The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Generally Speaking, @AmandaMarcotte Is Insane, and Feminism Is Always Wrong

Posted on | May 16, 2014 | 46 Comments

So now, reacting to the firing of Jill Abramson discussed previously, we encounter this commentary from Amanda Marcotte:

Women, particularly ambitious women, often feel like they’re in a no-win situation when it comes to climbing the career ladder. They’re told to “lean in” and stop being afraid to ask for what we want. They’re told they’re holding themselves back because of a “confidence gap”, and that all they need to do to get ahead in life is to start acting as bold and confident as men do. They’re told they don’t make as much as men because they don’t demand higher salaries. Or worse, that they’re “choosing” to make less than men by applying themselves less at the office.
But what happens when women follow all this advice to lean in, hold their heads high, make demands, and fake it ‘til they make it? Well, a lot of women rightfully fear that they’ll be considered bitchy shrews. Women know that the very qualities that cause so many to see men as “powerful” look like, well, pushiness when they manifest in women. In fact, research confirms this fear: Following all that advice to act like a man can backfire and cause your boss to apply misogynist stereotypes to you that you will never get past. So the lame advice women get is to be pushy and confident sometimes and demure and retreating at others. How to tell the difference? Sorry, no one can help you there. You just have to know. Good luck, ladies.

Do ambitious women “often feel like they’re in a no-win situation”? I’m certain they do, just as I am certain that the advice they receive on how to deal with this situation is confusing. I am likewise certain that in their career competition with men — having chosen this competition themselves — these women expose themselves to the known ferocity of men in situations where a man’s ambition puts him in a posture of rivalry toward others who seek to ascend the same career ladder.

Ambitious women, I’m sure, encounter the kinds of attitudes and behaviors that Marcotte describes. There is no argument here, you see, with what Marcotte says the reality is. Rather, the question is about what ought to be, and in that question, Marcotte expects her readers to choose sides. She expects women to believe that ambitious men should just step aside and restrain their own competitive instincts, and let themselves be eclipsed by female rivals, merely because these rivals are women, for the sake of an ideological abstraction, Equality.

OK — but why?

Please tell me why, in such a situation, any man should be expected to act this way? Why should a man be less competitive toward a female rival than toward a male? Why must a man accept that his own individual ambition must be thwarted for the sake of Equality?

You’re crazy if you expect men to “play nice” in that context.

Grant that, within organizations, all employees are rightly expected to cooperate for the well-being of the whole organization: Teamwork. But when it comes to the individual’s desire for advancement within the organization, the ethos of teamwork will give way, and people will fight for that which they think they deserve.

To tell women that they are entitled to be promoted, to tell them that they are victims of discrimination if they are not promoted — which is what feminism tells women — is to guarantee that the conflict between ambitious rivals within organizations will be even more damaging to a spirit of teamwork than it would otherwise be.

If women believe that a preponderance of males in top management necessarily indicates that women are being treated unfairly within the organization, demoralization will ensue. Qualified and effective managers are hard to find, and if the company can’t find enough women managers to make it seem “fair,” to meet some quota dictated by concerns about Equality, this does not mean that women on lower rungs of the ladder are doomed never to be able to advance. Yet the unfairness experienced by women is really no different than the unfairness experienced by men who, seeking to advance in their careers, are subject to envious backstabbing and sabotage by rivals, just as are women.

Feminism is thus exposed as a sort of special pleading, by which women claim entitlement to certain benefits, demanding that the world be rearranged for their benefit, simply because they are women.

And yet the question remains: Why?


Never expect consistency from a feminist. And if you point out their blatant hypocrisies and paradoxes, you’re a hater.

(Hat-tip: Donald Douglas at American Power.)

 

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  • Pingback: Jill Abramson Rule 5 | Batshit Crazy News

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Sometimes a bitchy shrew is just a bitchy shrew. And then there’s Mandy.

    Let’s face it, Abramson was just another Affirmative Action hire that didn’t work out. Her firing had nothing to do with pay, it was because she was attempting to bring in another bitchy shrew and place her above Baquet, the black managing editor, to control the digital side.

    All of which amounts to palace intrigue, but took place without the knowledge or consent of King Pinch, who insists that he alone has the power to make idiotic decisions for the NYT.

    If she was cutting the legs out from under a white guy, it would have been handled in house more quietly. But she chose to mess with another aggrieved class, and in the hierarchy of grievances, black trumps female every time. Sorry, gals!

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    I can almost hear REO Speedwagon cranking up “Tough Guys,” behind video clips of Obama riding his bike, throwing out the first pitch, etc.

  • KenPrescott

    Only the Sith deal in absolutes. #IronyMeterJustHitTheTopPeg

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Our esteemed host wrote:

    Please tell me why, in such a situation, any man should be expected to act this way? Why should a man be less competitive toward a female rival than toward a male? Why must a man accept that his own individual ambition must be thwarted for the sake of Equality?

    Because, Affirmative Action!

    Miss Marcotte would never accept your formulation, because to accept it means something she doesn’t realize that she has already conceded: men and women are different even in the business atmosphere, and that there can be — and are — real competitive advantages which accrue to men due to those differences.

    Jessica Bennett of Jezebel, another feminist site, put it this way:

    So what can Jill Ambramson teach us about female bosses? That we’re still uncomfortable with them, for one. That, when a female boss leads like a man, we’ll deem her “brusque,” “pushy,” but when she leads like a woman, we’ll brush her off as too “soft.”

    Research has long shown that women in power are judged more harshly because they’re women — what researchers call the “double bind.” The cause of course is stereotypes: that we expect women to be less competent from the start. That a female boss in and of itself violates our cultural expectations about how women are supposed to be, act, behave: you know, nurturing, maternal, warm.

    So when a woman tries to act like a man to get ahead — or, you might say, like a leader — she suffers: liked less by both male and female colleagues, penalized for being “too aggressive.” When a man leads we see his assertiveness as “bold,” his demands “direct.” But when you’re Abramson — or any female boss before her — you’re just a bitch.

    Mrs Bennett has just told us that most leadership traits wind up being masculine, something which would appall Miss Marcotte no end. But there’s more from Mrs Bennett:

    How to close the gender gap at work? Strike a pose
    By Jessica Bennett

    Plenty of pundits have idiosyncratic ways of prepping for a big speech. But if you’re a six-foot-one progressive lesbian debating a conservative white man on Fox News, you’d better have a good one.

    Sally Kohn, 36, has a ritual: A few minutes before she heads on set, she ducks into a hallway, spreads her feet, stands up perfectly straight and puts her hands on her hips, chin tilted up. She holds the pose for two full minutes – which point her testosterone levels rise her cortisol drops, making her more confident and less anxious. Then she walks on camera.

    Kohn learned the trick from Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School social psychologist whose TedTalk on “Power Posing” – a shortcut to boosting confidence and gaining a quick competitive edge — has been viewed nearly 10 million times, and spawned a global following.

    The allure of Cuddy’s work is in its ease: She knew from studies of facial feedback that when people smile, they can fake themselves into feeling happier.

    And so, with two colleagues, she decided to try that theory out on body language – placing 42 research subjects into a series of high-power (bodies spread wide, feet up on desks) and low-power (sitting, slouched, arms wrapped tightly to the body) positions, tracking their hormone levels as she went.

    In just two minutes, subjects in the high-power poses saw testosterone levels rise by as much as 20 percent and cortisol levels sink by about 25 – the chemicals linked to confidence versus stress, respectively. As it turns out, the best business leaders — both men and women — have relatively high testosterone and low cortisol levels, traits that tend to increase their appetite for risk, and configure our brain to cope in stressful situations.

    For women looking to improve their leadership skills at work — to, as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg puts it, lean in to their ambitions — could it really be so simple?

    “A lot of this stuff isn’t gendered, per se — I don’t feel like I’m using men’s tools,” says Kohn. “I feel like I’m using tools that we should all have access to and know about, but women simply haven’t been raised to cultivate.”

    There’s more at the link, but with that article, Mrs Bennett has told us that testosterone, that wonderful hormone that makes men men, makes better business leaders.

    So, maybe it’s true that Mrs Abramson lost her job because she is a woman, because, as a woman, she had less of the hormone that makes leaders!

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • Anon Y. Mous

    I read Marcotte’s piece slightly differently than you. I think her take away is not that men need to be less competitive, but rather that people (especially men) need to be more accepting of women when they are acting assertively. In other words, stop calling her a bitch when she acts like a man.

    It is the same denial of biology. Nobody, woman or man, likes a woman who tries to emulate masculine behavior.

  • maniakmedic

    It’s funny watching some women get all in a huff over the fact that men are, in general, better leaders. But not a single one of them would be able to find an iota of interest or outrage over the numerous studies showing that women, in general, are better homemakers and child-rearers than men. But then, these are women who think killing their young is a duty as opposed to a selfish act of murder for the sake of convenience. So to them, the inherent strengths women possess are worthless. To anybody who has ever raised a decent human being – or become one, for that matter – those strengths are priceless.

    I have no problem with the fact that men tend to be better leaders. Because I’m not so damn insecure about myself as to think I don’t have traits that are just as powerful in their own sphere as men’s traits are in the breadwinning sphere. Just as I don’t obsess over the fact that somebody I know is better at something than I am, because I know that there are things I kick ass at that they pretty much suck at. If we were all super awesome at everything, and all had the same traits, I’m pretty sure humanity would have ceased to exist. Because humanity would have been so damn alpha we’d have either obliterated each other over petty shit or starved to death because we were all too good to forage for food.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I am comfortable noting that the late Margaret Thatcher was demonstrably a better leader than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton have been (or for that matter most leaders in the US over the past several decades –with a few notable exceptions that I suspect even Lady Thatcher would have agreed with).

  • Finrod Felagund

    Feminist logic: we must be given special privilege, because Equality.

  • Finrod Felagund

    The band Extreme actually did a song called He Man Woman Hater:

  • Julie Pascal

    I honestly do not think that this phrase “leads like a man” means what any of them think it means.

    It’s like aliens watching “men” in a zoo and thinking they understand what the “men” are doing and when they try being a dictatorial *ss everyone calls them “bossy” and they’re all… but it’s okay when men do it, so you’re just treating women different.

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  • maniakmedic

    I would certainly agree. Which is why I said “in general”. And there are certainly men I’ve known who are far better at nurturing and caregiving than some women I know. I’d just like to know when we can go back to each just doing our thing and stop obsessing over the non-existent unicorn of “equality.”

  • http://youtu.be/ZGPHeP32hLU CrustyB

    Generally Speaking, @AmandaMarcotte Is Insane, and Feminism Is Always Wrong

    No, there is an exception….

    Wait, you’re right. There is no exception. Carry on.

  • jakee308

    Not all men find Amanda Marcotte completely annoying.

    Just the ones who aren’t GAY.

    (and I suspect even some of those are also.)

  • robertstacymccain

    To be honest, I don’t like “masculine behavior” — if by this you mean a domineering tendency — when encountering it in men, either. There is a difference between being “assertive,” on the one hand, and pushing people around, on the other.

    The idea that management is a matter of personality traits, rather than a set of skills, is subject to debate. The Leadership Cult as represented by popular books on the subject of executive leadership — all that “rah-rah” seminar stuff — is not something I’ve bought into, to the extent that I’ve ever paid attention to it at all.

    My attitude is, “Just do the work.” Figure out what the job is, and do the hell out of it.

  • Atari 2600

    Is there any point in flogging a horse by now so far past dead that even the Brits wouldn’t make a lasagna out of her?

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    A good manager is one who hires good people and then makes sure they have what they need and stays out of their way.

  • Anon Y. Mous

    Good point. No, I don’t mean that a leader needs a domineering tendency. Nobody likes to work for someone like that no matter what their gender. Of course, a leader needs to be able to assert authority, but a good leader doesn’t need to have his (or her) authority constantly reassured.

    Perhaps this is the problem some women can have – they think they always need to be seen as unquestionably in charge.

  • Matt_SE

    Marcotte poses a paradox: If she’s right that men are assertive and competitive, then they can be counted on to not take her advice and get out of the way.
    Conversely, if men get out of the way then they are proving that they’re not assertive and competitive, and Marcotte is wrong.
    This must be the feminist’s “different way of knowing” I’ve heard about.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Masculine behavior is not domineering. It’s simply, “being a man.”

    Here’s “masculinity” defined, courtesy The Duke:

  • Pingback: ‘Superior Male Mathematical Ability’ : The Other McCain

  • Pingback: The Daley Gator | There is crazy, then there is CRAZY, then there is Feminist CRAZY, and then, there is Amanda Marcotte CRAZIER THAN CRAZY

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    If you want to see more of her delusional paranoid flatulence, here’s a safe link to a freeper posting of the lovely Miss Marcotte’s recent article in Salon.

    Guns aren’t necessary for self defense, Benghazi is a right wing racial attack on the SCOAMF, AGW is real, and you all hate science, Abortion is a sacrament, Terrorism is dead because barack slit Bin Ladin’s throat, personally.

    Something like that.

    It’s like someone must have hooked up her feed tube to her colostomy bag.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    But if the pushy bitches were showing leadership, we wouldn’t call them pushy bitches. Men who act that way aren’t regarded as leaders, they are bullies, Bosses From Hell, not respected by those who work under them and not prized by their superiors.

    Leadership is making people do what you want them to do, and making them happy to do it, anxious to do it.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Feminist philosophy may be summed up in the rhetorical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to here it, is it still the man’s fault?”

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Well, of course it is! After all, if a tree falls in the forest, it’s because of the warmer temperatures created by all of the man-made machinery, which enabled the wood-destroying insects to flourish, and now some poor, cute little squirrel has lost his home!

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Leadership is having taken a decision, possibly in discussion with others, that others will follow, willingly, because you have instilled in them enough confidence in your capabilities and decision-taking ability that they will respect the decision, even though it might not have been the one they’d have taken themselves.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • Pingback: Superior Male Mathematical Ability | Batshit Crazy News

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  • http://athenesword14.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Stacy, she banned me from following her Twitter account, but you and her seem to not be able to leave each other alone, otherwise known as #thingsthatmakeyougohmmmm

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    As a Manager, I say: THIS.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Congratulations, Adj: you made my Live Free Or Die page…

    http://thecampofthesaints.org/live-free-or-die/

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    It’s like someone must have hooked up her feed tube to her colostomy bag.

    You win the Internets for the week!

  • Bill

    Hey, the NYT took “ban bossy” to heart! As should we all…

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Sure thing, boss!

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Heh. Reading Salon-level drivel makes it hard not to think in similarly gutter-level terms. So it’s actually a failing, but we can share a laugh over it!

  • http://unix-jedi.livejournal.com Unix-Jedi

    Yes.

    The best manager/supervisor I ever had was a woman. Head and shoulders above every one since (including one who she’d taken over from in a prior job).

    She was also IBM-trained in their management track in the 70s and 80s.

    During a re-org, she got replaced by a bully-sort. I left less than a month later.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Thanks! It is esteemed company.
    I look forward to living off the royalties.

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    A Loyalist, eh?