I thought about writing a post on Donald Sterling, but that topic has been beat to death. Then I thought about doing a post on the rapist/murderer whose execution in Oklahoma didn’t quite go like it was supposed to. But he died, so it all worked out. The smoking gun email in Benghazigate is newsworthy, but all it really did was tell us what we already knew (official incompetence and cover-up.)
So I figured we go with this:
— Klown 2.0 (@realmyiq2xu2) April 29, 2014
You gotta go read the article and the comments. I don’t agree with everything, but he makes a lot of good points.
Well? Go read it! Then come back when you’re done.
Okay, now that you’re back we can continue. I posted this in yesterday’s thread and got a comment from “Underwhelmed” that led to this exchange:
April 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm
But the big missing point is (and always is, in these kinds of conversations) is that historically women have been barred from participating in the fields of chemistry and invention and engineering and stuff like that. When men are the gatekeepers, when they get to decide who plays and who doesn’t, it is the height of fuckwittery for them to then turn around and say See? No women! They don’t like this stuff, they’re no good at it! If they were they’d be doing it! The same applies to the entertainment industry. When the studios are run by men (or even by women who are surrounded by/beholden to men) who choose who will/won’t get to write the movies, direct the movies, produce the movies (and tv) then it can’t come as a surprise that almost no women (or for that matter non-whites and political conservatives) get the green light. It becomes a totally closed system, which then uses itself to justify its lack of diversity.
Which isn’t to say modern feminism isn’t a blight. Because too often it is. And as totalitarian as any good gulag would want.
The Klown says:
April 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm
I think women should be able to do any job they want to do as long as they are qualified. I think the competition for jobs should be race and gender neutral, but based on genuine criteria. One standard for everyone, and may the best candidate win.
But I not gonna assume there is some kind of invidious discrimination if some jobs are overrepresented by one gender. And I’m not gonna pretend there are no differences between men and women. Everything doesn’t have to be 50/50.
The Klown says:
April 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm
If I’m hiring furniture movers, I want some people who can move heavy couches and refrigerators around. I don’t care whether they sit down to pee or not.
April 30, 2014 at 12:55 am
Exactly. Some stuff is geared for guys to do, some stuff is geared for women, and sometimes there’s a crossover where outliers from both sides can do the tasks easy peasy. And everyone who wants to and can, should. But a lot of the time, when certain characteristics aren’t at play and the job in question has nothing to do with sheer physicality, for eg, there is lopsided representation and — yes. There is a bias at play. And too often it’s when men get to do the choosing because then more often than not they choose other men, even when there are equally or better qualified women. Because girl cooties. And prejudice. And misogyny. It just is. You might not engage in it, but plenty of guys do. That’s the good fight. Not the crap that gets in the way of the good fight.
The Klown says:
April 30, 2014 at 1:24 am
That’s the good fight.
I agree that it’s the good fight. What is your battle plan?
I’m not trying to pick on Underwhelmed. I mostly agree with what she had to say. But . . .
One of the problems facing today’s feminists is the success of the so-called Second-Wave. The First-Wave were the Suffragettes. They fought for the right to vote.
My mom was part of that Second-Wave of feminism. She was a working single mom in the Mad Men era, when men called secretaries “honey” and patted their bottoms. Mom was a secretary, first for an insurance company and later for the City of Merced. She worked for the city for 35 years and saw a lot of changes take place. Badly needed changes.
Second-Wave feminists fought for everything from the right to use birth control (without their husband’s permission) to changes in the laws on property, contracts, credit, divorce, child custody, sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment and abortion. Most importantly, they successfully fought for laws prohibiting discrimination on account of gender.
Just like the Civil Rights movement, Third-Wave Feminism has kinda got lost in the weeds:
Third-wave theory usually incorporates elements of queer theory; anti-racism and women-of-color consciousness; womanism; girl power; post-colonial theory; postmodernism; transnationalism; cyberfeminism; ecofeminism; individualist feminism; new feminist theory, transgender politics, and a rejection of the gender binary. Also considered part of the third wave is sex-positivity, a celebration of sexuality as a positive aspect of life, with broader definitions of what sex means and what oppression and empowerment may imply in the context of sex. For example, many third-wave feminists have reconsidered the opposition to pornography and sex work of the second wave, and challenge existing beliefs that participants in pornography and sex work are always being exploited.
Back in my mom’s day there was lots of outrageous shit going on. It was easy to point to it and say “This is wrong and needs to change.” Things aren’t so clear anymore.
You can’t discriminate against women for being women, but some job requirements will end up discriminating against them. Take my furniture moving example above. If I said that all applicants had to be able to pick up a 100 lb weight and carry it up a flight of stairs, that would be a legitimate job requirement, but it would also tend to eliminate more women applicants than men. Not only that but some of the women who could meet that requirement could decide that’s not a job they are interested in doing.
So we end up with very few female furniture movers. Is that gender discrimination? Of course not.
Now suppose I made a requirement that all applicants had to be able to pee standing up. Again, that is gonna tend to eliminate most of the women. But is the ability to pee standing up a legitimate job requirement? Not hardly. So if I tried to use it as an excuse to not hire women that would be discrimination, and it would be against the law.
Forty years ago there were lots of obvious cases being litigated, and lots of employment policies got changed. The obvious cases are mostly gone. So what we have now is a situation where it is harder and harder to prove discrimination. Maybe it was, and maybe it wasn’t.
Once all the dragons have been slain those wandering knights have nothing to do and start tilting at windmills.
Societal change takes time. This is true of the Civil Rights movement and LGBT rights movements as well. You fight for change for a long time and nothing happens, but then one day the dam breaks and there are a flood of changes. At that point you have to be patient and let everybody and everything catch up.
The “battle of the sexes” is a bunch of bullshit. Men and women need each other. Throughout history we have managed to work shit out well enough for the human race to continue. Our institutions reflect our culture and vice versa.
Our laws and customs evolved over thousands of years, and they are always a little behind the curve when it comes to change. The status of women has changed tremendously since the end of World War II, and we still haven’t worked out all the bugs. By the time we do, there will be new changes to deal with.
Right now women significantly outnumber men in our colleges and universities. Women have practically taken over some professions, and are making significant gains in others. But some professions remain heavily male-dominated. Is it discrimination or just a result of the differences between men and women?
Men and women ARE different. I got in an argument with some pinhead the other night on Twitter about this. She was arguing that the differences between boys and girls were all due to learned behaviors and the way they were treated. That’s a fallacy.
If you were to show “feminine” and “masculine” qualities on a graph you would have two side-by-side bell curves with some overlap between them. Some women would be closer to the masculine bell and some men would be closer to the feminine bell, but the majority of each group would be centered on their respective gender’s bells.
In closing let me point out that “equal” does not mean “identical.” It’s okay for men and women to be different. We both have equal value.