How is the Great American Sex Strike going?

It has been a little over a week since “Alyssa Milano calls for sex strike as protest over Republican abortion laws” (Guardian):

The actor Alyssa Milano ignited a social media storm with a call for women to join her in a sex strike, to protest against strict abortion laws passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures.

Have readers noticed any difference in the behavior of Americans who identify as “women”? The challenge of defining who will be on strike is crystallized nicely in this Twitter exchange:

Also, is it men specifically who are to blame for anti-abortion legislation? “Alabama Governor Signs Abortion Bill. Here’s What Comes Next” (nytimes) doesn’t mention the gender ID of the person who is the current Alabama governor until the reader scrolls down quite a bit, but eventually it turns out to be “Ms. Ivey”, i.e., a person whom the NYT believes identifies as a woman. (Unusually, there is no photograph of the governor signing the bill, so a casual reader might well believe the person who has restricted abortion in Alabama identifies as a man.)

If the sex strike persists, will it be time for investors to buy airline stocks? Prostitution is legal in some countries in Europe and some counties in Nevada, for example. (Recent events show that it is illegal to pay for sex on an hourly basis in Florida, but the same elderly rich guy had a young girlfriend in California who was reportedly paid on a monthly basis and that was apparently legal. So maybe U.S. law is more about the time period than the sex/money exchange per se?)


  • “Only 48% of married women want regular sex after four years.” (Good Housekeeping)
  • From Real World Divorce: “The Supreme Court made abortion legal with Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Congress made abortion profitable in 1988 with the federal Family Support Act [that required states to develop child support guidelines],” is how one attorney summarized the evolution of law in the last quarter of the 20th century. The new state guidelines made an out-of-wedlock child just as profitable as the child of a marriage. Our interviewees report that it did not take long for people to put these two legal innovations together and thus began the age of women selling abortions to men. “If the child support guidelines make having a baby more profitable than working,” a lawyer noted “it only makes sense that 5-10 years of the average person’s income is a fair price for having an abortion.”
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Gender Bending Fashion show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

If you need help completing your summer wardobe, our Museum of Fine Arts has a “Gender Bending Fashion” show through August 25.

Not sure what “Nonbinary” or “Genderqueer” mean? There’s a glossary placard:

Ready for inspiration next time you visit Amazon Fashion?

After you exit, there is helpful restroom tutorial:

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Noah’s Ark story needs to be updated with additional genders?

We have a three-year-old who likes the Noah’s Ark story

Every time I read this I realize that I’m committing the (modern) sin of Gender Binarism.

How would an updated Noah’s Ark story work? How many genders would there be per animal species? Or would the number vary on a per-species basis?

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Friends weigh in on Dorco versus Gillette

An MD neighbor had the temerity to put a Trump sign on his lawn back 2016 (error swiftly corrected by righteous neighbors) so I thought it was safe to bring him a Dorco Pace 7 as a gift to free him from supporting Gillette’s campaign for gender justice. Recent text message, appended to a geriatric tennis invitation:

By the way, I like the Dorko [sic] razor very much. It gives a much closer shave than my Gillette. Thank you for introducing it to me.

I had purchased four Pace 7s to give away. From another recipient:

Dorco gives best shave I’ve ever had.

Whether spelled “Dorco” or “Dorko”, I hope that we can all agree this company has suffered in the marketplace due to its name!


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Division of labor in the home (woman complains about her husband in the NYT)

“What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With” (NYT) is subtitled “Division of labor in the home is one of the most important equity issues of our time. Yet at this rate it will be another 75 years before men do half the work.”

(In other articles, the NYT assures us that 75 years from now every coastal city on Planet Earth will be under water. Will people care about gender-based division of labor then?)

The author, who seems to identify as a woman, complains about her spouse, who may identify as a man:

When my husband and I became parents a decade ago, we were not prepared for the ways in which sexism was about to express itself in our relationship. Like me, he was enthralled by our daughters. Like him, I worked outside the home. And yet I was the one who found myself in charge of managing the details of our children’s lives.

I would love to find out what this man (if, indeed, he still identifies as one) thinks about the wife broadcasting his deficiencies as a partner!

[Separately, if living with a man is such a raw deal for a woman, why do any of them continue in the arrangement? Every jurisdiction in the U.S. offers no-fault on-demand divorce (though the cash profits may vary enormously from state to state). There is no social stigma for the woman who sues her husband. In the 50/50 shared parenting jurisdictions, she will be on track to be free of any child-related duties every other week. Does it make sense to say that male-female partnership is nearly always a raw deal for women if roughly 50 percent of them choose to continue in such partnerships?]

As usual, the reader comments are the most interesting feature. Example:

Samantha Kelly: Women are a long way from parity in most homes with two working parents. Considering our overpopulation, and that parenting is often a “baby trap” for women, consider not having children. It is a decision of remarkable freedom!

Sophie K: The answer to this – women have to become more selfish. Don’t volunteer for unrewarding projects at work (it blows my mind to hear that women do – who are these women and why are they doing this??). Don’t “mother” men in your life. Don’t be always ready to pick up the slack when they “fail”. Men are neither stupid nor incompetent. They’re just pushing the envelope to see what they can get away with. … Be selfish, ladies. You’d be surprised how well things will be turning out for you. Men have been like that forever.

David: This is in part why birth rates are declining in western world. Work demands have increased dramatically and the family has shrunk and government support has disappeared so that all the child rearing falls exclusively to the parents. On top of this, expectations in US to focus all available non workimg time on children makes for a miserable existence. Argue all you want over who is doing more, it’s the overall demands of current society that create this dynamic.

gizmos: Like Dr. Lockman and apparently many other readers, I bought into the false narrative that men don’t contribute to the household equally and haven’t done so in years. I did a lot of research into the topic for a project and found out the opposite is true. Time use studies from the 60s till date show that men consistently have contributed more total work hours than women, when including paid and unpaid work. Women consistently have greater leisure time after including the hours spent in childcare, housework and paid work.

HS: I would love if just once this type of article included gay couples with kids. My wife and I have a division of labor in our home that largely replicates our heterosexual parents. She works and I stay home with the kids and take care of the majority of household chores and kid stuff. And yes, I know my contribution counts as “work” too. There’s no resentment on either side in part bc we each think the other has the harder job. Maybe too bc we are both women. There’s none of that gendered expectation of who does what; it seems more freely chosen and thus more acceptable to us both. [i.e., Everything is Super When You’re Gay]

HH: I’m a gay man whose social circle is mostly comprised of other gay men, as is, obviously, my primary romantic relationship. All of the phenomenon the author describes exist in my relationship or those in my periphery. … If modern feminism is actually interested in honest conclusions about what is actually a gender bias and what is just a naturally occurring difference between people then a lot more attention should be paid to the parallel world of gay men. [Attention must be paid!]

JD: I would direct Lockman’s attention to Edith Wharton’s portrait of Lily Bart’s father in “The House of Mirth.” The man visibly ages and sags in Lily’s eyes before he passes, because of the stress of trudging to Wall Street every day in order to sustain his wife and daughter’s lives of leisure and to maintain the family’s membership in a certain social orbit dominated by Knickerbockers.

KBronson: The women are going to live ten years longer. They will catch up on rest later.

BackHandSpin: And yet, women continue to choose and show their approval for these types of men in the dating world. No matter what women say. To display (i.e.)”child nurturing” and “caring” ( being respectful) qualities is the opposite of what women are attracted to ( status,manliness,power,money) in the dating world. There’s your problem. Millions of “macho jerks” have a faithful woman standing by his side . [Statistically, the “faithful” part is questionable!]

Carling: “He comes in from work and the first thing he does is brush his teeth!” “His teeth, not mine!

Observer of the Zeitgeist: Unless things are radically different from how they were 8 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics under President Obama certified back then that men and women are putting in equal time to making households run. In fact, men are putting in few minute more time per day. That means what needs to be examined more is psychology, not economics or sociology. Quite a few women, like this author, feel like men are not doing enough.

Benjo: Get your kids to take care of themselves and stop being a helicopter parent. You aren’t doing them or yourself any favors by micromanaging them.

Patricia: This is news?? I knew this in 1976 which is why I refused to have children. I have never regretted it.

Tanya Miller: I’m 51 so it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but from here on out when my friends and family ask wonderingly if I ever wanted to/will get married and have children, I won’t bother answering – I’ll just email them a link to this comments page.

Denise A: This article presents women as naturally executing more leadership than men. Women get it done. Women get it done early and often. These women people, these detailed oriented, never let things slide, go getters are presented as top performers in running complex organizations called Families. Wouldn’t we expect that these would be the most qualified people to run our companies and countries? Aren’t the qualities presented here exactly what are necessary to win in capitalist markets?

Andrea: Most American men I have met, my friends’ ex-husbands, my own ex-husbands, their male friends, are simply impossible. Each and every one of them has a huge sense of entitlement and a gargantuan ego, and housework and taking care of the kids just doesn’t fit into the their sense of destiny.

Ralph Petrillo: Actually a major change has occurred due to cell phones in the last five years.which is causing men to actually do more of the work then women. Shocking but women are addicted to their cell phones and this has caused a major deterioration in the household by both gender groups. … It is also a major deterioration in couples wanting to fully comprehend their responsibilities for they get an impulse to search for their cell instead of communicating in a more traditional manner. … It is time to realize that couples are more married to their devices then each other.

Susan: In 75 years, robots will do most of the house work, so it likely won’t ever be necessary for men to reach parity in household tasks.

Single mom: Long term romantic relationship that involves co-habiting of any kind with men is highly overrated. Traditional marriage is not worth the effort for women. It was supposed to provide physical and financial security for women. But that is not a requirement for many women across the world anymore. … Women-only community living would provide support and security. We should take our cues from the wise female-only elephants.

Cary: I came to read this material expecting the usual bashing of men. But I’m pleased to find some variety: the bashing is of straight men.

elained: This article explains why single women have children on their own [women who plan this can get another 2 million reasons per child]. When you’re going to have to do it all anyway, why also deal with an exploitive, forgetful, self-centered slacker into the bargain? Women spend a GREAT DEAL of time valuing and praising men, just to keep them halfway in the game. It just is not worth it. Maybe evolution will deal them out of existence. [see this book on genetics for how somatic cells from two women can be combined to make a new human with no father]

Sarah: Being raised by two mothers and liking men, I am honestly very scared of heterosexual marriage. It just seems so much less functional than the homelife I was raised in.

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NYT: Feminist is a woman who gets married to a man and quits her job

“The Bill-Melinda Gates Romance Started With a Rejection; She recounts her evolution to feminist in her new memoir.” (nytimes).

Turns out “feminist” in 2019 means “Woman who married a high-income man, then quit her job to ‘focus on starting and raising a family.’ [Wikipedia]”

[See also, the Rationale chapter of Real World Divorce:

Legislators and attorneys told us that women’s groups and people identifying themselves as “feminists” were proponents of laws favoring the award of sole custody of children to mothers and more profitable child support guidelines. Is that a recognizably feminist goal? For a woman to be at home with children living off a man’s income? Here’s how one attorney summarized 50 years of feminist progress: “In the 1960s a father might tell a daughter ‘Get pregnant with a rich guy and then marry him’ while in the 2010s a mother might tell a daughter ‘Get pregnant with a rich guy and then collect child support.'” Why is that superior from the perspective of feminism? A professor of English at Harvard said “Because the woman collecting child support is not subject to the power and control of the man.”

We interviewed Janice Fiamengo, a literature professor at the University of Ottawa and a scholar of modern feminism, about the apparent contradiction of feminists promoting stay-at-home motherhood. “It is a contradiction if you define feminism as being about equality and women’s autonomy,” she responded. “But feminism today can be instead about women having power and getting state support.”

Why isn’t there a rift in the sisterhood, with women who work full-time expressing resentment that women who met dermatologists in bars are relaxing at home with 2-4X the income? “[Child support profiteering] is kind of an underground economy. Most people just don’t know what is possible. We hear a lot from the media about deadbeat dads who don’t pay any child support and the poverty of single mothers. The media doesn’t cover women who are profiting from the system. The average person assumes that equal shared parenting is the norm and that, in cases where a man is ordered to pay child support, it will be a reasonable amount.”

How did we get to the divorce, custody, and child support system that prevails in Canada and in most U.S. states? “This is because of the amazing success of feminism,” answered Professor Fiamengo. “The movement has totally changed the sexual mores of society but held onto the basic perceptions that had always advantaged women, e.g., that a woman was purified through motherhood. Feminism did not throw out the foundations of the old order that it pretended to reject.”

Note: Professor Fiamengo had some interesting comments on the Christine Blasey Ford situation]


  • “Melinda Gates: Capitalism needs work, but it beats socialism and the US is ‘lucky’ to have it” (CNBC), in which we learn that the woman who married a multi-billionaire is brave enough to say “she’d rather live in a capitalistic society than under socialism.”
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Shareholders victimized by managers who hired men

“The Company That Sells Love to America Had a Dark Secret” (nytimes)

Dawn knew better. While she was acting manager, she had access to payroll forms and had seen some discrepancies: in particular, that a male sales associate who was recently recruited from a tile store was making $2 an hour more than Marie. The egregiousness of the manager’s lie bothered Dawn. That night, after the manager went home, she closed the door to the administrative office and took out all the payroll records and spread them out over the desks. One by one she saw it: There were seven women and five men who were counted as full-time sales associates. In only one case was a woman making more than a man, and it was only when you compared the highest-paid woman with the lowest-paid man. The women’s hourly wages averaged $10.39, and the men’s averaged $13.40 — so that on average, a woman working a 30-hour workweek for 52 weeks each year would make $16,208.40 before bonuses, while a man working the same amount would make $20,904. The men did not have more experience, nor were they quantifiably better salespeople.

There is a precise algorithm that lives in the heart of every woman, one that alerts her when the injustice she is experiencing outweighs the joy. Dawn saw those payroll records and knew she couldn’t stand for it anymore.

In other words, the company had to pay men more per hour to do the same job and decided to lower their profits, and shareholder returns, by hiring men rather than lower case equally qualified and productive women. They did this even though men, as a class, actually had lower value to the company:

Most of their customers were men; men are the ones who buy most jewelry, and so the female managers weren’t surprised when they were explicitly told whom to hire. “You hired women,” said Michelle, who became a district manager during her more than 20 years at the company and who, like many of the women I spoke with, preferred to be mentioned by only her first name. “Good-looking women, because men were the customers.”

If we believe that the managers of this company actively worked against shareholder interests by hiring men at premium wages, why not allow shareholders to tweak the corporate by-laws so that a public corporation can’t hire anyone who identifies as a man?


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Microsoft is out of step with Silicon Valley?

“Microsoft staff are openly questioning the value of diversity” (Quartz) quotes from an internal Microsoft discussion forum:

“Because women used to be actively prohibited from full-time employment many decades ago, there is now the misguided belief that women SHOULD work, and if women AREN’T working, there’s something wrong…. Many women simply aren’t cut out for the corporate rat race, so to speak, and that’s not because of ‘the patriarchy,’ it’s because men and women aren’t identical, and women are much more inclined to gain fulfillment elsewhere.”

James Damore was the Google heretic because he shared the company’s goal of increasing the number of women doing the dreary job of coding, but suggested that they go about the project in a different way. It seems that Microsoft is nurturing actual infidels who reject the entire religion of gender diversity. It is just one step from the above quote to the Harvard undergraduate who told us “I used to want to be an investment banker, but then I realized that I could just marry an investment banker.” (Presumably nobody could survive at the company after asking “Why would an intelligent person want to work 80 hours/week at Microsoft when having sex with two Microsoft employees can yield roughly the same spending power?”)

[Anecdote: Our suburb is packed with women who have elite professional degrees and yet work part-time or do no W-2 wage labor at all. These women worked full time for 5-10 years following the completion of their education and then, as suggested by the Microsoft infidel, decided to “gain fulfillment elsewhere”. Most of their current spending power is derived from the wages of someone else, either a current spouse or a person whom they sued for alimony and/or child support.]

Readers: Measured against the coastal elite pillars of faith, are these Microsoft programmers more severely deviant than were the Googlers who questioned the company’s diversity schemes?


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Sultan of Brunei owns Piper Aircraft

“Piper’s financial ties to anti-gay Brunei stir up controversy, with Harris caught in crossfire” (Florida Today):

Vero Beach-based Piper Aircraft Inc. has become embroiled in an international controversy, as a result of its ownership by the government of Brunei, which has just implemented a harsh new law that punishes sex between men and adultery with death by stoning.

Jackie Carlon, senior director of marketing and communications for Piper, said that, while “the shareholder of Piper Aircraft is the ministry of finance of Kingdom of Brunei,” and “we’re very, very aware of” the policy in Brunei, “I can’t control what they do in their country.”

Carlon said Brunei currently doesn’t profit from Piper’s business, but rather reinvests the profits back into the company.

I.e., so far this has been a money-sink for the Sultan. Surprise, surprise! (Who told him that general aviation would be a good investment? That Piper had already gone bankrupt twice in its history so plainly a third bankruptcy was impossible?)

Cirrus, the market leader in family-sized aircraft, was formerly owned by the First Islamic Investment Bank, ultimately renamed Arcapita, “the premier source for Shari’ah-compliant alternative investments” and “a global leader in Islamically acceptable alternative investments.” It is unclear if Arcapita maintained traditional Islamic views regarding sexual activities. Cirrus today is owned by the Chinese government, basically, and China does not comply with U.S. standards regarding, for example, same-sex marriage (Wikipedia).

Maybe the answer is to pay up for an Embraer Phenom 300? The company is Brazilian, part-owned by the Brazilian government, and same-sex marriage is available in Brazil (Wikipedia). If you’re passionate about flying and matters LGBTQIA, but approximately $10 million short of the $10 million necessary for a Phenom 300, Cessna is owned by Textron, which earned a perfect score in the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (“Rating Workplaces on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equality”). New and used Cessnas are available to suit nearly every budget.

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International Women’s Day at Harvard and Google

On the breakfast table this morning in a Harvard cafeteria:

Typing “oppression of” into Google results in “oppression of women” as the first option:

Clicking on Google’s “Women’s Day” graphic brings up pages celebrating Yoko Ono and Frida Kahlo:

What’s the message here, though? Weren’t these artists famous primarily due to their sexual relationships with successful male artists? (both of which male artists happened to be married at the time that the sexual relationships commenced) Was it a good day for Cynthia Lennon when Yoko Ono began having sex with her husband John Lennon? If Google is going to pick female role models, why not pick women who made it as artists without the assistance of a male sex partner? Mary Cassatt, for example, Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, or Louise Nevelson in visual art. Aretha Franklin or Mitsuko Uchida in the world of music.

Or maybe that actually is Google’s intentional message? The way for women to advance is with an already-successful male sex partner and the selection of the partner should not be limited to those men who are unmarried?

Readers: How did you celebrate International Women’s Day?

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