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Defining Icons - Differences Within Generation Y Based On Collective Experience

i think the distinct differences between the early and later portion of Generation Y in how we populate and operate celebrity & fandom may have a lot to do with the collective experience of that portion of the generation and their outlook on other things we may not think to consider.

My portion of the generation had trash celebrities too, but they weren’t put on a pedestal or taken seriously. if they went missing for a milisecond, we just replaced them with someone else we also didn’t respect that much. Those were usually our pop one album/movie  -or two albums/movies in two years - wonders. They weren’t considered A list.

Our part of the generation’s icons and legends were brilliant. We preferred and seemed to seek out people who had some super ability we could view as a completely unattainable goal. You had to have a special gift most of us were excluded from for us to put you on that level. Your talent had to be larger than life,  nothing more than a mere wish for the rest of us. We couldn’t feel like “i can do that”.

Whitney’s voice. Michael’s entire gift. Janet’s showmanship. Kurt and Dave’s musicianship. Slash’s shredding. Biggie’s ability to make everything he was saying sound like it wasn’t as dark and menacing as he was describing, but bouncing off the walls begging you to dance along. 2 Pac’s ability to switch between the lewd, the revolutionary, and the introspective while keeping you fully invested. Celine’s voice. Mariah’s voice. Madonna. Angela Bassett’s dominance on screen. Meryl Streep. Robert Deniro. Al Pacino. Laurence Fishburne. Oprah. etcetera.

You couldn’t just do what these people do/did. You would have to be born with a natural talent, train for decades nonstop, and still hope for a miracle. And that’s how we wanted it. We didn’t desire them to be too human… because we had that luxury.

With this part of the generation, the focus seems to be more on having people you can completely relate to, people who aren’t so much above you that you have no chance of reaching them, but instead who are more likely to be a part of your friend group and whose talent you can identify with because you can participate and feel like you can almost do it just like them. They want to sing along without straining or sounding bad. They want to rap along without having to focus too much on the lyrics. They want to play along without needing years of training to do so. They want access to everything you’re able to do and to you. Basically, they want their icons to be available and attainable. They want to feel like these people could actually be their friends.  They don’t want to feel like they’re “not on the level” of their icons. And it’s quite possible that having an unattainable talent will turn them off from you.

It’s almost 180 degrees from how we chose icons, but then this part of the generation’s experience is damn near 180 degrees from our’s at their age. This younger part of Generation Y doesn’t have that outlook of the accessible “American dream” of education, career, house, car, family, travel/vacations, and money to spare without crippling debt. They don’t see the world as completely within their reach such that their stars need not to be. We still had that delusion, at least to some extent.

It’s the opposite view for them; they are entirely disillusioned with that dream. They know that regardless of what “correct/proper/right” steps they take, they are very likely going to struggle to varying degrees. Schools are putting them in insurmountable debt. Jobs are requiring more education which means more debt and it’s still taking forever for people to get hired unless they know somebody or majored in something for which our educational system fails at providing an adequate foundation in K-12. Houses are smaller for more money and a lot of people they know are losing their homes or in danger of losing them. Cars, why? i have enough debt with these loans and credit cards i was using to feed myself and pay for this phone in college. Families are accidents they didn’t plan for, that are causing even more of a strain on them… and yet governments continue to block or remove options for family planning. Travel and vacations, what’s that?

When you stop to think about it… with so many things already out of their reach, it’s no wonder they elect not to have their icons be yet something else they could never be or have a talent they could never have.

So if you’re one of those people who has a tendency to side-eye a lot of “icon” choices by the 12-22 crowd these days, you may need to ease up on them a little bit. No, it doesn’t make sense to our part of the generation because “i mean can do what he’s doing”… but that’s the point for them. It’s someone whose talent they can share and who they can identify as being similar to… it’s not something else out of their reach.

Adventures from College - The First Test.

My very first test in college was in Chemistry. It was over a lot of material because the first like five chapters were assumed review from high school Chem. After the test, small groups were hanging around talking about the answers. I was talking to a white woman and white man (i mention this because i am a black woman and this is a PWI listed as one of the top 50 in the nation). Anyway, there were a couple of questions that i brought up and found they had different answers than me. Well, of course that was a little disconcerting…but the woman was unsure as to whether she or i was right because she didn’t assume she must be the superior one. The man, however, was adamant that i was wrong about those 3 questions as well as a couple of others because he just knew there was no way he was wrong and i was right. “I took AP Chem.”

I walked away a little annoyed and spent the entire weekend preparing myself for an 80% at best, maybe even as “terrible” as like a 70% but, even more disheartening for me, somewhere in the lower half of the class. I told myself i must do better. I would have to pay more attention to detail… I’m not a “lower half” type of person and never want to send the message that i am.

The next week, the professor posted our scores next to the last four letters/digits of our school IDs (so no names).

I got a 100%.

I sought that fucker out. I had been worrying myself sick, thinking maybe i wasn’t good enough and would have to make some huge changes.

when i found him, i just stared.

like this.

asshole.

Barack isn’t normal for anyone.

Another thing that really annoys me about those who keep trying to say race has nothing to do with this Zimmerman case and those people who are fixated on Trayvon’s presentation alike, is how they love to point at Obama… But, Obama isn’t standard. I don’t mean that as a Black person either, but as a citizen of this country.

By WHAT standard is Obama a typical person? He’s a man who comes from modest means but whose mother has a graduate degree. He traveled the world as a youth. He has degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He’s married to a woman who also came from modest means yet has degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

We JUST reached the point where 30% of this country who is old enough to have a degree has one. That’s not even 1 in 3 people (which would be 33%). This number dwindles when we start looking at graduate/professional degrees and does so rather exponentially. But these two… not only do they have them, but considering their backgrounds, they’re freaking miracles. Just take a look at the numbers… research how many people from the working class actually go to college. Then look up how many finish. Research how many people manage to actually climb the class ladder. Look up the probability of being accepted into both Princeton and Harvard Law. Look up the probability of being accepted to both Columbia and Harvard Law. Look up the probability of a married couple in the United States having degrees from Columbia, Princeton, and Harvard. This is not common at all. This is not normal at all. This is Horatio Alger’s wetdream. And… again… notice how i haven’t factored race into this…yet.

Barack Obama’s entire family is an anomaly. I hate to say that because I’ve spent a lot of time saying that Black people getting degrees from elite institutions or generally being brilliant isn’t against the norm. I’m not changing my story here, just tweaking it to say “it’s no more against the norm than white people from the same backgrounds doing the same thing”.  The Obamas aren’t outliers because they’re Blacks who exhibit a certain level of brilliance and have achieved things we know to be rare. They are outliers because they exhibit a certain level of brilliance and have achieved things we know to be rare.  Black has nothing to do with it… until it comes time to deal with racism.

Nobody expects all whites to look, behave, and accomplish like CEOs or have the fact that they were victimized excused… but if you’re Black, the onus of racial profiling is put on you for not being like Barack Obama.

How does this make sense?

"Kill Them With Kindness" doesn’t expel Satan’s ass from Heaven.

I really wish Hollywood would stop trying to make me feel bad for racists who became racist as children because of their parents. That doesn’t help me. My sympathy doesn’t stop their racism from screwing with my existence. My “understanding” doesn’t curtail their attitudes/views/values impeding my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. I’m not concerned with “educating” you while your vile “opinions” result in the undereducation, unemployment, impoverishment, imprisonment, and total destruction of whole communities.

and all this “kill them with kindness” preaching is just another way to keep people who should be fighting mad and madly fighting, quelled and nonthreatening. it’s just mind control designed to maintain the status quo because… we’ve been turning the other cheek since forever and… we’re still dealing with the same crap.

and if you’re a Christian, then you probably believe God would want you to do that (because that’s what we’re told to believe), but then why is archangel Michael whooping ass to defeat evil? just ask yourself that. If, in the end, being passive isn’t the way to go then why are we still acting as if civil disobedience can bring about the exigent change we seek… or… why are you ok with continuing to wait?

i don’t know… screw Hollywood for writing stories that are sympathetic to the racist white man or woman. screw that woman or man for being racist. screw their journey to not being a bigot. and screw any belief system that tells me to just suffer and wait on a hero. I don’t have the time or patience to care about such things.

Matthew didn’t write Matthew; John didn’t write John; Mark didn’t write Mark; Luke didn’t write Luke; and that was Paul telling you what to do in Corinthians - stream of consciousness about Bible content

the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were titles later added even though they say “the Gospel according to [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John]” though…

this Bible canonization process was basically a bunch of people getting together and deciding what stories they liked most, that painted who they favor in the best light and who they don’t particularly like in the worst, and then saying “because God said so”. That’s what it comes across as.

I do believe in the oral tradition of handing down stories, but we typically accept the idea of the gossip game… that the integrity of a story diminishes through every new filter (person shared with). However,  when it comes to the Bible people aren’t willing to do that…. and it’s one of those things where not only was there word of mouth and the issues that come along with that, but then there was the blatant bias in constructing the text once they decided to make a formal go at it.

and then there are all the “revisions”.

yet we’re judging people’s lives off of this. we’re discriminating against people based on it. we’re hating people based on it.

based on something that could very well be nothing like the original story it’s based on.

based on a story that shares so much with other religions (that are often less restrictive) yet whose believers insist is unique.

it’s all very baffling.

Continue reading…

On The Myth of Suffering=Black Realness

I feel like this conversation comes around at least once a year…

Can we stop pretending gun violence and other morbid, frightening, or “hard” occurrences are things typical Black youth or typical “real” people deal with? Yes, some of us do. But that’s not reality for a good proportion of us. We do regular shit just like everybody else. We have first loves and make bad decisions with them or because of them. Our youth is full of  transgression involving lies and deceit. We hurt feelings. We get our feelings hurt. We bomb tests because we didn’t study hard enough or at all… or were too prideful to ask for help. We get part time jobs that we don’t take seriously because it’s just McDonald’s. We’re influenced by the people around us. We never know how awesome we are in the areas that matter and put too much stake in the things that don’t. We pull pranks, some of which go to far. We worry about college or (if that’s not on your radar) where we’re going to work when we finish high school. We go to our friends about sex. We complain about doing chores. We get jealous because one kid is getting more attention. We act out. We assert our independence in weird kid ways.

like.. Rudy sneaking to wear that dress when her mother told her not to was just as “real” as Carlton taking those pills to stay awake (not knowing it was speed). The Banks and Huxtables were just as real as Winslows who were just as real as Evanses and Will’s mom on Fresh Prince.

We didn’t all grow up poor. Some of us had two parents that were very supportive. Some of our parents were teachers, some medical professionals, some janitors, some unemployed. Some of our parents were married when they had us and some were single. One of the things i loved about Fresh Prince, A Different World, Living Single, and Martin was that they highlighted how we all come from different backgrounds and one experience isn’t “more authentically Black” than the next. I hated Good Times because they acted as if life was just HORRIBLE on all fronts for a Black family in the projects and don’t get me started on JJ Evans in general… But other than that, I can honestly say i saw pieces of myself and loved ones in all of the shows listed above as well as Family Matters, The Cosby Show, Girlfriends, Reed Between The Lines, The Sinbad Show, Thea, Roc, Moesha (before Ray-J), South Central (the series)…

The collective of these shows embodies the diversity of our experiences and the similarities or similar storylines among them, the commonality. Yet Black people have developed this sense of pride in suffering to the point where we’ll call a show unrealistic because nobody was shot or stabbed or hooked on drugs or had a baby as a teenager…

completely dismissing or erasing the huge number of us for whom that simply was not our story and deeming us “not real” or, I guess, “less Black” in the process.

sidenote: GOTDAMNIT I MISS THE 90s

Had been seeing the hooplah about these, but never the actual ads. Finally saw the ads, and don’t agree with the “outrage”.

Please, continue to tell me how wrong it is to discourage teens from having kids they aren’t equipped to raise as they continue to require decades of assistance to care for these children, these kids are nearly immediately at a huge disadvantage, and Teen Mom is in its umpteenth iteration. But really, just don’t.

In response to this crap about “they’re just shaming instead of offering alternatives”: 1) what shaming? Aside from the babies looking pitiful in every damn picture, these are facts and if facts shame you, then change the behavior that leads to them. I shouldn’t have to lie or otherwise ignore truth to make you feel better about your poor decision-making with lasting effects 2) do you really think these kids don’t know they have the option NOT to bring a child into this world before they’re ready?

Rather than list the numerous reasons I think Liberals are wrong about this, I’ll just share this article from Keli Goff over at The Root “Why Liberals Are Wrong On Teen Pregnancy”.

Conservatives are wrong about teen pregnancy simply because the fact remains that 1) “abstinence because Jesus” education isn’t cutting it and 2) the rates are down across the board, even when controlling for race…

Condoms and birth control accessibility are helping. Proper reproductive education is helping.

The following chart looks like something I would have created and shared because it was constructed using the same program.  :-)  It’s from the CDC’s page about teen pregnancy and is the birth rates among teenage girls/women. You’ll notice a decline over the years. Minorities had to be targeted more aggressively for these campaigns because, with the exception of Asians, the rates were much higher for POC for whatever reason(s).

According to the CDC: in 2011, the national live birth rate for girls age 15-19 in the US was 31.3 per 1000 women. For girls 15-17, the rate fell 11% from 2010. However… “together, Black and Hispanic youth comprised 57% of U.S. teen births in 2011” and, as you can see from the graph, the rate for us was ~ 50 per 1000 women. So there still remains a need for Black and Latino teens to be targeted a little more than whites (who are at just a little over 20 per 1000), but not be the only ones targeted, until there is no real difference in the rates.

Teens are at risk and making bad decisions that they don’t seem to understand will affect more than one life for more than one moment… and we don’t want anyone to acknowledge that and speak up about it because… what?

source for the ads: NYDailyNews (who i often find to be unpleasant, but that’s where i finally saw all the ads so whatever)

Just because you don’t say it doesn’t mean you don’t believe it…

The measure of your hatred is not just how many times you say the slur, but whether or not you act on the premise of it.  You don’t have to call me a nigger to be racist; all you have to do is treat me like I’m beneath you on the basis of my race. You don’t have to call me a bitch; all you have to do is treat me like I deserve less respect, humanity, and autonomy because I am a woman. You don’t have to call my uncle a faggot; all you have to do is treat his relationship differently than your own, treat his manhood as less “real”.

You don’t have to call us out of our names, just refuse to respect the ones we have.

I know you’re excited, but …

Apparently news outlets just do not do their research anymore and they don’t expect you to either… so they can report things without making sense of them or putting them in proper context or fully acknowledging exactly how groundbreaking something is.

So about this baby who was cleared of HIV infection…

  1. As soon as I saw the title, I didn’t understand why it said “first” because I was sure that I was taught in school about infants being cleared of HIV infection before… The New York Times made a very brief mention of this, but still called this baby the “first”. Here is the New England Journal of Medicine article from 1995 talking about an infant being cleared of HIV. It isn’t the only one. There is another paper that talked about 12 cases of infants being cleared, but I could not find quick free access to it.

  2. related to bullet 1… There is something called Transient HIV Seropositivity which can show up in neonates who were never actually infected but had some of their infected mother’s antibodies (also happens in others who are exposed to an infected person’s antibodies). I’m not certain about how common this is, but basically this is telling you the way the child was tested for HIV matters.

  3. Even if turns out to be true and this baby, like the other scattered cases, was cured of HIV.. we have to try to expand this finding before it’s any use to us. The Berlin patient’s results i believe were finally replicated JUST ONCE. But that’s because it required a bone marrow transplant. This is just treating the babies much earlier and, thus, is much more feasible. But, again, we need to confirm the diagnosis and replicate this in other newborns before we can come to any conclusions. AND THEN… we have to remember that this would highlight something we’ve been saying for the longest: early detection and treatment is key! How translational is this finding in adults whose disease is not detected this early typically? Which leads to another point…

  4. If this is only an option for neonates, it’s really not going to be a huge victory in the fight against HIV for two very real reasons.

    • people in developing nations don’t have access to the drugs in the first place… how is this going to help them? Are we going to make the drugs cheaper or treat their babies early and for free while we make sure to provide the mothers who breast feed with medication? If not, this doesn’t help them… and the last point:

    • mother to infant transmission is not a large source of new HIV cases in the United States. I don’t believe it is in developed nations at all, but know it isn’t in the States.

      These are from the Centers of Disease Control website:
      image

      image

      Taking a look at these numbers reveals that of the 49,273 new cases of HIV infection in the US in 2011, only 127 were perinatal (mother to infant).

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate this case, we definitely should. A child’s life course may have just been altered in a way that can’t be quantified or fully appreciated by anyone who hasn’t been a child living with HIV or a parent to such a child. 

    I’m just saying we need to keep this in perspective and not overreach in what this means. I’m always fearful that people will become less vigilant in prevention when they get this false sense of security due to the media’s hype about some cure that we simply don’t have yet and may not have for a while.

On Not-So-Gentle Admonition To “Be Humble”…

I sent a series of tweets out and it was too many to screencap all at once and be visible… so I’m posting it as text here because I feel very strongly about this.

Do not teach your children to make themselves smaller to make other people feel better about their pathetic existence. When you scold a child into “being humble”, as people describe it, you’re conditioning that child to undermine their strengths.  ONLY minorities and women are saddled with this requirement to dim our light for others’ comfort, to play it down, not to acknowledge it.  You’re telling that child that self-confidence is harmful and wrong, rearing them to bend to the will of others.  Then you have the nerve to ask why your baby grows up to be so easily influenced, and to seek praise from others, not to know their own brilliance. You told them not to praise themselves! You forbade them to know their worth. You beat that out of them (some of you, literally). 

It’s one of the most contradictory things we do with children, telling them to dream big and believe they can do anything, while simultaneously telling them it’s wrong to have “too much” belief in oneself.  You can’t make dreams come true depending on other people to tell you it’s a good idea and you can make it happen….You can’t sell me something you don’t believe in and that includes you as a commodity.  These kids end up needing to pitch their brilliance for scholarships, interviews,  business proposals, or auditions and fall flat because their entire lives they were taught there is something wrong (and EVIL when it comes to a lot of Black churches) about owning your strengths.  We weren’t just instructed to praise God for certain building blocks that we could expand on through our on work… but to never ever allow ourselves to feel accomplished or look back on what we’ve done and share it with others,  to limit that, to dim our luster, to cower in the fear of our own success or risk incurring the wrath of those who’d rather see us fail or even… HELL.

We’re taught to loathe arrogance when the meaning of arrogance is greatly determined by whoever has the least ___ in that situation. Whatever they are comfortable with is what is considered to be modest and appropriate.  But you want to know the real difference between arrogance & modesty? Ask yourself this: what CEO have you ever met who wasn’t considered “arrogant” by the people who taught you to be humble? It’s a shaming technique. It’s a mental manipulation to keep certain groups of people from maximizing their potential. It’s a societal mindfuck… convince you it’s wrong to have self-esteem when their version of success requires it.

So I say do not believe that brainwashing. As long as you’re spot on about your ability and when it’s time to deliver you can do so, talk about it! Be confident in your knowledge, skill, handiwork, talent, whatever… you worked at honing it. You’ve EARNED this.  As long as you aren’t condescending (and i mean truly condescending, not how people use it because they feel inadequate) or delusional, recognize other people’s abilities, and don’t take credit for what you didn’t do, you’re fine.

Hmph, you better believe “I am awesome and you will deal” will definitely be prominently featured in my child’s room.

The orchestrated restructuring of Martin Luther King has these “nice”, “benevolent”, “it’s not all of us” racists thinking they’re owed a smile and turning of the cheek, deserve understanding and forgiveness, have the right to be hugged/dealt with lightly/educated (their new favorite) even after throwing the proverbial first punch. We’re supposed to remain on the defensive…just put our arms up and try to block the blows…never strike the fuck back.

I don’t know where you learned to fight… but defense doesn’t end the struggle. You have to get on the offensive to even force a draw. We all know that. We’ve always known it. Your actions prove it.

Trayvon Martin could have been 18 if not for racism.

Trayvon Martin was due to be 18 today…

But it didn’t happen because of racism. It didn’t happen because a Black male has been made a threat by default….so much so that even when he is murdered because of an irrational fear that is both fueled by and fuel for racism (that damn feedback loop is a trip), people will look for ways he could have avoided death by making himself less threatening.

We tell our Black and or otherwise darker-skinned male children of color what clothes they shouldn’t wear - hoodies, sweatshirts, jeans, Timbalands, white t-shirts, bubble jackets (because, somehow, protecting yourself from the elements is less important than protecting the worldview of racists). We tell them they shouldn’t mimic their favorite popular artists/celebrities like white kids do unless their favorite artist is some clean-cut white guy and even then they have to modify the impression if it still makes them look too “other”.  We tell them to speak with a certain dialect and to speak softly in the presence of whites (“don’t be so loud” and take some of the bass out of your voice). We tell them to make themselves appear smaller or it will make the whites nervous. In short, we demand that nonwhite males do their best white male impression or be less visible if they want to……live.

And instead of pointing this out, instead of fighting it every waking moment, we say “that’s just the way it is” and keep moving until the next Black boy is murdered because someone felt threatened by his very presence, by his audacity to exist unapologetically in white space.

Then we sit by and watch as the same story pans out -

1) Black person murdered

2) media ignores until they’re forced to report

3) media refuses to say “murdered”

4) speculation that typically revolves around finding some fault with the victim… some way to paint him or her as the aggressor

5) feigned outrage when #4 fails

6) “solutions” that amount to ways nonwhites could make themselves less “scary” to whites instead of ways whites can curb their racism.

7) repeat.

When someone makes a general statement that isn’t true about me, I don’t get upset. I take the TI approach… “say my name (message me / tag me / mention me /or whatever) if you’re talking to me. you never said it… so i figure you ain’t talking to me” because at the end of the day, I know it isn’t true. So unless you explicitly let me know it was intended for me in all its falsity I have no reason to be upset…  damn that’s kinda jacked for whoever they’re talking about…. It’s really that simple. All the back and forth though? nope. all the seething for days? nawl. But I keep my life drama free… so i don’t deal with people who can’t speak their minds and let it be or call it off anyway. I just don’t have time for that anymore. When i was a child, i held on to anger… until i beat the hell out of my best friend

Continue reading…

I hate it when people take a real-life problem, something utterly pragmatic, and try to tackle it as if it’s theoretical. I’m also starting to despise Republicans on general principle… and people who think they know enough to thoroughly dissect complex material because they took some basic course.

What am I referring to? This logically flawed and mildly sexism-euphemistic article about how “equal pay is anti-feminist” by some freshman. 

Allow me to highlight a few key problematic quotes.

" If there exist occupations in which men hold a competitive advantage over women for whatever reason…"

"Furthermore, if some firms truly were sexist…"

Right here, we have the underlying issue. This man refuses to acknowledge that sexism in the workforce is even real. Why all the “if”? There is no “if” about it. The data is out there. The analyses have been done. The experiences have been had for decades. Your mother, aunt, sisters, cousins, friends… they can all tell you about it. There is no logical reason for “if” unless it is being used simply to undermine the truth and further your sexist agenda. I feel as though you’re the type to say you were “starting with an objective mindset in order to properly examine the issue”, looking at this real problem as something abstract and starting from point zero when it is unnecessary unless you intend to try to eschew all previous findings and real-life experiences in order to make your prejudiced beliefs seem somehow vindicated.

Continuing…

"If there exist occupations in which men hold a competitive advantage over women for whatever reason, forcing equal pay will cause those occupations to become even more male dominated. The only way the less productive gender can find work is if they offer to work for less. Denying them the opportunity to do that just pushes them out of that labor market. It does nothing to help either gender. Similarly, if a woman has an advantage in a certain industry, an equal pay law would actually hold them back from achieving the wage they would have gotten in a competitive market.”

What kind of fucktastic logic? … Yeah, I refuse to go academic with this quote. You couldn’t even hold on to your charade of objectivity until after your abstract, inaccurate (and useless) modeling of people’s lives. What evidence do you have that women are less productive? What measure are you using? And how dare you use the phrase “offer to work for less” as if it’s a damn choice.

But then he mentions real life data, doesn’t cite the numbers or the source, and continues to go theoretical… but has the GALL to use a field he clearly knows nothing about (Statistics).

"Once you go into the data, real world effects explain much of the gap. For example, women are much more likely than men to drop out of the workforce. This is in large part due to childbirth. As such, employers take on additional risk and cost to hire women. This risk should be reflected in the wage. This concept of statistical price discrimination should not be foreign to most people. Take for example life insurance. The data shows that women live substantially longer than men. Thus, life insurance rates for women are lower than for men. This seems fair to most people, so statistically based wage discrimination should likewise be just. "

Let’s start with the sexists’ favorite reason for justifying the wage-gap - childbirth. Yes, women have maternity leave and some never come back (what are the numbers for that anyway? What percentage of women have children once they are hired? What percentage of all women leave the workforce for good due to childbirth?). To suggest, however, that all women should take a financial hit for this when 1) not all mothers leave the workforce after having children, 2) not all women will reproduce while on the job (even though sexist societies have a tendency to try to shame women who do not wish to reproduce), and 3) more women who do reproduce are waiting until they are well within their careers to have a child (which means they typically have vacation time saved up or can work from home) OR they have them while in college/grad school so they can be done reproducing before the career starts….so their initial hiring salary has no reason to be less than that of their male counterparts. But the overall conclusion to be met from these three points is simply that not every woman is the same and to assume that every woman wants a child, will have one once hired, will miss work because of it, and can therefore be assumed to be less productive than a man is not only inaccurate, but sexist.  The wage-gap is a way to further punish women and benefit men for their own sexism. I mean you couldn’t just THINK the shit, you had to implement a pay system based on… theory.

It’s all theory. You are predicting how I will work and paying me based on a flawed abstract model and not on what I can do for the company right here, right now in the real world. You’re not paying me based on what I have accomplished during work hours, but what you think I might do when I’m off the clock some years from now. Meanwhile, men are not subjected to this. Once again, there is no “if” about sexism in the workforce.

As for the statistics, you incompetent, meddling, nincompoop …

Statistical models are there to help us gain understanding into real-life situations. They are not meant to serve as the end-all be-all to anything. In any given scenario, you rarely have EVERY variable that is important for the model. You are limited to that for which you have properly-obtained data. Anything that you didn’t know to collect or otherwise failed to collect in an unbiased manner isn’t included… so no model is all-inclusive. No question is completely answered based on one model. No statistical model holds all the answers. It can relate variables, but not give you the definitive answer. This is why there are confidence LIMITS, predictive LIMITS and why we interpret things as “based on the variables available” and “based on this data”. You’re supposed to keep in mind that it is all theoretical, all limited, and not applicable in every scenario.

Women are not simply a factor in a productivity equation. And the fact that your equation is using childbirth as the reason women will be less productive, but doesn’t take into consideration women who will never have a child or who will continue to work after having a child, would tell any thinking person that this equation is not valid in all cases. A great model adjusts for key differences as much as possible, but is harder to interpret… it mimics real life in complexity but typically won’t be reported because it will be “too hard to use”. A reportable model is incredibly simplistic (doesn’t include too many variables as to make it easier to interpret) but not nearly as applicable. If you understood Statistics, you would know this asshat.

Bottom line, this is a pragmatic issue that shouldn’t be left to simplistic theory…especially from sexists and someone who has no earthly clue what the hell he’s talking about.

Did you really compare wages to life insurance, dude? really? The money I use to raise my family versus the money my family uses to bury me? There you go looking into the future again, being all theory-based while turning a blind eye to the here and now aka my wages and the sexism that limits them.

On American Diversity being used to counter an argument about American violence.

It’s also always funny to me when people are blatantly choosing to ignore historical factors and their impact on the culture of a nation. Everyone loves screaming about diversity while ignoring the history of discrimination and violence between groups. We celebrate Thanksgiving while ignoring the genocide and later warfare. We speak about the Blacks in this nation as if the majority of us aren’t the descendants of people who were stolen, enslaved for life with no chance of freedom, beaten, raped, shot, hung, lynched…just because. We speak about the Civil Rights Era as if it was a kumbaya session. We celebrate Lincoln as if he gave two inches of a damn about the enslaved Africans when he just freed those in the Confederacy (comes across to me as an act of War…free those in the seceding states to come fight for the union so that we can win and bring the nation back together). We have a growing Latino/a population, probably would have had more here had they not also been lynched by the Texas Rangers or murdered out in Cali during the gold rush for being better miners. When we talk about the Asian-American history, are we ever going to discuss the Anti-Chinese sentiment and the violence they faced once the railroads were done or the “camps” we kept our own Japanese-American citizens in during WWII? Probably not, would have to admit yet another group who has experienced the American ability to “us and them” at a moment’s notice and become violent. We romanticize gangsters and fetishize violence on screen, in music, in comic books. Violence has historically been our way of dealing with anything we didn’t like even if we didn’t like it because it was different. Diversity always came with a price and it was never chosen, but forced.

So, please do not talk to me about the diversity of our nation when it truly comes down to those who are not white were either massacred to make way for whites to claim this land as their own or only expected to be here as long as we’re making the lives of some white person easier and not competing with them. That’s the history of this nation. And every time some group who isn’t white + male + heterosexual demanded the rights outlined in Constitution, they have been met with not only angry, but violent resistance. Every. time. Rape included. Yet, I can’t think of any time we’ve spent truly trying to heal following one of these episodes. Instead we just try to pretend all of the anger and resentment isn’t there anymore and “move on” while we release increasing levels of violent creations to put our bloodlust on display, to let the world know just how angry we’re pretending not to be and what we wish we could do to those who’ve angered us.

But no… Americans aren’t violent.