I'm pretty much a guy (quick look down). Yeah, a guy. But I have been known to associate with women (two are asleep a few meters away as I write this). Over the years, I've come to the opinion that they are heavily taken advantage of in this society. Reading an article at oh-dark-thirty this morning reminded me of this (not to mention getting my skivies in a knot). Here's the article: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/ConsumerActionGuide/dunleavey-why-it-costs-more-to-be-a-woman.aspx
Since I've been married (34 years and counting) I've noticed that women are sold poorly made clothing for much more than well made men's clothing. The coats are thinner, the pants start unraveling on the first wearing, and the socks have toes coming through them before the mates vanish in the dyer. One reason women are always cold--I had a scientific treatise about this on the blog sometime ago you may remember--is that their winter clothes are apparently made of cheese cloth or, at least, cheesy cloth. The only companies I've run across that seem to consistently sell clothing for women to wear outside in temperate and frigid areas at anytime other than summer are Cabela's http://www.cabelas.com and L.L.Bean http://www.llbean.com . The prices are generally no worse than the mall and the quality is a heck of a lot better.
Why does this sort of thing go on? Because women put up with it. Women rarely make a stink about how they're taken advantage of. Yeah, there's some griping to each other, but nothing really gets done other than a bit of venting. The people who make a living out of being women professionally seem to spend a large part of their time pursuing grants and agitating for various amorphous "rights" but never seem to address the fact it costs a woman 50% more to live than a man. Occasionally, one will hear them complain about women being paid 80% what guys are for doing the same jobs (the fastest way to lower payroll costs in any profession is to attract women to it). Okay, but let's hear more about women's other economic problems as well.
I don't think much of anything will change until women vote with their pocketbooks. As long as producers can mold a razor in pink plastic and know they can sell it for 50% more, nothing's going to happen. When women start buying the same razor in white, blue, or even Advantage HD camouflage (which, by the way, is rather fetching), the producer will get the message. As an example, the ladies in my life shop in the Men's department for those things that don't require frilliness: socks, t-shirts, long johns, backpacks, even some of their shoes. Does it make them any less feminine? Nope, just shows them to be women who are too smart to pay more for the sake of their gender. Me? I likes my women smart.
Review: (Note to FTC: I bought this dang book myself!)
Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command. Douglas Southall Freeman. Abridged in one volume by Stephen W. Sears. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. Kindle.
As a general rule, when confronted with an abridgement, I retreat precipitously (yeah, okay, I admit it does usually look more like a rout). Due to a malfunction of my port side manipulator, I'm forced to read on my Kindle as I'm unable to hold a book until I get out of drydock. I felt like reading something on the War Between the States (American Civil War to you folks of a Northern persuasion), but had already read James M. McPherson's book on Sharpsburg, Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, and didn't have the bucks to download Edward Longacre's biography of the Federal cavalry commander who sparked Gettysburg and saved the Union, General John Buford: A Military Biography. I had downloaded Sears' abridgement of Freeman's three volume work published in 1942, '43, and '44 last summer at the same time I downloaded an abridgement of Freeman's four volume Pulitzer Prize winning R.E. Lee, and had never gotten around to looking at it.
Okay, I admit it. I own the three volume set and to be honest, I haven't been able to really tell the difference between the two other than (I think) Sears has kept most of the actual matter on command and dumped some of the biographical detail, necessary redundancies connecting volumes, and notes. He has kept enough of the biographies to give a good idea of the Army of Northern Virginia's general officers. He hasn't touched Freeman's voice or style and hasn't attempted to update him--for which I have warm, fuzzy feelings for Mr. Sears.
James M. McPherson is at his usual best in his Introduction.
Freeman is always a pleasure to read and Stephen W. Sears did a heck of a job lightening Lee's Lieutenants without cutting either bone or muscle.
Note: Amazon.com's free Kindle for PC download is a big help. When I tire of holding the Kindle, it allows me to read any of my Kindle formatted books (including those from Baen and ManyBooks.net) sitting at the laptop or desktop.
8 January 2010: Feast of St. Thorfinn of Trondhjem, Ethelred of Wessex defeats Danes 871, Charles Stuart takes Stirling 1746, Battle of New Orleans 1815, Crazy Horse and Two Moons defeated at Wolf Mountain by Nelson A. Miles 1877.