Category Archives: Women

Taking the safe path through life doesn’t always work

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Straight White Male at Google

Reply to public response and misrepresentation

I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.
TL:DR

·Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
·This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
·The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
·Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
·Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
·Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.
Background [1]

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.[2] Google has several biases and honest discussion about these biases is being silenced by the dominant ideology. What follows is by no means the complete story, but it’s a perspective that desperately needs to be told at Google.
Google’s biases

At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases. Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.
Left Biases

·Compassion for the weak
·Disparities are due to injustices
·Humans are inherently cooperative
·Change is good (unstable)
·Open
·Idealist
Right Biases

·Respect for the strong/authority
·Disparities are natural and just
·Humans are inherently competitive
·Change is dangerous (stable)
·Closed
·Pragmatic
Neither side is 100% correct and both viewpoints are necessary for a functioning society or, in this case, company. A company too far to the right may be slow to react, overly hierarchical, and untrusting of others. In contrast, a company too far to the left will constantly be changing (deprecating much loved services), over diversify its interests (ignoring or being ashamed of its core business), and overly trust its employees and competitors.
Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies. For the rest of this document, I’ll concentrate on the extreme stance that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and the authoritarian element that’s required to actually discriminate to create equal representation.
Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech [3]

At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership. Of course, men and women experience bias, tech, and the workplace differently and we should be cognizant of this, but it’s far from the whole story.
On average, men and women biologically differ in many ways. These differences aren’t just socially constructed because:
·They’re universal across human cultures
·They often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
·Biolgoical males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
·The underlying traits are highly heritable
·They’re exactly what we would predict from an evolutionary psychology perspective
Note, I’m not saying that all men differ from women in the following ways or that these differences are “just.” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.
Personality differences

Women, on average, have more:
·Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).
·These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.
·Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher agreeableness.
·This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue. This leads to exclusory programs like Stretch and swaths of men without support.
·Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
Note that contrary to what a social constructionist would argue, research suggests that “greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s personality traits.” Because as “society becomes more prosperous and more egalitarian, innate dispositional differences between men and women have more space to develop and the gap that exists between men and women in their personality becomes wider.” We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.
Men’s higher drive for status

We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.
Status is the primary metric that men are judged on[4], pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail. Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.
Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap

Below I’ll go over some of the differences in distribution of traits between men and women that I outlined in the previous section and suggest ways to address them to increase women’s representation in tech and without resorting to discrimination. Google is already making strides in many of these areas, but I think it’s still instructive to list them:
·Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
·We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this).
·Women on average are more cooperative
·Allow those exhibiting cooperative behavior to thrive. Recent updates to Perf may be doing this to an extent, but maybe there’s more we can do. This doesn’t mean that we should remove all competitiveness from Google. Competitiveness and self reliance can be valuable traits and we shouldn’t necessarily disadvantage those that have them, like what’s been done in education. Women on average are more prone to anxiety. Make tech and leadership less stressful. Google already partly does this with its many stress reduction courses and benefits.
·Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
·Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in tech.
·The male gender role is currently inflexible
·Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.
Philosophically, I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women. For each of these changes, we need principles reasons for why it helps Google; that is, we should be optimizing for Google—with Google’s diversity being a component of that. For example currently those trying to work extra hours or take extra stress will inevitably get ahead and if we try to change that too much, it may have disastrous consequences. Also, when considering the costs and benefits, we should keep in mind that Google’s funding is finite so its allocation is more zero-sum than is generally acknowledged.
The Harm of Google’s biases

I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:
·Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race [5]
·A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
·Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
·Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
·Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination [6]
These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology[7] that can irreparably harm Google.
Why we’re blind

We all have biases and use motivated reasoning to dismiss ideas that run counter to our internal values. Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ[8] and sex differences). Thankfully, climate scientists and evolutionary biologists generally aren’t on the right. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of humanities and social scientists learn left (about 95%), which creates enormous confirmation bias, changes what’s being studied, and maintains myths like social constructionism and the gender wage gap[9]. Google’s left leaning makes us blind to this bias and uncritical of its results, which we’re using to justify highly politicized programs.
In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue [sic] affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and whiner[10]. Nearly every difference between men and women is interpreted as a form of women’s oppression. As with many things in life, gender differences are often a case of “grass being greener on the other side”; unfortunately, taxpayer and Google money is spent to water only one side of the lawn.
The same compassion for those seen as weak creates political correctness{11}, which constrains discourse and is complacent to the extremely sensitive PC-authoritarians that use violence and shaming to advance their cause. While google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment.
Suggestions

I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).
My concrete suggestions are to:
De-moralize diversity.

·As soon as we start to moralize an issue, we stop thinking about it in terms of costs and benefits, dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the “victims.”
Stop alienating conservatives.

·Viewpoint diversity is arguably the most important type of diversity and political orientation is one of the most fundamental and significant ways in which people view things differently.
·In highly progressive environments, conservatives are a minority that feel like they need to stay in the closet to avoid open hostility. We should empower those with different ideologies to be able to express themselves.
·Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservative tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.
Confront Google’s biases.

·I’ve mostly concentrated on how our biases cloud our thinking about diversity and inclusion, but our moral biases are farther reaching than that.
·I would start by breaking down Googlegeist scores by political orientation and personality to give a fuller picture into how our biases are affecting our culture.
Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races.

·These discriminatory practices are both unfair and divisive. Instead focus on some of the non-discriminatory practices I outlined.
Have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.

·Discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech is as misguided and biased as mandating increases for women’s representation in the homeless, work-related and violent deaths, prisons, and school dropouts.
·There’s currently very little transparency into the extend of our diversity programs which keeps it immune to criticism from those outside its ideological echo chamber.
·These programs are highly politicized which further alienates non-progressives.
·I realize that some of our programs may be precautions against government accusations of discrimination, but that can easily backfire since they incentivize illegal discrimination.
Focus on psychological safety, not just race/gender diversity.

·We should focus on psychological safety, which has shown positive effects and should (hopefully) not lead to unfair discrimination.
·We need psychological safety and shared values to gain the benefits of diversity
·Having representative viewpoints is important for those designing and testing our products, but the benefits are less clear for those more removed from UX.
De-emphasize empathy.

·I’ve heard several calls for increased empathy on diversity issues. While I strongly support trying to understand how and why people think the way they do, relying on affective empathy—feeling another’s pain‚causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases. Being emotionally unengaged helps us better reason about the facts.
Prioritize intention.

·Our focus on microaggressions and other unintentional transgressions increases our sensitivity, which is not universally positive: sensitivity increases both our tendency to take offense and our self censorship, leading to authoritarian policies. Speaking up without the fear of being harshly judged is central to psychological safety, but these practices can remove that safety by judging unintentional transgressions.
·Microaggression training incorrectly and dangerously equates speech with violence and isn’t backed by evidence.
Be open about the science of human nature.

·Once we acknowledge that not all differences are socially constructed or due to discrimination, we open our eyes to a more accurate view of the human condition which is necessary if we actually want to solve problems.
Reconsider making Unconscious Bias training mandatory for promo committees.

·We haven’t been able to measure any effect of our Unconscious Bias training and it has the potential for overcorrecting or backlash, especially if made mandatory.
·Some of the suggested methods of the current training (v2.3) are likely useful, but the political bias of the presentation is clear from the factual inaccuracies and the examples shown.
·Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).
[1] This document is mostly written from the perspective of Google’s Mountain View campus, I can’t speak about other offices or countries.
[2] Of course, I may be biased and only see evidence that supports my viewpoint. In terms of political biases, I consider myself a classical liberal and strongly value individualism and reason. I’d be very happy to discuss any of the document further and provide more citations.
[3] Throughout the document, by “tech”, I mostly mean software engineering.
[4] For heterosexual romantic relationships, men are more strongly judged by status and women by beauty. Again, this has biological origins and is culturally universal.
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[5] Stretch, BOLD, CSSI, Engineering Practicum (to an extent), and several other Google funded internal and external programs are for people with a certain gender or race.
[6] Instead set Googlegeist OKRs, potentially for certain demographics. We can increase representation at an org level by either making it a better environment for certain groups (which would be seen in survey scores) or discriminating based on a protected status (which is illegal and I’ve seen it done). Increased representation OKRs can incentivize the latter and create zero-sum struggles between orgs.
[7] Communism promised to be both morally and economically superior to capitalism, but every attempt became morally corrupt and an economic failure. As it became clear that the working class of the liberal democracies wasn’t going to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors,” the Marxist intellectuals transitioned from class warfare to gender and race politics. The core oppressor-oppressed dynamics remained, but now the oppressor is the “white, straight, cis-gendered patriarchy.”
[8] Ironically, IQ tests were initially championed by the Left when meritocracy meant helping the victims of the aristocracy.
[9] Yes, in a national aggregate, women have lower salaries than men for a variety of reasons. For the same work though, women get paid just as much as men. Considering women spend more money than men and that salary represents how much the employees sacrifices (e.g. more hours, stress, and danger), we really need to rethink our stereotypes around power.
[10] “The traditionalist system of gender does not deal well with the idea of men needing support. Men are expected to be strong, to not complain, and to deal with problems on their own. Men’s problems are more often seen as personal failings rather than victimhood,, due to our gendered idea of agency. This discourages men from bringing attention to their issues (whether individual or group-wide issues), for fear of being seen as whiners, complainers, or weak.”
[11] Political correctness is defined as “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against,” which makes it clear why it’s a phenomenon of the Left and a tool of authoritarians.

I don’t think Krystal Olsen is being entirely truthful

Krystal Olsen has boasted that she put this man in a chokehold. I suspect that there is some truth to that part of the story.

How much help did Krystal receive from the bouncers? Is it possible the man was drunk and stumbling into people blindly rather than intentionally making a sexual advance? I don’t think we are ever going to get the full details of the incident.

I don’t think the self-proclaimed heroine is being entirely truthful.

I was going to write an argument for the existence of God, but then … damn

I had recently allowed myself to get annoyed by some stupid, undereducated oafs arguing for atheism on YouTube.

So I thought I would get an eye-catching visual to head up my refutation of their arguments.

And now I’ve got the eye-catching visual, and suddenly I realize that stupid people argue on YouTube because snappy visuals distract most viewers from the weakness of the arguments.

What I needed was not a snappy visual, but the eloquence to keep a reader’s attention WITHOUT resorting to snappy visuals.

The reader is thus presented with an animated GIF of Anna Chicherova. Whether the GIF motivates the reader to argue for or against God is left as an exercise for the reader.

Prostitutes, Gun Molls, and Gamblers of the Old West

Top 10 Wild Women Of The West

JANICE FORMICHELLA MAY 5, 2017

 

The Wild West of the late 1800s and the turn of the next century was a land with loose laws, big egos, and, of course, adventure. It attracted fiery individuals, with spirits as wild as the terrain, who left colorful pages in history. It was a place where rebellious women roamed free and pushed all the envelopes ever made for the fairer sex. These 10 women reveled in the freedom of the frontier and led lives in a way that still has us talking about them today.

 

10Calamity Jane

10-calamity-jane
Photo credit: C.E. Finn
Born: Martha Jane Cannary
Lived: May 1, 1852–August 1, 1903
Areas: Wyoming, Utah, Arizona
Calamity Jane is perhaps the most famous of the wild women of the West and for good reason. She pretty much did it all when it comes to the things that brought these women notoriety. She skillfully shot a gun, told tall tales, dabbled in prostitution, committed hefty crimes, and drank—a lot.
Besides her reputation as a drunken outlaw, Calamity Jane was known for her generous heart. She and her siblings were orphaned when Jane was 14, and she took it upon herself to care for them.
This responsibility helped to shape her into a true enigma.[1] While one of her earliest-known careers was as a dance hall girl, she also became famous for wearing men’s clothing and riding alongside the roughest cowboys on whatever work or action she could find.
Jane ended up with a plethora of careers, including a short stint as a storyteller in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. However, none of these careers lasted long due to Jane’s unfortunate chronic alcoholism.
Like many of the notable characters from the Wild West, Jane was unashamed about telling a fib. She is known for being a sidekick of Wild Bill Hickok and bragged about their friendship until the day she died. However, many who knew them both said that Jane was, in fact, obsessed with Bill rather than having a true partnership or friendship with him.
Although she was buried next to him, his friends said at the time that the location of the burial was a joke on Hickok. He was rumored to have said that he had “absolutely no use” for Jane.

9Big Nose Kate

9a-big-nose-kate
Photo via Wikimedia
Born: Maria Katalin Horony
Lived: November 7, 1850–November 2, 1940
Areas: Arizona, Texas
Known primarily for being the longtime companion of Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate was an indomitable woman to be reckoned with.
Kate’s family emigrated from Hungary to Iowa when she was 10 years old. Tragically, the roughness of the frontier left Kate and her siblings orphaned only three years later. In true outlaw fashion, she ran away from her foster home at age 15 and became a stowaway on a riverboat headed for St. Louis.
She proceeded to dabble in various careers and move around until meeting Doc Holliday in Texas in 1877. History, in fact, would not be the same without Kate, as she was the one who introduced Doc Holliday to Wyatt Earp.[2] Kate and Doc moved to Tombstone, Arizona, with Wyatt and his brothers in 1880, and the rest is history.
Her legacy continues to this day. A Tombstone saloon named in her honor is still one of the best cowboy bars in the entire area.

 

8Poker Alice

8b-poker-alice
Photo credit: chrisenss.com
Born: Alice Ivers
Lived: February 17, 1851–February 27, 1930
Areas: Colorado, South Dakota
Perhaps even more than today, the Wild West was a place where women were given permission to experiment with careers not normally seen as fit for women. Alice Ivers embraced a career as a poker player, a profession still largely dominated by men.
Alice was born in England to conservative parents in 1851. Her father had the wanderlust bug of the age and relocated the family to Colorado. Alice seems to have caught the ailment herself as she fled her family at a young age to marry her first husband, Frank Duffield. This bold act would change the course of Alice’s life forever as Frank was a poker enthusiast, to say the least.
Preferring to accompany her husband out at night, she sat at the tables behind him while he played. When he died in a mining accident a few years into the marriage, Alice took up gambling[3] herself. This led to another interesting Wild West crossover: She made big bucks playing at a bar in Colorado owned by Bob Ford, the man who killed Jesse James.
Alice was known to use her skills to finance a lavish lifestyle and made a show of heading to New York City with large earnings to stock up on the couture fashions of the day. She was also exceptionally shrewd as a professional gambler. It is widely believed that she married her last husband rather than pay off a large gaming debt she owed him.
Humorously, it is reported that Alice refused to play on Sundays despite her nontraditional ways. However, she was still arrested several times for running girls, bootlegging, and public drunkenness.

7Belle Starr

7-belle-starr
Photo credit: biography.com
Born: Myra Maybelle Shirley
Lived: February 5, 1848 – February 3, 1889
Areas: Missouri, Texas
Belle Starr was destined to live a life rubbing shoulders with notable outlaws. She was childhood friends with both the James brothers and the Younger brothers (of the Younger Gang), all native to Missouri. All the families eventually ended up in Texas, where their bonds were strengthened.
In time, Belle married a Cherokee man named Sam Starr who was addicted to a life of crime and could not tolerate traditional employment. During their marriage, Belle became skilled as an organizer for local cowboy gangs, providing refuge for fugitives, bootleggers, and thieves. She was well-known for her class, always riding sidesaddle and in her best black velvet. Belle loved the outlaw life and only quit after Sam was gunned down.
She lived the rest of her life attempting to have less notoriety. Her cause of death, two days before her 41st birthday, remains a mystery with several colorful theories.
At the time, it was reported that Belle was ambushed[4] on her way home from a neighbor’s house late at night. Some believe that she had come from a dance and was killed by a rebuffed attendee with whom she had refused to dance. Still others believe that it was her own son who committed the murder in a fit of adolescent rage.

6Sally Scull

6-sally-scull
Photo credit: legendsofamerica.com
Born: Sarah Jane Newman
Lived: c. 1817–Unknown Date of Death
Areas: Texas
Sally Scull loved to shoot, loved to intimidate those around her, and loved to marry. She perhaps attracted so many suitors because she intrigued everyone she met. She played poker, was a good shot, and could ride a horse. Sally could also lasso as well as any man and better than many. She combined this with a strong taste for men and must have been a striking and unforgettable woman to encounter.
Sally learned to be brave, bold, and fierce as a young girl growing up in Comanche territory. One famous story recalls her mother chopping off the toes[5] of a local Native American who was trying to break into their home. By the time the family moved to Texas a few years later, Sally had learned to be a quick draw and a skilled horsewoman.
Sally became famous for her skills as what we now call a cowgirl. But her legacy has perhaps survived because of her five husbands and her involvement in the deaths of two of them. In one instance, Sally reportedly fired in shock at her current husband after he poured ice water over her head to wake her one morning.
In another case, her husband and the horse on which he was riding met their deaths when a strong river current overcame them. Rather than expressing any grief, Sally famously said that she wished her husband’s belt buckle had been saved so she could retrieve the $40 it was worth.
Given her abilities and knowledge of the area, Sally was the perfect person to help the Confederacy during the Civil War. She seems to have stayed busy and profited from transporting cotton during those years.
Following the war, her trail runs cold. It is not even known when or how she died. Had she been born a decade later, she could have built a career as an outlaw or frontierswoman. Nonetheless, she still left quite a legacy.

 

5Laura Bullion

5-laura-bullion
Lived: October 1876–December 2, 1961
Areas: Texas, Tennessee, Missouri
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree with this wild woman. Laura Bullion came from a family who lived on the edge. Her father was a bank robber who was friends with Wild Bunch gang member Ben Kilpatrick (aka “The Tall Texan”), and her uncle was a train robber. Needless to say, her family life was less than stable and she left home at age 15 to make her own way.
As with many infamous female outlaws of this age, Laura started her career of crime as a prostitute. Sadly, she began very early and retired around age 17 when she transferred to robberies with Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. She was likely welcomed into the group because of her father’s connections, and she did, in fact, become romantically involved with Kilpatrick for a time.
Laura is known to have participated in many heists[6] with the Wild Bunch. She is believed to have been involved with many more because she often dressed in men’s clothing and may have gone unrecognized. As with many other outlaws, Laura retreated into a life of traditional employment and a low-profile existence after she was released from prison.
Perhaps most notably, prior to her death, Laura was one of only three people believed to know the true identity of Etta Place, a secret that she happily took to her grave.

4Etta Place

4-sundance-and-etta-place
Lived: 1878–Unknown Date of Death
Areas: Utah, Argentina, California
No list of female Wild West outlaws would be complete without at least a mention of Etta Place, the mysterious companion to Harry Longabaugh (aka “the Sundance Kid“). The two were so devoted to each other that she was the only person to flee the country with him and Butch Cassidy and the only woman to stay with a member of the Wild Bunch as long as she did. At the same time, few people from recent history can claim such notoriety and mystery.
Despite Etta being one of the only women to have penetrated the inner circle of the gang and stay with them long-term, little is known about her life before or after her relationship with Longabaugh. It is widely believed that she met the Sundance Kid while working as a prostitute, possibly in Utah, and that the two eventually became devoted companions. When Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid escaped to South America in 1901, Etta was at their side.[7]
There are at least half a dozen theories about Etta after she parted ways with Longabaugh, most of them involving Etta living as a prostitute or outlaw. It is known that she lived in San Francisco in 1907, at least for a little while, but the trail runs cold after that. Estimations about her date of death range from 1922 to 1966. Now that’s one wild woman with a talent for mystique!

3Pearl Hart

3-pearl-hart
Photo via Wikimedia
Born: Pearl Taylor
Lived: 1871–Unknown Date of Death
Areas: Missouri, Arizona
The success of train robbers in the Wild West was lucrative but short-lived. Pearl Hart, besides earning a name as a female gang member, is also famous for being involved in the last of such recorded robberies.
Pearl was a true rebel. Born into a well-to-do family, she eloped at age 16 with an abusive alcoholic with whom she had an on-again, off-again relationship until 1893. Then she discovered Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Showand became infatuated with the cowboy life.
In 1898, she ended up in Phoenix running a tent brothel. When the nearby mine closed, she and a male cohort decided to rob a stagecoach for funds. She cut her hair short and dressed in men’s clothing to commit the crime.
The pair was quickly arrested and ultimately acquitted. (Pearl’s passionate plea to the jury that she needed the money to care for her elderly mother actually worked.) But she was arrested[8] and convicted a short time later for mail tampering.
Pearl had evidently learned a thing or two about using her female charms to her advantage. She used her notoriety to finagle a comfortable stay during her five years in prison. Not only was she granted a comfy mountainside suite, it came complete with an outdoor yard. She was also allowed to visit with the public and pose for photos (for which she received compensation).
Pearl was pardoned in 1902. While the reasons remain unknown, many believed that it was because she became pregnant and the authorities wanted to keep the circumstances secret. She was given a ticket to Kansas City, Missouri, and proceeded to dabble in various careers, even going full circle and working anonymously as a storyteller for Buffalo Bill’s show.

2Fannie Porter

2-fanny-porter-harvey-logan
Photo credit: sacurrent.com
Lived: February 12, 1873–January 1, 1940
Areas: San Antonio
When it came to the famous outlaws of the Wild West, Fannie Porter rubbed shoulders with them all. However, it was not as a fellow outlaw or lover that she knew them. It was because she owned a brothel that most of them frequented over the years.
As with many of the frontier women who dabbled in prostitution, Fannie started her career at a young age—15 years old. By age 20, she had already become known for her business acumen as a high-end brothel owner, running one of the cleanest, safest, and classiest establishments in Texas.
Fannie didn’t just supply outlaws with short-term company. Many of her “girls,” as she referred to them, became lovers and companions to the most famous Wild West figures.
Until becoming the girlfriend and accomplice to Kid Curry, Della Moore worked at the brothel. She returned after the relationship ended. Lillie Davis was a companion to Will “News” Carver of the Wild Bunch and claimed to have even married him before he died.
Most famously, the mysterious Etta Place is believed by many to have met the Sundance Kid while she was working for Fanny (rather than in a brothel in Utah). However, this has not been confirmed.
As the outlaws disappeared into obscurity and the Golden Age of the Wild West came to an end, Fannie also faded from the public eye. Some say she retired rich,[9] some say she married rich, and some say she returned to England to live well. Whatever the case, many famous outlaws have her to thank for introductions of the most provocative type.

1Lottie Deno

1-lottie-deno
Photo credit: gamblingherald.com
Born: Carlotta J. Thompkins
Lived: April 21, 1844–February 9, 1934
Areas: Texas, New Mexico
Born Carlotta J. Thompkins, this wild woman was so skilled at poker that she was eventually given the name “Deno,” which was a shortened version of dinero (“money”). Unlike many women who made names for themselves living on the edge of the law during this time, Carlotta was from a wealthy family and from parents who gave her ample care and affection.
She learned to play cards by spending time with her father, a successful gambler and horse breeder. After he was killed in the Civil War, Lottie began her own career at the poker table.[10]
She quickly added fugitive-companion to her resume when she fell in love with Frank Thurmond, also a professional gambler. He was accused of murder, and the two of them went on the lam, happily using poker tosupport their lifestyle.
The pair ended up in Fort Griffin, a quintessential cowboy town, and became friends with Doc Holliday. Fearful of being caught, Lottie and Frank hid their relationship until they were married years later. In Fort Griffin, Lottie’s fame grew as a poker player who was not to be challenged. She became the subject of songs, paintings, novels, and numerous short stories.
Lottie and Frank were a couple with their eyes on the big picture. They eventually married in 1880, used their savings to invest in a number of legit businesses, and settled in New Mexico. There, they became leaders in their community. Their later life found Frank as the vice president of a bank and Lottie as the cofounder of a hospital.

Rachel Bloom has long sought to erode sexual taboos, possibly indicating malicious intent

Bill Nye’s collaborator, Rachel Bloom, has been involved in extensive propaganda videos.

 

http://nicktube.com/watch?v=3sQEb9TSACY

 

Some would claim that she is trying to erode the taboo of the teacher-student relationship.

 

I don’t think a USA court would look at her propaganda as incitement to child abuse.  But possibly a civilized court would.

The joys of hormonal birth control

Study Finds the Birth Control Pill Has a Pretty Terrible Impact on Women’s Wellbeing

So, how’s that male pill coming along?

FIONA MACDONALD
20 APR 2017

A new study has reinforced what many women have been saying for years – the oral contraceptive pill is associated with reduced quality of life and wellbeing in healthy women.

The double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial found that healthy women reported reduced quality of life, mood, and physical wellbeing after taking a common birth control pill containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel for three months.

The findings reinforce earlier research and anecdotal claims that women are struggling with the side effects of the contraceptive pill.

But there was no significant evidence that the contraceptive increased depressive symptoms in the latest study… so, there’s that.

Surprisingly, this is one of the most rigorous studies to date to look into the impact of the pill on women’s quality of life.

“Despite the fact that an estimated 100 million women around the world use contraceptive pills we know surprisingly little today about the pill’s effect on women’s health,” said lead researcher Angelica Lindén Hirschberg from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

“The scientific base is very limited as regards the contraceptive pill’s effect on quality of life and depression and there is a great need for randomised studies where it is compared with placebos.”

To fix that, her team took 340 healthy women aged between 18 and 35 and gave them either placebo pills, or contraceptive pills containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel over a three-month period.

Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel-containing pills are among the most common form of combined oral contraceptive pills around the world because they’re the least associated with a risk of blood clots, and they include brand names such as Levlen, Microgynon, Portia, and Alesse.

The study was double blind, which meant that neither the researchers giving out the pills or the women taking them knew whether they were getting a placebo or not.

At the start of the study, the women had their general health measured, including weight, height, and blood pressure.

They also filled out two well-known surveys on general wellbeing and depressive symptoms – the Psychological General Wellbeing Index and the Beck Depression Inventory.

They then went through the same tests at the end of the three months so the researchers could compare the results.

The women who were given contraceptive pills reported that their quality of life was significantly lower at the end of the study than those who were given placebos.

This was true for general quality of life and also specific aspects of wellbeing, such as self control and energy levels.

No significant increase in depressive symptoms was observed.

While it’s an interesting first step towards better measuring the pills’ side effects, the researchers caution that the changes were relatively small so we can’t read too much into them just yet. And we can only apply these findings to ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel-containg pills.

Also, the study only looked at women over three months – it will require longer monitoring to get a more accurate idea of how the contraceptive pill affects women.

“This might in some cases be a contributing cause of low compliance and irregular use of contraceptive pills,” said one of the researchers, Niklas Zethraeus.

“This possible degradation of quality of life should be paid attention to and taken into account in conjunction with prescribing of contraceptive pills and when choosing a method of contraception.”

With recent research also providing insight into why periods can be so damn painful and heavy, it seems scientists are finally starting to take women’s reproductive health and contraceptive side effects seriously.

And we’re getting some male options too – scientists are making progress with a hormonal contraceptive injection for men, as well as a reversible, condom-free gel that blocks sperm.

More research is needed before we can identify more accurately how the pill impacts women, but these early results are reassuring for many women who’ve struggled with side effects while on the pill.

The research has been published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

http://www.sciencealert.com/major-study-finds-the-pill-has-a-pretty-crap-impact-on-women-s-wellbeing