Science and Inquiry discussion

Book Club 2018 > July 2018 - Inferior

Comments Showing 1-47 of 47 (47 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1788 comments Mod
For July 2018, we will be reading Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story.

Please use this thread to post questions, comments, or reviews, at any time.

message 2: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1788 comments Mod
I just finished this book and liked it. I think the author tried very hard not to let her bias rule while evaluating different scientific theories about "sex differences", and I think she was largely successful in that. Here is my review.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments I started reading yesterday. It is excellent!

message 4: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments Probably the most interesting thing for me was to what lengths western men have gone to justify keeping women down. The rest of the world has patriarchy too, and in many cases it is far more damaging to women, but nowhere else do men do such mental gymnastics to rationalize it. They are more like: "I'm strong enough to kill you with my bare hands and I'll do it if you don't do what I say. End of story". I wonder why?

message 5: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 30, 2018 10:15AM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments I think because universal education was spread to the masses earlier than in the other cultures.

Everybody probably knows the history:

First, the development of Christianity dampened pagan religions. Pagan religions did not require reading and writing, but Christianity did. Christianity also required conversion.

The need to keep up on war weaponry and trade required looking for any technological advantages, so the Western tribes needed to invade and protect from invasion. The nearby Mediterranean people were more educated then Western tribes because of the ancient Greeks and Romans and Egyptians and the Mesopotamians, but reading and writing was an art of the merchants, aristocrats, religious authorities and scientists, not the general public or farmers or warriors.

The Christian monks learned to read Latin and Greek, figured out what was on all of those scrolls stolen from first the people around the Mediterranean, and later brought back from trade and the Crusades against the Muslims.

The monks kept the art of reading and writing to themselves, except when necessity to convert aristocrats to Christianity forced them to teach the upper classes how to read and write due to the requirements and necessity of education for conversion from pagan gods. The aristocracy would force their people to convert by arms, power and wealth, so they did not need to teach the masses. However, merchants wanted to know how to read, write and figure as well, and the Muslims were whizzes at math especially because of those Greek, Roman scrolls and their own development of math. Muslims were competitors in religion, science, war tech, conversions and wealth - the Catholic Church and Western merchants had to keep up.

But the Catholic aristocracy became corrupt. Luther, an aristocratic academic and a high-end monk was repelled by the corruption, and decided to revise Christianity. He did not see it as a a rebellion, and for all of his intelligence, he could not see where teaching common people how to read and write would be a bad thing. He saw only that if the lower classes could read, they could read the bible themselves and receive the word of god without an intermediary, no longer needing a priest. So, helped by the invention of the printing press, he developed a common language bible, German language, which he translated directly from the original Hebrew (old testament) and Greek (new testament).

Tyndale in England thought Luther had the right idea, so he translated the bible into English. His philosophy was people should read the bible for themselves.

Eventually, people thought so too, along with reading secretly the porn and romances which soon were circulating as well.

So, I think because of the religious ‘rebellion’ of Tyndale and Luther, the Western World went in another direction because of the indirect effect of universal education, especially the philosophy and history of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which also became available to the general middle classes. Democracy is credited as being invented by the ancient Greeks, and was described in some of these ancient scrolls that first the monks kept, and reluctantly allowed the aristocrats to read, which eventually people who wrote fiction read, too.

Presto! The Western World was full of readers from top to bottom, unlike the rest of the world.

That is my belief, anyway, why the West is different.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments Martin Luther was not an aristocrat; his father operated a copper mine.

message 7: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 30, 2018 01:03PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments I was raised by an American underclass 3rd-generation German immigrant trailer-trash lowlife who had an eighth grade education with English as a second language (German-American North Dakotan enclave where only German was spoken for half a century, give a decade more or less), who was diagnosed as a schizophrenic when rejected by the Navy, who married an Alaskan Native-American, and Alaska made educating natives illegal by laws, where it was a crime to admit natives into college until 1971. Women, white or other, kinda had problems getting into college too.

Anyone who owns a copper mine and sees that his sons are educated in a proto-college, religious or otherwise, is an aristocrat to me, basically, although I get it - he was no blue-book count or baron or marchese or king-elect - whatever. Merchants, no matter how rich could never be a REAL aristocrat, even today, even if they bought or married into titled families, even if they murdered their way into becoming a pope.

: )

message 8: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I think because universal education was spread to the masses earlier than in the other cultures.

Everybody probably knows the history:

First, the development of Christianity dampened pagan relig..."

Having a wider population that can read might play a part but it doesn't seem to explain it all. Most of the reading was limited to the Bible. They could have easily considered the low status of women as a tradition or say that God ordered women to be submissive to men. It is a bit strange that they tried to explain it and justify it. It almost seems like they felt like something was wrong with the treatment of women and were trying to convince themselves that it wasn't.

message 9: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 30, 2018 02:06PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments The book says male treatment of women may have begun millennia ago, been something about the inability of men to be sure about their sperm having created a child.

Men - superior muscles+honor/pride/need of domination power/self-centered preening/competitive natures that are far higher on the Bell Curve than women = overweening concern about producing their recognizably personally genetic children to beat the neighboring males’ production.

BUT women like sex, too, with whoever, as well. So, the problem men have, since they do not have uteruses, how to lock up those uteruses for private use?

Solution - abusive restrictive religions, overwhelming social morality, locking her up, purdah customs, beatings, kitchen imprisonment and not permitting her to read and write or any access to resources or money.

It was suggested in a more genteel way and less expanded upon in the book.

However. I think reading and education made men guilty about their domination of women, and reading gave women doubts about their reason to be oppressed. Men obviously made a lot of horrendous mistakes and were morally corrupt, as shown in many many Romances and Histories. Could men be wrong about their superiority?

message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 697 comments I recently read Natalie Angier's "Weighing the Grandma Factor". It was published in The New York Times & again in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003 where I read it.

Grandmothers were ignored for a long time by scientists, but it turns out the maternal grandmother is often the difference between life & death of the child. The paternal grandmother isn't & her research didn't stick with any single culture.

If you're interested, the you can read the article here:

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Jim wrote: "I recently read Natalie Angier's "Weighing the Grandma Factor". It was published in The New York Times & again in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2003 where I read it.


Terrific article!

fyi, some accessible early literature, some of which were called Romances at that time:


The Canterbury Tales

Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The Song of Roland

The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse

The Decameron

The Consolation of Philosophy

Parsival Or A Knight's Tale

These links are, of course, limited to one version or edition, but since these books were passed down long before publishing rights were invented, there are hundreds of translated and modernized English versions (English itself underwent a huge vowel shift transformation, complicating the translation of old English manuscripts to ‘new’ English manuscripts).

Many venerated and respectable libraries, some of respected and venerated European and American universities, have a ‘special access only’ (researchers) room of early Middle Ages manuscripts of porn. Once reading began, so did porn art and books. Porn websites are actually the Number One Most Visited sites in the web. Men are the Number One customers and consumers, although many women consume porn, too. It only figures that porn consumption would have been HUGE in the Early Middle Ages. It certainly was in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, and in ancient India and in ancient China. I have seen it in respectable academic history/art books written by Ph.D. researchers.

Just saying. The Truth is out there - men have been objectifying and controlling women’s sexuality for thousands of years and in thousands of cultures - even if sometimes only in their imaginations. They, men, seem to be much more psychologically fixated. Of course, not ALL of them. Maybe.

message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 697 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Terrific article!

If you liked that article by Angier, the one she did in the first (2000) edition of these books will probably really appeal to you. It's called "Men, Women, Sex And Darwin" & you can find it here:

She's written another good one called "My God Problem" & you can find it here:

I like her even-handedness in the way she shows the problems. She makes her points well without going into pro-feminist rants which weaken the case & tend to put me off. Biological Anthropology: An Evolutionary Perspective by Barbara J. King gets into infighting among the anthropologists about preconceptions about gender in 2 of the lectures.

King mentions Nancy Tanner & Adrienne Zihlman reversing the gender roles proposed by Washburn & Lancaster. Tanner died in 1989, but Zihlman is apparently around & still strident in her feminism. A search brings up "Feminist Archaeology", so her bias is obvious, too. It's a shame. I expect & hope for more out of scientists both male & female, but I guess the ladies have some licks coming. Anyway, Richard Wrangham came up with a middling theory that makes more sense, one that King agrees with. It takes 2 to tango & probably varied. Chimp societies do & they're one we take a lot of lessons from for our early ancestors.

message 13: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 30, 2018 06:35PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Jim, these are wonderful articles and suggested reads.

I confess, as an elderly female, a nice young male ass still turns my head (FYI, I have been married 40 years), and some of my female facebook friends share softcore gay porn which I look at for awhile (many many minutes, eyes dilated I am sure), but of course I am a 70’s feminist and I want equality of legal and social rights (not more than!)

I think given a chance, women would be much the same as men in many things, with some important differences because of biology. It is already happening, with women in management, and lately a few women are going to prison for the same crimes men do. But in most parts of the world and in most of history, women have been backseat drivers if allowed even in the car, thus more able to make a claim on purity of motives and morality because of enforced social restraints.

However, I growl at men and women who think some of us women not justified in feeling resentful, vengeful and mean about the past injustices, having been born in the 1950's and having suffered having no Constitutional rights myself. I suspect most men and many women who had kind progressive fathers have no idea of how harsh and unsurvivable the 20th century was for American women without a man at some point backing them financially and emotionally. grrrrr....

"If you prick us, do we not bleed?" I adore Shakespeare, even though a man that he was...

; D

message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 697 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Jim, these are wonderful articles and suggested reads...."

Glad you like them. It's impossible for someone who isn't part of a group to really know how others feel, but we're all outside of some: male-female, black-white, rich-poor, straight-gay, & so on. Some groups have advantages over others, but people are complex individuals. Not only can they belong to more than one group, they might not be guilty of group crimes.

It really ticks me off when people blame me for being who I am, a fairly well off white guy. It makes them as guilty of prejudice & fostering a problem as anyone else. It also doesn't help their cause. I generally don't give a damn & treat people as they treat me. I don't react well to being accused of crimes I had no part in.

I was also born in the 50s & raised by a single woman who was abandoned by her husband & left with a kid to raise. I saw her get dumped on a lot, but also the way she took it in stride & worked with the reality of her situation. She didn't condemn anyone for being male or rich. She kept her temper, integrity, & dignity, worked as a live-in servant, polished her skills, & saved her pennies. Now she's comfortable & well respected in a very snooty community. That impressed me & everyone else a lot more than railing at her fate. She not only proved her equality, but constantly rubbed the noses of the naysayers in their own idiocy. They've been quiet for a lot of years now since she is very high in the pecking order & she didn't get married to get there.

I'm not saying some people don't have a well deserved gripe against the way society has treated them, just that it's better to be wary of future incursions & not to accuse people of mistreatment unless they are actually guilty. It does more to hurt their cause than help it.

message 15: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments It's not that every man personally mistreats women. It's that the system is rigged against women and the vast majority of men likes the extra help they get through that system and at the very least stand in the way of change and some actively work to prevent progress or even make things worse. They might not be equally guilty, but they are guilty to some degree.

One example: In my home village it is not common for women to inherit anything if they have brothers (it is legal to inherit, but they are either prevented through wills or pressured to give up that right). Considering that we have high unemployment rates, women are often left at the mercy of their husbands or brothers (if unmarried). Most men don't want to share inheritance with their sisters or think that women don't need property. Taking your share when your father dies means end of any relationship with your brothers and sometimes being shunned by everyone. Most husbands and brothers don't beat and mistreat their wives and sisters, but some do. And the reason that the women have nowhere to go is strongly linked to the fact that they own nothing. Now you might say that those who beat their wives and sisters are the bad guys. I say everybody who supports the tradition is a bad guy.

This might seem extreme to you and you might think that first world women's problems are not as bad as this. But the reason you think that is because these problems are from a different culture. It is much harder to see the problems in your own culture because they are a part of what you consider normal.

message 16: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 31, 2018 01:02PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Jehona wrote: "It's not that every man personally mistreats women. It's that the system is rigged against women and the vast majority of men likes the extra help they get through that system and at the very least..."

Until about 1998, first worlds nations' problems were as bad as what you describe for women in your country in mostly the American lower classes and some middle-class homes. Due to the Internet and television, most women now in America understand they can keep their own money, but religion has been poisoning the well by frightening many women with hellfire so that they obey their fathers and husbands once again in some communities, especially the South and the Midwest.

I grew up in an underclass home in a blue-collar/welfare neighborhood, life was good if you as a child or wife or girlfriend did not get slapped or beaten by a man irritated by his job, or drunk or feeling angry at you for some small insignificant reason. Jim speaks of his mother as single mother, but it was hell on earth if a bad husband or father stayed in the marriage. It meant fear of being hurt and tortured every day, every minute he was home.

I agree with everything you say about men who support the system of keeping women in poverty and abuse. The last time my dad beat me (he kicked me in the back across the room, then kicked me in the body while I lay curled up in the floor) I was 22. I had no money even though I had graduated from high school with a diploma and had been accepted by the University of Washington to attend as a freshman. My dad had tore up my loan papers and said to me, "No man will want you!" He had gone to the sixth grade, and had got a GED in his twenties after the job he got insisted all of the men without degrees go back to school. He very much resented my education, which by law he had to let me go to school and get. The last time he beat me I had bloody welts and strained muscles. He did it because I was too slow getting up when he demanded I wash the dishes.

I had been working, but women in the 1970's only earned 25 cents for every dollar men earned for the same work. When I lost my job, I had to move back home or live on the streets. I was educated, well-read, trained as a secretary with shorthand, business English, business machines, I had taken every math and science class I could qualify for, which at the time made me a well-paid female, top of my pay grade -$400 a month, while men without a high school diploma were earning $1,000 a month for unskilled labor.

As a woman, I could not get a credit card or a bank loan to buy a car. I had to get my dad to co-sign. If your dad, brother or husband was a mentally-ill freak, addict, a drunk, a gambler or a hater of women, as a female you were doomed to poverty and beatings and forced labor for whatever he demanded you to do. Women who had nice dads did not even know they had no rights because their dads co-signed their school loans, car loans, helped them get jobs with their contacts, so they think the 1980's here in America were no problem for women in America. But actually, if a women had no man to pay their way, women had to obey a man to live in whatever way he wanted you to live.

America was not good for women until about 1995-1998. Women do not and still do not have Constitutional rights.

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 697 comments Jehona, I don't think every man is guilty to some degree. Some actively work for & support equal rights in many ways. They raise their kids to do the same, too. Saying a person is guilty simply because of an inborn trait is prejudice plain & simple. You wouldn't say a person was bad because of the color of their skin since that's racial prejudice. It's the same thing.

April, you have no idea how good it was that Pop left home, as bad as it was at first. I got slapped & kicked so that I fell the full flight down the cellar steps on to a concrete floor when I was 7, just to name one instance. Mom had a long list, too. Please don't make assumptions about my life or minimize things just because you had a rough time of it.

message 18: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Jul 31, 2018 05:06PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Jim, you are making assumptions. Who is attacking you? Not me or Jehona. You are the one making assumptions. I accept what you say. You had a bad time, and so did I. Mine lasted almost thirty years and I was never given a chance to shine. My mother sold me into prostitution from age two to ten years of age, when I slugged the man raping me for twenty dollars which made my mom stop it. If you want to get into a competition - so male- about who had a bad time the longest AND the worst, I have everybody beat. One of my mother's johns was serial killer - not kidding. As a result though of my experiences in rape, I couldn't have children - a scarred uterus.

Nobody here is your enemy, or trying to 'beat' you. You are right that we all have a story. I rarely if ever tell mine, for obvious reasons, but now that I am old, it won't hurt me in trying to get a job or my family. If you live terrible, you die terrible. Fortunately, I avoided drugs and alcohol and I went into therapy. I did the right things, but yet I am poor and America still did not pass the ERA.

message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 697 comments April, I don't think I was making assumptions. You wrote, "Jim speaks of his mother as single mother, but it was hell on earth if a bad husband or father stayed in the marriage." No 'but'. It was. Well, maybe I jumped a little too salty on that 'but' & you really meant to type 'and'. My apologies.

Jehona wrote, "...every man is guilty to some degree." I'm a man & I'd just finished writing how I detested being tarred by the group brush. That's a prejudicial statement & only alienates those who want to help.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments I give up. His honor is most important, more than scars and broken bones which heal badly, or women who are raped and robbed. The entire thing demonstrated right here and now, in this thread.

message 21: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments Jim wrote: "Jehona, I don't think every man is guilty to some degree. Some actively work for & support equal rights in many ways. They raise their kids to do the same, too. Saying a person is guilty simply bec..."

In my experience, men who go against their culture to support equal rights for women are very, very rare. And they don't always manage to raise their kids to be like them because children learn from their other relatives and their friends just as much as they learn from their parents. My grandfather was what could be considered a feminist. He never beat my grandmother and was laughed at for that, he went to take his sister away from her abusive husband and nearly got shot in the process, he sent all his 4 daughters to school and when he died he didn't leave a will removing their possibility to inherit. However, my uncle is not at all like him. He cut contacts with two of my aunts (unmarried) who took their share of inheritance. He stil harasses them in various ways (he stole plastic chairs from their backyard, picked their plantation clean at night, etc.). He doesn't beat his wife but he is emotionally abusive. Though he is not very smart and she manages to manipulate him without him noticing, if he does they get into crazy fights. For a time he started going around with some very religious guys and started making weird comments about women's clothes and behavior. So, when it comes to men and feminism, the apple can often fall very far from the tree... and usually in the wrong direction. That's why I don't have much hope.

But, at the very least, we never had these justifications of oppression (women aren't smart, women can't do this or that,...) so we didn't grow up seeing ourselves as weak or stupid. We saw ourselves as limited by our surroundings, by tradition, by religion,... I never thought that I wouldn't be a good physicist because I had a vagina. I was afraid I might not be able to afford going to school or that they might try to stop me from moving to another country to work as a physicist (we don't do much science there), but never that there would be something in me limiting me. People find it much easier to rebel against external factors.

message 22: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments Jim wrote: "April, I don't think I was making assumptions. You wrote, "Jim speaks of his mother as single mother, but it was hell on earth if a bad husband or father stayed in the marriage." No 'but'. It was. ..."

I think you added that "every".

message 23: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I give up. His honor is most important, more than scars and broken bones which heal badly, or women who are raped and robbed. The entire thing demonstrated right here and now, in this thread."

Exactly! Guys like this take a lot of our energy which would be much better used fighting against those who do the damage. Sure women go through hell, but God forbid you forgot to state that there are a couple of exceptions to the rule when it comes to men. Sure, the vast majority of rape victims are women, and the vast majority of male rape victims were raped by other men, but don't you dare forget stating that there are some rare cases in which women raped men. You'll end up having the entire discussion turned to that topic. But, no, guys who don't beat/rape women aren't guilty of the problems women face.

message 24: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Aug 01, 2018 01:49AM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments I think the best way men can support women is to actually support women with actual acts, not grandstand in defending their own personal male honor as males, i.e, “I am a man because I am not mean to women like other men”, yet never once say or stand up and be counted as someone who recognizes how much women struggle against general and endemic social and religious abuse.

It is not enough to say, “gee, I would never discriminate against *blank*” Police never arrested abusive or pedophile fathers who beat or raped their own kids until the 1970’s. I remember cops feeling bad for me, even as they gave me back to my mom, knowing she’d pimp me again, and gave her dirty looks. That is all. My mom’s religious friends at church, while we were standing there in the cloakroom with me bloody and dirty at age four, told me to “stop being a trial to my mother.” The judge cursed my mother when he said, “I wish I could throw the book at you, but the only thing I can convict you of is Pandering.” In the fifties, pimping your own child was not a crime legally. She got three months. And later, when my dad finally was paying for my mom’s insatiable hunger for beer again when he came back from Germany after a two-year assignment with the army watching the defeated Germans after the war, neighbors and occasional decent men and women, of course, felt bad for me but did nothing to protect me or help me, figuring it was my dad’s, and only my dad’s, right to ‘correct’ me for whatever crimes he thought I had committed. In the bible and in American law, a man’s home was his castle, and it was his right to rule his home as he saw fit, until about 1980. Policemen, and they were all men, would rather shoot themselves than get between a man and how he handled his wife and kids back then.

By the way, I have never been able to figure out why the Navy refused my dad because of his schizophrenia, but the Army gladly accepted him. I think maybe it was because he spoke German and they were desperate for interpreters when Germany was split among the allies and the Soviet Union. My dad thought he could read my thoughts on his bad days and beat me. He also threatened my life when my mom decided to go on a bender. No one helped me. It was his right.

I am not advocating men put themselves in harm’s way, but standing around feeling superior and sniffly proclaiming to everyone they would never be so dishonorable as to be a ‘bad man’ to women and feeling that that is the important point of the discussion instead of focusing on recognizing women are still second-class citizens in many arenas of life is to me obviously self-centered and oblivious. Doing nothing to help women if they are being abused, for example, remaining silent during a guys’ beer night at a bar if a waitress gets hassled by one or more of the guys, does not mean I am going to feel better about the silent, proud-of-themselves honorable men who are watching with frowns. I will think as badly of them as I do of the guys molesting the waitress.

Frankly, I am not a fan of men’s sense of their honor being impugned as being the important point in the case of a woman being assaulted.

message 25: by Alfred (last edited Aug 01, 2018 06:39AM) (new)

Alfred Haplo (alfredhaplo) | 2 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I think the best way men can support women is to actually support women with actual acts, not grandstand in defending their own personal male honor as males, i.e, “I am a man because I am not mean ..."

Yes. Hope it's alright I listen in as a fly in the wall, and glean some perspectives.

Jim: Great article on the "Grandma Factor", thanks.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments It is ok with me, Alfred. Lurking is traditional on websites and threads. Everyone assumes for every single comment, there are hundreds of lurkers reading it even if no one responds. Many GR clubs each have thousands of members, but usually only five to fifteen people are ever seen to participate in any thread.

I feel obliged to reveal TMI in my sixth decade because many men and young women are oblivious to actual Real World experiences, and the actual results of legal and social oppression, religious belief, and social mores.

There are many articles and comments by young women on GR and the web who are “ashamed of being labeled as a feminist. “ They think feminists ‘hate their own tits” and “hate men” and that is all what feminism is about. When I read these actual comments I have quoted here, I knew I could no longer be silent. Many men today do not think or act as if women have a say in what happens to their own tits. I was a Feminist in the 1970’s and I still proudly am a Feminist for obvious reasons.

I am not comforted by soothing truisms or social media spasms of ‘sharing’ requests for prayer circles. I want laws acknowledging I have the same rights as men do. I want access to a legal system which acts on the behalf of wronged women. I want healthcare as caring of women’s bodies as men. I want to pay and be paid renumeration the same as men. I want to work and enjoy my hobbies as men do. I want to run, play sports, scream out epithets at stadiums the same as men can when I feel like it. When I am dressing appropriately because I am too hot, or too cold, or being rained on, I do not want some man or woman policing my choice of apparel, telling me my clothes are indecent. But most of all, I want to be educated, have recognition of my education, and to support myself, being paid fairly for my work.

message 27: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments Manzoor wrote: "I liked the book.

I really liked the part about Gender-based medicine. I wasn't aware of it before reading this book.

Links about Gender-based medicine:"

Well, 26-34 is about a third. The declining numbers are a problem. The same seems to be happening in Iran as well. It became a famous example for a time and then the numbers started changing. It's almost as if the praise they got from the west made them want to change it. Like, nobody was paying attention to how many girls were getting in and then western media shined a light on it and they rushed to change the situation because it wasn't what they wanted. Girls were just "sneaking in".

As for those numbers not being reflected in the workplace, that is normal. The more patriarchal a country is, the fewer women there will be in all professions. It will also not give girls control over what university their parents pay for. She was only taking it as an example of girls liking and being capable of studying STEM. In the west opportunities are much better, but girls are slowly discouraged by parents and teachers. There is also the "nerd" stereotype which was modeled after certain guys, which people seem to think that it's the only type of person who is good at STEM. The "nerd" is supposed to be a boy who is bad at interacting with people, dresses badly, is ugly or fat and has thick glasses. That is not the only type of person good at science and math even among guys and the stereotype fits girls even less because it was made for guys.

message 28: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Aug 02, 2018 05:54PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments This thread has been very substantive in expressing viewpoints in my opinion! I love it! But now I am depressed because of what we all wrote. Women are making progress, but there is still so much more to be done. Strictly going by the numbers, the problems women face around the world feel very daunting. There are an estimated 7.6 billion people (almost 50% women) in the world, and America, for instance, has only a small proportion - 4.30%, over 325 million, about a little more than half of whom are females. Europe has about 741 million people (about 12% of the world’s population).

The possibility of access to progressive gender policies which might help women around the world are kinda small. As we have discussed, progress towards gender equality has been a case of two steps forward, one step back.

Another book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, describes problems women face around the world. The book also depressed me despite that it was written in a hopeful tone. The book showed through a few case studies the problems of some women in different countries as examples and how they overcome their problems (primarily through the help of NGO’s and running away from their families).

The authors tried not to emphasize that most of these women had to escape their families and/or their villages, but they had to tell the truth while trying to emphasize these women ultimately succeeded in their hopes for having agency in their own lives. But to me, one or two dozen positive outcomes did not make up for the the millions of women who are still oppressed and without access to education or freedom from religious strictures that severely limit their freedom of agency. But at least more and more of what women go through is being told, free of secrecy and enforced silence and culturally misdirected shame.

If women are ever to have a gender equality of social freedoms the same as men, men are going to need to step up and help.

message 29: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Aug 02, 2018 08:45PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments See link about women recently given permission to drive a car in Saudi Arabia:

Remarkably, one man says female driving should not be allowed because women will harm their ovaries. Ovaries obviously are the most important thing to this man who is quoted in the article - a woman’s ovaries. Implied is her single value to society - making babies. For those of you under the age of 50, this is EXACTLY what was the argument used about allowing women to play sports in 1995 in America, after yet another university lost their lawsuit hoping to kill Title IX

If you will notice although this legislation was passed in 1972, various states, schools, and universities throughout the United States fought it well into the 1990’s in courts. Despite the fact educational institutions had STEM programs, many were still saying in courtrooms women’s ovaries and uteruses would be damaged by sports.

I am not making this up.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments And of course, what House Representatives and Senators and wannabe politicians say about how women’s uteruses function (these candidates must be educated, with college degrees required to run for office):

Actually, there are so MANY articles and quotes from legitimate sites I put only the best ones I found in a brief search.

On many Republican and pro-life websites, they apparently have taken down some of their most idiotic statements of how women’s reproductive system works. You can only find what many current (2018) elected politicians, many with Masters degrees from universities mind you, have said in the past (i.e., like, last year) printed in mainstream articles in most cases.

I have no idea if these gentlemen of Congress, some currently serving, and men in other political offices who think uteruses can be seen through a camera in the stomach or that fetuses can be aborted anytime a woman decides to clench up her uterus in her special way changed their minds after publicly being ridiculed when they revealed they believed these things about women. Believe it or not, most of them are not only married, but they have grandchildren.

This is why I go feral and ferocious on occasion.

message 32: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1788 comments Mod
Of course, according to our August book -- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think -- talking about "developing countries" is a problem.

message 33: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Aug 03, 2018 06:48PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Is the deep diving into data scientifically by the author mostly from the male point of view?

: )

My husband literally gets my happiness and unhappiness dead wrong a lot (“But I thought you LIKED doing the dishes because you step up to do it all of the time? Why the grim look?”)

: D

Not having read the book, I can say I see a lot of middle-class people everyday. I see the homeless, too. I think the homeless, which seem to be a small proportion of people around me, are in very desperate states of being. They are numerically a minor population, but their suffering is enormous. How we describe their suffering is vastly different -I think, gee, food, bath, clean clothes, a psychiatrist. But they think money for drugs. I think, eggs, bacon, toast, they think sometimes of faster foods. It doesn’t make them less in need. From reading the blurb on ‘Factfulness’, I am wondering how the author is using what undoubtedly are true facts. I have put a hold on the book, but in my experience, The Establishment’ and many thinkers are a bit above it all, too objective and not realizing the subjective can be important even if a small percentage. Speaking as a person who had a Native American mother. Native-Americans are currently between 1% and 2% of the total population. They are more successful today, but alcoholism is still a huge problem, and hello, they used to be 100% of the population.

Just saying. keeping facts to the objective side of any equation isn’t always the whole story. But I haven’t read the book, so I probably should before raising my doubts beforehand.


message 34: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1788 comments Mod
It's worth reading.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Betsy wrote: "It's worth reading."

As soon as I saw you recommending, I booted up my ‘Libby’ app and put a hold on it!

; )

message 36: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 429 comments Jim wrote: "April, I don't think I was making assumptions. You wrote, "Jim speaks of his mother as single mother, but it was hell on earth if a bad husband or father stayed in the marriage." No 'but'. It was. ..."
Jim, I have to support you in this. The attitude that "every man" is complicit in life's unfairness to women is about as productive as saying "every white person" is to blame for the difficulties of being black.
You live your life and try to treat others fairly in all respects. That is all you owe society, unless you feel a particular burden to go out and march for women's rights or BLM or whatever. You set your slaves free, you grant your wife her independence, you hire a woman as readily as you hire a man. Then when you're done with all that, you set your livestock free and allow them to vote (without ID, of course, as making someone show an ID in order to vote is discriminatory), and install solar power in your house so you don't pollute the environment. I don't know what all we're expected to do, but it seems it never stops.

message 37: by Jehona (new)

Jehona | 35 comments Nancy wrote: "Then when you're done with all that, you set your livestock free and allow them to vote (without ID, of course, as making someone show an ID in order to vote is discriminatory),..."

Did you just call black people "livestock"? Wow!

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Nancy wrote: "Jim wrote: "April, I don't think I was making assumptions. You wrote, "Jim speaks of his mother as single mother, but it was hell on earth if a bad husband or father stayed in the marriage." No 'bu..."

Nancy, did you intend to seriously call black people “livestock?”

message 39: by Connie (last edited Aug 05, 2018 12:17PM) (new)

Connie G (connie_g) Calm down, people. Jim lives on a farm with livestock--horses and goats. Nancy trains horses. (I can't speak for Nancy and I don't know her, but I took it to be some humor about vegetarians, or animal rights groups that want to set animals free.)

message 40: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 429 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Jim wrote: "April, I don't think I was making assumptions. You wrote, "Jim speaks of his mother as single mother, but it was hell on earth if a bad husband or father stayed in the mar..."

No, April. I was calling livestock livestock. Although when I suggested allowing them to vote, I wasn't altogether serious.

message 41: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 429 comments Jehona wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Then when you're done with all that, you set your livestock free and allow them to vote (without ID, of course, as making someone show an ID in order to vote is discriminatory),..."


Um, I don't think I even mentioned black people in my post ...

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Ok, Nancy.

message 43: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (cseydel) | 28 comments I assumed when she said “set your slaves free” she was referring to black people, and when she said “set your livestock free” later in that same comment she was referring to cattle, chickens, etc. But it’s clear from this thread that people who want to be angry are going to be angry, and I’m not getting in front of that train.

message 44: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Aug 05, 2018 10:43PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Carrie wrote: "I assumed when she said “set your slaves free” she was referring to black people, and when she said “set your livestock free” later in that same comment she was referring to cattle, chickens, etc. ..."

"Want to be angry" to describe me and Jehona is an unfair assumption, Carrie. I believe we were asking for clarification on two sentences, not flaming. I have been married for over 40 years and I have learned to ask questions first. It is my husband who reddens and slides into immediate flaming. I usually go dumbfounded in confusion. My brain is slow.

message 45: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 429 comments Oh I see now. I did mention black in the blame sentence. So I can see where that came from.
what my (badly made) point was, people are busy living their owns lives and paying their bills and keeping their cars running and hopefully helping their neighbors out as well, and then somebody from the other end of the country wants to not only point out that they have all this "white privilege" and its our fault that black people and women and American Indians are in a bad way. Few of us knowingly buy diamonds from mines where slaves die extracting them. No one I know owns a slave or approves of the practice. Aside from the occasional snide comment or joke, I seldom hear people abusing others for their race, certainly not nearly as often as I hear mean comments about people being old or overweight. This may not be true in some areas. I am not in those areas. It gets old, all this blaming and finger pointing at white people and men and "the rich" and whoever the fashionable targets are.
You do what you can, where you are. I don't see too many people jumping up and down and ranting about how the Chinese treat the people in Tibet, which I used to do a lot, but no one seemed to really care. Few average consumers seem to care enough about the fate of factory-farmed animals, whose lives are absolutely HORRIFIC, to even buy cage-free eggs, grass-fed dairy products or locally raised meat, let alone cut back on meat consumption. You want to scream and have protest marches about some cops shoots a black guy 1000 miles away, but you close your eyes to a thousand pet dogs a day being euthanized in your own county because people are too sorry to take care of them, and puppy mills are allowed to breed them under totally inhumane conditions.
I'm not saying you should all get up and protest all that stuff (probably we all should, but most of us are busy just keeping the bills paid and the car running), just realize that for all the s#!@ that you go through, there is somebody going through worse s#!@. As a woman in the US, I am doing relatively good, and most of my black friends are doing pretty good too.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Manzoor wrote: "According to the economist Robert Frank, hard work, talent etc. do matter, but most people overlook the role of luck in their success. A women may live a successful life because she was born in a g..."

Excellent post! I love it, Manzoor! Fabulous.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 287 comments Manzoor wrote: "The below article is not specifically about gender-based medicine but it's about personalised medicine—how N-of-1 clinical trials can be used to focus on individual effects and not on the "average ..."

This would definitely be a beneficial approach, especially for cancer and rare diseases as well as in researching gender differences.

back to top