Monday, November 7, 2016

The Feminist Man Problem

Once upon a time relations between the sexes were regulated by unwritten contracts. Contracts defined courtship behavior according to specific rules. Contracts divided household labor in gender-specific terms. Contracts made it that some professions and some jobs were more often filled by men and others more by women.

Several decades ago feminists decided to breach these contracts. They refused to be constrained by what was called feminine behavior. They rejected, with some considerable fervor, the role of housewife. Many chose to place career before family and ended up without the latter. Women would take power in society, to become more prominent in more professions, to rule the world. To imagine that this could have happened without women making any trade-offs is absurd.

Now, we have a fanatical feminist named Jill Filipovic telling us that men who do not accept this new state of affairs have not evolved. Oh, really. Yet, if women decided unilaterally to breach a contract and to redefine relations between the sexes, surely they bear responsibility for the consequences. Recall the old principle: You broke it; you own it.

If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency tomorrow one feminist wish will have been fulfilled. A glass ceiling will have been broken. If the Obama presidency is an indication, relations between the sexes will quickly get worse.

Being a fanatic Filipovic only sees the good in female advancement. She does not mention and does not seem to care that many women have paid a price for the advancement. Is there more rape on campus and more sexual harassment in the workplace than there used to be? I leave it to you do decide? Has fertility become an issue for women who have postponed childbearing in favor of career? I leave it for you to evaluate the facts. Does it become more difficult for women who have postponed marriage to find a suitable husband? I leave it for you to decide. And what about the wave of divorces that befell the nation when second-wave feminism arrived on our shores? Filipovic has nothing to say about the fallout from feminism. Blinded by the light she sees only good things.

To imagine as she does that it’s been all good for women and that when it hasn’t been good for women, the fault lies with men is to engage in an advanced case of what the psychologists call confirmation bias. Ideologues are especially attracted to this condition. It allows them to see what they want to see and to ignore the rest.

Filipovic believes that the Donald Trump candidacy is a remnant of a dying male culture. She fails to recognize that the particular kind of man that Trump represents is indigenous to a female-dominant culture. The word “machismo” was not produced by an Anglo language. It was produced in a culture where men have been rendered ineffective and where women are the ultimate authorities.

As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

Of course, Filipovic trashed white men. She writes:

For all of American history, white men have been both the dominant group and the default one: It was mostly white men in charge, and it was white male experiences and norms against which all others found themselves contrasted and defined. 

And these white men blocked women from the workforce and from law school. Since she does not seem to know very much about history Filipovic does not distinguish between living conditions in 2000 and living conditions in 1900 or 1800.

When lifespan was far shorter than it is today and when infant mortality was far higher than it is today, women’s lives were different. True enough. But that does not mean that white men constitute an organized criminal conspiracy designed to keep women chained to the kitchen.

And while we are trashing white men, let’s look at the record. In all the rants about white privilege you will never find an objective assessment of what white men have accomplished in the course of history.

When it comes to white American men they have won wars and have built a great democratic republic. Apparently, this occurred without very many Hillary Clintons going to law school. White men, in particular white Anglo-Saxon men invented liberal democracy, the Magna Carta, free enterprise, the Industrial Revolution and a massive amount of scientific discovery.

Doesn’t this count for something? Have other groups and other civilizations done as well? For their achievements and for their sacrifices, and for all the achievements and sacrifices of their ancestors, white men are now being subjected to constant contempt and ridicule. The current president seems to believe that everything white American males have achieved is a fraud, a failure, a product of oppressing non-white males.

Thanks for the ingratitude, many white males are saying. They are angered at the disrespect and many of them are returning the disrespect.

Filipovic believes that women have evolved and that men have not. How does she know that women are in the right and men are in the wrong? What if women went too far and forgot to negotiate a new contract with men. Does she think she can force men to do as she wishes? Does she think that she can bully them into doing so?

So, now women suffer a new form of oppression, the duty to home, to children and to job. As it happens, most women whose unevolved husbands can support their families do take time off from work to raise their children. Others feel oppressed by the weight their new obligations.

Women do as they please. They are perfectly independent and have the right to do so. But, they might also be alone. Filipovic does not mention the salient point, point that many women do not like. Women might have left men behind. They might have uncoupled from men. Yet, since men never agreed to the new regime, they are not in any way obliged to function the way women want them to function.

For feminists like Filipovic their problems would be solved if men did more housework. But, when a man does more housework he will do less work in the marketplace and will do less well. If he does less well he will not be able to offer his wife the option of staying home to raise her children. So, having unilaterally broken the contract that defined relations between the sex, women now want men to bail them out of their sinking ship. Good luck with that.

If Filipovic thinks that a Hillary Clinton presidency is going to show men the way to the kitchen she is delusional. Strangely enough, women do not find Hillary to be likable enough. Many of them do not like her at all. There you have it. The great role model for modern feminism is a woman that most women would not want to emulate. How many women would really want to have Hillary's marriage? 


Trigger Warning said...

I care about as much about Jill Filipovic's opinions as I do about any other writer for "Cosmopolitan".

In fact, I care nothing about the scrabblings of feminist writers. Anybody can write anything. Given the explosion of media since a man, Gutenberg, invented the printing press in the 15th Century, there's far too much media out there for me to be attentive to puff pieces about woe-men, womyn, or wimmen, or vimmings, or whatever they want to call themselves these days. I'm not pining for the pre-Gutenberg days (although some romantic, "Progressive" eco-loon out there probably is), but at least in the days when manuscripts had to be legibly and laboriously written and reproduced by hand, most written material was at least something worth reading.

Having said that, if I were still a single man with a materialist viewpoint I wouldn't mind giving Filipovic a quick poke. Unlike most vimming writers, she's at least good looking. I discovered the blessings of Caller ID long ago, and learned that when they call you back after a more-than-just-friendly tête-à-tête, you can conveniently ignore the call.

My concern is more that many men seem concerned about what these gasbags-with-benefits think. Unless you're married, or committed to get married, the best way to deal with them is to have two. Then they get competitive and attack each other in a contest of one-upwomanship. It's not only fun to watch (as long as one doesn't get entangled in the catfight), it results in better product.

The mistake most men make, in my opinion, is the delusion that there is a limited supply. In fact, it's the opposite. And the older you get, the more opposite it is.

Trigger Warning said...

By the way, all this reminds me of a quote I heard many years ago that expresses a Universal Truth:

"Women have indeed suffered for thousands of years under the burdens of womanhood, but they have never suffered in silence".

David Foster said...

An article in an aviation magazine made this point: "If you do anything with your airplane that is not consistent with the Pilot's Operating Handbook, then you are a test pilot."

In a society, the 'Pilot's Operating Handbook' is the collective set of customs and unwritten expectations. When the POH is thrown out or totally rewritten, the everyone becomes a test pilot. And there are plenty of people who are perfectly good private pilots, airline pilots, perhaps even military pilots who would *not* make very good test pilots and who have no interest in such a career. Similarly in society: the number of people who are interested and competent test pilots is pretty low as a % of the population.

There is no question that the social POH was in need of revision as a result of changes in the technologies of work and contraception, plus other factors; the problem is that much/most of the editing & revising has been done by people whose personal flight experience is limited or nonexistent and who have no interest in looking at aerodynamic or structural data.

Trigger Warning said...

There you go, "mansplaining", using logic, analogy, and linear thinking.

There are "alternative ways of knowing" that don't rely on the ways of the oppressive hegemony of patriarchial war-machine aviation cartels.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Given the polling of Clinton and Trump voters by gender, methinks the Democrats have a gender gap problem. Big media will never talk about that one, will they?

No justice, no peace.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

David Foster @November 7, 2016 at 7:31 AM:

"If you do anything with your airplane that is not consistent with the Pilot's Operating Handbook, then you are a test pilot."

Actually, using your societal metaphor, I think the most dangerous thing in all this today is that those who throw out the POH, or claim it should be thrown out, have all the power. Yet they are insulated from the consequences of their behavior/choices because (a) their own lives are disasters, and they don't care; or (b) they use the POH in their own lives, they're just not willing to "impose" it on others... whatever the hell that means.

So we get this metastasizing cultural chaos, family breakdown and ambiguous signaling, and it creates all kinds of stresses. It's like society has become a giant freshman seminar in art school... anything is possible, and any negative consequences are attributed to others' interpretations. Because people who want you to conform and live in societal sanity are just MEAN.

So, by all means, do whatever you want. If the POH doesn't matter, why should I care if you crash and burn?

One last thing: In reality, test pilots have to be fully aware of every nut and bolt on the airframe, and the aircraft's capabilities. If they don't, they don't know what they're testing. The reason such people are such a small percentage of the population is because very few people are willing to do all that work to study and learn, and then go push the envelope. Contrast that with all these social misfits, rebels and malcontents, who are not willing to understand what culture is... they just want to wreck it. Fun, huh?

sestamibi said...

The end product of cuntefaction: a boot stamping on a human face--forever.

What Orwell didn't tell us was that the boot would be a stiletto heel and the face would have a beard.

David Foster said...

IAC...."Actually, using your societal metaphor, I think the most dangerous thing in all this today is that those who throw out the POH, or claim it should be thrown out, have all the power. Yet they are insulated from the consequences of their behavior/choices"

So basically, they are flying the test airplanes by remote control...but the test airplanes aren't drones, they are airliners with passengers on board.

"Hmmm, wonder if this thing can do a split-S? Pretty sure 5000 feet is enough to recover, let's see!"

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

David Foster @November 7, 2016 at 11:02 AM:

Yes, we're seeing a sea change in social customs, with no uniting social glue. We can't even decide what history we teach to kids anymore. We are being told that we are bound by a duty to accommodate people who can't decide what gender they are. That's just for starters. It's like a do-over every day. My assertion is that we're not able to count on anything... there's too much overhead to simply interact with others. We're being controlled by victims. If you're offended or aggrieved, we're all supposed to adjust to accommodate you. That's nonsense. No POH... and yes, with airliners. "Trust us, everything's okay!" or "We're from the government, and we're here to help."

But at least Hillary can open a jar of pickles. We know we're safe now. I thought Hillary's answer about Supreme Court picks in the second debate was a complete, unmitigated disaster. SCOTUS has too much power. It's a judicial end-run around the entire functioning American republican government. It's no longer there to protect our rights from majorities, it's a powerful minority making macro-decisions that should be handled by legislatures. That's what people resent. If you pass gay "marriage" laws in my state, through a normal legislative process, then I'm in the minority. I lose, and a majority of my fellow citizens tell me what's going to happen with this social change. I have a hand in the process. I can participate. But judicial fiat is dangerous.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

A little inspiration for the like-minded concerning what tomorrow's election is all about:

This is going to be a close election, but I believe Trump can win. If he does win, it will be extraordinary — to win in the face of such massive, organized, weaponized opposition... by Demoblicans and Republicrats.

Vote tomorrow. Send a message. America is not a commodity.

Dennis said...

And don't let exit polling keep you from voting!!!!!! Remember the media will do almost anything to keep you from voting.

Sam L. said...

Stu, Stu, Stu, only (ONLY) the last (very) few years count for feminists. Personally, I would ask them why they would want to go to college where they "KNOW" that one in five of them with be RAPED, and wouldn't it be smarter to go to an all-female college, that being safer?

I voted by mail, so no exit-polling for me. If I could, I'd say I voted for Cthulhu because Hillary just ain't evil enough, and I'm a Black Pastafarian Lesbian.