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The patriarchy is real. But Jordan Peterson (& David Buss) don't get it

The patriarchy is real...


But two white male scholars don't get it.

(OK, that was purposefully provocative, and let me say that both these men are legends)

What gives?

jordan peterson with David Buss

Let me preface it:

In all truth, when I hear the term "patriarchy" I often unconsciously prepare for some BS coming right after.
And I tell to myself "not getting involved" cause I know it's useless.

And yet...

... The concept is not wholly made up.

The fact that many feminists show a poor understanding of power dynamics, often marred by personal bias and bitterness, does not mean that the concept is wholly wrong.

Some male evolutionary psychologists not only fail to understand the macro-level power dynamics, but they fail to even take the "patriarchy' concept seriously enough to even be worthy of consideration.

You can see this interview between Peterson and Buss to realize how little they've entertained the possibility that there might be something true about the patriarchy in the sense of "a general, repressive tendency of men towards women".

Buss here scoff at the concept of patriarchy as a product of dumb feminists:

Buss: There's an interesting photo that I think got captioned, but it's two very elegant women with designer handbags and they're walking by a guy who's fixing the tar in the street and as they walk by this guy who's groveling on the ground they say "stop oppressing me"

What Buss -and Peterson- fail to realize is that some of those tar workers go home in the evening and tell their wives "go to the kitchen, woman".
And even a good chunk of those who don't say that, they still secretly prefer their wives to remain simple-minded, ignorant, and largely at home.

This is not mean, judgmental, or strange.
It is simply how you'd expect a self-interested human organism to evolve.
THIS is evolutionary psychology, THIS is understanding one's own dark side (it's possible Peterson and Buss might forget their own darker drives there).

Where Buss Fails

Buss correctly says that men compete with each other.

But he then mistakenly jumps to the conclusion that because men compete against each other, that's the ultimate evidence that the patriarchy must be made up.

He fails to realize that a repressive force against women can materialize even while each one of those men is pursuing individualistic goals as well as while they compete among themselves for sexual access to women.

Patriarchy & the "stampede effect"

The dynamics of individual, disjointed and competing actors creating a society-wide force is similar to the "stampede effect".

People who run away during a stampede are all pursuing selfish goals and they're competing against each other to get out first.

The cumulative pressure force they create is a byproduct, not their main goal -this is what the feminists get wrong-.
But it's no less real -this is what the male psychologists get wrong-.

Luckily, it's not ALL men with either a tendency to repress, or with repressive behavior.
And I can say that it doesn't concern many guys on TPM.
And not only -or necessarily- because some men are “good” or moral -albeit virtue signaling would have you believe there are more of those-.
It’s simply because of selfish interests and drives: high-value men don’t need to repress women.

The patriarchy is driven by average and below-average men (which is not to blame them of anything, it's just the dynamics of patriarchy).

The Patriarchy, Explained (It's Simple, Really)

The stamped effect happens because men who cluster around the average, who happen to be the vast majority, share the same fears and needs that drive their (repressive) tendencies.

Since women prefer higher-status men, most average men naturally struggle to secure a high-power, successful woman.
Hence, the more high-power, smart, accomplished women around, the harder it is for average men to find a mate -and if they find one, the harder it is to keep one, and earn her respect-.
So limiting women's power is a simple act of self-preservation for most men.  And, albeit 99% do it subconsciously, it's also very rational.

Even if they act as individuals, the net result of many selfish and individual actions is similar to a homogenous, concerted group-level effort to keep women down -the patriarchy-.

Where Peterson fails

Peterson's argument is:

  1. There are too many hierarchies for a monolithic "patriarchy" to exist
  2. Most of those hierarchies are based on competence, not dominance

Peterson fails to realize that because there are countless hierarchies, that doesn't mean that the exact same dynamics, driven by the exact same interests and drives, cannot take place in every single one of them -or, if "professionalism" keeps those urges hidden, outside those hierarchies, when those men go home-.
Instead, since humans are more similar than different, those same drives and tendencies do apply to the most disparate hierarchies.

And "competence" has little to do with the potentially repressive force, since the will and drive to keep women "less competent" is a major defining aspect of men's (subconscious) self-interest to repress women.

So, yeah, plenty of feminists say a lot of dumb things.
But they are not wholly wrong about everything.
Generally speaking, when a large number of people all agree on something, even if the group is an extremist group, you should at least give their arguments careful thought -often, you can find something there-.
And evolutionary psychology authors should stop reacting to a biased worldview with more bias on their own.

Can't wait to have some time for an article on feminism, patriarchy, and intergender power dynamics :).

John Freeman, lilsim and LorenzoE have reacted to this post.
John FreemanlilsimLorenzoE
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

This is one of the reasons I enjoy this site (and forum in this case). It would have been too easy to agree with Peterson and Buss and criticize feminists on everything, but an unbiased analysis is what is needed to truly understand the power dynamics.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you, Lorenzo.

Yeah, you said, it's all too easy to fault the "other" group, especially when that group seems to be antagonistic and when among the things they say a good chunk makes little sense -so the tendency is to discount everything they say-.

And BTW, Buss replied to TPM's tweeting this page.
He pointed to his new book for a deeper discussion of patriarchy:

Buss is probably a more neutral observer and researcher of intersexual dynamics than JP.
JP is a genius, but on some topics, his right-wing, religious, and conservative bent might affect his views -still one of the best self-development "gurus" to learn from though-.

Buss' book was already on my reading list, and now I bumped it higher.
I'll update either this thread once I read it -and hopefully by then will have had the time for the fuller article-.

LorenzoE and Bel have reacted to this post.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?