Sex and Original Sin

Sex and Original Sin
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The confirmation hearings over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, along with the accusations of sexual impropriety in his younger days, represent the latest act in a drama that has been going on since recorded history began.  It has to do with the imbalance between the sexes in Western and Eastern cultures, with women gradually emerging from the position of chattel to more respectable roles.  In the late 1800s, it was still legal in the UK for men to beat their wives.  In the US, women got the vote with the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution in 1920.  But probably nothing has freed women like the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960. We--all of us, men and women—are still adapting to that.


Demonization of women is deeply rooted in Western monotheistic traditions, beginning with the Biblical Book of Genesis and the Garden of Eden.  Eve, the temptress, is blamed for Adam’s fall from grace.  Since then, women, representative of the earthy, intuitive side of humanity, have been deemed inferior to the abstract, spiritual male principle.  Under this scenario, sexuality is suspect, to the point where Catholic priests are not allowed by marry, and even between married couples, sex is supposed to be confined to propagation. 


The notion of original sin thus puts man (and woman) at odds with their own earthly natures and has contributed to distorted ideas of sexuality ever since.  It translates into a disrespect for women and, by extension, a disrespect for the earth from which we all spring and depend on for our existence.  Even such notions as “survival of the fittest,” attributed to Charles Darwin in the 1800s, presumes that “fittest” refers to the most physically powerful members of a species.  In real terms, the fittest for survival are those who are best equipped to produce and raise healthy young. 


The idea of women as necessary evils pervades modern thinking.  Even the most liberated of women, for instance, still wear make-up and shave their legs, two concessions to sexual desirability no one expects from men.  Women who disparage men for overstepping sexual boundaries must realize that these men were usually raised by mothers, who by words or behavior taught them to disrespect women. 


Animals have no shame about their sexuality.  They mate in the open, yet for man, with the shame and secrecy inherited from Adam and his fig leaf, sexuality is fraught with guilt and circumscribed by rules that create their own problems. 


Our distorted views on sexuality play out in every area of our lives and seem to be especially prominent today.  The women’s “#metoo” movement is an example of the solidarity of women who claim they have been harassed by men, but it also signifies a coming of age in terms of women’s recognition that sexual balance is long overdue.  The “fittest to survive” will be those who can anneal the spiritual with the earthly in respectful appreciation for all the attributes of both.




Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:47am
re "Even such notions as “survival of the fittest,” attributed to Charles Darwin in the 1800s, presumes that “fittest” refers to the most physically powerful members of a species."
  Jordan Peterson explains that this is not true because the fittest ape will be beaten by others ganging up on him if he doesn't follow follow social norms. So fit doesn't mean strength alone.
  A lot of feminists have gone to the other side, they do not feel repressed by the dominance of men. Mostly men are interested in politics, I listen to many women on the topic on youtube, actually mostly women right now, but if you look on any forum, how many men vs how many women? On average men think about and are geared toward the politic. This is probably why societies ran well when only men voted - they think about politics more than women. For the same reason, empathetic people are likely to make better doc's although its probably not true in every single case.
  It has always seemed to me that women look after the future in the raising of children, men look after the present through the politic. Neither are any more repressed than the other when you think of wars and who does the dying.
  As for the new ways of open sexuality, I've watched a couple of graph theory lectures from MIT, the first two were about sex (6 & 7). These lectures are easy to follow, only the homework is hard. Anyone should be able to easily understand these lectures. In the second lecture (7) the prof shows that couplings can always be stable in heterosexual societies, but there cannot be stable couplings in a mixed homo and heterosexual society. Unstable couplings result in unstable societies.
  This idea of marriage and men being dominant in the home is a stable idea, its as old as the hills, and the idea must have some reasoning, although like the forbidding of homosexuality, not immediately known through reason. This is one example of how faith can lead us to truth that science cannot.
  Thousands of years after the fact, a math prof comes along and shows why homosexuality is a bad idea. Yet societies have known this forever.
  Lecture 6 is interesting, on the relative promiscuity rates of males vs females (there is a critical flaw in his reasoning, but still its interesting), but see Lecture 7.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:49am
Rich topic.....Gave you a like Katharine, but have to abstain from comment at the moment. Will rejoin in a few days. Cider to press, peppers to pickle......I need to stay busy for a solid couple of days so I need to stay off here. I probably wont even write this week! 
I like where you are going with this. Looking forward to catching up on the thread later :)
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:52am
If I was able to do life again, and St Paul asked me what I would wish for, my wish would be to be slightly above average in all respects, but not exceptional in any way. This was Aristotles view.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:56am
You prove my point that we are still in an adaptation phase.  That there are so many people with so many opinions on the matter is productive, I think.  The basic idea is that everyone could stand to develop more respect for man/woman and the earth itself.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:00pm
Thanks for checking in and hope you will comment more when you've had time to do fall culinary duties.  I get my best ideas when I'm doing something useful.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:17pm
Most men in the male dominated societies were completely powerless, with jobs rather than careers and made to work in terrible conditions to make the wife and children comfortable. Most men were at the bottom sweating in hot car factories, mines or died in the ditches in the wars for the money powers.
Women at least got to decide whether they would clean the bathroom before having coffee with their friends or after, or when to clean the floors. Most men didn't even have that choice at work.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:31pm
Another great article Katharine.
I hope the “#metoo” movement is a sign that we are moving towards full equality and the end of this misogynistic patriarchal society is at hand. I truly hope so. The world would be such a better place.
The misogyny that is present in all three Abrahamic traditions has its roots in the Arabic culture from which they stem. I think that it is time we rejected it utterly and moved to a new world of fairness and justice where race, gender, skin colour, religion or creed do not confer a hierarchy.
In terms of Kavanaugh - I see that it has brought the very worst out in Trump. Not only in his grotesque ridiculing of that poor woman but followed up with the equally obnoxious triumphalism over the appointment of Kavanaugh. It was the worst of tribalism and used to further the division and hatred. I was disgusted. It was so crass.
Somehow we are all going to have to learn to live together and get on. If this division and hate is allowed to progress I fear there will be bloodshed.
John Howard Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:44pm
opher uses hyperventilating terms like worst, grotesque, obnoxious, disgusting, crass to describe the rhetoric of others and hopes we can all get along.  Good plan.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:44pm
By suggesting you would want to be "above average," you are accepting the notion of hierarchy, which implies a competitive society.  I have a different notion, that envisions a society like a jigsaw puzzle, with each piece unique but integral to the whole.  Even so-called "leaders" would not be perceived as "superior" but as well fitted to the role of coordinating others such that everyone's skills and talents are encouraged and supported.
Arbitrary divisions by sex deny everyone the latitude for making social contributions in fitting with their skills and interests.  Arbitrary divisions by social class do the same.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:51pm
Thanks for the compliment.  I didn't see Trump's crowing over Kavanaugh, but it sounds like he's a good example of what not to do.  By exaggerating offensive qualities, maybe he will lose his power to rile people up.  Maybe they will reach a saturation point and slap some duct tape over his mouth and around his Tweeter hands.
FacePalm Added Oct 7, 2018 - 12:56pm
i'm afraid that in general, there will always be an imbalance between sexes, if only due to simple biology; this isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It's just that each sex needs to be recognized and appreciated for their differences and what they bring to the table.  IMO, it's the failure to appreciate and cherish one another that is at the root of most conflict, though OTOH, i've seen several "successful" relationships where husband and wife argue near-incessantly, yet stay together(personally, i wouldn't put up with that state of unpleasantness for long).
Men in general are physically larger, stronger, and have more endurance (insofar as working - enduring the labor of childbirth i don't think many men could handle at all, hence the appreciation factor).
i've read - and believe it to be true - that all couples will eventually fight about one or more of the following (as well as how these factors can interrelate):
(for instance, many men exercise(or try to) power in a relationship by controlling the money and how - or if - it's spent; many women in relationship obtain power in relation to giving or withholding sex.)
But all relationships should always remain negotiable, with the possible exception of certain non-negotiable bedrock points - e.g. no pedophilia, ever.  If there are disagreements, these should remain open to negotiation and compromise if one intends to stay in a committed relationship...if not, why marry at all?
i heard Shapiro speak to this very point recently in a speech he gave at USC, where he proclaimed his potentially unique(or semi-unique - rare, anyway) state of maintaining his virginity until he married.
On another subject, i've often wondered what God's reaction would have been had Adam freely confessed and taken sole responsibility for his act, rather than blaming Eve, and Eve had done the same instead of blaming the snake...but it's been my observation that the majority of people seek more to assign blame than to accept any responsibility for their actions, however slight...and to me, this is the true dividing line between childhood and adulthood, that is, the degree to which one accepts responsibility for the consequences of their thoughts, words and deeds, rather than trying to shift it elsewhere.
John Howard Added Oct 7, 2018 - 1:09pm
I think it is fine for men and women to modify the rules by which they live together.  What they both need is a libertarian rather than an authoritarian mindset.
The feminist theme that women have been the victims of men is utterly invalid.  The "paternalistic" rules they lived under together for centuries were evolved by both of them together.  There was no oppression of one by the other.  They both agreed to be oppressed by rulers and priests.  They both lived in assigned roles.  Both had relative advantages and disadvantages in those assigned roles.
Women are not inferior to men, nor are they a minority.  Therefore they must accept equal blame for the rules that they designed together and lived under together.  Now, as civilization is evolving away from authoritarianism, women and men together are deciding to dispense with those traditional roles and allow each individual to freely choose a path in life.
What needs to end is not any fictional oppression of women by men, but the oppression of both by the parasitic fraud of authority. 
Dino Manalis Added Oct 7, 2018 - 1:14pm
 Males, including teenagers, should always respect females with morals and values.  That's how opposite genders attract!
Ian Thorpe Added Oct 7, 2018 - 1:51pm
Katherine, when talking about husbands beating wives, there was a proviso that he could only do it to 'a justifiable extent' and 'for correction' and a latin phrase usually translated as 'so long as the stick was no thicker than his thumb.' This is a widely misinterpreted part of the common law, many commentators think it means a man could just lay into his wife because he didn't like his dinner or the boss had given him a bollocking. However the important bits are the definitions of 'justifiable extent' and 'for correction'. It was also encouragement to girls to marry a willowy arty - farty type rather than a blacksmith I guess.
There are many cases in English and Scottish law of men going to prison or even being hanged for punishing their wives unjustly or too enthusiastically.
The past, as the saying goes, is a different country - in this case one resembling Saudi Arabia.
FacePalm Added Oct 7, 2018 - 1:57pm
Respect is earned, not given.  Just as many males are completely unworthy of respect, the same holds true for many women.  You know them by their fruits.  "Always," imo, is a dangerous tack to take; there are very few absolutes in this life.
John Howard-
"Vive la differance!"  IMO, men and women are halves of a whole, and neither has any chance at completeness without learning from the attributes and qualities of the other - and the being together is what is meant(though these days, it seldom seems to work out this way) to uplift both to be the best they are capable of being or becoming. 
For men, this is often learning how to turn away from selfishness to the protective and nurturing roles required to make any family work.  For women, this is about (or should be about) being a help-meet indeed, to point out and encourage changes in behavior to make a relationship more amenable to success - both her own and his, where recognized.
Unfortunately, in most relationships i've seen these days, the relationship ends up as a competition, and a mutually destructive one, at that...and the root of it can often be traced to the wedding tradition of feeding each other wedding cake, which often has devolved into a mini food-fight from the beginning, instead of what it was meant to be, the symbolic nurturing of one another.
John Minehan Added Oct 7, 2018 - 2:39pm
In Catholic Theology, "Original Sin" is not so much sexual sin as disobedience; taking on the knowledge of good and evil against the explicit word of G-d.
It is not, intrinsically, sexual sin, so much as being made responsible for one's own moral choice, through ones conscious choice.
In a sense, it is a sin of pride, no less than the primordial "Non Serviam" was.
It is worth stating that there is no explicit concept of Original Sin in Rabbinic or Temple Judaism.  There are similar ideas in the Zohar, with the concept of Tikun Olam, but the Theological subtence is very different.  
Knowing your background in psychology, I just thought of this, but Original Sin is a concept deeply rooted in not seeking help.  Thinking that what I have done is unforgivable and not taking the help offered, particularly though, in the Protestant Traditions, the "Unmerited Grace of G-d."
John Minehan Added Oct 7, 2018 - 2:40pm
Sorry, "Psychiatry," mistyped the word.
Doug Plumb Added Oct 7, 2018 - 2:54pm
re "By suggesting you would want to be "above average," you are accepting the notion of hierarchy, which implies a competitive society. "
I would like to be reborn with the capabilities of earning an above average spot in society, not born into it, ideally. Aristotle thought is was good to be attractive and rich, but not too much so.
Cullen Writes Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:02pm
I don't really agree with the post. It's in keeping with a lot of fashionable ideas out there in the press though. 
When referring to negative aspects of Western religion (celibacy for priests, sex only for procreation, and demonization of birth control), these are all Catholic ideas which were disposed of in Protestant faiths and countries 500 years ago.
Obviously Catholicism has still been a potent force in England, Germany, and the U.S. (the "Protestant countries") but there was always another way--in fact Protestantism was the mainstream in these "Protestant countries". 
Also, these ideas (celibate priests, sex bad) aren't biblical ideas but were introduced over the centuries in the Dark and Middle Ages. Reading Chaucer's Canterbury Tales tells me that even in those years, these prescriptions always weren't followed. 
Secondly, when referring to the animal kingdom...this is what we try to rise above and prevent from happening. Generally speaking, males fight over females and the winner gets to mate with the female. Then he'll often leave her to raise the young on her own (so he can mate with other females).
If human beings did this, it would hardly be conducive to the females or the children. The whole institution of marriage exists to STOP this from happening (because, let's face it, some of these characteristics are part of a man's biological programming too, to spread his seed as widely as possible.)
The post seems to have a subtle knock on marriage (like the 60's and 70's feminism 'I don't breed well in captivity' quote by Gloria Steinem). But today, since men are nearly abandoning marriage altogether, it's becoming clear this institution has always been about protecting women and children, and probably inconveniencing men. 
Finally, posts of this sort have the theme that Western culture and its attitudes toward women are all wrong. So logic dictates that non-Western countries must have superior views of the sexes. Let's quickly go through some. 
- India -> apparently rape is an epidemic there. They made a abortion legal in 2002 (though you could dance through some legal loopholes beginning in 1971--claim your mental health was at risk, etc.. ). The recent case of the horrific rape and murder of the woman on the bus shone a spot light on this problem and there are countless articles attesting to the nonsense many Indian women have to put up with. 
- China -> I don't have any stat's but I've known a lot of Chinese people and the man is definitely in charge. Apparently sex is never discussed to the point that married people actually to see doctors about why they haven't conceived and the doctor asks if they've been sexually active and they don't know what sex is. The cliche is that "Asian women" women are subservient as well, some Western men seek out "Asian women" for this reason. 
- The Arab Middle East -> there closed. 
Thus, if Western ideas are completely wrong toward women and sexually, then ironically, we seem to have progressed beyond the other dominant cultures on planet earth. 
Jeff Jackson Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:04pm
Nice article Katherine. I would point out that in African cultures, a man is judged by how many children they can spawn, and that means as many women as possible bearing their children. There is nothing as to taking care of those children, just the ability to create them. Since I have been able to read, (and long before) the African continent has been filled with starving people, many, I would say, the innocent victims of a culture of unrestrained sex. Score one for Christianity, eh?
I dare say some of that African culture seems to have made it to our shores. You are correct in your observation of birth control changing many lives. I think that the church's position on sex was more of a pragmatic view, that people for centuries not possessing the means to care for too many children, thus the only way to contain procreation was to attempt to regulate and contain sex. Just another one of my "theories." 
Why did the Catholic church have orphanages? Because priests and nuns had children, and easiest way to hide that from the prying eyes of the public was to have orphanages where the offspring of the licentious authorities of the Catholic church could be raised and they could claim they were "abandoned." They weren't all  abandoned, they were the offspring of priests and nuns!  (Another "theory," by the way.)
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:24pm
Imbalance refers to disrespect more than to inequality, but respect has to begin with self-respect.  On a symbolic level, it seems the imbalance has more to do with the notion that an abstract spiritual force is more worthy of devotion and respect than the tangible physical presence of earthly creation.  
You and John Minehan both refer refer to the original sin as disobedience, and I've wondered, too, if admitting and apologizing (as confession does in the Catholic tradition) might have saved Adam and Eve from banishment.  My relating it to sex is based on the idea of the serpent as symbol for penis and of earthly pleasure.  Joseph Campbell claimed that the serpent is revered in all cultures except the Judeo-Christian one.  The serpent on the Caduceus is a symbol of healing, and it's also a symbol of wisdom because of its ability to shed its skin.
John Minehan Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:26pm
A wise old Lutheran Pastor of my acquaintance, an Army Chaplin who was a married man with children, used to say that a married pastor was, in some sense, a bigamist. 
A woman Lutheran Pastor, who raised a family while leading a couple of congregations, said something like  "Oh, that was the problem, then!?"
Given that pastors are human beings, it's never easy.
Catholic celibacy rules are, however, more about inheritance than morality.  They didn't want the sons of priests inheriting the benefice.     
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:28pm
John Howard,
Completely agreed that blame does no good, and I'm no fan of external authority.  However, it does take maturity to assume responsibility for one's own life, but it also confers great freedom.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:29pm
My point, exactly.  It does go both ways, though.
Cullen Writes Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:29pm
My daughter is 6 years old. She has a Disney princess dress or two which she often puts on and runs around the house and asks if she looks beautiful (or looks like Disney character ________). 
The author's post presupposes that men (like me, her father) put this into young girls, that they need to look beautiful for men. Is that fair? 
I have a son who's older and I've focused mostly on him and his sports for most of her life to the point that my wife has pulled me aside more than once to say I need to spend more time with my daughter, so I do. 
But the lengths that women go to, to look beautiful (whatever that means), to say that's the fault of that fair? 
Is the possible that maybe males and females have different biological programming (that is ultimately geared toward reproducing)? And that's just the way it is? And blaming men for women's biological programming is not helpful? 
(By the way, my wife doesn't shave her legs and I don't care.)
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:32pm
Thanks for clarifying the wife-beating issue.  It's good to know.  My next question is whether wives had the same privilege their husbands enjoyed?
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:37pm
The idea of competitiveness is a loaded one, because it is considered a virtue in our current society.  Politics, business, sports, academics, you name it--they all extol competition.  But competition that seeks to diminish the other to make oneself look good is different from competition that recognizes achievement and strives to emulate it.  
I agree many relationships become competitive in destructive ways, but nobody wins in these scenarios.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:43pm
John Minehan,
Yes, the idea of disobedience is also tied to the idea of free will, the ability to disobey God.  Besides confession, there's the idea that Eve and Adam could have asked permission beforehand, I actually wrote a story about that and may publish it here.  I've had some fun with the Garden of Eden story, over the years.  I tend to believe God set them up, because being omniscient and omnipotent, he had to know they would disobey.  How boring they would have been if they had not misbehaved.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:45pm
If it doesn't happen in this life, I hope you will get your wish in your next one.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 7, 2018 - 3:56pm
It seems you read more into my post than I intended.  I wrote about Western culture because it's the one I know best.  It may be way more advanced than in other societies.  I'm currently reading about Empress Dowager Cixi of China, a biography by Jung Chang, and it describes how subservient women were in the 1800s.  
You make vast generalizations about the animal kingdom that contradict what I've read.  Generally, the female chooses her mate, not the other way around.  Also, there are many monogamous species, and raising of the young is often related to the time it takes for the young to survive on their own.
Human beings are unique in that it takes so long for children to reach an age in which they can survive on their own.  
My post is not a condemnation of either sex but an attempt to show that we are growing into a different understanding of the sexes and how they relate to each other.
FacePalm Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:01pm
While i'm honored that you would equate me with Minehan, i never mentioned "original sin" at all; i simply wondered about the bible story, and what may have happened had Adam and Eve accepted responsibility instead of assigning blame.
As an aside, when discussing "sin," i've found it helpful to understand that sin merely means "missing the mark," as in an archer not hitting a bullseye...not necessarily a deliberate attempt to anger one's Creator.
My parents had both taken psychology courses in college, and learned to manipulate their children with guilt - a "skill" that Catholic priests, in particular, seem to have mastered.  i very much resented that as a child, and never outgrew it; anyone who attempts to manipulate me with guilt to this day, i utterly reject. 
Anyone calls me a "sinner," if i engage them at all, it's to throw the accusation back in their face.  It is the natural tendency of every human being to make mistakes; i daresay that one who always gets things "right" learns little, as i've always learned more from what i got wrong, and assume this to be a universal experience...with the possible exception of Christ Himself, and even He confessed that "none is good but God alone," which indicates to me that He wasn't completely error-free, either...despite the standard dogma.
Always been right fond of "My karma ran over your dogma," too.
And i do agree that respect begins with self-respect, as well; when asked, Christ said that the greatest Law was to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength - and a second is like unto it, love your neighbor as you love yourself."  Two points: first, He didn't say "MY" God or "YHWH" or anything else, but YOUR God, not His or anyone else's.  Second, FMO, a lot of people hear "love your neighbor" but seem to either forget or give short shrift to "as yourself."  One who does not love himself cannot love another, just as one who does not respect himself cannot respect another...not in truth, anyway.
As to beating your wife, are you aware of the history of the phrase "rule of thumb"?  It meant that you couldn't beat your wife with a stick thicker than your thumb - and from what i understand, in S. Carolina to this day, there's a certain day when it's "legal" to beat your wife with a stick on the courthouse grounds in the capitol - though i seriously doubt anyone'd be fool enough to attempt it today.
And no, i don't think that particular law would go the other way - and there might be too many men who'd LIKE it!
Ah, humanity is curious to the intent observer...
Flying Junior Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:21pm
Great essay.  I read it eagerly.  I only take exception to one short paragraph.  I don't believe that the hegemony of males is taught to us by our mothers.  Actually the men with the healthiest attitudes towards the fairer sex, (can I say that without proving my antique, chauvinistic upbringing?) in all likelihood have several strong female figures in their families and ancestry.  I learned homophobia and sexism once I hit school from other males.  Yes, my mother is still vain even at eighty-seven.  She remains on the cutting edge of pushing the boundaries of geriatric beauty.  But to me, that has nothing to do with the relations between the sexes.
Flying Junior Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:30pm
I wonder if some ingenious devil with Trump's ear didn't orchestrate this entire fiasco.  Surely everyone concerned understood Kavanaugh's raucous and cavalier, devil-may-care attitude towards women in his youth.  So his sexual power and machismo make him a perfect role model for those who still fight to keep women subservient.  Yet unlike Trump, once he married, his dalliances stopped.  Poster child for raw, male sexuality within marriage.
Sure, Trump has his attack of mental illness with the cameras rolling, no more aware that he is on the world stage than were the Dixie Chicks in London.  It played well to his base.  Enthusiastic cheers and the derisive laughter of shadenfreude.  Good times.  The democrats look like a bunch of sadistic pansies trying to impugn the character of a decent man forgiven by Jesus.  It couldn't have worked out much better for the monster.  Of course this theory makes no sense whatsoever.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:58pm
FJr hits it with "character of a decent man forgiven by Geezus."  Yeah, and then there's "the enraged white males" upset over the patriarchy that cannot be challenged in the minds of Trump and Trumpists.  Good article.  The patriarchy stuff figures heavily in Trumpland.  The facts is, unless you are willing to work WITH a partner, the relationship will not last, the bond will be weak.  My wife and I have had to work at compromise in orde.r to have a (LOL)...and a semblance of sanity.  The patriarchy, in part, needs "the rape culture" to extend power into sexual matters..."Careful, woman!!!...Or...."  I offer Trump's mocking Ford and the wide on-site approval in evidence and his worry over young men.  I really don't think there will be "rape panels" where women come in with the purpose of  naming names, secretly accusing them of sexual assault to shame and take away their lives by cutting off their dicks. 
Stephen Hunter Added Oct 7, 2018 - 4:59pm
Excellent article Katherine.
Sexuality is a primal brain driven behavior, the intensity of which, varies from person to person. As it is not a logical or a social brain initiated behavior, some cannot help themselves for behaving outside social norms. So they change the social norms. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:22pm
Cheers Katharine - yes I think the behaviour of both Trump and Kavanaugh are good examples of what not to do.
opher goodwin Added Oct 7, 2018 - 5:27pm
FJ - there seems to be a terminal polarisation of the country and they are doing their level best to make it worse. All rational thought and sanity have gone out the window.
Jeff Jackson Added Oct 7, 2018 - 6:32pm
Yes, Ian, the "rule of thumb" was that you could only beat your wife with a stick as thick as your thumb. Hickory or oak is the hardest, for those of you playing at home. :)
Jeff Michka Added Oct 7, 2018 - 8:24pm
opher:  It's all "oogah boogah tribal stuff," and all else needs to be disallowed by "The Base," whatever they really are.
Even A Broken Clock Added Oct 7, 2018 - 8:35pm
After observing the entire confirmation battle, I am still disappointed by the realization that sexual assault seems to be just one more item that falls along ideological red/blue lines. Disappointing in the extreme.
FacePalm Added Oct 7, 2018 - 11:02pm
You seem to be assuming that Kavanaugh assaulted someone...or is that presuming?  The whole "presumption of innocence" bedrock principle - careful what you seem to wish to throw out with the bathwater, otherwise "J'accuse!", the theme of the French Revolution, could make a comeback.
Mircea Negres Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:22am
I've always thought "original sin" was just a psychological ploy of the Church to instill mental enslavement in "believers" because it's no different to the child of slaves becoming a slave automatically just because of being born. Whatever Adam and Eve (if they even existed, most likely not) did or didn't do is on them, not me, 'cause I had stuff-all to do with it. At the same time, oppression of women did happen and is still happening in many societies (Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.), but I have seen what happens when women abuse boys and men, something that is discussed far less than the #MeToo hypocrisy. Good post, really enjoyed it. 
Flying Junior Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:44am
Our culture has demonized women as sluts, harlots and whores.  Adultresses.
Yet the obvious fact that pokes holes in all of this is that for every sexual coupling there is a one-to-one correspondence of men and women.  One coupling, one man, one woman.
But the man is just a customer, a tired over-worked bread winner who has succumbed to his lowest instincts to debase himself by going to a whore.  The whore is the very symbol of Babylon.  Consider how the right-wing phony Christians on the WB demonized Stormy Daniels.  A porn actress!  As if that were a shame greatly to be pitied.
Two teenagers feel the heat of passion and young love.  Our young swain nails the girl and knocks her up.  The girl is ashamed because she is a slut.  She has been embarrassed.  The young man has merely been sowing his wild oats.  His fellows hail him for a fine conquest.  He does the right thing by paying for an abortion.
A successful businessman in his forties has had several liasons with various women while away on business trips.  This is a double-whammy.  The women who gave themselves to the man become the reviled, "other women," and are simply cast aside without any thought by the superior male.  In most instances, the betrayed wife is expected to live with the insults and not take a lover of her own.
opher goodwin Added Oct 8, 2018 - 7:17am
Jeff - there is a similar thing going on here with the Brexit camps.
George N Romey Added Oct 8, 2018 - 8:40am
Good article Katharine.   Our bodies are not in tune with modern living.  Years back young people married when they were ages 13-16 just about the same time their sexual urges were soaring.  Today people are marrying close to age 30.  To expect them to hold off on sex because of a book written thousands of years ago by a bunch of strange dudes is stupidity at its best.
Sex like money has a power associated with it.  In heterosexual relationships woman often hold the upper hand.  They learn at an early age that if they (women) are attractive it can provide popularity and acceptance.  They have sway over people, including a bunch of "hyper sexed" well liked, popular attractive boys desperate to expand their "sexual horizons."
The people on this board that claim this woman Ford was a total victim, based upon her own testimony are clueless.  Her actions led to the trap she found herself in.  She did it for reasons above.  Those that somehow don't see this must have spent their formative years unpopular, unattractive and sitting at home on the weekends playing Scrabble with Mom and Dad.  Us others that actually had a "life" as a youngster understood this scenario all too well.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 8, 2018 - 9:14am
"I get my best ideas when I'm doing something useful."
This is why I keep a pencil and pad in my bathroom ... and in my kitchen ... and beside my bed ... and ... just so long as my wife leaves them alone, I believe in Ephersians 5:21 I think it is? A man should treat his wife as a weaker vessel, though each is in subjection to the other through Christ ... even if you take out the religious context, it is not a bad philosophy. 
Ward Tipton Added Oct 8, 2018 - 9:18am
"Years back young people married when they were ages 13-16 just about the same time their sexual urges were soaring.  Today people are marrying close to age 30.  To expect them to hold off on sex because of a book written thousands of years ago by a bunch of strange dudes is stupidity at its best."
Given the social norms and standards during Biblical times, it is estimated by many that Mary was likely betrothed at eleven or twelve as was common at the time. This would mean that she was impregnated at twelve or so, and would have given birth at thirteen more or less. 
Up through the sixties, it was very common for gals who were fourteen to sixteen to get married. 
In the 1860s by contrast, a girl who was sixteen and unwed was often considered to be an "old maid" and unlikely to find a husband. 
Social norms and standards change. 
John Howard Added Oct 8, 2018 - 9:37am
"Social norms and standards change."
They are changed by law and the trend is always in the same direction:  to declare ever older individuals to still be "children", so we can send an 18-year-old man to prison for "raping" a very willing 17-year-old woman.  Totalitarians always aim their wickedness at human sexuality.
Steel Breeze Added Oct 8, 2018 - 9:44am
i'm just glad not to be a praying mantis......
John Howard Added Oct 8, 2018 - 11:08am
I assume they have less than courteous sexual customs.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 8, 2018 - 11:17am
The female Mantis kills the male after mating, by quite literally chewing his head off. 
Yeah ... I prefer the Klingon Mating Rituals personally but ... not going there in a family friendly venue. 
John Minehan Added Oct 8, 2018 - 11:39am
This is a very good and thought provoking article, Dr. Otto.
John Howard Added Oct 8, 2018 - 12:10pm
Ward, how is that different than many marriages?
Ward Tipton Added Oct 8, 2018 - 12:15pm
Marriage is one thing I am very happy to say, that I have been truly blessed with ... both my gals ... my wife and daughter. Dunno about the rest of folks. 
Morgoth Added Oct 8, 2018 - 12:28pm
Good article.
As a father to two boys to me respect for one another starts in the home.  Mothers and fathers need to share that responsibility.  Not just respect and tolerance towards members of the opposite sex but to people of different religions, cultures, etc.
I think I was lucky in a way, I grew up with two sisters who dealt with navigating relationships.  Seeing them get hurt by boys taught me the need for empathy in what girls go through.  In return I think I showed them through my early interactions with girls the need for them to understand what boys go through.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Oct 8, 2018 - 1:23pm
That's just about the only thing about religion that I agree with, in that female human beings are innately evil and wicked creatures and are directly and indirectly responsible for 99.99999% of the fucked-up things in this world. Not all of them, just MOST of them.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:01pm
Interesting points.  It has been my impression that African males were only allowed as many wives as they could afford, but there were (are) many tribes, maybe with different requirements.
Maybe the pragmatic view of sex only for procreation has merit, but I also wonder if the Church was jealous of women's more powerful hold on men.   When Adam (symbolically) chose Eve over God, they both got banished.  I realize this is not a mainstream interpretation.  
As far as the orphanages go, yours is a mind-tickler supposition.  It leads me to think of pro-lifers, who oppose abortion but don't volunteer to raise the unwanted children.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:09pm
John Minehan,
I suspect there were many reasons for the celibacy rule, but look at how it has played out over time.  Has it been good for the Catholic church or for male-female relations as a whole?  That plus the proscription on female priests bespeaks a subtle disdain for women.  Also, it sets priests apart from the merely human, which was probably intentional but not realistic.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:14pm
Again, you're reading more into the article than I intended.  There's nothing wrong or sexist with wanting to look good.  If you have a wife who doesn't shave her legs, and you don't mind, there's hope for you yet.  Sounds like she has sense, and she chose you, too.
It reminds me that in the bird world, the males are the ones with the most beautiful plumage.  Not only does it help them attract females, but they serve as decoys for predators.  It's much easier for the drab females to hide.
George N Romey Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:20pm
We should also remember that for centuries marriages were often arranged by the parents.  There was very little "love" involved.  Everyone looked the other way while a man got whatever he couldn't get at home elsewhere.  Women have been on the losing end of this arrangement for ions.  How is it we look up to a guy getting it all the time but woe to the girl involved?
Really, the gays have it very easy.  Be a slut to your hearts desire and never worry about being "tainted."  Definitely a much more meeting of the equals.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:27pm
I don't believe in "sin" as it's commonly defined.  I am just using the vernacular, because other people believe so much in "sin" and in "evil."  Guilt and fear are used across the board to manipulate children and populations.  It's not just a Catholic thing.  
There's a difference between "natural guilt," which comes from recognizing you've made a mistake, and "artificial guilt," such as disobeying some arbitrary rule.  
I don't believe it's my place to judge someone else.  We do live in very judgmental and intolerant society, despite being told we are "free."  This may be one of the consequences of our unbalanced views on sexuality.  The nurturing instinct does allow for more compassion.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:48pm
Flying Junior,
You are actually supporting my point of view.  Respect for women is learned from mothers, too, mothers who have self-respect and command it from others, including husbands, sons, and other people.  Wanting to look good is a sign of self-respect in either sex, I figure.  
Regarding Trump and Kavanaugh, we have not seen the last of this battle that is shaping up to be a male vs. female one.  The macho attitude is wearing thin.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:52pm
The little I saw of the confirmation hearings depicted Kavanaugh as a weak man, who may have covered with bravado what he lacks in self-esteem.  I also wonder if he will use his power to retaliate once he's on the bench.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:56pm
Yes, it is primal, which is why makes so many people and institutions afraid of it.  That's also why it is so heavily exploited.  I wonder if there would be healthier attitudes towards it, from both sexes, if it weren't so bound up in social taboos.
George N Romey Added Oct 8, 2018 - 2:57pm
Katharine back in the pre 1980s of the Internet, Google, Smart Phones we as young people could not understand moments that could be frozen in time.  Want to get ahold of someone that witnessed an attack 30-35 years ago is now pretty easy with FB and the like.  Dragging up the unwanted known past is now just a few clicks away.
More and more big brother will see all of our failings and weak moments. Its one reason I will never, ever put one iota of material on  FB.  I like my privacy and only want others to know what I want them to know.
Our innocent is fading in this time of privacy going haywire.  Today that young boy better think twice about putting the hard moves on that girl.  Or that girl better think twice at getting photographed drunk as a skunk.
I don't believe for a second that this guy Kavanaugh was the "virgin boy scout" that might have drank some beer under peer pressure. That bothers me more than he might have gone to far with a girl and only when things got really bad did he go away with wounded pride and swollen pecker.
Ultimately this may be a good thing.  I think in my youth girls submitted because they did not believe anyone would take them seriously.  The belief if you showed up at a party and got drunk you wanted to put out.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:09pm
Methinks they protest too much.  Macho is old news.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:11pm
Ian, FacePalm, and Jeff,
I didn't know about the rule of thumb, and I'll be careful to keep any future husband away from the capitol courthouse grounds in South Carolina.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:15pm
Me, too.  Anyone who has a modicum of self-respect would presumably refrain from sexual assault or approval thereof.  It smacks of what Aldous Huxley called "herd poison," in referring to Hitler's rallies.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:25pm
The "madonna-whore complex" makes for a lot of angst in both women and men.  That's why women were taught through centuries they were supposed to endure sex but not to begin to like it.  Thus the rationale for the philandering male, the wronged wife, and on and on.  It also sort of explains sexual assault, with men convinced the woman secretly "likes" it or is "asking" for it.  
I have never understood why people blame the "other woman" when it's the man who made the marriage vows, not the "other woman," who has no obligation to the man's wife.  On the other hand, the "other woman" must know that if he's cheating on his wife, he would cheat on her, too.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:31pm
I don't buy the victim thing, either.  All these women coming forward now to claim they've been sexually harassed make me wonder why now?  If this has been going on for so long, and has been so rampant, what were these women getting out of it to let it continue?
At the same time, I'm glad that women are speaking up and hope they will alert younger women and men that some behaviors are not appropriate.
Ian Thorpe Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:36pm
Katherine, you ask: "My next question is whether wives had the same privilege their husbands enjoyed?"
No, they didn't, wives were property of their hubands, in fact there was a tradition in the west country, which features in one of Thomas Hardy's novels, (The Mayor Of Casterbridge maybe?) of men selling their unsatisfactory wives in the market, for sins such as nagging or being 'slatternly'. And a legal punishment for nagging wives was The Scold's Bridle, used up to the eighteenth century in rural areas.
The phrase, 'The law is an ass' relates to wives. In David Copperfield, Dickens has a magistrate telling Mr. Bumble the law says a wife must obey her husband, and he must make his wife obey him.
Mr. Bumble replies, "If the law thinks a wife will obey her husband, then the law is an ass, sir."
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:38pm
"Weaker vessel?"  I might challenge the word "weaker," but since I'm not your wife, I won't.  Does she know you think of her as "weaker"?  
Even the term "old maid" is pejorative, when an unmarried man of any age is a "bachelor."  It implies a woman's worth is measured by her marital status.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:40pm
John Howard,
Then we have the "second childhood" which is a way to justify immaturity throughout middle age.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:42pm
Steel Breeze,
I guess that's a way to keep the male praying mantis from wandering.  Maybe that's why they feel the need to pray.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:45pm
That's an advantage of having opposite sex siblings, I guess, if you can get along.  Good role model parents are probably the best of all, but they seem to be rare.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:49pm
Michael B., 
Yes, we are evil and wicked.  Watch out.  A guy once told me women are responsible for all the wars, and it does occur to me that men do a lot of stupid things in order to impress women.  Think of Helen of Troy.  Having a trophy wife seems to inspire more respect from other men than anything else, including money.  Melania Trump is very good for her husband's macho appeal.
George N Romey Added Oct 8, 2018 - 3:51pm
Katharine she didn't report it at the time because she purposely as a 15 year old girl got drunk with a bunch of older boys.  I'm not sure what she expected, maybe she was that naive that she thought they would just want to drink and "hang out."
We make mistakes in life and for her it could have been worse. She could have actually been raped.  Sometimes when many years go by we need to accept mistakes of the past as simply that.  Trying to piece together a he said/she said incident from 35 years ago is asking for lots of revisited heartache.  I'm not saying this wasn't right but right isn't always practical or feasible.  If she truly wanted revenge she should have taken action years ago.
Politic operatives such as Pelosi and Boxer thought they saw an easy way out and in the process caused a lot more pain.  And they saw this woman as an easy mark.  She got used although she unfortunately probably doesn't see it that way.
John Minehan Added Oct 8, 2018 - 5:35pm
"I suspect there were many reasons for the celibacy rule, but look at how it has played out over time.  Has it been good for the Catholic church or for male-female relations as a whole?  That plus the proscription on female priests bespeaks a subtle disdain for women.  Also, it sets priests apart from the merely human, which was probably intentional but not realistic."
I think a lot of the problem the Catholic Church is having is due to your last sentence.
The institution is too insular.  There are not enough outsiders looking in.
The Catholic Church could benefit from a few Rebbetzin, even though I understand this has not been a panacea in Orthodox Jewish Communities
John Minehan Added Oct 8, 2018 - 5:39pm
As for the ordination of women, I think this.
John Minehan Added Oct 8, 2018 - 5:42pm
Despite that, I have not been Excommunicated yet. 
I didn't even get kicked out of the VMI AA when I supported the admission of women in the 1990s.
"Heir stahe Ich.  Ich konne nicht ander."----Martin Luther
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 9:57pm
I think she was used, too.  She didn't want her name used, but it "accidentally" slipped out of Diane Feinstein's office.  With the cat out of the bag, it looked to me as though she was steamrolled into the public eye, as a weapon to support the Democratic agenda.
Jeff Michka Added Oct 8, 2018 - 10:09pm
If, on one hand, you ascribe to "she's obviously lying for political reason and is a 'paid Dem operative', I guess paid by the Left's paymaster, George Soros.  The faux T party "raging white men" is just another way to drive Ts, lazy from winning all the time, WON'T VOTE.  And I encourage them to not bother.  The fix is in, Ts, the "Chicoms" are working with the Ds to defeat the Ts, of course.  Isn't that "...steamrolled into...the public eye, as a weapon to support the Democratic agenda," just a little too pat, KO? 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 10:12pm
I'm not a woman demanding more equality but one who believes the imbalance has hurt both sexes and mankind's progress as a whole.  The article was meant to show things have already changed dramatically, and this is just the latest development.  I'm a process-oriented kind of person and see this as a mere moment in our evolutionary history.  
I noticed, too, that no other women have commented on this post, but WB has very few female contributors, as others have also noted.  It's too bad.  Women have not found their voices, to some extent, except to sound bitter and resentful, a tone which doesn't help.  But they do seem to be making a difference behind the scenes, quietly getting things done and exerting a civilizing influence, with a growing effect.  
You refer to "beta males," but I would contend that men are confused, too, about the changing social patterns.  Many of them are trying to adapt to changing circumstances and expectations, but that doesn't make them weak.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 8, 2018 - 10:20pm
John Minehan,
What's a "Rebbetzin?"
I read your linkedin post.  You are way more familiar with the details than I am, but I get your drift.  I believe any organization can benefit from having women in its ranks and leadership.  I wouldn't want to belong to an organization that didn't want me. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 8, 2018 - 11:18pm
Once a man, like the sea I raged; once a woman, like the earth I gave, but there is in fact more earth than sea.
Peter Gabriel
Ward Tipton Added Oct 9, 2018 - 12:35am
""Weaker vessel?"  I might challenge the word "weaker," but since I'm not your wife, I won't.  Does she know you think of her as "weaker"?  
Even the term "old maid" is pejorative, when an unmarried man of any age is a "bachelor."  It implies a woman's worth is measured by her marital status."
The weaker vessel is a Bible quote, and while my wife is a strong woman ... as evidenced by the fact that she can put up with me ... and not at all submissive despite what may be the "stereotypical" Asian female. She does however, like me, have a very strong faith in God ... though maybe not so much in the church any more. 
"Old Maid" was a term commonly used in mid nineteenth century America. Again, not my term but relevant to the times being referenced. 
Ward Tipton Added Oct 9, 2018 - 12:36am
PS I taught her how to shoot, so advantage in strength is effectively negated. God made all men, Dan Wesson made them all equal! 
FacePalm Added Oct 9, 2018 - 6:52am
I didn't know about the rule of thumb, and I'll be careful to keep any future husband away from the capitol courthouse grounds in South Carolina.
Well, unless, of course, you might occasionally feel a real need for some stern discipline...
Yep; that's another of many reasons why i prefer that Americans get and stay armed.  After all, men age, and are no longer as nimble or dexterous or have the stamina they once had; i've read, for example, that "You don't want to get into a fight with an old man; he doesn't have time to screw around, so he'll just kill you."  i think that women, in general, have much more of a need to have firearms, for in general, they face much more danger from "men"(in the deprecatory sense) than men do, either from other men or from women.  We all can be loving, and we all can be dangerous, and i think it's good to prefer the former while being prepared to be the latter, if need be.
Someone asked a guy with a pistol if it was loaded; he replied, "Yep; so is my fire extinguisher.  It's there just in case it's needed in a hurry.  Doesn't mean i'm going to use it right away."
Katharine Otto Added Oct 9, 2018 - 2:04pm
Is there more earth than sea?  I guess so, if you count the earth under the sea.  As far as I know, there's no sea under the earth.  I don't really understand the quote.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 9, 2018 - 2:12pm
I understood the references, and was pointing out the culturally entrenched ideas about men and women, from the Bible forwards.  I was sort of teasing about your wife's being a "weaker vessel," although I do believe the Biblical characterization of women being "weaker" has contributed to the stereotype we're dealing with now.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 9, 2018 - 2:18pm
I'm my own worst enemy, as possibly most people are, so I doubt externally imposed discipline would do much good.  Regarding weaponry, I'm fine with other people being armed, but for me a gun would be just another nuisance possession that wouldn't be handy when (or if) I needed it.  I don't have a fire extinguisher, either, even though I probably should.  Maybe I like living dangerously.
John Minehan Added Oct 9, 2018 - 2:49pm
"What's a 'Rebbetzin?'"
The wife of a rabbi, most often used in the Orthodox Traditions. i
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 9, 2018 - 4:58pm
Katharine -   It might surprise you that I have actually given long and considerable thought to the "battle of the sexes" over many years. My thinking has evolved, however, I will admit to stubbornly clinging to at least some chauvinistic tendencies. Having said this, those women with whom I am personally acquainted would attest to the fact that I am much more sympathetic to women and their concerns than most of my testicularly burdened brethren :) 
Women have long exercised MUCH more power than modern feminists would have us all believe. The modern feminist movement (warning: here comes the chauvinism) has been driven by women who, through no fault of their own, have been widely deprived of exercising their power through covert means and have thus sought to find roles for women whereby they may exercise said power in a more overt fashion.  Over the years I was acquainted with a number of women who were highly successful in sales for the simple reason that they had a very clear understanding of one universal fact: Men are dogs.  Personally I own this and make no apologies for it.
As to the is actually a song lyric from the Genesis song Cinema Show. In context it is the phrasing:
Take a little trip back
with Father Theresius
Listen to the old man speak
of all he has lived through
(the old man speaks) " I have passed between the poles, and to me there's no mystery. Once a man, like the sea I raged; once a woman, like the earth I gave, but there is in fact more earth than sea."
Geographically it is indeed incorrect, however, as a metaphor it is entirely accurate. There are more women than men, women as the earth and man as the sea. I have always thought that this phrasing best encompassed the yin-yang relationship between the sexes
Logical Man Added Oct 9, 2018 - 6:31pm
I'd argue that men and women are different, but that doesn't make one superior. Women are built, and their brains are wired for one role in human society and men another, due to the way we evolved. All the madness surrounding this subject are just another distraction, like race and religion, used to divide humanity so that they are more easily controlled and exploited.
Vive la difference!
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 9, 2018 - 6:48pm
Indeed true, Logical Man. Are you sure you're Canadian? :)
You hit the key: not less, not more. Just different
Logical Man Added Oct 9, 2018 - 7:15pm
The Burg, I happen to be Canadian by choice. Born in Northern England, been in Canada for 30 years now.
In a world that didn't find the need to increase the tax base, where child rearing was valued as it should be and it was possible to raise kids on a single wage (How I grew up) I'm convinced many more women would be happy to stay home (not exactly 'not working', I think) and give their offspring a better start in life than being packed off to the child care industry so they can go out and be taxed. Roles could be reversed, but one parent at home until children are approaching teen age seems like a good idea to me.
Call me old fashioned!
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 9, 2018 - 7:22pm
To the contrary,friend. I'd say you're on to something there :) And yes, it is a job. I lived in Toronto for about a year in the early 80's. Later repped for several Canadian companies and became acquainted with a number of UK expats. Most of them referred to themselves as "tax refugees". I wonder how they feel about it now?
Logical Man Added Oct 9, 2018 - 7:38pm
Probably still up in terms of taxation, especially if you operate a motor vehicle, but Canada is a much more beautiful place, especially if you enjoy the outdoors and there's noticeably more of it.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 9, 2018 - 10:30pm
In the US, merely escaping from the continental divide that they have created does not reduce one's tax liability. A Canadian lady in her fifties seeking to go to Vegas for a business conference was denied entry. As her parents had gone to the hospital in NY to give birth, she was required to file taxes her entire life. Both her and her husband were bankrupted as the Canadian courts sided with the American government. If you spend more than three months consecutively and completely in the US, you need to file American taxes for the rest of your life. The US government even commissioned a study to determine how best to continue the taxation after the conclusion of a nuclear conflict. Welcome to the land of the free biotch. 
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Oct 10, 2018 - 3:29am
@ KO - "Yes, we are evil and wicked."
Yes you are, and I would LOOOOVE to see more of you punished. The religious types, and even ISIL, don't go nearly far enough in dealing with you witches, lol. I think burnings at the stake and hurling you from tall buildings is a damn good start.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 10, 2018 - 3:37am
Still trying to get a grip on that spanking fetish?
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Oct 10, 2018 - 3:57am
Spanking? I'm WAAAAYYY beyond that. In my book, if you're executed by a firing squad, that's a sure sign of my favor, lol.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 10, 2018 - 4:03am
LOL! You're incorrigible. Yer mum must be proud :)
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Oct 10, 2018 - 4:16am
Yes, she usually was, except for when I treated some already-PC Girl Scouts as miniature Gloria Allreds, got rid of trespassing Obama supporters at gunpoint, and expressed my desire to see the spokesman for the Christian Children's Fund to "star" in the next terrorist beheading video, lol. Mom got kinda squishy on me before she passed on, lol.
The Burghal Hidage Added Oct 10, 2018 - 4:43am
Sorry Michael, I didn't know. Well she done good with ya by what I can tell :)
David Montaigne Added Oct 10, 2018 - 7:40am
The last century has seen a shift from demands for voting rights and equality to attempts to deny that there are any differences between genders.  Political Correctness will fall down before science in the end.  One recent study proved that statistically, women are grouped more tightly in the average middle of the bell curve on intelligence and behavior, while men dominate both ends of the spectrum - we are much more likely to see men at the good and bad extremes.
The article ended on the idea that the fittest to survive will include those who can blend the spiritual with the material successfully.  Yes, we all need some spiritual core to anchor us - but until society fixes many of its flaws and we live in some kind of utopia I doubt we will enjoy the freedom to focus on the spiritual enough for it to change most peoples' lives...
Katharine Otto Added Oct 10, 2018 - 12:19pm
Burghal and Logical Man,
It doesn't surprise me at all, as I believe many thinking individuals are interested in understanding it.  That there can be reasonable discussion on the topic is a step forward.  However, to think of men as dogs seems just as disrespectful, except so many people have a generally low opinion of humanity, generally.  My original point, that the concept of original sin conveys a sense of futility, shows itself in women's disrespect for men, too, and for all people's disrespect for themselves.  
And Logical Man, I tend to agree with you that it didn't necessarily help anyone for women to go out and work to get taxed.  It just raised the cost of living so that now we can't afford to have only one breadwinner.  Televisions and schools have become the babysitters.  
I sometimes wish you didn't know so much about the US government.  It only makes me more disgusted with it and more determined to have as little as possible for it to extort.  Can't pay taxes if you don't have money.
Michael B.,
I'm glad you don't know where I live.  
David Montaigne,
The idea of blending spirituality with materialism would be good for anyone, and for society as a whole.  Ideally, all individual differences would be appreciated and encouraged, with tolerance for multiple perspectives.  Obviously we have not arrived at that point, but those who have the courage to live their own beliefs, without trying to force them on others, can set examples for others.
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Oct 10, 2018 - 1:12pm
"Michael B.,
I'm glad you don't know where I live."
That makes two of us, lol.
James Travil Added Oct 10, 2018 - 7:21pm
Original sin, seriously? The idea of the "forbidden" is what makes sex appealing. But in all fairness the only original sec-related sin was when the first rape occurred. Nothing funny or sexy about that. The rest is just good clean fun as long as it only involves consenting adults. 
FacePalm Added Oct 11, 2018 - 1:31pm
"clean" fun?  You may not be doing it right...
Katharine Otto Added Oct 11, 2018 - 2:51pm
The idea of "forbidden" in general offends me.  By whose authority is it forbidden?  If that were sex' only appeal, animals wouldn't bother.  This is my attitude about most laws, too.  
Not my job to interfere in other people's sex lives, unless the repercussions impinge on me.  I consider rape an act of violence, and can't condone that in any form.  But as long as the bullies and cons have control of the mass mind, rape and other acts of violence will remain a part of the culture.
FacePalm, I guess it depends on what you mean by "clean."
James Travil Added Oct 11, 2018 - 10:31pm
Yeah I'm not big on the whole "forbidden" thing either Katherine, but a lot of religious people are. Not myself or my religion, we seek to free people from such outdated concepts. 
Koshersalaami Added Oct 13, 2018 - 1:16am
The problem in judging behavioral differences between different human populations is that we’re not dealing with absolute differences (such as, for example, all porpoises are smarter than all goldfish), we’re dealing with overlapping bell curves. This is true about sex, gender, race, ethnicity, you can damned near pick a category. Generalizations might indicate statistical tendencies but they are just that, not defining criteria. That’s why any statement such as “Men are more x than women” has limited validity. “Most men are more than most women” could work but because you can never be sure if the examples you’re discussing fall into the “most” populations you can’t draw reliable conclusions. 
In this respect, bigotry is at heart an analytical problem. Sure it has a moral aspect in a Do Unto Others way, given that that basic principle is as close to a universal precept of morality as any I can come up with, whether or not you derive it from religion, but the only respect in which that makes sense as a direction in which to take such a discussion is whether you claim to live by that. But that ultimately involves choice. Bell curves in this case do not involve choice, they simply involve fact. Whether or not making universal generalizations about typical categories of human populations is morally wrong, it’s factually wrong, and the only way around that is to lie to oneself deliberately.
Here again we get to moral standards that approach universal. One is honesty, at least with oneself, and another is a willingness to face conclusions that one finds frightening or, to be more blunt about it, to avoid intellectual cowardice. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 13, 2018 - 4:26pm
Katherine Otto
Original sin was manufactured by Augustine into a rigid Christian doctrine. He used allegorical exegesis  to extreme lengths!
"Allegorizing is searching for a hidden or secret meaning underlying but remote from and unrelated in reality to the more obvious meaning of a text. In other words the literal reading is a sort of code, which needs to be deciphered to determine the more significant and hidden meaning. In this approach the literal is superficial, the allegorical is the true meaning.2--
Augustine: Allegory and the Good Samaritan
"Augustine often receives a bad rap for some of his allegorical exegesis. This is especially true of his interpretation of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10.29–37)[1], which has become the whipping boy for the supposed dangers of allegory. The Samaritan is Christ, the animal of the Samaritan is the flesh of Christ, the man coming down from Jericho is Adam, the robbers are the Satan and his minions, the inn is the church and inn keeper is the apostle. Modern day Hermeneutics 101: do not interpret the text like Augustine[2]!"
He had many problems and probably distorted the central message of the scriptures.
Logical Man Added Oct 13, 2018 - 8:50pm
Christianity made a natural human activity into a sin in order to make everyone feel unclean. No better way of selling 'soap'.
Koshersalaami Added Oct 14, 2018 - 9:16am
Don’t expect me to disagree with that. Judaism doesn’t have original sin. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 16, 2018 - 5:19pm
"Don’t expect me to disagree with that. Judaism doesn’t have original sin. "
Let us acknowledge the bald fact that the new scriptures were written to agree and be amplified by the earlier scriptures. 
It is a testament to thorny devices of the religions right that sections in Isaiah predict events in the first century that were not apparent in centuries earlier. 
It is strange that the Jews did not see this in their own works but Christians did centuries later. It is stranger still that many Christians cannot believe that much of the scriptures were influenced by Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, [ 1792 to 1750 B.C.]  such as the a creation myth and a flood account, Epic of Gilgamesh
[]during the captivity. --
Koshersalaami Added Oct 16, 2018 - 6:51pm
Isaiah isn’t nearly as major to Jews as to Christians. His language is very flowery and poetic and we don’t regard it as literally as you do. 
The critical part of the OT is the first five books. Nothing past that (scripturally, I’m not talking about commentary) matters as much as anything in them. By the way, this is something Jesus would have understood absolutely but that Christians often don’t. 
Logical Man Added Oct 16, 2018 - 7:16pm
The critical part of the OT is that many parts read more like horror stories than anything that could guide humanity down a decent, moral path.
Yes, I've read it - twice.
Quite a while ago, I'd have to concede.
Ward Tipton Added Oct 17, 2018 - 1:10am
The Old Testament or ancient Hebrew Scriptures include many of what may have been pre-Helenistic writings in my view, pulled from fact and symbolism. 
Many include examples of what happens when we fail to follow the Will of God. 
In Job we see that Satan was walking in "his realm" when he spotted Job. Job, presumably being a flesh and blood man, would have been walking on the earth. Thus, we see that when we questioned the Sovereignty of God and Satan felt he could do better, God simply stood back and said "Go ahead" and left us to our own devices so to speak. 
This is reaffirmed in Judges and Kings when men told God that he was great and powerful and all that, but maybe it would be better to have Kings and Judges from among mankind, as they would better understand the tribulations of humanity first hand ... and we also see that "man has ruled man to his own injury". 
The Mosaic law is largely comprised of matters of sanitation and health, such as shellfish that must be cooked alive or will spoil quickly, pork which will quickly rot and cause disease, women during their monthly occasions and other simple and basic matters of hygiene. 
We also see many examples where humanity has fallen far short of the glory of God and has paid the price for it, even among such great characters as Moses who failed to thank God for bringing the water forth from the rock and thus, was never allowed to enter the land of Milk and Honey. 
A very interesting series of books, though troubling in some aspects, and even challenging in such examples as Isaiah and Daniel for me particularly. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Oct 17, 2018 - 5:46pm
Ward Tipton
"A very interesting series of books, though troubling in some aspects, and even challenging in such examples as Isaiah and Daniel for me particularly. "
And, a very different read if you choose the Septuagint published in Alexandria about 240 BCE. Many different words and names. 
I always wonder who changed those words and why since this is the oldest copy. There have been  many fingers in the scriptures for various reasons for thousands of years. 

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