Monday, 21 May 2018

Equality is a punk test

The problem is not that people are talking about equality. The problem is they are talking about equality in the media.

Notice how the debate about female workplace equality is framed: Women should strive for boardroom positions, as CEOs or anywhere in the C-suite; women should be paid equally for equivalent work; they should be able to wear anything they want without fear of harassment. It’s all the same thing: the gifting of symbols for the maintenance of identity so that nothing changes.

Let’s assume the feminist angle that men created and control society. Men hold all the keys. Let’s also assume that women want to change this system. Okay. Then why aren’t women suspicious when men open the metaphorical door for them? Why do women accept entry as a victory? Women don’t seem to understand that the only way you can have power is if you take it. Power cannot be given, because then it can be taken away. 200 years ago Catherine took power away from her husband and became something great, today’s women admire Hillary Clinton as a female role model, not because she became Secretary of State, but because she stayed with her husband so that she could become Secretary of State. The equality movement boils down to this: “I know, I know, women don’t have any real power, but maybe someday a man will give me some.”

I’ll give you an analogy. I saw two female cops questioning three homeless dudes. Tiny little lady cops. I bet if you asked those two women why three rough guys were sitting docilely in compliance, they’d say it’s because females are just as strong and tough as men and can perform police work with the same authority. Neither would see that the only reason they weren’t getting beaten up, or at minimum being outrun in a chase, was because the three men respect the concept of the law. Those guys are allowing the two women to be cops. Those two females have authority because of the uniform represents the threat of the entire weight of the male-dominated system coming crashing on their heads if they didn’t comply. If those three men had decided to chew those two girl cops like bubblegum, the females couldn’t do anything until they called bigger men to help with the scuffle. Since this is true, therefore the female cops can do their job.

The fact that all cops aren’t giant bear-men who can arrest me even when they aren’t in uniform, proves just how safe and orderly this society is. It’s not just a girl thing. I’ve seen tiny male cops and thought if a huge dude on meth went rampaging down High Street, there’d be nothing the little cop could do unless he had a gun or a walkie-talkie to get a couple of giant bear cops to help. But what made me stop to think was the confidence and brazenness of those two lady cops in how they spoke to the three guys. But if they were on the same street without a blue body-vest they wouldn’t go near those homeless dudes because then they’d just be two girls. And yet, I’ve seen plenty of male cops in a t-shirt and the only thing I’d ever say to them is “yes sir.” The power of a big male cop is natural. The power the two female cops is artificial.

So, analogy aside, the thing that gets me about the equality movement is that everyone in it thinks it’s a victory just to be playing the game. The door gets opened by someone, they’re given a title and a uniform and a big chunk of money, and off they skip, happy as can be. At no point do they stop to think “hey, why did they let so many of us in?...”

If they did, they would immediately notice that not only do they not have the keys, they didn’t even know to fight for ownership of the door. In their “victory,” the status quo is conserved and nothing changes. Or, if I can be permitted a judicious use of psychoanalytic jargon: it's the rationalisation that allows a chick to blow a guy she can't stand, "I hate him but I'm going to make him cum so hard he'll just want more of me, which will be his punishment." Let that sink in for a moment. From his perspective, not only did he still get blown, he liked it even more. NB: in this analogy, the guy is the consumerist system and you're not.

A CEO is still an employee. A higher salary is not capital. A title is something someone else gives you. A board member is a contractor. I know people want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone, but the equality movement takes this to a whole new level. Women want first prize. But there is no first prize. Real closers don't want the prize, they want to be the best, that's why they will practice practice practice, refuse to play the lottery and don’t give a flying fiddlestick what the rules are. The CEO position is a temptation only for people who do not know their own value – the value of their own work – who won't lift a finger to advance themselves, who are motivated only by threats or by rewards, who would rather have the appearance of success than actual success.

It’s not just women. So many people out there want to be valued for who they are, not what they do. They want the system to give them things that the system tells them to want in the first place, and they wonder why they’re never happy. All the things they want are mutually exclusive – a career, a family, good health, great credit, work/life balance, etc, etc. They spend their lives chasing the goose, frantically expending energy always in the required direction. Never once questioning why a massive crowd packs tight around them rushing in the same way. “Would you jump off a bridge if your friends were doing it?” No one listens to their mother.

You see, monopoly is for winners and competition is for losers. No, I’m not saying women are losers, but a disturbing number of the fairer sex spends an awful lot of time playing the game rather than flipping over the chessboard – or at the very least taking their ball and going to another court. All the corporations/institutions women are trying to enter today were created by men for men hundreds of years ago. Of course the game is rigged! The way to win is to invent games, not to participate in someone else’s.

That’s why I mentioned the media earlier. Everything you see in the media is sanctioned propaganda meant to compel and nudge you, the reader, in the required direction. The media is always and forever in service of the status quo, regardless of what the “status quo” is. The media’s job is to capture your psychology. Equality is not “getting traction” in newspapers, its existence in the media means the movement itself no longer exists as a force for change. Its job is to convince all of us that a blowjob is the worst thing that could happen to the system.

The consumer economy demands equality because it means more human-batteries and more spent salaries for the benefit of those who actually hold the capital/power. None of this will happen if 50% of the population decides not to play the game or choose to monopolise the things they’re good at and ignore the things they can’t monopolise. Asking the system to change its own rules is 100% the play of a rube. You cannot affect change with someone else’s dollar.

Harvey Weinstein was a powerful guy. No one came close to him in Hollywood. Do you think someone like that could be taken down by a bunch of angry women? Of course not. I’m going to be honest with you here: no one listens to women. Why? Because there’s no consequence to ignoring a girl. What can she do? All she’s got is yelling and outrage. For her to get rid of one man requires other men to act. Mr Weinstein as taken down because of the law, not because women were angry or abused. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is terrible. #MeToo. But the world doesn’t care about abuse, it only cares that you act in the required direction. Mr Weinstein is gone, but did anyone really think a woman would replace him as the most powerful person in Hollywood? It might have felt good and righteous to destroy him, but what was Step 2? What change actually took place? You see, it’s possible to bash, beat and torture a group of people to compel them to change their ways, but unless that group has a personal change of heart, there’s always a suspicion they will revert back someday.

I'll give you another analogy. The decency that nature has given the Jews is to have a villain. Moses had the Pharaoh who looked like Yul Brenner and was the evil force holding the Jews down. God freed them by destroying the Egyptians. Then Hitler came along and even though the war has been over for 70 years, you still can't have the moustache. That moustache represents the devil for the Jews. To this day, if they find out you're a Nazi, you can't even apologise. If you're 100 years old you’ll still be thrown in jail. But having the moustache means Jews don't have to hate every German person and gives the Jews a chapter in a book they can close.

But for black people in the US, "white" is the only thing they got from their slavery days. They have a finish date, but a questionable start date They have a questionable amount of people who died and it had a questionable effect on their minds. And when they eventually were freed, the white farmers pretty much just said "bye, nice talking to you. Now we expect you to live wonderfully. By the way, what we did to you is not criminal." So, every white person is Hitler's moustache, from black people's perspective. Black people are constantly suspicious of their “freedom” because white people never really had a change of heart. They just lost a war and a few laws were enacted. But if the economy collapsed again, what would really stop white people from making black people their slaves once more? If the only thing separating you from subjugation is a piece of paper, not a change of heart, how safe would you feel?

Same goes for the female equality movement. Of what use is legislation, quotas and rules without a change of heart? The result is only anger, resentment and a bunch of men perpetually only one HR complaint away from taking all the power back.

All women are good for – from the perspective of consumerism – is as more batteries for the machine. That’s why the machine is feeding you the equality movement. It threatens nothing. Try broadcasting messages of female supremacy, or female exile, or female ignoring-the-system-and-building-their-own-system, and see how far you get. Try setting up a movement to bring back a monarchy. Or a movement to reintroduce colonialism. It’s not a coincidence that everything we think is good and proper is also precisely what the consumer system wants. The point is not to free people, the point is to tell them what to do, but make it feel like all their choices are organic to them.

I do not want to minimise the individual accomplishment of a woman getting to the top of the pile. I am simply asking: what is the significance for everyone else? What does it change? The problem isn’t with women getting into CEO positions, but rather its celebration. This is all part of the way power has shifted not from Group A to Group B, but from ground-up to top-down, and top-down works in a very specific way: it concedes the trappings of power while it retains the actual power. It will give women the title of power (CEO, board member, PM) while those with actual power continue to own all the property and capital. The system is like a car’s crumple zone – built to protect the driver inside by failing at pre-ordained points.

From where I’m sitting, women will never be as powerful as men because men can always use their violent strength to get what they want. A female CEO might be better than me at being a CEO, but she will never be better than the best male CEO. Ultimately, she is still a girl competing against men inside a system built by men for the benefit of men. She is not a girl monopolising a system built by women for the benefit of women. But then, if she was, we wouldn’t hear about it because that would be a true threat to the system. The equality movement is a story of women demanding places and preferential treatment in the organisational and institutional structures that men create, rather than women creating organisations and institutions themselves.

It is a system-wide punk test.

What's a punk test? Back where I grew up, I used to play street basketball with other kids. There was always one or two who would turn up and start sneakily stepping on toes first, then bumping into shoulders, and eventually tripping us up. He'd always mumble "whoops" or something snidely apologetic, but would always escalate the next needling. We just thought he was playing hard, or perhaps was just clumsy so we wouldn't say anything and just kept playing.

But I remember after the second or third game in one area, a friend of mine was walking down the street a block or so from the courts and the kid mugged him for his iPod. The kid knew he could get my friend to cough up because he hadn’t pushed back during the basketball game. Instead of saying "Hey, watch who you're pushing," my mate chose during that game to think the best of the kid and adjusted his own playing style to avoid another knock. That's how the kid knew my friend was a punk.

People want to know that the very best are at the top. On your way up the greasy pole, you'll see many punk tests. If you fail enough of those tests, then you're not worthy of being on the pole. Down you go. That's best for society as a whole. If you complain about the existence of punk tests, you're already a loser.

According to the Institute of Directors, women make up 29% of directorships and many of this 29% have a lower appetite for joining a board than their male colleagues. And according to a Chapman Tripp report last month on the 75 largest private firms in New Zealand, it found 23% of directors were female. That means a full 3/4 of directorships a filled by men. Women aren't the beneficiaries of diversity in workplaces. All this talk of removing the Pale Stale Males is just a useful tool employed by smart men to weed out the weak men who will fall for the trick.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who fail punk tests and those who don’t. The only question is, which are you?

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