Category Archives: Misogyny

Nice Guys For Real

 

 

In the aftermath of the horrendous shooting near UCSB (University of California-Santa Barbara) which killed six people and injured many more – the suiciding perpetrator claimed that it was “revenge” for his lack of success with girls, even though a longtime friend says the 22-year-old forever expected girls to come to him, he couldn’t be bothered approaching them – many people have spoken out:

 

The Washington Post film critic, on why the perp’s behavior was just farther over on the spectrum from the we-deserve-women ethos of Judd Apatow’s movies; the article contains an embedded video of the writer’s response to criticism of her initial article.

 

The Twitterverse, which countered “but not every man” protests with the powerful #YesAllWomen. That hashtag has been tweeted more than a million times. And counting.

 

And this massively great article with embedded video by a male YouTuber.

 

You must watch this one.

 

Because the man is trying to educate other males – “nice” guys, assholes, and dudes in between – about the fallacy of being anything other than kind and interested in the women around them as human beings.

 

Shock, am I right?

 

Not sex objects, not pieces of meat to be counted and disposed of, not a collection of body parts to use – human beings. With feelings, opinions, choices of their own, to be respected.

 

The same way men want to have their individuality, their personhood, respected.

 

Apparently a novel concept for some guys. Most guys. Almost all guys.

 

A girl’s attention is not a prize to be given to someone who strikes up a conversation, brings flowers, acts like a healthy person. You don’t get the woman by doing ordinary courteous things. She’s not a marker you receive for making the right moves. She owes you nothing.

 

Yet being a nice guy (correction, kind guy – “nice” is overused) doesn’t mean giving up dreams or opinions. It doesn’t mean not standing up for the right things. It certainly doesn’t mean regarding a woman as though she’s perfect. Human, right? Hence allowed her own imperfections.

 

And it doesn’t mean bitching because some girl doesn’t want a relationship with you. As the YouTuber points out, nice guys aren’t in the friend zone. Friends are in the friend zone. You want to be more than a friend, tell her. Risk rejection. Don’t complain if she says no. No is an okay answer. Accept it. Rather than calling her names, work on yourself. Get better. Not better as a PUA (pickup artist), better as a P (person).

 

Make it easy for a woman to say no. Women are frightened of what might happen if they say no to a phone number request; most would rather give a fake number than risk needing facial reconstructive surgery. No joke, NO JOKE.

 

#YesAllWomen is a terrific start on getting millions of men to understand that they don’t understand the world women live in. (I’ve said before in this blog that men ought to try to imagine alien beings, Thrids, at least seven feet tall and filled with lust for the adult male human anatomy. Solely the male. Guys, picture walking by a group of Thrids, getting to work on a crowded bus, going to a party. Gross and disgusting Thrid behavior, right?)

 

It is horrible that people had to die to get women’s experience and anger out there. But it was the tipping point. You cannot stuff the truth back in the bottle, no matter how uncomfortable it is to acknowledge.

 

And those nice guys the shooter claimed to be one of? Yeah, like kind-guys-for-real insult women, threaten them, try to push them off ten-foot-walls, write manifestos denying their right to exist, then go flaming through a series of drive-by shootings. Besides being mentally ill, the guy was an over-privileged jerk who should have been arrested or in custodial care with a psychiatrist.

 

Definitely not a kind guy.

 

Watch the video, and forward it.

 

 

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Sack This Judge

 

Enough said.

 

Let’s get this straight: “Mad Men” is fiction. It’s an historically based TV show. The mid-20th century is in the past tense.

 

Got that, Judge Nigel Peters?

 

Even in “Mad Men” times, 13-year-olds were recognized by British law as too young to give informed consent. They could not sign contracts, were not allowed to drive, and could not consent to sexual contact. Even back then, Judge Peters.

 

And now?

 

With all the research results fully available via the internet, all the articles, you would think someone with a law degree, who now sits behind the bench, would have bothered to inform himself of the very great differences in experience and brain development between a 13-year-old girl and a 41-year-old man.

 

Apparently, Judge Peters is ignorant. Even more than that, he’s dead wrong.

 

If he had bothered to educate himself over the past few years, he would have learned that the human brain undergoes enormous transformation in the adolescent years. A 15-year-old’s brain is different from a 25-year-old’s brain. One huge difference is in the frontal lobe, the decision-making part, which undergoes the enormous transformation that enables adults to make healthy, rational decisions.

 

You know, like the ones the 41-year-old predator, Neil Wilson, should have made to counter his porn obsessions: Don’t associate with children and teens as though they were your equals. Do not have them in your house unprotected by a responsible adult. Do not have sex with them. Take responsibility for your actions. Remember, a healthy man your age stays away from girls.

 

Wilson failed to make the correct decisions, and he allowed a child to be called a predator in court by the prosecuting attorney (not the defense, the prosecution). A child! That’s horrifying behavior.

 

Unfortunately, Judge Peters agreed with both the defendant and the prosecutor in a “men know best” cabal, and that behavior is just as depraved. Especially when we learn that “police also found images of child abuse and bestiality at Wilson’s home in Romford, Essex. Wilson, now living in York, admitted two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.” How could any sane judge ignore that evidence and blame the victim?

 

No sane judge would act that way.

 

No judge who was not overtaken by his own misogyny would act that way.

 

Even if the 13-year-old had acted in a way more akin to a 30-year-old, it was up to Wilson, the adult, to stop it.

 

The judge apparently did not agree. “When in doubt, the female temptress is to blame, the old Eve – or in this case, a very young one. The little vixen had led astray a 41-year-old man found to have images of child abuse and bestiality on his computer . . .,” as a Guardian writer put it.

 

One commenter noted, “How anyone, let alone a judge, couldn’t understand that that sort of behaviour in a child was a massive indicator of prior abuse is beyond me. One of the worst examples of victim-blaming I’ve ever seen.”

 

The 13-year-old is still a child. Her brain has not fully formed. For Wilson to perversely take advantage of her is disgraceful, and for Judge Peters to essentially collude with Wilson – in a demonstration of Misogyny 101 – is a travesty.

 

As a spokesperson for a children’s charity expressed it this way: “Children can never truly consent to their own abuse. It is plain wrong to imply in any way that the experiences of sexually exploited children are something they bring on themselves. It is difficult to imagine the torment experienced by the vulnerable victims of crimes such as these. Many turn in on themselves and have feelings of shame and even self-loathing on top of the psychological scars inflicted by the abuser. It takes immense bravery for these young people to relive their ordeal in a court of law and we must not forget that it is the abuser who is guilty and not the victim.”

 

Over 4,000 people have signed a petition to have Wilson’s wrist-slap of a suspended sentence reviewed so that it may be increased, and over 30,000 petitioned through Change.org to have the prosecutor, Robert Colover – the originator of the “predatory 13-year-old” comment – disciplined. (He has since been told he will be barred from working on future sexual abuse cases.) Many of the signers are survivors of abuse about which, at the time, they were not allowed to speak. Back in “Mad Men” times.

 

It was a time without the internet, sans mobile phones and airbags. No one really wants to return to it. Even Judge Peters, I suspect, would be grateful to be saved from the worst effects of a head-on road collision.

 

This collision, however, the one between his interpretation of the facts and the reality, he created all by himself.

 

Increase Wilson’s sentence and make it custodial. Sack Judge Peters. Replace him with a judge more likely to be well-informed.

 

Keep in mind, the year is 2013.

 

 

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Filed under Abuse, Assault, Brain, Guardian, Law, Misogyny, Pain, Porn, Rape, Rapist as parasite, Sexism, Sexual assault

Why Huma Can’t Leave, And Why She Should

Huma Abedin in presumably happier times

 

 

Let’s set aside ambition. Although Huma Abedin, the wife of Anthony Weiner – currently regarded as manna from heaven by late-night comics who regard Weiner’s continued sexting with his self-chosen handle “Carlos Danger” as unbelievable fodder for gags – is no shrinking violet, she lacks the rip-the-baby-from-the-breast mania of Lady Macbeth. Ambitious, yes. For herself, not so much these days, when she’s riding her husband’s soiled coattails.

 

Let’s also put away, for the moment, the history of embarrassed American political wives. Hillary Clinton was not the first First Lady – when can we alter that to the useful First Spouse? – to stand by her man. American political newspapers, television, and now Twitter-sphere have been littered with the wreckage of broken marital vows and betrayed hearts. Huma Abedin is following in those women’s footsteps in pronouncing herself “supportive” of her ridiculously immature husband – a bad move in the 21st century, as we will see below – but she need not. Jenny Sanford of South Carolina did not do so, thank goodness, after her then-governor then-husband was discovered not on the Appalachian Trail but in another nation entirely. In 2013, one need not follow a script dictating that one trot oneself out and publicly “forgive” the jerk one married years before.

 

So, back-burnering ambition and American custom, let’s look, instead, at Huma’s past. As therapists know, what we grow up with is incredibly influential in how we make decisions as adults.

 

Huma’s parents were from South Asia. Her father, Syed Zainul Abedin, born in India in 1928, received his first college degree from Aligarh Muslim University, southeast of Delhi, and later earned a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. He was an Islamic scholar, founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (consulting and advising where Muslims are a religious minority, as in India), acted as a consultant to the Muslim World League, and died in 1993 when Huma was a teenager (her father was 48 when Huma was born in 1976).

 

Huma’s mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, was born in northwest India (now Pakistan) in 1940. Twelve years younger than her husband, she met him at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a PhD in sociology in 1977. For many years she has taught sociology at Dar Al-Hekma College, a women’s college in Saudi Arabia.

 

Not long after Huma’s mother finished her PhD, the family packed up and moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Huma was two years old, and did not live in the US again until she attended college at George Washington University.

 

If it’s me reading the signs, here’s what we have:

 

Both parents from South Asia but with a desire to experience a purer form of Muslim life in Saudi Arabia. Willing to put their only child under the heavy strictures that Saudi Arabia imposes on girls and women. An Islamic scholar father, much older than his wife. Perhaps dictatorial, certainly deferred to. A man whose power was backed up by Saudi law.

 

In Jeddah, Huma’s father would have been entitled to up to four legal wives. There’s no evidence that he married anyone other than Huma’s mother, but no evidence that he remained monogamous, either. Considering his work, he might have been ridiculed by other men had he not taken additional wives.

 

At least one writer regards Huma’s mother as an “influential sharia activist” who has, in her writings, provided justification for the legal subordination of women to men, and appallingly, female genital mutilation (FGM), which pre-dates Islam (it was inflicted in ancient Egypt) and is slowly losing ground – due in part to its demonstrated harm to women’s reproductive lives. (In that context, it’s worth wondering if as a child Huma herself was subjected to cutting, and if her health has been imperiled as a result.)

 

In addition, Huma herself was raised, not in India, but in sectarian, dogmatic Saudi Arabia, with its strictures on females of all ages. It would be ridiculous to assume that she only experienced societal limits after menarche. In fact, Saudi girls routinely watch their mothers, aunts and older sisters being inhibited and punished, and they hear from friends about their own families. Secrets are kept, but the truth also emerges.

 

If in Saudi Arabia, Huma’s father had sexted a young woman, if he had promised her an apartment to be shared as a lovenest, if he had held lewd conversations with her (all of which Anthony Weiner has done, in an incredible display of hubris and power-wielding), how would Huma’s mother have acted?

 

What would Mommy do?

 

Mommy would have grinned and borne it. She would have let it go. She would have regarded it as one more thing permitted to husbands in a society where being male confers incredible license. She would have remembered that under Saudi law, divorce might see Huma legally snatched from her mother and deposited with her father, forever.

 

Most of all, Huma’s mother would feel relieved that her husband was merely using social media, not taking to wife a newer, younger woman who would perhaps turn the husband against the mother of his child.

 

All of the above help us understand why Huma has chosen a path that made the New York Post front-page, in its frustration, “What’s Wrong With You?”. If the Post were published in the Arab world, however, it might be blazoned with “Fantastic Job, Huma!” or “Setting a Good Example for Girls”. Even when her husband, at last count, now admits to sexting three different women since resigning from Congress, layering lie upon lie, and when according to polls his political stock among voters has taken a nosedive.

 

The problems with Huma’s approach go to the heart of why she ought to choose a different path: she no longer lives in Saudi Arabia, and she’s not married to a strict Muslim husband – though Weiner’s brash sense of entitlement and arrogance seem to fit him for the role. She lives in the US. She might have political aspirations of her own. If she does, she’s going about this all wrong. Huma is playing 21st-century politics with an old-fashioned game plan.

 

Plus, she’s setting her son up to be an abuser, and any future daughter (or daughter-in-law) to be abused.

 

As a Guardian reader commented: “… Would anyone out there want to see their daughter in Huma’s position, defending a man with zero understanding of his problems, shrugging off these incidents as if he was caught shoplifting instead of texting nude shots of himself to a young woman whom he not only wanted to set up in a Chicago apartment but declared his undying love for?” Answer: no, not in the US.

 

Huma, listen up: In America, smart women aren’t doormats. We don’t put up with abuse. You’re a very intelligent woman, but IQ does not equal EQ, and on this subject, you’re bog-standard stupid. In five years, or ten, or twenty, whenever you feel like running for office yourself, do you really think American women will praise the memory of your getting up there and defending your abuser? Puh-leez! We’re much more likely to say, oh, here’s that idiot, the woman who knew her husband sexted under the handle of “Carlos Danger”, who knew he lied about it, who did not insist on ongoing therapy, and stayed with him. And excused him, and encouraged us to excuse him, too.

 

Vote for Huma? Not on your life.

 

Do you get it? Gut the oldie-goldie behaviors you learned as a child. If your mother’s suggesting you stay with your abusive husband – when the rest of the US is aghast – figure out what you want. Do you want to run for public office? Want people to vote for you? The path you’re taking will not lead to success, not these days.

 

The New York Post suggests Huma might have a “pathological need to be publicly humiliated”. What she has looks like, instead, a pathological need to be regarded as a perfect wife according to outdated and harmful models, the models she learned as a child.

 

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child.” It’s time for Huma Abedin to speak like an adult. Otherwise, we the people will infer that she and her husband richly deserve each other.

 

 

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Filed under Abuse, Anthony Weiner, Cruelty, FGM, Guardian, Huma Abedin, India, Law, Menarche, Mental health, Mental illness, Misogyny, Muslim, New York City, News, Pain, Politics, Relationships, Sexism

Really, Chile?

Sebastian Pinera, making life-and-death decisions one 11-year-old at a time.

 

If a child is too young to adequately consent to sex, with all its emotional and physical ramifications, then surely she is too young to make life-or-death decisions, right?

 

Not in Chile.

 

An 11-year-old girl repeatedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather has been praised by Sebastián Piñera,  the nation’s president, for her “mature” decision not to seek an abortion. (Note that this scenario occurs all over the world. A recent case in China involved an abused 12-year-old.)

 

Now, leaving aside questions of what abortion options would be available to this young girl in Chile (few), the amount of pressure a Catholic country’s therapists and families might place on a vulnerable child (huge), and the fact that the girl’s mother is obviously not the person who should be raising her (the mother initially called the rapes “consensual”), how is a child whose frontal lobe is still under construction to be regarded as mature enough to decide to continue a process that can easily kill her?

 

Two things: first, the age of menarche — a girl’s first menses — has been dropping since 1840, as has boys’ sexual maturity since 1750, even though mentally and emotionally they are still children; and, second, the brain research being carried out at the National Institute of Health (NIH) by Dr. Jay Giedd and by other researchers in other countries, clearly indicates that even in healthy humans, a child’s brain differs from an adolescent’s brain differs from an adult’s brain.

 

This 11-year-old is therefore two whole steps away from having an adult brain. She should not be asked to make an adult decision, since she does not yet possess the frontal lobe capacity to do so.

 

In addition, pregnancy and childbirth are risky. Even in wealthy nations with excellent healthcare and follow-up, grown women die during fetal growth and delivery. The US is hardly at the top of the list for maternal mortality (that’s where people die as a result of pregnancy or delivery, including within several days after a birth), but US statistics demonstrate that overall, maternal mortality is 8 per 100,000. In Chile, the figure is almost three times higher: 23 per 100,000. In both countries, that is an average. In certain geographical areas and among certain populations, death rates soar.

 

That is especially true of people who are pregnant before they reach age 20. Among teenagers, pregnancy is horribly dangerous. Imagine what the risk will be for an 11-year-old who can only picture a baby being like a doll to “take care of”.

 

Amnesty International asserts that this child must be provided with an abortion in order to save her life. While Chile stalls, an evasive scenario is likely to happen. Because the young girl’s body is immature, something is almost certain to go wrong with the pregnancy. At that point, doctors can intervene and decide to “deliver early” in order to keep the 11-year-old alive. Early enough, and the fetus will not survive.

 

That’s what you call prevarication. In a society where a raped child is praised for “maturity”, that’s what happens.

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Filed under Chile, Grooming, Jay Giedd, Menarche, Menstruation, Misogyny, NIH, Pregnancy, Rape, Sexual assault

Libya Leads the Way

Part of the war in Libya

 

 

Who would have imagined it?

 

A Muslim-majority nation placing greater sanctions on the crime of rape than Western countries?

 

That’s the idea of Libyan legislators who have drafted a bill that, if passed, would make rape during armed conflict a war crime punishable by ten years in prison.

 

That means that rape, held since ancient times to be the perquisite of soldiers and sailors, regarded as perfectly understandable in “lusty” men – and the equivalent of post-battle crimes against property, like looting – would, in a worldwide first, be regarded as just as much a war crime as torture or the murder of civilians.

 

What happened in Libya to bring about this innovative idea is stomach-wrenching. As The Guardian reports, people searching for missing children during the 2011 revolution that saw Moammar Khadafy deposed and killed found in cellars far below the surface of the earth rooms clearly used for torture. They also found rooms full of women who had been tortured by being raped.

 

In the conservative society that is Libya, even discussing rape is difficult, but it was obvious as the women spoke that the men who raped them were not only imposing control and humiliation, pain and wounds that some women died of – they were also using the women as political victims. Since the women were taken from anti-Khadafy families, they were regarded as fair game for what could be called “torture by penis”. Many needed medical care after being brutally invaded. Few received such care. Instead, they were left to die of internal injuries and septicemia, a horrifying death.

 

Rape was apparently a Khadafy specialty. A new book, Gaddafi’s Harem: The Story of a Young Woman and the Abuses of Power in Libya details the many ways in which the leader abused women and girls chosen by him personally. No wonder, then, that his underlings felt entitled to rape in such a flawed, inhumane system.

 

While Libya’s proposed legislation is a commendable move, it does not go far enough. “Armed conflict”, what does that mean? Must everyone carry a weapon? Obviously, some people – mainly female – are not allowed weapons during conflict. Take Egypt, for example, where conflict is growing but few people outside the military own guns. (Why a gun? – isn’t a knife enough of a personal threat? Come to that, an engorged penis used to harm is plenty threatening.) The problem of rape in Egypt is exploding into “an epidemic of sexual violence” to the point that, even outside battle-lined Cairo, few Western women want to visit Egypt, even though in the past they were big fans of Red Sea resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh. If Egyptian men are so avid to attack their own – some young women are disguising themselves as boys to avoid rape – the presence of non-North African women in their misogynistic, violent society is horror on wheels. As one writer notes, Egypt needs a sexual violence revolution, a cultural shift to make rape as abhorrent as it is in Scandinavia, where, according to research, all of Norway’s convicted rapists in 2012 were Muslim. In other words, they were not ethnic Norwegians, they were imported trouble.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the West is not without flaw. The US armed forces have dragged themselves through the muck with regard to rapes committed against both female and male forces – by their own side, let’s recall. Getting shot at by the enemy might be less frightening than being raped by a man who is known – who is, at times, one’s superior officer – to the victim. Considering how often brutalized soldiers have been denigrated by the people assigned to interview them, the US has a long way to go before “joining the Army” is not met with disbelief and horror.

 

Think of Western television, too. How many crime/detective/medical dramas feature a young woman brutalized? If these characters were young men, blue-eyed and fair-haired, objections would flood the channels. As it is, as Fiona Sturges points out in The Independent, “These too-familiar tableaux of women being bound and gagged . . . beaten and raped normalises male sexual cruelty, along with the notion of women as powerless victims.” When cruelty is presented as normal, men who inflict it see themselves as, you know, regular guys. The patent falsehood “good guys commit rape, too” is created from this madness.

 

Then there’s everyday sexism. The terrifying reality of which, frankly, sucks.

 

So, way to go, Libya! Make rape a war crime. It’s only taken thousands of years. Let us hope and expect that every nation follows your lead.

 

Only, don’t stop with rape during armed conflict.

 

Rapists will not.

 

 

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Filed under Egypt, Egyptian beaches, Egyptian tourism, Misogyny, Pain, Pain footprint, Rape, Rape is torture, Sexual assault, Terrorism, Torture, War against women, War crime

In China, Breast Milk Is For Grown-Ups

 

Call it “capitalism gone mad”, as a conservative writer for the Telegraph just did.

 

In Shenzhen, the booming city in southern China that borders Hong Kong, young women from poor rural areas who have just given birth (to what is often their only child, given China’s one-child policy, and increasingly a boy, due to the practices of fetal sex determination and abortion of female fetuses) are being recruited to feed their breast milk, not to their newborn, but to wealthy, grown Chinese men.

 

A Chinese writer blasted what is referred to as “adult nannying”, calling it “the moral degradation of China’s rich”. No wonder, for in a nation with low breastfeeding rates (because of limited maternity leave and formula manufacturers’ pushiness, only 28% of Chinese women feed their babies human milk), these women are not only depriving their own infants of the healthiest and cleanest nourishment available, but are giving it to wealthy men who frequently demand to suckle.

 

That’s right. They’re not drinking human milk from cup or bottle or breastpump, but directly from the women’s breast.

 

You notice I wrote these women were giving their milk. No, not quite. They are selling the entire breastfeeding/wet-nursing experience for what in China are big bucks.

 

From The International Business Times: “Lactating mothers are hired by wealthy families for six to eight months and can earn up to 16,000 yuan (£1,700) a month [in US terms, about $2,500 per month], vastly more than a factory job pays.”

 

Families hire these women as wet nurses in part because of a 2008 formula contamination scare in China, during which six babies died and hundreds more were made ill by tainted artificial milk.

 

But who is hiring, from the same services agency, lactating women for adults? According to the IBTimes, the clients include wealthy businessmen from Hong Kong and “overworked company directors”.

 

Oh, poor things. So much stress, so much money. So much creepiness.

 

For the young mothers, the money seems like a godsend. It supplements their husbands’ pay (no single mums in China), and is saved for the child’s education. But while children may be benefited later, they lose out on all the nutrients and immunological pluses of mother’s milk, while the milk goes down the throats of lubricious fat cats, where it is not needed. No adult, especially not a company director – overworked or not – needs to boost their immune system, unless it is compromised (by AIDS, for example).

 

The proof that this practice is less about health than about sex and unrestrained capitalism comes from an interview of the Shenzhen domestic services agency that supplies wet nurses, Xinxinyu. Young women who are “healthy and good-looking” can earn even more than the average monthly pay-packet.

 

What are the Chinese saying about this?

 

Largely, they’re appalled. The breastfeeding of royal children over the age of five has a long history in China – the last emperor, Pu Yi, was allowed access to the breasts of wet nurses into his teens – but the practice was banned by Mao Zedong and has long been regarded as immoral. Chinese on social media have condemned the current revival, calling it corrupt and unethical. Said one writer, Cao Baoyin, “This adds to China’s problem of treating women as consumer goods, and the moral degradation of China’s rich.”

 

And Western capitalists? Are they of the same mind? Here is Tim Stanley, for the Telegraph: “When you take the profit motive and strip it of old-fashioned concepts like shame or natural law, it becomes rational in the minds of nihilists to treat the human body as yet another product to packaged, priced up and put on the market . . . If China’s oligarchs treat their people like cattle, that’s exactly where capitalism without morality ends. Don’t be surprised if rich Chinese businessmen start wearing clothes taken from the hair of the poor, or jewelry made from fingers. Perhaps an amputated foot as a doorstop? . . . The world’s reached a pretty poor state when a rich man can request breast milk on his cornflakes. As species go, we’re a sick bunch of bunnies alright.”

 

I think we need a better analogy, Tim. Even bunnies’ milk goes to their own offspring.

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Filed under Abortion, Breast milk, Capitalism, China, Misogyny, One-child policy, Sex-selective abortion, Telegraph, Wet nurse

Listen Up, Boys and Girls

Man or boy?

 

 

Does parenthood imperil the skills of a money trader?

 

Apparently it does. Only, however, if the trader is female.

 

That’s the take of Paul Tudor Jones, a billionaire who made his money as a hedge fund manager, in this comment while speaking to prospective hedge-funders at the University of Virginia: “Jones said in his experience having a child is a ‘killer’ for any desire to trade, adding ‘as soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,’ while motioning to his chest, according to a video posted by the Washington Post.”

 

There are plenty of ways to take Jones’s generalized interpretation of the effect of parenthood. Take it as gospel, if you like. View it as belittlement. Regard it as the limited perspective of a white male speaking of his decades-old observations. Factor in the possibility of early dementia, perhaps.

 

We can argue – and many people have – over the validity of Jones’s global perceptions.

 

Yet among the widespread criticism of the content of Jones’s comment, I have yet to read of anyone taking Jones to task for his choice of the word “girl”.

 

Girl.

 

It’s a punch in the gut. A slimy punch.

 

Jones was referring to female traders he once knew, and an educated guess would put them well over the age of 18 . . . who would hand a job like that to a high-schooler? They therefore were and are women. To refer to them as “girls” both patronizes and disparages, and is a clear indicator of Jones’s intent. Apologies notwithstanding, he evidently has little respect for women no matter their skills and talents. That red-flag attitude is as much to be deplored as his assumption that becoming a parent somehow cripples young traders, but only if they’re female parents.

 

I’ll go further and point out that Jones’s use of the word “girl” in this context was so condescending, so belittling, as to be the equivalent of “boy” as used in reference to African-American men.

 

“Hey, boy!” “Those girls can’t handle our work!” See the symmetry?

 

Jones presumably knows better than to call dark-skinned men “boys” (especially when his audience contains several). He hasn’t yet learned to curb his tongue when speaking of females – of any race – who have achieved voting age.

 

As to his content, how does his opinion stack up to research? Recent studies have proven women to be better traders and money handlers, less inclined to take dire risks, more able to render profit to their clients. Perhaps they regard the money in their accounts as their “baby”, thus deserving of nurturing care?

 

It’s a skill and approach many males could learn and profit from.

 

As to Jones, let’s hope he learns to do his own risk analysis. First, though, he needs to think, about content and chosen vocabulary: “I was wrong”.

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Filed under Harassment, Language, Misogyny, Paul Tudor Jones, Risk analysis, War against women, Women