Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dear Feminists: This Is Why You Are In Trouble

The ongoing kerfluffle over the site #WomenAgainstFeminism, displaying selfies of a number of attractive young women who are all holding placards declaring why they don’t need feminism, has gone beyond the usual shame-and destroy tactics that the feminist establishment usually employ.  Instead what has happened as these women quietly but publicly disagreed with the status quo ideology and dis-identified themselves as feminists is remarkable.  Some have likened it to the feminist Berlin Wall crumbling, or an anti-feminist Arab Spring. 
It is telling that it took young women rebelling against feminist ideology in a public sphere to get prominent (and obscure) feminists all over the world to listen – if only for a moment – to the same things that most folks in the Red Pill/MHRA/MGTOW/PUA/OMG community have been saying, some of us for decades.  But when opinions that issue from the mouths of men are ignored or discounted simply because of our gender, when feminism refuses to engage in any meaningful dialog with those it purports to change, then its own unwillingness to participate in a debate it claims to want demonstrates the disingenuous nature of your ideology.
The shock and disgust displayed toward these young women by feminists is appalling.  They are treated as vapid and ignorant, young, dumb, and desperately seeking male attention by those who would dismiss their well-articulated positions.  The irony of this escapes not even thefeminists, themselves.  Some are even leaving their association with feminism.
But ladies, this is what the problem is.  Let me mansplain something to you, because you clearly missed something.  I’ll go ahead and do it in patronizing and patriarchal tones, so that you have an opportunity to scoff derisively as you read it, desperate for a hint of misogyny – us white male dissidents understand our role in your ideological drama, and I would hate to disappoint.
Over and over in these face-palming critiques I keep reading of your utter horror as you saw one young woman after another (apparently) mis-understand what feminism “is about”, I hear you complain bitterly that these women are getting it wrong.  Feminism isn’t about (insert tragic misdiagnosis here) it’s about equality.  You quote the dictionary, chapter and verse, you quote great feminist minds of the past, inspirational voices who led you to realize what feminism “is about”.
Only, not everyone agrees with you.  And that’s making you batshit crazy.
There’s an understandable amount of schadenfreude in the Manosphere over this, but believe it or not, I’m not gloating.  I’m just vindicated.  Many of us predicted this sort of thing would happen, and gosh darn if it didn’t.
You see, the thing that is driving you crazy is that feminism is an ideology, but it also functions, in many social ways, like a cult or religion.  And while your intellectual inner circle has been preaching equality for years, regardless of the strides or gains you may have made, the fact is that your ideology’s public image has been tarnished badly in the meantime.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but you made the same mistake Republican candidates traditionally make.  In an effort to appease the loudest voices, and maintain the appearance of unity, you have allowed those voices to dictate the direction of the entire group – or at least its perception by the public.
There’s a reason that only a small minority of women identify as feminists these days.  The ideology has become so loaded with baggage from the culture wars of the past that adherence to it involves picking up that baggage . . . and that’s something that most women just don’t want to do.
Worse, two decades of systematic targeting of masculinity, in all of its guises, has managed to alienate nearly all men from your banner.  There was a time, in my fuzzy youth, when I may have identified myself as a “male feminist”, because I believed in equality too . . . but I believed in full equality: draft cards, equitable sentencing, and equal custody and all, and those were issues that feminism, alas, did not see as germane.
They sure as hell were germane to me.  And to a lot of other guys.
Over the years, individual feminists and feminist-oriented groups made it quite clear that men were not welcome – we were part of the problem, and the more we tried not to be, the more you lashed out at us as individuals and as a class.  Whether you intended to or not, feminism as a movement became associated with the callous disregard of masculine values and the blanket disrespect for male issues.  You couldn't even let a bunch of guys get together and talk about male homelessness, suicide, and social issues without protesting and making death threats.  Classy, feminism.
We were supportive, once upon a time.  But what did we earn from that support?  You called us part of "The Patriarchy", taunted us for our perceived privileges, and never spared the opportunity for shame and guilt about our gender.  We supported your reproductive freedoms and your right to own your own bodies, and you called us participants in “rape culture”.  When we threw up our hands and realized that there was no way for you to be happy with us, you called us “misogynists”.
So we left.  There’s a reason that “male feminists” of any note are as scarce as hen’s teeth any more.  No one wants to be a male feminist.  You savage them with particular delight, when they persist in being male, and no man wants to be seen publicly working against the best interest of his gender.  Congratulations, ladies.  You’ve made “male feminists” an endangered species.
Like the Republicans, you’ve played to your base and alienated the mainstream.  People don’t associate feminism with positive values, anymore, and it’s not just Red State hicks and Southern politicians who feel that way.  Feminism was the ideology that spurred millions of women to divorce and break up their families, and many of us carry the scars of that decision.  Feminism made men fearful to even speak to women, much less relate to them in a professional manner.  While you may see the resulting domination of women in corporate positions of power as gratifying, understand that it was done at a price.
You may see feminism as responsible for great strides in American and World history, and I can’t deny that.  So was Marxism, the ideological model feminism chose to co-opt – the one that equated men with the oppressing class and validated some feminists’ need to hate men as a class.  A lot of us take that personally.  Feminism’s unequal treatment of gender issues across the board has grown so egregious that protecting the virtue of 200 little African girls results in a global awareness campaign, while the brutal deaths of hundreds of boys in the same conflict earned no attention by feminism.
You can claim that feminism isn’t about hating men and punishing boys, Ladies, but the fact of the matter is that this is precisely how feminism is viewed by a broad plurality – if not a majority – of the men in America.  Not the progressive pals you keep around you to remind yourself you don’t technically hate all men, but the dude who changed your oil, mowed your lawn, stocked your groceries and passed you on the freeway, all of them have a disdain for feminism, as an ideology, that they would likely never speak to you about.
You've attacked male sexuality with bloodthirsty abandon, belittling the "male gaze" and objecting to "objectification" - without understanding that objectification is as important to male sexuality as emotional context is to female sexuality.  Your relentless fight against "rape culture" has put you at odds with every heterosexual man in the country, as you rampage for the right to only be approached by attractive men, and demonize unattractive men by their "misogyny".  Feminism has been responsible for more male sexual guilt than the Catholic Church.  But you don't know that, because we stopped talking to you a long time ago.
Because speaking to feminists about feminism when you disagree with the culture that has sprung from the ideology is akin to speaking to a cult member.  Every stay-at-home mom who decided to spend her best reproductive years making a home and building a family with a loving husband has been called to task for her choice – “you could be so much more”, “why are you letting him keep you isolated?”, “don’t you want to prove you can make something of yourself?”, these are all the catty, snide little ways feminists have promoted your ideology.
In seeking equal opportunities for women, feminism has denigrated the role of wife and mother that so many women desire.  Voicing a preference for Blue’s Clues over Black’s Legal Dictionary gets a woman pilloried in our post-feminist society, as you well know.  By placing careerism over the desire for a family, feminism has inadvertently doomed hundreds of thousands of successful career women to childlessness, as the “good” men they plan on settling for after they’ve established themselves in careers seek less-driven mates to be the mothers of their children.  The frustration among the professional class of feminist is palpable.  Yet feminism teaches them that it is men’s fault, or the fault of the Patriarchy, or ageism, or whatever rationalization is in vogue at the moment.
Those rationalizations, as thousands of women are discovering, don’t keep you warm at night. 
But not only has feminism alienated men of good will and mothers, feminism has consistently besieged one of the most hallowed areas of femininity: marriage.  In its efforts to protect women in abusive relationships, feminism has waged an unrelenting war against one of the pillars of femininity.  No, not all women want to get married – but for those who do, and there are a lot of them, feminism has successfully weakened the institution to the point where feminism has become the antithesis of a happy marriage.
Just watch how apologetically a feminist announces her engagement.  I had that pleasure, recently, and watching this woman squirm while she had to admit to her equally-feminist friends that she wanted a husband – not that she needed a husband, but (like a handbag or a new car) she wanted one – was an awkward moment.  Of course, she could not bring herself to actually say the word, “husband” – she said “partner” – and she instantly declared that she would not take his name.  Go girl.  I felt humiliated and emasculated on her bridegroom's behalf.
But while I quietly congratulated her on her marriage, the fact is that feminism, regardless of its vaunted goal of equality, has consistently tarnished and weakened an institution that a majority of women hold sacred . . . and they have muddied the waters of non-feminist women considerably by their approach. That hasn't garnered feminism any positive public relations.
Men are reluctant and fearful to marry now, thanks in part to feminist-inspired pro-divorce culture, ala Eat, Pray, Love.  Feminism’s successful war on the patriarchal expectation of sex in marriage has removed the insulation married women once had from the Sexual Marketplace, making their husbands prey to predatory women and devaluing their own sexual contributions.  When feminism made it clear that a husband had no native right to his wife’s body, it also undermined the marital exchange to the point where she can no longer be certain of his fidelity.  Feminism is synonymous with divorce, not happy wives, in the real world beyond the ivory tower. 

(It might be helpful if feminism stopped treating the term "wife" like a death sentence.  Requiring a woman to apologize for her marriage and her husband, and then imposing a lot of humiliating restrictions that are going to be harmful to the marriage, doesn't win you many allies.  Feminism has made it possible where a little girl can grow up and be a great feminist anything . . . except a good wife.)
Feminism did itself no favors by encouraging the sassy self-esteem of two generations of girls.  While claiming white men had unearned privilege, feminism pushed the unearned privilege of white girls to the breaking point.  Many folks are anti-feminists not because they object to the ideals of feminism, but because they object to the conduct of feminists.  Young women who feel that they are entitled to pretty much anything they want, who trade on their feminism with threats of legal action or scandal to get their way, these women aren’t ‘empowered’ – they’re ‘bossy’.  That would be one thing if they were also highly competent and productive, but those are not qualities feminism has emphasized in its application.
The writings of the Women Against Feminism are telling: to them (and to the rest of us) feminism is a bunch of angry women screaming shrilly about how the rest of the world needs to pay attention to them and give them what they want, in a judgmental, demanding way.  The rest of us don’t dislike feminism because we hate equality, we dislike feminism because for many of us some of the most unpleasant and difficult-to-work-with people we know are feminists.  
We see them not just as unhappy people, but people who have invested in their unhappiness to the point where they will only be happy when the rest of the world is just as unhappy as they are.  You want to see feminism perceived in a positive light again?  Create a way for a woman to be a happy feminist.  That’s going to be difficult with an ideology that, practically speaking, sees half of the human race as an enemy, but give it a shot.  Y’all are creative.
Start by trying not to insult and demean anyone whose opinion you don’t like.  Feminism loves to call people names, from ignorant to backwards to stupid – and feminists excel at invective.  Tearing someone down verbally is a high feminist art, and most of us have been the object of that scorn at one time or another, deserved or not.  When you cannot have a discussion with a feminist without her snorting about your perceived privilege, or having her try to shame you into working against your best interest, then engaging in any kind of productive dialog is challenging. And demanding.  And usually self-defeating.
So mostly we just . . . don't.  We ignore you.  We turn our backs on you and mostly we just don't entertain a feminist perspective in any sort of positive way anymore.
As a man I have been called a plethora of vile names and had my character attacked by feminists, even what were supposed to be reasonable, academic discussions.  Feminists have a kind of argument cycle that they go through, I’ve observed, in which my intelligence, education, upbringing, and decency are first brought into question before they launch into outright misandry and emasculation.  At least half of such discussions end with them questioning my manhood – when I know for a fact how they would have reacted had I questioned their womanhood.
I’m a big boy.  I’m not intimidated by shrill women who think their ability to “be strong” and “compete” lies in their willingness to insult another human being.  They have said things to me that, had we truly lived in world of equality, would have required them to settle the matter through seconds and over pistols.  But because feminists tend to hide behind "don't hit me, I'm a girl!" when they decide to engage in such verbal bloodsports, most wise men just . . . walk away.  We're men.  We know feminism hates us.
But the things that you’ve called these Women Against Feminism have been nothing short of vile.  This is what you have to say about these beautiful, intelligent women who disagree with your political ideology.  Women with three advanced science degrees are called “stupid and uneducated” because they dare to disagree with feminist ideology.  Women who have made conscientious choices about their lives are being castigated and threatened.  Women who have made up their own damned minds are being called idiots by other women in a fit of misogyny the Manosphere could never muster.
It is in your reaction to #WomenAgainstFeminism that you reveal yourselves, collectively: Feminism has hit the Wall.  No one is responding to your "nice" voice anymore, because you've burned all your bridges.  Now your very daughters are rejecting your ideology and recoiling in horror from the idea of a "feminist" life.  Yes, feminism is associated with misandry and reactionary man-hating, female entitlement and anti-male ideology in the minds of most people. 

EDIT: A few choice comments:

Emily Shire of The Daily Beast, stating that the movement’s criticism of feminism is “inane, unintelligent, and useless.”

Feminist writer Rebecca Brink published a satire of the campaign on her blog, calling Women Against Feminism “a crock of bullshit based on a misunderstanding of feminism and an ignorance of data and history.”

But like the 35 year old woman who is still trying to rock a miniskirt, you still think feminism is about equality.  No, it is not about equality, and hasn't been for a long time.  What you think feminism is and what it does in the real world are two entirely separate things, and your association with an ideology that is, in effect, anti-male, anti-marriage, and anti-freedom of thought is not doing yourselves any good.
There's some hope that feminism will redeem itself - plenty of women are offended at the things being done in the name of their gender, and want to re-claim the now-poisoned title of feminist.  But until feminists collectively take a good, long, hard look into the mirror and hold themselves accountable for the sins of their sisters in the name of their ideology, don't count on a hell of a lot of support from the victims of feminism.  We're not inclined to be charitable about that sort of thing.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Women Against Feminism

Women Against Feminism: Are These Bitches Crazy?
by Jim Goad

Every time I hear that we live under a “patriarchy,” I close my eyes, click my heels, snap my fingers, and wish that it were true. But when I open my eyes, it’s obvious that men in the West are demoralized and in a pitiful state of disarray. Men have very little group consciousness, if any, these days. Conversely, it is quite clear that women are in a state of Peak Hive Mind and will eagerly devour the babies of any female who does not goosestep in lockstep with third-wave grrl-power feminism.

Or maybe it’s already the fourth or fifth wave. It’s hard to keep up. I’ve been hoping that sooner or later, one of these waves would have drowned them all. But alas, all my hope seemed in vain.

Then, suddenly, like a herd of silken-maned pink ponies galloping toward me in the distant horizon across great barren salt flats that have been scorched in the war between the sexes, comes a fledgling mini-movement calling itself “Women Against Feminism” to give me a fleeting, and perhaps ultimately false, sense of hope for the future of gender relations.

“It is no coincidence that modern feminists embody all of the character traits that cause ‘misogyny’ in the first place.”
Granted, they ape the same banal sort of “placard selfie activism” that infects much of modern online social-justice inanity these days, but I can overlook that for the sake of the message these gals hold on their little handwritten posters:
I don’t need feminism because…I’m tired to be, as a woman, represented by some hysterical hipster whores.

I don’t need feminism because I can hold my own beliefs without an army of angry vaginas backing me.

I don’t need feminism because I don’t think it’s necessary to belittle an entire gender in the name of equality.

I don’t need feminism because our sons are not inherent rapists and our daughters are not perpetual victims.

I don’t need feminism because it reinforces the men as agents/women as victims dichotomy.
Why, it’s almost as if I’ve died and gone to Muslim paradise!

Howard Bloom’s book The Lucifer Principle goes into great detail describing how social movements that initially claim to merely seek “equality” morph into insatiably power-hungry predatory super-organisms once their alleged oppressors are willing to grant them equal treatment. While those making the concessions may think they’re doing so in the name of “fairness,” groups who are on the ascent tend to smell blood instead. Once even a semblance of “equality” is achieved, the mask falls off and it becomes a naked drive for power. They never seem sated by equality and keep moving the goalposts, ultimately becoming every bit as oppressive and intolerant as their former masters.

Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys, distinguishes between “equity feminism”—i.e., the idea that women should be treated equally to men—and its malignant successor, “gender feminism,” which is essentially a folk religion in which women wear angel wings and men are saddled with devil horns. Sommers describes herself as a feminist, as does Camille Paglia, but the latter-day gender feminists consider them traitors to the Holy Cause. Nearly every gal in the “Women Against Feminism” camp seems to have no beef with equity feminism but has become nauseated with the incessant ball-busting and finger-wagging that characterize latter-day gender feminism.

It is no coincidence that modern feminists embody all of the character traits that cause “misogyny” in the first place. They see rape everywhere, consider penises no better than assault rifles, deride masculinity in all its manifestations (except when women act butch), and brook no dissent in their quest to shout down, shame, hunt, mock, malign, and even jail anyone who dares to dissent. This is especially true when it comes to other women. It’s a given that they hate men; but hell hath no fury like a radical feminist scorned by another woman.

Latter-day feminists—who are an entirely different and far more hostile breed than those of only a generation ago—will naturally deny that they seek anything beyond equality, but these squaws speak with forked tongue. If they cared even one lone curly pubic hair about equality, they wouldn’t openly pooh-pooh glaring statistical gender disparities in suicide, homelessness, education, prison sentencing, workplace deaths, custody disputes, spousal support, and longevity. They wouldn’t loudly deny the existence of false rape accusations and the currently unmentionable ubiquity of female violence toward men. They wouldn’t dub sexually aggressive women as “empowered” while slamming men who merely make suggestive comments as rapists.

They’ll bitch about a paucity of female physicists while overlooking a surfeit of female psychologists, nurses, social workers, and especially teachers. And you never seem to hear them complain that there aren’t nearly enough female coalminers, janitors, or sanitation workers.

They’ll even disingenuously claim that this illusory “patriarchy” harms men, too, which would make it a rather inept patriarchy, no? What’s the purpose of having a patriarchy in the first place if it doesn’t benefit men?
In 2001, novelist Doris Lessing bemoaned the castrating vagina dentata hose-beast into which feminism had metastasized:
We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?... The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests. Men seem to be so cowed that they can’t fight back, and it is time they did.
Mein Gott, ’tis like a balm for my beleaguered, testosterone-addled soul to see all these egg-laying mammals who “get it.” It’s like a splash of fresh female pheromones to behold women who have no problem with being women and with men being men. They see essential gender differences as a biological reality and not a false “social construct” that needs to be smashed beyond recognition. They realize that women are human and thus can be every bit as nasty as men. They don’t allow themselves to be frightened into silence by a small screeching cabal of power-crazed, gynocentric shrews with a clearly malicious anti-male “vagenda.” They view men not as a born enemy but a potential dance partner. They understand that female happiness need not be predicated upon male misery.

So are these “Women Against Feminism” chicks crazy? No, not one tiny bit. It’s what they’re fighting that’s insane.

Original article here:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

TIME Magazine on Women Against Feminism!!!

The charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists—but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.

The latest skirmish on the gender battlefield is “Women Against Feminism”: women and girls taking to the social media to declare that they don’t need or want feminism, usually via photos of themselves with handwritten placards. The feminist reaction has ranged from mockery to dismay to somewhat patronizing (or should that be “matronizing”?) lectures on why these dissidents are wrong. But, while the anti-feminist rebellion has its eye-rolling moments, it raises valid questions about the state of Western feminism in the 21st Century — questions that must be addressed if we are to continue making progress toward real gender equality.

Female anti-feminism is nothing new. In the 19th century, plenty of women were hostile to the women’s movement and to women who pursued nontraditional paths. In the 1970s, Marabel Morgan’s regressive manifesto The Total Woman was a top best-seller, and Phyllis Schlafly led opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. But such anti-feminism was invariably about defending women’s traditional roles. Some of today’s “women against feminism” fit that mold: They feel that feminism demeans stay-at-home mothers, or that being a “true woman” means loving to cook and clean for your man. Many others, however, say they repudiate feminism even though — indeed, because — they support equality and female empowerment:
“I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy.”
“I don’t need feminism because it reinforces the men as agents/women as victims dichotomy.”
“I do not need modern feminism because it has become confused with misandry which is as bad as misogyny, and whatever I want to do or be in life, I will become through my own hard work.”
Or, more than once: “I don’t need feminism because egalitarianism is better!”

Again and again, the dissenters say that feminism belittles and demonizes men, treating them as presumptive rapists while encouraging women to see themselves as victims. “I am not a victim” and “I can take responsibility for my actions” are recurring themes. Many also challenge the notion that American women in the 21st century are “oppressed,” defiantly asserting that “the patriarchy doesn’t exist” and “there is no rape culture.”

One common response from feminists is to say that Women Against Feminism “don’t understand what feminism is” and to invoke its dictionary definition: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” The new anti-feminists have a rejoinder for that, too: They’re judging modern feminism by its actions, not by the book.

Consider the #YesAllWomen Twitter hashtag, dubbed by one blogger “the Arab Spring of 21st Century feminism.” Created in response to Elliot Rodger’s deadly shooting spree in Isla Vista, California — and to reminders that “not all men” are violent misogynists — the tag was a relentless catalog of female victimization by male terrorism and abuse. Some of its most popular tweets seemed to literally dehumanize men, comparing them to sharks or M&M candies of which 10% are poisoned.

Consider assertions that men as a group must be taught “not to rape,” or that to accord the presumption of innocence to a man accused of sexual violence against a woman or girl is to be complicit in “rape culture.” Consider that last year, when an Ohio University student made a rape complaint after getting caught on video engaging in a drunken public sex act, she was championed by campus activists and at least one prominent feminist blogger — but a grand jury declined to hand down charges after reviewing the video of the incident and evidence that both students were inebriated.

Consider that a prominent British feminist writer, Laurie Penny, decries the notion that feminists should avoid such generalizations as “men oppress women”: In her view, all men are steeped in a woman-hating culture and “even the sweetest, gentlest man” benefits from women’s oppression. Consider, too, that an extended quote from Penny’s column was reposted by a mainstream reproductive rights group and shared by nearly 84,000 Tumblr users in six months.

Sure, some Women Against Feminism claims are caricatures based on fringe views — for instance, that feminism mandates hairy armpits, or that feminists regard all heterosexual intercourse as rape. On the other hand, the charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists — but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.

Are Women Against Feminism ignorant and naïve to insist they are not oppressed? Perhaps some are too giddy with youthful optimism. But they make a strong argument that a “patriarchy” that lets women vote, work, attend college, get divorced, run for political office, and own businesses on the same terms as men isn’t quite living up to its label. They also raise valid questions about politicizing personal violence along gender lines; research shows that surprisingly high numbers of men may have been raped, sometimes by women.

For the most part, Women Against Feminism are quite willing to acknowledge and credit feminism’s past battles for women’s rights in the West, as well as the severe oppression women still suffer in many parts of the world. But they also say that modern Western feminism has become a divisive and sometimes hateful force, a movement that dramatically exaggerates female woes while ignoring men’s problems, stifles dissenting views, and dwells obsessively on men’s misbehavior and women’s personal wrongs. These are trends about which feminists have voiced alarm in the past — including the movement’s founding mother Betty Friedan, who tried in the 1970s to steer feminism from the path of what she called “sex/class warfare.” Friedan would have been aghast had she known that, 50 years after she began her battle, feminist energies were being spent on bashing men who commit the heinous crime of taking too much space on the subway.

Is there still a place in modern-day America for a gender equality movement? I think so. Work-family balance remains a real and complicated challenge. And there are gender-based cultural biases and pressures that still exist — though, in 21st century Western countries, they almost certainly affect men as much as women. A true equality movement would be concerned with the needs and interests of both sexes. It would, for instance, advocate for all victims of domestic and sexual violence regardless of gender — and for fairness to those accused of these offenses. It would support both women and men as workers and as parents.
Should such a movement take back feminism — or, as the new egalitarians suggest, give up on the label altogether because of its inherent connotations of advocating for women only? I’m not sure what the answer is. But Women Against Feminism are asking the right questions. And they deserve to be heard, not harangued. As one of the group’s graphics says: “I have my own mind. Please stop fem-splaining it to me.”

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter - Mannish Boy

Just found out Johnny Winter died. Never a great fan, but I've always loved this tune he did back in the day with Muddy Waters. It’s like a hallucinogenic distillation of the purest, most concentrated male energy: a midnight ritual, punctuated by all those call and response screams from the possessed, held somewhere in the Delta just on the border of space and time.

Damn sexy stuff.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Almighty Wage Gap™ - A Comprehensive Analysis

by idetesteverything

Okay, friends. Today’s lesson is going to be on the mysterious wage gap, and you and I are going to debunk this once and for all, and then some (you’ll know what I’m talking about soon). So sit down and buckle up, because we’re in for a long ride.
Just so you know, we’ll be debunking myths by switching perspectives a lot. And this is obviously US-centric for the most part. Try not to get lost!

Let’s start with the primary argument some feminists tend to use.

"The Wage Gap™ is a result of sexism!"
Explanation: This claim (usually made by the media and politicians) asserts that the origin of the evil wage gap is rooted in this ubiquitous discrimination all women supposedly face during their jobs.
Something obviously sounds wrong here, but it’s not what you think.

It’s time for a history lesson.

In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, which stated the following:
I AM delighted today to approve the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits arbitrary discrimination against women in the payment of wages. This act represents many years of effort by labor, management, and several private organizations unassociated with labor or management, to call attention to the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job. This measure adds to our laws another structure basic to democracy. It will add protection at the working place to the women, the same rights at the working place in a sense that they have enjoyed at the polling place.
This Act granted working women the same rights as that of the working man, thereby enjoying the right to equal pay.

Next year, Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in which Section 703(a) defines the following employer practices as unlawful:
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Essentially banning discrimination of wages based on sex.

So wait, why are all these companies so eager to commit an unlawful act by paying women less? How are they getting away with it?

Well… maybe they aren’t getting away with it - because they’re not committing an unlawful act.

That’s right, it’s time to switch perspectives here.

If their acts are lawful, meaning men and women are being paid the same wages, then where’s the cause of the Wage Gap™ originating from? Why are women still earning less if they’re doing the same job as men?
Maybe they’re not doing the same job… well not to the same ratio anyway.

See, the Wage Gap™ simply reflects the median earnings of all men and women classified as full-time workers. Technically, the only scenario in which there would be no wage discrepancy is when
  1. The workforce is split up equally amongst the two sexes. 50/50
  2. The number of women working the same job should be absolutely equal to the number of men working that job.
According to various studies and news articles however, men and women tend to gravitate toward different industries.

According to anti-feminism-pro-equality
Top Five Jobs Women Take:
  1. Secretaries and administrative assistants
  2. Registered nurses
  3. Elementary and middle school teachers
  4. Cashiers
  5. Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides
Top Five Jobs Men Take
  1. Construction
  2. Engineering
  3. Law Enforcement
  4. Firemen
  5. Electricians
Lets look at the yearly salaries for women’s top five jobs:
  1. $50,220 X
  2. $67,930 X
  3. E: $51,380 X [] M: $51,960 X
  4. $20,370 X
  5. N: $24,010 X [] P:$26,880 X [] HH: $20,170 X
Now lets look at the yearly salaries for men’s top five jobs:
  1. $28,410 X
  2. $119,260 X
  3. $55,010 X
  4. $45,250 X
  5. $53,030 X
Additionally, taken from Payscale’s infographic based on the official report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

You can view the full infographic here: [x]

Clearly, we can see that women simply tend to choose lower-paying jobs.

Above is the most common and primary argument used to disprove the Wage Gap™ hypothesis: that it is not rooted in sexism, but in women’s choices and preferences.

However, I do agree with feminists who say that the inclination for lower-paying jobs doesn’t completely explain the cause. This is true, as there are actually several other factors involved.

I’ll be listing them all, sometimes in response to feminists’ rebuttals to the aforementioned primary argument.

"What about women working the same jobs as men? The wage gap exists there too!"
Okay, so let’s look at this from a different angle. If a man and a woman are working the same job for the same wages, then where does the discrepancy occur? They’re both supposed to be earning equal hourly wages, right? That’s supposed to be the full-time wage.

So if a man works x hours a week and earns y salary, then a woman should also earn y salary for working for the same x hours a week.

Unless, of course, the woman works less than x hours a week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, men are about twice as likely to work 40 hours in one week, while women are twice as likely to work for about 35-39 hours a week.

Taken from last year’s official report released by US Bureau of Labor Statistics itself:
In general, employed women work fewer hours per week
than men. On average, women worked 35.8 hours per week in 2012, compared with 40.8 hours for men.
Warren Farrell, who spent about 15 years going over U.S. Census statistics and research studies found that the wage gap exists not because of sexism, but because more men are willing to do certain kinds of jobs. "The average full-time working male works more than a full-time working female," Farrell said.

"Women are actually forced to take lower-paying jobs because they got rejected when they applied for higher-paying jobs!"

One factor that has not been counted in this claim is the kind of college degrees majority of either sex chooses.

Here we have common majors for each gender taken from Payscale.com

"As the above tables show, men are more likely to choose majors that lead to higher incomes. Only two majors common for women pay a national median pay over $60,000 (Nursing and Occupational Therapy), while 10 of the 15 common majors for men pay at least $60,000. The average pay across all of the common majors for men is $61,700, which is 35% higher than the average pay across the common female majors ($45,600).

"Therefore, as women tend to choose majors that lead to lower income, examining national median pay differences for all jobs across genders may just be reflecting these differing major choices. The above pay figures show that women commonly choose majors that come with lower salaries, thus leading (in part) to a lower national median pay for women.”

Women tend to participate in fields that pay relatively less on average. Keep in mind that these majors pay less to both men and women, and women simply focus on these majors on a much greater scale by numbers as compared to men.

Leaving the job market during pregnancy
When the mother comes back to the job (market), she’ll have lesser work experience than most other men of the same age. Lesser work experience means lower chance of getting picked over other people with the same degree of education and age but with higher work experience.

Job options narrowed down to those that offer flexible hours
See, a woman with children will ideally prioritize her children, yes? So she’ll need to look for a job that offers flexible hours.

Unfortunately, not all jobs offer flexibility. So that diminishes job options to mostly flexible jobs. Usually, jobs that offer flexible hours will pay less, ceteris paribus, than those which don’t.

Married mothers as primary providers vs Single mothers
Married mothers opting to be the primary providers, will earn more than single mothers. (Joint filing vs individual taxes, being one of the reasons)
This here leads to another discrepancy: because 63% are single mothers, whereas the rest 37% are married mothers, yet married moms earn way more than their single counterparts.

Moreover, in case of married mothers, the total family income is higher when the mother, not the father, is the primary breadwinner.

"Men earn more than women in female-dominated fields!"

Actually, this goes both ways.

According to Forbes, women are earning ~8% more in male-dominated fields while holding only 3% of such jobs. Some researchers even claim that both sexes fare better when they are in the minority in any chosen field.

Inversely, there have been instances where women have earned more in female-dominated fields as well
On the opposite end of the spectrum, women also make more in a few female-dominated education and healthcare jobs. Female teacher assistants earn 105% as much as male peers. Women are 92% of the field and earn a median of $474 a week, compared to men’s $453.
Women also earn more than men in higher paying jobs like occupational therapists, dieticians and nutritionists, and life, physical, social science and health technicians.
Other factors also include physical strength, which is needed for jobs like construction. Women are generally built with lesser physical strength than men, so job options in heavy-labour fields become diminutive for most.

There are also some psychological differences between men and women that can lead to a discrepancy. For example, women tend to prioritize childcare over profession, so they might drop out of the job market if they decide to start a family. This happens due to the biological instinct of a mother to nurture her children, so we cannot entirely place the blame on society.

That is why 57% of female graduates of Stanford and Harvard left the workforce within 15 years of entry into the workforce.
According to Bloomberg
And there’s no reason to think that women will ever, on average, have the same preferences as men about combining employment and parenthood, or that they will want to become librarians and truck drivers at the same rate as men.
And according to some studies that show that brains of women and men are structurally different, they reported that
Among the differences, men tended to have larger volumes in brain regions understood to be associated with survival instincts, memory and learning, while women tended to have larger volumes in areas of the brain dealing with emotions. This reinforces some commonly held gender stereotypes about the historical roles of men and women.
Another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that
[…] colleagues found greater neural connectivity from front to back and within one hemisphere in males, suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. In contrast, in females, the wiring goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition.
For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. They have a mentalistic approach, so to speak.

Right now, along with our primary argument, we’ve covered some other factors that result in the Wage Gap™ which far outweigh and even diminish the case of it simply being a consequence of discrimination against women.

In conclusion, in order for there to be a gender pay gap, you need to have one gender being paid more than another, ceteris paribus.

But we’re not done yet, folks!

Some people claim that these facts aren’t ‘good enough’ and choose to attack from a more subjective point of view. They bring female socialization and gender roles into the mix, despite neither of these being measurable factors. Some have rejected the idea that women choose to work jobs that offer more comfort, low risk and high flexibility out of their own free will and instead argue that women have been raised and influenced by society to develop an inclination for jobs that coincidentally(imo) have low pay. Examples provided below.

"Women are socialized into taking low-paying jobs!"
Okay, let’s look at this from another angle. If taking low-paying jobs is indicative of socialization then what kind of job would not be seen as a result of socialization?

High-risk jobs? Because, considering the risk factor, they tend to pay the highest of salaries? You can thank Brobama Obama and your fellow feminist friends for that, because they would rather build ‘human bridges’ instead of actual ones.

Human bridges? Meaning careers based in sociology, liberal arts or psychology. In fact, they appealed to Brobama Obama to introduce stimulus packages for women that would add jobs for nurses, social workers, teachers, and librarians.

Higher availability of the aforementioned jobs in favour of women means that these jobs will become more lucrative to women seeking employment, regardless of whether they’re ‘ideal’ or not.
You see, in this age of unemployment, you tend to reach out for any job that’s available. And if the position of a teacher is more easily accessible (thanks Brobama!), as compared to that of say… an engineer, then an astute, goal-oriented woman might choose the option that’s within reach, forgoing one interest for another. Of course, that’s not always the case but it’s still a likely outcome.

Another similar argument put forward by some feminists is:
"Women take jobs for low pay because they are groomed to be submissive and to believe that they are not worthy, intelligent, strong, etc!"

Tell me, dear friends, do you think a woman choosing to work as a kindergarten teacher is a sign of subservience? When in fact, she’ll probably find higher job satisfaction in that field of work than working in the more stressful environment faced by a surgeon?

Here, see what made Cosmo’s list of Best Jobs for Women. All of the options indicate a high level of job satisfaction. This is probably the only time Cosmo is ever gonna be relevant to the discussion. Ever.
Just because we have different lines of work that are dominated by either sex, it doesn’t mean that women choosing to work in a female-dominated field, sometimes for lesser pay, is a display of subservience. If anything, it’s a matter of convenience to choose a job with higher satisfaction levels than whatever’s supposed to be the so-called ideal job for your “strong, independent woman” archetype.

Moreover, if women are conditioned from birth to believe they are not worthy or intelligent then why do they tend to secure equal or even higher scores in subjects like math from a very young age? The conditioning clearly hasn’t affected their level of intelligence, nor their display of said intelligence in standardized tests, it seems. Does an off switch magically appear while they’re filling out college application forms?

The Wall Street Journal says
While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.
— Thoughts —
However, I do agree that all these factors I mentioned and the primary factor altogether may not be 100% of the cause for the Wage Gap™. Yes, some studies even suggest that anywhere from 5% - 40% of the cause of the difference remains unattributed.

Although, just because 5% to 40% of the cause is supposedly unknown, workplace discrimination itself cannot be accurately measured. So while there’s a possibility that discrimination can be a factor, it still doesn’t determine how major or minimal of an impact it has on the Wage Gap™.

I have yet to see any actual case studies regarding workplace discrimination against women that can be considered as hard evidence and has a quantitative function.

As a variable, discrimination/sexism itself can neither be measured, nor can it be controlled. So while it most certainly remains a possibility, there’s no reason to claim that it is a critical factor as compared to the actual factors I’ve posted.

Interestingly enough, a research piece from the economists at the New York Federal Reserve reported, in a survey
What does the phrase “treated poorly in jobs available…”
mean to you
Females reported: Women might be subject to jokes in strongly male-dominated fields, but men are more likely to be subject to worse treatment by female coworkers in strongly female-dominated fields. Poor treatment of women by men is much less socially acceptable than the reverse.
If discrimination really is a widespread issue then it affects both sexes and not just women.
I suppose socialization and gender roles may affect your choice of career to some degree, but altogether that is purely arbitrary. It varies case by case and cannot be measured as a quantitative variable, so we cannot determine the extent to which it affects career choices.

There is no way to figure out if the career choice a woman makes is due to her being conditioned by society. Since this logic of gender roles applies to men too, yet we have men working in female-dominated fields.

If you want to go down the “society is evil” route then you must realize that it’s not a gendered issue. There are men who would be affected by it as well.

While I won’t outright reject these possibilities, I won’t count them as important factors either.
The Wage Gap™ issue needs much more evidence before it can be proven, rather than assertions.
Disclaimer: Regardless, I do think it’s a great idea to encourage more young girls to participate in the science and IT fields and inculcate leadership qualities… but they should not be forced to show interest.
We should not ignore biological differences between many girls and boys that occur right from infancy.
According to a study done by Cambridge University,
Results showed that the male infants showed a stronger
interest in the physical-mechanical mobile (physical-mechanical object) while the female infants showed a stronger interest in the face (social object). The results of this research clearly demonstrate that sex differences are in part biological in origin.
However, we can’t ignore the notion that environment might play an important role too.

For example, it is reasonable to assume (as a possibility, not as a fact) that a kid growing up in a household full of lawyers might also go down that route due to heavy exposure to the field (opportunity to attend court trials, for example) at a very young or developmental stage.

But if the same child grows up to become a social worker instead, then is it because of socialization and adherence to gender roles, or is it simply due to some sort of mental inclination towards social education, as an expression of a certain personality type (pedagogic ENFJs, I’m looking at you)? Notice that I didn’t mention the gender of the child.

Either way, biology or the environment certainly can influence someone’s personality and decision-making ability but there’s no way of knowing which can be the bigger determinant simply by looking at their career choices.

Social influences are not a deciding factor, so we should respect a person’s career choice as a result of him/her exercising the ability to think independently. Saying that society influences women to be servile is disrespectful to those who didn’t go for the job suitable for the “strong, independent women” archetype simply due to a difference in personal interests and goals… so it’s not really helping your cause at all.

What’s interesting to note is that those who are in opposition or critical of a woman’s choice (to take jobs that offer relatively low pay) generally tend to be the ones who abstain from entering scientific or tech fields, both of which are higher-paying.

Not that I’m implying anything. :)

Another Disclaimer: Whatever’s mentioned under —Thoughts— is just that - my own opinion. You can either agree with it, or we can agree to disagree. Or we could discuss it privately if you’d like. Preferably as mature adults, thanks!

Sources(It’s advisable that you go through all of them before coming at me with a rake):
Equal Pay Act of 1963 
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 
It’s Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth
Women in the Labor Force: A Databook by US Bureau of Labor Statistics (It’s over 100 pages long so have fun)
Majors by Gender: Is It Bias or the Major that Determines Future Pay?
The ‘77 Cents on the Dollar’ Myth About Women’s Pay
Study Shows That Numbers Of Working Moms Have Increased: Is That A Good Thing?
IRS Announces 2013 Tax Rates, Standard Deduction Amounts And More
Breadwinner Moms
The 15 Jobs Where Women Earn More Than Men
Women In Tech Make More Money And Land Better Jobs Than Men
Young Women’s Pay Exceeds Male Peers’
Female U.S. corporate directors out-earn men: study 
Women CEOs Beat Men in Pay in 2009 
Don’t Blame Discrimination for Gender Wage Gap
Obama’s 77-Cent Exaggeration
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Staff Reports
Young women now earn more than men in the UK
Women In Science: No Discrimination, Says Cornell Study
Let’s be real about the lack of women in tech
An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women - CONSAD report (warning: 95 pages!)
Men’s and women’s brains found to be different sizes
A meta-analysis of sex differences in human brain structure
Sex differences in human neonatal social perception - A Study by Cambridge U.
Children Less Than A Year Old Already Favour Gender-Typical Toys
Brain Connectivity Study Reveals Striking Differences Between Men and Women