Never mind the elephants, there are girls to empower!

A correspondent tells me many years ago he began donating to Friends of Conservation, a charity concerned with saving endangered wildlife in Africa, particularly elephants and rhinoceroses. Earlier this week he received this letter from them, the fourth paragraph of which I reproduce below:

We are setting up an empowerment initiative in schools, primarily to help girls boost their confidence and increase self-esteem. As well as self-defence classes for girls and boys, there’ll be sessions in safe spaces where girls can discuss issues and become more aware of their rights; and classes where boys can will be encouraged to have greater respect for girls. We hope to help foster a learning environment where girls and boys are treated equally and have the same opportunities.

Spending charitable donations on woke feminist causes saves how many elephants and rhinos, I wonder? Needless to say, this has cost them at least one donor. At this point, I think it’s safe to assume every charity has been thoroughly corrupted in this manner. Can anyone point with confidence to one that hasn’t?

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Qualifications

From the BBC:

A former Georgia lawmaker and author has taken a major step towards becoming the first ever African-American female governor of a US state.

If elected in the deeply conservative state, Ms Abrams would become the first woman and the first person from an ethnic minority to lead the southern state.

Well, she’s certainly ticking all the diversity boxes, but what’s she actually done?

It was in Georgia where she made her mark with a number of historic achievements.

She became the first African American female valedictorian of her high school before earning her undergraduate degree from Spelman College. She also received a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from Yale University.

Ms Abrams was first elected to the Georgia state House of Representatives in 2006, and would later become the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly as well as the first African American to lead the state’s House of Representatives.

So her achievements are basically being African American and female.

She has been considered a rising star among her party’s progressive wing, taking centre stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

She gave a rousing speech on economic inequality, drawing on her own experience, and strongly backing presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

I’d have thought backing the candidate who lost an unloseable election would count against her, but that’s just me.

Ms Abrams won the support of Mrs Clinton, who recorded a robocall – an automated telephone call with a recorded message – for the former state House minority leader ahead of Tuesday’s election.

So she’s got the support of the person who lost that unloseable election.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and California Senator Kamala Harris – who are all viewed as possible 2020 presidential contenders – also threw their support behind Ms Abrams.

National organisations including Planned Parenthood, MoveOn and EMILY’s List have also endorsed Ms Abrams.

And the backing of hard-left lunatics.

Aside from her political work, Ms Abrams has written eight romantic suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery.

Finally we get some actual achievements. Whether they’re enough to sway the good people of Georgia is another matter, though. No doubt when they plumb for the Republicans, racism and misogyny will be to blame.

A number of women battled for and won their Democratic Party mid-term bids in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas, highlighting the strength of female candidates in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

In Texas, Democratic candidate and former Dallas County Sherriff Lupe Valdez became the first openly gay Latina nominee for governor in the state’s history.

Another candidate with a laundry list of diversity credentials, but no achievements of note. Not even a single, solitary, romance novel – unless the BBC is neglecting to mention it.

Also among the winners was political newcomer Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot, who won a Kentucky primary for a seat in the US Congress.

Okay, this is better.

“It’s more, this time, this climate, right now,” Ms McGrath told CNN before her win against Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “It’s very clear that people are looking for more women.”

I’d save that remark until you’ve won the seat, madam.

The US currently has six female governors.

Yes, I recall one called Sarah Palin. What did the BBC and their fellow travellers think of her, again? Funny, nobody made a big song and dance over Nikki Haley being the first female Indian-American governor, either.

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Scottish Stupidity

This amused me:

The Scottish Parliament has become the latest building to introduce free sanitary products for all staff and visitors.

The move follows concern over the accessibility and affordability of tampons and towels.

The decision from the all-party Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body means free sanitary products will be available in all 42 women’s toilets.

It was hailed as a “win for gender equality” by MSP Kezia Dugdale.

The cost of providing the free sanitary products is expected to be between £2,000 and £3,000 a year.

Ms Dugdale, who is a member of the corporate body, said women often found it difficult to access sanitary products during the working day.

Basically, the taxpayer is subsidising the grocery shopping of those who work in the Scottish Parliament, most of whom will be rather handsomely paid in comparison with said taxpayer. For instance, the annual salary of an MSP such as Kezia Dugdale is over £62k per year (.pdf); the median wage in Scotland is just over £23k.

This isn’t the first time a government policy has been aimed at subsidising the lifestyles of the wealthy middle classes (which coincidentally includes those making the policy) at the expense of the poor. In fact, it pretty much defines most policies these days.

Despite half of the population experiencing menstruation at some point, very few workplaces have taken steps to become period-friendly and that’s why I’m pleased the Scottish Parliament is leading by example.

Many of those women experiencing menstruation will be poor, single mothers who don’t work at or visit the Scottish parliament, and who no doubt struggle to purchase groceries thanks to their taxes being frittered away by grifters in Holyrood.

Her Labour colleague, Monica Lennon, is bringing forward a member’s bill to create a statutory duty for free provision of sanitary products.

Ms Lennon also welcomed the move and called on other parliaments, buildings and employers to take similar action.

It’s not just the economics that are stupid here. I can guarantee that within a very short period (ahem), these free sanitary products will be snaffled in bulk, leaving none available or costing a fortune to replace. You cannot leave boxes of sanitary pads and tampons lying around in a staff toilet any more than you can install a machine on the street which dispenses cans of Coke for free. Perhaps this would work in Japan, maybe in a select few other countries, but the UK isn’t among them. And what’s amusing is you can be damned sure the sort of women who will fill their handbags with these items for use at home, thus wrecking the system, will be the right-on lefties who dreamed it up in the first place. Modern lefties always strike me as the sort who’d steal the sugar sachets from Little Chef while lecturing the rest of us on how selfish we are.

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Feminist faints at the mention of lingerie

A couple of readers have emailed me this story:

The fuss started when Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory at King’s College London, and Simona Sharoni, a professor of women’s and gender studies at Merrimack College, ended up in the same crowded elevator during a conference at a Hilton in San Francisco last month.

She said she offered to press the floor buttons for people in the elevator, whom she described as mostly conference attendees and all, except one other woman, white middle-aged men. Instead of saying a floor, Lebow smiled and asked for the women’s lingerie department “and all his buddies laughed,” Sharoni wrote in a complaint, the details of which he disputed, to the association later that day.

“After they walked out, the woman standing next to me turned to me and said, ‘I wonder if we should have told them that it is no longer acceptable to make these jokes!” she said in her complaint.

What does she mean by these jokes?

Sharoni, who wrote in her complaint that she has experienced sexual harassment in academe in the past

The mere mention of ladies’ lingerie is sexual harassment, is it?

and was shaken by the incident,

Sharoni calls herself a “feminist and activist” yet here she is behaving like a pearl-clutching Victorian spinster who’s spotted an uncovered piano leg.

said it took her a while to figure out that Lebow thought it was funny “to make a reference to men shopping for lingerie while attending an academic conference.

I suspect the time was actually spent figuring out how to make an incident of this.

After glancing at Lebow’s name tag, Sharoni says she went back to her hotel room to check out the association’s code of conduct. She then wrote to Mark A. Boyer, the association’s executive director. He forwarded the complaint to the group’s Committee on Professional Rights and Responsibilities, which determined that Lebow had violated the conduct code.

A committee decided an individual violated a code of conduct without specifying how and why. How very modern. I’ve just had a look at it, and I can’t see how Lebow’s remarks were in breach without ascribing to them a malicious intent for which there is no evidence.

Lebow insists it never should have gotten to that point because he tried to resolve the problem informally, as the association’s conduct code recommends.

I venture to suggest trying to solve a problem which exists only in somebody else’s head is a mistake. But he learned fast:

Lebow was told to write an “unequivocal apology” to Sharoni and submit a written copy by May 15 to the association’s executive committee. The apology should focus on Lebow’s actions, rather than Sharoni’s perceptions of them, it said, adding that if he failed to comply, the executive committee would consider appropriate sanctions.

Lebow refused.

Good for him. The absolute standard response to any complaints from deranged social justice warriors should be silence or mockery and derision. Under absolutely no circumstances should you apologise because to the insincere that is merely an admission of guilt. Even doubling down would be better than apologising.

He also sent an email to colleagues calling his treatment “a horrifying and chilling example of political correctness” that “encourages others to censor their remarks for fear of retribution.” In an email to The Chronicle on Sunday, Lebow said he made the joke “to relieve the slight claustrophobia I felt in such a crowded lift.”

He shouldn’t even have done that. He should have said he has no idea what anyone is on about and if the slanderous allegations don’t cease he will be seeking legal advice. In fact, he should have hired a lawyer the minute he heard a complaint had been made.

He said it was a man, not a woman, who asked for the floors and that the other men in the elevator were not his “buddies” as she had described them.

Of course not, she’s using misleading language. I suspect this is normal for her.

He wasn’t smiling, he said, and she wouldn’t have known if he was because he was standing in the back and she was in front of him.

So she’s also a liar. Colour me surprised.

Sharoni told The Chronicle that the real chilling effect will be against people who experience and report sexual harassment.

Indeed it will: if people like Sharoni invent stories of sexual harrassment where there is none, others will find themselves disbelieved. Sharoni is actually making women less safe, but then that’s modern feminism for you.

As someone who has dedicated her life to confronting sexism (and other forms of discrimination and oppression) in academic spaces, I cannot and will not remain silent when misogyny is at play.”

What’s misogynistic about mentioning ladies’ lingerie? He wasn’t talking about yours, he was referring to lingerie as it exists in any normal department store. But the way these kangaroo courts work is the complainant doesn’t have to explain how and why they were offended, merely that they say they are is sufficient.

“For decades, women and other marginalized groups in the academy had to put up with white men who decided what counts as a violation and what is ‘frivolous,’” she wrote in an email. “

White men? Yes, because skin colour is absolutely relevant in this case, and white men are so much more misogynistic than any others. Since this story went viral on Twitter, Sharoni has decided to beclown herself further:

Ms Sharoni says: “The issue is not the intent of the comment nor the content or historical/cultural context of the ‘joke’.

“What we should be talking about is systemic sexism (and racism and other isms), the persistence of misogyny in the workplace, and the violent response of men when they are being held accountable! All he was asked to do was to apologise.”

So not bowing to demands to apologise over a fabricated incident is a “violent response”, is it? Beats me why people think feminists are batshit insane.

She says Mr Lebow is “portraying himself as the victim”

Oh the irony.

after he approached the media and that she has been subject to “hate speech, character assassination, and violent threats”.

That’s often what happens when you try to destroy somebody’s career and your vile character is exposed to the public at large. A sentence I quoted earlier hints at the long term solution to this sort of thing:

She said she offered to press the floor buttons for people in the elevator, whom she described as mostly conference attendees and all, except one other woman, white middle-aged men.

If white, middle-aged men are the problem then perhaps white, middle-aged women should stay well away from them. Instead, they’ve spent their entire lives demanding access to their circles and once admitted immediately set about complaining. The irony, as I’ve pointed out before, is that much of the opposition to letting women into men’s professions was based on the notion they lacked the mental fortitude to handle such an environment. If women such as Sharoni are shaking with fear over an offhand remark about a lingerie department, perhaps they had a point. At any rate, any man who interacts with this woman professionally or otherwise after this incident needs their head read. As Jordan Peterson pointed out in an interview, perhaps men and women can’t actually work together. That certainly seems to be the case if you’re a lemon-sucking harridan specialising in women’s and gender studies.

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Irrational Fears

A few weeks ago, when the fuss about the two black men being asked to leave Starbucks was at its height, the ZMan remarked that many American liberals genuinely believe there is a major demographic actively looking to lynch black men, even in New York, and is only kept from doing so by heroic progressives (or something). I doubt any black people believe this, even the lunatics who crop up in academia; the ones who perpetuate this nonsense without anything to gain personally seem to be white liberals who don’t know much about anyone other than white liberals. Now it’s certain there are black men who come to harm at the hands of whites, not least prosecutors who like chucking them in jail to advance their careers, but I thought it an odd mindset to carry through life. How do these people go about their daily business believing they’re surrounded by millions of people who are looking to murder some random black guy the moment they think they can get away with it?

Then last week I came across something similar in a discussion related to this post, where I said:

Modern men and women want to enter into something as complicated as a relationship but expect to be able to exit at the push of a button as if it never happened. I’ve seen women declaring love and talking earnestly with a man about long-term plans and then a few days later end the relationship by phone and block all communication saying “it’s best we both move on”, like some toad of a politician who’s been caught breaking the law. Men do the same thing, and it puts a serious question mark over anything which happened prior to that: if you’re prepared to pull the plug and run away like that, it was probably never serious in the first place – and he or she is certainly not ready for the give-and-take of a proper relationship. I’ve always seen a refusal to talk as simple cowardice.

I’ll not link to the actual discussion, mainly because I generally like the other stuff the lady in question has to say and I don’t want to bad-mouth her on my blog (by contrast, deranged and rather unpleasant feminists like Laurie Penny and Natalia Antonova with large public followings are fair game). But here’s what she said:

No one is EVER owed your attention, your friendship, your time, or access to you. So, yes, you can & should block/mute/ignore people. Especially exes. They can turn nasty so easily. Safety first.

The sentiments in the first part I covered well enough in this post, and I was surprised to see them expressed by someone who isn’t an obvious headcase. And while I know that people can turn nasty, can you imagine going into a relationship with “safety first” being the key driver? Isn’t dating supposed to be fun? I responded as follows:

Ah, this is where we disagree. A relationship is by definition a set of mutual obligations where you *do* owe each other (within reason). This is even captured in the wedding vows.

Which was met with:

Absolutely disagree. Even in marriage. If you no longer wish to be with someone, you are free to leave. If they can keep you prisoner that is a recipe for abuse.

So what on earth is the point in entering into a relationship – of any kind – where there are no mutual obligations and one party can just walk away whenever they feel like it? So I responded:

I believe you have moral obligations to one another to at least try to fix things and not just walk out. Otherwise there’s not much point going into a relationship in the first place. Granted there comes a time when you just need to leave.

And this was the reply:

Nope. You NEVER have moral obligations to the other person to try to fix things up. Nor do you go into the relationship like a prison sentence. You always have a right to be free from violence, abuse, rape, etc. This is non-negotiable. I don’t care what words were said.

At no point did I suggest a woman should stick around in a relationship while being subject to violence, abuse, and rape. I just said that, in most normal circumstances, you have a moral obligation to at least try to work things out. But it appears there are women out there who operate on the assumption that violence, abuse, and rape are likely to feature in a relationship and adjust their entire approach to men accordingly. The default setting of some women seems to be “this man could rape and abuse me, so for my own safety I consider I owe him nothing whatsoever”. As a worldview, it’s an odd one even by the standards of those featured on this blog and it makes me wonder how people navigate even basic social conventions with opinions like this. Quite staggeringly, the same person said a few months ago:

I don’t have a boyfriend. I wish I did. I have been unlucky in that regard.

Unlucky. And on another occasion I remarked:

I’ve *never* met a woman too physically unattractive to get a boyfriend, it’s always for other reasons that they’re single.

And the response was:

Sometimes it’s just bad luck.

The woman in question isn’t some purple-haired tattooed nutter who treats being raped as a handy entry on a CV, she’s fairly normal on many topics including the lunacy of third-wave campus feminism. Yet this is her view of men and relationships. Between this and feminists’ habit of being blindsided by sex pests if they mouth the correct political platitudes, something’s gone badly wrong somewhere, hasn’t it?

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A Shell of their former selves

Yesterday I received an email from Shell containing more diversity mumbo-jumbo than I thought possible:

We have just celebrated International Women’s Day, when women are recognized for their achievements regardless of age, race or beliefs.

This sentence reads as though it was written by a committee. Why not just stop after “achievements”? What have age, race, and beliefs got to do with women’s day?

The value that women have in the workforce is truly immeasurable.

Is it? Could you not apply the proportion of women in the workforce to the overall value added by the company (“profits”)? Cross-reference this with the total women’s wage bill and you’d have an order of magnitude at least. You could refine things further by assuming whichever women (and men) were involved in writing this press release represented negative value to the tune of their salaries.

At Shell, the unlimited potential in each woman is considered one of our greatest resources.

Considered by whom? I bet investors are a lot more interested in your production rate, reserves, and cash pile. And “unlimited potential in each woman”? Does each man have unlimited potential? Or only those who went to Delft?

They then provide links to various webpages, which contain such gems as:

Shell promotes a culture that is gender balanced. This extends to the way we hire and develop our female talent. We run leadership workshops designed specifically for women.

Nothing says gender equality quite like leadership workshops designed specifically for women.

In the last five years, Shell has increased female representation on our Board of Directors from 8% to 33%. We have also seen the representation of women in senior leadership positions rise from 16% in 2012 to 22% in 2017.

I for one will be extremely interested to see how this pans out. It’s not that I don’t think women can be leaders, it’s that when a company adopts progressive initiatives based on politically-driven social science papers originating in the lunatic fringe of western academia, they’ve lost all perspective. Pepsi’s CEO is Indra Nooyi, an Indian woman, and they pointedly don’t make a big song and dance about it because she is undoubtedly there on merit alone. I worked in and around Shell organisations between 2004 and 2009, and there were plenty of capable women doing very well there, some of whom were in senior positions. There didn’t seem to be any impediment to women back then, they were just fewer in number for the most obvious and natural of reasons. If Shell now believes it’s necessary to artificially inflate the number of women in senior positions in the way they’ve described above, it’s a sign they’re less interested in oil and gas production than social engineering.

For us, this is just the beginning.

The beginning of the end, I suspect. Shell will survive for a long time on its legacy production, reserves, and vast cash pile, but I’d hazard a guess that very little it has done or will do since the oil price crash in 2015 will contribute to its long term future. Applying the “clogs to clogs in three generations” analogy, Shell’s latest generation of whizz-kid managers are eyeing up their next Ferrari while the factory falls into disrepair.

I’ve an inkling I might yet be young enough to write the obituary of Big Oil. As many predicted, their demise won’t be due to a lack of oil in the ground.

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More Progressive Sex Pests

I’ve written several posts (1, 2, 3, 4) on the subject of how sex pests hide among the ranks of progressive movements, and how supposed feminists either unwittingly or deliberately provide cover for their misbehaviour.

So you can imagine I wasn’t tremendously surprised by this story last week:

During [Clay] Johnson’s first job in politics, on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, Schacht and a fellow campaign worker separately accused Johnson of sexual assault. Word of both women’s complaints reached several of Dean’s top deputies. But Johnson kept his job, and his work on the campaign became his ticket to a high-profile career.

He went on to co-found a pathbreaking political consulting firm. Powerful groups and people sought his thoughts on the future of tech in politics; his Twitter banner shows him cracking a joke to a roomful of government officials including President Barack Obama. Despite Schacht’s warning about his behavior, the Sunlight Foundation chose him to head its flagship technology division. He left amid a staff insurrection over his lewd and menacing behavior. And still, he rose higher.

His reputation seemed to be an open secret.

Like Harvey Weinstein, everyone knew he was a sex pest but because he was a good progressive type, the feminists didn’t mind. Then yesterday I read this story:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned following allegations of assault by four women.

The New Yorker magazine published a report quoting the women, two of them ex-girlfriends, who accused Mr Schneiderman, 63, of hitting them.

Mr Schneiderman has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump.

Now there’s a surprise, eh? But let’s don pussyhats and protest Mike Pence’s misogyny because he doesn’t eat dinner alone with any woman other than his wife.

This is what happens when politics are used as the sole judge of one’s character, and people turn a blind eye to bad behavior provided the perpetrator has the correct politics. If lefty women want to reduce the rate at which they’re being sexually assaulted, they could perhaps try avoiding lefty men claiming to be feminists. It’s starting to become a clear warning sign.

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Outcome of Equality

There’s an awful lot wrong in this story:

A police officer is suing the Metropolitan Police after watching hours of child rape videos as part of an investigation left her with post traumatic stress disorder. Cara Creaby is seeking more than £200,000 in damages for the ‘psychiatric injury’ she says she suffered while investigating the rape of three young girls, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Okay.

The 29-year-old, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, joined the Met in 2009 and three years later became part of the ‘Sapphire Unit’ handling child abuse cases. In December 2014 she was made the main contact for three young girls suspected of being victims of grooming and serious sexual offences by disabled paedophile Michael D’Costa – who would later be jailed for 16 years. As Sexual Offence Investigative Technique officer, Mrs Creaby had to search the paedophile’s home and seized a diary detailing his crimes, more than 100 videos of him abusing the girls, and children’s clothing and school bags. High Court papers say Mrs Creaby formed an ‘emotional bond’ with the girls, whom she had to support and interview, which was ‘especially harrowing’ as she also had to view footage of them being ‘sexually abused and degraded’.

I’m obviously speaking as a layman here, but this looks like a case where a separation of roles might have been a good idea. Is it really sensible that the person who “supports” the victims of paedophiles also has to review the most gruesome bits of evidence? I’d have thought police psychologists would have set up the roles and assigned the tasks such that “emotional bonds” didn’t form where they might hamper the investigating officer or leave them traumatised.

For example, I had a friend who was a Royal Marine officer and, as part of his duties, was once called upon to inform a woman on the base that her husband had been badly wounded in Afghanistan and was now a triple amputee. How it works is two officers who don’t personally know the family are selected to walk up to the door, ring the bell, and immediately tell the woman what has happened. I’m not sure how long they spend with her, but they quickly hand over to a support team who takes things from there. The idea is this poor woman will form a more constructive psychological attachment to the support team members than if they’d been the ones to break the initial news. According to the plan, the woman will never see the two officers again in her life, thus sparing her flashbacks and ruined relations. Whoever came up with this system thought about it and worked out the psychological impact of each step, and how to separate the roles. My friend said it was one of the worst things he’s ever had to do in his life.

So my question is, why hasn’t a similar procedure been applied to police investigating harrowing crimes against children?

She would spend ‘at least eight hours at a time’ watching the videos to work out what happened in them, the documents say.

Couldn’t this task have been assigned to somebody who has never met the children, with the lead investigator only seeing those parts essential for securing a conviction?

It is claimed Mrs Creaby told her superiors ‘multiple times’ about the volume of her work and the effect it was having on her, but she was just told to ‘carry on as best she could’. According to her lawyer, David Mies at Slater & Gordon, there was no risk assessment, offers of help or consideration of how to share the workload.

Is this true, or is she just looking for a payout? I’m inclined towards the former.

By March 2015, Mrs Creaby was said to be ‘visibly struggling’ and became ‘more tired, unkempt, short with colleagues and emotional in the workplace’ but again was allegedly not given any support.

If this can be proved, and I suspect it can, she’s likely to win this case.

She also began to ‘experience intrusive flashbacks and nightmares of the child rape she had been required to watch’ and also ‘noticed that when she was with her partner, any act of intimacy caused her to panic and become tearful’.

Frankly, this sort of thing would affect the stoutest of people. Presumably this is why, until recently, only certain types of people would be considered for severely stressful and difficult jobs, but we’ve since moved into a world where anybody can do any job, and indeed have a right to. There was a time when the job of sifting through a paedophile’s home movie collection would have been handed to a man with a strong constitution, not a woman who was clearly not up to it.

She was diagnosed with PTSD as a result and according to the legal documents, the officer asked for help but was told by bosses at Scotland Yard to ‘stick to the job at hand’.

Well, yeah. We’ve been told for some time now that women can do the same jobs as men regardless, and this theory is now being severely tested. Telling a highly traumatised and obviously suffering woman to “stick to the job at hand” is perfectly consistent with telling women they are equally suited to all aspects of policing (and every other profession) as men. Both are heinously irresponsible; this woman should never have been given such a task in the first place. We’re going to see a lot more lawsuits like this.

(I’ve written before about people in the wrong job.)

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Incels: a lot like modern feminists

In the past week or so a new term has entered into the mainstream lexicon: incel, which is an abbreviation of involuntarily celibate. It is the word used to describe angry young men who can’t get laid and then go onto commit acts of violence, often describing their lack of success with women as motivation for their crimes. The term has come to prominence because someone fitting this description drove a van into a bunch of people in Toronto, killing 10.

There is no doubt that the Toronto van driver and others like him display deep-rooted misogyny and hate women, but nevertheless it’s worth trying to understand how and why they became so alienated. However, feminist Twitter is having none of it, believing social ostracism and mental illness is something to be disregarded entirely insofar as men are concerned. As usual, feminist bellwether Natalia Antonova provides a neat example:

Firstly, allow me to mention the irony that a journalist and playwright is seemingly unaware of the term “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

Secondly, what else is the third-wave feminist movement but a planet-sized temper tantrum that the sexual revolution didn’t deliver as promised in terms of power, prestige – and romantic partners? It sure as hell isn’t about rights, given the movement’s roots in American academia and its proponents overwhelmingly coming from coastal, metropolitan liberal arts circles where women enjoy more rights than at any point in human history. Modern, western feminism is largely about self-entitled, privileged, middle-class women demanding nice things in life they are not prepared to earn, preferring to believe it’s the unreasonableness of men that is preventing them attaining what they so richly deserve.

In terms of dealing with rejection – something all of us must face throughout our lives – feminists are no better than incels. True, they don’t go around murdering people with vans but their effect on society has been equally if not more destructive. And say what you like about deranged, homicidal incels but they at least refrain from giving self-righteous lectures about how virtuous they are when the full extent of the carnage is known. The feminist reaction to incels is that of a self-declared victim group protecting its turf and ensuring they have a monopoly on gender-based suffering; any and all sympathy or understanding for those confused, angry, and ostracised by the opposite sex must go to feminists and nobody else. Either that, or they’re simply upset because, amid all the hysterical screeching and yelling, some men are trying to get a word in edgeways.

Whatever the case, there’s not a whole lot of difference that I can see between lunatic incels and deranged, third-wave feminists.

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Identity

During yesterday’s post on cultural appropriation a thought occurred to me which I decided to turn into a separate post. This is the relevant part:

Like most teenagers or young men, this kid doesn’t know who or what the hell he is, and he’s latched on to his parent’s culture in order to give himself some sort of identity.

It’s important in life to figure out who you are, to carve out an identity for yourself that you’re comfortable with. A large part of teenage awkwardness comes from not being who you want to be and subsequently trying to force the issue instead of waiting to see who you actually become. In my post I gave examples of foreign kids in my school adopting alternative, fantastical identities for themselves, and all teenagers do this to a degree. I have a colleague whose daughter I met when she was 13, only she was convinced she was 21. She attempted to have adult conversations and made a decent fist of it for a few minutes before coming out with something childish and you’d be reminded she was just a kid. It came across as a bit ridiculous, but at that age it didn’t matter. As a teenage boy I remember faking various quirks and character traits in the hope it would make me more interesting (it didn’t). I think everyone goes through this, trying to work out who they are and what identity they’re comfortable with. As I’ve mentioned before, the period between ages 19 and 23 were crucial for my development, having gone into it as a boy and coming out a reasonable approximation of a man (albeit still a work in progress). By the time I was 25 I had a pretty good idea who I was in most respects; I remember somebody at a corporate event telling me I should take part in some activity or other because it was “character building”. I replied that my character was already built, thanks all the same. I might be an obnoxious, opinionated, annoying troublemaker who has deep-rooted issues with authority figures, but nobody has ever said I lack character. By the time I was in my early or mid-thirties, it was locked down and I knew I’d never change. Thankfully, I was happy with who I was and still am.

The same isn’t true for everyone, though. Pretty much all men I know are married with kids and their identities are carved in stone, but I know women who are still uncertain who they are and what they want to be. These aren’t youngsters either, most are in their thirties and sometimes forties. Some have been in a succession of relationships since their early twenties, leaving them with no time to define themselves independently. I spoke to one friend recently like this, and I said she needs a period of being by herself, living independently, so she can figure out who she is and what she wants and only then finding her next boyfriend. Without knowing who you are yourself, how can you expect to find a compatible partner? I’ve noticed a lot of women think their identity will only be complete once they have a partner, happy to leave a whole chunk of themselves blank for the next guy to define. I remain unconvinced this is a route to a happy relationship.

However, one’s identity can change during a relationship, although probably not completely. Over time, a married couple will start to define one another which is very good for the stability of the relationship but can be a problem if it ends. I am good friends with a widow and she’s had to take substantial, deliberate steps to carve herself a new identity having decided, quite understandably, that she didn’t want to be defined for the rest of her life as a heroic, grieving widow. To this end she did some things which were well within her character, but would have been quite out of character were she still married. The more disapproval she got, the more content she was that she was moving on. I am happy for her.

This topic is also relevant to my recent post about single women who “go travelling” alone in middle-age. I’ve noticed this cohort often don’t seem to know who they are, which is not surprising: many have been shoved into the meat-grinder of corporate life and found themselves wondering what the hell they’re doing there. They ask their male colleagues why they’re there, and they reply “for the wife and kids, of course. What about you?” Having spent a decade establishing themselves as a corporate high-flier, it dawns on them they’d rather do something more meaningful, but what? There are no obvious answers, which is why you see them wittering on about spirituality and travelling to exotic locations, where they post pictures of the food on Instagram. It’s a last-gasp effort to build a different identity, and no less forced than a skinny white teenager inserting rap lyrics into his everyday speech.

The other mistake people make is to take shortcuts, and this is far more common than you’d think. Consider how many people on social media leap onto a bandwagon without understanding any of the underlying issues, merely to give themselves some sort of identity and purpose. The narrator in my book expressed skepticism of how deep Katya’s feminist convictions actually ran; she could spout boilerplate feminist soundbites, yet had entered into a disastrous marriage with a polyamorist in order to secure a US residency permit. Hardly the behaviour of a committed feminist, you’d think. When you scratch the surface of modern feminism and movements like MeToo, you see most are using it as a badge of identity in the absence of any other which people might find interesting. This is doubly true for any men involved.

Others take shortcuts of a different kind, which I mentioned in this post:

There is a section of society out there which is not completely stupid (but not particularly bright either) who lack the talent, work ethic, and self-discipline to enter into professional or corporate environments and so attach themselves like parasites to the genuine arts world in order to give themselves some sort of identity.  The problem with the arts world – as opposed to say, law, engineering or music – is there is no quality control: anyone can tag along, dress up in costumes, get drunk, take some photographs, and claim they’re an “artist”.

What else is dying one’s hair a stupid colour, covering oneself in tattoos, or growing a silly beard other than a cheap attempt to convince others you have an interesting personality? Out of all the hipsters you see, how many have actually bought into the lifestyle and will stay that way, and how many have just joined in because working minimum wage in a coffee shop aged 30 is otherwise seriously uncool?

What identity you end up with is important, but not so important as ensuring it is one you arrive at naturally and are comfortable with. I’m surprised how many people are out there who either don’t know who they are, or are pretending they’re someone they’re not. You can spot them a mile off, and they don’t make for a pretty sight.

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