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a woman is always to blame antifeminism conspiracy theory dude you've got no fucking idea what you're talking about entitled babies evil ex-wives evil widows men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA oppressed men reddit that's completely wrong wage gap

Men are oppressed by earning more than women, ingenious Men’s Rights Redditor insists

She looks thrilled

By David Futrelle

Men’s Rights Activists generally respond to discussions of the wage gap between men and women by snidely dismissing it as a long-disproven myth. (It’s very definitely not.)

But there are a few brave MRAs willing to accept the fact of the wage gap. One Men’s Rights Redditor I wrote about a few years back called MrWhibbley acknowledged that yes, men earn more than women. But in his mind the problem wasn’t discrimination. It was actually the result of women being a bunch of nasty bitches. 

Now another Men’s Rights Redditor has stepped forward with an even bolder theory: the wage gap exists – but it’s actually a sign that men are the truly oppressed ones. 

Yes, that’s right: Men are oppressed by earning more than women. 

Neo2Trinity 3 points 20 hours ago  The irony is that the "wage gap" is an example of female privilege. Men are expected to pay for women so they choose more difficult/dangerous jobs because they pay better. That's why 93% of job deaths are from men.  And women still end up having a significantly higher net worth than men (upwards of 50%) because of what they get from divorce or when their husband dies (7 years earlier than women on average).

In other words, men are the victims of a vast female conspiracy designed to ensure that women can get free meals from their dates.

I should point out that in addition to being very silly, Neo2Trinity’s tweet is packed with utter bullshit. So let me take a few minutes to rebut some of the claims.

Neo2Trinity gets one thing right: more than 90 percent of workplace fatalities are male.

But this is not an issue that affects anyone but a tiny percentage of a percentage of working men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 US workers died on the job in 2016 (the most recent year they have complete data for); 4,803 of them were men (92.5 percent). In that same year, there were 151 million people in the US work force (not counting unemployed people); 80 million of those were men (53 percent).

That means that the average working man had only a 0.006 percent chance of dying in a workplace accident in 2016, which was actually a pretty bad year, accident-wise.

That said, it’s appalling that as many as 5000 people die each year in workplace accidents, especially since many of these accidents are preventable,  the result of employers skimping on safety to save money.

Thing is, for all the rhetorical attention MRAs devote to this issue, I have yet to see even a single MRA lift a finger to actually do something to improve job safety. Indeed, MRAs are arguably making things worse, given how many of them are Hillary-hating Trump voters who helped to elect a man who is doing his best to gut workplace safety protections.

As for the idea that men take dangerous jobs to earn more to spend on women, well, it turns out that dangerous jobs do not, on average, pay more than less dangerous ones, as cartoonist/blogger Barry Deutsch noted in a blog post some years ago. Sure, coal mining is dangerous, as Men’s Rights Activists never tire of pointing out, and it pays relatively well. But agriculture is actually MORE dangerous — and farm workers earn shit. If you want to make the big bucks, Deutsch notes, you’d do better to skip the dangerous jobs and go into a field that require specialized knowledge, assuming you have the necessary education.

As for Neo2Trinity’s claim that women are wealthier than men? Just plain wrong. In fact, the wealth gap is considerably larger than the wage gap; for every dollar of wealth owned by men, women own only 32 cents. Divorced women find it even harder to accumulate wealth; the median net worth of divorced women is only 25 percent of the median net worth of divorced men.

I will, however, grant that widows are generally better off financially than their dead husbands — though dead men don’t really have much in the way of expenses. So amidst all the rest of the bullshit in the comment, Neo2Trinity actually gets two things factually correct — but in each case completely misses the point. Which is pretty much the MRA in a nutshell: on the rare occasions they get something right, they’re still completely wrong.

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Kimstu
Kimstu
3 years ago

Another, though very small, possibly confounding factor in the on-the-job-deaths stats is gender imbalance in compliance with workplace safety policies. As this article notes, “Around 23 per cent of men admitted to failing to follow safety procedures, compared to four per cent of women”.

If we really care about men’s safety and health on the job, then what we need to do is ensure that they have effective workplace safety/health protection measures in place and are required to follow them.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

@ Dalillama: I’m not gonna die on this hill or anything, but I meant to use “conceivable” in a pretty weak sense. Like maybe it’s absolutely impossible to get rid of sexism and racism in our world whilst we still have capitalism, but you could, like, write a comprehensible novel which takes place in a capitalist world (which also resembles ours in, like, level of technology, roughly which countries there are etc) with no racism and sexism.

You couldn’t even write a novel that made sense about a capitalist world where workers and capitalists are precisely equal. It’s a contradiction in terms, since capitalists wouldn’t be capitalists unless they controlled the work, wages and so on of the workers, meaning the workers have less influence than the capitalists, meaning they’re not equal.

But, you know, I’m not gonna die on this hill or anything. I agree with LittleLurker that there’s still an important difference between being poor and being black or being a woman; if you’re poor, you’re not only hurt by prejudice. If you’re poor, you’re hurt by the very fact that you’re poor, independently of prejudice. Whereas the very colour of your skin or your very gender identity or your very vagina doesn’t hurt you.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
3 years ago

@Fruitloopsie : that being said, engineer seem very likely to engage in conspiracy theory (moreso than scientists at least), which have a lot of common point with MRA thinkings.

@Dalillama : amusingly, you both note that conflating communism with the failure of its implementation caused trouble, then you conflate capitalism with the failure of its implementation. I would note that capitalism don’t have anything to do with classes nor racism, aka it can work with or without it.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

@Jenora: I sometimes get the impression from stuff Americans write in articles etc that they believe “class” is this peculiar British thing, when the reality is that Brits probably talk way more about class than Americans do… but not talking about a thing doesn’t make it disappear.
The US has really crap social mobility. Social mobility isn’t great in the Scandinavian countries either, but it’s way higher than in the US. Weirdly, even in Sweden many people believe it’s the other way around (probably brainwashed by consuming so much American culture).

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Shit, sorry

https://therationalmale.com/2018/01/10/dangerous-times-part-3/

I guess I hit post without posting the link and I reposted the twitter thread instead of linking to the WHTM post on him. Oh well.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

Ohlmann: You can (at least theoretically) have a classless market economy. But if you have capitalism, you have capitalists and workers, which are different classes. How do you figure doing capitalism without capitalists and workers?

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
3 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
That’s horrible. I hope that person will be ok. Twitter and other social media sites need to do better of taking care of hate speech, etc.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

Here’s that thing about how mental health interfaces with the criminal law. I was going to put it on Drive and post a link; but Google hates me. So with CW for metal health issues, here goes…

Mental Health and The Criminal Law

Ok , so as promised here’s a very brief overview of the interface of mental health and the criminal law.  This is a subject upon which thousands of words have been written.  Of necessity I’ll keep this to the bare minimum.  If anyone has any follow up questions; I’ll be happy to expand. The contents apply to most common law countries, it’s an area where there’s a lot of cross fertilisation.  But no idea how they do things in civil jurisdictions; sorry Euro-mammoths.

Firstly we need to say something about criminal offences generally.  Usually they consist of two major elements; which unfortunately we use Latin terms for; mens rea and actus reus.

To oversimplify, the actus reus is the physical act and the mens era is your state of mind whilst carrying out that act.  The mens rea is very important when it comes to establishing what, if any, offence has been committed.

To give an example: say I push a piano from a building and it lands on someone and kills them.  The piano causing the fatal injury is the actus reus.

But what about my state of mind?  Well I could have intended to drop the piano on you.  Intent to cause a death (or serious injury) that actually results in death amounts to murder.

What if I was merely reckless? I was messing around and didn’t care or give much thought to the risk to others.  Recklessness that causes death amounts to manslaughter.

How about of it was pure accident? I merely bumped into the piano and it fell.  In that case there may be no criminal liability at all (civil liability may be another matter).

So, unlike social justice where “intent isn’t magic”, in law intent is everything.  The theory behind that is that, when establishing culpability, you only consider a person’s voluntary actions (which are within their control) and not the consequences of those actions (which may be completely out of that person’s control or not even forseeable).

As an aside, that’s why attempted murder is a crime, even if no one actually got hurt.

So hopefully that explains, at least a bit, why state of mind is such a factor in criminal law.  Now culpability is a question that has taxed the minds of philosophers, psychologists, neuro scientists, and priests.  But lawyers have to keep things simple.  So generally we assume people know what they’re doing, and are therefore blameworthy unless and until the contrary is established.

Most jurisdictions have three levels of culpability

Normal capacity.  You’re a person of sound mind, who makes conscious decisions and knows the difference between right and wrong.

Insanity. There’s an innate fault in your reasoning capacity that means you either don’t know what you’re doing and/or that you genuinely can’t understand the difference between right and wrong 

Diminished responsibility (goes by various names). This is like a half way house  between normal capacity and insanity. It’s a relatively recent thing in law.  This is where you aren’t completely unaware of what you’re doing, or right and wrong, but there is some innate factor that reduces your ability to make moral decisions or understand your actions.

[There’s also something called automatism.  That’s where you may not be responsible for your actions; but for an external cause.  The classic example is a wasp stings you and you crash your car, but it can include things like effects of chemicals or drugs.  It’s an interesting topic, and can overlap with the mental health elements, but probably behind the scope of what we’re doing here]

The definition of insanity is set out in something called the M’Naghtan Rules (after a Mr M’Naghtan who once tried to shoot a prime minister).  Those state:


”that every man is to be presumed to be sane, and … that to establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.”


This rule is used all over the common law world, including in a lot of the US.  However some states in the US adopted the American Law Institute Model Penal Code rule. That states:

“(1) A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease of defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.
“(2) As used in this Article, the terms “mental disease or defect” do not include an abnormality manifested only by repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct.

As can be seen, this is a little more generous than the original rules as it doesn’t require a total lack of capacity, and is more akin to the idea of dismissed responsibility.  However after Reagan got shot, most states went back to the more onerous M’Naghtan rules.

Diminished responsibility. Most jurisdictions have some variation of the following test:

“Arose from a medical condition, and substantially impaired D’s ability”

Oftentimes diminished responsibility only applies to certain offences, like murder.

So that’s the tests. The question then arises as to disposal, ie what should happen to the defendant based on the above.  Obviously if a person has full capacity then they can be punished for their actions.  A finding of diminished responsibility usually acts as mitigation or can reduce an offence, say murder to manslaughter.

But what about insanity? It would be morally wrong to punish someone for something over which they have no control.  So generally all that happens is a hospital order.  A person is treated not punished.  And of course if the treatment is successful then they must be released.  The best explanation for all that is probably just to watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest.  Sometimes a person cannot be treated. Then it gets complicated.  That’s where civil mental health law comes in.  Jurisdictions vary enormously on how they deal with detaining people for public protection.  Oftentimes people spend far longer detained in secure hospitals than they would have done in prison for the same offence.

So that’s a very brief, and simplified, summary of how the criminal law takes into account mental health when assessing culpability and disposal.  There’s a lot more to it of course, including how the law is applied in practice (which can be somewhat different to the theory). But that perhaps is a discussion for another time.

Hope this helped a bit with the issues and people got some use out of it.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

So this is only tangentially related to what Alan Robertshaw writes above, but I’m so tired of social justice people claiming that intent doesn’t matter, only what you actually do matters, because I don’t think a lot of people actually believe this. Real-life example: This immigrant guy who was learning Swedish wanted to wish a happy birthday to a female classmate on Facebook. First he mistakenly thought that you wish someone a happy birthday by writing “hooray!” on their wall, and second he mixed up the words so he wrote “whore!” instead. So obviously she was both surprised and offended at first, but the misunderstanding was quickly resolved.
I don’t think anyone honestly wants to claim that his intentions didn’t matter, and that what he did was just as bad as if someone had intentionally written “whore!” on her wall as a message of hate.

If you think about it for just a little while, it’s just implausible to claim that intentions don’t matter at all.

I think what people really want to say is that claiming that your intentions are good isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card, but that’s a totally different matter. Like, the big intentions-is-everything tradition in moral philosophy is Kantianism, but Kant’s idea of having good intentions is pretty thick: You must truly respect other people, truly listen to them, and hold yourselves to the same standards as you hold them. But that’s a completely different thing from just claiming repeatedly that people shouldn’t be angry with you because you totally have good intentions.

So this was a little bit OT but this is a bit of a pet peeve since I teach Kant a lot.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Dvärghundspossen:
Yes, that’s the basic problem.

The U.S. has crap social mobility, largely due to generations of not necessarily building safety nets (because COMMUNISM!!) and with people attempting to dismantle the ones that were built. Demonization of poor people makes it socially difficult for them to use what safety nets exist.

While at the same time, the U.S. has ‘the American Dream’, that anybody can make something of themselves. This both keeps people from understanding the fact that it’s false, and helps demonize poor people even more because if they haven’t made something of themselves then obviously they’re just lazy.

None of this is entirely unique to the U.S., of course, but the combination of cultural ideas there have baked in a particularly nasty form of class structure that refuses to publicly admit that it is one, while dangling the possibility of moving up close enough that people can think about reaching it but most won’t get there.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I’ve never seen anyone use the phrase “intent isn’t magic” to literally claim that intent doesn’t ever matter at all. That doesn’t mean it’s never, ever happened, but that’s clearly not well, the intent of the saying. It means what it says. It isn’t magic. When someone has good intent they don’t usually double down when they find out their actions or words have caused harm. They apologize and don’t do it again. If someone never had good intentions they’ll sometimes double down all the while playing the victim and saying they have good intent. That’s where the phrase “intent isn’t magic” comes in. It’s to cut off a particular deflection. I’m not sure what the purpose of objecting to it on the grounds that sometimes well intended people make mistakes when that’s not what the saying is typically used for?

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
3 years ago

@Dvärghundspossen: the intent thing

The way I always hear it used is ‘intent isn’t magic’.

As in: Intent matters, can be a mitigating circumstance, but is not a get out of jail free card.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
3 years ago

@Alan:

I once read an explanation of the M’Naghtan Rule that summed it up as asking the accused “Would you have done this even if a policeman was standing next to you at the time?” If the answer’s yes, they’re insane, if the answer’s no, they’re criminal. Is that about right?

ETA: Using “insane” in the legal context, not to be ableist.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ rabbi rabbit

Yeah, there’s loads of little tests like that. The ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’ is probably the best known. I’m also a fan of the ‘officious bystander’ test (ie, would a passing busy body go ‘hang on a minute…’?)

Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

Apropos of a discussion of class mobility, my family and I had board game Sunday while my brother was doing laundry and we cracked out my mom’s old copy of Parker Brothers’ Careers.

From 1971. And boy, did it ever show.

For those not familiar with the game, the gist is you have a “success formula” of a combination of money, happiness points and fame points that add up to 60, then you go around the board trying to accumulate it through a variety of career tracks. It’s similar to the Game of Life, but with more strategy and nothing related to family. The 1971 game boasted College, Ecology, Big Business, Teaching, Sports, The Arts, Politics and Space as the career options and holy hell, this is probably the most jaded board game I’ve ever seen.

Some highlights of the game:

— Teaching offers happiness when not having to deal with children. The only requirement to become a teacher is $100 for Union Dues. I landed on “Principal is bachelor +4 Happiness” every time I ran the teaching circuit, which was thrice. I only decided to attend college after retiring as a teacher.

— Politics had a square where you got caught with a “mink” and lost 1/2 your fame. Ah, life pre-Watergate was simpler then….

— Big Business offered the most money (of course) and opportunities for upping your salary was “Uncle is Treasurer” and “Let Boss Win At Golf”. Denting the boss’ car does not give you a penalty and apparently rewards you with Experience cards.

— Space squares include “First woman in space +6 fame” but also “Meet Mars Lady +10 Happiness”. Papa Katamount landed on both. Draw your own conclusions.

— In Sports, being tackled by 8 men apparently is worthy of an Experience Card.

— In The Arts, marrying your ballet partner apparently makes you lose all Happiness (???).

— The Taxes hazard square had a 90% top tax rate for those making more than $10K a lap. How’s that for a sign of the times?

So yeah, more than a few examples of casual misogyny and cynicism about certain fields of work.

I highly recommend getting your hands on it if you like board games, it’s really fun. This is what the box looks like:

comment image

Pop art had flair back then.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
3 years ago

@ Rabid Rabbit

I once read an explanation of the M’Naghtan Rule that summed it up as asking the accused “Would you have done this even if a policeman was standing next to you at the time?”

^
Put another way: the perps in pretty much all mystery fiction, even when their disassociation from reality is a major plot point, would probably *not* be able to use the insanity plea in real life, because there’d be no story if they were caught immediately; and so they must be written as having enough awareness that society is likely to frown on what they’re doing that they try to avoid detection.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

Intent also doesn’t erase harm. That my mother doesn’t intend to hurt me with her fat shaming doesn’t undo decades of harm, for example.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

Yeah it was a bit pointless of me to bring the intent stuff up here since I haven’t seen anyone on Mammoth say this but… I’ve seen several social justice people post on Facebook, as independent declarations rather than in the middle of a heated discussion, that intent doesn’t matter, because all that matters is what you did. And it frustrates me because no one seriously believes this, not if you think about it for a while.
But whatever, people here tend to be sensible. 🙂

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Katamount:
That box art is giving me Yellow Submarine flashbacks.

F is for Fro
F is for Fro
3 years ago

I agree with Jenora– That box is very reminiscent of the sort of aesthetic that’s present in Yellow Submarine.

Shadowplay
3 years ago

Looks like Willie Rushton’s art style.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

Yellow Submarine, with a little dash of Schoolhouse Rock and Time for Timer.

AuntieMameRedux
AuntieMameRedux
3 years ago

Talk about missing the point! This is the second time in less than a week where I have been astounded by people missing the point. Oppressed by higher wages because they are buying stuff for women. Why is it that I see so little of this in real life? Because the few women I know who are financially dependent on a man are trapped rather than living the life of Riley.

The other dumbfounding case of missing the point? My son told me that amazon has installed suicide nets in their warehouses. It seems that the workers are so miserable that they are throwing themselves off of the high shelves. Not only am I rethinking my amazon purchases but I am wondering about the brains of the people who run amazon.

A couple of years ago, I wrote to amazon after hearing that they had an ambulance standing by at their warehouses because workers had issues with heat and cold bad enough to require an emergency room. I suggested that the price on the $4 used books be raised – that I was willing to pay a couple of dollars more as long as the extra went to having decent wages and working conditions. I didn’t get a reply to my letter, but the suicide net thing really shocked me. I get all of my cat food delivered among other things and I am disabled so this is no small thing but I am looking at alternatives. I’ve already boycotted Walmart so I’m not sure what I am going to do.

Does anyone else find it ironic that these MRAs and incels complaining about supporting women probably have never paid for anything for a woman in their life? I know, just another addition to their endless list of doublethink and stupidity. These guys would be funny if they weren’t in deadly earnest. I wish they would just say what they meant which is that every man should be issued a female sex, breeding and work slave and that the slaves should talk about how happy they are to be slaves because that seems to be their basic gist. Oh and that anything less is oppression of men because women don’t need any rights or freedom or self-determination – that stuff is all for menz. Makes me want to go back to bed.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Buttercup:
Oh lord, Time for Timer. I hanker for a hunk of cheese!

Or ‘The Magical Mystery Trip Through Little Red’s Head’.

Why do I waste brain cells remembering things like this?

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

@Alan

if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.

I’m curious, how does this intersect with “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”? If someone is sane, but merely ignorant, is there any mitigating factor considered? Or is the diminished capacity only a consideration for those who are mentally unwell, and sane people are expected to know the law? Doesn’t not knowing about a prohibition against certain behavior affect the intent behind the action?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ catalpa

he did not know he was doing what was wrong.

That’s wrong in the moral sense. It does get a bit complex though. To bring the Latin back in, offences are generally spilt into mala in se and mala prohibita. That is to say, offences that are inherently wrong (murder, rape, theft) and offences that are deemed to be wrong by the state (regulatory offences, speed limits, age you can buy stuff). So it’s the mala in se sense that we mean here.

It is of course true that all competent people with capacity are deemed to know the law; even the regulatory stuff. That seems a bit onerous but you can see the public policy reasons behind that. That’s also one of the reasons that offences must be “down by law” if they are to be constitutional (or whatever your local equivalent is, here it’s the ECHR). That is to say it must be at least theoretically possible to find out what the law is, even if that would actually mean trawling through the entire law library.

Interestingly the ‘ignorance is no excuse’ only applies to criminal laws and there’s a weird thing where ignorance of the civil law can be a defence to a criminal charge (eg I misunderstand the law on bailment of goods so I think I’m entitled to your property; that could be a defence to theft)

Hope that makes a bit of sense.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Alan:
In some ways, one of the great flaws of the Common Law system and its adherence to precedents in various corner cases is that it does make it significantly harder for people to actually know the full extent of the law. That said, that normally is only significant for those corner or vague cases.

Of course, the advantage of the Common Law system is that it tends to be more rapidly self-healing when someone tries to abuse a particular interpretation of the law. Minor bits around the edges tend to have a shorter feedback cycle rather than having to get the laws officially rewritten.

And, honestly, if there’s anything that computer security has taught me, it’s that there is no set of rules that is both perfect enough to withstand a deliberate attempt to subvert them, and also still useful for everybody else. For all that flexibility in the law causes problems due to differential sentencing and the like, inflexibility can cause even worse problems.

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

To bring the Latin back in, offences are generally spilt into mala in se and mala prohibita. That is to say, offences that are inherently wrong (murder, rape, theft) and offences that are deemed to be wrong by the state (regulatory offences, speed limits, age you can buy stuff). So it’s the mala in se sense that we mean here.

Ah, that makes sense. I was mainly thinking about mala prohibita stuff. Stands to reason there’s different expectations regarding those types of offences. Thanks for indulging my curiosity!

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@LittleLurker

Sometimes it seems that the concepts of class and classism are not kept distinct enough.

You can’t have the one without the other. If the lower class is really as good as the upper class, what possible justification is there to keep them subordinate and impoverished?

Classism is – if I understand the term correctly – prejudice and disadvantaging people based on their class (like racism disadvantages based on race and sexism based on gender).

Yes. And a class system intrinsically disadvantages some people based on their class; that’s what class is.

Class as such on the other hand is – different from race, sex, gender identity, etc – a division that is not intrinsic to someone in that it can’t be changed but is imposed from the outside by the class-system and current/past economies.

This is only even partially true if intra-generational class mobility is a thing. To a very great extent, the class you are born in is the one you will die in. To an equally great extent, your racial and ethnic background determines the class into which you are born (and also affects your chances of mobility from that class, up or down)

But class as such is not an -ism. It’s at most a category of identity like race, gender and others are. So classism and class really need to be kept distinct.

It absolutely is an ism, as mentioned above.

And class in itself is oppressive. Race and gender are not oppressive in themselves but because there are prejudices backed by power against people who belong to that category. But if no one had these prejudices against poor people (i.e. no classism) they would still be poor. Being poor would still disadvantage them in itself in a society where for opportunity wealth is often required.

Well, yes.

This leads to another difference between class and the other categories such as race and sex. No one will tell you that they want to abolish races or genders to abolish racism or sexism.

People absolutely will tell you that; I’ve heard it a bunch. The latter one is a TERF classic.

Class is different in that the end of it includes it’s abolishing. Of class not of classism. Classism as a prejudice can probably be ended without abolishing classes

Not really. The level of inequality requires psychological/social justification (Scildfreja can probably speak to that aspect better than I can). Essentially, if you’re chronically treating someone badly, you will convince yoursel, that they deserve it because otherwise you’re the bad person here.

(I have heard people say that “all we need to do” is respect the identity of the poor as being poor – sometimes going so far as to insist wanting to stop poverty is a form of discrimination).

!??!?!??!? That’s a new one on me… Although it actually demonstrates my point: These people are conflating cultural differences established over generations of social and physical endogamy within classes with the lack of material wealth/comforts experienced by disavantaged classes. To take a U.S. example, NASCAR racing is a heavily working-class white form of entertainment. That’s a cultural thing though, and has nothing to do with wealth. A NASCAR fan who wins the lotto and never has to worry about money again won’t suddenly start watching the America’s Cup instead. The identity and the money are unrelated.

I don’t mean to argue with the intersectionality you mentioned or to deny that the other -isms are deeply bound up in many ways with the capitalist/feudalist system. I think that’s completely right. I just wanted to point out that – to me – in some respects class and classism do seem different from the others and to a greater degree than the other -isms and identity categories differ among themselves.

Keep in mind that the capitalist class system comes directly from the feudal one, and in that system aristocrats and peasants were absolutely considered different races, and the aristocratic race was better. Add in that nationality was considered race as well, and e.g. English and Irish were supposedly fundamentally different breeds with fundamentally different characters imbued by nature (sound familiar?).

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@ Dvärghundspossen

I’m not gonna die on this hill or anything, but I meant to use “conceivable” in a pretty weak sense. Like maybe it’s absolutely impossible to get rid of sexism and racism in our world whilst we still have capitalism, but you could, like, write a comprehensible novel which takes place in a capitalist world (which also resembles ours in, like, level of technology, roughly which countries there are etc) with no racism and sexism.

This is true; they’re not believable, but they’re comprehensible. (such novels exist; I’ve read them).

@ohlmann

that being said, engineer seem very likely to engage in conspiracy theory (moreso than scientists at least), which have a lot of common point with MRA thinkings.

This is absolutely true.

amusingly, you both note that conflating communism with the failure of its implementation caused trouble,

A totalitarian state cannot be communist in any meaningful sense. State capitalism has the same disadvantages and the same endstate as the usual sort, without any of the upsides.

then you conflate capitalism with the failure of its implementation.

Capitalism as it exists today is not a failure of implementation; it’s working exactly as it was intended to.

I would note that capitalism don’t have anything to do with classes nor racism, aka it can work with or without it.

And yet you have not actually addressed any of the points made in this thread or my link.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

@Jenora Feuer

Look! A wagon wheel!

Sunshine on a stick!

Apparently, we ’70s kids wouldn’t eat food unless it sounded like an exotic variety of blotter acid.

@Dalillama

A NASCAR fan who wins the lotto and never has to worry about money again won’t suddenly start watching the America’s Cup instead. The identity and the money are unrelated.

That’s an important distinction. When people talk about the lower classes, they often mean a certain income level; but plenty of blue-collar folks find the means to own expensive trucks, boats, and ATVs, because it’s what the culture values as a marker of success. It’s why there’s a distinction between old money and nouveau riche. The barriers to the upper classes consist of more than just wealth. Donald Trump will never be accepted by New York society, no matter how much money he has, no matter how many buildings have his name on them, no matter how much ormalu and gold crud he puts all over his apartments. No doubt that fuels a lot of his resentment towards “the elites”, even though on the surface he’s one of them.

Diptych
Diptych
3 years ago

@ohlmann

I would note that capitalism don’t have anything to do with classes

Steady on… am I reading this wrong? Are you sure this is what you meant to say?

LittleLurker
LittleLurker
3 years ago

@Dalillama

Thanks for the reply. 🙂 I agree with most of what you said. Maybe the difference is simply that I define lower or working class in my post as materially poor and/or working in certain exploitative jobs whithout adding the other markers that you and Buttercup mentioned. Those I agree are expressions of classism and are – also agree – used as psychological justification strategies, so the oppressors can feel justified. Wether or not class mobility exists depends I think a bit on the country you’re in as someone above said, but overall it is – as you said – pitifully low, especially when we look outside the “western” world where entire countries are seemingly – apart from a tiny elite – kept as a kind of “working poor” to allow the “upper class” countries their privileged living.

Apart from that, you can go father back then the middle ages with the figure of “natural inferiority”. Antiquity had the distinction between “civilised” and “barbarians”.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

When people talk about the lower classes, they often mean a certain income level

My impression is rather the opposite. I think people more often talk about cultural differences between classes (and also how working-class culture is looked down upon) than the problems economic insecurity or downright poverty brings with it. Probably because they’re more comfortable talking about the former than the latter.

EJ (The Other One)
3 years ago

Keep in mind that the capitalist class system comes directly from the feudal one, and in that system aristocrats and peasants were absolutely considered different races, and the aristocratic race was better. Add in that nationality was considered race as well, and e.g. English and Irish were supposedly fundamentally different breeds with fundamentally different characters imbued by nature (sound familiar?).

Okay, so, I don’t know nearly as much about economics or Marxist theory as some people here, but if you’re talking about medievalism then this is something I know something about.

In the medieval era, there was indeed a distinction between aristocrats and commoners; in some places like England, Sicily and parts of Spain this became a racial distinction too.

However, part of the story of the medieval era is the story of the rising merchant class slowly gathering more power and wealth as the towns and cities grew; and those merchants were absolutely commoners rather than being aristocrats. In many places, especially in Northern Europe after the 12th century, a commoner could join the merchantile classes (the bourgeoisie, in Marxist terms) simply by becoming rich. By contrast, even very wealth merchants had difficulty trying to transition to the aristocracy, outside of places like Venice and Lübeck. Many countries instituted laws to prevent them trying to do so, or attempting to intermarry, or attempting to take on the trappings or traditional roles of the nobility.

For example, one of the complaints about King John of England that led to the aristocratic rebellion against him was that he staffed his bureaucracy with “men of common birth” – that is, non-nobles. To the aristocrats, they may as well have been peasants.

This attitude – that aristocrats were different from commoners, but that all commoners were the same – persisted for centuries even after feudalism had been eclipsed. In England it was one of the elements that led to the Civil War, in France it was one of the elements that led to the Revolution, and in Germany it was part of the mess that was 1845-1848. In most places, the more intelligent and foresighted aristocrats saw the rising capitalist class as the threat they were, and attempted either to squelch them or to join them.

Jane Austen, that marvellous commentator of the English class system, demonstrated this perhaps best in her novel Pride and Prejudice. The Bennett sisters are impoverished rural aristocrats; one of them marries a man who is “in trade” (a successful businessman) and this is seen as a tremendous scandal. To the nobility of the time, a man “in trade” is not a nobleman, and therefore no better than a peasant, regardless of his wealth.

I have not read Chekhov, but I believe he examines this in his novels too.

As such, if you argue that medieval notions of class informed modern notions of class, then you’re right; but the two are very different, and the privileges of medieval aristocrats were absolutely not the forebear of the privileges of modern capitalists.

EJ (The Other One)
3 years ago

I don’t have the academic background to defend the following, but:

It is my observation that those who do succeed in climbing up the class ladder are often the most rigid defenders of the lines between classes. This may be because their own mobility is meaningless as an achievement if just anyone can do it, or it may be because people who don’t believe in the class system won’t be motivated to climb it in the first place.

Meanwhile, a system which does not allow people to climb at all may result in talented, ambitious people building guillotines.

As such, I hypothesise that a class system with a small amount of mobility will be more durable than one which allows either large amounts of mobility or none at all.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

Hrm; it’s a great deal more complex and regional that that too; frex the Venetian great houses and many of the Dutch were merchants and aristocrats and saw no contradiction there. The Dutch, as you undoubtedly recall, were the preemeinent colonial power in what’s now New England for some time, and many wealthy and influential families remained so after the transition. Further south, the plantations (and their inhabitants) were commonly owned by second+ sons of the English aristocracy, disinherited by primogeniture and seeing a chance at a life more like that to which they were raised than would be offered by the church or army. The line between these two groups and the capitalism practiced in the modern U.S. is direct.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
3 years ago

OT (well, kind of) I just wanted to mention that the Graun has got another article that may be of interest. Two days running?!?!?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/09/about-the-boys-tim-winton-on-how-toxic-masculinity-is-shackling-men-to-misogyny

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
3 years ago

@EJ – It’s often said that GOP voters keep on being convinced to vote against their best economic interests because of the illusion of class mobility. Their ambition is to be one of those successful businessmen someday, so voting for a higher marginal tax rate is potentially damaging to their future prospects.

In practice, it’s very easy to move down the class ladder, but much more difficult to move up. Too many gatekeepers, and too many things have to go exactly right.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
3 years ago

@EJ

It is my observation that those who do succeed in climbing up the class ladder are often the most rigid defenders of the lines between classes. This may be because their own mobility is meaningless as an achievement if just anyone can do it, or it may be because people who don’t believe in the class system won’t be motivated to climb it in the first place.

I’m a bit sceptical. I did know this one noveau riche-girl when I was at university who was pretty insufferable, and I also knew a bunch of older-money dudes who were way more laid back. OTOH, I did the climb from working- to middle-class, and I used to have a colleague who had done the same thing. And we’re both very left-wing.
I really don’t think me being in academia as opposed to a patient tech is meaningless if enough other people has done the same thing. It would still be true that I earn almost twice as much as I used to do and have a more stimulating job with more control over my workday (even though being in the harsh academic job market is crazy stressful – but the nursing job market is also getting worse and worse all the time, so…). Those advantages don’t disappear depending on what other people do.
Also, we just talked in the thread about the “American Dream” phenomenon, which seems to largely consist of people who don’t believe that the US has a class system, but still think they’re gonna climb from a crappy job to a good one.

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

I expect that even if a capitalist system started out without racism somehow, it wouldn’t take long for such a sentiment to manifest.

Since capitalism causes a stratified society, with both very rich and very poor people, and since a child brought up by a poor family has significantly less opportunity available to them, there will be families that constantly remain poor. And since race is determined biologically, and most families raise biological children, certain phenotypes will become common in the constantly poor, and therefore be considered signs of inferiority.

I suppose a “capitalist” system which somehow prevents intergenerational wealth accumulation might mitigate that to some extent, but short of all children being raised communally, there would still be networking/educational etc. aspects that would be passed down, even if inheritance was abolished.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ catalpa

I suppose a “capitalist” system which somehow prevents intergenerational wealth accumulation

Every now and then there’s a proposal here for 100% inheritance tax; but it’s usually abandoned as not exactly a vote winner.

bluecat
bluecat
3 years ago

@ Shadowplay

Yes, it does, doesn’t it?

Though that was a popular sub-psychedelic style.

@ all the mammotheers having a thoughtful substantive discussion about crime, intent and so on… I’m learning a lot! Thank you.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

I would be behind a 100% inheritance tax as long as there were ways for parents of special needs children to put money away for those kids for after the parents pass on. I’d hate to see people who are unable to earn a living because of the way society is structured be burdened with sudden financial problems while also grieving their parent(s). Or if there are other protections like actually taking care of adults who can’t earn wages, that would be even better.

Catalpa
Catalpa
3 years ago

Surely people who support a meritocracy would support a 100% inheritance tax. After all, the children of the deceased didn’t do anything to earn that money. Why should they be entitled to it simply for being related to someone?

And yet one of the big things that right libertarians shriek about is inheritance tax (despite the current system in the states only really affecting the obscenely wealthy anyway), because “that’s earned money that was already taxed once”!

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Buttercup:
You’re giving me acid flashbacks, and I never did acid.

Exercise your choppers, really chew, chew, chew!

Don’t drown your food!

@Ohlmann:
There is what is known as the Salem Hypothesis, where it was noted that pretty much anybody who claimed to be both a scientist and a creationist would turn out to be an engineer. Unfortunately engineers are often trained to apply rules to solve problems without ever actually understanding why the rules exist or what the actual underlying mechanism is; combine that with a degree of arrogance because they know more about technology than most of the population, season with Dunning-Kruger, and you end up with… well, you end up with somebody like Scott Adams or Andrew Schlafly.

And I say this as someone with an engineering degree, but at least enough empathy to not be that blinkered.

@Dalillama, regarding the Dutch:
I still say that the greatest mistake the Dutch made was in taking the English on as apprentices for their trade empire. It meant that when the Dutch economy ran into problems, the English knew all of the more recent contacts (including the ones in the Americas which were easier to get to from England) and could just scoop up the pieces and take over while the Dutch were restabilizing.

@Alan:
Yes, one of the big problems with trying to improve any system is the great resistance from the people who benefit under the current system and won’t benefit as much if there are changes, many of whom have no problem with lying about what the changes will do to get others on their side. I believe Machiavelli had a line about that.

Pie
Pie
3 years ago

Subverting a 100% inheritance tax would probably be straightforward for anyone with a moderate amount of money. You’d need to upend the global financial system before it would work on anyone but the little people.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Wouldn’t just putting a bunch of your money in a trust for your kids subvert it?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

A way of getting round our current inheritance tax is to make an inter vivos gift. Weirdly though you have to live at least seven years or they cop for the tax anyway. Actually, thinking about that, it’s a good way to ensure they take care of you.

Steph Tohill
Steph Tohill
3 years ago

I never understand why so many of these men bang on about men making up the majority of dangerous job holders.

As you point out precious few men work in dangerous roles and these MRA types are doing next to nothing to make those roles safer.