Yesterday I almost linked this post at instapundit. I didn’t, not because there’s anything wrong with the post, but because the writer who is a friend went just a little too far. He went just a little too far in a way that particularly irks me: that of ascribing something transitory and of the time to #yesallwomen. And yes, I’m aware he exempted me by name in his post and other women by implication. But that’s not the point.
As I keep telling the author, he’s a very bright man, and in general a good thinker, but he’s young. So he’s very much a creature of his times, and some of the attitudes he has and the conclusions he takes are captive of their time, and if he were a little older or younger, he would have a different view. (This starts with the name of his blog. Only a very limited view allows you to see the West declining. We’ve done that before, and we recovered, and unless I’m very wrong, the declining started 100 years ago and we’re now on the great rebuilding, the great re-learning. Yeah, sure, it’s just the first stirrings, and you and I won’t see the West fully resurgent again, but our grandkids have a good chance to. So I laugh at it and make duck noises. He’s a good sport about it.)
In the same way he’s a creature of his place. So he views #yesallwomen as American women of the late 20th century, who are, sorry, creatures different from most women throughout most of the history of humanity.
Oh, I’m not saying that “gender” is a social construction. I spent the week with two toddlers, one male, one female (practice grandchildren) who are being raised, for various reasons, in a VERY non-traditional situation. And yet you look at them, and yep, even if you put the boy in a dress, you’d know which one is the girl and which is the boy. Their way of showing they’re tired, their preferred mode of play, even their way to obtain something are all exactly what you’d expect of their sex. (The little girl is also obsessed with pink, which is funny. Maybe that’s chromosome coded? As Pratchett put it, if built by a little girl, it will be pink. Now, I was never fond of pink, favorite colors were yellow, then red. But you know, exceptions and statistics are neither of them the only valid way to reason.) There are plenty of reasons for our brains to function differently according to the sex-hormones infused into us from gestation onward. That’s because it makes our brains different in structure and operation. And yeah, some of us are for various and probably gestation-hormones (you try to get a straight medical history out of my mom!) less stereotypical female. But hell, even I have no sense of direction, can’t imagine in three dimensions, and frankly plot from the character out. Other women are EVEN LESS stereotypical female and can reason visually in three dimension, can find their way blindfolded through the Minotaur’s labyrinth, and plot from “what happens” out. The fact that statistically those are male characteristics doesn’t mean no woman can do it, and the fact that statistically most women can’t find their way out of a wet paperbag, can’t do visual stuff in their heads, and have novels full of long meaningful conversations signifying nothing doesn’t invalidate the exceptions. That’s not how statistical distribution works.)
So, sure, male and female brains are different. But the differences that my young friend pointed out are culturally coded. There is no reason that women would be more averse to exploration, less interested in space, or more interested in using the government as a sort of super-daddy.
In fact, judging from ancestresses, in a country of immigrants, and from correspondence I got to see, I can tell you women were often the ones going “Let’s try x y or z country. Let’s lift up and travel with nothing and no guarantees, because it might be a better life for my kids.”
In my own family, my mom is the one always willing to try the next thing, and dad is the one who would rather stay put, with his network of connections, his professional credentials, etc.
And I was born where I didn’t belong and went in search of my homeland.
But yeah, okay, we could be exceptions. Except that… back at the time of the moon shots, my little friends, in an all girl school, were as excited as I was.
Sure. Sure. Mom — who is the least distributionist of my parents, will use that “Why do x when we could use the money to do so much good” thing. I’ve heard it verbatim. But do you know what she uses it for? To justify not having pets. The truth is mom doesn’t like animals (while dad does) and hates anything like cats that she can’t control. So instead she dresses her hatred of animals (not socially acceptable) in a pious “We can do charity with that money.” (Much more socially acceptable.) Keep that in mind as we go forward.
I’m going to ask you to engage in a thought experiment. Imagine that for whatever reason, our state decided to combat discrimination against redheads.
Redheads are historically a discriminated-against group. In Europe children who were red-headed were often assumed to have the devil in them. They were often ill treated and one suspects in early times either killed or neglected/beaten to the point it amounted to the same. They were, at least according to some crazy legends, the children of Lilith, and so not exactly of the same seed of Adam and Eve as the rest of us. (The rest of us notionally. Back when my hair had color it was a dark mahogany brown that turned dark red in the sun. Guys engaging in the lean-against-the-wall-and-call-out-to-girls Portuguese male national past time would yell out “Oh Ruiva” to me, and ruiva in Portuguese means redhead — in Spanish the equivalent means blond.)
There were euphemisms for the hair color: ginger, foxy, strawberry blond. But all those eventually became tainted because of what they referred to.
Let’s suppose that when our government started to expand into social engineering, they decided redheads were traditionally discriminated against, and thus must be protected against discrimination. There would be mandatory (proportional to population) numbers of redheads hired. There would be a prohibition de facto if not de jure against using terms like “ginger” because using them would be “racist” and you’d find yourself ostracised and unemployed.
These would be the least harmful of the provisions. Yes, I did say least harmful.
The most harmful would be that little redheads would be told in words and more importantly in deeds, from a very early age that they’re a class set apart and that something is not quite right with them. I mean, if everything were right with them, why would people need to be restrained, by law, from mistreating them? Obviously there’s something inherently annoying/hateful about them which caused all the historical discrimination and that discrimination is ONLY not happening today because the powerful government stands between them and their would-be abusers.
Now, little redheads would, of course, know there was nothing wrong with them as humans. They’d look into themselves and know they were no better or worse than other people. So they were the victims of injustice and only the government kept them safe.
You’d find that redheads under that regime were some of the most in American terms “progressive” people around, always ready to throw in with the government against the individual and always ready to attribute anything bad in their lives to “oppression.”
They would be an interest class, interested in redistribution (surely there’s still some discrimination going on where the government can’t see, and they don’t have everything that’s due them) and strict enforcement of the preferential rules applying to them. They would also see discrimination in every look, every sneer, every use of the word “red” around them and other micro aggressions.
Now in our world this wasn’t done to redheads. But if there are parallel worlds, this wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. They were after all very badly treated, historically.
We do however have various groups that were treated this way, considered historically oppressed and set aside by government as protected classes. This by the way is all according to Gramsci’s neo-Marxist theory. (Marx expected the proletarian to “rise up” and be the instrument of communist revolution, but by Gramsci’s time it was obvious the proletariat was rising indeed, not in revolution, but to middle class. So a new theory of “oppressed classes” was needed and Gramsci came up with the oppressed classes as the third world, basically. And yes, he’s the twatwaffle you have to thank — ultimately — for the stupid “white privilege” theory.)
Our government, in many ways is has created a Gramscian society, by trying to protect people from “discrimination” (visible and invisible, in thought, word, deed, in what we’ve done and have failed to do.)
It is de-facto impossible to protect people from ALL discrimination. All humans discriminate, and often on stupid things. I, for instance, hate all willowy blondes on sight. Most of them I’ve known have proven despicable human beings.
And yet, my best friend from childhood fell under that classification (for a Portuguese idea of blond) and I’ve been friends with many of them. It just means I recoil on meeting them, but I’m open to being proven wrong. Now of course, that means if I were hiring, willowy blonds would start at a disadvantage.
Sure, the government could protect willowy blondes against my heinous discrimination, but here’s the thing, I’m one of 300 million, and everyone else has things they discriminate against.
Even if race is a more widespread form of discrimination, it’s not the only one, and protection against it will be imperfect, and MUCH WORSE will feel the protected people think there’s something wrong with them or at least with the way they present, and wish protection forever. Regardless of whether there’s any reason to expect discrimination or not.
But then the US government (and most governments of the civilized world, in imitation of the US as usual) decided to make #yeseverywoman a protected class. Yep, we, women, who stand at 51% of the population, became a “minority” for purposes of hiring, firing, protecting against offense, etc. (And more injurious things like divorce and child custody laws, even.)
But Sarah, you say, women have traditionally been discriminated against. Yeah and? So have redheads. Is there a reason to enshrine that in legislation that perpetuates both discrimination and self-loathing and dependency?
I don’t think so, and last I checked (just looked again) I am a woman.
I also believe most of the reasons women have been discriminated against IN BUSINESS historically have been valid. As have been the reasons to keep most women subordinate and in the house.
Listen, dummy, before contraceptives and the ability to do genetic tests, there were good reasons women under-performed men, and why most men would want to keep women confined and under strict rules.
Kids are the future. Men can’t have them. Women can. And historically, women couldn’t AVOID having them. And men had no way of knowing if the kid was his (part of the discrimination against redheads is because redheads are a recessive gene and can show up unannounced in a dark haired family, thereby leading to suspect the mother of infidelity. Hence “redheaded stepchild.”) Part of the civilizational contract, due to how difficult and expensive humans are to bring to adulthood is that men provide for the woman and their offspring. BUT of course that means the men had to make sure the offspring was theirs. Which meant social restrictions and a subordinate state for women.
Yeah sure, the guys should just have trusted their women. Because, what? You’re willing to stand by #allwomen in the matter of fidelity? If you are, you have some issues we should talk about. Like illusions of omnipotence. Or raging sexism that considers women less/more than human.
Those historical reasons no longer apply, and as women started pouring into the workforce, those “anti discrimination” laws were no longer necessary.
(But Sarah, some guys really consider women less capable. Yes. Possess your soul in patience, we’ll get to that.)
Sure, women still generally make less than men, but that’s because of those brain differences. Women, individually, prefer different kinds of work. My son’s starting engineering class was 80% female, and no wonder, considering his engineering club in high school had 8 publications for “women engineers” and none for male. He’s now in his final year in one specialty and the year before last in the other, and guess what? It’s all male. I mean all. (What part of this is because idiots who tried to encourage the little girls NEVER gave them bad grades in STEM or told them they had to study harder which left young women maleducated, I leave to your judgement. It’s another of those watchmacallit, unintended consequences of intervention.) Even those women who excelled at engineering decided they didn’t like it and went instead into business or art. (Yes, younger son IS disgruntled.)
And the truth is the more abundant “soft sciences” and “arts” pay — because more people qualified — less than hard STEM professions. DUH. When you separate avocations by what they actually do for work, the difference between male and female pay disappears, or female are slightly higher.
There is also, alas, social style. My career has suffered from a very female issue: I’m less assertive than my male colleagues. I know I am, but it’s such a back-brain thing, it’s hard to overcome.
Anyway, my belief is that we should do away with ALL protected classes, race and gender both. Yeah, sure, there will be jerks who discriminate against you. But there will be jerks (hi, y’all) who discriminate against willowy blondes, too. THERE IS NO WAY TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION.
Besides in the long run, the free market takes care of discrimination. The jerk who won’t hire or serve willowy blonds will lose their work and business to the jerk who preferentially hires them. If they’re a big enough demographic in the area, the first jerk goes out of business. As for the willowy blondes, they can leave a job where they’re discriminated against and find one where they aren’t.
I walked out of a job when I found the boss was discriminating against me for being Latin (he thought I was Mexican, but that’s something else. Also, stupid and ignorant.) I found a better one, paying twice as much, where the store was much better run, too. I’ve walked off other jobs for the same reason. It never meant being unemployed forever.
There is no UNIVERSAL discrimination. And if you think there is, you ought to get out more, and take Gramsci off repeat on your ipod.
And the creation of “protected classes” by law has too high a price.
Are women raised in the late 20th century and early 21st in the US in general “progressive” and in love with daddy government?
Well, how not? They believe everyone would mistreat them and discriminate against them, if government didn’t protect them. They believe this, despite the fact that men in their lives are (like #yesallmen) by and large decent and fair, because they’ve been told from earliest age how hated/discriminated against they are.
And they’ve seen evidence, too. If they weren’t hateful, why would there be a whole apparatus against discriminating against them? And look how men are so mad at that apparatus (of course they are. It amounts to discrimination AGAINST THEM, but never mind) it means they want to hate and beat on women!
Hence, “no space exploration we need that money.” “Daddy government, look, they’re taking stuff they stole from us and playing at space shots!”
This is transitory. It has to be, because a species divided against itself cannot stand. I just wish the failure mode of this insanity not to be a return to outmoded female oppression, ala Islam. Our science if better now. There is no reason to keep women under sofa covers, ignorant, and confined to the house.
However, right now, the future is looking uncommonly burka-y, because of the way women have been trained to behave and the horrible consequences to society.
Me? I want a world where men and women are equal under the law. Sure, same pay for same work (the free market enforces that anyway, more or less.) Sure, equal legal rights in marriage.
Other than that, let people sort themselves out, and stop breaking them into protected and aggressor, privileged and mistreated. It doesn’t do anyone any good, and does much harm.
Let individuals be individuals and you’ll be amazed how soon the Marxist shackles are thrown off.
It’s impossible to enslave a free individual. The most you can do is kill him/her. But shackles on their minds and convince them that they need protection forever, and not only are they slaves, but they’ll help enslave others.
Don’t let them. Teach your children well. Reason yourself out of fear. Work, live, do well. The statists can’t control you then.