Posts Tagged ‘all slopes are slippery’

All slopes are slippery

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Just as overt discrimination against blacks was replaced with overt discrimination against whites with no intervening period of neutrality, when people opposed the double standard and started socially enforcing chastity on men, they abandoned social enforcement of chastity on women.

In the social world, everything is a feedback loop, and all slopes are slippery. The resulting equilibria rarely involve “equality.”

Either men are morally superior to women, and women’s sexuality is restricted, or women are morally superior to men, and male sexuality is restricted. Someone is always in charge, both at the societal level, and at the individual level.

The only time someone is not in charge is when the two sides don’t know each other very well, and don’t know how hard they can push. This is why dating is a process of the woman figuring out what she can get away with. They want to progress to the power shakeup so they know who is in charge.

Once someone wins an initial dispute, and gets defined as the party with the most valid needs (or greatest grievances), then their moral superiority turns into power. Once the first Schelling Point has been crossed, it’s very hard for the losing party to hold other Schelling Points, and will lose as much ground as the culture/subculture allows and the virtue of the winning party (e.g. upper class, lower class, and feminist women will take different amounts of flesh if they win at moral superiority).

Once one Schelling point goes, there can be no natural equilibrium at some new, nearby Schelling point.  The new equilibrium is not a new stationary Schelling point near the old, but rather is unending retreat.   Retreat under fire always turns to total rout.

One possibility would be to give both men and women moral status in different spheres of society. This seems like it could work, but isn’t it what the Victorians tried? Women were given great prestige and moral authority in the home and education, but that moral authority expanded, as Mencken makes clear. Women’s moral sphere got bigger and bigger until eventually it swallowed the male sphere, and we now have Codes of Conduct in tech.

Blacks and whites could separate, and be in some sense equal if apart.  But men and women need to be together, and being different, either men will rule women, or women rule men, and for obvious biological reasons women ruling men does not work very well.