Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Problem with no Name.

Basic Australian medical education is geared towards producing generalists, sort of jacks-of-all-trades in the practice of medicine. As such, I received little formal training on the subject of post natal depression. If my memory serves me correctly, we were told the the phenomena was incompletely understood but felt to be largely a hormonal problem, some factors predicted it and that when encountering a case, the patient should be referred to appropriate specialist care.

My medical training post medical school was extremely varied and broad. This was because I drifted through the medical profession becoming bored by the various specialties that I had undertaken training in. So when I started working in General Practice (Family Physician for my American readers) I was pretty green with regard to the subject of post-natal-depression. (PND)

One of the first things I did note was that certain personality types seemed to be more prone to the condition than others. Individuals who were more ordered, fussy and regimented in their ways seem to me to be more prone to it than carefree individuals. Career women seemed to be more prone to it as did the dogmatic/domineering lefty/righty types. It seemed to affect certain personality types more than others. Women who were determined to breast feed their children, no matter what, seemed particularly prone.

One of the common themes that seemed to run through these women was their utter incomprehension of how they came about to be depressed. Many of them felt failures as women, after all, what is more natural than motherhood? Isn't every woman supposed to be a natural mother? Their failure at motherhood proof that there was something "wrong" with them.Many of them felt failures, even though in real life they were highly successful professionals. Many of them had tried valiantly to overcome their feelings, only to come crashing down.

On the other hand, other groups of women positively thrived in motherhood. These women seemed positively enamoured of there state, many of them wanting to more children and saw themselves as professional mothers. Some of them were so overjoyed by the experience that they ditched high powered careers to stay at home with the kids. What frequently stopped them having more children was their spouse, who for a variety of reasons, did not want any more.

What clearly became apparent to me after a while was that there were three groups of women:

Group A, the professional mothers, who loved caring for babies,
Group C, the depressed mothers who were having a hard time caring for their children
Group B, Women who fell somewhere between the two.

When it came to motherhood, women were not the same.

What struck me about the Group C Women, was that many of them were temperamentally not suited to caring for children and that this temperament was innate. They had become depressed because of the situation they had found themselves in, or in other words, their post natal depression was a reactive depression; they were depressed because of their circumstances. Solution: Change their circumstances.

Now I have either been extremely fortunate or have only seen mild cases, but only a very few of my patients have required specialist care. ( One, I think) because I tend to manage these cases quite aggressively. The mainstay of my approach is:

1) Aggresive use of anti-depressants, usually for a short period.
2) Child care, to give the mother some breathing space.
3) Returning the mother to some form of part time work.
4) Counseling, by myself.

Of these, the most important are 2) + 3) followed by 4) followed by 1). The anti-depressants buy time to let 2)+ 3) work their magic. Nearly in all cases, the women got better, came off the anti depressants and many in fact are fine and loving working mothers.

I wish to explore this subject at depth in future posts and will expand on pertinent points later as I feel the forces that combine to produce PND seem to provide insights into the operation of the female mind, operations which render it distinct from the male and challenge the assumptions made by both Traditionalists and Feminists regarding female nature.

One of the first assumptions which I feel is wrong is the concept that all women are natural mothers. Making and popping out the baby really doesn't seem to involve much effort, looking after it does and the test of practical motherhood is to see how effectively a mother looks after the child. The fact that quite a significant portion of women have difficulty looking after a child means that motherhood does not come naturally to all women, or more importantly, there are a significant number of women who are not naturally endowed with the ability to rear children. The concept that all women are natural mothers is flawed and at odds with reality. Some women aren't meant to stay at home and look after the children.

It's interesting where other peoples research seems to confirm your own findings. Catherine Hakim, hated by feminists, has through a study of empirical data come to the conclusion that in British society, if given the choice, 20% of women would stay at home to look after the kids (Group A), 20% of women would work (Group C) and the rest would like a mix of the two (Group B). Her research would seem to correspond to to my observations.

The big problem with both Feminists and Traditionalists is that they assume that women are a homogenous group, especially when it comes to pushing their pet theories. The trads assume all women should be mothers, the feminists assume that all women should be workers. No one asks what the women want or what the women are suited to doing.

Disclaimer.The comments above should not be considered medical advice. The mechanics of post natal depression are complex and subtle and this post is a rough overview which could be misinterpreted. If any one should stumble upon this blog whilst Googling PND and feels that they may be suffering from post natal depression, I would strongly suggest that you seek professional help early and definitely do not manage your condition alone. Many women feel that they are alone with condition and are too embarrassed to speak to anyone about it. Rest assured, you are one of millions with the condition. The only dumb thing that you can do is not seek help. Seek help early, as treatment is easier and recovery more rapid than waiting till your condition is much worse.

Special treat:

Catherine lays the boot into the Feminists.
Stuff that people who believe in Game already know.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I've had a rather busy week and have not been able to put up a post. However I have been doing some reading in preparation of my next post and in case anyone is interested an interesting article can be found here. The Five Feminist Myths about Women's Employment by Catherine Hakim. Interesting.

Further update: Link fixed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The corruption within.

One of the most poisonous ideas to emerge from the Enlightenment is the idea of a "rational" man. Whilst I believe that all men have inherent rights which should be protected by the force of the state, I do not believe that all men are of equal ability, particularly with regard to the capacity to think. My job involves passing simple instructions to others their for own betterment, which for most of my patients seems extraordinarily difficult to do. Now matter how often you repeat, how many times you write it down, how extensive an explanation you give, people seem to have a difficulty grasping simple concepts.

Last night,the TV series Master Chef started screening, a show which my family quite likes. My wife was quite surprised to note that most of the contestants on that show had difficulty following a recipe when written down and given to them. "How stupid can you be?" She said. I grunted, said that's what I see at work everyday, and went back to reading. However what really seemed to bother her was that fact that here were fifty or so apparently middle class people who could not even master the simple task of following instructions on a sheet of paper. What was of interest was that the people who could follow the instructions were usually professional.

What becomes apparent after dealing with literally thousands of human beings is that most of them are capable of simple instructions and are only capable of grasping simple thoughts. Complex issues, like the operation of the human body, sociological phenomena, defence policy etc are all literally beyond their comprehension. People do have a capacity to understand the concrete, proximate and immediate, but the more abstract or remote the concept the harder it is for them to fathom.

This of course has profound political implications. The good management of a society is a difficult thing since a society's well being is dependent on the proper interaction of a host of complex variables. The fact of the matter is, that if the average man does not understand and the variables that affect it, he is more likely than not to make the wrong decisions; this is even before malice or ideology further confuse the issue.

One of the glaring omissions in modern political theory is thorough appreciation of the role that stupidity plays in the body politic. Whilst nearly everyone agrees that men should have the right to vote, there is not an insistence on a test to see if they have a capacity to exercise that right effectively. This this assumption, which manifestly falsified by the most cursory human experience, is one of the fundamental weak spots of democratic theory. History is full of examples of leaders who have made dumb decisions, but a far more thorough analysis would look at the stupidity of the crowd, especially where it matters most; in a democracy.

It was a reflection on two articles in the paper which moved me to put up this post:

The first: Gen Y women facing pressure to have sex included a poll which was responded to by over 15 thousand people. Now the paper from which the article is lifted is a paper read by middle class mainstream Australia.

Poll: Have Western media, music and popular culture become too sexualised?

Yes, it sends the wrong message. 44%

No, there is no harm in it. 56%

Total votes: 15475.

Would you like to vote?

Poll closed 19 Apr, 2010

Now, the poll wasn't scientific, but 15,000 approaches a good representative sample. Nearly half of our middle class society seems to think that pornification of female values is O.K.

The other poll was run in local popular tabloid. One of the local gangland kingpins was murdered in jail, and the question was asked, should his daughter be able to receive compensation for the emotional trauma she suffered:

Should Carl's kids get compo after his death?

  • Yes 22.74% (953 votes)
  • No 77.26% (3238 votes)

Total votes: 4191

The fact that 23% of people(from a demographic that looks at vicious crime with visceral hatred) felt that his family were due some compensation shows just how totally out of touch with reality large chunks of our community are with reality.

It's these people, given the right to vote, which cause the destruction of our countries. If you want to know why government is so inept, our cities so ugly, our streets so violent, our schools so dismal, don't look for conspiracies. Look about you, it's your fellow man.

Time to sprinkle ash and don the sackcloth.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Game Changers.

The Nazi's and the Communists understood the vital importance of propaganda in the shaping average man's mind. Once taking control of the government, the first job of the totalitarians was to gain control of the press and media and feed the proletariat the intellectual pabulum that they felt was appropriate. Men, whose business it is to wrest power and govern society effectively have no illusions with regard to human nature.

The fact is that most men are influenced by their surroundings and particularly by individuals that they perceive as role models. As a doctor, this was best evidenced by the phenomena of "Sex in the City". Doing gynaecological examinations is part and parcel of my work. I can't remember any woman presenting for an examination a la Brazillian. Things changed of course with Sex in the City. Initially the the women would be a bit embarrassed and offer non convincing explanations, now no explanation or embarrassment is seen at all. What really impressed me was how rapidly the change occurred. No one was really unhappy with the previous state of affairs, though admittedly the younger women were more trimmed than the older, so why the change.

Although I regard Sex and the City as one of the most intellectually vapid series out there, it clearly was highly regarded by women, especially young women. Episodes were eagerly awaited, newspaper columns devoted to the antics of the women and the media presented the women in a positive light. Most of the heroines were pretty, carefree fashionably dressed and fun. Women felt that they could "connect" in some way with the heroines and the heroines became agents of influence.

In reality it wasn't the women at all who were the agents of influence at all, but the scriptwriters and producers who using actors were able to produce a fairy tale with no connection with reality.
Whether the scriptwriters wanted to deliberately push the idea of the Brazillian onto women I don't know, but that's what happened. People copy their ideals. The media is an agent of influence.

Sex and the City could not have gained the enormous influence it did without the centralisation of the Media. Whilst the media is not in control by one individual, the individuals that control the media are broadly speaking of the same mindset and ideals. The Western world's media is predominantly run and funded by Left wing individuals and its no surprise that Left wing ideas get shown in a positive light. White Religious men are presented as cruel and boring, Left wing "rebels" as exciting, handsome and just. A movie like Hitchcock's I Confess could not be made in Hollywood today. The huge capital cost required to compete against these established corporations effectively ensured their monopoly and suppressed dissenting voices and opinions, .........till now.

Ferdinand wrote an interesting post on how the newspaper publishing industry is being hit hard by the Internet. People don't want to buy the paper when the news is available for free on the Internet. The importance of this is not with regard to the viability of the newspapers but with regard to the loss of control of information dissemination by the owners of the newspapers. The newspaper editors have lost control of the news. The recent "Climategate" scandal a case in point. Here is Australia, scant coverage was made with regard to the matter, YET IT WAS ALL OVER THE INTERNET. Here, an issue of vital importance for the community was deliberately ignored by the media who were interested in pushing a global warming agenda at the expense of the truth. The newspapers cannot censor whom they want anymore through "editorial discretion".

Whilst I'm not predicting the death of newspapers (though a lot will die, hopefully the local broadshite will) what has happened is that the mainstream media has lost its stranglehold on information dissemination, and as an agent of influence, its power is waning: The Internet has broken its stranglehold. Still, it's my opinion that the newspapers are of far less influence than the music industry and the image media. The Internet is decimating the profitability of the music industry and until now the only industry that seems to have weathered the storm is the movie business.

Until now.

Recently I was in the business of purchasing a digital camera. Video on a digital camera was never a "big deal" for me as I always saw it as a gimmick to boost sales.................. Till I saw the videos. For a sub $1000 dollar camera like the GH1 or the Canon EOS 550D near cinematographic quality picture. Check out Vimeo to see what these relatively cheap cameras can do.This technology and broadband will decimate Hollywood. This is not hype on my part. This interview over at EOS HD lays it out:
"Hollywood has always been number 2 in innovation, reluctant to change... the truth is nobody needs them anymore. Anyone can go out and make a movie."

"It's a democracy, with these cameras all you need is talent"
The capital cost which effectively prohibited entry into the movie business has been slashed. The other area of control, the distribution channels, which were also tightly controlled, have also been by passed. Anyone can be a producer and/or a star.

Hollywood is a dead man walking.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treasure Under Hidden Leaves.

Two great posts over at Hidden Leaves.

Classic Girl
Classic Girl Redux.

Women aren't the enemy. Traditionalism and Feminism are.

And thanks to Hestia, I thought this comment from Chesterton was appropriate:

"The business of Progressives(Lefties) is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives (Trads)is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."

My (comments)

Chesterton was no Lefty fanboy, born with an immense intellect, he could see the natural destructive consequences of Left wing ideas on the West. On the other hand he could also see that Victorian England had lots of social problems which needed to be addressed and which the Traditionalists of the time refused even to acknowledge. He had the intellectual ability to propose solutions which were in continuity with the spirit of Old Europe without overturning its foundations. It is this type of intellect which is required to reinvigourate conservatism.

It's a shame that Chesterton's work is treated as literature instead of social commentary and philosophy. Despite the glib tone of most of his work, the ideas he presents in his writings are deep.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fault Lines.

One of the great projects that needs to be tackled by the conservative movement is a thoroughgoing analysis of the movement's failure in the 20th Century. Many conservatives can point to the errors of liberalism with ease, but what many conservatives don't really tackle the subject of the Liberalism's appeal. The question to ask then is, why did Liberalism succeed? Indeed, its success has been so thorough that many of today's "Conservatives" would hardly of been considered conservatives by the Generation of 1880 at all. Chastity, which was part and parcel of bourgeoisie society, is now seen as a bit of an embarrassment. Divorce, which was seen negatively even in Victorian England, is a non-event. Mainstream conservatives seem to differ from liberals mainly on issues with regard to economic management and defense, otherwise they look remarkably similar. Part of the problem when voting now is that the mainstream parties are so alike that a voter has no real choice.

Every great heresy has some element of the truth in it, and it is my contention that Liberalism's success came about as a result from an exploitation of legitimate grievances in traditional society, grievances which conservatives would not, or intellectually not could address. These legitimate grievances were what I consider "weak points" in western society, areas of entrenched "structural" social injustice from which Liberalism earned its legitimacy.

Any reading of political history will show that a society's failure to deal with legitimate grievances, eventually leads to a radicalisation of the injured party. The Irish attempted for years to rid themselves of the British yoke through legitimate means, only to have the rules changed on them. The Irish civil war owed its birth as much to British intransigence as it did to Irish nationalism which was fueled by the former. The Czech and Slovak republic's separation was peaceful since the players were prepared to deal with each others grievances honourably, the Yugoslav separation was not, because the central government refused to ceded to the legitimate demands of the constituent republics. The problem with radicalisation though, is that the cause frequently attempts to do more than just right an injustice, it brings a whole new set of faults as well, faults which frequently are worse than the original injury.

The question then to ask is, what were these weak spots or fault lines?

In my view the main weak spots were:

1) The misunderstanding of women in society: This gave birth to Feminism.
2) The misunderstanding of relationship between capital and labor: This gave birth to Socialism.
3) The misunderstanding of race understanding of Race: This gave birth to Multiculturalism.
4) The misunderstanding of sexuality: This gave birth to modern promiscuity and familial destruction.
5) The misunderstanding of environmental responsibility: This gave birth to the environmental movement.
6) The misunderstanding of society privilege: This gave birth to egalitarianism.

There are other areas but these are the main ones that I can identify, and I hope to deal with these issues over the next few months and offer my thoughts as to where conservatism went wrong. The problem however is that many traditionalists can't even fathom that there was any problem with traditional society. They ignore the slums, the slavery, the economic and social injustice that were endemic to traditional society and that served as the wellsprings of radicalism.

Lately I've been following two discussions; one at Oz Conservative and another at Ferdinand's, both posts and their comments leave me cold. I for one, feel that women had legitimate grievances with traditional society, problems which conservatives failed to acknowledge or address, leaving the door open to Feminism and its poison. The question is what can we learn from this, or could things have been handled differently?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Staring at Breasts: A Reaffirmation of Conservatism.

By now I imagine that most of the conserve-o-sphere have heard about the moronic protest march in Portland, Maine. Despite the best intentions of its organisers the "Breast March" backfired:

Ty McDowell, who organized the march, said she was "enraged" by the turnout of men attracted to the demonstration. The purpose, she said, was for society to have the same reaction to a woman walking around topless as it does to men without shirts on.

However, McDowell said she plans to organize similar demonstrations in the future and said she would be more "aggressive" in discouraging oglers.

Guess what Ty, your exercise in social engineering was a failure. Men will always stare at a woman's breasts for the same reason we will stare at an attractive womans bum, legs and walk, because that is what we are "hard wired" to do. It's got nothing to do with social conditioning: Gender is innate and not a social construct. You've got to force yourself not to look.

And that's the whole point of her exercise. She wants us to act contrary to our natures; to live a lie. Pretend that we don't find breasts attractive to appease the social program of Ms McDowell, a social program based upon lies with regard to human nature. Modesty stands on far more solid intellectual ground. The underlying assumption of modesty was that men are attracted to a woman's sexual markers and that she should cover up otherwise she was going to get a lot of attention, a theory congruent with human nature and so convincingly demonstrated at the march.

Interestingly the harridan's response to the abject falsification of her theory is not a change in her views but a demand to speak power to truth and the call for punitive action against displays natural human nature, typical Lefty response.

Conservatives have much to learn from this little debacle:

1) Trying to argue with these shrews is pointless. They are are not interested in logic or reason, all they are interested is in having things done their way.
2) Given power, these individuals will use it to enforce their vision. There is no benign exercise of it.
3) These individuals need to be fully exposed to the consequences of their folly. To paraphrase Mencken, you've got to give these people what they want, and you've got to give it to them good and hard. If these people won't listen to reason then they should fully suffer the consequences of their actions. Protecting them from their stupidity only serves to strengthen it.

Feminism's strongest odium has arisen not from conservative argument but the spectacle of feminists themselves. The horror of feminism will sear the collective conscience when the hordes of "sex and the city" spinsters, embittered by their ideology incarnate, stand as a collective witness to the Andrea Dworkin cat lady existence that is the natural end of these ideologues. In hoc signo vinces.