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September 30, 2003

APA Press Release Misrepresents Another Study About Women

This is the second time in recent memory that I've noticed that an American Psychological Association press release misrepresented a study related to women. I've written plenty about the first occurrance -- the Braver move-away study. The second APA press release promotes a new study that found that "women in good marriages were less likely to develop risk factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases compared with other middle-aged women."

The problem is that a major finding in that study was ignored; that "married persons, particularly women, may be at a health advantage relative to their unmarried counterparts, through the increased availability of socioeconomic resources."

In other words, this study found that MONEY makes a big difference in assessing satisfaction not only for married women, but for cohabiting, single, divorced, and widowed women. The differences between these groups as related to socioeconomic resources and satisfaction was enormous. I did find it interesting that this study had shown that women whose marital satisfaction was low "showed higher levels of cardiovascular risk factors across middle age." Women least satisfied with their marriages "may be at higher risk owing to stable exposure to biological, life-style, and psychosocial risk factors, and this is consistent with the pathways hypothesized to link marital distress with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality." This study does not support forcing women to remain in unsatisfying marriages, especially to preserve a politically-motivated "ideal" of the traditional, patriarchal marriage. Rather, it shows that forcing these women to stay put places their physical health at risk. Also, over the three-year study, significant declines in marital satisfaction were noted in all groups of married women.

Posted on September 30, 2003 at 07:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

The New York Times Bashes Feminists Again

Does the New York Times have a feminist-bashing quotient it must meet every month? Not content with ridiculing feminism by calling the National Organization for Women "silly" for supporting Carol Moseley Braun, the New York Times now blames feminism for "belittling stereotypes" of men on television. Writer Alessandra Stanley complained that men are either "cads or dads," and that "women increasingly select, write and produce the shows that go on television."

The problem is that all of the shows she complained about were created, written, produced, and directed primarily by men.

She didn't notice the irony of blaming feminism for how men are depicted on television, and then follow her statements by citing David E. Kelley's "The Brotherhood of Poland, N. H." as "the most glaring example of the new male disempowerment." Kelley and Michael E. Pressman also executive produce the show. They must be surprised to learn that they are really women wielding a feminist agenda.

"Threat Matrix" was created by Daniel Voll. Its executive producers are Daniel Voll, Michael Edelstein, Jim Parriott, Emile Levisetti and Keith Addis. Charles Haid is director.

"The Boys of 2nd Street Park" was created and produced by Dan Klores and Ron Berger. It is edited by Michael Levine. Its score was composed by Sherman Foote. At least Stanley didn't blame women for music she might have felt was mawkish.

"Two and a Half Men" is a Chuck Lorre Production. Its executive producers are Chuck Lorre, Lee Aronsohn, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Mark Burg, Oren Koules.

"Miss Match" was created by Darren Star and Jeff Rake. Its executive producers are Darren Star, Jeff Rake, Brian Grazer, David Nevins. It is written by Jeff Rake, Darren Star, Jed Seidel, David Schulner, Marc Silverstein & Abby Kohn, Sherri Cooper, Robin Schiff, Colleen McGuinness.

"Las Vegas" is executive produced by Gary Scott Thompson, Gardner Stern, Scott Steindorff, Justin Falvey, and Darryl Frank. Thompson created the show. Three of the ten writers are women.

"It's All Relative" was created by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

"Joan of Arcadia's" executive producers are Barbara Hall and James Hayman.

"Skin," created by Jim Leonard, is executive produced by Leonard, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Jonathan Littman -- men who are hardly known for being overly feminized.

While the movie "Twelve Mile Road" is directed by Richard Friedenberg, it also has four female producers. The movie is based on the novel by Robert Boswell.

The American remake of the British comedy "Coupling" is executive produced by Ben Silverman. NBC program chief Jeff Zucker thinks it'll be a hit. Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue wrote the British version. They are married.

A baker's dozen of women swimming in a veritable sea of testosterone hardly constitutes a "feminization of the television industry."

It seems that men and one married couple are really behind the "belittling stereotypes" of men on television. The over-representation of men should make one wonder why there are so few women present in key positions on television. Maybe if there were more women, and not less as Stanley would prefer, men's roles on television would not devolve to the "cads and dads" she detests. The New York Times should stop trying to blame feminism for everything.

I sent a much shorter version of this post to the New York Times as a letter to the editor. If it gets printed, I'll let everyone know.

Posted on September 30, 2003 at 07:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Boy Kitten Is Okay So Far

I've had a bit of a rough weekend, but things seem to be getting better. The boy kitten is getting stronger. We're feeding him kitten formula and he hates it. It goes down but not without a fight. He's just starting to walk around.

So far, so good. We're keeping our fingers crossed. We've taken to calling him "lucky," for obvious reasons. We might end up naming him Shing Yun, which is Chinese for "lucky." Sometimes I call him Maneki, as in maneki neko, the Japanese "lucky" beckoning cat.

Posted on September 30, 2003 at 08:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

The "Rising" Divorce Rate

David Blankenhorn linked to an article stating that the divorce rate in England and Wales is at its highest since 1996. However, he did not write that the article stated that the increase in the divorce rate has been primarily due to subsequent marriages ending in divorce. Divorce rates when "the marriage was the first for both parties continues to fall." The same phenomenon has occurred in the U. S. Sociologist Paul Amato has written that "our population has grown in numbers, however "[t]he rate of divorces per year per 1000 people in the U. S. has been declining since 1981." A decade ago, the Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics reported similar findings: "the divorce rate per 1,000 population was 4.7 in 1989 and 1990 and is 11 percent lower than the peak rate of 5.3 in 1979 and 1981." The divorce rate includes the smaller subgroup of people who commit serial marriage/divorce. This includes marriages involving addictions, abuse, adultery, and other "problems" that contributed to the marriages ending in divorce to begin with. These people drive up the divorce rate. It has long been known that the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is double the divorce rate for first marriages. This is especially the case if the marriage involved stepchildren and lack of money. A report from has found that "children from previous marriages are shown to have disruptive effects on subsequent marriages which can lead to another divorce. A feedback loop is identified in which divorces lead to new marriages which contain stepchildren that increase the risk of future divorce." I believe that these differences between first and subsequent marriages are important to point out.

Posted on September 30, 2003 at 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

September 28, 2003

Not Having A Good Day

The girl kitten has died. We just found her about ten minutes ago. She was alive around an hour and a half ago because I checked on her, her brother, and Oreo. The boy kitten is nursing but I'm keeping an eye on him. I'm not going to blog anymore today. I just don't feel up to it.

Posted on September 28, 2003 at 12:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

September 27, 2003

More On The Income Gap

Yeah, I'm contradicting my previous post. I didn't want to let this slide. Nathan Newman posted a chart and a link to a study by the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities that "shows that the economic "boom" existed only for the very wealthy-- for everyone else it was a tiny firecracker with an only marginal increase in income." This chart nicely offsets my previous post about middle class mothers and fathers going broke. I'm sure everyone has already read that poverty rates have risen for the second year in a row and household incomes have dropped for the third year in a row.

Posted on September 27, 2003 at 05:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Music From "Without A Trace"

Welcome, "Without A Trace" fans! Please visit my entire "Without A Trace" category for all posts about the show and both CSIs. This post is the most popular one, but I'm sure you'll want to see all of the posts.

Update Friday, September 24, 2004: Welcome back, "Without A Trace" fans! The song played on last night's season premiere was "Do No Wrong" by Thirteen Senses. This was the episode about the blind woman and her coach who had been kidnapped by two men who worked in a restaurant frequented by the blind woman.

Update Thurs. May 6, 2004: I started including info and music from CSI a few months ago. This week, I updated this category to include music and anything anyone else like from "Cold Case." The song that played at the end of this past Sunday's episode, about the men who murdered a pedophilic military instructor who had abused them when they were boys was "It's Not Going To Stop," by Aimee Mann.

Update: March 7, 2004: Several fans have asked for the name of the vocalist who sang "One of these Mornings" on Moby 18.

She is Dianne McCauley. Here's a note from CSUB Runner Entertainment (which I think misspelled McCauley's last name): "Using the same formula as "In This World," "One of These Mornings" has the same effect, but this time, Moby uses a new musical technique, in which he takes Dianne McCaulley's voice and turns it into a male’s voice, but later fades it back into her own voice." That page identifies several of the vocalists and the songs they sang. All of the guest vocalists for the album were Jennifer Price, Azure Ray, Dianne McCauley, Angie Stone, MC Lyte, Freedom Bremner, Sinead O'Connor, Shauna & Lorraine Phillips, and The Shining Light Gospel Choir.

Update - March 4, 2004: I wrote an in-depth update here. The song was "One of these Mornings," by Moby from Moby 18. I've also learned something interesting about closed-captioning revealing lyrics to songs that are not heard on the episode's audio. Go to the link to learn more.

Update - Nov. 18: I just learned the identities of the songs played on last week's "Without A Trace." This is for the episode "The Tree Falls." The song at the beginning of the show was "The Headphonist" by Kinky from the album "Atlas." The other song was "Bluebird of Happiness" by Mojave 3 from the album "Spoon and Rafter." Thanks to Emmybugs at TV Tome for identifying these songs.

Update - Nov. 14: I have not been able to find out who wrote last night's song nor its name. If anyone else knows, please tell me.

Update - Nov. 7: Hello, "Without A Trace" fans! Please go to this entry on my blog to learn the identity of this week's song. I'm going to update weekly on the main page of my blog, so once you read this post (I know most of you find it via search engine), go to the main page.

Update - Halloween: The song that played during the Oct. 30 "Without A Trace" was the sixth track from Moby 18, "One Of These Mornings." I'm on a roll recognizing these songs. I recognized Lamb's "Gabriel" the moment I heard it play during an October 13 episode of CSI: Miami.

Update: I've noticed that this particular post about "Without A Trace" has been getting lots of hits, especially during and immediately after the show airs each week. For the WIT fans looking for more information about the show, check this blog entry of mine. I've included additional links to fan clubs, web sites, and even a WIT greeting card site. I've since obtained two of Coldplay's albums. That group puts out good music. Trouble is only one good song they play.

I'm very tired after tending to the kittens all day. The last thing I feel like doing is hard-core political blogging. I do more than my share of that anyway. Today I'll keep it light.

We watched the premieres of both CSIs and Without A Trace this week. One thing I've always liked about Without A Trace is the music. Thursday night was no exception. Last night I ran a few Google searches and found out not only the name of that song and who sang it it but the names of all the songs that had appeared on the show last season. I thought Thursday night's song was sung by Neil Young. Sure sounded like him. (My age is showing.) Turns out that it's called Mad World and it's done by Gary Jules. I've heard the song before. It played in Donnie Darko.

I especially liked the song on last season's episode about the flight attendant who had gone missing. Heather Donohoe from The Blair Witch Project was in it. That song was Trouble, by Coldplay. The season finale included another song that caught my attention: Hallelujah, by Jeff Buckley.

I definitely must add those songs to my music collection.

Posted on September 27, 2003 at 05:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (249)

September 26, 2003

Friday BIG Cat Blogging

Update: The male kitten continued whining this morning, so I took him to the vet. The female was very quiet but she seemed okay. I think things have finally calmed down. He was a little dehydrated and anemic. It's been a rather rough flea season this year, so I just medicated all the cats for fleas. The kittens are now feeling much better. They're resting and nursing again. Oreo is much more calm, which is a major feat for her since she's such a nervous cat. I'm still worried about the kittens and Oreo but for the time being everyone seems okay. I'll provide more updates later. Since they've been through a bit of an ordeal, I'll pass on taking pictures of them this week. They need rest and they need their mommy.

  • A stolen African serval cat that was seen at Robin's Donut Shoppe in Vancouver, B. C. is now in the care of a local zoo vet. The serval named Loki, is worth about $2,500. Some U. S. states permit people to own servals as pets. Massachusetts isn't one of them. Servals are beautiful cats. They look like miniature cheetahs with huge ears. They are my favorite of the big cats. There is a picture of one at the right.

  • A mountain lion has been seen roaming the woods of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. It's part of the North Shore, where I live. I haven't seen any mountain lions. Only very intrepid squirrels who have been very creative about emptying my bird feeders. Police and animal welfare workers are also looking for a mountain lion roaming around Belfast, Northern Ireland.

  • A cat survived two months alone in a house without food and water before found by rescuers. Apparently, the woman who lived in the house had made arrangements for her 30 (!!!) cats and one dog to be cared for in the event of her death. Rescuers found all of the cats except for Cecil. Cecil was a bag of bones when he was finally found by the rescuers. I doubt that Cecil was really without food or water for two months. He must have gotten out and foraged. Cats are very resourceful. Either that or he was the size of Jabba the Hutt before he lost weight.

  • Ted the cat (named after the movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure") had an adventure of his own. He's been missing for ten years, and has been reunited with his owner. Of course, with this story in mind, I have to include a picture of Bill the Cat.

    I don't have any photos of the kittens yet because they are finally asleep. We haven't come up with names yet, but I'm leaning towards "Get Out Of There!" for the male. He's taken to wandering out of the closet and stumbling along the side of the bed -- whining and meowing all the time. Oreo (momma) comes out, gives me a long-suffering look (yeah, I know I'm anthropomorphizing, but so what?), grabs her son by the head and drags him back into the closet.

    He comes right back out to explore some more. And whine some more. And meow some more.

    He did this all freaking night.

    Oreo got so fed up with it that she took both kittens and moved them to behind the bedroom dresser. Not a good place for them. So, I put a blanket on the closet floor, refilled the food supply, and carted everyone over there. I also put a box by the entryway so that Oreo can get out but The Wandering Kid can't. He wasn't happy at first but now he's fine.

    The female kitten is very mild. She eats and sleeps and likes being petted. Too easy.

    Anyway, when everyone is calmer I'll take more pix and post them.

    Posted on September 26, 2003 at 05:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

    White Privilege

    Two articles about white people who feel threatened by affirmative action and diversity caught my attention today, but what I found especially troubling were the comments sections following both articles. The first, about a "girl who wants to start a caucasion club at her school," devolved into some heated personal attacks on the Agonist message boards. The second was an unbelievably offensive action taken by the Young Conservatives of Texas at Southern Methodist University in an attempt to protest the use of race and gender as a factor in college admissions. The organization held a bake sale in which "white males had to pay $1 for a cookie. The price was 75 cents for white women, 50 cents for Hispanics and 25 cents for blacks." College Republican chapters have held similar bake sales at universities since February. Not surprisingly, the YCT are white and mainly male. I wondered how the white women members of YCT felt about being told that they were worth only three-quarters of what the white male member of YCT declared themselves to be worth? They accepted the designation rather than try to understand what affirmative action is really about?

    This article touched off a firestorm at Fark. There are so many comments following this entry that Drew put up the infinity sign rather than a number. Quite a few of them, like these, are very offensive:

    A sign said white males had to pay $1 for a cookie. The price was 75 cents for white women, 50 cents for Hispanics and 25 cents for blacks.
    And if you are Chinese, you have to fold laundry for a cookie. If you are Jewish, you go to the cookie wholesale outlet. Russians stood in line for hours and still got no cookies, and the Irish just drank cookie flavored whiskey from a flask that they brought with them to the bake sale. The French refused to buy the cookies because they were not called "petit gteau". And the one you've all been waiting for -- Muslims were not permitted to eat any cookies because they consider it to be an evil snack of the great Satan, and chose to eat dirt instead.


    If native americans can call us white boys can we start calling them "chief", "red" and "slopey head"?

    Dru Blood posted about the racist and sexist cookie story yesterday. Ms. Lauren from Feministe had written a request last week for a short essay from interested bloggers about "what it means to be white." I know I have benefited from being white, and the reason I know how I've benefited is because I'm already sensitive to what it has been like for have experienced bias due to being female. The benefits of being white are so subtle and seemingly commonplace to me that it's easy for me to not notice how much I take for granted. It isn't so much what I have experienced as opposed to what I have not experienced.

    I look at the television, magazines, and newspapers and see lots of white faces, faces like mine. On the rare occasions that I go to a store at the mall (I'm not a shopper), when I am followed around by store clerks it's because they're trying to sell me something. They don't give me the hairy eyeball, expecting me to steal something.

    I've run into people who assume I was hired for a job fresh out of college because I was a pretty female. One prospective Cro Magnon boss years ago commented that he might hire me because he thought I had great legs. However, I have never been accused of being hired for a job because I was white, nor have I ever been accused of bumping a more qualified person from a particular job or assignment because I am white. My being white didn't even make a blip on the radar screen.

    I have not been turned down for housing because I am white. I had lived in the Baltimore-Washington metro area until about four years ago. I had not noticed how racially diverse my former home town was until I moved to Massachusetts. The first thing all of us noticed is that it's very white where we live. All of our neighbors are white. That wasn't the case in Maryland.

    I've seen racist assumptions behind some discussions of welfare reform. The myth of the lazy welfare queen with a pack of brats fathered by many different men may not be vocalized as stridently as it was years ago, but it's still there.

    I have pointed out to those who are against affirmative action if they protest white affirmative action with the same zeal. I speak of legacies, like how George Bush with his substandard grades got into Yale and Harvard. He would have attended neither if it wasn't for Daddy. The closest I've come to observing a legacy in action was when I was in the movie unions and when I had attended college. Children of current A-Listers shot to the top of the hiring list. They were offered work before anyone else, including relatively new B-Listers like myself and other B-Listers who had been working in the union for years. Of course, the children of college alumni were accorded special privileges. Most were white. White people have historically had more access to that kind of privilege than minorities.

    Bloggers who have either responded to Ms. Lauren's request or discussed the issue in general include Aldahlia, Cobb, Hellblazer, Prometheus 6, Liminal Liberal, and Peggy McIntosh.

    Posted on September 26, 2003 at 04:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

    September 23, 2003

    My S. O. Is Half Hungarian...

    (I didn't know there were actually surveys measuring this sort of thing. Learn something new every day. This survey found that "lovers across the globe are having sex an average of 127 times a year and 73 percent of people say they are happy with their sex lives.")

    Forget Latin lovers -- horny Hungarians are now the most active between the sheets, leading a charge of eastern Europeans in the global sex charts.

    Condom maker Durex's annual global sex survey published on Tuesday showed that Hungarian lovers enjoy sex 152 times a year. The French -- fiercely proud of their sexual prowess -- only manage 144 performances a year.

    The British can't beat the Australians at cricket but outperformed them between the sheets, managing 135 sessions a year to the Aussies 125.

    The Italians and Spanish lag even further with scores of 119 and 123 times a year, while Americans make love an average of 118 times a year, Germans and Dutch 120.

    "Bedtime in Budapest is the most passionate of all," Durex said in its survey.

    Eastern Europe performed well, with Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro all showing above average annual ratings.

    But if you want sex in Sweden or Singapore, you may be disappointed. Swedes chalk up a below-average score of 102 times a year, while Singaporeans only manage 96.

    There's more about one-night stands, who is most adventurous (having sex with someone they just met), cyber-sex (one guess which country comes out ahead on that -- pun intended), and faking orgasms.

    Via FARK, of course. Where the heck else do you think I'd find something like this?

    Posted on September 23, 2003 at 06:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)