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[P]
Is It Time to Redefine a Women's Role - One More Time?

By HeatherM in Culture
Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:03:02 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.  While I was in school feminism transformed the average suburban street from a row of stay-at-home moms to a sea of deserted houses with an island or two of daytime humanity.  Now that I myself am a mother, I wonder whether perhaps there's another - better - option.  I'm not anti-feminist.  I'm just a 21st century feminist.


There is an incorrect view held by many that until the 1960s all women everywhere always stayed home and looked after their children.  The historical fact of the matter is that needing a dual income to raise a family has been true for most of the history of civilisation.  In agrarian societies it took both a husband and wife (and, lets face it, any child big enough to help) to be able to survive.  And when they weren't out slopping the pigs, milking the cows, or harvesting the wheat, they were inside without all of our current labour-saving devices making food, cleaning clothes, and looking after the children - who were necessary for the whole operation to work.

When the bourgeousie or middle class began to emerge - the shop-keepers, peddlers, creditors and other "middle-men" - they brought these societal expectations along with them.  Wives minded the store along with the children, mended while their husbands bartered, and continued to look after the day-to-day running of their homes.

The industrial revolution marked the first grand exodus of women to work outside their homes - the first time they were "seperated" from their household duties to do their work.  Many would argue that this was a horribly degrading experience for all involved.  Because of their poverty, women and their children aged five and up often worked alongside them, or stayed home to tend the younger children, whether in a factory or coal mine.  The treatment they received was appalling.

Apart from the aristocracy, who were always pampered more than was likely good for them, women have, traditionally, therefore been involved in work outside the home.  It wasn't until after World War II, with the large number of returning soldiers who were given free university tuition and low-cost housing, that the movement to mother's staying at home day in and day out without other work to keep them busy truly had the opportunity to rise - and even then it was still limited to the middle class.  Not only were they at home, but as the labour-saving devices developed before and during the war became more readily available, women had an increasing amount of time on their hands.  Time which was often used  for volunteerism and other pursuits which had hitherto been only within the grasp of the aristocracy.

Second-wave feminism came as a reaction to feeling "fenced in", or relegated to a small and seemingly insignificant role in society.  Women had brains in their heads and wanted to prove that by the same means that their husbands did every day - with a job that paid in terms of both financial and societal recognition.  The dividends of sloppy-milk kisses seemed insignificant in comparison.  

This is where I came in.  When I first started school many of my friends in our small town had stay-at-home mothers.  A few didn't.  Three years later in the suburbs most of my friends' mothers worked - at least part time - once their children had entered school full time.  Today I am the only stay-at-home mother in a complex of 105 townhouses who isn't a daycare provider or on maternity leave.  And the strangest thing is the number of my friends who say they wish they could stay home like I do - but they couldn't possibly afford it - who have bigger houses, fancier cars, daycare fees for their children and take-out bills bigger than my mortgage!

So it would appear that something isn't working.  Obviously women have always had to balance work and home (which is, after all, work of its own).  As we saw, they've been doing it from the dawn of time.  Women and men have different skills and abilities, and we need each other to effectively manage in our families, work environments and society as a whole.  The difference, however, is that instead of children and house tasks having a place to fit into the whole picture of work, as was the case in agrarian or early bourgeousie times, children are now bustled off to daycare or Nana's, the housework is relegated to a housecleaner (or just doesn't happen) and the cooking is left to Joe's Pizza down the street.  What we are left with is children who are raised by strangers, marital relationships which are taxed for lack of time and attention, and homes that - however large and inviting they are - stay empty ten hours a day.  And I think its time that we as a society stopped to think about this carefully.  Is the persuance of materialistic and personal achievement, at the sake of family time and attention, really worth the price?

There is a growing trend today that seems, on the surface, to solve this problem well.  One parent - either parent - chooses to work from home around their children's naps, playdates and other activities so that they can maintain a degree of their materialistic freedom and personal career satisfaction without wondering who the two towering teenagers are in front of them and where the cute toddlers went to.  Speaking from experience, if earning money is part of this goal, then this is likely to send many people into a panic attack.  Its one thing to harvest wheat with Suzy beside you talking your ear off, and another to try to write an article, develop computer software, or liase with clients over the phone or in person!

What other choice do we have?  I'm going to be really radical.  We need to lower our expectations - for ourselves, for our families and for our society - from a materialistic standpoint.  That means four things.  First, take a really good look at what you spend money on and decide which things you need (basic groceries, a roof over your head, some form of transportation, the odd meal out and camping vacation) and which things are extra (take-out three nights a week, a 3,000 sq ft home, the Beamer or Freelander you've been aiming for, the yearly trips to Disneyworld).  Write down a list.  

Then we must set about ridding ourselves of the extras.  While I'm on my radical bent sell the house and downgrade - sell a bunch of the expensive and hard-to-maintain furniture, too, as it won't fit in your new place!  Settle for public transit, or an older, reliable, basic car.  Look into free or inexpensive forms of entertainment - use your community centre instead of the private gym, go hiking, enjoy community festivals, find a family camp, enjoy a local beach or campground.  

Next, pare down on as much work as you possibly can, based on your new financial requirements.  That means if two wage-earners are working 50 hours a week and can cut their hours in half maybe one person quits and finds some work-related persuit that will take up 10 hours a week.  Or maybe you both scale down by 15 hours a week.  Ensure that each of you achieves the mental workout you need somehow without working beyond that threshold unless it is still financially necessary.

Finally, don't fill up that newly acquired time with more gadgets, priorities, commitments or scheduled activities.  Instead, invest it in your marriage.  Invest it in your kids.  Learn to see your "time" investment as you see your financial investments - a vital aspect of planning for unforeseen future events - like the day your daughter first gets asked out on a date, the day your wife is in a car accident, the day your husband finds out he has terminal cancer.  This isn't about being morbid, its about making decisions now that will save you anger, resentment, worry, guilt and pain down the road.

Do I think this will solve all of society's ills?  Not a chance.  First of all, I don't have any assumptions that everyone will follow my suggestions.  But I do think that the more each of us make a time investment in our families and our children the more we will see an improvement within that sphere.  Feminism pushed for room for women to participate in the "men's world" (usually assumed to be white-collar work) without always adequately appreciating the importance of "women's work".  Now the pendulum has swung too far.  We're at the other end of the spectrum feeling once again as if we have no choice in what we as women do with our time once we have completed our maternity leave.  We've exchanged one box for another.  Its time to break out of the box.

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Poll
Do you feel you have enough time in your day to adequately meet your family's "time investment" needs?
o Yes 29%
o Some Days 31%
o No 39%

Votes: 102
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by HeatherM


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Is It Time to Redefine a Women's Role - One More Time? | 671 comments (627 topical, 44 editorial, 0 hidden)
Large amounts of money are not needed... (3.83 / 12) (#3)
by reklaw on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:12:56 PM EST

... but you don't need to "go without" all that much.  I can never understand people whose aspirations appear to be big house, expensive car, etc. to the detriment of spending time with their family or, indeed, anyone else.  What do you plan to do with your big house and expensive car?  Sit in them and feel superior?  It's sad if you consider anything less than all-out materialism to be a radical idea somehow.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't do the things that make you happy.  You like Disneyland?  Go there.  You enjoy going to the cinema?  Go on then.  Just don't live outside your means and you'll be fine.  Spend more on things you want and less on things that you believe you somehow need.

Life is entirely pointless, you know -- might as well enjoy it.  Even if you're religious, the point of life certainly isn't to amass wealth.

Last things: this is a men and women's problem, so I don't see how it's really much to do with feminism.  Also, your "invest" language doesn't sit well with me for some reason -- people aren't bank accounts, and there's no point in using something like 'number of hours spent with family per week' as a measure of yourself any more than there is in using money.  It's all about <i>feelings</i>, sappy as that may sound.
-

So it's a choice between materialism and hedonism? (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by Eater on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:27:45 PM EST

I think we already had an article about that... not sure if it made it out of the submission bin though.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, and given the choice... (none / 0) (#39)
by reklaw on Sun May 25, 2003 at 09:37:55 PM EST

...I choose hedonism any day.  An article about them would be interesting, though.
-
[ Parent ]
Eudaimonism is still the best. (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by Kuranes on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:18:09 AM EST

Hedone = Lust of the moment Eudaimonia = A well-lived life


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
HUH??? (none / 0) (#203)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:38:17 PM EST

Even if you're religious, the point of life certainly isn't to amass wealth.

What religion are you talking about? MY bible, teh Christian bible, speaks AGAINST amassing wealth.

It says that it is easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven. Jesus, when asked by a rich man how to get to heaven, told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor.

The only religions that I know of that worship mammon is Satanism and Athiesm.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Um (none / 0) (#205)
by reklaw on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:43:09 PM EST

Maybe my phrasing threw you. I meant for it to be read like this:

"Life is entirely pointless, you know -- might as well enjoy it. Even if you're religious [and so feel that life does have a point], [that] point... certainly isn't to amass wealth."
-
[ Parent ]

that makes much more sense. [nt] (none / 0) (#269)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:18:32 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Really .... (2.00 / 1) (#454)
by ceallach on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:43:47 AM EST

It makes exactly the same sense. It is the same sentence slightly expanded, for those unable to read simple english.

--
More smoke! The mirrors aren't working!!!
[ Parent ]

No, actually (none / 0) (#583)
by mcgrew on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:09:57 PM EST

you said the opposite of whet you meant to.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

[ot] Don't forget ... (none / 0) (#344)
by Repton on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:15:52 PM EST

...the Yen Buddhists!

--
Repton.
They say that only an experienced wizard can do the tengu shuffle..
[ Parent ]

It's true... (none / 0) (#489)
by baron samedi on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:32:34 PM EST

But I also dislike the assumption that somehow because I'm an atheist, I am materialistic. This is not the case. Most of the people I know are at the very least agnostic, many are outright atheists like me, and we all understand the desire to live simply, unburdened by materialistic greed.

I may be an atheist, but I believe that Christ had the correct message, as did also the Buddha, and Muhammad. All espoused the authentic life, which always rejects materialism ( in the consumer sense, not the philosphical sense).


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

It would have made more sense (none / 0) (#581)
by mcgrew on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:05:53 PM EST

if you had said "even if you're not religious".

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

HUH, indeed (4.00 / 1) (#619)
by MrMikey on Sat May 31, 2003 at 10:11:20 AM EST

The only religions that I know of that worship mammon is Satanism and Athiesm.
At the risk of feeding a troll,
  1. I don't believe in leprechauns... does that disbelief constitute a religion? I see no evidence to support the assertion that a Deity or Deities exist, or have ever existed, nor do need to assert the existence of a Deity to understand the workings of Reality. That's it... no religion there.

  2. The only thing Atheists have in common is a lack of a belief in a Deity. As for Mammon, I take it you haven't checked out how well your local TV evangelist is living these days. There's may be a mote in my eye, but there seems to be a hell of a sequoia in yours. You should see a doctor about that.
Pretentious religionists bug the crap out of me.

[ Parent ]
Insteaad of composing this screed... (2.09 / 21) (#7)
by ti dave on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:17:54 PM EST

don't fill up that newly acquired time with more gadgets, priorities, commitments or scheduled activities. Instead, invest it in your marriage. Invest it in your kids.

You ought to be spending this time taking care of your kid, or making a sandwich for your man.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm

Off-topic? I think not. (3.00 / 3) (#9)
by ti dave on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:25:32 PM EST

Here we go with the "I hate your opinion, therefore I must rate you down" nonsense.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

you should be making a sandwich for goatse.cx (1.25 / 8) (#57)
by turmeric on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:19:18 PM EST

saddam hussein gassed his own people

[ Parent ]
Thanks for your suggestion, but... (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by ti dave on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:39:56 PM EST

I think I will instead direct my wife to incorporate you in a tasty bowl of Nasi Goreng.

Don't worry, the recipe only calls for 1/2 of a teaspoon of you.
You should have plenty of vitriol remaining for the remainder of the evening's posts.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

no (1.00 / 2) (#163)
by freya on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:56:31 PM EST

he didn't, stop making sht up turmeric

[ Parent ]
o man (1.50 / 4) (#161)
by freya on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:55:37 PM EST

i'm going to kill you

[ Parent ]
Oh Man... (3.00 / 1) (#213)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:53:07 PM EST

That's now my back-up .sig

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Reality Check (4.50 / 2) (#185)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:30:34 PM EST

The reason I did this on a Sunday afternoon, and didn't have the chance to check on the wonderful assortment of responses I received until Monday afternoon is because my family does come before my leisure persuits.  Sunday afternoon, however, is a time when my daughter rests quietly and my husband finds himself engrossed in a book.  Since then, I've spent my time making supper, doing dishes, putting my daughter to bed, making breakfast, doing laundry, buying groceries, making lunch ...

Need I go on?  Its a full-time job, and even full-time jobs get a rest once in a while.
HeatherM
[ Parent ]

Well done. (2.50 / 2) (#215)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:56:43 PM EST

I'm pleased to find that you've your domestic affairs in order.
Perhaps there is still hope for the future of America.

Carry on then.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

+1FP... (2.83 / 6) (#14)
by toulouse on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:35:28 PM EST

...because it will give the majority of this site's userbase paroxysms of one kind or another.


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


+1 FP... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by Sir Altoid on Sun May 25, 2003 at 10:08:37 PM EST

...for the same reason as above. "Paroxysms" is a fun word.

There's no such thing as a stupid question. There *are*, however, stupid people without answers.
[ Parent ]

And that will be a fun thing... (none / 0) (#46)
by djeaux on Sun May 25, 2003 at 10:48:06 PM EST

Yes, the article drifted from feminism to living within one's means. But that's not bad.

I kinda agree with another comment that said the author had a lot of guts to post this topic in a den of caffeinated, involuntarily celibate geeks. And it will definitely stir the pot & elicit comments yea, nay & indifferent. That's what I perceive K5 to be about.

+1 FP.

djeaux
"Obviously, I'm not an IBM computer any more than I'm an ashtray." (Bob Dylan)
[ Parent ]

the pendulum has swung too far ? (4.24 / 25) (#16)
by zzzeek on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:44:59 PM EST

last I heard, women are still appreciated far more for their boobs than their brains, abortion rights remain teeteringly close to being revoked in the USA, we have never had a female president, women are still portrayed as brainless sex objects from internet porn to hollywood movies to britney spears to "bitchez and hoes" in hip hop to every pervasive edge of popular culture, we have exactly one female CEO in the fortune 500, the goals and values of even mainstream feminism are roundly mocked and laughed at with such derogatory terms as "feminazi", courageous behavior is assigned to "having balls" and cowardice is assigned to being "a pussy", and, has the pendulum really swung too far ?  or are you just doing OK with the status quo and thus seeking to alleviate the uncomfortable contradictions and ambiguity presented by feminism ?

i would rather see the sphere of feminist thought expanded to become much more thoughtful and inclusive of everyone, including positive roles for men and the wide variety of sexualities that exist, rather than saying, "we're done with feminism, it did its thing now we can forget about it".  because that is just wrong.


Oh stop. (3.62 / 8) (#21)
by Brian Deacon on Sun May 25, 2003 at 06:31:40 PM EST

i would rather see the sphere of feminist thought expanded to become much more thoughtful and inclusive of everyone

Everyone that agrees with you?


Brian
---
Vote for the whacko. It's important.
[ Parent ]
no, like, to include men and give them a place (4.00 / 5) (#74)
by zzzeek on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:07:11 AM EST

the male role within many (but not all) schools of feminism seems to be totally self-hating (like porn? youre a rapist.  like to check out girls in bars ?  youre a rapist.), and generally the question "how should men behave" is left largely unanswered, as womens studies departments are pervaded by lesbians who arent particulary concerned with what role men should have (other than to be sperm donors), with the general rule of "they suck, dont bother with them" being as far as they go.

perhaps it is time for a new field of study called "genderism" which seeks to define a system of gender relationships for both women AND men, straight/lesbian/homosexual/queer/whatever.

[ Parent ]

Many European universities have Gender Studies /nt (4.25 / 4) (#114)
by Kuranes on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:14:19 AM EST




Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Do American universities not? [n/t] (4.00 / 2) (#242)
by Homburg on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:31:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
most of them have women's studies (5.00 / 2) (#426)
by cyclopatra on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:56:25 AM EST

some of them have gender studies, but not many that I've seen.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

MUST START MEN'S STUDIES DEPT. (5.00 / 3) (#537)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:44:29 PM EST

yeah, thank you for giving me a great thing to bitch about on campus.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately (4.00 / 1) (#152)
by losthalo on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:37:14 PM EST

You can't engineer this. You may be able to influence the process, but that's about it.

(Losthalo)

[ Parent ]
thatd be a good article (4.66 / 3) (#58)
by turmeric on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:20:47 PM EST

in the queue. rather than anothe fucking matrix review.

[ Parent ]
how about... (none / 0) (#230)
by zzzeek on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:45:11 PM EST

"Living in the Patriarchy:  The Wool thats been Pulled Over Your Eyes".

[ Parent ]
Why shouldn't abortion rights be revoked? (5.00 / 6) (#157)
by dasunt on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:48:57 PM EST

First of all, if you're going to call me a troll simply because I disagree with your or have a controversial viewpoint then yes, by that definition, I'm happily wallowing in trolldom. You can safely skip the rest of this comment and start preparing your flames.

I also want to state that yes, I do have a penis, and I cannot pass a baby through my loins. Some people thus believe that I cannot have an opinion on abortion (unless its "abortion: legal anyplace, anytime"). If that is your belief, then you can also safely skip the rest of this, and start preparing your flames.

Abortion is a big mess, especially from an equal rights perspective. Consider this: One half of the couple has no say in the abortion issue, yet, if the baby is brought to term, that half of the couple has a legal obligation to support that child. Nowhere in the pregnancy can he sign away his rights and responsibility towards his offspring. Only one half of the couple has the power to decide the fate of both of them.

Why can't the man walk into a courthouse, put up half the cost of an abortion, and sign away his rights and responsibilities to the child? After all, don't we believe in equal rights? Sure, men have vasectomies and condoms for birth control, but women have the pill, IUDs, diaphragms, sponges, and other birth control methods. Shouldn't the responsibility to avoid an unwanted pregnancy fall upon both of them?

Now, on the other side of the coin, what if the man wants the child, and the woman does not. Under present day law, the woman has full control to abort, and the man has no control (even although the consequences will affect the rest of his life either way). Is there a good solution to this problem? Not that I can think of. Still doesn't mean that there isn't a problem.

Feminism does not seem to be concerned with these issues. The more familiar I become with what is called Feminism, the more convinced that feminism is less and less about "equal rights, equal possibilities, equal opportunities", which is what I believe in.

Just my (very opinionated) $.02

~ Das



[ Parent ]
i am concerned about that issue (4.66 / 3) (#173)
by freya on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:08:46 PM EST

and i believe that it's close to thr root of why men started bashing on women. we (females) are the ones who can carry the child to term, we are the ones who can choose who the father will be...so if men put women in a dependent position then they can attempt to gain more sway over whether or not their genes will be passed on.

the abortion issue is very loaded. i strongly believe all women should have safe and affordable access up through the third trimester (not sure yet how i feel about after that). i also feel that for a man to have no say in this process is a bit one-sided. it goes the other way too. my friend is a father now, a great father, but didn't have a say in the final decision. complicated to say the least.

[ Parent ]

or (none / 0) (#310)
by freya on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:40:47 PM EST

first trimester...

[ Parent ]
thats whats called, a 'penile agreement' :) [nt] (none / 0) (#228)
by zzzeek on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:41:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Still not far enough (none / 0) (#232)
by NMSpaz on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:48:36 PM EST

That still doesn't provide equality for men. That will just cause women not to tell men that they are the father until after the child is born, when it is too late for the man to renounce responsibility. Instead, she should have to secure legal consent before birth, or face having his financial obligations automatically waived. Of course, even this doesn't provide equality for the other side of the equation-- when he wants a child and she unilaterally decides against it. I don't see a good way to resolve that conflict in a way that is still fair to women, however.

[ Parent ]
Men don't have rights to women's bodies (3.00 / 1) (#656)
by wickedripeplum on Fri Jun 06, 2003 at 03:04:59 PM EST

Yes, the abortion issue will never be "fair" to men. But many men forget that it's not about the baby, it's about a woman's body. Just as women have no right to require men to have vasectomies or any other medical procedure, or to prevent the same, men cannot control what women do to their bodies.

The reality is that abortion has and will always exist, whether it's legal or not. Legalization just helps make it safe for all women. Abortion is not about fairness, and that should have nothing to do with whether it is legal or not.

[ Parent ]
i agree. (none / 0) (#166)
by freya on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:00:05 PM EST

i am STILL raging pissed off about these issues, yet still i come back to a sinead's germaine (on her fourth album) "the opposite to patriarchy is not matriarchy, but fraternity"

[ Parent ]
May I point out ... (5.00 / 3) (#183)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:27:01 PM EST

that a large percentage of this responsibility may lie on the shoulders of the WOMEN who are still acting this way?  After all, its women who act in the Hollywood movies where they are portrayed as dumb, ditzy, and sex objects.  And perhaps the reason that women aren't by in large CEOs of fortune 500 companies is that even those in the rat race have drawn the line at being at the office 16 hours a day, 6 days a week.

And yes, I do think that the pendulum has swung too far.  I think we have managed to obliterate our the whole idea of "choice" in the process to "achieve" and I think that leaves us worse off now than when we started
HeatherM
[ Parent ]

Sort of (4.00 / 3) (#191)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:52:38 PM EST

It's easy to say that actresses (and I'm close friends with quite a few) should not choose to take on roles where they're going to be portraying women negatively. At the same time, actresses need to work and if the only parts being scripted for them (or at least the vast majority of parts) involve such depictions, then they're losing their ability and freedom to choose how to portray themselves.

I don't claim to have a solution to this problem (I'm working on it). If anyone has one already, let me know.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

women/men perpetuate it (4.50 / 2) (#224)
by zzzeek on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:36:18 PM EST

if you have studied any feminism, youd know its very well accepted that women assume a large portion of responsibility for the gender standards that exist today.  its not as much a "women are victims" thing so much as, "heres this big screwed up gendered culture we have", which just happens to have women placed/put themselves into a lesser position than men. Theoretically, they would then work out how to push the cultural situation  towards somehting better.  I disagree with the current "feminist" ideas on making it better since I have seen little or no realistic role for men.  

Ive asked this question ("how should I, as a man, fit myself into a world that lives up to current feminist ideals?") to at least four women who majored in women's studies (some who are lesbians, others bisexual or "queer") and they sort of shrug their shoulders when you ask them what should men really be doing...its like they havent gotten up to it yet, theres a lack of interest in the issue.  

A field of gendered studies that hasnt even begun to figure out what to do with men, to me, has not "swung too far"; rather, its still very new and just getting started.

[ Parent ]

Boobs and brains? (4.75 / 4) (#199)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:25:38 PM EST

Yeah, and you, sir, are going to get a date based on YOUR brain? Not fraggin' likely! It goes both ways. Women are after "hunks". They don't want a skinny nerd or a fat boy no matter how smart he is. Unless, of course, he's dressed in a $4,000 suit. Then money rules.

You imply that all men are shallow and no woman are, when fact is, both men and women, with some few exceptions, are shallow.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

maybe.... (none / 0) (#220)
by zzzeek on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:23:46 PM EST

you need to move somehwere else.  i live in new york city and the "hunk" types are laughed at here.  there IS a huge value placed on being tall (and often lanky), but even that is not a requirement.  being smart is like, #1 for most women here.

[ Parent ]
So how.. (5.00 / 2) (#268)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:17:31 PM EST

How are they supposed to be able to tell how smart you are? By your thick glasses?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

where have you been? bitch (none / 0) (#370)
by auraslip on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:28:07 PM EST


124
[ Parent ]
Factual Inaccuracy (4.00 / 1) (#555)
by nathanm on Wed May 28, 2003 at 04:02:35 AM EST

we have exactly one female CEO in the fortune 500
Actually there are 6 women CEOs in the Fortune 500. Although 6 isn't much greater than 1, your statement is definitely not exact. While I don't think women will ever come close to 50% of CEOs, the current numbers aren't any lower than should be expected. Women weren't in hardly any management positions until the last few decades. It takes years for someone to make it to the top of a large corporation. The average Fortune 500 CEO is in their mid-50s. The women who are now CEOs are mainly fast-burners who aren't even 50 yet. In the next decade, as more women in management reach the higher levels of seniority, it wouldn't surprise me if 10-20% of Fortune 500 CEOs were women.

[ Parent ]
This is obviously a troll (1.31 / 22) (#17)
by BankofNigeria ATM on Sun May 25, 2003 at 05:52:07 PM EST


AIM me at: Nigerian ATM

how is this relevant? (4.25 / 8) (#19)
by Timo Laine on Sun May 25, 2003 at 06:13:48 PM EST

I think this is the main point in the story:
And the strangest thing is the number of my friends who say they wish they could stay home like I do - but they couldn't possibly afford it - who have bigger houses, fancier cars, daycare fees for their children and take-out bills bigger than my mortgage!
First, those people may be lying: it's not polite to insult the lifestyle choices of others.

Secondly, how is this relevant? The story comes off as horrible nostalgia with no clear purpose. So there are women who want to stay home? Telling them it's possible to do so is nothing as flamboyant as "redefining a woman's role", it's just practical advice for those who might need it. And not all people need it, because they don't share your initial assumptions. Some people don't want to have children, for example.

It's also funny how you say things like this:

One parent - either parent - chooses to work from home around their children's naps, playdates and other activities so that they can maintain a degree of their materialistic freedom and personal career satisfaction without wondering who the two towering teenagers are in front of them and where the cute toddlers went to.
Either parent? But you were talking about the woman's role! Unless you are implying that this only applies to lesbian couples, mistakes like this leave the impression that there's something more you want to say, but don't want to sound too old-fashioned.

I think you misread some things (5.00 / 1) (#180)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:22:21 PM EST

The piece is relevant and has a purpose, though perhaps if you didn't understand it it wasn't written well enough to project that point.  A woman's role needs to be redefined societally.  We have come to assume that all women will work.  The exceptions to the rule are thought of as lazy, unintelligent, and incapable.  Yes, there is some practical advice in the piece, but the point is to challenge people's assumptions on what we ACTUALLY need and spark some discussion as to how we can give women REAL choice.

Your third point was a misreading.  I was shooting that idea down, as I don't actually think it works.  In this "ideal zone" they say that either parent (male or female) can in fact mind the children and look after their materialistic needs simultaneously.  First of all, I still think that mothers do a better job at motherhood than fathers  AS A GENERAL RULE (it doesn't mean they can't do the job, I just think they can't do it as well), and second there are not enough hours in the day to both look after your children and look after your job.
HeatherM
[ Parent ]

idling (4.50 / 2) (#219)
by Timo Laine on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:23:40 PM EST

I think we both agree that people work too much. All people, not just parents or women. It's sick to assume that only lazy, unintelligent and incapable don't want to work, and you are right to question such ideas. But I think the problem is rather with the excessive admiration of work than with any gender-specific issue. Check out The Idler.

[ Parent ]
Of course! (4.33 / 3) (#225)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:36:35 PM EST

I still think that mothers do a better job at motherhood than fathers

And fathers do a better job at fatherhood than mothers.

This is why we have separate words for these roles.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

thanks ti dave (none / 0) (#466)
by flinxt on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:37:21 AM EST

thank you ;) wonderful comment, i almost think that was revelatory for me. fatherhood and motherhood are not genders. They are roles. \Flinx

[ Parent ]
I think you miswrote some things (4.80 / 10) (#237)
by infinitera on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:01:18 PM EST

This piece is irrelevant and has no purpose, though perhaps if you don't understand that it wasn't edited or researched enough to have a well-supported and made argument. The call of feminists the world over has long been for recognition of the work that women do outside the quantifiable public sphere; it has long been an axiom of of feminists that household labor and childrearing are real jobs that deserve real respect and compensation, and likewise for community-creation tasks without which society would not function. Frankly, this notion that feminism has triumphed is ludicrous. Men are not free to act in caring, emotional ways, and women are not free to act in aggressive ways without getting a social stigma - one that as you say, goes both ways. Men stigmatize women for being successful (in the public, capitalist sphere), and successful women stigmatize those women without careers. It's a vicious circle.It is not however evidence of some perverted 'feminist ideal', as you claim, nor is it supportive of anything except the idea that capitalism and patriarchy go hand and hand, subverting any paradigm-changing notions.

You think women make better caretakers than men? That's a problem you've identified, resulting from the socialization of both in childhood, and one that feminists have long discussed. Women are not inherently nurturing; men are not inherently tough. But for the most part, both are surviving as well as could be expected, given the onslaught of the consumer economy - as others have stated, doing more with less is an unrelated but important point you've made. If we want closer families, richer community life, and the approval of our peers, I don't think that your suggestions are at all adequate. It requires a complete break with the accepted social order, a disbelief in the virtues of hard work, social mobility, and the traditional family. It is this last point of yours that irks me most; the claim that feminism has gone too far. It hasn't gone far enough, as evidenced by your own misconceptions of both itself and its goals. The nuclear family is a deeply oppressive structure, one that perpetuates the injustices which you identify; it helps support the capitalist state through its division of labor and sustenance of the belief that it is you and yours vs. the world. The work traditionally done by women must be fully recognized as real work, compensated, and open to anyone; this is the feminist ideal, and you have done it grievous harm.

[ Parent ]

Roles are real; relationships vs accomplishments (4.00 / 1) (#465)
by OldTigger on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:30:42 AM EST

I'm certain that, on average, mothers are better care-givers and supporters of important relationships.  And fathers are better, on average (though less so), than mothers on accomplishments.  Devoting energy and time even at the expense of relationships, in order to achieve.

Men from Mars, Women from Venus.  Real gender differences.

How to raise the staus of care-giving in a money-based materialistic society?  That is the very much unresolved feminist question -- 'cause average men don't value it.

Reducing materialism is necessary; prolly not sufficient.

(Tax advertising; large tax credit %s for having children?)
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

Not Feminism, but Frugality (4.66 / 18) (#22)
by localroger on Sun May 25, 2003 at 06:44:08 PM EST

Your point isn't about feminism; it's about living within your means. It's about knowing what is important to you and working for that rather than some standard foisted on you by your cow-orkers or the television.

The thing is if you are frugal then both men and women can be free to have a lot of leisure time. The most important thing is to plan your childrearing, so that if you have children at all you have them when you have the means to raise them well, and a number that you can raise well. Beyond that many lifestyle choices can radically reduce the cost of life while maintaining or even increasing its quality.

It's about being very, very careful with debt. I'd never say debt is evil; I used a mortgage to buy my house and I used credit cards to survive during some very bad periods in my life. But at the first available opportunity I paid them off and today at the age of 39 I own my house, two cars, a significant number of toys and trinkets that mean a lot to me, and I don't owe anybody in the world a thin dime.

On the other hand I have never owned a new car, upgraded from gas-guzzling beaters to miserly compacts, GF cooks most of our meals whereas at one time we ate out four times a week, and while our house is very adequate it is in the "poor" part of a wealthy suburb, relatively crime free but modest. And we do not have children.

At any time, even today, you can make choices which will either restrict you in the future or increase your freedom in the future. Usually the latter require that you be a little less extravagant today. But when you live less extravagantly you tend to find that living less extravagantly isn't less fun. It's just different.

I can haz blog!

Amen to that (5.00 / 7) (#31)
by ucblockhead on Sun May 25, 2003 at 08:32:22 PM EST

Loans are for necessities, not luxuries. I'm amazed how willing the average person is to add a 20%, 30%, more surcharge just because they can't wait a year or two.

And yes, one of the keys to happiness is very simply learning to always spend less than you earn. This is true at all income levels. I don't care if you make $500/week or $50,000/week.

I'll probably pay cash for my next car. I'll be able to get a better car that way, in the long term.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Not necessarily. (3.00 / 1) (#297)
by vectro on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:32:37 PM EST

With the stockmarket down, a lot of investors have flocked to corporate bonds. Combined with low interest rates, this has prompted many companies to offer 0% financing on new vehicles. Which means you aren't necessarily saving money by paying cash.

In general, you will only save money by paying cash if the rate at which you can invest the money is less than the rate at which you can borrow.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

0% interest (5.00 / 1) (#551)
by ucblockhead on Wed May 28, 2003 at 01:07:02 AM EST

Just make sure there's no "loan fee". "0% interest" is often more that 0%.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Actually, they are connected (5.00 / 2) (#178)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:14:33 PM EST

As I said in an above reply, the two thoughts are most definitely connected.  Women will not feel they truly have a choice in whether they work or not until we as a society redefine our image of what "enough" is financially.
HeatherM
[ Parent ]
Disagree (5.00 / 6) (#243)
by localroger on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:33:46 PM EST

As I said in an above reply, the two thoughts are most definitely connected.

I must respectfully disagree with this, because...

Women will not feel they truly have a choice in whether they work or not until we as a society redefine our image of what "enough" is financially.

This statement is just as true if you change one word:

People will not feel they truly have a choice in whether they work or not until we as a society redefine our image of what "enough" is financially.

You are focused on a single choice -- whether a married woman works outside of the home. But that is just one of a large number of choices including whether to go to college, whether to defer the career, how many children to have and at what age to have them, where to live, and others all of which cannot even be approached until you address the "enough financially" question.

As with many of those choices, selecting a proper value of "enough financially" simply makes the problem of whether to SAHM or WM irrelevant. On the other hand there are so many things tugging at "enough financially" (including many powerful interests trying to get you to buy things) that no single choice like SAHM/WM can really force you into frugality.

It is the choice to live frugally that makes all these other choices possible. If you decide you cannot live without a new car every two years and a 4,000 sqft house in a gated neighborhood, your hand will be forced at many of those other turns.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Thinking afterwards, fine. Explaining, not. (none / 0) (#556)
by slaida1 on Wed May 28, 2003 at 04:13:23 AM EST

That's what generates articles and thinking along the lines of HeatherM's. She made wrong choices at some point of her life and she won't/can't admit that and consequences from those are such that they won't go away (a child for example). Then what follows is trying afterwards make reality look like that choice was rational. Self deception and annoyed friends when she's trying to explain something that doesn't need explaining.

"I made a kid but I planned it all and gave it a serious thought beforehand. You know, feminism and women's role and stuff.."

OR

"Yeah we were young and stupid and, whoops, look what happened"

Many people are perfectly fine with that latter one but there's always some individuals who can't admit it and start making ripples on any surface(feminism, cultural history,...) they think might have had something to do with their decicions.

Don't get me wrong, I like explanations and reasoning but trying to twist reality just to make poor decisions seem better won't fly. And why am I so sure she don't have better reasons for having a child? Because there are none. Flame away but also try give some good resons for having a child.

[ Parent ]

Nice troll (1.00 / 17) (#24)
by BankofNigeria ATM on Sun May 25, 2003 at 06:55:18 PM EST

You have great potential. I think I recognize you...

1. S 2. V 3. PREP 4. V 5. N 6. PRO 7. N 8. PREP 9. V 10. V 11. V 12. PRO 13. PRO 14. V 15. N 16. V 17. PREP 18. ADV 19. N 20. ADV

Womens role ? (4.00 / 8) (#25)
by blackpaw on Sun May 25, 2003 at 06:55:21 PM EST

In common with a few other posters I'd agree that this could be better summed up as "Spend more time with your kids", which I would agree with

I would really like to see more encouragement for stay at home dads, it would do vastly more for everyones rights (women, kids and men).

My SO is looking for a fulltime professional job so that I can quit work to be a stay at home dad. She's already developed some qualms and worries about being the primary income earner and the one responsible for supporting us. Its interesting.

ONE MORE TIME! (4.00 / 5) (#28)
by tang gnat on Sun May 25, 2003 at 07:45:14 PM EST

One more time
We gonna celebrate
Oh yeah, all right
Don't stop the dancing

Btw your title has "time" in it twice, and that looks yucky.

A woman's role (1.96 / 29) (#29)
by Tex Bigballs on Sun May 25, 2003 at 07:46:37 PM EST

Is sitting on my pole
                    -Socrates

Texballs (1.00 / 2) (#37)
by gombeen man on Sun May 25, 2003 at 09:10:49 PM EST

How did you learn to use a computer, monkey man? Go back to your cave and shut up!

[ Parent ]
here, have a drink (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by turmeric on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:15:49 PM EST

its something that starts with an h...

[ Parent ]
axctulaly socrates prefered slave boys (2.00 / 5) (#54)
by turmeric on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:17:09 PM EST

socrates liked to fuck young boys. young slave boys.

think about that. your intellectual hero would be , in modern days, on alt.sex.incest downloading child porn.

socrates hated women so much he didnt even want to have sex with them.

on the other hand, he loved nothing more than fighting and killing.

i hope you can begin to see how fucked up this mentality is.

[ Parent ]

Don't be confusiong Socrates with Turmeric (N/T) (2.00 / 2) (#86)
by HidingMyName on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:35:16 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Then explain Xanthippe (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:14:35 AM EST

or are you racist, because I know he screwed Xanthippe (since he had children), but no one said he had sex with men. Sure, it was known as a Greek tradition, but there is no record of Socrates ever having taken a lover. To imply that he did is to say that all Greeks screwed boys and that, my ignorant friend, is racism. That's like saying that for my friend from the South, his family were members in the Klan.

Have a nice day.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
he hated xanthippe (1.00 / 2) (#134)
by turmeric on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:14:35 AM EST

yeah, he had sex with her, because that was what he was forced to do by society. a repressed homosexual taking out his frustrations on the battlefield and the town square, and young slave boys. i would wager that if socrates did something as unusual as eschew child-rape, it would have been commented on. as the whole point of that philosophical bullshit was to analyze how people lived. whether they slept in barrels or not . what kind of food to eat. etc.

[ Parent ]
your trolling has gotten worse with age (n/t) (3.00 / 2) (#172)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:07:24 PM EST


-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Hey turmeric (1.00 / 3) (#253)
by Tex Bigballs on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:24:34 PM EST

props for the assist on this troll.

[ Parent ]
it's not that (4.00 / 2) (#336)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:46:58 PM EST

You can imagine that with a nick like mine that I've heard this before. I figure that if I bite this time he'll try a new tactic and get a new lure.

How good can a troll be if they have to repeat their own material? It's like going to see a stand up comic a second time years later and hearing the exact same set of jokes. I expect better from T.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Read the Symposium (5.00 / 2) (#246)
by Homburg on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:43:13 PM EST

It's very clear that Socrates is open to the idea of a sexual relationship with Alcibiades. Hell, look at the Protagoras or Meno, in both of which Socrates takes part (from different sides) in the standard practice of mentor/pupil relationships, which as a rule included sex.

I agree that Plato never says 'And then Socrates fucked me up the arse', but he says everything short of that to confirm Socrates was, in this respect, a normal Greek. The only way you can think Socrates didn't have sex with boys is by gratuitously misreading the texts (compare a modern translation of the Symposium with one made in the early twentieth century, for example).

[ Parent ]

not to put blinders on (4.66 / 3) (#333)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:41:07 PM EST

but you always have to take what Plato wrote with a grain of salt. Greeks owned slaves. In The Republic, Socrates speaks about how the practice was despicable. And yet, such republicanism hardly seems fair to attribute to Socrates. In fact, the most early dialogs of Plato exhibit one common characteristic: that Socrates doesn't know the answers better than anyone else. However, chronologically from the point of the Symposium onward, not only does he know, but he speaks in earnest. In the Protagoras, I almost imagine him spitting because he is so angry and self-righteous.

In short, don't believe everything that Plato tells you.

I much prefer Xenophon as a primary source. He lacks the style of Plato, but I find that he has less reason to embellish Socrates for his own purpose. And in there, we find a more likely human: fairly pious, common, every day and nothing too remarkable. I've stopped trusting Plato, especially when he writes about encounters that never happened and he presents them as true.

Xenophon did the same, but he wrote less, so his offense was smaller.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Another suggestion (4.63 / 11) (#32)
by mstefan on Sun May 25, 2003 at 08:39:39 PM EST

One option that wasn't mentioned in the article was simply not having children. Does procreation really have to be this self-defining act that women absolutely must engage in so that their lives have meaning?

Frankly speaking, it's not like there's a shortage of humans on this planet.



I think (5.00 / 3) (#34)
by Timo Laine on Sun May 25, 2003 at 08:49:33 PM EST

I think that the author simply assumes that the reader has children. This doesn't mean that everyone should have children, just that the article is not meant for everybody.

There are other background assumptions as well. For example, the situation of single parents is not considered at all.

[ Parent ]

She says she is a mother (4.00 / 1) (#389)
by hugues on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:16:27 AM EST

The subject says it all.

[ Parent ]
Absolutely (5.00 / 4) (#65)
by dipierro on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:13:53 AM EST

Frankly speaking, it's not like there's a shortage of humans on this planet.

Decrease the surplus population - raise a serial killer.



[ Parent ]
don't be daft (5.00 / 3) (#96)
by martingale on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:16:25 AM EST

What's a serial killer gonna take care of? Ten, maybe twenty people? That's not even worth the cost of raising the little bugger for fifteen years.

Raise a politician. And call him Jingo.

[ Parent ]

Untrue! (3.33 / 3) (#85)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:31:08 AM EST

Frankly speaking, it's not like there's a shortage of humans on this planet.

I believe by my own calcualtions based on the solar output of the sun and the population density of Soel, Korea, the Earth could confortably sustain a maximum population of 60 trillion people, assuming we live above ground...  roughly double that if we start building underground cities.  Now this doesn't mean people are packed like sardines either.  If you've ever been to a big Asian city like Soel or Tokyo, you can see how, while it can be a little crowded in some focal places, it's quite livable, and even has room for parks, etc.  

If anything, the world is DANGEROUSLY underpopulated...  We have wars because it's far too easy to see "them" and "us"...  Once we have a global city with a population of 60 trillion, there is no longer any "them" because everyone lives in the same place.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

You mean like (1.00 / 2) (#129)
by zephc on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:43:44 AM EST

Coruscant, the 'center' of the Galactic federation in Star Wars.  Whole planet, one big city.  It would be a terrible thing if that happend to Earth.  Plus, we don't have the tech to sustain a planet that devoid of nature.

[ Parent ]
Trantor (n/t) (4.00 / 2) (#274)
by Elendur on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:32:10 PM EST



[ Parent ]
But, but... (none / 0) (#132)
by reklaw on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:01:45 AM EST

Solyent Green... is people!
-
[ Parent ]
They're eating pigmies in the Congo (none / 0) (#463)
by OldTigger on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:15:55 AM EST

No, really.
It's not funny.

Nobody's asking the French to come in and solve the problems.  Nor asking for recipes.
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

I know (none / 0) (#136)
by CodeWright on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:17:22 AM EST

I've tried making that same argument here many times, but the damn Millenialists, hippies, and assorted other Luddite wackjobs always either ignore or ridicule.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --[ Parent ]
so... (none / 0) (#536)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:40:06 PM EST

Do they have vast areas of farmland within Seoul city limits, or do you propose that all those 60 trillion people eat sunlight?

[ Parent ]
A point I "should" have raised (5.00 / 5) (#176)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:10:44 PM EST

You are, of course, correct.  I have a friend who wants to be a lawyer.  So she's decided that she doesn't want children.  She may (or may not) find a life partner, but as we discussed for many long evenings during university, it didn't make sense for her to spend seven years off at university to make a major difference in society, only to have kids and leave her own trail of negative influence behind.
HeatherM
[ Parent ]
good article (3.33 / 3) (#35)
by dzimmerm on Sun May 25, 2003 at 08:54:39 PM EST

I gave it +1 to front page. This is something that many will find interesting, and, by the way, I am a middle aged white male geek with an income in the 45K to 65K range.

My wife does not work outside of the home nor do we have any children at home. My wife had to stop work to keep her sanity. She was a registered nurse with a bachelor in nursing and a masters degree in business related to nursing.

She was  working 12 hours a day 7 days a week. She gave it up because it was just too much to deal with. We are slowly getting to the point where our bills are coming into line with my single income. We have two older used cars and a medium size 2 bedroom house in a lower income neighborhood.

We both like to computer game and I like to work on our cars and generally fix things that break. EverQuest is quite cheap compared to other forms of entertainment. The wife has time now to work on her genealogy hobby when she wants to. We really don't have a lot of extra money but we don't need it right now. We are both introverts and like the luxery of not having to deal with others face to face as much as we used to. I work as a console operator in a large NOC. I work three twelve hour nights each week which gives me four nights off each week.

As things go I expect to have to work until I die but that does not really bother me as I have seen others retire only to cash in their chips a few months to a few years later.

dzimmmerm

no alternative? (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by durkie on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:49:41 AM EST

is there really no middle ground between working 80 hour weeks and not working at all?

[ Parent ]
No, our freedoms depend on it! (4.50 / 2) (#125)
by pnadeau on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:20:08 AM EST

You can take a whole job (which today means 50hr/wk min) or no job at all.

The system is designed so that people are kept 'fully invested'.

For example, since you can only take one job quanta at a time and can't split it then you are so tired and time pressed that you need to resort to takeout and daycare to manage the time crunch and you give yourself perks like a leased SUV, a home theatre bought on credit etc to reward yourself for all that hard work.

But all those rewards and time managment necessities are expensive so they keep you in that job.

Combined with advertisements to tell you that you aren't happy unless you are driving a Range Rover and a BMW and taking the kids on cruises to Disneyland and you have a nice little feedback loop.

The most productive members of society are those that have 'manageable debt'. I mean that they have spent enough ahead of their means to need to keep working and get that GDP up but who will need perks etc to reward themselves so the consumer confidence index remains high.

If you could take a half job, then the sytem would break down and the terrorists would have won!


"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder


[ Parent ]
Bull. (none / 0) (#221)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:27:22 PM EST

which today means 50hr/wk min

I work over 40 hours per week only when I want to.
You think I'm the only one in that boat?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

in a word. (none / 0) (#326)
by /dev/trash on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:20:37 PM EST

Yes.

---
Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
HA! (none / 0) (#412)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:39:54 AM EST

I know I'm in the minority here, but I must mock all of you over-worked Salaried Slaves.

Please don't hurt yourself, whilst chasing the almighty dollar!

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

No alternative. (4.00 / 1) (#435)
by mcherm on Tue May 27, 2003 at 09:01:35 AM EST

Unfortunately, no. The US seems to be set up so that there is little alternative between working at least full time (40-50 hrs) and not working. Dzimmmerm stated that his wife was a registered nurse. This country is suffering from a desperate nursing shortage. The solution? Our hospitals have decided that the solution is to have those nurses we DO have work 12 hour days, monitering 8-10 patients (or more!). So she can either work this absurd schedule, or quit. And you wonder why we have a nursing shortage.


-- Michael Chermside
[ Parent ]
Masculinism (4.66 / 12) (#36)
by Pseudonym on Sun May 25, 2003 at 08:58:13 PM EST

Right now we're just starting a revolution over the roles of men.

Second-wave feminism was fundamentally about choice, that women had the choice to stay at home or work. Somehow, in the 70s, this became some kind of responsibility for women to strive to have it all; something which is physically impossible.

What we need to appreciate, and what we slowly are coming around to, is that women should not necessarily strive to operate in the "men's world", for the simple reason that the "men's world" is not really that desirable a place to be in. Women have already gone more than half-way towards the place where men are. It's now time for men to move towards where women are.

Today, there is a lot of discrimination against men in work that is traditionally women's. For example, men basically can't become kindergarten teachers. This is not due to lack of interest or skill, but rather because any man who wants to enter this profession is regarded with a high degree of suspicion, thanks to the current paranoia about paedophilia.

Women did the right thing in the 60s by making it okay for women to do what they want. It's time now for men to liberate themselves.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
I don't want to be in that "men's world" (4.50 / 4) (#112)
by Kuranes on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:09:33 AM EST

And I'm a man.

I mean, it's not fun forgetting friends and the woman you love while working 50 hours a week to earn much money and prove your "masculinity". It's not the Stone Age anymore, is it?

Life has much more to offer than dollars, and many men are currently learning that lesson.


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Stone Age? (4.00 / 4) (#149)
by bob6 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:22:50 PM EST

You probably meant Indusrial Age. The usual stereotype of a Stone Age society is fairly matriarchal.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Stone agers. (4.00 / 1) (#499)
by cdyer on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:41:44 PM EST

Also, hunter-gatherers only have to work about four or five hours each day to meet their needs.  

Heh.  So much for "Labor saving devices."

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

lets be fair (none / 0) (#534)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:28:48 PM EST

That 5 hours a day gets them food and maybe a little hut to live in. If you were willing to subside on so little, you probably wouldn't need to work more than that either.

[ Parent ]
being fair (4.00 / 1) (#617)
by pyro9 on Sat May 31, 2003 at 12:41:03 AM EST

Actually, it wouldn't get you either. You couldn't afford the rent, wouldn't be allowed to just build a hut to live in somewhere, and without a perminant address, you'd have a terrible time trying to get and keep a job.

Unfortunatly, it costs a lot of money to be poor in the U.S. You end up paying rent rather than building equity, loose 3-5% of your paycheck to get it cashed, and get specifically targeted by every sort of 'rent to own' usury sucker deal (admittedly, the latter can be avoided with a bit of financial sense).


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Good point (3.42 / 7) (#197)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:17:09 PM EST

Women have achieved choice- they can work, or stay at home. My X chose to stay at home w/ kids, then when she got tired of the kids she dropped them like a couple of hot potatoes and went to work... just because she was bored.

Meanwhile I would killed to stay home with the kids. But men have to work, unless they are independantly wealthy. No choice at all.

She gets tired of working and decides to go to college like I'd been urging her to do since we were married. So she quits her job, stops taking care of the kids or house, and in fact does nothing but go to school and study. Well, she has time while I'm at work for her friends... I never get to see my friends, our old friends. Too busy mowing the lawn and washing dishes and helping the kids w/ homework and keeping them straight.

Then she decides we need a newer van. We could have gotten another $2000 one with bad paint and dents but no, she needs something dependable. So she goes to work part time so we can make payments of the van.

She's "working double shifts" sometimes. Yeah. She's out banging some auto mechanic.

Meanwhile it's me and the kids while she has the freedom to do any fucking thing she wants to.

Finally the stupid cunt leaves us. MWAHAHA! Now she HAS to work! Of course, she still has a man paying her fucking cable bill (her bf) and I'm still paying insurance on the brand new car I bought her two months before she left us, thanks to the fucked up Illinois laws. Meanwhile the van's transmission is shot and I'm walking.

She has her cake, and mine, and some other poor sap that doesn't have a clue what kind of horrors he's in for.

equality, my ass. I think I'm one of three men in the US with custody of my kids. The only way a man gets custody is if the woman abandons them or dies.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Sounds like you made a poor choice, (4.00 / 4) (#257)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:42:28 PM EST

a while back, now, didn't you, in choosing to marry a woman with so obviously bad judgment. So you have a problem with her, let's all hope you don't feel a need to take it out on the rest of 'us' (women).

[ Parent ]
he still has a point (2.00 / 2) (#535)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:32:18 PM EST

How many feminists do you see out there campaigning that men have a fair shot at custody of their own children? Or that when the woman fucks over her husband, she shouldn't be getting alimony or an equivelant?

Hmm...gender equality?

[ Parent ]

A lot of people say a lot of crazy things... (5.00 / 2) (#576)
by webwench on Wed May 28, 2003 at 04:16:49 PM EST

...and you can find a wacko in any group to take things to their logical, stupid conclusion. But most feminists do argue for equal rights and responsibilities for both sexes. The problem is that people who have an axe to grind, like you apparently do, get more mileage from pointing out the more extreme examples of 'feminism'.

[ Parent ]
nice strawman (1.00 / 1) (#577)
by crayz on Wed May 28, 2003 at 05:33:13 PM EST

When did I ever mention extremists? Or are just trying to put words in my mouth?

Why is it obvious I have an axe to grind? Because I made an on-topic reply expressing an opinion that is different than your own?

Why do I get the impression that most major feminist groups in the US don't give a damn about men? And yet they always say they're for gender equality, and not just looking out for the interests of women.

If my impression is wrong, then why don't you tell me why. I looked at the NOW website and didn't see anything about custody rights for fathers. If it's on their radar, it certainly doesn't appear to be a core issue.

Why don't you stop the name calling(and voting according to politics, infantilea), and start actually pointing out how I'm wrong.

[ Parent ]

NOW now... (5.00 / 3) (#591)
by webwench on Thu May 29, 2003 at 10:57:37 AM EST

Voting according to politics, infantilea? Um, I don't get it.

I accuse you both of grinding a particular ax because both of you focused on one issue among a huge spectrum, that issue being custody, property, and alimony decisions made after a divorce. You take those issues and claim they're due to feminist influence, but the truth is that in the past, before feminism was at all 'acceptable', mothers were almost always awarded custody of children after a separation or divorce, not in spite of but BECAUSE of sexist views that the children are always best with the mother. In the current day, it's the more conservative, non-feminist judges who tend to always award custody to the mother because it fits with their ideas of a woman's and a man's proper role with regard to child-raising. More progressive/liberal judges, less blinded by the traditional roles, are more likely to award custody based on the parents' respective parenting abilities pre-divorce, and to seriously consider the father's case for custody.

You ignore this obvious trend because it doesn't fit in with your persecution complex.

You also ignore what some of us who have gone through the process have experienced firsthand; a guy who was an absentee or uninvolved father at best panics at the prospect of divorce and, perhaps out of fear of losing contact with their children, perhaps out of regret, perhaps out of fear of child support costs, perhaps to maintain more contact with or control over the mother after divorce, suddenly starts playing 'superdaddy', asserting a newfound interest in their children. I saw it, yankeehack is seeing it... yet this also doesn't fit in with your worldview, so of course it is discarded.

NOW is actually on the extreme end of feminism, which is why many women who consider themselves feminist in the traditional sense (want equal rights *and* responsibilities for women) choose not to be members. Thinking feminists want equality, not preferences and special treatment for women. Kind of like most thinking people are for equal treatment under the law when it comes to racial issues, and are also against special preferences and 'reverse discrimination'/'affirmative action'.

[ Parent ]

clarification (none / 0) (#592)
by infinitera on Thu May 29, 2003 at 01:14:38 PM EST

Voting according to politics, infantilea?
This was his jab at me, after saying he abhorred name-calling; likewise my reason for rating down that post instead of engaging in discussion. If he can't even stick to his own standards, why bother..

[ Parent ]
Yes and no (4.00 / 2) (#260)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:00:30 PM EST

I agree that both men and women should have *choices*, and this is what 'feminism' should be about. (Really, 'feminism' needs to be renamed to reflect its higher purpose.)

Re "Somehow, in the 70s, this became some kind of responsibility for women to strive to have it all; something which is physically impossible..." It seems to me, looking around my neighborhood, that many women are choosing to stay at home, or to work part-time jobs. I even see a couple of men here doing the same thing. The guy across the street works from home 100%; one of the gay guys a couple of houses up appears to stay at home during the 'off season' (he is a homebuilder contractor). I'm not seeing the crisis on either side, except I'll grant that there is skepticism of a man wanting to become a young childhood teacher. I do see many male nurses and the like, though.

Re "...women should not necessarily strive to operate in the 'men's world', for the simple reason that the 'men's world' is not really that desirable a place to be in." As far as I can tell, there isn't a 'men's world' anymore, at least in most professions. Of course, I'm not at the CEO level by any means; I suppose that is still mostly a 'man's world'. I still think that's mostly a result of womens' personal choices than anything else. But everywhere I've worked, it's been a 'people's world'; people of both sexes at most professional levels.

It seems to me that most people have many choices available to them. All can work; most could stay home; most can choose their profession; most can choose to concentrate on work or on quality of home life, and they make that choice every day they get up and do whatever it is they do every day. However, a lot of people dislike the choices other people make, and take it upon themselves to 'inform' others of the choices they 'should' make. I think that's unfortunate.

[ Parent ]

I've got to say something ... (3.91 / 23) (#38)
by pyramid termite on Sun May 25, 2003 at 09:36:13 PM EST

... not to you, HeatherM, because your article has described a very real and prevalent problem that many couples with children are faced with, one that does have feminist aspects to it. No, what I've got to say is to most of the people who commented - most of you are appallingly ignorant at how the average American couple lives these days, the problems they have to solve, the pressures they fall under as they try to balance career and family and keep their heads above water financially, and the hard choices all of these involve. In short, most of you do not have a fucking clue. You have catagorized HeatherM's feelings as "horrible nostalgia with no clear purpose", you have suggested that she "take care of her kid, or make sandwiches for her man" (shit, TiDave, why not just tell her she needs to stay barefoot and pregnant while you're at it?), you have told her that her "feminist education is not professional", whatever the hell that means, you have called her a troll, you have said that she neglects "emancipation for men", (for Pete's sake people, this is an article about MARRIAGES, isn't it? Isn't part of the feminist viewpoint is that these issues should be as much the man's problem as the woman's?), you have claimed that the current society becoming more "individualistic and materialistic" doesn't have anything to do with feminism, even though that individualism and materialism is usually an expression of MALE power, as are the standards "foisted on you by your cow-orkers or the television", and in short, you have claimed that women being concerned about their ability to raise children effectively and still have career choices, is THEIR problem, as the men just go on working for their toys and not worrying about it.

HeatherM, I'm sorry, but you probably should have known better than to ask a bunch of single, childless and probably involuntarily celibate geeks about a mature and adult problem such as this. Perhaps, if you had presented it in the terms of a RPG, (oooh, I need to trade some coding ability points for housework points so I can get through the Dungeon of First Toddlerdom!), they might have been able to comprehend it better.

I am very disappointed in the nature of most of the comments made to this article. Next time some of you decide to carry on about the people, and what they want, and how they know nothing, or what their problems are like, I'll remember this. Because, as a factory rat whose wife works at fast food restaurants, I know a hell of a lot more about all that than you overgrown children do.

Now go ahead and slam me with your mod points and flame away. You know you want to. I won't even bother to reply - because I'm right, and I know it.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
actually, i'm with zzzeek and localroger (4.00 / 4) (#40)
by infinitera on Sun May 25, 2003 at 09:42:02 PM EST

This rant is poorly written and isn't about what it says it's about. -1 from me.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but (none / 0) (#193)
by Kax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:07:13 PM EST

who cares?

[ Parent ]
those of us who like quality on k5 (3.50 / 2) (#211)
by infinitera on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:50:26 PM EST

Which it seems is not many.

[ Parent ]
Get some friends. (5.00 / 1) (#303)
by Kax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:59:30 PM EST

.

[ Parent ]
i feel u bro! time for 'K5 Mens Drum Circle'! [nt] (5.00 / 2) (#235)
by zzzeek on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:00:27 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Excuse me? (none / 0) (#275)
by morceguinho on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:35:26 PM EST

Just what does my "rant" have to do with pyramide termite's post? Did i post that? Did i even reply to that? And why do you use others' posts to reply? And oh please could you be so kind as to enlighten me by pointing out the flaws of my "rant"? I'll die of curiosity if you don't. (the last was sarcasm btw)

[ Parent ]
dude (5.00 / 2) (#276)
by infinitera on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:38:24 PM EST

The 'rant' in question is this story, by HeatherM. I linked to your post because you showed why it was a poorly written rant.

[ Parent ]
Eitherway, (5.00 / 1) (#300)
by morceguinho on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:48:15 PM EST

you wrote:
"This rant is poorly written". Since the link points to my post, i assumed the rant is my post. Eitherway i got your point now.

[ Parent ]
Of course not! (4.66 / 3) (#56)
by ti dave on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:18:25 PM EST

Her family planning choices are strictly her own, but she seems to have already made her decisions regarding that subject, so I'm merely suggesting that she follow the advice that she seems to be dispensing here.

I'll continue to point out hypocrisy when I see it.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

I'm sorry (2.00 / 3) (#59)
by buck on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:20:49 PM EST

When were you going to start saying something?
-----
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
[ Parent ]
to defend myself (3.33 / 3) (#107)
by Timo Laine on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:27:53 AM EST

I think the nostalgia in the article has no purpose because the whole point seems to be giving practical advice to women who want to stay home. This is not "look, we can improve society doing this", this is "How to stay at home: a woman's guide". It's not even certain that advice like this will have beneficial effects for the society as a whole.
most of you are appallingly ignorant at how the average American couple lives these days
Well, at least I am. I am not an American, you see. Is the advice of the article meant for Americans only? That makes the article completely uninteresting to me as a European, and I should have voted it down instead of bothering to comment.
in short, you have claimed that women being concerned about their ability to raise children effectively and still have career choices, is THEIR problem, as the men just go on working for their toys and not worrying about it.
I have not claimed anything like this. Instead, I would argue that if people, men or women, want both to stay at home and have careers, it's their problem. I mean, whose problem is it if not theirs? If you make two incompatible lifestyle choices, there will be difficulties.

And are there really that many people who want to stay at home? The author only provides anecdotal evidence.

[ Parent ]

In defence of my post (5.00 / 4) (#167)
by Belligerent Dove on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:00:31 PM EST

Which is located here, and which is critisised by you as follows:

you have said that she neglects "emancipation for men", (for Pete's sake people, this is an article about MARRIAGES, isn't it? Isn't part of the feminist viewpoint is that these issues should be as much the man's problem as the woman's?)

First of all, the author of the article calls herself a 21st century feminist and has also in other ways built up this article around feminism. As such, I find criticism on the author's conception of feminism to be appropriate.

You say that “part of the feminist viewpoint is that these issues should be as much the man's problem as the woman's” and I agree with that. In fact, it's what my post was about.

Part of the article is spot on. For example, I agree that taking a cut in income in exchange for more time with the kids is a good idea. I don't find it a novel idea though. It also has little to do with feminism itself although it does raise the question about how a family should be structured in function of economic reality. For example, should the woman stay at home; should both parents decide who stays home and should they take turns at this; or should both parents work part-time? (There are other variations, but these are the most relevant both to todays ideas about the family and to wage-earners with an average income.)

To be fair, the author did mention these options. Unfortunately she only pointed them out as existing options, and didn't comment on how just they are. That's pretty lame for an article on feminism as the reader is left to guess what the author's stance on gender equality is (sure she claims to be a feminist but lots of different ideologies go under that name).

At the end of the article it says that women are to break out of the box at last, meaning that they should get to choose between staying home or wage-earning. Had the author bothered to think about the difference between sexes in society then she would have realised that she just said that women are stuck in the same damn box as men have been for much longer. By failing to do so, she missed a great oportunity to actually write something about 21st century feminism (which should in my opinion be what is sometimes called pro-feminism).

Pro-feminism and especially radical profeminism, are if I understand correctly based on the notion that to free women's life-choices from their gender, men must be freed likewise. When I read that the woman's role must be redefined so that it's again acceptable for women to stay with the kids and not be seen as inferior because of that, then I explain this by the fact that staying home to take care of the kids is seen as almost unnatural for men. Only when it's normal for men to take tasks that are traditional restricted to women, will those tasks themselves no longer be seen as inferior.

Lastly I want to remark that the men's traditional role is seen as superior and not the women's because of economical reality. For society, taking part in the division of labor and filling an economic need is much more important then taking that care of your children as best as you can. In line with pro-feminism I believe that only with gender-equality both roles will be seen as complementary, instead of superior/inferior to each other.

That's my understanding of it although I'm not that familiar with the topic. (By the way, if someone can suggest some good books on feminism I would appreciated that.) Oh and, even though you said you wouldn't reply, could you do so anyway? I often appreciate your insights although I don't always agree with them. (Oh, and you're right that I'm some twenty year old that doesn't have the necessary life experience with respect to women's problems in society. I've been raised mostly by women though — lesbians in fact, in case that matters — and often get the impression that I know a lot more about these issues than most girls and young women do.)

[ Parent ]

Nailing it on the head (4.00 / 1) (#332)
by khilghard on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:36:29 PM EST

You know, we may not always agree about the topics that fly around here, but I have a great deal of respect for you. You always have the cool head and that voice that says, listen up ass-holes, it's time to grow up and be mature. It is always a pleasure to hear more of what you have to say. Thanks again!

"God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives." -James Barrie

[ Parent ]

Cool! (none / 0) (#500)
by cdyer on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:54:41 PM EST

foisted on you by your cow-orkers or the television

Cow-orkers? Where can I get cow orkers? Those sound rad.

Good points in your comment by the way. I'm presently working my way out of the rat race, as much as I can. No family yet, though.

Cheers,
Cliff



[ Parent ]
Two topics (4.77 / 9) (#43)
by godix on Sun May 25, 2003 at 10:21:32 PM EST

You have two topics here which are, at best, loosely related.

Topic A) The feminist movement has gone about as far as it can. Thanks to the feminist movement women have gained legal equality plus legal consideration for their role in having child (IE mandated maternity leave).  Feminists have won, it is now illegal to discriminate in hiring or promotions based on sex. It is now illegal to fire a pregnant women or immediately replace her while she's in the hospital giving birth. It is now illegal to have male only clubs. The problem now is that feminist groups are still pushing for legal recourses because they aren't socially equal. You can't legislated that a misogynist prick think you are equal. Trying to do so does nothing but provide justification for the misogynist pricks views. It's time for NOW to throw a party and move on with their lives, continuing action on their part does nothing but provoke the 'feminazi' backlash.

Your second topic is living within your means. This has nothing to do with feminism but everything to do with crass comercialism and the illusion that items are the key to happiness. The only real solution to this is to do what you did, grow up and realize what's important to you.


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American

actually.. they havent won (1.91 / 12) (#51)
by turmeric on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:13:50 PM EST

becaue there are still people like you walking aroudn spouting this ignorant uninformed garbage.

[ Parent ]
You meant that the "nazis" haven't won (2.60 / 5) (#71)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:41:08 AM EST

actually.. they havent won becaue there are still people like you walking aroudn spouting this ignorant uninformed garbage.

Ain't it great that we live in a place where people can walk around and spount ignorant garbage, such as yourself, without fear of reprocussion?

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

its not about repercussions (1.00 / 1) (#609)
by turmeric on Fri May 30, 2003 at 03:05:30 PM EST

its about progress. like, we dont have peopel going around saying 'the earth is flat'. not many of them anyways.

[ Parent ]
I shouldn't feed the trolls, but still.... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
by godix on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:23:42 AM EST

Name me one situation in America where woman are legally inferior to men. Face facts trollboy, women are legal equals. I know realizing this fact removes one of your favorite soapboxes, but can you stop preaching long enough to give feminist a little congradulations for a job well done?


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
[ Parent ]
Not that I care, pertaining to the subject... (5.00 / 3) (#83)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:00:08 AM EST

Hell, even I recognise the disparity between de jure and de facto equality, betwixt the sexes.

Again, for the record, I'm not concerned about either type.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Magic! (1.00 / 1) (#89)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:47:30 AM EST

Hell, even I recognise the disparity between de jure and de facto equality, betwixt the sexes.

You recognise this but for some reason do not actually to the trouble to telling us what you see as a disparity...  

Well, I'm happy to hear that you have discovered this discrepancy, and in return I'll tell you that I perfectly solved Fermat's last theorm in four lines of proof using only simple algebra.

I'd get into the details, but people like you and me can't be bothered to post anything more than opinions stated as fact backed up completely by our own egos.  

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Which part are you contesting? (4.00 / 3) (#99)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:50:30 AM EST

Do you disagree with me?

Where shall we begin? Here?

Here?

How about here?

I can back it up with more than my ego, if you'd like.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Odd (4.00 / 2) (#198)
by godix on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:23:18 PM EST

I could have sworn I said pretty much exactly that. Hmmmm, let me go check. Quoted from my original post 'feminist groups are still pushing for legal recourses because they aren't socially equal'. Yup, sounds like from the start of this thread I acknowledged there are still inequalities. Those inequalities aren't legal based so legal measures aren't the solution to them. Is there any particular proof either you or trollboy would like to provide against what I actually said instead of what you're imagining I said?


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
[ Parent ]
Sorry. (5.00 / 2) (#206)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:44:07 PM EST

I took "woman are legally inferior to men" to mean "being treated as men's inferior isn't against the law", as opposed to "inferior status to men in the legal arena".

Pardon the confusion.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Pussy (3.40 / 5) (#123)
by tacomacide on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:05:41 AM EST

Men are the ones who are "legally inferior".

If I were to call my girlfriend a cunt, she could call the police and say I hit her. The police could see her chasing me with a fucking butcher knife when they showed up, but I would be arrested and convicted.

Judge: Did he leave any marks?
Bitch: No your honor. He is a Wu-Tang Samurai and knows how to hit me without leaving any.
Judge: GUILTY!

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

ever heard of the ERA? (2.16 / 6) (#135)
by turmeric on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:17:00 AM EST

also, read ti daves post. he understands reality. you live in lawyer fantasy fuckhead land.

[ Parent ]
Actually, the two points are intricately connected (4.00 / 4) (#169)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:03:58 PM EST

<pre> A lot of the reason women feel I must go out and work and fulfill "the feminist dream" is because they have swallowed the materialistic, commercialisation illusion hook, line and sinker. Women went out and worked, kids grew up with the luxuries of two incomes and they now, as young adults, assume they should have what their parents have now immediately. So they say they have "no choice". The two have to be considered in tandem.
HeatherM
[ Parent ]
They may have no choice (4.00 / 2) (#222)
by wumpus on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:27:29 PM EST

One catch is land does not increase with population. In the DC area, commutes of over an hour (each way) are pretty common. To even buy a home that far from work requires two incomes (for most values of income), and a bargain price is $300k (actually, I believe that price can sometimes avoid the hour commute, until you are laid off and find work elsewhere).

The point of this is that a large percentage of two income families can drive up the price of housing (and anything else based on limit resources) until a single income family hasn't a chance. The situation can be likened to the red queen (you have to stay ahead of the Jones' to keep up) or a stag hunt (a game theory game similar to the famous prisoner's dilemma).

Actually, I have to believe that the post-war middle class homemakers swallowed the "materialistic, commercialization illusion" just as thorough as today's yuppies, just read The Hidden Persuaders for a look at the creation of the "materialistic, commercialization illusion" written in 1957. My guess is that this a part of feminism that assumes that anything men do, they do because its a male privilege, and that women should also do it. I suspect that male needs for earning wealth is pretty hardwired into the brain (directly tied in with women's preference for rich men), but that many women are going to have your questions.

Hardly anything startling, just a point that those who choose to try things your way may find themselves moving to places that teach creationism and expect the little woman to act in a proper way. Your daughter may feel compelled to get an MBA and force herself into that VP office.

Wumpus
A good subject and I'm annoyed that this is the best I can do. I wouldn't bother posting this if it were not for the crapflooding on this subject.

[ Parent ]

Right, VERY connected (none / 0) (#459)
by OldTigger on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:10:35 AM EST

But those against are prolly right about something you're quiet on.  Materialism is the mortal enemy of ... spiritualism.  If materialism is your enemy (which it should be), than your 3rd kind of friend is religion.

And even if it's not spoken, the anti-religionists, and radical atheists, will feel you are against them.  Because you are.

The Instant Gratification problem is related to materialism, perhaps a subset of it, and in many real ways even more destructive.

Thanks for a GREAT thread.
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

Nonsense. (none / 0) (#471)
by Ward57 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:27:04 PM EST

Does anyone claim that materialism is the whole answer? Yes, of course. Then you show them a spiritualist's definition of materialism, and they wonder how anyone could be so stupid. My point being that a materialist's definition of materialism is a completely different animal to a spiritualist's definition of materialism.

[ Parent ]
Incorrect (none / 0) (#554)
by nathanm on Wed May 28, 2003 at 03:03:12 AM EST

It is now illegal to have male only clubs.
That is not true. It is perfectly legal, and widely practiced, to have male-only (and female-only) clubs. If it weren't, NOW would be suing the Augusta National Golf Club in a court of law, rather than trying to pressure them in the "court of public opinion." This right is guaranteed by the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis added)


[ Parent ]
+1 FP, This has good discussion potential (3.71 / 7) (#47)
by rweba on Sun May 25, 2003 at 10:59:28 PM EST

This is a real concern among young married couples these days.

HeatherM is just trying to stir up a discussion on the work-life trade-off and how society might redefine it's values in regard to gender roles to cope with the problems she describes.

So inspite of the criticisms about various issues that she did not address, I think it is still worthy of FP.

My own take (as a 20-something single male), I think her proposals are unrealistic for most people. We have been taught from childhood to admire winners and go-getters. Nobody wants to be just a regular Joe without any distinction, staying home and taking care of the kids. We want to be winners to excel in our endeavours.

This was tough enough on the family when it was just men, but now that women have joined in, the stress goes out the wazoo.

Problem is, no one wants to back off. My department has a bunch of women(20-something grad students) and they are just as workaholic and career obsessed as any of the guys. For them to back off or give this up would be unimaginable. They derive their identity and life satisfaction from their work. And unfortunately you don't become a tenured professor (yes they want to be academics) working 35 hour weeks, as HeatherM suggests.

In short, I think it is psychologically impossible for many people to cut back and hang around the home more. They would go nuts. I know I would.

The only possible solution I can see is that career obsessed women should seek less career obsessed guys and vice versa. This may provide a nice balance in the home, but this is just my speculation. (And there is the little problem that most women seem utterly hostile to this idea, but thats another story)

* I will preemptively answer two criticims
a. I am too young to see how people's priorities change later in life.
True, but looking at older couples, this issue doesn't go away.

b. Many people define themselves by their family, religion etc. and not their careers.
Also true, but I think the percentage of people whose career is not important to them is small and they get no support from the culture. What's the first thing you ask someone you just met? "So, what do you actually DO?"

1) For a nice song about the theme, 'We all want to be big stars' check out the Counting Crows,
Mr.Jones
Not really relevant, but it is a nice song.


2) Fortune had a story about how may women executives have stay at home husbands.

I agree. (5.00 / 2) (#60)
by tftp on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:23:15 PM EST

I wanted to comment on social rejection of the "taking it easy" proposal, but rweba was typing faster :-) Indeed, you can run for the hills, build a cabin there, and live happily ever after, hunting rabbits with your homemade slingshot. But that's not the way most people live. Humans are social animals, and need the society, and therefore they must play by the rules of the society.

It is also laughable to suggest that someone can work 35 hours per week. Even assuming that the person really hates his/her job, this won't pay enough for a decent living. Sure, it can be OK if you don't mind sharing the meal with rats, but most people do mind, in fact, and I pay about $1200/mo for a place where I can live in peace. To do that, though, I must work, and so I do - about 110 hours per week, and whoever complains about mere 50 hours gets no pity from me.

And, as mentioned above, some people just like to work! They express themselves in their work, they like to do what they do, and that's how they let everybody know that they are important, valued members of the society.

There just isn't that much to do in a modern home anyway; many people would seriously object to wasting their lives in front of a TV, or cooking something that can be gotten easier and cheaper in a restaurant across the road (that's division of labor, something that broke the back of guilds of middle ages because it was much more efficient).

[ Parent ]

Great Minds Think Alike (5.00 / 1) (#294)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:19:01 PM EST

Career obsession may make you miserable but it's PREDICTABLE misery darn it!

Kicking back is pretty unpredictable (especially for guys). You could end up really kicking yourself for missed opportunities.

That being said, if some one has the guts to do it, it just may end up working out for them.

But I don't think I would risk it...

[ Parent ]

Don't stay around the house (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by pnadeau on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:41:44 AM EST

Take up a sport! Find an obsession like photography or breeding godlfish.

I personally am obsessed with a sport and I don't sit around tha house all day even though I have been at home for 5 months (between contracts, I keep saying to people)

Who said that a job was the only way to 'define' yourself?

The problem is when you define yourself according to a job then you lose control of the very core of yourself. At that job other people are in control of your destiny and can decide that they won't give you tenure or promote you for well thought out reasons like they don't like your hair colour or heather down the hall is cuter and smiles at me etc.


"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder


[ Parent ]
Well said (none / 0) (#292)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:06:56 PM EST

But easier said than done.

Perhaps it is easier once you have reached a certain plateau in your career or middle age or something.

I am still in school, so the urge to put career first is pretty strong.

[ Parent ]

So, what will it take to change the assumptions? (5.00 / 2) (#165)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:59:24 PM EST

I agree that for most people they feel that who they are is based on what they do.  I think we are headed for societal disaster to stay so incredibly self-minded.  But I agree that society encourages - almost demands that EVERYone (male and female) have a career to justify their existence.  SO, what do we do to change it?  'Cos quite frankly I'm sick of being considered "less" just because I think that raising the next generation is more important than having a title (one, I might add, that I wouldn't have any problem achieving if I wanted one!)
HeatherM
[ Parent ]
There's another level of alienation. (4.80 / 5) (#218)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:16:27 PM EST

I agree that for most people they feel that who they are is based on what they do. I think we are headed for societal disaster to stay so incredibly self-minded. But I agree that society encourages - almost demands that EVERYone (male and female) have a career to justify their existence.

I think that in order to revolutionise this realm, it is key to make not only the distinctoin between a person and his job, but also between his job and "what he does" in out of genuine interest, talent, and creative pursuit. This is one of the most horrible and revolting features of post-industrial capitalism; not only are "you" defined as "your job," but even "your job" isn't a task you actually want to do. You probably hate it, while many people who end up doing something else would like it, if they could go in their own direction with it.

It's wrong to see a person through the prism of their career and institutional role, but it's also wrong to equate their career with some kind of creative labour and/or self-determination. There are at least three different levels of alienation here, not two.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Good point (5.00 / 1) (#288)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:01:12 PM EST

Are you by any chance echoing Marx's criticisms of industrial capitalism (i.e in capitalism labour is alienated from its output while in pre-industrial production it is not)?

Now, I am no Communist but this part always struck me as on point.

Of course, we can't just go back to pre-industrial economy now can we?... which has nothing to do with this story anyway so I'll stop rambling.

[ Parent ]

Well. (5.00 / 1) (#317)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:58:07 PM EST

Are you by any chance echoing Marx's criticisms of industrial capitalism (i.e in capitalism labour is alienated from its output while in pre-industrial production it is not)?

I wouldn't say that this alienation was not present in pre-industrial production per se, just that the modes of production in society were not sophisticated enough for this to be acute or make up the basis for a system of commodity exchange and profit accumulation.

That said, the alienation of output from the labour that produced it on the micro level is not specific to mechanised production, if this is what you mean by industrial production. It is more a feature of capitalism. However, this alienation on the micro sphere is not the basis for critique of industrial (and beyond) capitalism, but rather the implications of this in the macro sphere, insofar as socialised production (the labour of society) is appropriated by private entities. The significance of this is more "in the aggregate" than in the individual sphere.

I don't think we can go back to a pre-industrial (that is, pre-mechanised, entirely pre-mass-production) economy, nor do I think that we need to. The sophistication of various modes of production only evolves in one direction, but it certainly doesn't have to be organised and allocated so horribly and irrationally (or rationally, if you view it as a micromanagement conspiracy) as it is under capitalism.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#325)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:19:41 PM EST

For the clarification. I just vaguely recalling that idea from skimming something a while back.

By the way, I did not mean to imply that you were specifically suggesting that we scale back our means of production. It just seemed somewhat related to what your comment.

[ Parent ]

Scaling back. (5.00 / 2) (#328)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:24:21 PM EST

I am suggesting that we scale back our production, in terms of output, certainly. Current levels of consumption and waste are absolutely unsustainable and leave us with the proposition of imminent ecological collapse.

However, Marxists are not "primitivists" - nobody is saying we need to go back to the Stone Age, or mediaeval times, or otherwise give up the gains we have made voluntarily.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Damn! (5.00 / 2) (#410)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:35:39 AM EST

Seventeen y.o. or angry Fifty-Seven y.o. Poli-Sci Professor- *YOU* decide!

The funniest part is that you probably drew that treatise from the top of your head.

I applaud you, Sir!

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Huh. (none / 0) (#424)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:35:05 AM EST

Yes, I really said that - this is me speaking.

I don't know why you're so fixated on my age, though.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

It's shocking because... (none / 0) (#425)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:54:03 AM EST

I don't know any other seventeen year-old kids that write about politics in your astute1 manner.

1. Not that I always agree with your position.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

FWIW. (5.00 / 2) (#493)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:46:49 PM EST

If that's a compliment, thanks, I guess.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#284)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:53:22 PM EST

how these assumptions can be changed. There are very deeply ingrained into the social fabric by now.

But if you have made your decision and you are happy about it, then I think you have already won really.

You will enjoy a less stressful and more sane existence and I am sure your family will get the benefit of that.

[ Parent ]

Winers and loooooooooooooooooooozers (5.00 / 1) (#189)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:46:06 PM EST

Winners... or whiners?

Why in the HELL does it matter wtf other ppl think of you? Especially strangers? Isn't yours the neohippie generation?

I'm middle class (right now I feel poor but the X cleaned me out b4 she left and I'm catching up), 35k is all I make. But I have a big 90 yr old two story house in town, with fancy woodwork and high cielings, w/ central air and gas heat added during its life (not to mention a toilet added to the bath upstyairs, and the back porch converted to another bathroom. Original antique toilet installed in teh basement by teh coal room). Making payments on a broken van, behind on my mortgage, etc.

My two best friends are probably Jeff and Mike. Jeff's poor, single. Delivers something or other. Lves in a little bitty house he inhereted form his folks.

Mike works for the post office, his wife owns a cleaning company she built. They live on fifteen acres in the country in a nice big house they built. Four wheelers and motorcycles for the kids, pool table, pinball machine in teh basement, etc.

We've been friends longer than you've been alive, the three of us. The fucking yuppies from the eighties and their master, Satan, and his little green minions ruined you.

Love of money is the root of all evil!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Hmm... not sure what to reply (none / 0) (#278)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:42:36 PM EST

But I am happy things are working out for you, Jeff and Mike.

So are you saying that you guys kick back and take it easy and don't worry about money?

If so and you are happy, good for you.

But for most of us, this is not an easy option to take....

[ Parent ]

actually, (none / 0) (#579)
by mcgrew on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:03:58 PM EST

we don't have stupid contests over who makes more or has more. We've all been the poorest one in the bunch at one time or another.

Status is a loser's game.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Mr. Jones (none / 0) (#192)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:59:59 PM EST

Billy Joel did a song about it-

Anthony works in the grocery store
Savin' his pennies for someday
Mama Leone left a note on the door,
She said, "Sonny, move out to the country."
Workin' too hard can give you a heart attack
(ack-ack-ack-ack-ack)
You oughta know by now
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that all you get for your money?

And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.
I'm movin' out...mmm-hmm...ooo-ooo...uh-huh...mmm-hmm.

Sergeant O'Leary is walkin' the beat
At night he becomes a bartender
He works at Mister Cacciatore's down on Sullivan Street
Across from the medical center
He's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillac
(ack-ack-ack-ack-ack)
You oughta know by now
And if he can't drive with a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders

And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.
I'm movin' out...uh-huh...ooh-ooh...uh-huh...mmm-hmm.

You should never argue with a crazy mind
(mind-mind-mind-mind-mind)
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with overtime
Is that all you get for your money?

And if that's what you have in mind
And if that's what you're all about
Good luck movin' up 'cause I'm movin' out
I'm movin' out...mmm-hmm...ooo-ooo...uh-huh...mmm-hmm.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Which song is this? (none / 0) (#277)
by rweba on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:38:33 PM EST

I am not that familiar with Billy Joel's work (apart from 'Piano Man' and 'We didn't start the Fire'.

Is he parodying Mr. Jones or are you saying this is another song with the same theme?

[ Parent ]

It's "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)". (4.00 / 1) (#409)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:29:17 AM EST

Written by Mr. Joel. Those are the proper lyrics.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Not Ma ma ma ma ma ma mama? (none / 0) (#456)
by OldTigger on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:02:10 AM EST

I thought you should never argue with a crazy mama...

Fine song.  On the "Stranger" album; maybe his best.
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

Not Ma ma ma ma ma ma mama? (none / 0) (#457)
by OldTigger on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:02:34 AM EST

I thought you should never argue with a crazy mama...

Fine song.  On the "Stranger" album; maybe his best.
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

true (none / 0) (#384)
by blisspix on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:36:30 AM EST

They derive their identity and life satisfaction from their work. And unfortunately you don't become a tenured professor (yes they want to be academics) working 35 hour weeks, as HeatherM suggests.

I have similar aspirations. But I'm also trying to structure this goal around the possibility of children. I'm 24 and looking to have a child (maybe) when I'm around 30-32, my husband will be 38. He's 8 years older than me so that does narrow my timeframe, I don't want him to be 50 if we had a kid. I'll be starting a PhD this year, and will finish in about 5 years.

But as much as I want to be known in my field, and as much as I want to publish, I still have this nagging voice in my head that says it's not enough. My father in law died last year. Many people from his working life came to the funeral, but it was not his academic achievements that were most important, it was how he had achieved as a dad (at least to me). Now this is different for different people, but I feel like if I kept on this same path of work and volunteering, I would not have done all that I could in life. Maybe I do want it all and maybe it is ego to want to think that I've contributed to society, but that's how I feel.

[ Parent ]

Plenty of Time (none / 0) (#446)
by rweba on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:16:00 AM EST

The tricky part is getting tenure.

Once you get that, you can have all the kids you want. Unfortunately it takes 6 years to get tenure, so you will probably be around 35 by then.

Still doable but pushing it. I know a number female professors who had kids immediately after getting tenured or just before.

Good luck.

[ Parent ]

"We need to lower our expectations" (1.02 / 44) (#61)
by tacomacide on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:34:08 PM EST

This is just another fat single mother crying about not being able to get a good dicking.

I ask you now: How much do you weigh?

*** ANONYMIZED ***

Nah... (2.50 / 2) (#64)
by dipierro on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:13:29 AM EST

Probably just a guy trolling.

[ Parent ]
hi (3.33 / 6) (#68)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:30:49 AM EST

i'm a stupid teenage boy, with no shame at the stupid shit that comes out of my mouth, how are you?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Fine, and you? (1.00 / 5) (#77)
by tacomacide on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:09:43 AM EST


*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

Shameless plug for my story (3.50 / 2) (#62)
by BOredAtWork on Sun May 25, 2003 at 11:35:09 PM EST

Been there, wrote the article already :-). http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/7/14/85942/3961 For what it's worth, I think we're heading in the direction you suggested. But, the big problem is OUR generation's parents. The ones who were raised in the 50's and 60's, when big houses and fancy cars and private gyms were the American Dream. They keep telling their children, our generation, to keep striving for those things which they were never lucky enough to have. We're caught in a pretty nasty cycle, and I think that history is quite liable to repeat itself if we do become less materialistic. It seems to be human nature to always see the grass as greener elsewhere. Every generation is going to think that The Way To Live is whichever way their parents didn't live, simply because we always seek the alternative to what we know and grew up with.

glad you think so (none / 0) (#160)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:54:19 PM EST

Read your article, and it is exactly what happens when we follow our materialistic dream too far.  I suspect it comes down to more than simply living the opposite to how our parents lived.  I think it comes down to not being brave enough to go against the flow for the sake of something that will last - our kids - instead of something that will rust or fade away - pretty much all of our stuff!

HeatherM
[ Parent ]
Nope, wrong. (none / 0) (#184)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:29:59 PM EST

That was my generation. We rebelled against the big houses and fancy cars- we were the hippies. Then, the NEXT generation, born in the 70s, rebelled against US and went for- yep, (or rather, YUP) bigger houses and even bigger cars than our materialistic parents ever dreamed of!

Having Reagan-Bush in the White House in the 80s only feuled it.

Now the younger folks seem to be rebelling against the yuppies, and the neohippies are smoking dope and railing against materialism!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Lower expectations (4.45 / 11) (#66)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:16:16 AM EST

Most working mothers work because they have. They aren't using the extra money to buy luxaries, but necessities.

Kids are expensive. Life is expensive. Most people want to send their kids to a good school and college if possible. They'd also like money to retire on. A lot of people live without any savings. Not everyone has a fancy car and cable television.

I think that the trend of the working mother is not female empowerment, but a decline of real wages for the working class.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

not sure this is true (3.00 / 1) (#539)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 08:02:52 PM EST

My limited experience with poor people is that many are spending money on things they really do not need. I don't dispute that we need an increased minimum wage, etc., but...

I worked 3 days as an ice cream truck driver, going around in poor neighborhoods. I saw a lot of people who lived in awful houses in dangerous neighborhoods who would spend say $3 on ice cream for themselves. $3 may seem a piddling amount of money, but if you're working for $6/hr, its not.

I'm in college and I certainly indulge on many things I probably shouldn't, given my current earnings, but I also know that I don't have to spend more than $2/day on food for myself, if necessary. And if money was tight, I would not be going out buying unnecessary "luxury" food or "luxury" anything. I would be saving my money. And if I made more than I spent, I would use that extra money to pay off things like my car loan or mortgage on my house.

[ Parent ]

You're generalizing (5.00 / 1) (#540)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue May 27, 2003 at 08:42:14 PM EST

Not everyone wastes so much money. I woman I work with was telling me the other day that she wished she could stay home with her kids. Also, if you are on a double income it does just that. Doubling is the difference between not being able to live and being able to afford an occasional ice cream. It doesn't necessarily bring you to the point of being able to afford a house downpayment, though.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
+1 fp wow (2.40 / 5) (#67)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:29:24 AM EST

straight from the heart.

everyone wants it all.

but we can only deliver a percentage of our imaginations.

our reach is larger than our grasp.

but for women contemplating having children, having a family, this drain on their time brings the contrast of reach and grasp into sharper definition than it does for men. indeed for women, they are often more grounded than men in reality, since their reproductive imperatives affords them less wiggle room than men. as a man, i can be a father at age 70, but a woman at age 30 is looking around and going "shit, gotta settle down."

good shit! thanks for the post. ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

I like stuff. (3.66 / 6) (#72)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:47:21 AM EST

I really do, I like stuff a lot.  So you plan isn't going to work.  If I have a choice between stuff, particularly cool stuff, on one hand or lesser quality, or even the complete lack of, stuff on the other, I'm afraid I'd have to choose having stuff.

Maybe I'd have to go out and get a better job that pays me more money in order to get the stuff I like.  Hey, why not try that approach youself?

I mean, if you found yourself a job that pays more, then you could have exactly the same amout of stuff, or even better stuff, while spending less time at work.

So I guess the question that I've got now is why is your first thought simply to give up and lower your expectations instead of meeting your higher expectations?  

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen

you're in trouble (5.00 / 2) (#76)
by lester on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:07:50 AM EST

if you think the "coolness" or quality of stuff is a linear function of how much you pay for it. i recommend you get a pentax k1000 with a 50mm lens and a fuckload of tri-x film and find out for yourself

[ Parent ]
No idea (none / 0) (#87)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:37:59 AM EST

I have no idea what that means, but I do know the following is absolutly true:

If "cooler" things are cheaper then uncool things, then it still is better to have more money becuase you can then buy many more cool things than you could before.

It doesn't matter if you can get really great stuff cheaply, because with more money you can get even more of that cheap stuff than before.

How is that hard to understand?

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

ok i made a mistake (5.00 / 1) (#334)
by lester on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:41:10 PM EST

coolness is not a property of stuff, but rather a relational concept involving the you-and-your-stuff system. OWNING EXPENSIVE STUFF DOES NOT MAKE YOU COOL IT IS DOING COOL STUFF WITH THINGS THAT MAKES YOU AND THE STUFF COOL. and with your attitude you'll never do anything cool cause you will have TOO MUCH SHIT TO LEARN TO DO ANYTHING WITH IT. BUY LESS CRAP AND LEARN TO USE IT WELL. again i recommend a used pentax k1000.

[ Parent ]
agreed (none / 0) (#94)
by Cruel Elevator on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:58:28 AM EST

For example, if you're looking for a 35mm film camera that has about 100% viewfinder coverage, match needle meter, mirror lockup, depth of field preview, separate dial for exposure and shutter and that's it, THAT'S IT, no motor winder or eye focus and the usual useless electronics - all running in two measly LR44s, what would you get?

Nothing. They don't make such cameras.

Oh, when your $2K Bose equipment sounds like shit compared to second hand $1k tube gear, what do you say to yourself?

[ Parent ]

in other words in case you don't get it (1.00 / 3) (#78)
by lester on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:15:02 AM EST

THE PRICE OF YOUR STUFF DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU SUCK AND THE PRICE OF YOUR STUFF DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU DON'T SUCK

[ Parent ]
Ok, you don't get it either... (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:39:57 AM EST

No matter what the price (except for free), you can always buy more stuff with more money than with less money.


A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
and also (1.00 / 1) (#321)
by lester on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:07:21 PM EST

HAVING MORE CRAP DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON, BE IT COOL OR SHITTY CRAP

[ Parent ]
Who said better? (none / 0) (#351)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:26:49 PM EST

I never said it makes you a better person.  I said that I like having stuff.  Being poor also doesn't make you a better person.  That's irrelevant.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
ok, let's get technical here (none / 0) (#375)
by lester on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:54:57 PM EST

we can replace the vague notion of "better" here with the technical notion of "value" from game theory, economics, etc. your claim is that your value function increases monotonically on one of its parameters, total worth of all the crap you own. my claim then, in technical terms, is that THAT'S FUCKED UP

[ Parent ]
Utility (none / 0) (#423)
by gnovos on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:32:43 AM EST

Use utility instead...  I get more utility from either having more stuff or else having an average amout of stuff but not having to worry about my stuff being taken away.  Being poor gives me less utility because I both won't have as much stuff and I'll constantly have to worry about having what small amouts of good stuff that I might have taken away from me either by bill collectors oe else simply by having them wear out and not being able to replace them.  

There is nothing wrong with making more money, as long as you are making it legitamately.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Spoken like a true silver spooner (none / 0) (#179)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:15:09 PM EST

You take what you get.

If her daddy's rich take her out for a meal
If her daddy's poor just do what you feel

Sorry I can't remember the name of that old song, it's about drinkig and driving before drinking and driving became uncool.

But the point is, you don't CHOOSE how much they pay you. Dumb rich kids.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

That's odd... (none / 0) (#204)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:42:45 PM EST

I don't come from a rich family, but because I trained myself in a field I enjpy to be one of the best, I do, to some degree, set my own salary.  If I don't like the salary I am offered, I don't take it, I just starve until I find the salary that I like, and every time I eventually find it.  If I can do it, why can't she?  Am I superior to her somehow?

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Hmm. (5.00 / 2) (#234)
by melia on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:52:40 PM EST

This is like saying "nobody has to be poor, they can always get a better job" - it's not quite as simple as that. How, exactly, did you train yourself in the field?

Incidentally, the song is "in the summertime" by Mungo Jerry.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

That's right. (none / 0) (#238)
by gnovos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:07:49 PM EST

It's better to say "nobody has to be poor" than to say "I'm poor and I always will be, so why even try?".  

In the first case, the worst thing that can happen is when you end up not meeting your goals...  in the second case the worst thing is when you do.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Simple (none / 0) (#509)
by cdyer on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:25:10 PM EST

You can do it and she can't because the thing you have trained yourself to be good at, because you love doing it comes with a salary.  Maybe you're talking about programming.  It's just a guess.  The think she's trained herself to be good at because she loves doing it does not come with a salary.  You do not get paid to keep a house in order.  However, it can make life more affordable.  You can make your own clothes, cook your own food, grow your own food in a garden, make things rather than buying them and drastically reduce your cost of living.  Learn to play a musical instrument and sing a few songs and your entertainment budget drops to the floor.  Especially if you can invite a few friends over who enjoy the same.

Stuff stuff stuff.  More more more.  

What ever happened to your God-given creativity?

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

Very well written, +1 FP (4.50 / 4) (#79)
by UltraNurd on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:22:12 AM EST

You make some decent points, some that I've heard before, some that I haven't.

I've read a couple of good books on related subjects, which I'd recommend reading to anyone who is interested in further exploring some aspects of this topic.

  • The Not So Big House and Creating the Not So Big House, both by Sarah Susanka. Lots of great pictures and some architectural drawings, these books address the problems with the huge suburban houses being built today, why bigger seems better, and how to create a cozy, comfortable home.
  • Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam. A really dense read that talks (and talks, and talks) about why people are becoming less and less involved in their communities, and how to "fix" American society.

--
"Your Mint Mountain Dew idea is hideous and wrong."
-Hide The Hamster

Keep digging. (none / 0) (#511)
by cdyer on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:29:20 PM EST

If you keep looking in that direction, you'll find a whole wealth of books written about the notion of improving life by scaling back.  Wendell Berry, Gene Logsdon, Scott Savage, Helen and Scott Nearing.  The Foxfire series.  You're stepping onto a wonderful though sometimes frightening path.  Keep going.

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

I hate to admit it (3.00 / 4) (#82)
by dr k on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:56:28 AM EST

but sometimes, as a man, I get this not-so-fresh feeling...


Destroy all trusted users!

That happens. (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by tkatchev on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:15:02 AM EST

Don't drink so much.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Ugh. (3.83 / 6) (#84)
by moho on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:19:14 AM EST

You create your social/financial struggle through your own lack of imagination. Why 'must' these things happen, what is so radical about them? The fact that by default you chose to do something else? You're stating the obvious like it's some crazy revelation. Where's the profound point about the role of women?

This article is more evidence that K5 will vote anything up that's over a page long, as long as it sounds positive and doesn't have some trollish slant. No matter how uninsightful and banal it is.

How to quit smoking cigarettes... [nt] (none / 0) (#175)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:09:56 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You know how k5 works (none / 0) (#256)
by pakje on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:38:21 PM EST

The site is created by the public: the moderation as well as the articles... If there are a lot of new submissions each day, then the amount of 'not-so-well-written-articles' will decline. But my opinion is that there are just too few submissions. 1 or 2 new FP articles a day would be fine.

[ Parent ]
Meh. (2.57 / 7) (#90)
by subversion on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:09:09 AM EST

There's nothing here.  Your article sums to "People should live within their means and spend more time with their kids."

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
mental health (none / 0) (#139)
by TwistedGreen on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:29:16 AM EST

I interpreted it as a reminder that we should take a step back and reevaluate how we spend our time.  What is all that time at work for, if we can't enjoy its fruits and the lives that we believe we are supporting?  If we let these days slip away without enjoying them, we will regret it the rest of our lives.

Somewhere, just out of sight, the gnomes are gathering.
[ Parent ]
Whereas (none / 0) (#428)
by subversion on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:08:42 AM EST

I read it as a "You're all too materialist" rant after a certain point.  The author does seem to have confused the genuine problem of people who over-work with the non-starter of people who work hard.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
I've answered this one before (4.33 / 15) (#93)
by Cruel Elevator on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:43:31 AM EST

“Is the persuance of materialistic and personal achievement, at the sake of family time and attention, really worth the price?”

In a similar discussion, my opinion was “yes”. I got attacked in a 6:1 ratio, and soon I ended up getting kicked. Let me try again - at least I won't get kicked this time.

First of all, let me take a leaf out of your book and suggest a few more radical concepts. Why are you having children in the first case? Because... yes? Did you say that it's The Way, and you have to follow The Way? You must leave behind a trail of your existence in this planet? Oh, come on, you can do better then that. Nature had to devise a way that your species survives, so there's reproduction. Now, that's a messy business, and nobody would be interested unless it's hard coded in your circuits. Or, in other words, there's the process of sex which is soooooo good, that you end up breeding.

Skip a step. Don't assume that you HAVE to have children. What's the harm in say, spending your lifetime in making enough money to sustain your living conditions and hobbies? Oh yeah, sex. I think that there are women out there who's not interested in having kids too. Not all women are hard coded so that they WILL want to have kids. I think that it's more to do with the society and how girls are brought up.

It's not that people are stuck in a vicious circle of mortgage + loan hell... they chose to own those gadgets and were willing to work for it. See, it's what people enjoy. If people enjoy getting out there doing things, or tinkering with getting Linux running in their toaster rather then changing diapers or getting kids potty trained don't blame them.

I personally think that if it weren't for the social pressure, a lot of couples would decide not to have kids. “Family life” as you put it isn't a must. I also think that you should start telling people not to have children unless they are wiling to follow a certain (radical?) lifestyle. It's time we realize that Family Life (TM) isn't for everybody.

By the way, have you read the fiction titled T.E.U. that got FP a few months back? What is your thoughts on this?

One more thing – how come I don't see in female K5'ers commenting much in issues related to women's rights? How come YOU aren't replying to the comments posted?

(you spelled pursuance wrong. May I recommend you some fine word-processor?)

DING! DING! DING! (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:55:07 AM EST

One more thing - how come I don't see in female K5'ers commenting much in issues related to women's rights? How come YOU aren't replying to the comments posted?

Ladies and Gentlemen... well, at least you Gents that've shown up, We have a Winner!

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Female k5ers (4.50 / 4) (#101)
by fraise on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:25:31 AM EST

One more thing - how come I don't see in female K5'ers commenting much in issues related to women's rights? How come YOU aren't replying to the comments posted?

How do you know they're all male? One thing I've noticed as a female is that if I go around commenting on websites without ever once pointing out "I am a female", people assume I'm male.

Secondly, maybe some of we women k5ers are sick and tired of being expected to weigh in, deal with and debate women's rights stuff in everyday life and so really don't feel like doing the same on a website with a tendency to harbor flamethrowers and trolls... :) That said, a story I wrote on the general subject was FP'd - oddly enough - last year.

[ Parent ]
Your second point... (none / 0) (#103)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:41:02 AM EST

Your second point doesn't seem to slow down the Jewish or Black K5 contingents.
Surely, the women of kuro5hin are made of sterner stuff than that!

Are you sure you want to stick to that line of reasoning?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

What about... (1.00 / 1) (#174)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:09:10 PM EST

the black asian gay jewish women from Mexico???

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Them? (none / 0) (#210)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:48:13 PM EST

They're so oppressed, that they have no legal internet access.

Sir, your straw man is aflame!

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

What?? (5.00 / 1) (#267)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:14:57 PM EST

I am a straw man... OW OW!! EEEEEEEEYOW!!!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What's k5's male/female ratio, anybody? (nt) (4.00 / 2) (#111)
by Kuranes on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:01:57 AM EST




Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Heh, (none / 0) (#171)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:05:38 PM EST

In one of my diary entries, jjayson flamed me for flirting with the K5 ladies. Someone responded to that, "there are GIRLS on K5???"

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

how come YOU dont see it? (2.50 / 6) (#106)
by turmeric on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:07:38 AM EST

the article is not just about 'kids' maybe you should actually read it and stop trying to justify technofascist utopian brave new world bullshit the author is trying to rail against.

and there have been plenty of criticisms of sexist comments on k5. THEY GET VOTED DOWN. at a certain point i think people just decide 'ugh, whats the fucking point' and they give up and stop speaking back.

[ Parent ]

The development of a country (4.00 / 4) (#108)
by reklaw on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:26:58 AM EST

Here's a little Geography for you.  Note that the stages can apply to the history of more economically developed contries as well as the present situation of less economically developed ones.

Stage 1 (eg. Ethiopia): pre-Industrial revolution.  Birth rate high because of culture and practical need for farm workers.  Death rate fluctuates.
Stage 2 (eg. Brazil): Industrial revolution.  Birth rate remains high largely because of culture.  Death rate falls steeply due to better sanitation and healthcare.  Population explosion.
Stage 3 (eg. China): Birth rates begin to fall because of increased access to contraception and people starting to pursue material possessions in still-increasing industry instead of the traditional large family.  Death rates also continue to fall as healthcare gets better.
Stage 4 (eg. Japan): Developed country.  Birth rate and death rate level out.

But there's a problem here.  Some countries have started entering a Stage 5, where the birth rate is lower than the death rate, mainly because people are deciding to wait later in life to start a family and having fewer children.  When this happens, you get a declining and aging population, which is bad for a lot of reasons.

Foreign workers start having to be brought in to do jobs because of the declining workforce, or the age of retirement must be made higher.  Taxes and the burden on the young in looking after the elderly increase.  You do not want your country to have an aging population -- Italy, for example, already has this problem.

When the rest of the western world starts slipping into stage 5 you'd better be prepared for their Governments launching huge campaigns telling people to have more children.
-
[ Parent ]

Most of Europe has that problem (nt) (none / 0) (#110)
by Kuranes on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:59:49 AM EST




Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Problem? (1.50 / 2) (#168)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:01:38 PM EST

You're not underpopulated. The birth rate just NOW started going down. Like HHGTG says, DON'T PANIC! It's a much better way of stablizing population than Malthus proposed.

Is homosexuality nature's way of stabilizing the population? Some studies on rats suggest so.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Indeed (none / 0) (#118)
by Aneurin on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:35:38 AM EST

IIRC, Germany appears to be in Stage 5 with the UK following.  It seems that all MEDCs in Europe are heading that way as well.

A quick google found this pretty interesting PDF on the subject.
---
Just think: the entire Internet, running on jazz. -Canthros

[ Parent ]

Brasil is not in stage 2 anymore (none / 0) (#146)
by hummassa on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:02:13 PM EST

we are reaching for your stage 5 in < 10 years. LOTS of culturally-induced birth control starting.

[ Parent ]
Stage 3- china (4.00 / 2) (#164)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:58:10 PM EST

Law mandates only one child per couple. Your carefully constructed logic vanishes in a puff of reality.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Ah, oops. (none / 0) (#186)
by reklaw on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:31:33 PM EST

I shouldn't have used China -- they're forcing the aging population problem on themselves.  China is still in stage 3 economically, but it looks a bit silly to say it when I'm only talking about birth and death rates.

Singapore and South Korea fit into stage 3, and are probably better examples.
-
[ Parent ]

Look at the global pattern (4.00 / 1) (#261)
by Edgy Loner on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:02:21 PM EST

The population growth at the indivdual country level isn't as important as the overall global population growth. If Italy has a shrinking population, that makes it better able to absorb surplus population from other areas. Increasing average age of the population imposes more burdens, true. But that should be offset by increasing technical capabilities.
The point is to look at the global population curve, not individual localities.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
What with people who actually want children? (4.50 / 2) (#109)
by Kuranes on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:58:31 AM EST

Believe it or not, those people exist.

Nowadays, the popular opinion (at least over here in Europe) does much to make children unattractive (they are a career setback, they are so much work, they are not thankful) etc. But nobody realizes, that, as long as you manage to keep up with them, children can be a great advantage, for example: Less loneliness! If you put some cute brats into this world, maybe one of them will take your parenthood into account and prevent you from dying alone and being fast forgotten.

And I mean, this is important for men too. But I don't mean any offense: If you don't want children, then don't have any. People are different.

Please reply, it's already so funny for me preparing to be bashed as anti-feminist and/or Catholic (I prefer seeing myself as being neither).


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Loosers (1.33 / 6) (#119)
by mahoney on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:44:43 AM EST

It's each and every persons choice if they have children or not but if you choose not to and go for the money, glory, career or whatever then you have lost in the game of life. You are the ultimate looser. The ultimate failure, you failed the one real reason for your existance. You failed to reproduce.

--mahone

[ Parent ]

Not really (4.33 / 3) (#151)
by tetsuwan on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:35:11 PM EST

Kafka didn't reproduce. Yet, his contribution to western culture (for good and bad) is great. His genes are a dead end, but his thoughts are not.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Reason for existence? (4.66 / 3) (#155)
by hatshepsut on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:45:24 PM EST

To imply that there is a "real" reason for anyone's existence is to imply that there is some guiding force in the universe.

There is no reason for my existence other than the fact that my parents chose to have a child (hence, I exist).

We are not here to breed. The universe doesn't care if we are here or not. As for what I choose to do with my time (and it doesn't fall under your pre-supposed categories of money, glory or career), it has nothing to do with any perceived external reason for my existence.

[ Parent ]

How do you know? (3.66 / 3) (#302)
by Verax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:50:34 PM EST

There is no reason for my existence other than the fact that my parents chose to have a child (hence, I exist).

How do you know that there is no other reason? At least those who believe in God admit that's a matter of faith. Unless you can prove that there is no other reason, then your statement is also one of faith.



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
While I try to remain open-minded about it (4.00 / 2) (#322)
by hatshepsut on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:14:27 PM EST

I cannot bring myself to believe in any deity.

While (religious) faith might be very comforting on occasion, I cannot bring myself to believe any creed. It is impossible to prove a negative, so I don't attempt to prove that "there is no other reason". You could, I suppose, try to convince me that there _is_ some other reason, but I think you would have a hard time of it (so it probably isn't worth your while)!

I really don't have any problems with the idea that I exist because my parents wanted to have a child (and by extension, me). That strikes me as a perfectly logical and acceptable reason for existence.

[ Parent ]

Why is that? (4.00 / 1) (#337)
by Verax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:02:39 PM EST

I cannot bring myself to believe any creed

Why is that? Are you simply convinced that God does not exist? Or do you believe in Him, but have not yet found a creed that appears to be "correct"? Or have you found a creed that seem correct, but accepting it would lead to consequences that you want to avoid?

In my case, I made a logic error, generalizing from "all the buttheads that I see claim to be religious" to "all religious people are buttheads". That left me with a prejudice that precluded looking at creeds. Also, at that time, I had not yet received the gift of faith. However, once I did receive it (unexpectedly, without particularly wanting it, without pressure, in the space of less than 2 seconds), I was obliged to start looking. I spotted my logic error. Based on: 1) I believe there is a God, 2) I believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be, 3) Jesus started a Church, and 4) that Church is today the Catholic Church, I decided that I would read the Catechism of The Catholic Church cover-to-cover, using a fine-toothed comb (took a year to do it), to see if Catholicism would require me to abandon science (which I was not prepared to do, since I had walke that path for 30 years). To my great surprise, it doesn't. So I converted.



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
The "gift" of faith (2.66 / 3) (#383)
by stormie on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:24:10 AM EST

Also, at that time, I had not yet received the gift of faith. However, once I did receive it (unexpectedly, without particularly wanting it, without pressure, in the space of less than 2 seconds), I was obliged to start looking.

You know, that was probably a stroke, or an aneurysm, or something like that. Did you consult your doctor after you received this unexpected "gift" ?



[ Parent ]
Question. (2.00 / 1) (#387)
by Verax on Tue May 27, 2003 at 01:27:53 AM EST

You know, that was probably a stroke, or an aneurysm, or something like that. Did you consult your doctor after you received this unexpected "gift" ?

I'm guessing that's a joke. Do you really believe that? If so, why?



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
Loosers (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:56:02 PM EST

Is a "Looser" someone who loses on purpose because he or she wants to be a loser? Or do you just not know how to fucking spell?

Lose- verb, to accidentally not have something

Loose- verb, to set free.

Learn the fucking language. Just because there's a typo in Mandrakes docs doesn't mean you losers have to keep repeating that typo ad infinitum.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Failed? No, chose not to! (3.33 / 3) (#250)
by Roman on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:08:27 PM EST

You are quite an arrogant prick, ain't you? Calling others losers *(or loosers) for doing something they chose to do? I think it is the rest of the world who are losers for doing something that was not of their own choice.

I chose not to reproduce. We had an accident with my GF once, she got an abortion, and I was the main force in that decision. Of-course she could have chosen otherwise and had a child, but I it would be against my will and she knew it. I would have to bear the consequences of sex. I like sex. I like the fact that women can use the pill to not get pregnant. I am missing a pill for men, so I could use it. I am thinking about getting myself a visectomy, the only reason why I did not do it yet is because I am lazy and somewhat uncomfortable with cutting my body. I don't even have a single piercing or a tatoo.

Why, in order for me to not be a failure in your eyes, do I have to have children if I don't want to? Interesting question. I CHOSE not to have them and I really don't care about opinions of others on this matter. Not my girlfriend's, not my mother's and not yours.

Why do other people have unwanted children by accident? Why do many people allow others to decide for them whether to have children or not? Are women really 'preprogrammed' to have children by nature or by societal pressure?

[ Parent ]

Choice? What about her? (2.25 / 4) (#299)
by Verax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:46:03 PM EST

That's not quite accurate.

I chose not to reproduce. We had an accident with my GF once, she got an abortion, and I was the main force in that decision. Of-course she could have chosen otherwise and had a child, but I it would be against my will and she knew it.

No, you chose to have sex, and you did reproduce. You did not have an "accident", you had a son or daughter. What you "chose" to do was have that son or daughter killed.

What would you call yourself, anyway? Pro-Life? That wouldn't make sense. Pro-Choice? You didn't give her a choice. Whatever happened to "it's the woman's choice?". So often, the mother wants to keep her baby, is pressured by those around her to the point where she believes that she has not choice but to allow her baby to be killed. All because you like sex. Think about it.

Please consider that your "GF" is more than just two letters; that she is a living, feeling human being. You forced her to give up the most natural thing in the world. Women who go through this have a strong tendency to get depressed, and a much higher suicide rate than those women who go on to give birth and put their children up for adoption. Please consider being a man, admitting what you have really done, and asking her forgiveness. Please get very clear on what is more important to you: the health and well-being of people, or your orgasms. Perhaps, for you, it really is orgasms. But don't try to convince us that the resulting human misery didn't happen, and that you have not reproduced.



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
Chose to have sex (4.00 / 2) (#335)
by Roman on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:42:08 PM EST

Correct, I chose to have sex and the contraceptives did not work. So accidents happen they say. What would you call yourself, anyway? Pro-Life? That wouldn't make sense. Pro-Choice? You didn't give her a choice - Defenetely not pro-life. I was never pro-life. My parents did not ask me permission for me been born, and had I been given a choice before I was born...but from my current position... (difficult to explain I suppose) I would have told them to get an abortion. No, my parents did not have a choice. In former USSR, (Ukraine) 27 years ago - everybody was married with children by the age of 25. That was not a choice. It was an expectation. I am a product of that expectation. I say fuck em. I don't give a shit about children, my children or any other children. I am the kind of guy who would kill them if there was no penalty and I was paid for doing it. I am not pro-life. I am anti-life. I like sex though. I was born with a healthy sex drive (unfortunately?). - Thus the resulting human misery. Not the kind that you described. And no, I have not reproduce - it's dead, just the way I wanted it to be.

[ Parent ]
Question, then. (3.00 / 2) (#340)
by Verax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:11:24 PM EST

My parents did not ask me permission for me been born, and had I been given a choice before I was born...but from my current position... (difficult to explain I suppose) I would have told them to get an abortion.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I value all human life, including yours. I do not want harm to come to you. In fact, you sound really unhappy. I want you to know peace in this life.

That said, you don't seem consistent. If you really wish to be dead, and others have failed to kill you, then why haven't you killed yourself? I hope and pray that you don't. I'm just asking what your reasoning is.



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
suicide? :) (5.00 / 2) (#362)
by Roman on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:01:19 PM EST

That said, you don't seem consistent. If you really wish to be dead, and others have failed to kill you, then why haven't you killed yourself? I hope and pray that you don't. I'm just asking what your reasoning is. - I was never that depressed, I get alone with people easily and I can find contacts easily. I can find a girl to have fun with in a matter of hours If I needed it. But there is more to it, of-course. I actually enjoy doing a few things on this planet, and once I stop enjoying them, then I could consider suicide. But so far so good. Sex, and computers, ping-pong, fast cars.... I guess that's it? Maybe occasional scenery out of a plane window.

I am not as miserable as many other people, many people would want to have the life I have. I have worked my way from the bottom (yeah, I worked in construction, sold ice-cream from bikes, worked with a dump-truck throwing garbage into it, worked in shipment and delivery .... then I started my university studies and in the second year found myself my first computer programmer position and it has been 6 years since that time. I bought my parents a house 3 years ago so we could stop moving from place to place, bought another house 2 months ago to fix it and rent it out. Bought my father a new Honda Accord 3 years ago and I drive a leased BMW 330ci convertible since 2001 (I want to get rid of it now to get myself my own place). Helping my parents with their work, helping my brother and my SO. My GF is a nice girl with rich parents (but I want nothing from them), she is also smart (a computer programmer and an economics major). And after all of this I still feel that I would have chosen non-existence had I been given a choice 27 years ago.

Is it surprising that I do not want kids? I am all pro-abortion, fuck choice. I do not want to continue my fucking lineage, it will die with me (of-course I do have a brother and I don't think he is sharing my views) Oh well. I am an atheist as well (you are not surprised, right?)

Why all of this? I do not like this place. I mean this planet, the people (even though I love girls.) The people are just too darn dumb and the life has no answer by design. It could never answer anything - life for the sake of life itself sounds useless and redundant. Basically, if there was a button to push to take this entire planet down in a second, I would be the one to push it :)

[ Parent ]

No, you did indeed *fail*. (2.50 / 2) (#406)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:22:17 AM EST

I know you're appplying salve to your ego with that comment, but face the fact, if the teacher hands out the test forms and you turn it in with only your name written on it, you fail the test.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

what does that mean exactly? (4.50 / 2) (#461)
by Roman on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:14:12 AM EST

? your statement means exactly nothing to me. I do not have the same value system as you do, no matter how hard that is for you to accept and I decided that this existence is not necessary. I am pro-enthropy and anti-order (though I enjoy computer programming.) I am anti-procreation because I believe that even though the non-existing child cannot voice his/her choice before been born and grown it should not be pushed into existence to accept the values and realities of this system (I don't mean societal values, I mean the values of this existence.)

Possibly you mean that from point of view of evolution of life I am a failure? I agree with that much. I fail to feel the necessity to propagate my species and I am not going to leave a trace of my DNA in the gene pool of this world. I have no problem with that, I only see problems with doing otherwise and that is exactly why I am not going to procreate.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (3.00 / 1) (#468)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:18:02 PM EST

Possibly you mean that from point of view of evolution of life I am a failure?

That's precisely what I meant, though I understand your position.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

what does that mean exactly? (none / 0) (#462)
by Roman on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:14:19 AM EST

? your statement means exactly nothing to me. I do not have the same value system as you do, no matter how hard that is for you to accept and I decided that this existence is not necessary. I am pro-enthropy and anti-order (though I enjoy computer programming.) I am anti-procreation because I believe that even though the non-existing child cannot voice his/her choice before been born and grown it should not be pushed into existence to accept the values and realities of this system (I don't mean societal values, I mean the values of this existence.)

Possibly you mean that from point of view of evolution of life I am a failure? I agree with that much. I fail to feel the necessity to propagate my species and I am not going to leave a trace of my DNA in the gene pool of this world. I have no problem with that, I only see problems with doing otherwise and that is exactly why I am not going to procreate.

[ Parent ]

The kid myth (3.00 / 2) (#140)
by MKalus on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:29:19 AM EST

There was a recent study done that interviewed couples who had kids and those who didn't.

The end result was not what you expected: Overall the couples who didn't have kids (and didn't want them) were as happy if not happier than the one with kids.

Reason for this? You are not lonely at old age if you don't have kids, much the opposit actually because you always kept in contact with other people. Kids grow up, they leave the house and start their own life. To have kids just to hope that one day you are not going to be alone is wishful thinking.

So, as much as some people want (and should have) kids many more don't. And there is still the idea in society that a "woman wants kids" regardless of what.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

You misunderstood me. (none / 0) (#638)
by Kuranes on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 05:57:41 AM EST

My concept would be:
1. Provide best circumstances (social security, part-time working, Kindergarten etc. which is quite impossible in a capitalist society) for people who want kids.

2. Free all who don't want to from sexism and traditional roles and provide them with best circumstances to do it their way.

I doubt that posting a reference to a sociological study which


1. Can be easily manipulated to bring the desired result.
2. Does not take into account mediating variables (for example, poor people have trouble bringing up kids).

can be seen as a valid argument here. Besides, you didn't provide a corresponding link.

People should be encouraged and empowered to live the life they want to live.


Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot.
[ Parent ]
Links. (4.00 / 1) (#639)
by MKalus on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 12:03:36 PM EST

I would have to search it was in a german magazine and Salon ran a series of articles with that topic around mothers day.

As for the other points: Yes I agree I think that society should provide the options for people to have kids without having to bankrupt themselves, the former east germany did this quite sucessfullly, after the re-unification things chagned and I know a lot of people who grew in the "good old days" are sad that they are gone and I can understand that.

But do you really see the US make any changes towards a socialist model in the near future? Honeslty, I don't.

M.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

I think that's obvious (4.66 / 6) (#117)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:29:23 AM EST

One more thing - how come I don't see in female K5'ers commenting much in issues related to women's rights? How come YOU aren't replying to the comments posted?

Because she's been told by various posters to shut up and make sandwiches, that she needs a good dicking, that her role is to sit on a man's pole, and that her mere presence here means she's neglecting her kid? Yeah, that's a real good atmosphere for discussion, isn't it? Then you have all the people who merely discount the subject with "well, you can have kids or have a life and you chose to have kids, so there".

I don't suppose it's occurred to anyone that the general climate of employment in this country can make it very difficult for people with kids - mandatory overtime, inflexible scheduling, etc. etc. Not too many people in the MALE dominated business world are concerned about the problem of raising kids - "that's a woman's problem, honey, you know, you didn't have to have them", the boss says, inwardly pissed off because he just had his child support increased 10 dollars cause his ex told "that bastard of a judge" she needed new clothes for the kids ... Yeah, I'm stereotyping, but think about it - in a society where there's millions of deadbeat dads and millions more who complain about the money they have to pay to support their kids, don't you think there just might be something a little wrong with that society's attitudes towards children and the women who end up raising them because the man doesn't think it's that important?

And that's many men dealing with their own children - when it's time to consider the problems of other people's children, you get responses such as the ones I've complained about here, or your nice truism that "you don't HAVE to have children", to people saying crap like, "I don't see why my tax money should go to WELFARE MOTHERS, or to educate other people's kids" and "I'm sick of covering at work for people whose kids are sick". The welfare of today's kids doesn't have a thing to do with OUR future, does it? Yeah, we can just go on having a good time with our lives and let those people who have kids worry about it, never mind that the world we live in when we're old will be a direct result of how well these kids are paid for. In fact, we can even segregate ourselves into child-free apartment buildings so we don't have to deal with the unpleasant realities of life, such as children ...

I wouldn't call someone anything because they decide not to have kids - in fact, people who feel this way are probably right not to have them. But a society that is so unconcerned about the future of kids, that is so unsupportive of those that have them, that is so child-unfriendly in many aspects, and where a good part of the male half of society seems unwilling to help create a society where they have to make some of the sacrifices that women have to, shows unmistakable signs of degeneracy. The exaltation of the sterile over the fertile, the feeling that kids are someone else's problem and not the problem of all of us, the contempt some have for those who must bear the kids, and the facile comments from men that "your kids are your problem, honey" are all signs of a degenerating culture.

But, hey, as long as we make scads of money and have lots of toys, it doesn't matter what kind of world we leave for the next generation, does it?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Deadbeat dads (3.00 / 1) (#159)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:51:46 PM EST

Hmm, how come we never hear about deadbeat MOMS? Could it be that there are so few of us dads who have custody?

Evil X left not just me, but me AND the kids. The kids were old enough to tell her "no way" when she said "lets leave so I can fuck this other guy".

Older daughter moved in with her mom when she found out she could see her OWN boyfriend more, and not only that but Mom would let her have sex!

I'm all for equal rights. Too bad feminists arent/ Women want to have their cake and eat yours, too.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

It's evolution (3.66 / 3) (#142)
by bradasch on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:39:18 AM EST

I would put "The Way" in 5 stages:

Stage 1: Adolescence: You do whatever you feel like.

Stage 2: Young adult: You develop a stable relationship (always dreaded and avoided in Stage 1), decide and start a career.

Stage 3: You decide to marry, evolving your stable relationship to a (in theory) definitive one.

Stage 4: You have kids. At this point your career is at its peak. You start to develop other skills, like parenting. You raise your kids and make them your top priority.

Stage 5: You get old.

IMO, these stages are an evolution. See, I already did "tinkering with getting Linux running in their toaster" in stage 2. Eventually, I got bored, so I decided to move to stage 3. If I understood correctly, you say that there are people who enjoy and want to be in stage 2 for the rest of their lives. I feel sorry for them. IMO, they are not evoluting (or growing).

I do agree in one point: having kids is not for everyone. You have to be prepared, and it's better (or bearable) if you enjoy being a parent. But I do disagree on social pressure. I don't see it as big as you put it. It's quite common (Europe, for instance) to see couples without kids. Most people I know consider that a normal choice.

In the end, it's a question of developing (or not) your social skills: those who enjoy life with people, enjoy (yes, enjoy) "The Way". Those who think other people are a nuisance in one's life mostly enjoy your way.

[ Parent ]
Your post is onlt 50 years out of date (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:46:45 PM EST

We have contraceptives now. Good contraceptives. I was married for ten years before we had kids. We chose to have them.

We were waiting until we could afford them. We had them when we finally realized we could never afford them.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

No, not quite (none / 0) (#512)
by Cruel Elevator on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:43:06 PM EST

Take it from someone who's sick of the population explosion. OK, I live in a really poor country where population is probably the biggest problem. Now, we've been distributing rubbers and pills by the truckload to villagers. Guess what happens - nobody uses them, and the rubbers are given to kids to play with (they make stronger, and more interesting balloons) . Trust me, it's sick to watch kids blowing rubbers up while their parents get on to have 5+ kids.

The problem isn't about education. It's about the inconvenience associated with contraceptives. For poor people, sex is the only entertainment and even 5% reduction in quality of sex is a BIG deal. As for pills, nobody is interested. They think that God will take care of their kids, and believe me, that's what that happens. Kids grow up in the streets.

By the way, what makes you think that contraceptives are good, safe, has no side effects and are not inconvenient at all? So, you never wanted to bone your wife (er, sorry to hear about your evil X) and realized that da rubba was in the other room? Pills won't make your evil X go into bitchfests and are absolutely harmless?

I don't think so. This world needs a better contraceptive and hell, the sooner the better.

(This comment may be biased because of my geographical location, where people do get pissed fetching the rubber in the middle of sex and women are uncomfortable about the side effects of pills)

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#525)
by Kal on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:05:13 PM EST

So, you never wanted to bone your wife (er, sorry to hear about your evil X) and realized that da rubba was in the other room?

Is it really that big a deal to spend the 10 seconds or so to go get it?

Pills won't make your evil X go into bitchfests and are absolutely harmless?

Don't know about anyone else, but my wife has never had any problems with them.

where people do get pissed fetching the rubber in the middle of sex

Ah, I think I see the problem. Most folk get it before they start.

[ Parent ]
again, (none / 0) (#552)
by Cruel Elevator on Wed May 28, 2003 at 02:47:41 AM EST

1. Start steamy foreplay with your ch1x04 in the kitchen
2. Realize the 3 pack's in the bedroom
3. ???
4. Profit!

Even with the inconvenience, rubbers are still more popular then pills among couples. Every wonder why?

[ Parent ]

contraceptives (none / 0) (#608)
by mcgrew on Fri May 30, 2003 at 01:07:36 PM EST

She had one of those devices that they later outlawed (that are still used in europe). No rubbers, no pills. No kids. When we decided to have kids she went to the doc and they took it out.

Actually, there WAS a side effect- on me. Damned thing poked my dick sometimes and it HURT.

There are no benefits to being a man with a larger than average cock.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

memes (4.00 / 1) (#316)
by gdanjo on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:57:50 PM EST

The meme that "children make you happy" co-evolved with the "circuits" that wire you to want to have kids. For humans to survive, both the circuits and the meme must survive.

Does that make the meme true or false? No. But it serves and important function, and has, in the end, been true more often than not.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Reenactment (4.46 / 39) (#97)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:36:54 AM EST

Mommy, mommy,
read me a story!
  |               Not now dear, mommy's busy telling 
  |             / K5 how to be a good mommy.
  |            /
             O    _
    O       ||\  |_|
   /_\      ||_ =--- 
   / \      |  | | |


reenactment of the reenactment (3.62 / 8) (#105)
by turmeric on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:04:57 AM EST

honey, i have cancer. can we talk abnout my chemo?

NOT NOW ,IM THE HACKING THE ASCII THE MONOSPACE ETC ON HTE KURO%HIN

[ Parent ]

heh (1.12 / 16) (#113)
by tacomacide on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:13:55 AM EST

I'm a dildo.              I'm a fat stupid single mother's cunt.
\                             /
 \                          /
 8=====D           ( ( ^ ) )

Sick.      I'm sure my kids will grow up to be well-adjusted.
  \         /
   \      /
   8==) )

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

The K5 equivalent (3.75 / 4) (#120)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:44:44 AM EST

Girl - "So, what do you think about us having kids someday?"

Boy - "No, thanks, they'll mess with my configuration files and walk in on me when I'm whacking off to porno."

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Booooo (none / 0) (#131)
by tacomacide on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:54:54 AM EST

No need to be offensive.

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

As it happens.... (4.00 / 6) (#130)
by alyosha1 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:54:13 AM EST

I was looking after our daughter while Heather wrote that article.  She should be back online sometime this afternoon to reply to some of your comments.

alyosha1, husband to HeatherM.

[ Parent ]

+1, not sure... (4.50 / 2) (#104)
by l3nz on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:00:10 AM EST

it's quite a big shift in our lives. but i've been thinking over and over on similar subjects with similar conclusions. nothing feels me with happiness like the sun, a bike and green leaves all around. not sure it will work, though.
i think the title is wrong: it's not a woman's decision. it's every person's decision. it's what to do in your life. and no, I won't be rotting in my cubicle for all of my life.

Popk ToDo lists - yet another web-based ToDo list manager. 100% AJAX free :-)

One parent should stay at home, always. (4.66 / 3) (#121)
by Silent Chris on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:50:18 AM EST

Of course, only if it's possible (if you've got one and they need to work, so be it).  I always felt that if I ever had children (unlikely) that either the mother or myself should stay home.  Given that I tend to date very independent girls who enjoy working, I imagine they wouldn't want to give that up.  I'd be happy to give it up, as I think raising a child is as fulfilling a life, if not moreso, than being part of the rat race.  I can't imagine I'm the only guy who thinks so, either.

agreed 100% (none / 0) (#154)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:41:39 PM EST

but see my post to this topic

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Problems (5.00 / 2) (#258)
by The Hiro on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:49:41 PM EST

You get divorced (it happens). And whoever decided to stay at home as a full-time parent ends up being SOL because they're pretty much unemployable, or have to start at the bottom of the career ladder. Furthermore, such sharp division of labour in the household tends to create marital strife - one partner ends up resenting the other, power imbalances are created in the relationship, etc. The full-time stay-at-home parent is not a practical solution in this day and age.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but you can't anticipate for everything (4.00 / 1) (#308)
by Silent Chris on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:35:11 PM EST

While I think divorce is almost epidemic right now, you can't go on the assumption that a 2-parent house will naturally become 1. What about preparing for a father dying when the kids were still young (like my dad did) or both parents getting killed in a car accident (should a grandmother stay in the rat race to help her kids)? Further, what about the child-rearing skills the non-working parent is losing while going up the ladder? In my mind, those are almost as difficult, if not more so, than standard career skills.

[ Parent ]
Re: Yes, but you can't anticipate for everything (4.00 / 1) (#392)
by The Hiro on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:44:42 AM EST

I'm not sure I understand the point of your argument. Are you suggesting that since divorce is not certain, spouses should ignore the possibility of it and its potential consequences when evaluating whether they should stay at home to raise the children?

To address your other points:
1) A widow faces the same challenges as a divorced mother with custody of the children - she must raise the children and earn an income at the same time. Needless to say, a widow who has work experience or her own career is better able to satisfy the economic needs of her family than a widow with little/no work experience.
2) If both parents die, then the children are either equally worse off for having a stay-at-home parent, or more likely, worse off since their parents would be less capable of providing financially in the event of their deaths.
3) Developing good parenting skills does not require a total sacrifice of one's time and energy. In fact, complete devotion and total investment of one's time and energy to raising a child is unhealthy (for both child and parent involved).

[ Parent ]

Two points I don't buy... (4.00 / 1) (#404)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:18:07 AM EST

A widow faces the same challenges as a divorced mother with custody of the children

I suspect that the majority of Widows will have fewer short-term financial difficulties than the recently Divorced, due to the availability of Life Insurance benefits.

In fact, complete devotion and total investment of one's time and energy to raising a child is unhealthy (for both child and parent involved).

Do you have any evidence that this is true, or are we just supposed to accept your assertion?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

oh no - that's not true at all (none / 0) (#533)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:08:00 PM EST

A widow faces the same challenges as a divorced mother with custody of the children - she must raise the children and earn an income at the same time.

Not at all. If you are a widowed, single mother of children, you became a widow by fate. If you are a divorced single mother, you became so single mother, because you failed in holding a family together.

The emotional burden you have dealing with your "failure" has a huge influence on how you are able to raise your kids. It also has a huge influence on how the kids relate to you as a mother or father.

The emotional burden you have dealing with the loss of the father/mother of your children, will be dealt with by mother/father and children completely differently.



[ Parent ]

not a problem (none / 0) (#357)
by billion on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:41:04 PM EST

>Furthermore, such sharp division of labour in the household tends to create marital strife - one partner ends up resenting the other, power imbalances are created in the relationship, etc.

I thought the point in this was to show that taking care of kids was as much work as a paid job?  Since only those who beleive this would try this solution, I don't see where your point applies.

[ Parent ]

It applies because... (5.00 / 2) (#386)
by The Hiro on Tue May 27, 2003 at 01:15:29 AM EST

In our society, earning power is equated with power and autonomy. It's all well and good to pay lip service to the value of child-rearing as a valuable social institution, but unless the child-rearer is compensated with money in a fair and judicious manner, he/she remains in a position of dependency and relative powerlessness within the marital relationship.

[ Parent ]
Marriage is a *Partnership* (5.00 / 2) (#401)
by Wildgoose on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:16:34 AM EST

My wife and I made the decision before we had children that one of us would stay at home until our children were all in full-time schooling. We have 3 children and that is exactly what we have done.

I freely accept that my working in IT has meant our income is sufficient for us to afford a single income household, which is not always an option for others. But you cut your coat according to your cloth. We chose a cheaper house, 2nd hand cars, etc. for just that reason.

And my wife insists she is working as a "Full Time Mother". She is working, (and damn hard), but it is unpaid work. And it is her contribution to our household that enables my contribution to be possible. There is no "status" garbage, we have joint accounts, and it is our income, not mine.

With attitudes like "My income, My status", it is no wonder so many marriages end in divorce.

[ Parent ]

ok, this is a weird point (none / 0) (#671)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Feb 10, 2004 at 08:35:43 AM EST


but just humour me.  take peter brandt's stephanie seymour.  she was already making tons of money to begin with (in addition to being gorgeous) --- ok, maybe not as much as he can provide --- but she still was able to live a life of comfort on her own.  having that, that made her in a much better bargaining position going in the marriage AND, more likely than not, throughout the marriage.  i think that what women have to do in ANY situation is to turn whatever position they have as favourably and as advantageously as possible and then merge or think about/take on additional complications.

best
C

 
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

job without career (1.00 / 1) (#420)
by Viliam Bur on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:13:41 AM EST

I thought the point in this was to show that taking care of kids was as much work as a paid job?

How would you continue doing this job once your children would be grown up, and you would be divorced? For the career point of view, this is a very terrible job. Perhaps you can re-educate later to work in kindergarten or elementary school - does not sound very optimistic. Even if paid, this work can not economically equal to other kinds of work.

[ Parent ]

a guy who's into rearing children hands-on (none / 0) (#670)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Feb 10, 2004 at 08:25:50 AM EST


is so cool provided that he's not a world-class, uhm, j..k.  i know of one person who gets along with children fine --- at least on a superficial level --- but somehow has managed to incur the wrath and bring out the worst of every woman he's been with;  it's like women can't shine and thrive around him which, to me, MEANS that's he's majorly insecure and a thwarter.  it's such a weird compartamentalisation act and way of life.  anyway.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm. (1.07 / 28) (#122)
by tacomacide on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:54:49 AM EST

Why is it that all women on K5 are stupid and/or ugly?

*** ANONYMIZED ***

Hmmmm. (3.00 / 4) (#138)
by moho on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:25:16 AM EST

Why is it that all men on K5 are stupid and/or ugly?

[ Parent ]
Gee (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by tacomacide on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:34:36 AM EST

Speak for yourself.

*** ANONYMIZED ***
[ Parent ]

You are a wise woman and mother (3.83 / 6) (#124)
by Adam Rightmann on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:05:56 AM EST

so I will expect you will get a large amount of grief from the secular-humanist cadres here, who have fantasies of children being born in artificial wombs and raised in regimented creches for a lifetime of working and living in a sterile cube while their parents act as spoiled children, consuming and producing.

I believe that the reason The Matrix trilogy resonates so highly here with the bloggers of k5 is that many of them actually do want to live in a computer simulation, hooked to a machine 24-7.

Secular Humanists (none / 0) (#145)
by The Solitaire on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:00:08 PM EST

Well, I'm a card-carrying secular humanist, and I, for one, thought that the article was really quite insightful. Don't confuse a considered liberal/non-religious mindset with the kind of rabid techno-fetishism that you seem to be aiming at.

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

I agree (3.07 / 13) (#126)
by bc on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:29:17 AM EST

It is long past time we as a society, and a race, pull together to realise that women have a role in society. Women are not autonomous beings who make their own lifechoices - Lord no! - they are part of society, and their role is to be barefoot and pregnant.

The state should assuredly introduce laws to encourage women to embrace their role. The French have, with their 35 hour working weeks. I'm sure we can too. We can force companies to have creches and introduce special tax breaks encouraging our women to reproduce, we can introduce vouchers enabling them to take better care of our race's offspring.

The author has the right idea, and I applaud her for it. If any women out there still disagree that they have a "role" and that society should be moulded to encourage them to adopt their role and facilitate it, I encourage them to read women.stormfront.org and in particular the writings there, which make an altogether splendid argument for why women have a "role" in "society" and precisely how it should be defined.

White Pride!!

♥, bc.

lol! (none / 0) (#170)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:04:57 PM EST

You're referencing Stormfront, a "white supremacist" website? Ha ha.

That's authentic, thug-like street trolling. I'm never taking you seriously again. ;)

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

No (5.00 / 2) (#194)
by bc on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:08:54 PM EST

It is called being sarcastic.

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]
There's a difference? (5.00 / 1) (#196)
by djotto on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:15:58 PM EST

Funny thing is, I thought you wrote this. I guess I mentally tag you as "the gender issues troll".

[ Parent ]
You should read other things than K5 (5.00 / 2) (#200)
by TheModerate on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:28:37 PM EST

When every comment you disagree with looks like a troll---you need to broaden your persepctive :)

I try to give each comment a sympathetic interpretation first before I judge it.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Re (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by djotto on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:46:37 PM EST

On the contrary, I often agree with bc's viewpoint. I'm just not convinced he does, y'know?

Anyway, a Surrendered Wife-type post, from an account with an obviously female name and no previous stories/comments/ratings... it's got to at least wave a warning flag.



[ Parent ]
Heh, yeah -nm (none / 0) (#216)
by TheModerate on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:02:13 PM EST


"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

What feminism, again? (3.00 / 2) (#127)
by domovoi on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:34:46 AM EST

It seems you're talking about a particular "school" of feminist thought that posits women's progress as a function of entry to and success in the workforce. That's a profoundly 1-demensional and jaundiced view. Oddly, the all-encompassing feminist ideal is not to be executive vice-muckety-muck of SmegmaCorp, find a nanny for their offspring, and get an appropriately corporate wardrobe. It goes without saying that the careerist path w/ a suburban cul-de-sac snout-house and the appropriate number of children is demonstrably not the feminist ideal (unless you're talking about feminism of the 1950s).
------------------------------
This is not my signature line.
Feminism and work (4.00 / 4) (#143)
by Metatone on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:50:35 AM EST

The following is a little tangential to your piece, but only a little:

<rant>

One thing that has always bothered me deeply about feminism is the lack of clarity about the economics. I have been active in groups campaigning for equal pay and few of the others in the groups have recognised the genuine structural problem that  needs to be addressed to produce a more equal world.

In the 50's we had (or created) a world predicated on one "breadwinner" per family. We paid him (because it was almost always _him_) a certain amount. Feminism has had some success and now we have a larger potential workforce. As we all know from Econ 101 a larger potential workforce means lower wages for those in a job. Thus, for those of us in the middle or lower ranges of the workforce, one job won't keep a family going any more. As HeatherM notes, if one parent (man or woman) is to stay home, some economic sacrifices must be made. I'd go further, in some places it takes two parents working to keep afloat. HeatherM describes her life and it sounds ok. My life at the moment with my partner is on much more of a financial knife edge. If either of us were to give up earning, we'd be in the hole.

The key question for feminists (indeed for us all) is what kind of world do they (we) want? Do we want a world where all but the richest couples have both parents working, just to be economically viable? Or do we want a society that recognizes child-rearing is necessary? As many people have noted, many childless types here on K5 might not care about child-rearing, but I guess my point here is that many of the feminists do profess to.

And so, if the profess to, it is incumbent upon them (and the rest of us who care about the future in this way) to develop alternative economic models, theories and philosophies which will allow families to once again live off "one breadwinner" or at least the equivalent of one breadwinner's working hours....

</rant>

umm, according to most feminists.. (5.00 / 6) (#144)
by infinitera on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:56:43 AM EST

Feminism is inherently anti-capitalist; it is for example, not possible to adequately and fairly reward what goes on in the social sphere, or the private one. So you've got marxists and anarchists, in terms of the economics. ;) This isn't really a new thing though, so I'm not sure why you're confused about the 'lack' of this message in feminism - I've always seen it. Mass media/compulsory education is not actual exposure to feminism, though.

[ Parent ]
"Confusion" (5.00 / 1) (#355)
by Metatone on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:40:07 PM EST

There is a large gap between being "anti-capitalist" and actually proposing a solution. Likewise, just because many feminist leaders espouse anarcho-communist ideas, doesn't mean they have managed to convince a majority of feminists to put that into practice.

As for actual exposure to feminism... reading the works of crusading intellectuals from the feminist movement and debating with them certainly wasn't enough for me when I'd done it. It was only when I explored the real world as best as I could that it became apparent how little of the theory real women were putting into practice.

[ Parent ]

academics are hypocrites, film at 11 (none / 0) (#458)
by infinitera on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:02:49 AM EST

Devoted anarchists few and far between, also, shocking! I'm sticking to it, though. Call it faith, call it whatever you want. ;)

[ Parent ]
Econ 101. (5.00 / 5) (#148)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:18:22 PM EST

As we all know from Econ 101 a larger potential workforce means lower wages for those in a job. Thus, for those of us in the middle or lower ranges of the workforce, one job won't keep a family going any more.

Although Econ 101 is bullshit, it doesn't say that. That line of reasoning stimulates the inference that of only women didn't work, the labour force would be smaller and real wages higher, end of story. This might be a short-term effect, but then the labour market will return to something called "market equilibrium" where the wage rate is commensurate to the proportion of labour involved in the society's total Production Possibilities Frontier. Thus, simplistic "if less people worked everyone would earn more" arguments don't make sense.

Then again, neither do most Econ 101 platitudes.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Econ 101 is right; you're not (5.00 / 3) (#150)
by mlknowle on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:29:15 PM EST

Econ 101 wouldn't suggest that if more people enter the work force the wage rate would decrease; although that could perhaps be the case in the very short run, you must recognize that the number of jobs isn't fixed. Rather, jobs beget jobs, and more people working means more wealth which means more jobs. Your view is a bit like the French idea of limiting the legnth of the workweek to fight unemployment.

[ Parent ]
Economics. oh and Politics too. (none / 0) (#367)
by Metatone on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:24:15 PM EST

I'll admit, I was feeling ranty and tried to compress what should be several stories into one comment and ranges far beyond changes in the human workforce to include technological changes too. Such compression is hardly wise.

So, I will reiterate my original observation and ask for wise comments to explain it. The current trend of the economy for low and middle income families is:

To maintain their standard of living the mass of parents have moved to an increased number of hours worked. Sometimes this means going from one full-time breadwinner to two, sometimes one merely takes up part time work, or moves from part to full time. In some cases one partner simply works much longer hours to help the other one not to have to.

It's easy to say "nobody is owed a living" and if that is your political point of view, fair enough, but I am interested in other views too, if they exist.

mlknowle and valeko : both of you rightly knocked down my shorthand phrasing of the problem, but I'm curious : a) do you admit the existence of the problem? b) how would you frame the problem statement?

[ Parent ]

A few observations- (4.86 / 15) (#153)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:38:09 PM EST

I believe a little of your history is incorrect. Women stayed at home until the second half of the 20th century because there was way too much work to do. As you mentioned, there were no labor saving devices. In the Americas, you didn't buy cloth, you wove your own. You didn't buy thread to make the cloth, you spun your own. Cotton clothing was a luxury- usually your clothing was hemp.

You had to keep the home fires burning- literally. There was no electricity, and seldom gas. You burned wood in the country, and coal in the city. And coal is DIRTY. There was a LOT of cleaning to do.

You didn't have a washing machine that you threw the clothes in and watch days of our lives until it was time to throw them in the dryer, you washed them BY HAND on a washboard. Then hung them up to dry. As there were no pernma press fabrics, you heated your iron on the wood stove and ironed the clothing by hand.

I was a child of the 50s and 60s. My mom worked, as did a lot of moms.But a lot still stayed at home.

Now, I would like to point out that you think women are and were treated unfairly. Well, they were. But men were treated even more unfairly than women. Men held (and mostly still do hold) the dirty, backbreaking dangerous jobs. Women's life expectancy is greater than a mans not because of genetics, but because of environment. The difference in life expectancy is narrowing because women are starting to do more dirty, dangerous work your mother and grandmothers wouldn't, nor were allowed to.

whether in a factory or coal mine

The women didn't work in the coal mines. Nor, until very recently (with the exception of WWII when the able bodied men were all cannon fodder) on the factory floor. The women were in the front office doing clerical work.

In fact, I worked in a copper factory as late as 1979. There were NO men doing clerical work at all- none. Not one. There were two women on the factory floor, out of several hundred workers. Wherever you got your facts from, they are incorrect.

Men built the skyscrapers. They had mathmematical formulas to estimate how many men would die per story of building built. Men died by being crushed in machinery, falling off of buildings. There were 12 deaths building the big golf ball at Disney's Epcot center, hundreds of deaths building the Empire State Building, and the builder took pride in the relatively small numbers of deaths. Men did and do die horribly, boiled in molten metal...

Now, "first wave feminism," is a neoword for sufferage- the right to vote.

Second-wave feminism came as a reaction to feeling "fenced in", or relegated to a small and seemingly insignificant role in society

Now this was a mistake. Not on your part, but society as a whole. Raising children is, and should have been recognized as, the most important thing anyone can do.

So it would appear that something isn't working.

Actually, although some of your historical facts are incorrect (I lived through the second half of the 20th century and am therefore an eyewitness, and spoke directly to eyewitnesses who lived through the first half), so far I agree with your thesis.

Women and men have different skills and abilities

This I don't agree with. Different people have different skills and abilities. Just being a woman doesn't nake you better at math, or unable to work a computer. And in today's society, the heaviest work is done with mechanical aids, and increasingly so. There is no reason whatever that a woman is less suited for work in a factory, or a man in a clerical position. None.

Now, there are severa; basicc problems with your thesis.

Your experience is that of the middle class, and upper middle class at that. You can afford to become lower middle class, and live on your husband's thirty five thousand dollar per year factory pay, and do without your twenty thousand dollar clerical pay.

But there are a large number of people who simply cannot afford to live on one paycheck- because they are poor. Most poor people work, at least in the US. We have a LIFETIME limit of five years on welfare. Mutigenarational, institutionalized welfare ended in 1996.

When I was ten years old, the minimum wage was $1.40 an hour. I could walk down toMcDonalds and get a hamburger, coke, and fries, hand teh cashier two quarters and get change back- a hamburger was twelve cents, fries a dime, a coke a dime. My dad paid $900 for a brand new Volkswagon beetle. He paid ten thousand for his first house when I was 5 years old. A brand new Corvette cost $3,000 when I was 10. Now, that Corvette is $60,000, the Volkswagon is 20 or 30 thousand. The hamburger is how much now? Fries and a coke each well over a buck. But the minimum wage isn't fifteen bucks an hour, is it?

Bush says he doesn't want to hear about class warfare. I think if he doesn't want to hear about it, he should stop waging it. Congress should at least double the minimum wage. And they should tax dividends and capital gains as ordinary income, and stop the $75k limit on Social Security deductions. I and my employer hgave to pay a combined 15% of my pay to my SS taz=x, buil Gates and Microsoft should have to pay a combined 15% of HIS yearly increase in riches to SS tax. If thet were teh case they could drastically lower SS tax and not have to worry about running out!

Now, as to your having Mom stay home- what's wrong with Dad staying home? Mom should be just as capable as dad at running that forklift, or doing the accounting. The laws have been passed making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex. I say it's time to start enforcing those laws- both ways. If one of my two children were a boy, I would be happy to see him raise my grandchildren.

Because just as a woman is just as capable as a man at driving a semitractor or working a heliarc welder, a man is as capable of raising children. I was (and still am) much better with the kids than my ex wife.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

purchasing power of minimum wage (4.33 / 3) (#195)
by bigdavex on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:14:12 PM EST

Here's a graph which concurs with your point about a reduced purchasing power of the minimum wage. This has to be tough to measure, though, because some of things we buy today weren't available in 1960. If we measure minumum wage's ability to buy say, TVs, microwaves, or RAM; today's wage looks pretty good.

[ Parent ]
RAM? (none / 0) (#266)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:13:35 PM EST

Do you know how much a disk drive cost in 1964?? A computer that made a 286 look like a supercomputer cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, a 25 inch color TV cost over a grand. But there were no microwaves, no VCRs, no CDs, no lasers, no cell phones- at least, not outside the Enterprise.

But measure milk, bread, cars, houses, stuff we had then and stuff we have now, and you'll see that today's labor is DIRT CHEAP.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

obstructing progress (4.50 / 2) (#568)
by pyro9 on Wed May 28, 2003 at 10:18:29 AM EST

The dirt cheap labor is obstructing progress in general. A great deal of the promise of 'progress' is that we will all have more leisure time and safer lives by getting machines to labor for us. As long as labor is so cheap, the machines will not be developed or used, and when they are, they will create a class of the perminantly unemployed rather than let everyone cut back 10% or so.

The scary thing is, the labor is not cheap enough for the tastes of manufacturors. More and more unskilled and semi-skilled labor is being exported to places where wages are less than $1 a day.

Ultimately, I think a great deal of stress (and the ills it brings) could be removed from society if the necessities were easier to obtain, even if that meant that the luxuries were more expensive. I find it 'interesting' and unfortunate that while VCRs, TVs, and microwaves are so dirt cheap these days, but a house or a car will actually cost you more (as a percentage of houshold income) today than in the '50s in spite of the improved and cheaper materials available today.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Cars (none / 0) (#610)
by riceowlguy on Fri May 30, 2003 at 05:36:52 PM EST

People love to whine about how much cars cost today as a percentage of annual income but look at how much BETTER cars of today are - safer, better for the environment, more luxurious. If somebody was to build the functional equivalent of a '57 Chevy today it would probably cost $2000. And be highly illegal.

"Nothing says 'Move to Florida' quite like fireboming somebody's car." - a friend
[ Parent ]

LOL! (none / 0) (#613)
by mcgrew on Fri May 30, 2003 at 06:47:50 PM EST

The equivalent of a '57 chevy would be a hundred grand, easy.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

i have an idea (none / 0) (#649)
by TRASG0 on Tue Jun 03, 2003 at 11:44:03 AM EST

lets all just shout random, unsupported numbers out like we know what the fuck we are talking about!  but you have to let me go twice because you have a head start.

read my diary or I shall turn you into a newt
[ Parent ]
Not likely (none / 0) (#614)
by pyro9 on Fri May 30, 2003 at 07:56:58 PM EST

The closest thing to a $2000 car in recent history is the Yugo. Having driven both that and a '57 Chevy, I can assure you, the Chevy is the way to go. If anything, the improved technology has made cars cheaper to build.

There have been improvements to safety, but nothing that should boost the price that much. We're talking heavy cloth straps with a metal clasp (which DID exist on old cars, you just didn't see them because everyone shoved them under the back of the seat), safety glass, and airbags (those supposedly only cost $300).


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Measure minimum wage against what really counts... (none / 0) (#379)
by kcbrown on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:15:55 AM EST

This has to be tough to measure, though, because some of things we buy today weren't available in 1960. If we measure minumum wage's ability to buy say, TVs, microwaves, or RAM; today's wage looks pretty good.
That may be true. But the true measure of minimum wage is its ability to purchase the things that are required for a person to survive -- food, clothing, and shelter.

I'd bet that minimum wage is lower now than it was back in the 1960s for food and shelter at the very least, and wouldn't be surprised if it's lower for clothing (even "discount" clothing) as well.

[ Parent ]

Food, clothing, shelter, and... (4.00 / 1) (#524)
by cdyer on Tue May 27, 2003 at 05:43:08 PM EST

Add to that list anything essential to being able to continue to work, which the way our nation's cities are laid out, often includes transportation, which usually means a car.  Sad but true.

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

on factory and coal mining work (3.50 / 2) (#245)
by HeatherM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:39:18 PM EST

Thank you for your comments. Your experiences are interesting. I do actually have historical proof for my statements, however. (as a social history student, this is what I studied for three years at university ...)

For information on the rise of the Industrial Revolution, and the role of women within that societal transformation try:

Ashton, T.S. "The Industrial Revolution, 1760 - 1830." London, Oxford University Press, 1962.

Engels. "The Condition of the Working Class in England." California, Stanford University Press, Basil Blackwell, 1958.

Inglis, B. "Poverty and the Industrial Revolution." Great Britain, Hodder and Stoughton, 1971.

Toynbee, A. "The Industrial Revolution." Boston, The Beacon Press, 1884.


HeatherM
[ Parent ]
Don't believe everything you read... (3.33 / 3) (#263)
by mcgrew on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:09:26 PM EST

My dad alsaws said, "believe nothing that you hear (read) and only half of what you actually see."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Great idea (3.50 / 2) (#318)
by sholden on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:58:38 PM EST

So basically science is crock, school is useless, everyone should reinvent the wheel for themselves. Great moto that one...

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
yes, almost (3.00 / 3) (#422)
by Viliam Bur on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:32:15 AM EST

Not everything called "science" is really scientifically tested.

A lot of bullshit is taught at schools; also a lot of useful things - but you must be able to tell the difference.

What is "wheel" today on CNN, may be "box" tomorrow.

Refusing every information is not a good idea; neither is accepting all. This is valid for media, for schools, for people around you,...

[ Parent ]

Exactly the point. (none / 0) (#582)
by mcgrew on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:08:59 PM EST

People take shit too literally. Everything must be interpreted, and can be misinterpreted.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Too strong (none / 0) (#588)
by sholden on Thu May 29, 2003 at 04:00:31 AM EST

"believe nothing that you hear " is too strong. Being skeptical is good, but ignoring everything but personal experience is too extreme.

I believe the Bush is the current president of the US, and that Clinton was before him.

I have never seen either of those men with my own eyes. But I trust the evidence that indicates their presidential status.

I also believe that Captain Cook once came to Australia, even though it was before I was born.

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
That has to be qualyfied. (none / 0) (#562)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:59:48 AM EST

If you read only one account about some historical events then yes, you would be a fool to believe that particular account as absolute true.

If you read several accounts (as the article author seems to have done) then you can form a far better opinion about the historical period you are talking about.

You have to be skeptic, but that should not cloud your common sense and critical judgement.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

let's not argue over who is the better parent (5.00 / 1) (#295)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:24:25 PM EST

Women and men have different skills and abilities
This I don't agree with. Different people have different skills and abilities. Just being a woman doesn't nake you better at math, or unable to work a computer. And in today's society, the heaviest work is done with mechanical aids, and increasingly so. There is no reason whatever that a woman is less suited for work in a factory, or a man in a clerical position. None.
I agree with you not agreeing to the first statement, but there are differences between men and women that I think you do have to consider.

I don't believe that men have this "nesting urge" like women do as soon as they think about "getting little ones" and "making a family" and "being pregnant".

The other way around, I don't believe that women have the urge to protect their men. They still expect protection from the men, when they are in the stage of being pregnant and/or have small children.

Men though do have the desire to protect their women and children. I mean, men might not want to work for the women and children and watching them "doing nothing much", but they surely don't want their women and children to get hurt and men do get very active, when they fear for their women or children. At least as long as they are not completely bitter.

It is also obvious that men, who feel they can't offer enough support and protection, suffer under those conditions and "run away from the situation, because of depression and feeling of being not an "adequate father", even if they don't admit it.

Apparently though more often fathers start fighting for being the "better parent" than their children's mother, which of course can be true. But it might just be a temporary issue of a society, which is embedded in many gender wars, caused by progress in technology and science that allows women to determine to raise a child on their own more easily than fifty years ago.

It's common for "progressive women" to fall into the trap to believe that fathers "are not necessary" anymore. They are, actually pretty badly especially for sons, it's just not that obvious any more, because you have to dig under the "feminist" campaign slogans and look for the real needs of couples, children and families.

In some points women and men do have different instincts and for the few differences there are, they have mostly to do with their relationship to children and their emotional bonding vis a vis the other sex.

It's more devastating to separate a mother from her baby than to separate a father from his baby. That doesn't mean that it is in fact devastating for all of the involved, but I honestly think that you just don't ask a mother to separate from her baby, whereas you may ask a father to do so for purposes that protect the family unit.

It's against any common sense healthy instincts there are to separate mother and child, IMO.

Please don't quote me now the acts of a few mothers, who kill their babies, or the mothers, who are on drugs and whose instincts are corrupted by an addiction. That's something else.

[ Parent ]

Bunk (none / 0) (#526)
by splitpeasoup on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:13:22 PM EST

I don't believe that men have this "nesting urge" like women do

You're talking rubbish. Many men do have a strong nesting urge and many women don't.

Whether the average man has more of a nesting urge than the average woman is irrelevant; because even if true, the number of exceptions is large enough to make such stereotypes meaningless.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
[ Parent ]

not bunk, hormones (none / 0) (#546)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:05:08 PM EST

Many men do have a strong nesting urge and many women don't.

Of course, and those women, who don't, usually don't want to have kids (all the power to them, nobody wants to force a woman to have children she doesn't feel absolutely sure about wanting to have), men who do (have a nesting desire), might want to have kids. So where did I talk rubbish?

I didn't say every woman gets the nesting drive, I said, if a woman wants a child (and guess what, you might not be able to tell, if she wants it or not) she usually gets some compulsively returning nesting hyperactivity attacks along with it. It's not a stereotype, it's hormones, ok?

[ Parent ]

What a load of old stereotypes! (3.00 / 2) (#563)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:08:42 AM EST

I know bunches, and I mean loads of them, of people that brake every single of the stereotypes you portray in your post.

Many feminists know that the fatherless society is no good, women that will give their life, literally, to protect their husbands and children, men that have stayed at home one or two years if that was the best for the family and so on.

If we should learn something about men, women and human nature is that generalizations and stereotypes are just statistics that change with time,location and social pressures.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

answers- (none / 0) (#612)
by mcgrew on Fri May 30, 2003 at 06:43:20 PM EST

I don't believe that men have this "nesting urge" like women do as soon as they think about "getting little ones" and "making a family" and "being pregnant".

I can't speak for all men, but I wanted to be a dad. And no father I know wouldn't trade his fatherhood for a whole harem of playboy bunnies.

I don't believe that women have the urge to protect their men.

How does that make a woman a better parent? Seems to me that's indication that the MAN is more committed to his family.

It is also obvious that men, who feel they can't offer enough support and protection, suffer under those conditions and "run away from the situation, because of depression and feeling of being not an "adequate father", even if they don't admit it.

My father didn't run away from his family- his divorce was after my sister and I were married, and my mother did the divorcing. Neither of my grandfathers "ran away" either. In fact, I don't personally know any fathers running away.

On the other hand, my ex wife left me and my two teenaged daughters.

Divorced men I know never "ran away", most of them were left by their women, who took the kids with them. Sometimes to their adulterous boyfriend, who then abused the kids.

They are, actually pretty badly especially for sons,

Recent research shows that a fatherless girl is way more apt to have sex under the age of 14, and to use and abuse drugs and alcohol, and get into other mischief, than girls from two parent families.

It's more devastating to separate a mother from her baby than to separate a father from his baby.

And would you care to back that up, with if not evidence, than at least logic? Otherwise, it's an ignorant, worthlkess opinion. And one I disagree with vehemently.

And I wouldn't talk about crack babies or the mothers who have been in the news killing their own children- but you did. I'll also point out that when you hear about a man killing a kid, it's almost always his girlfriend's kid, fathered by someone else, after the bastard has been abusing the kid in front of its whore mother for months or years.

In short, my OWN ignorant opinion is that men are BETTER parents than women. I know I'm one hell of a better parent than my crazy fucking ex wife, who left her family.

Oh yeah- AND your horse.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Very good (4.00 / 2) (#324)
by khilghard on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:16:07 PM EST

I may not agree with all that you have said, but you argue well and have points that make good sense. I congratulate you! It is refreshing to hear someone who actually has something to say.

"God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives." -James Barrie

[ Parent ]

Men, the poor men. (4.00 / 4) (#561)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:55:32 AM EST

In exchange for the perils you describe men got to have 100% saying in how societies were run, both at the political and the domestic level (hint: they were earning the money, either all or most of it).

Just to think that in most societies women were not allowed to vote or to be elected until early XXth century (shame on Switzerland) should clarify what was the value women had as individuals in those societies in which men were dying as flies according to your post.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

Men (3.00 / 1) (#611)
by mcgrew on Fri May 30, 2003 at 06:27:56 PM EST

Money? The men earned it, the women spent it. Most men were, as are, pussywhipped. As to sufferage, life for women was more dangerous than for men until sufferage- most men farmed, and until teh advent of heavy farm machinery, farming was relatively safe.

Women, on the other hand, usually died in childbirth.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

personally i like the idea, (4.25 / 4) (#158)
by freya on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:50:37 PM EST

at least in theory, of both parents working part time. i think we tend to work too much in the u.s. and generally have too much crap to show for it. even outside of the family strucure (i.e. a person on their own) i tend to think this is a good idea, allows more freedom and time.

i'm sure there are a million other things i would like to say on this subject, but that's all for now.

Have less - be more. (3.33 / 3) (#177)
by poopi on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:14:18 PM EST

Great article. I think you are struggling with the same choices I am. I am a man, so your article is not about feminism - it is about seeking a meaningful life. That meaning can be realized thorugh family (I have one) or through other things such as a career, athletics and others - even object accumulation. The key element in all this (my opinion) is the choice between quantity and quality. In North America the maxim "bigger is better" has always resonated strongly. It still does although now it can be "newer is better", "faster is better" or "(insert adjective here) is better". However, this is a false hood - the only thing that is "better" IS better. What?

Quality is what you seek not quantity - better is better.

WHAT?

"Better" canot be defined by me or anyone else other than you. That's what that means. Unfortunately western society is feeding on it's own advertising and many people are defining their lives by using the messages they see in the ads. Naturally advertisers is not going to leave "better" undefined - they are going to define it in a way which will result in additional profits for them - and there's nothing wrong with that. However, advertising has become so omnipresent and clever that many of us no longer a capable of identifying it as such and start to assume that it is the social norm. So is advertising the root of all evil?

No, but it is a problem, because those of us who are chosing quality over quantity have become marginalized and THAT has become the barrier. Many people know that they are on the accumulation treadmill but are too afraid to get off because it will make them a minotity. It will put them out of step with the rest of society. (Sure there are those of us who like to be "different" but we would be "different" no matter what.) So this fear of marginalization is what keeps people working their 70 hour weeks, their kids in day care and the house in the country unused 51 weeks of the year. For all the messages you see about individualism, being different and standing out from the crowd - shown in the popular media - there is a much stronger herd mentality than ever because we differentiate ourselves not by who we are but what we spend on.

So include this to your daily dose of "Think Different" (copyrighted and gramatically incorrect message by Apple) messages: chose "quality", have less - be different - be more!

-----

"It's always nice to see USA set the edgy standards. First for freedom, then for the police state." -

Read "The Metaphysics of Quality"... (none / 0) (#181)
by iovpater on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:22:55 PM EST

...by Robert Pirsig. Also known as "Lila", this is a followup to the fluffy "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", and it actually says some pretty intelligent (albiet unconventional) things.

[ Parent ]
I didn't care for Lila (none / 0) (#239)
by Homburg on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:09:32 PM EST

Although Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance is one of my favourite books.

If you have time, could you summarise what you thought were the interesting points in Lila? He seemed to drop all the interesting Buddhist aspects of the first book and regress to a kind of warmed over Aristotelianism (doesn't Lila end with a line about 'good as a noun, not just an adjective,' or something?).

I may have misinterpreted the first book, though - I took it to be a criticism of Phaedrus' monomania, and consequently a vindication of the narrator's more laid-back approach. Reading Pirsig's introduction to a newer edition, however, he seems to think of Zen and... as being a narrative where Phaedrus (the relentless seeker after a unitary account of 'quality') eventually triumphs over the narrator (more of a pluralist and indeed hedonist). That would make the book suck nearly as hard as Lila, although the plot would still be better.

Hopefully you can persuade me otherwise, because I found Lila a serious disappointment.

[ Parent ]

how about a simple solution? (3.50 / 2) (#182)
by dh003i on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:26:03 PM EST

Like, to each his or her own? Couples should work things out themselves, on what is the best way to both support eachother and their family financially, and spend quality time with eachother and their children. For some people, that will mean both partner's working, and splitting up home-chores, for others it will mean one working and one staying at home and taking care of home tasks, for others it will mean both working and hiring a maid. There is no "right" or "wrong" answer, just the answers that happen to work for different people.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

That's great (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by minerboy on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:44:04 PM EST

until someone elses ill-raised kid screws up your life, or your kids life, or cost society buckets of money. All the while, they laugh at you from the seats of their beamers, - sucker.



[ Parent ]
okay... (none / 0) (#354)
by dh003i on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:39:36 PM EST

So, according to you, kids who grow up with both parents working are necessarily going to be fucked up? Please. Parents still find time to be with their kids, and hire others to watch them when they're not available. And maybe those kids will be able to go to a good college and graduate without being in 30k of debt.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

sure (none / 0) (#433)
by minerboy on Tue May 27, 2003 at 08:13:55 AM EST

We lower the standards of behavior, in terms of things like selfishness, honesty, etc. and then say that these kids are O.K. - They go to college, they won't be ax murderers, and maybe some will be just fine - alot depends on the kid, But... generally, They will be less happy, less connected to family, more in need of therapy, more selfish and materialistic - at least on the whole. Too good examples, Columbine, and the recent Chicago hazing incident



[ Parent ]
Suck and Blow (none / 0) (#508)
by virg on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:22:35 PM EST

> We lower the standards of behavior, in terms of things like selfishness, honesty, etc. and then say that these kids are O.K. - They go to college, they won't be ax murderers, and maybe some will be just fine - alot depends on the kid, But...generally, They will be less happy, less connected to family, more in need of therapy, more selfish and materialistic - at least on the whole.

Care to back this up with anything at all in the way of proof? I have yet to see any connection like you've drawn, despite many studies geared toward finding this effect. They have so far not been able to prove the vaunted "latchkey kid" syndrome they put forward. From where exactly flows your special insight?

> Too good examples, Columbine, and the recent Chicago hazing incident

In what bizarro world do these qualify as "good examples" of the effects of both parents working? Dylan Klebold's mom stayed at home. Harris's didn't. Even if this tiny, tiny sample was useful, how does it prove your point?

Try again. And a little harder this time.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
well, (none / 0) (#528)
by minerboy on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:52:48 PM EST

I don't have my finger on the pulse of current research like you seem to, but a 10 minute search led to this from The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. . In addition, there are many instances of the government providing after school activities, based on studies that showed that supervision after school hours had a positive effect, reducing violence and drug use in youth. Of course we all have to pay for this supervision for those who can't (read won't) supervise their own kids - kinda like a protection racket. As for lowering behavior standards, if we compare youth crime and violence statistics to the early sixties, I'd wager there would be a significant - and no these are not the "gang bangers", they're in good old middle america. Add to this things like the prevalence of ritalin use, other psychlogical problems, teen suicide rates, at the same time that teen afluence is greater than ever, and what do you have - spoiled brats?



[ Parent ]
yea, ok (none / 0) (#600)
by dh003i on Thu May 29, 2003 at 08:56:57 PM EST

What century are you from? Why don't you step out of your Middle Ages China world where women are supposed to be in the kitchen barefooted walking on their hand, popping out babbies, and cooking. In the modern world, in most relationships, both partners work. You're welcomed to bury yourself in economic uncertaintity now and in the future, regarding retirement and your child's college, but other people aren't. People do not educate themselves all their lives -- work damn hard in college and pay tens of thousands of dollars for tuition -- to enter into a career they love, then retire from that career once they have children. Why don't you get off your high horse and just mind your own problems. Some people are a little bit more far-sighted than you, and are actually thinking about how they're going to be able to afford sending their children to college, how they're going to afford retirement, and way eventually (possibly) a nursing home.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

oh, (none / 0) (#606)
by minerboy on Fri May 30, 2003 at 08:15:43 AM EST

do I detect a hint of guilt ? Not from someone who worked so hard in college (cough, cough). IF you want that career you love, don't have kids, we have plenty of people already.



[ Parent ]
i wonder what kind of childhood you had (none / 0) (#669)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Feb 10, 2004 at 07:43:43 AM EST


was it really that bad?  hmmm...

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

protection racket? (none / 0) (#668)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Feb 10, 2004 at 07:42:01 AM EST


please that's the business that most lobbyists and other cartels are in.
funding preventive and remedial activities for kids, i think, IS a sound social
infrastructure investment policy.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

i agree (none / 0) (#667)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Feb 10, 2004 at 07:21:20 AM EST


i think that tradition has as much compromising to do with the current times as the latter does WITH the former.  i mean, we really have to figure out what works and fits us rather than pretending or forcing ourselves to a mould that is just all wrong for us!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

I like the problem's description not the solution (4.72 / 18) (#190)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 01:48:49 PM EST

I don't like your solution. From the paragraph on that asks " What other choices do we have?" I am not much enthusiastic about your suggestions.

In no other older Western democracies of the developed countries is the choice between being a "stay at home mom (at least for a couple of years) or stay at home and work from home mom" that difficult and causes so many disadvantages than it does in the US.

Even in the early eighties in Germany the majority of the population thought it is an eye-brow-raising thing to do for a woman to work fulltime having a small child. If you didn't have to do it (because your are single, divorced or just have a partner, who can't offer you the luxury to chose not to work for a while), don't do it. That was the general attitude in Germany at those times. I am not sure if that attitude has changed very much during the last 25 years, but I doubt it.

When I came in the US, I got a what people call  a "culture shock", but it really is more of what I would call a "social policies shock".

Back in Germany I thought it already quite difficult to be a working and student mom. But after learning more about the conditions in the US, I realized within a year in the US, I could have never done what I was able to do in Germany here in the US. I learned that compared to my US sisters I had been "much better off" than her.  

I came into the US from Germany in the early eighties. In Germany I was a student mom and then a fulltime working mom and I had a lot of doubts about that being particularly good for my child. I would have loved to have worked part-time, and when I studied I would have loved to just study and not having to work and being a mom at the same time.

But, compare my situation to the one an American woman would have in a similar situation.

As a student mom I earned $ 400.00 a month at the University in a teaching assistant part-time position, I paid $ 65.00 for a student efficiency apartment with shower and kitchen I didn't have to share with any room mate, paid $ 25.00 for full-time childcare and had health insurance for myself and my child at $ 20.00 per month.

College tuition didn't exist. I could become a graduate chemist without paying $1.00 for tuition. I found a job despite a depressed job market as a professional within six month after graduation.

All of it I considered "a given". It never came into my mind I was priviledged. I expect my country to offer those social services to its citizens. I was born into a country that has supported healthcare for all its citizens since decades and free higher education for all its citizens since 1949. I don't consider myself a "liberal, socialist pot-smoking junkie", just because I expect that my tax dollars deliver services I think any woman and man and child,  rich or poor, married or not, should enjoy.

Still, not knowing anything else, I would have preferred the protection of partner, who could have offered me the choice of "staying more at home and work less, or of working a little, studying a little and being a mom as much as my child would have needed it". Despite all the good services, I still had the feeling that the child was the one that got short-handed in this set-up.

There is nothing great about giving your child off at child-care at 7 am in the morning at getting it back at 7 pm in the evening at the age of 10 month.

It's bad for all parties involved. The child, who doesn't get enough "body contact" with the mother, the mother, who can't bond to the child and all you might end up eventually are "emotionally crippled adults" one day.  

I definitely would have enjoyed a school and pre-school and child-care system that would make the life of a full-time working mom and a full-time mommy-deprived child less traumatic by adapting working hours and school hours to be coordinated in a way (France is much better in that regard) that it doesn't become a logistic nightmare to handle a full-time job and a full-time away-from mom childcare system that doesn't adjust their hours to meet the needs of mother and child.

I certainly would have wanted the choice of six hour work days for part-time working moms as well.

At least in most Western European states the governments are making an effort to accomodate those requests from women.

But here in the US it's a completely other ball game.

I remember being shocked to see women work til a couple of days before delivery, not because they wanted to, but they had to. I was more shocked to see that women had to return to their jobs within two weeks after delivery, not because the wanted to, but because they had to or else lose their job.

Public transportation and infrastructure of urban and suburban development are completely "mother-and-child-unfriendly". You can't even let a child walk to the next grocery.

You say we have to downgrade our expectations.

I say no, not at all. We have to upgrade our expectations.

Can you be a mother of children, stay at home and not have a car available to you in the US?

My answer is no for at least 95% of all Americans. So, your freedom is so great that first of all you become a slave of your car in the US. You have to finance your car. Most probably you need an income from mommy to afford two cars.

Next, you want to live in a district with "good schools". As long as "good schools" in the US are dependent on the income of the school district's inhabitants and the propterty taxes collected, the urge for responsible, but less financially well off  mommies to send their kids in the "better school", which is mostly parochial or private schools, will never disappear.

That's one of the reasons that the school voucher system is supported despite its very poor political and social value. And I think it's pitiful to have to accept such a poor political solution (school vouchers) to such an important problem like the failing public school system in many parts of the country.

Bottomline to afford the school tuition of a better and safer school for your child, you most probably need a second income source from "mommy".

To make it short: of course one can downgrade one's expectations a bit and make the tremendous sacrifice of not buying the next piece of technical junk to satisfy your dependency from new technologies.

But it seems to me that this article was written by someone, who had the options to downgrade, meaning you belong to those who can choose to downgrade their expectations without hurting your own security and your child's needs.

No, I won't downgrade my expectations ONE BIT. It's not the time to redefine the role of women, it's time to redefine social policies in this country, it's not only time, it's BIG time to do so.

And dare you, I expect a social contract that works for the women and children of this country and not against them. That means, I want choices and basic security for my family.

I could never figure out how I would fit politically into this country. I guess I have found a new term for what I can claim I am.

I am a either a progressive conservative or a conservative progressive. Hah, most probably more the latter.

BTW, there is no party and no voice for us.

Redefine my role. Hell no, I know what kind of role I have to play at any time in my life. The role changes very often and definitely I don't let define my role by anybody else than me.

You go and force your elected representatives to think ab out their own role in redefining and implementing fair and humane social policies.

Warning! (3.50 / 2) (#231)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:45:46 PM EST

Contrast
"The role changes very often and definitely I don't let define my role by anybody else than me."

vs.

"You go and force your elected representatives to think about..."

Are we being hypocritical here?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Misunderstood - my bad (5.00 / 1) (#252)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:21:22 PM EST

The role changes very often and definitely I don't let define my role by anybody else than me."

I should have said a woman's role changes often within her lifetime and how it changes is defined by her life's events. There is no "one role" for a woman. I believe that a woman, like anybody else, determines her life on her own, it means that her role in relationship to her children, husband or family is defined by her choices and thusly by herself.

You go and force your elected representatives to think about.

Read further ... to think about what? This was nothing but a call for women to hold their elected representatives accountable to walk the talk of their campaign promises. If women end up getting the opposite of what they have been told by the campaigning candidates, it means that the system allows too many loopholes. If your elected representatives don't have to define their policies exactly and can't be hold accountable to stick to them after election, then the political and legal system has a feature that allows misrepresentation and distortion of the people's will. I definitely don't like that to happen when it comes to defining social policies that are relevant specifically for women.

I can also describe that differently. If you have to study law as the only tool to defend yourself against the legal loopholes the legal system allows to be created (by smart lawyer-politician-lobbyists), then the constitutional system doesn't work for the good of the average citizen, because you can't expect to be every citizen to be a lawyer.

I fail to see what's hypocritical about it.

[ Parent ]

re: "forcing" (2.00 / 1) (#280)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:43:39 PM EST

You go and force your elected representatives to think about.

We don't live in a system that is "Democracy by proxy", we live in a Republic.

You have three options when your Representatives fail to act upon your views;

1. Choose to not re-elect them, and/or encourage others to do the same.
2. Attempt to organise a recall election, which isn't statistically effective.
3. Kill them. This has it's own set of personal consequences.

In short, you have no irresistable force with which you can pester Congress.
Them's the breaks and the sooner you accept it, the happier you'll be.

p.s. It's the duty of each citizen to learn of the laws which apply to them.
You are a naturalised citizen, aren't you?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Heh (5.00 / 2) (#287)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:57:58 PM EST

In short, you have no irresistable force with which you can pester Congress.

You're right, I don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to pester them with.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I caught that just as I pressed post. (3.00 / 1) (#291)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:03:47 PM EST

In short, spending wads of cash on an Official is no guarantee that you will achieve the desired results.

It will gain you an audience, otherwise it's considered a bribe.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

no (4.00 / 1) (#523)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 05:38:52 PM EST

Our courts seem to think that it's first amendment protected free speech. Somehow it's different than "gaining an audience" with that cop who was about to bust me for crack possesion.

[ Parent ]
interesting distinction (none / 0) (#666)
by tweetsygalore on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:52:39 PM EST


perhaps we SHOULD set up a PAC to legalise bribing cops.  
ugh (and fyi, i WAS being sarcastic).

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

ouch (none / 0) (#665)
by tweetsygalore on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 09:50:30 PM EST


unfortunately, this is true in a lot of cases!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

oh, save me that lecture (none / 0) (#327)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:23:41 PM EST

I lived in a Republic too, the Federal Republic of Germany, so, now what? Wrong Republic? Then:

Choice 1.: Obviously, that's not enough to hold a representative accountable.

Choice 2.: What? Recall an election won't make anybody more accountable to what he has already failed to act upon.

Choice 3.: Oh, interesting to learn you consider this a valid choice.

I can't pester Congress? No? Strange, I thought they are there to do what I voted them in for, to represent my choice of policies, which they agreed to implement in my name before they got my vote. If they can't be hold accountable until I have a choice to vote them out, then that doesn't help much, neither me nor the policies I want to get implemented.

They have broken a promise, have lost their integrity and deserve to be checked and disciplined. If I go to work and my job description is doing task x and I promise to do my best to get task x done, then, if I don't do it, I get fired or disciplined immediately. What is good for me is certainly good for my political representative.

Them's the breaks and the sooner you accept it, the happier you'll be.

I don't need happiness, I need justice and fairness. I ain't happy with people in Congress not doing what they promised to do. I ain't happy with laws that don't control the integrity and independence of my political representatives.

It's the duty of each citizen to learn of the laws which apply to them. You are a naturalised citizen, aren't you?

You may be mistaken, may be I learned too much about laws that apply to me. And if not now, may be soon.

So, would you be disappointed if I were a naturalized citizen? If yes, why?

[ Parent ]

It's called "compromise". (3.00 / 1) (#371)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:34:55 PM EST

Choice 1.: Obviously, that's not enough to hold a representative accountable.
Choice 2.: What? Recall an election won't make anybody more accountable to what he has already failed to act upon.

Politicians want to remain in office and stay in office as long as possible.
It's in their own best interest.

If they piss off too many of their constituents, the whole house of cards somes tumbling down, as they are turned out of office.

Choice 3.: Oh, interesting to learn you consider this a valid choice.

Not valid for me, but valid for some. Danke für Ihr Interesse.

I thought they are there to do what I voted them in for...

Yes, you and thousands of other people.
Why should your unique opinions have sway over that politician's votes?
These people must master the art of compromise in order to get anything done, it's simply not fair to compare it to any other 9-5 job.

It sounds like you want some electronic form of Direct Democracy, or a written list of specific individual platforms and it's not going to be so in our lifetimes.

So, would you be disappointed if I were a naturalized citizen? If yes, why?

I wouldn't be disappointed, I'd be surprised if you had accomplished the feat in spite of your naïveté regarding the nature of a Representative Democracy.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

No (4.00 / 2) (#439)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 09:44:32 AM EST

It sounds like you want some electronic form of Direct Democracy, or a written list of specific individual platforms and it's not going to be so in our lifetimes.

No, I think I don't want specific individual platforms, but party platforms that the voter can hold a party's elected representatives accountable to. I also want a fair chance for the creation of more than two party platforms and an equal probability for them to get votes, independent from their capability to raise campaign contributions to be heard as clearly as the current two existing parties.

In other news don't worry, my naivete about the nature of what I expect a representative democracy to encompass, has very successfully made me feel like an idiot in the US. No INS official will accept dummy naive mommies like me.

As long as any naive German, who has some interest in social policies to work towards the interests and needs of the average citizen, is either labelled in the US as a socialist, suspicious liberal dummy, or an authoritarian nazi, who can't handle "freedom" the American style, you don't have to fear that he can become a naturalized US citizen. INS will filter me out as suspicious. Sleep tight - no danger here.

The Americans don't see the forest for the trees. Current US foreign policies towards Germany demonize social democrats and liberals in Germany as the seed bed for the revival of right-wing anti-semitism and other anti-whatever-ethnic foreign minority in Germany. Though that looks very much like it, the cure for that phenomenon is not to be found by raising the demagoguery against the majority of Germans as naive, socialist, liberal idiots, who are lazy, apathetic and complacent.

Though, as is true for France, the anti-semitism or anti-foreign minorities hatred and violence, that breaks out in France's suburbs of Muslim minorities and in Germany's population of violent young skin-head criminals, the US won't help the Europeans deal with that phenomenon by demonizing the majority of average German voter's "naivete" as socialist. Another question is how the US themself is dealing with its own phenomenon of increase in violent hate crimes against any sort of minority.

Ok, I am losing the subject and drivel off topic. Tell your watchdogs I am a suspicious, but naive dummy that should never be allowed to become a naturalized citizen of the US.

[ Parent ]

If I ran the INS... (1.50 / 2) (#453)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:38:59 AM EST

I wouldn't bother blocking your entry, I'd focus on the likes of the students from the Freie Universität.

Thats the type of rabble that we need to keep out, before they continue their sabotaging ways in our nation.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

last time I looked at students at FU (none / 0) (#481)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 01:53:57 PM EST

it was in the 1976 or so. I have young family members in both universities in Berlin, FU and TU and, surprise, I meet amazingly many American students in the US, who come back from being exchange students from Humboldt University (pretty disappointed most of them - I can understand that).

I have met a very nice, conservative young lady from Germany graduate of the FU, working in the US trying to help to better the US-German relations supporting those German political candidates the current US administration likes to talk to, i.e. the German Christian Democrats.

I can't judge the students of today from the FU, but I would caution to generalize, otherwise you end up blocking those from cooperating with the US that might be the future assistants of the potential future German government. :-)

She thinks too that social policies in the US are something to be "de-ideologized". I guess she is too much in love with her American honey and plans nesting in the US with some babies ... and somehow realizes that this "ain't" that easy here as she thought.

I think the majority of young Germans from the FU, you don't want to see in the US, would be anyhow not making the effort to settle in the US. And the ones that do, wouldn't be of the kind, that you would have to fear something from.

But then I really don't know anything current about German students in general these days.

[ Parent ]

Wrong (1.73 / 19) (#249)
by Keeteel on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:03:42 PM EST

First of all, I think you're wrong in your assertions against the life style of Americans. While you may come from a socialist background that intervenes on your God given right to earn a living, in America, all are given the fair and equal chance to stand out against their peers. This is what makes America so great, while you have forced equality which results in apathy in nations like Germany, America has competition and the capability to make your life better than everyone around you. Not only is it about the increased living standards and quality of life, it's the pure satisfaction of knowing and feeling that you have more than those around you who are less competent, less intelligent, less skilled, but most important - LESS HARDWORKING.

It may have came as a shock to you that in America we believe in hard-work and dedication to our careers. This is part of the social contract we agree to by living in this country - we will work our asses off to make sure America remains the most powerful country in the world, with the best economy, and the best quality of life. Those who aren't willing to pay their dues will never make it in life, and will be stuck in poverty or low-income life style of the remainder of their days. Most Americans aren't willing to do this however, and we know in this country, we have the chance to become a millionaire. We'll take that ANY day over a socialistic country that imposes its liberal morals of equality and superficial economic rights for everyone. Healthcare should be private, education should be private, and your chance to make it in life should be YOUR responsibility, not the states.

I know many full-time working moms who are also full-time college students. They barely see their kid but they all agree, the price IS worth it. Why? Because when they turn 30 they'll be living in a medium-income life style at a nice corporate job who will take care of them. Your job and company should take care of you, not my taxes. Most Americans, myself included, don't want our hard earned money going to lazy people who will barely work one job and then do nothing for the other 16 hours of their day but sleep and watch T.V. - If you want a better life style, you get off your ass and work a second job or go to classes and educate yourself. You don't take my hard earned money so you can watch HBO on your T.V.

If you don't like this country, then leave, honestly. You seem to be so content to bash this country and whine that you can't be lazy, have your cake and eat it too without doing a damn thing. I work my ass off, so do most Americans, and to have some liberal from Germany (Of all places) bash my country for being too "hard" on them is an insult to everything I stand for, and everything America stands for.

The strong survive here, they become rich, and they get the ability to be ENVIED and ADMIRED by all. It's like the survey a university did - they asked Americans this question: Assuming the prices of all goods and services was exactly the same in two scenarios, would you rather have 50,000 a year and everyone else make 25,000 a year. Or would you rather make 100,000 a year, and have everyone else make 200,000 a year. The price of goods is *exactly * the same on both ends. What did most Americans pick? They'd rather make 50,000 and everyone else make 25,000. Why? Because part of this country is the satisfaction of knowing you are better and make more money, and have more stuff than the people around you. Most Americans desire that, that's our incentive to make it in life. If you don't like it, then go back to Russia or give your kid to a lesbian couple to adopt.

[ Parent ]
aha, I knew it - the target was me - (4.66 / 3) (#259)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:53:48 PM EST

[keeteel needs a sarcasm rant tag - sorry]

yes, I really come from a tremendously socialist background - out of the midst of middle class Western Germany family and five generation family business based on the merits of hard work, integrity and, oh wonder, free market economy with a lot of competition.

Remember, Western Germany, that was the nation that was built by Americans on the basis of respect for human and civil rights and free markets economies. Our constitution was supported and accepted and edited by guys like you. Duh! Man, what happened?

How is it possible that the US' effort of nation building in the former Western German territory might have turned out so terribly wrong and ended up in such a socialist, unfree, uncompetitive and apathic nation state, that I grew up in and made me a complete lazy loser?

So, tell me, which of the former American nation builders should I blame for us to become such a lousy socialist country (not to forget we are an "old" nation too in the "new Europe")?

You see our "oh so socialist Western Germans, were so successful that they even have beaten the hell out of Eastern German socialism with their lazy attitude and got it all destroyed". Tzz, tzz, us bad Western German socialists, what were we thinking ... :-)

You tell me.

[ Parent ]

I was talking beyond just you actually (1.50 / 4) (#342)
by Keeteel on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:13:21 PM EST

I suppose my points addressed your post, but I was really aiming to respond to the philosophies in general instead of the specifics of your life. I don't know you, I won't pretend to, but you seem to be advocating that socialism is better for the quality of life than capitalism. I can't agree at all with statements like that.

Germany went wrong when America pulled its direct governing influence out of the nation. I was in Germany about 4 years ago for 5 months, and I must say the life style of the people there is quite nice. Everyone had decent houses, and very nice cars. But it was so artificial, the people over there were no where near as hard working as Americans - their luxury seemed dervived and propped up by the government, which is something Americans are strictly against in our politics. Americans believe you make your own future and life, no one should prop you up. The last poll I read stated that Americans believe someone should be moved out of their parents house with a full time job and done with college at 21 years old. I tend to agree. I moved out at 16 and finished college by 20 years old. I was working my first full-time internship at 20, and was employeed on a salary by 22. Most Americans who don't post-pone their lives in years of useless graduate study believe in working, even while you're in college. This nation is built on making it for yourself, not having life given to you on a silver platter.

I don't think Germans or French people understand this because of their governments. When I was in Europse two years ago (I didn't visit Germany this time) I noticed how lazy everyone was, perhaps by your standards it's normal, but by the American standard people in Europe have too much free time to just run around their cities entertaining themselves with useless indulgences on WEEKDAYS. We're not talking about Sundays, heading up to the lake with some beer and water-skiing. We're talking about 35 year old French people walking around parks at 3:00 pm in the afternoon because they have no "Desire" to work in the afternoon. Worse of all, from what I understand, in some nations, they're simply not allowed to work too many jobs. That's terrible. In America, when someone has free time, they're expected to work. You work from 9 - 5, then you either go home and take some of your work home and build your career, or you take a second job to build your skills for a promotion.

In order to stay competitive in America, you must be fiesty. There's no way anyone who falls behind can compete with the fresh out of college 21 year old go getters that I was. I over-took many senior members of my company who were do for promotion, but as they got older, they started slacking off.

I suggest if you want to make it in America, you work to earn it, this goes for everyone. Especially in the tech-world, instead of working a 2nd job, there's millions of Americans playing VIDEO GAMES every night. It's absurd.

[ Parent ]
re: "propped up" (none / 0) (#398)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:10:18 AM EST

Propped up by a government that taxes them heavily, then disburses it in an inequitable manner.

We're talking about 35 year old French people walking around parks at 3:00 pm in the afternoon because they have no "Desire" to work in the afternoon.

That was probably a professional "student".
Germany's littered with them as well.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Inequitable? In how far? (none / 0) (#484)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:06:12 PM EST

Propped up what? Education, health care and some basic job security legislation? All of it is adjustable, when it needs to be adjusted. What is that inequitable about it?
<p>


[ Parent ]
"Basic Job Security"? (none / 0) (#558)
by ti dave on Wed May 28, 2003 at 05:08:42 AM EST

That's hilarious! More like "Extremely Advanced Screw-your-Employer".

Hey, I worked with dozens of German employees of the U.S. military.
I don't think their contracts were too different from the typical German terms of employment, so forgive me when I say that the terms they had to follow provided for the most lax work environment I've ever seen.

I can't believe they had the gall to cash their paychecks, ironically, funded with my tax money.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

If they were the screw the employer types (none / 0) (#585)
by mami on Wed May 28, 2003 at 10:30:14 PM EST

why did the US hire them? I can't believe the Germans forced the US to hire them, or am I wrong?

[ Parent ]
Apparently... (none / 0) (#587)
by ti dave on Thu May 29, 2003 at 03:54:31 AM EST

Job prerequisites were met.

I can't speak to their motives for working for the U.S. government, except to point out the tax-free shopping opportunities.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Good Lord! You're serious! (none / 0) (#504)
by pyramid termite on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:10:50 PM EST

Which raises a question - what the hell are you doing posting all this tripe to K5? DON'T YOU HAVE WORK TO DO?

My only real comment about all you've said is that you'll soon discover that the reason why those senior members of your company started "slacking off" is that 1) they realized that being workaholics was raising hell with their family life, 2) they realized that the workplace is not a strict meritocracy and that not all of them were going to get promoted due to lack of positions and office politics.

The rest of your blather about people being expected to take 2nd jobs is ridiculous. Ahh, well, one man's laziness is another man's living.

Odds are, the day's going to come in your life when you realize that you're never going to be the top dog at anything you're doing for a living. Then what are you going to think of yourself? What are you going to think about the obsession you had with being the top dog? One mid-life crisis, coming right up ...

Of course, you might actually become top dog - then you'll discover how screwed up THAT can be too. My advice? Give yourself some time to be irresponsible.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
You're Entertaining (4.00 / 1) (#505)
by virg on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:12:47 PM EST

I loved reading your screed, because now I get to feel superior to you for your very limited world view. Much fun. Here are the high points:

> In America, when someone has free time, they're expected to work. You work from 9 - 5, then you either go home and take some of your work home and build your career, or you take a second job to build your skills for a promotion.

Expected by whom, exactly? Others like you? The average American, in poll after poll, states that he/she doesn't have enough spare time. Therefore, your point does not properly extend to the majority of people around you, and not even to a large minority.

> In order to stay competitive in America, you must be fiesty. There's no way anyone who falls behind can compete with the fresh out of college 21 year old go getters that I was. I over-took many senior members of my company who were do for promotion, but as they got older, they started slacking off.

Large numbers of young-twenties people think the way you do, and the vast majority of the senior set are "slacking off", and you're too small of mind to wonder why they do that. It does not occur to you that there could be a reason why they don't want the promotions that you think you're stealing away from them.

> I suggest if you want to make it in America, you work to earn it, this goes for everyone. Especially in the tech-world, instead of working a 2nd job, there's millions of Americans playing VIDEO GAMES every night. It's absurd.

Absurdity is not for you to describe, who has what the majority of Americans label an absurd level of materialism. I could tell you to grow up, but at least I have grown to the point where I realize that you may view the world differently than me, and therefore I have no right to do so. I will close simply by saying that it's very likely that I make more money than you (I earned just over $128,000 last year) and I play video games every night, so up yours.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Pathetic and sad (4.50 / 2) (#262)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:04:41 PM EST

All you've really said here is "he who dies with the most toys wins" and "I'm not a real human being unless there's others I can look down upon and despise". Yes, your attitude is quite common in this country. But your materialism and your utter failure to see yourself in any other terms than what you have compared to what others have is NOT part of MY social contract in this country - the inevitable outcome of trying to rule the world through gold is that others will try to rule it with lead - or uranium.

In short, your post is the very expression of the kind of degeneracy I was speaking about in an earlier reply. Our founding fathers fought for liberty, justice and a vision for mankind - you merely fight for your bank account and your ability to seclude yourself from those you consider the rabble. It's always sad and ironic when a mountain such as the American Revolution ends up producing little pack mice like you.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
What's wrong with materialism? (2.33 / 6) (#338)
by Keeteel on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:03:50 PM EST

The basis of the American dream is to own a house, a car, a family, work a tuff, but satisfying job and enjoy our national holidays and solidarity as a nation. It is materialism that drives this country and makes it the most successful nation in the history of earth. I don't see how it is superficial or a failure to see myself in any terms other than my bank account. I like my laptop, I like my two computers, I like my big screen T.V., I love my collection of DVDs, I love my S.U.V., I love my boat, and I'm content with my house till I can buy a bigger one. The only reason I live in a moderate house at this point is because we don't have children - but rest assured when that time comes I'll be using my hard-worked money to buy a bigger house. And you know what? I'm even more happy when my friends and neighbors come over and admire what I have. It makes me proud that my co-workers enjoy coming over to my house because I have more than them. The fact is, I have it better than them, so they admire and respect me. They have more than people below them, they get admiration and respect. People who have more than me, I admire and respect them. I listen to their word more than someone who doesn't have anything.

Americans could careless about what Joe Nobody thinks. But when Bill Gates, or Donald Trumph, or President Bush speaks - we shut up and listen. We respect them because of their power, wealth, and strength as individuals. Weak people can't get what these people have. These people earned what they have with good old fashioned hard worked. If you think people will buy your line that everyone is equal and we should listen to some schmuck on the street whose using our tax money, that we should value his philosophies of "take like easy, don't work too much" while he lives off our taxes - over the word of Bill Gates who is a strong business leader, then I don't see why you would even want to live in America.

So tell me, what's wrong with using material goods as the basis of my life? I have no reason to deny it is what drives me, and if you believe most people around you and me don't feel the same way you're kidding yourself. If America didn't give us the chance to better ourselves than our peers, what's the point? After all, tell me, why do people strive to be the best in Basketball? In Chess? In Everquest? In their profession? In their class? It's not for the sake of doing it, being the best means you are number one, and everyone else is number two and lower. That is the reward, it does mean that in that field or way of life, you ARE better than the people who are below you.

The American social contract is simple; contribute to the country and the economy. There's no more to it. If you're not willing to do it, you don't belong in this country. It's a shame because I see all these hard-working illegal immigrants willing to do more hard-work and achieve the American dream than lazy teenagers from upper class families on their way to this countries Top colleges. I suspect if these lazy brats knew what it was like to not have anything, they'd find out fast why materialism is important.

The founding fathers are irrelevant to the American dream. They gave us the basis for our country, and for that, we should be thankful. But outside of that, the history of American has proved they were short-sighted and in many cases naive to the realities of the future. Our government has modified many of their early ideas to better accommodate our growing super power. The founding fathers did not want America to be a super power - Modern Americans will fight with our lives to keep ourselves a super power. Why? Because it means we are number one. You can delude yourselves to believing otherwise. But the fact we live in the greatest nation on earth is so embedded in to our personalities and what defines as a people, that it is what gives us our confidence, and power to lead this world.

So tell me, why is this bad? I think it's what all humans should strive for. You live on earth, then you die on earth and move on. While you're here, why not make the best of it and be number one?

[ Parent ]
An answer (none / 0) (#429)
by pyramid termite on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:18:24 AM EST

So tell me, what's wrong with using material goods as the basis of my life?

You can't count on keeping them.

After all, tell me, why do people strive to be the best in Basketball? In Chess? In Everquest? In their profession? In their class?

A wise person tries to be better than himself - like it or not, there's always going to be someone better at you at something - if not now, than 20 years from now.

The American social contract is simple; contribute to the country and the economy. There's no more to it. If you're not willing to do it, you don't belong in this country.

There's more to it than that - and I'm getting sick of people telling other people they don't belong here.

I suspect if these lazy brats knew what it was like to not have anything, they'd find out fast why materialism is important.

Or unimportant - you'd be surprised.

So tell me, why is this bad?

What happens if by some accident it all gets taken away from you? Don't laugh - it happens to people every day, through no fault of their own. Then who will you be?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
So you wanna contribute to humanity (none / 0) (#615)
by pyro9 on Sat May 31, 2003 at 12:12:05 AM EST

There are many options for you, but you're going to have to quit wasting time detailing your SUVs.

Create thought provoking high art (any form will do), contribute to literature, philosophy, or science. You could try to figure out how everyone can have more for less, how to make sure that nobody has to live in the streets in the richest nation in the world just because they ran into bad luck (such as having a mental illness AND no support, could've been great artist, but instead became a street person).

In less than 100 years, Bush (either one), Gates, etc will be just a few more boring dead dudes that had a lot of money once. Meanwhile Bach, Shakesphere, Einstein, and Worhol amongst others will be remembered and admired. Ask around, the only thing remembered about Vanderbilt is the university because none of the rest mattered one whit to humanity in the end (though you might get a bunch of answers involving pants as well, wrong Vanderbilt). Now, ask about Bach.

Most of human history has been about achieving equality and having more for less (not having more for more). The rich and powerful typically ride high for a while then get killed off by the peasants. Keep in mind that without progress in social equality, you'd be much more likely to be a poor peasant rather than a noble.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
a couple of things (none / 0) (#637)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 05:16:44 PM EST

  1.  re bill gates and his views on philanthropism:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2696263.stm .
  2.  and since you seem to be so obsessed with being "number one," what world-class fields, institutions, industries and facilities have you actually participated in and been part of?  and what was your ranking in them?
best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
and the sad thing is that (none / 0) (#636)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 05:04:49 PM EST


let's just say that people like him get into an accident and become disabled.  chances are, they'd kill themselves or make everyone else around them so miserable because during their so-called strong years, they put all their identities and worth in the Mammon basket!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Hah. (2.00 / 4) (#270)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:20:44 PM EST

Most Americans, myself included, don't want our hard earned money going to lazy people who will barely work one job and then do nothing for the other 16 hours of their day but sleep and watch T.V. - If you want a better life style, you get off your ass and work a second job or go to classes and educate yourself.

Why are you advocating plantation slavery?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Why are you zeroing Keeteel? (4.33 / 3) (#272)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:30:39 PM EST

He may be a shithead, but it's still not right. I'm giving him a 5 to make up for you and infinitera's attempt to, um, silence the reactionary lackeys or whatever.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
i'm sorry if you can't read (2.25 / 4) (#279)
by infinitera on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:43:12 PM EST

A post that directly advocates fascism & slavery is "intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers". I couldn't give a rat's ass if Keeteel is trolling or not; if Johnny Walker doesn't get a voice here, then Keeteel at his finest is no different. K5 as a whole usually disagrees, but that's not too surprising. ;) Or are you giving him bonus points for using paragraphs and posturing more?

[ Parent ]
You say fascism like it's a bad thing. (1.00 / 1) (#282)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:46:46 PM EST

Don't confuse the political system with the results of the abuse of the system.

I want my trains to run on time, damnit.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

And I'm sorry if you can't reply ... (none / 0) (#285)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:55:21 PM EST

... or argue against his beliefs any better than to give him a zero. It would be better to ignore him than to stoop to such tactics. Or just given him a 1. I wouldn't have felt compelled to comment on it or give him a 5 had you done that.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
done [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#286)
by infinitera on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:56:18 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Fair enough (5.00 / 1) (#289)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:01:33 PM EST

I've withdrawn my 5 - you don't know how much it hurt me to rate him that.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Same here. (5.00 / 1) (#312)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:45:54 PM EST

I've given him 1s instead.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I'm not zeroing him because he's a shithead. (none / 0) (#283)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:51:52 PM EST

But because it's a patently obvious, self-evident, and noisy troll having no purpose whatsoever - not even a literary or creative design.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Plantation slavery? (2.00 / 6) (#347)
by Keeteel on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:17:32 PM EST

What are you talking about? It's a choice, you either work your ass off to be competitive and build your career to make those 6 figures (and beyond) or you fall back and lose job positions to ambitious 21 year olds right out of Yale, Harvard, and MIT who are capable of taking your job with their confidence and ambition. That is what I did, while I didn't come from one of those schools, I was on a full career path by 22 and working my way up the ladder, over-taking guys who had been in the office for years but chose to persue superficial entertaininment or spend time with their family instead of taking their post-job efforts to something productive (or taking their work home as I did.)

A good judge of this is American pop-culture. Observe shows like Sex and the City (I use this example because this is a male dominated site.) Women who watch this show swear by its reality, the 4 main characters only go after the men who are career oriented, who believe in work, have ambition, and are aimed at being successful. When one of their friends wants to take time off from work she's considered insane. These women won't date guys who put in less than half-an-effort at work. Our culture values work, our culture is a go-gettem society. You stay competitive, or you lose. If you lose, you can't be number one.

[ Parent ]
Kid (5.00 / 3) (#447)
by kraant on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:16:44 AM EST

I eargerly await your midlife crisis.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]
ouch (none / 0) (#635)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 04:53:13 PM EST


be nice.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

how scary (none / 0) (#634)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 04:36:49 PM EST


but the reality of it is that a lot of people here in silicon valley and other high-tech regions in the country and the world have executives and experts scaling back their lifestyle in order to keep their sanity AND going back to the basics.

if world domination and its minions and subsets were truly the way to go, then ivan boesky, michael milken, alfred taubman and others like them who fell from grace would still be the darlings and the captains of their respective industries.

fyi, i'm a corporate drop-out who still works in the corporate world once in a while (i'm more project-oriented and academic and bohemian than career-driven) whose had experiences in the legal field AND venture capital world when i was younger.  i'm constantly in a precarious financial situation but by golly, i've never felt so emotionally secure and spiritually grounded in my life!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

ouch (none / 0) (#633)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 04:23:06 PM EST


haha.  how funny.  but seriously, isn't that what those who systematically WORK on strengthening the prison industrial complex do, that is, want to go back to the plantation slavery mindset and way of life? ouch, indeed!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

who are you working for? (none / 0) (#632)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 04:20:24 PM EST


this sounds like a right-wing, fascist diatribe.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

The question is... (none / 0) (#494)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:56:43 PM EST

Is it sustainable? If what has been happening to the German economy for the past few years is any indication then I would say no.

Germany also faced significantly less expenses then the U.S. has had (for instance not having to fully fund your own national defence during the Cold War years).

Still I support a social safety net... and I think the U.S. could do a significantly better job in providing one without spending more.

The problem is that the very same forces that oppose such programs as school vouchers are the very forces which create the necessity for them in the first place.

[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#545)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:54:30 PM EST

as far as I know Germany has to pay the reconstruction and development cost of former East Germany and absorb thousands of refugees, immigrants or workers from Eastern Europe, Africa and Iran, Iraq and Turkey etc.

For the defense budget, I guess current policies get them so scared, that they will start to invest more in defense as well. So I wonder who will like that ...

Sustainable? Well, if it costs too much and people don't want to pay for it any more, of course not. But why would that be a problem?

So they might downgrade their expectations, adjust, invent new solutions. Nothing suprising about that. It's a necessary evolution to adjust social policies to economic and technological changes that change the framework in which families live in and have to raise their kids.

The only thing dangerous about it is that downgrading expectations and demanding more sacrifices is always met with more violent opposition (who wants to give up privileges) than upgrading expectations and inspire the hope for better times, the way it is usually done in the US.

It's easy for the US to drown their less well off population in inspiring, uplifting smooth political propaganda, because everybody likes to hear something that lifts up hope and everybody wants or even needs to believe in it.

But it's hard for Germany to confront their citizens with some necessary adjustments, reality checks and sacrifices. So, the Germans have the harder job to do.

The problem is that the very same forces that oppose such programs as school vouchers are the very forces which create the necessity for them in the first place.

Ah yes? Why? I don't think that the whole school voucher program will have such an effect that it will create major changes or solve any problems at all. The only reason, why I wouldn't oppose it, is because I don't want to hurt those families who could profit from the vouchers right now and send the kids to schools they prefer.

But in principle I would oppose the program and don't consider it a solution to a problem, but a band-aid that is supposed to distract from the problem. In what way do I create the necessity for the voucher system with my opinion then?

[ Parent ]

Not You (none / 0) (#571)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 28, 2003 at 12:21:06 PM EST

"In what way do I create the necessity for the voucher system with my opinion then?"

Not you with your opinion. However some of the most powerfull lobbies opposed to the school voucher are the teachers unions and school administraters.

I regard these groups as part of the whole reason why school voucher became an issue in the first place. If education proffesionals were more accountable for thier performance... just like folks in the private sector who hold thier jobs "at will" (i.e. they don't get to keep thier jobs unless they provide competent performance) then I believe education in this country would improve greatly.

It is not a panacea, mind you... and there certainly are other issues that need to be addressed in order to improve education... but accountability is an important component... and teachers unions have been fighting it tooth and nail.

[ Parent ]

Germany (none / 0) (#616)
by pyro9 on Sat May 31, 2003 at 12:18:19 AM EST

I'd say most if not all of Germany's problem is related to having to absorb East Germany after the wall came down.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Typical!! (2.71 / 7) (#207)
by anonimouse on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:46:15 PM EST

Women ask for something and then when they have it decide it isn't what they wanted.
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
i think that (none / 0) (#631)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 04:04:44 PM EST


this is more of a human nature thing rather than a male thing or a female thing per se.  and i think that a lot of it stems from the fact that our perceptions and impressions of our desires usually do not reflect the burdens and the responsibilities that come with them.

ok, this might sound a little silly, but take the "social holy grail" --- yuk, yuk, yuk!  the term and the concept are SO yukky! --- called marrying into high society or having children born into it, blah, blah, blah.

from the outside looking in, it seems magical and enchanting in a fairy tale-like way.  but the reality of it is that they have the a...oles and the creeps and, of course, the really, really cool ones JUST LIKE anywhere else.  the privileged and the ultra-privileged just happen to have greater and more entrenched access to power and history and glamour which is not necessarily a good thing per se.  ultimately, it is how these things are used!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

I have the feeling (none / 0) (#643)
by anonimouse on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 03:19:21 PM EST

that some people took this comment far too seriously
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]
perhaps (none / 0) (#645)
by tweetsygalore on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 03:27:06 PM EST


haha.  :)

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

becoming the change... (4.50 / 4) (#209)
by semaphore3 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:47:30 PM EST

"you must become the change you wish to see" -- Gandhi

What I find interesting about this conundrum is this:

-- If you're a twenty-something female (I am) and you have brains, believe you should do something relatively useful with your life, etc., then you are going to dump a great deal (the majority, probably) of your energies into getting further established professionally -- just like males of that same age especially were societally pressured to do in days gone as it was understood that same males would need to be the breadwinners.

-- But if you're focused on career, getting yourself set up, that means you are less focused on other things: i.e. attracting a mate.

-- Do you need to be focused on this endeavor in order for it to be realized? I'm not personally familiar with anything I've wanted in this life that has come without some sustained effort, focus and concentration. I can't imagine that finding a mate would diverge from this pattern greatly. But as indicated, that effort is on the backburner.

-- A related issue is that our *smartest* women in society -- as measured by IQ -- are tending to reproduce the least in this society. Is this egged on by the conditions listed above? You betcha. Some social scientists (not my field) suggest that there are incentives in place (welfare state, anyone?) for the less educated females among us to continue reproducing while there are no such incentives for the higher intelligence women to do the same. The soln is not to make symmetric incentives by increasing incentives to educated/intelligent women but instead to decrease them to the others.

However even that does not solve the fundamental issue I see here.

I am in full agreement w/the author's suggestion that we live simply and get our priorities in order as a culture. Of course that will happen one by one (or won't, as the case may be) but certainly there's no harm in her putting these ideations out. [I think most people frankly agree w/her post-9/11 especially, too].


To summarize... (4.00 / 2) (#214)
by semaphore3 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:55:16 PM EST

So what I'm saying is this:

There used to be one of the two sexes focused on getting hitched for the reasons of securing her own financial future.

There used to be the other of the two sexes focused on getting hitched for the reasons of (a) getting his mom off of his back and (b) sex.

There was a -- though potentially admittedly warped -- synergy there.

I don't see these same forces at play any longer and am not certain what forces are going to rise up to replace those.

Historically 9/10 women in America have gotten married; there was a boom in the '30s whereby 9.5/10 women on average were getting married. I won't be surprised to see that number drop if not b/c there is a lack of interest (I don't think this is the case) but rather for reasons of logistics (as stated in initial post). If that is the result, then that's truly too bad.


[ Parent ]
Is this necessarily a problem? (2.50 / 2) (#296)
by Kax on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:32:03 PM EST

A related issue is that our smartest women in society -- as measured by IQ -- are tending to reproduce the least in this society.

I suppose you'd first have to establish that you want the 'smartest' people reproducing the most, which might not be so obvious if you consider tradeoffs - I wonder what the correlation between self-centeredness and intelligence is, for example?  We certainly don't want a spike in Asperger babies.

Perhaps the situation is such that some of the smartest women in society are weeding themselves out, because they lack some attribute that is more crucial to the long-term benefit of humanity.

[ Parent ]

hmmm, VERY, very interesting point (none / 0) (#630)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 03:40:48 PM EST


because statistically, there has been a SPIKE in the number of asperger babies!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Smart enough (5.00 / 1) (#651)
by pietra on Wed Jun 04, 2003 at 02:35:01 PM EST

to know you don't have any proof about intelligent mothers producing children with Asperger's syndrome. Nobody does. There is no evidence whatsoever linking maternal intelligence with this very rare and ill-defined syndrome, paranoid geek-boys aside. Stop propagating this myth.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps.. (4.00 / 1) (#305)
by kitten on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:13:34 PM EST

A related issue is that our *smartest* women in society -- as measured by IQ -- are tending to reproduce the least in this society. Is this egged on by the conditions listed above? You betcha.

Why is reproduction such an issue? Where is it written that to lead a fulfilling life, one must produce screaming spawn?

Nowhere that I can see. Is it possible that intelligent people can get married, enjoy each other's company, and find fulfillment in their own interests and each other, without producing another brat?

I never want to have children. Ever. If I find the right woman, I could live out the rest of my life quite happily with her, and not once think that something is amiss because I don't have a kid.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Look within (3.66 / 3) (#358)
by duffbeer703 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:47:29 PM EST

Just about everyone I know with children regard their experience raising kids as the most meaningful and rewarding pursuit in their life.

What's the point of going to work every day for nothing?

Anyone with the level of disgust towards children that you display is either a victim of some sort of abuse or too young to get it.

Look around, every living thing you can see from trees to bacterial to animals sees reproduction as a key part of life.

[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#427)
by Timo Laine on Tue May 27, 2003 at 05:54:29 AM EST

Just about everyone I know with children regard their experience raising kids as the most meaningful and rewarding pursuit in their life.
Well, maybe true, but this is no argument. Everyone you know may be wrong. I think many people I know are wrong about a lot of things.
Look around, every living thing you can see from trees to bacterial to animals sees reproduction as a key part of life.
Are you implying that the person you're responding to can be compared to uncritical animals? Those organisms don't have reasons for doing things. They don't see anything as a key part of life, because they are not capable of making such judgments.

[ Parent ]
The 20-something geeks on K5 (none / 0) (#478)
by duffbeer703 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:57:51 PM EST

Are likely to incapable of such judgement or haven't reached the level of maturity required to make such a judgement.

All living organisms, humans included, have a drive to reproduce... it's a feature hardwired into all living things for obvious reasons.

People can ignore those urges, but I'd bet you a nickel that the majority of people who are vehemently opposed to reproduction are either young (and unwilling to have kids at the moment) or suffering mental issues as a result of some trauma.

Most of the "choices" we make are driven by events that happen around us and are not as conscious as we would like to believe. Our perceptions and decisions are largely based by previous experiences and traumas.

For example, a very large percentage of people abused as children seek out and even carry on abusive relationships in adulthood.

[ Parent ]

ignoring vs. redirecting (none / 0) (#498)
by Timo Laine on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:29:32 PM EST

We have energy we can use to do all kinds of things. It's just a matter of how we use that energy. Leonardo da Vinci didn't reproduce, but instead did some other things.

[ Parent ]
but his genius, i think (none / 0) (#629)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 03:39:00 PM EST


is more the exception than the rule.  the rest of us, i think, tend to follow the clamours of convention. and i don't think that it's all that bad over-all.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

That wasn't the point... (none / 0) (#369)
by semaphore3 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:27:09 PM EST

I'm not saying that women *have* to have children to be happy.

Do you see me say that or EVEN imply that anywhere?

I'm speaking from a societal standpoint.

The US should care about the continuance of its citizens. And yes -- it's in our best interests as a nation for the more productive, smarter citizens to reproduce at least as much as the less productive/less intelligent.

If you don't know why or can't get your mind around that thought, then there isn't a whole lot I can do for you.

I'm not talking about the individual choices of each woman, I'm talking about overall trends and patterns. And about the health and future of this nation.


[ Parent ]
The obvious answer.... (none / 0) (#491)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:42:35 PM EST

Natural Selection. An organisim that does not seek to reproduce itself will not pass on it's traits and those traits will not persist within that species.

In a way you are selecting yourself right out of the human race. If most people fealt like you the human race would quite literaly not survive.

That's not intended as a dig. Obviously people are different and will have different visions of personal happiness (i.e. one persons heaven...). There is nothing wrong with your vision not including kids.

However, I think it does answer your question of why so many people want kids. Most people feel a deeply rooted instinct to have offspring. If they didn't then we wouldn't be around as a species.

Personaly, I was never really a "kid" person before my wife and I had our son. However, I can tell you that being a parent is the most fullfilling experience I have ever had. I can't even really describe it in words.

[ Parent ]

Different strokes for different folks (none / 0) (#527)
by splitpeasoup on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:52:19 PM EST

Stating the obvious here, but it needs to be stated. Different things make different people happy. Some like to have kids, some don't.

One cause of the friction is the fact that the child-desiring majority often tend to (a) demand the childless pay for their kids (via taxes etc) and (b) create a culture centered on children, to the exclusion and denigration of the childless and those who don't share their obsession. I'm a child-desirer myself (though I would rather adopt than give birth), but I can totally understand the resentment of non-child-desirers when they are faced with this kind of majority bullying.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
[ Parent ]

at the risk of sounding simplistic, (none / 0) (#628)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 03:33:39 PM EST


i think that children ARE going to live up to being liabilities more and more and not just in a financial sense to the extent that we see them that way.  if we DON'T spend the adequate amount of social capital needed --- and we haven't been --- to set up strong social infrastructures, society DOES end up paying for its ill effects in the form of higher crimes, ravaged environment and neighbourhoods, etc.

best
C

After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

"Me" time (4.33 / 3) (#212)
by TheModerate on Mon May 26, 2003 at 02:52:18 PM EST

I think you take a position on an important issue, but rather than argue for it, you presume as one of your premises.

And I think its time that we as a society stopped to think about this carefully. Is the persuance of materialistic and personal achievement, at the sake of family time and attention, really worth the price?

I would call this "pursuance of materialistic and personal achievement" as "me" time, and I think its essential for people to have as individuals. I know you are a mom, and I am sure that colors your perceptions quite a degree since you find yourself constantly sacrificing yourself for your children and all kinds of things, and I suppose you have that instinct where you find yourself of the opinion that you should be sacrificing even more to them. Agreed---culture has changed. The stay at home mother simply isn't economical anymore.

(By the way, I do like your cunning at advocating return to the stay-at-home mother and coloring your advocacy as feminism.)

I, however, feel that everyone needs plenty of "me" time in the week---even mothers. This gives you time to define yourself outside of your family---you should't define yourself in terms of sacrificing yourself to children or husband or house guests or anyone. We all need to constantly "find ourself"; I am convinced this isn't something you do just once.

But look at what you are asking from my perspective: should you invest more time into your children and your husbands? But from what do you invest this time out of? Yourselves. And when the children are away to college or out budding their own family trees, where does that leave you and hubby?

You see, what I think we have achieved in America to a great extent, is a certain degree of independence from the society we live in. The children aren't any worse spending time away from their families, I don't think. Instead I see this motherly instinct showing through: these are my children. Possessive, isn't it? ;)

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer

Defining yourself outside your family. (none / 0) (#217)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:09:30 PM EST

I read your comment as really saying is that humans need something to do -- some pursuit of something or the other. I think you're right; all humans have an innate need and capacity for creative labour, and that is something that is often peripheral to one's personal or social life. The extent to which it is so depends on your view of human nature, and on your personality. But it is true, and I think that's really what you're tyring to say. Am I right?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Yes (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by TheModerate on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:38:44 PM EST

That is partially what my post was about. It was a counterpremise to the author's conclusion that we should be spending more time dedicating ourselves to society.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Yes but (none / 0) (#487)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:26:24 PM EST

Look where the "Me" generation has gotten us.....

[ Parent ]
The Family (2.25 / 4) (#223)
by khilghard on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:31:50 PM EST

From what I have read, everyone has based their assumptions on a "scientific" basis, a "self-opinioned" basis, or a "You rotten 'so-called' feminist" basis. What hasn't been understood is what this society has been doing in the last 100 years. Technologically, we, as a society, have made significant technological steps forward. At the same time, the element of family has decidedly dropped off. Industrial nations do not reproduce as much anymore as "less developed" nations. The family is being systematically destroyed. Men do not know what a father is, and women think that mother earns all the money and raises children on their own. History shows us that families have always made the difference. This same trend was seen by the Romans before their downfall. Most women I know are single, divorced, usually pregnant or with a child or two, and complain bitterly about men. They want a man who can be loving and helpful and will be a father. Men nowadays have a tendency to not know what being a father is. But the family is the most basic unit of society. If it utterly fails, so will all of society. One mother, one child, and no father. That trend would set our nation backwards. It is sad to see that though the world sees this problem, it is unwilling to solve it or to reverse it. The world is better off with a mother and father working together to make a better family. In time, we will all see that the trends that many on this site are pursuing and do not wish to see or admit will ultimately do more damage and evil than we can imagine. Which it already has.

"God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives." -James Barrie

False premises (3.40 / 5) (#229)
by domovoi on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:43:38 PM EST

All of which you say above is plausible, so long as you restrict the definition of the family to "two parents of opposite sex and child(ren)." As it is, however, your "definition" wants very badly to be true, but isn't.

It's a shibboleth of the frog-mouthed scolds in our public discourse to posit (as you have) that 1) The family is the basic unit of society; 2) That the family is going to hell in a handbag; and 3) Therefore, society is going to hell in a handbag. Neither of the premises on which the argument is hung is worth a pile of dung.

In first-world, post-industrial countries, the family is not the basic unit of society. It is, however, in pre-industrial agrarian societies. Second point: Who says society is going to hell in a handbag? By whose measure? Do you mean that "families are not what they once were"? Great, fine, but the two are not necessarily related, unless you think circular reasoning will win the day.

Ideally, we as a society (or, dare I say, a world community) would come to a definition of family that is actually descriptive, rather than prescriptive. Until that happens, however, it seems likely the same bland, unreflective nostalgia will pass for discourse.


------------------------------
This is not my signature line.
[ Parent ]
Bad Logic (2.50 / 2) (#315)
by khilghard on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:56:26 PM EST

I come to the defense of my argument as I didn't want to be descriptive. The definition of married people by law (not society) is the lawful binding of one man to one woman. That definition is true has always been true and only recently (in the last few years) been changed and only in a scant few places. It has always been impossible (until recently and still very experimental by that I mean cloning) for a man to have children by way of a man or a woman to have children by way of a woman. Cloning can change that reality, too bad it's in the process of being banned in most industrial societies of the world. One still needs the sperm of a man and the egg of a woman thereby sealing the argument that the family is the most basic unit of society and always has been. Only women does not work, only men does not work. Even the amazonian women needed men to continue their culture. No men in a woman only society (literally) equals no children and no future. Society goes to hell in a handbasket when men and women no longer have children together and raise them together. Why hell in a handbasket. Crime rates go up, violence increases, no more children are born, society becomes filled with more feeling of hatred and violence. When the family is properly created with love and kindness, children have the proper choice to become better people rather than being raised around violence and hate which usually leaves said children in the same state as they were raised and they in turn hand down that legacy of violence to their children.

One other problem with your argument is that you neither support nor help your truth factor. Validity is only as good as the truth is. You have failed in that aspect as perhaps as assuredly as I since I chose not to. Validity and truth go together in making a reasonable argument. Since you have not proven your truth, your argument is unreasonable. QED! If your going to undermine the argument, do a better job than that half-ass job you did. Now as for circular reasoning, get the fallacy right if you're going to argue properly. It isn't circular reasoning. Maybe in your mind, but it sure doesn't work out that way on paper. Do a better job at explaining your work so that a better critique can be performed. You end half-assed too. I was hoping for a much better ending than that conclusion. It doesn't put any nails into the coffin. I felt let down to have had such an argument in response in that it wasn't as good as it could have been.

BTW, the societal definition of family is so distorted as to be absolutely useless, the definition by law is much better as it defines absolutely what the family is. Other uses of the definition of family do end with trouble at its ends. And until you get your argument right, I will give you the lowest rating possible.

"God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives." -James Barrie

[ Parent ]

Now that I've snorted my dinner through my nose... (4.50 / 2) (#343)
by domovoi on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:14:13 PM EST

Here's your reasoning:

Society's going to hell because The Family is in a shambles. How do I know The Family's in a shambles? Society's going to hell, that's how!

That's circular reasoning.

Again, you hang your argument on premises you assume to be proven, but aren't. (We rhetoric teacher-types call that 'begging the question'). We are not an agrarian society. Your screed about Amazons and no men in a society is one red herring (oo, there's another one!) after another. My intent, however, wasn't to critique your logic, per se. It was to object to the lousy definitions everything you were saying was hinged upon.

I'll stop now, since it's rude to do battle with the unarmed. I'm sure the good folks at k5 will take it up where I leave it.
------------------------------
This is not my signature line.
[ Parent ]

Now that's better n/t (none / 0) (#346)
by khilghard on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:17:22 PM EST


"God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives." -James Barrie

[ Parent ]

Do you hear that sound? (none / 0) (#320)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:05:54 PM EST

In first-world, post-industrial countries, the family is not the basic unit of society.

It's the sound of 20,000 Amish families laughing at you.

Don't assume that every society is homogeneous when it comes to family structures.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

The Amish aren't exactly mainstream (none / 0) (#329)
by Edgy Loner on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:28:06 PM EST

They basically are an agrarain pre industrial society. It probably would have been more correct to have said societies rather than countries.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#331)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:31:16 PM EST

That's exactly how (s)he should have phrased it.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

What do you suggest the basic unit of society is? (none / 0) (#356)
by duffbeer703 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:40:53 PM EST

For most of the people in my circle, family is the center of just about everything.

For most of the course of human existance (until the  1950's and 60's) people <i>in general</i> lived within a few hours of their birthplace. Modern communciations and travel have created large segments of our population who have no connection with other people.

You might want want to read the book "Bowling Alone", which describes in quanitative terms how the Americans have been transformed from a high social and involved people to a population of isolated and detached individuals.

[ Parent ]

Whatever the fundamental economic unit is (4.00 / 1) (#448)
by domovoi on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:19:45 AM EST

In an agrarian society--take 19th C. rural N. America if you like--a family was often relatively isolated from other families. They operated as a group, working together, providing shelter, food, companionship, i.e. the material and psychic comforts of life, almost to exclusion of anyone else. That is, the family is the primary unit of economic production.

That isn't true today. A worker identifies himself not primarily as a member of a family (in his 'worker' role), but as a member of a company, a profession, at whatever level (from "crew" to "profession" on the micro-macro scale). The family isn't an economic unit in the same way at all. I'm not sure whether there is an equivalent now; I would think it depends on what sort of work you do for a living. The family has become, rather than the work unit (of production), the "escape-from-work" unit (of consumption).

Interesting. Will have to think on it more.


------------------------------
This is not my signature line.
[ Parent ]
Interesting Indeed (none / 0) (#474)
by duffbeer703 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:34:31 PM EST

I don't think economic units and families are synomonous. The family of a 19th century metalsmith or butcher wasn't necessarily invovled in the father's day to day work.

I think that most people, save a few single 20 somethings, think of themselves as a member of a family, not a cog in the wheel of IBM, General Motors or the police department. If you consider your employer to be part of your identity, you've got issues.

[ Parent ]

Meh... (none / 0) (#565)
by domovoi on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:14:55 AM EST

It's more about considering your career to be part of your identity. Not so uncommon.
------------------------------
This is not my signature line.
[ Parent ]
ouch (none / 0) (#627)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 02:54:45 PM EST


but it's true to a large extent though, that is, a lot of people
unfortunately do not evolve enough to transcend their job identities.

best
C

After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

The problem -- entitlement (4.00 / 3) (#226)
by cdipierr on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:38:17 PM EST

The problem is a little different than described. The article has hit the symptoms right on the head, but not the source of the problem.

Since WWII, there's been a general sense of "I'm entitled to everything my parents had and more so." And in the beginning this attitude inspired people to work hard for their goals, and if they were really lucky, they'd end up with a house in the suburbs, a nice car and a nice family.

Now, with the advent of easy to get credit, relatively cheap real estate (look at how many housing developments were built in the 80s and 90s),  instead of working hard for what they want, people just buy it now and worry about it later.

Unfortunately, this attitude has also permeated to children. Instead of people making a committment to raise their family to the best of their ability, the child of an upper middle class family has become another possession on the way to success. We see this attitude in the way people want the government to regulate TV, movies, internet, and whatnot instead of actually sitting down and being a parent. The child's role is basically to be used in the sentence, "And how are your kids?" "Oh fine..." at the office. People are not doing the amount of thinking that's required prior to actually having them.

One couple that my fiance and I know has just gotten pregnant. They're both about 30, and admittedly have probably given it more thought than the 20-somethings that have kids, but I still see a problem with their attitude. The wife especially thinks that she'll still have some sort of social life when the kid's born. These two are pretty grounded people, so I think it'll all work out ok in the long run, but if they can have such misguided views, I'm not surprised that the rest of socienty does either.

So what's the solution? I don't really know. I'm not a socialogist, I just call 'em as I see 'em.

why shouldn't she have a social life? (5.00 / 3) (#376)
by blisspix on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:07:15 AM EST

when I was a kid, my parents had an active social life.... because we were involved too. We spent a lot of time at other people's houses having lunch and dinners, and sometimes parties. Many more restaurants and bars are accomodating to kids these days too (at least where I live). It is possible to have a social life if you include your kids. You might need to change where you go to eat or drink to include places that welcome kids, but by no means are you chained to the crib for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
Great! "Chuck E. Cheese" it is, then. (none / 0) (#397)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:02:16 AM EST

I've gone ahead and made reserva- Oh hell, why bother?

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Well, you can deride it all you want. (none / 0) (#408)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:26:19 AM EST

It's true. The fact that my parents were graduate students for so much of the time notwithstanding, they always managed to have a social life with me. My childhood was fraught with being dragged to all kinds of visits and occasions, and when I was a baby my parents were constantly surrounded by friends that came over, entertained me, etc. True, I am an only child and never had demanding entertainment requirements, but I don't think that changes things substantively.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Only child status... (5.00 / 1) (#415)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:45:53 AM EST

Makes it infinitely easier to treat lil' Johnny like a miniature adult, which is probably the reason that you don't appear to act your own age.

You've been given additional years of practice, so count your blessings, as most people don't have that chance.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Well, maybe. (none / 0) (#416)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:54:12 AM EST

Makes it infinitely easier to treat lil' Johnny like a miniature adult, which is probably the reason that you don't appear to act your own age.

I'm not a parent so I can't claim to know, but I approach your statement with skepticism. I've dealt a lot with children on a one-to-one basis; it's not "infinitely" easier just because there isn't a plurality of them. Especially full time, 24/7!

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Kids... (none / 0) (#418)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:00:28 AM EST

Attention to individual kids declines on a logarithmic scale, as the number of kids increases.

Go talk with a parent of 4 or more kids, they're bat-shit insane.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Oh, sure, I wouldn't doubt that. (5.00 / 1) (#421)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:14:37 AM EST

But that's an entirely different assertion from "raising a single child is tantamount to getting a miniature adult out of the womb." It's still not a piece of cake, there's just a more centralised focus.

I'm sure that most of my basic personality features are the product of my singular existence, but I don't necessarily see this as a good thing. In the grand scheme, I would've liked to have a sibling; it's an experience that almost everyone seems to go through except me. In my elementary school of about 650, I was one of the 10-15 or so only children, and 8 of the others were Chinese.

However, under no circumstances would I ever want a brother. Ever. Older, younger, any age. There are enough asshole males. But I wouldn't mind a sister, I think it'd be nice to have some more family, especially when the parents kick off.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Socializing... (none / 0) (#518)
by cdipierr on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:51:23 PM EST

I didn't mean to imply that there wouldn't be any social life for the parents or for the family as a whole. Certainly arranging play dates, and the odd night out will happen. I'd hardly consider anyone bad parents for that. The situation to which I refer is more as follows... Currently the wife is in a group of friends (none of whom yet have kids) that get together once weekly for dinner/talking/hanging out. Her husband is not currently a member of this group, not because we don't like him, just because he chooses to use the time to do his own thing. That's fine and dandy right now. However, when they have the kid, she intends to quit working while he continues his fulltime career. This implies that she's going to spend a great deal of time with the kid. Therefore, she has it in her head that on those socializing occassions mentioned above, that she'll be able to leave the kid with her husband that night and join the group like she has been doing. This is what I find unrealistic. I'm sure she will in fact be able to make it from time to time, but the every week thing is just not going to happen, nor should she expect it to. That's obviously just a singular example, but she's made more similar comments to me in the past, and I just don't see it happening. I was then extrapolating that to the rest of society. This is admittedly a leap, but I was using it as an example to show that having kids is not necessarily well thought out these days. I do believe that the people involved will make good parents and that it'll all balance out in the end, because they're committed intelligent people. I do not, however, extend that belief to the rest of society.

[ Parent ]
the problem (5.00 / 2) (#393)
by cyclopatra on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:46:30 AM EST

The wife especially thinks that she'll still have some sort of social life when the kid's born.

Someone else already jumped on this, but because I think it's just as much a symptom of the "problem" with society today as a sense of entitlement is, I decided to jump in and elaborate. I think one of the biggest problems with people today is our inability to see things in shades of grey. Maybe it's the sound-byte, infotainment quality that the media's taken, where all the hard decisions are boiled down and fed to you in nice, bite-size, yes-no pieces. I think the comment-excerpt above exemplifies this - the assumption that if you have kids, you will either have no social life or be an irresponsible parent.

When I was growing up, my parents had more of a social life than they do now. Granted, they also had less of a social life than I do now, but they went out to dinner maybe once a week, to a party once a month or so, and occasionally went dancing or to a concert. Sometimes we kids came along, sometimes we didn't. Let's face it: most of the things adults do that are considered part of a "social life" take place after the kids' bedtimes. So my parents would tuck us in, read us a story, and then my dad would go and pick up the babysitter and drive her/him over while my mom did her makeup. Having kids impinged on their social life somewhat, certainly, but it hardly killed it off.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Nice article. (3.66 / 3) (#233)
by valeko on Mon May 26, 2003 at 03:48:37 PM EST

I like your article a lot, though I think that you are trying to argue for a very noble premise that has a wide scope through the prism of "feminism' or 'gender relations' or whatnot. That is a limiting value, but perhaps not as much a limiting value as your implied suggestion that we can fashion a better world for ourselves by reducing our consumption on the individual, household level, and reorganising our priorities.

I mean, yes, of course this needs to be done, but given where we're headed as a society, our entire realm of consumption and social resource distribution needs to be radically revolutionised in the macro sphere, not just the micro. I don't think that change for the better or humanity's emancipation from its subordination to the dynamics of global capital can happen just by everyone deciding to change their own, individual, or immediate family's consumption philosophy and make a different "lifestyle choice." Our shitty existence calls for something far more inclusive and all-around.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

far more inclusive (4.00 / 1) (#381)
by Meatbomb on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:17:31 AM EST

Such as?

I don't want to put words into your mouth, but I am having visions of important people making decisions for me... Coercion? How will we "include" those that are happy with the current dynamics of global capital? I suppose we could send them to camps, or just steal all their stuff, but it doesn't sound too fair...

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]

You really want me to answer that? (none / 0) (#402)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:16:56 AM EST

Well, first, your visions of coercion are not compatible with my vision of emancipation.

Second, I don't see how I could possibly answer your question. Did you really expect me to have one? You've asked the questions that all great revolutionaries have had to answer in some way or another. For better or worse, they were not asked those questions in an abstract way, but rather within the operational framework of certain historical conditions and pressures that forced them to act decisively. It's a funny thing that we go back and measure them all by today's yardstick without giving much thought to what we would do in their place and with their goals in mind. Just imagine what socialism could mean today if every single socialist experiment on the globe didn't have to contend with external sabotage, suffocation, war, and general all-around imperialist hostility -- if it didn't have to keep its guard up and institute oppressive measures at home.

That said, revolutionary circumstances generally come about in the midst of a decisive and acute conjuncture, for example the motion toward massive war that it looked like the USSR and the U.S. were headed toward at the beginning of the 1980s before Gorbachev. Capital and the state are institutions that do serve the productive needs of society, and project the social framework that causes its replication. This leads to a gradient of people from those most consciously content with it to those most consciously uncontent, with many people in between not being very happy with it but not having seriously interrogated the notion of a tangible, plausible alternative, apart from existing political mythology. The only people that are really happy with the status quo are those that control it. That doesn't mean they don't have allies who are being tossed larger table scraps than everyone else.

I don't see why anyone needs to be sent to any camps or otherwise violated. Class dictature must merely be overthrown.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Last time I looked (5.00 / 1) (#486)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:16:53 PM EST

The U.S. (at least) had universal sufferage. Socialist and Communist candidates (who I believe are on the ballot in every single state) typicaly get less then 5% of the popular vote.

It seems to me that people ARE being given the opportunity to choose your "vision of emancipation" and they are overwhelmingly rejecting it.

I'm glad that coercion is not part of your vision... unfortunately it has been part of the historical reality of most revolutions that have described themselves as "socialist" or "communist" with horrifying results.

Excusing the failures of such experiments on "external sabotage, suffocation, war, and general all-around imperialist hostility" is not valid. Capitalist nations face the same sorts of external pressures. In fact all systems must deal with significant external pressures. If a system fails under such pressure then it simply is not a practical solution for the real world.... which is the very criticism many people have of socialism and communism.

[ Parent ]

You checked wrong. (4.00 / 2) (#492)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:42:47 PM EST

The U.S. (at least) had universal sufferage. Socialist and Communist candidates (who I believe are on the ballot in every single state) typicaly get less then 5% of the popular vote.

Your particular faith in the electoral system and this sideshow of so-called "democracy" is misplaced because it discounts the class nature of democracy and of society. It ascribes a certain universal political consciousness to everyone and supposes that people "vote" based on that. The entire notion that people are a projection of the state and the bourgeoisie's political mythology and that most of them function within that framework (i.e. hold hands and play petty "election" games where they vote for "Democrats", "Republicans") is simply considered "notwithstanding" by your faith in electoral means. No, according to you, people are making rational and informed choices about who they want in power and that's just it, that's all there is to it, it is the ultimate, the greatest level of abstraction.

That's just not true. However, if it's not common sense to you to begin with, I don't see how we would ever see eye to eye on this. I guess I could include a larger, more specific, example-based illustration of why this "democracy" farce is in fact a poor facade for the dictature of the ruling classes, but I wonder what the point would be.

Excusing the failures of such experiments on "external sabotage, suffocation, war, and general all-around imperialist hostility" is not valid.

Nobody is excusing them, but merely identifying an externality that had a nontrivial effect.

Capitalist nations face the same sorts of external pressures. In fact all systems must deal with significant external pressures.

Shit! That's bullshit, man. I don't know where you're pulling this "all systems must deal with significant external pressures" nonsense, but I could imagine myself sitting on your lap and you reading this to me from a children's book.

I think the introduction to the second edition of William Blum's Killing Hope puts it more eloquently than I can:

The boys of Capital, they also chortle in their martinis about the death of socialism. The word has been banned from polite conversation. And they hope that no one will notice that every socialist experiment of any significance in the twentieth century -- without exception -- has either been crushed, overthrown, or invaded, or corrupted, perverted, subverted, or destabilized, or otherwise had life made impossible for it, by the United States. Not one socialist government or movement -- from the Russian Revolution to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, from Communist China to the FMLN in Salvador -- not one was permitted to rise or fall solely on its own merits; not one was left secure enough to drop its guard against the all-powerful enemy abroad and freely and fully relax control at home.

It's as if the Wright brothers' first experiments with flying machines all failed because the automobile interests sabotaged each test flight. And then the good and god-fearing folk of the world looked upon this, took notice of the consequences, nodded their collective heads wisely, and intoned solemnly: Man shall never fly.

Are you seriously trying to tell me, with a straight face, that the U.S. and its imperialist stooges have to face being surrounded on all sides by far more powerful and hostile enemies, invaded by them (as happened with the Western contingent sent to fight in the Russian civil war on behalf of Tsarist forces), and having their efforts at their various goals fully subverted? You have got to be kidding me. The only way you could possibly buy this warmed-up stew of bullshit is if you subscribe -- hook, line, and sinker -- to the utterly inane, Orwellian mythology of the International Communist Conspiracy and the Cold War in general.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Question and answer (2.00 / 1) (#496)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:12:22 PM EST

First a question (on my Universal Sufferage assertion):

Does every single citizen of the U.S. have the right to vote for whomever they choose or not?

Now an Answer (On my external pressures assertion):

"Are you seriously trying to tell me, with a straight face, that the U.S. and its imperialist stooges have to face being surrounded on all sides by far more powerful and hostile enemies, invaded by them (as happened with the Western contingent sent to fight in the Russian civil war on behalf of Tsarist forces), and having their efforts at their various goals fully subverted?"

Obviously you haven't read very much about the first 50 years of the United States existance as a nation. Our little "experiment" as you might call it did indeed have very powerfull forces arrayed against it and commited to it's destruction..... the Crown heads of Europe as one might have it. Odd that divine right monarchs might take exception to the formation of a Republic by armed insurrection of the former subjects of one of thier brother monarchs, eh what?

Compare and contrast with your Soviet Revolution all you like.


[ Parent ]

Choice? (none / 0) (#513)
by Richard Henry Lee on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:45:42 PM EST

Does every single citizen of the U.S. have the right to vote for whomever they choose or not?

No. They don't. They get to choose between the Democratic corporate candidate and the Republican corporate candidate.


Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law. - June 7, 1776

[ Parent ]
I must be special (none / 0) (#520)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:55:25 PM EST

The last presidential election, there were something like 15 different candidates on my ballot. I even had a space provided to write in some-one else if I didn't like any of those.

Nowhere on the ballot did it say "Republican or Democrat, Select One".

[ Parent ]

Realistic? (5.00 / 1) (#550)
by Richard Henry Lee on Wed May 28, 2003 at 12:58:58 AM EST

I meant a realistic choice.


Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law. - June 7, 1776

[ Parent ]
What's not "Realistic"? (none / 0) (#572)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 28, 2003 at 12:35:26 PM EST

Thier names are right there on the ballot... if enough people check them then they get elected. What could be more realistic then that?

Before the last election alot of people claimed that Jesse Ventura could never "realisticly" be elected Gov. of Minnesota..... well guess who was living in the Governers Mansion after the votes were tallied?

It's only "unrealistic" if people like you refuse to accept it as a realistic option. In a sense you are perpetuating the very problem you seem to complain about.

Now me, I would never vote for a communist or socialist candidate because I don't happen to believe in thier political philosophy. It should be my right not to vote for people who's philsophies I don't agree with, correct?

Just like it is yours to vote for them if you do believe in those philosophies.

Now enough people agree with you... those people will be elected.... I won't like it, BUT I'll accept it.

If enough people agree with me they won't be elected. You may not like that, but you should be able to accept it.

Government by the consent of the governed. That is what it should be all about, right?


[ Parent ]

Absolutely (none / 0) (#586)
by Richard Henry Lee on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:48:22 PM EST

How can I get the guy that I feel is worth voting for on the ballot? nb. I don't run a multi-national corporation and I'm not the head of the John Birch Society.


Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law. - June 7, 1776

[ Parent ]
Same way everyone else does (none / 0) (#607)
by CENGEL3 on Fri May 30, 2003 at 10:17:13 AM EST

Circulate a pettition requesting that they be placed on the ballot. That's how all the other candidates do it.

Depending on the office in question the number of signatures required will vary.

For something like a State Legislator the level of effort would be something similar to cookie sales by your local girl scout troop. For President obviously the barrier is higher... however if some-one wants to run for President they should expect to at least put forward some level of effort..... it's also not unreasonable to expect them to be able to organize a dozen or so people in each state to collect signatures for them..... I mean if they don't have enough support among the populace to do that are they really fit to hold the highest office in the land?

[ Parent ]

The Converse (none / 0) (#618)
by Richard Henry Lee on Sat May 31, 2003 at 10:01:22 AM EST

I mean if they don't have enough support among the populace to do that are they really fit to hold the highest office in the land?

I mean that just because they do have that kind of support, does that automatically make them fit to hold the highest office in the land? Politics is ruled by the golden rule. More money = more support/signatures. More money = more advertising/awareness/organization. More money = more votes. Whether the candidate is fit to rule or not never enters into the equation. For those with the money, it actually works better if your candidate is intellectually deficient as he/she becomes a more pliable tool for implementing your agenda.


Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law. - June 7, 1776

[ Parent ]
Counterpoints (none / 0) (#640)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 10:45:33 AM EST

While I understand your point and there is a valid issue there (I'm all for election reform).
However there are some counterpoints I would like to raise.

1) If the American electorate is stupid enough to allow advertising to determine their vote then we deserve what we get.

2)"More money = more votes".... History has shown that this does not neccesarly hold true. There have been quite a number of elections where very rich candidates have significantly outspent thier competition but were soundly trounced at the polls. Forbes and Perot are 2 of the more prominant examples but there have been quite a number at state level as well.

I will accept that it takes a certain amount of resources ( either money, celebrity, grass roots support) to capture the attention of the voting public. I definately support some reform in the way Federal Election funds are distributed... and more public venues for participation of ALL candidates on the ballot. I'm all behind that.

However the fact remains that lack of funding cannot adequitely explain the abysmal showing that Socialist and Communist candidates consitantly demonstrate in this country. If thier message resonated at all with the American public they would have enough grass roots support to do better then they have. The fact of the matter is those candidates do abysmaly in local elections as well (which don't require much resources)... they can't even get thier neighbors to vote for them and I maintain the reason isn't because the neighbors haven't heard the message.... the reason is that the message doesn't resonate with those people.


[ Parent ]

in theory, yes (none / 0) (#626)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 02:02:03 PM EST


but in reality, the rule of law and the will of the people sometimes take a backseat to people's agendaes --- voting fraud, assasination of opponents, etc.  take the most recent U.S. presidential election, for instance.

and ideally, harper lee once said that

      The one thing that doesn't abide
      by majority rule
      is a person's conscience.

that is, if we ran elections and referendae in the past re issues ranging from the contentious and divisive to the trivial and the negligible, public institutions and majority of the private ones today would still be segregated, people can't inter-marry, women and minorities can't vote, etc, etc.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

A better alternative? (none / 0) (#641)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 11:02:06 AM EST

Sure, the system is far from perfect but do you have a better alternative?

Remove consent and representation from the governing process? Do you maintain that dictatorships, monarchies and oligarchies have a better record preserving human rights?

Who's conscience do we trust to make the "correct" moral/ethical decisions and set them into law? Are you sure that conscience will make the choices that you want to live by?
I don't think you want to travel down that road too far.

The Framers were well aware of the dangers of mob rule..... that's why we have an electoral system and a Bill of Rights.... and why Constitutional Ammendments take significantly more effort then a simple majority. They tried to build in as many safeguards as they could while still maintaining a representative government. It is a difficult balancing act..... so far I haven't seen a system that does a much better job of it.

[ Parent ]

i don't entirely oppose (none / 0) (#644)
by tweetsygalore on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 03:25:20 PM EST


checks and balances by any means nor the judiciously weighed representation of the people's will.  however, it is when the balance is weakened and corroded and might becomes right that the will of the majority become dangerous.  we certainly should keep the power of the executive, legislative, judicial, the majority and even the press in check through informed AND vigilant dissent and, when they're doing a good job, through positive reinforcement.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Red herring questions. (5.00 / 1) (#531)
by valeko on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:02:00 PM EST

Does every single citizen of the U.S. have the right to vote for whomever they choose or not?

You're throwing back the question to me in only a slightly altered form, thinking that it's somehow germane to this discussion. That may be because you have a different notion of what the real object of this discussion is.

Yes, I suppose that in a strict, juridical sense, the U.S. citizen has the "right" to vote for whomever they choose within the existing framework of constitutional government. What you don't seem to want to grasp is that this is about as important as the hair in my navel. The existing social order has a mainstream "political apparatus" that deals with all this, letting the institutions of society, including the almighty poll booth, give expression to their interests.

I'm not saying that the outcome of various elections in the U.S. doesn't have any qualitative impact at all. Of course it does, that's what mainstream politics is for - changing day-to-day "policies" and addressing "controversial issues." But the system can't and won't support social change, nor will the institutions that socialise people into the political realm (schools, textbooks, media) ever seriously contribute to that possibility. The radical critique of theatrical electoral democracy is best summed up by my friend Rosa: "You might as well wipe your ass with the ballot."

Regarding the early post-colonial history of the United States, I'm quite familiar with it. I just don't see how that really refutes my assertion that capitalism-imperialism has never faced a fundamental and genuinely threatening challenge (to its survival, not to its various economic interests, investments, etc.) from forces peripheral to it. The hostility toward the U.S. government projected by the European imperialists is inter-imperialist conflict, all arising from a capitalist economic base and with capitalist economic motives. Whether the government in the North American colonies was autonomous or British-imperial doesn't matter worth a damn from the standpoint of comprehensive emancipation from the dynamics of capitalism. All the stuff you're telling me takes place inside it, and I am trying to tell you to think outside of it.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I'm really failing to see your point. (none / 0) (#574)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 28, 2003 at 01:45:49 PM EST

I'm not trying to be facetious here but I honestly fail to see your point....and I'd like to try to understand your point because I honestly do think it's valuable to examine other points of view, even ones I don't agree with.
You obviously seem quite sincere about your position... and you clearly are capable of articulate expression.... so I'd like to try to understand where you are coming from.... problem is I just don't get it.

In the words of Deputy Festus... "I see your gums a'flapping but I ain't hear'n no words come out".
So maybe you could explain it to me in very simple terms.

In my viewpoint, the U.S. practices government by consent of the governed which I would argue is an extremely basic human right. In fact, I would argue that such a government is the ONLY legitimate model of government.

I go on to point to evidence of this government by consent. For example, the ONLY thing that it takes to get on the ballot in the U.S. is a certain number of citizens who sign a petition requesting you be put on the ballot. There are no restrictions based on a persons political philosophy. I know this to be true because I've SEEN the names of socialist and communist candidates on ballots before. Furthermore, the only thing that it takes to get elected to office is to get enough votes to win the election (I realize that the Presidential election has the additional complication of the electoral college...but I don't believe that's the issue we are talking about, is it?)

I know candidates that are unacceptable to the two major parties in power (Democrat and Republican) can get elected in this manner because I've seen it happen (i.e. Jesse Ventura)

Finally, if you get elected to the legislature then you can propose any sort of legislation you like... even communist or socialist flavored ones. If that legislation gets enough votes then it it WILL become Law. If the law violates the basic tennants of the Constitution then you may need to get it passed as a Constitutional Ammendment which requires greater support (and the support of elected state legislatures) but still follows the basic tennent of getting enough votes .

I KNOW that laws hostile to captilist interests can get passed because I've SEEN it happen (i.e. Anti-Trust Laws, Protection for Labour Unions).

You seem to be argue-ing that some sort of "capitalism-imperialism" illuminati is excercising some sort of secret control to keep the people from expressing thier will and changing thier economic system.

My arguement is that the system itself provides the very mechanisms by which such change could be enacted (i.e. the ballot, legislation, Constitutional Ammendments). If the people wanted to live under a communist/socialist system they could in the next couple of elections elect an entirely Communist/Socialist legislature which could pass Consitutional Ammendments which would change the economic system which we live under.
The fact that they haven't, I would argue represents the will of the people.

Perhaps you make the arguement that the people never get the opportunity to hear the communist/socialist viewpoint therefore have no opportunity to judge it fairly... because of some sort of capitalist illuminati stranglehold over the sources of information? However, I would point out that the very first ammendment to the Constitution prevents government interference with political expression. Furthermore, I hold the opinion that I am not that much better informed then the average american....I certainly have had opportunity to hear the Communist/Socialist viewpoints (some them on this very forumn).... I'm not ignorant of them, I simply don't find them as convincing as the capitalist ones. That is a concious and informed choice.

Perhaps you can't come to grips with the fact that the Communist/Socialist message simply isn't convincing to the majority of people in this country...and the fact that they have not adopted it is not due to some sort of secret Capitalist Illuminati control over them but rather due to a concious act of free will by the people themselves.

As far as the external pressure issue, I really don't see the importance of the distinction of the source of the pressure. Pressure is no less disruptive because it's source is a Monarchist Britain rather then a Communist Russia or an apolitical Volcano for that matter. All systems must be able to undergo stress, and those which fail to adequitely deal with such stress (regardless of it's source) will fail.

However, if you really insist on making the distinction I would point out that a couple of hundred Soviet divisions poised in Eastern Europe and KGB cultural attache's roaming the world certainly represented a significant amount of pressure of a non-capitalist nature. Unless you'd care to argue that the Soviet Union was a capitalist power.... in which case we are beggining to enter the realm of symantics.


[ Parent ]

valeko, (5.00 / 1) (#625)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 01:50:57 PM EST


i like your cattiness.  it's so amusing and well-bred.  haha!  :)

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Cattiness? (none / 0) (#661)
by valeko on Thu Jun 12, 2003 at 09:44:07 PM EST

What do you mean?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

see (none / 0) (#662)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Jun 17, 2003 at 02:39:30 PM EST


http://define.ansme.com/words/c/cattiness.html

BUT definitely in a good way, i think.  :)

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

re (none / 0) (#623)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 01:44:47 PM EST


      The only people that are really happy with
      the status quo are those that control it.

except for the class traitors who have access TO the status quo them and even have the means to control their engine.  yet class traitors KNOW that the way to preventing UNnecessary revolutions of and by the unfortunate is by emphatising with them AND bettering their lot.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

p.s. (none / 0) (#624)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 01:47:05 PM EST


and every class traitor worth his or her salt instinctively KNEW this concept and graciously and dignifiedly embodied it.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

The system is adjusting (4.50 / 4) (#236)
by Blarney on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:01:17 PM EST

There's 6 billion people on Earth, and it's getting crowded. The effects of this crowding are cascading through our economy, our social norms, our customs, and our behavior. While it is still possible to raise a family on a single income - my father and mother have both done it, friends of mine do it - it's getting harder. It's part of a feedback loop which will eventually stabilize the Earth's population. Rats confined in an overcrowded cage will become homosexual. That's pretty much the only thing that rats can do to adjust their population level - they're unimaginative animals. But, as humans, we can construct whole social structures with the mostly unconscious goal of making reproduction less easy.

Our jobs require more and more training, and the prime childbearing and childraising years of men and women are increasingly spent in school or low-level work. This is thought to be morally imperative to "build a better life", and people who have children at 17 or even 21 are often considered to be irresponsible. Birth control is seen, not as an option, but as a social norm which is neglected at the peril of lifelong poverty. Even at the same time as technology is allowing the work of a few to produce the needs of many, when it is no longer necessary for most people to produce goods and services at all, preparation for wage labor has become an increasingly large part of the average person's lifespan. Many of these jobs are busywork - a byproduct of inefficient processes - because somehow nobody can figure out another way to fairly distribute the necessities of life. Homosexuality, while still taboo in many places, is tolerated far more than in previous years and is generally considered to be an alternative to raising children - those who have homosexual urges and attempt to raise children anyway are mocked as "closeted" by liberals or denounced as unfit parents by conservatives. Lines at the bank or the grocery store get longer every year, the roads are more congested, home prices and rents are rising ahead of wages and have been for decades, education and medical care are becoming monstrously expensive to the point of dire scarcity.

These phenomena are apparent even in places where the population is not increasing. In fact, there is always some other rationalization for the scarcities of services, transportation, shelter, education, medical care, child care, and so on. The grocery store and the bank no longer "waste" money on enough cashiers to cover all the checkout points constructed in an earlier, less competitive time. The roads are crowded because people now have more cars, and larger ones. Real estate prices rise speculatively because they are an "investment" for one's old age. Children must be carefully and expensively watched by an adult every second of every day of their lives until they are 10, 12, 16, or 18 because they would be unsafe staying home alone, they would be assaulted by criminals if they walked to a shopping area or a park, they would go out and drink and take drugs etc, and laws have been passed to force parents to keep their children away from these dangers. Medicine is expensive because it is better, because it is safer, because any misdiagnosis or mistreatment carries enormous liability, because a health care and insurance market has been devised which is a textbook example of "perfect price discrimination" allowing great profit-taking by a wealthy few. Education is more expensive because of a lack of taxpayer support, because it must prepare students to a higher level of competance in ever more specialized fields, because the public grade-school system has lost the ability to teach basic skills.

And if you look, not at the reasons, but at the effects, you'll find out that the observed difficulties and scarcities are exactly the same as those which would be produced by overpopulation, even in areas of the world which are in fact population sinks. It's not a conspiracy, it's just the sum total of millions of decisions made by millions of people every day that, dammit, this place is getting too crowded and something has to be done about it.

Hmmm. (none / 0) (#240)
by The Devil on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:17:06 PM EST

Don't you mean that it's hard to resist living on two-incomes? You mention that it's hard to live on only one, but the temptation to have two is greater than the perceived need for an unemployed housewife or househusband.

My guess is that we just like money. We're not our parents or grandparents who would not even think of working because, "what would the neighbors say?".

The fear of mob law is growing lesser, the closer the world gets to eachother, and it's growing in other parts of the world. In the west, there is a decline. People just do whatever the hell they want over here. Elsewhere it's not that simple.

[ Parent ]

Rats and homosexuality (none / 0) (#301)
by Arevos on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:48:15 PM EST

Rats confined in an overcrowded cage will become homosexual.

Do you have a source for this? It's an obvious solution to overcrowding from a survival of the fittest angle, but if experiments have been done confirming this, then even better :)


[ Parent ]

No way. (none / 0) (#353)
by duffbeer703 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:32:28 PM EST

If what you said is true, they why didn't the things that are happening today happen in the teeming industrial cities of the 1910's and 20's?

The Americas and Europe are not overpopulated, and most of their inhabitants are dimily aware of the billions of people in Asia, if at all.

I'd venture to guess that the per capitia number of homosexuals in human society has been pretty steady over at least the last century or so. The only difference is the today's media glorifies sexuality in all of its forms, while the media of your parent's age shunned it.

[ Parent ]

jobs (4.00 / 1) (#368)
by auraslip on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:26:43 PM EST

are becoming easier. They just require more time and money and get them.
124
[ Parent ]
This isn't about feminism (4.50 / 6) (#241)
by Homburg on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:20:34 PM EST

This isn't about 'the pendulum swinging too far' and taking women away from the home, but about the fact that men and women work too damn hard. And it would be lovely if everyone was in the position to make the choice you advocate and restrict their consumption in order to give themselves more time, but the majority of people need to work the hours they do just to get a reasonable standard of living, not to afford massive houses or fancy cars.

The traditional feminist answer, incidentally, is to advocate payment for childcare and housework (whether performed by men or women). Some groups (the European Green parties, for example) have generalised this and begun to campaign for a guaranteed minimum income paid to everyone, whether they do paid work, unpaid work or no work at all. That would go some way to allowing everyone, rather than just the upper middle classes, to really choose whether they wanted to spend their time earning unnecessary income, or being with their family.

A reason why? (4.00 / 5) (#323)
by Julian Morrison on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:15:53 PM EST

Two-worker families are the norm, for purely economic reasons, yet they used not to be. What changed? Taxes.

When you add up the total of what the governemnt takes openly (about 50% of your life's effort) with what it takes surreptitiously (by taxing raw materials, taxing work, taxing corporations, taxing sales, and thus raising the end price) and with the wealth and opportunities it destroys via red tape, bureaucracy, regulation, or simply making it uneconomic to start a business, the end result is probably 80% or more of your life's effort poured down the governmnt drain.

No wonder it takes two people working flat out to support a household!

And this has gotten a great deal worse progressively throughout the 20th century.

[ Parent ]

Hmm.. (3.85 / 7) (#385)
by composer777 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:38:27 AM EST

It's not just taxes, but what is done with the taxes.  This ties back into the barriers to competition that I was referring to in my post to the other fellow.  If taxes were taken and then used to give real money to people so that they could use it for something productive (i.e. business start up funds, school tuition, free healthcare) then it really wouldn't matter that you had to pay taxes.  The reason taxes hurt the middle class so bad is because most of that money goes to subsidize the rich.  For example 1.5 Billion was given to the auto industry in the past few years to develop fuel efficient cars (where are they?), quite a bit of pharmacuetical research is government subsidized, "defense" is yet another way of funding pork barrel projects, the internet is yet another tax payer funded resource that is handed over to corporations for free.  There is a nearly endless list of examples.  Telecom is another largely subsidized industry.  In fact, just about every major industry has it's own ticket on the US government gravy train.    

If our taxes were used in a way that was more about helping people than helping corporations, and our economic system took the huge amount of competitive leverage away from corporations, then we would indeed see more material wealth among the middle class.  Don't blame it all on the government, it's corporate campaign financing that got us in this mess.  Corporations would love it if we reduced the government to the smallest possible size.  After all, the US government has a huge flaw, that flaw is that it's potentially democratic.  Corporations have no flaws, they are perfect tyrannies.  So they would love it if we reduced government to the smallest size, and gave corporations all the power.  Let me emphasize this, THE PROBLEM ISN'T TAXES!  THE PROBLEM IS A GOVERNMENT THAT IS BEHOLDEN TO CORPORATE POWER AND DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT IT'S PEOPLE!  Fix the real problem!

[ Parent ]

Impossible to avoid (3.33 / 3) (#396)
by Julian Morrison on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:02:09 AM EST

You're trying to fight the "market forces" of politics here. It's common sense. If you empower a government to steal wholesale, there is no way you can prevent it handing out proceeds to big business, big unions, big pressure-groups... any focus of political power. One of which the ordinary individual is not.

And you think taxes on corporations don't hurt the middle class? It all gets passed back down as raised prices, less jobs, less innovation. And, just as important, all this nonsense drives a wedge between "employees" and "business", isolating ordinary folk in servile jobs because they could never hope to carry the burden of red tape, survive the legal minefield, give out all the socialist workers' perks, pay crushing taxes, and yet still have something to show for their efforts. The only way the ordinary guy can make a buck in business for himself is to become part of they "grey market, cash in hand and no questions asked.

You socialists have created the corporations you rail against.

[ Parent ]

see (none / 0) (#622)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 01:35:42 PM EST


http://www.foodfirst.org/pubs/backgrdrs/2003/w03v9n1.html

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

i can't stand (none / 0) (#621)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 01:32:46 PM EST


bureaucracy and high taxes even though i'm not even making enough to be griping.  haha!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

The problem with socialists (1.75 / 4) (#350)
by duffbeer703 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:26:33 PM EST

Is that they don't think through their wonderful "solutions".

Look at women at work, for instance. Once banks were forced to factor in two incomes when qualifying customers for a mortgage, you instantly make a larger home more affordable. The only problem is, you also give two-working parent households a distinct advantage over households with one working person in the house... and eventually you really need a two-income household to afford decent property.

Today in the US, in states like NY your tax load approaches 50-60% for middle-class taxpayers... the only way to afford property is via personal income tax exemptions....

[ Parent ]

Nice observation, but... (4.00 / 6) (#382)
by composer777 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:19:47 AM EST

You're assuming that competitive pressures between workers are the only thing that should determine the reward one gets.  You are correct in stating that this is how things work in our screwed up capitalist economy, however, that is because the system has a problem.  In order to understand this problem you need to realize that there is more than one kind of competitive pressure.  In fact, in our economy, there are many competitive pressures that are supposed to work to keep wages fair.  For example, there is competition between employees and employers, there is competition between businesses, there is competition between employees and themselves, and so on and so forth.  Women joining the work force should have in fact resulted in extra material gains for families, even with other families also joining in to compete.  The reason why these families haven't seen any extra rewards for this work is because there is a barrier to competition.  In a truly "free market", if an employee wasn't getting paid enough, he could start his own business to ensure that he was able to make the amount that was fair.  In the current version of the "free" market, there is no such thing.  For the majority of employees, there is no way for them to create a business that can compete with the businesses currently occupying that market sector.  The end result is a large population of people who will continue to make less and less for the same amount of work.  

PS.  What the fuck does socialism have to do with feminists going to work for corporations?  

[ Parent ]

Ever hear of inflation? (3.00 / 1) (#443)
by duffbeer703 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 09:59:01 AM EST

If everyone makes more money, prices go up.

In the case of housing, families with two wage earners we able to borrow more money to buy a house when banks allowed dual-incomes to be considered for home purchases.

In regard to your last question "What the fuck does socialism have to do with feminists going to work for corporations?"

The answer is quite simple. Socialists think that handing out money to everyone will make us all prosperous and happy. In fact, the inflationary effect of socialist wealth redistribution makes poor & middle class people poorer, since they bear a higher tax burden even as their money gets less valuable.

Feminism has flooded the professional labor pool with workers and lowered the overall standards of living for the middle class. The flood of women who are not interested in working for a company for 25 or 30 years (since many leave the workforce to raise children) altered the employee-corporate relationship.

I'll put it to you this way:

In 1906, Ford Motor Company paid unskilled assembly workers $5/day, which equates to about $75,000 2003 dollars. Today an unskilled laborer makes $10-16/hour (if there are any left) and a skilled computer programmer is likely to make $50-70k in most areas.

[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#488)
by composer777 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:28:29 PM EST

"If everyone makes more money, prices go up."

Wrong!

If everyone makes more money for the same amount of work, THEN prices go up.  If everyone starts working harder, then prices stay the same, and theoretically, people should gain more material wealth.  At least this is how it is SUPPOSED to work.  I just explained to you why it DOESN'T work that way.  

Inflation is not a phenomenom in and of itself, it does not go hand in hand with capitalism, it is a problem with our current system.  Theoretically if everyone works harder, then everyone should get more stuff.  In our current, screwed up version of capitalism, if everyone works harder then corporations get a disproportionate share of that extra effort.  

The reason the labor market has been flooded is due to the fact that people are not able to start their own businesses that can compete on even ground.  I explained this already.  Don't blame this on women, it's due to anti-competitive business practices.  If you think that women entering the labor market is bad, then you must be really upset about "free" trade, which isn't going to just flood the labor market but completely swamp it.  

"The answer is quite simple. Socialists think that handing out money to everyone will make us all prosperous and happy. In fact, the inflationary effect of socialist wealth redistribution makes poor & middle class people poorer, since they bear a higher tax burden even as their money gets less valuable."

You are an idiot, WORK is not a handout, and if you ever did any real work, you would understand this.  

"I'll put it to you this way:

In 1906, Ford Motor Company paid unskilled assembly workers $5/day, which equates to about $75,000 2003 dollars. Today an unskilled laborer makes $10-16/hour (if there are any left) and a skilled computer programmer is likely to make $50-70k in most areas."

Ok, fine, you're very good at picking out trends, how about digging a bit deeper to find the REAL cause?  Even if you do believe this, you shouldn't be happy about it.  In your version of reality, only a certain number of people are allowed to do anything productive with their lives, otherwise, they'll "flood" the labor market and everyone will be "poor".  bullshit.  
 

[ Parent ]

encouraging business (none / 0) (#570)
by pyro9 on Wed May 28, 2003 at 11:56:37 AM EST

What is really needed is a strong encouragement of small business. One strong way to do that would be to make the bare necessities of life guaranteed and available to all takers without question. Everyone gets adequate food clothing, shelter, transportation, health care, and education. Note that I said ADEQUATE, not a token gesture, and not so much that most people would find it to be satisfactory (just adequate).

Most people will prefer satisfactory to adequate, and so will choose to forego the free stuff and work for better. They will be freed to try their hand at starting a business without fear that their family will end up out in the cold. The problem of work or go to school is eliminated. This will also move our economy closer to the theoretical ideals that economic policy is set by. There is a distortion now since markets work best when they are volentary (currently, employment is not voluntary, if the incentives are inadequate, a person must accept an offer anyway and become a perminantly disgruntled worker).

I don't claim that this sort of thing is ideal or without problems, but it is a starting point for solutions to questions like what to do about the high human cost of economic shifts and changes, and how do we truly revitalize the economy. In spite of the good times many enjoyed during the last boom, for many, the benefits just werent there. The rising water did NOT lift all boats, it swamped some of them such as non-tech workers in Silicon Valley that saw prices triple or worse with no change in pay.

The other side of the equasion injvolves government regulation. With all of the various licenses, tax accounting and other non0-productive burdens on business, MOST small business is not really in compliance. The ugly fact is, just as a business begins to scale large enough to make all of that managable, it appears on the radar and gets crushed under penelties and massive effort to correct the previous laxity. Some of them manage to stall this long enough or simply grow out of it, many others that COULD have become very successful simply close their doors as the government snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. The next hurdle seems to be surviving the civil court system as they grow large enough to be a target for ill justified lawsuits (possibly a result of larger businesses unfair competitive practices), but not large enough to survive them.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
-1, redundant (none / 0) (#522)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:59:54 PM EST

My comment, that is. But I would like to second what composer said.

Please just think about what you are saying. When people work, generally, they produce things. I am no economist, but this doesn't seem that complicated to me. To simplify things drastically, lets say we had 10 people in our country, and 5 are producing widgets at a rate of 10 per year each. And lets say each is being paid $10 per year. And the 5 producing ones are men, married to the 5 unproducing women

So there are 5 couples, each making $10/year. And there are 50 widgets being made each year. Lets assume they're all bought, each for $1. Now the couples are all spending all of their money.

Now lets say the women start working. They're also now producing 10 widgets per year, and being paid $10 per year.

Now we have 5 couples making $20 per year, and 100 widgets all being sold for $.50 each.

That isn't inflation, thats deflation! And it may be simplified, but thats what ought to happen when more people come into the work force(especially ones who were already part of the economy and consuming things before they were working).

(I gotta run to work, I may have made an error or two...you get the point)

[ Parent ]

this will have to happen eventually (5.00 / 1) (#514)
by crayz on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:46:28 PM EST

For a while now I've assumed that the minimum "wage" for everyone, working or not, will become a reality eventually(probably within 20-30 years)

Why? In a word, robots. No, I'm not joking.

I think that within the near future robots will be able to do so many of the menial tasks that people used to or continue to do, that there simply won't be enough need for jobs(or enough people with the intelligence/skills to fill the jobs that are vacant).

So basically what will(or should) happen is that everyone gets paid a certain amount of money every year, just for being a member of our country(or, by that time, of the world...I think a global government is a possibility, especially in light of recent developments in the EU). If people want and are able to work, they can earn more money to buy luxury items. If they don;'t, they will probably eventually be able to live on the government check.

Eventually I think so many things will be produced with almost no human help that people will be able to live a fairly decent life simply on the government check. At that point, some other problems may arise(like how to keep people in the service jobs they're still needed for if they don't need the money), but we'll be very close to a communist society by then.

[ Parent ]

i think that (none / 0) (#620)
by tweetsygalore on Sat May 31, 2003 at 01:24:53 PM EST


we shall also see more and more bartering of products, possessions and services, especially in situations when people are low in cash on both ends of the spectrum, i.e., the broke and the equity-rich but cash poor.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Question in the title (4.00 / 1) (#244)
by Tatarigami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 04:38:44 PM EST

I don't think defining new roles for 50% of the population is going to make them fit better than they do now. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work on that scale. The only solution which is really going to make women feel happier and more able to spend time on the important things is to start redefining individual roles for individuals. And while that's arguably harder than working towards a goal alongside millions of others, (you can take the human out of the herd but you can't etc, etc.) it's also true that there has never been more support available for people wanting to do that than right now.

I think you're wrong. (1.25 / 16) (#247)
by Keeteel on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:00:31 PM EST

First of all, I think you're wrong in your assertions against the life style of Americans. While you may come from a socialist background that intervenes on your God given right to earn a living, in America, all are given the fair and equal chance to stand out against their peers. This is what makes America so great, while you have forced equality which results in apathy in nations like Germany, America has competition and the capability to make your life better than everyone around you. Not only is it about the increased living standards and quality of life, it's the pure satisfaction of knowing and feeling that you have more than those around you who are less competent, less intelligent, less skilled, but most important - LESS HARDWORKING.

It may have came as a shock to you that in America we believe in hard-work and dedication to our careers. This is part of the social contract we agree to by living in this country - we will work our asses off to make sure America remains the most powerful country in the world, with the best economy, and the best quality of life. Those who aren't willing to pay their dues will never make it in life, and will be stuck in poverty or low-income life style of the remainder of their days. Most Americans aren't willing to do this however, and we know in this country, we have the chance to become a millionaire. We'll take that ANY day over a socialistic country that imposes its liberal morals of equality and superficial economic rights for everyone. Healthcare should be private, education should be private, and your chance to make it in life should be YOUR responsibility, not the states.

I know many full-time working moms who are also full-time college students. They barely see their kid but they all agree, the price IS worth it. Why? Because when they turn 30 they'll be living in a medium-income life style at a nice corporate job who will take care of them. Your job and company should take care of you, not my taxes. Most Americans, myself included, don't want our hard earned money going to lazy people who will barely work one job and then do nothing for the other 16 hours of their day but sleep and watch T.V. - If you want a better life style, you get off your ass and work a second job or go to classes and educate yourself. You don't take my hard earned money so you can watch HBO on your T.V.

If you don't like this country, then leave, honestly. You seem to be so content to bash this country and whine that you can't be lazy, have your cake and eat it too without doing a damn thing. I work my ass off, so do most Americans, and to have some liberal from Germany (Of all places) bash my country for being too "hard" on them is an insult to everything I stand for, and everything America stands for.

The strong survive here, they become rich, and they get the ability to be ENVIED and ADMIRED by all. It's like the survey a university did - they asked Americans this question: Assuming the prices of all goods and services was exactly the same in two scenarios, would you rather have 50,000 a year and everyone else make 25,000 a year. Or would you rather make 100,000 a year, and have everyone else make 200,000 a year. The price of goods is *exactly * the same on both ends. What did most Americans pick? They'd rather make 50,000 and everyone else make 25,000. Why? Because part of this country is the satisfaction of knowing you are better and make more money, and have more stuff than the people around you. Most Americans desire that, that's our incentive to make it in life. If you don't like it, then go back to Russia or give your kid to a lesbian couple to adopt.

Doh - Was supposed to be a reply to someone's post (1.00 / 2) (#248)
by Keeteel on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:01:09 PM EST

-nt

[ Parent ]
Such a shame (5.00 / 2) (#251)
by Edgy Loner on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:20:59 PM EST

All that hard trolling work wasted. You are slipping, Keeteel cat. Before you know it it will be Old Yeller time for you.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
honey, could it be me? (5.00 / 3) (#254)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:31:20 PM EST

Your capitalist propaganda sounds soo socialist and uncompetitive to me. All the time the same nonsense, over and over again, like in former Eastern Germany. :-)

[ Parent ]
For someone who insists he's superior ... (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:10:21 PM EST

... to others, you have a funny way of showing it, don't you?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
absurd speil (3.66 / 3) (#311)
by Space on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:43:22 PM EST

Insecurity and egoism appear to be the cornerstone of the American dream. Perhaps thats why your country is so fucked up.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
ouch but (none / 0) (#605)
by tweetsygalore on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:47:10 PM EST


amen!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

You're telling me (none / 0) (#352)
by hobbified on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:27:53 PM EST

That the US of A (which is not, amazingly, all of America), isn't socialist? Not the least little bit?

[ Parent ]
$20 says this guy is 17 years old... (5.00 / 5) (#373)
by semaphore3 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:40:42 PM EST

...and not a day older...

[ Parent ]
excuse me? (none / 0) (#485)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 02:15:18 PM EST

whom you are referring to?

[ Parent ]
Disagreeable truth (4.00 / 1) (#451)
by OldTigger on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:30:18 AM EST

I really don't like the tone of your reply, Keeteel, but your rant about the desire "to be better" than others is very true.

However, please keep in mind two dreams:
1) of an American farmer, who lived next door to another farmer with a prize cow; and
2) of a Russian farmer, who's neighbor had a prize cow.

The American dreamed of having a better cow than his neighbor.
The Russian dreamed that his neighbor's cow, died.

The patriotic desire for one's country to do better is all too close to the nationalistic desire to use one's country's might to damage another.  

Patriotism and the the American Dream are important -- the story is trying to change the idea of "better" to mean more family-relationship time, rather than just toys.
Freedom with responsibility
[ Parent ]

Actualy (5.00 / 1) (#480)
by CENGEL3 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 01:48:48 PM EST

Having spent a decent amount of time in the corprate world I can tell you with complete confidence that a significant percentage of people at the upper echelons of the corporate ladder are utter screwups who got thier positions through nepotism, dumb blind luck or a complete lack of personaly integrety.

Hard work and competence often play very little role with advancement. While it IS possible to get some very gifted people that claw thier way to the top....they share that lofty plateau in equal measure with all manner of useless flotsom.

As far as your job and your company taking care of you... that's a nice theory until your companies corporate board apoints someones brother as the new CEO and he promptly runs the company into the ground and gets a 10 million dollar golden parachute as a reward. Then you'll be sharing the search for a new position with all the other poor S.O.B's that share your career and got put out of work because of some-one eleses incompetence.

I'm a big supporter of capitalism, but I don't for a second correlate economic success with ability and hard work or economic hardship with the lack thereof. It can work that way...but it often doesn't.  

[ Parent ]

keeteel, (none / 0) (#603)
by tweetsygalore on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:37:45 PM EST


your first paragraph smacks OF sowing class warfare.  i think that it is thinking such as this that promotes eugenics, euthanasia and god, even cyrogenic and other classist, sexist and racist undesirables!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

p.s. (none / 0) (#604)
by tweetsygalore on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:38:30 PM EST


and oh, i forgot ageist.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Why should people be told by society what to do? (3.25 / 4) (#255)
by Edgy Loner on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:34:54 PM EST

Can't they choose for themselves? I kind of thought the whole point of the modern western democratic way of life was that the individual decided for themselves how they lived their life. If we are going to go back to having roles and places in society, lets build a class system, lets have serfs, lets have slaves. Long live the aristocracy.
People are not cogs to be fitted into the social machine according to the machine's needs. Society is a support structure to serve the individual's needs and desires as best it can.
This HeatherM person has made a choice for herself. Bravo. Not the choice I would have made, but then I'm not her. This isn't a template for others to be crushed into. Don't worry about what other people do, worry about how your life can fulfill your desires.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
liberal-democracy? (1.33 / 3) (#307)
by Space on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:29:11 PM EST

Ha! Let me just wipe the tear from my eye for a moment you niave view of modern liberal-democracy is pretty rich. If you don't see a class system surrounding you I can only speculate you live somewhere where no self respecting rich person would dare step foot. Rich people don't like it when poor people look them in the eyes! There are serfs also they are called the working poor and can usually be identified by their black skin. They also serve you your food at fast food outlets and fight wars for you overseas. As for slavery it's making a come back too! The US penal system is selling convict labour to US corporations now, often for labour intensive industries like agriculture. They are also mostly black, harvesting cotton or perhaps tobacco....
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Hey, I've fought overseas too, so... (5.00 / 1) (#319)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:59:43 PM EST

by your logic, I must be Black.

I'm stirred by your rabble-rousing comment, sir, and now I must tend to the further oppression of my fellow dark-skinned brethren.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

the logic (none / 0) (#407)
by Space on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:24:14 AM EST

I was not arguing that white people per se oppress black people but that predominently white powerful and wealthy sustain a system that oppresses them. Class is closely correlated with race and military service. Ethnic and racial minorities are vastly over represented in the armed forces and Collin Powell himself has admitted that the marines today are made up of mainly the "K-mart class". It's a nice way of saying your minorities and indigent fight the wars that make this nation great. At least for everybody that isn't a minority or poor.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Having myself served... (none / 0) (#417)
by ti dave on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:55:16 AM EST

I can vouch for the fact that plenty of middle-class white boys and girls have done their share of fighting and dying for Uncle Sam.

I believe you're over-generalising with your stance.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

K-Mart Class (none / 0) (#510)
by Richard Henry Lee on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:25:59 PM EST

I would say it has more to do with economic standing than it does with race. We live in a republican plutocracy. Deal with it.


Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law. - June 7, 1776

[ Parent ]
Uuh, have you never realized that there is (4.00 / 1) (#330)
by mami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 09:30:40 PM EST

a white working class that is poor as well? Are you so "colorblind" that all you can recognize are "poor blacks"? Jesus, get some glasses that makes you see some colors.

[ Parent ]
Im fine (none / 0) (#403)
by Space on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:18:01 AM EST

The reality is most blacks are part of the underclass and most whites are middle class and upper class. Disadvantaged white people have a lot of things stopping them from advancing in life but black people have those and a lot more issues. Im not color blind, though I was trying to make a point that race is strongly correlated to class.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
but is it helpful? (none / 0) (#441)
by mami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 09:49:01 AM EST

though I was trying to make a point that race is strongly correlated to class.

... which isn't helpful at all, if you want to help what you call the "underclass" (I don't know as a German that expression has a very bad, racial meaning and brings up a lot of bad associations) to become "a classless middle class".

[ Parent ]

actually (none / 0) (#530)
by ChannelX on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:01:49 PM EST

most whites are not part of the middle or upper-class.

[ Parent ]
Hey cletus... (4.00 / 1) (#348)
by duffbeer703 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:19:50 PM EST

Wait a sec...I thought all those dark folk and mexicans were too lazy to work?

I love it when white yuppies profess their pity of their poor brown brothers. Your grandfather probaly called it "the white man's burden".


[ Parent ]

serfs (none / 0) (#532)
by ChannelX on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:06:45 PM EST

Actually serfs aren't an appropriate comparison to the working poor. I'd suggest actually reading about them and reading a good history of that period of time (pre-Black Death). As to the working poor there are lots and lots and lots of white working poor. You sound like you come from some rich white suburban area. The whole bit about the military being mostly made of minority groups is bogus also.

[ Parent ]
free choice? (1.00 / 6) (#361)
by Mizuno Ami on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:54:42 PM EST

We all know that women are too weak to choose to enroll in computer science classes, for example, and to actually earn their careers. That's why there's feminism. If women weren't such morons, there wouldn't be a need for feminism to tell them what their rolls are.

[ Parent ]
Rolls? (2.50 / 4) (#366)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:13:50 PM EST

Actually, I prefer cornbread. Moron.

[ Parent ]
wow.. that was quick (1.00 / 3) (#377)
by Mizuno Ami on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:11:01 AM EST

I love it! You can't argue so you have to go after the typo. Of course I'm right.

[ Parent ]
Hmm. (2.00 / 4) (#380)
by webwench on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:16:41 AM EST

On my keyboard, the 'E' is a long way from the 'L'. Your original comment was so stupid as to be not worth refuting. Accept your moronic nature and move on.

[ Parent ]
oh be nice, you guys (2.00 / 1) (#602)
by tweetsygalore on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:26:30 PM EST


i'm sure that you guys are much bigger than this.

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

Deconstruction. (2.57 / 7) (#265)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:11:02 PM EST

It seems to me that most people of both sexes have many choices available to them. All can work; most could stay home; most can choose their profession; most can choose to concentrate on work or on quality of home life, and they make that choice every day they get up and do whatever it is they do every day.

However, a lot of people dislike the choices other people make, and take it upon themselves to 'inform' others of the choices they 'should' make. I think that's unfortunate.

Are you really so arrogant as to think most people don't examine their own choices, and that only you have the divine insight to know the one true way?

Question (4.50 / 2) (#271)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:25:51 PM EST

Are you really so insecure that you interpret any attempt to question current choices as arrogance coming from a person with delusions of divinity?

Several people have been using this line about arrogance lately, and it's getting tiresome.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Insecure? No. (none / 0) (#273)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:32:08 PM EST

I simply think it's arrogant, not to mention holier-than-thou. The essence of life is choices, which are shortly followed by their consequences. This isn't news to most. Do you think it is?

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#281)
by pyramid termite on Mon May 26, 2003 at 06:44:37 PM EST

"No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people." - P. T. Barnum.

But then, my arrogance isn't the issue, here, it's the alleged arrogance of HeatherM. And, no, she doesn't come off that way to me.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
God bless America (none / 0) (#290)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:02:37 PM EST

where we can all disagree about anything! But I find it arrogant for some person whose never met me nor knows what I want out of life, to counsel me, the reader, to make different life choices, or to presume that because I'm a woman I probably don't want to work outside the home.

I tend to think of people as individuas, not as 'a man who, because he is a man, wants x', or 'a woman, who because she is a woman wants y'.

[ Parent ]

Indeed! (none / 0) (#349)
by Skwirl on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:25:05 PM EST

I tend to think of people as individuas, not as 'a man who, because he is a man, wants x', or 'a woman, who because she is a woman wants y'.
I wanted to make this knee-jerk reaction to this story also, and the issue is a little confused in the essay, but it seems clear to me that the author was proposing that men and women should be freer to make decisions about either one of them staying at home, both of them staying at home more often, or, indeed, continuing with the current status quo. Our society goes out of its way to put obstacles in the way of certain choices, for instance, a stay-at-home dad wouldn't be particularly well received in some circles. To politely propose certain options as more viable than commonly considered is no different that saying, "get your grubby traditionalism out of my life and let me make my own decisions, ya jerks."

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Eh... (none / 0) (#365)
by webwench on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:08:28 PM EST

Unfortunately that wasn't the tinge I was getting from the article... but c'est la vie.

Regarding "Our society goes out of its way to put obstacles in the way of certain choices, for instance, a stay-at-home dad wouldn't be particularly well received in some circles,", to allow 'not being well-received' to make your life decisions for you is, well, cowardly. Maybe our real problem, societally, is cowardice. Like I say, I see a couple of guys doing this stuff here in my beighborhood (staying at home), and I'm not seeing a backlash.

[ Parent ]

Oooh!! CAT FIGHT!! (1.00 / 5) (#293)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:12:49 PM EST

HISS!!!

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

I had rated this article -1... (2.25 / 4) (#304)
by morceguinho on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:00:19 PM EST

...while it was in the editing process 'cos imo it's not about feminism but rather the writer's opinion on how the current society is, relating to wo/men vs work.

Still, i was positively surprised by the massive amount of comments that it generated. Also, i think the majority of those coments serve to proove that the K5 comunity is way more than a bunch of white antisocial male in-dire-need-for-sex programmers like some have claimed. While i'm sure most of us are somewhat related to IT or computers in general that doesn't necessarily mean we fit the stereotype, but that there's a rather diverse comunity breathing here. And it bites!

Feminism (2.40 / 5) (#306)
by Space on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:19:33 PM EST

Perhaps with all that spare time you have you should read a little about feminism and you might find that most of what you say is currently supported by feminist academics. I guess when people say feminist these days they instantly start thing of radical femo-nazis.
<recycle your pets>
You're not being fair... (3.50 / 2) (#339)
by Skwirl on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:09:08 PM EST

I also was bracing myself for this article to turn into another anti-feminist troll, but I think the author's grasp of some the more important aspects of the current feminist situation is excellent, and probably carries more weight in the testosterone and ramen soaked environment of K5 without too much reliance on quoting feminist academia.

Obviously, the apologetic tone of the introduction is unnecessary. The author is a feminist in every sense of the word, but I don't blame her for backpedaling. The conservative media co-opted the word "feminism" a long time ago. In fact, that's the only battle on the feminist front they've ever won and it's an absolutely petty and worthless victory. We might as well give them their word and move on to better things.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Isn't it sad though (5.00 / 1) (#359)
by TheModerate on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:53:02 PM EST

Isn't it sad though that politics has come down to battling between how words are used and how they connotate? Isn't this what Orwell warned us about--that words are used to manipulate people? Or perhaps worse---I hear there is talk among some philosophers (I was eavesdropping, so I don't know exactly who) that language has always been used for one side to dominate over the other.

So it isn't hard to see how when people discuss politics they most commonly use a certain kind of political language---which makes the whole dialogue senseless---and the point is not to elaborate to increase understanding, but to change people's minds using sinister and deceptive means.

It keeps those with understanding---who are aware of what is going on---constantly in the minority. And the minority is a dangerous place to be in, in a democracy.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Feminism is bullshit (1.05 / 18) (#309)
by BankofNigeria ATM on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:40:41 PM EST

I hate feminists, not because they support women's rights, but because they're stupid and annoying. I hate the feminists, especially the ones that don't shave and are lesbian man-haters.

1. S 2. V 3. PREP 4. V 5. N 6. PRO 7. N 8. PREP 9. V 10. V 11. V 12. PRO 13. PRO 14. V 15. N 16. V 17. PREP 18. ADV 19. N 20. ADV

spare us the pointless post (2.42 / 7) (#313)
by Space on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:48:18 PM EST

Dear sir you are an idiot. You obviously know nothing about feminism besides the femo-nazi image presented to you by the media. Perhaps If you actually found out a little about feminism you would realise that feminists don't just argue for womens rights but sustainable social systems in general and have made the largest contribution to the social sciences in the last 100 years.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Largest contribution in 100 years? (3.50 / 4) (#314)
by ti dave on Mon May 26, 2003 at 08:54:59 PM EST

Care to elaborate?

That's a mighty impressive claim.

I'd like to put a bullet in your head, Ti_Dave. ~DominantParadigm
[ Parent ]

Anthony Gidden said it (3.60 / 5) (#399)
by Space on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:10:24 AM EST

Anthony Giddens said it in one of his books. He justified it on the grounds that all knowledge gathered before feminism has been from a patriarchal perspective and feminism forces us to review what we know and reconsider its implications. In case you don't know who Anthony Giddens is he's one of the greatest sociologists of the 20th century and a leading authority on globalisation and social issues, he frequently advises Tony Blair on matters of social importance in Brittain.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Faulty logic (3.00 / 1) (#449)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:28:27 AM EST

The second half of that comment is an Appeal to Authority. The rest doesn't, IMHO, stand up to inspection. I'm not a sociologist, but I suspect that there is not a consensus amongst those that are to back up your original claim.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
perfectly valid (none / 0) (#647)
by Space on Tue Jun 03, 2003 at 12:14:10 AM EST

Its really pretty simple, feminism is an analytical framework that stipulates that systems that depend on exploitation of groups of people are unsustainable and that these groups should assemble politically to achieve independence through social reform. Feminism takes a social perspective as opposed to an economic perspective or an environmental perspective like marxism and the green movement. The majority of sociologists agree that feminism is at least a useful perspective for social analysis and I haven't seen an introductory sociology textbook that doesn't devote an entire chapter to feminism. Anythony Giddens is probably the most respected contemporary sociologist in the world so I don't believe that his quote is at odds with the consensus of the academic community.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Sustainable society? (3.66 / 3) (#341)
by duffbeer703 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:13:19 PM EST

Please, most families have two wage slaves, a few kids and a pet. US honor students can't read and 50% of marriages fall apart. That's sustainable?

[ Parent ]
k (4.00 / 2) (#400)
by Space on Tue May 27, 2003 at 03:11:20 AM EST

I fail to see how that is at all related to feminism.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Think a little (5.00 / 1) (#440)
by duffbeer703 on Tue May 27, 2003 at 09:44:40 AM EST

Before the 1970's, when banks allowed you to consider two incomes for mortgage purposes, a wife's income was usually "extra" income... today in many families one wage-earner's check is used solely for mortgage and property tax payments and all other expenses are paid by the second wage earner.

The end result of the feminist movement is higher housing costs and disfunctional families.

[ Parent ]

I think your wrong (none / 0) (#646)
by Space on Tue Jun 03, 2003 at 12:03:18 AM EST

Wage equality and economic independence for women can't be blamed for higher housing costs. The wage earners welfare state was abandonned for economic reasons not social reasons. Indeed women achieved equal pay under similar circumstances because lower female wages contributed to male unemployment. Famillies are not more dysfunctional now either. Domestic violence against women and children has dramatically plummeted since whatever romantic bygone era you are refering to. Keeping a marriage together no matter what is less a sign of a functional familly as a sign of oppression and hardship whether it be domestic violence or economic insecurity. People most often divorce for the right reasons as opposed to the selfish vive for independence and gratification that you seem to allude to.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch! (2.00 / 1) (#601)
by tweetsygalore on Thu May 29, 2003 at 09:14:41 PM EST


what you said definitely has A LOT of truth to it!

best
C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]

You just replied to a troll (3.00 / 1) (#364)
by TheModerate on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:03:59 PM EST

The whole point of the troll is to get people like you---who are passionate about the topic---to reply out of anger. I suggest you to do as I do: just rate him a 1 and learn not to reply to posts that are beneath you.

But I thought feminism was just a political movement. Are there web resources about this? I suppose I can find a book---but I try to stay away from books that prefer to pound me in the head with their agenda: any suggestions?

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Dual Income (4.28 / 7) (#360)
by Orion Blastar on Mon May 26, 2003 at 10:53:16 PM EST

children raised by strangers is shocking, I am currently out of work and I am a stay at home husband. I watch my son and my wife works as a Nurse. My mother, Nana, watches my son when I can't. Due to mental and physical illnesses I had to take a break from work and go on disability. There are limits to what I can do, but I am raising my son as best as I can. He is four years old now, and about to go into Pre-Kindergarden in August. By then I will have some time from Mon-Fri to myself while he is in school. Time enough to go back to college so I can better myself later on.

Men and Women are different, but equal. My wife and I share things 50/50, I even help out with the housework.

Women now make up 60% or more of college students and are getting the degrees for white collar work. The Old Boys Network is a thing of the past as we are getting women in upper management and CEO/CIO positions. Girls are doing better in school and are doing better academically than Boys. In fact, boys are doing worse in school than they had been before. Somehow the schools have been able to reach the Girls, but have been ignoring the Boys or not reaching them to help them better themselves. If this trend continues, we will have a majority of Women in white collar jobs and Men in blue collar jobs. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but it should be 50/50 to be fair. Boys are being encouraged to do better in Sports than in Academics. There are books on the subject, "Raising Cain" and "The war on boys" that address issues of helping out Girls in school and almost ignoring the Boys.

Soon, maybe other men will be staying at home like I am? Let the wife earn the money, stay at home and take care of the children, because we won't be qualified for jobs anymore. In my case, I am disabled for an indefinate amount of time. Which is good for my son, who gets more attention from me than had I been working a job.

But Dual Income is something that is needed to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. If not, and you only have a single income, you will have to live life differently. That means no fancy cars/vans/trucks, no big screen TVs, no takeout food, no expensive stuff, shopping at discount stores, not wearing expensive clothes, etc. We have had to do this to survive. I was without a salary for six months while waiting for my disability to get approved. We lived on tax return money and savings. Now next month, the disability check comes in. Things should be better, but we still have to save money and stretch things out to last longer.

All in all, it has been a humbling experience that very few men will have. I feel like a failure because I cannot earn the money and work a job to pull in the big salary to be able to afford the finer things in life. But maybe things will work out and my son will be the better for having a parent watch him at home.

Working mothers being able to juggle a full-time job and/or college and children and housework have my respect. It isn't easy to do, and very stressful.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

Enough of this minimalist crap (4.16 / 6) (#419)
by xtal on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:05:09 AM EST

But Dual Income is something that is needed to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. If not, and you only have a single income, you will have to live life differently. That means no fancy cars/vans/trucks, no big screen TVs, no takeout food, no expensive stuff, shopping at discount stores, not wearing expensive clothes, etc. We have had to do this to survive. I was without a salary for six months while waiting for my disability to get approved. We lived on tax return money and savings. Now next month, the disability check comes in. Things should be better, but we still have to save money and stretch things out to last longer.

Now that I have your attention, here's another take on it:

My SO and I are both professionals. Rather than throw aside our job aspirations, we've done the opposite: Throw ourselves into our work for the short term, and use the tools of capitalism - the foundation of our modern societies - to free ourselves from the drudgery. My sititation may be a little unique and not completely applicable to the above - we are both younger, very practical, and very, very motivated.

Problem: If you have no capital, you need to sell your time in order to live. One solution to the problem is to live like a pauper. Fine. Enjoy! There is another one, though: Acquire capital.

Two professionals, even in a heavily taxed climate like Canada, should easily be able to obtain a six figure salary (combined) almost immediately after graduating. If you live at home with your parents, or in a hovel, for the first 2-3 years, you should be able to easily acquire a very nice nest egg eliminating any worries of unemployment. That's mission one.

In the next 5-7 years of saving, you should be able to acquire a pool of capital that allows you to make a modest return - income - from it. Better still, reinvest that to compound your gains. What you've done now is make yourself financially independant. That's different from independantly wealthy. You can sustain a reasonably nice lifestyle without living cheque to cheque. This is the point where I feel I can afford to have children.

Now you have the freedom to consult, work part time, write books or articles, sell crap on ebay, repair cars - whatever makes you happy - and make some money from it. You have the freedom to work part time, and actually have an influence beyond chance in your parent's life. You could travel, if you wanted to.

Here's another dirty secret: The amount of money you need for retirement is grossly overestimated. Assuming society doesn't collapse, but then again, if that happens, we all have bigger worries.

All of this hinges on being able to find a compatible mate at an early age and then making that relationship work. You can compound things further by exploiting close family ties and siblings where possible. If you have a family home, why not try making a go of it there, ather than rush to the big, expensive city? Again, your circumstances are different than mine - but I am convinced the general principles apply.

[ Parent ]

Drugs and Money (4.00 / 2) (#363)
by thio on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:03:52 PM EST

One's need for money is to an extent determined by who one runs around with. One of the root causes of the 'money track' just like the 'drug track' is peer group pressure. Of course, some jobs are challenging, benefit the country and are high paying. When one has such a job one is blessed but otherwise being careful how money is spent makes a lot of sense. Difficulties with 'Keeping up with the Jones' is an old saw but is accurate today, was accurate in the 1950's and most likely in the 1750's. See the 'Theory of the Leisure Class' by Veblen to see what you are up against. I think also this article has little to do with feminism as many have suggested.

Sex! (1.75 / 8) (#372)
by auraslip on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:35:38 PM EST

hahaha.

Have you ever noticed that women taking typicaly mens roles are called feminist. Men taking womens roles are called gay.
124

try as i might... (4.60 / 5) (#374)
by blisspix on Mon May 26, 2003 at 11:50:56 PM EST

As much as I would love to take 5 years off work to have a child and raise them to school age, it's not reality for me. I constantly weigh the pros and cons, back and forward, and kids are a really bad financial investment, to put them in crude terms. My husband and I live fairly lean on average salaries, but having a kid would put huge financial pressure on us, no matter how many nights out we gave up.

And his job could not be cut down or done from home. He's a teacher. I couldn't work from home either, I'm a librarian. These are things that have to be juggled.

But I know that when it all boils down to it, I want a kid, and we probably will have one.

What I think about more is what's going to happen when we get old (he's 8 years older than me and diabetic, so likely to die before I do). If we don't have kids, will I be in a home all alone? Who would look after me? How would I pay for nursing care if I needed it? How would I keep myself occupied? The earlier I prepare myself the better.

And how did your parents survive on one income? (4.50 / 4) (#432)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 27, 2003 at 07:54:39 AM EST

They bought fewer toys.

Face it, the author has a point: most of the 2-earner people on this board, and in the USA, could survive on one salary; the difference isn't that pay levels have fallen, the difference is that our expectations as consumers have risen.

My house is full of gadgets, widgets, doo-dads, toys for the kids and what-nots that could disappear tomorrow without us being any the poorer for it. If it weren't for the blood all over my 401k I'd feel really bad about having spent that money instead of saving it...


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I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
There's also the factor of taxes. (none / 0) (#475)
by webwench on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:35:48 PM EST

Our parents paid much, much less in income and payroll taxes than we do. I suspect the 'toy' rat race hasn't changed much between thirty years ago and now, although the toys themselves have changed.

[ Parent ]
Not really. (4.00 / 1) (#503)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:07:44 PM EST

I mean, yeah, for my grandparents that was true, but the burden on my parents in the late 60s and 70s was about the same as it is now.

But as for the 'toy' rat race - I think it's profoundly changed in my generation. I realize I sound like an old fart when I say this, but it's true: I had 5 brothers and sisters and among the lot of us we had fewer toys than my two children do now - and that seems to be typical among my friends. From an adult point of view my parents kept their first color TV for 15 years - even after I managed to magnetize the tube. Who here is using a 5 year old TV as their main screen? Who here is using a 5 year old computer as their main system? My dad had the same Polaroid camera for about the same length of time. I've owned 3 SLRs and a pair of digital cameras so far. Only one of them actually wore out.

Consider this: when I went to my prom, taking a limo was unheard of. Now it's (apparently) the minimum acceptable ride. 8th grade proms, graduation parties from kindergarten (Kindergarten?!?) are now standard.

Somewhere along the line, we decided we all had to live the lives of the idle rich, even if we had to kill ourselves with work to do it. Even after realizing this, I struggle with trying to change my kids' perceptions and I'm losing. (Timmy got another new bike this year, why can't I?)


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I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
a nitpick. (2.00 / 1) (#544)
by /dev/trash on Tue May 27, 2003 at 10:50:04 PM EST

if the burden taxwise was the same, why did we have the huge tax reform of 1986?  Because taxes were high and needed lowered.

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Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
Ummm.... Dude? (3.00 / 1) (#548)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 27, 2003 at 11:22:56 PM EST

Yeah, Reagan radically cut taxes in 86. And since then they've been raised again. Total tax burden now is about the same as it was before the 86 tax cut.


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I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
key phrase... (1.00 / 2) (#573)
by /dev/trash on Wed May 28, 2003 at 01:18:14 PM EST

"About the same"

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Summer Tour!
[ Parent ]
Did you read what I was replying to? (none / 0) (#584)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 28, 2003 at 08:27:50 PM EST

The parent post claimed taxes were lower then...


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I only read Usenet for the articles.


[ Parent ]
they didn't survive (3.00 / 1) (#529)
by blisspix on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:55:47 PM EST