Saturday, 23 November 2019

The "National Geographic's" Gone All PC Again

      The National Geographic is lucky I have a subscription, because I wouldn't have purchased the November 2019 issue if I'd seen it on the magazine stands. The National Geographic, as you no doubt aware, functions to introduce its readers to interesting geographic sites around the world. This mission has permitted them to include such fields as wildlife, archaeology, and prehistoric life into their ambit. Occasionally, they have gone off onto tangents: such as discussions on chocolate, the sense of smell, and the King James Bible, all of which were nevertheless worth reading. But in February 2017 issue they lost the plot completely with an issue devoted to "gender". This month they have done it again, and devoted the issue to "Women".
      To be fair, there are a couple of useful geographic articles in it - such as the one about the women who patrol the streets of New Delhi to make it safe, and "Rwanda's renewal by women", where they hold 60% of parliamentary seats. (What's wrong with Rwandan men that they aren't prepared to run for office?) Also, the data it provides are more sensible that in the "gender" issue - not that that is a hard bench mark to cross! Some of them you can actually agree with.
     Nevertheless, the issue is basically political, not geographic - and politically biased as well. It includes a section on prominent women's contributions, more reminiscent of Time's periodic profiles of leaders. One of these is astrophysicist Rebecca Oppenheimer, who is actually a trans woman. "Though her body looked male, her childhood self-portraits showed a girl named Rebecca." She transitioned in 2014 although, as she put it, "I like to say I stopped pretending to be a boy." Now, I have previously related my experience with transsexuals. If Dr Oppenheimer is now legally a woman, I am prepared to go along with the legal fiction. But there is something wrong with the way the magazine describes this as if it were  perfectly normal. Also, surely it is grotesque that they hold up as an example of feminine achievement a "woman" who is really a man, especially since most of his achievements would have been made while he was still legally male?
     But where the magazine really loses the plot, and turns into simply a politico-social issue, is the six multi-page sections entitled, "Speak Up", where multiple prominent women provide answers to such questions as "What is you greatest strength?" and "What needs to change in the next 10 years?" It's a pity they didn't ask: "What has this got to do with the mission of the National Geographic Society?
     What makes it bad even from a socio-political perspective is that it never engages with any alternative opinions. Just as the "gender" issue never discussed mental illness or suggested that transition might be dangerous, the present issue assumes, without any suggestion to the contrary, that the feminist position is not only obviously right; it is the only one which exists.
      Thus, the statistic on the number of national legislative seats held by women. What is the point? Do they think Parliament exists in order to provide careers for politicians, or to represent the people? If the latter, do they think only women can represent women? If so, why should the other half of the human race vote for them?
      People who talk about "gender equality" don't really mean it. They think they do, but they really mean that feminine lifestyles are inferior, and that the only way that women can be "equal" is to adopt masculine lifestyles. I have provided examples elsewhere as to how this unconscious assumption is embedded in the whole feminist outlook. So what about this statistic on page 108?
43% of women - compared with 23% of men - in the U.S. have taken at least a year off with no earnings, usually to tend a child or provide other caregiving, says the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Census Bureau data show women make 80 cents for every dollar men make. But when the institute  factored in women's time away from full-time work in a 15-year period, the gap widened to 49 cents for each dollar.
     Good heavens! Where do these people get the idea that men and women live separate lives? Do they think that husbands spend all their earnings on themselves while their wives are left to spend their (49%) earnings on themselves? They ought to look up the word, hyergamy. Only as a last resort will a woman marry, or even date, a man socially or financially inferior. The reason for women's lower earnings is that they marry men who can support them while they do feminine things, like taking care of children.
     The fundamental feminist fallacy - that women must adopt masculine lifestyles - is never questioned. Thus, the article on women in the military assumes that it is somehow a good thing, and not an outrage, nor is their any mention of the sexual assaults and sexual scandals involved, or the chicanery involved in addressing women's physical weakness. All we have is a female marine saying: "Women learn weakness. We can also unlearn it." Yeah, right!
     Likewise, the writer of the article on women in science has apparently never heard of the gender paradox:  the fact that, as societies become more gender equal in their policies, men and women adopt different careers. Or, to put it another way, if you equalise culture, it allows biological differences to come to the fore. Thus, page 117 provides a graph of the U.S. workplace representation of the sexes. We learn that science in general, and biology in particular, has the same proportion of women as the workplace average. However, the average female participation for health workers is 72.6%, rising to 97.1% for dental hygienists. It is not suggested that this is a bad thing, or that they choose these careers because they are not allowed into others. However, common sense should tell you that if women are over-represented in some fields, they must be under-represented in others: such as engineering, which is only 15.9% female. For some reason, this is supposed to be a bad thing. The author discusses some high profile sexual harassment cases, but surely no-one suggests that hosts of women are applying for engineering careers, then dropping out due to bad experiences? (In fact, there is actual bias against men in STEM!) Why can't they just accept that men and women are different, and choose different careers?
     The whole tenor of the issue is set by the first essay, "Why the future should be female". Complete with several pages of huge feminist posters, it adopts without question the fundamental feminist assumption: that feminine lifestyles are inferior, and so they must become more masculine.
So why do men hold more power than women today? Why does gender inequality persist? The explanation is so often: It's just the way it's always been. That's simply not good enough.
     Sorry, madam, but it is. If something is universal, and has been around as long as human memory runs, it usually means it is hard wired in our genes. Not only is patriarchy universal in human society, and always has been, but it is the default position in monkey and ape societies. It's not going away any time soon. In fact, in mixed company women become quieter, less assertive, and more compliant because, as a woman sociologist has shown, deferential women are more likely to get husbands. But why go back to evolutionary history when we only have to look around us? The most popular genre of fiction, amounting to 40% of mass market paperbacks, is love stories. The readership is almost wholly female, and they all feature alpha males. Feminist publishers tried to get their authors to write more gender equal plots, but it didn't work. The authors didn't want to write them, and the readers didn't want to read them. And what is the most successful pornographic novel of all time? Fifty Shades of Grey! Who would have thought that a story about a woman being subjugated and abused would be written by a woman, promoted by women reviewers, be read mostly by women, and would sell 125 million copies? So don't try arguing it's not hard wired in our genes.
     Some advice to the publishers: your magazine is called National Geographic, not National Political. We buy it because we want to vicariously visit exotic foreign localities. If we want to read biased feminist propaganda we can do it for free on the internet.