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Picking Up that Check on the First Date

The author of this piece believes that men should always pick up the check on the first date. Have to disagree with this analysis, for a couple of reasons based on several scenarios.

Met through Online Dating Service – Many people now meet through dating services online. Their first date is indeed the first time they have seen each other in person. Statistics show that these dates typically occur within 7-14 days of meeting online. The so called “Starbucks Date” really is a first meeting. Splitting the check in my view is appropriate, in that this may be the first and last date based on mutual chemistry. Everybody having skin in the game tends to keep both sides honest. Have met women who lied about their age, lied about their looks, and lied about their background – and from feedback from women, that is certainly true on the guy’s side as well.

Picking up the check on any subsequent date is appropriate, based on who initiates it. And no, I for one am not dropping $300+ to go to a five star restaurant until I am sure that interest is returned.

Met in Person – If a guy meets a woman through Church, work, club, or social contact – then the guy should pick up the check. You have developed some chemistry and interest. You asked her out. Showing appreciation is appropriate. What you do after that is a mutual decision. Since I tend to date  women who are professionals themselves near my age bracket, they tend to want to establish their independence through either sometimes picking up the check or contributing. I don’t expect it or require it to continue the relationship – but doing so establishes a level of mutual respect, interest, and financial responsibility in that I know every dime she earns isn’t going into those $300 High-heel sneakers, or cute little BMW out in the parking lot. If she is after a long term relationship and not just sex – then I know she is checking me out on the same basis.

Attention, straight men dating women: Here’s why they still — yes, still — expect you to pick up the check

Aside from whether men should hold the door for women, few seemingly frivolous issues have fanned the flames of anti-feminism as much as who should pay for dates between men and women. It’s a subject that seems to never die — see yesterday’s Guardian feature on “Paying while dating” — because there are always a subset of men who insist that it’s absolutely unfair that as the world has gotten closer to gender equality, men are still expected to pick up the check. A 2014 NerdWallet studyfound that 77 percent of over 1,000 U.S. respondents expected men to pick up the check on a first date. Most likely, they will continue to be—perhaps not forever, but certainly for the here and now.

Why? News flash: it’s not about the money, it’s about what the money signifies. “The man should pay on the first date, always. It’s meant to set the tone—that this is and was a date, not a networking opportunity or a new friendship,” founder of online dating concierge service eFlirt and author of “Love @ First Click,” told Salon. “It speaks to a man’s values and shows that he is a gentleman. Most first dates are just a few cocktails, so this shouldn’t be a burden for men. Beyond a first date, the rules change a bit though and it depends on what you do together. For example, if it’s dinner and an after-dinner cocktail for a second date, it’s great for the woman to pay for the cocktails at the second destination. Or, she could plan and pay for the third date. Ultimately, paying the bill on a date shows appreciation. It’s a gesture to let someone know you’re interested in them and appreciate them. That’s why I never suggest splitting the bill. A date should feel like a treat and it doesn’t when it becomes an accounting transaction.”

I have to agree based on my own experience. Showing you’ve thought about the other person is what matters, and on a first date, paying is a way to do that. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can choose an inexpensive date so that you can cover the costs. I once went on a date to a free comedy show with a guy I met online. There were plenty of reasons the date was disastrous—think dead silence for up to ten minutes at a time—but the real rock bottom moment for me was when I said I was going up to the bar to get a drink and asked if he wanted anything (I wasn’t that thirsty but needed to break the tension). He said no but when I returned and reported that the bartender had generously comped my seltzer, he said he wished he’d known or he’d have ordered one! In that case, I was the one offering to pay, but instead of taking me up on it, he made himself seem like an extreme cheapskate. (Guys: don’t do this.)

Yet the who-should-pay decision is a conundrum, as dating and relationship expertWendy Newman, author of “121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily After (Really!),” calls it, one that often leaves both men and women not completely satisfied. “When a man pays for a string of dates for strangers and experiences entitlement or isn’t thanked or appreciated for these efforts it can burn him out. When a woman isn’t treated, often times she doesn’t feel special or cared for,” said Newman.

As further proof that it’s not about money, Los Angeles-based dating expert and radio personality Erin Tillman, who’s single, says “I’ve been on coffee dates with guys where they didn’t pay for my coffee.” That is definitely not the way to go if you want a second date—with Tillman or most women. Based on her own dating history and her clients’ experiences, Tillman told Salon, “if he doesn’t offer to pay, it’s definitely a turnoff.” As she sees it, “It sets a guy up for success. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to ruin your chances of dating someone.” She suggests the guy pay for the first month, or until you’ve established that you’re in a committed relationship.…More…

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in and the Single Life

 

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Target Stores Discrimination Settlement

Target, one of the ubiquitous big box retailers has settled a Discrimination lawsuit based on their hiring and promotion practices.It is not clear whether the process implemented by Target’s HR department was intended to be discriminatory, or the department personnel weren’t sufficiently cognizant of the rules and methodology to test a process to know.

Well meaning try by Target – but it misses the ethnic difference between different Latin communities. Hispanics are the descendants of Spanish Colonial settlers and are white. Latinos are defined by region – ergo they come from various areas of Latin America. Latinos, at least in the US (and some Latin countries) are considered white. Which leaves the whole issue of description of the indigenous peoples, and the folks descended from African slaves at issue.

 

Target ‘Screened Out’ Black, Asian, and Women Job Applicants

Target Corp. will pay $2.8 million total to more than 3,000 job applicants who vied for upper-level management positions but were “disproportionately screened out” by an application test, the Minneapolis Area Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Monday.

The screened-out groups included Black, Asian, and women job applicants. The EEOC complaint against Target was filed in 2006.

Target’s $2.8 million settlement, which will be disbursed among the applicants, is one of the highest for discriminatory practices in history according to the EEOC, as many large corporations and companies have settled for less than $1 million. Molly Snyder, a spokesperson for Target, told the Star Tribune that the application tests in question are no longer used by the multi-billion dollar corporation.

The application tests given to those applying for management positions at Target didn’t include egregiously discriminatory questions, but proved concerning to EEOC officials because of their overall effect on the application pool.

“The tests were not sufficiently job-related,” Julie Schmid, acting director of the EEOC in Minneapolis, said in an interview with the Star Tribune. “It’s not something in particular about the contents of the tests. The tests on their face were neutral. Our statistical analysis showed an adverse impact” for Black, Asian, and women job candidates.

Schmid added that Target cooperated throughout the lengthy agency investigation.

The EEOC investigation into Target’s hiring practices also found that one of the corporation’s job assessments, performed by a psychologist, violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The assessment, subsequently stopped by Target, included a medical exam of job applicants that is expressively forbidden by ADA guidelines….

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Maintaining Systemic Poverty Through Credit

One of the ways young black folks who do all the right things are held back is by a system of predatory credit based on race. In America it is virtually impossible to generate Generational Wealth without credit as the principal vehicle for the middle class gathering that wealth has been their homes.

Back when I was a youngster making very good money in my first professional job, as well as bankable money in several side enterprises. I wound up at 22 years old with about $6k in savings  – which was a fairly tidy sum in the early 70’s for a guy just starting out. Now, my parents, despite being homeowners, never taught me about how to buy a house – but I recognized, with the advice of friends what a tremendous investment it could be. I owned an old ’75 Mustang I had bought used, and which ran pretty well. A fairly fancy new car at that point was about $3500 – and in terms of Pony cars that was one with a few upgrades in terms of horses. Working a side job as a DJ in the emerging Disco scene, I noticed the previously run down portion of town (Georgetown for those who know DC) was undergoing a transformation as hip white adults began to buy up the old Townhouses. Prices on the main drag were far beyond my reach – but 3 blocks off, there were a group of unrestored – dilapidated townhouses, which had been cut up into rentals.

The owner held the entire block. Most of the residents were black, which for white investors presented a problem in terms of doing anything less than taking out the whole block. Asked the owner if he would consider selling a smaller portion of the property. He agreed on a block of 3 houses for $21,000 or two for $17,000. I had $6k, and anyway you look at it that is nearly a 30% down payment on the block of 3. I would have to decide what to do with them – and decided, being handy with tools, I could renovate them and sell them while living in one.

Could not get a loan. Really didn’t matter that I made $12k a year in my “day job”, 30% or better down… Nyet!

Very few banks loaned to black folks in those days…And the few that did didn’t loan money to us 22 year old tech upstarts, because they had no comprehension that I would double my income in less than 2 years. No way to raise the money before he sold those houses as a block to a developed… They sell for about $2 million per house now.

Seems that things haven’t really changed. Meanwhile US Home ownership has dropped to its lowest level since 1967.

Getting a Home Loan Is Expensive—Especially for Black Women

A recent study in the Journal of Real Estate and Finance Economics finds that black home loan borrowers are charged higher interest rates than their white counterparts—and that black women pay the highest rates of all.

The three finance professors who authored the study analyzed the mortgages and demographic characteristics of more than 3,500 households during the height of the housing boom—2001, 2004, and 2007—using the Federal Reserve’s triennialSurvey of Consumer Finances. They found that on average, black borrowers were charged between 0.29 and 0.31 percentage points more in interest than whites, even after controlling for their debt and credit history.

The racial disparity was most pronounced for subprime borrowers who couldn’t qualify for low-interest mortgages (the left side of the chart above), with black borrowers paying interest rates that were at least 0.4 percentage points higher than whites in the same group.

Within this group paying the highest interest rates, black women paid the highest rates of all, at an average rate of 7.9 percent. But a statistically significant disparity persisted even among those who paid lower interest rates (the right side of the chart), the study notes. In this group, black borrowers paid interest rates between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percentage points higher than their white counterparts.

Over at Quartz, Melvin Backman explains how these disparities translate into dollars: According to Freddie Mac’s mortgage cost calculator, a $200,000, 30-year mortgage would cost a black man about $3,000 more than a white man over the course of the loan. A black woman getting the same loan would pay nearly $9,000 more than a white woman.

The study adds to a body of research showing that black mortgage applicants aremore likely to be denied credit than white applicants, and are more likely to be charged higher interest rates than whites. It also appears to confirm the racial disparities identified in lawsuits against several of America’s top mortgage lenders, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America’s Countrywide, which faced hefty payouts in a slew of discrimination lawsuits following the housing-market crash. The lawsuitshad even prompted the Obama administration to set up a new unit in the Department of Justice’s civil rights division to deal with the caseload.

But the new study also suggests more granular disparities between black and white borrowers. Among black borrowers, for example, younger homeowners without a college education paid some of the highest interest rates. And among those paying higher interest rates, black women, who already face stiff obstacles to economic mobility, were likely to be charged interest rate premiums two to three times that of what black men were charged. While they do not speculate about the causes of these racial and gender gaps between borrowers, the authors conclude, “it is the more financially vulnerable black women who suffer the most.”

Another Dream Deferred…

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Moss Hollow – STEM Summer Camp for Girls

 

‘Bout time. As the father of a daughter who is degreeing in the Bio-Tech field, I am aware of the shortage of women in these fields…

And the shortage of Americans in the STEM fields nation wide.

Maybe the coming generation of girls can save us from becoming a Third Rate, Third world nation.

At Moss Hollow, a tasty start to a space race

The way Darrian Loganexplained it to the 20 or so 7- to 11-year-old girls seated around four tables in a summer camp dining hall, the future of American space travel rested on their little shoulders.

“NASA gave us a little project to do,” Darrian said. “In a few years, they need people like you ladies to build rockets for them.”

Then he and his fellow Camp Moss Hollow staffer Evan Simmons put a bowl of marshmallows and a pile of uncooked spaghetti at each table.

The link to rockets may not have been obvious, but this was part of a new class at Moss Hollow. It’s part of an effort by NASA’s education office to teach STEM concepts — science, technology, engineering and math — in interesting ways. Earlier this year, representatives from the space agency taught the curriculum to camp staffers. Other lessons include making paper airplanes and building tiny cardboard cars propelled by balloons.

This afternoon’s assignment: the Leaning Tower of Pasta. The girls of the Boxwood cabins had to work in teams to design and construct spaghetti-marshmallow towers capable of holding a Ping-Pong ball. If the Ping-Pong ball was safely cradled, a highlighter and then a pair of scissors would be added to see if the towers could stand the strain.

“And, yes, you can eat the marshmallows,” Darrian said. “At the end of the exercise.”

I don’t know what motivates NASA engineers, but marshmallows seem to work with 7-year-old girls.

“Let’s make a castle,” one camper shouted.

“Who wants to make a rectangle?” asked another.

“How many corners does a rectangle have?” asked counselor Rani Lewinson.

The girls from her cabin — Boxwood 3 — decided that a rectangle has four sides and proceeded to sketch out their design on construction paper. It was a basic cube, with a marshmallow at each corner and spaghetti struts in between.

The girls of Boxwood 1 went for something more pyramidal in shape. The girls from Boxwood 4 had an organic shape, semi-pentagonal. It looked a bit like a model of a newly discovered molecule: marshmallonium, perhaps.

Boxwood 2 started out with a wall — tall and narrowly horizontal — until the girls realized it wouldn’t stand up on its own and disassembled it to make something a little more sturdy.

Marshmallows were precious — there was a finite supply — but the spaghetti seemed endless. A lot of measure-once-and-cut-twice was going on as lengths of pasta were snapped in half or quartered, only to discover that they were now too small.

The girls had 12 minutes to construct their towers. When they were done, they admired their sticky handiwork. None of the creations were particularly soaring. Saturn V’s they were not. But they didn’t have to be graceful. They only had to work…

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life, Women

 

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There Goes the Beach!

Did a couple of blogs a while ago about the latest Middle Eastern fashion craze roiling France – The Burkini.

Not to be outdone by their fellow fundamentalists on the other side of the “God Chasm” – some fundamentalist Christians jumped in with some designs of their own.

Turns out the new swimwear is attractive to “godless” non-believers – not the least reason of which is protection from the Sun’s harmful rays. No woman worth her hair spray wants to look 65 when she is 35. And fair skinned ladies especially need to be concerned about the long term effects – including skin cancer – which puts “dying to look good” in a whole new category.

OK Guys – definitely not as much viewing fun as you itsy-bitsy yellow polka-dot Bikini… Or as cool as a Burkini…A swimsuit from Simply Modest

‘Modest’ Swimwear No Longer Just For The Pious, As Niche Entrepreneurs Dive In

Crystal Huyben, 27, a born-again Christian from Ontario, likes to cover everything from her knees to her collarbone when she gets in the water.

“Modesty has always been important to me, believing that our sexuality is an amazing gift from God,” she said. “[It’s] something to be protected, not put on display for all eyes to see.”

Huyben, who sewed her first modest swimsuit when she was a teenager, now runs a company, Simply Modest, selling the garments. Her website Simply Modest is one of about a dozen, all launched over the past decade, marketing suits that protect their wearers from sun, chlorine and lustful stares.

Now, Huyben and other modest swimwear entrepreneurs are finding that their suits are catching on with a secular audience. Tulin Reid, 38, a former plus size model, is a fan of HydroChic, a line of modest- and activewear founded six years ago by two modern Orthodox Jewish women, Sara Wolf and Daniella Teutsch, in New York’s Westchester county.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Tracy McMillan – Why You’re Not Married…Part 2.

So…Tracy – after the third marriage…
Should the bride wear black?

Last year an opinion piece directed towards women by Tracy McMillan caused the Internet Message Boards to light up. Tracy has published a follow on piece n HuffPo – which I am sure is going to cause as much controversy. With only 42% of black women who will ever marry, and the statistics of even divorced black women not looking too good – its probably time to start delving a little deeper into he issue than metro-sexual black men, or all the good men are locked up in Prison. Black women, by and large do the same things as their white counterparts. Reminds me of a conversation with a Jewish woman I dated, when on the first date she volunteered “So you a tired of the black women who are b*tches, and the white ones who are crazy.”

Tracy McMillian

I reminded her about obsessive, too smart Jewish women…

Tracy’s first foray through the minefield is here, and includes the first “6 Reasons” –

1. You’re a B*tch.
Here’s what I mean by b*tch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn’t think so. You’ve seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men.

Single Guy view – No sane guy out of his teens wants to marry a “b*tch”, “Diva”, or “Queen”. Once those hormones subside a bit about 30, he figures out that while a Diva may be a great “f*ck buddy”, the continued flak of waking up with her for the next 20 years just isn’t worth it.

2. You’re Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character,you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy…

Single Guy view – Go to any black dating website and look at the “want list” of the women there. Whether 4’11” or 6′ tall they all want a guy taller than 5’9″. Since the average height of black men in America is 5’9″ that eliminates 50% of the available men from their searches. Take out married, committed, or in jail – and the number of available black guys gets astonishingly small. Go to any of the Internet dating sites, and over 30 you find a plethora of women over 5’6″ – statistically the largest group. Face it tall ladies – the short girls done stole all your men! If  you are really serious about that relationship – get used to wearing flats. Your feet will thank you when you reach 50.

Searching for Denzel. I have a couple of women business friends I’ve known for a long time who have never been married who are in their early 50’s. One is short, dumpy, and very average looking. A recurring scenario is she meets a wildly successful handsome guy, agonizes over every word he says for months – to find out he’s dating someone else, he’s gay, or has a list of psychological problems that would put a poorer person in an Asylum. She doesn’t even get to bed the guy. She went through this with a guy I know who is probably one of the top 5 most eligible guys in town, who has a successful career, has lots of status,  is wealthy, and a long family pedigree of successful ancestors – all “must haves” in her book. The problem? Every other single woman in town knows this too. If I’ve got 100 Halle Berrys knocking at my door, character be damned in terms of a sex life… I’m not looking for a date with Whoopi. What I’m looking for is a Halle..with a brain.

3. You’re a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore — but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin — it doesn’t stay recreational for long. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Men, The Post-Racial Life, Women

 

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“Never Make a Pretty Woman Your Wife”…Or Apparently, a Dumb One

Wow – My first thought in reading this article was “this explains the popularity among women of those dreadful Uggs boots!”

Recall this image of Venus Williams –

Looking dumb as a beauty strategy to attract guys.

It also goes a long way to explaining conservative men walking around with tented trousers at the thought of the Sno’ Ho’ – Sarah Palin…

And the lore (and allure) of the “dumb blonde” stereotype.

Do Men Find Dumb-Looking Women More Attractive?

Ask a straight man, “How do you like your women?” and it’s unlikely he’ll answer, “Dumb and sleepy.” But according to new findings, these characteristics—and any other traits suggesting that the lady isn’t particularly alert—are precisely what the human male has evolved to look for in a one-night-stand.

In an article soon to be published in Evolution and Human Behavior, University of Texas–Austin graduate student Cari Goetz and her colleagues explored what they called the sexual exploitability hypothesis. The hypothesis is based on thedifferences between male and female reproductive strategies as humans evolved. For ancestral women, casual intercourse with an emotionally unattached man who had no clear intention of sticking around to raise any resulting offspring constituted a massive genetic gamble. By contrast, for a man with somewhere around 85 million sperm cells churned out every day—per testicle—the frivolous expenditure of gametes was far less detrimental to his genetic interests. Goetz and her team began with the assumption that—because our brains evolved long before prophylactics entered the picture—female cognition is still sensitive to the pregnancy-related consequences of uncommitted sex and women remain more reluctant than men to engage in it. They set out to test the idea that any indication that a woman’s guard is lowered—that she’s “sexually exploitable”—is a turn-on for your average man. “[T]he assessment of a woman’s immediate vulnerability,” surmise the authors, “may be central to the activation of psychological mechanisms related to sexual exploitation.”

Reminds me of an old 60’s song…

This is an inflammatory hypothesis, of course, and the language employed in the field doesn’t help matters. It’s worth noting that in the evolutionary psychology sense, the word exploitable simply means that a woman is willing or can be more easily pressured into having sex—which takes her own desires, rather disturbingly, out of the equation. Even if she’s the aggressor, a prostitute, or a certifiable nymphomaniac, having casual sex with her would still constitute “exploiting” her (or at least her body), according to this model.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in and the Single Life

 

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