Hidden Figures

In the comments under my latest podcast on the subject of sexual promiscuity, Jim makes an interesting point:

I would suggest that in hard numbers a man in later life will still be viewed better by women for X previous partners than a woman would be by men for the same number, assuming a similar quality of partners on both sides.

This is true, and it explains why women lie about the numbers. Recall that my podcast was prompted by this tweet:


If women didn’t think their value in the dating marketplace was devalued by the number of partners they’d had, there would be no reason for them to lie about it. Sure, men lie too, but mainly to inflate the numbers. Then when they settle down and their partner asks them, they deflate the number to avoid looking like a complete fanny-rat.

However, both men and women lie about this stuff in part to avoid hurting the feelings of someone they care about. This is why sensible women who have enjoyed themselves at college learn to shut the f*** up, or lie when asked. A point I made in my book is the truth often doesn’t matter as much as how it’s presented. Most blokes these days know they’re not marrying virgins, but they’d prefer their partner applies some discretion and not mention their sexual history, and the same goes for the man. By being tactful, it’s a sign one partner respects the other and doesn’t want to hurt them unnecessarily.

Unfortunately, modern feminism decrees a woman should openly brag about her promiscuity. Not only does this put potential suitors off for crude biological reasons, it’s also a sign she doesn’t respect her partner nor care much for his feelings. Put simply, having several sexual partners doesn’t in itself devalue a woman, but it does if the bloke gets to hear about it. As I said, sensible women bury this stuff in a vault.

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Mock ’em razors

During the marketing module of my MBA which I did last semester, the subject of colossal marketing failures came up. It appears Gillette is vying to be included in marketing lectures long into the future:


I don’t think I need to explain to my readers how insulting this is on so many levels. A comment over at David Thompson’s struck home, and included a last line which made me laugh:

Society has been bringing up boys according to the feminist model since the 1970s. It’s been going on a lot longer than #metoo or Gilette’s marketing pivot. We have enough multigenerational experience that we should be able to determine how the project of feminizing boys has worked out – do the boys grow up in to happy, successful men?

Even if it wasn’t so problematic, progressives don’t even find it believable that their guys, the oversocialized pajamaboy feminists, have any kind of iron hand inside their velvet glove, so much for the feminist promise to men of being able to access both their masculine and feminine side. They imagine instead that black men, under a kind of carbon credit scheme for their toxic masculinity, can be their street muscle against white Deplorables.

The reaction on Twitter was one of apoplectic fury, with people vowing to ditch not only Gillette, but all Proctor & Gamble products. But not everyone is unhappy:

Gillette has a dedicated page, to support the ad, which speaks volumes (emphasis theirs):

It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. And as a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man. With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We’re inviting all men along this journey with us – to strive to be better, to make us better, and to help each other be better.

From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.

As I may have said before, modern corporations are as much standard bearers for a hotch-potch of post-modernist moral virtues than businesses returning value to shareholders. As I have definitely said before, these people would be better off joining a church.

The fact is, this advert has been dreamed up by a marketing department in a giant, multinational corporation. We already know which demographic these companies pander to when recruiting and promoting, and the further you get from the science and engineering branches, the more pronounced the effects of these policies will be. It doesn’t take any great genius to imagine what the marketing team behind this catastrophe looked like, and what views they subscribed to. The irony is companies justify diversity programs in part by claiming they allow marketing departments to better identify with their customers. Well, Gillette’s done a great job of that, haven’t they?

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Lewis and Snark

Recently one or two people in the comments have directed me towards a Jordan Peterson interview at the hands of Helen Lewis on behalf of GQ magazine. Joe Rogan, who’s podcast I listen to, believes Lewis does a good job of it, far better than the hapless Cathy Newman managed in her interview with Peterson. This weekend I decided to watch it, and although Lewis did indeed do a lot better than Newman, it’s still a woeful performance on her part. Here is the interview:

Something Peterson says around the halfway mark sums Lewis up. He says that when she speaks, he doesn’t learn anything about her, he just hears unoriginal, utterly predictable mantra she’s been taught to say. It’s painful to watch in places, what passes for a journalist reciting feminist dogma as if it’s incontrovertible truth. You get the impression you’re watching a spoiled, middle-class brat who thinks she has the right to reshape the world in the image of the bubble she’s been raised in.

Now Lewis is undoubtedly one of the best and brightest in her contemporary field. Like Cathy Newman, she’s a graduate of Oxford University (where else?) so on some measures she’s not thick, but I think her interview with Peterson shows being brightest in the field of modern journalism isn’t saying very much. In terms of observable intellect, the interview is like watching a pub footballer turn out in an El Clasico match. This is not necessarily a problem: Joe Rogan isn’t the brightest either, but he acknowledges it and allows his far brighter guests to speak, which is partly what makes him an excellent podcast host if not a good judge of intelligence in other people. But Lewis clearly believes she’s on an equal footing with Peterson. At around the 40:50 minute mark she confidently states the rationale behind Peterson’s remarks on behaviour in lobsters is “scientifically bollocks”. This from someone who studied English at university. The clearly irritated Peterson, a clinical psychologist, explains to her it is neuroscience 101.

Lewis, being a feminist, believes modern-day societies are organised in patriarchal hierarchies of power, whereas Petersen believes they are more akin to hierarchies of competence. It’s easy to see why the two differ so wildly in their views. In Peterson’s field you need to be competent to rise to the top, whereas in Lewis’ you don’t need to be competent at all. Lewis has looked at her own career path, and those of her peers, and assumed the whole world works like that.

She’s not the only one. James D. Watson, one of the biologists who won a Nobel prize for discovering DNA, uttered wrongthink in 2007 by suggesting ethnic groups differ in IQ levels. His subsequent ostracism forced him to sell his Nobel medal to eat, and for some reason he’s been in the news again recently. This has given progressive journalists an opportunity to condemn him all over again. Steve Sailer summed up one such attempt nicely in the tweet below:


The trouble with modern journalism, as with modern politics, is the brightest people don’t go into it any more. Unfortunately, those who do think they’re the smartest people on the planet, capable of taking on clinical psychologists and offering critiques of the scientific opinions of Nobel prize winners. And they wonder why nobody wants to pay for their output any more.

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The Suffering of the Sisters

Yesterday while doing some research I came across an article which contained this gem:

And though women hold 52% of management, professional and related jobs in the United States, that number masks considerable gender-based occupational segregation. Women represent 85% of meeting, convention and event planners and 72% of human resource managers, but just 19% of software developers and 9% of mechanical engineers. You can guess which roles come with more power, prestige and pay.

The way that’s written you’d think there was some sort of conspiracy to keep women out of the higher-paying roles, or to pay men more regardless of what value they added. And if mechanical engineers enjoy greater power than HR managers in large organisations, I’ve clearly chosen the wrong course. I’m not even sure we score better in prestige. They then go on to say:

We spend about a fifth of our waking lives at work. Those hours should be a source of satisfaction — not stress, boredom and frustration.

Research shows that women often report higher job satisfaction than men.

Well yes, because many choose to go into HR and event planning rather than get their heads around calculus and steam tables to become well-paid mechanical engineers. But there’s nothing stopping them, as many of my female engineer friends can attest (and they all went to university in the late ’90s, so this isn’t a recent development).

The article purports to give advice to women on what company they should work for, but seems mainly to consist of suggesting they find one where they get well paid for not doing very much. I think there might be a queue outside that outfit.

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Chick Magnets

Staying on the topic of diversity, I found this interesting:

At the start of 2019, four of America’s top defense companies will be led by women.

On Thursday, the chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman, Wes Bush, announced that he was stepping down and would be succeeded by Kathy Warden, Northrop’s current president and chief operating officer who has been with the company since 2008.

As CEO, she will join three other high profile women leading the U.S. defense industry: Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin; Phebe Novakovic, the CEO of General Dynamics; and Leanne Caret, the CEO of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security.

This too:

CIA Director Gina Haspel has appointed another woman to the top level of the agency, naming Cynthia “Didi” Rapp as deputy director for analysis, essentially the top analyst in the CIA. The appointment means that the top three directorates of the agency, for operations, analysis and science and technology are now all headed by women.

What this shows is that women are increasingly being promoted to head high-profile organisations with large budgets and lots of employees. This is hardly surprising: campaigns to increase gender diversity among top management of companies have been ongoing since at least the mid-’90s. Since the early ’00s, countries have been slowly adopting mandatory quotas for women on boards, and the EU is pushing for 40%. I understand no country has yet set quotas for women in senior management positions, but with the UK passing a law requiring companies to report on the gender pay gap it’s probably only a matter of time. (Incidentally, the British government’s guidance booklet is called Gender pay gap: creating a narrative, apparently without irony.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Australian government also imposes gender equality reporting requirements on private companies.

One of the things researchers have found resulting from board gender quotas is that there really aren’t many women around with the background and experience to cover all the slots. This means women tend to sit on more boards than their male counterparts, spreading themselves thinly, a point which reader Ken makes in the comments beneath this post. This is also why positions such as HR director were created, making a lot of women suddenly qualified for a board seat. At the beginning this was understandable as there were fewer women in the workplace, but twenty years on the problem remains. Norway insists on 40% women serving on boards which, according to a podcast I listened to between Christina Hoff Sommers and Jordan Peterson, has led to them bringing in American women to make up the numbers. Germany doesn’t have gender quotas, but they still face the same problem:

In Germany a shortage of qualified women led to a surge of foreigners onto supervisory boards (there is as yet no quota for management boards). That could be problematic, says Bernhard Stehfest from the Federation of German Industries, because foreigners are less familiar with the firms or German regulations.

The reason there are so few women to go around despite their filling the majority of graduate places is because, as we’ve known all along, most women choose not to sacrifice marriage, children, and a more balanced life to fight their way to the top of a major organisation. Even if super-intelligent women are pouring out of the engineering and business schools in record numbers, those putting in the hours and effort to make it to executive management are still low. And as Jordan Peterson is fond of pointing out, when Norway cleared the obstacles to women having high-flying careers in STEM fields, they found even more chose not to compared with women in more male-dominated societies. In other words, as societies get more equal in terms of gender, women tend to make choices more associated with female traits, i.e. not going into senior management in traditionally male-dominated fields. My observation is that some of the most competent female engineers I’ve met came from patriarchal societies such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and Turkey where they’re given no free passes.

So given there is an in-built shortage of suitably qualified and experienced women choosing to go into senior management in large organisations, governments are imposing quotas, and gender diversity campaigns are increasing their demands, what is going to happen? Well, that’s obvious. Those organisations with the household name and the money are going to snap up the women who are available, which is precisely what we’re seeing with the defence contractors and the CIA. In addition, these companies will put in the money and effort to recruit the top female graduates, meaning they have a steady stream coming through into upper management even as most quit their career paths to raise a family.

The problem with gender equality initiatives is not that incompetent women may end up running large organisations (for every incompetent woman I can show you ten incompetent men), it’s that once the large, wealthy organisations have snaffled up all the competent women how do the smaller, less wealthy companies manage without reducing standards? My guess is if a company has a low enough public profile it can get away with ignoring calls for greater gender diversity, or fudging it somehow. But there will be companies caught in the middle, too high-profile to ignore gender diversity issues but not big enough to attract what few competent women stick around to take senior management positions. They’ll be faced with no choice but to promote women who are less competent than the men around them, the results of which will be as predictable as they are inevitable.

All of this reinforces my theory that we’re going to see more women employed in large organisations with lots of employees, while men head for smaller companies where gender diversity is not a priority. A possible subject for my dissertation is to look at whether women get promoted into senior management only once a firm has reached a certain size in terms of employees and market capitalisation, and once it has a certain public profile.

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Hens Solo

I’ve written before about women of a certain age traveling alone:

It’s something they do well into middle-age and perhaps beyond, usually going to exotic locations where they talk in lofty terms about spirituality (while scoffing at anything which even hints at formal religion). There must be a pretty big market for this: reasonably wealthy women who have nothing else to do during their annual holidays but jet off somewhere exotic for a few weeks or months of “finding themselves”.

Via Little Billy Ockham, I find this article:

Like most self-assured young women with a global take on life, Indian-born, American-educated yoga teacher, media personality and Columbia Business School MBA graduate Ira Trivedi, 30, doesn’t think twice about going away on her own.

That fast-moving ratchet sound you can hear is a number of boxes being ticked in quick succession.

The first journey I made truly alone was when I was about 23. I’d just finished business school in the US and was finally properly independent – financially, mentally, emotionally. I spent a month in Bali by myself – no friends, no family, no work reason to be there. Just me by myself doing some soul searching.

Okay, there’s a pic of her in a bikini on the beach, and she’s pretty cute. If she wanted company, I’m sure she could find it if she took a taxi into Kuta and walked up to a bunch of Queenslanders in NRL singlets and flip-flops. Let’s be honest, a half-decent looking 23 year old woman is going to enjoy herself no matter where she goes, provided she doesn’t run into jihadists in the Atlas Mountains. But she’s now 30:

I’ve come back to Bali regularly since then for self-contemplation, when I need time to be on my own.

If she’s taking the same holidays at 30 that she did at 23 fresh out of college, it doesn’t sound as though she’s developed much as a person. Are there any relationships to speak of?

A spot of solo soul-searching a la Trivedi’s near annual ritual is now one of the most popular travel trends for 2019, particularly among women over 55 looking to travel either alone or in small groups of like-minded people.

The title of the article is “Why more women are choosing to travel alone?” I think that may be begging the question somewhat.

So popular in fact that the Australian high-end tour operator Captain’s Choice has, for the first time in its near three-decade history, put a “women only” trip on its 2019 itinerary – to be led by Trivedi.

Titled Harmony in the Himalayas, the 10-day journey in September includes five days at luxurious tented Chamba Camp Thiksey in Ladakh, northern India, during which time the group of no more than 20 women will spend “five days at altitude, nourishing mind, body and soul”, according to the marketing spiel.

Women only, eh? Was that on purpose, or was it just that no men signed up?

“Our solo travellers are really important to us…” says Lou Tandy, a director at Captain’s Choice.”

Why?

Priced from $16,850 per person…

Ah.

Roughly one in four Americans said they would travel solo in 2018, according to a survey of 2300 people conducted in late 2017 by US marketing firm MMGY Global, which specialises in the travel and hospitality industries. And while that attitude was as prevalent among Millennials as it was among Baby Boomers, women were the clear trend drivers across all age groups.

Well, yes. What we’re seeing is the result of social engineering which has produced millions of middle-aged women who have impressive job titles and lots of money but are bereft of spiritual happiness, the sort which is more traditionally supplied by a partner, family, or going to church. How many of these women shelling out almost seventeen grand on “nourishing mind, body and soul” with a bunch of other women in Ladakh would prefer to be on a beach holiday with a man with whom they have a stable, loving relationship?

Google Trends also shows interest in solo travel has grown steadily over the past 10 years, but reports increased searches for “female solo travel” have only gained traction since 2013. The average monthly search volume for the term “solo female travel” grew by 52 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

As I said in my original post:

I’ve noticed you don’t see many middle-aged men going “travelling”, it’s nearly always women, and always alone. One possible answer for the latter is all their friends are tied-down with family and can’t take the time away, but most middle-aged single women have a whole rugby team who are in the same situation, so why don’t they go in a group? I suspect the reason they go on holiday alone and the reason they are single are one and the same: they’re either nuts or simply not much fun to be around.

What would be fun is seeing how many women on these group tours actually form lasting friendships with those they meet. I expect it’s very few.

And this amused (emphasis mine):

As for Trivedi, she’s looking forward to channelling plenty of lady power. “Women usually have the experience of little girl groups when we’re young; girls love to congregate,” she says. “As we get older, we lose that. Often we lose it to men, our partners – and then to children.

“So reconnecting to women you don’t know when you’re older is very powerful. Sharing stories is powerful and there’s no judgment. It’s about connectivity.”

This sounds for all the world like a holiday where divorced women come to bitch about their ex-husbands. Little wonder no men signed up.

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For every action there’s a reaction

A couple of weeks back, in the context of a professor who’d been reprimanded over a lame joke in a lift which upset a vinegar-drinking feminist, I said this:

If this keeps up, segregated workplaces will look like an increasingly attractive proposition. At the very least, sensible men will avoid certain women at all costs – and certain companies.

A few days ago, several readers alerted me to this article:

Call it the Pence Effect, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife. In finance, the overarching impact can be, in essence, gender segregation.

Well, yes. As I’ve mentioned before, the logical solution to the alleged problem that women are routinely sexually harassed at work by men is segregation of the sexes. And if men are placed in a situation whereby they can have their livelihoods ruined by a mere allegation from a woman, this segregation will be self-imposed.

Now, more than a year into the #MeToo movement — with its devastating revelations of harassment and abuse in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond — Wall Street risks becoming more of a boy’s club, rather than less of one.

So women demanded to work alongside men, then complained about how men behaved around them, and are now complaining men are avoiding them. I’m beginning to think there’s a grain of truth in some of those stereotypes.

“Women are grasping for ideas on how to deal with it, because it is affecting our careers,” said Karen Elinski, president of the Financial Women’s Association and a senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Co. “It’s a real loss.”

Having allowed the issue of women in the workplace to be hijacked by lunatic feminists bent on poisoning relations between the sexes, ordinary women are now finding their careers are suffering. Maybe they should have policed their own ranks a little better?

There’s a danger, too, for companies that fail to squash the isolating backlash and don’t take steps to have top managers be open about the issue and make it safe for everyone to discuss it, said Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison.

“If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment,” he said, “those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint.”

For the SJWs pushing this insanity, this is a feature not a bug. Their aim is to hold arbitrary power over men such that, no matter what they do or don’t do, their lives can be destroyed.

For obvious reasons, few will talk openly about the issue. Privately, though, many of the men interviewed acknowledged they’re channeling Pence, saying how uneasy they are about being alone with female colleagues, particularly youthful or attractive ones, fearful of the rumor mill or of, as one put it, the potential liability.

Men aren’t stupid, and they will create strategies which enable them to politely go through the motions with female colleagues just enough to avoid a discrimination suit, but otherwise keep their distance. Men are very good at doing this with men they don’t like, so it won’t be too hard to do it with women. For example:

A manager in infrastructure investing said he won’t meet with female employees in rooms without windows anymore; he also keeps his distance in elevators. A late-40-something in private equity said he has a new rule, established on the advice of his wife, an attorney: no business dinner with a woman 35 or younger.

The changes can be subtle but insidious, with a woman, say, excluded from casual after-work drinks, leaving male colleagues to bond, or having what should be a private meeting with a boss with the door left wide open.

There are as many or more men who are responding in quite different ways. One, an investment adviser who manages about 100 employees, said he briefly reconsidered having one-on-one meetings with junior women. He thought about leaving his office door open, or inviting a third person into the room.

This amused, however:

Finally, he landed on the solution: “Just try not to be an asshole.”

That’s pretty much the bottom line, said Ron Biscardi, chief executive officer of Context Capital Partners. “It’s really not that hard.”

Oh, you think being nice is going to protect you? Sure, not being an asshole will stand you in good stead with 99% of female employees, but as the article says:

“Some men have voiced concerns to me that a false accusation is what they fear,” said Zweig, the lawyer. “These men fear what they cannot control.”

So they’ll take back control. Instead of having formal events the men will just meet for drinks independently, inviting a few like-minded chaps from other firms around to dispel any charge they’re at a works function.

In this charged environment, the question is how the response to #MeToo might actually end up hurting women’s progress. Given the male dominance in Wall Street’s top jobs, one of the most pressing consequences for women is the loss of male mentors who can help them climb the ladder.

Oh dear. It turns out a movement accusing men of sexual harassment en masse has some drawbacks. Who would have thought?

“Advancement typically requires that someone at a senior level knows your work, gives you opportunities and is willing to champion you within the firm. It’s hard for a relationship like that to develop if the senior person is unwilling to spend one-on-one time with a more junior person.”

I brought this up in my latest podcast. In practice, career progression is made by one-on-one brown-nosing, which is often harder for women to do than men for precisely the reason it may be misconstrued. The answer is to stop using this as a method of personal advancement.

Men have to step up, she said, and “not let fear be a barrier.”

That ship sailed so long ago it’s circumnavigated the globe and is nudging us in the back. Over to you, ladies.

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Token Leaders

This story describes a good example of a widespread phenomenon:

Rep. Barbara Lee will be joining the House Democratic leadership team, filling a key void for the caucus after its elections earlier this week left the group without a woman of color in the top ranks.

Lee is expected to fill a new position being created by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to oversee the Steering and Policy Committee, the panel that determines committee assignments for Democrats.

The decision to elevate Lee comes as a group of House Democrats, disappointed by both Lee’s narrow loss in the race for caucus chair earlier this week and that lack of a woman of color in leadership, was planning to ask Pelosi to do just that.

Don’t have a minority in a position of leadership in your organisation? Well, just invent a new position, have a minority fill it, and pretend they are now a leader.

This phenomenon was discussed in yesterday’s podcast with William of Ockham, after he spoke of a highly-competent woman who found herself holding down a position which appeared to have been created just for her. When local content legislation started gaining traction in the various oil patches around the world, organisations ballooned as positions were invented to fill with locals allowing quotas to be met. I knew an Azeri who’d previously worked for BP in Baku who told me his department went from about 5 people to 15 even though its function and workload remained the same. He got out of there pronto.

If a functioning, profitable organisation is told to put more people of X in position Y, they are less likely to replace the Y incumbent with X than create new positions with the Y-label attached and fill them with X. So rather than prominent companies hiring female CEOs, they demonstrated their commitment to diverse leadership by elevating the HR function to director level. Some years back I attended a town hall meeting where the senior management of an oil major took questions from the drones on how they intended to deal with an extended period of low oil prices. The assembled big cheeses were all men, except for the HR representative. In the three hours that followed nobody asked her a single question, because unless there is a headcount reduction in the pipeline nobody cares what HR has to say. But as the session was drawing to a close the HR director seized the microphone and delivered a five minute monologue answering questions nobody asked. One must always justify one’s existence in an organisation.

This is probably why some people are agitating for diversity to be separated from HR into its own function: it will open up another female position in the (shudder) C-suite. A few weeks back, as part of my course, I was asked to read this article regarding the high turnover of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). It contained this gem of a line:

Let’s start with a simple question: What does a CMO actually do? Surprisingly, there is no clear, widely accepted answer.

Followed by:

In our research we’ve interviewed more than 300 executive recruiters, CEOs, and CMOs; conducted multiple CMO surveys; performed an analysis of 170 CMO job descriptions at large firms; and reviewed over 500 LinkedIn profiles of CMOs. We’ve discovered extreme variations in the responsibilities CMOs are given and in the skills, training, and experience of the people who occupy the role.

The article’s main thrust is that the CMO role is ill-defined and CEOs have no idea what to do with them. So how did we end up here? Well, just ask Nancy Pelosi.

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Lost generations

The other day David Thompson wrote a post on an article in New York magazine featuring various women whose marriages have fallen apart and they’re blaming it on political differences with their spouses. But a perusal of the article and David’s commentary suggests perhaps these women are simply unsuited to long-term relationships, being as they are selfish, deluded, and insistent on making everything in their lives political. There’s also more than a hint of mental illness at work. Consider this from a woman in – you guessed it – Brooklyn:

I’ve been sexually assaulted and raped, but for a long time I didn’t identify in that way. I didn’t like the idea of seeing myself as a victim. It’s only recently, with the amount of coverage [sexual assault has been getting] that I’ve realized, Oh, if I verbally dissented, just because I didn’t fight someone off doesn’t mean I wasn’t assaulted and raped.

You didn’t realise you’d been sexually assaulted and raped until the definition was expanded a year ago by hardcore feminists to include any sexual encounter which is not supervised by two woke lawyers and a (female) high court judge. Now perhaps this woman was raped and assaulted in the traditional sense of the terms, but I rather think if this were the case she’d have realised it immediately, not at the advent of a political movement. And what’s the betting she knew and admired the guy who supposedly assaulted her? Oh, wait:

My husband and I have been together 14 years and I’ve mentioned it vaguely, but I’ve never given him details, partly because one of the guys is still in my life, and they’re kind of friends.

Her husband is “kind of friends” with a guy who raped her? Yeah, Trump’s really the issue here.

Recently we had some friends over for dinner, and we had an argument about whether this kind of trial by mob that’s happened in the press is unfair. My friends, a man and a woman, took the position that a man shouldn’t have his reputation ruined because of an allegation. I disagreed, and as the conversation kept going, I got upset.

There’s a school of thought, held by misogynistic dinosaurs, that women cannot handle robust debate and burst into tears when pressed on a difficult topic. There’s another which says emotionally unstable women make poor dinner party guests.

Finally I said that it’s obvious none of them had been sexually assaulted,

Ah yes, the Natalia Antonova approach to debating.

Later my husband told me he thought my intellectual points were good, but he didn’t respond to the emotional outburst I had.

I imagine he was deeply embarrassed.

But really, I wish he would feel like, Fuck those guysI want to punch them. How dare somebody treat the woman I love like this? I hate that happened to you. That’s what I’m looking for.

You want your husband to start punching dinner guests because they disagree with your view that men aren’t entitled to due process when accused of rape?

I mean, I wrote to the man who assaulted me, the one who’s still in our lives. He said he didn’t remember, and that it turned his stomach to think I’d been carrying around this thought about him, but he fell short of accepting responsibility.

As with so many of these cases, this woman needs psychological help. Instead she’s got pandering journalists from New York magazine.

Sticking with the topic at hand, here’s a letter to an agony aunt:

I feel like a ghost. I’m a 35-year-old woman, and I have nothing to show for it. My 20s and early 30s have been a twisting crisscross of moves all over the West Coast, a couple of brief stints abroad, multiple jobs in a mediocre role with no real upward track. I was also the poster child for serial monogamy. My most hopeful and longest lasting relationship (three and a half years, whoopee) ended two years ago. We moved to a new town (my fourth new city), created a home together, and then nose-dived into a traumatic breakup that launched me to my fifth and current city and who-knows-what-number job.

To be fair to this lady, she’s at least tried to settle down into a normal life. What I suspect is lacking is a serious investigation as to why her relationships have gone wrong, particularly those parts for which she’s responsible.

For all these years of quick changes and rash decisions, which I once rationalized as adventurous, exploratory, and living an “original life,” I have nothing to show for it.

If this describes the period in which she was in her successive relationships, it explains a lot.

I have no wealth, and I’m now saddled with enough debt from all of my moves, poor decisions, and lack of career drive that I may never be able to retire. I have no career milestones and don’t care for my line of work all that much anyway, but now it’s my lifeline, as I only have enough savings to buy a hotel room for two nights. I have no family nearby, no long-term relationship built on years of mutual growth and shared experiences, no children. While I make friends easily, I’ve left most of my friends behind in each city I’ve moved from while they’ve continued to grow deep roots: marriages, homeownership, career growth, community, families, children.

She at least understands she has a problem and, crucially, that her situation is a result of her own poor decisions. This puts her much further down the road to recovery than most women in her position. Now the advice she gets from the agony aunt us beyond useless, which is a shame because she still seems to be living in cloud-cuckoo land:

I used to consider myself creative — a good writer, poetic, passionate, curious. Now, after many years of demanding yet uninspiring jobs, multiple heartbreaks, move after move, financial woes, I’m quite frankly exhausted. I can barely remember to buy dish soap let alone contemplate humanity or be inspired by Anaïs Nin’s diaries.

Sorry, but this sounds like a middle-class whine that your dreams of becoming an artist never came to fruition, probably because of a dearth of talent and an unwillingness to knuckle down and learn a discipline. What this has to do with your relationship status isn’t clear, but my guess is living with anyone with this mindset would become tiresome very quickly.

The thought that pops into my mind increasingly often is that young women have been appallingly advised, and the horrific results of this are now being laid bare. The trouble is they are still being given the same advice, and many of them are listening. I’m sometimes accused of being misogynistic or sexist for what I write on here, or what I say in the classroom. Whenever my motivations are questioned I simply say I believe the advice being dished out to young women will leave them disappointed, bitter, and desperately unhappy later on in life. I’ve got nothing against women, indeed I’m rather  fond of them, and I’d much prefer to see them living happy, fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, they’re having their heads filled with third-wave feminist garbage by people who see them as expendable pawns in a never-ending political battle they can’t win. Even some women seem to be realising the damage the malign influence of modern feminism is causing:

I’m 50 years old with four college degrees. I was raised by a feminist mother with no father in the home. My mother told me get an education to the maximum level so that you can get out in the world, make a lot of money. And that’s the path I followed. I make adequate money. I don’t make a ton of money. But I do make enough to support my own household.

I want to tell women in their 20s: Do not follow the path that I followed. You are leading yourself to a life of loneliness. All of your friends will be getting married and having children, and you’re working to compete in the world, and what you’re doing is competing with men. Men don’t like competitors. Men want a partner. It took me until my late 40s to realize this.

And by the time you have your own household with all your own bills, you can’t get off that track, because now you’ve got to make the money to pay your bills. It’s hard to find a partner in your late 40s to date because you also start losing self-confidence about your looks, your body. It’s not the same as it was in your 20s. You try to do what you can to make your life fulfilling. I have cats and dogs. But it’s lonely when you see your friends having children, going on vacations, planning the lives of their children, and you don’t do anything at night but come home to your cats and dogs. I don’t want other women to do what I have done.

The crucial line?

Men don’t like competitors. Men want a partner.

The sooner young women understand this, and learn to balance their careers with their long-term life goals, the better.

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Tasteless but legal

The French might be odd, but they can hold the line when they want to:

A French court has ruled that posters showing a woman tied to train tracks did not promote violence against women.

The posters were put up around the town of Béziers last December to celebrate the arrival of high-speed TGV trains. They carried the caption: “With the TGV, she would have suffered less.”

The ads faced a legal challenge from a number of feminist groups and criticism by France’s equality minister.

But the court said they were legal, despite the questionable humour.

Would a British court have ruled the same way? Maybe, but they’d have found some other way to get the advert removed (as Sadiq Khan did with billboards showing nice looking women on the London Underground).

But the far-right mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard, defended his campaign, accusing critics of “political correctness” and pointing to a history of such images in old films and cartoons.

After the French court threw out the complaint, Mr Ménard tweeted that the case had been “an inquisition in petticoats”.

Quite right too. Now I don’t know whether M. Ménard is actually far-right given the label is nowadays meaningless, but if so it’s rather illuminating that this is who we now rely on to advocate freedom of speech and push back against corrosive third-wave feminism.

The court in the southern city of Montpellier said the posters had been designed to provoke a reaction, and did not encourage violence against any specific group, including women.

Good. As I said after the Charlie Hebdo attack:

Nothing highlights the cultural gap between France and Britain more than the uncomfortable suspicion that Charlie Hebdo would not have lasted more than a year in the UK before being hounded out of business by the state and its backers in one form or another, as this article makes clear.

I have no confidence this advert would have been displayed in the UK. There’s a good chance anyone posting it would be charged with a hate crime.

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