Subordinate

Here’s some depressing news from The New York Times:
“A new study by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan, using college undergraduates, suggests that men going for long-term relationships would rather marry women in subordinate jobs than women who are supervisors.”
(The entire article can be found here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/13/opinion/13dowd.html?oref=login&hp)
I doubt this is going to be big news to any women out there, but it’s kind of frightening that it’s actually supported by a survey.
The implications?
Men choose women who are subordinate to them for marriage.
If you look at it one way, the man with an IQ of 150 who makes $100k a year is most likely to marry a woman who has an IQ of less than 150 and earns less than $100k.
Which also means that a woman with an IQ of 150 who makes $100k a year is either going to end up single or marrying a man who has an IQ that is higher than her own and who makes more money – because the men in this study ARE CHOOSING TO MARRY WOMEN WHO ARE SUBORDINATE.
I’m sure plenty of powerful women are dating younger, less powerful hotties. But that’s not the point. The point is that when those hotties choose to get married, they’re going to marry a woman who is subordinate to them, too.
If this trend continues, every single one of my nieces is going to have two choices: to marry a man more powerful than her or to marry a man more powerful than her (or being single, or a lesbian, I suppose).
The study also indicates that it is also unlikely that the guy even pick someone who is an equal in these regards.
To me, it’s like playing any game or sport you’re good at. The guys in this survey are basically saying that they always want to play with someone they’re superior to. The intimation is that they are stacking the odds in their own favor.
One of the researchers, Dr. Stephanie Brown, is quoted as saying: “Men think that women with important jobs are more likely to cheat on them.”
Men are choosing subordinate partners because they are insecure around powerful women. They are concerned that strong, smart, salaried women might not be faithful. Imagine if women did that: no one would ever get married, both sides standing off to the sides waiting to be the more “dominant” partner.
This report is sickening & depressing to me. Deeply. Because I do have ten nieces, and I thought the world had changed a lot more since when I was a kid, but this survey – and the report about it – pretty much shows that girls are in the same shitty position they’ve always been in: either be okay with being subordinate and married, or be single. Or marry a tranny, I guess.
Since the study was done on undergraduates, I can only that eventually men do wise up – maybe once they’re dating more in their 20s and 30s, and maybe they come to appreciate having an equal, challenging partner.
Still in all, depressing news.

The Uses of 'Pretty'

Today, on the MHB message boards, a conversation started about why I don’t like or wear high heels. After a few soul-searching and memory-reliving posts, I intended to drop the subject and quit responding, especially after Betty reminded me of how deeply felt my memories are on this subject. But I didn’t drop it, & the reason I didn’t is because I felt like I needed to explain there are real reasons why some women drop “pretty.” I had to stop caring about pretty, because it sucked for me – I stopped caring about “pretty” for pretty much the same reasons the average trans woman stopped caring about “macho.” What went on in my head was something like: Who gives a fuck? I’m never gonna jump your stupid bar, & – oh, wow, it just occurred to me: & I don’t WANT to, either.
I find it troublesome to think that some might read my posts & think of my reasoning as sour grapes. The irony, I suppose, is that I am pretty. I’ve always liked my face, despite my crap skin. Sometimes, however, it’s as if it’s inconceivable to people for “pretty” not to be important to women. I find that outright sexist to be honest – that you can’t give a woman the benefit of the doubt, that she might have good reasons, and that the main issue is not about her thinking she isn’t pretty, and is basically saying ‘to hell with it.’
To me, “pretty” intersects with attitude & behavior, too. Pretty Is as Pretty Does, as they say. “Pretty” intersects with gender, behavior, and class in ways that are too complicated to sort out here.
In the same way that tranw women grow to love & celebrate their transness, I celebrate my departure from those girly games. I wouldn’t be half so smart, half so direct, or half as well-read as I would be had I had a *chance* at being considered pretty. Would my life have been easier? In some ways, & not in others. Watching my pretty friends try to desperately hold onto their looks as they age is pretty depressing, and not something I’d want to deal with.
But the real issue – you know that old question about “would you take a pill if it would make you not trans?” – is whether I value who I have become because of this stuff. As with most tranw women, I wouldn’t take the pill. It was totally a positive thing in my life to have taken that “left turn at Albuquerque.”
My memories of my teenage years are painful, but my decision to side-step the issue is not. As Betty likes to recall, it’s like that Seinfeld episode where they compete about who can not masturbate… & in about 5 minutes, Kramer barges in and announces “I’m out!” For me, it was liberating to say “I’m out!” of those competitions, or even of thinking about this stuff.
That others will continue to value women who value being pretty isn’t my issue. I just want the space & respect NOT to value it. I hate the idea that anyone would see my rejection/dislike of heels as being some kind of problem, on my part, some “riddle” to tease out.
Psychiatrist: So, Ms. Boyd, when did you develop this dislike for heels?
Me: Dunno.
Psychiatrist: So when did you reject being female?
Me: But I didn’t.
Psychiatrist: Well certainly your rejection of heels indicates some unrest with your female-ness.
Me: Um, no, I don’t think so.
Psychiatrist: But don’t you want to be pretty?
Me: Not especially.
Psychiatrist: Why not?
Me: Dunno. I like being other stuff better.

What I’m saying is that I understand perfectly well why most trans women don’t love hockey jerseys & Coors hats. I’m not the psychiatrist that’s going to ask why you have such sour grapes over not being “real men.” And all I’d like, in return, is the same respect: I don’t like heels and I don’t care about being pretty because I just don’t. It’s not some indication that I perceive myself as a failure as a woman, and it’s not some kind of recompense for not feeling like I don’t measure up. I’ve never really cared if most men find me attractive or not. And how I look doesn’t much enter into how I feel about myself.
All of us who are genderqueer (or who didn’t fit in) in one way or another had teenage years that were trial by fire. Having made the decisions we needed to at whatever age we were is half of what makes us such cool grownups, who have the room to appreciate, understand, and befriend people who made similar but different decisions. Not seeing each other as the freaks and weirdos everyone else thinks we are would give us all a much safer space to be ourselves.
Which I think, in the end, is what it’s all about.

Bettyhead!

Check it out: Betty Castor (who’s running for a Senate seat in Florida) has fans called Bettyheads!
You can make a donation to this cool lady’s campaign, and make sure you tell them you’re a different kind of Betty-head!

UNFPA, instead

While we’re all worried (and mobilized) on the defeat of the FMA, it turns out that Bush will be deciding on whether or not to fund the UNFPA. We’ve been successfully distracted. Here’s the word from Planned Parenthood:
On Thursday, July 15th, the Bush Administration will decide whether to fund UNFPA (The United Nations Population Fund) this year. UNFPA runs life-saving programs for women and girls in 140 countries that increase access to gynecological care and voluntary birth control, reduce infant and maternal mortality, and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The United States helped to create UNFPA in 1969 and, up until recently, has played a leadership role in the program. Unfortunately, in recent years President Bush has refused to release the funds that Congress has set aside for UNFPA. It is time to tell the White House: “We have had enough!”
CALL THE WHITE HOUSE (202-456-1111) TODAY AND SAY: “I am calling to urge the President to release the $34 million that Congress has promised to UNFPA. The work of UNFPA saves lives. The President must release this desperately needed funding. Thank you.”
What’s At Stake:
On Thursday, July 15th, the Bush Administration is expected to decide on this year’s funding for UNFPA (The United Nations Population Fund). UNFPA runs life-saving programs that build healthy families and improve the health and well-being of women and girls in the world’s poorest nations. UNFPA funds programs in more than 140 countries to improve poor women’s reproductive health through access to gynecological care and voluntary birth control, reduce infant and maternal mortality and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The United States helped to create UNFPA in 1969 and, up until recently, has played a leadership role in the program. In recent years, however, the United States has been an unreliable source of financial support for UNFPA. But for fiscal year 2002, in recognition of the critical need for the services provided by UNFPA, Congress earmarked $34 million for the program. President Bush however refused to release the $34 million Congress approved in 2002 and he again refused to release last year’s Congressional appropriation of $25 million. On Thursday, July 15 the administration is expected to decide whether or not to release the $34 million that Congress appropriated this year for these vital efforts.
A recent New York Times (7/6/04) editorial stated: “One of the uglier aspects of the Bush administration’s assault on women’s reproductive rights is its concerted undermining of the United Nations Population Fund based on the false accusation that it supports coerced abortions in China… the State Department’s investigating team found no evidence that the Population Fund has supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization”
For more information on UNFPA visit:
http://www.freechoicesaveslives.org
http://www.populationaction.org/resources/factsheets/factsheet_3.htm
http://www.genderhealth.org/UNFPA.php
http://www.genderhealth.org/pubs/UNFPASavetheDate.pdf

Pharmacists Refuse to Fill Hormone Prescriptions

An article in this month’s Prevention.com explains that some pharmacists are choosing not to fill prescriptions for birth control – prescriptions that doctors have written for their patients.
Birth control pills, as many of you may know, are also used to treat up to 20 other medical problems women experience, things like PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome), extreme cramps, and women with high genetic risks for ovarian cancer take them as prevention.
Why are pharmacists not filling the prescriptions? Because they believe conception is the start of life, and the birth control pill effectively keeps a pregnancy from happening by eliminating the placental wall in the uterus from developing. These pro-life pharmacists – and some doctors – argue that birth control is another form of abortion.
This is madness.
Imagine, TGs: if this is allowed to continue, who is to say that some doctor or pharmacist will decide a TG person’s right to hormones isn’t something that he or she can refuse as well?
From the article: “‘Refusing women access to the Pill is a very disturbing trend,’ says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. ‘The war on choice is not just about abortion anymore. It’s about our right to birth control.'”
Read the full article at Prevention.com or on the MHB message boards.
Donate to Planned Parenthood now. Trannies, you may be next.

Mother's Day

‘In the Name of Womanhood and Humanity…’
By Geov Parrish, WorkingForChange.com
May 6, 2004
Last year in this space, I took the occasion of an upcoming Mother’s Day weekend to reprint the 1870 call by American poet and women’s leader Julia Ward Howe for the establishment of the holiday. The response was astonishing; the awareness was nearly nil – even by peace activists – that what is now widely viewed as a sentimental tribute to family was originally a call for women to wage a general strike to end war.
This year – as more and more mothers, in America as well as Iraq, mourn their fallen sons and daughters, lost to the insanity of organized violence – Julia Ward Howe’s call for women to not allow their men to constantly play at war is suddenly back in fashion. Around the country, her original Mother’s Day Proclamation will be the basis this year for parades, remembrances, and other events that try to reclaim the holiday’s original spirit in a year when the United States’ (male-dominated) government talks seriously not of avoiding war, but staying the course on the multiple ones we’re already fighting.
The radical origins of Mother’s Day – as a powerful feminist call against war, penned in the wake of the U.S. Civil War in 1870 – are fully compatible with the universal notion of honoring mothers. Women, even more so now, are the primary sufferers of warfare. In the 20th Century, civilian populations bore 90 percent of war’s casualties around the world; mass and indiscriminate attacks, popularized in WWII by the Holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Allied firebombings in Japan and Germany, and the rape of Nanjing, are only the most spectacular examples of a phenomenon in which women become the rape and famine victims, the refugees, the forgotten statistics in what are invariably the wars of men.
I admit it; I’ll send my elderly mother flowers this year. She appreciates them. But a greater gift for the world’s mothers still awaits: a day in which the voices of women – now, as then, less inclined to rush to war or bask in its false glory – are an equal part in the foreign policy of countries like the United States. As with so many other aspects of American history – May Day is another – a legacy that is now celebrated around the world is farthest from its original intent in the land of its birth. The generals have written our historical memory, in the Civil War, in most popular narratives of the bloody trail of modernizing “Western Civilization.”
It’s worth remembering that the Civil War, a political division that lasted longer and was considered more intractable than today’s Palestine/Israel conflict or indefinite “War on Terror,” and that killed well over a hundred times more people on American soil than the attacks of September 11, was not unanimously lauded at the time. And that women thought they could do something to prevent such bloodshed in the future.
Here is the original, pre-Hallmark, Mother’s Day Proclamation, penned in Boston by Julia Ward Howe in 1870:
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!”
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.

Maybe next year.
(Lisa sent me the link from alternet.org – thanks Lisa!)

Breast Cancer

Since so many CDs buy breast forms originally intended for women who lose their breasts due to breast cancer, I thought it appropriate to get some of you to click on the Breast Cancer site & so raise money for mammograms and breast cancer research.
So click away, ladies!