The war, on several things.

Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised that troll-bait like this keeps getting published, but being of perhaps a too-Panglossian temperament (at the moment, anyway), I am. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… the war on men:

The so-called dearth of good men (read: marriageable men) has been a hot subject in the media as of late. Much of the coverage has been in response to the fact that for the first time in history, women have become the majority of the U.S. workforce. They’re also getting most of the college degrees. The problem? This new phenomenon has changed the dance between men and women.

…To say gender relations have changed dramatically is an understatement. Ever since the sexual revolution, there has been a profound overhaul in the way men and women interact. Men haven’t changed much – they had no revolution that demanded it – but women have changed dramatically.

In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.

Granted, this was on the Fox News website, which ain’t exactly the New Yorker. Granted, it’s post-election, when everyone is looking for things to fight about. But still, I read this and think, Really? Really?

There’s a whole mens-rights subculture on the internet that laps this stuff up like a kitty does cream. They’ve been around for a while. You know those dating services you see in the back of sketchy magazines offering Philippine and Russian brides with “traditional” ideas of how husbands should be treated? Meet their clients.

Truth be told, I’m wasting time thinking about this nonsense to avoid thinking about the garment-factory fire in Bangladesh — over 100 dead and has anyone compared it to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire yet? Because they should. Having spent at least part of the weekend looking over the wares available at local shopping malls — marveling that year after year, Forever 21′s clothes seem to get even cheaper — it does give one pause. Slate has been running excerpts now and then from Elizabeth Cline’s “Overdressed: The High Cost of Cheap Fashion,” and I’m thinking it’s time for a change. While I love a good cheap T-shirt as much as the next girl — and acknowledging it’s impossible to find domestically made clothes consistently — buying shit with Made In labels like this is sort of like buying cocaine. There’s a cheap high, and then you’re left with the realization that you’re supporting an icky industry.

So, it’s Monday and as usual, my day has been long and my patience is short. How about some easy bloggage?

A two-minute roundup of the best lines from “Liz & Dick.”

And with that, I’m making an exit. TV to catch up on, y’see.

Posted at 12:37 am in Same ol' same ol' |
 

59 responses to “The war, on several things.”

  1. Dexter said on November 27, 2012 at 1:18 am

    The night’s TV hi-lite was the new Pawn Stars episodes. Pope Leo’s slippers and cap, the Old Man’s coffee addiction, Corey (Big Hoss)’s threat to jump to another pawn shop, and Chumley sawed in half by a magician. This show is just addictive…I cannot shut it off.

  2. Dexter said on November 27, 2012 at 2:04 am

    We’re mostly a more mature bunch here at nn dot , but you really should check out this hottest-in-the-world video if you have not seen it yet. I just watched it for the first time…it’s just amazing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0
    “Do it Gangnam Style”

  3. Brandon said on November 27, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Nancy, I just have to know: what is it about Twinkies that you don’t like? It’s one thing to say it’s junk food but just to dismiss it as “crap.” What makes it so to you?

  4. Deborah said on November 27, 2012 at 6:49 am

    That war on men crap makes my head hurt. I dare not click on the link or I will turn into the devil.

    I knew this would happen, it’s 4:47am in NM and I’m wide awake. Anticipating my trip back to Chicago on Southwest airlines. Perfectly serviceable as MichaelG says. I forgot to get my boarding pass until about 3 hours later than I could have and I still got B23 which surprised me.

  5. LouGravity said on November 27, 2012 at 7:14 am

    typo – realization – in para. 4

    • nancy said on November 27, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Fixed. Thanks.

  6. Linda said on November 27, 2012 at 7:30 am

    More on the condition of garment workers in Bangladesh. Amazingly, carred on Fox News, the same network that aired a knuckleheaded defense of Walmart on the same issue.

  7. beb said on November 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Lawyers, Guns and Money identified the Bangledash fire to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire right off on Monday. But then they do talk about labor and unions frequently. They also linked to an article about Hostess’s liquidation which argued that management was demanding their workers make concessions because they weren’t being respectful enough to their Lords and masters – ie, management.

    I guess the “war on men” means that the “War on Christmas” has fizzled out.

  8. alex said on November 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Just a few days ago they were hyping a War on Thanksgiving. I guess two elections of a black man as president constitutes a war on everything some people hold sacred.

  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

    If there’s a war on men, they’ve already surrendered.

    Seriously, while I find pretty much every word of what I’ve seen on this subject tedious and tendentious, I am concerned as are most of the college faculty & staff I work and interact with over the apparent growing maturity gap between women & men heading up into the post-secondary years. It’s long been understood that this is just a biological norm in middle school, and it’s been uneasily reported in high school culture, but I can assure you that both classroom atmosphere and academic numbers all are telling the same stories: young men just can’t be bothered. To achieve, to complete, to attain. They’ve got another “Call of Duty” round to play with their best buds in Tel Aviv, Parma OH, and Pesht (across the Danube from Buda, isn’t that cool?). So they’re getting a wired sort of geography learning, but in terms of calculus, biochemistry, or advanced Russian, the balance is swinging to a female majority.

    Is this the result of a war of men? I really can’t see any evidence to support that argument, but I do think that new social & technological trends are playing into Y-chromosome tendencies to men’s disadvantage. Add in a hint of what China has a huge dose of, the “Little Emperor” syndrome, and you have a brewing problem. IMHO.

  10. coozledad said on November 27, 2012 at 8:29 am

    There are a couple of companies in the US that still make textiles. Only one that makes towels.

    The little fucker who inherited Cannon Industries (NC Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes) has used his life to demonstrate the uselessness of the leisure class. If you want to see the US the skeeze would have us living in, visit Danville, VA sometime. And apparently the textile industry there was relocated from Lowell, MA because unions or blahs or something.
    It’s genius really. You can bitch about lazy-ass Americans better if you deprive them of the opportunity to work.

    When Ikea put some of its manufacturing in Danville, they snapped up some of the management shite from Dan River, who proceeded to follow their old white trash model and tried to run the company into the ground. It’s unionized now, and hiring. Would never have happened during a Republican administration.

  11. coozledad said on November 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I don’t know many Chinese (N=6), but the Chinese I know like our international relationship just fine as long as we aren’t squatting on their territory and directly using them as slaves. A lot of them would say the Republican party reminds them of the bastard nepotistic commie hires back home.

  12. Linda said on November 27, 2012 at 8:45 am

    The “war on men” is a fake equivalency to counter the very real war on women. Sorry, but not being submissive is not the same as legislation designed to take away women’s reproductive rights and access to birth control. When the left does something like try to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood (like the Ohio General Assembly is doing now) or allowing employers to decide if your scrips are moral enough to be covered by insurance, wake me up, because that will be real equivalence. Otherwise, watching Fox and clicking its sites will be a waste of time. But I repeat myself.

  13. Julie Robinson said on November 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Jefftmmo, looking at my own kids’ friends, I think you’re on to something. Video games can be as addicting as drugs and can do equal damage.

    Lindsey Lohan’s valley girl speak as Elizabeth Taylor was so bad I predict it becomes a cult favorite. Is it possible that no one involved in the project suggest an English accent for her?

    Judybusy, I just read last night’s comments about your dear Rachel and want to offer my condolences too. I make no distinction when mourning family members, pet or human. We love them all and grieve them all. I know you are hurting now and I hope that in time you can hold on to all the happy memories.

    And Dorothy, I don’t fly very often either, but the one thing I have learned is to be prepared for any circumstance you can imagine. Even if your plane is scheduled to have certain amenities they may substitute a different model. Definitely bring along food like sandwiches (but nothing too smelly), fruit, cheese sticks and granola bars. Buy a bottle of water after you get through security because sometimes it’s impossible to get even drinks on a flight. Bring your own entertainment and be prepared for long waits and delays. On my last trip to Seattle I flew Alaska Air from Chicago and once you’re in the air they rent video players for $8 with several different movies pre-loaded. A fair number of people took advantage of those, but I had audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, music, and a puzzle book along so I didn’t feel the need. And most importantly, enjoy the wedding and your family!

  14. del said on November 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Brandon, let me offer a possible explanation for Nancy’s dismissal of Twinkies. They’re “magically delicious,” and that’s disturbing. Are they really food? That’s another issue. They’re sort of like the Liz & Dick trailer — simultaneously repellant and attractive.

  15. BigHank53 said on November 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

    … all are telling the same stories: young men just can’t be bothered. To achieve, to complete, to attain.

    Why should they? What’s in it for them that isn’t either a sham or subject to repossession? They’ve watched their family’s houses stolen out from underneath them by fast-talking cut-rate mortgage shills. They’ve seen their parents get downsized and divorced. Drunken loudmouths on “Jersey Shore” become millionaires while engineering graduates with $60k of debt scrabble for technician positions that pay $15/hr. Check out the employment stats for law school grads if you want to really depress yourself. Everyone that starts a company has plans to flip it–the quicker the better.

    Lost Boys get to live in Never-Never Land. Why grow up?

  16. mark said on November 27, 2012 at 9:55 am

    del- Sorry, Lucky Charms are magically delicious, a quality that can only be achieved through close association with a Leprechaun. Twinkies do not even qualify for “Elfin goodness”. I blame the SEIU and restrictive work rules.

  17. nancy said on November 27, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Sorry, I should have replied to this: My Twinkie objection isn’t to the cake — which is just average sponge cake — but the filling, which tastes greasy and overly sweet to me. I’ve been making my own whipped cream for years now, and once you get hooked on the real stuff, the imitation doesn’t cut it anymore.

    (Although I have a Waldorf salad recipe that uses Cool Whip that I swear by.)

  18. nancy said on November 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Yeah, what Hank said. I can listen to the religious right complain about the loss of family structure and blame it on the loose morals of the ’60s for only so long. I freely acknowledge there is a morals/values component to this, but to divorce it from the economics is simply brain-dead. Men will grow up and become good husbands and fathers when they can bring something to the table with some dollar signs attached. And yes, yes, there is dignity in even low-paying jobs and some will rise steadily through the ranks from stock boy to grocery-store manager, but they’re scarce and becoming scarcer. When the working class — the ones we refer to when we say “not everyone is college material” — can find some damn work again, we might start seeing them showing up at the dinner table more often.

    I remember, years ago, watching a young couple in a dollar store in Warren, once the blue-collar capital of Michigan. She was the adult of the two, and her man was tricked out in the latest stupid Eminem/hip-hop/white kid style — sweat suit, stupid cap, the works. He looked like a toddler, only with tattoos. He kept swatting her on the ass and hee-hawing about it. She was not having fun. I wanted to tell her “you can do better.”

  19. Bitter Scribe said on November 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

    What Hank said is certainly true, but I feel there’s another component to the “war on men”: Women are now less likely to be economically dependent on a man. That makes men into the victims, by the same logic that makes you a victim of religious discrimination because you can’t force your employees to pay extra for contraception.

  20. Suzanne said on November 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Hank, yes. I can remember my son during college telling me (after I had experienced a layoff from a job I’d had for years) that he would not give 100% ever to an employer because he’d seen that, in the end, it gets you nothing. I had to agree.

    And Nancy, yes, as well. The boys often don’t work hard because they don’t see any point in it. Too many watched their fathers face heart attacks and chronic stress for what? To be tossed out on their ears too far from retirement to stop working, but too old to get a comparable job. The kids want no part of it.

  21. Mark P said on November 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

    War on men. Yeah. I just wish there was a war on stupid.

    Are male college students less mature than they used to be? My guess is no, unless you’re comparing them to older male students, like the returning GI’s from WW II or Korea, or to people going back to school after working for a while, like I did. When you’re 30, every college student looks and acts like a high school freshman.

  22. Danny said on November 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

    In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.

    I don’t get it. Though rambling and inconcise, this sounds like a description of marriage.

  23. Scout said on November 27, 2012 at 10:54 am

    The so-called war on men is another desperate attempt by wingnuts who have been trained to think of women as feminazis by the likes of OxyRush to change the subject from the very real subject of Planned Parenthood defunding, the lack of equal pay for equal work, the obsessive fixation with reproductive rights, and the list goes on. If not for false equivalence, whatever would they have to talk about?

    Regarding the Twinkie=Crap opinion… I share it. I no longer eat processed foods that have no nutritional value that also make me fat. Twinkies get three strikes, yer out based on that criteria.

    Judybusy – I hurt for you. So very sorry about Rachel.

  24. JWfromNJ said on November 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

    @Dexter – PSY is known for poking fun at the rich and fashionable people that hang out in Gangnam, a region of Seoul south of the river. Oppum Gangnam style means “Your man has Gangnam style,” and the the whole video is intended to showcase him striving and failing to have that style.
    The horse riding dance move is hysterical – Obama claimed he can do it, and my daughter just sent me a link with Damian Lewis from Homeland doing it. PSY was pretty cool on the today show, and his performance with MC Hammer at the AMA awards was fun and retro.
    I like how the video (and South Koreans in general) is so over the top. It’s spawned a bunch or parodies and tributes – even one from a North Korean military leader – but the one that cracks me up is Mitt Romney Style:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCRwi71_ns

  25. Dave said on November 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Nancy at 18, I see that all the time and I think, what in the world does she see in him, is this the best she can do? Ah, the mysteries of love and like.

    Sometimes, we fear we’re both too judgmental, as recently when we had to make a trip to the license bureau and we both came away thinking, how can those people go out in public like that.

    We’ve three children, a daughter and two sons, all three of them college grads in four years, youngest son spent a year looking for a job and now has one he says any high school grad could do, but it required college. This is what the world has become, higher education required at higher costs, for paltry jobs.

  26. Judybusy said on November 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thanks everyone, for all your sweet words about Rachel. It was very helpful to do a “dry run” here before I sent out a FB message and email to those who knew her.

    The men’s rights stuff’s been around since the 1980s. My ex and I used to pick up a rag called “Today’s Dads” in Madison. I would read it while giving him footrubs (oh the irony!) and get most riled up, resulting in very good footrubs. In fairness, I got a lot of footrubs back, and he helped put me through my master’s program.

  27. Prospero said on November 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    There is a very funny take on “men’s rights” called The Book of Dave, by Will Self, an excellent post-apoc novel. That said, post-divorces, fathers in America are screwed. Anybody that claims that isn’t true is fantasizing.

    Negro lessons from Jonah Goldberg for the GOPers

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/jonah-goldberg-republicans-black-vote-112312

  28. adrianne said on November 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    One of the best Gangnam parodies going: The fine Army cadets at West Point:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa4RLoG9234

  29. MarkH said on November 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    How timely for today — No “War on Men”? Ha Ha! Ruth Bader Ginsberg begs to differ:

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/11/27/ginsburg-wants-to-see-all-female-supreme-court/

  30. Sherri said on November 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I recently read an article about young Japanese men who, faced with the breakdown of the former social contract of a relatively straightforward transition from high school to college to long-term employment with a single employer, have just withdrawn; the phenomenon is known as hikkomori.

    http://www.mindthesciencegap.org/2012/11/16/can-culture-create-mental-disease-the-rise-of-hikikomori-in-the-wake-of-economic-downturn-in-japan/

  31. coozledad said on November 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I’ll believe there’s a war on men when doctors start cleaving their pubic bones with a fucking hacksaw, or quit describing the father as the essential unit in a family.
    Oh, and this, via Thers:

    Advice as to the spacing of pregnancies and the use of the safe period should be tendered if thought necessary, but no matter how severe the lesion or disastrous the pregnancy, no woman should ever be told that if she has another baby it will kill her.

    You could grind every whiny ass little shit on Fox News into fertilizer and no one would be the poorer for it. The “War on Christmas” was more of a winner for them, if you ask me.

  32. Charlotte said on November 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Sigh. My father got all involved in the mens movement of the late 80s — remember? The Robert Bly beating-on-drums stuff? Caused him to blame my sweet dead grandmother for my grandfather’s alcoholism, dump my stepmother after 15 years, opt out of fatherhood and hie off to Prague where he told me, without irony, that he intended to “be Ernest Hemingway in Paris in the 20s.” I’ve seen him twice since. He didn’t even come back when my brother was killed in a car wreck. But hey, his life fullfillment was important …

    Watching my younger brother struggle was instructive — he was a good, decent, reliable and kind person who had a whopper of a case of ADD and dyslexia. A struggle — always a struggle to find a place and a job and a sense of self worth — but he fought the good fight to the very end. Things were easier for me gender or no gender …

    Of the kids I know in the high school/college zone — the girls do seem much more empowered than the boys. The boys are sweet, but drifty … while the girls seem much better at actually doing the work that’s asked of them, and going for what they want. I have a small sample size though …

  33. nancy said on November 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    My friend David, otherwise known as Lance Mannion, blogger, has two sons, and can go on for great pages of dialogue about our failure to properly take care of boys — as a culture, as families, as schools, as everything. Girls, he maintains, come into the world already half-socialized, and everything that leads to worldly success is already tilted in their favor. They do better in school, they work better in groups, they have less explosive energy, etc. You can pick at his theory, but he has convinced me.

    One of the saddest stories I read was during the Promise Keepers era, when right-thinking lefties were up in arms at a social movement that called upon men to be leaders of their families, etc. When you got past the bullshit on the podium to the pain in the seats, it was really quite a different story. So many of these men had had fathers like Charlotte’s — or far worse — and were drawn to this movement because they simply didn’t understand how to be husbands and fathers. They’d had no reference point growing up. Men were absent or only infrequently present, mainly good for making mommy angry and sad and buying occasional presents.

    So I’m not unsympathetic to men’s problems. I just don’t think the War on Men lady (who I’m told is related somehow to Phyllis Schlafly — quel surprise) has the first clue what they actually are.

  34. Mark P said on November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Maybe my perspective is warped because of my own history, and my age. I went to a private boys school where everyone was expected to perform, and pretty much everyone did. By the time I reached college, I had been conditioned, so I did well in college, too. I never noticed boys behaving much differently from girls, but, again, my perspective was probably warped because of my selection of friends. By the time I went to graduate school, I was 30, and I chose a historically male school, Georgia Tech. There, as an undergraduate, you performed or you ended up with a major in industrial relations. In graduate school, you performed or you were out. I took a year’s worth of undergraduate courses (a journalism degree did not prepare me well for atmospheric science) and I thought most of the students in those classes were pretty whiney, and wanted to do the minimum they could get away with. But I assumed that was just what undergrads in general did. Today, in my non-atmospheric science profession, the workforce is overwhelmingly male. So I have never seen a failure to properly take care of boys, or any particular tendency of boys to underperform compared to girls. Maybe my world is just that different, and I am not qualified to speak to this question.

    Men may be treated differently in divorce, but maybe that’s just the world working to balance things out for the way women are treated in general.

  35. Bitter Scribe said on November 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I dunno…that Lance Mannion “theory” sounds an awful lot like the tripe that Christina Hoff Summers and David Brooks keep pushing, about how sitting still is for gurrrrls and that’s why they do better in school. Brooks wrote this ridiculous column about how if Shakespeare’s Prince Hal were alive today he’d be on Ritalin, or something.

  36. Danny said on November 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Such an odd subject for me. All joking aside, life is a struggle for all of us, but I’ve always felt it tougher for women and I’ve always tried to be sensitive to this understanding of mine and adjured myself to be a better man and take on more responsibility and deal with matters.

    Nance, I don’t know much about the banging-on-drums thing, but I did briefly (and grudgingly) get involved with Promise Keepers. I am typically wary of para-church organizations, but I ended up going for a look-see when a free ticket was offered. In the end, I came away thinking it was okay because of it’s appeal to men to become more Christ-centered and other-centered individuals (something we all struggle with, regardless of gender). The “leadership” role emphasized for men was the basic biblical admonition to sacrifice all (with the help of God) for your family as Christ did for the church…. to be a true servant.

    I only went to the one meeting at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, but found nothing objectionable and a lot to like.

  37. Sue said on November 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I dunno… the commenters on this blog include a lot of writers, and it surprises me that no one has pointed out what should be more insulting to you all, namely that Miss War-on-Men is a hack. She’s got book #3 to sell, she knows her audience, and she knows where to place the article for maximum ripple-effect outrage.
    Duh. I assume she wrote the damn thing in twenty minutes because she’s written it before, three books’ worth, and she can crank this out in her sleep. Let other blogs get all up in arms about her contribution to popular culture (because that’s all this is). You folks should be going Mitch Albom on her; it would be a lot more fun.

  38. brian stouder said on November 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    This may – or may not! – be on-topic.

    I read this in the paper at lunchtime, and I thought that Cooz would be happy to know that bat-shit crazy gun nut/hill-whomp/bastards are NOT exclusively native to the American South. This guy (“Smith”) is just about as far north as you can be, in the lower-48; and is basically the hockey-mask guy from Halloween

    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20121127/NEWS03/311279939/0/SEARCH

    an excerpt:

    Wetzel said that while the shootings happened Thursday, Smith waited until Friday to report the deaths, explaining that “he didn’t want to trouble us on a holiday.” In the complaint, Smith said he was in his basement when he heard a window breaking upstairs, followed by footsteps that eventually approached the basement stairwell. Smith said he fired when Brady came into view from the waist down. After the teen fell down the stairs, Smith said he shot him in the face as he lay on the floor.

    “I want him dead,” the complaint quoted Smith telling an investigator.

    Smith said he dragged Brady’s body into his basement workshop, then sat down on his chair. After a few minutes, Kifer began coming down the stairs and he shot her as soon as her hips appeared, he said. After shooting her with both the Mini 14 and the .22-caliber revolver, he dragged her next to Brady. With her still gasping for air, he fired a shot under her chin “up into the cranium,” the complaint says. “Smith described it as ‘a good clean finishing shot,’ ” according to the complaint. The next day, he asked a neighbor to recommend a good lawyer, according to the complaint. He later asked his neighbor to call the police.

  39. Sue said on November 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    brian, why would the second intruder come down the stairs at all, much less after Smith had the time to shoot the first kid twice, drag the body into another room, and have a nice sit-down?
    I’m thinking that, bad as it sounds, there’s something even fishier going on.

  40. Jolene said on November 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I wondered that too, Sue. Seems very odd.

  41. Sherri said on November 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t think there is a war on men. I think there has been a change in schools over the years that has hurt a type of student, and that student is more likely to be male. When I was in elementary school, we had PE every day, plus we had recess, and because I grew up in a state that didn’t spend money on education, we didn’t have public kindergarten. When my daughter went to elementary schoool, she had PE twice a week, recess was cut back from what it was when I was a kid, and they were teaching kids to read in kindergarten (which is not really developmentally appropriate.) Take a kid who is physical, not socially mature, not developmentally ready to read when the system says he should be, and you’re setting him up for failure.

    That said, it is still the case that my daughter’s advanced math and science classes are still predominantly male. It is still the case that CS and physics, the fields I follow the closest, are still predominantly male, and in fact, the percentage of females in either field hasn’t changed very much in 25 years.

  42. Jolene said on November 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Sherri, I think your examples highlight the trends people are discussing above. For “school-oriented” boys, there are paths to discuss. But for boys who, in previous generations, might have found vocations that required deft hands or strong backs, there are not so many opportunities–and not so much respect.

  43. brian stouder said on November 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    It struck me as a Cohen Brothers opening scene…and it is in Minnesota.

    The lynch-pin (so to speak) of the story are these “stand your ground” and/or “castle” laws.

    This guy strikes me as just the most extreme case of ‘what could possibly go wrong’ with them….but we shall see

  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Hat tip, Sherri & Jolene. What that kind of work would look like in 2020 I don’t know, but we can’t all be information managers and cubicle denizens. And that’s not a problem, let alone something we should be mediated into.

    “O brave new world, that has such people in it . . .”

  45. Jolene said on November 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    My post, I just now noticed, should have said “paths to success.”

  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    And I think Nancy’s point on what made Promise Keepers the phenomenon it was matches precisely with my tangential experience of the movement.

  47. brian stouder said on November 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    The world still needs welders and assemblers and technicians and repair/maintenance people.

    “Career school”/vocational training still makes sense; as does making sure that graduates aren’t intimidated by computers/data devices

  48. Sherri said on November 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    In Finland, one of those countries who scores higher than we do on international tests but whom we refuse to learn anything from, kids don’t start school until they’re 7. Developmentally, many kids aren’t really ready to learn to read until at least 6 or 7; there’s a shift towards more abstract thought that happens around that age that makes reading possible. A number of kids identified as “gifted” in the early grades are really just kids who made that transition earlier.

    I spent three years volunteering in kindergarten classes several times a week, and you could almost see the light bulb going on when the shift happened and reading suddenly started to make sense.

  49. Bitter Scribe said on November 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    @brian #47: “making sure that graduates aren’t intimidated by computers/data devices” actually is, or should be, a major priority in industrial training. Over the last few decades there’s been a sea change in how industrial machinery is run. Instead of four people assigned to a single machine, doing something mindless like checking to make sure labels get on bottles correctly,* now you might have one person running four machines, all of which have label-verification equipment and software. That person has a more interesting job, but he or she needs to be sharper and more flexible than the label-checker in the old days.

    *Yes, that was a thing when I visited the Heinz ketchup plant. The day of my visit, they were beta-testing label readers that, I understand, have become standard since then.

  50. Charlotte said on November 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I’m a huge (if ineffective) advocate for vocational ed — we have a strain of dyslexia that runs through my family, and the ones who have done the best despite it are the ones who do something physical for a living — my brother worked events and parties, one cousin is a horse trainer, one’s a pipefitter, and one leads the FBI SWAT team in Honolulu — they’re all great at doing things on the ground, and particularly great in crisis situations (typical ADD there) but school? They all hated school. Too much sitting. Reading was really difficult and forget higher math or foreign languages. Livingston is full of really bright guys who can still make a living doing plumbing or electrical or building — although I’m biased towards those types anyway. Grad school made me crazy because all those guys could argue postmodern theory but no one could DO anything … and then they seemed proud of it on top of that.

  51. JWfromNJ said on November 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I know several people who started at Publix (an amazing Florida supermarket) as baggers, stock clerks, or deli crew who are now in management. Some store managers make $225k or more, and a guy I worked with two years ago who made $11 and hour in the deli is now topping $78k as the assistant deli manager.

    There are opportunities for those willing to work hard and smile.

  52. Jolene said on November 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    In last Sunday’s NYT, Adam Davidson, one of the Planet Money guys, wrote about what’s going on in manufacturing these days, which explains part of why guys without college degrees are having a hard time making it.

  53. Prospero said on November 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    GOPers oppose ratification of a treaty called Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Well, those folks have rights when they’re preborn, but once they become post-born, fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke. What the hell is wrong with these people. George Orwell and Lewis Carroll couldn’t make this shit up.

    And Little Lord Fauntleroy Lindsay Graham is now claiming his opposition to Susan Rice is based upon shabby treatment by Senate Democrats of the certifiable psycho John Bolton when Shrub wanted Bolton as the USA’s UN ambassador. Yeah, this John Bolton:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2005/3/31/john_bolton_in_his_own_words

  54. Prospero said on November 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Why GOPers are really so rabidly and stupidly over the top about Benghazi. They are just dying to get something like Iran-Contra on President Obama.

  55. Deborah said on November 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I’m back home in Chicago cuddling with my cat. Long day of travel.

  56. Sherri said on November 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Expect nothing but craziness from Lindsey Graham for the next two years. He’s up for re-election in 2014, and is afraid he’s going to be primaried.

  57. Bitter Scribe said on November 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I really hope they go full Monty and try to impeach Obama over this (or God knows what else). It will destroy the Republican brand for years if not decades to come.

  58. Crazycatlady said on November 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Pawn Stars? Yawn. When it comes to keeping it real, Hardcore Pawn takes the cake. Those people are crazy! I can say that I know it’s the way it is in the hood. Some of these people are just plain loony!!!