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There I go again!


Note: Some people will find this post very offensive and will be enraged.  I don’t give a fuck.

There are some people who strongly believe that because I am a white male heterosexual that I have no business expressing an opinion on anything having to do with racism, feminism and/or LGBTism. Ironically, these same people do not hesitate to express their opinions on the many shortcomings and flaws of white male heterosexuals.

Unfortunately, I have the right to remain silent but not the ability.

This brings me to the offensive and politically incorrect portion of my post. Those of you who are easily offended and enraged should skip the rest of this discussion.

This is a comment I made on a feminist blog in a thread concerning Michelle Obama:

The idea that it’s the patriarchy’s fault that MO is playing the role of Stepford wife robs her of agency.

I don’t buy it. She chose to play that role. She could have said to her spouse “You want to be POTUS then you need my help. If you want my help then this is how it’s gonna be.” If a woman like MO can’t be expected to take responsibility for her own decisions then what woman can?

I’m sure that there are at least two people here who will be outraged that a man dared to express that opinion and will condemn me for “reeking of male privilege.”

At some point women have to take responsibility for themselves. Either that or they have to concede that they can’t defeat the patriarchy without the help of men.

What’s ironic is that I believe women have the power to end the patriarchy, and the people that are going to offended by what I’m saying believe that women are too weak.

But what do I know? I’m just an “asshat,” right?

(The “asshat” reference was in regard to a gratuitous insult directed specifically at me before I even made a single comment on that thread.)

If that statement shocks and offends you then too bad.  It’s my opinion and I’m not going to apologize for it.  There is a word for complaining about a situation while simultaneously enabling it.  It’s called codependency.

If you are going to insist on the right to make your own choices (and you should) then you have to accept the positive and negative consequences of those choices.  Obviously we are not talking about situations where decisions are coerced by force or fear.

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches people to accept that they are powerless over alcohol, but alcoholism is not a defense to drunk driving.  Domestic abusers aren’t allowed to blame the patriarchy for their actions nor are minorities allowed to blame our racist society for any crimes they commit.  Blaming someone or something else for the decisions you make is a cop-out.

So what’s the solution?

We live in a society that is dominated by white male heterosexuals.  While we can disagree to the extent that race, gender and sexual orientation affect social hierarchies and argue over causes and remedies, anyone who denies that racism, sexism and homobigotry have a significant impact is either a liar or a fool.

Because someone can simultaneously be the member of one or more dominant and subordinate groups, it has been said that what we have is a “kyriarchy,”  which is a “a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.”

For example, a white woman heterosexual is a member of the dominant racial and sexual orientation groups and the subordinate gender group.  This makes her status in relation to a black male homosexual both superior and inferior.

I hope that we would all agree that the kyriarchy we live in is not the optimum arrangement.  Our shared goal should be the elimination of all forms of bigotry and discrimination.  And while we have made progress we still have a long way to go.

Years ago I figured out a very simple principle I call goal-mapping.  Any time you have a goal you need to figure out three things:

A. Your starting point (where you are now)

B. Your destination (where you want to be)

C. How you plan to get from A to B (your map)

This simple principle can be applied to your personal goals or to the goals of society as a whole.  As for society the goal map looks something like this:

A. Kyriarchy

B. A society where people of all races, genders and sexual orientation live in co-equal harmony.

C. Undetermined

Right about now some of you may be thinking “For fucks sake! It’s not that easy!” I never said it would be easy, I only said that the principle of goal-mapping is simple. I’m not telling anyone what the plan should be, I’m just saying we need to make one.  We also need to agree on a definition of  our goal.

The status quo favors the dominant groups and unless there is pressure from the subordinate groups there is little or no incentive to change. This gives the subordinate groups three basic options – hope and wait for the dominant group to give them equality, impose a change of status by force, or negotiate change by peaceful means.

The Japanese say “fix the problem, not the blame.” I often see a lot of finger-pointing in the blogosphere but not many proposed solutions. I understand the anger and resentment felt by members of subordinate groups.  I don’t blame them a bit, I’d be pissed off too.  But anger isn’t a plan.  We can argue and call each other names, and people can post spittle-flecked rants saying I reek of white privilege, male privilege and/or heterosexual privilege.

We can do that, but how does that help us move from A to B?

It seems to me that excluding white male heterosexuals from the discussion is short-sighted and counter-productive. Feel free to disagree with me, but you’re wasting you time if you want me to shut-up. Besides, a one-sided conversation isn’t a discussion, it’s a lecture.

Before you post comments telling me what a horrible person I am you might want to consider that even though we may disagree I’m on your side.  it’s one thing to exclude the racists, misogynists and homobigots from the discussion, but excluding your friends and allies is an entirely different thing.

Instead of hurling insults that will vanish into the spam filter, why not tell everyone what your plan is? If you don’t have one, why not make one?

Let’s stop fixing the blame and start fixing the problem instead.

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158 Responses

  1. Well, as long as you are going to include the Beatles, I’m ok with it mylq. Definitely agree on your basic principle that we can not expect “others”, including the Potus, scotus and cotus, to work harder on cleaning up our side of the street and work our program than we are willing to work.

    As for your Mechelle assessment—she did choose to be fashion mama, Steprford wife and social bouffant; Hillary chose to be a leader and an advocate for women—both from the same WH steps.

    Pretty much sums it up.

    • I believe thats because she’s only in it for the perks. gawd knows she isn’t using her position to do much but live it up

    • Yes, and look what happened to Hill – they continue to villify her to this day. “They” wanted to keep the little woman in her place.

      Mechelle may just have decided that she wasn’t going to put herself through that ringer and instead, just enjoy the perks! 😕

  2. jeebus cripes, since when did you start making such good sense?

  3. Good post, myiq. Nothing wrong with it at all, far as I can tell. But then, I’m a liberal, for what that’s worth.

    My mapping strategy: I’m only one person. So I do what I can as an individual and hope that others will do the same to chip away at the bigotry. Large numbers of women, for example, standing up for their rights, each on her own, makes a small difference. Together, we make a major difference, but it starts in a small way.

  4. You’re right

    The Japanese say “fix the problem, not the blame.”

    Alcoholics Anonymous teaches people to accept that they are powerless over alcohol, but alcoholism is not a defense to drunk driving.

    and it’s a mix of don’t blame the victim and agency.

    • Black Women’s Empowerment blogs, Black Agenda Report and POC PUMAs are the only POC who make sense these days.

  5. Great post, myiq. Very well argued.

  6. Got no problem with anything you said, Myiq. Frankly, I’m tired of the whole “against” and not “for” dynamic I see everywhere about everything, nowadays. Just griping doesn’t seem very productive to me. That doesn’t mean take to the streets with pitchforks either. It just means promote, explore and discuss something, instead of confront, protest, accuse and debate everything.

    As for M.O., I think she made a personally fulfilling deal with her husband that doesn’t necessarily advance the goals and agenda of other women. In other words, she sold out. But then, maybe she thought her marriage and family was at stake.

    Or, maybe, it’s all show biz and she hates his guts. Dunno, ain’t my marriage.

  7. Myiq, this is an excellent post. As a feminist and a woman, I can’t see anything controversial about your statements. You are entitled to your opinions and I support you (and other white males and everyone else in the world) expressing your opinion on any and all topics. I value your opinion more than most.

    As for the means, novel idea: why don’t we all just try to treat everyone fairly and let our laws do the same?


  8. “Obviously we are not talking about situations where decisions are coerced by force or fear”

    There are other kinds of coercion that I think you may not be aware of. One obvious example is what happens to women who step out of line and make the choices they want. They are attacked, sued, slandered, much like Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin were. Yes indeed, Michelle has a choice, but making it will cost her. If she wants to be liked she has to conform to her designated role. To do anything else will be viewed as going rogue and she will have a full time battle on her hands.

    It’s even worse if you’re a member of the working class. In that case you’re so busy trying to feed and shelter yourself you don’t always have the luxury of challenging the status quo. Our jails are filled with women who fought back against domestic violence. Women who whistle blow often face poverty, job loss and harassment. Report a rape and chances are good you will simply face further humiliation from the system.

    • “There are other kinds of coercion that I think you may not be aware of.”

      You’re right, I’ve been living in a hermetically sealed environment all my life and never experienced peer pressure or societal expectations.

      Your second paragraph talks about situations where decisions are coerced by force or fear. It doesn’t apply to what I was talking about.

      • “I’ve been living in a hermetically sealed environment all my life and never experienced peer pressure or societal expectations.”

        Well myiq, if you think it’s just a simple case of peer pressure and societal expectations, than it’s obvious you really don’t understand.

        • I had written and then deleted a section in my post that I guess I should have left in. This is from the part I deleted:

          When I express myself on certain topics I am invariably told I don’t know what I’m talking about. “You don’t understand (blank)!”

          You’re confusing not understanding what you are saying with not agreeing.

          • myiq, don’t you see how your comment might piss people off? I mean I am a female, I have worked with women for decades. I am trying to help you understand my perspective. I am the expert on my own experience. You are declaring yourself more qualified about that experience then I am.

          • Oh please!

            I’m not telling you what you know and understand. You’re telling ME what I know and understand.

            I am an expert on my own experience too.

          • “I am an expert on my own experience too.”

            And your experience is that of being a woman forced to make “choices” within patriarchal parameters?

          • They told you you didn’t understand and then brought up a bunch of stuff to help you understand better. None of which points you addressed when you posted again. If it doesn’t necessarily seem like you’re having a discussion, what are they supposed to think? They also asked what male privilege means to you, and you didn’t answer. If you won’t talk about it, they can’t tell If you understand or if you’re listening.

          • If you won’t talk about it, they can’t tell If you understand or if you’re listening.

            That particular thread wasn’t my first rodeo.

          • Yeah, but there were probably a bunch of people reading that thread who WERE there for the first time. So they’re sitting there going, who is this guy and why won’t he address any of the points brought up? A lot of guys pull stuff on feminist blogs, how do they know?

          • Most or all of the commenters were names I recognize. Several were people I have interacted with before, both here and there.

            Rather than hijack Violet’s thread I posted this one.

      • Were you kept in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch since noon today? :mrgreen:

        [Note how I wisely refuse to get into the argument between myiq and yttik] 😉

    • And she also wants to avoid being portrayed as Angry Black Woman. If she steps out of line, BO’s minions would be all over her like a pack of jackals. Look at her polling data, 90% of Obots love her! Hey, you love her! She’s popular, maybe she should run for something–would you support her if she ran for something? 90% say hell no!

      • I’d hate to be a first lady, that’s a thankless job! I think it’s good at least she’s working with children and on nutrition. Frankly, I don’t care what she wears any more than I cared what Nancy Reagan wore. I’d rather my first ladies be like Eleanor Roosevelt or Dolly Madison, Abigail Adams or Hillary Clinton. I like them feisty!! But I certainly can’t blame any of them for trying to avoid the glare of publicity and public disapproval. I’m not sure I’d have the gutz to stand up to Axelrahm.

  9. How does it really help womankind to put all this pressure on an elected position? And it’s contradictory pressure, because no matter who it is or what she does, everybody finds fault. It’s like you have to have a degree in political planning, a degree in fashion and plastic surgery to look pretty enough all to qualify to be–someone’s wife. That seems kinda retrograde, like the 50’s law firm list of qualifications to be the woman behind the man. Not everybody is Hillary, maybe we should just let them all alone and worry about our elected representatives. If little girls have no one to look up to besides the President’s wife, we got problems bigger than a pillbox hat or a campaign to beautify America can fix. Michelle Obama already suffers negative consequences, she has to deal with Barack Obama on a constant basis. I’m inclined to cut her some slack

    • Unelected

      • As far as I can tell she’s doing what she wants to do and is happy.

        • Then I see no problem. She’s doing what she wants to do, No point in trying to force anyone into a role they’re not comfortable with and not getting paid for.

        • How does that square with her prior outspokenness and career? She seems like a fairly ambitious and opinionated sort, that’s why I think she’s being pragmatic for reasons only she knows. Is that “happy?”

          • If she’s not happy it’s her responsibility to do something about it.

            It’s her life, her choices.

          • No but maybe it’s the “path of least resistance between two not so great options.” Maybe she never wanted him to run and hates every minute anyway. I personally would have to think long and hard before willingly becoming the media’s Judy Steinberg or Teresa Heinz. What are the odds of actually being able to accomplish anything while dodging flying elephant dung? Is it worth it?

          • She’s been doing stuff with inner city DC kids. I think the garden thing is good. She’s just trying to get her bearings right now, I’d say. Still think when she’s got preznit’s ear, she’s the bigger voice. That’s always where the first ladies get their biggest deal anyway. Hate that a section of the public wants them all dolled up and prancing around doing good deeds.

          • Geez, chill. I’m not arguing about responsibility. I’m just asking does setting aside your ambitions for the sake of advancing your husband’s career equate with happiness? Could she be miserable and principled?

          • I said as far as I can tell she’s happy. Maybe she is and maybe she isn’t.

            Either way there’s nothing we can do about it.

          • Hate that a section of the public wants them all dolled up and prancing around doing good deeds.

            No First Lady gets the option of sitting on the couch all day watching television in her bathrobe. They can’t work normal jobs either.

        • She is more an agent than a victim. IMHO.

  10. What was the feminist blog?

  11. Actually I was just thinking about how pathetic it is that she is somewhere in the top 50 most influential women and her whole entire schtick seems to be relegated to “international hostess” and speaking about the “arts” myself. Oh, and she planted a garden.
    Geez what good is influence if you don’t utilize it to make as big an impact as you can.

    For the record, I don’t believe we should leave males out of the discussion(particularly ones who are allies). That being said, I do tend to weigh the position of female counterparts on female issues a little more heavily because of their experience in living in a female body.

    Where we are: Gender wage inequities still exist(but we are closing the gap slowly) and women are slowly being accepted grudgingly as equals.
    Reproductive inequities and double standards still exist(in this area we have slid back )

    Where I want to be: I want my daughter to have the same right to choose her occupation, be accepted in that occupation and paid what a male counterpart would be paid.

    I want my daughter to be able to choose whether or not to risk her health to bring another life into the world. I want options available to her so that she can exercise the choice not to bring a life into the world at any given time.

    How I see getting there: I’d love to see Maternity leave extended to males so that they can also take on the responsibility and privilege of parenting and we can eliminate the argument that women deserve to b e paid less because they have children(clue booth: men have children too, it’s how reproduction works, you need a male and a female to procreate).

    Advocate for birth control options to be required on insurance formularies, advocate for low cost birth control, advocate for leaders who respect the right for a woman to choose and who are willing to create a safety net for women who choose to give birth.

    That’s where I am as of this minute.

    I will likely be voting for Peggy Frank for delegate solely because of her gender. Does that make me a sexist? Sure. I’m willing to embrace that though because women and their experiences are woefully underrepresented and until we have more people who understand the experience I don’t see enough empathetic males to ensure an equal world for my sons and my daughter.

    • JFTR – the Family Medical Leave Act includes paternity leave for fathers. Men just don’t take it as often.

      I have a close friend who is a top administrator at a large univeristy. She insists that the fathers take their paternity time. Most of them fight her on it until they actually have the experience.

      • I don’t believe it should be optional. If you are a new parent (male or female). The time should be utilized to adapt to the new situation and the new person you are tasked to care for.

      • Dee

        The military gives females 8 weeks. Men get nothing. It was a big bone of contention and I can understand where males were coming from. A baby doesn’t just mean adjustment for the mother, it means adjustment for the father too. Male bonding ought to be just as encouraged as female bonding.

    • There are companies that have already extended maternity leave to males – when my grandchildren were born my son took leave to be with those babies – it was truly wonderful and I’m sure that is part of why they are so close today.

  12. unfortunately, she is living the lessons learned as a young girl who is a good girl. i’ve not heard but one comment about her work life nor does she seem to have too many female friends. growing up female in the 50’s and 60’s like i did tried to form me into a compliant and quiet female. i now work in a male dominated sector and have had to learn to think and act more like a man and have had to express myself to get promoted. since i turned 50 years old, it also has become much easier to get what i want and to know what i want. i think growing up male vs. female is a big thing.

    what i dislike are women who expect others – male and female – to do their bidding because they can’t stand up for themselves. i’ve seen this all too often and it is very irritating. so, just don’t think all of us are like this!

    i think mo has found herself in a very priviledged position. i would hate to be her and have all of that scrutiny. it doesn’t help that her handlers release, weekly, fashion photos. i wish she would get involved in something a little more significant in her role.

    • She went from commanding a six figure income to fashionista.

      I really am disappointed that she hasn’t spoken out about an issue like health care where she actually had experience in the private sector.

      • Except her experience was denying health care to people who couldn’t afford it.

        • and her salary bump and job were created for her after her husband became an elected official

          • Even before her salary bump and position change she made a substantial amount of money(still six figures) and had a position at that hospital.

        • Are you sure that is the entirety of her experience? I’m not. I tend to believe most people aren’t heartless and soulless and I would be interested to hearing what went through her mind as an administrator tasked with ejecting people from a system because they lacked insurance. Then again, I don’t think every person who works for the insurance agencies are evil and soulless either. I’d bet most of them wish it was just as lucrative to HELP people as it is to deny claims.

  13. There’s nothing wrong with this post. You made good points, in fact, quite a few.

    One of the best was that attributing mo’s Stepford Lady lifestyle to the patriarchy robs her of her agency. I totally agree. It’s a choice. Witness the contrast to Hillary that jangles made. As far as I can tell, mo has never really taken to hard work–didn’t practice much law, had an arranged hospital job, now ‘first mom.’ Looks like her choice, and a pattern.

    What’s my map? It’s been a stressful and crappy week, so right now I’m not even sure I have one, other than keep my eye on my own agency (love that concept and word), raise my daughter to be the strongest little hell-raiser possible, and keep working with families everyday in the office to minimize sexism and maximize their daughters potential.

    Good post, though I’m sorry to tell you that it was not nearly as disagreeable or egregious as you may have imagined!!

  14. Woman here – and totally in agreement with you, myiq.

    You have to remember that you are fighting against some super strong, like-crack, kool-aid here. If you keep that in mind, you can stay calm when you put forth such good arguments!

    Keep fighting the good fight, mate.

  15. I will never understand the feminist community turning on Hillary.

    If not Hillary, who? Is it that 16 years of right wing, baseless insults about the Clintons seeped into our national psyche to the
    point that feminists and abortion rights advocates, fer chrissake, turned on the most effective feminist in the world?

    It is a total mystery.

    • Actually, I think Nan found a major reason, perhaps the major reason.

      I have only recently realized how much even my mind was warped by the CDS of the Corporate Media, and I knew to despise the Corporate Media and discount what it says. How much more must it have affected, and still affects, those who still trust the Corporate Media?

    • “If not Hillary, who?”

      That’s the billion dollar question, isn’t it?

  16. “And your experience is that of being a woman forced to make “choices” within patriarchal parameters?

    No, my experience is that of a man forced to make “choices” within patriarchal parameters.

    Do you know what that experience is like?

    • Not really myiq, but I have an inkling of what patriarchy has done to men because I have listened carefully to what many have told me.

      But see, the topic was michelle. She is a woman trapped in a traditional role that is quite familiar to many of us. You are missing some of the key points that people were trying to explain. Michelle is not on a level playing field, to this day the only way for a woman to get into the white house is by marriage. And her so called “choices” were to sacrifice her education, her career, her job, and to comply with that traditional role so her husband could be elected or to be her own person and destroy her husband’s political career.

      • Like Hillary destroyed Bill’s?

        I didn’t miss any of the key points. I don’t buy them.

        She’s not trapped, she made a choice.

        BTW – the election was over nearly a year ago. She could be any kind of FLOTUS she wants to be now.

        • Not everyone is Hillary. Hillary is passionate about public policy and used to going through endless amounts of crap. She did it in Arkansas. Michelle hasn’t had to go through that. Maybe she doesn’t want to. Maybe she’s tired. Maybe there’s nothing she’s that passionate about right at the moment. Maybe Obama annoys her by quizzing her on her every move since a lot of his voters want to see her a certain way.

          She can be any kind of FLOTUS depending on how much crap she’s willing to put up with dealing with the Axlerod Axis, and if she wants to take a chance on being the most hated woman in America, with no natural allies–not Repubs, not Obots, not even all PUMAs because hatred of Obama for some becomes hatred of Michelle too.

          • Yes, she made a choice, and it’s an understandable choice. It’s easy to say you’d be fearless and brave and screw the consequences when you’re not in that situation.

          • Choosing the path of least resistance is still a choice.

            Her choices now are narrowed in part due to choices she made long ago. She married a man with political ambitions. She agreed to support those ambitions.

            Sometimes the choices we make don’t turn out the way we planned. Whose fault is that?

          • What? So everything that happens to everyone is a result of their crappy choices?if you’re poor, it’s your fault, you should have chosen to be Oprah. If you get hit by a car, you should have chosen to walk down a different street. If you live in a world where you’re discriminated against, you should have chosen to live in a better one. That makes no sense.

            And that argument could just as easily apply to Hillary. If she wanted to be President, she should never have married a man with political ambitions and then she wouldn’t be dismissed as “the wife.” She should never have become a Democrat knowing they would never accept her as a candidate. Her choices brought her to this place.

          • I’m just taking a big leap of faith here, but I don’t think myiq is saying that there are no outside influences for MO other than MO’s choices. Just a wild guess.

            But in the realm of things you can control, it appears MO has some control here and could certainly do other things if she waned.

          • … or wanted… I’ve really got to slow down on the vodka.

          • She could do different things, but she would pay a big price for it. And while I am the heroine of my own hypotheticals, I don’t know if I could do that. And he keeps minimizing tge ways in which her behavior is constrained by outside forces, and now her own choices appear to be to blame. (Note tge part about her agency and how it’s a cop out to suggest otherwise.)

          • Her own choices from the past appear to be the only limiting factor on her current choices, I mean.

          • A big price is kind of a relative thing. I’m sure there are a lot of pressures. And I’m sure the biggest one is she really wants to support her husband in any way she can given the job he’s taken on. And since she’s no elected I’m sure she’s always very aware of how things can be perceived if she tries to do too much too.

            In the end I certainly don’t fault her for doing nothing at all. But then if she does little or nothing at all she nor her fans should not expect much in return.

            If on the other hand she wants to do something big and bold and brave, then she can expect a lot of heat and trouble, but then she might get something in return too.

          • There are no guarantees and there will always be forces beyond our control.

            But we all have choices we make that affect us later in life.

            Study – not study.

            Stay in school – drop out.

            Use drugs – stay clean.

            Have sex – don’t have sex

            use protection – take a chance on pregnancy and/or STD’s

            Every choice we make is a potential fork in the road of life.

            I’ve made lots of bad choices in my life. Some of them seemed like a good idea at the time.

            I’ve seen men who ran up student loans to get an education, got married, had kids, acquired a mortgage and bills, then discovered they hated their job but they couldn’t afford to quit.

          • She might get something in return, but she might not. It’s a question how much she could realistically accomplish with everyone against her. Maybe a lot, bur that’s a giant question mark. And again, she has no natural constituency. Palin’s Republican supporters mostly hate Obama too much to not go after her as well. Same with many PUMAs. Obots? Don’t make me laugh. 🙂

            I agree that a big price is relative, but I’m guessing that have two major political parties plus tge entire press corps treating you like Medusa ain’t easy.

            Yes, everybody makes choices, the question is why we have to beat up on her. She’s not really doing anything except not being Hillary, if that’s so bad most of us are failures.

          • I mean again, she’s married to Obama. Isn’t that punishment enough for anyone?

          • I’m not beating up on her. Until I see evidence to the contrary I’m assuming she is where she wants to be.

        • I think FLOTUS can always make a choice. There is a lot of variety in the way women in that position have handled it, or not. Although we saw a pile of misogyny in the election, I think a FLOTUS has some room to roam and can chart a course for herself today probably more than in the past.

    • I freely admit I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman. I don’t have a vagina, I never menstruated, never been pregnant, never missed a period and worried about being pregnant.

      I’ve been a guy all my life, and known lots of other guys. I have personally experienced and observed the contortions that men go through in relationships with women.

      I was raised by a single mom (who is also a feminist) and have have sisters. I was married twice and have been in 3 other long-term relationships. I have had women bosses and my faculty advisor in college was a feminist history professor.

      Is it easier to be a guy? Maybe, but since I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman i can’t say for sure. But I will point out we die younger and have a higher rate of suicide. I’m not complaining or claiming to be a victim, but being a guy isn’t all rainbows and puppies.

      Are women subject to greater pressure than men? Probably, but who is responsible for that? How much of the pressure is applied by other women?

      • I say we blame the psychologists that insist on stereotyping masculine and feminine behaviors. 😉

        (ducking so bostonboomer doesn’t hit me)

      • I have been extremely successful in traditionally male-dominated leadership positions and have/had the respect of my peers and subordinates.

        • I understand that part. I’m a Hillary supporter, and she was far better than Obama and people still claimed he was better qualified.

        • Women tend to be emergent leaders as opposed to leaders by virtue of title or appointment. This is because their leadership is the result of others recognizing their abilities and choosing to follow. Men on the other hand are often given the benefit of the doubt where qualification is concerned, even with little to base it on.

          In other words, women have to prove they are qualified; many men are given the benefit of the doubt.

          In a contest of equals, men invariably get the preference. This is where the support of men is critical. Mentoring and championing women. I started a post a while back on this issue and haven’t had time to finish it. One day…

  17. Step # 1). ALL women need to open their eyes and vote for real transformational women leaders when the opportunity presents and not opt for the man because of his gender.

    We had a once in a generation chance to advance our cause as women, yet how many of our gender piled on in the attempt to eliminate her from the race?

    • Far too many women piled on and I can’t understand it at all. As a man, though I was married to a feminist for close to 20 years and have daughters, I honestly have no good idea what it’s like to grow up female or to live without heterosexual male privilege.

      Empathy will only get a man so far and that’s where I am now. Supporting and voting for women candidates seems to be the best way to make a difference in our world, so that’s my schtick.

  18. The “Note: Some people will find this post very offensive and will be enraged. I don’t give a fuck.” hook and the Beatles tune got my attention so I read the whole thing and some of the comments. Here’s my 2 cents worth.

    I don’t care what Michelle Obama does or doesn’t do “for the community” because I’m too busy living where I live. I’m old enough to have gone through all the “bra-burning” days of Gloria Steinam(sp? been awhile)and I’m hearing the same ole refrain from women much younger than I am here some forty years later. Where’s the progress, I ask myself, and why depend on the Obama and Clinton women to guide when all you have to do is lead forth with your own first stride? Having been raised with three brothers and a Dad I got an early look at the male psyche and it didn’t scare me. Joining the Navy when I was twenty-one gave me the experience of being a woman in a man’s world on steroids(boy, I’ve been waiting for a reason to use that phrase! LOL). Anyway, when men and women have to explain themselves they’ve already gone down for the count. Be yourself, treat others with respect and don’t hang onto another person for your identity….you’ll be fine.

  19. I feel I have some appreciation of what the patriarchy does also to men. I grew up with brothers who were closer than my sisters, and I have a grown son. The system warps both men and women.

    Regarding Michelle’s choice of how to handle her role as First Lady. (I seem to recall being warned that we were gong to have a strong, out-spoken, etc FL.):

    The thing that strikes me is that First Ladies usually pursue things that they have been doing and interested in all along, whether it is historical preservation, reading, woman’s issues, etc. In her case, she seems phony to me because all the things she ‘represents’ are not things she seems to ever have cared about before. She was not even a stay at home Mom. Now she is Mom in chief. She had no interest in fashion before. Now it is her seeming identity.
    Suddenly she is interested in gardening.

    Personally, I think that she was the awkward, unattractive, not so popular girl in high school and now she is living out her adolescent fantasies of being popular. It actually seems kind of immature to me. (Hillary has got her wardrobe down to a science so that she does not have to spend hours and days on her outfits. )

    We have all, in some way, paid a price for growing up in the system. But, like the man said, blaming doesn’t help us get anywhere. It may help to draw a distinction between what we do to ourselves, and what we are dealing with around us, but that is just taking the lay of the land.

  20. I don’t know how to explain being a feminist in the 70s. Even now I marvel that women grabbed the opportunity and ran with it. I can’t cite the congressman, but one of the sponsors of the civil rights bill didn’t think it had a ghost of a chance to pass so as a joke threw in “women.”

    There was a bunch of things to change. Women formed an organization and worked together to end discrimination and to push for equality, wrote articles and books about feminist theory, and protested for changes in laws, especially reproductive rights.

    Then the backlash began, and the ERA was never passed. People, women, have been working on undoing what has been accomplished.

    Yet, whenever I get down about the current situation, I think about the millions of women and voters who came together and cast their vote for Hillary Clinton. There’s still life in the movement.

  21. Howard W. Smith (D-Va) was the name of the congressman. At Alice Paul’s urgings, Smith included gender as a protective category in the Civil Rights bill. His purpose was to make it unacceptable. It produced gales of laughter when presented for discussion in committee.

  22. When I entered the education profession in the 60’s, every school Supt. in the state of CA seemed to be a male and mostly white; every high school principal seemed to be cut from the same mold along with the Jr. High (no Middle Schools in those days) and even primary grades (a scattering of females but still very, very small). When I got my first job as an administrator there were 33 members of the “management team” district-wide; two of us were female. Now it is at least 50/50 in most districts, if not an edge to women in some places. The number of women Drs. and attorneys in the 60s had an even more strikingly white male pattern. Today it is very easy in CA to find women Drs including specialists in such fields as cardiology, oncology and surgeons; female attorneys are prevalent in all major areas of the law. We have made “tremendous” progress. In this economic downturn on stat is apparently emerging—women have maintained at a higher rate than males and their pay has also maintained. Look at how many more women are in the House and the Senate, mayors, city councils, school boards. We may have a long way to go but we have made progress. But career progress may just reveal another dimension of the feminine experience—-what you must leave behind when you pursue a career. And maybe that is the next leg of the journey.

    • Our numbers aren’t nearly representative of our population in the Federal government. There are 17 female Senators. The House is a little better but still the 75 constitute only 17%.

      What must you leave behind?

  23. What you said. Including the MO critique.

  24. My favorite news item today—Dems move to legalize internet gambling and tax it to pay for healthcare. Folks this will be like the lotteries all the states have to pay for schools—and such funds contribute about maybe 3%.

  25. look like cought the tail end of this post

  26. Love the cartoon by the way. I’m going to start using that saying as an excuse from now on.

  27. It’s a well reasoned post myiq2xu. It all boils down to making choices, applicable to both men and women. But having made a choice, whatever the outcome, it should also be an individual responsibility to contend with all the consequences–anticipated or not. As the saying goes: “you make your bed, lie in it.” It is just somewhat annoying to listen to people complain about unintended consequences.

    • The problem is that for women (and we can say this about the AA population as well) for a long time it wasn’t about choice. Women are still playing catch up for the period of time when it was unacceptable for them to have a voice in things.

  28. I grew up in an era when men were supposed to be the support of the family and the little woman cooked,cleaned and raised the kids. You notice I said supposed to not really how it was. Women have always worked and were paid less as it was looked on as working for luxuries only. That was not real either. Leave it to Beaver was a tv show not real life.
    Something that has always annoyed me was women who had no idea of economics and believed that the man should be in charge of the money. If the man died or left they were lost.
    I taught my daughters to stand on their own two feet and it is not what happens to you, it is how you handle what happens to you. Marriage ishould be an equal partnership both contributing to it. Equal respect is one ot the most important parts of partnerships. If one makes more money the other has many options to contribute for the common good.
    I have worked most of my life in male dominated fields and learned to draw lines to be respected.
    Women have brains, talents and common sense and no excuse not to use them.



    • My first year in college I took a required course called “human sexuality”

      The instructor (a woman) told the women (many of them 18 y.o. freshmen) that they should never count on a man.

      She said “He could leave you, he could die, he could become disabled. Make your own life.”

      • Never counting on someone sounds very lonely.

        • It doesn’t mean you have to be lonely – it just means you should be self-reliant.

          • I think that sometimes self reliance isn’t practical or at least what this society’s definition of self reliance is.

            My husband RELIES on me to take care of the progeny we share together.

            I RELY on him to provide an income for us to live off of.

            Once the equation has more than 2 adults in it, things get a little murky. Particularly since every year I have some article proclaiming my job is worth something like $300,000 but I don’t get paid a dime for it.

          • I would advise you to maintain a life and disability policy on your husband. I would advise that to anyone who is financially dependent on someone else.

            Knock on wood it won’t be needed but ask yourself where would you be if something happened.

          • Yes, and how many women dropped out of school to get jobs to finance their husband’s education because he couldn’t finish otherwise and his job prospects were better than hers, then get dumped and find themselves totally screwed without a degree? I live near a whole bunch of colleges, you hear this all the time.

          • That misnested, but whatever

          • CWaltz
            You contribute a lot to the marriage. Railroad marriages are some of the hardest to maintain. He could not work the hours required without you. You make a home for him to come to after many hours of working.You are the one when the children need help and he is on a two or three day run.
            Women contribute more than given credit for. Money is only one part of a partnership and one part of the contribution to the common good of the family.



          • It’s a good idea to have life insurance on both parents.

            With 4 kids we are pretty co dependant on each other. He’d be hard pressed to replace me if something happened to me. He’d be spending a pretty chunk of change to get live in child care since his hours are so odd(requiring him to be on the road for days rather than hours) and lord only knows what other woman would put up with obsessions with Harley Davidsons and guns. 😉

          • On the other side of the coin, When my kids were growing up I made more money then my husband. When I went to work for the railroad there were times when I worked 16 hours days for weeks at a time and traveled adding more hours.
            Without my husband having a daylight job and being home with my kids at night , I could not have worked those hours. Both have to contribute in many ways to make life good for the whole family. Both have to make sacrifices. There is no such thing as ” normal” every marriage requires different things from both people.
            Women have to be self relient in order to have a good life for themselves and their families.



      • MiQ — this was the message given to women in our gen. It really was. I grew up with a single mother too, and one brother.

        Our gen is where the nuclear family split apart in the 60’s — 70’s.
        Our gen is also vocal. I’m glad you are!

        I’m pretty sure you fit with RD and I in that we worked our you know whats off when we got those BAs and then again for the rest. We never got freebies and maybe we were the first to even get degrees in the family?

        There are millions like us in the tail end boom gen. Millions.
        As we entered the workforce we were all “equal” — and so?
        We are in this gen…

        Like you said above our gen has multiple relationships — it’s just the times and the times we grew up…

        I don’t think we thought we could count on each other once — but in here we can, so, bravo to you for what you write and brava to Violet as well. I saw the piece you refer to.

        I think it is ridiculous to bash “white males” from this gen — because this is an “equal” gen? Seriously. Everyone in this gen has worked really hard usually at more than one career in their lives — that means everyone of all races. We all went to school together!
        We did.

        And that Beatles song? Well, that was a theme song for us as kids…It really was.

    • Unfortunately there are putzes out there that don’t think it is or should be an equal partnership. They cite the Bible and claim it is our place to be subserviant. The other day Seriously made the comment that marriage is a leap of faith. Indeed it is because while I do indeed contribute a great deal to our household as a housewife, that value is diminished in the outside world. I am always mindful of the fact that if something were to happen that I’d likely be facing lower wages due to the fact I am not nor have I been in the workforce for several years.

    • Fortunately for me, I grew up in a society where women usually took charge of the family budget–the man was supposed to work and turn over his paycheck to the wife who took charge of the household–food, clothing, children, etc. My most unforgettable quote from my mother was: “no man should be indispensable in your life.” And my father believed in sending all of his daughters to college (we had an equal number of boys and girls in the family.) My father was born in 1907 and my mother in 1911. I guess I could say that they were ahead of their time in thinking.

  29. “Yes, and how many women dropped out of school to get jobs to finance their husband’s education . . .”

    I think women should be more selfish and cold-blooded at key points in relationships.

    When Michael Douglas wanted Catherine Zeta-Jones to marry him and have his babies, she demanded a pre-nup that guaranteed if they divorced that he would pay her the money she would lose while she was making babies instead of movies.

    Then she made a movie (Traffic) while she was pregnant – they wrote her pregnancy into the script.

    If the guy wants her to support him while he goes to school she should say “gimme a contract in writing” If he doesn’t dump her the contract won’t cost him a dime.

    • Some of what occurred with Catherine Zeta was the product of the fact that she married him after he screwed around on his first wife with her. It isn’t any wonder she’d be a bit mercenary going into a marriage knowing that fidelity could become an issue.

      • She didn’t rely on promises in the dark. She made him write them down and sign his name to them.

        • Yes but she actually had cause going in to mistrust him and his commitment to marriage(as evidenced by his first marriage).

          Furthermore, I think in thier case they both started out with quite a bit to lose.

          Alot of times going into the marriage both parties don’t have much and what is amassed is amassed in the marriage. It’s a bit different to call a time out in the marriage and demand that now that you have amassed things that the marriage be renegotiated to include a contract.

  30. Here’s the better question. Would Obama be the President today if Michelle hadn’t kicked his ass up the ladder? I don’t think so. She was HIS boss when she met him. Honestly, looking at his laid-back (bipartisan) attitude he barely seems to give a shit about anything. Another weak man propped up by a strong woman. All the way to the presidency.

    Too bad she doesn’t know what to do now. (Besides wearing clothes that are too young for her and don’t suit her). I guess her work is done. She can retire now. She’s certainly doing everything she can to avoid being that awful… eewww… last Democratic First Lady.

  31. Michelle hosted a WH event on The spoken word.

    I prefer to focus on what Michelle says, even though the media and brand Obama does not.

    • Ir may shock you but I don’t think very highly of BO

      I think MO is smarter and has more character.

      BO is 2-dimensional, she is 3-dimensional.

      I’m not saying i like her, I’m saying I have more respect for her.

      • I have always thought MO is more compelling than her teleprompter husband. I believe her when she was on the View and called Barack pathetic — she meant empathetic, but I believe the ‘pathetic’ version 🙂

        • Empathetic? I don’t think so. She was on the View for goodness sakes. What were they discussing? Obama picking up his dirty socks or something equally important. She called him pathetic. She didn’t mean it in derogatory manner. She was just “hanging” with the girls. She did not mean to say empathetic and didn’t. Unless he feels his dirty sock’s pain.

          • the context was Barbara asking Michelle how she reacted when Barack decided to run for president, and Michelle said at first she didn’t want him to run, she didn’t even want him to go into “mean” politics, that she knew that this man that she loved, he’s “sweet and pathetic” (or “sweet, empathetic” if you go by the clarification that the View gals and Michelle made the moment she said it.)

            the View gals did ask her whether Barack took out the garbage later on, and Michelle’s response was… “ehhhh, no” … LOL

      • she is a much more forceful speaker than her husband the great Orator

        whether you agree or disagree, she makes more of an impression when she talks/

        she doesn’t soar to nowhere.

        • I agree, but then again a lot of people act like she’s dumb. I don’t see why at all. I mean yes, he’s an idiot, and she married him, but we all make mistakes. 🙂

          but to me, that’s another indication of “It sucks to be FLOTUS.” She’s an idiot like her husband! She’s much smarter but wasting her genius on having tea parties! I hate the way she dresses–b—–! She’s too decorative! She’s not pretty enough!

          It’s like the contrarian tennis match.

    • The spoken word?

      • the Obamas had a poetry jam at the WH –billed as “an evening of poetry, music, and the spoken word.”

        skip the Barack part at the beginning, it’s boring as usual

        the Michelle part starts at the 1:45 mark

  32. OT: Looks like Strategic Vision might have been cooking the books with their polling data. Someone did some detailed analysis and saw some interesting patterns.



  33. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re saying, myiq. Of course women have some control over who they choose to be, even under patriarchy, and definitely some women more than others. What I think happened at the other site was that more and more commenters venting about MO’s wardrobe started to sound to a few women like the sexism that comes too easily, even among feminists, in this male dominant culture. Like when the first word that rises to your lips about a woman you disapprove of is that she’s a b*tch — and dammit if no other phrasing sounds quite as right as that. Yes, MO used sexism and lies to attack Hillary, but it’s wrong to follow suit. These women felt conflicted and guilty about that, and then you walked in. Bullseye! You were cast as the designated hate receptacle so that Michelle Obama could become the heroine in a Lifetime TV movie.


    • Her clothing taste isn’t the same as mine but I don’t really see that as a reason to dislike someone. Not when I can dislike her for stuff like her disgusting attitude about blaming a woman for a man’s infidelity or for failing to use your experience and influence to impact an issue like health care and work towards giving every child the same kind of care her children enjoy right now.

      • Making fun of her lack of taste in clothes is the FUN part — this is what humans do — look at and judge what others wear. Mrs.0zero got where she is on the BACKS of the hard working feminists of the 60s and 70s.

        She also had some face work — compare some of the photos of her from a few years ago with her “face” today.

        She is mostly devoid of grace and of style — and she seems to be too bull headed to try to learn how to find her own style. Her clothes say volumes about her self centered, self involved character. She is like the “democratic” Phylis Shafely (sp?) — she got hers now you other women STFU.

        I do NOT like her because she is a r@cist — her senior thesis is all I need to know about her character. If I had young children I would never allow them to be anywhere near her — kids know when someone hates them because of the color of their skin.

        • Meh, I don’t find critiquing fashion that fun. When I was younger I really enjoyed fashion but I daresay there were people who would have criticized my clothing choices(hint: I was a size 2 who could get away with wearing lycra and did so).

          Personally it always irked me when people judged me for what I wore rather than who I was on the inside, (male or female) so maybe that is why I am less inclined to go that route.

          At the end of the day, I don’t find enough substance to her one way or the other to develop any feelings for her other than the original antipathy I felt for her during the primary. I might feel differently if I got the impression that she was fighting strongly for children and mothers facing important issues day after day like health care or economic hardship. Instead she gives me the impression she is very removed from the day to day struggles facing this country.

          • Is that that stuff that they used to make leotards and biking shorts? Was this the 80’s? 🙂

          • Yep. I had a very nice figure pre kids and I flaunted it. I was twisted enough to get my kicks making the boys drool.

  34. I’m not fond of Michelle, mostly because she always looks a little angry, for no reason. And she was involved in what I consider a corrupt deal with that hospital in Chiago.

    But I see no reason to get mad at her for not being an Eleanor Roosevelt, just as there was no reason to get mad at Bess Truman for not being an Eleanor Roosevelt. Personalities differ. That’s life.

  35. myiq — I don’t become outraged at anything you write because I know you haven’t lived it. Many women do take responsibility for themselves and we do want men to support our efforts for equality.

    Women are up against what’s written in the Bible, in religious tradition, in tribal tradition, in tradition, and you see what a force that’s been in the past millennium. Blacks and homosexuals fight this same tradition. The Civil Rights Act listed groups that needed protection from this tradition, or the patriarchy. Violence towards them has been perpetrated by white heterosexual men for the most part. Garyinchapelhill wrote a post at his site about a man who was attacked as he walked toward a gay bar; he later died and the attacker received a very light sentence. Homosexuals’ and women’s outrage is breaking out again, or so I hope.

    If you can’t understand what these groups are up against in changing the system then there’s nothing more that I can say about this subject as a woman. O, maybe a few more things. While your comments about your experience under the patriarchy may be interesting, they’re really beside the point. Women did act by supporting Hillary Clinton against all the odds. There are global initiatives for girls and women occurring with much more interest and support than ever before. And finally Michelle is not a feminist and the Alliance for Girls and Women that Jarrett heads is a sham.

  36. Just what exactly is new here? What precisely does this thread offer that in anyway has been different since the Greeks?…or since man and woman decided to move from cave A …to Cave B to Cave C?

    This thread offers repetitious drivel…and that …whether from any one of all of these “socialological” models of groups or all…
    In other words…clearly …to me..it matters not what sort of sexual combinatio wrote this…drivel from anyone of them…

  37. Violet Socks is having a fundraiser to pay the bills at Reclusive Leftist.


  38. Shorter myqi2xu:

    1. “Everything is about me.’

    2. “I will hate and deny #1 with all my being.”

  39. Myiq, I agree 100%, and I’m proud of you for being brave enough to state your case. We’re all in this together, and it goes back to my post on race, divisiveness doesn’t help anyone. You can scream about a lot of “isms” but you’re only divisive, and not focusing on the fact that we’re all human beings.

  40. The reason she’s playing a stepford wife is because every time she opens her mouth some hateful, obnoxious or ridiculous statement comes out of it. Nothing to do with the patriarchy. Jmo.

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