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Look! Another Thought Catalog piece!

31 May

Seems like maybe the mainstream media is ready to start considering some issues we have been discussing for a long time.

 

Better late than never, right?

 

http://thoughtcatalog.com/janet-bloomfield/2014/05/heres-why-men-should-have-the-reproductive-rights-that-women-have/

The circumcision “debate” is missing the point: adults can do whatever they want to their genitals. No one gets to carve up a baby’s hoochie!

20 Sep

 

Lots of new folks here, which is great to see, but please be advised:  do not waste your time explaining how girl’s bodies are so much more precious than boys and how male and female circumcision cannot be compared.  To me, you’re arguing that slavery was better for women because they got to be mammies and really, that’s not so bad, is it? 

 

Do. Not. Waste. Your. Time.

 

I will not publish those comments. 

 

Cutting up a baby’s genitals is barbaric.  Full stop.  The whole idea makes me just want to puke.  What are we, fucking stone age cretins imagining that wild creatures inhabit the wind and monsters lurk in the dark?

I have nothing against genital mutilation, per se.  Pierce them, tattoo them, cut them, shred them, go to town with a cheese grater on them for all I care.  It’s your body and your choice.

my choice

Where have I heard that phrase before?

Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern takes on a group he calls “Intactivists” for their supposed denial of sciency facts.

For doctors, circumcision remains a complex, delicate issue; for researchers, it’s an effective tool in the fight for global public health. But to intactivists, none of that matters. The Internet is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, where human reason leads the best ideas to triumph. There are plenty of other loud fringe groups that flood the Internet with false information, but none of them has been as successful as the intactivists at drowning out reasoned discourse

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/09/intactivists_online_a_fringe_group_turned_the_internet_against_circumcision.html?wpisrc=flyouts#

Let’s see just what Mark is talking about, shall we?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released its new Technical Report and Policy Statement on male circumcision, concluding that current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks.

…only 1 of the arguments put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics has some theoretical relevance in relation to infant male circumcision; namely, the possible protection against urinary tract infections in infant boys, which can easily be treated with antibiotics without tissue loss. The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896

pills

So, baby boy dinkies can get infections, which can easily be treated with antibiotics.  No tissue removal required.  I wonder how the AAP recommends treating strep throat?  By their logic, a tracheotomy ought to do it, huh?

The other benefits?  Hacking off a baby’s foreskin can help prevent HIV, genital herpes, genital warts and penile cancer?

Well, aside from the penile cancer, aren’t the aforementioned things you acquire by fucking? How many baby boys are out banging that cute chick from swimming class?  If you’re mutilating an infant in the hopes of preventing the spread of HIV, I think you may have jumped the gun a little.

Babies don’t have sex.

And penile cancer?  It’s pretty uncommon in the West, and rarely seen in men under the age of 50. Again, that is a stupid justification for cutting a baby.

Whether circumcision results in reduced sexual pleasure really doesn’t concern me.  Getting sidetracked by that debate obscures the point:  if an adult freely chooses to surgically remove his foreskin, then the risk is his to bear.  A baby cannot make the decision to cut away part of his flesh, and no matter what the consequences for his pleasure, his basic right to bodily autonomy has been violated in a way that should strike almost all of us as a completely and utterly horrifying.

Who takes a knife to an infant?

girls

And of course, when the infant in question is dressed in pink and sports frilly bloomers, we all respond in EXACTLY that way. Cutting an infant girl’s genitals is barbaric and criminal.

The main reason I am even addressing this so-called debate is because of this double standard.

Feministe: In Defence of the Sanctimonious Women’s Studies Set has a piece about those damn mouthy men who insist boys deserve the same basic rights as girls to NOT have their genitals sliced off, and it’s kind of stomach churning to read the commenters who get all shrieky about how cutting a girl is SO MUCH WORSE than cutting a boy.

Every time female genital cutting is mentioned on Feministe — every time — someone from the “intactivist” community shows up to derail the conversation and make it all about the alleged horrors of male circumcision.

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/18/how-intactivists-are-ruining-the-debate-on-circumcision/

Alleged horrors?

Alleged?

Are you fucking kidding me?  A surgical blade is used to slice off the skin that protects the end of an infant boy’s penis, usually WITHOUT ANAESTHETIC.

circumcision

Does this picture make you flinch? What part of that is not horror?

Part of the feminist response is ignorance – they just don’t know what is involved in male circumcision, but part of it is the ugly truth that a whole lot of feminists really don’t give a fuck what happens to infant boys, and some are probably even gleeful about the pain little boys endure having this barbarous act carried out on them.

Getting into debates about the specific outcomes or consequences of circumcision lets the main point slide under the bloodied waters:  you either believe in the right to bodily sexual autonomy or you don’t.

There is no reasonable argument to be made that women deserve to reach adulthood with their genitals intact and that boys do not.  Arguing about the degree of cutting, or effects on sexual pleasure or disease prevention or any other aspect of this kind of mutilation is a way to divert attention away from the fact that CHILDREN’S GENITALS ARE BEING MUTILATED.

My advice to intactivists is to stick to the point:

uncut

Every child should be protected from a blade taken to their crotch, full stop.  And every adult has the right to do whatever they like to their crotch.  If you want to cut your genitals as an expression of your faith, go right ahead.

When you’re 18.  Make the choice yourself.

Arguing about what forms of mutilation are acceptable is like arguing about which people it is acceptable to enslave.

Slavery is acceptable or it is not.

Cutting up babies is acceptable or it is not.

When anyone argues that it’s okay to cut boys, but not girls, that tells you a whole lot about that person and how they feel about boys and men in general.  Couching the argument in terms of degrees or rationales or outcomes is pure sophistry, designed to draw your attention away from the fact that women’s bodies belong to women and men’s bodies belong to everybody.

Cutting little boys is the first step in getting them to understand they are mere utilities.  Something disposable, and they should get used to it.  They will be thrown into trenches, jails, dirty, shitty  difficult jobs, and one bedroom flats should they be foolish enough to marry and then face the “fairness” of divorce courts.

Let me clear here:  anyone who tries to argue on this blog that cutting girls is just ever so much worse than cutting boys will be banned.  Cutting infants  is a sick, disgusting, medieval practice and I am not amenable to any discussion of why it should continue.  Perhaps that will result in no comments at all. That’s fine.

My purpose today is to shine a light on the fact that the “debate” about circumcision grants women bodily sexual autonomy automatically, while claiming that men have no such right or need.

And that is bullshit.  Any discussion of infant genital mutilation should center on one topic and one topic only:  bodily sexual autonomy.

baby body

If men can be denied the right to bodily autonomy based on faith, then why can’t women be denied the same right? Abortion should be outlawed based on the faith of the pregnant woman’s parents?  Selective service should be outlawed based on the faith of the male draftee’s parents?

Well, that’s one way to make sure all the rich folks convert to Quakerism, isn’t it?

yarmulke

Orthodox Jews follow a rule that requires them to keep their heads covered.  The men wear a little hat called a yarmulke or kippa.  Lots of Jewish men have decided that there are plenty of ways to observe their faith without following an ancient ritual that singles them out and makes their personal beliefs public.

And holy moly, didn’t the whole fucking world just adapt and move on.  I could spend several thousand words describing which ancient laws we have decided are not worth observing any more, and yet religion still maintains a stranglehold on most people’s lives.

http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2002/WhyCantIOwnACanadian_10-02.html

Whatever.  I don’t care.  Believe what you like, just don’t try to govern my life based on beliefs that have no evidence to support them other than faith.  I require a little more to go on.

So let’s say we outlaw genital cutting until children have reached the age of consent.  How many Jewish men will choose to undergo the ritual as an expression of their faith?  Yeah, probably about the same number that continue to wear yarmulkes.

Give adults the information and choice and you will see this cruel ritual cease to exist almost immediately.  Because it IS cruel and stupid and ugly and pointless and medieval.

big red

Feminists say “hey, MRAs, you don’t need a movement because we’re fighting for all the same things you are.  We’ve got it covered”.

http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/solution-mra-problems-more-feminism/

Oh really?

Circumcision is a perfect litmus test of just how much faith we can put in that claim.  You either support the right to sexual bodily autonomy.

Or you don’t.

There is nothing else to debate.

Is it your body, and your choice?

Or only your body and your choice when you’re a woman?

That’s a little far off the equality mark, isn’t it?

And of course, that’s exactly the point.  Feminists aren’t arguing for equality.  They are arguing for special privileges and protections that apply only to women and girls.

Yeah, well, fuck you feminists.  Put your money where your mouth is.

Protect little boys as well as little girls.

I’ll wait here for the day that happens.

field

Crickets.

Still chirping.

What a surprise.

Lots of love,

JB

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

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