The ugly truth about Survival of the Prettiest

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While doing research for another post on beauty, I ran across this old review, written by Karen Lehrman, of a book called Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Ercoff.  The cover features a headless female torso wearing a painful-looking corset.

Lehrman points out that Ercoff has won awards for her research on sex differences and the brain.  Which doesn’t mean her book isn’t full of shit.

Lehrman on Ercoff: “… it’s not just ax-grinding males who believe that biology continues to play an important role in our lives.”  Nope, anti-feminist females can ax-grind as well as any male.

Lehrman and Ercoff claim the fact that beauty has outlasted second-wave feminism means that desiring beauty is somehow “natural”.  Claiming oppressive social constructs are “natural” is an old, old trick.  Men used to confidently assert that women were naturally inferior to them and so couldn’t be entrusted with anything important, like the right to vote.  You can’t argue with nature, amirite?

Lehrman enthuasiastically quotes Ercoff: ”To tell people not to take pleasure in beauty is like telling them to stop enjoying food or sex or novelty or love.'”

It’s a stupid analogy, because food, sex, novelty and love are not brutal hierarchies that keep women in a constant state of fear and self-loathing.  Lehrman and Ercoff are trying to sell us the idea that beauty is not only “natural”, but fun and good for us.

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” In our culture… not one part of a woman’s body is left untouched or unaltered, no feature or extremity is spared the art or pain of improvement: Hair is dyed, lacquered, straightened, permanented, eyebrows are plucked, pencilled, dyed, eyes are lined, mascara’d, shadowed, lashes are curled or false. From head to toe every feature of a woman’s face, every section of her body is subject to modification and alteration.

I do wonder how women are able to be totally imaginative, creative and create a new future for themselves in their minds, if their bodies are totally tied down and completely constricted. That seems a crucial understanding. Beauty practices aren’t just some kind of interesting optional choice, extra, but they fundamentally construct who a woman is and therefore how she is able to imagine, because they constrict her movements and create the behaviours of her body.”  — Sheila Jeffreys

In other words, beauty practices are about female compliance.  And compliance “should be full and discernible at a glance.”

Says Lehrman: “One of the book’s main points is that pretending that beauty is a social construct is counterproductive.”

Counterproductive to what?  To figuring out what exactly is going on?

Lehrman: “The beauty hierarchy has been even more damaging to our lives precisely because it is so pervasive and deeply rooted, Etcoff argues, and its effects have hardly been limited to women.”

It escapes Lehrman and Ercoff that the reason the beauty hierarchy is so “pervasive and deeply rooted” might be because we’ve been living under a crushing system of male dominance for pretty much most of human history.  Nah, it’s because our brains naturally make us crave eyeliner, breast implants and labiaplasty.  Newborn babies staring longer at pretty faces proves it, or something.

And dear god, what about the men?  Men suffer because women only want tall guys who make good money.  It occurs to no one that the reason women might want men with money is because women are paid less than men, suffer sex-based discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and are more likely to end up poor.   Aligning with a male who has economic resources is a way to survive, not some kind of proof that women are equally shallow as men.  And women prefer taller men because it’s been drilled into us since birth that we should be small and dainty and delicate, and it’s hard to feel that way when you’re looming over your date because he lied about his height on his OKCupid profile.

“…Etcoff must be commended for (one hopes) putting the kibosh at last on the notion that attractiveness is determined by men out to keep women ensconced in a beauty rat race”

In fact that’s exactly what they’re doing.   Still.  And women like Etcoff and Lehrman are helping them.  Why do women do this?  Because compliance is a whole lot easier than resistance, and because they’re rewarded with lucrative book deals and  columns in the New York Times for persuading other women to comply.  Platforms like that are not handed out to women who advocate fighting the system.

At the end of this review, Lehrman moans, ” Yes, ‘being beautiful and being prized for it is not a social evil,’ but how do you convey that to your pimpled, overweight, bespectacled daughter (whose social standing is veering toward zero)? ”

Ms. Lehrman,  it’s obvious you’ve sold out and are shilling for the dark side, but I hope your daughter defies you and becomes a feminist, because that’s the only way she’s going to be loved and valued by the only people on earth who don’t believe that a woman’s value depends on her appearance.

There is a reason Lehrman has no answer to the question of what do we do with our ugly daughters.  She also can’t answer the question of what do we do with ourselves when we’re past our sell-by date.  That is because the prevailing culture that she’s aligned herself with doesn’t have answers.  It simply tosses aside the old and the unfuckable.  One hopes that when this happens to Lehrman and Etcoff, they will finally realize the truth that they’ve been denying all along:  that beauty actually is a rat race engineered by men and it’s a race even the most beautiful women will always lose in the end, so there is no point wasting more time, energy and money on it than necessary to remain employed in a male-dominated culture.

 

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2 thoughts on “The ugly truth about Survival of the Prettiest

  1. > Men used to confidently assert that women were naturally inferior to them and so couldn’t be entrusted with anything important, like the right to vote. You can’t argue with nature, amirite?

    Not only did men argue this, but women argued this too. In the past technology was absolutely rubbish. No tractors, cars, electricity, telephones, hydraulics, decent roads, central heating, modern fabrics, modern chemicals etc. This meant every single task required a ton of gruelling manual labour. even boiling a kettle or washing your clothes was backbreaking work, compared to today.

    In this environment where everything required hard physical labour women were absolutely inferior to men. And the women of those ages would be the first to admit this. In fact women generally made a point of enhancing their fragility, and general unsuitability for manual labour by wearing copious petticoats and shawls and generally adopting a bunch of mannerisms we call ‘femininity’. These were all designed to trigger men into taking care of women and providing women with protection and resources. And they work! Men are already hard wired to take care of women, but when women dress and act in a an overt (or even caricatured) feminine way this gives men added impetus to play the traditional patriarchal role of provider and protector of women. If you want a man to do something for you, just tilt your head to one side exposing your fragile feminine neck….. and off he goes 🙂

    Men’s concerns or objections to women voting were entirely reasonable (and they were shared by many women too!). Women had always opted out of war, and men only got the vote after agreeing to fight wars for the state. When women demanded the vote they were NOT demanding gender equality with men, they were actually demanding gender PRIVILEGE. They wanted the right to vote, but WITHOUT the obligation to fight wars that went with it. And in true patriarchal/ chivalrous style (what we would call “He for She” in today’s politically correct language) the male politicians gave women that privilege based on their gender.

    So after women got the vote they were able to vote for wars which they could force men to fight on their behalf.

    Now imagine of men could vote for wars and force women to fight them on their behalf. Imagine a century of women as young as 18 being forced at gunpoint to march into a hail of machine gun fire while the men sat about back home. And imagine after a century of women being blown apart and bleeding to death on muddy fields all over the world screaming for their mothers – imagine if men still went around today claiming this represented a triumph of ‘gender equality’.

    Now imagine some of those men actually complaining how oppressed THEY were!

    If you believe women are equal to men, then go and get a job as a logger, a front line police officer, a fire fighter, a truck driver, an oil rig worker, a deep sea trawler, a construction worker….. jobs that are still mostly done by men which is why men today are killed twenty times more often at work than women. Sure there are more women doing these kinds of jobs today, and fair play to them. But the very LAST person you’d ever expect to see doing ‘man’s work’ is a feminist. Yet they are the ones claiming women aren’t inferior to men and that the ‘patriarchy’ was systematic male oppression of women. A bit hypocritical wouldn’t you say?

    Feminism IS the modern incarnation of patriarchy/ chivalry. He for She…..

    > In other words, beauty practices are about female compliance.

    Only feminists view women competing with each other to be the most beautiful as a form of male oppression of women. Normal women understand that it is just women competing with other women, not least so they can attract the best men out there …. you know just like how men compete with other men to look good, earn money and get social status, not least so that they can attract the best women out there.

    Everyone is free to do whatever they like 🙂

    Women and men are BOTH completely free to never wax, brush their hair, wear make up, shave, wear deodorant, get an education, get a decent career, develop, wash, diet or exercise (delete as applicable). And after not doing those things they are free to go out and look for a partner who appreciates them for WHO they are and not how they look, or how much money they have.

    Only feminists don’t seem to understand this. Because only feminists seem to think they should be automatically ENTITLED to the things that everyone else has to work hard for.

    I actually agree that a lot of modern fashion/ cosmetics trends are totally stupid. But the reason why it has got so out of control is entirely down to women’s choices. To imagine otherwise is to strip women of their agency and reduce women to ‘acted upon’ objects. And in any case, studies show that men wish their wives/ GF’s spent LESS money, time and energy on their appearance and MORE time socialising or being together as a couple (AKA quality time).

    When have you ever seen a man dragging a reluctant woman to a shopping mall and forcing her to buy clothes and make up?!! Usually it is women who are dragging a man (and his wallet) to the shopping mall.

    The very fact that women CAN self objectify to the point of being unable to climb onto a table to change a lightbulb, or lift office supplies, or even negotiate stairs with ease (due to restrictive clothing, heels, long nails etc) only proves how privileged women are. If men self objectified to the same extent as women then nobody would be able to run the power stations, build the roads, cut down the trees, maintain the sewers and civilisation would collapse.

    How on earth anyone can depict self objectification as oppression defies reason!

    > It escapes Lehrman and Ercoff that the reason the beauty hierarchy is so “pervasive and deeply rooted” might be because we’ve been living under a crushing system of male dominance for pretty much most of human history.

    So by that logic if, throughout history, it was women who had been expected to trudge off to war, down the mines, out in the fields, or out to sea for months at a time etc while the men stayed around the home wearing frivolous clothes (at least by comparison to the women’s more utilitarian clothes), you’d say this demonstrated systematic female privilege/ oppression of men, right?

    > It occurs to no one that the reason women might want men with money is because women are paid less than men, suffer sex-based discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and are more likely to end up poor.

    How much you earn is a silly way to measure privilege. A better way is to measure how much UNEARNED money you receive. And women have always received far more unearned income than men. Today women receive unearned income from the state and from men directly… and far more of it that men receive from the state or from women directly.

    The gender pay gap is entirely down to the CHOICES made by women. When women are as qualified as men, and work as many hours as men and have a work history that is as consistent as men then they earn the SAME as men, and often a little bit more. This has been demonstrated since the 70’s by economists like Brian Sowell. The fact that feminists still promote this myth is laughable, and the fact that they can still get away with it proves just how ‘dug in’ feminists have become in academia, the media and politics.

    If more women supported men financially (directly and via the state) this would allow men to act more like women and choose less demanding, more flexible lower paid jobs – jobs which paid more in other non financial ways such as job satisfaction, and less deaths in the workplace!

    It’s a completely foreign concept to feminists that women might in some way be responsible for women’s roles, lifestyles, careers and choices. It’s like a revolutionary concept! Seriously, nobody objectifies women more than feminists.

    For some feminists this is simply the result of brainwashing, but for others it has more of an agenda behind it. Because were we ever to acknowledge the ‘awful truth’ that men are in fact no more privileged than women, then this leads to the most horrific conclusion imaginable….. that men owe women nothing just for being women.

    Modern feminism is essentially the (frankly rather outdated and patriarchal) idea that men automatically owe women resources, protection and special treatment just for being women. And everything else is simply a relentless sales pitch designed to keep that old fashioned idea going.

    Ordinary women have moved on and are enjoying the opportunities and freedoms brought about by modern technology (ie less reliance on manual labour, safer more appealing workplace environments etc etc). Modern technology makes sexual dimorphism (particularly with respect to physical strength) almost a non-issue. It is only feminist who still cling to the past where a lady was to be treated like a ‘precious ornament’ in a harsh and brutal world, and it was men’s duty to offer that protection.

    Feminism IS patriarchy on steroids, with a thin veneer of political correctness and social justice smeared over the top.

    > And women prefer taller men because it’s been drilled into us since birth that we should be small and dainty and delicate…..

    My god. In your eyes are woman ever responsible for anything? Do women have ANY agency in your world? Can you conceive of a woman as anything other than a chess piece moved about by men? How are you even able to make any judgements as a woman? …. surely your own world view has also been systematically and devilishly imposed upon you by ‘the patriarchy’?

    Emma Watson is a feminist who says men should feel able to portray themselves as weak and vulnerable like women can. She is also a multi millionairess who earned most of her fortune in a movie franchise which celebrated the most patriarchal institution the world has ever known – the English elitist public school system. She also earned money posing is seductive and sexy photos at a young age. And being a celeb with millions in the bank she can pretty mush choose whatever kind of man she likes to be her boyfriend… and last time I looked she had chosen a chiselled rugby player about twice her height who’s built like a brick shithouse.

    Well fancy that! 😉

    According to feminist theory NOTHING a woman does, thinks, says or wants can ever be her own doing. Women in feminist’s eyes are wretched, imbecilic, naive, weak, idiots with no minds of their own.

    You claim “women prefer taller men because it’s been drilled into us since birth that we should be small and dainty and delicate…” forgetting that throughout history women (mothers, grandmothers, nannies, nurses, female teachers) have had the most influence in raising children by far. But the idea that WOMEN might have instilled these patriarchal gender roles into boys and girls, is completely beyond your comprehension.

    What if women had raised children the other way around? WHat if boys had been raised to feel entitled to protection and resources from women, and girls had been raised to feel duty bound to provide those resources and protection to men? Sure, that would have led to the opposite of a ‘patriarchal society’…. but would it have served women’s interests at the time…. or would it have meant women now had to march off to war, and do all the manual labour in society while the men got to stay at home?

    It’s almost as if patriarchal roles actually served women’s interests rather well…. who’d have thought!? ….. I guess this is why for centuries mothers raised their daughters to embrace their traditional female roles, until modern technology came along and started to level the playing field and make working outside of the home suddenly look a lot more appealing to women (comfortable office, rather than shipyard).

    > And dear god, what about the men? Men suffer because women only want tall guys who make good money.

    You’re talking about women suffering having to shave their legs (complete with diagram). And you’re mocking men who for centuries have had to suffer being responsible for doing the bulk of the work outside of the home, at a time when most of that work was brutal, backbreaking and extremely dangerous and unhealthy. Like I said even today men are killed at work 20 times more frequently than women.

    If 95% of workplace deaths were women, and a man was blogging about how ‘oppressive’ it is to be expected to shave his legs would that be a fair argument… or would it reek of self entitlement in your view?

    > Why do women do this? Because compliance is a whole lot easier than resistance, and because they’re rewarded with lucrative book deals and columns in the New York Times for persuading other women to comply. Platforms like that are not handed out to women who advocate fighting the system.

    If a woman were to write about how women should not shave, pluck, diet, botox, enhance, wear make up and style she will be fighting THE MAJORITY OF WOMEN.

    If a group of women went around burning cosmetic stores down to the ground men would be like “Meh” and women would be like “OMG!!!!!!! What have they done!!!!!!! HOW CAN I GO OUT WITHOUT MY MASCARA!!!!!!!!”

    You have defined ‘the system’ as men, which again completely strips women of all agency and status as grown ups. When it comes to women’s fashion and women’s gender expression norms these are predominantly dictated by women, and any competition you feel is a competition amongst women.

    Women are grown ups. Women have agency. Women are perfectly capable of acting on their own free will. And this means women are the ones mostly responsible for how women behave in society.

    It’s mad I know… but it’s TRUE 🙂

    • I was wondering when I’d get my first comment from a female men’s rights activist. I’ll assume you’re female, because even though you talk exactly like a male MRA, I’m aware there are women hanging around the edges of the MRA movement, desperate to trash-talk feminism in order to be accepted by the boys’ club. Congratulations! You’re a cool girl!
      Just so you know? The MRAs will never really accept you or treat you as an equal. They’ll be happy to prong you, if you’re attractive to them, but they will always hate you along with every other woman on the planet.
      Let’s have a look at your arguments.
      Well, what do you know? Women are physically different to men. They tend to be smaller and are vulnerable through pregnancy and childbirth. This, according to you, makes them “inferior”. Some of us actually believe that the shape or size of the body has nothing to do with the ability of the brain, and that being small or vulnerable does not make a person too stupid to be entrusted with important things like the vote.

      “In fact women generally made a point of enhancing their fragility, and general unsuitability for manual labour by wearing copious petticoats and shawls and generally adopting a bunch of mannerisms we call ‘femininity’. These were all designed to trigger men into taking care of women and providing women with protection and resources. “

      Hahaha. So femininity is actually a female conspiracy to extract resources from poor, beleaguered men.
      Actually, femininity is a set of behaviors that convey acceptance of one’s inferior status. Women practice femininity because they are punished if they don’t: both by men and by other women who have internalized the rules of femininity. Women who refuse to practice femininity face public shaming, ostracization, loss of employment, and shitty treatment from pretty much everyone. Since we’re social animals who need each other’s approval, this is a powerful threat. Women practice femininity under threat of exclusion from society. Some of them have internalized femininity so much they genuinely believe they’re doing it for themselves, that they enjoy it, et cetera, when what they truly enjoy is the social approval they get for complying.
      So it’s not a racket to get resources from men. Sorry!
      As far as resources? Women will stop trying to get resources from men when men stop HOARDING ALL THE RESOURCES.

      “Men are already hard wired to take care of women…”

      Men aren’t hard-wired to do anything. This is just the excuse men use for everything from beating women to watching porn. If men were hard-wired to take care of women, they wouldn’t be raping a woman every 3 seconds and murdering a woman every 18 seconds. But maybe those women didn’t wear enough petticoats and shawls, or coyly tilt their heads at the correct angle?

      “Men’s concerns or objections to women voting were entirely reasonable (and they were shared by many women too!)”

      Men start wars, not women. The idea that women won the vote to trick men into fighting wars for them is so stupid it doesn’t even deserve a fisking.
      As for women objecting to the female vote: many women were strongly aligned with men and male interests, just as they are today. Those women may survive by identifying with men, but they’re still treated as inferior by those men, just as the MRAs of today look down on the “Honeybadgers”. But of course this is taken by men to mean women don’t really want to vote so they shouldn’t be able to.
      The rest of your “Women don’t have to fight wars! So women aren’t oppressed!” is a classic MRA argument which shows that MRAs like you don’t really understand what oppression means. So here’s a definition, courtesy of my friend Jonah Mix:

      Oppression is a specific form of power relationship in which one class extracts resources from another through systematic coercion and violence. In other words, prolonged, class-wide, systematic exploitation of one group by another in service of the material benefit of the oppressor.

      But you’d probably argue that those petticoat- and shawl- wearing jezebels are exploiting men by tilting their heads coyly at them and getting their resources. The point here is that women would not have to try to get resources from men if men did not hoard all the resources. Men hoard those resources because they want to use them as leverage to make women do what they want, which is to provide them with sex. Whether playing the role of wife or prostitute, a woman is trying to survive in a world that demands resources for survival and that keeps those resources largely out of their hands, unless they play the man’s game. Then female compliance is asserted to be “natural”, “hard-wired”, and immune to all criticism, and of course no one can do anything to change a situation that came about because of “nature”.

      “If you believe women are equal to men, then go and get a job as a logger…”

      I never said I believe women are equal to men. In fact, women have physical vulnerabilities including the vulnerability to pregnancy and childbirth which would require accommodation in any truly fair system. However, I don’t believe that these physical differences have any effect on a woman’s intelligence or worth, nor do they mark her as “inferior” to men.
      “Equality” is a concept of liberal feminism. I’m not a liberal feminist. Feminism is not about reforming the system to make women “equal” to a predatory oppressor class, but about dismantling the entire framework of male supremacy.
      As for “Men are killed on the job more often than women so women are not oppressed, men are! boo hoo”: men are the vast majority of murderers. A woman is killed by a man every 18 seconds in this country.

      “But the very LAST person you’d ever expect to see doing ‘man’s work’ is a feminist. Yet they are the ones claiming women aren’t inferior to men and that the ‘patriarchy’ was systematic male oppression of women. A bit hypocritical wouldn’t you say?”

      Citation needed. I know plenty of feminists doing ‘man’s work’. I know plenty more who have been driven out of male-dominated fields due to sexism and harassment by men. So no, I wouldn’t say it was hypocritical at all.

      “Feminism IS the modern incarnation of patriarchy/ chivalry. He for She…”

      You sure seem to hate Emma Watson for some reason. Feminism is the cure, not the incarnation of, patriarchy and chivalry.

      “Only feminists view women competing with each other to be the most beautiful as a form of male oppression of women. “

      True. We happen to be right. Women compete with each other for male attention, approval, and male-hoarded resources, because those things are necessary to “succeed” in a society dominated by men.

      “Normal women understand that it is just women competing with other women, not least so they can attract the best men out there …. you know just like how men compete with other men to look good, earn money and get social status, not least so that they can attract the best women out there.”

      I love the way you think feminists are “abnormal”. Competition is a male thing. It’s based on aggression and dominance. Women have learned to ape this in order to survive among males.

      “Everyone is free to do whatever they like 🙂
      Women and men are BOTH completely free to never wax, brush their hair, wear make up, shave, wear deodorant, get an education, get a decent career, develop, wash, diet or exercise (delete as applicable). And after not doing those things they are free to go out and look for a partner who appreciates them for WHO they are and not how they look, or how much money they have.”

      Some of us are significantly less free than others. Women’s choices are severely limited. For example, most women don’t get to reject beauty without being punished with public shaming, social ostracization, and loss of employment. Aside from basic grooming, men don’t have to do anything.
      Putting smiley faces after false statements doesn’t make them true, by the way.
      There is a tendency toward wishful thinking in oppressed people: the harder they are oppressed, the more they need to imagine themselves as free. The reality is too depressing for many of them. Better to cling to the belief that one has “agency” or some kind of control.

      “Only feminists don’t seem to understand this. Because only feminists seem to think they should be automatically ENTITLED to the things that everyone else has to work hard for.”

      Such as freedom from oppression?

      “I actually agree that a lot of modern fashion/ cosmetics trends are totally stupid. But the reason why it has got so out of control is entirely down to women’s choices. To imagine otherwise is to strip women of their agency and reduce women to ‘acted upon’ objects. And in any case, studies show that men wish their wives/ GF’s spent LESS money, time and energy on their appearance and MORE time socialising or being together as a couple (AKA quality time).”

      When you say that fashion/cosmetic trends are stupid, you’re basically calling women stupid for following them. And you choose to blame women for them rather than acknowledge that women are not making free choices to dredge themselves in makeup, totter around in high heels, or constrict themselves in uncomfortable, impractical clothing. Acknowledging that women have limited agency is not “stripping women of their agency”. Oppression is what limits agency, not feminism.
      As for men wishing their wives spent less money on their appearance, a lot of men do not seem to realize the direct correlation between expecting their wives to be beautiful and females spending money in attempts to live up to those standards of beauty. These men expect their wives to be beautiful without trying.

      “When have you ever seen a man dragging a reluctant woman to a shopping mall and forcing her to buy clothes and make up?!! Usually it is women who are dragging a man (and his wallet) to the shopping mall.”

      Women learn to internalize the beauty ultimatum and to police themselves and each other. This makes it unnecessary for men to stand over them and tell them what to do.

      “The very fact that women CAN self objectify to the point of being unable to climb onto a table to change a lightbulb, or lift office supplies, or even negotiate stairs with ease (due to restrictive clothing, heels, long nails etc) only proves how privileged women are. If men self objectified to the same extent as women then nobody would be able to run the power stations, build the roads, cut down the trees, maintain the sewers and civilisation would collapse.”

      Hahahaha. Women can’t objectify themselves. Because an oppressed class cannot oppress itself. Oppression always comes from those higher up on the totem pole. Which, contrary to your belief, are men.
      Also, men can’t be objectified, because they are at the top of the heap. They can’t be oppressed because of their sex, they are the default humans and cannot be reduced to objects.
      You say “civilization will collapse” like that’s a bad thing. Civilization is an oppressive system that needs to collapse.

      “How on earth anyone can depict self objectification as oppression defies reason!”

      Maybe it defies your attempts at reasoning. Self-objectification, as I pointed out, is impossible.

      “If, throughout history, it was women who had been expected to trudge off to war, down the mines, out in the fields, or out to sea for months at a time etc while the men stayed around the home wearing frivolous clothes (at least by comparison to the women’s more utilitarian clothes), you’d say this demonstrated systematic female privilege/ oppression of men, right?”

      If women were physically stronger than men and didn’t have the disadvantage of being vulnerable to pregnancy and childbirth, and they used these advantages to gain and withhold resources from smaller, weaker men (and let’s imagine men could get pregnant and give birth, too) in order to extort sex from men, this would demonstrate systematic privilege and oppression of men. You do realize that in this scenario women would actually be men.
      There is no systematic oppression of men on the basis of sex, no matter how loud MRAs like you scream about it.

      “How much you earn is a silly way to measure privilege.”

      Nope, the ownership of resources, and the ability to get them on one’s own, is a key way of measuring privilege.

      “A better way is to measure how much UNEARNED money you receive. And women have always received far more unearned income than men. Today women receive unearned income from the state and from men directly… and far more of it that men receive from the state or from women directly.”

      Women have had to rely on unearned income because the system has denied them access to earning money on their own. The amount that some women get from the state, at least in this country, is pathetically small. If women had direct access to resources, they wouldn’t need to get them from men. So from that viewpoint it’s actually to men’s advantage to help dismantle the patriarchy. Of course, this would require acknowledging that the patriarchy exists and is not some kind of feminist conspiracy.

      “The gender pay gap is entirely down to the CHOICES made by women.”

      Nope. The gender pay gap is entirely down to the fact that women’s labor is not valued as much as men’s labor.

      “When women are as qualified as men, and work as many hours as men and have a work history that is as consistent as men then they earn the SAME as men, and often a little bit more. This has been demonstrated since the 70’s by economists like Brian Sowell.”

      Nope.

      “The fact that feminists still promote this myth is laughable, and the fact that they can still get away with it proves just how ‘dug in’ feminists have become in academia, the media and politics. “

      Calling something laughable is not an argument. Radical feminists are not “dug in” anywhere. They are marginalized, and they are constantly under assault in academia, the media and politics. The “feminists” you see on media platforms tend to be liberals who are only allowed to speak because they prioritize the interests of liberal males above the interests of women.

      “If more women supported men financially (directly and via the state) this would allow men to act more like women and choose less demanding, more flexible lower paid jobs – jobs which paid more in other non financial ways such as job satisfaction, and less deaths in the workplace!”

      If resources were not hoarded by men, both sexes would have equal access and none would need to support the other.

      “It’s a completely foreign concept to feminists that women might in some way be responsible for women’s roles, lifestyles, careers and choices. It’s like a revolutionary concept! Seriously, nobody objectifies women more than feminists.”

      It’s not a revolutionary concept, it’s one of the oldest antifeminist arguments in the book. Women do not have the power in this society and they did not create women’s “roles, lifestyles, careers and choices”. They’ve had to pick from the narrow choices allowed them by a male-dominated system.
      Also, you seem to not know what “objectification” means. It means reducing a person from a human being to an object. The patriarchy does this. Feminists don’t. Feminists believe that all women are human beings. Asserting the opposite is another baseless MRA argument. It’s projection: MRAs objectify women and don’t see them as human, so they accuse their opponents of doing it.

      “For some feminists this is simply the result of brainwashing, but for others it has more of an agenda behind it.”

      Accusing feminism of “brainwashing” insults the intelligence of feminists. It’s basically an ad hominem argument, which makes it worthless. Feminism is not a cult; it’s a social justice movement.

      “Because were we ever to acknowledge the ‘awful truth’ that men are in fact no more privileged than women, then this leads to the most horrific conclusion imaginable….. that men owe women nothing just for being women.”

      Men are, in fact, more privileged than women in every way. Women aren’t controlling and hoarding society’s resources. The majority of our government leaders are not women. The majority of billionaires are not women.
      Men owe women justice, and they will continue to owe us justice until the patriarchy is fully dismantled.

      “Modern feminism is essentially the (frankly rather outdated and patriarchal) idea that men automatically owe women resources, protection and special treatment just for being women. And everything else is simply a relentless sales pitch designed to keep that old fashioned idea going.”

      Feminism is the opposite of patriarchy, therefore calling it “patriarchal” is an oxymoron. Besides, I thought you didn’t believe patriarchy exists, so why are you using it as an adjective?
      Men owe women the following things: to stop hoarding resources, to stop killing, raping and abusing women, and to stop exploiting their size, strength and immunity to pregnancy to control women. It would be nice if they would quit destroying the earth, too. Men will continue to owe these things until we create a more just society, and they’re not off the hook just because you say they are.

      “Ordinary women have moved on and are enjoying the opportunities and freedoms brought about by modern technology (ie less reliance on manual labour, safer more appealing workplace environments etc etc). Modern technology makes sexual dimorphism (particularly with respect to physical strength) almost a non-issue. It is only feminist who still cling to the past where a lady was to be treated like a ‘precious ornament’ in a harsh and brutal world, and it was men’s duty to offer that protection.”

      Feminists are extraordinary women! I can get behind that.
      Sexual dimorphism continues to be the primary basis for oppression. Witness the ongoing abortion battles.
      Feminists have never “clung to the past” or wanted to be treated like precious ornaments. What feminists want is men to stop raping, killing, abusing and exploiting us.

      “Feminism IS patriarchy on steroids, with a thin veneer of political correctness and social justice smeared over the top.”

      I thought you didn’t believe in patriarchy.

      “My god. In your eyes are woman ever responsible for anything? Do women have ANY agency in your world? Can you conceive of a woman as anything other than a chess piece moved about by men? How are you even able to make any judgements as a woman? …. surely your own world view has also been systematically and devilishly imposed upon you by ‘the patriarchy’?”

      Responsibility is limited by agency. Those with the power have the responsibility. Therefore men have the responsibility. Pretending that women are free agents that can do whatever they choose obscures the fact that patriarchy severely limits women’s choices. Having the “freedom” to select whatever you want from a menu of only two or three things (and sometimes only one thing) is not the kind of freedom men have.
      My own world view has been systematically imposed upon me by the patriarchy (which you seem to disbelieve in again). It happens to every woman. But some of us manage to figure out what’s going on and band together against it. That seems to scare people like you so much that you feel compelled to write novel-length comments on feminist blogs to try to persuade women into abandoning feminism.

      “Emma Watson [blah blah]”

      I won’t bother responding to this because it seems clear that you really hate and envy Emma Watson, and have no actual argument.

      “According to feminist theory NOTHING a woman does, thinks, says or wants can ever be her own doing. Women in feminist’s eyes are wretched, imbecilic, naive, weak, idiots with no minds of their own.”

      You are not acquainted with feminist theory. Basically, women live with an iron ball shackled to their ankles. They can roam a little, but not too far. They can do, think, say or want whatever they want, but they do so within patriarchal constraints. Obviously this system is not perfect at keeping women down, because some women break free from those constraints. However, the system then punishes them by, among other things, social exclusion, no-platforming, and public ridicule.
      Women in the eyes of MRAs like you are “wretched, imbecilic, naive, weak, idiots with no minds of their own.” When they’re not busy being horrible shrewish oppressors of men, that is. You’re projecting again. There’s nothing weak about speaking out against oppression. It takes energy, strength and courage. Feminism believes in women.

      “You claim “women prefer taller men because it’s been drilled into us since birth that we should be small and dainty and delicate…” forgetting that throughout history women (mothers, grandmothers, nannies, nurses, female teachers) have had the most influence in raising children by far. But the idea that WOMEN might have instilled these patriarchal gender roles into boys and girls, is completely beyond your comprehension.”

      Not at all. Women have always internalized misogyny and policed each other while the males sit back and enjoy not having to run much of their own oppressive system. This is not because women are evil, it’s because they’re trying to please men. If men decided they didn’t want dainty little ladies any more, women would change to accommodate whatever new brand of femininity men want. Currently the feminine ideal is the blonde, hairless, surgically enhanced porn star and a lot of women are trying to fulfill that ideal as well as judging other women who don’t. Ultimately even women who do this don’t benefit from the system; only men do.

      “What if women had raised children the other way around? WHat if boys had been raised to feel entitled to protection and resources from women, and girls had been raised to feel duty bound to provide those resources and protection to men? Sure, that would have led to the opposite of a ‘patriarchal society’…. but would it have served women’s interests at the time…. or would it have meant women now had to march off to war, and do all the manual labour in society while the men got to stay at home?”

      You’re really fixated on feeling angry that men have to fight wars and do manual labor. Men start wars. Women do manual labor too. And women raising children are not immune to social controls; far from it. Women have raised children the way they have because men demanded it.
      Also, the opposite of a patriarchal society is not a “matriarchy”. The opposite of a patriarchy is a system where no group dominates any other group. The fact that you are unable to comprehend such a system indicates how steeped you are in dominance culture.

      “It’s almost as if patriarchal roles actually served women’s interests rather well…. who’d have thought!? …..”

      I thought you didn’t believe in the patriarchy. Make up your mind.
      Patriarchy never serves any woman’s interests. It is a system built by men, for men.

      ” I guess this is why for centuries mothers raised their daughters to embrace their traditional female roles, until modern technology came along and started to level the playing field and make working outside of the home suddenly look a lot more appealing to women (comfortable office, rather than shipyard).”

      As I said, this is due to internalized misogyny and social pressure, not because traditional female roles conferred any advantage to women, except to escape some of the punishment dealt to those who didn’t comply.

      “You’re talking about women suffering having to shave their legs (complete with diagram). “

      You didn’t look too closely at the diagram. Leg-shaving is only a small part of the entire beauty spectrum which includes such lovely things as foot-binding and labiaplasty. The point is that men don’t have to do them, so why should we?

      “And you’re mocking men who for centuries have had to suffer being responsible for doing the bulk of the work outside of the home, at a time when most of that work was brutal, backbreaking and extremely dangerous and unhealthy. Like I said even today men are killed at work 20 times more frequently than women.”

      You’re really fixated on work statistics. That doesn’t prove that women have any privilege at all. So women are less likely to be killed at work and are more likely to be killed at home than men. A man isn’t being killed by a woman every 18 seconds, and if they were there would be a global uproar.

      “If 95% of workplace deaths were women, and a man was blogging about how ‘oppressive’ it is to be expected to shave his legs would that be a fair argument… or would it reek of self entitlement in your view?”

      If 95% of domestic violence deaths were women, and a commenter claiming to be female left a novel-sized comment about how oppressive it is that men have to do dangerous jobs and how easy women have it, would that be a fair argument, or would it reek of self-entitlement in your view?

      “If a woman were to write about how women should not shave, pluck, diet, botox, enhance, wear make up and style she will be fighting THE MAJORITY OF WOMEN.”

      Sure. Because women have grown up learning that beauty is expected of them or they will be punished by ridicule, social exclusion, male disapproval, and loss of job opportunities. Women who internalize this and police other women are doing the patriarchy’s job for it, so the men can sit back and claim they aren’t oppressing anybody and it’s just women doing it to each other. But blaming women for it erases the fact that men, not women, ultimately benefit from the control beauty practices wield over women.

      “You have defined ‘the system’ as men, which again completely strips women of all agency and status as grown ups. When it comes to women’s fashion and women’s gender expression norms these are predominantly dictated by women, and any competition you feel is a competition amongst women.”

      Repeating the tired old “agency” argument doesn’t make it true. You seem very invested in hiding the role of men in dictating women’s “gender expression norms”. Again, it’s not insulting women to acknowledge that their choices are limited by the patriarchy. Acknowledging the severe limits of their agency isn’t infantilizing them. It’s the patriarchy that does that.
      Women compete against other women because men have set women against other women since the patriarchy began. Divide and conquer is a favorite male tactic. When women realize how they’ve been screwed by the system, and come together to resist it, men and MRAs in particular feel very threatened. So it’s the best interest of the oppressor class to convince the oppressed that they’re oppressing themselves.

      “Women are grown ups. Women have agency. Women are perfectly capable of acting on their own free will. And this means women are the ones mostly responsible for how women behave in society.


      Women are grown ups with limited agency. Women are perfectly capable of acting the way men want them to act. Women are also perfectly capable of resisting male control, but many of them choose not to because they know they’ll be punished for it. And that means men are mostly responsible for how women behave in society.

      “It’s mad I know… but it’s TRUE :)”

      Writing things in all caps with smiley faces doesn’t make them true.

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