To be taken at the appropriate level of seriousness... (this was the drift of my side of a conversation w/ Matt P. and CWA last night) NB I expect blogging to be near nil next week, though I might post dispatches from Dallas.
BS1. All professions will eventually become professions for women, just as all names will eventually become names for girls. (Of course there are more possible names than professions...) The argument is of the "Griffiths" variety and runs as follows. Once any profession becomes over, say, 60% female, it stays that way; men are far less likely to enter it. This effect is much stronger than the reverse one. (Aptitude etc. are largely irrelevant for most professions; social pressures are much more important in determining what people decide to pursue.) Over time any profession becomes more than 60% female because of random fluctuations. QED. (An implication is that this should happen sooner in smaller professions, subfields, etc. There is some evidence for this in, e.g., vet-med.)
BS2. Why are one's past struggles and sufferings such an important part of self-definition? In particular, why are all the best barroom stories tales of mishap? A standard answer, re struggles, is that one is reluctant to admit that effort was ever wasted, but this doesn't extend to suffering. An alternative resolution: one gives meaning to one's life by making a narrative out of it; it is naturally desired that one's narrative will appeal to others, and the easiest way to appeal to others is to appeal to their Schadenfreude, which is the most enduring of human emotions.
R. The invasion of Libya worries me because it suggests that people have either forgotten the lessons of Iraq or learned the wrong ones. This is especially true of the British and the French, who I suppose were especially liable to suspect that Iraq was a failed war because unilateralism or the fake WMD excuse. Yes, it was bad to start a war unilaterally and worse to start it on false pretenses, but neither of these has much to do with why Iraq ended up so badly: that failure was due to the lack of any clear positive goals, the fact that "regime change" is a misnomer for "regime removal," or the thoughtless replacement of tyranny by anarchy. (No one's admitting to the term "regime change" but David Cameron clearly has it on his mind.)