sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

February 16, 2014

We Are a Part of That Statistic

Filed under: relationships — edge of the sandbox @ 7:09 pm

What is this world coming to?  According to a Pew survey, 21% Of married women in this country are now living with a spouse with fewer degrees, but out of newlywed women married to less credentialed men, only 39% out-earn their husbands.

Pew never called me, but I know the story.  I started dating my future husband when I was in grad school.  He already had his degree… from SF State… in creative writing.  Laugh all you want.

Furthermore, I was advised to not waste my time with him because, when asked “what do you do?” my future husband answered “I play music”.  But you see, I very much like his creative side, and never for a moment thought he was a waste of time.  I saw intelligence, I saw character and I saw the genes with which to make cute kids.

Degrees don’t mean much these days, and good man can be found in places other than colleges.  Then there is this opinion about marrying a man you didn’t meet in college:

Could you marry a man who isn’t your intellectual or professional equal? Sure. But the likelihood is that it will be frustrating to be with someone who just can’t keep up with you or your friends. When the conversation turns to Jean Cocteau or Henrik Ibsen, the Bayeux Tapestry or Noam Chomsky, you won’t find that glazed look that comes over his face at all appealing. (Via Instapundit)

I had to look up Bayeux Tapestry.  Then again, I wasn’t raised in the English-speaking world.  I’m not sure too many undergads read Chomsky (grad students might scan it, if absolutely necessary).  Jean Cocteau or Henrik Ibsen: are you kidding me?  Much of the workload these days consists of Rococo Marxist takes on pop culture.  I realize the author, Susan Patton, was probably just trying to dress up her point, not comment on the substance of college kids’ conversation, and I am on record saying that the college years are a good time to look for a husband.

Over at Instapundit some readers commented that the statistic of women marrying down education-wise but not financially probably picks up men with engineering degrees who only need a BS to be a top income earner.  Back in 1990’s San Francisco when the economy was good, one didn’t need a degree to break into programming, and that’s just what my husband did.  I’d like to think that I don’t need to see a diploma to figure out that I’m talking to a brainy man.


September 10, 2013


Filed under: feminism, relationships, society — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:42 pm

…what were you thinking?  Consider the following scenario:

THE end of a marriage is always sad, but divorce can be particularly devastating for a woman who still wants children but whose fertility is on the decline. Her ex may have many years left to start a new family of his own, but by the time she meets a new partner, it may be too late.


Could egg freezing help her save the last of her fertility?

That’s the hope of a 38-year-old woman who is a client of Ronald G. Lieberman, a family law attorney in Haddonfield, N.J. Mr. Lieberman is asking his client’s soon-to-be-former husband of eight years to pay $20,000 to cover her egg-freezing procedure, medication costs and several years of egg storage. “When they got married, the expectation was they would start a family,” he told me. “Now she might not have the chance much longer.” [Via Instapundit].

No word on whether her ex hooked up with a younger woman and started a family of his own.

But seriously, this woman tied the knot at 30, the age when she should be keenly aware of her fertility, and didn’t get to start a family until her marriage fell apart nearly decade later.  She can ask for all egg alimony she wants, but what good does it do if she can’t conceive a child?

She might had been a die-hard DINK — until she wasn’t — but more likely her husband got her to postpone motherhood indefinitely, and with an assist from feminists: “Yes, honey, there is so much to do, your career, travel!  Not this year.”  A-ha.  What she didn’t take into account is that 38 might be the end of the line for her, but he still feels* virile at 40, and that even though he said his vows, he had problems committing, e.g. making babies.  In a late marriage like that after a year or two it’s decision time.

Being very clear from the get-go doesn’t hurt, of course.  The “deciding together is we want children” attitude is confusing because acillating sends a signal that he doesn’t need to worry about fatherhood in the near future and possibly not ever.

An important thing to realize is that the women who don’t warn us that most will not eventually regret not having children don’t have our backs.  Most women who are childless by choice might enjoy being carefree when we are chasing tots, but they will feel very different about their choices at the end.  So be skeptical of women telling us that children are optional; they have political agendas and like to exert power over our bodies.  The fact that they can’t stop talking of bodies and power should be a hint.


* And possibly not aware of neurological problems of children conceived to older dads.

December 11, 2012

Methinks Berkeley Students Have No Problem Procuring Cheap Contraception

Filed under: education, politics, relationships — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 10:27 am

I read The Daily Cal’s Sex on Tuesday column as an undergrad, and thought it was something of note.  When I came back on campus a few years later and attempted to read the same column, now written by a different girl (if there was ever a Sex on Tuesday boy, I missed it) and quickly concluded that a 20-year-old has no business writing sex advice.  Via College Insurrection I found that a girl by the name of Nadia Cho, now in custody of Sex on Tuesday, made a quite a splash proclaiming:

[H]aving sex on campus is actually very doable, and it’s lots of fun. It’s also surprisingly easy.

Note to the copy editor: “doable” connotes relative ease.  To avoid redundancy, strike out the last sentence.  Besides, even if we take our self-described “mischievous” author for her own word, sex on campus is not that easy.  She chose the evening before Thanksgiving when the campus is “marvelously empty” for her adventure, but try doing it the day before the first final when everyone and his mother is at The Stacks studying.  Plus, she makes it pretty clear that neither she nor her unfortunate male partner actually had an orgasm.  “I’m just not ambitious” — she explained.  I dono… What she does with her body in the privacy of whatever is really none of my business, but I like my newspaper correspondents thorough and ambitious.

To be sure, Ms. Cho has the theory to back her no-orgasm sex practice:

[S]ex isn’t always about cumming and having orgasms. Sometimes it’s for shits and giggles. Having expectations and goals can ruin the fun of it.

She has lots of theory.  For instance, she authoritatively states:

The risk of getting caught is what makes having sex in public so exciting. Without that, there wouldn’t be any novelty in doing it. It’s fun to challenge yourself to not make any noise while having sex.

Nadia Cho folds her hands

Nadia devoted several paragraphs to encouraging her fellow students to make out in public places.  Among her pearls:

Other than providing fun places to get down, Berkeley is the best place to explore your sexuality.

That sentence is a fine example of Berkeley undergrad writing.  Presumably “the best place to explore your sexuality” is “fun […] to get down”.  Rewrite and shorten.  The problem with undergraduates is that they get accustomed to getting paid by the word, so to say.  In every humanities class, they absolutely have to stretch their pearls to make up 8 pages, which prevents them from developing an ability to write as they think.  I shouldn’t pick on the columnist too much, I doubt I was any better when I was her age — although I wish I had more instruction.Ms. Cho continues:

Our school is a predominantly safe and accepting space with many places, people and resources to help you discover your sexual self.

“[P]redominantly safe”?  As far as I can tell, “predominantly safe” means keep on the look out for creeps — as any woman should, anywhere. But then there is this:

It is the place where I learned what it means to be queer, to recognize the presence of patriarchy, to attempt polyamory and to become more confident in my sexuality so I could go ahead with new experiences — attending naked parties and orgies and writing a sex column, just to name a few.

Ah, the patriarchy!  So that’s why Berkeley is not “safe” but merely “predominantly safe”, because there might be a patriarch roaming around somewhere.

Speaking of naked parties, are Nadia’s parents reading her world-famous column?  Well, doh!  Of course!  Considering that the girl is in no hurry to get home the day before Thanksgiving, the point of this writing exercise is most likely to get her bill-paying (Korean?  Patriarchal?) father know who’s the boss.  I don’t suppose the column will hurt her employment chances, not in the Bay Area, where patriarchy no longer prevents us women from enjoying our sexuality, but does she really want every romantic interest from this day forward googling her name?  And if she gets around to having a family, she has to presume that her kids will find out.  I have some decade-old silliness attached to my name floating online, nothing of sex on campus caliber, to be sure, but enough to dread the day when my kids will enter my name into a search engine.

Ms. Cho concludes her story:

Learn to appreciate your sexy side and experience a few frisky things during your time here. Take the Female Sexuality DeCal […]

That, my friends, is the difference between a Sex on Tuesday columnist and her audience: Female Sexuality DeCal.  Whatever it takes to have their pretty little brains occupied.

UPDATE: Linked by Doug Ross.  Thanks!

September 25, 2012

Bad Girls on Oxytocin

Filed under: feminism, relationships — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:18 am

In a series of Freudian slips President Obama let us know that in his view our allies are “noise” and the murdered American ambassador is “bump in the road”.  Elizabeth Warren looks more and more like a compulsive liar.  And I’m going to write about relationships.

“Why didn’t we tell them?” asks Leslie Loftis.  A young woman who had the brains to be admitted into Princeton confesses:

During the second semester of my freshman year, two of my closest female friends and I created an “Accomplishment Chart,” complete with a star for each “accomplishment” we had achieved. One of those friends had been dating a freshman boy since September and she had only one star. My other friend and I would taunt her ruthlessly for her lack of “accomplishments.” We, on the other hand, were plenty accomplished. Whenever I looked at the star stickers adorning my section of the chart, I would always laugh out loud, remembering the awful, drunken hookup that each star symbolized. There were many nights, though, when I couldn’t sleep from cringing at those memories. But I wouldn’t take those experiences back. Without them, I would have never realized how much I hate the hookup culture here.

It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I finally started regarding my freshman hookups as mistakes. This was partially because I had a hard time admitting that I had messed up. For me, to regret a decision was on par with saying “I screwed up big time,” which I could barely admit to myself, let alone a peer. And the desire to seem like I already knew it all, despite never having lived on my own before, kept me from asking questions when I first got to Princeton. But even if I had, there were elements of the hookup culture I would have never been able to anticipate, let alone seek advice about.

I have to say, if after a year of bad sex this young lady figured that hook up culture sicks, she got out easy.  She could have picked up a disease or seriously screwed up her life.  But here is Temple of Mut with an excellent essay on why women are casualties of casual sex.  It has nothing to do with culture or feminism, it’s hormonal:

During millions of years of human evolution, the female system has been designed to begin a cascade of oxytocin production during two specific events: 1) When being intimate with a male; 2) When breast-feeding an infant. On the other hand, human males have very limited oxytocin levels (and actually release some of the little oxytocin they produce when “involved” with the woman of the moment).

Now, oxytocin is a wonderful thing. It energizes people, and makes them feel good about life. It enhances the immune system, as well as boosts other biochemical processes in the human body. Personally, after strawberry margaritas, oxytocin is my favorite chemical (and I have a graduate degree in chemistry, so I know chemicals).

However, as with everything else pleasurable in life, there can be a bit of a downside. Once a woman generates oxytocin, she will usually want to do everything in her power to keep up the production levels. For example, there are tales of women who nurse their babies past toddler-hood (until 3, 4 or 5 years in age). This is related to the fact these women want to continue releasing oxytocin (even though they will have other rationalizations).

The same thing is true following intimate relations. Oxytocin production can be stimulated in a woman through her lover’s voice, scent, sight and touch. This fact explains a wide range of female behaviors that follow intimacy. For example, women will call up their new partner frequently. They will steal their lover’s shirts to enjoy the scent. They will invent excuses to see the man-of-the moment. And the more oxytocin these women generate when with their lovers (or by talking to them), the more emotionally attached they get.

As they say, read the whole thing.  As a pop number from decades ago had it, you might like him better if you sleep together.  What Romeo Void didn’t warn us about is that you might like him too much:

Many feminists egg on young women to engage in no-strings-attached sex like certain men, but historically that’s not how women are “bad”.  As Mut explained, women don’t have much to gain from sleeping around.  The way women “have” men is by not sleeping with them, by making men lust after themselves, but not giving up sex.  A not-so-secret admirer is a fabulous ego-booster, and in certain circles one-sided friendships of this nature are quite common.

Granted, having a page is not an “accomplishment” that a young lady will decorate with a star on a chart — that would be gosh.  She has to be content with gossip that recognizes her as the girl who broke somebody’s little heart.  Even then, being a tease is rather dead-endinsh — but so is being a Cosanova.  However, getting a man interested and keeping him interested through decades of relationship does require some female talents.

I’ll be back shortly with a post about identity.

UPDATE: Linked by Legal Insurrection — many thanks to Professor Jacobson.

July 21, 2012

You Didn’t Build This, So We Are Going to Take It Away

On the other hand, you did write it, so I am going to link.

It’s napless madness around here.  If there is no child sitting on my lap at any given moment, it means that within five minutes there will be.  So basically I don’t really have a chance to read and comment, much less to post.  So I compiled a partial list of my reads… from the last several weeks.  I have a feeling half of my readers are probably looking at this and think that they wish they’d have my problems.  Consider one other mothers’ ordeal.

In sunny California, Governor Jerry Brown staged groundbreaking ceremonies for the speed train in SF and LA, where the train is popular with head-in-the-clouds types.  But not in the San Joaquin Valley where construction is actually going to take place but the project is unpopular.  I was listening to Armstrong and Getty this morning, and they were saying that although at the moment the Governor Brown proposal to raise taxes enjoys support of about 50% of Californians, 20% say that they will not vote for it if the bullet train is approved.  So hopefully Brown just killed his tax hike.

Elsewhere in California Sobek of Innocent Bystanders strongly recommends voting for Republican Elizabeth Emken for Senator.  He posted her picture, too.  Her opponent the Democratic  Senior Senator from California Diane Feinstein is endorsed by San Diego tea Party.  WHAT?  Let Leslie from Temple of Mut explain:

An important note to my Republican/Conservative friends — when the “Big Red Wave of 2010″ stopped at the Sierras and the state GOP failed to eject the contemptible Babs Boxer, then how in the hell do you think they are going to get rid of the much more respected Feinstein? As a friend, I say this to you: Direct your money and energies to battleground Senate races (e.g., Richard Mourdock in Indiana). This in not a battle worth fighting, given the field that is being offered.

Considering that it’s California, we can do much, much worse than Feinstein.  Since this unlikely endorsement, Feinstein was heard fuming over the leaks of classified information likely coming from the Obama Administration.  Not bad.  Even if she’s replaced by a Republican, I’d fear that the next election the Republican will be voted out and replaced by a doctrinaire left-winger.  Having sad that, because there is no chance Feinstein will not be elected, I’m voting for the GOP candidate.  I’m not going to go out of my way to get her elected, though.  A good place to go out of my way is Operation Counterweight.  Lets target those seats!

If a dead dog doesn’t get to vote, it’s racism because the dog is a black lab.  (Via The Daley Gator).

Lori Gottleib and Kate Bolick are missing out on the coolest party in Brooklyn.

Leslie Loftis compares marital advise then and now.

James O’Keefe shows that everything we suspect about the politics of “shovel-ready” jobs is true.  I suspect our President thinks that’s the kind of “shovel-ready” jobs that made hard-working people successful.

A related headline: You Didn’t Lose Your Job.  Somebody Else Made It Happen.

Anne’s Opinions is commemorating the Israeli victims of Bulgaria bus bombing.

A blood-curling video via Bob:

Via Instapundit, Suburban Illinois Jews are turning to GOP.  It’s about time.  I never understood why community as entrepreneurial as the American Jews embraced socialism.  I mean, I know the story about the pogroms, and the FDR fighting World War Two and all, but I still don’t get it.

King Shamus reviewed The Obama Effect.

Manhattan Infidel updates his Kennedy Malfeasance Template.

Linda NoOne is still not blogging in full force, but she did post some amazingly bad cover songs.

On Structuring Chaos I found a link to a terrific piece on the boomer generation by Nick Gillespie.  I thought of writing a response, and maybe I will if time allows.  Meanwhile, read it!

March 2, 2012

It Official: Rush Limbaugh Is My Favorite Feminist

Filed under: feminism, politics, relationships, society — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:30 pm

This one is also for Andrew Breitbart

I am sure my readers have been following the trials and tribulations of a middle age (well, she’s 30, which historically was considered middle age) woman who goes by the last name of Fluke. Ms. Fluke is a student at one of the nation’s top law schools who made a claim that law co-eds forgo contraception because they are not able to cover the cost.  I say it’s bogus.  Judging by the fact that college students are pretty good at avoiding pregnancies, contraception can not possibly be such a pressing issue.  In fact, women with advanced degrees became so good at postponing childbearing, we often require medical help once we feel that we are finally ready to become mothers.

Of course, some law students do start families while in school.  A former co-worker went to Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  There, she joked, everyone was pregnant.  Even one man was pregnant.  What she meant to say, is that religious Jewish women who eschewed birth control went to Yeshiva.  What she also meant to say, is that secular women start pushing out babies later, and to plan our lives this way is easy.  In certain circles getting pregnant while in school equals undue burden, and law students being pot-committed simply don’t go there.

Today Rush Limbaugh said the following about Ms. Fluke’s demands of “free” birth control:

I wouldn’t deny her her birth control pills.  That’s not what this is about. This isn’t about birth control pills, anyway, folks.  This isn’t about contraception anyway.  This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you’re a woman.  This is about the Democrat Party wanting more and more control over you.  What was early feminism all about?  Emancipation, individuality, freedom, liberation, all of these things. Now here comes Danica Patrick out and she says, “I’m perfectly comfortable letting the government make my health decisions for me.”  Well, folks, I’m gonna tell you: Right there, that’s the death and the end of feminism.

As they say, dItto.  Do we really need a man to remind us what feminism is?  Feminism is about women behaving like grown ups, about being able to take care of ourselves.  We women are perfectly capable of surviving outside the protective custody of our fathers and husbands.

Sex is for adults.  People unable to take care of the consequences of sexual activity — provide for an offspring or figure out how to avoid pregnancy, for instance — might as well move into their parents’ basement.  Ms. Fluke should have her daddy chaperon her to Georgetown.  Except that now that the government plays the daddy, no biological father in his right mind will do it.

I’m not saying that fathers need to escort their middle age daughters, quite to the contrary.  Because I want to keep our freedom, I realize that we need to fight against the likes of Sandra Fluke.  I’m not about to surrender the control of my reproduction faculties to the federal government.  In the great majority of cases contraception is not a health issue, this is a lifestyle issue, and I’m opposed to giving up my personal choices to a faceless bureaucrat, male or female.

Actually, Christina Hoff Sommers is my favorite feminist.

August 19, 2011

Penelope Trunk’s Blueprint

Filed under: relationships, society — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 12:19 pm

There is a lot to comment on in Penelope Trunk’s Blueprint for a Woman’s Life (via Instapundit).  Here’s what she says about marriage:

If you want to have kids, you should aim to be done by the time you are 35, when your eggs start going bad fast. This means you need to get started when you are 30, which means you need to get the guy you want to have kids with by the time you’re 28. People who marry too early are very likely to get divorced. But by age 25, you are safe from those statistical trends. So why not marry early? In any case, start looking very seriously for a husband by the time you are 24. Here is a blog post that summarizes this argument and links to the research to back it up.

The only thing shocking about this paragraph is that 24 is an “early” start.  When I was growing up in the Soviet Union, the popular wisdom was that a woman has to be done having kids by the time she turns 25.  In the 80s, college students were making their trip to ZAGS before receiving their diplomas.  Now Russians are also delaying childbirth.  I recently tracked down my former classmates.  Family planing-wise women my age fall into three groups:  First, there are the ones who followed the 80s path, got married and had children in early twenties.  Then there are the ones like me, who married and had children late.  The third group is comprised chiefly of those who moved to Israel,  married and had children early, but given how in Israel everyone is baby-happy, by the time their children were bni mitzvah, they observed plenty of women braving advance maternal age to have #6 or #7, and went for more.  Who knew Russian women were capable of bearing three or even four children?

Initially I planned on getting married early, only it didn’t work out that way.  Maybe I was looking for the right guy in all the wrong places, and, actually, I was about to give up on the whole arty hubby idea when I found DH.  It’s good that I gave myself plenty of extra time, then.  I don’t think starting to look at 24 is “early”.  I don’t think 18 is early.  Or even 15.  Mind you, a girl doesn’t need to sleep with her dates to be looking a for a future husband.  And if a girl is going to date, she might as well date the kind of men she can see herself marrying.

While it’s true that early marriage is correlated to divorce, correlation is not causation.  Certainly older people are less attractive to the opposite sex, but being unattractive didn’t stop many millions from having affairs.  Being older and wiser is a factor too, but then there is Newt Gingrich.

Two generations ago, people married early and didn’t get divorced.  It might just be that the demographic averse to divorces is the demographic that spends its early twenties establishing themselves and thus delays marriage.  Marrying within that crowd, even if the bride is 21, will probably not increase her chances of divorce.  Staying together while going to school and starting a career can be a challenge, but nothing is impossible for people in love.

The Generation X blueprint was “I’m going to wait until my late 30s-early 40s to have children because it’s, like, totally possible.  Like, my great aunt did it.”  I’m not saying it never works out, but my 39-year old neighbor conceived via IVF after three years of trying.  DH reminds me that for Bay Area the overall Generation X the blueprint is to wait for the inheritance.  Many an overpriced house was purchased with late great grandpa’s money.

I noticed that late motherhood ages women.  “Are you pregnant?” is often an uncomfortable question to ask a woman in early stages of pregnancy.  The uncomfortable question on the playground is “Are you a grandma?”  I asked it one time too many… actually just one time, I learned quick.  I was convinced that I’m talking to a grandmother.  Her kids were a little older than mine, and she had them in late 30s-early 40s, with difficulties and without much break in-between.  Pregnancy pounds are hard to shed, especially for older moms, and especially when they have children in quick secession.  Younger moms have an easier time keeping up with babies and toddlers.  They get tired, for sure, but they don’t seem to age so much.  If a younger mom lets herself go, she can put herself together and still look hot.  If a 40 year-old mom lets herself go, she’ll find a middle age woman in the mirror.  That woman I met on the playground was not 10 years older than me, but she looked like she was a different generation altogether.

Women who marry and have children early will sure miss out on some of these coveted Sex in the City experiences, but they will have some extra time to have an extra kid or two, as some of my classmates did.  They will enter the empty-ester stage quicker,  which will leave them with more time at the tail end of the careers, and more time to spend with their husbands while they are still relatively young.  Say, a woman who had one child at 24 and another at 26, will be 44 when the youngest goes to college.  She’ll be heading out to opera or the Wine Country with her still hot hubby when other women in her age group will be attending PTA meetings.  Something to consider.

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