Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Girlification of America

Led by the Biden administration, America is going all girly. It is downplaying competition in favor of care and compassion. In the most obvious terms, it is cutting the military budget and throwing more money into childcare and elder care and welfare state policies. It is becoming one big Mommy State.

At the very least, Joe Biden, senile, empty headed, petulant and bumbling, does not look like an alpha male. One understands that Biden refused to stand next to Vladimir Putin in a press briefing because he or his handlers knew that Putin would make him look like the marionette that he is.

We should not be surprised that America is going all girly. After all, the girl party is thoroughly in charge. Surely, this has something to do with the increasing numbers of women who are working in certain fields, and who are occupying the highest ranks in the Biden administration.

It is perhaps not overly concerning, but consider this. When previously male dominant professions start attracting large numbers of women, they do not just become women dominant. They also change their values, in the direction of more empathetic and more motherly functioning. Remaining male members lose status and prestige; salary levels also decline.

Over the past several decades this has happened to the therapy profession, now become largely a female redoubt.

It seems overly naive to expect that the more women are gaining power in the workplace, the workplace will not change to become more congenial to women’s strengths. And those strengths are in caring and compassion, not in competitive striving. 

Or else, if you prefer the counterargument, Christopher Lasch offered, in his book Women and the Common Life, that bringing more women into the workplace would not make these institutions more loving and more maternal. They would still be places where competitive striving prevails. See his chapter, “The Sexual Division of Labor.”

By all indications today, Lasch got this one wrong. 

After all, what could be more feminine and maternal than the Biden administration policy toward immigration. It has promised to care for destitute migrants, to offer them free schooling, free medical care and free food. It has offered to mother them. And it has diminished the power of the courts and the authorities to stop the invasion.

And then, of course, we have the movement to defund the police, to replace police work with social work and therapy. We have seen this policy, which girlifies law enforcement, at work in America’s blue cities. The result has been an upsurge in crime. Perhaps America will come to its senses. But this is far from obvious in the current climate.

Regarding military spending, the Wall Street Journal editorializes:

Unremarked in the White House spending deluge is that its trillions for “infrastructure” include little new for defense. Mr. Biden’s $715 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal 2022 is a 1.6% increase over last year. Adjusted for inflation, this is a cut. The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission and other experts say the Pentagon needs steady 3% to 5% real increases annually to address threats from “near peers” such as China and Russia.

When it comes to social welfare spending, Biden is on the same page as our European allies. Surely, they were thrilled to meet a president who would happily relieve them of responsibility for paying for their own defense. As for welfare, Daniel Henninger opines in the Journal this morning, the new administration is going to war against the weather, is going to go back to appeasing Iran, and will happily embrace international institutions that impinge on American sovereignty. European leaders could barely suppress their glee.

In Henninger’s words:

The club Mr. Biden is joining—for all of us back home—is one the U.S. has stayed out of since World War II. That is the club known as the European welfare state.

It is the government-directed system of lifetime paternalism built up by the nations of Western Europe after 1945. Maintaining this welfare infrastructure with taxes and debt occupies virtually every waking moment of its leaders. As Mr. Macron might say, it is today Europe’s raison d’ĂȘtre.

Public welfare has never been America’s reason for being, notwithstanding our substantial spending on social support programs. Despite the entitlement creations of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, the U.S., unlike Europe, has remained a nation driven and led by capitalist initiative.

Capitalist initiative, competitive striving… these are core American values. Then again, when you are indoctrinating the troops and elementary school students in critical race theory, you are saying that you have given up before the game has started.

And now we read that a major accounting and consulting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers, is going all in on diversity and inclusion. It is abandoning any pretense to merit-based hiring and is going to spend tons of money fighting for environmental and social justice.

Zero Hedge has the story:

PwC (one of America's "Big Four" auditors who serve the Fortune 500 corporations around the world) has decided to make a major investment - $12 billion to increase the firm's head count by more than one-third over the next five years, along with investments in technology and other deals all intended to "capture a booming market for environmental, social and governance advice."

Diversity and inclusion have become big business for American companies. Apparently, they no longer care about competing in the world marketplace.

It’s all about ESG, short for environmental, social and governance advice. And it is being driven by bright-eyed government bureaucrats:

Ultimately, the pressure to change is coming from regulators. As regulators in Europe and the US discuss standardizing ESG disclosures akin to the international accounting rules agreed decades ago, the firm believes that all PwC staff need "a baseline understanding" of ESG, according to US Chair Tim Ryan. 

As for competing against rising Asia, you can forget about that now.


markedup2 said...

Mr. Biden’s $715 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal 2022 is a 1.6% increase over last year. Adjusted for inflation, this is a cut.
Sorry, but I can't get upset about this. Nearly 3/4 of a trillion dollars?!?! That should be more than sufficient. A quick search shows that the government collected 3.4 trillion in 2020. Spending 1/4 of the budget on defense does seem low, but with everything else money is spent on - and given the absolute amount - it's hardly a crushing cut.

The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission and other experts say the Pentagon needs steady 3% to 5% real increases annually
That is meaningless drivel. Pick ANY government spending program and I'd bet there is a commission and group of experts that say it "needs ... real increases". Speaking of which, how is the Rural Electrification Board doing, these days?

That is not to say that I agree with the budget (I never have), but cherry picking favorite departments for complaints does not help with the actual problem: We spend FAR too much. My plan: Cut EVERYTHING equally to balance revenue with expenditures. Once we're at that point, we can argue about priorities.

Walt said...

Alas, we’re not just becoming the Mommy state but as columnist Michael Kelly (RIP) warned oner a decade ago, we’re heading into the Nurse Ratched State.

David Foster said...

Yet, I do not observe that women in business organizations are less-competitive than are men, at least men and women in comparable positions.

And women in social situations are generally at least as competitive as men, probably more so, and in mating situations as well.

semolina pilchard said...

Rush Limbaugh always called it the "chickifcation of America". I use a much stronger term.

The fact is, this happened because men let it happen. It was in the interest of top level alpha males (like Bill Clinton) to have a large harem of compliant "independent" women in high-salary positions who could pay for their own abortions, while the larger mass of beta males had to watch from the outside--unemployed.

If men are to take it back, Islamization is in our future.

Anonymous said...

Walt… thanks for bringing up Michael Kelly. Wonderful writer, a true journalist of integrity. Incisive wit and sharp pen. Hard to believe he died while embedded in Iraq 18 years ago. Sorely missed.

Sam L. said...

I was going to say that Biden is a Zeta guy, but looking up the Greek alphabet, I see he's an Omega.

David Foster said...

Wait..."as columnist Michael Kelly (RIP) warned oner a decade ago, we’re heading into the Nurse Ratched State"

See the thoughts of an Italian blogger (sadly, she is no longer active) on The Spinsterization of Western Culture. I excerpted it, along with some of her other posts, here:

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

David, I went to your linked blog, and read all the “Joy of Knitting” excerpts. Some seriously brilliant stuff!!! (I rarely use exclamation marks).

Highly recommended for everyone. Incisive, biting prose. Reminds me of Michael Kelly… such a loss.

You’ve hinted that the Joy of Knitting is now defunct. Is it archived anywhere? Can you provide further links?

Thank you for sharing.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Stuart, if you’re not familiar with Michael Kelly, do check him out. You’ll not be disappointed.

For those of you not familiar with the late Michael Kelly, and with some recollection of the 1990s, I’ll provide a tasting:

Michael Kelly on Bill Clinton…

Michael Kelly on Ted Kennedy…

Brilliant, brilliant stuff. Extraordinary writing.

Kelly would never be published by mainstream newspapers/magazines today. Too much talent and integrity.

Bret Stephens wrote an excellent piece on Kelly in 2013 in the WSJ before he (Stephens) caught an acute — possibly mortal — case of Trump Derangement Syndrome and defected to the Old Gray Lady. A pity. I recommend the column for those who can get past the paywall. Title is “Remembering Michael Kelly.” I corresponded with Stephens at the time to thank him for the piece — it was a spirited exchange.

There is a collection of Kelly’s columns in a book called “Things Worth Fighting For”“things+worth+fighting+for”+kelly&qid=1624102587&sr=8-3

David Foster said...

IAC...yes, she was very good. Didn't blog for long, and IIRC left no explanation of why she was abandoning it. I found the excerpts at using her old URL:

I also posted some additional excerpts: