A Hopeful Sign?

I also sometimes write for Ricochet, a members-only discussion site.  Politically, it includes a broad cross-section of the right:  everybody from hardcore anti-Republican survivalists to squishy moderates, social conservatives, libertarians, members of the dreaded “establishment” and Tea Party activists, traditional Christians and seculars.  Some of its members are Red Pill and familiar with the manosphere, others aren’t just Blue Pill, they’re Baby Blue Pill.

When a member decides to do a post, it automatically goes into the Member Feed, meaning only members can access it.  Editors select certain posts from the Member Feed and elevate them to the Main Feed which can be seen by anybody.

My posts have been elevated to the Main Feed before, and I was hoping this one would have been as well.  Alas, it hasn’t been.  I’ll keep my theories concerning why to myself for now.

Nevertheless, I think I did a decent job of promoting potentially threatening concepts to a wider audience.  I therefore post it here for my more “extremist” readers:

[Names have been changed to protect the identities of the Ricochet members in question.]

Near the end of a great discussion inspired by Front Seat Cat’s post, Kermit left a response to a controversial comment by Mickey.  Mickey’s comment:

Mickey: At the risk of being provocative, let me say that it was a better world when women stayed home and raised children.

And Kermit’s response in full:

Kermit:  What can I say about Manny’s “provocative” opinion? Yaba-daba-doo? I’m sure he’s not primitive enough to be against women making their own choices, career-wise at least. But was it really a better world when men ruled the workplace, and housewives lit fondue pots in suburban Stepford?

Fact is, my life and all our lives have been greatly enriched by the boomer generation’s female workplace pioneers. Women always worked of course, but only since the late 1960’s have upwardly mobile career paths opened to entire generations. Overall, it’s been a huge success for them, and for their families. Women today are passing men in education, and combined incomes have created more options for their families.

Women have intuitive managerial skills which complement roles which suit men. Consensus building and giving positive encouragement come as naturally to female middle managers as barking orders and berating slackers suit male athletic coaches. Women are better listeners, which makes them better doctors, and better team players. Not all, of course. I can think of one presently awaiting indictment who’s an absolute scoundrel. But most.

I remember the transition period between WWII and the entrance of the boomer generation to the workplace twenty years later. 1950’s moms weren’t completely insular, but often their conversational range was limited. Many were “Cinderella Syndrome” dependent in financial matters. The singular focus on child-raising left too many ill-prepared for when the kids left the nest, or for when tragedy struck. Their daughters had so many more choices to lead richer, fuller lives, and many have.

For those of you not old enough to remember the “better world” of the girdle-bound gals of yesteryear, try this exercise in time travel. Get aDVD set of the genteel CBS Sunday night panel show What’s My Line? Watch the shows from 1953 onward into the mid-1960’s — 50 half-hours per year — and see cultural history jump forward one week at a time. Watch the male panelists size up the female contestants. See how the jobs being guessed change over time for the female contestants. Watch the fashions change. You’ll find illuminating, I think.

My response is too detailed for the comment section, yet despite the furor my response may well inspire, I feel obligated to respond.

Kermit:

What can I say about Mickey’s “provocative” opinion? Yaba-daba-doo?

Hardy-har-har.  Kermit begins by accusing his opponent of being primitive, albeit lightheartedly and not necessarily that primitive.  Fortunately, as conservatives we’re used to this, for everybody knows that how we do things today is invariably better than how we did things in prior eras.  Never mind the mess you see around you as described in Front Seat Cat’s post and elsewhere:  “Don’t be on the wrong side of history!”

I’m sure he’s not primitive enough to be against women making their own choices, career-wise at least.

I can’t speak for Mickey, but as for me, I’ve no problem with “women making their own choices” were that what’s actually happening, but there’s far more to it than that.

In prior eras, both men and women were in fact restricted.  Married men essentially had to have a job to support his family, women were relegated to the kitchen.  Women may now have the option to either work or stay at home, but men still have to work.

Yes, I know that there are househusbands.  But although a modern collegiate woman may encounter difficulties if she tells anyone her Art History degree is essentially an MRS degree, a man doing the same will be outright ridiculed.  “I’m in college just to find a rich, ambitious, wife” said no man trying to woo a woman, ever.

For the fact remains that women are attracted to ambitious and successful men, including ambitious and successful women.  In theory, women have no issues with men who’ve no interest in a career and would love to stay at home with the kids.  In practice, they’re unlikely to spend time with such a man as soon as she finds out his intentions.  If the relationship eventually develops into that of sole female breadwinner, it’s likely to turn out like this (sexual content warning).

Thus, while men are still as bound to bring home the bacon as they were before feminism, women have much greater freedom to either adopt modern or traditional roles.

At least upper-middle and upper class women do.  For lower and lower-middle class women, working isn’t some empowering option, it’s a requirement.  Whereas prior to the two-income household norm a janitor could support a family on a single income, today it’s damn near impossible.  If a working-class woman wants any sort of financial stability for her children, she has to work.

Furthermore, although the women’s empowerment crowd often crows about “women’s choices,” behind that lies the terrifying prospect that left to their own devices, a lot of women would in fact just stay home with the kids.  If it turned out that most women actually liked traditional roles, that would mean that the entire Feminine Mystique is a pile of fecal matter.

So we continually find ourselves faced with crises like the lack of women in STEM fields.  We’re not to consider the possibility that women don’t actually want that sort of job (including the writers at Jezebel with liberal arts degrees).  Instead, we’ve got to use government funds to encourage them to go into such fields (site at link funded by UK taxpayers) and accuse STEM employers and managers of sexism if they don’t have enough successful female employees.

Nevertheless, I’d stack a capable woman’s chances of being a successful microbiologist up against a man’s hope to be a happy househusband any day.

Kermit:

Fact is, my life and all our lives have been greatly enriched by the boomer generation’s female workplace pioneers.

I can’t speak for Kermit’s life, but I’d rather he not speak for the rest of us.  He’s apparently blithely unaware of all the depressed womensuicidal men, and stressed-out supermoms out there.  If he is aware, I’m sure he doubts that any of this could have any relation whatsoever with people not leading lives they’re naturally inclined to lead.

Overall, it’s been a huge success for them, and for their families.

Could high divorce rates have anything to do with both halves of a couple being perpetually stressed out as they both share every financial and logistical responsibility for their entire household?  Never.

Women today are passing men in education, and combined incomes have created more options for their families.

Running schools as if boys are defective girls might have something to do with the former.  As to the latter, whereas before only the man had to chain himself to a desk for forty-five hours a week, now both the man and woman do!  That’s some “more options.”

Women have intuitive managerial skills which complement roles which suit men. Consensus building and giving positive encouragement come as naturally to female middle managers as barking orders and berating slackers suit male athletic coaches. Women are better listeners, which makes them better doctors, and better team players.

If “[c]onsensus building and giving positive encouragement come…naturally to female middle managers,” so do office gossip, emphasizing “cultural fit” over competence in hiring decisions, forming office cliques, and taking sick days. (If positive feminine stereotypes are fair game, so are the negative.)

And just try to tell anyone who’s ever served in an all-male military unit about how much better women are at teamwork.  As a matter of fact, some of that “barking orders and berating slackers” of male athletic coaches results in some pretty damn good teams.

For every ostensible improvement resulting from women becoming more prevalent in the workplace, there’s a corresponding increase in sexual harassment complaints (sometimes even false ones), problems from workplace romance and subsequent tensions among romantic rivals (not to mention if there’s a breakup), and need for the employer to account for fertility decisions.  There’s far more chance that an employer will groom a woman for four years only to have her quit so she can spend time with the kids than there is for a man.  Men are substantially less likely to burst into tears during meetings.  Of course, we’re not supposed to notice any of this.

1950’s moms weren’t completely insular, but often their conversational range was limited.

And this has somehow changed?  Indeed, there are some damn intelligent and insightful women here on Ricochet and elsewhere, but the vast majority of conversation among younger women I encounter is restricted to relationship or workplace gossip and reality television.

The War on Women meme actually worked, yet somebody’s trying to tell me that all this education and careerism is broadening female minds.

Instead, we find time and time again that the more traditional women tend to be the more conservative ones.

Many were “Cinderella Syndrome” dependent in financial matters. The singular focus on child-raising left too many ill-prepared for when the kids left the nest, or for when tragedy struck.

I’ll grant this point because I don’t have access to the requisite stats.  However, in retrospect we’re far more likely to know about the women who weren’t prepared for tragedy than those that were (What modern-day academic is going to write an in-depth investigative article about a 1930’s widow who did just fine?). Yet I suspect that before young women postponed child-rearing until their thirties so as to not interfere with their careers, older women with strong maternal instincts had a much easier time diverting those instincts to grandchildren.

Their daughters had so many more choices to lead richer, fuller lives, and many have.

And many haven’t, for they’re far more likely to be single mothers, forced to remain in jobs they may well not find particularly “empowering,” and growing old without familial support from either a husband, children, grandchildren, or extended family.

I can’t say for certain because I wasn’t there, but I find it hard to believe that before we had so many working women that there were quite so many women in their later thirties and forties trolling bars, getting drunk out of their minds, and decrying the lack of good men out there.  We’re largely unaware of the women who deeply regret postponing marriage and family for the sake of their careers.  A high-powered career requires sacrifices for both men and women, but such sacrifices usually cost women far more.

A man can spend his energy on his career throughout his twenties and thirties, decide when he’s forty-two he wants to get married, and actually pull it off.  Any decreases in his fertility are negligible, and in many ways his appeal to women actually increases with time.

Fair or not, for a woman this isn’t true.  But even if we could re-program men to find forty-five year-old women as appealing as twenty-five year-olds (good luck with that), a woman’s fertility window is much shorter; if she waits too long, she may miss her chance to have kids altogether.  Time spent in the lab is time she can’t spend with her kids, thus either depriving the kids of needed attention, missing out on work experience, or forcing her employer to pretend that her time off spent with the kids is as valuable to him as time her co-workers spend doing actual work for him.

Yet in our quest to give women “more options,” we’re positioning them to have to do it all.  She’s got to “lean in” in the office but be soft and tender with her three year-old.  She’s supposed to spend her twenties building her resume, but biologically that’s the best time for her to have children.  If she has a husband, it’s stressful as the both of them try to manage every aspect of managing the household.  If she doesn’t have a husband, it’s even worse.

Yes, there are some women who are naturally more driven and inclined to focus on career.  Let those women do what they wish.

However, let’s not push women who aren’t so inclined into a lifestyle they may not want in schools and pop culture.  Let’s not mandate that employers bend over backwards to accommodate biological realities that should instead be the responsibility of the women in question; it’s up to her to balance her career goals and her biological imperatives, not her employer.  Let the women who choose to enter male-dominated fields learn how to adapt to male culture instead of insist that her twenty-five colleagues change their behavior to suit her.

I recognize that more traditional eras fell far short of paradise.  Indeed, man is fallen.  Every era is somewhat broken, individuals always fall through the cracks.  Were the 1950’s perfect, there wouldn’t have been so many revolutions in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

However, it’s also naive to believe that everything we label an “improvement” is actually an improvement, that revolutionary societal changes don’t have consequences, that it’s impossible to “solve” a problem to such an extent that we can’t create a host of new ones.

Yet I see even ostensible conservatives accuse people who deign to so much as address such issues as “primitive.”  I see others insist there’s no correlation whatsoever between the immense cultural shift of women entering the workplace and the innumerable problems we’ve developed since then.  They see the empowered happy female executive and smile and assume that that’s the entire story.  Any problems we’ve developed either don’t exist, have nothing to do with the unprecedented shifts that preceded it, or still exist because we still haven’t gone far enough.

If a women don’t want to be engineers, we’ve socialized them improperly.  If they want to be engineers but aren’t happy as engineers, it has nothing to do with the women in question and everything to do with their sexist co-workers.  If she can’t find a suitable spouse at thirty-eight, it’s because men are too immature or threatened to see her true worth.  If she has a tough time balancing her career and kids, it’s up to the government to provide more programs for her.

Yet I’m somehow “primitive” for noticing this.  I have a hard time reconciling “everybody needs to change to suit me” with “independence,” so I’m on “the wrong side of history.”  I can’t help but notice that traditional women both older and younger strike me as happier than their eternally aggrieved power-woman sisters, so I’m a misogynist.

Call me whatever ugly names you want.  Enough is enough.

As to the “Hopeful Sign” I cite in my title, as of the time I post this here, there have been thirty-eight comments.  Some are by me, and one I would describe as neutral.

But all of the other comments are supportive, and not a single one is negative or disagrees with what I say.

And Kermit has said absolutely nothing.

This entry was posted in Culture, Family, Feminism, Politics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A Hopeful Sign?

  1. pancakeloach says:

    Bravo. The mass entry of women into the workforce has NOT given most women more options AT ALL.

    Unless you count the option of “being far more miserable than your grandmothers were.”

  2. theasdgamer says:

    Too wordy. Stronger arguments are pithier.

    But was it really a better world when men ruled the workplace, and housewives lit fondue pots in suburban Stepford?

    No, we sure wouldn’t want to go back to a world where divorce was rare and men’s suicide rate due to divorce was low. To a world where children typically had both birth parents in the home. That would be awful!

    • Martel says:

      What would you recommend cutting?

      • theasdgamer says:

        If you want to directly engage on his grounds in his frame, then you’ve lost the argument.

      • theasdgamer says:

        Notice that my reply rejected Kermit’s frame and reset the frame back to Mickey’s frame. And I used A & A, which is emotionally persuasive.

      • Martel says:

        The fact that neither he nor any of his multiple allies offered a single point of contention with anything I said doesn’t strike me as much of a loss.

        Quite to the contrary, I created an anti-feminist echo chamber in a site more frequently supportive of a combination of churchian “traditionalsm” and “man up!”ism.

        Your response is great for quick-hitting comment-sparring with limited space, and I’ve left plenty of comments just like it.

        However, lots of people like him don’t necessarily see the connection between women working and high rates of divorce and male suicide. They either assume correlation instead of causation or don’t see divorce rates and single-parent households as being much of a problem.

        I went after those mistaken assumptions, but that required more words.

  3. Johnny Caustic says:

    I think that you undercut the power of what you have to say by using WAY too much sarcasm and snark. For example:

    “If he is aware, I’m sure he doubts that any of this could have any relation whatsoever with people not leading lives they’re naturally inclined to lead.”

    This seems like a really ineffective way to open up a person to a new idea they might not have considered before. I think you would have a much better chance of persuading your readers (and getting your posts elevated to main feed) if you said what you have to say in a direct, non-sarcastic, non-snarky manner, without the confusing double-negatives, e.g.:

    “The reason for these new heights of depression, stress and anomie are because millions of women are leading lives of masculine career-boosting, which is very stressful for them because most women are simply not temperamentally inclined to enjoy such a life. Most women are genuinely happier at home with their children, perhaps breaking it up with a light part-time job.” [Not a good imitation of your writing style, of course, but the point is to deliver the argument straight.]

    To give another example of your snarkiness:

    “Could high divorce rates have anything to do with both halves of a couple being perpetually stressed out as they both share every financial and logistical responsibility for their entire household? Never.”

    Do I even have to point out how irritating this sarcastic style of locution is? You seem to fall into this snarkiness repeatedly, without thinking about whether it’s helping your argument or hurting. It’s a writing style I usually associate with far leftists.

    I would advise you to go on a sarcasm diet and practice writing patient, purely-straightforward arguments for a few weeks.

  4. olivermaerk says:

    http://freedompowerandwealth.com

    The more intelligent women are already about to discover what has happen to them in the last decades. More women are depressed than ever and they are as unhappy as never before in history. And that at the same time where women are completely “liberated”. So, where is the thinking-error?

  5. Pingback: The Word From The Dark Side, November 20th, 2015 | SovietMen

  6. Joe Katzman says:

    The technique is judged by its success. It seems to have been at least partially effective, maybe more. So congrats.

    RE: short vs. longer debate, one might take a tip from Nigel Farrage of UKIP. He consistently uses a Rhetoric-Dialectic combination punch that starts with a short and sharp credibility shot. Agree & Amplify like theasdgamer would qualify, but it’s just one option. The goal is to undermine trustworthiness, and “fix” your opponent in place on your terms. Then Farrage goes into more detail, explaining in more reasoned terms. He still uses combination punches and rhetoric in his main body of course, but generally it’s about showing why the initial punch was right (and sometimes piling on). You can do that follow-on part with a sharp edge or softly, as required by circumstances and the human terrain. If you can also pull off the comedian’s Rule of 3 while doing this, just devastating.

    There’s a reason Farrage is a YouTube star, and he has put his party on the map from nothing.

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