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Jun 03 2013

Erickson: Science Says Men Are in Charge

With a new study showing that about 40% of women are the primary earners in their households (about 2/3 of those are single mothers; 37% of them, or about 15% overall, earn more than the adult male in the household), the anti-feminist right is freaking the hell out. Perhaps the most amusingly ignorant response is from Erick Erickson on Fox News.

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson went one step further, saying nature itself commanded that women be subservient to men.

“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science,” Erickson explained. “But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”

“We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families, and it is tearing us apart,” he continued, adding that “reality showed” it was harmful for women to be the primary source of income in a family.

Fox News contributor Doug Schoen concluded the freak out by claiming all these so-called breadwinner moms “could undermine our social order.”

Yes, yes, yes. Has there ever been a progressive advance that was not alleged to “undermine our social order”? And why would that be a bad thing? The social order is messed up; I’d say it needs to be undermined.

45 comments

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  1. 1
    slc1

    Gee, in lion prides, it’s the females who do most of the heavy lifting relative to procuring food.

  2. 2
    keithb

    If this stat really gets a bee in their bonnet – and it should come as no surprise since it has been trending this way for years – shouldn’t these guys support unions and working wage laws so that these men can support their house-wives on one paycheck?

  3. 3
    raven

    Fox News contributor Doug Schoen concluded the freak out by claiming all these so-called breadwinner moms “could undermine our social order.”

    Oddly enough, some Fox contributors are the main money suppliers in their families.

    I have no idea what Sarah Palin’s husband does, but he is all but invisible. Same for Michele Bachmann, who isn’t a Fox contributor (yet) but is certainly one of their heroes. And Bristol Palin husband is also hard to find, most likely because she doesn’t have one. She did manage to capitalize on her fame and make some money while she could. Not bad for a high school dropout.

    Odd factoid. These days the majority of college students are female and the number of college graduates as well by a substantial margin.

  4. 4
    dingojack

    In the words of one of the greatest philosophical minds of the 1970′s*:

    “These words he speaks are true
    we’re all humanary stew
    if we don’t pledge allegiance to
    the black widow!”

    :D

    Dingo
    ——–
    * Well certainly a shit load smarter than Erick Erickson (which isn’t saying much)

  5. 5
    voidhawk

    In the natural world of spiders the female eas the male after copulating. is this the natural order he wants? Some squid simply fling sacs of sperm indiscriminately, Some animals turn from male to female given the right individual environmental conditions. In ants the only role of the male is fertilisation and defending the nest.

    So I’m confused, does he want to be eaten, splattered, female, or a bodyguard?

  6. 6
    matty1

    When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role.

    I imagine he would try and use that typical to weasel out of counter examples but to give a few hyena’s, some lemurs and bonobos. That last one is particularly interesting since bonobos are equally as close to humans as common chimpanzees are, which have more male dominated social groups so we cannot find a single model of ‘natural’ behaviour for humans from our close relatives.

    If you want to be exact they are even closer to each other on the evolutionary tree but this just reinforces my point. There isn’t some universal rule of male dominance that a few feminists are insisting humans go against but a huge amount of variation at whatever level of detail you care to look.

  7. 7
    raven

    I’m really going to have to say it.

    Most women and that includes oogedy boogedy fundie women work outside the home because they have to.

    It’s that or starvation or what is left of our social safety net, i.e. welfare.

    Fuck these ignorant misogynists.

    Why any woman would vote Tea Party/GOP when they obviously have nothing but contempt for them is beyond my understanding.

  8. 8
    matty1

    If this stat really gets a bee in their bonnet

    That would be a female worker bee most likely.

  9. 9
    tynk

    YAY!! Another way I am destroying the social order of the united states (how is that bad again?)

    I am a woman…
    I make my own money…
    I am in a male dominated field…
    I make more then 90% of my field…
    I am a lesbian…
    I am an atheist…
    I have no interest in having children…
    Pro-choice
    anti-war
    intelligent
    etc etc etc

    I should write Erik a fan letter, he would probably have an aneurysm.

  10. 10
    raven

    In ants the only role of the male is fertilisation and defending the nest.

    Nice try but in most social insects, the nest defenders are also females.

    Winged Drone | Alate | Male Ant | Facts, Information and Photos
    www .antark. net › ant life › the family › drone‎

    Drones are the only male ants in a colony. They are born from un-fertilized eggs. Drones are not like typical ants. They don’t do any work in their nests, and they …

  11. 11
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    tynk,
    You should send out a slew of letters, in that case. I’ll make you a list.
    *rubs palms together*

  12. 12
    dingojack

    Let’s not forget that Erickson is clearly stating that human females should lay their eggs inside a parasitic host and let them eat chew their way out (after having devoured their host alive and had sex with their sole brother, of course), it”s only natural!.
    Dingo

  13. 13
    matty1

    Another point is that the 1950′s fiction of the man going out to work and the woman staying home to cook, clean and raise the children is not the historical norm for humans. In pre-industrial times the whole family – men, women, any children who could walk, elders up to the point they could no longer move – worked the land to feed themselves. In the industrial revolution women went into the factories the same as men. Both of these conditions continue today in many places -does anyone think the garment factories in Bangladesh are staffed exclusively by men who support a non-working wife on their $38US a month?

    The model he holds up as normality is a brief blip in the middle of the 20th Century in a few places.

    Oh and I’m not saying women have historically been treated as equals just that they haven’t been housewives kept at home.

  14. 14
    dingojack

    I’m sure Nemo will turn up to tell us how much he’s looking forward to becoming female and mating with all the other clowns, naturally.
    :) Dingo

  15. 15
    zippythepinhead

    “in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role” — so, … humans are just animals and there’s nothing we’re supposed to do about it? What else do animals do? In gorilla and chimp society, the alpha male monopolizes the females in the troop — is Erickson advocating or practicing polygamy?

    Yes, humans are animals, and biology, primatology, and anthropology informs us about human behavior that originate in animal and primate behavior. But that doesn’t mean we are powerless to change human behavior. Unlike animals, we are free to shape society to best suit the needs of individuals and society at large.

  16. 16
    SallyStrange

    Exactly, Matty1, and it fits perfectly with Ed’s most recent post on the imperviousness to facts exhibited by the right wing. History? Biology? Whatever! Throw it all out except the parts that fit your preconceived notions.

  17. 17
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs got their butts handed to them by Megyn Kelly, by the way.

  18. 18
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler

    As a stay at home dad, I say :-p to those people.

  19. 19
    lpetrich

    Females eating males happens for well-known predatory arthropods, mantids and spiders. But males can and do escape. That happens because the females are bigger than the males, and thus the males look like meals to them. This in turn happens because females produces much bigger gametes than males.

    As a general rule, whichever sex invests less is competitive, and whichever sex invests more is choosy. That can produce inversions, like for certain bush crickets, where females compete for males and their sperm capsules if there is not much other food. Yes, the females eat the males’ sperm capsules.

    Even when one male is associated with groups of females, he need not be the dominant one. Among wild horses, the dominant one is one of the mares, and the stallion follows the mares around, only getting pushy if rival stallions show up. Yes, there are often dominant females as well as dominant males.

    As to clownfish, Finding Nemo anthropomorphized their family life. In actuality, when Coral died, Marlin would change his sex and become Marla. Some other fish, like some wrasses, are the opposite, going from female to male.

  20. 20
    fmitchell

    “Undermine.” I do not think that word means what Schoen thinks it means. There’s no enemy trying to collapse our walls. These are our citizens trying to survive in a world the Republicans (and Democrats) made when they deregulated financial institutions, offered no resistance to jobs moving overseas, and dismantled the social safety net for anyone earning less than a million dollars.

    Also, the “brief blip” of 1950′s Leave It To Beaver Land arose, I suspect, because soldiers returned home from the war to find their wimminfolk working and loving it. That, said the powers that be, will not do. You can see the propaganda machine at work in the educational shorts that the MST3K folks are so fond of mocking: men come home from work, women stay at home and make dinner, and children are seen and not heard. The thrust of one short (which I can’t remember the title of) was that nobody bothers Father with their little problems — or even “unpleasant conversation” — because he’s been doing Important Things all day. Maybe the family needs to walk on eggs if Father suffers from “shell shock” (PTSD today). As a “law of nature”, though, that sort of rule creates repressed and frustrated kids who escape to Haight-Ashbury … or who go full-grown Stockholm and inflict the same “family values” on later generations.

  21. 21
    eric

    Fox News contributor Doug Schoen concluded the freak out by claiming all these so-called breadwinner moms “could undermine our social order.”

    And then you’re really screwed, because Tina Turner rules Thunderdome. :)

  22. 22
    Karen Locke

    The previous comments have eviscerated this idiot’s arguments. He may now take a leap, sans parachute, from a C-130 in flight, preferably one carrying remains of a battlefield casualty. Then the pilot, chatting with the control tower, can honestly say “we have a hero on board tonight”.

  23. 23
    oranje

    My wife works at a food co-op. She literally is the bread winner.

  24. 24
    jamessweet

    Well, since Republicans are so anti-science, Erickson should be feminist #1, amirite?!

  25. 25
    Bronze Dog

    Just got to reiterate the obvious: Wingnuts like this instinctively recoil when we accurately describe humans as being animals. But here he argues that we should model our behaviors after animals, or rather, his inaccurate portrayal of animals. So, which is it?

    Oh, right. It’s not a matter of having a consistent, coherent rationale or worldview, it’s about rhetorical convenience. Any argument works, so long as it rhetorically supports the conclusion. So of course he’s willing to employ this naturalistic fallacy. It doesn’t have to logically support the conclusion so long as gullible people think it does.

    In the natural world of spiders the female eas the male after copulating. is this the natural order he wants?

    I’ve seen a nature documentary where a male black widow (black widower?) successfully escaped from the female after mating. It seems only natural that a male spider would want to live to donate his DNA to another female. The female, on the other hand, is now expecting to lay a lot of eggs. That takes nutrients, and there’s a nice juicy male right there in her web, so she might as well eat him.

    Opposite that, we’ve got the male mantis, who, IIRC, will often (but not always) submit to being eaten for the benefit of the offspring. The male mantis’s body has the added feature that it can continue the mating after his head is eaten. (Not that head!)

    The world of arthropods treats males as particularly expendable from what I’ve seen.

  26. 26
    d.c.wilson

    Ten bucks says Erickson slept on the couch the night after he made that comment.

  27. 27
    Modusoperandi

    Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon “Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs got their butts handed to them by Megyn Kelly, by the way.”
    And then, right after the commercial break, she went back to supporting everything else FoxNews puts on her teleprompter. Girl Power?
     
    d.c.wilson “Ten bucks says Erickson slept on the couch the night after he made that comment.”
    Sure, but since he’s the man, he chose to. No wermins gonna tell him what to do!

  28. 28
    tynk

    @25

    Opposite that, we’ve got the male mantis, who, IIRC, will often (but not always) submit to being eaten for the benefit of the offspring.

    This is a myth generated from inadequate observation. This was seen to occur frequently, with captive mantis. In the wild the occurrence dropped to 1 in 70 observations. Apparently forced voyeurism makes female mantis hungry.

    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1801

  29. 29
    eric

    In the wild the occurrence dropped to 1 in 70 observations.

    As a male, your revised numbers are not comforting. :)

    Not even their internal logic makes sense; earning more money has nothing to do with being in a complimentary vs. competing role. I hate to burst his bubble, but if my wife is covering 60% of our family expenses and I’m covering 40%, we are playing complimentary roles. The same is true if the numbers are reversed; still complimentary.

  30. 30
    baal

    Sigh. Not everything has to be about who’s on top. Some times you can switch. Other times, noone has to be be on top. I dock Ericson points for even suggesting dominance is necessary (regardless of direction) in a marital relationship.

  31. 31
    Rip Steakface

    The worst part is the numerous animals where the female is larger, physically dominant and generally more badass. Some reptiles and amphibians come to mind.

  32. 32
    naturalcynic

    Maybe Ericson is thinking about many harem-forming species where a particular dominant male controls the reproduction of many females, but the sex ratio of 1:1. What do the bachelor males do? They wander around in bachelor groups doing teh ghey things some of the time.

  33. 33
    matty1

    @20

    Also, the “brief blip” of 1950′s Leave It To Beaver Land arose, I suspect, because soldiers returned home from the war to find their wimminfolk working and loving it. That, said the powers that be, will not do

    Interesting point, I’ve also seen speculation that the growth of organised feminism in the 1950′s and 60′s was due in part to the anger these women and their daughters felt at this treatment.

  34. 34
    slc1

    Re Rip Steakface @ #31

    Tyrannosaurs come to mind.

  35. 35
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Not even their internal logic makes sense; earning more money has nothing to do with being in a complimentary vs. competing role.

    That’s ’cause you don’t understand what they mean by “complementary”.

    It’s the patriarcal newspeak for “slave”. Since slavery as an institution is not acceptable to non-evil people anymore, they have had to alter their language in trying to advocate female slavery to normal humans.

    If you read any essay by patriarcal religious or non-religious authors, replace every instance or “complementary” with “slave” or “servant” and everything will suddenly start to make sense.

  36. 36
    D. C. Sessions

    The world of arthropods treats males as particularly expendable from what I’ve seen.

    After fifteen years as a ski patroller, I have come to the conclusion that we’re no different. Of course we’re expendable: kill off nine out of ten males in the tribe and the birthrate doesn’t drop a bit.

    Young adult males are programmed to commit suicide; those that fail survive to breed. Once upon a time they were anxious to be cannonarrow bait for the sake of God and Glory (or perhaps Gloria!) Before that, if there was a cave bear occupying prime real estate, you could be sure that there would be a whole cohort of 17-year-olds jumping up and down, waving their spears and yelling “put me in, Coach!”

    Today it’s just that we’ve made it harder for them to off themselves (although Chicken and consuming vast quantities of alcohol and other drugs is still a perennial favorite.) As a result we have idiots ignoring ten-foot-tall “out of bounds,” “not patrolled beyond this point,” “all hope abandon,” etc. signs at the point where the slope goes to a closed-in-winter road only fifteen miles of snow-and-trees wilderness away over up and down terrain. Unfortunately for the success of their efforts, we then mount all-night SAR to track them down and transport their hypothermic butts to where they can be safely rewarmed.

    Anyone care to guess the gender ratio of these modern-day snowboard-bound (because of course skis would be playing at too low a difficulty level) Amundsons?

  37. 37
    dan4

    @7 “…oogedy boogedy fundie women…”

    Do you really expect to be taken seriously with rhetoric like that? I mean, seriously, “oogedby boogedy fundie women?”

  38. 38
    dan4

    38: And what, exactly, differentiates, oogedy boogedy fundie women from NON-oogedy boogedy fundie women? Enquiring minds want to know.

  39. 39
    dingojack

    “Young adult males are programmed to commit suicide; those that fail survive to breed. Once upon a time they were anxious to be cannonarrow bait for the sake of God and Glory (or perhaps Gloria!) Before that, if there was a cave bear occupying prime real estate, you could be sure that there would be a whole cohort of 17-year-olds jumping up and down, waving their spears and yelling “put me in, Coach!””

    Citations required*.

    Dingo
    ——–
    * and no, Clan of the Cavebear speculations won’t do, actual archeology that backs your theory is required

  40. 40
    democommie

    dingojack:

    “Citations required*.

    As per this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7vtWB4owdE

    He’s rolling.

    @36:

    I haven’t skied in about eight years but back when I did I was a lousy skier. One comforting thought was having a ski patrol friend tell me that guys like me usually broke a leg or something. The really “good” skiers, he said, were the ones that they found impaled on tree limbs, with broken necks or under avalanches.

    @37&38:

    Chill, dude, it’s Raven, he’s doin’ teh snark.

  41. 41
    D. C. Sessions

    Citations required

    I won’t even try. It’s a useful model for coping with the stress of trying to save young “adults” from their astonishing capacity for self-destruction.

  42. 42
    D. C. Sessions

    One comforting thought was having a ski patrol friend tell me that guys like me usually broke a leg or something.

    Tweaked knees seven or eight years ago. More recently, the skis are shorter, the bindings better — I almost never see a tweaked knee any more except with snowboarders (and how they do it is beyond me) although their favorite injury — by far — is broken wrists.

    We see very, very few serious injuries among expert skiers. Then again, we try hard to make skiing among trees unpleasant. On an open slope, it’s almost a rule that the faster you go the safer you are (barring running into another skier or (shudder) a snowboarder.

  43. 43
    dingojack

    Deom – is that Paleo-, Meso- or Neolithic youtube?
    :) Dingo

  44. 44
    dingojack

    Knapping the USB connectors must have been a real bitch.
    Dingo

  45. 45
    democommie

    @42:

    I’m sure that your correct in your analysis. My ski patrolling friend didn’t mean that only expert skiiers got hurt but he did mean that they tended to ski a LOT faster than guys like me and said, “Once you get airborne, nothing really helps you to turn away from trees and such. Granted that there weren’t a lot of krazzeegood skicrobats back then, his point was that speed doesn’t kill, but that speed and arrogance are not a good mix.

    dingojack:

    Assuming that you’re speaking of my linking/embedding skilz (virtually nonexistent) I’d settle for Jurassic.

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