I said a few weeks back that I would publically precommit to going a week without politics. Well, I partially succeeded, in that I did start reading for example an SSC article on politics because it popped up in my RSS feed, but I stopped when I remembered that I was ignoring politics. The main thing is I managed to avoid any long timewasting sessions of reading about politics on the net. And I think this has partially broken some bad habits of compulsive web browsing I was developing.

So next I think I shall avoid all stupid politics for a month. No facebook or reddit, but perhaps one reasonably short and high-quality article on politics per day. Speaking of which, can anyone recommend any short, intelligent, rational writings on feminism for instance? My average exposure to anti-feminist thought is fairly intelligent, while my average exposure to pro-feminist thought is "How can anyone disagree with me? Don't they realise that their opinions are just wrong? Women can be firefighters and viking warriors! BTW, could you open this jar for me, I'm not strong enough." And this imbalance is not good from a rationalist POV. I am especially interested whether feminists have tackled the argument that if feminists have fewer children, then all the genes that predispose one to being feminist (and to anything else that corrlates) will be selected against. I mean, this isn't a concern for people who think that the singularity is near(tm) or who don't care what happens a few generations in the future, but I doubt either of these apply to many feminists, or people in general.

if feminists have fewer children, then all the genes that predispose one to being feminist (and to anything else that corrlates) will be selected against

That applies to homosexuality in spades, and yet gay people haven't been washed out of populations.

By the way, keep in mind that "feminist" is not a very precise label. In particular, there is a rather large difference between the first-wave feminists (e.g. Camille Paglia) and third-wave feminists (e.g. Lena Dunham, I guess?). They don't like each other at all.

0dogiv3yI haven't seen any feminists addressing that particular argument (most are concerned with cultural issues rather than genetic ones) but my initial sense is something like this: a successful feminist society would have 1) education and birth control easily available to all women, and 2) a roughly equal division of the burden of child-rearing between men and women. These changes will remove most of the current incentives that seem likely to cause a lower birth rate among feminists than non-feminists. Of course, it could remain true that feminists tend to be more educated, more independent, less traditional, etc--traits that might correlate with reduced desire for children. However, I suspect we already have that issue (for both men and women) entirely separately from feminism. Some highly-educated countries try to increase fertility with tax incentives and ad campaigns (Denmark, for instance) but I'm not sure how successful it is. In the end the only good solution to such Malthusian problems may be genetic engineering.
0knb3yThere are some intelligent and interesting heterodox feminists who spend a lot of their time criticizing mainstream or radical feminist positions. I could recommend them to you, and you would probably like some of what they have to say, but then you wouldn't really be challenging your current notions and wouldn't be getting the strongest defenses of current feminist thought. I'm not a feminist (or a marxist) but I do remember being impressed by the thoughtfulness and clarity of Friedrich Engels' The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State when I read it back in college.

Open Thread, March. 6 - March 12, 2017

by Elo 1 min read6th Mar 2017158 comments


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