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.