On Scars and Cognitive Diversity

This post is a personal reflection. joker-overconfident-depressed-comic Something happened that I haven’t been able to quite settle out. I have always compared myself to men and sought to understand where the differences lay. It has never been black and white, estrogen and testosterone. I’ve had a long-standing interest in hobbies and work environments that are predominately male, or traditionally male-dominated. I can go into this in more detail later, but this tendency led me to a gym-rat lifestyle and gave appeal to physical labor jobs.

When I took a landscaping job I was much more hesitant in driving truck and trailer than my male counter-parts, almost universally. And looking back, if I had received an insult or a slight from an impatient co-worker as I choked up some courage to try, I’d probably break. This is despite understanding the need for criticism and that these jabs were intended to toughen weak spots, not kill the entire ego. Continue reading

Censorship

At times I thought maybe the men’s rights people were hyperbolic and that by considering them seriously I was making a slippery slope fallacy; my supposition was just because society is predisposed to be more protective of women and prioritize the feminist narrative, this tendency does not mean they will censor countervailing ideas.

My supposition was proven false.

As I said in my previous post, I was looking forward to meeting the Honey Badger Brigade at the Calgary Expo. I’ve been going to the con since I was a teenager. I am a gamer, an artist and a writer, who has been interested in producing my own comic book. When I found the badgers online I was instantly attracted to their courage to push the boundaries on current narratives.

I share a willingness to explore new frontiers and crave the unconventional.

Alison Teiman, one of the founding Honey Badgers, has an online comic called Xenospora. She is an amazing artist and you should check it out.

Alison is also very much an advocate of women, along with being a men’s rights activist (MRA). There is palatable irony that she was thrown out of the Calgary Expo with the Badgers in their stand against censorship. Though she believes women can be agents in their own life stories without a victim-hood narrative, people at the con and others tweeting about the con, excluded her from the in-group from which they claim to speak for all women.

I am a woman. I wanted to see the Honey Badger Brigade and if I was at the females in comic books panel, I’d love to hear a wide variety of perspectives.

The Badger’s basic human rights have been violated, and with it, my ability to show public support of them at the Calgary Expo. Bullies using the feminist narrative are more than willing to take away the rights of others, including “dissenting” women.

This is what intolerance looks like. In-group preference wins out and the group undermines another’s humanity.

Alison is not a “token woman” of the MRA. Nor is she a demon. She is her own person, and a kind, talented and courageous one at that:

Even if you have no interest in gender politics, on either side, please at least take a stand against censorship.

More information:

Go Home, Gamer girl: Press release on unjust banishment from Calgary Expo

WELCOME TO CALGARY EXPO (ALTERNATE OPINIONS UNWELCOME) : THE HONEY BADGER AFFAIR

The Panel Discussion tweeted in to @calgaryexpo as harassment

The Examiner – Calgary Expo censors The Honey Badger Brigade’s anti-censorship message

Mundane Matt’s Part 1 on the Badger’s removal

Women creator group banned by “inclusive” Calgary Comic Expo

The Edge

Only the human animal will spend its entire life—wasting it—on trying to change the minds of others, their sets of assumptions, their paradigms, how it shakes out and most importantly: the market over your personal agents of force. – Richard Nikoley, Free the Animal

The human mind, where not given full detail, tends to fill in the gaps with its own concepts, whether from a set of assumptions from similar past situations, ideology, paradigms of the time or emotional hang-ups. We long to understand our world, and sometimes when we fail to grasp truth, we seek control over reality through different routes.

Our culture tends to promote confessions of failure, labels exhibitionism as pathology, and readily ties authority with corruption, but what if this is in development of a guise to cover the cultivation of power of another type? That is, the control of narratives and ultimately, people’s thoughts and actions through a façade of “I don’t bite”. You can be a “soft” authority by appealing to a demographic that believes your narrative, even if it is one of victimhood. In fact, sharing failures, being passive, and holding a plot of injustice can get quite a bit of attention.

Tribalism is a natural in-group bias that causes us to value people with similar interests, culture and appearance to us more than those who have very different or even opposing interests and cultures. Like any bias, it is an obstacle to the truth and predisposes us to “groupthink”.

A niche is a specialized but profitable corner of a market. Although a tribe or tribes often exist in this pocket, they are often unconventional and resist conformity.

Using tribalism and niche markets I will explore the power of holding the narrative, and how marketing to a niche will ultimately take the edge off and make the founders disperse to another edge.  Continue reading

“Progressive”?

There are some disturbing things going on behind the curtain of the word “progressive”. Some things I dare call totalitarian.

In this blog post I’d like to go over the good, the bad and the ugly uses of this word in media today.

Progressive is an easily hi-jacked word because it is like value mad-libs, like sustainable or equality. For each of these words the reader is supposed to understand what things lead to the “good” of the word based on societal consensus. However, it gives no implications as to why or how, especially on the level of the individual.

This morning I heard a news bit about women lagging in well-paid blue-collar jobs. There is an article here.

From the article,

“And, says Sugerman, women are poorly represented in jobs such as roofer, carpenter, electrician, and ironworker. All of those jobs can pay $40/hour or more once a worker reaches journeyman status. “Women are now 2.6 percent of the construction workforce,” says Sugerman, “so there’s been very little progress.”

Making progress on that gender gap starts in a smattering of nonprofit pre-apprenticeship and skills-training programs around the country. They’re supported by unions, employers, and community colleges, and teach women basic tool use, applied math, and work site job safety.”

Women aren’t going into roofing and carpentry on par with men? Well, no shit Sugerman.

There is no mention of biological differences in physical strength or endurance. No mention of men and women’s differences in choices. Just that “occupational segregation leaves women out”.

Let me try to follow this line of thinking. So, you didn’t look at the origins of these observable differences. You saw that men get paid more than women in blue-collar jobs and thought, as a society we need to close this wage gap. As most of us would agree, if women want to make more money they should have opportunities to do so without discrimination. You looked at these trades, saw all these guys being…well guys, and said, this has got to change because this is the sole reason women aren’t in the trades. You looked at women and thought, they just aren’t being educated and trained.

Way to miss the boat.

There are some amazing women in the trades and other careers that are largely dominated by men. I got to visit a wild fire crew when I was a junior forest ranger. There was only one woman, and she was pretty unique, not only in her “I am just one of the guys” attitude but her size and strength. Let’s face it, not all women can go into these occupations and be successful. Jobs with physical standards need to keep the weaker out, to protect their safety as well as their crew.

And that brings me to guys being guys. Sure, there are men out there that will harass women and it is more common in groups of blue-collar working men. But they harass each other too. I’d argue there is reason for this. Shit can happen on the worksite and individual men need to know who can handle it, who is going to have their back, who is going to handle the situation with as little emotional response as possible. Men test and feel each other out through verbal jabs. A crass comment is not the worst thing that could happen that day.

Not all men are comfortable with these environments and very few women are.

I wonder, knowing what I know about biology and testosterone (especially risk aversion), if “progress” would be steroid injections for women. Then they could lift more and be much more motivated to go into the trades, climb scaffolding to be roofers, lift walls as carpenters, and put their body up to more potential harm than being a secretary or cashier.

There, I solved the “problem”, Sugerman. No, but we want women to be women.

Perhaps we should dictate what happens at job sites and force women into the trades. Let’s censor men and change the way they behave. Let’s just be totalitarian overlords until women make just as much money as the men in these trades, not based on merit (taking it from all of those women who currently are in the trades, by the way) but based on “equality”. Women should get into their thick skulls they need to go into more blue-collar jobs, STEM fields and politics. There now society is all better, aren’t we progressive?

You know what I think would be progressive? Leaving men and women alone to make their own choices. To value what women are naturally drawn to, and give them some fucking respect. To value what men are naturally drawn to, because they are dominating the fields that keep our lights on, running water flowing and roads maintained.

If we as a society let men fall under the category of sub-human because they all just naturally “discriminate” and disrespect women we are headed to a very, very dark place. Men are not your scapegoat. Please own your shit.

Divergence into the “Manosphere”

The best ideas of the “manosphere” with a bonus guide on how to be a patriarchal overlord.

One of the benefits of saying extreme things is you will get extreme responses and the opportunity to learn the opposition’s side fast. I was not saying anything extreme on this blog, and only subtly kowtowing to the status quo, especially in the form of a feminist narrative. I was slowly waking up to the fact I was displaying intellectual dishonesty, and longing for constructive criticism, went off into the so called “manosphere”.

What is the “manosphere”? Well, it is more or less a collection of men’s rights advocates and activists (MRAs), MGTOW, that is men going their own way, pick up artists (PUA) and “masculinists”. Overall it is male perspective driven and disrupts modern feminist narrative.

I had come to my own conclusions about human reproductive strategies through an evolutionary psychology perspective and began to discuss. I found Karen Straughan’s YouTube, a prominent anti-feminist and started looking into the differences in men and women, especially in reproductive strategies and social power.

For me it is mostly about ideas.

There are important issues MRAs hope to address that I am not going to get into here. A google search can pull up many, here is one.

The heart of the issue, and where these specific legal issues are stemming from, is, in my opinion a double-standard stacked on the men’s side. Our environment is safer, requires less labor-intensive work and is set up for most individuals to have the opportunity to gain their own resources. I speculate this is the main determiner on the break from traditional gender roles, however, laws are still protective of women and obligatory to men.

What is needed more than ever is conversations about what those traditional gender roles were and why. What is linked to our natures as human beings and what actually is a social construct? We can see some women as agents, independent and self-sufficient. We can see some men as vulnerable and needing of support. But are female accomplishments, processed in our ape-brains, equal to male ones? Can vulnerable males be seen as anything more than weak, their value based on their utility?

In the following post, I will discuss the best ideas from the manosphere.

Continue reading

Keeping Danger Safe: A Criticism of Feminism and SJW Ideologies

danger

Our brains are pattern-finding, habit-creating machines. Have you ever gone through your morning routine to suddenly feel unsure if you locked the front door?  Our brains take the easiest path, short-cuts to save energy; turning down brain activity while going through the motions of habit, and turning up alertness when presented with novelty.

Just as a habit dismisses the hassle of constant attentiveness, ideologies and rigid thought patterns are ways to benefit from a similar form of autopilot. By sticking to a pre-established narrative or sets of rules you do not need to concern yourself with the hassle of deciphering daily “noise”*.

However, turning down this noise leaves us vulnerable to the unexpected.  Realities can be quick to change, while unyielding thought patterns and universalities are tools built to be unyielding and permanent. Timing has a lot to do with flowing with life, but on autopilot, we can’t factor in subtlety, ambiguity or contradiction. In conforming to straightforward concepts we may find ourselves comforted by truth, but we are not safe, in fact, we may be keeping danger safe.

In this post I will be looking at feminism, social justice warriors and how appearances can be deceiving. Continue reading

Gender Roles

Edited on Oct 29, 2014

On the most primitive level, the motivation of an organism is to be reproductively successful. The sexes are not in competition, but cooperation to create an offspring capable of reproductive success itself. Parenting has increased significance in the human species. Instead of tooth and claw, humans have evolved social behaviour that has helped strategic hunting and foraging efforts and led to not only in-group cooperation but larger, far reaching social networks. The development of language initiated the ability to learn and allowed knowledge to be passed from generation to generation, accelerating the rate of innovation. Continue reading