Incentives and Man-Woman Relationships
I've been called everything from feminist to misogynist, and mostly these statements say more about people saying them than they do about me. I am neither for nor against either women or men. The world will always have both, and we will always see good and bad choices made by both.
I am for the better choices that stand to be made by both.
I am for men being good to women and for women being good to men.
And I am against men being unwilling to be good to women and against women being unwilling to be good to men.
I work here with the concept of incentives, gained from economics. Incentives refer to the balance of rewards and punishments in the economy. The point in economics is to arrange incentives in such a way as to reward positive outcomes such as creation of wealth and punish fraudulent and destructive practices. The same concept can and should be used in social studies as well.
While man-on-woman ugliness is generally worse around the world than woman-on-man ugliness, there are places where it is the other way around. One of these places is American academia and the liberal city cultures that are influenced by it the most. And my concern is that the men who are willing to be good to women tend to get appropriated by these misandrist cultures, and their attention is denied to women who are willing to be good to their male partners. Which women, with men of goodwill having been appropriated by women of misandrist persuasion, have nowhere to go to except men who are brutal, misogynistic, and worse.
This results in a very perverse and unjust state of affairs, in which the women who are willing to be good to men - and the men who are willing to be good to women - wind up in situations of abuse or exploitation, while the women who are not willing to be good to men wind up matriarchs, and the men who are not willing to be good to women wind up tyrants.
And this creates an inverted set of incentives that rewards the evil and punishes the good.
Really, which woman deserves better treatment: the one who is willing to be good to her male partner or the one who isn't? For that matter, which man deserves better treatment: the one who is willing to be good to his female partner or the one who is not?
Should Taliban creeps be treated better by their wives than liberal city men in America?
And should the harpies of the politically correct persuasion be treated better than warm and beautiful women all around the world?
Some see only man-on-woman injustices and want feminism, and others see only woman-on-man malfeasance and want patriarchy. But I look at the whole picture, and what I see is wrongdoing by both sides. Basically, they both have a false concept of what is justice. One side sees anything a man might do that might upset a woman as criminal (and nothing a woman might do that might hurt a man as any kind of wrongdoing), and the other sees brutality and oppression against women as the divinely ordained way of life.
Both sides are in the wrong. I define justice as getting what you give. If a man chooses to be terrible to his woman, or if a woman chooses to be terrible to her man, then justice means having that person lose. Whereas a man who chooses to be good to his woman, like a woman who chooses to be good to her man, deserves to win out.
This of course pits me against the wrongdoers on both sides of the debate; but it is a stance that holds out a promise for everyone except these wrongdoers. The more men are encouraged to be good to women - and rewarded with good relationships when they are - the more men will see hope and promise in being good to women, and the more men will be good to their female partners. The more women are encouraged to be good to men - and rewarded with good relationships when they are - the more women will see such hope and promise and will act accordingly. The incentives on both genders will be to be good to their partners. And this will result in more good done by people of both genders to one another, creating a vastly superior way of life.
Right now the incentives are completely wrong. The Taliban and other brutal men get complete obedience from their warm and loving wives, whom they treat absolutely horribly, while liberal city men who believe in gender equality get attacked and mistreated by cold and abusive women. The women of ill will appropriate the men of goodwill, denying their attention to women of goodwill and leaving the women of goodwill with no choice but brutes and misogynists. Goodwill on both sides gets punished and exploited; ill will on both sides runs the show. And this is bad for everyone except the people of ill will themselves.
Of course, the more women are in situations of abuse, the more the practicioners of political correctness - who are themselves misogynists in everything except the name and believe themselves to be better than other women - can lord it over the other women, especially the ones nicer and prettier. And the more well-intentioned men are being mistreated by women, the stronger grows the case for the misogynistic men who can come to them and say that they have been right about women all along. This, once again, empowers wrongdoers on both sides while making life ugly for everyone who is not these wrongdoers. And that is a terrible direction into which to take the world.
It makes sense to neither support nor attack either men or women. It makes sense to support men and women who are willing to act rightfully, and it makes sense to confront men and women who choose to act wrongly. In matters of man-woman relationships, this means supporting the men and the women who are willing to be good to their partners and confronting the men and the women who are not.
The more incentives for being good to one's partner, and the more disincentives for being bad to one's partner, the more people will treat their partners better.
And that will result in a better world both for women and for men.