Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sex With Someone You Don't Know

Shakespeare called them the “happy few.” I suspect that I belong to the subclass of the “happy few” who had not, until last week, known who Aziz Ansari is.

Now, Ansari has become even more of a household name than he was before—excepting in my household—for having been accused on a website called Babe, of having provided a young woman named Grace—pseudonymously-- with a less than satisfying sexual experience. The incident is apparently extremely common. The fictional version, a story  by Kristen Roupanian, called “Cat Person,” went viral when it appeared in The New Yorker. It spoke to a lot of women, even though it was certainly not very well written.

For those who do not know who Ansari is, Lisa Bonos enlightens us in the Washington Post:

Just because Ansari plays Dev, a self-described male feminist, on his award-winning Netflix show “Master of None,” doesn’t mean he’ll act like a “woke bae” in real life. Just because Ansari has convened focus groups with men and women about what it’s like to date in the Tinder era — and has written a book called “Modern Romance” — doesn’t mean he’ll be respectful or empathic in his own dating life. And just because Ansari sported a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes in support of combating sexual harassment and assault doesn’t mean he’ll be an attentive sexual partner hyper-focused on consent.

Of course, this is all super-sophisticated whining. Surprisingly, many women have come forth to defend Ansari and to pummel Grace. From Whoopi Goldberg to Ashleigh Banfield to Bari Weiss to Caitlyn Flanagan (the latter via Maggie’s Farm) feminist women have stepped forth to defend a male feminist… who is a Muslim, to boot. No one has suggested that their rush to defend Ansari has anything to do with his ethnicity, so I will not go there either.

Of course, Grace is being modest when she calls her date a date. True she did share a pro forma dinner with Ansari, but it was more like a failed hookup than a date. It’s not as though she knew him or that he knew her. They found each other attractive, or something, and decided to hookup. One needs to define the transaction. In another context Grace would have been an aspiring starfucker… not that there’s anything wrong with that. One must mention, with deepest regret, that if Grace feels badly, one reason must have been that she  compromised herself morally when she allowed herself to get into the situation in the first place. 

Before explaining what it really means, allow me to quote some of the fine prose that Grace’s discomfort has elicited.

From Bari Weiss, at the New York Times:

If you are hanging out naked with a man, it’s safe to assume he is going to try to have sex with you.

If the failure to choose a pinot noir over a pinot grigio offends you, you can leave right then and there.

If you don’t like the way your date hustles through paying the check, you can say, “I’ve had a lovely evening and I’m going home now.”

If you go home with him and discover he’s a terrible kisser, say, “I’m out.”

If you start to hook up and don’t like the way he smells or the way he talks (or doesn’t talk), end it.

If he pressures you to do something you don’t want to do, use a four-letter word, stand up on your two legs and walk out his door.

Ansari, like Harvey Weinstein and Charley Rose and Matt Lauer is a feminist. But, so is Bill Clinton. Apparently, feminist men believe that they can take more liberties with women… because they have gotten away with taking more liberties with women.

Weiss continues:

Aziz Ansari sounds as if he were aggressive and selfish and obnoxious that night. Isn’t it heartbreaking and depressing that men — especially ones who present themselves publicly as feminists — so often act this way in private? Shouldn’t we try to change our broken sexual culture? And isn’t it enraging that women are socialized to be docile and accommodating and to put men’s desires before their own? Yes. Yes. Yes.

But the solution to these problems does not begin with women torching men for failing to understand their “nonverbal cues.” It is for women to be more verbal. It’s to say, “This is what turns me on.” It’s to say, “I don’t want to do that.” And, yes, sometimes it means saying goodbye.

Weiss believes that most women should just say No… should assert themselves, should lean in—but not for a kiss. It sounds simple and easy. If so many women do not do it, then clearly the problem lies elsewhere.

Caitlyn Flanagan offers some salient and astute commentary:

Was Grace frozen, terrified, stuck? No. She tells us that she wanted something from Ansari and that she was trying to figure out how to get it. She wanted affection, kindness, attention. Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested. What she felt afterward—rejected yet another time, by yet another man—was regret. And what she and the writer who told her story created was 3,000 words of revenge porn. The clinical detail in which the story is told is intended not to validate her account as much as it is to hurt and humiliate Ansari. Together, the two women may have destroyed Ansari’s career, which is now the punishment for every kind of male sexual misconduct, from the grotesque to the disappointing.

What is really going on here? What is the problem? By all accounts such experiences are commonplace among young women today. Apparently, five decades of strenuous feminism has not improved the quality of women’s casual sexual encounters. You've come a long way, baby!

Now, feminists are advising women to learn to say yes or no, to say it clearly and loudly, to define exactly what they want and to demand that they get it. Men, of course, are told that they must be more empathetic, more sensitive to women’s needs, more attuned to women’s nonverbal signals.

Have you noticed that these standard prescriptions are more the problem than the solution. At the very least, they advise a role reversal, where men become softer and women become harder. Sorry for the vulgar reference, but at least the point will be clearer. Between us, if women become harder and men become softer there will be no casual sexual encounters… so one understands why women have been loath to adopt such feminist-approved posturing.

The problem, if may be so bold, is that women like Grace or like Margot from “Cat Person” are engaging in random anonymous sexual encounters with men they barely know… because they have been told and have had it beaten into them… that they must do it to show that they are liberated. These situations were not prescribed by the patriarchy, but were imposed by feminists… especially those who insisted that women have sex like men.

One must mention, in passing, that the feminist caricature of male sexual experience is just that... a caricature. In the world where women sell sex for money, among their most valuable offerings is something called the girlfriend experience. 

So, one part of their mind places them in awkward and embarrassing positions—because they have been told that they must overcome their sense of shame. Grace, we recall, disrobed for Ansari, performed oral sex on him, had him go down on her. At the least, she had taken leave of her own modesty. And she did not feel very good about it. Duh!

Why? Because he was a stranger. Most women have a functioning moral sense. They might override it at the behest of their feminist overlords, but it still exists and it prevents them from getting very involved in these hookups. They voluntarily place themselves in situations that they should not be getting involved in, and then detach psychologically and emotionally… which ruins the mood.

Of course, since they have been indoctrinated in feminist ideology, they blame it in on men. Clearly, men are pigs. (Except perhaps for Muslim men.) But the situations that are causing these modern liberated women so much distress have been prescribed as a rite of feminist passage… allow  yourself to be traumatized by doing something that you know you do not want to do… and blame it on a man. It will make you miserable but will make you a better feminist.

As for the solution for modern women: sex with someone you know... and know well... and who has made something resembling a commitment to you. Otherwise, stick with The Rabbit.

Apology Pending... Not!

Hopefully, the frenzy can now die down and those who will try anything to destroy the Trump presidency will now move on to another slander. In a way, they already have. The “shithouse” caper, ginned up to keep certain segments of the Democratic base in line and motivated to vote, has already taken center stage.

Anyway, yesterday Trump’s physician, who was also Obama’s and Bush’s physician reported on the results of the president’s Friday physical exam. Since a flaky psychiatrist from Yale, one Bandy X. Lee had taken it upon herself to diagnose the president—to the chagrin and dismay of the American Psychiatric Association— we do well to examine the conclusions drawn by a physician who did examine the president.

The New York Times reports that Trump achieved a perfect score on a cognitive test:

President Trump’s White House physician said Tuesday that the president received a perfect score on a cognitive test designed to screen for neurological impairment, which the military doctor said was evidence that Mr. Trump does not suffer from mental issues that prevent him from functioning in office.

“I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy and the White House physician, told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr. Trump’s first physical examination as president was highly anticipated, in part because of an increasing number of public questions about his sometimes erratic behavior during his first year in office. A book published this month, “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, asserted that even Mr. Trump’s own advisers and associates questioned the president’s fitness for office.

Mr. Trump, the doctor said, asked for the cognitive test to answer his critics and attempt to quell questions about his mental abilities.

Over all, Dr. Jackson said, Mr. Trump’s health was “excellent,” with mostly normal results on a battery of tests and examinations. He said Mr. Trump, 71, has remarkably good cardiac health, probably because he does not smoke or drink alcohol.

We emphasize that while Bandy and her intrepid band of culture warriors saw clear signs of neurological impairment, the truth lay elsewhere. Asked for comment by the Times, Bandy responded that a test for neurological impairment is not the same as a test for psychiatric disorder, Trump’s physicians explained that he had spent a great deal of time talking with Trump and saw no signs of psychiatric illness. One notes that there is really no such thing as a test for psychiatric disorders.

Anyway, when it came to a Trump instance of slurred speech, the culprit was not neurological, but was Sudafed… which produces dry mouth:

Dr. Jackson said that the tests all were normal, leading him to believe that the slurred words might have been caused by Sudafed, a medicine for nasal congestion, that he prescribed for the president. He said Mr. Trump does not wear dentures “of any kind,” a popular theory on Twitter for the slurred words.

In response to speculation on television and elsewhere that the president has mental health problems, Dr. Jackson said, “In my opinion, that’s just tabloid psychiatry.”

The president’s most fierce critics are unlikely to be satisfied by Dr. Jackson’s pronouncements, but even top aides to former President Barack Obama were quick to praise Dr. Jackson, who also served as the White House physician to Mr. Obama.

I would like to say that those who have maligned Trump’s mental health owe him and the nation an apology. If you believe that these people have enough integrity to accept that they were wrong and that they owe us an apology, then you seriously misunderstand fanatics.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

France's Migrant Problem

Compared with the Paris Metro New York’s subway system feels like it belongs in a third-world hellhole. It is unpleasant, disagreeable, dangerous and often breaks down.

In contrast, the Paris metro is quiet, agreeable, reliable… a wonderful representation of a first world country. French citizens are proud of their mass transit system, as well they should be.

Of course, Paris is not what it used to be. Today, it has a refugee problem. Among the most stark pieces of evidence of that problem is this: subway conductors now refuse to stop at Metro stations in some dangerous parts of town. That, my friends, is third-worldism at its best. It reminds me of the times when I was being driven through Salvador, Bahia… where the drivers routinely refused to stop at red lights, because it was too dangerous.

The Daily Mail reports on the situation in Paris:

Subway drivers are refusing to stop at some stations in Paris because of a surge in violent crime at some stops, it has emerged.

Frightened drivers say they are not calling at certain stations in the French capital's north east in order to 'protect passengers' and themselves.

Some stations are increasingly being used by crack dealers, they say, with Marx Dormoy on line 12 and Marcadet-Poissonniers on lines 12 and 4 said to be among the worst hit.

According to The Local, the Unsa union representing drivers said the 'number of attacks on travelers and RATP staff is becoming increasingly dramatic'.

The union's Jean-Marc Judith said: 'Between the brawls that occur on the platforms, which sometimes end up happening on the train or across the tracks, you could hit someone, or crush them.'

I will not tell you anything about the ethnic makeup of these neighborhoods… because I do not need to.

But, what is French president Macron doing about it. At the least, he is addressing the problem. He has even gone to African countries to tell them that his country does not have open borders. Macron is young and brilliant. He is a reformed Socialist, become centrist. He controls the French parliament and can get his agenda passed.

Of course, some members of the dying Socialist party are complaining about his policies. Before casting judgment, we can examine them, as does the Washington Post this morning. The story’s concept is that, lo and behold, a president who had promised to be open to migrants has begun to crack down on them. Macron says he is open to political asylum seekers, and rejected the call to accept more economic migrants. Obviously, he is manifesting considerable skill in framing the issue and in acting on it. 


In July, the new president — an avowed globalist — seemed to make good on his earlier campaign promises of goodwill toward migrants. “From now until the end of the year, I don’t want anyone on the streets, in the forests,” he said in a speech at a camp in Orléans, vowing “to accommodate everyone in a dignified way” and to establish “emergency accommodation everywhere.”

But there was a fine print to these remarks, a subtle distinction lost on many of those who rushed to express their support for the new president on social media. Macron was technically referring only to political asylum seekers or, as he put it, “those who are persecuted.” By contrast, the people merely seeking a better life in France were a different story. As Macron said in the same speech: “No country can take in all the economic migrants.”

To that end, Macron has spent considerable amounts of time since his election with Libyan and African leaders, devising checkpoints overseas intended to sift the asylum seekers from potential economic migrants and curb the total number of migrants actually arriving in France.

Now, the French government has been removing migrants from the streets… especially in North Paris. They have not made Paris into a sanctuary city and have not adopted a kind and gentle approach:

On a domestic level, the French government has wasted no time in pursuing Macron’s promise to get migrants off the streets and out of the forests, evacuating people from makeshift camps across Paris and elsewhere and sending them to shelters throughout the country. Respecting “dignity,” however, has not been a priority, critics say.

Over the summer, a Human Rights Watch report alleged that French riot police — the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité, or CRS — “routinely use pepper spray on child and adult migrants while they are sleeping or in other circumstances in which they pose no threat.” Migrants in Calais recounted similar experiences to The Washington Post, and an internal investigation launched by the French Interior Ministry in response to the Human Rights Watch report ultimately ruled that police abuses were “plausible.”

Of course, the empathy brigade finds this unacceptable. Complaints are coming from the left.

“The values of France are threatened by the fact that, little by little, the idea has taken root that we can treat people in an inhuman way,” said Jacques Attali, a prominent economist and former Macron adviser, speaking on France’s BFM-TV on Monday.

“I was in Calais and I saw with my own eyes the police gas migrants,” he said.

Of course, we would like to know the context of these “gassings.” We would like more information about the “jungle” in Calais… encampment that the government has tried to break up.

We will not join Attali in whining about the fate of these migrants. After all, the French government is happily offering them a cash payment to leave the country and to return home.

What Is Baby Brain?

What good is science if it cannot invent idiotic phrases to describe biological phenomena? In this case, researchers have discovered that what they call "baby brain" is real.

Other researchers, especially at the University of Barcelona, have tracked the changes that take place in a pregnant woman’s brain. Most of them involve allow the expectant mother to have more of the intuitive skills and sensitivity that she will need in order to attend to the needs of a newborn. Since men do not undergo the same brain change, no one with half a functioning brain would suggest that men can adequately serve as replacement mothers.

One must also mention that some commentators have suggested that pregnant women suffering from baby brain are becoming smarter, and more capable of doing their corporate jobs. The Deakin University scientists have put the lie to this absurdity. 

If they hadn’t we always have the example of Marissa Mayer, chosen to be the CEO of Yahoo! while pregnant… because the Board of Yahoo! understood better than most that pregnancy and childbirth had no effect on a woman’s capacity to function at the highest corporate level.

Remind me, how successful was CEO Mayer at Yahoo?

The Daily Mail reports:

Research has proven 'baby brain' as a genuine phenomenon which affects the functionality of four in five pregnant women. 

The research conducted by Victoria's Deakin University found the majority of expectant mothers suffer from forgetfulness, reading difficulties, confusion, disorientation and poor concentration.

'Baby brain' was found to be most prominent during the third trimester of pregnancy, where functionality and memory is 'significantly reduced', the Daily Telegraph reported. 

If you require a consolation, or better a feminist misinterpretation, the researchers suggest that baby brain does not impair cognitive functioning. Because forgetfulness, reading difficulties, confusion, disorientation and poor concentration are not cognitive functions. It’s good to see ideology corrupt science.

But although the phenomenon is real and quantifiable, Prof Byrne said its effect is minimal and still allows pregnant women to perform within the normal range of cognitive function.  

She added: 'It’s not something that is at a level that we need to worry about, it is not going to affect how a woman does her job and day-to-day life.'

The cognitive changes are suspected to be related to the brain 'reorganising itself' and prioritising other tasks during pregnancy, Prof Byrne said.    

The issue is: what precisely does she mean by a normal range of cognitive functioning. Does that mean that she can function perfectly well as a real estate agent? Does it mean that she cannot function as a CEO, which requires a much higher level of cognitive functioning?

Importantly, and to be fair to everyone, only 80% of women suffer baby brain. This means that some pregnant women do not have the cognitive impairments that accompany it. 

California, There It Goes!

Tell me that this does not bring a smile to your jaded heart? California, the home of moral preening and celebrity virtue signaling, a place where every illegal immigrant is offered a warm bath of empathy, has become the poorest state in America. Even a gaggle of high tech billionaires cannot raise the misbegotten state above the bottom rung on the wealth index.

Does this tell us what happens when your sanctuary cities and sanctuary state open their arms wide to hordes of illiterate migrants? Writing an op ed in the Los Angeles Times (via Matt Walsh via Maggie’s Farm) KerryJackson has the grim details:

Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

Nearly 20% of the residents of the Golden State are poor. And that includes all of the government assistance that the state doles out.

One problem is that California does not make welfare contingent on work.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

As you know, Mexican immigrants to America are invariably the best and the brightest the world has ever seen. They are all high school valedictorians, Navy SEALs and high tech entrepreneurs. Thus we find it more than passing strange that 55% of immigrant families are on welfare. Stranger still, more than 40% of California families do not speak English at home.

And also, the hand of big government has made housing unaffordable. Why? Because of land use regulations and environmentalist dictates. Nature remains pristine. The state is suffering a housing shortage… that has caused the price of housing to increase beyond what most people can afford:

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

As you might have guessed, environmental regulations have also made energy much more expensive:

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.

And, of course, increases in the minimum wage have thrown many low wage workers out of the job market:

Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.

California, there it goes!

[I am happy to include Lennie's excellent poem, from the comments:

California there I go
Back to the land of ice and snow
Where bowers of flowers
Are dead until spring
But left wing @ssh*les
Dont run everything
A corn fed cutie says dont be late
That's why I wont hesitate
To just get on that interstate
California there I go

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Damsel in Distress and Her Fuckboy

Apparently, young women are under siege. They are being harassed and distracted from work by predatory men. The offending men need to be destroyed and the damsels in distress must be protected, by force of law.

Of course, we all want to hear out women’s voices on these matters. Our celebrity overlords, the high-school dropouts, have told us that we must. So we will.

Today, thanks to Heather MacDonald (via Maggie’s Farm) we cast a wary eye on a website called: Total Sorority Move. It tells us what is going through the mind of some of today’s sorority girls, the ones who value modest ladylike behavior.

Naturally, we read advice about how to deal with “unsolicited dick pics,” but we also read about how to judge your potential “fuckboy.” The clue is his taste in music. And then, chosen at random are articles entitled:

Nothing Ruins a Relationship Faster Than a Closeup Butthole Pic.

Am I a Prude Because I’ve Never Gone Down on a Girl.

All I Want for Christmas Is Not Having My Period Over the Summer

Stop Sleeping with Boys Your Vagina Only Feels “Meh” About

I Accidentally Lesbian Sexted My Straight Male Boss

If this represents some of what some women are putting out in the world, then perhaps some male behavior becomes more intelligible. 

In the meantime, MacDonald offers some useful analysis of the current #MeToo mania. She opens by remarking that, in the past, in the bad old days that Carolyn Hax disdained in a post yesterday, women’s default position for sex was: No. They did not have to explain why they did not want to have sex. They were assumed not to be going to have sex, regardless of whether or not they wanted it. Of course, liberation changed No to Yes.

MacDonald writes:

Traditional mores set the default for premarital sex at “no,” at least for females. This default recognized the different sexual drives of males and females and the difficulties of bargaining with the male libido. The default “no” to premarital sex meant that a female did not have to negotiate the refusal with every opportuning male; it was simply assumed. She could, of course, cast aside the default assumption; that was her power and prerogative. But she did not have to provide reasons for shutting down a sexual advance.

Now the default position is Yes. Obviously, this creates some very inconvenient situations:

The default is now “yes” to premarital sex; it is a “no” that has to be extricated in media res. No cultural taboos remain around premarital sex; those represented a repressive version of female sexuality, declared the liberationists…. “We have sex with guys, because sometimes it’s just easier to do it than to have the argument about not doing it,” observed Veronica Ruckh. Ruckh quotes other females who have been defeated by the “yes” default for sex: “To be honest, it would have been awkward to say no, so I just did it.” “Sometimes you have to have lunch with girls you don’t want to have lunch with, and sometimes you have to have sex with boys you don’t want to have sex with.”

This state of affairs would have been unthinkable 60 years ago. Then, there was no cultural compulsion to have “sex with boys you didn’t want to have sex with.” The assumption was that of course you would not, and that assumption gave females power to control the outcome. Now, however, females have to go mano a mano with the male libido in a realm filled with indirection, embarrassment, and uncertainty. The male libido will win in many of those cases.

And now, feminists want to regulate sexual behavior through the force of law, by policing it. Is it not strange that the behavior touted by the Sorority Girls website is taking place on campuses where policing sex has become the norm?

Treating the untamed male libido as a political problem calls forth a legal remedy. The sex bureaucracy is exploding on college campuses; college administrators are busily writing highly technical rules for sex, the very domain of the irrational. The unstated goal of those rules is to move the default for premarital sex back to “no” by requiring “affirmative consent.” But law is less effective than informal norms in regulating behavior, especially in a post-liberation environment that has stripped females of the protections of modesty and restraint. Traditional culture tried to civilize the male libido by celebrating the virtues of gentlemanliness and respect. Under a traditional concept of propriety, masturbating in front of a female acquaintance (as Louis C.K. was wont to do) would have been unthinkable, a violation of the lady’s modesty and the gentleman’s dignity. Now, however, with “ladies” and “gentlemen” banished from our social universe, and even from language, such behavior is apparently no longer unthinkable. Most men would not feel themselves harassed if a female acquaintance masturbated in front of them; they might even consider themselves lucky. That women recoil from this same behavior reveals a fundamental divide between male and female experiences of the body and sex.

Either regulate it by norms and count on people to do the right thing because they want to do the right thing or let ‘er rip and depend on the campus police to control its excesses.

Since the current national conversation, which is certainly not rational, makes women look weak, it does not advance women’s economic and career interests.

MacDonald explains:

But if women are so vulnerable to advertising and manipulation, why should we be bootstrapping them into positions of economic and political authority? 

We might like to overlook the fact, but MacDonald reminds us that some young women have not been averse to using their charms and their bodies to get ahead in their careers:

And they are not averse to exploiting their sex appeal in order to get ahead. An internationally famous opera conductor stopped visiting the dressing rooms of female soloists unaccompanied after two singers made passes, but women in the orchestra and other singers continue to throw themselves at him, according to an assistant.

Who knew?

The Case of the Homicidal Nanny

I find this all to be more than passing strange. Canadian journalist Isabel Vincent, a woman who has written several books based on real events, especially real crimes, criticizes French novelist Leila Slimani for having written a novel based on a real event.

Slimani’s novel, The Perfect Nanny is about to appear in English translation. It has already been a sensation in France, garnering the author important prizes and massive sales. The book takes its “inspiration,” if you want to call it that, from a New York murder case. A nanny entrusted with the care of two small children from the Krim family... up and murdered both of them one day.

Vincent offers her misguided opinion:

Leila Slimani’s novel “The Perfect Nanny” has become a global bestseller, winning critical acclaim for its young Moroccan-French author. It’s a well-told tale written in sparse, economical prose — a gripping read that hit US shelves last week.

But its premise left me cold, partly because Slimani, writing from her Parisian aerie, capitalized on a real-life New York family’s actual horror — the bloody and senseless murder of two young children.

Slimani, 36, said she was inspired by the horrific deaths of Lucia and Leo Krim, the two young children who were found stabbed in the blood-soaked bathtub of their well-appointed Upper West Side apartment a few days before Halloween in 2012. Their nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, was charged with their murder, and her trial could begin shortly after her next court appearance on Jan. 22.

Note the word choice. Vincent, who writes about crime stories, accuses Slimani of having capitalized on a murder. If Slimani had reported the facts of the case-- instead of having written a novel-- would that have meant that she was or was not capitalizing.

Vincent notes that the novel does not directly report the events, but takes inspiration from them… much as an artist might draw a cityscape or a landscape or a true crime story or the image of Kronos devouring one of his sons. For the record, the last was by Francisco Goya.

The statement is completely ignorant. While Vincent mumbles something about how novelists should be free to write about what they please, she has accused a novelist of exploiting grief for personal gain. Might one say that same about any journalist who covers bad news or of any artist who creates a work based on a horrific crime?

Apparently, Vincent is especially upset that Slimani has made a lot of money  from writing her novel. Slimani also now advises President Macron on literary matters.

Therefore, Vincent, self-appointed armchair psychiatrist, believes that Slimani should feel guilty for profiting from someone else’s tragedy.

And yet, Slimani did not write about the tragedy directly. She reset it in Paris. She was inspired, if that is the word, by the tragedy. Vincent is still upset by it all:

Does she feel any guilt for benefiting from such a painful event?

Slimani shrugged off the question and said she was focused on the relationship of the nanny with the professional couple — Myriam and Paul — in the novel. She claims only to have used the Krim tragedy as a jumping off point for her book.

But the fictional characters are eerily similar to real life. Although the setting is Paris’ elegant 9th Arrondissement in May instead of Manhattan in October, the fictional professional couple treat Louise, their middle-aged nanny, in much the same way the Krims did — with great care, taking her on a family vacation and bragging to friends that they had hired the modern equivalent of Mary Poppins.

So what. What if they are similar to real life. Slimani is a novelist. She has what we call artistic license. The story was compelling and she made it into what is apparently a very good book Shouldn’t we praise her accomplishment rather than resent it?

Why don’t women support other women? Why does a woman who writes about real life tragedies attack another woman for writing a novel about a real life tragedy? Is it all about book sales and material success?

Or is it simply the fact that Slimani is also young and beautiful?


This author is cashing in on a real-life NYC tragedyImage result for leila slimani
This author is cashing in on a real-life NYC tragedy
This author is cashing in on a real-life NYC tragedy