Gender hierarchy: For a new baby girl

Hierarchy can kill people. Take the case of Korean Air, which suffered a high rate of crashes until the airline was re-structured so that the crew was required to address each other informally, in English. What had happened was that the planes had quite literally crashed and burned because inferiors were too polite to do […]

It might be a little bit complicated

My cousins Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin have sent me their latest book for Christmas, It’s (not that) Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical way. They inscribed it to “our dear Katie, with much love from your cousins.” Honestly, such things always choke me up a little, because I […]

Sociopaths and authoritarian lifestyles

For a long time now, I’ve been reading personal stories of people who have been hurt by hierarchical relationships and the cultures that surround them. Now, hierarchy exists in many forms, and in many cultures, and it’s something that we actually reduce to points on a scale sometimes — we cite Geert Hofstede, for example, […]

Vattnet svart som manen full

Scandinavia is possibly the one place in the world where tragedy really seems sublime. Maybe it’s the fjords, the marriage of ice and beauty, the dark winters and the chilly summer nights, aglow with lingering fire. Maybe it’s the tall, pale northerners themselves, fierce stock descended from Viking kings, with the reserve and hunger of […]