Female Supremacy Articles
Boy Brains, Girl Brains
Are separate classrooms the best way to teach kids?
by Peg Tyre
Sept. 19, 2005
Three years ago, Jeff Gray, the principal at Foust Elementary School in Owensboro, Ky., realized that his school needed help- and fast. Test scores at Foust were the worst in the county and the students, particularly the boys, were falling far behind. So Gray took a controversial course for educators on brain development, then revamped the first- and second-grade curriculum. The biggest change: he divided the classes by gender. Because males have less serotonin in their brains, which Gray was taught may cause them to fidget more, desks were removed from the boys' classrooms and they got short exercise periods throughout the day. Because females have more
oxytocin, a hormone linked to bonding, girls were given a carpeted area where they sit and discuss their feelings. Because boys have higher levels of testosterone and are theoretically more competitive, they were given timed, multiple-choice tests. The girls were given multiple-choice tests, too, but got more time to complete them. Gray says the gender-based curriculum gave the school "the edge we needed." Tests scores are up. Discipline problems are down. This year the fifth and sixth grades at Foust are adopting the new curriculum, too.
Do Mars and Venus ride the schoolbus? Gray is part of a new crop of educators with a radical idea-that boys and girls are so biologically different they need to be separated into single-sex classes and taught in different ways. In the last five years, brain researchers using sophisticated MRI and PET technology have gathered new information about the ways male and female brains develop and process information. Studies show that girls, for instance, have more active frontal lobes, stronger connections between brain hemispheres and "language centers" that mature
earlier than their male counterparts. Critics of gender-based schooling charge that curricula designed to exploit such differences reinforce the most narrow cultural stereotypes. But proponents say that unless neurological, hormonal and cognitive differences between boys and girls are incorporated in the classroom, boys are at a disadvantage.
Most schools are girl-friendly, says Michael Gurian, coauthor with Kathy Stevens of a new book, "The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life," "because teachers, who are mostly women, teach the way they learn." Seventy percent of children diagnosed with learning disabilities are male, and the sheer number of boys who struggle in school is staggering. Eighty percent of high-school dropouts are boys and less than 45 percent of students enrolled in college are young men. To close the educational gender gap, Gurian says, teachers need to
change their techniques. They should light classrooms more brightly for boys and speak to them loudly, since research shows males don't see or hear as well as females. Because boys are more-visual learners, eachers should illustrate a story before writing it and use an overhead projector to practice reading and writing. Gurian's ideas seem to be catching on. More than 185 public schools now offer some form of single-sex education, and Gurian has trained more than 15,000 teachers through his institute in Colorado Springs.
To some experts, Gurian's approach is not only wrong but dangerous. Some say his curriculum is part of a long history of pseudoscience aimed at denying equal opportunities in education. For much of the 19th century, educators, backed by prominent scientists, cautioned that women were neurologically unable to withstand the rigors of higher education. Others say basing new teaching methods on raw brain research is misguided. While it's true that brain scans show differences between boys and girls, says David Sadker, education professor at American University, no one is
exactly sure what those differences mean. Differences between boys and girls, says Sadker, are dwarfed by brain differences within each gender. "If you want to make schools a better place," says Sadker, "you have to strive to see kids as individuals."
The Elite will soon be Female
By Inge Kloepfer, Germany
September 30, 2005, Deutschland
Never have professional women been more successful than they are today. Never before have so many women attended university or gone out to work. And yet despite all these successes there are still very few women at the top. Although there are a lot more women than there used to be in the boss’s chair, the percentage of women in top jobs is still below average. However, scientists believe this is about to change, too: in future it will be impossible to ignore the increasing number of well-educated women used to be relatively alone as a woman,” recalls Inge Rösler and says that the word “exotic” comes to mind.
She began her career as a trainee at Deutsche Bank over 25 years ago. Today at the age of 52 she has come a long way and leads a large team in the bank’s credit-risk management section. “I was one of very few women, sometimes the only woman, in the classical lending business where I began my career,” she says. But “That has changed a lot,” she says. The reason: “Today, many women are much better trained and have good initial qualifications.” And yet, she adds, it has still not become much easier for them to reach management level. Competition for top jobs is hard, she says. And apart from that, even today it is usually left to women to work out how to organize a career and a family – and make the two compatible. Rösler knows; she has a grown-up son.
In fact, women are more successful in their careers today than ever before. Inge Rösler’s generation laid the foundation on which crowds of young women are now building. They are much more self-confident – as well they might be. Never before have so many women attended university or gone out to work – 47% of Germany’s wage earners today are women, and they have never earned as much as they do today either.
Whereas the dominance of the sole-male-earner model was reflected in women’s gross incomes in Germany in 1980, this has changed markedly in the last 25 years. “For childless women at least it has become normal to go out to work,” confirms Nicola Hülskamp, researcher in educational and labour-market policy at the Cologne-based Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft ( Institute of German Private Enterprise, IW). “In the early eighties, women rarely had their own income, whether they had children or not,” she says. This has changed. And yet, things still look quite different for mothers in Germany. The message of the IW’s figures is clear. In contrast to Scandinavian countries, for example, a large proportion of working mothers in Germany are still to be found in low-income groups today. Many of them work part-time, and that alone considerably reduces their average salary.
Sociologist Jutta Allmendinger, 48, professor at Munich University and director of the Federal Employment Agency’s Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (Institute for Employment Research, IAB), sees one reason above all others for the success of women: “They have access to education and training opportunities that were completely closed to them a hundred years ago. As far as education is concerned, they have not only caught up with the men, they have overtaken them.” More young women than men are leaving school with the top qualification – Abitur (a general entrance qualification for higher education) – and there are just as many female as male university graduates these days. The gap is also narrowing when it comes to PhDs. Furthermore, “There are now far fewer women than men in the group of people with low-qualifications,” she says. Professor Allmendinger – who is very highly educated and runs an institute and a university department – is one of those who have “made it”. She is also a mother, although she did have her child late and had obtained her professorship long before she became pregnant. Combining a family with a top job was no longer a problem then.
It is looking as though women’s chances on the labour market will improve even further in the coming years. Ulrike Detmers, 49 (mother of three children, professor of business administration at the University of Applied Science in Bielefeld, part-owner and manager of the Mestemacher bakery group in Gütersloh), has long said: “The elite is turning female.” After all, “40% of jobs in Germany will require higher qualifications by 2010.” This is related to the pressure of international competition, she says, so that Germany will increasingly have to create value-added from areas of activity requiring higher qualifications. The demand for well-trained staff is growing and, as far as women are concerned, meeting with an increasing supply, says Detmers. Progress in education can be seen especially among women under the age of 29. “And these women want a reward for the investment they have made in their education.” Ulrike Detmers is very optimistic as regards the future of female social climbers. She herself has succeeded in doing what many people dream of: she has long-since been well-integrated in the male-dominated world of management – after many years of hard work. She also knows that “It is still difficult to get into these networks, especially for young women. There are still prejudices.” This is why she is personally committed to the idea of a “more female” elite in the future, first and foremost in her own company.
After all, despite immense progress in education, the influence of women at the top levels of German business has remained minimal. According to the Federal Statistical Office, only 33% of managerial positions in Germany are occupied by women; the figure among top executives (company directors and CEOs) is only 21%. There are currently only two women on management boards at DAX-listed companies. Christine Stimpel, headhunter and boss of the German branch of Spencer Stuart, a leading international executive search firm, knows the phenomenon:
“Women often choose courses of study that promise them a certain amount of personal freedom. You find a lot of women in self-employed, highly qualified professions, and there are a lot of successful female lawyers, notaries and scientists. There are also a huge number of women in middle and upper management. We sometimes have only female candidates when we are recruiting for a job in human resources, marketing or PR. But that is not reflected at all in general management functions, and certainly not in management boards.” She has come to realize, however, that this is not because companies don’t want women, but that the infrastructure (full-time care for children, household-help services, etc.) still leaves a lot to be desired, so that many women don’t even aim for top jobs. “The companies who approach us virtually always want us to search for a female candidate. They would be delighted if we could present more female top-class people. Women are in demand,” she says.
Professor Desirée Ladwig (40, two children) from Helmut-Schmidt University in Hamburg points out that women have especially good chances of promotion in companies where over 20% of managers are already female. Dorothee Ritz, director at Microsoft since August 2004, agrees. Her advice to young women is to “look for companies that support women, are open to the idea of equality and say so in their statutes.” According to the 36-year-old manager, executive positions are especially suitable for women with children. “Leading or managing is not the same thing as working,” she explains, “because managing is qualitative, not quantitative work. It depends on how the substructure is organized.”
Programmes for promoting women, the legal obligation to offer equal rights, the Anti-Discrimination Act, quotas for women, better infrastructure – all these are evidently still necessary. Another important aspect is transparency among companies that really want women as specialists and managers. Helmut-Schmidt University and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs have founded a new information platform called Genderdax. Companies can present themselves on the website after verification by the organizers of their active support of career-oriented women. The platform at www.genderdax.de is now open for companies to register. 100 large and 100 medium-sized enterprises now have an opportunity to present themselves there. Companies you would automatically expect to find in such a context are already on the site. They include Volkswagen and Westdeutsche Landesbank, already known for their support of women. But there is still plenty of room for others. And otherwise, too, there remains a lot to be done.
Where the Boys Aren't
For young males, the drift away from academic achievement is a trend
By Robert A. Jones
We are bouncing down a county highway, deep in corn country. On the right side, a Cargill plant looms out of the farmland, converting corn into corn syrup for the nation's soda pop. Otherwise the fields are fallow and all is mid-winter quiet, just the way Tom Mortenson likes it.
Mortenson is the editor and publisher of Postsecondary Education Opportunity, a monthly newsletter, and this day he's headed for Iowa City where he will drop off the latest edition at the printer. In the field of higher education, he may be the only publisher in the land to operate out of a farm town, and the location has its drawbacks. Today's trip to the printer, all told, will take more than three hours.
"This is crazy," said Mortenson. "If I lived in a city I could do this job in ten minutes." But he is smiling in a way to suggest it is unlikely he would ever abandon southern Iowa.
Opportunity has grown in influence over the last decade as it has promoted greater access to higher education for minorities and lower-income groups. Each year it grades colleges and universities on their enrollment efforts and has not flinched from assigning low marks to some of the country's more notable institutions. On several occasions the newsletter has bestowed Harvard with an F.
But much of Mortenson's reputation, and perhaps notoriety, stems from his pioneer work on an issue he never planned to undertake: the downward spiral of academic achievement among young males, the very group that so long dominated college campuses. Beginning in 1995, Mortenson more or less announced the phenomenon to the academic world in his newsletter, and he has continued to pound away at the issue ever since.
The 1995 Opportunity article was titled, "What's Wrong with the Guys?" The question startled many of his readers in the education world-as it did Mortenson himself-because it was assumed that males would permanently dominate the academic world and occupy the majority position. In fact, Mortenson pointed out, men had slipped into a minority.
In the article, Mortenson argued that male dominance on campuses had been crumbling for more than a decade. His graphs, ranging from high school dropout rates to the gender ratios of college graduates, starkly defined the issue: Males were walking away from higher education in alarming numbers while females were charging ahead. Virtually every measure showed a downward curve for men that continued into the foreseeable future. There was no evidence of a turnaround.
Mortenson concluded by predicting that the abandonment of higher education by increasing numbers of males would have a profound effect on the future of the nation. "The failure of men to rise to the challenge to increase greatly their educational attainment," he wrote, "will continue to alter nearly every aspect of our economic, social, political and family lives."
Today, the erosion of male presence on campuses is widely acknowledged by the education establishment and has been the subject of extensive media attention. Indeed, the evidence of the decline continues to be compelling and, in fact, has grown worse since Mortenson's original article.
In 2002, the most recent year for which figures are available, the percentage of male undergraduates on the nation's campuses stood at 43 percent versus 57 percent female. That figure constitutes the lowest percentage for males since the middle of the 19th century. In that same year, the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to women exceeded those to men by 192,000. Between 1990 and 2002, female degrees exceeded males' by 726,000.
Though differences exist among races and ethnicities, the trend spans all groups. The sharpest drops in the share of bachelor's degrees have occurred among Hispanic males, followed by whites and African Americans. Asian American men have also lost share, though their percentages are the highest among the racial groups.
For boys, the downward spiral actually begins in middle and high school. Recent surveys have shown that boys study less than girls, make lower grades, participate in fewer extracurricular activities and take fewer college-prep courses. By the time senior year arrives, a large percentage of boys have already abandoned the college track.
In a 2003 report by the Council of Chief State School Officers, high school girls were found to be dominant even in subjects that were traditionally regarded as the preserve of boys, such as advanced math and science. In states from California to Mississippi, the majority of high school chemistry students were found to be girls. The same was true in trigonometry and geometry.
"Contrary to some current views and the patterns of the mid-1980s, more high school girls took higher-level math and science than did boys in all of the reporting states," the report noted.
And just as the phenomenon begins before college, it continues after college, where women have grown to near parity with men in professional schools. A U.S. Department of Education survey recently noted that between 1970 and 2001 the percentage of law degrees awarded to women increased from five percent to 47 percent; medical degrees from eight percent to 43 percent; and dentistry degrees from one percent to 39 percent. Each year the percentages for women edge upward another notch.
"The meaning of these numbers coming out of colleges and graduate schools is very significant, and I don't know that many people have grasped it," said James Maxey, senior research scientist for American College Testing (ACT) in Iowa City. "We are moving towards a female dominated society in everything regarding the professions. I mean everything from the law to medicine to science, across the board."
Here in Oskaloosa, the phone calls from reporters come almost daily now to Opportunity's office in the basement of Mortenson's home. Some come from CBS and Newsweek, others from small newspapers where the editor has noticed that all four high school valedictorians in his hometown happen to be girls.
Yet Mortenson is hardly satisfied. Getting the educational establishment to recognize the male decline took more than five years, he says, and even now the nation's educational system has not begun to respond in a way that might rescue the next generation of boys.
"You look for somebody trying to change the situation and you find nothing. Zippo," Mortenson said. "We don't want to accept the idea that boys need help. The notion about boys has always been that they can take care of themselves, even when the numbers prove otherwise."
Mortenson often expresses mild amazement that he has come to be regarded as the champion of boys. As a child of the '60s, he grew up in rural Iowa and then spent two years in South America as a member of the Peace Corps, returning with a zeal to do good works. He had always excelled at math and eventually decided to use those skills dissecting the educational disparities between minorities and women on one side and the reigning class of white males on the other.
Over the years he worked as a policy analyst for the University of Minnesota, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and ACT. With his New Deal political idealism, Mortenson should have fit snugly into the education hierarchy. But somehow he didn't.
Mortenson, it seems, is a born gadfly-an avuncular gadfly, with his shock of white hair and personal charm, but a gadfly nonetheless. Once engaged on a subject, he tends to talk non-stop, and the talk can grow passionate and blunt. He is also a man who quickly understands the real-world repercussions of statistics, and is impatient with those who do not. This approach does not always win favor in education bureaucracies.
At ACT, for example, he became increasingly discouraged over the erosion of the value of Pell grants for underprivileged college students. Concluding that tinkering with the program wouldn't work, he pushed the ACT leadership to advocate the wholesale dismantling of Pell grants and then lobby for a new, more effective program. Mortenson's bosses did not agree, and soon he departed.
The founding of Opportunity came, in part at least, as a result of Mortenson's understanding that he needed a venue where his gadfly nature would be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. "With the newsletter I can lay out the numbers as I see them," he said. "I can push the envelope; I can make people mad. And no one can bump me off."
Then he laughed. "I don't think they can even find me in Oskaloosa."
Actually, Mortenson first noticed the signs of the male decline while he was at ACT, several years before he founded Opportunity. Initially he thought the slippage was a good sign. It meant that women-minority, white, rich and poor-were working their way toward parity.
But as he followed the numbers over the next few years, the slippage began to quicken. He pulled enrollment statistics from the '70s and was surprised to discover that the percentage of males going to college had gone flat during the decade. "I stared at the numbers and I was startled," he said. "For boys, the percentage was about the same in 1990 as in 1970. All the progress in higher education over those twenty years could be attributed to girls. The boys had gone flat-line."
Still, Mortenson wrote nothing about his moment of epiphany. His franchise was minorities and women, he told himself, not males. Surely someone else would take up the cause of boys.
Five years passed and no one did. By this time, in 1995, Mortenson had started Opportunity and had continued to watch the decline of males. The downward curve, if anything, had grown steeper. Something big was happening. Mortenson began writing about it, and he hasn't stopped.
These days he travels often, addressing education conferences on the subject, and usually begins with slides showing boys' greater dropout rates, lower grades in high school, and general drift away from academic achievement. Then he puts up what he calls the "show stopper."
It's a slide of suicide rates among boys between the ages 15 and 24. The graph shows a horrific rise beginning in the 1960s and peaking in the 1990s, when the ratio of male to female suicides exceeded six to one. The rates are the highest ever recorded for that age group.
"You can sober up any audience when you lay out the suicide data," he said. "The room tends to go quiet. The audience is staring at figures showing young males giving up on life at the very beginning of life, and they understand that something dangerous is happening in our culture."
In recent years several studies by the U.S. Department of Education, the American Council on Education, and others have confirmed Mortenson's findings. But some question whether the situation amounts to a cultural apocalypse.
Michael McPherson, former President of Macalester College and now head of the Spencer Foundation, recalls that during his undergraduate days at the University of Chicago several decades ago, about two-thirds of the student body was male. "I don't recall anyone going nuts over it," he said. "I think it's easy to look at a trend like this and overstate the repercussions. At this point we don't really know what it means."
Jacqueline King, director of policy analysis at the American Council on Education, would like to see the emphasis placed on minority and low-income white males. "The trend impacts all groups, that's true, but as income rises, the gender gap decreases somewhat. Economically, if you look at the bottom rung of males, you see a truly terrible situation."
King also argues that the shift to a female majority does not suggest that females are grabbing college spots formerly held by men. "Higher education is not a zero-sum game," she said. "It tends to expand to accommodate new groups and larger numbers of a group such as women. Women are not taking spots away from men, they are taking advantage of an expanded pie."
She agrees, however, that the male decline is troubling and raises many unanswered questions. When asked if she could explain why males, even those from middle and upper-middle class families, have gone into a tailspin, she replied, "No, I really don't know the answer. I'm not sure anyone does."
For individual colleges, the question is what, if anything, can be done to keep gender parity on their campuses. James Maxey, at ACT, says the options are fairly clear. "They can push more scholarship dollars at boys, they can practice some version of affirmative action, or they can spend more time and energy recruiting boys," he said.
Several college officials interviewed for this story said institutions probably were utilizing all those strategies although they would be loathe to admit it. "When a college sees its gender gap getting close to 60/40, they're going to get nervous because that's roughly the point where the college starts to lose its attractiveness to both males and females," said one official. "In that situation the leadership will take steps to pull in more boys, even if those steps are carried out under the table. The market realities are such that I don't think they have a choice."
One reason for the reluctance of colleges to discuss their tactics was described by Rebecca Zwick, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, in her recent book, "Fair Game? The Use of Standardized Tests in Higher Education." She cites the case of the University of Georgia, which has a sizable majority of women, trying to maintain a balanced campus by giving men preference among borderline candidates. A female applicant filed a lawsuit over the practice and the university dropped it.
Zwick also refers to an annual meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling where one participant referred to affirmative action for men as "the issue that dare not speak its name."
Though the undergraduate national gender gap stands at 57 percent women, the phenomenon is not evenly distributed across all campuses. In general, small liberal arts colleges have been hit hardest by the shortage of males, and large public universities the least. That is because large public institutions usually have engineering departments, business schools, and football and basketball teams, all significant draws for men. Small liberal arts colleges often do not.
And within the liberal arts group there is a pecking order. Top-tier schools have encountered little difficulty thus far in maintaining a 50/50 balance while second- and third-tier schools have found it almost impossible. One official speculated that this may reflect an unspoken affirmative action policy on the part of first-tier schools who are admitting male students that formerly would have attended a lower-tier institution.
James Jones, president of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, says his institution is not finding it difficult to maintain a balanced student body, in part because of Trinity's high-level reputation and also because the college has an engineering school and specializes in business and finance.
"But when I was President of Kalamazoo we struggled to keep the student body at 55 percent women and 45 percent men," he said. "What you will find is that any traditional liberal arts college-except those in the highest tier-are really struggling with imbalance."
Jones points out that colleges and universities are actually caught in the middle of the problem. Males begin to drift away from academic achievement long before their college years, and their failure to earn postsecondary degrees will affect the larger culture long after the college period.
"We are looking at a very serious issue. This is a complicated, seismic shift, and the schools must address it," Jones said. "But by 'schools' I do not mean just higher education. I mean from the first grade on through college."
Jones says that he suspects the core of the problem arises from the "de-masculinizing" of boys in the early years of education when they are introduced to a matriarchal school society and forced, contrary to their nature, to sit quietly for long hours in the classroom. Boys grow up without a sense of who they are or what it means to be a man. "I guess the feminists would say that's perfectly alright because guys have run the world for a long time," he said. "But I don't think it's that simple."
In Oskaloosa, Mortenson would applaud that conclusion. He believes boys' drift away from college begins at an early age and has been influenced by some of the larger cultural shifts of the past few decades. Namely, millions of fathers have lost their jobs in manufacturing and agriculture, leaving them without economic purpose and unable to provide a vigorous role model for their sons. Millions of other boys have been raised in families without any father present.
"For generations, men served as the breadwinners in the family. That was their role," said Mortenson. "Today that role has been removed. I live in one of the richest farming regions in the world, and an economist told me recently that Iowa now has two farmers per township who actually make their living from farming. Two. What about the rest of the men? I don't think we have begun to discover what to do about men in an age when their economic purpose is being changed so profoundly."
Over the years, as he hammered away at the issue, Mortenson has brooded on the question of who will save boys. The paradox, he says, is that men-as an interest group-have virtually no political infrastructure. In Washington, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) exercises a potent voice in support of women in higher education. But an AAUM doesn't even exist. Nor do any other groups designed to work on behalf of male gender issues.
"Men won't, or can't, save themselves. That's the sad fact," said Mortenson. "They don't have their act together, and they don't seem engineered for that kind of effort."
These ruminations have led Mortenson to an unexpected conclusion: Women must save men. In his view, women have their act together and can work toward change far more effectively than men. They must realize that their own, decades-long struggle to win educational parity has succeeded beyond all expectations, and now they must lend a hand to their vanquished adversary.
Besides, he argues, women have a lot at stake in this issue. "This year approximately 200,000 more women will receive bachelor's degrees than men," Mortenson says. "That means 200,000 women will not find a college-educated husband to marry. Next year there will be 200,000 more, and on and on. Women are being faced with two bad choices: not to marry at all, or marry a guy who delivers pizzas."
In a more general sense, he argues that a culture filled with ill-educated, drifting men does not add up to a pretty picture for anyone, including women. Mortenson cites a conversation he had with the president of an historically black college where the female/male ratio had reached the startling figure of five to one.
"He was really disturbed about the environment on the campus, saying it bordered on domestic abuse," Mortenson recalls. "The men were treating women badly, playing them off each other. Women were getting into fistfights over men. The social conditions were totally unacceptable."
Mortenson was encouraged to hear Laura Bush's announcement early this year that she would take on the issue of boys during the Bush second term, and he notes that it was she, not the president, who took the initiative. But even Mortenson is at a loss to describe what policy changes he would recommend to Mrs. Bush.
He toys with ideas like a return to gender-separated schools that would allow boys to operate in a more rambunctious environment. Or efforts to redefine masculinity toward the service-oriented jobs of the future. At this point, he says, no one knows what will work and what won't.
The difficulty stems, in part, from the very scale of the issue. The unraveling of a gender involves half the population. Social issues usually arise within sub-groups and minorities whose problems are connected to their own special conditions. But a gender spans all racial groups and economic classes; it encompasses virtually every human condition.
The prospect of discovering effective antidotes is daunting, Mortenson says, and he is not optimistic about the near future. "Right now I see only the faintest response to this issue," he said. "I am convinced that we will not see resolution in my lifetime. And I can guarantee you that it's going to get worse before it gets better."
Dominant Women don't get Husbands...Look at the Bonobo
If men would only give up their silly desire for world dominance, the world would be a much finer place. In bonobo society, the females are dominant.
By Maureen Dowd
WASHINGTON - At the opening of "The Sweet Smell of Success" last month, a successful New York guy I know took me aside for a lecture that was anything but sweet.
He said he had wanted to ask me out on a date when he was between marriages, but nixed the idea because my job made me too intimidating.
Men, he told me, prefer women who seem malleable and overawed. He said I would never find a mate, because if there's one thing men fear, it's a woman who uses her critical faculties. Will she be critical of absolutely everything?
Now comes Time magazine with an equally distressing commentary. The cover story offers the scariest statistics for women since Newsweek declared in 1986 that a 40-year-old woman was more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to tie the knot.
Time chronicles the new baby bust - women who focus too much on their careers suddenly realizing they've squandered their fertility.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist, conducted a survey and found that 55 percent of 35-year-old career women are childless. Between a third and half of 40-year-old professional women are childless. The number of childless women age 40 to 44 has doubled in the past 20 years. And among corporate executives who earn $100,000 or more, she says, 49 percent of the women did not have children, compared with only 10 percent of the men.
Ms. Hewlett, the author of "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children," observes, yet again, that men have an unfair advantage.
"Nowadays," she says, "the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child. For men, the reverse is true."
On a "60 Minutes" report on the book Sunday, Lesley Stahl talked to two young women who go to Harvard Business School. They agreed that while they are the perfect age to start families, it was not so easy to find the right mates.
Men, apparently, learn early to protect their eggshell egos from high-achieving women.
The girls said they hid the fact that they go to Harvard from guys they meet, because it's the kiss of death. "The H-bomb," they call it.
"As soon as you say Harvard Business School . . . that's the end of the conversation," Ani Vartanian said. "As soon as the guys say, 'Oh, I go to Harvard Business School,' all the girls start falling into them."
So the moral of the story is, the more women accomplish, the more they have to sacrifice?
The problem here is not only that women are procrastinating too long; it is that men veer away from "challenging" women because they have an atavistic desire to be the superior force in a relationship.
In the immortal words of Cher: Snap out of it, guys.
Male logic on dating down is bollixed up: Women who seem in awe of you in the beginning won't stay in awe once they get to know you. Women who don't have demanding jobs are not less demanding in relationships; indeed, they may be more demanding. They're saving up all that competitive energy and critical faculty to lavish on you when you get home.
If men would only give up their silly desire for world dominance, the world would be a much finer place.
Look at the Taliban. Look at the Vatican. Now, look at the bonobo.
Bonobos, or pygmy chimpanzees, live in the equatorial rain forests of Congo, and have an extraordinarily happy existence.
And why? Because in bonobo society, the females are dominant. Just light dominance, so that it is more like a co-dominance, or equality between the sexes.
"They are less obsessed with power and status than their chimpanzee cousins, and more consumed with Eros," The Times's Natalie Angier has written. "Bonobos use sex to appease, to bond, to make up after a fight, to ease tensions, to cement alliances. . . . Humans generally wait until after a nice meal to make love; bonobos do it beforehand."
The males were happy to give up a little dominance once they realized the deal they were being offered: all those aggressive female primates, after a busy day of dominating their jungle, were primed for sex, not for the withholding of it.
There's no battle of the sexes in bonoboland. And there's no baby bust.
From Eve Hogan’s “He Said, She Said”
"How do you feel about shaving your genital area?"
Carol, 32: Taking a razor to your hubby's crotch and rendering him totally hairless puts you in the driver's seat. Granted, the more he fights to keep his hair, the bigger your challenge. But once you have him bald down there, your husband/wife relationship will never be the same.
Jen, 39: From what I have read and personally experienced, if a woman keeps her pubic hair while making her male partner remove his, he tends to exhibit submissive tendencies for fear that she will make his hairless state known to others - especially other men. Keeping him hairless gives her the upper hand in their relationship.
Natalie, 39: Call me crazy, but my stay-at-home husband has become noticeably more submissive since I started shaving him. I got the inspiration after some casual but eye-opening discussions with two married coworkers who are both self-proclaimed feminists. (One shamelessly wears the key to her husband's chastity device around her neck.) I work long and crazy hours as a real estate agent and have been most successful at it. As for Brad, he's been an unemployed computer programmer for some time now. He makes a great but sometimes reluctant househusband. But like magic, once I was persuaded to remove his pubic hair, he has become completely docile and attentive to my every need. I can now relax in front of the tv most evenings with Brad's tongue tucked sheepishly into my bush. If that doesn't relax a working gal at the end of the day, I don't know what does. Of course, there is always his hairless genitals to amuse me when I'm in a reciprocating mood. His cock and balls are much more palatable without all that male hair. I still want him to be able masturbate naked in front of me whenever I ask him, but he is painfully shy about it.
Debbie, 43: I started shaving my husband over 5 years ago. This was to show him who was in charge. It must have been almost 4 years ago I started having him put on hair removel cream on in the morning and again at night(everyday). This has removed all of his pubic hair and now he will only grow back fine wispy stands when I let him. This I did as a test just to see what is left.
I believe only women should have pubic hair. It stands as a sign of womanhood. Naked male genitals show a sign of surrender to the Female.
Ellen, 41: The tables have turned. I used to let my husband shave me quite often. But that stopped about a year ago. I now shave him. I have found this to be true with many wives today. It is amazing how many men have their genitals shaved as a requirement for sex with their wives. This is the rule I have put into place at my home. I also keep him nude most of the time so I can view his shaved cock and balls. I find it to put me in a very dominant position. I also like us to shower together so he sees my hair and his removed. When we are toweling off I always like to point out that I am the one with the hair in my pants and this talk always gives him a massive hard-on. He has now admitted to me he likes me to shave him. He says it is like I am putting my brand of ownership on his genitals.
Abby, 34: My husband and I have been married four years and during that time, I have gradually taken over as head of our household. One of the first things I did in our female dominated marriage was to make him remove his pubic hair. Ladies, if you skip this important first step in taking control, you're missing the boat. Being kept hairless down there has a profound effect on the male ego and makes a man truly submissive. Trust me, it works.
Sandy, 42: I just started requiring my husband Ian to remove his pubic hair for me. He is non argumentative with me to begin with, so his resistance was short-lived. I love his new look and smooth feel. I plan to keep him totally bald down there for a long, long time... I trim but have no desire to shave. Besides, I simply enjoy being the only spouse with hair in my pants. And Ian has clearly become more submissive as a result.
I'm familiar with Elise Sutton and visit her web site often. She's a self-proclaimed female supremacist who advocates, among other things, that women keep their husbands shaved. In fact, her own husband must keep his genitals completely shaved and locked in a chastity device. My kind of role model.
On the prowl
Meet the new urban cougars – older women who enjoy younger men.
By KATHERINE NGUYEN
The Orange County Register
We're not talking about the ferocious mountain lion. The cougar we're tracking lurks in happening bars or upscale lounges, likely lapping up a pretty martini and basking in the attention of younger admirers.
She's typically in her 30s to late 40s, attractive, defiant when society tries to cage her. Fiercely untamed, she prefers sexy clothing. Think Samantha Jones from "Sex and the City" or Edie Britt from "Desperate Housewives."
If you aren't familiar with the species yet, you should be. Cougars are becomingly increasingly easy to spot.
Sharon Stone is set to star in a romantic comedy aptly titled "Cougar," as a wealthy woman in her 40s who can't resist younger men. The WB's "Living With Fran" stars Fran Drescher playing a recent divorcée with a twentysomething boyfriend. And Jerry Hall, the 48-year-old, leggy ex-wife of rocker Mick Jagger, has her own reality TV show called "Kept" in which she auditions a cast of young hunks to be her arm candy.
The growing cougar subculture can also be found online at www.urbancougar.com, a Web site that pays homage to the cougar lifestyle.
"We're trying to make it a better world for cougars since we're huge fans," said Jeremy Mape, a Newport Beach native who created the site with friend Mark Lobosco.
A cougar, according to the guys, is a woman who has shunned the traditional lifestyle of getting older and settling down in the suburbs with kids. She's got a successful career, enjoys traveling, going out, and "looks amazing for her age," said Lobosco.
"Just look at all the hot moms who dress like J.Lo at Fashion Island," said Mape. "It's flattering if she's 45 but looks 25 from far away."
They insist new divorcées fit nicely into the cougar category and clarify that an MILF (Mom I'd Like to, um, Freak) "is just a domesticated cougar," said Mape.
ABC's "Primetime Live" interviewed the guys for a segment on cougars that aired last month. And talks are under way, Mape said, with the producers of "The O.C." to explore a TV series.
Mape, 29, started the Web site as a joke. It has since boomed, with 40,000 unique visitors a month, on the strength of features such as "Urban Cougar of the Month," where to find "Cougar Dens," and a section that classifies cougars into types.
It lists Orange County as home to several cougar hotspots - namely, The Quiet Woman in Corona del Mar and Gulfstream in Newport Beach.
"The cougars in Orange County, especially Newport Beach, are second to none and as good as it gets," Mape said.
On a recent Thursday evening, the cozy Quiet Woman along Coast Highway was crawling with good-looking women well into their fourth decades. It was easy to chat up guys at the bar about cougars. Not so much with the potential cougars themselves, most of whom insisted that they had no idea what a cougar was or why they would know in the first place.
"Of course I know what a cougar is," said Andrew Vanos, 37, who lives in Corona del Mar. "Except back home in Australia, we call them 'boilers' - boiled but not poached."
Asked to further explain the characteristics of a cougar, Vanos added: "They're on their last leg with nothing to lose. They've come to terms with life and they're not afraid to go after what they want."
That kind of sentiment is exactly why the majority of women at the bar bristled at the mention of the C-word.
"It sucks being called a cougar," said Jen Sloan, 36, also of Corona del Mar. "The term is offensive. It makes the woman out to be some sort of desperate predator."
Her boyfriend, Mark Inglis, 27, disagreed.
"It's a badge of honor," he said, laughing. "Cougars are great. It's exciting; it's all about the hunt and it's fun as hell."
As Kevin McKelvie, 36, of Aliso Viejo, put it, "They know what they want, and they aren't afraid to get it."
Dressed in a slinky orange camisole and denim skirt, Dawnielle Kelley, 37, embraced the title.
"Yeah! Cougar; it's classic, I love it," said Kelley, who lives in Tustin and has a 30-year-old boyfriend. "I don't care if I'm called that. Women are more successful with their jobs than ever, and we don't need a guy to take care of us."
So what's this thing with younger men?
"It's the same reason why older men like younger women: Hot bodies!" Kelley declared, laughing.
It's not always about the hunt, some argue.
"I feel we're helping these young men to be men, not in a sexual way, but helping them to understand what motivates women," said Sheri Newcomer, 47, of Corona del Mar.
She's advised younger guys to go ahead and send a drink to a girl across the bar because it's an "elegant and not pushy" move, something she says doesn't happen at bars anymore. In turn, the young men teach Newcomer about things like the X Games and the latest cell phones.
"I give them a little bit of schooling on how to treat a lady," said Newcomer. "This is what I find so fun in meeting younger men."
Where to go
According to www.urbancougar.com, Orange County is home to plenty of cougar dens:
The Foxfire, Anaheim
La Cave, Newport Beach
Opah, Aliso Viejo
The Quiet Woman, Corona del Mar
Gulfstream, Newport Beach
Velvet Lounge, Prego Restaurant, Irvine
Commentary On The Cuckold Husband
by Diane Marie
I see I have gotten your attention. The truth is I'm not even sure myself where I'm going with this, I'm not even sure I'll stick to my intended subject.
Perhaps it's best to start out with a definition of the word cuckold. As defined in the dictionary "A man married to a unfaithful wife." Simple enough, the guy's wife cheats. Many men fit this category, it may surprise you how many wives actually have cheated at least once. But cuckold has come to mean something more, at least according to the many stories written on the internet, those stories about men who want their wives to be unfaithful. That does bring up the question of what is unfaithful, namely is a woman, who has sexual relations with other men with the total approval of her husband, unfaithful? I'm sure this could be debated but I think not. Being unfaithful, would to most people, be cheating, having approval is not cheating.
I think we need to redefine cuckold to mean any husband, who wants his wife to have sexual relationships with other men. I further propose that we refine the definition to mean a husband who desires, lusts and is at least somewhat obsessed with the idea. Adding further that he craves the humiliation of such an experience. Some of you may object to the last, but face it, watching someone else having carnal knowledge of your lover, knowing that she or he is also desirous of having sex with another has to be humiliating. Your lust for watching, or hearing about the event, may be greater then your humiliation but that really doesn't matter. In most cases, I believe that the humiliation is as big a motivating factor as the lust is.
I propose we define cuckold to mean a husband who desires his wife to humiliate him by having sexual relationships with other men. Of course there should also be a degree system involved in the definition. Cuckold I, cuckold II, cuckold III so on and so forth. This system would be set up by how submissive or willing to be humiliated the husband is to his wife in order to fulfill his lustful desires. Cuckold X being a husband willing to put up with any humiliation in order to watch his wife enjoy her lovers. According to my definition, any man who forces his wife into submission does not fit, and he shouldn't, he's nothing more that a rapist, it matters little that he wasn't the one doing the raping.
I kind like my system, don't you. Cuckold I, would be the man who's willing to allow his wife the pleasure of a mfm threesome but he's doing it for both of them, she'd like the experience and he'd like the thrill of watching. Nothing wrong with that, they both get something out of it.
Cuckold X, would be the other extreme, the husband is completely obsessed with the idea of his wife being with other men. She finally consents, at first to please him but finding she loved being with other men, she now continues for her own pleasure. It's not long before she realizes her husband well do just about anything to watch or even hear about her experiences. Just think of the advantages her life now takes on, he'll clean the house, watch the kids, do the laundry, shop for the groceries, tend the garden when she doesn't feel like it, and so much more. I'm sure he'd even procure lovers for her, if she so desired. I could list pages and pages of things I could think for him to do. If she's a bit on the kinky side, liking the sub/dom thing, wow, my mind is overwhelmed by the possibilities. Even if she fell out of love with him, he's a keeper, what a life of leisure she could have. Need some extra money for a vacation with your current lover, send him out to work at night, but only after he's found someone to keep her warm and comfy while he's working. Oh my god, why did I not think of this when I had the opportunity to make it a reality.
I do have to admit, I have read some stories where the male just doesn't fit my prejudices. The lust is there, the desire is there, even the fact that he sees his wife as a sex object it there, but somehow the love he feels for his wife shows through. That was at first very puzzling to me. It opens up possibilities that I never even considered and I now accept that in some cases love could and most likely does survive in this kind of life style. I do understand swinging but that's about two people wanting to expand their relationships. Wanting to watch while the other has all the fun, or abuse depending on your point of view, is something I find harder to understand.
I better clear something up right now, I do not find it offensive to be seen as a sexual object, at times in any healthy relationship we see our lovers as sexual object. When that is all you see in your lover and that feeling is the primary one you feel, then it is a sickness. If you can't feel, love, tenderness, closeness, a oneness, a longing to give as well as receive while in the midst of your most heated, lustful, canal, passionate love making, then I feel so very sorry for you.
I can't help but wonder, if your fantasies became reality would it really be as good as some of you think it would be. What would your reaction be if you decided you didn't want to live that way but your wife decided she didn't want to return to a monogamist relationship. How would you feel when some other man picked her up for a date. How would you feel when she didn't come home one night because the sex was so wonderful, or worse yet she had loving feeling for the other man and wanted to wake in his arms. How would you feel when she told you she loved you but you alone couldn't satisfy her sexual needs. How would you feel when your friends knew your loving wife was available to them for their loving. Add to the above that most likely if your wife really loves you she'd expect you to remain faithful. At least I'd expect that, it was you who started me upon this path, it's what you wanted, not me. The fact that I liked being with other lovers wouldn't change how I felt about you cheating on me.
I've heard it said that men get their wives into swinging, then it's the wives who insist they continue in that life style. It's about the other men, not really about pleasing her man, so wouldn't that be the same way for the loving wife concept. Your wife may even try it the first time just to please you but if she finds she wants to continue, it would be about her pleasure, not yours. I'm sure some wives would find they liked having sex with multiple partners, and wanted to continue. Most of us at some time or other wanted a man other then our partners, some of us acted on that. I think you men sometimes underestimate our sexual appetite, you confuse control with lack of desire. I assure you, we can be just as lustful as you are. We are brought up to have that control, we carry the risk and burden of not being in control. Society judges us wanting if we do not show that control. If we act like men, as concerns sex, we are called sluts, where is the equivalent term for a man.
In a way it is sad but we as women are the harshest judges of all, and we judge other women by a much higher standard then we judge you men. That is slowly changing and in many ways that has already changed. Woman are already much more accepting of gender preference then you men are. Someday I think that word slut well disappear from the English dictionary, not because you men won't want to use it, we just won't tolerate any woman being called a slut.
By Angela St. Lawrence
As well as being the title of Elise Sutton’s long-awaited and well-received book, Female Domination is rapidly becoming the sex du jour for an ever-increasing number of mainstream couples. Along with other out-of-the-closet carnal intimacies such as fetishes (feet & toes, nylons, leather, smoking….), homosexuality (Shhh! Don’t tell the republicans!), masturbation (mutual and solo), strap-on sex (Surely, dear female reader, you knew this?), and the widely embraced metrosexual phenomenon (Google “sissy” or “feminization” or “panty boy.” I dare you!), the male desire to surrender control to an erotically powerful woman is no longer the “dirty little secret” it once was.
Being currently (and ever so blissfully!) immersed in Ms. Sutton’s book, and having a certain proclivity toward Dominant Phone Sex, I find this to be a singularly delicious expansion of the ever-evolving sex games boys and girls like to play. In other words, this is not your father’s phone sex any more! In fact, this is not even your father’s (or even your mother’s, Goddess forbid!) wet dream! The playing field has not only been leveled, but, irrevocably, skewed. And the allure of that sexy umpire-ess ordering you, a lowly bat boy, to crawl to third base and kiss her leather boots, is just too intoxicating to resist.
While I would never lay claim to being an expert in human sexuality, I am in the business of creating fantasy. More than occasionally I not only find myself with a front row seat from which to observe the conventional and not-so-conventional desires of the submissive male but am the privileged Phone Mistress who will mind-fuck him into subspace. Submissive men come in all shapes and sizes and flavors and perversions. What I find so delightfully disarming about these exquisite creatures is that they are --nine times out of ten-- men of serious substance and quiet dignity. I can always count on them to be polite, congenial, accommodating, quick-witted, and downright, intoxicatingly clever. These men, over-all, are a sweet breath of fresh air. They have no hidden agendas. They dwell confidently and authoritatively in their every day and relatively well-balanced lives. And it is, indeed, a good life: Fulfilling, successful, accomplished…perhaps, even self-actualized. In fact, if we daughters had been raised by fathers like these, there would be no need for Jungian therapists, motivational gurus, self-help books, or Twelve Step recovery programs.
And, therein, beloved kinksters, lies the rub! When one is perceived as “in charge” in his everyday life, where does he go to find that sexual rapture that only can be realized when we give up control? While, courtesy of the internet, we are all experiencing an expanding sexual consciousness (Even if to simply know, “You are not alone.”), the submissive male has somewhat of a quandary on his hands. Most likely he has presented himself to his inamorata as, at the very least, a vanilla lover, and even more likely, an aggressive one. After all, that is what is expected of the “normal” man, right? While he and the rest of us are realizing that our nasty and secret desires are neither as nasty nor secret as we once thought, he finds himself unable to bring this au courant flavor to the sexual table he, himself, has set. How does he tell his dinner partner (Perhaps, his cherished wife of 10 or 20 years?) that his palate now craves spicier fare?
I often tell my submissive callers that they are really just romantics on steroids. Even after a lifetime of pursuing, courting, loving, fucking, and perhaps marrying women, a man continues to be both perplexed and enamored with the ever-illusive Feminine Mystique. Not to torture a cliché, but as has been the case since Eve bewitched Adam (Honestly, how much sweet-talk do you really think it took?) into eating her forbidden fruit, women have been dragging men around by their dicks. This really isn’t anything new; it’s just been “super-sized,” so to speak. Even in a situation where the guy is supposedly the dominant, let’s not fool ourselves, ladies and gentlemen. If his lady friend does not concede to dressing in evocative slut-wear, painting her lips cock-sucking red, donning the proverbial ball gag, and submitting to a bit of elaborate rope binding (not to mention some delicious bottom spanking), “Master” is not going to have an orgasm anytime in the foreseeable future!
There are as many variations to the D/s (Domination/submission) relationship as there are enthusiasts. This is the party of the season, and it seems everybody from the bootblack (male) to the CEO (female) has shown up. So here we are, all at the same party, just wearing different party hats. From the sensually sublime to the viscerally extreme, name your poison: Body worship, face sitting, bondage, forced feminization, cock and ball torture (cbt), orgasm denial & control, cuckolding, erotic hypnosis & mind control, humiliation (verbal &/or public), toilet training, objectification, and more, so very much more…it’s here for the taking.
Wallflower type? Looking for a little objectification? Grab your dick, take a seat, and don’t you dare move a muscle! So you think you’re the life of the party and wanna be Mistress’s party favor? Dangle that pretty pink lampshade over your head and jump up on the coffee table for some contemptuous browbeating while you squeal like a pig. What? You’re looking for the buffet? Right over here, darling! Now, put your head back and Mistress will just take a seat right here on your face. Mmmm…. Such exquisite cuisine, is it not? And you? You say you’re not a guest, that you’re the piñata? Oh! They are waiting for you in the dungeon. Just right down those stairs and around the corner. Just follow the smell of leather. No, it won’t hurt that much.
Not much into parties? More of the homebody type? Well.... If you have been a reasonably well-behaved partner in the course of a long-term relationship and think your ladylove is ready to meet the new & improved submissive you, you might want to start with some user-friendly (pun intended!) reading material. Elise Sutton’s book, Female Domination, is an excellent starting point. Because the author practices the FemDom lifestyle (she is married to her submissive) and regularly counsels female-dominant couples (her educational background is in psychology), the material she presents is backed by both personal and professional experience. Giving readers an intimate, first-hand peek into the everyday lives of “normal” couples who just so happen to be ardent practitioners of female domination, she presents an eloquent argument for the logic of the female-dominant relationship. Combining passionate commentary with a quiet spiritualism, Elise shares her personal history and evolution, looks at the progressive societal trend to empower women, and the psychological “rightness” of male submission. This is a book from an intelligent heart that will speak to you and your lady’s emotions, intellect, and libido!