Saturday, November 3, 2012

Anne-Marie Slaughter's Thought Police

Among feminists, Princeton professor and former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter is not a radical. She must count as a mainstream feminist.

Several months ago Slaughter caused a ruckus in the media and the blogosphere when she wrote an article explaining that she was giving up her high-powered job in the State Department because her children were reacting badly to her prolonged absences.

A mother who had been an integral part of her children’s lives was no longer around very much. One child in particular  felt neglected and abandoned and was acting out. 

I accepted Slaughter’s decision to sacrifice her job in order to do what was best for her children, but I questioned her conclusion that women in the future could avoid her dilemma if feminism further infiltrated our culture.

I also wondered how she could have reached such a wrong-headed conclusion.

Perhaps she was just trying to demonstrate that feminism, as a radical ideology, could addle even the best minds.

Now Slaughter has followed up with a new article about achieving gender parity in society.

Apparently, she has discovered that some men have been acculturated in feminist values. These men, mostly whiners, it appears, want to stay at home with their children in order to facilitate the goal of workplace gender  parity.

Slaughter describes them thusly:

Others are from young men who want to be able to spend more time with their children and be fully equal parenting partners with their working wives but feel they don't have those options either. Indeed, a number of men have written to bemoan the strong gender stereotyping that they encounter, whereby a guy who wants to take paternity leave, flex-time, defer a promotion because the job up has too much travel, or simply needs to leave at 6 every night to pick up his kid from daycare, is regarded as insufficiently committed to his work or else just "not one of the guys."

Naturally, a feminist like Slaughter would attract men who are whiners and bemoaners.

But note their and Slaughter’s warped reasoning.

These “men” have every right to organize their time as they wish. If they wish to have jobs that allow them more time at home with the children, that is certainly their right. If they wish to sacrifice their careers in order to advance their wives’ careers that is also their right.

But whatever makes them think that they should be rewarded for it? Why do they think that they deserve promotions and bonuses equal to those individuals who work longer and harder and, presumably, more effectively?

Why are they incapable of taking responsibility for their own life choices? If you work less than the next guy, for whatever reason, you will likely not be rewarded as handsomely as he is.

Deal with it.

Worse, yet, what gives these whiners and their feminist enablers the right to control what other people think of their behavior?

Slaughter is so agitated about this imaginary problem that she wants to call in the thought police.

If a man is a member of a work team and if the team needs to stay late to work on a project, should he be rewarded for leaving early to pick up his child from daycare?

If his absence impacts the team’s work negatively, is no one supposed to notice? If the team’s project is rejected, should he not be held to account?

Slaughter may fashion herself a moderate feminist, but she completely ignores the exigencies of the workplace and wants to undermine teamwork and to police thought.

She has no interest in or awareness of the marketplace; she wants to make it look like what her ideology dictates. 

Those who believe that they can lie down with an ideology like feminism and just siphon off the good parts are fooling themselves.

How does Slaughter propose to undermine the workplace and to police thought?

First, she recommends that men file lawsuits over gender discrimination.

Surely, that will help create more jobs and a harmonious work environment.

Think of it… and you should, because Slaughter clearly has not… a man who works less will get promoted, not based on his competence or his good work, but because a court has ordered it.

How well do you think a court-appointed executive will be able to function when his colleagues and subordinates believe that he does not merit his promotion? What do you think this regime will do to morale?

And then, Slaughter proposes another instrument of general indoctrination, what is called a “conversation:”

I am more convinced than ever that the only way to make the kind of change we need to allow workers to build, provide, and care for strong families is to change conditions and cultural mores for men as well as women. But men have to join the conversation—publicly, candidly, and loudly.

When they start talking about a conversation they’re coming after your minds. It’s brainwashing light.

If you imagine that this conversation is going to conclude that men who choose to spend more time home ought to take responsibility or who otherwise sacrifice their ambition for family obligations should accept responsibility for their choices, you are very, very naïve.

Slaughter has no interest in how the marketplace functions or in whether it is effective and efficient. She is hellbent on finding a way to force men to stop competing and to stop striving and to stop being ambitions.

In other words, she wants men to cease behaving like men.

It will never happen. True, the whiners will still be out there and feminism will produce more of them. Other men will still treat them as they merit according to the choices that they have made and for which, if they want to be real men, they should take responsibility.


Sam L. said...

Tradeoffs. We can't "have it all". If you want a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari, you will have to pay big bucks for a new one, bigger bucks for a an especially prized older one, or a whole lot less for one that doesn't run.

Those who don't understand that...don't understand the world they live in.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that people like her think that people work so they can be taken care of. I don't think the thought has crossed their mind that people work to take care of themselves and their families.