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Jun 04 2007

Spurious BattleoftheSexesWatch ’07

Regular readers are perhaps dimly aware that the Faster family maintains a little wildlife preserve on a few acres in the Texas Hill Country. It is on this acreage that I have, for the past 2 years, been patiently waiting for a bunch of inefficient and expensive men to finish building me a house, so that Twisty HQ might there remove, the more conveniently to photograph cricket frogs and painted buntings. The structure nears readiness for occupancy. In fact, I’ve started throwing a few things into boxes.

Well, we had Big Weather Doins in Central Texas last night, and a tornado or something whipped through my little cranny of the Hill Country. Here in North South Austin, on the TV radar, I watched this storm advance upon, and finally overtake, my young life’s dream. Why did I do that? Why? It was horrible, but I couldn’t look away. Naturally, this morning I cannot disabuse myself of the notion that El Rancho Deluxe was precisely in the path of this untoward meteorological event. So I’ve gotta buzz out there and see what’s left of the place.

As usual, my lengthy preamble merely introduces a completely unrelated topic, which is that, until I get back, I leave you to ponder (but don’t do it for too long) this stunning new ‘reality’ TV show, When Women Rule the World. A bunch of “strong, educated, independent” hot young babes in bikinis, each “with an axe to grind,” will “rule over a group of unsuspecting men used to calling the shots.”

How will the men react? How will the women treat the men? Can women effectively rule society? Will the men learn what life is like for some women in today’s world? Will this new society be a Utopia or a hell on earth? And in the end, who will be man enough to succeed in the new social order?

I love how the show is set up so there’s no possible way these women can be portrayed as castrating bitches!

[Thanks, Sarah}

79 comments

  1. Trout

    A perfect example of why all televisions should be hurled into the nearest abyss.

  2. ramou

    I knew it would be Fox. I knew it!

    Let’s take something ridiculous, call it feminism, and then use it to “prove” to the world that feminism is ridiculous! And let’s do it on Fox for ratings!

  3. Hawise

    Oh, this can’t be anything more than watching a slow motion train wreck. How can a group of women that young already be ‘tired of living in a man’s world’? Frustrated with I’ll give them but they are way too young to be tired yet and all of them are fit, good looking and, have I mentionned, young. Put those same men on a beach with a dozen post-menopausal mothers who are still paying for their children’s college education after divorce and then we have a show.

  4. pheeno

    We got that storm too. Complete with green sky and funnel sightings. I don’t think one touched down though, so hopefully the odds are in your favor.

  5. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be a tornado. Straight-line winds associated with severe storms can also be very effective at rearranging your property.

    In any case, best wishes. Here’s hoping the damage is minimal.

  6. Orange

    The show’s description says the men will be winnowed down “until one last man in standing.” At which point, what? Will he be appointed King of the Nice Guys and expect the ladies to do his bidding?

    I’m with Hawise. Add a few radical feminists in the mix, a few women who’ve quit jobs because of sexual harassment, a couple rape victims, and a couple nice women who merely expect men to do their fair share of housework, etc. Then you’ll have yourself a show.

  7. amoralgirl

    This show could actually be used for good. As in, ‘Hey! Everybody-who-panders-to-patriarchy, look at this! This IS IT! This is the irrefutable evidence that patriarchy is REAL! It exists! And it’s the asshat godbags themselves who’ve been generous enough to serve up this prime example for all of you!’

    I also like how the premise insinuates that that’s what women want, that the aim of feminism is to usurp men’s power and dominion over all and wield it ourselves. Over them.

    Sigh. Someone please tell me our culture is going to implode soon, or that the revolution’ll explode within the next 5 years, because I don’t think I handle getting to the actual boiling point if shit’s this bad already.

    IBTFP

  8. Sunday School Dropout

    They could piss the alpha men off even more by casting empowerful women with… y’know… stretch marks, wrinkles, beer guts, whatever. Alpha men like to fetishize taking orders from pornalicious enpowerful women, but it might actually bend their minds in half to take orders from women who aren’t “rewarding” them with being pin-ups.

  9. LouisaMayAlcott

    Orange asked,

    “At which point, what?”

    At which point, they’ll all see the error of their ways, and start fighting over him.

    Boyfriends rule!

  10. amoralgirl

    Make that: don’t think I can handle…

    Sorry.

  11. Jessicat

    From the website:
    “…the women will have the opportunity to “rule” as they build a newly formed society – one where there is no glass ceiling and no dressing to impress.”

    Uh huh. No doubt there will be none of that “dressing to impress” on a prime time reality television show. I know if I was trapped on a desert island, I’d dress in a teeny bikini and sarong purely for comfort and practicality.

  12. Hawise

    So we change the show by ” casting empowerful women with… y’know… stretch marks, wrinkles, beer guts, whatever” and have them “dress in a teeny bikini and sarong” and then yell “‘Hey! Everybody-who-panders-to-patriarchy, look at this! This IS IT!’”

  13. Frumious B

    Hawise,

    Jill Filipovic, Amanda Marcotte, and Jessica Valenti, just to name a few, are young, goodlooking, and fit, and they know a thing or two about being tired of living in a man’s world. There’s no age requirement for blaming.

  14. yankee transplant

    Going off to puke now.

  15. Elizabeth Zanichkowsky

    No “dressing to impress?” Whom are they kidding? The publicity photo suggests a better working title for the show: When Supermodel Fembots Rule the World”–a contradiction in terms already.

    ELizabeth Z

  16. Hawise

    Frumious B- Fair enough and we don’t know the back story of the women chosen to be the ‘leaders’ of this new world but, as this is a Fox show, I’m not raising my hopes that they include women of the caliber that you cite. I would still like to see one or two of the women to be showing some signs of wear and tear, some of the men do.

  17. Bubbas' Nightmare

    “unscripted”

    Riiiiiight.

    “each gender’s ability to adapt to a new social order will be put to the test”

    Hey, it’s Fox Network. Does anyone really expect anything intelligent from that source?

    And my personal favorite:

    “with a personal axe to grind”

    So, there’s no chance of anything vaguely resembling ‘reality’, right?

  18. CafeSiren

    I’m with the suggestion that the women on this show be distinctly non-pornalicious (tip of the hat to Twisty for adding that word to this blamer’s vocabulary!), and that the first men eliminated are those who don’t live up to unreasonable standards of male pulchritude, all the while being entirely subservient.

    But in addition, I dream that the women involved completely eschew ratings-boosting catfights and backstabbing in favor of an exclusive clubbiness in which they support each others’ efforts to succeed, gossip about their “conquests” in terms that make it clear that the men are unworthy of the same human dignity as women have (and do so where the men can hear, and internalize this dehumanization), and occasionally allow a token male a teeny taste of power, so they can say “but look! Joe has some limited authority, so we’re not sexist at all!”

    No, this is NOT my ideal society. But if the show’s aim is to create an inversion of patriarchy, then these things would be a good start.

  19. Sara

    I think this could go under “Men Hate You,” too.

    Hope your house is okay.

  20. Otter

    As long as men are controlling this ersatz experiment, the women on the show rule absolutely nothing. Not even how their own behavior is filmed and cut and pasted and served up to the slavering hoardes. This is just dominatrix porn lite.

  21. Starfoxy

    Ugh, just looking at the picture in the link. It’s almost as if they spent at least an hour posing all the women very carefully then shouted “Alright, now lets have the men all come sit down here in front.” Because, while it’s perfectly alright to have a picture of a man just sittin’ there, it is beyond the pale to suggest that a woman be photographed in anything other than a tilt-headed, arch-backed display of burning hott sex-i-tude.

  22. the opoponax

    So if the women are all “ruling the world” and such, why exactly, are they wearing bikinis?

    Bikinis suck. Especially the wimpy little ones that are meant more for sunbathing than actual physical activty — they ride up your ass with aplomb, shift all out of where they’re supposed to be, and magically dematerialize at the very moment you need them most. They are a complete sartorial failure, for virtually all women.

    Any woman with personal agency, let alone Ruler Of The World status, is NOT going to wear a bikini.

    See also, why I think Barack Obama is our next president: because he has the ability to kick the neck tie out of his wardrobe and face virtually no criticism for it. He has such personal power and charisma that nobody is going to stand around and bitch about how he dresses (and/or he’s not actually going to let that affect him).

  23. Amananta

    On a tangential note, I must say something just clicked for me as to what is wrong with the argument that BDSM (and I know I’m probably setting off the spamulator here) is somehow feminist when women are dominating men.
    Have you ever seen a depiction of a supposedly dominant woman where she wasn’t: young; skinny; and dressed in such a way to please men (rather than to be comfortable)? If “submissive” men really were submissive to women and wanted to serve a powerful woman, they wouldn’t only seek out young, under-fed looking women wearing clothes designed to hobble them (corsets and heels) to “dominate” them. They’d be equally or more happy to serve older women with grey hair, wrinkles, and a middle age spread, wearing an expensive pants suit. These are the markers of power in men, after all.

  24. norbizness

    In related news: MTV’s interminable series The Real World may not, in fact, reflect the reality of the world we live in today.

  25. thebewilderness

    I think this show will illustrate and promote the patriarchial myth of how and why women must be controlled and oppressed, for their own good, and they really like it don’tcha know.
    With a little of that ‘even when you treat them like people, all they really want is to be pornalicious sexbots’ thrown in.
    The patriarchy is scared, and it is pushing back hard. The indoctrination isn’t working.
    I am going out in the rain to laugh maliciously.

  26. renheyy

    I know this is really obvious, but I like the fact that the entire premise of the show is an insult anyway, even if the women weren’t going to be “hot.” When women rule the world? How about “When Dogs Rule the World,” or “When Babies Rule the World,” or “When Schizophrenics Rule the World”? All so ridiculously laughable, it can only work in a reality TV show! And even then, it still won’t work. Come on. We know it’s not going to work. They’re women.

  27. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    HPS plays producer:

    The women wouldn’t be wearing bikinis; they’d probably wear the female equivalent of what the men on the show will be wearing: COMFORTABLE CLOTHES. Long loose shorts (swim trunks?) that tie at the waist. Hawaiian shirts or baggy T-shirts silkscreened with lame and/or offensive advertising/commentary would be optional.

    The men would wear sheer little speedo thongs with side ties (easily removed) that leave nothing to the imagination. Despite the fact that they live on a freakin ISLAND they have to stay hot-looking no matter what. I mean, that’s why they were chosen for the show: Eye candy, duh! They don’t need to be able to act or do anything useful other than to be helpful. In a pretty sexy kind of way.

    Roll-em!

  28. kate

    I’ll tell you something, if I am stuck on a tropical island, I am wearing long pants to keep off the bugs and the razor sharp burn of beach grass. And I’ll keep my boots and T-shirt on thank you.

    Don’t forget fat women and muscular women and a few dykes (if someone didn’t mention that already).

    I’m glad I’m doing a large job right now as I’d have to hear about all this all day from the regular assortment of Fox viewing tradesman. I want them to finish their GD work so I can get paid so I keep my mouth shut. I’ll say such mental imprisonment does wonders on one’s eagerness to murder wood with power tools.

  29. kate

    I’m glad I’m NOT doing a large job I meant, for anyone who actually reads my comments.

  30. Twisty

    I read’em, Kate!

  31. Hawise

    I’m with you Kate, long pants that tie at the ankle, loose shirt with long sleeves and a big floppy hat. How do network execs expect anyone to rule the world when they are itchy, sunburned and sunstroked?

  32. Metal Prophet

    I suppose it’s naive of me to ever think that Reality TV can’t get any lower.

  33. lawbitch

    The Simpsons is the only decent show on Fox, and it makes fun of Fox.

  34. Becker

    I hope all has turned out well at the Rancho!

    Gotta ask, though: do you have a basement or at least a pickle cellar out there?

  35. Twisty

    No basements in Tejas, Becker. We just slither into culverts with the snakes until it all blows over.

  36. Sylvanite

    I always thought the lack of basements in tornado country was madness. Hell, there are basements in my section of Philly, and they had to be hewn out of Wissahickon schist. In the old houses, it was done by hand, even.

    I hope that El Rancho escaped unscathed.

    Also, note to self – do not watch Fox, lest a glimpse of this latest travesty make me go blind.

  37. norbizness

    It’s nigh-impossible to construct basements in the Hill Country for the same reason that there is so much flash flooding: it’s generally solid limestone just a foot or two (further discussion here). To be fair, tornado alley really starts in North Texas, on into OKlahoma and Kansas. Plenty of sod there to excavate.

  38. Leigh

    Why do I feel like most of the questions the websites poses (i.e., “Can women effectively rule society?”) are purely rhetorical? I know it’s outrageous to suggest that the outcome of reality TV shows are predetermined but this particular instance seems especially predictable. I’m betting on an average of 1.5 catfights, 5.2 ass-and-titties remarks, and 10.0 testimonials to the efficacy of the existing patriarchal model per half hour on this show. Plus an ending shocker in which the man-left-standing ends up winning his own little harem of scantily-clad beach bunnies on account of he’s been so darn accommodating the whole time.

    I know reality TV is bad, but does it have to be so friggin’ transparent all the time?

  39. Medbh

    Please. The patriarchy is hell on earth. How do those women have a chance?

  40. Jezebella

    Amananta, good point. Because, really, I’d totally let some slob pay me to make him do my housework and pull weeds if I could lounge on the sofa wearing sweats while he did it. Oh, right: it’s not really about being dominated, is it?

  41. Twisty

    My house is still standing! I cannot say as much for several of my prized ancient post oaks, sadly. But the good news there is that, when conservating for wildlife, you get to just leave the uprooted trees where they fall; the critters use’em for habitat! No irritating chopping, sawing, or hauling!

    As far as tornadoes go, my favorite feature of the new Twisty HQ West is its indestructible above-ground storm shelter/wine cellar/bachelor pad, made of 12″ thick cinderblocks, rebar, and concrete. It’s hooked up to a generator and will contain a cot, the Riverside Shakespeare, and lots of alcohol. The contractor says it can withstand a Katrina-sized wind.

  42. Layla

    At the moment the British Big Brother reality TV program is basically doing the exact opposite. A house full of women. After a few days one man enters the house and he is given the power to choose which women he would like to evict. Their latest ‘task’ was that the man eats an eleven course meal, one course per woman. The women get to wait around all night without having eaten until it’s their turn to join him for a course. Lucky lucky girls.

  43. Bubbas' Nightmare

    Norbizness:

    In related news: MTV’s interminable series The Real World may not, in fact, reflect the reality of the world we live in today.

    LMFAO!

    Thanks for that timely update.

  44. Shell Goddamnit

    “I am going out in the rain to laugh maliciously.”

    That – resonates. Thank you.

  45. virgotex

    It’s nigh-impossible to construct basements in the Hill Country for the same reason that there is so much flash flooding: it’s generally solid limestone just a foot or two

    Foot or two? Dude, I’m in Wimberley–it’s more like an inch or two.

  46. kate

    “I read’em, Kate!”

    Alright now! I am affirmed and alive outside my shell!

    Yes Hawsie, I would wear long sleeves as well.

    Around here people blast the rock they call ‘ledge’ – granite mind you, in order to get their foundations in as a slab will not do; it will move with the frost heaves and frost goes four feet down. But then blasting can bring about hydraulic issues, which suffice to say can make a 6″ slab a broken pile of rubble in a matter of days if it wants to, particularly if the rebar is non existent or poorly placed.

    Make sure that structure is well anchored to that slab or wall, no straps — real anchors into the concrete, with sill bolted down.

    OK, enough contractor talk.

  47. TP

    Very glad to hear that the architectural marvel is still standing. Seemed built to be strong to me! But things are sometimes not attached quite right even up till the bitter end, and you had me worried.

    That show on Fox is so far beneath my contempt I’d have to use some kind of a scope just to see it. Telescope, microscope, whatever.

    The ability of the delusional male mind to frame things so they are inescapably rigged to support the status quo is boundless.

  48. roamaround

    Twisty I am so happy your place is ok, and I love the idea of an above-ground storm shelter/wine cellar/bachelor pad!! I want one too! Can’t you patent them and make a zillion? Lot’s of us are living in fear of an apocalypse these days.

    the opoponax, I have to say a few words in favor of bikinis (risky as that may be)and in opposition to Obama.

    Having spent a fair share of my youth on hot, tropical beaches, I found that the less sticky-nylon material in contact with skin the better. A minimal string bikini held my boobs in place on top and allowed for variations in hip size on the bottom, depending on the local cuisine. Raised an uptight North American, I learned in Brazil to feel completely comfortable in my skin and little else.

    I recognize that it’s not perfect there or anywhere, but I don’t think baring skin always equals oppression. Sometimes it’s just comfortable.

    Ok, so in reference to a discussion about bodyguards and safety, Barak Obama (whom I do kinda like too) said that he would take his wife Michelle’s grocery list to the store like a regular guy but… What the?? Can’t you just own up to knowing what food you need in the house you fucking sell out? I think it’s such a ploy to seem like a macho-enough guy. I can’t even stomach Democrats any more, much less Fox TV.

  49. stekatz

    Geez, I hope everything is okay. That’s the last thing you needed. Tornados are finiky, though. Let’s hope it took a sniff of your new house and decided to move on.

  50. Penny

    So glad your place is ok. Sorry to hear about the oaks, but some lucky critters will be happy.
    Woohoo the Riverside! And woohoo rebar, and alcohol too.

  51. Calabama

    Geesh, from twisted stomachs to barium shakes to fecal-filled shower stalls to — a tornado!? Your trials are getting a tad too biblical for comfort, damnit. Glad to hear the house is OK, and hope all else is on the mend.

  52. Ron Sullivan

    Here I was hoping for Barack in a Bikini. Why isn’t there a swimsuit competition in the Republocrat National Convention?

    Oh, I forgot.

    Meanwhile, good that your house is intact, and a moment of silence for the senior trees. I’m hoping there are some of their offspring still standing there.

    [Sermonette: Everybody! Love your trees? Plant their seedlings!]

    First time I recognized a storm cellar (saw about a dozen from the road in Arkansas before I figured it out) I did one of those “Oh shit, real world!” double-takes. Then we passed across the path of the then-most-recent tornado, which I did recognize PDQ because there wasn’t anything bigger than a pencil there.

    Oy, Toto!

  53. Random Lurker

    Roamaround, you could get the same comfort from a baggy cotton salwar kameez. Unlike the bikini, a good salwar kameez wicks sweat, prevents sun damage to the skin, and keeps the sand out of your butt crack every time you sit down. While a bikini might be fine to swim in, I doubt they’re comfortable to wear when attending to all the tasks involved in running a society.

  54. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Yay for intactness of the Twisty manse!

    Just curious, is your ‘conservationist’ status recognized somehow by local wildlife preservation folks? Around here (Seattle) seems that if you create habitat in urban areas you can get your name listed in some publication (yeah, big whoop) which basically puts your name out there as a supporter of the cause and gives people a place to go to see how it’s done. The woman I knew who was doing this said visitors would periodically come by to check out what she’d done so they could try it on their own property, sort of like an open house.

  55. larkspur

    So very glad I can no longer afford cable TV (and in my neck of the woods, if you don’t have cable, you don’t get picture, yo ho).

    Oh hey, this made me recall my very favorite ever New Yorker cartoon. The setting is a cottage on the water. On the porch is a man sitting at a desk with his typewriter. His hair is all messed up and his eyes look crazy. There are dozens of wadded-up sheets of paper strewn about. In the doorway of the cottage stands a woman holding a tray of sandwiches and cups of coffee. She is speaking, and the balloon says: “I have an idea for a story. Bill and Linda move to a remote place on Long Island so Bill can write his novel. Linda brings him coffee and sandwiches. They never go anywhere or see anyone, and in the end, Linda becomes a nympho-lesbo-killer-whore.”

    Now that’s an island to be reckoned with.

    Twisty: let us know if you need stuff. I know people who know people who could prolly airlift new trees via those big ol’ noisy humongous helicopters. I would have to threaten them, but for you I would do it.

  56. Cathy

    I saw a kid’s program with my daughter (can’t remember the name), and the kids were given an assignment to show up as what they were going to grow up to be. A girl showed up in a toga, saying she would be President, the future would be very peaceful and that men would be kept underground for breeding purposes. Feminism isn’t completely absent from TV!

  57. ABK

    Although I agree that this reality show stinks of patriarchy, a look at how the world would be if an actual matriarchy existed might be a real eye opener. I am not saying that I aim for one (I want the world to be fair to both men and women), but it might be useful to conjure up such a world and here is why I think so.

    A friend of mine loved getting me worked up about feminism. He had irritating arguments, “But admiring good looking women is a good thing, don’t you admire beauty?”, “Expecting men to not commit crimes against women ever is a bit idealistic!”, “The fact that patriarchy survived for so long must mean that it is the stable system!” and so on. Most of my arguments were based on the fact (I think it’s a fact!) that many behaviour patterns are a result of conditioning by the patriarchy, rather than from natural/biological instincts specific to a gender like he claimed. I also told him that post revolution, such conditioning could and would be reversed.

    He didn’t quite understand, so we decided to imagine a world where women would have an edge over men and the situation would be reversed, in order for him to see why I think the world is currently unfair to women. At the end of it, believe it or not, he has a newfound understanding and respect for feminism! In fact, he is now quite apprehensive about a possible revolution!

  58. curiousgyrl

    I’m glad to hear the rancho deluxe is safe and sound. And If I have to live in a bunker I want it well stocked with wine. Nice design.

  59. gzur

    I was going to post a stalkers how-to, given the info Twisty gave us in that last post, but I decided it wouldn’t be well received.

    Not because the commenteriat is a bunch of dry humourless bithes. But because I genuinely dont find it funny. Displaying how much we dudes hate women through humour has kind of lost its lustre.

    Even on the esteemed ‘meta’* level – wherein you claim to be actually making fun of people who *do* make fun of these things – it’s still not the least but amusing. Because if you find that kind of people merely funny – you’re failing at to grasp some pretty basic things.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for poking fun at the wrong things, but at least be honest about it.

    To which the reply is usually “Hey man, it’s only sarcasm, y’know, it’s not like *I* actually feel that way!”
    Only it’s not and you do.

  60. Sara

    I am very glad to hear your house is still standing, and that you and the dogs have somewhere nice to hide if you’re ever there when it’s threatened again.

    I am very sad, however, to hear that the Fox Network still exists, that this show isn’t a joke or part of the hallucination of a surreal land brought on by a window frame hitting one of us in the head during yesterday’s storm.

    Oh, well. At least nobody mean’s got your dogs.

  61. larkspur

    gzur: “…Displaying how much we dudes hate women through humour has kind of lost its lustre….”

    My best wishes to you as you search for a shiny new place. Geh gesund.

  62. Twisty

    I think what gzur means is that he finds dudes joking about women-hating not to be funny.

  63. gzur

    Twisty: “I think what gzur means is that he finds dudes joking about women-hating not to be funny”.
    Append “anymore” to that sentence and you’ve nailed my position.

    larkspur :”My best wishes to you as you search for a shiny new place. Geh gesund.”
    I don’t mean to be a smart-ass, but I genuinely don’t know what you mean here.

  64. larkspur

    Thank you, Twisty. Hi, gzur. I’ll just take my brain in for a lil’ tune-up.

  65. Bubbas' Nightmare

    Ron Sullivan:

    Why isn’t there a swimsuit competition in the Republocrat National Convention?

    That raises imaginings so twisted and gorge-inducing that I was forced to take two shots of ouzo to kill it.

  66. larkspur

    gzur, as is prolly clear by now, I misunderstood your post. Now I get it, and I appreciate it very much. Please to forgive and forget my original response. Thank you.

  67. grace

    Hey Twisty, first time commenting here. I should probably read all the comments first to check i’m not repeating anyone but there are many and my time is short!

    “each gender’s ability to adapt to a new social order will be put to the test.”

    - If I had the eggs I would go to every MRA blog I’ve ever clapped eyes on and shout (capitalize in bold) “Fox have outright said that the actual social order is that men rule over women, so give up pretending that men are so downtrodden in a world where women supposedly reign, and men pander to their every whim in order to receive the smallest of returns in gratitude (i.e. sex, and specific sexual activity in which the pleasure for women is zero)”. I would also say this to every female MRA apologist. Alas, I am low on eggs today.

    (I hope my punctuation was okay!)

  68. kathy a

    oy, late to the party, as usual. glad the new twisty habitat is relatively intact.

  69. Twisty

    Grace and others have cleverly perceived a nuance that I initially failed to grasp, but which I love. That is, that Fox is taking the position that women actually are oppressed in reality. Unfortunately, Fox cannot otherwise be relied upon for accurate reporting, so we can’t use it.

  70. j

    Oh, Fox will admit that patriarchy is the current social order. It also takes the position that patriarchy is a desirable social order. Bill O’Reilly’s recent comment about preserving “the white, Christian, male power structure” comes to mind.

  71. pheeno

    You really should have a below ground storm cellar. That above one may withstand Katrina winds, but its not the wind thats the problem. Its WHAT the wind is hurling thats the problem.
    If it can uproot old trees, it can knock down cinderblock. With the tree.

  72. rainie

    Two years? You’ve been patiently waiting for two years for a bunch of inneficient expensive men to finish building your house? Please, please, please tell me if you have any insight at this point on how to avoid having the process be so inneficient and expensive. Spouse and I are about to embark on a house designing/building adventure.

  73. Twisty

    rainie, get that Cary Grant movie Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House from Netflix right away; it’s all true, and you need to know what you’re up against. Your only hope is to buy a pre-fab, and do not — repeat, DO NOT — allow custom anything — cabinets, light fixtures, windows, tiles, anything. Buy local materials. Build as close to the urban center as you can. And do not engage a dreamy, idealistic architect who thinks he’s Neutra. Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

  74. Midgetqueen

    Cathy: Not absolutely positive that it was Boy Meets world you were watching, but I *know* that I remember an episode where Topanga did that exact same thing! What a sweet ep that was.

  75. Vera

    There’s an old Dave Barry column in which he claims that once you’ve hired contractors and given them money, they retreat into an alternative universe.

  76. Compcat

    Pheeno,

    The above ground shelters were initially designed by researchers at Texas Tech, if I remember correctly. They were aware of flying objects being a problem. You used to be able to google video of the machine they made that fired projectiles at the walls. Below ground shelters or even basements, aren’t often dug in Texas thanks to high costs, high water table levels, and cultural norms.

    The above ground shelters were supposed to be cheaper to build, I don’t know if this turned out to be true.

  77. Lara

    Yet another reason I do not watch TV at all….with exception to the Food Network (and that channel even has a lot of sexist and racist baggage!). So: Fox is recognizing that patriarchy exists, but it is going to indirectly send the message that patriarchy is the ideal; all the while laughing at the idea that women could possibly rule the world….and yet there’s a threat? If patriarchy was a natural order, why would it have to be reinforced with senseless misogynist bullshit like this new Fox show? Makes you wonder….

  78. Lara

    Oh and I am so happy to hear the new ranch is doing okay! Some of my family live in Houston, TX and whenever I visit I am made thoroughly aware of the flooding that goes on there. Texas is so big so it’s got so many different terrains and some rather scary or formidable ones, at that. Tornadoes, floods, dry torrential heat (in the west), even huge swarms of giant mosquitoes…sheesh!

  79. the opoponax

    1. Three cheers for the intact Casa Twisty!

    2. As for my personal sartorial preference on a desert island: probably a tank top, some kind of sarong, a bandanna, and a case of that nifty new mist-on sunscreen. Also flip flops, if there might be crab grass or hitch-hiker burrs.

    3. While I hate the fact that Obama would take “His Wife’s” grocery list to the supermarket, I’m currently reading his first book (Dreams of My Father), and not only does he really seem to get a lot of women’s issues (in an instictive way, not a “my assistant had me read a position paper” way), his writing about race is raising my consciousness in terms of both race and what it means to be a woman under patriarchy. Michelle’s grocery list or not, I’m in lurve, unfortunately. I’ve never heard of a presidential candidate who is this clued in to much of anything, let alone issues of race, class, and gender. His thoughts on miscegenation laws and his parents’ interracial marriage make me wonder how he could possibly be against gay marriage. Though of course this book was written back in the early 90′s before Obama had political aspirations. He does make sure in the 2004 introduction, however, to underline his continuing support for the book’s ideas, even those criticized by conservative pundits.

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