from the world's big
Why Cleaning Is Not Always A Feminist Issue
As recently as a decade ago, a common middle-class American interpretation of a father in a heterosexual couple was "Mom's assistant," as Louis C.K. called it. Parenting was a job defined by the mother, performed more or less correctly by the father, according to her specifications. Today, many of us have more or less replaced this notion with a real-partnership model. Our ideal parenting situation is closer to equal. That means the work is done according to standards that are sometimes shared, sometimes negotiated, sometimes grumblingly accepted because, well, it's not what I would do but that's how s/he does it. That is, after all, the only way forward to real gender equality in child-rearing. This revolution, though, does not extend to housework. As this week's media kerfuffle over cleaning (started by this TNR piece by Jessica Grose) made me realize, when it comes to non-parenting, non-cooking domestic chores, women in heterosexual partnerships seem to dream of a false, unequal sort of "equality."
Jonathan Chait nailed it Thursday in this post. If most men shared the standards of women for domestic order, he wrote, then "men who lived by themselves, or with other men, would have to keep their own homes tidy until they could conscript a wife or girlfriend to do their cleaning." They don't, of course. As Grose puts it, "there are no closet organizing tips in the pages of Esquire, no dishwasher detergent ads in the pages of GQ." Well, sure. Men don't care about such things. (Gross generalization, I know, but most of us would concede the majority is large, though we all know of exceptions.)
So the proposal than men split evenly the chores that women do in many homes, which sounds so reasonable and just, morphs into a proposal that men keep their homes exactly as women would like them. Grose begins her piece with a story about how she was tidying up her messy apartment before her father-in-law visited, even though neither her husband nor his father much cared what the place looked like. She thinks her husband should do more of that sort of thing. And if she wants to claim her home would be more civilized or sanitary if he did, that's fine. But because such a home would be one in which her word was final, she can't claim it would be more just.
I'd like to propose that domestic duties divide into three types. First, There are the things that both partners would do if alone, because life would be unbearable if they were undone. Storing food, cooking it, cleaning up afterwards, clearing away the dust bunnies before they suffocate the baby, that sort of thing.
Second, there are the things each partner does not because s/he cares but because the other does, except sometimes when tired or depressed or annoyed, you say to hell with it. For example, my wife tends to put CDs away after she's played them, because it drives me crazy to see loose CDs lying about, or to open a box to play one and find it empty. (Yes, we still have CDs. We did get rid of the cuneiform tablets, though.) She doesn't really care about this, but she cares about me. Similarly, I tend to pick up yesterday's clothes off the floor and put them in the laundry basket because she dislikes seeing them strewn on the floor. I don't really care about that, but I do about her feelings.
Then there is a third category of chore—the one that one partner would not do alone and finds both onerous and pointless, but which the other does. (Like cleaning up a house for a visitor who doesn't care, when one would rather take a nice walk, which is the situation that leads Grose's essay.) I would love it if my wife kept all her various passwords in one central database as I do, but digital tidiness is not her way. Conversely if she should happen to take some t-shirts of mine out of the drier, she will neatly fold them as if they were dress shirts. For me, there will always be something better to do with those minutes. A pile'o'shirts, clean and accessible, is fine, thanks.
Now, it's obvious that what is fair in a relationship is that both parties share Category 1 chores (maybe not 50-50 on each one, but in some equitable way). If you would do the work yourself but you slough it off on someone else, you're basically enslaving them. Category 2 chores are also important, reflecting not justice but love and esteem for one another. The point is beautifully explained here by Noah Berlatsky.
Category 3, though? If you tell me I have to do something that I feel is a waste of time, would never do, and don't care to see done, you're not striking a blow for gender equality. You're just imposing your vision of the world on another person. And if you want to do that, well, good luck. But don't call it fairness, or feminism.
Which is, pretty much, the response to be found in many men's posts that weighed in on this debate. That, in itself, is interesting. A decade ago, I think the intelligent middle class straight man's response to Grose's essay would have been apologetic acquiescence. Instead, there has been thoughtful pushback (each amusingly accompanied by anxious explanations of how domestically dutiful the writer is). Chait's was probably the most sensible: "the housework problem has a partial solution that’s simpler and more elegant," he wrote. "Do less of it."
That's pretty much the only fair solution. Do less—not as little as most male partners would do on their own, but not as much as most female partners would do on their own. Because, as with child care, a fair and loving partnership for chores is one in which both members explicitly and implicitly negotiate a shared environment—not one in which one gender sets the standard and the other measures up.
Follow me on Twitter: @davidberreby
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?
- Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
- The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
- Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
How masturbation affects your brain...<p>Orgasms are a very common human phenomenon. The physical and mental health benefits have been researched frequently as a result, and yet, there is still so much to be learned about how our bodies and brains react to the chemicals and hormones released during and after experiencing this type of sexual release.</p><p>"The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable" explains Julia Heiman, director of the <a href="https://kinseyinstitute.org/" target="_blank">Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction</a>.</p><p>Masturbation causes a rush of <a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine" target="_blank">dopamine</a>, which is a chemical that is associated with our ability to feel pleasure. Along with the rush of dopamine that is released during an orgasm, there is also a release of a hormone called <a href="https://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html" target="_blank">oxytocin</a>, which is commonly referred to as the "love hormone."<br></p><p>This concoction of chemicals does more than just boost our mood, it also can play a key role in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Oxytocin decreases <a href="https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol" target="_blank">cortisol</a>, which is a stress hormone that is usually present (in high volumes) during times of anxiety, fear, panic, or distress. </p><p>According to BDSM and fetish researcher <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/dr-gloria-brame-colbert-ga/278388" target="_blank">Dr. Gloria Brame</a>, an orgasm is the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine that we can experience. </p><p>By boosting the oxytocin and dopamine levels and subsequently decreasing our cortisol levels, the brain is placed in a more relaxed, euphoric, and calm state. </p>
Masturbation boosts your immune system and raises your white blood cell count.<p>How do those effects on the brain from reaching orgasm translate to boosting our immune system and making our body healthier?</p><p>The increase of oxytocin and dopamine that causes a decrease in cortisol levels can help boost our immune system because cortisol (well-known for being a stress-inducing hormone) actually helps maintain your immune system if released in small doses. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.health24.com/Sex/Great-sex/incredible-health-benefits-to-masturbating-20181030-2" target="_blank">Dr. Jennifer Landa</a>, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation can produce the right kind of environment for a strengthened immune system to thrive. </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316239" target="_blank">A study</a> conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen (in Germany) showed similar results. A group of 11 volunteers were asked to participate in a study that would look at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on the white blood cell count and immune system.</p><p>During this experiment, the white blood cell count of each participant was analyzed through measures that were taken 5 minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching a self-induced orgasm. </p><p>The results confirmed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of white blood cells, particularly the natural killer cells that help fight off infections. </p><p>The findings confirm that our immune system is positively affected by sexual arousal and self-induced orgasm and promote even more research into the positive impacts of sexual arousal and orgasm. </p>
Masturbation can ease and prevent pain, which allows you to achieve the restful sleep that helps your immune system stay strong and healthy.<p>The benefits of masturbation have long been debated, but the more research that is done on the topic the more we understand that there are many positive reactions that happen in our bodies and brains when we orgasm.</p><p>Orgasms can help prevent or mitigate pain, which boosts the immune system, preventing cold and flu symptoms. </p><p>According to neurologist and headache specialist Stefan Evers, about one in three patients experience relief from migraine attacks by experiencing sexual activity or orgasm. Evers and his team <a href="https://www.livescience.com/27642-sex-relieves-migraine-pain.html" target="_blank">conducted an experiment</a> with 800 migraine patients and 200 patients who suffered from cluster-headaches to see how their experiences with sexual activity impacted their pain levels. </p><p>The study showed that 60% of migraine sufferers experienced pain relief after participating in sexual activity that resulted in orgasm. Of the cluster-headache sufferers, about 50% said their headaches actually worsened after sexual arousal and orgasm. </p><p>Evers suggested in his findings that the people who did not experience pain relief from migraines of headaches during their sexual activity did not release as large amounts of endorphins as those who did experience pain relief. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.sharecare.com/health/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-affect-immune-system" target="_blank">rheumatologist Dr. Harris McIlwain</a>, people who suffer from chronic pain have immune systems that are simply not functioning at full capacity - therefore, alleviating pain (through orgasm, as an example) can help boost the immune system. </p><p>Orgasms can also promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep. Serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine are all hormones that are released during sexual arousal and orgasm, and all three are known for counteracting stress hormones and promoting relaxation, which makes it much easier for you to fall asleep.</p><p>There are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1233384" target="_blank">several studies</a> showing that serotonin and norepinephrine help our body cycle through REM and deep non-REM sleeping cycles. During these sleep cycles, the immune system releases proteins called <a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity" target="_blank"><span id="selection-marker-1" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span>cytokines<span id="selection-marker-2" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span></a>, which target infection and inflammation. This is a critical part of our immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released throughout our bodies while we sleep, which proves the importance of a good sleep schedule to a healthy immune system.</p>
Masturbation promotes a high-functioning immune system; a healthy immune system prevents cold and flu.<p>The immune system is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against infections and diseases by stopped threats like bacteria and viruses from entering your system. While there are many things we need to do to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, masturbation (or other means of achieving orgasm) has proven to have positive effects on the immune system as a whole.</p><p>Just as bad habits (such as an inconsistent sleep schedule or harmful chemicals in your body) can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system. </p>
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.