Tag Archives: Gratitude

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

Yes, I take my husband for granted. What do you want anyways? A standing ovation every day?

5 Mar

ovation

I have a friend, whom I love very much, that I haven’t seen much of lately, mostly because she doesn’t really like my husband, and that makes being friends a little difficult. NurseRatchet is fun and witty and super intelligent and just generally a great person to hang out with, but she misunderstands my relationship with Mr. JB and that often leads to tension.

You see, Ratchet was a woman of stunning beauty when she was younger. She still is a very fine looking woman, but in her youth, oh wow. She looked eerily like this:

christie

And she had a great deal of attention from men as a result. She turned down two marriage proposals, one from a cardiologist and one from an airline pilot, thinking that the glory days would never end.

But they did.

She ended up married to a man who has a bit of a spotty employment history, had two children in quick succession and now finds that she must work fulltime to have any sort of decent standard of living. Ratchet bitterly regrets casting away the doctor and the pilot, and she hates working. She envies my life and I suppose that is the basis of our friendship. Ratchet understands completely what a wonderful luxury it is to be at home, dependent on a man, and wishes she could have the life I have.

She absolutely sees what I do as work, but that is where our perspectives diverge. Ratchet thinks that Mr. JB does not show enough appreciation for the things I do – that my work goes unnoted. Her own marriage is a little more, egalitarian, shall we say, in terms of how domestic labor gets done, although she generally ends up doing more than Mr.Ratchet, and that makes her unhappy and angry and she feels “taken for granted”.

cleaning

That feeling is one that women seem to complain about much more frequently than men, and it can have a very devastating impact on marriage.

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Danger-of-Taking-Your-Marriage-for-Granted&id=349561

What does it mean to be “taken for granted”? Essentially, it means that the work and effort you put into your relationship and life together is not acknowledged with either verbal or romantic gestures, and that communication about your daily lives has broken down, and by that definition, yes, Ratchet is correct: I am absolutely taken for granted.

I am also smart enough to see that the traffic on that street goes both ways. No, Mr. JB doesn’t thank me after every meal, and he doesn’t stand around applauding when I fold the laundry or unload the dishwasher. Guess what? I don’t thank him for going to work every day or for paying the bills, and quite frankly, I really don’t know what he does at work all day, nor do I particularly give a fuck. I have a general sense of what his job his, but the details, to me, are mind-numbing and I don’t want to hear about them.

Sometimes Mr. JB will try to explain some technical aspect of his job to me and I will slowly slump down to the middle of the kitchen floor, pretending that I am in a coma. That kind of irritates him, but I think it’s hilarious. Like he wants to hear about all the issues I had clarifying with the spice store that Cimarron is actually a type of oregano and I NEED it to make barbacoa properly?

floor

Nope. He doesn’t give a shit what spices I use, just as long as it tastes good.

Honestly, it’s kind of hard for me to imagine what our relationship would look like if we were constantly communicating with each other about what we do all day and if we had to stop and acknowledge each other for every little contribution. Jesus, that would be a full time job, not to mention the fact that I DON’T CARE what he does all day, nor does he care what I do all day. At the end of the day, he wants to come home to a warm, friendly, reasonably clean house and something fabulous to eat, and I want to hand him the bills and never give them another thought.

We absolutely take each other for granted.

I think that when Ratchet looks at our relationship, she completely forgets what Mr. JB contributes: all the money to pay for our life. Because she imagines herself in my role, she only sees the work that I do, and she notices that it doesn’t get acknowledged very often, ignoring the fact that I don’t acknowledge what Mr. JB does very often either. I mean, not explicitly. My whole life is an appreciation for him, as is his for me. That just seems….self-evident.

princess

The Sparkly Princess Cupcake narrative is looking more and more to me like the single most destructive cultural story out there. I find it interesting that while we have all the Disney movies in our house, they have never been the favorites for any of my children. My kids have always preferred the teamwork stories. The go-to videos feature a group of people working together to solve problems: Bob the Builder, Power Rangers, The Wiggles, Thomas the Tank Engine, Go Diego Go – they’re all about a team pulling together. And that’s not because I’ve imposed it, or even given it much thought. Those are just the stories my children are drawn to, likely because they are a reflection of how their own lives work.

bob

I think a great deal of women’s unhappiness stems from the notion that they should be the star of their own show. No matter what it is they actually do, the spotlight should always be on them. And the applause must be deafening! Adulation! Glory! Me! Me! Me!

spotlight

Not only is that a completely ridiculous way to live, it wouldn’t even be fun! Let’s say I took Ratchet’s advice to heart and gave Mr.JB the “we need to talk” look. I know my husband well enough to know exactly how he would respond. He would listen to me complain that he doesn’t say thank you enough and he doesn’t acknowledge me enough, and he needs to notice all the work I do in an explicit way (flowers!) and he needs to spend more time thinking about me and he would be having the following conversation with himself:

Oh fuck, here we go. Is this worth it? Do I really want to listen to this shit for the next twenty years? Is this worth fighting over? Should I tell her to go fuck herself and point out that she doesn’t exactly do cartwheels every time she turns on the tap and there’s hot water?

And he would reach the following conclusion:

Nope. Not worth it.

Then he would create a list of all the things I do every day, set up calendar alerts on his phone, write some sort of algorithm so that the alerts appear to be random, and text me little notes of acknowledgement when his phone reminds him to do so.

None of that would be because he truly, genuinely, deeply appreciates all those things. It would be because he doesn’t want to put up with any bitchy sulkiness and the whole thing would just be one giant pain in the ass. Maybe it’s just me, but my goal in life is not to be a whiny toddler my husband has to placate over and over again.

You see, Mr. JB DOES show his appreciation when he is truly moved to do so.

Remember this:

http://judgybitch.com/2012/12/17/how-much-bread-can-a-bread-bowl-make-youd-be-surprised/

For those who don’t care to click through, the summary is that I pulled off a magnificent dinner party for 38 of Mr. JB’s colleagues and the senior administration including the President of the organization Mr. JB works for. It was a stunning, resounding success.

bread-bowl

We got home from that party, and Mr.JB was absolutely overcome with gratitude and love and pride and he decided to show it. You should know that I am 5’6 and 130 lbs and Mr. JB is 6’2 and 200 lbs – so he’s quite a bit bigger than me.

He picked me up off my feet and gave me one of his Big Bear Hugs and ….

Oops!

A little too much gratitude.

He broke my rib.

rib

No seriously. He really did. He was, and is, completely wretched about it. It was a one in a million thing. And I recently had a bone density scan! Bones like concrete!

Snap!

It really hurt, too. Took almost 6 weeks to heal! And of course, it took about two seconds for all the gallows humor to come out in our friends. I got lots of fridge magnets and flyers for domestic abuse hotlines, and lots of comments about how I should probably listen next time, blah blah blah.

magnet

And, as always, there is a silver lining in that cloud. Who thinks I played the “oh my poor broken rib!” card to win every little spat we had for months on end?

Of course I did! I used it yesterday, as a matter of fact. Mr.JB takes out the garbage in our house, and yesterday, he took care of that yucky little task on his way out the door to a meeting, but he FORGOT TO PUT A NEW BAG IN! So I texted him at work about it, knowing that when he is in a meeting, his phone will only go off if he gets a message or phone call from me.

text

You forgot to put the bag in the garbage can. Can you please come home and do it?

That irritates the hell out of him, and yes, this really is the kind of petty shit we argue about. When he got home he started to lecture me about abusing the fact that he never sets his phone to silent and always takes messages and calls from me no matter what, so naturally I responded by saying

What are you going to do? Break my other ribs?

Boom! Score one for JB! I win!

win

I never told Ratchet about the whole broken rib thing, because I really don’t think she would understand at all. It was an accident, and one that Mr. JB feels terrible about. In all fairness to Ratchet, she would feel that she was protecting me by taking sides against Mr. JB, but that is because she so deeply believes in the Princess story. She truly believes that women should be pampered and catered to and acknowledged and applauded and obviously, never, ever have their ribs snapped.

But that isn’t how life works. Accidents happen. Dealing with them with humor and fun and lightheatedness and genuine forgiveness and understanding leads to a much happier life. I go through life taking for granted that all the irritation and annoyance and frustration that comes along is secondary to the bigger picture.

I take a lot of my life for granted. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It certainly helps me to understand that I am taken for granted in return, and that isn’t a problem that needs to be solved! It’s the basis for security and happiness and contentment. I take for granted that the members of Team JB are all working together, and I trust them to take for granted that I am, and always will be, pulling right beside them.

team

I don’t need daily acknowledgement of all the work I do. And I wouldn’t like having to live with somehow who wanted a constant stream of approval and back-patting. Gratitude, when genuine, is always appreciated and always nice, but it doesn’t have to be frequent.

I only have so many ribs!

Lots of love,

JB

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