Friday, May 16, 2008

women make 85 percent of all consumer purchases

look at this article. you know what i find shocking about it, as a man? “women make 85 percent of consumer purchases” is right in the title, and it is a fact. and guess what else? “the pay gap... leaves women earning 76 cents for every dollar earned by men”. and also this gem: “in a partnered household, a woman spends not only her own paycheck but most of her spouse’s or partner’s as well.” now look. i am a guy and i am dirt poor. i do not want anyone else spending my money, ever. it is my money, not somebody else’s. i need it. i do not spend much money at all. but if i did have money, i would be the one spending it. currently i spend more money than i make at my job, just because of all the expensive bills i have to pay, and my salary that is barely above minimum wage. i spend as little money as possible, and only spend when absolutely necessary. currently, there is a crisis in the united states economy because our nation is full of people who spent more money than they earned, using credit cards, mortgages, or other types of loans or credit in order to spend more than they can afford. if women do 85% of the spending, i think they are 85% responsible for the current economic crisis in the united states, since the crisis was caused by consumers spending more money than they could afford, and women do 85% of the spending. sure, you can blame it on advertisements for brainwashing women, but the whole article is about how advertisers target men and fail to target women effectively. the article actually argues in favor of advertisers understanding women better so that the advertisers become even more effective in brainwashing women into buying useless crap that neither they nor anyone else needs. i think the less advertisers understand women, the better. personally, when i view advertisements, i am extremely skeptical and do not believe a word of them, and i have never trusted advertisements. i think anyone who does believe in advertisements is a gullible fool. i do find many advertisements somewhat entertaining in their comic attempts to convince me to buy this or that, because of how pathetically they fail at convincing me anything other than the fact that they are totally full of shit. oh, and if you read the comments on that article i linked to, some of them are very insightful comments, but there are also very sexist people on both sides, both anti-male and anti-female sexists. generally everyone seems to have some amount of sexism in favor of their own gender and against the other one. that is rather unfortunate but it seems kind of unavoidable. think about it: when i was in elementary school, often the teacher would lead us all down the hallway with girls in one row and boys in the other row. girls and boys had separate gym classes. separate bathrooms. boy scouts and girl scouts are separate, and i was a boy scout (starting as a cub scout) for about 7 or 8 years. and in junior high and high school, boys were mostly friends with other boys, and girls were mostly friends with other girls. there are plenty of schools out there that completely segregate the 2 genders, by only having students of 1 gender. all-girls schools and all-boys schools. and there are plenty of colleges like that too. that type of environment, isolated from people of the opposite gender, does not exactly produce people who think both genders are equal. i went to cornell university, where over 60% of students were male when i started there (although in most universities in the united states, there are actually more female students, and cornell is now down to 52% male). and in my particular majors of computer science and mathematics, there were hardly any females; almost everyone in my classes was male. most majors at cornell either had overwhelmingly male students or overwhelmingly female students, and only a few had ratios close to 50-50 or to the gender ratio for the university as a whole. and of course, at universities like cornell there are fraternities that are all-male and sororities that are all-female, and there are dorms that are all-male or all-female. and people are prohibited from having a roommate of the opposite gender. so, people mostly end up having friends that are the same gender as them, at places like cornell. now cornell does have mostly coed dormitories, where males and females live in the same building, but most are still segregated by which floor you are on or which wing of the floor you are in. a few dormitories actually have coed bathrooms, which actually work quite well: there are no urinals, only toilets, and nobody ever sees anyone else without clothing on unless exhibitionism or voyeurism is involved. and there are actually a few coed fraternities nowadays, as well. but i think a main cause of sexism is segregation of males and females, keeping them apart from each other, so they pretty much only interact with people of the same gender as them. and this segregation does not end at college. there are plenty of occupations where it is almost all men or almost all women. construction workers, soldiers, police officers, and firefighters are several of the almost-all-men types of jobs. secretaries, elementary school teachers, maids, and nurses are several of the almost-all-women types of jobs. luckily my current job is at a place with a reasonably balanced male-female ratio that actually seems to have a bit more women than men. my current job is actually one of the few opportunities in my life that i have had to interact with females that are not relatives or teachers on a regular basis. in my college classes and back in the public school system, students generally had to keep quiet during class so the teacher could talk. and the classes i took that had more than just 1 or 2 girls in them were generally huge classes in large lecture halls where nobody knew anyone and there were hundreds of students and 1 famous professor who had written books and gotten awards was up in front of us all, teaching everyone. now, if i were not such a shy person, perhaps i could have gotten to know more people, including more people of the opposite gender. but, as an introvert who has been painfully shy most of my life, that just never really was possible for me. and so, i have mostly had social interactions with fellow males, and not that much with females, because i am so attracted to females that for most of my life i was too shy to even talk to them at all. so i do not really understand the perspective of females very much. it seems like a perfectly valid complaint that women still only get 76 cents for every dollar men get doing the same job... but then why do women end up spending 85% of the money? i do not think they deserve 85% of the money, since they are nowhere near 85% of the population. ahh, i just had an idea that may explain this a bit more... people are born with no money (unless they have really wealthy parents) and they spend most of their lives saving money for retirement, and then usually the man dies first and the woman is left a widow, with all the money that both of them made, and so she is alive and her former husband is dead, so she is the only one left to spend money, plus she has much, much more money than young people. most wealthy people are old, and most old people are female. so basically, some of this 85% figure can be explained by the fact that women live longer than men, and during the last years of their lives, they get to spend all the money they saved all their lives. and i suppose some portion of the population is made of traditional 1950s-style 2-parent households with a dad who works hard and makes all the money, and a stay-at-home mom who just does housework like cooking and cleaning, takes care of the children, and does all the shopping. of course, that type of household where only the man works is now the exception and not the rule, and usually women also work nowadays. so if the woman is also working, she has less time to shop, so there is no reason for her to do more shopping than any man she is in a relationship with. i think perhaps there may actually be a biological basis for women shopping more than men which is based on how humans evolved from more primitive species. before agriculture was invented, humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies where the men hunted animals and the women gathered fruits and vegetables. many of the gender differences among humans today are probably a result of how our ancestors lived in hunter-gatherer societies, and how the gender roles were strictly defined and very different from each other at that time. if you look at other species of animals, you find all sorts of variations on gender roles. for instance, in humans, it is mostly women that try to have an attractive appearance to impress men, while men have to do all sorts of other things unrelated to their appearance to impress women. in other species, very often it is the males that try to show off their attractive appearance to the females, and the females just watch; this is common among birds such as peacocks. in many species, it is the females that are more deadly and go around killing other creatures. in some species of animals, the males actually die during sex, but they go ahead and do it anyway, committing suicide through sexual intercourse. i think that mostly happens with insects and spiders. in some species, like penguins, the males actually do most of the childcare. so if you look at other species, it is very clear that in a whole lot of species, there are huge differences between the 2 genders. so perhaps some of that persists among us humans. but i think the best way to deal with that problem is integration, not segregation. in order to understand one another, males and females need to interact with people of the opposite gender from an early age, not be isolated from the opposite gender. i do not think there is much benefit to keeping the boy scouts and girl scouts separate from each other. i think segregating the genders makes about as much sense as segregating the races. if there are all-girl schools or all-boy schools, why not all-white schools or all-black schools? we have seen the benefits of racial integration/desegregation, so now it is time for gender integration/desegregation. and as for my idea that people are mostly buying useless crap they don’t need, just look at tv commercials, advertisements in magazines, or especially catalogs. if you look at a catalog, such as one you find in an airplane, it is full of useless crap that serves absolutely no purpose that only an idiot would buy, at outrageously high prices, and yet plenty of people buy this crap, it keeps selling, and they make enough profits to afford to put more ads out advertising their worthless crap. and what the hell is the point of jewelry with stuff like gold or diamonds? jewelry is such a stupid custom! people are ritualistically wasting large sums of money on things that have no practical purpose, just because it is customary, or to show off how much money they have to waste on useless crap. i think the only reason men buy jewelry for women is that traditionally this was done in order to impress them with your wealth so that they marry you and you can have sex, because premarital sex was once considered very sinful and was a lot less common than it is nowadays. in other words, men buying jewelry for women is a form of prostitution, because they are paying money in exchange for sex. it is legal because technically the jewelry is given as a gift and not as monetary payment for the service of sex. but that is a mere technicality. and as for the institution of marriage, i think (from an evolutionary perspective) marriage developed primarily to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, back in the hunter-gatherer societies, thousands of years before modern medicine discovered cures and treatments for many diseases that were once deadly. that is also why sex outside of marriage is discouraged while sex inside of marriage is encouraged by all major world religions. marriage also gives both biological parents the opportunity to do whatever necessary to make sure their offspring succeed at life and end up producing many offspring of their own, to carry on the genes of their parents. however, rape is also perfectly natural from an evolutionary perspective: certain life-forms on this planet are considered undesirable for mating by other life-forms of their same species, so they are reduced to 2 choices: either have no offspring at all and have their genes die out, or rape another life-form of their own species in order to produce offspring against the will of the rape victim. plenty of species of animals engage in rape, just as many animals also go around killing other animals all the time. cats are some of the most vicious and murderous animals out there. and some of our fellow primate species, species that are closely related to humans, are species where rape is quite common. now of course, we humans are the only species of animals that have a sense of morality, of right and wrong, and we consider animals to be morally neutral, blameless for any bad things that they do, but not having any rights either. perhaps there are a few rights that we have decided animals should have, nowadays, but giving animals rights is a pretty recent development in human morality. so, if one animal rapes another animal or kills another animal, we humans do not normally consider this wrong or immoral, because we think that is just how nature works and it is none of our business as humans to interfere in the internal affairs of other species. but of course, if a human rapes or kills another human, they are considered fully responsible for that act, guilty of it, morally culpable, reprehensible, evil, and deserving of harsh punishment. this human/animal dichotomy is because we humans consider ourselves greatly superior to all other animals, and the only ones capable of making moral judgments, and we also expect fellow humans to make moral judgments and we as a society punish them if they fail to live up to the high moral standards we set for them. anyway, my point is, humans are animals, despite the fact that we can make moral judgments and are capable of rational and abstract thought and can communicate complex ideas to one another and discover and invent things through science. so there may be a biological basis for women wanting to shop and men not liking shopping. but we should teach people to make economic decisions that are rational and in their own best interests, and to not go around wasting all their money on stupid crap they can’t afford. we should teach our children not to trust commercials or allow themselves to be brainwashed by advertising. we should teach them how to budget their own finances and about the importance of staying out of debt and avoiding loans. our current economic crisis in the united states is because a lot of people, not just consumers, but many investors, bankers, executives, people at investment-rating agencies, and government officials have been making incorrect, irrational decisions, taking stupid risks, gambling their money, signing contracts without reading them, and investing in things without fully checking whether they are safe investments. the people high up who basically control the economy screwed up royally, and the millions of brainwashed consumers who are their mindless pawns also screwed up royally, and the subprime mortgages are just one example of this pathology in the united states economy. it should also be noted that we americans are very wasteful, not only consuming a great deal, but generating a great deal of garbage, and wasting precious resources such as petroleum using things such as big expensive sport utility vehicles (suvs) that have very low gas mileage. other countries do a lot more recycling, have more fuel-efficient vehicles because their governments make it mandatory, and are generally a lot less wasteful. a “gas tax holiday” is just an incentive for consumers to waste more gasoline on unneeded trips and to continue using inefficient means of transportation, and by lowering the price of gasoline, it increases demand, which will use up the world oil supply faster. it is entirely counterproductive. instead, americans ought to go on ebay and sell all of the useless trinkets that we spent so much money on to any foreigners who are dumb enough to buy them. and plenty of other things we do such as going to movie theaters or joining expensive golf clubs are likewise dumb wastes of money. let the wealthy people who can afford it go around wasting their money on things that serve no useful purpose and are completely unnecessary. us common folk need to stop buying so many luxury goods and services. we should save our money, invest it, and become wealthy, and maybe then we can waste some of our money on useless crap, but not until then! women doing 85% of consumer purchases is nothing to be proud of; it is something for women to be ashamed of, just like men doing much more violent crime than women is something for men to be ashamed of. so much of what people buy is useless garbage that serves no practical purpose, and it is mostly because of the power of advertising to brainwash people into spending their hard-earned money on that crap. of course, much of the 15% of stuff that is bought by men is also useless crap, but at least we men are not as easily brainwashed into buying things. much of the time, people buy useless crap as gifts for other people, and this problem could be easily avoided if people consulted one another about what gifts they wanted beforehand, and found practical, useful things on the wish lists of the people they are buying gifts for. effective communication could decrease the problem of buying stupid gifts for other people, so that when people do buy gifts, they buy gifts that the recipient actually finds useful. anyway, that is my reaction to the article i read... kind of a long reaction, eh?

Monday, May 12, 2008

obama won, clinton lost, it’s over

the “mainstream” media has finally decided that barack obama is going to win the democratic nomination and hillary clinton totally lost and has no chance. holy shit, i knew that 2 months ago. what a bunch of retards. they had to wait until they saw the results from indiana and north carolina before they made up their minds that this shit was over. and then when obama got more superdelegates than clinton on either friday or saturday depending on which media outlet was doing the counting, that totally finished the junior senator from new york off. the junior senator from illinois totally kicked the ass of the junior senator from new york! hooray for junior senators! hey, at least junior senators never have senior moments like that old curmudgeon john mccain. john mccain is the senior senator from arizona, which means he is really old and senile, just like ronald reagan. he is so reaganesque with his dementia. john mccain likes to point out that his mother is still alive, but she is also demented with dementia, even more so than him. he also wants 100 more years of war in iraq, and he is best friends forever with george w. bush. in fact, i challenge you to see if you can tell the difference between george w. bush and john mccain. there is not much of a difference, but it turns out john mccain is just like george w. bush except even worse! anyone who votes for john mccain because their favorite candidate lost the democratic nomination is an idiotic loser who cares more about personalities and bullshit than the actual issues affecting the people of this country. any hillary clinton supporters who will vote for john mccain once they find out that barack obama won are completely delusional, since they seem to forget that barack obama and hillary clinton have almost identical positions on all the issues, whereas john mccain’s positions are totally different. of course, lately hillary clinton has been acting more like john mccain, saying she would obliterate iran, and proposing a gas tax holiday as a gimmick to help her get elected while using up our fossil fuels faster so that gas is even more expensive next year. and she has been talking about how white people are so hard-working, which i find offensive, as a lazy white person who hates doing any work. but anyway, people should decide who to vote for based on someone’s positions on the issues. i suppose some of the hillary clinton supporters might be war hawks who do not believe in diplomacy and do not want us talking to nations like iran, preferring more wars instead. people like that can go ahead and vote for mccain. but hillary clinton supporters who want stuff like universal healthcare or other liberal policies like that ought to support barack obama rather than john mccain, since obama also wants universal healthcare. i am sure there are plenty of racists who don’t want to vote for black people, just like there are plenty of sexists who don’t want to vote for women. both groups of haters can vote for john mccain in the fall, and i think the 2 groups are mostly the same people anyway. but john mccain is going to lose anyway, since even republicans can’t stand him. republicans consider him a traitor the way democrats consider joe lieberman a traitor. and the rev. jeremiah wright scandal was the best thing that ever happened to barack obama, since it finally proved, once and for all, that barack obama is not a muslim and never was a muslim. barack obama was an atheist/agnostic who rev. jeremiah wright converted to christianity. why was he an atheist/agnostic? because his mother was too, and that is how he was raised. and the trinity united church of christ is part of the united church of christ, a very liberal christian denomination that supports gay rights instead of denouncing gays as hellbound sinners. that is a helluva lot better than having a president from some ultra-conservative denomination that says that 9/11 was god’s punishment against america for homosexuality, feminism, liberalism, and multiculturalism (you know, what pat robertson and jerry falwell said after 9/11). john mccain used to publicly denounce the religious right back in the 2000 election, but since then he has cozied up to them as much as possible (including pat robertson and the late jerry falwell), showing his amoral opportunism, naked ambition, and lack of any core beliefs. he only goes against his own party when he thinks it would make him more popular with the general electorate. do we really want a complete opportunist like john mccain as our next president? don’t we know that means 4 more years of bush?!? we need universal healthcare, and the republicans are completely opposed to that idea because they are controlled by lobbyists from hmo’s and insurance companies. people die all the time in the united states because of lack of healthcare, and lack of insurance is part of what gives americans a shorter lifespan than people in other wealthy industrialized countries. people in the other wealthy industrialized countries have universal healthcare, they spend a much smaller percentage of their gross domestic product on healthcare, and yet they are healthier and live longer than people in the united states. republicans like john mccain want to keep us from having universal healthcare, and keep our troops in iraq forever. that is why we must defeat them, because if they win, they will ruin our country even worse than what they have done over the course of the dumbya administration.