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Culture War Roundup for the week of February 27, 2023

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More debates revolving around young single men in the mainstream media. Particularly, who the young women are dating due to them being disproportionately in a relationship. The article provides some insight, stating that many are dating older men and each other. This has led to a more intresting conversation of if older men are increasingly monopolizing women. Leaving younger guys out to dry supposedly, however a good chunk (acutally half, according to study from pew research). The data gives two large reasons, mainly: Having other shit to do & just like being single. What i always found frustrating with the mainstream progressive view of this matter is that they seem hell bent on blaming Men for this problem. Greg Matos, who wrote this (in)famous article which pretty much embodies the progressive view on the matter, has stated: “Women don’t need to be in long-term relationships. They don’t need to be married. They’d rather go to brunch with friends than have a horrible date,”. The argument from the mainstream being in a nutshell: that these single men are misogynistic, shitty bums and deserve to die alone. That take leads to some rather intresting conclusions however, when looking at the data. From the first pew research link and another one. The people who are most likely to be single are men who are: Black, young, only highschool educated, low income, and living with mom and pops. Are we suppose to assume, blacks, the youth, poor men, men without degrees, and guys without their own place are inferior romantic partners, and or more misogynisitic than their rich, old, white, college educated, apartment renting counter-parts?

Could it not simply be that these mens moral characters are fine, but they simply lack the resources and experience many women desire? Is such a thing their fault? Is the black man to become white? Or the poor man rich (or at least reasonably middle class)? Could there not be barriers preventing them from achieving such feats? In most cases, progressives would be open to outside forces interfering with ones ability to succeed. The matter is being treated as if all of this is entirely within their control, and their failures are a simple matter of poor character. The issue appears far more complex is you ask me.

Perhaps a bit of a divergent, but the entire dilemma has led me to a larger question of how much of life success (in dating, in work, in school) amounts to hard work. There was a post about on star slate codex sub reddit about how good IQ was at predicting life success. There is a bunch data about how expensive being poor is, poverty traps, and how difficult escaping it can be. Disputes over gender wage gaps. Not to mention all the discussions being had about how race impacts such outcomes. Id be interested if there was some huge of huge meta study done on what percentage of these factors (IQ, class, race, gender, ect) all impact your chances at life success, if anyone had such information on hand. Though my intuition tells me that such a study would be insanely difficult to do, if it even exists.

What i always found frustrating with the mainstream progressive view of this matter is that they seem hell bent on blaming Men for this problem.

Nothing new, we've been discussing this a lot recently. Like I said the last time: «The notion that men can be genuinely not guilty of some failure relating to relations of sexes – whether to score or to sire – is about as far outside the Overton window as HBD. ... [from the progressive point of view] It can't be that the solution lies in any conceivable change to female behavior, except even more emancipation, even greater triumph over toxic masculinity.» A small update:

CNN reports on South Korea breaking its own record for world’s lowest fertility rate:

The national statistics body reported Wednesday that the fertility rate, or the average number of children expected per woman, fell to 0.78 in 2022 – down from 0.81 the previous year.

South Korea’s birth rate has been falling since 2015 and the country recorded more deaths than births for the first time in 2020, a trend that has continued since.

In 2022, the country recorded about 249,000 births and 372,800 deaths.

Experts say the reasons for these demographic shifts across the region include demanding work cultures, stagnating wages, rising costs of living, changing attitudes toward marriage and gender equality, and rising disillusionment among younger generations.

But despite the economic factors at play, throwing money at the problem has proved ineffective. Last September, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol admitted that more than $200 billion has been spent trying to boost the population over the past 16 years.

The South Korean government has introduced various initiatives such as extending paid paternity leave, offering monetary “baby vouchers” to new parents, and social campaigns encouraging men to contribute to childcare and housework.

But experts and residents say more support is needed throughout a child’s life – as well as change on several deep-rooted social issues. For instance, South Korean society still frowns on single parents, with IVF treatment not available to single women.

Couples in non-traditional partnerships also face discrimination; South Korea does not recognize same-sex marriage and regulations make it difficult for unwed couples to adopt.

I believe these stupid remedies can only change things at the margins (at best; how many lesbian Korean couples do you think will have more than 1 child? how many even are there?), will flop, and South Korean nation will continue to age and die off, at the annual rate of 0.23% now, 0.75% in two decades. This effortpost by @gorge suffices to show that doubling down on feminism to solve this is an implausible tactic which can only convince people who would advocate feminism and broader progressivism in response to any problem from high interest rates to unaligned AI. But what is not clear is: how many of those suggestions are made by women? Or by men keeping emotional reactions of unserious women in mind when they do analysis? I think the answer is «most if not all».

Peter Thiel has opined once to the effect that female enfranchisement has made capitalist democracy impossible. He later defended himself with a series of excuses about the specificity of his complaint, but I think it does make democracy non-viable in many other senses too. Indeed I believe that democracy, as commonly implemented, only works in the first place with very specific samples of mostly Western populations; it's an exception, not the rule.*

The problem here is that democracy is largely about bargaining, and women – speaking in generalities, of course – bargain in all markets with the assumption that they can get the price down to zero, if not for the greed of the other party. They are even less interested in object-level constraints than men; they insist that their preferred arrangement is objectively fair and true even when it's clearly no longer viable, and will shoot down any arrangement that includes what they understand as redistributing some of their powers back to men; and they will demand of men to aid them in shooting it down; and men will be proud to assist, because being of use to women is the measure of their worth. Ultimately this is just a product of what Doolittle calls female magical thinking:

Causes and Evidence of Female "Magical Thinking"


\1) Conflating what they wish for with what is and what is possible.

\2) The general tendency of women to confuse what is Desirable/Undesirable with what is True/False. Or, more directly, stating their wants are truths of the world, rather than just wants of their own.

\3) The universal tendency (demonstrated in this video) of women to engage in NAXALT/AXALT: Not all X are like that, All X are like that, or more precisely, to ignore a distribution to justify an outlier, or to use an outlier in order to falsify a distribution.

These --XALTs are both forms of denial. In other words (get ready) the woman's cognition evolves to justify her feelings and NOT adapt to existential reality.

Why? They are exporting satisfaction of their emotional demands onto others: MEN. (Yes really).

This is the science, and it's exasperating. Why? We no longer use older sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and aunts to cause women to self-regulate their magical thinking.

And their magical thinking evolved in order to generate demand from men to satisfy them .... in exchange for affection and sex. Sorry. :(

Yes, I cringe at his presentation as well. We don't get to have our edgelords obsessed with reiterating copybook headings be smooth communicators: all such people are safely employed at fitting unworkable but politically attractive solutions into powerpoint presentations.

But perhaps I'd not have cringed so hard if I were even less concerned about women rolling their eyes.

It's hard to say what the solution could even look like. Doolittle gestures in the direction of older women who used to throw some cold water on the delusion of girls, keeping the tendency of demand inflation in check. I suppose this is the sort of cultural ability that is non-recoverable once it's been lost.

* This isn't to say that e.g. authoritarianism works «better» elsewhere, in whatever meaning of the word. It may be that many societies are in terminal decline, like a human with multiple organ failure, and have no workable regime option to save themselves. Their democracies will result in inane populism, either progressive or reactionary, and their reactionary populism will bring forth a literally catastrophically incompetent rule – like Turks have recently learned, perhaps to a good effect we'll see in May elections, perhaps to no avail.

So do you think we would be better with a complete break between the idea of relationships and the idea of what it really comes down to - the feminist critique of marriage being "exchanging sex for meat"? Men and women are all perceived as economic factors, and if men want sex they don't bother with dates or relationships, they patronise sex workers where the transaction is overt and there is no confusion about who does what or pays for what. If the expectation is "the man buys dinner, the woman pays him back with sex", then dump all that and just "the man is horny, he buys a sex worker for however long, no hurt expectations or mismatches".

Women have their own thing, they enjoy working and status that way. Everybody knows their position and role. If marriage is still considered a necessary thing, back to the old days of families making alliances without emotional entanglements. But why is marriage necessary? If society wants children, the stigma around single motherhood is gone, and perhaps we'll get the artificial wombs and IVF babies gestated in them and brought up by government creches.

Because reading all the screeds about "it's so unfair! women have all the power! they should lose all their rights and be forced back to the days of exchanging sex for meat so that men can have a fuckdoll of their own at home for their own exclusive use!" makes me wonder why women would want to get married in the first place.

So do you think we would be better with a complete break between the idea of relationships and the idea of what it really comes down to - the feminist critique of marriage being "exchanging sex for meat"?

I believe that relationships do not «really» come down to that, and haven't in a long while, at least two generations or so: the feminist critique is delusional, exploitative and made in bad faith. Mind you, I come from a society where «patriarchy» has been dead for four generations at least, but I think the principle holds.

More importantly I argue that women have trouble with good faith in general, and we (defined as «people who are good-faith, self-aware actors discussing this issue») need to acknowledge that the main problem is the impossibility of convincing (at any politically relevant scale) women in modern societies that the ball is in their court, and fixing those lesser intersexual problems – TFR, sexlessness, relationships, marriages, divorces, whatever – necessitates either a rollback of feminism, or directly burdening women with specific responsibilities they currently do not bear. Maybe men too, but women – absolutely.

This root problem expresses itself in the form of literally all remedies that make it to mainstream discussion being premised on women rationally reacting to circumstances imposed on them, and men being ignorant and/or actively making things worse. One side receives maximum charity, the other is given, frankly, a very imaginative treatment. Women, we are told, are worried about costs of living and stagnant wages, career opportunities and iniquities; men give up on marriage, selfishly play vidya, voluntarily join alpha male incel organizations. As a consequence, all proposed remedies amount to convincing men to stop being such horrible manchildren, and redistributing some more resources and political prestige to women; there are edge cases like extending paternity leave, but they address practically irrelevant scenarios. This is a paradigm which follows from the impenetrable female assumption of innocent victimhood and – ironically – delusion of being an object acted upon by external [male] forces, not a subject possessing power and burdened with responsibility for the status quo. Democracy only makes sense among subjects who are and acknowledge being this way.

Women have their own thing, they enjoy working and status that way.

Antidepressant prescription statistics and palpable increase in mental illness among millennial women point in the direction of them not really enjoying the status quo, but okay.

if men want sex they don't bother with dates or relationships, they patronise sex workers where the transaction is overt and there is no confusion about who does what or pays for what

I suppose that happens. We can leave aside for now the question of the sort of relationships practiced by women who are sex workers (i.e. OnlyFans models). What do you think happens when men want committed relationships, not «fuck dolls», but cannot get it because they're deemed not good enough by the «sexual market»? They are too lazy/stupid/infantile to dress up and shave and get a job, right. And also, too entitled to aim lower and go for the fat/old/homely/crazy chick, if I remember your previous posts correctly. There is someone for everyone; opting out of the deal is on men, the infamously choosy and needy sex (cue «attractiveness rating distributions» meme). That is, they make the unreasonable choice and sabotage themselves (and the whole of society while they're at it), while women merely act according to the situation.

Thanks for the illustration of the principle.

You know, the discussion here, including your responses, has inspired me to write a... powerologist post, one could say. But it's a third-rate idea, so here goes the sketch:

Ability to publicly make unreasonable demands is the measure of social power

«Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely» – they say. What does absolute power look like, and the absolute corruption? The common trope is a petty, deluded tyrant who demands implausible efforts from his underlings – and punishes them for understandable failures, casually taking out his irritation. Someone too egocentric to conceive of limits to servitude other than obedience; someone who has either dispensed with empathy, caution and rationality necessary at the stage of gaining loyal followers and acquiring power, or has been born into it. A cartoonish psychopath; a pampered brat from a rich family, abusing terrified servants; a third-rate dictator sending waves of human flesh into the high-tech grinder and lashing out at his peons when this doesn't produce the desired victory. Or the Emperor's demanding consort in a Chinese drama.

I think this is the natural state of mature power that has hit its apparent ceiling, the greedy exploitative mode – that thing which the intelligent will-to-power we know in ambitious politicians, warlords and startup CEOs decays into. And in a world where all women are queens by political fiat, all women are born into power, thus – all will be absolutely corrupted and not amenable to persuasion.

Then again, as @2rafa points out, all this may be just irrelevant in the world of short timelines, or relevant but not enough to be worth spending my time or my weirdness credit on.

And in a world where all women are queens by political fiat, all women are born into power, thus – all will be absolutely corrupted and not amenable to persuasion.

Queens of what? Ourselves? The question of whether we are going to gestate an entire baby with all the physical and mental changes that implies?

Well, if you think that you should have control over that, then I think it's pretty clear which of us is the one with unreasonable dictatorial aspirations.

  • -14

I have a pretty major dog in this fight, but I think you're being somewhat uncharitable here. I observe the dynamics @DaseinudstriesLtd describes IRL. They are obviously not universal to women, there being exceptions and the whole thing being on a gradient rather than binary as always, but it's certainly an existing and very noticeable trend in which women come to believe that they naturally deserve better than they manage to work or negotiate for, in ways that would make any man seem ridiculous.

I think there are many, many people in the world who think they deserve more than they have, certainly. It's fair to say that those people's self-evaluation is frequently questionable. I don't think this tendency is confined to women, though, nor do I think it is more out of control in women than in men. There are some areas where it is more tolerated in men (especially if those men are already high status), and others where it is more tolerated in women (especially if those women are already high status).

Agree that a sense of entitlement is pretty universal, and I assume is socially mediated rather than caused by one's sex. That said I think it's an easy case to make, however, that this is split along gendered lines. (I will try to pull only from my understanding of the literature surrounding psychological differences between the sexes without leaning on any evopsych mumbo jumbo)

Men resent and will misrepresent, to themselves and others, in no particular order and by no means exhaustive, their immaturity/narrow shoulders/weak chin/small stature/small penis/wispy facial hair/flabby body or physical weakness/getting outskilled in sport.

Similarly, but sitting on the other end of the binary, women resent and misrepresent their current or historical romantic partner(s)/or lack thereof/social status/getting old/looking shabby/compensating with make-up/small breasts/thick waist/narrow hips.

All of these things are in common as they're all measures used (often unconsciously) to judge reproductive and general fitness (I'm certain the specific features in question vary from one culture to another, and I don't think there's a good reason to obsess over at least the immutable ones) in a sexual dimorphism-specific context. An introspective or anxious person paying close attention might notice themselves automatically running this sort of checklist against themselves (or their friends/enemies) from time to time, without ever appearing in your "cone of consciousness". Any perceived attack along any one of these vectors is almost guaranteed to provoke an angry or upset response, and rightly so. It's taken, whether knowingly or not, as a direct challenge to one's own viability as a lifeform. If the charges are legitimate then one is offended multiply, if only because it rings in your own ear as the truth and should be taken to mean that you are, in fact, less fit along some dimension than your peers.

Here's the heart of the matter: women actually have some evidence that they are worth more than they can get. We're talking about dating here, correct? Not about salary, workplace respect, etc.: sex and dating. Women aren't campaigning for equality in this realm of life, are they? No.

The evidence being her individual popularity on dating sites. An unlimited supply of men who express interest in her sexually. You would instantly understand how this would affect the self-evaluation of a man if it were happening to him, if there were an endless queue of women waiting for their chance with him.

The problem: this doesn't actually indicate a woman's SMV. A possible solution to this would be to indicate a woman's percentile rank to her on the app (I think OnlyFans does this?). Though this might be so damaging to the female psyche that no woman woman with an average rank would subject herself to it. Maybe not, if they're really looking for love.

I think OnlyFans does this?

Yes, OF and other sites in the space will tell you what percentage you're in. I've heard that it's trivial to get into the top 1% of all creators on OF or Fansly, but it's going beyond that into the decimals that makes you truly special.

I suppose this is to say that maybe it's not worth bothering with, then.

More comments

Queens of what?

Narcissism and entitlement. A person who believes themselves royalty without a fiefdom is insufferable.

Queens of what?

That's the question, isn't it, much more general than just the fertility topic. Every young woman is relentlessly reminded that she is a Qween who Slaaaaayyys, and anything countering that narrative is absolutely haram. But where is her dominion? What does she slay?

Consider this pop hit. #13 on Billboard, on the chart for half a year. If the men do all the work of enthroning the women, then the women will do their part by consuming luxuries and dancing. This is what passes for "female empowerment".

Gosh, people are writing pop songs that are power fantasies! Sometimes they even write them about women. What is the world coming to?

Come on, there's no substance here.

Every man implicitly knows that to obtain the power fantasy he has to get on the sigma grindset. Think of rap songs, they might potray the power fantasy of endless 'money,bitches and clout' to a young black man, but he knows that he would have to 'hustle' his way there. No man is under the impression that they can be James Bond just by being male.

Whilst female power fantasies are targeted at the modal female, and there is no pretense that the power has to be acquired or that not everyone can have it. It's just girl power, because girl.

I've been shilling TLP a lot lately, but once again he is on the mark.

Power fantasies are not good for the soul, male or female. They poison the mind.

Come on, there's no substance here.

That's exactly the point. The power fantasy leaves "vapid" in the dust to dwell firmly in the realm of "hilariously fucking stupid", and there's no counter-balancing, reality-checking criticism because Women Are Wonderful, and any such efforts code as mean. This seems to result in a situation where middle school power fantasies are normalized and "respectable" for women in a way that they aren't for men. In the real world, we mock mall ninjas and weaboos, and some of them manage to get the message and grow up a little. Imagine if every pop song, social media outlet, movie and TV show was hammering young men with the message that they were Sons of Heaven and they should just Dragonball Z scream to unleash their warrior spirits at the school marms who oppress their divinely-blessed existence. Somehow, I don't think that would help them become sane, pro-social, reality-based members of society, I think it would foster mental illness, delusion and severely arrested development.

Male power fantasies in fiction are still very common, I think you'll find. There's an entire section of literary criticism in which the ur-narrative is The Hero's Journey. Being the Son of Heaven or some other kind of Chosen One comes standard.

Reality is, ultimately, its own check on these things, I think. Most women know they aren't actually queen of very much. Time comes for us all, and most of us grow. Some of us still like to imagine being Batman now and then while we're at it, and that's okay.

I think it might actually be harder to mock women for not being powerful just because, unlike men, we're not failing in our gender role by lacking power. Which isn't fair to men, that they should be mocked for not aligning with a gender role, but I think some of the difference that you are seeing actually comes from there.

More comments

Queens of what?

Beats me. Maybe queens of slay. Like all such popular slogans expressing the feminist ideal of limitless empowerment, I find it ridiculous, a facet of a promise that is unwarrantable at scale, and inevitably leads to disillusionment and personal failure.

Well, if you think that you should have control over that

I love the indignation here. Indeed, who am I to dare think... think what? It's very quickly traced from the underdefined abstract claim («women should accept responsibility for the reproduction of the group») to the specific attack on personal agency, indeed an assault: that @gemmaem should be forced to bear a baby. (Probably my baby? Some incel's baby? Yuck!) @FarNearEverywhere, to whom I was responding, offers another charming strawman:

it's so unfair! women have all the power! they should lose all their rights and be forced back to the days of exchanging sex for meat so that men can have a fuckdoll of their own at home for their own exclusive use!

What to do! When one side has a game-breaking move «act as if you are afraid of rape», burned into the brainstem and summoned frivolously – no discourse is possible.

My intuitive ideal is maximum agency and optionality for every individual that the society can sustain, in terms of actual material opportunities and not bickering over spoils in a zero-sum squabble. Honestly, if it were possible, I'd have relieved you, and everyone else, of the necessity to gestate an entire baby (or part of a baby, I guess). But surprisingly, women aren't too enthusiastic about artificial womb research either, despite attempts to frame it as an empowering development. Imagine if I suggested that, say, @2rafa's list, admittedly uncomfortably hardcore even for me, is augmented as follows: childless people who are otherwise subject to those career-damaging sanctions and prohibitive taxes can instead 1) postpone their reproduction, 2) pay directly to the «national ectogenesis fund» and 3) commit to have a child once the technology is ready. Men and women alike.

Do you think this would've been politically feasible?

And thanks for another illustration.

Beats me. Maybe queens of slay.

I love your writing, man. But do me a favour and finally get off that arse of yours and write a novel. Pains me to see this generation's Dostojewski wasted on internet bullshit, even though it's highly entertaining.

I mean, would it even be a novel, or just an autobiography with some Magical Realism injected into it? Dase certainly has the classical cynicism of the greats of the past, combined with the profound-yet-puerile attitude found in Russian moderns, IMO.

Imagine if I suggested that, say, @2rafa's list, admittedly uncomfortably hardcore even for me, is augmented as follows: childless people who are otherwise subject to those career-damaging sanctions and prohibitive taxes can instead 1) postpone their reproduction, 2) pay directly to the «national ectogenesis fund» and 3) commit to have a child once the technology is ready. Men and women alike.

This list isn't even all that terrible. If someone wants to live a barebones 33rd percentile Western life they can still do so pretty easily childless under this regime. And this list doesn't force @gemmaem or anyone else to have children, all it does is impose a requirement that if people want to enjoy the upper echelons of the fruits of modern society, they do their part in contributing to its continuation.

Well, since you can't even explain what power it is that women have that you're complaining about, I suppose there is no substance here for me to argue with. You've made one vague gesture towards @2rafa's list of admirably gender-neutral constraints while simultaneously declaring it, understandably, "too hardcore."

You can't even really articulate the premise on which your misogyny rests, let alone substantiate it.

  • -13

I think I explain it well enough. I can try to explain again from first principles. Power is asymmetry of control between agents. Power of women specifically is the power to tank any political project they don't like (say, one increasing men's rights) and shut down a discussion they don't favor (say, one casting women in unflattering light) with a gratuitous refusal to compromise or engage in good faith; the essence of this is captured in twitter catchphrases like «this makes me feel unsafe», or in your behavior toward me here. It is power because it reliably, irrespective of merits of each case, extracts sympathy out of women and out of men, producing a predictable asymmetry and skewing outcomes. This power is an active application of the well-known "women are wonderful" effect, which is in turn explained by evolutionary dynamics created by parental investment inequality, which you have already alluded to (but which, in modern society, doesn't necessarily hold outside of the context of gestation).

The premise of my «misogyny», or actually my argument about there being no realistic solution to undesirable societal effects of feminism, is that women (except members of retrograde religious societies), with you being an apt example, feel entitled to behave this way toward interlocutors, for good reason, namely that «the society» simultaneously encourages this self-serving mean-girl behavior and pretends it's compatible with the authority of an adult.

I will opt out of substantiating the link between feminism and adverse effects discussed (disproportionate, growing inability of young men to form relationships, high divorce rate, low TFR, etc.) because, again, I think the effortpost by @gorge, linked above, suffices as an introduction.

If I were to propose anything like a plan to «impose responsibility» on women in the intended sense, it'd be not so much about me being in control of your womb, «sex for meat» and other blatantly hostile potshots you ladies have come up with, as about nationalism and extended families, in following with the only example of a large, prosperous secular society without those issues that I know. Naturally I also know this cannot be engineered. 2rafa's plan, on top of being hardcore, is also unworkable, at least not in a democratic society.

You may have already encountered it, but if not I think you will enjoy this article by Richard Hanania:

Power of women specifically is the power to tank any political project they don't like (say, one increasing men's rights) and shut down a discussion they don't favor (say, one casting women in unflattering light) with a gratuitous refusal to compromise or engage in good faith;

Still a bit light on the details. Are you too afraid of my mean-girl power to explain which men's rights women are taking away, or would you be willing to elaborate?

As for "casting women in an unflattering light," well, your premise that women are too mean and irrational to be allowed to participate in politics certainly does that! And I suppose you will claim that any counterargument that I make is merely an appeal to "women are wonderful." But I think my conduct speaks for itself, to any reasonable observer. Your accusation of habitual bad-faith argumentation on my part is unfounded.

More comments

Violations of the principle "My body, my choice" are only ever considered "unreasonable" and "dictatorial" when they come in form of protections of bodily autonomy for preborn children.

A suicide attempt leading to one being put in a mental institution, drug use to a prison sentence, unvaccination to house arrest, are considered reasonable uses of state power, despite each instance on its own killing much fewer unconsenting people.

Not even illegal drug use, the west doesn't accept "my body, my choice" as being a valid reason for me to use whichever antibiotic whenever I want.

Or if I want to speed up my muscle-gaining journey with Testosterone, many such cases. It's okay if a girl wants to become a boy though.

Atleast with antibiotics they can gesture towards you trying to create some sort of superbug intentionally or not, what can possibly go wrong with Testosterone? Its not like I cant kill myself with bleach.