The feminist voice in atheism has to be amplified


Wo. Megan Carpentier at Raw Story interviews Dave Silverman at Net Roots Nation, and he has some very good things to say.

Raw Story: I notice on your lanyard that’s you’re wearing the “Trust Women” button from NARAL, and I know there’s been a lot of controversies within atheism over the last few months about the confluence of atheism and feminism, and sexism within the atheist community. Obviously, there was a very big blow-up after the feminism and secularism conference because of some remarks made by a male atheist that reinforced sexist tropes. How do you think that atheists can address these problems within the community and address the kind of language that’s been used to marginalize women?

Wo. She’s been paying attention.

Silverman: That’s a difficult question, and it’s a big question. The reason I’m wearing this NARAL pin is because I’m a feminist. I’m a proud feminist. And I’ve always been a feminist. Now, American Atheists is not a feminist organization, but I believe pretty firmly that feminism is the inevitable result of atheism, that sexism is rooted in religion. And that’s not a perfect thing, there are other roots of it, the paternalistic societies.

But really when we’re talking about how we’re dealing with this, it’s hard because atheism is all about free speech, atheism is all about open communication, and some atheists are simply not nice people. And just like some Christians are not nice people, and some Jews are not nice people, some atheists are simply not nice people. And there’s a lot of people who are in that middle area, and there’s a lot of misunderstanding. So what I think has to happen is that the feminist voice in atheism has to be protected — protected may be not the right word, but I’ll use it anyways. The voice of feminist has to be protected, it has to be amplified, it has to be helped by the men in atheism and by the women as well. We have to make a stand that says, “It’s just obvious that men and women are equal and it’s also obvious that rape jokes sent to feminist speakers and sent to feminist bloggers, that’s not what good people do.”

At the crux of that, I’ve said many times that the atheism movement is the good guys. We are the good guys! We strive for equality, not advantage, that’s what makes us the good guys. Good guys don’t act like that. They don’t act like that to our enemies, and they don’t act like that to our allies. I have seen people within the atheist movement treat other atheists more poorly than I would treat the worst of our adversaries, and that shames me. That makes me ashamed of them.

I think the Women in Secularism Conference was a huge success, in my personal opinion. I was there, and I though it was great, and it was also packed full — and packed full larger than the first one (it was the second conference), and I hope there’s going to be a WISC 3, I hope there will be a third one. And I think that even if there isn’t, I think the feminist voice in atheism is going to continue to expand, as it should, I think it’s going to diversify more, and we are seeing that diversification within the feminist movement, within the atheism movement. And what I hope, and what I think will happen, is that the atheist movement on the whole will see the anti-feminists for what they are and drop them. And I think that’s going to happen.

I’ll do what I can to help!

Comments

  1. says

    Sexism is not rooted in religion, it is rooted in evolution, it is an expression of human nature. An atheist is perfectly capable of being a sexist because an atheist can perceive the differences between men and women just like a religious person can. I would agree that women have to be protected; it is certainly men’s duty to protect women; but women are not protected by the upholding of the “feminist voice.” The feminist voice is harmful to women because the feminist voice discourages men from taking on their protective role towards women. Male protection has to be male defined. Also striving for equality does not make a man “one of the good guys” because the man who advocates for gender equality is shunning his obligation to provide for and protect women. Sexism will not go away because human nature has not changed and will not change and cannot change.

  2. Silentbob says

    @ 4 Jesse Powell

    Now tell us how it’s the duty of the white race to teach other races how to be civilized.
    (/sarcasm)

  3. says

    The feminist voice is harmful to women because the feminist voice discourages men from taking on their protective role towards women. Male protection has to be male defined.

    So, we’re not supposed to protect ourselves but we’re also not allowed to tell our putative protectors how to protect us – that’s handy. So, like, when we say we’d like to be protected from, say, sexual assault, that’s not valid because it’s not “male defined” protection. Hell, a guy could rape a woman and then claim that it’s just another form of “male defined” protection. He had to rape her, otherwise some other guy would have, and he used roofies instead of fists, so she ought to be grateful. Male defined protection! It’s the mafia, except the only requirement for being a mafioso is having a peen. “Hey, sweetcakes. Nice job you got there. It’d be… a shame if something were to happen to it.”

  4. Scr... Archivist says

    Jesse Powell @4,

    Protect women from what? Smilodons? Earthquakes? Other men?

    If the last of these, think hard about it and maybe you can figure out the best solution.

  5. consciousness razor says

    It’s rooted in evolution, so it cannot change.
    It’s self-contradictory, so it must be true.

  6. says

    I’m liking Dave SIlverman more and more. I don’t agree with him that sexism is rooted in religion – I think religion codifed pre-existing cultural sexism and legitimizes patriarchy – but I agree whole-heartedly with his contention that the voice of feminism in atheism must be amplified.

    I don’t think Dawkins et al get it yet – the atheist movement cannot succeed without feminists.

  7. says

    @ Sally Strange #9

    I wouldn’t say women are not supposed to protect themselves; a woman seeking to protect herself is fine. I would say women are not capable of protecting themselves and that it is the man’s duty to protect women; that the burden of protecting women is a male responsibility. It is therefore abusive of men to impose upon women the need for women to protect themselves. I would furthermore say that female self-protection is necessarily inferior to male protection of women in that women can never protect themselves as effectively as men can protect women. What is even worse is that the very posture of female self-protection drives male protection away.

    It is fine for a woman to ask a man to protect her in some way or plead for a man to protect her in some way but it is not the woman’s place to “tell” the man what he is to do to protect her. Also I will add that men are under the authority of God (using “God” as a metaphor here). The duty of male protection towards women is an external truth, an objective reality. An individual man does not decide what this duty is simply as a matter of his own preference; the man is obligated to seek to obey God in how he carries out his duty to protect women. In the more practical real world sense the duty to protect women is something that men collectively impose upon each individual man.

    In the example of sexual assault, men have a duty to protect women from sexual assault. That is an objective truth, an external reality. No individual man can arbitrarily deny or renounce his duty to protect women from sexual assault. I said that the duty of men to protect women is “male defined” as a kind of short-hand. In a practical sense the protection is “male defined” in that actual men or men collectively are deciding upon what the protective duty on behalf of women entails. In truth however the duty to protect women is imposed upon men by God and is God defined where it is then the role of men to try to interpret what the will of God is in terms of their protective duties on behalf of women. “God” in this context being objective reality or external truth.

  8. Pteryxx says

    …so, when men rape other men, who’s supposed to be doing the protecting? (Also, some people are trans…)

  9. John Phillips, FCD says

    Jesse Powell, boy you are so full of it I’m surprised you don’t explode in a shower of shit.

  10. says

    @ Scr . . . Archivist #10

    Women are to be protected from all things that endanger their role and purpose as women. This means the external environment and bad men. There is nothing contradictory about good men protecting women from bad men. Bad men exist and so it is the responsibility of good men to protect women from all dangers they may face including the dangers they face from bad men. A good man is loyal and obedient to God. God is not on the side of bad men so good men are not on the side of bad men either.

    @ Consciousness Razor #11

    Sexism is rooted in evolution. The inherited characteristics of men and women are fixed and so cannot change. Therefore sexism is fixed and permanent.

    I don’t get what you are saying when you say “It’s self-contradictory, so it must be true.” What’s self-contradictory? Are you saying sexism is self-contradictory? Sexism in how feminists define the term is just good common sense. There’s nothing contradictory about saying men have some areas where they excel and women have other areas where they excel and that male and female strengths are complementary to each other which then leads to the traditional male and female gender roles.

  11. brucegee1962 says

    Jesse, take a good look at some of the responses, particularly #10.

    Here’s the thing: your premise does not lead to your conclusion. Even if you are correct that male protectiveness of women arose from evolution, it does not follow either that this protectiveness is still necessary or that it cannot be changed. There are many aspects of our nature that we inherited from evolution, but were able to change and outgrow — strong bullying the weak, tribes fearing and demonizing one another. In fact, I’ve come to believe that much if not most evil in the world comes from things that once were good and necessary, but which were held on to long after society had developed to the point where they were no longer necessary.

  12. says

    If I recognize the name correctly, Jesse Powell is the same wanker who was spewing this rubbish at Libby Anne’s place a few weeks ago. And getting about the same reception.

  13. says

    @ Pteryxx #15

    When I’m talking about men protecting women I’m talking about the particular male duty of Chivalry. Men have a duty to provide for and protect women; this is what Chivalry refers to. So the protection of women is of particular importance based on the need to empower and facilitate women in their feminine role as women. Of course others besides women are deserving of protection as well but the protection of those who are not women is not based on Chivalry as Chivalry specifically and only applies to men providing for and protecting women. So men potentially being raped by other men such as in a prison setting gain protection based on the strong protecting the weak or based on the fact that wrong acts must be punished or based on the protection of the man’s human rights or based on some other ethical principle.

    That being said women are entitled to a measure of protection based on Chivalry that is specific to their status as women. There is a particular harm to society when women are not provided for and protected. There is no male counterpart to Chivalry; men provide for and protect women, there is no reciprocal female duty to provide for and protect men.

  14. says

    Re: Atheism => Feminism.
    I still find the logical chain a bit strained (notwithstanding my unqualified support for both). I think Dan Finke (in his debate with Vacula) suggests the best approach, to wit:

    Claims like “women exist to serve men” or “women are inferior to men” require a teleological view of the world, which in turn generally requires a god to ordain that moral order (unless of course you’re willing to commit the Naturalistic Fallacy, which IIRC is what our new chew toy Jesse likes to do).

    However, atheism simple does not forbid the Naturalistic Fallacy (any more than it forbids any other variety of human folly, except theism), nor does it enjoin that injustice be set right. For that you need to add the basic tools of skepticism, plus an ethical concern for justice.

    Oh look: “atheism”, plus some other stuff added to it. Now where have I seen that before?

  15. says

    @ Brucegee1962 #18

    My premise is that men and women evolved different strengths and weaknesses as part of the process of evolution. My conclusion is that these differences are the basis of traditional gender roles and that since the differences between men and women are inherited and not going to change any time soon the necessity of traditional male and female gender roles is in effect inherited and is something that cannot be escaped from.

    Certainly in terms of how I am thinking about things and how I am defining things my premise does lead to my conclusion. You suggest that maybe traditional male and female roles were a good thing in the past but they are not a good thing anymore now that society has developed to a higher level.

    That is a fine theory, that things have changed so that “old fashioned” male and female gender roles don’t work anymore. However the evidence points to the contrary. Social indicators such as divorce, out-of-wedlock births, married women working and putting their children in day care, fertility levels; all these things have continually gotten worse the more society approaches gender equality. There is no evidence that gender equality is a functional adaptation to a new environment; instead gender equality seems to be a pathology where the more gender equality is achieved the worse relations between men and women are. Also there is generational deterioration; children always do worse on average compared to their parents in terms of their family formation competency. Gender equality leads to men no longer investing in women which then leads to women no longer investing in children. This is a dead end both in terms of societal functioning and from the evolutionary point of view; gender equality leading to below replacement fertility rates.

  16. Arawhon says

    Jesse you are horrible misinformed about evolution. You are also completely misinformed about the extent of differences between men and women. You are the perfect example of taking the status quo, re patriarchy, and thinking this is the way its always been and always will be.

  17. jagwired says

    Sexism is rooted in evolution. The inherited characteristics of men and women are fixed and so cannot change. Therefore sexism is fixed and permanent.

    You might want to check your definition of evolution.

  18. brianpansky says

    jesse, that’s not because of feminism. it’s because of science. we need to get rid of it.

    caves, picking berries. we’ll be better off. more evolutions etc.

  19. consciousness razor says

    However, atheism simple does not forbid the Naturalistic Fallacy (any more than it forbids any other variety of human folly, except theism), nor does it enjoin that injustice be set right. For that you need to add the basic tools of skepticism, plus an ethical concern for justice.

    Oh look: “atheism”, plus some other stuff added to it. Now where have I seen that before?

    In other words, atheism ought to be both rational and ethical. That’s not anything over and above what any other belief system ought to be. I just do not see how this has become some kind of issue that needs working-out.

    I want to go back to your claim that “atheism simple does not forbid the Naturalistic Fallacy.” You are referring here to a person, an atheist, who is able to make a fallacy (or generally an invalid conclusion from non-belief or gods’ non-existence or both). That is not the same thing as saying atheism itself (non-belief or gods’ non-existence or both) implies X, Y or Z. Implication does not include invalid arguments, only the valid ones. Suppose P implies Q. It makes no difference whatsoever (in terms of what the implications of P actually are) whether someone S mistakenly thinks P implies not-Q. We’re not talking about S, just P and Q. The fact that people can make mistakes is beside the point, because the issue is what our reasoning ought to be given the premises.

    So it’s about as minimal a claim as you can get to say that atheism implies a whole bunch of shit. It obviously does. Is that sufficient (along with all of the other facts we can know about the world, besides non-belief or gods’ non-existence) for whatever else people ought to find valuable, including feminism, humanism, progressivism, etc.? I don’t really know.

    But “What does any given atheist think, and what about this other atheist over here, and let’s not worry about whether any of their thinking is worth anything at all?” I don’t know why we’d ask that if we don’t care about its value, but in any case it’s not relevant. It’s just confusing a person, an atheist, with a concept, atheism.

  20. bad Jim says

    “Just-so” stories are fun. I always liked the one about how the rhinoceros got his hide, but I never took it seriously. I also can’t take seriously anyone who capitalizes ‘chivalry’, which is roughly as relevant as its cognate and military equivalent, cavalry. Still, it’s good to know there is something even sillier than the “higamus-hogamus” theme in evolutionary psychology.

  21. hjhornbeck says

    Now, American Atheists is not a feminist organization, but I believe pretty firmly that feminism is the inevitable result of atheism, that sexism is rooted in religion.

    Hmmm, not quite. My take is that both spring from the skeptical method applied to religion or gender. While religion is easily the worst offender at perpetuating misogyny, our evolved tendency to divide everything up into in-group/out-group means that even sans-religion we’ll merrily promote sexist stereotypes.

    Such as:

    My conclusion is that these differences are the basis of traditional gender roles and that since the differences between men and women are inherited and not going to change any time soon the necessity of traditional male and female gender roles is in effect inherited and is something that cannot be escaped from.

    You do realize that men and women are not separate species, right? All humans possess the recipe for generating ovaries and uteruses, all humans would have any mythical “nurturing” gene you’d propose, because every single last one of us have an X chromosome. The Y chromosome has roughly 80 genes out of 20,800. In comparison, I have about 60 genes that my parents do not, thanks to genetic mutations.

    So any genetic basis for behavior has to explain why males would be unable to access the female behaviors contained within their genes, why any male behavioral genes would not migrate to other parts of the chromosome (as happened to about 1,400 other genes) and become accessible to all humans, and how someone can lack a Y chromosome, yet appear male.

  22. hjhornbeck says

    Jesse Powell @20:

    Men have a duty to provide for and protect women; this is what Chivalry refers to. So the protection of women is of particular importance based on the need to empower and facilitate women in their feminine role as women.

    You propose something that never existed. Women have always fought. Women have always hunted. Men can nurture.

    “Chivalry” is a term invented in 12th-Century Europe for a specific genre of fantasy writing. It is something Europeans projected onto other people, and has no basis in reality.

    So why are you treating it as a real thing?

  23. M can help you with that. says

    When I’m talking about men protecting women I’m talking about the particular male duty of Chivalry.

    …so evolution has ordained that gender roles and gender relations must follow Middle Ages aristocratic European models. Right. How full of shit art thou*? Shall we count the -isms?

    *Yes, that’s post-Middle Ages English. Still.

  24. says

    However the evidence points to the contrary. Social indicators such as divorce, out-of-wedlock births, married women working and putting their children in day care, fertility levels; all these things have continually gotten worse the more society approaches gender equality.

    Hehe, mother nature is punishing my little men because women have the vote! But seriously I assume you mean women have less kids when they have the choice… How is that a bad thing? Its universally better for society and for a large part the reason rates are higher in other less developed and equal societies is because of mortality.

    But divorce rates have been falling since before 1980 so you are wrong on that.
    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/meriw007/psy_1001/divorce.jpg

  25. deoridhe says

    Am I the only one amused that people keep using “chivalry” to mean some hazy yesteryear when men were men and women were weak and not really human but men kinda liked them if they were rich or related to influential people – when really it refers to the idea of a young Knight Errant falling in love with a (married) woman of about the same age who happened to be married to someone much older, and then they have a non-sexual romance?

  26. Eric MacDonald says

    Jesse Powell, when you say, “Men have a duty to provide for and protect women; this is what Chivalry refers to,” you are quite wrong. Two things: (i) Chivalry arose in a particular social context of almost ceaseless warfare. It was a warriors code. The duty of the aristocratic warrior (or knight), not any man, was to protect those who could not protect themselves, whether children, women, elders, or others unable to care for themselves in troublous times. (ii) The second point is related. It may be the case that many women are weaker than their assailants, but it is not always so, and very often is not so. What makes people vulnerable, whether men or women, depends on a variety of factors. People alone, without immediate access to law enforcement agencies, will be vulnerable to attack by someone stronger or better armed. This is not a man-woman thing. It is a question of differential strength or resources. To make it a man-woman thing and link it with evolution you must provide more evidence than simply the example of the code of chivalry which arose in a particular historical social context, and disappeared when that context changed. Women, now, are much more able to stand up for themselves. But whatever applies to women applies to anyone whose strength or resources are less than that of an opponent. Women have as much responsibility to do what they can to protect the vulnerable as men. It is simply silly to make claims, such as yours, without a shred of support, but a doctrinaire confidence that is belied by your ignorance.

  27. Arkady says

    I always thought Chivalry was the set of rules governing knights behaviour towards noble women and ransoming captured knights/nobles. To judge from its actual examples in medieval warfare, they could murder/rape/pillage the ordinary people as much as they liked…

  28. culuriel says

    I don’t know what Jesse Powell is more ignorant of: evolutionary biology, the history of Chivalry, or the history of “Men’s Protection”. How can you argue rationally with someone who wavers between claiming patriarchy is unchangeable biology and god’s will? What Jesse means is that he/she just doesn’t want change, and makes up biological and theological claims so he/she doesn’t have to.

  29. says

    Is this “Jesse Powell” person for real or is he a character developed specifically to be as narrow minded and offensive as possible?

    BTW, this is my first post to one of the FtBs so hello everybody :-)

  30. carlie says

    To judge from its actual examples in medieval warfare, they could murder/rape/pillage the ordinary people as much as they liked…

    And what about all of the other women?

    Oh, which women, Jessie might ask? The ones who weren’t the upper-class women who swooned all of the time from their tight corsets. The ones who did just as much farm labor as the men. The ones who carried heavy buckets around and scrubbed floors all day, the ones who pulverized pounds upon pounds of food in the kitchens, the ones who had to be available at all hours of the day or night to serve as midwives, the ones who ran taverns and markets. The idea of women needing “protection” and being fit for only certain kinds of work was an illusion only ever granted to the upper classes.

  31. says

    @ Hjhornbeck #28

    That’s a pretty creative way of minimizing the inherited differences between men and women. So you say that men and women have all the same genes? Men have a Y chromosome and women don’t. That by itself is a mighty big genetic difference between men and women. Also whether a gene is expressed or not is important. A dormant gene that hasn’t been activated is not going to matter to the person carrying the dormant gene. You say the Y chromosome has only 80 out of 20,800 genes; but obviously those 80 genes are there for the purpose of specifically making the male a male and so are some very important 80 genes.

    You say men and women are part of the same species? You don’t say! I suppose that’s why men and women can reproduce and have fertile offspring! Lucky for us! The fact that men and women are part of the same species is exactly my point; men and women are the two halves of the same species. The man was made to serve the woman and the woman was made to serve the man. The man was created to complement the woman and vice versa so that men and women would work together as a team to raise the next generation. The characteristics of the man were designed given what the characteristics of the woman would be and vice versa. So the man is strong where the woman is weak and the woman is strong where the man is weak. This provides the evolutionary benefit of division of labor; division of labor is more efficient and more effective than each sex being a generalist. Gender roles exist precisely because men and women are part of the same species and have to work together to raise their young.

    @ Hihornbeck #29

    No, men providing for and protecting women has always existed. I think the general patriarchal social model got started about 1.9 million years ago when Homo Erectus first cultivated fire to cook food. The most persistent common feature of early human groupings is that women cooked the food. This indicates men protecting women as a means of allowing the woman to cook the food in safety without the food being stolen and it indicates food being delivered to the woman so she could cook it indicating men providing for women. I get this information about how early man lived from Richard Wrangham – Sexual Disparities and the Evolution of Patriarchy.

    In more recent times, say 1900 in the United States, the ethic of men providing for and protecting women is very strong and obvious. Only men were in the military, only men were police officers, only men did the dangerous jobs. These are forms of men physically protecting women. In terms of men providing for women; married white women working was a rarity in 1900; only 3.0% of white married women worked. So the ethic of men providing for and protecting women is very strong in a functioning patriarchal culture and the ethic of men providing for and protecting women goes back to ancient times to the very beginning of our species. I would say that men providing for and protecting women is a fundamental part of how humans work; that reproduction itself in the human species is dependent upon men providing for and protecting women.

    I call the male duty to provide for and protect women Chivalry. Different people have different definitions of the word “chivalry” and the origins of the word “chivalry” and how the term is commonly used today may have their own idiosyncrasies but the fact that there is a male duty to provide for and protect women is not in doubt whatever people may call this duty. I call the duty Chivalry.

  32. brianpansky says

    jesse, all i’m getting from you that you are afraid of social change. that you are afraid humans can’t handle change. like if we sail too far on our ships, we’ll fall off the edge of the world.

    i was going to ask why i should care, but you did provide a bunch of scary stuff that you say came from feminism.

    but i think we’ll manage. society has gone through many major changes. like making cities. that was a big deal! industrial revolution, capitalism, all of it. and it’s all been rough.

    to handle the roughness, people DO stuff about the problems. sometimes this involves revolutions, unionization.

    and yes, feminism is one of those things where people said “hey, this is rough, so let’s actually DO something about it, because humans can conquer the things that are rough!”

    that isn’t something you should be afraid of, it should fill you with warmth and hope for humanity. it’s actually a sign that all the things you are worried about are going to be ok, even if it takes a bit more crafting and ingenuity.

  33. hjhornbeck says

    Jesse Powell @41:

    So you say that men and women have all the same genes?

    That would be true if I said every human had a Y chromosome. Did I say that?

    but obviously those 80 genes are there for the purpose of specifically making the male a male and so are some very important 80 genes.

    I provided evidence to the contrary. Are you going to rebut that?

    The man was made to serve the woman and the woman was made to serve the man.

    I provided evidence to the contrary. Are you going to rebut that?

    This provides the evolutionary benefit of division of labor; division of labor is more efficient and more effective than each sex being a generalist.

    I provided evidence to the contrary. Are you going to rebut that?

    Only men were in the military

    I provided evidence to the contrary. Are you going to rebut that?

    So the man is strong where the woman is weak and the woman is strong where the man is weak.

    Wrong.

    The differences model, which argues that males and females are vastly different psychologically, dominates the popular media. Here, the author advances a very different view, the gender similarities hypothesis, which holds that males and females are similar on most, but not all, psychological variables. Results from a review of 46 meta-analyses support the gender similarities hypothesis. Gender differences can vary substantially in magnitude at different ages and depend on the context in which measurement occurs. Overinflated claims of gender differences carry substantial costs in areas such as the workplace and relationships.Hyde, Janet Shibley. “The gender similarities hypothesis.” American psychologist 60.6 (2005): 581.

    So your rebuttal is to ignore what I’ve wrote and repeat what you originally claimed. You won’t convince anyone with that approach.

  34. says

    @ Eamon Knight #19

    Yes, Libby Anne of Love, Joy, Feminism did an article about me titled “Why I’m A Feminist First” on April 7, 2013 and I participated in the comments section.

    @ Arawhon #23

    The criticism that I am a perfect example of someone who is taking the status quo and thinking this is the way it’s always been and always will be is very amusing. The status quo is feminism, not patriarchy. I am not a conformist, I am a radical. It is the supporters of feminism who mistakenly look at the present and assume this abnormal circumstance of feminism is the way it’s always been and always will be. When feminists say “women have always worked” they are committing exactly this error. Women work today in large numbers so feminists assume women have always worked in large numbers even though the Census data regarding the number of women in the workforce clearly refutes this. Also when feminists claim feminism will last forever and that you “can’t turn back the clock” they are mistakenly thinking that whatever exists today will go on forever. When I look at the status quo what I think is that this is unsustainable and it has to change; the status quo is feminism, not patriarchy.

    @ Oolon #32

    How is women having less kids a bad thing? Fertility below replacement level indefinitely is a bad thing if you want the human race to stick around. You mention divorce rates falling since 1980 to contradict my statement about various social indicators getting “continually worse” as gender equality has increased. I will admit my statement was a bit overbroad and over simplified. I think it is true that social indicators get continually worse as gender equality increases but I think things are a bit more complicated than that (regarding the United States). Also I will add that “gender equality” is not really the problem; the problem is female empowerment. I don’t think society is moving towards gender equality, it is moving towards female supremacy. The idea of gender equality is a kind of mythical concept that sounds good but does not have any kind of reality. The reality is simply taking power away from men and giving it to women and the end game of that process is female supremacy.

    Anyways, back to the issue of statistics. When I say “divorce rate” I mean number of divorces divided by number of marriages. This measure of the divorce rate has been remarkably stable in the United States since 1975 at the level of 50%. When you refer to the “divorce rate” dropping since 1980 you are referring to the probability of a married couple getting divorced in any particular year. So yes since 1980 already existing marriages have gotten somewhat more stable and secure. The probability of a married couple getting divorced went from 2.21% in 1980 to 1.63% in 2009. At the same time however the probability of getting married given that one is single went down from 8.71% in 1980 to 4.31% in 2009. These figures are for the entire population 18 and over in the United States. Looking at the state of marriage in another way the proportion of women of reproductive age who were married (15 to 44 years old) went from 45.9% in 2002 to 39.2% in 2012. Sources: Statistical Abstract of the United States and America’s Families and Living Arrangements. So basically it is fair to say that the state of marriage is declining overall even though the particular indicator of probability of divorce given that one is married has improved since 1980. For historical perspective the divorce rate (number of divorces divided by number of marriages) was 3% in 1870 as compared to 50% today.

    If one wants some truly good news regarding recent social indicators look at the female Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) among women 25 to 54 years old in the United States. It was at 77.3% in April 2000 and 74.1% in May 2013. Women in the workforce is actually in long term decline after relentlessly rising from 1870 to 2000! This however doesn’t contradict my idea of greater gender equality leading to worse social indicators because women dropping out of the workforce is probably due to a desire among women to return to traditional gender roles. Even more interesting looking at women’s LFPR in the 45 to 54 age group the peak year was 2000 at 77.5%. In 2012 it was 75.2%. This means the women most likely to be working during the 45 to 54 year old decade were 45 to 54 years old in the year 2000 meaning they were born from 1946 to 1955. All the women born after 1955 are less likely to be working during their 45 to 54 year old decade than their counterparts born from 1946 to 1955. By this measure the peak of women’s commitment to the work force was among those women who are aged 58 to 67 today; all women younger than 58 will end up with a lower likelihood of working during their 45 to 54 year old decade.

  35. brianpansky says

    “moving towards female supremacy”

    ahhh so that’s the edge of the world we’re sailing towards. gotcha.

  36. John Phillips, FCD says

    Jesse, considering the population has recently exceeded 7 million and will add another two or three billion by 2050 or so, low birthrate leading to the possible extinction is a facile proposition at best. In fact, if even the mildest estimates for the effects of climate change are accurate, we could do with a few billion less on the planet. Though we could do with that just to limit our use of all kinds of resources. So population decline with an existing 7 billion plus global population is not something a reasonable person need worry about. Unless of course you are only worried because it is non-whites who are having the most kids and not whites.

  37. John Phillips, FCD says

    Oops, obviously 7 million above should be 7 billion or Jesse might be right to be worried: )

  38. says

    If Jesse follows the pattern he did at Libby Anne’s, he’s just going to repeat his claims over and over, pretending that factual information that should force him to change his views if he were applying logic and critical thinking to his own claims was never presented.

  39. opposablethumbs says

    Well considering Jesse wrote

    The status quo is feminism, not patriarchy

    – apparently with a straight face – this loon is clearly so far divorced from reality that he can’t even see reality from where he is. We’re reading someone who’s living on an entirely different planet here.

  40. hjhornbeck says

    SallyStrange @48:

    That seems to be the pattern of many anti-feminists. The smarter ones leap from argument to argument like creationists, hoping you’ll get tired of playing follow-the-leader (and hoping everyone else will ignore how many of their arguments have fallen).

    The smartest ones shut up, as they realize anything less makes them look like they deny reality in favor of ideology.

  41. dogfightwithdogma says

    Jesse @22

    My conclusion is that these differences are the basis of traditional gender roles and that since the differences between men and women are inherited and not going to change any time soon the necessity of traditional male and female gender roles is in effect inherited and is something that cannot be escaped from.

    Hey dimwit, women have been escaping from these traditional gender roles since at least the 1960s. So your conclusion that they can’t escape them is utter bullshit, born of your complete ignorance of events of the past 50 years.

  42. says

    Women and men have been escaping “traditional gender roles” since the moment they were invented. It’s only in the 60s that this was recognized as a basic human right, not to have to constrict your life choices and personality because of an accident of birth.

  43. dogfightwithdogma says

    Fertility below replacement level indefinitely is a bad thing if you want the human race to stick around.

    What, you think the rest of the world does not exist? If fertility rates for the entire species was below replacement levels, then this might be something to worry about. Fertility rates are well above replacement levels in large parts of the world. Why do you think the world human population is growing. There is no danger of our species going extinct from lowered fertility rates in the United States and other places where fertility rates are low. In fact, of much more concern for the health and welfare of our species, is the high fertility rates and the growing world population. It is a pretty weak, and badly informed, argument to justify your position with the false impression that low fertility rates here pose a danger to humans. Actually, your point of view poses a greater risk to our welfare than does the low fertility rates here or anywhere else. (snark intended)

  44. says

    First off, regarding fertility. My point that feminism leads to below replacement fertility is not that the human race is in danger of becoming extinct because the return to patriarchy will happen long before actual extinction is threatened. My point is just that feminism is obviously dysfunctional from the point of view of a society maintaining itself or from an evolutionary point of view if feminism can’t even maintain the physical existence of a population. There is the interesting fact that declining population does have environmental benefits; the Earth being a finite resource and all. However to advocate for feminism because it reduces human population by destroying a society’s ability to maintain itself by destroying relationships between men and women which then leads to children being devalued and less children therefore being born is quite wrong headed. It is much more sensible to control human population based on public policy impositions within an overall patriarchal social system.

    Also it is my belief that feminism unchallenged leads to ever declining fertility as feminism always leads to the next generation being worse off than the current generation; that feminism is inherently degenerative. The country with the lowest Total Fertility Rate right now I believe is Taiwan at 1.065 in 2011 (Net Reproduction Rate of 0.506). I also read in The Economist magazine that the Total Fertility Rate in Shanghai, China was 0.7 children per woman and Shanghai has 23 million people in it (about the same population as Taiwan).

    @ Eric MacDonald #34

    You are putting a great deal of emphasis on the factors leading to vulnerability to attack and physical strength. I am not saying men need to protect women because men are physically stronger; men need to protect women because it is part of the male gender role to protect women. Chivalry is not based on the strong protecting the weak, the strong protecting the weak is a positive moral value but it is a different concept than Chivalry. The purpose of Chivalry is to enable women to perform their roles as women; to empower and facilitate women’s femininity, women’s particular strengths as women. Men have to protect women so that women will not be burdened with the responsibility of protecting themselves; so that women can direct their energies towards activities of higher value to society.

    @ Culuriel #36

    I don’t waver between saying patriarchy is unchangeable biology and God’s will; I am saying that that which is biologically determined is God’s will. God’s will is manifested through the evolution derived inherited characteristics of men and women. I am using the “God” terminology here metaphorically, not literally. Also I am a man.

    @ Brianpansky #42

    Feminism did not originate to deal with or overcome any preexisting problems; it was pathological from the start. Feminism is an expression of pathology; it is not a reaction against pathology. Patriarchy was never pathological but feminism was always pathological. Also feminism is not idealistic, it is selfish. Patriarchy is idealistic and about sacrifice on behalf of others. Patriarchy is what fills me with warmth and hope for humanity.

    @ Hjhornbeck #43

    I found a website that should be helpful in explaining things: Google “Big difference between the X and Y chromosomes”.

    From the article:

    “Specifically, there is a gene on the Y chromosome called SRY that makes the big difference. This gene tells a baby to be a boy. Without the SRY gene, babies develop into girls.

    One way we know about this important gene is that there are some rare cases where someone has two X’s but also has an SRY gene. These people look male. And there are cases where an XY person has an SRY that doesn’t work or is missing. These people look female.

    But we also know the SRY gene isn’t enough. There are lots of genes needed to make a boy.

    What the SRY gene does is start something called a gene cascade. This is sort of like an avalanche.

    The SRY gene turns on some boy making genes that turn on some more boy making genes and so on. Eventually you get a whole different set of genes working differently than they would without the SRY gene there.”

    Additionally:

    “Both boys and girls share almost all of the same set of genes. The difference is the 80 or so on the Y chromosome. Only boys have those.

    But these 80 aren’t enough to make a male. Genes on lots of the other chromosomes are involved too.

    Let’s look at a quick example to give you a feel for what I mean. One of the first genes that SRY turns on or activates is called SOX9. This gene is found on chromosome 17.

    This means boys and girls both have this gene. It is just that without SRY, it stays off.”

    So genetically speaking the difference between a boy and a girl is not only the 80 genes on the Y chromosome only males have but in addition a whole bunch of genes on other chromosomes that are only activated if the SRY gene turns them on; the SRY gene being a kind of master switch to make someone male.

  45. says

    Also it is my belief that feminism unchallenged leads to ever declining fertility as feminism always leads to the next generation being worse off than the current generation; that feminism is inherently degenerative

    Well, the only way to really test this is to implement the feminist agenda of full equality for women in politics, economics, and social spheres throughout the world. Then, if the population starts plummeting to alarming levels, we’ll know you were right and can go back to, I guess, treating women as brood mares.

    Science!

  46. dogfightwithdogma says

    …because the return to patriarchy will happen long before actual extinction is threatened.

    What crystal ball have you been looking into, Jesse the soothsayer? I suggest you ask for your money back. The thing is defective. Patriarchy is still very much with us. Here, I’ll make a prediction: Patriarchy is going to get its ass kicked. And I, as a white man, am going to participate in kicking its ass and enjoy every moment of it. By the way, what does it mean to say “extinction is threatened?” Makes no sense to me. How does one threaten extinction?

    My point is just that feminism is obviously dysfunctional from the point of view of a society maintaining itself or from an evolutionary point of view if feminism can’t even maintain the physical existence of a population.

    This is just simply a completely idiotic statement. Feminism poses no threat whatsoever to the ability of humans to maintain the physical existence of the population. You must have come to this opinion by some very tortured mental gymnastics. You clearly don’t understand feminism nor the factors that influence and determine a population’s success in continuing. Your use of evolution thus far in your comments leads me to the conclusion that your understanding of evolution is incredibly muddle-headed and stupefyingly uninformed.

    However to advocate for feminism because it reduces human population by destroying a society’s ability to maintain itself by destroying relationships between men and women which then leads to children being devalued and less children therefore being born is quite wrong headed.

    Who made such an argument? I did not advance this as an argument for feminism. The reason to advocate for feminism is because women are human beings too and thus have a legitimate claim to full equality in all parts of society: economics, labor force, politics, etc.

    Also it is my belief that feminism unchallenged leads to ever declining fertility as feminism always leads to the next generation being worse off than the current generation; that feminism is inherently degenerative.

    That’s all you have, your belief? Well I guess we should all just concede now. We’ve been given the definitive argument. It’s Jesse’s belief, everyone, so it must undoubtedly be right.

    I am using the “God” terminology here metaphorically, not literally.

    Are you saying that God is a metaphor and that it has no actual, real existence? If so, then how can God’s will determine biology or direct evolution? You aren’t making any sense here. Yet another demonstration of your addled cogntivel processes..

    Feminism is an expression of pathology;

    More opinion. Where is your evidence? Where is your argument? Where are you getting this horseshit?

  47. hjhornbeck says

    Jesse Powell @55:

    I found a website that should be helpful in explaining things: Google “Big difference between the X and Y chromosomes”.

    This article? I can see why you didn’t link to it, as the answer was tailored to an elementary school student. You do realize that we tend to simplify our descriptions for our target audience, right? An elementary school student couldn’t understand Quantum Mechanics, so we don’t give them the Quantum Mechanical view of the atom, we instead simplify and give them, say, the Rutherford model instead. It’s not accurate, but it’s easier to understand and will do if or until they want a more accurate model.

    Likewise, hitting a child somewhere between the ages of six and twelve with the cutting-edge understanding of genetic influences on gender isn’t appropriate. And did the geneticist know if the parents and/or the child were religious, and likely disapproved of a nuanced lecture on sex and/or gender?

    If you look at websites targeted at grown-ups, such as the one I’ve already linked to, you get a much less binary picture. Approximately 80% of 46,XX Male Syndrome people experienced improper meosis, resulting in a SRY gene which is translocated off the Y chromosome. 20%, however, do not have SRY at all.

    And in all the references I’ve found, both sets are raised as male. Thus, a man can lack a Y chromosome, or even the SRY gene, and still be a man. Can you explain that?

  48. hjhornbeck says

    Jesse Powell @55:

    My point that feminism leads to below replacement fertility is not that the human race is in danger of becoming extinct because the return to patriarchy will happen long before actual extinction is threatened. My point is just that feminism is obviously dysfunctional from the point of view of a society maintaining itself or from an evolutionary point of view if feminism can’t even maintain the physical existence of a population.

    I hope you’re sitting down, because I have some bad news: implementing feminist policies leads to an increase in birthrates. The theory is that in a patriarchal society, the male of the family is the sole breadwinner. Thus the family unit’s economic fortunes are entirely in one basket. Worse, if raising children is less than a full-time job, then potential economic output is wasted by having the stay-at-home parent sit idle. This is made worse if the family is childless or post-children, as one partner cannot provide income even though they are otherwise capable.

    Conversely, an economy more in line with feminist ideals would allow two breadwinners, allowing more economic income from the same family unit. This extra income and stability could be plowed into raising extra children, thus resulting in a net increase in birthrate compared to a more patriarchal society.

    Nice story, but is there evidence to support it? You bet your dollar!

    if one plots female labor participation rates against birth rates for various countries, there is a distinctly positive—not negative—correlation between the two, meaning that countries with relatively high labor participation rates such as Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK, tend to have relatively high fertility rates and vice versa (see Exhibit 21).

    Indeed, the same holds true even within Japan. Exhibit 22 plots female labor participation rates against birth rates for Japan’s 47 prefectures. Notably, prefectures which tend to have higher participation rates, such as Fukui, Nagano and Shizuoka, tend to have higher birth rates as well.

    Jesse Powell @55:

    The country with the lowest Total Fertility Rate right now I believe is Taiwan at 1.065 in 2011 (Net Reproduction Rate of 0.506). I also read in The Economist magazine that the Total Fertility Rate in Shanghai, China was 0.7 children per woman and Shanghai has 23 million people in it (about the same population as Taiwan).

    Couldn’t find that article, but The Economist has another article which comes to the opposite conclusion you do:

    It is sometimes argued that it is shortsighted to get more women into paid employment. The more women go out to work, it is said, the fewer children there will be and the lower growth will be in the long run. Yet the facts suggest otherwise. Chart 3 shows that countries with high female labour participation rates, such as Sweden, tend to have higher fertility rates than Germany, Italy and Japan, where fewer women work. Indeed, the decline in fertility has been greatest in several countries where female employment is low.

    It seems that if higher female labour participation is supported by the right policies, it need not reduce fertility. To make full use of their national pools of female talent, governments need to remove obstacles that make it hard for women to combine work with having children. This may mean offering parental leave and child care, allowing more flexible working hours, and reforming tax and social-security systems that create disincentives for women to work.

    What I find really fascinating about this is that the push for a more egalitarian society isn’t coming from feminists. Economics is a very conservative social science, and wasn’t as influenced by feminist thought as other branches were. And yet by studying the numbers, almost all economists have come to agree with feminists. Governments are taking notice.

    If you were to close the employment gap between Japanese men, which is 80%, one of the highest in the OECD, with Japanese women — which is still around 60% — we estimate that you’d add about 8.2 million workers into the Japanese workforce,” says Kathy Matsui of Goldman Sachs, who has long championed the cause. That influx of female workers “could lift the asset level of Japanese GDP by as much as 14%,” she adds.

    Now Prime Minister Abe is trying to force corporations to act. He has set targets of at least one female executive per company and offered tax incentives to companies that encourage mothers to return to work. […]

    Abe’s push to make the workplace a more hospitable place for women — quite apart from the argument that it’s just more fair — is also a matter of economic survival.

    Whether Japan’s male corporate bosses are listening remains to be seen.

    So you’re 100% wrong again; patriarchy holds back an economy, while feminist policies strengthen it and lead to an increase in fertility.

  49. says

    The reason I didn’t link the article about the “Big difference between the X and Y chromosomes” was because I submitted an earlier comment with links in it and it was held up in moderation rather than being automatically posted. I will try putting links into this response and hope my comment is approved for posting.

    The source about Shanghai, China having a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 0.7 is here:

    China’s Achilles Heel
    The Economist Magazine
    April 21, 2012 Print Edition
    http://www.economist.com/node/21553056

    From the article it states “Shanghai reported fertility of just 0.6 in 2010—probably the lowest level anywhere in the world.” That’s interesting, I thought it was 0.7. I remembered wrong, it’s worse than I thought. However another more recent article from The Economist gives Shanghai fertility at 0.7.

    Monks without a temple
    The Economist Magazine
    Mar 16, 2013 Print Edition
    http://www.economist.com/news/china/21573579-china-may-have-begun-long-end-game-its-one-child-policy-experts-say-it-cannot-end-soon

    From this article “Shanghai is an example of the demographic time-bomb facing China: its fertility rate, at 0.7, is among the world’s lowest.” I suspect Shanghai fertility changes some from year to year.

    Now to the substance of your comments. Patriarchy supports fertility because patriarchy means men supporting women, providing for and protecting women. A primary part of supporting women is the husband works and the wife doesn’t work; the wife is financially supported so that she can focus on her feminine sphere, her feminine sphere being largely about having and raising children. Feminism counters fertility because it drags women out of the feminine sphere and forces them into the workforce where their priorities will be away from children and where their ability to direct their efforts towards caring for children will be reduced. Since evolution is all about having children who will survive into adulthood because they were well cared for evolution created a patriarchal model for how men and women should interact.

    You make a counter argument that the male only breadwinner is bad for fertility because the family unit will have less income and therefore less ability to support children and two earners is more stable than having all income in one basket dependent upon one person.

    First off families with only the man as breadwinner are more economically stable because if the husband gets laid off and the wife is not working the wife can join the labor force and earn new money to compensate for the loss of income due to the husband losing his job. The two income household will develop structural costs that eat up both the husband’s and wife’s income so that if either person loses their job it will be a major problem as the other spouse is already working and cannot make up the shortfall by newly joining the workforce. Also interestingly enough the savings rate actually went down after women joined the labor force in large numbers. Personal bankruptcies increased greatly as more married women joined the workforce.

    For more on this I recommend this video:

    The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class with Elizabeth Warren
    March 8, 2007
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A

    As far as there being a correlation between high labor force participation among women and comparatively high fertility rates.

    In the United States among whites the TFR peaked at 3.625 in 1957. It then sunk to a bottom of 1.652 in 1976. In 2010 it was at 1.791. Comparing this to white women’s Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) 25 to 54 years old it was 38.5% in January 1957, 55.3% in January 1976, and 76.1% in January 2010.

    If we go to Japan in 1968 the TFR was 2.13, in 1990 it was 1.54, and in 2010 it was 1.39. Looking at women’s LFPR 25 to 54 years old it was 56.2% in 1968, 64.2% in 1990, and 72.2% in 2012.

    So over time in Japan there was a major drop in fertility from 1968 to 1990 representing replacement level fertility in 1968 and significantly below replacement level in 1990. Then from 1990 to 2010 there was an additional comparatively small drop in fertility. Women’s LFPR rate went up steadily and consistently during the whole 1968 to 2012 period.

    Over time in the United States (among whites) the peak of the post-war baby boom was in 1957; after that fertility rapidly crashed to moderately below replacement level in 1976. After 1976 there was a moderate recovery in fertility but it has stayed continuously below replacement level ever since 1976. Women’s LFPR (among whites) made a large jump from 1957 to 1976 and another large jump from 1976 to 2012 (though the peak year was 2000). The first major jump in women’s LFPR coincided with the initial fertility crash from far above replacement level to below replacement level while the additional major increase in women’s LFPR coincided with fertility stabilizing itself at a level consistently below replacement rate.

    Comparatively high fertility in European countries combined with comparatively high female LFPRs is only happening at one point in time. Comparing the past to the present you will find that say before 1960 women’s LFPR was very low and fertility was very high. Over time increasing women in the workforce decreases fertility.

    So how to explain the anomaly of current day countries in Europe with high women’s LFPR having comparatively high fertility? I would assume it is related to adaptation and high out-of-wedlock births. More conservative European societies such as Germany and Italy have comparatively low out-of-wedlock birth ratios and also comparatively few women working (both things being discouraged by conservative cultural values). Germany and Italy also have particularly low birth rates compared to other European countries. In 2011 the TFR for the European Union (27 countries) was 1.57; in Germany it was 1.36 and in Italy it was 1.40. I would explain this by saying that in the more conservative countries having a child is considered to involve greater commitment and greater investment. You are not to have a child without being married first and you are to not work after having children (these being cultural messages sent to women). This then means that the barrier to having a child in the more conservative countries is greater as a greater commitment to the well being of the child is expected. So in countries that have a high level of problems regarding family formation the greater the emphasis on the well being of the child the fewer children will be born as the required investment in the child will be seen as a burden people either cannot or do not want to meet. This explanation would also fit with higher fertility in the Japanese prefectures with higher women’s LFPRs. The parts of Japan with weaker prohibitions against mothers working have higher fertility because the investment made into children is lower therefore making the barrier against having children lower.

    So you have a paradox; the patriarchal societies of the past had very high fertility and very low women working. This is because patriarchy puts children first. The feminist societies of today have a situation where comparatively high fertility is associated with comparatively high women working. This is because those places with more women working require a lesser investment in children thereby reducing the barrier to having children. In other words all the European countries have about the same level of family dysfunction overall; some places have greater social disorder and higher fertility while other places are more strict with lower fertility. It is a trade off. In a patriarchal society however there is no trade off, you have low social disorder and high fertility at the same time. Under patriarchy the investment in family life is so high that you can have large numbers of children and put a large amount of investment into each child at the same time.

    Just looking at the economic side of things trying to increase the number of women in the workforce is indeed short sighted. It is quite interesting that in the United States productivity increases per worker suddenly slowed down after 1973 being about 2% per year before 1973 and 1% per year after 1973; 1973 being just about the time there was a great surge of women into the workforce. Women in the workforce harms the next generation and it might well disrupt the work environment making everybody less productive at work. Trying to get women into the workforce is indeed short sighted.

  50. hjhornbeck says

    Oooo, NUMBERS!

    The source about Shanghai, China having a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 0.7 is here:

    Er, two things:

    1. You do not refute a trend by pointing at one or two datapoints. All that does is demonstrate the data is messy, and I thought that was obvious at a glance.

    2. We’re comparing fertility rates to female employment. You’ve provided numbers for fertility rates, but not employment. You’re not even refuting the point under consideration, in other words, you’re spouting numbers and hoping we’ll be shocked and awed into agreeing with you.

    Patriarchy supports fertility because patriarchy means men supporting women, providing for and protecting women.

    Right, so why is feminism your solution to income instability?

    First off families with only the man as breadwinner are more economically stable because if the husband gets laid off and the wife is not working the wife can join the labor force and earn new money to compensate for the loss of income due to the husband losing his job.

    I thought women were only caregivers and providers? You not only concede that women can work, you also concede that women can provide equal income to their male counterparts, and you further argue that a woman with no work experience entering the workforce will be paid equally to a man with several years experience.

    You’re not describing a patriarchical society here, that’s either a pseudo-feminist one or a matriarchy! You make a similar mistake here:

    I would explain this by saying that in the more conservative countries having a child is considered to involve greater commitment and greater investment.

    And, since more conservative countries tend to be patriarcal, you are arguing that patriarcy carries a higher cost than feminist/egalitarian arrangements. Please stop arguing against yourself, it’s a bit embarrassing.

    Feminism counters fertility because it drags women out of the feminine sphere and forces them into the workforce where their priorities will be away from children and where their ability to direct their efforts towards caring for children will be reduced.

    And yet the data says otherwise. Hell, for shits and giggles I did my own analysis of fertility vs. female employment via the World Bank’s World Development Indicators (April 2013). My analysis uses a much muddier dataset; note that “Womenconomics 3.0” either compares developed country to developed country, or Japanese prefecture to prefecture, whereas mine lumps resource-heavy Trinidad and Tobago in with service-heavy Britain. You’d expect the results to be a mess.

    And yet they’re still statistically significant (r=0.18, p=0.014, N=183).

    We now have three separate datasets which contradict your claim. We have a plausible mechanism, which you have been unable to refute. Do you plan on looking at reality at some point, or are you going to repeat your points until it bends to your will?

    In the United States among whites …

    Yep, more repetition. Do you honestly think you can refute a trend by targeting single datapoints? Here you’re so desperate that you’re targeting a subset of a datapoint! Even if you were correct about China, Shanghai, and the Caucasian United States, that leaves 180 countries in my dataset. How much will my numbers change if I pulled a few countries, do you wager?

    I love your cheek at pulling up Japanese numbers to shore up your point. Your own numbers show that Japan has a low fertility rate, however. Isn’t Japan quite patriarchal? If your theory was correct, their fertility rate should be unusually high, and not unusually low. Care to explain that?

    And where the heck are you getting all this data? Cite your sources!

    Comparatively high fertility in European countries combined with comparatively high female LFPRs is only happening at one point in time. Comparing the past to the present you will find that say before 1960 women’s LFPR was very low and fertility was very high.

    And compared to previous years, European children have a lower mortality rate. The improvement in child mortality would lead to a decrease in fertility, without effecting female workplace share, creating a false negative correlation. This is why Kathy Matsui compared developed nation to developed nation, as it minimizes this confounder, and why she compared Japanese prefecture to prefecture. My own analysis didn’t compensate for this very well (I used the median of a twenty year span for each variable and included wildly different economies), hence why the correlation is so low, but the sample size was able to push past that.

    By analyzing across multi-decade timescales, however, changes in child mortality would have a much greater impact and be more likely to create a false correlation. How did you compensate for this, in your analysis?

    Note that only one of these three datasets are Eurocentric, too. Even Kathy Matsui’s Eurocentric dataset still results in a positive correlation when you remove Europe! Yet again, you are arguing against a subset of the data as if it was the entire thing, and hoping we wouldn’t notice.

    Trying to get women into the workforce is indeed short sighted.

    And yet economists have been arguing for more women in the workforce for over a decade, and have numbers to back up their arguments. You have wishful thinking and poor analysis, at best.

  51. tnt666 says

    Religion and patriarchy are brothers in arms, bed mates, inseparables. It’s not about just Abrahamic faiths, it’s all forms of faith that begath around the same historical time as patriarchy and ever since. Patriarchy only began when males gained the certain and conscious knowledge that inserting their penis into a my vagina creates a baby. Babies are labour for the next power struggle. Until males had that certainty, females still had a chance. Patriarchy has existed for a few thousand years. But patriarchy’s objective to control breeding by controlling females is only part of the picture… we females, we heterosexual females, are a RESOURCE for males (heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, and metrosexual), just as the rest of the planet is a RESOURCE for patriarchy. Patriarchy spans the male experience over all “ID” and “preference” lifestyles.

    Feminism which protects blatant religious anti-female practices (FGM, head coverings) are enabling patriarchy by enabling religion.

    Religion was designed to control females, and it has worked very very well… to the point where most females have Stockholm Syndrome, and falsely believe we need males to protect us from other males. We do not, if we stop underfeeding our little girls, if we strop telling them to be strong and athletic, females will remain the underlings of males. We must fight not only with our minds but with our muscles, and attitude, and many of us have this capacity, because our parents did not encourage us to skinniness and submission to males/religion.

    Females can be stronger, both on the mental and physical fronts, but we have to address religion and gender stereotypes.

    In my half century of being a feminist and an atheist I find there is more “untold” feminism with atheist females, than there are atheists in the feminist movement. Atheist feminists much push harder within the feminist movement to address the elephant in the room, and feminist atheists must come out of the closet. For so many well off females with good lives and privilege refuse to come out in support of feminism.

    Only when female atheists and atheist females come together will the atheist movement be able to truly call itself representative of the entire population instead of only half the population.

  52. Jesse says

    I’ve moved to a new location. All my writing as a TWRA, Traditional Women’s Rights Activist, is at my new blog Secular Patriarchy.

  53. says

    Traditional Women’s Rights Activist

    I.e., the “right” to do as you are told by restrictive patriarchal gender roles. Don’t know why you’re announcing your move to a bunch of people who would prefer you to fuck off anyway. You looking to be convinced you’re wrong or what?

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