August 10, 2017

Since I used the word "phallocracy..."

... I decided to look it up in the NYT archive. I was surprised that it has only appeared 3 times. The Times is big on feminism, and it's a real word, defined in the OED as "A society dominated by males; the dominance of men over women; the distinguishing belief of a phallocrat."

January 27, 1985:
["Sisterhood Is Global/The International Women's Movement Anthology"] abounds with emotions and opinions, and has little of the style of a standard reference work. And despite its stress on statistics, accuracy is not its strongest suit.... The editor, Robin Morgan, chose the contributors and then gave them a free rein... For the Dutch contributor, the major issue is ''Do we still make love with our oppressor?'' The problems are rather different in Haiti, where teen-age girls stitch baseballs for 14 cents an hour. Elsewhere, the titles tell much of the story: ''Women in a Warrior Society'' (Australia); ''Fighting for the Right to Fight'' (Colombia); ''Elegance Amid the Phallocracy'' (Senegal)....
August 15, 1999:
For nigh on 20 years, Mary Daly, who is widely considered the world's foremost radical feminist philosopher and theologian, has barred men from her classroom at Boston College, arguing that they marred the learning experience of women.

For 20 years, too, the university objected to her separatism and penalized her with reprimands and denial of promotion, but never fired her. Nor could it change the strong mind of a woman who... even uses her own lexicon, with words like phallocracy and academentia....

This week, Boston College, a Jesuit-run Catholic university, officially took Dr. Daly's office back from her....
December 21, 2010:
She had names for what she was fighting. “Phallocracy, penocracy, jockocracy, cockocracy — call it whatever,” [Mary] Daly said. In 1987, with a co-author, she published her own dictionary — seventh in a line of nine books she wrote — meant to spell out a new lexicon for women... Anyone who didn’t bother to question male dominance was a snool; anyone who promoted it, a dickspeaker....
There's also "phallocrat," which the OED defines as "A person who advocates or assumes the existence of a male-dominated society; a male chauvinist or supremacist." The NYT has used that word only twice, and the first one predates the earliest publication found by the OED. Hey! I beat the OED on something. Here, from July 1972:
Nelly Kaplan, the French writer‐director whose “Papa, Les Petits Bateaus” and “A Very Curious Girl” were shown at the recent Festival of Women's Films, has writ ten two more screenplays which she hopes to put before the cameras soon in France. The first is called “Phallocrat,” and it deals with a man who is, tyrannical in his relations with his wife and daughter.
The other one, from 2010 is an article about Susan Faludi's memoir "In the Darkroom":
It is... a project as high concept as a sitcom pitch: What if a famous feminist author — whose activism was spurred by her father’s bullying machismo — discovered that said phallocrat had become a woman? Complications ensue. But Ms. Faludi mines her material less for easy ironies than for insights into the very meaning of identity.
So how did I happen to use that word today? Commenters have been pushing me to watch the video of James Damore — the memo-writing ex-employee of Google — with Jordan Peterson.

All I said was:
I watched the entire Peterson video. I should write something about it. Peterson had no idea how to draw Damore out and seemed only too willing to fill up all the available space on his own. Phallocracy in action??

39 comments:

Gahrie said...

Perhaps the word isn't used very often because it represents an absurd concept.

Michael K said...

Peterson was interviewing a brilliant young man who does not verbalize much. He likes puzzles (How he ended at Google,) and chess. He writes well and reasons well but is a classic nerd who would not be much at lecturing. I felt Peterson would have let him talk more but he did not seem to be too interested in doing so.

Ralph L said...

They went with "patriarchy" because of their daddy issues.

Ralph L said...

I don't think feminists and lesbians hate the phallus, it's the asshole behind it that upsets them.

traditionalguy said...

Phallic Priviledge...long may it stand erect.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't really think I bested the OED. I'm sure they'd tell me the example I found is disqualified based on some standard rule of theirs. The word is the title of a movie, and the sentence only uses the word to say there is a thing titled X. A title could be a proper name or just nonsense. It's not really a usage of the word. There's no context giving it meaning.

BarrySanders20 said...

The stereotype of every married household is a gynocracy of course.

Authoritarian rule by wife, usually female.

Glen Filthie said...

No Ralph, it's the wiener that makes them crazy. Else they would use words like patriarchy.

Ann Althouse said...

"I felt Peterson would have let him talk more but he did not seem to be too interested in doing so."

As I said, Peterson didn't know how to draw him out and seemed to be the sort of person who will use up all the airspace if he thinks no one else will.

Damore said (in the end) that he admired Peterson a lot, so that explained his extreme deference to whatever the man wanted to say. And then there was also the fact that Peterson was reading Damore's memo and opining that everything was scientifically supported, so that benefited Damore. Why not stay quiet when someone else is doing your work for you? It's like Peterson was a lawyer for Damore, speaking for him.

Damore has been suddenly plunged into the spotlight, and it's perfectly sensible to choose to say very little. He may not be practiced in speaking and may feel very uncomfortable being the focus of attention.

But he's also interested in legal remedies, and he may have been advised not to say much until the legal theories can be worked out. Anything he says will be admissible evidence against him and he needs to worry about interviewers who lure him into conceding things. I think it's good advice to say: Put your face out there and just be a nice, normal, pleasant person. The key for you, the lawyer might say, is to make people care about you, that you're a young person who had a job and lost it. Don't act belligerent or like an expert. Just put a face on the story and people will care about you. That will go a long way toward winning.

Quaestor said...

A person who advocates or assumes the existence of a male-dominated society...

That makes Mizz Daly a paradigm phallocrat, does it not?

Feste said...

Recode

How Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s decision to fire James Damore was just as hard as its all-hands meeting today will be;

John Tuffnell said...

Oh Noes. Mary Daly, the anti-phallocrat, is so anti phallocratic that she refused to cede space to the T's in the LGBTQ community who, like Stan who wanted to be called Loretta, just want to be girls who want to have fun. Mary would have nun of that.

From Wiki on Daly:

Views on transsexualism
In Gyn/Ecology, Daly asserted her negative view of transsexualism, writing, "Today the Frankenstein phenomenon is omnipresent . . . in . . . phallocratic technology. . . . Transsexualism is an example of male surgical siring which invades the female world with substitutes."[37] "Transsexualism, which Janice Raymond has shown to be essentially a male problem, is an attempt to change males into females, whereas in fact no male can assume female chromosomes and life history/experience."[38] "The surgeons and hormone therapists of the transsexual kingdom . . . can be said to produce feminine persons. They cannot produce women."[39]

Quaestor said...

Parker and Stone are much more eloquent than Mizz Daly Maybe they should teach at Boston College. Their grads wouldn't be such gawdawful pussies.

Otto said...

Now that all the throat clearing is finished, tell us feminist Ann why is the field of hard science and engineering dominated by males?

Pinandpuller said...

The world is devolving into Cuntarchy.

Pinandpuller said...

Twatobots activate!

n.n said...

Anatomy. the penis, the clitoris, or the sexually undifferentiated embryonic organ out of which either of these develops.
-- phallus (dictionary.com)

It's real and it's spectacular.

Damore observed the irreconcilable scientific, legal, and moral principles of Pro-Choice, then published his study of its incongruities. For his opposition to the established consensus, he was aborted on the altar of progressive liberalism (i.e. monotonic divergence).

Henry said...

Anyone who didn’t bother to question male dominance was a snool

Ah, Jabberwocracy.

* * *

Peterson is a poor interviewer and a dull mansplainer. I don't think Damore is served well by a guy with an axe to grind of his own. But maybe at this point it's too late and he should just throw in with the axe-grinders.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Phallocracy in action??

Sure, if one agrees there are differences between men and women (here, in how men & women conduct or would conduct an interview)...but that belief makes one a sexist.
You're not a sexist, are you Professor?!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Google Ngram Viewer: phallocracy

Achilles said...

Blogger Feste said...
Recode

How Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s decision to fire James Damore was just as hard as its all-hands meeting today will be;


From that article:

"Said one flatly: “He cannot spew his dubious biology arguments — you can find any study to justify any crazy notion — and not pay a price for it.”"

This is a grotesque position. With a lawsuit coming up I am amazed google is letting executives say things like this. There are a half dozen juicy tidbits in there for a lawyer to latch on to. The people at google are showing hubris.

I don't think Damore has a case to sue google. The first amendment doesn't give you the right to a boss's money if you tell him to fuck off.

On the other hand google is going to begin the long spin into failure from this point. It wasn't well liked before and this could make antitrust attacks popular. There is a reasonable argument for splitting the android, chrome, and search engines into different companies.

DuckDuckGo is also super easy to install, works just as well, and doesn't have secret manipulations of the results.

Henry said...

tell us feminist Ann why is the field of hard science and engineering dominated by males?

Hard science? Dominated? Hardly.

At the Ph.D. level, women have clearly achieved equity in the biosciences and social sciences, are nearly there (40 percent) in mathematics and the physical sciences, and are “over-represented” in psychology (78 percent). Again, the only fields in which men greatly outnumber women are computer science and engineering.

Computer science. Dominated? Yes. And therein lies Google's problem.

BTW, that link takes you to an opinion piece by a Research Psychologist who is sympathetic to the biological differences argument. That's just not all she looks at.

Michael K said...

"may feel very uncomfortable being the focus of attention."

He just looked like guys I knew in Engineering. I agree that he may be getting good advice.

Google seems to be getting less good advice.

I still think he is going to get offers galore and any damages from Google will be small change compared.

Michael K said...

I'm getting the idea that Henry is a standard NPR listener.

Henry said...

@Michael K - Actually, no. The link comes from a Google search. I googled for it knowing from past reading that the data was as I expected.

Ralph L said...

Michael K, please don't incite the Chuck.

Big Mike said...

It's simple, really. When a man screws up in his climb up the corporate ladder, he assumes (generally correctly) that he's done something wrong, and most of the best of them try to learn from the experience. Too many women have been trained by their echo chamber to assume that it's the "phallocracy" or the "patriarchy," and that they need not learn anything. In the end, the guys learn and win while the women remain losers.

Michael K said...

It's PBS Newshour, Henry.

Henry said...

Same data

Different Data

I actually picked the article I linked because it one of the more moderate.

Mike Sylwester said...

On my monitor, this blog article appears directly under an advertisement that shows a photograph of a middle-age blonde woman and the words Plenty O' Fish (40+).

It looks like the advertisement and the article's title are joined and looks like that 40+ woman is the one who "used the word 'phallocracy'".

The same advertisement appeared at the previous article about Bill Nye and lash extensions.

Your blog sure is trying to entice me to look for a 40+ woman.

Otto said...

I don't consider social sciences , psychology and biosciences as hard sciences And if you want to narrow it to certain fields , fine , so then Ann and the rest of you feminists answer the question why are men dominate in computer science and engineering?

Joshua R. Poulson said...

For more data: there's also a Stefan Molyneux interview with James Damore to look at.

Scott said...

So what is the female analog -- a clitocracy? a tittycrat?

bagoh20 said...

I assumed it meant a society ruled by dicks, but there are lots of those.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"I assumed it meant a society ruled by dicks,"

Yeah - dictators!

Guildofcannonballs said...

This is recockulous.

openidname said...

At least it's a more accurate word than patriarchy, as not all men are fathers.

Chris N said...

Did Althouse just reason herself into mostly agreeing with Michael's position in her own comment?

I see an engineer who wanted to solve a problem: Are people at Google instituting policies towards the ends of diversity/equality that undermine those very ends, creating all sorts of other problems?

He thought a lot about this problem in his free time, drafted a memo he wanted to see discussed apparently to help make Google better, knew it would be risky but posted it anyways. I see a lot of good faith/naïveté in that interview.

Peterson shows remarkable restraint because he was talking with a real human being (not an interview target to treat as a 'get')

Maybe they'll do another one and dig down some more

Engineers don't want to have to deal with politics when possible, which is partly why Google has to employ diversocrats (to tithe and keep people placated). They are probably realizing a lot of fortitude is required either sooner or later.

At some point you just have to say 'no.' otherwise you invite the whole caravan to set up camp in your lobby.

Chris N said...

We might actually benefit the most by keeping the people fighting the loudest over culture out of academia, positions of great authority, and fluff jobs that become giant sucking sounds.

You'd get better products, more boring politics, better education,'and all these people would have to get real skills and jobs or start finding something that works as they try to 'help' others or lead a righteous crusade.

There sure are a lot idealists (in bed with ideologues and opportunists) running rackets these days.