A Question of Violence: The Problem of Coed Dominance Hierarchies

A Question of Violence: The Problem of Coed Dominance Hierarchies

Jordan Peterson’s recent interview with Camille Paglia contained this gemstone of an insight:

Here’s the problem: I know how to stand up to a man, who’s unfairly trespassed against me, and the reason I know that is because the parameters for my resistance are quite well-defined, which is, we talk, we argue, we push, and then it becomes physical. If we move beyond the boundaries of civil discourse, we know what the next step is. That’s forbidden in discourse with women, so I don’t think men can control crazy women. I really don’t believe it. I think they have to throw their hands up in… it’s not even disbelief. There’s no step forward that you can take under those circumstances, because if the man is offensive enough and crazy enough, the reaction becomes physical right away, or at least the threat is there. And when men are talking to each other in any serious manner, that underlying threat of physicality is always there, especially if it’s a real conversation, and it keeps the thing civilized to some degree. If you’re talking to a man who wouldn’t fight with you under any circumstances whatsoever, then you’re talking to someone to whom you have absolutely no respect.

But I can’t see any way–for example, there’s a woman in Toronto who’s been organizing this movement against me and some other people who were going to do a free speech event, and she managed to organize quite effectively, and she’s quite offensive, you might say. She compared us to Nazis, for example, publicly, using the swastika, which wasn’t really something I was all that fond of. But I’m defenseless against that kind of female insanity, because the techniques that I would use against a man who was employing those tactics are forbidden to me.

If this line of reasoning sounds familiar, it may be because you heard Jack Donovan say something along these lines:

Men worry more about offending women, so they filter their conversations differently. Competition with females is always a net loss of honor for men, so men tend to “give way” when women show up to compete with them. Co-ed competition becomes less serious and therefore less exciting.

There are three logical outcomes. One, that hitting women becomes culturally acceptable. Two, that women are excluded from the conversation. Three, violence is taken off the table.

Off the bat, the choice may seem obvious, but how much violence are we really willing to take away? Civilization itself is built on violence, and law itself is structured violence. Is it really so bad to get beaten up for defaming someone, when the alternative could include jail-time?

If violence goes away, then honor goes away. Serious conversation goes away, for the reasons Jordan Peterson described. And, as I’ve argued elsewhere, love goes away.

In any case, how would you enforce a rejection of violence? The third option is not an option at all, but a dream. Either the rules of violence apply to women, or the respect given to men in serious conversations–which is derived from their willingness to potentially endure violence–does not apply to women.

This may sound like a decision women have to make, but men are participants in the conversation too, and recipients of the consequences. Men protect women, and have defended women’s honor. They still do today, sometimes effectively, and sometimes not. More to the point, men have an intrinsic desire to protect women. Perhaps they can be persuaded not to, but this natural inclination has to be accounted for in the equation of violence that determines respect in debate, civil or otherwise.

We as a culture–men and women–are going to have to decide which path we take. If the sane women can get together, as Peterson suggests, and rein in the insane women, and do so for the rest of time, then we can continue on in the generally integrated society we have. However, this seems unlikely for two reasons: first, as Peterson observed, sane women are usually busy doing sane things, like taking care of their families, working, and other ordinary things. The best ones can’t be bothered to police the most neurotic and controlling elements of their gender, as men are required to do of the most violent and predatory of theirs; men are the majority of violent criminals, and make up the majority of the incarcerated by a broad margin (arrested and held, of course, by other men).

Second of all, the women who might be inclined to do so are working against the weight of female opinion generally:

Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.
–Michelle Obama, Sept 27, 2017

The crazies are already running the asylum.

Perhaps we can institute a more structured kind of female social police, to control the insane women in our society? This sounds Orwellian on its face, and already seems compromised by the Hillaries and Michelles, but it may be the only alternative to the acceptability of violence against women or more severe exclusion. The founding theory of virtue in the Western tradition holds that only by cultivating personal character can the necessary authority of the state be curtailed. This cultivation of personal virtue simply has not happened in at least three generations, and the breakdown in conversation will rip our nation apart if we do not begin to take matters of honor, respect, and civility seriously again.

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