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The cult of Plastic Woman There is no such thing as having it all

Do you want to become Weird Barbie? (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Do you want to become Weird Barbie? (Warner Bros. Pictures)


August 7, 2023   5 mins

How fantastic is life in plastic? I’m not talking about Barbie here, though of course the film’s defining moment is Gloria’s bitter feminist monologue: “I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us.” I mean the longer-running cult of plasticity, popularised in the 2000s with the help of sociologists such as Anthony Giddens, which emphasised flexibility, adaptability and transferability as core “graduate attributes” and employment skills. From then on, success in the modern world required the willingness to juggle many things at once. The ability to do one thing well was not only outdated; it was enough to qualify you for a position “on the spectrum”.

The plasticity imperative was aimed at everyone, but some were quicker to adapt than others. Women, we were reminded, had been multitasking for years — and suddenly this made us marvellous. “Plastic Woman” was the protagonist of Hanna Rosin’s 2012 book, The End of Men: and the Rise of Women: during the past century, Rosin wrote, Plastic Woman has “performed superhuman feats of flexibility”, going from “barely working at all to working while married and then working with children, even babies”. She has embraced her liberation from “ladylike standards” to engage in everything from sexual adventurousness to demanding better salaries. Trailing far behind her was “Cardboard Man”, who “hardly changes at all”. Men have “lost the old architecture of manliness”, argued Rosin, without replacing it with anything more solid than “’mancessories’ — jeans and pickup trucks and designer switchblades, superheroes and thugs who rant and rave on TV”. Welcome to Kendom.

Rosin’s book expressed the insights of academic “crisis of masculinity” literature, and for all its oversimplifications, it had a point. Deindustrialisation had not only made the skills demanded by traditionally “male” jobs redundant by the late 20th century, but it had set the scene for a new kind of worker role that women seemed to glide into. This had less to do with a specific type of work, and more to do with a type of worker prized by the new deindustrialised economy. People have often assumed that women are better suited to service-sector jobs and care work than they are to the factory floor, but this doesn’t stack up; women for centuries have engaged in back-breaking physical labour in the fields, the home, and indeed in factories. Instead, in all sorts of workplaces, women fulfilled the criteria of the new model employee: one with a host of generic skills, whose expectations of continuity and stability were less firmly rooted than for the “job for lifers” of old, and whose workplace demands were tempered by gratitude that we were encouraged to be there at all.

For women in the Nineties and 2000s, working was seen as a privilege that our mothers had fought so hard to win. If work didn’t allow us to self-actualise to the degree Betty Friedan had promised, it was still better to be out in the world than suffocating in the “comfortable concentration camp” of the home. Or was it?

We are no longer so sure. Now perimenopausal and dreaming of retirement, the archetypal Nineties Plastic Woman finds herself “just so tired” by the demands of everything, everywhere, all at once that she has begun to wonder if it was all a bit of a con. Meanwhile, younger women are opting out of various aspects of the game, boasting of “lazy girl jobs” or deciding to remain childless. A new breed of “conservative feminist” argues that (other) women should re-focus their attention and affection back on the family and the home, reclaiming the fulfilment of motherhood from the bad press given to it by the Women’s Liberation Movement.

But amid this furious backlash against Girlboss feminism, the deeper problem with the cult of plasticity is obscured. It’s not about all the things we have to do, but about who we think we are. The promotion of Plastic Woman did not come at the expense of men — who, as many pointed out when Rosin’s book was published, were already well on their way to being plasticised. It came at the expense of the ideal of self-determination, which lay at the core of both the labour movement and the campaign for women’s liberation. What drove both movements, albeit often in different directions, was the desire for more control over one’s life: you might have to do a lot of hard and boring stuff, at work or at home, but that did not define who you were.

In paid work, the authority of the boss stopped at the end of the working day, and your personal “well-being” was your own bloody business. For stay-at-home mothers, it was more complicated: the boundaries between the work of childcare and the role of motherhood had been mashed together, such that women often struggled to work out where the role ended and “I” began. That’s why feminists demanded social childcare: not because they thought all mothers should get a paid job, but because it placed a conceptual boundary between the understanding of oneself as a woman and mother, and the tasks involved in caring for children.

The cult of plasticity turns this boundary-setting on its head. Constantly “juggling” a range of tasks and commitments is prized, because it keeps people on their toes and weakens the stubborn pride that comes with doing one thing properly. People who are confident about what they are doing — whether that is raising children, or being skilled in a particular kind of work — are less amenable to being pushed around than those who find themselves constantly unsettled by demands to do things in a new way. So, on one level at least, the promotion of plasticity allows Human Resources departments and parenting “experts” alike to manufacture a culture of compliance.

In this vein, diminishing the boundaries between home and work — a trend shamelessly accelerated during the pandemic, via the embrace of “hybrid working” — may not be doing great things for productivity, but it sends an effective signal that even when we are not at work, the company is still with us. Yet the hybrid working fiasco points to a contradiction: it seems pretty obvious that surveillance and micro-management do not encourage people to work more efficiently or effectively. When ticking boxes and jumping through hoops become the job description, employees end up bewildered, defensive, and distracted from the task at hand.

The sensible course of action would be to back off. Instead, HR departments seem to be doubling down in their quest to create the new model employee, by further breaching the boundary between work and our internal lives. The latest incursion on self-determination is the growing demand to declare our pronouns. The symbolic replacement of “I am” with “refer to me as” represents far more than a clarification of office etiquette. Gender-critical feminists have rightly pointed to the obliteration of “woman” or “man” as meaningful categories, once anyone can claim to be either (or neither, or both). Once these categories become free-floating flourishes in an email signature, the pretence that “we” are the ones choosing them will be short-lived. In practice, this is already being revealed — the use of gender-neutral language to avoid misgendering means that we are all rapidly becoming “they”: non-binary, non-specific, generic, plastic.

At least to this, fantastically, Plastic Woman seems to be kicking back. In the untidy coalition of Terfs, Hags, conservative feminists, and colleagues muttering quietly in corners, we see the holding of one important line: the desire to determine oneself, rather than submit to being endlessly moulded. It’s a reminder that people will bend only so far; as Weird Barbie shows us, we can be played with “too hard”.


Dr Jennie Bristow is a sociologist of generations and author of Stop Mugging Grandma


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David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago

Trailing far behind her was “Cardboard Man”, who “hardly changes at all”. 

(Please note quoted by the author, not her view)
A good example of the antipathy towards men at the heart of much feminist thinking. It’s as if they can’t help but express their ill will, even when ostensibly being objective.

When challenged, feminists will tell you that it is all about equality, and a better world for all – but their words give them away.

N Satori
N Satori
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Good point – but I hope you don’t mind if I stretch if a little further. Social justice activists, of whatever type, always begin by insisting on their human right to equality and social acceptance. This soon evolves into demands for conspicuous respect, deference and preferential treatment – mere acceptance and the granting of equality are no longer good enough and may even be dismissed as patronising.
[e.g. The ever growing demands of the gay movement provide a perfect illustration of the process. What began with calls for the de-criminalisation of homosexuality has grown into demands that Pride month be universally celebrated, same-sex marriage be treated as equal to heterosexual (ie normal) marriage, that to be same-sex attracted confers special virtue and that criticism, or even scepticism of homosexuality or lesbianism should be forbidden].

Last edited 8 months ago by N Satori
Ticiba Upe
TU
Ticiba Upe
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Listen to these women: They are unhappy people and take it out on everyone else. I suspect that their personal problems come from their own mothers, who dominated them, and their fathers who just wanted peace and allowed the mother/wife to dominate them all. I am a woman, lived through the 60/70s femlib movement, watched it get highjacked by the crazies, and watched the confusion in the workplace by both sexes as they juggled to understand the new roles. I have, as a young Navy officer in the 70/80/90s and having lived through all of that turmoil in a male environment, become an unlikely advocate for men….and they need one. None of these women ever ask a beta male to go fight for them. They created the beta males by trying to make men more like women. These women need to examine their own behavior and how it creates their own unhappiness.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago
Reply to  Ticiba Upe

Excellent comment

Ian Barton
IB
Ian Barton
8 months ago
Reply to  Ticiba Upe

Excellent comment

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Just because a woman defines men a certain negative way and women a certain positive away doesn’t make it so.
Women can’t seem to grasp this fact, or if they do they ignore it because it satisfies their resentment towards men.
There seems to be an underlying jealousy of men that feeds a lot of women’s writings.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
Tony Buck
TB
Tony Buck
8 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

A jealousy of men caused by a wish to be more like men – that is, footloose and sexually irresponsible, unburdened by pregnancy and motherhood.

Result: population implosion and the end of Western societies, feminists and feminism included.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

A jealousy of men caused by a wish to be more like men – that is, footloose and sexually irresponsible, unburdened by pregnancy and motherhood.

Result: population implosion and the end of Western societies, feminists and feminism included.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

What really annoys me about lines like these is, that it’s almost exactly the other way round.
While most men I know are comfortable doing housework, taking care of kids etc….
It’s women who haven’t changed at all.
Yes, yes, they go to college to get those easy non STEM degrees, and those nice govt / admin / NHS jobs.
But very few women I know would agree to be the breadwinner, or even forego leisure and family time for a stressful 70 hour job. No change when it comes to child custody, alimony, dying in Iraq or Ukraine is for men. Hardly any woman would go for construction, truck driving, anything that might be physical or involve irregular outdoor hours.

Forget all that, you will find plenty of whining about women footballers not magically being paid the same, but women invariably take no interest in football, gaming, etc.

In terms of mindset, women are still stuck in 1900. Working in an office and collecting a paycheck doesn’t make you “modern”.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Women long ago became some of the worst soccer bores. Only a woman has expressed moral outrage at my indifference to the ‘beautiful game’. There are even female PC gamers but it seems some of them pretend to be male to avoid being a ‘female gamer’.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Women long ago became some of the worst soccer bores. Only a woman has expressed moral outrage at my indifference to the ‘beautiful game’. There are even female PC gamers but it seems some of them pretend to be male to avoid being a ‘female gamer’.

N Satori
N Satori
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Good point – but I hope you don’t mind if I stretch if a little further. Social justice activists, of whatever type, always begin by insisting on their human right to equality and social acceptance. This soon evolves into demands for conspicuous respect, deference and preferential treatment – mere acceptance and the granting of equality are no longer good enough and may even be dismissed as patronising.
[e.g. The ever growing demands of the gay movement provide a perfect illustration of the process. What began with calls for the de-criminalisation of homosexuality has grown into demands that Pride month be universally celebrated, same-sex marriage be treated as equal to heterosexual (ie normal) marriage, that to be same-sex attracted confers special virtue and that criticism, or even scepticism of homosexuality or lesbianism should be forbidden].

Last edited 8 months ago by N Satori
Ticiba Upe
TU
Ticiba Upe
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Listen to these women: They are unhappy people and take it out on everyone else. I suspect that their personal problems come from their own mothers, who dominated them, and their fathers who just wanted peace and allowed the mother/wife to dominate them all. I am a woman, lived through the 60/70s femlib movement, watched it get highjacked by the crazies, and watched the confusion in the workplace by both sexes as they juggled to understand the new roles. I have, as a young Navy officer in the 70/80/90s and having lived through all of that turmoil in a male environment, become an unlikely advocate for men….and they need one. None of these women ever ask a beta male to go fight for them. They created the beta males by trying to make men more like women. These women need to examine their own behavior and how it creates their own unhappiness.

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Just because a woman defines men a certain negative way and women a certain positive away doesn’t make it so.
Women can’t seem to grasp this fact, or if they do they ignore it because it satisfies their resentment towards men.
There seems to be an underlying jealousy of men that feeds a lot of women’s writings.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

What really annoys me about lines like these is, that it’s almost exactly the other way round.
While most men I know are comfortable doing housework, taking care of kids etc….
It’s women who haven’t changed at all.
Yes, yes, they go to college to get those easy non STEM degrees, and those nice govt / admin / NHS jobs.
But very few women I know would agree to be the breadwinner, or even forego leisure and family time for a stressful 70 hour job. No change when it comes to child custody, alimony, dying in Iraq or Ukraine is for men. Hardly any woman would go for construction, truck driving, anything that might be physical or involve irregular outdoor hours.

Forget all that, you will find plenty of whining about women footballers not magically being paid the same, but women invariably take no interest in football, gaming, etc.

In terms of mindset, women are still stuck in 1900. Working in an office and collecting a paycheck doesn’t make you “modern”.

David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago

Trailing far behind her was “Cardboard Man”, who “hardly changes at all”. 

(Please note quoted by the author, not her view)
A good example of the antipathy towards men at the heart of much feminist thinking. It’s as if they can’t help but express their ill will, even when ostensibly being objective.

When challenged, feminists will tell you that it is all about equality, and a better world for all – but their words give them away.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago

I suspect that after late twentieth century feminists won the war for equality, the daughters of feminists felt compelled to opt for the new found “wonderful opportunities” that were previously the preserve of males.
.
Equally the full-time grifters in the sex/gender space needed to find other “causes “ to moan about – in order to keep their salaries coming in e.g. Stonewall.
.
Hopefully the tide is turning, and women will start to do what they feel works for them – rather than follow the instructions of the “grievance grifters”

Last edited 8 months ago by Ian Barton
Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Hopefully most will decide to have nothing to do with men.

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
8 months ago

They have definitely decided not to have anything to do with the responsibilities hoisted on men by the patriarchy.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago

What would you have them do ?

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago

This is a sentiment expressed by bitter and lonely people of both sexes.
Rather that allowing for self actualization it is ultimately self destructive.
I recommend Dr Jordan Peterson; his writing and online lectures as an effective therapeutic.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago

That’s just silly & insane & yes, just plain stupid. Women & man are complementary and will be forever more. You’re just not doing it right.

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I believe it’s too late for her and has been for many years.
Old and single.
Resenting couples and especially men.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I believe it’s too late for her and has been for many years.
Old and single.
Resenting couples and especially men.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
Tony Buck
TB
Tony Buck
8 months ago

And will die out. Splendid – and good riddance.

Oh, but I forgot sperm donors ! Lots of kids with two mums, thus growing up to be lunatics.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago

They have definitely decided not to have anything to do with the responsibilities hoisted on men by the patriarchy.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago

What would you have them do ?

William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago

This is a sentiment expressed by bitter and lonely people of both sexes.
Rather that allowing for self actualization it is ultimately self destructive.
I recommend Dr Jordan Peterson; his writing and online lectures as an effective therapeutic.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago

That’s just silly & insane & yes, just plain stupid. Women & man are complementary and will be forever more. You’re just not doing it right.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
8 months ago

And will die out. Splendid – and good riddance.

Oh, but I forgot sperm donors ! Lots of kids with two mums, thus growing up to be lunatics.

Caroline Watson
CW
Caroline Watson
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Hopefully most will decide to have nothing to do with men.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago

I suspect that after late twentieth century feminists won the war for equality, the daughters of feminists felt compelled to opt for the new found “wonderful opportunities” that were previously the preserve of males.
.
Equally the full-time grifters in the sex/gender space needed to find other “causes “ to moan about – in order to keep their salaries coming in e.g. Stonewall.
.
Hopefully the tide is turning, and women will start to do what they feel works for them – rather than follow the instructions of the “grievance grifters”

Last edited 8 months ago by Ian Barton
Saul D
SD
Saul D
8 months ago

The gap is between a who-I-am world and a what-do-I-do world.
In the more traditional world, the what-do-I-do is dominant – general, sergeant, scientist, teacher, butcher, baker. The who-am-I is suppressed except for close confidants. People at work are known by the job, where you wouldn’t know whether they’re married, or what their hobbies are, even what your first name is. Personal is secondary and private. You are known by what you do and what you have done.
In the who-I-am world, everything revolves around self-promotion and self-actualisation. You buy things to fulfil your who-I-am dream. Everything becomes personal. How you look, how you are referred to, is about controlling the who-I-am, oversharing personal details, feelings above function, skipping out of duties and commitments because that’s not who-I-am. Criticism becomes ‘aggression’. Words become ‘violence’. Who-I-am shuffle papers and designs and policies. We know them from how they present themselves, not what they do.
We will know which one we really depend on when the war comes…

Betsy Arehart
BA
Betsy Arehart
8 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

Excellent insight.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
8 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

Excellent insight.

Saul D
Saul D
8 months ago

The gap is between a who-I-am world and a what-do-I-do world.
In the more traditional world, the what-do-I-do is dominant – general, sergeant, scientist, teacher, butcher, baker. The who-am-I is suppressed except for close confidants. People at work are known by the job, where you wouldn’t know whether they’re married, or what their hobbies are, even what your first name is. Personal is secondary and private. You are known by what you do and what you have done.
In the who-I-am world, everything revolves around self-promotion and self-actualisation. You buy things to fulfil your who-I-am dream. Everything becomes personal. How you look, how you are referred to, is about controlling the who-I-am, oversharing personal details, feelings above function, skipping out of duties and commitments because that’s not who-I-am. Criticism becomes ‘aggression’. Words become ‘violence’. Who-I-am shuffle papers and designs and policies. We know them from how they present themselves, not what they do.
We will know which one we really depend on when the war comes…

David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago

Interesting piece.

It’s a simplification I know, but it’s as if women have volunteered (or been volunteered) to have their lives made harder (in part by feminist imperatives) and then become resentful because men don’t want to have their lives made harder too.

The big question here though is “who is in the driving seat” – is it activists who have “liberated” women and can now cool it down a bit (which seems an implicit assumption of the article), or is it driven by a capitalist system for which relatively docile, flexible, consumerist workers are a huge boon – and for which the real challenge is to get Ken to behave more like Barbie.

David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago

Interesting piece.

It’s a simplification I know, but it’s as if women have volunteered (or been volunteered) to have their lives made harder (in part by feminist imperatives) and then become resentful because men don’t want to have their lives made harder too.

The big question here though is “who is in the driving seat” – is it activists who have “liberated” women and can now cool it down a bit (which seems an implicit assumption of the article), or is it driven by a capitalist system for which relatively docile, flexible, consumerist workers are a huge boon – and for which the real challenge is to get Ken to behave more like Barbie.

N Satori
N Satori
8 months ago

Where are all these multi-tasking superwomen? Are they real-life people or just writer-generated characters in some long running piece of feminist myth-making?
The many women I have worked with and for (if they were bosses) were notable, not for their dynamic flexibility but for their rigidity and keenness on the correct way things should be done. In general, I found them much less dedicated to the job than male colleagues with a greater concern for personal comfort, rest breaks, days off and holidays – and more likely to call in sick.
Of course the old deindustrialisation-has-made-men-redundant trope is there in Bristow’s piece – as though we were all slaving manfully in coal mines and steelworks until recently. Could this be stereotyping? Profiling? Strange how rarely you hear that Industrialisation has made life and work much easier for women. But industrialisation is contrary to the nature loving eco-dream favoured by so many women.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Multi tasking is overhyped. What pays, both for yourself and your team, is specialisation, focus and concentration on doing one thing really well.
You have go multitask for mundane tasks at home. And it isn’t really that big a deal, if you are systematic and plan properly.
If anything, the ideal shouldn’t be about doing well at multitasking, but taking ages over getting things wrapped up, but rather to focus on doing things fast so you can spend time for your kid and yourself.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I always suspicious of the term multi-tasking. Wouldn’t “flitting” be a more honest term ?

David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Or switch-tasking. It’s been shown to be inefficient. Those who think they are the most capable of doing it have been shown to be the worst. Except where you have no choice, it is best to focus.

David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Or switch-tasking. It’s been shown to be inefficient. Those who think they are the most capable of doing it have been shown to be the worst. Except where you have no choice, it is best to focus.

N Satori
N Satori
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Your point about multi-tasking is well made but I was really questioning the over-estimation of female employees and that end-of-men notion (always popular with feminists) that male workers are increasingly irrelevant.

AJ Mac
AM
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Mostly agree. Usually just means a capacity to do two or three things at a sub-par level or in an uneven way.
However, I read a persuasive argument once: The fact that mother’s have needed to carry their babies with them while doing other tasks since time immemorial does make them more competent multitaskers on average, if not the versatile dynamos some might imagine themselves to be.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I always suspicious of the term multi-tasking. Wouldn’t “flitting” be a more honest term ?

N Satori
NS
N Satori
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Your point about multi-tasking is well made but I was really questioning the over-estimation of female employees and that end-of-men notion (always popular with feminists) that male workers are increasingly irrelevant.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Mostly agree. Usually just means a capacity to do two or three things at a sub-par level or in an uneven way.
However, I read a persuasive argument once: The fact that mother’s have needed to carry their babies with them while doing other tasks since time immemorial does make them more competent multitaskers on average, if not the versatile dynamos some might imagine themselves to be.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Multi tasking is overhyped. What pays, both for yourself and your team, is specialisation, focus and concentration on doing one thing really well.
You have go multitask for mundane tasks at home. And it isn’t really that big a deal, if you are systematic and plan properly.
If anything, the ideal shouldn’t be about doing well at multitasking, but taking ages over getting things wrapped up, but rather to focus on doing things fast so you can spend time for your kid and yourself.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
8 months ago

Where are all these multi-tasking superwomen? Are they real-life people or just writer-generated characters in some long running piece of feminist myth-making?
The many women I have worked with and for (if they were bosses) were notable, not for their dynamic flexibility but for their rigidity and keenness on the correct way things should be done. In general, I found them much less dedicated to the job than male colleagues with a greater concern for personal comfort, rest breaks, days off and holidays – and more likely to call in sick.
Of course the old deindustrialisation-has-made-men-redundant trope is there in Bristow’s piece – as though we were all slaving manfully in coal mines and steelworks until recently. Could this be stereotyping? Profiling? Strange how rarely you hear that Industrialisation has made life and work much easier for women. But industrialisation is contrary to the nature loving eco-dream favoured by so many women.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
8 months ago

My wife was an old fashioned, obstreperous, short arsed, Ginger with green eyes and a filthy Irish/Yorkshire temper, BUT she was a realist. She knew that where there is a strength on one side it is used. Sometimes she led, sometimes I led and sometimes we walked through life side by side. Always equals in the important things but subordinates when it was sensible. That is the best way.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
8 months ago

My wife was an old fashioned, obstreperous, short arsed, Ginger with green eyes and a filthy Irish/Yorkshire temper, BUT she was a realist. She knew that where there is a strength on one side it is used. Sometimes she led, sometimes I led and sometimes we walked through life side by side. Always equals in the important things but subordinates when it was sensible. That is the best way.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mark Phillips
William Shaw
WS
William Shaw
8 months ago

The author refers to plastic women and cardboard men.
Being a plastic women is implied to be good thing.
Being a cardboard man is implied to be a bad thing.
In reality, plastic women are pushed around at work by HR departments and at home by feminist ideology.
Cardboard men continue, as they always have, to design, build and maintain everything around us that makes civilization possible.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Note that cardboard was in a quote.

William Shaw
WS
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes I noticed that.
Hiding behind quotes made by a different author.
Rather cowardly isn’t it.
She claims that men have hardly changed at all.
Tell that to the coal miners that used return to home with black lung and blackened faces from their shift deep underground who have now been replaced by men who program CNC machines to make the components that make modern life possible.
It’s rather rich being denigrated by a woman who’s never lifted anything heavier than a coffee cup in her entire life.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
William Shaw
William Shaw
8 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes I noticed that.
Hiding behind quotes made by a different author.
Rather cowardly isn’t it.
She claims that men have hardly changed at all.
Tell that to the coal miners that used return to home with black lung and blackened faces from their shift deep underground who have now been replaced by men who program CNC machines to make the components that make modern life possible.
It’s rather rich being denigrated by a woman who’s never lifted anything heavier than a coffee cup in her entire life.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
David Morley
DM
David Morley
8 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Note that cardboard was in a quote.

William Shaw
WS
William Shaw
8 months ago

The author refers to plastic women and cardboard men.
Being a plastic women is implied to be good thing.
Being a cardboard man is implied to be a bad thing.
In reality, plastic women are pushed around at work by HR departments and at home by feminist ideology.
Cardboard men continue, as they always have, to design, build and maintain everything around us that makes civilization possible.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Shaw
JR Hartley
JH
JR Hartley
8 months ago

“Lazy girl job” really means “pretty girl job”. No the most feminist thing, is it?

JR Hartley
JH
JR Hartley
8 months ago

“Lazy girl job” really means “pretty girl job”. No the most feminist thing, is it?

polidori redux
polidori redux
8 months ago

“…the boundaries between the work of childcare and the role of motherhood had been mashed together, such that women often struggled to work out where the role ended and “I” began.”
Where I grew up work never stopped, whether you were a woman or a man. This bought a great advantage to the act of living: You didn’t have to worry about where the “I” went.  

polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
8 months ago

“…the boundaries between the work of childcare and the role of motherhood had been mashed together, such that women often struggled to work out where the role ended and “I” began.”
Where I grew up work never stopped, whether you were a woman or a man. This bought a great advantage to the act of living: You didn’t have to worry about where the “I” went.  

Ticiba Upe
TU
Ticiba Upe
8 months ago

Regarding pronouns: I would be delighted if people would learn the proper use of pronouns such as when to use “me” and when to use “I”. I would suppose that is caused by the failure to teach diagraming a sentence….to ascertain whether the pronoun is subjective or objective but, personally, it drives me crazy to hear people who have a microphone in front of their mouth not know which one to use….and not even stop to think about it. Unless you have an actual split personality, there is no such thing as a singular person being a plural pronoun. Let’s get into the real world here.

Ticiba Upe
Ticiba Upe
8 months ago

Regarding pronouns: I would be delighted if people would learn the proper use of pronouns such as when to use “me” and when to use “I”. I would suppose that is caused by the failure to teach diagraming a sentence….to ascertain whether the pronoun is subjective or objective but, personally, it drives me crazy to hear people who have a microphone in front of their mouth not know which one to use….and not even stop to think about it. Unless you have an actual split personality, there is no such thing as a singular person being a plural pronoun. Let’s get into the real world here.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
8 months ago

I suppose there is no end to female self-obsession. Always some new way of feeling sorry for oneself. Does this come from being childless? The natural target of female concern being absent, she turns her attention to herself. And/or, absent a little being who really is helpless and in need of protection, she invents the Victimhood of the Oppressed as a target for her instinct to care for somebody. As a two year old lacks agency, so she projects helplessness onto Blacks and other Victims.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
8 months ago

I suppose there is no end to female self-obsession. Always some new way of feeling sorry for oneself. Does this come from being childless? The natural target of female concern being absent, she turns her attention to herself. And/or, absent a little being who really is helpless and in need of protection, she invents the Victimhood of the Oppressed as a target for her instinct to care for somebody. As a two year old lacks agency, so she projects helplessness onto Blacks and other Victims.

Mark V
MV
Mark V
8 months ago

Relentless misandry.

Mark V
Mark V
8 months ago

Relentless misandry.

Andrea Heyting
AH
Andrea Heyting
8 months ago

I enjoyed this piece. Thank you.
More than a little dismayed with the feminist bashing comments though. This seems to be getting more common on unherd. “They started it”. “What did they expect” etc etc.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
8 months ago

I enjoyed this piece. Thank you.
More than a little dismayed with the feminist bashing comments though. This seems to be getting more common on unherd. “They started it”. “What did they expect” etc etc.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago

Too much gender-identity nonsense all up and down this page.
We can all see that both men and women suffer from and/or revel in that plasticity that is the mark of post modern culture. Everyone is a freelancer, now; like it or not.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago

Too much gender-identity nonsense all up and down this page.
We can all see that both men and women suffer from and/or revel in that plasticity that is the mark of post modern culture. Everyone is a freelancer, now; like it or not.