The Other McCain

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

Hurt Feelings = Oppression?

Posted on | November 18, 2015 | 54 Comments

In her perpetual hunt for victimhood, Jessica Valenti devotes an entire column to a “perhaps more insidious” form of discrimination, “everyday slights women can’t tangibly attribute to sexism”:

These subtler forms of sexism that women face can be even more difficult to handle than explicit discrimination. If your pay is unfair or a boss makes a pass at you, most of the time you can go to human resources. There’s a process in place for how to handle the sexism we know about, but there’s less direction about what we can do about a work culture that doesn’t value women.

In her quest to encourage women to believe they are victimized, Valenti cites an account by former Gawker staffer Dayna Evans, “On Gawker’s Problem With Women.” That is worth reading if only because Gawker is a liberal organization and the complaints of sexism by Nick Denton and his minions thus demonstrate that it is misguided to blame conservatives for discrimination against women, as so many feminists are prone to do.

That Gawker is something of a “boy’s club” is not the least bit surprising, because we hear similar complaints about almost every major online news operation. We heard it, for example, when Michelle Fields left the Daily Caller. I recall such complaints at the Washington Times during my decade there; even though there were female editors and reporters who were manifestly successful and valued in the organization, there were other women who, dissatisfied with their jobs, complained they were treated unfairly. Without clear evidence of outright discrimination, it is always difficult to assess claims of “sexism” in any workplace, because you can’t quantify and measure hurt feelings — which is what these complaints so often are actually about.

Almost everybody, I assume, at times feel they have been treated unfairly by their employer, and perhaps rightly so. However, a corporation is not in the business of producing fairness.

A company makes profit by delivering goods and services to its customers. Nothing is more important than this goal, because if the company doesn’t succeed in producing profit for investors, the company will go out of business, and the employees will no long have a job to complain about. Of course, we could say that discrimination might negatively impact a company’s profitability in various ways. Discrimination could means that the company is failing to gain the maximum advantage of employees’ abilities, and obvious unfairness might be harmful to employees’ morale, undermining the sense of teamwork necessary to success. However, in a competitive marketplace, it would be foolish to think that real discrimination — bad treatment of good employees — could coincide with success, simply because the employee treated unfairly in one company would be hired by a competing firm, which would thereby gain an advantage. If Dana Evans is a productive employee and was treated unfairly by Gawker, we must assume, she would be able to find another employer happy to hire her — and, indeed, she now writes for New York magazine’s site The Cut. Here are Ms. Evans’ 10 most recent contributions there:

Adele Knows That There Are More Interesting
Things to Think About Than Body Issues

11/17/2015 at 2:06 p.m.
Zayn Malik Is Shirtless, Pouting, and
Riding a Dirt Bike Back Into Our Hearts

11/17/2015 at 12:52 p.m.
Puppy Tries Desperately to Escape
Relationship With John Mayer

11/17/2015 at 9:27 a.m.
Like a Good Friend, Amy Schumer Is Helping
Amber Rose Work on Her Confidence

11/16/2015 at 6:05 p.m.
Eating Requires More and More Effort Every Day

11/16/2015 at 2:10 p.m.
$2,000 Seems Like Kind of a Lot of Money
for a Selfie With Justin Bieber

11/16/2015 at 11:35 a.m.
When the Rock Cries About the Special Bond
He Has With His Daughter, I Cry, Too

11/16/2015 at 10:47 a.m.
World’s Worst Husband Returns Late Wife’s
Glamour Women of the Year Award

11/13/2015 at 5:52 p.m.
The Supreme Court Will Hear
A Challenge to Texas Abortion Law

11/13/2015 at 4:42 p.m.
Diane Keaton, 69-Year-Old Actress,
Is Horny As Hell, and We Love It

Quick, somebody alert the Pulitzer Prize committee. We have a winner.


Who is Dayna Evans? She attended New York University (annual tuition $46,170), graduating in 2009 with a B.A. in creative writing, worked a little more than two years for Simon & Shuster and, since leaving there in 2011, has worked 17 months teaching English in Bangladesh, seven months as web editor for a California gift shop, and 18 months at Gawker before leaving there in July. This kind of job-hopping resume is certainly not unusual for a 20-something liberal arts major (by the time I was 28, I’d worked eight different jobs since my college graduation, including a stint as DJ in a strip club), but how does this experience qualify Ms. Evans as an expert on discrimination? Her article about the alleged sexism at Gawker carries a preface explaining that executive editor John Cook declined to publish it because he was “done with Gawker writing about Gawker.” And her article also included this:

Diversity in general is a blind spot for Gawker Media. On Monday, John Cook published race and gender diversity statistics for the entire company: Overall it is 79 percent white and 57 percent male. In editorial, the staff is 61 percent male and 38 percent female, though given the fact that is almost 100 percent female, excluding the women-focused site from his stats would skew editorial to being only 28 percent female. The statistics were released by Cook after BuzzFeed did the same for their company in October, in an equally unsatisfying look at who exactly runs the media.

And . . .? Your point is . . .?

Who cares what percentage of Gawker employees are white or black or Asian or female or gay? All that matters is profit.

If Nick Denton could outsource Gawker’s editorial work to Guatemalan peasants working in squalid huts for a few pesos a day, I’m sure he wouldn’t hesitate to do so. There is no feasible limit to Nick Denton’s unscrupulous greed, and this is why investors put their money into Gawker media, because they trust Nick will be absolutely ruthless in his quest to make a dollar, and “diversity” is only of interest to Gawker’s investors if it somehow impacts Nick’s ability to produce revenue.

At what point do we conclude that complaints about “sexism” are in fact complaints about capitalism? Because if Gawker is successful as a commercial enterprise — if it is competitive in the marketplace — this suffices to justify the company’s policies, from a capitalist perspective. It is only when we judge the company by a political calculus of “social justice” that there is any reason to demand that Gawker justify itself in terms of “diversity.” Well, I’ve got news for Jessica Valenti and Dayna Evans: Social justice is a mirage.

There is no such thing in the world. Never has been and never will be. You can run your mouth about “equality” until you’re blue in the face, but you cannot thereby conjure equality into existence. Sometimes hurt feelings are just hurt feelings. You are not a victim of injustice.

You can bet Nick Denton is glad he got rid of Dayna Evans, and after she eventually leaves New York magazine, they’ll be glad she’s gone, too. Nobody likes a whiner.



54 Responses to “Hurt Feelings = Oppression?”

  1. wiffle
    November 19th, 2015 @ 8:03 pm

    I must suffer twice as much because I have girly bits. The world must owe me 2 million dollars. 🙂

  2. DeadMessenger
    November 20th, 2015 @ 3:51 am

    Your statement is completely false. I am an innovator. That’s why I keep myself in middle management. Rest assured, I’ve been offered much higher positions, but I don’t want them. I stay where I am so I can keep my finger on the pulse of both sides. My direct reports LOVE me, because I feel their pain and I represent. My superiors LOVE me, because I’m totally in touch with both sides of an issue.

    I have patents, and my company thinks I’m cool. I speak for them at conventions, and write white papers. Customers LOVE me, because I fight tenaciously for their rights. Legal LOVES me, because I see both sides of issues and always have supporting documentation.

    I’m a Christian, and I represent my God. And I always do the right thing. As a result, God has blessed me in myriad ways. I couldn’t care less about job security. God provides for me. Do I kiss the asses of people looking to bludgeon my company with BS complaints? No. Do I kiss the asses of executives desiring to screw over employees for the f**k of it? No. Do I do what is fair and morally correct despite the blowback on me? Yes. Does this ever happen? No, because I’m a genius bad b1tch at what I do.


  3. Hank_Scorpio
    November 20th, 2015 @ 11:18 am

    I wonder if Ms. Evans knows that the Rock is a republican?

  4. News of the Week (November 22nd, 2015) | The Political Hat
    November 22nd, 2015 @ 4:55 pm

    […] Hurt Feelings = Oppression? In her perpetual hunt for victimhood, Jessica Valenti devotes an entire column to a “perhaps more insidious” form of discrimination, “everyday slights women can’t tangibly attribute to sexism” […]