December 14, 2012

Feminism: Making children cry on Christmas since 1969

If you'd asked me a couple of years ago, "Steve, your preoccupation is the quality of intellectual discourse, but, really, is there any hope? Does anything ever improve?" I would have answered: "Look how nobody believes in feminist dogma anymore. When I was a kid, a lot of people really believed that the reason little boys liked to play with trucks and clubs while little girls liked to play with baby dolls was because of social conditioning. But, generations have gone by and after a lot of children's tears, we've all learned how silly that was."

Of course, I might have said that in the late 1980s, too.

Remember 1991, when Bush I nominated a young black conservative to the Supreme Court? 

Desperate to block Clarence Thomas's ascent, Democrats played their trump card: Anita Hill, a spinster black lawyer who had worked for Thomas after his divorce, when he was one of the most eligible black bachelors in Washington. Back in those palmy days, there had apparently been a little sexual frisson around the office between those two, who seemed so well-suited in terms of education and race that a trip to the altar seemed plausible. But nothing much had come of it, and Thomas eventually married a white woman. 

Years later, Hill, still a spinster, announced that she had been the victim of Sexual Harassment, and it was the biggest news in the history of the world for awhile, propelling obvious sexual nonharasser Bill Clinton to the Presidency the next year, The Year of the Woman. (In 1992, I wrote an essay predicting that Bill Clinton would get himself in serious trouble over a case of sexual harassment during his Arkansas gubernatorial years -- as turned out to be true in the Paula Jones case that set off the Monica Lewinsky case -- but I couldn't find anybody to publish it.)

This Year of the Woman mania briefly made intellectual superstars out of a couple of nice-looking young feminist ditzes, Naomi Wolfe and Susan Faludi, before the whole thing collapsed under the weight of its own vapidity.

So, move ahead 20 years to 2012, and the Democratic candidate is just about the least feminist President in recent times. He treats his Harvard Law School wife the way Harry treated Bess, runs a can-you-believe-that-game-on-ESPN-last-night workplace atmosphere, hires Larry Summers, and only favors a tiny number of women (Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice) because they come from the Jack & Jill Club paper bag test Afro-American upper crust. 

But, the point is that Obama's a Democrat, so the Feminist Noise Machine got switched on loud in 2012, and it worked, just like it did in the 1992 election. But do we have to still hear it now that the election is over? Can't we please pack it away until 2016?

For example, in Slate, Hanna Rosin encourages clueless single women to play Feminist Grinch and ruin their nephews' and nieces' Christmases/Hannukahs in the name of Gender Neutrality:
Ultimate Disney Princess Castle: Your Time is Up 
This season’s gender-neutral toys will finally prove that boys and girls aren’t so different after all.

Granted, that's a particularly stupid headline, but any complaints Mr. Rosin has in that regard she should take up over the family dinner table, since she's married to Slate's editor David Plotz. 

Later Ms. Rosin asserts: 
"But in fact this is a false piece of evidence, or at least extremely misleading, since childhood is just about the only phase of life where differences between the genders show up so starkly." 

Ms. Rosin evidently hasn't paid much attention to the nerdier corners of grown-up culture. Gigantic sex differences are evident among, say, advanced baseball statistics hobbyists ("moneyballers" or "sabermetricians") or aficionados of the history of style in golf course architecture.

The general trend is for the Internet to make it easier for each sex to pay attention only to what it finds interesting. Thus, Ms. Rosin, for example, founded a website named DoubleX aimed at readers with two X chromosomes.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "Anita" Hill, not "Angela".

Anonymous said...

Pleading for feminists to go easy on easy on us... that is wussy.

Anonymous said...

Rosin hangs around swpl dorks. I don't see any difference between the likes of Ken Burns(and they're all over facebook) and women.

Geoff Matthews said...


"But in fact this is a false piece of evidence, or at least extremely misleading, since childhood is just about the only phase of life where differences between the genders show up so starkly."


An obvious example of ignoring contradicting evidence.

a very knowing American said...

It's "Naomi Wolf" not "Naomi Wolfe." She's the author most recently of "Vagina: A New Biography."

A palindrome is a word, or phrase, or whatever, that is spelled the same forward and backward, not counting spaces and punctuation. For example:

"Flow," I moan, "O do, Naomi Wolf."

I imagine this might have been uttered by an editor hoping to get Wolf to adopt a more fluid prose style. Or something.

Anonymous said...

The feminist noise will continue until morale improves

Anonymous said...

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/14ra14/ama_request_steve_sailer_movie_critic_for_takis/

lol

jody said...

how about a post on john manziel and the first freshman to ever win the heisman.

i personally do not pay much attention to NCAA football, but the story is noteworthy.

helene edwards said...

Steve, "years later" doesn't make any sense, adverting to "1991," one paragraph above, but then relating not to later events but to those of 1991. Needs revision.

not a hacker said...

As Orwell said, the idea is to humiliate, so there'll be no letup.

Anonymous said...

You can't do anything about the FNM, this year or any other year.

But this holds promise:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/where_big_gop_bucks_could_matter_sud7apkPHDcFSVDDZkFDEL

SFG said...

Susan Faludi actually attempted to find out why men were so resistant to female power, and wound up writing a whole book, 'Stiffed', about the experience. It at least mentioned deindustrialization and the loss of a role for men.

For a feminist to have any empathy at all for men is unusual, to say the least.

Orlando Gibbons said...

You should do a Reddit AMA, Steve. Knock some sense into those hipster kids. (Just don't ask for donations, they'll pounce on you for that.)

Dennis Dale said...

Storm that Ultimate Disney Princess Castle, Hannah! Can I get a photo-shop of her in armor?

In California the Barbara Boxer for Senate bumper-stickers appeared just as the Anita Hill hysteria was getting started. That's no coincidence. The whole thing must be seen as a cynical power grab, that worked well and becomes a model for the future.

As for cold-fish Barry, there is real policy agreement between him and the gals, and any Republican challenger has to at least feign resistance to feminist domination. So they're hypocrisy is harmless.

But the manifest hypocrisy of Clinton and Obama contradicts the feminist analysis: that patriarchy, and now any critique of feminism, is born of hate or dysfunction.

A Republican Clinton would have been booted, a Republican (and white) Obama would have an entirely different image in the eyes of women. This bs about him conveying "warmth" certainly wouldn't be there. Obama thus makes a good case study in just how much an image can be manufactured out of whole cloth. Quite a lot.

So there is consistency in their madness. The calumny "Romney hates women", which is how they sometimes literally phrased it, does follow from their extreme worldview, which tags, for instance, opposition to affirmative action for gals as either, or somehow both, mental deficiency or misogyny.

C and O are two very different versions of familiar masculine types: the extrovert who can't keep it in his pants and the introvert who isn't much interested in women outside of the home. Neither of find women very impressive really, do they? Feminist theory condemns them both: one sees women mostly as whores, one mostly as homemakers.

slumber_j said...

@a very knowing American:

A woman, a plan, a canal: Panam--Ow!!!--a!

Kylie said...

Yes, "I Am Woman, Hear Me Bore" doesn't need to be on an infinite loop to be pretty darned tiresome.

NOTA said...

Actually, it has always seemed to me like feminism has lost steam by having unambiguously won its big battles. I mean, describe the world of 2012 to a feminist in 1950, and it will sound correctly like having won 90+% of what she would ever hope for. There are more women fhan men coming out of law and medical schools, women routinely have high-value jobs and high-powered careers, it's not the least bit unusual to have a woman as your boss (I've had a female supervisor about half the time throughout my career.). There are women among the top levels of power and influence in the country. Nobody resists the idea that women can have just about any job they can do, maybe with the exception of combat in the military.

The problem is, the biggest goals having been met, the remaining goals of the feminist movement have less broad appeal, and often amount to curmudgeonly griping about the fact that other people don't want or value or choose the things the feminists think they should--which is just as interesting to listen to coming from feminists as coming from any ofher bunch. Gee, terribly sorry boys seem to mostly want toy guns and girls mostly want pretty dresses, sorry women would mostly rather be doctors than engineers, etc.

Now, it's possible to dress up curmudgeonly griping about why everyone doesn't do the obviously right thing and live like the speaker wants them to in all kinds of academic or specialist language. It's also possible for the curbmudgeons to sometimes have a point worth hearing, But mostly, they don't really have much of interest to say, because we have made incredible progress toward making women and men equal under the law and at work.

Old Man Ribber said...

Jack & Jill Club paper bag test Afro-American upper crust

What?

Jack Bolling said...

The problem is, the biggest goals having been met, the remaining goals of the feminist movement have less broad appeal, and often amount to curmudgeonly griping about the fact that other people don't want or value or choose the things the feminists think they should--which is just as interesting to listen to coming from feminists as coming from any ofher bunch. Gee, terribly sorry boys seem to mostly want toy guns and girls mostly want pretty dresses, sorry women would mostly rather be doctors than engineers, etc.

Who knew that allying with the Devil would be so unfulfilling?

David Davenport said...

There are more women fhan men coming out of law and medical schools ...

A sure sign that the status of and income from law and medical careers will decline in future.

Liar Liar said...

Rosin's another huge liar.

Female centric websites are a modern witch's prerogative. THERE'S STILL NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SEXES.

Kylie said...

"Jack & Jill Club paper bag test Afro-American upper crust

What?"


Rough translation: mulatto elites

Mr. Anon said...

I was recently required by my employer to take "Workplace Violence Awareness Training", which consisted of watching a video made by a private security company. We refer to it as Old White Guy training, because the assumption made plain in the video is that disgruntled middle-aged white guys are the most likely source of workplace violence. Naturally, all the managers are women in offices; the dangerous, potentially threatening employees are white guys in cubes, who think that other people are taking credit for their work - you know, other people - like incompetent, castrating bitches, like that harpy in the office. Welcome to the modern workplace.

The narrators of the video are ex-cop types - middle-class white guys themselves.

Mr. Anon said...

"This Year of the Woman mania briefly made intellectual superstars out of a couple of nice-looking young feminist ditzes, Naomi Wolfe and Susan Faludi,..."

Naomi Wolf is indeed pretty, but Susan Faludi? That's.......generous.

elvisd said...

The people of the white Anglosphere have given the world women's rights. Feminists everywhere should have a "Thank you, White Anglo-Saxons" day. Women's Rights, a glorious celebration of our White Anglo heritage. Let's have it in April, and all the schools can teach their children accordingly. Who would possibly object?

2Degrees said...

Universities work like this.

1). Progressive cause identified.
2). Progressive cause gets funding.
3). Progressive cause employs lots of people.
4). Progressive cause wins battle.
5). Lots of progressives like cushy well-paid employment.
6). Gender studies = easy subject BUT has few students.
7). So, progressives have lots of time to sit on committees cutting physics and increasing gender studies. Also they can deny funding to people they don't like.
8). Some of what progressives originally argued for MAY have been worthwhile, but now they need to justify their existence.
9). So, progressives become more and more irrational.
10). New cause identified and the cycle repeats itself, but most of the progressives carry on fighting the old battles.

In England, the Progressives have actually formed their own self-help organisation called Common Purpose. Its declared aim is to ensure that only other like-minded people get employment. I do not know why they have not been sacked for corruption.

All academics claim to hate admin, but it's not true. Some of them love it, because they can appear busy without having to try too hard. Gender Studies-types love to fill in forms and organise committees.

The most bizarre experience of my life was a timetable committee meeting which went on all day and where they did nothing but say how evil Mrs Thatcher was. Then there was the meeting where we discussed setting up a Cultural Studies Programme. A knot of them gathered in a corner and excluded the rest of us (who were only too happy to be excluded). They turned out to be specialists in Queer Theory. When I asked what that was, they all said: "Where have you been for the past twenty years?". I replied: "Planet Earth. Where have YOU been for the past twenty years?" Needless to say, my opinion was not asked again. The upshot was that a whole new course was designed that reduced world culture to Queer Theory. Fortunately, on this ONE occasion, their idiotic proposals were not taken up, but that is not always the case.

P.S. The worst thing about the timetable committee was the sheer ugliness of the participants. It was like being trapped on the Island of Dr Moreau.

Anonymous said...

"The people of the white Anglosphere have given the world women's rights."

anglo-chump has given rise to anglo-biatch

http://kshatriya-anglobitch.blogspot.com/2011/01/anthony-ludovici-1882-1971-precursor-of.html

ysv_rao said...


1). Progressive cause identified.
2). Progressive cause gets funding.
3). Progressive cause employs lots of people.
4). Progressive cause wins battle.
5). Lots of progressives like cushy well-paid employment.
6). Gender studies = easy subject BUT has few students.
7). So, progressives have lots of time to sit on committees cutting physics and increasing gender studies. Also they can deny funding to people they don't like.
8). Some of what progressives originally argued for MAY have been worthwhile, but now they need to justify their existence.
9). So, progressives become more and more irrational.
10). New cause identified and the cycle repeats itself, but most of the progressives carry on fighting the old battles.



Re 2)3) 5) and 7) how do they keep funding these causes.I can understand the very first say Black Lesbian Studies against Anglophallic Repression curricullum but surely at some point the bloom is of the rose especially after 4) so I dont get how the process can repeat itself.
How can a university with a straight face cut its computer science program but hold on to its women studies? HOW??? How do they justify it on ANY barometer? And why is there no outcry?

Sarcasticus said...

I don't get how these feminists can trumpet atheism, evolution and science on one hand, then yammer on about how the sexes are the same.

1) Humans evolved over 100,000+ years of evolution. There's a reason why women are attracted to strong, powerful men.

2) Women have XX sex chromosomes, and men have XY sex chromosomes. As each sex has an X chromosome, it has evolved to be stable and undergo little mutation with every genetic copy. The Y chromosome, on the other hand, varies wildly. This is generally why there are more male geniuses (and by the same token, morons) than women.

These are 2 basic facts found in any intro to biology textbook. There are huge, red-flag differences between the sexes - and anyone claiming otherwise lacks intellectual integrity.

Anonymous said...

Susan Faludi actually attempted to find out why men were so resistant to female power, and wound up writing a whole book, 'Stiffed', about the experience.

Did Faludi also attempt to find out why women are so resistant to female power? Chicks hate female bosses, you know. Faludi knows it, too, so why not investigate it?

Gozer said...

Feminists tend to fall into 2 camps:

The young feminists (college students) tend to be true believers, pushing a convenient ideology that just happens to benefit them, though it comes with a price- turning off many men, and having to support the ludicrous race nonsense. There is a definite strain that are deeply neurotic, and use feminism as a crutch and a weapon to attack the scapegoat 'men' (in reality, white men) for all that is wrong in their little f'd up lives.

This group is the one who never grows out of it, some of whom become the crazed feminist professors who shriek at the slightest perceived challenge to their ideology, and constantly act in passive/agressive ways towards men the rest of their lives.

It may be true that most people no longer believe in feminism, but this core always will. They need their psychological crutch too badly.

ben tillman said...

But in fact this is a false piece of evidence, or at least extremely misleading, since childhood is just about the only phase of life where differences between the genders show up so starkly.

Differences show up much more starkly later in life when men and women do things related to their actual sexual roles.

Anonymous said...

"P.S. The worst thing about the timetable committee was the sheer ugliness of the participants. It was like being trapped on the Island of Dr Moreau"

Very funny ...I've been there too... same type of situation. LMAO!

Anonymous said...

There is a definite strain that are deeply neurotic, and use feminism as a crutch and a weapon to attack the scapegoat 'men' (in reality, white men) for all that is wrong in their little f'd up lives.

The main thing that is wrong in their little f'd up lives is that they can't land a guy alpha enough to put them in their place because they aren't attractive enough shrews for an alpha to bother taming.

a chick said...

"Chicks hate female bosses, you know. Faludi knows it, too, so why not investigate it?"

For the millionith time. Not all. I've had female bosses I loved, some I hated. But then, most of my bosses have been female, so I've not been spoiled for choice.

Anonymous said...

"A sure sign that the status of and income from law and medical careers will decline in future."

So what the high status fields of the future?

Glaivester said...

On one hand, I bristle at the idea of pushing gender neutrality in toys.

On the other hand I'm a brony.

Make of that what you will.

Norville Rogers said...

I liked Salon's imprint, "Broadsheet"... Mediaite's "Jane Dough" was actually clever IMO, but Denton/Gawker's "Jezebel" is the kind of lame, self-congratulatory, on-the-nose signaling you remember from college newspapers. Whereas the Jewish Daily Forward calling theirs "The Sisterhood" was utterly uninspired

Anonymous said...

"A sure sign that the status of and income from law and medical careers will decline in future"

didn't atlantic run a piece about female doctors earning less(because they work less), and of course the law student travails are legend.

http://xoxohth.com/thread.php?thread_id=1328496&forum_id=2%29

"So what the high status fields of the future?"

elite nursing according to hana rosin, unless the japanese robots get there first.

Anonymous said...

"For the millionith time. Not all. "

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/12/intellectual-discourse-taking.html

Anonymous said...

""So what the high status fields of the future?"

elite nursing according to hana rosin, unless the japanese robots get there first."

No reason why the robots shouldn't get to the lawyers and doctors (in fact, computer diagnosis is done) before nursing. Nursing usually involves more human contact than doctoring. I remember a rather smart girl declaring she was going to be a hairdress so no computer could take her job.
And politicians--pls, outsource them all.

a chick said...

Anonymous said...
"For the millionith time. Not all. "

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/12/intellectual-discourse-taking.html

. For the millionth and one time..

Just came off a contract where the lady was so genuinely nice and encouraging it made me nervous because I wasn't confident about pleasing her enough. I would almost have preferred a bulldog.
It's true. We so want to please.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12/16/12 11:10 AM

Actually, the nurses have offloaded a lot of the more mundane human contact to "care partners" and "medical assistants." Computer diagnosis can be done, but it's only as good as the answers given by the patients. There is a GIGO problem. The intellectually less sophisticated patients, which in the real world where most people lack college degrees is most of them, also need explanation and exhortation to follow a treatment course to the end.

Anonymous said...

"..... before the whole thing collapsed under the weight of its own vapidity." Outstanding prose, sir.

Dahinda said...

"Thus, Ms. Rosin, for example, founded a website named DoubleX aimed at readers with two X chromosomes." I know a lot of websites that are Triple X, but those seem to be geared toward men.

NOTA said...

From childhood forward, people choose what they like, not what you, I, or your favorite curmudgeon wants them to like. Sometimes, that means your boys make guns and killer robots out of their Legos, sometimes it means your girl wantsto go build a fort with her brothers while wearing the pretty pink dress she insisted on wearing.

For whatever reason, most ideologues seem to have endless trouble with this. Nobody gives a damn what you think they should want or choose or like--they have their own desires. A certain strain of feminists spend all their time complaining about basically this issue, and inventing elaborate reasons why women and men are somehow being fooled or coerced into wanting the wrong things. They are exactly as tiresome as that strain of religious conservatives who say the same stuff, and sometimes even end up on the same side as the feminists.

Meanwhile, the world moves on. Absent some kind of Stalinist or Taliban-like machinery of persuasion, these curmudgeons' rants will have zero effect on anything. Girls and boys will play with the toys they like, read the books they like, etc., subject to a little pushback from parents and friends around the edges, but little else. Maybe women will suddenly start getting more interested in programming and engineering and math, maybe not, but in no case will this be because some grumpy old lady somewhere demanded that they start liking math more, or boys start liking it less.

NOTA said...

Just as an aside, it's interesting to look at the original article's arguments. When otherwise smart people make really stupid, easily-refuted statements in print, I think that's usually an indication that they're living in an intellectual/ideological bubble, in which the obvious-to-me refutation just doesn't ever come up.

People make weak, crappy arguments when they can get away with them, and often, they don't even realize how crappy and weak they are, because nobody ever points that out. That's one great danger of spending too much time in the same intellectual bubble--if you only talk to liberal feminists at Berkeley, or conservative econ students at the University of Chicago, you simply never even bump into some ideas and facts.

The next time you see someone make a statement as silly as that bit about childhood being the only place where gender differences are apparent, or the common nonsense about how race has no biological meaning, recognize it for the sign it is--this person lives in a bubble in which this nonsense sounds like sense. (And so do all of us, for some version of "nonsense" and "sense," but it's possible to do better or worse there.)

Bill said...


a chick said...

"Chicks hate female bosses, you know. Faludi knows it, too, so why not investigate it?"

For the millionith time. Not all.


ProTip: Statements of the form "Group X has characteristic Y" virtually always should be read to mean "Group X disproportionately has characteristic Y."

Failing to read this way is failing to read.

MaMu1977 said...

@David Davenport

You got it backwards. Women are slowly taking over mercantile pharmacy (CVS, Rite-Aid, Duane Reade, supermarket/Walmart stores.) Conversely, male pharmacists (without families, naturally) can earn upwards of $1000/sick day or maternity leave day taken by the more "desirable" women. Every 3-4 years, our business receives a "glut" of new graduates. By Year 2, the big name stores are offering upwards of $150/hour for "temps" to pick up the slack when their female pharmacists begin to earn their final feminist merit badge (got the degree, got the job, got the "respect", got the travel, got the man. Now, l they need is the child for the final two pieces: "made a kid" and "having it all"!)

Large cities (New York, LA, Dallas, Chicago) can have their Rx-supplying needs met. Smaller cities (I'm not talking about Fargo or Charleston, I'm talking cities as large as Minneapolis or Portland) tend to be left behind the 8-ball when even 10-15% of the female pharmacists need to go to their doctor appointments. Or stay home due to morning sickness. Or when the baby is running a 39C fever and the local paediatricians are swamped. So, the call for "temps" begins (because they can't afford to let even one day of prescriptions go unfilled) and the business owners will pay top dollar for qualified personnel. I have an aunt that (after 40 years of trumpeting girl power) flat-out refuses to use any female health professionals for that very reason. In the last decade, she's switched doctors more than a dozen times (because female doctors retire earlier and take more days off than male doctors. Her current doctor was her former female doctor's "choice substitute".)

Her current pharmacy is literally an hour away from her home, because all of her "walking distance" pharmacies are staffed by 1 woman, half of whom are sick/pregnant/nursing/home on any given day. After a "temp" pharmacist made a mistake that put my uncle in the hospital for a month, my aunt has embraced consistency and competence over "girl power". Unfortunately for her, her current pharmacist (my mentor, btw) is 55 years old and brags about the fact that he's earned an extra $100,000/year since Bush's re-election in 2004, just from working 2 weekends a month as a "temp". My mentor's "second" is a guy who shows up at midnight three times a week, fills prescriptions until 6AM, counsels patients until 9AM, and earns $2100/week after taxes. He *won't* be replacing my mentor next year, as the idea of working full time (when he's literally putting $4000/month in a CD every month) is a *step down*.

Seriously speaking, women make up 40% of all working doctors, yet it is like pulling teeth to make an appointment if you aren't invalid, an old patient or willing to pay cash in hand. By 2020, more than half of America's doctors will be women. Pregnancy/family related scarcity will make working doctors even richer.

Norville Rogers said...

re: "childhood is just about the only phase of life where differences between the genders show up so starkly"

If that were true feminist dogma wouldn't be having such a rough time of it 4 decades on. It suffers disparately from the Fool All The People All The Time Principle since most people are equipped to observe sex differences at all phases of life. Childhood is the "only" battleground because of the left's Rousseau/Frankfurt priority placed upon it, and also the battleground of choice (since reality better asserts itself over lifetimes).

Where feminism has succeeded most is with the destruction of a lot of traditional knowledge, both hard-earned and accidental, as one generation naturally raises the next. There is an educational animation from the late 40s, easily available thanks to the Youtube Internet miracle machine, that was a joint production of Disney and Kotex--I believe the former had to obtain Kimberly-Clark's permission to create it--on the topic of guess-what, which yields web feminister hissing every time it crops up. The absence of nurturist assumptions/dogma in that video is pretty stunning.