Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ending rape culture

Apparently Sharia has the solution for ending rape culture. Just hang the women. That will kill three birds with one stone, as it should also take care of the growing problem of false-rape accusations as well as teenage pregnancy.
Women who have sex before marriage should be hanged, says senior politician in India's Socialist Party. Abu Azmi, the Socialist Party’s Maharashtra unit chief, says that women who have sex before marriage should be hanged, while the Party's leader says he will scrap a law giving the death penalty to rapists if he’s elected prime minister

If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam”, Mr Azmi told the Mid-Day website. “The solution is this: any woman, whether married or unmarried, who goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn’t be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.”
Perhaps you may wish to rethink that whole post-Christianity concept, ladies. And if you thought conservatives were oppressive, well, did you really think the socialists would be any better? Hey, you don't suppose any of those Indian immigrants might share Mr. Azmi's beliefs, do you?

No, surely the magic of geographical translocation will take care of that....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The cost of female coders II

Why wouldn't everyone want to hire them, when doing so just might cost you a top executive or two?
Last month, a number of allegations were made against GitHub and some of its employees, including one of its co-founders, Tom Preston-Werner. We took these claims seriously and launched a full, independent, third-party investigation.

The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a sexist or hostile work environment. However, while there may have been no legal wrongdoing, the investigator did find evidence of mistakes and errors of judgment. In light of these findings, Tom has submitted his resignation, which the company has accepted. Tom has been a huge part of this company from the very beginning and we appreciate all that he has done for GitHub. We wish him the best in his next endeavour.

As to the remaining allegations, the investigation found no evidence of gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or abuse.
So, the claims were determined to be false, but the executive resigned. And the woman they hired isn't there anymore either. How does this episode represent a triumph for women in technology, exactly?

Monday, April 21, 2014

A space of their own

I find the contrast between the female writer's reactions to the exact same concept being expressed by a man and a woman to be fascinating:
“You can have equality in all sorts of professional areas but I don’t see any reason why there shouldn’t be all-male clubs or all-female clubs if you want them. They’re just places you go to to enjoy yourself.”

Perhaps there is something in that. Kylie O’Brien, The Telegraph’s Weekend Editor, who is a member of women’s-only The University Women's Club, tells me: “I have to say, not having men around is really relaxing. It’s nice to be with your own kind. It’s rather warm and welcoming. I think that’s how men feel together. There’s a kind of sympathy together. I think it’s a good thing.”

She thinks it makes sense for men and women to have their own space, and cannot “see what prize there is for women to be gained” in becoming members at gentlemen’s clubs. In that respect, she agrees with Mr X and co, but when I tell her what they think about women’s “shrill voices” and the “slippery slope”, she replies tartly: “Well, if that’s how men really feel, they’re better off on their own.” Hear hear.
What men need to do is simply echo the female justifications for their own single-sex spaces. "It's really relaxing. It's rather warm and welcoming. It's nice to be with your own kind."

And if that isn't enough to get them to stop violating the male sanctums, then black-knight the hell out of them and invade women's shelters, women's gyms, and everything from girls' volleyball teams to scholarship programs.

It's really not that hard to understand why men sometimes don't want women around. Men can't relax around women and women usually attempt to make unwanted changes in any organization they join. Women should respect that, just as men should respect the female desire to keep men out of their bathrooms, locker rooms, and social clubs.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Truth and the Resurrection

There are those who say that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is merely a story. They will claim, falsely, that the Risen Lord is derived from an agricultural myth. They will assert, wrongly, that "Easter is originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex." They will declare, contra the historical evidence, that Jesus Christ never lived or was crucified on a cross by the Roman authorities.

It is strange, is it not, that they should tell so many palpable lies in the service of that which they say to be truth?

The Apostle Paul once said that if the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is not true, then we Christians are the saddest and most pathetic of all men. Everything we do, everything we believe, everything for which we hope and strive, is a lie.

It is strange, is it not, that so many observable and long-lived truths should stand so firmly on such a flimsy foundation of falsehood?

From Plato to Zelazny, men of letters have written of the purer things, that in their perfection spawn lesser shadows and imitations that reflect but an aspect of the true essence. From where does truth come, if not the Truth? And did Jesus not say that he was the Way, the Truth, and the Life?

Those who are Aristotelian devotees of reality stand by the Lesser Truth that A is A, and that A is never Not-A. But the Lesser Truth, and all other truths, descends from, and depends upon, the Greater Truth, which is this:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Yesterday the light shone in the darkness. Today the light shines in the darkness. Tomorrow the light will shine in the darkness. And the darkness will never, ever, overcome it.

It is not a story, it is The Story, it is the oldest story, it is the true story from which all other stories flow. Light versus dark. And despite the darkness that surrounds us, that pervades us, that haunts us, the light of all mankind is winning.

That is why, all around the world this morning, there are millions of men and women who will greet each other with three simple words of hope and truth and triumph.

Christ is risen!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Never satisfied

A woman manages to turn her coach potato husband onto Cross-Fit, and is now unhappy that he is in excellent condition:
After a few months out of work, Grant became depressed and stopped even trying to look for jobs. I'd come home from work to find him playing Xbox or blankly surfing the Internet at the kitchen table, surrounded by dirty dishes. He was gaining weight, too. Even though we love fried foods, we've always made an effort to eat as little processed food as possible at home--but that changed when he was unemployed. Suddenly, he was going through entire packages of cookies and boxes of cereal.

Seeing him that way was hard. He refused to see a therapist, saying he could work through things on his own. He's never been great at discussing his emotions (even with me) especially when he's feeling down and becomes hypersensitive to criticism. For instance, when I pointed out the weight gain-he needed to buy new pants for a wedding we were attending--we ended up getting into a huge fight. He didn't understand that the weight didn't bother me as much as the changes in his personality--it was just a symptom. He seemed sluggish and despondent, not like the active, up-for-anything guy I married. I didn't love the spare tire around his midsection, but I'd still have been attracted to him if it weren't for the other stuff. And treading lightly by urging him to meet up with the guys for a pickup game or head out on a run just made him hostile, since he could clearly understand the subtext....

 Now, it's as if I'm living with an incredibly fit stranger. We barely have sex--he goes to bed at 10 so he can run or lift at 5--and his preoccupation with his body makes me uncomfortable. I feel like his diet is the most important thing in his life, and because it's "healthy," it's hard to make it sound like a problem. Every time I mention that I wish he could drop the Paleo thing for a night so we could try the raved-about mac and cheese at a new bistro, or that he could take a weeklong break from working out so we could go to the beach with my family, he flips the conversation to make it sound like I'm trying to undermine him and his happiness.

Sometimes I wonder if I might be. After all, he's always inviting me to come with him to "the Box," which I never do. I say I need to look after our daughter or that I'm busy grading papers, but truthfully, working out is not the same priority for me as it is for Grant. Seeing my husband so passionate about something that has nothing to do with me makes me feel left out. I do wonder whether I'd be so annoyed and angry if he had gotten into a more solo activity, like running or biking, and I don't think I would be. I hate that Grant has an entire social life that doesn't include me, and that he's part of a whole fitness movement that's leaving me behind.

It's an ugly feeling. I don't want to be resentful about something that makes my husband feel good--and I know we need to sort through this together. I've done some research on eating and exercise disorders in men and occasionally wonder if Grant may be too obsessive, but I think the issue is more about how his body image and workout routine is affecting us. It'd be different if he were a single guy living by himself. And then, there are the facts: He's a lot healthier, physically and mentally. His numbers at his last doctor's appointment were perfect. When he's around, he loves being a dad. Sometimes he'll take our daughter for a long bike ride on a Saturday afternoon, and I love that she and he are bonding over healthy activities. I only wish he'd put that drive back into our relationship.
Translation: his SMV has improved while hers has declined, so she wants him to reduce it in order to not feel threatened, rather than work on improving her own. This is why focusing on making women happy is a futile goal; their objectives are dynamic which means that it is an ever-receding horizon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Better off out

This is not good news for civilization:
Men who entered into fatherhood at around age 25 saw a 68% increase of depressive symptoms over their first five years of being dads—if they lived at the same home as their children.

The study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at 10,623 young men who were participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The study tracked the fathers for about 20 years, and kept score of their depression symptoms.

While fathers who didn’t share a home with their children didn’t experience the same high increase in depressive symptoms in early fatherhood, most of the fathers in the study did live with their children. Those men had lower depression symptoms before they became dads and experienced a spike in symptoms when their child was born and through the first few years.
Translation: fathers who live at home with their children and provide for them have less sex and more responsibility than fathers who abandon them and their mothers for sex with other women.

One of the biggest and most common mistakes a married woman can make is to put her children ahead of her husband. This is not only bad for the husband, it is also bad for the children due to the harm it does to the marital relationship.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Harder divorce = more marriage

Megan McCardle doesn't think through the consequences of limiting divorce:
I can see the appeal of making marriage more difficult to get out of. My brief tour through the divorce literature indicated that ending a high-conflict marriage is better for everyone, including the kids -- despite the financial and emotional drawbacks, it really is better to have two homes, rather than one where Mom and Dad are engaged in a bitter civil war.

On the other hand, the evidence on ending low-conflict marriages -- one in which maybe one party, or both, doesn’t feel perfectly fulfilled, but they get along OK -- wasn’t so happy. Children of low-conflict marriages whose parents divorce have more difficulty adjusting than the kids of high-conflict marriages. It’s thought that the divorce comes as a shock to these kids; a relationship that seemed fine to them suddenly dissolves, which changes their ability to trust the world and other people.

These divorces aren’t necessarily so great for the adults, either. Divorce tends to be a financial disaster for all but the very rich, because it’s more expensive to support two households than one. And people who exit marriages don’t necessarily find this makes them happier. We tend to think that marriages are good, and then they go bad, and then you divorce and get happy again, but unhappiness can often be a temporary condition that later improves....

The lesson is that when you make it harder to exit, you also make people reluctant to enter. If we try to strengthen marriage by clamping down on divorce, we may find that more and more people simply refuse to get married in the first place.
It's written from the perspective of a woman who wants to retain her out. Her position makes no sense. If she were correct, marriage rates would have climbed with no-fault divorce. Instead, they have collapsed. Men aren't avoiding marriage because they are afraid of being held to their marital contract, but because they are afraid of women not being held to it.

What ultimately threatens marriage is the state's involvement in it. The best way to strengthen it is to sever all connection between the religious sacrament and the state. Let the state permit civil partnerships of one or two or ten individuals; they can use the corporate model and be subject to dissolution as per contract.