IEET > Rights > HealthLongevity > Economic > Personhood > Vision > Affiliate Scholar > Hank Pellissier > Contributors > FreeThought > Technoprogressivism > ReproRights
Feminism’s Social Side Effects
Hank Pellissier   Jan 8, 2011   Ethical Technology  

Wealth, peace, happiness, democracy, secularization, and ... male longevity?


I am an “International Top Ten” junkie—I love to examine lists that rank all the countries of the world. My obsession is motivated by progressive and “transhumanist” desires—I’m seeking a formula of societal ingredients that aims a populace at Utopia.

Recently, I discovered the most essential element in the recipe for bettering humanity: Feminism

Yes, women’s equality, sprinkled into a culture, benefits the entire community in myriad ways. Side effects provide desirable enhancement to everyone, perhaps even males with deep fears of emasculation. First, let’s look at the list below:


Top Ten Nations in Women’s Equality (Global Gender Gap Index 2010)

Iceland
Norway
Finland
Sweden
New Zealand
Ireland
Denmark
Lesotho
Philippines
Switzerland


What can we cross-reference with this? Like most transhumanists, I’m interested in long life spans, particularly my own. I am disturbed that the USA rates poorly in male longevity, to the extent that I often contemplate relocating to a nation where I can theoretically gain a few extra years. Below I have listed possible destinations—the number after each one represents a man’s average life span there:


Top Ten Nations In Male Longevity (Human Development Report 2009)

Happy ManIceland: 80.2
Hong Kong: 79.3
Switzerland: 79.2
Australia: 79.1
Japan: 79.0
Sweden: 78.6
Israel: 78.5
Canada: 78.2
Norway: 78.2
Italy: 78.1


Yikes! Iceland rates the highest in both women’s equality and male longevity! Obviously, Icelandic men thrive in the company of empowered women. Feminism isn’t killing them off sooner; men aren’t dying quickly due to emotional castration and depression. Perhaps… men are feeling less crippled by stress, because they don’t need to assume leadership in economics and politics? Does slack increase their life span?

Iceland isn’t the only coincidence - four other nations that excel in Male Longevity are also in the Top Ten in Gender Equality: Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand. There are 194 nations in the world; landing five in the uppermost tier in two categories is significant. People often ask me why I promote feminism (I’m writing a book entitled Estrogen Utopia), and my selfish reply is: “Because it can add years to my life!”

Living a long time isn’t everything, though. Seriously, what’s the point of going on and on day after day if you’re miserable? Let’s examine another survey:


Top Ten Happiest Nations (Gallup World Poll, released by OECD)

Denmark
Finland
Netherlands
Sweden
Iceland
Canada
Switzerland
New Zealand
Norway
Belgium


Strong WomanEgads! “Happiness” is even more strongly correlated to Feminism than Longevity. Seven of the ten happiest nations are in the Top Ten in Women’s Equality, and every nation is ranked high in the Global Gender Gap Index: Belgium #14, Netherlands #17, and Canada #20.

The benefits of feminism are adding up - now we’ve got a long and happy life.

But, maybe “happiness” gets tiresome after a while, we just want some quiet bliss, in a nation that not incessantly at war.

What about “peacefulness”?


Top Ten Nations in Peace (Global Peace Index)

New Zealand
Iceland
Japan
Austria
Norway
Ireland
Denmark
Luxembourg
Finland
Sweden


Wow… this list is just as impressive. Seven of the ten “peaceful” nations are Top Ten feminist nations, with Luxembourg #26 and Austria #37. Gender Equality doesn’t seem to cause horrible tension, rage, and murderous mayhem.

But… but… but… what if none of these criteria is your priority? What if equality is what you strive for; you yearn to live in a place where your vote counts, where leadership really is propelled by the people. You want to live in a perfect democracy! If that’s your schtick, check this out:


Top Ten Most Democratic Nations (Democracy Index, Economist Intelligence Unit)

Norway
Iceland
Denmark
Sweden
New Zealand
Australia
Finland
Switzerland
Canada
Netherlands


Blink-blink, are we seeing double? This is the most female-friendly list yet! The top five here are all in the Top Ten for Women’s Equality, with a total of seven from that list re-appearing here. The other three “most democratic” nations are also quite “feminist” - Australia ranks #23 on the Global Gender Gap Index, Canada is #20, The Netherlands #17.

We have now established that Women’s Equality is strongly correlated to Peace, Happiness, Democracy, and Male Longevity. But what if none of that really matters to you? What if you - like many people I know - are just a grumpy atheist who seeks similar companionship? Is a Feminist nation the correct irreverent place for you? Check out the “atheist nations” list below:


Top Ten Non-Religious Nations (Pitzer College survey)

                                                             
Sweden 85%
Vietnam 82%
Denmark 80%
Norway 72%
Japan 65%
Czech Republic 62%
Finland 60%
France 55%
South Korea 52%
Estonia 49%


Well, bless my non-existent soul! Four of the top ten feminist nations on the planet have attained women’s rights without dragging God into it, and other nations are also quite female friendly: Germany is currently #13, France was #15 in 2008, Estonia #29 in 2006. Secular thought, i.e., “Enlightenment,” can progress hand-in-hand with advances for the female gender.

There is one final category we simply have to investigate: CASH. We don’t all need luxury, but really, the basic amenities of civilization are required. We’ve established that it is possible to live a lengthy life span in a nation that is simultaneously peaceful, pro-women, democratic, and non-religious. But still, is there any money there?

It turns out there is, oodles of dough, in 80% of them:


GDP Per Capita in the Ten Best Nations for Women (International Monetary Fund, 2010)

                                                             
Iceland $39,563
Finland $43,134
Norway $84,543
Sweden $47,647
New Zealand $31,588
Ireland $45,642
Denmark $55,113
Lesotho $708
Philippines $2,011
Switzerland $67,074


The Philippines and Lesotho lag in this category, but that’s not surprising; they also failed in Longevity, Secularity, Peace, Democracy, and Happiness. Ireland is a strong contender here, but it just missed the list in all of the other tables. The other seven nations - Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, and Switzerland - have consistently appeared, with minor exception: Finns and Danes don’t live that long, and Switzerland isn’t really very peaceful. Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand have thoroughly mobbed the top ranks in every category.

Feminism, aka “Women’s Equality,” is the glue that unites all positive characteristics. Advancing the status of women guides a population towards a progressive, transhumanist society that offers wealth, health, peace, joy, and open-mindedness.

So, why haven’t I relocated? Weather is an obstacle; out of all the nations listed, only the northern tip of New Zealand provides the sub-tropical climate that I crave. Whangarei, here I come!

But… uh-oh, I discovered you too late. Emigrating to Kiwi Land is near-impossible if you’re over 56 years old.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.



COMMENTS

I would recommend Norway, aside from the climate (I’m partial to sub-tropical climes myself).
Lowest murder rate in the world.
Nordic countries in general I’d recommend, but if we’re going for which one is the “best”, I’d go with Norway.

for iPan—I’m going to the southern tip of Norway next summer for my vacation so I will check it out.  But still… too cold… northern New Zealand sounds better, and I also heard that Newcastle, Australia, is a excellent town.  At my age - 58 - I’m regarded as a leech on any public health system, but I do have young kids that some underpopulated nation could envision as potentially good citizens.

A statistician you are not, you confuse cause and effect.  Would you say that since cancer most often occurs in older people that there is a correlation between cancer and longevity such that cancer CAUSES long lives?
 
Perhaps these mostly Western democratic industrial nations are the only ones strong enough to survive the corrosive effects of feminism? 
 
Perhaps feminism, like pollution, is a toxic side effect of well-run industrialized nations?
 
The nations you mention are all the same ones reporting the most per capita rapes, perfaps raping women leads to overall population happiness and higher GDP?
 
Lots more, but your thesis is so flimsy it’s not worth attacking. If you presented it to a group of educated people you’d be laughed out of the room.

You are making a basic error of confusing correlation with causation.

Only rich countries can afford the luxury of feminism.  Richer countries are also going to have longer male lifespans, happier people, less likely to be at war, and even more ‘democratic’ (especially as female participation in government is likely to be one of the measures of democracy’).

Third wave feminism - the sudden dominance of women at all levels of government - is still a relatively recent phenomenon, even in Scandinavia.  Let’s see if these lists still stand in another 10 or 20 years time.

Such ranking lists of national happiness are difficult to believe or take seriously, in any case.  The Netherlands is always in the top 3, yet has one of the highest rates of native emigration in Europe.  If people are so happy there, why are so many millions leaving or thinking of leaving?

Most of the nations listed are only now moving from ‘equality’ into becoming overt gynocratic states.  You can see what is happening already in such places as Iceland or Sweden, where you will be thrown into jail if you visit a strip club or have sex with a burst condom. 

I assume that after the events of the last few weeks, that the Nordic countries may start to slip down the list of most ‘peaceful’ nations.  Also, I suspect, from the list of most ‘non-religious’.

If you showed the same lists from the 1970’s you would probably get much the same countries in almost precisely the same order.  The point is, feminism is now breaking lives (of men and boys), and within a generation or two, the effects on wider society will be obvious and horrendous. 

One final thought for a transhumanist : pornography, at least the production, is more or less banned in the feminist utopias of Iceland and Sweden.  Do not forget that the adult industry has more or less driven forward technological progress from cave paintings to the internet, and will surely be the catalyst for virtual reality (sex).

For Bill: Your comment says that “the nations you mention are all the same ones reporting the most per capita rapes.”  This statement of yours is not true.  A list of the top rape nations is here: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_percap-crime-rapes-per-capita  
——of the Top Ten Nations for rape, only one of them is also on the list of Top Ten Nations in Women’s Equality (Iceland, at #10).
If you want to challenge my thesis, you need to do a better job of presenting me with real information.  Go ahead, give it a try.

for theantifeminist—thanks for your comments.  I am actually writing about many of the issues you brought up, that I will hopefully be presenting in future essays.  Regarding what you posted, I have a few comments:
1. I disagree with your remark “only rich countries can afford the luxury of feminism.”  Depriving half the population from fully participating in the economic arena is not conducive to a nation’s prosperity.  Children in “anti-feminist” nations are also raised by disempowered and uneducated mothers, to their own disadvantage. 
2. Iceland’s legislature voted unanimously to outlaw strip clubs.  Their contention is that supporting strip clubs promotes international sex trafficing and child prostitution.  If you want to heap scorn on Iceland’s decision to ban strip clubs, you owe it to your readership to include this information.
3. Assange is on trial for allegedly committing two crimes—once his condom burst and he continued to have sex without the consent of his partner, and second, he was having unprotected sex with his partner when she was asleep.  In your post you said he could go to jail for “having sex without a condom” - again, you presented incomplete info because you want to buttress your contention, not reveal the truth of the situation.
4. The banning of pornography production in Iceland and Sweden was a decision made in two of the world’s “most democratic” nations.  I don’t see it as a catastrophic choice.  I think it is interesting and revolutionary direction to take.  Women have been sexually objectified forever, and this is moving a step away from that.  Congrats to them.
  Thanks again for your comments.

I really like this article Hank.

It’s been reasonably established (I don’t want to use the word “proven”, as that’s such a contentious word, and invites all kinds of argument) that the empowerment of females leads to numerous benefits to society (many of which you already listed).

There are lots of studies on this, so I encourage people to look into it if they’re genuinely interested.

To your points 2. and 4.: I agree that strip clubs and pornography, in their current form are detrimental, however, I do not like legislating them out of existence, as I believe it leads to restrictions on sexual freedom. Yes, I’d caution anyone, male or female, to think very hard before pursuing that kind of work, but I would never suggest a law banning it. That’s far too Authoritarian for my tastes. I’d rather combat it through activism and education.

To point 3.: As far as I’m aware, Assange is on trial yet, and hasn’t been formally charged in Sweden. From what I’ve read so far (and I could be wrong, or not up to date on the issue), the extradition is for questioning.
The whole situation makes my skin crawl. It just stinks. Of course, to make a judgement now, when there is so much not yet known, would be foolish. Let’s just say I got a funny feelin’ about the whole situation with Sweden and Assanges accusers.

cheers

Feminism and reasonable respect between the sexes-yes. Extreme forms to the point that a man is being dominated by a woman or is taking a risk of being brought up on sexual harassement charges for simply trying to chat- no thanks.

Banning strip clubs?(I’ve never been to one BTW. I’m a good Catholic lad, you know [as in Northern Ireland tribal:)]). Not too bothered about it but what about the old argument that if you ban something it just goes underground and really festers? iPan also makes a fair point as to the issue of how much authoritarianism is good.

BTW, Hank, in the longevity list you’ve listed Israel twice and in the happiest the same with Norway.

I keep seeing the list about Ireland being rich on the net. I dunno, thought we were bankrupt at the moment. We are survivors but that is odd!

I’m consoled that we almost made most of the lists anyway. We’ll get back up again. There’s a reason ‘Dracula’ was written by an Irishman:).

(Hey IEET, I,m clicking on the smileys but they’re not appearing in my comments. What am I doing wrong?)

@Hank,
I constantly tell my readers about how feminists are forever shamefully exploiting the tragic abuse of a small minority of children and women to take liberties away from men (and younger and better looking females) and which just so happens to strenghten their own position in a free sexual market (for example, their lovers or prospective lovers & partners have less of an alternative sexual outlet to a real relationship if stripclubs & prostitution are outlawed - that’s pretty close to rape don’t you think?). 
Without being rude, you seem to justify sweeping and simplistic judgements upon how things are and should be on the basis of a flimsy grasp of cause and effect - rich nations are feminist, therefore feminism is good ; sex trafficking is evil, feminists don’t like sex trafficking, feminists don’t like strip clubs, therefore strip clubs are as evil as sex trafficking. I guess its your utopian mindset.

I think you owe it to men to actually demonstrate that something many or most of them do is evil before you allow feminists to take it away from them, just because they, and perhaps you, don’t like it.  I hope you’re aware that Hitler justified everything on the basis of ‘protecting the children of Germany’.  (BTW, as you know, a lot of people think transhumanism, conflated with eugenics, leads directly to Auschwitz).

It is highly disturbing to me that you see the decision to ban porn as a ‘revolutinary and interesting act’ and that you assume that the ‘sexual objectification’ of women is intrinsically evil and something to be removed.

If I walk down the street and see an attractive skimpily dressed woman, am I evil for merely glancing at her and admiring her sexual beauty?  As a transhumanist, would you like that impulse removed from my dna code, if it can’t be removed by the social engineering of feminists, of course?  A recent study into men who didn’t look at porn failed, on account of the fact that the researchers couldn’t find any man who didn’t look at porn.  Perhaps you and your transhumanist friends belong to that rareified and strictly hypothetical segment of the male population who do not ever look at porn, and have never sexually objectified the opposite sex, and therefore can afford to view legislation that criminilizes and dehumanizes the essential nature of what it is to be a man as ‘interesting’. In that case, you really have already lost your humanity.

for antifeminist - Ha!  thanks for your comments.  I don’t want you to think transhumanists don’t look at porn, that would be WILDLY INACCURATE and I thoroughly share your enjoyment of looking at attractive women.  However, my attitude has changed considerably since I became the father of two daughters.  I want them to live in a world where they can have equal opportunities to succeed, where they can be viewed as leaders, and where they get judged by men for more than their physical dimensions.  I know (many) men are programmed to view women as primarily sexual objects, but I think this is rather sad and superficial, don’t you? I always felt diminished when I was regarded that way.
Regarding your previous statement that feminism is a product of wealth, I still disagree—I am sure it is a product of culture.  There are wealthy “antifeminist” nations (Qatar) and impoverished nations that rate high on the Global Gender Gap index. (Philippines and Lesotho)  Virtually every Islamic nation scores low on the “women-friendly” chart, because the religion does not seem to promote equality.  The highest rated nations for women’s equality seem to be liberal Protestant / atheist nations.

for Paul, iPan, theantifeminist, & Bill—
what do you think a sexual utopia should be?
sometimes I get the impression from transhumanist men that what they want out of the future is just really great 3D porn and superhot Sex robots.
I think this lacks imagination and foresight. 
Partly because it seems like it is not what women really want and they are half the planet.  Sexual utopia needs to make a significant majority happier. 
There’s two things l’d like to see:
1. increased sexual aggression from women.  I think this would be interesting, and beneficial for females, to be the gender taking the initiative more often.  Being passive isn’t good training for leadership or entrepreneurial risk.
2. eventually, I’ve always liked the scenario Ursela K. LeGuin developed in “Left Hand of Darkness” where people were able to switch genders easily.  To go through life as both male and female would eliminate all divisiveness, misunderstandings, and gender war.

“and which just so happens to strenghten their own position in a free sexual market”

“Market”? market in reference to sexuality sounds too libertarian for IEET.

Well, correlation is not causation, but even if there was no causal relationship equality stands on its own two legs. Perhaps there is some undiscovered hidden factor that points a culture toward equality, peace, prosperity, longevity, and happiness all at once? Can that be teased out of the details? smile

Oh wait, how silly of me; there is a sexual marketplace: the meat market. And then there is the sexual marketplace of ideas. A thousand pardons.

Wow! I am really amazed by this thread.
First, thank you Hank for the hypothesis. Too often women are sidelined, objectified and ignored so these data, if they were to serve no other purpose, raise awareness that feminism and positive social qualities can co-exist.
Second, our nations and the world are eco-systems. Peace, democracy, acceptance of diversity, feminism, happiness, wealth most likely interact. Rather than cause and effect, we might think of it as nations that help create nurturing soil. That which helps protect the minority from the majority is good for the soul of a country.
Third, rape is not a crime of sex, it is a crime of power and control. Susan Brownmiller, years ago, wrote that “because some men rape, all men benefit.”  Over the years I’ve struggled with this quote, partly because it is extreme and partly because it is in part how violent power and control work for those in power. The attack on Rep. Gifford is an example. One lone person acts but the fear goes deep and it is fear that is used to control.
The embracing of women as equal partners in civic affairs as well as domestic affairs is an attempt to equalize power, to work against the normalcy that would allow rape to be an effective tool.
Women’s goals are to take part in community, not to replace male domination with female domination.
Transhumanist technologies, because they have the potential to define both culture and biology, need to tread very cautiously. We must never lose sight of an ecosystem approach, one that allows for paradox and multiple perspectives. The dominance of any one viewpoint is a threat to all.

Hank-
I’m not sure were your response to me in your most recent comment is aimed at concerning what I said.

My points, in order, were:

1) Feminism (or perhaps more eloquently, female empowerment) is one of the surest way’s to bring numerous benefits to society, some of which include decreased crime, increased productivity and employment, and increased happiness.

I think what some of the commenters are trying to argue against, is radical militant feminism, which is just a fringe movement by a few hard core fundamentalists. I acknowledge (for the benefit of those posters) that such a feminist movement does in fact exist, but I don’t consider it to be “true” feminism, and don’t associate their motives with what Hank is trying to get across here.

2) I simply do not advocate using law (in this case, the banning of strip clubs or pornography). This is a statement that comes from my anarchic leanings, not my feelings about those industries, which I feel for the most part can be very harmful.

3) Wanted to clarify that Assange hasn’t been charged in Sweden. He is wanted for questioning (unless something has changed since the last time I checked up on it). And the whole thing looks wrong to me.

To your next question now:

“What do you think a sexual utopia should be?”

In all honesty, I think that we will transcend sexuality as we know it. Eventually. I’m talking post-singularity, as in when all humans are uploads (or whatever). I’m not even sure sex (or at least in any form we would recognize today) will even exist.

Leading up to that, I’m looking forward to robotic sex partners, virtual sex partners, and perhaps some form of wire-heading. Whatever gets us where we’re going.

There’s another side to female empowerment that people don’t often think about.

As much as women are objectified for their bodies, men are objectified for their social status and wealth.

Wealthy men are attracted to young, beautiful females, and females are attracted to older, powerful, wealthy men.

This creates an imbalance and dependency issue.

One of the benefits to feminism, is that perhaps women won’t necessarily see these types of men as attractive anymore (because they will have their own wealth, power, and influence, they won’t need to get it from their partners). A recent study says this isn’t the case however. We’ll see.

But, this is the other side of the coin to why women are beholden to men.

This suggestion may seem counterintuitive, but consider it along with all the other things we should be doing to empower women:

Abolish child support, alimony, and legal marriage.
Encourage polyamory (scarcity creates competition - in a polyamorous society, everyone knows that their chance will roll around again eventually, so there’s less pressure to secure your chance now).

for iPan—I am also certainly not a radical feminist.  For example, I am pro-Israel and pro-Western civilization.  That definitely does not sit well with most of today’s leftist feminists.  ALso, speaking of sitting, I read that some Nordic feminists think school boys should sit down when they pee.  I am extremely opposed to that type of nonsense.  But, I think I am with the Icelanders on their banning of the strip clubs.  I live near the Broadway strip clubs in North Beach SF.  I really don’t see the social value.

“I am also certainly not a radical feminist.”

I know, I was trying to help point that out to people like antifeminist.

“I read that some Nordic feminists think school boys should sit down when they pee.”

That’s kind of funny, but kind of sad too. This is the kind of radical feminism that I think the others were worried about, and that I was trying to point out that you are not supporting. The confusion arises when we attach -isms to these things. Female empowerment. Feminism. They just feel different when you say them.

“But, I think I am with the Icelanders on their banning of the strip clubs.
I really don’t see the social value.”

Neither do I, at least in their current form. For one, I think males are seriously underrepresented in the sex industry (I’ve always wanted to be a porn star or prostitute myself, something I may look into when we have the tech to do it through virtual settings). I also kind of liked the conception of the Academy in Firefly (have you seen the show?) - they get health benefits, education, etc.
The industry itself is deplorable right now.
But the point I was making was about free choice. I disagree with writing new laws to ban things. No nanny states for me, kthx.

“I live near the Broadway strip clubs in North Beach SF.”

My ex-wife worked at two of those (I forget which ones, but one was on…..Colombus? It’s going toward the Transamerica building….anyway, doesn’t matter).
I also dated another girl who worked in Sacramento at sever clubs (Blue Rhino, etc.)
Having known them, is part of why I find them so terrible. I went to clubs a few times in my early twenties, and after about 5 times, I found it really depressing.
In the end, I’m all for erotic expression, even as a means of making a living. But the way we do it now….is just icky.

I tend to side with the view that feminism arises as a parasite on productive men. Why do feminists always seem to hold their hands out and demand stuff they have no intention of paying for, like goods and services for the children they randomly conceive from their hookups with cads? They use the political process as a substitute for the provider beta males they despise and don’t want to have anything to do with in their personal lives. Oh, but the employed betas absolutely must pay their taxes to subsidize the feminists’ political and lifestyle agendas.

Feminists and their enablers try to portray patriarchy as an unjustified state of society brought about by conspiracies of men with bad motives. But what if patriarchy arose organically in human evolution as a product of human action, though not through human design, because it just happens to work to keep the human species in business? Feminism over a few generations could wind up costing humanity dearly indeed.

for dor—Hi!  thanks for writing in.  It nice is nice to hear from a woman on this site, which seems at times like a men’s only magazine.  I thought your appearance would help tone down the blatant misogyny, but it seems like it hasn’t. 
for iPan—yes, there is a strip club near Broadway - The Lusty Lady - that is worker owned, so no one gets exploited there.  I actually used to work in strip clubs myself, as a puppeteer, I had some naughty Barbie doll shows I performed.  I must say I enjoyed sharing the dressing room.  Regarding the strippers, they seemed to unanimously despise their clients, but indulged them, of course, for the money.  Most of the strippers weren’t very happy, with one exception—a very clever one that worked only 6 months a year, and traveled the remaining 6 months.  She was making a lot of money and enjoyed it.
Mark Plus—your comments are discouraging.  I am in favor of the legislation in Nordic nations that requires that government positions are filled by at least 40% women.  There is also a movement to require all public owned companies to have at least 40% women on the Board.  Call it “affirmative action” if you will, but your comments seem so prejudicial that it seems like there hasn’t been sufficient integration between genders at all levels of our society.  I rather wish that IEET was at least 40% women as well, so that dialogue on subjects like this could be discussed by both sexes.

Dor said: ‘Women’s goals are to take part in community, not to replace male domination with female domination.’

Great. I believe you and I’m sure most women agree with that. There are of course always a small minority who screw things up for reasonable people but I’m not blaming the whole feminist movement for that. I’m aware that sexual harassment legislation had to be passed to deal with the real creeps but like everything else it can be taken to extremes.

Hank: I too am pro-Western and pro-Israel (both with qualifications) and I sympathise with your views on strip clubs, they are, if nothing else pretty tacky operations. And, at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, they appeal to the lowest side of human nature (men mostly, but there are male strippers too, let she who is without sin throw the first shoe - but not at the poor stripper) .

But I digress. You asked me about sexual utopia. As I once said to a socialist friend of mine, utopia is a very hard place to get to, how about trying for a half-decent world first? ie everyone having sufficient of the basics for a reasonable life first. Then when we’ve got that, maybe we can think about utopia(s).

So, maybe the first thing we have to think about is how to control the sex drive safely. I am getting on and how shall I put this, things ain’t what they used to be. But I’m with that Greek philosopher 2000 years ago who celebrated the loss of his sex drive by saying it had been like being chained to a maniac. Right on bro’.

I don’t take viagra or anything like that because for
me it’s liberation. I can now enjoy life without that crazy urge driving me to distraction.

A few years ago I found a science article on the net which said that researchers had found that the sex drive emanated from the same areas of the brain that were responsible for addiction. What a surprise.

I then found a wikipedia article on the subject of asexuals and I swear, I had a stab of envy as I read it. I wish I had been less on fire when I was younger. It took up so much of my concentration and focus when frankly I should have been focusing on better things.

(I’m curious. Am I and the Greek philospher the only two guys in human history to feel this way?)

It’s a stone age holdover. We needed it when we lived in a state of nature and survival and fertility were paramount. Now we are about 7 billion and rising (which we could handle if people would cooperate but that’s not the way of the world) and we need to be focusing on helping the elderly remain healthy, developing a robotic post scarcity society and less on reproduction (aka getting our rocks off).

In the short term, I’d like the scientists to develop a way where the sex drive could be safely controlled (by the individual I mean) so that when there is need for greater human reproduction it can be turned on and where there is less it can be lowered (or turned on at appropriate times)

Another alternative is a virtual reality machine like the Star Trek holodeck. Anyone who thinks such a device would be used mostly for Sherlock Holmes simulated adventures doesn’t know the human race. (It would probably need a regular swill out, hope they’ve invented the necessary robots for that icky job. Of course were any such thing invented I wouldn’t be surprised if women started complaining men weren’t taking much of an interest in them any more. Of course we guys know we can never win. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t ...smile

@Hank

“for Paul, iPan, theantifeminist, & Bill—
what do you think a sexual utopia should be? “

You make some good points in that reply.  To answer your question, I think a sexual utopia would be where every sexual being can fulfill his sexual needs without causing pain or harm to himself/herself or others.

Regarding the point about transhumanists only wanting 3d porn and sex robots.  If that’s the case, I’m reassured. Because most transhumanists I’ve read on this subject want to ‘perfect’ humanity by killing the male sex drive altogether, or even wiping men from the face of the planet.

I would also state that a free sexual market IS undeniably cruel and savage for a woman’s sexual and emotional needs.  The ageing process is particularly evil for women, and lets hope that science can fix that soon.  I also agree that women should be allowed to experience sex in the way that most men appear able to - as a physical and (non possesive) emotional joy.  Perhaps transhumanism can fix that too.

I think what will happen very soon is that virtual sex will replace physical face to face sex.  When it becomes as real as the real thing (likely to be remarkably soon) virtual sex will have so many advantages over real sex - even, you’ll be pleased to know, for women.

For example, women will no longer have to compete with 18 y.o teenage girls with perfect breasts - they can be that perfect teenage girl for their virtual lover..or they can be whoever,whatever they want to be.  Eventually, any roleplay or virtual identity will be possible.  I guess at some point the manipulation of memory, self-identity etc will become so advanced that an 80 year old woman (or man!) could literally BECOME an innocent female virgin for an hour of casual lovemaking.

At that point, the age old sexual conflict between men and women, which is fuelling the bitterness of modern feminism, and consequently so much pain for both men and women as well as disruption to society (despite what your lists say), will be over.

Also consider the impact of radical life-extension.  The number of
people having families and aspiring to ‘life-long’ monogamous partnerships will dwindle, perhaps even be forcibly reduced by governments concerned about over-population.  As David Pearce argues, the seperation of sex from reproduction and traditional (seflish) concepts of love is inevitable.  Traditional sexual morality, which feminists largely subscribe to and legislate for, will be obsolete.

You say that transhumanists don’t have much imagination.  Actually, it’s feminists with their incessant barrage of man hating sex negative laws which do not have imagination.  For example, in 20 years time, when these bitter and sad old Icelandic feminists can present themselves as perfect bodied young holograms in order to have virtual sex, will they have criminilized themselves with these ridiculous laws banning strip clubs or absurd definitions of ‘virtual chld pornography’ which make anime pictures of girls in bikinis illegal?

Feminism has always been a sexual trade union responding to changes in technology that rip open the free sexual market at an ever increasing speed.  The first wave resulted from industrialisation (the first feminists called not for the vote but for the banning of prostitution, saloon bars, and a rise in the age of consent), the second wave began immediately the contraceptive pill was introduced and allowed men to enjoy consequence free sex, the current third wave has been created out of globalisation and the internet, which enables polish hookers to offer a feminists husband sex for $30, or for him to chat live with a Russian webcam girl at any time of day across the world.

There will come a point soon, call it a singuarity moment if you will, when technology will open the free sexual market to the extent that feminists can’t keep up, or hopefully, no longer even want to.

Anway, thankyou for allowing my comments to be posted.

Finally, @the postfuturist.  I guess you agree with me (and the vast majority of muslim women) that conservative Islam does not oppress women, at least not as much as the free ‘meat’ market of the west does, if the lustful gaze of a man is so much the worst thing that a woman can suffer.

The way I see it, we are gradually heading towards a genderless society, and by this I do not mean that men and women will no longer exist, I mean that the goals and aspirations, mutual respect, unification of perception as humans first! of both the sexes will align. Perhaps in the future the importance of sexual relationships will be diminished with folks having less sex to serve the purpose of recreation and entertainment, (merely periodical exercise of passion - which is important!), or maybe even solely for family planning purposes? (something this planet and world society desperately needs - a reduction in population growth!)

In the meantime, and before this future unfolds, we will see and already have been seeing evidence of the emasculation of men, the empowerment of women, the pursuit of equal goals in career and job status, (which does cause real problems with associated numbers of unemployed men, and of career women in senior and middle management who may flip-flop to have children, some of whom may never return fully to their position or their career mindset?) As well as the social problems of men who may feel undervalued and feel that they may never achieve their goals, wants and needs with regard to jobs, status, and the desires towards the women they feel attracted to?

What’s the answer to these social and economic problems and conflicts between the status and employment of the sexes? .. well.. more jobs for one thing, and prosperity for all! This naturally guides towards happiness, peace and contentment of the masses.

Yet despite all of this drive towards the empowerment and equal status of women, by women, I will ask this.. And it has already been hinted at in the above comments..

What type of men do women really prefer - geeks or jocks?
What type of men do women really prefer in bed - geeks or jocks?
What type of sex do women really prefer in bed - ??

I am always wary of men who too passionately stand up for the rights of feminism in the face of their own masculine tendencies, and who may deplore this “vile” prehistoric nature of men and their sex drives. Not because I feel they do not stand up for equal rights, but because I feel they are not being honest - To view a woman wholly dispassionately and without noticing gender or sexual attraction is troubling? To view the equality of men and women and their rights as citizens is merely common sense, and thus nothing special to boast about.

The protection of the rights afforded to citizenship regardless of sexual orientation goes without saying, and anybody who disputes the equal status of men, women or children on the basis of sexual gender, or even differences in culture is a bigot, (and any theocracy or autocracy that does this is a threat to the progress of humanity!) But it’s also worth noting that, the philosophy of equality is really a given, and that perhaps this is not really what modern feminism is all about? (Is it really about the empowerment of women over men, in the guise of the pursuit of equality? Is it about the promotion of a matriarchy?) Even Plato, (who may have been gay or at least bi-sexual?), favoured the equal rights and status of women, (although a man’s true feelings of the status and equality of women in general may be derived from the love and respect he has for his own mother?) These ideas of equality are thus not new, they are not merely contemporary.

The porn industry as well as strip clubs and lap dancing clubs have a lot to answer for, with regards to promoting a culture of “look but don’t touch”, which I believe leads to repressed sexual energies, (in men and women), and which serves to promote a decadent society that encourages sexual deviants, and folks that “see it on the screen” and “want it”, and “want it like that”, and “want to try that”, but have absolutely no prospects of achieving these wants and desires - thus desperation arises? And yet is all of this sexual voyeurism and experimentation merely purely curiosity? - on the behalf of men and women?

Regardless, the porn industry serves it’s own purposes - to make the fortunate few rich and powerful, so they in turn, can have their way impulsively, compulsively and without recriminations? These fortunate few, unfortunately, are still the type of powerful men that women are attracted and drawn to?

Final note..
1. More women are required to make this debate even slightly valid.
2. I do not agree that your stats prove happiness, nor peacefulness, (behind every war mongering man is generally a powerful lady Macbeth persona), nor prosperity, nor forward thinking.

Re Paul’s note, well I had a chuckle at your comment re holodeck hygiene- hehe! ; )... interesting to read your comments on changing libido. As a woman mine’s been messed with various ways over the years via contraceptives of various chemical sorts. (And, of course, it varies wildly over the course of each month, as do many of my other physical and mental abilities.) Perhaps, for example, ambitious young college students could take the male equivalent (it can’t be that hard to design one) as some sort of enhancement of their cognitive abilities? Why does it sound scary (even to female me) and reminiscent of “castration” to suggest this for men, while it’s commonplace for women as a side-effect of voluntary population control/taking control of our own lives?

Gender is not my area of research, and I’m not going to comment on Hank’s statistics, but it seems intuitive that where the responsibilities and risks of life and reproduction are shared equally between two competent beings each will be less stressed than if those risks and responsibilities are placed unfairly on either partner AND one member of the “team” has to spend half his time subduing the spirit of the other half! But whether the responsibilities are distributed fairly depends very much on the environment and circumstances. What works as an equal distribution of risks in Iceland today might result in a completely unequal distribution in, say, modern Pakistan, or medieval England, because of higher risks from childbirth, or from fighting, or from food production. The balance between the sexes has to keep changing along with their context. And, as a male caregiver to a small child friend of mine is finding out, looking after children is remarkably hard work and incapacitating if you need to do anything else at the same time. Sometimes, decision makers just haven’t had all the information to make a judgement about a fair distribution of burdens!

Working on reducing risks to both and increasing control over environmental and morphological factors seems, prima facie, to be more likely to lead to longer lifespans for both, and more resilience into the bargain. Nature’s morphological compromise is admirable in the roughest conditions, but doesn’t keep up with the times.

We have to continually re-evaluate this balance for optimum longevity, and we also have to balance individual longevity against species renewal. That’s not feminism, that’s good design.

I am in favor of the legislation in Nordic nations that requires that government positions are filled by at least 40% women. There is also a movement to require all public owned companies to have at least 40% women on the Board.

Disagree. I am in favor of 100% women if they are the most suitable persons for the job, or 0% otherwise. As a citizen I want a good administration and I don’t give a damn about the genitals of the administrators. These AA idiocies harm everyone. Note: I often vote for women because I often think a specific woman is the best candidate in a specific election, but this choice should have nothing to do with genitals.

I frankly find it disgusting that anybody would advocate the use of political force (i.e. violence) to stop any voluntary interaction between people. If a strip club or pornographer has in any way harmed an employee, contractor, or customer do not hesitate to take every action necessary to see the victim made whole. If abuse is pervasive in the industry, as is suggested, then let the industry die under the weight of its own guilt and I will be happy to see it go.

However, accusations of specific instances of abuse aside, to presume you have the right to pass judgement on the private affairs of others and back that judgement up with threats of force is abhorrent, subhuman behavior which decrees you de facto unfit to participate in the evolution of the species.

What tripe. Statistics are completely meaningless unless they are calculated scientifically and presented in rationally conclusive way - even then a healthy dose of skepticism is required. How about looking into population, class friction, healthcare, workers rights as indicators?

The discussion here is even worse. There needs to be a better means of addressing the gender gap and more education for young men and women about the insidious forms of gender inequality. As for radical feminists, their ideas of policies may be extreme, but there is a lot of anger at the constant pressure on women to conform to patriarchal values and it’s frightening to consider the severe anxiety many women feel, often without knowing why, so you have to expect some form of release of these strong emotions, not to mention growing pains as more and more professional women learn to find their own voice in world where (white) men still dictate the vocabulary.

There was a comment somewhere about women being attracted to status and wealth. There is still this culture that teaches women fight with each other over claims of high status prizes, and as soon as a woman gets hers she can finally stop the struggle, and who cares about those still struggling anyway.

Fortunately, there are women from all walks of life that transcend this institutionalized inequity and in-fighting, and command respect as women and individuals. Shouldn’t every woman have a chance at self-actualization?

iPan has the right idea - we need to agree on a basic level of freedoms and liberties for everyone and work toward that before we can even presume about building a utopia.

@Justen “I frankly find it disgusting that anybody would advocate the use of political force (i.e. violence) to stop any voluntary interaction between people…

I agree, well said.

I agree with Cygnus XI’s comment that this thread needs “more women to make the debate even slightly valid.” In fact (at the risk of irritating Justen) I’d say it needs 40% women to sufficiently guarantee female imput.  More communication between genders is necessary on these “feminist” topics, that have gotten quite polarized.
    That aside, I want to say that I am definitely in favor of more sex for men and I believe there’s a chance that feminism can actually help.
    When young women are fully liberated from any financial need for a husband, I believe they’‘ll view sex more as “recreation.”
    When women’s self-esteem is bolstered by their financial, academic and political success, “LOVE” won’t be so essential in intercourse. Perhaps it can be as casual as tennis?
    If rape and is ever eliminated or reduced to a fraction of today’s total, the fear of men that many women have will be alleviated, trust will improve, and sexual encounters will increase.
    All improvements in birth control and STD prevention improve men’s chances of getting laid.  Plus, it is essential that men co-operate in using condoms.  We do not know if the charges against Assange are false or true, but any man who resists wearing a condom hurts the chances of the next guy who wants to get in bed with that woman.
    Physical intimacy between human beings creates a warm wonderful bond.  Porn, sexbots and prostitution won’t replace it.
    Regarding “sexual objectification” - we’ve all been laid by people who actually liked us, and we’ve also been laid by people who just thought we were “hot.” Doesn’t the former generally feel better?

First off, I’d like to point out that there are many different types of feminism and feminists. They are not all militant and you do not need to be militant to be a feminist. Women want to be treated equally. I don’t understand why that is so problematic. These statistics are interesting because they are countries we can look at to improve the system and see what works and what doesn’t. 
Mark Plus, your comment about “Feminism over a few generations could wind up costing humanity dearly indeed” seems unfounded. Why would having women considered as equals to men cost humanity? Women, like men, do not want to be told what role they should play in society. They also would like the respect and credit deserved for their part in society. This goes back to the hunter-gather days when the status of the woman vs the status of men was unequal. The work was given disproportionate status because the work the women did taking care of the children and the home was not seen as valuable as the work the men did. Someone needs to take care of children. If women are in the workforce, as CygnusX1 points out, then someone needs to take care of the children, whether that be a male or female.
This does not cost humanity, it is a change that needs to unfold.

CygnusX1, so what if high-level women get careers, that they were worthy of having over a man based on qualifications, and decide to leave them because they have children? For one, there needs to be less pressure on women to assume the role of caretaker when it comes to having children. It should be their choice and if they choose it there is no reason to look down on them for taking a man’s job. What if a man gets to upper management and decides to leave to switch careers or take care of his children? Should this choice be looked down upon because he took a job from another man, or woman? It’s ridiculous.

As far as the emasculation of men, maybe masculinity is due to be redefined. Men do not have to be the sole breadwinner anymore and they are just as capable of taking care of the children. There are even different benefits between men and women staying home.

Might I suggest you check out the great book “Glass Ceilings and 100-Hour Couples: what the opt-out phenomenon can teach us about work and family” by Karine Moe and Dianna Shandy http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Ceilings-100-Hour-Couples-Phenomenon/dp/0820334049/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294771358&sr=8-1. It is an easy read and quite informative.

Feminism, just like the Civil Rights and Gay Rights movements, is a necessity in a society that has made arbitrary decisions about the valuation of humanity.  The inequality of women in this society has been arbitrarily determined based on biological difference.  There is nothing genetically coded that says women should like pink and men should like blue.  There is nothing genetically coded that says women should be in the home and not in the workforce.  These are decisions that were made by those that were in power.  The hunter-gatherer societies that knscott refers to actually didn’t all devalue the women (sorry, kns!).  Often each role was valued equally as each contributed an important aspect to the perpetuation of the society working harmoniously. 

It’s time to stop basing people’s potential on their gender.  Unfortunately, we cannot do that overnight.  We have to reeducate people that what we have previously believed and based our society upon is incorrect.  Part of the reeducation process are movements, like the women’s rights, Civil rights and gay rights movements.

Feminism benefits all…including men.  The overemphasis on masculinization in men is just as damaging to the male gender as the objectification of women is to the female.  We should all be able to embrace who we are as people and individuals not as a specific gender.  We should all be able to be valued equally for the abilities we have and contributions we make to the global community…but not based on the arbitrary nature of biologically determined reproductive organs.  My ovaries, uterus, vagina and breasts don’t have anything to do with my brain…other than that they are all contained within the same body.  Science is wonderful…but it’s not everything.  Reproductive organs don’t determine everything…only whether or not one is a bearer of children or a genetic donor.  Who decided which was more important?  Someone, somewhere, many years ago decided that one was more important than another as a way to gain power and control others…that’s all.  And if they did have other reasons, we have progressed far enough now to prove any previous scientific reasons as invalid.  The quest for power and control is an unfortunate aspect of human nature that is sadly perpetuated by us.  We also have the power to fight it…

Hank
The Lusty Lady! That was one of the two clubs my ex worked at (about 10 years before I met her), thanks for jogging my memory. I was trying to think of the street, if your at Mario’s Cigar Shop near the corner of the park, and then head straight towards TransAmerica.
As to the feelings of the strippers about their clients, yes this is the major reason I quit going after a few tries. Being highly sensitive, I quickly picked up on the fact that the women were not getting the same sexual arousal I was from their work. There was no reciprocation there, and for me, that breaks the illusion, in other words, the fact that the girls weren’t turned on by what they were doing turned me off.

The difference between “femin-ism” and “female empowerment”.
I often run into this problem when I tell people that I’m an Anarchist.
What sounds better to you, Anarchist, or Autonomous Egalitarian? To me, they sound the same, but I often opt for the latter, because of the violent associations with Anarchism.
Same with “Femin-ism”, and “Female Empowerment”.

Here’s a question: There are numerous studies that show that empowering females leads to enormous benefits to society across the board. My question, is if it succeeds ultimately in granting true equality to women, then continued female empowerment would then have diminishing returns, right?
The reason I state it like this, is because I think the real issue is about empowering all people who are oppressed.
Black empowerments. Female empowerment. Poor people empowerment.
Empowerment works to uplift those who are trapped by systems of oppression.

What interests me about female empowerment, is that from a pragmatic point of view, empowering females quickly leads to other problems being solved, as a side effect. Or, as a corollary effect (I had to look that word up).
From a purely statistical perspective, female empowerment offers additional benefits, including empowering other sectors of humans, so I think we ought to place it higher on our list of priorities. Path of least resistance. Stoning two kills with one bird, and all that.

Until technology allows us more options, we are still slaves to our biology. Yes, the enlightened among us can do something to mitigate that, but we’re not going to eradicate it.
As I mentioned, a recent study showed that even as women rose in social status in the work force, they still preferred men with wealth and power. I suppose we could do a similar mirror study to see if men who dropped in social status still prefer young beautiful women (lol).

I think eliminating marriage (the quintessential institution for repressing women), and everything attached to it would go a long way. Decrease the focus on paternity and inheritance through the male line. Abolish alimony, child support, and divorce law.
When a person’s financial affairs are considered their own, and no one elses, regardless of personal relationships (this means a women cannot take a man’s possessions through divorce, etc. - cannot demand child support), then people will have to exercise responsibility for themselves, and I think we’ll see a more “village” like approach to raising children.
Men will be less concerned about raising cuckoos, because the burden is shared by all, and not squarely placed on the shoulders of one couple.
The current nuclear family and institution of marriage makes children into “property”. Children are also chattel.

My proposal is simply that we remove legal and financial status from “marriage” (not that we forbid people from engaging in long term, monogamous relationships if they want to - just that we get the law completely out of it).

I’d say it’s anti-feminist (or on a broader spectrum, generally sexist) to assert that any input or insight from women is of a special and separate character from that of men in the first place which would require a genital-based assignment of work roles. So to say we need X percent minimum of vaginas in a workplace in order to ensure “balanced input” is of the same character as saying we need X or greater percent of penises. Really, we’re beyond all that, or we should be. What sets my transgender friends who prefer the traditionally “female” role apart mentally from women? Penises? I think not. What sets, say, Hilary Clinton (whom I despise, but wholly on merits), apart from Al Gore? Her womb? I don’t think so (and I’d use who aren’t violent political pigs aping as intelligent beings but those figures are more universally recognizable, sadly enough).

Hank, I love your post, bravo! As for the those commentators that are quick to say that correlation does not equal causation,  I would retort (to quote Edward Tufte) that “Correlation is not causation but it sure is a hint.” 

This is a wonderfully rich conversation, with so many threads—I could spend all day engaged in this discussion, but alas, I do have deadlines I have to meet, so I’m choosing to address only a few of the threads. 

First, notions of feminism and protofeminism are hardly new ideas—In Plato’s ideal state in The Republic, women in should work alongside men, receive equal education and share equally in all aspects of the state. The sole exception was that women were to work in capacities which did not require as much physical strength. 

Since then, the notion of feminism has branched off into many splinters, different schools of thought:  Liberal, socialist, marxist, anarcha, eco, (Wikipedia does a very nice job on exploring different schools of theories on this). 

As a lawyer and bioethicist, much of my research on evolving notions of personhood has focused on how the status of women changed from property (with no rights) to persons (with full rights), at least in civilized cultures.  That, to me, is the essence of feminism.  Not being treated like property.  Not being treated like a commodity.  Exercising my freedoms/liberties and having a choice as to livelihood.  Control over my reproductive organs, access to birth control.  The thought that these are ‘luxuries’ is chilling—they ought be, IMHO, basic human rights.

@ theantifeminist—can you give some examples of ‘shameful exploitation of the tragic abuse of a small minority of children and women to take liberties away from men”?  I am having a hard time picturing those circumstances. 

@MarkPlus and @theantifeminist—why paint all feminists with the same broad unflattering strokes? It’s like saying ‘all Nigerians are corrupt.’ Btw, MarkPlus, I agree with you that it is despicable when women treat their children as if they were their own personal property—there were women I knew who would give fake names to the state welfare department because they didn’t want to let the fathers have visitation.  Children ought not be viewed as property, either.

As for standing/sitting while peeing, that was written by our own Martine Rothblatt in the Apartheid of Sex, an excellent thought provoking book. 

 

Oy, there’s a lot going on here, so just to organize my brain, I’m going to break it down into bits. 

1. Hank’s original thesis is, indeed, flawed.  The countries on these lists certainly did not get there simply because they embrace feminism, but rather, as dor pointed out earlier, because societies function like ecosystems.  It’s all about finding a balance that works for a particular society.  What works in Iceland might not work in Ireland or India or other countries that may or may not start with the letter “I,” but what Hank’s done here is open up another avenue of consider what it is that makes societies run more smoothly.  If we can figure that out, we can try it in other places, then re-balance things out to fit that particular society. 

Maybe the current form of patriarchal rule did develop organically, but that all depends on your definition of “organic.”  Discussion and decision-making, based on promoting the best interests of the people in power, is a form of organic development.  The trouble is that white men are no longer the only ones in power or the ones with a voice in decisions.  Nor is it “common sense” that they should be. I’m a woman, as are many others who have commented here, and we’re speaking up.  To tell us that we can’t is no longer acceptable, as it historically would’ve been. So the development of dominant norms and decisions about power structures is clearly changing.  Organically.

2. “Feminism” doesn’t have a single definition.  “Equality” doesn’t really either.  Actually, neither do “good” or “bad.”  There were, undoubtedly, “good” things about patriarchal rule in the past.  When no one even thought about women having options other than caretaking or being spinster governesses/dressmakers/whatever else spinsters did, having men around who were willing to clothe, feed, and generally take care of women was a good idea. But we don’t live like that anymore, nor can we reasonably return to that, without causing incredible damage to national economies and general well-being. So that kind of patriarchy is no longer “good.”

And, there are, indeed, portions of the feminist movement that are “bad” for men. We women are taking away jobs, taking control of our behaviour and sexuality (as much as we can in our sexually repressed West, anyway), and, in the process, deflating a few male egos.  The problem isn’t that some women and men want to have gender equality, though, it’s that (as LEBond mentioned) our definitions of “good ” and “bad” haven’t changed with our demands. We think equality is good.  Awesome.  We think oppression is bad.  Also awesome.  But at the same time, we think that boosting our current normative (NOT natural, mind you) form of masculinity is good in people whose biological sex is male, and bad in people whose biological sex is female.  And vice versa for femininity. Here’s where I have to (sort of) disagree with LEBond. Having a vagina, etc, has quite a bit to do with my brain, because it has a lot to do with the way I’ve been conditioned to think about and perform the gendered aspects of my identity. Not everything, mind you, but a lot. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, either.  To tell me I only have one option—popping out babies, then raising them with my husband’s money and my own time—that’s bad.  But so is telling men that the only option they have is impregnating their wives and then working a paying job to support the wife and children.  Of course, men tend to have more socially acceptable alternatives. Instead, what many of us here (including Hank’s original article) actually seem to be calling for here is rendering more alternatives for more people a good thing.  Maybe that’s actually what we all mean by democracy. Women and men COULD go to work and/or raise a family and/or move to New Zealand.  A country COULD make strip clubs illegal and/or promote economic equality and/or keep state and religion separate.

OR we could all go back to an historically patriarchal way of living.  But like I said, that seems like a bad idea.

3. To return to the discussion way at the beginning here, let’s talk about pornography and the sex industry.  Most of the voices on this have come from men who find it normal for men to look at porn, visit strip clubs, etc. I am a woman.  I like porn.  I’ve been to several strip clubs (all of them, oddly enough, in West Virginia, which I’m sure was at least somewhat different from those others have mentioned in Miami and California). I had fun at the strip club.  Maybe the dancers didn’t.  And maybe they shouldn’t always be having fun.  It is, after all, a job, and they do have to be on their feet all evening, working the crowd for their pay. The same thing goes for porn actors and actresses.  And standup comedians. And musicians. It’s a job in the entertainment industry.

So why do we treat the sex industry as though it’s something other than an industry?  Sure, the same “services” are available all around the world for free. I suppose if I tried hard enough, I could get a woman to dance in front of me naked and not have to pay for it.  But by that same token, I could get someone to help me pick out a car or tutor me in a foreign language (just to name a few) without having to pay them for it.  What is it about the sex industry that’s so controversial, aside from the fact that it’s the one industry where not only are women the majority of workers, but they’re demanded to be so?  Here, the feminists are at least partially right.  It is demeaning to women, particularly because “sex industry” is traditionally associated with women AND considered something obscene and, therefore, bad. But it’s only that way because we think that sex is obscene and that staring at a woman (not a person, mind you, a woman) is demeaning.  And it is.  I don’t really like to be leered at.  But then, most of the men I know don’t like that, either.  We also don’t get paid to show our bodies. 

So maybe the problem isn’t the actual existence of pornography or strippers, but rather, the notion that strippers = debased = women = bad. But what if we start thinking of the sex industry as an industry, and regulate it to be so?  What if we demand that 40% of all sex workers be men? Will they be debased as well, or will the sex industry become a positive form of entertainment?

What if we TALK about sex openly in a way that reasserts it as a positive thing, NOT one inherently fixed thing? And while we’re at it, why don’t we talk about feminism, masculinity, national policy, economies, and power structures in the same way?

The correlation is related to social awareness. Longevity is related to the quality of health care, and the countries with the greatest longevity also happen to have Government-funded health care systems that cost the users very little or nothing for their services. These are countries that are more socially aware, and this may have contributed to their laws for women’s rights.

By the way, you may also choose to correlate these with gay rights. Works just as well. The protection of men from the expectations of women? smile

Another reason the affirmative action approach doesn’t work:

People hired to fill a quota will always have a nagging doubt about their own merit.

Just to respond to Lfaber…let me clarify.  My reproductive organs do have something to do with my brain in exactly the way you mean.  That was not the point I was trying to make.  Absolutely it does within this society because of the conditioning I have had.  The point I was trying to make is that those reproductive organs don’t necessarily effect my brain function biologically.  I was trying to make a point about biological determinism…not about cultural and societal conditioning! smile

I enjoyed reading Hank’s article, which is amusing, has value, and gave me a good chuckle.  Is it perfectly correct? Of course not - statistics are never perfect.  Does it stand up to academic thesis status?  It was not intended to. 

Feminism is not one concept, but a compilation and synthesis of hundreds of years of efforts to bring about equality in the Western World.  That spirit has also tried to bring it to the rest of the world.  Yet Feminism is just a term, and eons and epochs before the Suffragettes and the WSPU, were the Egyptians (…“Egyptian woman seems to have enjoyed the same legal and economic rights as the Egyptian man - at least in theory” <http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptianwomen.html>) and before them were other tribes and cultures where women thrived in the legends of mythic goddesses (i.e. fertility icons, warriors, and then there is the noble goddess Athena – the protector).

To make associations about longevity and feminism, happiness and feminism, democracy and feminism, and peace and feminism—makes sense to me as a narrative that mirrors an historical scope of woman’s nature.  There is another side of the coin, however. Woman are not always the most enlightened of genders – Just watch reality TV shows featuring the reptilian, Hades aspect of womanhood.  It is not very pleasant.  It is embarrassing.  (I suppose it is for men as well, since those Housewives of New York have husbands, and Jersey Shores has housemen.)

Nevertheless, Hank’s article touches on what is really important, that some areas on this planet may be more accommodating to peace of mind and prosperity than others.  It is interesting that they are actually or generally have a lower population than other countries. grin

But what I am more interested in is why this conversation headed in the direction of pornography and sex instead of areas such as personhood and property (as Linda mentions), as well as brain characteristics (not as Aristotle foolishly claimed, but) in regards to deep psychology and behavioral characteristics.

Issues concerning reproduction may be the most complex to wrestle with, considering the entire field of reproduction and exo-body wombs, building new persons, etc.  I wonder how reproduction as non-gender specific will affect the feminists who are traditional mothers and instinctive nurturers. 

How timely, we can watch this battle being carried out here (the comments section is particularly thought provoking if you want to get a cross section of perspectives):

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/01/11/5811385-assange-case-has-feminism-gone-too-far

“I am in favor of 100% women if they are the most suitable persons for the job, or 0% otherwise.”  (Giulio)

Nice.  Yes.

 

“...Woman are not always the most enlightened of genders – Just watch reality TV shows featuring the reptilian, Hades aspect of womanhood…”

IMO the first question to ask is: how would women act if men didn’t control them to such a degree? no one likes being shepherded like goats in a pasture.
BTW, congrats for Max’s new position, and best of fortune; after all, I’m a member of Alcor—and there are others at IEET who are members as well.

PS (will comment “only” twice a day from now on).

“Finally, @the postfuturist. I guess you agree with me (and the vast majority of muslim women) that conservative Islam does not oppress women, at least not as much as the free ‘meat’ market of the west does, if the lustful gaze of a man is so much the worst thing that a woman can suffer.”

Porn doesn’t bother me, but if Sweden (!) bans it, then one has to wonder.

 

Fascinating article—thanks for noticing such an intriguing correlation!

Incidentally, I’m sure you’ve already come across this, but there was a recent study in Science that found that group IQ—which the authors of the study argue is a real and measurable property of groups—is strongly correlated with the number of women in the group. Thus, the more women you have in your group, the smarter your group will tend to be! (I’ve been meaning to write an article about this…)

All humans are sequestered to chattle-like formations from time to time.  No one really likes it, unless they have a proclivity for such measures. 

I am not a person who has ever been controlled by another person, but I have been controlled by systems.  How did it feel?  Like prison.  Like being caged.  When I was a teenager/young woman, I existed in a system run by men (church/school/family/state/etc.) that demanded control over females.  I ran - far and fast, literally.  It is interesting that the symbol of death—the grim reaper, along with the sickle,  is engendered as a man.  I’m still trying to get away from it!

Good points (just HAD to come back for a 3rd time today).
To mention porn one more—Scouts honor—time on this thread:
it was difficult to believe the eyes when I read here that Sweden banned porn—almost comparable to Jamaica banning marijuana. What next? will France ban the French language, wine, and cheese?

Ms. Pellisier
Has it ever occured to you that perfect virtual sex (afforded by the singularity) would dispense with the need to be a sniveling mangina to begin with?

Hank Pellissier: However, my attitude has changed considerably since I became the father of two daughters. I want them to live in a world where they can have equal opportunities to succeed, where they can be viewed as leaders, and where they get judged by men for more than their physical dimensions.

Most men do, in fact, view women as more than the sum of their physical parts, Hank. In Western countries, anyway. Most men, in fact, work hard for the women and children in their lives.

What feminism does is singles out the small group of men who behave poorly towards women and makes them seem the norm. Most men—most people, for that matter—coexist pretty peacefully. Rape is defined by feminists as everywhere but it’s actually fallen in recent decades (some have posited because the prevalence of porn gives men release elsewhere…have fun with that one!).

But if you want to remove the “physical dimension” from the equation, then you’re basically looking to end the world, because reproduction itself rests on the male pursuing the female of the species when it comes to humans.

Sometimes we get so intellectualized that we get removed from our basic biological urges. Let’s put it another way: if I could turn back time and make your wife look like Andre the Giant or Hulk Hogan, would you have daughters at all? There has to be some basic level of attraction, and I don’t believe this is “socialized” to the degree feminists would have us believe. I assume you were attracted to your wife and you would want men to have some basic attraction to your daughters at some point?

Another point: for all the complaining fathers do about not wanting their daughters to be sex objects, they all seem to make sure their daughters are always well-dressed, eat right, etc. Why not feed them total junk food and blow them up like balloons, dress them in rags, refuse to comb their hair, etc.? Then they would have to be judged by their personality and ability because looks would be off the table.

I think you realize that option would be worse than guys “looking at them,” which seems a negative only if you view that through a religious lens, not a biological one. Feminism, Catholicism and Puritanism seem to go hand in hand when it comes to the way they view men liking women as somehow “sinful.”

for antifeminist - thank you for providing a link on your site to this article - you’re driving a lot of traffic here, much obliged.  However, I don’t know why they are insulting my masculinity, calling me Ms. and a mangina, when in truth it is they who are insecure, their shivering testicles withdrawn up inside them, fearful of being socially castrated, emasculated by women’s equality. But thanks, I am really enjoying this discussion.
for everyone - I disagree with the notion that some have put forth that feminism will evolve “organically” in different ways in different nations. “Organic” seems like a hippy-dippy word that trivializes the hard, practical work that women’s activists have done in the Nordic “feminist” nations.  Most obviously, the European nations have a much longer maternity (and paternity) leave than the USA - entire year in Sweden, for example.  This is immensely important in allowing women to be both mothers and career advancers (my wife had to leave her job because 4 weeks wasn’t enough time off after a difficult c-section).  To say extended maternity leave happens “organically” ? isn’t accurate. It happens because people work, struggle, fight and pressure their governments for it.
There is a “libertarian/meritocratic” vein in USA political thinking that has been evidenced in this comment thread.  I often find this very short-sighted and obtuse.  For example, Germans I know are startled that college education is so expensive here, instead of it being provided freely.  “It’s an investment by the government,” they say. “Providing free education to the population results in long-term benefits.” To make that relevant to our discussion, I want to repeat that creating legislation that installs 40% women in government would be beneficial.  Today 1 out of 7 cabinet appointees in the USA are women, under Bush it was 1 out of 11.  There’s a “glass ceiling” there. Elevating women into more of those positions would invigorate young ambitious girls, plus it would accomplish what Philippe referred to—increase the IQ of the group.
Finally, I want to repeat my original contention, that women’s equality (with it’s sibling - democracy) is a driving, dynamic force that can make a nation happier, richer, more peaceful, secular, and longer-lived.  Women’s equality, ie. feminism, is really a “verb” while the others are “nouns.”  Feminism is defined by what it actively accomplishes, the legislation it passes, the social changes it instigates.  The other categories listed are various calculations of their nation’s condition.  The verb of feminism, the energy of successful gains in women’s equality, impacts and improves the condition of a nation.

Hank, I enjoyed your post. I read it with a smile and it is, for sure. a trend in the future for all men and women. The follow up comments were thought provoking and gave me a complete range on what is involved. I am certain we are at a cross road, but I am not ready to predict what the final outcome will be. 

Your lists revealed some interesting conclusions. One question - - How did the Philipines, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam get on these lists? Technology has freed from the European based culture from certain encrumbrences, but billions more in the world remain “oppressed” by the traditions of men.

for Edward - The Philippines is the only one of the four Asian nations you mentioned that is on the “Best Nations for Women” list put out by the Global Gender Gap index, it is rated #9.  There have been two female President of the Philippines - the archipelago is rated #17 in Political Empowerment, #13 in Economic Participation, and it is tied for #1 in both Educational Attainment and Health & Survival.

for everyone - “Sexual Objectification” is partially natural and partially learned.  It makes sense biologically to be attracted to potential mates that look like they’re healthy and smart enough to raise one’s spawn.  But that doesn’t explain why 1 billion Chinese women got their feet broken and squished into tiny shoes, or why some Polynesian groups were attracted to obese women, or why many Somalians and Egyptians cut off the clitoris and labia and sew up the vaginas of underage girls .  In those cultures, males desiring tiny feet, “smooth” genitalia, and ripples of fat - can cause serious physical, mental, and emotional damage to females.  Does “sexual objectification” cause damage to women in Western cultures?  When it does, it seems sensible to alleviate it.  A few years ago, Spain declared that all models within in borders had to have a certain proportional body weight - this was their attempt to curtail anorexia, bulimia, and other maladies that occur when women starve themselves to achieve what they fear is the cultural standard.

@evilwhitemalempire—Really?  Name-calling?  Wow.  How old are you? I guess that what you do when you can’t contribute anything intelligent. 

@DaysofBrokenArrow—“What feminism does is singles out the small group of men who behave poorly towards women and makes them seem the norm.”  As I commented earlier, is it really inaccurate to characterize all feminists with one broad sweep.  Would you really say “what Nigerians do is single out stupid people on the internet and prey on them for the greed?”  Or “what Transhumanists do is advocate for a superior race”? (How many time have I heard that one!?)

 

 

@Hank: I don’t believe in wasting talented minds on such vile underhanded things as government positions, so if I were to accept the premise that a female mind was somehow substantively different to a man’s in a beneficial way the last thing I’d want is to put more of them in positions where they’d be helping the military-industrial-corporate-media complex rape and pillage the rest of us wink

As to your comments about “libertarian”, I take some offense to that. Libertarians are by far the most egalitarian folks I’ve ever met. In the many circles I’ve been in, they are the only ones in whom I have never detected so much as a stifled sneer at the notion of giving equal footing with people of different sexes, ethnicities, and tastes. The political “left”‘s idea of feminism is by comparison patronizing, degrading, and condescending (as is their idea of racial equality and many other notions they like to cling to). The only thing they abhor as a general rule is the use of violence against others.

Of course we could be getting into a “no true scottsman” fallacy zone here, as I’ve heard plenty on the political “right” who like to throw the other-other-L-word around when they mean to say “freedom for me and not for you”. As my good friend James Hines likes to put it, however, “liberty is the only thing you can’t have if you’re not willing to share it with others”. Let us evolve beyond violence and express our feelings with our actions, not our words. If a person or company is bigoted or otherwise vile, don’t go complain to some thug to force them to pretend they are not such; simply disassociate with them. When you see someone being abusive, stand up and speak your mind. This takes more courage than complaining to the nearest authority figure, but look at the powerful impact it has on people around you (much as I hate reality television, the show “What Would You Do” demonstrates this fact on a weekly basis). This is an incredibly powerful thing to do, much more effective than begging for the attention of a person who’s only tool is violence, which does not solve problems, only deflects them.

Hank- once again, thank you.

There is a tendancy in this thread toward either/or rather than both/and reasoning. How many times have we experienced perceptions of attractiveness being shaped by attitudes and actions, with someone becoming perceptually more or less attractive once we know know more of their heart?

As a reminder, “rights” and “empowerment” are different. What can be empowered because of social or cultural shifts can easily be disempowered when those forces change again. Recognition of equality as a right differs from gains in visibility and access. What happened to women in Iran is an example of that shift, as highlighted in the book “Reading Lolita in Tehran”.

The role of women in society is complex. In some clan cultures, women are used to establish or maintain the strength of a group. A woman may be asked to divorce one man and marry another to support the wealth or power of the clan. It is more nuanced than “women as chattel” as the film “I am Love” highlights. Violence (physical, economic, relational) may be used and law is one tool to guard against such abuse.

Meritocracy is defined by the group in power. When men (or women or Christians or youth, etc.) are the dominant power, they define what is to be valued, what is to be measured and what is to be considered success. Perhaps one goal of a democracy is to ensure that multiple visions of merit are free to have influence.

As others mentioned, it is interesting how much of this thread discusses sexual pornography and feminism related to sex. Part of the both/and aspect is how empathy for others leads us out of isolation, benefiting not only those for whom we feel empathy towards but also ourselves because it strengthens community. The Belgian film “Thomas in love” which uses cyberporn as the plot device makes this point nicely.

This is especially important related to transhumanism and human enhancement. It is unlikely that enhancement will role out equally. AI is likely to tip our culture to place even greater emphasis on the rational/objective, away from the subjective. We need to consciously balance the tendencay to objectify humanity. Martin Buber used the concept “I-It” vs. “I-Thou” to decribe recognizing the value of being and not simply the value of doing.
Beginning with respecting the personhood of women is a start.

“I guess THAT what you do when you can’t contribute anything intelligent.”

Yup!  That what I do!

“Germans I know are startled that college education is so expensive here, instead of it being provided freely. “It’s an investment by the government,” they say. “Providing free education to the population results in long-term benefits.”

Nothing in life is free.

There. My intelligent contribution.

“Libertarians are by far the most egalitarian folks I’ve ever met.”

Right-wing libertarians?

exhibit A:
“Nothing in life is free.”

Nothing at all. So when your Grandma gives you a hug you charge her for the service?
As long as libertarians are involved in h+, I want nothing to do with it—Libertarians are merely souped-up Republicans.

@Justen re “<i>Libertarians are by far the most egalitarian folks I’ve ever met…<(i>”

I agree, but unfortunately not all libertarians. Some, as you say, call themselves libertarians but they are really far right wingers who “mean to say “freedom for me and not for you.”“

But I am 100% for live-and-let-live libertarians. I think the conflict between live-and-let-live libertarians and authoritarian control freaks is one of the main conflicts of our times, which is reflected in most political camps including the left.

Libertarians are closet anarchists.

Who’s in the closet? Political libertarians are more like treading the path from the hateful, ignorant right/left paradigm toward anarchism. There are other routes to get there - I know lots of marxist anarchists - but I have been pleased to discover that, while our principles differ, our basic desire is the same; to abandon and obsolete the notion that exalting a criminal gang to high public stature and tolerating its violence and abuse of others is the path to peace.

@Dor: agree with pretty much everything you said. If anything, personal human enhancement will forever shatter the delusion of homogeneity which permits notions like “majority will” and thus the premise behind repression and social engineering, and more broadly the philosophies of pragmatism and utilitarianism which have produced so much suffering in the past century. When we are all undeniably, inseparably unique (or at least, empowered to be so beyond a doubt), we cannot be simply said to be “this or that,” “in or out”. The revolution doesn’t depend on technology to bring out our inner persons, but I do believe that we’re seeing a shift toward greater and greater individuality and individual empowerment after a century of monoculture, and that is certainly a boon to my cause smile

for postfuturist - you can’t leave H+ just because there are libertarians here.  We all have to put up with numerous people we disagree with. I could have left after my “Israel’s Value to Transhumanism” article, but I stuck it out and so can you.

for everyone - this thread is winding down, so can you help me pick the
topic for my next essay?  Do you like any of these titles?

Feminism & the Abolition of Violence
Queer-Friendly Future: gay acceptance and the advance of civilization
Estrogen Utopia: will women’s progress change the world?
What Can Women Teach Men About Longevity?
Icelandic Feminism: Nudism Is Legal, but Strip CLubs Are Not?
Anti-Feminist Man: will future gynodemocracies castrate their egos?

Personally, I like “What Can Women Teach Men About Longevity?”—Public Health Issue.

“What can women teach men about nurture?”
“What can men teach women about parking?”

I like “Estrogen Utopia: will women’s progress change the world?”

Queer-Friendly Future: gay acceptance and the advance of civilization

Hya Hank!

You want a topic for your next article, I have a suggestion.

I recently wrote on H+ that I see it as feasible that we could have the ability to enable full conversions from male to female: http://hplusmagazine.com/editors-blog/total-gender-change-within-decade

This could be accomplished via directed stemcell surgeries, and could include the ability to have full reproductive capabilities of the opposite sex, as well as normal hormone productions from functional sex organs.

But there’s several other side effects to the ability to do this, all of which few people ever seem to discuss seriously. If we can use stem cells to repair nearly any damage, as well as to cosmetically enhance appearance, and can alter someone’s gender at the organ level, then I see it as highly likely that we are also going to have found a way to “turn off” reproductive ability in a reversible way.

So, not only are we going to eliminate the “Alpha/Beta” BS by enabling everyone to look like Arnie if they wish, and eliminate the “beauty gap” by making every woman to be as beautiful as they choose, we are also going to eliminate the procreational aspect of sex, leaving it entirely as a recreational activity UNLESS BOTH PARTNERS CHOOSE TOGETHER TO PROCREATE.

So, in the 2020’s, if Men can be “Real men” and Women can be “Real women” and boys can be girls and girls can be boys, and they can all party together without any fear of babies, do you really think that either “feminism” or even “genderism” can survive?

When every person in the world can potentially be Adonis or Aphrodite, and the shackles of disease and undesired reproduction come off, do you foresee an asexual world, or an orgy?

Feminism, Genderism, and many other isms exist as attempts to force equality on a world in which people are quite simply not equal. Those differences form the basis of our entire social pecking order. But what will happen when EVERYONE IS ON THE EXACT SAME FOOTING? Will there even be a need to promote “equality”

Or will we instead find a need to assert “individuality” in an effort to not be a JAAC? (Just Another Adonis/Aphrodite Clone)

How about something about how technology and social progress is continuing to blend the lines between genders so that in the not-so-distant future concepts like feminism and homophobia may seem quaint and inapplicable? smile

Hank,
Check this out:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41059618/ns/business-world_business/

Organisers of the annual gathering of the world’s rich and powerful in the Swiss ski resort of Davos are imposing a gender quota on top companies to try to lift the number of women at the male-dominated event.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) will for the first time require that its around 100 “strategic partners”—comprising many of the world’s top firms—include one woman among their five delegates to the meeting which starts on January 26.

Thanks for all the advice—
iPan—I shouldn’t write that topic because someone else just did it - check out Gay Tolerant Societies Prosper Economically at
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003-04-30-florida_x.htm
Valkyrie and Justen—those are great topics!  But you should write them yourself, seeing as you each have more knowledge in those topics.
I also might be dead by the time gender is eliminated - I’m 58 - so I prefer to think of the next 10-25 years
But I’ll do the other topics that people voted for

Hank, why would you want to go away after your Israel article? Sure there was quite a heated discussion but that’s good. We wouldn’t want IEET to settle into a comfortable routine now, would we? Then like too many other movements after a while maybe an intolerance to dissenting opinions might develop and then the all-too-common phenomenon of factions (dare I say sects?) sniping at each other and we all know how useful that is.

Like I said, I’m from Northern Ireland and as I’m sure most people know, the place has been physically, mentally, intellectually, and socially destroyed by this kind of thing. (And I sometimes fear that other parts of the world are heading the same way). I prefer IEET to stay, if the transhumanists will pardon the pun, a broad church (I can hear the collective groan:))

And you’ve done it again with this one. Like the Irish, you’ve got a knack for s—t stirring troublemaking. Keep up the good work. grin

It is men, not women who were discriminated by the society throughout the human history. One has to look at the life expectancy, disease rates, suicide and accident rates (in last 2000 years) to understand that.

Women traded social power for safety and security for themselves.

The radical feminists can be a small minority. However, most feminists and also significant percentages of males are inherently misandrist. They want equality for women, but cringe when there is any talk about equality for men.

Even today, worldwide men do not share their problems and difficulties. It is not because they have big egos. It is simply because, most men are always in a sub human state.

The biggest mistake western men’s rights activists are doing now, is to claim that feminism is at the root of misandry, while completely discounting the discrimination of men inherent in society. Feminists just amplify the misandry already existing.

Feminists (read most feminists) do propagate false statistics to show men as evil. Most men enjoy discrimination of men, unless it affects them directly. When these feminist men really get discriminated (say by biased laws), then they wonder, “why me? I have been a nice guy always and I got abused and yet no one is believing me?”

It’s unscientific to take data from countries having low population density and diversity, and make sweeping generalisations.

 

 

 

Men control women and have no intention of relinquishing that control—including libertarians. Examine most male libertarians and you’ll see they dominate. What I despise most about libertarians is they may or may not be net tax receivers, but some of their kin & friends certainly are. It is permissible (i.e. not illegal) for libertarians to want the state to aid their kin, however to what purpose? what good does it do for them in the long haul? If an anti-marijuana crusader smokes pot, he ought to show his true colors by joining NORML; a pederast priest can join NAMBLA in revealing himself. What does it matter what they SAY? You know that when a Communist (a real Communist, not a goo goo Marxist) says he wants to liberate the working class, it means he wants power, or he wants to kill. Libertarians ought to call themselves Republicans so to reveal themselves. Why should they be trusted? because they can furnish us mind-reading machines to see what they are thinking? I wouldn’t trust a libertarian or Republican across the street if they each had a Safety Patrol officer accompanying.
What people SAY? what does what people say mean anymore?

Hi Sumanth—thanks for writing in.  It is great to have someone from India contribute, because we hear so many stories about Indian (mis)treatment of females, so it would be great to get your perspective on that.  You say that men are discriminated against, in India, but can you help me understand why you say that, when there are the following situations in India?

1. Dowry murder - What we hear is that quite often women in India are married, and their new husband obtains a dowry for doing this, and sometimes… the wife mysteriously dies, often in a fire.  After that, the husband can remarry and obtain another dowry.  I apologize if this sounds horribly prejudicial, but I have heard it so frequently that I assume it is true.  It seems to me that this would be an example of violent misogyny.  Can you tell us anything about dowry murders in India, and how they fit in with your statement that it is men that are persecuted?

2. Female Foeticide - I have heard from what seems like reliable sources that there are 50 “missing women” in India.  This is because many pregnant women don’t want to have daughters because of the economic burden of providing a dowry for their marriage.  So they get the female fetus aborted. This indicates, to me, that young girls are not valued as highly as boys, indeed their existence seems imperiled and their appearance resented.  Can you explain to me, once again, how this situation fits in with your theory that men are the oppressed gender in India?

3. Sex trafficking—My understanding is young girls in Nepal are often sold to Indian pimps, who install them as sex slaves in Indian cities, where they die prematurely of AIDS.  Can you tell me again, how this supports your argument than men are at a disadvantage there?

4.  The Global Gender Gap Index lists India as #114 out of 134 nations surveyed in women’s equality.  That puts India and its 1 billion people in the bottom 20 internationally, below Burkina Faso.  India is ranked #132 in the sub-category of “Women’s Health and Survival”, it is ranked #128 in the subcategory of “Women’s Economic Participation”, and #120 in the subcategory “Women’s Access to Education.”  The only reason that it is not ranked lower than its already miserable overall standing of #114 is because it is ranked #23 in the subcategory of “Women’s Political Empowerment” due to the fact that Indira Ghandi was Prime Minister, plus the current president is a woman.

5. Women only have 51% literacy compared to male 75% literacy in India.  The average Indian woman makes $1,304 annually, while the average Indian man makes $4,102.  Women are only 3% of the “senior official” category, while men are 97%.

Faced with all these statistics, I must ask you, on what information do you assert that men are the oppressed gender in India?  I simply can’t see the evidence in what I have before me, but you , since you are an Indian, perhaps you have other information?  Please enlighten me in this matter.

@Postfuturist: it’s not what people say, it’s what people do. I agree. You can call yourself whatever you like; it’s your actions that speak of your true character. Thus when people happily fund and participate in political violence, I judge poor character. Whether the claim is that the violence will help others or just themselves, the outcome is the same: people get hurt, people get killed, lives get destroyed. Perhaps many people wearing the “libertarian” label do so. Certainly all people wearing the label of any political party must.

As for taxation, when a man robs you at gunpoint, then buys you an ice cream cone, you are not obliged to thank him for the robbery or invite him to rob you again. The paltry gifts a government gives in return for your compliance do not create a debt on your part, they only repay in small part the debt already owed you for the original crime. Now if you give voluntarily, good for you; but that does not change the fact that others do not, and would happily live without the booby prizes handed out by your masters. Violence is violence.

Wrong, people want the state to protect their interests and those of their families, friends, and associates—through the police, courts, the armed services. And I don’t go by what anyone says or writes anymore, they can say whatever they want regarding liberty; yet when you examine their behavior you almost immediately see it is position & power they want more than anything else.
It will not change for many decades, so much so that predictions can’t be made. You can predict 4 or 5 years from now, but not 40 or 50.

Making broad generalizations like that is not effective in understanding individuals, especially minority groups. For instance, I and many people in my circles, want nothing whatever to do with government services. I do not want the police in my business (and especially do not want their “protection”), nor the army slaughtering people in my name. Nor do I vote or participate in any other kind of politics and the violence inherent in it. About the only thing I use from the government is the road system, and I pay for that by way of fuel and licensing taxes so it’s moot. Of course many products and services I use may also benefit from subsidy, but that goes back to above robbers and ice cream analogy (and besides, in the balance I pay more for others via corporate and sales tax than I receive back).

Of course I can *say* I am ethically opposed to aggressive violence, but I demonstrate my abhorrence through my actions and my advocacy; something you of course would not know, we being two anonymous people on the internet, but I nonetheless assert this to be true. The movement I call myself a part of is much larger than you might suspect. Some in it call themselves “libertarians”. I don’t know whether that’s a useful label, and it certainly doesn’t apply to officers of the big-L Libertarian political party, but that aside. There are many of us. If I may speak for them as a whole (and I shouldn’t, it being an inherently individualistic movement), we do not want to hurt you, enslave you, exploit you, coerce you, or do anything else to or with you except perhaps peaceful, voluntary interaction. If you pay us the same respect we pay you we hope you will find our interactions mutually beneficial.

No; for instance men have no intention at this time—and I go by now and the near future, not decades from now—of abandoning their control of women in general. Men are still willing & able to engage in the hurting, enslavement, exploiting, and coercing, you write of.

Hank, Sumanth raised the issue that men are actually the disadvantaged in India, because they are saddled with the support of women. In fact, if you look at the history of India, until the British Raj appeared, it was rather liberal sexually. But with Queen Victoria as the Empress of India, the British values system, which made male homosexual activity illegal (lesbianism was legal), the British imposed their ideas of society on India, which is that men are dray horses, and are there to support women. So women don’t need education when they can get everything through ritual societal prostitution.

The reason for making male homosexuality an absolute taboo is discipline men into this societal Prostitution Ethic on which Imperialist Western society is based. The US inherited this philosophy from the British Empire. But there are signs of enlightenment. The US has been emerging from its abysmal human rights history for the past 50 years, and the liberation of men is at last beginning to happen. Don’t ask, don’t tell. smile

@ Justin

I’ll start believing the anti-tax libertarians are something other than spoiled brats whining about having to share with others the moment I see one refusing to drive on the roads paid for by taxes, stop calling for police protection paid for by taxes, emergency services paid for by taxes, education paid for by taxes, and stop using an electric grid primarily built with subsidies from taxes.

Otherwise, you’re just a hypocrite wanting a free ride on MY taxes.

Paying for the benefits you receive is perfectly normal. As is going to jail for stealing those benefits without paying. All your arguments come down to “I want the benefits, I don’t want to pay for them.” And that is theft. In my opinion, you are crying “theft” to try and shift the blame from your own crime.

@Valkyrie: I pay for roads every time I pump fuel, register my car and pay rent. That is where almost all the money for the road network comes from. I object to the arrangement, but I use what I pay for. I do not call the police, and would not, and will not, under any circumstance. I object on a fundamental level to their methods and their station. The same applies to almost every other government service.

But again, I point out the fact that if you steal from me, and then build something and invite me to use it with part of my money, to use it is only to recover a portion of the money stolen from me, if grudgingly. I have not put a gun in your face and demanded the use of these services the way you have put a gun in mine and demanded my money. I have not threatened to take your home, or your car, or your personal property; nor to freeze your bank account, or to demand from your employer that he give me some of your income before you ever have a look at it. I have not threatened to put you in a cage if you don’t comply, and to kill you if you resist being put in a cage. Can you say the same of yourself? Would you happily allow me to withdraw from paying for your wars, and torture, and secret assassinations, and your welfare, and indoctrination, and bureaucracy, and your subsidies, and only send me a bill when I actually *use* any service your government offers? Or are you content to continue threatening me with violence and calling *me* a criminal simply for objecting to your use of force against me?

Another thought, am I stealing from the mafia if I refuse to pay “protection money” in “their” territory? Or do you imagine a different principle applies to you, because your gang is much more popular, or much more bloody?

It is always amusing when the person with the gun in his hand gets self-righteously indignant about the objections of his victims.

@postfuturist: who are “men” exactly, when you say that? All men, or just some men, or the class of men who hold positions of power, or the class of men who are abusive to women in their lives? Surely you don’t think I’m responsible for abuse committed by others simply by virtue of having a penis? I must actually *do* something offensive to have offended.

* addendum to above, it came to mind that my local water service is also a state-run institution. You may note however, that I pay my water bill. I do object to their legal monopoly, and of the BLM’s asinine assertion that it owns groundwater, and rainwater that falls on people’s houses in certain areas, and would be happy to “steal” that water I suppose. So there, I suppose if you claim you own enough, everyone is a thief. “I declare myself the king of the earth, stop stealing from me.” Shall I put that in paper for you, perhaps some fancy parchment or vellum, and arrange it in formal language, and get a bunch of goons to claim they represent the peoples of the earth to sign it, and call it a constitution? smile

You never did anything bad to a woman?? At any rate, if I generalize about men, then can it be said you generalize about the state? My point, the point of most of my comments, is to write that you can’t live today’s life utilizing tomorrow’s technologies: you are looking too far ahead, to the remote time when the state will be a rump state, or miniscule. Ironically, it is similar to Marx’s prediction of the state withering away. However Marx did understand how things cannot change until every possibility has been exhausted.
It is a very common mistake—born of impatience—to want to get ahead of oneself, to get ahead of the time in which one lives. That is the mistake I made for 30 years; but knowing what we know today, you, Justen, can short circuit such an error and save 30 years. The 11th Commandment is: “don’t f**k it up.”
It is so difficult to be adequately careful; so easy to blow it.

Hello Richardhg - thanks for writing in, it is always great to hear new voices here.  Unfortunately, your first entry is absolutely full of nonsense.  Please list your sources next time, when you present such incredible misinformation. 

Your suggestion that India was gender-equal before the British arrived is quite amazing!  The British helped abolish suttee—window-burning—during their tenure there.  Before the British arrival, widows were deemed of so little value that Hindu society encouraged them to immolate themselves when their husbands died, and if they proved unwilling, their relatives often gave them a shove.  The British also worked hard to alleviate the wretched condition of the untouchables in India, but that is a different matter.  Today in India, widows are still often cast out of their homes, often by ungrateful sons, who don’t want to feed the poor woman who nursed them into the world.

Hinduism itself is intrinsically misogynist.  There’s a belief among many Hindus that no women can pass into nirvana, without going through another reincarnation, first, as a man. 

Write back if you have anything truthful to report and can back it up with a url from a respectable publication.  It can’t just be a pamphlet produced by antifeminst.org

@ Hank..
“Hinduism itself is intrinsically misogynist” - talking about outrageous claims? Half of the Hindu deities worshipped are female! Which is in contrast to the Judeo-Christian traditions of demonising free thinking women - (Eve, Ruth, Jezebel, Delilah (Feminist Fatale), Mary Magdelene). The Hindu caste system may be what you’re aiming at not Hinduism?

hi CygnusX1—what I said is definitely my opinion, but I don’t regard Hinduism as the only religion that is misogynist.  I would say the same about Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism…  As I said way earlier in this thread, present-day oppression of women exists because it has been handed down via cultural memes, and religion is the main conduit of those ideas.  India has a lot of work to do to establish equality between genders, and between castes, too, as you have astutely pointed out. 

Thanks for pointing out that Hinduism does has female deities, but the total is not close to half, everybody in the “supreme triad” (Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu) is male, and even Ganesh is a bull elephant. 

Plus, I have the Brahmanic laws in front of me, and the “Code of Manu” states that:

    “In childhood a female must be subject to her father,
      in youth to her husband,
      when her lord is dead to her sons;
      a woman must never be independent”

Ahh.. religion.  What a load of dangerous crap, especially for women.

@Postfuturist: I cannot say whether I have ever done anything “bad” to a woman. Where I have offended I have certainly tried to make amends. I also cannot say that I have never been misogynistic - I did after all grow up in an intrinsically misogynistic culture (something I am not attempting to argue against). I have grown, learned, and abandoned those things as wrong, however, as I have abandoned many other things. I certainly wasn’t born the way I am today; I was born into a fundamentalist Christian family. I had a long way to go to right my thinking. smile

As for the state, the only generalization I make about governments is their violence. This is an accurate generalization because the use of violence is a government’s only tool. There are many different governments who use violence in many different ways, professing many different goals, but at the base of things all government is carried out at the point of a gun (or tip of the sword or spear as we go back into history, but the “gun” is really a metaphor in this context). Many are not nearly as vile as the worst of them, but I insist that the good things in humanity come in spite of, not because of, their intervention.

If you don’t have the state run your life then it is some other entity, the Cosa Nostra, or someone/something else. We simply haven’t reached the stage in our evolution where we can be free yet—anachronistic memes from eons ago are infused into 21st century ones.
Looking back at the last decade it is (and not merely in retrospect) predictable that a Palin will continue to be such an icon, her person contains a Joan of Arc meme, her leading America into battle against ‘Death Squads’; plus also a Goddess/Mother Mary meme. Palin is graceful, as in “Mother Sarah full of grace.” And Palin is earthy, she is an outdoors’man’ from Alaska, a hunter—which ties into our hunter-gatherer heritage. Palin combines the double-mindedness of America’s urbanity with its rustic backdrop, and its Hollywood Wild West props.
Sometimes a wag can say it better than a philosopher: James Reston wrote “Americans are a funny people, they change things with their hands, they admire those who ‘live modern’, yet they are very conservative.”

In the beginning I was very much of a libertarian and I still think it is very relevant. I moved on, because “rights” are important, but how far down or up do you go to grant rights. Here is the dilemma. Who do we give the responsibility over a limited resource?

It seems we need to find the line that separate “rights” from “nurture”; and it is not a male - female issue. It is universal, almost like a right of passage with “social side effects”. From the discussions in this post I am very much aware that we are not near an answer or a solution.

Rights relates to power over property claims and is judicial in many aspects. It is often arbitrary and leads to social conflicts. Nurture relates to moral behavior and is more supportive of its subordinate elements. Abuses under both are rampant. Both are basically social or political organism and do not work very well in bringing about the qualities we seek in society.

I find the contrast between the feminism in the Scandinavian lands and the radical interpretation of the Q’uran on women in the Saudi Arabia quite an interesting development.

If I have to choose; I choose Scandianavia, because I see it as a 1/2 step forward. Whereas for the Saudi Arabians - their only way is further oppression and total denial of nurture for the lesser parts of their socio-political organism.

@Postfuturist: I’ll spend my life fighting those memes. Fortunately I don’t require permission from the public to live free, so that is not an issue. Freedom is partially a state of mind - of realizing that you owe no duties or obligations to criminal gangs simply because they have declared ti to be so; and partially a state of action - developing and utilizing alternatives to governance which do not involve force (and which, potentially, can further extricate oneself from governance). Both are going quite well for me, and tens of thousands of others around the world. We hope that will soon be hundreds of thousands, than millions, and perhaps in my lifetime, billions. We can’t get there when so many people who realize there is a problem live in a defeatist state of mind. There are solutions to these problems today, for those who want to seek them out.

You possess tactics, but lack strategic coherence.
However it can always be done; if you relocated to the Caymans, just for a random example, you could start from scratch, but you need to find many trusted associates—the most difficult endeavor in life. If you are not a bona fide pioneer, if you stay in the ‘taken’ realm, you will wait your whole life to be REALLY free.
Really.

@Postfuturist: well, without knowing what our tactics and strategies are it would be difficult to comment as to their viability smile But yes, expatriation is always on the table. There is no one single path to the goal. Anything that non-aggressively undermines the state’s ability to operate - whether educational and awareness outreach, provision of private alternatives to state services, successful tax avoidance and mitigation, civil disobedience, or complete withdrawal through expatriation or stealth and obfuscation, is acceptable and falls under the umbrella of our activities. There are a great number of those activities currently being applied successfully by different individuals and groups; some are not even intentional, but work to benefit my cause anyway. The only acts I (and others I associate with) personally don’t sanction are acts of aggressive violence, e.g. the recent shootings in Tuscon, Arizona, or the bombings in Athens. These things are probably unavoidable and doomed to become more frequent as people become more desperate and frustrated, but I don’t count their perpetrators amongst my peers. smile

It’s a matter of individual assessment of risk/reward, nothing more; governments are gangs and hold no moral authority to compel us for or against any action. If the cost of compliance outweighs the cost of noncompliance times the risk of being successfully prosecuted, disobey. The risk of “kicking the dragon” is particularly difficult to measure objectively, so each of us comes up with a different view of what is best tactically and strategically.

“governments are gangs and hold no moral authority to compel us for or against any action.”

Still don’t understand why it is state aggression is considered worse than civilian aggression; a criminal cartel is worse than a state entity in the intensity of its coercion, though naturally not in scale. At any rate, the positive is: someone who is young can spend many decades reducing autocratic tendencies. If you are in your 30s & 40s you, with the coming advances, might live at least another hundred years; and that would be a very conservative estimate—for your longevity and perhaps the time frame in radically reducing autocracy :(
But far be it from me to not accentuate the positive smile

PS,
The most surprising thing about right-wing (though not to say you are right-wing) politics wasn’t realizing that conservatives aren’t actually conservative (corporations no longer conserve anything); it was discovering what control freaks right-wing libertarians are. One would think libertarians wouldn’t be domineering, however in such a case one would be WRONG.

PS,
The most surprising thing about right-wing (not to say you personally are right-wing, Justen) politics wasn’t realizing that conservatives aren’t actually conservative (corporations no longer conserve anything); it was discovering what control freaks right-wing libertarians are. One would think libertarians wouldn’t be domineering, however in such a case one would be wrong.

And if such is generalization, so are your comments concerning government.

One problem with trying to abolish “government” is that doing so ignores the complexity of where freedom or rights or nurturance derive their genesis. Since our current systems are ecosystems, that is, there are multiple interacting systems, you’d only be shifting balance but not addressing the root, underlying causes of constraints.
Other systems include business, aristocracies, religions, healthcare. They are not independent, but interactive. They each have the ability to be beneficient, harmful or benign. 
Rather than eliminating government and leaving society at the whim of the other forces, perhaps a different question is how to you keep each in balance?
Those who are at the top of the pyramid in terms of wealth, education and access experience a very different life than those without. And, while it may seem that those at the top of the pyramid got there because there is something special about their talents and abilities, such a belief is as much a myth as anything you’ll find in religion.
It is a myth because it is the interacting systems that allow someone to prosper. Access to education, healthcare, employment, technology, human support systems, food, clean drinking water, safe harbors.
Government does way more than provide military, schools and roadways. The regulations we have help to curb (but not prevent) abuse of both people and resources.
While in rural India I met a man who had returned home after spending several years in a Northern industrialized country. Making small talk, I said “I bet you miss the cold weather.” His response was “what I miss is the cleanliness and order.”
Libertarian utopianism is great for the rich and powerful.
Theologian John Dominic Crossan uses the terms “peace through victory” to describe military empire vs. “peace through justice” to describe equitable coexistence.
In a posting about feminism’s positive influence, it is a little disconcerting to read about dismantling government. Without the legal backing of the government, the words “barefoot and pregnant” come to mind.

“Still don’t understand why it is state aggression is considered worse than civilian aggression; a criminal cartel is worse than a state entity in the intensity of its coercion, though naturally not in scale. At any rate, the positive is: someone who is young can spend many decades reducing autocratic tendencies. If you are in your 30s & 40s you, with the coming advances, might live at least another hundred years; and that would be a very conservative estimate—for your longevity and perhaps the time frame in radically reducing autocracy :(”

The intensity of coercion in statism only appears lesser in intensity to the person who naturally desires to comply. If I resist a criminal as he is attempting to rob me, today, he may kill me. There is a very slim chance he may return later to kill me if he fails to do so today. He almost certainly will not put me in a cage; it is unlikely he will torture or rape me; only larger organized crime gets into this territory, because it is very expensive. The state on the other hand - to resist the state is to make a lifelong enemy. It will pursue me tirelessly and doggedly until it has satisfied itself of my pain; at first, it will often attempt to pressure me economically. With glee it will deprive me of my own rightful earnings, stealing food from my table, potentially leaving me without transportation or even homeless for want of ability to pay rent; it uses my family as hostages against me, by threatening to deprive me of the ability to feed and shelter them. Next, if I resist that, or if it is feeling especially frisky, it will throw me in a cage for an indeterminate amount of time, where it will see to it (by act or omission) that I am regularly beaten, tortured, and occasionally raped. Nobody returns from prison unchanged; the trauma they suffer there carries throughout the rest of their lives, diminishing them permanently in a way no physical injury can. Finally, if I resist being put in a cage, it will slaughter me like an animal. This often takes the form of a show of overwhelming force, in which hundreds of bullets may be fired at my home, killing me and potentially many others (like my wife and child). During these raids they also routinely slaughter family pets. Sometimes that isn’t enough; sometimes, they burn dozens of people alive with what can only be described as sadistic glee (as in the case of Waco). Other times, if their victims are especially offensive, they engage in mass murder which they like to call “warfare”, in which thousands or even millions are slaughtered for the crimes (or supposed crimes) of a handful of individuals, and in which untold billions in property are destroyed and entire nations laid waste. Please explain to me for instance how slaughtering thousands of innocent children with horrific weapons of war is less “intense in violence” than a series gang execution. Explain why gassing, and burning alive and eventually vaporizing and irradiating hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese civilians in nuclear fire for the crimes of a man claiming to be their emperor was less violent in some way than the brutal mafia violence during the preceding alcohol prohibition era. The fact is a handful of million people have died as a result of “civilian” crimes, and perhaps tens to hundreds of millions have been negatively effected. Governments slaughtered in cold blood over 150 million in the past century alone (250 million if you count the deaths resulting indirectly from their brutality, e.g. in planned famines in the soviet nations).

People died like animals by the millions, bleeding out in the ruined streets; they watched their infant children dismembered by bombs (and lately in the middle east born with severe, debilitating birth defects thanks to the use of “depleted” uranium, white phosphorous, and other toxic waste in weapons); their young daughters raped by soldiers and discarded like dolls to die of complications (in Africa gang rape by soldiers is so common complications arising from perforation of the wall between the vagina and anus is a major cause of death and permanent injury, and many such instances are now being recorded in the middle east), their friends and neighbors ritually executed by the thousands, entire villages looted and razed to the ground.

Children in supposedly “civilized” nations have seen their mothers and fathers torn away and thrown in cages by the millions for the crime of possessing unpopular plants; have been systematically sold to pedophiles and abusers who cynically exploit the violence against the child’s parents to their own ends. The homeless are routinely executed on phony justifications in cities around the world; the poor are systematically oppressed and exploited. People in the lowest positions in life are murdered simply for trying to achieve a better life by means not approved by their bloodthirsty masters. That is the nature of the state in its true form. It is disgusting beyond anything dreamed of by the most prolific of serial criminals, broader and bloodier in scope than even the largest of mafias and criminal cartels; more callous and inhuman than the coldest corporate profiteers. There is nothing positive or mitigating about what it does; if there is any such thing as “evil” it is not only the most prolific purveyor of it, it is the darkest and most vile.

re: right-libertarian control freaks: control over their own lives, yes definitely, they expect 100% control over themselves, as is their right. Control over others depends, some do, some don’t. I would say those who wish control over others are not libertarians at all, but again, no true scottsman. Certainly not the kinds

@Dor: places in the world and in history where government has been least pervasive women often have been most free and equal (consider many of the pre-roman European ‘barbarians’, the free societies in Iceland and Ireland in the early middle ages, some of the liberal Greek city states, and mixed evidence of high positions of women in even earlier civilizations like the Minoan, or even the Imperial Japanese in which women were relegated to the household but given high station and respect within their domain (whereas in the West during the same time misogyny was at its height). Even regions today who have abysmal track records (e.g. India) compared favorably in terms of gender equality to earlier incarnations of western imperialism in their own time.

It is an issue of cultural values, not of the degree of violence used by a popular gang to repress one group in favor of the other. “Barefoot and pregnant” is a paradigm invented in societies where women who want to better themselves are burned alive or “put in their place” through ritualized and government-approved rape and brutality, such as in most Christian nations before the past several decades and Muslim nations still today.

Continuing response, @dor: the root cause of the biggest problems in society is the use of aggressive force. Follow the money, and all horrors always come back around to who pointed the first gun in the chain of events. The greatest purveyor of violence is governance. The whims of government bodies are the thing I do not want to leave myself or my children and the people I care about; if I am left to the whims of other “forces” such as they may be, I clearly prefer them. If I can succeed in abolishing the biggest, most powerful, and most pervasive of violent gangs from my life the smaller ones should be child’s play.

Re: libertarian utopianism, that is a non-sequitur. Utopia is a statist dream, an ideal in which perfect planners present a perfect society for perfect people (whom they have perfect made through perfect coercion) to live in. It is fundamentally abhorrent to “true” libertarianism. The libertarian ideal is everyone doing what they want, restrained only by the equal rights of others. It is the bazaar to utopia’s cathedral; not a singular vision of beauty and harmony as defined by a self-righteous minority, but the dizzying and intoxicating chaos of a thousand people moving in ten thousand directions at once. It is a world where everything that can be had without blood is provided at a market clearing price, where the only people marginalized are those who find themselves incapable of tolerating the tastes and whims of their neighbors, and who cannot find peaceful ways to get what they want out of life. There are no ivory towers here; though many people might like to see them built, they have no power to compel or corner others into aiding their construction. This is not a utopia; in fact I’d say most people today are way too far up their own asses to appreciate, let alone take joy, in such a fractured mosaic of individualism. There are places where this vision peeks through the fabric of mundane reality, and to me, they are the height of beauty. Where they exist in real life (aka meatland) excuses are typically found to raze them and murder their inhabitants in short order so the utopianists can go on building their perfect people and perfect societies without competition.

You explained it comprehensively, dor. Unfortunately there is no way to explain it to Justen. I had to resort to repetitiveness in the last two comments to attempt to make the point; yet it wont make any difference no matter how many times we go around the block, he wont get it. It’s not so much the libertarianism that concerns me; libertarians are too extreme to be more than on the fringe—libertarians are probably no more numerous than Communists & white supremacists. Though not to pick on him, what concerns me is how Justen came from a born-again Christian background, apparently transferring his zeal from fundamentalism to libertarianism (or, rather, crypto-libertarianism, as he thinks ‘libertarian’ is too limiting a label). In a few years Justen might change his mind again, become a dedicated Hare Krishna, and try to sell us incense at the airport.
Then he is on his way to the next Big Thing.

The below news articles refer to the UK revised paternity leave recommendations for fathers to be able to share the current maternity leave allocation for women, (currently one whole year). Whilst I was not intending to comment further regarding my somewhat bias opinions towards extensive maternity leave, I do deem these notions of extending paternity leave as even more impracticable and placing even further responsibilities and pressures upon employers especially in these current times of high unemployment and economic hardship. In other words, I deem it as somewhat unfair that employers are required by law to keep an employee’s post open for a year! Whilst there are many unemployed who are suffering through redundancy and lack of work?

I know this may seem rather a strong point of view, and not necessarily accommodating to parents who need assistance with unforeseen circumstances due to conception and family planning. And I also recognise that in times of prosperity that extended maternity/paternity leave may indeed be the preferred ideal. Yet at these times I do think it unfair that posts should be kept open as matter of law when so many people are unemployed.

I have worked under two previous women managers who took advantage of a whole year’s maternity leave, one a senior manager and the other my direct supervisor. In the end the attitudes of both women towards work and home life changed dramatically, (as it should, else I would be even more concerned if they failed to put family and children first!) This however, had a detrimental effect on the whole dept. And in each case this extended time off affected not only their efficiency but their whole attitude towards their posts and their careers – not soon after, they both moved on and left the organisation anyhow.

Now for a father to have similar rights by law, and to share the entire years leave with their spouse seems to me to be too excessive. And really, although it does protect the rights by law of couples to not be prejudiced by employers for conception and pregnancy, it seems that this has swung too far, too quickly in the favour of these couples and at the expense of less fortunate individuals and couples seeking employment?

What do you think?

Nick Clegg pledges to reform parental leave - video

“In a speech at the Demos thinktank, the deputy prime minister promises to create a more flexible system of parental leave, and praises Labour’s Harriet Harman, who drew up the changes during the previous government”

>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/video/2011/jan/17/nick-clegg-parental-leave-video?INTCMP=SRCH


Shared parental leave just won’t work

“These proposals are dangerous. At a time when businesses are struggling to survive through harsh economic times, it is unwise to introduce new laws to solve a problem which doesn’t exist, and which will put extra pressures on employers. Most pregnancy laws are driven by Europe, and the UK has no choice but to implement them. But this proposal is entirely a home-grown creation. It is difficult to see how it squares with the business-friendly rhetoric being uttered by government ministers, and the promises to simplify employment laws.”

>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/jan/17/employment-law-maternitypaternityrights?INTCMP=SRCH


Nick Clegg promises ‘properly flexible’ system of parental leave

“Nick Clegg today promised a “properly flexible” system of shared parental leave in Britain by 2015 as he condemned Britain’s “Edwardian” system that places the burden of childcare on mothers and discourages fathers from taking a central role in raising their children.”

>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/jan/17/nick-clegg-properly-flexible-parental-leave?INTCMP=SRCH

“Only larger organized crime gets into this territory, because it is very expensive. The state on the other hand - to resist the state is to make a lifelong enemy.”

The above is where you go wrong. In Russia criminals have substantially co-opted the state: “meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss.” (‘We Wont Get Fooled Again’).
You wouldn’t suggest one couldn’t make a lifelong enemy of a Mafiya?
Now, Westerners are no different, save for our complex institutions; however our institutions are sophisticated, necessary buffers subsidized by the state.

Anyway one final thought and I’m going to check out. I got some notifications of other responses but they didn’t show up here so I won’t reply directly. The transition I advocate won’t happen overnight, just like communism and progressive socialism didn’t happen overnight. Just like atheism is only recently building a critical mass its political analog will take generational change. As evidenced by this thread, rationalization of the violence and failure of the state is as hard-coded in the mentality of the majority as the rationalization of the violence and failure of religion.

You (and by “you” I address statists) will have your wars and your prisons and your cartels just as the religious will have their genital mutilations and misogyny and other backward, barbaric traditions, and if confronted with the horror of these things, you will wiggle your mind around them and hide behind pragmatism and tradition and continue to inflict them on your neighbors and children with righteous self-assurance. This is a natural human coping mechanism and I can’t change that, I accept this fact. It tears me apart, but my mission is not to fix you, it’s to make sure you can’t stop me from choosing something different.

Nonetheless, you will see more and more things put permanently or semi-permanently out of the reach of government over the next several decades. The present generation of secure finance software is already proving resilient in providing an untraceable anonymous “digital cash” which will bring the ability to do business under-the table to the digital realm. We already own the internet in general; some (official government) estimates put as much as 60% of all internet traffic as subversive/illegal/counter-establishment, and it’s all running on software theorized and designed 20 years ago by crypto-anarchists. File sharing is not even the barest beginning of what we will do with this network; if you want to stop it, you must stop the whole network, and good luck with that as most of those who have the expertise to do so are on my side (and we’re fully capable of building a newer, better network when, not if, your side tries). This is not something you can make go away with killing, and it’s not something that will disappear if you stop up your ears and whistle loudly.

In meatland a hundred different initiatives to build sustainable off-the-grid societies are going strong. Decentralized manufacturing is in its embryonic phases right now with open-source hardware that costs a tiny fraction of commercial equivalents and can be produced locally (with materials sourced globally, as required). These things are beyond the theoretical phases; they’re now *working* and being replicated and distributed. It can’t be stopped.

These projects, and others like them, undermine not only the current nature of the state but its ability to insinuate itself in our lives in general. We are winning this fight. Barbarism is a choice you can continue to make for yourself, but soon you won’t make it for me any longer. You won’t make it for my child. Progressive/national socialism is dead; an ideology of a past century demonstrated in practice to be intellectually abortive and pragmatically abhorrent. I don’t *need* to argue about this any more than an atheist *needs* to argue with a religious zealot; if I may be as arrogant as humanly possible, I am right and you are wrong; I have evidence where you have only faith. My only hope is to point some people on the road to enlightenment, because although my side doesn’t need numbers to be correct and effective (only the irrational requires mass acceptance to be useful) it is nonetheless useful to have as many people with me as possible. smile It may be premature to declare victory, but I see and recognize inevitability, and it is reflected in the desperate and frenzied attempts to put a stop to it.

I share dors concern that without the “state” women might not be able to effectively protect themselves from the feudalism of past de-centralization.  This might be changing though, in Sweden, for example, women comprise 40% of the police force.  I suggest that the fact that men are more “comfortable” with violence leaves women prey to being controlled by them. 
Personally, I used to be more of an “anarchist” but then - I went to Burning Man, and I couldn’t sleep because the “radical self-expression” that the Playa promotes will never initiate a noise ordinance.  Nowadays, I don’t see why a tiny minority can’t usually agree to capitulate to the demands of a sensible majority.  Plus, I think large groups of people agreeing to do great things together is wonderful. 
At the risk of being “sexist” - it seems to me that men are often more anti-state—I was a Libertarian Party member for years and it was overwhelmingly male.

Everyone is in a minority position on some opinion. If this position is irreconcilable with some majority that they wish to interact with, and that interaction is more valuable to them than their minority opinion, it may be that they do capitulate. But they should never be forced to do so; to live apart and in peace is a valid choice, it is not the business of some majority to delve into a hermit’s private affairs. In the paradigm where this is acceptable, every tiny minority is ruthlessly persecuted - look at homosexuals (less than 3% of the population), atheists (less than 11% in the U.S., and in the past a miniscule fraction).

It may be that I am partial to strolling around in public in the nude, for instance. It may be that you and most other people have no desire to see me do that. It would be perfectly acceptable for you to express your distaste, to look away, to ostracize me in your social affairs; to bar me from your place of business. What would not be acceptable is to enact some “ordinance” that purported to make it acceptable to beat me or put me in a cage for that activity. Ostracism is a very powerful tool. In all likelihood I would soon find myself desiring the company of others more than an unobstructed breeze.

As for burning man, yes, sometimes the bazaar can be a bit bizarre. But not all places are burning man. In some places, people just wish to live quietly and in peace with each other. Arguably, most places. They do it very well when the motivating force is social acceptance, and poorly when the motivating force is the whip of some master. Ever lived in an HOA? Tell me it wasn’t sheer misery and hatefulness. Not that I would begrudge that kind of hostility to those who want it, but nobody at this point is forcing me to live in an HOA.

I don’t know about men being more “comfortable” with violence, I am not convinced of the case of that. There is a very strong case that all these supposed gender roles are societally reinforced, even in subtle cues we pick up from the interactions of our parents who don’t intend to pass them on. I’m not a big fan of the libertarian party either, so I have no personal experience there, but there’s a good representation of women in some of my circles I’d say about 75/25, which isn’t stellar, but more often the women who find activism interesting seem to go as far as ten men in promoting the cause, and I value them for that as well as their more general intellectual contributions. Gender tends to disappear a bit when most communication is electronic, anyway.

Anyway, It may be that men are more directly affected by the hostility and violence of our culture and those with a rebellious streak are thus more motivated to organize. It may be that we are culturally conditioned to take direct action rather than to acquiesce compared to women. Women are still generally discouraged from intellectual discourse in western society, which is disgusting in its own right, but on that count libertarians lead: one of their most revered idols, if not the most, after all, is Ayn Rand. Right behind her is Emma Goldman for many anarchists, and of course the feminist anarchist movement has dozens of well-respected intellectual readers (Wendy McElroy comes to mind as one of my favorites). I daresay any other political/anti-political movement couldn’t count a significant portion, let alone the top ranks, of its major intellectual inspiration coming from women.

I will say that the women I know in the movement do tend to lean “left”, e.g. to come from a socialist or marxist background, more often than from an individualist capitalist background. We can all agree on the simple premise to not attack, cage or kill eachother when we disagree on other things though, and I find that incredibly refreshing. smile

As far as feudalism, what do you think you have now? The corporate pyramid, the political-economic plutocracy, the hordes of miseducated and broken-spirited wage slaves and cubicle jockeys, the rank and file of military taken from the among the poorest and most desperate and sent off to die for causes they don’t understand, their lives mere economic factors, religion replaced by mass media as a control mechanism, the liberal arts repressed to the point the common person doesn’t even understand what the term means (apparently most think it has to do with democrats and painters). This isn’t even effective window dressing over feudalism, it’s just a minor version upgrade with more practical business attire. There’s nothing to “regress” to. If we could do away with this only to get a lesser version that wasted fewer lives and kept up more amusing pretenses we won’t have lost much.

@postfuturist: I believe the russian mafia qualifies as “large organized crime”. Funny that it became completely indistinguishable from the government at large, but yes, that is the purpose and effect of the system after all. You’re right, you will never convince me that the use of brutality to suit your own fancies is ethical or utilitarian; I reject that sort of irrational faith in the same way as I reject others. A basic acquaintance with economics, particularly the subjective nature of value and its implications, tells me this is as impossible as flapping my arms to fly.

But yes, I do think this thread is dead. I’m sure I’ll continue my discussion with Hank in future articles. smile

Governments are not the solution to every situation we encounter, but there is a need for it. Ideally it should maintain a balance of power between the various stakeholders. Governments create division between the haves and those, who don’t have.

Governments are like the weather systems, whether it rains or snows excessively, we can do something to minimize its disastrous outcomes or use it to our advantage. The social or political side effects of any -ism, like feminism should be addressed by balancing the the stakes. Not necesarily handing out money.

What is important is the Law; the US Constitution has served us well for over 200 years. Today globally more people are enjoying the advantages of our technological energy. Last year China registered 2000 cars a day and yet watch our lawmakers argue, who is more American and patriotic.

Simply said—the US Constitution is about two things. #1 is the general welfare and protection of our nation from foreign enemies and #2 the Second Amendment, that is the right to kill to preverve a person’s property or idea. Is not the preservation of the nation more important than than the right of anyone to keep his 2nd yacht?

Looking at Tucson and Mr Loughner; behavior or ideas that kill innocent bystanders, participants in a civic process, just doesn’t feel right!

“Looking at Tucson and Mr Loughner; behavior or ideas that kill innocent bystanders, participants in a civic process, just doesn’t feel right!”

If you mean to impugn my ideals by the actions of people who have been associated with them by the propaganda ministry (as far as I can tell Loughner had nothing in common with me whatsoever except an incidental disgust for the present government of the U.S., based on what I understand about his background), consider the much more direct link between yours and the countless atrocities carried out in the past and present under its banner. If one man shooting a handful of people is a crime worthy of discarding any ideology associated with him, shall we not discard constitutionalism, the republic, and democracy in general based on, say, the instantaneous vaporization of a quarter million innocent Japanese civilians, the facilitation of a half dozen or more genocides which took millions of lives (such as the Suharto coup in Indonesia or his subsequent raid of East Timor, admittedly facilitated by U.S. government and corporate interests)? How about the systematic slaughter of hundreds, possibly thousands, of innocent people via robotic drones? The extra-judicial assassinations and detainment and torture of anybody arbitrarily declared to be a “terrorist” (i.e. enemy of the state) which continues despite promises to the contrary under the present U.S. administration? “Libertarianism” frightens you because one insane person purportedly associated with that belief system went on a killing rampage, while this heteronomy of yours systematically kills millions, over a quarter billion total in the past century (and several tens of millions directly or indirectly by the U.S. alone)? This is logically inconsistent to say the least.

I advocate personal responsibility, therefore I only hold those who had a hand in a specific atrocity responsible for their actions; however it is difficult to deny that virtually every government official has had some hand in one or another by in some way upholding the system which enables it, and it is impossible to deny that the concept of governance (whether by divine right, religious theocracy, lineage, ballot, simple force of violence, or any other system) has throughout all human history continued to be the foundation for such atrocities. Name a single system of compulsory rulership which has not produced poverty, mass imprisonment, democide, and genocide, or a single government not guilty of these crimes against humanity. The burden of proof lies on the statist; whereas the few examples of my ideals in action, even partially implemented, have consistently produced peace and prosperity for their adherents. At least until a statist coup or invasion left them all dead or once-again enslaved, which points out the biggest flaw in individualism and anarchism - statists are bloodthirsty, hateful and jealous and will never be content to leave others in peace.

We have exhausted this! every last drop has been squeezed out of this particular thread.

@Justen re the recent very interesting comments:

The libertarian ideal is everyone doing what they want, restrained only by the equal rights of others…

This is a great description of the libertarian idea, and I find it very appealing. I think the real conflict of our times is between live-and-let-live libertarians and authoritarian control-freaks.

But we are what we are, for the foreseeable future at least, and many people will do whatever it takes to accumulate power and money. I am afraid in a purely libertarian society the sharks will just make deals among themselves to screw all the others.

In passing, this happens in our society too, even if it is far from libertarian: the sharks are banks, large corporations AND governments. The existing balance of power is convenient for all those who have power.

Back to libertarianism, I consider myself a left-libertarian. I don’t see any homeostatic mechanism to protect a libertarian society from power runaways where the sharks get all the power and eat everyone else, but I think there should be such a mechanism.

I am continually unable to see any more comments on this thread itself, but in reply to something I got via email:

There are control mechanisms proposed, I have come up with some ideas myself and so have many others which I hold in varying degrees of favor. Stephan Molyneux has published quite a bit of stuff on his idea, which he calls the “dispute resolution organization”, which I have some disagreements with but is at least an example of one person’s vision.

The more important point though, in my opinion, is that “runaway power” *is* the problem we’re facing right now. If we can get to a large-scale libertarian society, that will imply that we have already solved the problem. For example I am partial to the “agorism” strategy proposed by Samuel Edward Konkin III as far as getting there, and if it works, it will implicitly have defeated the problem.

Certainly appealing to that runaway power to grant itself even more power to solve the problem of runaway power is a poor solution, don’t you think? smile It hasn’t worked out too well so far. I don’t think that giving them more power is a good idea, they’re ineffective at restraining themselves with the present degree of power, and lesser power in the past has tended to benefit those who could maximize their exploitation of that power. Perhaps the first and best thing is to stop tolerating it at all, or deluding ourselves into thinking anyone in the plutocratic/political class is looking out for our interests.

@ Justen..

Scroll up and click “complete entry” in the main article to see recent comments - this seems to happen when comment entries reach 100?

@Mike

I’ve actually had that happen on several long threads, including the original posting of Hank’s article on Israel.

Had to come back to this because it is something I think about a great deal whenever the topic of libertarianism pops up (to their credit, libertarians have been crucial for h+). “t may be that I am partial to strolling around in public in the nude, for instance. It may be that you and most other people have no desire to see me do that. It would be perfectly acceptable for you to express your distaste, to look away, to ostracize me in your social affairs; to bar me from your place of business.”
Agreed, being nude in public WOULD be perhaps the height of pleasure; but you know very well, Justen, that such is the very last thing most families would allow. So not that you are mistaken whatsoever (never meant to pick on someone as sincere as you), only that you are utopian. The most common verse of litany I hear from libertarians is: “Someday when those more intelligent than myself [false modesty] evolve, they will know what to do.”
Yes, however just don’t make any plans on purchasing suntan oil; don’t hold your breath waiting to be permitted to be nude in public. If you were to suggest it at a town council meeting, a parent will say afterwards to a cop leaving the meeting: “please put this guy’s name on a list somewhere and don’t lose it.”
People play for KEEPS: ‘Ve haff vays of dealink vis you.’

(Want to break these replies into shorter, less digressive ones). Please don’t mistake my dismissal of certain libertarians for a rejection of libertarianism; as one shouldn’t for instance judge Xianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, or even Islam, by many of the faiths’ practitioners.
Today’s news was revolting, the Tea Partiers announced not even cuts in ‘Defense’ (at times more like Offense) is off the table. They are playing games, the Tea Party & Republicans wont take chances in reducing protection to their property; the armed services are IMO to protect property FAR more than protect the Constitution. The Rightwing declaring they want to cut Defense spending is boilerplate, merely for public consumption—savings will be negligible when you reckon with hidden costs involved in war & military spending. So cynicism is not always erroneous.
Don’t wish to pick on Marshall Barnes, yet it was predictable he wouldn’t understand how even our enemies are looking out for their own interests. The Soviet Union was—and Russia is to this day—a worse place to live than in the West save for the nomenklatura. However Russians have a truism: “let it be worse, but let it be ours”, a pertinent anti-imperialist sentiment. America cares about America—Russia is on its own. We don’t even live in a state of civilization as of yet, we live in a state of controlled barbarism, of hostile states; and when they switch from political warfare (destroying others outright) to economic warfare (destroying others economically) it will still be barbaric. Only a roped-dope, a chump, would fall for Tea Party/ Republican blarney (if the GOP can think for itself, why does it even need a Tea Party??). Libertarians are intellectually honest next to the GOP/Tea Party.
But in one sense the GOP/Tea Party is being candid; their subtext is: ‘we will push our advantages as far as possible, and if you fall for it you deserve what you get, sucker.’

Hilarity to ensue.

The reasons you state above are the reasons I don’t trust people to govern other people. I really believe most of them are decent, but given even a little bit of authority to coerce (i.e. permission from the greater public to use violence without reprimand) they become vicious, unthinking, and small. Maybe in a world where everyone had philosophy and a strong grasp on ethics they could be trusted to make decisions for others without explicit consent, but then in such a world there would be no excuse for authority and thus still no justification.

I do realize they have “ways” of dealing with people like me. I only hope and intend to make sure my ways of dealing with them are more effective ^^ So far, it’s going well. If it fails, oh well. Better than not trying.

Re: “defense”: at times? Hah. I can’t think of any time it *hasn’t* been a thin cover for offensive action, really. Certainly not in the past 60 years or so. But yeah, tea partiers and even Libertarian Partiers have very little to do with actual liberty. When the TP was just getting some publicity a lot of people in my general circles checked it out, it didn’t take long for the repugnicans to infest it and the activists to bail. It’s just controlled opposition, textbook political tactics.

“I really believe most of them are decent.”

This is related to the original thread on feminism: a civilized woman is the rule; while a civilized man is the exception. It also appears your sincerity is the exception in libertarian ‘circles’ as well; however if that isn’t the case then the situation is better than I think it is.
At any rate, violence is what makes a man a “real” man, by conventions traceable to the prehistoric. Given primordial memes, being a man is directly interlinked with waging war.
We shouldn’t neglect subtle economic warfare in these discussions. Today’s announcement that the GOP-Tea Party wants to trim “defense” spending has a corollary: they want to cut taxes as well—not merely spending. However without a defense tax, who funds “defense”? we can look in the mirror to discover the answer.
Maybe it is a good thing they are so blatant about it now; if nothing else it is coming out into the open.

I’ll accept your hypothesis if you can show that all the other indices that developed, socially democratic nations usually score high on (atheism, income, violence, democracy, etc.) correlate less well with each other compared to feminism (i.e. feminism is the strongest indicator of all these other positive things), and also establish some kind of historically-supported causative role for feminism in all those things.

The way it is now, your article would really only say to a statistician that “one characteristic that developed socially democratic nations exhibit is strongly correlated with the other characteristics that developed socially democratic nations exhibit”.

Well, the broader libertarian community, especially the left-libertarian anarchists, are much more diverse that makes it into the political mainstream (and much, much larger in population I suspect - the LP and “libertarian conservatives” are a pretty small group).

The masculine-violence meme is a curious one, probably with biological pretexts. One could make the argument that the feminine-deception meme is just a different kind of involuntary coercion, however, so I don’t know that it’s as simple as “feminine = civilized”. Anyway I like to stay away from the whole argument and instead look toward a future, and a present, where we stop characterizing things as masculine and feminine. Besides the obvious, it also offends and fails to characterize persons of non-“standard” gender identities. Correct action follows correct thinking.

The whole cut taxes / keep “defense” and entitlements thing is a pretty old move in the republican playbook that I am sure most people are getting tired of. It doesn’t take a genius to look back over the course of twenty years and watch the Rs constantly cut taxes to get populist points while expanding government programs. Then the Ds come along and raise taxes *and* continue to expand government, but they catch all the political blame for both since “defense” and the kinds of entitlements the Rs expand are politically untouchable (mostly benefiting the elderly). Even his majesty Ronald Reagan somehow managed to increase government spending some by 27% by being a “small government conservative”, largely thanks to the drug war. But propaganda trumps fact, I suppose.

Anyway they’re all so predictable it’s not very interesting to analyze them or keep up with them anymore. If my hope in the future was vested in getting those clowns, or the greater public, to wake up and start behaving like adults, I would almost certainly shoot myself now raspberry But there are way too many amazing things going on which when you grasp on the whole, point to a brighter future in spite of, not in cooperation with, the mainstream. So I focus on those things and contribute to them where I can.

I agree with the last two comments of Justen, especially:

I don’t trust people to govern other people. I really believe most of them are decent, but given even a little bit of authority to coerce (i.e. permission from the greater public to use violence without reprimand) they become vicious, unthinking, and small.

Well said. I would add that “authority to coerce” does not only mean political power, but also financial power. I am against both big government AND big corporations.

look toward a future, and a present, where we stop characterizing things as masculine and feminine

So do I. Also, I react to the politically correct idiocy “women = good, men = bad”. If you have any life experience I am sure you have met many great persons and many assholes, equally distributed among genders.

regarding the notion of which gender has the most “assholes” -
I think it’s important to note the discovery of the “warrior gene” that exists in 30% of males.  I’m not saying that everyone with this gene is has to be an asshole, not at all, but it does seem apparent that men are more violent and one reason is genetic. 
I am of the opinion, voiced by others as well, that the warrior gene served an evolutionary purpose, protecting the tribe, but right now, it seems like the gene has worn out its welcome. 
Here’s two fun links below—the first provides a testing kit to find out if you have it:
http://dnakits.org/dna-kit-to-test-for-the-warrior-gene/
and the second is Henry Rollin’s rather funny search to see if he has it
http://tv.gawker.com/5712944/henry-rollins-on-the-warrior-gene-tsa-security-and-our-possible-minority-report-future

“I react to the politically correct idiocy ‘women = good, men = bad’ ”

Women can be said to be slightly better than men, as they are slightly smarter. Or one can paraphrase Churchill to write ‘women are bad, but are better than the alternative’. Or one can write humans are the highest apes, and women don’t behave as much like ‘bad monkeys’ as men do. Or you can write women are more civilized than men, and aren’t quite as pressured as men—which makes women even slightly more civilized.
One can spin it any which way. The point made in above comments that women are often a parasite on productive men is valid only up to the degree a given woman isn’t being dominated. Oprah, for instance, is not being dominated, at least not very much; while a slave in a sex-trafficker’s stable is, obviously. Placed in religious terms, generally women are more sinned against than sinning.

Intelligence is a little more complicated than a linear scale, so I am hesitant to adopt the notion that women are inherently smarter. Given the vast variations between individuals, it is hard to even say that a specific woman is better than a specific man at a specific kind of intelligence, even though they may tend to be better statistically. Given the plasticity of the brain it is even possible that these differences are socially rather than biologically imposed. For instance it’s known that exposure to repetitive violence and abuse causes permanently diminished mental capacity, and it could be that the kinds of violence and abuse young men are subjected to tend to be of a more damaging character than the kind young women are. All we can know for sure is that within the surveyed context women tend to perform better than men in some kinds of aptitude tests. But I’m sure you don’t want to get into a deep discussion on intellect on such an exhausting thread. : )

“and it could be that the kinds of violence and abuse young men are subjected to tend to be of a more damaging character than the kind young women are.”

Which, again, might make women even more civilized than if men were not violently abused.  At any rate, I wrote above “[w]omen can be said to be slightly better than men, as they are slightly smarter. Or one can…”
Or…or. There were no theories in the post, only hypotheses. BTW, the reason for the change of mind concerning exhausting this thread came from reading your point about being nude in public; it was something I thought about recently in reference to liberty—the lack of liberty, Justen. If one can’t even be nude on one’s own property (save for very isolated settings) without risking being ticketed or arrested, I personally see little hope for real liberty in the near future, that is to say in the next thirty years. In fact I know of a few men who were arrested merely for urinating in public, and—because they were accidentally witnessed—are now registered sex offenders for life(!), they each have to send a letter confirming their addresses once a month. So please don’t get too chirpy about liberty in the near future. Chirpiness is for parakeets, not transhumanists.

Re “<i>Women can be said to be slightly better than men…<i>”

Not my experience. My experience is:

Some women can be said to be slightly better than many men.

Some men can be said to be slightly better than many women.

Reasonable men and women are perfectly able to get along.

This gender war that some authors want to promote is PC crap.

Yes I realize that a single moment can change a person’s life for no good reason. Think of all the people who have been utterly destroyed for possessing the wrong kind of plant. Look at the constant paranoia in the general public about everything from pedophiles to terrorists to minorities. This is an insane world we live in, but there are paths to sanity. Unfortunately we have to be sane in quiet little places where none of the crazy people are looking, but that we can create those quiet little places is a good start. They are seeds we plant.

Re: transhumanism, technology on its own can’t save us; if we wait around for a better future mediated by machines, we will only find a more technological tyranny. Technology’s ability to empower and transform individuals is what we have to harness. It doesn’t care what individuals it’s empowering, whether they be insane megalomaniacs with genocidal ambitions or paranoid sleepwalkers whose mantra is “safety first no matter the consequences”. We can’t depend on them to use it the way its inventors best intentions imagined, we can depend on them to use it in unexpected ways that serve their own interests. There are many, many more of them than there are of us, so if we want to win this fight we have to be much better at using this technology than they are.  I aim to be very, very good at it indeed, and so far my friends and I have been very successful at that smile Thankfully tyranny is just as effective at killing curiosity, creativity and intellect in its own bureaurats and thugs as it is in the general population so it’s not as hard a job as some assume. It’s basically impossible to be an authoritarian hacker.

“It’s basically impossible to be an authoritarian hacker.”

You’ve got it, the web is a freedom-frontier. And Giulio is correct on what I wrote on women; again, it was merely construct, setting up hypotheses to wrap a mind around. Another preliminary construct in my mind is dividing life into three parts: longevity, wealth, liberty. Thoroughly arbitrary, but aren’t so much of our constructs so? 1) Longevity means someone can live at least, say, 3 percent longer utilizing what they know today; some will live much longer—perhaps forever. Don’t know, would have to ask someone such as Aubrey.
2) Substantial wealth can be obtained by someone who is in diligent counsel with financial experts. 3) But liberty? on the web we can be free. Yet try being really free in your meat life—you had better have attorneys on speed-dial! The reason I returned to this thread was the synchronicity of reading your line about being nude in public, something very simple that doesn’t need a government agency or a Commissar of Naturism. Happened to be thinking that day of the men I know who were arrested for urinating in public, who are now registered offenders for life. The difference between us is you think such blatant repression can be overcome, while I think the timeframe is so long it is scarcely worth pondering. A few years appears real; a few decades is abstraction, IMO.
Think of the symbiosis involved: courts, cops, attorneys, etc, are getting their cut; everyone wins but the bottom-prey… er, I mean, the pauper-defendant. You all know it is big shark eat the little shark. Such a foodchain will take decades to dissolve. And what of the casualty rate? the vanguard tends to be sacrificed. Justen, this isn’t to write that you or anyone else at IEET is incorrect, only that at this time there are too many loose ends—liberty at this time appears as a horizon receding into the distance. Can you imagine how prisoners unjustly incarcerated feel?: like caged beasts waiting months/years to be released.
When I was a child, the chant was ‘Peace Now’, however 4-5 decades later war is still big business. ‘Liberty Now’? quasi-slavery is still big business.

To Hank:
Thank you for your article. As a woman, I deeply appreciate your effort to bring up this subject. But I also feel a terrible sadness when I read the comments. I am an avid futurist and transhumanist. And I do feel that it is somewhat of a men’s club. The misogyny in some the comments illustrates it clearly, and makes me disinclined to speak at all.

As a woman, from childhood I have been dis-included in plans for the future on levels that men will never fully understand. The language of the future has always been about “one small step for MAN, one giant leap for MANKIND” and talk of a better future and great society where “every child can find knowledge to enrich HIS mind and to enlarge HIS talents.” Yes, things are a bit better today, but for most of us we have grown up with these subtle delineations which run so deep that most people aren’t even conscious of it and will thus deny its existence.

I fear that in a consumer-driven society we could be at risk of taking steps backwards rather than forward if new technology increases objectification of women and instills outdated gender roles. Often the female gender is imagined in the role of a sexy Stepford wife or Rosy the Robot Maid when it comes to future applications. Does anyone question why voicemail and various service applications are usually programmed to have a female voice? Unless the application is meant to be authoritative, like “Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times!” - then a male voice is used. It’s like the Y2K issue. Maybe we aren’t thinking well enough ahead when we automatically attribute specific gender to technology we are developing now.

We squabble about questions of porn and sexual laws and issues, and speak in excitement about the development of sex-bots and virtual reality sex. But I wish everyone would stop worrying so much about how we will get off in the future, and be more concerned about what type of people we will be in the future. 

for Gulio Prisco -
I know you are not an ignorant person, so can you explain to me why you say, “the gender war… is PC crap.”  —- ???
I don’t know why you are pretending to be oblivious to atrocities women undergo around the world—
do you think female genital mutilation is “PC crap”?
what about gang rape in the Congo?
what about the non-level playing field for mothers seeking to advance their careers in nations where maternity leave is minimal?
was Susan B. Anthony just indulging in “PC crap” ?
Are Taslima Nasrin and Ayaan Hirsi Ali just “PC crappers” working stupidly for Muslim women’s rights?
By the way, your native land, Italy, came in dead last in Western Europe in the Global Gender Gap Index.  You live in the worst nation for women in Western Europe, or, oops!  Is the Global Gender Gap Index just PC crap, to you, too?
Please put some concentrated thought into your next comment, rather than the blithe, dismissive 11-word maxim you used to conclude your last entry.

For Dominique—thanks for writing in.  Great to hear from you.  I want you to know that most of the misogyny on this site is not from IEET “regulars” but from various “anti-feminists” who got wind of the article and descended here to spew their vitriol in the comments.  I find IEET’s regular readership to be quite reasonable, and intelligent.  So don’t give up on them, or on transhumanists in general.
Also, remember that women have at least 52% of the vote so democracy works in their favor, women can influence the future via the ballot booth, despite what the technocrats imagine.

@Postfuturist: It’s definitely a long road. I don’t suggest we’ll have complete liberty, or that we’ll even experience it in our natural lifetimes (but here’s looking forward to un-natural lifetimes). Not only do we still have war, we still have segregation and racism despite the civil rights movement. I think the biggest flaw in the counter-culture movements of the 60s and 70s was not their desires, but total lack of a realistic strategy for achieving them. It might be unfair to characterize the whole strategy as “love sex and drugs” but it tended to boil down to that. Unfortunately sociopaths don’t care about love, don’t want sex, and are sadly unenlightened by drugs. There are better ways to achieve some freedom today, and more tomorrow. I look to things that have worked, and that continue to work. I don’t think anyone has substantial difficulty in getting their hands on any kind of contraband substance or material. Why is that? By some estimates over 80% of the Soviet Union’s economy was in the black market in the years leading up to its collapse. The overthrow of the soviet bloc was almost completely bloodless. How did that happen under a vast, massively corrupt totalitarian state? The object is to harness these forces in an intentional way as they have been used out of necessity in the past, and to be ready with alternatives to traditional forms of social harmony to prevent the formation of a power vacuum. The biggest threat to this strategy that I see is that collapse will happen before we establish strong enough support networks to stop the power vacuums. That this will end in the foreseeable future by one means or other is almost inevitable, and I say almost only because there is always the possibility that they will pull a rabbit out of a hat and sustain this broken economy for another few decades (such as through cost-effective nationalized exploitation of resources in space or something). We will get there. In the meanwhile, I don’t require permission to act. It may be that they’ll eventually get me. They haven’t got me yet, and I am in the least outrageous amongst my peers. smile

@Hank: well that’s all assuming the ballot is productive in securing or protecting rights, which I think is a pretty poor joke on your part! But yeah, I think I mentioned earlier, the future that people like us (if I may collectivize) look forward to makes gender a somewhat quaint idea by blurring the lines and broadening the scope beyond the widest imaginable boundaries.

@Dominique: the persons we are in the future are largely going to be shaped by the persons we are today. Why wait! I’m not a big fan of the gender machines either, I like machines to sound like machines. It gives them their own personality free of human assumptions. Hell I look forward to a day where they’re intelligent enough to choose their own voices. The choices in machine voice are often driven by market research and focus groups though, which says a lot more about the deep psychological associations people have with gender than it does about a conspiracy to promote patriarchy (not to make a straw woman of you). This won’t change overnight but it’ll change faster the more we make choices that disrupt these norms. Hack your car and give it a subservient male or gender-neutral voice sometime, there’s a good start smile

Naturally, the situation is changing; but at a snail’s pace, is what it feels like. Justen, we both thought of being nude in public because it is a no-brainer, one doesn’t have to invest in naturism—save for suntan lotion. However take medical marijuana: the investment is of course in inventory, commercial own/lease space, and so forth. MM is licensed & regulated, so if you even accidentally screw up, the business can easily be confiscated and prosecution can result. It is a game all round, because most MM isn’t medicinal in the conventional, old-fashioned, sense, it is used for getting high (not that it is my concern what others do). On the other end the state is getting its pound of flesh (in my city over $20,000,000 in tax receipts for medical marijuana for the year 2010).

It’s the symbiosis that fascinates me; though we can’t really say it is a positive symbiosis—can we? it is predatory & disingenuous.

The state is made up of people, and people seem to be rather good at protecting their short-term interests. I don’t see medicinal cannabis as “progress” personally. Progress was making the use of cannabis socially acceptable to all but the most ignorant and hateful of people, such that despite it being officially illegal even large figures in mainstream media can talk about its use, and their personal use, without fear of serious repercussions (tell that to Willie Nelson, I know, but looking at the broader picture). The state’s role in cannabis use is largely inconsequential; they use it as an excuse to constantly extend their power and justify atrocities from invading people’s homes and shooting their dogs to the war on the border, but they’ll use any excuse to do things like that. As for actually stopping it, their efforts are a bad joke at best. So now they’re insinuating themselves between users and product with some idiotic licensing scheme that they know is largely spurious so they can play both sides of the table - profit from the use and profit from its prohibition. This is a problem from my point of view, but still a minor one. The major point is that social progress and the freed market has made it practically available to anyone who seriously wants it. This can work with anything and everything else as well. The more things they ban, the bigger the black market gets, the more people have cause to loathe them and realize how invasive and barbaric they are.

“The more things they ban, the bigger the black market gets”

Yes, however it cuts both ways: the cops get bigger & brawnier; the government’s guns, prisons, and databases get more high-tech; the judges & attorneys obtain fancier law degrees.
Maybe it is all merely high comedy—save for those on the wrong ends of loaded guns smile

This is true to a point. However those guns are bought with taxes, and the black market doesn’t get taxed. Or rather they’re bought with debt taken against the expected ability to collect future taxes anyway. But as the USSR demonstrated, this charade only goes so far. It’s hard to say for sure where the tipping point is, but hilariously, the only tools they have ‘against’ the black market are to ban more and more stuff and make it bigger or to acquiesce and repeal restrictions. Either way, I win, haha. Though I actually prefer the former, as it hastens their demise. The most important work right now is in stabilizing the black market and establishing alternative institutions for dealing with problems the state has opted-out of being available to resolve which don’t involve violence as bad or worse than anything the state inflicts. In some systems, especially finance, the problem is already solved, but obviously there are vested interests - drug cartels, mafias, double-dealing corporations - which would rather control the counter-institutions for their own interests than see them operate flawlessly. So in a way it’s a microcosm of the state, but in a more digestible chunk, and progress is being made. They never really horned in on bootlegs, for instance, and I doubt they’ll get anywhere once we start bootlegging ‘real’ products as opposed to information.

“drug cartels, mafias”

And many, many other criminals, or if you prefer, alternative businesspeople; whatever you wish to call them, they have guns. Lots of ‘em. And if someone gets in their way, they use ‘em.
Too many guns (and knives) for my liking.

@Hank re “for Gulio Prisco - I know you are not an ignorant person, so can you explain to me why you say, “the gender war… is PC crap.”—- ???

The other things I say in the same post show that I am totally gender-blind and do not make any discrimination between persons based on their gender. All reasonable persons that I know are also gender-blind.

The examples that you give happen in other parts of the world and, of course, we must fight for gender equality there. But we have achieved gender equality here, and there is nothing wrong in acknowledging it and moving on. As I also say, “Reasonable men and women are perfectly able to get along.”

@Hank, continued: Equality means equality means equality. I am for a society of equal persons, and I reject discriminations one way or another. I don’t think men are better than women, AND I don’t think women are better than men. The “PC crap” to which I refer is the attitude where all women are good and all men are bad. And this is, and I am sorry to repeat myself, pure crap. Persons are persons are persons.

@Dominique re pronouns: some writers force a genderless “they” even when it leads to strange sentences. Others use “she or he” and “her or his” all the time. Others have invented genderless pronouns “ve, ver, vis…”, but this doesn’t seem to catch on I have tried all these things, but now I am just using each set of pronouns more or less half of the times. I would welcome standard genderless pronouns in everyday language, and I would welcome genderless voices in answering systems.

Re my last comment. What’s wrong with “it”? It is genderless, but isn’t this what we are looking for? Since English is not my native language I may be missing some evident reason why “it” would be inappropriate as a genderless replacement of “she” and “he”.

I think this may work in most languages with a neutral pronoun (not in my own language or other Latin languages).

Hi Giulio—yes, I was accused of being an “exceptionalist” before when I wrote about Israel.  But I think the problem with someone just saying that they are “gender-blind” or “color-blind” or any other kind of disregard of differences in people is that they then become unwilling to protect a specific gender or ethnic group from the exploiters who are not “blind” to the difference. 
regarding your claim that gender equality has been achieved in Italy, so we should just “move on”—statistics reveal that Italian women make 51% of what men earn for the same work, this ranks them 94th in the world, far below women in Nigeria, Benin, Chad and other nations where you think there is a problem, that doesn’t exist in Italy.

@Hank re “unwilling to protect a specific gender or ethnic group from the exploiters who are not “blind” to the difference.

Not my case. I am willing to protect any group which is oppressed, and precisely because I don’t see a difference.

re “your claim that gender equality has been achieved in Italy

I was not referring to Italy, but to an average of the western world. I concede that Italy may be behind other regions as far as equality of pay is concerned, but on the basis of what I can see the figure of 51% seems exaggerated. Note: I am Italian, but this does not mean that I think Italy is an example to follow. As I said many times in this thread, I don’t make difference between abstract groups, but only between actual persons.

@ Giulio..

Quote – ” Re my last comment. What’s wrong with “it”? It is genderless, but isn’t this what we are looking for? Since English is not my native language I may be missing some evident reason why “it” would be inappropriate as a genderless replacement of “she” and “he”.

Well… may I further suggest “us” and “them”?

But seriously…“Most” everybody knows your views on gender and egalitarianism here at IEET, so the accusations are more than outrageous.

This article should have been titled “Testosterone’s Social Side Effects”??

…And where are all the fraking women commentators?… Ah yes, you’ve chased them all away! Good show!

@Hank

I had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to argue with you on this anymore, but you have a VERY skewed view of what I mean when I speak of exceptionalism

Like Giulio said, people are people, equality is equality is equality.

Not being an exceptionalist does NOT mean blinding yourself to the oppression of various subgroups. It means NOT GIVING ANYONE A FREE PASS TO OPPRESS FOR ANY REASON.

It’s human nature for the underdog to want to “reverse the pecking order” and become exactly what they despise. “Oh, pity us because we were oppressed! It’s only natural that WE WANT TO STOMP ON OTHERS LIKE WE WERE STOMPED ON!!!!”

Are Jews oppressed? Yes. Does that oppression give them free reign to oppress others for any reason? NO. Are women oppressed? You effing bet. It still doesn’t give women a right to oppress right back in revenge.  Are LGBT oppressed? YES WE ARE. Does it give me a right to oppress others because I’m oppressed? NO IT F***KING DOES NOT.

If I won’t make an exception FOR MYSELF, why should I make an exception for anyone else?

That is what exceptionalism is Hank. The giving of a free pass to one group or another that allows them to escape accountability for their actions, while penalizing everyone else for those same actions.

Everyone has to play by the same rules, Hank. EVERYBODY. Otherwise there will NEVER be an end to oppression.

There are exceptions to every rule. Blacks ought to have Affirmative Action continue, as they have been treated very badly by Jim Crow; not merely slavery.
First thing I want done is ending Selective Service: young men shouldn’t be forced to fight wars for bungling Bushclones and Rumsfelds. And who today would allow themselves to be conscripted? shut the SS down, now. Let Shaun Hannities, Glenn Becks, and Rush Limbaughs put on uniforms.

for Valkyrie—With my excellent bifocals, I am able to read ordinary print, all caps is not necessary, although I do appreciate your compassionate concern.
That aside, my apologies for once again being ignorant about the definition of “exceptionalism”

When some of these younguns here get older they will develop nuanced worldviews, to match the extremely nuanced cosmos.
One wants to have core beliefs, but not absolutist core beliefs.

A victim who doesn’t heal runs the risk of becoming a victimizer. It is true at the personal level and, I believe, at the macro-level. That was part of the brilliance behind South Africa’s Truth and Reconcilliation process. I’m sorry some men have been hurt by the behavior of some women.
One other point to just entertain as a possibility is that those who hold the dominant power usually think life is better than those who don’t. They’ve set the rules and so by default those rules work for them. Those who have been harmed by those rules (e.g. all the cultural nuance that keeps the glass ceiling in place), will likely believe that less progress has been made.
I am very grateful to live in a nation that has laws protecting the rights of women. I am very grateful for the men (and women) who are gender-blind. Both law and social behavior are needed.

All true enough. Striving for equality is the way to go—but not absolute equality. In the ‘60s & ‘70s I met people who shouted “peace now”; “legalize marijuana now”, and so forth: infant leftists might be an epithet that applied to them. Those relatively new to politics are sometimes like that, impatient to change the world. There have been too many absolutists and extremists, though the situation does appear to be slowly changing.
However exceptions exist in everything. Some extreme postures have been useful.
Timothy Leary was apparently a transhumanist, and an extremist (by the conventions of his era). Robert Anton Wilson was way out-there, all sorts of techno- mystical-sexual, extreme counterculturalist memes.
I used to talk to FM about capital punishment, he was almost hysterically opposed to it. “It is fascist for the government to murder like that”, he would yell. Capital punishment is wrong, however is it fascism? Such an extremist, absolutist posture can possibly self-defeating, counterproductive.

So many words have been written about GOVERNMENT. Since the beginning of recorded time; blood and deception have always won out. Where did it get us?

The openess of the internet and social website have finally brought us to that time; when the secret behavior of those who rule over us is disclosed over the satelites.  Blood and words still prevail. What shall we do?

Don’t wait for utopia or distopia. Vote them; Republicans and Democrats, out of their self-dealing offices.

for James—sorry, I am finally getting back to you about your comment that my essay only proves that Women’s Equality has a correlation with all the other values; i.e., my essay does not prove that “feminism” is the instigator of all progress.  Thanks for your note.  My response to that is, yes, you are right, my essay would have to be considerably expanded, with a nation-by-nation analysis examining the history of women’s progress in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, New Zealand, and Switzerland, to see if if the legislation that enhanced women’s equality positively impacted the other categories of Democracy, Peace, Wealth, Happiness, Male Longevity, and Secularism.  I will be doing that in the future but that is an endeavor that would produce too many words for ieet’s format. 
However, off the top of my head, it seems that Women’s Equality would easily immediately improve statistics in categories like Democracy and Happiness. because women are half the demographic, and if their rights are secured, it would seem like their happiness would equally prosper, as would their perception (at least) that democracy was working in their nation.  Women’s Equality improving the other categories is slightly more difficult to explain, but I think a convincing case can be presented.  Thanks again for your comments.

This study is missing category listings in diversity, lgbt, and poverty. If you inject the listings above in to any of the countries you have listed, they would all be less than top 10.  It could be said then that Utopia can only occur in non diverse, non lgbt, and non poverty countries. It would seem then that the only way for a country to reach Utopia, would be to cut out the cancer. Taking out the problem before it needs solving.

Feminism’s Social Side Effects!

1. Female equality YAY!
A pro feminist society and governmental educational push for females, results in 60% enrollment at Universities over males 40%. Also an increase in female employment nearing 40% female/60% male. So with the government funding and pushing for female enrollment, women are seeing the light of equality. Where as men are losing funds, educational spots, and jobs.

2. Creates frustrated groups of outlying successful women and unsuccessful men.
Women are raised to seek men of equal or greater success and status. Parents want their daughters to marry rich and successful men. Girls were raised up watching Disney movies portraying women marrying princes. A woman’s evaluation of success is to compare herself to her friends. If her friend has a nice shoe, she wants a better shoe. If her friend has a nice car, she wants a better car. If her friend has a nice boyfriend, she wants a better boyfriend. Rarely would a woman want to tell her friends that she is married to an unemployed and unsuccessful man.
Men on the other hand seek women of any status, but rarely of greater status due to women not accepting men of lesser status. So more employed women, less employed men, creates a status gap of members who are impossibly unwilling to pair off.

3. Rise in Adultery, Divorce, and Single Mothers.
Successful men are generally already in a relationship or married. So the excess of remaining successful women will not pair up with less successful men, therefor the woman will instead start an adulterous affair with a successful married man. This leads to divorce. Now we have a divorced mother. A successful woman who may be a pregnant mother soon and won’t want to marry a cheating man. So, we have a rise in adultery, divorce, and single motherhood.

4. Possible creation of extremist males? (Cho Seung Hui, George Sodini, Jared Loughner, or any man in prison)
Feminism leaves the group of unsuccessful men with no equality. They’re left with no prospects, leading them to darker places then they would prefer. So, we now have over crowded prisons filled with oppressed men.

Feminism is one big fat CATCH-22, in that it creates as many problems as it solves. When you give women equality, at the very same time, you take away equality from men.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the ridding of discrimination. It’s just that we need to look at the cause and effect, the action and reaction, of feminism and other movements or progressions more thoroughly. If the solution creates more problems than it solves, then it is no solution.

You can critique certain women in many ways, but it is a real stretch to write that women & feminism are oppressive. Even ‘sovereign individual’ women are under the thumb of men; they have to hire retainers, don’t they? they can’t always trust male underlings to not dominate or excessively manipulate them. Not to romanticize women, but as far as I know the only advantage women have that men do not is that men have to work and women do not. After four entire decades of feminism, women are in fact still controlled by men.
This segues into one of my recurring repetitive diatribes on social progress: does intense social dislocation negate social progress? does biosphere-degradation also negate social progress? we will find out soon enough!
Here is a definite disagreement: “[d]on’t wait for utopia or distopia. Vote them; Republicans and Democrats, out of their self-dealing offices.”
For the near future we are stuck with the GOP-Dem duopoly, so the prudent choice is now apparent: Obama MUST be re-elected or we waste four or eight years with another chair-warming GOP Bushclone. In 2016 or 2020 Palin might be elected, which is tolerable—a sop to rightwing feminism. As a woman, Palin probably wont invade any more countries in bungling any more nation-building efforts. Guys, let’s be thankful for small favors.
One thing is for sure, I have no intention of ever voting Libertarian, the Libertarian Party consists of souped-up Republicans. BTW, take a guess which gender dominates the LP; if you guessed female, you guessed wrong. Liberty? yeah, right, sure. That’s a good one, a real knee-slapper.

 

“It’s just that we need to look at the cause and effect, the action and reaction, of feminism and other movements or progressions more thoroughly.”

Unfortunately, JJ is not taking his own advice: there might be a confusion here between influence and power. Women possess influence, and, as virtually everyone does, they abuse it sometimes. But women don’t have power, power is nothing without violence to back it up. Whether it’s state monopoly violence or syndicate thug violence, it is much the same IMO. Point is, men are able to use violence to back up their perceived interests- while women can’t usually do so. That is primary; what JJ discusses is secondary or tertiary

Well Hank, I said a few miles back down the road that you were a right stirrer but my God this cauldron has really boiled over. It looks like the Guinness Book of records for you. Will IEET ever risk their bandwidth by letting you post again? grin

for Paul—Hi!  I meant to tell you earlier that I really liked your On/Off libido idea and I included it in my next article, which should come out next week.  I gave you credit, so look for your name in it.

for postfuturist - thanks for correcting JJ, much appreciated.  Now I don’t have to do it.  JJ’s comment is formatted nicely, and the first 3 sentences are fine, then it becomes ludicrous.

We are off the home page now, so maybe the discussion will wind down… there are some crazy Christians freaking out about George Dvorsky’s latest post…

“there are some crazy Christians freaking out about George Dvorsky’s”

I shouldn’t put libertarians down so much; they promote, and practice, enlightened (if enlightened is what it actually is) self interest to its furthest limit, for better AND worse.
But wild-eyed Christians are truly out-of-this-world. Makes you think behind closed doors many of them must be having a real good time- and I think you know I mean.

For Feminism’s true “social side-effects” rather than these logical fallacies of the “Confusing Cause and Effect” type, I suggest you read the following:

By Warren Farrell:
The Myth of Male Power
Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say

By Christina Hoff Sommers:
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men

By Sanford Braver:
Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths

Well I guess with the near economic collapse of the EU, the hypothesis on happiness, economic success and female empowerment have come up very short.  LOL

Also ironic you tout the northern european countries where the fundamental civil liberties of men are trod upon habitually in the name of gynocentric “ethics/ideology” indoctrination.  There is a good reason we Europeans lovingly refer to Sweden as the Saudi Arabia of feminism because they have earned it. 

But quite a comical read were it not so inane and absurd.  The void of cognitive ability is stupefying even for this liberated European woman.

Hi Arianne - I just returned from a vacation in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark and I can assure you, that those nations are nowhere near economic collapse, especially Norway.  I can also report that they appeared quite “happy” - and “feminism” seemed to have much to do with it.  One thing I noticed in particular was that fathers everywhere seemed to be joyously taking care of their children, all by themselves, without women around.

I’m curious as to what EU nation you are from, and why - as a woman- you express such hostility about the Nordic nation’s feminism? I am also curious to know more about you, because I googled you and I found Absolutely No One with your name - so I wonder if you are just posing as a woman, from anti-feminist.com or another misogynist site ?

I actually wanted to post this in your “Women Only Leadership” article, but for some reason comments were turned off there.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/09/201191613754462625.html

Danes vote for first woman PM

Denmark has elected its first female prime minister, removing the right-wing government from power after 10 years in power.

Near complete official results indicated on Thursday that Denmark’s centre-left, led by Social Democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt, won the general election and would gain a narrow majority in the 179-seat Parliament.

“The greatest purveyor of violence is governance.”

This is an entirely uninformed statement: corporations are no more ethical than states and in some ways less ethical. However it is only proper a young person such as yourself should be gullible, as what we optimistically term ‘society’ has a need for all sorts—including those who are so optimistic as to think the greatest purveyor of violence is governance.
If only that were the case, Justen; if only it were that simple.

@ iPan - thanks for letting me know about the election.  I will have to check in with Joern and see if he voted for her.  I think he did not.
By the way, the Women-Only link got cut off because the comments just got too nasty

“the Women-Only link got cut off because the comments just got too nasty”

However that’s largely because of the generally poor way men treat women; is there any doubt about that? or for instance the poor manner in which Obama is being treated, his enemies are acting as if he is some sort of monster when he is politically bending over backwards to accomodate them. Disgruntled blacks were correct after all: a capable black is elected president and he gets treated like dirt.
We all know America was designed to be confrontational, it isn’t some little nation such as Switzerland, but the confrontation is being taken too far; it is only justifiable as a way of dislocating things towards a future renovation—yet what an ugly way to go about it. If social progress verifiably exists, it is dreadful.

Will just address one more comment (will keep it brief) to Justen, as it is not enjoyable to go over & over the same discussion at IEET a hundred or more times:
No one ever informed Justen of how the state did not just pop out of nowhere? Justen doesn’t comprehend how private persons and corporations (don’t forget, corporations are often granted personhood with rights as persons have) use the state as a cat’s paw?

Sometimes it appears global IQs are rising while common sense is decreasing—this is not a facetious remark.

People who watch porn should consider getting a real life and having a real relationship with a real person. Just saying, sitting in a room and watching (or reading) porn while pleasuring yourself seems very pathetic. It’s like you can’t get a real boyfriend or girlfriend. Kind of sad really. Only saying this because some person above was talking about it. That’s my opinion and I know a lot of people who feel the same way, so if it offends you, too bad.

Are you serious?

the feminism’s social side effects are divorces, familiar disintegration, emotional inestability, lack of trust in the future, frustration, spread of evil feelings among people, etc…

@Hank Pellissier

1) You’re conflating anti-FEMALE nations with anti-feminism as a movement. Anti-feminism developed in first world countries in response to radical feminism.

2) Your reasons for supporting the banning of production of porn in certain Scandinavian nations seems to stem from benevolent sexism. First of all, women aren’t the only gender performing in porn. Secondly, many female performers disagree with your ideas on porn. Why should your preferences trump their choices and their opinions?

3) We all want the women in our lives to be appreciated for more than their looks, but what right do you have to enforce this on men? Men have the right to be superficial whether you like it or not.

Antifeminist is completely right in pointing out your error in confusing correlation with causation. You also like to confuse Feminism with female empowerment. I support female empowerment, but I don’t support Feminism as it has been practiced. Feminists are often times the worst offenders when it comes to disempowering women, because of the financial and social benefits of benevolent sexism. Feminists are the originators of the concept of “professional victims” and they’ve used misplaced sympathy to do horrible things.

@iPan

Radical feminism is not a fringe movement. It’s the most influential strain of feminism. Employing the No True Scotsman fallacy does not help female empowerment.

 

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