Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The weapons of feminism

The feminist movement has convinced many Americans, especially members of the middle and upper classes, that women, like men, need occupational prestige. An admirable woman earns an advanced degree and works a prestigious job that makes her a lot of money.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that this kind of cultural value system is dysgenic. Children become understood as obstacles to status. A smart women is much more concerned about status and about not ending up a loser with no education and no career, so she is much more motivated than a dull woman to have kids later and to have fewer of them. She is also more aware of how today's behavior affects her future, so she is more cautious and prudent.

So how do contraceptives and abortion figure into this? Both are tools to reduce fertility. The first prevents pregnancy, and the second terminates a pregnancy.  These tools are going to be used to the extent that a woman is motivated to avoid getting pregnant and to avoid having a child, and to the extent that she considers the long-term consequences of her actions.

The data clearly show that the tools of birth control and abortion are used much more frequently by educated women. In this Guttmacher study, researchers showed that women with a college education are much more likely to use contraceptives and to have no gaps in use. Not surprisingly, uneducated females are much more likely to get pregnant.

Like it or not, what this shows is that birth control is dysgenic; it decreases the fertility of the top-half of the population while expanding it among the bottom-half. (I'm not morally opposed to birth control by the way--quite the contrary--but dysgenic is dysgenic.)

I've already shown in a earlier post that, among pregnant women, the educated are much more likely to get an abortion. Faced with a pregnancy that jeopardizes her road to social status, the smart women gets rid of the kid while the untalented girl keeps it.

For a person concerned about the declining quality of our population, the heart of the problem is a culture which tells a gifted woman that if she wants to be somebody she has got to give up having more than one child to pursue a high-status career. But contraception and abortion are the tools given to her to get the job done. They are part of the problem.

Many who are concerned about population quality applaud birth control and abortion because they are  focusing on the fewer births among the bottom-half. The racialist impulse leads some to favor widespread abortion among NAMs. But in their rush, they overlook the fact that the contraceptive/abortion regime works its magic much more on the talented top-half.

The core of problem is that we've been duped into desiring the means rather than the ends. Evolution gave us a hunger for status so we would be able to attract a mate and provide for all those babies. Children were the goal and all the stuff was just the way to get there. Now we worship the means and can't see that it's the humble among us who have all the riches.

Talented people need to get that message, but more on this in another post.

23 comments:

dana said...

For and extremely on point visual description of this phenomenon look at the opening sequence of mike judge's dystopian future comedy "idiocracy":

http://redux.com/stream/item/18940/Idiocracy-Opening-Sequence
you haven't seen it??

FeministX said...

Korea and Japan might be even more dysgenic, and they have less feminism. Japan has mainly been stuck in the 1950s pre second wave feminist era. Their birthrate is very low.

Feminism is dysgenic, but the lack of it might be even more dysgenic at this point. As of now, is there any prosperous free society which isn't dysgenic? People brought up under extreme religious indoctrination and isolation don't count, so that eliminates the Islamists, the Amish and the Orthodox Jews.

And it's not just women.Plenty of men are refusing to settle down and raise children because they would rather lead independant lives as well.

I care about dysgenics, but if my choices are success in a field I really care about vs children, I would choose the former, humanity's future be damned. For a woman, there isn't much point to sacrificing self realization, financial success and prestige for the sake of raising children which will maintain the future of a system which you could never fully enjoy in the first place.

Fortunately, the sacrifice need not be made. The reason for this? hereditary determinism.

Jewish Atheist said...

For a person concerned about the declining quality of our population, the heart of the problem is a culture which tells a gifted woman that if she wants to be somebody she has got to give up having more than one child to pursue a high-status career.

LOL, it's funny to see an HBDer blame something on nurture (culture) that more likely stems from nature. When women are given choices, they tend to choose to have fewer kids. That's not culture, that's just nature. Who wants to pop out 12 kids? Mostly religious fanatics. Who pops out kids unplanned? Mostly people who aren't good about planning ahead.

Blaming it on culture is laughable. "Dysgenic" breeding is a natural consequence of birth control.

Why do I put "dysgenic" in square quotes, by the way? Because it's not really dysgenic. Women having more kids are more "fit" to carry on the species than those who don't. Just because you'd prefer them to be smarter and more responsible doesn't mean that those genes are better. "Dysgenic breeding" is kind of an oxymoron, actually.

FeministX said...

I posted new information about this topic on my blog-

http://feministx.blogspot.com/2009/11/global-decline-in-fertility-rate.html

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

The core of problem is that we've been duped into desiring the means rather than the ends.

Precisely. That's why the only long-term alternative to dysgenic decline is the Genie scenario.

Ray Sawhill said...

Much as I enjoy griping about the excesses of feminism, I'm with Jewish Atheist on this. As people get better educated and more prosperous, they have fewer kids -- are there many exceptions to this rule? I don't know entirely what to make of this, but there it is, and I'm happy enough with the thought that "As people are more and more able to express a preference, that preference often seems to be for fewer kids." In other words, in many (and probably most) cases, it's genuine preference, not brainwashing.

Ray Sawhill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sabril said...

"But in their rush, they overlook the fact that the contraceptive/abortion regime works its magic much more on the talented top-half."

I think you need to draw a distinction between contraception and abortion. The percentage of black pregnancies which are terminated by abortion is astonishingly high.

In any event, although I agree that feminism is part of the problem, I would suggest that there is also a free rider problem at work.

In the past, part of the reason people had children was so that those children would help support and care for them in their old age. Nowadays we have social security so it's tempting for a lot of people to "free ride" by not having children and planning to retire on income produced by other peoples' children.

Just speculating.

silly girl said...

In the discussion of genetics and intelligence, many have noted that intelligence is likely the result of many genes not one. So maybe smart women having fewer kids may only result in fewer smart women. Whereas women of more modest intellect married to smart men will still produce bright boys. Now this may not actually happen, but it seems possible based on what is evident in the slight differences in male and female intelligence distributions. I mean every smart man has a mother and statistically she is likely not as smart as he is. So, if men just follow their instincts and look for young, attractive, kind, loyal women, who then actually produce a few kids, then maybe the interests of everyone will best be served. Low number of offspring from smart men is probably a bigger problem because a higher percentage of smart men will actually work and produce all of their lives. Whereas many of the jobs done by women outside the home don't really need to be done (Michelle Obama's hospital position). Think of the many female professors whose jobs could be eliminated permanently and their classes deleted from degree requirements without negatively impacting the education of students.

sabril said...

Oh, and I agree that part of the reason fertility is declining is that more and more people are living in urban areas. In an urban area, having children is an expensive pain in the (*&^* (not to mention the fact that you are basically shackled to another adult for 20 years or so).

Anonymous said...

FemX,

According to Richard Lynn, Japan's fertility wasn't dysgenic.

FeministX said...

Lynn is alway specious. This paper says:

This study explores the relationship between intelligence and family size in Japan and Sweden. In Japan, there is no relationship, once father's education is controlled for. However, if father's education is not controlled for, then there is a negative relationship between IQ and number of siblings. In Sweden, there is a positive relationship between IQ and fertility only for the male cohort born between 1915 and 1924. The remaining relationships, for both females and males, are neither negative nor positive." (EXCERPT)

Sweden is amongst the most feminist industrialized countries and Japan is one of the least.

rob said...

Damn, we need jobs for dim women that require lots and lots of "education" and time.

For a woman, there isn't much point to sacrificing self realization, financial success and prestige for the sake of raising children...

Perhaps, but JA is right. People are descended from people who have babies(that grow up into adults who have babies). People get vitamin C from the environment, we used to make it ourselves, but lost that ability. Up until a few generations ago, women got environmental pressure to have kids from mothers, mothers-in-law, maybe husbands, liking sex or even liking men who liked sex. Quite possibly, a huge chunk of women have no innate desire to have kids. That variation is now exposed to selection. Women who don't have kids, for any reason at all, are breeding themselves away.

Jewish Atheist, what do you think of HIV and malaria? They're just following evolutionary pressure. There's nothing "bad" about HIV making more copies its DNA is there? Are you indifferent to brocoli vs. poison ivy?

People, like anything else with genes, are bred. Dysgenics is proliferation of traits we don't want. Is that hard? Mexicans vote with their feet to live around fewer Mexicans: pretty good evidence that they prefer traits that are more in whites but not in Mexicans.

Black Sea said...

Jewish Atheist should perhaps change his internet moniker to "Social Darwinist." Why do I put "Social Darwinist" in scare quotes . . .

Scrutineer said...

The core of problem is that we've been duped into desiring the means rather than the ends. Evolution gave us a hunger for status so we would be able to attract a mate and provide for all those babies. Children were the goal and all the stuff was just the way to get there.

In other words: Genes that make it more likely for us to reproduce are themselves more likely to be reproduced. Therefore I should make it my goal to pass on my genes to offspring.

Do you see that the premise doesn't entail the conclusion? Even if evolution could be said to have a "goal" for me, that doesn't mean I should play along.

Jewish Atheist said...

All:

I didn't mean to imply that breeding for less intelligence and foresight are *good* things -- I'm just pointing out that they might be superior from an evolutionary standpoint. So the term "dysgenic" is a little misleading.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing misleading about dysgenics. The whole notion of eugenics is based on the fact that natural selection doesn't always favor traits that we find normatively preferable.

B.B.

Jewish Atheist said...

Yeah, maybe I was being too (or wrongly) pedantic. Sorry.

It does raise interesting questions about what we value and why, though. Many of the commenters here seem to value virtually no traits beyond IQ and perhaps industriousness and foresight. Warmth, gregariousness, sexual attractiveness and enthusiasm, artistic abilities... they all kind of get lost in the shuffle of advocating for the WASPy ideal of boring, steady, and responsible.

They act like the whole left side (or left third or left two-thirds) of the IQ bell curve is absolutely worthless and without value as human beings.

Logical Girl said...

Good god, Silly Girl, you are possibly even more reactionary than Mr. Inductivist himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took that as a compliment. You are essentially using the underutilization of intelligent women in “productive” fields to argue that they can be eliminated.


"In the discussion of genetics and intelligence, many have noted that intelligence is likely the result of many genes not one. So maybe smart women having fewer kids may only result in fewer smart women. Whereas women of more modest intellect married to smart men will still produce bright boys."

Of course it’s true that there are many intelligence-influencing genes. But your conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. For it to be true, intelligence-influencing genes would have to be inherited in a sex-lineage-specific manner, or at least be expressed in such a manner. Perhaps you are assuming that same-sex parent-offspring heritability is higher than opposite-sex parent-offspring heritability. Even if that is true, the fertility of smart women will still impact the number of smart men in the next generation. Apparently, there are intelligence-influencing genes on the X-chromosome, but since they are inherited in a roughly zig-zag pattern, the result might be the very opposite of the one you postulate.


"I mean every smart man has a mother and statistically she is likely not as smart as he is."

Yes, but so what? The truth value of your statement cannot be used to argue that sons are on average smarter than their mothers; but even if they are, that doesn’t mean that sons don’t inherit intelligence from their mothers. The phenomenon that you are referring to is a result of regression toward the mean. The parents of high-IQ people are on average less intelligent than they are. Conversely, the parents of low-IQ people are on average more intelligent than they are. You are cherry-picking your examples to arrive at the conclusion that you are already invested in. The father of a smart man is also likely not as smart as he is, the father of a smart woman is likely not as smart as she is, the mother of a dull man is likely smarter than he is, etc.


"Low number of offspring from smart men is probably a bigger problem because a higher
percentage of smart men will actually work and produce all of their lives. Whereas many of the jobs done by women outside the home don't really need to be done (Michelle Obama's hospital position)."

Wait, are you actually admitting, in a rather roundabout way, that Michelle Obama is smart? In any case, you are generalizing from one example, and your example includes a confounding factor: that her job entailed the promotion of diversity, which I assume you’re not very fond of. If Michelle Obama didn’t exist, a man would have gladly taken her position. In fact, there are plenty of men in those kinds of positions. Besides, if those jobs are so useless, how come men complain about women
taking “their” jobs through affirmative action? Also, it would behoove you to realize that smart women were behind many homemaking inventions.


“Think of the many female professors whose jobs could be eliminated permanently and their classes deleted from degree requirements without negatively impacting the education of students.”

Because most professors are men, I can think of even more male professors whose jobs could be eliminated permanently and their classes deleted from degree requirements without negatively impacting the education of students.

FeministX said...

Logical Girl, please come to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Silly Girl makes a good point that a great many female jobs are essentially just busywork. Discrimination and AA laws require companies to maintain a veneer of gender parity even if it means hiring unproductive women. Not to mention that the workforce of the useless diversitocracies and the rest of the government bureacracies are overwhelmingly female.

I also completely agree with this statement: "In the past, part of the reason people had children was so that those children would help support and care for them in their old age. Nowadays we have social security so it's tempting for a lot of people to "free ride" by not having children and planning to retire on income produced by other peoples' children."

Advanced societies have collectivized reproduction, so that people can leave the duty of reproducing to others. Unsurprisingly, this created problems especially when collectivist redistribution and "safety net" programs are taken into account. Homosexuals and barren couples have no incentive to perpetuate a healthy society that lasts beyond their lifetime, which leads to the kind of short-sighted implosion that many Western countries are experiencing now.

Anonymous said...

Additionally, the need to include women can undermine the effectiveness of entire professions - police, firefighters, soldiers, seamen, and various other physically intense jobs. And including women in medicine has not resulted in any more doctors - it just redistributed the available jobs. Then when those women doctors have a tendency to quit early, work fewer hours, and concentrate in a few narrow specialties, it causes harm to the overall productivity of the profession.

Anonymous said...

"doctors... redistubuted the available jobs"

So what if it did? Believe it or not, the medical field does not let just anybody in. This means that if women doctors were hired for doctor job positions, they beat out competing men for those jobs. The women were more skilled and more qualified for those jobs. People that are turned down for a purely skill-based job have zero right to complain. If they were turned down and someone else was chosen over them, that means that that someone was better qualified. Competition is a reality, and nobody has any "right" to any job.

It is simply foolhardy to sit on ones' derriere and complain that that job was "supposed to be mine" or that some up-and-coming-little newcomer "took away my job." Well, if you want that job so badly, then go back to training or education or what have you, and improve.