Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Paxman Among the Women

Jane Martinson reponds to Jeremy Paxman's whine about the difficulties of being a middle class white male. Susan Faludi explains the bitterness of the Clintonistas. Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic Convention. Faludi and Martinson argue that the progress of women is stalled, that male dominance is intact. This is true in terms of the body count of women at the top. It is also true that the incontinent Alpha Male remains a blight on workplaces and, indeed, life. What is not clear, however, is the extent to which the desires of women are involved. Perhaps they just don't want the jobs enough or in sufficient numbers. I wouldn't blame them, neither do I. In any case, rhetorically if not politically, women have utterly defeated men. Rabid sexism against men is now accepted, indeed approved, throughout the media. Men only appear in ads to look foolish. As I said, in the face of this much of male culture is just a way of saying 'okay, you win'. And Michelle? Well, she's only there as a consort, but she is, after all, black and that, in the American context, is much much more important.


  1. Whether or not women have "won" politically or rhetorically, they have not "won" financially -- various figures show women consistently earn less than men for doing the same level of job. Boring from the point of view of an amusing blog post, but true.

    Perhaps men are happy to let the women win the shouting match under these circumstances?

  2. there still remains the problem of the spider in the bath.... the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put on this earth.

  3. I'm out of the fray and happily so. I don't think fighting for top spots in corporations or Wall Street or law firms -- or whatever -- has been good for my female friends who climbed up there (mine being the first generation where it was really possible).

    Moreover, the female bosses I've had over the years who were really alpha women had all the worst attributes of alpha male bosses. Dunno why the nurturing, compassionate aspects of our gender failed to infuse their leadership roles, but it seems not to have happened. Top women instead became more male: Competitive, aggressive. I even noticed one of my editors, after getting promoted, started developing a moustache.

    This ain't the way I want to go. I'd much rather be poor and cultivating my garden. Love is better than money, friendship is better than power.

  4. I even noticed one of my editors, after getting promoted, started developing a moustache.

    A classic, Susan.

    I suggest one of the main reasons feminism waxes and then wanes is that it always seem to fracture over whether the objective is to make men behave better or fight for the right to behave just as badly.

  5. The Feminism thing looks quite different depending on your milieu, i guess. For myself as a minimum wager, almost all of my managers have been women. i've seen capable and decent men overlooked for promotion because a gaggle of women managers wanted another woman manager so they could gossip about sex and lipstick.

    i find it hard to take Feminists seriously - in my world, women are in charge and are often terrible, aggressive, strident, self-righteous, hypersensitive to imagined slights, etc., etc. It may be they don't get the really big-paying jobs but then i never will either, nor will anyone i know, so it doesn't weigh as heavily for me as does their preponderance in the workplace.

    Deep down women know they aren't physically equipped to fight a lion with their bare hands and this makes them grumpy.

  6. A nation that pays Elberry the minimum wage has problems.

  7. You wouldn't believe how many managers have come to the same conclusion, just before sacking me, e.g. "I can't believe we're paying this guy to sit around abusing the internet! Fire his ass!"

    Followed - on the biopic of my life - by a shot of me being physically thrown out of the front doors and into the car park.

    If i were paid according to the work i do i'd probably be on 50 pence an hour. Thank God for the minimum wage, the greatest gift to slackers and incompetents.

  8. Q.E.D.

    Elberry, they should be paying you to get out of bed each day. And considerably more than the minimum wage at that.

  9. Really, they should pay me to stay in bed and not disturb people with my snazzy waistcoats, dandy shoes, and fob watches.

  10. Freudian?

    Susan Faludi explains the bitterness of the Clintonistas.

    I read that as clitonistas...

  11. 'A nation that pays Elberry the minimum wage has problems.'

    You're of course right Bryan, but are we really surprised at this? I mean what is it exactly about this nation that we suppose would want to be at the receiving end of his ire? And so he, and others like him, are excluded.

    I'm not saying this is good, but a bland self-satisfied nation does not want the likes of Elberry in the mix.

    It's great to read Susan B writing as she does. Being a woman she has the prerogative to defy the zeitgeit in these matters with impunity. Well, unless feminists accuse her of treason to her gender or whatever. And yet its interesting how unfeminist many ambitious women now are in business circles. Is wanting to outdo men in being male a celebration or assertion of the female?