The modern woman's dirty secret
Story from Britain. There is obviously a degree of self-mockery below and there is a possibility that it could be a total spoof. Nonetheless, it is true that there are still some women who take pride in keeping an immaculate home. And those I know don't feel a bit in need of being "liberated". I once remarked to one of them that I couldn't see anything that needed cleaning in her immaculate house, only to be greeted by the reply: "But I can"!
My name is Bryony Gordon and I have a dirty secret. I love cleaning. I mean I really love it. If cleanliness is next to godliness, one day I shall be made a saint - a saint with an exceptionally well-polished halo and a nice line in rubber gloves.
As the sun streamed through the windows last weekend, highlighting every bit of dust and slight smear of dirt in my home, I did not think: "Oh no, I am going to have to waste a glorious day up to my elbows in muck." Instead, I got up at 8am with joy in my heart and a bottle of bleach in my hand. Because I love the smell of bleach more than any perfume.
It came as no surprise to me, then, to read that one out of three women secretly loves cleaning. Researchers have discovered that many find the process "relaxing", "satisfying" and "therapeutic", though only four in 10 would admit this to a partner - possibly due to horrid sexual stereotypes. I have no such qualms. My boyfriend enjoys tidying almost as much as I do. We fight over who gets to wash up ("me!" "No, me!"). We quarrel over whose turn it is to do the vacuuming. And we often have arguments over the iron which will one day end in third-degree burns.
The study found vacuuming, tidying and wiping surfaces clean are the chores women most enjoy. Cleaning the toilet and the oven are not so popular. On average, more than four hours a week are spent cleaning - "more" being the key word here, given that on Sunday I spent six hours vacuuming, washing, dusting and raking the garden of old leaves and cigarette butts (so satisfying).
To me, the most shocking thing about this survey isn't that a third of women enjoy cleaning, it is that two-thirds of them don't. Perhaps that is simply because I have chronic obsessive compulsive disorder. Most likely it is because we have been brought up to see cleaning as a chore, as something put-upon women of the 1950s did while their husbands earned money and seduced their secretaries.
The idea of a woman tending to her house became dirty, filthy, shameful, each mop of the floor a violent blow to feminism. But now that having a cleaner is no longer a Downton Abbey-style luxury and more of a middle-class necessity, the humble art of tidying has practically become a lifestyle choice. A hobby, even, akin to those trendy fashionistas who claim to knit and crochet in their spare time.
There is nothing more delightful than the sound of debris being sucked up a vacuum cleaner. Who could fail to be aroused - yes, aroused - by mopping away spillages from the kitchen floor? There is simply no lovelier way to spend a Sunday evening than ironing in front of the television; the smell of fresh starch and orange-and-pomegranate ironing water filling the room and your bed linen.
As saintly as this all sounds, the truth is that my love of cleaning is entirely self-serving. It makes me feel smug and allows me to cleanse myself of all sorts of other sins, such as coming home drunk and forgetting to pay the bills. Nobody can get cross with you if you have spent two hours cleaning the oven.
Tidying is a good way to claim superiority and get what you want. Indeed, there's a new survival guide for frustrated wives by a woman named Kerri Sackville. It is called When My Husband Does the Dishes (He Usually Wants Sex!). But it can work the other way around, too.
No sex discrimination in sport (Title IX) -- unless it's against boys, of course
A group of officials in New York has taken the drastic step of banning a 13-year-old boy from playing for his high school's all-girls field hockey team for a simple if ludicrous reason: He's simply too good.
As reported by New York CBS affiliate 1010 WINS, Fox News and a variety of other outlets, 13-year-old Southampton (N.Y.) High student Keeling Pilaro will not be allowed to compete for the Southampton field hockey team in fall 2012 because he has simply been too dominant a player over the past two seasons. Pilaro began competing for the Southampton varsity field hockey team at just 11 years of age, and at age 13 still stands a tiny 4-foot-8 and 82 pounds.
What Pilaro lacks in dominant physical stature he makes up for in international experience. The teen was raised in Ireland, until his family came to Long Island, and he grew up playing field hockey in Europe, where the sport is relatively popular among boys just as it is in the U.S. among girls.
In 2011, Pilaro was the only boy to compete in the sport in Suffolk County, N.Y., and he emerged as Southampton's leading scorer with 11 goals. To try and stem that influence -- and the possible influx of other male athletes in the sport -- New York's Section 11 (which includes Suffolk County) decided that Pilaro had too significant an advantage when compared to other field hockey players, ostensibly just because he is of a different gender.
"As a sport, it's a girls sport," Section 11 executive director Ed Cinelli told MyFoxNY.com. "When a boy plays, it leads the way for other male players to come in and take over.
"[Pilaro is] having a significant adverse effect on some of his opposing female players. The rules state he would be allowed to play if he wasn't the dominant player."
Clearly, there are no physical justifications for banning Pilaro, as his mother made clear.
"He is not a physical dominating presence on the field by any stretch," Fairley Pilaro told 1010 WINS. "In fact, he's far below the girl's varsity height and weight."
Southampton male field hockey star Keeling Pilaro — 1010 WINSSouthampton male field hockey star Keeling Pilaro — 1010 WINS
Pilaro's father has already unsuccessfully appealed the decision once, and the family has a second appeal of the decision scheduled to be heard in May.
While Section 11's decision to ban Pilaro may be an attempt to protect competitive equity among its field hockey programs, it is likely to open up an enormous can of worms by doing so. Even Dana Edell, the executive director of the SPARK movement, an activist organization for the equality of girls in sports, raised concerns about what banning Pilaro would do to the enforceability of Title IX regulations and the equality of opportunity between the sexes.
"If he's not allowed to try out for the team, that opens up the door for all kinds of discrimination," Edell told MyFoxNY. "It's the coaches responsibility to make sure the players are safe. And a boy should not be penalized because he's good."
The issues raised when boys compete in traditionally all-girls sports are not new ones, with competitive equity and physicality often raised as concerns. Still, with lack of better outlets for their specific skills, there are often no real solutions to the issues raised by the likes of field hockey and swimming coaches in states such as Massachusetts. In May 2011, Massachusetts field hockey coaches attempted to institute guidelines which would limit the areas and amount of time boys were allowed to be on the field during a game, but the rule changes were eventually rejected by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's Board of Directors over fears it would violate Title IX.
Now, if Pilaro is successfully kept out of varsity competition in 2012, other states and governing organizations may seriously investigate opportunities to fundamentally limit male players' participation in female sports, regardless of whether that is fair, just as it would be considered unfair to bar a female football player interested in competing for her school's team as a place kicker, lineman or even a running back if she so chose.
"This is an issue of safety, equity, and liability," Reading (Mass.) High field hockey coach Mim Jarema told an MIAA meeting at which the Massachusetts rule changes were discussed. "It's time for us to take up this challenge."
Now those steps are being boldly taken two states to the south, even though it seems laughable to consider the player who has brought it on is a safety risk to the competitors around him.
Miss America Contestant Told Not to Mention Pro-Life Views
In a new interview, Miss Delaware, Maria Cahill, who is a pro-life advocate, talks about how she was instructed to not mention anything about her pro-life views during the pageant.
Maria is the second oldest of seven children, and has always been passionate about the pro-life movement:
“It came from growing up in a household where the value of life was respected no matter what the case. I became even more involved when I met women that were contemplating abortion. Seeing the pain in their eyes and hearing them talk about the fact that they believed that there was no other way out was heart wrenching; and honestly made me want to make a difference,” she has said.
She previously indicated the Miss Delaware organization would give her the opportunity to publicly share her beliefs.
“I have heard that because I am in the public eye, I have no right to speak about the pro-life movement. I feel the total opposite. There is a crown on my head for a reason. I am trying to save innocent lives and if it takes a crown for people to maybe consider this issue a little further, then my mission has been accomplished,” she said.
Now, in an interview with Town Hall, she says the Miss America pageant did not want her to share her pro-life views.
“I heard a lot of people say that because I was Miss Delaware and represented the Miss America Organization, for that reason, I had no right to talk about anything political,” Cahill tells Townhall. “In my mind, I thought exactly the opposite.”
As Elisabeth Meinecke, Townhall Magazine Managing Editor, indicates:
To Cahill, abortion is not part of any GOP “war on women” or infringement on women’s rights.
“With this [birth-control] mandate and the so-called ‘war on women,’” she says, “I feel like people don’t know both sides and they’re not getting to the real root of the problem, and that is another life is at stake. I think getting to the root of the problem is where the solution lies.”
Cahill offers a much-needed voice in the movement, one that is not afraid or ashamed of her beliefs. Referring to the use of the empty platitude created by pro-abortion activists of “My body, my choice,” she exposes its lack of morality: “No one likes to think of themselves as selfish. But whenever those terms get thrown around like ‘My body, my choice,’ you’re just bringing it all back onto yourself, and, to me, that’s selfish, whether people want to believe it or not.”
She has attended the March for Life every year as well, including an appearance this past January as Miss Delaware.
“I was really debating going as Miss Delaware or not. I did not tell my directors I was going,” Cahill reveals.
But, she is glad she did. Speaking of her experience of this past March for Life, Cahill said the best part was how thankful people were that they had another voice in their corner
Cahill is a prime example of someone who recognizes that beauty is not only seen in a beauty contest but in the wonderful and awesome development of human life before birth and she is willing to stand up to the powers that be to proclaim that truth.
Australia: Member of Sudanese gang jailed for his role in gruesome three-week robbery rampage
Africans are a big problem in Melbourne. The episode below is only one of many. Rather than feel gratitude towards the country that gave them refuge from war-torn Africa, many of them seem to feel only contempt for the rest of the community. Africans in America have the threadbare excuse that they resent being the victims of slavery. There is no such excuse in Australia
A MEMBER of a gang of Sudanese youth who attacked 13 victims during a three-week robbery rampage has been jailed for almost six years after a judge said the courts could not tolerate unprovoked violence against soft targets on Melbourne's streets.
The assaults and robberies were "violent, it was unforgivable, it was brazen, it was frightening," County Court Judge Michael Tinney said today in sentencing Ring Chol, now 19, to a maximum five years and 10 months and a minimum term of three years and four months.
Some of the victims, attacked after leaving western suburban train stations or walking alone in St Albans in mid afternoon, had left Australia after the bashings, the court heard.
Judge Tinney said Chol's group, which included offenders aged 13 to 16, targeted vulnerable people, some of whom were bashed, threatened with a knife or bottle, or laughed at during attacks - despite offering to hand over possessions during the 22-day spree in June 2011.
"Just take my wallet, take my phone, take my bag, just leave me alone, I will die," one victim told his attackers after trying to flee. "Yet he was punched repeatedly by you and at least two others" and lost consciousness during the assault which lasted 10 to 15 minutes, Judge Tinney said. "These were cowardly and often brutal attacks," the judge said.
"Many people in this community no longer regard public transport as a safe option. "This court must send a clear and loud message."
Judge Tinney said hardly a day goes by when soft targets are not subjected to robbery and assault in Melbourne and unprovoked violence must no longer be tolerated by the courts, if it ever was.
In one incident Chol stood on the bumper of a taxi and threatened to smash a rock into the windscreen unless the driver gave over property, and in another a victim was followed from Keilor Plains train station to his home where his house window was smashed and three vehicles damaged.
While bailed for the original offences, Chol breached curfew and has since been charged with two other assaults committed in central Melbourne for which he is yet to face court, Judge Tinney said.
He said Chol suffered post traumatic stress from the horrors he witnessed growing up in Sudan and what was described as "three years of hell" being subjected to racially-motivated violence in Egypt before coming to Australia as a 14-year-old.
But Judge Tinney said while some sentence reduction was called for due to his earlier trauma and his youth, the nature and gravity of the offending should be condemned.
Chol pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery, six robberies, two counts of recklessly causing serious injury, four counts of criminal damage and one count of attempted robbery.
Two child offenders are yet to be dealt with in the Childrens' Court and other members of Chol's group have not been identified, the court heard.
Diversity Training Doesn’t Work, But It Persists Anyway, Due to Compulsion
by Hans Bader
Diversity training doesn’t work, according to an article in Psychology Today. In it, Peter Bregman notes, “Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it.”
But don’t expect it to stop. Government regulations often require that a school be accredited, a condition that accreditors like the American Bar Association use to force law schools to run costly diversity and sensitivity-training programs or use racial preferences in admissions (despite the dubious legality of some such diversity programs and admissions preferences). Such mandates have contributed to the growth of a vast and costly “diversity machine” in college administrations. (And as a condition of practicing law in California, I had to take continuing legal education on the topic of “elimination of bias in the legal profession.”)
Time magazine had a story on April 26, 2007, entitled “Employee Diversity Training Doesn’t Work.” Employers pay millions every year for diversity training, but often the training backfires and blows up in the face of the employer that paid for it. In Hartman v. Pena (1995), the Federal Aviation Administration got sued for sexual harassment after it subjected employees to three days of diversity training that scapegoated white males. After a federal judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit against it, the agency had to pay out a settlement to the white male employee who sued.
Diversity training often imparts bad legal advice to supervisors and employers that can come back to haunt them in court. Experts on civil-rights law can find such training annoying and misleading. Gail Heriot, a law professor and member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, complained about sexual harassment and diversity training she received at the University of San Diego, in a state (California) where harassment training is mandatory under state law. The training sent the message that criticisms of affirmative action by white male employees are something that the employer should “nip in the bud” through investigations.
That was bad legal advice, since criticism of affirmative action is protected against retaliation by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1981, and other laws, even when the affirmative action program criticized turns out to have been perfectly legal. Even court rulings that have upheld private-sector affirmative action programs, such as Sisco v. J.S. Alberici Const. Co. (8th Cir. 1981), have allowed workers to sue employers who punish them for criticizing affirmative action. In the public sector, such punishment also violates the First Amendment. The California Department of Corrections attempted to fire John Wallace after he angrily denounced its affirmative action plan to the Hispanic female employee he perceived as benefiting from it. An appeals court, however, ruled that his criticism of the plan was protected speech, and barred his termination, in California Department of Corrections v. State Personnel Board, 59 Cal.App.4th 131 (1997).
Employers can be quite gullible about the claims made by “diversity” trainers, allowing minority trainers to promote racial stereotypes that would provoke outrage if they were subsequently repeated by white managers or employees. For example, Glenn Singleton, a wealthy “diversity” trainer, has claimed that “white talk” is “impersonal, intellectual, verbal” and “task-oriented,” while “color commentary” is “emotional.” If a white person said this, it would rightly be regarded as a ridiculous, racist stereotype that relegates black people to inferior status. (California Superintendent Jack O’Connell, a white liberal, was publicly embarrassed, and called racist, after he repeated a belief that Singleton shared with him that black people are loud. Singleton also embarrassed the Seattle Schools in a landmark Supreme Court case.)
Major employers have paid out millions of dollars in discrimination claims because of diversity-training programs. One Fortune 500 company paid out tens of millions of dollars in response to a class-action racial discrimination suit by minority employees, which was fueled by remarks managers made after undergoing mandatory diversity training (they joked about jelly beans used in the training to represent minority employees. That, coupled with a poor quality recording in which a manager’s reference to “Saint Nicholas” was misinterpreted as the N-word, created a furor).
Diversity training triggers workplace conflict and lawsuits, by compelling employees to talk about contentious racial or sexual issues, with resulting acrimony, and remarks that are misinterpreted or perceived as racist or sexist. For example, in Stender v. Lucky Stores (1992), statements made by managers during sensitivity training were held by a court to be evidence of discrimination. Some judges take a dim view of diversity training. In Fitzgerald v. Mountain States Tel & Tel. Co. (1995), where employee reactions to diversity training gave rise to a lawsuit, a federal appeals court noted that “diversity training sessions generate conflict and emotion” and that “diversity training is perhaps a tyranny of virtue.”
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.