Monday, July 08, 2013

Response To A Long Time Reader

I got a comment from "A Long Time Reader" relating to my post on gender discrimination in the advertising business. You can see the post and the comment here.

This is my response:

Thanks for reading, Long Time Reader.
Don't you find it a little naive to think there are no women out there making it on their own? Have you heard of the gal who wrote the Harry Potter books? Oprah Winfrey? I know several women entrepreneurs that have started their own businesses, totally on their own, without expecting anything from anyone but respect and a fair shake, and they have it much tougher than the guys. Lines of credit don't open as easily for them, people don't listen as seriously. They are hardworking, intelligent risk-takers. They are not any less capable than any guy. In fact, they have to work harder to overcome stereotypes and ingrained attitudes. It is not their fault. We just happen to have a deeply ingrained, millennial culture that assumes that men are natural leaders and women are not, because for centuries, women were not allowed to read, study in universities, vote, have professions, have their own businesses, or simply be independent human beings. They were supposed to stay home, breed, and obey the male. How could one compete? To this day, some men still believe they get to decide on what women do with their own sexuality and their pregnancies. The nerve.
At this point, the discrimination, the patronizing, the looking down on women, are embedded in our cultural DNA. It may not always be conscious, or malicious, but that's the way it is.
Look at porn. Porn is a good example of the imbalance between the genders.
Why is it always the woman who is shown to be acted upon, penetrated, manhandled, increasingly with more violence and alienation? Why isn't there a more equal porn where both men and women are objects of erotic desire? Because that is how men look at women. And men don't want to look at other men. And women have been taught that they can't really express themselves sexually. That they should be pure and chaste and not sluts. It's a man's world. And now, there are entire generations of kids who grow up thinking that the ridiculous, ugly, pounding sex in porn is normal sex. You guys are not doing a good job.
Women who object to this state of affairs are called "whiners" by people like you.
I agree that women have to fight hard for equality and fairness. As I said in my post, we have to start our own fight. But men will defend their status quo tooth and nail. Why? Because men know, as the fanatics of every religion that wants to keep women down know (pretty much all of them), that the minute women have truly equal footing, this will mean real freedom, real democracy, real civilization, real human progress. Keeping women down is the first, most basic, most intimate form of human oppression. It is the essence of barbarism.
The question we should be asking is why women have tolerated and abetted this through the ages.
But in this day and age, when religious belief is utterly irrelevant, and we are not hunting Mammoths and living in caves, women have every right to demand equality, fairness and respect. That is not whining or begging, that is plain dignity.
Modernity, however, is no guarantee of civilization. Look at the Holocaust. Look at every genocide since then. Look at the American South up to the 1960's. Look at two young football players who gang raped a girl recently and bragged about it all over social media. Someone on CNN was sorry that their brilliant future careers were over.
It is still imperative for those who are treated unfairly to fight for equal opportunity and justice.
As for your opinions about begging blacks and grousing Jews, they seem to me pernicious and naive generalizations. There are many successful black people, like our very own President Obama; and there are countless Jews who beg and don't have a pot to piss on.
If certain groups don't have the political, economic, or social power to change their situation, what are they supposed to do? If Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement had not "whined" and demanded, would there still be segregation and lynchings in the South? If women had not demanded the right to an education, to vote, to equal pay? We'd all be attending mindless Tupperware parties in Stepford.
That's not progress. That is regression.
In short, I think we do not protest enough, but I suspect that we have very different worldviews. Thank you for your readership.

1 comment:

  1. Long Time Reader2:31 AM

    Ugh... I disagree with at least a dozen things you said, maybe two dozen, but I will just focus on the big picture:

    So, how is that complaining working out for you?

    You compared apples and oranges. There was a time (in most Western countries, others still pending) when women were indeed not allowed to do many things, including working. Those were different, more difficult times, that demanded more... rupture. Just like a colony that goes up in arms to demand its independence.

    Women have won that war, they're now allowed to do pretty much everything, and many of them do it, like you said yourself. Some even become president of their countries. But so many still prefer to sit on the curb and complain that life is too hard because men won't give them this or that. Sorry, I just think that is fruitless.

    It's like the colony really wanted and still wants to be independent, but at the same time it wants to be maintained by the old rule. It's contradictory.

    You can't have both. The old rule owes you nothing. You're independent, sovereign, and fully responsible for your own success or failure. In fact, the old rule, previously a partner (though a crappy one) is now your competitor, exactly the same as you have become to them. Old Rule and Freed Nation will have to deal with each other, and sometimes that won't be friendly.

    Everything you mentioned about the war time does not apply anymore. The war is over. Women won.

    Women often like to play victims by making it sound like the war is ongoing, but it's not. There is no war, it's just post-war settlement and normal everyday contention between parties that fight over resources. Men have ALWAYS dealt with that kind of belligerence among themselves, often with lethal force, long before women claimed their independence. Welcome to the club, girls! It's not stress, it's adrenaline rush.

    So how is that complaining working out for you?

    I think you and other women in advertising (in your particular case) should unite and go around men. Do it without them! Start your own firm if necessary, win your own male or female clients over, impress everyone with compelling campaigns, outdo the condescending males in their own game and then...

    Well, then you may have to deal with a bunch of annoying males complaining about the state of affairs. And no, you won't be amused. You will be confused, you will be concerned, you will have lots of questions, and no good answers because all the questions will be wrong to begin with.

    I'd tell you to be ready, but you won't be.

    Yours Truly.