neopuritan feminists

“Fear is the Mindkiller” at Tangent Online

Dune cover art by Henrik Sahlstrom

Dune cover art by Henrik Sahlstrom

Tangent Online has published my essay on culture wars in science fiction here. A key paragraph:

A significant chunk of the population is still guided by the sentiment that women are weak and need more protection. These people are the Baptists in a bootleggers-and-Baptists coalition that unites to give statists more and more power to meddle and regulate, with the bootleggers being political parties that use these sentiments to justify their social engineering. Every new law and regulation is an opportunity for graft and extracting campaign contributions from businesses who want to be left alone or mold the law and regulations to hurt their competitors more, and every new edict (beyond dealing with obvious externalities like pollution) decreases the total wealth and growth rate of the economy. Politicians whip up fear — fear of terrorists, illegal immigrants, “the 1%,” sexist men, authoritarian Christianists, whatever works — to gain power, and then shy away from any actual solutions so they can repeat these emotional hooks for the next election. “Fear is the Mindkiller” — make someone afraid, and you weaken their reasoning power.


Campus Comedy Falls Victim to Identity Politics

Comedian Louis CK

Comedian Louis CK

Comedy often makes valuable points about issues by exaggeration and bounds-breaking. The new Puritanism has arrived in full force on college campuses, where the range of allowable discussion has narrowed. This piece in the Atlantic by Caitlin Flanagan covers a convention where acts compete for college bookings, and gets both the problem (real laughs are becoming scarce as more and more topics are off-limits) and the reason behind it (students are gratifyingly interested in avoiding pain to the weak and minorities) right.

As I listened to the kids hash out whom to invite, it became clear that to get work, a comic had to be at once funny—genuinely funny—and also deeply respectful of a particular set of beliefs. These beliefs included, but were in no way limited to, the following: women, as a group, should never be made to feel uncomfortable; people whose sexual orientation falls beyond the spectrum of heterosexuality must be reassured of their special value; racial injustice is best addressed in tones of bitter anguish or inspirational calls to action; Muslims are friendly helpers whom we should cherish; and belonging to any potentially “marginalized” community involves a crippling hypersensitivity that must always be respected.

The students’ determination to avoid booking any acts that might conceivably hurt the feelings of a classmate was in its way quite admirable. They seemed wholly animated by kindness and by an open-mindedness to the many varieties of the human experience. But the flip side of this sensitivity is the savagery with which reputations and even academic careers can be destroyed by a single comment—perhaps thoughtless, perhaps misinterpreted, perhaps (God help you) intended as a joke—that violates the values of the herd.

When you talk with college students outside of formal settings, many reveal nuanced opinions on the issues that NACA was so anxious to police. But almost all of them have internalized the code that you don’t laugh at politically incorrect statements; you complain about them. In part, this is because they are the inheritors of three decades of identity politics, which have come to be a central driver of attitudes on college campuses. But there’s more to it than that. These kids aren’t dummies; they look around their colleges and see that there are huge incentives to join the ideological bandwagon and harsh penalties for questioning the platform’s core ideas.

Selective Outrage

Outrage Porn

Outrage Porn

What I call “outrage porn” is stories designed to stoke outrage and make you feel passionately that your group (us) is righteous and some other group (them) are not just misguided or ignorant, but actively evil and out to get the Children of Light (us.) The “porn” in the phrase means something that irresistibly attracts you by appeal to your baser needs, but is ultimately bad for you and false.

I’ve been mostly a spectator to the storm of media and blog posts about Sad Puppies (abbreviated herein as “SP”) and the Hugos. Old-line insiders resent barbarian hordes seen as uncouth, and probably evil, who have attracted a large number of science fiction readers who never realized they could nominate and vote for the Hugos by buying non-attending memberships to the Worldcons.

When you have tribes of highly-emotional partisans competing to support the side of Goodness, it should be no surprise that some of their words, taken out of context, can be used as material to discredit their fellows. The Insiders have their less-good eggs, and so do the Puppies; but *of course* these extremes do not fairly represent the views of either side. I’m not going to go over the controversy itself here, but point out one of the mechanisms that drives this kind of religious war online.

The Internet brings traffic to those who write something unusual and passionate that confirms the beliefs of (or frightens) the readers. Those passionate if less accurate writings are more noticed and more clicked on, and a whole raft of flash media sprung up the feed the attention beast through “clickbaity” headlines hinting at threat or passion if the reader clicks through (and drops a few ad cents into the site’s coffers.) Underpaid young grads are employed to read the news (both real and faked) and generate parasitic stories with no original reporting effort that can drive profitable traffic to the site.

Within that species of site you have even more specialized sites that cater to a single tribe, and offer up only stories that confirm the righteousness of that tribe and the evil of others. Partisans will subscribe to a selection of the sites that provide them with the most ego-satisfying stories that confirm their existing beliefs, and so see a world where most good news about people cooperating to do good things is blocked and the news about their enemies and activists is nearly all they see. Where once such sites filled a need to see news on topics not being covered at all in the mainstream, now they isolate and infuriate partisans, who are then easily manipulated by anger and a sense of grievance to give more power to the professional grievance mongers.

Once you recognize this syndrome, it is everywhere you look. Entrepreneurial activists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson figured out how to fund their organizations through extortion, subtly picking corporate targets to demonize when they weren’t supportive, and ignoring those who were; eventually their faction edged into power and arranged for settlements in Justice Dept. suits against major lenders to include large grants to their affiliate organizations, which actively assist candidates of one party in elections. This is political corruption, and rarely even noticed by mainstream media.

But this is not a phenomenon limited to leftist activists. When Hillary Clinton blamed the “vast right-wing conspiracy” for the real and imagined slanders against the first Clinton administration, she was not entirely wrong. While her complaint had the flavor of a Scooby Doo villain’s speech (“We would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those kids and their dog!”), a new media complex was already mining their real scandals and imagined crimes for material to satisfy readers and listeners, with ever-more-extreme allegations being rewarded by True Believer traffic and dollars. Similarly, a complex of organizations dedicated to stoking anti-gay beliefs and stopping gay rights laws mined the ample material provided by gay organizations for the most outrageous and thoughtless material, suitable for ginning up passions in social conservatives and traditionalists, and the more extreme organizations simply made things up as necessary to demonize all gay people.

After many years of being subjected to this kind of abuse, some gay people were permanently polarized to see all religion and all traditional ways of living as their enemies. Specialized sites now feed their prejudices with every possible instance of unfair or ignorant abuse any gay person anywhere receives. So programmed, many gay people are both unforgiving and happy to assume any religious person is out to get them, and happy to see the newly-Progressive state crush grandmotherly florists and cake decorators to punish any trace of badthink.

If you want to see what this filtering does to a worldview, take a look at Joe My God and especially its commenters, where you’ll find the harshest partisans of gay rights (and gay revenge.) Also worth a glance are Gay Star News, Queerty, and The Gaily Grind. For the feminist-victim complex, there’s Jezebel, Feministe, Feministing… and much of the Huffington Post.

Here’s an example of the kind of unconscious prejudice this leads to, where a friend of mine cites a deadly brawl between a religious family and the police as evidence that all religion leads to evil and should be suppressed:

Clearly, these religious nuts don’t need any help showing the world exactly who they are and what they stand for. But, we should continue to share these and other stories widely, so we can keep the pressure on. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the hideous, unconscionable actions perpetuated in the name of religion. Sharing the actions of the evil-doers are the most powerful weapons we have against religion.

Video captures chaotic brawl in Walmart parking lot

The Cottonwood, Arizona police department released a video that appears to show an officer shooting a man. Police say a chaotic brawl broke out between polic…

This assertion of guilt-by-tribal-association is invisible to a partisan. One technique to get them to see the fallacy is to replace the religion with Islam, currently protected from the harsh judgement of Progressives by its status as the religion of “victims of Western imperialism.” If the group fighting with the police had been Muslim-affiliated, you can be quite sure that no progressive would think to tar all Muslims as sharing in the blame for the crimes.

For a second example from yesterday, I’ll turn back to Sad Puppies and the Establishment reaction to their success. Author Jack Dann, who by all accounts is a decent, right-thinking fellow in Australia, picked up and promoted a post citing selected quotes from your typical testosterone-laden exchange as representative of all Sad Puppies:

I’ve been told, repeatedly by one pleasant person, and by a few others, that Brad Torgersen, and the Pups are not horrible people, and that they can be worked with and that really they want a good outcome, and I try to see that, and then they show me otherwise. Here are a few quotes from the Pups over on Brad’s blog that I glanced at this evening.

  • If you think for one nano-second that we won’t burn this mother fucker to the ground and roast marshmellows over the corpses…. you’re dead wrong… And if you think we give a tanker’s damn about your appeal for civility…. you’re also dead wrong.
  • Hell… We may nuke the Nebulas too… just because.
  • We will burn it to the ground, plow the ground, and salt it. You fuckwads don’t understand war. We do.
  • in my opinion, Theresa Hayden’s parents were both: a.) circus people; and b.) first cousins.
  • Try to come up with something better, turdnugget.
  • I really don’t care about the Hugos, qua Hugos, to any measurable degree. I don’t care if I ever get one and I don’t really care if anyone else ever gets one, either. Rather, I care about the war in which they are just another front.
  • Scuttle back underneath the kitchen sink, and rejoin the rest of your chitinous cohorts.
  • The endgame, besides using your guts to grease our tanks,
  • Heeerrrrreee pussypussypussypussypussy.
  • Vox isn’t a side show, he’s just the warm up act.

And then the following, made by a lead Pup, in response to a person, who without profanity or insult, disagreed. The comments were made while the Pup was claiming to be tracking down the home of the person who disagreed:

  • Hey, anyone know who that pussy is in real life?
  • You’re a pussy, boy. You don’t even have the guts to be an asshole
  • Pussy, you’re not worth a discussion. You’re a cockroach. Roaches are only to be stepped on.
  • Or you can come here, to Blacksburg, Virginia. Why, I’ll even loan you a decent gun. Pussy.
  • I’ll keep you posted on my progress in identifying you, pussy.
  • I cna [sic] only agree that you’re a pussy. A coward. A liar. A piece of crawling shit.

So, that’s the people we are dealing with. Key group members, chatting along with Brad. I like the trying to find someone’s home and the gun threat. It just really dots the i nicely.

I read the entire exchange, and in context it’s clear this schoolyard callout effort was a little over-the-top, but in response to challenge and evasions by a trolling poster. As I said in the beginning of this piece, both “sides” have their outrageous affiliates — Requires Hate and K. Tempest Bradford (with her “I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year” piece, for example, ruling out Neil Gaiman as too white-cis-male to expand her mind.) On the Puppies side, anti-Puppies cite Vox Day as representative (he’s not), and John C. Wright, who’s made a number of statements that I personally would object to, as a homophobic and racist devil (which I’m pretty sure he’s not.) None of us are responsible for every single bad thing some other person in a coalition says or does, and when you observe selective examples used to discredit others and make a comfortable establishment happy that they are deserving of their high position in a stagnant hierarchy under threat, you should immediately find a more thoughtful and independent source to help form your own opinion.

Hatred and prejudice harm real people, but the harm echoes on through the generations as the original victims teach and promote an us-vs-them worldview that harms everyone. The people who are less wrong learn to understand where the hateful emotions come from, and start to cut off the sources of funds and fury that feed the continuing conflicts. Understanding the backgrounds of the partisans and arguing toward acceptance of others’ right to be wrong is the beginning of reconciliation and cooperation.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


“Yes Means Yes”– California Leads the State Back Into Your Bedroom

Yes Means Yes: Ryan Gosling

Yes Means Yes: Ryan Gosling

California’s legislature is fond of passing bills to micromanage daily life for the irresponsible citizens, at least those who haven’t left for freer states. They don’t trust people to dispose of plastic shopping bags properly, so they’re outlawed; the process used in French cuisine to make fois grois via overfeeding ducks can’t be rapidly changed to a more humane method, so they outlawed foie gras–or at least you now have to import it from somewhere less enlightened. The state’s enormous debt and unfunded pension and medical obligations will soon be squeezing all services, but that’s not important–vote for me!

Since there’s an election coming up, the Legislature didn’t want to be seen as not addressing an important largely hyped problem, so they’ve passed a law requiring consent–preferably verbal–at every stage of campus sexual relations, to make sure that no student will ever end up doing something they might later regret. Overkill for a problem better addressed by education and closer supervision of alcohol consumption? Probably…

Reason’s Shikha Dalmia takes on the story:

Feminists are super excited about California’s newly minted “yes means yes” law that they claim will not only make sex safer on American campuses, but also better. But that’s as credible as telling little boys that masturbation will make them blind. To the extent that the law works, it will actually ruin both good men and good sex.

California, the first state to implement this law, will require colleges that want to keep their state funding intact to deploy the “affirmative consent” standard when adjudicating sexual assault cases. This means that campus authorities will have to establish whether the partners obtained “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary” agreement. Although non-verbal consent is allowed, verbal is better. And it has to be obtained at every stage–touching, kissing, and foreplay–not just initially.

The obvious problem with the law–which many other states are considering as well–is that it assumes that sexual assault, already a crime under multiple laws, is the result of miscommunication. The assumption is that somehow one partner (and let’s be honest, it is overwhelmingly the one with a Y chromosome) didn’t ask or realize that the other wasn’t into it. But the fact is: Most assaulters know exactly what they are doing. The vast majority of campus rapes are committed by a small minority of repeat offenders who give not a damn about what the woman wants. And if they can threaten violence, they can also lie about obtaining consent. So how will the law change anything?

Feminists argue that the new standard means that campus authorities will now have to grill the accused about whether and how he obtained consent — rather than the victim to prove that she refused–mitigating the trauma of investigations and encouraging more women to come forward. This is true. But by effectively changing the assumption from “presumed innocent” to “presumed guilty,” this new standard will inevitably snag some guys who earnestly meant no harm. Over time, of course, an industry will emerge to coach the accused on how to game the law and get away….

The reality is that much of sex is not consensual–but it is also not non-consensual. It resides in a gray area in between, where sexual experimentation and discovery happen. Sex is inherently dangerous. Sometimes, there will be misadventures when these experiments go wrong. Looking back, it can be hard to assign blame by ascertaining whether both partners genuinely consented. But trying to shoehorn sex into a strict, yes-and-no consent framework in an attempt to make it risk free can’t help but destroy it.

The sexual revolution liberated women from the shackles of modesty, allowing them to explore their sexuality. It won’t help their sexual actualization now to enchain their partners in ill-advised lines that limit their moves.

The return of the view of women as fragile flowers in need of special protection, now being pushed by feminist activists, opens the way for arguments of traditionalists that schools should segregate the sexes, preferably miles away from each other–or at the very least return to the restrictive policies of the pre-60s. The entire effort to tilt the scales of justice against young men to get at the few real rapists among them is wrongheaded–and shouldn’t be tolerated. There are ways to reduce the damage they do but this isn’t one of them.

As for how serious a problem campus rape actually is, The Economist story on the law lays out the lack of a case for seeing it as a crisis:

Sexual violence in America has declined sharply since the mid-1990s. According to the National Crime Victimisation Survey, the gold standard for measuring crimes that are often not reported, the proportion of women subjected to rape or sexual assault fell 64% between 1995 and 2005, and declined slightly further by 2010, to 1.1 per 1,000 women per year (see chart). Colleges do not appear to be more dangerous than other places where young people congregate: according to Bureau of Justice statistics, 18-24-year-olds who do and don’t attend college are about equally likely to be raped or sexually assaulted.

Rape Graph - BoJS, NCVS

Rape Graph – BoJS, NCVS

Nonetheless, colleges are under unprecedented pressure to make campuses safer. Activists talk of an alcohol-fuelled “rape culture”. A student at Columbia has vowed to carry her mattress around all day until the man she says raped her is expelled. Images of what she describes as a piece of performance art, “Carry That Weight”, have landed her on the cover of New York magazine.

On September 19th Barack Obama launched a campaign to prevent sexual assaults in college. This is not the first time his administration has weighed in. In 2011 the Department of Education sent colleges a letter suggesting that if they did not take steps to curb sexual violence, they could fall foul of a federal anti-discrimination law called Title IX. The letter cited an estimate that about one in five women are victims of a completed or attempted sexual assault while in college—a much higher figure than other studies find. Sceptics protest that the study in question relies on a narrow sample of students and a broad definition of sexual assault, including “any unwanted sexual contact” while the victim is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs.

The entire “crisis” is fueled by an alliance between feminist activists and a Democratic administration to continue their successful campaign to persuade single women to vote for them because they are against rape, portraying anyone who has doubts as misogynists and probably rapists themselves. Civil libertarians are appalled, but who cares? Votes!


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More on the Campus Rape Panic and Feminist Overreach:

Camille Paglia: The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil
Social Justice Warriors: #GamerGate Explained
Emma Watson’s Message: Intelligence Trumps Sex
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Life Is Unfair! The Militant Red Pill Movement
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
Madmen, Red Pill, and Social Justice Wars
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Stable is Boring? “Psychology Today” Article on Bad Boyfriends
Ross Douthat on Unstable Families and Culture
Ev Psych: Parental Preferences in Partners
Purge: the Feminist Grievance Bubble
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Modern Feminism: Victim-Based Special Pleading
Stereotype Inaccuracy: False Dichotomies
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
Red Pill Women — Female MRAs
Why Did Black Crime Syndicates Fail to Go Legit?
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
Reading “50 Shades of Grey” Gives You Anorexia and an Abusive Partner!
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
Gaming and Science Fiction: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Culture Wars: Peace Through Limited Government

Camille Paglia: The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil

Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia

Nice short essay in Time on the campus rape panic, and the promotion of the Victorian “fragile flowers of womanhood” idea under new feminist management. It’s really all about getting 5% more votes from young single women, of course, but it’s dangerous and illiberal. It’s a short read, but here’s the best bit:

Wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our “rape culture,” the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.

Colleges should stick to academics and stop their infantilizing supervision of students’ dating lives, an authoritarian intrusion that borders on violation of civil liberties. Real crimes should be reported to the police, not to haphazard and ill-trained campus grievance committees.

Too many young middleclass women, raised far from the urban streets, seem to expect adult life to be an extension of their comfortable, overprotected homes. But the world remains a wilderness. The price of women’s modern freedoms is personal responsibility for vigilance and self-defense.

Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender. The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.

The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism — toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light….


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More Reading:

Social Justice Warriors: #GamerGate Explained
Emma Watson’s Message: Intelligence Trumps Sex
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Life Is Unfair! The Militant Red Pill Movement
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
Madmen, Red Pill, and Social Justice Wars
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Stable is Boring? “Psychology Today” Article on Bad Boyfriends
Ev Psych: Parental Preferences in Partners
Purge: the Feminist Grievance Bubble
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Modern Feminism: Victim-Based Special Pleading
Stereotype Inaccuracy: False Dichotomies
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
Red Pill Women — Female MRAs
Why Did Black Crime Syndicates Fail to Go Legit?
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
Reading “50 Shades of Grey” Gives You Anorexia and an Abusive Partner!
Gaming and Science Fiction: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Culture Wars: Peace Through Limited Government

Reading “50 Shades of Grey” Gives You Anorexia and an Abusive Partner!

Fifty Shades of Grey cover

“Fifty Shades of Grey” cover

Not really.

Echoing the previous post, we have here a “study” that tells us that young women who have certain tendencies are more likely to have read 50 Shades of Grey. The study authors (as reported in Science Daily) try very hard to make it sound like reading the book causes anorexia and abuse [my annotations in brackets]:

Young adult women who read “Fifty Shades of Grey” are more likely than nonreaders to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner, finds a new study led by a Michigan State University researcher. Further, women who read all three books in the blockbuster “Fifty Shades” erotic romance series are at increased risk of engaging in binge drinking and having multiple sex partners. All are known risks associated with being in an abusive relationship, much like the lead character, Anastasia, is in “Fifty Shades,” said Amy Bonomi, the study’s lead investigator. And while the study did not distinguish whether women experienced the health behaviors before or after reading the books, it’s a potential problem either way, she said. [Ed. note: By “problem” she means “pay me to study bad literature and develop a censorship agenda.”]

“If women experienced adverse health behaviors such as disordered eating first, reading ‘Fifty Shades’ might reaffirm those experiences and potentially aggravate related trauma,” said Bonomi, chairperson and professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

“Likewise, if they read ‘Fifty Shades’ before experiencing the health behaviors seen in our study, it’s possible the books influenced the onset of these behaviors.” [Possible but unlikely.]

The study, which appears in the Journal of Women’s Health, [which apparently has very low standards] is one of the first to investigate the relationship between health risks and reading popular fiction depicting violence against women. [Pioneers in finding problems that don’t exist.] Past [ideology-driven] research has tied watching violent television programs to real-life violence and antisocial behaviors, as well as reading glamour magazines to being obsessed with body image.

The researchers studied more than 650 women aged 18-24, a prime period for exploring greater sexual intimacy in relationships, Bonomi said. Compared to participants who didn’t read the book, those who read the first “Fifty Shades” novel were 25 percent more likely to have a partner who yelled or swore at them; 34 percent more likely to have a partner who demonstrated stalking tendencies; and more than 75 percent more likely to have used diet aids or fasted for more than 24 hours.

Those who read all three books in the series were 65 percent more likely than nonreaders to binge drink — or drink five or more drinks on a single occasion on six or more days per month — and 63 percent more likely to have five or more intercourse partners during their lifetime. [This is some evil book! The public health consequences are so severe, we must consider censoring all popular entertainment that might hurt young women.]

Bonomi, who has a doctoral degree in health services and a master’s in public health, said she is not suggesting the book be banned or that women should not be free to read whatever books they wish or to have a love life. However, it’s important women understand that the health behaviors assessed in the study are known risk factors for being in a violent relationship. Toward that end, Bonomi said parents and educators should engage kids in constructive conversations about sexuality, body image and gender role expectations — and that these conversations start as early as grade school. [Nobody’s been talking about any of those things with kids. Uh-huh.]

A previous study led by Bonomi found that “Fifty Shades” perpetuated the problem of violence against women. [Another unsupported conclusion which will now be cited as fact by feminist “scholars” — “studies show….”]


For more on pop culture:

“Game of Thrones” and the Problem of PowerThe Lessons of Walter White
“Blue Valentine”
“Mad Men”
The Morality of Glamour
“Mockingjay” Propaganda Posters
“Big Bang Theory” — Aspergers and Emotional/Social Intelligence
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
“Raising Arizona” — Dream of a Family

Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections

Suffragettes - jebkinnison.com

Suffragettes – jebkinnison.com

Peter Wright at AVFM pointed out the division among early feminists between those who wanted freedom to enjoy the rights and opportunities of men (voting, professional employment, equal treatment under the law) and those who wanted special treatment (exemptions from military service, favorable alimony and custody rules, lighter criminal sentences, lowered physical qualification standards for physical jobs.) He pointed me to the work of Ernest Belfort Bax, an early (1913) men’s rights advocate:

Modern Feminism rose slowly above the horizon. Modern Feminism has two distinct sides to it: (1) an articulate political and economic side embracing demands for so-called rights; and (2) a sentimental side which insists in an accentuation of the privileges and immunities which have grown up, not articulately or as the result of definite demands, but as the consequence of sentimental pleading in particular cases. In this way, however, a public opinion became established, finding expression in a sex favouritism in the law and even still more in its administration, in favour of women as against men.

These two sides of Modern Feminism are not necessarily combined in the same person. One may, for example, find opponents of female suffrage who are strong advocates of sentimental favouritism towards women in matters of law and its administration. On the other hand you may find, though this is more rare, strong advocates of political and other rights for the female sex, who sincerely deprecate the present inequality of the law in favour of women. As a rule, however, the two sides go together, the vast bulk of the advocates of “Women’s Rights” being equally keen on the retention and extension of women’s privileges. Indeed, it would seem as though the main object of the bulk of the advocates of the “Woman’s Movement” was to convert the female sex into the position of a dominant sexe noblesse. The two sides of Feminism have advanced hand in hand for the last two generations, though it was the purely sentimental side that first appeared as a factor in public opinion.” — The Fraud of Feminism – Chapter I: Historical (1913)

Bax is part of the “patriarchal” reaction to early feminism — these men were horrified that the suffocating sentimentality of women and what they thought was woman’s overly emotional reaction to issues would, with women’s suffrage and increasingly equal roles in the world, lead to disaster and the end of civilization as they knew it. For a pop culture model, imagine Professor Henry Higgins of My Fair Lady — grumpy, male chauvinist, orderly intellectual. Bax was quite reasonably complaining that the law had already started to bend to favor women over men in some areas (divorce, criminal punishment) for sentimental reasons, while feminists continued to push for even more special treatment, at the same time demanding equality where it would favor women. WWI is what actually ended the fin de siècle order of the world, but feminism continued, contributing in the US to the Progressive movement and its errors (e.g., Prohibition and eugenics.)

Feminism as a movement continued and expanded, each victory leading to more issues needing its attention. Public sympathy for the rational goal of equal legal and professional treatment coexisted with the reservoir of sentimental feeling for women and ingrained desires to help mothers and children, which affected decisions on governmental support and handling of divorce. Enlightened and empowered women joined academia and government in large numbers, until today they are dominant in some departments and fields.

But the split identified by Bax is still there.

Feminist thinker Naomi Wolf tried to influence the future of feminism with her 1994 book Fire With Fire: The New Female Power and How to Use It. From the Amazon page:

[T]he book argues that women should renounce “victim feminism,” which casts them as sexually pure, fragile, beleaguered creatures whose problems are all the fault of men. As an alternative, Wolf outlines an anti-dogmatic “power feminism” which sees women as no better and no worse than men, celebrates female sexuality and encourages women to claim their individual voices through a variety of tactics. These include “resource groups” for sharing contacts and increasing access to information and services; consumer campaigns; and pressure on the media to alter their portrayals of women. Wolf theorizes that little girls, as much as boys, have fantasies of absolute dominion but learn to repress their “will to power” at a very early age. Wolf here sketches a psychological road map designed to help women deal with their ambivalence about success, power, equality and money.

I don’t agree with Naomi Wolf much of the time, but in this she was on the right side: a feminism directed toward remaining real issues of equality, empowerment, and respect would be far less authoritarian and far less harmful to women’s partners in continuing civilization, men. But the cadres embedded in Woman’s Studies departments, government, and NGOs were not interested in giving up the easy demonization of men and continued to seek refuge in grievance, victimhood, and moral superiority.

One of the problems with Social Justice Warriors and activists generally is their myopic focus on their own culture and government, applying their search for ever-smaller irritants (“microaggressions” and remaining disparities in treatment) to the most progressive societies on the planet while ignoring the far more serious maltreatment of women, gays, religious and ethnic minorities, and poor people in other countries and cultures around the world. They elevate and sentimentalize other cultures as more “authentic” and seem to assign blame for most problems there to the imperialism and interventionism of Western countries. I would agree that societies on the other side of the world should not be lightly trifled with and Western countries have been foolishly intervening for centuries, but the treatment of women and minorities in those places was in place long before Western powers showed up. And yet activists spend far more time and energy on lobbying government to pressure businesses to provide free birth control and weaken standards of proof in university rape cases than they do on improving girl’s schools in Islamic countries or combatting female circumcision.

Today’s column in Toronto’s Globe and Mail by Margaret Wente continues the effort to get away from “victim’s studies” thinking:

Do we still need feminism? According to many younger women, we do not. For the past few weeks, a Tumblr hashtag campaign called #WomenAgainstFeminism has been stirring up a lot of angst in the Twitter/blogosphere. As part of the campaign, young women submit selfies with handwritten signs that say: “I don’t need feminism because [fill in reason here].” The reasons include things like: “My self-worth is not directly tied to the size of my victim complex!” “I love being an engineer, but I’d rather just be Mom.” “I like men looking at me when I look good.” “Feminism has become a pseudonym for bullying.” And, on a lighter note, “How the [bleep] am I supposed to open jars and lift heavy objects without my husband?”

Naturally, this campaign has been like a red flag to a bull, if I may use that expression. Shock, horror, ridicule and satire have ensued, along with a great deal of reproachful head-shaking from those who say that women who reject feminism are ignorant and misinformed.

To make sense of the debate, the CBC’s The Current convened a panel. It was the type of panel that muddied these already turbid waters even more. I felt sorry for the moderator, Jeffrey Kofman, who was stuck trying to elucidate the views of three not-very-interesting young women (two feminist, one anti). They left me longing for the days of Gloria Steinem and Germaine Greer – fierce, magnificent, passionate, witty lionesses who would put any modern feminist to shame. They never stooped to academic jargon. They never spoke in uptalk, either, a mannerism these panelists unfortunately had not shaken. It’s hard to take anybody seriously when she’s droning on about oppression, colonialism and imperialism, especially when she’s uptalking.

This being the CBC, the audience reaction was predictable. Older, affluent, liberal, second-wave females generally agreed that we all have feminists to thank for our freedoms, and the anti-feminists shouldn’t forget it. Also, they protested, feminism has been badly misunderstood. It is not a bunch of shrill, hairy-legged man-haters, as the antis seem to think. Any younger woman who knew the slightest thing about feminism would be one!

So how come they’re not? (Most polls say fewer than half of younger women identify with feminism.) One big reason is: We won. Thanks for your hard work, Gloria and Germaine. The heavy lifting’s over. You can rest on your laurels now.

Another reason is that #WomenAgainstFeminism is essentially right. There is a hard core of misandry and victim-culture in modern feminism that is deeply disturbing. #WomenAgainstFeminism is in part a reaction to the #YesAllWomen campaign, which began in reaction to the murder rampage of Elliot Rodger last May. The lonely misogynist – who killed two women and four men, before killing himself – was cast as a symbol of the worldwide war against women. As one Facebook comment (quoted in Time by Sarah Miller) said: “If you don’t think this is about misogyny there is something wrong with you.”

Modern feminism has split into two distinct strands. The mild-mannered mainstream version, having achieved most of its objectives for equality (and then some: upward of 60 per cent of postsecondary graduates are now women) is focusing its efforts on ever more elitist issues, such as the lopsided gender split in Silicon Valley and the shortage of women on corporate boards. Will all due respect to the problems of the one per cent, I do not think these are the types of issues that will send young women to the barricades.

The leftist, postmodernist strand of feminism insists that women are still oppressed, and the world’s still stacked against us, and there is basically no difference between the rape epidemic in India and the one in North America. One example of this thinking is The Guardian’s Jessica Valenti, who, in response to #WomenAgainstFeminism, wrote: “[D]enying that women are a victimized class is simply wrong. What else would you call a segment of the population who are systematically discriminated against in school, work and politics? How would you describe a population whose bodies are objectified to the point of dehumanization? Women are harassed, attacked and sexually assaulted with alarming regularity in America and around the world.” This is a belief system rather than a depiction of reality, and, as with all belief systems, there’s no point arguing about it with the faithful.

Views like this wouldn’t matter much, except that they have real-life consequences, as Cathy Young has pointed out in Time. One is the destructive “rape culture” myth that has gripped campuses across North America, along with the meme – utterly fictitious – that one in five women will be sexually assaulted by the time she gets her degree. This claim is on the face of it absurd, but it has spawned an epidemic of victimology and abuse of due process that will take a generation to undo.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More reading:

Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
Modern Feminism, Social Justice Warriors, and the American Ideal of Freedom
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections
Red Pill Women — Female MRAs
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications