Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The unhappiest award goes to...

Who is unhappiest at work? According to one survey, the unhappiest workers are female, unmarried, age 42 and a doctor or lawyer.

That's an interesting result. According to liberal theory, such women should be the happiest. Such women are "unimpeded" in their autonomy by any commitment to family and they have successfully pursued a glamorous, high status career outcome.

But they are unhappier than anyone else.

Mightn't this suggest that an unimpeded, maximised autonomy is not the sole, overriding good in life? And that marriage is more significant to women than the liberal theory allows for?

And who are the happiest workers? They are married men with children, a good income and a managerial position.

That fits perfectly with what traditionalists would expect. Such men are fulfilling their masculine natures to be fathers and husbands and good providers. They are the happiest despite the fact that they have sacrificed a considerable measure of their autonomy to make a strong commitment to family and career.

Some more interesting data comes from a recent Herald Sun article about longer working hours. Which sex starts paid work earlier and finishes later? Not difficult to guess:

The report quoted Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing about 30 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women are at work at 7am, and one in six men and one in seven women at 7pm.

Maybe that should be considered when feminists complain about the pay gap. The working day is longer for men which must account for some of the gap.

51 comments:

  1. "The working day is longer for men which must account for some of the gap."

    Yes it does.

    I did an analysis of full time workers incomes in 2008. Women were at about 88% of men on total earnings but 98.7% on hourly rates of pay. The difference is accounted for by men doing about an extra 8 hours per week of paid work.

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  2. a bit of a serious topic is the difference between female and male suicide namely the reasons they do it (i don't talk about this lightly as i have had a female relative suicide and know a teen girl who attempted it)
    The reason women give for commiting suicide is often boredom. They are bored to death with life and feel trapped by what they percieve is conformity and their bland communities.
    Males sucicide simply because life becomes too hard. They are effectively dependant on their worklife if they lose their job or can't pay the bills they kill themselves.
    I do really care for the women i know who have attempted it and who have gone but I cant shrug off the fact that their reason for doing it is pety compared to men who suffer.
    In the case of the teen girl i knew who attempted it. I think I successfuly reasoned with her that she wouldn't find happiness by abandoning her community and people. I instilled in her a bit of pride about who she was and where she came from and in her family. In her case she was taken in by American pop culture to the point i think she attempted to kill herself because she thought her community was a deadend and boring. Her family were happy that as an outsider I could bring some reason to this girls life.

    Back to your topic i can only imagine a woman doing a monotonous job for years would be very unhappy from boredom.
    The life of a mother and a wife is very stimulating in all ways to a woman. Emotionally, mentally and physically. Work life is most importantly missing emotional stimulation and fulfillment.

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  3. @ Anon 9:18:00 PM AEDT

    Re: Suicide (glum topic but allow me)

    Thomas Joiner in Why People Die prosposes that three factors cause suicide: 1) perceived burdensomeness; 2)lack of belongingness and 3)competence, which includes the physical ability, knowledge, and pain tolerance required to carry out a suicide, as well having lost or overcome the fear of death.

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  4. They're not haaaapy?

    Quick, we need to create a multi-billion dollar government program to make sure they are!!!!

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  5. 1. Very interesting
    2. as per gwallan, I didn't know anyone (right of center) took the pay gap seriously any longer.

    Occupation Choice
    Hours worked.
    Work experience
    Liability risk (Maternity leave)

    ALL make huge $ value. I think the number I've seen is that correcting for all of those, we get 105% per hour pay for females as vs. males.

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  6. The "unhappiest" were the 42 yo single women professionals earning UNDER $100,000. Not sure why they put "i.e. lawyers or doctors", because no doctor is making under 100k, and many lawyers don't either. I think they are talking about a different set, middle managers perhaps.

    It also does not capture differences in happiness between blue vs white collar, or working vs stay-at-home.

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  7. As a female lawyer in that age range, I'd definitely be unhappy making less than $100K at 42!

    Of course, the traditionalist hand wringing over whether professional women are happy is disingenuous. Are you really concerned about my personal happiness or about getting me to embrace housewifery? And, even if your concern for the personal fulfillment of the female professionals of the world is genuine, it's really none of your business.

    Also, the article linked notes that women are 25 percent less likely to take breaks for things like lunch during the work day, and 35 percent less likely to take breaks to just relax. Professional women often have no free time because they are doing most of the daily household chores as well as the daily grind at the office. I would be pretty unhappy too if I were working a gazillion hours a week AND doing my husband's laundry AND getting screwed out of my chance for equal pay because of my household obligations.

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  8. As a female lawyer in that age range, I'd definitely be unhappy making less than $100K at 42!

    I've never made that much. But then I have the rare privilege of always doing work I would do voluntarily. Being paid for it is pure icing.

    Of course, the traditionalist hand wringing over whether professional women are happy is disingenuous.

    What hand ringing? Couldn't give a toss about their happiness. Whinging is what women do best. We are quite used to it. One good thing about feminism is that men are finally learning, albeit the hard way, to tune them out.


    Are you really concerned about my personal happiness or about getting me to embrace housewifery?

    I don't care if you embrace crocodiles. I would, in fact, recommend it.

    And, even if your concern for the personal fulfillment of the female professionals of the world is genuine, it's really none of your business.

    Massive numbers of women fill up professional places only to piss off to do the mummy thing when the baby rabies sets in. As a consequence Australia has needed to recruit thousands of doctors, nurses and pharmacists from overseas to fill yawning gaps.

    This is very much my business madam.

    Also, the article linked notes that women are 25 percent less likely to take breaks for things like lunch during the work day, and 35 percent less likely to take breaks to just relax.

    Self reports by delusional women who, just like you, think the world owes them everything. Do you think I don't have eyes? Do you think I don't see what the folk working around me are doing?

    Professional women often have no free time because they are doing most of the daily household chores as well as the daily grind at the office.

    Common claim. Common lie.

    I would be pretty unhappy too if I were working a gazillion hours a week AND doing my husband's laundry AND getting screwed out of my chance for equal pay because of my household obligations.

    Obligations? Who is obliging you apart from yourself?

    Women make their choices and expect the entire world to change just for them. They expect their every little whim and fancy to be honoured by others and when it isn't they screech with abandon. The western world remains in the throes of what is the biggest sook ever known.

    Thankyou for coming here to remind us.

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  9. Gwallan,

    I am so pleased to hear that you don't care about the personal happiness of professional women, because as I said, it is none of your business. Unfortunately, Oz and other traditionalist bloggers make rather a habit of writing about how terrible it is that feminism has supposedly made women so unhappy. I find their supposed concern for my inner feelings less than convincing.

    You raise some interesting issues:

    -- You wonder who precisely creates these household obligations that so many women have. This is an excellent point. I believe very strongly that professional women who work full-time can and should decline to do more than their fair share of household labor. But you know perfectly well that there are entrenched cultural reasons why this doesn't happen. Women doing this work is the default assumption. It can be very difficult to try to fight that in the context of an intimate relationship.

    -- You mention that women are getting "baby rabies" and abandoning their jobs. First of all, I think it is unfortunate that you view the desire to have a baby in such pejorative terms. Second, I actually agree with you that in an ideal world women would use their talents, education and skills to the utmost to contribute to society beyond just the wellbeing of their immediate family. Of course, when I say such things, traditionalists complain that I'm dumping on stay-at-home mothers. Third, a flexible economy finds ways to use the talents of women (or men for that matter) who choose part-time work or who re-enter the workforce after a period of absence. In the U.S. most lawyer-or-doctor mothers I know are working full-time, or if they are not, they are working part-time or have re-entered the work force after, say, a 5 or 10 year hiatus of child raising. Fourth, if the concern is talented women leaving the workforce to stay at home full time, then perhaps we should be thinking of ways to incentivize not leaving the work force.

    I also want to say that I agree with you that money isn't the only measure of professional success! My comment was tongue-in-cheek, but there is nonetheless a grain of truth in it. People's happiness often depends at least in part on how valued and respected they feel in the workplace. Money is often the key way that respect and the value placed on a person's work is communicated. Money also in itself contributes to human happiness, though it is certainly not the be all and end all. So while you are quite right that people CAN happily make career choices that result in a lower income than average for their profession, it stands to reason that OFTEN a lower income will correlate to a less contented outlook on life.

    Lastly, I don't recall ever demanding that the world accommodate every little whim and fancy I have, or saying anything that would imply such a thing. The only thing I see implied in my comment is that I work for my bread in a demanding profession and that I take responsibility for my own happiness. You seem to be overreacting.

    P.S. I do think it's kind of silly to use Word "madam" as an expression of disdain. My father does this all the time, whenever he recounts to me what he said in any disagreement he ever has with a woman. I always say, "Were you wearing your monocle and tophat at the time?"

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  10. But you 'are' disparaging stay-at-home mothers. The wellbeing of a family is paramount to everything else and not worth less, just because it does not earn money.

    This is what I hate about feminists and careerist women, the first to pull out the "respect my choices" card and quick to slam any woman who does not want to live in their world of shallow pretty items and worker hive.

    Oh yes, and the feelings of these talented mothers who would prefer to stay home with their families had no bearing to you either? No, they have to be given incentives and pushed back into working, if that doesn't work your sort seems to relish punishing these mothers for picking their children and husband over work.

    With women like you, who needs enemies? And I'm a young woman, before you go accusing me of not having a right to comment on women and how feminists and careerists are destroying their own gender's happiness and self fulfilment.

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  11. But you know perfectly well that there are entrenched cultural reasons why this doesn't happen. Women doing this work is the default assumption. It can be very difficult to try to fight that in the context of an intimate relationship.

    Women want it this way. How many women do you know allow their partner or husband free reign on interior decoration or design?

    Second, I actually agree with you that in an ideal world women would use their talents, education and skills to the utmost to contribute to society beyond just the wellbeing of their immediate family.

    But they don't. Women are clustered in non-necessary positions, particularly the arts. Women are good at these things, such as floral design, museum curator, etc. I think the larger point being made at traditionalist blogs is, what is the point of a female doctor on flex-time? And what kind of a world is it in which women eschew children and marriage in their 20's and 30's, only to wind up burnt out and barren at 42? At least a man can still go out and find a wife and have kids, but a woman? What is a 42 yr old, unmarried and highly successful female lawyer supposed to do for love?

    Third, a flexible economy finds ways to use the talents of women (or men for that matter) who choose part-time work or who re-enter the workforce after a period of absence.

    But what comes first, the economy or people? Do we serve the economy or does the economy serve us? What if an inflexible economy makes people happier?

    In the U.S. most lawyer-or-doctor mothers I know are working full-time...

    Then who is caring for their children? Are you sure that is a healthy way to bring up kids?

    Fourth, if the concern is talented women leaving the workforce to stay at home full time, then perhaps we should be thinking of ways to incentivize not leaving the work force.

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  12. Continued...

    I didn't read it that way, although I could be wrong. I actually thought the author's concern was the opposite: talented women leaving the home to stay at work full time. Whatever a woman does, no matter how important, is replaceable. However, since a man cannot have children, he can never replace a woman. But a female lawyer or a female doctor is nothing more than cultural embellishment, a kind of decoration, if you will. I am fully aware of how insulting that sounds, but context is key. I don't know the situation in Australia, but over here in Canada, we've just entered a "demographic winter". The boomers are retiring and no one is having children. We cannot pay out (in the future) what we have promised to seniors. It's not impossible to imagine in 2030 or 2040 people beginning to look at all of these childless women going to work full time and raising hell. Only women can bear children, and when they don't, we die. It's that simple. So as I've said, whether or not a woman is a lawyer or a doctor, it ultimately cannot be understood lest we factor in larger concerns.

    Money also in itself contributes to human happiness, though it is certainly not the be all and end all. So while you are quite right that people CAN happily make career choices that result in a lower income than average for their profession, it stands to reason that OFTEN a lower income will correlate to a less contented outlook on life.

    This is precisely why we need mothers! What you have just said is only partly true. I have met poor people who are much happier than the rich! I kid you not. I was a high earner five years ago, and I resigned voluntarily. You must reject the values of this world, not embrace them. "Slavery is not freedom". Only a foolish person believes that money will set them free. It is the height of stupidity to say such a thing.

    I don't normally say "madam" but in this case it is warranted. You are the kind of woman who finds value in money, but what do you do with it? You go shopping for...crap. You are replaceable with a man. However, if you chose to marry and have kids in your youth, you would have created incalculable riches. What a shame. You have turned yourself into a man, and what's worse, a kind of mini-man. And why did you do it?

    Pride.

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  13. "However, since a man cannot have children, he can never replace a woman."
    Women can not have children with out men.
    Didn't a feminist recently confess she contemplated stealing her husbands sperm.
    I read on this blog that someone used the term "gatekeeper".
    Well who do you think is the key master?

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  14. Of course, the traditionalist hand wringing over whether professional women are happy is disingenuous. Are you really concerned about my personal happiness or about getting me to embrace housewifery?

    Georgina, if I thought a traditional lifestyle would make the average woman unhappy I wouldn't advocate it.

    But if it were true that women in general were made unhappy by traditional family roles then we would face very significant problems, which I doubt you are aware of.

    Some women seem to assume that men spend their lives working just for the heck of it. It's assumed that it's just something men have always done and will always do.

    But that's not how men experience things. It's not easy for men to commit to a lifetime of work. Men don't grow up thinking "Wow! I can spend my life in that little office cubicle helping a faceless corporation turn a profit."

    The average 20-year-old man would much rather hang out with his mates, surfing or drinking or gaming or pursuing some kind of personal interest - or just enjoying life in a relaxed way.

    But you can't have a developed economy or civilisation if a lot of men spend a lot of time drinking homebrew on the beach.

    So how was it that Western man made such a big commitment to work?

    One reason is that Western society found a way to give every man the opportunity to play a masculine role within a family as a provider and protector.

    Therefore, it didn't matter as much if the work a man was doing was less enjoyable and more taxing than sitting on the beach with his mates. It wasn't the type of work which mattered so much, but rather the fact that a man was fulfilling part of his nature through a necessary and distinctly masculine role within the family.

    Obviously, if that arrangement made the average woman unhappy, the sacrifices of men would be pointless. Men could no longer justify working on that basis.

    Similarly, if the large majority of women were to leave the home to go out to work, then it would be pointless for men to sacrifice themselves at work in order to create a secure home environment for their wives - as their wives would themselves be out of the home at work.

    And again, if women are earning as much as their husbands, or more, then the male role can no longer be thought of as distinctly masculine or as necessary.

    So if women are going to compete with men in the labour market, then over time it's likely that men won't see the point of it.

    I know, Georgina, that that will make your feminist heart leap with joy as you have been brought up to believe that women outperforming men at work is the measure of female success.

    But have you thought about what it would really mean to live in a society in which young men no longer see the point in working?

    What if it became the norm over time for women to do most of the domestic work and most of the paid work as well? That is probably the default condition of human societies - it wouldn't be difficult to sink back into.

    What happens to men who no longer see the point of working to protect and provide? They tend to look instead toward their own comfort and their own interest. They become less interested in the burdens of fatherhood. They become less invested in what happens to their society. They see their one advantage as being free from commitments - free to enjoy themselves in their own way - and so they take that advantage.

    I think it's a lesser life than the traditional one, but it makes sense when the traditional life is no longer available.

    I suspect that there are women (and men) who might not be able to articulate this but who nonetheless sense it and who therefore hold back from the new family order.

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  15. Mr. Richardson,

    You make excellent points, and you make them well. That begs the question: why waste your time and effort on a feminazi whore like Georgina? She doesn't want to be confused with the facts, logic, or the truth. That would burst her feminazi fantasies...

    MarkyMark

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  16. Mark,

    1) Women think men just do paid work for a lark? Really? We are just too stupid to know that work is, you know, hard work? Even though we have been doing paid work right along with you in significant numbers since the Industrial Revolution? And even though we have been ourselves working in traditionally male occupations in increasingly significant numbers for the last 40 years?

    2) I aways get a kick out of the argument that paid work is so horrible and unsatisfying and empty and soulless. You raise the fact that men don't grow up fantasizing abut working in a cubicle to raise the profits of a soulless corporation. Yet your own post makes much of the fact that married, middle-aged men with good salaries are the happiest workers.

    Anecdotally: my husband had a job in a cubicle for a soulless corporation. He enjoyed the actual work he was doing quite a bit and he enjoyed the fat paycheck and the junkets to fancy conference locations. But he did yearn for more job satisfaction. So he left for a substantially lower-paying job which he felt was more valuable to society and made him happier. How was he able to do this? Why, because his lovely, feminist wife was making a decent salary of her own. I know, I know, it's horrible how we feminist women are destroying our men.

    But more to the point, I think it is telling how work suddenly gets recharacterized as pointless drudgery as soon as women are doing it. But when men are doing it's extremely important stuff that builds civilization!!!11!!!!!

    3) I don't believe for a moment that men in general are so morally weak that they will simply slack off in life unless they can are placed in the paterfamilias role. But even if this were true, their moral weakness is not my responsibility. I am not going to restructure my life in the hope that some men might possibly feel moved to make more of their lives than they might have otherwise. I am a firm believer that while, yes, we work for our paychecks, which are quite important, work is also its own reward. (And yes, this goes for unpaid work for one's family as well.) If men are slacking off, then perhaps someone should be lecturing them about the secrets of happiness.

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  17. Tim,

    I am not sure what interior decorating of the house has to do with the day-to-day grind of cleaning, cooking, and caring for children. I didn't realize that sharing the housework with my husband meant that he should have "free reign" to decorate our living room with posters of Aerosmith and his favorite football team. Our own house decorating was a joint effort, with both of us having veto power over things we found truly terrible.

    Also, I am saddened to hear you characterize floral design and museum curating as non-necessary positions, in response to my point that women should use their talents to contribute to society. You are right that these professions are not necessary to pure survival. But they do make the world and our society a better place. Clearly others value this work, or they would not be paid professions.

    Lastly, I do laugh when otherwise hard-nosed men turn up their nose at filthy lucre in discussions of women's paid work. Money is one of those things that is not at all important until you don't have it. Then it becomes very important indeed. Money buys not just stuff, but options and freedom, not to mention education and security for one's family.

    It is so telling though how men suddenly see the light as to how soulless and empty money. Somehow it is not quite so soulless and empty that you are willing to chuck it all to stay home with your kids, are you? I don't see men lining up to embrace the joys of homemaking.

    You have called me a mini-man. But this is just semantics. You are abitrarily defining "man" as someone who works as a lawyer and doesn't stay home with kids. But you don't get to define "man" and "woman." Unless I grow penis, which seems unlikely, I am most definitely not a man- mini or otherwise. Calling me a "man" doesn't change the facts.

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  18. "'Females earn more per unit of time at work than males. The average man spends 44% more time working or doing work related activities than the average female. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Time Use Survey 2007, Table A-1. So for every hour a guy works, a girl works 42 minutes, but the average female makes 77% that of the average man. If the two were paid equally per unit of time actually worked, then the pay for the average female would be 69.5% that of the average man—not 77%--so girls are overpaid. "


    http://whatmenthinkofwomen.blogspot.com/2011/12/tom-martin-talking-to-students-about.html

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  19. Georgina = Doomed Harlot from Dalrock's blog. It's basically pointless to argue with her, as she is a doctrinaire, dyed-in-the-wool feminist.

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  20. Georgina, sticks and stones love. No one cares what a burnt out feminazi like yourself wants or needs. You're a carcass being stripped apart by the mindless political system. Please, continue to work, DO NOT, I repeat, do not become a stay at home mom. You don't deserve it!

    As for A, thank you for showing us that not every women supports team feminism above what society really requires to survive!

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  21. The point about housework, Georgina, is that oftentimes the man is cowed by his wife/partner within his home regarding the "look" and "atmosphere" of the place. Yes, sometimes it is a shared decision as to how it will look, but how many men do you know override their wive's/partner's wishes? The domestic sphere is still an overwhelmingly female space - by choice.

    As for careers such as curator, etc., it sounds as though we agree that most women by and large serve a decorative function in society. But where we disagree is that I don't believe these decorative careers do make the world a better place. They make for a sterile world because it is a world without families or children. In Canada, immigrants alone cannot help us sustain the massive drop in fertility. We will have to import a small nation into Canada just to maintain our standard of living and social programs. I'm not saying it is probable but it is possible that there will be a day sometime in the future when bachelors and single women will be shunned by society because they will be seen as parasites. If we do not have enough money to pay out state benefits to the elderly, then family members will become the default social security system. Those without families will be seen as freeloaders.

    As for the making of money, it actually saddens me to read your response. Men make money because they have no choice but to. Men do not mind supporting a wife, they did it for thousands of years, but women are not wired this way. Women will not support a husband financially, and women are not sexually attracted to house-husbands. There is no choice for the male sex but to make money. Furthermore, you have conflated success with material acquisition, but this is possibly the gravest error a person can make. I have made money before - lots of it - and it turned me into an asshole. That is the truth. I am not a saint; I am merely saying that I resigned from a well-paid career because the money was turning me into an asshole. I have friends and cousins who make much less than me but are far more successful in their personal lives that am I. You have not learned this lesson yet, but you will. Everybody does.

    Finally, your last point regarding the definitions of "man" and "woman". Do you really think this is a gray area? Are you not falling for the myth of "self-design"? (that we are made human by our ability to self-design) This is liberal autonomy theory. However, we cannot choose our sex. I am a man because I have a penis. You are a woman because you have a vagina. This is not a gray area. You suffer from male-role envy, and it requires discipline to restrain, but in the end the spiritual rewards you gain by embracing your full womanhood far outweigh the wages you will earn by attempting to be a man.

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  22. Anecdotally: my husband had a job in a cubicle for a soulless corporation. He enjoyed the actual work he was doing quite a bit and he enjoyed the fat paycheck and the junkets to fancy conference locations. But he did yearn for more job satisfaction. So he left for a substantially lower-paying job which he felt was more valuable to society and made him happier. How was he able to do this? Why, because his lovely, feminist wife was making a decent salary of her own. I know, I know, it's horrible how we feminist women are destroying our men.

    Does this mean you do not have children?

    I don't believe for a moment that men in general are so morally weak that they will simply slack off in life unless they can are placed in the paterfamilias role. But even if this were true, their moral weakness is not my responsibility. I am not going to restructure my life in the hope that some men might possibly feel moved to make more of their lives than they might have otherwise. I am a firm believer that while, yes, we work for our paychecks, which are quite important, work is also its own reward. (And yes, this goes for unpaid work for one's family as well.) If men are slacking off, then perhaps someone should be lecturing them about the secrets of happiness.

    I suspect you do not have children, otherwise you would not be so unconcerned about the larger society. Children cure a woman of her vanity and her narcissism. What if you had a son, would you still feel the same way you do regarding men and women? Would you feel that your own son's "moral weakness is not your responsibility"?

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  23. The most alarming facet of these remarks is the unchallenged assertion that lawyers are worth over $100k per year : any lawyer , any time, any where.

    The principle worth of Mr Richardson’s site has been his forthright commenting on issues regarding the behaviour of the sexes, in particular to mate selection, money and power. To do so, he has had to suffer in his traversing of the feminist, homo, and embittered male sites. Something I simply won’t do.

    With relation to the comments by “Charlotte” , a bit of filtering would have been useful. Some key observations:
    1) The issue was happiness - is “she” happy or not? Are there children, or are there not ? Is the “husband” an idiot that is manipulable (as hinted) and thus she dominates ?
    2) The adversarial manner of writing is cute amongst a certain group, but when recognized, seen by most as counterproductive and debased.
    3) Good faith - Good will in commentating allows progress - there is none here, and thus no progress.
    4) Excluding “her” position, what of “her” observations. Are the aging childless “professional” woman relatively unhappy or not...etc..etc.

    Again, really nothing but a blather of adversarial bilge.

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  24. BTW Mark,

    Roissy recently commented on an Australian study about fatherhood that you also referenced.

    It is very interesting to compare the two articles, esp as his was posted after your own:

    Roissy:

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-its-good-to-shame-single-moms/

    Ozconservative:

    http://ozconservative.blogspot.com/2011/11/boys-need-their-dads.html

    Have you got Roissy/Heartiste as a reader now Mark?

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  25. Tim,

    Well, yes, the notion that the domestic is the women's sphere is a heavily entrenched notion in the psyches of both and women. I agree with that. So yes, the problem for women who do not want to be the one shouldering most of the domestic work partially relates to resisting internalized the sense of being the one responsible for those chores.

    I did not agree with you that most working women perform a merely decorative function. I'd love to see where we would be without teachers, nurses, and secretaries! But I am sad that you think a museum curator provides a merely decorative function. Museums advance knowledge and scholarship, as well as the arts. The best can be considered the jewels of our civilization. While I agree that the world would be a sterile one without children, my life, along with many others, have been enriched by the Museum of Natural History in NYC, the Smithsonian, the Louvre, etc. Fortunately, I don't think we need to choose between children and the Louvre.

    On the money issue: I think you are misunderstanding my view towards money. I have never said that making money is the sole measure of success or happiness, or the be all and end all. But I think it is hypocritical for those opposed to feminism to chide women for seeking an independent income in well-paying fields when we all know that the same exact behavior is both expected and encouraged of men.

    You know, the Cold War was still going on when I was growing up. I recall the foolishness of the controlled economies of the Communist bloc, in which citizens were expected to simply work for the good of society as a whole rather than to advance their own material advantage. These societies did not work because human nature is ultimately selfish, at least to some degree. People are willing to work extremely hard for the good of society -- but in return there must be some material reward as well as a sense of control over one's own destiny. Women are no different.

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  26. Tim, I neglected the personal question you have asked me as to whether I have children. If you read Dalrock, I comment there as Doomed Harlot, as noted above, and so you may have read my nattering on my personal issues before. So if this is repetitive to you, I apologize, but:

    No, I do not have children. My husband is infertile. I am currently undergoing efforts to conceive with donor sperm, though I learned just this morning in fact that my most recent effort was unsuccessful. I am going to try two more times, but success seems increasingly likely, probably due to my age.

    This reminds me of a couple other things you said. One, you said that I don't care about the wellbeing of society or its future. I don't think that's fair or representative of anything I said. Second, I believe it was you or perhaps someone else who asked if I would feel responsible for the moral guidance of a son if I had a boy. Obviously, yes. As a parent, I would have the responsibility to provide moral guidance and training to a son. But that's quite different than adopting a passive stance of dependence in the hope it might influence another adult to be a productive member of society.

    You also raised what you call liberal autonomy theory. I think you are saying that I am somehow thwarting my own true nature by not having a baby and then staying home with the baby. But I just don't see it. There is nothing uniquely male about arguing a case in court, nor is anything uniquely female about taking care of young children. I don't believe there is a courtroom genome, or a diaper-changing genome.

    There is also the fact that there are plenty of women revered by traditionalists who purposely never had children -- Mother Theresa, brilliant abbesses of great medieval monasteries who renounced relations with men in order to pursue their own intellectual and spiritual interests, the various saints who martyred themselves to preserve their virginity, for non-Catholics Elizabeth I of England -- and on and on. Were these women quasi-men who failed to embrace their full womanhood?

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  27. Oops. I meant to say my chances of conceiving a child appear increasingly UNLIKELY due to my age, not likely! Ha ha. A little bit of a slip there!

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  28. Women deserve this award. They are the best at everything.

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  29. Charlotte,

    In order to make sense of this conversation we're having, it's sensible to first state that, for the most part, these manosphere blogs are not concerned with individual rights. It's more a matter of the common good that is of concern to me. A lot of men think this way, because we're conditioned to always be watchful for external threats. So we're actually talking past one another. As a woman, you are concerned with personal autonomy, but that is not what I am talking about at all. How we balance our rights and freedoms with the greater good is my concern.

    When you say that it is hypocritical for men to be encouraged to chase after high-paying jobs and not to do the same for women, I would counter with a couple of points. The first point is, as a man, I need the status boost of a well-paid career in order to attract a female. Females do not. Men cannot show up with our naked selves and expect a woman to love us, just for who we are. In other words, men have no erotic capital. Women, on the other hand, need only be breathing to attract a man. That is my first point. The second point is we are not blank slates, women and men. Men have testosterone levels an order of magnitude 14 times higher than women. So men are more driven and more ambitious than women, and they also need to "prove" their worth. It has always been this way. The slower sexual cycle of women has made them the choosers. Men display, women choose. Now if we were the same biologically, and there were no differences between the sexes, then yes, it would be hypocritical to suggest women shouldn't go after high-powered careers.

    As for you allusion to Communism, I've always felt feminism made the same fatal error: a misdiagnosis of human nature. Feminism believes men and women are "tabula rasa" - blank slates. I know you will deny this, but I have seen too many youtube videos and read too many feminist writings to think otherwise. Equality is the aggrandizement of women at the expense of men. Special workplace rules are enforced to make men comply.

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  30. But that's quite different than adopting a passive stance of dependence in the hope it might influence another adult to be a productive member of society.

    How so? How is being a full time homemaker passive? I can answer the question myself. It is passive because according to liberal autonomy theory, one is not fully human until one has self-designed.

    You also raised what you call liberal autonomy theory. I think you are saying that I am somehow thwarting my own true nature by not having a baby and then staying home with the baby. But I just don't see it. There is nothing uniquely male about arguing a case in court, nor is anything uniquely female about taking care of young children. I don't believe there is a courtroom genome, or a diaper-changing genome.

    No, I agree with you that it is not inherently natural for a woman to be some sort of fount of nurturing. It requires discipline and devotion to duty, something most women today balk at. You are not thwarting your own true nature by working as a professional. On the contrary, you are succumbing to it. It takes an effort of the will to turn a female from savage to woman, but it can be done, and has been done. The liberal autonomy theory I was referring to is the notion that one is not fully human until one has self-designed.

    By the way, I am not actually a traditionalist. My surfing these men's sites is a hobby. My own personal concern is as I mentioned earlier, external threats. We don't really face physical threats anymore. The biggest threat I see is unfunded liabilities. We have enjoyed for decades now the magical social security check which eases the pain of retirement. However, without "boots on the ground" working, we'll have to say goodbye to those social security checks, and that spells poverty for seniors. No children = no social security checks = death. Then of course the other issue is waiting until you are 40 to have children. This notion that one should wait until they are self-designed to have kids is starting to get old. Anyway, I'm done for now, will continue later. By the way...if you are already a lawyer and successful ...why do you even want kids at such an advanced age? It won't increase your own sense of personal fulfillment, I can guarantee you that.

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  31. "The first point is, as a man, I need the status boost of a well-paid career in order to attract a female."
    No you don't.

    "Men cannot show up with our naked selves and expect a woman to love us, just for who we are. In other words, men have no erotic capital."
    I must be the exception.
    "Women, on the other hand, need only be breathing to attract a man."
    Not all women are desirable to men on virtue of just being a woman.

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  32. I have an engineering degree but I work part time because it would be a complete betrayal of my duty to my husband and children to do otherwise.

    Second, I actually agree with you that in an ideal world women would use their talents, education and skills to the utmost to contribute to society beyond just the wellbeing of their immediate family.

    The best way for women to contribute to society is to raise well adjusted children - an impossiblity with 2 full-time working professionals. And no, the mother & father role are not interchangable so dad cannot take moms place at home.

    What gets me is the continues focus on the high-status, high earning jobs that feminists belive women deserve. Why not advacate for position in which women are outnumbered by men: any low status job that is also dirty, difficult or dangerous job - Low status remember so attempts to get women in infantry don't count.

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  33. "Not all women are desirable to men on virtue of just being a woman."

    yeah, some fat in the right places helps though.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/850/alwaysmorefriendsonface.png/

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  34. Did you know it is much easier to enslave someone if they can't see the cage? You are getting a false sense of reward as you lose the control over your destiny Georgina.

    Autonomy means anything we can't choose ourselves must be discarded-okay then we don't choose to breathe, so we should stop doing that and our hearts pump blood around our bodies. We don't choose to think, so we should discard this too? Does this sound insane?

    For the small part of you Georgina who knows somewhere very deep down that a woman's distinct role is just as important to life as bodily functions that keep us alive or the ability to think, I say this. Because to deny this, is just as crazy as denying the ability to think. You can do it- but you'd be poorer for it and eventually biology will win out. Obviously it has- or you wouldn’t be trying to have a child at all but you’ve more than likely slammed your chance shut. I implore you to depart this world of denial- it’s too late for you but there are women in the here and now, who can still get married and have children, who think that the feminists have it made. Would you wish a materialist, transient existence on anyone else or do the right thing and tell younger women that it’s a mistake?
    And Elizabeth I was a monarch who was fulfilling a duty higher than herself to the country she was born to rule in the absence of male heirs. According to anyone like you, a woman like that can't be terribly great because her royalty was not chosen. She made sacrifices for the prosperity of England because she was a royal, and it was her duty to put her country first.
    A truly bad example for a feminist to use- especially one who lives in a state of denial and would rather pretend that she has control over life itself than sacrifice her pride to save other younger women the same gut wrenching heartache of realizing everything she valued wasn’t worth a darn, and now she is simply...nothing.
    As for nothing inherently female about staying home with a baby- Georgina have you seen yourself in a mirror lately? A woman can nurse her infant; a man can't without a bottle.
    Scenario: Oh no- he heated it up and tested it and the bottle accidentally fell and spilled. It was the last of the stored breast milk in the fridge. Your husband can call you as your baby screams, but wait- there’s a big case and you’re too busy in a courtroom. A note gets passed to you discretely by that male legal aide, and you have a choice. You can anger your client and the law firm to tend to your child or you can let your baby wait- when he/she needs you more than anyone else in the world.
    Formula compromises a child’s basic immune system whilst they are too young for any immunization and breast milk gives them health and growth in all departments aside from immunity.
    Our ears and sleeping patterns are conducive to high pitch noises so that we can wake and tend to our babies. So, we're as women, uniquely capable for raising their infants in ways a man can't at just a few basic examples. There are many, many more.

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  35. Liesel,

    What gets me is the continues focus on the high-status, high earning jobs that feminists belive women deserve. Why not advacate for position in which women are outnumbered by men: any low status job that is also dirty, difficult or dangerous job - Low status remember so attempts to get women in infantry don't count.

    Ummmmmm. Where to start. The premise of the question is kind of crazy -- why don't women fight to do crap work that no one wants to do? Except it's not exactly the case that no one wants to do the crap work, and it's not exactly the case that women haven't fought to get into those crap jobs.

    1) Women already occupy dirty, extremely low status jobs in significant percentages.

    2) Most men's low status jobs are not low status compared to the opportunities available to similarly situated women. For example, coal mining and sanitation pay more than cleaning houses. I think this is fair, because as you point out, jobs like mining and sanitation are dangerous. But the point remains that these jobs are not low status compared to what is generally available to women of similar circumstances and education.

    3) Which is why women have, in fact, fought for the right to work as miners and sanitation workers. In my country, there have been class-action suits brought by women for the right to work in coal mines. And opening up New York's sanitation department to women was a hard-won feminist result. (And lest you think, sanitation work involves only dirt, it is also one of the most dangerous professions out there.)

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  36. A,

    Would you wish a materialist, transient existence on anyone else or do the right thing and tell younger women that it’s a mistake?

    Oh please. Homemaking doesn't transcend the materialist and the transient any more than any other life choice. Your life choice and my life choice both involve a combination of (1) self-interest and (2) the desire to serve. I am proud of the fact that my choices help other women who want to pursue a similar life-path.

    As for your scenario with the breast feeding emergency, it seems a bit tortured and unlikely. But if this ever actually happened at the exact same time I happened to be in court, I would simply say, "I need to leave unexpectedly due to a family emergency." Emergencies happen all the time. I once was in a court hearing in which the (male) lawyer on the other side suffered a sudden attack of diarrhea, causing the hearing to be postponed half way through. But this highlights another positive about feminism. In the past, working women (and as noted above, women have always worked) paid serious penalties for events like this -- and in fact, still do, in many jobs. But feminism has helped create a culture in which employees are more likely to treat parenting emergencies just like other kinds of emergencies.

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  37. A truly bad example for a feminist to use- especially one who lives in a state of denial and would rather pretend that she has control over life itself than sacrifice her pride to save other younger women the same gut wrenching heartache of realizing everything she valued wasn’t worth a darn, and now she is simply...nothing.

    Oh, how did I miss this part! I LOVE this. This kind of comment reveals a lot more about you than anything at all to do with me or other feminists.

    Since we are talking about happiness, I think one secret to happiness is the recognition that there is no human being who is "simply . . . nothing." All human beings have inherent worth. Forgetting that is a sure path to developing a contemptuous habit of thought that ultimately poisons one's own soul.

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  38. Most men's low status jobs are not low status compared to the opportunities available to similarly situated women. For example, coal mining and sanitation pay more than cleaning houses. I think this is fair, because as you point out, jobs like mining and sanitation are dangerous. But the point remains that these jobs are not low status compared to what is generally available to women of similar circumstances and education.

    I think what you're saying is construction work is still sexist. In that I would agree with you. Having said that, it has been my experience that work which involves manual labor is best left to men. I know that's a sexist comment, but I base it on experience. I've worked with women in construction, and they have done a fine job, but it always makes the foremen and the owners of the companies nervous when women are on the job. I've also worked as a caregiver, and I can assure you it is better left for women to do. Even the clients prefer women, also.

    The point I am making is, what is the end goal of liberal autonomy theory? (that one is not fully human until one has self-designed.) It seems to me that liberal autonomy theory is based on the premise that men and women are the same, and are therefore inter-changeable. So when you say that there are not enough positions available for women in construction, what you really mean is men and women are exactly the same. They are "blank slates".

    And opening up New York's sanitation department to women was a hard-won feminist result.

    Who won? In the context of the "common good" or the "greater good", who won? If it is true that men and women are blank slates and are exactly the same biologically, then yes, I would consider that a victory. But what if we are not the same biologically? What if we are not blank slates? Who benefits when a woman wins the right to work in a man's traditional role, and therefore displaces men? Well, we know that the birth rate does not go up. We also know that it makes women who want to become mothers and home-makers even more burdened, as it raises the cultural expectations of what is expected of a woman. What are we supposed to make of this state of affairs, when motherhood is no longer viewed as something sacred, but rather, nothing more than a beautiful hobby?

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  39. Oh please. Homemaking doesn't transcend the materialist and the transient any more than any other life choice. Your life choice and my life choice both involve a combination of (1) self-interest and (2) the desire to serve. I am proud of the fact that my choices help other women who want to pursue a similar life-path.

    This is blank slate equalism. You're approach to life is Gnostic. According to you, everything is nothing and nothing is everything. We are all interchangeable because we are all equal. To you, homemaking does not transcend the material, but the point of this blog is...quite the opposite. Homemaking does transcend the material. That's the whole point we are making. The assertion that men and women are different, and have unique roles. Women have a brief window of opportunity in which to conceive a healthy child, and that is between their late teens and late twenties, a time of peak fertility. This is also true of men. Acknowledging this is painful to a blank slate equalist, because human pride says the opposite - that we can conceive after we have self-designed, well into our forties, after our careers have established.

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  40. but hey, at least they are "strong, independent women"

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  41. As for your scenario with the breast feeding emergency, it seems a bit tortured and unlikely. But if this ever actually happened at the exact same time I happened to be in court, I would simply say, "I need to leave unexpectedly due to a family emergency." Emergencies happen all the time. I once was in a court hearing in which the (male) lawyer on the other side suffered a sudden attack of diarrhea, causing the hearing to be postponed half way through. But this highlights another positive about feminism. In the past, working women (and as noted above, women have always worked) paid serious penalties for events like this -- and in fact, still do, in many jobs. But feminism has helped create a culture in which employees are more likely to treat parenting emergencies just like other kinds of emergencies.

    I think the point she is making is that raising children cannot be viewed as a part-time hobby. It will absorb all of your energy. You give yourself away when you say that "feminism has created a culture in which employees... Firstly, feminism has turned mothers into "employees" - by your own admission. How exactly is that progress? Who benefits? Why exactly is it better to be an employee than a mother?

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  42. Since we are talking about happiness, I think one secret to happiness is the recognition that there is no human being who is "simply . . . nothing." All human beings have inherent worth. Forgetting that is a sure path to developing a contemptuous habit of thought that ultimately poisons one's own soul.

    This is blank slate equalism again. All is nothing and nothing is all because we are all everything and everything is nothing.

    Her point was clear. What is the point of being a full time lawyer and trying to conceive a child in one's forties so they can have a beautiful hobby as a flex-time parent?

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  43. You give yourself away when you say that "feminism has created a culture in which employees... Firstly, feminism has turned mothers into "employees" - by your own admission. How exactly is that progress? Who benefits? Why exactly is it better to be an employee than a mother?

    Feminism didn't turn women into employees. The industrial revolution turned both men and women into employees. (And employers too.)

    Your question implies that women's work is of no value to society. No matter how hard a woman works at her paid employment, it can be considered to have no social benefit (in your view). Your question also implies that the benefits to women themselves is of no import. Talk about devaluing women!

    What is the point of being a full time lawyer and trying to conceive a child in one's forties so they can have a beautiful hobby as a flex-time parent?

    Ummm . . . to put food on the table, to serve my family, to serve my community, to make it easier for other women who have similar dreams, to enjoy life, and to pass the baton of the good life onto the next generation in some way. Do you really think that a woman who labors night and day to secure the fairest possible results for her clients, and to pay her taxes, and to support herself and her husband and possibly her child is "simply . . . nothing" and that such a life has no point? Really? There is only ONE blueprint, only one way for a woman to live a life that has any "point" in your view?

    Can't you see how that's just a bit extreme? Of course, this is why freedom of choice is so important. No one else can decide for another what constitutes a life well-lived.

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  44. Women have a brief window of opportunity in which to conceive a healthy child, and that is between their late teens and late twenties, a time of peak fertility. This is also true of men. Acknowledging this is painful to a blank slate equalist, because human pride says the opposite - that we can conceive after we have self-designed, well into our forties, after our careers have established.

    Well, you've called me a blank slate equalist, yet I don't think it's painful. I don't mind acknowledging that my fertility has an endpoint, one that has likely already arrived. It's just a fact of life, like the fact that you and I will both die one day. I don't love these facts but it's not "painful to acknowledge." Your assumptions about the inner emotional states of people you don't know are a bit off.

    (By the way, your facts on fertility are a little off. A woman's fertility certainly reaches her peak in her early 20s, but that doesn't mean that a woman has to get pregnant by 25 in order to have a healthy baby. Even at 35, a woman's chance of conceiving within a year is 75%. Even at 40 when fertility really starts nosediving even more rapidly than before, a woman has a good 40-50%chance. And the vast majority of babies born to women in their 30s and 40s are healthy.)

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  45. I think the larger question is one of meaning. What is the "meaning" of your life if you have achieved a career at the expense of fertility? There is always a subtraction in all avenues of life. Feminism may have made it easier for a woman to become a lawyer, but I think its safe to say that it comes at the expense of motherhood. Presently, the zeitgeist of the time is that a woman should wait until she has self-designed before she starts a family. However, it should also be noted that there have been high achieving women in the past who have had both careers and families. The only difference is back then women did not wait until they had self-designed. My grandmother was married at 26 and had nine kids. She also earned a Master's Degree at night.

    I don't feel like I am devaluing your experience. We are probably not that different. I'm 42, my sister is 39, she was married and divorced. She avoids women with children because of the female civil war that's going on. I hope you don't think that I think you are some sort of bad person, lol! I don't. You're a normal woman in this day and age. Of course women teachers, nurses and so on are critical to society, and I don't think women should be in the kitchen making babies. Mostly we here in these men's blogs are wondering aloud to one another where we fit in the scheme of things, and muse about how society will be formed in the future. According to feminism, we are going back to the future, living as we did in pre-history, before patriarchy, when men and women were co-partners. Kind of like Clan of the Cave Bear. Like I say, I am not a traditionalist, I'm just trying to figure out the angles. It's really up to women to decide. We men are bystanders. Sure, we may build bridges, etc, but women shape our domestic lives, and we'll just have to see what happens. Sorry if I sounded mean to you earlier. Who knows, maybe you will have a kid soon! I can't say I don't enjoy freedom of choice, myself. Good luck.

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  46. Georgina,

    As a famous man once said, Methinks thou protesteth too much...

    MarkyMark

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  47. Tim,

    I didn't think you sounded mean. You sounded honest. That's what I am looking for on-line! So thank you.

    I don't pretend to have all the answers in the search for meaning. I don't think anyone does. But I have thought about it a lot since I was very little. My perspective is very much informed by the incredible privilege of having been born into a peaceful, prosperous, and civil western country in the 20th century. I have a profound consciousness of benefiting from the efforts of countless people who came before me to create the bounty around me -- from material comforts to the eradication of diseases to the creation of systems for ordering a peaceful and civil society to the production of enriching works of philosophy and art.(And yes, for the mothers and homemakers out there, I also am aware of my debt to the mother who bore me and raised me.) And lastly, I am acutely conscious of the debt I owe to all the people in our society who make it as comfortable as it is-- like the sanitation worker who cleans the garbage off the street, or the appointment clerk who gets my medical appointment scheduled, or the people who make sure that offices, and airports, and stores are clean, and the list goes on and on, and includes the more obvious ones like the doctor who makes sure I am healthy and pain free.

    My acute consciousness of the efforts of others informs my search for meaning. I have concluded that the search for meaning has a two-fold aspect: (1) To enjoy life! If we don't appreciate and take advantage of all the things previous generations have done, or our parents' efforts, or the hard work of people in the here and now, what is the point of all their blood, sweat, and tears? (2) To do whatever I can to contribute to the furthering of human happiness, whether in a large or small way, according to the opportunities and abilities I have. While I suppose it is humorous on some level for an attorney to talk about furthering human happiness, my work does in fact contribute to the orderly nature of our society and the possibility of fairness and justice when disputes arise. And there are other ways to contribute besides one's paid employment -- through positive family relationships, through the upbringing of a child or children, through charitable endeavors, through artistic endeavors, and through activism and other efforts to help improve the lot of people suffering in less hospitable corners of our society and the globe.

    There is a lovely psalm that sums up this basic philosophy. I can't remember it exactly but it is something like, "Her lyre is the fruit of her hands, and may her works sing her praises at the gates." Now, I don't claim that my point of view will be satisfying to everyone or is the ultimate secret to happiness and meaning; but it does occur to me that this kind of attitude can help men who are wondering about their role in a world of shifting gender norms. There are plenty of ways to be of service outside the traditional blueprint.

    Thank you for putting up with me, Tim (and Mark too) and for being a good sport.

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  48. I worked at a convenience store in my small town for a little less than a year, getting paid decent wages; I had started to save up some money to take a trip with my dad, and it was only part time. But even with all that, I wouldn't have been able to stand the thought of staying there for a significant amount of time. Compare this to my brother, who is now working there; he loves it, is right at home there, and I doubt he'll leave unless we move.
    I would much rather be at home, watching my younger siblings, writing, and teaching myself the violin.
    The strange thing is that my manager once said, in my hearing but not to me, "If my husband told me to quite my job, I would do it. I wish he would." She's in her late 40s, I think.
    It's interesting when the mask slips and women show how empty their lives are as they find themselves freer to pursue a career.

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  49. If you read Dalrock, I comment there as Doomed Harlot, as noted above, and so you may have read my nattering on my personal issues before.

    Wait Georginna you're Doomed Harlot? Interesting.

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  50. Georgina Charlotte said,

    "If we don't appreciate and take advantage of all the things previous generations have done, or our parents' efforts, or the hard work of people in the here and now, what is the point of all their blood, sweat, and tears?"

    If we don't reproduce ourselves into the future the same question applies and everyone seeking personal fulfilment in areas such as careers as the highest good puts that directly at risk.

    "There is a lovely psalm that sums up this basic philosophy. I can't remember it exactly but it is something like, "Her lyre is the fruit of her hands, and may her works sing her praises at the gates."

    That's Proverbs 31. It also says:

    “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

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