How not to become a slave

Through the centuries/millenia those people who have built empires have needed others to do the grunt work of agriculture, manufacturing and administration. This has often meant using force or capture to make people into slaves or serfs. A more subtle way to enslave people is to give them cash loans. In peasant societies loans have often been for weddings or funerals. While people owe money they remain under control and if they can’t repay the loan they and often their descendants become formal slaves.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to us. Or does it? It may be that many in our society are unable to do the things they really want to do because they have to work to pay of a debt which was encouraged and easy to get. A further complication is that in a time of economic difficulty people are losing their jobs but the debt is still there.

The CBC filled a report today from Statistics Canada that “the total amount of debt that Canadians hold in relation to their incomes continued to inch higher in the first quarter.

“The debt-to-income level ticked almost a full percentage point higher to 147.3 per cent in the January to March period, the agency said. The figure is a measure of total debt load — including mortgage and consumer debt — versus disposable income.”

If you don’t want to become a slave, then try not to get into debt.

Initiating relationships

A news report of a trend for American women in their 40s through 60s to date younger men brings forth two theories.

The first is that as we grow older there is a change in balance of power between the sexes. When we are younger, girls have a much greater choice of partners than do males because they can date all those guys who are older than them. However, as we age this balance changes as the guys die off (faster than women do) and as every year a new group of young girls become available. This along with the economic prosperity of our times allows men to become more assertive within relationships.

Could it be that we live in a highly matriarchal society and feminism is a reaction to male assertiveness?

The second theory is that women quietly initiate relationships even though they let men think otherwise. Some years ago there was a report of research by a sociologist watching the initiation of relationships in a bar. It was noticed that women looking for somebody would look over the field, make a choice and place themselves in a suitable location. The first touch was very important and any guy who touched first was probably doomed. Since reading this I have been very sensitive where women place themselves and to being touched. I tend to believe the research. It appears that men don’t have much choice about initiating relationships and all we can do is run away. Smart guys are very picky and develop good running skills.

A few years ago we met a just retired couple. He like to talk and occasionly told the story of how he met his wife. I often wonder what her version was but so long as he was around there was no way to hear it. This summer, his wife, now a widow, came to visit with her best friend from childhood. When I asked I heard repeated his version. When I pushed a little, the friend explained that on these matters women have “secret” stories.

I still believe that generally women initiate relationships.

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