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I'm talking about conditions in France mostly, where employment conditions for nurses are not so great - certainly no "hefty" income.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:01:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly I think this is somewhat similar to the way French trade unions talk about workers as if we were still in the 19th century with people ruining their health in factories and mines.
I don't actually think nurses' situation is that - only been in hospitals twice, and I have no stats about salaries, hours, how they feel about their work etc. I don't even think nurses are regarded by anyone as subservient or demeaning in any way, these days.

But we can discuss all this, try out ideas and so on; problem is, when some start to make laws based on that, or on other empirical data. If In Wales' association limited to giving advice, pointing out exclusion or unfairness cases, educating, it wouldn't be a problem. Such associations get political though, inspire and support laws, which is where one's case must be carefully made and completely documented.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 09:24:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems you don't know much about nurses ? Well, I have family working there, read nurses' blogs (mostly male, actually), have probably seen some stats, have seen them strike in the hospital my mother was hospitalised... You do know that a nurse making an injection at a patient's home is paid 3 euros - gross ? compare with the wage a doctor would ask for the exact same tax. Do you know that most nurses in France find a way to switch career after about ten years working, because the conditions are too lousy ? Do you think there is no hierarchy in hospitals these days ?

It is not because you don't know about such a carefully made and completely documented explanation that it doesn't exist. Here we are trying out ideas, but there is actually a lot of theoretical and empirical work - and here you come, affirming it doesn't exist.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 09:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Difference in salary has nothing to do with gender, as there are more women doctors today than men. The fact that there are differences (in responsibility, competence, and well, income too) between professions is normal.

When I said I have no stats, I meant that when you (I mean you, linca) claim there is discrimination, it's not me to bring arguments.
Or I notice your arguments have more to do with the lack of enough nurses, differences amongst professions and hierarchy, and other such things that are normal and have nothing to do with discrimination or the subservient status of the nurse.

French railway unions speak exactly the same way about train drivers and workers, while their condition has absolutely nothing to do anymore those 100 years ago - suffices to look at a tram driver's hypermodern cabin today, the effort it takes him to push some buttons  and, of course, the stress of largely doing nothing all day long.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 10:26:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that there are differences (in responsibility, competence, and well, income too) between professions is normal.

And how do you account that these differences of responsibility and competence have no correlation to income?

the effort it takes him to push some buttons  and, of course, the stress of largely doing nothing all day long.

well the "Largely doing nothing" is actually "Avoiding doing things that can cause many deaths" train driving pushes right up on the responsibility scale.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 10:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never said that they have no correlation to income. On the contrary, I think it normal that such differences affect salary too - it's the main compensation after all.

As to train or tram drivers, I never denied their responsibility to not start the train while people still getting on and off.
Just the fact that their working conditions would be as dire as their unions (in France) depict them to be.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 03:09:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about tram drivers, but metro and train drivers are also supposed to be able to do flash repairs on a stuck train, among other things.

Also, you seem to think the 10x difference on income between a nurse and a doctor are normal and fair. They certainly have nothing to do with the fact that the last time nurses went on mass demonstrations, the water guns were fired at them, whereas doctors negotiating with the government while on "strike" (the yearly december strike for specialist doctors is called the "Courchevel Strike" after the french ski resort) have it easier, since very often the minister of health is himself a doctor...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 06:49:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I got your point about nurses, but I still refuse your framing of nurses as oppressed women and doctors as authoritarian men. I suspect this is a typically French case of lack of listening one another and abuse of authority. I lean to give more credit to TBG's image of US nurses.

As to drivers, again, my point was about hard work conditions, not responsibility.
These conditions don't compare to those 100 years ago, which was my point all the time (ie, that people today complain much too easy compared to the past).

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:15:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do women doctors never boss around women nurses? Do women doctors boss women nurses around less than male doctors?

It's easy to end up with a reductio ad absurdum - if you start from the position that there's a homogenous demographic group called 'women' and a different homogenised demographic group called 'men' and that relationships between the two are always stereotyped, and always and exclusively (by implication) solely to the detriment of women, then you end up somewhere indefensible and disconnected from reality.

My point isn't so much about who's bossing who around, but that assessments of value made by the equality industry are largely based on economics - specifically who gets more cash.

This is a non-starter because the whole point of most economic thinking is to increase inequality, not reduce it. So trying to change relationships between gender roles by trying to increase economic status is like driving with the brake on - you may get selective improvements for certain groups, but they will usually be at someone else's expense.

To put it another way - I don't care about women getting into boardrooms, because I don't want boardrooms. And getting people out of boardrooms and into more open and inherently participatory political and economic systems is going to do more for practical equality than adding legal and legislative epicycles to a toxic and unstable system which is likely to implode soon anyway.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you know what a strike looked like 100 years ago ? Nowadays, strikers are wimps compared to those of 1900 - that went on strike despite risking to be shot upon. So if that is your point, it is quite wrong.

Care to inform yourself about nurses having it far worse than doctors ? Care to read my argument, which is not that "nurses are oppressed and doctors are authoritarian men" (although your recognised the latter part in admitting bosses were often patronising in France) but that there is a framing that considers nursing to be a subservient, caring, uncreative occupation, which thus doesn't fit the masculine gender ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nurses having it far worse than doctors has little to do today with societal framing as subservient etc.

Also today I honestly doubt nurses are seen in any of those demeaning ways that you quote - men included. I don't society sees caretaking or humanitarian work in a demeaning way. But that's just MHO.

Men not filling up nurse jobs might not always be due to demeaning views of the profession, but also to not feeling fit for it, purely and simply. I support women emancipation and freedom, but we should try to avoid falling into misandry.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 07:22:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you ever wonder about why men wouldn't feel fit for it ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 07:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is you who should explain that. I personally do not think the profession is seen in a degrading way today.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 02:53:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't yet commented on the nurse debate, and don't intend in detail; but I note that I have a relative in the USA who is a nurse, a high-paid one at that, but she did complain especially about the attitude of doctors and that she is not allowed to do certain things even while she knows as much as a doctor -- and thus her goal is to become a doctor.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did explain, and unlike you I provided arguments, based on other things that my personal opinion.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 08:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You showed reasons of dissatisfaction with the job, not proof that the society views the profession in a demeaning way. Not the same thing.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 04:44:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not for me to explain these differences. My point the whole time was to ask, are you sure these differences (and others) are due to unfair social or economical causes? It was not a charged question, but an honest one: does anyone investigate the causes to the root, or the reasoning is more like
"discrimination is the most plausible cause, so that must be it, and we'll make laws in consequence". I gave a few examples where such line of thought is weak, if not downright wrong
(women MDs in New York, the only real statistics anyone brought into this discussion btw).

If we're certain, I'm all for it. But it's not for me to produce explanations, but to those who support activist laws based on superficial statistical correlations that suit them.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 02:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point the whole time was to ask, are you sure these differences (and others) are due to unfair social or economical causes?

Are you sure that's your question? Because in general, one can speak of multiple factors influencing decisions, but you seem to make them either-or, thus making potential other factors a negation of the social or economical factors.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:25:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is rhetorics. Others do that, I don't. One may sometimes ask naive questions, with no agenda. On the contrary, you misread me: Im for "and", not "either-or". I never excluded discrimination, never said it doesn't exist.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 04:47:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't know anything more about the conditions of train drivers than you know about those of nurses, do you ?

Nurses wages staying low despite difficulties to recruit indeed are not "normal" : they show that there's a general sentiment "nurses shouldn't be paid too much".

You ask me to show stat, yet InWales shows them and you say they prove nothing ; I give the reasoning behind how those stats, and other arguments, show the very, very strong prevalence of female nurses, show a very gendered identity of the profession, and you claim this is normal. Maybe misogyny is normal to you, but it is not for everyone.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 02:24:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh but I do know, I'm regularly taking the tram and I can see the guy narrating his weekend adventures to his mate next to him, while casually pushing the door button and the speed pedal, half an eye to the traffic.
Sigh. I dont deny their responsibility, but hard work conditions? Gimme a break...

I said it's normal that nurse salaries are lower than doctors', that's all, no need to misread me.

Prevalence of women nurses is not due to any kind of discrimination, sexism, or exclusion. Attempts to bring more men did work out, but only marginally. It's just life, and life is not always a matter of social activism.

I didn't see In Wales' stats, so I couldn't comment on them - until now I was alone bringing up actual numbers. I'll check the whole discussion up again.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 03:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prevalence of women among nurses historically comes from the fact that hospital nurses used to be nuns, because it was cheap labour. Nuns being numerous comes from the sexist policies of the Catholic church in its hiring of priests.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 06:51:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not at all, it was because nuns were sacrificing themselves for the poor, for the love of Christ, just as many Christians did and still do. Your interpretation denotes a frightening degree of cinism. Fortunately humans are much better at heart than you seem capable of conceiving, alas.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:09:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you read Diderot's La Religieuse, heard about the Magdalen sisters in Ireland, indeed actually went beyond the church propaganda about the social role and recruiting of nuns ? Maybe right now the catholic sect, having lost its means of coercion in wider society, can only count on the absolutely free choice of its members. It certainly wasn't always so.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 09:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find speaking that way about the catholics a terrible disrespect for all those millions who sincerely believe in their faith, or for those million priests honestly faithful and inspired towards doing good and helping people.
Your posts seem to indicate everything is black and white for you. Not every man is a mysoginist, every white a racist, or every catholic priest an oppressor. Opening up to the reality of the world can do wonders to lighten up the spirit.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 07:27:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great. Criticism is "disrespect". That has a way of narrowing the debate.

You're the one holding a simplistic view of the world, refusing to look at root causes of the choices of individuals in a society - you could have different answers, but you're not actually giving any, just sweeping the subject under the rug.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 07:39:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Criticism is "disrespect".

You missed that memo? You haven't been paying attention. Asking questions is also disrespect these days. Querying sources, asking for evidence?  Disrespect.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 08:03:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hasn't ET shown me the door?  Most of what I do is ask questions.  That, and swear a lot.  And make unfunny quips.  And ...

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 08:52:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Calling the catholic church a sect is a lack of respect for those who act in good faith, and doing good. Those were means of coercition in some situations, but not always, not to everyone, not by everyone. Such exaggerations and generalizations, like that calling faith a delusion, are of course part of our right to free speech, but are disrespectful and intolerant towards all those fine christian men I know.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 02:51:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"sect: a subdivision of a larger religious group"

or

"In the sociology of religion a sect is generally a small religious or political group that has broken off from a larger group, for example from a large, well-established religious group, like a denomination, usually due to a dispute about doctrinal matters. "

Works for me, whether you want to consider it a sub-group of Christian denominations or of the Abrahamic  religious complex (Christians/Jews/Muslims and assorted hangers on).

And faith is a delusion. I missed the point when speaking truth became intolerance: you want to be deluded, feel free.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 02:58:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the french law, the catholic church is a church, not a sect. According to historical data, it is others who split from it, not the other way around.

But that's not even the point. We're not discussing religion here, it is not me who brought this topic, and if you or linca see the faith or the church as an instrument of oppression, as something wrong, or a delusion, this is your right to free thinking. The terms you put it here bring you on the border of free speech - I'm not sure delusional is not an insult according to the law. But it's the sense of intolerance that disturbs me. Can you really not conceive that amongst the deluded and oppressing, may be good people, helping those in need ? How can you generalize like this? Even when you had something personal against religion or the catholic church, airing this on a public forum borders hate speech. The same kind Helen was outing when calling names all those against Prop.8.

On te other hand, if this is a forum whose established, official political line is so, I'll gladly spare you of my presence.

I was looking for a forum more about mutual respect, freedom to not be judged for personal values, rational argumenting, basic tolerance.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:27:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

 The terms you put it here bring you on the border of free speech - I'm not sure delusional is not an insult according to the law.

"A delusion is commonly defined as a fixed false belief and is used in everyday language to describe a belief that is either false, fanciful or derived from deception. ...:

If the shoe fits ...

Can you really not conceive that amongst the deluded and oppressing, may be good people, helping those in need ?

That doesn't mean they're not deluded.


I was looking for a forum more about mutual respect, freedom to not be judged for personal values, rational argumenting, basic tolerance.

Sure you are. I think I saw one go that-a-way.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
delusional    
    An insult/label often flung at those who have beliefs that are not commonly accepted.
(UrbanDictionary)

Or else you can just go outside, call someone out there deluded and see if they take it as an insult or not :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 04:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you know, the Urban Dictionary is a user-defined dictionary, and this definition is a witticism. But fair enough if you want to cite it as such.

However, it seems to me a lot of what you have to say about unions, strikers, social policies, the excessive pay of train-drivers, etc, is very much part of beliefs that are "commonly accepted".

Somehow, seeing you as part of a downtrodden minority, in a country where your views can be commonly heard and are above all touted by the ruling party and president, doesn't quite work for me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 04:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did I mention train driver pay? It was rather their working conditions, which are ultramodern and better than those of many other jobs today.

As to strikers, I spoke precisely about the Paris transports. I'll gladly add most French train worker unions. I never generalized.

I had one only problem with "social policies": vilifying categories and excessive use of superficial statistics. I tried to prove my point, and InWales has agreed that fairness goes both ways. It is saddening that you had the impression you had. My middle names are Moderation, Tolerance, and ItAllGoesBothWays.
:)

(does anyone ever smile over here, btw, or am I really looking like the black sheep)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 04:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to historical data, it is others who split from it, not the other way around.

Well, technically, the Catholic Church split off Orthodox Christianity by claiming the primacy of Rome.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so. That was a schism, a split, two sides that get divided. Not a branch taking off. You seem to know a bit about history, it's odd to defend the idea that the catholic church would be a sect of the orthodox one. It's the first time I hear that, frankly. As say the French, on aura tout vu...

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 04:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was a schism, a split, two sides that get divided.

Nope. That was one patriarch among several equals claiming a place above the others. Orthodox Christianity never had and still doesn't have one single head. (And a branch taking off is also two sides that get divided.)

It's the first time I hear that, frankly.

Well -- based on what you wrote so far, I am not surprised. Maybe I should tell you about the multiple Messsiahs and about Constantine's volte face someday.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes.
Pope Leo IX and Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius, heightened the conflict by suppressing Greek and Latin in their respective domains. In 1054, Roman legates traveled to Cerularius to deny him the title Ecumenical Patriarch and to insist that he recognize the Roman Catholic claim to be the head and mother of the churches.
Cerularius refused. The leader of the Latin contingent excommunicated Cerularius, while he excommunicated the legates.

Mutually.
A mutuaally consented divorce.

Do you have any proof, quotation or link to an authority calling the Catholic church a sect of the Orthodox ?


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Calling the catholic church a sect is a lack of respect for those who act in good faith, and doing good.

Huh!? There are people who act on good faith and do good in every sect. That has nothing to do with being delusional.

calling faith a delusion, are of course part of our right to free speech, but are disrespectful and intolerant towards all those fine christian men I know.

What about non-Christian men and women? Say polytheist versions of Hinduism and just about every mainstream version of Christianity are incompatible, thus at least one group of faithful is delusional. I don't think thinking someone is delusional is necessarily disrespectful, and it is certainly not intolerant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't call anyone delusional for their faith, religion, sect, church or denomination,or their values in general. I respect others and their values and life choices. I can respect homosexuals, catholics, defenders of the family, muslims and buddhists. Libertarians and materialists are anathema from a catholic viewpoint, and catholics are delusional for materialists, but I don't appreciate it when people throw invectives at each other - and if you defend the civility of the term, I think that is really a lost cause :)


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 04:55:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re-stating your view without taking my actual points into any account is not a good debating practice.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't restate it. It is you who read it sloppily - and since this must be the tenth time this happens, with your permission, I'll add: as usual.

Delusional is today perceived as an insult. Calling an opponent, someone with other views or believes, deluded, is today perceived as an insult. You just have to join Colman outside, where he's gone to test my statement and is just getting a beating from a deluded drunkard :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:28:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stop this bashing, Valentin! You insult Colman, who expressed himself in a balanced, tolerant, civilized way!

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:31:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, that was the story, and it might even have been true in a proportion of cases. In others, not so much: there were plenty of women forced into convents by their families for a variety of reasons.

Anyway, sacrificing yourself for a delusion doesn't seem very noble to me.   A bit pathetic really.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 08:04:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UMP propaganda against train drivers you echo is based on quite some ignorance. So let me tell something as a railway employee (someone in the know) and an non-Frenchman (someone not informed by the rhetoric on the debate in France).

Tell me please, when do you normally get up? I somehow doubt you know what it's like to go to work before all commuters three times a week.

Also, how many people's lives have been entrusted to you, and for how long without interruption? Contrary to the strange image you seem to have from the follow-up comment, trains, especially trams won't run auto-pilot like planes -- responsibility means watching signals and potential obstructions, especially for trams, to avoid killing your passengers (or if possible, a silly car driver) in an accident.

What is the risk in your job of you killing someone, in an accident or a suicide? I doubt you realise the psychological strain from running over people (which, statistically, the majority of train drivers aren't lucky to avoid).

In your job, what is the longest time you have to hold back and not go to the toilet?

You say train drivers' condition has absolutely nothing to do anymore those 100 years ago. As per above, a lot of it does have to do with it. In other things, there is improvement -- say, in the last, train drivers have better buckets; they have air conditioning and no coal to shovel, and a string of safety systems (though they have to know how to drive when those systems break down, which happen).

However, there are enhanced risk factors, too. For one, cars. Trains are faster (and motional energy, which a crash will absorb, goes up as the square of speed). Modern trains have much higher acceleration, which demands better attention from tram drivers especially.

Finally, back to the UMP-French unions battle: from what I know, the characterisation of train driver conditions is a non-issue that is cited to turn things on their head -- it was not that the unions were demanding massive pay increases, but that the government attempted a massive virtual paycut by attacking "privileges".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 04:50:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are intentionally misinterpretting my words.
In the post above I told my own personal experience with tram drivers. I never spoke generalities or political slogans, but just what I personally saw and hear. At some point the guys went on strike for a month against speeding up from 16 to 17 km/h (turning upside down the life of the thousands of poor people who can't afford a car or a taxi to go to work).

As to the "difficult" life of transport workers in general, and the endless list of their advantages, better talk about it on a special thread, for it's going to take days.
Feel free to create a diary on that btw, since you seem to be at least as informed as a parisian :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 05:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does it turn upside down the life of thousands of people  to keep the speed at 16 km/h rather than increase it to 17? surely maintaining a steady state turns nothing upside down?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 07:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My English is confuse, it seems.

The Paris transport company decided to take the tram speed from 16 to 17 km/h.
Tram drivers went on strike because of that.
Trams didn't circulate for a whole month. Commuters using trams were forced to use alternatives (buses etc). Their daily routine was turned upside down, time spent on going to work increased, buses were overload - as usual when transport workers go on strike.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry I did not read your reply to linca about personal experiences before writing the above longer comment, only your reply to ceebs.

Still, I have the impression that your interpretation of what you saw is coloured by the political discourse. Also that you ignore half my points which aren't negated by causal driver behaviour.

As for such behaviour, in fact, if that driver/those drivers did throw only half an eye on the traffic while talking, or worse, did so repeatedly, then they should be disciplined. Just the other day, inattention due to guests in the cab led to four deaths on my railway -- the driver now awaits trial.

speeding up from 16 to 17 km/h

Though I couldn't find an article on that specific strike, I am quite certain that you confuse top speed and average speed. (Trams definitely have line speeds in that ballpark and top speeds 3-4 times of that.) Raising average line speed does not have a linear effect at all. Raising average line speed (which includes acceleration, braking, and most importantly, stops) by just one sixteenth while top speed remains the same, means much tighter passenger unloading/loading times at stations, accelerations/decelerations much closer to the limit of what's possible, and a stronger effect of traffic disturbances. It sounds like a typical bureaucratic decision by a manager hired from the outside with no clue about how railways actually work.

Feel free to create a diary on that btw

I already did, and also participated in a previous discussion on ET (from which I learnt about the 'debate' in France).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 02:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You accuse me of political bias without reading me well, then you do, apologize, then accuse me again, "under the impression". Amazing. Would I be wrong if I said you read me through the filter of your far left convictions?

You seem to think workers know better than "bureaucratic managers" (engineers too, I suppose). To me that sounds quite proletarian, but hey, one is entitled to one's own opinions and impressions.
I didn't reply to the whole of your post because I can't reply to any point made by anybody. I still believe work conditions today have nothing to do with those 100 or even 30 years ago, and we should stop complaining of "oppressions" at every disagreeement. A culture of dialogue should replace a culture of class warfare.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 07:33:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yes. Dialog with managers always work so well. There is no class warfare - except that one side knows it is happening, and makes sure it keeps on winning it.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 07:42:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the detailed on-point answer. </snark>

accuse me again, "under the impression"

I have an impression (not accusation under impression), which, debating on the basis of the subjective experience of one side, I should be allowed to communicate.

My impression was precipitated upon things like the fact that you cite union claims on work conditions -- claims which came up in the political debate, your argument about passenger inconvenience (which is a general anti-strike argument), that you thought not hitting passengers with closing doors is all that there is to tram driver responsibility. Incidentally, the 16 to 17 km/h argument you made without specifying "average line speed" reinforced my impression, for it sounds like an anti-union propaganda argument ("1 km/h faster and they cry foul -- ridiculous!") that you may have caught up.

"bureaucratic managers" (engineers too, I suppose)

You somehow seem to have missed the crucial "hired from the outside with no clue about how railways actually work" part. The engineers know their thing, managers back when they had actual technical experience also tended to know their thing, but today managers are considered interchangeable, and railways often get types who make decisions whose adverse effects can be (and are) predicted at the getgo. I could write long diaries about these -- in fact, I did. What's more, there are a couple of models for the Paris situation, say the failed Athens tram timetable. (Also, I'm not sure about tram drivers, but locomotive drivers nowadays are technically engineers, too.)

A culture of dialogue should replace a culture of class warfare.

I agree, but a unilateral announcement of a virtual paycut, accompanied by a campaign describing locomotive drivers as having it too good with lots of privileges, is not dialogue. It is class warfare. I find it strange that you can only perceive class warfare when fought from below.

I can't reply to any point made by anybody. I still believe

How should I debate statements of faith?

Maybe with subjective observations of my own. Where I live, it happens often that bus drivers talk with someone in the cab/door, it happens that locomotive drivers invite someone into the cab, but I have never seen tram or subway drivers do it. When I was in France last year, I didn't get on a Paris tram, but did get on them in a couple of other cities, and there was discipline too (and on-time trams). So if what you saw was as serious as you describe it, or worse a regular occurence, it doesn't mean that tram divers have it too good but that oversight is lenient (maybe managers should focus on that) and the talkative drivers should be punished before they cause a serious accident.

Would I be wrong if I said you read me through the filter of your far left convictions?

I am indeed among the 6-7 regulars on ET who could be classified as hard left; replaced with that, the above statement would be debatable, though I don't understand the occasion (my above described "impression" was not based on a presumed political stance of yours). However, I am not beating up capitalists in back alleys, or calling for an instant expropiation of rich landowners, or for the exiling of the editorial board of The Economist, or praising Stalin or hailing José Bové as Dear Leader, or whatever other parallels there can be to the behaviour of the far-right (say the Italian one we discussed some time back); and indeed I haven't written anything upthread that a moderate Social Democrat couldn't say -- so even that you thought that you could reply to my "accusation" this way implies a tilted sense of what's "far" in politics.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 02:19:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me talking about union's take on the difficulty of work conditions is not necessarily politically biased. It is well known that many French trade unions, especially those in transports, have a quite a left-wing leaning and a vision more appropriate for the 19th century. This is public knowledge and objective opinion, IMHO.
As to the nuances in the 16-17 km/h strike, I honestly don't remember those details. I didn't find a link either. I said what I learnt from media, without any voluntary bias, and if the strike had the reasonable reasons you quote, I'm ready to make mea culpa.

"What's more, there are a couple of models for the Paris situation, say the failed Athens tram timetable."

You can add the British railways timetables before and after privatisation. I'm aware of this kind of problems. Concerning managers, the situation you mention applied to upper management, from what I know.

If indeed a parachuted manager made a precipitated decision on timetables as you say, then the strike was justified. Not as an excuse, but if me, as quite moderate, understood it that wat, I guess the union communicating on that strike must have been quite a failure.

As to class warfare: frankly, after all happened to Paris transports prior to 2007, the radicalization and tough leftwing bias of unions, I'm amongst those Parisians feeling completely fed up with those unions' warfare. I could talk at length their lack of credibility or representativity, but since you say you had those discussions here before, I won't start on it - I have little time to read back those diaries and it's pointless to repeat such debates everytime someone "new" mentions the issue.

How should you debate statements of faith? By reading them honestly, rationally and without bias. Instead of scoring a point against me or my supposed "subjectivity", you could maybe read my "I believe" as "your arguments are not very convincing". I have read you carefully and that is my opinion at this time.
We can debate the issue of hypermodern driver cabins and work conditions in general, but this is not the right thread. Maybe an event will stir things again soon and we'll do it then, if oc you'll be interested.

"so even that you thought that you could reply to my "accusation" this way implies a tilted sense of what's "far" in politics."

It is you who first interpreted my view (of a fed-up-with-transport-strikes Paris citizen) through a political prism. I'm in my right to assume that it is your own political bias that told you you're "recognizing an enemy" :)
Oh well.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:17:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is well known that many French trade unions, especially those in transports, have a quite a left-wing leaning and a vision more appropriate for the 19th century. This is public knowledge and objective opinion, IMHO.

Your not-so-humble opinion doesn't rise to well-known public-knowledge objectivity. It sounds quite like Thatcherian propaganda.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, I don't think so. I just live in Paris for quite a long time now. I'm myself in no way far right. Now you made me want to look for independent assessment of French transport unions, which I'll do, and I won't miss the opportunity to let you know what I found.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 03:32:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm myself in no way far right.

BTW, while no one has accused you of that and I do not think you are far right (probably not even hard right, except for your reading of history), I'd love to discuss further your earlier strange dismissal of the fascist danger in Italy as figment of leftist imagination in light of recent events.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 04:57:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think being called a thatcherian propagandist means that you're appreciated for your moderate politics ? Oh come on.
I'll gladly debate anything else - as soon as this thread ends (with me being right, and others taking all the glory, as usual! :) )

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I called you neither a moderate nor a thatcherian propagandist.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:24:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes but my post to which you replied, was itslef a reply to a post where afew was "dealing" with me as being a thatcherian propagandist.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not afew.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:07:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're reading the sub-thread sloppily again - with all due respect.

Afew called me that. You said "no one said you're far right". But afew just did, so your statement was mistaken, which is what I said in my last post.

It takes as much time expressing meaningful views as disentangling misunderstandings and misreadings.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So now "thatcherite propagandist" = "far right". Your semantic transgressions are hard to follow...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:08:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, afew said "Thatcherite propaganda", not propagandist, where the same distinction applies as the one I pointed out regarding you echoing the UMP.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL your efforts to read back the thread are remarkable, but you still miss a nuance. Amazing, 'ey.

afew called my "not-so-humble opinion a Thatcherite propaganda". In my humble understanding of the English language, telling someone his opinions are a Thatcherite propaganda, makes him personally a Thatcherite propagandist, particularly since he doesn't keep those opinions to himself!


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May be, but yourself accepted just before the implicite opposition between moderate and thatcherite propagandist :) Entangling in our own posts, are we.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:33:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In what way my "reading of history" reminds you of the hard right ?

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All this Great Muslim Menance undertone.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:25:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My turn to say:

HUHHHH ??!!!

I do not believe in the existence of a civilization culture, or religious war with the muslims - or the risk for it.
I do believe Christianism is objectively (it's almost orgasmic to use this word here now :))) ) more "enlightened", more humanistic a religion than Islam.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's pretty intolerant to say... and given that you say this not in total unawareness of Ottoman history, sounds like rather twisted hard-right stuff.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:12:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm ready to debate this anytime - but my way: rationally and with arguments (oh!, oh!)

I'm not passing a value judgement on muslims as others do on christians. I gave my opinion on which religion is closer to the values of the Enlightenment. It's a philosophical reflection, much like the recent one from His Sanctity Benedict XVI ! :)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:41:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me talking about union's take on the difficulty of work conditions is not necessarily politically biased.

I wasn't talking about your political biases, that's something you insist to bring into the picture. But what I talked about, that you are informed about the situation with the unions from the on-going po,itical campaign in France, and that you look at your personal experiences through the frames set by that political debate, is becoming ever more obvious.

objective opinion, IMHO.

Can't you sense the glaring contradiction in the above? At any rate, while afew dealt with this, I only note that yet again you cite the (a) pre-existing political frame for what should be a technical discussion.

I said what I learnt from media, without any voluntary bias, and if the strike had the reasonable reasons you quote, I'm ready to make mea culpa.

OK, we're getting somewhere. Now, the media report what has been told by politicians, often lazily without doing some research on their own, thus they communicate (and enhance) the spin and propaganda they issue. Certain PR is louder than the other. Today, management PR is usually louder and more heard than union PR -- unions do indeed have a communication disadvantage, they don't have PR firms to pay and business journalists tend to summarize their press conferences (if they go to them at all) and communiques in half-sentences. IOW I'm not saying you have any bias, a superficial reading of what comes across the media is enough.

You can add the British railways timetables before and after privatisation. I'm aware of this kind of problems.

Yes, the British railways timetables problems could feature as example of bad management, though I would argue that there the very setting up of the, ahem, market conditions was more to blame. But the Athens tram is a much more direct example of what I was thinking of: a tramway timetable designed with a close-to-ideal traffic situation in mind. (In that case, it was a new line, IIRC the higher line speed was a prestige issue, unions were not involved.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you say I echo UMP propaganda, I take that as a polite accusation of political bias. And even saying that before even giving me the chance to tell you I echo mainstream media, biased as they might be, you reflect a political bias yourself.

There is absolutely no contradiction (let alone a glaring one) in my "objective opinion, IMHO."

Please do read the phrase carefullly back again.

In my opinion, saying that most Paris unions are radicalized and hard left represents today an objective reflection of reality. Subtle, isn't it :)
Otherwise said, I don't agree that saying that constitutes or echoes UMP propaganda, but common knowledge and common sense.

As to PR, I, unlike you, have no idea whose PR was stronger, so until the contrary proof, I will believe what I retained  from mainstream media, which is what I said before. IF what you say is correct, we'll be able to discuss PR strength and media bias.

I read everything coming my way, period. Not interpretting, and certainly not superficial. This is (yet another!) politically biased assumption :)


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think any of us would attempt to say we had no political bias.  The interest I have in this debate is that we are coming from very different political perspectives.  I'll admit to being left wing but I'm by no means a communist or extremist far left.  

I know people who are much further to the right than you are but nonetheless, the way that you frame your debate and the concepts you use put you on the right - and most mainstream media is quite right wing so if you are happy to believe what you read and hear without trying to deconstruct it, then you can expect for us to challenge that when you repeat it on here as your version of the 'truth'.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is interesting. I didn't come (or started this) to defend political convictions. Which part of my discourse smells right wing to you? I'm quite curious.

The only clear political idea I might have stated here was that the individual is a rational being, endowed with critical thinking, free choice, libre arbitre, in spite of all societal conditioning.
That makes me a classical liberal, I suppose.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
Which part of my discourse smells right wing to you?

Most of the things you say!  Your ideology is fundamentally different to mine.  

Although you have not articulated it as such your reasoning comes across as implying that individuals are more or less in control of their own fate. If they work hard enough (negotiate their contracts well), and apply themselves then they will not be at a disadvantage. ie it is up to the individual.

That's very much a right wing piece of rhetoric.

Also the fact that you view motherhood as a role that the woman should take up to the full (if they have children), that is what I referred to when I said it came across as being socially conservative - ie not thinking that these gender roles need to be challenged because they are 'natural' and that is how things should be.  I challenge that notion.

I'm surprised melo/kcurie have not brought in anthropology here because we've been talking about social constructs and the age old debate of the natural vs the social and that very much underpins where our different ideologies come from. I'm more on the side of there being no clear line between what is deemed as 'natural' in terms of gender roles and place in society and what is socially constructed. So I challenge it all.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But wherever have I mentioned ideology? I tried to remain rational, reasonable, and bring arguments.

Coming across, getting impressions, having the feeling that ... you do realize such impressions may come from you being leftwing conditioned :)

Individuals: I rationalised the thing: I said free, educated, adult individuals, however conditioned, can still find their critical thinking and make decisions. Not all the time, not in all cases, there is a continuously moving balance in my view, things are not so clearly cut out as linca or you seem to have it about society conditioning.
Sometimes "conditioning" is the result of evolution, is normal accumulation of social wisdom. I don't think you can deny this.

Negotiate contracts: well it was my own case, alas. And I saw women in job interviews and evaluation interviews. I even interviewed them. None was tough enough. I'm not either, btw, I've a scientifical formation (hence inclination to logic approach and rationalizing), I'm terrible in business or sales.
Business can be tough. Not always good, not always fair, so not always up to the individual. Is this reasoning rightwing? Frankly, when we take everything one says not as his real life experience, but as ideologically conditioned views, it's a sign something went wrong.

Motherhood is natural. Well isn't it ? Do you honestly and nonpolitically think a mother's 6th sense doesn't exist? Do you think men are so much worse in taking care of a child only because of social constructs ? Are you denying women are more sensitive, more intuitive, more empathical, more attentive, more nuanced, kinder at heart even?
This is not rightwing politics, not ideological, but my own personal unique experience with life. It might be socially conditioned though.


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I grew up in a Tory voting and right wing household. I grew up in the Tory heartlands of England.  I had no access to views from other people that were not at least moderately right wing.

Yet by my own nature I am left wing and when I found the political discourse that gave me the means to articulate how I felt things should be, it was amazing.  This is fundamentally my way of approaching the world.  So I was not leftwing conditioned by any means - I became left wing when I found the discourse that I felt comfortable with.

You haven't mentioned ideology but to refer to wiki:
Ideology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An ideology is a set of beliefs , aims and ideas, especially in politics. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society.

So we are discussing our visions of how things should be and our ways of looking at things.  Even if this is personal and doesn't result from being a member of a political party or being a political activist (ie not buying into an organised ideology), it still counts as ideology.  I see yours and mine being very different.

I used softer words such as what you say 'comes across as' because I don't want to go pointing my finger and saying you are this or you are that.  My impressions come from the way I read into the language that you use and the concepts you are putting forward.  Also your view of what constitutes 'right wing' may well be a bit different to mine.  So you put yourself as moderate where I put you on the right based on the way you have discussed these issues with me. You think I am left wing conditioned but you don't think that you could be right wing conditioned?

The one thing about right wing rhetoric is that it does a fantastic job of getting the message over that this is all common sense, rational and reasonable and because most of the messages you absorb (through the French media you believe to be left wing) are aligned with right wing rhetoric, it's the 'norm' to you that you think is moderate. I haven't been able to express that too well.

Back to women in business and sales.  Why do they need to be so tough?  Is it because they are mostly dealing with male clients who expect a certain type of interaction in setting deals?  What about female clients who may prefer to work with a female sales person?  Research does show that our instincts mean that we prefer people who are like us.  This is where prejudice stems from, the important distinction being whether that prejudice then turns into discrimination through the way people act.

So men prefer to work with other men in certain environments say.  Or white people instinctively prefer to choose white applicants for jobs, because it is more in the personal comfort zone - especially for people who are not regularly exposed to a wide mix of people.  There's genuine psychology behind that.

There is also a business case for having a diverse workforce because it means that you can promote an image that will be attractive to a more diverse client base. Using methods such as flexible working can support both the female workers but also the male workers too, some of whom may have caring responsibilities but usually get overlooked and are expected to be present at work all the time.

My own unique personal experience of life has been an extremely diverse one - bringing me into contact with hundreds and hundreds of people from all walks of life, from different groups and situations, and communities. Part of my job is to gain an insight into the things they experience, especially within a work environment, and this has only strengthened my left wing views because I can see very clearly the disadvantage that certain groups face, disproportionately, that results from discrimination.

To push motherhood as being a natural thing for women then goes punishing the women who are not naturally good at it and prevents fathers from playing a fuller role in bringing up their children.  That's why I challenge it rather than assuming that that is the natural state of things.  Society is progressing I think in a way that enables fathers to play a larger role in their children's lives and that is because the stigma is lessening for women who prefer to go back to work and share the caring responsibilities more evenly with men.

That has happened because the social constructs around gender roles and the assumed role of women in families and in the workplace have begun to change - thus enabling both men and women to have more choice. But as I pointed out elsewhere, the gender pay gap means that choices are still restrained and things like the expectation that men will work longer hours than women, and so on, all still plays a huge part in preventing people from making the choices they wish to.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 04:44:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most French media is on the left, most French journalists and intellectuals are on the left. This does indeed make me deconstruct newsstories sometimes - but in the other way that the one you mention.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most French media is on the left

LOL.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something else: whatever made you think I would be happy with this or that story?!

You could say I was angry at tram strikers (very annoying), but not happy or angry with information I got about that strike. Information just is. On the contrary, I would have been happy to know the strike is justified!

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't mean happy with the stories but happy to accept what they say without being critical of whether you can trust them or not or whether there is bias you need to account for.

I used the word 'happy' as a turn of phrase really. Language thing there.  Replace happy with willing.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you say I echo UMP propaganda, I take that as a polite accusation of political bias.

I identified the UMP (but I could have said "the government that got into conflict with the train unions") as the origin of propaganda you echo via reading the MSM. Would I be hinting at bias, I'd use "issue" in place of "echo".

A specific person's honest opinion is the subjective, not the objective.

"Common knowledge" and "common sense" are artifacts of culture, in this case in no small part that of the MSM -- or at least those parts of it you access -- which again is in no small part influenced by government propaganda. Neither your "common knowledge" nor your "common sense" is an argument in debate.

no idea whose PR was stronger

Don't play naive. Unions have neither the money, nor the media contact manpower, nor the high-level (up to media conglomerate owner) media contacts of governments.

I will believe what I retained  from mainstream media

You never question what has been told you?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...or you could just admit you rushed a bit with the UMP libeling. Self correcting does good to the soul, as my curé taught me on my Sunday School class.

Marianne, Nouvel'Obs, even Liberation or Le Monde, are MSM, yet in no government or UMP or Sarko The World Saviour's pay.
If I add the public media, you'll agree most MSM is leftwing and PRing for strikers - ahem, defending the rights of the poor and the oppressed!

I never question. I'm all society conditioned. I need to be saved!

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:47:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
or you could just admit you rushed a bit with the UMP libeling.

You never tire of holding on to your misperceptions, do you? With the addition that UMP allegiance would now be "libel". (Besides, knowing that you are only an expat in France, I have no reason to associate you with the UMP.)

Marianne, Nouvel'Obs, even Liberation or Le Monde, are MSM, yet in no government or UMP or Sarko The World Saviour's pay.

Libé, despite being generally centre-left, is now owned by a personal friend of Sarko. Though some ET regulars will disagree, I wouldn't classify centriste révolutionnaire Marianne as leftist, just because it slammed Sarko in Bayrouist fervour. But these are picked-out examples, and do not constitute a media majority.

Large swathes of the printed MSM are owned by Hachette Filipacchi, e.g. Sarko's other personal friend Lagardère, while gratis newspapers are dominated by yet another friend of his, the yacht-holiday guy, Bolloré. Bolloré is also interested in TV, so is yet another Sarko friend, Bouygues. Calling today's public TV left-wing, especially with top media figures' support for Sarko during the election, is a stretch (and a common right-wing meme, internationally).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 07:36:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not more than you of misreading me.
Putting a coloured label on someone (or calling his words "propaganda") is not exactly a compliment.
(oh and yes I did say it before, but you seem to have an excellent reading filter).

I suggest you take a look at those papers rather than at their boards. A paper's colour is defined by its articles. Yet another common sense issue that seems to have escaped your acuity.

They made a poll last year; they found like 80% journalists declaring themselves leftwing - in general, not just public media.
Despite the few exceptions, French public media can be defined as hard left libertarian.
This is an objective, public knowledge assessment. Stating that it is politically biased is a crime against common sense. You're incredibly leftwing-society conditioned, if you see any statement more at the right than you as rightwing propaganda. This is exactly what I meant on the Berlusconi issue, btw.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 09:55:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the radicalization and tough leftwing bias of unions

If so, hooray ;-) Pun and my political affiliations aside, you repeated this "leftwing" thing a few times, but what does it mean? Trade unions are for defending workers' rights, something leftwing by nature (even if the union is closer to right-wing parties, say the most strike-happy rail union in Hungary), so do you mean explicit Marxist ideology or partisan opposition to Sarko & co?

I'm amongst those Parisians feeling completely fed up with those unions' warfare.

You see, frames. I am more fed up with managements' warfare against unions, in the form of ultimatums and virtual paycuts [upthread afew left out the "virtual"] and the spreading of malicious spin, which seems worst in France (I haven't often heard the "they have it so good" argument in Hungary or Germany).

How should you debate statements of faith? By reading them honestly, rationally and without bias.

Huh. No. Reading statements of faith in whatever way won't enable me to debate them. Statements of faith are the end of debate, the exclusion of any counter-argument, the exclusion of any use of mutually accessible evidence to base arguments upon.

read my "I believe" as "your arguments are not very convincing"

That doesn't help me in any way. Your statement of lack of conviction doesn't tell me what your problem is with my arguments and thus what back-up is needed to convince you.

this is not the right thread.

This discussion that verged (repeatedly) off-topic is in my diary, so I don't see why you see a problem with it...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 06:53:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do mean Marxist and/or communist ideology, I mean connections with the communist party or the LCR.

Your being fed up with managers is politically biased, I suspect :)
And quite theoretical.
I live this in every day life and I do not think these strikes are reasonable or defendable. It's a citizen opinion. I go to work, you're in your armchair commenting. I got sick last winter, ten days in bed. You were probably commenting on the poor worker conditions and the big bad wolf Sarkozy.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do mean Marxist and/or communist ideology, I mean connections with the communist party or the LCR.

Cool! ;-) Specifics?

Your being fed up with managers is politically biased, I suspect :)

More the opposite way -- a source for my political biases :-)

I live this in every day life and I do not think these strikes are reasonable or defendable. It's a citizen opinion.

You always blame the strikers for your inconvenience, never the managers. That's not simple citizen's opinion, that's a political taking of sides in labour conflict.

I go to work, you're in your armchair commenting.

I too go to work, and lately strikes were as common here as in France, if not more.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:02:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CGT and Sud Rail. In case you never heard, o'em, you can find them on Google and Wikipedia!

I blame the strikers when I have reasons to. When Air France pilots defend the obligatory 60-yo retirement, when Paris transporters defend their privileges and refuse being on par with other public workers (let alone privateers like meself) forming a caste of privileged, well it is them, transporters who are the new oppressor class. Their strike is theirs therefore.

When they refuse being on par with others because of "droits acquis", and when told money not enough, they ask for extra financial revenue taxation, this is politics. Not union work.

The role of the teacher unions is not to support "le service public", but to protect the employees, the teachers. Or they manifest and strike on political reasons that don't affect teachers in any way. They do political work, for political parties.
This is not ok. I wonder if this happens in Germany, for instance (I don't about Italy - those unions are even less true unions and more political than the French ones - purely objectively)

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:57:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ValentinD:
this is politics. Not union work.

Oops. :)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 08:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CGT and Sud Rail.

That's not specifics, that's the names of two unions. I would be really startled to read specifics pointing to a radicalisation of CGT, when it's just the trade union that broke with the Communists and moved towards the centre, and its leadership opposed the last major strike in 2007...

I blame the strikers when I have reasons to.

Then you go on to repeat talking points of the right-wing government. "Defend privileges", heh -- so you are for virtual paycuts.

Their strike is theirs

The demand for virtual paycuts is managements'. If they just wanted to end 'privileges', they could have transformed non-wage compensations and benefits into payrises.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 07:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The CGT has been radicaliezd for a long longt time and has moderated a bit just last year. The whole string of CGT strikes this year are mainly politically motivated. There were legal actions open about CGT financing and their connection with the left.

Transport workers had a range of financial advantages that no one else had in France, except maybe parliamentarians. Calling this privileges is a common sense statement precisely reflecting the reality. This is a caste of privileged, compared to the rest of the workers. Considering their "droits acquis" normal and speaking about virtual paycuts (curious expression, does it translate in a virtual reduction of the size of their lunch, or in giving up a virtual toy for their virtual kids) is typical leftwing propaganda.

I can't give you specifics at the detailed level you imply, and you know that. Not because they do not exist, but because I cannot comment simultaneously on inequalities, socially-imposed gender roles, history, religion, working conditions today, nurses, French unions.

You'll soon find an essay on my diary explaining in detail my view on society, with all its different aspects.
The fact that you don't have it here and now, is solely because this debate here is about inequality and gender roles, and when one has 240 posts, one needs to focus one's discourse. This doesn't "frame" that person as not serious, superficial, ignorant, or political propagandist.
You may always say it, but it ain't so.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 10:10:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're turning my words upside down again, it is you who called my opinions "statements of faith". Maybe as a pretext to not debate ?  What I meant is that I don't have enough time now and this is not the place to go into more detail, so I told you my overall sentiment about your words.

If this thread ever ends, now that I seem to have antagonised most if not all regulars, I'll be happy to debate workers' condition & co.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We are talking about a claim of yours that was based on "I believe" alone, and you didn't protest its characterisation as "statement of faith" before. How many rounds of this do you have time for?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have not made any statements of faith here.

My "claim" is not based on "I believe". I used that expression referring to your long post on transport workers' working conditions.
It was not convincing, and since I can't focus on a dozen topics at a time, I told you just that for the time being, and I added that I will gladly debate that topic with you separately.

Your attempt to decredibilize my posts by claiming they're not argumented is a bit pathetic, frankly.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 10:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I seem to have antagonised most if not all regulars

It seems to me it's only half a dozen of the regulars bothering.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
readind recent comments or replies to their own comments ;-)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears there are about a dozen all in all, so my statement stands!


Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 08:03:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You aren't as new on ET to not recognise more than a dozen. I could list about fifty regulars off-hand. Just frontpagers number 10, and even most of them ignored this discussion. All registered users number about 3,500.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 08:05:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What defines a regular? I claim the first 12 contributors post far more than the other 30-40 regular contributors, so they can be identified as the true regulars, rather than all occasional posters.

Given your general taste for precision, I'd rather have the blog stats, rather than your words.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 10:15:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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