Re: Guest Post - Carry the News

1

It looks like they must have missed some words, since only one of the words even rates a mention in the entire midatlantic/northeast, which is a huge portion of the population.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:13 AM
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This seems ridiculous to me and I think they're lying about vocative use on twitter as opposed to other uses, though maybe not and I'm just being paranoid. "Fella" is supposedly very common here but I've never heard anyone white or black say it and you can't convince me it's all the local Latinos on twitter doing it. "Buddy" is almost exclusively what people say to their kids now, right? I say vocative "dude" a lot ironically, sort of like calling straight guys "giiiiirl," but not as gendered.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:17 AM
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When I hear "pal" or "buddy" - here in Minnesota! - I usually hear them in the context of "listen, pal" rather than "yeah, my pals and I are going to the game". "Fella" appears occasionally as "a lot of fellas would have used an oven mitt to take out the pizza" or "a lot of fellas would have eaten breakfast since they knew that lunch would be very late".


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:38 AM
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"Fellow" doesn't seem all that dudish to me. Tim's cousin announced a couple of weeks ago that she's pregnant. Her somewhat shell-shocked mother said, "She's been dating this fellow for about a year..."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:50 AM
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In a similar vein; "Why Brands Tweet 'Bae'". (Which I will confess I had to ask one of my kids about--as ogged would have predicted).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:51 AM
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In the course of a lengthy unsuccessful call with AT&T/Uverse, I was transferred five times. One of the people I talked to sounded like a black, southern woman. She didn't solve the problem and asked if she could transfer me. I said, "Duuude. I have been transferred three times already, including to you." She said, "I'm a girl." It took me several seconds to figure out why she was bringing that up and when I did, I was completely startled. "I wasn't calling you a dude. I was saying it for emphasis." She said she wasn't familiar with that usage and I was still so thrown I said "I am in California. I said 'dude' like the surfers say it."

I described the conversation to my sister, to my best friend and to my sweetheart and was relieved that none of them understood the reference for "I am a girl." until I pointed it out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:52 AM
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As a friend pointed out on fb, one baffling thing about the map is the, forgive me, dudehole with its epicenter around Wichita Falls.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:01 AM
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If the gas-station attendant is considerably younger than you are and is male, by far the most frequent name you call out is son or sonny. If you are formal or want to sound stern or authoritative, you will say, young man. Buddy, with its diminutive bud and variant bub, trails behind, with the Southern boy less frequently used now because it is considered an ethnic slur. Man, as in Hey, man, is favored by many blacks, as are dude and bubba. Fella is heard, as is kid, lad, sport and buster. Recently, I have heard guy gain frequency. If the male attendant is older than you, a note of greater respect is expected: Choices include brother, neighbor and friend, and in the West, pardner . According to DARE, the most frequent name is mister, closely followed by sir, then the more occasional buddy, fella, Mac, Jack, Joe, pal and you. Most elders do not mind being called cap'n, but there are those geezers who get riled up by gramps, and many old men dislike stranger, when it is you who are the stranger. To Richard DeLia of New York I am indebted for ace, which has a 1930's sound, champ and chief. Hal Goodtree of Montclair, N.J., once a gas jerk himself, recalls being called Slick. The British form, mate, is sometimes heard here, as are the rare old chap and my man.


Posted by: OPINIONATED WILLIAM SAFIRE IN 19 GODDAMNED 84 | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:03 AM
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I have seriously never heard anyone say "bub" other than Margo Channing to a waiter at the Stork Club.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:07 AM
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8: I suspect that is the peak of bro mountain which crowds it out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:09 AM
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Most elders do not mind being called cap'n

Those who do would prefer to be called Major, Colonel, General, or Admiral.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:11 AM
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I've heard "dude" in the Megan sense used in argument before a court here, though admittedly as kind of a joke. Still.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:17 AM
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It missed the northeast because it failed to include "Hey, chief" and "hey, big guy."


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:18 AM
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I would imagine "boss" would be high on the list in NYC.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:19 AM
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Jinx sorta.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:20 AM
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Oh right, "boss." Good point.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:20 AM
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Oh right, "boss." Good point.

"Hey, fucknuts" and "hey, assface" probably have only a few thousand adherents, but they're the right few thousand.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:22 AM
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I do like calling people 'chief'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:27 AM
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17: There are better alternatives.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:27 AM
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I've also always wanted to (but never have IRL, I'm not a trendsetter) to use "shit" as a "dude" replacement. "Hey, shit!" "What's up, shit?" Who's with me?


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:29 AM
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I say dude all the time, in the Megan sense and otherwise. I think it's thrown a few of my English compatriots but for the most part it seems somewhat universally understood. I'm surprised Megan's lady was caught off guard.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:31 AM
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11. Oh yeah?


Posted by: OPINIONATED COMMODORE PERRY | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:37 AM
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Gas station attendant? Is he still dating the cigarette girl?

IME, the best way to get ice water or to make a polite request for attention from someone in a busy retail setting is to address them in Spanish or Russian. The problem is, if this is actually the Salvadoran brake/tire shop, the dude's answer is pretty hard to understand.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:41 AM
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A coworker was rudely and unjustifiably dismissive towards me recently, and in trying to maintain civility while enraged, my brain froze. I started my response with an angry "Listen, duuude...". Not my most dignified moment.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:42 AM
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23 Gas station attendant? Is he still dating the cigarette girl?

You've never been to New Jersey, I take it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:46 AM
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Calling somebody "buddy" should only be done as a warning that you're drunk, angry, and about to pull a knife.

20: I like the idea, but let's use the full word, "shitfuck".


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:46 AM
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The guy who pumped my gas in Pr/incet/on always greeted me with "hey buddy" but it seemed pretty clear his native language was Spanish.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:48 AM
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25: Check your privilege.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:50 AM
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The Seneca reservation in western New York state has gas station attendants. Threw me for a loop, but I go there anyway, because cheaper prices. And colonialism.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:53 AM
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In another of my efforts to improve the language, it would be great if "bro hole" were gay slang for "anus." "I totally rocked his bro hole." Let's make it be so.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:54 AM
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Is he still dating the cigarette girl?

We still have them, but don't have gas station attendants.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:04 AM
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Do they work a specific bar or are they promoting a brand at lots of bars?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:11 AM
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They show up at a bar and scan IDs and give out cigarettes, cigarette swag, and coupons. And now that I say this, I think they might not be legal anymore and it's not just that I so rarely go out that I haven't seen them, but I'm not sure. It used to cause conflict that I was unwilling to let them scan my license so someone else could get an extra pack of cigarettes, but I did once buy a pack of cigarettes for someone and am now sullied forever anyway so that's life.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:14 AM
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There's a cigarette vending machine, the kind where you pull a long handle and the pack comes out, at a restaurant/bar around the corner from us and I think one at the lesbian bar in the next town still. I guess having to be old enough to drink to get into the bar is supposed to make the only people buying be old enough to smoke, or maybe they're not stocked anymore and the owners just keep them there. I really don't know. In conclusion, tobacco state!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:17 AM
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it would be great if "bro hole" were gay slang for "anus." "I totally rocked his bro hole."

Endorsed! But why only gay slang? Anuses belong to the world.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:19 AM
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In our state, they can only give coupons for a free pack. I have seen them give out ecigs (with a coupon for a frre pack).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:21 AM
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37

Minor quibble: One does not rock a bro hole. One ices a bro hole.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:21 AM
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38

The really obvious and probably most common one that they missed is "man."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:23 AM
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Man is ever his own worst enemy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:24 AM
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They said -- you can't easily search for vocative uses of 'man', because it's swamped by other uses of the word.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:24 AM
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They could if they crowdsourced it, man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:26 AM
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But why only gay slang? Anuses belong to the world.

True, but "bro hole" most naturally refers to a specifically gendered type of anus. Not exclusively gay, as a lady can certainly rock a dude's bro hole with the best of them, but at least male-oriented.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:37 AM
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The really obvious and probably most common one that they missed is "my man."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:44 AM
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Branuses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:44 AM
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45

Based on Jersey Shore I think the most common vocative is "my dude".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:45 AM
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What about "my main man"?

I remember back when the youngish male attorneys would express their deepest level of gratitude for my work with -- "you da man!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:53 AM
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The really obvious and probably most common one that they missed is "man."

The most dangerous slang.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:59 AM
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13, 18. These days if I hear "chief" it's usually because I'm in a deli and being asked for my order.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:59 AM
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My droogies, you disappoint me.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:01 AM
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My main new observation about the mapping is that (assuming it's covered the gamut of such terms) some areas like the NE and NW may be especially uncovered because pan-bro culture is especially thin there compared to the total population, whose utterances are the denominator. The converse - that such culture is especially hegemonic in the Midwest and South - is perhaps visible in the maps too.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:01 AM
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Lady bro hole.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:05 AM
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Lady bro hole.

My favorite character on Downton Abbey.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:10 AM
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52 Wasn't she the one whose estate was entailed? (IYKWIM AITYD.)


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:12 AM
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"Netizen." (cringe)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:14 AM
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Apparently the dudes are in academic departments. Just stumbled across the weird meltdown one of the professors down the road had on his blog blaming feminism for his youthful failures to date women. Yikes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:17 AM
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If women had fewer opportunities to do other things, they might have dated him by default. Statistically speaking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:22 AM
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I feel like "bro hole" works even if we're talking about a female-identified anus being rocked by a woman. It's just that right.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:23 AM
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55: Are you referring to this?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:35 AM
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57: That seems like a slightly different interpretation of the bro-ness of the bro hole than I was imagining, but I can see it working. In any case, I'll defer to you as the owner of a female-identified anus about what it should be called.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:37 AM
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58: No amount of sexism would have helped him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:42 AM
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The part about his seeking desire-killing drugs is what I haven't encountered before. I was a pretty scared adolescent, but that wouldn't have occurred to me, ever.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:54 AM
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61: Yeah, ditto. Marcotte's right that it sounds like his problems were more or less entirely of his own making.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:58 AM
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How many broholes does it take to screw in a light bulb?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:59 AM
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58: Yeah. I stumbled across his new post first, then the rest of the brouhaha.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:10 PM
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Do not put a light bulb in your brohole. Even if the doctors are able to remove the bulb without breaking it, rest assured that the muffled laughter from the ER staff will be about you.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:13 PM
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the rest of the brouhaha

The brouhaha is near the brohole, right?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:14 PM
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61, I did have that thought a lot. I very much identified with George Costanza's exasperated complaint in the parking garage episode.

(JERRY SPOTS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.)

JERRY: (TO GEORGE, RE:WOMAN) What do you think, Georgie boy?

GEORGE: Did I need that pointed out for me? What is that going to do for me? How does that help me, to see her? I'm trying to live my life. Don't show me that.

KRAMER: If you like her, go talk to her.

GEORGE: Yeah, right. I'll just go up and say, "Hi, how ya' doing? Would you like a glass of white wine?"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:17 PM
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Jackson Hole, Broyoming.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:18 PM
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The part about his seeking desire-killing drugs is what I haven't encountered before. I was a pretty scared adolescent, but that wouldn't have occurred to me, ever.

I wouldn't ever have gone that far but there were certainly moments in my dating life where I wished I could will my desires away.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:22 PM
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One of the benefits of anti-depressants is the dampening of the libido. I have to wonder if this isn't the mechanism through which it acts, rather than a side effect.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 12:52 PM
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70: I have taken the for that reason. May have helped the mild depression, didn't help the bad relationship as hoped.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:20 PM
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37: One sometimes ices a brohole, but mostly to reduce swelling after a vigorous rocking.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:20 PM
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73
Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, said Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be "un-biblical" and a false religion. "The pope should back off," he said. "The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science. It follows that the policies the Vatican is promoting are incorrect. Our position reflects the views of millions of evangelical Christians in the US."
USA! USA!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:21 PM
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73 being a case in point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:23 PM
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"The pope should back off." What a sentence!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:24 PM
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How many divisions does he even have?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:27 PM
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Oops, 73 was supposed to be in response to 28 in the other thread. I blame the decline of the Latin Mass.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:44 PM
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Speaking of dudes, today I heard the most dudely wish-fulfilled anecdote that I have ever heard, or should ever wish to hear: to protect those who ought to be ashamed, I will mention only the searchable keywords "tattoo," "blowjobs," "South America," "beer," "drums" and "party."


Posted by: WILLIAM PITT | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:46 PM
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I blame the decline of the Latin Mass.

Had the Catholic church not been misled on the science, they would have understood the principle of conservation of mass.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:51 PM
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Searching only the work-safe searchable keywords from 78 returns nothing that could possibly be the relevant anecdote. I guess the work-unsafe keyword is critical.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:54 PM
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80: Searching all the keywords, the first result I get is this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 1:58 PM
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81: Well, that's disappointing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:00 PM
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Huh. The first result I got was a dictionary of University of Georgia slang.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:01 PM
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I searched all of them and the only thing that looked even remotely close to relevant was a 2000 article on Kid Rock. We need more details.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:02 PM
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But given who posted 78, we might need to use an eighteenth-century search engine.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:02 PM
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83: That was second for me. Further down the page was this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:03 PM
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86: That was quite a collection of costumes. That's one way to get the guys to pay attention to clothing... though I'm sure there was a woman in there somewhere in some of them.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:43 PM
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The Central American countries in particular seemed to go all-out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:44 PM
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86: Oh my god. I had to close the page before I looked at them all because I was laughing too hard for the workplace. There's some metric by which I think the US won that one, but they're all just so wonderful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 2:48 PM
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83: A certain phrase comes to mind, between fits of painful laughter:

"Come to Butt-Head."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 3:01 PM
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86: Oh my god. I had to close the page before I looked at them all because I was laughing too hard for the workplace. There's some metric by which I think the US won that one, but they're all just so wonderful.

"We need something that says sexy and American. I know, Optimus Prime!"

Clearly it was designed by Michael Bay.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 4:06 PM
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Oh wow, there's more, and even more.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 4:36 PM
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I love the comments on Slovenia and Botswana.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 4:40 PM
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tom & lorenzo and ms universe were made for each other.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 4:41 PM
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Why does Belgium have feathers? I get why the South American countries have feathers (tropical birds). But not why Belgium does.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 4:55 PM
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Wait 'til you see Romania.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 4:57 PM
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NBC News just had a story about how this is the warmest year on record, which completely failed to mention anything about fossil fuels or otherwise link it to human activity. Then there was... something about teaching children transcendental meditation?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 5:01 PM
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I love the comments on Slovenia and Botswana.

I liked Argentina and Honduras (both the comments and the costumes themselves, which were ridiculous, but succeeded on some level).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 5:10 PM
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Wow, I didn't think I needed three pages of that, but the Miss Curacao costume is amazing.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 5:16 PM
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If 2014 set a record, there's a good chance one of the next couple years will be lower and we'll hear about global cooling all over again, like happened with the last spike year (1998?)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 5:17 PM
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Why does Belgium have feathers? I get why the South American countries have feathers (tropical birds). But not why Belgium does.

The South American ones don't make a whole lot of sense either given that peacocks come from India.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 5:24 PM
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I dunno, I think the US one is especially craptastic. And I'd expect nothing less.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 5:53 PM
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Huh, someone on FB just posted that fake video of random black person who supposedly is Brown beating up an old person, and I commented that it was fake and gave a link to Snopes, and he actually said thanks for the correction, he'd pass it on to other places where he'd seen it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 6:03 PM
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104 Did you find $5?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 6:09 PM
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104 to 103.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 6:09 PM
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All the young dudes,
Carry their snoods


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 6:36 PM
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|| I think last week, folks were talking about how carrying a loaded gun with the safety off was a recipe for shooting your balls off. True, unless you're a lady whose toddler reaches into your purse and kills you while you are shopping at your local WalMart. She had a license to carry concealed, apparently.|>


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 6:46 PM
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100: we'll hear about global cooling all over again, like happened with the last spike year (1998?)

Yep, and 10 years later it led to a year of Hannity and other FOXdroids trumpeting how it was a cooler year than 10 yers prior.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 7:02 PM
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It was -11F this morning. And is -7F right now. Global warming!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 7:22 PM
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107: That's going to be awkward for him when he's older.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 7:32 PM
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"That's going to be awkward for him when he's older."

Yeah. Father should change name, drop all contact with friends and relative, and move himself and kid out of state...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:13 PM
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I'm sure if he gave the kid to a passing shepherd, that would solve all problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 8:20 PM
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Issuing concealed carry permits to toddlers seems ill-advised.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:09 PM
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114

So my Baby Bjorn/holster idea won't fly?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:22 PM
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My Baby Bjorn came with a tennis racquet.

But it was wood and catgut, so it hasn't helped my kids at all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 9:57 PM
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||
Omg fuck you, vegan butter.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:49 PM
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Couldn't you just use margarine?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:53 PM
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118

Where "you" is a vegan with toast.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 10:54 PM
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||
Someone has taken The Ogged to the next level!
|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-30-14 11:47 PM
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"Nice shot, kid!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:57 AM
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117: there's probably a viable business to be made selling margarine as "vegan butter" at a 300% markup.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 6:34 AM
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121: I think that's what vegan butter usually is --- http://earthbalancenatural.com/product/vegan-buttery-sticks/


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:28 AM
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It was Earth Balance. I kept forgetting the name and substituting "Event Horizon." Maybe slightly on purpose.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:13 AM
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123: It's just a blend of vegetable oils -- how is that not margarine?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:18 AM
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It's totally margarine. Vegan Butter is its drag name.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:22 AM
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Regular margarine usually has small amounts of dairy in it so it isn't totally vegan. Earth Balance is basically the same thing but totally dairy-free.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:30 AM
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Anyway it melts funny and I blame it (probably wrongly) for a major cookie fail.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:32 AM
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Actually I blame my entire Whole Foods shopping trip. I was also using virtuous noone-in-here-but-us-peanuts peanut butter instead of processed-as-god-intended Jiff.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:34 AM
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Why were you making vegan cookies anyway?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:34 AM
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128: I bought that kind once. The trick is to salt it and also to use it with jelly or jam.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:40 AM
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No, the trick is to feed it to a goat and then go buy some processed-as-god-intended Jiff.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:45 AM
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That link has a link to an article headlined "Robot Handjobs Are The Future, And The Future Is Coming".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:49 AM
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129: a vegan is coming over. (HIDE THE KALE!)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:55 AM
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Party food for vegans is a total conundrum. I'm considering mini dosa with avocado spicy filing or pineapple spicy filling but man party food without butter eggs or meat is difficult.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:02 PM
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Guacamole and hummus would both work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:07 PM
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IME many vegans don't actually much like food. I mean, they understand that it's kind of useful, but they're not much interested in it aesthetically or whatever. I think this is how they manage to remain vegan. So knocking yourself out making it interesting can be counter-productive.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:08 PM
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135: Salsa, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:10 PM
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I once went to a wedding where the couple were both vegetarians. I was afraid the reception, but one of them was professionally involved with cheese and everything was great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:11 PM
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Vegan baking is tricky, though. If there are other options for party food those are probably better than trying to bake.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:11 PM
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137: Salsa is inedible without meat or cheese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:12 PM
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processed-as-god-intended Jiff

Preach it. Organic pb is lame as hell.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:15 PM
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134. South Asian is the way to go if you have to go. I once went to a Gujarati wedding where the food was (I think) vegan, and it was to die for. It didn't have to be, everybody ate eggs and dairy, but it just turned out that way.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:16 PM
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My sister's a vegan, and both she and I have been visiting our mom for the past week, so we've been dealing with this issue a lot lately.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:16 PM
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136: I guess I can think of one or 2 vegans I've known that were like that, but most of them were very into food and experimenting with recipes etc. I remember a vegan saying how people always asked, "What do vegans eat?" and her proverbial answer was "A lot."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:17 PM
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140: Sounds like you need to try some better salsa. This may involve venturing outside of Pittsburgh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:17 PM
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I don't like uncooked tomatoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:18 PM
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That would be an issue with enjoying salsa, yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:28 PM
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See, I love nothing-but-peanuts pb, and haven't been able to eat any other kind since I was introduced to it.

About 1970, a Columbus company, Krema Products, started to make it. I loved all of its varied consistencies, the mess you made stirring it, how it could glue your mouth shut, how it would go dry in the bottom and approximate cookie dough in consistency.

It was right West of the old OP. Is that Front Street, peep?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:32 PM
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I've looked on google maps. Spring street.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:34 PM
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Lots of worthy salsa doesn't have uncooked tomatoes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:38 PM
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The trick is to have some vegan options not incongruously horrid compared to non vegan options, also has to be finger food as too many people for anything else. Agree South Indian best bet, hence mini dosa idea. Don't want to get into deep frying puri during party tho as kitchen already way too small for shindig honestly but everyone always seems to have a good time!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:43 PM
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Sugary peanut butter is to real peanut butter as Vanilla Ice is to Ice T.

Spring Street right by Neil Ave.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:45 PM
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148, 152: Glad that I'm not the only one!

I work very close to the Krema store/restaurant, but I've never been there. I have bought their peanut butter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:50 PM
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134: Flatbreads would work well, too, as vegan finger food. Top with squash puree, roast veg, mushrooms, tomato sauce.

Mushroom or legume croquettes?

Vegan baking is way tougher than vegan savory.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:50 PM
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Middle eastern is also good for vegan party food - hummus, baba, tabouleh etc.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:51 PM
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Pie crust is easily/normally vegan, and there's nothing particularly tricky about vegan pie fillings. It's not finger food (unless little tarts), but it's vegan dessert.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:53 PM
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You could do crostinis. Slice up a baguette, which is likely to be vegan anyways, and set out toppings based on different fillers. Tapenade-like things based on sundried tomatoes, or roasted peppers, or olives, or garbanzos, or white beans. Smitten Kitchen has a couple of them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:55 PM
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Pie crust is easily/normally vegan,

Speak for yourself, hippie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:55 PM
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Or what ydnew said.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:56 PM
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Oh, I'm butter-only on pie crust, just because I have butter in the house and I never have Crisco or remember to buy it. But Crisco-based pie crust is standard, conventional, and by many accounts preferable to butter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 12:58 PM
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I presume neb prefers lard for pie crusts.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:00 PM
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Which I've used and is also good (and easier to work with than butter).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:04 PM
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I use butter, actually.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:05 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:08 PM
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BTW, LB, what's the latest on the stand mixer?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:08 PM
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Spring Street right by Neil Ave.

Wasn't the White Castle headquarters right there?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:11 PM
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It's standing. Not mixing, but still standing. (In other words, I've done nothing since I stopped hitting it. I have a vague plan to acquire some Liquid Wrench and an actual punch, but we'll see if I get around to it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:13 PM
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159: I almost suggested exactly that, but was worried that the very idea of baguette without cheese would traumatize Francophile dairy queen.

On pie crust, I have multiple butter based failures to my name, moderate success using mixes of butter and shortening, and reliable success with shortening only. My saddest failure was for strawberry tarts using a recipe from Alice Waters. The only thing that came out right was the frangipane-type almond paste.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:13 PM
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128: Do they have Wegman's where you are? So much better than Whole Foods, and I'm not just saying that because WF has shitty labor practices and I hated working there.

I strolled into a Whoel Foods and tasted the cheese, and it was not good and so overpriced compared to the independent green grocer with gourmet items. Wegman's, on the other hand, had delicious high quality cheese at only a slight markup to the independent. Plus, they are still family-owned, and the workers are treated better. Plenty of organic stuff too.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:19 PM
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Wegman's has expanded a lot in the past few years, but I don't think they're on the west coast yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:20 PM
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Many thanks for suggestions! We've enlisted many of them over the years for various parties (including baguette with non cheese why anyone would think I would object to that is a bit beyond me ... after all, what else are rillette for? (joke people self mocking joke!)). Have mostly ourselves to blame for absurd menu criteria. Non vegan items achieve a certain lavish festive fanciness for this particular party and we aim to reach something similar for vegans. Must pamper the vegans too! Will at least make sure to have extra stores of fried spicy cashews, they can always console themselves with those and extra champagne.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 1:46 PM
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I'm amazed that this discussion has gotten this far without someone mentioning kale chips. Kale chips are so obvious and dangerously tasty!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 2:13 PM
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133 to 172.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 2:20 PM
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Kale chips have to be about the least dangerous tasty food there is, no?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 2:24 PM
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I was thinking I made some New Year's resolutions in past threads here but all I'm coming up with is this, which... I haven't done, although it still sounds like a good idea.

I think at some point I decided "read at least one book a week" was a resolution worth keeping, and this is the first year I've succeeded at that. Now I kind of feel like I'm reading too much and not working enough.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 2:32 PM
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Let's just say that making more than one bundle of kale's worth when you're the only one intending to eat them can go horribly wrong very quickly. It turns out that while dehydrated kale doesn't take up too much internal space initially you've still eaten, hypothetically speaking, three bundles of kale for dinner and that's going to end up causing some distress.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 2:33 PM
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Kale chips have to be about the least dangerous tasty food there is, no?

Best of all, they're not even tasty! (No, no, I do actually understand that they bring many people joy, and that's lovely. I just don't understand quite how.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 2:59 PM
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177: store ones or home ones? Because I think homemade ones are tasty as heck*, yet I've never touched one from a store, and pretty much would do so only with great hunger or a really convincing endorsement from a trusted friend.

*Sure, the tastiness is in the seasoning, but it's not like people eat unseasoned potato chips, either


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:27 PM
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But Crisco-based pie crust is standard, conventional, and by many accounts preferable to butter.

IME Crisco-only crusts taste awful; or, perhaps, taste like nothing at all. One of the reasons I grew up thinking I didn't care for pie was the ubiquity of Crisco crusts (the primary reason was the ubiquity of awful fillings).

To say that a Crisco-only crust is superior, I think you need to pretend that pie crust is about nothing except texture.

I'd add that I dislike most cookies basked at grocery stores and old fashioned bakeries because they tend to use shortening, not butter, and I can taste that nastiness* right away.

*mind you, I use Crisco and butter in my crust, for texture reasons, but you can't taste the presence of the shortening


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:32 PM
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I've never had a kale chip. As far as I know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:33 PM
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Wegman's has expanded a lot in the past few years, but I don't think they're on the west coast yet.

Not even western Pennsylvania, much to AB's lament. I've read that they're very concerned about not overextending their supply networks, so they've been pretty circumspect about growing their territory.

FWIW, ISTM that other groceries have been catching up to Wegman's, but I've never had one as my regular store, so it may only be surface imitation without the depths of goodness supplied by the Weg Man.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:34 PM
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Butter, lard or suet used in our house for pastry making, although there was a vegan margarine and gluten free flour tart at Christmas eve for a beloved family member. I did not judge but neither did I indulge. I went for the butter butter toasted hazelnut butter pastry and it was excellent.

Dangers of kale chips noted, sounds gruesome & please do NOT elaborate further, thanks in advance.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:38 PM
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62: I'm confused by the Marcotte article. It reads as if she literally doesn't understand that someone can be afraid that they might unintentionally harm someone else.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:42 PM
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I wish I were confused by the inability to distinguish the claim that something causes some harm to some people, and a general attack on everything related to it.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:44 PM
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I don't like uncooked tomatoes.

How do you feel about canned tomatoes, which are basically cooked? I don't really like pico de gallo for similar reasons, but can eat endless amounts of salsa made with canned tomatoes + lime juice + cilantro + briefly charred onion, garlic, & chile.

I use butter, actually.

I vastly prefer butter to other types of pie crusts, but I still can't claim to have perfected the art.

Best of all, they're not even tasty!

It's probably because I like burnt things, but kale chips made from curly kale, seasoned with too much sea salt & vinegar and cooked until they shatter are seriously happy-making things in my book. Not sure I would serve at a party, though.

I think at some point I decided "read at least one book a week" was a resolution worth keeping, and this is the first year I've succeeded at that. Now I kind of feel like I'm reading too much and not working enough.

Bragging time! I succeeded at my goal of 100 books this year, and just barely missed my goal of 10 books a month. (I definitely spent time I should have been working hiding and reading.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:47 PM
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Fried chickpeas
Truffled (truffle oiled, really) popcorn
Vegan maki sushi
Falafel
Tempeh sliders with tahini


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:51 PM
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Crispy fried tofu cubes with a tremendous amount of garlic


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:52 PM
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Mostly garlic. Actually, maybe just some roasted garlic.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 3:53 PM
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I was at a restaurant with truffled popcorn that had little shaved brown things on it and I assumed they were shaved chocolate truffles and convinced myself it tasted chocolatey. Then I went again with my wife and I told her about the chocolate popcorn and she was very excited until she tasted it and said wtf are you talking about chocolate?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 4:04 PM
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I went to our local wegmans for the first time yesterday and wasn't too impressed. The prepared foods looked good but soooo expensive. Cheese section was ok but not great but then I live down the street from a famous cheese store. The wegmans in upstate NY were considerably better.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 4:08 PM
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Agree on Wegman's outside of upstate NY. They've expanded into DC, and I was really excited, but the store we went to in VA was just so unpleasant, both in terms of actual groceries as well as being crowded and having these huge double-decker carts that took up so much aisle space. It was a huge store, so I imagine they carried anything anyone could ever want, but I left sort of disgruntled and haven't been back.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 4:15 PM
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If you've ever wanted to watch Machete sing tunes from A Chorus Line while a frog looks on, the Muppets movie has you covered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 4:43 PM
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If the question is "who has not been in my front yard" the answer is not Machete.

The Wegmans in upstate NY are fucking huge.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 4:57 PM
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193.1: AYMHMSB.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 5:02 PM
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193.2: and everyone up there talks about them like they're the Eighth Wonder of the World or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 5:10 PM
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I think the one in inner suburb here suffers from being too small, the other in outer suburb here might be better but not worth driving out there. Although given highways vs parkways might not actually be any further in terms of travel time.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 5:13 PM
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183: Marcotte's style tends toward unmitigated harshness, but I think the main problem is that Aaronson doesn't seem to allow for women having much agency or for actually communicating with them to resolve questions about what they want.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 5:16 PM
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I had started reading his Lewin thread before the infamous comment 171 but was already so disgusted by his failure to shutdown the MRAs who showed up in the early comments that I quit reading only twenty-odd comments in.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 5:18 PM
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196: the one in the outer suburb is near Trader Joe's and on the way to Tim's job.

Russo's is my favorite place for vegetables and cheese.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 5:58 PM
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doesn't seem to allow for women having much agency or for actually communicating with them to resolve questions about what they want

Which is common for a self-isolating young man, I should know. What is odd is that he doesn't have much perspective on it even now. It isn't that there isn't much in his reminiscence that feels familiar, there is. It's that he didn't have countervailing impressions and experiences, showing a way out. Friends, older mentors of both genders, experiences when he forgot himself and got pleasant responses, things like that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:02 PM
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Communication is basically pointless, but that's not something feminism caused.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:15 PM
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What is odd is that he doesn't have much perspective on it even now.

Yeah, this. Many of the feelings he describes having had at the time are familiar enough, but the way he describes them makes it sound like he still hasn't gotten over that mindset despite the fact that he clearly did eventually find a way out of his self-imposed romantic isolation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:31 PM
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The thing about the shtetl is the worst. You would have been just fine, huh? (a) what, unlike now? (b) just think of your lucky, lucky shtetl wife. Asshole.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:38 PM
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A. Our town got truly excellent grocery store news a ways back.

B. Reading that thing by that guy was pretty painful. One can only hope that just a few years hence he's totally cringing. And when his kids are 20 somethings -- I wouldn't even want to guess what they'll say to him.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:46 PM
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"I'm totally a feminist, but I'm also nostalgic for the traditional gender roles and arranged marriages of my ancestors who lived as an oppressed minority in isolated communities under constant threat of violence. They had it way better than us, I tell you."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:48 PM
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You are my wife.
Hello shtetl life.
Pale acres we are here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:52 PM
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Is it something he truly hasn't gotten over, or is this a re imagining of how it looked to him then, or a bit of both? As the latter it's pretty recognizable. Seen that way, of course he wouldn't have thought through what an arranged marriage is like, or much of anything else.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 7:58 PM
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I think part of it is that he feels real hard for younger people still going through something similar.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 8:01 PM
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Couldn't he just switch to the kind of Jewishness where arranged marriage is still a thing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 8:05 PM
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Couldn't he just switch to the kind of Jewishness where arranged marriage is still a thing?

That doesn't always turn out like you'd expect.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 8:18 PM
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I am gentile, so I'm hardly an expert.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 8:23 PM
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185.last Bragging time! I succeeded at my goal of 100 books this year, and just barely missed my goal of 10 books a month. (I definitely spent time I should have been working hiding and reading.)

Nice! But now I'm going to be even more tempted to procrastinate and read all day.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 8:38 PM
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So! 2015! New year, new continent, new wife, new life. So much better than I deserve. I said it in my vows, but it's amazing, looking from afar, how lucky some people (me) can be. What did I do to deserve everything coming up aces? Ah well. Here's hoping everyone can be as lucky and blessed as I have been.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 9:34 PM
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She's probably not a serial killer who will frame you for a series of murders committed across the globe. Happy New Year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 9:38 PM
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I mean, congratulations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 9:41 PM
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213: I hope your good fortune continues.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 10:08 PM
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I mean, I guess it's not the new year yet, Unfogged time. So, staying on topic, wow, that MIT dude. Obviously Marcotte's post was fun, but Laurie Penny's was much more, to me, poignant, because it highlighted just how much this brilliant dude, even in his thirties, even married, had failed to fully internalize the whole "women are people" thing. Sad.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 10:11 PM
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In the end, everybody winds up dead or looking like Abe Vigoda.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 10:14 PM
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Happy New Year! May this year be one hell of a lot better than the last!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 10:27 PM
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woo hook 'em 2015


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 10:33 PM
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Happy New Year to everyone.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 10:45 PM
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Happy New Year, Mineshaft.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:03 PM
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Happy new year, kiddos!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:06 PM
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Fuck you, clowns!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:13 PM
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175.2: next year I'm going to track mine, hoping I'll be at at least 2/week, but I'm not sure if I managed that this year.

I cut my hair down to 7/8 inch, which is shorter than I remember and shows that I have way more gray than I'd thought, which I'd feared it would camouflage.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:17 PM
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And I should probably be honest that the "romantic" life hit about zero Kelvin yesterday and even after sn unspecific apology hasn't improved much, but I have the legal flexibility now and have to figure out something better for the future. I hope, anyway.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-31-14 11:24 PM
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So happy new year, folks.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:05 AM
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Happy new year, everyone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:07 AM
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Especially Charley.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:07 AM
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226: that sounds like a sea-change?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:19 AM
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Happy new year, and may this new year be better than the last for all of you.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:08 AM
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One of my email accounts (not a primary one) is currently featuring an ad for a dating site where women are apparently looking for men over 40 only. Did we skip forward a few years? I'm not quite of that age yet.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:16 AM
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amazing site.. its very much informative information you have to provide.i am very much impressed with it.thanks for sharing it. if any want more information about the tattoos so please click our link.. i hope you will like it definitely =) :D


Posted by: Mayank | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:40 AM
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amazing site.. its very much informative information you have to provide.i am very much impressed with it.thanks for sharing it. if any want more information about the tattoos so please click our link.. i hope you will like it definitely =) :D


Posted by: Mayank | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:41 AM
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2015, the year that spam won.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:39 AM
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So, I've decided that I do want to sleep with said 18 yo, because YOLO, or whatever, but now I'm at an impasse. Unmistakeable flirting on the part of both parties is occurring, but I'm not sure how to escalate. I feel like maybe the 18 yo thinks the ball is in my court, because I do have a partner,* and I feel like the ball is in his court, because I don't want to be the sleazy older woman. There's also the possibility he just wants to enjoy have a passing crush on an older woman, and if that's the case I don't want to make him uncomfortable. It's also likely slight cultural differences are making reading behavior even harder.

There's a week left, and the most likely course is that it will remain a somewhat aggressive flirtation in which nothing happens. I'm happy to live blog that for you all if you're interested in socially awkward unrequited romance. But anyways, I'm trying to decide I've I'd regret more not making a movie and wondering what could have happened vs. making a move and having it be potentially horribly awkward.

*A conversation happened about a week ago that was perhaps sussing out my willingness to do something, and I'm worried I answered in a way which precludes him from actively making a move. 18 yo asked me if it was common in my home country for older women to sleep with much younger men and for women to cheat on their partners. I answered sociologically, rather than what might have been the right answer, which was "oh, extremely common, in fact I myself am in an open relationship."


Posted by: Mrs. Robinson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:29 AM
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230: Not really. Having the adoptions and joint custody agreements done gives me more flexibility, but I still don't want the girls to lose another parent and so plan to stick it out short of actual abuse, which is not what the other night's argument was. If I could do so without whining here in 2015, that would be the real change.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:04 AM
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The worst you're in for is a awkward week; if you'd like the fling to happen, you should make the move.And the conversation you've already had does most of the work for you. Work out the logistics to get him somewhere where privacy is practical, bring up his prior question, and then say that you might not have answered what he really wanted to know: women in your country generally do X, but you personally are in an open relationship and have sex with attractive young men (like you, my 18 year old interlocutor!) whenever the opportunity presents itself. And then get direct, with the flirty tone and touching him, about asking if that's what he wants, because you'd certainly like to.

No confusion possible, if he was just flirting and doesn't want to follow though he leaves, the worst thing that can happen is a week of mild embarassment, but probably worse for him than you because he's 18 and you're not. And that's the worst case scenario. Most likely, you get laid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:10 AM
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237: Don't stop whining here; it's good for you to have someplace to talk about it, and I'm interested and I'm pretty sure lots of other people are too.

Random probably pointless thought. Your relationship with Lee (much as I liked her when the two of you came up to NY) sounds as if it's been pretty awful for awhile. You're talking about sticking it out short of abuse, because you don't want your girls to lose another parent, which sounds responsible of you, but also really hard. Have you thought about the possibility of maybe explicitly transitioning to a housemate/co-parent arrangement -- maintaining the household but not the romantic relationship? As you've described your house, it's big enough to make that kind of thing work. (This is obviously an incredibly intrusive suggestion which you have no obligation at all to take seriously.) (Mrs Robinson, on the other hand, should do exactly what I say.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:24 AM
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Mrs. Robinson, you need to make this happen. For our benefit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:02 AM
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We'd like to help you learn to help yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:27 AM
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Look around you. All you see are sympathetic eyes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:27 AM
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Most of all, you've got to hide it from the kids.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:42 AM
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Hey hey hey.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:46 AM
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Mrs Robinson, on the other hand, should do exactly what I say.

Mrs. Robinson, as much as I respect LB's practical wisdom, I think her solution in this case is overengineered and too likely to get you sidetracked into awkward discussions. I say follow her advice up to "get him somewhere where privacy is practical", then put your hand up his shirt.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:54 AM
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Oh, sure, do it the easy way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:03 AM
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Well, we need more information. Are you on vacation somewhere? What's the context? Is he ripped?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:04 AM
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"Stroll around the grounds" until you "feel at home" IYKWIM.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:05 AM
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Are there tropical drinks with umbrellas and a striped cabana nearby? Is he impossibly earnest and green?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:09 AM
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Does he stutter when your hand lingers on his as he tries to say that he's handing you the bill?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:10 AM
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Do his ears hang low and do they wobble to and fro?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:10 AM
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as much as I respect LB's practical wisdom,

I've been in the same relationship for twenty years, and before that I mostly wasn't getting any. I have the practical wisdom of a patch of lichen (fondue set? End table?) in this area.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:12 AM
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Real advice: have a drink with him somewhere. Let touchy-feeliness escalate. If he makes an escape, no harm no foul. If he seems interested, then when things are unmistakably cozy you can mention your open relationship, which will undoubtedly make him feel a little better about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:17 AM
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252: Béla Károlyi failed a skills test as a gymnast as a young man. But he coached champions.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:21 AM
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My actual tactics, if I thought an attractive 18-year-old were hitting on me and I wanted to make it happen, would be to become inarticulate, avoid him, when I got into conversation with him insult him severely, and then wander off alone and sulk about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:24 AM
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255: so basically you'd pull a PUA game on him?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:27 AM
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No. For it to be a PUA game I'd have to be wearing a silly hat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:35 AM
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It's hard to get too specific without giving away incriminating details. No cabanas nearby. 18 year old is cute, I wouldn't really call him hot but definitely charming, which is what the men from his country are famous for. I doubt he's ripped, but I haven't seen him shirtless. Physically he's not really my type at all, which adds to the appeal of a fling.

I can throw out some random semi amusing tidbits:

1) People assume he's the same age as me or even older, which is in part because he looks mature for his age and people are spectacularly bad at guessing ages. If we're out in public, most people assume we're married.
2) We do go on walks together in nature, during which he sometimes recites poetry. Nothing more happens.
3) I've ramped up casual touching on my part to a decidedly not casual level, but this might be an area of cultural mistranslation.
4) I watched TV (a political satire show he wanted me to see) in his room and nothing happened, but this was a few weeks ago.
5) There's lots of texting, including late night texting. Nothing that doesn't allow for plausible deniability, but definitely flirtatious.

For the recorded-yesterday blogging:

We attended a NYE party together, which I thought could be an opportune moment to make something happen, but it was not for all sorts of reasons. I did take the opportunity to casually touch him whenever possible, e.g. to touch his arm instead of just calling out his name to get his attention. There were several New Year's hugs that were a little prolonged. For above reasons, making an obvious move was kind of impossible on either of our parts for most of the evening, though there was one moment where something could have happened (I mean, besides the kind of intense hug that did). Both of us had important early morning commitments that made a reckless fling fairly inadvisable.


Posted by: Mrs. Robinson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:50 AM
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Poetry and nature walks? Tell him to get a stupid hat. More dignity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:54 AM
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I've ramped up casual touching on my part to a decidedly not casual level, but this might be an area of cultural mistranslation.
In some countries women lead the men around by the penis.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:57 AM
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While reiterating that I have literally no useful practical experience here, I'm pretty sure from what you're saying that if you want this to happen, you're going to have to be the one who manages the logistics (that is, figures how to escalate at a time and place where the two of you can practically end up someplace private) and the one who abandons plausible deniability, either through heebie or knecht's smooth, graceful escalating touchy-feeliness, or my obviously far superior awkward verbal explicitness.

If the two of you are stalled at intense hugs and deniable late-night texts, the teenager isn't going to be the one who successfully moves it to the next level.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:59 AM
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Step 1: Acquire a copy of "Bat out of Hell".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:01 AM
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Alcohol. Alcohol is how people escalate a physical relationship. Go for one of your poetry walks and stop at a bar for a drink. Done.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:05 AM
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Mrs R, 253 is the ideal scenario. If you can't follow that script exactly, improvise around it. Bear in mind that he's 18 and therefore scared shitless at the whole prospect, however attractive he may find it. Escalate gently but he's likely gone as far as he can on his own.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:05 AM
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Or what 261 said.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:06 AM
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Alcohol is how people escalate a physical relationship.

I didn't know you were Irish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:10 AM
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263: Or end a walk with "Come back to my room for a drink." It's obvious, but obviousness is your friend, both because it gives him a good moment to bail out if he doesn't want to, and because once you get up to your room and start pouring drinks, you'll be mostly past the awkward "are we actually going to do this" moment and should be able to start making out by mutual agreement.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:12 AM
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Ok, I can try the drinking plan. Drinking in a place where any sort of escalation could happen is going to be much harder than the advice givers might expect, but probably doable. We go out drinking together on a regularish basis, but not in places where I could escalate. Taking him to an obscure bar will make my intentions more clear from the outset, which is maybe a good thing. Honestly, despite the age difference it appears I still have the romantic skills of a teenager.


Posted by: Mrs. Robinson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:14 AM
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Do you have any etchings?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:15 AM
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I didn't know you were Irish.

The Dutch begin with a bottle of gin...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:16 AM
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Getting him into my room in a way that something physical could happen requires a level of stealth that would pretty much make it obvious what was going to happen.

I guess part of the problem is I can't think of a private place outside my actual bedroom where I could put the moves on this dude, and I'm not sure I have the skills/courage to straightforwardly verbally communicate to him I want to hook up.


Posted by: Mrs. Robinson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:20 AM
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That is, I'd have to sneak him in my bedroom late at night, at which point, the motives are pretty obvious.


Posted by: Mrs. Robinson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:22 AM
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Taking him to an obscure bar will make my intentions more clear from the outset, which is maybe a good thing.

Yep. At some point, you have to cross the Rubicon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:23 AM
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The need for stealth, which I hadn't realized, does make things complicated. But anyway, your motives being obvious to him is good, it's just whoever you're being stealthy around that you want to be concealing things from.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:26 AM
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213: what are you going to do for work? Code from abroad? We have missed you, though obviously your life is much better without us.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:27 AM
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Also, you say you have a week left. You might as well just grab his dick and see what happens. Because if you circle round each other much longer he's going to be on the plane.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:30 AM
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276 is right. Carpe dipenis.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:36 AM
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276

This is the most plausible scenario, because he is 18 and I might as well be given the level of ineptitude/anxiety have about making the first definite move. Maybe on his last night I'll just say, "my going away present is to fuck you. If you don't want it let me know."


Posted by: Mrs. Robinson | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:41 AM
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Don't wait until his last night. That's silly. Make your move and enjoy a week of rompy sex. Otherwise you'll kick yourself later.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:42 AM
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239: I've been trying for years now to push for either becoming a healthy and functional couple or redefining the relationship to explicitly exclude all the stuff that's not happening anyway so that at least there's less disappointment. Something like the latter seems to finally be happening, but I don't think either of us will take advantage of the theoretical breakup plan where one of us moves to the third floor until Selah is out of her nightly wakeups stage. I also doubt we'd ever take advantage of the lawyer's suggested joint custody plan specifying which of us would get them on even year Christmases, etc., and really don't think Lee could manage anything close to a 50-50 custody split. But anything else would mean my being a single parent except two weekends a month or whatever, which would be harder than what I'm doing now. She's been on Chantix a couple of days and it seems to be helping. I'd get more breaks if she weren't out smoking and drinking 3-6 nights each week and I guess that would tell us more about being tolerable semi-roommates too since we'd see so much more of each other.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:54 AM
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276 and 279 are sound advice.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:56 AM
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You have my deepest sympathies Thorn. Where you're at brings back unpleasant memories of my 2nd marriage towards the end. Except that children were not involved (and thanks be for that). I hope you see your way clear something better for you (and the children) whatever that happens to be.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:00 AM
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Echo 281. There's not guarantee that he'll even be free on his last night.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:32 AM
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Spoken like a man who has just enjoyed a week of rompy sex.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:33 AM
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my being a single parent except two weekends a month or whatever, which would be harder than what I'm doing now.

I am not sure that is true. Everything could become a lot more explicit and reliable. My sister hired a neighborhood kid so she could go swim, and she knew for certain that it would happen without a fight. When my nephew's Dad has custody, he really and truly has them, no more negotiating and changing plans.

You would have the kids more time (presumably), but you could also make arrangements with more certainty.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:36 AM
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280. Oh dear, that's a hell of a start to the year. Barry says it all, but good thoughts, etc.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:37 AM
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279 has it right, Mrs. Robinson. Did you ask him what his culture thinks about such relationships? That could at least start the conversation going in the direction you want it to and give you a chance to share the open relationship details if you want to stay relatively subtle and indirect, but I agree you should probably be making some moves.

On my front, LB is right that Lee is a lovely person, friendly and likeable and all that. She's gotten a lot better at parental responsibilities, too, and the girls adore her. But she's just baffling in a lot of ways that seem unlikely to improve. She wants things to get better but doesn't want to change (beyond giving up smoking) and I don't see any other option for improvement. I love her but have a lot of sadness and resentment too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:45 AM
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243=>271.1


Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:48 AM
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It's sort of weird having the Aaronson discussion and the Mrs. Robinson discussion in the same thread, because the latter nicely illustrates that there really is a certain (for lack of a better phrase) "female privilege" to having a sexuality which doesn't have an inherent component of predatoriness. Someone to whom even a small feeling of predatoriness or feeling of taking advantage of someone is really off-putting is going to have a very hard time navigating male sexuality. Of course, one just needs to grow out of that and realize that female agency means it's ok to do things where both parties are in it primarily for themselves, and that one shouldn't care about being a little predatory so long as it's just a little. Aaronson never seems to have made this step, and so is more bothered by these issues than most of us who went through them and then moved past them. Instead he somehow managed to get himself into the one situation (happy marriage) where the whiff of predation isn't there at all, which explains why he's nostalgic for a romantic culture that made it easier to get to that state without having to be a little predatory in between.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:50 AM
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Something like the latter seems to finally be happening, but I don't think either of us will take advantage of the theoretical breakup plan where one of us moves to the third floor until Selah is out of her nightly wakeups stage.

This seems like a solvable problem, and that what you're actually saying is that it's sad and upsetting to move in that direction and so let's put it a little in the future. I'm being blunt but I mean this with tenderness and compassion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:53 AM
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because the latter nicely illustrates that there really is a certain (for lack of a better phrase) "female privilege" to having a sexuality which doesn't have an inherent component of predatoriness.

Seriously?

We are giving Mrs. R. extended pep-talks about being willing to make any kind of unambiguous approach on someone who she's pretty sure is actively interested in her precisely because, as a woman, her socialization has raised her inhibitions against taking any kind of unambiguously affirmative role in initiating a sexual encounter sky-high. She's not being unusually diffident or incompetent here, her difficulty finding a plausible way to initiate is perfectly ordinary (yeah, yeah, the UK contingent is all having smoothly negotiated casual sex with acquaintances right now. She's being perfectly ordinary by the standards of my real life social group.)

If women occupied a privileged position in terms of being able to initiate sex without fear of violating socially important norms, wouldn't you think Mrs. R would be having less trouble with it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:12 AM
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It just occurred to me that Mrs Robinson should procure and carry condoms lest lightning strike and the couple be caught unprepared.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:14 AM
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If women occupied a privileged position in terms of being able to initiate sex without fear of violating socially important norms, wouldn't you think Mrs. R would be having less trouble with it?

No, I wouldn't. Mrs. R is having trouble because initiating romance with someone you're into requires putting yourself out there and being vulnerable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:16 AM
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292 is a good point. So is 291, but I don't think Mrs R is looking for a meta-discussion at this point. More with the extended pep-talks.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:17 AM
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In other words, initiating romance with a stranger at a bar does require women to violate some norms. But all people will always get stumbly and shy initiating things with someone who gives them butterflies. Some people enjoy the adrenaline and barrel through with fewer inhibitions than others, but that's a separate thing altogether.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:19 AM
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Ask him if you remind him of his mother.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:23 AM
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What I meant was, if she were a married man in her thirties no one would be giving a pep talk that she should sleep with an 18 year old woman. (Which to be clear, I'm not saying she shouldn't sleep with him. Go for it! Sounds like fun!)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:25 AM
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I'm not sure somebody wouldn't. Somebody should RTFA to see if that's true or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:34 AM
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Assuming, as specified here, spousal knowledge and approval.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:36 AM
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The only way to know is to run the experiment. Who's in? Which FPP wants to explain to my wife that it's important that I hook up with a 20 something? To advance feminism.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:40 AM
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297: And yet if you looked at the number of sexual encounters where one party was eighteen and the other was thirty-two, I would bet serious, serious money that the vast majority of them would involve older men and teenage girls. If you look at how people actually behave, it really doesn't look as if women have a level of privilege that entitles them do whatever they want sexually, while men have to be more controlled.

I guess what I'm saying is that because there are a fair number of genuinely predatory men out there, decent non-predatory men worry about being confused with them and they find that inhibiting, sure. There are fewer (not none) successfully predatory women out there, so women don't worry in the same way about being confused with someone who's being predatory (which was, I think, your point.) But that doesn't end up with any kind of lower inhibitions or more freedom about plausibly predatory behavior; the social constraints on women are arguably tighter, as you can tell by how much more effective they are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:42 AM
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By the time men and women are in their 30s, it seems like things have evened out in terms of inhibitions and privilege.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:49 AM
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300: I'm well past 40 or I'd try it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:50 AM
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What I meant was, if she were a married man in her thirties no one would be giving a pep talk that she should sleep with an 18 year old woman.

Also, this is only remotely true if 'no one' means "Anyone who would give a man in his thirties a pep talk about sleeping with an eighteen-year-old girl is not our kind, dear." You can't actually say with a straight face that there aren't substantial parts of American society where "Hey, I'm a married man in my thirties but I think a hot eighteen-year-old girl wants to have sex with me," wouldn't get a "Go for it, you old dog, you." (Not sure what the dialect in that last sentence was meant to be. Work with me.)

I'm not arguing that Aaronson's problems don't exist, or that men have it necessarily easier than women on this front. But it just seems weird as anything to me to look at Mrs. Robinson's story as evidence that women have a privileged position on this sort of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:50 AM
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How about: if she were a married man in her thirties no one in this comment section would be giving a pep talk that she should sleep with an 18 year old woman.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:53 AM
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Yes, there are million excellent reasons straight male sexuality has a whiff of predatoriness to it. The point is that Aaronson in particular is very bothered by this aspect of male sexuality and may genuinely be right that he would have preferred to be a woman and not to have had to deal with this particular aspect which made him miserable.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:58 AM
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305: That's probably right. Absolutely certain he'd get more interrogation about whether he was doing something wrong than Mrs. R. did -- she got some, but we basically took her word for it that it was unobjectionable. Hypothetical Mr. R. would be getting a lot more "Are you really sure she's coming on to you, or are you just kidding yourself because she's being friendly? Young women traveling along get so many unwanted approaches, it's wearing, don't be part of the problem."

If he managed to tell the story such that it actually sounded parallel; no manipulation or pressure from him, it really seemed to be her idea and so forth, though, I don't know that he wouldn't get a 'what the hell, go for it' from at least some people here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:59 AM
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305 is what I meant. (though it's not literally true as there are some commenters here who can perform that kind of masculinity in a way that's slightly jokey and charming.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:03 PM
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"Female privilege" probably isn't the best way to phrase it, but I think Upetgi is right that there is a difference between male and female experiences of initiating a sexual relationship in the context of enlightened feminist sex-positive social norms. Both have the same problems of inhibition/self-consciousness/fear of rejection, but in addition to that men also have the fear of falling into patriarchal stereotypes about predatory male sexuality. This is definitely a real thing, and it contributes to the overall inhibitions of shy, socially awkward men in particular in a way that makes it even harder for them to get laid, but as everyone has said the only way to address it is just to accept that it's a risk and get over it, which Aaronson doesn't seem to have done.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:06 PM
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That said, it's of course also true that women have their own patriarchal stereotypes to deal with on top of ordinary inhibition, so there may not be any asymmetry here overall.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:09 PM
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The point is that Aaronson in particular is very bothered by this aspect of male sexuality and may genuinely be right that he would have preferred to be a woman and not to have had to deal with this particular aspect which made him miserable.

I am actually about to leave the computer, and this is a whole can of worms to open, but I find this a really, really unsympathetic claim on Aaronson's part -- that his problems connecting with women can be attributed to the fact that predatory behavior is both, for a man, the only way to successfully make a romantic/sexual connection with a woman, and that predatory behavior from men is so heavily stigmatized and repugnant to him that he couldn't possibly engage in it. This kind of claim seems to me the core of the whole nerd-misogyny thing (not that all nerds are misogynists, but the beliefs of those who are), and both sides of it seem to me to be serious bullshit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:11 PM
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The point is that Aaronson in particular is very bothered by this aspect of male sexuality and may genuinely be right that he would have preferred to be a woman and not to have had to deal with this particular aspect which made him miserable.

That's what he said, but it really had unmistakable tone of "I'm going to take my ball and go home" to it. Plus, "the rules have changed and I'm afraid I might now be a criminal" is basically the same exaggeration I hear from people who used to dump their used motor oil down the storm drain and put up asbestos for insulation. I don't buy that he or they is actually having that much trouble figuring out what is permissible and why certain things are not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:16 PM
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311 before seeing 312. The patriarchy doesn't hit refresh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:18 PM
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Obviously Marcotte's post was fun, but Laurie Penny's was much more, to me, poignant

Because Marcotte's post was her 900 millionth "LOL, another loser who thinks he's entitled to sex with hot babes" rant... and Laurie Penny's addressed the issue of loneliness and the fear that trying to connect with people will blow up in one's face, just pointing out that young women deal with this as well though they may seem superficially less isolated.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:26 PM
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Echoing heebie, Thorn. And keep commenting.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 12:55 PM
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Haven't and won't read this guy's piece, but I will bet $50 to a non-libertarian charity of someone's choice that its premise is basically "women [defined as physically reasonably to highly attractive women, while ignoring between 25-75% of the female population] wouldn't or won't have sex with /date me [a very physically unattractive man who has put no effort into social skills, but is good at computer science] and I feel that I deserve a hot date because of my awesome mental capacity.

It's the writing out of the universe of some huge subset of the female population who would actually be appropriate for these ambitious self-pitying jerks that make their self-pity so repugnant and unsympathetic. It's not that they're lonely, it's that their loneliness stems from a lack of empathy towards others and realistic self-assessment and effort.

Anyhow, I've long made my views on this subject known and am personally fond of some self-pitying jerky geeks, so, Happy New Year.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:05 PM
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some huge subset of the female population who would actually be appropriate for these ambitious self-pitying jerks that make their self-pity so repugnant and unsympathetic

Thanks e-harmony.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:08 PM
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Female privilege? *I'll* tell you about female privilege!


Posted by: Opinionated Eugene Volokh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:10 PM
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316: You are of course correct, so nobody is going to take that bet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:10 PM
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Mrs. R is having trouble because initiating romance with someone you're into requires putting yourself out there and being vulnerable.

Now, more than ever, someone needs to publish my essay about Kotsko's Awkwardness, though admittedly that's unlikely to happen if I never submit it anywhere.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:17 PM
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318 -- My God, but the pro-war posts following the linked one are awful. Especially the second one.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:18 PM
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320: If only you had access to some sort of publishing platform of your own.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:32 PM
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It deserves a wider audience!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:37 PM
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Or maybe what I actually think is that it is good enough that it merits, or tenuous enough that it requires, the imprimatur of someone other than myself. Also it's long enough that publishing it as a blog post would shame Holbo's wildest imaginings.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:38 PM
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Awkwardness or your review of Awkwardness?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:38 PM
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324: How awkward.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 1:42 PM
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I thought the pro-war posts at that volokh link darkly amusing. They were infuriating at the time, in their pretty open dishonesty (I don't recall anyone seriously disputing that we could go in there and break a lot of shit). But now that nearly everything the people they were disagreeing with turned out to be exactly right their demented crowing has a certain "you morons I won haha" charm. I mean, not one that helps given how nastily things turned out for their victims but I don't know if there's any real harm in a bit of I-told-you-so-ism even if it never matters to the people who were wrong in the first place.

Actually reading things like that is the sort of thing that makes me worried about my political instincts. I mean, I spent most of the 2000s having most of my intuitive responses to situations directly confirmed*, which I assume is largely a matter of historical coincidence. But it means I'm not at all certain which ones are globally reliable and which ones are just a matter of right-time-right-place. Who knows, maybe in the future free-trade techno-optimism won't actually turn out the way I thought it would, or invading some dictator and putting an America-friendly government will turn out well for us, or something.

*Best counterexample: I was really skeptical of the Clinton administration's aggressiveness when it came to middle eastern terrorist organizations because of how imperialist it looked. It probably was a good idea though, given how things turned out, and the Bush administration really, really dropped the ball on it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:04 PM
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Penis-shaped sex toy awkward or vagina-shaped?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:06 PM
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Awkward turtle awkward?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:09 PM
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328 to 327


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:10 PM
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The inability to grasp the reasons for the greater social acceptablity of vibrators vs. fake vaginas is almos as embarrassing for those guys as supporting the Iraq War. Women using fake penises to get off has been a staple of male erotica since at least the Greeks and suggests a hedonistic, pleasure prone woman. It's attractive. On the other hand, even if you're a chiseled lumberjack with flowing blond locks and viking-like looks who is also a published poet and heir to a fortune who is hiding away in the North Woods to heal from a broken heart, no one is turned on by you masturbating into a sock. Happy New Year!


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:16 PM
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I think 316.1 is quite wrong. I really really don't think Aaronson's issue at all was that he wanted hot women. One need only see that his suggested solution for nerd unhappiness in that thread is year-long versions of nerdy summer programs. I think Aaronson would have been quite happy with a partner who was comprably awkward to himself and of a similar level of attractiveness.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:21 PM
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In particular, what Aaronson said he wanted was release from the burden of sexual desire through chemical castration, not some way of making women like him.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:22 PM
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...even if you're a chiseled lumberjack with flowing blond locks and viking-like looks who is also a published poet and heir to a fortune who is hiding away in the North Woods to heal from a broken heart...

Cripes, I have been doxxed.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:23 PM
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Anyway, Ripper just likes bullying nerds, so I don't really care about his opinion on this point anyway.

In response to LB, certainly nerd-misgyny is a drive of some of this, but I think another important part of it is nerd-misandry. That is, a teenaged or early twenty-something nerd probably really really hates most of the males he knows. This also makes navigating masculinity and male desire difficult. (For this point the correct advice is just "it gets better." Once you grow up there's just more space for different kinds of masculinity.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:27 PM
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Truly, we should reserve great sympathy for you g men who hate (because they believe they are smarter, and let's be honest therefore "better") than both women AND most men around them. An inability to be sociable or empathetic at all towards others is offputting to people in human society, and the demand that you should somehow be exempt from those rules because your particular form of privilege doesn't entitle you to absolutely everything, only a lot of things, is gross and evil.

I think most people at some point have wished that desire would go away. That can be a fairly universal experience. What they don't do is think that there is literally nothing not only that they do have to do, but even SHOULD have to do, to make their desire recognizable to and compatible with others, because they are the least oppressed oppressed class of people ever.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:37 PM
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even if you're a chiseled lumberjack with flowing blond locks and viking-like looks who is also a published poet and heir to a fortune who is hiding away in the North Woods to heal from a broken heart, no one is turned on by you masturbating into a sock.

What about one of these?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:43 PM
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It's weird to me that the pseud change was somehow enough to reset my feelings of goodwill, and now I find myself with the same loathing for Ripper that I had a year or two ago. You're the asshole unable to show any empathy here.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:49 PM
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I think most people at some point have wished that desire would go away. That can be a fairly universal experience.

I can help with that, bhikkhu.


Posted by: Opinionated Gautama Buddha | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:50 PM
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Yeah, the bullying attitude of Ripper has gotten a lot worse.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:52 PM
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It's cool, on this issue I think you are actively evil (as well as anti-feminist and, actually, quite hurtful to a lot of women, as well as the (geeky, nerdy, whatever) men who could be a lot happier of they'd just get over themselves a little bit and learn that empathy, sociability, and realistic self-assessment are actually important, useful, and morally valuable skills. Happy New Year!


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:53 PM
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How in the name of fuck am I "bullying" you, Ned?


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:54 PM
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Just because nice-guy-ism is anti-feminist doesn't make being an asshole an actively feminist act.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:57 PM
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316: It's more pathological than that. He read Andrea Dworkin at an impressionable age, from which he learned that if you as as a man allude to sex in any way this is a form of sexual assault. Of course around him men were alluding to sex all the time, and getting rewarded with it with actual sex.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 2:58 PM
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343 -- when did I ever say that it did? I do think that feeling that you deserve sex without believing that you should do anything to either (a) make anyone interested in having sex with you or (b) look around you to the women who are also lonely and might actually want to have sex with you is affirmatively anti-feminist and, in fact, evil. Sexuality isn't easy for almost anyone. It's the attitude that one shouldn't have to change one's attitude or approach at all, or extend your field of vision to other women, because you just shouldn't have to because [you're smart, you hate other guys, whatever] that's evil.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:03 PM
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I love all of you.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:05 PM
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Also there are a ton of smart, geeky, not particularly physically attractive men who do manage empathy, relationships, and to find companionship. How do they possibly do it?


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:06 PM
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My loving all of you, though, doesn't mean I think it's wonderful that we seem to be rehashing this same thing once more.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:10 PM
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I love only you, nosflow.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:11 PM
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As is proper.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:13 PM
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347: One uses "yclept" correctly. That works. You get all the sex possible and good conversation too.

Meanwhile, Aaronson's blog isn't reachable. It's either down or being hit heavily.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:13 PM
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Last I saw he had posted multiple updates that, from my point of view, just kept digging the hole deeper. He seemed to think his words were being misinterpreted. I think he was failing to see that, no matter how many times he explicitly said all the "right" feminist things, he was implicitly framing his story in a very self-centered, anti-feminist way.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:17 PM
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He comes off to me as someone who knows what the right words are, and has learned that 'feminist' is a good and appropriate thing to be but doesn't realize that those two things together are enough to actually be one. So he just ends up doing the "now some of my friends are black and I'm not a racist but..." stuff and can't figure out why he's getting the "oh yes you damn well are" responses and not the "yes you truly are especially are oppressed by society" one he expects/wants.

Despite being plenty nerdy myself, especially in high school before college introduced me to drugs and graduate school introduced me to hating everything, I've never really understood where this sort of nerd-specific-misogyny comes from. I understand where normal standard misogyny comes from (fucking everywhere), but the added 'women don't want me because I'm better than other people because of gaming/star trek conventions/computers/whatever thing is baffling. It's like the episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes to college and tries to treat it the way Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds* made him think it was. But I've known plenty of nerds, people geeky about subcultures, and so on and none of them had any more problems with romance or sex than anyone else. (That means they had lots of trouble, obviously, because everyone does but there was nothing special or distinctive there.) So the insistence that No One Knows The Trouble I've Seen on the part of some nerdy guys is mysterious to me.

*(Ok this may be part of the answer, actually. Who knows. Maybe it's an age thing and Jocks V Nerds! was really a serious thing at some point?)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:27 PM
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353.2 -- right. That's the only thing I'm complaining about. While I'm being a jockish bully and snapping people in the locker room with towels, let me try to explain the distinction as I see it. Saying "God I'm so lonely tonight other people seem to have found someone I wish I knew how to talk to women better and get [person I'm attracted to] to like me but I don't know what to do" is an inherently sympathetic human position. It's also, I believe, effectively universal for all men at least at some point in time, but, for sure, it's worse for some men than others. That's completely sympathetic.

Saying "women [the subset of whom I'm attracted to but wont/cant approach] just won't recognize me because they're superficial and won't recognize how great I am and only go for other, stupid inferior guys who are crude and coarse, and therefore world recognize how oppressed I am" I find basically misogynistic and anti-social.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:44 PM
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It was funny for me to read his thing about how much easier it would have been to be gay because my responses, in the order they popped into my head, are

1) go fuck yourself, and when you're done, relive your childhood with the understanding that your existence is subject to everyone else's approval, which is inherently in doubt.
2) in certain ways, yeah. You'd very likely find a way to get laid and you'd chill the fuck out some.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:44 PM
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Okay, I read it all. He needs plenty of CBT.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:46 PM
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354: Is this strictly male behavior? Do women ever say "Why do men make such terrible choices? Why are they so shallow?" I've never heard such a conversation, but despite Facebook's best efforts I'm not yet privy to every conversation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:48 PM
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TRO, I'm asking this neutrally but I'm curious what prompted you to come back. This is from the standpoint of someone who often wishes for less intertubes in his life but doesn't even take a stab at it because it's so very deep-rooted a habit at this point.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:48 PM
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356 Yeah, some cognitive behavioral therapy would do him good. Wait...what?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:49 PM
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Ok, I just read the actual Aaronson comment, despite promising not to do so. A lot of what I'm saying is pretty irrelevant to that specifically, but 344 nails it exactly.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:51 PM
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358 -- habit plus I got a ton of annoying work around the holidays.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:52 PM
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I just googled his picture to see if I'd do him because it seemed like as enjoyable a way to engage with the whole thing as anything. (A: not really but there were times in my 20s where he would have rated a "what else have I got to do?")


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:54 PM
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357 -- no, not exclusively male at all, though I do think both the premise that (a) I am rejected in part for inexplicable failure to see how great I am and (b) the conclusion that "I not only won't, but shouldn't have to, do anything about this because I am oppressed" are more typically male positions.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:55 PM
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359: Exactly.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:56 PM
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I'm going to have go to with team Ripper here. What the hell is with this bullying talk?

354: Is this strictly male behavior?

No.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:58 PM
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357 - I'm fairly certain I've heard complaints along those lines from women. I mean, human interaction is hard! And people really do make lots of bad choices, and even more people think that not choosing them is a bad choice. But the specific kind of entitlement that he's displaying is pretty specific to men. It's not that he's just complaining about women generally, or that he wishes they had different priorities. It's that there's a clear assumption running throughout it that he shouldn't have to actually interact with women to end up getting into bed with them (see, for example, the 'wouldn't arranged marriages be nice?' bit).

Also is anyone else bothered by the word "shallow" as it shows up in this particular context (people complaining about other people's romantic/sexual choices)? I mean, it usually seems to boil down to something like "the fact that they prefer sexual relationships with people to whom they're sexually attracted reveals something bad about their character", which is a pretty bizarre thing to go about saying on some level. I guess it's supposed to mean that they should be attracted to something else instead, but I don't understand how someone can say that people shouldn't be attracted to other people because of their looks but should be attracted to them for their accomplishments is any better than saying they should be attracted to people for their money or something. Surely of all the various sexually attractive features people have looks ought to be one of the big ones.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 3:59 PM
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but I'm curious what prompted you to come back

Clearly it was because someone was wrong on the internet.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:01 PM
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358:
Hail Halford! Immortal Halford!
He shall never be destroyed!
Annoy one pseud, and two more will take its place!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:09 PM
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Also there are a ton of smart, geeky, not particularly physically attractive men who do manage empathy, relationships, and to find companionship. How do they possibly do it?

This is an interesting question. I guess I am one of these people, and really, every time I've been involved in a relationship with a woman, I've had occasional feelings that I don't quite know how this amazing thing has happened, and if the relationship ends I will have no hope of finding another one.

But I imagine that this has all changed in the last decade with the ease of using dating websites. The Aaronsons among today's youngsters have no excuse.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:11 PM
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Do teenagers really use dating websites? Seems unlikely to me.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:17 PM
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367: It's because the internet achieved a state of peace and harmony without him, and this confused and frightened him.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:18 PM
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Dating sites have the same problem as Linked In. How do you know when to send a picture of your penis?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:20 PM
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Surely of all the various sexually attractive features people have looks ought to be one of the big ones.

"In fact, Elizabeth, you're beautiful. And you know why? It's not about your shiny hair or your hot tits or your perfect teeth. All that's garbage to me."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:21 PM
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If you allow any part of your body to be photographed other than your penis, you've already failed at life.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:23 PM
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365: Damn you, gswift, I was going to link that song. Yes, of course "Why are men so shallow that they don't see that the brunette with glasses is actually a deeper, more soulful person than the blonde with contacts?" is the plot of half the romance novels/romantic comedies out there. That's a complaint women make easily as much as men, maybe more.

Something else that strikes me as off about Aaronson's complaint, and complaints like that generally:

He starts with (1) I believe(d) that any sexual/romantic approach from me to a woman would be perceived as creepy/predatory. I believed this because of feminism that said that all men were creepy predators. Feminism shut my romantic life down.

But then he goes to (2) And I saw other men who I thought of as less feminist than I was making sexual/romantic approaches to women, and not being treated as predators; in fact, often having mutually satisfying relationships. And his conclusion from that wasn't that he was wrong about what feminism had done to the relationships between all men and all women, and that it was, in fact, still possible to have heterosexual relationships. No, from that he concluded that feminism was, or women generally were, somehow unfair to guys like him specifically -- the problem with his life wasn't that sexual relations between men and women were fundamentally fraught with danger and aggression, as he'd originally thought, but that feminists were out to get him and his ilk.

Step (1) is wrongheaded, but I could see an overly sensitive person feeling that way without necessarily being a terrible person. Step (2), though, seems to me to go straight to misogyny by means of really bad logic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:26 PM
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375: To be fair, he's not trying to write a general critique of feminism. He calls himself a feminist, and says that he agrees with 97% of it. His attempt to disagree with the remaining 3% is gibberish, but he's not a Men's Right Activist or anything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:36 PM
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369 -- I think some variant of that ("how did I get so lucky? What would I do without this?") is an emotion felt by pretty much everyone, both male and female, at some point in a serious relationship.

I do think that if taken to extremes (not saying you're doing this, this is not a personal attack) it can become toxic, a failure to acknowledge agency at all in the process and therefore responsiblity. If you ask the partner, usually the woman, to such a relationship, no one thinks that their partner is some deeply socially inept monster whom they capriciously happened to shower love on for no reason; the other side to a relationship has reasons for being in it, and it's both factually incorrect and (in my view often) anti feminist to abdicate the idea of mutuality in relationships altogether.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:42 PM
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375 hits the nail on the head.

But isn't this just a classic example of cognitive dissonance? People have trouble ignoring things they see as principles, which they see themselves as being logically reasoned out, in favor of the subjective evidence of their lying eyes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:42 PM
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377 was me.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:47 PM
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376: He could be if he applied himself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:47 PM
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376: Sure, but the incoherent second step, when he realizes that no, feminism hasn't shut down sex generally for other people, but still somehow it was the root of his romantic problems, really comes off unpleasantly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:48 PM
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375.last: "Ignore what feminists seem to say about what's harmful, and instead copy the behavior of your peers who seem to be getting what they want" doesn't seem like a very good general strategy for not hurting people.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:50 PM
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381: Lots of feminists claim that people sometimes do harmful sexist things.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:51 PM
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So, "look! Someone else is doing it!" is not and should not be sufficient on its own.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:51 PM
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Look, somebody else managed a non-strawman view of feminism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:54 PM
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Strawman?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:57 PM
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Like the penis, straw is pointy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 4:59 PM
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I suspect, though I can't really prove it just from the text, that he doesn't mean to implicate feminism as the root of his romantic problems, but rather as a contributor. For example, he says things started being bad when he was 12 and surely that was before he'd attended a sexual harassment workshop or read Dworkin. Either way, he's still clearly overstating the role of feminism in the problem, and confusing what parts of his feelings of shame came from feminist reaction to the patriarchy rather than the patriarchy itself.

I wonder, has anyone written a good feminist practical book aimed at awkard teenaged boys about feminist dating? I think it could do a lot of good, because in this case you see Aaronson being interested in reading up on what he should do, but finding Dworkin instead of something actually helpful.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:00 PM
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384: When *lots* of people are doing it, both male and female, and smiling before and still after, I think one can assume that asking some woman to go on a movie or dinner date isn't close to being a dworkinistic monster.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:01 PM
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390

These issues mostly come up in high school and college, and for the most part asking people out on dates isn't a big part of the romantic scene at those ages.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:03 PM
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When *lots* of people are doing it, both male and female, and smiling before and still after, I think one can assume that asking some woman to go on a movie or dinner date isn't close to being a dworkinistic monster.

I'M SURE YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH THE CONCEPT OF 'FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS'


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:06 PM
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I was just going to write a longer and duller version of 389, but now I don't need to. But also, he managed to pull out of it, date, get married, but is somehow still stuck on "feminism was keeping me from dating" rather than "in retrospect, I was confused about feminism."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:06 PM
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I suppose Captain Awkward is the standard reading nowadays for feminist dating for awkward nerds.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:17 PM
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I love you.
You hate me.
There's a crisis in femininity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:18 PM
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388.2: Been pooh-poohed here before, but Captain Awkward gives kind advice to the socially awkward with a feminist bent. Linked post is a nerdy guy having trouble with finding romance.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:25 PM
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We pooh-pooh basically everything, collectively speaking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:35 PM
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Of course! It's part of your charm.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:40 PM
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393 to 395.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:44 PM
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||

NMM to Mario Cuomo. The good Cuomo.


|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 5:55 PM
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I hope he haunts his useless son.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:16 PM
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That only works if his uncle murdered his father.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:20 PM
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Do we know he didn't?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:21 PM
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I don't even know if he has an uncle.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:23 PM
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The guy knows he's been poisoned, but can't seem to get it through his head that it's nerd culture not feminism that's toxic.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:26 PM
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Uncle Luigi?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:27 PM
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Cuomo died of nerd culture poisoning? That's surprising.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:27 PM
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asking some woman to go on a movie or dinner date isn't close to being a dworkinistic monster.

Yes, it is. Don't reinforce and reproduce the passive patriarchal protective feminine role. Let her ask.

Your job, as a feminist male, is to suppress any aggression and privilege way past what is reasonable, while striving to be attractive, internally and externally.

Won't say what her feminist job is, cept it ain't coyly and modestly waiting to be approached.

Then, when she asks, tell her you're washing your hair that night.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:27 PM
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I'm (mostly) Italian-American and when I was a kid the Jewish kid next door who I was friends with said to me, "You know Barry, there's two kinds of Italians: Marios and Guidos. And you're a Mario." It was Cuomo he had in mind. We were thin on the ground.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:31 PM
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Res Ipsa mcmanus took the other side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 6:43 PM
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395: Yeah, I'm slightly reluctant to recommend Captain Awkward because of that one time they were mean to someone with social anxiety but mostly their advice seems pretty good.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:32 PM
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I must be misunderstanding 392 because it seems like a "no true Scotsman" argument to me.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:38 PM
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what is the diff between Capt. Awkward & Dr. Nerdlove


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:46 PM
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One is a civilian.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:52 PM
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I don't know much about Dr Nerdlove, but Capt Awkward's is basically an advice column, and their schtick is that you aren't responsible for never making anyone else feel awkward or uncomfortable, that expressing your needs/preferences is okay even if it will predictably sometimes do this, but you are responsible for being as honest and kind as you can, and here's how to do that.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 7:56 PM
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Capt Awkward is also more general social advice, not restricted to dating


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:00 PM
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Dr. Nerdlove is also excellent in providing advice and doing an internal takedown of nerd misogyny.

There's also the issue that feminism != Dworkin, and she's a highly controversial and marginalized figure within contemporary feminism. There's a giant active internet culture of non radfem second and also third wave feminism, and ignoring it so that you can claim 'feminism' says that all hetero sex is rape honestly seems really, um, erasing of women's voices in a problematic way. His claim that he reads a variety of feminist stuff makes it worse, because then it's clear he's read a ton of stuff which has contradicted his strawfeminism but he's decided to stick with a version which supports misogyny.

If he agrees with 97% of feminism except the part where it says that women are human with complex internal lives and sexual desires, then...I'm not sure what the parts of feminism he's agreeing with are.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:09 PM
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The matriarchy doesn't hit refresh either.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:10 PM
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Megan, I know you're right about any custody arrangement clarifying things. I'm being more sad and scared in general because friends who've been through it (two moms, children with special needs adopted from foster care, one or some favored over others by the less-involved mother) and outcomes for custody have been awful. On the other hand, they're much happier, which is a different issue. And I'm not convinced my situation has to end up like theirs, not even convinced that I'll end up single and all that. I'm open to all possible outcomes, though tonight was another stupid argument and Lee went out to smoke and drink while I'm home being petulant and eating chocolate and drinking wine rather than being in the stereotypical hot-depressed-weight-loss mode. I've been considering giving up alcohol for a while to see if I lose weight, but I'm not drinking excessively and, well, I don't know.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:17 PM
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412: Nerdlove rubs me the wrong way. I think he means well, but the few times I've read him, it seems like a kinder, gentler PUA scene. Like, if you follow this formula, you will be popular with ladies. The formula is less weird, but it still seems a bit lacking in acknowledging that women have internal thought processes and aren't rewards for self-improvement. Perhaps the snippets I read weren't good examples. Also, the author seems a little smug about his advanced lady-wrangling skills.

410: I don't know anyone IRL to whom I'd recommend a column of advice for the socially awkward (NTTAWWT). I think that like most sites, not all advice is apt for the specifics of a situation, and the comments may be off-putting. I think the advice about dating seems generally kind and concrete. Advice columns are a guilty pleasure of mine, and she definitely has focused on a more fragile or sensitive audience than most, so I think that she has set a high standard for herself in terms of tact and delicacy.

418: No good advice, just good wishes. I'm sorry it's like that for you.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 8:47 PM
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416: This blog post points out that part of what's going on is that he's intent on "tak[ing] stated principles to their logical conclusions, even if many people would regard those conclusions as "irrelevant" or "absurd."" Dworkin appeals to him precisely because she makes the most extreme argument available.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 9:43 PM
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Thorn, at some point I hope that in addition to making your own happiness more of a priority you can also factor in the real value of showing your children up close what a mutually loving, respectful relationship between two adults who really dig each other looks like. I can understand prioritizing other things right now, but there's quite a lot to be said for modeling at least the mutually respectful part.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:03 PM
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420: That does explain a lot about where he's coming from, although it doesn't make it seem any more reasonable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:05 PM
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Yes, Thorn, think of the children.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:06 PM
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And I realize that for some reason I rub a bunch (some, who knows) people here the wrong way re parenting but damn it my parents' spectacularly shitty marriage was an obstacle to overcome in figuring out how to be happy with someone in a relationship and a better model would have been helpful.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:06 PM
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For my part, I was just making the obvious joke. No offense intended.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:12 PM
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DQ, I haven't seen anything wrong with your parenting advice qua parenting. Just a more diffuse cluelessness.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:13 PM
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422: Oh sure. And part of what the linked post is getting at is that his attitude doesn't even make sense in the terms in which he frames it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:20 PM
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427: I read it more as saying that his attitude may make sense in the terms in which he frames it, but those terms themselves don't make sense when talking about this sort of issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:25 PM
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Yeah, that sounds more accurate.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 10:29 PM
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I think he has a great big gaping wound that he has thinly wrapped with a gauze made out of words. It's a meltdown, as essear called it, rather than a position.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 1-15 11:57 PM
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I wonder how his wife feels about all this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:03 AM
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432: I was wondering that, too.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:19 AM
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430: It seems ridiculous to me to call someone's telling a story from their past in vivid emotional terms, including the not entirely rational thought process they went through at the time, either a meltdown or a position.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:41 AM
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Cosma entered an infinite chain of wonderings, and was never heard from again.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:41 AM
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Hit post too soon and seemed self-referential...

Some of what Aaronson said in the original comment (I've not read the follow-ups) is painfully familiar from being a straight male nerd who combined general shyness with excruciating awkwardness about sex and romance, to the point where I never went on anything resembling a date with a woman until I was almost done with graduate school, and by my mid-20s I thought there was a good chance I'd never have a real relationship ever. But there's something off here, because reactions like wanting to have sexual desire excised, or wishing I'd been a woman or gay (!), or thinking that feminism messed things up, or that an arranged marriage would've been so much better... none of those makes any emotional sense to me, and I don't think it would've made sense to me back then either. My self-pity wasn't "poor me, why are the rules so confusing?", but "poor me, why I am so physically unappealing and socially inept?", with a side order of preferring to reconcile myself to the (supposed) consequences of those (supposed) traits rather than changing them.

My point being, to get to where Aaronson found himself, a very high degree of nerdery, self-contempt and lack of social skills are not enough, and I doubt the missing ingredient was imprinting on Dworkin, either.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:45 AM
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433: But he didn't say "This is a bad thing that happened to me." He said "This is a bad thing that happened to me because 3% of feminism is bad." It certainly has the form of a position. He doesn't really offer a position that is either intelligible or consistent with his other claimed commitments, but is animated by what is clearly a raw memory for him. It also makes him look bad in public, so "meltdown" seems like a good word.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:48 AM
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no one thinks that their partner is some deeply socially inept monster whom they capriciously happened to shower love on for no reason

ObLehrer:

I'm sure you're familiar with love songs on the order of "He's Just My Bill", my man, my Joe, my Max, and so on, where the girl who sings them tells you that, although the man she loves is anti-social, alcoholic, physically repulsive, or just plain unsanitary, nevertheless she is his because he is hers, or something like that. But as far as I know there has never been
a popular song from the analogous male point of view, that is to say, of a man who finds himself in love with, or in this case married to, a girl who has nothing whatsoever to recommend her. I have attempted to fill this need. the song is called "She's My Girl".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 2:57 AM
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Yes, of course "Why are men so shallow that they don't see that the brunette with glasses is actually a deeper, more soulful person than the blonde with contacts?" is the plot of half the romance novels/romantic comedies out there.

I think there's some difference, in that the characters and the audience aren't surprised or disgusted when men are attracted to good-looking women because they're attractive. (I'd say romance novels tend to have good-looking but shy heroines, and comedies tend to have heroines who don't expect to get the guy.)

____

I'm not spending much time on Nerd Pain Guy because I have decided to triage Nerd Guy Pain when they don't notice that there are Nerd Gals. Saves me *so* much time. He is pretty bad in not noticing what the non-het life is like despite reading feminist yawps:

I was terrified that one of my female classmates would somehow find out that I sexually desired her, and that the instant she did, I would be scorned, laughed at, called a creep and a weirdo, maybe even expelled from school or sent to prison.

since I recollect pretty clearly that being a *girl* and admitting to any sexual desire at all -- in fact, not affirmatively demonstrating lack of sexual desire -- did mean being scorned, laughed at, and called a wierdo, and possibly getting jumped on the way home from school. Didn't seem better for my gay peer either.

I do remember the desire to be a desireless math machine, though. I can go that far with him and Yeats and I don't even need to blame it on Dworkin.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 3:35 AM
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My self-pity wasn't "poor me, why are the rules so confusing?", but "poor me, why I am so physically unappealing and socially inept?", with a side order of preferring to reconcile myself to the (supposed) consequences of those (supposed) traits rather than changing them.

This was not just me but most of the people I knew, girls included. I think the "poor me, why are the rules so confusing?" response can only arise from a belief that if you understood the rules and applied them correctly you could get laid, which implies a much higher level of self-esteem than most teenage boys can muster IME.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 5:05 AM
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421: I know, I know, and that's what my friends who've been through it say and even Lee has been guilt-tripping me about it lately. Except there'd be no reason to believe I'd end up in a relationship since my history shows I'm horrible at them and I'm really not sure I can juggle yet another extended family's drama and so forth. Whatever happens, I'll only be 50 or so when Selah finishes high school, so maybe I could find someone after that and finally get in my sleeping-around stage before that or something.

But really, right now I can't even go to the store without Mara worrying I'll never come home. Selah is just figuring out missing people and it's very upsetting for her, which is probably normal for her. If Lee and I can manage to be mostly publicly mutually respectful, which we can't always and our arguments do upset the girls, maybe this is good enough for now. I don't know even after thinking about it for years and doing therapy and all that. I wish I could change myself to do more and want less, but that hasn't been successful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 7:04 AM
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Thorn,

I'm sorry to hear that it hasn't been getting better. I think you really do have to prioritize your own happiness, and you being happy will be best for the girls in the long run. If you and Lee can do a successful co-parenting situation, you're also showing the girls that people can separate but that doesn't mean they disappear or stop being moms. I think there's a lot of value in providing a model for the girls where a family splits up without everything falling apart.

Also, don't discount the future and romantic happiness. Just because finding people in the past seemed hopeless and hard doesn't mean it has to be that way in the future. The sooner you leave a non-working relationship, the more time you have to find a working one.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 7:39 AM
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What Buttercup says, and you have a goo job, so you wouldn't be destitute.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 7:52 AM
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443

I had to read 442 three or four times before I realized it was just a typo.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 10:57 AM
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Thorn,

440 seems like one of the most despairing comments you've made about your family situation*. Perhaps that's just holiday depression, but taking it seriously, it makes me think the following:

1) It sounds like Heebie is correct in 290 -- you've reached the point at which the questions about moving on to something else are "when" and "how" rather than "if."

2) If there was somebody commenting here who was a single parent who said they didn't have the ability to explore options in the world because their children (for very good reasons) got worried any time they left, even just to go to the store that advice would be, "okay, if that's you're current situation, then you can't do anything right now, but you need to work to change that and figure out a plan for getting to a stage where your children can accept you doing things on your own." The same applies to you -- it's not just important for the kids, it's important for you to make that possible.

* To be mildly pretentious, I think about Camus' argument in The Rebel that an act of rebellion is an affirmation as well as a negation, because for somebody to say, 'I am unwilling to tolerate X, even if my resistance might mean my death" that makes an implicit claim that there is some threshold of recognition that is required by the mere fact of human life and existence, and that is so important that risking death is preferable to continuing in circumstances that don't meet that threshold.

In 440, you're making the opposite move -- by saying that the circumstances are not so bad, and that none of the costs you are being asked to bear (even if you are the person asking yourself to carry them) are so great that they offend your dignity to the point at which you are compelled to resist. That doesn't seem right.

I say all this as somebody with a strong preference towards risk aversion and for maintaining the status quo. I still think, if 440 truly represents your feelings, I think that concedes too much of your life to your present circumstances.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 11:53 AM
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I wish I could change myself to do more and want less

FWIW I'm trying to think of anyone I know who already does more and wants less than you do (at least based on what you say here), and I'm failing miserably.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:00 PM
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Switching to the dating thread: I never know what to say when this subject comes up, and I have to thank Cozma for 435 which matches my perspective fairly closely.

I would, however, put this slightly differently.

My self-pity wasn't "poor me, why are the rules so confusing?", but "poor me, why I am so physically unappealing and socially inept?", with a side order of preferring to reconcile myself to the (supposed) consequences of those (supposed) traits rather than changing them.

I would describe my own feelings as having been between those two alternatives. I didn't necessarily think, "why are the rules so confusing." But I did think, "why is it that the rules require so many things that I am bad at? And wishing that there could be some alternate set of rules which were less direct and offered less chance of success but which were (a) still recognized as a socially approved and recognized approach and (b) much more fault tolerant for social awkwardness and failures of execution.

I never really thought about what that would like, but I definitely thought that I found it very difficult to get to know new people, read emotional queues for people I didn't know well, seek attention in social situations, ask other people for things, and to risk failure and embarrassment. The idea that dating required all of those skills was very daunting.

Also, clew's comment

I'm not spending much time on Nerd Pain Guy because I have decided to triage Nerd Guy Pain when they don't notice that there are Nerd Gals. Saves me *so* much time.

Reminds me that in High School at some point I noticed that within my specific geeky circles the relationships that involved guys dating girls who were hanging out within that geek/gamer* crowd did not look very healthy. At some point I explicitly decided that it would be a Bad Idea to try to date within that group and that I either needed to spend more time in different social circles (which wasn't really the plan -- I liked my friends) or just plan on not dating.

In retrospect I think Sturgeons Law is applicable -- it isn't surprising that the relationships in which I knew both people to some degree were visibly unhealthy because most High School relationships are visibly unhealthy. It's just that when people were dating somebody outside of the social circle I didn't know what was going on.

This isn't to excuse Nerd Pain Guys who don't notice Nerd Gals, which is a real problem, but just to offer another example of the way in which one can talk oneself into self-sabotaging beliefs.

* Tabletop gamer, not computer gamer


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:09 PM
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445 gets it right. Beyond that, I have zero advice. It's totally possible to date as a single parent, so don't let that stop you, the fear of being permanently alone or whatever is bullshit. On the other hand, being a single parent and dealing with custody arrangements and the like is in fact a gigantic pain in the ass and difficult. On the third hand, if things are bad enough then they're a lot better than the alternative. It may get marginally easier when the kids get a little older and need less full-time care, or that may just make it easier to get out of a crappy relationship situation. Value added commenting! Take a bullying towel snap on the way out for good measure.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:13 PM
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I refuse to believe table top gaming has an actual crowd.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:15 PM
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Except there'd be no reason to believe I'd end up in a relationship since my history shows I'm horrible at them and I'm really not sure I can juggle yet another extended family's drama and so forth. Whatever happens, I'll only be 50 or so when Selah finishes high school, so maybe I could find someone after that and finally get in my sleeping-around stage before that or something.

Even if you don't wind up in a romantic relationship for a good long while, that's not necessarily a problem, is it? It's not as if you'll lack for human interaction and meaningful relationships.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:22 PM
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437: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o3m1FwhusY


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 12:46 PM
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451

I'm not afraid of being single or alone. Many days pass when I don't have more than passing polite conversation with other adults, so I already know I could handle that. I just meant there's no guarantee I can or would model a healthier relationship. I'm not at the point where I'd be afraid to leave the girls with Lee, but at the moment she's only willing to handle one at a time and I worry about the care they'd get with her if she had all of them, even though I've enabled it by letting her get away with refusing to change diapers and so on and of course if she had to step up she'd manage. I'm trying to create more opportunities where she does and with some success, but it's more work for me still.

I'm not sure that I want to leave. I'm not sure I'm unhappy in meaningful ways. I mean, I've wanted to cry all the time for the last week or so, but that's not something that happens more than every six months or so. In regular life I'd say I'm not fulfilled but not necessarily unhappy. I just never expected to end up living inside The Feminine Mystique and I have and I hate that.

I'm not totally set on leaving. I'm not sure what to do. It doesn't help that Lee and Mara are both having mysterious health problems, the latter potentially scary but also maybe no big deal and yet it would be nice if the doctor would call back to weigh in. I do know the best thing I can do for Lee is make space for her to be and realize she can be a competent parent, just as what a worrying child needs is proof that I can go away and still come back. As it is, I go out two or three evenings a month, either after I serve dinner or after bedtime. There's a lot of tweaking that could go on there to give me more freedom and Lee more responsibilities and I do need to make that happen.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 1:05 PM
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On the Aaronson thing, isn't Ockham's Razor that he was scared to talk to girls, and latched on to the Dworkin thing as an elaborate rationalization/self-justification about why society had forced him to be scared to talk to girls? In another age he would have blamed religion.

The connection to feminism, or indeed to any rational logical system, is completely tenuous and defined entirely by psychology, and it's the failure to recognize that personal psychological mechanism even now that makes him seem so self-unaware.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 1:08 PM
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453

452 seems right to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 1:13 PM
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454

452 sounds good to me too. One problem for guys is attempting to approach feminism from a masculine subject position, ie, what is a guy to think/do? Mistake, the point is to understand and empathize with female subject positions. Male feminists must be queer as folk.

Dead thread yet? From my book on BL/yaoi:

"Du to this conflation, women, feminity, and maternity are all abjected, which Kristeva argues accounts for the actual denigration of women and increased antifeminism.
This entails women facing the paradox of becoming a social subject through an internal abjection of themselves as women/feminine/maternal. As Butler has famously arhued, gender is performative and its performance is enforced on us by heteronormativity. By performing femininity then, fe(males)s construct their subjectivity as the abject gender, or rather, signify their own lack of subjectivity within the Symbolic. To resolve this crisis of being aware yet unable to disavow their own (future) femininity as abject, I argue that fe(males)s can use BL as a space to affirm their (future) femininity as subjectivity. Not coincidentally, the character that performs the disavowal [of homosexuality] and provides the narrative viewpoint is usually the uke [bottom], the character constructed through the other BL topoi as the feminine presence.

It is through the uke as male femininity that fe(males)s can mitigate their relationship to femininity in light of its abjection"

Uhh, cite: Neal Akatsuka, "Uttering the Absurd" in the LGBTQ section of Boys Love Manga, Antonia Levi ed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 2:22 PM
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452.1 sounds almost right to me.

435: My guess is that you find it hard to sympathize with that particular aspect because you don't suffer from scrupulosity.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 2:31 PM
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Ohh, I forgot, in 454.3 italics mine.

Lot going on in 454.1 about guys approaching feminism from a masculinist subject position "I will protect and defend the abjected woman(s)" bullshit for instance.

2) Shocked, shocked by how fucking social the nerds in this thread tended to be, but I suppose nerds aren't necessarily smart. I took a good look at sociality at an early age and lost every aspect of envy or inadequacy. Why do that stuff? Did. Not. Want. The socially dependent will never believe me I suppose.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 2:33 PM
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And no diagnosis for Mara, but there's a referral in to hematology at Children's and I can call first thing Monday to get her seen as soon as possible after that so they can figure out what's up. That might keep my mind off other problems, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 2:48 PM
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On reflection, I take back my approval of 452.

The Dworkinesque rationalizations may be bullshit, yet of course society is to blame. It is the neo-liberal fashion to ascribe all failures and and flaws of our enemies to their own character, and our own problems to general or social oppression.

Society, at each and every level, is seriously fucked up, and the choice (to the questionable degree we have agency) is to whether to play within it by its rules, or perform within in it in opposition, or withdraw.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 3:00 PM
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Good luck, Thorn. I don't have any specific advice, but I wish you the energy to keep trying different solutions until you find one that improves your situation.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 01- 2-15 3:58 PM
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Good luck and good effort, Thorn. Have been thinking, after Josh's comment: I have a relative who does maybe nearly as much as you do, but (a) the family calls her `the saint'; (b) being `the saint' has begun to wear on her, in the last decade or two; and (c) you don't want her marriage. She doesn't. I'm told she's waiting for it to end, but she doesn't believe in divorce, or maybe can't bring herself to cut her spouse loose, so she's just keeping busy for the foreseeable future, measured in decades. She has so many projects and colleagues and goals and deep friends that I don't think she's coming out poorly in the overall-life-quality stakes, but.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 1:55 PM
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Yeah, I don't want to be a saint and I hate that some people think of me that way. But we also don't have a relationship by any normal standards. I mean, we've watched Transparent after the girls' bedtime while drinking wine together, but roommates could certainly do that, though I'd never put up with the unequal chores from a roommate. Part of the reason I'm more isolated than I should be is not wanting people to get close enough to see how unfair it is. But also I can't commit to things like my knitting group because I can't rely on Lee to keep the girls and can't afford to go out and pay a babysitter regularly either. I should probably try to cultivate more friends and activities, which would probably make me happier.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 6:16 PM
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Part of the reason I'm more isolated than I should be is not wanting people to get close enough to see how unfair it is.

Huh. Who, exactly, would that make feel bad? The other people? You? Lee?

Or, if you decide that you're just going to have this wierdly 1950s distant relationship, it's the deal you chose, can you open up some and let the chips fall?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 7:27 PM
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It makes me feel bad that I'm in this situation that was not my goal and I think other people find it weird and retrograde just like they think it's weird another woman quit going to knitting group because she no longer goes anywhere without her husband, which doesn't seem to benjoy masking abuse but is still odd. I specifically wanted this to be the relationship where I'd be treated as an equal and valued for myself and all that good, normal stuff and so I hate that I've failed to the extent I have.

She has restrictions even on how openness should work, namely that she never has to know about it and neither does anyone not involved, but that's the latest piece I'm supposed to look for elsewhere so I'm not burdening her with my neediness.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 7:35 PM
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And since you're here, clew, on another topic I was able to buy a ton more (like 3 yards maybe?) of the awesome linen I miscut, so I can redo that top and still have enough for plenty of something. I also got a lightweight linen I'm going to make into some sort of nightgown or maybe a historical shift or I don't know. The silk shirt I was working on fits great the way I have it basted, but I have to actually finish the seams still, and instead I bought a different bit of silk, black and floral panels, and I'm making a tunic dress now, which is also going well. So that's what I'm going to do tonight, while I'm home and the girls have finally fallen asleep, read or watch something on Netflix and sew for a while.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 7:48 PM
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Can you set up your big house with separate entrances? This is getting into Regency romance cliche territory.
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So, linen and silk! (Next, lawn and cambric and peau de soie.) The most joy I get out of linen is linen pillowcases. I suppose you only even need enough extra for *one side* of a pillowcase.

I would encourage me to finish the silk shirt and have a good shirt I could actually wear, but I have a finishing problem, so. I should finish the heavy work jeans I took apart at the back seams to take in, only, I'm perplexed because I took in a little over two inches at the top of the yoke, but when I pin the waistband back on there's only half an inch extra. I stretched out the top of the yoke horribly while fitting them or it was eased in to start with or?? But the waistband is still too big. I'm going to try boiling-water-steaming the yoke smaller but I definitely need to cut something out of the band, the problem was I couldn't put anything in the pockets and then sweat or the pants would ease gently off my person.

If there isn't a name for the knob of cloth where two flat-felled seams cross each other, in the back of jeans, there should be. Possibly `Needle-Killer' in archaic Swedish.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 8:23 PM
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I suppose if we reopened the back stairs, which I've wanted to for unrelated reasons, there would be more sordid options than there are now. The house has a layout typical for our city where as well as the front door for personal visits and the kitchen/back door as a service entry, there's a side porch and door for the center room of the house, which closes off with pocket doors from the front living room, that supposedly was meant to be the entrance for a home office, though I have no evidence anyone used that setup in this house. I've put flower pots on the steps outside the door to keep the girls from jumping off them.

I do need to learn to use a sewing machine. Right now it's all handwork.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 8:30 PM
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That's enough doors for farce. (Netflix has _The More the Merrier_ but not streaming. In fact, not much of Jean Arthur is streaming. Psh.)

For years I sewed everything by hand, except buttonholes, which I mailed home to my mother. Now I have a machine that buttonholes and I feel I ought to welt them instead.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 9:05 PM
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-on


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 9:06 PM
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I know it's easier said the done, but Thorn you really need to get out. I was in what was in retrospect I quite toxic, borderline abusive relationship, and I did similar things to you. It was easy to point to the good to rationalize putting up with the bad, and I also used to be upset that he couldn't at least respect me in public. I would also hide/minimize aspects of our relationships from other people because I was ashamed that given my values and personality I'd put up with something like that. Now that I'm out and in a healthier relationship, I'm realizing exactly how bullshit so much of my earlier relationship was, and how much of the "good times" were actually just normal day to day relationship stuff that happens all the time when you're dating a non-asshole.

I realized my relationship was truly dead when I realized having an unsupportive, unreliable partner was far worse than being single. For me this moment came during a medical crisis, when he turned into an unhinged bully and became a major source of stress I had to manage on top of everything else. Your situation is different, but you're doing something harder than single parenting right now, and you will probably find if you take the leap, being a single mom is easier because you can make stable plans and not constantly be counting on an unreliable person to come through. If Lee isn't a terrible person (and it sounds like she probably isn't), it might also be the case if you stand up for yourself, get out of your romantic relationship, and set boundaries, she might be able to become the parent you want her to be. As long as you're willing to do far more than you should, she can continue to take you for granted though.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 9:30 PM
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Also, definitely get a sewing machine!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 9:32 PM
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I would encourage me to finish the silk shirt and have a good shirt I could actually wear, but I have a finishing problem, so.

Would it help to be finishing things for others, rather than yourself? I can send you my measurements.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01- 3-15 9:38 PM
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I'll show you my measurements if you show me yours.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 4-15 8:56 AM
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