[From a book titled "The Garbage Generation" hosted on the linked website]
What IBM thinks of as the promotion of equality is better understood as the undermining of hypergamy, one of the pillars of the patriarchal system. Hypergamy, or the "marriage gradient," means that women "marry up," men "marry down." A cinder girl may hope to marry Prince Charming, but a chimney sweep cannot hope to marry Princess Charming. A male doctor might well marry a female nurse, but a female doctor would hardly consider marrying a male nurse. The female nurse may be underpaid, but in the marriage market her prospects are better than those of the female doctor because there are more desirable males she can hope to "marry up" to.
IBM's question implies that society's arrangements tilt in favor of males. The fact is that society's arrangements produce more male winners and more male losers. One principal reason for the success of the male winners is the knowledge that they might well be losers: they must earn their success and are motivated to earn it partly by the greater risk of failure. IBM proposes to intervene in society's arrangements to confer benefits on females which will increase the number of female winners without increasing the number of female losers. What will increase is the number of male losers, since the male engineers will be competing not only with each other but with females enjoying a conferred advantage denied to males. Another question:
WHICH ONE WILL BE PRIVILEGED TO ATTAIN STATUS BY MARRIAGE AND WHICH ONE WILL HAVE TO EARN IT FOR HIMSELF/HERSELF BY WORK AND SELF-DISCIPLINE?
With IBM interfering with "market forces" this question might have to be re-worded: "attain status by marriage or by IBM's largess." As IBM offers women more status, marriage has less to offer them-- men have less to offer them. Men's marriageability is decreased because they have relatively less to offer women; women's marriageability is decreased because they have fewer men to "marry up" to. As IBM transfers status from those more dependent on work and self-discipline to those less dependent on work and self- discipline, men will become less motivated, since the rewards for work and self-discipline are reduced. The effect, though at a higher level of income, will be what is observable in the ghetto, where women enjoying the handouts of the welfare bureaucracy and become economically and status-wise independent of men, with the consequence that large numbers of men become de-motivated and less marriageable.
Two more questions:
WHICH ONE IS MORE LIKELY TO DIVORCE HIS/HER SPOUSE? WHICH ONE WILL HAVE HIS/HER LIKELIHOOD OF DIVORCE INCREASED BY A FACTOR OF FIVE IF HE/SHE IS EDUCATED AND ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDENT?
Let's project IBM's program into the future. Let's suppose the wearers of the blue and pink booties grow up and both become engineers. Then:
WHICH ENGINEER IS MORE LIKELY TO BE CHILDLESS?
IF BOTH MARRY, WHICH IS LIKELY TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM HIS/HER SUPERIOR EDUCATION?
Virginia Woolf thought as IBM thinks: families would make great sacrifices to educate their sons, few sacrifices to educate their daughters. She failed to understand the reason: education enables sons to have families, to provide for wives and children who would benefit from the sons' education economically and by the transmission of the knowledge and the values embodied in the education. Educating daughters does not enable them to provide for husbands, and greatly decreases likelihood of their having stable marriages. The birthrate of educated women is far lower than the birthrate of educated men. (Ms. Woolf herself was childless, as are most feminists.) What Bernard Lentz says of professional men and women of the period l890-l940 is true of other eras:
Even for the "superperformers" [the most successful professional women]...marriage still led to diminished success, resentment, and a distracting tension in their personal lives. In contrast, men at this time found marriage had numerous advantages in their climb up the professional hierarchy....
Ergo, society has a greater interest in encouraging and furthering the education of males. Educating a boy enables him to have and to support a family, to give children an advantage in life, to transmit family values and strengthen the patriarchy, to create social stability. Educating a girl enables her to escape marriage, or if she marries, to escape childbearing or to have a smaller family. Education, which increases her independence, will enable her more easily to expel her husband and inflict upon her offspring (whose custody is virtually guaranteed her) the disadvantages accompanying fatherlessness. Feminists see these options as desirable, but why should IBM or the rest of us see them as desirable?
Feminist-economist Dr. Barbara Bergmann offers a little paradigm-story about Pink People and Blue People earning their living by picking berries on an island. Like women and men in our own society the Pinks and Blues have sex-segregated occupations. Dr. Bergmann thus illustrates "the crucial point":
If a group is segregated and furthermore is crowded into a relatively narrow segment of labor-market turf, its members will as a result be less productive, and their economic rewards will be lower.
(It is a sufficient refutation of this to point out that Senators are a segregated group occupying a narrow segment of the labor-market turf, but they do not suffer from low economic rewards.)
If men cannot outperform women they will not perform at all, and society will be lucky if male energies are merely wasted in narcissistic display rather than in disruptive violence and machismo. A man with nothing to offer a woman save a paycheck the size of her own is impossibly disadvantaged. He will know, and his wife will know that he knows, that the words "I don't need you, Mister" are always at her disposal and, thanks to the anti-male bias of the divorce court, she has an authority in the family greater than his own. Patriarchal capitalism prospers because it creates an arena of work wherein males are allowed to succeed and create wealth and where they are motivated to do so and rewarded for doing so by the satisfactions of family living.
Ms. Wattleton's pitch for "reproductive rights" and Dr. Bergmann's pitch for taking better jobs away from men to confer them on women come to the same thing: men are excluded from meaningful participation in reproduction. Men become superfluous members of families. The basis of civilized society is that men shall share equally in reproductive decision-making, and shall earn the right to do so by working. The program of feminism is to deny men this right by undermining the sexual constitution, the Legitimacy Principle, marriage and the family. When they talk about women's reproductive rights and about making women economically independent of men, this is what they mean.