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A sex war is coming American politics is being shaped by the AWFLs

What women want. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty


November 10, 2022   5 mins

“Gas prices? They’ll go down. But sure, tell me more about how you want the government to tell me what to do with my body.” So writes one liberal feminist on Twitter, following it up with: “Republicans suck. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to hear your side. I don’t care. Y’all are bad people.”

If 21st-century politics is shaping up as class war, the American midterm elections have concretised a troubling facet of this political landscape: this class war is also a sex war.

Writing about the dynamic as a feminist is uncomfortable in the extreme because it’s difficult to do so without being accused of misogyny. This is not least because among the very online Right, there really is more than a tinge of misogyny to the term most commonly used to denote progressive-leaning Virtual women: AWFLs.

Coined by Right-wing commentator Scott Greer, AWFL stands for “affluent white female liberals”, and generally connotes not just the demographic but its perceived characteristic worldview — a mixture of progressive moral piety, self-righteousness, hypocrisy and unexamined class snobbery.

Whether or not you agree with this hostile evaluation, the AWFL class has been growing in relative power and influence for some decades. This is for wholly non-conspiratorial reasons: very simply, technological advancements have delivered new opportunities for well-qualified knowledge workers of both sexes, even as the same changes have automated and de-industrialised away the physically more arduous work previously performed mostly by working-class men. This virtualisation of work has, overall, benefited women much more than men.

Accordingly, women have seized the opportunity. American colleges have been majority-female since the late Seventies, and today, women outnumber men at undergraduate level in most colleges, with the disparity as large as 60%-40% in some elite institutions. And this has turned out a steadily compounding supermajority of knowledge-class women, which forms an increasingly heavy-hitting part of the rising Virtual elite.

The gradual extension of ever more spheres of work to relatively equal participation is, to a great extent, an effect of the transition away from physical toward knowledge work — but is routinely framed as “progress” in an abstract sense. In suggesting a more material interpretation of this change, I’m not making the opposite argument, that this represents decline. More women in public life is not in itself a bad thing, unless you really are a misogynist. But as female graduates have embraced professional life across knowledge-economy and bureaucratic roles, and their influence has compounded over time, this shift has redrawn the political map in important ways — not least by tilting visible public discourse Left, in ways that only ambivalently reflect the electorate overall.

At undergraduate level, women are especially heavily represented among arts and social sciences courses – topics so overwhelmingly progressive that only 9% of undergraduates vote Republican. These overwhelmingly Left-wing female graduates then cluster in the institutions that set and manage social and cultural norms, such as education, media, and HR. In American nonprofits, for example, 75% are female, while HR, the division of corporate life most concerned with managing the moral parameters of everyday working life, is two-thirds female.

And those progressive graduate women who aren’t busy shaping public morals via nonprofits and HR departments are busy doing so for the next generation in schools: 76% of American teachers are women. Inevitably, given that all US states require teachers to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, these are also uniformly drawn from the female demographic most likely to be very liberal.

When Meghan McCain’s husband talked about how the Democrats will soon be dominated by “millennial girlboss energy” types and described the prospect as “crazytown”, progressive firebrand Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez was strictly correct to point out that women make up less than a third of the Senate, and millennials only 7%. But this is to miss the point.

The AWFL demographic, relatively underrepresented in the Senate, is overrepresented across media, journalism, nonprofits, HR departments, academia, and school teachers. Their views can expect enthusiastic signal-boosting and institutional support from such bodies. They’re also the demographic most overwhelmingly likely to vote Democrat. No wonder their political priorities increasingly shape Democratic political platforms: their high visibility makes it easy to mistake them for the entirety of the Left.

Even the staunchly liberal New Yorker has worried recently that this constitutes a blind spot, while the far-Left Jacobin described the emphasis of New York’s Kathy Hochul on abortion rather than inflation as “girlboss politics”. Much was made of a WSJ poll last week, that suggested, albeit based on a small sample, that even white suburban women (an affluent demographic that overlaps with the derisive “AWFL” designation) were swinging against the Democrats based on economic concerns.

But results so far suggest that this swing, if it’s come at all, has been muted. And perhaps this makes sense. For the changing nature of work isn’t the only way this political bloc relies on technology for its ascendancy. For this group, it seems intuitively right to push for a world where sex differences are no longer politically important — to the extent of agreeing that a woman is anyone who identifies as such. It should come as no surprise that AWFLs are also the strongest supporters of trans rights: for this class, there are no obvious upsides to disturbing the idealist vision of men and women as interchangeable, or as a menu of body parts to be mixed and matched according to personal taste.

For knowledge-class progressive women, though, a still more central issue where tech and their interests converge is in the core material obstacle to workplace equality: the female reproductive role, including gestation, childbirth and breastfeeding. For the so-called “gender pay gap” is, in truth, a motherhood pay gap. Thus, for a chance to compete in the knowledge workplace on the same terms as men, women’s bodies also need tech support.

So such women are structurally dependent on medical interventions to keep their bodies free from the rigours and long-term obligations of pregnancy, childbirth and dependent children. In other words: for AWFLs overall, abortion really is an existential issue. And making the midterms a referendum on that issue appears to have paid off. For suburban women, and indeed the electorate overall, it seems gas prices remain some way downstream of the tech-enabled reproductive “freedom”that knowledge-class Clinton feminists routinely frame as a precondition for personhood as such.

But it remains the case that material sex differences continue to matter a great deal among (for example) manual workers, mothers, athletes and incarcerated women — just as gas prices and other material pressures can often rank higher than abstract questions of “rights” — something that becomes more pressing the further you go down the socioeconomic hierarchy. We can guess at some of the emerging tensions in news that married men and women as well as unmarried men broke Republican – but unmarried women swung the other way by a whopping 37%. These fissures are not going to go away.

For now, the coalition between Clinton feminism, Virtual class interests, and the American electorate seems to be holding up, albeit with some creaking. But for how long? For “progress”, understood as the march of technology, has losers as well as winners. And when “progress” is routinely conflated with “feminism”, you can expect groups who aren’t doing so well under its auspices to take this at face value too – and blame feminists for their suffering. I can see no possible direction for this to take save a backlash that will likely spill far beyond the class at whom it’s really directed.

A few days, ago, answering the question about women’s rights and gas prices, one young woman said: “Everything in the world has got significantly worse since we gave women the right to vote. So I honestly think we should just lower gas prices.”

Perhaps this is just one voice. But perhaps it isn’t. If, as I fear, we’re just barely into the foothills of a new class war, and with it a burgeoning sex war, we can expect a great deal more of this from those ranged against the progressives.

Plenty of us – including plenty of knowledge-class women – don’t feel much sympathy for the lawn-sign political programme. But save on the fringes, few of us have any great wish to live through a vicious misogynistic backlash either. Feminists in this uncomfortable position urgently need a new language to describe and defend women’s interests outside AWFL feminism. If we don’t find it, I worry that in due course, political polarisation really will make us choose between gas prices and women’s rights.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

If feminism had produced a wave of women working in STEM subjects and the trades, I think we would all be feminists, thanks to the massive increase in productivity this would have brought about. As it is, I’m not sure if half of the graduate jobs women fill disappeared today, the world would be significantly worse off for it.

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

But the thing is, on our watch we’ve allowed the notion that women are excluded from STEM by patriarchy and misogyny to become a mainstream view.

James Wills
James Wills
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

This is something I know something about. Long past college age, I decided to take a little sabbatical from medical practice and spent several years pursuing an undergraduate electrical engineering degree, my first love.
We were a relatively small school, and the engineering programs had done their parts to encourage female participation. Of the ten or so women students I knew, only one survived, and it was not because of “misogyny.” They were heavily supported by the staff and students; the men did what they always do: they protected and helped the women in every way possible, but the truth is that they were just not suited to the work. I spoke to several, who told me confidentially, “I just don’t care about wires and capacitors and cross-country power transmission. I try, but I just have no interest.”
Never let the AWFLs tell you that men and women are the same, or that the differences are cultural. When my driveway was under construction, my granddaughter couldn’t have cared less; my three-year-old grandson had to be physically carried to keep him from standing behind the dump trucks to see how they worked when they dumped the gravel.
Western men, themselves no great prizes, are coming to the understanding that the risk of marrying a Western women is prohibitive, and by current birth rates, it looks like the problem may just solve itself.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  James Wills

Agreed. If I was dating, I absolutely would specify “no woke women” in my dating profile.

Jason Lawhorn
Jason Lawhorn
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

A proxy for this is to not date white women.

Jim M
Jim M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason Lawhorn

Minority women would be much worse than whites in terms of wokeness. Plus, the non-white women would be most likely to hate whites than white women hating their own race.

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim M

In my experience, most women I’ve met whom you’d classify as “minority” are socially conservative. Including my wife.
The only “woke” people I’ve met are white and middle class or those who aspire to be middle class.
Is your comment based on actually meeting people or just an opinion based on a feeling?

Bonnie Jackson
Bonnie Jackson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason Lawhorn

Please do not lump us rural white women who love and support our hardworking blue collar husbands like there’s no tomorrow and who work hard at limiting the influence of the AWFLs on our children ( up to and including sacrificing career goals for the more important job of raising our children and even home educating if necessary ) with these progressive blue haired selfish fiends who would much rather murder (call abortion what it is) their own children than to make the sacrifice required to love and raise one. Since they prefer not to procreate then the issue should be self limiting as long as the rest of us recognize and protect our children and grandchildren from their toxic progressive nonsense that seeks to destroy the nuclear family.

Z 0
Z 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Bonnie Jackson

Neo-progressives are not raising their own children at self-sustaining rates, they count on converting the children of other political sectors.
Home schooling is just not a viable option for many families. The Schools of Education on campus were one of the first and continue to be one of the largest to succumb to the new ideology, producing an enormous cohort of woke K12 teachers, who speak of their students as ‘their kids’ and often see it as their sacred mission to imbue those kids with an enlightened socio-political worldview (ie: their own).
All this has more to do with hubris than with ill will; the converts truly believe they are doing a massively good thing; they are not trying to cause harm. There is an invasive ideology which hijacks good intentions to sustain itself, just as some of it’s advance guard (K12 teachers) wants with the best of intentions to hijack the children’s minds.
I don’t know how it will turn out; whether the internal contradictions within neo-progressivism or external forces will cause it to collapse before or after it succeeds in undermining other worldviews.
If your local public schools have been too deeply infected, I respect your resolve to home school, but I know that’s a real burden for many (albeit also rewarding).

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I share your antipathy for all things “woke” and of course everyone does what he thinks his best–but as a practical matter that slogan would almost certainly drastically lower your number of matches.

Young men are advised to leave political and religious affiliation out of their dating profiles. “Spiritual” for religious affiliation and “liberal” for politics are really the only advisable options, if you must put something.

A woman will almost certainly have a more moderate reaction to a challenge to her supposed wokeness in person, while on a date, as opposed to while browsing dating profiles, when she is likely to be dismissive.

So many young women are “woke in the streets, gender roles in the sheets.” They will find they have trouble desiring an HR-approved goody-two-shoes who can’t stand up to their own silly nonsense.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Neither sex would choose a woke mate as they wouldn’t allow the stereotypical nonsense which can be so sexy and self serving.

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago
Reply to  James Wills

This reminds me of a lesson I learned as a 14 year old when a girl I was infatuated with came to visit.
In a bid to impress her I showed her my model aircraft, flicking the propeller in her presence and remarking that the “engine’s power to weight ratio was extraordinary, perhaps equivalent to that of an ant.”
Instead of taking her clothes off she she went and sat down on the closest chair, picked up an ornament from the table, and said, “did you hear that Kim and Adam broke up?”
My stomach spontaneously turned as I realised I had nothing in common with her and probably, nothing in common with every other woman ever born.

Last edited 1 year ago by hayden eastwood
Ruth Ross
Ruth Ross
1 year ago

That is hilarious. Thanks for my first laugh of the day!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Maybe the design of the propeller was wonky..she was just protecting you!

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

She was disappointed you didn’t specify exactly what type of ant.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

Lovely story

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
1 year ago

Brilliant.

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago

lol. I consider myself indicted here. I went over to flirt with the cute boy from the other school in sixth grade. He went on and on about neurons. I shrunk away. He went to college early and did end up a neurosurgeon. Surely he is very well off and has a family with a woman with better intellectual tracking capacity than I have.

Malvin Marombedza
Malvin Marombedza
1 year ago

You were totally clueless back then. That’s the funniest thing I have read today.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  James Wills

You’ve encountered a physical manifestation of what Charles Murray calls “The Bell Curve”. Women and men have the same average intelligence, but Murray believes (with data to back it up) that women are slightly more clustered around the median while men have, in statistical parlance, “long tails”. That means that there are more really smart (and really stupid) men than a traditional “bell curve” distribution would give you, and at the very high and low ends, the ratio between men an women gets really skewed.

What this means is that at the high end of intellectually rigorous fields like math and engineering, there are vastly more qualified men than women. It also means there are vastly more male Epsion-minus semi-morons than female ones, but no one is ever upset about that.

Your experience is an anecdotal confirmation of Murray’s theory.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago

While what you say is politically well-received and convenient, the question of whether men and women have equal intelligence is debatable. There is a case that men continuing to gain intelligence into their twenties in a way that women do not.
What is not really debatable is that women tend to have a much smaller appetite for abstraction (MH most gloriously excepted of course). They rush to anecdote and are bored by principles.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

There is some research peer -reviewed and replicated that suggests that male IQ is in fact on average slightly higher. While I don’t think it means much, I like to use this to help me teach mean and standard deviation for the normal distribution in my statistics course

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Hence the 20-something woman saying “Republicans suck. I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to hear your side. I don’t care. Y’all are bad people.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Delszsen
Z 0
Z 0
1 year ago

“That means that there are more really smart (and really stupid) men than a traditional “bell curve” distribution would give you”
You have the gist correct, but to clear up a minor detail of terminology…
A Bell curve (otherwise known as a “normal distribution”) has both a median and a standard deviation – which has to do with how tall and narrow versus short and wide it is. Women and men both follow “traditional Bell curves”, with both having a similar median but with men having a slightly higher standard deviation. This makes very little difference, except at the extremes, where it can produce higher ratios for men vs women in both tails – as you correctly understand. In everyday life, for 99% of us, it doesn’t really matter. But among rarified geniuses, it does skew the stats. (On the other extreme as well, but they have less impact on human history).
And this difference has been observed in regard to multiple traits, and in multiple species, it’s not unique to IQ or to humans. Maybe evolution can afford to experiment a bit more with relatively disposable males (among other theories).

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  James Wills

However, there is a funny story, I think from Australia where a couple with a young daughter lived next to a house where there was a lot of building work. She was fascinated and the men made a pet of her and had her doing little bits of work and even paid her at the end of the week.
After a while her parents asked her how the work was going and she replied “it will be fine when we get the f@cking bricks”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonathan Andrews
Philip May
Philip May
1 year ago

That slayed me. Thanks for the first big laugh of the day!

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  James Wills

Well boohoo for all the men posting here… All women are asking for is that all human beings (a species to which they belong!) be treated with the respect and justice they deserve. Time you boys looked out for each other. We women do NOT and will NOT take responsibility for massaging your fragile egos. Thank the Goddess for the numerous men who understand this.

Z 0
Z 0
1 year ago

I think you might be projecting a need for ego reassurance. You are equally welcome to express yourself, and you will receive in turn the respect you earn.

Damian Schloming
Damian Schloming
1 year ago
Reply to  James Wills

Think about it this way. AWFL’s usually are working in jobs that are part of the economy that is relatively superfluous. Largely because we are an empire relying on cheap labor from places like China to take care of our tangible needs, most of the USA population can be employed doing a lot of fluff. Which is kind of like glorified welfare masquerading as work and not real jobs.
AWFL’s are the types of women who get most of those jobs. But this is political. They have to have a chip on their shoulder because society is so flawed, and they are being employed to point it out and fix it. Or they are being paid to be negative, to whine that women are victims — and then the police can engage in mass incarceration of “toxically masculine” black men en masse, for instance. Something which, in and of itself, creates tons of jobs for white women.
Do remember, Hitler had a problem with Jews — and then they were all rounded up and used as slave labor for Germany’s war machine. They had to be bad mouthed first by whiney people before that could be justified. A similar victim mentality now prevails among AWFL’s. Even this article, while acknowledging that the USA has a “woman problem,” seems to deem any mention of it or backlash against it to be “misogyny.” As if it doesn’t matter how much some women have gone wrong in ways to provoke it. It’s misogyny and unacceptable anyway.
Women can do anything, no matter how bad, and it’s always the reaction people have to it that is the problem, while women remain untouchable.
The underlying problem is economic, though. White women have been given economic privileges in this economy that are predicated on encouraging their negativity. They are paid to be bad. By a rigged economic system.
The problem is, they are not actually doing anything useful for anybody but are, instead, being paid to be troublemakers. I think the part of the economy that is paying them to be this way is going to eventually collapse, and leave them high and dry. And they will start needing everyone they alienated. Such is arrogance.

David Yetter
David Yetter
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

That view is, of course, provably absurd. In the States, at least the NSF and various research institutes have been going to a lot of bother to induce women to got into STEM and give extra support to whose who do, and yet, their numbers lag. Were we really interested in “equity” we’d be going to similar effort to induce men to go into the social and behavioral sciences, but psychology, education, sociology,… have become increasingly female preserves, all of which basically validates the view that career choice reflects the sexual dimorphism of attitudes reflected in the saying “women are more interested in people, men are more interested in things.”

Bonnie Jackson
Bonnie Jackson
1 year ago
Reply to  David Yetter

What? In simplified terms you mean that men prefer to “fix” “stuff” and women prefer to nurture and care for people? Maybe that’s why we’ve always had more male mechanics than nurses and preschool teachers. Why can’t the world just accept that both genders have their strengths and let them each go into the fields of choice?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Bonnie Jackson

What I see s being the only important thing is that no woman should be discouraged from becoming an engineer and neither should any man be discouraged from being a primary school teacher simply because of their sex. That’s cruel and stupid.
Equally stupid is the idea that there should be particular percentages of people of particular types working in any particular job.

Z 0
Z 0
1 year ago

You nailed it. A lot of what has been retronymically termed “second wave feminism” was about liberating individuals from confining “socially constructed” gender roles. I still continue to strongly support that.
Today, a large part of neo-progressive feminism is about trying to force people to conform to a new set of coercive ideals – like 51/49% ratios in every field. (Actually, only in politically selected fields).
There is a substantial reversal in the degree of respect for facilitating individual choices and preferences.
I 100% support individuals being free to pursue their interests to the best of their abilities, free from both traditional gender role expections and from Procrustean ideologues.

Konstantinos Stavropoulos
Konstantinos Stavropoulos
1 year ago
Reply to  Bonnie Jackson

Maybe because we live in times where caring is not considered something good, nor a clever thing to do, wich in the end presents a new form patriarchy with women being good at being men.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

What? A world without Assistant Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Managers? Are you mad?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Feminism is DEAD – these women never defended their femaleness is the wake of Transgenderism. It’s dead. It’s gone. Let’s call it ‘BossGirlism’ going forward. Being a ‘BG’; using ‘BGism’ – sounds good to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Mark Kerridge
Mark Kerridge
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

While reading the article I couldn’t help but wonder to what extent women might be overrepresented in what David Graeber identified as “Bullshit Jobs” in his book of the same name.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Kerridge

I read that book, and I don’t think he ever analyzed it. That’s a great question.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

I should read it but the title would seem to tell all

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago

I wish I could remember where I read this (maybe Unheard?) but it was an article about the same thing, although more politely called “unproductive jobs”. But it did talk about overrepresentation of females in those roles.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

“As it is, I’m not sure if half of the graduate jobs women fill disappeared today, the world would be significantly worse off for it.”

Perhaps this is a euphemism on your part, but I am convinced that things would improve considerably and very noticeably if these roles were eliminated. They usually just make everything slower and more expensive.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Replacing upper-middle-class men with upper-middle-class women isn’t really feminism.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN KANEFSKY

Replacing working class men with woking class women certainly isn’t feminism.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Yes it is. Feminism is about replacing men with women. Always has been, always will be.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

My favourite placards at the feminist rallies are those that say words to the effect of “I need gender studies because there aren’t enough women in STEM.”

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

The same could be said of half of all jobs. And that’s not a bad thing.
A certain amount of inefficiency helps to provide meaningful and necessary employment to many people, graduate or not, STEM oriented or not. This might drive the economists (once known as “bean counters) completely crazy but it’s part of the price of civilization.
But I must agree in one way; too much advocacy from too many non-profits is distorting our understanding of the civilization we have.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

However we seem to have a deficit of jobs for the non-college educated and a glut of make-work positions for the university graduates.
When it takes two people with college degrees to raise a couple of kids, I’m not sure you can call that an improvement to civilization.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Villanueva
Jim Davis
Jim Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell
Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

A few years ago I did an Open University degree in Maths and Physics. On one of the online forums hosted by the OU Students Union a woman tutor and academic posed a question. She said that not only did fewer women applied for STEM courses but those that did performed less well than their male counterparts. The question was why and what could be done about it and indeed should we worry about it at all. There was a very lively and good natured debate right up to the point when someone said some thing along the lines of “This is all very well but we shouldn’t be talking about male and female we should be talking about gender since obviously some men can identify as female”. I had no idea what she was talking about and that was my first contact with the trans issue.

David Harris
David Harris
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

And we still have no idea what they are talking about.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

“Manboss” rhetoric really is no better than its putative alternative

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

It is staggering that the AWFLs have so little interest in the technology that freed them from pregnancy and childbirth to the point that they have such contempt for the people who do provide the technology.

J Bingham
J Bingham
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Many women are deprived a meaningful private life (due to weird cultural shifts and a society that encourage men not to grow up) and end up acting out, in the public forum, their most basic impulses to nest. And all hell breaks loose. 

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bingham

I do see the nurturing instinct as a plausible explanation of the safety obsessed turn politics have taken post women’s liberation.

Z 0
Z 0
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bingham

Could you elaborate? It’s an intriguing lead.

Marcel 0
Marcel 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Z 0

Just ask any 20- or 30-something single woman. Women can’t settle down because an overwhelming majority of men act like forever children, with no life goals or plans, content to float through life seemingly unaware of their inevitable mortality.
Attempting to date these men involves hopefully/pointlessly waiting around for them to one day decide to get on with adulthood and settle down, cajoling them into it by tempting them with fantasy marriages (aka, moving in together with no endgame). All while wondering, should I give this one a little more time – or jump ship and try finding someone else before my biological clock runs out? Problem is, the next one will likely have the same problem.
Faced with this frustrating reality, it’s no wonder many women redirect their energy toward their careers, where there’s a clearer relationship between effort and reward. When women have no personal outlet for their nurturing instinct, the result is woke politics and DEI initiatives.

Marcel 0
Marcel 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Z 0

x

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcel 0
DildoBaggins
DildoBaggins
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Feminism sucks

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

The “______ Studies” majors with the “basket weaving” degrees did get high paying jobs, after all.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Twitter takeover by Elon Musk gives a very brilliant example of how you can remove half of a company’s office workers without any loss in service.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

“progressive moral piety, self-righteousness, hypocrisy and unexamined class snobbery” – yes, but don’t forget self pity. Upper middle class white women genuinely believe they are the great victims of history.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

And ‘narcissism’.

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Sanctimony to the nth degree.

J D
J D
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

That was exactly my thought when I read that sentence.

White, affluent, privately educated female Oxbridge graduates in the 21st century are amongst a miniscule fraction of the most privileged human beings ever to have lived. And yet an alarming number of them are feminists who see themselves as disadvantaged victims.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  J D

AWFUL indeed

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

Another great Mary article, especially her very last comment: “I worry that political polarisation really will make us choose between gas prices and women’s rights.”
The problem is much bigger than just women. It’s legitimately uncertain whether a liberal (in the Enlightenment sense) society can be sustained. Patrick Deneen thinks they eat themselves, and the last 60 years provide very little counter evidence. Christianity held liberal America together for 2 centuries, but we’ve run that down. I hate to say it, but historically, the only thing other than religion that can command that kind of allegiance is ethno-nationalism.
To those of you liberals who thought the Christian right was racist and misogynistic, just wait until you meet his brother… the non-Christian Right.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Villanueva
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I dispute the term knowledge based progressive. I prefer indoctrinated retrograde: think the Cathy Newman and Jordan Peterson interview. When I read about women who are too busy doing ‘important’ things to give birth, or don’t want to ‘ruin’ their bodies, so use a surrogate, and actresses who have become too successful to do their own sex scenes, instead use body doubles, I think Handmaid’s Tale. I think hypocrisy. It’s very easy to believe you are a moral campaigner when you benefit from the campaign. To call yourself progressive when you are dragging society in the direction you want it to go.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“indoctrinated retrograde”

An excellent expression if I may so!
May I have your permission to ‘plunder’ it?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Absolutely.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago

And me as well?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

#MeToo

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I know. The hijacking of language.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago

Very nice! Indoctrinated retrograde! These people have made a farce of the word progressive, as nothing about what they are doing is progressive and/or liberal. They elevate themselves by downgrading others — often even other women whom they perceive as lower-status, less enlightened and thus, less worthy or even worthless.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Agreed. You can never really raise yourself up by putting others down, though it may appear to be possible. Appearances often differ substantially from reality.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I am actually rather surprised to have received such a positive response. I was anticipating an avalanche of downvotes. I strongly suspect I have been classified as controversial by Unherd censors. If I make a comment, it always takes a while to appear – not if it’s a reply. Today I waited about 45 minutes and the comment still hadn’t appeared. I emailed Unherd and asked why my comment was being censored and about 5 minutes later it appeared. I have a lot more to say and it is all connected to previous comments which is much more controversial, I will eventually include it all. I think many will consider it a personal attack but really it is just using someone as an example and I think if you make certain aspects of your life public then that is to be expected but then there is the current trend of claiming to be a member of a protected group and any comment which could question the ideology of an individual within a protected group is verboten.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Join the club!
I’m on about my seventh ‘resurrection’ with UnHerd due to annoying the Censors, although things have markedly improved in recent months, it must be said.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

One of my replies kept appearing and then disappearing. I guess it was flagged, censored and then uncensored repeatedly. I wish I could remember which reply it was. I had obviously stated what for some of the Unherd readership should never be stated.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Just copied this as it seems rather pertinent to the discussion:
The master and senior tutor of Gonville & Caius College blocked Arif Ahmed, a Caius fellow and philosophy professor, from using the College intranet to publicise an interview with controversial gender critical feminist Helen Joyce, leaked a email shows.
The message was sent from Ahmed to colleagues who he believed might support the Joyce event, encouraging them to pass on the details of the talk to any of their students who might be interested.
In it, he explains that he is making that request because the master and senior tutor barred him from putting the details on the Venn (the College intranet system) because “further publicity will only inflame already heightened tensions in College”.
To teach a single point of view and block alternate views is to indoctrinate – not to educate.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

Too many of these ‘knowledge jobs’ are simply a product of academic, corporate and bureaucratic empire building and contribute little or nothing to the real economy.

We need to de-stigmatise motherhood.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

The Roman Emperor Augustus enacted the ‘Ius trium liberorum’ to encourage woman to have three children. They were suitably rewarded for doing so by various financial/inheritance incentives.

Perhaps ‘we’ should try something similar?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Look who Elon Musk, Chief Twit at Twitter, fired first- the DEI consultants and ‘soft jobs’. He held onto ‘coders’….’just talked to my daughter in NYC – her friends are starting to get laid off. She’s upset, they’re upset…it’s going to be an interesting winter….

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Correct. We are not addressing the Left’s assault on motherhood. Any woman arguing in favour of it is denounced as a reactionary Stepford Wife. But these ranting so called liberal feminists who wailed about the terrible fate of the black male George Floyd still turn their backs and ignore their 250 and counting murdered Iranian sisters being agot and beaten to death by a genuine Handmaiden Society. They display quite sickening hypocrisy and moral cowardice. They fear and bow to the violence of Islamists, their minds addled by the anti discriminatory mental mania and groupthink.

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago

Excellent piece.
The average Victorian gentleman, and indeed Queen Victoria herself, believed that if women were allowed to vote then politics would become hysterical and irrational, constantly upended in its goals by excessive moralising and strong feelings. Their intuitions weren’t entirely wrong but they were obviously wrong to oppose women’s full participation in public life.
But unsurprisingly women don’t only want to do politics, they want to do politics somewhat differently to the way men do it. There’s an increasingly large open goal waiting for someone ‘brave’ enough to score easy points saying that everything that goes wrong will be women’s fault.

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

This is an interesting point. I was contemplating the other day that modern woke phenomena may, in effect, be a kind of toxic femininity – an endpoint in which the worst components of female aggression run unrestrained.
The practice of “cancelling”, for example, strikes me as a largely female behaviour in which reputational destruction is achieved through mass action of a high status group over a lower status one.
Such behaviour is almost indistinguishable from the kind of playground politics I heard girls complain about when I was at school.

Last edited 1 year ago by hayden eastwood
Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago

Food for thought.
Arguably the most interesting part of MH’s article is the implication that Politics will increasingly be done by people who don’t even bother to become politicians of any kind. Because why would you bother? We’re entering an age of leaders who are in office but not in power, and the kinds of people who would have previously been good leaders will be somewhere else entirely, maybe taking early retirement and keeping their heads down.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

The women in the room laugh the hardest at this joke:
If a tree falls in a wood and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? (Most people say yes)
Is a gree leaf still green in the absence of light? (Most people say yes)
If a man makes a statement and his wife isn’t there to hear it, is he still wrong?
(You could also use the punch line question: If a man does a thing and his wife isn’t there to see it, did he still do it wrong?)

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

I get the joke but if you want world class feedback about what a useless idiot you are then you need a teenage daughter. Your wife may show you some mercy.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon James
tom carson
tom carson
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

Brilliant and so true

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago

I have shied away from describing myself as a feminist for quite a long time now. Why? It’s not because I don’t believe in the fundamental equality and rights for the two sexes, but because I feel the term has become laden with “progressive” and highly controversial ballast: The entire left-of-centre ideology, the support of the trans movement, the vile hatred towards men, etc. I want nothing to do with it as my personal beliefs, social norms, and values are at the exact opposite end of the spectrum.
I do not see any of this as progressive, including the dissolution of physical, sex-based boundaries and the reduction of women to commodities that can be emulated through medication and surgery. I happen to be a white affluent woman, and well educated, too, but I simply cannot identify with this group at all, because they are in effect harming girls/women and women’s rights. Allowing men who claim to feel like women into our spaces does not help women; it undermines our safety and the progress we have made. Perhaps it’s simply a classic case of the revolution eating its children, but we are just at the beginning of that process, and things will get much worse before anything improves. Yes, it will be a fight for survival, and I think that’s what the author means with her metaphor of petrol prices and women’s rights, but it won’t be limited to just that.

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

I’ve long since lost my understanding of what feminism is … maybe the concept has been hijacked along the way.
It seemed perfectly obvious what feminism was when you where campaigning for the vote, likewise when campaigning for equal pay for equal work.
Now those objectives have largely been met in the western world feminism seems to have become the extreme rump of the movement – hijacking the moral high ground of its former self.
And now ironically it appears to be campaigning to erase the very idea of women

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Yes, indeed. That describes my attitude towards feminism as well. The modern feminist movement has lost any common ground with those original suffragettes who wanted the right to vote, the right to participate in higher education and to be employed. Later on, the daughters and granddaughters of these women wanted equal pay for equal work. All of that, I support. I don’t support female quota assignments of unqualified individuals, which are simply based on sex and not much else. I do not agree with giving women preferential treatment to make up for past injustices. I was never disadvantaged as a woman, and although my grandmother may have been (I cannot ask her anymore), this does not entitle me or my daughter to special considerations. I want to be evaluated and chosen based on my skills.
I think most rational women understand very well that we have achieved our goals in the Western world, and the ones that keep campaigning for ever more bizarre and obscure goals are indeed an extreme fringe that has hijacked public discourse and is getting lots of attention. That somewhat flies in the face of what the author states, particularly that it’s the sheer number of women who are in the workforce and who are pushing certain trends, but we only hear from a small portion that is very loud and very good at self-promotion.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

What you say, Katja, makes perfect sense. And I appreciate your acknowledgment of the “vile hatred towards me.” Thank you for that, because misandry is a characteristic feature of ideological feminism. Next time, though, I hope that you’ll follow up on that important thought. The rest of your comment is about the rights of girls and women, after all, not those of boys and men. Like women, for example, men are routinely reduced to commodities, weapons or other machines, money and so on.
If we’re to avoid a sex war–although I think that one has already begun–both sexes must cultivate sympathy and empathy for their counterparts. Ideally, feminism would morph into a movement that focuses attention on the distinctive needs and problems of both sexes. Sexual equality would refer routinely to both women and men. The result would transcend government legislation and institutional policy to encompass mutual respect and interdependence. That would be possible, however, only if each sex can establish its own healthy collective identity. And that won’t be easy to do as long as the most influential (or intimidating) people insist against all evidence to the contrary that men and women are identical and therefore interchangeable. It doesn’t matter of that identity emerges from history or from innovation as long as it is distinctive, necessary and publicly valued.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Paul, I absolutely agree with you. I apologise for not taking the time to further expand on my severe dislike for misandry. I am a very busy woman, and I cannot always indulge in the things I would like to do.
I have never begrudged boys and men their own spaces. I am a proponent of single-sex education, although I don’t object to coeducational organisations either, and I do not approve the reduction of men to stereotypes either. As a matter of fact, I find it harmful to reduce people to stereotypes, and that’s exactly what these women are doing. Men can be compassionate and show emotions, women can be logical, boys can enjoys dolls, like reading books, girls can be outdoorsy, love football and even be good at maths. None of that takes away from who and what we are; it doesn’t make us less in any way. Men and women are not identical, we complement and in many ways complete each other, but we are also not walking stereotypes and exceptions don’t always prove the rule.
It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the trans movement, which claims to dismantle gender stereotypes actually not just enforces them, but turns them into caricatures.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

The real danger to women comes not from men who feel like women, but men who feel like predatory males but enact a performative entry into previously women-only spaces.

This is only possible through transgender fanaticism, of course.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes and no. I agree with you because the underlying transgender ideology is indeed very dangerous and based on fanaticism. It bears all the hallmarks of a cult. There is good reason to believe that it is connected to or even originates from fetish pornography. Even more disturbing is the social contagion effect especially amongst young girls. I have read that there has been a 700-800% increase in the number of girls who suddenly identify as boys! When it comes to adults, the numbers are the other way around, which leads me to believe that a majority of men who suddenly proclaim themselves to be women either fall into the predatory or very disturbed category. And that’s why I also disagree with you. Even those who just claim to feel like women or men, I view with suspicion. How can somebody who is not in a male or female body even know what the other sex feels like? Is that not a form of appropriation? At best, it’s based on second-hand observation; at worst, it’s a delusion that society shouldn’t encourage.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

I agree with that, and my point wasn’t intended to downplay the overall threat you describe, simply the very real and present danger of performative transgenderism.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

My apologies, then I simply misunderstood.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Yes, but I think that several phenomena are generally assumed to be the one now called “transgenderism.” I can think of at least five, each of which might or might not be related to the others: (a) men (that is, “trans women”), who masquerade as women for predatory purposes; (b) men (also trans women) who want desperately to be women but not to molest anyone; (c) men who like to wear women’s clothing, once called “transvestites,” but who are nonetheless straight; (d) teenage girls, many of of them autistic, who convince themselves in the context of cultural contagion that they are really boys; and (e) young boys, many of them incipiently gay, who suffer from what psychologists, psychiatrists or their own parents prefer to call “gender dysphoria.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

‘ There is good reason to believe that it is connected to or even originates from fetish pornography.’

There is a trans writer – Andrea Long Chu – who admits that this was how he ended up deciding he was a woman.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Absolutely correct IMO.
… the reduction of women to commodities that can be emulated through medication and surgery.
There is a kind of similar process at work in the film industry, though operating in the opposite direction. That is, male behaviours being commodified and emulated by female protagonists. An example is the Galadriel character in Rings of Power, sitting forward with her legs apart in a stereotypical male pose.
I have been listening to and reading Janice Fiamengo’s work regarding the origins of the feminist movement in the Women’s Movement of the early 19th century. She maintains the man hatred was present from the movement’s inception.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

I’m in your camp. And I’ll go further…I actually try to avoid liberal or Democrat women. The neurosis level is just too high. Too much drama.

Ruth Ross
Ruth Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

I believe your comments describe how a (silent?) majority of women think and identify themselves. Left-of-center Regressive women baffle me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ruth Ross
Andre Lower
Andre Lower
1 year ago
Reply to  Ruth Ross

Big point there, Ruth – silent. Deafeningly silent.

David Yetter
David Yetter
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Perhaps some of us should adopt the name Wollstonecraft-feminists, to make clear a commitment to equal rights for women, but grounded in classical liberalism, rather than in “progressivism”.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  David Yetter

I like that! Wollstonecraft-feminists! It really does have a nice ring to it.

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  David Yetter

I have often described myself as a first wave feminist. I abhor Marxism and don’t hate men, I just don’t want to own my own body and not have legal limitations based on my sex.

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
1 year ago
Reply to  Ali W

You mean, I assume, that you DO want to own your own body.

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Indeed, I must have reworded only part of the last sentence.

NK von S.
NK von S.
1 year ago

Brilliant. I do very much fear that when the looming backlash to the worst abuses of trans activism is in full gear, it is not going to stop with bathroom bills. And no one is going to remember that some feminists first and most urgently sounded the alarm about the erosion of sex-based rights.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  NK von S.

Those feminists that have been sounding the alarm have been viciously attacked and silenced. Many of them are traditional feminists, and I have no problem identifying myself with this group, but the vast majority for what publicly passes as feminist today, does not have society’s best interests at heart. Their sole objective appears to be outright social division.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Perhaps social revolution?

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  NK von S.

The feminists who sounded the alarm are the ones who enabled transgenderism anyway.

1) attack masculinity through constant psychological warfare in culture and media = men feeling bad about being men

2) hold that genders are social constructs and that biological differences are minimal

3) hold that womanhood is obtained through a social process rather than through biological inheritance

4) weaken families through divorce laws and replace the Patriarch with Big Daddy Business and Big Daddy Government. Means millions of boys with no male influence.

Bingo. All it took was for big pharma to saddle up and all of a sudden I see a transgender MTF every time I go to a British city now.

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago

Interesting article but I do not hold with ideas about “vicious misogynistic ” backlashes, that is just feminist paranoia, and depends on the delusion that men are the enemy, it is nonsense.

As resources become increasingly difficult to acquire, OUR – men’s and women’s, need for them may supercede ‘rights’ (of whatever kind) to some extent. We will have to wait and see.

Each sex trying to understand the opposite sex, and maintaining sympathy with each other, will help us negotiate the future together more fruitfully that’s for sure.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

The obscenely stupid thing about any accusations of misogyny in this context is that the women forming this subset of feminists apparently are some of the strongest supporters of gender ideology, which has at it’s base the most obvious and genuine example of misogyny that still exists in modern times.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Your last line makes no sense unless you replace “misogyny” with “misandry,” (or “sexism”) because misandry is precisely what produces the gender ideology of our time.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

You may well be right that gender ideology is also based on misandry, but my point does make perfect sense: gender activists do often come in the form of woman-hating males who simply want to attack what they see as feminine privilege.

I do not say this, by the way, as any sort of feminist – I am quite emphatically no such thing. But even a chauvinist like me can readily perceive that any man who supports the right of another man wearing a dress to wave his d**k around in the ladies changing room, is probably only doing so out of a hatred of women.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Sorry, John, I misread your comment. By “gender ideology,” you mean trans gender ideology. Yes, that does indeed make sense. And the context should have made that obvious to me. When I saw the word “gender,” I thought immediately of feminism, which has insisted for half a century on the centrality of gender as a “social construct” that men created in order to oppress women–which is why “gender feminism” came to mean radical feminism (what I call ideological feminism).

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I am glad we are in agreement. The only point I’d raise is that gender ideology and transgender ideology are effectively the same thing, and what proves this is the shocking experience of those women now labelled terfs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) who were unceremoniously booted out of respectable left-wing society for daring to refuse to move over and make room on the sisterhood’s high table for some blokes who thought that lipstick, a dress and a sense of existential grievance qualified themselves as female.

It is tempting, of course, to let the Left eat itself all over again, but this time it’s not funny, it’s actually dangerous, so we can’t.

Galvatron Stephens
Galvatron Stephens
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

No. We should laugh. The transgender thing is feminists’ fault anyway. They were the ones who said “one is not made but becomes a woman”. Now they are demanding that we all recognise women are “made” by chromosomes. If the “personal is political, as feminists claimed, then why can’t men be women? Many transgenders are more feminine than the females nowadays.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

I agree completely. I like men, I like working and socialising with men, and I will not voluntarily involve myself in the real or imaginary battles of these deluded females. However, I think the author’s juxtaposition addresses exactly what you are describing: an existential fight for resources and ultimately survival. At least that’s how I interpreted her statement that we may have to choose between petrol/energy prices and women’s rights.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

….also a U for “urban” liberals surely?

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

While it would complete the acrostic nicely, suburban white women are a larger part of the demographic.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

… Mary has been building towards this Opinion piece since Christmas last year. Its heartening seeing her opening this issue up so bravely.
I suspect though, that imminent AI technology is going to terminally disrupt the knowledge work that has come to be dominated by women. As Matthew Powell’s comment below indicates, much of corporate and public sector bureaucratic and professional advisory functions do more to constrain than promote productivity, which has stalled alarmingly in the developed country economies.
Compressed mega data consumer level software is now on the horizon, which can enable any of us to write essays, compose music, and produce video, by simple short voice instructions to, say, write a fully researched fact supported opinion on topic x, in the style of Mary Harrington. (We won’t be able to tell the difference.) The positive implications for vastly more effective teaching and learning, health care administration, and corporate management, are truly of epic proportions.
Emad Mostaque’s Stable Diffusion AI products are to be open source. (God help us all if the proprietary tech companies capture the market however.)

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Robert Malone has a piece about exactly this on Substack today.
Malone comes across as a mild conspiracy nut sometimes, but he (and you) are correct that in the new world of AI and algorithms, the true elites have far less use for Virtuals than for Physicals.
Even the elites that live in the Metaverse need houses to live in, toilets unclogged, roof leaks repaired, food grown and delivered, etc…
Virtuals drive 1’s and 0-s around. Physicals drive trucks around. One of these things is far more susceptible to automation than the other.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

…zigackly. The employee/contractor unions of the future could well have a rebirth, worlds away from both old, new and Corbynist Labour.

David Sharples
David Sharples
1 year ago

Women especially (beta males too), are easily swayed by emotion. Fear is the ultimate persuasive emotion. Democrats just used fear (the republicans are nazi, end of democracy) to sway a midterm election that should have been a referendum on the economy and Biden’s performance.

Of course the Republicans stupidly played right into that by not presenting a clear concise game plan.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  David Sharples

I object. I am a woman, but I am not easily swayed by emotion at all. I lead an organisation, and my work is guided by logic, knowledge of the subject matter, and a healthy dose of common sense and pragmatism. Of course, I have also been accused of having a “male brain,” which is utter rubbish as there is no such thing as a male or female brain, just as there is no male or female liver.

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

“there is no such thing as a male or female brain . . ”
You are mistaken. Hormones profoundly affect the brain, males and females produce hormones in very different quantities and at different times, they flood the brain from adolescence onwards, this is basic human biology.
https://brainfacts.org

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/28/8/2959/4996558

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

Perhaps this might be more illuminating;
We wholly agree that a strict dichotomy between male/female brains does not exist, but this does not diminish or negate the importance of considering statistical differences between the sexes (e.g., including sex as a covariate in morphometric analyses).
and
… two requirements for categorizing brains into distinct male/female classes: (i) gender differences should appear as dimorphic form differences between male and female brains, and (ii) there should be internal consistency in the degree of “maleness–femaleness” of different elements within a single brain. […] The failure of the brain to meet these two requirements does not mean that “human brains cannot be categorized into two distinct classes: male brain/female brain.” In fact, an individual’s biological sex can be classified with extremely high accuracy by considering the brain mosaic as a whole.
https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1523888113

Last edited 1 year ago by michael stanwick
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Yes, good points. Perhaps the comment would have been more accepting if it were referencing data that weighted toward their point and such that their conclusion was an ‘on average’ contention that was acknowledging variability in the data?
IIRC, there are sex differences in kidney physiology. Not sure of the liver though. But even then, a liver/brain comparison is inappropriate for obvious physiological reasons.

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago

Like the brain the liver is also distinctively male or female once puberty is reached.
https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2966313/
https://sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031017072805.htm

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

Fascinating – I had no idea.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christian Moon
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

I imagine it’s a lot more than just the brain and the liver.

The brain is just another part of the body, and because we tend to privilege the brain we often forget that.

If you have a male body by definition you have a male brain. It may be shaped in different ways due to genetics and hormones to be more or less stereotypically male, especially with the hormone rush at puberty, but in a way that is in keeping with the overall sex of the body.

The idea that human brains are not affected by the various sex hormones is a kind of ‘liberal creationism’ – sexed bodies built by evolution, but the brain is a special miracle that is identical in both sexes and equal in every way.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Claire D

Excellent. I’ll have to modify my perspective accordingly.

Rick Hinten
Rick Hinten
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

If you are not easily swayed by emotion, you are a rarity. Also, as others have said, male and female brains are known scientifically to be quite different.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Typical … you are utterly wrong … and you don’t know it.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Let’s have some “mansplaining” yeah?

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

It depends on the meaning “thing” as in … no such thing as a male or female brain.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  David Sharples

On average, women are more neurotic aka emotional than men. It’s been observed and measured in numerous studies. There’s just about nothing that can be done to tame that characteristic, EXCEPT perhaps ‘marriage’. But many of these women are making themselves very unattractive to men by their unyielding political stances. Do note, that uber-liberal Giselle Bunchen strongly clashed with more conservative Footballer Tom Brady. I doubt that was the cause of their divorce, but I wouldn’t be surprised either.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

“If we don’t find it, I worry that in due course, political polarisation really will make us choose between gas prices and women’s rights.”

Actually, the choice between women’s rights and gas prices may crystallise in economic form, not political. Because really, women’s “rights” are actually really just privileges that women have been able to enjoy as a consequence of cheap and reliable energy (This is not exclusive to women’s rights. Pretty much every “right” created in the modern age depends ultimately on machine-created wealth). The rights, as usual where the Left is concerned, are really just activist political codification of things that innovation had already made possible.

So what happens if, as the climate activists want, we deindustrialise, which is another way of saying we’re going to get much poorer, grow our own vegetables, and give up the sort of automation that presently enables us to travel in speed and comfort, and to mechanise huge amounts of otherwise physical labour?

It puts men back into physical work, and it makes expensive, pointless HR departments unaffordable, that’s what.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

“The rights, as usual where the Left is concerned, are really just activist political codification of things that innovation had already provided.”

Not quite right. The important thing about ‘rights’ is that they are de facto enforceable. That is, they are a declared, positive ‘right’ for one, and an obligation for everyone else. As might be predicted, the more ‘obligations’ heaped on the disinterested by activist law-makers, the higher the levels of resentment that will be produced in the long-term, since the distribution of ‘rights’ is utterly prejudicial in favour of random, elite groups.
Aristiocracy formerly ruled. Yes, many rights, but also countervailing obligations (‘noblesse oblige’). It is notable that the privileged liberal today is not obliged in any way they cannot choose for themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by Arnold Grutt
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

While what you’re saying is correct, what I’m saying is that these rights exist downstream of the ability of the economy to support them. In the absence of politically-generated rights, a set of privileges approximately equal to the rights in question would in any case exist, delivered through the mechanisms of markets, culture and custom.

I am pointing out that the creation of such rights on the activist Left does not, as some people suppose, establish equalities and liberties that could not otherwise exist, it merely enables political activists to make a living out of taking credit for them.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Christian Moon
Christian Moon
1 year ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

No unchosen obligation can ever be legitimate.
It’s the defining principle of liberalism.

CharlieHotelTango x
CharlieHotelTango x
1 year ago

Long way of saying that declining civilisations commit race-suicide: Women go from delightful male posessions to annoying harridens, men get turned-off, women get turned-off, men become women and women become men. The secret is let out of its box, and all becomes ugly and hateful.

Jim Stanton
Jim Stanton
1 year ago

I really wish I didn’t agree with this post so much.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
1 year ago

Outstanding article. A pesky thing about AWFLs is the issues thy’re passionate about do have real moral salience in and of themselves. Really hard to get them to see that the concrete realisation of their values may be a net negative even to other women.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Yet again Mary ventures into really important awkward territory. Awkward because the prevailing M.A D – anti discriminatory mania – discourages asking difficult questions about whether women, children and society are getting a good deal here. But for some time I have wondered whether – as with mass migration or Net Zero – the Virtuals have criminalized any doubts about one of the key features of the New Blairite Order; the feminization of the workforce, especially in the giant public health industrial complex. Over 80% of GPs are women. All well qualified and competent. But can we not wonder if the impossible double burden of motherhood and high work pressure is the reason why the service has now collapsed for us and many are leaving early desoite 100k salaries. Is the disaster of WFH in the female grad heavy civil service – where the Home Office process 1 asylum seeker a week – linked to this same trend: the desire of stressed mothers to work hybrid? We now see strikes in law and nursing, not just blue collar male railways. Beyond the rich affluent graduate class, should we not look more sympathetically at the pressures on all women – poorer women – to go to work to ekk out double income and still suffer unrelenting hardship because of the cost and poor quality of childcare? There is no going back. Our economic system demands female wage slavery too. But there seem to be many feminist questions to ask of this Order.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

An acknowledgment that it is impossible to have it all.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Our economic system demands female wage slavery too.
What are the metrics used, to designate the relationship to a ‘wage’ as ‘slavery’?

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago

In the sense of a ‘job’ (usually low paid) with no other ‘choice’ akin to slavery.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

That is a broad definition IMO. There are ‘options’. No other ‘choice’ suggests one is forced to choose a particular option. There is also the characteristic of being the property of another, unless the meaning is a euphemistic one?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Correct. Since the 1980s we have pretended that there has been rising prosperity in the West. It is an illusion and families bear the cost. The warping and hyper inflation of our property market in particular means that it takes two incomes to own a property, forcing mothers into low paid jobs whether they want them or not. That feels like a form of slavery.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

“Really hard to get them to see that the concrete realisation of their values may be a net negative even to other women.” Not even, but especially to other women! They either don’t realise the effects of their actions or they simply don’t care. As a conservative woman, albeit white, well-educated and affluent, they see me as their enemy. That at least is mutual, because I fully understand the harm they are doing, and I refuse to support their actions and positions.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

Yes. I do wonder whether “their values” are a consequence of a mixture of not having profoundly contended with the physical reality of the material world (as in hard manual graft) plus not profoundly contending with the well spring of cultural traditions.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Poll after poll shows that young women are more miserable than ever. They have the world at their feet – what gives?

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 year ago

I did work at a polling site on Tuesday. Between 6 am and noon, about 240 voted at that site.
Four of these people made a sartorial point of illuminating abortion as their big, motivating issue … notwithstanding the fact that nothing vaguely relating to abortion was on the ballot. But, these folks were angry enough to look for some expression of that anger. They took out their anger on the Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 4th district.
That candidate was a black pastor who was all about God and prayer and something. Maybe he said something about “school choice” along the way. (In the limit, “school choice” = allowing public tax dollars to follow the student to the school of the student’s choice, whether or not that school is a public school.)
Three of these four people wore t-shirts emblazoned with “Planned Parenthood.” One of those three people was a man. He had long, stringy, pink hair, but was definitely endowed with XY chromosomes. The fourth person showed up in a pink jumper… and pink hair.
Surely, other voters were partially motivated by this idea that the Republicans want to take your rights away: Your right to unrestricted abortion, and to have that abortion paid for by the state.
I have explored abortion data in the United States. Over 90% of abortions clock in within 13 weeks of conception. The Dobbs case came out of Mississippi. Only 0.5% of abortions went to full term in Mississippi pre-Dobbs. Who are those 1-in-200 would-be mothers who pull the plug after 9 months? They couldn’t have managed it at 13 weeks when it would have been a lot easier?
Anyway, it looks like the X-factor in this election was not Trump, not not-Trump, not even abortion. It wasn’t AWFL’s or Gen Z’ers. It was the fact that some states really have entrenched mail-in voting post-2020 (e.g., Pennsylvania) and others have not (e.g., Florida and Georgia). Mail-in voting makes it easier to secure the lazy vote of the low-propensity voter who would not otherwise be bothered to show up at the polls. Such voters tend to be young (like Gen Z). And young people have always heavily favored Democrats. No mystery there. Similarly, AWFL’s have always favored Democrats. No mystery there, either.
Then there is the question of industrialized “vote harvesting”. That is an important phenomenon, but I am willing to suggest that mail-in voting proved to be the more potent phenomenon in the 2022 elections.
Here’s the piece about abortion data:
https://dvwilliamson.substack.com/p/overturning-roe-v-wade-overturns
Overturning Roe-v-Wade Overturns ‘The Life of Julia’.Access to abortion in most states will not change. It will tighten up in some others. It may become very tight in a few. And it may yet expand in a few others.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 year ago

Whoops! I meant this piece. This piece digs deeply into abortion data, 1970-2019. My apologies:
https://dvwilliamson.substack.com/p/strategic-behavior-in-decisions-to
Strategic Behavior in Decisions to Conceive, Not Conceive, and to AbortMore than 99% of abortions occur well before the end of the 2nd trimester. More than 92% are in the bag after 13 weeks.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

I was a poll worker as well with about the same number of voters who came to my table. I think your observations are right-on as well as your ‘voting research’. Folks really weren’t upset about inflation, high gas prices or crime at all – they aren’t hurting quite enough at the moment, I guess. The fact that Biden & Co. spent $4 TRILLION in less than a year – not including the $500 million in student loan forgiveness – satisfied many a voter?! I wonder how they’ll feel when they have to pay for it down the road?

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Two questions:
Do you think it is good or bad that mail-in voting makes it easier for people to give their vote? And why?

What is ‘industrial vote harvesting’, exactly, and what is the eveidence for how much of it is happening?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“AWFLs are also the strongest supporters of trans rights: for this class, there are no obvious upsides to disturbing the idealist vision of men and women as interchangeable, or as a menu of body parts to be mixed and matched according to personal taste.”
They’ll soon change their minds when the trans paedo Mengele’s start butchering their kids.

Ali W
Ali W
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I suspect many of them will welcome the social status of having a LGBTQ child over the long term health of their offspring.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

AWFLs in Pennsylvania are sending an orc to the senate. Just as they sent a serial sex offender to the presidency in the 90s and have defended him and his hideous enabler ever since. The acronym for them is apt and deserved, and if there is to be a “backlash”, it won’t be coming from men alone.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Folks in Pennsylvania even voted another dead candidate – yes ‘dead’ – into office as well as the orc. Nuts.

Laura Kamienski
Laura Kamienski
1 year ago

“there are no obvious upsides to disturbing the idealist vision of men and women as interchangeable, or as a menu of body parts to be mixed and matched according to personal taste.”
There are extremely glaring upsides to disturbing the gender ideology movement which is wholly based on misogyny and homophobia. You mentioned women in prison and sports. Yes! As well as women in rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and every other formally women only space. Sex matters! And abortion can’t even be discussed if women are not even allowed to say what and who we are. The abortion issue is just part and parcel of a larger war on women being waged in the name of inclusion and diversity.
Another obvious upside to disturbing the gender ideology movement is that thousands of 12-17 year old girls are having double mastectomies, and both boys and girls are being pushed into irreversible puberty blockers and cross sex hormones and on to surgeries. This is not a small thing.
Gender ideology is, without exception, a men’s rights movement. Women are being silenced, cancelled, fired, raped, and attacked for even raising he slightest questions about it’s mantras. How are we going to defend or win any rights if we can’t even speak?! Children and adults who would otherwise be gay or grow out of the tumult of puberty are being told they’re “really” the opposite sex, and behold they are now “heterosexual.”
The damage this ideology is doing to sex based rights, read women’s rights, will obstruct any fight for abortion rights and bodily autonomy for women. The sex war is real and we must unite against all aspects of the destruction of our sex based rights.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago

Gender ideology is, without exception, a men’s rights movement. 
It is a marxist movement. It is a subset of q—r theory aka q—r marxism. There are individuals who are using the ideology for their own agendas of course. But it is not a “men’s rights movement” per se.