Doug Phillips on Evolution and Feminism

I just read the following quote by Doug Phillips of Vision Forum:

Evolution says the struggle of the survival of the fittest, there are no differences between men and women, there is no charity, there is no deference, and in an evolutionary world feminism reaches its height and we see no distinctions. The result is babies are killed en masse, women are treated like chattel and men no longer take on their masculine role as defenders.

This quote is so out there that I have decided to dissect it. Please join me!

Evolution says the struggle of the survival of the fittest…

Actually, evolution says that the traits that are most successful are most likely to be passed on. In other words, a physically stronger man is more likely to have more children than a physically weaker man, thus passing on his genes for being physically stronger. Sure, you could summarize that as “the survival of the fittest,” but that’s sort of simplistic.

…there are no differences between men and women…

Actually, “evolution” does not “say” that at all. There clearly are biological differences between men and women, biological differences that have evolved over time. Also, what’s with evolution “saying” things anyway? Evolution is a theory that describes the evidence we see in the physical world, nothing more, nothing less.

…there is no charity…

Um. No. This does not flow from evolution at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure many scientists have argued that altruism is an evolved trait, because doing good things for those around us has traditionally meant doing good things for our relatives or closely related tribe, and thus helping to pass on our shared genes. A cooperative tribesman, after all, would be more likely to have offspring – and make it more likely for his siblings, etc, to have offspring – than an uncooperative, argumentative, lone tribesman would.

…there is no deference…

What? First evolution means “struggle of the survival of the fittest” and now it means “there is no deference”? That just makes no sense. There is nothing about the theory of evolution that states that there should be no such thing as deference, and in fact, we see social hierarchies in essentially every human civilization we know of, thus arguing that the existence of deference is very definitely not against the theory of evolution.

…and in an evolutionary world feminism reaches its height and we see no distinctions.

Again, what? If evolution means feminism, then why the heck has essentially every human civilization been patriarchal?

What Phillips means by an “evolutionary world” is “a world in which people accept the theory of evolution.” According to Phillips, accepting the theory of evolution means believing that “there are no differences between men and women, there is no charity, there is no deference.” However, as I have pointed out, evolution does not rule out any of those things, and actually, the evolutionary process has led to differences between men and women, charity, and deference. More importantly, evolution does not say anything about whether there should be differences between men and women, whether there should be charity, or whether there should be deference. Evolution is not a worldview that tells people how to act. Rather, it is a theory explaining the physical evidence we have. But Phillips does not appear to understand that.

Even understanding this, the above quotation snippit still makes no sense. When the theory of evolution first became well-known and accepted in the West, society was still very patriarchal and remained so for several generations (and to some extent remains so today). Societal acceptance of the theory of evolution did not in any way lead to feminism, nor is there any reason it should have. After all, there are even some atheists who argue based on their incorrect understanding of evolution that men are superior to women – more rational, smarter, etc. I only wish accepting the theory of evolution meant that feminism would “reach its height” and that we would “see no distinctions”!

The result is babies are killed en masse…

He means abortion, of course, and is apparently unaware that abortion was performed thousands upon thousands of years before anyone knew about evolution.

…women are treated like chattel…

Again, you have to understand what Phillips means. He doesn’t mean that “evolution” results in women being treated as chattel – he doesn’t believe evolution ever occurred, after all – but rather that “societal acceptance of the theory of evolution” results in women being treated as chattel. You know what? I’m pretty sure that women were chattel in many if not most societies for thousands upon thousands of years before society knew about evolution. And today? Today women are not treated as chattel, at least not in the West. Today women are finally treated as equal human beings (for the most part), not as chattel.

…and men no longer take on their masculine role as defenders.

Ah ha. See, the only way to make sense of the “women treated as chattel” bit is to combine it with this and understand a bit of where Phillips is coming from. It works like this:

Women are weaker than men. Men are stronger. Men are supposed to protect women. Every woman should have a male protector, whether that be her father, husband, brother, or son. Without a male protector, women are thrown to the winds because, after all, they are weaker and therefore cannot help but be preyed on by men, who are stronger.

If you “pretend” that men and women are equal, and remove women from the protection of their male relatives, the result is that women will be grossly taken advantage of and “treated like chattel.” Only by placing women under the authority of male relatives, who fulfill “their masculine role as defenders,” can women be protected from being treated “like” chattel. Because…well…then they will be chattel.

And now my brain is twisted into a pretzel. My concluding thoughts are simply that Doug Phillips sure doesn’t have a lot of respect for women, since he sees them as always weak and in need of male protection, and that he doesn’t actually understand what evolution is and isn’t about or does or does not predict, and that he is seriously confused when he argues that our modern secular world is based on “an evolutionary worldview” that somehow endorses everything about how evolution proceeds (i.e. survival of the fittest). And yet…there are a lot of people who listen raptly to Phillips and believe everything he says.

Please feel free to add any additional perspective you might have on this quote, as I’m sure I missed some things!

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Dianne

    In other words, a physically stronger man is more likely to have more children than a physically weaker man, thus passing on his genes for being physically stronger.

    I agree with your assessment for the most part and it is definitely clear that Phillips doesn’t understand evolution and certainly doesn’t understand the human evolutionary niche. However, I have to object to the statement quoted above.

    Physical strength is selected for evolutionarily in an environment where physical strength is important. If a man is likely to be called upon to physically defend his partner and children then it will be important. If he needs to perform tasks that require physical strength that can not be performed as well or better using workarounds (chopping wood to keep a fire going, primitive agriculture, perhaps hunting, etc) then physical strength is important.

    But that’s not the world we live in today, at least not as people in the “first world”. A man with a high income who can live in a “good” neighborhood where the police respond promptly to distress calls and make regular patrols protects his family better than one who is simply physically strong and more likely to get the better of his opponent in a brawl. Similarly, a man who makes a lot of money can also hire people or, more likely, buy machines to do almost all the physical work involved in keeping his family well fed, warm, etc. A man who enjoys the company of smart, social women and helps them to achieve educational and career goals is likely to have a partner with plenty of money to do all of the above as well.

    In short, in the current environment, at least in North America, Japan, Europe, Australia, et al, the man who is smart and socially adept is more likely to reproduce and, critically, more likely to have grandchildren than the one who is strong physically. In other words, better evolutionarily adapted. For this environment.

    • Froborr

      Physical strength was not even that important in our early evolution–we are physically weaker than our closest living relatives, the chimps and bonobos, and therefore probably weaker than the common ancestor we shared with them, which implies that it was evolutionary advantageous to trade our strength for something else. IIRC, at least when I was in college a decade ago, the going theory was that the trade-off was for a higher body-fat percentage, increasing the amount of time we could go without food on long journeys across the plains.

      The world we live in today–if we define that as broadly as possible as agriculture and permanent settlements–has been around for about 1% of the time our species has existed, and a much smaller fraction of the time since we split off from the chimp/bonobo line. It is highly unlikely civilization has had a chance to impact our evolution in any significant way yet, especially since we have not had any significant population bottlenecks since it began.

      • Dianne

        IIRC, at least when I was in college a decade ago, the going theory was that the trade-off was for a higher body-fat percentage,

        I hadn’t heard that one, but it sounds vaguely plausible. That suggests that we’re supposed to be fat (or do prefer behaviors that will tend to make us fat) and that we should definitively stop with the fat shaming already and try to figure out how to deal with the consequences. But that’s getting off topic a bit…

        It is highly unlikely civilization has had a chance to impact our evolution in any significant way yet, especially since we have not had any significant population bottlenecks since it began.

        I have to disagree here, though. There have been several population bottlenecks. Most of them are related to disease. Small pox and plague resistance (or lack thereof) have influenced survival in the Americas and Europe, respectively. Malaria has led to a number of exotic hemoglobinopathies occurring in high numbers in high malarial areas. There is at least one theory that some of the nasty storage diseases such as Tay-Sachs evolved because having a single gene for them protects you somewhat against TB*, which was rampant in ghettos and cities in general. These are just the obvious examples. True, humans haven’t lived in cities all that long, but evolution only requires one generation, if the pressure is high enough.

        *Another theory** is that in some cases a single gene mutation makes people smarter. Don’t know if there’s any real evidence for that one.

        **Using the word “theory” in the common usage sense of “idea that might work or might not” rather than the “well proven overarching explanation” sense that it is used in science.

      • minuteye

        It might not be exactly the same for strength, but in environments with little or no predation, the trend is towards smaller size, since it requires less food to maintain a smaller body. Those rippling muscles that come in handy for chopping wood use up a boatload of calories, not so great in a famine.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Sorry, you’re right, that was a poor example. :-P The problem with understanding evolution is it’s at once so thoroughly complicated and so breathtakingly simple. And I always feel inadequate to really capture it.

      • Dianne

        And I always feel inadequate to really capture it.

        You and hundreds of millions of biologists.

        Hope I wasn’t being obnoxious in the correction.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

        Oh no, that’s okay, I just wanted to assure you that I do know it’s complicated. :-P

  • John Small Berries

    What “deference”, exactly, is he bemoaning the loss of? The deference of women towards men?

  • Caravelle

    That is hilarious. Has anyone pointed him to the more sexist takes on evolutionary psychology out there ? Why, we might convert him to evolution yet ! (unfortunately it probably wouldn’t help with his understanding and acceptance of science in general, which is much more important)

    • JeseC

      Yeah, my first reaction upon hearing “evolution and feminism” was “oh god not another stupid evo psych argument on why women just can’t make it in the real world.”

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      lol, are there any NON-sexist takes on evolutionary psychology? If there are, I’ve yet to see them.

  • Mattie Chatham

    His back and forth from “feminism will reach its height and there will be no distinctions” to “women will be treated like chattel” is hilariously logic-defying. Pick one and stick with it, buddy.

    • Dianne

      In Phillips’ partial defense, I _think_ the claim he was going for is that women are so inferior that if no distinctions are made (i.e. “chivalry” isn’t enforced) they won’t be able to compete and will end up inevitably being chattel because they’ll always be the losers. Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, et al might beg to differ with him.

  • http://tanitisis.wordpress.com Tanit-Isis

    Well, in fairness, the term “Survival of the fittest” comes straight from Darwin. The key is what “survival” and “fit” mean in this context: “survival” means “is more likely to survive to reproductive age and produce lots of offspring”, and “fit” means “is particularly well-suited to its environment.” “Evolutionary fitness” is measured in terms of reproductive success (relative to other members of your own species).

    The Quiverful ideology is, in this sense, extremely evolutionary ;). (I only hope that the disadvantages of reduced parental investment and extreme cognitive dissonance outweigh the reproductive advantage of sheer numbers over the long term…)

    I can definitely see why your brain is in loops, though. Feminism + males not acting as protectors = women treated like chattel?

    • Dianne

      The Quiverful ideology is, in this sense, extremely evolutionary

      Is it? The Quiverful ideology produces a lot of children, but does it produce grandchildren? In general, families with numerous children tend to be poorer and the children have fewer opportunities for education, employment, health care, etc. This means they’re more likely to die in childhood (still quite low risk in the modern first world), less likely to find a partner with good potential for caring for children, more likely to have difficulty supporting themselves in the current environment, etc. And a neglected 9th child might be less inclined to want to have children than a well cared for and happy first or second child. So I’m not at all convinced of the Quiverful method. It’s too reminiscent of how insects reproduce: just put as many as possible out there and hope that one of them succeeds, never mind caring for any of them. Which works for insects, but people aren’t insects. We’re mammals and reproduction has a high metabolic and social cost in mammals. Very selective reproduction at the optimal time and place seems to me a more appropriate reproductive method than maximizing number while sacrificing quality of upbringing.

      • Caravelle

        Right. The relevant evolutionary jargon here is “r-selected” vs “K-selected” (based on the equations of population growth IIRC; r is the raw rate of reproduction, K is the environment’s carrying capacity). Both are stable evolutionary “solutions” and are found in nature, as well as many intermediates; which strategy is best at any point depends on the organism and the environment. Basically r-selected organisms put all their resources into reproduction, which means they can’t really care for all the offspring so they’re counting on the high number to offset the high mortality, while K-selected organisms put more resources into parental care, so they have few offspring but give them care and resources to ensure each one has a good chance of surviving to reproduce themselves.

        Humans are a K-selected species. Quiverfull philosophy tries to impose an r-selected strategy on them. It’s all the more absurd that what they’re actually trying to spread isn’t their genes, but their culture, and it’s hard to make that stick reliably.

        Then again maybe that’s a good reason to do it – IIRC the “high parental care” strategy is best in fairly stable environments where parental care will give your offspring an edge over the others, while “high reproduction” strategies are best in very hazardous environments where your offspring are likely to die whether you care for them or not so you might as well play a numbers game.

        Okay, sorry for the pointlessness. I merely wanted to make the point that “has more kids” doesn’t necessarily mean “is evolutionarily better”. What is adaptive when and how things tend to evolve is actually a complex question.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Yeah, I’ve wondered about this myself–how sustainable the Quiverfull ideology really is? We can’t know yet, since it’s fairly new, but what it asks of people is just plain impossible for most. And there’s just so much potential for neglect which results in resentment and rejection. There’s no shortage of fervor, it seems, but it may be that this whole movement just burns too brightly for it to burn for very long…

    • Anon

      “Survival of the fittest’ does NOT come from Darwin. The term originated with a man named Herbert Spencer, a racist, sexist, classist pseudoscientist who has had influences on the way we think about people–especially the poor–today. He was a social Darwinist. The term been so weirdly misused and twisted (though I see that you understand it properly!) that I almost advocate throwing it out completely.

      Not that I mean to disagree with your general point. It’s just a huge pet peeve of mine.

      More OT: The misogyny in this is just disgusting.

      • Sarah

        A lot of people still see evolution and social darwinism as the same thing, and that show that they don’t understand either one. Social darwinism is the belief that certain people are innately inferior and need to be ruled, guided and /or protected by those who are superior, which is exactly how a lot of conservatives think of women. But when most people think of social darwinsim they see the more extreme version, which is that those who are inferior need to be wiped out.

      • Paula G V aka Yukimi

        Poor Lamark, “social evolution” is what was left for his theory and they try to rob him of that XP /joking.

      • Rebecca M

        Thank you anon. I saw that and, as a sociologist, thought… “well actually…” But for those of you who say we might be confusing the two, Herbert Spencer actually started with a theory of evolution, but got not credit for it because he couldn’t figure out how natural selection worked. So there is no lack of understanding here unless you don’t know Spencer’s history.

        “Social darwinism is the belief that certain people are innately inferior and need to be ruled, guided and /or protected by those who are superior, which is exactly how a lot of conservatives think of women. ”

        That actually isn’t the whole belief system. Spencer’s theory is the idea that people evolve socially. He would say, sort of in line with what you mentioned in the line I quoted above, that you should take the checks and balances off the societal system to let those who succeed NOT have barriers curtailing that success. In other words, he would not advocate for things like labor laws, higher taxes on the rich, laws that protect employees, etc. That would be like tripping up “the fittest” in our society. On the other hand, government programs for the poor would constitute not allowing those that are evolutionarily inferior to die and stop tripping up the process of society moving forward and getting better.

        Here’s where it gets kind of interesting: Spencer didn’t think that most people on government programs would die if those services were removed. Instead, he saw most people as capable of adapting to life as it is if they were not encouraged in idleness by programs. So if he were here today, he would want us to get rid of WIC, TANF, HeadStart, etc., and his reasoning would be that it would force a great many people to adapt like they were capable of in the first place. According to Spencer, the only people who wouldn’t catch up with society would be the ones who are so evolutionarily messed up they wouldn’t have survived if we were still in the wild.

        Still not a great guy, but much more complex than one group needing to rule another. Although I always wonder exactly what social programs he was so upset about in Great Britain during Industrialism. He’d’ve had a heart attack in most industrialized countries today.

      • Anon

        @Rebecca M,

        I’m an anthropologist. :) For us the most important part of Spencer is actually his thoughts on race as a part of our disciplinary history and for the lasting influence on the public. Interesting to hear more about him, though.

      • JOR

        I get the distinct impression that someone hasn’t actually read Herbert Spencer . . .

        Racist, misogynist, classist, perfectly describes his contemporary “progressive” detractors, though. It’s so weird that they – who make modern mainstream conservatives look like egalitarian radical feminists – are the ones remembered as heroes for social justice. Herbert Spencer opposed eugenics, was a supporter of labor power and feminism, was skeptical of private land ownership, and was radically anti-imperialist and anti-militarist.

        Sadly, Spencer did get less radical with age. Though at his most conservative, he was still more liberal than, say, the typical Obamabot. He once remarked directly to a British officer that he didn’t care about British soldiers getting shot (in the context of a British invasion of Afghanistan, of all things), whereas modern liberals feel compelled to blabber about how much they support the troops.

  • Rey

    Hello, some-time lurker and philosophy nerd here.

    What mess to untangle! And I commend Libby Anne for tugging at the threads. When presented with such a Gordian knot of willful, intentional stupidity parading itself as keen insight and wisdom, my impulse is try to cut through it with “You don’t know jack-all about what you’re talking about, dumbass.”

    Anyway, I see two things going on in Doug Phillips’ evolutionary exegesis. (1) He’s trying to derive an Ought from an Is; and (2) his “Is” — what he purports evolutionary theory purports — isn’t even close to correct, i.e., his Is isn’t really an Is. All of this adds up to some serious question beggary.

    In short, he’s making a fallacious argument, which is bad form, on a topic about which he hasn’t bothered to really learn, which is bad faith.

  • ScottInOH

    Nice post and really great comments. Rey, especially, totally nailed it!
    Libby Anne, I think your statement here:

    If you “pretend” that men and women are equal…

    is central to understanding this mindset. Philips believes (or at least pretends to) that liberalism and feminism are about ignoring things we really know to be true: women are weak, different races have different characteristics, Christianity is the driving force of all that is good in the world (or the West), and much more. I know lots of people like this. They can’t (or won’t) get his mind around the fact that liberals and feminists, as a rule, aren’t ignoring these things; we’re rejecting them as false because of evidence. Philips rejects evidence and makes up word salads to surround his preconceived notions, and, as you say, lots and lots of people think he’s offering profound insights.

  • Sarah

    I’m sorry I believe in my earlier comment I confused social darwinism with imperialism, but the two are VERY similer.

    • http://kagerato.net kagerato

      Every authoritarian ideology starts to look sickeningly familiar once you start analyzing it.

  • http://PathOfTheBeagle.com Larry Spencer

    >> I’m pretty sure many scientists have argued that altruism is an evolved trait…

    Yes indeed, but Doug Phillips and his ilk don’t visit the library much.

    Thirty years ago, Richard Dawkins published The Selfish Gene, which very convincingly explains how all manner of altruistic behavior has evolved. I blogged a multi-post summary of it starting here if anyone’s interested: http://pathofthebeagle.com/2011/12/22/the-selfish-gene-part-1/

  • butterfly5906

    I just wanted to say that this is one of the best take-downs of the stupid things people say both about evolution AND feminism I’ve seen on the internet. Thanks!

  • Judy L

    This is just one logical fallacy after another:

    Evolution says the struggle of the survival of the fittest…
    No, that’s not what it says at all. Evolutionary theory ‘says’ that those organisms that are most fit, i.e., those which have the best adaptations to their environment are most likely to survive long enough to reproduce and pass on those traits (adaptations) to the next generation, and beneficial traits tend to get amplified in subsequent successful generations. (Example: A bunch of white mice live on a brown hill. Hawks eat the mice that they can easily see. Some of the white mice are a bit darker and more beige than the others, and they blend in more with the dirt, so they don’t caught and eaten as much, so they survive to pass their darker-fur genes on to their offspring. Over time, all the mice born on the hill are descendents of the darker mice.) The only ‘struggle’ is between the organism and its environment and competition between ‘rival’ species for resources. And environment means not just the natural physical environment, but also threats like prey animals and social structures within the species. Adaptation can also mean the ability to adapt one’s environment to increase chances of survival and successful reproduction, and humans are the prime example: our cognitive and linguistic skills, along with our social organization and our nifty opposable thumbs have meant that we’ve been able to use the resources in our natural environment to address our shortcomings (weak, vulnerable soft bodies, slow running speed, unusually long gestational period and infant/child dependency period, etc.) and also to create artificial environments that allow us to survive within inhospitable natural environments (central heating and cooling; boats and planes, etc.).

    …there are no differences between men and women, there is no charity, there is no deference, and in an evolutionary world feminism reaches its height and we see no distinctions…
    Evolution absolutely recognizes the differences between male and female organisms. What biology doesn’t recognize or explain or mandate is that those biological differences between men and women should necessarily cast men and women into social roles that aren’t biological, nor does it insist that biology is social destiny. Feminism more than just social policy or political ideaology; it’s a way of understanding our social world and history. As a sexually dimorphous (and polymorphous) species, it will never be the case that we don’t ‘see’ the distinctions between male and female and intersex individuals; what Feminism and Humanism seeks to achieve is a society in which people don’t oppress each other based on sex and gender, and human behaviour outside the strictures of biology (gestation, lactation) is not gendered and not assigned value distinctions based on gender. The idea that charity is gender-dependent is absurd, but I’ll grant that in a world that doesn’t assign different and unequal social value and human rights to men and women there won’t be automatic ‘deference’ by women for men, and good riddance to it.

    …The result is babies are killed en masse, women are treated like chattel and men no longer take on their masculine role as defenders…
    This is not a logical conclusion to either of the logical fallacies stated above. It does not follow logically, even if we accept the first two assertions as true, that the result of the content of either of those statements is that babies are killed en mass, women are treated like chattel (by whom, exactly? and how exactly would ‘feminism reaching its height’ result in women being treated like chattel?), and men no longer take on their masculine role as defenders. Just about that last bit: defending oneself or one’s family or community is not a masculine behaviour, it’s a non-gendered human behaviour, full stop. Men do not have an innate ‘masculine role as defenders’, nor do males and females have innate ‘masculinity and femininity’. Masculinity and femininity are social contructs that are not fixed, and are merely creations of our collective social imagination.

    p.s. How do I do text formatting on patheos? :)

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      Well, italics works like normal, and bold too.

      blockquote

      And for a block quote, you do < blockquote > then type something here and then < /blockquote >. But of course you take out the spaces on either side of blockquote and /blockquote.

      • Judy L

        thanks, Libby! I wasn’t sure if it HTML taggies were allowed here like back on Freethought. :)

  • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

    Oh ghods, I don’t have anything like time to dissect that, so how about:
    A word salad which juxtaposes “evolution” and “feminism” with a bunch of Very Bad Things, without even attempting to demonstrate a real connection.

    • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

      Also, killing babies en masse is not really a great evolutionary move. Just like when the Heaven’s Gate cult committed suicide, of course the creationists latched onto that as an example of the consequences of evolutionary thinking (because the strategy seems to be to throw any mud, anyway they can, and hope some of it sticks), and I thought: Yeah, castrating and then offing yourself is a *great* way to enhance your reproductive fitness….

  • AnotherOne

    You’re a better woman than me, Libby Ann. I don’t dare to begin dissecting quotes like that because I get about 5 minutes into the process and steam starts coming out of my ears and I become very unpleasant to be around. Of course, that’s probably evolution’s fault.

  • smrnda

    Given that an individual human, in the natural environment of say, 30,000 years ago would be hard pressed to survive on his or her own (or to raise a child without a lot of help) cooperation seems like something that without it, we wouldn’t have survived.

    Plus, if women are treated like chattel when evolution is accepted, evolution is pretty well accepted among Western Europeans and I don’t see woman being treated like chattel there. Also, feminism does understand that there are differences between men and women, but there is an attempt to figure out how much of this is socially determined, and there’s a big difference between saying “men and women are treated differently in society and have different experiences” and saying “there’s some innate difference.” An example would be that girls are actually pretty competent in mathematics but studies exist that show they rate their own abilities lower than boys with similar (or less) ability and teachers often perceive girls as being worse at math.

    And on protection – to some extent, we all rely on others for protection, but we should get protection on terms we ask for, not in ways that are imposed on us by others who think they know what we need. A police department that allows for no input from the community is polices is not ‘protecting’ the community but occupying it by force.

    And deference is really a performance men put on for other men or for their own benefit – pretending I can’t touch a doorknob or lift a box isn’t considerate to me, it’s a performance meant to get attention and say ‘look how chivalrous i am! now you owe me something!’

    Feminism is about protecting women, but on women’s terms with their own input. I certainly am not ‘protected’ by men who would want to push me out of the workforce and who would criticize me for working and living independently.

  • Rookie Atheist

    Is it just me, or are creationists really crap when it comes to grammar? I mean, how else can one justify phrases that begin with “Evolution says the struggle…” and “The result is babies…”. Sorry for being picky on this (I’m not perfect when it comes to grammar either), but their crazy creationist ideas are already enough to twist my head, so messed-up grammar makes it even more painful to comprehend.

    • Rilian

      I don’t see any grammar problems except for two possible cases of false parallelism. Whether it is indeed false parallelism depends on his exact intended meaning. The parts that you quoted don’t have anything wrong with them. It’s not like I know everything about english grammar, but my mom had a Ph.D in linguistics, I’ve learned from her, and I’ve taken several linguistics classes myself and studied it extensively as a hobby. So that’s what I think.

  • Rilian

    When I read the part about women being treated like chattel, I thought ‘How can he get this exactly backwards?’. In a world where women are regarded as equals, men would NOT try to take advantage of them, because if they did then that would not be regarding them as equals, which violates the premise we started with. I’m sure Doug-what’s-his-butt wouldn’t be able to follow that logic, though.

    His world, the world he creates and the world he wants everyone else to join him in, is where women are chattel. Owned by a father or husband or brother or son. Hopefully protected but also owned controlled dominated. Just like how children of all genders are treated in our “enlightened” society.

  • Judy L

    And this crap does damage to boys and men too. It diminishes the truth and value of how our species has survived and thrived: not because of ‘masculine’ brute strength, but because of cleverness and cooperation. Our ancestors invented brilliantly simple hunting tools which made hunting safer and more effective, and most of the hunting of animals was performed using traps and cooperation. But the real game-changer was figuring out how to domesticate herd animals to use their milk and meat for sustenance instead of having to rely on unreliable hunting and having to be nomadic (to follow herd animals).

    I really feel for these boys and young men growing up in Christian Patriarchy who are taught that they have these ‘natural masculine roles’ that they have to conform to. It’s such a dishonest way to live, and I suspect an overwhelming majority of them are growing up miserable, trying to fulfill these impossible and unfair expectations that frankly fly in the face of human nature.

    • smrnda

      I think the damage to males is often not thought of, but how exactly do you grow up to be a well-rounded person with such a stifling vision of masculinity? Plus, how does a hyper-competitive masculinity fit in with Christianity in general? It kind of reminds me of the attempts in the UK during the age of empire to develop a ‘muscular Christianity’ that could somehow make building and empire and dominating natives a Christian calling. I’m not really an expert on the theology of muscular Christianity, but I encountered the term fairly often reading Orwell.

      And yeah, our species has survived by being clever and working together – the whole competitive individualism is just not how the world really works, and I think the illusion of self-sufficiency is just that the labor that produces what we consume and the services we depend on is invisible. I mean, I can program a computer, but the computer I am working on was likely designed in the US and built in China and then shipped over here. If it wasn’t for exploited Chinese workers I’d be out of a computer, and there goes my delusions of being the self-sufficient American.

  • Lili

    i just don’t understand from where the hell this idea of men being women’s protectors came from?women need protection from men,they are their main attackers(mainly rapists),more women have been attacked by men during history than women that were saved by men.and men also caused the death of many many women by impregnating them,and men turned women into slaves and they got sick and died from exhaustion serving men and their children…men NEVER protected women,that’s a lie,a legend,fairy-tale


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