The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Here’s an item that’s making the rounds today: it’s the abstract of a paper published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly. The topic is something called “benevolent sexism”, which refers to all those “chivalrous” things gentlemen do for ladies: holding the door for them, seating them at table, offering them your arm during a stroll, serving them first, etc.

Shockingly, it turns out that these gestures actually make everyone happier.

Here’s the abstract (my emphasis):

Previous research suggests that benevolent sexism is an ideology that perpetuates gender inequality. But despite its negative consequences, benevolent sexism is a prevalent ideology that some even find attractive. To better understand why women and men alike might be motivated to adopt benevolent sexism, the current study tested system justification theory’s prediction that benevolent sexism might have a positive linkage to life satisfaction through increased diffuse system justification, or the sense that the status quo is fair. A structural equation model revealed that benevolent sexism was positively associated with diffuse system justification within a sample of 274 college women and 111 college men. Additionally, benevolent sexism was indirectly associated with life satisfaction for both women and men through diffuse system justification. In contrast, hostile sexism was not related to diffuse system justification or life satisfaction. The results imply that although benevolent sexism perpetuates inequality at the structural level, it might offer some benefits at the personal level.

All good so far, right? Well, here’s the authors’ conclusion:

Thus, our findings reinforce the dangerous nature of benevolent sexism and emphasize the need for interventions to reduce its prevalence.

Love that “thus”. In other words:

“Here’s an ancient, natural feature of human social life that, as our own study has just shown, makes people happy. It conflicts, however, with our wholly artificial conception, for which there is absolutely no basis whatsoever in any successful culture ancient or modern, of what the “correct” relation between the sexes ought to be.

If, therefore, as appears to be the case, establishing the “correct” relation between the sexes actually decreases human happiness, then society (under the benevolent guidance of the Psychology of Women Quarterly and its contributors) shall perform whatever “interventions” are necessary for the re-education of the people, and the reprogramming of human nature.”

We see here once again, as we see everywhere, the psychotic, suicidal effect of the unitary principle that all of modern liberalism is reducible to: that the suppression and eradication of any and all discriminations, whether by Man or by Nature, is the highest possible good.

This, friends, is a world gone absolutely barking mad.

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  1. Bill says

    There is no one more willfully stupid than an ideologist.

    Posted November 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Bill, I’d say we’re all ideologues of one sort or another, and that in fact it’s almost impossible not to be.

    But there is a great deal of opportunity for stupidity in one’s choosing of an ideology, and in how stubbornly one adheres to it.

    Posted November 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink
  3. Alex says

    The whole thing reads like a parody of a ‘scientific paper’, but we’re living in a topsy-turvey society in which the satire of everyday life passes unobserved.

    What is a ‘system justification theory’, by the way? I guess it’s just a fancy name for someone’s opinion.

    Posted November 30, 2012 at 3:09 am | Permalink
  4. JP says

    “The whole thing reads like a parody of a ‘scientific paper’”

    Which is appropriate enough, since the whole field of “psychology” is a parody of real science.

    Posted November 30, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink
  5. Dom says

    “under the benevolent guidance of the Psychology of Women Quarterly and its contributors”

    Malcolm, was that your insertion, or does it appear in the original?

    Posted November 30, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    That was mine. Implicit in the original, of course.

    Posted November 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  7. We live in Northern Ireland and have our own blog. We are Evangelical Christians and post about morals,politics and feminism etc. I was troubled to read your post about feminist’s concern about, and desire to eradicate that which they describe as “benign sexism.” Where and when will this madness end? It is a delightful thing to be treated in a chivalrous manner by men but those men-hating feminists will force men to abandon all chivalrous behaviour, probably using the law against them if they do not! May we write about this article on our blog, Mr.Pollack?

    Posted November 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Why, of course you may! (It’s nice of you to ask, but there was really no need.) By all means please go right ahead, with my blessing; by this point we should all be shouting from the ramparts.

    Posted November 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink