Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The hijacking of 'progress'

Progress is not getting the scepticism it deserves. Don’t get me wrong, I think moving forward with this human experiment is a good idea. Too much stasis makes everyone nervous and lazy. If we really do live in Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence, it’s tempting to just sit back and let entropy take over. But if you have to live this all again, forever, then wouldn’t it be smarter to make the best of this short 80-90 years? That’s progress.

And maybe it’s just the way I think, but I get suspicious when I see something like “progress” being defined in a particular direction. For instance, the system (the sum of individual vectors pointing in different directions) has framed the conversation to describe success and progress by how many women are in senior roles (which is a job that men created, for men). It’s just assumed that if a person agrees with the idea of progress, then any framing of progress must be accepted. That leaves a big gap for people to exploit with their own self-interests, and there’s plenty of women out there using people’s near-religious acceptance of “progress” as an unmitigated good to wrangle their way into positions of status.

I get that women desire senior roles, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why I, as a man, should want women to be in senior roles. Why can’t I choose to describe progress as some other goal or using another metric? Why does women + role x (number of institution) – (number of men) = progress? Why is progress being defined in this way? Who benefits?

What would happen if the maths instead was: women + capital – men = progress? Don’t bother pulling out your calculator, I know what would happen. Feminists would be in prison as terrorists, or at least there would be no space at mental hospitals. Why? Because agitating for control of property and the true levers of power truly would be a threat to the system, which is precisely why the maths doesn’t sum in this way.

This conversation is controlled which means the true failure of feminism is revealed: it has not liberated women to be better women, it has simply succeeded in making women into men. And not strong, powerful men either, but cubicle drones easily bought off by a few trinkets and conferred titles.

“So, you’re saying the patriarchy does exist after all?” No, this has nothing to do with sexism, nice try. I reject this construction of “progress” because I don’t even want other men to beat me and get into senior roles. I think it’s great that women are forcing the system to adapt to their competitive weaknesses, but don’t try and pass it off like it’s some kind of moral achievement. It’s not. Women are asking the system to want to want them, without actually doing anything to outcompete men.

They are asking the system to change so that they don’t have to change. If women were just as suited for senior roles as men, then more women would be in senior roles. It’s as simple as that. The maths isn’t hard to do. But rather than working their asses off and finding sneaky ways to win inside the present system – just like the men must – women think it’s better to force the system to become more female friendly. Well, sure, but I should get to use my moped to score at the soccer game next week and if you say I can't, then I'll protest your oppressive anti-scooter rules. Down with the system!

The problem lies with forcing men to allow women into senior roles rather than convincing men to change their minds about women being in senior roles. What women don’t seem to understand is that they are giving men more power by letting men open the gates. But what happens if men decide to just shut the gates again? What is a woman’s level two when that happens? What could they really do then if men haven’t really changed their minds? Again, if women had a second option then they would have used it by now. It turns out the only chess move they’ve ever had is to trick men into acting against other men.

That’s why women should want to have a dialogue with frothing-at-the-mouth misogynistic men. Otherwise, he will always feel like society told him to think a certain way. Most men pretend to respect their female boss which makes them more angry and frustrated because they lie to themselves – and her – every day by not being able to say what they feel for fear of violence by other men. We could punch you through a wall, but we don't! The power you have is the power men let you have. Does this make me feel good? No, but that doesn't make it untrue.

The last person women should talk to is a smiling, oppressed man who now submits to other men and allows women into senior roles or wherever. Has he really changed his mind, or is he just smiling because a piece of paper tells him he must smile?

Same goes for diversity compliance as well. If the problem is racism (if it actually exists) or some kind of bias, then the only way to fix this is by logic and reason to argue a person out of their position. Black Americans were freed from slavery by a piece of paper, not by convincing farmers to see black people as people.

If all that creates civility between the races in America is a piece of paper, what it would take to burn that piece of paper?

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