Tag Archives: Feminism

The Wages of Aspiration

Trawling the advice columnists again, I found this gem, which I’ll quote in full:

Dear Amy: My sister lives across the country. She has been married for 33 years. They’ve raised two daughters who are now adults, but she’s been living the most boring life ever!

I don’t know how she could be happy doing nothing but cooking and cleaning for all these years. And then she has the nerve to criticize me for not having enough time in my day, when she has no clue what it’s like to work full time.

Well, OK, she did work full time once — years ago before her daughters were born. She also had a little job when her kids were in school, but it wasn’t a “real job,” just a little part-time lunch-lady position.

I can’t understand why she doesn’t want to work more and help her poor husband with their finances. Then they could travel and see the world! They hardly ever go anywhere. I want so much more for her!

She has never had to live through things like illness, job loss or divorce, as I have. She has been supportive sometimes, but not all the time. I guess I’m a bit jealous because she has so much free time.

I’ve asked her to write me a list of what she does all day. I’ve sent her lists of what I manage to accomplish in the three hours I have in my home, but she has declined to provide her list.

It’s so sad that she has never had any aspirations!

It makes me so sad to feel like she’s wasted her life; she’s only in her 50s! I told her all this in an e-mail, but now she’s mad at me for just being honest. She expects an apology, but I’m hurt now, too. How do we get past this? Do you have any advice on getting her to see my view? — Frustrated Sister in PA

Amy rightfully smacks her down.

The ressentiment here is hidden worse than a toddler’s lies. This women is alone, hurting, and busy-working herself to death, and you can tell she hates it, however much she protests otherwise. She has so little going on in her life, she spends the”three hours I have in my home” on hectoring her contented sister who lives on the other side of the country. She’s looking for validation for her misery, but her sister refuses to provide it by buying into her lies, so instead she tries to destroy her sister’s life because she wants “so much more for her!”

She has refused to tend her own garden, she has leaned in, and now she seethes with resentment towards her sister who is “wasting her life” on creating a loving family. Instead of a family, she chose divorce and a job, and you can feel the pain and betrayal she experienced with her job loss. You can also feel it from her mention of illness; I do not think many people were there to care for her.

Notice how in her miserable ressentiment, she frames her choices as compared to her sisters. “Aspirations!” “So much more!” “Boring”

Having a quiet, happy family life is not an aspiration, but working for a job which would abandon you any time the profit margins were right is? Working your ass off, so you only have 3 hours of free time a day, so that you can go on a vacation once a year is more? Having a contented home life is less? Having a happy family is boring, but working in a cubicle for 13 hours a day is not?

What kind of mutilated soul thinks that way?

This women is in her 50’s, or thereabouts. Retirement looms in a decade. What will her life be when she doesn’t even have her job to distract her from her loneliness? How much of this rage towards her sister is because she knows that horror awaits her soon and she needs to justify the dear she feels to herself?

Dear young lady who may read this, reread that letter and decide carefully which of these sisters you want to be.

Nakedly Corrupt

Here’s a NYT article about the quest to legalize a women’s libido pill. I don’t really care much either way on the issue, other than a general dislike of the FDA, but the view into this fight is a fascinating just how nakedly corrupt the process is.

To summarize some firm has developed flibanserin, a ‘female viagra’, and the “women’s health community” (ie. the people dedicated to sterilizing women and murdering babies) is in a minor civil war over the drug, with the FDA approval process as the battleground. The pro-pill side is arguing SEXISM!, the anti-pill side is arguing SCIENCE!

The drug was rejected once in 2009 because “it was not very effective and had side effects,” which in reality means that “women taking the drug had about one more satisfying sexual event per month than women receiving a placebo” at the cost of “fatigue, fainting, dizziness and nausea”. Is one more sexy time a month worth it, not mine but to, but I will note that these are women, so if they just said yes to their husbands a bit more, they could probably have one more sexy time a month without a pill. But I digress.

After the rejection our main player, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, bought the drug, which was again rejected in 2013. In response, Sprout rallied. They put a women in charge, solely due to merit I’m sure.

Some critics speculate that the company wanted a woman as the face of the brand.

It seems that you can reject affirmative action without being sexist if you are also a feminist.

This is where the fun begins.They then started to rally feminists to to fight for their barely effective pill. Some saw the ploy for the blatant commerical hijacking it is:

From my perspective, that was a really inappropriate strategy, and I really didn’t like it,” said Susan F. Wood, director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at George Washington University. She said the company had “made the rounds,” asking for the support of women’s health organizations, including hers. “There are some very important issues around ensuring that women get studied and women’s health needs are addressed,” she said. “This trivializes that work.”

But a bunch of other feminists were more gullible and signed up to fight for this pill.

Advocates who support the libido drug, flibanserin, say they believe it has the potential to improve the lives of millions of American women and strongly reject the charge that they were in any way co-opted by the company. They say passionate supporters are needed to move impassive federal agencies to action, and cite Act Up, which pushed the F.D.A. on AIDS drugs in the 1980s.

It was not clear what role, if any, the company had in the trip. Ms. Scanlan, who was among the participants, said they “went out there under our own steam.” Ms. Greenberg said her nonprofit group had paid for the bus. Dr. Anita Clayton, a paid consultant for Sprout who helped in the drug’s testing and who is a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, said she had accompanied the participants as a medical expert.

A “medical expert”. Here’s a nice HuffPo piece by her where she advocates against the FDA’s “discrimination” while neither mentioning neither the drug nor her getting paid as a consultant, although, her HP bio has a nice list of paid consultancies.

To help in their fight Sprout enlisted PR firm Blue Engine Message and Media, which if you check their source-watch is pretty much an independent PR arm of the Democratic Party.

Audrey Sheppard is one of the spearheads of the campaign and the one who approached Blue Engine. She was the director of the FDA Office of Women’s Health appointed by Clinton and has been deeply involved in Democratic politics for decades. She is also a paid advocate for Sprout.

Together they created a campaign called Even the Score. Take a look at the site; it’s all vague pablum about equality for women. Not one specific mention I could find of the drug they are actually campaigning to support, and the only mention of Sprout is on the supporters page, which is itself amusing. It contains a bunch of random medical-sounding organizations nobody has ever heard of such as the International Society for The Study of Women’s Sexual Health (Dr. Anita Clayton is a director), two pharmaceutical companies (Sprout and Trimel, who are creating their own ‘pink viagra’), and, for some reason, Jewish Women International.

Susan Scanlan is chairing Even the Score and is the other leader of the campaign. She’s neck-deep in the Democrat Party and the bureaucracy, as well as having been a lobbyist for the defence industry in the past. Her husband (who I mention primarily because I could not pass up linking to his insane website) has a work history that reads like a typical Cathedral worker.

The Blue Engine spokeperson for Even the Score is Jaime Horne, who’s also worked the Democrat machine, as well as progressive Air America Radio and some progressive non-profits.

So those are a few of the players in this campaign, I have no time or will to go more in-depth, maybe someone paid to can do so, but here’s how the players describe fighting for the pink pill:

“I’ve been accused of bullying the F.D.A., and I say, ‘No, it’s called advocacy,’ ”

They barely conceal that they’re nakedly mau-mauing the flak-catchers. I like that quote though as it sums it up quite clearly: there is no difference between bullying and advocacy other than if the cause if righteous or not.

Continuing on, here’s what Scanlan has to say about her pay:

She said she believed in the drug’s potential, and was not doing it for the money, which she described as an “extremely modest stipend.”

“I’m not going to be taking any vacation to the Riviera on it,” she said.

Maybe it’s just my blue-collar roots but to me the term “modest stipend” conjures up the thought of ‘not quite covering your gas expenses‘, not ‘not quite covering a fancy vacation to France.’ Maybe I have different definitions of modest from the denizens of the iron triangle.

Beyond the luncheon, which took place at the restaurant Ris, Even the Score paid for dozens of people, including patients, to get to a public workshop on female sexual dysfunction at the F.D.A. last fall. It also gave them teal scarves.

At this point I’m surprised, Ris is more expensive than where I usually eat, but is less ritzy than I thought, cheeseburgers are only $13, $20 with a side and entrees cost $25-50. But Even the Score seems to have deep pockets coming from somewhere (Sprout?) to feed, transport, and house that many people.

Daniel Carpenter, a scholar of regulatory policy at Harvard University, called the campaign for the drug’s approval “the most extreme case of companies using social lobbying to get a drug approved in years.”

He disputed the advocates’ analogy to the AIDS movement, saying Act Up was as suspicious of the drug companies as it was of the F.D.A. “How independent are these groups?” he asked. “Would they turn their backs on the company if the price was really high or if there were safety issues? If all they are doing is greasing the wheels to approval, it’s kind of one-sided.”

Heh. If you want more, here’s a sexologist and a psychiatrist on the claims of Even the Score from last year.

Ms. Horn of Even the Score strongly disputes the contention that the campaign put pressure on the agency.

Yes, there’s absolutely no impropriety here. None at all. But the next quote clinches it:

“People who claim that the F.D.A. advisory committee’s decision was based solely on a public-relations campaign are giving us too much credit,” she said in an email. “If the science didn’t support approval, the F.D.A.-appointed advisory committee of doctors, clinicians and other safety experts wouldn’t have approved it.”

Too much credit.” She doesn’t even dispute the charges of pressuring the FDA, in fact she seems almost flattered by it, she just says that they helped but not as much as you might think.

Painting the F.D.A. as sexist did not sit well with some potential supporters. Stephen T. Wills, the chief financial officer of Palatin Technologies, which is also developing a drug to increase women’s libido, said the company asked this month that its name be removed from Even the Score’s website.

When even other pharmaceutical companies think you’ve gone too far…

Palatin had declined several requests to contribute to Even the Score, including one for $5,000 or $10,000 to pay for patients to travel to the F.D.A. workshop last October.

Many people wanted to testify, the vast majority in favor of the drug.

Absolutely nothing untoward here.

There was loud applause when some people spoke in favor of the drug, and when the vote was announced at the end. There was less applause for people testifying against approval.

That last line just kills me. That has to be intentional dry humour.

So, to summarize the situation, a pharmaceutical company has rallied the Democratic political machine, the feminist community, the women’s sexual health community (which somehow exists), and a Jewish Woman’s organization for some unknown reason, to bully the FDA into approving an ineffective form of female viagra. The separation between these bureaucracy, the lobby groups, the Democratic Party, industry, the feminists, the media, and the women’s health groups is practically non-existent; almost everybody involved has worked for most of them.

The major players pretty much define the iron triangle. It’s almost astounding how openly corrupt of the process is.

How often does this sort of stop go on that the NYT doesn’t write about because it isn’t as sexy as ‘libido pills’?

Women are Achieving

The Guardian has an article on how boys are a mess (h/t: TRP), there’s nothing all that new there other than its the Guardian acknowledging the problem and its somewhat RP’d. But it has this little bit that comes up with all these articles:

“Men are opting out and women are opting in. Women are working harder at jobs, they’re working harder in school, and they are achieving – last year women had more of every single category of degree, even engineering. This is data from around the world. Now in many colleges there’s a big gap as boys are dropping out of school and college.”

Zimbardo estimates that there are, in Britain and the US, 5-10% more women than men at many colleges and universities. “So they’re going to have to have affirmative action for guys because obviously one reason you go to college is to find a guy.”

Everytime the crisis of boys/men comes to the fore, there’s always the section on how women are achieving. The triumphalism varies, this one tones it down quite a bit compared to, for example, this but there’s always this note of woman are doing better.

Except, are they?

Women are going to school more, getting more education, and outnumber men in the workforce. So, they are achieving more, at least for the mediocre positions, men still dominate the elite positions.

But are they really better off? What exactly are they achieving?

To most men, work is/has been something they had to do so to obtain a wife, then provide for the resulting family. Most men probably took pride in a job well done or in creating, but the purpose of going in to work was to earn to provide for his family. He could have gotten the pride of creation elsewhere, not to mention in today’s white-collar, paperwork world, satisfaction from creating something tangible is rapidly disappearing. Likewise, since the growth of mass post-secondary education, getting a degree for men has primarily been about avoiding a job doing physical labour, getting a better job to hopefully attract a prettier wife, and provide a more materially rich life for his family. The main purpose of post-secondary education was to get a family and provide for it, while making provision easier.

Men did this work, not for its intrinsic own sake, but for the extrinsic good of the family.

To repeat, as an aggregate woman are achieving more, but what are they achieving?

Women are now doing the work men did to support their families, without having families to support, barring (the usually poor) single mothers, who are not the kinds of women-in-the-workplace these articles are happily pointing to as signs of success. In fact, statistically speaking, these women are less likely to have families and when they do these families are smaller.

So, what are they achieving?

The only thing they seem to be achieving is more consumption and more money to be spent on the consumptive treadmill. Is that something we should be proud of? Is that kind of achievement really something we as a society should be pursuing and pushing our boys and girls to pursue?

The other question then becomes, are men really being left behind?

If a young man has no need to support a family, because he doesn’t have a wife, he might not get a wife, and when he does his wife will work and IF they have children, there will only be one, maybe two, why does he need to work?

Is he really falling behind if his part-time McD’s gig pays for his quarter of the bachelor pad’s rent, beer, and the new XBox?

Is a man really worse off spending his hours playing video games and chilling with his bros rather than spending them working hard to get a bigger (but still empty) house and a (nominally) better car?

Why is empty, high-work, high-stress consumerism somehow assumed to be better than empty, low-work, low-stress consumerism?

Either way it’s empty, but the latter is a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Maybe this ‘high achievement‘ is not some victory for women, maybe it’s simply that men know the score: Work sucks, but is (was) necessary to get a wife, regular sex, and a family. Now that men can get sex without a wife and aren’t getting a wife or family anyway, why work?

On the other hand, women seem to have been tricked into thinking that grinding away at a white-collar job is its own reward. They’re doing the shit men were forced to do and mostly disliked, while not even having the reward of a wife having supper ready for them when they get home.

Is it just the boys that are mess? Are the women really achieving?

The Rape Gulag

The great and good hold that 1 in 4 (or 1 in 5) women will be raped at college. The Soviet gulags had an average mortality rate of 1 in 10.

So, sending your daughter for a 2-3-year college degree has similar odds of rape as 2-3 years in the gulag had of death. It would be fair to say that the great and the good believe that college is a rape gulag. Yet, these people also believe that college should be co-ed and that women should attend college.

Is it just me, or does this strike people as evil? What kind of person would advocate sending young women away to be raped?

Not to mention the young women who believe this? How self-destructive would a person have to be to voluntarily go someplace where the odds of rape were so high?

I think we should prevent women from going to these rape gulags; end co-ed post-secondary education. I’m sure given how horrible rape is and how much they campaign against rape, the great and the good should fully support this measure. How could one not oppose rape gulags?

Or are they being disingenuous with their numbers?

Feminism is About Equality…

Feminism is about equality or feminism is about equal rights is a common motte used by feminists. I’ve already shown how that is not true and shown the ideological reasons feminists like to push this bit of drivel, so go read that if that’s what your looking for.

Instead, today I’m going to show that anybody using this phrase inherently recognizes that equality is meaningless conceptual nonsense, or possibly that they simply grossly ignorant of that of which they speak.

Feminism has gone through a number of evolutions. There have been three major evolutions of feminism: the first focusing on suffrage and prohibition, a second focusing on domesticity, patriarchy, and access to the workplace, and the third is more diffuse but tends to focus on empowerment and abolishing gender roles.

Just in these very broad outlines we can see the contradictions of various form of feminism. First wave feminism and prohibition were virtually indistinguishable, yet one of today’s large post-feminist empowerment crusades is the “right” of women to get as irresponsibly drunk as they want without having to take responsibility for any actions taken while drunk. The need to dress sexily for men was on of the shackles of patriarchy the second-wave tried to throw off, while self-proclaimed feminist sluts of the third-wave are arguing for their right to dress as whores without being judged for it.

When you add in all the various permutations of feminism the contradictions abound even more: Sex-positive feminists and anti-porn feminists, TERFs and queer theory feminists, liberal feminists and radical feminists, equity and gender feminists, choice feminists and actual feminists, etc.

Given the vast array of what feminists desire, we can now see why equality is meaningles nonsense. If feminism is about equality that means equality is simultaneously defined as banning alcohol, getting irresponsibly drunk, dressing like a slut, not dressing like a slut, having lots of heterosexual sex, making pronography, avoiding non-lesbian sex, people with penises are men, those same people with penises are women, being economically independent, not being economically independent, being given equal access to the workforce, and being given preferential access to the workforce.

To anybody with two brain cells to rub together, this mess of contradictions means equality is simply a nonsense phrase with no real meaning besides some vague Orwellian exo-semantic feelings of ‘good’.

Anybody saying feminism is about equality either believes assumes equality is a meaningless word, has not actually thought of what they’re saying, is ignorant of even the basics of feminist thought and history, or is dishonest.

Rape Accusation Default

By now you’ve heard of Rolling stone’s UVA rape article, it’s retraction, and all the debate around it.

One of the interesting parts of the debate is this:

That was later downgraded to generally and most feminists haven’t gone quite that far, but the general trend from feminists has been that we should “believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says.”. The general tenor from the manosphere is that the default should be skeptism of rape claims given the amount of false rape claims. Both default belief and default skepticism have their proper time and place, it is situational. False rape claims do happen often enough to be worth considering them, but most rape claims are not false.

Generally default belief is best in the context of friendship, sympathy, support, and personal relationship. If a friend tells you of being raped, immediately believing and supporting her if she’s lying is low-cost, a few wasted hours at most, while not immediately doing so if she is not lying can be very damaging to her and to the relationship.

On the other hand, default skepticism is generally best in the context of law, informal punishment, or the impersonal. In these situations, immediately believing a lie will have immense negative effects on innocent parties, while not immediately believing the truth will be fairly low-cost as there will still be time to find the truth .

The tricky part is when the friendship and informal punishment overlap, ie. when you have friendships with both the accuser and the accused. In those cases, your best judgment on the characters of both parties combined with how close you are to each party is probably the best way to determine who you should default to believing.


This brings me to another thought. Reading through the RS article there are a number of things that don’t pass the sniff test, but of all of them this one passage takes the cake:

Disoriented, Jackie burst out a side door, realized she was lost, and dialed a friend, screaming, “Something bad happened. I need you to come and find me!” Minutes later, her three best friends on campus – two boys and a girl (whose names are changed) – arrived to find Jackie on a nearby street corner, shaking. “What did they do to you? What did they make you do?” Jackie recalls her friend Randall demanding. Jackie shook her head and began to cry. The group looked at one another in a panic. They all knew about Jackie’s date; the Phi Kappa Psi house loomed behind them. “We have to get her to the hospital,” Randall said.

Their other two friends, however, weren’t convinced. “Is that such a good idea?” she recalls Cindy asking. “Her reputation will be shot for the next four years.” Andy seconded the opinion, adding that since he and Randall both planned to rush fraternities, they ought to think this through. The three friends launched into a heated discussion about the social price of reporting Jackie’s rape, while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress, wishing only to go back to her dorm room and fall into a deep, forgetful sleep. Detached, Jackie listened as Cindy prevailed over the group: “She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

The friends in question have since responded and have said that the night did not occur like that, because of course it didn’t because that kind of response is just absurd. But the absurdity of it is magnified by the fact that it was so widely believed, which is bewildering to me. It makes me wonder about the social lives of feminists though. How could someone possibly believe that three people called by a friend in trauma and wearing bloody clothing  would have their first thought be “but what about the keggers?

I can not think of a single person I know whose first response to finding a friend who had been gang-raped wouldn’t be to provide comfort and aid the person (or possibly rage against the perpetrators). It’s hard to imagine anybody would respond like this, yet feminists and liberals all bought this incident as perfectly believable.

Is this how liberals, feminists, and their friends behave? Is this how people in their social circles act? Is this really a believable course of action to them? When they read this did they really think to themselves, ‘yeah, that’s how my friends would act‘?

If feminists really surround themselves with people like those in Jackie’s story, it’s no wonder they’re so screwed up. I’d feel pity for them if they weren’t so evil.

Maybe feminists should stop trying to dismantle the patriarchy and instead work on finding some better friends.

Or are they just so hatefully bitter that even if they know their friends wouldn’t act like that, they’d think everyone outside their bubble would?

Are Slate and Amanda Hess Arguing for Lynching?

Feminists complain about street harassment all the time. I’ve never actually seen someone harass a woman on the street, I’ve never done it, and none of my friends have done it.  So, I’ve always been a bit skeptical, because if something is so common, why haven’t I ever even seen it occur before. A few women have told me a story or two of a random crazy person on the bus doing something harassing (ie. one man on a bus just sat himself in the lap of a girl I dated), so I knew harassment did occur, but were usually isolated events done by crazy people. I never believed it happened as omnipresently as feminists claim.

Slate has tried to prove that harassment exists omnipresently by a woman filming herself walking for 10 hours. Here’s a two-minute highlight video of the harassment. Watch it.

First, that’s 2 minutes from 10 hours, so unless a lot of harassment was cut out, that’s not as much as feminists complain about. The video claims 100+ incidents, so that’s about one incident per every six minutes, that’s more, but still not much.

Second, if we assume the video included the worst of the harassment, a safe assumption give the point of the video, the “harassment” seem rather insignificant. this “harassment” included people doing nothing but saying “Have a nice evening”, “God bless”, and “how are you this morning?”. So in other words, to acknowledge a woman’s existence is harassment. What did the 80 incidences not bad enough to appear in the video include, people saying ‘hello’?

If this is the best evidence of harassment feminists can dredge up, I still do not buy the feminist argument. In fact, this video is a strike against it.


The more interesting part of this video though is race. I counted the incidences in the video, and by my count there were 21 harassers (two incidences had two perpetrators). Of those, 10 of the harassers looked black, 5 looked white, 2 looked Hispanic, and in 4 incidences I could not identify the race (although, two sounded stereotypically black to me).

So, of the incidences where the race was known, black committed 10 of the 17 of the cases of harassment, about 60%. Also, the the most egregious harassments (she was followed twice and some yelled passed a first comment) were by blacks.

From this, it seems the major problem is not harassment from men in general, but harassment from urban black men in particular. This would explain why I’ve never witnessed it; there are very few urban blacks where I live. That the harassers are largely black is reinforced by the stereotypical ebonics name of the campaign the video is in support of, “Hollaback!”.

Also of interest is that only a couple harassers looked even remotely middle-class, the rest looked either working-class or welfare-class.

The target audience of Slate is middle-class white liberals with humanities degrees. These are not the type of people harassing the woman in the video. There is no point lecturing Slate readers on stopping harassment because Slate readers are not the ones harassing.

So, there seems to be no point to this article. Slate readers aren’t the ones doing the harassing and it’s not likely lower-class blacks will care about the moral protestations of middle-class white feminists.

The only reason I can think of to write this is to encourage white males to forcibly stop black men from harassing them. something which reminds me of the days when looking wrongly at a white woman was a lynching offence. It seems to me that Amanda Hess and Slate just inadvertently argued for society to resume lynching uppity blacks, or at least segregation to keep them off the streets white women might use. I think everybody involved needs to check their privilege.

Anyway, if you wish to donate to a campaign to stop uppity blacks from talking to white women, you can donate to Hollaback here.


It looks like between writing this and posting it, the implications of this video have become clear and Slate is doing damage control.