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Thread: Miss California

  1. #106
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    I memember this attending physician (very handsome, Tunisian descent) at ICU where I worked for some time and he kept calling me "Schätzchen" (equivalent of babe or sweetie pie).... But I simply didn't care.... That's just words.
    I likely would have let that one go as well. However, I've had a problem with repeated "Russkis" jokes in the workplace in the past. I smiled politely the first time, ignored the next dozen or so, and finally talked to the "big comedian" after getting completely fed up with it. OTOH, I've let a lot of gender jokes slide because I'd rather cringe once in a while (if it's not too often!) than work in a sterile environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    That's a good point. It's not like things were necessarily better 50, 100 or 1000 years ago. Divorce was just simply forbidden, for a long time the woman was the man's property. And 50 years ago divorce might have already been legal, but it was really frowned upon.
    Being "frowned upon" is not all that matters. Divorce is only a viable option when women have economic opportunities. A woman who knows she won't be able to provide for her children on her own is likely to put up with the most onerous situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    Also, "traditional family values" are not necessarily fading to our detriment, but they are being changed and adapted in order to fit the world we live in today. As Eric Hobsbawm would say, traditions are invented.
    The big irony is that a liberal state like Massachusetts, the first in the nation to allow gay marriages, also has the lowest divorce rate and among the lowest out-of-wedlock birth rates in the country. When polled, Mass. kids don't talk about abstinence or holding off marriage for religious reasons; instead, they are very practical and often hold off on having sex until a pregnancy wouldn't completely ruin their lives, have children only when they know they can support them - usually after finding a spouse, that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    But someone who chooses the stay at home mom option should realize that if it ever does come to divorce, she likely won't have enough to live on afterward because of having no skills and no work history.
    I am afraid I have to interject a rather anti-feminist note here. In my state at least, divorce settlements tend to really screw the guy (if there are kids involved, that is - alimony by itself isn't much, I agree). What seems most unfair, is that his new wife's income will be used to figure out his child support payments. Say that John and Jill have to kids, Jessica and Jeremy. Say they then get divorced, Jill get custody, and John pays child support. Say he than marries Lucy and they have two kids, Luke and Laura. Every time Lucy gets a raise, John's payments to Jill will go up, while the existence of Luke and Laura will not even be taken into account! (A good friend of mine is a "Lucy"; at one point "Jill" didn't have to work at all because child support paid for everything so she could be a stay-at-home mom to two school-age kids, while "Lucy" had to work full time while her kids where still in diapers.)

    Also, there is a middle ground. Few women want to remain stay-at-home moms forever, but many want to at least be with their little ones for the first year or two. It is very hard to go back to work when your baby is very small. I can tell you I've had more than one crying fit as I was pumping at work, wondering why the heck it was the electric contraption relieving me rather than my son.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I can work from home as a photographer.
    In my short experience, working from home doesn't mix with small kids (it may be different with older ones, I have no first hand knowledge there). When I leave home or drop my son with the nanny, he cries for a few minutes (he doesn't even do that when I leave him with his grandma!) but then he calms down and has a good day. However, if I am at home but don't pay attention to him, he gets very upset and stressed. Mind you, I don't even have to play with him, but I have to talk directly to him about everything I'm doing. In fact, when I do work from home, I stay in the office in the basement so he doesn't know I'm there, and only come up to the kitchen when he's napping or out for a walk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    I don't personally know a single couple my age or younger who has been married any length of time. I've given up even imagining that I could be.
    I'm in my early thirties. 90% of our friends are stable families with children (knock-on-wood). There have been a few divorces, but only one one or two involved kids; in fact, most of those divorces were in couples that just married too young, and grew apart as they matured.
    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Yes, dressing badly was a thing common to feminists of the 1970's. It did have a sensible reason for it, at least in my industry. If you dressed well, people immediately assumed you were a secretary.
    I've got the "you're too cute to be a programmer", too! I think, though, that it went deeper. Also, many feminists didn't dress badly, they just didn't dress sexy - the idea being that the latter is only done to please men - not that there isn't a grain of truth in that

    I'm sad to hear about the only girl in the advanced math class, and her struggles to be anything but a social pariah.
    Well, the problem has changed since your days, I think. The real problem in anti-intellectualism (I'm badly hoping Obama-as-role-model can begin to cure it at least a little), and girls are just always picked on more than boys in those kinds of situations.

    In that background, it's hard to take the research interests of Larry Summers seriously about the inferiority of women as mathematicians.
    I think there are two different issues here - is there an issue of who is better in math, and who has the brains/ personality/ etc. to become so outstanding as to be a professor. Studies show that men and women have the same average IQ but there is a major difference in the curve - there are both more geniuses and more idiots among men, whereas women's IQ curve is not nearly as steep.

    I do, though, agree about the importance of different educational approaches. My husband is a big history buff, and his recounting of stories from history can beat any fairy tale in their excitement. When he tells some of those stories to school age children of our friends, there is a general pattern - boys want to know everything about the battles, whereas girls perk up when they hear about how a particular innovation changed people's lives. This reminds of how I, too, was never all that interested in history in school (too many battles!) but fell in love with it in college when I learned it in light of art history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    US citizens and US women aren't oppressed by it, nor women in Canada, Europe, Australia, Russia or wherever else. It's a complete red herring.
    Whey bring Russia into it?! Last I checked, that was the country where a woman beaten up by her husband has absolutely no recourse. In fact, she is probably raised in a way to accept it as a given. Add on to that the fact that most rapes don't get reported because they are impossible to prove and carry incredible amounts of stigma. Add to that the fact that in rural it's the women who do most work because their husbands are usually too drunk to walk ... yeah, that's equality for you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    I'm in my early thirties. 90% of our friends are stable families with children (knock-on-wood).
    What's the average length of those marriages? Get back to me in 10 years and when most of them fall apart, then you will probably agree with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    Whey bring Russia into it?! Last I checked, that was the country where a woman beaten up by her husband has absolutely no recourse. In fact, she is probably raised in a way to accept it as a given. Add on to that the fact that most rapes don't get reported because they are impossible to prove and carry incredible amounts of stigma. Add to that the fact that in rural it's the women who do most work because their husbands are usually too drunk to walk ... yeah, that's equality for you!
    Sorry, I didn't realize that the US courts taking away all my rights as a white male US citizen would help oppressed women in Russia.

    I think you just missed the point. What goes on in other countries is not relevant to defining equality and individual rights in America. Are you advocating that American men be punished to make up for women being punished in other countries?

    At least you did give an example which illustrates my point - the court system is set up to screw men in divorce. And sometimes, as in your example, other women and children get screwed along with the man. It's utter BS.
    Last edited by Particle Man; 05-26-2009 at 11:45 PM.

  3. #108
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Well, the divorce rate in our state is 2.4 divorces per 1000 persons (US average is 4.6); is lower still for people holding advanced degrees; lower still for people who come from stable marriages themselves; lower still for people do not marry too young (though I must admit it is somewhat higher for Jews, though a bit lower for agnostics - two categories most of my friends fit into). So I'll take my chances, thank you very much.

  4. #109
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Ptichka,
    Actually we did dress badly at IBM-IBM in the 1960's had dress codes. In the 1960's, the dress codes were explicit. Non direct labor men were expected to wear suits, repp ties, white long sleeved shirts. Salesmen had to wear black up to the knee socks and 3 fold (not bifold) wallets. Repair people were not to roll up their long shirt sleeves except when changing the chain drive on the huge printers, when they could turn up the cuff only. Secretaries generally wore business suits, not sexy outfits. The remnants of this lasted a long time, so when I started work in 1976, if you wore a nice business outfit, obviously you were a secretary.

    In other places of employment, yes, you are right.

    I hope you are right that things are changing for girls who are bright in math.

  5. #110
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle Man View Post
    Sorry, I didn't realize that the US courts taking away all my rights as a white male US citizen would help oppressed women in Russia.

    I think you just missed the point. What goes on in other countries is not relevant to defining equality and individual rights in America. Are you advocating that American men be punished to make up for women being punished in other countries?
    I think it is you who missed the point. You seemed to suggest that women in Russia had it great and weren't oppressed by adding them to the lsit of countries you mentioned in your post. Here is what you said:
    Originally Posted by Particle Man
    US citizens and US women aren't oppressed by it, nor women in Canada, Europe, Australia, Russia or wherever else. It's a complete red herring.
    Ptichka was explaining why you got it wrong in relation to Russian women.

    Jaded misogyny is never going to the best way to bring people round to your way of thinking.

    Ant

  6. #111
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Toni, do you feel that you have been programmed to be offended, BTW?
    I've been taught from an early age to be apologetic for being white, yes. The big bad white man has been cruel for centuries to all the other groups.

    Yes generally those that have offended have been white, but I personally have not. I don't feel I need to apologise for "my people" any more than some random person has to apologise for the gang violence of "their people" or some person of middle eastern descent has to apologise for 9-11. Last time I checked, they weren't involved. Freak extremists were in the latter case.

    In high school I was berated by a teacher (not one that I ever had a class with) because I have a very German last name and I was *gasp* proud of being German. Well, I might as well have been goosestepping down the hall proclaiming all Jews to be evil in her book. Never mind that I am not the perfect picture of Hitler's Germany (I'm dark eyed, dark haired... yeah... not exactly Ariyan [spelling! blah!]) Now, if her family had been Jewish and had gone through that I could possibly understand her flipping out, but she's not even remotely jewish and her family does not come from Germany. She was getting offended at something that was none of her business. It was embarassing, certainly, but what was I going to do?


    From your posts, I know you are a Christian. If I suddenly made a series of jokes (or posts for that matter) about "Jesus freaks" or "God squadders" or "wingnuts", I suspect you would be offended. And you would have a right to be offended.
    Actually, I think you know where I stand on this. Though I will say that "Jesus Freak" is actually a badge of honor with my generation of Christians... so joke away

    Where I get offended is when someone tries to bait me into a discussion and then screams I'm cramming my religion down their throat. They can't have it both ways - either you are genuinely curious as to what I believe/interpret or you're not, but don't scream I started it.

    If I were that offensive, as to say those things, I would far rather you told me you were offended than risk offending you again. I don't think it's right to downgrade others' feelings by saying they have them because they were 'programmed' to have them, and thus implying they were really not hurt or annoyed by the offensive saying.
    That's NOT what I'm saying. I'm saying there are people/groups that go out of their way to find offense in EVERYTHING, even when they are not part of said group, and not just about jokes... movements to make sure different religious symbols (not just Christian) are not displayed on the outside of a person's property because it *might* offend someone. not that is HAS but that it *might*. Yeah, I wouldn't want a hate symbol displayed but that's a little different than a nativity at Christmas or a Menorah or whatever...

    My problem stems from the movement that people go ahead and get offended for "me" and speak for "me." Basically telling me I have to be offended. Well, what if I'm not? Or, what if THAT action offends me? Well, too bad, you have to be. Um. okay?



    I'm not saying don't educate, but there's a difference than that and just "don't go here, here, or here, or even come close" and I'm not just talking jokes. I'm talking in every form of communication. You can't describe a person other than hair color and eye color these days in an article or other writing without someone taking offense. With a whole "well, what do you mean by that" well, I mean this is what the person looks like. I'm not SUGGESTING anything, you are.

    And what about the groups that don't mind poking fun at themselves... you brought up redneck jokes... Jeff Foxworthy really made those popular and he claims to be one... so, is he wrong? he's lumping himself into that genre... I see no problem with poking fun at yourself (and there are a lot of "rednecks" who cheer the minute he starts it up)

  7. #112
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    And what about the groups that don't mind poking fun at themselves... you brought up redneck jokes... Jeff Foxworthy really made those popular and he claims to be one... so, is he wrong? he's lumping himself into that genre... I see no problem with poking fun at yourself (and there are a lot of "rednecks" who cheer the minute he starts it up)
    Well, the debate on the image a group presents to the world could be a topic for a whole different discussion. I know that the great debate in the Jewish American community of the 60's was between Leon Uris and Philips Roth (and their fans/ supporters; ironic that Obama mentioned both those writers as his influences - I wonder if he wanted to appeal to both camps of Jewish voters). The former presents a very heroic picture of "the Jew"; really, this is a way I'd like the world to see us (heck, I wouldn't mind at all if this were actually true!). The only problem, of course, is that it is fantasy mascarading as truth. Roth's Jew", OTOH, is a neurotic mess. He has family issues. He is insecure. He is afraid of everything. He doesn't have a healthy sex life and resorts to constant masturbation. Uris despised Roth for presenting such an image of "the Jew" to the outside world. Roth's response, though, was essentially that literature was supposed to push one toward soul searching, and his novels certainly do that. (Roth, in turn, marveled at the incredible popularity of the rather simplistic Exodus both within the Jewish and the Gentile communities). Personally, I haven't been impressed by Uris as much, and do consider myself a Roth fan.

  8. #113
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    young ladies have always been taught to catch a man for marriage because of economic consequences. But todays women with the proper education are being placed in high positions. No one can disagree with that. My question though, is marriage a necessary thing (gay or hetero)?

    Marriage does allow for more income not just for women but also for husbands with all those allowances most companies give.This, of course, does not affect the gay population, male or female.

    Single people do the same work as married people but they do not get equal pay for equal work. No?

  9. #114
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Joe, what allowances? The only one I know of is medical insurance, and my premiums for a family of two are actually almost twice those for a single individual. There are no tax breaks (in fact, there was a marriage penalty until recently).

    What is true is that we get tax breaks (though far less than you'd think) for having children. This however, is quite justifiable - it is in the interests of the society for people to procreate, especially when we're talking about tax-paying population, meaning essentially middle class and higher. You may not like it, but the fact is that it's my son who's going to pay for your Social Security benefits one day. In fact, most countries have far better maternity benefits (the only countries that have it worse than us technically are Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland).

    As for "is marriage necessary" - I think women are just more predisposed to being in that kind of a committed relationship. In fact, among same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, 65% are between women! (OK, so a part of it is that more lesbian than gay couples have children, and it is undoubtedly easier to be married in that case.) Also, if you're having a child with someone, you want that kind of a commitment to know your baby will have a father.

    BTW, Doris, on that same subject, this article http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...ty-leave_x.htm talks about the difference between US and European feminists and how today's feminists differ from those of yesteryear on issues of maternity.

  10. #115
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    young ladies have always been taught to catch a man for marriage because of economic consequences. But todays women with the proper education are being placed in high positions. No one can disagree with that. My question though, is marriage a necessary thing (gay or hetero)?

    Marriage does allow for more income not just for women but also for husbands with all those allowances most companies give.This, of course, does not affect the gay population, male or female.

    Single people do the same work as married people but they do not get equal pay for equal work. No?
    Actually, it's the other way. There are very few companeis that coordinate benefits any more in the way there was in the past. Pre about 1986, IBM for example, did coordination of benefits, so if you and your spouse both worked for IBM, the following would happen: the dental benefit paid for only about 50% for major work. Once that was paid, the spouse's benefits paid for the other 50%. The same was true for the 20% deductible on medical tests-they drew on your spouse's benefits for the unpaid 20%. However, in 1986 or so, they not only ceased to do coordination of benefits within IBM but also between companies. So if I had worked for GE, for example, the most that would be paid would be the greater of my GE benefit or my husband's IBM benefit.

    Working for IBM, I had to pay for my benefits, but received nothing from the company different than what I would have received if only my husband worked there. I could not even refuse to pay for benefits. So actually from 1986 on, I received less than a single person.

    BTW, IBM has for quite some time extended benefits to both same sex and opposite sex partners. This is only helpful in the case where the partner has no medical insurance from his/her employer.

  11. #116
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Ptichka and doris. I'm lost in time since I retired. I was thinking, most likely, of civil service positions.

    But I do think single people are not on equal footing with marrieds. For some reason, personnel considers married people more stabile.

  12. #117
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    But I do think single people are not on equal footing with marrieds. For some reason, personnel considers married people more stabile.
    Could be, though again the question is - are we talking about simply being married or about actually having children? I know that before having a son, I always felt that if things got really bad, I could always quit my job; I know my husband felt the same way - we've discussed it, and knew that we would want each other to do. Since having a child, I've changed. Things would have to become truly unbearable for me to leave now - so in essence, I am more "stable" than a single childless person.

  13. #118
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    Could be, though again the question is - are we talking about simply being married or about actually having children? I know that before having a son, I always felt that if things got really bad, I could always quit my job; I know my husband felt the same way - we've discussed it, and knew that we would want each other to do. Since having a child, I've changed. Things would have to become truly unbearable for me to leave now - so in essence, I am more "stable" than a single childless person.
    I wonder if this is more true in the US, though, because becoming a parent does not mean a lengthy leave from work - as it does in countries with more generous maternity leaves and benefits for parents. Where I live, parents are often seen as less desirable workers because they can't always stay late, or if the child is sick they have to stay home with him/her (usually the mom). Pregnant women can get time off to go to prenatal checkups, and can't be fired without special clearance during their pregnancy, their maternity leave or for several months after they return to work. I'm pretty sure that a mother looking for work would have a harder time of it than a woman without children.

    More than once, I've been asked in job interviews if I was in a serious relationship and planning to start a family. That question, AFAIK, is illegal; certainly making a decision based on this is, so in interviews you are asked these things indirectly.

    I'm kind of torn about what the best policy/legal solution is for helping people in balancing parenthood and work. As a feminist I don't want women to be forced to choose between motherhood and a career. On the other hand, in some countries parents get very long leaves and I wonder how someone can be effective at his/her job after such an extended period of time away, especially if we're talking about larger families.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 05-28-2009 at 09:38 AM.

  14. #119
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    so in essence, I am more "stable" than a single childless person.
    That's my point. Singles, regardless of how well they are capable, will be regarded as passed over for someone who appears more stable.

  15. #120
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I'm kind of torn about what the best policy/legal solution is for helping people in balancing parenthood and work. As a feminist I don't want women to be forced to choose between motherhood and a career. On the other hand, in some countries parents get very long leaves and I wonder how someone can be effective at his/her job after such an extended period of time away, especially if we're talking about larger families.
    There are several components to maternity benefits:
    • Time off - meaning how much time you can take off and your company must keep your job for you. In the US, it's 12 weeks for companies over 50 people for all employees who've been on the job for more than a year. Nothing guaranteed for smaller companies (Massachusetts guarantees 8 weeks for everyone). I would like to see that expanded to 12 weeks for all companies over 10 employees, with may be up to 6 months guaranteed for larger places. And another week (perhaps up to 3 for larger companies) for paternity, too.
    • Paid time off. Right now, America guarantees NO paid time off for maternity. None. That essentially means that for millions of Americans the time off guarantee is meaningless. I agree that it's too much to ask companies to pay a salary to someone who's not working, but there are several approaches. For one, Bill Clinton pushed for allowing states to use unemployment money to pay for maternity benefits. I like that idea. Even if this means people have to pay more in a tax, I think it makes sense, with the same payout as unemployment - 60% (?) of pay up to $600/ week. The only problem with that approach is that while anyone can potentially need unemployment assistance, not everyone can need maternity benefits, though a way to partially remedy this is to say that a baby's parents are entitled to 16 weeks of pay, divided however they want between the parents. Another approach is to require companies (at least the larger ones) to offer short term disability. By law, short term disability insurance must pay maternity benefits - usually something like 60% of normal pay. However, many companies do not offer this benefit.
    • Child care. America has no publicly funded education/ day care prior to kindergarten (some states have pre-K for 4-year-olds). There are some programs such as Head Start, but they are geared toward the very poor. The costs of child care are staggering, especially in my state. This means many women especially from the lower paying jobs have no choice but to stay home. I certainly support expanding child care significantly.

    On the plus side, more American companies are allowing employees to work part time. For many, this is the ideal solution, as the surveys show that most American moms say they would still want to work, but not as much as they currently do.

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