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Culture War Roundup for the week of July 10, 2023

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Life offers a Better "Minimum Deal" to Women than to Men - Change my Mind?

  • Men are vastly more likely to be victims of the worst kind of violent crime: murder. In the US, 82% of total homicide victims are male, 18% are female. Women probably endure more sexual violence, but men definitely endure more violence overall given the 4:1 murder ratio.

  • Men do the overwhelming majority of the nasty, dangerous work, such as roofing in the summer, oil rig operation, management of sewers, garbage collection, etc.

  • Men are much more likely to be homeless (70%:30%) or imprisoned (93%:7%). I think this speaks to the greater competitiveness of the male world: If a man fails in life, he's judged a complete fuckup, and ends up a homeless low-status loser. If a woman fails, she can almost always just get married.

  • Men are much more likely to kill themselves (4:1). Although women attempt suicide more than men, men use dramatically more lethal means (hanging, gunshots, jumping). Because I'm not so sexist as to claim that women are too stupid to know how to actually succeed in killing themselves, I conclude that the difference in suicide methods reflects a difference in willingness to die. (And in any case, even when controlling for method, men manage to kill themselves more effectively than women.)

  • Men spend much more time on the job than women (41weekly hrs:36.3hrs/week). (This remains true well after the children leave the nest. And no, I'm not persuaded that childcare is harder than conventional employment.)

  • The law heavily favors women in child custody and child support disputes, and the institution of alimony transfers far more male wealth to women than female wealth to men.

  • Men are much more likely to die in combat; in fact, during serious military conflicts, they face military slavery (“the draft”). (In Iraq, women were 2.9% of all American combat deaths, men the other 97.1%; in WWII, of the 292,000 members of the US military who were killed by enemy fire, only sixteen were female. Women made up only 0.1 percent of the military's 405,000 war-related deaths.)

  • Our culture automatically cares more about female suffering and wellbeing than male suffering: "The ship is sinking! Save the women and children first!" Male job candidates are significantly more penalized for crying than women; subjects express that it appears that a woman in distress is taken more seriously than a man in distress.

  • The dating market is more competitive for men than for women; women are far more selective than men about sex partners. Imagine an attractive person of the opposite sex walking up to you on a college campus and saying, “Hi, I’ve been noticing you around town lately, and I fnd you very attractive. Would you have sex with me?” How would you respond? If you are like 100 percent of the women in one study, you would give an emphatic no. You might be ofended, insulted, or just plain puzzled by the request. But if you are like the men in that study, the odds are good that you would say yes— as did 75 percent of those men (Clarke & Hatfeld, 1989). As a man, you would most likely be flattered by the request.

  • Women are more likely to be superficially treated as mere "sex objects" by men. That said, men are more likely to be superficially treated as mere "success objects" by women.

  • Women now comprise nearly 60 percent of enrollment in universities and colleges and men just over 40 percent.

The "minimum deal" of life for men is worse than for women. The "minimum deal" for women seems to be "get married." The minimum deal for men seems to be: become homeless and kill yourself, if you aren't murdered first. Yes, men make more money and enjoy greater prestige because men are overrepresented at both the top and the bottom levels of society. But the degree to which being at the bottom of society hurts you is greater than the degree to which being at the top helps you. That is, it's so much more bad to be at the bottom than it is good to be at the top. Just ask yourself: would you rather experience the greatest amount of pleasure possible for 20 seconds, followed by the greatest amount of suffering possible for 20 seconds? Our response tells us that there is not a 1:1 ratio of pleasure to suffering. How about 30 seconds of the greatest possible amount of pleasure for 20 seconds of the worst possible amount of pain? 40:20? 50:20? I think this is why men kill themselves more.

According to Christian legend, God told Adam and Eve before their ouster from the garden of eden: "man shall live by the sweat of his brow, and woman shall suffer the pain of childbirth." Modern technology has greatly minimized the pain of childbirth, but has it equally lightened the burden on men's shoulders?

I won't deny that men do much less childcare and housework than women, and non-custodial fathers provide little financial or parental support for their children. Also, men are the perpetrators, and women are the victims, of the vast majority of sexual violence. (Although I'm not sure what the stats at prisons do to this balance; apparently rape in male prisons is a huge epidemic and is vastly greater than rape in female prisons. Considering the ridiculously disproportionate number of men in prisons, it's possible that this balances out.)

Anticipated objection: "But men are often the primary perpetrators of the issues facing men." This is irrelevant to the post title, but in any case, I think this is like saying "it's not bad that humans are victims of murder because, after all, all of the perpetrators of murder are also humans." The identity group to which the perpetrators belong is irrelevant to whether an individual was treated unjustly if the perps and victims are different individuals. This simple-minded identity-politics is like saying "someone with red hair beat me up when I was 12. Therefore, it's okay for me to beat someone up today, so long as they also have red hair (regardless of whether they are the same person)."

For some reason copy/pasting my post over to this website deleted all of the hyperlinks. It would be a big time waster to fix that so I'm just going to suffer the blow to credibility that may or may not cause. (For what it's worth, a simple google search should give you all of the same ratios above.) I originally drafted this for CMV on reddit, but the mods took it down.

My thoughts point by point:

Men are vastly more likely to be victims of the worst kind of violent crime: murder. In the US, 82% of total homicide victims are male, 18% are female. Women probably endure more sexual violence, but men definitely endure more violence overall given the 4:1 murder ratio.

Fair. Though if you aren't involved in criminal activity, your odds of being murdered drop dramatically.

Men do the overwhelming majority of the nasty, dangerous work, such as roofing in the summer, oil rig operation, management of sewers, garbage collection, etc.

True, but the vast majority of men in first world countries don't do work like this. I don't think it says much about the experience of the average man. A lot of very dangerous, hard work is also quite well-paying.

Men are much more likely to be homeless (70%:30%) or imprisoned (93%:7%). I think this speaks to the greater competitiveness of the male world: If a man fails in life, he's judged a complete fuckup, and ends up a homeless low-status loser. If a woman fails, she can almost always just get married.

Basically no one who isn't severely mentally ill and/or addicted to hard drugs ends up homeless long-term. It's not like the majority, or even a significant minority, of men are living on the knife's edge of homelessness.

Men are much more likely to kill themselves

I'm not sure how this really relates to the concept of a "minimum deal." Unlike most of the other things on this list, suicide can't just happen to you as a result of extrapersonal factors. If you don't want to die by suicide, just don't kill yourself.

And no, I'm not persuaded that childcare is harder than conventional employment.)

'Conventional employment' is a pretty broad term. Would I rather take care of children than fight in Ukraine or mine coal? Yeah, probably. Would I rather take care of children than work in an air-conditioned office or as a cashier? No way. Childcare sucks, even if some things suck even worse.

The law heavily favors women in child custody and child support disputes, and the institution of alimony transfers far more male wealth to women than female wealth to men.

True, but ameliorated by the fact that a huge number of men don't even bother to contest custody, and that alimony payment is in fact very rare. The vast majority of divorces don't end in alimony settlements. The whole horror story where your wife divorces you and takes all your stuff so she can fuck chad is much less common than the internet would have you believe.

Men are much more likely to die in combat; in fact, during serious military conflicts, they face military slavery (“the draft”).

True, but the draft hasn't been a factor in half a century and IMO is unlikely to be one for the foreseeable future. Any American who gets killed in battle these days quite literally signed up for it.

Our culture automatically cares more about female suffering and wellbeing than male suffering: "The ship is sinking! Save the women and children first!"

Maybe (though I have posted previously on here about how I think the narrative of 'if you're a man nobody gives a shit about you, your existence is a lonely void' is quite overblown). That said, fair to point out that "women and children first" was not an old maritime law but a rather recent innovation at the time the Titanic sank. Through most of history, women and children have had much worse survival rates in sinkings because, well, the rule was 'every man for himself' and the men could swim.

The dating market is more competitive for men than for women; women are far more selective than men about sex partners. Imagine an attractive person of the opposite sex walking up to you on a college campus and saying, “Hi, I’ve been noticing you around town lately, and I fnd you very attractive. Would you have sex with me?” How would you respond? If you are like 100 percent of the women in one study, you would give an emphatic no. You might be ofended, insulted, or just plain puzzled by the request. But if you are like the men in that study, the odds are good that you would say yes— as did 75 percent of those men (Clarke & Hatfeld, 1989). As a man, you would most likely be flattered by the request.

I have great news for you: you too can have sex on demand. Simply download tinder onto your phone, set your preferences to 'men,' and start swiping. I guarantee you within a few hours tops you can have a hook-up arranged with an extremely attractive man. "But I don't want to have sex with men!" you cry. Well...

Women are more likely to be superficially treated as mere "sex objects" by men. That said, men are more likely to be superficially treated as mere "success objects" by women.

This seems like a wash even on your framing. But it does remind me of what I think is one of the sillier mansophere/PUA/redpill/whatever it's called now, slogans, which goes something like "women are loved for who they are, men are loved for what they can provide." Silly because it implies there's some kind of core essence of 'you' separate from your character and actions (what you can provide), and because what "women are loved for who they are" really means is "women are loved for their looks" which doesn't sound nearly as nice. Moreover this is usually said said in such a way to make women out to be the shallower sex, but when it really comes down to it I think loving someone because they make a lot of money or are a famous musician or something is less shallow than loving someone because they're hot (even if both are kind of shallow by the standards of storybook 'true love.') At least the former qualities are reflections of character.

Modern technology has greatly minimized the pain of childbirth, but has it equally lightened the burden on men's shoulders?

Absolutely. I think the majority of men in the first world today would probably drop dead if they had to do the work their grandfathers did, let alone those grandfathers' grandfathers. I know I would. People, especially people who romanticize pre-industrial society, really have a tendency to underestimate how brutal and treacherous life was just a little over a century ago (and much more recently in some places, and still is in less developed parts of the world).

There are ways that life is easier for men. You have already listed female advantages. For men, it's mostly the fact that people take you more seriously, and that men tend to be physically much stronger than women. Those two factors divide into a lot of different smaller sub-advantages in social and daily life. Personally I think walking around knowing that about 75% of the population is physically stronger than me and there wouldn't be much I could do about it if one of them chose to do me harm would be very psychologically distressing, and I'm glad I don't have to deal with that, and no amount of cultural messaging will fix that particular problem.

As for your "minimum deal" for women being "just get married," again, imagine that your alternative to being homeless and killing yourself (though again, you can avoid the latter by just not killing yourself) was getting married to a man (and yes, you have to have sex with him). Would that be a great deal? Would you be happy to have that option?

Basically no one who isn't severely mentally ill and/or addicted to hard drugs ends up homeless long-term. It's not like the majority, or even a significant minority, of men are living on the knife's edge of homelessness.

Any man without a greatly above average social network is one bad tax mistake away from homelessness.

I wouldn't say I have a greatly above average social network, but even if I somehow managed to bankrupt myself, at the very least my parents would let me move in with them...

And then the IRS would start digging into your parents finances to see if anything belonging to them could be construed as belonging to you... which they would then take. Your parents might not be too hot on that idea.

I guess it's like whatever TVTrope it is where people who know things about science or history or biology are more annoyed by movies that don't even try to get it right than normies, but the sheer ignorance people post here about how federal agencies work regularly astounds me.

The IRS is actually one of the more reasonable agencies. They are subject to a lot of oversight (auditors can get in big trouble even for accidentally mistyping someone's name and pulling up the wrong file), and they go out of their way to work with people who aren't being intentionally criminal. They don't go after people on whims, people who make innocent (even if really stupid) mistakes are generally able to work out repayment terms, and even for tax frauds, the IRS doesn't even have enough resources to go "digging into" the finances of everyone related to their target just for spite and punitiveness. This scenario you have conjured in which they seize all your assets and garnish your wages forever so you are forced to live in poverty, and then try to take your parents' house, because you "made one bad tax mistake" - do you have some particular example in mind of this happening, or did you make it up?

The IRS used to be known for doing obviously cruel things, which they did on purpose because they wanted to be seen as obviously cruel so people would pay their taxes. I've heard that's no longer policy for some time now. But they still want their money, they'll still go after you like a Terminator until they get it, and they absolutely will go after people they think might be helping a delinquent taxpayer hide assets from them. The scenario I described -- owing more than you ever actually had -- was a common one during the dot-com bust. They don't garnish your wages forever -- I believe the limit is 10 years -- but they do take everything you have and garnish your wages down to what they consider subsistence levels.

The IRS used to be known for doing obviously cruel things, which they did on purpose because they wanted to be seen as obviously cruel so people would pay their taxes.

When was this era of capricious cruelty? Because it's not within my lifetime or yours.

But they still want their money, they'll still go after you like a Terminator until they get it,

Yes, if you evade taxes, they will pursue what you owe. This is called enforcement. I don't know that the IRS is particularly more "Terminator-like" than any other enforcement agency. There are two possibilities here:

  1. You think they are pursuing people for things that shouldn't be enforced. Your complain is with Congress - they make tax law. (The IRS has been advocating for simpler tax codes for decades. It's not the IRS that wants a tax code system so byzantine that the average person needs help from software and/or tax preparation services and still runs a risk of making an expensive mistake. Guess whose interests are served by that?)

  2. You think they shouldn't pursue tax cheats. So... don't enforce the law, because you think taxes are bad? Again, take it up with Congress.

and they absolutely will go after people they think might be helping a delinquent taxpayer hide assets from them.

Yes, if you are playing shell games with friends and relatives to try to hide your assets, they will go after you (and the people you're using). That's called tax evasion.

None of this remotely resembles the scenario you described where "Poor average guy somehow accidentally finds out he owes more taxes than his total net worth and the IRS impoverishes him and then goes after his parents." That sounds like the story a dedicated tax evader might tell that should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Again, got any actual examples?

The scenario I described -- owing more than you ever actually had -- was a common one during the dot-com bust

I'm not familiar with how many actual cases of this there might have been. It's possible to have massive paper capital gains which you then owe taxes on, immediately prior to a bust, so while I am not a tax accountant myself, I can envision hypothetical scenarios where a heavily leveraged person might end up owing "more taxes than he ever actually had." Color me skeptical, however, that this was common or that it didn't involve some financial shenanigans on the part of the alleged victim.

They don't garnish your wages forever -- I believe the limit is 10 years -- but they do take everything you have and garnish your wages down to what they consider subsistence levels.

The IRS helpfully posts this information on their website. You can be garnished until either you pay off what you owe or the levy is released, and it's calculated based on standard deductions and the number of dependents. I don't know precise numbers and it's certainly possible that if you owe a lot of money (which almost always is the result of doing a lot of tax evasion), you will be heavily garnished, though hardly down to "subsistence levels." Generally speaking, the upper end of what they will garnish is more like 50%, and that's after deducting what they consider necessary for you and your dependents (not as "subsistence level").

You are just repeating J. Edgar Hoover-era just-so stories.

When was this era of capricious cruelty? Because it's not within my lifetime or yours.

It's within mine. It hit its nadir when the IRS decided to raid a co-op nursery school and refuse to release the children to their parents until they signed a form agreeing to be responsible for a share of the taxes. I think this was in the 1980s but it might have been the 1970s. But even without that sort of thing, the casual impersonal cruelty of the juggernaut is quite sufficient.

None of this remotely resembles the scenario you described where "Poor average guy somehow accidentally finds out he owes more taxes than his total net worth and the IRS impoverishes him and then goes after his parents."

I never said he was an average guy. Several people have assumed that because they have even less sympathy for a man who this might happen to (e.g. a dot-com bust principal or early employee) than to an average guy.

It's possible to have massive paper capital gains which you then owe taxes on, immediately prior to a bust, so while I am not a tax accountant myself, I can envision hypothetical scenarios where a heavily leveraged person might end up owing "more taxes than he ever actually had."

No leverage is required.

Color me skeptical, however, that this was common or that it didn't involve some financial shenanigans on the part of the alleged victim.

And this is just-worlding.

More comments

I mean without knowing what I did it's hard to say much on the topic, but unless we're talking about random and arbitrary tyranny in which the IRS makes an accounting error and insists that they're correct, and I somehow lose in court, I can't imagine owing more on taxes than I have in assets in the first place... You're really going to have to clarify how the average man can be fucked over by the IRS just like that.

The average man can't (though there are plenty of ways the average man can lose everything). Basically you can receive stock that you can't sell because of various securities rules, and that stock can drop precipitously before you are able to sell it. You owe the full tax on the value of the stock you received at the time you received it. The IRS now owns you for 10 years, and determines how much you're able to keep. If you're lucky you can make enough and keep enough under these circumstances to put a roof over your head. If you're not, the cash economy and homelessness is for you. You can beg the court for mercy but as @sun demonstrates, nobody has any sympathy for a once-well-off man.

Not like you'd believe me, but the key traits here are "a once well-off person who decided to fuck around with the Labyrinth that is modern finance and found out that the Minotaur lives there".

There are millions of unemployed men in America and very few of them are homeless.

If you get on the wrong side of the IRS (there are ways with stock options that you can end up owing far more than you ever had in spendable money, for instance) they don't make you unemployed; they take all your assets and garnish any wages down to near-nothing. You can of course beg the tax court for relief, but if you're not sympathetic (e.g. you're male) you won't get any.

So the ones who can be harmed by that are the ones who are rich enough to trade stocks?

No, that was just an example. A useful one, because it demonstrates that being well-off doesn't shield you -- the ways poor men can become homeless are quite obvious.

Now subtract all of the men who

And any person crossing a road is one drunk driver away from being a corpse. Somehow, people cross roads without being miserable shut-ins.

My point was that the precarity exists, not that people should become miserable shut-ins.

"women are loved for who they are, men are loved for what they can provide."... "women are loved for who they are" really means is "women are loved for their looks"

That's not my read of that statement at all. I always took this to mean that a woman is loved for her intrinsic traits (of which beauty may be one, but doesn't have to be), whereas love for men is conditional on their being productive members of society. I don't just mean "love" in a romantic sense, but also platonic and familial sense. This is difficult to express and back up with hard data, but I do think it's generally much more socially acceptable for the average woman to e.g. take a "sabbatical" or "career break", move back in with her parents and not work for several months, than it would be for a man to do the same. We have a hundred derisive terms for adult men who live with their parents and stubbornly refuse to find a real job and get their shit together ("NEET", "basement dweller", "hikikomori", arguably "incel"), but the reflexive assumption is that a woman who lives with her parents and refuses to get her shit together must be "going through some stuff" or suffering from some nebulous undefined "trauma". Consider also that there's no distaff counterpart to terms like "deadbeat dad", "prodigal son" or "failson". Generally speaking, a woman who is pleasant, agreeable, talkative and amiable, but who's moved back in with her parents, hasn't worked for six months and isn't actively looking for a job is "figuring herself out"; a man who does the same is an embarrassment to the family. I don't think the situation is fundamentally different if the woman is overweight and unattractive. This, I think, is what the "woman are loved for who they are" concept is getting at.

The phenomenon I'm describing isn't just a negative one (romantic, platonic and familial love being extended to women in spite of what they refuse to do - their "sins" of omission) but also positive (their loved ones extending them love and charity in spite of what they have done). It's variously called the "women are wonderful" effect or "hypoagency" or whatever, but my general impression is that whenever a woman does something bad (including criminal offences) people will scramble to find someone or something to blame other than her. I'm racking my brains trying to think of a time I read about a woman on trial for a criminal offense and her crime wasn't attributed to self-defense/justified retribution, "mental health issues", or manipulation by a (male, obviously) third party. The idea that Ghislaine Maxwell or Elizabeth Holmes could have just done really awful things without a man coercing them to is just too unspeakable to countenance, apparently. I've even read a feminist writer attribute the murder of Sylvia Likens to crypto-feminism. It's not just talk: I think there's a large body of evidence indicating judges give vastly shorter sentences to female murderers than male. And yes, this reflexive assumption of hypoagency does not depend on the woman in question being pretty. Aileen Wuornos was no supermodel, but people were still falling over themselves to attribute her killings to justifiable retribution against would-be rapists and/or pimps, even if the evidence strongly suggested otherwise (although said kid-gloves treatment in the popular imagination did not save her from execution).

So this is my interpretation of "women are loved for who they are": women tend to be loved and respected by their families, friends and romantic partners more or less unconditionally. Crimes of omission, derelictions of duty and shortcomings will be ignored; crimes of commission will be forgiven, excused or explained away. "Pretty privilege" factors into this but is by no means dispositive (e.g. there are no "plus-size men").

Unhappily, males are disposable. See this about bull calves.

The flip side of "alpha guy in his society has literal harem of women" is that you don't need that many men to be reproductively active, you can populate your locale with only a few, selected men so long as fertile women are available in sufficient numbers. That means a pressure to winnow out men to find the fittest to reproduce and pass on their genes to the next generation, and that means competition among men and high standards for mates by women.

I understand the logic of where male disposability came from. The point of this thread is to raise awareness of the fact that it exists at all, when most of modern feminism seems predicated on the assumption that it doesn't.

Even if we admit that male disposability in some respects may be a necessary evil for a society or tribe to effectively multiply and flourish (I recently rewatched Titanic and am 100% onboard with the Birkenhead drill: I found the sacrifice of the men travelling in first class who willingly laid down their lives that women might escape unscathed far more moving and affecting than any component of the Jack and Rose A-story), I don't think that necessarily implies the "women are wonderful effect" or hypoagency are justified. Male disposability implies that it's wrongheaded to execute a woman for capital crimes even if we would happily execute a man who committed the same crimes, fair enough. But why does male disposability imply that women cannot be held accountable for any acts of wrongdoing, why we must scramble and contrive reasons that someone (some man) other than the woman in question was at fault for the crime she freely chose to commit? The male disposability hypothesis presumes that societies are loath to kill women because they're required for child-bearing and -rearing, but isn't there an argument that a systemic refusal to hold women accountable for their decisions prevents them from learning the skills they will need to be effective child-rearers?

I never watched Titanic because I thought the story was idiotic. Why did Cameron feel the need to plug in an invented romance, I have no idea. Wanted to make a chick-flick? Who knows.

Women were executed for crimes in the past. Maybe the past was harder-headed. Maybe we're just softer about executing any criminals today. Maybe there's a difference in the type of crimes committed by men and women for which execution is the punishment.

I think everyone should be held responsible for freely-chosen actions. But we're in the throes of over-correction. Talking about how women disproportionately get custody in separation and divorces ignores that (1) men used to get automatic custody, and indeed often abusive husbands used that as a weapon against their wives - divorce me and never see your children again (2) women were and are disproportionately the caretakers of children. More men may be willing to be full-time fathers and look after their kids, but it's still catching up.

Is that used now as a weapon against men? Yeah, and the solution there is to work out how to stop vicious divorces and the best interests of the children, and I'm happy to go along with "don't rely on social workers who are too easy fooled by a sob story when deciding which parent gets custody". But on the other hand, I've seen examples from my workplaces of men who wanted nothing to do with their kids and indeed in one case was actively fucking over the kid just because he was still in a pissing match with the mother years after the separation.

Why did Cameron feel the need to plug in an invented romance, I have no idea. Wanted to make a chick-flick? Who knows.

Here's 1.8 billion reasons why. I remember when it was in theaters, and many of the women I knew went to see it multiple times. The music video was blared non-stop on MTV. It wasn't because they were moved by the sacrifice of the men in first class.

why does male disposability imply that women cannot be held accountable for any acts of wrongdoing, why we must scramble and contrive reasons that someone (some man) other than the woman in question was at fault for the crime she freely chose to commit?

I guess you could stretch it to argue that the successful men who haven't been disposed of are responsible, like captains at sea, for everything the women in their household do and fail to do. Therefore, if a man's wife commits murder or robbery or fraud, it is the man who is responsible and knows or should have known and done something to prevent it. His failure to do so means that he is unfit and must be punished. I don't exactly agree with this, as I am a Westerner and not a Talib, but that's my best argument for it.

Society may take antisocial behavior less 'seriously' when committed by women, but I don't think it's to such an extent that it can be said "women are loved unconditionally." Maxwell and Holmes are still going to prison. Wuornos, as you note, was executed. At best there's a weak qualification of their crimes in the public imagination, but I don't think anyone is actually out there hoping Ghislaine Maxwell walks free.

I also think you underrate how much different the experience can be for an overweight/unattractive woman compared to a very attractive one. People, especially men, really are much, much more patient, indulgent, and friendly with good-looking women (and good-looking men, but I think the effect is stronger since a much higher premium is placed on women's looks).

women tend to be loved and respected by their families, friends and romantic partners more or less unconditionally.

This I absolutely do not agree with. Men absolutely don't love their girlfriends' unconditionally, it's entirely conditional on sexual attraction (which, again, reduces to "loved for their looks"). I don't think anyone has friends that love them unconditionally, that would actually be quite weird, the whole point of friends is they're pleasant to be around, and if they stop being pleasant you're not going to want to be around them anymore. In this respect I don't think women are any different from men. Families? I'm pretty sure my mom and dad love me unconditionally, but that's probably it. Is there any evidence parents love their daughters any more than their sons?

Yes, the idea that women are loved for simply existing or that women have access to male provisioning whenever they feel like it is just… not in touch with reality. It’s the result of observing the kind of women a man notices and failing to account for the rest.

Hmm. I've seen lots of morbidly obese women in relationships with or married to thin or average looking guys that earn average or better incomes. Also, parents of unattractive children (from what I've seen) usually determinedly stick their heads in the sand when they see their children aren't dating anyone.

Generally speaking, a woman who is pleasant, agreeable, talkative and amiable, but who's moved back in with her parents, hasn't worked for six months and isn't actively looking for a job is "figuring herself out"; a man who does the same is an embarrassment to the family.

Yeah, these sorts of double standards and/or Russell conjugations are ubiquitous once you start Noticing. Not even the fatFIRE subreddit is immune. Threads with male OPs asking how to go about pre-nups often have several comments accusing them of being paranoid and misogynistic, whereas ones with female OPs have several comments praising them for being prudent and looking out for themselves.

'Conventional employment' is a pretty broad term. Would I rather take care of children than fight in Ukraine or mine coal? Yeah, probably. Would I rather take care of children than work in an air-conditioned office or as a cashier? No way. Childcare sucks, even if some things suck even worse.

I think you're overgeneralising from yourself here. The majority of mothers I know not only work half time, but would actually like to work less than that and spend more with the children. Even when mothers complain about their husband not doing their share, they will often don't actually want to do more work - they mainly want more quality time with the entire family. Talking personally about my wife and me, she generally tries to actively maximize the time spent on childcare, while I try to have a balance. If we could afford it more easily, we probably would both work less. Also, by all accounts I know, cashier is a notoriously boring and tedious job that people only do if they have no other options.

Do you think this tendency for mothers to maximize their time with childcare, while men don't, comes from mothers experiencing more satisfaction with childcare than with work?

Or could it be that mothers experience less satisfaction with employment (income included) than fathers do?

Or maybe a mix of both?

Because the way you put it, it is very easy to just attribute it to mothers having an innate taste for childcare that men don't have, maybe even a taste for childcare above anything else, and completely disregard other very important elements in that tendency - such as that the woman's income is lower than the man's, that her career opportunities have already been diminished anyway, that childcare is too expensive to outsource, that there is concern over whether another person would be sufficiently competent to take the task, that men often weaponise their incompetence in order to avoid childcare. Just to name a few.

Anyway, I don' t even know what the goal of this thread even is. I just don't like it when claims that childcare is a lesser type of work or that childcare is an easier work for women than for men are supported by examples like yours without due critical contextualization of the conditions that take women to take upon themselves the task of chidcare.

Oh, the irony! I know talking about a lack of context is quite popular currently, and it is occasionally appropriate. If, say, a norwegian guy is dunking on native american casinos and how they totally could have other sources of income, and lists a bunch of options while knowing nothing, it's a rather reasonable charge.

But critically examine my post and your post, and who is lacking context here: The person talking about his own wife, friends & acquaintances? Or the person offering a bunch of possibilities while knowing nothing about us? If anything, you may say that I have an overabundance of context, that I'm steeped so deep in it that I can't see the greater picture. I don't think so, but it would make vastly more sense.

So, to cure you of your fatal lack of context: When my wife got pregnant (which was planned), we both were PhD Students in our first (me) and second (her) year. We both agreed to share obligations perfectly 50/50 and did in fact do so. She was 100% convinced that she would get tired of the little one rather fast and would be thrilled to get back to work. We both finished our PhD's, and we are both Postdocs now, at the same university (in different fields though), earning exactly the same per hour. But she realised that she simply cares much, much less about her work now. Finishing the PhD was an obligation she pushed through. We regularly have the situation that I'm technically obligated to take our daughter from daycare for the day, but she simply WANTS to do it and will hassle me until I agree. Or that I do it, and then she comes home 5 minutes later to spend more time with us. In light of the realisation that her priorities and mine are quite different after all, we agreed that I work full-time and she works ~80%, and that for the next child, she will stay home much more than me. In fact, she has gotten quite anti-feminist recently since she feels betrayed and tricked; All her life, she was told how amazing a career is, how women are held back by children, by wrong-headed social expectation and by unwilling husbands, and how having children should be postponed as far as possible (and if you don't have any, it's fine as well). But now her (and mine) view is the inversion: Women are manipulated into careers they don't really enjoy and talked into having less children later, to keep them in the workforce for longer (similar to the former claims, we don't think this is a conscious conspiracy, merely the automatic and implicit market forces of the modern world at work).

And this isn't just my wife, this is the majority of mothers I know. My wife's current (female) professor has a baby, and the plan originally was for her to stay home only 3 months and then her husband takes over (he has a rather flexible job as a programmer), since there was a large project that she was heading. It's now a year or so, and the project she was heading is now de-facto led by my wife. The professor is working waaaay less and when at work is regularly talking about her baby, how she wants to get back and how unimportant work feels to her now.

Another acquainted couple is a well-earning high-performance physician at a clinic and her husband, a programmer (you may see a pattern here; Yes we have A LOT of programmers, often in home office). They also split up obligations 50/50 when the child was very small, I know because I regularly met him alone with the child in the park or at the playground. But now that the child can go to daycare and it isn't necessary anymore, do you want to take a guess who is pulling back now? By your theory, it should be the husband; His job is less demanding and can easier incorporate a child, he doesn't really earn much more and they generally earn enough that they can afford it either way and he can't weaponise his incompetence since, just like me, he has regularly cared for his child on his own. Also, daycare is both comprehensive - as a shift-working clinician, she would have access to a round-the-clock daycare - as well as ridiculously cheap here, so neither really needs to pull back at all if they don't want to. But no, she decided that she doesn't want to sent him to daycare full-time yet and that she doesn't want to continue her work because family is now more important, so she switched to a part-time government (pre-school checkups etc.) job. He is working significantly more than her nowadays and you usually see her alone with the child.

We obviously also know traditional couples where the man does earn significantly more anyway, but ironically that makes them less conflicted than us.

Yes I know, if you're just doing some context-free pondering you can make up a an arbitrary number of possible explanations. But once you know a bit more, you'll see that they don't hold up.

Btw, don't put words in my mouth; I don't think childcare is a lesser type of work, in fact I think it's under-appreciated compared to its importance (as are having children and families in general).

Sure, I don't disagree with what you said. I even think your anecdotes are actually representative of a trend.

If I read it correctly, you interpreted my text as an speculation about the specific examples you have from your personal surroundings, which it was not. I was questioning the general scenario. So I will not comment on them, as they neither prove nor disprove my claim that, in general, the division of childcare work is strongly (not exclusively) affected by external factors other than taste.

Btw, don't put words in my mouth; I don't think childcare is a lesser type of work, in fact I think it's under-appreciated compared to its importance (as are having children and families in general).

I did not put words in your mouth, in fact you seem to be the one doing it, because I never accused you of claiming that childcare is a lesser type of work. What I admonished you for doing, though, was providing anecdotal support to such claim first made by OP without also adding the criticism that I deem recommendable to include when in a debate with someone who lacks (or at least doesn't show) nuance like OP

Women are manipulated into careers they don't really enjoy and talked into having less children later, to keep them in the workforce for longer (similar to the former claims, we don't think this is a conscious conspiracy, merely the automatic and implicit market forces of the modern world at work).

That is fair; atomization and increased government surveillance (or the perception of it) means that the things that used to keep abusive assholes in check in ages past aren't as strong anymore. There's a greater chance you wind up in prison if you and your friends instruct your sister's husband on why it is not a good idea to be an abusive asshole. There are weaker family and community networks for applying pressure to people defecting from local optimums. So in order to not be vulnerable to certain kinds of exploitation, women need to work and have careers. Taking a couple decades off of work to raise children is admirable, but makes women vulnerable: I knew a woman that had a Master's degree, but could only find minimum-wage unskilled work after twenty years of homemaking. That led her to stay with her rather insensitive but mostly good breadwinner husband instead of divorcing her. Perhaps you can bite the bullet and argue that women need to be in relationships they do not want to be in because of economic and societal pressure in order to continue the species, but that is a rather hard bullet to bite and I sincerely hope that this is not true.

Imagine two heterosexual people, one man and one woman, otherwise identical and of middling intelligence, attractiveness, etc. They both want to get married and stay home and take care of children, perhaps with a part-time job to help pay the bills. If you had to bet which one would be more successful in their search for a partner, who would you bet on?

You can't attribute everything or most of what's wrong with gender roles to things men do. Women have agency in the process and share responsibility for the outcomes, and you can't look at outcomes without due critical contextualization of the conditions that take men to take upon themselves the task of market labor to play the provider role.

Sure, I agree with all you said. You further endorsed my point that the division of childcare and income earning is strongly (not exclusively) affected by external factors other than taste. Both for men and for women.

You can't attribute everything or most of what's wrong with gender roles to things men do

And I don't. If you think anything I said implies that I do think like that, I appreciate if you point out to me exactly where you got that impression, then I can work on making it more clear.

I'm not sure how this really relates to the concept of a "minimum deal." Unlike most of the other things on this list, suicide can't just happen to you as a result of extrapersonal factors. If you don't want to die by suicide, just don't kill yourself.

If we assume that suicide is not a common state of affairs but a result of either mental illness or a failure to achieve life's goods this is an asinine response.

The counter would be that, in determining how much society offers various parties, it should matter how many people go against our most basic urge to survive because they think the deal is just that bad. One side opting out vastly more is important data.

Otherwise you just seem to end up with the charter school issue where the school that drives out all of the difficult kids actually ends up looking way better than the one that tries to care for them.

He listed suicide as one of the ways in which life is worse for men, but if it's merely a reflection of the ways life is worse for men, i.e all the other things on the list, then it shouldn't be on the list itself, because that's doubling up.

He listed suicide as one of the ways in which life is worse for men

The list was:

Life offers a Better "Minimum Deal" to Women than to Men

Given he then goes on to say that the point of that particular issue was that it showed willingness to die, I think it's a fair way to imply that one side finds their deal vastly worse.

I took the list to be “reasons men’s lives are worse.” If the list is “indications men’s lives are worse,” then my criticism doesn’t apply and yes, it’s definitely a point in the ‘men have worse lives’ column.

Hell, I don't even think suicide rates are a measure of the way men's lives are worse, they're just a reflection of men being more committed and competent at the task. I'm enough of a "misogynist" that I expect men to be more committed and competent at almost any task that requires a capacity for violence, even if it's to themselves.

The counter would be that, in determining how much society offers various parties, it should matter how many people go against our most basic urge to survive because they think the deal is just that bad. One side opting out vastly more is important data.

This does create the rather intuitive answer that impoverished black men on average get a better 'deal' than the average middle-class white woman.

I'm not sure how this really relates to the concept of a "minimum deal." Unlike most of the other things on this list, suicide can't just happen to you as a result of extrapersonal factors. If you don't want to die by suicide, just don't kill yourself.

Ah, were it that easy.. I've had suicidal ideation myself, in the form of intrusive thoughts at my lowest, but to claim this in general is to persist in blissful ignorance of how fucking bad it can get. If that weren't true, Suicide Watch wouldn't be a thing.

I'm sorry that you went through that, and I hope that you're doing better these days.

To the extent it is a "choice" (by Allah is there a lot to get into there), then it is usually a choice that is not advocated during the majority of a person's life where they weren't depressed. I think the right to suicide should be enshrined, but only for agents that are sane (no, wanting to die in the absence of a mental illness doesn't count as insanity, nor is it a mental illness itself). Most suicidal humans don't meet that criterion, loose as it is. The terminally ill and dying often do, if someone wants to claim I'm ruling out ~100% of people with that rule.

This is getting a bit off topic, but my hot take, which few regardless of their political or social views on other things seem to like, is that if someone is suffering from severe depression or some other mental illness, and other treatments fail to improve their self-perceived QOL they should be allowed to kill themselves. I don't think a person should be prevented from taking their own life based on supposed mental unfitness barring extreme cases "the patient hallucinates aliens from zeta reticuli ordering him to kill himself." I can't see an argument otherwise. If someone suffering from incurable illness has the right to take their own life, doesn't someone suffering from incurable mental illness have the right to do the same?

Sure, if their depressive psychosis was truly intractable under treatment. At that point, why not call it a terminal illness if their QOL is shot?

While I endorse that view, my hands would be tied IRL due to legal constraints and a desire to keep my license if I was a psychiatrist. (In most Western jurisdictions)

Absolutely. I think the majority of men in the first world today would probably drop dead if they had to do the work their grandfathers did, let alone those grandfathers' grandfathers. I know I would.

Very much. I especially like Orwell's "The Road to Wigan Pier" on this, since he goes into depth about everything terrible about being both a coal miner, and the coal miner's families, and how incredibly difficult it all was.

This might be a peculiarly modern phenomenon, though. My understanding is that while pre-modern society was much poorer, it afforded more time for leisure even for the average peasant and farmer — the Industrial Revolution provided working conditions that were much, much worse than what came before.

Even in ancient times there are jobs that are dreadful like salt mining, of course, but that wasn’t the norm.

Most of those memes about all the holidays medieval peasants had only take into account the time actually spent sowing and harvesting, and not all of the other work that farmers had to do constantly to keep everything in working order. Agricultural work is really, really hard. I've never done it myself, but I know people who have. And peasants always lived on the brink of famine. All it took was one bad harvest. Industrial laborers rarely starved. Pre-modern peasants might have had more "official" time off, but there's a reason they flooded the cities to become industrial workers in the first place.

Oh, no doubt agricultural work is very difficult, and I would much prefer my current lifestyle to that of a tenant farmer. But I am saying that the Industrial Revolution was uniquely bad for workers. I’m pretty sure I would drop dead doing factory work of a hundred to two hundred years past, but I’ve seen farm-work done before in rural China with limited modern equipment and amenities, for instance — it is hard work, but it is doable.

The risk of famine is well taken, though.


My understanding of why peasants flooded the cities was because of changing economic incentives — unemployment in farms due to industrialization and different crop preferences lead to massive unemployment amongst farmers, who migrated to cities to look for work.

My impression is that conditions varied greatly with population density, and that Industrial Revolution era Europe was unusually bad for Malthusian reasons. Pre-revolution China also sounded terribly grinding for similar reasons.

So I don't disagree that early 20th Century coal miners (and American cotton plantation workers, and men mining guano, and rice farmers) had it worse than men in a variety of other times and places.

Our culture automatically cares more about female suffering and wellbeing than male suffering: "The ship is sinking! Save the women and children first!"

Does OP realise that he is setting himself up to be "Fuck you, six year old child, if you can't fist-fight me for this seat on the lifeboat you are shit out of luck"?

While cold logical rationality may say "I, an adult male citizen who is economically productive, am worth more than this young child and therefore my survival is more of a priority", I think the natural human instinct to protect offspring would lead us to regard a guy who let a child die in a burning building because they put getting out themselves first would consider that person not a sterling example of maleness who should reproduce his genes, but a shit head.

Or the likes of this guy, who certainly did not put "children first", right? Too many cases like that, where the mothers are also complicit in letting the new man in their lives harm their children. Those women should also be disgraced and ostracised.

Well - cold logical rationality's argument can be reduced to "my survival is a priority", really, unless my life is so shitty I'd gladly accept death over having to trudge on (with blood on my hands on top).

cold logical rationality's argument can be reduced to "my survival is a priority"

It can also be reduced to letting others survive at the expense of yourself, what is logical depends entirely on what your values and goals are.

This is such a confusing response. The complaint is that society views men in particular as disposable relative to all other classes in society, responding that "don't you know you're more disposable than the other classes in society" is just agreeing with him. Which sure, I was also raised in this society, these are also my values. But can't you kind of see how viewing yourself, and society at large agreeing with you, that you're particularly expendable has a kind of visceral quality? To go around implicitly knowing that if it comes to it your place is to die, and not only accept this but relish it. Some significant part of at the very least my, and I suspect most men's, daydreams involve sacrificing myself for a worthy cause. And I won't lie, this insurance policy us men offer society doesn't seem like it is having its premiums paid in full, or at all. To have it taken for granted would be one thing but it often feels like this noble side of myself is resented, that we are not even entitled to be proud of and celebrate our responsibilities because it may imply that women are in some way lesser for not having this particular burden.

I don't think OP or many of the men complaining here are really angry that things like this are asked of men. I think we would for the most part welcome responsibility, it's just those responsibilities used to comes with some carrot to go along with the stick.

This may have been how society functioned previously, but it most definitely isn't how it functions now.

As a male, why should I give up my life to save the children of someone from a different people? In the more homogenous societies of the past the moral (lol) calculus involved was a lot more simple, but in the current day those questions are far more difficult to answer. If I give my life up to save some children in a burning building, the actual identity of those children matters hugely to a degree that it didn't in the past. I would absolutely condemn and castigate a man who gave his life to save a boat full of drowning economic migrants who would then go on to make life worse (even if in some small way) for his native country.

The cold logical rationality here isn't about economic productivity, but about group interests - it isn't an accident that willingness to risk one's life to save others tracks remarkably well to how closely related you are to those others. Modern societies are diverse and multicultural enough that the selfish and easy approach is, often enough, the moral one as well. Why should I give up my life to save a group of people who are hostile to me and my posterity, when I can make things better for my tribe by simply not intervening when those hostile outsiders inadvertently decide to remove themselves from society?

I'm not sure how this really relates to the concept of a "minimum deal." Unlike most of the other things on this list, suicide can't just happen to you as a result of extrapersonal factors. If you don't want to die by suicide, just don't kill yourself.

If the boot was on the other foot and women made up a majority of suicides, advising women "if you don't want to die by suicide, just don't kill yourself babe" would be seen as shockingly callous and insensitive.

It applies to anyone who kills themselves, man or woman. My point isn’t that suicidal people should just be told not to kill themselves, but that it is ultimately not inflicted upon you by society like most of the other things on the list, unless you want to say that ALL of our choices are ultimately not our own. To say suicide is a choice isn’t to trivialize it. It can be an understandable, sometimes even (IMO) justifiable choice.

Indeed, suicide is a self-inflicted condition (I suppose by definition). I can see how it can be the odd-one-out among other conditions that are non-self-inflicted.

On the other hand, writing suicide off and handwaving it away feels strange, and substituting "women" in for "men" well-illustrates how. As usual, regarding women with the indifference and dismissiveness typically afforded toward men would be perceived as cruel, hurtful, and perhaps hateful.

Reading "if you don't want to die by suicide, just don't kill yourself" made me think of the cyber-bullying meme:

>Hahahahahahahaha How The Fuck Is Suicide Real Hahahaha Nigga Just Don't Kill Yourself Like Nigga Put the Gun Down Haha

I think the majority of men in the first world today would probably drop dead if they had to do the work their grandfathers did, let alone those grandfathers' grandfathers.

They'd suffer a lot; I can't tell if it's hyperbolic, but most of them would be alive at the end of a year. The US military (at least in Vietnam) was able to round up a bunch of conscripts and get them doing a physically demanding, dangerous job.

It's hyperbole. A minority probably would literally die though. Also if the stories I hear from older relatives are any indication people even in the 60s were significantly tougher than people today.

As you hint at, I think a good way of removing a lot of the bluster here is asking the people who think women really do have it much easier than men whether, behind the veil of ignorance, they would really rather be born a woman than a man in the West; I think most men here would say no.

I think your points overall make sense, but you don't account at all for variability and social mobility. As @rae mentioned below, men tend to live higher risk lifestyles. Their appetite for risk is higher, so the rewards are greater and the failures are more steep.

On top of that, women tend to rely on immutable traits i.e. beauty, and to some degree the social network they were born in, to confer them status. If you're an ugly woman born into a poor family, there is not much of a chance for you to get out. In fact, this Brookings study on male vs female social mobility says:

In most quintiles, women have a higher risk of being downwardly mobile than men. Most striking of all, women find it much harder to escape from the bottom income quintile than men. Almost half (47 percent) of women born to parents in the bottom quintile remain there as adults, compared to 35 percent of men.

For men, there are many things that don't seem fair on the surface. That being said, the variability inherent in being a man is worth quite a lot. Having the ability to rise out of your circumstances, despite a bad throw on the genetic lottery, means that men innately have optionality that women generally don't. Sure you can argue that programs and other things biased towards women help them move up the socioeconomic ladder, but at the end of the day most women don't seem to have the mindset to let them take the risks they would need to take to climb.

Ultimately I do think men get the short end of the stick in some regards, and women in others. It's not clear to me at this moment, and I doubt we'll have clarity for a while yet, who gets the 'better minimum deal' overall.

I think at least some of this is culture. Men are taught — from day one — that it is their responsibility to make themselves employable, to do whatever job pays the most even if they hate it, to fight their way to the top of any job they get, and to job hop when the pay isn’t rising fast enough for them.

Women have the privilege I call “second income privilege.” They get to not prioritize wealth generation. They get to think about whether they want a good paying job in a demanding field or not, whether having more money is worth being bored or working somewhere unpleasant or long hours. Their money isn’t “feed the family” money, so they get to think of work as fun, as a calling, as almost a hobby.

Their money isn’t “feed the family” money, so they get to think of work as fun, as a calling, as almost a hobby.

May I ask what women you know like this? Because the women around me working are damn well helping to keep the family going; one co-worker is saving huge amounts of her wages to pay her son's college fees, for example. If you're going for a mortgage, you better have a two-income family. And there are some of us who are still single who work to pay our own bills.

While I think men may have a hard time of it today, the amount of pure whining and pussing on here makes me want to tell you all to grow a pair and man up. Not very sympathetic of me, I realise, but I had a sort of male-brained upbringing so I'm not the nurturing, supportive, "Oh Clive you are so wonderful and manly and I adore you" type of female.

the amount of pure whining and pussing on here makes me want to tell you all to grow a pair and man up.

You know. I was on the volunteer mod page, and this post was in the queue - but it was initially anonymous and I didn't know who it was from. I was baaaasically leaning toward marking it as Neutral anyway, or Bad at worst, but then when I clicked on the context button and saw that it was from you (a woman), I suddenly felt quite strongly that I shouldn't mark the post as anything worse than Neutral! I don't think I'm the only man who would have that reaction.

I don't know what conclusions everyone wants to draw from that, but, it may be relevant to the current topic.

I would have no such qualms myself. I don't just advocate for equality of opportunity between the sexes, I also embody it to the best of my ability.

Well it felt like something that came prior to conscious deliberation or propositional knowledge. A reflex. One that can easily be overridden, but, the reflex is still there.

Could just be the WAW effect. Or it could be that it strikes me as weaksauce to call for mod action against a woman who’s telling you to man up.

I don't mean to say that I reported it (I didn't), it simply seems utterly irrelevant to me whether it was a man or woman making that statement. Well, not exactly, because I think women have less insight into male affairs (and vice-versa), but you get my point.

Women still bring in disproportionately less than men in two-income households and work fewer hours. And in the jobs they do work, they have a higher job satisfaction than men do.

There are always tradeoffs that people make when choosing if they want to work and what job to take. Men tend to trade their time and happiness for more money; women tend to trade money for more time and happiness.

Looking at my own life, I know of multiple women who gave up high paying, high stress careers to be yoga instructors, writers, and life coaches. I know of literally no men who have done the same. That's not to say that all women have that option, but at the same time more women than men do.

Well, then - since we espouse equity, let's see if any government will fund initiatives to lower women's job satisfaction, a goal I consider eminently more achievable by a government than improving men's job satisfaction.

It's about 20% of women and ~0% of men in my experience. For example (details slightly modified):

  • Alice went to college, got a professional degree, and now works part-time as a pilates instructor after her husband became a manager

  • Betty worked full time as a physiotherapist, then switched to part-time reiki after marrying an accountant

  • Carol may not have stepped down in workload, but she's working part-time at an NGO while her husband is a civil engineer

  • Denise and Evelyn both stepped back from professional work to spend more time on their art while their husbands worked full time

That's from a single, constrained pool of a few dozen people (half men, half women). If you extend the criteria to taking reduced (but still "full time") workloads and regular sabbaticals, then there are another several women and two men.

I’m not suggesting that they don’t work hard or that the money doesn’t go to family finances. What I’m suggesting is that since they are not the primary breadwinners, women get to think of the fringe benefits of the jobs they want, whether or not the environment is nice, whether or not the work is fulfilling or fun. They get to decide if they want a promotion at work. And they can generally do so because if they don’t make as much money as they possibly can, they have the income of a higher earning man to fall back on. The difference isn’t work ethic but job selection, and whether or not they push hard for promotions or job hop for better wages. The men I know have to prioritize their careers, work longer than is healthy, push very hard for training and plumb assignments and promotions, and are always looking for more money. Not because they want to, but because as the primary breadwinner if they don’t get as much money as they can, the family suffers.

Women as a whole don’t tend to do that. They aren’t hunting for better paying options, they don’t job hunt or put themselves in the limelight looking for promotions or assignments to pad the resume. They don’t tend to spend their free time trying to upskill so they can move up. They sort of find a pleasant environment with people and tasks they like and rest there until they retire.

While I think men may have a hard time of it today, the amount of pure whining and pussing on here makes me want to tell you all to grow a pair and man up.

Well, don't. Men don't get to say that to each other here, and neither do you.

Good on you. I know plenty of each type. The difference between men and women is that the above-described kind of economic behavior tuned for self-actualization instead of for supporting the family, especially with kids involved, is widely unacceptable for men who have not previously saved up large stores of wealth, but is widely accepted for women.

Of course you can deny this, and maybe your personal experience when it comes to this differs greatly from mine, but from where I stand, given what I see, what MaiqTheTrue wrote above is 100% on the mark.

Before I start let me preface with I love my wife, none of the following is malicious and I don't think these things are fully conscious. I do know women who are better at finances then their husbands. So people don't think she is a bum she came in to the relationship with about 200k of equity in a house, she brags to everyone how awesome I am with finances, she likes to help on major projects around the house or organize things while I'm working on the vehicles, and I would be 100% fine being the breadwinner if she decided to be a stay at home mom.

She struggles mentally keeping track of cash flows and balances. Mostly it's little things that aren't a big deal. Like when we were dating we went to Costco, spent about $100 dollars, and I had forgotten my wallet. While walking to the car she reminded me to transfer her half the bill. During that period in our relationship I had regularly covered full shopping runs and I had been picking up the tab of our weekly dates to the tune of $75-$100 a week. One time she saw the bill and was shocked that that's how much we'd been spending. A few months before I'd floated her $8k to get her into grad school before the student loans came in.

When we got married we agreed to combine finances but didn't close her bank account because there were some bills tied to it and so she could have some autonomy. The one time I put up some resistance was when she wanted a couple grand because she felt she'd spent thousands more than me on the wedding and transferring her a couple grand would be fair. This was hard for me because it meant I was going to have to dip in to the emergency fund for the first time in years. She suggested we make a spreadsheet only to find that I'd spent thousands more than her. She polished off her $20k inheritance before we got married because she wanted to have some fun before the wedding saying "it was her money" (I had never asked for justification or protested).

She recently suggested that we should follow Dave Ramsey and become debt free by paying off $60k in student loans from a couple failed attempts at graduate degrees by liquidating the emergency fund and the rest of the crypto, all of which I had accumulated before we started dating. She recently talked about how after kids she wants some cosmetic surgery. I remarked that was going to take awhile to save up for, and she said not to worry she'd save up the money. Apart from the inheritance her cash flow has been negative for years and I don't see how that's going to change. She has lamented how she is doing a disproportionate share of the housework, I told her to wait until I get home and I'll help. She doesn't like it being dirty in the 2 to 4 hour difference between when she gets off work and I get off work. I also leave for work an hour and a half before she does.

A woman not having sympathy for men is a very woman thing that has very little to do with upbringing. Women naturally ingroup other women and outgroup men and a woman that doesn't do this is exceedingly rare. The only open example I know of is Karen Straughan.

Generally the type of sympathy men get from women is a sort of backhanded sympathy. Where it exists more to excuse the actions of women and any negative consequences those actions may have, and to alleviate any negative emotional pressure. Like the classic 'You're a nice guy, don't worry, you'll find someone, there's someone out there for everyone'. It's completely vapid and empty as anything else.

Listening in on two married co-workers talking about their home finances, both had the situation that their money was the families money, the wife's money was her money. And they could both share stories of how hostile and defensive their wives got if they ever questioned where 'her' money was going or if it could be better spent somewhere else. That's on top of stories from former co-workers working as fishermen , all of whom had stories to share on either their own former partners or a shipmates where all the money that had earned on tour was gone by the time they got to shore. One particularly inventive spouse had, as a way to make amends for wasting all the money on clothes and alcohol, wasted what was left of it on buying the dude an Xbox as present for when he got home.

Men work because they have to; women if they want to.

Such a saying would be hyperbolic in an absolute sense, but it'd be true in a relative sense.

Women have far more latitude to dabble in "fun" jobs to the extent they want to work at all. It's essentially a meme at this point that a lot of women in PhD programs among the softer sciences (and, in certain cases, smarter ones among the harder sciences) are basically doing it for a hobby because the alternative would be having to say you're a Stay-at-Home Girlfriend, Wife, or Mother (which sounds low status and not GirlBossy). Any higher-earning opportunities that may or may not arise from that are just a bonus.

For men, you can have won the game, secured a bag for you and your wife, and she still might resent you if you retire early. Ugh, stupid husband... what have you done for me lately? And people will act like that's normal: because that is the normal, the normal state of affairs, that men have to constantly justify their worth. Many third-parties will even advise the husband to Get A Job, rather than encouraging the husband to tell his wife to get over herself.

While I've seen young or not-so-young men get fired or pushed out from a job, I've never to my recollection seen them voluntarily resign without an exit opportunity lined-up. In contrast, I've seen many young and not-so-young women drop-out of their jobs with no exit opportunity lined-up to become stay-at-home girlfriends, wives, or stay-at-home single-ladies when they felt their roles were too heavily focused on Excel graphs and PowerPoint slides (and too lightly focused on looking cute and girlbossing, too unfulfilling and too little self-actualising).

@ThenElection mentioned he or she knew "multiple women who gave up high paying, high stress careers to be yoga instructors, writers, and life coaches." At a previous job, one of my former coworkers (more senior than me at that time) left because she wanted to have more time to relax, do yoga, and get more in touch with herself. Not even instruct yoga, just do it as a hobby at most.

In my reasonably high-degree-of-difficulty degree program, there were a decent number of women. Don't get me wrong, we were still on the 'wrong' side of the ratio, but there were more than a few. After the program, I saw some of them go and use their degree to significant effect. Some others stood out in the other direction. One in particular openly said that she had essentially zero plan to use her degree for any work; her plan was to get married, have kids, and stay home with them. Sure enough, she did exactly that. I hate to say it, but if I were the woman who didn't get accepted to the program, the one who would be next in line had this woman not taken the slot, I'd probably have been pretty furious with her. (I liked her; we were friends and worked together on some pretty cool projects.)

On top of that, women tend to rely on immutable traits i.e. beauty

Honestly from having done a bunch of dating in the modern era, the rise of obesity means that unless a girl is like... bottom 10th percentile genetically she's got scope to get to 6/10 simply by being in shape. I feel like a lot of the takes around the immutability of beauty made more sense before 30-40% of the population enthusiastically nuked themselves in the foot and modern cosmetics.

It's interesting how these discussions always reflexively equate "women" to "women age 17-35", well under half of the adult lifespan. No amount of makeup and toning is going to make a 55-year-old woman physically attractive to the broad majority of men, much less a 70-year-old woman. And as evidenced by the shape of this conversation itself, for a woman to be unfuckable by men is for her to not exist at all: nobody's interested in her plans, nobody's interested in her capabilities, nobody wants to hear from her apparently because nobody wants to look at her.

No amount of makeup and toning is going to make a 55-year-old woman physically attractive to the broad majority of men, much less a 70-year-old woman.

Irrelevant to the OP, which posits that they are still given a much greater degree of deference, empathy, and social support than an equivalent 55 or 70-year-old man. Who is getting sexed up is a different issue altogether.

I mean, if you see people in everyday life deferring a lot to the views of older women while ignoring older men, then I guess we'd have to hit the sociology literature to resolve it, because it seems very much the opposite to me. In my experience, at least, if a 60-year-old male customer complains about the poor service at a coffeeshop, people may think he's an asshole, but they will listen respectfully to him and try to correct it. A 60-year-old woman complaining is a Karen, a ridiculous figure, the object of derision and deep resentment, and people will roll their eyes and try to get her off their backs rather than addressing what she has to say. Ditto in work meetings, when knocking on a neighbor's door, in political action, etc., etc.

IME, men on average don't seem to want to pay much attention to any person who's not (a) a sexual target, (b) sexual competition, or (c) a potential physical threat. Other men get to be at least 1-2 of those three from about age 18 to age 75. Woman get to be at most one, from age 14-35ish with steep dropoff thereafter. Maybe they're pitied a little thereafter, just because they're obviously physically vulnerable,. But that doesn't equate to being effortlessly treated as a peer in social relationships, the way older men seem to be.

No amount of makeup and toning is going to make a 55-year-old woman physically attractive to the broad majority of men, much less a 70-year-old woman

This is going to shock you, but there are older men who'll enthusiastically pursue the same level of simping for an older woman in reasonable shape. I know 50 year old women who are essentially still existing off flirtation and prettiness

women tend to rely on immutable traits i.e. beauty

Meh, intelligence is probably less mutable than beauty is. Intelligence is probably the biggest single factor determining social mobility etc.

True, although in fairness a man's intelligence is a much more durable resource than a woman's beauty.

The dating market is more competitive for men than for women; women are far more selective than men about sex partners. Imagine an attractive person of the opposite sex walking up to you on a college campus and saying, “Hi, I’ve been noticing you around town lately, and I fnd you very attractive. Would you have sex with me?” How would you respond? If you are like 100 percent of the women in one study, you would give an emphatic no. You might be ofended, insulted, or just plain puzzled by the request. But if you are like the men in that study, the odds are good that you would say yes— as did 75 percent of those men (Clarke & Hatfeld, 1989). As a man, you would most likely be flattered by the request.

I'm sympathetic enough to the general post that I actually want someone to debunk it (I've swung a little too hard towards Caplan and Hanania on this I feel) but this seems like the weakest point.

This can easily be put down to evolved sex differences: women have more risks and less benefits from casual sex..

See, this is actually the argument for feminism: why should men's internal experience and preference be the standard here?

Also casual sex tends to be a mediocre experience for women; you tend to orgasm even less than in relationships (32% vs 72% from a quick Google search), you’re at the mercy of someone much bigger and stronger than you (most men don’t seem to really grasp this), the risk is higher (STDs, pregnancy, sexual assault, etc).

I’ve been with a few women in the past (although I didn’t particularly enjoy it) and it was depressing how many would be surprised by the fact that I seemed to care about them at all.

Also casual sex tends to be a mediocre experience for women

How do you compare the experience of the two sexes. Tiresias at least experienced both conditions and voted conclusively for being a women, though it cost him his sight. "Of ten parts a man enjoys one only."

I wonder which trans people prefer. Are there cases where transwomen feel that they have lost out in switching teams? Similarly, do trans men feel they are on to a good thing? My guess is that this effect is swamped by other issues.

Would you actually expect the experience of trans people to be relevant here? I would personally expect a trans woman to have an extremely different sexual experience than a cis woman.

If post-op trans women prefer sex as a woman rather than a man, then I would consider this strong evidence that the woman's role is more enjoyable.

I agree that the sexual experience is probably very different, but my sense is that it would be better for natal women than trans women.

Similarly, if post-op trans men enjoy sex more as men, then that would be evidence the other way. Here are a bunch of transmen talking about sex. They seem hornier and more comfortable, but none claim that the sex is better. In contrast, a plurality of transwomen seem to enjoy sex post-op more.

The effect of testosterone also muddies the waters, I think, since the anecdotal accounts of FtM do seem to be "I'm a lot hornier since I started T" (as well as aggressive, self-confident, etc.)

How well a neo-phallus performs as against a neo-vagina is something I have no idea about. And not every trans person does have bottom surgery, and (it seems like) a fair percentage of trans women are lesbians. All very much confounding factors.

"I had miserable 'straight' (with women)/'gay' (with men) sex when I was still living as a man" versus "I have great 'straight' (with men)/'lesbian' (with women) sex as a transwoman" would seem to depend on psychological adjustment as well as physical factors. How do you even go about getting data on "When I slept with men as a man I didn't enjoy it, but sleeping with men as a woman I love it"?

If post-op trans women prefer sex as a woman rather than a man, then I would consider this strong evidence that the woman's role is more enjoyable.

If autogynephilia plays as large a role in the transwoman phenomenon as many posters here believe, then an autogynephiliac trans woman in a sexual encounter is getting off as much (if not more so) on her realised fantasy of being treated as a woman as she is from the actual mechanics of the encounter. This is a massive confounder making apples-to-apples comparisons with the experiences of cis women essentially impossible.

I’m a bisexual trans woman so I got to experience some manner of both, but I do agree that the effect is greatly confounded by deeper issues like dysphoria.

My main experience would be that sex with men is a lot more variable, in that the bad is much worse but the good is a lot better, and the quality depends quite a lot on your partner, while with women it’s generally fairly average and depends more on your own state than the other person. So casual sex would be better for most men, but relationship sex would be better for women with the right partner.

The peak physiological pleasure is definitely greater when you’re a woman though, multiple full-body orgasms aren’t really a thing for men (trans men generally keep the ability to have multiple if they had it before, but they become otherwise closer to the male ones: brief and concentrated in the genitals). I certainly don’t miss the male sexual experience at all and see it as the equivalent of sexual fast food vs. going to a proper restaurant.

Clarke & Hatfeld, 1989

Looking at it, it says:

Describes 2 experiments conducted in 1978 and 1982 with 96 university students testing the hypotheses that men are more eager for sex than are women and that women are more likely to set limits on such activity.

Look deep within your heart, Tanista, and tell me you are really surprised that a bunch of young men at peak horniness years would go "oh yeah baby" when a hot chick asked them "so big boy, wanna have fun"? 😁

Describes 2 experiments conducted in 1978 and 1982 with 96 university students testing the hypotheses that men are more eager for sex than are women and that women are more likely to set limits on such activity. Related literature and data are also reviewed. In the present experiments, male and female confederates of average attractiveness approached potential partners with 1 of 3 requests: "Would you go out tonight?" "Will you come over to my apartment?" or "Would you go to bed with me?" Results were almost identical for both experiments. The great majority of men were willing to have a sexual liaison with the women who approach them. Not one woman agreed to a sexual liaison. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

I mean, yeah, big difference between "Would you go out with me on a date?" and "Forget even dinner and flowers, wanna fuck?" Men and women are different, sorry blank slate crowd and ultra-feminists, there are gender/sex differences!

I'm imagining women were more likely to respond positively to "want to go on a date?" than "drop your knickers right now".

EDIT: Also, both experiments were done around the start of the 80s, I wonder if they would have different outcomes today. And there was a lead-up to it:

In both experiments, five college women and four college men from an experimental social psychology class acted as confederates. They were instructed to stand in an area of the college campus and approach members of the opposite gender. They were instructed to only approach those that they found attractive and would be willing to actually sleep with (in any other scenario, presumably). When the confederates spotted someone they liked they said: “I have been noticing you around campus. I found you to be very attractive.” They then asked one of three different questions:

“Would you go out with me tonight?”

“Would you come over to my apartment tonight?”

“Would you go to bed with me tonight?

In total, 48 men and 48 women were asked these questions from a member of the opposite gender (i.e. 16 each question).

This is actually kinda fun, let's have a look at the results:

1978 -

Man approaches women, asks:

Date? Compliance: 56%

Apartment? Compliance: 6%

Bed? Compliance: 0%

Woman approaches men, asks:

Date? Compliance: 50%

Apartment? Compliance: 69%

Bed? Compliance: 75%

From which I take away men have no sense of self-preservation/see no reason to be afraid anything bad will happen to them if they head off to a strange place with a strange person, like waking up in a bath of ice missing their kidney or knocked out with a Mickey Finn and robbed, or, you know, end up raped and murdered.

1982 -

Man approaches women, asks:

Date? Compliance: 50%

Apartment? Compliance: 0%

Bed? Compliance: 0%

Woman approaches men, asks:

Date? Compliance: 50%

Apartment? Compliance: 69%

Bed? Compliance: 69%

It's like our (grand)mothers always told us, men only have one thing on their mind! 😁 Sorry to be judging the entire sex on a bunch of horny college boys, but gentlemen, you just want to go straight to dessert without eating your vegetables, as it were: no date, fuck now!

From which I take away men have no sense of self-preservation/see no reason to be afraid anything bad will happen to them if they head off to a strange place with a strange person, like waking up in a bath of ice missing their kidney or knocked out with a Mickey Finn and robbed, or, you know, end up raped and murdered.

Oh, we see it.

I think every simp that ever forked over money, every guy that walked down the alley only to be ambushed by her boyfriend...they all had an inkling.

It just didn't matter enough.

I mean, I have no doubt that the typical woman has an easier time getting a date than a typical man. But for both men and women, the goal of most people’s romantic lives is not ‘go on dates’, it’s ‘find a quality partner’, and I don’t think there’s much evidence that women find it easier to find a quality man than that men have for finding a quality woman.

Yes, yes, women are really bad at filtering their mates, often don’t act in ways that endear them to quality men, etc, but that’s because they’re dumb and western society will watch the world burn before admitting that, not because they want to go on dates with losers and assholes.

I don’t think there’s much evidence that women find it easier to find a quality man than that men have for finding a quality woman.

Six hundred pound women find men to be their nurse and caretaker.

Over the years online I've encountered a few people who make this kind of argument and I have to say that it baffles me.

I'm a man and I can honestly say I've never for a moment felt envious of women and I really don't understand the people who say that if they could choose, they would choose to be born as a woman. The only thing you've really listed that bothers me is child support and custody, I've got no kids myself but I feel for the good fathers who get a raw deal from the courts.

The "minimum deal" of life for men is worse than for women. The "minimum deal" for women seems to be "get married." The minimum deal for men seems to be: become homeless and kill yourself, if you aren't murdered first.

I'll take being homeless thanks, I'd much rather be bum-fighting a junkie than live my life as any woman. I've been in plenty of fights, brawls and various other flavours of fracas over the course of my life and I've enjoyed them all thus far, I don't know what the hell your average woman does to pass the time nowadays (eat hot chip and lie?) but I have to imagine it would be deathly boring by comparison.

I have to say that it baffles me.

Ok...

I'd much rather be bum-fighting a junkie than live my life as any woman.

So many you just don't respect women?

I've been in plenty of fights, brawls and various other flavours of fracas over the course of my life and I've enjoyed them all

I've worked security in a few bars and spent my younger years doing MMA; I've heard similar lines from a lot of 'tough guys' who've never thrown a punch in their lives.

How many times have you broken your nose/ribs/knuckles? How many times have you been stabbed? How much time and money have you spent in court fighting off charges and law suits? You enjoyed them all?

So many you just don't respect women?

I wouldn't put it like that. I just really enjoy being male, all of my interests are deep inside "man" territory and as such there's really nothing on the feminine side of the spectrum that makes me go "oh yeah, I'd want that for myself".

I'm pretty lucky thus far and haven't been stabbed, although I have had to pick some decent sized shards of broken bottle out after one nasty incident, I was lucky to not need stitches. No breaks either, although I've dislocated my right shoulder twice and my nose tends to dramatically explode into a fountain of blood whenever someone so much as taps it. Closest I've been to lawsuits/charges over fighting was when I broke another kids leg when I was in my late teens.

I've worked security in a few bars and spent my younger years doing MMA; I've heard similar lines from a lot of 'tough guys' who've never thrown a punch in their lives.

I swear some former doorman always pops up to say this whenever the topic of fighting comes up online, as if you need credentials to make poor life choices. I get into fights because I get angry and make bad decisions in the heat of the moment, I enjoy them because the adrenaline and catharsis of releasing a lot of anger into my surroundings drowns out the pain and fear I would normally feel for doing something so reckless. It's not smart, but it feels amazing.

I wouldn't put it like that...

Ok

I really don't understand the people who say that if they could choose, they would choose to be born as a woman.

I would put it like that.

I swear some former doorman always pops up to say this whenever the topic of fighting comes up online,

Ok

I've been in plenty of fights, brawls and various other flavours of fracas over the course of my life and I've enjoyed them all

This is what people say, who've never been in an actual fight. This is something a 14 year old would say.

This is why people who've done things like security or did some fighting pop and say something. It's obvious your experience comes from video games.

Maybe. But there are a few no bullshit soldiers that enjoyed fighting in literal wars. There's not many, but they're out there. Also this guy could be extremely attached to being a man and his male sex/gender: he'd rather be a hobo fighting homeless junkies (and potentially being killed/maimed/thrown in jail from same) than be a beautiful, wealthy, socially graceful, healthy woman.

I get into fights because I get angry and make bad decisions in the heat of the moment, I enjoy them because the adrenaline and catharsis of releasing a lot of anger into my surroundings drowns out the pain and fear I would normally feel for doing something so reckless. It's not smart, but it feels amazing.

I admit, I would've never expected someone like this to be so self-aware about it. Thanks for expanding my perspective.

I'll take being homeless thanks, I'd much rather be bum-fighting a junkie than live my life as any woman. I've been in plenty of fights, brawls and various other flavours of fracas over the course of my life and I've enjoyed them all thus far

I would say you're on the far right tail of "down to fight hobos," even among young men. Regularly fighting in uncontrolled environments sounds like a bad time to me, especially when it comes to hobos—I'd rather fight pro-MMA fighters. Fights can be fun until one day they're not. On a side note, there used to be a video series called "Bumfights," of which I'm sure there are clips floating around on the interwebs.

I don't know what the hell your average woman does to pass the time nowadays (eat hot chip and lie?) but I have to imagine it would be deathly boring by comparison.

You're thinking of this from a male-brained perspective. Many women spend tons of time on things like make-up, fashion, shopping, and taking selfies—interests/activities that most men would find "deathly boring." Yet women enjoy such things. If you were instead born a girl, or a switch flipped to turn you overnight into a woman (with the attendant neurological and hormonal changes), female-you might suddenly find eating hot chip and lying to be intensely interesting activities, alongside twerking, being bisexual, and charging your phone. Female-you might suddenly have a higher tolerance for boredom in general.

I think a lot more men would like those activities if it weren’t for social stigma. Fashion for men was historically huge in the West and is very prevalent in some countries still, make-up is getting more and more popular for men in Korea, and lots of men are addicted to shopping, just for “male-coded” things like video games or gear for their hobbies. And I know a lot of masculine gym bros who suddenly got obsessed with taking selfies the moment their physique became visible.

You're thinking of this from a male-brained perspective

I mean, it's not like I have much choice on the matter and believe me I am aware that women find the things I like to be boring. I'm not going to be so cruel as to try and force some poor woman to sit through Das Boot.

If you were instead born a girl, or a switch flipped to turn you overnight into a woman (with the attendant neurological and hormonal changes), female-you might suddenly find eating hot chip and lying to be intensely interesting activities, alongside twerking, being bisexual, and charging your phone. Female-you might suddenly have a higher tolerance for boredom in general.

I see your point, but at the same time that's such a radical and fundamental change that I don't think I'd consider this hypothetical person to be me anymore. Who I am can't be disentangled from growing up as a boy and living as a man.

I'm considering your case with mild curiosity (not disapproval per se, just a very foreign worldview).

I haven't thrown a punch in anger in like 15 years, and the closest within recent memory is when a junkie fuckup was screwing an ex of mine, and I hit the gym and forced myself to lift while imagining beating the shit out of him. Even then, it was more kayfabe than something I'd do unprovoked.

Of course, India has less physical violence than the US does. Bar fights are absolutely not a common thing.

I've also never had people try and pick a fight with me, and they'd be stupid to, because I'm like +3 SD taller than the average Indian male.

Now, if you're unable to fight back, then you're not a pacifist, you're just harmless. I'm categorically not, I was mildly tempted to volunteer in Ukraine when I saw the atrocities happening there, and I have no qualms about stabbing a fool if the need arises.

Thankfully, I can point to absolutely no scenario in my life where that would have been a remotely good decision.

Of course, India has less physical violence than the US does.

Citation needed.

I'd much rather be bum-fighting a junkie than live my life as any woman.

This is an interesting question: you wouldn't change your mind if she was beautiful, wealthy, physically fit, socially gifted. You'd rather be you...but homeless, and likely with mental health or substance abuse or perhaps legal issues keeping you homeless.

One thing that I think is often overlooked is that society gives men better incentives, which is actually nothing to sneeze at (though I won't get into "who has it worse").

Women value economic success in men much more than the reverse, while men value a woman's appearance. The upshot for men is that if you spend 10 years developing your economic value you're now richer. You can argue that developing economic value is more difficult than maintaining/developing good looks, but that misses the point I'm driving at.

Consider two identical twins. The parents force one twin to get good grades, play sports, practice piano, etc. The other twin is completely ignored and follows his base instincts (video games, probably). Unsurprisingly the first twin ends up with better life outcomes, and, while one could argue the first twin "deserves" this, in the sense that he worked hard to improve his life, this clearly illustrates that incentives matter immensely -- people just aren't good at abstractly reasoning about what's good for them in the long run and then doing it, otherwise both twins would have been fine.

I contend that society works similarly for men -- yes the constant pressure to be successful is a burden, but it is a legitimately good burden to have -- it's the reason men are more likely to pursue high-income careers. I contend that women lacking such incentives hurts them in the long run, and complaining that "women don't have to worry as much about being economically successful" is like the first twin complaining that his brother is allowed to just play videogames all day. Is it unfair that the first child has to work more? It certainly seems that way to a 12 year old.

I am not saying women have it better or that women have it worse. I've just never seen anyone make the point that, whether it’s your prospective girlfriends, your guy friends (via internal competition), or your parents, having an external factor drive you to improve your life is incredibly valuable, and seems like a pretty significant advantage.

Women value economic success in men much more than the reverse, while men value a woman's appearance. The upshot for men is that if you spend 10 years developing your economic value you're now richer.

And the downshot for women is if they spend 10 years on their career they are now 10 years older.

The tragedy of female doctors: they go through med school, finish residency, and say okay, time to find Mr. Right. But they're 30 years old. They want to marry another doctor, but male doctors are busy marrying 22 year old nurses.

This is a failure of the US medical education system and not representative of global norms.

I find the very idea of pre-med disgusting, an utter waste of 2 years of one's life, especially when it's glaringly obvious that most of the world produces competent doctors without it. (I still think the average US doctor is modestly better than the average elsewhere, simply through selection pressures).

Then you have med school and then a mandatory residency without which you can't practise at all (barring rural Texas), taking up anywhere from 4-7 years of your life making less than minimum wage if you account for total hours worked.

The final payoff is huge, but even then you're just wasting years of your life, and for no better reason than that's how it's always been done. Fuck the notion of needing "well-rounded" doctors, when I go the ER the last thing I want or need is to debate the underpinnings of stoic philosophy when I'm dying of acute appendicitis. And if they're a palliative care doctor, they can just go read Seneca in their free time.

On the other hand, it's perfectly possible for an Indian or British doctor to graduate med school at 22, finish a good deal of their training by 26 or 27, and then just work.

Now, I'm unashedly elitist and would rather date other doctors, and while doctors marrying nurses was once common enough in India, it's become a rarety as the sex ratio has flipped to be in the favor of women in medicine.

Maybe the gulf between the two professions is smaller in the US and the UK, but in the latter, most docs marry other professionals or doctors themselves.

I also have doubts about the importance of a doctor's education in the long run.

Given two doctors who have been practicing for 10 years. One had a much more thorough education, but the other has a good habit of reading the latest advancements. Which would you prefer? Under these conditions it seems a bit silly to make such sacrifices just to maximize the capabilities of doctors at the moment they enter practice, with much less attention paid to their continual training.

male doctors are busy marrying 22 year old nurses.

Eh. A lot of the doctors in my class are...with other doctors. So too, there's plenty of shorter doctors - 5'7" and under - that would be thrilled to date and marry a 30yo resident or doctor.

Women value economic success in men much more than the reverse, while men value a woman's appearance. The upshot for men is that if you spend 10 years developing your economic value you're now richer.

it's the reason men are more likely to pursue high-income careers. I contend that women lacking such incentives hurts them in the long run, and complaining that "women don't have to worry as much about being economically successful" is like the first twin complaining that his brother is allowed to just play videogames all day.

The tricky caveat there is that the biological underpinning of 'men value women's appearance' is largely that men look for signs of genetic fitness and fertility, which has the downstream effect of having plentiful and healthy children.

So if you define success solely in terms of wealth accumulation, sure men are incentivized to 'succeed.' But evolution defines success in terms of make more copies of yourself. In THAT regard, the ONLY REASON MEN ACCUMULATE WEALTH is so they can try to fulfill the biological imperative and attract a woman who will let him knock her up and he can provide a stable upbringing for the offspring.

And women, as the gatekeepers of reproduction, are generally more likely to get their genes passed on and 'succeed' in the evolution game. What this matters to an individual woman I don't know, but in terms of the human species this has massive implications.

Even if humans have managed to sidetrack this imperative into nonreproductive pursuits, the point remains as to WHY men are doing what they do, and WHY women manage to get by without having to work at wealth accumulation.


So I dunno. Maybe women would be okay with a deal where they try to look pretty, and the men try as hard as they can to accumulate wealth, and then they come together so that the woman gets the wealth and stability, and the man gets a much better shot at passing on his genes?

The larger point is that men become successful in their life in large part so they can attract a woman who will then SHARE IN HIS SUCCESS. Her side of the deal, HER incentive, is to optimize for attracting such a guy and keeping him, so that she can get the wealth without the mental or physical efforts.

Let's consider the fact that the richest women in the world almost universally inherited their wealth.

Not a bad deal. Shack up with a wealthy guy (or guy who ends up wealthy) and you and/or your children might end up sitting on a massive wealth pile without having to put in nearly as much effort as the MALE who accumulated it.

Yes, inheritance wealth isn't gender locked, I'm just noting that AGAIN, from the evolutionary perspective, reproducing and having a giant pile of utility just sitting there waiting for you and your progeny is maximum success, regardless of what other 'incentives' you point at.

I have no idea why whether men's preferences are biological or not matters to my point (leaving aside the fact that women are also driven by biology, and this also leads to positive downstream effects for their children).

I agree that one can frame success in evolutionary terms, but I don't know why one would since virtually nobody actually pursues this. It's even less relevant when you're arguing women should "try to look pretty" since the quality of your make up has virtually nothing to do with fertility or genetic fitness.

It feels like you are trying to reframe my comment into some sort of familiar, pro-woman/woke argument. Let me make my point again, hopefully more clearly:

Men face social incentives that encourage them to develop their human capital and productivity. This is good for the men themselves, irrespective of their romantic success, as well as their wife's children (and, incidentally, good for society (at least modern society)).

Women face social incentives that encourage them to look pretty. This has far less value for them, does nothing for their husband's children (since make up and working out does not improve genetic fitness and actively detracts for familial resources), and, incidentally, is not pro-social (since beautify is ultimately zero-sum).

I'm not claiming men are evil for caring how good a woman looks. I'm not claiming that women are angelic for having socially-aligned preferences. A justification or explanation of their preferences seems largely irrelevant to me.

I am claiming that saying "women have it easier, since they don't have as much pressure to build human capital" is a very incomplete analysis.

This has far less value for them, does nothing for their husband's children (since make up and working out does not improve genetic fitness and actively detracts for familial resources), and, incidentally, is not pro-social (since beautify is ultimately zero-sum).

I don't know how in the heck you're defining 'value' if you're ignoring that a pretty woman is able to gain access to a successful man's wealth by looking pretty.

Like, yeah, women don't directly build up wealth and capital. Because there's literally never been a point in history where they've had to do so. Different incentives. Yes. Of course.

Because they've got an easier path to it. They can acquire value from a man, without the effort. Whatever value a man builds, a woman can access, for virtually any definition of 'value' you point to.

How in the world does this end up looking like a negative on the balance sheet for being female?