How long does IVF allow a woman to delay having children?

The New Scientist has a new article up titled: When should you get pregnant? Computer knows age to start trying.

Happy with just one? The model recommends you get started by age 32 to have a 90 per cent chance of realising your dream without IVF. A brood of three would mean starting by age 23 to have the same chance of success. Wait until 35 and the odds are 50:50 (see “When to get started”).

The age a woman needs to start trying goes down significantly based on the willingness to accept the possibility of failure. Here is the data they present in table form:

familysizebyageofmotherNote how little IVF helps in this analysis.  A woman willing to accept a 50% risk of failing to have at least one child only gains one extra year she can delay starting to try to get pregnant (42 vs 41).  The same is true for a woman willing to take a 50% risk of failing to achieve a desired family size of 2 or three children (39 vs 38 and 36 vs 35).  IVF helps more for women who are more risk averse, but even here it only buys a few years.  A woman who is only willing to accept a 10% risk of failing to have at least one child has to start by age 32 without IVF, vs age 35 with IVF.  IVF helps the most for women who are most risk averse and want to have at least three children, raising the maximum age they should start trying from 23 to 27.

See the full article for more detail, but note that this model is regarding fertility and doesn’t take into account the risks of birth defects which are associated with older mothers.  The following chart presents data (archive) on this from Ask.com:

chromosomes2Also note that the ages in the table aren’t the age a woman should start looking for a husband;  these are the age she should start trying to conceive.  When considering when to start looking for a husband, these ages should be reduced based on the woman’s estimates of:

  1. How long it will take her to find Mr. right once she starts seriously looking for husband material.
  2. How long she plans on dating before becoming engaged.
  3. How long she plans on being engaged before getting married.
  4. How long she wants to be married before starting to try to get pregnant.

For example, assume a woman is confident that she can find Mr. Right just one year after she starts looking, plans on dating for one year before getting engaged, plans on being engaged for a year before getting married, and wants to wait a year after marriage before starting to try to get pregnant.  She should then subtract four years from the ages in the table to find the very oldest age she should start looking for a husband.  Using this example, if a woman wants to be highly confident (90%) that she will be able to have two children she should be looking for a husband by the time she turns 23.  With IVF she would have a few extra years, but should still be looking for a husband by the time she is 27.

There is however a confounding factor, because the longer a woman waits to start looking for a husband, the harder the husband search tends to be.  IVF can help a bit with delayed fertility but it can’t help an older woman find a husband.  A woman who is looking for a husband at 23 has a much larger pool of available men, and will find it much easier to fall in love than a 27 year old.  Since other women will have already picked first, the pool of available men will also be of lower quality (overall) for a 27 year old woman as well.

See Also:

Posted in Ageing Feminists, Data, Fertility, Finding a Spouse, Motherhood | 17 Comments

Feminist self loathing

Feminists have long struggled to define their driving sense of discontentment.  Understanding this sense of discontentment is critical to understanding feminism itself.  If you don’t know what feminists are devoting their lives in reaction against, you won’t understand what feminism is really for.  But as I mentioned above, even feminists struggle greatly to define exactly what they are rebelling against.  Betty Friedan famously dubbed the burning sense of feminist discontentment “The problem that has no name” in her much cherished book.

Feminism at its core is about a feeling of envy for men.  Feminists don’t deny this, but they claim they are merely envious of men’s position in society.  Freud was closer when he coined the term penis envy, but even this only captures a part of the feminist dysfunction.  It isn’t so much that feminists wish they had penises, it is that they deeply resent the fact that God made them women.  It isn’t just about penis envy, but vagina revulsion.

Feminist icon Germaine Greer made headlines earlier this year when she rejected trans women as real women.  Her wording in this rejection was incredibly telling;  she didn’t object to trans women on the basis that they had been born with penises, but that they didn’t know what it was like to “have a big hairy smelly vagina”.

You’ve come a long way, baby.

At first glance this is a very peculiar way for a feminist to make this argument, but feminists have been surprisingly open about their struggle with self loathing for a very long time.  They have long blamed the patriarchy for making them hate themselves as women and claimed that their goal as feminists was to overcome this self loathing.  This comes out in a variety of ugly ways, but very often this involves feminists doing disgusting things with menstrual blood.  In 1970 Germain Greer famously tried to mask her own self loathing in her book The Female Eunuch with the statement:

if you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood – if it makes you sick, you’ve a long way to go, baby

Whether it is claiming a penchant for the taste of menstrual blood, wearing it as lipstick, or painting with it, feminists give themselves away in their try-hard attempts to deny their self loathing.

Drippy vulnerable femaleness

Butch feminist A.K. Summers wrote a comic for Mutha Magazine titled Nursing While Butch.  She writes about her fear that breastfeeding would make her feel like a “brood sow”. Her fear was that breastfeeding would be like pregnancy (emphasis hers):

That it was going to keep my drippy, vulnerable femaleness front and center.

Summers explains that much to her relief breastfeeding actually made her feel like a man.  Being able to breastfeed gave her a super power, like Superman.

One might be tempted to write this mindset off as only applying to butch lesbian feminists*, but as I showed above a sense of disgust at having a vagina and drippy, vulnerable femaleness is a universal part of the feminist experience.  Moreover, you will find the same kind of revulsion towards motherhood expressed by straight feminists.  A different Mutha magazine article, this one by Suzanne Cope, describes a very similar feminist loathing at the biological reality of motherhood.  In Confessions of an Unsentimental Mother, Cope describes feeling relieved when told she had miscarried:

I began mourning my changing social life, home life, and let’s face it, body, to have this child.

Which is why when the doctor told me I had a miscarriage a few weeks later, I did not cry, or feel anything other than relief.

It turns out she hadn’t miscarried after all, and this brought up Cope’s own feelings of fear and resentment of the thought of being seen as a woman, as a mother:

I swore I would not be defined by my pregnancy. I was not a vessel. I cringed when my belly stared showing, and when colleagues, who once asked about my research and teaching, began inquiring after my health. I felt my identity start to slip through my fingers as my child grew more and more apparent to the outside world.

Similar to Summers seeing breastfeeding as turning her into a brood sow, Cope describes pregnancy as turning her into a vessel, and at times feeling like she was “host to an alien”.  And again, there was that drippy vulnerable femaleness (emphasis mine):

And then, at almost 32 weeks pregnant, my water broke. At first I figured this new leakage was one more unfortunate symptom of a growing, and increasingly inconvenient, pregnancy.

But this particular form of drippy vulnerable femaleness was a sign of mortal danger to her child.  Cope carried the same feeling of resentment and self loathing even into the hospital as the doctors and nurses worked desperately to save her unborn child:

In a moment, my life was redefined. I could no longer resist being seen as a vessel, for that was all that I was inside the hospital walls. I was no longer called by my name, but referred to as “Mama” by the rotating shifts of nurses who woke me every few hours to check my vital signs, and those of the baby. My new reality, forced upon me weeks before I thought I had to be ready, was rife with compromise.

Your cavities fight harder to stay in place.

Last year feminist Amanda Marcott cemented her position in the Ugly Feminist Hall of Fame with her infamous rant against babies and motherhood.

You can give me gold-plated day care and an awesome public school right on the street corner and start paying me 15% more at work, and I still do not want a baby. I don’t particularly like babies. They are loud and smelly and, above all other things, demanding. No matter how much free day care you throw at women, babies are still time-sucking monsters with their constant neediness.

I like drinking alcohol and eating soft cheese. I like not having a giant growth protruding out of my stomach.

This is why, if my birth control fails, I am totally having an abortion. Given the choice between living my life how I please and having my body within my control and the fate of a lentil-sized, brainless embryo that has half a chance of dying on its own anyway, I choose me.

…[what a woman] wants trumps the non-existent desires of a mindless pre-person that is so small it can be removed in about two minutes during an outpatient procedure. Your cavities fight harder to stay in place.

When feminists like Gregoire and Valenti tell us their resentment is merely against what they see as the humiliating role of women, they aren’t being fully honest.  They aren’t just objecting to serving others by making sandwiches and wrapping presents, they are objecting to what they see as the humiliating fact of being a woman.

Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder

Feminist rebellion is at its core a rebellion against beauty.  The common expression is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, meaning that there is no such thing as beauty.  But this implies that there is no God, and that fallen men are the only beholders who can perceive beauty.  If we understand that there is in fact a Beholder (with a capital B), we can understand that beauty is in fact very real and immutable.  With this in mind, we also know that the very thing feminists rail against the most is beautiful to God:

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

It is important to note that feminist self loathing doesn’t just apply to women who consider themselves feminists, and it isn’t even limited to women.  Modern Christian men and women both loathe what God finds beautiful, in a profound rejection of God Himself.  We can see the fruits of this loathing in the theological cross-dressing which is so delightful to modern Christians.

Feminist self loathing; men’s auxiliary brigade

While men like Bruce Jenner clearly lead the men’s auxiliary brigade, they are not alone.  We can see the same self loathing in Christian men seeking out pastors who will figuratively castrate them, just as other men seek out a leader who does so physically.  We also see this in the modern Christian loathing of husbands and fathers.

Whatever the expression of rebelling against God’s order and creation, and whether done by man or woman, it is all ugly and will always only bring pain and discord.

*While not all feminists are lesbians, The Other McCain explains that the two are more connected than many would expect.

Posted in Aging Feminists, Amanda Marcott, Attacking headship, Beautiful truth, Betty Friedan, Envy, Germaine Greer, Motherhood, Mutha Magazine, Philosophy of Feminism, Rebellion, Robert Stacy McCain, Sheila Gregoire, Suzanne Cope, Ugly Feminists | 275 Comments

OT: Ammunition is (mostly) cheap and plentiful again.

I don’t know of a good summary of the small arms ammunition shortage that has accompanied most of Obama’s presidency, but in my own experience ammunition became hard to find shortly after President Obama took office.  Things started to get back to normal in the run up to the 2012 election, and then got really bad again after the Sandy Hook shooting in December of 2012.

A January 13, 2013 comment by an irate customer (James) at online ammunition retailer Lucky Gunner captures how high prices went as well as the reason we had something so rare as a shortage in our capitalist economy:

Lucky Gunner customers like myself will remember this when the dust settles, and things are back in stock… 1.05 for.223?

The comment was left on the page for PMC Bronze .223 practice ammunition, which Lucky Gunner is now selling for 38 cents a round.  Per the comment, back in January 2013 this same ammunition was selling for $1.05 a round.  But even at this price, Lucky Gunner couldn’t keep the ammunition on the shelf.  Another customer (Elizabeth) replied the same day:

Just don’t buy it James. In the last hour, they’ve sold 100 units @ $1.05/rnd. All of you people complaining about the price should just go camp out at Walmart where the empty shelves still show $7.86 for 20. At least it’s available here at LG.

Elizabeth followed up less than an hour later:

136 units sold in the last 45 minutes and now they’re sold out again. Supply and demand says their price is TOO LOW! Lot’s of people cheer for capitalism over communism, but get shocked when they see it up close and personal. Why don’t all of you quit buying gas, milk, and bread? That way I wouldn’t have to pay as much for those items.

As Elizabeth pointed out, at the same time stores like Walmart had empty shelves with theoretically much lower prices.  As soon as supply would come in it would be immediately sold.  You had to either be very lucky or know someone at the gun counter to be able to buy ammunition for the stated price.

I haven’t found a formal statement on this by any of the brick and mortar retailers, but there was a very good reason for them to be hesitant to raise prices enough to let the market clear.  The shortage was associated with a perceived push by the Obama administration to go after gun owners.  Shooters have long memories and are very passionate about anything they feel is an attack on their constitutional rights.  Being seen as profiting from Obama going after gun owners would generate a huge amount of enduring ill will.  Ironically had the brick and mortar retailers immediately raised prices enough to let the market clear they could have greatly shortened the panic by soaking up the available reserves of the people doing the most hoarding.  Pretty much all shooters started hoarding to some degree starting around early 2009, but some were buying up thousands of rounds while others bought an extra box or two here and there.  Raising prices enough to keep ammunition on the shelf would have also removed the psychological impact of shooters seeing empty shelves.

But again, I don’t think the retailers were wrong.  Any brick and mortar retailer which did this would have risked being seen as profiting from Obama going after guns.  Online retailers that specialized in ammunition had more freedom to adjust prices, but even here they had to be careful to avoid any perception that they were profiting from the pain of their customers.

After it became clear that Sandy Hook wasn’t going to result in new laws on guns or ammunition, ammunition slowly started becoming more available.  I think it was in the fall of 2014 that one of our local sporting goods stores had a big stack of 100 round Winchester White Box (WWB, cheap and cheerful practice ammo) in .40 and .45.  I don’t recall the price of the .40 but the .45 was selling for $35 a box so I picked a few up.  When I came back the next day there was still a big stack there, so while this was a special sale it wasn’t instantly sold out.  Things looked to be settling down.

Then in February of this year the ATF suddenly banned M855 “green tip” .223 5.56mm ammunition.  For a while ammunition was harder to find again, but fairly quickly the ATF backed down.  Since then ammunition has once again been settling down, and I noticed the other day a local Walmart had 200 round boxes of WWB .45 ammunition for $73.  This is 36.5 cents per round, and it isn’t a special sale.  They also have 100 round WWB in 9mm for $25.

One thing that makes this situation interesting is that we have had shortages of ammunition under Obama for over six years now.  I think many shooters don’t feel that prices have come back to pre Obama levels because we don’t generally think about inflation.  Based on the CPI Inflation Calculator, my local Walmart’s price of 36.5 cents per round of .45 in 2015 is the equivalent to 33 cents per round in 2008.  This is pretty much in the range of what participants in this thread said was a fair price for .45 in November of 2008.  Some in the 2008 thread did report buying ammunition cheaper, especially when buying in bulk online:

Ammo To Go also has several flavors of 45 hardball at around 300 bucks a thousand.

So yeah, 300 bucks a thousand sounds like the going rate these days.

I checked Ammo To Go, and today they are selling 1,000 rounds of Magtech .45 for $319 ($287.81 in 2008 dollars).

I won’t go through every caliber, but I will note that for some reason .22 LR ammunition still is hard to find locally and expensive online*.  I’m sure many of my readers have records on the prices they paid in the run-up to Obama taking office.  It would be interesting to see what these past prices look like when compared to similar types of ammunition sold at similar stores today, adjusted for inflation.  There will no doubt be differences when looking at not just specific calibers but also specific types of rounds.  But overall ammunition strikes me now as not only plentiful but reasonably priced.  This doesn’t mean it won’t possibly get cheaper, but if you find yourself running low it might not be a bad idea to pick up a few boxes in the run up to the 2016 election. Likewise if you have been avoiding the range out of fear that you won’t be able to buy ammunition, you may want to pick some up and go have some fun at the range.

Happy shooting.

*Strangely bricks of .22 ammunition were still available when I first noticed the shortage in April of 2009.  I picked up a few bricks at the time, but I’m still shooting through some .22 ammunition I bought over 20 years ago so I haven’t touched it yet.  I suspect the reason .22 hasn’t yet recovered is it is seen by many preppers, including those who don’t own a gun, as an alternative SHTF barter currency.

Posted in Economics | 70 Comments

She’s been groomed her whole life for this con.

On Saturday the New York Times warned of the problem of elderly women being conned on dating sites in Swindlers Target Older Women on Dating Websites.  They lead with a widow and church secretary in her 70s who fell for such a scammer.  Of course, her online dream man was looking for someone just like her, a woman 20-30 years older than him who was “confident” and “outspoken” and wanted to travel to Italy.

[he] described himself as a middle-aged German businessman looking for someone “confident” and “outspoken” to travel with him to places like Italy, his “dream destination.”

While the NYT is doing a service by warning of the scams, it is important to remember that the media itself has been grooming these women their entire lives to believe such scams.  It has convinced them that their advanced age is sexy to men in their prime, and that their romantic options are abundant should they only take the plunge and let the desperate studs compete for their attention.

The same media has also taught these women that their cliché feminist personalities are both attractive and rare, something a successful middle aged businessman would be lucky to ever find.  The reality is the exact opposite.  It wasn’t just the scammers telling these women the lies they wanted to hear.  The media has been doing this their whole lives.

Posted in Ageing Feminists, Online Scammers | 272 Comments

Where have all of the bad men gone?

Jessica Valenti complains that not only are men in New York City no longer catcalling her, but our patriarchal culture makes her crave sexual attention from random strangers: Men rarely catcall me any more. I hate that our culture makes me miss it*

From the time I was 11 or 12 years old – when I began taking the train to school – I’ve been on the receiving end of some of the worst things men say to girls and young women. There was the man in a business suit who told me to “take care of those titties for me”; the man who – when I was in seventh grade – masturbated in front of me on the subway platform near my home; the man who walked by me in the street, leaned in close, and whispered “I want to lick you” so close to my ear that I could feel his hot breath.

It was miserable. But still, as much as I wish it didn’t, the thought of not being worth men’s notice bothers me. To my great shame, I assume I must look particularly good on the rarer days that I do get catcalled.

I think we should be careful not to take anything she tells us about what men in business suits said to her as accurate.  As it has been explained, when men in business suits catcall women in NYC what they say is always masked by spontaneous sounds of sirens, car horns, jackhammers, etc.

HT Vox Day.

*Some time after Vox created the archive link to the page The Guardian changed the headline to:  One perk of older age? Fewer catcalls.

Posted in Aging Feminists, Jessica Valenti, You can't make this stuff up | 89 Comments