work, all work is equally valuable, and gender probably has zilch to do with how well the work is done, all in all. Agreed.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, Susan. And yup, much more effort should be paid to increasing public places. For all its many, many faults, Sweden did have it right a couple decades ago while I was growing up, and that was its focus on these commons. My neighborhood was modeled after the English garden community, with no cars allowed between houses, lots of green spaces in between (with outdoor showers no less, oh sweet memories!) a ‘club’ house with party room and fitness stuff. In the larger community we had a teen center where we spent all our days hanging out, doing crafts, creating plays together, listening to music, cooking, having coffee, playing pool (and smoking and getting drunk on occasion, but nothing serious). The adults in charge were super awesome and had great relations with us kids. Ever since I came to the US, I’ve been wanting to recreate this, but where to begin.
A great opportunity to uplift the work we do as stay-at-home moms.
You and I are definitely sympatico– thank you for explaining some of my rants more clearly. The English Garden community is exactly what I was thinking of and I had also read about Sweden’s experiment with this (partially, I believe to the large number of pedestrian deaths — especially of children). Also, I must mention that the original ‘garden cities’ were meant to lift people out of the squalid poverty stricken areas of the city– where abuse, prostitution, addiction were so rampant. One of the original architects of the movement made a point of also making space for the elderly (with stairwell living above the shops that would a) help them retain their mobility by requiring daily exercise up and down the stairs b) place them close to the center of activity and social life of the community. I bring this up because it behooves me to point out one more aspect of my sorta manifesto– the treatment of the elderly in America is wretched and shameful; the traditional role of women becoming caretakers of their elderly parents, aunts, uncles, etc… is yet another worthy but maligned task that could use much more public support.
Women are not well suited to do many jobs in the military but are well suited for some such as surveillance and recon. Some of the jobs are just so physically demanding women simply don’t have the strength to do them. Men have almost double the muscle mass of women. Most if not all women have washed out of elite forces training because of this. Women being present in combat causes a problem that is an advantage to an enemy. Most men have an instinct to protect and defend women and children or elderly people. In essence people much physically weaker than themselves. Enemies take advantage of this by capturing and torturing the females and thereby muddle the thinking processes and emotions of the men by tempting them to focus on rescuing the female who they may hear screaming and in distress. I think putting a woman in a position that a man would be more qualified based on physical strength and stamina or other factors just to be politically correct is stupid. Just as stupid as hiring to fill a quota for having a certain number of blacks or Hispanics or women rather than hiring based on qualifications. If you hire a woman because she is a woman rather than because she is most qualified for the job you weaken the whole organization and jeopardize everyone else just to look good to stupid people who are into being PC.
The U.S military has historically been one of the least PC organizations on earth. I think that if any of this crap you’re talking about was a real problem, the Joint Chiefs and people like John McCain would not be in support of it. I would imagine they are more informed on military goings on than you are.
I am nothing even approaching a femininst. An anti-feminist, probably, as I love to celebrate the differences between the sexes. I revel in being feminine. Yet my boyfriend definitely does more housework than
Geez, I like to celebrate the differences between the sexes too! I just don’t like to pigeonhole people into them. Like how it was said here earlier that it’d be a win for women to draw down our defense spending rather than let women into the theater of combat. Like, the proof of that not being true is that there were women suing to be officially allowed in combat roles.
But if you and your boyfriend ever split up, send him my way! I got a sink full of dishes with his name on it! You’re a lucky lucky girl;)
I just happened to end up with a guy who likes to clean :-)
My husband works a stressful but lucrative job. I think that sucks. I had to work before he came along and as far as I’m concerned being in the cutthroat business world dealing with all the bs and politics sucks. Having my own little business might be nice, but I’ve been too busy with taking care of things at home and homeschooling three children. I think the reason why a lot of women hate housework is they are overloaded and rushed because in effect they are working two jobs one outside the home and one inside. If you have time to do things and if you have a good attitude thinking of what you are doing as a valuable service that contributes to making a nurturing restoring haven for your family it can be enjoyable and even therapeutic. You can expect men to be happy little homemakers all you want but the truth is that in general men aren’t wired that way and are not going to do that at least not without you being a bitch and intimidating him into it. If he has no balls he’ll be cowed by you and jump when you say jump. How repulsive. If he isn’t hell ignore you tell you to go to hell and the fighting and arguing will be on which will very likely result in a divorse at some point. Feminism is based on the idea that there really isn’t any difference between men and women. That is completely bogus. And it is probably responsible for a large percent of the very high divorse rate.
What’s bogus is the assumption that there is no deviation from traditional roles among men and women, and the proof of that is all around you. No one is saying that men and women are exactly alike, and if they are, they’re idiots. Nothing about the argument for expanded freedoms for women takes away your personal right to not take advantage of it. There is nothing repulsive about my male partner heeding my request to switch the laundry over, and there is nothing attractive about a man who refuses to pitch in around the house because of his god given right not to, via his testicles. You know, in my opinion. That’s what this is all about, right? Opinions? My opinion is that people should be able to do whatever the hell they want, without physically hurting each other. Women enjoying expanded freedoms does not preclude you from abstaining from them. Stay at home! That’s beautiful, wonderful, right on! But why sit around pontificating about your one size fits all philosophy and how it contributes the the divorce rate? How many of these marriages that didn’t end in divorce, do you think, were actually fulfilling?
That’s a good way to show that feminist=bitch like they can be stereotyped to be. Most men I know do way more than they are given credit for. And that’s being asked, too!
I meant that’s WITHOUT being asked. I guess I’m surrounded by good, hardworking men!
I guess you are! But it’s accepted fact that men do less around the house than women, even if they’re both working full time and living in the suburban jungle which requires little in the way of traditionally masculine duties.
I think feminists don’t mind being called bitches these days, they’ve reclaimed it. If being a bitch means being assertive and sticking up for myself, then bitch it is.
I agree with that Julia. I only get called a bitch when someone is trying to walk all over me and I resist or I have dared to shatter someone’s stereotype that women should be nice and agreeable.
As a lesbian I’ve not had to worry about this housework inequity biz but both my sisters in hetero relationships do the vast majority of housework and that pretty much applies to most of my friends as well. But I think compared to our parents generation (I’m 38) most of my straight lady friends are happy with how things have progressed compared to our parents. Whatever floats your boat.
Between this post and Rachel Maddow’s charming good looks, the case for jumping the hetero ship is looking more convincing than ever;)
We would welcome you with open arms!!
God I hope that was a joke.
While I wasn’t being entirely serious, I do think Rachel Maddow is adorable and I often do feel that being a lesbian would have it’s perks. Shared housework being one of them.
Yeah Mads is adorable! And I love her big brain. Smart is sexy…
Unless you were hoping that Tanya welcoming me into lesbian-land with open arms is a joke…in which case, i’m offended;)
No! Sorry, I meant Maddow, but that wad still rude of me. To each his own. apoLogies.
Men usually pull their weight by working harder at their jobs, earning more money, cleaning the gutters, mowing the yard, fixing the plumbing, etc
I think division of labor (inside and outside) is going to be what works best for each family, and that will look different from family to family.
Well that’s a generalization and a half. Look, my mom earned way more money than my dad and did all the housework she could muster. Sure, my dad sat on the lawnmower, but I’ll tell you a secret: I started mowing the lawn myself last summer and it’s the easiest chore on god’s green earth, and I’ve got about ten acres of lawn to take care of. I’d gladly do it instead of house cleaning, any day. Cleaning the gutters is also easy as hell, I’ve done it, and it’s not something that has to be done daily. A few times a year is pretty much all that’s necessary. Plumbing, besides minor stuff like replacing a washer or a bit of pipe (all things that are very easy and rare) are still usually done by a professional plumber. So. Even if men do all that stuff, women are still doing a lot more actual labor around the house, and most of them are working jobs, too, half of them at full time jobs. Keep in mind, most folks don’t even have much lawn to mow or too many hedges to trim or even live in apartments where none of the traditionally male tasks are a concern. Housework is the constant. No matter what, meals need to be prepared, clothing needs washing, floors need sweeping, and on and on. A fair division of labor is what I’m requesting, and it so often anymore, is not the case. Because your premise that men work harder at their jobs is pretty antiquated. Women are quickly becoming the main breadwinner in an increasing number of homes, but still they’re so often being left with most of the housework and childcare! That’s not fair. The Leave It To Beaver model hasn’t been the norm for quite awhile now, and I think it’s been hard for many men to catch up with it. Not ALL men! It’s just that while there is a certain glory and empowerment in women becoming doctors and fixing their own plumbing, there is no such ego boost for a man who volunteers to dust. I think that’s part of the issue.
It’s a total generalization. That’s the point.
Wait, what’s the point?
You have a 10 acre lawn to take care of? Dang!! That’s about the size of 9 football fields!!! I am guessing that you don’t mow all that with a reel push mower. If you do, then you are awesome!!
Yeah, I have a bunch of property and like half of it is grass. Maybe it’s more like seven acres, it’s a 16 acre plot. I kinda hate all the grass, I’m gonna try and turn it into garden space this year.
Ha, def a riding mower! I also have one of those manual push jobs that I use for right around the houses.
Totally agree. My parents, who are both mid 60s now, completely confirm to traditional gender roles (except Mum worked). So both worked full-time and Dad did exactly what Tierney described – but when you compared that with what Mum did – not even in the same league. She worked full-time, cooked, cleaned, took care of us kids, took care of the bills etc every single day. Dad worked hard too – at work – but at home he kicked back…but he did mow the lawn I guess – no wait, I mowed the lawn! He took out the rubbish – no wait, I did that! You get the picture. He and I had some interesting debates about this over the years until I wore him down and he admitted that he had a golden life because of Mum. Interestingly, Mum said she didn’t care and was raised that way, even if it annoyed her sometimes – can’t really argue with that. And they are happy together so I don’t interfere or judge (any more!). My sister’s are quite similar but I think someone dropped me on my head when I was young because that shit could never fly with me.
Your parents relationship sounds pretty typical to me. Maybe they were all dropped on their heads and you’re the only one who wasn’t…;)
II think you are right and I think that the best solution to the problem is avoiding dual income households if at all possible. It has been my observation that the households where there is someone full time to do the work other than earning an income are less stressed, fight less etc. in some cases it might make more sense for the dad to be full time at home but that seems to be rare. Actually based on surveys a large percentage of women say they would rather be at home and let their husband fight it out in the business world. More men say they prefer this arrangement. I think that is based on biology. It just makes sense that women because women are geared to be maternal nurturers hormonally and men with their many times higher testosterone and lower estrogen are much more aggressive and inclined to take on stressful dog eat dog career pursuits that are very lucrative, this makes sense, while more women are in these lines of work than used to be they are still far outnumbered by men and I don’t think it is because of discrimination.
Yes, but sometimes it really is. What do you think of the Lilly Ledbetter case?
Fist off, that’s not reality. Two income households are, how do you propose to make them work? Secondly, not all pursuits are of the dog eat dog variety, so even if you were right about women not liking them, that doesn’t take into account teachers, bank tellers, meter maids, physicists, waitresses, doctors, farmers, writers, designers, florists, social workers, etc etc etc.
And who cares about your survey, it’s not the truth for all women. So what about those situations, where a man has the balls to marry a woman that doesn’t intimidate him with her own agenda for her life? What do you think of those guys? Guys who voluntarily clean up after themselves and change the diapers? Are they biological deviants? Aren’t we adapting and changing all the time? What is a deviant?
So your mom was the man of the house. I’m sure that was great for his self esteem. Maybe it was his fault and he was a lazy guy with no ambition. It certainly is a bad situation though because it usually causes problems. Most often the wife resents it or the man resents it or both do. I wouldn’t marry a guy who couldn’t support the family. And I wouldn’t out earn him. I have seen multitudes of people in these situations both women and men complaining about one another and who obviously hate one another and are on the verge of divorse. I think a lot of cocky feminists are going to wake up one day alone in their old age and regret what they have done and it will be too late.
Lisa, I disagree with like, everything you’re saying, and that’s ok. I totally get why you think the things you do. But I just wish you’d consider that there are myriad ways for people to live. My mom wasn’t the “man” of the house, she was most certainly the “mom” of the house. And my mom was a woman who cared more about career-oriented pursuits than her husband did. She enjoyed her work as a drug and alcohol rehab counselor, was very good at it and shortly before her untimely death, had received a big promotion that would have pushed her family into the middle class. But that didn’t make her any less of a woman, don’t you understand? That’s the point of all this. Increased choices that reflect the realities of who we really are. Partnerships based on mutual respect and appreciation rather than a man needing his laundry done for him and a woman needing someone to pay her way. Our roles are not written in stone, and if the traditional roles really were as natural and comfortable as many here are saying, then again, this would never even be a discussion.
I’ve always said my dream was to be a stay-at-home dad with no kids. I’m not sure if this is related to gender issues though. I think it’s just laziness, and adoration for pajamas.
I have a similar dream. I’m almost kind of sort of basically living it as we speak, minus the dad part.
You should probably get your testosterone levels checked though. You’re supposed to want to run around hunting elk for your woman.
Man! I’m rereading what you just said here and maybe it’s my female basket caseyness showing, but are you for fricking real? You’re gonna tell me that my mom, who was probably the best thing that ever happened to my dopey old dad, wrecked his self esteem by what, not rolling over and letting him be her superior, even though she had superior ambition and abilities? I swear to god, this reads like satire. Cocky feminists waking up alone? Listen, if the only choices out there for male partners are the kind you described, the ones who tell their wives to go to hell when asked to pitch in with household chores, then I think most feminists would be overjoyed to wake up in their golden years unmoored by one of those overgrown children. Luckily, most men I know are willing to leave the Stone Age. Now I’m going to eat pizza and watch Star Trek, my blood sugar is totally crashing and this is totally pissing me off too much.
I have no issues with doing housework. I love being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen…and,guess what…. I have still have weight issues. Hmmmm… I must be some type of anomaly. What a retarded study.
But as the study states, even if you are doing all that, housework itself is less taxing than it was decades ago. And on average, most women are spending twice the amount of time watching TV or say, cruising the internet, than they used to. And again, as the study states at the end, it can be tempting to try and blame one thing for our weight troubles, but actually there are many reasons for it, energy intake and expenditure only being one of them.
I actually like the study. It motivated me to get off my butt and do the work that needs to be done. As long as you are getting enough food, the more energy you put out the more you will get.
I like the study too. I’m going to clean like a madwoman tomorrow. Though it’s true that I do hate cleaning, once I get in the flow a sort of zen takes over me and when it’s over I feel great. It’s just a matter of hauling myself into the kitchen and actually doing the dishes instead of avoiding them.
I want that to happen to me!!!
I think this study could have been called “Women are fatter because they watch more TV”. But that’s less provocative :-)
Well, there are more sides to the issue of obesity. One could obviously be quite active, yet still overweight. I think the problem today is a combination of less activity and dieting, among million other things.
My husband has been teaching this book to his students called The Energy of Slaves (http://www.amazon.ca/Energy-Slaves-The-Oil-Servitude/dp/1553659783), and in it the author makes the case that with the daily use of energy in the US that each person has the equivalent of 100 energy “slaves” working 24 hours a day. We have all these labour saving tools and we take on mass. Makes me wonder what will happen to our bodies when start seeing the effects of the decline of oil.
I see there are two Andrea’s on the site now. I will add an initial :)
Studies also show that screen time increases alpha wave production in the brain which relates to a sedated state of mind. While engaging in activities and critical thinking increase beta wave production which is associated with liveliness and proactive thinking. In essence, too much screen time creates a zombie brain; then combine this with the fact that the brain takes about 30% of daily calorie intake. Now using common sense those numbers of less calories burned are in reality much higher. Not to mention becoming a zombie has other repercussions like depression, anti-metabolic effects, and shortened attention span. Besides the biggest advantage of drastically reducing entertainment is that you get plenty of time to pursue hobbies and other activities that are actually fulfilling and leave you content.
I think that’s more significant than what people aren’t doing anymore. There are lots of sedentary activities associated with leanness.
What sorts of activities, Mateo? Meditation? Reading? Sleeping?
I know of reading and sleeping for sure. But I presume there are others. I think it’s one of the things that puts some of the blame away from sedantarism and more on screens specifically, which are a very unique form of sedentarism.
I agree. Relatedly, when I watch tv or stay on the computer too long, I get a sore throat, white coated tongue, circles under my eyes, and just feel like I’m getting sick. If I know my body, I’m in a state of stress-driven catabolism. I never feel that way reading a book or playing a board game.
So Matt, there is a difference between say reading a book, then reading this blog or a newspaper online??
That’s what I would like to know. I’m a software engineer, so my job involves sitting in front of a screen, and hell, a day of programming a physics engine for a game is pretty damn exhausting.
Would also love to know if there is a difference between watching one show in your native language and watching another in a foreign language with subtitles?
Although I do have to say, today I spent a few hours sitting under a tree in a park reading a book, which was very relaxing.
Supposedly, due to cathode ray technology and its effect on the brain. However, I gotta think that active brain use is always going to be superior to passive brain use from a metabolic standpoint. Doing something, learning something, creating something – totally different brainwave and metabolic state than watching the tube.
Really? So it’s only true of CRTs and not for flat-screen TVs and monitors? I have a hard time believing that.
Yes, in my experience screens other than CRT are perhaps only less bad. I have a flatscreen monitor and sitting behind my computer definately makes my feel crappy quickly. Too bad I’m so drawn to the wealth of information the web provides.
Perhaps the blue light shining into your eyes is also stressfull (yay! for f.lux).
When I have the money I’m so gonna hook my pc up to a projector. I think that would be a lot less stressfull: No light shining into your eyes and looking a few meters further instead of half a meter.
The problem is that once your brain gets imbalanced it stays that way for a long time even if screens are avoided. I have also noticed that declining hairlines are associated with this issue. This could be due to either less activity in the brain which has anti-metabolic effects or imbalance in hormones causes the downgrade, or could be a combination of both. From personal experience I have noticed that not only my hairline has receded but the forehead portion of the skull has swelled. The evidence of this is very striking when you compare size/proportions of bald heads with shaved heads of monks or tribal people who have relatively low contact with technology.
I was pretty much raised on technology and fell in love with gaming since moving to the United States around 10 years old. For me I’m much happier and more outgoing when I reduce my screen time to less than 3-4 hours ‘that’s still a lot. For me, I don’t really care why screens are harmful I just know they are. I have pretty much been living in a fantasy world disconnected from reality and without much of an input from myself. I stopped reading articles or blogs except 2-3 like this one. I want to do things on my own accord including thinking for myself. I would like to extend the idea of intuitive eating to intuitive ?everything else?. I still like some input from external sources but it’s more of an experiment to see if that advice feels right. Long blabber?
I suggest you guys start breaking away as much as possible and start living. Just notice how you feel when you are around fantasy stuff vs. reality. Get out of that zombie state and start thinking for yourselves. I admit it’s very hard to give up gaming, watching TV, movies, and even too much internet browsing. It gets worse since everyone else is doing the same things initially it’s very boring or even downright scary spending time by yourself doing almost nothing at first. But slowly you get to know yourself and learn what you like and which hobbies/activities are fun and satisfying. Best way to describe it is that artificial things leave me wanting more while doing real things leave me content, like ?I’m glad I did that?. Anyway good luck to all of you guys, I’m going back to lurking mode every few days or so.
Here are some articles:
http://www.causeof.org/brainwaves.htm -kinda sketchy I get a cult/conspiracy feel from this one?
Google =>for many more
Oh! Matt you should do a few informative post on this subject. Maybe even a write a book on it -hehe.
Also this one:
To note, screen time appears to be the only sedentary activity the study measured.
What a waste. Better to say nothing than put out such pointless drivel.
You didn’t even like my joke about not being able to pee on a wall? Tough crowd.
Really? What about the pictures – they were good.
Julia, I liked your other recent articles on here, but now I must confess to being completely in love with you. So much gold.
Awesome analysis! I consider myself a feminist, and am not into doing housework, but I certainly do more of the housework than my husband, simply because I can’t tolerate an utter pig-sty like he can (just a quasi pig-sty). I usually listen to music and podcasts while cleaning to make it more enjoyable and catch up on things, with the occasional burst into a spontaneous dance party for one.
I’m reading “Sitting Kills – Moving Heals” at the moment and it seems to tie in quite well with this subject. Matt, have you read this one?
I haven’t but I have read some of the press releases on the subject as they have come out over the years – showing such a thing to perhaps be true.
Thanks for mentioning this book! I read it and it’s great. I’m surprised though that she doesn’t mention anything about the work of Moshe Feldenkrais or Thomas Hanna (Somatics), for whom gravity is a fundamental consideration.
Thanks again! :)
When I took a few minutes out of my day a few weeks ago to actually track my physical activity I was truly surprised to find out I was not a sedentary slug (because I spend so much time online reading blogs…) In fact I stand and cook and get up and down fetching things and walking places much of the damned day. To the tune of Double my BMR. That was awesome knowledge! Now I’m like, hey let’s go get some M&Ms at the store. “Cookies? Sure let’s have some!” (Within reason) It’s much less stressful. And I try to stand up part of the time I’m reading blogs.
What if what’s really going on is out-of-this-world stress levels of women who still believe they can “have it all”, working outside the home, doing the bulk of the housework, and raising kids? Given what I hear from my stressed out clients, chronic moderate stress and sleep deprivation makes more sense to me as the cause than the sedentary explanation.
I think they said women today are losing an average of three hours of sleep per week to their predecessors. But I think chronic stress is certainly more of an issue today, and no doubt about the negative health effects of that, including hormonally driven weight gain.
Great Article Julia!
Absolutely every day mental and physical activities play factor in our lives: making is more or less productive/active and fired up, present and switched on. However, shouldn’t all cleaners be skinny then?! Like, professional cleaners…..
Again, Lucy, you cannot make all encompassing assumptions like that. :) There are various factors that go into why any one person is overweight. A person who moves throughout the day is reducing/eliminating ONE factor that my cause them to be inclined to gain weight. Aside from moving a lot, how is their stress, basic metabolic health, hydration habits, sleep, do they yo-yo diet, etc. Do they have medical issues, taking medication that causes them to gain weight, etc. You can’t just look at one factor for a group of individuals and assume that they should all be slim because of that one factor.
it wasnt an assumption! it was a bit of a lame joke to be honest, i speak to the girls who clean our apartment block and they are always on the go, and i often think ‘they will be dwindling away to nothing soon!’ because the block is eighteen floors high and they work from 7am until 4/5 pm but, obviously, they are always the same normal healthy size, its more of a silly thought that often crosses my mind, i a smilier one i have is ‘my grandad runs off of nervous energy’ as he’s skinny and always up and down, like a jack in the box! the problem with typing on comment sections is tone of voice isn’t detectable !!!
Ps also agree that at university studying would make me hungry, yet reading a leisure book would not. Studying for exams, intensely absorbing information or particularly concentrating in a class made my appetite much better. Also, I noticed on days I clean house from top to bottom I feel no need for gym. Being out socialising suppresses my appetite… Like, in a restaurant atmosphere I’m never as hungry yet I enjoy the food more! Also, when I’m walking all day or exercising then get busy and do shopping/ run out of time I don’t get hungry until mid afternoon…. There’s so much that seems to affect appetite I think? Like, when I was really happy, spring in step type thing (!) and was in love years ago, my appetite was good and I felt overall more active and engaging in life, then past four years with depression appetite dwindled to being an effort to have an appetite- probably insync- appetites for life and actual appetites?! Also notice when my husband is really working hard he’s hungrier often, when I go to work with him I become hungry quicker also. It’s all very interesting- I wanted to further studies so took a random course and the super intelligent teacher was very slim but eats so much but I remember thinking at the time her brain needs the glucose!! Because she is so analytical and informative and all- consumed when she is teaching (she has now become a close friend I regularly meet with and she’s always eating!!) my dad, he woks in an outside environment and eats big amounts- we took them out last night and he ate far more than anybody else as usual, yet he’s the same weight he was when he was twenty. It’s like this article has confirmed all these pieces that have made themselves apparent in my subconscious over the years, so great article as its funny I was reading about housework in 1950s then procrastinated to affect daily lifestyles had then on women’s weight than to now only last week/ off of my own back as research for a book I’m writing and now this article! Anyway, thanks for the nugget! And dog walking has got me thinking :D
“don’t have much interest in renting out uterus space to any would-be dependents”.
Why is this evidence that you are a feminist?
I have to agree, being a mother does not make you not a feminist. Someone has to give birth to the next generation (of feminists)!
See, what I was trying to do was paint a sort of humorous picture demonstrating how I diverge from the traditional take on a typical woman. I was building the reader up to view me as fairly radical so that I could hit ’em with the surprise element when I told them that they needed to clean the house more. But yeah, I’m certainly not saying that the true mark of feminism is not having children, that’s stupid. I sure hope that isn’t anyone’s takeaway from this piece.
I guess it’s evidence of my finding fulfillment in life outside of traditional women’s roles. I don’t feel I need to have children, which I believe is something feminists have championed through the popularization of birth control and the fight for women to enter the workforce. But I mean no disrespect to mothers, I think y’all are great. I have one myself.
But you know what Julia, you’d probably produce some pretty awesome offspring with your attitudes (and the world needs people who can think outside the box) :)
Thanks! I’m undecided. I figure I’ve got like, seven good years to mull it over.
Julia, women in the 50s were thin. In the 60s as well. Just check the pics you use illustrate your aricle.
I am seeing tons of old movies lately , think John Ford, Robert Aldrich and others, .. Women were probably curvy, but slim. Even Marylin, the epitome of hotness in popculture was quite thin while in her 20s. I am not even talking about
Audrey Hepburn who was going to be classified as anorexic in modern times.
Actreses today are heavier then actresses before. Cant say that about models who are painful
exception though. What i am trying to say is that pretending that past entirely belonged to full bodied women is just another way twist history to a comfortable argument.
As for who does the dishes, as long as is the one who hates it less i call it equality..
Oh sure, lots of women in the 50’s and 60’s were thin. More so than today, I think that’s what the study I’m citing points out. I’m saying that the women we currently idealize as a culture are much thinner and toned and big boobed and waxed and all together “perfect” than the centerfolds of yesteryear. I’ve got a stack of old Penthouse’s from the 60’s and 70’s lying around that underscore that point. And I think the widening chasm between what most women look like today and what “sexy” women, (generally speaking) look like, puts immensely unrealistic pressure on women, anymore. My point is that there is a growing disparity between reality and ideal that wasn’t nearly has bad decades ago.
Well they also dieted and had many of the same fad diets. I know someone who used to put salt on ice and pretend they were eating steak to help them stay skinny. This mindset goes WAY back, folks!
Sure does. People have been doing stupid things to improve their appearance since we developed enough brain power to waste it on neurosis.
I love your website Matt and i also love Billy Craigs blog.
I love your ideas and everything and have bought your book. I still havent seen anyone with good testimonials in terms of loosing fat and all that. Everyone seems to be gaining weight and stay there i havent seen anyone turn it around. Ive read Billy Craig posts about his experiences wich he managed to do so but i still didnt see any pictures. So would be great to get some more information regarding that from people or from you yourself
Yes, I was wondering that too. Has anyone done the whole diet recovery thing, gained the weight (which is to be expected for some) but then actually gone on to lose it??? Be interesting to know. If they haven’t lost the weight then maybe it really is time for a massive cultural shift in what we understand as beauty. Health should be beautiful and if that includes rolls, big thighs and a protruding stomach then that is beautiful too IMO. It’s just a matter of changing how we look at things, figuratively and literally.
Julia posted about her personal experience a while back. I had the same thing happen to me about 12 years ago. I had been borderline ED for my college years, but when I went overseas, I decided to just let it go! I just ATE THE FOOD. I gained weight at first, tried hard to think of other things, and a year and a half later when I came back I was thinner than when I left. I maintained that weight for the next 10 years and 3 births. A couple of years ago I gained some weight due to birth control/ hormones, started dieting, screwed up my metabolism, gained it all back and here I am. It’s worked for me in the past, I believe it will work! Will the end result be exactly what we want? That remains to be seen, I guess!
Chanelle, did you do anything specific? Or just eat “whatever”? What I mean is, were you eating in a European style, 3 meals a day? What did it look like when you just “ate the food”?
I don’t believe for one minute that housework is slimming, not unless you really love it. Me, I lose weight while on vacation, doing sweet FA. Three-course restaurant meals, booze galore, feet either up by the pool or under the table, no exertion other than a leasurely swim or stroll, that’s what works for me. Two weeks in the sun, twelve pounds off. A three-day weekend break, seven pounds off. Unfortunately, the weight creeps back on after I get back home. Just for the record, I like my teaching job, love my hobbies, don’t own a TV and don’t spend hours at the computer. I get up and down four flights of stairs to my apartment every day because there is no elevator, and do a lot of walking in my area because I enjoy it. And I’m not into processed food. So it must be the housework that’s keeping me fat, no matter how much or how little I eat. Unless I start making enough money to delegate all domestic chores, live in a hotel or spend half the year on vacation, will I be pumpkin-shaped for the rest of my life?
If you lose seven pounds over the course of a three day weekend, I would guess that you are holding onto stress-induced water weight bloat. When I’m tense I’m huge. When I’m relaxed, I’m flat tummied and ready to roll. It’s a shockingly huge difference, and it’s surprisingly common.
Really? I haven’t heard of this. Can you expand on this point a little, Julia?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome often results in big bellies full of water weight. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is thought to be caused by stress. My own doctor told me I probably have it because I had a rough time growing up. Many people find relief from their symptoms, and thusly weight loss, from stress relieving activities like meditation, acupuncture and hypnosis. I know personally I went through a period where I was gaining and gaining and gaining, and also having digestive issues. I began to worry I had a gall bladder problem and I began thinking of the phrase “that person has a lot of gall” or that someone who is angry is “full of bile.” I realized I was holding in a lot of anger and resent and I began to wonder if it could be making me feel sick. So I let it go and WHOOSH, I dropped like, four jean sizes in a weekend. It was wild. My belly rises and falls with the ups and downs of life, no doubt. I’ll go on vacation and be insta-slim too, and I wouldn’t have even realized I was stressed to begin with. Here’s an article I found that reflects a similar experience.
Thank you for sharing that. I had no idea that people with IBS dealt with this, or that this could be the cause of IBS. WOW! It’s amazing how much stress can affect the body. I mean, I knew it did, but to see this example is very eye opening to me. I know someone who can gain ten pounds at a time. I had never heard of that before and thought it sounded crazy. She just deals with it, but now I’m wondering if this is what’s going on with her. I’m going to pass this information along to her. Thank you so much.
Speaking of men and patriarchy….. girlwriteswhat has some interesting things to say.
I can’t believe the reactionary bullshit that I am reading on this thread. Has the feminist movement made some mistakes along the way? Of course. It’s a human institution, But let’s see, where would we be without it? Let’s take away a woman’s right to vote or to even be counted as a real human being. Let’s stop her education at a certain age, if we educate her at all. Let’s restrict her options to being a housewife or maybe a school teacher. Let’s let housewives work all day, taking care of the husband and children and not be paid for it and be dependent on a husband (whoops, that still happens) who, as a result, holds all power in the household and gets to make all decisions (except maybe what’s on the dinner table). Let’s let men beat their wives and not have to worry about any kind of legal proceedings. Let’s not let her have equal pay for equal work (whoops, still happens). In other words, let’s sacrifice half of humanity to maintain some kind of god-damn idealized family formation that stinks like a rotting corpse in most cases and stunk even more during the Ozzy and Harriet period that these people claim was so fucking precious.
YEAH! What Thomas said!
None of those things were true before the feminist movement in the 60s, at least not in America, except maybe inequal pay.
I think I must have a different definition of feminism than you. Real feminism is not just about “equal opportunity.”
Oh women have always had the right to vote in this country (must have been a lie that those suffragists foisted upon us). The overwhelming majority of women got the same education as boys? Women had the same opportunities as men as to choice of jobs? Women didn’t have to fear being beaten up by their husbands because they would have no recourse to legal help?
Are you kidding me Tierney? If you deny the above, you are surely joking.
Yes, my idea of feminism is DEFINITELY different from yousr, seeing as your definition seems to be in accordance with that of Phyllis Schafly.
Are we prohibited from getting political here? Probably. But I just want to mention that in 2013, American Indian women on reservations are 2.5 times more likely to be assaulted than other American women, and about 80% of their attackers are non-native men. Since the “sovereign” reservation can’t prosecute these non-natives, they’ve gone unpunished and these women have had no recourse. Until now. Finally after pulling teeth, congress allowed amendments to the Violence Against Women Act that now allows tribes to prosecute these criminals. So wherever you stand on the issues, I just think it’s worth pointing out that women have had a tough road to hoe when it comes to protection under the law, not to mention the right to cast a vote that influences the law.
You are conflating women’s rights with feminism. Not the same thing.
Yes they are.
Today is Gloria Steinem’s birthday, and according to her “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
I think that’s basically what most people who call themselves feminists are about. I think your vision of “true feminists” as only being women who get fat out of spite towards men is a wee bit distorted?
Absolutely those things were true. A local lady I know who runs a health food store was telling me recently about how in the 60’s, no one would give her a loan to buy her own house by virtue of her being a woman- and nothing else. The men at the bank just laughed at her. Finally she talked her employer into giving her the loan. When he asked her what it was for and she told him, he just flat out didn’t believe her. Why ever would a woman buy her own HOUSE without a MAN? That was the attitude. Well she bought that house and paid back her employer and lived alone for many years. She didn’t marry until she was much older.
Ahh..bullshit. Stubbing you your head in the sand and sticking your
your ass out is old and honorable tactic in some conservative circles .
Very dignified i suppose.
My previous post was addressing Tierney.
Thomas, you’re kind of turning me on…maybe it’s my turn to ask for some pics…
Nah, I’m kidding. But yeah, amen. Well put.
I wish you weren’t kidding! Anyway, if you change your mind, I will send you pics anytime you want :) If you want immediate gratification, look at the previous thread. There’s a picture of me with a bag over my head.
I agree with every single word of Thomas badly inspired rant.
I agree Thomas. Sometimes I wonder if some women really understand how much better things are because of feminism. Do you really want to live like your mother did, or your grandmother? This is not about hating on men, it’s about empowering women and living your life without bullshit limitations that are just made up. Is change hard? Yup. Will there be resistance? Yup. Should that make you stop and go back into your corner? No way!!
My grandmother (born 1918) was a one room school teacher, the steady breadwinner in her marriage (her husband was a very bad business man with an 8th grade education) and a world traveler. She took many of her trips on her own or with a single woman friend of hers, leaving her husband at home. She always wore pants (or “slacks as she put it), and after having her one and only child and taking in summer guests for extra money, decided she was bored to tears and went back to school for her masters. If I were to tell her that I think feminism went too far and that women have taken too many freedoms for themselves, she would probably be appalled. In order for her to do what she did, she often had to go against societal norms. She was a strong, tough woman and would not be held back by what would be considered “proper” for her. I think it’s a slap in the face to our predecessors to not allow ourselves to consider all the choices that technology and the fight for equality made for us.
And again, so everyone is completely clear, I think homemaking is a very necessary thing as well. I just don’t think there’s any great reason for it to be gender specific.
To me, it’s not so much that people think women “have taken too many freedoms for themselves”, it’s whether or not we actually have more freedom. Women now are under huge amounts of pressure, to “have it all” – career, children, be super sexy. We’re supposed to win men over yet be dominant in the workplace. Be equal to a men, but be a sex kitten. Be the perfect mom. It’s madness in many ways, and totally impossible – do everything and have no time for yourself, which is a recipe for unhappiness and stress. I personally took myself off that merry-go-round. My priorities are to have a wonderful marriage and family life when I’m ready, where I have enough time and energy to be an attentive wife and mom, and to have non-fulltime work that I can do that plays to my inherent strengths and not be too stressful. That I think is doable. Being “superwoman” is not.
Totally agree, and that’s why I think the equal delineation of household tasks is imperative if women are going to catch a break. It obviously works for you to focus on traditionally feminine concerns. Great! I agree that doing it all for most of us can be too much. But the solution for everyone is not to just say fuck it and head back to the roles that have defined us for so long. The whole point of women breaking out of those roles is because something inside them made them want to, something in them wanted more. And now we’ve got it. I don’t think the answer is retreat so much as our male friends have to step up and expand themselves as much as we have. There will be growing pains, and that’s ok. Progress can hurt.
Yeah, and see I think that traditional roles work well for a reason. There is and should be flexibility and nothing is set is stone, but I think women will always be more nurturing and family-oriented, and men will always be more aggressive and want to provide for the family.
Traditional roles work for some, not for others. If they worked so well and left no one lacking, this would never be a conversation. It’d be like arguing over the merits of eating or sleeping.
Besides, I think we have some helpful biological programming, but we can adjust it. Stay at home dads don’t experience the physically provoked flush of oxytocin mothers do after delivery and breast feeding, that helps them bond to baby. But I know some guys whose total devotion to their children would make you think they do. One couple, the wife just had a better job so it was clear that she’d work and he’d stay home. They appear to have a beautiful life.
It reminds me of what we talk about here with diet and stuff. Sure, we didn’t start out producing enzymes that digest cows milk…but we saw enough good reason to start drinking it and our bodies adjusted. I think we can adjust to modified male/female roles, too. But hey, if you’re not interested, that’s cool. But the people who are interested are doing it already.
Y’know like, Nicole mentioned below that as a little girl she played house a lot. Well as a little girl I made up a club that I presided over and led into “war” with the other male-led clubs on my playground. I did that in first grade. I also played dress-up and hotel and tea party and stuff. I’m a mixed bag, some fem, some not. And that parts of me that aren’t aren’t invented just to buck reality. That’s what bothers me about this conversation. If these roles were really so inborn and natural and such a perfect fit, than like I said before, we just wouldn’t ever have a need to have this conversation.
It’s also possible you’re an anomaly. That is to say, just because it is true for you does not mean it is true for most. Is it a good idea to change society to cater to the exceptions?
I say this mostly for the sake of healthy debate, but I think there are reasons that we fell into traditional gender roles to begin with, and stayed there. To disrupt them because some women are different is a very risky thing, with real societal implications.
While some women may be much happier taking on a non-traditional role, it is very hard for other women because now the financial circumstances and societal pressures have become such that pretty much all of us must work, and have less time for family, and experience the pressures that come from expectations that we all be like men. And what effect does it have on men, children, etc?
I know I’m not an anomaly, I don’t think the economic need for two working adults per family is the fault of women entering the work force, and I don’t think that because many women dislike being limited traditional, modern societal roles, that others must adhere to the structures frame their lives within. It isn’t about changing roles for all of society. It’s about the freedom for everyone within a society to do what they wish, within reason. If you feel better living a traditional lifestyle, more power to ya! But really, what of all those women who don’t? Look, I know I’m not the only girl who was ever president of anything. Men do not have the monopoly on aggression, power, leadership skills, career-mindedness- women who exemplify these traits are not anomalies, they’re everywhere. Your model doesn’t fit everyone. That’s why so many people don’t want it.
What does it do to children? For me, it showed me straight up that I can do whatever I want with my life and that women are a force to be reckoned with. What does it do for men? It might push them out of their comfort zone, but tough noogies. Adapt, we did.
I skipped a few words in my sentences there, I hope it still makes sense. I’m in a rush but this is so compelling! Sorry!
“Men now are under huge amounts of pressure, to ?have it all? ? career, children, be super sexy. We?re supposed to win women over yet be dominant in the workplace. Be equal to a woman, but be a sex stud. Be the perfect dad. It’s madness in many ways, and totally impossible ? do everything and have no time for yourself, which is a recipe for unhappiness and stress”. Does this sound silly? So do you see the inequality there? This is the problem. Many men don’t need to worry about doing it all – women have to do that. There is something wrong with that picture. And that is where the call for change comes from. In my opinion. :-)
Here are some broads who made history for having aspirations beyond hearth and home. If aggression
wasn’t truly in their nature, they all did a helluva job faking it.
Agreed, real Amy. There have been a lot of pyrrhic victories and some real ones, but, IMO, most Feminism is about marketing and being vogue than about true human rights. It’s bored women dealing with first world problems– the country club doesn’t let women in their lounge. Yes, women can vote, but they still vote for the same stupid (maybe even stupider) f**ks that men do. I’m sort of kidding of course– there have been many wonderful advances in women’s rights, human rights, etc… But you used to have Madame Curie and now you have Madonna. There was Eleanor Roosevelt and now we talk about Michelle Obama’s biceps and cute J.Crew outfits. Most women used to work at home, yes; but so did most men. And as Julia’s grandmother testifies to– there were women who lived independent and adventurous lives a long time ago and they didn’t have to wait for somebody on the teevee to tell them it was cool to do that. Many of those that didn’t had to do as much with societal norms (and they didn’t want to be unfashionable, of course)– it was an unlocked prison– one they could just open the door and leave. The world has been shitty for most people for most of history– women had to scrub chamber pots and young boys were sent off to sweep chimney’s and die from scrotal cancer at age 20. Again, all this feminism hasn’t stopped women from being poor or beaten. Again, I refer to Julia’s reference to women on reservations (btw, children are severely abused, too). I’m not sure the answer– I just think there are deeper values that must be questioned than singling out women as the victim, the powerless, both genders are getting shitty deals all of the time. Case in point– the renewal of the violence against women act— what about violence against people? ! http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/02/20/is-the-united-states-the-only-country-where-more-men-are-raped-every-year-than-women/
Rant over! I love you all, equally ;-)
Speakling of voting rights, in the UK, prior to the 20th century the majority of men coudn’t vote either because to qualify for voting you had to own a certain amount of land.
Also in the UK men can’t retire and recieve their state pension benefits until age 65 but women can retire and recieve their state pension benefits at age 60. Alot of other countries require men to retire at an older age than women.
Is this fair or equal? Is this patriarchy?
No doubt about the gross injustices that have been perpetrated on all sorts of people in the past. The same thing was true for non-property holders in the U.S, in the beginning.
I don’t know why the UK does that. It doesn’t sound fair at first blush, but maybe there is a reason for it that I don’t understand.
Are you guys throwing all this stuff out here just because I said the word “feminist?” Geez Louise. I’d have left it out if I had known that’s all you gals were gonna focus on. I don’t call myself a feminist, I don’t call myself anything, really. But I definitely think that we’re living in the tail end of a male dominated society. And before you jump on me, I don’t think the answer is a female dominated society, even though Susan thinks it could be so lovely. I think the answer is neither. Forget any hierarchy. See, I was just saying I was a feminist because I was getting the point across that I don’t think women doing the dishes is a biological imperative. Apparently, that feeling isn’t shared by most of y’all on this thread. I’ve never heard this much anti-feminist talk in my life, and boy has it been interesting.
Ok, so you don’t like the whole “women as victims” mentality that you think feminism promotes. You think that women can just go ahead and lead the lives they want without having to get the go ahead from the feminist powers that be- an “unlocked prison door.”
So is that the same thing then, with women who wish to serve in combat roles in the military? Hey, don’t wait for the ok, just do it? Well they have. And now the law has caught up to it.
And what of voting before 1920? Yeah, Susan B. Anthony did that. And she was hunted down by U.S Marshals and fined $100 bucks for it. In 1872. A fine she refused to pay.
How about girls who wanted to play sports in public schools when there was no funding for it? Should they have just gone ahead and played anyway? Or maybe they needed the go ahead from Uncle Sam first, in the form of Title 10.
It wasn’t all that long ago when women were thought of as literally, nothing but their husbands property. That sounds like a really freeing deal. Men owned their wives, they could over power them, they could make them dependent. How would a woman be able to support herself if women weren’t hired for work?
So you’re saying that in Madame Curie’s time we didn’t have female entertainers? And that in Madonna’s time, we don’t have female scientists?!
Eleanor Roosevelt, after being humiliated by her cheating husband, decided to make a career for herself, pushing for the rights of women and the poor. She was not traditionally beautiful, her work was far more captivating than her face, so that’s what we remember her for. Michelle Obama is not a policy heavy weight, but like Jackie O, she is fashionable. So we focus on that! Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is loved and maligned for her work. Sometimes we talk about her hair, too. That’s not the fault of feminism and to think so is just completely insane.
Yes, children are abused as well. And now, if they’re abuser is a non-native rez dweller, justice can be doled out by their tribe. What makes you think that women, when seeking justice, are seeking to exclude justice for others? I scanned the article you linked, and yeah, I’m all for strict consequences and protections against prison rape of men. Why wouldn’t I be? Whatever makes you think that people who fight for justice for women only think that women are ever unjustly served? So many strawmen!
I’m sorry, bored women dealing with first world problems? So at what point did the struggles of women become trite enough to you that you can say that with a straight face? After all the women who came before us fought and fought and fought to break down enough walls so that when I was born in 1984, I could look around, look at my own mom and not have any inkling that my gender was supposed to stop be from doing anything or being a leader or being a soldier, if I so chose.
What about women in other nations who are raped without recourse, have their genitals mutilated so they can never feel sexual pleasure? Do they have a just cause to want to fight the patriarchal system that imposes this on them?
Ah! Madame Curie! Not Marie. Whoops. Ok, so you’re just saying that Madonna sucks. The same comparison could be made between Justin Bieber and any male entertainer of yore. So what? What does that say about feminism???
Wait, no you’re not. There is no such entertainer as Madame Curie. My friend just told me that, but I’m pretty sure she’s wrong because I can’t find anything on her. So my original point holds. There are lots of female scientists. Anyway, Madonna is pretty great.
Look– frankly I think we’re probably mostly on the same page (except you seem to be a bit in love with America and her wars–your opinion I guess) and I know that an internet argument is a grade A waste of time, but I can’t just leave the statement that I think the struggles of women are trivial or insignificant unanswered! I believe just the opposite, in fact. I think Feminism and the feminist movement and most movements– environmentalism, for instance– deal with relatively trivial and superficial issues (see George Carlin’s rant to fully understand what I am probably ineloquently expressing). I love Eleanor Roosevelt and I was the first kid in my 4th grade class to have Madonna’s debut album. I think women can be kick-ass, karate-chopping, villain fighting combat soldiers. I think women should be able to use birth control and be ice road truckers and run companies and be president AND I appreciate women who have broken societal norms and changed what is legal and what is considered socially acceptable. I just have a problem as to what the Feminist (proper) movement has become. I think for the most part it takes what I would consider tokenism and calls it a real victory. Hilary is Secretary of State, but how much misery has she rained down on the women of the world. A woman as an air force bomber pilot– a personal accomplishment, yes, but one for women? Well not for the women and children of the village she bombed. It’s kind of like when Michael Steele became the RNC chairman– I’m just not sure that was a victory for African Americans. Plugging a chick into the patriarchal system just doesn’t cut it because it has always been about powerful people lording over the less powerful. And by patriarchy, I mean no disrespect to men– I think they are just as often victims of this system. Bottom line– we’re all being ruled over by Reptilian shapeshifters from the planet Nibu. Unbreak your chains!;) Circling back to health and fitness– I think the internet is one of the most powerful tools to undermine this system– cooperation, free exchange of ideas, transparency and democracy. Matt (and you) giving people simple, raw knowledge to do with what they please– now that’s a victory for all. Everybody love everybody.
Funny you mention birth control. The birth control pill is an exercise in male control of female hormone cycles and fertility if there ever was one. And the results in terms of female health and emotional state are not good.
I’ve never gone on the pill and never will, but the women down at Planned Parenthood who ask me if I want a prescription during my check up aren’t being pushed to do so by a bunch of men wishing to control me. I agree that the pill denies the truth of a woman’s cycle and thusly, her natural sexual behavior. But women like that.
I have no love for our wars. I agree that all in all, none of the stuff we do like appoint women to the state department or Michael Steel to the RNC, none of these things ease the pain that me-first, more-profit culture has created- but I don’t think that women or blacks or gays or whoever are against those aspects of our culture, just by virtue of having been kept out of it. I mean, they’re fighting to get in it! To be totally included! So yeah, I think that appointments to high positions is a win for them. Whether or not I agree with the culture at large, I think, is a separate issue.
A word about Hillary Clinton though, she has done a lot of things at State that many people find to be silly. Like the cookstove initiative? Lots of work for women’s safety and education throughout the world. She’s done a lot of great work exploring the many facets of ‘soft power,” I think you may agree.
The only way the culture changes is if people want it to, that’s all. I disagree that women running the world would change it. If they were vying for position to run the world at all, they’d have to be a little power hungry. It’s just the way it goes.
Thank you, this is exactly how I feel. Not only that, if you do choose a more ‘traditional’ route you are written off as lazy, a gold-digger, ungrateful or anti-feminist.
I am a housewife. I had a business in Australia and when we moved to the US I haven’t been able to work. I get my permanent residency soon and even then I won’t rush out to get a job. I’ll re-establish my business to an extent but for the most part I’ll be a housewife. It works for me, it works for my husband and that’s all that matters. I am not anti-feminist, I am just choosing my path. I’ll fight to the death for the rights of other women to smash through glass ceilings, protest at the rape culture that continues to exist in our society, provide support at abortion clinics and vote with the protection of womens’ rights in mind. I’ll do that while wearing lipstick to look cute for me and my husband, while baking a nice roast for our dinner and keeping track of the bills. Because it is my right to do so.
To make the argument that equal opportunity in the workplace hasn’t directly resulting the need for two incomes is naive. With equal opportunity came increased buying power, the market catered for it, and fifty years down the track we have women desperate to stay home with their children who simply cannot afford it. I think it sucks, personally, but that’s the bed we have made for ourselves I suppose.
My mother is in her early 60s and I think that many women in her age group are horrified that their daughters are frustrated by the expectations that their fight have placed upon them. Many of us were in the workforce because it is expected, not because we wanted to, and I think that’s the point Amy is making. Feminism, for the women who are comfortable with a traditional structure, did have a price.
Wow. This is a very interesting discussion.
Though I grew up in a highly patriarchal atmosphere and know that that particular model is not healthy, I’m not sure feminism as we know it today is the best option as it seems to have swung too far in the other direction. There is a third alternative. There is a wonderful community of people throughout across the globe who are incredibly respectful of women. I feel incredibly honored, respected and valued by the men in my life (especially my husband). Occasionally, in my circles, I run across an oddball who I get this vibe from and can tell he thinks women should be seen and not heard, but that’s pretty rare. This may be a silly example, but it is very simple but demonstrates the point. There is nothing anti-woman about a gentleman opening the door for me or helping me with my coat. That action does not imply that I’m not capable of doing that myself. I think it demonstrates that he is looking toward my good and shows respect and honor. I am fully aware that women, as a whole, are capable of a LOT, and should have the same societal rights as men, generally speaking.
The putting down of women throughout history is a perversion of the way things are supposed to be. Read some of the stories about Jesus and how he demolished the societal norms of his time in his honor and “liberation” of women (I can think of two stories in particular that demonstrate God’s mind toward women). Unfortunately, too many church groups have also bought into the highly patriarchal view of the family to its detriment (and let’s not forget the fact that the family is the most basic foundation of society…without family, society would crumble). So, yes I believe feminism is detrimental to families, as is patriarchy. The third alternative is looking to Christ for a model of how to view women…I’ve been looking to it for years now, and it’s a beautiful thing. To me it seems as though feminists are fighting a battle that has already been won in Him.
But wasn’t it Paul who said that women should submit to their husbands? And then that husbands submit to the church and the church submits to god? Hey, if it works for some people, great. But submission isn’t in the cards for me.
Jesus was pretty cool about women, but I can’t say I know too much about his taking a stand for women’s liberation. Could you tell me more?
It’s nice that you have a religious doctrine that you believe in and adhere to that works well for you and yours. I don’t happen to share it.
I get weirded out when a guy opens doors for me because they’re trying to impress me. That just seems weak. But when a guy I am serious about opens the door for me, I think it’s nice. He should want to take care of me, and I take care of him.
What you just quoted Julia- about women submitting to their husbands and husbands submitting to God- if all men followed that model, there wouldn’t be a need for feminism. Men who are submitting to God would care for women- care for the widows and fatherless and their wife, and make sure that women had their needs taken care of.
I don’t know if this was the story “anon.” was thinking of, but Jesus lived in a very male dominated society, and yet when he was resurrected, the first person he appeared to was a woman (Mary Magdelene).
Right, I get it. The idea is that if everyone is getting the memo from the big guy at the top, then no harm, no foul. Because by being subservient to your husband you’re essentially just being subservient to the higher power.
But maybe it’s like telephone and the church or the husband screws up the memo.
And why the need to submit to your husband? Why not the reverse, depending on who is a more dominant type? Or why not forget the whole hierarchy and let god speak to everyone individually? Guy’s omniscient, right?
Oh my gosh, suddenly I’m being transported back to Catechism class. Anyway, sure, I get the principle. But it’s a patriarchy, and I see no need for it. There are ways that men and women can each take care of and lead each other. In many tribal cultures, women are the ones who made the big decisions or held property. I just don’t think the role of head of household, if necessary at all, need be gender specific.
Yeah, a lot gets scrambled up in transmission, unfortunately. That’s the sorry nature of humanity.
Ah hah, so you are a wandering sheep. I have a feeling Matt is one of those too.
I respect that you have a faith you are passionate about. That can be a wonderful, inspiring thing. Fortunately, we all have the choice to find what it is we feel is wonderful and inspiring. What does it for you doesn’t do it for me. Please respect that I am not “wandering” simply because I haven’t come to the conclusions you have.
I meant it simply as a phrase to mean you were raised in the church and have left. No other implications. :-)
I don’t buy into the relativism that you speak of, but yes it is true that each person does what is right in their own eyes.
Relativism, that’s the thing where people say what is true for them might not be true for other people, but it’s still equally true? In terms of something like god? If so, that’s not what I’m talkin’ bout. I’m saying that I’m not wandering as in, I’m not lost. I may be wrong, I concede that. I wish everyone would. But I didn’t float here on a errant breeze that picked me up once I unmoored myself from the church I was raised in.
Oh gosh, let’s stop the religion talk. This is a health blog, right? Do you wanna talk about nutrition? Ha.
Again, no disrespect meant at all. I’m not saying you’re where you are by accident at all!! I’m quite sure you’re exactly where you want to be right now.
I most certainly could be wrong, too. I think I have enough sense to know that there are many things I’m sure I don’t understand, and many things I’m probably dead wrong about.
If submission isn’t in the cards for you, then don’t play the cards. If fact, don’t play at all, just get real and accept that you’re a beautiful woman, created to be the glory of your husband and find out what true submission is….you’ll see it’s a truly beautiful thing, not something to fear.
I don’t know you, but you seem blokey and afraid to let down your guard and just be loved like a woman. But I encourage you to go ahead and let it down, even it only for a day…..show your vulnerability and see what it’s like to be cherished just for being a woman.
Wow, such fervent prayer!
Ummm, maybe an lol after my comment would have helped. Tone is so lost in translation.
You’re a very funny woman Julia Gumm.
Your ohmygodohmygod thing cracked me up!
Does “blokey” mean man-like? Wow! This is incredible! Listen, I like being cherished for who I AM. And who I am prefers mowing the lawn to dusting, likes to lead (I was the president of a club I made up for four straight years in elementary school, giving up all free time on the swings to keep order), likes to argue, likes to bake, likes to charm, likes to challenge myself physically, likes to be bawdy, funny, thoughtful and HONEST. So this is who I am, honestly. And all the women in combat and the women who don’t wanna be subservient to their husbands, and the women who love other women- maybe they’re all just being who they really are too, and the whole reason we’ve fought to get outta the kitchen and off our husbands’ trophy shelf is because it’s just not really where, in our heart of hearts we wish to be. Come on now. If I was born to be the glory of my husband and to just relax and simply be appreciated for my womanliness (wherever it’s hiding, apparently!), then I’ve got a real issue with my creator. Luckily I personally think that’s a crock of shit, but to each their own, You to yours and me to mine,
Your comment : “I like being cherished for who I AM.”
Yes, yes, yes, you got it!!!!!
You go girl….that’s exactly what I was talking about! He’s giving you revelation as we speak!
It’s for who I AM! That’s His name.
Be richly blessed
I just said another fervent prayer.
Ahh, very witty woman! I love that in people!
You seem like a fun woman. Still a bit blokey, lol, (note, got my lol in place there)
By blokey, I don’t mean man like. I mean a strong woman, independent, outspoken…..not a princess type. Translation again.
Ah. Well then, thanks. Nothing I’d rather be than a bloke. Or blokey. Whatever.
Julia, I know you’re smart enough to know that all Christians do not think, or behave, like this. In my opinion, such comments are not worthy of any response from anyone.
Honestly, I think the strong reaction that people have with extreme feminism, when equality is taken so far as to make men unequal and disrespected, is the same type of strong reaction that people have with extreme Christianity and the disrespect and condescension that can come with that. It’s hard to take either seriously when respect for others is lost in the process.
I think most Christians are great. They’re all just people, just like any others. I don’t particularly enjoy pushy, absolutist evangelizing from anyone of any intention, like I mentioned in my last article on this site about the religion of the perfect diet.
Thank you for that. As a Christian, I’m extremely embarrassed (?…frustrated) reading her comments and don’t want to be associated with it. I don’t like getting embroiled in religious or political issues online because of how easily people disregard common courtesy towards each other when they are behind a screen, but I just had to say something in this case.
I’m glad you did. Thanks.
EmmaW, I enjoy having fun and enjoy good humour, even as a Christian. Unfortunate that humour doesn’t always come across on this medium. Bless you!
Really wasn’t trying to evangelize here, Julia, and EmmaW. I too hate the hit and run kind of evangelism…the Bible thumping, street corner type, that forgets about the person in name of the message. And so I was avoiding that, while still trying to show a third alternative to feminism and patriarchy in the historical person of Jesus and the teachings of the Bible, especially because Julia asked for some expansion. You’re a great girl, Julia, and so right on with many things. I really appreciate your writings. EmmaW, you’ve got loads of great input here too. As for the “wandering sheep” thing: I’m always interested in peoples’ history and my quick use of the phrase was not meant as an insult, but probably poorly chosen, so I apologize. I don’t want to come across as one of those jerky Christians who thinks she knows it all. I’m quite sure I’m in for many surprises when I meet my maker. I’m sure I’m wrong on many things.
So, I will step out now, but I wanted to clear the air with all of you ladies first. I’ve really enjoyed the discussion.
Thanks, Anon. :)
I’m seeing that now. It’s been a learning experience for me. I was painstakingly trying not to come across as shoving anything down anyone’s throat or anything close to it, and the thread took a different direction I hadn’t intended. Sigh.
Live and learn, I guess.
I truly respect all people, despite differences. Everyone deserves respect.
It’s cool. When you believe something strongly, it can be hard not to come off…strongly? I wasn’t really saying you were being pushy. The impassioned plea for me to let my guard down for once (from a perfect stranger) and let myself be loved as a woman, the glory of my husband, as I was intended to be- that struck me kinda pushy.
Anon, I could tell that you were trying to be careful with your words. My comment was aimed more at the way Sussie was talking to Julia, and her equally insulting back-peddling and trying to have us believe it was all “good humored fun”. I just wanted you to know that.
BTW, I totally agree with you about Jesus and women. :)
Not sure if this comment will end up in the right spot, but it is meant for Julia. Yes, I felt that comment (not from me) about letting your guard down etc etc, while sincere and well intentioned I hope, was a bit much.
Susan, that is major bullshit..
Or you are seriously making fun of Julia..
Yes it was Paul and Peter too, but before Paul said for wives to submit to their husbands, he says that everyone should submit to one another in the Lord. And Peter went so far as to give husbands instruction that (grossly paraphrased) they’d better listen to, love and respect their wives, or else God wouldn’t listen to their prayers. And looking at the Bible as a whole shows plenty of examples of really strong women. So this thing about women submitting should not be taken out of context.
The examples I was thinking of were 1) the story of what happened after Jesus’ resurrection. He FIRST appeared to Mary and told her to go and tell his disciples that he had risen from the dead. This was in a time in which, in order to have any kind of credibility, you had to be a man, or, if you were in court, you had to have the witness of twice as many women as you did men in order for any sort of case to hold up. Women were just not seen as credible at all. BUT Jesus appeared to a woman first and entrusted her with the message he wanted to convey to his disciples. Her witness was enough. He leveled the playing field for women. 2) the story of the women with the issue of blood for 12 years. She was a woman, unclean and thus “dishonorable” in her society. Yet she was healed by his power, he spoke with her and thought not twice about her dishonor, uncleanliness, or womanhood. I’m sure there is much more, but those are two that have really struck me. So it wasn’t that he was on a crusade for women’s liberation, but that actions spoke so very loudly as to his mind towards them.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28
So yes, it is very nice that this is a non-issue for me. I know I am where I need to be, whether I’m doing domestic things, or taking the lead in certain areas in my own household while my husband defers to me (which happens often). It’s synergy and it’s awesome, and it’s what works for the particular gifts we each have.
And as for the study you mentioned, it’s good to know that the housework isn’t for naught. :-) I’d rather do something productive, honestly, than move around just for the sake of moving around, though I do love messing around with weights on a weekly basis.
Thanks for the Jesus info! Such an interesting figure.
And I’m all about synergy and interdependence. All I am saying is that many many roles need not be gender specific.
I completely agree with that last part you said about moving around for a purpose. When I see people in gyms, I wish there was a way we could funnel all the calories they’re expending into the grid or something! Lately I’ve been making maple syrup, and am getting a lot more exercise from walking out to the trees and carrying the bottles of sap into the house and back. I love that I feel more tired at the end of the day, and it’s because of something I’m doing that has a clear utilitarian purpose.
Can I just say in one word : Jealous. I have friends in Vermont that I will see usually once a year and we are always going to the sugar shacks and it’s like maple syrup-palooza for me. I even buy the lollipops too. So cool! I agree that exercise seems to work best when the heart and soul are apart of it. It’s just fulfilling and exerting on a different level.
It’s so much fun! An old-timer taught me the trade a few years ago in exchange for some of my sap, and I love it. I’m seriously considering moving north where maples are more plentiful and having a farm! I love gardening and keeping chickens and stuff, and I’d like to get into bee keeping and berries. But maple syrup seems so awesome, it’s a short season where you work moderately hard, and then it’s over! Perfect for a girl whose interest in most everything burns brightly and burns out quickly! Plus, I think there’s a market for just the sap! It’s delicious, full of pre-biotics, amino acids, b vitamins, calcium and magnesium…I bet if I pasteurized it it could become the next coconut water.
You can be the syrup, I can be your waffle. Sorry, I couldn’t help it. You’re right that maple syrup seems way sexier than honey or berries.
So you’re saying you like to be smothered?
Yeah, I’m trying to figure out the easiest way to be a farmer. I’m thinking maple syrup, berry bushes (pretty easy), micro-greens and mushrooms. And egg laying chickens. Except one of my farm rescued girls is losing a battle with ovarian cancer right now and it’s ripping me apart! I don’t know if I can deal with this over and over again!
I drank a full glass of the sap yesterday. It is quite amazing stuff. It did remind me a bit of coconut water, except not quite as strongly flavored. Made me wonder what’s in the stuff. I’m glad you listed some of it. Now I know.
I am very much like you with a lot of my interests. I get super intense about something, it goes on for a while and then dies out.
Isn’t it tasty? I was afraid at first because I read about people in Thailand dying from drinking virus-infected tree sap, but it just looked so frosty and delicious…now I’ve been guzzling it! I’ve had a really stressful past few days, I swear this is the stuff that’s keeping me going. It’s tree blood, after all. Gotta be pretty potent!
I guzzled first (too curious) and thought about it later. :-) I did wonder about the fact that it was completely raw. I’m still here today. :-) But then again, I drink raw milk too, so on that thought, I dismissed all caution. :-)
Julia, you might enjoy this site. Here’s a post she did on maple syrup. I love reading her site. Sites like hers help to keep me grounded.
Neat! I’ll check it out. Thanks!
I was thinking about bee keeping…was even researching mason bees. But the idea only lasted a second because I realized I am just too afraid of bees!
That sounds like awesome work. My brother-in-law is doing the same right now. Can’t wait for gardening season.
This is off subject, but speaking of Jesus, Dorothy Murdock aka Acharya S has published several interesting books about Jesus and religion. And according to her, the origins of religion and who Jesus was is very different that what many people believe.
I agree on many of these principles, anonymous.
If a guy didn’t open the door for me, I wouldn’t give him another date. I think it’s a sign of respect and good manners, and yeah, I like signs that he will take care of me.
I am not a feminist at all. I have no interest in doing all the things men do, and I believe the genders are inherently different, hormonally driven in different ways, and that this is a good thing. Yet, I would never, ever tolerate disrespect or abuse in any way. There are many ways to display feminine strength.
What things that are specific to men do you have no interest in doing? I’m just curious I guess, about what is specifically a man’s activity.
I’ll probably get annihilated for giving specifics, but I’ll give a few: hard labor, fighting in a war (yeah women are allowed now – I am personally against it, and it is not the historical norm), being sexually aggressive (I don’t mean toward my boyfriend in a moment of passion, but rather in general – like trying to come on to men to pick them up), trying to be dominant and aggressive, to name a few. I think women are naturally more collaborative and submissive (not in a bad or weak way), emotional and verbal, and men are naturally more aggressive, active, dominant and less verbose. Yes, there are exceptions, but a lot of this is hormonally and biologically driven. I could go on, but I know people will probably jump on this anyway.
I’ll give an example that I think about a lot. It absolutely kills me how women are expected to be aggressive and domineering if they want to “make it” in business. Because those are qualities that men value in leaders. I believe women are naturally more collaborative, and I think this would actually be a positive trait to bring to the business world. But rather than celebrate this difference and discuss the positive different traits women could bring in leadership, we instead look at the women who act more like men – dominant, tough, etc.
I also get annoyed a lot in the dating world. There’s a lot of pressure for women to act like men – be sexually aggressive, ask men out, try to control the direction of the relationship. It messes a lot of stuff up, and neither gender is happy. I learned myself that dating works a lot better, and both parties are happier, when you approach it the old-fashioned way. And I’ve dated a LOT of men.
Amy…agreed and agreed and AGREED! And to reverse it, I know there are things men just have no interest in that are more womanesque…hello, making the bed. You’ll always hear ” Why do you do that if you’re just gonna sleep in it later?” And aren’t they the biggest babies when they are sick? They just need that nurturing that we give so easily.
Yes! And I forgot to add nurturing to the list! It makes both us and them feel really good.
(And my boyfriend actually likes to clean things, but yes, he still says that exact statement about the bed!)
My husband makes our bed. I could care less- funny.
You know, I’ve always wondered that about making the bed,myself. I only straighten it up when I’m about to get back in it because I’m sorta OCD about the blankets being straight and in the right order. But otherwise, nope.
And hell yeah most men are the biggest babies when they’re sick. But some of them are very nurturing and capable of caring for themselves. I think that it’s a skill that can be cultivated and it should because if we’re gonna do this whole one man one woman living together with no other adults in the house, it sure as hell isn’t fair that women don’t have someone around to nurture the hell out of them when they need it. I wanna be a baby when I feel sick too!
Amy, I agree with you that it’s sad that women being powerful is so often measured by how much she can resemble a typically powerful male. You are right that there is much to be gained by more collaboratively minded people. That being said, I know many men who are sensitive and cooperative and I know many women, (almost all the ones I’m related to, actually- on both sides) who are aggressive, controlling and not in the teensiest bit submissive. I’m not saying that is good or bad- just a fact.
Women in combat….true, not a historical precedent for it. But war is different now. Combat doesn’t necessarily mean standing on the front lines with a gun, in fact many women were really “in combat” in Iraq and continue to be in Afghanistan, they just don’t have the recognition for it, and subsequently, the pay. And if you’re against it for reasons of physical strength, women have to pass a physical fitness test just the same as men. There are lots of guys who wouldn’t be strong enough to qualify- if they’re women who are who wish to do it, really, what is the issue? I’m not really for soldiers of either gender, I think all of it is a huge waste for the most part. But it’s reality and there are very capable women who want to serve. What rational reason is there to deny them of the right to do so?
I understand your feelings about the unnatural aggressiveness that is expected of women sexually and in the dating realm. I tend to agree that there is too much emphasis on women behaving in ways that are pleasing to men, Overall there is too much emphasis on women being LIKE men in order to be as free as one. But that’s how pervasive the motherfucking patriarchy is! In order for a woman to be sexual she has to be a purring little sex kitten who aggressively gives it to her man? Get the fuck over it! That isn’t real! I mean, sometimes it is and for some people it is, but too often girls are self-consciously behaving like porn stars instead of how they really feel. You know, I think I’m immune to this shit, but I’m not. I have realized recently just how much my sexual behavior really has been influenced by what the media paints as male expectation and that sucks. Fucking patriarchy. Oh women want to be free to make their own sexual choices and not be limited by fear or shame? Great! Come over here and make little mewing, panting sounds and respond to my advances, no matter how clumsy or unskilled or unloving. What, you’re not prude are you? That kind of thing. Do you know how long it took me to realize that I do not, in fact, mew like a kitten when I’m sexually gratified? That instead I experience what the Italians call “little death” and scream like a banshee, or more interestingly, a woman in labor? Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent.
“I experience what the Italians call ?little death? and scream like a banshee, or more interestingly, a woman in labor”
I live in an apartment where I can literally hear the neighbours having a pee. No doubt the police would be called if I started screaming like a banshee in labour! Imagine trying to explain…
You make me laugh Julia. And Matt does too. Just sayin :)
The physical fitness requirements in the military are not equal between men and women.
“As directed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, women have but to execute 8 pull-ups to receive a perfect score of 100. Men still have to execute 20 pull-ups for a perfect 100 points.
Men must complete the three-mile run 3 minutes faster than women (18 minutes vice 21 minutes) in order to receive the 100 points for a perfect score
To receive a score of 90 on the push-up event, men must perform 72 push-ups in 2 minutes; women must do 48.
To receive a score of 90 on the 2-mile run, men must achieve a time of 12 minutes and 57 seconds; women must achieve the same distance in 15 minutes and 54 seconds.”
The 1/3d Pure Fat Navy SEAL…
The Navy also has a marked difference in passing scores for their male vs. female fitness scorings, but what could be described as disturbing, is the amount of body fat allowable within the U.S. Navy:
Male Body Fat Standards:
Age 17 – 39: Max of 22% body fat
Age 40 and over: Max of 23% body fat
Female Body Fat Standards:
Age 17 – 39: Max of 33% body fat
Age 40 and over: Max of 34% body fat
It’s commonplace in all Branches of the Armed Forces for women to outscore men in physical fitness examinations, yet in reality remain physically weaker and thusly be promoted ahead them”
Personally, I am for equal rights and equal opportunity for both sexes. So, if a woman wants to be in military combat then I think that she should be able to do so. But I believe that women should be held to the same physical standards as men. That’s what I call equal. I don’t call it equal when men have to meet a much higher military physical fitness requirement than women for the exact same job.
Is it the exact same job? Are all combat positions the same? If the women’s physical fitness test didn’t adequately prove their capacity to serve, I wouldn’t think military top brass and hawkish congressional Republicans would be ok with them. I’m not an expert on the subject, but I think maybe the experts are?
Should the miltary have a separate grading scale for men that are physically weaker than the average man?
Some men are genetically smaller in stature and physically weaker than the average man. So, some men may have a low score on the men’s military physical fitness requirement test.
But if those same men were graded based upon the women’s military physical fitness requirement test then those men may have scored very high.
So, should the miltary have a separate grading sale for men that are physically weaker than the average man? Would that be more fair?
If the the military doesn’t have a separate grading scale for men that are naturally weaker than the average man should that be considered a form of discrimination?
Or should all men be treated equally and have to meet the same military physical fitness requirements.
Or for that matter, should men and women both be treated equally and have to meet the same military physical fitness requirements?
So the psychological requirements are the same, and again, not all combat positions require the same amount of physical strength. Typically people in the military compete for positions, and if there is an opening for a tank loader, something that requires a lot of upper body strength, it will go to the person who can do it. That’ll probably be a man. But there are many many combat roles that women are already doing and have been doing for ten years. And to answer your question, maybe it’s true that they should lessen the requirements for men if women are doing just fine in certain roles that don’t require as fast a running speed, etc. That’s a good point. Maybe weaker bodied men could also now compete for those postions, if they wish.
I think the fitness requirements Kevin is refering to are the basic ones that all new recruits have to pass in boot camp. And yes, the requirements for women are lower:
As the mother of a son in the army, this greatly concerns me. I don’t have a problem with women in the military. I have a problem with standards being reduced and the safety of soldiers being compromised.
I quoted this above, but I think it bears repeating– the Germaine Greer quote “the opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy, but fraternity…” But she she could have called it sorority ;-)
Amen and amen! Preach is sister!
The first person to speak THE truth here on this topic.
“To me it seems as though feminists are fighting a battle that has already been won in Him.”
Classic comment! C’mon people on this blog, get with the program, He came, He conquered and now ‘it is finished’. The war is over. Men, love your wives; wives, respect your husbands…then get on with loving others….simple! It’s THE model, and it works.
Hey Anonymous, I’ve no idea why you stay anonymous when you offer such pearls of wisdom.
Whoa!!! Celebrate the differences, huh?
Just wanted to say a couple of things. First, Julia Gumm, I love how open-minded you are to all that everyone has to offer here, you are a rare person indeed!
Also, talking about Jesus, I was always struck that some of his best friends were women (in a time when you wouldn’t normally hang out with women) and that it was women who understood his mission. Whenever he would start talking about his impending death the men never “got it”, where as his close friend Mary did. She was the one who broke the expensive ointment over his feet and dried them with her hair. Pretty radical if you ask me. And he allowed it when the men were asking Jesus to tell her to stop. And how about the story of the woman caught in adultery? Everyone wanted to stone her to death which was the custom but Jesus stopped them by writing all their hidden sins in the dirt with his finger. They disappeared one by one (judgmental assholes!!).
Hey thanks. I try.
Thank you. I prefer keeping my anonymity here of late, for various reasons. But thanks for your kind words.
This is completely off topic, but none the less I am desperate!
I was a fruitarian for 3 years
vegetarian for 5
and have been paleo for 2 1/2 years
During my fruitarian phase I developed severe orethixa and anxiety- contributing to a full blow eating disorder. Between than and becoming paleo I ate whatever I wanted (no gmos) but my skin broke out, however I did gain weight back to normal.
At the onset of paleo I lost a lot again through intermittent fasting etc… (Yikes!- talk about disaster) and than did zero carb for a while. For the past three months I have just gone back to eating whenever and however much I like.Fruit, honey, cane sugar, chocolate, grassfed meats and poultry, pastured pork, veggies. My weight is much healthier, my anxiety is gone however my skin is so dry and flaky. My scalp, eyebrows, the sides of my face , my chest etc… It is very scaly too. I have done the acv treatment, baking soda (gave me hives) but nothing is working. It prevents me from being social or having friends. I am 17- approaching 18 and very very embarrased. I am worried it is a result of hypothryoidism from being in starvation for so long. Please help!
How are your temps Cheslea? I went through the dry skin thing too and I sympathize-it’s really terrible. It started when I was pregnant and I would barely leave the house, it was so bad. I think that my dry skin was the result of, as you say, hypothyroidism from being in starvation for so long. It’s taken me two years to correct the problem (and nothing topical helped at all–if anything it just made the irritation worse), and I think it would have been corrected a lot sooner if I had of given up my orthorexia sooner and eaten way more calories than I was. Like, WAY more. It sounds like you are on the right track.
Some more knowledgable people than I will chime in here, but I’m guessing that carbs and saturated fat is going to be a big part of your healing. Fats and oils do amazing things for your skin. I eat heaps of butter, ghee, chicken fat as well as coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil and my skin is great. When I started eating like this it only took a few weeks and my skin changed and people really noticed. I think you’ll find that all those years off grains will make you crave them. What I am finding very empowering is trying to only eat what I really feel like eating when i’m hungry. You have to still yourself and try and really tune in to figure out what it is you really FEEL like eating. When you eat like this you experience the most amazing satisfaction and you are probably giving your body what it really needs.
Just out of interest, were your parents fruitarians and vegetarians and that’s why you had to be??? Or was it personal choice??? I am not judging but I have read how bad it is to force a child to become vegetarian. Very often eating disorders are preceded by a fling with vegetarianism.
Thanks for the response. I haven’t eaten grains in 5 years and have no desire to. Also fruitarian by choice. My parents are much happier now that we eat lots of coocnut oil and good fats, grassfed meat etc. Its just this persistent dry skin. Its difficult to get enough calories on a whole foods diet. Anything you suggest that won’t break my skin out?
I was not able to fully heal the dry skin until I eased up on my whole foods diet. You are correct, it is hard to get enough calories on a whole foods diet, especially if you don’t eat grains.
And FWIW, I was eating tons of good quality fats when my skin was bad and for me it did not seem to help (I was a hard-core WAPF-er.) I think that NMFM is correct that carbs and sat fat will be a big part of your healing.
What carbs would you suggest?
Please someone more knowledgable than I correct me here, but it sounds like your skin is a symptom of hypothyroidism and the best thing to fix that is carbs like grains?? I’m still relatively new here and still learning as well. Maybe read Matts’ books first. Play around maybe, try some rice or something. But I think read the books first because you may get worse on grains to begin with but then improve. I think you would want to be prepared for what to expect. All the best, really hope it helps. I have a friend with exactly the same skin issues as you have described and she refuses grains too. Strict paleo. Hard to watch coz they make their little kids eat that way too.
If you’re afraid of grains, why not load up on potatoes and squash and stuff? Go nuts with it. You can make dessert mashed potatoes with cream, butter, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon…carbohydrate heaven! Have you tried ice cream? If you’re worried about quality, there are some good brands on the market. Ice cream, pudding- think foods that a sick kids wants to eat. The goal here is babying your body as much as possible to give it a much needed rest from the stress of those diets. Maybe give up the chocolate because it’s stimulating and the goal is to chill. Viva La Comfort!
What do you guys think about Coconut Bliss or So Delicious with agave? I’m pretty sensitive to dairy.
I don’t think you can get enough calories on a whole food diet as a teenager. Skin breakouts are normal when recovering from a weird diet. It takes time, sucks for a while. The dry skin won’t clear up fully until your metabolism is humming and for that you will need processed food.
Duriander and his side kick had me convinced- it literally almost killed me
I don’t know what’s so wrong with the simple fact that men and women are different. Physically and emotionally. It doesn’t mean one person deserves more respect than the other. Or one is “better” Or one’s job is harder than the other. We’re just different, with different skills. Not everyone can do everything all the gosh darn time. That’s what balance and support is for. You do this, I’ll do that, and together we’ll accomplish one goal : life.
Yes there are women that are very physically strong and don’t want help from any man, body or soul. Yes there are men who prefer to cook and wish their wives would just stop trampling their roses out in the yard. Fine. And if a women admits she is weaker, would prefer to stay home and take care of house and children, why is it considered going backward? Why is their comtemp? She’s just doing what she likes and what feels normal for her. Play to your strengths and let what you are weaker at be taken care of for you. It’s ok, it’s actually normal.
I think it’s interesting to note that men aren’t busy picking daisy’s wondering when’s dinner. They have it rough too. Their is a lot of responsibility thrown on their shoulders, and they feel immense pressure too. Especially in the past, especially in this country. The men were in the fields or on the farm or ranch, whatever, doing hard, demanding and grueling work. Women could do that, but probably not for as long. Everyday. And if they could, I imagine they would get hungry and it sure as heck would become tiresome, to stop and prepare a meal.And because everything was made from scratch, especially the daily bread, they didn’t just have it at the ready.And I imagine it would become a hassle when they had babies, breastfeeding and nurturing required time. So if they were going stay home and take care of their child, they might as well take care of home upkeep. It not only helped their husbands but it helped themselves too. But what’s wrong if they did it just to help their husbands? Is it so wrong to put someone before you and help them? Why does everyone always have to be top dog?
That’s just how it was. Today things are different, so we’ll adjust accordingly. But with respect for each gender, and with each person doing their part. Nothing is wrong with needing the other person. Sure you can get it done on your own, but not as easily. And it will most likely feel overwhelming. Many hands make the load light.
I for one like traditional roles. But that is what’s normal for me. I used to turn my bedroom into a “house” when I was 5 and invite my family in for supper. I’m a home-keeper by heart. I like when men are stronger than me, and ask to lift something heavy from my arms. I like when they hold the door open. I think it’s sweet and respectful. I really love to make dinner for the ones I love and clean up things. It’s just how I show my love. So what?
You are absolutely right about the historical necessity for delegated roles in agrarian life. I simply do not have the upper body strength to build a fence line out of huge stones or haul massive blocks of ice from the pond for the ice house. No doubt. But as I think you said, those days are pretty much over. Most of the strenuous tasks men engaged in are obsolete- but so much of the “woman’s” work is not. Not only that, but society has grown to require a host of functions that can easily be filled by anyone, irrespective of gender. Because of that, it’s silly to demand that women limit themselves to the home if they don’t want to. Women are just as smart and able as men and make wonderful physicists, teachers, lawyers, gas station attendants, writers, politicians, ranch hands, factory workers, counselors, pastors, etc etc etc. So with the freedoms we’ve been afforded to expand our possibilities, and with the vacuum the obsolescence of typical men’s work has created, it only stands to reason that the remaining load of household labor should be evenly split to foster a fair, equitable relationship that is free of resent.
Also, I don’t think there is one bad thing about choosing to be a homemaker. I love to do all sorts of homemakery things like bake, cook, uh, buy scented candles…help me out here. Actually I like to do work outside. As a kid I liked to follow my dad around while he hauled leaves on the tractor and clipped back the berry bushes. It was and is far more interesting to me than cleaning house. Same thing for my partner, though, which does create trouble. I just don’t think there’s any good reason why I should be the one to give up the cool outdoorsy stuff for the dishes, so I prefer an even share. But we’re both pretty lazy about it anyway. Man, I could use a wife;)
Agreed, the work has gone down.No argument there. I sometimes wonder if men miss it. I know my dad and grandfather wish they could just go all cowboy on us, ya know?
Nothing wrong with an even share…both go outside, come in and do dishes…next big argument ” NO! you dry the flippin’ dish, I’m washing this time buddy.” In the summer ,I imagine my house would not make the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. When the sunshine calls, the dust rag drops. I think it’s a privilege that the women of our time get to enjoy now. It’s not so “survival” anymore. If we decide not to make the bread or put up the canning, our families don’t starve. I’m not saying women should stay in the home and never see daylight, just balance it with the hubby like a team.
In my family, to name a few, my dad does garbage, and puts any and all things back together. Which infernally leads to some rendition of “gotta put you in a bubble”…and mom makes dinner, but he cleans up and puts it away. They go grocery shopping together, mom remains behind the cart directing and couponing while dad is getting the stuff on the high shelf and getting the loin sliced. Mom vacuums the carpets, but dad does the stairs. Mom marinates the meat, dad grills it. But if a big juicy spider comes around, you can bet Dad-the-cheese stands alone. :) Just accomplish the same goal, but be partners about it.
Your mom and dad’s relationship sounds pretty darned fair and equitable to me. And I bet a lot of men are indeed frustrated with the obsolescence of what were their traditional roles. They key is adapting to reality and all parties being fair and respectful of one another’s time, abilities and desires. Like your parents have, it seems.
Nicole, their relationship sounds lovely. This is more the type of relationship that I think of when I think of a relationship where there is mutual respect and love – a true working together as a team. I have no problem with the basic idea of traditional roles and “submission”, but my understanding of those things is founded on respect and love- submission to each other according to what is right and good (not being a butt just to be a butt, and creating tension within the relationship as a result) not one being another’s potential doormat.
In context to the time, submission had more to do with the passing down of the teachings of the faith. As women were not allowed to be a part of religious discussions, what teachings the husband learned and then brought home to the wife and children were assumed to be accepted by the wife without contradiction as being the passed down from God. Being disobedient to the husband (the teachings brought by him) would have been seen as being directly disobedient to God.
It’s amazing how smart we are but lack any sort of common sense, especially feminists. In this PC culture we live in, people want to celebrate differences and diversity but at the time same time they want everyone to be able to do anything & everything and if you don’t believe that you’re a chauvinist or bigot. Women allowed in combat arms, men raising children and white people playing basketball: are they possible? Yeah sure. Optimal? Would you like Elton John as your daddy?
If he wanted the job bad enough to make it happen, I think Elton John would be a lot better at it than the sorry excuses for fathers so many hetero men make.
You’re probably a Larry Bird fan too. Figures.
Not a fan, but I know he exists. What an idiot! Get off the court, honky!
He could probably sing a hell of a lullaby, too. And be a good provider. Shit, I’d love for Elton John to be my dad!
I NEVER would have guessed that.
Guessed what? The lullaby part? I think “Tiny Dancer” would be perfect!
On a personal note, I lived with a gay guy for awhile, and he was a foster dad, many times over. His kids loved him and he made a wonderful impact on their lives. Also we worked together at a Boys & Girls Club where he continues to do really good work for kids who need it. His lack of traditional masculinity is no barrier. Dude has pink hair, everybody loves him.
Totally agree, Nicole.
Awesome comment Nicole. I’d rather read one of your articles.
Great comment Nicole!
Nicole I think you have a very salient viewpoint. One thing that isn’t being mentioned as much in this discussion is community. We have really lost that in so many ways. Community online is not exactly the same thing. Couples in community,
singles in community. Our culture now is so every man, women, couple for themselves. As individual units or couple units it’s hard to get support for any choices. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Wendell Berry, but I can’t help but think that so much of what we had in the past (despite the too rigid roles) did involve community support which made it easier to live. I am not advocating anything. I am single, older, never had kids, woman who definitely did not live the traditional role. Frankly, I have sometimes wished I had that, and sometimes revel in the life I do have. The one thing I miss is people knowing each other in community, and having time to support each other. And I don’t mean online at all. I mean in person, neighbors, friends, co-workers, local business people. Community helps us to resist the changes in society that we see as detrimental to our lives, and maybe it could help us decide the roles we want and to enact them in our lives a bit more comfortably.
I dunno, anybody wanna tackle that? Or is it no longer meaningful?
Community is so important! I agree! We rope ourselves off in these two person plus little people units, and it’s just too isolating, puts too much expectation on both parties. No one catches a break. If there was an aunt and uncle around or really tight knit neighbors, naps can happen, someone can take the kids while you clean, etc. Lack of community is another reason why I believe it’s crucial for men to step up in their roles around the home. Maybe back in the day or when we were tribal, all the women would help with the babies and the whole burden wasn’t just on the mom. Well we don’t have a tribe full of women surrounding us every day all day, so adjustments need to be made.
Love this, Nicole. I agree wholeheartedly. I was also thinking about how men have it rough, too, in other ways. I know my man does. I would not relish having to do a lot of what he does. Our tasks are very demanding in their own ways. But we mutually respect eachother for the blood, sweat and tears we put in to our work, whatever it is. We also lighten eachothers’ loads. I could not do what I do without him, nor vice versa.
This discussion is making me fat, no doubt. SO. MUCH. SCREEN TIME.
If anyone else has anything to say, here’s my answer:
“Wow, I’m glad that works for you, it doesn’t work for everyone, women shouldn’t have to do all the dishes just by virtue of their ovaries, your religion sounds very nice but I’m not interested, thanks.
Well, this post just completely lost the plot at the end and its been thoroughly enjoyable. Needed the laugh.
The article brings to mind glut4 transporters, and how being more mobile may have an effect on weightloss that has nothing to do with total calories burned. Modern humans are moving far less, on average, than we have at any point in our history as a species. That much is obvious. However, I don’t think the weight difference between a sedentary person and a highly mobile person has anything to do with calories. If we do away with the calories in calories out paradigm, what then would be the cause of a sedentary person being fatter, on average, than a mobile person?
I like to think in terms of built-in evolutionary mechanisms. For instance, when would a cave-man be spending a lot time inside, sitting? Probably during winter, when excess body-fat would be highly beneficial. Many mammal species, specifically the ones who hibernate, put on fat in the winter. Perhaps by sitting inside all day, staring at a computer or tv, we are entering a human version of hibernation, wherein we store more fat and become progressively more spaced out/sedentary. As part of this pseudo-hibernation, our metabolism slows (as it does in all hibernating mammals), lowering our body temperature and peripheral circulation in order to protect vital organs. Hence lower body-temperature and higher rates of disease in the obese.
This is complete speculation and probably bullshit, but I think it’s far more interesting to think in terms of evolutionary mechanisms than it is to think in terms of calories.
Matt, interesting speculation. Being sedentary could be triggering a hibernation response of sorts…?? It sounds like there could be something to that. Enough evidence has shown that it’s not as simple as calories in calories out, so there’s obviously something else going on. All this talk about sitting and weight gain makes me want to conciously make the effort to move more throughout my day.
totally off the subject here, but I have been looking up Eatopia and found some old thread on the forum,
under “first hand experiences”
“anyone start recovery from a healthy weight?”
On this thread I have read interesting stuff, and am wondering if you have read it and what are your thoughts on it.
Here are some snippets;
You’re not restoring your metabolism and repairing on so little! I know it seems like a lot, but there are several here who actually gained at the same rate/slowed rate once they INCREASED their intake…
And I believe you are less likely to overshoot your optimal BMI if you don’t go through Quasi-Recovery (eating below the minimum, or exercising while eating at the minimum)..
I was maintaing/semi gaining on ~2200 until i decided to just up it, and up it quick. I just spent the last week on around 4500 a day and at first I gained almost 11 pounds but after yesterday eating 4700 I suddenly ‘dropped’ 8 of those pounds overnight. Don’t be afraid to increase, it really doesn’t make much of a difference in the rate of gain, the only difference is that I’ll be able to maintain on more…
(gwyneth says)..Setfiretotherain is correct, many seem to slow their rate of gain by increasing the calories to the guidelines set out by numerous studies for recovery even if there is an initial jump in “weight” that is essentially water retention for cellular repair.
And yes it does also appear to be that recovering on less the the guidelines allows for the body to restore weight but not metabolism or other biological repairs. When patients who are already almost weight restored choose to complete their recovery by upping the calories into the more common range then there can be an initial overshoot in the weight set point that disappears in the year following recovery.
And so on…
Hmmm, I might have. Some of that sounds familiar. I’m not sure exactly what I think. I think that’s probably true for most people, but even when I began to make sure I was above the minimum amount of calories, I was still just gaining and gaining, despite having all the signs of a healed metabolism at this point. This is the issue I’ve been struggling with, unlike most others who gain some and then stabilize, I seem to just continue to gain, regardless of my calorie intake. I’m wondering how much my thyroid is playing a part in this. I’ve been reading more about that. People who have hypothyroidism tend to have lower levels of CO2, which affect the metabolism – making it less efficient. So, even though my temps are up, I’m sleeping good, have daily bm’s, etc., I’m wondering if I need to work on getting my CO2 up. Here, and at Andrew Kim’s blog, the suggestion seems to be that increasing sugar, especially fructose, seems to be the easiest and quickest way to get CO2 up. I was actually reading about it this morning here:
I can’t remember, but did you say that you have thyroid issues as well? So, anyhow, my plan is to increase my fructose/sugar. How about you? What have you decided to do at this point?
BTW, Nola, I don’t know if you saw my reply to you about fat and sugar on the other thread, so I’ll post it here…
“As far as I know, fat helps the body to absorb those vitamins (fat soluble vitamins) but those vitamins are not in fat itself.
I double checked this to make sure I was correct and I am. I checked the nutritional profile of various oils/fats. The only vitamin the majority of the oils/fats have is a small amount of vitamin E, with almond oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and tallow being amongst the highest per serving of the oils/fats (approx. 25% per 1 Tbs.) that I checked (olive, coconut, soy, corn, peanut, almond, safflower, canola, sunflower, sesame, walnut, tallow, lard, butter). Butter has a small amount of vitamin A & D, but very small.”
So, like I originally said, sugar is a source of energy with no nutrient content just like fat. They are both, more or less, primarily sources of energy, with fructose/glucose being the optimal energy source. So, there’s no reason to demonize sugar over fat. If you are getting your fructose from fruits/fruit juice, then it definitely has a better nutritional profile over fat.
I guess the other reason people dont like sugar is because of potential blood sugar issues, spiking the blood sugar , diabetes fears, etc.
I eat a decent amount of sugar now, and have no issues around it.
I eat straight white sugar ,
along with some other sources of sugar – honey, fruit, molasses.
Yes, I think the main reason people avoid sugar is because of those misconceptions. I know that’s what I used to think, especially with weight loss, and avoided sugar as much as possible I’m glad I know better now.
You know, I used to eat ungodly amounts of sugar when I was a kid and never had problems with my weight. I only started eating “healthy” once I moved out of my parents house and started cooking for myself; that’s when all my troubles began. My mom gave us ice cream EVERY night after dinner. I still love ice cream.
I’ve been trying to do the carb cycling and having a hard time with it. On my low carb days, my body just does not want to eat so much protein and fat. Yesterday was supposed to be a low carb day. I started out with some scrambled eggs with cheese and a handful of blueberries, and my coffee. I felt yucky, so I switched to the rest of my day being higher carb. So, the last two days have been higher carb, and I’m down half a pound. I know that’s not a lot, but I haven’t seen the scale go down even once during this process; it’s only gone up.
I know Matt also says how important it is to have a high carb breakfast to get your metabolism roaring for the day. I think for me, that’s going to be crucial. Thinking back to my childhood and how well my body has always done eating a higher carb diet, I think I need to trust that and go with it. When I was a child, I ate mostly carbs and some protein. I only started eating more protein and fats as I began dieting and trying to lose weight, but I don’t think my body does well with it. I’m sure the higher protein and fats contributed to my metabolism slow down, as Matt says, these things slow the metabolism, not increase it (the stress induced metabolic slowdown from eating too much of a paleo like diet). For me, I think it’s just been too much. So, I’m going to stop going out of my way to add extra fat and protein in my diet and eat it according to what feels right for me. I think I need to go back to eating like I did as a child. It’s been difficult to get away from the dieting “rules” that I’ve picked up over the years, but I think I’ve come full circle, and have come to realize as I read and learn about all of this, that my body does best on a higher carb/lower fat diet like when I was a child. Not that I’m afraid of fat and plan to avoid it, but will eat it according to intuition vs. intentionally eating larger amounts of it as I have been. The half- pound loss I’ve had just confirms this for me.
I’m starting to wonder if my weight gain had to do more with the fact that I was eating a high carb and high fat diet at the same time during this process? I think in my quest to treat all food equally, with no food being good or bad, and to stop looking at food with a dieting mind, I took that idea too far to the extent that I’m not really stepping back to see what food my body responds to the best. But, I can say that I don’t fear any particular food anymore having done that. I know for some people, eating this way works great if their body uses both energy sources equally well. If my body uses carbs more efficiently for energy though, then all that excess dietary fat was probably just simply getting stored. Of course, this is just speculation at this point. Time will tell. All I know is that this feels instinctively correct.
That is the problem with manipulating diet- sometimes it actually doesnt suit,
and in the end, I find , it doesnt even benefit.
I would be inclined to more follow your instincts and natural
inclinations – as you are saying..
I feel best eating a good amount of carbs, some starch some sugar,
but also, with a good amount of fat.
Some protein too – though it doesnt have to be much.
It sounds like you might be in for a good shift!
Not sure if what I am doing is having effect in terms of weight loss.
But I have been amused lately by comments from men telling me that I look like I have gained muscle-
they are all men from the gym that see how I train ( I am known for my strength), and assume my larger size is muscle!! lol
I even tell them I have just gained fat (larger all over),
but they dismiss it.
In fact , one of my male friends was telling me I had to be careful not to train too much/too heavy, other wise I would change hormonally to be more mannish.
( He is saying that because I look much like a bit of prime beefsteak right now, and am big all over- though I still have a curved figure.)
I said, its just fat- he said- theres no fat on you! – and I just rolled my eyes!
I pointed to my breasts and said- look, breasts! , there is still plenty of estrogen! lol
I said to my other training friend- do I look like a man? – he shook his head and said-
no, if I was to look at your butt and think you look like a man- there would have to be something wrong with me!
Gawd .. it is all so funny though.
Nola & EmmaW – These ideas interest me. I was up 2lbs today on a just under 2500 cals most days for the past 6 weeks. Maybe I should try going higher. I can’t imagine what I will eat.
And through tracking I have found that on a daily basis my macros are very close every day without any planning or intention on my part, other than just following my preferences to have balanced meals, some protein, some veggies and fruit here and there. I am very happy eating this way – it’s 14-15% protein, 45-50% carbs, 35-40% fat. I’m thinking it’s fine to just eat the way I feel like eating. But maybe I am shooting myself in the foot by not going higher in calories.
Nola, I’m sure they were telling you the truth. We tend to be much harder on ourselves when it comes to the way we look.
Amanda, that may be true. Have you read any of Gwyneth’s articles? She says that most women need a minimum of 2500 calories a day.
Emma- I can hide some of the gain with clever dressmaking- but it is there none-the-less. I have never had so much cellulite before. It is slightly hideous.
Though it is nice to know that some people are not noticing.
Amanda- it has been one of my big questions lately,
whether it is better in the long run for health and minimizing weight gain, to go way overboard on the calories right from the start ;
rather than taking the more conservative approach that most of us do,
of just eating a bit more.
(Particularly in my case anyway- because I have always been trying to lessen the gain).
For myself, I just seem to keep gaining and gaining,
on relatively small calorie increases.
But would it be different with a larger increase?
I dont know.
And now I feel I have run out of room to try.
I have never had my thyroid officially tested, but have the signs of low thyroid-
low temps, outside third of eyebrows very thinned, thinning hair, cold, easy to gain weight, and other peripheral stuff..
I know there is no definitive answer to this stuff- I am amazed at how little some people gain- when compared to how much I have gained and know I could potentially gain much more!
I read somewhere on that Eatopia thread that if you have restricted (food restricted), for 6 months, you need to recover for 9.
How about when you have food restricted for nearly all of 30 yrs- to some degree or other! I will be dead before recovery..
I am sticking to the 4000/3500 alternate day calorie cycle. I have been doing this three weeks now.
It sounds like a lot of calories, but it is really just clearing the critical level of hunger for me, and not always that.
It is kind of confusing for most people- because my calorie threshold is so much higher, and they think- how can you be starving or food restricted at 3000 calories?! But I am ..
I dont have extreme hunger either- just generalised hunger.
When I ate 4000 cals every day I felt really good, and not hungry, and not wanting more food.
So I know the hunger has a beginning and an ending point!
Which is why that Eatopia thread spoke to me I guess – because for me,
extra calories over and above hunger satisfaction, and to the point of healing –
are a lot higher than the average woman.
And I have never really gone there. Not apart from the odd day.
I wonder if I had eaten 5000 cals a day for instance, right from the start,
I would have gained less overall, and got myself in a better position in the long run.
But now that I am 25+ pds up, I have no more tolerance and leverage for any more weight gain..
You should definitely have your thyroid tested. You have so many signs of low thyroid. That could be the reason you’re struggling with your weight. I know everyone is different, but when I was first put on thyroid medication, 20 lbs. melted off of me in one month. Thankfully, I have a doctor that works with me according to my symptoms, not just what lab numbers say.
It’s so hard to say what could have been, but you may be right. Your body needs what it needs regardless of how it looks. I would think that you need that much because your body’s trying to heal, needing more calories, and you’re giving it just enough to stave off hunger instead of completely healing. You read Gwyn’s article where she talks about this, right? When bingeing is not bingeing? It sounds like that is what your body is trying to go through, but you’re trying to limit it because of the weight gain. Like I said though, get your thyroid testing and get some medication if you need it. That could make all the difference in being able to finally heal yourself completely without gaining anymore weight.
Shoot , 20 pds in a month! Sounds miraculous!
I have read Gwyns article.
I dont even binge as such- just need a steady constant stream of food.
I have questioned myself many times over the years concerning my appetite, and thought:
maybe I just need to learn to live on less!
To this end I tried to take hoodia, or use flavourless calories to suppress appetite (Seth Roberts) , drink lots of green tea, and so on;
but absolutely no luck.
I have tried every diet format under the sun to try and be able to eat less calories and still feel satisfied/non hungry etc.
But in the end – the body wins out! .. all was of no avail..
I dont about thyroid meds;
I suspect my thyroid would be 100% if I had never dieted, and would probably heal given enough food.
I have heard good and bad things about the meds?
It felt miraculous. It’s the only time that weight loss was literally effortless.
Some people only need thyroid medication for a short period of time – a sort of jump start for the thyroid (my mother-in-law went through this). If you truly need it longer than that then you may have permanent thyroid damage which would require long term use anyhow. If you need thyroid medication and don’t take it, it can cause more damage to your body by not taking it. I personally prefer taking the natural thyroid supplement, Armour. I did start with synthroid though, but after reading about people doing better on Armour, I switched. I have been taking thyroid medication for over 20 years and have had no negative side effects. I’ve only been better being on it.
Thanks Emma, I will think on it and research it a bit.
I don’t have many thyroid symptoms, but I do have sensitivity around my lower neck. I hate to have any kind of pressure on it. Is that a sign of anything?
The only way to know for sure is to be tested.
“How about when you have food restricted for nearly all of 30 yrs- to some degree or other! I will be dead before recovery.”
Hahaha, this is what I feel like some days!
Here’s something else I came across on Andrew’s blog, “Fructose (and sucrose) is additionally supportive in that it ? more efficiently than glucose ? stimulates the deiodination of thyroid hormone to its active form, T3. Thus cells throughout the body see a greater exposure to T3, permitting the long-term effects of T3, such as the upregulation of enzymes that control basal thermogenesis (e.g., UCP) and energy production (e.g., cytochrome c oxidase).”
I hadn’t realized that there was a connection between fructose and thyroid function. Hmmm, I’m defnintely going to intentionally increase my fruit/fruit juice consumption and see what happens. I wonder if it would be good to buy granulated fructose to use in place of regular sugar when I sweeten my coffee, etc. I need to look into that. He also mentions that fruit/fruit juice is less likely to cause weight gain than starches. I’m not eliminating starches from my diet, but my increase of fruit/fruit juices will naturally displace some of them. He also said that among the starches, well cooked rice is the least problematic.
Mainly with fructose and glucose etc. , I would pay attention to your body and intuition and eat what feels right?
I tend to eat fairly intuitively in as much as I can (given that I am engineering calories),
and find that my body feels good with certain amounts of sugar and fruit vs starches, and I just trust it and leave it with that!
I have engineered my diet a 100 different times according to different diet theories, trying to achieve some state of health or weight loss;
but found it all came to naught in the end,
and never really found these things to be any more beneficial or even of as of much benefit as just eating what I feel like.
Yes, I agree. Did you see my comment further up? I was wondering if you might miss it since it’s towards the beginning of our conversation. This is the conclusion that I’m coming to.
You probably don’t need to go crazy with processed fructose or anything. Sounds more processed than regular sugar, although I don’t really know. Honey is a good source of fructose.
For what it’s worth, I think fruit juice is an awesome way to get your calories up in a healthy way, and offers plenty of fructose and sucrose if that’s what you’re after. I was a rail growing up and drank tons of OJ (and some apple juice). Drank it with every meal, except dinner when my mom generally made me drink milk, and several glasses of juice in between meals, too. I gave it up during college in an effort to “save calories” but added it back in when I was trying to add calories again! (I think it’s preferable to adding tons of fat to everything you eat – much less filling)
And to add to the previous comments, I do think it depends on your own preferences. I am more of a carb-lover – although I definitely need some fat, and love things like cheese, I feel sick adding a ton of fat to my food. But some people might rather load on the cream.
I’m learning not to override my natural inclinations. For whatever reason, in my mind I equated all foods being equal to needing to eat them equally as well. I realize now that knowing food is equal does not mean you need to eat them equally. I think a big part of the reason that I’ve been stuck in that thinking is because in the back of my mind I did not want to be seen as fat phobic, nor do I want others to think that I’m on a “low fat diet” because I really don’t have a problem with fat. I especially don’t like the idea of being associated with being fat phobic because I know someone who is fat phobic and it annoys me to no end because the reasoning behind her fear is just plain wrong.
I just needed to accept that, for me, I feel better eating lower fat, not because of what anyone else thinks but because of how I physically feel. In the last couple of days I realized that I still wasn’t eating according to what makes me feel best but according to external cues…still. It has been so hard to get nutrition and diet information out of my head.
That’s why I decided that I needed to forget everything I’ve learned, including Matt’s information, and go back in my mind to a time that I ate without any thought to what I was putting in my mouth and simply ate instinctively. For me, that’s my childhood and what I mostly ate was carbs. I loved bread in any form and tortillas. I have always preferred beans burritos over meat burritos. I was the kid that cut every speck of fat off her piece of meat before eating it. I have always preferred a breakfast of carb based foods over a protein/fat based breakfast. I always passed on the whipped cream. Even now I pass on the whipped cream in most cases except when my head gets in the way and I tell myself I should have it for the extra calories. Love beans and rice. I’ve never been a huge cheese fan, but I do love blue cheeses. My favorite ways of eating fat almost always includes a lot of carbs with it – butter on bread, especially cinnamon and sugar toast, ice cream, homemade cookies, buttered potatoes or potatoes cooked in fat as long as they aren’t too greasy (hash browns, home fries, french fries, etc.). I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
Your comment made me smile Emma
“I always passed on the whipped cream”
Whipped cream has been one of my favourites ever since childhood.
If fact I dont consider a cake or a pudding worth eating without whipped cream!
How different we all are.
I agree. The more I thought about it, the less I’m inclined to get granulated fructose. With the increase in fruit/fruit juice and with table sugar being half fructose, that should be plenty.
I have only counted calories once and it was so depressing because I didn’t lose any weight. This is why I am drawn to the healing of metabolism. However, I am afraid to increase my eating in order to reach an unknown point where it allows me to suddenly lose weight because my metabolism is healed. It is darned uncomfortable to gain even 10 lbs when you are not in ideal shape. It is so mentally stressful to be fat beyond what you think is ok. It is a battle to allow that. How do you do it? I do not count calories, and I eat what I want, but I am so unhappy when 12 turns to 14 that I don’t think it’s a good thing. Is my mind the thing that is holding me back from a healthy metabolism? Curious…
I dont know-
I have never been able to encompass weight gain.
It is traumatic for me.
Maybe someone else has some words of wisdom
Gosh, Laura, we all struggle with the weight gain part of healing our metabolism. I think you have to decide that you’re okay with it and enter the healing process knowing that weight gain is just part of the process, otherwise it can be nearly impossible to do. But, remember, most people who are not starting out being underweight only gain a few pounds, not 30+ pounds. Some do, yes, but not most. If you click on my name it will take you to my blog where I’ve compiled information on this issue.
Will do Emma W. thx:)
Yeah, I think there’s probably truth to what you’re saying. But then, if you’re in hibernation mode, probably a lot of your calorie intake is going to fat storage, so if you’re increasing it, maybe you’ll end up storing more fat. I don’t know what the exact science is, but I know that when I’m sitting around like a lump on a log for extended periods, I get a little thick around the middle. Calories in-calores out is the most obvious part of it, but I absolutely think there’s way more to it than that.
Yea its definitely probably not as specific as a “human hibernation-mode”. Probably a more general thing, in that humans who do are sedentary are more likely to indulge in “x-y-z” behaviors, not to mention genetic and pre-natal factors. There’s also a lot to be said for the social isolation that t.v. and computers are facilitating. I know from personal experience that not being around people is a huge stressor, albeit an unconscious one at times.
“… what then would be the cause of a sedentary person being fatter, on average, than a mobile person?”
Likely something deeply to do with the astonishingly under-researched lymphatic system.
Lucky me, my husband does help around the house, just like I love working outside with him. We have found, after a lot of years, that the house being super clean isn’t quite as important and not fighting about who does what and who doesn’t.
Love this blog and this post really had some great comments.
Sounds good, Becky!
This was good for generating comments but beyond that it’s pointless. More sedentarism=obesity nonsense.
Sorry Johnny. I thought it was worth writing about because women were really pissed about it. I thought it might do some good to shed light on it from a less indignant perspective. But I dunno, I think increased screen time and more mindless sitting around in general is certainly a piece of the puzzle, at least for most of us. And even if you don’t think sitting around on the computer can increase your weight, it is interesting to see some actual numbers reflecting how we spend our time and how it’s changed.
It’s ok. It wasn’t. It doesn’t. It’s not. Yes, that is.
A lot of straw man arguments being raised:
1) That feminists want women to be EXACTLY like men. Well, “feminism” is a broad category, however, I don’t see Julia or anybody else here promoting the idea that men and women have to be exactly the same. It is fair to say that especially among SOME first wave feminists there might have been that idea. It may linger in some circles. However, I don’t see anybody here touting the idea.
2) Somebody posted a video on male disposability. Haven’t seen anybody on here advancing that idea.
3) In addition, I haven’t seen anybody ON HERE attacking those women who prefer to assume more traditional gender roles, like being a housewife. I also haven’t seen anyone on here attacking what might be called the protocols of seduction. BTW, the Real Amy, I open doors for my dates. I don’t think anybody here has attacked displays of chivalry.
People have put forth the INCREDIBLY RADICAL idea that maybe men should help out with the housework. What’s so wrong with that? Nowadays, in many households both partners have to work jobs. Yet, the woman, in such cases, is still expected to do the bulk of the housework. Look, if there is truly a division of labor and the man happens to be good at handy work, fine. However, in my experience, that’s rarely the case anymore, at least in urban and suburban households.
Other than that, I put forward the seditious statement that women have not always (and in some cases still don’t) had equal rights as regards eduction, jobs, political institutions and the legal system. Furthermore, I put forward the outlandish idea that the feminist movement, while not perfect, had been key in improving upon those disparities.
That’s about it. So I see some of you attacking arguments that have not even been made.
Julia Gumm, as usual, you wrote a nice article and hope that you will write many more in the future.
Yeah, I’m pretty mystified. I wrote this thing thinking that I’d be attacked for promoting such an ANTI-feminist piece. I’m telling women they should consider doing more housework for chrissakes! I’m not sure where the defense of being a homemaker is coming from, because as I think I’ve stated in maybe 80% of my comments, I think homemaking is great and if ladies wanna stick to it, superb. But uh, not all of us do. And every married woman I know is stressed out because their husband doesn’t help out enough. Even the stay at home moms deserve a break, because their job is all day, every day whereas the working parent clocks in and out and are through. I agree there that women are more stressed out now than they used to be in terms of juggling- but how stressful was it, in a different way, to be Lucy Ricardo and not have the freedom to do anything unless your husband gave you enough in your allowance for it? Good lord! Or how painful it is to not be able to vote? Or how heartbreaking it would be to want to be a scientist or an economist but simply not have that choice because you’re basically under your husbands thumb? Such sadness. Feminism was not a mistake. Sure there are downsides, sure there are flaws. All freedom fights have their extremists, but that the fight even starts proves there is unrest. Didn’t it make more sense for the American colonies to just stay under British control? I mean really, what was so wonderful about that awful messy Revolutionary war? Wasn’t the traditional model working just fine?
Progress is messy and there will be growing pains. But that it happens at all is proof that people wish it to, not that a few loud mouthed women are successfully forcing their will on unwitting men across the country, forcing them to scrub the toilet.
I’ve been quite surprised at some of the comments too. Although I shouldn’t be, they are very similar to what I’ve heard in real life. Many people are quite defensive whenever gender relations or anything feminist like is raised. I think what this can sometimes come down to that old saying – ignorance is bliss. Not many people want some upstart(s) indirectly telling them perhaps the person they love and care about could be unconsciously taking advantage of them due to some invisible force (patriarchy) that has been around forever (so it must be good – why go changing now?). Or that maybe their choices in life were not completely their own (for some). As someone said to me once, “don’t be planting those seeds in my head!”. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch (literally).
Julia – I’ve enjoyed the debate but the article itself was great and has really got me thinking about what my general, daily activity is. And it’s horrifyingly poor. It’s really bad. I timed myself yesterday and between work and home, I spent about 6 hours in front of a screen of some sort. I was horrified. So today I’m aiming to spend 5:45 mins in front of a screen. I’m sweating and tremblilng just thinking about cutting back…..
Hmm. I’m about to say something incredibly politically incorrect.
If a man’s woman is that stressed out about chores, then I’m guessing that he’s not getting her off in the bedroom.
Think about this. Why is the common desire for women to marry doctors? Money? Nope. Community standing? Nope.
Here’s why. Back in the day, women would go to doctors to get orgasms.
So the secret to a happy woman is not doing chores for her, although, as a real man, you should pull your damn weight! Its getting her off. In my experience, if you are good at that, other stuff can slide now and then.
Julia, do women and men everywhere a favor and write an article that explains the healthiness of the female orgasm and help clueless men figure out how to give them. Pretty sure you might just bring about world peace…
Yeah, that’s funny. Manual orgasm was the prescribed treatment for the “hysterical females” of yore. Poor girls. I have no doubt that the lack of skill a sorry amount of dudes display in the bedroom contributes to women’s frustration and even things like IBS and Fibromyalgia. BUT, taking the time to bring a woman to climax does not preclude a man from his responsibilities. Nothing ruins the fuzzy cloud of bliss more than the trash overflowing AGAIN.
That could be a pretty cool article to write, though.
Lol, good sex does fix many a thing in relationships!
Any chance of getting a forum going on this site? I’m loving the discussion in the comments, but it is so difficult to search through and check on response or search through the topic one is interested in. Just hoping….. Thanks :)
yup – a forum would be great!!
Yes, where is this forum I have been waiting for? I need to start a discussion for articles I am hoping you will write. At the top of my list is a request for an article on Munchhausen syndrome and why it is known specifically to afflict nurses. I have some really good comments planned!
I just want to apologize for the crassness of my words yesterday. It was cloudy and rainy and I was missing the sunshine we are having today in Reseda. A better excuse would be that I get my tail kicked by the biggest wuss around and it just makes me miserable. Hats off to you Julia, I disagree with most of what you say but you got talent.
It’s all good. Thanks.
Johnny, Daniel was from Reseda. That’s why Ali’s parents looked down on him. Johnny was a country club kid from Ali’s hood. Can’t even remember where you grew up? I suspect a fraud is afoot.
I need a wife. Then I wouldn’t have to do any of the housework. Would give me more time for everything else I’d rather do.
You mean you need a housemaid, right? A wife would not appreciate doing all the housework while you spent time doing any and every other thing you wish.
Somebody may have already said this, but I wonder if there’s a correlation with, something along the lines of: “People who keep their homes clean are more likely to also keep their lives, minds, and lifestyles clean and well-lived, more stress-free, etc”.
study makes sense .. all the cumulative little acts lead up to energy expenditure – fitness. I have a very large friend who had the fattest arms I have ever seen – I would wonder how that came to be till I saw that the doors on her van were automatic. She didnt even have to open her own van door! When you think of the cumulative small energy spikes that opening a van door at least 4 times a day every day for 10 years entails, am no longer surprised at her arms. Housework must be the same way.
I’m sure you are partly joking…but I have to say I have fat arms and I do tons of lifting of heavy things and am generally active. Even when I am thinner my upper arms are much thicker than average. We all carry our weight a little differently. I think the bestselling Honda Odyssey has those click open sliding doors. A lot of my really thin-armed acquaintances have those.
Thank God feminism is in a decline. Next thing these women will be saying that maternal instinct is a form of mental illness! Even now many women are claiming it does not exist. Let me fill you in here: Keeping a clean home is a form of “nesting”. Women are now in complete separation of self. They walk, talk, dress and do their best to emulate men. If women want to work, fine. They want equal rights and pay? No problem. But would someone please tell me why their threw out their God given beauty, maternal instinct and sweetness when they acquired these rights? Why are they so angry and bitter and go around proudly boasting that there homes are a disgusting cesspool of filth? As if this is not enough these “feminsts” berate and ridicule women who keep clean homes, understand the most basic points of hospitality: (Offer a guest in their home a refreshment? Unheard of!) and seem to be a hugh factor in the decline in our civilization. Ever listen to a woman laugh these days? More like choking on a piece of food. These sad women regard me with either awe or derision when they meet me as their husbands and boyfriends are in absolute shock. Their faces go all dopey as if they were never treated kindly be a woman. So sad.
Man, you probably don’t want to hear my laugh. No god-given sweetness there.