Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

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Sister Socialist

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An incident from my early teens well illustrates a recurring problem both with the Left and with women. (But note that I am not saying, e.g., that there was a Leftist motivation involved. More likely is a mixture of the way some persons think, which, by all means, might make them more prone to become Leftists, and coincidence. The illustration remains good.)

I overheard my younger sister lobbying our mother for a larger allowance. Her main argument: she spent more money that I did; ergo, she should get more money.

Fortunately, Mother did not fall for this, but it is still noteworthy for the mentality shown, which, depending on perspective, well matches either a Leftist “to each according to [her] need” or the common female attitude of “I want something; ergo, I deserve it—and never mind that I have done nothing to actually earn it”. Moreover, consider:

  1. This way of determining allowances would in effect reward her for being wasteful and poor at budgeting, while punishing me for being careful with my money and prioritizing my purchases.
  2. It would also give flawed incentives, as she would then have every reason to spend even more (and, notably, using someone else’s earnings—Mother had worked for the money, my sister had not). Similarly, I would then learn that being thrifty did not pay and simply increase my spending to get the same, or an even larger, amount as/than my sister. (I was certainly not lacking in things that I wanted, including books and comics—I just remained within my means as they were.)

    Then there are the poor lessons for adult life to consider…

  3. If there had been some merit to her idea, the right conclusion would not have been to give her more money—she obviously was well set, not to say spoiled rotten, as it was. No, if at all, the conclusion would have been to give me less money, while keeping her money constant, to ensure that Mother had more and could spend it where needed.*

    *Note that putting this in an analogy of two citizens and the government, as I suspect that some Leftist readers would, would be highly misleading. With us, the money came from Mother to begin with, while we, at that age, did next to nothing to pull our own weight. With the citizens, they are the source of the money and the government the freeloader. On second thought, the analogy might be quite good, except that the government should be forced to repay unspent money…

  4. Particularly interesting is how she tried an, for want of a better term, “antagonistic” approach, pushing a “I deserve more money than my brother” angle. Notably, she asked for more money for herself, not for us, and she failed to approach me to see what we might have achieved together.

    Here, the joke is on her. While I do by no means guarantee that Mother would have agreed, had we approached her jointly, our chances would, knowing my mother, have been much better.

  5. Equally, her chances would have been much better, had she tried something along the lines of “Mother, can you help me earn money?” instead of “Mother, can I have more money?”. She did not. (Of course, if she had, she would have had to actually work for her money…)
  6. The “argument” used failed to consider buffers and savings.

    While the need for buffers is more urgent and more obvious for adults, it is present for children too. What if someone spends the last of this month’s allowance on ice-cream and a few minutes of eating*today and finds that a much more important and worthwhile purchase manifests tomorrow, say, a previously unreleased “Harry Potter” book? (Or whatever might match the individual priorities.)

    *This a good example of differences in spending habits: While I enjoyed ice-cream immensely, I only rarely spent money on it, understanding that it would be short-sighted for someone on a limited budget who otherwise received plenty of food (and some amount of ice-cream, sweets, whatnot) for free. My sister was less insightful, and could, maybe, have resolved her perceived money issues simply by focusing on items with a longer period of enjoyment.

    Similarly, why would savings, even if for non-buffer purposes, not count as a worthwhile use of an allowance? Maybe there will come a time when a bigger purchase is needed/wanted, and is it not better to pay oneself than to run to mother with a “Please, Mommy! Please! Please!”.

    Some, of course, are deliberately saving for some known bigger purchase to begin with. This was never the case with me, but an example is conceivable where someone saves for that big purchase and suddenly sees money dry up because “You don’t spend it, anyway. It is better that someone who needs it gets it.”, while the spending was actually just delayed. Ditto, that someone with a merely delayed spending does not receive the increase in allowance that a more “spend immediately” sibling does.

    If in doubt, money eventually not spent in younger years can come in handy during college or other first steps in the more adult world.*

    *Paralleling the principle behind the “small savings count” fallacy fallacy: Saving a Euro a week for ten years will not go far to pay U.S. college fees, but it can be a very nice helper for the everyday budget—and in a country like Sweden, with much, much smaller college fees, it can make a more substantial difference for the overall budget.

  7. From a radically different perspective, if my sister (or I) had received more money, would that have made things better? Maybe a little, and in the short term, but we were not in any material need, there is a diminishing return to owning more (even for books), too much ice-cream or candy can be outright unhealthy, and abundance can make it hard to appreciate what one does have—especially, for a child with more limited life-experience and perspectives than an adult.* If there, in this situation, was an underlying dissatisfaction, more money would hardly have cured it; if there was not, there was nothing that truly needed curing.

    *The “Little House on the Prairie” books provide an interesting contrast, where little girls are repeatedly overjoyed with a quantity of e.g. candy that would seem trivial by today’s, or our then, standards—and which was consumed slowly and with appreciation, while most modern children would have gulped it down and asked for more.

    Overlapping, I note a favorite saying of Mother’s: money is only important when you don’t have it. This does not hold for everyone, as many see money as important no matter how much they already have, but it probably holds for most, well matches my own attitude, and was said by someone who knew the difference between having and not having enough money from own experience.

Excursion on allowances vs. other benefits:
While not necessarily on topic, it can pay to consider how small a portion of the net value of having parents is formed by a typical allowance. There is food, clothing,* a roof over one’s head, being driven from point A to point B, Christmas and birthday gifts, being pampered when ill, and whatnot. A parent faced with a request for more money would be perfectly entitled to instead give a lecture on the topic. (And, while likely not welcome, such a lecture might have done more good than money in the long term. One thing that my sister and I had in common, and, I suspect, most other children and teens too, was a lack of appreciation for how much we actually were given in various forms.)

*In particular, when comparing the allowances used in different families or given to children of different ages in the same family, it is necessary to consider how much own costs apply, e.g. because the one might receive clothes and the other money to buy clothes. In our case, we probably did have less cash than our age-peers (on average), but it does not follow that we had it worse.

Excursion on my sister as a child vs. adult women:
As I grew older and gained some experience with women, I was often surprised to find how the attitudes and behaviors of my sister (and other girls) as a child manifested among the women. With hindsight, it is a shame that I did not pay more attention and tried to draw more lessons. For instance, once I was playing with her and a visiting girl. We debated what we would play, and there was a two-against-one in favor of “Remington Steele” (a big thing on TV at the time)—but my sister did not like the choice, and I tried to be kind by not insisting. The debate went on, and we landed at a new two-against-one for, maybe, “play house”. This time, I was the dissenter—and no mercy was shown in return. So, we played house.* This well reflects how one-sided such comprises and attempts to be kind have been on a number of occasions in both my own adult life and among what I have seen from the lives of others. (Come to think of it, this is also reminiscent of politics, e.g. through how Libertarians are loathe to have the majority force its will upon the minority, while Socialists have no such qualms.)

*Or, maybe, I ditched them—this was close to forty years ago and my memory is vague. I only remember the core of the incident through how absurd and unfair I found this behavior at the time.

Excursion on spending/saving and inter-sex variation:
An interesting question is how spending might vary between the sexes, who might, within this variation have greater needs or “needs”, and what the attitudes to saving vs. spending money are. Overall, this is too large a topic for an excursion, but I note that women tend to spend more, that women’s spending tend to be more geared at looking good, and that many have little feeling for what the actual value of something is.* I once saw the very telling (but highly anecdotal and second-hand) claim that when for-men magazines spoke of saving, they dealt with investment strategies and the like, while for-women magazines dealt with the benefits of saving, implying that women first had to be convinced that saving was a good idea… I have also, repeatedly, seen claims along the lines that “it is only fair that men pay for dates, because we women have all that extra cost to look good for them”,** with no regard for how men might prioritize artificial beauty vs. a woman’s willingness to pay her fair share—let alone how negatively they might feel about a lack of punctuality, an obsession with shoes, and similar.

*I would like to complement the old claim that “X knows the price of everything but the value of nothing” with “X takes the price of something as its value”. The latter often applies to women—and to those who use the former. More, I see the lesson for life as more valuable in the latter: here the focus is on those who overestimate the value of this-and-that, while the former points to those who underestimate the value (or, in real life, maybe just those with a more realistic view). Will buying, say, a 2-grand Gucci bag also buy 2 grands’ worth of happiness or would a cheap bag, a cappuccino, a new DVD, and still almost 2 grands in the bank, for a rainy day, be better?

**Interestingly, other women like to claim that “men are so conceited to actually think that we try to look good for them—we try to look good for ourselves”. Generally, many women seem to work on the premise that their individual preferences apply to all other women and that men are stupid for not adhering to these preferences—even when other women actually have radically different preferences.

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Written by michaeleriksson

November 27, 2022 at 11:57 pm

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Brownstone drops the ball / Follow-up: Why would trans-mania be an attack on women?

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A few days ago, I wrote a text on trans-mania vs. women ([1]) with the central issue:

Opponents of the trans-mania often criticize it for being “an attack on women” or some other thing relating specifically to women.

Why on women? Why not on men?

Today, I encountered an excellent example of this mis-characterization—and to boot one from Brownstone, which features on my current blogroll for its fight for COVID-sanity, but which repeatedly, as now, has included irrational and/or Leftist nonsense.* In this case, it is a massive case of Feminist propaganda and distortion, often trying to blame men for what women have done or the trans-movement for what Feminism has done (and which the trans-movement has merely continued and/or co-opted.) It is also, for the most part, extremely confused, poorly reasoned, and irrational drivel, which pretends to be non-Leftist, but manifestly shares too much of Leftist values and intellectual limits to be credible as such.

*Indeed, I have an almost completed text, intended as either a private email or an open letter to Brownstone, on this issue. To date, I have refrained from completing and sending/publishing it, because it seemed too finicky (for want of a better word) and “glass one-quarter empty” to me, but I might have to reconsider this in light of the below atrocity.

Specifically, Preferred Pronouns Lit the Path to Covid Science Denialism is chock-full of Feminist or quasi-Feminist propaganda (and contains few arguments to support its title*). To boot, it describes exactly the type of hypocrisy that I address in an excursion to [1] (which I repeat towards the end, due to its high relevance). To look at some portions of the text:**

*Indeed, while a more general idea (that various Leftist, PC, Woke, and or Feminist attacks on science, reason, language, whatnot might have lit the path) has some plausibility, reducing this to just “Preferred Pronouns”, or the trans-mania overall, is nonsensical and indicates either a gross ignorance of what has gone before, for decades, or a deliberate attempt to distort history.

**Some formatting changed for technical reasons. Various oddities were present in the original.

The no-limit trans spectrum seems to run from genuine gender confusion to fetishism, perversion, paedophilia, child abuse, misogyny and denial of female same-sex attraction in the insistence that lesbians who refuse to have sex with trans-males are transphobic and gender-critical lesbians are TERFS.

Note how “misogyny” is included, but not “misandry”; how lesbians are included, but not gays; and how “gender-critical lesbians” are singled out over both “gender-critical gays” and those gender-critical in general. Extreme and extremely irrational reactions to the gender-critical is not limited by sex or sexual preference. To paint it as such is intellectually dishonest and misleads the readers. The best that can be said in defense of the author is that “TERF” is the only actual label that I recall. Moreover, these reactions are only variations of the types of reactions that Feminists have shown against their critics for decades, until the trans-movement took over as a more successful user. Indeed, the trans-movement is in many ways just an off-shot of the Feminist and/or LGB movement.*

*Note the difference between being an L, G, or B and being a part of the LGB movement. I have nothing against the former, but little more than contempt for the latter (in its modern incarnation; the state in the days of Harvey Milk, e.g., might have been very different). Ditto being T vs. being part of the T-movement. (The same applies to women vs. Feminists, of course, but far fewer run the risk of conflating the two.)

As to the specific claim “lesbians who refuse to have sex with trans-males* are [denounced as] transphobic”: It is unclear how often this situation would naturally arise, and whether it is a legitimate problem, as there is no need for anyone to give a reason to refuse sex with a non-partner. Instead of saying, e.g., “I’m not having sex with a man! Yuck!” just go with some of the usual reasons or excuses that a straight woman might use towards a straight man (and, I suspect, a lesbian woman towards another lesbian woman). Yes, issues of “it’s you; not me” do happen in the wake of failed sexual approaches—many straight men, me included, have at some point been called “gay” (or similar) for turning a woman down. Firstly, however, not so often that it is truly a reason for complaint.** Secondly, as can be seen, there is nothing male or trans about such accusations.

*Which I contextually take to imply men-who-want-to-be-women, as the sentence becomes quite odd if the gender-maniacs preferred women-who-want-to-be-men-and-therefore-ARE-men is applied. (I strongly favor the men-who-want-to-be-women meaning myself. No PC group has the right to co-opt existing words to distort language. If they want a word for a new concept, they should pick a new word—not an old word already associated with an old concept.)

**An interesting difference between women and men, as well as, m.m., between “grievance” groups and others, is that women often make a storm in a teacup over something that men tend to shrug off. Similarly, women seem to often attribute motivations and whatnots in an unwarranted manner. For instance, if male driver A steals a parking spot from driver B, a male B would typically react with “Asshole!”, while a female B (or “Feminist female B”?) might well land at “He is a misogynistic pig, who only stole that parking spot because I am a woman and he thinks that women don’t count!”.

As an aside, I have long speculated that it is only a matter of time before straight men who do not want to have sex with gay men are condemned as homophobic. I am not aware of any such case to date, but the idea of calling lesbians transphobic in the corresponding scenario seems like nothing more than a natural evolution of the LBG movements. In many ways, here and elsewhere, a traditional group of aggressors is finding itself on the receiving end and does not like this dose of its own medicine. (Also see excursion.)

Many of us are still trying to puzzle out with Covid just what happened. How did we ignore science and reject data to get to where we are? Well, before Covid, the trans movement was the single most successful drive to displace science and data with ideological dogma, at least in the West.

No. The most successful drive to displace science and data with ideological dogma was, is, and remains Feminism! (Cf. any number of older texts.)

This quote is followed by a list of examples, beginning with “Elevation of feelings above facts, dogma over data”—which has been a core issue with Feminists for decades before the trans-movement took off (and with e.g. many Post-Modernists, PC social “scientist”, Leftists, whatnot; as well as with many women in general). The same applies to most other entries in this list, be it directly or after adjusting for details. Consider e.g. “The laws then being used to coerce citizens into compliance”, “Shame being used as a key psychological tool of emotional manipulation” and “The partnership with Big Tech to ‘fact-check,’ censor and disappear contrary viewpoints”. (See the original text for the full list.)

What Peterson asserted as his freedom of speech [regarding use of pronouns] was denounced by opponents as hate speech.

Again, something that is extremely common with e.g. Feminists, although the exact denunciation can vary (e.g. “misogyny” instead of “hate speech”). The trans-movement is just one of many Leftist movements that uses such intellectually dishonest denunciations, sloganeering, and similar in lieu of factual arguments and on a large scale.

Language matters, for it controls the narrative. The war against women’s identity, rights, privacy and dignity is lost once you accept the science fiction of addressing a 6’6’ bearded man with a functioning male organ which he will proudly display in a woman’s spa, regardless of how embarrassed and offended the Korean-American girls and women in there might feel, as ’she/her.’

Yes, language matters.* However, the rest is cheap Feminist rhetoric. What war against women’s this-and-that? There is no such war. This is nothing more than Feminist nonsense. Indeed, if (!) there is a war on either of the sexes today, men would have the greater claim of being the victims, as natural male norms and behaviors are increasingly condemned, school and college is increasingly geared towards women, as women receive many an artificial leg up at the cost of men, etc. The frequency of misleading and sexist unwords like “mansplaining” and “toxic masculinity” alone should be enough to set off the alarm bells. Also note how the author gives an example of a man in a woman’s setting, but fails to give a woman in a man’s setting. (A few minutes before reading the text under discussion, I encountered an article on a girl in the boys’ locker room and how a man was being punished for daring to object.)

*In fact, I have an own text in the pipeline, using examples like “gender-assigned at birth” and the risk that the eventual conclusion, if and when this type of thinking has become the norm through such language distortion, is “stop assigning gender at birth”.

Big headline of Feminist sloganeering with no support through actual arguments:

Men Erasing Women

Then:

The idea behind the move to preferred pronouns is that everyone’s own conception of their* gender identity deserves the protection of law. The unintended and perverse yet entirely predictable consequence is that the wilful suspension of biological reality with pretend facts is a threat to women.

*Note how the author implicitly and hypocritically supports similar PC ideas by abusing “their”. This is an example of “gender-neutral” language, which the author (cf. below) claims to reject.

The author neither establishes that this is a threat to women, nor is any hint given as to why men would not be equally threatened, if a threat exists. (See [1] for more on this.)

There is good reason to create women-only safe spaces in toilets, changerooms, refuges, crisis services, prisons and sports*.

*As “changerooms” is a separate item, I take this to imply that men and women should remain in different competitive classifications, e.g. in that there are separate medals for men and women at the Olympics. If the intention is something else, adjustment of my text might be needed.

Maybe there is in some cases, but (barring sports) the same applies to men—I do not want some strange woman ogling me when I am naked, for example. Refuges and crisis services seem a disputable example, one of the many cases where Feminists have driven a hard and defamatory line of “women need protection from evil men”, where men’s services are much more limited, and despite the fact that women are slightly more likely to perpetrate domestic violence than men, the fact that men are much more likely to be victims of male violence than women, etc. The use of the borderline shibboleth “safe spaces” might be an indication that the author has a flawed Leftist worldview and/or has grown up in an over-coddling environment.

Efforts to use the full force of the law to coerce and compel everyone to genuflect to biologically false facts is reminiscent of communist totalitarian systems where people must show obeisance to party diktats or risk the public humiliation of show trials, confession of errors and spells in re-education camps.

This is a typical Leftist/Feminist/whatnot tactic, which has nothing to do with specifically the trans-movement. (Except that we might sometimes have to replace “biologically” with the more generic “scientifically”.)

Their intolerant and belligerent demand amounts to: pay us the respect due to us men as self-identifying women, or we will make you pay for your lack of respect.

And again.

The “preferred pronouns” culture feeds into and enables abusive men while silencing their victims. Irish teacher Enoch Burke has preferred to go to prison rather than address a trans-male student as “they” instead of “he.” J K Rowling mocks bearded males defining what a woman is.

What abusive men?!? What victims?!? This screams of Feminist hate propaganda. The pronoun nonsense has been driven by women from the beginning, while the few who have taken a stand against it have disproportionately been men, like I or the aforementioned Peterson. Indeed, the author gives yet another man, Enoch Burke, as an example of a victim—likely in the mistaken impression that he was a woman.* Bearded men do not (try to re-)define what a woman is—a general, non-sex specific, trans-movement does. To try to shove this onto specifically men is idiotic. The repeated references to bearded men have a light of the absurd, as if emphasizing a traditional male attribute would have any bearing on the discussion, and as if the typical man-who-wants-to-be-a-woman is paradoxically wearing a beard instead of shaving as closely as he can.

*To make certain, as names can sometimes be misleading, I have checked on Wikipedia ([2]).

Too many have been cowed into silence and go along meekly with the claim that “penis holders” are really women, men can become pregnant, doctors, nurses and midwives must be trained to help men give birth, trans-males committing rapes must be documented as women rapists, and males self-identifying as women must be allowed to compete in women’s competitive sports despite decisive biological advantages in size, strength and stamina.

While not wrong, this paragraph shows the incoherence and lack of reasoning of the author: the idea that men can become pregnant/give birth is based on women-wanting-to-be-men being classified as men, which under no circumstances can be seen as an argument for the author’s ideas.

In effect men are once again deciding all the core rights about women. On the one hand, none of this would be possible without first denying that sex is a biological fact that cannot be subsumed under gender as a social construct. On the other, once the preferred pronoun movement is appeased in law, what defence is left against its extreme claims?

And more hateful Feminism. How the HELL are men deciding core rights of women, when a woman-driven off-shot of a woman-driven Feminist/PC movement redefines language? The idea that men would do so again is another sign of Feminist propaganda and a hateful and horrifyingly distorted Feminist worldview. Gender as a social construct, etc.? Again, just an application of Feminist, Post-Modern, whatnot reality distortion to another area—for which women carry a greater or far greater responsibility than men.

“Gender-neutral” language is neither neutral nor inclusive but anti-woman. It erases more than half of humanity as a distinct category and excludes their rights to safety, dignity and privacy.

And yet more Feminist bullshit. Why would it be anti-woman instead of or in addition to anti-man?!? Why would “half of humanity” (implied: women) be erased and not the other half?!? And, again, note that “gender-neutral” language is something created by and forced onto society by Feminists, not the trans-movement. I was, myself, complaining about “gender-neutral” language, maybe, fifteen years ago.

By the way, remember that old-fashioned “manly” virtue? Unconsciously, the wokerati have confirmed the point by putting on a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre no less, that portrays Joan of Arc as a trans — because no woman could have been that brave and soldierly — with accompanying “they/them” pronouns. As the (fictional) Titania McGrath tweeted: “A female Joan of Arc would have been too busy knitting, gossiping and shopping for shoes to fight the English.” To coin a phrase, this is “literally violence” against English language and literature. But the same theatre has also done this to Elizabeth 1, one of England’s greatest queens.

So, we have one or two decades of men being replaced by women in traditionally male roles in fiction, often including recasts of long-established-as-male characters, not to mention a similar “Black washing” of White characters and artificial introduction of homo- or bisexuality to heterosexual characters,* and suddenly one single instance of a woman being moved from regular woman to trans is worthy of criticism—while Feminists have kept quiet or outright lauded the earlier distortions. The claim in the text is, of course, entirely invalidated by these prior distortions, as the 100-pound teenage girl who beats up 200-pound adult men is bordering on a cliche by now.

*“Doctor Who” will shortly be an example of all three, as a bisexual, a woman, and a black man. I seem to recall Feminists being ecstatic over the casting of Jodie Whittaker. And, yes, I have seen calls for the next Bond to be a woman.

Another good example of an unintended consequence comes from Scotland. A 66-year old male blood donor Leslie Sinclair, who has given blood for nearly 50 years, was turned away this year because he refused to answer a pre-donation question on his pregnancy status.

And what sex is now being erased, the male or the female? If a man cannot turn down a question that has a self-evident answer for any man, then that is a far stronger sign of the male sex being erased than anything the author provided to support the idea that the female sex would be erased.

Excursion on the sex of the author:
In an almost comical twist, I have to raise some doubts as to the sex of the author. Going by the style of writing, the weak reasoning, the Feminist propaganda, etc., I took it for granted that the text was written by a woman—and I doubt that many men would and could have written a text like this. Nevertheless, when I hit the byline, the author was given as “Ramesh Thakur”, with “Ramesh” being a man’s name. What is behind this, I do not know, but it certainly makes an exceptionally odd text even odder.

Excursion on female hypocrisy and censorship:
In [1], I had an excursion on female hypocrisy and censorship, which I, in light of the above, repeat here:

An interesting phenomenon over the last few years is that women, even Feminists, who have remained conspicuously silent, or even positive, whenever men have been victim of Feminist censorship and cancellation attempts, suddenly speak out for freedom of speech and object against censorship—now that women and/or Feminists are increasingly on the receiving end from other PC groups. (Note e.g. the debates around J.K. Rowling.) To these, I say: You did not speak up when first they came—and now they have come for you. Enjoy a dose of your own medicine and learn your lesson.

Excursion on fake men-who-want-to-be-women:
Some of the examples given in the text, if taken at face value, could point to non-trans individuals who abuse the possibilities that the trans-movement has opened. For instance, if we do find a bearded man waving his penis in the women’s locker room, chances are that he is not trans to begin with, and only uses the claim to get into the locker room. While this is a bad thing, it is only indirectly related to the trans-movement, and care should be taken when assigning blame.

Excursion on other factors than male/female:
A further complication from a man’s point of view is that many of the problems that Feminists ascribe to men, period,* are actually caused by smaller subgroups of men. For instance, in the U.S. the relative rate of rapists is much higher among Black men than among White men—something that goes carefully unmentioned in Feminist propaganda and, in turn, often creates the impression of “White men are rapists”, when the brunt of the responsibility actually rests with Black men.**/*** The increase of rapes in Sweden due to extensive immigration was long used by Feminists to decry how men were being meaner and meaner towards women, but to mention the actual cause was to ask for excommunication. I have never seen any racial (or other) statistic on bearded penis-wavers, but it would be entirely unsurprising if something similar applies, and, if so, complainers should direct their complaints where they belong, not raise blanket accusations against a far larger group.

*For instance, I grew up hearing Feminist claims like “all men are rapists”, which is extremely contrafactual. (Also note that many alleged problems are gross misrepresentations to begin with, as with e.g. the 77-cents-on-the-dollar bullshit, or considerably exaggerated, as with e.g. the frequency of rape.)

**But, of course, even among Black men, rapists are a minority—just a larger minority than for White men. Even in the subset of specifically Black men, the Feminist defamatory propaganda does not hold.

***Also note the extreme aversion that the press in many countries has against mentioning the ethnicity/race/whatnot of non-White perpetrators, and how keen they are on mentioning the ethnicity/race/whatnot of non-White victims.

Written by michaeleriksson

October 28, 2022 at 8:55 am

Why would trans-mania be an attack on women?

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Opponents of the trans-mania often criticize it for being “an attack on women” or some other thing relating specifically to women.

Why on women? Why not on men?

When we look at specifically sports and the attempt to force biological men into women’s competitions then, yes, I can see the point. But what about all other areas? How, e.g., would women be worse off career-wise through some male colleagues suddenly manifesting as men-who-want-to-be-women than men would be from female colleagues manifesting as women-who-want-to-be-men? Barring the possibility that women lose an artificial advantage* of being hired/promoted for being women to these men-who-want-to-be-women or that transgenders/-sexuals would have a greater artificial advantage, there is no obvious reason for a difference. (This assuming, of course, that such a manifestation would be negative for anyone—and, outside the possibility of pro-trans** discrimination, I see no obvious reason why such negativity should manifest.) Forget the office and look at science, politics, literature, music, art, and whatnot: Where is the actual female disadvantage? (Unless, again, we assume that women would simply lose an artificial advantage over men.)

*You believe that women actually have an artificial disadvantage? Then you are blind to the world or a victim of Feminist lies—but even if you were right, it would only strengthen my case.

**You find anti-trans discrimination more likely? Based on what I have seen so far, I would tend to disagree—but even if you were right, it would, again, only strengthen my case.

Men-who-want-to-be-women gathering honors that rightfully should be women’s, like most successful female Jeopardy participant or first woman to X? Well, outside of sports, this argument would backfire severely, because it is based on the assumption that men, at least at the top, are better at this-and-that than women, or else there would be no need for women to fear the new male competition over the old female competition. In as far as men are better, on the other hand, the disadvantage would only arise through prior special treatment of women, which is now weakened, just as if male and female athletes were to compete together as a matter of course. In sports, such a division might be justified,* but why should it be present elsewhere? Why e.g. would someone who is simultaneously the first woman and the tenth human to accomplish something be rated above the ninth, let alone second, man and human to do the same thing?** And why is being the first woman more important than being, e.g., the first Swede, the first red-head, the first teenager, the first Aspie, the first whatnot?

*Boxers and wrestlers have weight classes. Junior athletes have different competitions from full-grown men. Human runners do not compete against horses. Etc. Separate competitions and whatnot for men and women is nothing remarkable in this context.

**While I have not kept an example, I have seen several cases on Wikipedia where an entire paragraph is spent describing that some woman was the first woman to X—and a single sentence follows describing how some man, years or decades earlier, was the first human. This effectively rates a female late-comer above even the first human. A sane encyclopedia would give the first human the paragraph and the precedent in the text. The first woman would only warrant such attention if she actually were the first human.

Would transitioners somehow diminish the nature of womanhood? If they do, why would it not equally diminish the nature of manhood? (And is being a woman, as opposed to e.g. a human, a Brit, a teacher, a parent of two, that important to begin with? That seems like an unhealthy attitude to me. Also see excursion.)

There are more male transitioners than female? The statistics and more informal claims that I have seen so far* have been inconsistent, but overall it seems to me that the largest demographic of transitioners and those contemplating a transition is found among teenage girls.

*Admittedly, not much, as I have not had an interest in this sub-issue.

Does a sex-change operation destroy individual women by removing their womanhood and future ability to reproduce? Maybe it does destroy, maybe it does not—but if “does”, how is that different from what happens to a man who undergoes a sex-change operation? (Here, admittedly, a preponderance of teenage girls might have some relevance, but as they are not forced at gun point, the “attack on women” angle is still very hard to argue.)

All in all, if (!) we consider trans-this-and-that an attack on either sex, then I have yet to see a reason why it would be an attack on one sex and not both.

Excursion on being a man, woman, non-binary, whatnot first:
I am, frankly, a bit puzzled by the whole non-binary thing and the obsession with the difference between being X, Y, and Z. I cannot speak for the sum of humanity, of course, but I do not go around thinking “I am a man!” any more than “I am right-handed!”, and the consciousness of being a man only rarely has an effect on my behavior and my decisions. It does/did not govern what I do with my spare time, what I studied at uni, whether I am interested in women or men,* whom I support politically, etc. It might have some effect on what I wear, but I find much of what women wear sufficiently silly that I would likely not make a U-turn if I were or felt like a woman—the lady is not for turning.** From that point of view, the difference between me and someone who identifies as non-binary is actually quite small and the entire idea of being non-binary borders on being redundant and pointless, almost as if someone were to invent a new label for being a perfectly ordinary human.

*Being a biological male does increase the probability that I prefer women over men, but the fact that I do is, in terms of classifications and labels, ultimately a matter of my sexuality, not my sex or “gender”. Similar claims might apply to some other point, e.g. my spare-time habits.

**A phrase that I have heard about once a day for the last few weeks, courtesy of U.K. politics.

More generally, I think of myself as myself—not, unless the context calls for it, a man, a Swede, a writer, a blogger, a whatnot. I was born in Sweden, but who cares? Writing and blogging is less a matter of who I am and more of what I, from time to time, do. Etc. I suspect that if more forgot about all such labels and mere aspects of their lives, and instead focused on who they are as whole individuals, many of the current insanities would disappear with one stroke, including pronoun nonsense, identity politics, intersectionality, “you must vote Democrat or you are not Black”, “you must vote for Hillary if you are a woman”, …

Excursion on female hypocrisy and censorship:
An interesting phenomenon over the last few years is that women, even Feminists, who have remained conspicuously silent, or even positive, whenever men have been victim of Feminist censorship and cancellation attempts, suddenly speak out for freedom of speech and object against censorship—now that women and/or Feminists are increasingly on the receiving end from other PC groups. (Note e.g. the debates around J.K. Rowling.) To these, I say: You did not speak up when first they came—and now they have come for you. Enjoy a dose of your own medicine and learn your lesson.

Written by michaeleriksson

October 25, 2022 at 9:19 pm

The 2021 and 2022 Nobel Prizes

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It has been two years since my last update. With the recent announcements of the 2022 Prizes, it is time to catch up:

The main purpose of these texts is to keep track of female wins. Last time around, I speculated that something might have changed, in light of 2020 and 2018 being exceptionally good years for women. However, 2021 only saw one female Laurate and 1/2* Prize, and this only a Peace Prize, the most political and arbitrary of the six. (Male Laurates: 12. Male Prizes: 5 1/2.) For 2022, we have two female Laurates and 1 1/3 Prize, through the often political and arbitrary Literature Prize and a share of the Chemistry Prize. (Male Laurates: 10. Male Prizes: 4. The Peace Prize was shared between a man and two organizations, which explains the lower totals.)

*Note that Prizes are often shared. In 2021 and 2022, the other co-winners are all male.

Discounting the useless Peace and Literature Prizes, we land at (2021) 0 women to 7 or 10 men, depending on whether the extracurricular Economics Prize is counted, and 0 Prizes to 3 or 4, respectively (2022) 1 woman to 6 or 9 men and 1/3 Prize to 2 2/3 or 3 2/3.

This, combined with the historical record, points to 2020 and 2018 being anomalies, be it through chance, political pressure,* or some other reason.

*As in the committees being pressured to select women, resisting the pressure up to a point, and then caving, which might reduce the pressure for a few years.

In 2020, I noted a pattern of approximately alternating male and female winners in the Literature Prize. I pointed particularly to an eight-year sequence of F M F M M F M F, which is now a ten-year sequence of F M F M M F M F M F—conspicuous to say the least. This weakens 2022 further from a female perspective, as the Literature win might have been the result of an informal quota, the winner, if so, being the most worthy* woman—not the most worthy human.

*To some approximation. Awards are always somewhat arbitrary and my opinion of specifically the Nobel-Literature (ditto, -Peace) committee is quite low. I note e.g. that Annie Ernaux, the 2022 winner, going by some Internet discussions, is strongly Leftist and anti-Israel, which could point to an additional complication of being awarded less for literary merit and more for having the “right” opinions—a suspicion that applies to a number of earlier winners, including Bob Dylan. (It does not help that I have no recollection of even hearing her name, prior to this win, but that is not a knock-out criterion for someone who writes in French.)

Disclaimer:
I originally misinterpreted the 2022 Peace Prize as being shared between two organizations (Ales Bialiatski Memorial and Centre for Civil Liberties), and wrote this text based on that assumption. Discovering, at the last minute, that Ales Bialiatski is a living person and independent Laurate, and that “Memorial” is the full name of the organization, I have made some minor changes, but cannot rule out resulting, undiscovered, errors and inconsistencies.

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October 10, 2022 at 7:24 pm

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Rachel from “Friends” / Follow-up: Speculations on the negative influence of female attitudes

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After watching the next episode (S05E01), I have to make a small addendum in Emily’s defense to my previous text:

I had entirely forgotten about her catching Ross about to go (at least officially platonically) with Rachel on what should have been Ross and Emily’s honeymoon. With that misunderstanding, Ross’s behavior must have appeared much more incriminating to her, which makes her later behavior a little more understandable.

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July 5, 2021 at 11:52 pm

Rachel from “Friends” / Follow-up: Speculations on the negative influence of female attitudes

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I am currently re-watching “Friends”, and (as always) find it full of examples* of poor female behavior, many reflecting the political problems I suspect in e.g. [1]—as well as a male failure to hold women to a reasonable standard and to take a stand, which could also contribute to political issues. This in particular regarding Rachel and Ross and her double-standards, self-centeredness, disregard for the interests of others, and unwillingness to take personal responsibility. Rachel: Me! Me! Me! Ross: You! You! You!

*I caution that “Friends” is in many ways exaggerated and unrealistic, but many of the behaviors of both sexes match what I have experienced myself or seen/heard/read from others reasonably well in quality, if not necessarily quantity.

Consider the last few episodes that I watched, centering on Ross and Emily’s London wedding. Examples include Rachel flying to London to wreck the wedding,* Emily freaking out about a venue problem to the point that she wants to postpone the wedding, leaving a number of overseas (and probably dozens more local) guests with wasted trips and parents with an expensively paid wedding, and Monica supporting this selfish idiocy—while Ross tries to take a stand, only to cave in the face of what amounts to “But this is really, really important to a woman/girl of five!”. That the woman was in singular and the guests in plural, that any sane person considers the marriage** far more important than the wedding, and that we sometimes have to swallow the bitter pill and do what is right, not what we want or what is easy, did not seem to figure into the equation.

*To her credit, she comes to her senses, possibly partially due to a stern talking to from Hugh Laurie (a man who took a stand). That the wedding ends up being wrecked (in the next season) was not her fault.

**Eventually, the wedding took place and the marriage crashed and burned in short order. Of course, the wedding did not take place because someone talked sense into Emily, but because Ross went out of his way to fix up the ruined original venue to cater to her childish ideas.

As to Ross’s classic line “I take thee, Rachel”, which crashed the marriage: I have considerable sympathies for Emily, as this must have been both humiliating and infuriating, but would not a reasonable person in a deep and loving relationship have been able to move past it? Either she was unreasonable for not doing so or for having pushed for a ceremony at a far too early date, before the two knew each other and the depth or shallowness of their love well enough.*

*Note that while Ross pushes harder for the marriage, per se, the extremely short time between proposal and wedding is Emily’s doing—and for a childish and superficial reason (wanting to be married in a particular venue, before it is torn down; again, missing the point of the marriage being more important than the wedding). With another few months to more than a year of engagement, they would have had so much better chances to straighten themselves out or to terminate a mere engagement instead of an actual marriage.

As to Rachel, in general, she is indeed a horrible, horrible woman (to paraphrase Hugh Laurie) and her personality defects ruined most of the Ross–Rachel saga for me. Her very first appearance on the show follows her running out on her own wedding, still in her wedding dress, and more-or-less assuming that she can move in with Monica, whom she had not dignified with her friendship in years (with some reservations for ret-cons).*

*And note that when Chandler does something similar, much later, he is talked back into the wedding, while Rachel was not. If anything, the general sentiment seems to be that Rachel did the right thing—no matter the damage to the groom, the guests, and the whatnot. By all means, she should not get married against her own convictions, but if she were to back out, she should have done so earlier, when the damage to others would have been small, and not on a last minute whim, when the costs for others were large.

Among her many other idiocies and selfish behaviors, I will give only three (watch an episode at random, if you want more):

Firstly, the whole “Were they on a break?” situation: Watch the relevant episodes, and you will find that immediately after the event Rachel (!) claimed that they were on a break, while Ross thought that they were broken up. Over time, Ross appears to have been a chicken and switched to Rachel’s position (on a break), with the effect that Rachel pushed her own position further to his disadvantage (not on a break). (Incidentally, this is another thing that well matches the current political Left. Give them an inch and they next demand an ell, instead of giving an inch of their own.)

Secondly, the events leading up to Ross’s drinking fat as an act of contrition:* Ross is in a hurry to get to an important event, likely one of career relevance to him, with her as his guest. She utterly disrespects** him and his justified (!) urgency with endless and unnecessary delays, eventually throws a childish fit, refuses to come and/or to dress, and behaves as if he had disrespected her … Eventually, in one of the most absurd scenes of television, the adult man has to earn the forgiveness of the spoiled child by drinking fat.

*That episode pisses me off to such a degree that I skipped most of it, this time around. I make corresponding reservations for vagueness and errors in detail.

**Note the hypocrisy and how the women on the show take the exact opposite attitude on so many occasions, when they are the ones believing something to be important. This is a good example of how turning the male and female roles in a certain situation around can be extremely revealing about the pro-woman double-standard that applies in much of modern society (and modern TV). Have a man be cavalier about an important career event (or a wedding!) and women hit the roof over the alleged egoistical pig. When a woman is cavalier? Not so much.

Thirdly, appearing to accept Ross back as her boyfriend, making him break up with his new girlfriend (Bonnie?)—and then springing an 18-page letter (“Front and back!”) upon Ross, making unconditional demands on him that he must accept in order to be her boyfriend. (Notably, demands that he disagrees strongly with.) As she had made him dump Bonnie, this was utterly unreasonable. If she had such demands, she should have brought them in play before the dumping, to give him an informed choice; after, she had made her bed and should have been forced to lie in it, to take responsibility for her own lack of timing. And what about poor Bonnie—either which way?

Excursion on Emily and red flags:
Looking at Emily, she had a number of earlier events, including in her very first scene, when she comes across as bitchy, but most of them, at least when taken alone, seemed to have legitimate causes. That someone is in a bad mood after a long plane ride, followed by a body-cavity search, followed by falling into a puddle, followed by (apparently) being stood up is understandable.* However, with hindsight, they could be seen as early warning signs, and it might pay to take such warning signs seriously in real life. For instance, if a girlfriend flips out once a week, chances are that a better wife can be found and that a proposal should not take place. (And, certainly, the current disastrous political situation follows decades of warning signs that have been ignored by too many until it was too late.)

*To some approximation her state during that first scene. I might have the details wrong, however.

Excursion on the Left and a childish worldview/moral system:
It strikes me again and again that most people on the left move on an apparent level of (not just women but) children in terms of how undeveloped their worldviews and moral systems tend to be. Pick up a typical children’s book or comic and chances are that exactly their type of thinking will be found, e.g. in that the protagonist is always (morally) right, that the “strong” must selflessly help the “weak” without looking into why help is needed, that the “strong” are always wrong in a conflict with the “weak”, that if the one has then he must share, etc. To some part, this might be because the authors are disproportionately often Leftist, but mostly, I suspect, it is simply that Leftists often have not moved on from ideas popular with children. Compare this with e.g. Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.

An interesting case is the Swedish comic “Bamse”, which features an eponymous bear who gains superpowers by eating a particular type of honey (similar to Pop-Eye and his spinach). Either the “bad guys” do what Bamse want, or they are beaten up—with no sign of true moral reflection, e.g. about who is in the wrong and who is in the right. (With reservations for what might have changed in the comic since my own childhood.)

Excursion on Ross and errors:
Ross was by no means ideal either, even if we disregard his weakness and how easily manipulated he was, but, interestingly, the one (off the top of my head!) truly major point where I find him in error, saw him acting in a manner more stereotypically expected of a woman and Rachel of a man: out of jealousy or love he kept pestering Rachel in her office, leading up to an attempt to force her to an anniversary (?) picnic in her office, at a time when she made clear that she had a crisis to handle and that he simply had to wait. Of course, if we switch the roles again, with Ross in the office and Rachel pestering him, chances are that she would have reacted even more negatively than Ross did—and that the female viewers would have lined up to support her.

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July 4, 2021 at 10:10 pm

The 2020 Nobel Prizes: Women and the Nobel Prize

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I have traditionally posted on the Nobel Prizes and women once a year. I had not intended to do so this year, as I have more-or-less closed this blog. However, the results of 2020 were unusually interesting, and I will make an exception. I might or might not make future exceptions.

(I refer to earlier years for background, assumptions, etc.)

Looking at the three core Prizes, women provided 3 out of 8 Laureates and took 1.25 out of 3 Prizes, including the entire Chemistry Prize and a share of the Physics Prize—both of which are historically quite rare.

Considering 2018, there might be some change underway:* The female Laureates of 2018 and 2020 have doubled the number of female winners in Physics from two to four and almost doubled the Chemistry winners from four to seven. Moreover, the 2020 Chemistry Prize was won without joint male Laureates, which is a further rarity.

*Or just coincidence. If there is change, I leave unstated what type of change, for want of sufficient data. (But I note that I am highly skeptical to ideas like “STEM fields oppress women”, which was an original motivation in this series.)

The last ties in well with a portion of my discussion from 2019: The possibility that some women* have received a (partial) Prize more through having the right husband or male team-member(s) than through own merit. Here there is little risk of that.

*Men too, obviously, but in the context of the proportions of male respectively female winners, these would have a far smaller impact.

The “extra-curricular” Economy Prize went to two men; while the out-of-competition Literature and Peace Prizes went to a woman respectively an organization. We, then, have a total of 4 women to 7 men and 2.25 Prizes to 2.75. Whether looking at the core Prizes or the overall situation, this is arguably the best women’s year of all times.

Excursion on Literature:
Unfortunately, I suspect that some type of quota is in place, striving for approximately alternate male/female winners, or at least a rough long-term 50–50. In the last eight years, we have the sequence* F M F M M F M F, for four male and four female winners, and only one exception to the alternating pattern—and that exception might have been caused by the choice of Bob Dylan.

*F(emale) and M(ale). I tried W(oman) and M(an), but that was near unreadable.

Looking back further, since 2004 and the unfortunate win of Elfriede Jelinek, we have the following sequence: F M M F M F M M M F M F M M F M W. Here the trend is weaker, with three (new) and seven (in all) female winners to six (new) and ten (in all) male winners, with the difference being carried by a single three-in-a-row for men 2010–2012. Noting that other non-literary concerns, including other “diversity concerns”, might have played in, and that woman might well have a harder time as authors in the non-Western parts of the world, this is still suspect. For instance, having an only second (!) Chinese Literature winner in 2012 might have trumped the fear of having three men in a row, as might having the first Peruvian (in any category) in 2010.*

*True, this leaves open why yet another male Swedish winner was needed in 2011, but the general point of sex not being the only concern holds. Indeed, as Wikipedia on Tomas Tranströmer claims: “The Swedish Academy revealed that he had been nominated every single year since 1993.” A “this year might be the last chance” criterion could have played in; and he did die just a few years later.

This type of regularity is unlikely if chance was the only thing playing in. By analogy, flip a coin thrice and there is a chance of 1/4 that it will be three-of-a-kind over just these three throws,* while here the entire series of seventeen only contained one three-in-a-row and no four-or-higher-in-a-row. Further, the above sequence sees a full twelve transitions out of sixteen possible; flipping a coin, the expectation value would be eight.** If the sexes, unlike a fair coin, do not have a 50–50 probability, then the regularity becomes the more remarkable.***

*The first flip is uninteresting, there is a 1/2 chance that the second has the same side up, and another 1/2 that the third does too, for 1/4 in all.

**There is a 1/2 chance of a transition with any throw (excepting the first). 16 x 1/2 = 8.

***For instance, if we assume 60–40, then the chance of three-in-a-row over just the first three throws rises to 0.6^3 + 0.4^3 = 0.28 compared to the original 1/4 = 0.25. 70–30 gives 0.37, etc.

(But I stress that the above is merely suspect—not outside what can legitimately happen by chance.)

Excursion on the Chemistry Prize:
My first reaction when reading the motivation “for the development of a method for genome editing” (cf. Wikipedia on Chemistry Laureates) was that this was more a matter of Medicine/Physiology than Chemistry, which would have made a female win less unusual. However, the last few decades, similar motivations appear to be quite common. I am not certain whether I agree with general idea, but it is, then, not likely to be very important in the current context.

Excursion on references:
I did not keep track on references during writing, but mostly various Wikipedia pages. I am loathe to track them back, as this text has taken much longer than intended—exactly the type of problem that moved me to close this blog.

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October 25, 2020 at 7:24 pm

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Idiot mothers and my rotten building

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Yet another proof that I live in a rotten-to-the-core-building ([1]): and that “Karens” are a matter of women, not specifically White women, feeling entitled and being presumptuous, self-centered, and/or uncomprehending of the rights and interests of others. The latter especially with mothers, who seem to think that the rest of the worlds has a duty to bend itself to fit their convenience.

As I wrote in [1]:

For instance, the door to the cellar is often blocked by prams. Last week, it was three-seater (!) that would have made it impossible to access the cellar without simultaneously blocking the stairs completely, so that no-one could get in. Even maneuvering it sufficiently to get to the cellar door, even at the price of blocking the stairs, might have required me to go out the front door first (and/or to push the pram out the front door). Certainly, there would have been no chance of getting out of the cellar again, had someone wanting to enter the building put it back while I was down there—and the chances with even a smaller pram might not be brilliant either.

There were some repetitions of this, during which I found that I, indeed, was forced to put the entire pram on the pavement outside the building to get into the cellar. On one occasion, it was positioned in such a manner that it was barely possible to get the door open. I decided to write a note to put in the pram the next time that it appeared—but it never did. After a handful* of weeks without incidents, I believed that the idiot responsible had come to her senses.

*The text quoted is from 1st of July, roughly six weeks ago, and the problem might have extended another week-or-so after that.

But no:

As I left the building for errands earlier today, I found a barely readable hand-written note on the door. Believe it or not, but this idiot was now actually complaining that her pram had been damaged by people trying to open the front door … Her opinion seems to be that if someone opens the front door and feels resistance, then it is time to stop pushing and try to wriggle in through whatever opening is available.

In contrast, any reasonably sane and intelligent individual would come to the conclusion that if her pram blocks the entry to the house, she has to put it somewhere else—preferably, her own apartment. (This even before factoring in the additional and more complete blocking of the cellar door.)

My position is clear: If she does something this stupid and inconsiderate, again and again, anyone entering the house has the right to use any amount of violence necessary to get in and still be blameless. The blame resides solely with her, and she should be happy that no-one has yet to simply thrown her pram away or reported her to building management*.

*Notwithstanding that this might be pointless in light of my prior experiences with their incompetence.

For a few similar incidents, also see an older text on women and awareness of surroundings, which includes e.g. a woman blocking the door to (another) apartment building from the outside with her bike, and then having a hissy fit when I presumed to push the door open to get out through the sole exit of said building.

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August 10, 2020 at 11:45 am

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Karens and related topics

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Recently, I have repeatedly encountered the derogatory term “Karen”, in the sense of a White woman who overreacts against Blacks as perceived threats, criminals, whatnots. This notably in relation to the “Central Park birdwatching incident” (to follow the terminology of the linked-to Wikipedia page). As this tied in well with some of my observations and a few recent texts, I intended to write something on the matter. However, the definition of “Karen” provided by Wikipedia seems to be much wider. ([1] is the same page fixed to the version that I read.)

Below, I will first give an abbreviated treatment of my original angle (based on my original understanding of the term), and then follow with a few observations around this and another Wikipedia page. (The first as it might or might not apply to “Karen”, but definitely contains some important points in general. Also, partially, because Wikipedia often is faulty and partisan in contexts like these, which leads to the second; moreover, usage might well have drifted.)

“Karen”:

While it might well be that some White women do have a particular fear or whatnot of Black men, there is fair chance that most alleged observations of this are specious—something that instead reflects undue fears in general among women and/or undue fears of men. This possibly in combination with the behavior of some Black men, or other parts of their appearance than skin color. If so, it is an excellent, multiple illustration of how people tend to jump to conclusions.* Specifically, many women display similar fear-driven behaviors even when the counter-part is not Black. For instance, Germany (a country with few Blacks) has instituted dedicated zones of parking houses for women—not because there is any actual increased danger for women, but simply because sufficiently many women have a greater fear than men and have complained long and hard enough. For instance, I (White) have myself had a few women very hurriedly change side of the street during walks after nightfall (in a manner that makes a coincidence unlikely).

*Examples are manifold, but one (with many variations) quite relevant to much of my writings is a woman who is fired because she did a poor job, but who instantly attributes this to her being a woman and the decision-maker an allegedly sexist man, without reflection on how e.g. her own behavior might have caused the events and without ever asking herself whether the same would have happened to a man with the same behavior. (Unless, obviously, to answer it with a resounding “NO!’, because she has already made up her mind that she fired because she was a woman.

Then we have to consider what might increase the risk of such a reaction: In my case, I am 6’ 3” and often on the wrong side of 220 lb. Chances are that an already skittish woman is more fearful of me than of someone 5’ 3” and a 110 lb—and that is even somewhat understandable, despite my posing no danger whatsoever to her. Similarly, if someone wears a hoodie, has tattoos, is of over-average muscularity, speaks loudly or with poor grammar, whatnot, chances are that some mixture of own experiences, somewhat true* stereotypes, and built-in circuitry will cause a stronger fear reaction in a woman than would the stereotypical accountant.** These are also, in my impression, likelier to apply to a Black man than a White man. Then: was it really the skin color or might it have been the hoodie, the tattoos, etc.? Or, in light of Feminist propaganda, that it was a man (and not a woman or child), irrespective of skin color.

*Most people who wear hoodies are not criminals, but the proportion of hoodie wearers who are criminals is almost certainly higher than for the overall population. (Possibly, after adjusting for some other factors, e.g. age.)

**With many other factors potentially applying in a similar manner.

Finally, to the degree that skin color does play in, is it a matter of racism or a knowledge of crime statistics? (Remember the context of a woman who is already skittish for irrational reasons—or rational, for all I care. She is already scared as she walks home on an empty street late at night—and then she sees someone who is disproportionately* likely to be a criminal.)

*Note that that this does not imply “likely”, just “likelier”.

Wikipedia:

I will not analyze these articles in detail, but I mention a few specific oddities that I saw during skimming:

  1. There are no less than three mentions of “privilege” in [1]. None of them make much sense and the whole concept is highly dubious to begin with—and, if not, it has by now degenerated into a generic and argument-free debate blocker. It has no place in an encyclopedic text.
  2. [1] abuses “they” to refer to someone who has already been identified as a “he”. Abuse of “they” is indefensible in general, but when there is no ambiguity about either sex or gender, it is utterly inexcusable and, again, has no place in an encyclopedic text. (Either gross incompetence or blatant ideology pushing.)
  3. [1] claims:

    Kansas State University professor Heather Suzanne Woods, whose research interests include memes, said a Karen’s defining characteristics are “entitlement, selfishness, a desire to complain” and that a Karen “demands the world exist according to her standards with little regard for others, and she is willing to risk or demean others to achieve her ends.”

    This matches my impressions of very many women quite well. At least one or two of these likely apply to a majority of all women (and more than a few men, in all fairness). When it comes to mothers, at least up to a certain age of the child, the situation is even worse, as many seem to think that every non-mother is a second-class citizen. Note e.g. the rude woman in a recent text.

    However, I stress that “a desire to complain” might need differentiation: If someone complains e.g. for the sake of complaining, in the hope of some unwarranted benefit,* for some feeling of importance relating to the complaining (all of which I do have the impression that many women do), then it is a negative. On the other hand, if the complaint strives to point out flaws that could and should be rectified, unethical business methods, governmental waste or incompetence, or similar, then it is a positive—we need more of this type of complaint. (And I engage in such complaints regularly my self. Indeed, this very text could be seen as an example.)

    *For instance, during a restaurant visit, I once heard two women at a near-by table loudly complain to the waiter about the substandard meat and how they refused to pay (or wanted a discount?)—despite having actually eaten all of the meat … They were in the restaurant business themselves, and they knew poor quality when they saw it! (My meal, for the record, was excellent.)

  4. A less reasonable portion is:

    While the term is used exclusively in a pejorative manner towards a person of a specific race and gender, some have argued that “Karen” lacks the historical context to be considered a slur, and that calling it one trivializes actual discrimination. Others argue that the targets of the term have immense privilege, and that “an epithet that lacks the power to discriminate is just an insult.”

    For fuck’s sake! Why would a slur need a historical context? How does “calling it one trivialize[s] actual discrimination”? This portion is also an excellent example of abuse of the word “discrimination”. Later we see one of the abuses of “privilege”, and the claim “an epithet that lacks the power to discriminate is just an insult” is potentially* another abuse in the “discrimination” family and misses the point about slurs.

    *Depending exactly on what is meant: if the use parallels the preceding, it is an abuse; if it implies e.g. that an insult that could apply to anyone is not a slur, it would be correct use (but still a disputable thesis).

    To this I note that Wiktionary on “slur” says “An insult or slight.”, that Merriam-Webster gives “Slur definition is – an insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo : aspersion.”, and that both match my own understanding well—a slur is a (one-word?) insult.*

    *This might be another case of significant modifiers being dropped by idiots, who do note realize that they are distorting the meaning of the core word, e.g. with “slur” as a short for “racial slur”, “sexist slur”, whatnot paralleling “discrimination” as a short for “racial discrimination” (etc.), while the true meaning of the respective word goes under in all the abuses.

  5. I followed a link to the page on “Woman card”. The very first sentence discredits the entire page: “The woman card, also called playing the woman card, the gender card or the sex card, is an idiomatic phrase that refers to exploitation of either sexist or anti-female attitudes by accusing others of sexism or misogyny.”

    If the author had left out “anti-female”, it might have been technically correct for some subset of uses (but highly confusing). However, with that portion in, it is clear that the entire concept is put on its head. The “woman card” is a woman* trying to get advantages of some kind, usually in a debate, by using the fact that she is a woman. This, in most contexts, is a irrational, despicable, and/or intellectually dishonest line of argumentation—and pointing it out is a good thing. Here, however, the “woman card” is twisted to refer to the one pointing the use out and condemning that as despicable—PC bullshit at its worst and entirely unworthy of an encyclopedia.

    *The page also gives Bill Clinton an example along the lines of “be pro-Hillary, because she is a woman”. This could conceivably be viewed as a relevant example of a non-woman, but non-women are definitely far rarer.

    The continuation is as bad: “The phrase is used to describe accusations [sic!] of women either mentioning their gender to gain an advantage in discussions or implying or accusing other people of sexism in order to garner support.” No: it is not the “accusations” but the “mentioning” (etc.) that the phrase refers to. (And this continuation removes the risk that the first quote was just extremely poorly phrased.)

    Note the recurring issue of a PC/Feminist/Leftist/whatnot double-standard: They are allowed to, and do, try to shutdown others with even entirely unwarranted accusations of e.g. “privilege” or “mansplaining”—but do not dare use a similar term against them, even should it have an actual objective justification!

    As an aside, “Karen” is an interesting example, as it might put two factions of the overall PC movement against each other: the Feminist, which would like to see it banned as anti-woman, and the “Blackist” (for want of a better word), which sees it as a means to shut-down non-compliant women.

Written by michaeleriksson

July 4, 2020 at 12:47 am

Follow-up: Speculations on the negative influence of female attitudes

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Preamble: This began as a brief clarification, but the clarification spun off footnotes that turned into excursions and then the excursions spun off other excursions. There is material enough to build a “regular” text around the excursions, but I prefer to keep them as excursions to reduce the time spent—which is already about ten times longer than I had intended.

Thinking back on a recent text dealing partially with topics like paying for services, I suspect that the superficial reader could misinterpret (or the politically hostile distort) it. To reduce the risk, a brief clarification:

These parts of the text are directed mostly at the recipient, not the performer, of the service: I do not necessarily argue that the performer should require payment. Whether he does is up to him and whether I would do so in his shoes would depend on the circumstances (see excursion). The main point is that the recipient should not have a “something for nothing” mentality and, at a minimum, make a genuine*offer to pay (see another excursion)—the antithesis of “the woman with many friends” from the original text. A secondary point is that a society which works on a “something for something” basis is fairer and more likely to be successful than a “something for nothing” society, an “I am entitled/I deserve” society, an “I am pretty and smile a lot, so do things for me” society, a “those who can are legally obligated to help those who can’t” society, etc.

*As opposed to an insincere offer made in the knowledge that it will be turned down.

Excursion on forms of payment:
Payment need not be in money. (Here, I might have been a little short-sighted during writing. However, without money, advantages like potential new businesses disappear.) Trading favors are an obvious alternative and it is possible that the lawn-mowing boy would have seen a piece of cake as fair payment. Indeed, even a token payment is better than no payment in terms of fostering the right attitudes. To some, performing a perceived (cf. excursion) good deed might be a reward in its own right. (In addition, we might need to think of at least three broad types of payments: token payments to acknowledge gratitude, payments to at least approximately cover the costs and/or efforts of the performer, and payments that allow a profit for the performer.)

Excursion on when I would require payment:
This is too large a topic for this text and I have not thought it through in detail, as the topic has not been that important in my adult life. However, there are at least four aspects that I would consider and recommend others to consider: (a) Whether the service is within the realm of professional expertise and/or is something for which the performer is regularly paid (cf. the lawyer and the physician in the joke from the original text). (b) The closeness of the relationship, e.g. whether a lawn is moved for the own mother, the neighbor, or some random person somewhere in the same town. (c) The size of both the individual service and the sum of all services requested by that recipient, e.g. in that I would not have expected anything over a “thank you” for driving that shopping cart to the rude woman (not that I got one …), but would have required payment in the hypothetical case of carrying her bags home (unless, more likely, I turned her down outright). (d) Whether requiring payment could have a positive effect of the attitude on the recipient, e.g. in light of recurring freeloading (a similar idea as with the lawyer/physician joke, but from another angle.

I caution that the right answer for the one performer might not be the right answer for another, e.g. because the one has much more spare time than the other.

Depending on the situation, the ability to pay might also factor in. For instance, if I had mowed the lawn for widows as a teenager (cf. original text), I might have gone with money in case of the rich widow and been content with cake in the case of the poor.

In addition, care should be taken when the recipient has a legitimate or perceived “pre-payment”. For instance, the mother of a teenage boy would usually be justified in seeing a mowed lawn as very partial payback of the services that she has performed for and expenses that she has had because of him.

Excursion on paying own children for house-work and similar:
Some argue that paying the own (pre-adult) children for house-work and similar tasks is a good thing, e.g. to teach the connection between work and money or having them earn their pocket money. I can see the point behind this, it is compatible with the ideas of my original text, and I might do so myself, if I ever have children. However, I also see potential problems, notably in that the children might be more likely to appreciate their parents efforts, if they are taught that “by doing chores, you pay us back”, and be more likely to develop a sound team spirit if they are taught that “by doing chores, you pull your own weight”. To some degree the suggestion amounts to viewing the children as performers, but it might be better to focus on the parents as performers and the children as recipients.

To boot, the one* case of such explicit payment within my family (that I recall) did not work well: my sister had lousy school grades and received payment for reaching certain standards**. This did nothing to help her academic career, as she eventually became a high-school drop-out, but it did make young me feel unfairly treated: In my eyes, she was rewarded for past failure and for past laziness—not for later adequacy (“success” would be too strong a word). This while my success and hard work came with a pat on the back. Or consider the game-theory point of view: someone could play this system by deliberately (!) earning bad grades the first semester, negotiating a money-for-grades scheme, and then studying normally to earn an entirely artificial reward. Or consider the psychological effects: instead of learning for life or the sake of learning, students already learn too much for the sake of grades, and now we add an aspect of trying to get grades for the sake of a small short-term pay-out.

*I did on several occasions receive explicit payment from my grand-mother for helping her with some church activities, but as she, in turn, was paid by the church, I would see that as another case entirely. (And, no, I did not ask for money—she offered.)

**I do not recall the details (or the duration of the experiment), but the amount per good grade was sufficiently much that I would have liked to have it, while not being enough that it made a major difference in the big picture. (For instance, even the amount that my better grades might have earned is bound to have been lower than the monthly value of free food and lodging.) The events were almost certainly before high school for her, and no later than the first year of high school for me.

Excursion on perceived or claimed good deeds:
Not everything that might seem, or is claimed to be, a good deed actually is. Consider e.g. giving to a poorly managed charity or two examples from my own past (the second also being a further illustration of annoying and self-centered women):

When I was a teenager, I had a summer job as a gardener/janitor. As I performed some type of work near a flower bed, an elderly man approached me and asked if I could remove that young tree that had invaded the flower bed. I was happy too do so, and pleased at the learning experience. With hindsight, I am uncertain whether I was allowed to do so, and whether the elderly man had any say in the matter, and the tree might well have been the cause of two years of heated arguments in the home-owner’s association—where I had just given the kill-the-tree side a victory that I was not entitled to give. (This is not actually likely, but it is also far from impossible and I performed that particular service without bothering to find out.)

During a train ride, a few years ago, a group of women boarded and went through the train, sitting down with the other passengers (very rude, as there were free seats apart from other passengers, and as they proved not to be “bona fide” passengers, themselves) and beginning conversations without probing for interest (mildly rude) and for the purpose of selling (extremely rude). When they came to me, I learned that they were selling some type of garage-sale* junk, from baskets that they carried, to give money to two friends who were getting married (such sales are against train regulations).

*I actually wrote “garbage-sale” before proof-reading …

As I declined and pointed out that such sales were not allowed, one of them got snippy and went on about how this was for charity (“Wohltätigkeit”, or similar). It is not: had they given own money and/or their garage-sale junk to their friend it might, possibly, have constituted charity. When they ask me to do so, with or without an alibi piece of junk in return, it is just panhandling. To this, I note that there was not even an attempt to describe the happy couple as particularly needy—they were just “our friends”, and because they wanted to give money to their friends, I should open my wallet …

But they all seemed unable to comprehend that they were doing something wrong, too self-obsessed, too blind to other people, too lacking in self-perspective, … Even the fact that I preferred to read my book over talking to them seemed to annoy them—something that must be entirely my decision and something very understandable in light of the rudeness and lack of intelligence displayed.* And, no, this appeared to be perfectly regular native German women—they were not members of some gypsy-like group who might have used a similar scheme to panhandle on a professional level.

*And here, too, I suspect a strong aspect of “men are supposed to”: they were dressed much more provocatively and uniformly than was normal for a train ride. This would be well explained by e.g. a “if we are sexy and flirty, men will be kind to us” type of thinking. (Cf. the original text and women flirting in the office.)

Written by michaeleriksson

June 28, 2020 at 2:43 pm