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College Girls: Unpaid Whores.
March 19, 2002 4:04 PM   Subscribe

College Girls: Unpaid Whores. So you think you're a great troller. You think you know how to spin your words with absolute precision to force your opponents into a saliva-spewing frenzied rage. Well, guess what? You're a nobody, an amateur. It's time for you to bow down before the One True Master: Cornell University doctoral candidate Joseph J. Sabia. I defy a single MeFite, of any ideology or political persuasion, to not find at least one statement in this article that doesn't completely infuriate them.
posted by aaron (90 comments total)

 
I think the guy's a misguided, creepy loser. But I'm not infuriated. He definitely slants his stuff in an antagonistic manner.
posted by websavvy at 4:07 PM on March 19, 2002


Someone so has to write College Boys: Unpaid Whores.
posted by Gaz at 4:11 PM on March 19, 2002


Sabia earned his B.S. in policy analysis

So they give degrees for that now..? *snicker*
posted by isomorphisms at 4:11 PM on March 19, 2002


does anyone know of any conservative journals that don't make conservative folk sound like lunatics? i've found my stash of non-crazy liberal pubs, but nothing from the other side of the tracks.

(that's a real question, not a snark, btw. i actually am looking for a well-written conservative journal.)
posted by patricking at 4:11 PM on March 19, 2002


It's quite an achievement to sound, at the same time, like a prude and a pimp.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:11 PM on March 19, 2002


This does kind of seem like the ubber-troll. Unfortunately, I assume the guy is serious. Not really infuriating, though. He seems like such a religious wacko, I'm inclined to believe he may have some form of mental illness.
posted by Doug at 4:14 PM on March 19, 2002


I'm not mad. This guy is just stupid, and in a completely non-original way. In fact, I doubt he really believes all this stuff; he probably just has no other way to deal with his sexaul frustration. I mean, any idiot can write an essay about how we must return to the morals of the 19th century. And of course, "unpaid whores" is an oxymoron, which is not infuriating so much as laughable.
posted by bingo at 4:16 PM on March 19, 2002


Maybe there's something wrong with me, but before succumbing to boredom I was actually agreeing with this guy. I was not infuriated, not was I outraged. All sizzle, no steak, Mr. Aaron.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:16 PM on March 19, 2002


You can't take a man who quotes Oompa-Loompas seriously.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:18 PM on March 19, 2002


“Now Sabia,” you say, “you’ve been very hard on young women. But don’t young men deserve some blame? Aren’t you just a bitter, cranky, rapidly-aging misogynist?”

The answer to both questions is ‘yes'.


That kind of sums it up. He must have had a really difficult time getting any in college...and is very bitter about it.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:23 PM on March 19, 2002


You can't take a man who quotes Oompa-Loompas seriously.

No doubt. I'm really not convinced yet that this wasn't satire. Or are the rest of his articles consistent with this one?
posted by cortex at 4:23 PM on March 19, 2002


I feel sort of bad, and this isn't the most popular opinion... but being in college, I agree with him. I don't think it has so much to do with women selling out as it does with society though. We are blasted with skinny women all over the place in advertising and elsewhere, sex is something that is becoming very open and commonplace. I have little sisters, and watching them dress the way they do... I mean, every little girl wants to look like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, solving mysteries and kissing boys at 13 years old. I complain that it gets harder and harder to tell how old people are with all of these little girls dressing so provacatively. Being in the nightclubs lately a friend was hitting on this chic, comes to find out she was 15. I don't know, he has a few good points I argue.
posted by banished at 4:23 PM on March 19, 2002


Huh. I thought it would be way more of a pisser-offer than it seems to have been. I guess his opinions are so outrageous by MeFi standards that it's more of an eye-roller.

Patricking: Not National Review?
posted by aaron at 4:24 PM on March 19, 2002


Poor Joesph. I think I know someone who is tired of not getting invited to parties with the cool kids.

Actually, I don't recall my college newspaper being the voice or reason (or sanity). Looks like the Cornell Review carries on that tradition.

Here's some follow up on the column....
posted by Salmonberry at 4:26 PM on March 19, 2002


Forget the whores, I want to bitch-slap this guy for that profile photo alone.
posted by tomorama at 4:27 PM on March 19, 2002


does anyone know of any conservative journals that don't make conservative folk sound like lunatics?

Patricking: Commentary and The New Criterion are two very good conservative journals. American Heritage is OK and the Cato Institute's publications aren't bad either. Enjoy!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:28 PM on March 19, 2002


Be sure not to miss his response to critics in his next column.

The third class of respondents originated from students forwarding my article to various Leftist campus listservs. In an unusual turn of events, my piece ended up on a listserv for a socialist organization called "Cornell Students For Labor Action," known as COLA (I once tried to start a rival organization called Students for Private Initiative and Tax Efficiency, SPRITE).

Anyway, I could not understand why a cultural article on the moral breakdown of women was appearing on a pro-labor mailing list…and then it hit me. COLA was upset that the whores were unpaid. Rallies for a "whore living wage" are likely right around the corner.


If he's reporting that honestly (which I rather suspect is not something on which I can depend), may he and COLA get married and save the rest of us.
posted by dhartung at 4:29 PM on March 19, 2002


The Cornell Review was founded in 1984 as a response to the atmosphere of liberalism prevalent on the Cornell campus.

Atmosphere of liberalism? How about the atmosphere of illiteracy? Liberalism is what lets this loon share his ideas...

I hate the fact the word liberal has been hijacked as a perjorative but I do delight in the irony everytime someone uses it that way..
posted by srboisvert at 4:30 PM on March 19, 2002


It isn't the college newspaper; it's a reactionary alternative paper. Cornell is a very liberal place, in general.
posted by bingo at 4:30 PM on March 19, 2002


I don't see what's so infuriating.

I tend to get much more pissed off (and on a fairly regular basis) by the antics of people like Jerry "The complete asshole" Falwell, Pat "Uberscheisskopf" Robertson, and Rush "I'm still relevant. No, Really." Limbaugh.

He's just a young conservative x-ian. Nothing more.

Want something infuriating? Compare and contrast: Reaction of the right to Whitewater (Bloody grand inquisition that dragged an otherwise stellar administration through the mud over a localised S&L scandal), and the Reaction thus far by the left to Enron (also known as "Ken buys the White House.")

*puts on asbestos underwear*
posted by phalkin at 4:30 PM on March 19, 2002


If they're unpaid doesn't that actually make them not whores? Isn't getting paid integral to being a whore?
posted by aaronetc at 4:32 PM on March 19, 2002


Although the woman-quality at my school is *exceptionally* high, I cannot see where he's coming from. Nobody gives it away, but they don't hold it back for any irrational reason either. Frankly I can't find anyone who has any problems with the situation as it stands right now...there aren't restrictions...people act as they will. This article didn't offend me simply because the arguments were shit, and shitty arguments can't offend, you see.

What exactly is his *point* anyway? That we can't respect women these days? Maybe there are other criterea for respecting someone other than whether or not their legs are spread. It is pretty obvious to me that this guy has some sort of attatchment to purity and godliness in his flings which isn't satisfied with the women of these days, due to their human impulses and such. Damn you feminists! Damn you other women tainting the women I live around!!

Wait wait here's my immitation of him: look at my beautiful long hair. Look at it. I live in the American Gardens building on west eight-first street, on the eleventh floor. I go to Cornell. My lady will worship me, she will wear white, and smell of bergamot. I will undress her in a ceremony as solemn as a holocaust. *looking into a mirror and seeing a face headstrong but not yet determined* Maybe I'll grow a moustache.

WHO'S THE TROLL NOW, FAIRY???
posted by Settle at 4:33 PM on March 19, 2002


Now there's a career booster on the resume:

1999-2003 - Columnist for Cornell's reactionary alternative paper. Wrote columns such as "College Girls: Unpaid Whores"

This Sabia kid's got a future.

aaronetc: maybe the whoring happens through some kind of bartering system. after all, few college students have cash in hand.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:35 PM on March 19, 2002


Mmmm, bergamot.
posted by honkzilla at 4:36 PM on March 19, 2002


Also, it is pretty clear this man is a moron. What is his major anyway? Policy Analysis?? The analysis of policy? Isn't that just political science for dumbasses? Or is it law for dumbasses? And just why is everything the woman's fault? They are to blame for everything it seems - my guess is that our subject here was a very needy little boy with an very coddling mother. If the colective gender doesn't act precisely as they should they are all held accountable.

YOU'RE 0 FOR 2 MR. SORBO (plays hercules on TV)
posted by Settle at 4:37 PM on March 19, 2002


Salmonberry: Exactly. They trade sex for sex. Fair deal in my book.
posted by phalkin at 4:38 PM on March 19, 2002


OK...so he admits that he feels this way because he feels women are acting more like men when it comes to openly and willingly having, discussing, or initiating sex. And that makes women the whores that (I assume) men have always been.

And the vile upshot of this is that people are having more sex with less hangups and fewer consequences.

This is terrible. God forbid, one day sex will be accounted some kind of 'natural' act, and no one will be able to be chastened, ostrasized, or demonized for engaging in some form or the other of it. Whatever will we do?

See, Aaron? I fell for the troll. Now to go off and gruntle myself again.
posted by umberto at 4:39 PM on March 19, 2002 [1 favorite]


Astounding, and Mefi normal, (though aaron set it up that way), how many here are willing to attack the messenger and not the message. How many comments point to how little tail this guy got? Sounds to me like he got a little too much a lot too easily. That doesn't mean I think Sabia's right, but aaron set this up well, to illicit precisely this haughty bunch of, "well of course he's just been a rejected troll and hence we can dismiss him".

A few points from the rational side:

1) If you wish to argue from evolutionary advantage (as Sabia does), its a good idea to show the actually biology, and how modern stresses affect it. There may not be a biological imperative for monogomy any more, and wouldn't that hurt this little argument.

2) Arguing from Biblical imperative actually requires knowing and applying the Bible. Sabia doesn't do that. He simply claims that he is, by drawing the Mary/Virgin card.

3) Know the opposition. Camille Paglia wrote a remarkable book about the virgin/whore dicotomy that expresses Sabia's angst from a far different viewpoint. Funny he doesn't seem to have read it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:43 PM on March 19, 2002


Why is it freeing to become intoxicated and to hook-up with anonymous frat guys?

Anyone who has to ask that question has never lived! Best. Weekend. EVER!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 4:49 PM on March 19, 2002


It is clear that this man does not know what it is like to be a woman.

Until he introduces some sort of reason why things are bad the way they are, he hasn't said anything of note. The worst bit about the situation as it is seems to be that after you throw sex around you have nothing else to barter with. Of course there is still the possibility that people are not bartering, or that they get as much out of sex as the person they give it to.

Kuro5in had a good article on female circumcision.
posted by Settle at 4:55 PM on March 19, 2002


Wulfgar!: It's just that the message itself is so cliche and ridiculous, that the only interesting thing about the article is guessing the guys' motivations for writing it. I can't imagine why you think he "got too much...too easily." Why would he be bitter about that? In your experience, are the men who complain about loose morals in women, generally the same men who get laid a lot? Women who believe in premarital sex do not want to fuck guys like this, unless it's just to prove him a hypocrite. I doubt many would think it would be worth it, though.
posted by bingo at 5:02 PM on March 19, 2002


[off-topic; follow-up; others please excuse]:

Patricking: if you meant conservative journals in general, then the three good, trustworthy newspapers are The Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times. The three good weekly magazines are: The Spectator, National Review and, quite often, The Weekly Standard. Along with the above-mentioned quarterlies, Commentary and The New Criterion; that's about the complete package for thoughtful, civilized conservatives! Fun! Fun! Fun! Truth! Truth! Truth! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:04 PM on March 19, 2002


Also women who behave in a conservative and generally moderated manner are always the most desirable, so even if women *were* all the way he wanted them to be, they'd still be just flaunting their virtues in some way. There's really not much thrill for most men in getting exactly what they knew they could get.

(Settle goes to a school with a 3:1 F:M ratio, causing him to at this point slap his hip and make a sound not unlike a train whistle)
posted by Settle at 5:08 PM on March 19, 2002


Also women who behave in a conservative and generally moderated manner are always the most desirable

You and I will never fight over a woman, that's for damn sure.
posted by bingo at 5:13 PM on March 19, 2002


I can't imagine why you think he "got too much...too easily." Why would he be bitter about that?


I don't read him as bitter. That's the point. I read him as derisive and argumentative. He doesn't appear to be calling college women "bitches" as much as calling them trash, benieth his high morals.

In your experience, are the men who complain about loose morals in women, generally the same men who get laid a lot?

Strangely enough, yes, unless they are already divorced, and then its much more focused. In my experience, men who are frustrated about their relations with women consider them evil, and thereby superior in spiritual power, not trash worth pissing on as this guy does.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:15 PM on March 19, 2002


That's why the ladies call me Settle.

*chokes on water out of a bottle, makes sputtering noises, looks like an idiot, makes sure nobody notices*
posted by Settle at 5:20 PM on March 19, 2002


Interesting, Wulfgar!. We are in agreement about how much this guy sucks. But in my experience, men who are frustrated about their relations with women, consider women to be unattainable goddesses. And the guys who treat women like trash, at least in college, generally get laid a lot, if they are at all attractive themselves.
posted by bingo at 5:22 PM on March 19, 2002


Not trying to be provocative here. But National Review online lost its credibility with me when I read
this in their best of 2001 selection. Its occasionally witty, but I think Bill Crystol does a better job in Weekly Standard.

I guess those journals are not meant to cater to people who consider themselves centrists. Still it was in incredibly bad taste, far worse than the Ann Coulter piece that caused her ouster from NRO and I can't somehow dissociate NRO from that.
posted by justlooking at 5:23 PM on March 19, 2002


Wait wait here's my immitation of him: look at my beautiful long hair. Look at it. I live in the American Gardens building on west eight-first street, on the eleventh floor. I go to Cornell. My lady will worship me, she will wear white, and smell of bergamot. I will undress her in a ceremony as solemn as a holocaust. *looking into a mirror and seeing a face headstrong but not yet determined* Maybe I'll grow a moustache.

Okay now that is funny.

Know the opposition. Camille Paglia wrote a remarkable book about the virgin/whore dicotomy that expresses Sabia's angst from a far different viewpoint. Funny he doesn't seem to have read it.

Was on my mind about halfway through the article. You're right Wulfgar!. Both about it being good, and about his apparent unawareness of it.

On the whole, the guy seems kind of loopy. Clearly unhappy. Sorta caught in that inner conflict that in the 50's resulted in guys putting bibles on their nightstands but having girlie mags hidden in the matress.

But if anything on this 'ol earth is true, it is that there is someone for eveyone. I'm certain he'll find a woman equally conflicted. I'll bet he'll try to get her to dress in leather or rubber or something. And will get his rocks off in one way if she agrees to, and in another way if she refuses.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:29 PM on March 19, 2002


Justlooking: John Derbyshire is a fascist, uneducated hooligan, I agree. Check out (conservative) Andrew Sullivan's blog for the proper medicine against him; including the hilarious Derbyshire Awards(in the Daily Dish Archives at the bottom of the page).
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:33 PM on March 19, 2002


Yeah that bit was a combination of American Psycho and the last few lines of Sartre's "Childhood of a Leader".

"But in my experience, men who are frustrated about their relations with women, consider women to be unattainable goddesses. And the guys who treat women like trash, at least in college, generally get laid a lot, if they are at all attractive themselves"

There are cases for each of these viewpoints. The guys who get laid a lot where I am don't treat women like *anything* really - they're attractive, as you say. However, when one considers my considerable background in diagnosis of this sort of person, the most credible diagnosis is that this guy is either *trying* to get laid, and this sort of trolling has worked in the past, or is always rejected and is complaining about it (or thinks this is his final hope/strategy).

Either way, all the comments about his hair and jokes about bartenders whose hard of hearing genies gave them midget pianists are still quite valid and spot on. Rest assured that he is probably working out right now/shouting at someone making minimum wage/adding pheremones he bought on the internet to his Hilfiger cologne.
posted by Settle at 5:42 PM on March 19, 2002


But if anything on this 'ol earth is true, it is that there is someone for eveyone. I'm certain he'll find a woman equally conflicted. I'll bet he'll try to get her to dress in leather or rubber or something. And will get his rocks off in one way if she agrees to, and in another way if she refuses.

i pictured him as more of the voyeur type...laying in his bunkbed at night imagining Rush and Reagan and Ann Coulter wrapped in olive oil and saran wrap...not actually Doing anything sexual...just sort of writhing together in cosmic, god-fearing harmony.

p.s. i don't think he actually has a grasp on feminist theory or gender studies, just fear. Deep inside, screaming at him.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:43 PM on March 19, 2002


Hmmmmm.....I believe I recognize the face of inward self-loathing. It sounds like the quiet, sore-loser type I knew of in junior high. Too awkward to gamble, they sat their putrid little selves on the sidelines and talked shit to anyone who'd lend an ear. Simply pathetic. I'd not say this guy has extraodinary tact, either.
posted by Quixoticlife at 5:48 PM on March 19, 2002


It's just that the message itself is so cliche and ridiculous

I agree completely.

Which would make this a good time for one of those TV flash-forwards where we're all sitting around 30 years from now and Sabia has become the repressive ruler of the planet and we all feel really bad about not doing anything about it so someone starts a thread about "if you could go back in time and kill Sabia as a baby, would you?"
posted by Cyrano at 5:48 PM on March 19, 2002


Now to go off and gruntle myself again.

TMI, umberto. T.M.I.
posted by donpardo at 6:24 PM on March 19, 2002


the slutty sentiments are implicit in the standard female college behavior ? wearing tight shirts and pants, getting publicly drunk, hanging on every guy around, and engaging in random sex.


Really? Where the hell were these girls when I was in college?
posted by jonmc at 6:30 PM on March 19, 2002


Sabia reminds me of that Conan O'Brien bit If They Mated where Conan looks at the offspring of two-celebrity couples. The only thing new here is the use of Tom Leykis as breeding stock.
posted by Sqwerty at 6:30 PM on March 19, 2002


Okay I will now sum up this man's situation four links. Ready?

HERE WE GO:
this
this
that
this
posted by Settle at 6:39 PM on March 19, 2002


re jonmc's last comment: Yes, the guy is showing a complete lack of understading of women in general, including but not limited to the difference between a girl who will sleep with anyone who asks, and a girl who will wear tight clothing to class and have casual sex with an attractive guy she meets at a bar.

As a proudly promiscuous female friend of mine liked to say about such men, and their perspective on women: "A slut fucks everyone. A bitch fucks everyone but you."
posted by bingo at 6:40 PM on March 19, 2002 [1 favorite]


I never thought I would get a tattoo until now bingo
posted by Settle at 6:44 PM on March 19, 2002


Me, I was more of an Un-laid Whore. Oh well...
posted by spilon at 7:19 PM on March 19, 2002


Yikes! It's this brand of reactionary holier-than-thou Christianity that kept me away from it for so many years.
posted by revbrian at 7:24 PM on March 19, 2002


He REALLY misses his 10th grade girlfriend...5 to 2 for...and 250 to 1 against. ( no euros)
posted by clavdivs at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2002


After reading the article, I can't say that a single sentence infuriated me.

I don't think this guy totally lacks all understanding of women; he just doesn't understand the fake-baking, dressing up (like whores) just to go to class, dirty talking, hanging on frat-boys' nuts type of girls. Which do exist (en masse, at least at my school) by the way.
posted by catatonic at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2002


I can sympathize with him, because most of the girls here are what we in the business (the business of being single) like to call 'bed-thumpers or bible-thumpers', neither of which I am interested in. Suffice it to say I can understand where he's coming from.

But women have historically been the civilizing forces for men. That is biological.

I agree with this statement, as a generality. Anecdotal proof? The quality of dorm life in an all-guys dorm. Only the threat of fines maintain some semblance of order, especially on weekends. It may well be biological, since naturally males receive instruction from their mothers, and so are accustomed to being 'civilized', so to speak, by women. Left to their own devices, males often soil and destroy things.

The greatest beneficiary of the female sexual revolution has been the male libido. - his response

I can't verify this myself :), but it sounds pretty accurate to me. I don't really see what's so offensive about this, it's not like he's suggesting a change in domestic policy to encourage chaste behavior or something like that.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:33 PM on March 19, 2002


I found it simply boring.
posted by onegoodmove at 9:36 PM on March 19, 2002


“Now Sabia,” you say, “you’ve been very hard on young women. But don’t young men deserve some blame? Aren’t you just a bitter, cranky, rapidly-aging misogynist?”

The answer to both questions is ‘yes.’


He is supposedly a devotee of the teachings of Jesus Christ, who was all about love - but the author admits that his own heart is full of hate. Not only that, he hates half the human race. Then again, maybe he doesn't have a clue as the to definition of "misogynist?" In which case he's just an ignorant asshole who probably specializes way too narrowly in supply side economics, a la Dick Armey? Ya think? Wait. Isn't he just an asshole using a mask of holiness to cover up his assholiness? The answer to all these questions is probably "yes."
posted by raysmj at 9:43 PM on March 19, 2002


Reminds me of Jon Tomashek, another troll who wrote conservative-slant, snore-snore bullshit for the Cal Aggie (the UC Davis student daily, where "all that's fit to print" literally means anything you can open in Word 2 for Mac).
posted by scarabic at 9:44 PM on March 19, 2002


Wow. This guy is a complete ass (and I wholly agree with tomorama about the photo). But what's more amazing is how completely aaron defanged him by painting him as a troll in his post. There're some amazingly offensive and assinine claims being made in that piece if you read it at all seriously -- but practically no one here did, it seems, (at least mostly) because of the way it was originally framed.

It's weird, I guess most people respond more to what the poster says about a post, than to the post itself....

Sorry to go all MeTa, but, damn!
posted by mattpfeff at 9:49 PM on March 19, 2002


Ooh! A goodlooking, kindof Taliban-style Republican guy getting a PhD @ Cornell. Just my type- where's his e-mail?

I'm a feminist, and even though I'm pretty peeved at the disrespectful use of sex-worker terms for non-working girls, I still find a lot of common ground with the article. Back in the 50s, men were supposed to offer women a ring and a home, or at least plunk down $20. These days, way too many women come out of love affairs with nothing to show but heartbreak and health concerns. It would be really helpful, and a lot more honest, to make it legal for women to just charge money instead of putting up with endless "dates" and "relationships." I'm all for the "friends with benefits" approach. I agree with the writer that it's bizarre, given the function of the human reproductive system in healthy adults. However, when men aren't willing to cohabit and share expenses, I'm finding the "friend with benefits" option is absolutely necessary. It's the only way I'm able to get on with my life without having male demands on my attention that disrupt my friendships, disrupt my relationships with my relatives, and impair my ability to earn a living. Whoever said that it was cheap to have sex was nuts! Last time I got birth control someplace besides Planned Parenthood, it cost $250 because insurance wouldn't cover it. Romance was fine while it lasted, but there came a point in my life where I realized that my time has value. I deserve to get paid for my time, and I don't have to spend the rest of my life babysitting a grown man for free. If this article helps just one person reading it to feel better about not wanting to cave in to pressure to have sex, it was worth posting.

(Sure, some people fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. However, I'm skeptical that a "healthy, fulfilling monogamous relationship" is really a substitute for the contractual, business, and caretaking obligations of marriage, or for a few good friends willing to come through for you in a pinch.)
posted by sheauga at 9:51 PM on March 19, 2002


I guess his opinions are so outrageous by MeFi standards that it's more of an eye-roller.

That pretty much says it for me. Given some of his premises--but even more so, his shallow, juvenile presentation of them--the whole article read like an Onion-flavored joke. Hard to get worked up over something that preposterous.
posted by rushmc at 10:10 PM on March 19, 2002


I deserve to get paid for my time

And, surely, men's time is as valuable as your own? Do you make a habit of paying them for...well, for whatever it is you feel you should be compensated for?

And if not, wherein do you see the difference lying?
posted by rushmc at 10:11 PM on March 19, 2002


Back in the 50s, men were supposed to offer women a ring and a home, or at least plunk down $20. These days, way too many women come out of love affairs with nothing to show but heartbreak and health concerns.

That didn't happen as often then, prolly, but you did have heartbreak and health concerns. I say this not to be PC or to kiss ass but because I know of someone it happened to, in the good ol' 1950s. Ended in divorce, with a two-year-old on the scene. Guy just walked out, saying he didn't love the wife anymore. Think of a heavily family-oriented word starting with the letter "m," besides marriage. (No, the child wasn't me.) So much for "contractual obligations."

If you or the Cornell guy want to make a larger impression, you should stop making utter generalizations and pining for the good old days (y'know, he could read Ecclesiastes while on the pew to figure that out). Which is not to say our day is superior in every way, that there's just been a straight progressive line since then. For gosh sakes no. But anyone writing in this area should try to be more thoughtful and honest, with themselves and their readers, if they want to have any positive effect in the long run.
posted by raysmj at 10:19 PM on March 19, 2002


Oh, and you might want to look into payment of child support and rates of divorce and abuse before the 1950s, which were in myriad ways an anomaly in American history. Divorce had been climbing steadily in the United States since 1860, and grew with industrialization. They slowed in the '50s, and later boomed. (Want to take bets as to whether the columnist would ever touch the implications of that fact?) Before the post-Civil War era, though, how many rights did women in the U.S. have?
posted by raysmj at 10:57 PM on March 19, 2002


sheagua: Do you even like men at all, other than for sex or money?
posted by bingo at 2:05 AM on March 20, 2002


There might be one or two valid -- meaning legitimately debatable -- points in this article, such as the hijacking of feminism and the responsibility of parents to instill morals in their children, or to what degree people are responsible for their own behavior, but Sabia chucks around so many offhanded generalizations and unsubstantiated assumptions that it's impossible to take what he says seriously.

It's easy to accept that some people -- a lot, probably -- take his world view as gospel (sorry), but a Cornell student, let alone a doctoral candidate, really ought to research and write better than this. Seriously, this is high-schoolish tripe, and not worthy of any publication that has ".org" in the url.

Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite. Study a lot more. Rewrite.
posted by Bixby23 at 2:24 AM on March 20, 2002


Well, that was just sexist all around. Not only does the value of a woman rest wholly between her legs, apparently the value of a man rests wholly within a mind no more advanced than an adolescent's. I know of a woman perfect for Mr. Sabia- Christian, family-oriented, knows her place is in the home with the kids... of course, her place for the next forty years or so is ad-seg in a Texas penitentiary, but I'm sure he won't mind the wait.
posted by headspace at 3:40 AM on March 20, 2002


Not too infuriating. In fact, except for the religion aspect, I agree with him, to a point. He paints with a broad brush, but there certainly "good" girls out there, too. But his analysis of a certain subset of college-aged females is, sadly, right on target.
posted by davidmsc at 4:24 AM on March 20, 2002


Wow. I found Mr. Sabia ridiculous, but from a jaded, this-is-not-that-original-or-interesting perspective. He didn't shock me, didn't disturb me, didn't offend me. He's one small, small man who'll find no end of aspiring pastor's wives to wear long skirts and keep their knees locked together until he needs them not to and click their tongues at the woman in the supermarket with the undeniably hot belly button ring. What I find surprising and disheartening is that people see his lame argument, admitted double standards all over the place, and they're like "Yeah, he's not off the mark." It's to be expected of course, but these nonchalant confirmations that the gender double standard is alive and well, and that we're cool with that, will proabably always sadden me. Women, take notice. You're not supposed to like it. You're not supposed to want it. And you're definitely not supposed to go after it. If you do, you're used. You're dirty. Meanwhile, men? Keep reading Maxim, it's the best thing to happen to men since women, after all. You had better like it. You had better want it. You're not a whore, the term doesn't apply to you. You're a player.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 6:02 AM on March 20, 2002


patricking said:

does anyone know of any conservative journals that don't make conservative folk sound like lunatics?

I read the The Economist every week, cover to cover.

Unlike most of the blowhard U.S. conservative rags that are useful for little more than bird cage liners, they actually back up their opinions with facts. I respect them for that even though I often disagree with their conclusions. Of course, National Review and Weekly Standard readers would probably call them a bunch of pinko bastards, since European conservatism isn't as myopic and fanatical as U.S. conservatism in general.
posted by mark13 at 7:07 AM on March 20, 2002


Duh, I forgot The Economist. I thought everybody read it - though it is a little liberal in the European sense, it's certainly conservative in the American.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:23 AM on March 20, 2002


I'm not about to argue with anyone who cites the ancient wisdom of the Oompa Loompas.
posted by Skot at 7:41 AM on March 20, 2002


sheagua: Do you even like men at all, other than for sex or money?

bingo, that wasn't what I got out of sheauga's post at all. It read, to me, more that she doesn't feel like she is getting returns (if I can put it that way) on her relationships which are anywhere near the value of what she is putting in. Sure, we all have periods in our relationships where you give more than you get (and vice versa), but I thought she was writing of a consistent net loss.
You may read sheauga's post as a criticism of men, but for me it backs up my feelings of diffidence about getting into any further sexual relationships with men (who seem so willing to take but not to give). Heartbreak and health concerns (and nothing else) sound all too familiar.

NB This is not meant as a snipe at guys in general, only at the emotionally stunted losers to whom I seem to be irresistibly attracted.
posted by different at 7:42 AM on March 20, 2002


bingo: why, some of my best friends are men. men are great for friends, or husbands, or "a good time." the men i find difficult are the ones seeking "relationships" that involve me acquiring all the obligations of marriage with none of the traditional protections ...

different: hang in there, it gets better. eventually you start finding a few people who you actually get along with.

raymsj: as a member of a traditionally female profession, i make the typical $.50 - $.72 cents compared to the $1 a male would earn; hence men's payments from me are pro-rated. ;) you are correct that the combination of dna paternity testing and child support enforcment has greatly evened the playing field between men and women. i have no idea what men would pay those ladies at the back of the weekly papers for, do you?

re: double standards. since the title referred to "unpaid" work, i was attempting to add balance by focusing on the business side rather than on the question of how people express their sexuality. having lived in poor places where the sex industry was a part of life for many women, i find it strange to hear young people who are just out having fun described as "whores". this grad student might as well enjoy it while it lasts-- "standard female college behavior – wearing tight shirts and pants, getting publicly drunk, hanging on every guy around, and engaging in random sex" won't be happening as much once the women start working 40+ hours a week with a serious commute.
posted by sheauga at 8:22 AM on March 20, 2002


sheauga: why, some of my best friends are men. men are great for friends, or husbands, or "a good time." the men i find difficult are the ones seeking "relationships" that involve me acquiring all the obligations of marriage with none of the traditional protections ...

What I was trying to say was, it sounds to me like you think that by getting involved in a "relationship" (quotes yours), you're doing the guy a favor. To me, the most important "traditional protection" of marriage is that it's a ritual declaration of love and a promise of monogamy. And outside of marriage, the point of the "relationship" is that I want a specific woman in my life because I like her, and she feels the same way about me. And I'm not talking about the kind of "like" you have with your male friends, I'm talking about a chemistry that's a combination of love and good sex and intellectual synergy, and the whole yin-yang thing. The "traditional protections" that you're talking about are, I believe, effects of bygone eras, and good riddance.

grrarrgh00: Maxim magazine has nothing in common with the writer of this article.
posted by bingo at 10:52 AM on March 20, 2002


While the story was slightly tilted I think it brings up what bothers me most about feminist thought today. Women are more than willing to take over men's roles: casual sex, bread winner et al. But it seems that men aren't picking up the slack.

Whether biological or social, women are given the role of civilizing men. While boys are learning to blow shit up with GI Joe, girls are learning table etiquette by playing house and throwing tea parties.

Now women are rejecting the fact that they have to be the civilized one, and men have to be comfortable pulling the 'second shift'. They have to tune into a biological clock, they have to know how to cook and clean. They have to be able to fill the roles that women are readily abandoning.
posted by witchycal at 11:23 AM on March 20, 2002


game, set, and match, headspace. just perfect.
posted by whatnot at 11:54 AM on March 20, 2002


witchycal: A man who can't take over the roles that women are abandoning, well, just isn't much of a man.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 12:14 PM on March 20, 2002


what a blast from the past! joe fucking sabia!

i, like sabia, was a member of cornell's ill-fated undergraduate class of 1997 and...if memory serves, actually met the guy while i was working at the library. ('met' = he gave me his id to check out a book; i was like, 'joe fucking sabia?' and then made a crack about his lousy publication; he grabbed my copy of workers vanguard, threw it on the ground and urinated on it; i set fire to the library's american flag; etc.) btw, bingo, cornell is not a 'liberal' college at all. it's mainly apolitical (kissing professorial ass, whining about grades, and drinking beer being far more prevelant (in that order) than any sort of political discourse), leaning center-right if leaning at all.

and i hate to jump onto the ad hominem dogpile, but sabia is just a total boob (he ran for student government freshman year; if that doesn't make one a boob, i don't know what does). and the cornell review is good for laughs and for puppy training, but that's about it. and nearly all cornell students realize this within weeks of their arrival in ithaca (those that don't end up writing for it).

i remember being outraged the first time i read a sabia column (probably sometime in '95), but then i expected to be outraged by the cornell review back then. as my academic career progressed, i became more cynical, and i learned to laugh at the absurdity of extremism by both leftists (yes, i gave up on the spartacist league and cola) and right-wingers.

now i'm just shocked to see that, seven years later, joe sabia is still writing the exact same drivel. and i find it simply dull and rather pathetic. i look at how much i've grown and changed over the intervening time and see that he is still the same idiot. this discovery doesn't do anything to dispel my ever-mounting cynicism.

plus i was planning on returning to cornell in the fall. now i can't do that; not if sabia is still there.

anyway, all he wants is a reaction, so i don't doubt that this thread will cause him to have a wet dream (he'd masturbate while looking at it but he probably doesn't debase 'the temple of the holy ghost formerly known as his corporeal body' with such behavior).

let's stop indulging him and just ignore, as we would any other troll: no matter how outrageous; no matter how inane.
posted by mlang at 1:30 PM on March 20, 2002


Mlang - you don't post often. But when you do you take my breath away!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:35 PM on March 20, 2002


i take back what i said about mounting cyncism. i'm obviously still sensitive if joe sabia can piss me off so much that i write an eight-paragraph rant. and that i misspell 'prevalent' in doing so.
posted by mlang at 1:38 PM on March 20, 2002


I was always told it was considered a little "funny" to go to the same university for your undergrad, grad and doctorate degrees. Is that not so?
posted by aaron at 1:54 PM on March 20, 2002


I read the The Economist every week, cover to cover.
Unlike most of the blowhard U.S. conservative rags that are useful for little more than bird cage liners, they actually back up their opinions with facts. I respect them for that even though I often disagree with their conclusions. Of course, National Review and Weekly Standard readers would probably call them a bunch of pinko bastards...


I call shenanigans on this. First of all, the Economist is a news magazine, not a journal of opinion (although, like most British-based journalism, it has no qualms about actually publishing via a general political viewpoint and openly admits it, as opposed to the general US journalistic practice of publishing with a general political viewpoint while vehemently denying they're anything but objective). This however does not mean the journals of opinion do not contain any facts at all. If they didn't, nobody would read them.

(Also, National Review very much respects The Economist. Nice try.)

Oh hell, let's just ask: Where do you stand on The New Republic and The Nation?

...since European conservatism isn't as myopic and fanatical as U.S. conservatism in general...

Just like US liberalism isn't as myopic and fanatical as European liberalism?
posted by aaron at 2:04 PM on March 20, 2002


Now that I think about it, I really miss all those unpaid whores. I saved thousands.
posted by Skot at 2:12 PM on March 20, 2002


mlang, I guess you would know better than I would. I was going from the Review's own description of their purpose and history, which I'm not suprised to find is a misrepresentation.
posted by bingo at 4:05 PM on March 20, 2002


I remember a few blowhard-type campus columnists on both sides of the political aisle from my abortive college career. What they had in common was they both tended to sound like deep down they were really pissed that they hadn't been invited to the big party or something.

"No one wants to hang out with me![sob] Well they're all philistines anyway, I'll show them."

Pheh.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 PM on March 20, 2002


The "traditional protections" that you're talking about are, I believe, effects of bygone eras, and good riddance.

*sigh* The "traditional protections" also kept a lot of kids out of homeless shelters ... and church members still take care of people unexpectedly dumped by a spouse. Yes, it starts out with that emotional bonding, but in the long run, the question of whether both partners are willing to pitch in and go the extra mile, put the other person first, give way sometimes for the sake of getting along, and stick by each other in their hour of need are really the determining factors. All the carousing that our bombastic Young Republican abhors is just nature's way of overcoming our rational self-interest long enough to create a new generation of humans.
posted by sheauga at 11:09 PM on March 20, 2002


The cornell review was a great place to see if your causes were getting attention on campus. My roommate was regularly featured in the review; Joe Sabia posted personal attacks about her, which we promptly hung on our walls. I got in a screaming match with him at a student government meeting about the Cornell Women's Center. Yeah, I'm baaaaad.
posted by goneill at 2:44 AM on March 21, 2002


sheauga, I respect you a lot based on your posts on other threads, so I won't push this much farther. Maybe we're talking about different things.

I agree with you that giving, pitching in, etc. is an important part of a relationship. But your first post on this thread really made it sound (to me) like the main benefit you see yourself getting from a man in marriage is money. I mean, look at what you said here:

Back in the 50s, men were supposed to offer women a ring and a home, or at least plunk down $20. These days, way too many women come out of love affairs with nothing to show but heartbreak and health concerns. It would be really helpful, and a lot more honest, to make it legal for women to just charge money instead of putting up with endless "dates" and "relationships."

I guess it just really irks me, because I feel no obligation whatsoever to provide for my girlfriends or my future spouse in that way. As soon as I realized a girl I was seeing expected that sort of treatment, let alone it being her main goal in the relationship, I stop seeing her. You know, don't you, that there are some women who do more than "put up with" these endless "dates" and "relationships." There are some who enjoy such situations as their own reward. I'm sorry if you had some sort of terrible divorce experience, but it doesn't mean that long-term partnerships can't be about love while still being about paying the rent and taking care of the kids. Back in the good old days you're referring to, women were also expected to say they'd obey their husbands as part of the marriage vows. From a selfish, cynical, and gender-centric perspective, I could easily say "Hell, yeah, let's get back to that." But the truth is that I don't want it, and I don't want a girl who wants me to want it, or any of the other crap that went along with it.
posted by bingo at 2:45 AM on March 21, 2002


Bravo, bingo. You expressed what I wanted to say better than I could.
posted by rushmc at 6:10 AM on March 21, 2002


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