Archive for the ‘women’ Category

And now, the healthy divas

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Or, more to the point, healthy narcissists, if you can find them,

Why Divas Need Make No Apology
Demanding People Get a Bad Rap, But Behind the Tantrums and the Drama Lie Lessons in Success

“Having a healthy diva around brings a lot of sparkle,” says Meredith Fuller, an Australia-based psychologist. “They make your world more interesting and pleasurable because you can bask in their spotlight with them.”

Fuller has written a book, Working with Bitches: Identify the Eight Types of Office Mean Girls and Rise Above Workplace Nastiness, and is blogging about the Screamer type, which must be in a circle of hell Dante didn’t get to – Virgil probably thought better to avoid it. Indeed,

It is a waste of time to have women caught up in bitching. She wonders why organisations would allow this behaviour.

But back to the healthy divas, Fuller says,

What separates a healthy diva from an unhealthy diva is this: Healthy divas stand up for others, not just themselves, says Ms. Fuller, author of a recent book about overcoming “mean girls” and nastiness at the office. “They are confident of their abilities and contributions, and they love recognition—but they are happy to give credit to others, too.”

All divas are talented and feel a sense of entitlement.

The issue here is, have you ever met a self-proclaimed “diva” who wasn’t a conceited schmuck, not matter how talented?

The article even has a quiz,

Diva Behavior

Divas are, by definition, high-maintenance star performers. But some are healthier than others, because they are self-aware and willing to share the spotlight. Psychologist Meredith Fuller provided some scenarios to test your ability to tell the difference. Identify which of the two behaviors in each question is healthier. Answers at bottom.

1. Sticking to Their Guns

a. The diva makes various demands about food or working conditions – only to make more demands after the initial demands are met.

b. The diva has specific, but reasonable, demands about working conditions and rarely waivers from them.

2. Accepting Accolades

a. The diva relishes recognition, awards and promotions and if allowed will speak eloquently about how to achieve a dream.

b. The diva relishes recognition, will speak eloquently—and shares credit and acknowledges others’ contributions.

3. Surrounded by Strangers

a. The diva doesn’t really care who is present and will be as demanding with one close colleague as with a room full of people.

b. The diva is most likely to be demanding and inflexible when there are people around, especially those who aren’t friends or colleagues.

4. Trials and Tribulations

a. The diva loves to talk about him- or herself, especially by talking about accomplishments and the difficulties he or she has overcome.

b. The diva loves to talk about him- or herself, especially by telling stories that are engaging but sometimes cast him- or herself in a self-deprecating light.

5. Diva Mode

a. The diva often shifts into diva mode, in which he or she clearly states her requirements, often in an uncomfortably direct manner.

b. The diva often shifts into diva mode, in which he or she expresses displeasure and rants, while co-workers hover and try to figure out what to do.

6. Creative Vision

a. The diva insists on pursuing his or her own creative ideas and vision, but sometimes the ideas fizzle out and then the diva drops them.

b. The diva insists on pursuing his or her own creative ideas and vision and in the vast majority of instances brings the vision to fruition.

Check out the answers. Commenter Kerry Fitzpatrick cuts to the chase, though,

No thanks, Elizabeth. I would never hire or date a “diva”. A professional woman willing to take responsibility and offer her ideas and suggestions? I hired them decades ago. An Intelligent, polite but firm, independent woman who expects to be treated as an equal ? That’s the woman in my personal life now.

Be a star performer, and cut out the tantrums and the high maintenance crap. Be polite. Be professional. Treat people with consideration and respect.

You’re an adult, not a petulant child, fer cryin’ out loud.

And, as for the diva in the video, don’t travel to Cuba.

Why is this woman so angry?

Friday, March 5th, 2010

It’s been an unexpectedly busy morning, and I was browsing through my feed reader, when I came across this, via Michelle Obama’s Mirror,

This is a portrait of an enraged woman. Enraged to the point where she exhibits this anger in public functions.

Is she angry for the same reasons as Dan? The Anchoress explains,

People are feeling not just “fooled” but betrayed and disrespected by their elected leaders, who are supposed to be their servants. No one likes feeling that way. Many Conservatives and Independents sense that their hirees are out of control and dictating to them from on high; to them, America feels like a college campus occupied by a bunch of spoiled adolescents who are alternately calling their tuition-paying parents “stupid and bourgeois” or “stupid and oppressed,” depending on the day. They are bristling at the disdain and condescension they sense from their government. In his speech today, Obama seemed one rhetorical flourish away from saying, “don’t you know who I am?” And the sense I am getting is that Americans are ready to say, in return, “don’t you know who we are, who hired you?”

Certainly Michelle Obama’s anger is not due to that.

But, who knows?

What did we talk about during dinner?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

A couple of people saw this picture yesterday,

and asked, “What did you all talk about during dinner?”

Joy fills you in on the coversation,

We had a great discussion about New Media, the winds of political change, and (over the second bottle of wine) the sartorial disaster that is the First Lady of the United States. (Here, I pointed out that I held off for months after last year’s inaugeration on that one, not wanting to diss the wife of our Commander-in-Chief. But the ghastly choices she makes eventually burst the dam of my reluctance, and last night I was the cattiest one by far.)

Speaking of the CIC, during a discussion of daily prayer it was pointed out that he should be on our prayer lists, for several reasons—but two in particular. (That is, because he is our Chief Executive, and because we don’t care much for the way he’s handling the job. A political adversary counts as an “enemy” for the purposes of prayer. So you know what to do.)

She also makes a connection between Vanderleun and free-market capitalism, which you must go read.

(From left to right in the photo, Juliette, Joy, Fausta, Ginny, Kate.)

Unrelated to the subject, Gerard has honed his “Standard Apology for 21st Century Schmucks” for Tiger Woods. (Did we talk about Tiger Woods during dinner? For all I know we did, but after my third or fourth glass of wine…)

“Hate speech” accusations vs women’s rights

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

In a lengthy post, Gates of Vienna posts recommendations on women’s rights and Sharia law:

  • Participating States must point out to all religious groups that men and women enjoy quality before the law. In addition, participating states should punish violations according to the law.
  • Participating states should particularly focus on the following:

1. Inheritance laws must be enforced equally for men and women.
2. Testimony from a woman must be considered equal to that of a man.
3. Corporal punishments inflicted from men on women must be strictly prohibited and, if prohibited by law, the law must be enforced and perpetrator be brought to justice.

  • The practice of polygamy must be punished under the law.
  • In order to make gender equality a reality, it is necessary that participating states establish the basic conditions for a minimum of economic security.

Why should these recommendations generate such controversy?

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff of Pax Europa was accused of hate speech for having made this statement:

We have to decide if we’re going to perish under a self-inflicted anvil of political correctness, or whether we believe in equal rights for all.

It’s not hate speech, it’s human rights.

Monsters

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

My latest post, Monsters, is up at LadyBlog. Please read it and leave a comment.

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Obama’s boost to the abortion industry

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

One of those Friday afternoon stories that mostly go ignored in the news cycle:

Forty million abortions in the USA since Roe v. Wade aren’t enough, now we’re going back to paying for abortions abroad – while we’re in the middle of a huge financial downturn, at that:
Officials: Obama to reverse abortion policy

The policy bans U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of U.S. Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion. It is also known as the “global gag rule,” because it prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that lobby to legalize abortion or promote it as a family planning method.

Pro-abortion groups prefer to ignore the fact that in those countries most of the aborted babies will be girls.

God forgive us.

The Corner:

How soon until Obama’s pro-life apologists try to argue that repeal of the so-called Mexico City policy is really a pro-life step?

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Boundary issues

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

A friend emailed this article, asking what I thought, since I once was in a similar situation:

Boundary Issues
My therapist, her housekeeper, Immigration and me

To make a long story short, Michele Serros goes to a therapist. The therapist works from home, her background is entirely disconnected from Serros’s:

But from appearances alone, my new therapist didn’t seem to be in desperate need of my postdated checks. Displayed on the walls of her garden-level home office were her and her husband’s multiple Ivy League degrees; original, signed lithographs; and family photos documenting graduations and European vacations: three generations portrayed in celebration and cable-knit sweaters. My therapist wore silk blouses, stylish gauchos and knee-high boots to our sessions; a sizable diamond ring weighed down her left hand.

I, meanwhile, arrived in baggy sweats and hastily chosen T-shirts, there to talk about a life that couldn’t have seemed more of a contrast: my grudge-holding, working-class Mexican American family (who can’t share a holiday meal, let alone an entire trip); the nine years it took me to graduate from college; the ring finger recently bared by divorce. During our first few sessions, as I struggled with particular pieces of dysfunction, I worried about whether this woman, my therapist, could possibly understand where I was coming from and whether she’d judge my entire ethnic group by the stories I was sharing with her.

In my situation the therapist and I had much more in common when it came to social/educational/financial backgrounds, but I digress.

After eight months of therapy, the therapist hasn’t paid much attention to Serras’s background and naturally assumes that Serras, a fourth-generation American of Mexican background, is the person to ask when the therapist’s housekeeper – an illegal alien – got picked up by Immigration. The therapist had no clue as to whether her housekeeper even had papers.

Serras asks,

This from a professional who earns a living through diligent observation and inquiry. Was she that naive? Was she faking it? How could someone with so many fancy degrees not know how to find the appropriate help? And how could she know I wasn’t pro-wall, as I’ve been surprised to find many Latinos are, discreetly?

This are all very good questions, but the one question Serras should have confronted her with is,

What on earth makes you think I would know?

Then, to add financial injury to insult, the therapist spent Serras’s session on immigration issues.

Serras dropped that therapist, and none too soon.

Later, another friend would joke about the situation, suggesting that I should have billed for my time. But I had a few other concerns: Why the sadness? Why the anger? What am I feeling now?

I’m still sorting out the issue with my new therapist.

I’m sure Serras is a very nice girl who wants to oblige, particularly when going trough a difficult time in her life. I used to be like that.

Then one day I woke up when a comparable situation arose, and decided that wisdom, judgment, discernment, compassion and integrity – and even a modicum of professionalism – don’t come with a psychology degree, so I told the therapist off and walked away halfway through a session.

That was very therapeutic indeed, Michele.

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Israel elects Livni, a woman. Why are we talking about it?

Friday, September 19th, 2008

My latest, Israel elects Livni, a woman. Why are we talking about it? is up at LadyBlog.

Go read it, and leave a comment.

Eight year old seeks divorce in Yemen

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

From Armies of Liberation and Jawa, Eight Year Old Seeks Divorce in Yemen

Yemen is ranked number one in the world in gender inequality. One study found that rural women work 17 hours a day on average. Domestic abuse is not considered a crime nor is it socially unacceptable. Women are required by law to submit to their husband’s sexual demands-ie, there is no such thing as marital rape in Yemen. Rape is a largely under-reported crime because social mores blame the victim.

Bear this in mind when you read about this courageous little girl:

For the first time in Yemen 8-year-old girl asks for divorce in court

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser arrived at court by herself on Wednesday, April 2, looking for a judge to handle her case against her father, Muhammed Nasser, who forced her two months ago to marry Faez Ali Thamer, a man 22 years her senior. The child also asked for a divorce, accusing her husband of sexual and domestic abuse.

According to Yemeni law, Nojoud cannot prosecute, as she is underage. However, court judge Muhammed Al-Qathi heard her complaint and subsequently ordered the arrests of both her father and husband.

Nasser’s uncle, who does not want to reveal his name, is following the case now as her guardian. According to her uncle, after Muhammed Nasser, the girl’s father, lost his job as a garbage truck driver in Hajjah, he became a beggar, and soon after suffered from mental problems.

Thamer is in jail now. “Yes I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me,” he said. “But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”

So far, no accusations have been made against her father, who was later released due to health problems, or Nasser’s husband, who will remain in jail for further investigation.

So far there is no case and no charges, as Nojoud arrived by herself to court asking just for a divorce,” said Shatha Ali Nasser, a lawyer in the Supreme Court who is following Nojoud Nasser’s story.

Nasser confirmed that Nojoud Nasser’s case is not the first of its kind in Yemen, but it is the first time that a girl went to court by herself to ask for a divorce.

Related:
At Dhimmi Watch, Iraqi Islamic scholar: Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was nine, and there is no minimum age for marriage in Islamic law

Iraqi Expert on Islamic Law Calls to Allow Young Girls to Get Married: In Islamic Countries, Girls Get Their Periods at the Age of 8-10. Westerners Criticize the Prophet Muhammad for Having Sex with His 9 Year Old Wife, But Allow Fornication with Underage Girls

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NYT glosses over FGM

Monday, January 21st, 2008

As regular readers of this blog know, I have been posting about female genital mutilation (FGM) for a long time. My position is as follows:

I do not care whether this is a tribal, religious, and/or cultural tradition at all, the practice of female genital mutilation is a barbaric custom that must be stopped.

Yesterday for some (probably insane) reason I picked up the dead-tree edition of the New York Times and found that the magazine has an eight-page full-color article and spread on the barbaric practice, titled A Cutting Tradition
Inside a female-circumscision ceremony for young Muslim girls

The description by Sarah Corbett makes it sound like the girls were going for a pedicure (emphasis added):

When a girl is taken — usually by her mother — to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals. Sponsored by the Assalaam Foundation, an Islamic educational and social-services organization, circumcisions take place in a prayer center or an emptied-out elementary-school classroom where desks are pushed together and covered with sheets and a pillow to serve as makeshift beds. The procedure takes several minutes. There is little blood involved. Afterward, the girl’s genital area is swabbed with the antiseptic Betadine. She is then helped back into her underwear and returned to a waiting area, where she’s given a small, celebratory gift — some fruit or a donated piece of clothing — and offered a cup of milk for refreshment. She has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia, where, according to a 2003 study by the Population Council, an international research group, 96 percent of families surveyed reported that their daughters had undergone some form of circumcision by the time they reached 14.

I was actually shaking with anger when I finished reading this.

For starters, it is not circumscision. It is mutilation. It doesn’t take much to mutilate a woman’s external genitals.

The procedure itself is designed to deprive a woman from enjoying her sexuality for as long as she lives and carries dire medical consequences.

My friend Phyllis Chesler was reading the NYT article, too, and has this to say, Exactly Who are the Barbarians? Female Genital Mutilation as Pictured in the West

What is a human rights atrocity with life-long and life-threatening consequences is here being presented as a “tradition,” often a harmless one, sometimes not, but always a well-intentioned one.

According to the article, there is “little blood involved” – well, how bad can that be? And, “antiseptic is used” – well, this is not dangerous at all, is it? Finally, afterwards, the child is given a “celebratory gift” – what, am I the kind of westerner who, Grinch-style, would deny the child her gift in order to make my twisted, “racist” argument? As the article states , the child clutching (or drinking) her gift “has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia.”

These photographs were taken in 2006 on a day where 200 girls were genitally mutilated . In honor of the “prophet Mohammed’s birthday,” the Assalaam Foundation subsidized both the mutilation – and the “gift.” According to the Foundation’s chairman of social services, the cutting/mutilation will “stabilize her libido;” “make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband”; and “will balance her psychology.”

Because you know, those husbands wouldn’t want any hysteria getting in the way.

Ninety six percent of all Indonesian families have sliced their daughters’ clitorises right off.

No orgasms for you, you naughty, wicked hussy of a child.

In the article, an Italian physician who is also a World Health Organization official states: “To judge them (the female mutilators) “harsly is to isolate them. You cannot make change that way. These mothers believe they are doing something good for their children.”

The Indonesian “cutting” is presented as less severe, less “extreme” than African versions. Oh yeah? Then why does one photo show us a child in extraordinary pain. Yes, right there in the New York Times. The caption is: “A girl cries as she is circumcized.” Well, it’s like being vaccinated, right? And there is a second photo of a highly anxious child just before the mutilation. This one is captioned: “A girl is soothed by an attendant before her circumcision.”

The photographer has captured a live human rights atrocity in progress and we are seeing it in color with our morning coffee and croissants. Or bagels. Or muffins. Whatever.

Who exactly are the barbarians here? Those who genitally mutilate their daughters or those who deem the atrocity as something of a soft core “tradition” to be “enjoyed” at Sunday brunch?

Phyllis is unsparing in her indictement of the NYT’s puff piece. She also links to Dr. Andrew Bostom’s article, Clitoral Relativism—Female Genital Mutilation in “Tolerant” Islamic Indonesia where he quotes from the British Medical Journal

An August 1993 report in the British Medical Journal (abstracted here) on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) stated plainly, in its summary conclusions:
Female genital mutilation, also misleadingly known as female circumcision, is usually performed on girls ranging in from 1 week to puberty. Immediate physical complications include severe pain, shock, infection, bleeding, acute urinary infection, tetanus, and death. Long-term problems include chronic pain, difficulties with micturition [urination] and menstruation, pelvic infection leading to infertility, and prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth.

Not surprisingly, FGM is outlawed in theUnited States and most Western countries, and there are concerted efforts to eradicate this barbaric practice, globally.

But just today, the barbarism of FGM is indeed referred to “misleadingly” as “circumcision” in a quintessential culturally (or if you prefer, clitorally) relative depiction by Sara Corbett published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine

My other friend Mary Madigan notices that Sara Corbett has a history of perverting the truth.

All the same, the NYT has now slipped from moral equivalence, dhimmitude and political correctness into embracing child abuse and mysogyny.

Update
Pushing the limits of cultural relativism: the lighter side of cannibalism

Update 2
Can’t Drive, But Hey! There’s a Strong Sense of Family

Unsurprisingly, todays co-called “feminist” blogs are awash with false outrage at meaningless trivialities, like Michigan Tech’s president implying that women should not be pressured into attending college if their ambition is not higher education, the societal implications of the new “skinny” offerings on the Starbucks menu, a Post-It ad, and some half-baked rant about Chris Matthew’s treatment of Hillary Clinton. There is nothing dealing head-on with the horrors women around the world are experiencing at the hands of real Patriarchal societies whose laws, practices, and yes, backward version of religion have established an inescapably oppressive construct that is now affecting a brand new generation.

It begs the question, of course: what is it that these women are afraid of? Is it so simple as a fear of the demon of multiculturalism, or a fear of being perceived as intolerant that leads them to do nothing more than pay lip service to the cruelty? Or is it something more? If this was such an innocuous practice, they certainly would not object to undergoing it themselves, but you would, rightfully, find none that would, so it cannot be that they believe this kind of thing is merely an artifact of a bygone era. Something must be preventing them from acknowledging a real cause for concern, a real plight of gender equality…something bigger.

It remains to be seen of course. Tomorrow, feminists across the country will celebrate a court decision that paved the way for international policies encouraging abortion as a legitimate reproductive right, which has in turn empowered countries to impose one-child policies, and for women in those countries to take advantage of international help to commit a genocide of the female gender — allowing nearly 60% of all female babies born in China and India to be killed.

So much for tolerance. Its time for a new idea.

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