Thursday, October 29, 2015

Heinlein's Women and Their Pricks.

If the universe has any purpose more important than topping the woman you love and making a baby with her hearty help, I’ve never heard of it. - Lazarus Long - Time Enough For Love, Robert A. Heinlein 1973.
Lazarus Long was a prick.  A prick with an uncommon respect for and admiration of competent women for his time, but as Galahad noted "...he has remained canalized by the primitive culture he was brought up in." Not surprising as Heinlein was canalized by the same primitive culture.  Woodie Smith 1912, Heinlein 7/7/7 (1907.)  In Christian America where men were men and women were baby breeders. Feminism was on the not to distant horizon, with some closet feminists trying to break the Kinder, Küche, Kirche track for women.  But until the mid-20th century and reliable contraception a working mother was of necessity rather than choice and "proper" mothers were expected to stay at home until the youngest child was in Kindergarten which effectively eliminated a career in a well paid profession. The options were volunteer work, teaching and service occupations.  

The early feminists tacitly accepted this culture, and advocated non-breeding for professional women.  At worst, a long delayed first and generally only child long after becoming established in a career.  Women who chose to breed in their 20s and still fight the misogyny of most professions were viewed by feminists as outlyers and not "real feminists."  The men who supported their choice of career and parent, were occasionally labled "enablers" of a dysfunctional choice for their wives.  Never mind that they too payed the price of parenting in their careers, less than women due to privilege but nevertheless choices had to be made that limited career opportunities.  But this mind set still lingers in the feminists who despise Heinlein for writing about women who intend to be mothers among other things.  

The problem feminists have with Heinlein women seems to be that all those intelligent, competent women were interested in propagating  their genotype and realized that an intelligent, competent man was a necessary adjunct in that endeavor.  Since Heinlein men are basically pricks one must appeal to the prick to get the genes. 

Make no mistake.  According to the prevailing misogynic social ethos of Heinlein's formative years, especially the military ethos, all his male characters are pricks.  See The Number of Beast where the pricks are going to go gallivanting around the multiverse while the ladies stay in Safe Harbor to have babies. Even late in his career his basic canalization was that men were gallant protectors of their women, but in general he was able to overcome this and substitute support and partnership for gallantry and most of the families had at least equally competent and frequently more competent women at the head.  
Heinlein was raised and socialized in a society where sex meant having babies.  (Disclaimer: I was raised in the same social ethos by feminists whose mantra was make damn sure you have sex only with a carefully chosen women who will be a partner in a good family. Recreational sex was not an option.) The difference in his later books was that recreational sex was an option, and the women knew they could manipulate pricks by effective use of recreational sex.  But in accord with Heinlein's early socialization he created few male characters that were immune to such manipulation.  I can only think of one male protagonist that was comfortable with non-manipulative recreational sex as the line marriage structure depended on it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Wall of Separation Between Creators and their Creation.

I have always argued that there should be a rigid wall of separation between a creative work and the creator.  Not that the creator of a popular work should be exempt from responsibility for herm own behavior, but that the work itself stands on its own.  

The Huxtable family as portrayed on TV is a creative work that stands alone and apart from any of the foibles or felonies of its creators and actors involved.  Performers, creators, and artists are human.  If they can transcend their personal beliefs and weaknesses to create something of worth more power to them.  It might be argued that the work may be a personal expiation of shame. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Toxic Masculinity
Toxic masculinity teaches that men cannot assert their own manhood absent sex with a woman that they alone possess
Being brought up male in a few tweets.  Storified by miniver.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

An Atheist Feminist Shouts Bullshit.


Atheists like most arbitrary groups tend to reflect the dominant mores of the society in which they are embedded.  I suspect that male feminists are as unusual in atheist groups as in any other that doesn't have misogyny as a central group tenet. 

Atheists generally have weak belief systems, and therefore might be influenced more by advocacy groups with a useful message.  Many won't listen, even weak belief systems are hard to counter, but I suspect that feminism will generally find fertile ground in the rapidly growing atheist and secular part of the overall society. 

And you're basing this on survey and polling data, right? Not just on anectdote and making shit up?   Fematheist
False dichotomy.  In any event survey and polling data finds whatever the constructor of the survey or poll wants to find.  See any partisan political poll.  Did you ever hear of or write a "push poll?"  If not why not?  You claim to be a social scientist, you must have been taught about them in something like Surveys 101.

Unbiased observation of convention activity, social functions, and comments of members of a study group are much more reliable than any poll or survey unless you have access to the actual questions asked in the poll, the demographic of the polling subjects, and the bias of the poll constructor.  Got any?  Or are all your observations and data biased by feminist activism?

I am sorry, are you suggesting that because some companies polls do push calling that gives you the right to just make bullshit up on these boards and pass it off as reality? Is that SERIOUSLY what your argument is?  Attacking bad polling instead of defending or evening acknowleding the bullshit you just MADE UP?

I would call that a fundy evasion tactic there, JC.Fematheist

You can call it anything you like from your social science ivory tower.  I am not talking about company or think tank push polls, I am talking about the biased polls and surveys from proper respected academic departments in economics and social science, two areas of interest for me.  I do read past the popular articles in the news to the published data and read the protocols and the questions themselves.  Some good, some garbage. 

In any event I have been living atheism and feminism for many more decades than you have been alive and I am not a convert to either.  Before you sling your projection of fundy on me you should at least identify the fundamentalism I allegedly identify with.  What is it? A convert's fundamentalist anti-theist beliefs?  A feminist activist's fundamentalism that all men are pricks?

I am a trained scientist and scholar although not working in either field I am able to observe behavior from a scientific POV generally without bias or belief based conceptual blocks.  It is a fact that I am a feminist man living in a male dominated world, and an atheist in a Christian dominated culture, but I do observe without bias how both of those positions of privilege affect me and the others around me. 

Shouting about making bullshit up does not make the assertion true. One must in academia or in the real world, take the bullshit apart and demonstrate that it is wrong.  So far you have done neither.  

To be fair to Fematheist she is promoting a feminist atheist channel on YouTube (Search Kristi Winters) that is well worth subscribing to if you are into Video.  I skip to the references to see whether the transcript is worth reading.