(For the audio version of this article, please visit my YouTube channel. First published January 30th, 2023)
A theme we have seen gathering ever-more momentum recently is the invalidation and elimination of women* (*adult human females) from public life, and the concomitant erasure of the social and legal protections of female spaces.
Women are being less eased, and more forcefully shoved (by 6'5" muscular blokes in dresses) out of public life, an arena in which men are purporting to demonstrate they're better at everything than women are - including at actually being women. I covered these topics in more depth (and their close comparisons to ultra-repressive regimes such as Talibanesque Afghanistan) in this article.
However, there are other, more subtle, but equally insidious ways in which women are gradually being erased from various key aspects of everyday life - including education and the workforce - in terms of: Rishi Sunak's new Maths mandate; the planned demolition of schools (facilitated by UBI), and new menopause laws being considered for the workplace.
Because, who do Maths-until-18, children at home all day, "white-collar" (office) jobs facing obsolescence, and menopausal laws, disproportionately affect?
It is an extremely well-worn cliche, that almost every family is familiar with (most certainly including my own), that girls are "good at English, bad at Maths". Of course there are always exceptions - and I have a female cousin acing Maths at university right now - but overall, difficulties with numbers are not dispensed equally: they more often affect girls, which is reflected in the employment statistics - over 70% of professional mathematicians are men
Personally, I don't believe in any feminist rhetoric about girls being structurally disadvantaged in Maths or that their failure to take the subject up professionally is to do with the oppressions of the patriarchy - I believe it is because Maths is boring, and why in the name of Nick Hornby would a person want to bury themselves in inscrutable algebraic equations when they could read a brilliant, engrossing, witty, possibly life-changing book instead? (And yes, Hornby does write such tomes... I still think 'About A Boy' is one of the funniest and most astute novels ever written. Try not to let the fact Hugh Grant starred in the film version besmirch it too much for you...)
Of course, the answer to this question - why some do in fact prefer the algebra option - comes down to the different interests and preferences that are typical (if not exclusive) to boys and girls, with girls more often preferring words, faces, people, and boys leaning towards numbers, objects, facts, and these preferences can be detected in very young children (and it's not just human infants that show these preferences, our simian cousins do, too). There are exceptions to every rule, obviously, but given it is known there are typical and predictable gender preferences in terms of interests, it is hardly surprising that boys outperform girls in Maths, and the reverse is true in English.
This being the case, making Maths mandatory until 18 disproprtionately disadvantages girls and will have the knock-on effect of eliminating far more girls than boys from further and higher education.
So that is another area of public life - college and university - where women are going to face additional obstacles, just as, if you made it compulsory to study the works of Jane Austen and Alice Walker up until age 18 (both of whom dominated my very female-friendly A-level English Literature syllabus), it would disproportionately disadvantage boys (there were virtually no boys in my A-level English class).
Moving on to the kind of work people typically acquire once they have completed their education, women are far more likely to get non-physical office and administrative work (most PR workers, teachers, therapists, journalists, editors, and insurance underwriters are women), whereas manual and physical jobs are overwhelmingly dominated by men - well over 90% of all mechanics, electricians and plumbers are men.
The industries most at risk of imminently being taken over by AI are the "white collar" - office-based - roles, that are more often done by women - whereas the jobs that are significantly safer from a robo-takeover, are those predominantly done by men. While predictions are that, eventually, AI will be able to do all human labour, certain occupations are said to be much harder for AI to master, and so will go last - such as plumbing and electrics.
This means that, as and when the schools close down and the education system is moved online, families will have to make a decision about which parent stays at home to supervise the children whilst they learn - in the vast majority of cases, it will be the woman, since, with the current seismic changes in the workplace underway courtesy of AI, she is the one far more likely to have lost her job to a bot.
This looming mass job loss for women is aided and abetted by the sinister new proposed "menopause laws", where campaigners are trying to turn this natural stage of a woman's life into some sort of pathology, and suggest that it affects all women so badly, it needs to become a legally protected characteristic on par with a disability.
Sure, the menopause affects some women badly. So too do periods, but that doesn't mean we should view women as faulty and diseased for one week every month and assume that they need blanket special dispensation, just because of the bad experiences of a few. There are myriad approaches that can be taken to managing unusually painful or difficult periods or menopauses, and getting employers involved is a monumental mistake for a rather obvious reason: it gives employers yet another reason not to hire women.
Employers are already wary about taking on women of child-bearing age in case they get pregnant and require lengthy maternity leave, so to tell employers they now not only have a reason to be wary of younger women (pregnancy), but of older ones (menopause) too, is simply going to result in employers concluding female employees are not worth the hassle and its better to hire men. These concerns were reflected by a surprisingly perceptive op-ed in The Daily Mail, and unsurprisingly howled down by the usual suspects at The Guardian, who are all for treating menopausal women as if they have a serious disease, and adding the menopause to the ever-lengthening list of "protected characteristics" under the Equality Act.
Quite unfathomably, the left-wing press appears to believe that employers are obliged to hire people because they have protected characteristics (the more, the better, as if they are qualifications, or particularly impressive industry awards), rather than comprehend the reality that your characteristics can't be protected by an employer, if you haven't got one in the first place, and the more protected characteristics that apply to women as opposed to men, the less attractive women become as employees. If - as has been widely proposed - women were entitled not just to maternity leave when they are pregnant, but to monthly period leave when they are not, and then finally to menopause leave once their fertile years end, no sane employer would ever hire a "ciswoman" again. They would simply fulfil their female quotas and diversity obligations by hiring "trans women" instead - as I believe is the ultimate goal of Scotland's Gender Reform Act.
Unfortunately, however, it may be inevitable that such concessions have to be made, as the Covid injection has so badly interfered with healthy menstrual cycles, dramatically increasing the number of women experiencing menstrual irregularities that could interfere with their work. The injection also appears to be expediting menopause.
To sum, it is a perfect - and perfectly evil - stitch-up. All the factors you see above conspire to create a future where women face hugely increased obstacles to accessing the world and public life, and therefore more and more will be consigned to a life of domesticity. Which, of course, has nothing wrong with it if that's what you've chosen - but is wholly unacceptable if it has been forced.
As it has been, on innumerable women in many cultures throughout history, and still is, even in enclaves of the ostensibly liberal and democratic UK. I read recently an excerpt from a memoir called 'The Go-Between', charting the experiences of a young Muslim boy, who was born in Birmingham in the 1970s, to immigrant parents, who had migrated from Afghanistan. His mother had entered an arranged marriage at the age of 14 and had her first child at 15, whilst both parents were completely illiterate, both in their mother tongue and in English (which they barely spoke).
Both parents endured difficult and traumatic lives, but the plight of the author's mother was particularly bleak, prohibited as she was - and as was common to the women in their community - from ever leaving the house without a full burqa and male chaperone (she dared not even open the front door to take in the milk, and one mother in the neighbourhood had to watch in horror as her child was hit by a car in the street, unable to rush out and comfort her, as it would mean going outside). His sisters, meanwhile, were removed from school at the age of 10, and effectively confined to the house, where they would rise at 5am to start cleaning and cooking. One sister, who had an arranged marriage at 17 (which later fell apart), is now in her forties and still cannot properly read or write.
Please note that this is not a story from some backwards medieval village in 1642, these are things that took place in a cosmopolitan big city in Britain in the late 20th century.
There's an enduring and prominent belief amongst the media and chattering classes that, somehow, we in liberal democratic societies are immune from the reaches of such repressive regimes - that we might have lived such unenlightened lives once upon a time, in the dark and distant past, but we could never go back. Yet from everything I see unfolding around us now - we are going back. We're hurtling back at breakneck speed, in large part because these kinds of cultures and attitudes to women, never actually went away. Modern, Western interpretations of equality and human rights are far from universal, and very many countries have not embraced them - including subsections of our own country.
Note that all the social changes that are taking place currently, which will have the ultimate effect of dramatically reducing the numbers of women in further education, the workplace, and public life, are coinciding with the meteoric rise of "influencers" who have some very, shall we say, unreconstructed ideas about women - the most notorious and high-profile of whom being Andrew Tate (the alleged "anti-establishment hero" who's recently been granted a Channel 4 documentary...).
These people have been able to rise to such levels of power and influence because there is currently underway an inevitable backlash against decades of feminism which has pathologised any kind of "traditionalism" in relationships (such as being a stay-at-home mother), and maintained women can only be happy via independence and career.
We have the data now on decades of women's liberation and how it has affected women, and the results are clear: women are unhappier than they have ever been, and have got successively unhappier every decade since the 1970s. The reasons for this are complex and multi-factorial, but it does reveal unequivocally that achieving enhanced happiness for women is not so clear-cut as simply adopting the traditional lifestyle of a man (focusing on career and personal advancement etc).
A lot of women (and men) have realised that much of the social "wisdom" they received growing up has failed them, in terms of delivering on founding promises of increased fulfilment and happiness. This has led to a lot of lost souls, broken relationships, and bitter people (with currently more single adults than at any time in recorded history), and so they're (inevitably) lashing out in fury that they were misled. They're also spearheading a dramatic pendulum shift back in the other direction.
This is in many ways historically predictable, as we can never seem to achieve a happy medium in society, and appear constantly stuck in this perennial cycle: "extreme conservatism is bad, so we have to have extreme liberalism... which is bad, so we have to have extreme conservatism".
The failures of the women's liberation movement to maximise women's happiness and fulfillment certainly deserve serious acknowledgement and study, but these failures should not be used as a justification to catapult us back the other way and into some sort of extremist repressive caliphate. This is like saying, "promiscuity is bad and fails to make people happy: therefore, everybody should be celibate" (which is actually something the ruling classes are pushing as well, oh yes...).
Extremism of any stripe is not good. One of the oldest symbols known to man, the yin-yang symbol, demonstrates this perfectly The yin-yang symbol is the embodiment of balanced dark and light (masculine and feminine), showing that these forces not only immaculately balance and compliment each other, but that there is always a little feminine in the masculine (the dark in the light), and vice versa (the light in the dark).
Social extremism always tries to eliminate this immutable truth by pushing fundamentalist absolutes that are not natural to either sex. And whilst it may very well not be 'natural' and desirable for women to focus solely on career and adopt typically masculine go-getter traits at the expense of family and relationships, that certainly doesn't imply (or it shouldn't) that it's better for them to be illiterate, housebound, and forbidden from showing their faces.
People currently engaged in the pushback against feminism and the championing of figures such as Andrew Tate may say, "that's not what we're calling for", but are you sure? There's a bigger cultural battle going on here and well-intentioned people are often used by shady forces to bring about dramatic cultural changes not in their interests.
I've referenced it many times, but I'll say it again - the cool and attractive young conservative activists in The Handmaid's Tale were not calling for a return to medieval values either. They were intelligent and educated, reasonable people. Serena Joy was a working professional, publishing books and conducting college tours.
But what she thought she was promoting - a return to more moderate, family-focused values, as opposed to extremist liberal decadence - was cynically manipulated by those really pulling the strings, and as soon as she and her ilk - the 'acceptable faces' of the conservative revolution - had been used to usher it in in, the rules were abruptly changed. Not only was Serena Joy no longer permitted to write books - she (and all women) were not even permitted to read them, and this is not far-fetched or without historical precedent. Many cultures have realised that one of the most effective ways to limit women's prospects, so they never seek opportunities outside of the home, is to keep them illiterate.
It is not incidental, in my opinion, that in the midst of the cultural revolution that is currently underway, the ostensibly liberal and progressive Guardian has called for an end to book ownership, whilst worldwide, the requirement for universal literacy is inevitably dropping, as knowledge-based AI becomes so advanced, it can do many word-based jobs better than people can. Please note that schools have already banned students from using the ChatGPT app, as it can write an original (not plagiarised) homework essay that scores an A* when graded.
It is specifically jobs that deal with the written word that are at risk from AI language models such as ChatGPT. That means it is conceivable that many children will grow up in an environment where their future does not require them to be fully literate, as they will never be required to work with the written word. Many people of the future won't have jobs at all, courtesy of the AI revolution and UBI, and, when speculating about what all these people will do all day, the ridiculously sinister and inexplicably influential Yuval Noah Harari has referenced "drugs and computer games" - not reading, nor any pursuit that would require functional literacy.
To reference again the title of the article, tyrannical elites keeping the masses in a state of illiteracy in order to better control them, is hardly anything new, and indeed, whole communities have often chosen to impose this fate on their children - especially their daughters - to intentionally limit their prospects. We already see the inevitable impact of forced educational disruptions to children during "the pandemic" - increased struggles with literacy, and, of course, this was all entirely predictable and therefore intended.
It was always abundantly obvious that the real reason behind closing schools wasn't to protect children (whom, even mainstream experts agree, were never at any serious risk from a respiratory illness that overwhelmingly impacted the elderly and infirm). A key real reason was therefore likely to have been to set in motion the downwards trajectory towards illiteracy for many - as many children have not and will not make up the losses they endured in lockdown. Also note that with the plans for dramatically reduced travel and 15-minute cities, lowering people's expectations and desires to explore the world is going to become key to social engineers - and if people cannot read about the wider world and all it has to offer, because they cannot read, their ambition will thus be successfully stymied.
Very often throughout history, when dramatic cultural changes occur, many people react in reeling disbelief and shock because they had not seen them coming, and had dismissed those sounding the alarm as doom-mongers and conspiracy theorists. It would have been extremely difficult, for instance, for the residents of early 1970s Iran to believe that, by 1979, their modern, Westernised country would have been overtaken by regressive religious extremists - but it happened.
And there were signs it was going to happen, which caused many families to flee Iran whilst they could, despite the disapproval of some who thought they were being ludicrous - overreacting to a false threat that could never materialise.
So, whilst fleeing the country may not be much of an option for us now in a global lockstep agenda, what is most certainly an option is preparation - that, in seeing the signs and anticipating the changes, we can strategise how best to prepare for them. A few ideas: further festoon one's abode with books (these can be picked up extremely cheaply at charity shops, market stalls and the like), and collate physical evidence (such as printed photographs and promotional literature) of the existence of institutions such as schools, pubs, and churches (which all appear to be earmarked for abolition), and other hard, material evidence of how life is now (remember how clandestine printed magazines from 'before' were in The Handmaid's Tale, as social controllers fought to brutally suppress the flow of information about the past).
Such "evidence-collating" is necessary because the social engineers - as they have done so many times historically - are going to try and rewrite history for the forthcoming generations, to erase a true record of what things are like now (much easier when so much of culture is online rather than physically written down), so it is incumbent on us to keep an indelible record, and make sure this really quite extraordinary chapter of human history (I mean, it's dark and devious and diabolical and all that, but never a dull moment, right?!) is impossible to erase, re-write, or forget.
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