‘Locker room talk’

by L

“Locker room talk” and “boys will be boys” – in the wake of our current president’s words (and alleged sexual assaults), what solutions would Totebaggers suggest? Parents of boys, how would you feel if your son was one of the people scoring women?

2012 Harvard Men’s Soccer Team Produced Sexually Explicit ‘Scouting Report’ on Female Recruits

Stronger Together

WATCH: Harvard women’s soccer’s response to ‘scouting reports’ featured in Lifetime video

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200 thoughts on “‘Locker room talk’

  1. My quick read and view of the video left me with a favorable impression of the girls’ response.

  2. So much for “peer group.”

    I read through it quickly. It’s definitely crude, immature, and embarrassing. Once it’s made public, the originator cedes most of the claim that it’s just locker room talk. It reflects poorly on the players, the team, and their school.

    That said, are they talking about anything illegal? It’s possible that I missed it; I didn’t focus on the details. Are they just “scoring” girls and joking about what specific sexual acts and positions they’d favor with each? Modern culture suggests that safe sex, as long as it’s consensual, is nothing but good, clean fun. It should be liberated from any sort of commitment or emotional baggage. To suggest otherwise is prudish and out of touch. That being the case, if there’s nothing wrong with casually engaging in such acts, then certainly there shouldn’t be anything wrong with privately *talking* about sex, and its various positions and permutations, what acts one would like to do, with whom, and why. So why the sudden outrage now?

  3. So why the sudden outrage now?

    Isn’t who’s hot and who is not a major topic of conversation among teenage girls?

  4. Agree with CoC that the women handled it well. This reminds me of a previous discussion with Milo about women in the military, where I agreed that most men are good and decent but if you wind up subordinate to a bad one, or within a bad culture where good men leave, there is little recourse.

    It’s hard for me to imagine my sons behaving this way, because of our local subculture, but I don’t know whether they would have the fortitude to rebel against an existing culture or whether they would just leave.

    The fact that it is almost always men who behave in such ways makes me reluctant to believe gender equality will ever be achieved, or if achieved, that it could be maintained in the absence of a strong government.

  5. Girls talk about boys; boys talk about girls – who they like, who they find attractive, what they find attractive, etc. I don’t know that you can ever stop that. But, what they say, how they say it, where they say it, and to whom they say it can all be taught. Since I don’t have boys, I’m not sure how that is done effectively. With my girls, we talked about knowing that what you say about someone may get back to them, so don’t say anything about them you wouldn’t want to say “to” them or have someone say with both of you together that you said that about the other person.

    I think the girls handled it very maturely and professionally. If I were employing these girls, I would have a favorable impression of them, unlike the behavior of the boys who wrote, laughed at, and/or condoned the “report”. I think parts of our society are rebelling against holding, boys especially, accountable for their words and actions rather than letting it be kids will be kids (pick your age 0-25). On one hand, I agree they need to be accountable, but on the other, sometimes accountable is zero tolerance and there is no room to learn from your mistakes.

  6. Presumably so, Rhett.

    It just seems highly strange to me that if all of the players were actually engaging in such acts with the women’s team (or Hell, with the guys’ team, or both at the same time) then we’d be Celebrating! it. But talk about it privately, in the hypothetical, and you’re a depraved misogynist bigot.

  7. “Isn’t who’s hot and who is not a major topic of conversation among teenage girls?”

    And boys, and women, and men? All my life I’ve seen this kind of talk among all sorts and among all ages. If anything, young folks today seem to be able to discuss this in more detail than in past years because they seem more knowledgeable than in previous generations. But engaging in this as a men’s team targeting a women’s team of your own school seems destructive and ill-advised.

    I wonder what the reaction would have been if the women’s team had been the culprits here.

  8. “But engaging in this as a men’s team targeting a women’s team of your own school seems destructive and ill-advised.”

    Why do you say “targeting”? Did they suggest that the acts would be nonconsensual? (they may have, and I missed it.)

    “I wonder what the reaction would have been if the women’s team had been the culprits here.”

    EMPOWERING!

  9. By targeting I simply mean directing their reviews toward that particular team. They targeted the team members/recruits with their comments.

  10. No, it wouldn’t, Milo. Assigning members of the opposite sex “numerical scores” would not be acceptable to leftists. Being sex-positive doesn’t mean being objectification-positive.

  11. Of course its appalling and I hope my sons would not engage in such a thing.

    On the other hand, my college girlfriends and I occasionally played a game called “F*** one, marry one, push one off a cliff,” that wasn’t substantially better than what the Harvard boys were doing.

  12. “Being sex-positive doesn’t mean being objectification-positive.”

    Distinction without a difference. They’re just talking about who would be better at various healthy, consensual, fun and empowering sexual activities. It’s no different than saying that Julia, being taller, has a better tennis serve while Courtney, the faster one, has a better net game.

  13. The outrage wasn’t about sex or even sexual talk. It was about lack of respect for fellow athletes and the longstanding practice of the men’s soccer team (kind of a hazing ritual – younger members had to prepare the analysis) to provide a rating of the new freshmen fellow student-athletes based on appearance and likely sexual proclivities, not on their athletic or academic skills. If the men’s soccer team prepared an analysis of the freshmen on the men’s lacrosse team with the same criteria it would be peculiar and a breach of brotherly athletic respect (and probably foolish since the lacrosse guys would beat the stuffing out of them). I can’t imagine any circumstance in which it would occur to the team to make that a kind of bonding ritual. But sister athletes were apparently fair game, since there is a long tradition of viewing young women through a very limited lens and trivializing/ignoring most of their other talents. Remember when Kate was praised after a long grueling deal by the client for being easy on the eyes?

    If the young men were in the habit of rating in a similar fashion the web photos provided by a local strip joint, it would be of no consequence, if a bit crude. If they did it for the web photos of an athletic team at a minor women’s college known as date fodder for the Ivy, it would be crude and both classist and sexist, and would provoke outrage, but not a sense of family betrayal.

  14. Distinction without a difference.

    Nope. It’s about assigning value and worth. Girls who are unattractive are dogs. When they walk by, you can woof at them! It’s fun! And it has nothing to do with being sex-positive.

  15. Ditto to Meme.

    I also *just learned* that similar things went on with the men’s singing groups when I was in school. Not that I was surprised, but I was annoyed that I hadn’t known about it before now – if I had learned about it at the time, it would have changed my interactions with those people! Rrgh.

  16. So I guess the question is simply are we upset that one Harvard soccer team displayed insufficient athletic and school loyalty to another Harvard soccer team. How would we feel if we found out that one of our kids showed insufficient school spirit — would we be upset?

    No, I suppose not.

  17. Um…insufficient respect to their peers.

    Yes, if my kids showed insufficient respect to their peers I would be upset.

  18. Milo, I’m sure you are able to understand that neither relationships nor people can be reduced to numbers. Why the chain-yanking defense of these guys?

  19. Milo, if you don’t understand, I guess we can’t explain it to you. There are a couple of old guys at the bridge club who still complain that I stopped dyeing my hair. They call me “Red” to this day, and say, you used to be hot. They mean it as a form of compliment. It isn’t.

  20. I disagree that the outrage was not about sex, at least in part. If the men’s team had a similar list outlining something like the strengths and weaknesses of the women’s athletic skills, the reaction would not have been as intense and certainly not as newsworthy.

  21. Being sex-positive doesn’t mean being objectification-positive.

    Milo, yes these are two very different things

  22. I understand, Meme, but it’s totally about sex, and that’s the part that I find hypocritical.

    Coc – Likewise, I could imagine academically ambitious freshmen making rankings of who would make the best lab partners for organic chem (and actually acting on them). In the same manner, it’s objectifying individuals to one particular aspect about them.

    The Forbes 400 is nothing if not objectifying individuals. And speaking of Harvard, how about the obsession with USN&WR. Ultimately, that’s just an objectification of people based on SAT scores.

    So the outrage here is definitely about sex.

  23. So why the sudden outrage now?

    First, I think you and the SJW are coming from the same prudish instinct just expressed differently. Second, much like with cyber bullying, in the past all this happened but there wasn’t an incontrovertible electronic record of it. We’re still at a point where society is trying to adapt to their being an incontrovertible record of almost everything one does or says .

  24. When I was a freshman, the college I went to compiled photographs of the freshman class which we affectionately called the “PIG book”. Boys used it to score the girls and vice versa and fraternities all had copies. I had a lot of male friends in college so maybe I’m less bothered by this stuff, but my son would get a severe talking to if he took part in anything like this – he has two sisters and I expect him to be a gentleman. Basically, I think this kind of talk has always been around and always will be.

  25. Likewise, I could imagine academically ambitious freshmen making rankings of who would make the best lab partners for organic chem (and actually acting on them). In the same manner, it’s objectifying individuals to one particular aspect about them.

    That’s not parallel, because reducing women to their sexual attributes has historically meant failing to value them as full human beings. And don’t go all dopey and say “Well, so does reducing them to their o-chem abilities!!” You know damn well that those two things are not parallel.

    And I think I used up all my energy for this kind of argument when I was in 8th grade in 1973, so you just go right ahead and burble your false analogies and play dumb and ask wide-eyed questions. It’s really tiresome, but if it amuses you, well, bless your heart.

  26. Because people couldn’t see offensive things, they aren’t offensive? What?

    I’ll agree that the Forbes 400 also reduces people to a number, although it’s based on something much less personal and intrinsic to an individual. Do you see a positive use for that list?

  27. It sound like immature behavior and free speech. It is the kind of thing I would expect my sons not to do after college. I think the athletic thing is a red herring.

  28. Because people couldn’t see offensive things, they aren’t offensive? What?

    Oh they are! It’s far easier for authorities and society to ignore something when there isn’t incontrovertible proof.

  29. Rocky – So
    1) You agree that it is about sex and not team spirit;
    2) Sex, by its nature, is a much bigger deal than simple hook-up fun than modern progressive doctrine would have you believe. Which is what makes insisting otherwise, but subsequently being outraged about this, hypocritical.

    Saac – I’m not defending them. 98% of my reaction is contained in my very first paragraph at 10:42.

  30. Sex, by its nature, is a much bigger deal than simple hook-up fun

    Not nearly so much for guys. That’s also part of the problem. Men and women don’t have the same relationship to sex and it’s awkward for some to admit that fact.

  31. Sex, by its nature, is a much bigger deal than simple hook-up fun than modern progressive doctrine would have you believe.

    Is your oldest starting to date or something? You seem really bent out of shape.

  32. “Because it’s not true or it’s impolitic to bring up?”

    It’s not politically correct.

  33. Any suggestions on helping boys deal with pushback when they refuse to engage in this sort of thing? I remember my son refusing to walk home from middle school with neighbor boys, because they always talked about girls’ butts and who had the best one. He still rejects this kind of talk in high school. I expect the pressure will continue at least through college, and perhaps later, depending in part on his career.

  34. You agree that it is about sex and not team spirit

    I dunno, I didn’t go to Harvard. I don’t know those rules.

  35. You seem really bent out of shape.

    Be nice – he’s mostly just stirring the pot to keep things interesting.

    I will say though, that between this and United, you know those guys living in their mom’s basement because they have authority issues? Milo has whatever the opposite of that is. Dude loves him some rules and authority.

  36. Any suggestions on helping boys deal with pushback when they refuse to engage in this sort of thing?

    Tell him to get used to it now? DH has never fit in with groups of men because he won’t participate in that shit. He has individual men friends.

  37. Any suggestions on helping boys deal with pushback when they refuse to engage in this sort of thing?

    Don’t refuse. When in Rome, as they say.

  38. I think it is about sex. I also think it is ridiculous to equate two consenting adult/what they do/talk about to a group of men objectifying women without their consent. One is ok and one is not. I can’t believe we all don’t agree on that.

  39. I’ve only recently figured out the reason behind Trump & co’s dislike of “political correctness”. It’s because they see it as using different words to mean the same thing. That was a big “aha” moment for me, and had been obvious to my son all along (he claimed. He was totally unimpressed.)

  40. Be nice – he’s mostly just stirring the pot to keep things interesting.

    Yeah, fuck that.

    So, weekend plans, anyone? ;)

    Of course. I’m going to the Tax Day march in Denver. Show us the returns, Trumpy!

  41. Ditto RMS. Mr WCE didn’t fit in with one hunting group because he has no interest in fart humor, etc. Fart humor is another area of gender equality where women need to step it up to reach parity.

  42. Rhett, on your 12:04 comment, perhaps I should have specified that I don’t want him to become an A$$hole, just be left alone by guys who are.

  43. I’m not bent out of shape, Rocky. It is something I think about trying to reconcile two competing schools of thought:

    1) Just get them on the pill and make sure they’re safe. After that, it’s nothing but fun. Teens will be teens. They should enjoy themselves. As long as it’s safe sex. Cover your drinks, don’t get *too* drunk, but then have at it. Explore.

    vs.

    2) Clearly, many young men, even Harvard students (athletes or choir boys), do not have the maturity to treat and value girls as individuals worthy of respect and are only objectifying them.

  44. Milo – I never said it was about team spirit. I compared it to family. The analog would be if you and your male friends all made a yearly ranking of your sisters or better yet teenaged daughters based on a matrix of qualities that were exclusively related to exactly how they would enhance a man’s life. Cooking, sexual adventurousness, eye candy on the arm, mothering, letting you have men’s activities without limit or complaint, thriftiness, good hostess, not bossy, least likely to turn out to be a lesbian, etc. A group email introducing and evaluating the freshmen female soccer players on their athletic traits and fit with the team would not be offensive, it would be appropriate.

  45. You really don’t see the difference when someone is consenting to something then making to ok? Compare pornography v someone stealing a picture of a woman who is naked and publishing it without her consent. Both the same? You don’t see how the fact that the person featured didn’t consent to it makes it much worse?

  46. We have no problem with fart humor in this household!

    Rocky, that may have been my dad’s strategy as well. I remember him not wanting to golf with “the boys” because he’d rather be home with his family. He took some crap for that. When one of them starting harassing me, he said he addressed it briefly as they were both scrubbing in for surgery: “[daughter] showed me the letters. Don’t do that any more”

  47. I see what you’re saying, Meme. Do you agree that I have at least half a point that there are two competing and irreconcilable views that we’re supposed to take on casual sex?

  48. Ditto to Kate, Milo, I’m not sure why the distinction is so difficult for you to grasp. (Or should I say grab by the you-know-what?)

  49. Milo, conversations like this always filled me with fear because it’s hard to tell when it’s conversation vs. when there is a real risk of assault. One guy who harassed me in middle/high school named the baby girl he fathered after me and later wound up in prison. I still have bad dreams about him sometimes.

  50. I wouldn’t want my guys to be part of that and if I found out about it I’d definitely talk with them about it.

    But also, similar to TLC’s college game, in my group of guys from our freshman and sophomore years’ dorm, it was common for one or more of us to comment about an attractive female student (not specifically the same person all the time, just someone we’d see when walking on campus) “yeah, I’d f**k her.”

    I imagine those same conversations still happen both ways (TLC’s and mine). Can’t really stop that I don’t think. Having a “report” published, is a whole different matter.

  51. Thesis statement, and then I’ve gotta go: If casual sex is nothing but harmless fun, then you have no grounds on which to object to people merely talking about it. On the other hand, if, as has been said, talking about it in a simplified and objectifying manner is a dangerous matter based on historic and ongoing inequity, then the act itself is a lot more serious than a casual frolic, even when consensual.

  52. “there are two competing and irreconcilable views that we’re supposed to take on casual sex”

    Not on casual sex–on sexuality. That’s what I mentioned earlier. Boys are taught implicitly and explicitly that this is how they ought to act to be “real men”. Some act on it, aggressively, some don’t, but it always focuses attention away from a woman’s other attributes. Women want to be recognized as human beings, not scores, and don’t know at first how dangerous a man they’ve just met is. Men at every level of society, right up to the POTUS, are capable of assault, (even if they don’t usually pull “Jumbo” out in front of reporters).

  53. Milo – When I was a college freshman, it was still illegal in MA to prescribe birth control to unmarried women. We had parietal hours, frustrated women have to home by 12 o clock (Standells Dirty Water). If I refused sex (no means no) in several situations the young fellow would just relieve himself in my presence if I could not get home. There was no freshman women’s formal yearbook, just for the men. The freshman women’s book was privately published (none of us were evolved enough at 17 to understand what its purpose was.) I was stalked by someone out of that book, and I was hardly a beauty. Living together was shocking outside of a few liberal bastions. My mother threatened not to contribute to college if I was having sex with my boyfriend at 20 (I called her bluff.) The rating in Playboy for my college’s women was National Merit Scholars who are good in bed. The point is that all this went on before the sexual revolution. The behavior of many men has not changed one bit. I don’t buy that the acceptance of casual or even committed premarital sex for both sexes makes that behavior more acceptable, but I can see how it might seem to you that outrage is somehow less appropriate if women are allowed to want sex and engage in it instead of having to restrict access to it for moral or economic reasons.

  54. ^^ please don’t interpret the above as meaning that only women want to be recognized as human–everyone does. Objectification is less frequent for men, so not generally their concern.

  55. Objectification is less frequent for men

    It’s less crude and the criteria are different but is it less frequent?

  56. If casual sex is nothing but harmless fun, then you have no grounds on which to object to people merely talking about it. On the other hand, if, as has been said, talking about it in a simplified and objectifying manner is a dangerous matter based on historic and ongoing inequity, then the act itself is a lot more serious than a casual frolic, even when consensual.

    If war is necessary, then you have no grounds on which to object to people merely talking about it. Calling returning soldiers and sailors warmongers, baby-killers, drug addicts, and psychos is just conversation. Objectifying them and refusing to see their humanity is completely fine, even though they don’t consent to being treated that way. After all, war IS necessary.

  57. I am perfectly willing to concede that my interest in Chris Hemsworth is based 95% on his physical attributes.

  58. I would not be happy with my sons if they were part of this scoring and both my DH and I try very hard to instill our values into our sons. I think Rhett’s point about living in the “digital” age and basically everything is recorded has not been fully understood yet. When I was younger we did rate guys at the beach, at school etc but were less likely to catcall and we certainly didn’t make a book of it. I don’t think this is exclusively a male trait. In fact according to my friends with HS a similar situation happened last year and the perpetrators was a group of girls.

    It is my job to raise respectful boys and I hope their friends’ parents are doing the same and any girls they meet were raised to be respectful too.

    When we had to discuss porn with our oldest because he searched on some terms that he didn’t know but some kids mentioned, DH related that when he first saw naked girls it was from the dirty magazines that his friend took from the trash and buried in the woods. I have this image now of DH and all his friends trekking a 1/2 mile with a map to find this stash of pretty tame stuff compared to what my sons could now access.

  59. Porn
    Does anybody want to talk about it?
    This presents an interesting idea: it’s inevitable that our kids will see porn, so why not guide them in understanding how it can be exploitative and how to find ethical porn?
    My son’s take in it is the same as mine. He is a very private person, and not interested in seeing private things from people he doesn’t know. I have never found porn interesting; he says he doesn’t either. We have already talked about the issues of mainstream porn mentioned here.
    https://theestablishment.co/why-isnt-pornography-part-of-se…
    I agree that if kids are going to be watching it, then they should know how to find the type that isn’t exploitative or violent, but am not convinced that kids who simply aren’t interested should be required to critique it in school.

  60. Rocky and Meme – I see your perspective on the topic.

    I agree that this sort of thing is nothing new, and I agree that the sexual revolution is neither a cause of nor an excuse for it.

    SM – what kind of porn is non-exploitative? Is there a pay threshold?

  61. Yeah, from what I gather, it seems like she’s only comfortable with a certain type of relationship being portrayed, one in which it’s mutually pleasurable.

    So on one hand, she’s averse to any couple who might enjoy violent fantasies, which seems rather judgmental and narrow-minded.

    On the other hand, it seems hopelessly foolish to declare that porn can only portray mutually pleasurable actions if the only reason the participants actually do it is for money. How pleasurable is it if they wouldn’t do it if not for a paycheck?

  62. “Just get them on the pill and make sure they’re safe. After that, it’s nothing but fun. Teens will be teens. They should enjoy themselves. As long as it’s safe sex. Cover your drinks, don’t get *too* drunk, but then have at it. Explore.”

    Who is this attitude supposed to be representing? Immoral liberals? I have seen much more from the college progressive movement about consent and respect taken to what some might consider cartoonish levels than “everything is fine – have fun”.

    I also agree that somewhat publicly publishing a detailed “review” of every member of the freshman soccer team goes way beyond “conversation”. Is it illegal? Stating that it is “confirmed” that a certain member of the women’s team is riddled with STD’s may not be kosher, legally-speaking. Doing this sort of exercise in an office environment would probably be illegal based on workplace harassment laws or at least policies. Might it break an honor code that Harvard students or student-athletes consent to? Possibly – I have no idea. But at least I hope that we can agree that even if it is not illegal, it is crude, unbecoming to the participants, and something quite different from two guys or girls in a dorm room talking about who is hot or even two guys at happy hour talking about how the new girl in Accounting has a nice butt.

  63. I suppose we should only patronize porn studios that don’t “objectify” their actors. *THAT* would be horrible.

    We only want material from porn directors and producers who cast their ladies based on classic acting abilities, sharp wits, and keen intellects.

  64. From that article
    “As a result of modern technologies and the loudness of the porn voice,” they write in “Eroticising Inequality: Technology, Pornography and Young People,” “young people today face unique challenges as they negotiate their sexual identities…We need to find ways to equip and to encourage young people to critique [what] they see in porn.”

    But it’s not only about being able to critique the imagery, they say; “It’s is also about having frameworks with which to understand these images.” Young people should be taught how to think better about gender, power, and consent. If we give them that, then we can give them an “erotic cultural sensibility to allow diversity and individual taste.” What we eroticize can “promote equality, tenderness, communication, consent, and mutuality.”

    “Lust” is an (aptly named) pornographer interviewed

    we need to educate young people so that they can become critical viewers of porn,” she told me. “People have to start talking to their kids about porn just as we would talk about not eating junk food or abusing alcohol or smoking. Today, it is not enough to have just the sex talk, we need to include the porn talk.”

    “Young people deserve to see better porn,” Lust said. “Don’t get me wrong, the porn can be ‘dirty,’ but the values have to be clean.”

  65. Milo, I’m not sure how much those comments require response, but certainly you can see the difference between hiring an actor, which is based partially on appearance, and the relationship portrayed in the film, right?

  66. So much for “peer group.”
    Shhhhh, don’t tell Finn.

    Even though they are good enough students to get into Harvard, they are still jocks, who are a bad peer group. Now band kids, on the other hand, would never do anything like this, especially at a school like Stanford.(/sarcasm)

  67. Milo, the thing is, you don’t actually care. This is totally sophistical to you. And you can do that, because there are no real-world consequences to you. You can straw-man it all day long and just chuckle. For many of us, on the receiving end of this bullshit, it matters a lot. And yet you just think it’s funny to pour salt on the banana slug.

  68. Now band kids, on the other hand, would never do anything like this, especially at a school like Stanford.(/sarcasm)

    That’s why Finn put his kids in orchestra.

  69. Saac – It doesn’t seem entirely backward to you that hiring an actor to have sex in front of a camera so that strangers can masturbate to the scene, (clearly a form of prostitution and a situation introducing a huge power imbalance and financial coercion) and the actor is motivated to do this because it’s her livelihood, is fine as long as the FICTIONAL scene portrayed is one that the author of your article deems healthy?

    Should we talk about Asian massage parlors, and how to get a non-exploitative happy ending? Maybe if the girl at least *acts* like she’s having a good time and it’s a healthy relationship. That, after all, is the criteria you’re introducing for porn.

  70. “Maybe “ethical porn” is porn you’d want your daughter to star in.”

    Now that’s a far more logical criterion.

  71. Maybe “ethical porn” is porn you’d want your daughter to star in.

    Nah, it’s porn that’s been grass-fed and humanely slaughtered.

  72. Somewhat on topic – In other counties this is all handled by arranged marriages in the late teens early twenties. Which leads me to the next question. In arranged marriages, how do they avoid marrying Milo and Saac?

  73. “Conversations like this always filled me with fear because it’s hard to tell when it’s conversation vs. when there is a real risk of assault.”

    I agree 100% with WCE on this. Has there ever been a documented case of a woman raping a man? Or, for that matter, a lesbian raping another woman? If I’m on the receiving end of a crude comment from a man, I always have the fear that the talk might evolve into action on the part of the talker. I have mentioned before that I have been lewdly groped in public places on two occasions. One was by a complete stranger, one was by a Big Man On Campus senior when I was a first-semester freshman in college. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if BMOC had “joking” conversations with his buds about how that freshman NoB had a nice ass, and his friends probably laughed. Which probably, at least in part, led BMOC to believe that it was totally fine to grope my ass when he felt like doing so.

  74. Usually the parents have some input. Louise has described the process in her own life.

  75. That’s why Finn put his kids in orchestra.

    I thought of Mozart in the Jungle and the antics of professionals in the orchestra.

  76. Usually the parents have some input.

    I thought traditionally they had all the input as it wasn’t the kid’s choice to make.

  77. My oldest isn’t quite old enough to have these discussions yet, but I have given some thought to how I want to explain it to him (and the rest of the crew) as he grows up. Mainly this:

    Sex/sexual acts are not inherently good or bad – just like a hammer isn’t good or bad. If you use a hammer to build a home, thats good. If you use it as a murder weapon, that’s terrible. Similarly, if you are in a mutually committed, consenting, loving relationship (and I would add ready, willing and able to take care of any children that come from that relationship) then sex in that context is among the most beautiful things in the world. On the other end of the spectrum is rape – among the worst things that can happen to a person.

    Personally, I think both pornography and prostitution are inherently exploitative and even under the best of circumstances can’t make it over to the “good” side of my morality spectrum.

  78. OK, I stand corrected on the point re. women never raping. But I think it must occur much less frequently than men raping.

  79. Arranged marriages even in my parents day had input not only from the parents but kids and family/friends as well. My parents marriage was not arranged in the traditional sense. My mother was my father’s sisters friend, so when my Mom would come visit her friend, both noticed each other and sort of asked permission to go out. Lots of young people met at weddings or other family occasions. Then friends and family make suggestions.
    My DH is the nephew of my parents friends and we were introduced that way.
    Group effort to match people up.

  80. Louise, I remember envying a female Indian fellow student because it seemed at that time, arranged marriage was still a backup for people who were single and wished to be married. In the U.S., we both knew lots of women who would have liked to be married but were unable to meet someone. Now that I’m older, I’ve learned there are men who would like to be married but were unable to meet someone. Arranged marriage especially helped shy people.

  81. But I think it must occur much less frequently than men raping.

    I would assume it’s like the teacher thing, it may happen more with men but it happens with women far more than you would think.

  82. WCE – these days people who wish to marry use the internet. I know several couples who met their spouses on marriage websites. My friends met his spouse on a website in the late 90s. My friends mother read the newspaper ad she had drafted. She was trying to get him to marry. All of us laughed at her draft, it was so outdated. My friend in the end wrote his own profile and met a suitable match online.

  83. NOB – yes there are documented cases of woman raping a man and lesbians as well but it is underreported because people believe that it “can’t” happen. Certainly, men represent more of the perpetrators but there are women who do the same. The recent case in CA, it was two women who kidnapped and assaulted the young mother.

    I agree that BMOC campus friends probably did laugh and this is one thing I want to instill in my sons. If you feel someone is being out of line, then call them on it. I feel like have the time that I’m spouting all the back in my day platitudes.

    Showtime aired a documentary series last summer/fall called Dark Net. One episode featured a camp of teenage/young adult males detoxing from porn addiction. Several of these men were watching and taking into hand over 50 times a day – too the point of self injury. A point made was prior to the internet, porn (regardless of the fetish) was clearly “fantasy” to the viewer. But with all the amateur porn now available the line between fantasy and reality was blurred and it was hard to see the people you interacted with IRL as people and not objects.

    The other thing, according to deputy in my area who is in cyber crimes, was that 50 years ago if you had some type of deviant thought or behavior you couldn’t mention that at the neighborhood cookout but now you can go online and find a hundred people who share your views and feel your behavior is normal.

    Think about some of the things that are now considered normal. The Doors were banned from Ed Sullivan because they alluded to drugs by singing “girl we couldn’t get much higher” and how sex or other taboo subjects were censored. Now in every genre there are demoralizing lyrics about women and men. When we first got cable, HBO didn’t turn on until 5:30 pm and family movies were shown until 9:00 pm. Then the adult movies were shown. We had Bill Clinton Oval Office sex scandal and the Trump comments twenty years later. We have had numerous texting scandals and female and male teachers sleeping with middle school boys and girls. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t have had the sexual reunion or things were better before it, just that trying to filter through and combat all the messages is difficult for an adult never mind a kid.

  84. This scene from Flashman and the Dragon depicts a rape by a woman, although Flashman being Flashman the only thing he’s complaining about is the insult to his dignity. (If you want the pages that are left out of the Google preview, I guess you’ll have to buy or borrow the book. They are fun books.) The way it’s depicted in the book is a good illustration of how we don’t really process such an occurrence as a rape the same way we would if the sexes were reversed.

  85. I think it boils down to the fear factor. If the BMOC grabbed you, you might worry about assault, but if a woman did that, most of the time it wouldn’t cause fear to a man. Or would it?

  86. “Any suggestions on helping boys deal with pushback when they refuse to engage in this sort of thing?”

    Major in engineering?

  87. “So, weekend plans, anyone? ;)”

    Well, this weekend includes April 15, so I know what I’ll be doing for much of it.

  88. I guess the guys who do this sort of thing are OK with their sisters, female friends, and girlfriends being being subject to such evaluations.

  89. Major in engineering?

    Right, because Silicon Valley is so respectful of women.

  90. Guys here – have you ever felt uncomfortable around a woman for that sort of reason? Feel free to go anon if you like.

    I would guess that there are very few women here who haven’t been made uncomfortable/scared by a man at some point.

  91. Weekend plans…middle kid got home from college last night because he has off thru Monday for Easter (Catholic college). Always nice to have him around and he likes to cook so we’ll be making some stuff we normally don’t / trying new recipes for homemade pasta and lamb (separate meals).
    And going out to dinner tonight to a place I’ve loved in the past, but for a while went to the “small plates” genre, and now they’re back to what they used to be with a more limited menu than before. And out for Sunday breakfast.

    Unfortunately it’s hell-month at work thru the middle of May, so I can’t take off any extra time.

  92. Kate – no.

    Rocky – It’s really not at all an issue where I don’t care. It’s a matter of me thinking there are a lot of mixed messages and inconsistencies in values and expectations. If I don’t care about a topic, I ignore it. See Architecture, Shaker.

  93. Milo – I agree with you on the mixed messages. I also think as a parent you can talk to your kids about this stuff but ultimately they may do stupid crap when in a group. I detest the boys being boys thing but I think a decent chunk of teenage boys can compartmentalize objectifying women in a setting like this, while at the same time being respectful of their mothers/sisters/girlfriends.

    We’re having our neighbors over for dinner tomorrow night and maybe going on a hike on Sunday. We are blessedly free of both swim lessons and soccer this weekend due to the holiday so also planning on diving into some home projects. DH is making a lamb roast on Sunday and I’m going to make Ina Garten’s coconut cake tomorrow.

  94. Popping in for a minute to say hi from Sydney! It is about 6:30 in the morning here, and the weather is lovely. I think I will be jet lagged the entire time I am here, and only get adjusted when it is time to go home.

    Everyone is very friendly here (except for one grumpy lady at a church where I asked about Easter mass times!) and seeing the city laid out around the harbor is magical. I think we are taking a ferry to the suburb of Balmain today, and going to an Asian/sushi restaurant tonight.

    Easter weekend is a big holiday here. Today (Good Friday) and Monday (Easter Monday) are public holidays, so things will be a little quieter.

  95. Rocky, you’re on fire re Silicon Valley, orchestras, and raising ethical porn.

    I haven’t thought much about ethical porn because, as I said before, neither my son nor I have any interest in sex as a spectator sport. I do understand, though, that one objection to regular porn (what’s the word WF uses? “Traditional”?) is that it is full of non-consenual sex and pleasure in harming another person (unlike S&M–the other kind–which apparently has a widely agreed-to set of norms). Things like “watch Amy get anal for the first time. Dumb bitch didn’t even know it was coming” and of course the face shot. If you accept your kid watching porn, I can see wanting to avoid that kind of stuff.

    My son and I talk about sex freely, but apparently a lot of kids learn about it from porn. One of his questions was “how do women masturbate?” I explained. If I hadn’t, the most normal thing for him to do would be to google it, the same as anything else, and he would find ample examples. I had to correct my course after he said “I’m going to tell my kids that sex is AWESOME, cause I’ve heard it is.” I realized I’d been skipping over the pleasure part–which may well have led to to take those questions elsewhere. So I said “it is!”

    Of course, the kind of parent who is able to steer their kid towards the “right” kind of porn is likely to also be the kind of parent who has no trouble discussing sex with their kids.

  96. I desperately want this Easter french toast but I’d have to fly to Palo Alto for it.

  97. Agree with Kate, having experienced that fear.

    Milo – I agree there are a lot of mixed messages and inconsistencies. I think that is where the problem lies. A person’s feelings or thoughts about another person just are, but the way they act upon those feelings and thoughts can fall on the spectrum form appropriate to inappropriate to illegal. In some cases there are bright bold lines between them, but in other cases it can be hard to know where the line is.

  98. It’s a matter of me thinking there are a lot of mixed messages and inconsistencies in values and expectations.

    Yeah, it’s a heterogeneous society and on top of that, people are inconsistent and dumb. This is not news.

  99. I don’t think it’s about “being respectful of their mothers/sisters/girlfriends” as much as it is about ignoring what a woman says because he doesn’t like her hairdo, or not paying attention to what Janice from accounting says because he thinks of her as a set of jugs. It’s also about women feeling they are less valuable, less skilled, based on their looks.

    Milo, of course there are mixed messages! People have different values, which is great as long as no one is disrespecting others as a matter of course.

  100. One of his questions was “how do women masturbate?”

    Pre-internet, I was stuck at a seminar with an obnoxious male guest speaker who said something along the lines of “if women are truly interested in sex, why don’t they masturbate with pornography?” I said brightly, “Too many paper cuts!” It’s a complete miracle they ever gave me my doctorate instead of just kicking my ass to the curb.

  101. Was the movie Meet the Patels discussed here? It’s a documentary about an Indian-American man whose traditional parents are trying to find him a wife. I found it both charming and educational.
    http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/meet-the-patels/

    “Men and women don’t have the same relationship to sex and it’s awkward for some to admit that fact.”

    “I would guess that there are very few women here who haven’t been made uncomfortable/scared by a man at some point.”

    These comment and others remind me of the many people who believe anyone who thinks men and women are different in some intrinsic ways that affect their behavior is backwards and sexist in their thinking.

  102. HAHA RMS, that is an awesome joke.

    We are having a birthday party for #3 this weekend and going over to our friends’ house for Easter brunch and egg hunting. Big change from my childhood (getting up at 5:30 am to hunt jelly beans before getting to church at 7 to sing the 8 am and 10 am). I have to make 3 cakes – 2 for the party and 1 for Sunday. And I haven’t even started planning yet! I’m such a slacker.

  103. “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
    — Margaret Atwood.

  104. Oh, I would love to have coconut cake on Easter instead of the traditional ricotta pie that is what we have every year.

  105. RMS, I assume your seminar was during not just pre-internet days, but pre-VCR days.

  106. CoC – It is divine and I’m not even a big cake fan. I’m going to be lazy and make it for our dinner tomorrow and serve it again on Sunday. It also freezes remarkably well (I’ve trotted it out for guests a few months later and it’s still delicious).

    SSK – have fun!

  107. RMS, I assume your seminar was during not just pre-internet days, but pre-VCR days.

    I’m not that old, thankyouverymuch. But in the 80s a whole lot of the discussion about porn focused on magazines and printed material.

  108. These comment and others remind me of the many people who believe anyone who thinks men and women are different in some intrinsic ways that affect their behavior is backwards and sexist in their thinking.

    I swear I haven’t heard that attitude since the 70s. And it was dying then.

  109. “Right, because Silicon Valley is so respectful of women.”

    I suspect the intersection between the set of engineers you know and the set of engineers I know is empty.

    I’ve heard of the issues, e.g., Uber, but I’ve never encountered anything close to the Harvard soccer team among engineers I’ve worked with or gone to school with.

    Is this comment based on your HS friends who like to make anal penetration jokes?

  110. “one objection to regular porn (what’s the word WF uses? “Traditional”?)”

    WF?

    The only WF that I can recall being discussed here is Whole Foods.

  111. Oh, and one of my previously-mentioned friends was on this year’s panel about why his huge famous Silicon Valley firm is inclusive and not sexist at all. To be fair, he wasn’t making most of the jokes.

  112. very few women here who haven’t been made uncomfortable/scared by a man at some point

    I think men and women are both capable of that kind of behavior but it kicks in at a different point. For men in might be 50% (or even higher) of 22 year old females. For a women to get as inappropriate and handsy, you’re talking the 0.1%: rock stars, professional athletes, the extraordinarily good looking, etc.

  113. Rhett – You seem to be suggesting that the key determining factor is the attractiveness or celebrity status of the victim. Only 50% (maybe higher) of 22-year-old women have any cause for concern about being groped. The homeliest 10% can rest easy.

  114. The homeliest 10% can rest easy.

    Of women, yes. 99.9% of men can also rest easy. You get Meme around Chris Helmsworth and he’s liable to get a slap on the tuchas.

  115. The homeliest 10% can rest easy.

    No, they get hassled and groped in order to humiliate them.

  116. RMS, I’m wondering if the sexism discussed in the Atlantic article is unique to SV and the tech industry.

    BTW, for the most part, engineers and coders are separate groups. Yeah, a lot of engineers write code as part of their jobs, but that’s typically an ancillary task for them. I think the Harvard soccer team type behavior is more prevalent among male coders than male engineers.

  117. Ditto Finn. Software engineering, construction engineering, environmental engineering, power engineering, nuclear engineering, materials science engineering, petroleum engineering chemical engineering, consulting engineering, acoustical engineering etc. have their own subcultures. Metallurgical was the worst when I was an undergrad, probably due to the culture in small, traditional machine shops.

  118. SSK, we are down under too! Nearly everything here in Melbourne is closed on Good Friday. Looking out the window from our high rise, there is very little traffic anywhere. DH’s university host told him that the building are locked (!) and he can’t get in until Tuesday because Monday is also a school holiday. Our Australian friends are surprised to learn that, although America is in general a far more “religious” culture, Good Friday is not a public holiday and only schools are generally closed.

    On the OT, ITA with Milo on the disconnect. Also agree that “ethical porn” is an inherent contradiction. All three of our sons have encountered the locker room talk, many times in actual locker rooms, and their experience has been that the least effective way to respond is with verbal objections or reminders that those girls are someone else’s sisters. College DS spent much of his summer painting job listening to music or podcasts to avoid having to listen to crude discussions. His fellow workers were mostly nice kids from solid families very active in their church communities. They had not been raised by wolves and their school culture did not tolerate disrespectful behavior — from what I could tell, simple immaturity was a major factor.

  119. Argh. Ok. The reason we have this disconnect is that the problem with this kind of behavior is not about sex. It is the recurring theme in most women’s life that, no matter where they go, or what they do, or how much they accomplish, someone will always view them as a collection of body parts whose sole purpose on earth is to provide pleasure to men. This is the problem with catcalls. This is the problem with our now-President’s forcing himself on women. This is the problem with the groped on the bus (yeah, I had one of those, too — I was 12). Etc. etc. etc.

    The Harvard soccer team issue raises two additional issues. First, it is institutionalized — it is the difference between the one guy at your job who makes sleazy comments and having to work with a whole department who acts that way. And second, this involved a position of trust: when you are teammates, you are supposed to have each other’s back; so realizing that someone who you thought saw you as a full and equal human and respected you for your abilities and was cheering you in was in fact just like the jackass on the bus is a pretty deep betrayal.

    It is not about sex — it is about power. It is about using sex to put women in their (subservient) place — yes, even when the women aren’t told, because it is the boys reaffirming their own higher place in the social pyramid. This tends to be especially important when the women in question appear equally capable and talented; accepting that might threaten insecure young egos, so let’s build our team spirit and superiority by taking down those uppity women. It is about reaffirming that women’s primary worth and role is to provide sufficiently attractive body parts to be sexed on, and all else — brains, talent, personality, ambitions, desires goals, hopes, fears — all of the things that make a person fully human — are irrelevant.

    Which is why I see absolutely no contradiction between that and values about sex, because it’s not about sex — focusing on the sexual attributes is just the way the power is exercised. I would never want my son or my daughter to objectify someone, to treat them as merely a collection of body parts to serve their own needs, regardless of the wishes of the other. Even if I were in favor of “free love,” the whole point is that it is freely offered and received by two consenting, equal adult humans; whereas the whole point of the objectification is to reinforce the *lack* of equality, the superiority of the one over the other.

    But I also am not teaching my kids that sex is fun and they should do it whenever and wherever they want — I think that is a strawman argument, at least among this crew. The fact that I don’t insist my daughter wear a purity ring and wait until her wedding night doesn’t mean I am encouraging herself to hump every boy that comes her way because it feels good. The values that I am trying to teach my kids focus on finding the right person and looking for a relationship. And treating the opposite sex as a collection of dehumanized body parts is exactly the *wrong* thing to do if that is what you are trying to accomplish. So, yeah, I would be extremely disappointed if either of my kids participated in something like this, because it directly contravenes the values I am trying to teach.

    Apologies for any lack of clarity — on vacation with questionable internet, so not much ability to refine/polish. And really wishing I had visited earlier this week when you were doing fluffy stuff instead of stabby things.

  120. So if there’s one thing of which these periodic discussions have convinced me — and there is — is that this is far more prevalent than I ever would have guessed. If you feel like you’re arguing with a wall with me, I hope that brings you some degree of reassurance.

    That said, while I can believe that engineering disciplines and professions may have a lower rate of this, there’s no way that it’s so prevalent elsewhere but nonexistent among the Blessed Engineers, or anywhere close to nonexistent.

  121. I am encouraging herself to hump every boy that comes her way because it feels good.

    “Right. Because so many men are great in bed (eyeroll).” Carrie on Sex and the City.

  122. I can totally take on board LfB’s points.

    Well, she is brilliant, but really, the rest of us — me, Meme, etc. — are just blowing hot air? Screw you.

  123. “What is far more prevalent that you would ever have guessed?”

    sexual harassment, assault, groping, comments, propositions with implied coercion in the workplace…

    I’ve come around a lot. You just have to understand that I’ve never really been in a position to see ANY of it.

  124. “the whole point of the objectification is to reinforce the *lack* of equality, the superiority of the one over the other.”

    Do you think this is also the case when women objectify men, for their looks or their money or their cars, for example?

  125. Rhett at my age, there is plenty of groping and STDs in the old folks home, but the most coveted woman is the nurse and a purse.

    CoC objectifying men, as in a hypothetical sorority email ranking of nerd entrepreneur types by the potential IPO amount and specialty, would be equally offensive.

  126. I cut Milo a lot of slack. He spent 4 years at a military academy and then 5 years on a submarine during the lifestage when this behavior is most common.

  127. By the way, viewing women as detached body parts that only exist for men’s pleasure is what objectification means. It just dawned on me that you don’t know that.

  128. Tell that to the Air Force Academy women, WCE. But he is essentially an engineer and thus his heart pure and his mind clean.

  129. Being in the military gives you zero opportunity to see men objectify women? Just wait a few years. Maybe your daughters will talk to you about it. Then again, maybe they’ll be ashamed and not want to tell anyone. That’s the way many react, especially when it’s new to them.

    Hi Laura! Glad you dropped in from where ever you are with a great post backing up what others have said on here.

    Paper cuts, haha! And that Atwood quote sums the whole thing up nicely.

  130. Milo not believing most of the women on here today (and probably in other parts of his life at other times) who have said that harassment and assault are problems is par for the course. It’s what women are usually told, just as minorities are told they’re making up racism. If you don’t feel its negative impact directly, it’s very easy to tell yourself that you got where you are just because of your hard work in a fair competition. That is the usual response because it is much more palatable than recognizing the hurdles others have cleared or been held back by. And when women somehow feel shamed because of something that someone else did, we are silent, which allows that myth to continue.

  131. I read that Enjoli article a few months ago. I thought it was good except I’m not sure women are getting blitzed in order to “Instagram filter their own lives”. I mean maybe some, but I think people in general just want a greater sense of belonging and it seems like people bond over wine. A lot of people are living far from family/friends that want to connect with people and be a part of a community and alcohol seems to grease the wheels. I do agree the overboard commenting on FB about needing wine to deal with any little adversity is annoying, as is calling it mommy juice.

  132. Rocky, all I could think of as I read that was someone whose Facebook posts read like Superwoman–her students love her! Her book is coming out! Here are the perfectly casually un-arranged flowers next to the the champagne she’s drinking with her man! She’s the cool mom who died her daughter’s hair teal! She bikes through Swedish winter to yoga! She’s up for full professor! There was a lot of champagne until a month ago. It took me a while to understand the post. It may have been oblique, and google translate didn’t do us any favors. The responses helped me realize he had beaten her for the last time. I never knew there had been a first. I met her through him and felt a strange kind of guilt by association. As I was reading your article, I realized that she’s hardly made a single post about drinking since then. Thanks for posting it.

  133. Men can objectify women as detached body parts, but women can likewise objectify men in earning potential. In the opening pages of Pride and Prejudice, Mrs Bennet openly sorts out potential husbands based on their annual income. If older men seek out trophy wives for their body parts, their wives are seeking them out for their financial status.
    Women can play this game too. If it’s not about sex but about power, women simply have a different source of power.

  134. A different source of power that depends on other people recognizing it. Which is easier to exchange for food, clothing, and shelter?

  135. The author of the Enjoli article is making some enormous assumptions based upon her own experiences with a tiny subculture of educated and professional but unhappy women and her recent journey as a recovering alcoholic. Lots of people drink too much but it has been ever thus and nondrinkers and recovering alcoholics have always had to develop strategies for managing alcohol-based work and social events. Blaming her current misery on the Enjoli perfume ad that she is probably too young to remember was a clever hook but she didn’t strike me as a person I would want to spend any time with because everything is all about her. Perhaps a few years of sobriety will reduce her self-absorption.

  136. I had the same reaction as Atlanta Mom when I read that article (including hating the “mommy juice” memes). BUT – I was just at an event for women at our company this week where a man interrupted a women who was answering a question about what it was like to be a woman in our industry to mansplain it for her. Same kind of answer. We actual “women in leadership” all rolled our eyes so hard. I swear it happens almost every single time.

  137. In the home country women and men (by other men) on buses that were not segregated by sex were subject to groping. Sometimes you would get a fellow passenger who would try to physically stick to you. At first, you very likely would give him the benefit of the doubt but later there was no doubt. Many of us confronted such men but with our hearts hammering in our chests lest we come to harm. I preferred to travel by train in the women’s coach instead of by bus. Your own car or a cab/rickshaw was best because you wouldn’t have to deal with the harassment.

  138. Scarlett, ever heard of “everyman”? A woman can take that role too.
    “In literature and drama, the term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual[1][2] with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everyman
    “Lots of people drink too much but it has been ever thus and nondrinkers and recovering alcoholics have always had to develop strategies for managing alcohol-based work and social events.”
    Yep. She is just one more.

  139. SM, “Traditional” was the term marriage equality opponents liked to use.

    WF struck me as an odd reference in that context.

  140. Atlanta mom – thanks!!

    Scarlett – I wonder if the Australians treat the Easter weekend like our Thanksgiving long weekend? DS’s fall break is happening now in New Zealand, so it may have developed into their Fall holiday.

  141. SSK, here in Victoria, the long Easter weekend falls at the end of the two-week “school holidays” period. My Australian teacher friend explained that each state now has a separate school holidays schedule so that popular holiday sites aren’t mobbed. They have a shorter summer break than American schools, but they get two-week holidays after the spring, fall, and winter quarters. Must wreak havoc with working parent schedules.

    But all workers also get “long service leave” of a three month paid holiday after seven years’ service with a single employer. If you don’t or can’t get away, you can get paid for the time, and there are many websites that will calculate your long service leave amounts under different scenarios. Our friends here who are teachers, military, college professors, and even Catholic priests have all taken it.

  142. Meme, I understand that objectifying men would be equally offensive to some people. But my question is whether LFB believes the women’s motivation is also about reinforcing inequality. I’m not sure if we can be so confident about knowing motivation in all these cases.

    “I swear I haven’t heard that attitude since the 70s. And it was dying then”

    The belief that men and women behave differently not because of intrinsic differences but because of other reasons seems to be a current progressive idea. It seems to be at the root of the idea that the only ideal egalitarian world is one where half the fathers are SAHP and half of all companies are run by women. These are views very recently promoted by the NYT and by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement.

  143. I’m always surprised at office closings on Good Friday and/or Easter Monday. I’ve never considered Easter to be a big holiday even though it is such an important religious day. I have a lot of personal business stuff to do today and I may find some offices, like government, closed.

  144. Scarlett – the Australians are following the year round British school system. It seems to me to be a schedule/cultural thing where if parents take days off during school breaks that’s just expected. My brother and SIL face this every school break but they manage to juggle and the employers are fine with it. I am not sure of the total time they get off but it seems more than we do.
    The home country followed something like a trimester system with school starting in June, a month break in October (accommodated all the fall festival celebrations including Diwali), then a a week and a half or so winter break at Christmas/New Year and then a little over a month break in the summer.

  145. But all workers also get “long service leave” of a three month paid holiday after seven years’ service with a single employer.

    That and Good Friday off and 6 weeks of vacation? It sounds like a dystopian hellscape of overregulation.

  146. Finn, put it in the context of the conversation (RMS’s crack about “ethical porn) and you’ll never get the joke.

  147. The overseas closings on long easter weekend and Christmas week often trip up vacationers from the US. Lots of attractions and businesses are closed. The staggered school breaks by province or state are also found in Germany for the same reason as in Australia.

  148. Scarlett — I’m sure there are men who are only willing to marry a woman if she has large breasts. If a guy like that can find a large-breasted woman who wants to marry him, then I think that’s fine. Similarly, I’m sure there are women who are only willing to marry a man if he earns a lot of money. If a woman like that can find a high-earning man who wants to marry her, then again, I think that’s fine. In both cases, you have two consenting adults who, for whatever reasons or motivations, are willingly entering into an arrangement.

    That is totally different from a guy who likes women with large breasts, and then goes and fondles a large-breasted woman on a train. Or a woman who likes money who sees a guy who looks wealthy, and then picks his pocket and steals his wallet. In these cases, you have people who think they can just act on their lust without any consent from the person whose attributes are the target of the lust, and who have no concern whatsoever for the harm that the lustful acts will cause to their targets.

    Totally different issues, IMHO.

  149. Similarly, I’m sure there are women who are only willing to marry a man if he earns a lot of money.

    The only time that’s been mentioned on the Totebag was when Milo mentioned that Mrs. Milo was smitten on their first date because he wore a blazer. Reading between the lines, it seems like an important consideration that’s generally not spoken of. In real life, the two couples where it wasn’t a consideration or where it was overlooked, are either miserable or divorced.

  150. Money or earnings potential is certainly a consideration in a traditional marriage. Also, many times expectations such as will the woman continue to work or stay home after kids are explored. Not set in stone but each person has some idea of what path their nascent family is likely to take. So, years down the road there is less resentment at being in a breadwinner role or stay at home parent role or both working outside the home.

  151. Or married young. DH and I met when we were 19. We married years later, but at the time of marriage neither of us had ever made more than 2x minimum wage. Sure – we both had potential. And I certainly wanted a partner that was educated and professional. Had he ended up as a college professor (or worse! a high school teacher!!) I don’t think we would be miserable or divorced.

  152. This is always a quiet day to work in a bank because many employees have the day off because the markets are closed, but the Fed is open. It’s the opposite scenario on Columbus Day.
    There are lots of theories and myths about why the markets are closed on Good Friday, but everything pointsback to tradition.

  153. “The only time that’s been mentioned on the Totebag was when Milo mentioned that Mrs. Milo was smitten on their first date because he wore a blazer. Reading between the lines”

    Wait, are you saying you read between the lines or that Milo wrote his wife was looking for a husband who would make a lot of money? You seem to be quite astute in reading people, but a blazer could mean different things. It could indicate the potential for high earnings, to be sure.

  154. Come on people, you are expecting rationality/rational arguments on this topic from Scarlett?

  155. Wait, are you saying you read between the lines or that Milo wrote his wife was looking for a husband who would make a lot of money?

    He said that she later said something to the effect that it symbolized to her a degree of prudent, mature dependability.

  156. Rhett, so it’s your interpretation that “dependability” in that sentence means financially; and not the usual sense (shows up on time, doesn’t lose stuff, etc)?

  157. Rhett it is a highly regulated dystopia when an academic can’t get into his building for FOUR days.

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