Feminist insanity

Although I don’t like interest group politics, I accept that various defined groups have interests in opposition to the interests of those outside the group, so I understand why interest group politics makes sense.

But “women” are a special case, because their lives are much more intimately intertwined with the complementary group of “men” than is the case for groups not defined by gender. Thus feminism should not push for changes which, while making women better off, would make men comparably worse off, because women will find their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons negatively affected. This would be useless at best from the point of view of society as a whole, and women themselves would not find their overall lot improved (except maybe for unmarried childless women not living with their parents, which is why women should be especially concerned that the leaders of “feminist” groups tend to be lesbians). When the proposed change makes society as a whole worse off, and hurts men more than it helps women even prior to considering the collateral effects on women of harm to their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, then it is insane.

Insanity is not enough to stop the feminists though, as this story by Christina Hoff Sommers from The Weekly Standard shows:

No Country for Burly Men
How feminist groups skewed the Obama stimulus plan towards women’s jobs.

The story begins:

A “man-cession.” That’s what some economists are starting to call it. Of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men. Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan, characterizes the recession as a “downturn” for women but a “catastrophe” for men.

Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period. Rescuing hundreds of thousands of unemployed crane operators, welders, production line managers, and machine setters was never going to be easy. But the concerted opposition of several powerful women’s groups has made it all but impossible. Consider what just happened with the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

and all too predictably ends:

The administration (and Congress) must have been thinking that groups such as NOW and the Feminist Majority were crusading for social justice, when in fact they were lobbying for their share of the action, to the detriment of urgent necessities.

A Washington feminist establishment that celebrates the “happily-ever-after” story of its victory over burly men cannot represent the views and interests of many women. Those men are fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and friends; if they are in serious trouble, so are the women who care about them and in many cases depend on them. But NOW and its sister organizations see the world differently. They see the workplace as a battlefront in a zero-sum struggle between men and women, where it is their job to side with women. Unless the Obama administration and Congress find the temerity to distance themselves from the new feminist lobby, the “man-cession” will deepen and further mischief will ensue.

The story is well summarized by the excerpts above, but to appreciate how appalling the details are read the whole thing. The author has written some good books and seems sensible, but I hope her reference to “social justice” in the penultimate paragraph was ironic, in my view anyone who puts those two words together and means something serious by it is a dangerous enemy.

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24 Responses to Feminist insanity

  1. Anyone who accepts the points I make above should now think about the corollaries for interest group politics in general. Groups very rarely claim that what is good for them is good for everyone else too (because in most cases the interventions they propose are not good for society as a whole, though there have been exceptions to that). If the struggle could be seen in the proper light as a pure contention for relative advantage, we would be a lot better off. Unfortunately, interest groups have found that the public is vulnerable to pseudo-moral appeals to “social justice” — by turning everything into a moral issue they hope to appeal either to people’s sense of shame or their sense of moral vanity. Their arguments cannot stand up to logical scrutiny; unfortunately there isn’t any logical scrutiny, except in odd pockets of the culture like the blogs I link to, because the education and media industries gain power and influence from this kind of bullying and neither train people to see through the fallacies for themselves nor make any attempt to expose them. I am immune to illogical emotional appeals and have taught my children to see through them, but we should be doing this much more publicly.

    The first step is probably to destroy the very concept of “social justice”. Whenever anyone uses those words to me, I will say “does ‘social justice’ mean anything more than taking from me to give to people worse off than me whom I have never personally harmed or hindered?”

  2. rebelliousvanilla says:

    There’s no such thing as good for society as a whole – in every single policy there’s someone who is going to end better off. And no, feminists make sense in an individualistic society. Even if my husband will be slightly worse off, if I mind anything he does, I will be a lot better off. I will be in a far better relative position and I will have more options. Voting feminist from a woman’s perspective makes sense and any self absorbed person would care more about herself than all the men in her life. Newsflash, eh?

    And the jobs that are lost are those that America needs. Obama and his stimulus are to be thanked for this.

  3. Polymath says:

    There’s no such thing as good for society as a whole – in every single policy there’s someone who is going to end better off.

    I agree with this, I was using the term as a shorthand for a situation where there is an obvious disproportion between who benefits and who loses out, in favor of the ones who benefit. That doesn’t mean a policy implementing such a change would be either good or fair, all I was trying to say is that if the condition is NOT satisfied then the policy is certainly bad.

    And no, feminists make sense in an individualistic society. Even if my husband will be slightly worse off, if I mind anything he does, I will be a lot better off.

    That is not the question, the question is what if your husband would be just as much, or more, worse off as you would be better off? I am talking about insane policies like the Obama stimulus here, not saying that all feminist policies are like this.

    I will be in a far better relative position and I will have more options. Voting feminist from a woman’s perspective makes sense and any self absorbed person would care more about herself than all the men in her life.

    Well, yes, but the whole point is that we should not have a society where everyone is self-absorbed. It only makes sense from a self-absorbed woman’s perspective, not from a normal woman’s perspective. (Do not interpret the individualism of our current legal and economic structures as having changed human nature so that it is normal for people to be self-absorbed rather than concerned with their families.)

    And the jobs that are lost are those that America needs. Obama and his stimulus are to be thanked for this.

    Yes, this was the whole point of why it was insane.

  4. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Considering that I’m not married, I have no reason to not support the stimulus package from a selfish way. I could care the less about other people. Any woman who has a job and isn’t a housewife benefits.

    I would be better off than my husband worse off since I always have the option of divorcing him if I have a job. So the stimulus package makes a lot of sense. Only a stupid woman wouldn’t support it, if she isn’t a homemaker.

    And I reject equality, so I could care the less that I benefit a lot more from a policy than the people who aren’t me. It’s simple – if I could impose a 100% tax on the wages of Americans and give myself all the money, I’d do it. Well, I’d exempt a few people that I like, but that’s about it.

    Also, it’s not the economic individualism that ruined human nature. Human nature is still the same – in diverse societies, the best evolutionary strategy is to be a mercenary. Especially with social individualism where you aren’t shunned for what you do.

  5. Our disagreements are different from what you seem to think they are.

    Considering that I’m not married, I have no reason to not support the stimulus package from a selfish way. I could care the less about other people.

    This part I don’t disagree with.

    Any woman who has a job and isn’t a housewife benefits.

    I would be better off than my husband worse off since I always have the option of divorcing him if I have a job. So the stimulus package makes a lot of sense. Only a stupid woman wouldn’t support it, if she isn’t a homemaker.

    You are defining “better off” strangely. If you have a joint bank account with your husband, and the stimulus allowed you to get a better job paying $30k instead of $20k, but forced him to take a worse job paying $40k instead of $60k, because it helped the wrong kinds of jobs, then (ignoring the tax consequences which wouldn’t be very large in this example) even though you are not a homemaker you are worse off, and divorcing him and living on your $30k instead of your share of a joint $70k or $80k would also be a worse situation financially. And that’s only the financial argument. Even if the numbers were different so your incomes were more equal (say with the stimulus you get $40k and he gets $30k, and without the stimulus you get $30k and he gets $50k) if you had a normal marriage you would regard divorcing your husband because he had to take a worse job so you were now earning more than him as an insane thing to do.

    I think if you ever did get married you would want a joint bank account and would take the “for better or for worse” part seriously. So it’s not just homemakers and mothers who would be worse off, a wife who actually loves her husband enough to be serious about sharing a life with him should oppose legislation like this even if she has her own career.

    And I reject equality, so I could care the less that I benefit a lot more from a policy than the people who aren’t me. It’s simple – if I could impose a 100% tax on the wages of Americans and give myself all the money, I’d do it. Well, I’d exempt a few people that I like, but that’s about it.

    I’m not arguing with this at all. The only point of my reference to social benefit was that sometimes you can use that argument to defeat a proposed policy because liberals care about that; I would never argue that making other people better off would be a reason for you to vote for a policy that made you personally worse off, because I reject that kind of pseudo-moral political appeal.

    Also, it’s not the economic individualism that ruined human nature. Human nature is still the same – in diverse societies, the best evolutionary strategy is to be a mercenary. Especially with social individualism where you aren’t shunned for what you do.

    You are correct for interacting with society in general but that is NOT what I was talking about. I was talking about human nature as it relates to people caring about their own families, and saying that being “self-absorbed” to the point of not caring even about family members was not normal. A diverse society with social individualism is going to reduce trust and make people be economically mercenary, but they will still love their spouses and children and not act selfishly with respect to them because as you said, human nature does not change.

  6. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Polymath, yes, but the stimulus helps people keep cushy jobs that pay more than $40,000 an year(public sector). I’d much rather keep my job and have my husband lose his than the other way around since I’d be independent and could dump him any time I’d want. Also, most women don’t care about men who work in factories – this should be clear.

    And I’d like to point that half of the marriages end in divorce, while 80% of no faults are asked by women. This means that 40% of marriages end because women want them to end. This also means that 40% of women would have unconditional support for the stimulus since it benefits them, without caring about how it hurts their husbands. Also, most women don’t think logically or look at the great picture in terms of financial things, so it is irrelevant if she is worse off overall(I have an anecdote about this, but I won’t write it on a blog).

    From the looks of it, I don’t see Americans as loving their families. I see young adults despising their parents and parents caring more about watching Desperate Housewives than read a book about how to feed their children.

  7. I’d much rather keep my job and have my husband lose his than the other way around since I’d be independent and could dump him any time I’d want. Also, most women don’t care about men who work in factories – this should be clear. And I’d like to point that half of the marriages end in divorce, while 80% of no faults are asked by women. This means that 40% of marriages end because women want them to end. This also means that 40% of women would have unconditional support for the stimulus since it benefits them, without caring about how it hurts their husbands.

    You are speaking hypothetically here about other women and their marriages, and it may be true that a lot of women are selfish enough in their attitudes toward marriage that they would like legislation that helps them economically even if it hurts their husband more. But I know we agree that this is not how marriage used to be, nor how it ought to be, and you have said elsewhere that your personal moral standards wouldn’t let you divorce someone for purely financial reasons. I assume that, even if you were capable of entering into one of those mercenary marriages, you would still prefer having a marriage with real love and commitment as a lifelong partnership, as would most women.

    Also, most women don’t think logically or look at the great picture in terms of financial things, so it is irrelevant if she is worse off overall(I have an anecdote about this, but I won’t write it on a blog).

    OK, you have now gone from normative to descriptive, and are explaining why women WOULD support the feminist-influenced stimulus rather than why they SHOULD. In that case I don’t disagree with you; but your earlier 1st-person remarks suggested to me that your own attitudes had changed.

    From the looks of it, I don’t see Americans as loving their families. I see young adults despising their parents and parents caring more about watching Desperate Housewives than read a book about how to feed their children.

    And your source of information about American family life is….? Even if this were true descriptively on average, and even if America were different from your country in this respect, my basic point, that a woman who truly loves her husband and has the kind of marriage that involves a real partnership of interests should oppose this legislation, is completely unaffected by what you have said. And my implied point, that that is the way a marriage should be even if fewer and fewer of them are, is also unaffected. You have said elsewhere on this blog that you only respect men with a strong commitment to their families; such a man would only want this kind of a marriage, so it would be perverse of you to follow the “advice” you are giving women about having a mercenary appproach to marriage. That’s why I think you are speaking ironically and pretending to be normative when you are actually being descriptive.

    To put this another way — a mercenary marriage is defective with respect to love. Entering into such a marriage is, or ought to be, a difficult and wrenching decision, because of the possibilities foreclosed. On the other hand, love simplifies things. A marriage entered into because of mutual love is naturally going to involve the kind of selfless sharing of interests I spoke of. It’s possible that the couple may be too immature to understand their feelings properly, or to do what is necessary to make the marriage work, but even with all the bad changes that have occurred in recent decades, today’s society (at least in the modern industrialized world) still has as a norm that marriage is entered into out of mutual love and respect. Therefore the women who act as you describe and pretend to recommend are still violating a social norm; as a human institution, marriage is so universal, and so well-established compared with particular and transient societies such as our own, that it makes much more sense to hold to this view of marriage despite the increasing difficulty of doing so in our society, than to abandon it because of the nebulous advantages of surrendering to the zeitgeist.

  8. Jehu says:

    RV,
    Find yourself a hardcore reactionary, get married, and have several kids. This hedges your bets for the two scenarios I see as being most likely:
    1) Things fall apart, the center can not hold. In such a scenario, your kids, your husband, and his family are powerful allies for you in a setting where you desperately need them. Pick your husband carefully, make sure he’d be willing to do what is necessary to defend you and your offspring. Also, pick your husband’s family carefully. When you marry him you also marry his family. This can be either a great blessing or a great curse. or
    2) We muddle through long enough for exponential technological growth to make our economic and scarcity environment totally unrecognizable to those of us today. It is exceedingly likely that in such a setting that population control measures will be enforced hardcore. Asimov, for instance, wrote quite a bit on this. Get your familiy, which will have your back, particularly if major life extension is also in the cards, and I think it would be if scenario 2 is closer to the mark, built while you still can.

  9. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Jehu, any sane group wouldn’t impose population controls on itself, unless it is in their benefit. I see population growth with expropriating others of their land in my interest. You know, what white people did when they were sane. There’s no fundamental right to territory. Also, I find it a lot more normal to let old people die than keep them alive at great expense and aborting the next generation. I hope you realize how idiotic it is, if you are concerned with overpopulation to go to extreme lengths to keep old farts alive(especially those that don’t work; I read a study that 90% of aggregate healthcare costs are in the last two years of the population’s lives), while aborting the next generation. Retirees serve mostly no purpose to a human group, especially if they don’t rear the children of people who do work. They neither do work, nor are they able to reproduce.

    And I see a better move to simply move out of the ‘white’ world(Anglo world and Europe) and live in Hong Kong or Singapore. Neither of the two experience these problems, they’re rich, have savings and so on. I don’t see why I’d choose a life of less enjoyment to benefit a group of people that prefers masturbating over Kantian universal beliefs instead of seeking its own interest. I’d much rather make more money, have fun and screw it. We all die anyway, might as well have fun before I do. Sure, in an ideal world, where white people gave a damn, I’d have an incentive to do too. This is why I won’t have children – I don’t see why they should be surrounded by idiots who don’t give a damn. As a side note, I also don’t see why I should compete in birth rates with third worlders already here and immigration just because most white men are pathetic excuses of people that actually deserve to be called men.

  10. Jehu,

    In your scenario 1 it might be better not to have kids at all, at least until the smoke clears. Of course this kind of waiting is easier for men than for women — I think it will be at least 5 years before things actually fall apart, and at least 10 years and probably 15 before a better future is secure, if it happens (if one could be sure that it would eventually happen one could have kids earlier since society doesn’t affect them much when they are little if you keep them at home).

    And your scenario 2 makes no sense — exponential technological growth will enable population to increase more than it would have a natural tendency to, so why would there need to be population controls? Based on history, I expect wealth and productivity to continue to increase even through political turmoil, and 20 years from now to be good times in any places that are politically and economically reasonably free. One downside to productivity increases is that increasing overall wealth allows the state to expand by an even larger rate, because for a while people will still be better off in absolute terms — the USA has finally reached the point where it is becoming generally clear to most people that the government is strangling the economy, because they can now see how they are worse off, while until 2000 or so they were better off (and until 2007 they thought they were better off because of the debt-fueled overheating of the economy).

  11. RV, as city-states, aren’t Hong King and Singapore rather vulnerable to turmoil in the rest of the world?

    Eventually, the attitudes of white people will change, earlier in some countries than in others. There are encouraging signs in some places. But I wish there were a country I had reasonable confidence would change its attitudes soon enough. Right now I’m looking at certain “Red states” as the best bet for the next few years.

  12. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Polymath, Americans are doomed. They’re the epitome of the Kantian people that dig their own graves. Even the red states are quite bad at this. See, Americans don’t really discuss from group self-interest, they merely disagree on what the propositional ideas should be. lol

    And no, Hong Kong and Singapore aren’t that vulnerable. There’s no real reason to bomb either of them or go to war with them. Especially HK, since that would mean war with China(who would win the war).

  13. I wasn’t talking about Hong Kong and Singapore being vulnerable to military takeover. I meant that in times of worldwide conflict and economic depression, when trade will be greatly reduced, city-states that don’t grow their own food and are dependent on foreign trade for their economic survival will have serious problems.

    They do “discuss from group self-interest” if they’re not white, and the point I have been making recently is that whites in America are starting to wake up to needing to think in the same terms. The next election will be critical, and I’m going to be doing what I can to clarify things for Americans, both on this blog and in my professional capacity as a political consultant. I say something else about this in my reply on the other thread.

  14. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Polymath, trade isn’t going to go down that much for rich countries. Future poor countries like America will need to worry about food.

  15. Doug1 says:

    R.Vanilla

    I’d much rather keep my job and have my husband lose his than the other way around since I’d be independent and could dump him any time I’d want.

    A man would have to be deranged to marry you.

  16. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Doug1, I know. And I have to thank the pathetic things that we call men nowadays falsely for my attitude.

  17. Wouldn’t your attitude towards your husband depend on the specific man you married? A “man” in your preferred sense of the word might be able to change your attitude, at least towards him.

  18. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Polymath, not really. Society matters, individuals are irrelevant. And men overall are horrible at being men, so I’d feel no problem with fooling them. I will care about women not shafting men and being feminine and all that when men will pull their collective heads out of their asses. Until then, you go grrrl.

    Not only does it give me personal benefits by the virtue of my sex, but it also might make present day wimps grow up and become men.

  19. If you’re serious, then you’re not marriage material even for the men you regard as really “men”, since they would be especially intolerant of such a mercenary attitude in a wife. Fortunately for you, since they are the kind of men you like, if you find yourself really wanting one you might do what is necessary to be considered worthy. (To put it another way, “men overall” should not get to prevent you from caring about a specific man.)

  20. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Polymath, I realized that I didn’t make myself clear. Obviously, my husband would influence my attitude towards him. But I wouldn’t care about how policies that benefit me, influence him that much. I’d obviously take it into account, but that’s about it. For instance, feminism benefits me, while it does harm my husband and I would support it because the benefits I would get are bigger. As long as we are all individuals and all that, I’m forced to do mercenary things(it’s really challenging for me to be self-absorbed, but heh). Also, in terms of policy, individuals are inconsequential(reproduction choices are based on this too, not only on individuals). Anyway, it’s a lot harder for me to get to care for men considering the attitudes of most of them are repulsive(and this is an emotional thing; the fact that white men as a group act like stupid cuckolds is bad for the ones who aren’t too, for example). To give you a good example, I can’t feel respect for white men, but I do like and respect you. The way you are though, doesn’t really affect my views on how men are.

    And I’m not interested in marriage. Marriage would make me want children and I decided against having them.

    Doug1, I forgot to say, I’m not sure why you mind the female version of Roissy. Sure, society is going to hell, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t use the system to my benefit. He might bang a lot of women and I do my mercenary profiteering. I didn’t create this deranged society. Ideally, I would want a family and wouldn’t even care about a career that much. But I have to play the hand that I’ve been dealt. When men will pull their heads out of their asses, I will reconsider what I support.

  21. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Oh, and since we’re at the individual-society thing, having the offspring of a middle person of a rising society is better than having the child of an alpha of a collapsing group.

  22. PA says:

    but it also might make present day wimps grow up and become men

    Ha! Gunslingergregi was right: she’s motivating men with reverse psychology.

  23. rebelliousvanilla says:

    PA, it’s not just that. But if men acted like they should act, it would be in my interest to support them. So it’s a win-win for me. If they men up, I’ll win by having a sane society and proper men that would make having a family a good thing. If they don’t, I win through a mercenary attitude(not only persona financial benefits and being able to get away with things, but I also despise Kantian people, so it’s good for me emotionally too :P).

  24. RV, I posted a couple of related comments about feminism on your blog but they are stuck in moderation.

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