• Learning and Exploring

    Masculinity and Sweetness

    I’ve heard lots of people throwing around the term “toxic masculinity.” I don’t think that is helpful, because the discussions seems to often contain, the if some, then all fallacy both in terms of men and masculinity. All masculinity is not toxic. There is this idea that all manly men are awful, that is inherit to their manliness to be a brute. Some of these people are the feminists and the others are the neanderthal men, they have totally opposite viewpoints on this subject, but they espouse the same fallacy.

    Manly men can be sweet. Mild men can be awful. Being brash and swaggering doesn’t equal being a manly man, but it does mean you are a lout! Not being brash doesn’t mean you are a good person! Guys can pride themselves on not being the loud sporty ones assuming they have some sort of virtue when they are exhibiting the lack thereof in their spitefulness. Sweetness doesn’t make you less manly, that comes from other traits. Lack of a certain trait doesn’t mean having a positive virtue.

    I thought first of this in terms of Lord of the Rings movies, when a male mentioned how manly Gimli was (ugh) in contrast to the rather effeminate elves (we will leave off discussions of the books and accuracy for this discussion and focus on the movies). As if those were the only options, neanderthal or dainty princeling (I’m exaggerating, the actions of the elves weren’t effeminate their looks and styling were). I think this is what the discussion often is, this false dichotomy. In this dichotomy, the men, Aragorn (or my favorite) Eomer are ignored. Masculine in physical appearance, in action yet courteous. Real manly men.

    We were talking about my Mom’s extended family (and this applies to my brother also), no one would look at them and think of them as anything other than manly men, yet they are very sweet, much sweeter than the women of the family often (some of us are a domineering group!).

    Back to LotR, I came across this on (I’m embarrased to admit) twitter the other day, Are You an An Aragorn Girl or a Legolas Girl. I’m an Eomer woman thank-you very much!

     

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Those Tom Boy, Strong Girl, Alpha Female Stereotypes

    I tend to relate to a lot of them tomboys in books like Jo and her counterpart Skye Penderwick in terms of temperament. But I’m not a tomboy, I relate to the Megs in terms of domesticity and to the Amys and Annes in terms of taste. It gets kind of irritating to read about all the sweet domestic and/or traditional girls. Sorry, I wasn’t born sweet and mild, the best you will get is somewhat toned down. I’ve been told to tone down, be quiet, stop expressing so much frequently by family members. I think I scare people outside my family.

    Another similar stereotype is that of the loud (often tomboy) women being brave and courageous. Brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud doesn’t equal strong or brave. Some of us are just programmed to be brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud. And I’m not programmed brave, like at. all. K, maybe if you are usually a meek, people-pleaser, it IS brave to stand up and firmly say, “please, respect me.” But um, I have have to tone down, calm down to say that. And loudness can come from fear as well as just innate personality.

    Often either explicit or implicitly, these characters and/or their authors state that domesticity equals a level of anti-intellectualism or lack of intelligence. Again, NO. I can love both and do, thank-you-very-much. How one earth does liking homemaking have anything to do with the intelligence and interests I was born with?

    I was raised in a homeschooling sphere that emphasized domesticity, crafts, etc. for girls. I never understood why so many rebelled against them, I took it personally, until I found more people with different backgrounds who like creating things. I learned of them term “maker.” These people like me just LOVE handicrafts, historical fashion, fiber, making things, its part of our DNA.

    Another fallacy involves being girly and sporty or interested in physical activity (climbing trees, fencing, hunting, you name it). You can love to get completely dolled up and also love to play sports and get sweaty. I think this one is older and maybe it has mostly been killed by now? Or maybe it is because I’m more in the volleyball world because of my sisters and volleyball girls don’t follow this stereotype.

    I think in books this is still in force with the heroine who disdains all “frivolous” dress and fuss and goes gallivanting off with her horse and sword. She can like both. Disliking or like frills doesn’t mean you are physically weak or strong.

    Here is to the loud, brassy, girly, domestic shrews. Oh, wait, what?!

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Sports and Snobbery and My New Sort of Series.

    So, I have some stereotype opinions sort of series I want to do. I’m not going to dive super deep, just have some commentary on things that grind my gears. Starting with some false dichotomies, a lot involving gender stereotypes.

    Have you heard any comments or conversations about this.

    “I don’t like sports, I’m intellectual.”

    “I read books, I’m a special/smart/fill in the blank.”

    “I don’t cook, I’m a career woman.”

    “I’m not a jock, so I’m a good person.”

    People making it seem like you have two either or choices, you can be sporty or intellectual but not both.

    There are all fallacies, actually possibly combinations of fallacies. A person’s interests in neutral subjects do not dictate their morality. A person’s interests also do not dictate their skill either for said interest or another interest. A person’s interest does not dictate all of their other interests

    Believe or not, some people can be more than one thing and interested in more than one thing, those are INTERESTING people.

    In addition to being extremely lazy fallacious comments, they are (ironically) snobby.

    Some I’m going to start with sports. I think that this particular false dichotomy of sporty vs. intelligent is usually for guys, for girls its more combined with the tomboy vs. traditional or girly girl false dichotomy. There is also a sports vs. diligence (i.e. sports are a waste of time).

    I’m from a sports oriented family (I’m one of the least interested, but it’s still in my blood) even with 5 girls and only one boy. We are in a college-sports dominated area for basketball and football, we have our university team. I grew watching major league baseball with my family on tv. Dad often had golf playing. All the college games playing and March Madness. All of us play or played pick up sports in the back yard or at picnics. Both parents played sports in highschool and after highschool in rec leagues. I played one sport in a rec league for one season, but most of my siblings played multiple sports for multiple seasons, most of them had one or two sports a year for much of their lives in middle school and up.

    I feel like there has been a stereotype of the cool, stupid, mean kid jock (or mean girl v-ball player, although like I said I don’t feel like stupid is usually as emphasized with the girl stereotype, more of shallowness is). Sure there are some people like that.

    But

    Sometimes the jocks are smart, sometimes the jocks are both better at sports AND smarter than geeky or nerdier people, sometimes a jock is a geek. My dad was a stereotypically geeky looking (and acting) person, but he loved and played sports. My brother didn’t look or act so geeky, but he was/is a sports guy and a chemical engineer, and a genuinely good person.

    Sometimes the volleyball girls are the nice girls. My sisters played volleyball in highschool and rec leagues. They don’t fit the mean, shallow, “cool” girl type.

    People can play sports and keep up with their ap and/or college level courses, my siblings and parents did. They can like sports and video games and sports and reading, etc. One interest doesn’t exclude another. One ability doesn’t exclude another, believe or not a person can have both brawn and brains. We do (that sounds like all of us sisters are built like men, we aren’t were are built like sporty women, well, when we are fit, I’m more of a whale woman at the moment).

    As far as the waste of time. There are people who ONLY watch and don’t play sports. I can get how hours and hours of watching televised sports can be. But some fun entertainment is allowed. What hours and hours of things do you do? Moderation. Look closer at your own time wasters.

    Playing sports is always great exercise and can be great inter-personally as well depending on the person and circumstances.

    It just often seems that those who criticize sports lovers are always those who can’t play them, you know?

  • Learning and Exploring

    My Issues with the Whole Personality Hoopla

    Everything about personality is subjective; the terms (different connotations, different frames of reference), the assessment (how can you understand someone else’s brain, preferences? How can you truly know your own in other people’s terms?), the concept of personality itself. So I find it extremely annoying when people try to say it is scientific or can be made so. I think that psychology itself is a pseudo-science (at best) because how can you prove the abstract, dynamic, and subjective IN SOMEONE ELSE’S mind, emotions, etc. For that matter, how can you define and determine the beginning or end of the mind, emotions, instinct, etc.?

    So, I have fun taking all these tests, but I inevitably don’t match, and I inevitably run into so many false correlations, false dichotomies, such as implied associations “if you are emotional, you are an empathetic, people pleaser,” “analytical equals quiet,” or “if you have a logical mind, you aren’t run by emotions.” That last, HAHAHA, who says your mind has any control over your emotions or actions?

    If this was a “what kind of cookie are you?” sort of test from Buzzfeed, everything would be fun, but people inevitably try to push all this as fact, and that is what, exacerbated by the obvious logical errors, drives me INSANE. That, and repeatedly trying to type myself by various versions of a highly anti-scientific typology. I’m learning more about the “cognitive functions.” Which again, has SO many false correlations/dichotomies, why do you have two extroverted functions and two introverted?

    If you are wondering, on 16 Personalities. I’ve gotten ISTP (a couple times), ISTJ (once), and INTP (once); and they’ve all being Turbulent (my highest percentage). On other dinkier tests, I’ve gotten ISTP. Oh, and another thing, I’m NOT a quiet person. I don’t understand people-lover=talker and people-dislike/hater/fearer=quiet. Most people like at least some people, we are human after all. Some of us just aren’t highly motivated to socialize with or please everyone.

    ISTP are “doers.” Mechanical sort of people. I don’t think that fits. Being mechanically minded can probably be confused with being kinesthetic. But that is tied to my thinking, I think best when my hands are busy. That doesn’t sound like ISTP.

    I’ve also (anecdotal evidence, hello, inconsistent), feel (subjective) that Myers-Briggs draws certain types, namely the I-F people (although, you could run some sort of Big Data test to pull up the most used Myers-Briggs type on the Internet or a search engine; digital footprints are concrete though not conclusive or necessarily entirely representative). The least-likely to be scientific people in other words.

    Confused by Meyers-Briggs

    Hexaco Personality Inventory

    23 Signs You’re Secretly a Narcissist Masquerading as a Sensitive Introvert

    The Enneagram Types of Your Favorite Books, Characters, and Authors

    Google “Sedig Enneagram Test” to pull up the PDF test (this is the best free online one I’ve seen with nice explanations)

  • Learning and Exploring

    Ancestry DNA Update

    I think DNA is fascinating. One of the aspects of Ancestry DNA is that they update our results as more research becomes available (just re-affirms that this is a new science, and they are trying for accuracy).

    So, here are my results. My heritage isn’t particularly spectacularly interesting to any but me except in point of reaffirming historical patterns, and I wasn’t expecting huge changes. I did see bigger changes than I thought, and then looked again at the map and realized they weren’t as huge (I wish I’d saved the first maps; I forgot they changed groupings, previous to my test the Celtic peoples were under Ireland rather than Ireland/Scotland/Wales.

    They changed their maps a bit (more overlapping, I think), so while it looks like my Great Britain/Europe West changed, when you look at the new region map and add the percentages, it didn’t actually change much. Basically, Great Britain changed to more a broader area and now includes some of continental Europe and Wales, while Western Europe might have shrunk a bit. I think that is probably because of all the waves of people groups coming to England.

    I no longer show a huge (to me, I wasn’t expecting any) amount of Scandinavian, but the more specific and smaller Norway. Finland, a separate category as before, has been bumped a bit and Southern Europe eliminated. So the actual change is significant lowering of Scandinavia and significant raising of Ireland and Scotland (which I’m THRILLED with and which going by migrations plus family history is probably all Scottish, as much as I’d love to be Irish, I really think the history doesn’t fit at all).

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 2, Regency Food and Regency Beauty

    Because of a goof on my part, I wasn’t able to sign up for the teas on the first day, and so they sold out, but I put our names on the waiting list as soon as I could and received a call about openings just a few days before, so I was thrilled.

    We had four types of teas from Bingley’s teas. I am by no means a tea connoisseur; I don’t often like it, period (I prefer cold, rather plain beverages of the milk, water, and fruit juice/lemonade variety). I have Emma’s Perfect Match and Marianne’s Wild Abandon which I bought at one of the earlier events, and I don’t care for them much (although I think perhaps the blending of the teas has improved since the early days?). I also tend to “need” a lot of sugar to enjoy them which is off-putting; I’d rather have a less-sugary sweet treat I like better.

    However, I did enjoy my syrups teas more this time. We tasted Captain Wentworth (least fav, too strong for me), The Dance of the Musgrove Sisters (second fav, I think), The Patience of Miss Price (my favorite and one I want to buy), and one other (a rose, cherry, and green tea blend, I believe). I don’t know if only two of the teas were Bingley’s and the other two were one of the other company’s (Hellinger Kurtz Kaffeehaus or The Blessed Bee Herbals) or if Bingley’s had new blends that aren’t on their site yet. While perusing their site just now, I realized, I found several more I want to try! Although, sacrilege of sacrilege, I’d probably prefer them iced.

    On our early wanderings we discovered the Half-Crown Bakehouse (Mom went back later and bought some bread for Sunday) which featured foods with names that were a blast from my childhood past such as Sally Lunn bread and Queen’s Cakes (Felicity cookbook anyone?!). I’m in the mood to research about historical foods after discovering The Townsends, a historical food YouTube channel, via Brijee Pattern’s post.

    I really appreciate the delving into historical aspects beyond fashion. My mother mentioned that this time it reminded her of Colonial Williamsburg (I adore that place, I’m wanting to go again, but I’d like to go for an event in historical dress now). The Living History feeling.

    Another aspect to that was the beauty/apothecary place: LBCC Historical. Historical beauty recipes . . . sans heavy metals, lol.

    Since I’m decidedly Marianne, I bought the Marianne set although I’d love the Jane one (rose!) as well; I hope they make the sets again, they were a special thing for the festival, I think.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 1, My Festival Background

    Because I apparently don’t document anything, I had to rely on a comment I left on another blog to determine my festival attendance. I attended 2010-2013 festivals.

    Some aspects of the earliest festivals

    • Contained to the back yard (I think the porch is the back side of the house)
    • Only two days
    • Smaller (and it was more local/regional while now it is THE national JA event, I think; according to this year’s handout, the first year had 660 and last year over 2400, and I’m assuming this year was even larger?)
    • Fewer venders
    • Less serious costuming (I know some people dressed in regency at the earlier ones, but my grandmother says not the majority while in 2018 it was the opposite; and the quality of the “regency” outfits tended to be far lower earlier while now it seems to be far more accurate and detailed)
    • The majority of the activities were the teas and the talks in the big tent

    I feel that around 2013 the size and attention started to explode, and I got overwhelmed plus rather done with the event (too often plus waning interest in the era and author).

    Here are some posts from bloggers who attended some of the earlier festivals: 2012 (one and two) and 2013 (one, two, and three).

  • Learning and Exploring

    Art Fair Haul

    For the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve attended a local arts festival with my grandparents (I don’t have a single photos of us there, hello, lady, document some memories). I do remember to take photos of what I get (so important) after though.

    I bought a clutch from a refurbished leather jacket. A handwoven towel (I would probably use as table runner) from the historical part. Various bath and body goodies. Sterling silver necklace and earrings (peridot, my birthstone). Three beautiful mugs. A poppy bowl.

  • Learning and Exploring

    10 Questions to Consider Before Addressing a Controversial or Sensitive Subject

    If the answer to any of these is “no,” please stop right there and re-evaluate and be quiet.

    1. Is your desire to add a layer of concrete information or analysis?
    2. Are your emotions in check and are you well aware you might me wrong?
    3. Are you addressing a specific, well-defined, and significant issue?
    4. Are you an important voice for your sphere or forum?
    5. Is the issue or your understanding of it unique?
    6. Can you clearly define the error?
    7. Will you use formal and informal logic, scholarly resources, and critical reasoning with good interpersonal communication skills to address the error and point other people towards helpful resources?
    8. If there is good, will you acknowledge it?
    9. If someone offers a valid counter-point or counter-argument will you answer it?
    10. Are you going to change or align your own life with your views (not merely tell others how to act)?
  • Learning and Exploring

    My AncestryDNA Results

    I ordered my AncestryDNA test during the Black Friday sale and then in January received a notification that I would have to send a new sample (I got a free second kit), so people, the instructions on the package are NOT STRICT ENOUGH. My email (after the AncesteryDNA people couldn’t retrieve my results) stated to wait 1 hour after drinking, eating, smoking, brushing teeth, and chewing gum (or is that my extra precaution for gum-chewers?).

    The box only says 30″ for eating and drinking. I cannot remember doing ANY of those things listed in the email (I don’t smoke, and I almost never chew gum). The only thing I can think I did was brush my teeth . . .which was not prohibited on the box’s instructions. I made sure and waited over an hour for all the email items the second time. Moral of the story, go above and beyond what the box says to save yourself time (especially because I don’t know how many free boxes you can get before having to pay again).

    I mailed the second box around the middle of January, I think. I received my AncestryDNA results around the middle of February (not too long to wait considering I thought I might have to wait until the middle of March). I have to say I was spot on (not that that was difficult knowing what I know of history and my genealogy . . . or what anyone knows of history and U.S. genealogy :/).

    Here were my predictions:

    ~60-70% British
    ~30-40% Western Europe (Germany and Switzerland for me specifically because I know)
    ~Above average (0.19%) African American
    ~Average (0.18%) or below Native American
    ~Wondering about European Jewish?

    I realize anything less than 1% isn’t going to show on the test, but I really don’t have anything in my family stories to safely assume anything more. The alleged Native American ancestor was quite far back plus I saw a photo, she looks European to me. And my European percentages are variable because like I said, ancestry doesn’t equal exact ratio. And my Dad’s history is empty of immigrants after the 18th century, so I assume a massive if not entirely British heritage from that fact and their locations.”

    Bear in mind that Ancestry.com points out in this article that the average modern Brit’s results include: “36.94% British (Anglo Saxon), 21.59% Irish (Celtic) and 19.91% Western European (the region covered today by France and Germany)” and the article also points out significant Scandinavian results in the UK which I think might explain mine since I have zero reason to believe of Scandinavian American ancestry (meaning it was a VERY long time ago). Granted, my British ancestors came in the early 18th century (also covered in the results), and the genetic results for the British now may be more mixed.

    Here are my results:

    Yeah, boring, I know.

    I did find the migrations interesting. I love to see pieces of history I’ve learned from different sources match up. Also, I signed up for matches, and I have over 1,000 4th cousin or closer* matches and over half of these people have family trees. I want to look into joining DNA circles also. The DNA page states that testing parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles increases the ability to properly place one’s matches in one’s family tree.

    I have a tree I filled out with my grandparents’ collected information during two free trials, but I want to wait to get a membership on sale and purchase some DNA tests for my parents and grandparents. I also want to see if I can cross-reference my results on other ancestry websites. I’ll have to see what I can do now. Many of my matches don’t have familiar names or don’t even have full names listed, but I have had two contact me (both are from the most well-documented branch of the family, the ones that came over most recently, which for us isn’t very recently, late 19th century).

    *Most of the very close ones will be 1st/2nd/3rd cousin many times removed. I printed out this cousin chart to try to understand confusing cousin terminology terms.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Pompano Beach, Florida Family Vacation

    My dad found out maybe a year and a half ago that he would be offered a retirement package, so we had family (marrieds and all) vacation planned for ages. We went to Pompano Beach in the Fort Lauderdale area (which is near West Palm beach where all the celebrities and such are; we were driving behind a Ferrari through that area). We left a few days after Christmas and came back a week into the new year. Most of use drove and so we stopped in St. Augustine on the way there and walked around a bit. The weather was too cold to do much, but we did see some pretty, old buildings.

    We are usually a Gulf family. We went to Jekyll Island, GA a couple years ago (our last vacation as an entire family, I believe), and I wasn’t impressed by the water, to say the least. Now, the water was less gross here, but trust me, it’s not the Gulf or San Diego. Mom and I weren’t really impressed with the beach overall although the lighthouse was lovely (the loveliest was the first night with the pink sky behind it . . . I didn’t have my camera or phone then), but we enjoyed it for what it was.

    We were able to get into the water a couple days, and visited the beach almost everyday. I came back with a nice selections of shells and coral (first time for the latter) which I hope to put into a shadowbox. The house wasn’t on the beach but had private access through a corridor, under some trees, over a bridge, and through some grass. We traversed this a couple times before noticing the trees were FILLED with HUGE iguanas. EEP. Actually, it was hilarious to watch them in their perches. Apparently, the NYT had an article mentioning that it was so cold iguanas were falling stunned from the trees; we didn’t see that happen.

    We played tons of new games that many of us received for Christmas, one of the favorites was a game called “Things.” We watched some movies and comedians (you know, real ones, not the goofs in our family), swam in the heated pool, and some people went golfing, played tennis, and went putt-putting. Dad made his traditional Alton Brown recipe doughnuts for New Year’s (I thought they were his best yet). We ate at a Cuban restaurant for one lunch, and we picked up doughnuts twice from a local bakery.

    We mostly saw birds (quite a variety) on the beach after passing through Iguana Headquarters, except one or two days when we say these freaky Portuguese Man O’Wars. If Mom hadn’t said something, I probably would’ve stepped on them since they look like plastic bags. We saw pretty long white birds (they looked so thin they would break) along the highways by standing pools of water, but not much else (my sister and brother-in-law left early and went through the Everglades and saw tons of alligators), except for (we think) dead pumas on the side of the road (I think twice, I’m almost positive once; I am sure I saw a massive cat’s tail and what else is that particular shade of tawny?).

    We had tons of fun, took family photos, and then returned home to the cold although I think we missed the near-to-zero worst of it.

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    I Finally Bought the Ancestry Test

    Things to Bear in Mind (watch this video, focus especially on his explanations after the comparisons).

    1. DNA test are new, sketchy, and general and humans are dumb.

    2. In order to determine ethnicity matches, we must have reference populations. These are MODERN, so may/probably don’t reflect when my ancestors came over. For non-Europeans, the modern reference groups are much smaller or non-existent which distorts their results.

    3. It only takes a few generations back before you reach ancestors from which you receive 0 DNA because DNA is halved every generation.

    BUT

    4. DNA is random. Don’t expect a perfect halved percentage of your ancestor’s ethnicity and don’t expect your siblings ethnicity percentages to match yours closely.

    OKAY. So I bought my DNA test through ancestry.com via a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. I had previously built a tree with a free trial plus got an extra two weeks for this. So hopefully I will get some matches.

    Now, I want to try and predict my results based on what I know from my grandparents and my research and estimating with help from this previously mentioned study. Like I’ve mentioned before, from what I’ve seen on my ancestry, my family REALLY matches the patterns described in David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed.

    I’m looking at the averages for European Americans and then at the charts plus factoring in what I know.

    ~60-70% British
    ~30-40% Western Europe (Germany and Switzerland for me specifically because I know)
    ~Above average (0.19%) African American
    ~Average (0.18%) or below Native American
    ~Wondering about European Jewish?

    I realize anything less than 1% isn’t going to show on the test, but I really don’t have anything in my family stories to safely assume anything more. The alleged Native American ancestor was quite far back plus I saw a photo, she looks European to me. And my European percentages are variable because like I said, ancestry doesn’t equal exact ratio. And my Dad’s history is empty of immigrants after the 18th century, so I assume a massive if not entirely British heritage from that fact and their locations.