We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

What is to be done about this blatant sexism?

“I found their disrespect for women very disheartening, perhaps because their overall behavior seems so similar to our own, yet no amount of telling them I’m a professional, responsible, independent adult would change their views.”

What, might you ask, has troubled this person? Let me adumbrate that the writer is (afaik) a woman, remarking on a lack of respect for women, which is not shown to men.

But do not be too concerned, it is not a lack of respect for the particular woman’s professional abilities that drives this, the writer goes on, I parse, for what will be obvious reasons.

…But when the one father in our group approached, they would slink away without putting up a fight. Every time he sat down, they would come bounding back…

So clearly there is sexism going on here. So why isn’t reason working? I have some bad ‘news’ for this disheartened professional.

The disrespectful ones are, it turns out, not going to listen to reason, as they are… baboons (4th answer).

Which gives me an wonderful opportunity to stretch the evolutionary tree and crowbar in Jordan Peterson and Lobsters, watch and treasure, standing up straight with your shoulders back.

21 comments to What is to be done about this blatant sexism?

  • bobby b

    I’m thinking that the response you cited was a wonderful instance of satire.

    The tell was ” . . . yet no amount of telling them (the baboons!) I’m a professional, responsible, independent adult would change their views.”

    At least, for the sake of western civilization, I’m hoping it was satire.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    There you go, imposing western values on baboons. They may not want individual voting rights! They might like being terrorized by whoever is strongest- it adds some excitement to the day. Who are we to criticize?

  • Fraser Orr

    This post wins for the word “adumbrate”.

  • David


    Thank you. A new word for my vocabulary.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Reading the quote in context … I love the dry humor. Clearly the baboons are not quite with the Feminist Program. Tsk.

  • It is a fact that women are not listened to. My daughter was a ChemE major at a very good school. She is a whiz at thermodynamics. I have quizzed her. Other students (male) would ignore her in thermo class. Even the teacher noticed. (of course the anecdote is 2nd hand and the source was one of the participants – which may color the rendition.)

    At least the teacher was listening.

  • Another thing this monkey story suggests is that the ignoring of women may be hardwired in. In humans possibly. In baboons for sure.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Baboons can be pretty vicious: i remember watching 2 of them scare 5 cheetahs off their prey. In the same documentary (on the BBC, iirc) i also saw a leopard scare off a band of about 100 baboons who got too close to her cubs.

    Since female cheetahs hunt alone, it seems that in these cases baboons had less respect for males than for females; unless you think that the species was more important than the gender.

  • Another thing this monkey story suggests is that the ignoring of women may be hardwired in. In humans possibly.

    I can well believe men have evolved to tune out large chunks of what women say. Women have probably similarly evolved to ensure we are looking at them and not doing anything else when they tell us something they consider important.

  • Fraser Orr

    > It is a fact that women are not listened to.

    But this statement is at the core of the problem. What do you mean by “women”. Are you claiming that no woman is ever never listened to? Your justification is that your daughter isn’t, based, as you say, on biased testimony, with the additional point that, in fact, the teacher listens to her. Perhaps your daughter isn’t listened to by the other males. But perhaps she needs to be more assertive? Or perhaps she needs to raise the volume of her voice? What I have seen is that the opposite is often true — women get preferential treatment in science classes. As we say in science, data is not the plural of anecdote.

    Now, if you want to point out that this is an example of a woman finding it challenging to work within a system that is designed for men, the patriarchy so to speak, where the loud and sharp elbowed are attended to more than the quietly smart, I’d agree. But there are plenty of quietly smart males who have to suck it up and deal with that too. It isn’t so much the patriarchy as it is the fact that brawn still intimidates brain.

    But, as has been pointed out elsewhere in this thread, females can be quite successful in such a test of strength. The female cheetah can fight off 100 baboons to protect her babies.

    If your daughter wants to be heard, then she needs to make herself heard, just like I, a quiet geeky boy, had to do when I was in college. Yell out. Don’t just put her hand up, stand up. Stand on her freaking desk if that is what it takes. When the prof tells her to get off her desk, she needs to say “I’ll get off my desk when you start calling on me even though I’m female.” If she does that, I guarantee you that that professor and those boys will treat her with respect. Get in the face of the guy shouting her down. It sucks, I wish she didn’t have to do it, in the same way I and all the geeky boys like me had to; it would be nice if the world was run based on merit rather than force. But it’d also be nice if ice cream were a weight loss product and if age brought beauty as well as wisdom. Unfortunately, reality is not quite so cooperative.

  • Alisa

    Dunno, Fraser. Of course all of this is by definition anecdotal and subjective, but that does not in and of itself make it invalid. As a woman (last time I checked) who has never been blamed for lack of assertiveness or softness of her voice, I can report similar life-long experience of being less-listened-to by men when in a company of several people (obviously, in one-on-one conversations the dynamic is different). Make of it what you will.

  • Mr Ed

    I personally noticed that my early-teenage nephews completely ignored their mother even when being spoken to in the same room, one-on-one, with no one else speaking, the sound registered, but these (otherwise well-mannered, but not yet adult and capable of adult reactions) young men simply did not take in what they were being told. When their father spoke to them, they paid attention immediately. I’m not talking about yelling, just normal, middle-class parent-child interactions. (I seem to notice the in the lower classes, maternal anger at children is quite often a way of communicating, but perhaps the angry ones stick out more).

    I think that there’s a theme here, but there were definitely no baboons around to test any empirical evidence.

  • Alisa

    BTW, I have been having the same experience with dogs, which seem to tend towards better obedience to men than to women. YMMV.

    but there were definitely no baboons around to test any empirical evidence

    There are plenty around where I live…

  • My own experience is that in the areas I know where males predominate, women, because of their relative rarity, are more noticed and heard, not less. For example, I’ve known male colleagues observe that when an inbox has many emails, most from men, they are more likely to look first at the ones from women.

    The sole counter-example I know concerns high-level manager groups where discussions in meetings may continue during the comfort breaks. One woman I know (whom no-one would accuse of lack of assertiveness) went into the main area of the (cubicled – no stalls) male toilet, not to push any transgenderist agenda but so that no side-discussions in the otherwise all-male group of managers would omit her. I tend to see this as a feature of operating at a high managerial level – and I should note this is not in a “we all hate each other and backstab each other” environment but in a corporate culture I think generally good where this woman gets heard. It may be needless for her to do this – but though as opinionated as the next manager, she is not stupid.

    I’m not a fan of Fraser Orr’s (January 24, 2018 at 4:05 pm) suggestion of stepping on the desk and yelling. In these times of aggressive and often fictitious PC accusation, you’d be likely to be thought guilty of precisely what you accuse others, unless you can present a very strong case. We all of us tend to think that our brilliant ideas are insufficiently attended to. 🙂 I myself sometimes suspect some on this blog of not reading and rereading all my brilliant insightful posts and comments with that undivided and careful attention that my musings so obviously deserve. Perhaps if I were TO BOLDLY WRITE THEM IN BLOCK CAPITALS NONE DARED USE BEFORE. Would that be a good idea? 🙂

    Between those that are in fact giving a reasonable measure of attention in this imperfect world and those that are perhaps truly showing little respect – and so even more likely than the rest to dismiss a loud departure from politeness as just cause to show even less – I think the tactic has flaws.

    But feel free to ignore me. 🙂

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Niall, did you say something?….

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Well, I’ll be enjoying Australia Day tomorrow. Apparently it is a date to forget, as it commemorates the suppression and exploitation of Aborigines. Arthur Phillip landed in a tank, and started blowing up natives all over the place, or so it seems. The Aborigines were living a Green life, in harmony with diseases, and minimal technology, but only living until 50 or so. We came along and stopped them fighting with each other, and disapproved of men really bashing their wives in ways even Muslims would reject.
    However, they didn’t have Beer, so it was not the perfect lifestyle.

  • Mr Ed

    Nicholas, is your anthem changing to ‘Retreat Australia Foul’? I’d almost be tempted to suggest it to see who laps it up as an idea. And is the door still open to NZ to join the Federation? There are those who regard the Federation as a mistake, and you might be better with a NATO-type defensive alliance (one for all, all for one) and splitting off into separate Commonwealths. See how that suggestion goes down.

  • Paul Marks

    “No, no, no – gender is a social construct! Take these animals for sensitivity classes!”

    And if they will not go? Or ignore what is said? “Then call security or the police to MAKE them obey women” – that would be call male security or police. And it happens – for example men are removed from houses that have bought (the house being given to the wife by the courts), but this triumph for feminism depends on other men enforcing the orders of he court. Feminism, in the end, depends on male violence – otherwise why should anyone take any notice of the women in the “pussy hats” waving signs and screaming. If they had no way of ENFORCING their desires they would be ignored – but they do have a way, some men will enforce their desires for them, against other men.

    And, actually, that can be a GOOD THING. Sometimes I SUPPORT men using force against other men to support women. For example President “Teddy” Roosevelt (expressing a common view of his time – although a view that feminist university books pretend did not exist) that any man who knows of a man raising his hand to his wife should beat that man to a pulp.

    That was (and is) a Western view – no other society says that men who do not know the couple should intervene and beat up a man for hitting a women. One would not find such a view in Islam or other cultures – only in Western culture.

    Modern feminism is dominated by disguised Marxist ideas – it HATES AND DESPISES the capitalist West (seeing capitalism as a matter of “exploitation” and “oppression”) which is ironic as the capitalist West is the only society where women have real rights. Even in Latin America (or most of it) women are horribly treated – yet every feminist group supports free migration from Latin America to the United States, as if these people (or their children) are going to change their basic culture because they pass a magic line on a map.

    Do they know? Do the feminists know that by helping to destroy the capitalist West they will reduce women to slavery?

    Well the left certainly used to know – for example Alexander Korda was on the left yet his film “The Drum” (back in the days of British India) says such things as “we believe in equal rights” (for women) and the “we” are the Westerners – not the rebels (the rebel leader holds women in utter contempt). The Islamic rebels today would be presented as noble – but too many people, back then, knew what “anti colonial” movements were really like (these days even the “Mau-Mau” in Kenya are presented as noble but at the time people knew they were more savage and sadistic then any wild animals). Today in Pakistan a woman who complains about being raped is likely to be sent to prison (not the rapist – the victim) as she has admitted sexual intercourse but can not produce the male witnesses to confirm that it was rape. Or she will just be “honour” killed – a false understanding of what honour means to the Western mind, but then to hold that honour means defend the weak against any odds (at the cost of your own life – to save people you have never clapped eyes on before) is a WESTERN concept.

    However, I am sure the average “pussy hat” wearer, waving her sign and screaming “Fuck Trump” (who would be utterly terrified if President Trump then appeared and said “I agree – let us fuck”) has not got a clue that by working to destroy the capitalist West she is working to turn herself into a SLAVE.

    But the leaders of the “feminists” know – they know very well. For example, in Sweden the leaders of the left say that women will have to change the way they dress and behave.

    Why? Why do the Swedish women (and women elsewhere) have to change the way they dress and behave? Could it be that there is a rising number of non Westerners (“refugees” and so on) in Western countries and that the children of these non Westerners are just as anti Western as they are.

    One could try and warn the feminists (not the leaders, who already know, but the ordinary “pussy hat” wearers – who do NOT know), but they would not believe the warning. They would just interrupt their screams of “fuck Trump” to scream “RACIST” in your face.

    So women are going to end up enslaved – and that is a bad thing.

  • Paul Marks

    Some things may be “social constructs” (or cultural constructs) – for example concepts of chivalry and the “gentleman” – defending the weak (people he has nothing in common with) at the cost of his own life.

    This is very northern European – bound up with the stories of Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and so on) and other writers. Such ideas are unlikely to become popular in, say, Mexico (although it is NOT impossible)- and (contrary to the depiction of Saladin) would be considered a joke in Islamic culture.

    The modern left, which controls feminism and so on, hates and despises Western culture – and preaches a return to instincts away from “capitalist constructs such as private property” – a modern “intellectual” can not say the words gentleman or chivalry without a sneer.

    Rousseau argued much the same centuries before Frankfurt School Marxists – with his noble savage, who is anything but noble. And his personal conduct – such fathering children outside of marriage, and discarding the children in foundling homes (if the children were not actually killed – as some suspect they were).

    I am sure the “pussy hat” wearers would love the works of Rousseau – but they would not like the society they would produce (the French Revolution was not just against aristocrats and the church – the vast majority of the hundreds of thousands of people who were murdered were quite ordinary).

    If man return to our “natural instincts” and reject “social constructs” the results are vastly more savage and sadistic than anything baboons do.

    By the way…..

    Some Muslim migrants to Western countries do convert to Christianity – there are several trials at the moment in Germany, as some of the converts were (of course) murdered by other “refugees”.

    In Bavaria a judge removed the crucifix from the wall of his courtroom (I believe that in the National Socialist, pagan, period of German history such removals also sometimes occurred) – his reason?

    The judge did not want to offend the Islamic murderer by having a Christian symbol in the courtroom – after all the crucifix would remind the murderer of the person who had betrayed Islam (by converted) and had to be killed according to Islamic Law.

    How nice of the judge to be so “sensitive” (without even going to sensitivity classes) – I think I prefer the baboons.


  • Paul Marks

    By the way…….

    Burning synagogues is now considered, in German courts, just protesting against Israel.

    I hope the average “pussy hat” wearer would still be shocked by that (burning synagogues being held as a form of anti Israel protest by the German courts) – but the leaders of the (leftist) feminist movement would be DELIGHTED. Especially today (Holocaust Memorial day) – which is being redefined as a day of protest against capitalist oppression and discrimination. And we know who the capitalist exploiters are, do we not boys and girls………. We can tell the worst capitalist exploiters – because they have long noses and names such as “Cohen”. Karl Marx was from a Jewish family – but that did not stop him from condemning businessmen as “inwardly circumcised Jews” and taking page after page of Martin Luther’s ranting against the Jews, changing a few words (such as using the word “capitalist” rather than the word “jew”) and passing it off as his own work.

  • Jean DuBois

    Great follow up video on Peterson: