Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Love You, But I Wish You Were a Girl?

My fiance likes to turn on The Today Show as he is getting ready for work in the morning. It's about the only mainstream TV we watch, other than some sports. Anyway, last Tuesday there was a segment on mothers of sons who really want daughters instead. The whole thing was so wrong for several reasons.

First of all, these mothers acted like their kids owed them something -- like kids should merely exist to make parents happy. The moms complained that their sons didn't meet their expectations. They didn't want to do the same things that they (the moms) wanted to do. You know, all the important stuff like shopping, playing with makeup, and brushing long hair. (Um, am I the only one who's glad these shallow women didn't have girls?)

Second, the moms assumed that little girls would like all that studpid stuff just because of their femaleness. I'm sorry, but I hated shopping when I was little! (In fact, I still hate it.) And I especially hated people messing with my long hair. One mom on the show said that when she visits a friend who has a daughter, she immediately takes the girl and starts braiding her hair. Ew! I remember creepy ladies like that from my childhood, and I definitely did not enjoy them. But it didn't matter what I wanted -- I was just a child, an object, a tool for the amusement of adults. It only mattered what they wanted. And what they wanted was basically a doll. Newsflash: they actually sell dolls in stores, and they're much cheaper than real children!

Third, these moms were on national television proclaiming that they didn't have a bond with their sons like they would if they had daughters. (And they know that... how?) Sure, they gave the predictable disclaimer, "I love my sons, but..." I'm sorry. That doesn't justify it.

My son watched the show with us, and he said, "They say they love their boys, but it sounds like they really don't." I couldn't have said it better myself. These moms sounded more like they loved the idea of having children. The fact that their children turned out to be actual people with their own unique traits seems to have disappointed them.

Feminists are often criticized for (supposedly) thinking that boys and girls are exactly the same, aside from genitalia. But I don't see it that way. Rather, I see it as all of us being individuals. I am aware that girls tend to have more 'feminine' traits than boys. But by no means do I discount individuality to the point where I would have my sons' or daughters' interests already mapped out for them. Nor do I think boys are so inherently different from girls (or that all boys are alike) that I think I can't bond with a boy. But I suppose if you're a mom who believes in a strictly gendered world, then it makes sense to think that you can't bond as well with a son. Heck, he probably has cooties!

I genuinely love the unique person my son is. It does not disappoint me when his interests are different from mine or my fiance's. And it certainly doesn't disappoint me that he happens to be male.

But what do I know? I'm just a male-bashing feminist.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

But The Oven is Chrome...

Sometimes, the mainstream media is just too funny. Check out these gender-related links.

Married men earn more if wives do the chores
Well duh, if you don't have to iron your own clothes or cook your own meals, you can concentrate more on your career. How, exactly, is this groundbreaking news?

The Man and I have discussed one of us staying home if we have kids. But for now, the extra 3% that either of us could make by having a stay-home spouse just isn't worth giving up a two-income household. If I get the job I interviewed for, I will be making much more than 3% of his salary. And we're both musicians, with expensive habits to support! (To clarify: I'm talking about gear, not drugs.)

Another thing to think about: If you have a stay-home spouse, you'll likely have to pay child support and alimony if you get divorced. Again, that's going to be more than 3% of your paycheck. I think it's great if some couples don't have to worry about that, because they're happily married and wouldn't consider divorce. But for many couples, divorce is a reality... and one they pay for in more ways than one!

F1 boss calls Danica, repeats sexist remark

The dude said, "You know, I've got one of those wonderful ideas — women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."

Heh. Heheh.

Whine of the Week
So the above comment made Bernie Ecclestone the 'Whiner of the Week'. I can agree with that - he is totally an old whiner. But I don't take him seriously.

Really, I don't know why people are surprised by his remark. I'm not famous or amazing like Danica Patrick, but I get comments like that all the time just for being a chick drummer. You get used to it. And for the record, I think Patrick has handled herself with class.

Anyone who thinks we've achieved gender equality certainly hasn't tried to do anything that defies a gender stereotype. People will give you shit for it, plain and simple. That goes for men as well as women. But when you're doing something you love, you deal with it. Patrick obviously loves racing. Yeah, she has to put up with douchebags like Bernie Ecclestone. But she's doing what she loves, and she's laughing all the way to the bank.

Cubs Win? Let's Hope

In about three hours, I'll be hopping on a bus to Milwaukee to see the Cubs play the Brewers. I am a huge Cubs fan, in case you didn't know. The bus trip will be long, but I'll at least be able to sleep.

I will also get to see Glendon Rusch pitch. He is probably my favorite pitcher right now, although he's incredibly underrated. At 2.89, he has the lowest ERA of any Cubs starter. But the real hero is of course Derrek Lee. That guy is just amazing, batting .389 and all. I keep thinking his streak will end, but it hasn't. It's like he's a superhuman or something.

I do love the Cubs, but this has been a hard season for me. I can live without Sosa. But losing Clement and Alou just broke my heart. Oh well. Michael Barrett is hot, btw.

Friday, June 17, 2005

I Need Gmail!

Does anyone have any extra gmail invites? My university account will be expiring since I graduated, and I would really like gmail!

UPDATE: Thanks a million! I now have gmail.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Job Interview Today

I have an interview this afternoon that is supposed to last three hours. I am nervous as hell. Anyway, I will try to come up with a real post tonight. It's been a while!

UPDATE: I think I nailed this one. I can't speak too soon, because they aren't done interviewing for the position. But I have a very good chance at getting a job offer. I don't want to say much more about the job, or even what kind of company it is. All I can say is that it would be a pretty cool job to have.

I've also started to draft a new blog piece. It won't be done tonight, but I'll give you a hint: It deals with this paper. Thanks in advace to the author, who left a comment about it last week.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I've Been Double-Tagged!

Up until this point, I've been a Book Tag virgin -- never been tagged. Now I've been tagged twice in one week. First by Kirsten, then by billy-jay. So here goes:

Number of books I own: I counted 286. I have some more scattered throughout the house, but that's what I counted on my desk, book shelves, and the floor near my desk and book shelves.

Last book I bought: Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer. My son is a Fowl freak, and quite frankly, so am I! This is our current "family read" and we're on the fourth chapter. Like all the Fowl series books, this one is excellent.

Last book I read: Macroeconomics After Keynes: A Reconsideration of the General Theory by Victoria Chick. I read this for a class that ended last month, but it is honestly the last book I completed. I'm not a Keynesian, but unlike some pro-market students, I don't throw a fit when I have to learn about theories that depart from my own ideology. In fact, I think it's important to be informed about other perspectives. How can you say that the free market is best if you don't even know what your opposition has to say? Besides, most of what I learned in my economics classes at the University of Iowa dealt with the neo-classical (pro-market) model.

Five books that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

1) The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. It all started with Adam, and every market advocate should have some edition of this!

2) The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers by Mark Skousen. This was the most interesting economics book I read in college. I like it because it covers all the major economics thinkers/philosophers. Skousen is a market guy, but he includes people like Marx and Keynes too. I have already used this book several times as a reference outside of my academic work, and I've had it less than a year.

3) Globalization and its Discontents by Joeseph E. Stiglitz. Not exactly a pro-market book, but not an anti-market book when you get down to it. It's more of a critique of the current globalization policies and practices, which aren't really capitalist, but corporatist. A must-read for anyone concerned with the ethics of globalization and the individual rights of others.

4) The Reasonable Woman: A Guide to Intellectual Survival by Wendy McElroy. If you're a feminist, you have to get past McElroy's criticism of mainstream feminism. It is well worth it if you are someone who is more concerned with the way things are rather than with the way things ought to be. I certainly know I think things ought to be different, and I'm not giving up on that. But I also know that sometimes you just have to suck it up or you will fail miserably in life, and never even have a chance to make a difference.

5) All of the Harry Potter series books by J.K. Rowling. Yes, I am a big kid. Not only are these books wonderful, but they have personal value as well. My fiance and son love them as much as I do. We have read all of them together and it's definitely a big part of our "family bonding" time. People always ask how my son turned out so smart. It is because we read together at night instead of watching TV! We are anxiously awaiting Book 6, which comes out on my son's birthday. During these times of Potter-withdrawal, we read Artemis Fowl or some other Eoin Colfer book.

Honorable mention goes to Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. Okay, so I basically cheated by naming six books! But I had to at least mention this one. Friedman (along with Hayek) helped bring capitalism back into the modern economic debate. Friedman is also not afraid to label himself a "liberal". That's cool, because a lot of people really don't know what that word means.

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs: I'm tagging Karen, Robert, Decnavda, Brad, and... Electronic Bubba. Heheh, sorry if you didn't want to be tagged. I'm not offended easily if you decline!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A BIG Update to the Blogroll

It's been a long time since I've updated Red's Roll, so it's time I get on my ass and do it. These folks will be added today.

The Idea Men -- A Mellifluent Media Site. Featuring Earnest Pettie with Kam Stocks (and I don't mean in a homosexual way... not that there's anything wrong with that).

A True Jersey Girl -- "Bon Jovi, Big Hair, & Bruce... What More Could You Want?"

La Lubu -- "The Goddess Who Runs With the Wolves"

What Can Brown Do For You? (John Norris Brown) -- "Political musings and random thoughts from a conservative college student."

Black Feminism -- "A community weblog about race & gender"

BlondebutBright (I love the name) -- "Everything that I have seen, heard, and experienced has brought me to this point, and I understand nothing but in relationship to me at this point."

Mary Ellen Slayter -- Slayter is a young copy editor for the Washington Post.

The following are Libertarian/Individualist blogs:

Enjoy Every Sandwich -- "An individualist, libertarian, possibly-armed, ifeminist, engineer, dog lover, INTJ, space nut, atheist woman enjoying every sandwich while promoting liberty and neighborliness." And she has a sex toy business!

Freeman, Libertarian Critter -- A student living in Michigan. (Darn, no pics. I bet he's cute, though...)

Reason's Hit and Run -- "Continuous news, views, and abuse by the Reason staff"

Brad Spangler -- "Easily offended? Go away."

Louise P -- I can't actually read most of it, but it seems cool.

UPDATE: Also wanted to add Billy J's Benevolence. Billy-Jay likes metal (which is cool enough for me) and plays in the band Bereaved.

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