Sunday, December 10, 2017

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary...and Weed?

It is well-known that Women have been making increasing inroads in numerous industries over the past few decades, including traditionally male-dominated ones.  But one that is really starting to stand out is the fledgling but rapidly growing legal cannabis industry.   Both in its humble beginnings as the medical market and its latest incarnation as the recreational market in more and more states, more and more Women are taking advantage of this amazing business opportunity as "ganjapreneurs" and challenging outdated stereotypes at the same time as well.  What better time than now?

Contrast this with the black market under the ever-fading relic of cannabis prohibition.  There is a reason why so many people refer to their dealer as their "guy"--it is largely a sausage fest for the most part.  That is mainly because Women are on average more risk-averse than men, and illegal drug dealing of any sort is a very risky business.  But when it is legal, the difference is like day and night in terms of risk, so more Women are getting involved.  And at this rate, it won't be long before they take this industry over as well.

Who would have thought that cannabis would be such an engine of female empowerment?  Actually, it is really not that surprising, given the history (or should I say, HERstory) of herbal medicine in general--and this one is no exception.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

"No Nation Is Lecherous, Where Sex Is Abundant"

Thomas Jefferson once famously said, "No nation is drunken where wine is cheap".  That quote is often misinterpreted rather literally, as a call for very low or no taxes on alcoholic beverages in general.  And such contextomy also ignores the very next clause of the same sentence in which it is uttered: "...and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits [i.e. hard liquor] as the common beverage."  Yes, wine was actually more expensive than whiskey in early 19th century America.  Of course, we know now that alcohol is alcohol is alcohol, period, and that reams upon reams of research evidence have proven time and again that, all else being equal, higher alcohol prices (regardless of beverage type) generally lead to fewer alcohol-related deaths, injuires, diseases, crimes, and problems in general, along with less overall consumption of such beverages.  So much so that the new saying nowadays is, "Alcohol is no ordinary commodity".

But what about the "cost" of sex?  Fraught as that issue clearly is, many armchair pundits have indeed attempted to answer that question.  Indeed, one of my previous articles, "What Is the Ideal Sex Ratio", attempted to answer that very question.  As we know, all else being equal, the relative "cost" of sex (from the perspective of men) is inversely proportional to the relative abundance of Women in a given population, due to the laws of supply and demand.  Such an idea formed the basis of the book "Date-onomics" by Jon Birger.  And many research papers have also been written about the various pros and cons of high and low sex ratios, many of which can be browsed from the links on my previous article from several months ago.

My general thesis is that a low sex ratio (i.e. a high number of Women relative to men) is overall the most mutually beneficial for everyone on balance.  And I also tend to argue against any sort of artificial scarcity of sexuality (with the notable exception of a Lysistrata-style sex strike, which is a short-term tactic, not a long-term strategy).  We all saw what happened in the Victorian era, after all.  An entire social movement was spearheaded to make sex as "costly" as possible for both men and Women in spite of there being a surplus of Women.  The result?  Prostitution and human trafficking, including of children, exploded--to the point where a whopping one in twenty Women was involved in prostitution at any given time back then (versus less than one in 300 today).  And the notoriously lecherous Ancient Romans had quite a relative scarcity of Women, need I say more?

That would seem to be saying, "No nation is lecherous, where sex is cheap" (or rather  "abundant", since "cheap" can have a pejorative connotation especially in reference to sex) idea whose sentiment apparently underlies the recent iconoclastic book "Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.  And the books detractors will predictably, well, detract.  But there is a major nuance that unfortunately gets glossed over by both sides of the debate.  That is, the fundamental difference between male-defined sexuality versus female-defined sexuality is all too often overlooked.

Under patriarchy, male-defined sexuality is the gold standard of sexuality, to the point where most men and even most Women are unaware that there is any alternative.  Most sex, both commercial and non-commercial, follows this paradigm, often unconsciously, to the point where it is downright banal.  Even when completely consensual, the taint of this paradigm is very difficult to remove.  And in an obliquely similar fashion to Jefferson's quote, regardless of the overall "cost" of sex in general, patriarchy has managed to make female-defined sexuality that much more costly (and rare) relative to male-defined sexuality.  And artificial scarcity has a flip side of artificial abundance, a kind that conveniently benefits men at the expense of Women.  From slut-shaming to the virgin-whore dichotomy to sexual violence to victim-blaming to double standards, this evil system has essentially left us all with the worst of all worlds.  A truly negative-sum game.

When Women are truly liberated, both sexually and otherwise, female-defined sexuality will be the norm (and thus abundant), while male-defined sexuality will in turn become scarce (as few Women would want to participate).  And the best thing about it is that the whole toxic and outmoded "commodity model" of sexuality--in which sex is seen as something that men "take" from Women and for which Women must be "gatekeepers" lest their value as human beings be diminished--will be jettisoned under a feminine paradigm of sexuality.  And that is really the only way to resolve the inherent contradictions of Date-onomics.

Thus, one can paraphrase Jefferson yet again as such, and make the case that female-defined sexuality is, in truth, the only antidote to the bane of male-defined sexuality.   So what does female-defined sexuality actually look like in practice?  As a man, I obviously cannot define it--but I know it when I see it.  Let the planetary healing begin!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Is This The Tipping Point?

We are now in what I like to call a "post-Harvey world" or a "post-Weinstein" world.  Ever since disgraced Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein was finally exposed as a serial sexual harasser and assaulter, if not a full-blown rapist as well, numerous Women (and a few men as well) recently came forward against so many other male celebrities and politicians accusing them of various reprehensible acts on the sexual harassment/assault spectrum.  The hashtag campaign #MeToo has gone viral.  Thus it certainly seems like something has indeed changed within a matter of weeks.

Of course, predatory male behavior (and male-pattern violence in general) towards Women and children is sadly nothing new, and has been going on for thousands of years.  Ever since the advent of patriarchy, it has been going on to one degree or another in nearly all cultures.  But now it seems to finally be getting some long-overdue attention, and perhaps the proverbial dam has finally broken.  For the first time in history it seems, at least a significant chunk of Americans are actually starting to give the victims/survivors the benefit of the doubt rather than reflexively pillory them and automatically side with the accused, as has been the standard heretofore.  Time will tell whether this groundswell is a short-term flash in the pan or the tipping point of far more enduring and fundamental change to our society, but I believe it is at least the start of the latter.  Perhaps this may even accelerate the fall of the patriarchy.  Although, until the biggest elephant in the room--the one in the White House--is removed from power and actually faces justice for his misdeeds, my optimism will nonetheless remain cautious.

Note also that the term "post-Harvey" also has a double meaning as well.  Hurricane Harvey (and Irma and Maria) is (hopefully) a different, though related, sort of wake-up call as well.  There is indeed a connection between men's rape and abuse of Women on the one hand, and our collective rape and abuse of the Earth on the other.  And both are the primary causes of the existential crisis in which humanity (and all life in fact) is currently mired.  In other words, "#MeToo," said Mother Earth. "#MeToo."

Sunday, October 29, 2017

2030: The Final Countdown

Let's face it, fellas.  Women are taking over, and it will likely happen sooner than you think.  So few men seem to see it coming, despite the fact that we are increasingly becoming the redundant half of humanity.  But there are several reasons for my prediction that Women will take over around 2030 in the USA at least, and likely by 2050 worldwide:
  • Women have already crossed the proverbial Rubicon in terms of education.  Since the 1990s, there have been more Women than men earning college degrees each year.  Women now outnumber men on most college campuses, and since 2010 there are now more total Women than men who possess college degrees in this country.
  • Not coincidentally, in a growing number of cities, single women in their twenties and early thirties are out-earning men, in spite of the overall gender wage gap in general. Women are well on their way to becoming the richer gender.
  • The number of Women in high-powered careers continues to rise, especially for CEOs.
  • Automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) are predicted to eventually take most if not all jobs from workers by 2060, and a large chunk of which taken by 2030.  This is especially true for traditionally "male" jobs, meaning that men will be hit the hardest and soonest by such trends.
  • Men, on the other hand, continue to lag behind, and are getting poorer with each generation these days.  And as the saying goes, whoever has the gold makes the rules.
  • And last but not least, we have demographic trends as well.  Thanks to Women today living longer as well as having fewer kids than in the past, the population is aging, and soon the Crones (older Women) will have an unprecedented amount of power due to strength in numbers.  No wonder so many men, especially conservatives, are scared of "demographic winter".
  • Millennial Women will be starting to enter the Crone stage of life from 2030 on, in fact.
  • And while there will be a surplus of Women in general relative to men in general, and thus more strength in numbers, there will also be a shortage of younger Women relative to slightly older men by 2030 due to the fairly steep drop in birthrates since the Great Recession began in 2008, thus increasing the dyadic bargaining power of younger Women as well.  Such a one-two punch rarely happens, but when it does, it can be quite significant, especially when combined with the above trends as well.
Thus, 2030 seems to be the most likely time for the better half of humanity to reclaim their rightful position as the new leaders of the free world.  And Millennial Women will be the first generation to take over.  Of course, even if Women were to take over the entire world tomorrow, it would still take many more generations after that to finally heal the world from thousands of years of patriarchy, which is no easy task.  But the key step of the initial takeover is already under way, no matter how few see it coming--in fact, that's partly why it will be so effective.  Soon men will be begging Women to take over, even if only in the hopes of men getting a bailout. 

And when Women do finally take over, they will remember how they were treated, so it really behooves us fellas to clean up our act yesterday.  This last point absolutely cannot be overstated, for we all know what they say about karma.

Like the song says, it's the final countdown...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Women Are Indeed Higher Beings

A recent scientific study on gender difference confirms what we in the Matriarchy movement have already known, and thinkers like Ashley Montagu have discussed over half a century ago:  Women are indeed the better half of humanity.

This study, consisting of behavioral experiments conducted by neuroscientists, find that not only are Women more likely to be generous and men more likely to be selfish, but that there is a neurological explanation for such differences.  To wit, Women's brains tend to reward prosocial (unselfish) behavior where as men's brains tend to reward selfish behavior.  The brain's reward center (the striatum, which releases a hit of dopamine as the reward) was found to differentially activated in that regard in these experiments.  Thus, at a neurological level, Women are essentially rewarded for kindness, while men are rewarded for being jerks.  Gee, who woulda thunk it?

Of course, the perennial "nature versus nurture" question inevitably comes into play here, and the researchers predictably conclude that their findings are more likely due to nurture than nature.  But I believe that it is, at the very least, a bit of both, if not more nature than nurture, as any explanation for the findings that relies entirely on nurture really seems to merely coast toward such a conclusion.

Thus, this study should lend support to the idea that Women are likely much better leaders than men, and that their feminine paradigm of leadership would be superior as well.   And any economy run by Women is likely to eventually tend toward a gift economy rather than an exchange economy like we have now under patriarchy.  Remember, the literal meaning of "community" is "free sharing of gifts" in the original Latin.  So what are we waiting for?  Let the planetary healing begin!

And to all the men reading this:  DO NOT take this study as license to be selfish jerks!  Women's kindness and generosity is NOT a weakness, and it is NOT unlimited, so stop treating it like it is unless you really want to see their dark side (yes, it does exist, and I strongly advise against activating it, ever).  Remember, when Women are happy, the world is happy.  And when they are not, watch out, fellas!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

What To Do About Porn?

I had recently written an article about sex work--particularly prostitution--that offered something seldom seen in either side of the debate these days:  nuance.  To wit, I had argued that it is both "the oldest profession" AND "the oldest oppression", and the difference ultimately depends on who has the power.  I had also argued that Women need to take over the industry and that decriminalization is, on balance, the least-worst alternative for the time being.

But I realize that I left out something crucial, namely the other main kind of commercial sex work:  PORN.  While it contains many of the same issues that prostitution has, it also has a much wider audience and thus much wider influence.  In fact, it is an even bigger elephant in the room, and is more accessible now than ever before. So what do we do about porn then?

To be brutally honest, we need to come to terms with a rather inconvenient truth.  Porn, or at least 99% of the stuff that's out there today (give or take a percentage point), does indeed have a serious dark side.  It typically contains--when it is not overtly cruel, violent, and degrading to Women, like far too much of it is--a particular kind of warped, twisted, toxic, and patriarchal (i.e. male-dominated) version of "sexuality" that is markedly and often fundamentally different than healthy sexuality.  Also, many of the performers, especially the Women, are often forced, coerced, deceived, and/or brainwashed into it.  And the often very young viewers end up with a distorted view of what sex is really all about, particularly if porn is the only "sex education" they ever really had.   Thus, "making love" gets confused with the "making hate" that is normalized in porn, with predictable results.

So where does this dark side actually come from?  You guessed it--the MEN who control and create it.  And, of course, the MEN who demand it reinforce it even further.  But either way, it begins and ends with MEN.  Yet the genie is out of the bottle at this point, and any attempt to ban it entirely is certain to backfire, to say nothing of free speech issues.  The only real solution, I believe, is for Women to take over the porn industry and jam the culture for the better.  And yes, there is indeed such a thing as feminist porn--not only is that not an oxymoron, but there needs to be more of it.  Yesterday.

There are, of course, those who cynically argue that there is inherently no such thing as feminist porn and can never be, period.  They even give examples to try in vain to prove this unprovable negative.  But the questionable examples they give of so-called "feminist porn" are in fact straw-man examples that are virtually identical (at least in content) to male-dominated mainstream genres.  It is of course not enough for it to be produced by Women and done without coercion, but the content itself also needs to at least largely reflect a more feminist and humanizing paradigm of sexuality as well.  Thus, such critics do not actually "debunk" the real concept at all, which does in fact exist.

In the meantime, there are several other things that we as a society should do.  We need to help young people develop better media literacy to safely navigate a world in which the internet porn genie is long out of the bottle.  We need real, honest, accurate, shame-free sex education that goes beyond the pathetic joke that passes for it currently.  We need to crack down on any form of coercion or trafficking that does occur in the porn industry, of both adults and children, and have better regulation and monitoring of the industry to prevent it.   We need tough laws against "revenge porn" as well. And we should probably require that at least all free porn sites (that don't require a credit card for age verification) be shunted onto the .xxx top-level domain so exposure to such sites can be more readily blocked and filtered from children (currently, the average age of first exposure is 11, and often accidentally).  All of these things need to be done yesterday.

But at the same time, we must also take a nuanced view that porn is not always inherently bad or unhealthy, and realize that censorship is NOT a solution--it is in fact a part of the problem, as is the denial of Women's agency. And furthermore, we also need to realize that once we start punishing people for "thoughtcrimes", we will have essentially crossed the proverbial Rubicon on the road to [insert dystopian novel here].   And that, ladies and gentlemen, is far more horrifying than even the very worst gonzo porn out there--which really says something!

As I like to say, if we make the perfect the enemy of the good, we ultimately end up with neither.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Smash The (Adulto-)Patriarchy!

One of the most vexing questions about the origin of patriarchy is how did men take over in the first place, if Women are the superior gender and were already in power to begin with in the last Matriarchal age?  And the question is not merely academic, as the answer will at least partially inform us on how to prevent men from taking over again in the future.  History may not always repeat itself exactly, of course, but it does rhyme nonetheless.

 Some theorists would say that was because Women were too lenient with men and allowed them too much freedom ("give them an inch, and they take a mile") while others say the opposite, that Women were too harsh and strict and did not allow men enough freedom, so they rebelled ("forbidden fruit" or "reactance theory").  (Note also the parallels with today's discourse about teenagers and young adults, as this foreshadows the rest of this article.)  Still others, such as Riane Eisler and many others in the Goddess Movement, put forth the Kurgan theory, namely that a few patriarchal cultures formed in central Asia and the Arabian peninsula, and violently conquered their peaceful Matriarchal neighbors and eventually the world.  These cultures, called Kurgans, were semi-literate or illiterate nomadic sheepherders who really had no culture of their own, but they did have superior weapons technology, and aggression was rewarded in their culture.  But that does not fully explain how those cultures came to be patriarchal in the first place, except for the fact that aggression is wittingly or unwittingly rewarded in nomadic pastoral societies, and men are generally more aggressive and competitive than Women.

I generally favor the Kurgan theory myself, but then when Googling the title of Robert Jensen's most recent book "The End of Patriarchy", I inadvertently discovered a similarly-titled book by Claudio Naranjo, titled, "The End of Patriarchy: And the Dawning of a Tri-une Society", which led me to a new theory on the matter.  And while I don't agree with everything that Naranjo says, he does make some good points nonetheless.  He posits that young people were the ones in charge in the Paleolithic age, then Women were in charge in the Neolithic age, and then men took over in the Bronze Age and remained in power since.  And as the title implies, he looks forward to the end of patriarchy and the beginning of a new, "tri-une" society that combines the best of all three past ages, with women, men, and children all being equally valued members of society.  While I agree with him for the most part, I do think that he sells the idea of Matriarchy a bit too short and often mischaracterizes what it really is, and I also think that the best way that his tri-une society or something like it can be created is with Women in charge.

But one thing is certain.  Adultism (i.e. the systemic oppression and subjugation of young people) can theoretically exist without patriarchy, but patriarchy cannot exist without adultism.  To wit, men would never have been able to disempower women as much as they did if young people had not been thoroughly disempowered first by adults of both primary genders (even if done more so by men).  Kind of like how the rich would never have been able to torpedo the middle class as they did from Reagan onward if the middle class hadn't also helped the rich by throwing the poor under the bus.  That is my latest insight after coming across the work of Naranjo.  After all, it took thousands of years to remove Women from power and subjugate them, and it looks like adultism was one of men's secret weapons to accomplish this nefarious and perfidious act.

 Thus patriarchy should really be called "adulto-patriarchy", and any self-proclaimed feminist movement that is not on board with the youth-rights movement as well is indeed a major intersectionality fail.  Much like how brocialists and manarchists are towards Women, and how White Feminists (TM) are towards people of color.  The entire edifice of kyriarchy must come down at once, as piecemeal approaches are ultimately doomed to fail.

So smash the adulto-patriarchy, yesterday!