The Middle-Aged Genius’s Guide to Almost Everything 24 – Modern American Men and Women (3)

In-Sight Publishing

The Middle-Aged Genius’s Guide to Almost Everything 24 – Modern American Men and Women (3)

November 8, 2018

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: In the slightly longer-term, again in America and other parts of the world, you have women outachieving men in many areas including academic. There are more women than men in universities and colleges.

They do better in universities and colleges. Women are doing better professionally at a rate that is increasing more than the rate for men. You can probably clarify some of these trends.

However, at the same time, women are doing better but still shitty statistically overall because women still suffer in the job argument.

Jacobsen: The argument: sometimes, a right-wing conservative woman or a prop will be put forth as a spokesperson for the argument or a representative of it. If women are doing so well financially as they become more educated and independent and entering into the professional arenas more and more, why are they so unhappy?

They will use unhappiness rates to imply…

Rosner: That feminists will never be happy.

Jacobsen: It is a sophist argument.

Rosner: Because there is a difference between the rate at which women are making gains and the inferior position women have overall.

Jacobsen: Yes, happiness can be relative. It can be perceptual. I remember one of the famous Holocaust survivors. They stated that they could take everything but your state of mind about things.

If women are doing better and better and still being treated poorly in so many areas, even more aggressively poorly out of resentment by some sectors of men, you would likely feel worse. 

In fact, you would likely feel worse if you’re taking on the housecare roles, and school, and working in professional domains, and so feeling overworked.

Rosner: There is also the related argument that revolutions happen. That points of maximum anger to the point that people are out in the street rebelling happen when, not when they are at their worst, but when things are already happening.

Some explanations for that. One is people can see change happening and so go out into the streets. Another is the change. Louis XIV makes changes because he sees the anger but not fast enough.

As the anger swells, he loses his head. The changes that precede a revolution are a crack in the dam. It is the first push of unstoppable anger.

Jacobsen: We see this in the abolishment of assumed rights, like the previous abolishment of Divine Right of Kings. Then the era of human rights came into effect with slow implementation of women’s rights.

The idea of royalty and holiness based on Christian religious groups being the only basis for rights. It barely exists anymore. It is not even in popular consciousness anymore.

Rosner: This reminds me of a similar argument with Lance. Last week, he accused me of calling him racist. Because I was talking about during times of slavery, there were arguments based on blacks being a separate type of being; that couldn’t govern themselves.

Jacobsen: There was a similar argument about slaves, “Your free slaves are doing terribly. I have slaves. They are doing better and, therefore, slavery is better.”

Rosner: Unless, you are a lunatic or an asshole. That everybody is just a person. That blacks aren’t a separate and inferior subspecies. They are as good or bad at governing themselves as anyone else.

Nobody is arguing or believes that they are so inferior that they need slavery for their own benefit. That argument evaporated as people acquired the knowledge and experience to realize that that’s bullshit.

There are probably various moments around equal treatment under the Golden Rule. The only reason that rule doesn’t apply is when other people aren’t the same as you. But you see a progression through the history of seeing others as like you, including minorities and women – to the point where it seems crazy that we wouldn’t think that they are the same as us.

But the argument seems less crazy when we’re struggling to come to realizations of equal treatment of trans people and those with gender dysphoria, where people are still willing accept arguments that it is a form of insanity.

That it is not one person in the body of another gender. He argues that they want to mutilate their genitals

Jacobsen: He knows the inflammatory language. If someone is socially astute, this is true given his father. 

Rosner: He likes to take bold stances. He will put these things in the bombastic language of the people who make the podcasts that he listens to. So, women are making gains. People, in general, are more aware of abusive treatment to women. But!

That’s, as I said, with slow change. There are other changes coming in to complicate the picture. For instance, we are looking at the end of jobs for everyone. AI is shrinking the job market. So, in an era where women have increasing professional attainment, where they can have professional attainment, that arena is, potentially, shrinking.

Maybe, it is another thing that will become less important over the next few decades, as people get used to partial or not full employment as AI shapes the world.

Jacobsen: It is creating the unhealthy alliances or the rise of the unhealthy forces. The legions of the truculent.

Rosner: Yes, anger, that the demagogues like Trump say that other countries are taking our jobs when, for the most part, it is AI taking jobs. China is steadily working to become the world’s #1 superpower.

China pulls all sorts of low-down shit.

Jacobsen: Their current model through the Belt-and-Road and Silk Road initiatives are to form indebtedness to buy out parts of countries as a form of neocolonialism. 

Rosner: They are doing this stuff. They are moving people from the countryside to the cities.

Jacobsen: A million Uighurs are being imprisoned in re-education camps. They are a Muslim minority group.

Rosner: China is doing a bunch of legit stuff.

Jacobsen: Like training in science.

Rosner: Yes, it is also building huge transportation networks across the country. But then, they also manipulating their currency, stealing ideas from other countries, stealing products from other countries, losing money on products like solar panels in order to destroy manufacturing in other countries.

We are a big country and can afford the loss. We can build solar panels for almost nothing in order to destroy the solar panel industry in America and other countries. China is hugely powerful and doing a lot of overhanded and underhanded stuff.

We can be mad at them and can try to do stuff. But what that leads to, that demagoguery leads us to think China is a bigger threat than AI. That we will be living in a world with AI. Jobs will go away, whether we hold off China.

Jobs will go away. What will we do about it?

Jacobsen: These jobs will go away in China too. Some of this unhealthy disgruntlement will come up there too.

Rosner: Will we have a rise of fascism and a decline of democracy because people are pissed off and aren’t resistant to new media and are driven crazy by messages from Twitter and Instagram and Facebook?

Another is the postponement of parenthood. People are having babies later and later because people are living longer and longer. People see the economic benefits, whether directly or not.

It is cheaper to have a kid in terms of the personal financial resources in your 30s than when you’re 18. You don’t have jack shit when you’re 18. That will reshape parenthood and motherhood.

If people living until 105, and if people are active and physically attractive until 80, and we have rich people like that already, Jane Fonda is 80-years-old and still bangable. You probably want the lights when all the clothes are off. I’m sorry. That’s a horrible comment.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: But 80-years-old looks really good. If that becomes the norm, if people can have kids until they’re 60 with improvements in medicine and can remain physically robust until they’re 95 or 100.

Then the average childbearing age will rise. When my mom had me, the average age when moms had their last kid was 26. That was in 1960. I do not know the average age now. It has to be in the early to mid-30s.

Over the next decades, the first and last kid numbers will move into the 30s and 40s, even 50s. People will have fewer kids because, as people have longer and longer lives, they will devote more and more resources to themselves.

That is a different kind of unemployment. The lessening and postponement of parenthood and motherhood. It means that at any moment there are fewer moms. It may free women to participate more freely in the world outside of the home.

Also, there will also the increasing automation of what is traditionally seen as women’s work or unpaid housework/being a mom. There will be increased freedom and a lessening strictness in the gender roles.

There will be – I would assume – both, on average, increased tolerance of gender differences. What I am saying, there will be a lessening of gender-based prejudice and disadvantages.

Jacobsen: Part of that will come with greater knowledge. 

Rosner: Women will gradually be less fucked over. At the same time, the gender roles will become fuzzier. Also, there will be backlash, where people see political advantage in drumming up concern about loosening gender roles.

There will always be Republican types and fundamentalist types. They will be able to form pockets of resistance. Even due to crazy luck, they will be in charge of things, as they have been for the last 2 years and for most of the 21st century.

Republicans imposing policies that the majority of Americans don’t want and don’t like have been able to do that since, at least, 2001. That won’t go away entirely.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


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