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So what ARE the best jobs for women, then?

18 Sep

It’s kind of funny to see how confused the crew over at Jezebel is in response to this very strange article by Erin Gloria Ryan.  Erin argues that women should NOT go to business school because it will delay their reproductive plans, will offer no real economic value and besides, business schools are filled with douchey frat boys who are all majoring in how to be a dick.

frat

Spending time when you could be having babies… um, not having babies puts you years behind your peers who stayed in the workforce.

A Vanderbilt study found that mothers who graduate from élite institutions are more likely to opt out than graduates of less selective ones, particularly when those women have M.B.A.s. Another Harvard study found that among Harvard college graduates with professional degrees, women with M.B.A.s have the lowest labor force participation rates.

If anything, when a young woman considering a Harvard M.B.A. looks at the choices of her predecessors, she should be even more skeptical of the value of the degree.

http://jezebel.com/how-to-talk-your-girl-friends-out-of-going-to-business-1335667292

I think is my favorite comment:

PietachokUvanillabean48101L

I second the opinion that this [article] is disgusting. If it was intended to be satire, the effect has been lost in the offensive down-talking…and the lack of humor. You can say a lot of this same stuff about any graduate education, but where would we be if every woman listened to this instead of her goals & interests.

Indeed, VanillaBean.  Where would we be?

Why, we might be in the sort of society that recognizes that women’s ambitions and skills tend to differ from men’s, and that we are doing a piss-poor job as a culture in talking to women honestly about what their true “goals and interests” are likely to be.

bullet

What Erin hit on, almost certainly inadvertently although maybe not, is that women with advanced business degrees find that those degrees give them an opportunity to dodge a bullet they didn’t know was coming:  they can choose to be full-time mothers, and most of them do exactly that.

Why does an advanced business degree give women that choice?

Because the degree puts them in contact with high-income men, or men with the potential to earn a high income.  Grad school is an excellent place to earn an MRS, and the kinds of jobs women with newly minted MBAs get lands them in a large pool of high-income men aka “investment banks”.

Win-win, right?

Not really, because the fact that women with business degrees find themselves actually having a choice when it comes to deciding how to raise their families comes down to LUCK.  The vast majority of women in business school probably think they’re going to kick-start some kind of awesome “career”, but when the first little bundle arrives, they realize cubicles SUCK and home is where they really want to be.

http://workplaceflexibility.org/images/uploads/program_papers/goldin_-_the_career_cost_of_family.pdf

We are doing such an enormous disservice to men and women alike when we teach women their “goals and interests” should be the primary motivating factor in deciding what to study at college, and then following that up with some giant lies about what those goals and interests will be.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/09/06/where-feminism-went-wrong-oh-i-dont-know-maybe-with-that-whole-men-suck-and-lets-tell-young-women-a-giant-pack-of-lies-strategy-just-a-thought/

So let’s talk specifics.  Let’s begin with the assumption that almost all women will want to be out of the workforce when they have young children at home.

What kinds of jobs make sense for women who plan on taking a huge chunk of time off?  Obviously, the jobs dominated by men are off the table, because we NEED those jobs to be done or society as we know it simply collapses.

When women enter male dominated professions, two things tend to happen:  the wages that normally accompany those professions begin to decline, and we end up needing MORE workers in that occupational category.

Why? Because women don’t work as many hours as men.

drs

Medicine is great example of that.  Women now make up half the nation’s medical students, but once the ladies do the math, their ambitions take a sharp turn.  Four years of pre-med is usually complete around 22 years of age.  Another four years of med school takes them to 26 years of age.  Add two years of residency on top of that just to qualify as a GP and the lady doctors are suddenly seeing the wall looming directly in front of them.  Another four to eight years to qualify as a specialist, and most of them can kiss husbands, kids and families goodbye.

Instead, they quit at the GP level, and then argue for fewer hours, so they can spend more time with their children.  It takes two women GPs to cover the patient base of one man.  Obviously, wages decline for each individual doctor.

It’s been proven repeatedly—female doctors “will not work the same hours or have the same lifespan of contributions to the medical system as males”

http://www.macleans.ca/science/health/article.jsp?content=20080102_122329_6200

Women physicians make less than male physicians because women traditionally choose lower-paying jobs in primary care fields or they choose to work fewer hours.

Even when women ARE specialists, they still make less money than men.  Because sexism?  Nope.  Because they accept lower wages in exchange for time.

…female doctors were taking less pay in exchange for regular schedules or other family-friendly benefits

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/03/us-doctors-pay-gap-idUSTRE71215F20110203

It’s not really a problem until you consider the enormous expense of training doctors, and then combine that with needing to train twice as many women doctors to replace retiring male physicians.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10101276/Female-doctors-who-work-part-time-after-having-children-put-NHS-under-strain.html

As long as women understand that they WILL and SHOULD make less money than their male counterparts, owing to the fact that their hearts will always be more firmly in the kitchen than the operating room, I have no problem with women as doctors.

In fact, I think it’s a pretty sensible choice, because it gives women an unassailable credential that they can use to transition back to the workforce when and how they like.

Credentials.  That is what women should be striving for.  Something, that once you have, you have for good.  Credentials are what give women choices.

ca

The single most sensible credential I think any woman can pursue is an accounting designation.  An accounting designation (CA, CMA, CGA, CPA) gives women enormous career flexibility, and requires only a minimum amount of maintenance to remain in effect. Accountants work in every industry, from 80-hour-a week-big-name accounting firms to hang-out-a-shingle and do the books for the local cornerstore.

You work when you want to work, and you can ramp up when you have finished the business of raising a family.

Accounting and medicine are not the only occupations with credentials.  There are lots of them.  Go to beauty school and become a hairdresser, by all means.  You can cut hair and do foil highlights in your kitchen while the kids are little and work for the big salon when they hit grade school.  Some credentials you don’t even need to go to school to earn.  C++ or Java programming languages can be learned on-line.  For FREE.

http://abstrusegoose.com/249

Do some recreational programming or work for a charity part time while the kids are little to keep your skills up to date and then consider full-time employment later on.

The point is that women should PLAN to be out of the workforce while their children are little.  If that doesn’t happen, well, fine.  But at least you have a choice.

Of course, Operation Raise Your Own Children requires one tiny little upgrade:  women will need to financially rely on a man.  Preferably a husband.  Who is preferably actually the father of the children she is at home raising.

And here is where we run into a massive, massive problem.

Women have been taught to hate and fear men and to never rely on them for anything.  Which would be funny if it weren’t so blindingly, enragingly stupid.  Our whole fucking society relies on men.  Water, power, communications, protection, transportation – they are all designed, implemented, operated, maintained and repaired by men, and since the lights continue to go on and shelves in the grocery store continue to be stocked, it looks like men can indeed be relied upon.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/09/17/what-would-happen-if-no-men-showed-up-for-work-today/

Last night, after following the commentary on yesterday’s article, my husband and I were discussing MGOTW.  Men who are simply opting out of marriage and family altogether, which as Goober points out has benefits for individual men, but is completely ruinous for society.

My husband came up with a good analogy, I think.

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Let’s say you’re a black man or woman, and your whole life, all you have dreamed about is becoming a doctor.  You dream of saving other people’s lives.  It’s not just a “want”, it’s a calling.  A force within you that cannot be ignored.

But there’s a hitch.

At any time, any one of your white patients can legally enslave you.  Just apply for personal ownership, and boom, you’re a slave now.

Would you still be a doctor?

I figure that’s what MGTOW boils down to, and the men are saying “hell no, not a fucking chance”.

It’s easy to say “the laws have to change”, and I’ve trotted out that little truism myself.  But what laws?  And how should they change?  We can make divorce harder, but will that stop women from divorcing?  We can make custody agreements more fair, but will that stop women from destroying their families? We can outlaw alimony and enforce a more fair division of assets, but will that stop women from dividing up the assets?

Not likely.

Women have always had one power that men will never have:  the power to give birth to new life.

pregnant

I think that’s where the solution will need to originate.  Some mechanism to mitigate against that power.  The idea of robo-wombs makes me ill, quite frankly, because it’s all too easy to imagine a nightmarish Matrix scenario of rows and rows of human beings coming into existence without the profound human connection pregnancy entails.

But reliable, reversible male birth control.  That could be a very real solution.  No woman can become pregnant without the explicit permission of the man she wishes to father her child.  Pre-gestational agreements determining who gets custody of the child in the event of relationship breakdown could be an amazing bargaining chip.  The role of the law would simply be enforcing those agreements.

If we wrest the power to control the creation of life from women’s hands, and make certain that power is shared, we may have a solution to men’s unwillingness to be enslaved at the whim of women.

Let all the divorce and custody and division of assets laws stand as they are.  Pre-nuptial agreements, when carried out properly, can circumvent all those laws.  Pre-gestational agreements can do the same.  Women who wait until the last minute to get pregnant will be making themselves more amenable to fair agreements, and any woman who knows she will lose custody of her children should she decide to trade in for Husband 2.0 because 1.0 just isn’t doing it for her anymore will have cause to reconsider.

couch

If co-habiting couples can agree on who gets the IKEA couch when they break up, before they have even moved in together, why not have agreements about who keeps the house and the kids BEFORE the kids are even conceived?

http://www.salon.com/2010/02/23/up_with_the_pre_prenup/

Well, this post took a detour from my original intention, which was to spell out for women how to plan their lives assuming they WILL take time off from work, but it all makes sense at the end of the day.  Women can’t make any plans of the sort without a man to rely on, and men have approximately zero incentive to financially support a woman for years upon years when the result can be utterly ruinous for him.

Male birth control.

That’s where we should be throwing our healthcare dollars.  The ramifications could be life-altering, for all of us.

Sadly, BigPharma isn’t interested in the most promising avenues of research, because BigPharma makes a lot of money selling pills to women every month.

http://www.parsemusfoundation.org/vasalgel-home/

Perhaps BigPharma is being a little short-sighted, though.  Once men understand just what kind of power a reliable, reversible method of birth control gives them, you might see every last fertile man in the nation lined up for a dose.

And that’s a lot of customers.

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.

Michael LeBoeuf

Women better be brushing up on their own strategy, not only in terms of their jobs, but in terms of negotiating how that baby is going to arrive.  There won’t be any “oopsie I forgot to take my pill” bullshit once we have true equality in birth control.

 

Equality.  That’s the goal, isn’t it?

 

Lots of love,

JB

What would happen if no men showed up for work today?

17 Sep

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about what would happen if no men showed up to work today.  For certain, the trains would stop running.  But before we get into that, I want to tell you a bit about how I came to be – how I came to think the way I do.

famrer

I credit my father, first and foremost.  My father failed in so many ways, but one thing he did perfectly was provide. He could coax food out of the barest patch of earth; he could collect a swarm of wild bees and turn them into gallons and gallons of honey; he could take a bush and make it flower; he could take a cow or a goat or a chicken and make the foolish creature love him.  My childhood was blighted by religious-based violence centered on the concept of breaking a child’s will so they might better accept the will of God, but that is not the reason I am atheist.  If God had been presented to me in a better light, someone who wasn’t keen on beating children unconscious, I still don’t believe I would be one of the faithful.  God makes no rational sense to me.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/06/16/first-i-feared-him-then-i-loathed-him-then-i-forgave-him-and-now-i-take-care-of-him-the-story-of-my-father-and-me/

And if I am one thing, it is rational.

What my father did was instill indelibly in my mind that his role was to provide.  I never thought of that in terms of love.  Only in terms of material goods, which amounted to food and shelter and clothing in our sparse, dirt farm existence, and my Dad was a genius at providing those things.  My mother and I turned the goods of his labor into “value-added” products, to be certain, but we would have had no flour to mill, no butter to churn, no eggs to collect, no firewood to burn, no cookies and cakes and breads and loaves to sell without him.

My most basic understanding of men is that they keep you from starving or freezing to death.

My three brothers played a key role in that they made me appreciate my chores were so much easier.  At no point would I have ever traded churning butter or kneading bread with pitching out stalls or baling hay.

chores

From my brothers I learned that men do the hard, shitty work, and tedious is nothing compared to physically brutal.

My husband’s grandmother played a curiously central role in who I am, too.  The Queen was the sort of woman who showed up for Sunday dinner dressed in elegant suits with her hair perfectly coiffed and pantyhose and heels and lipstick exquisitely applied, and I really, honestly, expected her to hate me with my worn denims and flannel shirts and practical flat shoes and penchant for the saltier forms of the English language.

old woman

But she didn’t.

While Mr. JB and I were still dating, she gave me two pieces of advice that are with me to this day.

Friends of the family were expecting and everyone was all excitement and anticipation, which is utterly lovely.  A discussion about the mother and working and how to get the baby sleeping through the corporate night ensued, and the Queen blessed me with two morsels of wisdom.

compass

On the subject of maternal guilt, she said, “People hardly ever feel guilty about doing the right thing, now do they?  Let guilt be your compass, letting know you are headed in the wrong direction”.

And gazing upon a sturdy tome of Popular Childcare Manual, she said, “Honey, the baby IS the book.  If 50 000 years of evolution isn’t good enough for you, then I don’t know what is.  You do what the baby tells you to do and you can’t go wrong. It’s important to have an open mind about scientific advances, but not so open your brains fall out onto the sidewalk.”

The Queen passed away before our first child was born, and I will never forget the look on her face when we left her in the hospital, after a devastating stroke left her immobile and incommunicative. She was tied to a bed with her hair dishevelled, wearing one of those awful gaping hospital robes, and the look in her eyes was so very clear:

No.  Please no.  Please kill me.  I do not want to live like this.

And I knew then I loved her.  The Queen was gone, although her body was present.  I would have killed her, had the law permitted it.

Obviously, I didn’t.

Dignitas-in-Switzerland-007

It made me realize that even though the Dowager, the Queen’s Daughter and Mr.JB’s mother has been no peach to deal with, I will never let her spend her last years in a home with messy hair and crinkled clothes.  I won’t kill her, obviously, but she will spend her last moments looking like herself, surrounded by the people she loves and no “career” in the world will make her comfort and care irrelevant to me.

love

And obviously, the same goes for Mr. JB’s father, and my own.  They will end their days in the company of those they nurtured into love, no matter how clumsily they effected the emotion.

Mr. JB’s mother and grandmother made me realize that the single most important thing I can contribute to the world is love.  If every family made loving one another a priority, then the bonds of family would become the single most important “wealth” we can pursue.  It used to be that way.  It can be that way again. But families aren’t families without men.

And that is where we have gone off the rails.

The birth of my own son is what brought that home to me forcefully.  Our first child was a fearful, cautious child by nature.  She was born clinging to me and it took more than a year before she stopped freaking out every time the phone rang. Her baby brain took any sudden sound to mean the world was surely coming to an end, and she responded appropriately:  by screaming her head off.

LittleDude is so totally different.  He was born calm and curious and totally open to anything the world had to throw at him.  It took a long time before Pinky would let Grandma hold her for any length of time, but LittleDude was happy as long as there were warm arms around him.

toddler

As a toddler, he would go up to any man in the park, and ask to be picked up when he got tired.

“Daddy, pick me up”.  He called them all “Daddy”.

I used to joke with my husband that I was the “single mom whose kid got no male attention” at the park, because LittleDude just loved men and he showed no fear of them whatsoever. He would happily snuggle up with the homeless guy with the puppy, which forced me to confront some uncomfortable truths.

I would try to coax LittleDude away from these men, who never behaved in any manner that alarmed me, other than simply being men.  Who were they?  I don’t know.  War vets.  Chronic alcoholics. Men whom society had discarded, and the confusion I could see in my son’s face when I would try to pull him away made me examine where I was getting my ideas from.

I’ve never been the hysterical “someone is gonna kidnap my child” sort of person.  That happens so rarely, it’s not a rational belief.  It would make more sense to worry that he might be struck by lightning or swept away by a tornado.  I was afraid of those men because they were men.

And I didn’t want my son to grow up thinking that men are something bad.  I lived through parental alienation and had the poison of feminist inspired man-hate poured into my soul every day, thanks to my mother, and I refused to let her anger and bitterness and venom affect my own life.

So that is how I began.

Commenters have often mentioned that if men didn’t show up for work one day, the entire world would screech to a halt, and today, using data from the US Department of Labor, I want to take a look at just how true that is.  Hearing about “male privilege” is so common in the media, but what is hardly ever mentioned is just how many of our own privileges are a direct result of the work that men do.

Perhaps the reason men have historically had the privileges they do is because they EARN THEM BY MAKING OUR LIFE POSSIBLE?

Just a thought.

And in the same breath, women have historically had the privileges they have because they CREATE LIFE.

Modern, feminist inspired liberal democracy has destroyed women’s role, by and large, with plunging birth rates across the developed world, but they CANNOT destroy men’s traditional work, or we all perish.  What they want is for men to do the work silently.  With no acknowledgement.  For no reward.

chains

There’s a word for that:  slavery.

Let’s see what happens when the slaves revolt, shall we?

All information taken from Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, 2013, except where noted.

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm

First up, the entire power grid is down. 100% of power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers are men. Now, it’s possible that there are a few women working in these occupations, but however many there are, they do not make up even 1% of the total workforce, so statistically, 100% of the workforce is male.

dark

91% of the nation’s electrical engineers are men, and if they don’t show up for work, there is no one to monitor and manage the nation’s electrical supplies.  Assuming some automation (designed by men, naturally) kicks in for the day, we had all better pray there are no problems.  97.6% of electrical power line installers and maintenance workers are men.

Lights out, ladies and gentlemen.

Don’t bother turning on your taps, either. Or flushing your toilets.  95.5% of water and liquid waste treatment plant and system operators are men.

Think you might be able to get out of town for the one day the men don’t show up?

Think again.

Planes are out.

95.9% of aircraft pilots and flight engineers are men.  If you happen to find a plane with a female pilot, don’t get too excited.  98.4% of aircraft mechanics and service technicians are men.  You can, however, be assured of your comfort as you sit on a pilotless aircraft that has no mechanic for pre-flight clearance, because 77.6% of flight attendants are female.

hot-stewardess

Should you be lucky enough to find a female pilot and a female technician to clear you for take-off, you still have some praying to do.  Statistically, 0% of airtraffic controllers and airfield operations specialists are women.

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm

Of course, that doesn’t mean there are ZERO ladies working in air traffic control.  There just aren’t enough to constitute even 1% of the workforce.

Trains, of course, are also out.

100% of locomotive engineers and operators are men, as are 100% of the workers who operate railroad brake, signals and switches.  94.4% of railway yardmasters are men, but if you chance upon a female yardmaster, it won’t help you much.  She can’t operate the trains.

You might have better luck with bus drivers, almost half of whom are women.

But the streets are likely to be chaos. And there won’t be anyone on hand to help you navigate that.

police

87.4% of police and sheriff’s patrol officers are men.  96.6% of firefighters are men. 68.8% of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics are men, so if it all goes tits up and you get hurt, there’s a small chance you might make it to a hospital.

I hope you don’t get too badly hurt, though.  65.7% of all surgeons are men.

Maybe you should just work from home? In the dark, mind you.  With no running water.

Uh-oh.  Looks like that might be a problem, too.

For all computer and mathematical occupations combined, 74.4% of the workforce is male.  Computer network architects, who design and implement all our computer based communications systems are 91.9% men.  And 94.2% of radio and telecommunications equipment installers and repair technicians are men.

Looks like that plan is fucked.

Hope it doesn’t get too hot, or too cold the day men don’t show up for work.  Even if you had power, which you don’t, you would be hard-pressed to get anyone in to take a look at your wonky air-conditioner or furnace.

repair

98.4% of heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers are men.

Oh well.  Guess you’ll have to mosey on down to the local café, which has no power either, but what’s logic and consequence anyways?  Be careful when you step over all that accumulating garbage!  Remember that most EMTs are men, and they’ve taken the day off.  Don’t want to get hurt now.

garbage

Most garbage collectors are men, too.  93.4%, to be exact.

You’ll need to stop at the bank first, for a little cash injection.

Oops. Don’t bother.

atm

The machine hasn’t been filled with money today. 81.5% of security guards and gaming surveillance officers are men.  It’s unlikely the banks would be functioning anyways, with no men at work.  72.1% of all securities, commodities and financial services sales agents are men.  72.6% of the nation’s CEOs would be taking the day off, along with 70.9% of all the general and operations managers.

Don’t count on getting a weather report today.  Statistically, 0% of the nation’s atmospheric and space scientists are women.

Actually, don’t plan on acquiring pretty much anything today. The workers in the entire production, transportation and material moving occupations are 78.2% men. Not only will no goods be moving on the day men go on strike, they won’t be made, period.  82.4% of all the industrial production managers are men.

miners

Nothing will be built or extracted from the earth in terms of raw materials.  97.5% of that workforce is male.

Nothing will be installed, maintained or repaired.  96.8% of that workforce is male.

If men took a collective day off, we would instantly be without power, without the means to communicate, without protection, without water, without trucks bringing us the food and products we take for granted, because men are the ones who provide all those things.

Where in our culture do we EVER see that acknowledged?  If women took the day off, with the sole exception of NURSES, nothing would happen.  No one would die.  The world would continue to function. The hair salons and primary schools and retail clothing stores would close, and the male management structure would have to find some way to answer their own phones for a day, but essentially, nothing would happen.

You will often hear feminists barking on about male privilege, usually in a well-lit room, comfortably warm, with her iPhone close at hand, buzzing with updates from her latest #mensuck Twitter feed, with zero awareness that every single one of those luxuries is provided by men.

male priv

Male privilege is the idea that men have unearned social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are granted to them solely on the basis of their sex, and which are usually denied to women.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_privilege

Unearned.

UNEARNED?!?

The Department of Labor says otherwise, bitch. It is women who have failed to earn their privileges.  We live in a world powered and created and maintained by men, and yet feminists have created a whole philosophy and ideology that insists women and men are equal.

We are not equal.

We do not need to be equal.

http://judgybitch.com/2013/02/05/the-genius-of-women-or-the-capacity-to-love-others-more-than-you-love-yourself/

We can’t be equal.

090127-M-9995W-095

What we can be is grateful.

And we can pray men never, ever take a day off.

Lots of love,

JB

Men like virtual sex because they find it arousing. Women like virtual sex because they have low self-esteem, and you can’t really expect much more from men anyways, right? Keep those standards low, and men won’t disappoint!

5 Aug

I’ve mostly been ignoring the whole Anthony Weiner sex scandal thing because I don’t find Anthony all that appealing and I have no particular desire to see or read about his wiener. I also don’t get all that fussed about politician’s sex lives, nor do I give a shit what his wife has to “put up with”.  She wants to be the Mayor’s Wife and she’s made her deal and it’s none of my damn business.  As long as Anthony isn’t texting his crotch shots to me, I don’t really care.

weiners

But I really had to click on this New York Times Op Ed on “Weiner’s Women”, because I expected to find a nice example of poor lady victims with wieners all over their phones, fainting and blushing at such monstrous acts.  Heh.  Maybe I should take a peek at one of those screencaps and check just how monstrous we are dealing with?

It’s actually even better than just the usual pearl-clutching and denial of agency I have come to expect from any commentary on the role the women played in dressing up the dachshund.

dog

Susan Jacoby goes one better on the rosy-cheeked maiden meme, and tries her best to understand what this whole sexting thing is about.  She begins by tossing a bone to Weiner’s poor wife, who is apparently being regularly deprived of bones, or at the very least, she has to share them with the other bitches.

bitches

People ask how Mr. Weiner’s wife, the soulfully beautiful and professionally accomplished Huma Abedin, can stay with him. My question is why hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women apparently derive gratification from exchanging sexual talk and pictures with strangers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/opinion/weiners-women.html?_r=1&

Soulfully beautiful and professionally accomplished? Ho hum.  Let’s not leave out graspingly ambitious and strategically adept.  The lady wants the Mayor’s Laurels, and if she can’t get them herself, she will hitch her wagon to the wiener who CAN get them. Like she didn’t know she was handing her bun to a Ball Park Frank of epic proportions? Oh, bullshit.

city hall

She knew.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/04/13/anthony-weiner-huma-abedin-and-power-ambition/T9ktqo6345YDUVg2ZASOEK/story.html

And so what?  Who cares? It’s her life.

Then Jacoby puts an interesting little spin on her analysis, agreeing that the ladies who participate in this kind of virtual carnal exploration are in fact fully aware and conscious of what they are doing.  Why do they do it?

Because RAPE, for one thing.  It’s safer than going out into the world with all those dangerous, predatory men who lurk around every corner waiting for an unsuspecting virgin to traipse by. In New York, I suspect the wait would be a long one.

These women are not victims of men like Mr. Weiner (or of ordinary, obscure sex seekers in the digital world) but full and equal participants. There is no force involved here; people of both sexes are able to block unwanted advances. Women are certainly safer on the Web than they would be going home with strangers they meet in bars.

But aside from rape, there is the simple fact that men just suck and the lower your expectations when it comes to having sex with one, the better off you will be.

bar

The morality of virtual sex, as long as no one is cheating on a real partner, is not what bothers me. What’s truly troubling about the whole business is that it resembles the substitution of texting for extended, face-to-face time with friends. Virtual sex is to sex as virtual food is to food: you can’t taste, touch or smell it, and you don’t have to do any preparation or work. Sex with strangers online amounts to a diminution, close to an absolute negation, of the context that gives human interaction genuine content. Erotic play without context becomes just a form of one-on-one pornography.

Nor do I consider it worse for women than for men to engage in this behavior. But I do suspect — because I concede the validity of the numerous studies concluding that men are more interested in and aroused by pornography than women are — that women who settle for digital pornography are lowering their expectations and hopes even more drastically than their male collaborators are.

I guess Jacoby doesn’t know that imagining you are eating some calorific, this-is-why-you’re-fat treat can actually mollify hunger cravings?

choclate

Ever wished you could cut down on the amount you eat without going hungry? It turns out all you need is a good imagination. Scientists have found that going through the mental motions of eating, say, a chocolate bar, will help.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/dec/09/imagine-eating-lose-weight

Weiner’s lady seem to be more inclined towards sausage than chocolate, but no matter.  The imagination is a powerful thing that can absolutely bring satisfaction without all the pesky need to actually put it in your mouth and swallow.

God, I’m so immature.  Penis jokes.  Makes me giggle every time.

I wonder what studies Jacoby is referring to when she cites men as more interested in and aroused by pornography?  She is clearly not accounting for literary pornography, AKA the romance novel, which appeals overwhelmingly to women.  To the tune of a billion dollars a year.

http://publishing.about.com/od/BookAuthorBasics/a/Romance-Novels-About-The-Romance-Fiction-Genre.htm

That’s a whole lot of lady porn.

book

“Reece, I’m gonna come.” He sucked in a breath as I sped up. “I need…I want you to—“ His hips rose off the bed, forcing his cock through my grasp. If the light was on, I could have seen him. Known whether his eyes were open or closed. Maybe he frowned.

All I knew was his lips parted beneath mine as he gasped for air, and when I kissed from the corners of his mouth along his jaw, he moaned softly.

“Daniel?”

“I want more.”

http://smexybooks.com/2011/12/smexys-top-ten-favorite-sex-scenes-of-2011.html

Wowza!  I might have to hit the bookshop later today.

But okay, let’s say it really IS only men who enjoy pornography and find it arousing.  How do we get from “men like porn” to “any expectations of intimate connections with men are impossible so lower your standards”?

I say Jacoby wants to have her cake and eat it, too.  She wants to give women agency and responsibility, and yet still find a way to blame men for the fact that some women like the titillation of virtual sex.  Her feminist ideology requires her to cast the woman simultaneously as equal and oppressed, which is generally not difficult for feminists to do, but the whole sexting thing has Jacoby thoroughly perplexed.

sex

As a feminist, I find it infinitely sad to imagine a vibrant young woman sitting alone at her computer and turning herself into a sex object for a man (or a dog) she does not know — even if she is also turning him into a sex object. Twentieth-century feminism always linked the social progress of women with an expanding sense of self-worth — in the sexual as well as intellectual and professional spheres. A willingness to engage in Internet sex with strangers, however, expresses not sexual empowerment but its opposite — a loneliness and low opinion of oneself that leads to the conclusion that any sexual contact is better than no contact at all.

Susan, here is word for you to look up that I think will assist you in understanding why “vibrant young women” might like to engage in a little explicit pictorial exchange with men they do not know:

Narcissism

narcisissm

True story:  I find it very amusing and arousing to take naughty pictures of myself and send them to my husband. While I expect he gets some pleasure out of that, it’s really just a way for me to confirm my own appeal. Check me out! Don’t I look fabulous?

wall projector

I once sent some photos to Mr. JB’s Blackberry, which he then unthinkingly plugged into his laptop which was connected to a wall projector.  He had intended to retrieve a file which he would then be using for a presentation, and his Blackberry decided to download all his image files for safekeeping.

balckberry

And they were all duly projected onto the wall.  Six feet high.

Oops.

Thank god there were no women at that presentation!  Mr. JB learned very quickly how to prevent private images from being automatically downloaded after that episode.

It really rather amazes me that Jacoby doesn’t seem to get that virtual sex can be incredibly affirmational for WOMEN, who are really just confirming their own appeal.  It’s a relatively safe way to become the lusted after heroine of the romance novel narrative.  The fantasy of devastating appeal can be digitally controlled, altered and manipulated at the woman’s discretion and for her pleasure.

romance

Deep down, what does a man really think of himself when he must feed his ego with phony gasps of erotic pleasure from strangers in a digital vastness? What does a woman think of herself in the same arid zone of sex without sensuality?

I think we’ve isolated Jacoby’s problem right here.  Phony gasps of pleasure?  Done to assuage a man’s fragile ego?  An arid, dry zone?  No sensuality?

It’s normally rather cliché to suggest that frigid bitter harpies loosen their corsets and try getting laid, but in Jacoby’s case, it seems that just might be the very thing!  And for heaven’s sake, stop faking your pleasure!  Trust me, your man’s ego can take a little direction.

If it makes you uncomfortable, Susan, you can try a few practice runs.  Get yourself a nice photo app and try out a few poses.  Learn to ask for what you want.  Rehearse a bit.  And you don’t need to go it alone.

selfie

Get yourself a sexting partner.  And then shoot for Carnegie Hall.

You know how you get to Carnegie Hall, right?

violin

Practice, practice, practise.  And check your camera roll auto-backup settings.

Just in case.

Lots of love,

JB

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