Sunday, September 26, 2004

Oh good Lord...UPDATED! 

Oh, the crap I get myself into.

A few weeks ago, I posted some strips from a comic called “piled higher and deeper.” The site I got the strips from also had a “grad student forum.” What fun! I signed up, and posted a few responses here and there.

Last week, I saw the question: Ideal mates for grad school? Someone had posted wondering what everyone thought the idea partner for a grad student would be. I thought, well, the science geek/computer geek thing seems to be working out for me and Kevin, so I’ll post a response, but I’ll read what everyone else wrote. The last entry was from someone named Eric. Here it is:

I think that I'm experiencing the ideal situation.

My wife stays at home and cares for our son. Her commitment to our home enables me to work hard, and allows us to have a home life. (Such as eating real meals, having friends over.)

Well, so far it sounds pretty normal. Nice that he makes enough money as a grad student to support his family. Good for him! But, he kept writing:

It's amazing how the current generation of women have been duped into pursueing a career. What's so great about working so hard for $ and the respect of people you don't like? The working world (grad school or not) is a nasty place, and I'm glad my wife doesn't have to be in it. My wife had a career before, now she has a home, and the incredible responsibility of introducing a child to the universe.

Gah! DUPED????? DUPED????

Well, I couldn’t let that one go. So I responded to him:

Well how nice for you that your wife has chosen the role of breeder instead of a career. I'm not knocking it, I'm just saying that those of us who haven't squeezed out a kid yet haven't neccessarily been "duped." I know plenty of women in science who are married, have children and amazing home lives, AND who are very successful PIs. Take my advisor for example. She's got 3 kids, a beautiful home, and a husband who also has a very good job.

Getting back to the original topic, my boyfriend is a computer geek. I think the science geek/computer geek combo is a pretty good match.

Yeah, well, the “breeder” thing was a bit overboard, but I was still steaming over the “duped” thing. I figured that would be the end of it, but today I saw that he wrote back:

Evilsciencechick, you are the perfect product of our age. You instinctively dismiss the position of wife and mother as sub-human, and then reiterate the 'you can have it all' party line.

Fine, you aren't duped. You just despise the feminine traits.

Speaking of being duped, how is it that women have come to believe the old lie that it's in their interest to have sex outside of marriage? Every scumbag that wants to use women and leave them loves that feminist dogma.


Um….I despise feminine traits??? What the hell does that mean? Surely his definition of a woman isn’t just “child bearer.” And where the hell did that “sex outside of marriage” thing come from. That was never brought up, unless he read my response to an earlier thread about the sex lives of graduate students. I had posted that mine was pretty good, but I lived with my boyfriend, so it’s not like I was trolling bars. This guy was now making assumptions about me, and I DIDN’T LIKE IT!!! I had a ranty post all ready, when a friend told me to draw this guy out a little, find out where he’s really coming from. (thanks Ryan! Hi!) So instead I posted:

OK Eric. Please tell me, what ARE femine traits?

Tonight, I got this email:

It seemed that to answer your question would take the thread too far off-
topic. So since you allowed the option, I chose to respond privately.

First, let me say that I understand that it is very hard for educated women
today to seriously consider that it may be beneficial for men and women to have
different roles. We have been taught that all who preceded us were fools and
chauvinists. Nevertheless, I believe that those women who embrace their
femininity, and don't seek to imitate manliness, are happier for it.

So what does it mean to be a woman, anyway? Clearly it implies certain body
parts. In particular, it implies body parts that are used in carrying and
nurturing babies. (What you call breeding.) So I feel safe in concluding that
giving birth and nursing babies are inherently feminine activities. From your
reference to my wife as 'breeder', it seemed to me that you despised me, my
wife, or both of us, because of her devotion to the care of our child and to
our home.

What other traits are feminine? Modesty. Do I really need to justify that?
Men walk around naked in the locker room snapping each other with towels. I
don't know to what degree you despise modesty, but you did boast of your
fornication on a public website. Remarkably unfeminine. The act itself (sex
outside marriage) is very unfeminine. Men have always wanted that, but women
historically have held out for marriage, forcing the man to commit. To put
such a low value on one's body is very unfeminine.

There are many more, but it isn't the best investment of my time for me to list
them. If you want an intelligent and sensible exposition of the distinctions
between men and women, check out "What's Wrong with the World" by G. K.
Chesterton. (Particularly the section on men & women). It's easy reading with
short chapters, even though it's a century old. I'll be very impressed with
your open-mindedness if you read it.

So now I know that this guy’s only view of women is “modest child-bearer.” And I’m thinking, what a shame. How many strong, beautiful women have I met in my life? Women that have careers and families. They may have had to make sacrifices along the way, but does that make them anti-feminine? By this man’s definition, our beautiful Lovisa is anti-feminine, since she is unable to bear children. But anyone who would ever dare suggest that I would happily whack with a baseball bat (pretty unfeminine, huh?), because Lovisa is a beautiful, wonderful, strong woman. And is Aimee unfeminine because she chose to raise her daughter on her own and hold down a full time job? Does she regret the sacrifices she’s made? Doubt it. Would she give it all up so a man could come and marry her and take away all her problems and the stresses of the cruel job world? Well, you’d have to ask her, but I’m doubting it. I could go on and on citing examples from blogville, as well as the “real world,” (heehee!), but I don’t think I need to convince you guys of anything.

And what is the deal with the sex outside of marriage thing? Is…is he calling me a slut? For sleeping with my boyfriend of a year and a half? Self-righteous bastard. Who knew Kevin was sucking away my femininity every time we did the nasty?

And I’m starting to feel bad for his wife. It may be that she is perfectly happy to give up a career to raise children, and more power to her if she is. But she is married to a rather chauvinistic man. Makes me wonder if, should she make the decision one day to return to the job world, would he be at all supportive?

So, great. Just great. This guy is obviously stuck in the year 1954, and absolute NOTHING that I say is going to sway him in any way. So do I really want to feed this guy’s ego by responding?

I don’t particularly need his approval to feel feminine. I am perfectly happy as a feminine woman, sludging through grad school, hopefully on her way to a rewarding career, and happily having premarital sex with her boyfriend. Hooray for fornication! And whether or not I decide to have children in the future does not at all diminish me as a woman.

Oooooo…but I really wish I could give it to this guy. What a jerk.


UPDATE: well, if you go back to the forum, the asshole is getting reamed by plenty of others, and he's doing a piss poor job of defending himself. He's trying to point the finger at ME now, so while I haven't sent him an email reply yet, I decided on one more post for the thread:

end of his last post
Lastly, all of you that speak out for women, how isn't that no one was indignant at the way evilsciencechick refered to my wife as "breeder"? So you defend women as long as they behave liike men, is that it?

my response
No way are you going to drag me down into the little mess you've made yourself, buddy. If you're going to post something ignorant and insensitive on a forum, prepare to be slammed. I used the word "breeder" because it's funny. People who have kids are breeders. I call my friends with kids "breeders." It's a funny word. I think most people that read my comment thought "ha! breeder!" Please develop a sense of humor.

Ladies and gents, he sent me an email in response to my last question, which he never really answered, and went out of his way to attack my intelligence and my way of life. It's actually an entertaining read, all of my friends have gotten a kick out of it. If you'd like a copy, send me an email. I am working on a well thought out response, which he will ignore, because, 1. I am a weak minded woman, and 2. I disagree with him.