Defining feminism

March 31, 2010

An interesting article:

Pinker dares to posit the idea that women don’t have the same preferences as men and therefore, might actually choose different paths, not be forced into them by the patriarchy. Now we’re talking! . . .

In particular, she examines the role testosterone plays in male risk taking (including those amusing Darwin Awards) and the role oxytocin and empathy play in female career choices. . . .

Pinker does more than dryly discuss the biology; she provides example after example of women who have succeeded in this “man’s world” and found it wanting. As Pinker explains, let’s move on past the idea that a woman can’t do the same work as a man, and discuss why she may not want to. Any woman who has wondered if her preferences run counter to the feminist cause should pay close attention here; believing that a woman should have every right to pursue the same goals as men is different from believing that every woman should want to. Time and again, Pinker points out how women have sought those goals, attained them, and then shifted their eyes to a different prize. These “opt out” women can be found, as Pinker states, “in every major university, law, engineering, and accounting firm in North America and Europe” (p. 64). Women are 2.8 times more likely than men to leave science and engineering careers for other occupations and 13 times more likely to exit the labor force entirely. This is not because they are overwhelmed with childcare, either. They leave their careers at every age and every stage of life, whether or not they have families. Pinker concludes with what seems to be an obvious yet ignored truth, that women are autonomous beings who know their own desires. As one woman put it, “…work is not the only thing I do. I have a life” (p. 90). . . .

All of which creates a wide range of male ability with huge numbers of both extremely low and high achievers. Boys are three times more likely to be placed in special education classes, twice as likely to repeat a grade, and a third more likely to drop out of high school. However, males also dominate the highest percentiles of achievement, from math competitions to scrabble tournaments. . . .

Girls are often taught that females bond together while males are cutthroat. Indeed, the opposite is often true. Girls are also taught that females are beaten down by that oppressive patriarchy, but in actuality, women are more competitive with each other than with men. Once again Pinker gives example after example of women who have undermined, sabotaged, and exploited each other. . . .

After systematically breaking down each of these misconceptions about gender, gender differences, and the power of society, Pinker sums things up this way, “…forty years of discounting biology have led us to a strange and discomfiting place, one where women are afraid to own up to their desires and men—despite their foibles—are seen as standard issue” (p. 254).

Feminism killed femininity.

No blogging today

March 30, 2010

Because I’ve been commenting at Aretae’s place on Moldbuggery

Heather MacDonald on crime and policing

March 29, 2010

At The NY Post

Moldbug questions

March 29, 2010

A discussion at Aretae’s place.

Where HBD and SWPLs collide

March 29, 2010

I previously posted an entry with this subject. I’ve had a couple discussions with Obsidian in his comments section. He seems to think that HBDers should shut up about blacks, since HBDers don’t live near blacks. I don’t understand his argument, but then, I rarely understand his arguments in his comments section.

This exchange got me thinking. I live in an area of DC that is historically black but has recently been invaded by SWPLs – super SWPLs. SWPLs acknowledge the existence of blacks in the area by talking about the "lack of safety" in the area and by talking about how "bad the schools are," but they never actually mention blacks specifically. So, the areas of the neighborhood that are still largely black are referred to as "unsafe" (which they are) but never as "mostly black" (which they are).

It seemed to me that Obsidian was implicitly arguing that if HBDers were around blacks more often, they would be less strident in their claims about differences between races. In one sense, I think he would be correct. I live around a lot of middle/upper-middle class blacks, who are great neighbors. In another sense, he’d be incorrect. Living in proximity makes the differences between races more obvious. So much so that even the super-SWPLs have developed code words (like "safety") to allow them to discuss the differences without having to explicitly acknowledge that the differences are race-based.

So, I was thinking that I’d start a series of posts in which I briefly describe some of the differences that I notice between the SWPLs and the HBDers. I’m going to kick it off with this post, in which I discuss Halloween.

Halloween is a big deal in the neighborhood. It starts early with the SWPL kids.

(A brief aside about DC with thanks to Steve Sailer: "Indeed, DC has by far the highest scoring white kids (15 points ahead of Massachusetts). It’s black students are no longer the lowest scoring, being four points ahead of Wisconsin. . . . Unfortunately, there aren’t enough white 8th graders in DC public schools for the NAEP to come up with an adequate sample size of white 8th graders in DC." All the white kids in the neighborhood are young, when they get older their families have to leave the neighborhood because "the schools are so bad" (read: the schools are heavily black). So, by 8th grade there are no more white kids around).

The SWPL kids were well coached. They all had serious costumes, all said "trick or treat" and all took one piece of candy. A couple kids asked if they could take two.

After about an hour and a half of this, the older kids (i.e. the black kids) started coming around. At that point, I was just holding out the bowl of candy, for the kids to take from.

The black kids would grab handfuls, so I had to start passing it out.

Only about 40% of the black kids were in costume (though one had the best costume of the night – an incredible Sherlock Holmes costume). The rest were just wearing normal clothes.

Most interesting, their mothers (none of whom were dressed up) also went trick-or-treating with them. The first time a mother held out her purse for me, I had no idea what to do. It took me 15 seconds to figure out that she wanted candy. The first year we were in the neighborhood, my neighbor was watching me the first time this happened and laughing at me. So, I was putting candy in the purses’ of random women who weren’t even dressed up. Happy Halloween in DC!

On one hand, I can understand the logic of the blacks – they’re thinking "these people are giving away candy, I might as well take some." On the other hand, the whole point of Halloween is for kids – it gets damn weird if grown adults start going around asking each other for candy.

If anyone is interested in these observations, I’ll keep posting them. If not, I’ll probably do it anyway. I’ll try to do at least one a week.

What do women find attractive?

March 28, 2010

This study finds that women in country’s with high standards of living prefer more feminine looking men. Except in the US, where the findings seem to be reversed. Any Roissy fans out there want to write to the researchers to explain the reversal in the US? Maybe you can save them some time and money by pointing out that women in the US only need men for sex – they have the government for everything else.

Review of “The Man Who Came Early” by Poul Anderson

March 26, 2010

Wikipedia notes that this book is the antithesis of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Anderson’s book is way shorter than Twain’s and way more interesting. In Twain’s the character that travels back in time manages to take over the backward society. In Anderson’s the character that travels back in time is basically worthless – except for his gun – and he ends up getting himself killed. In the meantime, the men of the past think of him as womanly and he is womanly by comparison.

A couple of quotes that I can’t refrain from highlighting. Here is a discussion of the contents of the time-traveler’s pockets:

There were some coins of re­mark­able round­ness and sharp­ness, a small key, a stick with lead in it for writ­ing, a flat purse hold­ing many bits of marked pa­per; when he told us solemn­ly that some of this pa­per was mon­ey, even Thorgunna had to laugh.

Our modern man has no poetry:

That evening he en­ter­tained us well with sto­ries of his home; true or not, they made good lis­ten­ing. How­ev­er, he had no re­al pol­ish, be­ing un­able to com­pose even two lines of verse. They must be a raw and back­ward lot in the Unit­ed States.

On freedom (note that the modern man is in the US army):

When he added that the term of a levy in the Unit­ed States was two years, and that men could be called to war even in har­vest time, I said he was well out of a coun­try with so ruth­less and pow­er­ful a king.

Thanks to Isegoria for the recommendation.