Thursday, July 10, 2014

Speed-Blogging, 7/10/14: Lighter Topics (Todd Akin, Looks and Susan Patton's Advice To the Womankind)

1.  Todd Akin is baa-a-ck His new book tells us a lot about the battle inside the Republican Party on the best ways not to attract female voters (because the voters they get with the opposite strategy, the current one, might be lost!):

 In other cases, they’re wrong – much of the Republican establishment knows the party has gone too far in demonizing women. But they’ve humored them, trading women’s freedom for wingnut votes for more than 30 years, and they don’t know how to kick the habit.

2.  This Gallup survey about how people feel when it comes to their looks is fascinating.  In a nutshell, white people become more dissatisfied by their physical appearance in middle age, and it is white people who are least satisfied with their looks over their lifetimes.  The expected gender difference is there, with women less satisfied than men, but the difference almost disappears in old age.

Theorizing about this is probably premature, but surely the cultural values concerning beauty matter here, as well as the quantitative domination of white images of beauty in the media.

3.  Fox News never disappoints.  In the recent past they've told women not to talk so much if they want to get ahead in business and then they had an interview with Susan Patton, who is regarded as an expert in something or other.  I'm not quite sure how she became an expert, but she is best known (or only known?) for telling female students at Princeton to spend most of their time on husband hunting.

Patton argues that feminism has made women into horrible entitled princesses who no longer attend to their husbands or ask if they'd like a drink after a long day at work or ask what they'd want for dinner.  She then says that women better shape up because they will lose that husband of theirs and then they will end up all alone except with cats.

It's really fun stuff, like telling you how to catch a fish you don't really want to eat but if you don't catch it you will go hungry.  In that sense it reminds me of so much anti-feminist writing:  misandrist crap, most of it, telling us that men are uncontrollable sexual beasts or unfeeling food-and-sex machines and that's why women must subjugate themselves and cater to all those needs but only in marriage.  The advice is threat-based, in general, and that's the case with Patton's advice, too:  Women won't be able to have heterosexual partnership unless they agree to traditional gender roles. 

It's sad, in a way, like listening to someone very dysfunctional talking about relationships.  In my world you pay attention to your partner because you appreciate him or her for those personal qualities and because you are a team and because that's how the world of intimate relationships works best.  Compare that to the idea that if you don't accept one type of crap you will end up in worse crap, and then tell me that it's feminist ideas which made women into entitled princesses.

Patton's evidence on all her arguments seems pulled out from her personal experiences or made up, by the way.  I may be wrong as I haven't seen her writing on the topic.