Girls suck at video games

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Girls suck at video games / Les filles sont nulles aux jeux vidéo from Stéphanie Mercier on Vimeo.


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81 Responses to Girls suck at video games

  1. 1
    Ampersand says:

    Oh, that’s just brilliant. Thanks for posting that.

  2. Pingback: Gender Stratification – The Video Game | The Global Sociology Blog

  3. 2
    Simple Truth says:

    Oh, that totally wins. Stupid dishes…

  4. 3
    Sam L. says:

    I love French animation.

  5. 4
    ballgame says:

    Why aren’t there women without babies passing the main woman by? That’s what happens in real life. Otherwise, this comes across as cheap, misleading propaganda supporting the debunked notion that there is an overall pay disparity based on gender that … oh …

    Never mind.

  6. 5
    Simple Truth says:

    Oh, aren’t you cute, ballgame? Of course there’s no glass ceiling. It’s something the Feminazis made up to try and push their socialist propoganda. There’s no truth to any of it, no reason to worry.

    Economy downturn hurts older white males

    The men say experience can make them less marketable because employers think they want higher pay. There’s some truth to that.

    Montgomery made $25.80 an hour maintaining machines at an insulation factory in Newark, Ohio. He’s been shocked at the low wages — $10 an hour or so — for some jobs available now.

    “I can’t pay my bills on those wages,” he says. “The pay is hardly better than my unemployment check.”

    Low wages are not just a financial blow, says Birie, the employment counselor. It’s a blow to the men’s self-esteem.

    “It’s very difficult to be the primary breadwinner, then to be offered — despite all your skills and talent — a job that pays $10 an hour,” she says.

    And who do you think was working those low-paying jobs before the old, white men decided they needed them?

  7. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Ballgame, what Consad’s study shows, iirc, is that men and women with the identical job title and experience are generally paid about the same.

    This isn’t exactly news to me:

    First of all, let’s dispel one common misunderstanding: the pay gap between women and men is not primarily caused by unequal pay for identical jobs. This does occasionally happen, but equal pay laws have by and large eliminated this form of obvious wage discrimination.

    However, there are other forms of sexism that effect the pay gap, which you seem to dismiss with too little thought. For instance, occupational segregation — the tendency of employers to discriminate in hiring so that some jobs have more women, other jobs have more men — has the overall effect of lowering women’s wages relative to men.

    For example: In Philadelphia, social scientists sent fictional, equally-qualified resumes to different restaurants. The only important difference between the resumes they sent out was if the name at the top was a woman’s or a man’s. They found that snootier, higher-paying restaurants preferred to hire men, while low-paying places (diners and the like) preferred women. In this way, women were steered into a lower-paying job category: that’s job segregation.

    That sort of discrimination would be completely invisible to the Consar study you place so much stock in. But it’s still an example of how sexism lowers women’s wages.

    Another issue is, of course, the sexism involved in caretaking (not just parenthood, but who sacrifices career to take care of elderly parents, etc)..

    This isn’t an example of employers discriminating against women, but it is a society-wide sexism that contributes to the wage gap. The person doing the lioness’ share of the unpaid caretaking work has far less time available for paid work; if men and women divided unpaid caretaking work equally, the paid work would be a lot more equal too. (Like many instances of sexism, this arguably harms both sexes: men are harmed by this same sexist belief because they are expected to work more and robbed of equal contact with their family.)

    Nonetheless, even single women without children earn less than similar men, on average. (See, for example, Wood et al’s study of similar male and female lawyers).

    There are many other examples. It’s only if you have an extremely simplistic model of how sexism effects wages — or if you’re an anti-feminist eager to dismiss sexism against women as a myth — that the Consar study can be at all said to prove that sexism has nothing to do with the pay gap.

    P.S. It’s also worth pointing out that Consad’s study was not peer-reviewed, was commissioned and designed by the Bush White House, uses a nonstandard definition of the wage gap, and is contradicted by multiple peer-reviewed studies that controlled for the same factors (years in workforce, experience, job title, parenthood, etc etc etc)..

  8. 7
    ballgame says:

    … the pay gap between women and men is not primarily caused by unequal pay for identical jobs. This does occasionally happen, but equal pay laws have by and large eliminated this form of obvious wage discrimination.

    Amp, I think you deserve much credit for your long-standing acknowledgment of this. (Lest there be any misunderstanding from people who may not know me very well, I want to emphasize that I’m being genuine here, not sarcastic.)

    In Philadelphia, social scientists sent fictional, equally-qualified resumes to different restaurants.

    Do you have a cite for similar studies where social scientists sent fictional, equally-qualified resumes to different schools looking for teachers, and different child care facilities looking for workers?

    For instance, occupational segregation … has the overall effect of lowering women’s wages relative to men.

    But how much of that is ‘mandated segregation’ (like in your restaurant example), and how much of that is ‘self segregation’ (whereby women gravitate towards careers that are less physically onerous)?

    One should also never talk about pay disparity without also noting that occupational segregation doubtless contributes to the killing of men on the job eight times more frequently than women are killed on the job. Failing to do that would only be acceptable if you have an extremely simplistic model of how sexism affects employment — or if you’re a gynocentric feminist eager to dismiss sexism against men as relatively trivial, compared to sexism against women.

    At any rate, I stand by my original point that women without children do better than women with children and it’s extremely misleading for the video to omit single women passing the mother by. (And, really, the video should have included the occasional man dying on an oil rig or getting crushed by a machine, come to think of it.)

    (FTR, I’m in favor of legislation and workplace policies that would make it easier for workers of both sexes to care for dependents.)

    P.S. It’s also worth pointing out that Consad’s study was not peer-reviewed, was commissioned and designed by the Bush White House, …

    I know it was commissioned during the Bush admin, but please explain, exactly, how it was “designed by the Bush White House”?

    “… uses a nonstandard definition of the wage gap, …

    Please explain and contrast the two definitions you’re referring to. The typical definition of the ‘wage gap’ that I see used in feminist discourse is extremely misleading (‘men make more than women!’), whereas my understanding of CONSAD’s definition (‘how much of the pay disparity between the sexes can be plausibly accounted for by discrimination as opposed to other, non-gender factors?’) is, in fact, the important question. If that’s what you’re referring to, then yes, CONSAD uses a less misleading definition of the ‘wage gap’ than is typically used.

    “… and is contradicted by multiple peer-reviewed studies that controlled for the same factors (years in workforce, experience, job title, parenthood, etc etc etc)..”

    It is my reading of the CONSAD study that it was itself an overview of the main studies of gender differential, and — far from being contradicted — was in fact built on those studies. The CONSAD overview identifies 14 factors which affect compensation, two of which are gender-related (gender and percent female). The others are age, education, experience, married, children, race, region, occupation, industry, union, full or part time, and firm size. I don’t think any of the studies included all of the factors. (I believe there are, in fact, methodological and data impediments that would preclude such a study from being carried out.)

    At any rate, if you have a cite to an analysis of the CONSAD study which shows that there is some flaw in their statistical reasoning, I would be most eager to read it. (However, although I’m not a statistician, a good deal of my professional life has been involved with the analysis of statistics and their work looks pretty careful and nuanced to me. I would be extremely surprised if anyone has in fact been able to punch any statistical holes in CONSAD’s argument.)

  9. 8
    Ampersand says:

    I read an article about a ditch-digger who got killed when his ditch collapsed. He was paid $8.50 an hour. Was he an example of a man who gets paid a lot because he had a physically hard job that risked his life?

    Gosh, all those guys lining up for day labor must be getting paid a ton! After all, they’re doing physically onerous work that’s often not very safe.

    We live in a class-stratified society in which people who get paid well don’t do jobs that leave them crippled for life (with a very few exceptions, like football player).

    By the way, ever been a professional housecleaner? It’s a job that some people’s backs never recover from (especially if they’re not young), it’s an extremely female-dominated industry, and the pay scale sucks. Being a streetwalker is another example of a physically risky, but low-paying, job. How about the women working 16 hour days doing piecework clothing in sweatshops — does that strike you as a physically easy job, or one that pays well?

    I don’t sit around denying that there are a lot of men screwed over by low-paying, physically damaging jobs. There’s nothing in my feminist ideology which requires that. What about your ideology encourages you to spread the myths you’re spreading, ignoring that many women have jobs that (I’d bet) are lower paying and physically harder than most of the jobs you’ll hold in your life?

    The idea that men get paid more because they’re out there cutting logs into boards with their eyeteeth while low-paid women generally sit around eating bon-bons all day is, as far as I can tell, crap. People with jobs that physically suck, male or female, generally get crappy wages.

    ETA: Note that Ballgame’s analysis doesn’t just understate how women get screwed over in the labor market. It understates how men get screwed, too, by falsely suggesting that the risks men in physically onerous jobs take are compensated for with higher wages. For the most part, that’s not true; those guys are being screwed physically and economically.

    ETA (2): Although there are women in low-paid, physically hard jobs, it should be noted that the large majority of people in those jobs, as measured by workplace injury and death rates, are men.

    Gotta go to work — more later.

  10. 9
    Mandolin says:

    “”low-paid, physically hard jobs”

    It doesn’t pay to underestimate the physical demands of things like cleaning hotel rooms, which while not risky, are cumulatively hard on the body. Therinth’s nursing job takes a consistent toll on her back, from doing things like lifting patients, not to mention the risk she incurs from exposure to biological contaminants. I think sometimes our definitions of physically demanding are tailored to ignore women’s work, particularly when that work can be categorized as “nurturing” such as care-taking and cleaning.

  11. 10
    Chris says:

    At any rate, I stand by my original point that women without children do better than women with children and it’s extremely misleading for the video to omit single women passing the mother by. (And, really, the video should have included the occasional man dying on an oil rig or getting crushed by a machine, come to think of it.)

    The video didn’t point out the hardships of disabled lesbians, either. Therefore, naturally, we must completely dismiss the hardships of people it did address!

  12. 11
    ballgame says:

    Was he an example of a man who gets paid a lot because he had a physically hard job that risked his life?

    I never made the claim that “everyone who risks his life on the job gets paid well.”

    What about your ideology encourages you to spread the myths you’re spreading, …

    You haven’t identified any “myths” that I’m spreading, or in fact rebutted any claim that I actually made.

    … ignoring that many women have jobs that (I’d bet) are lower paying and physically harder than most of the jobs you’ll hold in your life?

    Amp, I am certain that you, yourself, know how completely illegitimate this is as an argument. First, you have no idea what my work history is, and second, my having been a lifetime garbage collector wouldn’t make my arguments valid, nor would my enjoying a lifetime of leisure living off of an inheritance render any of my arguments invalid.

    Come on, Amp. Good grief.

    [ballgame] understates how men get screwed, too, by falsely suggesting that the risks men in physically onerous jobs take are compensated for with higher wages. For the most part, that’s not true; those guys are being screwed physically and economically.

    Well, Amp, you actually haven’t presented convincing evidence that men who take on risky jobs make no more money from those jobs than from other jobs that were just as readily available to them. I suspect that in fact, they do make more money from those jobs than from the alternatives they faced — either a lower-paying, safer job or unemployment. (I would emphatically agree that lower class workers are inadequately compensated for the work they do, FWIW.) But, even if you were to present evidence that men in risky jobs DON’T make more money than they could have otherwise, that would still not rebut my point: occupational segregation adversely affects men as well as women, and it isn’t legitimate to talk about the ‘pay gap’ between the sexes without also talking about the ‘death and injury gap’ between the sexes.

    I discussed this in more detail at Feminist Critics a while back when I responded to your post about the gender gap and death and injury on the job.

    As far as your “ideology” goes, Amp, I agree with you about how unfair our economic system is to poor and working class people. Where I disagree is when you applaud simplistic and extraordinarily misleading videos like the one in the OP. That video invites divisive resentment … “Oooh,” a casual female viewer might respond, “I’d be OK if it weren’t for all those damn men with all their unearned privilege.” A more accurate video — which showed the managerial-class woman passing by working class men and women (with some of the men falling off buildings or getting hit by trucks), and getting passed by childless women, would undercut such a simpleminded response.

  13. 12
    Myca says:

    Well, Amp, you actually haven’t presented convincing evidence that men who take on risky jobs make no more money from those jobs than from other jobs that were just as readily available to them.

    It’s not his job to present evidence. If your claim is that the increased risk of injury is the cause/one cause/connected somehow to the pay gap, then the burden of proof is on you. I find it implausible, and will continue to find it implausible absent evidence.

    it isn’t legitimate to talk about the ‘pay gap’ between the sexes without also talking about the ‘death and injury gap’ between the sexes.

    No. That’s stupid, and its an all-too-common argument from your camp.

    “Talking about this actual, legitimate problem is illegitimate unless you also talk about my preferred problem?”

    Fuck that noise. You have yet to present evidence that the two are connected.

    How about, “It’s illegitimate to talk about male conscription unless you also talk about rape as a tactic of war,” or maybe, “it’s illegitimate to talk about male circumcision unless you also make a point of explaining how much more severe FGM is.”

    We all have our issues. Arguing for gun control doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the plight of the Giant Panda. And, of course, the way that every single fucking time this comes up MRA types show up to whine that feminists aren’t doing a good enough job addressing their preferred issues makes me thing that what it’s really about is making sure that nobody ever talks about the wage gap.

    You don’t get to set the boundaries of how this issue gets discussed.

    If you want to discuss the greater injury rate for men on the job, great, let’s do that. I’m not opposed to that. I will (and do!) happily advocate for greater female presence in these jobs. I will (and do!) happily advocate for greater health and safety regulations for these jobs. I mean, Christ, I work for OSHA. But you don’t get to show up and insist that unless people talk about your issue their discussion is illegitimate.

    Nope. That’s not how it works.

    A more accurate video — which showed the managerial-class woman passing by working class men and women (with some of the men falling off buildings or getting hit by trucks), and getting passed by childless women, would undercut such a simpleminded response.

    By ‘more accurate’ you mean, “talking about the stuff I want to talk about.” This video addresses a women in the business world competing against male businessmen. It doesn’t go into issues of class because that’s not what it’s about.

    It neither shows male construction workers dying as she skips blithely by nor male construction workers catcalling her as she tries to escape, because once again, that’s not what it’s about.

    The video is about the extra burdens that a woman faces in the business world. These burdens are real. That’s what it’s about.

    It’s shitty and racist to insist that in discussions about race what we ‘really’ need to do is discuss class instead. We had an encounter with one of these people on here recently.

    It’s just as shitty and sexist to insist that in discussions about gender bias what we ‘really’ need to do is discuss class instead.

    Class is a legitimate axis of discrimination. So is race. So is gender. One is not the other.

    —Myca

  14. 13
    Myca says:

    “Talking about this actual, legitimate problem is illegitimate unless you also talk about my preferred problem?”

    Fuck that noise.

    And you know what? It’s just as bad if you turn this specific example around.

    “it isn’t legitimate to talk about the ‘death and injury gap’ between the sexes without also talking about the ‘pay gap’ between the sexes.”

    That’s wrong too.

    —Myca

  15. 14
    Ampersand says:

    I never made the claim that “everyone who risks his life on the job gets paid well.”

    You implied that a significant portion of the wage gap can be accounted for because “women gravitate towards careers that are less physically onerous.” This only makes sense if you believe that there is a significant wage premium paid to people (mostly men) who take “physically onerous” jobs.

    But for most workers, having a risky job means getting paid slightly less than a similar worker in a job without the same level of physical demands and risks.

    Please take a look at this chart from the BLS (quoting an earlier post by me):

    …when the Bureau of Labor Statistics investigated job traits that are associated with wage premiums, they found that “Job attributes relating to … physically demanding or dangerous jobs… do not seem to affect wages.” Here’s a bar graph. As you can see, what pays most is specialized knowledge. The very tiniest bar, all the way over on the right, that’s actually slightly negative? That’s the “death and exposure” effect on wages [...]

    The bulk of the economic evidence seems to indicate that there is no danger premium in wages. And if there IS a danger premium, then it must be pretty trivial, since a large danger premium wouldn’t be so hard to find clear evidence of.

    You haven’t identified any “myths” that I’m spreading, or in fact rebutted any claim that I actually made.

    You’re spreading the myth that the wage gap is caused by men being compensated more for taking more physically onerous jobs.

    First, you have no idea what my work history is…

    I was talking about your work future, not your work history. And it’s exaggerating to say that I have no idea. Jobs in the US are given out according to class (among other factors). There are a lot of class cues in the way you write (and in the way I write). Dialect is one of the major class markers in our class system, and both of us have a grasp of the “educated” English dialect which will probably be enough to keep us out of really physically demanding jobs for most of our working lives.

    I suspect that in fact, they do make more money from those jobs than from the alternatives they faced — either a lower-paying, safer job or unemployment.

    Well, obviously an employed person makes more from his job than he would from not having any job at all. This doesn’t show that the wage gap is accounted for by women refusing to take physically onerous jobs.

    As for your “suspicion” that people in dangerous jobs are typically choosing danger in exchange for making more money than safer jobs, the evidence suggests this usually isn’t the case (as the BLS table above shows). What’s your evidence to the contrary?

  16. 15
    Ampersand says:

    Myca, great post.

    Some quick responses to some of Ballgame’s comment #8:

    1) I don’t actually know how much input the Bush White House had into the design of the study; maybe they had no input whatsoever (although I doubt it), maybe they had a lot of input. In any case, since I don’t know, I withdraw the claim.

    2) Consad did use a nonstandard definition of the wage gap. The wage gap is usually calculated by comparing the pay of full-time, year-round employees. (There are literally thousands of examples of this).

    Consad, in contrast, started off by looking at the wages of all workers, including part-time workers. Since women are more likely to work part-time than men, the effect of Consad’s choice was that they were able to attribute a much larger portion of the wage gap to the difference in hours worked, than a study using the usual definition of wage gap would have been able to.

    3) Your understanding is mistaken; there are many significant studies of the pay gap which Consad did not review or include. (That’s not a criticism of Consad — due to technical limitations, it would be literally impossible for them to include every significant pay gap study. For example, a study of lawyers graduating from the same year of the same law school is extremely valuable because it is able to hold so many variables constant due to the specific population being studied; but because the population is so specific, it wouldn’t be possible to fit it into Consad’s model. As I understand it.)

    But you are correct to say that it’s not possible for any one study to cover all possible factors.

    4) The most important flaw isn’t in Consad’s study, but in the logic of anti-feminists who believe that Consad’s study shows that sexism isn’t a significant factor in the pay gap. (As I explained in comment #7.)

  17. 16
    Ampersand says:

    One should also never talk about pay disparity without also noting that occupational segregation doubtless contributes to the killing of men on the job eight times more frequently than women are killed on the job. Failing to do that would only be acceptable if you have an extremely simplistic model of how sexism affects employment — or if you’re a gynocentric feminist eager to dismiss sexism against men as relatively trivial, compared to sexism against women.

    Myca already responded very ably to this.

    But I want to additionally point out, you’re implying that for a feminist to talk about the pay gap without also talking about the workplace mortality gap, is equivalent to an anti-feminist denying that sexism against women has anything to do with the pay gap.

    But of course, I have talked about the workplace death gap on multiple occasions, and specifically talked about it as an example of how sexism harms men — such as here, here, and especially here.

    In contrast, when you post about the pay gap, you either imply that it’s fair that men get paid more (as in this post), or deny the gender pay gap exists at all (as in this post).

    Regarding gender gaps in employment (both pay and mortality), I acknowledge harms to both sexes. This is what you call “gynocentric.” You acknowledge that men are harmed, but deny that women are harmed. This is what you call “egalitarian.”

  18. 17
    ballgame says:

    I appreciate the time Myca and Amp have taken to try to rebut what I said. FTR, I stand by my basic points. I would love to spend the next couple of hours ‘rebutting the rebuttals,’ but unfortunately I don’t have the time.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to return to this in the next couple of days. (I know how crestfallen everyone will be if I don’t.) In the mean time, people can read my earlier rebuttal of Amp’s ‘wage premium’ argument in the FC post that Amp and I have already linked to.

  19. 18
    F.R. says:

    I got something completely different out of that video. Yeah, the “wage gap” – or “trying to keep up with the guys” – is one thing that’s there, but I particularly liked the fact that it emphasizes that even when both partners are working, it’s usually the woman who does the childcare and the dishes. The “whole second shift that men don’t get”, indeed. (And of course, a lot of guys try to excuse this by saying that women have higher standards of cleanliness naturally, or are just so much better at all the baby stuff.) I think that’s the point of making it a woman with a baby; it’s kind of about the inequalities in division of household/childcare labor as well as the inequalities in the world of business.

    I also think that altering the animation to make it “more accurate” as per ballgame would actually make it far less effective. It’s a very simple animation with a very simple point to make about one form of discrimination that actually does really exist. Changing it would diminish its impact, and it would be very hard to make it completely accurate. Someone wanting to criticize it for “simplicity” would probably always be able to do so.

    I acknowledge harms to both sexes. This is what you call “gynocentric.”

    Reminds me of something else I read once, about how any time men and women actually are treated equally, this tends to be interpreted as “favoring women”.

    The point is that sexism does hurt men, and it’s bad for the individual man who is hurt, just as it is for individual women who are hurt. But it is still sexism against women – i.e. the fact that society in general has a lower opinion of the capabilities of women than of men – that is hurting these men. We don’t actually think “oh, men are worth less than women, so they’re dispensible” when excluding women from these dangerous professions – it’s more “women are too weak to do this sort of work, and we need to ‘protect’ them from it.” (Note that “protect” in this context is actually patronizing, in the same way that we “protect” children from things that are too difficult or dangerous for them.)

    And yeah, that’s not a meaningful or satisfying explanation for the guy who ends up dying in a ditch. But, you know what? That’s why people who care about men’s rights should support feminism.

  20. 19
    Daran says:

    ballgame:

    Hopefully I’ll be able to return to this in the next couple of days. (I know how crestfallen everyone will be if I don’t.)

    I certainly will be. I’ve waited for years to see you and Ampersand go head-to-head on this issue. It’s not a topic I’ve studied in depth – we each have our own specializations – but I know you have, as has he.

    And it’s a subject upon which I am agnostic. A battle of wits between well-armed opponents could help me make up my mind.

  21. 20
    I C says:

    Are you familiar with the term Post Hoc, ergo propter hoc? The fact that the average woman is lower paid than the average man does not mean that she is less paid just because she is a woman.

    Besides, could somebody explain the baby to me? I always thought that a family was a choice, and one has to make sacrifices in life if you are to succeed.

  22. 21
    Ampersand says:

    The fact that the average woman is lower paid than the average man does not mean that she is less paid just because she is a woman.

    Sheesh. Talk about attacking a strawman.

  23. 22
    I C says:

    So ampersand. Please explain your statement in post #7. How should this statement be interpreted?

    I would also like to expand the discussion around the childbearing bit. Is it a right to have children? By right I mean in this context having special accommodations from the employer in order to work less in order to be able to care for the child.

  24. 23
    Daran says:

    Ampersand:

    In contrast, when you post about the pay gap, you either imply that it’s fair that men get paid more (as in this post), or deny the gender pay gap exists at all (as in this post).

    You misrepresent both posts. In the first, ballgame raises the subject of fairness only once, when he frames the question as “How does [the] presence (or absence) [of a risk bonus] bear on the question of the extent to which each gender is fairly compensated?” From this we can infer only that he thinks it fair that workers in dangerous occupations receive a risk bonus. Do you disagree?

    In the second he argues that the wage gap is fully, or nearly so, accounted for factors other than pay discrimination by employers, not that it doesn’t exist. (It’s true that he says “no substantive evidence for a Gender Gap”, but it’s clear in context that this is what he means.)

    Regarding gender gaps in employment (both pay and mortality), I acknowledge harms to both sexes. This is what you call “gynocentric.”

    In the last five paragraphs of this comment I explain why I think you are “properly categorised as a gynocentric feminist”, even though I acknowledge that you acknowledge harms to men, and in fact go further than that.

    You acknowledge that men are harmed, but deny that women are harmed. This is what you call “egalitarian.”

    It is undisputed (by you, at least) than men are harmed by employment based sexism.

    ballgame argues that the pay gap is the product of factors other than discrimination by employers, and that consequently, women are not harmed overall in so far as their pay packets are concerned. He may be right about this, or he may be wrong. If he’s right, then I do not understand the term “egalitarianism” to require one to acknowledge a harm to women which doesn’t exist, merely because we acknowledge other harms to men which it is undisputed do exist.

    To undermine ballgame’s claim to egalitarianism you need first to show that he is wrong and further (because even egalitarians can be wrong sometimes) that his arguments are informed by gender bias. Assuming he is wrong, and seeking to account for his error in terms of his lack of egalitarianism is Bulverism.

  25. 24
    Daran says:

    Ampersand (quoting ballgame):

    First, you have no idea what my work history is…

    I was talking about your work future, not your work history. And it’s exaggerating to say that I have no idea. Jobs in the US are given out according to class (among other factors). There are a lot of class cues in the way you write (and in the way I write). Dialect is one of the major class markers in our class system, and both of us have a grasp of the “educated” English dialect which will probably be enough to keep us out of really physically demanding jobs for most of our working lives.

    First, you completely ignore ballgame’s continuing point, which is that this whole aside is a massive ad hom.

    Secondly, I have the same class cues in the way I write, but any inferences you might make about my earning capacity would be dead wrong. I have earned no more than occasional pin-money in the past twenty years, and do not expect to earn any more in future.

  26. 25
    Tom Nolan says:

    Daran

    I certainly will be. I’ve waited for years to see you and Ampersand go head-to-head on this issue. It’s not a topic I’ve studied in depth – we each have our own specializations – but I know you have, as has he.

    Me too. This should be good.

  27. 26
    Thene says:

    F.R.: YES. Glad I’m not the only person who gets this. The throwing-babies part was my favourite, because it really doesn’t matter whose babies they are – if there is an unpaid ‘caring’ job to do a woman will be cajoled into doing it. I could only wish that they had some airborne elderly people in there too. I’ve known so many women who’ve wound up caring for kids that weren’t theirs – kids who’d just been thrown at them by other relatives – while the men around them totally ignored these responsibilities. I spent secondary school raising my brother because our father didn’t want to, and then wondered why I wasn’t doing as well in school as he’d expected me to!

    Daran:

    I certainly will be. I’ve waited for years to see you and Ampersand go head-to-head on this issue. It’s not a topic I’ve studied in depth – we each have our own specializations – but I know you have, as has he.

    Fuck that entitled noise. ballgame is hijacking a thread that’s about an animation that shows how women are economically harmed by unpaid labour. He’s come here yelling WHAT ABOUT THE MEEEENNNNN, and I am totally failing to understand why his non-sequiturs and derails haven’t been either moved to an open post or deleted already.

    I.C.: a) It doesn’t matter whether it’s a ‘choice’ or not; the question is, why does the unpaid labour aspect fall disproportionately upon women rather than evenly between women and men? Lesbian couples excepted, there is generally a guy involved in the baby-choosing process.
    b) A lot of women get pushed into domestic caring roles that aren’t related to their own children. As I previously mentioned I was such an unpaid carer when I was in my teens and I am still fucking mad about it. They didn’t choose these kids; two someone-elses did and then decided they didn’t want them, and then mysteriously bypassed any male relatives they have and got a woman to do all the tedious lookings-after for them. When finding carers for elderly people, sons and grandsons get completely overlooked.

  28. 27
    Myca says:

    It seems to me that much of this discussion hinges on a question of fact: “do men get paid more because they take riskier, more physically dangerous jobs?”

    So far, Amp has posted some fairly convincing evidence that this is not the case.

    I could be convinced otherwise, of course, but it’s going to take more than supposition and argument … it’s going to take actual evidence. Does anyone have any? If not, then I’m not sure what’s left to say.

    —Myca

  29. 28
    I C says:

    a) It doesn’t matter whether it’s a ‘choice’ or not; the question is, why does the unpaid labour aspect fall disproportionately upon women rather than evenly between women and men? Lesbian couples excepted, there is generally a guy involved in the baby-choosing process.

    It’s the woman’s choice if she wants to keep the baby or not. Have you tried just saying no when unpaid labor is thrown onto you?

    a)
    b) A lot of women get pushed into domestic caring roles that aren’t related to their own children. As I previously mentioned I was such an unpaid carer when I was in my teens and I am still fucking mad about it. They didn’t choose these kids; two someone-elses did and then decided they didn’t want them, and then mysteriously bypassed any male relatives they have and got a woman to do all the tedious lookings-after for them. When finding carers for elderly people, sons and grandsons get completely overlooked.

    Yes, you are mad. Well, I am infuriated about the way I was treated when I was growing up. I suffer from ADD, this meant that when I was put in a normal school environment I started acting up. This is what in normal feminist discourse is called Male Entitlement. We all have our crosses to bear. Now back to the discussion.

    When is a choice a choice? What amount of coercion is required before a choice is no longer a choice?

  30. 29
    Danny says:

    F.R.
    “We don’t actually think “oh, men are worth less than women, so they’re dispensible” when excluding women from these dangerous professions – it’s more “women are too weak to do this sort of work, and we need to ‘protect’ them from it.””

    I would say its more than that even. I think the thought is, “Men and women are each useful to us* in different places.” This is why people don’t seem to care when men die and go into that patronizing protection mode you mention when talking about women dying.

    (* – us being “those in power”)

    “And yeah, that’s not a meaningful or satisfying explanation for the guy who ends up dying in a ditch. But, you know what? That’s why people who care about men’s rights should support feminism.”
    As much as some like for it to be feminism is not the one and only truth. Not trying to say its totally wrong, just saying its not totally right either.

    As far as the video itself I think it does a good job at painting part of the picture of what is f’d up about gender relations.

  31. 30
    Thene says:

    I C:

    Have you tried just saying no when unpaid labor is thrown onto you?

    The protracted caring incident I mentioned began when I was 13. Clearly I must have chosen to start raising a child when I was 13 because I didn’t say ‘no’ hard enough!

    I suffer from ADD, this meant that when I was put in a normal school environment I started acting up. This is what in normal feminist discourse is called Male Entitlement.

    Why yes, because women never suffer from ADD! No please, show me some examples of feminists saying that people who have ADD should be forced into mainstream education because they’re just entitled men (even female ADD sufferers obviously). Go on, show me.

    Until then, you can quit throwing baseless derails around.

  32. 31
    Silenced is Foo says:

    @Ampersand – on job segregation, I sadly can’t find the link but I do remember reading an interesting article about men and women doing the same jobs in the same industries, but with different job titles… simply because women are okay with being called an “assistant”, while men get a better title. You get cases where you have a “manager” who manages nobody, and an “assistant” who assists nobody, and otherwise have identical responsibilities.

  33. 32
    I C says:

    The protracted caring incident I mentioned began when I was 13. Clearly I must have chosen to start raising a child when I was 13 because I didn’t say ‘no’ hard enough!

    Yes, isn’t it nice to be able to argue by the extremes? For that sake I can tell the story of my mother who was single, raised me and managed to get a doctorate degree at the same time. See, it isn’t that difficult. Or maybe we should start discussing on average what peoples problems are. I am fully confident that a 20 something full time employed woman is fully capable of stating that she is unable to care for somebody elses children.

    Why yes, because women never suffer from ADD! No please, show me some examples of feminists saying that people who have ADD should be forced into mainstream education because they’re just entitled men (even female ADD sufferers obviously). Go on, show me.

    Did you read what I wrote? I stated that what feminists call male entitlement, i.e. making noise, taking up teacher time, talking in class without raising one’s hand and so on is typical examples of ADD.
    This has nothing to do with feminists wanting to force sufferers of ADD into public education.

  34. 33
    Daran says:

    thene:

    Fuck that entitled noise.

    That I might feel disappointment if something doesn’t happen in no way implies that I feel entitled to it. I’m well aware that both Ampersand and ballgame are free to decline to engage for any reason or none. As individuals, they have that right

    On the other hand, the apparent belief by feminists that their view of the world should be accepted without their ever having to justify or defend it from criticism does seem to me to be extraordinarily entitled.

  35. 34
    Daran says:

    Myca:

    It seems to me that much of this discussion hinges on a question of fact: “do men get paid more because they take riskier, more physically dangerous jobs?”

    So far, Amp has posted some fairly convincing evidence that this is not the case.

    Your link is to the edit function and doesn’t work for non-mods, but clearly you are refering to this comment.

    I agree that, with that cite, Ampersand has met his initial evidential burden, and I do note that ballgame did not address this in his rebuttal.

    I agree with ballgame, however, that the relevent question is not “do men get paid more because they take riskier, more physically dangerous jobs?”, but “how does the disproportionate killing and maiming of men on the job bear on the question of whether the genders are being paid fairly?”.

    Imagine a hypothetical economy with four workers. Abe and Bettany are both unskilled, both work the same hours, and both earn $20,000 per year, but Abe’s job is considerably more risky than Bettany’s. Charles and Denise have equivalent university degrees and do equivalent jobs, but Charles earns $60,000 to Denise’s $50,000. If we disregard safety, we might conclude that women are shortchanged by a total of $10,000 compared to the men. But if we factor in workplace safety, and decide, for example that Abe deserves an additional $10,000 as compensation for Abe’s risk, which he doesn’t get, then we would conclude that Abe and Denise are shortchanged compared to Bettany and Diana. Clearly there are gender gaps here which are due to sexism, but no net gender gap. Men and women are harmed equally.

  36. 35
    Chris says:

    On the other hand, the apparent belief by feminists that their view of the world should be accepted without their ever having to justify or defend it from criticism does seem to me to be extraordinarily entitled.

    Huh? In my experience, feminists seem to spend a good 50% of their time in these discussions repeatedly defending and justifying their positions for the benefit of derailers such as yourself. As they have in this very thread. So what the hell are you talking about?

  37. 36
    Chris says:

    IC:

    It’s the woman’s choice if she wants to keep the baby or not.

    Is your argument that because women are the ones who choose whether or not to keep their baby, it’s only fair that women take on the majority of childcare?

  38. 37
    I C says:

    Is your argument that because women are the ones who choose whether or not to keep their baby, it’s only fair that women take on the majority of childcare?

    This is a strawman, and I am quite convinced you know that as well. The only thing this statement refers to is the stated fact that there are two people involved in the babymaking.

  39. 38
    Ampersand says:

    Daran and Tom, I have to admit, your posts have left me feeling a bit like you think of me as some sort of performing monkey. (Especially Tom, because he made no other contribution to the thread.) Please cut that out.

    Oh, and Daran:

    On the other hand, the apparent belief by feminists that their view of the world should be accepted without their ever having to justify or defend it from criticism does seem to me to be extraordinarily entitled.

    Good fucking god, Daran. Have you even read my site? Have you somehow missed everything I and other “Alas” writers have written for the past ten years? I’ve written literally hundreds of posts attempting to justify my view of the world and attempting to defend feminism from criticism.

    I’ve asked you again and again to cut out statements like that on “Alas.” But you don’t listen. I can only infer that you have no respect for my requests.

    Get the fuck off my site and go to your own site where you can whine to your readers about how awful and mean feminists are.

    Or apologize and stay here. An actual “I’m sorry, I’ll try not to do it again” apology, not a “I’m sorry if what I say may have felt hurtful” or “I’m sorry, but what I said was correct and now I’ll explain why” fake apology.

    Your choice.

  40. 39
    mythago says:

    I suffer from ADD, this meant that when I was put in a normal school environment I started acting up. This is what in normal feminist discourse is called Male Entitlement.

    Setting aside the fact that the first sentence has nothing to do with the second, I am really tired of the stampede to pretend that feminism is mean because it picks on the disabled, i.e. men with ADD, ADHD, autism, ASDs, etc.

    Because it’s not like women ever have any of these problems, is it? It’s certainly not as though ASDs went underdiagnosed in women for years (called things like “borderline personality disorder”) because women on the spectrum do not always fit the stereotype of the geeky-nerd-living-in-his-parents’ basement. God forbid we consider how schools or institutions that come down hard on active boys to do active girls, who don’t even have the excuse of fitting a gender norm.

  41. 40
    Ampersand says:

    I agree with ballgame, however, that the relevent question is not “do men get paid more because they take riskier, more physically dangerous jobs?”, but “how does the disproportionate killing and maiming of men on the job bear on the question of whether the genders are being paid fairly?”.

    I’d argue not at all. And here’s why: Men are not the Borg. What benefits Donald Trump doesn’t benefit Joe Ditchdigger.

    The risk of being killed or maimed by your job is not evenly distributed among men in general. It is overwhelmingly distributed towards those men who get paid the least.[*] So much so that more than one study has found that high risk on the job is associated with slightly lower pay (compared to workers with similar traits but less risky jobs). (This is particularly true for non-union workers.)

    I just can’t see any “fairness” claim holding water unless the men taking the risks are the same men receiving the higher paychecks. And even then, to say that it’s fair, we’d also have to show that the women in physically risky jobs (who are fewer in number, but they still count) are likewise receiving higher paychecks to compensate them for their risks. Neither of these things are true, as far as I can tell.

    [*] A big exception is professional sports stars, some of whom are highly paid to destroy their bodies.

  42. 41
    Mandolin says:

    FR, if you’re willing to say, do you ETA: identify as female, male or neither? I’m trying to run down what percentage of our comments are by men, and I know most of the other handles. (ETA: I understand, of course, that you may not identify as either male or female, and should have made this explicit earlier.)

    IC, I’ve not run into you before, but I’m making an educated guess that you’re male. Let me know if you aren’t.

    Likewise, I suppose I’ve been assuming I’m intended to read Chris and Sam as male, but I guess they could be shortenings of female names (or of course they may have no relation to actual names, but that’s why I wrote “intended to”).

  43. 42
    mythago says:

    Amp @41: and this is the same frustrating discourse we get on the issue of boys and the schools. There are bigger issues there – in the case of workplace risk, there is classism, and the abuse of workers, particularly those who are nonunion or are not legally entitled to work in this country. Simply attributing it to “well, they’re men” is not only inaccurate, but it completely fails to grasp the problem in a way that might lead to considering solutions.

  44. 43
    Ampersand says:

    I definitely agree with you that the way MRAs and anti-feminists discuss male workplace mortality is not helpful, because they virtually never discuss real solutions — like increased uni0nization, and strong workplace safety regulations. Also, most MRAs seem resistant to talking about class, race, and immigration, but I don’t think it’s possible to have a model of who gets killed in the workplace unless you’re talking about those things and sex, rather than only talking about sex.

    I do think that there’s a legitimate complaint about how occupational segregation, mixed with cultural norms of masculinity, leads to substantial harms against men. That is a kind of sexism, and it’s important, in my view, to discuss it as sexism.

  45. 44
    Chris says:

    IC:

    This is a strawman, and I am quite convinced you know that as well.

    No, it’s not. It’s a question, and a valid one at that. I’ll assume that the answer is “no,” but I still don’t understand your point. Your original argument seemed to be that the challenges women face in the workplace, as depicted in this video, are a result of the choice to have a child. The poster Thene then asked, “why does the unpaid labour aspect fall disproportionately upon women rather than evenly between women and men?” You non-answered that it was a woman’s choice to have a child. My question to you was valid, and was based on the most likely interpretation of what you meant by that. If my interpretation was wrong, it’s because you are not expressing yourself clearly.

    Could you try answering again why it is that women who want to have a career and a family are expected to make sacrifices that men, who want the same things, do not? I don’t see any answer to that other than institutionalized sexism. If you do, then please, spell it out for us.

    And Mandolin, I am a man. :)

  46. 45
    I C says:

    Could you try answering again why it is that women who want to have a career and a family are expected to make sacrifices that men, who want the same things, do not? I don’t see any answer to that other than institutionalized sexism. If you do, then please, spell it out for us.

    Are they? That is now what I see. The way I see it both are expected to sacrifice. Women are expected to sacrifice in the aspect of not having a career, men are expected to sacrifice it beeing expected to be the primary breadwinners.

    In either case it’s not a right to have both a career and a family.

  47. 46
    Robert says:

    Both sexes must engage in sacrifices to reproduce. Both sexes seem in my view to generally undervalue the sacrifices that they aren’t making, and to overvalue the ones they are.

  48. 47
    Chris says:

    The way I see it both are expected to sacrifice. Women are expected to sacrifice in the aspect of not having a career, men are expected to sacrifice it beeing expected to be the primary breadwinners.

    IC, I never said that men don’t make sacrifices. I said that “women who want to have a career and a family are expected to make sacrifices that men, who want the same things, do not.”

    We agree that men and women, historically, have been expected to sacrifice different things. But that doesn’t have much to do with this video, since the woman in it is not “sacrificing” her career in favor of raising a child; she is attempting to do both. Morseo, she is expected to do both, and even when she performs adequately she is ranked lower than her male peers, who do not have the pressure of dealing with the burden of being the primary childcare laborer.

    That is inequality.

    Now yes, men face a different set of obstacles that also can suck. So do impoverished people, and homosexuals, and minorities, and many other groups. This video isn’t about them. It’s about the inequality between men in the corporate world and women in the corporate world. The idea that a video about such a subject should account for men who die in industrial accidents is just plain silly. Both are issues well worth paying attention to, and both are at least partially the result of sexism. But they are not the same issue.

  49. 48
    I C says:

    We agree that men and women, historically, have been expected to sacrifice different things. But that doesn’t have much to do with this video, since the woman in it is not “sacrificing” her career in favor of raising a child; she is attempting to do both. Morseo, she is expected to do both, and even when she performs adequately she is ranked lower than her male peers, who do not have the pressure of dealing with the burden of being the primary childcare laborer.

    Yes, she is attempting to do both, and she fails. What is this with performing ‘adequately’. This is what I mean by right to have a family. The question isn’t who is doing work adequately, the question is about who is the best.

  50. 49
    mythago says:

    Amp @44: I agree with you completely. I wasn’t trying to suggest that sexism is irrelevant, only that it’s frustrating and tiresome to see it brought up again and again as the biggest and only cause of things like workplace fatalities. God forbid we let actually solving problems get in the way of rhetoric.

  51. 50
    Ampersand says:

    Oh, sure. I think we’re in agreement here.

  52. 51
    mythago says:

    Well shit. That’s no fun.

  53. 52
    Tom Nolan says:

    I do beg your pardon, Ampersand – I’m afraid I am an aficionado of good debate and I allowed my enthusiasm for a discussion that promised to be both well and vigorously argued to get the better of me for a moment. It certainly was not my intention to give the impression that I regard you (or ballgame for that matter) to be a performing monkey. That’s not what I think.

    Here’s a substantial contribution to the thread, I hope: a radio programme which deals with the difficulties of determining how much of the gender earning disparity is due to sexual discrimination.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sq2n5/More_or_Less_18_06_2010/

  54. 53
    Daran says:

    Ampersand:

    Daran and Tom, I have to admit, your posts have left me feeling a bit like you think of me as some sort of performing monkey. (Especially Tom, because he made no other contribution to the thread.) Please cut that out.

    I’m sorry, and I will cut it out.

    Oh, and Daran:

    On the other hand, the apparent belief by feminists that their view of the world should be accepted without their ever having to justify or defend it from criticism does seem to me to be extraordinarily entitled.

    Good fucking god, Daran. Have you even read my site? Have you somehow missed everything I and other “Alas” writers have written for the past ten years? I’ve written literally hundreds of posts attempting to justify my view of the world and attempting to defend feminism from criticism.

    Oh really?

    This for example:

    Pointing out that men are privileged in no way denies that bad things happen to men. Being privileged does not mean men are given everything in life for free; being privileged does not mean that men do not work hard, do not suffer. In many cases – from a boy being bullied in school, to a soldier dying in war – the sexist society that maintains male privilege also does great harm to boys and men.

    In the end, however, it is men and not women who make the most money; men and not women who dominate the government and the corporate boards; men and not women who dominate virtually all of the most powerful positions of society. And it is women and not men who suffer the most from intimate violence and rape; who are the most likely to be poor; who are, on the whole, given the short end of patriarchy’s stick.

    You’ve identified some advantages and harms accruing to men and some to women. Many of these are uncontentious. Others you’ve defended in some of your hundreds of posts. What you’ve never justified is the overarching claim that “women and not men … are, on the whole, given the short end of patriarchy’s stick”. This, I contend, is your – is feminism’s – “view of the world”, not the minutia of whether there is or is not a risk premium to men’s wages or any of the other specific issues you’ve addressed in your hundreds of posts. It’s a claim we hear stated, without justification, over and over and over and over and over again by feminists, and we are indeed expected to just accept it.

    It’s not clear how even one could justify such a claim. At the very least you would need to conduct some kind of global census or survey of all the different kinds of benefit and harm that affect men and women differentially. Moreover it would have to be an unbiased survey, not just focusing upon the harms to women as feminists often do. To the extent that you rely upon mainstream media for your information, you would have to account for the systematic erasure of male victimisation identified by Dr. Adam Jones. Then you would have to articulate some kind of metric which would allow harms of a different kind to be compared.

    Do you have any idea what proportion of all the gendered harms to men and to women are a product of war? Is it 10%? 50%? 90%? Are you aware of how those harms have changed over time? You’ve already admitted to neither knowing nor caring whether men are particularly victimised by war. So how, if you can’t answer the other questions, can you possibly assess the contribution of warfare to the overall shortness of men’s and women’s sticks?

    If you can point to a post where you’ve justified the claim that women have the short end of the stick on the whole, neither relying upon a biased or otherwise inadequate survey of gendered harms, nor depending upon other similarly broad and unjustified claims of feminism, then I will happily apologise. Heck, if you can identify such a justification by any feminist anywhere, then I will apologise.

    I’ve asked you again and again to cut out statements like that on “Alas.” But you don’t listen. I can only infer that you have no respect for my requests.

    What you should infer, Amp, is that, as a fallible human being, from time to time I say things which can be interpreted in ways other than I intend, and that, as a fallible human being, from time to time you do not see the full range of possible interpretations and do not choose the one I intend. Faced with this situation, a reasonable second person would accept the first person’s clarification and proceed from there.

    But that’s not what happens with you. Specifically:

    Or apologize and stay here. An actual “I’m sorry, I’ll try not to do it again” apology, not a … “I’m sorry, but what I said was correct and now I’ll explain why” fake apology.

    I will indeed try not to do it again; it certainly doesn’t serve my purposes to antagonise you or to get banned from Alas. But, being a fallible human being, I almost certainly will do it again, however much I try not to.

    What I will not do is make a groveling apology every time you take something I say in a way I didn’t intend. That’s not a standard you hold yourself to or other feminists to. Nor will I drop the criticism I intended to make, merely because you insist I meant something else.

    Now, you are free to ignore my criticism – my real criticism, as articulated earlier in this comment. You can even silence it, here, by banning me, in which case I will indeed take it back to my own blog. What you cannot do, through these means, is invalidate it.

    Your choice.

    And yours.

  55. 54
    Chris says:

    I C, I’m still not getting your overall point. Yes, we all make sacrifices. The problem is that which sacrifices we are expected to make is determined by our gender.

    Daran, the reason women get the shorter end of the stick is very obvious. Women have, historically and even now, had less opportunity than men to achieve the level of power necessary to reverse their circumstances. Obviously, factors such as race and class factor into this as well. But that doesn’t make the gender aspect untrue.

  56. 55
    Thene says:

    Daran:

    What you should infer, Amp, is that, as a fallible human being, from time to time I say things which can be interpreted in ways other than I intend

    Oh yay, a fauxpology! It’s Amp’s fault for not interpreting what you said in the way that you intended. Oh la, poor little Daran.

    I C, #33:

    Or maybe we should start discussing on average what peoples problems are.

    Well, sure. On average women do far more unpaid labour than men.

    Chris, you don’t get it. It’s total coincidence that people of the gender that’s been historically othered and denied legal rights now earn less money and do more unpaid labour. Total coincidence, no connection between the past and the present whatsoever, no connection between earning less and doing more unpaid labour, and it’s the other gender that has really been systematically discriminated against all along, really really.

  57. 56
    Sebastian says:

    Wow. This is really good.

  58. 57
    I C says:

    I C, I’m still not getting your overall point. Yes, we all make sacrifices. The problem is that which sacrifices we are expected to make is determined by our gender.

    The point is that the complaint that the woman doing an adequate job but not beeing recognized for it is based on the assumption that somehow raising a child is a right. That employers should make special dispensations for women raising children.
    This does not hold, raising children is not a fundamental human right.

    Well, sure. On average women do far more unpaid labour than men.

    So what? Life isn’t fair.

  59. 58
    Robert says:

    Women have, historically and even now, had less opportunity than men to achieve the level of power necessary to reverse their circumstances.

    This isn’t obvious, or self-evident.

    As one example, women, both collectively and individually, control the reproductive process. A man’s route to reproductive success begins, in the main, by finding a woman willing to risk death by bearing him a child. A woman’s route to reproductive success begins by finding a man willing to orgasm inside her. One of these things is tougher than the other. This is a strong power differential in the area of life most fundamental to Darwinian success, and one often though not always ignored or glossed over.

    Indeed, though I’m not going to go search for cites this morning, I have seen analyses done by population biologists examining human reproductive success over history, and women in general are much more reproductively successful than men in general. Nearly every ancestral woman capable of bearing one or more children, did in fact bear one or more children. About half of men did. The numbers aren’t grossly different today.

    The issue won’t be solved in a blog comment thread (and I won’t be the guy solving it) but Daran is right that, big picture, feminists assume their picture of the world is right and disappear/ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit. This is hardly a uniquely feminist monstrousness; most ideologies do that. Being willing to look at quibbles with some of the details is commendable intellectual honesty, but few people are willing or able to look at the foundations of their ideologies. Amp doesn’t spend a lot of time investigating the possibility that maybe women, on balance, have it better than men in a rather crappy world; I don’t spend a lot of time reading up on the people who say Jesus Christ never existed.

  60. 59
    Myca says:

    Not much time to respond, but Robert, you make a serious error in assuming that successful reproduction somehow equals power for women or that successful reproduction somehow equals control of the reproductive process.

    This simply isn’t the case worldwide or historically. It can’t be assumed.

    There’s a better argument for women’s control of the reproductive process in modern America over the last 40 years or so, but even that is due almost entirely to the success of feminism.

    —Myca

  61. 60
    meerkat says:

    Nifty, but why does she have to dodge cheesecake? Cheesecake does not ruin your career.

  62. 61
    Ruchama says:

    As one example, women, both collectively and individually, control the reproductive process. A man’s route to reproductive success begins, in the main, by finding a woman willing to risk death by bearing him a child. A woman’s route to reproductive success begins by finding a man willing to orgasm inside her. One of these things is tougher than the other. This is a strong power differential in the area of life most fundamental to Darwinian success, and one often though not always ignored or glossed over.

    That’s a ridiculous argument. That’s where the two routes begin, but that’s also where the man’s route ends. A woman’s route to reproductive success continues with nine months of pregnancy, delivering a child (both of these frequently at risk to her own health and life), and, up until the advent of infant formula, probably at least a year of feeding. If you’re arguing that increased risk of injury and death in the workplace gives women an advantage, then it only makes sense that increased risk of injury and death in reproduction gives men an advantage.

    Also, the time investment that a man has to make in reproduction can be about 15 minutes. For a woman, it’s close to two years.

  63. 62
    Chris says:

    IC:

    The point is that the complaint that the woman doing an adequate job but not beeing recognized for it is based on the assumption that somehow raising a child is a right.

    It’s really, really not.

    That employers should make special dispensations for women raising children.

    Well, if they want their employees to be happy and productive, they sure as hell should. And they should do it for men raising children, too. That has nothing to do with the “right” to raise a child. It’s just good business.

    Well, sure. On average women do far more unpaid labour than men.

    So what? Life isn’t fair.

    I C, if your response to inequality between the sexes is to say, “So what? Life isn’t fair,” then you really have no business being on a feminist blog. This is a blog for people who want to engage with the issues of our society and come up with solutions. If you’re too lazy and complacent to even see the point in doing that, then you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

    Robert, the idea that higher reproductive success or the ability to give birth somehow gives women equal access to the kind of power to change their social circumstances is so preposterous, so anti-historical, that it is barely worth replying to. The ability to give birth did not give women the right to vote or the right to equal job opportunities or the right not to be raped. The logic you use to suggest otherwise is totally removed from reality.

    If the idea that “Women have, historically and even now, had less opportunity than men to achieve the level of power necessary to reverse their circumstances” isn’t “obvious” or “self-evident” to you, then you just aren’t thinking rationally.

  64. 63
    mythago says:

    “So what? Life isn’t fair” really means “I don’t give a shit, it’s no skin off my back, so fuck off.” After all, we’re not talking about “life”, we’re talking about the actions and choices of human beings. If pointing out that people are behaving unfairly or a system has unfair effects and could be made fairer” is met with “Life isn’t fair” or some other sneer-laden equivalent, then it’s pretty clear the speaker is not making a philosophical observation about how it rains on the just and unjust alike; s/he’s really saying, at best, that s/he couldn’t care less about the unfairness and its effects on people on the short end of the stick or, more likely, that s/he approves of the situation because it is beneficial to them in some way.

  65. 64
    Myca says:

    I C, if your response to inequality between the sexes is to say, “So what? Life isn’t fair,” then you really have no business being on a feminist blog. This is a blog for people who want to engage with the issues of our society and come up with solutions. If you’re too lazy and complacent to even see the point in doing that, then you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

    Additionally, IC, I’d like you to reread the commenting guidelines. Do you believe that you meet them? If you believe in the basic dignity, equality, and inherent worth of all people, how do you dismiss social inequality so cavalierly?

    —Myca

  66. 65
    Robert says:

    If the idea that “Women have, historically and even now, had less opportunity than men to achieve the level of power necessary to reverse their circumstances” isn’t “obvious” or “self-evident” to you, then you just aren’t thinking rationally.

    OK, let’s unpack it. What is the level of power necessary to reverse someone’s circumstances, how do you get opportunities to access that power, and in what ways are women less able than men to take advantage of those opportunities?

  67. 66
    Thene says:

    Since he’s here, I’d like to suggest that Robert reads this thread’s commenting guidelines too.

  68. 67
    Chris says:

    Seriously, Robert, you’re asking me to take the time to explain Feminism 101 stuff to you, even though you’ve been posting here for years.

    I am talking about societal power. People in positions of authority in business, government or religion have more societal power than people who don’t. Until recently in our country, women were forbidden from having powerful positions in government and business. In most religions today, they still cannot achieve positions of authority. And because of societal double standards, women still find it more difficult to achieve positions of authority in government and business. Some of the reasons for this are outlined in the video.

    That is all I have time to “unpack” for now, so I hope you are done pretending to be stupid and that feminism is something you just barely heard of yesterday.

  69. 68
    Robert says:

    Chris – all of those statements apply to 100% of women, and 99.9% of men. In practical terms, a few powerful men have run things, on the societal level. True, my great-grandmother had a 0% chance of becoming the Pope, or becoming a Senator, or even being mayor. Thing is, my great-grandfather also had a 0% chance of achieving those things. Kyriarchy begets oppression, no doubt about it…but what evidence is there that FEMALE powerlessness was more pervasive than MALE powerlessness?

    I grant you the important difference that the chance to be in that 0.1% is not of negligible value to someone ambitious, seeking to change the world.

    And in fact, when we look at social change over time, we see some important work “from the top”, true, but large social movements – in which women were leaders, followers, and everything in between – are the sources of major, long-lasting change. The President didn’t decree that there would be civil rights; millions of marchers and activists did, and many of those were women. I wouldn’t care to take the “counter” side on the proposition “Women did at least half the work of the Civil Rights Movement”.

    So other than “be Pope”, which has a pretty iffy track record of improving the world, what have men been able to do to improve the world, that women have not been able to do?

  70. 69
    Thene says:

    So other than “be Pope”, which has a pretty iffy track record of improving the world, what have men been able to do to improve the world, that women have not been able to do?

    They’ve been able to do less unpaid labour and thus spend more time and effort on their own advancement. Now could you possibly stop derailing and get back on to the thread topic?

  71. 70
    Robert says:

    They’ve been able to do less unpaid labour and thus spend more time and effort on their own advancement.

    For 99% of history, 99% of people have been effectively slaves and all their labor has been unpaid. I’m not sure that a mild trend in the 20th century among the most privileged and wealthy of all men and women proves very much.

    If this is a derail, don’t engage it. As I said, we’re not going to solve it here. But you’re doing a fair job of making Daran’s argument for him in his absence: “we don’t want to hear about it”.

  72. 71
    Ampersand says:

    For the record, I haven’t banned Daran. I rolled my eyes at his “fuck you, Ampersand, you asshole! And I apologize!” style apology — but I didn’t ban him.

    I think Daran brought up an point that could be discussed further — but it’s a point that’s far outside the subject of the original post. So unless Myca objects, I’d suggest that any further discussion of feminists believing things that aren’t proven (or are, depending on who you ask) be brought to an open thread, and that this thread be left to discussion that relates more directly to the subject of the video Myca posted.

    (Although of course Myca can overrule that if he wants.)

  73. 72
    Chris says:

    but what evidence is there that FEMALE powerlessness was more pervasive than MALE powerlessness?

    Those powerless males still had power over powerless females.

    Edit: Gah! Sorry, Amp. I didn’t see your post before I posted mine.

  74. 73
    Ampersand says:

    No problem. Every blog moderator is used to these sort of cross-postings happening. :-)

  75. 74
    Myca says:

    So unless Myca objects, I’d suggest that any further discussion of feminists believing things that aren’t proven (or are, depending on who you ask) be brought to an open thread, and that this thread be left to discussion that relates more directly to the subject of the video Myca posted.

    Good call, Amp.

    —Myca

  76. 75
    Daran says:

    Ampersand:

    I haven’t banned Daran.

    My operative presumption was that I was banned unless you said otherwise, which you’ve now done. I’m both surprised and genuinely grateful.

    I would suggest taking the discussion to this thread, which quotes the very passage I critiqued, lamenting that it was “nearly-universally ignored by critics”.

    There’s just one problem. I’m banned from that thread. At nearly two years, that’s probably a stale ban, but that isn’t for me to decide.

  77. 76
    I C says:

    Well, if they want their employees to be happy and productive, they sure as hell should. And they should do it for men raising children, too. That has nothing to do with the “right” to raise a child. It’s just good business.

    Well then, if it’s good business I am certain that there will be tons of corporations that make these special dispensations that will run the bad corporations into the ground.

    I C, if your response to inequality between the sexes is to say, “So what? Life isn’t fair,” then you really have no business being on a feminist blog. This is a blog for people who want to engage with the issues of our society and come up with solutions. If you’re too lazy and complacent to even see the point in doing that, then you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

    You see, I used to be a radical left wing feminist. Until I discovered that there was no place in this talk about equality for me. My neurological disabilities were only met with comments like ‘Life isn’t fair’ when I complained to my teachers that the classroom activities they set up (at specific request from the females in my classes) would lead to that I couldn’t focus on my studies. I also used to weigh 450 pounds until the middle of my 20s. But all I heard when I was bullied and harassed about my weight was that it was more important to focus on female body issues.

    This also carries over into the field of attraction. I have read tons and tons of debates of this on feminist fora, see as an example the Nice Guy debate on this forum about the female right to preference. At the same time I see feminist complaint about how men only focus on womens’ bodies, and how unfair it is to older women that men are only after younger women.

    So to sum it up, I think it is very important to first begin by defining what are basic rights, i.e. what unfairnesses should society address. I.e. I don’t think it’s fair that sports stars earn billions for doing nothing contributive to society, but this is a prime example of what I mean by not fair.

    So, yes I believe in equality, but that doesn’t mean the right to equal outcome for everyone.

  78. 77
    Portia says:

    There is a requirement on men that is almost the mirror image of women’s caring duties, and that is the requirement to breadwin. This sometimes requires the man to postpone or cancel graduate school, give up the pursuit of things he likes to do to possibly do soul-deadening things that make money etc.

    And the coercion is certainly not less, an inability to make required support payments could land a man in jail, for instance.

  79. 78
    Thene says:

    Some news for you, I C: the feminist movement is not the fat acceptance movement. The feminist movement is not the PWD movement. Some sites focus on more than one of these things (Alas is both a feminist site and a fat acceptance site) but that does not mean that feminists need to address ableism or fat discrimination in a feminist site. If you need support from the fat acceptance movement or from the PWD movement, the feminist movement is not obligated to provide it.

    This has nothing to do with the fairness of life. It is just that no one person can focus on every aspect of life at once, and people tend to gravitate to the topics that affect them most.

  80. 79
    I C says:

    Thene

    So then I won’t find you complaining about how women are stereotyped in advertising?

    Besides, see the last paragraph of my comment. What are fundamental human rights? What is society’s concern?

  81. 80
    Ampersand says:

    I C, after reviewing a number of your comments here, I’ve decided that your abilities as a comment-writer are not a good match for the needs of this blog.

    For that reason, I’ve decided that you should stop posting comments on “Alas.” Thanks very much for your efforts, and best of luck in all your future comment-writing endeavors.