Thursday, June 8, 2023

Women and Children First

It is misogynistic to think that women have to become masculinized in order to be free. From Fairer Disputations:

In his 2021 book The Status Game, author Will Storr advises against efforts to ignore our instincts towards status-seeking, given how deeply embedded they are. Instead, he suggests, we can deaden the pain of low status by (as he puts it) deliberately playing multiple status games at once. Storr, for instance, gains a sense of status from his professional work, but also from taking part in amateur cycling competitions. If he is feeling bruised from status loss in one endeavour, he can comfort himself in another.

In this seemingly trivial piece of advice lies great wisdom for feminists. I make no secret of the fact that I oppose the kind of feminism that seeks to erase the differences between men and women in the hope of erasing the status gap. I reject the kind of feminism that insists on 50/50 representation in boardrooms while forgetting about 50/50 representation in waste disposal, since the goal is not “equality” per se, but rather masculine status.

I oppose that project not only because it’s hopeless, but also because it doubles down on the disdain directed towards femininity and so ends up causing material harm to other women. An unfortunate feature of the influx of women into elite professions over the last half century is that the women who tend to get to the top of the ladder are the women most likely to deprioritize motherhood relative to career. These powerful women can often be more contemptuous of the feminine role than are their male colleagues, and it is partly due to their influence that, as Caplan writes, “schools and media aggressively encourage girls to pursue career success.” This rejection of motherhood is evident in policymaking. For instance, in the UK, families with stay-at-home mothers are penalized by our tax system, sometimes paying twice as much tax as families in which both parents earn the same, all in the name of “equality.” (Read more.)

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