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Dr.JudgyBitch and a million of her closest friends head back to school

4 Sep

After blogging for a little over ten months, yesterday hit the one million page views milestone!

Yay! We started off with quite a few haters who spent oodles of time crafting lengthy screeds explaining why I am a complete idiot and detailing how I should be raped and then murdered, invariably with appalling grammar and sentence structure.


Ah, there is nothing quite like the pleasure of hitting “delete” on a 5000 word hate comment. The cyber equivalent of “fuck off”.

Owing to diligent moderation and pretty much zero tolerance for trolls, we now have a core group of readers who are either interested in learning about our ideas, or interested in contributing their own experiences and observations, and I must say, this blog gives me more pleasure than I ever would have anticipated.

So thank you, dear readers. Both Pixie and I are humbled and gratified by your presence, thoughts and support.


Now, having said that, life is about to undergo a very large change that I am just beginning to grasp the ramifications of. My PhD is officially underway, and I have taken the first baby steps towards organizing my lit review, which I expect will take up the better part of the next six months.

A lit review involves reading all of the published research surrounding a particular topic so that A) I understand the topic; and B) I can spot the gaps in both knowledge and theory that need to be filled in.

My topic is Entrepreneurship and Innovation, with a sub-focus that crosses both strategy and finance. In order to earn a doctorate, I am required to conduct research that addresses an actual, real world problem, AND I am required to contribute in some way to the theory that informs my subject matter. Most doctorates go off the rails because they do one thing and not the other, and both requirements must be satisfied in order to be awarded the degree.


I feel confident that I have chosen my topic well, and that I will indeed fulfill both requirements. The real world problem that I am addressing is fairly straightforward: how can investors, especially venture capitalists, accurately value pre-IPO biotechnology companies? Venture capitalists are always looking for opportunities to invest in companies BEFORE they go public or get acquired by a larger organization, because that’s how you reap the big rewards.

But how do they know which companies are the ones that will succeed?


I’m focusing on two variables that affect how companies are valued at the nascent stage: one has to do with whether or not any given company is part of an established cluster. Should companies working outside established clusters automatically disqualify as objects of interest to investors? Minneapolis, for example, has a biotechnology cluster concentrated on cardiovascular technologies and diagnostics. There is no question that working inside a cluster has measurable, quantifiable benefits, but does that mean investors should ignore companies in Wisconsin who are also developing cardiovascular biotechnologies?

Current literature says yes. The risk profile for companies outside clusters is too high.

I’m going to test what impact distance from an established cluster has on biotechnology companies ultimately securing the capital to go public.

That variable contributes to BOTH knowledge and theory, but just to be certain, I’m going one further, and testing out an analytical technique called a proportional hazards regression that uses one variable as a hazard against which all other variables are tested. At the moment, most variables are analyzed using standard logistics regression, but there is a well-known problem with those regressions, which tend to overstate prevalence ratios. That problem disappears when one variable is singled out as a hazard. Of course, the technique will only work when one of the variables CAN be singled out as a hazard, but in entrepreneurship literature it’s common to have an easily identifiable hazard.


I didn’t come up with the technique myself, of course. I have borrowed from the field of epidemiology, which is almost always concerned with some sort of hazard, and thus prefers the proportional hazards regression, also called a Cox regression.

My goal is to have the technique accepted as a standard analytical methodology in business research, too. That’s my real contribution to theory.

It begins with surveying the literature on clusters, the value relevance of non-financial information for pre-IPO companies and the efficacy of the biotechnology sector in attracting venture capital.


Are we all in a coma yet?

The reason I am telling you all this is that my priorities have shifted. Obviously, taking care of my family and home is the first thing on my list, but the blog has now been bumped down to third place after the PhD. What that means, I have yet to fully understand. At the moment, I expect to be able to keep up my posting schedule, but if a few days go by without any new ranting from me, you can safely assume that I have a school related deadline that has occupied my attention.

I’d like to take a few minutes here to tell you the story of how this blog came about.


After Pixie’s son was born with a very serious, life-threatening medical condition five years ago, I took up the habit of writing her regular letters, which kept her company during long hospital vigils, the outcome of which was almost always unknown. I wanted the letters to be a way for her to physically feel how very much I loved her and cared for her and LittleBear and Mr.PPP, and mostly, I wanted to give her something that was light-hearted and uplifting and to offer a respite from the terror of not knowing if her baby was going to survive the latest round of operations.

Pixie and I came to be full time mothers on very different pathways. My choice was deliberate and I never, ever doubted that I would raise my own children with their father in the bonds of marriage. I set up my life to realize that goal, including the eventual transition back to the workforce, which I am now beginning. Pixie had full time motherhood thrust upon her by her son’s medical issues. She gave up a promising career as a visual artist and documentary short film maker (there’s actually lots of money to be made in short films for corporations, schools, organizations, etc) when her son was born. It is pure speculation to think about what she would have done had LittleBear been born perfectly healthy – she may have given up that career anyways, but life offered her no real opportunity to test that commitment.

We both felt the sting of becoming “invisible” and being sneered at by other women for our foolishness in depending upon men and motherhood to validate our lives and provide our incomes. It wasn’t long before our letters evolved from discussions of Jennifer Aniston’s weight to serious critiques of feminism and the expectation that we sacrifice our most cherished desires on the altar of cash flow. And because we both have sons, we took a keen interest in what the future looks like for them.


Over the course of years, we honed our observations and shared our fears and anger with one another, until one day last October, we skyped and Pixie looked as shell-shocked as I have ever seen her.

LittleBear was dying.

Gangrene had set in to an abdominal wound and the medical team had gently suggested that Pixie and her husband prepare for the worst. All they could do was wait. And there is nothing worse than that feeling of utter helplessness, while you cradle your baby and wait.

I desperately wanted to distract Pixie from the waiting.

I know! Let’s write a blog! We’ll call it JudgyBitch!

Sitting beside her son’s bed in the pediatric ICU, Pixie created the website you see and we brainstormed the content. Every day, she sends me articles and suggestions for what to write and even though we don’t agree on everything, we both agree that the perspective JudgyBitch offers is one sorely missing from the cultural conversation.

And one million other people seem to agree.

Pixie may not appear to be hugely involved in the blog, but she very much IS. She is a sounding board, an editor, a confidante, and most importantly, a dearly loved friend whom I respect and admire.

LittleBear survived the gangrene, and is now the picture of blooming health. His condition can still erupt into life-threatening at any moment, and he has many more surgeries and procedures ahead of him, but for the moment, the sun is shining and he is safe.

This has been quite an incredible journey for us, and I am so pleased to have been able to share it with so many other people. So many people on the blog feel like friends. People I have known for such a long time.

Thank you.

Here’s to the future! Dr. JudgyBitch and her five million friends!

Five million?

Hell. Why stop there?

We want to speak to everyone in the whole world. Even the ones who hate us. Darth Vader turned from the Dark Side eventually, so there’s hope even for feminists, right?


Hope springs eternal. What other choices are there?

Lots of love,


The genius of women, or the capacity to love others more than you love yourself.

5 Feb


So yesterday, we talked about the fact that men invent and produce almost all of the really useful things that make our modern lives so very pleasant. All of the major revolutions in human history have been dreamt up and accomplished by men: the printing press, the textile loom, antibiotics, anaesthetic, cars and computers.


Throughout history, women have contributed very little to the great leaps forward in human achievement.  Oh come on, that’s not even controversial.  Even Caitlin Moran (I can’t help it – she’s so cute!) acknowledges that women really haven’t done a whole lot in terms of building bridges and discovering nuclear fusion. She’s worth quoting at length.


Even the most ardent historian, male or female—citing Amazons and tribal matriarchies and Cleopatra—can’t conceal that women have basically done fuck all for the last 100,000 years. Come on—let’s admit it. Let’s stop exhaustingly pretending that there is a parallel history of women being victorious and creative, on an equal with men, that’s just been comprehensively covered up by The Man. There isn’t. Our empires, armies, cities, artworks, philosophers, philanthropists, inventors, scientists, astronauts, explorers, politicians and icons could all fit, comfortably into one of the private karaoke booths in SingStar. We have no Mozart; no Einstein; no Galileo; no Ghandi. No Beatles, no Churchill, no Hawking, no Columbus. It just didn’t happen.


Nearly everything so far has been the creation of men—and a liberal, right-on denial of it makes everything more awkward and difficult in the long run. Pretending that women have had a pop at all this before but ultimately didn’t do as well as the men, that the experiment of female liberation has already happened but floundered gives strength to the belief that women simply aren’t as good as men, full stop. That things should just carry on as they are—with the world shaped around, and honouring, the priorities, needs, whims, and successes of men. Women are over, without having even begun. When the truth is that we haven’t even begun at all. Of course we haven’t. We’ll know it when we have.

How To Be A Woman

This is where we disagree.  We haven’t begun?  On the contrary.  We began a long time ago.  What we are doing now is failing.  We are sacrificing our genius on the altar of an ideology that explicitly and gleefully denies women the opportunity to achieve our greatest possible success: to be the mother of a person (likely a man) who will take a leap of faith that benefits all of humankind.

This is a human infant:


We have no gender neutral pronoun in English, and I hate “they” and absolutely REFUSE to call a baby “it”, so I’m going to call this baby “him”.  Get over it.

This little baby is born helpless, but his entire anatomy and psychology is a set of expectations.  His skin is alive with receptors that will trigger the release of hormones making him feel safe and content. His skin is an expectation of touch. His brain is wired to detect the smell and sound and presence of his mother. He knows her heartbeat and the sound of her breathing.  His brain is an expectation that he will be with her.  He has reflexes that cause his hands and feet to grip, and he will suck anything you put in his mouth.  His reflexes are an expectation that he will cling to his mother and he will feed from her breasts.


Everything about this little guy demands the presence of his mother.  He will benefit from an extended family and his father will become a person of critical importance, but when he is born, he expects and needs his mother.  He cannot live easily without her.

And he knows it.  He will cry when they are separated.  He will use all of his resources to summon her back.  And she will respond to his cries.  Her breasts will leak milk and her heart will pound and she will feel frantic to get to him.  Her body is also wired to care for him.


Working outside the home and leaving a baby in the care of others for long periods of time (most of an infant’s waking life) is a disaster not just for the baby, but for the woman and all of humanity by extension. Those babies are being denied what they NEED to grow into fully functioning, stable, loving human beings capable of caring for others and themselves. Modern ideas about keeping babies isolated in cages in dark rooms and leaving them to sob until they collapse with despair are not just disgusting and cruel and stupid, they are violently inhumane.  A human infant is not designed to be treated like a pariah, left alone for long periods or separated from his mother.

A baby left alone on the savannah, wailing inconsolably, would be a dead baby very quickly.


Genius begins and ends with a loving mother.  And loving mothers create daughters capable of becoming loving mothers themselves.  That is our genius.

Not every woman wants, or is capable of being a affectionate mother, and natural selection usually weeds those women out quite nicely.  A woman who would rather be out hunting should be free to do that, and whatever quirk in her neurology that makes her uninterested in reproducing will die with her.  Those genes will not spread.  The genes for loving, attentive, invested mothering WILL spread, since those are the women most likely to succeed in bringing their children to adulthood.

And that, too, is genius.

Modern feminism started by explicitly stating that women should not be allowed to care for their own children.


“No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction.”

Simone de Beauvoir

What Simone wanted is to FORCE women to give up their own genius, and start competing with men.  Try to match them, Nobel Prize for Nobel Prize.

Well, that worked.  Less than 2% of prizes awarded to women.  Way to go, ladies.

When female genius, defined in male terms, rears up, it has usually found expression and recognition.  One can find women in every area of human achievement, but there are very few of them.  The canon of great writers, for example contains only a few women, because only a few women have matched the talents of male writers.  But when they do, they are acknowledged and celebrated and that’s a good thing.

But for most women, genius comes in the form of a tiny human being who needs to learn to be human, and in being human, achieves greatness that benefits us all.


The hand that rocks the cradle is indeed the hand that rules the world.  Men create the world, and women create the men.  It’s really quite ingenious.

It’s completely amazing how many women are starting to realize that being at home and raising children is a LUXURY, and one that an older generation of women has simply thrown away.  Being at home full time is not drudgery or unfulfiling or stultifying or oppressive.

The times, they are a-changin’

Now let’s hope the younger generation of women realize that the privilege of being at home, supported by a man, comes with a price.  Personally, I think Suzanne Venker nails it:  be nice, cook and have sex.

Yep.  That pretty much sums it up.

Lots of love,



That about sums it up!

26 Jan

That about sums it up!

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