September 25, 2012 26 Comments
A key element of Deep Conversion is what I call cheerful misogyny. This is essentially a paternalistic empathetic attitude towards women in which you recognise their relative strengths and weaknesses and do not pander. To achieve cheerful misogyny you must unapologetically believe men are better than women at certain things, so you can then be dismissive of those women who try their hand where they don’t belong. Mostly this involves deprogramming your forebrain. So with that in mind, here is my deprogramming suggestion on the topic of women in the workplace.
Feminists have made much of alleged patriarchal dominance in the workplace. Roughly summarised they claim women have been excluded from the workplace and public office so that men can keep all the benefits of money, status and power to themselves. This has been achieved by outright exclusion (working men’s clubs, Old Boy network, discriminatory hiring practices), social engineering (denying women suitable education to compete for these positions) and cultural disapproval (pushing traditional gender roles as desirable). One criticism that makes feminists feel really clever, like they are unearthing some hidden deep conspiracy, is that the workplace and public sphere have been masculinised and designed in ways that promote men’s interests at the expense of women’s.
The more crazy feminists (i.e. those tweeting from nests feathered by university money) have claimed logic and scientific knowledge are themselves sexist because they discriminated against women’s ways of knowing. Essentially that fact-based decision making is sexist because it undermines women’s intuitiveness. These crazies are at the extreme.
I’d like to submit an alternative explanation for the traditional male dominance of the public sphere. Men are better at getting things done.
Men deal with the world directly. Nature is red in tooth and claw, unforgiving and uncaring, so to scrape a living men must understand reality and the rules by which it operates. This means reading skies to forecast rains, tracking animal spoor, fashioning tools…. all the way to the ultimate abstraction of physics and back again with engineering tools and structures to claim control over the environment. Men’s deep-seated interest in how things work and their drive to master their environment leads them to social behaviours such as nerdiness and to life-choices such as studying maths, science and engineering which allow them to harness these nature-oriented drives. Men are producers.
Women deal with the world indirectly, through men. They live inside the protective bubble of men and thus gravitate towards the private sphere of the home and the knitting circle. Mostly they are recipients of men’s provisioning and thus take little interest in that part of the outside world where human meets nature – the coal face of men’s struggle against the elements. Their attention is caught only when their results of male provisioning are mismatched or inadequate to their needs, then they wish something to be done onto the world through the agency of men. “Can you put up those shelves, please?” Women’s deep-seated interest in how people work and their drive to manipulate channels of provisioning leads them to social behaviours such as solipsism and to life-choices such as studying psychology, marketing and human resources which allow them to harness these people-oriented drives. Women are consumers.
Thus are the natural abilties and inclinations of men and women. So let’s consider what the public sphere actually entails. The workplace is the location in which people are assembled together to complete a range of tasks. Let’s take as an AtlasShrugged-y example building a bridge across a gorge to allow a railway to connect two towns. The project requires people to design a bridge that will support the train, map out the materials needed, engage physical labour to do the building, extract the materials from the earth, forge steel, logistics to transport the men, materials and energy to the worksite, direct the work and so on. All of these activites interface with the real world with outcomes that can be measured and the ultimate proof in whether the bridge stands or falls. Construction companies are masculine because they must harness masculine skills to complete the project. Not because the men involved specifically wish to exclude women for the sake of it. Women are excluded because they are inadequate in these roles.
So the workplace takes on masculine energy as a necessary condition of getting the job done effectively. Red Pill Room calls this the Sandbox (an excellent post). The moment you force femininity into the workplace you dilute the effectiveness of a business’s ability to impose itself upon the world. So is there a place for women in the workplace? Let’s get this question framed correctly. The demands of the project are what shapes the culture of a business, rather than the habits and fancies of men. Men do not fashion business as their private fiefdom or they’ll go out of business under market competition. The men take on the shape of the environment. It’s a common feminist misconception that men love going to work and having their Old Boy’s playground, as if working down the mines or in an office cubicle are some kind of recreational activity. To disabuse yourself of this notion just ride an Underground train during rush hour and watch all the tired slouched men traipsing into the office at 9am then coming home worn-out and defeated from a hard day’s graft. Most men don’t take joy from their work, they do it because it’s their role and a means to an end. They are fitting themselves to the shape of the workplace realities.
Women are solipsistic by nature and thus operate from a “what’s in it for me?” frame. The workplace is an environment to be shaped to suit their tastes and damn the consequences to the project. Red Pill Room calls this the Swingset and it’s disruptive by nature. So let’s not ask what work can do for women but rather what women can do for work. In a free market that’s how it goes – you are hired according to your abilities as required by the firm. Assuming an honest intention by the woman to contribute, what can she actually do?….. History has already answered that for us. Considering the business as it’s own pseudo-household, women are deployed in internal-facing roles that manage the warmness of the environment ro support the external-facing men. Typing, filing, photocopying, tea-making and crucially… looking pretty around the office to make it a pleasant place to be.
There are some exceptions, when a business is particularly people focused such as marketing firms, PR, events management and so on. These are more like outsourced elements what are usually people-focused sides of business whose main activity is world-focused. And what a surprise that women gravitate to these roles. The public sector is another (grossly enlarged) outlier. Free men in free markets hire workers for what they can do – there is a purity of connection. The government hires workers for political purposes and then allows trades unions to inflict producer capture upon the organisation and redeploy it as a source of feathering the nests of it’s employees rather than getting the job done. And what a surprise that women gravitate to these roles.
Real work is a male endeavour. To the extent women can perform adequately they must take on male characteristics by accessing their reserve masculine core. This masculines them, kills their femininity. There are only two choices for society in allowing women to work while retaining their femininity: (i) feminise the culture of work so the women are happy but nothing gets done efficiently or (ii) limit women to particular tightly-fenced roles until they get married off and leave the workforce. The latter is the only choice acceptable to me.