When you can't live without bananas

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How do the different races compare in terms of penis size?

Gabriel Seah's answer to How do the different races compare in terms of penis size? - Quora

I have come to agree with the popular stereotypes (Asian men are small, White men are bigger and Black men are biggest) for many and various reasons:

i) An India study in 2006 found that international condoms are too big for Indian men (Condoms 'too big' for Indian men)

ii)  Chinese condoms are too small for South African men  (Chinese condoms too small for South Africans: report)

iii) WHO and USAID have smaller width specifications for certain markets - primarily Asian ones (Chapter 5, Standards, Specifications and Tests).

iv) USAID found in the 1970s that US-sized condoms were too big for Thailand (Page on Enersol)

v) Good international penis size data from various countries reflect the stereotypes:

(Page on Enersol)

Taking the "country" column as a proxy for race, if we remove the Australian data (from 1995 and 1998 - even then Australia was a diverse nation, with 23% of the population being overseas-born and 27% of the native-born population having at least one overseas parent, making the data hard to interpret), we see that Nigerians have the longest penises, followed by US Africans, US Caucasians, Brazilians, Thais and then Koreans. Even if you remove the Nigerian sample for its small sample size, the US Africans still have the longest penises (looking purely at length). The circumference data has a similar ranking for the samples.

vi) Non-Asian men who go to Japan report that you should bring your own condoms, since Japanese condoms are too small.

vii) Another Asian friend tells me Durex condoms are too small for him and always slip off. Japanese condoms provide a better fit.

viii)  Someone I know who's slept with many men of different races says the  stereotypes are true, and dick size is correlated to body size (since  Asian men are slight, white men are bigger and black men the biggest you  can see how the stereotypes apply).

ix) A black male friend says Asian girls are always wary when they see his penis, and he has to be gentle with them.

x) A girl I know who's slept with a lot of men of various races says non-Asian men are bigger.

xi) A girl I know who's slept with quite a few White and Asian men say the White men are bigger and that they say Asian girls are tighter.

We should not ignore reality just because it is politically incorrect: the implications to sexual and reproductive health of pretending men of all races have the same penis size are disastrous.

What I always think of when Winter Wonderland comes on

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Give it a try." whispered the heart.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Lina ***: "It's impossible." said pride.
"It's risky." said experience.
"It's pointless." said reason.
"Give it a try." whispered the heart.

Joe ***: "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?!?!?!" shouted the anus two minutes later.

TRS doesn't always incite hate

American girl studying in Singapore: Singapore men is the best! | The Real Singapore

"I'm an American girl currently studying in SMU who migrated to Singapore, and am currently attached to a Singaporean guy.

I have been in several relationships with western guys.

When I started dating my Singaporean boyfriend, I was completely taken aback by the kindness that he showed me. Even simple things like pulling out my chair for me and walking me to the bus stop.

I NEVER had a boyfriend do things like this for me and when he does these simple things for me it makes me so happy.

In my previous relationships, I was always the person giving.

I would clean, cook and bake, buy presents for my boyfriend, etc. just about everything you can think of for these lazy j**ks.

And they would still yell at me, threaten me, tell me I wasn't good enough or crazy when I asked them why they didn't appreciate the things I do for them.

I had almost given up on love before I met my Singaporean boyfriend and I had completely given up on the idea that a guy could give me half as much as I am willing to give them.

When I came to Asia to study abroad, I was amazed by the effort that the men here put into their relationships.

The kindness, compassion, and respect they have for women.

I have nothing to say to girls who can't appreciate how hard working and amazing you all are.

To Singaporean guys that are still single out there or with their demanding Singaporean girlfriends I have one thing to say - Please let me remind you that Singapore is a very small place.

I think some of you should start looking elsewhere for girls that can truly appreciate you."

Someone pointed out that this was also on SMU Confessions.

Original author, in comment:

"Hello Everyone,

I am the original author of this post.

The person who posted this article has almost completely quoted a comment that I posted as a response to this article.

Yes, that picture is fake, but I would like to assure you all that the story is real.
Please look at the comment listed under the other story for my actual wording.

I am sending an email to admin to try to get this taken down and I am deeply disappointed that someone would copy my comment almost word by word for their profit.

Maybe I can post a contribution with my actual story. I think that would be much better than this fake repost.

Thanks for listening"

Original comment:

"As an American girl dating a Singapore guy, I would like all of you to consider something.

I have been in several relationships with western guys. When I started dating my Singaporean boyfriend, I was completely taken aback by the kindness that he showed me. Even simple things like pulling out my chair for me and walking me to the bus stop.
I NEVER had a boyfriend do things like this for me and when he does these simple things for me it makes me so happy.

In my previous relationships, I was always the person giving. I would clean, cook, buy presents, find jobs...ect ect just about everything you can think of for these lazy jerks. And they would still yell at me, threaten me, tell me I wasn't good enough or crazy when I asked them why they didn't appreciate the things I do for them.

I had almost given up on love before I met my Singaporean boyfriend and I had completely given up on the idea that a guy could give me half as much as I am willing to give them.

When I came to Asia to study abroad, I was amazed by the effort that you all put into your relationships. And the kindness, compassion, and respect you have for women.

I have nothing to say to girls like this who can't appreciate how hard working and amazing you all are.

To Singaporean guys I have one thing to say: This is not the first story I've heard like this. Please let me remind you that Singapore is a very small place. I think some of you should start looking elsewhere for girls that can truly appreciate you. ♥

Thanks for listening :)...

haha. Well, I have many other American friends that agree with me! A lot of american guys don't treat women well at all..."

I threw a snowball at Lee Kuan Yew

*Lord Lee-kuanyew The Wealthy. Sith Maurader Level 55*

LKY from the back

*Lord Lee-kuanyew in Diplomat's Meditation Hoverchair*

"long live lky"
"Lies. He will die soon"

"ae you singaporean"
"u shall be fined"
"I threw a snowball at LKY!" (as part of the Life Day Event)
"u need to get authority for my pic"

"Littering is not condoned. $1000 fine"

*Lord Lee-kuanyew The Wealthy striking pose with lightsabers*

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who's being pranked?

There's a little fellow named Junior who hangs out at the local grocery store. The manager doesn't know what Junior's problem is, but the boys like to tease him. They say he is two bricks short of a load, or two pickles shy of a barrel.

To prove it, sometimes the boys offer Junior his choice between a nickel and a dime. He always takes the nickel, they say, because it's bigger.

One day after Junior grabbed the nickel, the store manager got him off to one side and said, "Junior, those boys are making fun of you. They think you don't know the dime is worth more than the nickel. Are you grabbing the nickel because it's bigger, or what?"

Junior grins and says, "Well, if I took the dime, they'd stop doing it, and so far I've made $20!"

Links - 18th December 2013

Singapore riots: A typical India-like situation - News Oneindia
Too bad this comes from an Indian site, or we could dismiss this characterisation as "racist"

Ding Dong Ditch - The People's Funny Pictures Blog - Quora

Answer to Indian Women: Why is it difficult to date an Indian girl in general? - Quora - "I was arrested for talking to an Indian woman... I have decided never to approach women anymore... at least as long as I am in India... Even if it means that I don't ever get laid again. Women have too much power in the system. I don't know how much money and time I will end up losing in this court case. Pretty sure they will confiscate my passport for as long as the trial lasts. And trials in this country last decades... the father of this woman issued a death threat to me, again in full public view, and in front of all these cops. He said, “I will cut your head into two pieces. I will slice your throat. I am saying this in front of the police, and I am not afraid.” Yeah… so asking a woman out is a crime, but hitting a man, or issuing a death threat, in full public view, in front of the cops, with CCTV monitoring all around is not!... We are not empowering women by enslaving men to some random woman’s whimsical attention seeking agenda. We are weakening society as a whole... Where are the women in all this?"
Of course, you don't see protests about this

Fight Against misuse of Dowry law (IPC-498a) - Get Free Advice and protect against 498a - "This website is an attempt to create awareness among Indian nationals about the rampant misuse of 498a (Dowry Law misuse) by unscrupulous women to extort money and harass their husband's entire extended family. This website is dedicated to the victims of gender-biased laws of India (498a and domestic violence against women law) and provides comprehensive and free information about how to protect yourself and take preventive measures to save your family from this law which has been termed as 'legal terrorism' by Honorable Supreme Court of India."

EXCLUSIVE: Horrifying "Cthuken" Creator Speaks: Gothamist - "According to Eulberg, he and wife Jennifer Robledo "wanted to do something unique for Christmas dinner with friends of ours. Jenny is a big fan of Cthulhu so we went and bought some crab legs and some octopus and bacon and cooked them all separate and slapped them together on a plate, and that was it. The next year I made a Cthicken; the same thing using squid instead of octopus and a chicken"... "for added horror, the serving platter is an old Nazi plate with a Swastika on the bottom that a friend bought in an old abandoned Luftwaffe base in Germany"... Asked how he'll ever top the Cthurkey, Eulberg tells us he might "do a full-on Cthulhu-themed dinner next Halloween. I don't know how we can make the turkey better, but maybe we can make tentacle cupcakes with gummy worms. And maybe deep fry the whole thing.""

The 8 Types of Tolkien Fans - "Lord of the Rings Extended Editioners: "I feel like watching 40 hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries about chainmail"
"They're the only things on my bookshelf that actually look like books!""

FAQ | Milk Of Love - "I came across articles on lactation cookies. I decided to try them out, and was surprised with the results. I usually eat 2 pieces of cookies (if I can control myself from eating them) on the average per day, and I have an increase of about 11% of milk collected over a period of 5 days. I could finally start to reduce the number of formula feeds for my son! I reduced the amount of vitamins (because Fenugreek is quite expensive) I’m eating daily to boost the milk supply, and experimented with the lactation cookies’ recipes instead...
Are the cookies made with breast milk?
Of course not! We save the precious breast milk for our children.
Can my family eat the cookies?

These are great nutritious cookies which everyone can have. They do not produce or create milk supply. They help to boost milk supply, and so your husband or your children will not have any milk unless they are lactating. My own husband munches on them while I’m baking too!"

Boys and Girls May Get Different Breast Milk: Scientific American - "Mother's milk may be the first food, but it is not created equal. In humans and other mammals, researchers have found that milk composition changes depending on the infant's gender and on whether conditions are good or bad. Understanding those differences can give scientists insights into human evolution... Researchers at Michigan State University and other institutions found that among 72 economically sufficient mothers in rural Kenya, women with sons generally gave richer milk (2.8 percent fat compared with 1.74 percent for daughters).* Poor women, however, favored daughters with creamier milk (2.6 versus 2.3 percent)... Together the studies provide support for a 40-year-old theory in evolutionary biology. The Trivers-Willard hypothesis states that natural selection favors parental investment in daughters when times are hard and in sons when times are easy. The imbalance should be greatest in polygamous societies, in which men can father offspring with multiple wives, such as the Kenyan villages... Even beyond fat and protein, other milk components might vary in humans, says Katie Hinde, an assistant professor in human evolutionary biology at Harvard University. She has found higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that regulates metabolism, in rhesus macaque milk for male infants. Her work shows that milk differences could change infant behavior and might affect growth and development."
Women's bodies have been socialised by patriarchy!

Thirteen plead guilty to Anonymous hack of Paypal site - "The defendants acknowledged taking part in protests organized by Anonymous in December 2010 against Paypal, after the payment site cut ties to Wikileaks. By pleading guilty, they will be hit with minor misdemeanour charges, as long as they stay out of trouble. Paypal had urged leniency by prosecutors. Lawyers for the defendants had argued that they were taking part in protests that should be protected by the US Constitution - specifically the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. However, the US Department of Justice accused them of intentionally damaging a protected computer."

Keira Knightley recycles her prom queen wedding dress AGAIN as she attends charity gala - "Marking the third time she has worn the pale pink gown to a high-profile event, the Atonement star gave her dress a festive twist by teaming it with a striking sheer overlay with pretty cream beading on the collar and cuffs."

Tanning Salon Employee Has Epic Racist Freakout Over 'Sexy Indian' Ad - "Yesterday, we brought you one of the most ill-advised ads for a tanning salon ever (as though tanning could get any more gauche), a tacky, racist mess that featured a white lady in a "Sexy Indian" Halloween costume along with copy that read "The Indians brought more than just 'CORN' to the first Thanksgiving... they brought SEXY 'COLOR'!"
It's racist to say dark skin is sexy, it's racist to say light skin is sexy... (Not Fair: Skin whitening and casual racism in beauty adverts | Get The Gloss). So any mention of race is racist?

20 Pictures that Prove You Have a Dirty Mind

Court Room | Two jailed for having paid sex with girl, 16 - "Two men were each jailed for 12 weeks yesterday for having paid sex with a 16-year-old student in an online vice-ring case.... In Muhammad Ibrahim’s case, the court heard that he texted the number listed on the advertisement on Feb 24 to book the minor’s services for $180 an hour. The minor made a “house call” at his Tampines home after he electronically transferred $50 as transport fees to a bank account. Muhammad Ibrahim said the girl claimed she was 22"
Apparently I didn't post this Malcolm Graham Head story

Canadians wary of 9/11 explanations - and of US officials - "Among Canadians, 49% said they were inclined to believe the critics, while 37% of Americans said the same. In other words, the Canadians who responded to the online questions were somewhat more sceptical of the official account than were Americans. "

Why the 9/11 conspiracies have changed - "Ten years on from the attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people, conspiracy theories have continued to evolve. They now question every aspect of the official account, despite the fact that every year has provided more witnesses and evidence to bolster the official explanation... Since 9/11 there have been numerous lengthy and painstaking official reports - the 9/11 Commission, congressional investigations and many inquiries by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. None has ever found any evidence of a wider conspiracy. The myriad of conspiracy theories, on the other hand, are rarely spelt out in great detail - perhaps because when they are, they have been quickly debunked. Nor is a motive usually explained... Nothing is taken on trust about 9/11. If an eyewitness, an official or an expert counters a conspiracy theory, their motives are immediately questioned. And the theories are ever evolving. When evidence comes forward that casts doubt on a theory, one rarely hears an admission that the theory must be wrong. Instead the focus shifts to the latest "unanswered question". "We don't know the full story of exactly what happened," says American radio talk show host Alex Jones. "We know the official story is completely unproven and a fairy tale. I'm saying that it needs to be investigated"... Initially many questioned how such huge skyscrapers, which had dominated the Manhattan skyline for so long, could be brought down by an hour or so of fires - alluding to the possibility of some kind of controlled demolition. But then the official report set out a rational explanation. And it also pointed out that contrary to the conspiracy theory, controlled demolition is always bottom up and not the top down collapse of the Twin Towers. So then the focus shifted to World Trade Center Building 7 - another huge skyscraper which also collapsed on 9/11, but which was not hit by a plane. The theory is that tonnes of explosives and an incendiary called thermite were used in a controlled demolition to destroy the building from the bottom up. But when it is pointed out that thermite has never been used in controlled demolition, the theory once again moves on and claims that new and secret types of explosives and incendiaries were used

Ask Amy: Parent pressures gay son to change - "He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years — I have a busy work schedule. Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you. -- Feeling Betrayed
DEAR BETRAYED: You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality to show him how easy it is. Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice — to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure."

Immigrants lacking papers work legally — as their own bosses - "Although federal law prohibits employers from hiring someone residing in the country illegally, there is no law prohibiting such a person from starting a business or becoming an independent contractor. As a result, some young immigrants are forming limited liability companies or starting freelance careers — even providing jobs to U.S. citizens — as the prospect of an immigration law revamp plods along in Congress... employees often have set hours and use equipment provided by the employer. Independent contractors make their own hours, get paid per project by submitting invoices and use their own tools. Also, someone who hires an independent contractor isn't obligated by immigration law to verify that person's legal status."

Some gay New Yorkers feeling pressure to get hitched this holiday - "Many moms and dads are not-so-secretly hoping that their gay sons and lesbian daughters will "put a ring on it" this holiday season. Welcome to equality: the land where families and friends think nothing of urging you to the altar and inquiring about your reproductive intentions... the right to marry has also delivered unexpected social pressure on people who have long formed their own creative, and, at times, unconventional, partnerships that they were previously under no pressure to define... The pressure on long-time couples to sign the papers can also come from gay friends... some older gay people lament that a culture once viewed as creative and transgressive is turning into a mainstream couples cult... "It's a bittersweet feeling of being a single gay man and being perhaps older or middle aged and feeling left out""
Is anyone going to speak on behalf of this oppression?!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Internalising the dominant paradigm

"One form of the social existence of male power is inside women. In this form, male power becomes self-enforcing. Women become "thingified in the head"... Given the imperatives of women's lives, the necessity to avoid punishment - from self-rejection to involuntary incarceration to suicide - it is not irrational for women to see themselves in a way that makes their necessary compliance tolerable, even satisfying. Living each day reconvinces everyone, women and men alike, of male hegemony, which is hardly a myth, and of women's innate inferiority and men's innate superiority, a myth that each day's reliving makes difficult to distinguish meaningfully from reality."

--- Toward a Feminist Theory of the State / Catharine A. MacKinnon

This means that women who do not reject the patriarchy have deluded themselves and we can ignore them as having internalised the dominant paradigm.

This means that we can act in people's best interests - ignoring what they want - as long as we tell ourselves that they are suffering from false consciousness and that we are acting for their own good.

They Show All Kinds

"They show all kinds
Bananas. Headlights. Peaches. Cucumbers. Double Bubble.
Watermelons. Cantelopes. Plad Jacks. Coat Hooks. Bee Stings.
Pointers. Cucumbers. Water balloons. Pears. Gum drops.
Which one you like?"

Related: Balderdash: A picture I'd been looking for for a very long time

A less talked about aspect of freedom of speech in Singapore

Human resources manager fined, jailed for insulting modesty and causing hurt

"A human resource manager was fined $1,000 on Monday for insulting the modesty of a waitress by pointing at her breast and asking if his coffee was "from this machine". Pannirchelvam Ramachandra, 45, also hit the restaurant's supervisor's nose and threw a bowl at him. For these offences, he was jailed for 31/2 months.

He was in the cafe of the hotel in Bendemeer between 7am and 9am with a friend when he ordered two cups of coffee. The waitress, 33, asked him if he wanted the buffet coffee, which was complimentary, or the ala carte coffee from the coffee machine, which had to be paid for. He ordered the latter and when she served it, he pointed to her breast and made the insulting remark.

Later, when the cafe supervisor presented the bill, Pannirchelvam turned abusive. The supervisor walked away and video footage showed Pannirchelvam filling a bowl with noodles from the buffet table and flinging the bowl at the head of the supervisor. Later, he used the back of his hand to hit the victim's nose.

Pannirchelvam has previous convictions for disorderly behaviour and causing hurt to others and will start his jail term on Jan 16 so that he can settle work and family commitments."

This is almost certainly, of course, Section 509 of the Penal Code: "Word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman".

This is particularly interesting and relevant, because he was fined $1,000 *just* for insulting her modesty (and apparently he only said it once - unlike a previous case where the man sent two harassing SMSes to a woman). So we can disaggregate the charges for insulting her modesty and for battery, and distinguish between one-offs and repeated harassment (inasmuch as two SMSes constitutes repeated harassment).

It doesn't seem very far to go from criminalising insulting women sexually to criminalising bad pickup lines with a sexual component.

Naturally, AWARE does not call for this gender-specific law to be repealed or amended, and indeed suggests its use in sexual harassment allegations (though they do note that "Section 509 only protects women, whereas sexual harassment applies to both women and men").

(Fun peripheral fact: according to AWARE, "Criticising and insulting wife/girlfriend/partner", "Screaming at wife/partner/girlfriend" and "Controlling the wife/girlfriend/partner’s money and finances" are forms of "Violence Against Women").

Sunday, December 15, 2013

More feminism, less gender equality

Do women really have it better in Sweden?

"Oh, to be in Sweden, a feminist paradise on Earth! Gender equality is baked into the nation’s DNA...

The country is zealously tearing down the barriers that hold women back. Preschools go to extraordinary lengths to encourage non-gendered play. One school is experimenting with a gender-neutral pronoun, “hen,” so that kids will think of one another not as boys or girls but as “buddies.” Gender-neutral toy catalogues show boys playing with dolls and girls playing with water guns. Some Swedish movie theatres have introduced a gender rating for films, called the Bechdel test. (To pass, a movie needs to have at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.)

Sweden and the other Nordic nations always seem to lead the rankings of the world’s best countries for women. (Canada is lucky to crack the top 20.) So they’re an ideal laboratory for finding out what women really want. What choices will women make when the playing field is as level as social policy can make it?

I’m afraid the answers will disappoint a lot of people. That includes Sheryl Sandberg, the famous author of Lean In, who wrote, “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies, and men ran half our homes.”

The trouble is that the world’s most liberated women aren’t leaning in – in fact, many are leaning back. They work fewer hours and make less money than men, just as Canadian women do. In fact, Swedish women are much more likely to have part-time jobs and far less likely to hold top managerial positions or be CEOs. On top of that, Scandinavian labour markets are the most gender-segregated in the developed world.

Women do make up 25 per cent of Swedish corporate boards, but only because of quotas. The greatest concentration of senior managers, CEOs and other highly paid power women isn’t in Scandinavia. It’s here in North America, where working women’s lives are much tougher.

It turns out that all these family-friendly policies have an unintended impact on the gender gap, as Kay Hymowitz and many others have noted. By making it easy for women to drop out of the work force and work shorter hours, they make it harder for women to progress in their careers. Swedish men have these options too, but they don’t take them. So women don’t advance as far as men. And they are also considered less desirable by corporate employers who need people on the job 24/7.

In any event, only a small proportion of Nordic women choose to work as managers and professionals. Most choose lower-paid, highly gender-segregated work. As Alison Wolf has written in her excellent book The XX Factor, Scandinavian countries “hold the record for gender segregation because they have gone the furthest in outsourcing traditional female activities and turning unpaid home-based ‘caring’ into formal employment.”

Despite vigorous efforts to stamp out gender stereotyping, most Swedish girls would still rather be daycare workers and nurses when they grow up. And boys would rather be welders and truck drivers. And that’s not all. To the extreme chagrin of social engineers throughout Scandinavia, mothers still take the bulk of parental leave. Most men take parental leave only when a certain part of it is designated for fathers only.

Here’s an even more alarming possibility. What if people in the most developed countries are inclined to express greater gender differences, not less?

Studies of people in more than 60 countries around the world have found that much of gendered behaviour is culturally universal – men in all cultures tend to be more assertive and less emotionally expressive, while women are more nurturing and co-operative. But according to one startling research report, the divergence between male and female personality traits is more marked in highly developed countries...

Where do women have it better? That probably depends on how you define “better.”

If you define it as “high female pay and occupational success,” you’d choose North America. If you define it as “achieving work-life balance, with broad social supports and plenty of time for family and personal development,” you’d probably choose Sweden. There is no one right answer, only different ones.

As for how you get more women to lean in, I honestly don’t know. It’s hard to make them if they don’t want to."


What 'Lean In' Misunderstands About Gender Differences - Christina Hoff Sommers - The Atlantic

"There is much to admire in Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead...

But this otherwise likeable and inspirational self-help book has a serious flaw: It is mired in 1970s-style feminism. Nation magazine columnist Katha Pollitt compares Sandberg to "someone who's just taken Women's Studies 101 and wants to share it with her friends." What Pollitt intends as a compliment goes to the heart of what is wrong with Lean In...

Sandberg excels at the forward edge of economics and technology, but her sociology leans back to the Age of Aquarius. She praises to the skies Marlo Thomas's 1972 unisex album "Free to Be You and Me." She wants to bring back consciousness-raising groups, calling them "Lean in Circles." Women are advised to meet together and carry out "Listen, ask, and share" exercises. Sandberg's "Lean In" website provides "exploration kits" for these séances. One instructs group members to go round the room and finish sentences like "What I am most looking forward to in the month ahead..." and "Today I am feeling..." Is this how Mark Zuckerberg got to the top?

Sandberg's goal is to liberate her fellow Americans from the stereotypes of gender. But is that truly liberating?...

"It looks as if personality differences between men and women are smaller in traditional cultures like India's or Zimbabwe's than in the Netherlands or the United States. A husband and a stay-at-home wife in a patriarchal Botswanan clan seem to be more alike than a working couple in Denmark or France."

Why should that be? The authors of the study hypothesize that prosperity and equality bring greater opportunities for self-actualization. Wealth, freedom, and education empower men and women to be who they are. It is conspicuously the case that gay liberation is a feature of advanced, prosperous societies: but such societies also afford heterosexuals more opportunities to embrace their gender identities. This cross-cultural research is far from conclusive, but it is intriguing and has great explanatory power. Just think: What if gender difference turns out to be a phenomenon not of oppression, but rather of social well-being?

Consider, in this regard, the gender disparities in engineering. An article on the Wharton School website laments the paucity of women engineers and holds up China and Russia as superior examples of equity. According to the post, "In China, 40 percent of engineers are women, and in the former USSR, women accounted for 58 percent of the engineering workforce." The author blames workplace biases and stereotypes for the fact that women in the United States earn only 20 percent of the doctoral degrees in engineering. But perhaps American women earn fewer degrees in engineering because they don't have to. They have more opportunities to pursue careers that really interest them. American women may be behind men in engineering, but they now earn a majority of all Ph.Ds and outnumber men in humanities, biology, social sciences, and health sciences. Despite 40 years of consciousness-raising and gender-neutral pronouns, most men and women still gravitate to different fields and organize their lives in different ways. Women in countries like Sweden, Norway and Iceland enjoy elaborate supportive legislation, yet their vocational preferences and family priorities are similar to those of American women.

In a 2013 national poll on modern parenthood, the Pew Research Center asked mothers and fathers to identify their "ideal" working arrangement. Fifty percent of mothers said they would prefer to work part-time and 11 percent said they would prefer not to work at all. Fathers answered differently: 75 percent preferred full-time work. And the higher the socio-economic status of women, the more likely they were to reject full-time employment. Among women with annual family incomes of $50,000 or higher, only 25 percent identified full-time work as their ideal. Sandberg regards such attitudes as evidence of women's fear of success, double standards, gender bias, sexual harassment, and glass ceilings. But what if they are the triumph of prosperity and opportunity?

Sandberg seems to believe that the choices of contemporary American women are not truly free. Women who opt out or "lean back" (that is, towards home) are victims of sexism and social conditioning. "True equality will be achieved only when we all fight the stereotypes that hold us back." But aren't American women as self-determining as any in the history of humanity? In place of bland assertion, Sandberg needs to explain why the life choices of educated, intelligent women in liberal, opportunity-rich societies are unfree. And she needs to explain why the choices she promotes will make women happier and more fulfilled.

An up-to-date manifesto on women and work should steer clear of encounter groups and boys-must-play-with dolls rhetoric. It should make room for human reality: that in the pursuit of happiness, men and women often take different paths. Gender differences can sometimes be symptoms of oppression and subordination. But in a modern society they can also be the felicitous consequences of liberated choice—of the "free to be you and me" that women have been working towards for generations."

Generous Work/Family Policies Don’t Guarantee Equality | Family Studies

"Lone parents in every country are almost always women, a perplexing and growing problem for by-the-numbers egalitarians... absolute parity between mothers and father at work and at home remains a fantasy that actual women and men both in the United States and abroad show few signs of wanting."

Le mystère du moi féminin

"Il revenait à l’époque de sa vie de célibataire. Car il était soudain sans Tereza. Il ne la voyait que la nuit, quand elle rentrait du bar et qu’il ouvrait un œil dans le premier sommeil, puis le matin quand c’était elle qui était ensommeillée et qu’il se dépêchait d’aller à son travail. Il avait seize heures pour lui tout seul et c’était un espace de liberté qui lui était inopinément offert. Pour lui, depuis sa prime jeunesse, un espace de liberté, ça voulait dire des femmes...

Que cherchait-il chez toutes ces femmes ? Qu’est-ce qui l’attirait vers elles ? L’amour physique n’est-il pas l’éternelle répétition du même ?

Nullement. Il reste toujours un petit pourcentage d’inimaginable. Quand il voyait une femme tout habillée, il pouvait évidemment s’imaginer plus ou moins comment elle serait une fois nue (ici son expérience de médecin complétait l’expérience de l’amant), mais entre l’approximation de l’idée et la précision de la réalité il subsistait un petit intervalle d’inimaginable, et c’était cette lacune qui ne le laissait pas en repos. Et puis, la poursuite de l’inimaginable ne s’achève pas avec la découverte de la nudité, elle va plus loin : quelles mines ferait-elle en se déshabillant ? que dirait-elle quand il lui ferait l’amour ? sur quelles notes seraient ses soupirs ? quel rictus viendrait se graver sur son visage dans l’instant de la volupté ?...

Tomas était obsédé du désir de découvrir ce millionième et de s’en emparer et c’était ce qui faisait pour lui le sens de son obsession des femmes. Il n’était pas obsédé par les femmes, il était obsédé par ce que chacune d’elles a d’inimaginable, autrement dit, il était obsédé par ce millionième de dissemblable qui distingue une femme des autres.

(Peut-être que sa passion de chirurgien rejoignait ici sa passion de séducteur. Il ne lâchait pas le scalpel imaginaire, même quand il était avec ses maîtresses. Il désirait s’emparer de quelque chose qui était profondément enfoui à l’intérieur d’elles-mêmes et pour quoi il fallait déchirer leur enveloppe superficielle.)

On est évidemment en droit de se demander pourquoi il allait chercher dans la sexualité ce millionième de dissemblable. Ne pouvait-il le trouver, par exemple, dans la démarche, dans les goûts culinaires ou dans les préférences esthétiques d’une telle ou d’une autre ?

Il est certain que ce millionième de dissemblable est présent dans tous les aspects de la vie humaine, mais il y est partout publiquement dévoilé, il n’est pas besoin de le découvrir, il n’est pas besoin de scalpel pour l’approcher. Qu’une femme préfère le fromage aux pâtisseries et qu’une autre ne supporte pas le chou-fleur, c’est certes un signe d’originalité, mais on voit immédiatement que cette originalité-là est tout à fait insignifiante et vaine et qu’on perdrait son temps en s’y intéressant et en y cherchant une valeur quelconque.

C’est seulement dans la sexualité que le millionième de dissemblable apparaît comme une chose précieuse, car il n’est pas accessible publiquement et il faut le conquérir. Il y a encore un demi-siècle, ce genre de conquête exigeait beaucoup de temps (des semaines, parfois même des mois !) et la valeur de l’objet conquis se mesurait au temps consacré à le conquérir. Même aujourd’hui, bien que le temps de la conquête ait considérablement raccourci, la sexualité est encore pour nous comme le coffret d’argent où se cache le mystère du moi féminin.

Ce n’était donc nullement le désir de la volupté (la volupté venait pour ainsi dire en prime) mais le désir de s’emparer du monde (d’ouvrir au scalpel le corps gisant du monde) qui le jetait à la poursuite des femmes.

Les hommes qui poursuivent une multitude de femmes peuvent aisément se répartir en deux catégories. Les uns cherchent chez toutes les femmes leur propre idée de la femme telle qu’elle leur apparaît dans leur rêve, subjective et toujours semblable. Les autres sont mus par le désir de s’emparer de l’infinie diversité du monde féminin objectif.

L’obsession des premiers est une obsession romantique : ce qu’ils cherchent chez les femmes, c’est eux-mêmes, c’est leur idéal, et ils sont toujours et continuellement déçus parce que l’idéal, comme nous le savons, c’est ce qu’il n’est jamais possible de trouver. Comme la déception qui les pousse de femme en femme donne à leur inconstance une sorte d’excuse mélodramatique, bien des dames sentimentales trouvent émouvante leur opiniâtre polygamie.

L’autre obsession est une obsession libertine, et les femmes n’y voient rien d’émouvant : du fait que l’homme ne projette pas sur les femmes un idéal subjectif, tout l’intéresse et rien ne peut le décevoir. Et cette inaptitude à la déception a en soi quelque chose de scandaleux. Aux yeux du monde, l’obsession du baiseur libertin est sans rémission (parce qu’elle n’est pas rachetée par la déception).

Comme le baiseur romantique poursuit toujours le même type de femme, on ne remarque même pas qu’il change de maîtresses ; ses amis lui causent de perpétuels malentendus car ils ne perçoivent pas de différence entre ses compagnes et les appellent toujours par le même nom.

Dans leur chasse à la connaissance, les baiseurs libertins (et c’est évidemment dans cette catégorie qu’il faut ranger Tomas) s’éloignent de plus en plus de la beauté féminine conventionnelle (dont ils sont vite blasés) et finissent immanquablement en collectionneurs de curiosités. Ils le savent, ils en ont un peu honte et, pour ne pas gêner leurs amis, ils ne se montrent pas en public avec leurs maîtresses"

--- L'Insoutenable Legerete De L'etre / Milan Kundera
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes