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Helen Smith

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.

I Give Thanks for All the Men Cooking for Thanksgiving

I was just at the appliance store picking up a new microwave plate as I broke the one we had when I left the microwave on too long. I am a menace in the kitchen so I just want to say thanks to all the men out there who cook for Thanksgiving or anytime for that matter. My husband cooks all the meat for Thanksgiving including turkey and two legs of lamb. I set the table and help clean. I see he just posted on his Lamb recipe at his blog and I urge you to try preparing it, it’s excellent.

If you have a recipe to share or a favorite dish for Thanksgiving, drop a comment below.

Also read: 

10 Tinseltown Turkeys That Make Real Men Choke

Posted at 11:16 am on November 25th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Geeks on Strike?

Here is an interesting email I got from a reader who wonders if a substantial number of geeks are on strike:

Hello Drs. Reynolds & Smith,

I’ve noticed a similarity in the two greatest debacles for the militant feminism/War on Women crowd. In both the “shirt storm” and “gamer gate”attacks, it is geeks (and their friends/sympathizers/defenders) that have pushed back against this noxious crowd. In contrast, government, corporations, most of the media, universities, etc. have either enabled
or been quick to fold to these attacks.

I’m not certain what this means. Possibly it is that a substantial percentage of geeks (of which I’m a proud member) have gone on strike, resent these intrusions, and don’t have the social conditioning to make nice.

This idea seems to fit into both of your wheelhouses. Possibly one of you think there is something there and can develop the idea further.

I actually explored some of this “geeks on strike” theme in my book in a section on gamers where I interviewed game designer Vox Day, who put up information on the demographics of his blog readers (full of gamers) and how they felt about marriage.The non-alphas in the poll seemed to have access to far fewer women than the alphas. From the book:

However, the non-Alphas tell a different story. For those men who are not Alphas, there are many fewer women available to them. If 24 percent of the men are sharing 76 percent of the women, the sexual prospects are poor for the 76 percent of men who are sharing the other 24 percent of women. Perhaps of those 76 percent, some are the virgins who are the most anti-marriage or are less marriage-minded because they have fewer women to choose from or feel socially rejected. It would be interesting to see if the men who are more in the Beta and lower classifications are playing more video games. Vox Day had this to say about the younger gamers that he has had contact with:

I probably have a unique perspective on it due to my connections to the young guys in the gaming industry. It’s bizarre how some of them are in their twenties, have graduated from good schools, and have simply zero interest in women. They just have literally nothing in common with them and no interest in them.

The “strike” theory is generally correct, I think. The problem is that games and porn are entertaining, inexpensive, easily accessible, and reliable. Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable. I would say that porn has raised the bar somewhat—it’s bound to be seriously annoying when Little Miss Real Life won’t give head when Jane Pornstar is twice as hot and is cheerfully performing all sorts of acrobatic stunts. And if you think about it, is a real woman who is average and only wants to have missionary-style sex once a week, minus a week for her period, actually any better than a wide variety of gorgeous porn stars catering to every bizarre fetish the Japanese can imagine and available on demand? It’s not quite so clear once you put it in those terms. The biggest communication problem is that most women see “relationship” as a positive thing. Most men see it as an ambiguous thing. So, when the selling point of Little Miss Real Life over Jane Pornstar is “relationship,” you can see where it’s not going to be very appealing. I don’t think there’s much of a “fuck you” element, though. The guys who think that way tend to be the players, particularly the Sigma players. A lot of the guys who opt out aren’t particularly angry at women, they just don’t see much point to pursuing involvement with them.

Perhaps what the reader is observing in Gamergate and Shirtgate is that the geeks involved not only don’t have the social conditioning to “make nice,” but that they have less to lose than conformists such as the media or feminists who need other women and men to join their worldview.

Posted at 1:31 pm on November 20th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Are America’s law graduates really getting dumber?

Bloomberg Businessweek has an interesting article about why so many law graduates are failing the bar exam this year (via Newsalert):

The most recent bar exam test results are in, and they are ugly. In several states, people who took the bar in July were more likely to fail than those who took it last year, and scores on one portion of the test dropped to their lowest point in 10 years.

Are America’s law graduates really getting dumber? The people who put together the bar exam seem to think so.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners, a nonprofit that prepares one of the state-specific multiple-choice sections in which scores dropped dramatically, sent a curt message to law school deans in October. “The results are correct,” wrote Erica Moeser, the group’s president, in an Oct. 23 memo. “The group that sat in July 2014 was less able than the group that sat in July 2013,”…

As fewer people apply to law school, many programs have accepted less-qualified applicants in order to keep class sizes the same and to sustain their bottom line, says Derek Muller, a law professor at Pepperdine University. “This drop, while bigger than expected, is just a sign for what’s going to come for law schools as the incoming classes continue to decline in quality.”

Letting people in who are not qualified seems unfair to the students who invest so much time and then fail the exam. And what about the quality of the lawyers coming out? Is it compromised in terms of practice?

Posted at 5:08 am on November 20th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Do Dolls Harm Girls?

Caroline Kitchens (filling in for Christina Hoff Sommers) at the Factual Feminist answers this question:

Posted at 6:28 am on November 18th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Should You Send Your Son to Public School?

I wondered this as I read a copy of Frank Portman’s new book King Dork Approximately, which is a sequel to the original King Dork.

What I gather from the book is that the main character, Tom Henderson, has been abused and beaten up at his high school and 10th grade is a real killer for him. He describes an assembly at his high school where a dippy therapist by the name of Dr. Gary says that all teens want to be “accepted by their peers and society.” Tom has different ideas.

On page 108 of the new book, he says, “Normalism is nothing any sane person would volunteer for. It is rotten, corrupt, terrifying, and thoroughly despicable, organized by psychotics, led by fiends, staffed by sadistic, subhuman monsters and supported by dim-witted enablers like the soppy teenagers Dr. Gary described. When you say ‘I want to fit in,’ you are essentially volunteering yourself as a victim, and when the thing you want to fit in with is ‘society,’ –well, as ‘society’ is just another word for the government, you’re basically begging the government to control you and use you as it wishes for its nefarious purposes, if ‘nefarious’ means what I believe it means.”

This book is a work of fiction but it raises the question: Are public schools now using boys for their nefarious purposes? I sometimes think so as I read the news and what boys are going through in government-run schools. Of course, private ones can be just as bad, but at least there is a bit less government interference. The PC rules that boys are subject to seem to run the gamut from being charged with being a sexual harasser at the age of eight or younger to being subject to unfair discipline practices and institutional racism.

I sometimes wonder if sending a young boy to public school should be considered child abuse, particularly if he is small, nerdy and doesn’t desire to be normal like poor Tom in King Dork.

Public schools for boys: good idea or not?

More from Dr. Helen: 

Seriously?

 

Posted at 6:39 am on November 16th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Dean Esmay at the Huffington Post:“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Think About It.”

Posted at 4:18 pm on November 14th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Seriously?

I don’t care if you landed a spacecraft on a comet, your shirt is sexist and ostracizing….

It’s no wonder there aren’t more women making scientific discoveries; some are too busy looking under a rock for “misogyny” than studying rocks in general.

Posted at 12:58 pm on November 13th, 2014 by Helen Smith

“How about a nice career in accounting?”

Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner has a modest proposal for closing the gender wage gap (via Instapundit):

And so I humbly present my own proposal for closing the gender wage gap, which I hope will not only solve the problem but also satisfy voices on all sides of the argument. As a society, we must begin telling women what subjects they can major in, what colleges they can attend, and what jobs they can take.

For example, if men want to go into gender studies, let them — that way, they’ll make less money and it will help close the gender gap. But women need to be kept away from such majors. Colleges and universities should in fact create separate lists of majors to give to men and women. If possible, women should not be told about any course of study that will yield lower-paying career choices in the future…

Among others, social science majors feed the gender gap. When women ask about those subjects or departments, colleges should tell them they don’t exist, or that all classes are full, except maybe the ones in economics. Even better, colleges should tell women that engineering, mathematics and finance are actually social sciences. Class rosters must then be watched carefully. If a woman somehow manages to sign up for a sociology class, she should instead be given the classroom number for a course in mechanical engineering.

When women express a desire to pursue teaching or social work jobs, they should be discouraged. In fact, college counselors should be instructed to tell them there are no such jobs available, along with some sort of plausible explanation, like: “There are no teaching jobs available anymore, because Republicans cut the budget and the government is closing all of the schools. How about a nice career in accounting?”

While Ms. Schow is being tongue in cheek here, she raises some good points. Many women want to pursue careers to feel good about themselves, not necessarily for pay. I witnessed this first hand in grad school when other female PhD students were willing to do their clinical internships for free. “No way,” I said, as I actually had to support myself. I was surprised at what women (and some men) were willing to do for little or no money. Their willingness to do so however, was often being subsidized by parents, spouses or the school itself. Now women want society (the taxpayers etc.) to pay for their choices. “No way,” I say. If women want to make the choice to take a low paying job, that is their choice. But I don’t see why we all have to pay for it. Do you?

Posted at 11:11 am on November 13th, 2014 by Helen Smith

“What you’ve done with men is just a more efficient, animal-friendly version of this strategy.”

Matt Walsh: “Ladies, It’s Time To Take Responsibility For Your Failed Relationships” (thanks to the reader who sent this):

‘Men’ have become an abstract idea, a conceptual manifestation of everything that’s wrong with your life. If men exist at all in your world, they exist only as vehicles for your misery.

Consider that, for ritual purification, the Ancient Syrians used to cast a goat out into the wastelands. The literal scapegoat was supposed to carry the sins of the town into the nether regions, where it and its spiritual luggage would die and decay. What you’ve done with men is just a more efficient, animal-friendly version of this strategy. You’ve saddled them with your personal baggage and sent them to the desert to perish. You’ve made a scapegoat of the entire gender.

Posted at 6:16 am on November 12th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Krav Maga, Take Two

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I am re-reading the book Krav Maga: How to Defend Yourself Against Armed Assault as I went back to a private lesson last week. I took Krav Maga lessons about six years ago and decided that I needed a refresher course. For those of you who do not know what Krav Maga is, from the book I mentioned:

Krav Maga is today’s cutting edge self-defense and hand to hand combat system. Initially developed by Grandmaster Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld) for the Israel Defense Forces and other national security services, Krav Maga has been thoroughly adapted to meet civilan needs. The method was designed so that ordinary citizens, young and old, men and women alike, can successfully use it, regardless of their physical strength. This is the first and only authorized comprehensive manual on the Krav Maga discipline, written by its founder, Imi Sde-Or, and his senior disciple and follower, Eyal Yanilove. This volume especially focuses on the various facets of dealing with an assailant armed with a sharp-edged weapon, a blunt object, or a firearm.

One of the tips the book mentions is to avoid injury. Apparently, I can’t follow that rule as I came home with a boxer’s contusion on my right hand. I remember when I took Taekwondo, I broke my fingers twice. I was in grad school at the time and decided it wasn’t worth risking not being able to write and left the classes after three years (the karate classes, not the grad school, though the risk of getting an expensive degree that wouldn’t pan out was certainly up for debate).

Posted at 11:34 am on November 10th, 2014 by Helen Smith