Women are not a finer form of Homo sapien
Thank you. Explains so much. I notice on Substack Notes now that it is a few women who are leading the charge to extend this pattern of whining and self-victimisation to Notes as well. Then, as a woman in a workplace, but one who sees herself as a bit masculine minded, rational, I know how stupid and embarrassed I have felt when I have let my emotions out.
I’d love to hear a deeper dive into examples of how social media crusades and feminized progressive politics symbiotically work together to further the feminization process.
The process has its own incentive to swallow the whole world in its destructive game.
Toxic Femininity. It's real, it's out there, and it's making a real mess.
Excellent synthesis of the present situation. I wonder though if the easiest answer isn't simply to return to sex-segregated education and work spaces. The experiment in having men and women work alongside one another in identical roles has been run for a couple generations now and the results are awful. Asking women to sit on their emotions is a logical thing to do but such solutions are swimming upstream against millions of years of evolved instincts ... made doubly difficult by the fact that, as you note, women are very good at masking their aggression even from themselves.
This need not mean that women are formally consigned to certain specific roles, although self selection via innate preference will lead to a degree of that. Instead, universities could for instance be organized along men's and women's lines, much as sports or Christian monasteries/convents are.
Fantasic essay! The "future is female" girlboss crowd are just as socially harmful as the stereotypically aggressive and narcissistic toxic masculinity they present themselves in opposition to; the female narcissists just cover their aggression with a veneer of polite and smiling aggreeableness, punctuated with the calculated gossip and concerned whisper. The problem is neither masculinity nor femininity, per se, but rather narcissism (and even psychopathy).
Brilliant essay. I hate "bring your whole self to work". No, if I did that, I'd spend the day talking loudly to myself and breaking off to swear every time someone says "lived experience" or "let's talk about inclusion". It's not about bringing your whole self, it's only about bringing your most ego-rubbing, edi-loving, Twitter progressivist wanker-self to work to engage in dreary three hour daisy chains masquerading as the latest EDI Forum. And that's why I can't bring my whole self to work. I just have to unleash it on Substack (and my husband, poor man).
I've had a thought about it becoming increasingly common for homosexuals to have children biologically (with surrogate mothers/donor sperm). Modern technologies somewhat circumvent that natural stopper put on breeding by having no desire to play sexual hoopla. I do wonder how much of an impact it will have on children to be brought up by parents of the same sex and also to have at least one biological parent who is gay.
For one thing: how much does the kid miss out on not having both a female and male influence? Wiill that impact be lessened if one or both has more cross-sex behaviours? Whatever the case, if we carry on in the current (feminised) fashion of Don't You Dare Ask That, Wave The Flag and Conform, it will be bloody hard to know what the real outcome is.
Apologies for the bloody long comment.
OMG, this is so unbelievably good. I hope Janice Fiamengo sees this.
Absolutely fascinating. Thank you.
It is a breath of fresh air to see these issues discussed openly.
Although I agree with your analysis of feminisation in our current society I see this as a reflection of the way Western society is well fed and fairly stable. What amazes me is that blokes have not realized that they can just let the women do it all. They still keep entering contractual relationships with women. However, in some working class districts the men have understood that it is more fun not to work.
Barring Black Swan events, over the next 50 years the competition between the West and other global power bases such as Islam, China, Russia, the non-aligned (India/Brasil/South Africa) will resolve the issue of feminisation. Which culture will become dominant?
Of course we cannot bar Black Swans. Three "Black Swans" look almost inevitable: climate change may cause famine and turmoil, WWIII may happen, AI's will develop the ability to write themselves. Other Black Swans such as the social collapse of the USA, the rise of National Socialism in the EU, a truly serious pandemic etc. are distinctly possible.
If the Black Swans determine the "50 year future" then the family will come under huge stress and we may see the sort of social changes that affected 6th century Rome. Women may need men to add security for themselves and the family.
Another excellent piece - might be my favorite yet.
The sentiment expressed in the subtitle is definitely out there, roaming about. This idea that, after years of doing things "the male way," and many finding it wanting, the answer is to simply flip to the female way which will solve all of society's problems, with the handy side effect (or miracle) of having no drawbacks, whatsoever.
Interestingly, I think our traditional gender roles have much to blame for this, tagging women as gentle, compassionate, empathetic - the "fairer sex" - and seeing the war, death, destruction that can result from men behaving badly and not getting along. But as is noted, women have a much more insidious, under-the-radar mode of conflict, and are equally capable of bad behavior, although it takes a different form. As you rightly note, swapping "male" for "female" modes introduces a new set of advantages and disadvantages instead of ushering in some sort of Paradise.
Checking if comments work
So far I've read a smattering of your work here on Substack, Lorenzo. Really well articulated and thought provoking stuff! Looking forward to digging deeper into your back catalog.
Lorenzo’s belief is that women’s ‘distructive emotionally incontintence’ needed to be managed and that the scold’s bridle (a horrifying and humilating tool of oppression) and the ducking stool (which could prove fatal) were ‘relatively humane’ and better than ‘thumping’ ‘mean girls and nags’ in private. As if one precluded the other - wasn't it often family members that requested these punishments! We know similar bridles were used on slaves was that too a sign of their relatively high status.
I do find it disappointing when debating a subject that you use terms like 'you are wrong' and 'you are using a sadly typical trope', and claim that I am trying to 'make some general point about female oppression.' I actually was trying to react very politely to the offensive idea of calling a bridle (whether applied to male slaves or to females) as in any way humane. To me you misapplied the word humane and that was my general point. I don't really want to discuss further with someone who tries to put me in a box which does not fit.
The series represents many thoughts that I've posted and defended on some private lists. One of the problems that I found is that a lot of the arguments and reasoning is based on historical interpretations. I almost fully agree with them but it is impossible to deny that there is a level of subjectivity that makes them hard to defend against attacks due to lack of testable evidence.
Therefore, the most objective argument I found is about <i>conflict resolution</i>. As you make clear, a masculine group tends to be a competence hierarchy, feminine groups tend to organize by (perceived) empathy.
Competence is objective and men rarely even need to discuss it. It is always a miracle to me how quickly a male hierarchy is agreed upon and how fluid it is based on the task at hand. Group solidarity, agreed rules/laws, rational arguments, consistency, and reciprocity tend to be used to resolve conflicts, usually without animosity. I've had hundreds of very heated arguments but this never affected the mood.
Empathy is however a spotlight that obscures everything that is not in focus. In the private sphere this is not an issue because her resources are limited and this inherently regulates the toxicity. In the public sphere, however, there is no good way to resolve a conflict since the empathy spotlight obscures the opponent's victim. Opponents do therefore not share a common language, like logic or rules, to resolve conflicts. Worse, public resources are seen as infinite and do therefore not regulate the empathy of an individual anymore.
Eventually when life is squeezed out of every institution, Someone is just going to say, it's your fault for letting them burn things to the ground, why did the patriarchy not control, if they knew things were bad?.