Specifically, Badger's excellent Educated Women's Contempt For Men, in which he follows the feminist attempt to mainstream the war on masculinity and how it's not exactly working out the way they expected, and Dalrock's How The Destruction of Marriage Is Strangling The Feminist Welfare State, in which he examines the demographic fallout from the smoking crater feminism created at the center of the social state.
Why are these two articles particularly interesting, when taken together? Well, part of it is the third blogger Dalrock riffs on, The Social Pathologist, when he quotes this:
The social, sexual and economic liberation of women in the latter half of the 20th Century has meant that for the first time women were able to compete with men in society without restriction. The result has been spectacular if not particularly beneficial to the happiness of women. Whilst not all degrees are created equal (men still overwhelming dominate the "hard" fields of knowledge) the fact that there are now more degree credentialed women than men is simply astonishing. As income is broadly correlated with economic well being, its safe to assume that women have been able to achieve a economic parity with men. The manosphere may not like this result but the fact is that women have been able to effectively compete with men when the shackles of social convention have been removed.
Emphasis mine. I reprint the quote because it underscores my point (and the point I'm currently trying to make in the book): that women cannot declare this a true "victory" of feminism over the patriarchy, or even women over men, or even realistically as "economic parity", because while the fact is that women have been strongly incentivized toward college both culturally and bureaucratically with four decades of feminist affirmative-action and aggressive anti-male policies. The "shackles of social convention" have been transformed into the "shackles of anti-male sentiment", and the "level playing field" is a sham, as Dalrock points out:
Feminism didn’t demolish a barrier between two seas and let the water levels adjust; it is a massive pumping operation. Turn off the pumps even for a little bit and reality will come flooding back.
That is, the economic system that allows women economic advantage (industrialism and post-industrialism -- which was, coincidentally, invented and developed by men) exists in a network of social governance and a vast government bureaucracy (also, invented and developed by men) in which the taxpayer (heretofore majority male) provides social and economic support for the impoverished, particularly single mothers and their children (mostly female, of course) while artificially fiddling with the "rules of the game" to favor one particular side while punishing the other side.
That's the "level playing field" that they are "winning" on.
So what happens when one team just fails to show up? Is that still a "win"?
One thing that the smug little "end o' men" articles we've been seeing so many of lately love talking about is how the fact that more women having advanced degrees than men means that women have finally "out-competed" men in the workplace. Now that they have declared where they are "the top" of the social and economic structure men created and developed, they are quick to dismiss the men who can't seem to compete successfully on the "level playing field" as losers or worse. Badger amply demonstrates the dripping contempt that educated women feel about their male professional peers, much less their mates and males in general.
Only, is it fair to judge the "success" of women competing in the workplace when the dis-incentives provided to their male peers are so severe as to discourage competition?
One point I'm making in my book is that the "success" of women in advancing careers has to be seen in the context in which men who would ordinarily have been competing for those positions have effectively "dropped out". They didn't get on the bus to begin with. The women "won" by default, because the best possible person for the job never interviewed for it in the first place.
Feminists will bridle at the suggestion, but it's true. MGTOW didn't precisely begin with Freedom Twenty Five; men have been walking away from societally-prescribed ambitions for almost two decades now, in the face of penalties and disincentives relating to their unfortunate ownership of a penis.
There's a case I cite in the book, anecdotal, of course (I also make the point that you can't hang a metric on the lack of someone's ambition, which is pesky from a statistical perspective) of my neighbor, Sid. Sid was a business-school graduate and an RN, and had spent ten years and a marriage climbing the ruthless corporate ladder of the American pharmaceutical industry. He was good at what he did, and consistently out-performed his peers, male and female, and seemed to have a lock on a solid middle-management position with stock options and bells and whistles, every MBA's dream. His last year was his most productive, and he logged millions of dollars worth of business for his company (now bought out by an even bigger company -- Sid would have been loaded).
But when Sid looked at the competition he faced, he realized he was doomed. Women were getting special seminars on leadership, mentoring opportunities, and other career-advancing perks. Sid was getting assigned diversity training courses and being set up to fail by being assigned a "mentor" who had a pronounced dislike of men and especially manly men like Sid, who refused to kiss her ass just the way she wanted. He was boxed in: he couldn't proceed further in the company without getting this woman's approval, and he couldn't get this woman's approval while still maintaining his Y chromosome.
So Sid . . . dropped out.
He "Went His Own Way" long before it was called that. Sid turned his back on his advanced degree and his education, his ex-wife and his expensive car, and Sid found a third-shift job working in a county hospital ER that paid him just enough to survive comfortably upon. He turned his back on a decade of learning one of the most intricate businesses and regulatory systems ever invented, on the lucrative prospects that could have made him a millionaire, and he walked away. The "level playing field" contains a fifteen-yard penalty for having a penis, so Sid walked away from it and accepted -- for now -- a far lower status job in return for personal happiness and fulfillment. He didn't drop out because he couldn't hack it, he dropped out because the juice wasn't worth the squeeze.
Now, someone got that next management spot Sid walked away from. Sid could have had it, had he stayed on and fought for it. Did the person who get it (it was, indeed, a woman) get it because she was the best qualified for the job? Or did she get it because she was the most qualified candidate (under the adjusted rules) who was willing to show up and interview? Did she get that office and that name plate and the parking space and the "Director" title because she was superlative? Or did she get it because the other team just didn't get off the bus?
It's been over a decade since Sid dropped out -- close to two, actually. But in the early 1990s, when feminism was throwing its weight around with reckless abandon, it knocked a lot of highly talented men out of the way in its quest for a "level playing field" that ensured no real competition. Feminism's attempt at "fairness" in the corporate world became a hymn to mediocrity as the men who would have competed against them decided to resign the game rather than subject themselves to unfairness, emasculation, and professional humiliation in the name of "equality".
Sid wasn't the only one who left back then -- as feminist-inspired corporate cultures sought to punish men and traditionally masculine endeavors, plenty of dudes dropped out and pursued other interests. Sid enjoyed the fast pace of a late-night Emergency Room to the prison of an office, and so his vast talents and knowledge about the business end of the pharmaceutical industry never got put back on the table. The women at Sid's company who survived their flight might gloat at their "victory", their high earning potential, their wealth and power. But they'll never be "the best" because Sid didn't come back and give them real competition.
Sid was smart, educated, and very astute -- you don't follow nursing school with an MBA and land a high five figure entry-level job by being cute -- and he was smart and astute enough to know that his career options in a corporate world where Personnel regulations overcome fair competition is a losing proposition. No future in it. Why bother?
This isn't just a few isolated losers, disheartened by competition in general and angry at their loss of "male privilege -- this is a talented group of men who have no real social or financial incentives to pursue the societal roles that feminism desires for them. The female insurance executive may very well be there because she worked hard, did her job, and made money for the company. But she may also be there because the dude who would have been even better in her position decided that being an insurance executive really just didn't sound like a lot of fun, after his divorce, so why stuff his wife's alimony check with extra dough when he can take a job at half the pay that can support a lifestyle that suddenly doesn't include fancy suits and shoes designed to impress female insurance executives?
In a way, I almost feel sorry for these feminist "winners". What they have won is what men in their positions have earned in the past, earned in earnest competition against the best their industry had to offer. If you were the top salesman in your district, you knew that it was because all the other sharks weren't quite as hungry as you. Now if you're the top salesman in your district, you have to wonder if it's because you really are the best . . . or if the competition just decided to forfeit because there were five-foot breakers at the beach that day?
I'm not just blowing smoke rings here. I used to work in the personnel industry (bargain-basement headhunter and temporary placement), and I still keep in touch with some of my old colleagues. One of whom just had a boy graduate from a decent college . . . and demonstrate not a lick of ambition, despite a lifetime of being primed for it. Meanwhile, his younger sister (who was always a little slower academically than he was) was already lining up summer internships a year in advance. My former colleague was despairing about his utter lack of ambition and angrily confronted her son when he revealed he hadn't even bothered to apply to graduate schools this summer.
He gave a litany of damned good reasons why pursuing his chosen professional career path (including a graduate degree and another four years of student loans) was a losing proposition for him. Why kill yourself to get to the top of your class when your female colleagues are just going to cut your knees out from under you with affirmative action and such? So he can find a good ex-wife who can bleed him dry and not let him see his kids someday?
At 22, this young man is jaded and bitter and unambitious . . . and there's not a damn thing my friend can say to him to dissuade him from a life spent working part time and playing Disc Golf professionally (slightly more lucrative than playing WoW professionally) and NOT preparing for a life as a husband and father . . . because she knows everything he is complaining about is exactly true. She can't deny it. She's in Personnel, where the rules that punish male performance and push female mediocrity are forged. She's pushed underqualified female candidates in with overqualified male candidates into interviews herself -- and was fiercely proud of it . . . when her son wasn't involved.
But her son is absolutely right. There's just no good future in it for men. "Climbing the corporate ladder of success" only makes sense if there's a reward at the top, not a punishing ex-wife, a battleaxe of a feminist boss above you and a constantly-eroding sense of your own masculinity. Better to throw little plastic discs around and enjoy life for a decade or so in the beer-soaked bosom of the Puerarchy, than subject yourself to that kind of punishment.
Is it a "waste" of good masculine intellectual capital? That depends on whom you ask. To women, of course, these men are "losers" because they have withdrawn from the competition they cannot win. They have made the conscious effort to make themselves the men they want to be, not the men women want to be, and feminists in particular can't allow that to have positive social standing.
But there is a silver lining to this, for dudes. As more and more women assume the tax burden required to fund a female-oriented husband-replacing welfare state, their sensitivity to the unfairness of such things will rise. What happens when the 40 year old spinster has to write a tax check in the thousands before trudging her way to the office, no hope for romance or reproduction in sight, while watching the 20 year old single mom down the street take her three kids to the park through the window? What happens when men drop out to the point where it is busy, single female workers who are left holding the bulk of the welfare bag . . . while being denied the benefits of romance and motherhood that they are subsidizing in their sisters?
Had Sid stayed in his career-track, he could be senior management by now making in the high 6 or low 7 figures -- your Viagra dollar at work. He didn't. He makes just over fifty grand as the senior nurse on shift at his hospital, and spends the weekends he doesn't work hunting, fishing, or (if his neighbors don't shoot him first) zipping around the neighborhood at 4:00 am blasting Skynnard from the radio of his vintage 1974 VW microbus. Instead of paying tens of thousands in taxes, he gets a refund. Instead of working for his ex-wife, he works for himself. Instead of spending thousands and thousands a year on new suits and shirts and ties, he spends a couple of hundred on scrubs he wears both on and off the job.
Meanwhile, the woman who got the job he could have had, he tells me, is getting her second divorce, is being sued by a competitor for unfair practices, and is miserable with her "success".
That's what happens when the other team just doesn't show, ladies. You end up holding a trophy devoid of meaning. A forfeit isn't a real win, no matter how you rationalize it.