Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Men 2020: The Real Story

Noted research psychologist and gender scholar Dr. Peggy Drexler released a post at Huffpo recently entitled Men 2020. In it she tries to portray the struggles of men in our society - a point in her favor - while attempting to dismiss most of the current crisis as mere "growing pains" as we accept our new, diminished lot in life - minus half a point.

But it did suggest that a look ahead might be in order.  Since I am also, in addition to being a humble pornographer, sex nerd, author, bon vivant, old married guy, also a science fiction writer and futurist, I thought I would give some thought to the subject of the Future of Men.  Dr. Drexler gets some parts of it right, but she relates it in a slightly patronizing (matronizing?) manner, and I don't feel her conclusions are taking in the scope of the problem.

Luckily, I did a chapter on this very subject for the Manosphere book, and this looks like a good place for an excerpt, of sorts.

Let me begin this way: the situation is both more dire and less dire than Dr. Drexler reports. First, while the
 "confusion" she talks about men suffering in contemporary society is real, that's not quite the right word for it.  More "confusion, anger, resentment, and suspicion".  Everywhere men look, the misandrous pronouncements of media are throwing us under the bus.  We're obsolete, we've been told.  We no longer matter.

Bullshit.  We matter quite a bit, and you ladies are about to learn just how much we can matter.  More, the people we matter the most to is you, and you are, collectively, fucking things us.  We're not happy about it, but like Dr. Drexler said, we're adapting . . . just not in the ways you want us to.

She tries to hold out the Millennials as examples of men "bettering" themselves.  She gives several examples that seem to rate that measurement purely in terms of how much Millennial men are willing to make themselves more useful servants to womankind . . . but very little that considers the innate masculine values.

True, she points out the increase in time spent fathering that the Millennial men seem to display as a sign of progress, and I cannot disagree.  My heart is warmed with the number of young men I've seen take an active hand in the fathering of their children, largely (in my observation) due to the utter lack or estrangement of fathering in their own lives.  

These young men are, indeed, committed to family, as they have seen (despite its innate fragility in our era) how family is one of the few constants in our lives.  They want kids.  They want wives.  They want wives . . . who won't divorce them.  And they want wives they can stand.

So you can expect them to be a bit choosy.  Hell, we should encourage them to hold on to that C-Card as long as they can, hold out for the best deal possible, the highest quality woman . . . and not settle for less.  Teach them how to make the mommy-wannabes come to them, and demonstrate what they bring to the table.

But as I said, the future is bright.  The Millennials are still young.  They are still impressionable.  And they haunt the internet like ghosts.

And the internet is where the Manosphere is.  For the young men of the Millennial generation, things are looking bright, believe it or not.  If they play their cards right, everyone will learn Game, the future fathers of America will use their pump-and-dump Puerarch palls to weed out the poorer specimens of femininity, and focus on the few high-quality future wives in the bunch.

Do it, dudes.  Be PICKY.  Don't settle for less.  And you can afford to be.  You know why?  Because when I said you were in high demand, I wasn't tugging your jockstrap.

You see, within the Sexual Market Place, Dads are more highly valued than Cads, but around the time you're getting married few of you know which one you are, and the women in your lives are banking a lot more on your potential return than on your present value.  If you decide to go the Cad route, then your best bet is to get a vasectomy, learn Game, and hump everything in a skirt for the rest of your life.

But if you decide to go the Dad route, and are serious about it, then you build your value and your potential value now . . . and focus on searching diligently for a woman worthy enough to match your level of commitment.  And that ain't easy.  Luckily, thanks to this bit of light-hearted banter, your value is about to skyrocket.  Next, she tells us that men of the future . . .

They will be androgynous followers of a new and superior model of female leadership.

She says that like its a good thing.  It's not, for either gender.  If you want any indication of where the status quo will actually lead us if we go down Dr. Drexler's happy, testosterone-light path, we need look no further than Japan.  And the Herbivores.

If you want to see what Dr. Drexler's "new and improved Millennial men" look like, here's a perfect example. See if you really want to face this future, ladies.  And fellas, this is what you'll have to compete against in the future if you want to be even a mediocre dad.  You might be the worst bull in the herd, the roughest-looking pup in the pack, the puniest bear in the den, but at least you, Gentlemen, are carnivores.  This is what your sisters have to look forward to.

Excerpted from the Manosphere book:

The Sōshoku-kei

In Japan, you have the phenomenon of the herbivore, the sōshoku-kei.  This is a whole class of Japanese men who shun marriage and even girlfriends in favor of an austere lifestyle that includes indulgence in personal hygiene products, like the American Metrosexual.  Only the herbivore takes the idea to the extreme . . . and has absolutely no desire for any kind of romantic commitment whatsoever

A 2010 survey in Japan revealed that over 1/3 of Japanese men viewed themselves that way.  Among men in their 20s and 30s, over 70% do

Philosopher Masahiro Morioka redefined sōshoku-kei danshi as men who are "the nice guys of a new generation who do not aggressively seek meat, but instead prefer to eat grass side by side with the opposite gender."  A nation of docile, non-aggressive men completely content not to ogle women in public, but do it in the privacy of their cubes on their iPhones. The feminist utopia.

 So how are the women of Japan greeting this phenomenon?  According to traditional feminist ideology, they should be welcoming it with flowers, relieved that, at long last, the power of the hated traditional Japanese patriarchy is broken and women can assume their proper role as co-rulers over the placid island domain.  Right?  Women should be in a rape-free, utterly fearless state of gender freedom.

Only . . . not so much.

Japanese women are not amused by the sōshoku-kei danshi.  In fact, they’re pretty pissed off.  Instead of leaping for the golden opportunity to achieve and succeed in one of the biggest post-industrial economies in the world that this should be providing them, as feminism said they should, Japanese women are bitter about the fact that they have virtually no hope of having children. 

And you thought Western women are having a hard time finding decent husbands. 

The men they meet might be interested in a platonic date, but trying to get them to initiate sex is difficult, if not impossible.  Sōshoku danshi are the ultimate Beta orbitors . . . only they don’t really ever want to land

Why are the sōshoku danshi instructive? Precisely because Japan is one of the biggest post-industrial economies in the world.  Japan has pioneered much of what we can expect socially, in the context of the post-industrial economy.   You can look at the metropoli of Japan and see the way things will eventually look in America.  And while it might be an ideological victory for feminism, it would be really, really bad for women in general.

The herbivores have taken the Puerarchy to its logical conclusion.  They grew up as the sons of the 1980s salariman, the loyal and hard-working company men who built Japan into the financial, industrial, and technological powerhouse it is today.  They also spent the vast majority of their time at work while their lonely wives browbeat their children into preparation for the all-important college exams.  For cultural reasons, the sons got the lion’s share of this attention.  And the pressure.

The sōshoku danshi have withdrawn their participation in greater Japanese society, because they see no incentive to pursue the traditional marriage and family.  Their distant, overworked fathers provided no guidance or impetus for having a family.  Their economy and the spoiled, entitled nature of Japanese girls have given the sōshoku danshi no incentive whatsoever to procreate.  None. 

The extra demands a wife and children place on a Japanese worker are tremendous, and social expectation mandates that he work his ass off to support them.  The sōshoku danshi is utterly disillusioned with the highly structured, highly gendered achievement, the high expectations of Japanese women, and far more content to pursue quiet hobbies and masturbate than actually go on a date.

That’s a bigger deal than it might seem.  The Japanese have been the leaders in masturbation technology for decades – we had a short-lived dominance due to the Fleshlight, but after that Japan blew us away with the Tenga.

The Tenga, for the uninformed, is a disposable egg-shaped plastic male masturbator that you can buy in a vending machine for a couple of bucks, use a dozen times and then throw away.  The Tenga egg comes in many different styles, offering different types of stimulation, but one thing is agreed among all who use them: it’s a better blowjob for a cheaper price than you can get anywhere.

The Tenga allows the sōshoku danshi – or any man – a way to slip away, knock one off, and get back to work without the necessity of a woman involved.  It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it won’t insist on wearing your sweaters.  And it’s getting more sophisticated every iteration.  The device has such an appeal that the government is considering regulating them, to help encourage the birthrate. 

That’s important.  Japanese women aren’t the only ones upset with the sōshoku danshi.  The phenomenon is having real social repercussions.  It’s such a big deal, in fact, that the Japanese government is actively trying to discourage sōshoku-kei behaviors, because it’s leading to a dramatic decline in the birthrate. 

And if they can’t sustain the birthrate, then the weight of caring for the Japanese elderly will fall to a smaller and smaller number of working Japanese.  So the Japanese government has offered generous cash rewards and tax incentives for young couples to marry and have babies. 

Which puts the average young Japanese woman in the unenviable position of having to work to pay taxes to subsidize some other woman’s ability to have kids.  

Think about it: you have to do overtime to keep your expensive apartment, but the girl down the hall gets time off and extra money to raise her new baby, since she actually found a husband.  And you’re paying for it.  Bitter, yet?

The sōshoku-kei are particularly instructive because they have, for all practical purposes, totally invested in the feminist ideal of true equality between the sexes.  They have institutionalized Betadom.  They have done their best to remove the complicating influence of women from their lives.  And they have succeeded, regardless of what it does to Japanese society. 

In the ultimate passive-aggressive protest against the social expectations, the sōshoku danshi are doing the bare minimum of what is required of them and spending the rest of the time playing video games or whacking off to porn or watching tv or on the internet.  Anything but going out and talking to girls.

So what’s a girl to do?  Go to a prostitute.

Well, kinda.  While the Japanese hostess bars are pretty well-known to Western businessmen, they’re specific to that clientele.  Native Japanese men go to similar places, but reserved for Japanese only.  It’s not personal, it’s not racist, it’s just . . . well, it’s just Japanese.  Some of these parlors are merely entertainment, some are involved in some kind of paid prostitution.  But recently a new kind of hostess bar has arisen, one designed to cater to desperately horny and romantically forlorn young women.

These bars hire well-built Alpha studs to linger and play “host”.  For a fee a woman can have the “boyfriend experience”, an attentive man who listens to her and flatters her and pays her attention.  And she buys champagne.  A lot of highly overpriced champagne.  Between the fees and the drinks, a young woman can drop a thousand dollars in a night if she isn’t cautious.  If you feel outraged by the cold manipulations of American PUAs, ladies, consider these fellows. 

They’re handsome, they’re hunks, and they usually grow to despise the girls they’re paid to flatter.  American PUAs have nothing on the brutally cold way these men abuse the affections and expectations of vulnerable young girls.

It’s not unheard of for these girls, many of whom think it’s hopeless for a real, regular boy to find her attractive with the lure of the sōshoku kei on the horizon, to run up debts to these bars in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Often they must become prostitutes themselves to have any hope of paying off the debt. 

Ironically the girls who needed to pay to get a handsome boy’s attention end up getting paid to give head to sweaty old businessmen their fathers’ age.   

The next generation of Japanese will be much, much smaller, and the result of the few “carnivores” who managed to have kids.  Think about it: really smart, really aggressive, really rich Japanese kids who suddenly have twice as much room on their island as their grandparent's generation, giant robots . . . and a lot of aggression to work out.

(I'm sure that will end well.)

End Excerpt

So that's what's in store, Ladies.  That's the androgynous utopia you envision, one in which women are so entitled and demanding that men would rather avoid them altogether rather than procreate with them.  One in which men check out of the active progress of society in favor of selfish and self-interested pursuits.  One in which your daughter's chances of getting married will actually be worse than yours, and her chances of staying married will be comparable to dying in a plane crash.  And her chances of actually reproducing, thanks to the USIRIG device, will be even less.  No husband for her.  No grandkids for you.

Will Americans and Europeans go the same route?  Perhaps . . . but I think the unique cultural attitudes in both places will mitigate the problem.  That's good news . . . for men.   The downside is that unlike Japan, there is no strong cultural provision against marrying outside of your culture in America or Europe, which will allow those dudes who do want to tie the knot to do it . . . just not to European or American girls.  

Of course I take issue with this:
If we stopped there it would indicate that we are headed toward a new improved model of males -- kinder, gentler, more accepting and more attached to home and family then men of the past.

That "new and improved" model she's talking about is, again, one in which the value judgement is being made is done so only using female criteria.  What constitutes a "new and improved" male, in Dr. Drexler's opinion, is one who is better able to serve women.  His own desires, values, interests and issues (with the exception of fatherhood, previously discussed) are unimportant to her.  "Kinder and Gentler" are not masculine traits.  "More accepting and More Attached" sure look like code words for "enslaved".

That's key.  That demonstrates what feminist expectations of men are for the future: men who are of service to women are "good", men who aren't are "bad".  Men who pursue their own interests, rejecting a corporate culture in which they are forced to work for the benefit of women, will be told off as slackers and underachievers and shamed for their languorous stay at the Puerarchy.

But honestly, Dr. Drexler, can you blame them?  There is virtually no incentive for young men to achieve, to perform, to dance like a monkey in a game that's rigged against them.  Where they are seen as the "lowest difficulty setting" and ridiculed for their masculinity.  Where the respect their forefathers had is forever denied them because of their gender.  Where they are seen as a constant threat on the street, suspect in the workplace, and punished for every attempt at true achievement.  Where their wives will leave them and their children can be stripped away without their consent.  

That is feminism's legacy to young men.  Blame it on economics if you like, but its as much ideology as income.  

As you have noticed, "It also appears younger men are shying away from relationships."    Further, 

Pew research says that the desire to marry among young women is rising -- with high importance increasing from 28 to 37 percent since 1997. For young men, it dropped from 35 to 29 percent. Theories abound. 

Why yes, yes they do.  I'd have to favor Venker's interpretation here, despite my distaste at doing so (I'm still a progressive, she still works at Fox) but she's dead on: men are avoiding marriage because women have lost touch with their feminine side.

That's it, in a nutshell.  When a woman wants to get married as much as these ladies do, one would think that their interest was in the marriage, not the wedding.  Yet plenty of evidence demonstrates that they just don't know how to be married, thanks to a healthy dearth of plausible role-models and the utter derision the idea is met with among feminist authority figures.   The pages of HuffPo don't celebrate Wives, Dr. Drexler, nor do the articles posted their glorify the idea of being married to a man in the slightest.  Indeed, more often than not they condemn and deride the idea of focusing on marriage, not a career, as if being a corporate drone was the dedicated end-game to the feminist plan.

Y'all can have it.  We're dropping out.

Not all of us, of course.  But the good ones.  The ones who have the understanding to see how badly the deck is stacked against us.  Just read some of my comments from last post.  See the derision the idea of marriage has inspired from my younger male readers.  I hear it often.  More often than I like.  But that's the reason they aren't marrying, Dr. Drexler.  There is no incentive in it for them, not just legally, but emotionally and spiritually.  They have lost faith in relationships over-all, marriage in particular, and largely because what they see in terms of potential mates turns their stomach.

What do you have to say to them?  "No, really, if you marry that woman you're thinking of, then she'll discover her true inner femininity and encourage your masculinity in a self-sustaining system of eternal nuptial bliss!"  That ain't true, and we all know it.  If a woman doesn't start out her marriage in a feminine frame of mind, then she's not going to suddenly grow it, just like she's not going to suddenly become a nymphomaniac if she's been low-sex for her entire life.  

Despite your apparent preference for androgyny, Dr. Drexler, the girls out there hate it in their boyfriends.  Dudes certainly don't find it appealing.  It's humiliating and against our masculine nature.  Only feminism has taught us what happens when a man tries to lead in a relationship (as the 45% of the women, according to your article, apparently want him to do), so we'd rather withdraw and distract ourselves, forget the relationship, and play XBox or whack off rather than pursue a relationship with a woman.  XBox doesn't try to get us to wear make-up . . . oh, sorry, "tinted sunscreen" and want us to pretend we like it.

The fact is, the Millenials are the first generation to have the capacity to liberate themselves from social expectation.  With new reproductive options opening up, a globe full of feminine women eager to have a marriage and a family, not ashamed, and with more means to make a living underachieving outside of the corporate structure, I think you will find more and more Millennial men are going to be checking out and doing their own thing by 2020.  And that "own thing" doesn't involve a suburban ranch, two kids and a future ex-wife.  

It involves a tiki bar/surf shop in the Caribbean somewhere staring at bikinis, or teaching English in Taibei with a hot Chinese girlfriend, or grinding code for the next great generation of software, or building and
racing antique cars, or spending endless hours playing WoW or guitar or just watching YouTube or any number of other "fun" stuff we like that doesn't involve a complicated, demeaning relationship with a Western woman who, in the final analysis, does not have his best long-term interest in mind.

If we have our way, the Millennial men will finally start understanding their own value, to themselves, even if society doesn't value them.  We shall encourage them to drop out, go adventuring, and leave the dreary office life to their sisters while they go in search of a feminine wife or a string of pretty girlfriends.   They will find some fulfilling career that pays them squat and we will encourage them to contribute not a damn thing to the gleaming corporate structure men built and that we are now forever locked out of, to the society who sees them as disposable and valueless, to the culture who treats them as dangerous and stupid, not worthy of respect. 

For women the fall of gender boundaries has meant freedom, choice and opportunity. For men it has meant confusion. The expectations and assumptions that formed the superstructure for manhood for generations has fallen away, with nothing yet emerging to take their place.
Ah, but that's not quite true, Dr. Drexler.  There's not confusion -- there's frustration.  So now these men will do what you encouraged two generations of women to do:  defy gender expectations and steadfastly NOT marry.  NOT reproduce.  NOT achieve.  The current system is not their friend, so they should take their ball and go home.  Men Going Their Own Way, with only a very, very few dedicated future family men expending the effort to wed and breed on purpose.  

And what's this?

Most are adjusting nicely to the withdrawal of past entitlements. They will form the core of 2020 men who compete and win without privilege.

"Outta here!"

 Ah, no.  That's wishful thinking, I'm afraid, Dr. Drexler.  If that is your assessment of modern young men and their attitudes toward the future, I suggest that you are not looking closely enough.  What you see as "adjusting nicely" is just the parts you want to see.  The parts you don't want to see are still there, and WE sure as hell see them.

"Mediocre or Average?
Just what do I want in a future ex-wife?"
If young women today want to get married but have no interest in being wives, the young men today don't want to be their husbands.  Nor do they want to commit to a society where they will STILL be accused of using privilege in competition in 2020, STILL be given unfair handicaps to overcome said "privilege" and then STILL be considered undervalued, atavistic, disposable.  Young men will not "compete" in the future, Dr. Drexler, because women in aggregate (which you feel will be dominating the leadership positions, due to their inherent superiority . . .) do not value competition.

Therefore they will seek to further handicap the men in the office with competition-reducing measures and consensus-building organizations that are designed to keep achievement from happening or male leadership from being valued.  No glory, no value, no honor, not in a system where the rules are set one way for women, another for men.

We will not compete with that.  We might show up, work 8 hours, and take home a paycheck, but compete?

Fuck that, boys.  Save it for something important.  Like building your own fighting robot.  

That's the proper response to the whole "decline of men" meme.  Demonstrate to the women gloating about their "victory" that they won through forfeit, because we just don't want to play in a game that's fixed, so we didn't show up to play.  While they re-defined femininity to involve corporate achievement and team-building exercises, we will re-define masculinity to involve the issues and interests that are ours, and ours alone.

And that doesn't mean sitting our fat asses in a cube farm so that our female boss at work is happy and our female boss at home is happy and we're fucking miserable.

The time for that has passed.  Now we live in the time of the Manosphere, where clues to every man's masculine destiny are just a click away.

My prediction is that we will see the rise of Gamma and Delta and Omega "herbavores" arise, but not quite like in Japan.  But we will also see a lot of those boys ditching their fears, learning Game, hitting the gym, dropping their responsibilities and catching a ride someplace interesting to go meet a girl who's not so complicated and do something a lot less permanent than marriage.  While I agree with Dr. Drexler that going back is not happening, her vision of "going forward" is not a happy one, even for the male Progressive.  But that's not the only way forward, fellas.  Androgyny and female domination aren't necessarily in your future -- there's an escape clause!

Dr. Drexler says:

Others will struggle: some to the point that they simply choose to opt out of the competition -- in education, careers, even relationships.

I maintain that this is not a struggle, Gentlemen: the answer is powerfully abundant.  This world does not have your interests at heart, nor do the women around you.  You will NOT be rewarded for being a good and diligent employee.  You will NOT be rewarded for being a loving and capable husband.  You will NOT be valued for being an attentive and involved father, no matter what they say.  And you will NOT see an over-abundance of marital comfort as a result of your dedication to laundry and dishes.  It's a lie, a damnable lie.

So prepare yourself to drop out.  Roosh did.  Jonathan Frost did.  There is a world of adventure beyond the jaded vaginas of the UMC white college-educated woman.  The corporate feminists who insist that a career can come before family, leave them alone.  Pretend they have dicks.  They might as well have -- they damn sure aren't going to be the kind of wife you can rely on.

Cede her the "power" implicit in a 70 work week, let her revel in making partner before she's 40, let her sneer at how she "beat" you "fair and square" and gloat how you just weren't competitive enough.  Let her languish in her glass-floored office and soak up the thrill of running something she didn't build . . . let her think she's won.  Let her gloat.  Let her feel superior.

Then bang her 23 year old sister and her best friend instead.  

No, it's not responsible.  It's not sensible.  It's not mature.  But that's fine -- you aren't looking for a wife anyway.  You're looking for a choice piece of ass or two to enjoy before you have to open the shop in the morning - aren't you happy you dropped out of school?  The woman close to your own age who keeps pressuring you for a date/commitment?  A career woman?  Don't date her.  Don't fuck her.  Don't commit to her.  And DAMN sure don't marry her.  It just isn't in your best interest.  She's not going to want to stay married anyway.  So leave her alone . . . it's one of the things she fears most in the world.

This is an opportunity for you to use the leverage you have (and it is little enough) to free yourself from the idea that you gotta do college, gotta get a career, gotta make some money and marry some chick from college and gotta get a divorce ten years later when "she's not haaaapy."  Use your leverage to build each other into strong, unassailable men, men for whom the self-important rationalizations of their female peers are beneath them utterly.  Approach every new relationship with a huge degree of caution.

The real look at Men, 2020 is like this: seven years from now, the median age for marriage will go up.  The divorce rate will continue to decline as the marriage rate does (GIGO).  Women will be bitterly complaining about the lack of "good" men, while feminist decry the number of dudes who are getting a temporary vasectomy, ditching college, and heading for the beach for an extended adolescence.

Meanwhile, the Manosphere will be going crazy as the Red Pill philosophy grows . . . and younger Millennial women start catching on to the bullshit implicit with "co-equal partnerships" and start reconsidering their futures.  But they had better not take too long.

Our sperm is viable until we're 70, and our attractiveness grows while yours fades.  Our sons have plenty of time.  If you haven't wised up to the idea that men like feminine women and won't settle for less by 2020 (and that does put almost all the Gen X women beyond the safe age for procreation - sorry!) then you really do deserve (for once) what you'll get: increasing frustration and hopelessness is one of your biggest fears - "being alone" - comes true for you, one by one.  No True Love.  No Happily Ever After.  Your best bet will be sex tourism and finding a foreign dude who needs a green card.  Good luck with that.

But if you ladies aren't willing to learn how to be a wife, then you can forget about our boys becoming your husbands.  We won't let them.   We've been down that road and know where it leads.  Our boys deserve better than that.  If you won't let them become the men they want to be, then we'll find them wives who will, wives who will be devoted, warm, comforting, respectful and appreciative - all the things we are finding lacking in the women growing up today.

And don't think we can't find them wives like that.  We don't mind Asian or Latino grandchildren.  They're adorable.

Hopefully, by 2030 y'all will get your collective head out of your collective ass before you ruin another generation of young women by advocating the disrespect and derision with which you see men today.  But if not, that's not the fault of men for not shaping themselves to be compliant to women.  That's women not being able to themselves see past their own privilege in our society long enough to see the damage they've done to it.  And if they don't . . . well, it's not because we didn't warn them.

The fact is, there are plenty of things a man can walk away from, despite what John Wayne said.  The social expectation that he must marry and reproduce and become a productive and driven member of society is one of them.  Without any kind of incentive of having any kind of good wife out of the equation . . . why should we bother going out with you, much less marrying you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wife Test: An Introduction, and Batshit Crazy

Most American men should not get married.

It’s just not in their best interest.  Most men who blindly enter into marriage are blinded by hormones, fear, and insecurity, with the light of reason a dim and distant flicker.  The threat of divorce and lost of custody through hypergamous divorce, the prospect of being locked into a sexless marriage with an increasingly bitter and unpleasant old woman where the sweet release of death is your only hope, or any whacky combination of sitcom plots disguised as life events can make a husband's life a living hell.  Despite the “married men live longer” meme, the facts on the ground are pretty apparent in a Red Pill sort of way: in our society marriage is not often in the best interests of the male in question.

Unfortunately, barring a Manosphere-sponsored Fully Informed Fiancee Act, most men are going to imagine that their special union is specialer than all of those nasty divorces he’s seen.  She’s different, he thinks.  She really loves me.  She’d never leave me.  She'd never betray me.  She'd never double her wedding-day weight.

And we all know how that tends to work.

Most divorced men are divorced because they made poor decisions in the Wife Selection department, and did not do proper vetting.  Most divorced men mistook True Love for a male mating strategy and ended up grabbing their ankles for a financial pegging of Olympian proportions.  

And all divorced men . . . got married.

If you don’t want to be divorced, the only way to ensure that is to not get married.

The next best way is to find a truly worthwhile, worthy woman to share your life with, vett the hell out of her, and become as certain as you can that she is, indeed, who she says she is.  If you can find this rare and uncommon creature, and you can find common ground and mutual assurance about your long-term goals and short-term issues, and you're feeling lucky, then you might want to consider marriage.

And even then there are no guarantees.  Life is about risk.  And intelligent risk-taking is manly.

Still, there is a sizable minority of men out there who just prefer to be married – I’m one of them.  While I'm sure I'd do just fine living the life of a gentleman bachelor ("Gentleman of Leisure" is one of the three Dream Jobs I haven't managed yet . . . out of 6.  I ain't complainin'.) but the plain fact of the matter is that I prefer a house with a balance of masculine and feminine energies for the raising of kids, and marriage is the most expedient route to that, if you do it right.  Wanting to be married doesn’t make me a glutton for punishment . . . but that’s because I wasn’t an idiot about it.  Most dudes just are.

When it comes to proper Wife Selection, the first big issue is, of course, pre-screening.  That is, establishing your criteria for what you want in your wife.  For this I suggest compiling a list.

Hell, just buy a notebook.  You're going to need it.

Think of this as your "wife hunting manual", because it is going to serve as the command-and-control system, the scientific journal, the wish list and the notes section of your journey.  And at the very begining, you need to establish your List.

The List encompasses four sections:  Must-Haves, Nice-to-Haves, Bonus Points and Dealbreakers.  And while your Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves are going to be much different from every other dude's, there are some issues in the Dealbreaker category that most of us are going to agree are common things to avoid in a woman.

And at the very top of the list of dealbreakers should be Batshit Crazy.  It's one of the basic things you need to think about before you even consider cohabitation, let alone buying a ring.  Hell, if you smell it early enough, it's usually advisable to avoid Batshit Crazy altogether.  Like cocaine, it has a tendancy to be expensive, dramatic, and lead to long-term damage.

So with every potential Mrs. Right you meet, within the first moments of making the realization that yeah, you could tap that for the rest of your life, you need to ask yourself this very, very important question:

 Is She Batshit Crazy?

This sounds like a no-brainer, but clearly someone isn’t getting the memo.  According to some official-sounding agencies, almost 25% of women in the United States suffer from some form of mental illness, from the charmingly quaint to the homicidally severe.  Depression, eating disorders, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and the ever-treacherous Borderline Personality Disorder (h/t Black Knight at Return of Kings) you name it, women seem to have (or at least are diagnosed with) more mental illnesses than men.  

The problem is that typical young female behavior in this day and age can often disguise symptoms as cultural phenomenon.  Is your girlfriend struggling with a personality issue?  Or is she just a bitch?  Perhaps both? 

Even considering marriage to a woman without a complete understanding of her mental health history, including any traumas and medications, is just stupid.  That's a fundamental element of basic Wife Selection.  So ask yourself the following follow-up questions, and record the answers:

Has she . . . 

Ever been committed to a mental institution, voluntarily or involuntarily?
Ever been treated by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist?
Ever had a regular course of mental therapy?
Taken the Briggs-Meyers test?  If so, what was her rating?
Taken an IQ test? (Stupidity isn't crazy, but it might as well be.)
Ever been prescribed medication for a mental health issue?
Ever been prescribed medication for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder? (PMS isn't crazy . . . wait . . .)
Ever been treated for PTSD?  
Ever been raped, sexually assaulted, or suffered childhood abuse?
Ever witnessed a horrifically tragic event, such as a shooting or bombing?
Had a history of stalking, drugs, or alcohol abuse?  
Been arrested?

I'm sure you can add your own, but that should get you started.  And don’t stop with just her personal history, either: is her mom (your potential mother-in-law) Batshit Crazy?  Her aunts?  Grandmother? Often a malady is hereditary, or only exposed slowly over time, or triggered by an event or experience.  Don't shy away from asking these questions because "they are too personal" - you are considering tying your fate and fortunes to this woman.  If she's gonna have your babies someday, this is some shit you need to know.  

And if she's highly reluctant to discuss the issue . . . well, that's pretty telling.

So, do you automatically discard a girl just because she’s mentally ill?  

Not necessarily. 

Consider that until recently homosexuality was considered a mental illness – whatever your moral stand on homosexuality, it’s not a mental illness.  Psychiatry is an evolving science, and this year's-neurosis may be next years winning attitude.  Focus more on her actions and her behavior than her diagnosis, but a diagnosis might be an excellent place to start.

Then consider your own mental health.  While men are arguably slightly saner, statistically speaking, there are still plenty of us who should only be eating with plastic spoons.  And some of us . . . 

Everyone has issues, and I'm not saying that you have to find someone with a completely clean mental bill-of-health . . . because (let's face it) if they were that sane, why the hell would they be dating you? The goal here is to balance your own pack of crazy with that of your wife.  If you had to rate your own neurosis on a 1-10 scale, then an excellent rule of thumb is that your potential wife's score should be within easy striking distance (no more than a point) from yours.  Ideally, just below (it's always nice to be the saner person of the couple), but if it's more than a point -- two, max, if she's hot and one of her neurosis is nymphomania -- then it's time to proceed with caution.

Note I said "proceed with caution", not "run screaming from the room".  

A lot of your decision should depend on just what kind of crazy, too.  If it is going to conflict strongly with your own, then that's an issue.  If it's something genetic, then that's a consideration if you want kids.  If it's just quirky and quaint, then you can -- probably -- live with it.

But if you do hit more than two or three red flags in your initial investigations the it is quite likely that Mrs. Maybe is a no-go, and you should, indeed, back away slowly.  I'm sure she's a very nice girl, but if you do not establish and maintain your own high standards on something as objective as this, then you've already lost.  Wife Selection means wife selection . . . and that means passing up those who are for whatever reason unacceptable to your criteria.

The fact is that many mental illnesses can be effectively treated medically these days.  But if your
potential woman has issues complying with her medication schedule, that's a red flag.  If she misses time from work because "I just wasn't feeling good", then that's a red flag.  If she displays manic or outrageously flaky behavior, then that's a red flag.  Too many red flags . . . and then there's a flag on the play.

When you do decide that the woman you're vetting didn't make the cut, be very careful how you end things.  That's the sort of break-up that can actually trigger some extreme behavior in a mentally unstable person, and the next thing you know you come home from work to find your house broken into, your shirts shredded, and a good healthy dump in the middle of your dining room table.  It's been known to happen. 

But don't let that stop you.  Messy break-ups are bad . . . they're even worse when there's a marriage involved.  Aborting a relationship in which too rich a vein of Batshit Crazy is apparent isn't a sign of you being a dickhead who can't commit, no matter what she says.

It's a sign that you are taking your matrimonial duties and your commitment seriously.

Good luck . . . and stay tuned for more on this important subject!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Crab Basket Effect

The Manosphere is often accused of misogyny . . . but we're freakin' amateurs at the art, compared to women.

The Female Social Matrix is ubiquitous.  From its humble origins at church socials and various sorts of "bees", through it's matriculation in the 1960s, to it's full-fledged entry into the workforce in the 70s and 80s, the FSM is everywhere . . . and nowhere is it stronger or more important than in the workplace.

Indeed, feminism evolved conceptually largely in response to the need for adapting domestic female culture to the predominantly-male business world.  With it's emphasis on equality and sisterhood, feminism (Equity feminism, mind you -- this was before Gender Feminism declared holy war on all things XY and poisoned the well) was supposed to be about women helping women compete in a man's world. 

Since around the time of the adoption of Title IX, that's been a slow but inevitable process.  The workforce went "co-ed", and the emphasis went from being on a woman's right to work and receive a fair and equitable wage to the lack of female managers and CEOs running the corporate world -- the fabled Glass Ceiling, beyond which all wishes of power, fortune, and influence would supposedly be granted.

Special mentoring programs and other remedial assistance was thrown at the problem -- feminism couldn't very well argue for the right of every woman to be free to work and establish her financial independence without taking exception to the lack of boobs in the boardroom.  And then special rules and regulations dealing with issues of sex and sexuality had to be developed for use, so terms like "boobs in the boardroom" would be legally actionable in the wrong context.  Women demanded the right to compete, and then changed the rules of competition in business to favor themselves.  

So for over 30 years, more than an entire generation, we've seen women at work, women in management, women "competing in a man's world" . . . even though the "man's world" looks more feminine than ever.

So . . .how's that working out for women?

Turns out . . . not so good.  

Dr. Peggy Drexler has published two pieces back-to-back discussing the complexities of women working with women.   The result isn't pretty . . . and pretty much validates everything I've said about the Female Social Matrix.  Also known as the Crab Basket.

If you aren't familiar with the term, it's a metaphor for how women relate to other women -- how they self-organize, socially.  

When men self-organize, they usually do it hierarchically, with clear top-down leadership, management, and execution.  There is a central power, and then subordinates who comply with and execute the leadership's policies and decisions.  it's all dreadfully impersonal and extremely effective, in a few very limited ways (building a wall, house, ship, or civilization, for instance, or defending your genetic destiny from a hostile world . . . but nothing important).  Male-dominated organizations traditionally emphasize the archaic qualities of achievement and competition, depending on mere efficiency, innovation, and ingenuity to get by.

Women, by contrast, self-organize in a far more sophisticated way.  Unfortunately for them, the self-organization of the Female Social Matrix actually punishes achievement and emphasizes cooperation and fairness over efficiency or efficacy.  But that doesn't mean it isn't competitive.  Or escapable.  Regardless of how many women are in a workplace, more than one leads to a node of the Matrix to exist.  And regardless of how many men work with those women, the Crab Basket of the FSM is ALWAYS overlaying the organization.  

Dr. Drexler's first article concerns female bosses -- the Queen Bee phenomenon.  This is the well-documented development in sociology and anthropology, and it validates the Crab Basket metaphor.  Simply put, when women self-organize into a FSM, it resembles a bushel basket of live crabs.

Life in the Crab Basket isn't great.  If you're on the bottom, every other crab is stepping on you, constantly shifting in unpredictable ways, making any progress difficult.  If you're in the middle, not only is your foundation constantly moving, everyone around you is attempting to climb over you to get closer to the top of the basket . . . and the crabs at the top of the basket who are using you as their support are just as eager to keep their position and discourage ambitious competition.
There's only so much room up at the top of the basket.  And everyone wants to be there.  So the vaunted "cooperation" meme that women and feminists love to tout as an advantage of female-led enterprises turns instead into a series of innumerable petty competitions, none of which are decisive but all of which add to the general instability of the basket.  By design.

After all, it is very difficult to get to the top of the basket without the help of the crabs on your level, and those below you.  But when you are all striving for the same goal, and that resource is inherently limited, then competition, not cooperation, actually rules the day.  The crabs on your level are not your fellow sisters, they're bitches who get in your way.  If you aren't standing on their shoulders one day, looking down, then they'll be standing on your shoulders while you look up in resentful frustration.

The crabs at the top of the basket are the Queen Bees.  They have successfully competed and made it to their reward, but they have to constantly defend their position.  Leadership and power in the FSM is always transitory.  Everyone gets a turn on the swing, theoretically.  Of course, there's only room for one ass in the seat at a time . . . but every crab thinks it should be their ass, and none feel more entitled to that than the ones already there.  

Female managers suck, if you are a female employee.  Queen Bees regularly sabotage those crabs below them who look most challenging and threatening to their position.  While talking about leveling playing fields and bridging gaps and providing opportunities, when women gain power their first impulse is to secure their position by eliminating competition as savagely and ruthlessly as possible . . . without looking like they are actually doing it.

While that worked great for a 17th century quilting bee, when that method of social organization gets applied to the masculine-developed world of business, as Dr. Drexler demonstrates, the FSM imposes some fairly harsh problems on women in the workplace.  And men have nothing to do with it.

So why do women insist that they are better at cooperating and getting along than men?  

Because that convenient fiction is a powerful strategy in the Crab Basket.  By insisting that everyone is equal and that the Basket should strive for fairness, an ideal world in which EVERYONE gets to be at the top of the basket and NO ONE has to be on the bottom, that allows the more ambitious crabs the rationalization they need to sabotage their comrades' progress under the slightest pretext.  But since they, too, have to agree to the polite fiction of female cooperation in order for their competitive nature to thrive, they cannot do so openly, or risk the wrath of the rest of the Basket.

And it is always, always personal, no matter how much they assure you it is not.

Indeed women, as Dr. Drexler reports in her second post on female employees, are constantly turning work-related issues and relationships personal.  That is probably because the female dual cooperation/competition dichotomy encourages a personal, rather than impersonal, mode of behavior.  The FSM is inherently personal and inherently judgmental, and when those elements are mixed with business or other enterprise . . . it can get ugly.

Women, it turns out, aren't very good employees, either.  Especially to female bosses.  An ambitious, hard-working corporate amazon doesn't see female leadership above her as a potential ally, but as a natural and eventual foe.  Undermining the success of the Queen Bees of an organization covertly, through manipulating the Matrix, is a time-honored method of advancement among women.  This is almost always done socially, and not through the metric of achievement.  In the Basket, it doesn't matter how well Donna performs, it matters what everyone else thinks of her.  

Female managers have it rough, because not only do they have to deal with the male-oriented demands of the business world and lead accordingly, they have to simultaneously manage their own Crab Basket of women and keep the latter from screwing with the effectiveness of the former.

Of course, that happens so often it's comic.  As female managers deal with countless petty personal attacks on their leadership in the form of constant gossip among her female subordinates, they have to contend with a far different range of expectations from their female employees than their male employees.  Their male employees, for the most part, stick to the male-hierarchical business model and are actually more likely to treat a female boss impartally and objectively, looking at her performance and leadership before allowing their personal feelings to enter into their judgment.

 But the Crab Basket is a vicious place.   Her female subordinates will often be brutal critics - not of her performance as a leader, but of her personal life, and use that as the basis of their level of cooperation.

As Dr. Drexler reports, women in a subordinate role to other women -- particularly younger women -- will often inspire a "mothering" reflex in them.  She recounts one woman who had a string of female
secretaries who seemed determined to involve themselves in her personal life, no matter how hard she tried to keep them separate, 

That lends itself to a great amount of instability when the goal is not to find your boss a husband, but to do your job and make the company money.  It's also very difficult for an older woman to take orders from a younger woman without bristling at it . . . and second-guessing her younger boss constantly.  I've seen some older women actually take their younger superiors to task over their performance and decision-making in an effort to "help" them.

That's key to the Crab Basket model: when all of those women are pulling you back down to their level, they aren't being malicious . . . they genuinely think that they are "helping" you.

Call it the "Bless Her Heart" stratagem  that is extremely popular here in the South.  When a woman gains accolades or achievement that singles her out -- sends her to the top of the Crab Basket -- then the FSM prohibits open activity against her, because that violates the Matrix's rules.  Direct confrontation is an affront to the dignity of femininity, or something like that.  You can't go after another woman directly without appearing to be a Bitch (which is something of a mixed blessing in the corporate Matrix).

Instead, they hover around, waiting for the ascending crab to make a mistake . . . and they all descend on her, not to "attack" her, but to "help out".  More high-achieving women have been "helped out" of their success by their ostensibly well-meaning rivals or subordinates than by sexists male bosses.

There's a great example of this in that most estrogen-poisoned of environments, the Disney tween drama.
Blame my Daughter and my grandmother for why I know this.  Fuck you.

In particular the film Ice Princess, starring Michelle Trachtenburg (from Buffy) and Hayden Panetierre (from Heros) as rival figure skating students under the same Queen Bee coach (Kim Cattrall).  Michelle's character is a brainiac nerdling who uses the power of physics to skate well, and (surprise!) has a talent for it.  Hayden is the bratty daughter of the icy skating coach whose own Olympic dreams were dashed, and who is now living vicariously and viciously through her daughter's competitive hopes.

The coach decides Michelle's character is too much of a threat for her daughter's chances . . . but instead of actively sabotaging her, ala a regular villain, she instead . . . buys her new skates.

The coach "helps out" Michelle's character because it is, technically, "assistance": Michelle had been wearing crappy skates to a competition and couldn't afford new ones.  So the coach "thoughtfully" buys a brand-new, expensive pair of skates for her.  Michelle was thrilled . . . and then wrecked the competition because the skates were new, unbroken in, and sabotaged her performance.  Her daughter later calls her on the unfairness of it -- as a novice skater, Michelle has no idea that skates need to be "broken in" before being used in a performance.  She tries to compete, she shreds her feet and botches her routine, and blames herself for the failure . . . with the kind and caring assistance of her coach.

Then Hayden busts her mom for "helping" Michelle, because she knows exactly what her mom did by exploiting her rival's ignorance.

That's just one good solid example of the Crab Basket in action.  The claws that come grasping and reaching  for the offending achiever are always doing so ostensibly out of a sense of love and concern, not hate or rivalry.

Most women know this instinctively, thanks to their multi-track communication modes. When a man hears, "Would it be helpful if I came over and gave you a hand around the house?" from his sister-in-law, to him it's a friendly offer.  To his wife, it's a tacit condemnation on her skills as a wife and mother.

No, Dudes, really.

This element of the Crab Basket has to be seen in light of the Hamster Wheel of collective femininity.  Essentially the "bless her heart" motivation is the rationalization of competitive behavior as assistance, with compassion during crisis being placed at the highest level of female values.  Everyone's buddies and BFFs and the basket is stable . . . until a crab shows weakness.  That weakness is an opportunity to strike, while gaining Matrix points for the overt demonstration of assistance.

Another example: Ms. Apple is the head of her department, and is not just doing well, she's doing very, very well.  Numbers are up.  Employees are motivated.  Making good decisions.  Getting noticed by those higher up.  In good ways and bad ways.  And the more she rises, the more she comes under scrutiny and criticism over her personal life - which everyone in the Matrix seems to (or claims to) know all about.  As long as she doesn't fuck up, they have to keep their claws under the table.

But then, say, Ms. Apple's mother gets cancer and needs chemo, and she has to take time off to care for her.  She files an FMLA and takes leave for the purpose, assured that she will have a job when she comes back from her crisis.  In the meantime, she does what she can to prepare for her absence.  If she's any good, she'll be able to to delegate enough to subordinates, post-pone non-essentials, and monitor affairs remotely if necessary, to put out any fires.  It's a hassle, it's a pain, but it's necessary and Ms. Apple can handle it.

But the moment the scent of crisis is loose upon the Matrix, Ms. Apple's "need" for compassion turns into an opportunity to exploit a weakness.  By "helping" her.  To death.

Her female boss (who has been growing more and more threatened by Ms. Apple's success and inevitable rise in the company) moves in and assumes an executive role in a time of crisis.  She assures Ms. Apple that things will be just fine in her absence because everyone cares so deeply about her and what she's going through.  Open displays of sympathy that visibly break normal work protocol may abound.  Cards.  Flowers.  Fund raising.  The more agitation that the Matrix can generate around the "wounded" member, the more points available for everyone.

Then the deeply sympathetic boss completely re-organizes Ms. Apple's department and workflow to "help" her become more efficient.  That is, run more to her liking.  She'll appear matronly and concerned to the rest of the staff, which preserves her position in the Matrix -- hell, it improves it.  Bestowing Compassion is an automatic 50 points.  Compassion In A Position Of Leadership is double that.

But it doesn't stop there -- the Matrix is ubiquitous, and the weakness is an opportunity for everyone.  Ms. Apple's female subordinates take advantage of her absence to advance themselves shamelessly, "helping out" Ms. Apple by taking away cherished projects, key client relationships or plumb assignments.  They'll sign a card and chip in five bucks, too, just for the cheap points.  Generosity In A Time Of Crisis is a cool 200,  They'll simultaneously begin sabotaging Ms. Apple's efforts subtly, working through the Matrix with gossip and speculation ("Did you see how haggard she's looking?  She's aged ten years since March!  Bless her heart, she loves her Mama!  And did you say she only offered you ten percent?  Mr. Banana, I can go fifteen . . . I have no idea why she wouldn't treat you right.  Must be the stress.")

And her actual rivals?  If she has an enemy, then this is blood in the water.  Sometimes a very calculated bit of "assistance" will be used to force Ms. Apple into an unfavorable position.  Say, Ms. Orange, her rival in another department, generously offers the use of her peaceful mountain cabin for her mother's recuperation, free-of-charge . . . and doesn't bother to mention that there is no cell coverage or internet access.  While Ms. Apple is soaking up the rustic vibe and tending to Mother, Ms. Orange is systematically raiding her files, poisoning the waters against her, and preparing booby-traps for her eventual return.

Even her female allies will accidentally work against her, in the name of "helping" her.  Phone calls, texts and emails keeping her appraised of the corporate Matrix re-positioning can call even more attention to her.  Attempts to defend her turf by her loyalists can result in even further loss of power and position, and can endanger their own positions.

Of course, by the time Ms. Apple comes back from FMLA, her mom might be better . . . but her career is screwed.  The law says she has a job to come back to . . . it doesn't say it has to be her old job.  She could even wind up as assistant to her former subordinate ("You were gone so long, we just couldn't be without a leader that long . . .") and subordinate to her former rival ("Judy knew it would take you a while to get back up to speed . . . I'm sure this is just temporary, until you've recovered") and safely neutralized as a threat by her former boss.

But gosh, everyone's just oozing with compassion, worry, and concern.  Did you see that card?  Everyone signed it.

And goddess help her if she becomes entangled with a man -- or even a rumor of one -- while she's gone.
 One little "I thought I saw her the other day at a restaurant when she was supposed to be taking her mother to the doctor . . . and you should have seen the guy she was with!" whispered in the break room and it's all over.

Mere speculation of her personal life, with a built-in opportunity for judgment and loss of position, is when the claws really come out from under the table.  It doesn't have to be true.  It just has to seem to be true, or true enough to sound good to the woman in Accounting.  Concern becomes an opportunity for judgement and criticism. And it is always personal.

While all of this is happening, the men in the office are largely clueless or impotent.  They have neither the tools nor the knowledge of how to deal with this level of Matrix activity.  All they see is a lot of whispering, a lot of cards and flowers, a lot of posturing, and a lot of speculation on what might or might not happen to Ms. Apple.

Any attempt by a male to dissuade the women from going after Ms. Apple's position will result in a united
front of the corporate Matrix chastising him for his lack of compassion -- can't he see that everyone wants only what is best for Ms. Apple, they love her so?  Female rivals, allies, subordinates, and superiors will all insist that they are acting out of a sense of love and compassion while they effectively hamstring Ms. Apple's position. Every crab in the basket is insisting that they are helping Ms. Apple as she gets pushed lower down the Basket.  If you're a dude and you know what's actually going on, it can be ghastly to watch.

It's the difference between "Is there anything I can do to help?" and "LET me help you . . . no, really, I insist!"  So the next time you see some up-and-coming shining example of female success about to storm the glass ceiling and take the job you covet, pay attention to just how quickly her fortunes turn around through indirect attacks and social manipulation when she's going through a "rough patch".  As a dude, you're actually pretty lucky.  You don't have to do a thing.  The Matrix will take care of her for you.  The collective weight of their Hamster Wheels will flatten a female rival far quicker than mere out-production.

Oh, if you're a Black Knight you can muddy the waters with a little disinformation mumbled in the right ear, to either hurt or help her ("Cancer?  Funny, I heard she was interviewing for a Director-level position with our biggest competitor." is one that can throw the Matrix into a tizzy, for example.)   While it is generally ungentlemanly and unclassy to bring up a personal issue when competing with a rival, don't forget that Ms. Apple would not hesitate mentioning that she saw your truck in the parking lot of a strip club to your female boss, if she has the chance.

 If you want to pile on, understand that as a male you are not part of the Matrix, but that does not mean you cannot affect the Matrix.  You just have to know how to properly shake the Crab Basket.  The simplest way is to casually mention something intensely personal but still vague enough for masculine plausible deniability.  The fact that you're a dude, and you don't even really understand that there is a Matrix, gives you standing as an information source.  You have some level of credibility just because everyone in the Matrix knows you don't know shit about the rules of the Matrix, so why would your merely-male ass lie to them?  Hamsters supply all the details you need.

So if you really want to fuck with a Ms. Apple's career, the quickest and most direct way is to casually mention a potential indiscretion of hers to pretty much anyone in the Matrix.  Mention just once how you saw her flirt with a married dude to the "wrong" node in the Matrix, and she's toast.  No one in the FSM likes a woman who will flirt with another woman's husband, even if they do so regularly on their own. Unless Ms. Apple is a confirmed lesbian, that's all the rationalization the FSM needs to tear her apart in abstentia.

So be aware of the hazards of the Crab Basket, regardless of your gender.  You can't avoid it.  It's How Things Are, no matter how many feminists rants and sisterhood chants you hear.

Watch what they do.  Not what they say.  That's what will clue you in.