May 04 2009

Western Painted Turtle of the Week (and some lite blaming)


The Western painted is the state turtle of Colorado. This one was 7 or 8 inches long and every bit as heartwarming as it looks.

Some anonymous benefactor has apparently philanthropized millions to 14 colleges, all of which are run by women, with the proviso that the money be used for scholarships for women and minorities. The collegiate world is ablaze with speculation and incredulity. Who could have been so insane as to donate cash to fund women’s education? NPR reporter Claudio Sanchez wonders whether any colleges run by men would ever get any money.

No, Claudio. I’m afraid men are shit out of luck. It’s the Law of Conservation of Human Dignity, which states that, within a social order based on dominance and submission, the total amount of human dignity must remain constant. In other words, whenever women are treated with an iota of decency, a reciprocal diminishment of men’s humanity must obtain.

A consequence of this law is that whenever a girl gets to kick a soccer ball, somewhere a boy will be made to play with Barbies. Whenever a woman exercises sovereignty over the contents of her internal organs, somewhere a man will have to wear a frumpy 19th century calico dress and do the family laundry by hand. Whenever a woman publishes a paper on particle physics, somewhere a man will be waterboarded for a week before being shot by a firing squad of hairy humorless feminists. Etc. Ergo, the fact that a mysterious benefactor has given a few bucks to women’s education means that no colleges run by men will ever get any money ever again.


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  1. wisewebwoman

    Well said Twisty, and damn it this concept should be made an integral part of Statistics 101.

  2. CLD

    So every time I drink an excellent, well-chilled, perfectly-made dirty martini, some dude will be kicked in the teeth?! Now that’s fantastically serendipitous.

  3. Notorious Ph.D.

    Wait! You mean this isn’t a larger part of the Boy Crisis in Education? You know, the one that is unfairly biased towards girls in K-12 schools for paying attention and following directions? And the result will be a fem-ocracy in which our great nation’s former he-men will have to wear dresses and wash dishes and ask women permission to have sex with them while the women rule the world?**

    **Don’t worry: men will still rule the world. They’ll just abuse apostrophes while they do it.

  4. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    And of course, White Dudes Need Not Apply for the upcoming SCOTUS vacancy.

  5. Catherine Martell

    Admit it: the likes of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge are looking pretty skint these days. Barely $87 billion to rub together between them, and that’s just their massive endowments (stop giggling). As long as you don’t factor in the passage of time, understand what an “endowment” is, or know the difference between “million” and “billion”, that’s only 6 thingies more than these women’s colleges have received. Crisis! And women’n’minorities are allowed to go to those formerly-white-male-only institutions these days. Mega crisis!

    Is nowhere safe for men of privilege any more? I mean, apart from 98% of CEO posts, 90% of wage earning, 99% of property ownership, and 82% of elected positions in national parliaments?

    Poor men. Most of them do look rotten in a pinny.

    That is a nice turtle. I have been doing his/her weary, stink-eyed expression throughout the writing of this comment.

  6. Ron Sullivan

    Pinnies! There’s another one to put on the We-Will-Get-Revenge-for-These-Someday List!

    Also furbelows, the minute I figure out what the hell a furbelow is.

  7. Boudicca

    Is it just me, or does that wonderful turtle have a Queen Victoria look going on? I just love her (the turtle)!

  8. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    I think the turtle has a rather quizzical expression. For a reptile, that is.

  9. Shabnam

    Damn, now I know why my papers are taking so long in the pipeline – I need to go waterboard a few men! Is it one man per published paper? I’d better get onto it straight away.

  10. thebewilderness

    The furbelows go with the fripperies, with which this turtle is well provided.

  11. pheenobarbidoll

    I’m back from Hill Country. Once I figure out how to load them, I shall post pictures of the gajillion turkey vultures at our campsite, and 1 duck who waggled his bottom whenever we would give him food.

    I drug my Canadian husband to The Alamo. He was impressed after he actually grocked the numbers of Alamo defenders vs Mexican soldiers.

    It’s been awhile since I’ve been there, so I just noticed there are enormous Koi swimming around at the Alamo. These things are freakishly huge.

  12. rubysecret

    Am I missing something? I don’t see anything in the article that says anything about “whether any colleges run by men would ever get any money.” Apologies if it’s obvious and I’m just not seeing it.

  13. Shira

    “Any institution would want to be sure they’re not accepting money that was earned criminally,” Berman says.

    Because it’s not like the Ivy Leagues ever got any money from wealthy slaveowners or white collar criminals. And your degree doesn’t count if your education is funded with scholarships drug money!

  14. Joolya

    I heart painted turtles. I had one called Hermoine when I was a kid.

  15. ElizaN

    I love both the turtle and CLD’s suggestion. I plan to immediately get started on particle physics research while downing martinis.

  16. Inkling

    *gapes in astonishment/awe/etc.* That had to be the most succinctly brilliant take on the backlash against feminism ever written. I finally understand why (most) men hate feminism so danged much. Their patriarchy-saturated brains probably do synthesize and evaluate all gender-related information according to the Law of the Conservation of Human Dignity. Jeezus.

  17. PhysioProf

    But is there a profile from which one can draw to figure out who the donor might be? Yes, says Melissa Berman, president and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

    “The fact that this is so completely anonymous suggests someone who lived in a period of time in which for a woman to be so public about her wealth was not the standard way of operating,” Berman says. “Of course I think it’s a woman because these are all women-led institutions.”

    Unstated premise: No real dude could possibly give a shit about helping women at women-led institutions.

  18. Inkling

    It also explains why mainstream porn has become increasingly misogynistic. The more rights and dignity women obtain in the public sphere, well, you’ve got to make up for it somehow.

  19. dawn coyote

    I’m so glad I came to read this here instead of merely viewing it in my feed reader, because I’d not have seen the heartwarming new banner, otherwise.

    Also: I read your Law of Conservation of Human Dignity to my mom. She laughed.

  20. SolNiger@gmail.com\\

    I fucking love that turtle’s eyes. Rock-on turtle!

  21. imperatricks

    I needed that :D

    Whenever a feminist laughs a man writhes in agony… hang on… your theory totally holds water!

  22. larkspur

    I’m going to study the turtle and then try to paint myself to look the same. But I will not make any surgical changes, O noes, for I am not insane. But OMG, what a stunning turtle. That’s what other creatures will say about me, when the paintin’s done.

  23. Anna Belle

    Ergo, the fact that a mysterious benefactor has given a few bucks to women’s education means that no colleges run by men will ever get any money ever again.

    Or indeed ever have; otherwise, the author would have used the word again.

    FTR, I was effing THRILLED to hear the story of the coordinated donations. It’s about time. I wish I knew who it was…

  24. Twisty

    “Am I missing something? I don’t see anything in the article that says anything about “whether any colleges run by men would ever get any money.” Apologies if it’s obvious and I’m just not seeing it.”

    It was in the audio version I heard on the radio this morning.

  25. slythwolf

    Personally I just can’t understand why we don’t go back to doing things the way God intended, back when wimmins knew their place, stayed home, and didn’t over-exercise their brains so that their Feminine Organs didn’t shrivel up. Come to think of it, those were the good ol’ days when colleges didn’t need scholarships because nobody who wasn’t already rich would ever have dreamed of attending one. That’s the way it should be.

    Or, wait, no; I’ve got that all backwards. What’s the opposite of everything I just said?

  26. Spiders

    I had a good ol’ snort over this:

    “somewhere a man will have to wear a frumpy 19th century calico dress and do the family laundry by hand.”

    I also like the new banner. It must really confuse the trolls.

  27. Lara

    Well said, Twisty. I like turtles more than I like men. And Queen Victoria does look a bit like this lovely Western Painted Turtle… Amazing how NPR is considered a “liberal” radio news station and yet it has sniveling what-about-teh-menz ranters included in its reports. But such is the case with most liberal doods.

  28. Alderson Warm-Fork

    I fear that your Law of Conservation of Human Dignity may have terrifying implications. *rushes out of laboratory waving hastily-scrawled equations and shouting*

    If money going to woman-run colleges means less money going to man-run colleges. But many man-run colleges are funded by arms sales, fossil fuels, or friendships with the rulers of vicious middle-eastern monarchies. If that funding is reduced, that means fewer people shot, climatically changed, and monarchically oppressed.

    But this increase in human dignity in turn will require a corresponding diminishment, potentially setting up a feedback loop that might end up with a catstrophic hyperdignified aberrant state.

  29. Pantsuit Sally

    The Law of Conservation of Human Dignity is obviously true. For example, ever since a woman was elected governor of my state, the male citizens have all had to worry about whether they’re dressed modestly enough to deserve bodily sovereignty, and they’re all tired of frumpy women old enough to be their mothers patting them on the head and telling them they would look so pretty if only they would smile. Also, the male legislators have been relegated to wearing French maid costumes while they dust the governor’s desk and she sits there with her feet up saying, “Oh, yeah, that’s how mama likes it”.

  30. Agasaya

    Even women-run colleges have large rosters of tenured males corrupting curriculum. This is particularly problematic in the sciences. While men may feel inordinately accomplished (or radical) for teaching about the ‘unique’ role of women in history, there are huge financial rewards in the sciences from treating women as completely equivalent (but not equal)to men. Translation: Assigning women equivalency with males in terms of physiological functions means automatic physical abuse.

    Scientists think nothing of ignoring many biochemical differences between men and women. Those differences dictate the need for complete revisions in most aspects of technology and marketing. For starters, the pharma industry fails to study (or release its studies) on how women actually respond differently to cholesterol meds, despite getting all those prescriptions for statins. Our OSHA policies are a complete joke for men, much less women in the workplace for setting levels of ‘acceptable’ chemical exposures. The process by which EPA and the FDA allows product research and development largely take place after marketing, has long turned consumers into a free supply of lab rats. Women suffer the heaviest penalties in those failed experiments.

    When women earmark funds for other women, it may be a good idea for them to know how many committees of males will participate in the ultimate use of those funds.

  31. SKM

    Gorgeous turtle photo. It almost makes up for the mind-numbing stupidity of NPR’s Claudio Sanchez.

  32. Hattie

    Conservation of human dignity. Yes. So well put. Twisty, you ARE a genius.

  33. Narya

    “as soon as I figure out what a furbelow is”

    It’s what those of us who don’t shave our private bits have.

    Also, Marilyn French RIP, and thanks for giving me words.

  34. Marla the invisible

    Don’t you guys get it yet that NPR has to dredge up some wimpy controversy no matter how cool the story? So people will, like, you know, talk about it. You can’t buy publicity like that.

  35. Mad Molecule

    Who could have been so insane as to donate cash to fund women’s education?

    Careful your knee doesn’t hit you in the chin.

  36. Chai Latte

    The mental image of a male professor dressed in a calico gown just made my day. (I keep picturing a really grumpy look on his face, like, ‘My stays are riding up!’)

  37. minervaK

    Sheesh, I go away for two minutes and somebody changes the header on my favorite blog.

    Nice turtle, though.

  38. Casey

    Love the frumpy calico dress image. Love the winecup in the banner, too.

  39. Derek

    Sanchez has always been a report-by-numbers doofus. What he understands about education you could feed to a painted turtle without filling it up. Teh less attention paid to him teh better, says I.

  40. Carol

    It may be lite, but that blamin’ sure does hit the spot.

  41. madeleine

    Narya: thank you, I didn’t know that Marily French died.
    Anybody here who hasn’t read ‘Beyond Power: On Women, Men and Morals’ yet: read it. It changed my views on life, the universe and everything.

  42. Jonathan

    This is why we need feminists in finance.

  43. Jezebella

    There are almost certainly feminists working in finance. They’re just not running the economy since the Trilateral Commission is a he-man-women-haters’-club.

  1. Femmostroppo Reader - May 6, 2009 — Hoyden About Town

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