Of course, you’ve all spectacularly missed the point about privilege being gender neutral. The few white males at the top ignores that the vast majority of white males are nowhere near the top, and are just as underprivileged as most women(this encompasses all of human history). Yet somehow it’s acceptable to claim the top white males are representative of white male privilege, whilst the women at the top are not likewise representative of female privilege. We find it acceptable to measure individual white males, not by even their average characteristic wage or privilege, but by the top performers in their group, while the mere mention of average characteristics of women is sexism. In addition, we don’t credit white males as a group for literally erecting modern civilization with all that entails, but we’re fine with crediting them today with the moral failings of the past (even if women were equally complicit in their own “oppression” eg the vote).

In addition, all the male deaths (95%) in the workplace aren’t representative of female privilege. Full control of fertility, in which women can choose to become a mother or not while men have no such choice, is somehow not an instance of female privilege. Men are four times more likely to be assaulted or killed in society than women, but this isn’t female privilege. Roughly 15% of men win sole custody of their children, while most have limited or no visitation while still being consigned to levying a crippling portion of their income to support <i>the mother</i>, the reverse representing about 3% of cases, and this isn’t a case of female privilege. Women are outperforming men in schooling from start to finish, and making more when they come out of school, but this isn’t female privilege. Women receive an average of 17-30% shorter sentences, or aren’t convicted, for the same crimes as men. Again, not privilege apparently, it’s all about the Benjamins.

All of these counter cases are suffered by the vast majority of men, top to bottom in society, purely based on their gender. The latter points referring to men who have no control over their own fertility, save a “vasectomy” or just not having sex. One need only ponder the response I would likely receive from you lot for claiming women don’t need contraception, they can just get their tubes tied or stop being irresponsible, to grasp how misandric that response is to me.

No call for more women in waste management? Forestry? Construction? No calls for reforming schools to fix the gender gap in education attainment? No concern for the widening gender gap in unemployment (hint: it’s not more unemployed women)? You don’t want more women in male dominated fields, you want more women in high paying, low risk fields; let the men do all that low-paying, high risk work. That is, after all, what a privileged class does.

Let me guess, if you get women into top spots in society, the wealth will…hmmm, what’s a good phrase here…ah yes, <i>trickle down</i> to the rest of their “class”. Working swimmingly for men.

Now you want to moan about how everyone else isn’t lining up to pay for childcare for women who, apparently, don’t know how birth control works. No one ever “did it all”, that was the function of marriage. Despite all the research decrying the poor behavior of children from single-parent households (a PC-friendly term as we all know it’s largely single mothers), despite having full control of their fertility, women are still having children when they’re not financially stable, don’t have time for them, can’t look after them, and are uninterested in marriage (the only system that provided for children in the past) even to have a man at home.

This is not a problem we need to look to the state to solve, it’s a problem we need to look to women to stop creating. However, this horrid patriarchy, in which men strive to preserve the privilege of men, will change the corporate culture and “provide affordable childcare” for an unprecedented model of an individual life plan (something men were never provided). It will mandate representation of women in all the most privileged positions, and nary a peep about putting a sledgehammer or a chainsaw in the hands of even one more woman.

You’re stated position is in direct opposition to your movement’s aims and campaigns. You don’t want equality for women, you want all the goodies, none of the crap. Fine. Fuck you, fight for it.



I’m tempted to applaud your tenacity for hanging on here, like a pitbull who’s got hold of the postman’s leg, but am dissuaded from doing so by the suspicion that it stems from an absolute inability to contemplate the fact that you might be wrong coupled with the delusional certainty that, given enough time, you will win us round to your way of thinking.

It’s important to realize that my contributions here aren’t for you, or your commenters. I hold no illusions that I’ll dissuade Sally or Patrick, or PZ for that matter, of his position. I do “contemplate the fact that” I might be sorely mistaken on these points, often and ever, and this in part is why I comment here, rather than just pal-it-up with people who already agree with me.

I am aware of Marxism; labor theory of value is in contrast to the capital theory, which is the society we live in. We are moving toward a radical individualization, away from the traditional family view of societal “units”, and this is in large part due to feminism/consumerism. What feminists have traded, in exchange for the “right” to work, has been the “right” to not work, and who, pray tell, benefits from a much larger labor pool? Those hiring, and those taxing, but certainly not those working. All of that extra cash went into the coffers of the top 1%, and has grown gov’t spending, while little of it redounded to the workers(those still able to find jobs).  The explosive technological innovations of the recent decades, the internet included, have veiled these trends.  

I’m not suggesting we move BACK to the traditional view, it’s not clear that it’s even possible, but it’s important to remember why that worked. It worked in large part because it served to buffer the individual from the state on the one hand and abject poverty on the other. Radical conservatives who say “let the losers die” are wrong in the present circumstances because the support system they dream of returning to simply doesn’t exist any longer.

Where feminism plays hide-the-ball is in characterizing “class” along gender lines in particular, in it’s attempts to make men and women interchangeable in the context of disparate biological drives and motivations that simply aren’t the same*, and never will be**. That’s striving for “a classless society” in form, even if not identical to the Marxist conceptions of it. It’s the opposite of the mistake made by radical conservatives; what feminists dream of is a future that doesn’t exist, rather than a past that does no longer.

This is why I find it highly ironic that people here are saying that those other guys just did Marx wrong, failing to realize that this is precisely what you’re doing; this is what we’re bound to do until we stop treating Marx like some kind of political messiah. It’s not some massive coincidence that socialism is a hot political topic at the moment. It’s perfectly true to say quotas aren’t

Individuals like Rowant, who dropped out of the discussion some time back, are exquisitely representative of the reasons I oppose a quota system. Even if I grant you the entirety of social conditioning as an hypothesis for, say, more women teachers and fewer women CEOs, and we could somehow make this known to people like Rowant, she’s still going to desire to work with animals. Merely explaining someone’s desires doesn’t make them vanish, so until you actually correct the “social conditioning” that (apparently) underlay Rowant’s desire to work with animals over being a high-powered executive or w/e other high-paying, high-stress job you want to use, she would have to risk being blocked or passed over for her desired work because she’s the wrong gender. The same applies for other jobs where women occupy a majority.

The bare fact that I have to frame this as a detriment to women should (but won’t) highlight the sexism inherent in not giving a shit about this treatment of men, on the basis of some few or some dead men who (apparently) did-down women in the past (plus 99% of men, but fuck ’em).

* The research showing sex-specific behaviors, via gene expression and a combination of cognitive architecture and development, is levied in support of the general scientific consensus in cognitive psychology that runs severely contrary to the “blank slate” view of “social conditioning” as the only cause of sex-specific behavior. Due to ethical concerns, most of the actual experimentation can’t be done on humans, so, sorry bradley, mice and monkeys is what you get.

** The human population has transcended any form of natural selection that has ever been shown to shift a sexually dimorphous species towards…well, anything other than what it is, really. You need pressure, and selection, and we’ve tech’d ourselves out of the game. Barring eugenics, what we’ve got is what we’re stuck with.

META discussion of Pharyngula and it’s “horde”

Reposting a comment I made on Noelplum’s blog, then expanding those ideas.

(Pharyngula discussion)

The commenters there do not behave like individuals, but rather like a collective. There are the few “heavy issue” posters who are more likely to quote you and, miracle of miracles, actually interpret about 50% of what you say accurately. Then there are the orbiters, who haul things out of context, misunderstand your argument, and cast everything you say in the worst possible light. Both types regularly degenerate into a combination of personal attacks and back-slapping, and any internal policing (eg “hey X, that’s not what he said”) is offered cynically if at all, with copious “he’s a fuckwad anyways, but” caveats lest any expressions of charity cause alienation from the hive.

What they’ve created is a place where dissent is certainly possible, but in an extremely narrow range, on a small number of issues**. Stretch the politics or social position too far, and nothing short of a mewling display of obsequience will exonerate you from an endless barrage of vitriol.

In addition, while very real, very relevant disagreements occur in the hivemind’s responses to you(amongst themselves), these disagreements are simply utilized to further do-down Big Dissent. When half of them agree on issue X, and half disagree, arguing against X is perceived as arguing against a position no one is espousing. When supporting X(and thus not arguing against it), it is perceived as “ignoring” the commenters who argue against it, not responding the argument destroyer that is X for cowardly reasons.

They don’t have regular dissenters because most normal people aren’t going to put up with that kind of abuse, whether or not they get banned. He doesn’t need to ban, all you have to do is read responses to something you might agree with to realize that your thoughts and attention is best applied elsewhere. I imagine that, while the dungeon is not very populous, one can go back through the history of contentious posts on PZs blog and find unique, single or double post individual dissenters who, when realizing the extent of groupthink and personal vitriol, just left and never came back.


Another interesting paradox is the stated position of PZ in contrast to my continued existence as one of his commenters. Clearly, I’m no “regular”, but riddle me this: If dissent on feminism is by definition unreasonable, and PZ bans unreasonable people, why am I permitted to retain commenting privileges?  Is it:

1. I’m not disagreeing with feminism.

2. I’m disagreeing with feminism, but doing to reasonably.

3. I’m unreasonable, but PZ hasn’t noticed me yet.

4. I’m unreasonable, but PZ has changed his tune on banning people.

Now it theoretically could be the first option, since I reject his definition of feminism, and I’m certainly not claiming women aren’t people.  However, I am disagreeing with some of the core dogmas and methods of feminism, esp. the PC paradigm.  While there is disparity in privilege in society, this exists in all society, and it’s not clear that the line between “privileged” and “underprivileged” can be drawn along gender/race lines.  It’s perfectly true to say that men have advantages in society, but it’s also true to say that women likewise have advantages.  Framing privilege in terms of the GDP of a particular gender or race ignores other measures of social privilege.  Indeed, defining privilege as something possessed by one gender necessarily entails that the positive aspects of that gender’s experiences are the only aspects of anyone’s experiences worth measuring.

Perhaps it’s the second option out of the four listed above, though that would render PZ’s position on reasonable vs. unreasonable dissent simply false.  If there is a way to reasonably be an anti-feminist, and I persist in affirming so, then PZ is wrong.  Allowing me to comment for so long would be a tacit concession of that fact.

The third option strikes me as implausible, given the sheer length of the thread and, judging by the number of lurkers, the volume of page hits accrued.  Of course, this possibility, that he really hasn’t/doesn’t care, opens up some interesting questions.

Since Noelplum can reasonably cite instances where he and others have commented honestly and genuinely, and been banned for being unreasonable or narcissistic, is PZ’s failure to moderate my contributions evidence that he is relaxing his grip on the discussion?  I think it’s entirely possible, and that brings us to option four.

This seems to me to be the most plausible, and least self-aggrandizing, proposed hypothesis.  First, it doesn’t assume out the gate that I’m being reasonable.  Second, it suggests that PZ is listening and taking seriously the people who are criticizing his blog policies, a compliment for any skeptic.  Third, the style of change that this hypothesis posits is consistent with what Crommunist adopted on his blog on the same network.  He regularly modified comments from other people, behavior that was mean-spirited, proves absolutely nothing about the commenter, and deprives anyone else from hearing what that person might have said.  Hitchens speaks passionately about the right of every person to hear every form of heresy, and decide for themselves whether it’s right or wrong; else, who might you choose and trust to filter your ears?  After repeated criticisms that manually editing other people’s posts to say horrific or silly things is nothing more than abusing power, he appears to have ceased doing so without any fanfare.  Perhaps PZ has likewise changed while maintaining a positive image among his “horde” and the wider community.

Finally, on that fourth point, there exists a less complimentary reason that PZ is relaxing his grip on the discussion, and this is something I point out in the fourth paragraph of this post.  He has cultivated a garden of sycophants and attack dogs, more or less homogeneous in their political and social views, who create such a hostile environment for 99% of those who might otherwise voice their opinions that the tiny minority willing to let such hatred wash over them and persist in disagreeing doesn’t present a problem worth risking FREEZE PEACH criticism from his peers.

As long as there are 20 people telling some new person he’s wrong, and no one supporting him, the appearance of said person’s abnormality, and by contrast the normality of the majority, is sustained; what we might call a “reality space” all their own.  This phenomenology can be experienced by simply referring family and friends to the discussion for feedback, and realizing that your self-doubt in failing to make any headway is due mostly to the “horde” being unable or unwilling to transcend the vagaries of semantics.

Alternatively, it might just be self-defense; put a group of rats* in a barrel and they don’t start eating one another until you stop feeding them.


* Given all of the disgusting personal attacks directed at me throughout that discussion, I don’t feel even the slightest qualms about referring to them as a group of rats in a barrel.

** All well and good if you’re Radfem hub or Conservipedia, but highly objectionable under the banner of “Freethought”.


Hello again, Patrick. Lets start with this:

If mandating percentages is a poor solution, how do we ensure and verify that recruitment is being done blindly? For example, in the U.S., would labor laws be rewritten? Would the government refuse to contract with companies that don’t adhere to such rules? Would non-blind recruiting be made a civil offsense? Or is this something addressed by the private sector? If so, how? Trade association rules? Union oversight? Decertification of companies who don’t adhere? How do we handle companies operating internationally?

There are three ways to approach such a problem. The first is on the back end, either by quotas or blind recruiting (however that can be done, if it can). The second is to find the root of the problem, and just keep hacking until it’s dead. The third is to do nothing.

On the first, you must recognize that you are objecting to a bias that blocks certain groups from being hired and rising up in the private sector, based on attributes that have nothing to do with performance. To turn around and say that we’ll now block another group, which has traditionally succeeded in the private sector, is to act in the precise objectionable manner you’re attempting to correct. Some might call it fighting fire with fire, others an eye for an eye.

Tokenism is a result of the type of thinking that casts minority X as a monolith/inanimate object, rather than seeing them as a diverse group of people.

Indeed, white males are a diverse group as well, many of whom are leaders of nothing, failures by most financial measures. They haven’t succeeded, <i>often they aren’t interested or don’t care to partake</i> in that culture. They won’t be helped or harmed by these measures, though, and are largely invisible. The harm, if it manifests, is to those who are interested, and who do possess the secondary characteristics (ambition, competitiveness, aggression, insight, etc..) in spades that would make them an asset, but who would be excluded for their skin color or gender.

Those characteristics are present in some portion of all groups. So what about blinding recruiters? I did posit this as a potential solution, but I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that this method is only marginally effective on recruiting. It is unsustainable on performance reports, as how would you evaluate someone blindly?

Alright, so lets examine the third option next: nothing. This can work iff companies that actively diversify are measurably more successful in their given field. If having 40% women, as some companies do voluntarily, has all of these benefits, then they will surpass their competition and the market will select for such practices. The market is highly competitive, and well-organized firms monitor these shifts for positive and negative causal factors. The study was probably financed by a business group or corporate group, frankly, curious about whether to adopt the same practices.

However, this isn’t very fair. After all, why should the inclusion of a certain group have to improve performance before we open or encourage their participation? Shouldn’t the measure be equivalent performance? Absolutely, but that’s not going to convince any company, so doing nothing only works if there is an improvement due to diversity.

To me, that leaves the final option: tackle the root of the problem. This is…a vast issue, and humanists of all stripes have made strides on these problems for years. Improve access to education, get qualified candidates out in the world, do what can be done without mandates (blind recruiting where possible), and continue making arguments against, well, people like me 🙂