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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:

Capturefreehugs

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

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sbel
sbel
6 years ago

@Mike,

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.

teiresias
teiresias
6 years ago

He’s been imploding up his own ass a long time now. Looks like he finally hit singularity.

katz
katz
6 years ago

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.

Tessa
Tessa
6 years ago

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”

Jo
Jo
6 years ago

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…

baroncognito
6 years ago

Kate Beaton is awesome. I kind of want to go to a comic-con with a “Lick your face clean, 5 cents” sign. (such a deal)

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

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.

Alpine, RN
Alpine, RN
6 years ago

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)

Wetherby
Wetherby
6 years ago

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.

STCG
STCG
6 years ago

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.

scalyllama
6 years ago

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!)

scalyllama
6 years ago

* mostly
** I

Tvnerd
Tvnerd
6 years ago

So you’re sad because you’re not allowed to rape?
Poor you.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
6 years ago

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?

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@rugbyyogi

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.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@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!

Kootiepatra
6 years ago

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.

bluecatbabe
bluecatbabe
6 years ago

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!

scarlettpipstrelle
6 years ago

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.

RoscoeTCat
RoscoeTCat
6 years ago

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.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@kootiepatra

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.

Kootiepatra
6 years ago

@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.

dhag85
6 years ago

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.

elfodin
6 years ago

Sarcasm escapes most people, doesn’t it?

ej
ej
6 years ago

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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