Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another White Knight/Useful Idiot Learns a Lesson

Vivek Wadhwa, author of the book Innovating Women, has given up. He is no longer going to be an advocate for women in engineering.
I started advocating for women in engineering in 2006 when my dean at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Kristina Johnson, made me aware of the declining numbers of women entering the field.

Over the past few weeks, I have been accused of financial impropriety, arrogance, insensitivity and worse.

On February 6, WNYC published a podcast titled “Quiet, Wadhwa.” It criticized me for “taking the oxygen out of the room” by “speaking for women.” There were more than 11 minutes of inaccuracies and innuendo made against me without even an attempt at fact-checking — despite the serious nature of the charges. The vast majority of allegations would not have passed a simple Google search. Yet I was not even asked to comment. WNYC completely disregarded the fact that I routinely share my media platform with women and regularly refer journalists to women in tech.

The podcast had referred to my attempt to have a conversation with one of my critics through a Twitter direct message (DM) as “the hand on the knee of social media.”

...the podcast claimed that I had a “tendency to send a DM” and said it is “creepy when someone goes into your DM, it is this non-consensual let’s go over here where people can’t see you criticizing me and maybe I can talk to you there.” They alleged that I done this to several women and said it was like the “hand on the knee” or an invitation to young women to “come sit on my lap.” Many people interpreted these words to imply that I am some sort sexual predator. For the record, I DM people — male and female — in situations like this because I have found that conversations out of the limelight are often far more civil and that usually we find common ground quickly.

But I may have made the mistake of fighting the battles of women in technology for too long... So I am going to bow out of this debate.1
What he finding is that being a white knight is the feminist equivalent of being a useful idiot.2 They will take your help, but they don't respect you, and if they can gain more points by throwing you to the curb, they will do it in a heartbeat.

Of course, Wadhwa was also wrong about the discrimination against women in tech. As anyone that has ever worked in a serious tech company can tell you, there is no discrimination against women or minorities. There is discrimination against non-geeks.

Actually, discrimination is the wrong word. It's more accurate to say there is a self-selection bias. As I pointed out in an earlier post (Who is Discouraging Women From STEM Careers?), tech is dominated by a certain personality type. This personality type enjoys working with technology. Other personality types are significantly underrepresented in tech. If you were going to put labels on these two groups, it would be geeks and non-geeks.

Geeks go into tech, because they enjoy it. Non-geeks don't go into tech, because they don't enjoy it. Unfortunately, the geek/non-geek personality types are not distributed equally between men and women. The percentage of women who could be said to have a geek personality type is in the low single digits—less than 5 percent. The reason there are few women in tech is because few women enjoy working in tech.

At some level, I believe most women understand this, so they look at someone like Wadhwa not as an advocate for women, but as a man patronizing women. They don't trust him, and why should they? They know in their gut what he is saying isn't true, and they assume he also must know it isn't true...or that he is an idiot. And women don't respect idiots, even useful idiots.

This is why there is no benefit in being a white knight. Women don't really trust you or your motives, because they can see the duplicity in your actions. At best, you will be seen as a useful idiot. At worse, you'll be thrown to the dogs.

That's the story of Vivek Wadhwa. He played the white knight, and was allowed to hang around as one of the useful idiots. But, when it became more beneficial to throw him to the dogs, there was no hesitation. He was thrown to the dogs.



1 http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/23/why-i-am-stepping-out-of-the-debate-on-women-in-technology/

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot

Friday, February 20, 2015

Marie Harf, ISIS, and Alpha Bad-Boys

Marie Harf is the US State Department spokeswoman who has come under criticism for her statements that the way to defeat ISIS isn't with force, but rather social change—specifically to improve their economic prospects and give them good jobs. Even Chris Matthews, who normally throws softballs at the Obama administration, was flabbergasted.

Explanations for Harf's statement have ranged from her living in a bubble (and thus she naively thinks the whole world is similar to the the bubble she lives in) to a lack of core religious beliefs (and thus is unable to comprehend how powerful a force religion can be in someone's life). I'd like to approach this from a different angle: women's attraction to alpha bad-boys.

Even the most blue-pill guy has noticed women can't resist alpha bad-boys. There are good (and logical) reasons for this, rooted deep in our human past (which I'm not going to elaborate on now). For the moment, all we need to do is acknowledge that this phenomenon exists.

Part of the bad-boy syndrome is the idea that under that bad-boy persona is really a good-guy just waiting to come out (or be brought out by the love of a good woman). Countless fathers have counseled their daughters to quit dating some guy because “he's nothing but trouble,” only to have their daughter reply “Oh Daddy, you just don't understand him.” Actually, the dad does understand him; it's the daughter who doesn't. It's the daughter that is seeing a non-existent underlying good-guy persona; it is the daughter who is attributing attributes to hmi that don't exist; it is the daughter that incorrectly think he would become a good guy—if only the circumstances were different.

Rather than retract her statement, Marie Harf has doubled down. Saying that her comments were “too nuanced” for her critics to understand. The political equivalent of “Oh Daddy, you just don't understand him.” Most people look at ISIS and see a group of terrorist bent on destruction. Marie Harf sees a bunch of alpha bad-boys who, with the right combination of love and understanding, can be turned into the good-guys they always were inside.

The reason so many women complain that all men are jerks, is because they keep choosing to hook up with the alpha bad-boys (the jerks) thinking they can reform them and release their inner good guy. This plan rarely (if ever) works out, because there is no good-guy lurking inside. They are what they are: bad men. Plain and simple.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Women's "I Wish He Were Dead" Fantasy

This is another concept from Warren Farrell's Why Men Are They Way They Are. Farrell noticed a theme running through a number of romance novels. One where the heroine is flashdanced to success, and then the husband dies. Thus, leaving the widow financially independent and free to pursue her dreams and desires without the encumbrance of a husband.

Farrell also found this “I wish he were dead” fantasy in advertisements.
The ad symbolizes the female twenty-first-century dilemma. A woman's fantasy has expanded to the point of expecting not only wealth, but enough wealth and control over her own life to have sex on her own terms. The dilemma is that the fantasy has expanded faster than has women's preparation to provide it for themselves. The ad appeals to the pull between the traditional part of many women, which wants a man to provide success, and the independent part, which fantasizes about control over her own sexuality, his sexuality, and even him. The traditional part of her is so furious at him for not providing success and sweeping her away (hence the anger in the “independent women” magazines) that his meager gifts must be met with with her “I wish he were dead” fantasy.
Does this recurring fantasy in women's media mean women want to kill their husbands in real life? No, but it does offer an insight. We have one advantage over Farrell: we have 30 years of hindsight to see how this fantasy has played out in marriage 2.0. Consider these facts about women's "I wish he were dead" fantasy:
  1. The woman marries a man and acquires access to his wealth
  2. The man dies (he exits her life)
  3. The widow retains his wealth
  4. The widow is now financially independent, and able to pursue her dreams and desires without the encumbrance of a husband
Now compare this to the “divorce fantasy” of marriage 2.0.
  1. The woman marries a man and acquires access to his wealth
  2. The woman divorces her husband (he exits her life)
  3. The ex-wife retains his wealth (via alimony, child support, and division of joint property such as house, pension, stocks, and savings)
  4. The ex-wife is now financially independent, and able to pursue her dreams and desires without the encumbrance of a husband
The male death fantasy Farrell noted in his book, is a woman's fantasy to be rid of her husband without consequences to herself. In fiction this can take the form of the husband's death. In reality, the easiest route for a woman to achieve this fantasy is to divorce her husband. The law over the last 30 years has made it easier and easier for women to pursue this option. Today's judicial system has enshrined  women's "I wish he were dead"fantasy into divorce law.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Flashdancing Women

Warren Farrell in his book Why Men Are The Way They Are spends an entire chapter on what he calls “The Flashdance Phenomenon.” The analogy is based on the move Flashdance.

The movie is about a twentyish woman who works as a welder by day and an exotic dancer by night in a seedy club that is one-half step above a strip club. Her dream is to join the ballet. The only thing holding her back is lack of opportunity and money...plus the lifetime of ballet lessons and hard work she skipped.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Football Player's Dilemma

In his book Why Men Are The Way They Are, Warren Farrell doesn't use this exact bit of jargon, but the example he uses is so clear that this phrase jumps to mind.
When a football player loses his position on the team, he seldom sees a cheerleader run off the field saying “Wait, I'm still cheering for you—I love your openness and vulnerability.” He notices, instead that she cheers for his replaceable part. He learns, on some level, that all heroes are replaceable parts.

...He is learning, subconsciously, that female support, nurturing, is conditional—it goes to the men on the playing field. Therefore her support is really pressure to keep performing.
Farrell calls this maintaining your hero status. Red-pill men today call it maintaining alpha. Both refer to the same thing: the football player's dilemma. A man can either maintain his hero/alpha status (even when he would prefer not to) or stop being the hero/alpha and risk losing his woman.

As Farrell states: "a jerk is often a hero who messes it up along the way."

The purpose of this post is to add some jargon—a bit or shorthand—to the red-pill dictionary.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why Men Are The Way They Are

I have recently finished Warren Farrell's 19861 book Why Men Are The Way They Are. While Farrell's later books (particularly The Myth of Male Power) are more widely read, I found his this book to have some fascinating insights.

Written 30 years ago, Farrell had not yet (to use a modern analogy) “swallowed the red pill.” He was still trying to reconcile his lifelong feminist beliefs (he literally served on the board of the NYC chapter of NOW—The National Organization for Women) with what his research was revealing—and failing miserably.

What he ended up with though, was a catalog of red-pill ideas. Everything is here, from the problems of marriage 2.0 to the female-imperative2. Farrell doesn't use the modern jargon (the book was written 15 years before The Matrix—the movie that gave us the terms red-pill and blue-pill), but he does explain the modern concepts and the underlying social norms.

He also has a number of concepts that the men's red-pill movement has either missed or failed to label.
  • The football player's dilemma
  • Flashdanced
  • Women's male death fantasy
  • Success object
Those are the areas of the book I'd like to discuss in future posts. For now, I'll simply recommend Farrell's book as an easy to read introduction to red-pill thinking. One that, ironically, was written for women, but that does an excellent job of revealing the true problems men fact in life—then and now.



1 Wikipedia lists the publication year as 1988, but the hardback copy I have lists the copyright date as 1986.

2 The Female Imperative

Friday, November 28, 2014

So What If He Lives In His Mom's Basement?

I don't buy into the stereotype of young men being lazy and refusing to grow up; choosing instead to live in their mom's basement and play video games all day. The stereotype is not as common as the detractors make it out to be, and reality is much more complicated. But, for argument's sake, let's grant for the moment that the stereotype is true. In which case, I would like to ask these men's detractors a question: so what?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Who is Discouraging Women From STEM Careers?

I was reading an article at Matt Walsh's blog1 where he pointed out that women don't have it worse than men. One of the comments2 caught my eye:
However, one thing about the .77 dollar argument that bears investigation is why women are underrepresented in the STEM professions, which tend to be the highest-paying professions. Studies have consistently revealed that girls are discouraged in math and science classrooms.
Having worked in a STEM field (computer programming) for over a quarter of a century, I found the idea that girls are discouraged from entering STEM fields to be curious. It certainly didn't line up with my experience in the industry. Schools have been pushing girls into math and science, not discouraging them. In my experience technology companies have been bending over backwards and jumping through hoops to get more women into IT (information technology). From programs aimed at getting high school students involved in technology to hiring decisions, there has always been a blunt, out-in-the-open emphasis on getting more women into IT.

So, if it's not “the patriarchy” pushing women down and denying them a chance to enter technology fields, what does account for women being underrepresented in technology fields? After a little research into personality types and career fields, I think I found the answer.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Overt Confidence is the Alpha Key

Which of the following people would you be most likely to follow:
  1. An inept man who was outwardly overconfident in his abilities
  2. A competent man who was humble about his abilities
I'm sure most people picked #2. We all like to think we would make the smart choice, but according to research done by Cameron Anderson2 the choice most people make is #1. And it's not even close, the overwhelming majority of people prefered the inept overconfident guy.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is the Cube Farm the Meaning of Life?

I read an article describing a woman who was raising her daughter to be a mother—to marry young to a good man, have children, and spend her life raising her children.1 The criticism of her was blistering. One theme continually popped up in comments: how can you waste your daughter's potential?

Potential? Potential to be what, exactly? A doctor, lawyer, or CEO; one of life's movers and shakers. There are a couple of problems with that attitude. For one, those types of careers are few and far between. Secondly, for most people (man or woman) the meaning of life won't be found on the job—it will be found at home in their families and in God.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

How a Woman Can “Have It All”

In an earlier post10, I noted the modern feminist meme of women having it all. Unfortunately, not only does the feminist plan ensure women don't “have it all,” it ensures what they do have will be royally screwed up. From a man's perspective, this means they are awful (inferior, substandard, flawed) wife material.

Here is a different plan. One that allows women to achieve life's major goals and still be good choices as wives.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PAC-Man: The Passive-Aggressive Christian Man

Dr. Paul Glover, in his 2003 book No More Mr. Nice Guy, says nice guys are dishonest, secretive, manipulative, controlling, attracted to people that need fixing, and full of rage; they have difficulty setting boundaries and problems with intimate relationships; they fear conflict, blame others for their problems, fail to live up to their potential, and give to get.

Dr. Scott Wetzler, in his 1992 book Living With the Passive-Aggressive Male, says passive-aggressive men are dishonest, secretive, manipulative, controlling, attracted to people that need fixing, and full of rage; they have difficulty setting boundaries and problems with intimate relationships; they fear conflict, blame others for their problems, fail to live up to their potential, and give to get.

Glover states “Nice guys are passive-aggressive.” Wetzler states “...passive-aggressive men negotiate the world as 'nice guys' denying even the slightest hint of hostility or conflict.”

This is not a coincidence. Being a nice guy and being a passive aggressive man go hand in hand. Glover's and Wetzler's books are eerily similar. Even though their subjects are different and the approach from opposite directions, you can't help but get the feeling that they are describing the same person—because they are.

It's no secret that the modern Christian church has become a nice guy factory. What people have failed to realize is that it has also become a factory for producing passive-aggressive men. The nice guy personality turned out by churches is the one described in the above books—the one that goes hand in hand with being passive-aggressive.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Courage vs Confidence

Courage is the opposite of cowardice; confidence is the opposite of uncertainty.

Courage and cowardice are antonyms—they mean the opposite of each other. They both deal with how you handle fear.

Confidence and uncertainty antonyms—they mean the opposite of each other. They both deal with how you handle doubt.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Presentation Matters

Recently, I've noticed another round in the debate between just-be-yourself and craft-your-image; between what is known as inner-game and outer-game. The inner-game argument is that you should not present yourself as something you are not. A reasonable argument, but it is then taken to the extreme. The argument is being made that you should only focus on your inner qualities. Don't worry about your outer qualities—your image, because your inner qualities will shine out and people will see you for your true self. It's a nice theory, but it doesn't work in the real world.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Myth of the Egalitarian Marriage

My wife and I are equals. We share in all the decision making. Neither of us is the leader of the other.
The egalitarian view sounds so lovely. Two people living together in harmony. Neither having more authority in the relationship than the other and neither having more responsibility in the relationship than the other. Unfortunately, it's merely a utopian vision, because when a crisis occurs (when the metaphorical shit hits the fan) the egalitarian model breaks down.

Consider this scenario:

A married couple along with their two children are driving home from a weekend trip. As they round the corner their home comes into view. There are firetrucks and flashing lights. They simultaneously realize that their house has burned to the ground. One spouse emotionally melts down; turns to the other spouse; and with tears in their eyes and panic in their voice screams: “Oh my God! What are we going to do? Tell me, what are we going to do?”

Which spouse had the emotional meltdown?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Men, You Are the Prize

This is a letter I composed for a friend who's dealings with women over the years has caused him little but grief. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Luke,

I've heard once again hat you've had problems with a woman. I can relate to that. Recently, I've come to realize something:
In any relationship between a man and a woman, the woman is not the prize—the man is the prize.

Friday, December 13, 2013

When Pastors Lie

58% of evangelical leaders say tithing is not required of Christians.
That was the result of a survey done by the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals) of their members1 (members here refers to the leaders of the various churches that belong to the NAE—the pastors who actually run the church). When was the last time you heard an evangelical church preach that tithing wasn't required? I can't think of a single instance. Every sermon I've heard on tithing has maintained that not only is tithing required, but to not tithe was the same as robbing God—a literal sin. The conclusion is obvious:

Jesus Said Follow Me

There are a plethora of phrases people use to describe their relationship with God: I am saved; I've given my soul to Christ; I love Jesus; I am a bride of Christ; I have placed my faith in Christ; I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; or I'm born again.

I would like to suggest a simpler one; one found repeatedly in the Bible; one Jesus himself used:

     I follow Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Women Who Live Life in Reverse

When considering a woman as a wife, it's vital to understand how she views the various stages in her life and how she thinks they will play out over time, because her choices will affect how your life will play out also.

The modern feminist plan for how these years should be structured goes something like this:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Is There Time in Your Schedule for Sex?

Sex (or should I say lack of it) is one of the big frustrations of married men. One reason is we don't plan for it. We've fallen into the romantic-fantasy mindset that it should be spontaneous—it should just happen. We certainly don't make our daily schedule around it. Below is what has been my weekday schedule for most of my married life: