Tuesday, February 02, 2010


How conservative is The American Scene? Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes in Will Wilkinson wants more people to be more like Will Wilkinson:

I don’t know about anyone else, but ever since I got married, I think a lot about women, and the role women play in society. Because of my wife, of course, but most importantly, because of the daughters I will one day (inch’Allah) have.

Every time I think about women, or “women’s issues”, I think about my daughters.

We lived for centuries in a world where technology and culture limited women’s possibilities. But sadly today, in the West, the most limiting factor in women’s economic fortunes is women themselves. For example, women without children have the same salaries as their male counterparts.

The idea that my daughters might, for just one second in their life, think that their potential is less than that of a man, that their horizons might be limited, fills me with a mixture of pain, sadness and fury.

Shirky’s post addresses this by calling on women to level the playing field with men. What I liked most about it is that it’s pragmatic. It doesn’t put forward a grand theory of gender backed by partial studies in neurology or genetics or psychology or cognition or astrology. It simply draws simple lessons from everyday observations: women don’t do nearly as much as men to advance themselves, and they should. EDIT: Nor does Shirky claim that this would solve all the problems women face in the workplace. But it’s a good starting place.

And he concludes:

So yes, actually, women need to man up. You don’t show up with a knife for a gunfight.

And I intend to equip my daughters with rocket launchers.

Women have the same potential as men, and should behave like men in order to realize that potential.

Contrast with recente discussions at WWWTW and The Thinking Housewife.

I had been taking a look at The American Scene from time to time because Daniel Larison was a contributor in the past, and the website was supposed to be a place for voices of an alternate conservatism. Alas it turns out the conservatism of many of its contributors is not much different from what mainstream Republicans believe.

So few are the voices that defend a more traditional view of the relations between men and women (and the authority of the husband in the familiy) that one can become easily dismayed. What sort of reaction will radical feminism provoke in the future, if the government continues to enforce it as an ideology of justice?

1 comment:

Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

I have a daughter and such thoughts have never occurred to me.

All that talk of "women need[ing] to man up" and "equip[ping] my daughters with rocket launchers" reminds me that what passes for "conservative thought" is nothing more than tough-guy posturing.

"Women have the same potential as men, and should behave like men in order to realize that potential." How pathetic!