“Listening to Obama is like sex”

“The worst it ever is is excellent”.**

This is from Republican strategist Alex Castellanos on CNN, who says a friend of his said it.  And, of course, all of us who have been watching women politicians described inappropriately in very personal terms might well wonder whether this is a break through.  Omigod.  A guy is finally getting it.

Well, I don’t know that I can think this through, so I’ll just remark that I’m leary of celebrating automatically when Obama seems to be treated at least somewhat in the way women are.  Racism and sexism can look very similar.

What do you think?  And don’t forget Jender’s earlier post on presidential objectification.


**Is the sentiment a clue to the sex/gender of the  person speaking?


Suppose someone were thinking of a collection on such a thing, and there were publishers of a like mind, and even co-editors.  One very initial step might be to ask for suggestions from an audience like this.  Suggestions, that is, for possible subjects and possible authors.

Possible subjects might  include things like pop culture products, ethics & value theory, stereotypes. It would be wonderful if the supposed person were to be given more ideas here!

If  you yourself would like to mention something off line, please write me at jj.second@gmail.com.

(This is preliminary to any cfp, but I’m going to put that label in because  it will turn up in any cfp search.)

“Why is her paycheck smaller?”

asks the NY Times.  The answer we get is almost annoningly vague and incompete. 

Nearly every occupation has the gap — the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the size of the paycheck brought home by a woman and the larger one earned by a man doing the same job. Economists cite a few reasons: discrimination as well as personal choices within occupations are two major factors, and part of the gap can be attributed to men having more years of experience and logging more hours.

For example, we don’t know what ‘men having more years of experience’ is supposed to consist in.  Are the average ages higher for the men?  Or is it independent of the fact that in many fields woman are relative newcomers?   And the logging more hours:  Are they suggesting that men worked longer days,  or are they thinking that women tend to take off more time?   Or what?  Are we seeing the ramifications of an inequality of responsibility for the home?  Is pregnancy a significant problem?  (Duh.)  What’s going on if having a baby can cost you 20 to 40% of your salary?  Doesn’t think look like more than an individual’s problem resulting from  “personal choices”?

Still, discrimination is first on their list.  IN ADDITION,  there is a great interactive chart, with fields broken down more than I have seen in some time.  Thus with in the ‘service sector’ jobs like sales clerk is separated from table serving and post office clerking.  It’s worth book marking; it looks very useful indeed.

Some interesting bits:

among medical scientists, women earn 37% less.

educational adminstrators?  Women earn29% less.

Postal service clerks?  Women make 4%  more..

The Sunday Cat watches a commercial

and feels pretty depressed in the end.  Taken at face value it is great good fun.   Ha.

Despite the pleasure  of Ethan Zuckerman’s insights into the web and cats, one little lol cat does not make the Sunday Cat contribution.  Hence, we offer the following, hesitantly.  It’s long, but don’t  miss the  vagina crawl at approximately 1:28 and all the black leather pussies** (questionable word, here bizarrely fitting – possibly) that follow at 2:20.

This is from MAC cosmetics, I guess, who seem to be putting our  a Hello Kitty line.


**In the English sense, I suppose.  I have a vivid recent memory of walking back to a friend’s house in St. Clement’s (Oxford) from Tesco’s and being  stopped by a dear elderly woman.  “Could you help me with my pussy?” she asked cheerfully.  “He’s such a naughty pussy.  He has been ever since he had that  operation, you know.   He does run up trees and won’t come down.”  Well, one is all sympathy, of course.

The Sunday Cat’s place on the web is recognized.

Via our friend, KW: Ethan Zuckerman, one of the early web developers, talks about the original purpose of the web, in The Cute Cat Theory Talk at etech:

Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers.

Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.


I had a front-row seat for this transition, working with Tripod. We sincerely believed that the purpose of the web was to give college graduates helpful information about renting apartments, applying for jobs and investing their money. Our users rapidly told us that what the web was really about was publishing their own information… which left us with the difficult challenge of figuring out how to make money off of people’s collections of cat pictures.

His twin themes of cats and activism produced the wonderful chart: 


Another piece of evidence against the crazy cat lady hypothesis!

Zuckman is also a co-founder of the astonishing Global Voices.  For a wonderful example, see Blangladesh from Our View, which KW founded and directs.