A Very Old Joke: A Ukrainian at the #OWS

So a Ukrainian decided to join the #OWS protesters. They gave him a stack of informational leaflets to distribute among those who might potentially be interested in joining the protests.

On the next day, the Ukrainian comes back to the #OWS. He slaps a huge stack of banknotes on the table and sighs, “That’s the last time I let you guys give me such hard to sell stuff to peddle.”

Gender Genie Is Stupid

I’ve tried this gender genie thing that is supposed to guess the gender of any text’s author, and it hasn’t guessed right even a single time. I’ve tried it both on my research and on my blog posts. Of course, I haven’t tried it on everything I ever wrote. I’m sure I must have produced something “female” at some point.

The weirdest thing is that while both my research and my blog are “male writing” (whatever the hell that means), my blog is significantly more male than my research. And these results are consistent, so there must be some principle behind this madness.

I guess all that the gender genie proves is that gender is a myth. Maybe soon somebody will prove that the Earth is round and – if we are really lucky – that it revolves around the Sun.

P.S. I just checked this post in the gender genie, and here is the result:

Female Score: 115
Male Score: 273

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

I’ve spent 6 hours at a spa today and my writing is still male? What else is a person supposed to do to start writing female?

Who Needs a Lockbox Instead of a Vagina?

A very convincing argument (albeit an unintended one) in favor of elective C-section:

 I don’t think I adequately appreciated the ways that the juggernaut of childbirth could transform a woman’s relationship with her vagina, altering her entire body’s feelings about her pelvis and genitals.

See, by Sunday afternoon I was thinking clearly enough to notice a kind of “POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS” mental block around my entire pelvis. My brain was definitely in self-protection mode, after just the small, brief trauma of having the uterus penetrated with something less than half an inch in diameter.

With childbirth, the fundamental MEANING of those body parts would change, from sexual to… well, women with different cultural backgrounds/baggage would construct different narratives to account for it, but essentially, they’d be transformed into a lockbox.

For a sexually healthy woman who perceives her genitals as, first and foremost, a source of sexual fulfillment, the prospect of her vagina turning into a lockbox surrounded by a police line is horrifying.

Of course, the number of women who derive no enjoyment from sex and who will gladly offer up their vaginas to be shredded to bits in order to have some sensation in their genitals for once is huge. This means that vaginal childbirth will never go out of fashion.

Why Are People Attracted to Jerks?

Ozymandias42 at the great NSWATM blog has written a long post that attempts to answer this question. I usually like everything this talented blogger writes. In this post, however, nothing resonated with me as even remotely true or useful. The post offers a collection of extremely superficial explanations that people use to hide from the real reason why jerks attract them like a magnet.

The real answer – albeit one that many people try to avoid – is that some of us get attracted to jerks for exactly the same reason that some get attracted to adoring, caring, amazing partners.

As we grow up, we observe the couple that is the closest to us and learn what it means to be in a relationship from that couple. If what we see is a jerk who is abusing, insulting and victimizing the adult (parent, relative, grandparent, guardian, sibling) we identify with, we will spend our entire life enacting and reenacting this pattern with the jerk and abuser of our own (or, more likely, a string of jerks and abusers). If, however, we saw the adult we identify with being adored and worshiped by his or her partner, we will spend our entire life being idolized and loved by the partners we choose.

As a result, we often see two groups of people forming. One consists of firm believers in the “all men are jerks” or “all women are bitches” philosophy. And they are right in a way. The only kind of men (or women) their early experiences conditioned them to meet are, indeed, jerks (or bitches.) Members of the second group have only seen wonderful things from the men (women) in their lives and are spoiled enough to believe that their partner has victimized them by forgetting to bring them flowers one week.

There is, of course, an entire spectrum of possibilities between these two extremes. Each of these possibilities, however, relies on the relational model one absorbed while growing up.

Every statement of the “all men ( women) are /  want / prefer/ believe XYZ” can be deciphered as “the significant adult I observed when I was growing up was / wanted / preferred  XYZ, so now I have to believe all men (women) are this way because that is all I know.”

So if you are a “Nice Guy” who is constantly used and discarded by women (or the female equivalent thereof*), remember that analyzing the motives of the women (or men) who consistently mistreat you is a huge waste of time. Their motives for treating you badly are exactly the same as your motives for pursuing those people who are the most likely to treat you like garbage.

And I really hope that my readers are enlightened enough not to need a reminder that this is not a gender issue. Discussing it as if it were is an avoidance strategy. Such childish avoidance bores me, so I hope that people don’t bring it to my blog**.

* You can see that female equivalent rendered beautifully in Sex and City. Women who gather in groups to repeat like a mantra “we are so fantastic, smart, stunning and successful, so why does nobody want us?” are the equivalent of the proverbial Nice Guys. Both groups have absolutely no interest in being in a relationship. All they want is vent their grievances towards an offending parental figure through the medium of “all men” or “all women.” Both groups are heavily homosocial and have no use for the opposite gender (except as a pretext for bonding with their own gender group.)

** The reason why I put this disclaimer in the post is that I tried reading the comments to Ozymandias42’s post. Oy, people. And once again, oy.