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Hag feminism is the future Women past a certain age are turned into antagonists

Why do women past a certain age become villains? Credit: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Why do women past a certain age become villains? Credit: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images


February 20, 2023   7 mins

At the beginning of the year, a scandal erupted over a TikTok trend of young women in tight clothes posting videos shaming men for hitting on them at the gym. As recently as 2018, the story would have been one of women using social media to reclaim public space; the shapely posters would have been commended for their advocacy. But vibes do shift, and now the question is: are the women posting about gross men leering at them actually seeking attention? Are they looking for affirmation of their own hotness — or, in concrete terms, success as social media influencers? Even some who were not angry at the TikTokers from a men’s-rights perspective were sceptical that they were doing a service to womankind.

The #MeToo era was, among other things, a peak moment for what I have called photogenic feminism: a feminism focused on the plight of the young, gorgeous and ceaselessly hassled. While any women’s rights movement needs to concern itself with assaults in the lingerie-modelling audition room, a movement solely interested in stories that just happen to titillate broader audiences can feel limited at best — and at worst, counterproductive. What about all the unsexy issues affecting women: motherhood, menopause, mid-life crises?

Behold, a new book about ladies who have reached the top of the hill and kept going. Hags is Victoria Smith’s alternative to what she calls “non-confrontational, smooth-skinned, pre-menopausal feminism”. It is an alternative, too, to the witchy feminism peddled by writers such as Sharon Blackie, who last year released the similarly-named Hagitude. Where Blackie speaks of “energies” and “journeys”, Smith is decidedly unromantic. Getting older does not automatically bring women into a cosy sisterhood, she argues, but rather highlights disparities when it comes to wealth or care work. She’s not interested in harnessing mysticism, or recycling “you go, girl” platitudes, or supporting the (unconvincing) argument that older women don’t care what people think about them.

Instead, she comes out in defence of Mumsnet, and, more generally, of women who’ve aged out of peak hotness continuing to exist in society. Smith’s hag feminism is about speaking up even when no one is looking at you. It’s about using the wisdom that comes from years of life on this planet as a woman, rather than demurely agreeing to fade into the background. It’s a break from photogenic feminism, with its intense interest in the experiences of the most visible women. But it is also different from the woo-woo world of witchy feminism, with its coven-chic and its inspirational t-shirts.

Smith offers up a thorough survey, backed up by evidence, of the ways women past a certain age become villains. They are “Karens”, demanding to speak with the manager, and sporting the wrong haircut. They are “Terfs”, speaking of female biology rather than gender identity, and, quite possibly, sporting the wrong haircut. Smith writes: “Once upon a time getting a bad haircut might just have meant having to purchase a fetching hat; now a woman might find herself having to record and distribute a public statement claiming a rare mismatch between politics and frumpy appearance.” Throughout the book, Smith is very, very funny. But she’s making a serious point, all the same, about the way that women past a certain age are not merely ignored, but treated as all-purpose antagonists, their flawed faces signs of outdated politics. Not bad guys, but bad gals with the occasional unplucked chin hair.

Bear in mind that Smith isn’t writing about old women. The middle-aged are her focus, not the elderly. But for women, old can start young. I remember being madame’d in Paris at 27 and knowing that this marked the end of something. Stephanie Cole was hired at 48 to play a firebrand pensioner — in Nineties sitcom Waiting for God — while Graham Crowden, the actor who played her love interest, was 19 years her senior, and therefore the same age as the character he was playing. I am not, to be clear, offended that an actor was cast as a character whose biography doesn’t match their own, but rather am struck by how readily the viewer accepts Cole as an old lady. It seems that 49 and 79 are, in a woman, the same deal: all part of an undifferentiated life stage called “past it”.

I say “are” but should really have used the past tense. One of Smith’s most interesting points is that nowadays our ability to look young into old age means that looking — and even feeling — one’s actual age reads as a choice. Where once it was only celebrities like Barbra Streisand who were commended for things like choosing to “keep” her nose, today — with hormone replacement therapy and anti-wrinkle injections — any 49-year-old women can choose to look like a 29-year-old. People who are middle-aged these days, unlike in previous eras, don’t look it unless they nobly eschew cosmetic measures — or cannot afford them. As Smith writes: “When Sex and the City was rebooted for the 2020s as And Just Like That… much was made of the fact that the now middle-aged characters were older than those in the first season of Eighties sitcom The Golden Girls yet looked much younger.” A trip to the hair salon and a good 10 hours a week at the gym and you, too, could be a “glammie”. This makes looking young forever seem both plausible and — due to such dull factors as time and finances — frustratingly out-of-reach.

Add to this the handwringing over whether a good feminist should love her hard-won wrinkles, or, conversely, do what she can to mitigate visible signs of ageing, so as to stay viable in the sexist and ageist workforce. It can feel as though it went from being anti-feminist to wear lipstick, to being a feminist imperative to look as you did 20 years prior. This new order has been sold to older women as empowerment. Visibly ageing is no longer seen as going the natural (or frugal, or low-maintenance) route; it is seen as conforming to negative, outdated stereotypes about what an older woman looks like. As Smith writes: “it is easier to justify lookism — and the attendant moral judgments — if you can convince yourself that looking like a middle-aged woman is a genuine choice.”

The crux of the problem for Smith is that she’s pleading with an unyielding audience: younger women who’ve internalised society’s ageist misogyny, and who have convinced themselves that older women are those other ladies, and not themselves in a few years’ time. “Hawking a non-ageist feminism is like hawking life insurance to people who’ve been promised eternal life.” Smith presents herself as a recovering Cool Girl, a woman who reviled older women in her own youth, only to realise how wrong she’d been. This is partly an age-old, gender-neutral question of young people deeming their elders dorky and out-of-touch, but is also a specific issue in feminism, where younger women view older ones as avatars of a retrograde past that they are, or want to be, well rid of. It’s not clear to me that any cohort of young women will ever feel differently, but it’s also unclear that Smith anticipates that outcome. Given how much of a young woman’s power often derives from her youth, it seems unlikely that a cross-generational solidarity is imminent.

There are others to whom Hags might not get through. It is not going to reach, for instance, an audience of people who think that, actually, it’s men these days who have it worse, that it’s boys who are really suffering. And that’s fine, lots of people can be right about different things that seem to contradict one another but maybe do not. Which gets us to that other thing. You know the one. The real audience Hags stands to alienate will be those who have correctly assessed which team Smith is on when it comes to the only feminist issue anyone seems to care about these days: trans stuff. She’s with J.K. Rowling and not Owen Jones.

Most of Hags isn’t even about gender identity, but all books about women and girls are obliged to take a side these days. I find this unfortunate. Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces? Surely they agree, too, that the vast majority of violence against trans women comes from men, and not from middle-aged ladies who roll their eyes at the expression, “people who menstruate”? Wouldn’t it be simpler, more accurate, and better for women if feminism reminded itself frequently of these facts?

But the “Terf” label is as much about age as actual ideology, and “Terfdom” can serve as a pretext to label older women generally irrelevant yet potentially dangerous to listen to. Smith is onto something when she mentions the refrain, which I’ve also seen circulating, about how trans women look more like women than “Terfs” do. This is meant as a pro-trans rallying cry, equating beauty with goodness, and implying that gender-critical feminists are all sitting around wishing they looked like Barbie dolls, as though their non-resemblance to them were not intentional. What it winds up doing is defining true womanhood, cis or trans, as, to use Smith’s phrase, “femininity-fertility-fuckability”.

Photogenic feminism wavers between insisting that it’s empowering to devote your resources to looking like a pin-up, and decrying the objectification faced by those with hourglass physiques. Hag feminism, meanwhile, is not, as one might suspect, about the right to be seen as young and gorgeous when one is very likely neither of these things. (If you’re expecting Hags to be about the importance of putting ordinary-looking 50-year-old women on the cover of Vogue, you’ve got the wrong book.) It simply skips that focus in favour of the right to be respected and understood as having an inner life regardless of whether the typical man wants to sleep with you, or whether the typical woman hates herself for not resembling you physically.

Old-lady feminism, then, has plenty to offer young women. It might even benefit them at least as much as their seniors. It is, after all, young women who tend to experience the most severe angst regarding their appearances. This is easy to forget once you reach the Botox pros and cons life stage yourself, when it can feel as if virtually anyone younger than you is gorgeous and has nothing to complain about physically. But if anything, it’s the young women posting hot gym videos of themselves on TikTok — the same generation of women forming strong opinions about their “buccal fat” — who might stand to benefit the most from a feminism whose focus shifted towards women’s self-actualisation and away from an exhausting analysis of what men see when they look at us. What hags lack in collagen, they — we? — more than make up for in their ability to just get on with it.


Phoebe Maltz Bovy is a writer based in Toronto. She is the author of The Perils of “Privilege” and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast.

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Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

One of the most amazing experiences of my life has been the revelation that, as i’ve aged, i’ve come to fancy women of my age too.
Of course, my head still gets turned by young women and their fertile presence, but that doesn’t detract in the least from the experience and worldly wisdom of females who’ve been round the block, as i have. There’s just one provision, but one which makes all the difference in the world.
That difference is the ability to wear your age lightly. In other words, looking like you’re worn down by life affects not just your psyche but your posture, your eyes, your smile. I can fully appreciate that many women may well be worn down – probably by men! – but if you’ve come though the mill of childbirth, childcare, work and probably caring for elderly relatives and can still summon some joie de vivre, you’ll look beautiful to me.
I’m trying hard not to sound sexist here. The same can, of course, be said of men, and i think the very same things about them too (without fancying them, but that’s just the way i’m inclined.)
This article therefore strikes a chord with me. Unherd might do well to commission an article about males along similar lines.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Unherd might do well to commission an article about males along similar lines.
That is an interesting idea but it also touches on what I believe is Unherd’s greatest weakness, or omission, as a publication: it publishes many articles about the effects of modern life on women, but rarely publishes a story about the effects on men. Everything is interpreted through the lens of feminism. In that regard, Unherd is much closer to the herd than it might care to admit.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agreed. Perhaps it’s because men don’t complain all the time, unlike women, who make a sport of it.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Allison, I’ve noticed the same. I sometimes glance over the Guardian headlines and most of the time they’re articles by women blaming men for something wrong in their lives. One article was about emotional labor and how women suffer all the more from it, because men don’t feel it as much. I think it was around that point that I realized that feminism was no longer about giving women the freedoms that men have long enjoyed, but removing men’s freedoms in order to share in the ‘burden’ of womanhood.
Thank you for pointing this out. I recognize that most women aren’t like this, but those being paid to speak for women in the media seem to be the worst kind of women. Maybe their salaries depend on continually finding fault with men.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Well, JF, spend an afternoon with a handful of women and the knives very soon come out for the husbands. You would be shocked at how many disclose the most private of incidences to the group – followed by shrieks of derisive laughter. To my knowledge, few, if any, of them are paid to do this, which is why I prefer mixed company.

Stevie K
Stevie K
1 year ago

You say ”Which is why I prefer mixed company.”
I agree completely. I would add, where boths sides instinctively agree to avoid being boring by griping about the inevitable failings of the other sex.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

We should party.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

Totally agree, but don’t you notice that they usually don’t complain when they are in mixed company? both sexes generally get on quite well and put up with each other’s foibles.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

We should party.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

Totally agree, but don’t you notice that they usually don’t complain when they are in mixed company? both sexes generally get on quite well and put up with each other’s foibles.

Mae West MacHale
Mae West MacHale
1 year ago

Thank you for stating a huge truth. May I add that the knives also come out for any unfortunate regular in the group happens to be absent for the gabfest.
Most of those “mean girls” from grade school, in my opinion, never changed. They are “mean girls” forever.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago

Avoid those mean girls like the plague – that is what I do. Such people are not worth knowing.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago

Avoid those mean girls like the plague – that is what I do. Such people are not worth knowing.

elizabeth bradley
elizabeth bradley
1 year ago

Men do exactly the same about their wives – I’ve heard it for decades at the gym! Maybe it’s the kind of people you associate with – I’ve never been around women who sit around criticising men – I’ve always been around intelligent, educated people who understand interdependence.

Stevie K
Stevie K
1 year ago

You say ”Which is why I prefer mixed company.”
I agree completely. I would add, where boths sides instinctively agree to avoid being boring by griping about the inevitable failings of the other sex.

Mae West MacHale
Mae West MacHale
1 year ago

Thank you for stating a huge truth. May I add that the knives also come out for any unfortunate regular in the group happens to be absent for the gabfest.
Most of those “mean girls” from grade school, in my opinion, never changed. They are “mean girls” forever.

elizabeth bradley
elizabeth bradley
1 year ago

Men do exactly the same about their wives – I’ve heard it for decades at the gym! Maybe it’s the kind of people you associate with – I’ve never been around women who sit around criticising men – I’ve always been around intelligent, educated people who understand interdependence.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“Maybe their salaries depend on continually finding fault with men.”
You need to insert “white” between “with” and “men”. Good comment otherwise.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Well, JF, spend an afternoon with a handful of women and the knives very soon come out for the husbands. You would be shocked at how many disclose the most private of incidences to the group – followed by shrieks of derisive laughter. To my knowledge, few, if any, of them are paid to do this, which is why I prefer mixed company.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“Maybe their salaries depend on continually finding fault with men.”
You need to insert “white” between “with” and “men”. Good comment otherwise.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago

What? Men don’t complain? Seems to me it is women who suffer in silence while men need the world to know about every little hangnail.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

Lolz.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  T M Murray

Lolz.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Re: the sport of complaining- women unfortunately also bond over it, which can be really tedious. Men just seem to get on with life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

Allison, I’ve noticed the same. I sometimes glance over the Guardian headlines and most of the time they’re articles by women blaming men for something wrong in their lives. One article was about emotional labor and how women suffer all the more from it, because men don’t feel it as much. I think it was around that point that I realized that feminism was no longer about giving women the freedoms that men have long enjoyed, but removing men’s freedoms in order to share in the ‘burden’ of womanhood.
Thank you for pointing this out. I recognize that most women aren’t like this, but those being paid to speak for women in the media seem to be the worst kind of women. Maybe their salaries depend on continually finding fault with men.

T M Murray
T M Murray
1 year ago

What? Men don’t complain? Seems to me it is women who suffer in silence while men need the world to know about every little hangnail.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Re: the sport of complaining- women unfortunately also bond over it, which can be really tedious. Men just seem to get on with life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Stevie K
Stevie K
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

How about indulging in the extraordinary novelty of reporting about people just as plain human beings. That would be refreshing.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

Yes, please. This incessant need to divide the world into two groups of roughly 4 billion people and then go to town with blizzards of articles, books, seminars and God knows what else is clearly not helping things.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

If only!

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

Yes, please. This incessant need to divide the world into two groups of roughly 4 billion people and then go to town with blizzards of articles, books, seminars and God knows what else is clearly not helping things.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stevie K

If only!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agreed. Perhaps it’s because men don’t complain all the time, unlike women, who make a sport of it.

Stevie K
Stevie K
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

How about indulging in the extraordinary novelty of reporting about people just as plain human beings. That would be refreshing.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Do men twist themselves into these interminable introspective knots? There are certainly men’s issues but it seems to me they align more with genuine political issues such as the hollowing out of the working class rather than “as a man I feel this or that.”

As an aside, at lunch yesterday the next table had three women in their twenties. Not that it’s particularly relevant, but all were black, I’m in Southern Africa at the moment.

They didn’t eat, drank a bottle of bubbly and literally did nothing else for two hours but take posed photos of each other and selfies. Endless rearranging of braids and pouting.

I just cannot imagine three twenty something men doing that.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Unfortunately too many do. Moisturised, primped and plucked and taking selfies like there is no tomorrow. Butch as all get out.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Phillips

Really? Where?

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Phillips

Really? Where?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I think some men do, but not at the collective rate of women. I’d point out that “introspective knots” (great expression) could also refer to the kind of intellectualized self-regard that does seem prevalent, even more common, among men, rather than the neurotic fixation on appearance that is more common among women (not only due to their own neuroses, but social pressures too).
I think the selfie-fest scene you describe represents something non-universally but stereotypically feminine: a shallow or “toxic” version of femininity. But effeminate gay men display some of that, and a young male who “identifies” as a man that is interested in women as partners would likely feel a need to conceal some of his preening and plucking self-absorption if he had much of that going on inside.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

They don’t need to. The same standards are not required of them. There is a double standard.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Unfortunately too many do. Moisturised, primped and plucked and taking selfies like there is no tomorrow. Butch as all get out.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I think some men do, but not at the collective rate of women. I’d point out that “introspective knots” (great expression) could also refer to the kind of intellectualized self-regard that does seem prevalent, even more common, among men, rather than the neurotic fixation on appearance that is more common among women (not only due to their own neuroses, but social pressures too).
I think the selfie-fest scene you describe represents something non-universally but stereotypically feminine: a shallow or “toxic” version of femininity. But effeminate gay men display some of that, and a young male who “identifies” as a man that is interested in women as partners would likely feel a need to conceal some of his preening and plucking self-absorption if he had much of that going on inside.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

They don’t need to. The same standards are not required of them. There is a double standard.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I would tend to agree. At 57 I find myself looking less and less at younger women and more and more seeing the beauty in the women of a similar age.

When I look at younger women, and I am referring to women under say 40, I see an unfinished person and someone trapped in that youthful feminism the author discusses, I see trouble and I see someone that were I to get involved with them will actually detract from my peace and not enhance it. I see energetic naivete.

My fiance is 48. Does she look as “hot” as she did at 30? No, but neither do I. But I see a richer beauty. I see character and I see real strength that shows in her face. I am most at peace in her presence. Am I saying that I do not find her beautiful and sexy? No. I am saying that her beauty is something deeper and her sexiness comes from her attitude, an attitude that only time and having lived can give you.

One thing I love about her, she know precisely what she wants at this point in her life and she is completely unafraid to ask for it or to suggest it. She has no expectation that I can read her mind. There is nothing begrudging about her asking, no implication that her having to do so in some way means I have failed. If she wants to spend a weekend in PJs on the couch with a simple dinner and a bottle of wine, she is gonna say so. If she wants to have sex, she is in no way hesitant to just say; “I would really like to have sex. Let’s have a glass of wine, take the dog out for a walk and then come back and climb into bed.”. To you young women out there….THAT is sexy.

I am a rather traditional man, though certainly not in all aspects. She was a rabid feminist and a rebel in her youth. She was raised working class and busted her back side as a single mom to have a career and raise two daughters. She would tell you, as she has told me, that her attitude toward men in her youth very likely ruined her marriage and that she now regrets a lot of what she did to her ex husband, how she treated him, the expectations she put on him and the lack of apprecitation she had for him and what he did. That may be her biggest regret in my opinion. She still shares custody of their two daughters with him and works hard to cooperate with him.

I think too, though she is highly independent, that she is over the whole women and men are the same thing, the women can do anything men can do thing, the whole being insulted if a man opens a door or pays the check or pulls out a chair he is trying to control her thing. Rather, I think she sees those things as a sign of courtesy and caring, a sign of respect, as though she has earned it and that makes it OK.

I once implied to her that I should drive when we went out and she got annoyed and told me “I am perfectly capable of driving.”. My response to her was, “Well, of course you CAN drive, but do you WANT to drive? And..besides, I see better at night than you do and we both know it. It’s one reason I ask you to call me as soon as you get home when you leave my house at night”.

It was similar with opening doors etc. I remember her saying to me that I did not have to open doors for her. I simply replied that “No, I really do not HAVE to do that, but I WANT to. I am old school and my mother would have slapped me for not doing it, so, if you care for me, just let me open the door, it cuts down on my stress.”.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. The bottom line is this….

a. Young women may be “hot” but that does not make them attractive or sexy. Too many of them equate a tight body and crude behavior and arrogance with being sexy. Way too many of them think way too much of themselves and overestimate both their power and the value they bring to a relationship.

b. Older women may not be as “hot” but their confidence and their lived experience can, and often does, make them sexier and much better partners.

c. There is a huge distinction between being ABLE to do something for yourself and WANTING to do it or do it alone or being the person who is better suited to do it in relationship. I can, and have taken my daughter shopping for dresses but I had a LOT to learn about finding them and determining what looked good or fit right that my fiance knew off the top of her head.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Fabulous comment, thankyou.
Just on the topic of going clothes shopping with one’s daughter; after divorce, that’s what i used to do with my mid-teen daughter. She actually preferred shopping with me for birthday or special occasion clothes because i was just honest with her rather than someone else giving her bullshit.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I also love these remarks. A division of duties doesn’t amount to inequality in and of itself, especially if much is split according to preference or greater (statistical) aptitude.
How many women would feel liberated by the “chance” to pilot long drives, mow the lawn, or do mechanical fix-it projects around the house? How many men would celebrate being “allowed” to mend clothes (a non-posh and maybe dated example) or organize and clean domestic common areas to his taste? A few, certainly in both cases–but not a close call in either.
I think it’s good to relax the stratification so that people aren’t shamed for a non-traditional division of roles or tasks. Mission partly accomplished on that one. But I’m pretty sure mom will still do most of the holiday cooking in most households. And the man should probably go check on that noise in the middle of the night, perhaps with his tough cookie of a partner backing him up.

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Look at that lovely Lt-Col in REME, who made it to the final of the Sewing Bee in 2013 – married with sons, played rugby.
A real man, who took his sewing machine on exercise to Bosnia, and Northern Ireland, and who designed his driver’s fiancée’s wedding dress on a piece of paper laid out on the bonnet of their vehicle while up a mountain somewhere.
He was wonderfully supportive of the other contestants, while being as competitive as all get out, and happy in his own skin.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerie Receveur

Right on! I Not sure that story received much press here in North America but I’ll check into it.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerie Receveur

Right on! I Not sure that story received much press here in North America but I’ll check into it.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I love driving long distances and I like mowing the lawn. And I’ve always wished I had the mechanical skills to fix things around the house. I’ve thought about taking some sort of “household handyman” course. But it’s very intimidating to try to catch up now. At the same time, I love interior design and cooking is my biggest hobby. Despite being a careerist I’ve often thought I would have made a good housewife if my Mom hadn’t steered me away from that at a young age. Like most people, I am a mix of characteristics that could be totted up on either the feminine or masculine side.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

Yes, I’d agree that most of us don’t fit neatly into some stereotypical pattern, let alone a traditional, sex-stratified mold. But some of the male/female separation of interests and activities is self-selected.
Hard to separate social expectations from inner motives here, but I think most people find an inner mix that tallies rather more on one side than the other and, for most people, that tends to match some traditional-ish version of their biological sex, more than the opposite (or “counterpart”). I’m not saying there’s anything less than or wrong in the not-rare cases where they don’t match.
We see many more males nurses and female tradespeople now than we did fifty years ago but I don’t think we’re approaching numerical equality, or that social obstacles are the main reason for that. But if I’m mistaken, and more relaxed and inclusive gender roles lead to a continuing, major rise in male head nurses or female general contractors…so be it, bring it on kids!
I think it’s needless and unfortunate if social norms discouraged you from acquiring mechanical know-how you’d have otherwise picked up. Though you may never “catch up” with the young man or woman who’s been handling power tools since teen years, maybe it can still “be fixed”, at least in part.
I don’t have a ton of natural mechanic aptitude or interest but carpentry is the family business so I’ve done quite a lot of that. Can’t say I learned to love it, but did acquire a liking for certain aspects and of course haven’t regretted learning whatever I managed to.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

Yes, I’d agree that most of us don’t fit neatly into some stereotypical pattern, let alone a traditional, sex-stratified mold. But some of the male/female separation of interests and activities is self-selected.
Hard to separate social expectations from inner motives here, but I think most people find an inner mix that tallies rather more on one side than the other and, for most people, that tends to match some traditional-ish version of their biological sex, more than the opposite (or “counterpart”). I’m not saying there’s anything less than or wrong in the not-rare cases where they don’t match.
We see many more males nurses and female tradespeople now than we did fifty years ago but I don’t think we’re approaching numerical equality, or that social obstacles are the main reason for that. But if I’m mistaken, and more relaxed and inclusive gender roles lead to a continuing, major rise in male head nurses or female general contractors…so be it, bring it on kids!
I think it’s needless and unfortunate if social norms discouraged you from acquiring mechanical know-how you’d have otherwise picked up. Though you may never “catch up” with the young man or woman who’s been handling power tools since teen years, maybe it can still “be fixed”, at least in part.
I don’t have a ton of natural mechanic aptitude or interest but carpentry is the family business so I’ve done quite a lot of that. Can’t say I learned to love it, but did acquire a liking for certain aspects and of course haven’t regretted learning whatever I managed to.

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Look at that lovely Lt-Col in REME, who made it to the final of the Sewing Bee in 2013 – married with sons, played rugby.
A real man, who took his sewing machine on exercise to Bosnia, and Northern Ireland, and who designed his driver’s fiancée’s wedding dress on a piece of paper laid out on the bonnet of their vehicle while up a mountain somewhere.
He was wonderfully supportive of the other contestants, while being as competitive as all get out, and happy in his own skin.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I love driving long distances and I like mowing the lawn. And I’ve always wished I had the mechanical skills to fix things around the house. I’ve thought about taking some sort of “household handyman” course. But it’s very intimidating to try to catch up now. At the same time, I love interior design and cooking is my biggest hobby. Despite being a careerist I’ve often thought I would have made a good housewife if my Mom hadn’t steered me away from that at a young age. Like most people, I am a mix of characteristics that could be totted up on either the feminine or masculine side.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Excellent comment and best wishes to you both!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

SO true! Well said!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Fabulous comment, thankyou.
Just on the topic of going clothes shopping with one’s daughter; after divorce, that’s what i used to do with my mid-teen daughter. She actually preferred shopping with me for birthday or special occasion clothes because i was just honest with her rather than someone else giving her bullshit.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I also love these remarks. A division of duties doesn’t amount to inequality in and of itself, especially if much is split according to preference or greater (statistical) aptitude.
How many women would feel liberated by the “chance” to pilot long drives, mow the lawn, or do mechanical fix-it projects around the house? How many men would celebrate being “allowed” to mend clothes (a non-posh and maybe dated example) or organize and clean domestic common areas to his taste? A few, certainly in both cases–but not a close call in either.
I think it’s good to relax the stratification so that people aren’t shamed for a non-traditional division of roles or tasks. Mission partly accomplished on that one. But I’m pretty sure mom will still do most of the holiday cooking in most households. And the man should probably go check on that noise in the middle of the night, perhaps with his tough cookie of a partner backing him up.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Excellent comment and best wishes to you both!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel P

SO true! Well said!

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

In the first place why did Tiger Woods even have a Tampon on the golf course ? It was a reverse perverse comedy of this power issue.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“One of the most amazing experiences of my life has been the revelation that, as i’ve aged, i’ve come to fancy women of my age too.”
#MeToo. I can appreciate that young women are easy on the eye, but they often just seem a bit vacuous compared to women my age. And wokeness has made a lot of them frankly psychotic.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

One of the most amazing experiences of my life has been the revelation that, as I’ve aged, I’ve stopped caring what men or women think of my appearance. We talk about menopause making women invisible to men but not about how it makes men pointless to women. Evolutionarily pointless.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I comment as an old woman who was once beautiful and got a lot of mileage out of being so. I deal with the loss of beauty and the power that it brings, on a daily basis. I haven’t come to terms with the disconnect between how I feel on the inside and how I look on the outside, and I know I never will. The disconnect never ceases to amaze me and brings forth a “what the f**k” everytime I look in the mirror.
I value having a powerful mind, an insatiable curiosity and an irreverant sense of humor. I’ve become more an observor of life than a participant, which works out well since there are so many ways to participate vicariously, nowadays. However, as a child of the sixties the one thing I do miss is f*****g……………..

Last edited 1 year ago by CLARE KNIGHT
Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Unherd doesn’t seem particularly bothered about men.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Personally, I prefer talking and being around people who can add to the conversation. Men, women, old, young, gendered in humourous ways, whatever. Were all trying to fake it till we make it and the games you choose to play is the best sort of conversation.
So when they write about women I tend to replace women with human.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Unherd might do well to commission an article about males along similar lines.
That is an interesting idea but it also touches on what I believe is Unherd’s greatest weakness, or omission, as a publication: it publishes many articles about the effects of modern life on women, but rarely publishes a story about the effects on men. Everything is interpreted through the lens of feminism. In that regard, Unherd is much closer to the herd than it might care to admit.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Do men twist themselves into these interminable introspective knots? There are certainly men’s issues but it seems to me they align more with genuine political issues such as the hollowing out of the working class rather than “as a man I feel this or that.”

As an aside, at lunch yesterday the next table had three women in their twenties. Not that it’s particularly relevant, but all were black, I’m in Southern Africa at the moment.

They didn’t eat, drank a bottle of bubbly and literally did nothing else for two hours but take posed photos of each other and selfies. Endless rearranging of braids and pouting.

I just cannot imagine three twenty something men doing that.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I would tend to agree. At 57 I find myself looking less and less at younger women and more and more seeing the beauty in the women of a similar age.

When I look at younger women, and I am referring to women under say 40, I see an unfinished person and someone trapped in that youthful feminism the author discusses, I see trouble and I see someone that were I to get involved with them will actually detract from my peace and not enhance it. I see energetic naivete.

My fiance is 48. Does she look as “hot” as she did at 30? No, but neither do I. But I see a richer beauty. I see character and I see real strength that shows in her face. I am most at peace in her presence. Am I saying that I do not find her beautiful and sexy? No. I am saying that her beauty is something deeper and her sexiness comes from her attitude, an attitude that only time and having lived can give you.

One thing I love about her, she know precisely what she wants at this point in her life and she is completely unafraid to ask for it or to suggest it. She has no expectation that I can read her mind. There is nothing begrudging about her asking, no implication that her having to do so in some way means I have failed. If she wants to spend a weekend in PJs on the couch with a simple dinner and a bottle of wine, she is gonna say so. If she wants to have sex, she is in no way hesitant to just say; “I would really like to have sex. Let’s have a glass of wine, take the dog out for a walk and then come back and climb into bed.”. To you young women out there….THAT is sexy.

I am a rather traditional man, though certainly not in all aspects. She was a rabid feminist and a rebel in her youth. She was raised working class and busted her back side as a single mom to have a career and raise two daughters. She would tell you, as she has told me, that her attitude toward men in her youth very likely ruined her marriage and that she now regrets a lot of what she did to her ex husband, how she treated him, the expectations she put on him and the lack of apprecitation she had for him and what he did. That may be her biggest regret in my opinion. She still shares custody of their two daughters with him and works hard to cooperate with him.

I think too, though she is highly independent, that she is over the whole women and men are the same thing, the women can do anything men can do thing, the whole being insulted if a man opens a door or pays the check or pulls out a chair he is trying to control her thing. Rather, I think she sees those things as a sign of courtesy and caring, a sign of respect, as though she has earned it and that makes it OK.

I once implied to her that I should drive when we went out and she got annoyed and told me “I am perfectly capable of driving.”. My response to her was, “Well, of course you CAN drive, but do you WANT to drive? And..besides, I see better at night than you do and we both know it. It’s one reason I ask you to call me as soon as you get home when you leave my house at night”.

It was similar with opening doors etc. I remember her saying to me that I did not have to open doors for her. I simply replied that “No, I really do not HAVE to do that, but I WANT to. I am old school and my mother would have slapped me for not doing it, so, if you care for me, just let me open the door, it cuts down on my stress.”.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. The bottom line is this….

a. Young women may be “hot” but that does not make them attractive or sexy. Too many of them equate a tight body and crude behavior and arrogance with being sexy. Way too many of them think way too much of themselves and overestimate both their power and the value they bring to a relationship.

b. Older women may not be as “hot” but their confidence and their lived experience can, and often does, make them sexier and much better partners.

c. There is a huge distinction between being ABLE to do something for yourself and WANTING to do it or do it alone or being the person who is better suited to do it in relationship. I can, and have taken my daughter shopping for dresses but I had a LOT to learn about finding them and determining what looked good or fit right that my fiance knew off the top of her head.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

In the first place why did Tiger Woods even have a Tampon on the golf course ? It was a reverse perverse comedy of this power issue.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

“One of the most amazing experiences of my life has been the revelation that, as i’ve aged, i’ve come to fancy women of my age too.”
#MeToo. I can appreciate that young women are easy on the eye, but they often just seem a bit vacuous compared to women my age. And wokeness has made a lot of them frankly psychotic.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

One of the most amazing experiences of my life has been the revelation that, as I’ve aged, I’ve stopped caring what men or women think of my appearance. We talk about menopause making women invisible to men but not about how it makes men pointless to women. Evolutionarily pointless.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I comment as an old woman who was once beautiful and got a lot of mileage out of being so. I deal with the loss of beauty and the power that it brings, on a daily basis. I haven’t come to terms with the disconnect between how I feel on the inside and how I look on the outside, and I know I never will. The disconnect never ceases to amaze me and brings forth a “what the f**k” everytime I look in the mirror.
I value having a powerful mind, an insatiable curiosity and an irreverant sense of humor. I’ve become more an observor of life than a participant, which works out well since there are so many ways to participate vicariously, nowadays. However, as a child of the sixties the one thing I do miss is f*****g……………..

Last edited 1 year ago by CLARE KNIGHT
Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Unherd doesn’t seem particularly bothered about men.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Personally, I prefer talking and being around people who can add to the conversation. Men, women, old, young, gendered in humourous ways, whatever. Were all trying to fake it till we make it and the games you choose to play is the best sort of conversation.
So when they write about women I tend to replace women with human.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

One of the most amazing experiences of my life has been the revelation that, as i’ve aged, i’ve come to fancy women of my age too.
Of course, my head still gets turned by young women and their fertile presence, but that doesn’t detract in the least from the experience and worldly wisdom of females who’ve been round the block, as i have. There’s just one provision, but one which makes all the difference in the world.
That difference is the ability to wear your age lightly. In other words, looking like you’re worn down by life affects not just your psyche but your posture, your eyes, your smile. I can fully appreciate that many women may well be worn down – probably by men! – but if you’ve come though the mill of childbirth, childcare, work and probably caring for elderly relatives and can still summon some joie de vivre, you’ll look beautiful to me.
I’m trying hard not to sound sexist here. The same can, of course, be said of men, and i think the very same things about them too (without fancying them, but that’s just the way i’m inclined.)
This article therefore strikes a chord with me. Unherd might do well to commission an article about males along similar lines.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

There is no such thing as ‘true womanhood, cis or trans’. The only true woman is a female one. Men dressed up like Barbie dolls are caricatures. Woman is not a costume.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago

Bravo!!!

Anne Neville
Anne Neville
1 year ago

Absolutely right! Thank you for clarifying this fact.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago

You can say that here, thank goodness, but don’t try it on any of the mainstream media comment sections. Instant redaction awaits. I speak from experience.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago

Bravo!!!

Anne Neville
Anne Neville
1 year ago

Absolutely right! Thank you for clarifying this fact.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago

You can say that here, thank goodness, but don’t try it on any of the mainstream media comment sections. Instant redaction awaits. I speak from experience.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

There is no such thing as ‘true womanhood, cis or trans’. The only true woman is a female one. Men dressed up like Barbie dolls are caricatures. Woman is not a costume.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

”Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces?”

”What it winds up doing is defining true womanhood, cis or trans,”

”about how trans women look more like women than “Terfs” do.”

and many more

Unherd, why get a woman who does not know what a woman is, to write on women?

Now if this was an article in a farming magazine (Unherd II) would the confusion still exist?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Thanks for saying this. It needed to be said.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

She seems to be completely unaware of the existence of Autogynephiles…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Thanks for saying this. It needed to be said.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

She seems to be completely unaware of the existence of Autogynephiles…

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

”Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces?”

”What it winds up doing is defining true womanhood, cis or trans,”

”about how trans women look more like women than “Terfs” do.”

and many more

Unherd, why get a woman who does not know what a woman is, to write on women?

Now if this was an article in a farming magazine (Unherd II) would the confusion still exist?

Annette Lawson
Annette Lawson
1 year ago

I, too, thought it interesting we, women, were not commenting.
My response is two-fold:
First, it appears the category of age at least above 45, is of much less importance as an explanatory factor for a range of attitudes and behaviours for women than it used to be – I am 86.
Second, I think the author is wrong in side-tracking the Trans/Women’s rights issues as a wishful, why not concentrate on the important stuff, like I do? and reduction to a ‘both sides’ equivalence that is false.
This issue is a way of rendering women invisible and second class to the extent of supporting men in taking over our bodies, our place in society and our language. It is called misogyny.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Annette Lawson

I’m glad you’ve contributed this “gender-imbalanced” comment board.
To check whether I understand your comment: Do you consider transwomen to be misogynists by the very fact of their transitioning or attempting to live as women?

Claire England
Claire England
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

The trouble is the very term “trans” is treated as a coherent concept, when it’s not. A teen girl fleeing impending womanhood may indeed be happier in a simulacrum of masculinity, but she may also be suffering from rapid onset gender dysphoria; she may be autistic; she may have simply fallen down a Tumblr rabbit hole. She has nothing in common with an autogynophilic man, or a man immersed in sissy porn, or a man “discovering” his feminine side in prison, and perhaps even little in common with a feminine man who profoundly wishes he were female. We must realize the term trans is profoundly inadequate when we address the myriad reasons people are socially, medically and surgically altering their bodies.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire England
CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire England

Exactly.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire England

Exactly.

Claire England
Claire England
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

The trouble is the very term “trans” is treated as a coherent concept, when it’s not. A teen girl fleeing impending womanhood may indeed be happier in a simulacrum of masculinity, but she may also be suffering from rapid onset gender dysphoria; she may be autistic; she may have simply fallen down a Tumblr rabbit hole. She has nothing in common with an autogynophilic man, or a man immersed in sissy porn, or a man “discovering” his feminine side in prison, and perhaps even little in common with a feminine man who profoundly wishes he were female. We must realize the term trans is profoundly inadequate when we address the myriad reasons people are socially, medically and surgically altering their bodies.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire England
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Annette Lawson

I’m glad you’ve contributed this “gender-imbalanced” comment board.
To check whether I understand your comment: Do you consider transwomen to be misogynists by the very fact of their transitioning or attempting to live as women?

Annette Lawson
Annette Lawson
1 year ago

I, too, thought it interesting we, women, were not commenting.
My response is two-fold:
First, it appears the category of age at least above 45, is of much less importance as an explanatory factor for a range of attitudes and behaviours for women than it used to be – I am 86.
Second, I think the author is wrong in side-tracking the Trans/Women’s rights issues as a wishful, why not concentrate on the important stuff, like I do? and reduction to a ‘both sides’ equivalence that is false.
This issue is a way of rendering women invisible and second class to the extent of supporting men in taking over our bodies, our place in society and our language. It is called misogyny.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago

I was in the gym two hours ago. So was a young woman who looked like every other young woman (that vaguely Asiatic, vaguely Latino but not, long dark hair full lips etc thing) I cycle on a recumbent bike for 10 K in a time frame and gradually increase the level of difficulty as the days go by to build up strength in my calf and thigh muscles. In the few minutes we shared the Gym she spent 50% of her time frowning at her phone.
When I go swimming, out for dinner or lunch or anything it’s the same. I have seen young girls pouting into their phones for 30 minutes in the swimming pool trying to do that wet hair sexy thing video.
I am not in the gym or in the swimming pool for anyone else. I am there for the sheer exhilaration of physical exercise and the adrenaline rush and on a more practical level to stay fit for hiking in the European summer. Nothing feels better than throwing off all your clothes after a real workout and jumping in the shower and cooling down. I feel alive!
The other one I enjoy is when you enter a lift energized middle-aged men and women have a quip and an exchange with you. Men are polite and hold the lift, and women smile and say hi. The younger ones … are on their phones. Can they smile talk converse and share the many joys the world has to offer? Search me or are they just hollowed-out Avatars?

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

To the extent that women are more into communicating than men are (I know that’s a stereotype, but there might be something in it – women do seem, on average, to have superior language skills to men – so if they are better at language, a key tool of communication, there might be a difference in communication activity too), maybe they’re more at risk from the ‘quick neuronal drug hit’ of today’s hyper-connected world?

Adi Khan
Adi Khan
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

How do you explain the fact that a lot of young men spend hours sitting behind their computers gaming?

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Adi Khan

Gaming is hiding from real communication and people.

Adi Khan
Adi Khan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

Not very different from social media, they talk online with other gamers and gaming releases dopamine, just like drugs.

Adi Khan
Adi Khan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

Not very different from social media, they talk online with other gamers and gaming releases dopamine, just like drugs.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Adi Khan

Gaming is hiding from real communication and people.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

The only question is whether posting selfies on Instagram is actually ‘communication.’

Adi Khan
Adi Khan
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

How do you explain the fact that a lot of young men spend hours sitting behind their computers gaming?

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

The only question is whether posting selfies on Instagram is actually ‘communication.’

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago

Me too! I don’t even bring my phone to the pool. In fact, I view every excursion to which I don’t have to bring my phone as a luxury. When I fantasize about becoming filthy rich, the first and greatest luxury I can imagine is throwing my smart phone in the bin and only having a land line. Ps. I have literally never taken a selfie.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago

Is it an age thing?

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago

Is it an age thing?

Felix Watts
Felix Watts
1 year ago

Wasn’t it your generation who raised those phone slaves though?

The fact is kids today are subject to social media. It’s obviously very damaging to them and will probably eventually be banned or regulated like smoking, but for now a generation is being permanently damaged by the widespread use of addictive technology to sell advertising.

Don’t blame the victim.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

To the extent that women are more into communicating than men are (I know that’s a stereotype, but there might be something in it – women do seem, on average, to have superior language skills to men – so if they are better at language, a key tool of communication, there might be a difference in communication activity too), maybe they’re more at risk from the ‘quick neuronal drug hit’ of today’s hyper-connected world?

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago

Me too! I don’t even bring my phone to the pool. In fact, I view every excursion to which I don’t have to bring my phone as a luxury. When I fantasize about becoming filthy rich, the first and greatest luxury I can imagine is throwing my smart phone in the bin and only having a land line. Ps. I have literally never taken a selfie.

Felix Watts
Felix Watts
1 year ago

Wasn’t it your generation who raised those phone slaves though?

The fact is kids today are subject to social media. It’s obviously very damaging to them and will probably eventually be banned or regulated like smoking, but for now a generation is being permanently damaged by the widespread use of addictive technology to sell advertising.

Don’t blame the victim.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago

I was in the gym two hours ago. So was a young woman who looked like every other young woman (that vaguely Asiatic, vaguely Latino but not, long dark hair full lips etc thing) I cycle on a recumbent bike for 10 K in a time frame and gradually increase the level of difficulty as the days go by to build up strength in my calf and thigh muscles. In the few minutes we shared the Gym she spent 50% of her time frowning at her phone.
When I go swimming, out for dinner or lunch or anything it’s the same. I have seen young girls pouting into their phones for 30 minutes in the swimming pool trying to do that wet hair sexy thing video.
I am not in the gym or in the swimming pool for anyone else. I am there for the sheer exhilaration of physical exercise and the adrenaline rush and on a more practical level to stay fit for hiking in the European summer. Nothing feels better than throwing off all your clothes after a real workout and jumping in the shower and cooling down. I feel alive!
The other one I enjoy is when you enter a lift energized middle-aged men and women have a quip and an exchange with you. Men are polite and hold the lift, and women smile and say hi. The younger ones … are on their phones. Can they smile talk converse and share the many joys the world has to offer? Search me or are they just hollowed-out Avatars?

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

This is a ways from the point of this article, but something here set it off, so…
I have a certain amount of sympathy with “the plight of the young, gorgeous and ceaselessly hassled” – but that sympathy has limits. You’re so attractive you’re always being hit on? Try dressing down.
Demanding to be allowed to be incredibly attractive, but not wanting the results of that attractiveness, is to want your cake, and eat it too. Most people with common sense would realize that the two are in opposition – but apparently that realization’s beyond some totally self-centered people. (Ironically, the same condition that afflicts their tormentors.)
Men aren’t robots; but the demand that women be allowed to be blindingly attractive, and have men not respond to that, is to demand that women have all the power in the interaction. Life doesn’t work that way.

Last edited 1 year ago by Noel Chiappa
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

When 70s rock stars wore shrink wrapped trousers that displayed their sex organs, it was most definitely to attract women (whether that worked or not, I cannot comment)….when 2020’s women wear shrink wrapped trousers that display their sexual organs (quite a feat for something so much smaller, but like landing on the moon, scientists – and Lulu Lemon – worked at it until the goal was achieved), it is said that they are wearing it for themselves, to feel good, and are offended by the male gaze.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

I don’t think they should be surprised or offended by the gaze of men. But if they are not interested in a particular man, they should have the right to say no to him without being attacked or harassed for it.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

No disagreement at all with that last sentence.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

No disagreement at all with that last sentence.

Mae West MacHale
Mae West MacHale
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

A very popular look for “younger” women these days is sharing their beauty, via “selfies” on many social media outlets – Instagram comes to mind – with pouty lipped poses, butts out behind – breasts out in front – in sexy outfits, maybe with false eye lashes added in. So… “Don’t look at me, you sex maniac!” begs the question.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago

The current “look” that most women are copying if frightful, phoney,repitious and boring. As a woman I feel ashamed and horrified and long for it to be over with. However, it’s doubtful that it will go away anytime soon because the “beauty” industry is so very, very lucrative.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago

The current “look” that most women are copying if frightful, phoney,repitious and boring. As a woman I feel ashamed and horrified and long for it to be over with. However, it’s doubtful that it will go away anytime soon because the “beauty” industry is so very, very lucrative.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

When 70s rock stars wore shrink wrapped trousers that displayed their sex organs, it was most definitely to attract women (whether that worked or not, I cannot comment)….when 2020’s women wear shrink wrapped trousers that display their sexual organs (quite a feat for something so much smaller, but like landing on the moon, scientists – and Lulu Lemon – worked at it until the goal was achieved), it is said that they are wearing it for themselves, to feel good, and are offended by the male gaze.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

I don’t think they should be surprised or offended by the gaze of men. But if they are not interested in a particular man, they should have the right to say no to him without being attacked or harassed for it.

Mae West MacHale
Mae West MacHale
1 year ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

A very popular look for “younger” women these days is sharing their beauty, via “selfies” on many social media outlets – Instagram comes to mind – with pouty lipped poses, butts out behind – breasts out in front – in sexy outfits, maybe with false eye lashes added in. So… “Don’t look at me, you sex maniac!” begs the question.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

This is a ways from the point of this article, but something here set it off, so…
I have a certain amount of sympathy with “the plight of the young, gorgeous and ceaselessly hassled” – but that sympathy has limits. You’re so attractive you’re always being hit on? Try dressing down.
Demanding to be allowed to be incredibly attractive, but not wanting the results of that attractiveness, is to want your cake, and eat it too. Most people with common sense would realize that the two are in opposition – but apparently that realization’s beyond some totally self-centered people. (Ironically, the same condition that afflicts their tormentors.)
Men aren’t robots; but the demand that women be allowed to be blindingly attractive, and have men not respond to that, is to demand that women have all the power in the interaction. Life doesn’t work that way.

Last edited 1 year ago by Noel Chiappa
Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.
1 year ago

“the right to be respected and understood as having an inner life”
Really? “The right”? The claim of a “right” is the imposition of a duty. I don’t think other people have a duty to me that involves my being “respected and understood as having an inner life.” That’s more than can reasonably be expected.
“Treated with civility and not run over in the crosswalk” is fine.

Cynthia W.
Cynthia W.
1 year ago

“the right to be respected and understood as having an inner life”
Really? “The right”? The claim of a “right” is the imposition of a duty. I don’t think other people have a duty to me that involves my being “respected and understood as having an inner life.” That’s more than can reasonably be expected.
“Treated with civility and not run over in the crosswalk” is fine.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

As Woody Allen put it: Getting old is better than the alternative..

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

No it’s not. Absolutely NOT!!!

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

No it’s not. Absolutely NOT!!!

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

As Woody Allen put it: Getting old is better than the alternative..

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
1 year ago

“Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces?”
Someone hasn’t been looking at the figures.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
1 year ago

“Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces?”
Someone hasn’t been looking at the figures.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“Surely they agree, too, that the vast majority of violence against trans women comes from men”
“Trans women” suffer less violence than other men.
“Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces?”
Something like 40% of male prisoners claiming to be women are sex offenders.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“Surely they agree, too, that the vast majority of violence against trans women comes from men”
“Trans women” suffer less violence than other men.
“Surely both sides agree that the vast majority of violence against women comes from male-identified men, and not from men claiming womanhood to sneak into women’s spaces?”
Something like 40% of male prisoners claiming to be women are sex offenders.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

The article uses the term “society’s ageist misogyny” which makes no sense at all.
Misogyny is “hatred of women” so “ageist misogyny” would imply hatred of old women. That assumes middle age women receive more attention than they do.
Women who have hit the wall are not hated, it would be more accurate to say they are mostly invisible to men and ignored.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Misogyny does not have to mean ‘hatred’ of women. That’s just the trite term du jour. It also means precisely what you’ve just done.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

No, Steve, it really does mean hatred. Linguistic inflation is not merely a fashion. It is a politically manipulative tool. I don’t believe slogans such as “silence is violence.” I don’t believe that any unpleasant sexual encounter is tantamount to “rape.” I don’t believe that any careless joke reveals “implicit racism.” I don’t believe that every criticism of Israel amounts to antisemitism (although some do). I don’t believe that any conflict or even war can be comparable to “genocide.” We need a word that refers exclusively to hatred–that is, malice, the urge to harm--and not merely to snobbery, ignorance or stupidity. Without that basic moral distinction, anything (no matter how trivial) can mean anything else (no matter how important), and we’re back to Humpty Dumpty, who informs Alice, “When I use a word… it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” He’s clear enough about what he means (neither more nor less) but foolish enough to ignore what society means.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Amen! Making sexism or even “failure to duly consider a woman’s feelings” equivalent to misogyny (hatred of women as a group) is a key, prevalent example of linguistic inflation.
{What do you think of the suggestion of replacing misandry and misogyny with “man-hatred” and “woman-hatred” respectively? I know they are not great substitutes, but they could temporarily circumvent the disembodied ease of the Greek-derived terms.
As as comparison: To my ear, it’s a more direct, biting, less-easily rattled off accusation to say “you hate people” than “you are misanthropic/a misanthropist”.}
Still, better not to brand people left and right, whatever the terminology. We seem to have succumbed to more overall name-calling since euphemisms and of-the-minute-precise terms have grown in perceived importance. Almost everyone who’s ever lived has told a lie, but they don’t deserve a scarlet letter for it, as capital-“L” Liars, in my opinion.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Your alternatives to “misogyny” and “misandry” would do the job, AJ, but I see no urgent need to demand yet another change in vocabulary. I’d be content if people were capable of knowing, whatever words they choose, the difference that I see between hating and disliking.
Unlike disliking, no matter how strongly, hating is not merely a personal feeling and therefore not a transient emotion. Rather, it’s a culturally propagated worldview, which I classify as an ideology (whether left-wing or right-wing, religious or secular).
All ideologies, of course, have at least some common features. Katherine K. Young and I have identified eight, but the underlying one is dualism: seeing all of life or all of history as a titanic battle between “us” and “them.” “They,” from this point of view are inherently evil (oppressors). “We,” supposedly being inherently good (victims), therefore have the moral duty to destroy “them” (if not physically, then politically, economically or psychologically). That’s hatred.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I find most of your argument persuasive, Paul, and agree that yet another switch in terms isn’t worth it. Thought I’d seek your well-informed opinion on a prospective change that’s in no danger of catching on.
One significant disagreement: I think hatred can be primarily and deeply personal. Now, if one starts to label the human “object” of the hatred a “so-and-so” in a way that reflects us/them divisions, then we’re more into culturally propagated territory.
But would you acknowledge that a child can hate his or her brother or sister without an accompanying ideological framework or social construction except within the nuclear family unit? I see the huge role of ideology and societal forces in proliferating hatred, but I guess I’d be closer to accepting your asserted absolute separation between strong dislike and hatred if all hatred were of a sustained, murderous, and group-supported kind. I don’t think all hatred fits that bill though, unless you’re using an intensified, modified definition of hate.
Can’t one’s regard for someone dear move from love to (real) hatred and back to love again?
(Follow-up thought: I see the group-based feeling you outline as something more like fixed antagonism, with or without “de-humanization”–another term I’d nominate for an overuse award. And while I think all strict or rabid ideological frameworks involve some element of division or hatred, I don’t see that as fundamental , defining feature. For example, pacifism: Does the practitioner have to hate or just be morally opposed to war?)

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Thank you, so much, AJ, for continuing the discussion (although I don’t know how long that will be possible given the duration of these threads).
You say, “I don’t think all hatred fits that bill though, unless you’re using an intensified, modified definition of hate.” As I say, though, I do use specific definitions of both hatred (a moral problem) and dislike or even extreme dislike (a psychological one). I don’t do this in order to be pedantic. I do so in order to clarify a pervasive misunderstanding, one with severe consequences for society.
I can’t hold back the waves of linguistic change any more than King Canute could hold back the tidal waves, but I can at least clarify what’s going on just below the linguistic surface. It’s true that “hating” and (extreme) “disliking” have become synonyms in popular parlance. Both refer to emotion. But I still think that, in this anti-intellectual age of pop psychology (when “I feel” has become a synonym for “I think”), it’s worth the effort to distinguish between emotions and ideas.
You ask about sibling rivalry. I think that this example is significantly different from hatred. It’s true that the result of (culturally propagated) hatred can sometimes be experienced as intense (personal) emotion. And that can indeed look like rage. Maybe the Nazis who imprisoned people in burning synagogues or threw Jewish babies out windows did so very angrily–or even joyfully. But I think that this extreme kind of behavior–it actually violates religious, moral or even other legal norms–seldom originates in personal interactions with the targets, no matter how unpleasant, or even with other members of the target communities. It requires elaborate justification and external support, after all, which is exactly what profoundly dualistic worldviews provide. The targets are therefore impersonal abstractions, not really or fully human at all.
I’m glad that you refer also to “love,” because that word, too, is often used carelessly. “Loving” can refer to extreme “liking.” But the word has a long history and not only in English. What translators of the Bible often call “love,” could once have meant many things that we don’t always distinguish: filial love, brotherly love, patriotic love, platonic love, romantic love, sexual love and so on. The early Christians (like many Christians to this day), however, regarded self-sacrificial love as the highest form of love. This was definitely not what we would consider an emotion. It had nothing to do with personal affection. Otherwise, it could not have been a divine commandment and the ultimate response to divine self-sacrifice. But you don’t have to be Christian to know what self-sacrifice is or why it remains a powerful ideal.
I’m not sure of what you mean by referring in this context to pacifism. I would not classify that as an “ideology.” It’s an idea, to be sure, but not an ideology. That’s because every ideology is, as I say, a particular kind of worldview. It’s goal is a re-presentation of reality in order to achieve specific social, economic or political goals. But I didn’t invent that definition. The word has a history. It originated in eighteenth-century France but took on its current meaning in the writings of Marx. It continues in use to this day not only among Marxists but also among many feminists and all wokers. For them, ideology is “false consciousness.” This is what makes it possible for the bourgeoisie (or the white supremacists or patriarchs) to hoodwink other people into thinking that the world’s organization was and always will be as it is. In other words, low status no less than high status is ordained by nature itself and therefore immune to revolution. The only way out is, in postmodernist parlance, to “deconstruct” that worldview and undermine its institutions by infiltrating them. In my opinion, however, this very kind of worldview, whether on the Left or the Right, is an ideology in precisely the same way. Like them, it has distinctive characteristics of which the most powerful is dualism, a.k.a. an “us” vs. “them” mentality.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

A few more stitches for this unraveling thread:
I get your point concerning the complexities and changing definition of love and acknowledge the distinction between an emotional and a moral decision. But they are not so neatly separated. Emotions can influence moral decisions and moral decisions (certainly selfless sacrifice) can have emotional “payoff” for both sides. Are you saying that actions lose all moral or intellectual weight–all “reality”–when they have an emotional or subjective dimension? I doubt you are but that’s what I almost read.
In my view: The deep, emotionally resonant positive regard one feels for a dear friend or family member is love. Make it negative: it is hate. I strongly object to some attempt to “outsource” both love and hatred (or hatred by itself) to groups. Are you contending that because acts of kindness or cruelty have a psychological or emotional dimension that they are therefore illusory or less real as loving or hateful acts?! Or that abiding love for a friend is not real love but more like the biochemical sensation of being “in love”?
 “Maybe the Nazis who imprisoned people in burning synagogues or threw Jewish babies out windows did so very angrily–or even joyfully” were hateful and evil in a individually culpable way, group influence notwithstanding (though I acknowledge that much enmity and wicked inhumanity is “crowd-sourced”).
How about the main architect of those group actions? His feelings and beliefs–documented in the “My Struggle” screed I was once made to read for a critical thinking class–are not all self-generated, but they are still his fault, especially in their mestastacized implementation. Right?
We can argue terminology until the cows come home or the whole digital crowd has left, but I don’t think we can remove so much of either the credit or blame from individual actions. And neither love or hatred needs, or ought to be, relegated to an emotionless or abstract realm. In many cases, attempts to be scrupulously objective can lead to more monstrous results, like doctrinaire Effective Altruism.
Please forgive the emotional coloring in my remarks.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

There’s no need for me to forgive you for “emotional coloring,” AJ. Emotion is a universal feature of human existence (and of some other species). It’s neither bad nor good. It just is.
I think that you’re reading way too much into what I’ve said and therefore drawing conclusions that I don’t draw. All I want is to make it clear, linguistically, that some phenomena are rooted in culturally propagated ideas (contempt, malice, hatred) as distinct from personal feelings (rage, envy, fear and so on)–although, in everyday life, both might reinforce each other.
Not all Germans, for instance, were hostile to Jews. Not all approved of mass murder. Not all condoned Nazi ideology or even joined the Nazi Party. Some of them risked their lives, in fact, to oppose the Nazi regime. But, for countless personal reasons, others acted very differently. It was Nazi ideology, however, that forced them all to make moral choices. As for Hitler, he grew up in a society that had long fostered antisemitism and other forms of racism. But that hardly absolves him of personal guilt. He was free enough to make his own choices, after all, and he chose evil ones.
Yes, of course, emotion and reason are not easily separated. But I’m not advocating mass lobotomies in the interest of creating some utopia. I’m merely advocating one useful verbal distinction that can clarify discussions of a major social problem. Not being a linguist, I don’t even care about the words per se. You don’t like the word “hatred”? Find a better one. Just make sure that it denotes clearly the moral consequences of cultural conditioning–that is, of ideological “narratives.”
The same principle applies to love. Everyone has always known that love can take many forms, all of them are valuable and even necessary but some of them (notably sacrificial love) are more costly and therefore more valuable than others. In any case, we have many words for these distinct but closely related phenomena. Trouble is, contemporary English usage tends to use one word for all of them, thus debasing not only the language but also the culture.
So no, I’m not arguing that hostile behavior motivated by personal rage is somehow less serious, morally, than hostile behavior motivated by ideological resentment. Both can lead to evil. But the solution, if there is one, would not be the same for both.
My research is on misandry, AJ, not the personal feelings of women. Feminists keep trying to condone or even excuse misandry by arguing (among other things) that it’s not really hatred at all but merely anger–usually implying that the victims deserve it. And I keep trying to say that they’re evading moral responsibility for a phenomenon that feminists have created and fostered in the name of all women. We need a vocabulary that makes it possible to say this.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

That all makes sense to me, Paul. You make forceful arguments that, at times, belie the nuance and complexity I typically find in your remarks, or which are found to underlie your initial marks upon follow-up. But who doesn’t, and it’s hard to read tone on a screen. I’ll make an effort to afford you more baseline credit from now on.
I hate strongly dislike what I call facile umbrella terms too, such as “problematic”, “dynamic” (earlier, as a noun) and “misogyny”. I do hope we can avoid an over-corrective use of misandry though.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

That all makes sense to me, Paul. You make forceful arguments that, at times, belie the nuance and complexity I typically find in your remarks, or which are found to underlie your initial marks upon follow-up. But who doesn’t, and it’s hard to read tone on a screen. I’ll make an effort to afford you more baseline credit from now on.
I hate strongly dislike what I call facile umbrella terms too, such as “problematic”, “dynamic” (earlier, as a noun) and “misogyny”. I do hope we can avoid an over-corrective use of misandry though.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

There’s no need for me to forgive you for “emotional coloring,” AJ. Emotion is a universal feature of human existence (and of some other species). It’s neither bad nor good. It just is.
I think that you’re reading way too much into what I’ve said and therefore drawing conclusions that I don’t draw. All I want is to make it clear, linguistically, that some phenomena are rooted in culturally propagated ideas (contempt, malice, hatred) as distinct from personal feelings (rage, envy, fear and so on)–although, in everyday life, both might reinforce each other.
Not all Germans, for instance, were hostile to Jews. Not all approved of mass murder. Not all condoned Nazi ideology or even joined the Nazi Party. Some of them risked their lives, in fact, to oppose the Nazi regime. But, for countless personal reasons, others acted very differently. It was Nazi ideology, however, that forced them all to make moral choices. As for Hitler, he grew up in a society that had long fostered antisemitism and other forms of racism. But that hardly absolves him of personal guilt. He was free enough to make his own choices, after all, and he chose evil ones.
Yes, of course, emotion and reason are not easily separated. But I’m not advocating mass lobotomies in the interest of creating some utopia. I’m merely advocating one useful verbal distinction that can clarify discussions of a major social problem. Not being a linguist, I don’t even care about the words per se. You don’t like the word “hatred”? Find a better one. Just make sure that it denotes clearly the moral consequences of cultural conditioning–that is, of ideological “narratives.”
The same principle applies to love. Everyone has always known that love can take many forms, all of them are valuable and even necessary but some of them (notably sacrificial love) are more costly and therefore more valuable than others. In any case, we have many words for these distinct but closely related phenomena. Trouble is, contemporary English usage tends to use one word for all of them, thus debasing not only the language but also the culture.
So no, I’m not arguing that hostile behavior motivated by personal rage is somehow less serious, morally, than hostile behavior motivated by ideological resentment. Both can lead to evil. But the solution, if there is one, would not be the same for both.
My research is on misandry, AJ, not the personal feelings of women. Feminists keep trying to condone or even excuse misandry by arguing (among other things) that it’s not really hatred at all but merely anger–usually implying that the victims deserve it. And I keep trying to say that they’re evading moral responsibility for a phenomenon that feminists have created and fostered in the name of all women. We need a vocabulary that makes it possible to say this.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

(reply finally posted.)

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

A few more stitches for this unraveling thread:
I get your point concerning the complexities and changing definition of love and acknowledge the distinction between an emotional and a moral decision. But they are not so neatly separated. Emotions can influence moral decisions and moral decisions (certainly selfless sacrifice) can have emotional “payoff” for both sides. Are you saying that actions lose all moral or intellectual weight–all “reality”–when they have an emotional or subjective dimension? I doubt you are but that’s what I almost read.
In my view: The deep, emotionally resonant positive regard one feels for a dear friend or family member is love. Make it negative: it is hate. I strongly object to some attempt to “outsource” both love and hatred (or hatred by itself) to groups. Are you contending that because acts of kindness or cruelty have a psychological or emotional dimension that they are therefore illusory or less real as loving or hateful acts?! Or that abiding love for a friend is not real love but more like the biochemical sensation of being “in love”?
 “Maybe the Nazis who imprisoned people in burning synagogues or threw Jewish babies out windows did so very angrily–or even joyfully” were hateful and evil in a individually culpable way, group influence notwithstanding (though I acknowledge that much enmity and wicked inhumanity is “crowd-sourced”).
How about the main architect of those group actions? His feelings and beliefs–documented in the “My Struggle” screed I was once made to read for a critical thinking class–are not all self-generated, but they are still his fault, especially in their mestastacized implementation. Right?
We can argue terminology until the cows come home or the whole digital crowd has left, but I don’t think we can remove so much of either the credit or blame from individual actions. And neither love or hatred needs, or ought to be, relegated to an emotionless or abstract realm. In many cases, attempts to be scrupulously objective can lead to more monstrous results, like doctrinaire Effective Altruism.
Please forgive the emotional coloring in my remarks.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

(reply finally posted.)

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Thank you, so much, AJ, for continuing the discussion (although I don’t know how long that will be possible given the duration of these threads).
You say, “I don’t think all hatred fits that bill though, unless you’re using an intensified, modified definition of hate.” As I say, though, I do use specific definitions of both hatred (a moral problem) and dislike or even extreme dislike (a psychological one). I don’t do this in order to be pedantic. I do so in order to clarify a pervasive misunderstanding, one with severe consequences for society.
I can’t hold back the waves of linguistic change any more than King Canute could hold back the tidal waves, but I can at least clarify what’s going on just below the linguistic surface. It’s true that “hating” and (extreme) “disliking” have become synonyms in popular parlance. Both refer to emotion. But I still think that, in this anti-intellectual age of pop psychology (when “I feel” has become a synonym for “I think”), it’s worth the effort to distinguish between emotions and ideas.
You ask about sibling rivalry. I think that this example is significantly different from hatred. It’s true that the result of (culturally propagated) hatred can sometimes be experienced as intense (personal) emotion. And that can indeed look like rage. Maybe the Nazis who imprisoned people in burning synagogues or threw Jewish babies out windows did so very angrily–or even joyfully. But I think that this extreme kind of behavior–it actually violates religious, moral or even other legal norms–seldom originates in personal interactions with the targets, no matter how unpleasant, or even with other members of the target communities. It requires elaborate justification and external support, after all, which is exactly what profoundly dualistic worldviews provide. The targets are therefore impersonal abstractions, not really or fully human at all.
I’m glad that you refer also to “love,” because that word, too, is often used carelessly. “Loving” can refer to extreme “liking.” But the word has a long history and not only in English. What translators of the Bible often call “love,” could once have meant many things that we don’t always distinguish: filial love, brotherly love, patriotic love, platonic love, romantic love, sexual love and so on. The early Christians (like many Christians to this day), however, regarded self-sacrificial love as the highest form of love. This was definitely not what we would consider an emotion. It had nothing to do with personal affection. Otherwise, it could not have been a divine commandment and the ultimate response to divine self-sacrifice. But you don’t have to be Christian to know what self-sacrifice is or why it remains a powerful ideal.
I’m not sure of what you mean by referring in this context to pacifism. I would not classify that as an “ideology.” It’s an idea, to be sure, but not an ideology. That’s because every ideology is, as I say, a particular kind of worldview. It’s goal is a re-presentation of reality in order to achieve specific social, economic or political goals. But I didn’t invent that definition. The word has a history. It originated in eighteenth-century France but took on its current meaning in the writings of Marx. It continues in use to this day not only among Marxists but also among many feminists and all wokers. For them, ideology is “false consciousness.” This is what makes it possible for the bourgeoisie (or the white supremacists or patriarchs) to hoodwink other people into thinking that the world’s organization was and always will be as it is. In other words, low status no less than high status is ordained by nature itself and therefore immune to revolution. The only way out is, in postmodernist parlance, to “deconstruct” that worldview and undermine its institutions by infiltrating them. In my opinion, however, this very kind of worldview, whether on the Left or the Right, is an ideology in precisely the same way. Like them, it has distinctive characteristics of which the most powerful is dualism, a.k.a. an “us” vs. “them” mentality.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I find most of your argument persuasive, Paul, and agree that yet another switch in terms isn’t worth it. Thought I’d seek your well-informed opinion on a prospective change that’s in no danger of catching on.
One significant disagreement: I think hatred can be primarily and deeply personal. Now, if one starts to label the human “object” of the hatred a “so-and-so” in a way that reflects us/them divisions, then we’re more into culturally propagated territory.
But would you acknowledge that a child can hate his or her brother or sister without an accompanying ideological framework or social construction except within the nuclear family unit? I see the huge role of ideology and societal forces in proliferating hatred, but I guess I’d be closer to accepting your asserted absolute separation between strong dislike and hatred if all hatred were of a sustained, murderous, and group-supported kind. I don’t think all hatred fits that bill though, unless you’re using an intensified, modified definition of hate.
Can’t one’s regard for someone dear move from love to (real) hatred and back to love again?
(Follow-up thought: I see the group-based feeling you outline as something more like fixed antagonism, with or without “de-humanization”–another term I’d nominate for an overuse award. And while I think all strict or rabid ideological frameworks involve some element of division or hatred, I don’t see that as fundamental , defining feature. For example, pacifism: Does the practitioner have to hate or just be morally opposed to war?)

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Your alternatives to “misogyny” and “misandry” would do the job, AJ, but I see no urgent need to demand yet another change in vocabulary. I’d be content if people were capable of knowing, whatever words they choose, the difference that I see between hating and disliking.
Unlike disliking, no matter how strongly, hating is not merely a personal feeling and therefore not a transient emotion. Rather, it’s a culturally propagated worldview, which I classify as an ideology (whether left-wing or right-wing, religious or secular).
All ideologies, of course, have at least some common features. Katherine K. Young and I have identified eight, but the underlying one is dualism: seeing all of life or all of history as a titanic battle between “us” and “them.” “They,” from this point of view are inherently evil (oppressors). “We,” supposedly being inherently good (victims), therefore have the moral duty to destroy “them” (if not physically, then politically, economically or psychologically). That’s hatred.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I almost always agree with Steve, but this time you’re right. Well said.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I beg to differ. The use of the terms “hate” and “hatred” are being used as standard now as a deliberate exaggeration to try to score points or further inflame a debate.
What it does is debase language.
If you’re aware of W. Shaw’s contributions to Comments, you’d have noted (as i have) a distinctive contempt for women.
In trying to take issue with the author’s phrase “society’s ageist misogyny”, he’s imputing the word “hatred” into that phrase as a way of showing contempt for the author, when in fact she intends precisely what he’s suggesting she should intend by the phrase!

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Of course you’re correct that the word misogyny gets used in a far looser sense than “hatred of women”. In a similar way, “racism” is now often used for cross-ethnic or cultural insensitivity that is underinformed or imperfectly worded instead of malicious.
It would be dishonest not to recognize the currency of this usage, but that doesn’t mean that every slight, intentional or not, real or perceived, qualifies as outright bigotry or malice in the way that terms like racist, misogynist, and “dehumanizing” imply–and in my view should be more carefully reserved for.
Then again, literally is actually used to mean figuratively in common parlance.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Oh, I agree that these words (“racist,” “white supremacist,” “sexist,” “misogynist,” “homophobe” and “transphobe”) imply hatred. (But so can seemingly benign words such as “saving our democracy” in various contexts.) This is why unscrupulous people (demagogues but also some blog commenters) use them as slogans in order to inflame political rhetoric without having to build rational arguments. Now and then, evidence can be found to substantiate a slogan’s claim; some people really do believe, after all, in hating others. Much more often, though, these slogans rely on nothing more than innuendo. The goal is therefore to smear targets. This is what debases language.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Of course you’re correct that the word misogyny gets used in a far looser sense than “hatred of women”. In a similar way, “racism” is now often used for cross-ethnic or cultural insensitivity that is underinformed or imperfectly worded instead of malicious.
It would be dishonest not to recognize the currency of this usage, but that doesn’t mean that every slight, intentional or not, real or perceived, qualifies as outright bigotry or malice in the way that terms like racist, misogynist, and “dehumanizing” imply–and in my view should be more carefully reserved for.
Then again, literally is actually used to mean figuratively in common parlance.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Oh, I agree that these words (“racist,” “white supremacist,” “sexist,” “misogynist,” “homophobe” and “transphobe”) imply hatred. (But so can seemingly benign words such as “saving our democracy” in various contexts.) This is why unscrupulous people (demagogues but also some blog commenters) use them as slogans in order to inflame political rhetoric without having to build rational arguments. Now and then, evidence can be found to substantiate a slogan’s claim; some people really do believe, after all, in hating others. Much more often, though, these slogans rely on nothing more than innuendo. The goal is therefore to smear targets. This is what debases language.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Amen! Making sexism or even “failure to duly consider a woman’s feelings” equivalent to misogyny (hatred of women as a group) is a key, prevalent example of linguistic inflation.
{What do you think of the suggestion of replacing misandry and misogyny with “man-hatred” and “woman-hatred” respectively? I know they are not great substitutes, but they could temporarily circumvent the disembodied ease of the Greek-derived terms.
As as comparison: To my ear, it’s a more direct, biting, less-easily rattled off accusation to say “you hate people” than “you are misanthropic/a misanthropist”.}
Still, better not to brand people left and right, whatever the terminology. We seem to have succumbed to more overall name-calling since euphemisms and of-the-minute-precise terms have grown in perceived importance. Almost everyone who’s ever lived has told a lie, but they don’t deserve a scarlet letter for it, as capital-“L” Liars, in my opinion.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I almost always agree with Steve, but this time you’re right. Well said.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I beg to differ. The use of the terms “hate” and “hatred” are being used as standard now as a deliberate exaggeration to try to score points or further inflame a debate.
What it does is debase language.
If you’re aware of W. Shaw’s contributions to Comments, you’d have noted (as i have) a distinctive contempt for women.
In trying to take issue with the author’s phrase “society’s ageist misogyny”, he’s imputing the word “hatred” into that phrase as a way of showing contempt for the author, when in fact she intends precisely what he’s suggesting she should intend by the phrase!

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Sorry but you don’t get to rewrite the dictionary.
And your response provides no indication what word you intend.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

No, Steve, it really does mean hatred. Linguistic inflation is not merely a fashion. It is a politically manipulative tool. I don’t believe slogans such as “silence is violence.” I don’t believe that any unpleasant sexual encounter is tantamount to “rape.” I don’t believe that any careless joke reveals “implicit racism.” I don’t believe that every criticism of Israel amounts to antisemitism (although some do). I don’t believe that any conflict or even war can be comparable to “genocide.” We need a word that refers exclusively to hatred–that is, malice, the urge to harm--and not merely to snobbery, ignorance or stupidity. Without that basic moral distinction, anything (no matter how trivial) can mean anything else (no matter how important), and we’re back to Humpty Dumpty, who informs Alice, “When I use a word… it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” He’s clear enough about what he means (neither more nor less) but foolish enough to ignore what society means.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Sorry but you don’t get to rewrite the dictionary.
And your response provides no indication what word you intend.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

And scorned.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Misogyny does not have to mean ‘hatred’ of women. That’s just the trite term du jour. It also means precisely what you’ve just done.

CLARE KNIGHT
CLARE KNIGHT
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

And scorned.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

The article uses the term “society’s ageist misogyny” which makes no sense at all.
Misogyny is “hatred of women” so “ageist misogyny” would imply hatred of old women. That assumes middle age women receive more attention than they do.
Women who have hit the wall are not hated, it would be more accurate to say they are mostly invisible to men and ignored.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
1 year ago

I had hoped that this was going to be about the very real difference between older women with large disposable incomes and those without. When I turned 50, 11 years ago, I looked everywhere for books about aging. There were hundreds, but I found them all drearily the same. All were written by relatively wealthy women, who could take a year away from work, whether they were paid or as busy homemakers, and spend it by the sea or mountains in their charmingly rustic vacation homes, leisurely deciding whether to hang onto the poor middle aged man who made much of this possible.
I find the sudden willingness of aging women to resort to cosmetic procedures and surgery in pursuit of eternal youth deeply disturbing. It is certainly a byproduct of the constant photographing that goes on, I want to look like a grandmother.

maria pereira
maria pereira
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

sure you do…

Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
1 year ago
Reply to  maria pereira

Actually I do. Hotness has never been my stock in trade, and as long as my wits are left intact I don’t care much about my looks. I’m reasonably well dressed and coiffed, but my hair is thinning, I’ve got age spots on my face. I’m also crippled, with leg braces and a progressive neuromuscular disease so who would I be fooling? Your comments here are singularly nasty. I also have five adult children, at least four of whom would care for me under any circumstances. Sometimes you get back what you put in.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

As a man I much prefer older women who haven’t cosmetically altered themselves. It displays a level of comfort with one’s self which is very attractive.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

As a man I much prefer older women who haven’t cosmetically altered themselves. It displays a level of comfort with one’s self which is very attractive.

Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
1 year ago
Reply to  maria pereira

Actually I do. Hotness has never been my stock in trade, and as long as my wits are left intact I don’t care much about my looks. I’m reasonably well dressed and coiffed, but my hair is thinning, I’ve got age spots on my face. I’m also crippled, with leg braces and a progressive neuromuscular disease so who would I be fooling? Your comments here are singularly nasty. I also have five adult children, at least four of whom would care for me under any circumstances. Sometimes you get back what you put in.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

Having had a facelift at 60, I don’t think it makes me look that much younger, but it does make me look ‘refreshed’ and does ‘lift my mind’ which is what a good, rather undetectable facelift does. Aging can also bring on depression or having just ‘the blues’ for all sorts of other reasons – lots to deal with, ie aging parents, general concerns about family and friends, health, purpose in life etc – so it didn’t hurt my mental health to be able to look in the mirror and see ‘refreshed’ even if just for ten more years, the point at which either another facelift is in order or that one is just willing to throw in the hat. That is to say, it’s not just about the physical as much as it is about mental health as well. Could I have done without it? Of course! But it’s actually ‘helped’ more than I expected.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I didn’t mean to pronounce for anyone but myself, although I am philosophically opposed to the subtle pressure that modern society puts on everyone to “curate” themselves into an object worthy of constant photographic reproduction in a hall of mirrors. I can certainly see that at 60, (I am 61) looking your best for your age is worth some effort, I spend a fair amount on my hair. There has to be a point at which the game isn’t worth the candle, and as everyone ages and dies coming to peace with that seems wise.

Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I didn’t mean to pronounce for anyone but myself, although I am philosophically opposed to the subtle pressure that modern society puts on everyone to “curate” themselves into an object worthy of constant photographic reproduction in a hall of mirrors. I can certainly see that at 60, (I am 61) looking your best for your age is worth some effort, I spend a fair amount on my hair. There has to be a point at which the game isn’t worth the candle, and as everyone ages and dies coming to peace with that seems wise.

maria pereira
maria pereira
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

sure you do…

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

Having had a facelift at 60, I don’t think it makes me look that much younger, but it does make me look ‘refreshed’ and does ‘lift my mind’ which is what a good, rather undetectable facelift does. Aging can also bring on depression or having just ‘the blues’ for all sorts of other reasons – lots to deal with, ie aging parents, general concerns about family and friends, health, purpose in life etc – so it didn’t hurt my mental health to be able to look in the mirror and see ‘refreshed’ even if just for ten more years, the point at which either another facelift is in order or that one is just willing to throw in the hat. That is to say, it’s not just about the physical as much as it is about mental health as well. Could I have done without it? Of course! But it’s actually ‘helped’ more than I expected.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
1 year ago

I had hoped that this was going to be about the very real difference between older women with large disposable incomes and those without. When I turned 50, 11 years ago, I looked everywhere for books about aging. There were hundreds, but I found them all drearily the same. All were written by relatively wealthy women, who could take a year away from work, whether they were paid or as busy homemakers, and spend it by the sea or mountains in their charmingly rustic vacation homes, leisurely deciding whether to hang onto the poor middle aged man who made much of this possible.
I find the sudden willingness of aging women to resort to cosmetic procedures and surgery in pursuit of eternal youth deeply disturbing. It is certainly a byproduct of the constant photographing that goes on, I want to look like a grandmother.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

Most young women I meet say they would never have children. They talk of ‘women’s rights’ as a sort of belief, like a religion. They meet regularly for coffee and talk a lot.

Since they only exist because women have had children and there will only be a future if women have children, do they have a right not to have children?

It seems to me that women have no more rights than men. They cannot be separate. They can’t choose which men look at them. They can’t just opt out and say, “We’re special because we’re women.”

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Theta completely bizarre – everyone has the right to decide if they want children or not

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas H

I can understand your point. Allow me to explain.
Certain things which happen today must be good for the future and no-one would disagree. Removing plastic waste for example.

Other things are fads or fashions and could lead to disaster in the future. I can’t see a problem for an individual woman to decide not to have children. But if it becomes a fashion, there will be no future. I suspect that comfortable, secure, middle-class women will follow the trend and this will leave a dearth of people to secure services in the future. We will be forced to suck in people from anywhere in the world and our society will collapse.

The problem with the article above is that it forgets something very important. We are all here today because men are attracted to women. It is nature. For women to parade about attracting the glances of men but then complain about those glances is unnatural.

I have this argument all the time with my wife. She says that women dress only for other women. I just don’t believe it.

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Women, like all people, need an incentive to do something life-changing like having children. Once it was an economic necessity for women to marry and women generally were not able to say no to children. I am glad that these times have passed, but I do see now that there needs to be motivations for us to perpetuate the species.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

I personally should be fine with the idea of women not having children because it won’t affect me. However, when my grandchildren are in their 60s and 70s they will have a problem because there will be no taxes to support health and welfare. IMO it is selfish worry about personal goals and forget about life in general.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Some people consider it inexcusably selfish to have children given the condition of society and the planet. I don’t agree with that, as a rule, but it’s far from such a neat division in which having or children earns a clear mark of “selfish” or “selfless” for every person.
Think of a vain and irresponsible person like the “octomom” who took drugs to have more babies. Was hers a selfless act?

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Some people consider it inexcusably selfish to have children given the condition of society and the planet. I don’t agree with that, as a rule, but it’s far from such a neat division in which having or children earns a clear mark of “selfish” or “selfless” for every person.
Think of a vain and irresponsible person like the “octomom” who took drugs to have more babies. Was hers a selfless act?

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Unfortunately, the idea and importance of ‘family’ is unfashionable today. Not exactly sure how this came about on such a massive scale as to reduce the birth rate; it’s complicated. Perhaps in a world where so many people find themselves lonely – a state which is actually detrimental to mental health and longevity – that this will change?

Most recently, during a ‘baby shower’ for my daughter, a good friend told me that she and her husband where having a chat about who of their friends was happy that they had children and they found out none of them were. (She didn’t ask me – lol). I was stunned that she started this conversation during what was a lovely and joyous occasion. Just recently, the same friend congratulated me on the birth of my first grandchild but also mentioned “how chaotic children can be”….I don’t know what her problem is but she is seemingly unhappy with the way her two lovely daughters turned out. I think this negative way of thinking about children is an ugly mindset that can be changed but only if one wanted to. My baby boomer generation was very self-absorbed. Perhaps a bit of gratitude and expression of generosity and love is in order because family and family creation is a good thing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

I personally should be fine with the idea of women not having children because it won’t affect me. However, when my grandchildren are in their 60s and 70s they will have a problem because there will be no taxes to support health and welfare. IMO it is selfish worry about personal goals and forget about life in general.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Unfortunately, the idea and importance of ‘family’ is unfashionable today. Not exactly sure how this came about on such a massive scale as to reduce the birth rate; it’s complicated. Perhaps in a world where so many people find themselves lonely – a state which is actually detrimental to mental health and longevity – that this will change?

Most recently, during a ‘baby shower’ for my daughter, a good friend told me that she and her husband where having a chat about who of their friends was happy that they had children and they found out none of them were. (She didn’t ask me – lol). I was stunned that she started this conversation during what was a lovely and joyous occasion. Just recently, the same friend congratulated me on the birth of my first grandchild but also mentioned “how chaotic children can be”….I don’t know what her problem is but she is seemingly unhappy with the way her two lovely daughters turned out. I think this negative way of thinking about children is an ugly mindset that can be changed but only if one wanted to. My baby boomer generation was very self-absorbed. Perhaps a bit of gratitude and expression of generosity and love is in order because family and family creation is a good thing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Women, like all people, need an incentive to do something life-changing like having children. Once it was an economic necessity for women to marry and women generally were not able to say no to children. I am glad that these times have passed, but I do see now that there needs to be motivations for us to perpetuate the species.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas H

I can understand your point. Allow me to explain.
Certain things which happen today must be good for the future and no-one would disagree. Removing plastic waste for example.

Other things are fads or fashions and could lead to disaster in the future. I can’t see a problem for an individual woman to decide not to have children. But if it becomes a fashion, there will be no future. I suspect that comfortable, secure, middle-class women will follow the trend and this will leave a dearth of people to secure services in the future. We will be forced to suck in people from anywhere in the world and our society will collapse.

The problem with the article above is that it forgets something very important. We are all here today because men are attracted to women. It is nature. For women to parade about attracting the glances of men but then complain about those glances is unnatural.

I have this argument all the time with my wife. She says that women dress only for other women. I just don’t believe it.

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Theta completely bizarre – everyone has the right to decide if they want children or not

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago

Most young women I meet say they would never have children. They talk of ‘women’s rights’ as a sort of belief, like a religion. They meet regularly for coffee and talk a lot.

Since they only exist because women have had children and there will only be a future if women have children, do they have a right not to have children?

It seems to me that women have no more rights than men. They cannot be separate. They can’t choose which men look at them. They can’t just opt out and say, “We’re special because we’re women.”

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

All those “isms”, and now the word “hag”? Forget it. I’m out.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Wonderful word HAG, but sadly not often used in these humourless times.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Douchebag is also fun. Please, Charles, add some obscure Roman reference!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago

Ha! Doesn’t Juvenal or Aristophanes have something to offer us poor Moderns in connection with both haggishness and douchebaggery?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I had to translate one or two of Juvenal’s satires at school many years ago, and recently made a start writing a Latin dactylic hexameter woke satire. I hope Charles sees this, and feels moved to correct any errors. N.B. “evigilati” is of course my Latin rendering of “the woke”
Hodierna Juvenalia
Ecce academiae lucos coronatos turpite
Fatuis utilibus, caerulea coma ubique.
Valde pinguides, et semper torvae facies,
Dicentes in lingua quod lingua ipse inanis.
Flent palam veterani culturorum bellorum, itaque
Virtutem demonstrantes fragilitatis ipsius sensus.
Quia queror in me maledictum de candore meo,
Etsi sum quoque nocens eodem modo, sed tamen
Quomodo harioli se nostri tyranni iniungant,
Evigilati hostes plebis dum quasi tribuni?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Thanks, Richard. I’m impressed despite my lack of comprehension after “Behold the academies” (if, in fact, I have that quite right). The community college I attended circa 1990 cancelled Latin after my first quarter taking it, and I never progressed much thereafter except for an improved knowledge of etymologies and prefixes through studying English Lit.
Verse translations are almost never flawless, but can you attempt an English rendering or would you prefer keep it to the cognoscenti?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

It’ll be my pleasure. Here goes, but do bear in mind that this is merely the product of a four decade old Latin A level, so while I’ve tried to get it right there are probably lots of mistakes:-
“Behold the groves of academe, disgracefully festooned with useful idiots, and blue hair ubiquitous. Very fat and always scowling faces, saying in language that language is itself meaningless. The veterans of the culture wars openly weep, thereby virtue-signalling their own fragility. Because I complain about the cursing of my own whiteness, thus am I also guilty after the same fashion. But even so, how did these clowns anoint themselves our tyrants, the woke enemies of the people posing as their tribunes?”

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Thank you. The “virtue” of fragility–well-deserved quip! The tone does remind me of Juvenal in translated passages I’ve read, mostly decades since.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Thank you. The “virtue” of fragility–well-deserved quip! The tone does remind me of Juvenal in translated passages I’ve read, mostly decades since.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

It’ll be my pleasure. Here goes, but do bear in mind that this is merely the product of a four decade old Latin A level, so while I’ve tried to get it right there are probably lots of mistakes:-
“Behold the groves of academe, disgracefully festooned with useful idiots, and blue hair ubiquitous. Very fat and always scowling faces, saying in language that language is itself meaningless. The veterans of the culture wars openly weep, thereby virtue-signalling their own fragility. Because I complain about the cursing of my own whiteness, thus am I also guilty after the same fashion. But even so, how did these clowns anoint themselves our tyrants, the woke enemies of the people posing as their tribunes?”

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Thanks, Richard. I’m impressed despite my lack of comprehension after “Behold the academies” (if, in fact, I have that quite right). The community college I attended circa 1990 cancelled Latin after my first quarter taking it, and I never progressed much thereafter except for an improved knowledge of etymologies and prefixes through studying English Lit.
Verse translations are almost never flawless, but can you attempt an English rendering or would you prefer keep it to the cognoscenti?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Aeschylus, Hesiod, Hyginus, Virgil and so on and on.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago