Did The Stalker Have A Point?

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66 Responses

  1. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    Ohhhhh! THAT's gonna leave a mark!

  2. Lizard says:

    Ah, but you see, you can't simply gender swap these things, because, in the name of equality, we must treat men and women as unequal. Trust me — people WILL make this argument, and they will make it with a straight face.

  3. When "When He Cheats" came out, I made my daughter sing "When She Cheats". When you turn the gender around, it changes a "Grrl Power" song into a stalker song of the same order as Every Breath You Take and Hey There Delilah(*).

    If it's creepy when you're talking about the victim being a woman, it should be creepy when the victim is a man.

    (*) This song doesn't really get creepy until you realize that the real Delilah doesn't like the singer, never liked the singer, and never WILL like the singer. It quickly makes a hard left turn out of "cute beta male love songs" into "I'll bring the Egg Beaters, and a live chicken, and some peach preserves!".

  4. Liberaltarian says:

    Lizard: not as many as you might think. There are very, very few people who would actually argue that it's OK to blame male victims but not female victims. Pretty much everyone who objects to victim-blaming does so regardless of the gender of the victim.

    The double standard is not that people think it's OK to blame male victims. It's that people are more likely to be censored, or to feel pressure to self-censor, if they try to blame a female victim. If you asked me to speculate, I would guess that might be because the objections to victim-blaming have tended to revolve around rape, and rape is a crime where the victim is more likely to be female.

    There's no conspiracy against men. Our society is just in the middle of a transition that happened to start with women.

  5. Ancel De Lambert says:

    Brrr. Police. I hate "Every Breath You Take." Why does Police suck so bad?

  6. AlphaCentauri says:

    Listen to the words of the Beatles' "No Reply" sometime, too.

  7. Rowan says:

    A situation at work with one of my co-workers is one of a scary stalker. He had been in a relationship with the woman for two years. It ended about eight months ago. He sold his house and moved to a new location to hide from her as he realised she is a bit unbalanced.

    Unfortunately she has his work phone numbers. He recently started dating again and posted a pic on Facebook publicly with the new woman. Big mistake.

    He has been receiving literally hundreds of phone calls on both the cell and desk phone daily for the last two weeks.

    The concern is that she will escalate to the point of coming onsite to do serious harm. The company is aware and doing what it can, but there really isn't much that can be done to keep someone who is determined to make your life hell stay away. He is looking to obtain a protection order, which he suspects she will ignore much as other stalkers ignore when they end up in the news for killing their obsession.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ah, but you see, you can't simply gender swap these things, because, in the name of equality, we must treat men and women as unequal. Trust me — people WILL make this argument, and they will make it with a straight face.

    Shit, I will make that argument with a straight face right now. Come at me bro:

    "Women get paid more than men."

    Oh wait, you can't simply gender swap that sentence because, in the name of equality, we must remember that there are places in our society and our culture where men and women face different situations.

    One hundred percent come at me bro.

  9. John David Galt says:

    I'm with Lizard on this one.

    @Liberaltarian: You seem too willing to give the benefit of doubt to groups so malicious they have long since removed that doubt. Raise this issue on Jezebel or even HuffPo and I guarantee you will be shouted down by the female supremacists.

    @Anonymous: Women do not get paid less than men when you adjust for their greater likelihood of leaving the job market for family reasons. Expecting employers to bear that cost (as the recent so-called Paycheck Fairness Act does) is sexist oppression of men.

    And just as discrimination against blacks ended with the Civil Rights Act in 1964, discrimination against women ended about 1970, so most people alive today (those who weren't even adults then) do not owe any debt, or any special privileges, to women even if they are past victims of discrimination.

    Now if you want to talk about REAL sex discrimination and oppression, we can talk about the divorce/child custody and child support systems. But I have the feeling that is far enough off topic that our esteemed moderators will shut it down at this point, in which case, come debate it with me on the Spearhead.

  10. Lizard says:

    Not sure where you got 'conspiracy against men' from – that's a pretty silly concept and if you think I'm espousing such, I'm not. Just noting that people tend to very manichean, and often have problems if traditoonal roles re: victim/victimizer are reversed. Also, to anonymous, of course salary disparity is real, and utterly irrelevant to this discussion. Hey, you can't reverse 'women have ovaries' to 'men have ovaries'. Wow, I guess that means… Uh… Nothing, really. Exactly what was your point?

    Victim blaming is BS, regardless of the genders involved.

    Sorry for typos, working without decent keyboard.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I guess that means… Uh… Nothing, really. Exactly what was your point?

    Mainly it means that I'm stressed and tired and saw something that annoyed me so I wrote a rote reply without first thinking, sorry about that.

  12. Matt says:

    @John David Galt: Let me get this right. All women (including those past childbearing age, those who can't have children, and those who do not want to have children) should accept less money for doing the same job as their male counterparts, equally well, because statistically, women leave their jobs for family reasons more often?

    That's like saying black men should be paid less than white men because they're more likely to go to be arrested and go to jail. Employers have to bear that cost, too.

    Or that poor people should be paid less, because they're more likely to get sick or have heart attacks due to poor nutrition, costing their employers money to replace them.

  13. Kratoklastes says:

    @AlphaCentauri – odd that you chose "No Reply" (which is creepy, granted) but didn't mention "Run For Your Life"…

    "Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
    Than to be with another man
    You better keep your head, little girl
    Or I won't know where I am

    You better run for your life if you can, little girl
    Hide your head in the sand little girl
    Catch you with another man
    That's the end, little girl"

    I never did like that Lennon guy.

  14. Dan Weber says:

    Listen to the words of the Beatles' "No Reply" sometime, too.

    I don't hear any stalking in that one. The guy goes to his girlfriend's house, but she's dumped him without saying so and is now with someone else. "Silhouettes On The Shade" is a bit similar, although with a happy ending.

    Now, try "Run For Your Life." It's really hard to explain away "well I'd rather see you dead, little girl / Than to be with another man."

  15. Valerie says:

    The only thing that I can fathom that could make it marginally less terrifying is that rape or sexual assault is less of a risk with the female stalker – male stalkee synerio. All the other cray-cray, boiling bunnies etc. would be the same, and I can't imagine why you would sympathize with the nut job or imagine that the victim was "leading her on."

  16. James Pollock says:

    Dan beat me to it. "Run for your life" is pretty harsh, and it isn't just the lines he quoted. There's also "if I see you with another man, that's the end… little girl".
    I think "Getting Better" needs a review, also… domestic violence is pretty explicitly stated.

    However, I'll stake out a line that asking "what could the victim have done differently to avoid becoming a victim" isn't inherently blaming the victim. It can go along that path, of course, but it doesn't have to.

    As to the general subject of stalking, I refer people to the Dobler/Dahmer rule, as explained in How I Met Your Mother.

  17. Careless says:

    "Let me get this right"

    Try again, Matt. Might take you a few shots.

  18. Bored says:

    "And just as discrimination against blacks ended with the Civil Rights Act in 1964, discrimination against women ended about 1970"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahaha..ha…ha.

    That was a joke, right?

  19. Thomas says:

    "I think "Getting Better" needs a review, also… domestic violence is pretty explicitly stated."

    Yes, but he only USED to be cruel to his woman and beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved. Man he was mean but he's changing his scene and doing the best that he can.

  20. Rob Crawford says:

    "Not sure where you got 'conspiracy against men' from – that's a pretty silly concept"

    Never been to family court, have you?

  21. AlphaCentauri says:

    "Run for your life" is obviously creepy, but my point with "No Reply" is that people just accepted it as a sweet song about unrequited love without considering the fact that he's describing staking out her house to see who goes in and out and calling her repeatedly on the phone when she won't take his calls. We've just accepted that persistence is a sign of deep love rather than a sign of being a potential abuser. Normal guys don't like the feeling of rejection and start out by making indirect overtures to see how a woman may react. An abuser is all sweep-her-off-her-feet and send-flowers-to-her-job; he considers rejection just a challenge to be overcome, because it hasn't occurred to him that the woman has a right to an opinion in the matter.

  22. Rich Rostrom says:

    Matt • Feb 10, 2013 @2:43 pm: @John David Galt: Let me get this right. All women (including those past childbearing age, those who can't have children, and those who do not want to have children) should accept less money for doing the same job as their male counterparts, equally well, because statistically, women leave their jobs for family reasons more often?

    Excellent straw man argument there. What "Galt" is saying, and what is well known and well documented, is that women, on average, earn less than men because they leave jobs and interrupt careers more than men do, on average.

    Men who leave jobs and interrupt careers earn less than men who don't. Women who don't leave jobs and interrupt careers earn more than women who do. Men and women in a given occupation, who follow the same career pattern, earn the same income.

    Women get the same pay for the same work as men, but they aren't, on average, doing the same work.

  23. htom says:

    The only question in my mind is whether the derailers are actual stalkers or stalker-wannabes.

  24. JDM says:

    Without having read the book, I see the review's point here, even if I do not completely agree with it.

    Apparently the author attempts to portray his stalking as reaction to the Israel's presence in Palatine because he is Jewish and his stalker is an Arab. In response, the reviewer is free to point out more mundane and orginary causes of the author being stalked.

    A person can do something that contributed to their victimization without being responsible for it. (This is almost a mantra I use when doing sexual assault exams — just because you did something unwise does not mean you deserved to get raped!) In this case where the author attempts to invoke geopolitics to explain his victimization, it is not blaming the victim (regardless of gender) to point out more mundane factors that might have contributed.

  25. Lizard says:

    No, I haven't been to family court — my cats lack standing to sue — but here's the thing: Social/cultural values which lead to decisions unfavorable to males are no more a "conspiracy against men" than social/cultural values that lead to decisions unfavorable to women are a "conspiracy against women". Conspiracy requires a conscious, organized, and explicit intent, combined with secrecy as to that organization. Society is not a conspiracy; society is the ever-changing sum of the values of the individuals who compose it. It's much more convenient to believe its a conspiracy, because then you can find the heads of the conspiracy and deal with them. The reality, that your have to deal with millions or billions of individuals who compose a society and change their viewpoints, one by one, often over a generation or more, is much more tedious, and it requires patience, not rage; persuasion, not sloganeering.

    Changing social mores is a long, slow, difficult, process, one made much harder by anyone believes that an act committed by A against B should not be judged solely by what A did to B, but what people who shared traits with A did to other people who shared traits with B.

  26. Lizard says:

    Oh, one quick point — laws against discrimination have ended discrimination just as much as laws against murder have ended murder.

  27. Jeremy says:

    Feminism teaches us that men are disposable, hence any threat to men can be ignored, while all threats to women are the worst things since nazi's. I thought you all knew this by now.

  28. Ken says:

    Oh hell. What sort of lead-painted cheeto-dusted MRA shithole did this get linked from?

  29. Matthew Cline says:

    We've just accepted that persistence is a sign of deep love rather than a sign of being a potential abuser.

    Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested

  30. Lizard says:

    I was taught feminism teaches us that women AREN'T disposable, and are otherwise possessed of the same rights and responsibilities as men, and that is the standard I use: All human beings, regardless of their reproductive organs, have equal rights, by their nature as humans, and that if those rights are violated, the genders of the victim and the victimizer are irrelevant. If some people fail to support this concept, it's their flaw for not living up to this ideal, not a flaw in the ideal itself.

  31. Grifter says:

    @Ken:

    Hey, wait a minute, what's wrong with Cheetos?

  32. AlphaCentauri says:

    I suspect that part of the difference in salary is that women may not be aware that they are expected to negotiate for a higher salary than the one that is stated. Also, women often are willing to accept lower pay to get a more meaningful career, a fact that totally befuzzles the men who were offering more money for the positions they turned down. ("May I ask what the job you're accepting will be paying? Wait … um, that's LESS than we're offering!")

  33. azteclady says:

    @ Lizard This, all this.

    And to Rich Rostrom: often career focused women without children still make less than career focused men with family obligations that may distract them from their work performance–even if/when they do not actually miss work days.

  34. azteclady says:

    Lizard: If I give attribution, can I cross stitch this on pillows and stuff?????

  35. James Pollock says:

    ""Not sure where you got 'conspiracy against men' from – that's a pretty silly concept"

    Never been to family court, have you?"

    I did. I kept the house, and got sole custody of my daughter, pro se.

  36. wgering says:

    Speaking as another subject of deranged stalkers, I admit it resonates.

    Oh come on now Ken, we're not that bad. I'd say only 50% of us are deranged, tops (and some of that is your fault, what with all your talk of ponies).

    And you were totally asking for it wearing that dress.

  37. Clark says:

    @Ancel De Lambert:

    > Brrr. Police. I hate "Every Breath You Take."

    To be fair, Sting himself says that the song is intended to be weird and creepy, and he's horrified that it's played at so many weddings.

    > Why does Police suck so bad?

    Science can't answer that question.

  38. Dave B says:

    I guess crazy people (m/f) be crazy (m/f)?

  39. Chris F says:

    "…nobody deserves abuse from a deranged stalker, and it would be twisted to ask what they might have done to invite it. "

    I need to cautiously disagree with that. It is very possible for the victim to do something to encourage an act of aggression against them. Even if the victim did do something to encourage the bad behavior it in no way means that the victim deserves it. However, in the interest of helping other people avoid being in a similar situation it is worth discussing ways to avoid which includes what some other people have done wrong. This is not assigning blame though, the aggressor is still responsible for their own actions.

    This does include having a check of, "Is this reasonable behavior," because it is possible for perfectly reasonable behavior to encourage someone. Think of it as the difference between being flirty at a club (which can encourage a potential rapist) to being flirty and then taking a ride home from the guy that you just met. In neither case would it be the victim's fault. But most people would argue that accepting the ride is a bad idea but that being flirty isn't something you should be concerned about.

  40. Tarrou says:

    So Ken posts about a phenomenon so common as to defy denial, that violence toward men is never treated the same way as violence toward women.

    The response is "pay gap"? Really?

    This "equal pay for equal work" bullshit really needs to stop, so here's my two cents. Men currently make up somewhere between 96% and 98% of workplace deaths. When women "equalize" this statistic, I will personally ram an equal pay law through congress. Because equality across every statistical artifact is what we're after, right? And the only explanation for disparities is mass discrimination! Come, children! Join me on the fallacy train!

  41. Lizard says:

    @Chris: While people make bad choices that can increase their risks in some situations, and people should be educated to not make such bad choices (not that this has ever actually worked in all of human history), full *moral* culpability always goes to the person who made the hostile act, regardless of temptation. (Or even a non-hostile act; if someone attempts to seduce me into cheating on my wife (yeah, right, that'll happen), and I give in, it doesn't matter how sexy she was, the moral failure is mine. I have no moral right to blame her for being seductive; I can only blame myself for making a choice.

    (A useful safety guide on how not to be a rapist, for those here who need help with this concept: http://www.happyplace.com/11433/poster-explains-how-to-not-rape)

    @Tarrou:
    People who claim all statistical differences between men and women are the result of institutional discrimination are idiots.
    People who claim no statistical differences between men and women are the result of institutional discrimination are idiots.

    The world is overflowing with idiots, and I have seen no correlation between idiocy and whether someone has XX or XY chromosomes. Stupidity is gender neutral.

    The world cannot be reduced to bumper stickers and easily chanted slogans. For each statistical difference worth debating, there are myriad causes and factors, and those causes and factors have causes and factors, too. If more men than women choose a career, how much is due to psychological differences, how much is due to fear of discrimination, real or not ("I won't bother trying X, they'll never let a woman do X"), how much is due to active discrimination, how much is due to social values? How much of each of those are themselves due to other factors? Splitting out cause and effect is not trivial, and both ethics and practicality make truly controlled studies of various factors on how human behaviors develop impossible. Our social structures consist of complex feedback loops, not simple a leads to b leads to c equations. But this means there's no simple solutions, no quick fixes, and no real hope of achieving any kind of absolute perfection — someone's always going to get the shaft. People don't want to accept that and work within those bounds, so they set out impossible standards, shout mindless catch phrases at each other, and tell themselves they're righteous crusaders while freeing themselves from ever having to actually accomplish anything.

    Workplace deaths occur primarily in jobs that are physically focused, and those jobs tend to be held by men, because objectively measurable factors make men, on average, stronger than women. (For the dimwitted among you, this does not mean "the weakest man is stronger than the strongest woman"; it means the bell curve of strength has different peaks and tails for men and women. I shouldn't have to spell that out, but long experience has taught me that it's necessary.) I think there are few, if any, feminists who would insist that if a job requirement is "can lift 150 lbs", that out of any pool of applicants, there will always be equal numbers of men and women who can meet that goal and any disparity, therefore, must be due to discrimination. (Some may argue that there are jobs which do not actually require strength, but which have such requirements tacked on as a means of excluding women; such claims need to be examined case-by-case; sometimes this is true, sometimes it is not.)

    (If I were a smartass, I'd point out that women suffer 100% of deaths due to childbirth, and ask when men will start taking on some of those risks.)

  42. Jeremy says:

    @Lizard

    I was taught feminism teaches us that women AREN'T disposable, and are otherwise possessed of the same rights and responsibilities as men…

    I dunno, stories like all the men going down with the ship on the Titanic indicate to me that women were never truly considered disposable. Whereas giving women the right to vote, without the responsibility to register for selective service and be drafted if needed, would seem to be a right minus a responsibility.

  43. Luke says:

    @AlphaCentauri –

    I suspect that part of the difference in salary is that women may not be aware that they are expected to negotiate for a higher salary than the one that is stated. Also, women often are willing to accept lower pay to get a more meaningful career

    That's a point that does not get discussed very much, but studies have shown that in general women prefer job satisfaction over pay while men prefer pay over job satisfaction.

    If you are not willing to leave your current job for a job that will pay you more, what reason does your current employer have to pay you more?

  44. Lizard says:

    "Men in 1914 drowned on the Titanic; therefore, women don't get to vote."

    Uhm… yeah, that's a well reasoned argument. Since the passengers in steerage mostly drowned regardless of gender, and also since the rich have usually found many ways to dodge the draft (see the Civil War draft riots; it's not a recent phenomenon), we must then concur that only poor people can vote, since more of them drowned and they're more likely to get drafted.

    PS: I oppose the draft under all circumstances, since it is a form of slavery. A society which cannot rouse enough people to volunteer to defend it probably isn't worth defending — or it's not being actually threatened. Also, as far as I know, getting women the right to serve in combat, and be drafted, has long been a feminist talking point; it is opposed, mostly, by conservatives. So your argument is "Women don't have the responsibilities that men do, because the men in power won't allow them to have such responsibilities, therefore, argle bargle wargle murgh."

    I'm convinced!

    (Also, voting, at least in America, has never been tied to any mandated service, duty, or responsibility. So, do you actually have a point to make, anywhere?)

  45. Jeremy says:

    @Lizard

    …if someone attempts to seduce me into cheating on my wife (yeah, right, that'll happen), and I give in, it doesn't matter how sexy she was, the moral failure is mine. I have no moral right to blame her for being seductive; I can only blame myself for making a choice.

    You seem to be arguing in a vacuum of female choice, and a complete disregard for inherent reproductive strategies and how they can be exploited.

    Workplace deaths occur primarily in jobs that are physically focused, and those jobs tend to be held by men, because objectively measurable factors make men, on average, stronger than women.

    Not true, in fact it really just sounds like you pulled that out of thin air. Did you consider that as the part of the marriage contract that typically provides for the family, that men are raised/encoded-in-dna to feel that taking risks is worth keeping the kids and wife fed?

    By the labor department, the 10 most dangerous jobs are:
    10) Taxi Driver
    9) Electrical Linesman
    8) Truck Drivers
    7) Farmers/Ranchers
    6) Iron/Steel workers
    5) Roofers
    4) Trash Collectors
    3) Aircraft Pilots
    2) Loggers
    And the number 1 most dangerous job in America, it should be obvious…
    1) Fishing

    Now, with the exception of commercial fishing, logging, and steel workers, I believe MOST women could work those jobs without lifting weights. Linesmen don't lift lines with bare hands they connect what's available, farmers have lots of motorized equipment, trash collecting is fully motorized at this point, Roofing just requires that you not fall and be able to point a nail gun. All those jobs are extremely hazardous, but not all of them would be difficult for a woman to do, and yet women avoid them like the plague.

    (If I were a smartass, I'd point out that women suffer 100% of deaths due to childbirth, and ask when men will start taking on some of those risks.)

    Also, if you were trying to create a red herring, you might say that. Men have no choice in being created men and thus being incapable of child birth. Women certainly have a choice of which occupation they put themselves in.

  46. Jeremy says:

    @Lizard

    "Men in 1914 drowned on the Titanic; therefore, women don't get to vote."

    Uhm… yeah, that's a well reasoned argument.

    No, it's a terrible argument, but it's not surprising that you would say something so poorly thought out. I surely didn't say it.

  47. Lizard says:

    If social programming causes men to take foolish risks, shouldn't changing such programming be something to work towards? Shouldn't we encourage women to take the same risks? If your argument is "Women should be second class citizens because men do all the hard stuff!", then, the correct action is "So make women do the hard stuff, too." If the cause is more genetic than social, then, you can't do much to change it, but, by the same token, it shouldn't be considered a factor in assigning legal rights.

    How do you reconcile "Men take risky jobs to feed their families" with "Male reproductive strategies involve knocking up as many women as possible"? Also, if we're arguing from an evolutionary perspective, are you honestly going to tell me you think that the instinct to protect a child is WEAKER in women? Get ye to your Kipling, man! (http://www.potw.org/archive/potw96.html)

    Of the jobs you mention, only two aren't obviously physically intensive jobs that are going to be easier for men than women: Taxi driver and airline pilot. I'd be interested in any studies as to why these jobs are under-represented among women. I have some guesses as to the former, but none as to the latter.

    Honestly, I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make.

    Do you think women should be denied certain rights? If so, which ones, and why?

    If not, what exactly is your argument? At best, I could guess it's to argue that discrimination is not to blame for all differences in statistical outcomes, which I agree with — as noted above, such things are a complex mix of factors, and anyone who speaks of either "the patriarchy" or "feminazis" will get a mocking sneer from me.

    If it's "Women have it good 'cause we open doors for 'em and go out fishing for 'em so they should shut up about, y'know, stuff!", then, good luck convincing people of that.

    If it's none of the above, then, what is it?

  48. Grifter says:

    @Lizard:

    "Stupidity is gender neutral."

    I'm stealing it; it's going on my list o' mottos.

  49. naught_for_naught says:

    OK cats and kittens. What list of all-time stalker songs would be complete without this little gem? This one goes out to the fellas. It's Little Peggy March with the 1,000-mile stare singing I will follow him.Enjoy! …and try getting it out of your head if you can.

  50. Dan Weber says:

    Listening to "No Reply" again, I did have to listen closely. Most of the song is the guy just trying to get in touch with the girl, who refuses to reply (hence the title of the song), but at one point he sees her walk in her door and then she can't be summoned to the phone. He could have just talked to her on the sidewalk.

    Hm, for some reason I assumed that she was his girlfriend previously and he'd been dumped, but listening again the song doesn't specify that either way. It does get really weird if she's just a stranger he's been stalking.

  51. Dan Weber says:

    The best stalker love-song is this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8DnhfD_RdA For best results open in a background tab without seeing the artist.

    The "why won't you return my phone calls" line stuck out at me after listening to "No Reply" a few times.

  52. princessartemis says:

    Lizard seems to have this well in hand, though I'll drop my two bits. Jeremy, in order for a draft of women to be useful, the US needs to let women serve in as many capacities as men. We have only very recently allowed women into combat. If women had been drafted before this occured, in equal numbers to men, what, pray, would you have done with them? Perhaps now a draft for women would be less pointless, and therefor perhaps soon it will be extended to women. Or perhaps when someone tries to extend it to women, the citizenry will suddenly realize how poorly the idea meshes with a free people and it will be abolished. Both outcomes will serve equality.

    One way or another, it sounds as if you were unaware that one thing many persons who call themselves feminists (and many who just agree with the philosophy) have desired and worked for is allowing women into combat as well as ending the discrimination of the draft.

  53. Lizard says:

    Lizard is recalling Mark Twain's advice: "Never argue with an idiot, people might not know the difference." So someone else is free to take over. Also, I have to focus on my job, which does, in fact, support my wife and children (cat food ain't cheap!), but which, fortunately, involves me sitting on my butt all day pushing buttons. I did Real Manly Labor when I was a teenager; it taught me that the most soul-crushingly monotonous office job is infinitely superior, and usually pays better. (On a related note, I would *ecstatically* take a 25% or so pay cut for greater job satisfaction, namely, writing full time. Let's kick another stereotype in the nads.)

  54. wgering says:

    The best steel worker I've ever met was a woman. She designed, fabbed and installed a 24' high catwalk in a weekend.

    @Lizard: have to disagree with you re: office jobs >> Real Manly Labor (although I find that name problematic for, among others, the reason stated above). I would (and currently do) gladly accept $shit/hr. to build things (and then tear them down a month later).

    I might go home to my crummy apartment after a 10-hour day and wake up sore the next morning, but I get paid to use a sledgehammer named Mjolnir to destroy things on a regular basis. Definitely beats being a cubicle drone.

  55. Lizard says:

    @wgering: Gee,you'd almost think people have different preferences and desires, or something. :) I can speak only for myself when it comes to what work I find fulfilling, and why, and would not presume to speak for anyone else, individually or collectively.

  56. Tim! says:

    I don't know about "Hey There Delilah" – you have a read in a lot to get to stalker territory. Tom Jones's "Delilah" though – back to ultra creepy.

  57. Lisa says:

    Wow. Going back to the article and contrary to its premise, I not only 'bought' the twist, but it immediately set me to thinking about all of the guys I'm 'sweet' to in the course of my day just because it makes things more fun, and how there's this level of 'play' flirting that goes beyond just being nice, but that only works because (at least I think) everyone understands it's not real. The security guards, the food-truck guys, the baristas, the super…

    It also made me re-live the completely horrible awkwardness that I felt when one of 'my warehouse boys' actually asked me out. While I don't myself have a fan-base that I'm aware of, I'd easily believe that there's a certain level of Charm that gets turned on for fans – by both genders – under the presumption that both parties understand 'it's only a game.'

  58. Lizard says:

    Well, you know what they say… when you assume, you get a restraining order.

  59. James Pollock says:

    Seriously, guys, "How I Met Your Mother" did a whole episode just a little while ago about the difference between "Persistence pays off" and "OH MY GOD YOU CREEPY STALKER!!!" It should still be available online, at cbs.com or somewhere.

  60. Southwest Brogue says:

    One time, I was at a blog, finished the article, and scrolled down. My brother, visiting from college and sitting at the table with me, looked over at me, and said, "what are you doing?".

    "Reading the comments," I replied.

    "Why on earth would you ever do that?" was his bewildered response.

    I need to take his advice more often. >_<

    good article, though, Ken & Co. Sometime I'd like to write a guest post about how My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is still successfully shilling plastic toys to young girls. They just have the foresight of ensnaring a group of (potential?) fathers 10 years before those young men have children.

  61. Patrick says:

    Fressssshhhh Aiiirrrrhhh, on NPR, has a pretty balanced and solid review of the book tonight, with some hard questions but no victim-blaming. The reviewer enthusiastically recommended the book, for what it's worth.

  62. markm says:

    Jeremy: "Now, with the exception of commercial fishing, logging, and steel workers, I believe MOST women could work those jobs without lifting weights. Linesmen don't lift lines with bare hands they connect what's available, farmers have lots of motorized equipment, trash collecting is fully motorized at this point, Roofing just requires that you not fall and be able to point a nail gun. All those jobs are extremely hazardous, but not all of them would be difficult for a woman to do, and yet women avoid them like the plague."

    As a not particularly muscular man who grew up on a farm and has roofed several buildings, you don't know what you're talkiing about. Half of roofing is carrying heavy packs of shingles around a tilted roof – and that's assuming there's a mechanical device available to stack them on the roof in the first place. I can only carry five shingles at a time, and it didn't take much longer to nail them down (with a hammer, not a nail gun) than to get them over to where I was working. A woman of average strength might be able to do the job, but she would be markedly slower. Much of farming is just driving a tractor – and my 9 year old granddaughter could do that physically – but you've also got to be able to hook up the plows, wagons, etc., and that tends to require horsing several hundred pound objects around until they line up. Then you've got to fix the machinery when it breaks, shovel stuff that spills out of reach of the loader, and at least to some extent (depending on how big and mechanized an operation it is) tote bags of feed, seed, fertilizer, etc., around. Women have farmed successfully, and with proper understanding of leverage it is possible to arrange all these jobs to require only a little strength (I did when I was a 70-pound kid), but it's slow as compared to a big guy that can just grab hold and move it.

    Not in my experience, but linemen have to climb the pole before they can hook up the wire, and they may have to carry a considerable weight in tools and wire while climbing. Some truckdrivers just drive, but others have to load and unload their truck, which gets pretty darned physical. (Truckers also endure terrible hours and working conditions, and may have to deliver to dubious neighborhoods after dark – my daughter tried long-haul trucking and quit for that reason alone.) I don't know about trash collection; do women avoid it because idiots leave their dumpsters just outside the reach of the mechanical arm, because they also have to pick up bagged trash and stuff that spills, or just because it's a smelly job, performed in all sorts of weather?

    With taxi drivers, the difference has to be either the danger or the hours and working conditions.

    For pilots, I'd guess that (1) A large proportion of pilots learned to fly in the military, which has trained many more men than women. (2) Most pilot jobs, and the vast majority of air accidents, are not in commercial aviation (airliners, and similar big airplanes for major freight routes), but flying smaller planes in general aviation, and mostly they do that for rather low pay. They don't fly for the money, but rather they look for jobs that enable them to fly. Women appear to be either less subject to that particular yearning, or more likely to let rational considerations override it.

  63. James Pollock says:

    Mark, let's suppose you're right, and there IS an edge (however small or infrequently called for) in being physically stronger in a much wider variety of jobs than is generally recognized. I would tend to argue that the way to develop greater strength is to use your muscles more frequently… that is, to do the job. That right there is going to wipe out a lot of the difference. It's catch 22… you can't get the job because you don't have or can't demonstrate the muscular strength; you don't develop the muscular strength because you don't do the job.

    In any case, even if it IS a case of "the average male person is physically bigger and stronger than the average female person", you still have the case that you're hiring one of the persons who's applied for the job, not an average person (after all, the average American has one breast and one testicle.)

  64. different Jess says:

    Mark is right, and I was going to mention the weight of shingles if he hadn't, but that's almost beside the point. For a non-handicapped person who really wants to be a steel worker, there's nothing to stop her or him, but her or his experience may differ from that of others in the field. When I say "nothing to stop", I'm pointedly ignoring the low pay, danger, poor weather, unavoidable grime, etc. I've met several women who are steel workers, when they built some buildings for me. They wrestle with beams and sheets all day, and I don't, and I'm still much stronger than they are. Since they're human beings, they use their minds to compensate for the shortcomings of their brawn, just like all the rest of us do. They're much more likely than I am to be able to get a 20-ft. sheet of panel screwed onto the wall without bending it.

    Knowing all of this, it doesn't surprise me that men outnumber women in the occupation of steelworking. Not all variation must be boiled down to aptitude or discrimination. Society would probably benefit if we had more women steelworkers, but I don't see any reasonable demand society can make that would bring about a 50/50 steelworkforce.

  65. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    I worked for a lawyer who was stalked by a realtor from whom he received referrals. Their professional relationship started out normally enough, and she was actually a friend of his wife's (who was also a realtor), but it ended with her peering into the windows of his house and frightening his children.

    Initially, he did not want to call the police, and he tried to discourage her kindly and directly. He did not understand that you cannot reason with crazy people, and attempting to do so only inflames them further.

    I suppose that his efforts to resolve the matter privately might be construed by Carolyn Kellogg as contributing to the problem.

    I think it's interesting that Kellogg's review has received no comments. That, more than anything, should tell her that most of us stopped reading when she headed off into la la land.

    The NYT review was far better anyway.

  1. February 11, 2013

    [...] Did The Stalker Have A Point? – Ken, Popehat [...]