Category Archives: Psychological and Sociological Science

A Post List

I keep failing to link to my work over at the Da Tech Guy. So I’ve got quite the list.  As you will see, I am really stuck on the subject of education, but hey.  I’s kinda my raisin duh etra lately. I did throw in a little about food, and about introversion.

Dot Gov Sites for Children: We Make Propaganda Fun!

Our History, Gone Like a Dream of Yesterday

Common Core Standards:  The Measuring Stick with no Measurements

The Culmination of Progressive Education

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

The Post in Which the Introvert Navel-Gazes

Okay then, folks.  Click em and read em if you have the time and inclination.  I sure appreciate every single reader I get, now that I’m no longer as dependable nor sociable a blogger.





The Tragedy of The Commons, Children’s Edition

The whole “the kids don’t belong to you; they belong to the community” bit is just a less cagey way of saying “it takes a village,” so at least Melissa Harris-Perry gets points for honesty.

My favorite part of the “All Your Children Are Belong To Us” MSNBC Promo comes at the end:

“Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”

I marvel at the sheer act of willful blindness required in order to believe such a complete load of male bovine manure.  I mean, let’s all apply this to our front yards, shall we, and then hold our breath while we wait for the neighbors to come mow ours?

You know, corporations are a kind of microcosm of the larger society.  Corporate-y type folks who make their living ensuring that a corporation “makes better investments” have noticed that the truth is exactly inverse to Ms. Harris-Perry’s statement:

When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.

And haven’t the sociological/psychological types done study after study and pretty much come up with the same truth regarding human nature?

I wonder if Ms. Harris-Perry, being a good collectivist and all, would respect Garrett Hardin‘s belief that human overpopulation is a serious global threat?  If so, maybe she could also put some merit into his concept of The Tragedy of the Commons:

“In 1974 the general public got a graphic illustration of the “tragedy of the commons” in satellite photos of the earth. Pictures of northern Africa showed an irregular dark patch 390 square miles in area. Ground-level investigation revealed a fenced area inside of which there was plenty of grass. Outside, the ground cover had been devastated.

The explanation was simple. The fenced area was private property . . . .”

Yeah.  Let’s all ignore a truth so obvious that even a Malthusian human ecologist with totalitarian tendencies can see it, and let’s “break through” the private idea that kids belong to their parents.  Let’s engage in an experiment called The Tragedy of the Commonly Cared-for Children, because Miss MSNBC Lady says things’ll turn out just peachy.

Good grief.

I haven’t seen a more sure sign of the decline of our society since I first saw somebody pushing one of those dog strollers through the park.

Yeah, that's right.  I'm hating on the cute dog's stroller.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m hating on the cute dog’s stroller.

Feminism and Politics

The whole “female” aspect of politics sure is running strong lately.  First, it was the Sandra Fluke thing, about which I didn’t bother to post.

Then, I got all et up with the “Top 25 Political Moms” contest, which turned into a no-holds-barred, claws-out feminist v. conservative battle-to-the-death, or something.  (Like poor old Henry Gunther, I got cut off at the very end, landing in #26.)

Next came Hilary Rosen’s new and exciting mashup of Marxist class warfare with The Mommy Wars.  Then, I get this tweet about whether the gender gap in voting might be permanent.  (I know a solution to this problem, but a lot of you won’t like it . . .)

In the midst of all this, here I am trying to prepare for Offend A Feminist week.

This is my credulous face.

And preparation I sorely need, for although I am female and therefore qualified in at least some respect to comment on All Things Feminine, my view of “feminism” as a field of sociological thought is about the same as my view of “psychiatry” as a field of medicine, which is to say I view them dimly and from as far away as possible, wearing my credulous face all the while.

My understanding of “feminism” was no better back in the day when I fancied myself a feminist-type professional.  If the “old me” were forced to pull a definition out of her nether regions, she might have said this:  feminism is the political movement which gave women their due rights, requiring men to treat them as equals instead of as second class citizens.

Thanks to anecdotal evidence and additional experience, I am now more aware of the leftist underpinnings of the feminist movement.  Beyond that, I can’t say much more.  I’ve never taken a class, nor read a book on the topic.  Blog buds like American Housewife and Missy Sandbox clearly know more.  (Perhaps you kind ladies can gin up a “feminism for dummies” post for the likes of me.  Ha.)

As much as I might wish otherwise, the feminist movement is not relegated to the history books.  This movement is alive and well today.  So, I have made an effort to educate myself about what “feminism” means in the political landscape of 2012.  I used the “Top 25 Political Moms” contest site as a starting point.  Here’s what I found.

Over at PhD in Parenting (via Mamafesto), I learned that the Mommy Wars are not about different opinions on parenting.  Rather, the problem is we don’t have the right governmental policies in place to support mothers:

“As with real wars, these mommy wars are not truly about a clash between moms, but about a system that has let people down, poured fuel on the fire, and left each family to fend for themselves.”

If Congress would just subsidize day care, pay for all employees’ maternal and paternal leave, and fast track that universal health care (freeing folks up from those healthcare-covering jobs they hate), then maybe the Mommy Wars would just go away.  Don’t worry, the government will get the funds needed from those evil rich people, Insha’ Allah.

Over at Feminste, I learned that requiring a single mom to work in order to get federal assistance is really, really mean because:

“The crux of the issue is that Mitt Romney’s definition of ‘stay-at-home mom,’ like his definition of ‘good mom,’ is limited to women in his racial group and economic class. I would wager a lot of money that when Romney made those comments in January, he wasn’t even thinking of the term ‘stay-at-home mom’ — because a low-income mother who relies on state aid is not a stay-at-home mom. She’s a welfare cheat, or lazy, or a drain on society. She’s undignified.”

Of course, this quote is not based on Mr. Romney’s own words, but from the feminist’s interpretation of conservative fiscal policy.  Funny, how not wanting to pay an endless stream of federal tax dollars for an activity the government cannot control (motherhood) gets demonized as the act of a meanie who thinks moms are lazy, cheating, and undignified.

Over at The Radical Housewife, I learned that “FREE FEMALE LABOR PROPS UP OUR ECONOMY,” which is bad, because it helps prop up capitalism.  And capitalism is bad.  Apparently, the feminists of yore screwed up Big Time, because:

“The revolution should have demanded as many stay-at-home dads as female CEOs.  But it didn’t.  The goals of the movement became allied with making money, which is one reason why feminism gets accused of being anti-family.  Family is so precious is cannot be allied with something DIRTY like MAKING MONEY!  It’s the madonna/whore binary all over again.”

Okey-dokey, then.  Does anyone see why I try to stay clear of feminism?

Over at the Monologues of Dissent, mercifully no opinion is offered as to the wisdom or lucidity of Hilary Rosen, Sandra Fluke nor anyone else as of late (save Governor Walker).  Still, I learned that the stereotyping of girls as the ones who like to attend dances, and boys as the ones who could care less about dances, is a form of gender discrimination that should be combatted.


If we humans don’t have real problems, we’ll just make ‘em up if we need ‘em, right?

Finally, over at One Flew Over The Playpen, I learned how the government is the entity that will resolve our “Mommy War” differences, if only we let it:

“The real story is that it IS a major problem that every mother does not have the ability to stay home for more than a handful of weeks when her children are born.  And by stay home, I mean the very hard job of providing the constant, grueling care that goes into raising a child.  Our government simply does not truly value the importance of giving women this time with their family, no matter what their economic situation is.

Stay-at-home moms – you know this.  You know you WANT every woman to have the ability to stay at home with their kids during the day if that’s right for them . . . .  So if for even a second, you are feeling compassionate for picked-on Ann Romney, think about whether her husband as president would do anything to make raising children easier for women.  Does he support extended paid maternity leave?” /italics added/

Ah, there you go.  American moms don’t have value unless the federal government recognizes them with cash dollars.  So. . . if Romney started touting extended paid maternity leave, would he then become a darling of the feminists?

/cue crickets/

Clever, too, is the insistence that I, as a stay-at-home mom, “know” that I want every woman to have the ability to stay at home with her kids.

I want every woman to have the ability to stay at home with her kids?  Well, sure.  That would be great, if possible.   Unfortunately, some women sabotage their own best interests, including their ability to stay at home with the kids.  Unfortunately, some men sabotage their partner’s best interests, including their partner’s ability to stay at home with the kids.

The government cannot fix these problems.

I want every woman to get exactly what they want out of life.  I want them to be smart enough to realize that libertarian and conservative policies will maximize their liberty.

I want them to have a pony, too.

The thing is, not every woman wants a pony.  Not every woman wants to marry wisely.  Not every woman wants to be a stay at home mom.

And that’s okay.  I’m totally cool with that.

I wish the left were cool with that, too.

Cross posted at Disrupt The Narrative


Oh, goody!  A study in the December issue of APA’s Journal of Family Psychology concludes that “working moms feel better than stay-at-home moms.”

Could it be?  Ah, yes, it’s a twofer, combining the emotion-prevoking Mommy Wars with yet another Study of Dubious Utility.

A Google search unearthed the opinion of a professional feminist, which I’m not exactly sure what that is, other than someone I’m not likely to agree with often, but by golly I agree on this one:

 ” . . . personally, I think there are some days when I am [happy], some days when I’m not. This isn’t a race. There isn’t a shortage of happiness in this world, and the way people are splitting ‘The Motherhood’ into two camps just [bleeps] me off.”

Well, yes.

Something else is annoying, though, beyond the dubious utility and the arbitrary division.

Who likes it when other people think they know best?  So when I hear this:

“lead author . . . says the real message of her study is this: get a job, whether full-time or part-time,”

my reaction is, don’t tell me what to do.

The vagaries of life haven’t offered me much in the way of universal truths, but one thing I can say with certainty:  staying at home doesn’t make me unhappy, and likewise working wouldn’t make me unhappy, either.

I make myself unhappy.

That’s right, I cause my own unhappiness–and sometimes outright misery–no matter what my daily circumstances, which have varied greatly in the last forty years, I might add, and through all those changes I have always managed to maintain an impressively unhealthy level of worry, anxiety, insecurity, and general malaise.

Furthermore, no amount of scientific study, psychological profiling, or helpful advice will decrease said level of worry, anxiety, insecurity, general malaise, and outright misery.  I’ll lower the levels when it suits me, if it suits me, on my own time, and in my own way.

Just so we’re clear on the matter.

Ohhhhhhh . . . Who Lives In A Pineapple Under The Sea?

SpongeBob SquarePants!

Absorbent and yellow and porous is he . . .

SpongeBob SquarePants!

If nautical nonsense be something you wish . . .

SpongeBob SquarePants!

Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!

Or . . . maybe not.  Study:  SpongeBob Causes Attention Problem in Kids.

Tartar sauce!  If that’s true, we’re in trouble in this house.  My kids weren’t just raised on SpongeBob, they were steeped in it:

The younger at 18 months.

Must so many people insist on conducting studies of dubious utility? Holy fish paste, I bet we can just skip the scientific studies and stipulate that TV is not generally not good for human grey matter.  We could probably even agree that the more “frenzied” fare is worse than calmer stuff.

But why, pray tell, does the study target SpongeBob specifically, while the contrasted educational show is generic: “a truncated episode of a realistic Public Broadcasting Service cartoon about a typical US preschool-aged boy?”

Furthermore, why is PBS featured as the purveyor of highbrow, educational stuff?  Don’t they know that PBS is responsible for introducing poor, helpless, innocent preschool children to . . . Boohbah?!?  (I dare the uninitiated to click the YouTube link and watch.  The whole.  Thing.  Triple dog dare.)

Are Squidward’s tenticle-prints all over this so-called study? Or is a larger evil behind the libel . . .

Uh, I mean a smaller evil.

But seriously now.  Like most shows, SpongeBob has lived past its expiration date.  The new stuff is sadly unfunny.  Yet, who can deny the comedic genius of episodes like Shanghaied, Frankendoodle, and Idiot Box?  How about Hooky, Life of Crime, or No Free Rides?

What about the creme de la creme:  SpongeBob ScaredyPants?
If you aren’t familiar with any of this, well, barnacles.  You should be.  And for the record, SpongeBob is neither rude nor crass.  Annoying, maybe, but that’s just part of the charm of this sweet and terribly naive guy, uh, invertebrate.
Anyway, I hope the study’s authors are not typical academics.  If they are, they really shouldn’t complain about cartoons causing attention deficits.  After all, if you’re paying attention, you’re probably not voting Democrat . . .

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