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The Jack D. Ripper School of Reproductive Biology

So I got in this odd twitter argument — arguing against a point so stupid, so against reason and biology, that I didn’t bother to bring it up here. The source of this argument was an MRA site, AVoiceForMen (home to the odious JohnTheOther and Paul Elam, if you recall), and the discussion was about the relative biological cost of sex. The standard biological view is that sex is cheap for men, and expensive for women; men produce numerous small, cheap gametes, most of which are disposable and thrown away, and do not have to bear the cost of pregnancy and lactation, and can often dodge the bother of child-rearing altogether, while women produce very few large, metabolically expensive gametes, and by necessity bear all the costs of pregnancy and lactation. And of course, in our culture, they also get saddled with most of the work of raising children.

The MRA argument was a perverse inversion of reality. It argued that men are the costly sex, because they have to ejaculate their precious sperm during intercourse, while the ladies just lie there and have fun.

We have this attitude toward hookup culture because we are convinced that male sexuality has no value. Not even no value, we think male sexuality has negative value.

Men sow their seed hither and yon; women guard their vaginas like Fort Knox.

But is this true?

Let’s think about it logically. With each act of sex a male ejaculates semen into the female. This is an investment of physical resources that takes time for the male to replenish. So male animals are limited in how often they can have reproductively viable sex. Female animals, on the other hand, are not. The sex act has zero cost to them.

Now, the reason this obvious truth is invisible to us is because we lump in the cost of carrying young with the cost of sex. Yes, carrying young is high female investment but the sex act itself is higher male investment.

It really is the ‘precious bodily fluids’ argument presented seriously. Men are the ones who should guard their essence, while women shouldn’t care.

Why? Because, quite simply, his sperm is in limited supply. He wants to prioritize delivery of sperm to a.) high quality females and b.) less mated females.

I don’t even…

Men spontaneously produce approximately 100,000,000 sperm cells per day. We make them whether we have sex or not. They have a limited shelf life; there is good evidence that mature internally stored sperm begin to decline in quality after about a week.

There is no sperm shortage at all.

Women, on the other hand, produce one gamete per month. If you want to make the “limited supply” argument, and an economic claim that a scarce commodity will be marketed much, much more carefully, it ought to be applied not to the menz but to the womenz. And also note that the only way the author can make her (yes, her) claim at all is by intentionally neglecting all the costs of pregnancy.

There are a couple of commenters there arguing with this patently bogus rationalization — it would be hard not to, it’s so absurd — but other commenters are just unbelievably gullible.

Epicness sauteed in awesomesauce!

As long as you ignore the fact that it’s, like, wrong.

And if you’re fond of word salad, how about this?

Best written post on Female’s Hypergamy & their polyandrous relationships, Female sexuality is pretty much distorted, When sexual revolution was forced on to become the social and cultural norm, WOMYN in majority never repelled it or rejected it, they gladly accepted it and have made it their daily routine (To fuck more men) their so called pair bonding in ancestral time was “Forced” pair bonding but with new innovations like “NO FAULT” divorce and incentives, cash prizes and child custody they are now pretty busy shaking up more dicks after breaking up with their “now” ex’s.

But overall MGTOW are catching up with that, Maybe PUA are mindless drones but even though male sexuality is also becoming more like female sexuality, Even more males are now calling out their inner “ape” or “gorilla” because of this new CULTURAL and SOCIAL Norm of sexual revolution, but as i said Women were the starter of all this insanity and they are now reaping what they sow.

I’m sorry, but I feel queasy at the thought of linking to AVoiceForMen (officially declared a hate site by the SPLC!), but here’s another article that effectively shreds their idiocy. Read that instead.

Comments

  1. dianne says

    The MRA movement has officially jumped the shark. I can’t even take this seriously enough to get upset about it.

  2. mattand says

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that a group of guys think men are so persecuted, they feel they need an organization to fight for their rights.

  3. Gregory in Seattle says

    MRA = bitter men who hate women so much that no woman wants to be in the same room with them, which makes them even more bitter, which makes them even less attractive, which makes them even more bitter, which….

  4. David Marjanović says

    As long as you ignore the fact that it’s, like, wrong.

    Now that is “epicness sauteed in awesomesauce”.

  5. says

    The MRA argument was a perverse inversion of reality. It argued that men are the costly sex, because they have to ejaculate their precious sperm during intercourse, while the ladies just lie there and have fun.

    That makes me wonder about the high cost of sneezing, of defecating, etc, etc. With such costs, it’s a wonder that anybody survives into adulthood.

  6. says

    It argued that men are the costly sex, because they have to ejaculate their precious sperm during intercourse, while the ladies just lie there and have fun.

    Has any woman actually “had fun” while in bed with an MRA, ever?

  7. No Light says

    Hell, we don’t even make an ovum a month. We’re born with a finite amount and only release one a month.

    Just like Asda/Walnart ‘WOW’ deals, when they’re gone, they’re gone.

    So glad mine are safe from MRAs.

  8. Pyra says

    Wow, sometimes, I can totally relate to the “I don’t want to live in this world anymore” meme…

    Not that this is a good reason to want to move to a galaxy far, far away.

    Having been pregnant with relatively healthy, easy pregnancies and births, which did not elicit the exact sort of sought-after pleasure in ejaculating sperm has been told to me is something they want to do, often… I just can’t even… no… this almost sounds too improbable to be a real argument. No one can possibly believe this, can they?

  9. says

    but here’s another article that effectively shreds their idiocy. Read that instead.

    OK.

    Ultimately though, it is men who have to compete with each other to have sex with women. This is why men are more up for casual sex with strangers; why victims of rape are usually women at the hands of men; why the sex industry is generally females providing services for men; why women are punished more severely for cheating than men are; why we have the term “mistress” but no real equivalent for a man; and much more besides. In fact, marriage probably evolved as a way to ensure the fidelity of a female partner.

    …followed by a Pinker recommendation.

    Ugh.

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    We have this attitude toward hookup culture because we are convinced that male sexuality has no value. Not even no value, we think male sexuality has negative value.

    Poor widdle menz! The fact that society seems to practically lionize the ‘real manly men’ who conform to heteronormative standards of the ‘acceptable’ performance of masculinity – including a the hideous idea that a man’s worth is determined by the number of his prior ‘conquests’ – is of course ignored here entirely. Ironically, this is a mentality that, while obviously misogynist, is simultaneously misandrist, if one stops to think about, since it ignores any aspect of the humanity of men beyond their notional ‘score card’.

    So yes, in a sense, cultural attitudes toward sexuality do devalue men, but only in the way that the patriarchy harms men too, and the level of harm caused isn’t even in the same league as that done to women. But ‘slighty, tangentially right by accident’ is the closest the idiots over at AVoiceForMen ever get to understanding the issues.

    Men sow their seed hither and yon; women guard their vaginas like Fort Knox.

    But is this true?

    “But is this true?”, asked as if the author didn’t just create this ridiculous strawman construct to bolster a feeble argument – attitudes toward sexuality vary greatly between individuals and within different cultures. The idea that such attitudes are determined exclusively or even primarily by one’s physical sex is unsupported by evidence.

    Let’s think about it logically. With each act of sex a male ejaculates semen into the female. This is an investment of physical resources that takes time for the male to replenish. So male animals are limited in how often they can have reproductively viable sex. Female animals, on the other hand, are not. The sex act has zero cost to them.

    As PZ points out, men produce vast numbers of sperm every day, and the stuff cannot be stored for very long. Indeed, to the best of my understanding, unused sperm gets reabsorbed by the body in any case, since more can be produced relatively easily. I really don’t understand where this idea of the ‘great sperm shortage of 2012′ comes from.

    Now, the reason this obvious truth is invisible to us is because we lump in the cost of carrying young with the cost of sex. Yes, carrying young is high female investment but the sex act itself is higher male investment.

    She is seriously comparing the notionally “high male investment” of the pleasurable ejaculation of sperm, that his body will produce in any case without any pain or particularly delterious consquences for his health (in normal circumstances), to the major risks that women face in pregnancy and birth?

    As a simple basis for comparison – I wonder how many men would die without medical attention as a consquence of ejaculating during sex, set against what the rate of female mortality would be in the absence of medical assistance during pregancy and birth?

    I am guessing here, but I am pretty sure that giving birth is riskier than, to use the common vernacular, getting one’s rocks off.

    Why? Because, quite simply, his sperm is in limited supply. He wants to prioritize delivery of sperm to a.) high quality females and b.) less mated females.

    Or – radical thought here – this hypothetical cis/het man could actually think of women as people, not semen recepticals, and pursue a relationship with a woman who he finds attractive and has a strong emotional attachment to – feelings that she reciprocates – and then let the procreative cards fall where they may. If it doesn’t happen, they could always adopt. The world is full of orphaned and unwanted children in need of good homes.

  11. jaranath says

    Ok, I think I have this down:

    Sure, sex for women CAN be like buying a house, mortgage, tax liabilities and other expenses included.  But that’s only if she gets pregnant!

    If she takes proper female responsibility for her sluttiness and makes sure she’s on the pill and thinks really sperm-hating thoughts, then it’s really the MAN who has the costlier sex.  She’s just there for the ride, but for him sex is like dropping her off at her home in the morning, which he passes on the way to work every day!   For how long are we to put up with this?!?

    I just about wanna puke.  Is there ANY chance that author is punking them ala some of Conservapedia’s editors?

  12. interrobang says

    If it doesn’t happen, they could always adopt. The world is full of orphaned and unwanted children in need of good homes.

    Imma bet you that if you scratch an MRA, you find someone who thinks adoption is unthinkable, settling, getting damaged goods, et cetera. They’re so into the whole “you poke it, you own it” school of thought, I can’t imagine them being charitable toward the idea of raising what they’d think of as someone else’s kid.

    The internet also hates adoption. As an adoptee, this pisses me off.

  13. DaveL says

    Why? Because, quite simply, his sperm is in limited supply. He wants to prioritize delivery of sperm to a.) high quality females and b.) less mated females.

    Also, c) tissue paper. Does this man expect us to believe he’s unfamiliar with the concept of masturbation?

  14. says

    mattand:

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that a group of guys think men are so persecuted, they feel they need an organization to fight for their rights.

    They don’t actually fight for their rights. They just moan about how horrible feminists are. Fighting for rights takes work.

  15. says

    @ SC (Salty Current), OM

    What’s wrong with Pinker?

    Are there any good criticisms of his work you could recommend?

    I’m a big fan, but would be happy to be put in my place.

    @DaveL Well, the author is (apparently) female…

  16. robertfoster says

    Really? And here I thought sex was FUN for guys. I mean, really, really, really fun. So much fun that you want to do it allofthefriggingtime. Take your average 18 year old hetero (or gay) guy, why, he could do it four times a day, assuming he wasn’t drinking heavily. At that age replenishing sperm is as easy as replenishing sweat or snot. The clock ticks for guys, too. Gotta procreate, gotta spread that DNA far and wide. Forty is just around the corner.

  17. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The name *puke* Paul Elam *repuke* sounded familiar, so of course I just HAD to poke around to find out why.

    That’s that sick, vicious mutant that said, were he on a jury of a rape case, would refuse to vote “guilty” if the rapist were male and victim female, even if he did think the rapists was guilty.

    Because there’s such a perponderance of false rape accusations that destroy men’s lives.

    He’s admitting that he thinks women deserve to be raped if a different woman makes a false accusation.

    When he finally gets arrested for rape, it will be relief. There is no way that guy ISN’T guilty of it.

  18. Francisco Bacopa says

    I must point out that the marketplace disagrees with our MRA here. Just do a search to see how much egg donors make. It’s a lot more than sperm donors. I think the market gets this one right.

    And I don’t think that women really ming being “denied the essence” of anyone who is a regular on A Voice for Men.

  19. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    And I don’t think that women really ming being “denied the essence” of anyone who is a regular on A Voice for Men.

    Does anyone mind being “denied” toxic waste?

  20. Gregory Greenwood says

    interrobang @ 14;

    Imma bet you that if you scratch an MRA, you find someone who thinks adoption is unthinkable, settling, getting damaged goods, et cetera. They’re so into the whole “you poke it, you own it” school of thought, I can’t imagine them being charitable toward the idea of raising what they’d think of as someone else’s kid.

    I imagine you are right in the money here – the idea that “raising someone else’s kid” is a terrible thing to be avoided, or some kind of mark against one’s masculinity, is just a further extension of the standard misogynist mentality that women (and children) are chattel, not people. Thus, if one raises a child fathered by another, then you are wasting your effort, because you are doing his work for him rather than making use of one of those ambulatory incubators you find roaming about to bring forth your own little mini-me clone child. The toxic attitude runs something along the lines of; “why pay for another man’s brat – that that other man will continue to ‘own’ – when you get nothing out of it?”

    I think that there may also be an element of the performance of masulinity here – if you adopt a child, people might begin to question your virility. Afterall, why not father your own? One risks falling foul of ignorant tropes such as the idea that “only ‘defective’ people need to adopt”. If the most important thing to you is the maintenance of your cis/het male privilege, then such a thing may be hard to accept – doubly so if you have spent much time replicating such harmful tropes yourself.

    The internet also hates adoption. As an adoptee, this pisses me off.

    Hostility toward adoption is one of those things that fuels the disgust I feel for a substantial chunk of our species – what on Earth is so wrong with providing a loving, nurturing home for a child that has been orphaned or abandoned? That is surely a good thing? The problem is that vast tracts of our society seem to be mired in the toxic attitudes I outlined above, and are often damnably self righteous about it too.

  21. eric says

    Excessive capitalization: check.
    Unnecessary scare quotes: check.
    Comic sans font: check

    The structure has enough of the hallmarks of crankdom that there’s no need to read the content.

    Comments trying to refute their notions are just a waste. If you’re going to comment, tell the author to add some underlining, colored text on a black background, and maybe make some of the words blink. After all, in for a penny, in for a pound.

  22. ChasCPeterson says

    The biological arguments are about sex (specifically the oogametic style of reproduction), not about sex (the physical act of coitus). So that’s why this is all so very stoopid.

  23. New England Bob says

    “So I got in this odd twitter argument…”

    There is the source of your problem.

    I refuse to join Twitter, finding it less than useless. I never have a Twitter argument.

  24. says

    The “sperm are precious” argument seems like a throwback to the pre-scientific era, and religious arguments against masturbation.

  25. says

    Precious bodily fluids! Ha. Now I’m left with this image of a bunch of cranky blueballed bastards who drink grain alcohol and rainwater, and refuse to masturbate.

    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen… tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first… become… well, develop this theory?
    General Jack D. Ripper: [somewhat embarassed] Well, I, uh… I… I… first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
    General Jack D. Ripper: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue… a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I… I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.
    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
    General Jack D. Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh… women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh… I do not avoid women, Mandrake.
    Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No.
    General Jack D. Ripper: But I… I do deny them my essence.

  26. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Interrobang – Since these whiny ass obsolete losers complain about having to support their own kids, you’re probably correct. MRAs hate having to take personal responsibility for anything. The entire movement can be summed up as “mommy has to clean up after me!”

  27. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    In fact, marriage probably evolved as a way to ensure the fidelity of a female partner.

    1. Serial monogamy {breeding system} =/= Marriage {cultural institution}.
    2. One could make the argument that serial monogamy (in humans) evolved in response to fidelity pressures. Or that sexual selection by teh proto-womenz for parenting tendencies in partners is the explanation. Or any one of a million other non-testable stimuli. Or that humans aren’t serially monogamous in any heritable way.
    3. What does any of this have to do with the metabolic cost of spooge? Do I need to make some dietary changes to avoid being starved by my gonads?

  28. says

    @ SC (Salty Current), OM

    What’s wrong with Pinker?

    Are there any good criticisms of his work you could recommend?

    I’ve been recommending Cordelia Fine‘s Delusions of Gender for a while now. Steven Pinker is just one of the people she criticizes there and her criticisms are specific to this topic, but I’d expect it would make someone approach all of his work more skeptically.

  29. says

    @Antiochus Epiphanes Well, it was more just exploring where the differences between men and women’s sexuality lead.

    @SC (Salty Current), OM Thanks! I’ll be sure to check it out.

  30. neal says

    What sort of conditions would have to be present for this argument to actually make sense? Seems to me like there would have to be a sex ratio of one male to many females, who are all constantly demanding ovulating and demanding sex from the one man, pregnancy is relatively low-cost, and children are raised communally (ameliorating the expected cost of childrearing) – then (in an evo psych sense) the man would have to consider the many options available to him in order to distribute his precious vital essence optimally. Of course these conditions would have to persist for many generations, too.

    Sounds like a MRA fantasy to me.

  31. mythbri says

    No one hates men the way MRAs do. Every time they scream “Misandry!” they must be looking into a mirror.

  32. Gregory Greenwood says

    It argued that men are the costly sex, because they have to ejaculate their precious sperm during intercourse, while the ladies just lie there and have fun.

    Whenever I hear MRAs prattling on about ‘preciousssss’ semen, I am immediately put in mind of a certain literary and cinematic character.

    The parallel is so exact, someone had to do it…

    Sneaky little womansese; they stole it from us!

  33. johnmorgan says

    @27

    The “sperm are precious” argument seems like a throwback to the pre-scientific era, and religious arguments against masturbation.

    The attitude of MRA would seem in concordance with the RC church, which rails against male masturbation but tacitly approves such in females. Very nicely counter to what personal good health demands, after a recent discovery that > 48-hrs-old seminal fluid degrades to produce carcinogens.

  34. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    What’s wrong with Pinker?

    Are there any good criticisms of his work you could recommend?

    Here’s a pretty thorough critique of The Language Instinct.

  35. Brownian says

    The clock ticks for guys, too. Gotta procreate, gotta spread that DNA far and wide. Forty is just around the corner.

    I know, I know, I’m on it.

    [Licks and seals another envelope addressed to "Occupant"]

  36. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    He wants to prioritize delivery of sperm to a.) high quality females and b.) less mated females.

    If men want to “prioritize delivery of sperm” to “less mated females”, where are all those “more mated females” finding their mates? And why is prostitution such a going concern in so many societies?

  37. slothrop1905 says

    Simple question. Are men naturally more interested in casual sex? Is the idea that the answer is ‘yes’ but we want the cultural influences to be such that those interests change? Or is there a dispute that men and women are different in this sense in the first place?

  38. Brownian says

    Or is there a dispute that men and women are different in this sense in the first place?

    Yes.

  39. slothrop1905 says

    Ok, thanks. I’m guessing since everything I’ve ever experienced and looked into says otherwise, I gotta just keep looking, I’ve obviously missed something.

  40. says

    They forgot how semen can transmit disease in addition to pregnancy. I don’t know how they could ignore that when discussing how precious semen is.

  41. Brownian says

    Ok, thanks. I’m guessing since everything I’ve ever experienced and looked into says otherwise, I gotta just keep looking, I’ve obviously missed something.

    Try an anthropology text or several. What you’re missing is that your experiences are confined to a single (or several related) cultures, and you’re mistaking those for some natural state.

    Everyone does it.

  42. Brownian says

    Ok, thanks. I’m guessing since everything I’ve ever experienced and looked into says otherwise, I gotta just keep looking, I’ve obviously missed something.

    Also, if you’ve already got an answer in mind, and the one you get doesn’t jibe with that, and that irritates you, don’t ask the fucking question.

  43. Jerry says

    The MRA arguments are so stupid that correcting them with obvious biological reality seems like a waste of time. Apparently some people needed to stay awake during Bio101. Here’s a recap.

    The parallel “investment” of physical resources is this:
    Male: sperm production (constant) and ejaculation (optional)
    Female: ovulation, uterine tissue thickening, and menstruation (constant cyclical unless pregnant or hormonally blocked), with an increased risk of breast cancer. The biological cost clearly falls heavier on the woman, just looking at _preparing_ for reproduction. The sexual act is such a very small part of this process that it might as well not count as a biological “cost”. In any case, it’s a balanced cost (men generate a little seminal fluid, women some vaginal fluid). The egg and sperm would have been produced and discarded anyway, sex or no sex.

    There is no biological parallel in men for reproduction, i.e. child-bearing, child-birth, and lactation. Women bear all of that very large physiological cost, including the real risk of harm or death. A male can serially impregnate one woman or many women with essentially no cost to himself, but very real cost to the woman and, if he leaves the woman and child(ren), high cost to society.

    The MRA baseless assertions indicate a detachment from reality, not an argument. I give the first argument a failing grade for not reading the textbook and not attending the lecture (or not taking notes) in Biology. The second MRA argument gets a failing grade because it is gibberish, social buzz words strung together without any attempt at making it coherent, never mind factual.

  44. Brownian says

    everything I’ve ever experienced

    Give me a fucking break.

    I guess it’s natural that humans commute to office towers in buses five days out of every seven, then. I’d better write up an evo psych paper on this amazing discovery right away!

  45. says

    This makes me feel ill. I have a brother who actually thinks like this. Not only this about sex, but that women are evil scheming powermongers responsible for every single bad thing that has happened since the dawn of humanity – wars, famine, genocide – all caused by women and their evil manipulating ways. I mean that literally – every historic horror you can think of, he blames on women. When he starts on the topic, he cannot seem to stop – he will hold forth for hours, literally. It is so horrifying you can do nothing but stand there in shock.

    He has argued (furiously) that rape is grossly over-reported (women lie, men are victims) and women are gaming the system (welfare, healthcare), etc.

    These diatribes are always combined with long oratory on the heroism of men – the selfless, silent suffering of men. Good, innocent boys emotionally abused by women – sent off to war for women’s greed, nobly sacrificing their lives for faithless, conniving women.etc etc etc. To be clear – not wars started by men but wars started by women – and every single war is always started by women. The first time I really heard him go off on this topic, I thought it was a joke – but after 3 hours as a captive audience listening to him in growing horror, I realised the truth. It isn’t an act. He believes it down to his core.

    I am relieved to say that my brother and I rarely see each other. The depth of male hatred for women sometimes terrifies me. Probably because of my own experiences I see it everywhere. I feel unsafe with my own brothers (though not, I hasten to add, with Mr Nifty and many other fine men).

  46. mythbri says

    @slothrop

    Research has been done on the way that men and women approach casual sex. The paper is something that you’d have to buy, but here’s a link to a good analysis:

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/gender-differences-and-casual-sex-the-new-research/

    Also, consider the different factors that women have to consider as opposed to men:

    1. The increased threat level that women deal with regarding sexual assault and rape

    2. The proposition of casual sex is a high-risk venture without a guaranteed return. The man in the encounter will likely come out of it satisfied, but that’s not necessarily the case for the woman

    3. Men tend to assume that casual sex will consist primarily of PIV, whereas women consider a variety of different acts to “count” as sex

  47. says

    skeptifem, I don’t know. I asked and he said No, this is just obvious. That doesn’t mean nothing ever happened to him, though. There is history there (school, church,family, etc) which all could have contributed (and most of us have no idea what went on for a lot of kids) but I just don’t know.

  48. screechymonkey says

    Does this mean that these MRAs will be abandoning so much of the evolutionary psych stuff they’ve been clinging to?

  49. butterflyfish says

    You guys are slacking. I can’t believe it took 33 posts before somebody linked to Monty Python.

  50. slothrop1905 says

    Mythbri, thanks for that. I was familiar with the original CHSP stuff but hadn’t seen the one you linked to. I have various issues with some of the methodology, as I just don’t see people actually behaving the way they respond in questionnaires. I’m also a little confused by your three considerations: are those culturally determined or natural? All three seem to have natural origins, or at least would apply to all cultures equally. In any event, I’m familiar with groups that try to take all three of those into account when attracting women, and stll the male/female ratios are incredibly skewed. Still, there’s a lot of ineresting stuff in there I hadn’t seen, so I will catch up now, thanks again!

  51. says

    Simon Painter, who we have met before http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/12/30/i-take-it-he-gets-called-a-troll-a-lot/

    Has commented on my blog post. I’m unsure if he’s trolling, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. http://furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.in/2012/08/some-interesting-stuff-about-sex.html?showComment=1343918957384#c475075247198535714

    Any way, he’s saying that (without any examples of course) that sex may be more costly to males in certain sociological contexts. I can’t think of any of the top of my head, but wondered if you knew of any examples where societal norms have made the cost of sex greater for the man?

  52. jojo says

    Why? Because, quite simply, his sperm is in limited supply. He wants to prioritize delivery of sperm to a.) high quality females and b.) less mated females.

    Ah…so that explains why men never masturbate. It all makes sense now.

  53. viggen111 says

    And also note that the only way the author can make her (yes, her) claim at all is by intentionally neglecting all the costs of pregnancy.

    I think a big part of why people are willing to make this kind of argument is because of the quality of modern birth control. They look at sex as being decoupled from procreation.

  54. mythbri says

    @slothrop

    I’m confused by your confusion about the three considerations that I mentioned. If you’re talking about the evolutionary implications of these current issues, then I have nothing to offer you. I’m not a biologist. I’m also not a sociologist, so I can’t tell you whether these considerations are culturally determined, but my inclination is toward social, rather than biological causes. Consider:

    1. Women face a higher threat level of sexual assault and rape. Rape culture myths, which place the onus on potential victims to protect themselves from being raped, is likely to influence the decision of any given woman about accepting an offer of casual sex, or offering casual sex.

    2. Men are more likely to come out of a casual sex encounter satisfied, while women have no guarantees. Is the sex going to consist of the man getting off in five minutes and deciding the encounter is over? I hear a lot of guys make the analogy that pizza is like sex: even when it’s bad, you still get to have pizza. From my point of view, as a woman, bad sex can be like watching one person gorge themselves while you sit there starving, and they don’t even offer you a crumb.

    Can you see how this, coupled with consideration number 1, would disincline women from engaging in casual sex? High-risk, no guaranteed return.

    3. There’s more than just one kind of sex act, and yet a lot of men tend to assume that there is sex (penetration, usually PIV), and then there’s all the other stuff that falls into a nebulous “foreplay/make-out” category. So what some women might consider to be an act of casual sex, some men might not consider it to be sex at all.

  55. Nepenthe says

    From my point of view, as a woman, bad sex can be like watching one person gorge themselves while you sit there starving, and they don’t even offer you a crumb.

    Worse. Watching someone eat a pizza isn’t likely to leave me sore the next day in addition to annoyed.

  56. slothrop1905 says

    Mythbri, oh, ok, for that third one I wasn’t sure what you meant. I suppose for the purposes of my questions it doesn’t matter, I’ll have to think about that…As for the first two, are you saying that if those first two, safety and ‘capability’ (as it’s referenced in the link you provided) are taken into account then things even out? That’s what I’m not sure about.

  57. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The potential for getting stuck with a pathetically incompetent lay is exactly why i don’t do the casual hookup thing. Its not that I need the hardcore stuff all the time, vanilla sex can be wonderful too. But if I’m going to let someone into the garden, he better have a green thumb.

  58. Louis says

    JoJo,

    Ah…so that explains why men never masturbate. It all makes sense now.

    Well I, as a gentleman, certainly do not. I leave that sort of thing to the likes of Brownian.

    _______________________________________________

    I get the impression that these MRA types had their MAN FEEFEES (IMPORTANT!) hurt by some woman EVIL MAGIC VAGINA OWNER™. Possibly by being denied access to MAGIC VAGINA™ or by someone else having access to the MAGIC VAGINA™ they consider their property by right of conquest and stuff.

    Pathetic is too high a bar for these bozos to reach.

    Louis

  59. Louis says

    Illuminata,

    But if I’m going to let someone into the garden, he better have a green thumb.

    If it’s green, get that checked out. Or at least wrap it before you slap it. Green WeeWees =/= Teh Fun Sexeh Tiemz.

    Unless you’re into the whole sexy zombie apocalypse thing, in which case I’m totally not judging, but, you know, ewww.

    ;-)

    Louis

  60. says

    In my evolution class today we went over sexual selection.
    This is straight out of my lecture slides:

    Generally mating is more costly for females (large investment in each gamete) than for males (small investment in each gamete).

    lol, great timing.

  61. jamessweet says

    If I’m being really generous, I might say there’s a nugget of truth in here, in that modern birth control means that women arguably have a greater opportunity for multiple partners (there being no refractory period and all that), since the cost of pregnancy is now potentially removed from the cost of sex. This conceivably could be spun in a sexually empowering manner, although I think one would want to very cautious at all times here.

    The MRAs’ take on it is just crazy!

  62. earwig says

    This, from the original article

    The whole purpose for a female animal, in going into heat, is to get pregnant. Because that’s her instinctive imperative, the hassle of pregnancy is irrelevant to her cost of sex.

    makes me wonder if the author was raised as a fundamentalist. But I suppose that attitude isn’t unheard of among proponents of ev psych. Do they ever look around them at the real world? Someone who imagines that “instinctive imperative” is sole and unmediated driver of contemporary human behaviour has been hanging out with weird people. Someone who can dismiss pregnancy as “hassle” is on another planet.

    It’s not April 1st, is it?

  63. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    If it’s green, get that checked out.

    LOL ewwww LOL.

    That’s what I get for trying to be all lady-like and euphemisticy.

    Let me be more clear: If I’m going to let someone into the muffin shop, he better know you to knead my buns!

    better? ;)

  64. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    aaaaaaaannnnd take two!

    If it’s green, get that checked out.

    LOL ewwww LOL.

    That’s what I get for trying to be all lady-like and euphemisticy.

    Let me be more clear: If I’m going to let someone into the muffin shop, he better know you to knead my buns!

    better? ;)

  65. Brownian says

    Well I, as a gentleman, certainly do not. I leave that sort of thing to the likes of Brownian.

    Once, when I was an undergrad, some fellow ran a joke campaign for Student Council President on a masturbation platform. I met him and introduced myself as a fellow masturbator. He put out his right hand to shake mine, and I quickly put out my left, saying, “Uh, not that hand.”

    He was a total pretender.

    Generally mating is more costly for females (large investment in each gamete) than for males (small investment in each gamete).

    Yeah, but the woman absorbs the male gametes, adding their strength to hers.

    It’s like buying her dinner twice.

    </MRA>

  66. thetalkingstove says

    Plus there’s the whole societal view of a woman who has a lot of sex being a “slut”, while a man who does the same is a “stud” or *bleurgh* an expert “pick up artist”.

    I would imagine (I’m male) that indulging in casual sex isn’t so tempting if its likely to lead to you being labelled/harassed by your community.

  67. mythbri says

    @Brownian #76

    I just had a vision of a woman, after having absorbed a man’s “essence”, turning into She-Hulk.

    I kind of wish that would actually happen.

  68. Brownian says

    Plus there’s the whole societal view of a woman who has a lot of sex being a “slut”, while a man who does the same is a “stud” or *bleurgh* an expert “pick up artist”.

    I would imagine (I’m male) that indulging in casual sex isn’t so tempting if its likely to lead to you being labelled/harassed by your community.

    Wow, it’s like there’s so much culture that influences what humans do that it’s actually incredibly difficult to disentangle cultural from ‘natural’ behaviours.

    (Of course, having culture is natural for humans).

  69. Louis says

    Illuminata,

    Ahh I understand completely.

    Incidentally, I thought Muffin the Mule* was a sex offence, until I discovered Smirnoff.**

    Louis

    * UK kiddy TV show from The Way Back Years.

    ** A series of adverts that ran for Smirnoff (in the UK at least) about a porpskillion years ago followed this form, and thus were much parodied. See: I thought Wanking was a town in China, I thought Fellatio was a Shakespearean character, I though Cunnilingus was a type of cloud, I thought a Parsnip was code for a vasectomy, I thought Countryside was the mass slaughter of men’s rights activists…

  70. says

    Yeah, but the woman absorbs the male gametes, adding their strength to hers.

    Damn, but I’ll be glad when cannibalism week is over.

  71. Louis says

    Brownian, #76,

    Clearly the man was some species of varlet. I hope you shot him as was your right and duty.

    Louis

  72. says

    @ jamessweet

    If I’m being really generous, I might say there’s a nugget of truth in here, in that modern birth control means that women arguably have a greater opportunity for multiple partners (there being no refractory period and all that), since the cost of pregnancy is now potentially removed from the cost of sex.

    Group A: Cost of pregnancy is completely removed from sex, because this group can’t get pregnant.

    Group B: Cost of pregnancy is now potentially removed from sex, because of contraception.

    I could get you saying Group B nears Group A in the opportunity for multiple partners, but why should it be bigger?

    It reads to me as a fancy way of saying women who use contraception are bigger sluts than they would be without it.

  73. Brownian says

    I just had a vision of a woman, after having absorbed a man’s “essence”, turning into She-Hulk.

    Or Popeye. (Popeyea? Momeye? Momeye.)

    “I’m stronger than He-Man ’cause I absorbs me semen, I’m Momeye the Hypergam!”

  74. Louis says

    PZ Myers,

    Damn, but I’ll be glad when cannibalism week is over.

    [Prince Philip in Papua New Guinea]

    You managed not to get eaten then?

    [/Prince Philip in Papua New Guinea]

    The man is a diplomatic genius.*

    Louis

    * For the Prachettian definition of “genius”, See “Bloody Stupid” Johnson.

  75. Brownian says

    Damn, but I’ll be glad when cannibalism week is over.

    It’s a recurring motif with me. Why, just yesterday, I demonstrated to my coworker how I would silently stalk and eat people who just fucking stop once they get off the escalator, if I were to stalk and eat people.

  76. Brownian says

    Clearly the man was some species of varlet. I hope you shot him as was your right and duty.

    But then how would I know where he parked my car?

  77. slothrop1905 says

    talkingstove, yes, I’m aware of the issues of social pressures, which is why I”m interested in ways people behave when that is taken into account. There are ways to determine this by making the situations anonymous as well as safe. What do people do then? is my question. It is hard to taease out the cultural factors, yes, but not impossible.

  78. mythbri says

    @slothrop

    The culture thing is so incredibly pervasive that I honestly believe that if it were possible to raise men and women in a vacuum, as it were, with no societal norms or expectations whatsoever, that the numbers would be roughly equal for members of each gender participating in casual sex.

    There’s a lot to unpack for society as it is, however, with influences on both men and women (and this conversation is focusing primarily on hetero-sex between cis-people, not taking into account other sexual orientation and identities).

  79. Brownian says

    It is hard to taease out the cultural factors, yes, but not impossible.

    From the perspective of marriage, kinship and sexuality, every culture you know is relatively the same.

    Compare with the Sambia.

  80. Brownian says

    The culture thing is so incredibly pervasive that I honestly believe that if it were possible to raise men and women in a vacuum, as it were, with no societal norms or expectations whatsoever, that the numbers would be roughly equal for members of each gender participating in casual sex.

    Of course, such a mythologised, Platonic human could not exist.

  81. screechymonkey says

    I expect next we’ll hear about the Caloric Theory of Male Oppression: “First, we have to buy her dinner, providing her with precious calories. Then we have to do all of the work during sex, expending some of our own precious calories! And that’s why we’re constantly demanding that women on the internet go make us a sandwich — we’re STARVING at the hands of the gynocracy!”

  82. Louis says

    Brownian,

    {Strokes beard importantly}

    Indeed. Indeed. It’s so hard to get good help these days. You could just have winged him I suppose, what?

    Louis

    P.S. I can only apologise for being a derailing git, but frankly these MRA dolts have caused so much potential face palming comedy with this “argument” that I find myself punning uncontrollably. Well, that and the massive dose of caffeine I have taken today. Everything has rainbow haloes and light is moving to slow.

  83. Unsorted says

    There is a slightly more plausible sounding and slightly similar argument in a youtube video by Girlwriteswhat (I watched two of her videos, not horribly impressed, but curious as to how she might have come to her views) that casual sex is more risky for men because a woman has the power to terminate the pregnancy (She doesn’t qualify that this is true for now, in some parts of the world, and still at some risk) at will while the man could be beholden to her for child support for 18 years.

    I think it is titled “I’m a sexy woman so stop objectifying me”. I’m in a public space and without earphones right now so I’m not going to watch it to confirm that that’s is the one. But I’m pretty sure it is.

    I only mention it because it is a little more plausible sounding at first than the incredibly ridiculous tweet in the OP and thus probably more worth a good shredding.

    IIRC, there is also a rich load of armchair sociobiology in that video supporting her portrayal of men as the helpless victims of the new feminist matriarchy.

    PS: Two videos by her, the Southern Poverty listings and a few random blog perusals are the extent of my current knowledge of the MRA crowd.

    PSS: Sorry if this has been done over already here.

  84. numenaster says

    If only the Men Going Their Own Way would just GO THERE ALREADY. And not come back.

  85. Brownian says

    Sexuality among the Ju/’hoansi (formerly known as !Kung, San, or Bushmen):

    The Ju/’hoansi culture shows an open and almost uninhibited attitude towards sex, and this orientation is inculcated in children from young. This is exemplified by the involvement of sexual play in the socialization process, where student express and mimic the sexual behavior of their parents in the play process. As a results, most teenagers would have had some sexual contact and experiences by the age of 15. Thus chastity has no concrete meanings to the Ju/’hoansi people.
    Sex is embraced in the Ju culture, and the goal of sex to achieve orgasm. While rape and sexual assault used to be uncommon, it is increasing along with the rise of alcohol consumption.
    Homosexuality and bisexuality, while uncommon, is not considered deviant. The people take on attitudes of curiosity and bemusement towards these rarer forms of sexual behavior, and there’s no negative sanctions against these expression of sexuality.
    On the issues of marital fidelity, partners are strictly faithful to one another. However in cases where extramarital affairs are discovered, women tend to express more sexual jealously and are known to turn violent.

  86. says

    Girlwriteswhat is awful. She’s the one who complained that the problem with feminism is all these women encroaching on “men’s spaces”, and who left the definition of “men’s spaces” dangling…which Thunderf00t just loved and praised. I did ask him a while back what he considered “men’s spaces”…science and atheism, perhaps?

  87. thetalkingstove says

    talkingstove, yes, I’m aware of the issues of social pressures, which is why I”m interested in ways people behave when that is taken into account. There are ways to determine this by making the situations anonymous as well as safe. What do people do then? is my question. It is hard to taease out the cultural factors, yes, but not impossible.

    Perhaps I’m a pessimist (or just ignorant) but I feel it is close to impossible to negate cultural factors. If a woman has been led to believe that having casual sex makes a woman a bad person, then a scenario in which no one will ever find out about it isn’t going to protect her from her own self-censorship.

  88. Brownian says

    Brownian
    Can you get the people who stand in doorways, too?

    Do you fuckers not have peripheral vision?! Are you completely fucking unaware of your surroundings?! Get out of my fucking way!

    I work in an office tower. People get on the elevator. They push “L”. When the door opens, they act baffled that the world outside the elevator has changed from whatever floor they got on to the lobby. What the fucking fuck is fucking wrong with these fucks?

  89. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    If only the Men Going Their Own Way would just GO THERE ALREADY. And not come back

    Seriously.

    It’s more like Men Going Their Own Way, and you’ll regret it. We’re going to leave you and you’ll be sorry when we’re gone. Are you watching? We’re leaving you! Wait, where are you going? You have to watch us leaving you! We’re really going to do it this time! *runs after women* Why aren’t you upset! We’re leaving you!! Coooommmeee baaacccccckkkk!!

  90. Brownian says

    Perhaps I’m a pessimist (or just ignorant) but I feel it is close to impossible to negate cultural factors.

    There is no such thing as a human whose perceptions of the world aren’t filtered through their culture.

  91. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    What the fucking fuck is fucking wrong with these fucks?

    Their thumbs aren’t green, obviouslty.

  92. PatrickG says

    @bigdavesb

    As to your question about social norms conspiring to make sex more expensive to men, someone may well have covered this in a comment I haven’t read yet. Sorry, if you did.

    The whole discussion of “cost” for men here is elided with that well-known “theory” that men really do have to pay for sex. For these MRA-types, they do seriously view sex as a commercial transaction, either from a straight exchange of money for sex (prostitution) or at least having to “get the bitch drunk first – expensive!’ And y’know, then he might even have to wear a condom, so his seed is WASTED, WASTED I tell you. Opportunity cost! Compromise of POE!

    I guess one could call that a way “social norms” make the cost of sex greater for men. If one was batshit crazy.

    Here we’re just seeing the commercial transaction ludicrously extended into the biological realm. I’m still half-convinced it’s a Poe.

  93. mythbri says

    @Brownian #100

    While you’re at it, if you could please add to your list:

    People who manage to block entire aisles with themselves and their shopping cart at the grocery store, peering intently at the calorie count on the can of tinned tomatoes and paying you no mind whatsoever

    People who simply stop in their tracks on the way down a narrow space, causing you to run into them

    People who allow their children to run amok in public spaces, assuming that other people will take the trouble to prevent the little imps from flinging themselves into traffic, climbing on everything in sight, pulling things off high shelves that could fall and hit them on their little noggins, etc.

  94. KG says

    I did ask him a while back what he considered “men’s spaces”…science and atheism, perhaps? – PZ

    Well I fairly frequently go into one of these “men’s spaces” during an evening at the pub, but I can’t say I’ve yet found them being encroached on by women.

  95. says

    Mythbri:

    People who manage to block entire aisles with themselves and their shopping cart at the grocery store, peering intently at the calorie count on the can of tinned tomatoes and paying you no mind whatsoever.

    Beat me to it. Also, the people who stop their carts in the middle of aisles to socialize with one another, then give you a dirty look when they haven’t heard your first three “excuse me”‘s and you raise your voice.

    People who allow their children to run amok in public spaces, assuming that other people will take the trouble to prevent the little imps from flinging themselves into traffic, climbing on everything in sight, pulling things off high shelves that could fall and hit them on their little noggins, etc.

    Be careful, you’ll be told that “Children are people toooooo!!!” and that running amok is what they do, and aren’t you just the awful childist there.

    (Seriously. This is not a strawman argument. Google on “Dancing between the tables.” The author thinks that expecting children not to treat restaurants like playgrounds is “child-hate.”)

    Unrelatedly, that post PZ links to is pretty gross, aside from its exhortation of Pinker. Rape is a mating strategy, and “promiscuous” women are at fault for the fathers of their children not sticking around because they picked ‘em wrong. The author needs to read less EP and more sociology.

  96. Brownian says

    People who allow their children to run amok in public spaces, assuming that other people will take the trouble to prevent the little imps from flinging themselves into traffic, climbing on everything in sight, pulling things off high shelves that could fall and hit them on their little noggins, etc.

    Meh. I don’t care about other people’s children. They generally don’t bother me.

    And while fatal or near-fatal injury prevention is an important issue in public health, there appears to be some evidence that children that are prevented from ever injuring themselves tend not to learn the limits of their bodies and become accident-prone adults.

  97. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Be careful, you’ll be told that “Children are people toooooo!!!” and that running amok is what they do, and aren’t you just the awful childist there.

    On some feminist blogs as well.

  98. oolon says

    I feel there are only two options for us right thinking men to protect our life giving seed.
    – Collect all the daily emissions and send them to avoiceformen for safe keeping. Otherwise how can we be sure the evil women are not collecting them for false rape accusations in the future?
    – Alternatively I am tempted to start a business safely disposing of said tissue based receptacles of the holy seed to tax the terminally stupid MRA market.

  99. PatrickG says

    Collect all the daily emissions and send them to avoiceformen for safe keeping

    Now that would be a fun care package to assemble.

  100. mythbri says

    @Miss Daisy

    I’ve been accused of being childist, though not with that specific term. And it’s true – I don’t care for the company of children in general. I like them one-on-one, and I like participating in quiet activities with the ones that I like (reading, doing crafts, etc.). But I suffer from an expectation that if I deal with someone reasonably, they will deal reasonably with me, and kids just aren’t quite there yet (neither, for that matter, are some adults). So I do my part to avoid them when possible.

  101. Brownian says

    Be careful, you’ll be told that “Children are people toooooo!!!” and that running amok is what they do, and aren’t you just the awful childist there.

    I tend toward this kind of attitude somewhat. I was raised by a man that believe “children should be beaten and screamed at, not heard” and so I sort of overcompensate by rarely ever getting irritated by children.

  102. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    There is a slightly more plausible sounding and slightly similar argument in a youtube video by Girlwriteswhat…that casual sex is more risky for men because a woman has the power to terminate the pregnancy (She doesn’t qualify that this is true for now, in some parts of the world, and still at some risk) at will while the man could be beholden to her for child support for 18 years.

    Only if a plausibility particle should spontaneously erupt from the quantum foam and land on YouTube, I guess*. But in all honesty, is it worth considering plausibility at Planck scale?

    *fingers crossed, TfOOt!

  103. says

    <blockquotePeople who allow their children to run amok in public spaces, assuming that other people will take the trouble to prevent the little imps from flinging themselves into traffic, climbing on everything in sight, pulling things off high shelves that could fall and hit them on their little noggins, etc.
    Oh fuck you. Where are you assholes when kids are being restrained needlessly and punished for harmless behavior? Oh yeah, you are enjoying your time at the store or your meal at a restaurant, so who gives a fuck about anyone else. If you actually pay attention you’ll see a lot more kids being treated like shit as to avoid judgment from strangers than actual kids-runing-wild-shennanigans.

  104. says

    @ PatrickG – Thanks

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter, Vile Human Being

    “Unrelatedly, that post PZ links to is pretty gross, aside from its exhortation of Pinker. Rape is a mating strategy, and “promiscuous” women are at fault for the fathers of their children not sticking around because they picked ‘em wrong. The author needs to read less EP and more sociology.”

    I do not feel that’s a fair representation of my post. I’m not justifying rape – but it is a mating strategy, as is any form of having children. As for the promiscuous women, I was saying that they are less likely to stick around to look after a child as there’s no guarantee that it is theirs.

    However, I thank you for the link that led me this http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/20/5/296.abstract and look forward to getting my hands on the full text, as well as the previously mentioned book “Delusions of Gender”. I’m more than happy to have my mind changed in the light of new evidence.

  105. says

    Be careful, you’ll be told that “Children are people toooooo!!!” and that running amok is what they do, and aren’t you just the awful childist there.

    do you really think its reasonable to expect kids to sit still and be quiet all the time, or do you just resent having to share society with inconvenient people?

    You can *try* to prevent kids from ever annoying others, but it doesn’t neccesarily work, and when it does it is usually at an enormous personal cost to the child.

  106. mythbri says

    @skeptifem

    I’m an asshole because I’m annoyed with parents that don’t seem to take responsibility for their children’s safety? So when I see underage children in the front passenger seats of cars not wearing a seatbelt, I shouldn’t get angry? When I see kids bouncing up and down in the backseats of cars (no seatbelts), I shouldn’t get angry? I’m a bad person for getting nervous about children climbing on unstable objects? I’m an asshole for worrying that climbing on shelving might lead to a child’s injury?

    How am I a bad person for looking at that, worrying about their safety, and becoming annoyed with their parents for not noticing the potential danger?

    Just because I don’t like to hang around children doesn’t mean that I want them to be injured, or killed.

  107. says

    DaveSB, calling people, especially women, “promiscuous” is pretty fucking gross in and of itself. Do you ever call men “promiscuous”? No, because your unspoken assumption is “boys will be boys,” but women deserve some level of opprobation for “sleeping around.”

    Brownian, I have trouble concentrating and I am highly sensitive to high-pitched noises — they make me flinch, they make me more liable to anxiety attacks. I can’t relax in (for example) a coffee shop, either to read or to have a conversation, if I anticipate being constantly interrupted by shrieks or squeals. So I don’t go to coffee shops often.

    Children running amok are dangerous not only to themselves but to adults around them. Servers carrying hot drinks and hot food present grave injury risks.

    Skeptifem: Fuck you, too. Yes, if I pay for a meal out at a decent restaurant, I don’t want to have to listen to shrieking and squealing. What a monster that makes me! Truly I can’t expect to relax out on the town occasionally and give a shit about actual child abuse!

    do you really think its reasonable to expect kids to sit still and be quiet all the time, or do you just resent having to share society with inconvenient people?

    What a bullshit strawman. There are places for kids to run around and yell. Restaurants aren’t those places. The “enormous personal cost” to children comes when their doting sires and dams can’t be arsed to civilize them.

    Quite frankly, having gotten some X-rays this morning on my leg while contorting myself into painful positions and having to listen to the little shitling (oh, no, HATE SPEECH!!) in the next X-ray area screech and holler for the sheer joy of it, while his voice bounced off all the hard surfaces in the suite, I really don’t give a flying fuck if Ickle Pweshus’s self-duh-steeeeeem would have been stifled by his mommy actually trying to teach him some fucking consideration for others.

    Between this bullshit, your uncritical faith in the Melissa Farleys of the world, and your alarmism over pit bulls, you’re another example of “skeptic” in a user handle meaning anything but.

  108. says

    @mythbri

    its a question of priorities. I hear the same “kids running wild, my dad would have beat my ass if I acted like that, blah blah blah” shit from people all the time. It strikes me just like republicans who are so upset about welfare fraud but shrug their shoulders when corporations get enormous tax breaks at the expense of social programs. Scamming welfare is unfair. is it really the biggest problem when it comes to examining wealth in the US? no.

    if you were only really genuinely concerned about safety, then I apologize. Most people who rant about inattentive parents are worried about being annoyed and enjoy judging the parenting chops of others.

  109. says

    And, no, Dave, rape isn’t a “mating strategy.” It’s a dominance move. And the EP wankery doesn’t take into account that women impregnated by rapists have always had infanticide or abortion (google “sylphium”) to take care of their unwanted burdens.

    Of course, if EP took women into account as people, instead of receptacles for sperm, that would be a major improvement on its own.

  110. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Where are you assholes when kids are being restrained needlessly and punished for harmless behavior?

    . . . . . anyone else confused?

    do you really think its reasonable to expect kids to sit still and be quiet all the time, or do you just resent having to share society with inconvenient people?

    No one is complaining that the kid’s behavior is the kid’s fault. Everyone was a kid once. We all remember what it was like being somewhere boring where you couldn’t do anything fun.

    I do blame the shit out of the parents though.

    But even that is conditional to the situation. Am I getting pissed off at a lone parent trying to manage several unruly children? No. Am I getting pissed off at parents too busy texting and playing Angry Birds to stop their kid from jumping off something and hurting themselves? Yes.

  111. says

    daisy

    Skeptifem: Fuck you, too. Yes, if I pay for a meal out at a decent restaurant, I don’t want to have to listen to shrieking and squealing. What a monster that makes me!

    I saw a lot of tweets from people during the official support chik-fil-a day that said something similar, about how nice it is to eat in an enviornment where they aren’t bombarded by the tyrany of queers holding hands. Ever met someone with something against intellectually disabled people? I have. They don’t take kindly to their inconveniencing everyone else either. Too fucking bad.

    and your alarmism over pit bulls

    lol, this from someone who dismisses all the research and incidents of deaths/amputations/scalpings because you don’t like the owner of a website about it. All the information on it is cited or linked to original sources, but you ignored that in favor of judging someone for being a dog attack victim. I’ll get right on my “alarmism” when you get on your denialism.

  112. Brownian says

    Brownian, I have trouble concentrating and I am highly sensitive to high-pitched noises — they make me flinch, they make me more liable to anxiety attacks. I can’t relax in (for example) a coffee shop, either to read or to have a conversation, if I anticipate being constantly interrupted by shrieks or squeals. So I don’t go to coffee shops often.

    I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to that. Loud music, television, and scents bother me and trigger my anxiety. I manage my locations as well.

    Between the two of us, it’d be a pretty silent world but for me talking.

    But even that is conditional to the situation. Am I getting pissed off at a lone parent trying to manage several unruly children? No. Am I getting pissed off at parents too busy texting and playing Angry Birds to stop their kid from jumping off something and hurting themselves? Yes

    The latter is not nearly ubiquitous enough to account for the commonality of the ‘damn parents and their noisy kids’ meme.

    Or maybe the places I frequent are just statistically far above average with regards to attentive parents and quiet children.

  113. Jerry says

    Skeptifem,
    You suggest that treating children in public is limited to either letting them run wild and unsupervised OR requiring draconian child abuse to enforce utter silence. As a parent, I don’t accept your limiting the discussion to those two unreasonable terms. You may not believe me, but there is, in the middle, the option to “teach” and “socialize” ones’ child. Please allow me to define those words, since you seem not to be familiar with them. “Teaching” involves allowing / empowering the child to make their own choices, but limiting those choices to those a parent considers both age-appropriate and safe for the child. “Socialization” involves teaching the child the sets of behavior ones’ own society considers appropriate, for example not interrupting adults by waiting for a pause in a conversation versus screaming demands, pointing and asking for objects versus grabbing items off of shelves and throwing them on the ground, and walking around other people instead of running at top speed straight through crowds forcing other people to dodge quickly or get hit by flailing limbs or entire small people (which may hurt both the running child and the person hit). These processes of “teaching” and “socialization” are not considered child abuse and do not cause harm to children. I hope this comment has helped you better understand the discussion.

  114. Brownian says

    It’s only a local Edmonton company, but this place tries to cater to both children and parents who want to get out of the house and socialise over a cuppa.

  115. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Skeptifem—srsly? You think people aren’t entitled to feel annoyed at screaming children in restaurants? That’s BIZARRE. And yes, it is the fault of parents who don’t teach their children when and where running around screaming is appropriate. And no, teaching them that and expecting them to adhere to it in restuarants (in an age-appropriate way) is not mistreatment. It’s called child-rearing.

    I worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years and I watched it get progressively worse. The shit patrons had to put up with would have gotten me (and did, and I only did it once) sent to the car.

    Funny thing—it was almost NEVER European children who acted this way. Only American kids. Amazingly, most of the European kids not only knew how not to scream and throw the salt shaker, but they actually appeared to enjoy comporting themselves in the world and were talkative in an interesting way.

    Generalization? Yep, and very broad brush. But American parenting these days, at least a popular strain of it, seems to consist of doing. . nothing.

  116. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I saw a lot of tweets from people during the official support chik-fil-a day that said something similar, about how nice it is to eat in an enviornment where they aren’t bombarded by the tyrany of queers holding hands.

    Oh fuck you. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

  117. Brownian says

    for example not interrupting adults by waiting for a pause in a conversation versus screaming demands, pointing and asking for objects versus grabbing items off of shelves and throwing them on the ground, and walking around other people instead of running at top speed straight through crowds forcing other people to dodge quickly or get hit by flailing limbs or entire small people (which may hurt both the running child and the person hit).

    Where are you people living that this is happening on such a regular basis?

  118. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    With kids, I guess, YMMV.

    I personally find them less irritating than most other people and just about all dogs. But what can you do? Irritating people (however small) and dogs are just part of life.

  119. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It may be a USAian thing, Brownian. In many places I’ve lived it’s been very common.

  120. says

    illuminata

    . . . . . anyone else confused?

    when kids are yelled at for doing nothing wrong or praised for being “so well behaved” when it comes at the price of a lash no one is eager to rant about it. There is a perception that there is all kinds of permissiveness in society when the norm seems to be harsh punishment, and praise for harsh punishment. The goal is obedience NOW without much talk about what that actually does to kids or how reasonable the expectations are. it is in conflict with the long term goals of many parents to expect immediate compliance (like if you want kids to do things because they understand the reason instead of because they fear you).

    No one is complaining that the kid’s behavior is the kid’s fault. Everyone was a kid once. We all remember what it was like being somewhere boring where you couldn’t do anything fun.

    I do blame the shit out of the parents though.

    how much misbehavior is needed for you to blame their parents? and at what age? do you think everyone is in agreement about that, or are we all assuming that we are talking about the same type and level of behavior? What kind of behavior does an enviornment of harsh social judgment cause in parents? I tend to think that it makes for a society where parents are very afraid of being seen as one of “those” parents and so they are much harsher than is needed. This might make for compliant children (it doesn’t seem to work that well actually), but is that what is best for them?

  121. Brownian says

    Funny thing—it was almost NEVER European children who acted this way. Only American kids. Amazingly, most of the European kids not only knew how not to scream and throw the salt shaker, but they actually appeared to enjoy comporting themselves in the world and were talkative in an interesting way.

    I’ve my doubts that Canucklings are more like European children than American, but maybe it’s the case.

  122. Brownian says

    I personally find them less irritating than most other people and just about all dogs. But what can you do? Irritating people (however small) and dogs are just part of life.

    Don’t get me started on dog owners.

  123. says

    @MsDaisyCutter Given this is the first time we’ve met, please don’t make assumptions about what I do, or do not do. I have called men promiscuous, and sluts in my time. In fact, in my blog post, I the word promiscuous is used three times. Once in a quote from the A Voice For Men article, once in relation to female gorillas, and once in relation to chimpanzees generally.

    It is a shame that you got an “unspoken assumption” from my blog post that “boys will be boys” as this was not intended. I hope that reminding you of this sentence “This of course doesn’t give carte blanche for men or women to cheat on their partners. Whatever the reasons for infidelity are, evolutionary biology is not a good excuse.” might help to demonstrate my sincerity with this.

    Rape is horrible, and shouldn’t be a mating strategy, but babies are conceived through rape, and are born. Therefore it is a way for babies to be had, and for genes to be passed on. This, of course, is not in anyway a justification of rape.

    I think we will both have to agree to disagree over Evo-Psych though – I think that some of it does have some merit.

    As I’ve said elsewhere though, I look forward to reading new evidence that is contrary to my views.

  124. Brownian says

    Hmm, after all this talk about terrible parents and children, maybe the MRAs are right to keep their special semen to themselves.

  125. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’ve my doubts that Canucklings are more like European children than American, but maybe it’s the case.

    Did you think I was referring to Canadians? I wasn’t. That’s why I wrote “European.”

  126. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The latter is not nearly ubiquitous enough to account for the commonality of the ‘damn parents and their noisy kids’ meme.

    I have no idea. I was talking about something I see with some regularity, as a way of explaining why i feel the way i do.

    ++

    I saw a lot of tweets from people during the official support chik-fil-a day that said something similar, about how nice it is to eat in an enviornment where they aren’t bombarded by the tyrany of queers holding hands. Ever met someone with something against intellectually disabled people? I have. They don’t take kindly to their inconveniencing everyone else either. Too fucking bad.

    So, just to be clear, you’re comparing the temporary state of childhood and the inexperience about the world that of course encapsulates . . . . with gay people and the disabled. . . . .?

  127. Louis says

    I can confirm based on my experience of precisely one child that they are all a bunch of total arseholes who basically do little more than shriek, exude substances, have no comprehension that their actions might not be desirable to or without impact on other people.

    Sorry. Did I say child? I meant Men’s Rights Activist.

    It’s so easy to confuse a pampered squawking shit machine with a child.

    Louis

    P.S. In all seriousness I quite like children, but yes, lax parenting in public is a pain in the backside (I can cope now I have a child! I don’t let him behave that way though, ohhhhhh no. I’ve kept the beatings to a minimum though, hooray me ;-) ) and is unsafe in certain circumstances. Perhaps unsurprisingly I have become vastly more aware of it since becoming a parent, and much more tolerant. Well, I’m not sure “tolerant” is the right word. I just never used to notice before, and I’ve always been nice to children as a matter of course. I sympathise with the poor buggers entirely. I guess I just sympathise with the parents more now than I used to. I now start every phone call to my mum with the words “Hi Mum, you know how I was as a child, yeah about that, did I mention how sorry I was…” ;-)

  128. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    when kids are yelled at for doing nothing wrong or praised for being “so well behaved” when it comes at the price of a lash no one is eager to rant about it.

    This is almost parody. Really? Why are you doing this skeptifem? Why do you believe that all children with some social skills get them out of fear for their lives? Why do you think that’s reasonable, and that people here ignore child abuse?

    I literally don’t understand where you’re coming from; it’s like some bizarre switch got flipped.

  129. says

    Oh fuck you. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

    I’m open to hearing some reasons why its kosher to discriminate against children, but not other oppressed people.

  130. CT says

    People who allow their children to run amok in public spaces, assuming that other people will take the trouble to prevent the little imps from flinging themselves into traffic, climbing on everything in sight, pulling things off high shelves that could fall and hit them on their little noggins, etc.

    hm, I just use them for object lessons for my children.

  131. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m open to hearing some reasons why its kosher to discriminate against children, but not other oppressed people.

    No, fuck you. Comparing the annoyance at under-socialized children (you understand that getting along with other people in public is a good, useful skill, right?) to bigoted disgust at seeing gay people hold hands?

    Fuck you very much for the insult. It’s so incredibly stupid.

  132. says

    This is almost parody. Really? Why are you doing this skeptifem? Why do you believe that all children with some social skills get them out of fear for their lives? Why do you think that’s reasonable, and that people here ignore child abuse?

    I literally don’t understand where you’re coming from; it’s like some bizarre switch got flipped.

    You could try reading some contemporary literature about parenting and the popular discourse about it. The majority of it is geared towards gaining unquestioning compliance or control over children for the convenience of adults. Look at the discourse on spanking, if you want a really blatant example.

  133. says

    I must point out that the marketplace disagrees with our MRA here. Just do a search to see how much egg donors make. It’s a lot more than sperm donors.

    And when you make a deposit at the sperm bank, you lose interest.

  134. Louis says

    CT,

    hm, I just use them for object lessons for my children.

    Yup. The Bill Hicks/Charles Darwin inspired parenting method:

    “Wait! Sto…..”

    “No. Let him try it. He’s gonna find out that’s super stupid any tiiiiiiime…..!

    “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH”

    “……now.”

    Louis

  135. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You could try reading some contemporary literature about parenting and the popular discourse about it

    Does your logic lobe just shut off on this topic? Are you ordinarily prone to accusing people of operating with routine and depraved indifference to child abuse? When did it strike you as reasonable to go batshit like that?

  136. says

    145

    No, fuck you. Comparing the annoyance at under-socialized children (you understand that getting along with other people in public is a good, useful skill, right?) to bigoted disgust at seeing gay people hold hands?

    Fuck you very much for the insult. It’s so incredibly stupid.

    You think when people complain that they are only discussing whatever you personally think counts as being “under-socialized”. They aren’t. often they are discussing normal behavior and are annoyed by the lack of traditional parenting (like hitting your kids when they say something that annoys another adult).

  137. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    They aren’t. often they are discussing normal behavior and are annoyed by the lack of traditional parenting (like hitting your kids when they say something that annoys another adult).

    Who here do you believe that of? Why? You literally have no idea how outrageous you are on this topic, do you?

  138. mythbri says

    @skeptifem

    Yes, primarily I’m concerned when parents don’t seem to be considering the safety of their children. But I also have to point out that you seem to be presenting an Either/Or situation:

    EITHER children are allowed to run wild and free, putting themselves in potentially harmful situations and infringing on other people’s space, OR they’re being stifled with abuse.

    You make it seem as though anyone who is potentially annoyed with the behavior of children would be okay with all of them being rounded up and ground into hamburger as long as they were quiet about it. That’s not the case at all. The problem isn’t the kids – kids need to learn how things work in public spaces, they’re not born knowing how to navigate new environments. When I was working in retail and as a server in a restaurant, there were definitely times when children made my job much harder, but I never blamed them for it. I blamed their parents, particularly because there seemed to be a correlation between the parents with the rowdiest children and their horrible tips. :P

  139. says

    Does your logic lobe just shut off on this topic? Are you ordinarily prone to accusing people of operating with routine and depraved indifference to child abuse? When did it strike you as reasonable to go batshit like that?

    1. you ask for a reason why I think people are in favor of harsh punishment towards children (note: if this means depraved indifference towards child abuse depends on your definition of “harsh punishment” and “child abuse”)
    2. I point you towards contemporary parenting literature (in GENERAL), with a specific example
    3. You don’t look into it at all, and accuse me of being totally illogical.

    Ok then.

  140. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    No. Dishonest. Who here, the people you’re talking to and against whom you’ve levelled this accusation, do you believe approve of abusive parenting? Who, and why?

  141. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Stop beating up your strawhorse. I fully acknowledge the existence of hideous parenting advice. I believe you (in fact, you know I never disputed your citations, and I know you know). So stop it.

  142. jojo says

    Brownian

    Where are you people living that this is happening on such a regular basis?

    I live outside Philadelphia, PA and I see this kind of thing occasionally, but it’s certainly not common.

    I’m a parent who has had to carry my tantruming out of restaurants before. When that happens, the polite thing to do is get your food boxed up and leave. Because I’ll tell you, on the rare occasion when my husband and I do get to go out to a nice dinner by ourselves, the last thing I want to hear is someone else’s child using the china as a drum.

    There are appropriate restaurants for young children. If I go to Friendly’s, I expect to have a kid bouncing on the seat behind me. If I got to a nice restaurant with a wine list and cloth napkins, I expect to eat my meal without having to listen to someone’s child. If your child cannot behave appropriately for a certain type of restaurant or coffee house, go through the drive through and find a nice noisy place to go until they mature enough for the more adult spaces.

  143. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    when kids are yelled at for doing nothing wrong or praised for being “so well behaved” when it comes at the price of a lash no one is eager to rant about it

    I understood you’re point, I’m just confused why I (and everyone else who isn’t a fan of children) are “assholes” because of it.

    how much misbehavior is needed for you to blame their parents? and at what age? do you think everyone is in agreement about that, or are we all assuming that we are talking about the same type and level of behavior?

    THAT is entirely subjective. In case a different impression has been made, I’m not pretending that my dislike of annoying children is anything but my own pet peeve. I don’t give the parents dirty looks or say anything snarky. It’s all internal annoyance. Though, I will (and have) move(d) tables in a restaurant to get away from them. On that point, I agree with Daisy. That said, its easy to get around that problem, to varying degrees, by simply not patronizing chain restaurants. Kids want McD’s, not crab cakes.

    What kind of behavior does an enviornment of harsh social judgment cause in parents? I tend to think that it makes for a society where parents are very afraid of being seen as one of “those” parents and so they are much harsher than is needed. This might make for compliant children (it doesn’t seem to work that well actually), but is that what is best for them?

    This is something I’ve always feared to be true, which is why I don’t pull dirty faces or say something nasty.

    Sidebar: the following is about the feminist blogs I mentioned:

    I’m not, however, going to apologize for being annoyed by annoying children. It amazes me how immediately defensive and angry parents get when this topic comes up. It makes me wonder if being child-free is a sort of privilege, as it were, because I don’t understand their reaction. Why do *I* have like *YOUR* kids? Why do you care if I don’t? Why is my saying “I don’t like being around kids” automatically taken as “I hate children and want to rid all public spaces of them”?

  144. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Don’t get me started on dog owners.

    Say what you will about the neighborhood children, but they have never shit in my driveway.

    You literally have no idea how outrageous you are on this topic, do you?

    There’s a lot of outrage going on here regarding something with about as fat a distribution as one can imagine with so many contributing factors that the mind boggles.

  145. Jerry says

    Brownian said:

    Where are you people living that this is happening on such a regular basis?

    In my case, central Maryland, U.S.A. I have seen all of the examples I used, of course not all at the same time. Screaming and or running children in public is the most common (esp. restaurants and libraries, where they stand out). I have seen a child grabbing things off a grocery store shelf and throwing or dropping them on the floor. The parent could not be bothered to stop the child, never mind clean up. For that matter, I have seen adults drop items from shelves and not be bothered to pick them up. (Selfishness expressed in public is ugly, not least for the public space.) The last example came from a county fair, where my elderly mother-in-law (who has an artificial hip) was walking on an uneven unpaved surface. A young teenager ran in front of her so closely that she had to stop abruptly to avoid getting hit, fell down, and broke her wrist. The teenager did not actually hit her, but did nothing to avoid hitting her either, and certainly did not stop to help.

    Did these examples seem so unusual as to be unbelievable? They are not rare, though also not all very common.

  146. CT says

    Josh, trust me, I’ve frequented crunchy mom forums for years, nothing you are hearing is weird or even new. A lot of it is quite old tripe that’s been warmed over in that community for years.

    The majority of it is geared towards gaining unquestioning compliance or control over children for the convenience of adults.

    This is bullshit. I want compliance from the my children for their own safety. Also, letting them know what adult expectations are is important since they will spend a lot longer as an adult than they will as a child. I want my kids to have a good, safe childhood. I also want them to realize that they need to grow up into adults. shock and horror.

  147. says

    mythbri

    Yes, primarily I’m concerned when parents don’t seem to be considering the safety of their children. But I also have to point out that you seem to be presenting an Either/Or situation:

    EITHER children are allowed to run wild and free, putting themselves in potentially harmful situations and infringing on other people’s space, OR they’re being stifled with abuse.

    I didn’t mean to paint it that way, sorry. I was trying to talk about how society prioritized PROBLEMS with parenting. which is why stuff like this:

    *lets my 8 yo take a great big crap on the floor of Chez Dominique Bistro*

    You got a problem with that, Bistro Diners?

    How dare you discriminate against my child. I’m not going to oppress hir just so you can eat in a restaurant comfortably!

    /snark

    is so stupid. Its just that a lot of people are pretending that permisiveness always means taking a shit on the floor on purpose, but if you look at parenting websites and books the problems are rarely like that at all. It is almost always that kids are behaving normally, just inconveniently for adults or parents. Conservative discourse about raising kids is scary shit, and it is absolutely the conventional wisdom passed around everywhere. People value obedience in children to an absurd degree.

  148. CT says

    Louis:

    Yup. The Bill Hicks/Charles Darwin inspired parenting method:

    ah, if you only knew how apt this is to the whole cub/boy scout thing.

    “is he trying to get that stick out of the fire?”

    “yes. we should stop him”

    “well, … let me think…he’s 14, should we have to tell him not to do that?”

  149. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    “crunchy mom forums”

    out of curiosity, what constitutes a “crunchy” mom?

  150. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Illuminata–I agree with what you’ve written. And I don’t think being child-free is a “privilege” in the general sense of the term (exempting unplanned pregnancies, etc.). To the contrary, many people become enormously self-centered and smug when they have children. There’s a very clear sense of feeling entitled to Special Status in Society as a Parent that’s a real turn-off. It’s not universal, but it’s common. It’s understandable that one’s perspective, priorities, and emotional investments change profoundly when one has children. That’s as it should be. But I urge parents to try to check themselves and to not be shocked that their children and family life aren’t as interesting and important to other people. Some seem genuinely shocked at this.

    I say all this as a person who doesn’t particularly like children (I don’t have the patience required which is why I’d make a bad father), but who does very much like and love some children in my life. Lucky for me, my friends’ kids are all super awesome little people. I don’t go around criticizing peoples’ parenting decisions, I don’t snark at them, and I’ll even pinch-hit babysit (gasp). The least parents can do is return the favor:)

  151. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    If your child cannot behave appropriately for a certain type of restaurant or coffee house, go through the drive through and find a nice noisy place to go until they mature enough for the more adult spaces.

    Having one myself, it’s a gamble. She is normally lovely. Really. We like having her around. On rare occasions, however, she flips out, and we just never see it coming–my wife and I can team an exit strategy with the best of them– but still, it takes only seconds to commit an act of rudeness.

    Luckily for everyone, we live in a place where there aren’t any of those kinds of restaraunts. Its pretty much a free-for-all up in here with adults behaving as badly as their pets and kids.

  152. says

    CT

    This is bullshit. I want compliance from the my children for their own safety.

    Everyone does. Some people want it for other things too though. Is this really something that can be argued?

    Also, letting them know what adult expectations are is important since they will spend a lot longer as an adult than they will as a child. I want my kids to have a good, safe childhood. I also want them to realize that they need to grow up into adults. shock and horror.

    I never said anything about failing to let them know what adult expectations are. Ever.

    Maybe you’ve been talking with “crunchy moms” so long that you’ve assumed some things about me?

  153. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    out of curiosity, what constitutes a “crunchy” mom?

    I’ll guess and I bet I’m right:

    Obsessive devotion to organic foods
    Co-sleeping or my kid will die of neglect
    Anti-vax
    “Un-parenting.”
    Anything with the prefix “attachment”
    Not content to breastfeed; can only be satisfied when chiding others for using formula

  154. says

    If your child cannot behave appropriately for a certain type of restaurant or coffee house, go through the drive through and find a nice noisy place to go until they mature enough for the more adult spaces.

    sooo the first time is okay then? Does the first time look different than the 5th to judgmental onlookers? What if it *almost never* happens?

    When I read the quoted portion I read “children shouldn’t be allowed in public”, because you cannot reasonably predict or stop them from being rude or knocking something over or what have you (with exceptions of course, like if a specific child *always* does that then its easy to predict). They are developing and are in a state of constant change. What you can count on one day is completely different the next.

  155. CT says

    skeptifem:

    I never said anything about failing to let them know what adult expectations are. Ever.

    You generally accused anyone who expects their kids to act in a socially correct manner of child abuse and you’re going to sit in judgement again? good on you. your over enthusiastic comments basically said that any effort to socialize children is nothing more than an adult being annoyed and abusive. Maybe ‘socialize’ is too hard for you. That means explaining how society works and why we don’t untie strangers shoes under the table, ie how not to be a child but a grownup. The goal in socialization is safety and maturity. Yes, some grownups get off on power trips but tarring and feathering me and all other parental units as abusive is bullshit.

  156. mythbri says

    @skeptifem

    I’m an ex-Mormon, and I live in a community that is very much predominately Mormon, and you know how Mormons are with the “multiplying and replenishing the earth” thing. There are lots of large families out here, lots of very young children, and therefore lots of young children in public spaces. It’s almost as if the parents take the attitude of “Oh well, I’ve got plenty to spare” when it comes to the behavior of their children, and concerns about their safety in the situations I’ve mentioned.

    One of the really irritating things about this is that people are incredibly dismissive of any concerns I raise, saying that since I don’t like kids in general and don’t have any, then I know absolutely nothing about good parenting. I have no direct experience, no, but I do have five little brothers that I grew up babysitting. I did a LOT of babysitting in my neighborhood as well (as a Mormon girl, you’re pretty much expected to, and there must be something incredibly wrong with you if you don’t like kids).

    Of course I don’t agree with conservative, harsh and abusive “discipline” for kids, but I also think that parents do their kids a great disservice by not teaching them how to interact with people in public spaces, or acceptable boundaries and behavior.

  157. Tethys says

    Hmmm, my children were not allowed to run around in restaurants.
    Teaching table manners is not abuse. Why are you making such a ridiculous argument skeptifem?
    _____

    OP

    Every time I hear the precious sperm argument, my mind immediately goes here. we will drain you of your vital essence

  158. says

    illuminata- you don’t sound like you’re being really judgmental, so sorry if I directed anything mean towards you.

    sorry josh for my comparison earlier.

  159. Jerry says

    Antiochus said:

    On rare occasions, however, she flips out, and we just never see it coming–my wife and I can team an exit strategy with the best of them– but still, it takes only seconds to commit an act of rudeness.

    Antiochus, that isn’t rudeness, because your kid doesn’t know any better. That’s a part of life, and a part of what defines being a child. Your reaction to the meltdown is the very opposite of rudeness, and worthy of thanks. Some parents in my area have not only not stopped the child, they have been offended by being asked to calm their screaming (or running or throwing etc.) children and loudly argued that their child should continue that behavior. Skeptifem sounded like she was in the latter category.
    .
    Skeptifem, your last comment made me think there is miscommunication going on. You initially defined the terms of the conversation as either child abuse or lesse faire parenting, when no one else did so. You ignored my initial comment and barely addressed mythbri and others as well. I, and I don’t think anyone else here, even knows WTF a “crunchy mom” IS, never mind wants to become one. So, you were not understanding the commentary and perhaps not communicating well. Let me reiterate: The discussion was about socializing children so they don’t hurt themselves or others, and grow up into something other than special snowflake narcissists, MRAs, or Republicans, *not* beating them into silent terrorized fearful silence. Get it now?

  160. says

    mythbri

    Of course I don’t agree with conservative, harsh and abusive “discipline” for kids, but I also think that parents do their kids a great disservice by not teaching them how to interact with people in public spaces, or acceptable boundaries and behavior.

    I don’t really see how children misbehaving is in conflict with their being taught not to. Kids misbehave despite any known parenting method that can be used to try and stop them. Saying so doesn’t mean no one should try or that its not important, but it would be cool if people would be less judgmental about parenting because of the practical limits of parenting.

    @174

    Teaching table manners is not abuse. Why are you making such a ridiculous argument skeptifem?

    yeah well, point me to where that was actually said and I will retract my statement, but I don’t recall having said anything of the sort (or thinking it ever).I guess it depends on *how* you teach table manners, doesn’t it?

  161. vaiyt says

    I have a brother who actually thinks like this. Not only this about sex, but that women are evil scheming powermongers responsible for every single bad thing that has happened since the dawn of humanity – wars, famine, genocide – all caused by women and their evil manipulating ways. I mean that literally – every historic horror you can think of, he blames on women.

    Your brother is setting a new benchmark for conspiracy paranoia. It’s like Dave Sim and John Birch had a kid.

  162. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I totally agree with that, Josh. I was reticent to use the word “privilege”, as the Horde understands the word to mean something different than I meant here. I’m not sure what word to use. I just meant that, not being a parent, I don’t understand what motivates some to react so intensely to what is, in my mind, a mild statement.

    As for the smug, entitled parents – oh hells yes, I known a few of those. Known. Past tense.

    I’m a babysitter too. (Especially for my poor cousin who’s currently percolating baby #2, which was an entirely unwelcome and unhappy surprise.) I say I dislike being around kids, but that’s not true. I’m awesome with kids, largely because I am just a big kid. And, frankly, the company of children is sometimes preferable to that of adults. But, that’s definitely NOT the majority of the time.

    ++

    On rare occasions, however, she flips out, and we just never see it coming–my wife and I can team an exit strategy with the best of them– but still, it takes only seconds to commit an act of rudeness.

    That’s not rudeness, though. That’s just a kid being a kid. Us “Don’t Like Kids” people used to BE kids. We understand.

    What would be rudeness is just letting the kid scream, doing nothing, and not giving a fuck about those around you.

    That’s clearly not you, though, so I hope you don’t feel attacked by this line of discussion.

  163. Brownian says

    There are appropriate restaurants for young children. If I go to Friendly’s, I expect to have a kid bouncing on the seat behind me. If I got to a nice restaurant with a wine list and cloth napkins, I expect to eat my meal without having to listen to someone’s child. If your child cannot behave appropriately for a certain type of restaurant or coffee house, go through the drive through and find a nice noisy place to go until they mature enough for the more adult spaces.

    I cannot really disagree with this.

    I should be clear that I’m coming at this not from the perspective of a parent, but as the child of an abusive man who’d go batshit about noisy kids regardless of whether or not it was a child-friendly space. Like, he’d be the asshole at the Chuck ‘E’ Cheese yelling at everyone else’s kids (well, and adults. In short, he didn’t give a shit about anybody else, as long as they drove recognising that he was the uncontested master of the road, and god help the woman who scooped up the last wonton at the buffet just before he got to it.) Managing his mood (something that most victims of abusers are very familiar with) was so ingrained in me that it’s taken years of willful and conscientious work to allow myself to be comfortable with the sounds of children at all. (In fact, I’m still so used to being silent and not heard at home that I have to consciously remind myself to make ‘normal’ noise during sex so that I don’t freak my partner out with silence. But in public spaces like pubs, I’m often one of the louder people there.)

    As my girlfriend and I have been talking about if (and more likely, when) we have a child together, the issue is still somewhat abstract but important to me. I like to think that I’ve broken the cycle of abuse with regards to my personal relationships and I’ve no real fear that I’ll be anything but a loving and supportive father, but I know that I’ll forever be fighting my initial instinct to shut down all potential sources of annoyance that might cause my father to blow up, and he’s now been dead for just over a year.

  164. CT says

    I don’t think anyone else here, even knows WTF a “crunchy mom” IS, never mind wants to become one.

    I am just stunned that no one knows what a crunchy mom is. Maybe they don’t call themselves that any more.. it has been a few years since I hung out online. I am hopelessly out of date probably.

  165. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Brownian – I’m having trouble connecting the dots. Help a clueless git out?

  166. Brownian says

    I am just stunned that no one knows what a crunchy mom is.

    Crunchy or smooth, you’re not allowed to pack the kids’ lunches with one. Too many allergic kids these days.

  167. CT says

    Crunchy or smooth, you’re not allowed to pack the kids’ lunches with one. Too many allergic kids these days

    This is true. But don’t bring that up on a crunchy moms forum unless you have like 36 hours to defend your premise that moms shouldn’t pack peanut butter for their kids to take to school and no the first amendment doesn’t protect your right to send peanut butter to school with your children.

  168. CT says

    You know, this might have been replaced with the whole ‘helicopter’ parent thing. It’s very similar.

  169. says

    They aren’t. often they are discussing normal behavior and are annoyed by the lack of traditional parenting (like hitting your kids when they say something that annoys another adult).

    Who here do you believe that of? Why? You literally have no idea how outrageous you are on this topic, do you?

    I’m surprised, too, Skeptifem. Wow.

  170. Jerry says

    Skeptifem said:

    yeah well, point me to where that was actually said and I will retract my statement, but I don’t recall having said anything of the sort (or thinking it ever).I guess it depends on *how* you teach table manners, doesn’t it?

    You’re not arguing honestly. Your first comment about this topic #117 refutes your denial. All of the comments arguing against you made the same points: socialization is not abuse, and no one even mentioned corporal punishment, never mind argued in favor of it. People used those very words, and you took time to argue with them or ignore them. It’s okay to admit that you misunderstood, and or were too harsh. It’s not okay to say “I didn’t say that” after 60+ comments of saying the very same thing.

    As far as your not ever thinking it, it’s not relevant. If you didn’t type it, then others didn’t receive it. That discussion on skepticism of mind-reading is elsewhere on FTB. :)

  171. Brownian says

    Brownian – I’m having trouble connecting the dots. Help a clueless git out?

    Which? My perspective?

    I’m just saying that I probably overcompensate by willing myself to almost never being annoyed by other people’s children.

  172. mythbri says

    @skeptifem

    I think that reasonable and considerate people, regardless of whether they like kids or have kids, can tell when a kid is having an unpredictable outburst and when a kid is used to roaming in public spaces unchecked.

    The ONLY times I’ve ever talked to strangers about their children is in regards to the safety of those children – never about inappropriate outbursts or general bad behavior (though I get annoyed by the latter). Like the time I spoke to a woman about leaving her child alone in the car while she went into the grocery store. I came out from my own shopping to see a man holding the car door open, talking to the child. As I approached, the man appeared to become nervous and quickly got in his own car to leave. I made note of the car’s appearance and license plate number, and then I sat in my own car, watching the kid, until his mother came out of the store. I told her what had happened, and she shrugged it off and left. I made a police report, just in case. The incident was disturbing to me.

  173. Brownian says

    This is true. But don’t bring that up on a crunchy moms forum unless you have like 36 hours to defend your premise that moms shouldn’t pack peanut butter for their kids to take to school and no the first amendment doesn’t protect your right to send peanut butter to school with your children.

    Can I just mention, as a Canadian, what a goddamn relief it is not to be clubbed with the word ‘amendment’ in every conversation? I don’t know how half of the US hasn’t strangled the other half already.

  174. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m just saying that I probably overcompensate by willing myself to almost never being annoyed by other people’s children.

    Okay, now I get it. Thank you.

  175. CT says

    I don’t know how half of the US hasn’t strangled the other half already.

    why, we’re too busy beating our children so we won’t be annoyed to bother.

  176. says

    Brownian – totally useless anecdata of course but – my grandfather was the son of an abusive man – yet, Grandad was the gentlest and most beloved of fathers (very unusual for his generation, too) and gave me a gentle, intelligent and beloved father in turn. The cycle can be broken and I am sure it has been in you.

  177. Brownian says

    why, we’re too busy beating our children so we won’t be annoyed to bother.

    It does sound like American kids suck. Have you tried freezing them for half the year? That’s how we solve every problem up here.

  178. Brownian says

    Brownian – totally useless anecdata of course but – my grandfather was the son of an abusive man – yet, Grandad was the gentlest and most beloved of fathers (very unusual for his generation, too) and gave me a gentle, intelligent and beloved father in turn. The cycle can be broken and I am sure it has been in you.

    That’s great to hear, niftyatheist. Of course, I am one of the FtBullies, so the apple hasn’t fallen that far.

  179. CT says

    Have you tried freezing them for half the year? That’s how we solve every problem up here.

    We use the parboil method here, 108F with 90% humidity for three months a year. It doesn’t seem to be working very well. Perhaps we should try your method.

  180. Paul says

    It does sound like American kids suck. Have you tried freezing them for half the year? That’s how we solve every problem up here.

    Doesn’t help. One of the worst-behaved kids I’ve ever seen was one of you Canucks down to see Disneyland. Of course, he was from Ontario.

  181. Brownian says

    Doesn’t help. One of the worst-behaved kids I’ve ever seen was one of you Canucks down to see Disneyland. Of course, he was from Ontario.

    It gets pretty hot and humid in Ontario. They go bad if you don’t pack ‘em in silica desiccant.

  182. says

    Skeptifem, your last comment made me think there is miscommunication going on. You initially defined the terms of the conversation as either child abuse or lesse faire parenting, when no one else did so.

    I brought it up because kids being out of control is such a popular complaint to be made, one that seemingly every generation makes about the next, and one that I am personally sick of hearing. I think the priorities are all fucked up when it is easy to have that conversation repeatedly, but ones that prioritize children are not being had. People assume that a conversation about what parents and adults want is exactly the same as one about what children need, actually. This conversation is echoed by schools and parents that demand that schools control children.

    I was also a bit angry because daisy seemed to be ridiculing the idea that children face bigotry in society, when they most certainly do. You can legally hit your kids if you feel like it (in most places, anyway). Who else can you legally hit, just because you want to? They are the least listened to and often have a lot to say. I don’t find it acceptable to speak about children (as a whole) with derision. Its not fucking cool.

    You ignored my initial comment and barely addressed mythbri and others as well.

    i’ve done my best, shit is getting flung at me faster than I can react to it and may have missed specific things, and as I will explain in a moment a lot of it is difficult to respond to because of the ambiguity of terms used.

    I, and I don’t think anyone else here, even knows WTF a “crunchy mom” IS, never mind wants to become one.

    I’ve been reading parenting literature for years, and figured that people with an opinion about it here would have some knowledge of it. It doesn’t seem likely to me because of the way people are throwing around terms such as “properly socialized”, “allowed to”, “teaching manners” etc without explaining what they mean. These are things that are central to having an actual conversation about the role of parents in society and social attitudes about children.

    So, you were not understanding the commentary and perhaps not communicating well. Let me reiterate: The discussion was about socializing children so they don’t hurt themselves or others, and grow up into something other than special snowflake narcissists, MRAs, or Republicans, *not* beating them into silent terrorized fearful silence. Get it now?

    socializing kids means a million different things to a million different people. some of it is abusive shit, like if you think a socialized kid is one that simply obeys orders or always behaves, and any measure to accomplish that end is “socializing” them. That has nothing to do with socializing and everything to do with what adults prefer. I have no idea how anyone here can judge the children of strangers and their level of socialization based on how they decided to behave at the store or what have you.

    People keep harping on physical violence as a harmful way of parenting, but that so isn’t the end of it. I have seen a lot of humiliating or cruel comments aimed at making children compliant. They work in that they stop specific behaviors (usually), but they certainly aren’t good for kids. There are also other forms of punishment which only really teach self-centeredness, but the outward appearance is “good” behavior. The sort of society that focuses only on specific behavior outcomes encourages parents to get their preferred behavior by any means they can come up with, adding voices to the choir of contemporary parenting literature. None of us have any idea how the kids who behave got to be that way, and it is clear that abusive and damaging tactics are used to that end, but I see uncritical praise of the result anyway.

    I am not trying to say that an adult’s preference and what is best for kids is NEVER the same goal, there is obviously some overlap (like safety). You won’t often find anyone even asking the question of how good a goal perfect restaurant behavior is though, will you (meaning how good is it for kids)? I want to know if that is a good goal and what the cost is to accomplish that. It is a completely different way to look at the problem.

    I am now extremely hungry and have a lot of shit to do. I hope this clears some things up for some of you.

  183. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    It does sound like American kids suck.

    Meh. Been all over. The variance within populations is so large that it’s hard to make comparisons. I’ve developed the impression that children who work alongside their parents (rather than go to school) act like mini-adults in a way that many might regard as well-behaved. I’ve seen this most often in Mexico* and southern Africa. It really isn’t something to cheer about when you think about it.
    Kind of a funny story about bad behavior: My wife and I were in S. Africa doing field work, and stopped at a restaurant in a small town for dinner. My wife has a dark complexion (made all the browner by a few weeks in the sun), black hair, etc. and I guess is kind of racially ambiguous. My skin is the color of a very cheap hotdog and I’m blue-eyed. We had gotten plenty of sideways behavior from people in rural parts of S. Afr. in much the same way we do in rural Texas. Anyhoo, this seemed like one of those occasions. We were told that the empty restaurant was fully booked and we would have to eat in the garden. It was a nice night, and we were starving, so we complied. A few minutes after we were seated, a family (with something like 4-5 children) came in and were seated inside**. Midway through our meal, the father brought his two sons (aged, like, four and eight) out into the garden, where the two of them dropped trow and pissed into the fountain not 20 feet from where we were eating.

    *Schooling is compulsory in Mexico, but in many places you still see lots of kids out and about during the school day. I have no idea what the rule is in S.Af.
    **The only other family that arrived in the 2hours that we were there.

  184. says

    arg can’t resist

    I’m surprised, too, Skeptifem. Wow.

    go to the parenting section of a book store. Look at how many books you can find that advocate “traditional discipline”, or getting “tough” or that focus on “control”. dr dobson of focus on the family wrote a best seller about parenting (one for boys, one for girls), if I recall correctly. These books usually wax nostalgic about a time when kids were better behaved than they are now, and tell you how to force kids to behave. The books that don’t advocate spanking advocate other tactics that are often abusive, and never ever question the motivation of parents or if what the parent wants is reasonable/ethical. Virtually none examine research on what happens to kids if you follow the advice, as if it doesn’t exist. Look at parenting advice blogs (that aren’t crunchy)and you will see a lot of the same shit. The message is the same everywhere: kids need force in order to do anything decent.

  185. Brownian says

    *Schooling is compulsory in Mexico, but in many places you still see lots of kids out and about during the school day. I have no idea what the rule is in S.Af.

    The last time I was in Mexico, which was many years ago, like decades, I was told that schools were so overburdened with students that children only attended either morning or afternoon classes. I don’t know about SA, but in East Africa school fees are often a barrier to children attending.

    And I was of course riffing on CT’s riff. (It’s not America’s children that suck.)

  186. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    Where are you people living that this is happening on such a regular basis?

    I work in a national park. A park in which large (420 ton!) objects move and stop slowly. There are tripping hazards galore. There is sharp and sometimes rusty steel. And I am flabbersmocked that we have as few injuries as we do.

    Most children behave appropriately for their age and the location. Most parents have a clue as to what is appropriate for their children while taking into account the personality, as well as any issues, of their child.

    Occasionally, we have children running wild. It is rarely the children of extremely religious parents (Mennonites, people with god shirts and pins (though I have seen children of those parents with black eyes or finger tip bruising on arms or legs (and yes, I have reported — via license plate numbers — these incidents))). It is rarely the children of hippy granola eating treehugger NPS groupies. It is rarely the children of Ron Paul groupies. On the rare occasion that children are out of hand, it is often (but not always) yuppies (or whatever the current term is) doing business deals while on ‘vacation’, families with one child who is held up as a paragon of genius to all who will listen, or cub and boy scouts.

    Oddly, with the scouts, we have found that if we talk to the group as they arrive and explain that they already know how they are to behave and we expect them to live up to the scouting ideal, there is rarely a problem. The worst part is when the parents go off for coffee at the mall and leave the older kids in charge. More than once the leaders have returned to find their troop sitting on benches with a park ranger waiting for the responsible adults.

    And reading what I just wrote makes it sound like I can tell in an instant what kids will and will not create problems which is, of course, bullshit. Children with caregivers who are involved, treat the children as humans, and set expectations and consequences tend to get a lot more out of this national park than the children with unengaged adults who treat them as stereotypes and do not tell the kids the rules until a rules is broken.

    Some children will scream. Fact of life. And, with my son, that was a part of the behaviour that had us seeking professional help when he was in kindergarten — autism spectrum (mild). Sometimes it is the fault of the caregivers and chaperones. Sometimes it isn’t. Wife and I did not go to nice restaurants for over a decade unless the kids were in Maine with my parents over the summer.

    Blaming the children or blaming the parents in all cases is wrong. Sometimes it is the kid. Sometimes it is the parent. Sometimes it is just a bad day.

    Back when I had a functioning blog, I had a commenter, for a while, named Matthew. I posted about the Pearls and their wholesale embrace of child abuse and Matthew chimed in with this:

    My wife and i have found To Train Up A Child a most useful book. Admittedly the Schatzies went to far which shows a misunderstanding of Scripture and the Love of God on there part, but children are willful. They are disobedient. They are connivng. The are manipulative. If it is not nipped in the bud at a young age tehy grow up to become ciriminals or liberals or atheist bloggers

    I have not used the plumbing hose as my Wife told me that ws too much, but a belt, paddle, even a hand will cotrrect the child and put them on the path to obedeince, removing the manipulation and conniving from their person. They learn to not be willful but to obey. In this way when they become adults they will be obedient to God and to our Inspired Laws in America.

    And it got worse.

    So yes, many of us, if not most of us, are aware of the penchant of many in the radical religious right for correction bordering on abuse.

    ===========

    35 minute delay (imagine Jeapardy Theme played 35 times)

    ===========

    I’m back. This comment got delayed a bit because (I kid you not) I had to respond to a first aid call for a little girl who was being chased by her older brother and tripped and fell on concrete and managed to rip up both knees, her hip, one elbow and her chin. Parents were properly concerned but not freaked out. Brother was in trouble and lost his computer time for the next two nights. Nice parents. Normal kids.

  187. Brownian says

    So yes, many of us, if not most of us, are aware of the penchant of many in the radical religious right for correction bordering on abuse.

    Yeah. It’s not confined to the radical religious right.

  188. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    And I was of course riffing on CT’s riff. (It’s not America’s children that suck.)

    Of course. The distributions for parenting are what I find too diffuse to allow easy categorization.

  189. mythbri says

    @skeptifem

    You came out of the gate swinging, and so it’s not so much that shit is being thrown at you than people are reacting to what seemed a disproportionate response on your part. I’m sorry if you’re feeling attacked, but that’s how your original comment was received.

    I haven’t seen anything here that would indicate any of the commentors engaging you believe that children are anything other than small, young people. I wouldn’t do anything to a child that I wouldn’t do to an adult (by which I mean hit them, insult and belittle them, etc.). There are a lot of wrong parenting ideas out there, but I didn’t see anything like that being advocated here.

  190. says

    skeptifem, I hear the passion in your post, but I have to say I think you are way off on this particular sidetrack.

    So, you hear people grouse about misbehaving kids but don’t hear them talking about things that prioritize children? Come on! You hear people grouse all the time about the crummy widget as they bring it back to the complaints department – have you ever heard of a compliments department?

    I found your leap from someone expressing irritation about children behaving inappropriately in an inappropriate setting to – something about the “lash” and abuse and hitting – just baffling.

    I’ve got plenty of experience with children. I know lots of other people who do, too. Most people right here do too. Do you seriously think for one minute that all the people who interact with children – their own and other peoples’ – simply want to oppress children and force them (via “the lash” or abusive treatment) to knuckle under, become silently obedient?

    How is it that a remark about inappropriate and inconsiderate behavior (mainly from parents, IMO) became the spur for accusations like that?

    Parenting is tough. We all know that. Children are vulnerable – we all bloody well know that, too, many here with some awful personal experience – but to jump from those widely acknowledged truths to what seems to be an assertion that children are routinely and wantonly subjected to terrible verbal abuse (if not physical abuse) all to bring about some sort of obedient “good behavior” is just mystifying.

    I guess I just find it offensive that you seem to think you need to defend children from pro-abusive thinking here! WTF?

    I agree with one or two people upthread that children do not belong in fancy restaurants until they are ready to enjoy them – note I did not say “old enough to behave obediently”. An attitude of “children belong everywhere all the time, they are part of society” is, in its own way, as blindly insensitive to how children actually feel as you seem to be accusing other people of being. Children generally do not enjoy the same things that adults enjoy. Their presence at a fancy restaurant is more likely to be due to parental convenience or preference rather than the child’s.

    – I think that unless it is totally unavoidable (ie family traveling and no other options to feed children) then it ought to be avoided. Most children do not enjoy it! And obviously, the other patrons who were looking forward to a quiet dinner out might not enjoy it either. I think most of the time this is a vanity or a laziness on the part of parents. They wish to dine out and they damn well will – with the children who would nearly always prefer to be tucked up in their own cozy beds at night. Parents have to give up some of their earlier freedoms to be good parents – and make arrangements for a good babysitter for the occasional evening out – but many refuse to do that, thus infringing on the right of other people to enjoy an adult evening out.

    Anecdote: I once babysat for a friend whose breastfed infant had just turned 10 months when their anniversary rolled around. She and hubby were scraping by making ends meet (there were two older children too) but he won a dinner for two at work and surprised her for their anniversary. So off they went. At 9:50 they were home – she was in tears, her dress ruined (milk). A couple had decided that a 9:00 reservation at a fancy restaurant was the perfect place to go with their toddler and baby. The screaming was incessant, and once the infant began to cry, my friend’s distress was total.

    It isn’t about forcing children and abusing them. It is about consideration for other people, including the children. That couple’s toddler and infant were not enjoying that fancy restaurant. It was their selfishness that enabled them to force both their own children and everyone else in the restaurant to endure the children’s misery. Meanwhile, my friend and her husband – who desperately needed an evening to feel special and human again and who would not have another chance in a very long time – were completely crushed.

  191. Brownian says

    Bah. Nifty’s riting rule: Never rite just 250 words when you can stretch it to 2500! Apologies.

    Louis has a rule like that.

  192. Tethys says

    No worries niftyatheist, I think your comment clarified the issue very well. Now I don’t have to add another reply to skeptifem and make hir feel more piled on. I was thinking this same thing.

    I guess I just find it offensive that you seem to think you need to defend children from pro-abusive thinking here! WTF?

    I think parents who allow their children to run around in restaurants are at fault, not the child.

    I also have a father who is a sadistic, abusive, asshole.
    I worked very hard to overcome and break the cycle of abuse, so I don’t appreciate being called an abusive asshole for disdaining neglectful parents.

  193. Brownian says

    I also have a father who is a sadistic, abusive, asshole.
    I worked very hard to overcome and break the cycle of abuse, so I don’t appreciate being called an abusive asshole for disdaining neglectful parents.

    Since I brought up abusive fathers, I hope this doesn’t mean that you think I was implying that.

    If so, I’m sorry for the implication, and assure you it was completely unintentional.

  194. mythbri says

    Regarding breaking the cycle of abuse:

    My father’s father was an abuser, of his wife and sons. He tried to kill my grandmother once, and that was the night she left him.

    While of course my father and uncles have had a hard time dealing with the trauma they endured in their childhood, I’m happy to say that none of them have perpetuated the cycle. I’m absolutely certain that I owe that entirely to my grandmother and her second husband, and not to God, as my family believes.

  195. Tethys says

    Brownian

    Not at all. *survivor fistbump*

    The abusive assholes comment was from skeptifem, but the discussion shows that she just misread the intent of the comment she was responding to.

    I try to save all my abusive asshole behavior for the misogyny trolls.

  196. says

    Just look at this thread. Another classic example of how all the Freethooght regulars are a hive mind who all agree with each other about everything.

  197. says

    Just a thought: the word “hypergamy” seems an awful lot of the time to be a smokescreen for some kind of “scientific sexism”.

  198. says

    I’m pretty sure I speak for more than myself when I say men who feel like that are more than welcome to preserve their special essence, for the rest of their lives, and to live only with likeminded men on an island somewhere, so they can ‘go their own way.’

    Unfortunately, since those ebil womenz are in their imaginations, they will still be plagued. What are all these delicate little soldiers ever to do, to avoid the female menace?

    My, I’m just getting the vapors thinking about how troubled their lives must be, how horribly scarred they are by their own imaginations.

    Poor things.

  199. Menyambal --- Sambal's sockpuppet says

    I have a guess as to the underlying problem with the complainers in the original post.

    It is true that a woman could line up ninety men and have a lovely evening, while a man would have to be young and lucky to work his way through nine women, but that isn’t a reproductive issue, as the menz are hinting at.

    Reproductively speaking, a woman would be doing something to have the babies of twenty different men in her life, while a determined man could get thousands of women pregnant, were his life so arranged. And he’d have what many account to be a fine time doing it, while the woman would have spent her life pregnant. No, the MRAs are talking about recreational sex, and are jealous of the women for their multiple orgasms and and their supposed ability to go all night.

    The problem really isn’t sexual jealousy, though, that is only a stage on the way to the real issue. See, the menz can’t imagine getting involved with a woman for anything other than sex, and once in bed with a woman, can’t imagine doing anything other than sex. So what are the poor boys supposed to do between rounds?

    Obviously the woman is only there for sex, or so the guys think, and she is impatiently waiting for him to get back to business. He, of course, is only there for sex, and he is impatiently waiting for his penis to get back to business. But he’s expressed his valuable fluids, and needs some time to recover, poor boy.

    So what the fuck is he supposed to do for the next twenty-to-forty minutes? Talk? Cuddle? Get acquainted? Ask her name? Apologize? Feel shame? Do a blow-by-blow critique? Ask her what she would like to do?

    If he was a woman, see, he could keep going. Or something. Or know what to do. Or something.

    So there’s my thesis: These guys are angry at the body flaw that keeps them from being raving pigs, and they’ve worked out a way to feel sorry for themselves about it, while ignoring the behavior flaws that keep them from being human.

  200. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Brownian: I’m the son of an abusive father too. My child turned five a few days ago. I put off having children, sabotaged relationships to avoid it even, because I feared that cycle of abuse. That fear made the already steep learning curve of a first time parent precipician with self-doubt and constant second guessing. But it got easier, and slowly with time I’ve come to realise that having a child is not some magic trigger that will unleash a genetic beast within that I’ve inherited from my father. FWIW I think that if you choose to become a father you’ll be a fine one based on the admittedly incomplete evidence of reading your comments here.

    And to be on-topic for a change: The level of othering of women that MRA and PUA’s indulge in terrifies me. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from someone who ends up running extermination camps.

  201. stewartt1982 says

    @219:
    Do you disagree with the criticism of the post being discussed here? If so maybe you could give should me reasons for why the criticisms are invalid (at least partially).

    If you look closely there are a number of disagreements in the comments here, just not on the main thrust of PZs post (which seems to agree that the post about the poor man energy being used up is rather silly).

  202. says

    Last night the boyfriend and I went out to dinner at a nice Vietnamese restaurant we like. At the table behind us was a couple with their baby, probably about 6 months old or so (I’m not terribly good at estimating the age of babies, it was small, bald and couldn’t walk or talk yet). The baby spent most of dinner bawling. I don’t blame the baby, that’s the only way they can communicate, I do however blame the parents who thought it was an appropriate place to bring their baby.

    I like kids, I don’t expect perfect behavior out of them in public. They just aren’t mentally and emotionally equipped for it yet, that’s why it’s up to their parents to make good judgements because they can’t yet. I have a lot of patience for parents trying to calm a child in a grocery store who’s having a bad day, I have no patience for the parent who ignores that their child is running amok or takes them to a place which is inappropriate for their age, like babies in nice restaurants and toddlers running around unsupervised at a waterpark (that one truly horrified me considering how many kids that age drown).

  203. says

    I am late to the thread (as usual), DWC (Drinking While Commenting, as usual), and my content is pretty tangental (as usual).

    Josh, Official SpokesGay #166,

    There’s a very clear sense of feeling entitled to Special Status in Society as a Parent that’s a real turn-off.

    This made me think of some judge show or another that was on in the background while I was catching up on Cracked.com other day. The plaintiff, I think, mentioned that he and his wife had just had a baby. The crowd applauded heartily and the judge gave congratulations.

    I started talking to myself, as I am wont to do, asking, “why are they applauding? 7 billion people on the earth or so, and every single one of them was born of a human. Don’t most people have babies? Isn’t it something like 80% of people? And this guy didn’t even have to carry or birth the baby. How is this clap-worthy??”

    Then I thought about anyone watching who might really want to have a child and is unable. How that might feel to see people cheering the accomplishment.

    That got me down so I turned my attention back to Cracked.com to continue to escape from the world.

    I don’t really have a point here other than yeah, I find the whole being a Parent is Special thing to be odd.

    And maybe that I’m pretty fucking weird and probably should get out more.

  204. says

    And to be on-topic for a change: The level of othering of women that MRA and PUA’s indulge in terrifies me. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to hear from someone who ends up running extermination camps.

    Indeed. There were some commenters at Manboobz.com who seemed to sincerely believe that women are collectively plotting some sort of genocide against men.

  205. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    With each act of sex a male ejaculates semen into the female.

    Wait, I’ve really been sleeping with women all this time? I wonder how I was unable to tell the difference.

  206. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    timgueguen:

    The “sperm are precious” argument seems like a throwback to the pre-scientific era, and religious arguments against masturbation.

    [emphasis mine]
    In my head, I heard Gollum’s voice saying that.

    ****
    Illuminata:

    Let me be more clear: If I’m going to let someone into the muffin shop, he better know you to knead my buns!

    Not much better.
    Everyone knows kneading goes on in the queue, and that’s guys only (because women never have OUT-door sex)

    ****

    PZ:

    Damn, but I’ll be glad when cannibalism week is over.

    Imagine if the Discovery Channel did a Cannibalism Week, with shows of the same quality as Mermaids…

    ****

    mythbri:

    While you’re at it, if you could please add to your list:

    I’d like to add one as well: Groups of people standing in walkways at busy restaurants or bars, who don’t move even when servers say ‘excuse me, coming through with a huge tray of food’ (or drinks).

    ****
    Brownian:

    Or maybe the places I frequent are just statistically far above average with regards to attentive parents and quiet children.

    Have you ever worked in a restaurant?
    I’ve *only* worked in them, and I’ve seen (more times than I can count) kids running roughshod over the place. I’ve watched kids nearly run into servers carrying drinks or food. Restaurants aren’t a good place for children to play at and many parents are oblivious to what their children are doing (I’m not saying that all children play in restaurants or that no parent watches their child; only that both occur quite often).
    There’s also the children who are loud and/or crying and disrupt the dining experience for others.
    I don’t believe restaurants should ban children. Rather, I wish more parents would keep a tighter reign on their children in restaurants.

  207. bastionofsass says

    My goodness! Men who have such precious sperm should obviously keep them to themselves and not let them go anywhere.

  208. Doug Hudson says

    I used to get annoyed when a baby was crying in a restaurant, or kids were shouting on the bus, or what not. But then, one day, I realized that I was being unfair. They are kids! Being loud and rowdy is what kids do best! And expecting kids to model “proper” behavior is just unreasonable. It takes time to learn social customs, and the best way to learn them is by being exposed to society.

    If I am around kids that are playing around, I take a moment to appreciate their exuberant enthusiasm. If I am around kids who are upset, I take a moment to appreciate how kids have fewer coping mechanisms than adults. Either way, I find it much more difficult these days to get annoyed by children, because I take a moment to put myself in their position.

    I’m not suggesting that this approach would work for everyone, I just submit it as a possible approach that worked for me.