antifeminism chivalry citation needed dude you've got no fucking idea what you're talking about matriarchy rape culture scott adams

Scott Adams: We live in a matriarchy because men have to get permission for sex

Matriarchy in action?
Matriarchy in action?

The Paris attacks have inspired cartoonist and opinion-haver Scott Adams to reflect on some of the true injustices in the world today.

Specifically, the fact that in the United States, men often pay for dates, yet cannot have sex with women without getting their permission first.

In a blog post that is incoherent even by his standards, Adams compares the male-dominated societies of the Middle East with what he describes as “female-dominated countries” like the US.

In his mind, American men live in a matriarchal dystopia in which women force men to pay for dinner and open car doors for them:

When I go to dinner, I expect the server to take my date’s order first. I expect the server to deliver her meal first. I expect to pay the check. I expect to be the designated driver, or at least manage the transportation for the evening. And on the way out, I will hold the door for her, then open the door to the car.

Weird, because I’ve literally never had a date like that. And even if all this were true, as a general thing, it wouldn’t be proof that the US is “female-dominated.” Chivalry is part of patriarchy, not proof of matriarchy.

When we get home, access to sex is strictly controlled by the woman.

Er, dude, that’s how sex works. Both sex partners have to agree to it, otherwise it’s rape. And men have veto power when it comes to sex just like women do. Women aren’t allowed to force themselves on unwilling partners any more than men are.

If the woman has additional preferences in terms of temperature, beverages, and whatnot, the man generally complies. If I fall in love and want to propose, I am expected to do so on my knees, to set the tone for the rest of the marriage.

What a romantic fellow, proposing to a woman even though she’s some kind of spoiled princess who has preferences about room temperature and refuses to have sex when she doesn’t want to have sex.

Also, Adams wants everyone to know that when he talks over women in meetings, it’s not that he’s a sexist, it’s just that women talk too much.

Women have made an issue of the fact that men talk over women in meetings. In my experience, that’s true. But for full context, I interrupt anyone who talks too long without adding enough value. If most of my victims turn out to be women, I am still assumed to be the problem in this situation, not the talkers.

But really, the problem is that ladies just won’t shut up amirite fellas high five!

The alternative interpretation of the situation – that women are more verbal than men – is never discussed as a contributing factor to interruptions. Can you imagine a situation where – on average – the people who talk the most do NOT get interrupted the most?

Uh, yes. Because that’s not just a hypothetical “situation.” It’s the way the world actually works.

I don’t know if the amount of talking each person does is related to the amount of interrupting they experience, or if there is a gender difference to it, but it seems like a reasonable hypothesis. 

Unfortunately for Adams, this is a hypothesis that’s been repeatedly disproved. Men talk more than women in meetings, yet are more likely to interrupt women than women are to interrupt them.

Weird how Adams, who thinks of himself as a rational sciencey guy, didn’t even bother to do the 30 seconds of Googling that would have shown that his “reasonable hypothesis” was a crock.

Speaking of weirdness, Adams goes on to suggest that he might turn to terrorism if no one gives him a hug. Literally.

So if you are wondering how men become cold-blooded killers, it isn’t religion that is doing it. If you put me in that situation, I can say with confidence I would sign up for suicide bomb duty. And I’m not even a believer. Men like hugging better than they like killing. But if you take away my access to hugging, I will probably start killing, just to feel something. I’m designed that way. I’m a normal boy. And I make no apology for it.

NOTE TO SELF: Do not invite Scott Adams to any party without also inviting this dude:


Or maybe don’t invite Adams to any parties at all.

322 replies on “Scott Adams: We live in a matriarchy because men have to get permission for sex”

When I go to dinner, 1)I expect the server to take my date’s order first. 2)I expect the server to deliver her meal first. 3)I expect to pay the check. 4)I expect to be the designated driver, or at least manage the transportation for the evening. 5)And on the way out, I will hold the door for her, 6)then open the door to the car.

1) Oh no! You have to speak second… If you don’t decide you are going to order for her.
2) Oh no! You have to wait a whole 10 seconds later for the server to put your food on the table! (Actually is this really a thing? I have no idea.)
1) + 2) These are totally contributing reasons why you should have “access to sex” whether or not your date wants it also.
3) And women are often expected to let you.
4) Yeaaah, I’m willing to bet you insist on being the driver.
5) What about places that have a second doorway? Do you hold the first doorway open, then barrel past her to get to the second one?
3) and 4) I think the word “expect” also takes on a different meaning at this point as well. Since he has this view that this is how a date is supposed to be, I can only imagine his response if a woman decided to pay, or that they should get separate checks, or that she drive, or take separate cars. Nice that he can be righteously indignant at having to do all this if she doesn’t put out, but if she did pay or drive, she just wouldn’t be acting the way a date should so he can complain about that.

(I’m also willing to place a bet he’d look poorly at the women who did sleep with him because he’d see her as doing it in exchange for dinner.)

6) Eh, if I’m driving on a date, I’ll usually unlock and open the passenger door for my date so she can get seated and settled while I walk around the car. Seems more polite to me than getting in first and reaching across to unlock their door (of course I don’t have magical key button that unlocks doors from afar…). But really… it’s nice to know you do these supposedly chivalrous things just to get your date into bed. Gross.

Um. So not being allowed to be a rapist means that we are living in an oppressive gynocracy? You know, MRAs are the ones complaining that we obviously hate men because we assume they’re all rapists… But they keep seeming to want to all be rapists….

dhag85 | November 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm
I’m curious to know how common these types of dates are. Do some people actually date like this? With the weird chivalry and everything? You Mammotheers who are actually dating, or have dated in the past, is this a real thing?

This reminded me of a Storify I read a while ago where a woman live-tweeted a coffee date she was sitting next to.

Men’s response: You’re mean, and you most likely made this whole thing up for attention.
Women’s response: I have been on this exact date.

Kat | November 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm
Another way we know we’re living in a matriarchy: The guy with the free hugs is offering them to others, not imposing hugs on them. And he’s holding up a cute, nonthreatening picture.

See, this is why that guy doesn’t bother me. He seems genuinely friendly, and he doesn’t seem like he’s shoving it on others, unlike creepers who will go “Where’s my hug?” and literally expect you to hug them, forcing you into a situation where you can turn him down and look like “a bitch” for not giving him what he felt entitled to, or you do hug him and deal with unwanted contact, especially if the guy gets handsy. >: (

This guy just wants to spread love. I’m okay with that.

BTW, did anyone in the history of the world ever actually laugh at a Dilbert comic? Because they weren’t funny before everyone knew this guy was a fuck wad.

As a longtime Dilbert fan I’ve been disappointed in it’s creator for quite some time now. Between questioning evolution to this MRA shit to sockpuppeting discussions about himself (now that I think about it, better watch out for him here!) and arguable Holocaust denial, all nicely summed up here:

Honestly? For someone who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else, he sure *sucks* at it.

“I don’t think that I ever said that I was jazzed to read about your trip to Haiti. Thanks for your work there. You’re an inspiration!”

I don’t know about that but thanks! When I was there I thought I was going to help them but they actually helped me. No matter what you have and how much it will never be compared to the love from God, family, friends and even strangers. All it matters is that there is someone out there who really cares and loves you and that’s all it matters.♥️

@dhag85 – Awww, thank you! 🙂 Please accept this free non-murdery internet hug.

@Matthew – Yeah, “I’m a certified genius, duh” is not an argument, let alone a compelling one.

If I fall in love and want to propose, I am expected to do so on my knees, to set the tone for the rest of the marriage.


Scott Adams, I urge you not to get married.

If it makes you feel better, 99.99999% of items donated to public libraries are either sold by the library for funds, donated to another resource (like prisons or old folks homes) or recycled. It is only likely to go into circulation if it is something rare, out of print, but still highly desired, or if it is Brand Spanking New and there is a long waiting list. Most libraries get their materials from services that send them pre-labelled and pre-cataloged, (as well as in longer-lasting editions) such that it is actually more expensive in man hours for them to add a donated item to the collection than it would be to trash it and buy a new one.

I’m not caught up, and it’s off topic, but dhag, as someone who uses gender neutral pronouns thank you.

Also, he’s a vocal Trump supporter

Holy hell, he doesn’t just support Trump, he’s practically canonized the guy. He’s got at least 50 blog post over the last few months about what an incomparable genius Trump is and how we might as well start calling him President Trump now because it’s physically impossible for him to lose.

He’s also obsessing over his sex-starved terrorist idea. He’s already done a few more posts on it, and he’s totally convinced that it’s the silver bullet for ending all terrorism forever. People have even been pointing out in his comments that most of the ISIS fighters he’s talking about are, in fact, married. But he keeps plowing on because the idea conforms to his belief that all anybody actually cares about is sex, which he inexplicably refers to as the ‘moist robot hypothesis’.

A Land Whale — they’re plenty funny when you work in IT under an incompetent manager, other than that I really doubt it. But been there, passed around Dilbert with “so and so last week!” type comments.

Which is why he disappoints me so much, he does nail IT managers not grasping what is actually possible, or the time it takes. So I’m stuck between “ugh that’s the worst” laughing at his older stuff and “ugh he’s the worst”.

Re: the free hugs guy — the Free Hugs thing is kinda a minor internet movement type thing… I’ve mostly seen groups of younger women (college age), but it’s not something he pulled out of his (probably quite lovely) ass. I’m more interested in those abs though, cuz 100:1 odds I’m gonna have my trapeze instructor telling me to actually use mine in, oh, fuck, 11 hours. I should sleep >.<

@Buttercup Q.

I totally agree with your assessment of Adam’s work. I’m an artist and I despise his work because he is so consciously lazy about it. I remember reading some introduction he wrote to one of those big collected editions where he basically said “I know my art sucks and I could probably be better if I practice some more but I just don’t care enough”. He reminds me of the guy who makes Ctrl+Alt+Del and how he jumped through hoops to avoid any sort of natural development of his drawing style, only Adams doesn’t have to put in extra work to not develop because he never got anwhere close to developing beyond slightly advanced stick figures. /rant.

So looking at this post seriously, the thing that jumps out is the egocentrism. He’d prefer hugs to murder, but not because murder is wrong, only because that’s his personal preference. Not only is there no sense that the women’s feelings might matter, there’s no sense that anyone’s feelings about anything might matter except his.

@ Orion,

He says that, but he writes multiple posts per week about how awesome Trump is…

I’m not sure if he’s in denial, or if he’s lying because he thinks people will trust him more if he pretends to be impartial.

Then again, he also says that he’s convinced that Trump could defeat ISIS easily and can also deliver massive economic growth. Evidently Scott only refrains from endorsing Trump due to Scott’s excessive humility. Yeah. Humility. Scott repeatedly insists that he is not smart enough to know who would be the best president, or to predict what challenges might come along in 2017 and whether Trump could handle them. So he’s not *telling* us to vote for the guy who will defeat evil and bring us wealth. Just sharing some observations.

@Mike: Sorry to have to do this, but given Scott’s proven track record of creating sock puppets to defend himself in comment sections, I have to ask if you actually are Mr. Adams?

(The fact that you haven’t made reference to his wealth or supposed intelligence counts against that theory, but still…)

On the topic of free hugs: The first “free hugs” guy I met was extremely pushy, so I tend to regard them with extreme suspicion. I treat them the same way I treat any stranger or acquaintance who I suspect might grab me without warning. I talk to them from several steps away so that I have time to react if they try anything.

TIL that Scott Adams thinks he is too important for jury duty, or alternately too smart. After failing to get excused (on those grounds!) he prepared to answer the selection questions by accusing the judge of wasting his time and tax money, but fortunately for all involved, they filled the jury before they go to him.

I think he is communicating on behalf of men something a lot of men feel. it’s all so heterosexuality based so it doesn’t exactly fit my frame work. Correct me if I am wrong but the things he is saying are no different than the complaints women will voice about finding suitable men. the key is finding someone suitable for the purpose you establish. Yes there are lots of men who are looking for sex with women on a very casual contingency basis. What he feels is that women take this availability of sex and turn it into leverage. They make demand on partners because they have wider opportunity. These demands do not reflect emotional needs or desires, but men have to have emotional needs or desires beyond the casual contingency in order to pursue for them what becomes an elevated relationship while the women can remain non-committal. they can have sex that for them is casual contingency, but in order to access that platform and win her selection process he has to develop an emotional attachment she doesn’t have to evidence. The fear is fear of a woman who can have casual contingency sex without reciprocal affection. It’s a fear of the exact woman he is looking for in his hypothesis. The presumption is that one person in any relationship needs the other person more or has more affection, love, or desire than the other. the desire is to be needed more by his partner than he needs that particular partner. It’s apparently quite common though different genders have different ways to express it. the opposite desire is to be needed less by a partner that you need in particular. this is the desire to “win” a partner. to have a partner fall in love with you and not what you represent.

Re: chivalrous dates, some comments here seem a bit judgy about the idea so let me give a different perspective.

Yes. People have them. I have had them. I like them *if* I know the guy and trust him to do right by me. It’s nice having someone else take care of things for you… Especially if you’re always having to take care of everything by yourself. It’s nice to sit back and relax and let someone else take care of things. Plus, a lot of people get pleasure in taking care of things for someone else.

If it’s just some guy trying to be in control to feed his ego, it’s gross. There is nothing wrong with someone you trust paving the way for you if that’s what you’re both into.

It’s kind of like the raptors in Jurassic World. SPOILER ALERTS:
Owen explains he doesn’t “control them. It’s a relationship.” They follow his commands because he’s earned their trust and takes care of them, not because he’s a loser who just wants to be in charge to make his weewee feel better.

(Plus who wouldn’t do anything Chris Pratt said? ;o) )

I am Blue lol. I will do whatever Chris Pratt tells me to do… Unless he pisses me off… Then I will eat him… And will get my friends to eat them too. If he treats me well and does not piss me off then I will take down a huge ass dinosaur to keep him and his friends safe…. Not because he asked me to but because I want to because I know he’d do the same for me. It’s not all a game of me man, you woman, me strong, you weak, me pay, you sex.

Reminds me of a blog I read a while back about how both MRA’s and romance novels both seem to have an obsession with alpha/supermasculine males but the two have very different ideas of what makes up an alpha male. Romance novels tend to go by the alpha males that I’m describing and men’s rights activists tend to go by the big loser fuck boy that just wants to be in control of everything to make his wee wee feel bigger (which is not at all what being dom is about) only to have his delicate wee wee deflate if he doesn’t get everything exactly the way he wants it and then uses paying for something for a woman as justification for rape…. Because why else would you pay for anything for another person unless you were going to get to rape them? I guess the idea of the pleasure of giving never really occurred to these people….. I’d hate to have to be their secret Santa. If he were actually a capable alpha male, he would just enjoy the experience and not expect anything because that’s what grown-ups do.

It’s a thing that’s between couples. It’s not really anybody else’s business. People aren’t lesser people or misogynists or bad feminists if they date this way. They are only bad people if they expect EVERYONE to fit into this mold.

Anyway, hope that clears up the idea that chivalry isn’t necessarily gross. As with all things, it’s about respect and consent.


1) Adams spent about a third of his post trying to prove that western society is matriarchal. There’s no reason for us not to discuss that, just because his whole post wasn’t about that one topic.

2) As for the rest of your comment… I give your trolling attempt 3.25/10 stars. Learn to troll, n00b.

A Land Whale: Sorry if I came across as judgmental of that sort of date; I don’t mean to be. I merely meant that the type of date that Adams so clearly dislikes is far from the only kind of date, so it’s weird that he feels shackled to it.

Most of these quotes were taken out of context. He was taking those snippets and comparing them to a broader context of Isis controlled territories which he claims are male sexually dominated, and even says it’s not a good scenario.

And you prove you don’t know what it means to be taken out of context. So tell me, what changes about the meaning of the “snippets” when not being compared to ISIS? Are you suggesting that he doesn’t think that the US is a “female dominated country”? Are you suggesting he doesn’t believe women have control of “access to sex”? Are you suggesting he doesn’t believe women get interrupted more because they talk more and contribute less? The “snippets” are their own context independent of the comparison, and just because he revealed his beliefs within the comparison to ISIS doesn’t mean we can’t mock them on their own.

I know it provided good sound bites for your “look at me look at me” scenario, but the post wasn’t even about you. He was talking about the mindset Isis uses to manipulate young men to join their causes.

And in the process provided a stupid premise we are mocking.

If some “scientist” was comparing how all life actually evolved from robots with young earth creationism, would defend people mocking the snippets about how “73 million years ago, robots crashed on earth and started repairing themselves, resulting in the first animals?” Would you say:
“most of these quotes were taken out of context. He was taking those snippets and comparing them to a broader context of how ridiculous it is to ignore the fissile record and claim the earth was created just 6000 years ago! He even said YEC was bad science. I know it provided good sound bites for your ‘look at me look at me’ scenario, but the post wasn’t even about you. He was talking about the mindset young earth creationists use to ignore real scientific evidence”

I know a restaurant where there are two menus. One has prices, the other doesn’t. I assume WHTM readers can figure out who gets which…

From my own (substantial) experience of dating, I offer the following observations. Keep in mind that this consists of people I’ve dated, so is probably not representative of the population at large.

– Most people don’t buy into the “boy asks, girl waits” system.

– Most people tend to not care who pays, but want it to be roughly equal. There’s usually a “I’ll get the X if you get the Y” or an “I got the last one so you get this one” conversation.

– Most people have left of centre politics.

– Most people identify as feminists, and even if they don’t, they tend to hold views which are definitely feminist (but object to the label for one reason or another.)

– Most people suggest sex, or at least groping and making out like teenagers, on the first date.

Interestingly, I’ve found that if a person is an exception to one of these rules, they’ll probably be an exception to the others too. These exceptional people (right wing, nonfeminist, not into equal paying, non-promiscuous) seem to be the ones that Adams has encountered and is whining about.

Mr Adams, may I suggest that you don’t date assholes? I recognise that what with your love of Trump you’re probably attracted to assholes, but the side effects of assholery are not good ones. Then again, you may be an asshole yourself, in which case all I can say is I hope it doesn’t breed true.

I find the whole “order for me” thing amusing…Dr. Alpine and I usually negotiate our collective order out of appetizers “ok…lets get the shrimps, annnnnd OOOH they have oysters! lets get a few!” and then whichever of us actually remembers what we agreed to order orders for both of us :-p Also, anyone demanding hugs from me is gonna get a sharp elbow to the solar plexus. I DONT HUG PEOPLE I DONT KNOW…hell I mostly dont hug people i DO know :-p
And anyone attempting to blame me for bombings because “oh that poor man wouldn’t have had to blow himself up if he’d just gotten the sexing/involuntary hugs he wanted without having to ask permission!” I consign those people to eternal buildings with the AC set either 5 degrees too cold or too warm for comfort AND NO HANDY CHANGES OF CLOTHES! (legos are too easy)

I didn’t propose on my knees, and neither am I the one who invariably pays on dates – in fact, I’ve only ever had one date who insisted that I paid (she said that she wanted to feel that “she’d been properly taken out”), and that relationship didn’t last very long – with virtually every other relationship every time we went out we’d either pay for ourselves or alternate picking up the tab on each date. In fact, I still do this with an ex-girlfriend, although we don’t see each other that much now and consequently tend to forget who paid last time – although neither of us really cares.

And if I go out with my wife, we pay from the joint bank account to which we contribute an equal sum every month.

Talking of which…

I know a restaurant where there are two menus. One has prices, the other doesn’t. I assume WHTM readers can figure out who gets which…

We had that a year ago in one of the most upmarket three-star Michelin restaurants in the UK – and it was particularly ludicrous because my wife is the primary breadwinner in our family. But we quietly commented on this to the waiter and were swiftly provided with another one with prices – and the rest of the service was absolutely faultless (as was the food), so we decided not to let something like that spoil our evening.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong about “using” someone for sex AS LONG AS you’re upfront and explicit about it at the start of the relationship. “I’m not in this for romance, I’m in it for a long-term sexual relationship. If we can enjoy each others’ company out of the bedroom too, that’s a happy bonus, but it’s not essential.” Not, I stress, “I’m going to pretend to care about you but I really just want you for sex.”

Mind you, I think society has too many hang-ups about sex as it is. I wish sex was seen as just another physical, fun activity you do with someone else, no stigma attached. “Hey, [Best Friend]! What should we do this weekend? Go rock-climbing, or hunting, or have sex?” Or you have groups online that are about finding people to have sex with just like finding people to play paintball or do book club with; above-ground, not “hidden” on shunned sites.

I’m quite a huggy person, something I didn’t discover until I left home for the first time. My family is a very close one but we weren’t, in general, very physical in our expressions of love. I was lucky to find my ‘people’ soon after I left home, though – musical theatre and opera performers. We’re nostly quite demonstrative in that way! It’s to the point that anyone who doesn’t go for hugs stands out a little and we all have to remind ourselves not to be quite so overwhelming with that person. Not that we’re insensitive to it though, just that it feels completely normal to hug each other at any time for any reason and we tend not to understand people who aren’t like that. When the meet new people, however, I’m always careful to ask if they hug. Hugging is only good and fun if it’s consensual. And by this I mean actual hugging – not sex (although that is also only good and fun if consensual) 😀

(Btw, jumping onto the bandwagon here, but Free Hugs Guy has a standing invitation to any future parties I may hold!)

This is rather disappointing. I’ve found some of his cartoons about the fuckwittery of office life quite amusing. Meanwhile, my ex is now saying things on Facebook about how Trump is talking sense on Syria. So I guess I’m easily fooled. How can I improve my judgement skills?


How can I improve my judgement skills?

I’m happy to pass on, for free, advice I received from a therapist, which comes in the form of a question: How does it/he make you feel? (In other words, listen to your intuition.)

I don’t know about you, but I can spend a lot of time justifying this, that, and the other with so-called logic. But once I tune in to how I feel, it’s a different story.

For example, if I feel as though I’m in a small space and can’t turn around, I’m dealing with a controlling abuser.

@Argenti Aertheri

I’m not caught up, and it’s off topic, but dhag, as someone who uses gender neutral pronouns thank you.

Oops, I believe that I called you a “kitty dad” on a different thread. So sorry. Perhaps “kitty parent”?

In other news, I see that the mayor of Pittsburgh is WELCOMING Syrian refugees. Yay!

I am a fairly huggy person, but only with people I already know well. The chance of me hugging a “Free hugs” stranger is close zero. The chance of me hugging a shirtless “Free hugs” stranger is exactly zero. ::engages introvert turtle mode::

On the topic of chivalry—I think there is a big problem with modern chivalry *as a system*, even though plenty of traditionally chivalrous behavior is perfectly innocuous and can be very sweet.

Traditional chivalrous behaviors seem like they fall into two categories for me. The first is basic courtesy—things like holding the door so it doesn’t hit the person behind you, offering to help clean up after dinner, offering to give up your seat on public transit to someone who needs it more than you, etc. It’s less of a male/female thing and more of a “being mindful and helping the people around you as you are able” thing.

The second category is more of the stuff like helping your date with their coat, opening the car door, walking on the curb side of the street, pulling out her chair, etc. etc. etc.—to me, these seem like widely-recognized cultural shorthand for “Hey, I like you and I want to make you feel special.” To the couples who enjoy that, more power to them! I don’t think there’s anything in the slightest bit wrong with expressing affection in traditional ways.

However, “chivalry”—the system itself—seems like it’s always a bit fraught to me. It very quickly devolves into obligation and entitlement. Under chivalry, men feel obligated to perform certain prescribed menial tasks, no matter if a woman needs or wants them. (Example: A friend panicked because I didn’t want to take his seat, despite my repeated insistence that thank you, but I was really and truly more comfortable on the floor. We were *in my own house* and there were other seats open. Turns out his dad had been really hard on him as a kid about what “real men” do for women.)

And then men may feel entitled to women’s gratitude, or even romantic affection, in return for those menial tasks. (Example: A man at work, who I barely knew, lectured me about how I “really need to learn to let guys open the door for me”, even though I got to the door far ahead of him. I had politely declined his insistence that I wait for him to catch up and open the door for me—twice, because it was a double-door, and he hadn’t let it go after door #1.)

Under chivalry, women feel obligated to accept those menial tasks, and express fawning gratitude for them, whether they asked for help or not, whether it was actually helpful or not. (Example: Door guy above. I was too far feminist-icated to feel very guilty at that point, but it was still SO HARD to give myself permission to open the stinking door, even though a man had told me to let him do it. Never mind that making me stand there and wait for him was, like, the opposite of being helpful or nice.)

And then some women may feel entitled to certain favors that are absurd to expect. (Example: I had an able-bodied coworker who got sincerely upset on Facebook that she couldn’t find a guy willing to come mow her lawn *for free*, apparently because chivalry was dead. She had only asked men, and when I offered to come mow her lawn, she wouldn’t take me up on it.)

I am 100% all for people being thoughtful and nice. I think it’s great when couples find an expression of affection that works for both of them. But I really dislike the idea that there is a prewritten script for how men and women *have* to interact, regardless of things like physical ability, personality types, situational factors, closeness of relationship, etc. I especially dislike that attitude of entitlement: “I did X, so now you HAVE to do Y, even though you never agreed to any of this.”

So yeah. It’s fantastic when individuals are honoring and sweet to each other, even if it looks like traditional courting/gender roles. It is super weird and gross when individuals resent each other based on an arbitrary social script that doesn’t really help anybody.

Dang, that Scott Adams? Many years ago I liked Dilbert, and even played Management-speak bingo on several occasions.

On the dating thing: when I was a student i tended to date fellow students. We were all equally skint, so we always went dutch. Since then I have sometimes footed the bill because I was earning and knew my date wasn’t, and once in a while it’s been the other way round, but generally we split and nobody cares.

I only once dated a guy who made a big thing about paying and subsequently, a big thing about having sex which I was not really up for: I’m not sure whether those things were connected but I didn’t repeat the experiment.

Nowadays my husband and I have a housekeeping purse with cash from the joint account in. Whoever happens to be carrying the purse gets it out when we pay.

I have sometimes had people pointedly giving the bill to him. I have even ordered us drinks in a bar, paid for them, and had the bar person hand the change to him. How we laugh!

I happen to be a woman in IT – for the last quarter century. Furthermore, my mother was a company-trained programmer back in the 70s-80s so I heard a lot from her too. Some things in his strips are perfect. The pointy-haired boss for example. I’ve never worked at a place that didn’t have at least one, and the bigger places had several layers of them.

Women in IT routinely get lower ratings for their skill sets and a certain amount of public harassment and disdain. There is a definite double standard. Men routinely make mistakes, even serious ones, and they shrug them off or laugh. Any mistake a woman makes is taken as evidence of a) her personal incompetence, and/or b) the overall unsuitability of women for the IT field. I kid you not. Women in IT tend to dress more casually than women in other fields, because their work is usually mostly mental, not social, though people skills are certainly involved.

Even in IT, the practice of a male subject matter expert and a woman second to him is normal. Even if a woman saves the company’s bacon, and everybody knows about it, while she was out saving the bacon it’s likely that a male colleague was out at lunch chatting up their mutual superiors, making the case to be put in charge of her and others.

Other things he got right: the officious turf-building of the admin assistant role. The progressive divorce from reality as you go up the chain. The utter lack of understanding from non-IT departments about IT work, what it can and cannot do, and the fact that it is indeed work.

He did have a piece once where Dilbert was making a list of what he wanted in a girlfriend. Next panel, the list was a stack of paper and he was still writing, “And she must be a ballerina” I’ll bet a lot of the MRA guys have lists that are even longer.

I don’t see why men should propose marriage on bended knee. I can’t prove it with statistics, but I believe it’s a tradition that’s dying out.

My husband didn’t get down on one knee to propose to me, more than 20 years ago now.


When I offered to come mow her lawn, she wouldn’t take me up on it.

You did? Whoa. That was very nice of you.

@kat – Eh, I like getting outside and moving around, and I was trying to extend her the benefit of the doubt that maybe there was some reason she genuinely *couldn’t* mow her own lawn, or afford to pay someone to. Seems like ability wasn’t the issue, though.

I don’t see why men should propose marriage on bended knee. I can’t prove it with statistics, but I believe it’s a tradition that’s dying out.

True story: I come from a very traditional romantic stereotype-free background, and my wife is pretty much the opposite. When I “proposed” to her, we were in bed with the lights off and I just said “so uh maybe we should get married?”.

She said yes, on the condition that we pretend this proposal never happened and I had to do a “real” proposal with dinner and flowers and a ring and the kneeling, so she wouldn’t be embarrassed when her friends asked how the proposal happened.

I (a woman) actually “proposed” to my partner. It’s not a word we really like to use though. We had to discuss our future together before I moved overseas, so we made the decision to get married a long time ago. We just didn’t share it with anyone. So getting “engaged” wasn’t really a big deal for us.

I bought silicone rings for both of us and planned to propose on top of a mountain while we were out hiking. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. It was cold and windy and foggy up there and it would have been really mean to ask him to take off his gloves. I’m really bad at secrets, so I ended up blurting it out in bed the next morning. It wasn’t a big, romantic scene. No one was down on one knee. There were no flowers, no music, no candles. Just us and our plans for the future.

We don’t say we’re engaged. I don’t call him my fiance. (He would hate that). The only thing that changed with the proposal was that we told a few people (mostly family) that we are planning to get married.

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