A Glimpse Into a World Without Men

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke11/15/18
Ah, to have an all-female workplace, full of sugar and spice and everything nice and absent #MeToo turpitude and transgressions. Are you in, ladies? Well, before signing on that dotted line, you may want to consider the experiences of the sugar-and-spice girls at Sweden’s new Gender Equality Authority.

Yes, that sounds like what’s birthed when Orwell’s 1984 meets The Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (Bill Maher’s most memorable movie), but it wasn’t mainly men being consumed in this bureaucracy. As Sweden’s FriaTider reports (auto-translated and corrected for grammar):

The New Gender Equality Authority has a leadership consisting of 100 percent women. Ten months after its inception, an internal report now reveals a work environment so bad that 70 percent of its employees are distressed enough to be at risk of ill health, reports Ekot.

The internal survey, Ekot also noted, shows in addition that a majority of the employees of the Gender Equality Authority suffer from sleep problems and “risk fatigue”.

Among other things, the women-dominated workplace is characterized by bullying and harassment, according to the survey.

If this surprises you, perhaps you derived your conception of the sexes from a women’s-studies class (maybe the one known as modern American culture). Whether it was Aristotle’s observation that women are more likely “to scold and to strike,” Rudyard Kipling’s verse about how “the female of the species is more deadly than the male” or statistics on bullying, it has long been known that the sugar-and-spice bit reflects marketing and male flattery, not reality.

As Forbes wrote in 2012 on inter-employee harassment, “Women make much nastier office bullies than men, says psychologist Dr. Gary Namie, co-founder of the [Workplace Bullying] Institute.” This behavior is “particularly vicious among working women,” informs Forbes, and ranges “from playing favourites to badmouthing colleagues” to undermining other women’s careers (and men’s, too).

…it has long been known that the sugar-and-spice bit reflects marketing and male flattery, not reality.

Unsurprisingly, Forbes attributed this to conditioning (read: it’s our Patriarchal™ society’s fault), writing that girls “are taught to be critical about each other from adolescence.” How this is taught or where it’s taught I have no idea, but that’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it. It’s just good the Female Criticism 101 classes don’t also instruct on how to criticize men, otherwise there could actually be nagging wives in the world. (Unless they’d just skip right to the physical, as some studies show that women are more likely to initiate both domestic and teen-dating violence.)

Those adolescent girls must be quick learners, though, because experts and studies (two troubling phenomena, no doubt, but, hey, even a blind squirrel and a broken clock, ya’ know?) inform that bullying among girls is notably worse than among boys. Just consider the left-wing Guardian, which outlines the problems and practices of these teen Gorgons and then closes with the question: Do these realities “make the ‘normal’ bullying of, generally, low-level violence as used by boys seem strangely comforting?”

Part of the explanation for this is that as poet William Congreve noted in 1697 (pre-“gender”-sensitivity training), Hell hath no “fury like a woman scorned.” His context was affairs of the heart, of course, but it extends further. While men have their characteristic sins (lust, for example), a female one is vindictiveness. I suspect this is partially, though not completely, because women are very emotion-oriented, are easily hurt and, most significantly, are emotion-retentive. Thus, a real or imagined slight cuts deeply and doesn’t just remain in a woman’s mind, but in her heart. It’s harder to forgive when negative feelings linger — demanding retribution.

The bottom line is that, as often portrayed art-imitating-life-style in film, two men can engage in fisticuffs and be buddies an hour later. Women? Not so much.

The psychological experts will tell us this is taught, too, but it’s even (and especially) apparent in children. When a little boy gets upset, he may have a tantrum and explode like a volcano yet 15 minutes later behave as if nothing happened. A girl is less likely to do this but more apt to simmer for long periods, not boiling over noticeably but not cooling to a calm, either. Consequently, rifts with friends are too often permanent.

Then there’s that, speaking generally, men are creatures of principle, women of preference. As I put it, treating this recently, “Years ago a female writer (whose name…escapes me) discussed the different ways boys and girls settle problems. She wrote that boys are natural-born deal makers; they’ll try to ensure fairness for everyone and then shake hands, saying ‘Deal? Deal.’ In contrast, girls will try to ensure an outcome everyone feels good about.”

“Witnessed here, even from young ages,” I continued, “is that boys instinctively reference principles, the objective; fairness is a principle. The girls, of course, are referencing feelings, the subjective.”

The point? “Fair fighting” or conflict resolution in the workplace or anywhere else requires adherence to principles; emotion won’t secure it (which is why catfights are, well, catfights). Philosopher C.S. Lewis touched on this in his book Mere Christianity when he asked: With whom would you rather deal if your dog bit the child next door, the man or woman of the house?

Lewis explained that when the man handles what could be called the family’s “foreign policy,” outsiders are more likely to get a fair shake; the woman’s extreme “family patriotism” often precludes this.

The latter is, of course, what can cause a woman to be wholly devoted to her children, even to the point of backing them when they do evil (serial killers’ mothers come to mind). For only principle instructs, “Your family is wrong, and you must say so”; emotion exclaims “My family right or wrong!”

Kipling touched on this as well, writing of man, “Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands [t]o some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.”

The strong, unyielding feminine emotion can provide the no-holds-barred love and devotion a child needs. But when this intense passion is turned to competition in the workplace or elsewhere, it’s just no-holds-barred. So I don’t know about spice, but maybe, as so many today claim, sugar really is a killer.

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11 Responses to A Glimpse Into a World Without Men

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Interesting, and nicely written. I’ve certainly read similar views that women really are good at targeting other women. Some of it is probably going after the competition (for men, of course). This no doubt is related to what Rush Limbaugh calls queen bee syndrome (which is why the Wicked Witch of the West doesn’t have much room for other women in the House Demagogue leadership). And I’m familiar with Kipling’s famous poem. (His reference to Nag and Nagaina shows up in his story “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, which I read as a child. I sympathized with the cobras, naturally. I have no idea which of the two came first.)

    Given my own vindictive inclinations (which I’ve never been able to indulge, sadly), I must wonder how feminine I may be. But one reason I liked Mr. Spock as a character (as opposed to Dr. Spock) was that emotion never seemed to do me much good, so I valued his rationalism.)

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    With whom would you rather deal if your dog bit the child next door, the man or woman of the house?

    That’s an interesting observation from C.S. Lewis. Great quote by Kipling as well. And another good article by Selwyn.

    In regards to women, I work almost exclusively with professional women. And there is an advantage to them. They’re less likely to see a screw-up as a make it or break it deal whereas a man can throw away a long-term business relationship in a slightly psychopathic way, almost always because of price, often disguised as dissatisfaction with something else (rationalizations). A woman is less likely to see a screw-up as losing face. A man will feel pressure to give you the heave-ho.

    I find it easy to fix screw-ups with women. And screw-ups are a part of doing business. But I don’t work in an office full of women as a woman. That would be another thing. Possibly a hellish thing. And I try to keep screw-ups to an absolute minimum, so I’m mostly not talking from a lot of experience.

    Most of the women I work with are very comfortable in their power. They are usual office secretaries or administrators. Generally there are no pissing contests as there would be with men (although all bets are off for real estate agents….they are all crazy, men or women).

    The burden of working with women is you have to think three steps ahead and be a good guesser and good questioner. It is not uncommon to send out an email asking “Do you want black or white?” and get an answer back that says “Yes.” Women are very good at giving ambiguous information so I find myself working hard to nail the details down.

    But the ambiguity is almost always honest. With men, nine times out of ten they’re trying to set you up for failure. It’s a game. A competition. I hear from them, “Oh, just print it. I’m sure it’s fine.” I never fall into that trap. Never (or at least not more than once). I am very womanish when it comes to nagging and being pedantic. But I’m not going to redo a job just because some dick-head thinks his time is so important he can’t be bothered with looking at a proof.

    Again, I don’t work in a office full of women. But if I did, I would rate women as being easier to work with because they’re generally more honest. But then if you were one guy in a harem full of women, that’s kinda what it would be like. It would be anything but a hostile working environment. But put one woman in with ten men, and I can see how it could be difficult for her. Men can be just such dicks. Sometimes they can’t help themselves. Other times they simply don’t want to.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, as a sometime editor, I certainly would check over a proof of anything I did professionally. As a matter of fact, one job I interviewed for involved checking proofs for errors. They gave me a test, but didn’t tell me how I did. I didn’t hear back from them, though, for whatever reason. But I spent a lot of time proofreading FOSFAX repeatedly because I kept finding errors to correct. I even correct my blogs after the fact if I notice errors in them (and get a lot of them even before signing off on them).

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Having not attended a “Women’s Studies” class, one must generate a viewpoint from secondhand accounts — and unfortunately from a press (left or right) that is increasingly dishonest and illiterate. And reports from non-press people (perhaps someone who has actually attended a “Women’s Studies” course) are usually unreliable, if only because people are losing the ability (or bravery) to accurately describe the world they live in.

    So I have to argue from first principles using second-hand accounts of what’s going on out there. This is why I have practically begged the writers to stop forever endlessly sifting through The Daily Drama and actually do some firsthand reporting.

    Well, that didn’t go so well. But we can assume from the widespread notion of “toxic masculinity” and other accounts that maleness is considered a disease to be cured using the female as the ideal model — who shall be taken as pristine as-is. No reform needed. Men are oppressors. Women are victims. With this as the assumed state of the world, “equality” becomes a thin veil for the oppressing of men and favoritism toward women. Men are scrutinized while the excesses of women go unnoticed and mostly uncorrected. Pampering and flattery shall be layered on, if only as a defense mechanism (by men).

    This is how the ground lays. I didn’t make it that way. As I’ve often stated before, the truly noxious fumes of feminism get ameliorated to a large extent by the time it reaches the ground floor where men and women actually interact. But the backdrop (especially for men) is still there. The Sword of Dame-ocles forever hangs over their heads. They can be Weinsteined at a moment’s notice. One wrong word…or just a dishonest or exaggerated accusation by a woman, and they can lose their job and their reputation without a trial.

    Today, man serve at the discretion of women. Women create the boundaries for their lives. The escapes that men have from this are video games, drinking, war, porn, and sports….and even sports is now being invaded by feminism, so that last bastion of male escapism is evaporating….unless you like your athletes wearing pink shoes.

    Men now serve at the pleasure of women. Most women, not being as aggressive or nasty as the average man, do not generally make this state of affairs insufferable. Between women it may be another thing, as Selwyn writes. And to some extent, men have always needed taming. If we take the long look, men have been an absolute failure at running the world. We’ve had non-stop wars and violence. Men do most of the crime.

    I would argue that it’s vastly under-appreciated how much women help to instigate this violence, but men are the ones who actually do the violence. We own Cain, Caesar, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, Saddam Hussein, the North Korean nut jobs, the Khmer Rouge, Leopold II, Hirohito, and on and on, from the big mass murderers to the endless stream of petty chieftains who could never let a neighbor live in peace.

    God Himself at least once looked out upon mankind and decided it needed to be wiped out. Men have bragging rights for science and technology, but endless shame for how they’ve used that.

    Will women do better? Almost certainly not. As we see in Europe with the criminally incompetent Angela Merkel, she is letting in the assassins. She is willingly letting in the worst sort of men.

    What we can say firmly is that when men are wrong, they are horribly wrong. But they are generally the only ones who can be right. We have to struggle very hard for this rightness and protect it from the thugs and Vandals (who are mostly men).

    Without the guiding light of principle-based men, civilization will be lost. It can be as easily destroyed (as it was in WWI and WWII) by the vanity and ego of men. Men have been so horrible in this regard, it gives much credence to the idea of “If only women ruled the world.” We have no real counter-argument to this. Men are often an ugly and violent creature while women are the nurses and the nurturers.

    But women are showing themselves to be extremely naive in the face of evil. Men are not perfect, but they are the ones, and the only ones, who can cut through the baloney and parse right and wrong in terms other than relative feeling. And as men are taught to act and think more and more like women, at least Western Man becomes a thing ultimately to be used and abused by his outside enemies until the day comes when we may indeed lament “If only men had ruled the world.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There are moments there in which you sound like the historian in the Alfred Hitchcock episode “Consider Her Ways” (based on the story by John Wyndham). I hope they don’t consider the same answer (which in that case was forced due to an accidental epidemic — started by a male scientist, naturally — that killed off the men).

      But “Sword of Dame-ocles” was delightful.

      We can’t know exactly what’s said in the leftist madrassas known as Women’s Studies classes unless someone infiltrates one and secretly tapes it. But we do know what they say in public appearances, papers, etc. Catherine MacKinnon really did equate marital sex with rape (at least before she finally found someone insane enough to marry her). Gloria Swinem really did say (or at least her magazine did) that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” (i.e., she has no use for one). And some feminist idiots do prate of “herstory” and “ovulars”. (I think it was “herstory” that invited Elizabeth’s contempt, since she knows enough language to know better.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Catherine MacKinnon really did equate marital sex with rape (at least before she finally found someone insane enough to marry her).

        LMAO. The laugh of the day. That might even carry me through the weekend.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I’m reading a book right now titled A Vision of Light by Judith Merkle Riley.

    I had just finished my last book and was looking to see if there was anything in my Kindle library that was either new or half-read. I have dozens of books in that state. I stumbled across this one. I never would have purchased it so I don’t know where it came from. It may have been offered for free at one point and I downloaded it. But I have no memory of doing so.

    I mention this book because it’s so far (40% into it) the equivalent of a modern romance novel. No, I don’t read romance novels. Never did. But I suspect this is the kind of book that now substitutes for such a thing. The “romance,” the idealization, is of women as brutalized victims of a male society. And (as Maxwell Smart would say) . . . loving it.

    Given that this is set in 14th century England, the gritty conditions for women are quite believable — or it is at least believable that there were plenty of cases as she describes. We haven’t yet, of course, met a noble man. They are all typecast as fools, idiots, or downright malevolent beasts.

    That’s why I think this is a modern-day “romance” novel, the kind women would read for pleasure, the sheer romantic notion of victimhood. But as a historical novel, it is written fairly well, including such details as the plague, midwifery, and other details that I find interesting.

    But most of all, Riley knows how to tell a story. You may agree with the content or not (it doesn’t particularly bother me), but unlike that last meandering book by Elsa Hart that I read, Riley knows how to tell a compelling story from page to page.

    So far, at least. I’ve learned to expect very little from such things. One reviewer calls the heroine of the story “A medieval feminist with miraculous powers.” Like I said, there’s an element of chick-porn to this. Guy-porn would be salacious stories and lots of physical action. Chick-porn is Wonder Woman throughout the ages and repeatedly sneering at the various Snidely Whiplash men.

    Still, like I said, the story itself (so far) is interesting. And there have no doubt been men like her awful husband. There have no doubt been idiot priest or monks (duh….just look at the headlines today). There have no doubt been women unappreciated for their talents and treated little better than chattel.

    I have no argument with any of that and see no reason why some man-hating chick shouldn’t explore it in a work of historical fiction. Unlike your average reader, I am not so prone to propaganda. But it is amusing to me to know that plenty of chicks would read this book like women of old might have read their Bible. This is a Holy Book of Impressive Women and Scuzzball Men.

    But it’s been a good read so far. And, with this subject at hand, this is sort of a glimpse into a literary world without men.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I don’t exactly read modern romances, but I have read modern cozies that involve family lives and are written from the wives’ viewpoints, and they certainly aren’t anti-male. Two series featured wives marrying policemen (which makes it easier to get them involved) after failed first marriages with undesirable men. But their second marriages worked well.

  5. Rosalys says:

    “When a little boy gets upset, he may have a tantrum and explode like a volcano yet 15 minutes later behave as if nothing happened. A girl is less likely to do this but more apt to simmer for long periods, not boiling over noticeably but not cooling to a calm, either.”

    Do you know how many men out there think they have a good marriage, only to discover they do not, when they are served divorce papers?

    “…what can cause a woman to be wholly devoted to her children, even to the point of backing them when they do evil (serial killers’ mothers come to mind).”

    At least 40 years go, I remember reading about some serial rapist or murderer (or both?) Can’t remember who he was, but I do remember the comment made by his devoted mother, because it was so bizarre. She was describing him as he was in his formative years, and I quote, “He was always such a mischievous little rapscallion.” Oh yeah Momma; I’ll bet he was!

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I seem to recall reading (both fiction and non-fiction) of mothers who were certain that their little angel couldn’t possibly be the bully everyone else said he was. And a lot of serial killers get their start that way. Torturing animals is another indicator, but mothers probably don’t hear about that very much unless someone is caught doing so to somebody’s pet.

  6. Rosalys says:

    Speaking as a woman, I don’t want a world without American men!

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