Morning Ed: Women & Men {2017.12.07.Th}

[WM1] Long term relationships are about to get more touchy? [Ed Note, item originally was intended for a different link and was altered to match the current link]

[WM2] Helen Pluckrose looks at a global-historical look at the patriarchy.

[WM3] In case you ever wanted to know what sex in a Marxist Guerilla camp in Colombia is like, Vice has you covered.

[WM4] Women are willing to pay a lot to avoid sexual harassment.

[WM5] When it comes to gender strengths and weaknesses, is it all in the brains?

[WM6] Leonard Sax writes of self-objectification and why stricter dress codes may benefit girls.

[WM7] Does love at first sight exist? I think it exists but is not necessarily something to cooperate with.

[WM8] We know the problems with Matt Lauer and Mark Helperin, but Shannon Van Sant says they are products of their culture.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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46 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Women & Men {2017.12.07.Th}

  1. WM1: Goes to a link about technology allowing couples in long distance relationship to kind of, sort of touch each other with a supped up version of Nintendo’s power glove.

    WM2: For a global perspective, this look into the patriarchy was very Euro-centric and English Euro-centric at that. We heard a lot about the Church and Europe, particularly England, but not much about female subjection under Hinduism in India or Japanese patriarchy under Samurai rule. Global should mean that, global.

    WM3: Marxists were always very weird when it came to sex. Many of them hated bourgeois norms an advocated free love like Alexandra Kollotai or Trotsky but many others like Lenin and Stalin had a very strong puritanical streak. They all tended to hate dating and romance as it worked out in the West because it was either bourgeois and bad or a waste of time that distracted from the Revolution The Chinese Communist Party put it as “making love is a mental disease.” Like any good religious order, the higher-ups were freaking hypocrites about anything they said about sex.

    WM5: If being transgender has at least partially biological origins, the ideas that male and female brains are wired differently makes a lot of intuitive sense. Transgender people might be people whose brains have the wiring for one sex but the biological body of another. (I slightly edited this paragraph to be less accidentally – I think – insulting to trans people – maribou.)

    WM6: On the other hand, controlling what women wore and not allowing them to express themselves sexually was a very popular tool of the patriarchy. I’m not really sure that puritanical feminism really works as an ideology even if allowing greater freedom of dress is a mixed blessing

    WM7: Having fallen in love at first sight when I was 29 and having the besotted feeling last until I was 32 and still somewhat persist till today, although its complicated, I can definitely say that falling in love at first sight exists. Science be damned and psychology isn’t reliable.

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  2. [WM3] The bodies of 15 year old girls are to be used in support of our glorious revolution. The people own their bodies (in the form of the commanders, ahem). Yeah “surprisingly progressive”.

    [WM5] Well, no, there are a lot of physical strengths and weaknesses males/females have.

    [WM7] Lust yes. Love, no. For my own perspective, it takes a lot of “together time” to move from one to the other.

    [WM6] “Who Is Distracted by a Girl Wearing Skintight Leggings” Every single male near puberty or past it. Girl in the case being a woman or female post puberty. I go to the grocery store and it’s all moms in yoga pants-tight yoga pants. I go to kick fit and it’s moms in tights/yoga pants. You know, if you’re publicly displaying your “goods”, I’m going to window shop.

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    • They’re not publicly displaying their goods, given that they’re wearing clothing, nor are their bodies “goods”. They’re going about their day in the clothes that are most comfortable for them. (I don’t care if you look at their bodies, either, fwiw, “custody of the eyes” is stupid – I just find the whole metaphor gross and demeaning.)

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  3. WM7: there’s also a difference between being “in love with” someone and “loving” them. The first can fade; the second is much less likely to. Also, “being in love” is self-centered; “loving” centers on the other person.

    I believe that it’s possible to have attraction at first sight, but not genuine love: I have met too many handsome dudes who were utter jerks (and whom I disliked after getting to know them slightly, despite whatever visual attraction they might have).

    I also don’t believe in the concept of soulmates, partly because if everyone has a soulmate, either I haven’t traveled enough to find mine, or I met him and was too blind to realize it. It seems a very…stultifying….concept. It also seems to suggest people who haven’t coupled some how lack….I don’t know what, detection-ability or appreciation that such and such person is their soulmate, or what.

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    • In my experience, males tend to notice bodies and females tend to notice fashion. Girls are always going to play their little dominance games as long as a school has a lax dress code. The study is interesting in that females are affected by attire even when it’s theirs.

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      • Also, if there are any socioeconomic differences at all in the town, that will be noticed and exploited heavily, at least by the girls.

        See: why I had to live with the derisive nickname “Wrangler” in junior high. (Jordaches were the “cool” jeans at the time. My parents were too frugal to buy anything but basic brands….)

        Even with a dress code of sorts, certain types of girls are very good at picking up on subtle SES signals.

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      • But I wonder if the girls would be dressing to objectify themselves if there were no boys to dress for? If it was just girls, would the dress shift from sexual objectification to financial/status signalling?

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        • In my whole life, I’ve never heard a man initiate a conversation about a bridesmaid’s dress. I’ve been to plenty of weddings, and I can tell you who was the hottest bridesmaid at each of them, and I have no memory of any of their dresses. They were almost all low-cut though. Do they do that to attract the male gaze? I don’t know. I think they do that for themselves (or each other, I guess).

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  4. I keep wondering if [WM1] is one of @will’s little jokes that I don’t quite get, since it talks about a touch-response glove, and there’s no overt mention of coercion.

    Here is a piece about the work of Catherine Dulac on the topic that I find interesting. Dulac herself does not write popular articles, she is cautious of hype and misinterpretation.

    Here is another piece about Dulac’s work where she talks about how sensory reactions differ male to female, and how we see differences in neurons connecting to the amygdala.

    My takeaway from this is that yes, the brain of a male is likely to possess structures which that the brain of a female does not have. But most structures overlap, and it’s more a question of which structures get activated and used.

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  5. In unrelated news, it appears that the reason Rand Paul got tackled by his neighbor was, in fact, about petunias.

    The short version is: Paul’s neighbor has a reputation for, let’s charitably call it, exacting lawn standards, and had apparently had a screaming match with Paul about a decade prior about lawn clippings.

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  6. WM6:

    I’ve seen Leonard Sax speak. Interesting guy.

    I also find the description a bit off; he isn’t addressing what dress codes ought to be but, rather, how parents ought to approach the matter. Which is very much in line with his general approach focused on the role of parents.

    And while instituting a dress code that is focused on the impact on learning of the wearer him/herself as opposed to some moral code or the impact on the observer feels like a huge step in the right direction… it still feels predicated on the notion of telling women what is best for them vis a vis there physical appearance and dress. I just don’t think that is the role of the school. Parents? Yes, within limits. So I don’t find his advice objectionable… disagreeable, maybe… but not objectionable. But were it used to actually influence policy… that I’d object to.

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    • You have articulated what I was thinking. I have no problem monitoring my girls’ clothing choices, when the time comes, but I do have a problem with dress codes that over-emphasize the clothing options of girls, no matter what justification might be used (distracting to buys, distracting to themselves). There is still an underlying tone of “appearances matter” that generally gets foisted onto the girls more so than onto boys.

      Having more and more friends from overseas also makes me think uniforms are something to consider. As it is now, the only public schools that I have seen institute uniforms are ones that have high levels of poverty in their school populations, as well as having concerns about gangs, etc. There maybe other schools out there that have uniforms for other reasons, but I find there is a general bias against uniforms in public schools in the US.

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      • Blind squirrel! Nut!

        I argue about dress restrictions with the girlfriend quite a bit. She’s older (41 to my 34), has a 10-year-old daughter (I have sons 4.5 and 2.5), and is a little more socially conservative on these topics. So, we have very differnent starting points and different situations. Our kids are also different. Her daughter would wear a potato sack if allowed; doesn’t care a wit. My boys (mainly the older with the younger following) are incredibly choosy. Because the older felt slowed down by jeans, he wears leggings we buy in the girls section of Target with his Darth Vader shirt because he loves DV because he’s a villain even though kid has never actually watched any Star Wars. But I digress…

        She says she wouldn’t let her son wear leggings. I say they’re what he wants and who cares? She picks out her daughter’s clothes so she isn’t made fun of (daughter also has some social quirks and learning issues so social isolation is a real concern). I say that buys into the teasing culture.

        I disagree with her. And yet, I don’t think she’s wrong. Applying a male perspective to female clothing world feels like an invitation to have blind spots.

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  7. There’s currently a (pretty horrible) story floating around on the twitters.

    Adult film star August Ames recently took her own life as a response to cyberbullying (apparently).

    She found out that one of her male co-stars at a then-upcoming shoot had also done male-male scenes and she dropped out and tweeted an open warning to whomever would be replacing her on the shoot that they would be working with crossover performers and she dropped out because of health safety concerns. (I can’t find the exact tweets and don’t exactly feel like searching for them.)

    Well, golly, this resulted in one heck of a crapstorm. A bunch of performers accused her of bigotry and a bunch of other folks piled on.

    Granted, her chosen profession is one that has a disproportionate amount of suicides in it and she apparently suffered from depression even before this incident but she committed suicide a few days ago, apparently, as a response to the online bullying she received.

    And a whole bunch of people started screenshotting and quoting all of the people who tweeted variants of “kill yourself” to her and a whole bunch of performers are arguing that they did nothing wrong (and/or locking their twitter accounts).

    It feels like something that has the potential to turn into a bigger cultural fight.

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