The “ist” Trap

So I actually meant to do this post, when we had the big “but why aren’t women exactly like men, only better” kerfuffle here (well, the latest one.)

There is a trap to feminism. Or really any ism. But Feminism was the one that set this off.

You see, I considered myself a feminist way back when, when women didn’t have the same rights under the law in Portugal. This made a certain amount of sense, since having the same rights under the law is kind of important. In another way, it was also totally unrealistic and naive, because you know if a society really is “racist, sexist” or whatever other “ist” changing the laws is really just the beginning of this. The rest of the work must be done under “winning hearts and minds” which, btw does not mean yelling at people, punching guys for opening the door for me, or you know, looking for ‘systemic sexism’ under the rug.

That’s something else completely different, and I’m not going to weigh in on whether Portugal is still sexist or not. My kids think it is, for a variety of little things that shock them beyond belief, but I simply don’t know the culture now well enough to know if it is sexist.

Back when I was growing up, it was. Amazingly so, to the point that teachers could make jokes in front of the class about how unlikely it was for a woman to be better than the men at whatever, from writing to algebra.

Note that it didn’t break me. Mostly I gritted my teeth and set off to show them. And mostly succeeded.

This is not to say there wasn’t sexism, or that society should be set up so that only those of a rebellious disposition can make it. That would be silly. It is, however, to say that well… some countries and probably some places in other countries (including here) really are sexist. But that if you’re equal under the law, you really can’t fight the remaining sexism with more laws. You must do it with much more difficult cultural work, and making yourself a cross between a lunatic and a big hairy screamer is not going to do it.

But that brings us to what’s wrong with all the “isms”. Well, a short, short list.

1- They usually seek governmental solutions to cultural problems.

2- They don’t understand that once the law is fixed, it’s time to put the movement away.”

3 – They are a wee bit crazy about the goals.

What do I mean by number 3? Well, you see, it’s really easy to get misled about what “x discriminated against minority can do if unleashed” if the minority is really discriminated against.

Say you’re a writer whose politics are to the right of Lenin and there is no indie. And suppose I start an ist movement “the Rightist Writer” movement, to demand equality for writers to the right of Lenin, and demand we be given parity in number of publications.

Looking at the writers to the write of Lenin who got published under the long dark night of leftism, whether it be past ones like Robert A. Heinlein (Who yes, started as a socialist, but he got better) or Jerry Pournelle, or current ones like John Ringo and Larry Correia, you could be forgiven for looking at their work and thinking: Wow, Writers on the Right are the awesomest. If we stop being discriminated against, they will sweep the field and produce masterpieces and all of them be multi-millionaires.”

Fortunately we have indie, and can go to the person who reads and downloads a ton of science fiction on the rightish side of the sphere: me.

So what’s the average of books returned after reading five pages? Why, the same as for writers of any other political stripe. Because writers to the right of Lenin are in fact just human beings. Thinking they’re all awesome is a part of a syndrome caused by discrimination against them. You see, only the best made it to publication, while on the left the system was way more open, so all sorts of people from pretty horrible to amazing made it in. A demand equal numbers of writers on the right be published would just mean that most of them would not be awesome and/or bestsellers.

Which then would convinced our “activists” that either the houses were purposely plotting against us by selecting less than stellar books, or of course the entire system was so corrupt that most of our delicate snowflake authors weren’t putting out their best work. Then I could write treatises about systemic racism, get lots of TV appearances, and clench my fist for the cameras looking grave and sorrowful and– what?

That sounds silly? well, of course. But it is what we’ve seen with feminism, with “anti-racism”, with every minority promoting association in the history of the US.

Because of exactly that process. When society discriminates against a category of people, particularly if it is in a highly visible field like art, writing, or law, education, those who make it through are the most driven, the most knowledgeable, the most capable people. They are so capable in fact, that they make it despite all attempts to stop them.

So the activists and all those who want to eliminate injustice look at those who make it and think “This is what all of x is like” and “this is why we must eliminate barriers.”

BUT once the barriers are eliminated, it turns out that most people are just…. people. And those who make it into the field/profession/whatever formerly closed off perform as average people. Or frankly below, if, as in the case of women in STEM there’s an entire educational industry pushing them into where they wouldn’t naturally go.

The activists then look at this and can’t admit “Well, we cleared the problem, so now it’s up to them.” So they come up with “Systemic ism” which is discrimination so sneaky no one sees it, but must be there because the “uplifted victim” is not performing like the rare individuals of the past did.

And then clown world sets in like the University of Colorado at one point saying that now that 75% of the graduates in chemistry are women, they are almost equal. Seriously?

The truth is that once you’re equal under the law it’s time to step back and let women, people of color, gay people, whatever just be themselves, and succeed or fail on their own merits.

Sure, there might still be prejudice against them in the culture, but again, the way to fix the culture is not to keep screaming about it, but to let it work itself out, now it can.

At some point screaming only sets things up for a massive backlash.

For me, for any future granddaughters: let women be women and succeed or fail on their own merit. The more you cast them in the victim mold and look for governmental solutions for their “plight” the more you set up a future that looks like the past, where women aren’t allowed to do much of anything without a male’s permission.

Because after a while people go “Wait, we perverted all our laws to give you an advantage, and you’re still yelling at me.”

And then things get ugly fast.

We’re heading into an ugly enough time, soon enough. No reason to stack the deck against us.

Let people be people. Let them climb down from that cross and stop being ritual victims.

Until you do, you are in fact an enemy of the only equality that counts: equality of opportunity.

206 thoughts on “The “ist” Trap

  1. But if they succeed in being equal under the law and all, they (the -ists anti-ists) become irrelevant, and they can’t have that. A true end is not their goal, after all. Relevancy and power is.

          1. I had wondered if this was something of a European/American or Left/Right thing or maybe its closer to (not exact..what is?) authoritarian/libertarian (note capitalization, lack of) thing.

            A “managed” problem demands a manager, forever fiddling with things and controlling them. A SOLVED problem has no such demand – or “opportunity.”

            1. A solved problem requires a solvent.

              And as we said when I was in college, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.

      1. Or unattainable.
        Under feminism, women are entitled to “have it all”, despite very few people over the entire course of history* “having it all”.
        If this expectation is not achieved, it is the fault of men in general, and the ones closest to her in particular.

        It’s intellectual poison.
        And very caustic to those receiving the splash damage.

        *And the few that did, generally had slaves in some form.

        1. Under feminism, women are entitled to “have it all”, despite very few people over the entire course of history* “having it all”.

          Not entitled.


          If you do everything they tell you to, you can be recognized as a Victim; if you do anything they don’t want, then it’s all your fault that you don’t Have It All.

          And heaven forbid if you are actually happy doing something that they don’t think you should choose as a goal, such as having kids.

          1. The characters are male, but otherwise Scott Adams pretty much nails it with this:

            1. Any “smart” person who has been thus identified, then dropped to be All The Things At Once, without any kind of teaching— same thing.

    1. An idealistic movement never starts that way, but always turns that way. (My current heroic fixation is Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, maybe the most rapid-onset example of the phenomenon this side of winning a revolution, but I am telling you the first thirty-odd years are riveting with nobility and derring-do. There is much to learn from them.)

      At any rate, only dedicated Christians have ever managed to effect the reset of an existing institution thus corrupted by its own momentum, and only the Catholic Church has kept up the refurbishment continuously. Unless the Lord build the house, the laborers strive in vain… and Allan Pinkerton was an atheist, so there you are.

      1. And the Catholic Church is …. in an interesting bind right now. (And no, I’m not speaking as an outsider.) The followers of Marx have got in there too, and deeply.

        1. With the Church as with the world in general, I don’t claim to know what’s coming next, only that it’s going to be weird. Sedate, well-intentioned, conventional people like George Weigel are not going to like it much better than the commies in Roman collars will.

        2. Indeed so. But in this case, we have extensive historical precedent for confidence. 🙂

          1. So, the prophecies of La Sallete have now been considered non licit to be read. As an old and paranoid Catholic, I find this…. disturbing.
            Also you sound like younger son “Meh. We’ve survived anti-popes before.”

            1. Who said they weren’t licit? I hadn’t heard anything about that. I suppose the wee popey and his pedo buddies are behind it. We need to suppress the society and no Russian tsars around to save it this time,

                  1. What happened with La Salette, in brief:

                    Two kids had a real apparition with real prophecies.

                    The 1800’s version of the media swept in, and the two kids were basically dragged into all sorts of movements. All sorts of versions of the prophecies circulated, with and without the kids being involved.

                    The kids grew up into adults.

                    The boy, Maximin Gerard, got accused of various things, which he apparently didn’t do. He got fed up and said that the apparition was all a lie — or this was reported, anyway. He took this back. He went to see St. Jean Vianney and they had a personality clash, and Vianney said he didn’t believe various stuff about the apparitions — or this was reported. They met again, and whatever had gone wrong went okay. The guy tried to get his life back under control. He went to seminary and it didn’t work out. He tried becoming a Carthusian, no vocation. He became a papal Zouave and was trained as a medic; he stayed there until his hitch was up. A sympathetic family helped him clear his debts, and then a scammer got hold of him. He got out of that by being drafted by the French army. He served that hitch, then got out. He died in 1875 of illness.

                    The girl, Melanie Calvat, was moved around between various nun and religious sister orders, never being allowed to profess final vows.and was sent away from the last one in 1867. She ended up out in the normal world, and got involved with various French royalist groups. With the permission of various bishops, she wrote down and published various versions of the messages she received, including the “secrets” or private personal prophecies that she was given. There was a fair amount of question about whether she was adding to them, as they started to include a lot of anti-Masonic, royalist, suspiciously contemporary-sounding material. At lease one of these books was placed on the Index, partially for its content and partially because it had been published without the permission of any bishop (a no-no at the time for Catholic books, much less prophecies from Marian apparitions). There was also a priest who published a book “based” on her prophecies, calling for Napoleon III to be overthrown and the Bourbons to come back, called “The Great Coup.” This also went on the Index, for obvious reasons.

                    Calvat lived various places for the rest of her life, wrote her autobiography, and ended up dying in Italy of old age.

                    Everything weird about how St. Bernadette was treated about the Lourdes apparition, or about Fatima and how St. Francisco and Jacinta Marto and the Servant of God Lucia were treated, is all about trying not to let the visionaries go through bad experiences or exploitation afterward, like the La Salette kids. (And everything about Akita and Medjugorje shows that the lens of La Salette paranoia wasn’t the worst thing for a bishop to have.)

                    1. So anyway… I think the earliest versions of the prophecies were always approved, but nobody was really sure what was authentic in later accounts, and what had been inserted by publishers or the power of suggestion. Thus the putting of the prophecies on the downlow by reputable Catholic publishers, and the continual publishing of the scruffiest versions by conspiracy world publishers.

                      So if somebody has finally teased out a genuine and full version of the apparition prophecies, that would be good.

        3. Something that I’ve figured out for years is that the Liberation Theologians like having the pedophiles around. Because they serve as cover and “useful idiots” that will vote their way and help, to keep from being fed to law enforcement and angry parishioners. And when I say “fed,” I do mean “fed into a wood chipper, feet first.”

          (There’s a reason why when Empress Theodora takes the throne in…nine books?…one of her first “polite suggestions” to the Pope is that the See of Rome cleans it own house, or she’ll do the cleaning. And, her doing the cleaning, with the entire power of the Imperial Authority, is somewhat like doing brain surgery with tactical nuclear weapons.)

            1. I’ve written the first novel (Solist At Large), and I’m working as fast as I can on the next one and this little scene is going to be out in the future. I’m just enjoying the conversation in my head, all courtesy and implied threats.

      2. As Milady Sarah points out, the Catholic Church is in process of being corrupted right now, and needs a reset, yet again. Their current contractor for the refurb is a crook and a schyster (which is to say, a Marxist P.O.S.), and those like minded would best be removed, for everyone’s sake. And I say that as an atheist raised as a Catholic (Getting rid of Latin mass has got to be a sin!).

          1. Yes, he does. both JPs seemed to be, also, though JP I left too soon. JP II did a Charlie Chaplin cane twirl when feeling spry. The local Catholic School near me is named for JP II, and Green Bay has one as well.

          2. Absolute geek.

            Seriously, you watch his interviews, and he’ll sometimes get carried away on some theology thing which is absolutely obviously a geek and it’s just LOVELY.

            1. Indeed without a mirror I doubt I could perform that feat. Although I am known for not being particularly flexible.

    2. A lot depends on who “they” are. I’m speaking from a 2nd Amendment stand point. Or maybe I should say a 2A sand point; because even though the Constitution says, “…shall not be infringed”, there’s a massive amount of laws infringing on it, and a constant demand by gun control/ban activists to wash away the 2nd Amendment.

      Equality in that realm is everyone having the right to keep and bear arms. The Left wants to ensure that only the wealthy and privileged have that; everyone else has to be a victim, or a criminal.

      1. There’s a new case starting that seeks to overturn the NFA as unconstitutional. Which it is, as was the first act back in the day in response to Mob crimes and what.

  2. I have often stated that I advocate the everyone, man, women, cis, trans, straight, gay, religious (any religion), non, little green (sapient) critters from Alpha Centauri–any, to have exactly the same rights I claim for myself. No less, and certainly no more.

    This, of course, makes me every sort of “ist” there is. :-/

    1. Agree. I would add their rights end where mine begin. My rights end where theirs begin. Sometimes they overlap, not often. Which infuriates me to no end with TPTB. They insist on trampling on my rights. Yes, they have free speech. But there is no right that says I must listen to them, or read what they wrote, despite what they scream. I don’t have to watch them either. I do not have to agree with them. They don’t have the right to herd me where I don’t want to go.

      1. I do not claim the right to punch you in the nose just because I want to, therefore, I do not advocate for you to have that right.

        I do claim the right to defend myself against you provided you present a threat where a “reasonable man” in my position would believe himself to be in danger of death or bodily injury and thus grant you the same right. (I do so secure in the knowledge that I have no intention of causing you harm or present a reasonable belief that I intend you harm.)

        See how that works? 😉

      2. This. I sometimes hear a variation on, “i’ve got a right to be heard!” Um, No, you don’t. You have a right to speak your piece; doesn’t mean anybody has to listen to you. With the rare exception of (theoretically) your petitioning government officials for a ‘redress of grievances’; and even then they don’t have to comply with your demands. If you did have such a right, it would mean that the government would have the power to round up, at bayonet point if necessary, an audience any time you got it in your head to spout off.

    2. Speaking of rights, I have a tangent.

      Tootling around Ireland, I am amused by the descendants-of-Noah wishing to rescue mud-sucking fish.

      Everywhere you go in the cities there are paid Carp Arks.

                    1. I suspect the Spamalot version is borrowing from the original BBC version. Spamalot also steals stuff from “Life of Brian” (e.g. Always look on the bright side of Life). Missed it when it first came through Boston, and needless to say for the last 2 years or so attending theater of that sort was a challenge. Maybe it will come through a revival.

        1. Romania, too. We only went around them, but a dark, brooding set of peaks they are.

        1. Eh. Leftover carp are . . . Just politely decline, unless they are pickled carp.

          *Orts is an archaic word for “leftovers.” Now only found in crossword puzzles or at RedQuarters.

          1. I actually heard that word used (althought without the s) when I chaperoned at a school visit at a rather crunchy granola type camp for younger daughter and her class (Called Natures Classroom). This particular goal was to generate as little “ort” as possible, so don’t take more than you can eat (the camp separated food waste to be ultimately composted). By the end of the 3 days the kids had gotten pretty good at it

        2. And if you wonder about the diet of carp, look down and you may see what the Carp Et.

          It’s -good- to be bad, it is, it is!

          1. The Diet of Carp? Was that the one held before or after the Diet of Worms?

            In any case I thought the floor coverings were modeled after the koi ponds of the East, crowded with so many fish that one could walk across them – the Oriental Carp Pits.

                1. Cantor-Seigel again?

                  (First recorded internet spamming of usenet groups by carpet-bombing. I remembered the name, but had to look up the year – 1994)

  3. Culture is thousands of years deep. You don’t change that with legislation.

    It does happen once in a while that the culture is ripe for change and legislation rides it to relevance. Not often, though.

    Culture is layered, with physical being the deepest and superficial (hair styles, etc–things that are personally chosen) being the surface. The deeper you get, the harder those things are to change. Once you get past rites of passage/ritual it’s almost impossible, primarily because that deep people don’t even realize that they’re being influenced.

    This is part of why marriage is such a big deal. It’s a deep seated rite of passage that changes a child to an adult.

    It’s interesting to watch. People obey the underlying cultural imperatives even while they try to distance themselves from something they don’t understand, driving themselves even closer to the cultural ideal they think they’re trying to displace.

      1. It might be. Not much evidence in that direction, but no evidence against it either.

        Most people, even highly intelligent people who have lived in multiple societies, tend to argue and say I’m seeing something that isn’t there. The idea that they’re being influenced on a level they can’t perceive is generally blasphemous.

        1. They have not looked a the long sweep of history. That’s one thing reading so much about medieval and early modern history has pounded into me: the foundations don’t change easily. And they linger far monger than activists want to imagine. For elites? Different story at the individual and small group level, but the bulk of the people stick with what has worked and what they know in their bones. Perhaps literally.

          1. “Pagan,” originally meant, “countryman.” Paganism hung around in the countryside long after the cities became Christian.
            That suggests the Church has a chance to return to its urban roots, if it can find the right missionaries.

        2. And frightening. For how would you feel if you realized your choices weren’t really your own, when your pride and self worth come from the perceived wisdom of your decisions?

          1. Humans hunger for control.

            Me, I try to idealize the idea of skipping across the top of a rockslide.

            Looking around the house, that may be partly environmentally influenced. 😉

            1. Control and stability. If everything is done just so, every time, everything is predictable. Uh-huh.

        3. No. As I said, I’m starting to get this rather weird feeling. I know cultures, when you wound them too deeply all react the same way, which would seem to mean they’re all the same kind of thing. Does that make sense?

          1. Yes, if seemingly unlike things all respond to the same sort of stimulus in the same sort of way, that does suggest they are really the same sort of thing, regardless of superficial differences. I’ll take a WAG and say that the thing that all humans have in common, regardless of size or configuration, is family. Perhaps “tribe” would be a better word, and perhaps they call react to existential threats in roughly the same way.

          2. Sure. Stretched too far, natural systems WILL snap back, and heaven help anything caught in the gap. People sense the tension, and respond to it. The way they respond varies a bit from one society to another, but it’s all the same at its base.

            Maybe this comparison, although I know it doesn’t fit precisely. Imagine an autonomous puppet with 1000 rubber bands attached, pulling equally in all directions. The puppet can move freely because the pressure is equally distributed, allowing free movement within the constraints of the system. Then bands on one side start getting cut and the puppet is pulled more and more in only one direction. As the remaining strands are overstretched, they start to snap.

            At some point that “puppet” is going to panic, feeling itself on the edge of an unrecoverable precipice. With a million others around it in exactly the same situation, the whole society is going to shift.

            It’s entirely possible that the reaction is on an even deeper level, as you said. Whatever the reality, we can all feel the strings snapping, the shift in balance as we struggle to stay human against a current getting ever stronger.

          3. Wouldn’t that suggest that the individuals in the culture are the same?

            basically, cultures are made of people?

            (It’s just hard to identify what is “people” and what is “culture.”)

            1. Not really. As Sarah has said a number of times, we’re not widgets. We just live in the same environment.

              I did say it was an inadequate comparison.

              1. I’m not phrasing it well….


                Think… like…. all same basic material.

                A bookcase is not the same as a Green Man wall ornament, not even a little, even if they are both made of wood; but there are certain limits that you cannot cross, BECAUSE the basic nature of the material is the same.

                1. That makes more sense. Thanks for the clarification. Not even any two wood bookcases are the same, although they might serve the same basic function. But made of the same base material, likely using the same type of tools. Good analogy.

            2. “It’s just hard to identify what is “people” and what is culture.”

              I personally think they can’t be separated, since so much of what we think of as culture is based in the physical.

              1. And other way around, in no small part because of deliberate “oh Christianity is like totally normal ignore all of history other than MAYBE the Jews.”

        4. If nothing else, Jung’s “collective unconscious” at least as I learned it in high school (jaded college professor of an English teacher) is a very good metaphor.

      2. I look at it like computer programming. There’s software…and firmware. And a lot of culture is firmware, learned (literally) at your mother’s knee.

    1. Okay, then let me play devil’s advocate for a minute.

      Are the CRT pushers right when they claim that the American culture(s) of “white people” are systemically racist, because it’s unconscious and we can’t see it from the inside? Are we doomed to be forever racist, even when we consciously take into consideration that we might harbor a bias? Why is it wrong for me to prefer the company of people who look like me, but it’s okay for people of color to prefer the company of people of the same color?

      Personally, I don’t buy it. I spent 20 years supervising men and women of all kinds of races and ethnicities. And every damn time they had performance reports due, I double and triple checked myself asking myself if there was any bias in the ratings I was giving, rather than fairly rating on merit and performance. I don’t recall a single disagreement from either the performance report reviewers or approval authorities; so hopefully that means I succeeded.

      1. Of course not. People may be biased, but that kind of influence is shallow enough that we can identify it, and moderate it if it exists. Sure, if people don’t ever examine their own actions they can have unconscious bias. But it doesn’t have to stay that way if they choose to examine their actions.

        It is not a cultural imperative.

        Bias and prejudice are well within the range that we can consciously affect if we choose to.

        On the other hand, I think CRT is the ultimate in irony. By saying that prejudice is inborn they put white people into a victim category. We can’t help it, therefore by their own logic we can’t be held responsible.

        1. Essentially the SJW/Tranzis have created a “religion” where being white is their “original sin”. But it is a works based “religion” and you need to do acts to make up for your whiteness. As there is no grace the white people need to constantly perform these little acts of penance and obeisance to the powers that be. The favored groups on the other hand are preternaturally innocent, born without “original sin” or the ability to commit sin as they are not judged by the SJW/Tranzi “priesthood” to have the ability to act other than as their nature (thus the cry of “Made that way” for a variety of antisocial or aberrant behaviors). Their “religion” is a metastasized variant of a works based puritanical Christianity. Not to go all “Woo Woo” but if Screwtape (or his boss) were to create a means to distract mankind from the real Gospel and divide the various parts of mankind he wouldn’t do anything different.

      2. Are the CRT pushers right when they claim that the American culture(s) of “white people” are systemically racist, because it’s unconscious and we can’t see it from the inside?

        Depends on the definitions used.

        With the ones they use– yes. It is.

        Because they have defined all sorts of things that are entirely inside of human ability as “white people” things.

        It doesn’t even require the unconscious thing.

        Now, to the can’t see from the inside thing… that’s false.
        Because you can actually see cultural differences. You may not agree on what they mean, but you can SEE the differences.

        Sarah’s cracks about on time being highly variable– you can identify that. Heck, Dan Vasc worked it into the theme song he did for Geeks and Gamers Friday Night Tights, “I apologize ’cause I’m probably late”. (He’s Brazilian. And yes, generally late to the streams, to the point that the rest of the guys totally hassled him for showing up later than the literal quadriplegic.)

      3. Are we doomed to be forever racist,

        The CRT pushers say “yes”. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

        As I always say, when someone tells me I’m full of sin and the only thing I can do is abase myself before them forever, they’re not interested in the sin, just the abasement.

        1. Damned from birth and unredeemable?

          Then I lose NOTHING by being exactly what you say I am and enjoying ALL the benefits you assign to me.

          1. Pretty much, yeah.

            I can’t prove it, but I’ve always suspected that the Satanic/Black Mass-style “witchcraft” of the 15th/16th centuries was a creation of the over-the-top witch hunting of the period. Hey, if we German peasant women are going to get hanged and burned and whatnot because the burgomeister’s buddies are saying we’re worshipping Satan, maybe we should give it a try and see if it really works, ja?

    2. This is part of why marriage is such a big deal. It’s a deep seated rite of passage that changes a child to an adult.

      In support of this, I’ve got some family stories that include references to guys called “the kid” who were in their 50s– because they were single until they died.

      When they moved in with generally-nephew’s families later on, it was after being ranch hands for their whole life, and they didn’t have any funny stories that went well with family reunions so I don’t know what they were called.

  4. As a young man I bought into the Great Lie of Feminism, that men and women are the same. I know that is not what Sarah is saying here, but she could easily be misinterpreted.

    1. Anyone can be willfully misinterpreted. Speaking or writing so that you cannot be misunderstood is a difficult, rarely achieved, and little appreciated skill.

      1. And then there’s That One Guy who will deliberately misunderstand, just so he can hop up and down and have a temper fit. [Guy being used as a generic, because Chicks do it too].

    2. > “As a young man I bought into the Great Lie of Feminism, that men and women are the same.”

      Same here. A big part of why I ended up volcel was learning about certain unpleasant aspects of female nature the hard way.

  5. In Britain the term for ‘affirmative action’ is called ‘positive discrimination’ which, in either case, implies that government intervention is necessary in order to achieve a desired result. [He] who defines the desired result, controls!

    When you chose your brain surgeon, would you be amenable to a surgeon who is the product of government intervention? Or, would you rather seek the best-qualified, most experienced person?

    1. Affirmative Action is also known as “Reverse Discrimination” in the US. That term has largely fallen out of use, though most people still recognize what it means.

  6. TRUTH!!

    Personally, I find the big hairy screamers less annoying than the little hairless whiners. The ones that pretend treating everybody the same is ‘—IST!!’ and sorting them by categories for discriminatory treatment is ‘EQUITY!!’

    I suspect the whiners are going to get singled out for some discriminatory treatment before too much longer.
    Only idiots believe they know how other people should live their lives. The stupider they are, the more blindly they believe it.

  7. Anbexample of both the “never give up the crisis” and Pournelles’ law of bureaucracy is the March of Dimes.
    Founded by FDR to get polio vaccine distributed, it succeeded, and (prior to our current invasion) the last US case of polio was in 1979.
    Its’ (very well paid) executives could not declare victory, they would lose their meal ticket. So the fund leeching and crisis projection goes on.
    MOD was chosen as an example because of its’ clear refusal to declare the victory they accomplished and be satisfied with that.

  8. Off topic of this post, but in reference to Sarah’s quip about the years of this decade being:
    2020 won
    2020 too
    I would like to add for the future:
    2020 III
    2020 IV
    I’m hoping that through the next two years we will take back enough control so that we can begin repairing the damage and end the series by then.

    1. Nuh-uh.

      2020 REEEEE!!
      2020 FORE!!
      Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks they called it witchcraft. Now they call it golf.

          1. Or a duffer on his first ever shot.

            (Why my picture should be in the dictionary. Lady trying to teach me looked at the trajectory of the divot, and said “If you can learn to hit the ball, you could turn pro!”)

          1. Except when there’s a water shortage. I suspect if they stopped watering all those golf courses Lake Mead would start filling up again instead of dropping 10 feet every month.

            They should also shut down the hydro turbines; they’re only getting half the power from the same amount of water because the head pressure is too low.
            Well, you can’t really call it a lawn, but at least all the weeds are neatly trimmed.

            1. The Reader never understood the appeal of golf in the desert and would agree with you on that. Although the Reader did play one desert course that was unique – in Death Valley.

              Apparently, the course is now open in the summer for early tee times. When I was there the course closed from mid April to mid October and let the grass go dormant.

              The Reader played in March with a dawn tee time. The course really wasn’t much but sunrise over the mountains at the first tee was.

    2. Oh geez, the 2020’s are shaping up to be like the Star Wars movies…
      Ep 1-3 – Not very good to WTF
      Ep 4-6 – Better, but only through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia
      Ep 7-9 – Fire and brimstone, dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA!

        1. Um? Fellow Oregonian?

          At least we’re 113 miles south.

          Hey did you know there is at least one pocket of sanity in the Greater Portland Metro? Okay edges, but even with it being rural farmland I was surprised by the anti-turnip-in-chief it was (being technically greater Portland). (Wedding reception for cousin. Knew he was conservative. Didn’t know his new bride and her family were right of him, his family, and sister’s family. Not a lot of politics but enough quips to make it clear. Didn’t think it possible for anyone to be right of his dad and our common surviving uncles. “Brown” was uttered as a curse.

          1. I was thinking more of it as the stand-in for Alderan, actually. I mean it pretty much gets nuked in the opening third of the movie.

            I suspect pretty much everywhere is going to be having some form of happy fun time circus (ref Dwarf Fort) before all of this is done.

            1. The Reader suggests San Francisco for the opening scene. He believes that Portland should be retained after the oncoming unpleasantness as a warning to any who want to restart some version of the Marxism meme.

          2. Addendum: I’m kind of past wanting anything to happen, and mostly just guessing where the rocks will fall when. In an… interesting… mood today.

  9. It gives me pain to note that black communities did themselves a great disservice when they began to turn from Booker T. Washington with his program of education to Malcolm X with his “hate the white devil” program as cultural heroes. They had been making perhaps slow but steady and discernible progress in joining the American mainstream until they began fetishizing violent revolutionaries with a can of spray paint in one hand and a brick in the other. We got rid of the inbred wigwearing perfumed nobility with privilege of birth. Now, we have a class of privileged blacktivist criminals who are untouchable by the law. We will never get rid of racism until we stop feeding those. Those feminists who are out for harlot privilege do no service at all to humanity, not men, women, or children, and the current push for sexual pervert privilege is unspeakably vile.

    1. Indeed. I have neighbors who are black, and are good and responsible citizens, the salt of the earth. But the blactivists excusing criminality, the thug culture and demanding a constant stream of indulgences do not do the black community as a whole any favors at all.

      1. how else does one generate the needed “racism” if you have black folks acting like they are not more violent and less able to act in a responsible way than everyone else? You have to coddle that sort of criminal action or they might realize MLK was right thinking.

      2. There was that “Cracked” editorial just after the 2016 election on the theme of Explaining the Country Bumpkins to the City Folk, in which the author inter alia talked about how rural whites didn’t have any problems whatsoever with the nice black family two farms over, who worked hard and paid their bills and went to church, but the inner city thug-life/welfare-queen black culture disgusted them and that’s all they ever got to see of city blacks so they took it as universal. He meant it as “they’re not racists, you fools” but of course his audience pretty much all took it the other way. (One, of course, could say the same about urban impressions of country people, where all they ever see on TV and movies is the intolerant bitter-clinger ones.)

        My paternal grandmother, born (1904) and raised in rural Jim Crow Arkansas, once told me that she had much more respect for the colored folk in her little town than the poor white trash (both sic), because they worked hard and tried to better themselves. OTOH my grandparents were lifelong Republicans from a Republican family, and therefore outliers.

        1. Er, Republican families — they weren’t from the same one. Wouldn’t want to stoke any stereotypes or anything. 😀

        2. “My paternal grandmother, born (1904) and raised in rural Jim Crow Arkansas, once told me that she had much more respect for the colored folk in her little town than the poor white trash (both sic), because they worked hard and tried to better themselves.”

          Sounds like my AR grandparents on both sides (1912 for grandfather, 1913, 1915 for grandmothers(?)). Right down to the terms used, My granddaddy’s opinion of CRT would be vastly entertaining…..

          1. My dad bossed a crew of black laborers while I was s growing up. He came home day and told us one of his workers had come to hi and told him he was quitting….because he’d been working to save up for,college and he’d just gotten his acceptance letter.
            Dad shook his hand and wished him success in college and wherever he went afterwards. He was obviously proud of the young man.

    2. Their ‘heroes’ are violent criminals with long records. When one of them is killed by the cops it’s PROOF OF SYSTEMIC RAAACISSSM!!! rather than just the sad result of a life of crime.

      They ignore the other 53 people killed on that same day, because most of them were poor black people murdered by other poor black people in the anthills of Democrat-ruled inner cities. Their lives don’t matter, because their deaths don’t lend support to THE CAUSE!!! — whatever that is.
      If you use violence and brutality to bring about social change, your cause will be taken over by violent brutes.

      1. When people I had previously though were reasonable started joining the chorus of “Black Lives Matter” (meaning preferentially because of historical injustice) rather than “All Lives Matter” (because insufficiently sensitive) I decided on “then All Black Lives Matter. (Including the unborn and the victims of black criminals.) Not that that would have been received much better, but it seemed worth a try. It’s hard to keep minds open when the chanting of slogans begins to replace rational thought.

      2. Heroes for the “Cause”.

        “I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers, and Methodists.” – – Hedley Lamarr, “Blazing Saddles”

      3. They literally tell the black woman whom the black man was shooting at (and also her kids), well, he didn’t hit you.

      1. Malcolm X’s early ideology was that of the Nation of Islam and was what Farrakhan continues to preach to this day. Farrakhan is embraced by the Democratic Party which tells you everything you need to know about the Democrats.

        Malcolm X, even in his early days, was different than the BLM crowd, because the last thing he wanted was government largess; he was a firm believer even early on in political power coming from economic power, which meant to him black owned businesses. He was also a firm believer in the right to bear arms, calling the right to be armed and to defend oneself a natural fundamental right. He was correct that black people had been denied that right and indeed gun control laws have their genesis in the effort to deny blacks the right to defend themselves, especially after the civil war. Couldn’t have them being able to shoot at the KKK when the KKK came to terrorize them after all.

        Malcolm X most of all was willing to learn from his experiences, and his views evolved over time. Something that the current BLM/Antifa/Democratic Party crowd is incapable of.

    3. Might have been okay if they’d also adopted Malcolm X’s disdain (to understate) for the white liberal. But, no, the “goodies that other people pay for” were entirely too enticing.

      1. LBJ and his “Buy the black vote with largesse to the poor” program, with its eligibility rules that preferred single mothers over intact families may have been a greater and more lasting injury to blacks than sharecropping, the KKK, and Jim Crow all put together.

        1. No “might” about it. Thomas Sowell points out repeatedly that the welfare state did something that slavery, Jim Crow and segregation combined could not manage: the destruction of the black family. Compare the percentage of blacks born to single-parent households in 1960 to the percentage today. It paints a dismal picture.

          1. And so instead of fathers in their traditional role of providers and protectors as adult male role models, you get assorted drug dealers, armed robbers, burglars, hustlers, and pimps as inferior substitutes and cultural heroes. No wonder blacks feel exploited…they are…but if you look at who their oppressors really are, they aren’t who the white liberal guilt-trippers say they are.

          2. And worst of all, the destruction was intended, to the point that LBJ himself acknowledged the bad intent of these policies. They were intended to create a large dependent group that would vote for Democrats in perpetuity to avoid losing the stuff they were made dependent on.

          3. And as you look at poor/ blue collar of other races and creeds they’re rushing catch up with the ruined black families. The loss of the family structure is a Marxist/fascist hallmark replacing the family with the state.

    4. I’m trying to sprain my brain remembering what was written in the Autobiography of Malcolm X that we had to read back in high school. But IIRC, Malcolm X was heavily influenced by Communism and Marxism; which practically require everyone to hate everyone in order to flourish.

      1. I was about to offer the radical suggestion of going back to the book for a reread. But then I’m such an inveterate bookhoarder that I’ve kept some of my old high school required reading. Not certain I still have all of them, A bunch got lost when I moved a couple of times and weren’t there anymore when I finally did manage to go back for them. There are some I want to dig up and reread but are so well buried I need a grant and an archaeological research team to find them again. Anyway, I was never exposed to the Autobiography, [“Do I have to? he whined. “Is it Spinach?” ] but I did get John Howard Griffin’s “Black Like Me” and when I finally got around to reading “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. I could hear Mrs. Stowe’s observations still echoing. Which brings us back around to the idea that culture can be slow to change.

    5. Random thought….

      Maybe the “black community” hit the same issue as the Tribes?

      My family has folks who were members of tribes.

      They left, so we’re not Indians.

      My lone surviving born-tribe-member cousin is not a “real Indian” anymore, too, because…he got a job (several, actually), and left the rez. Not sure if he’s still registered. The rest of the cousins basically killed themselves.

      So, folks who LOOK black– like, say, Justice Thomas– aren’t really “Black,” because they metaphorically left the rez.

      1. They climbed out of the Crab Bucket, so they’re not Crabs any more, they’re traitors.
        Why do ‘progressives’ assume that their anointed Victim Groups are too stupid to fill out the same simple paperwork as everybody else?

  10. The problem we have had with “equality” for any group that was discriminated against in the past, or at least feels that way, is that when we give them full, or even slightly more than full equality, that’s never enough…Girls applying to college have had full equality for decades, even slightly more, for decades and had a higher acceptance rate than boys, despite their average SAT scores being a little lower because of a weakness in math…But the situation has gotten out of hand, with talented boys being actively discriminated against…(I know this because I have interviewed many candidates for one of my alma maters, and I know which ones got in…) Furthermore, female students have demanded and gotten a lot of curriculum changes to make available less demanding courses, including nonsense courses like gender studies and ethnic studies, which do not create useful members of society…Same thing with ethnicity or skin color, and now with the alphabet of sexual inclinations…The number of STEM majors have dropped greatly at many schools, and other traditional and useful majors like English Literature have not increased….This is toxic for our society.

  11. When I was first breaking into the music business (a million years ago) I had to beg bandleaders to give me an audition. (But you’re a girl. You can’t do that!) So, I had to raise the bar for myself. I added sight-reading, soloist, and multi-instrumentalist to my skills. By raising the bar for myself, I raised the bar for everyone. The boys tripped all over themselves trying to be better than a girl. Competition moved us ahead. Leaders love that! So, when several applicants are equally qualified for the job, take another look. Don’t fold. Reverse discrimination lawsuits are making a comeback.

  12. The more you cast them in the victim mold and look for governmental solutions for their “plight” the more you set up a future that looks like the past, where women aren’t allowed to do much of anything without a male’s permission.

    :glares at Progressives:
    Are you sure that isn’t their goal?
    Because it sure LOOKS like those screamers are the ones who want to Control Female Sexuality– specifically, put out and don’t have kids that I may have to actually be responsible for.
    An amazing amount of the behavior makes perfect sense if you assume that’s the goal.

    1. To be fair they want to control every aspect of everyone’s lives, except themselves of course. They desire a level of totalitarian control beyond that even pursued by Mao and Stalin.

    2. Aldous Huxley got that right in “Brave New World”. By making sex without attachment the standard and removing reproduction from the issue the family goes away in that world. So much so that “mother” and “father” are obsceneties mouthed by naughty children. The SJW/Tranzi types seem bound and determined to go down that road.

  13. “Mostly I gritted my teeth and set off to show them. And mostly succeeded.”

    As they say, living well is the best revenge; you may not be rich (who is?), but I’d say you made your world the way you wanted to, and “showed them”. Good!

    1. The -ism folks’ realism isn’t very good when one lives in their own reality, not close to the reality the real world operates in.
      Though their finding this out the hard way can be entertaining.

  14. Everything you said here cannot be emphasized enough, especially in light of all the cultural lunacy out there. That includes the constant redefinition of -isms and -phobias to explain what you describe and the attitudes about what success looks like and the way some jobs are looked down on. I can only hope that people who need to read this do and take it to heart.

  15. “John Paul Jones! Patrick Henry! Samuel Adams! Washington! Jefferson! Monroe!
    Lincoln! Edison! Mark Twain! When things got tough for those boys, they
    didn’t run around looking for an ‘ism’… Lincoln said ‘With malice toward
    none, with charity for all.’ Nowadays, they say, ‘Think the way I do, or I’ll
    bomb the daylights out of you.'”
    — ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ —

      1. Forbidden subject.

        In the interests of galactic peace, world harmony, and not restarting [insert armed conflict here], certain topics are off limits on this blog. If newcomers or impassioned regulars get close, Sarah or one of the senior Huns will issue a “hey gang, topic closed” warning. Ignoring the warning will get you disciplined or banned. Topics currently off limits include: theology, American Civil War, why Karl Marx was a good guy and his ideas are worth spreading, reproductive rights (AKA abortion-related anything), and whether American football or baseball is the real National Pastime (theology), and Mac vs. PC (see theology again).

        1. Sorry, I didn’t know that rule.
          But wouldn’t that same rule also apply to any reference to primary personages in that conflict?

          1. Technovelist, the problem is what starts as pretty mild i.e. “I think Grant was a little harsh at [insert battle of your choice]” eventually winds around to “Debate the causes of the American Civil War and explain why [opponent’s reason] is incorrect.” Every single time. So “Lincoln was a lousy president” will become a borderline flame war.

            Topics related to big-picture stuff about the ACW are just too emotion-laden for too many people. I’ve been here for over ten years, and it happens every time. It’s dang near uncanny. Once you get past, oh, mentioning a firearm used in the conflict as an example of a technological shift or why an older technology lasted, and all Dade County breaks out.

            1. Ok, now that I know the rule, I’ll just ignore any reference to “the [formerly] recent unpleasantness”.
              If it were my blog, I’d just tell people not to mention any of the primary participants, but of course it’s not my blog.

      2. Um,,.come over to my blog and say that again. Bring your reasons. Not that I want to fight about it, but there are already too many termites in the Woke Camp who are busy toppling statues of American heroes based on grossly biased accounts and claiming that they were all really villains for me to let that one pass.

        1. Sorry, I have better things to do than to try to convince you of my position on that topic.

          1. You probably won’t convince me, But I’d still like to hear the case so I can evaluate its merits or demerits. Not here, of course, but if you aren’t ready for someone to rise to the bait, you ought not be trolling.

            1. I wasn’t trolling. That is a fairly standard libertarian position, at least among the libertarians I know, so I had no expectation it would bother anyone.

              1. This blog has libertarians who can disagree with everyone, including themselves.
                As much as I hate the word, Lincoln is “problematic.” Not crazy about him, as he put us on this path, but OTOH not sure he could have done anything else when the piper came to the door demanding payment.
                And that’s as far as I’ll go into that discussion.

            2. Ah. but some of us here identify more as ‘conservative’ than ‘libertarian’, and there is the USAian contingent. Not that there isn’t significant and substantial overlap, but there are differences. This would be one of them.

  16. }}} Or frankly below, if, as in the case of women in STEM there’s an entire educational industry pushing them into where they wouldn’t naturally go.

    Part of the probable issue here, though, is that, when you make bell curves of talents (whatever they are, except having babies and perhaps “raising babies to teenhood”), women tend to AVERAGE higher than males, but there are more exceptional males — men average less intelligent than women, but there are far more male geniuses than female geniuses** and, also, dullards. This it true for most bell-curve data.

    So it’s not surprising that a lot of women are not in the top tiers with men. They’re better, on average, at ‘x’, than men, but the ones who are truly The Best tend to be men.

    Call me sexist, but, unless you prove that wrong, it’s still The Truth, no matter what names men have.

    The deeper power of women comes in constraining those norms with their capacity to decide Who Gets To Reproduce. And sorry, no — that is anything but a minor power — arguably, it’s the most important one there is — “whose genes are worth keeping?”

    ** Yeah, sorry, citing Marilyn Vos Savant is making my case for me. Name another female genius you are aware of, other than personally. I.e., a female celebrity who is a celebrity expressly for her intelligence and intellect.

    Offhand, the best argument you can make here is that men — as men — are driven to excel — our society provides numerable rewards to men for doing that, and lots and lots of downsides for not doing so. While women can get away with doing nothing whatsoever. No one actually pushes them if they don’t want to. Feminists try to do this, but they usually fail at it. Women who want to take it easy eventually push back as they get older.

    1. ** Marilyn Vos Savant doesn’t count. She took the test several times to have that result.
      I don’t know with whom you’re arguing. I don’t know how you interpreted what I said, but yeah, women cluster in the middle of “average.” Some of us escape both ways (sometimes on the same day, both.) BUT WE AIN’T MANY. In all my geeky obsessions, all my friends/accomplices were male, since way back when.
      And the males in my household are both smarter and incredibly more dumb than I am (sometimes, again on the same day. Generally all three are WAY brighter than I am. Navigating life, though, is not a thing of geniuses, and geniuses often fail. I think my husband is the only one who knows how to tie his shoes. I never asked how long it took him….)

    2. I can think of a few female geniuses offhand: Marie Curie, Hedy Lamarr, Lise Meitner, Ada Lovelace.
      Note that I’m not saying they are as frequent as male geniuses, because that is obviously untrue. And I’m also not saying they are in the top rank with Fermat, Newton or Einstein.

      But they do exist.

      1. No. He means female geniuses known for being “smart.”
        BUT then again how many male geniuses like that do we know only for that?
        And the one he cited is a fake.
        But yeah, female geniuses exist. Fewer than males doesn’t mean none.

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