APEXUALITY – Women can do it too

Here’s an autobiographical article from a women who has succeeded in the advertising industry. What she is describing – women not helping women, not acting in solidarity with women, no longer feeling as if they are in the culture of women, is plain old apexuality. (HT:r/Mensrights) 

She starts off:

As a white, educated woman, I was more like the men than I was like anything else. I wanted to be part of something big, so I worked to fit in and get ahead. It was romantic and dramatic and exciting — in my 20s and 30s. Acceptance was the gold I dug. I didn’t sleep my way to the top. I smoked, drank, workaholic’d and off-color joked my way there. Talent and a good book weren’t enough. You had to have talent and be one of the boys.

No surprise there, and I hope it wasn’t to her. You have to adopt the group’s norms if you join and hope to benefit from belonging. And the group norms at that level of reward are piranha level competition and backbiting. She reports:

There are, of course, crudely sexist moments. Here are two special quotes from my career that never fail to materialize when I close my eyes to fall asleep in whatever far-flung hotel I’m sleeping in tonight. “I like that necklace, I could choke you with it while I fuck you from behind,” I was told. After a none-too-pleased response came the capper from this guy: “You’re not offended are you?! We only say those things because we forget you’re not one of us. It’s a compliment!” Really.

Eeeww.

But yes. They look for any vulnerability, and differentness they can exploit as a vulnerability – race, gender, minority religion, having gone to a less-connected school, whatever it might be.

She asks:

An issue that’s rarely addressed is how many women in advertising don’t help each other out. What is it that drives a select group of women to actively not support other women?

But then goes on to draw some questionable conclusions. She says:

But maybe it’s not the women who are at fault here. Maybe the fact that there are so few of us in the boardrooms leads us to assume there’s only room for a certain number. Or maybe the older ones among us resent what we gave up at home to get where we are at work, and, so, we’re bitter, drunken, hardened bitches. Or, as was the case in my last run in with a fucked-up, back-stabbing woman at work; nobody likes to fight for their daddy’s attention.

And she earns my respect with her refusal to whine and her insistence on owning it all:

Don’t get me wrong. There are no regrets. It’s a complicated story that’s more about complicity than it is about victimization. There’s no real hero. I’d do it all again. And I wouldn’t say these issues overtook the love I felt, and still feel, for my career.

 

 

Apexuality shows up most often in Anglosphere societies as male behavior, but it is really a function of the struggle for power. We see a woman apexual in the character of Rebecca Sharp, Mrs. Rawdon Crawley, in Vanity Fair. Note how she was shunned by other women, to the point that Thackeray discusses the dynamic at some length.

Apexuality is about the struggle for power, and gender only counts when one gender is shielded from the cutt-throat competition the struggle for power requires, and is allowed to stay aloof from it. When it comes right down to it, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the tactics of Qin Shi Huang1 or the Yongle emperor2 and that of Wu Zetian3 or Ci Xi4.

 

 

1. Qin Shi Huang is the cultural equivalent of Hitler in China. As the ruler of the state of Qin, he unified China into an empire and ended the Warring States period.

2. The Yongle emperor was the second son of the founder of the Ming dynasty. His nephew was preferred over him for the succession and the follwers of that nephew persecuted him to the point where he deposed his nephew. When he tasekd a courtier to write his inaugural adress, the courtier refused, which under the circumstances was an intolerable slur on his legitamcy. he exterminate nine generations of the courtiers male realtives and also the courtiers students and proteges, 864 people in all.

3. Wu Zetian beat out her main rival as imperial consort, which put her in position to become regent later, (allegedly) by having her daughter murdered and framing her rival for the crime.

4. Ci Xi was the enormously popular Dowager Empress at the end of the Qing dynasty. She contended with her daughter-in-law, who advocated for political reform and progress, for influence over the emperor, her son. Eventually she had her killed by being thrown down a well.

 

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  • EquilibriumShift
  • Ginkgo

    Welcome, equilibriumShift. That one has been making the rounds.

    Here’s one reaction from a feminist:
    http://goodmenproject.com/noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz/who-needs-men/
    …..and good for her.

  • Eagle34

    Well, I just submitted a comment about the article highlighting Glenn Beck topping the 80$ million list on Forbes and the dumbfounded reaction from the author at The Good Men Project.

    No insults, no attacks, no elusions to my past. I was civil.

    The comment was put under moderation then deleted.

    I had the urge to write a message to them saying they’ve lost a reader and contributor but decided against it. It’s not worth it. Besides, I want all my articles to remain.

    As far as the rest are concerned? Screw them.

    Here’s the article in question but you won’t find my comment there. It’s gone:

    http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/glenn-beck-80-million-forshawnel/

    So long, Good Men Project. Thanks for the mirage. Much appreciated.

  • Ginkgo

    Post articles here. They had their chance with you.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Great timing! Governor Haley, who has accomplished exactly nothing except looking really great, will be taking the podium tonight at the Republican convention:

    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2012/08/governor-haley-goes-nationwide-tonight.html

    Its just nightmarish.

    One one hand, she is giving press conferences in Tampa saying she wants to “bring women and minorities into the GOP” and then on the other, she tells THE VIEW that women “don’t care about contraception”–probably the only feminist issue ALL women really do feel passionately about… unless its Michele Duggar, et al. Haley only has two kids, not 19 and counting (or whatever the Duggars are up to now), so I daresay she privately must care too.

    Gonna scream… better yet, where are my American Dad DVDs?

  • Eagle34

    I’m going to do just that Ginko. I’ve also got my play to finish as the script is being written right now for the last episode.

    I may not have billions of dollars in sponsorships, nor been on “The View” but I’ve tasted my own level of success. They can choke on it.

  • Ginkgo

    “They can choke on it.”

    Now that’s just bragging, big guy.

    Goddamit, Daisy, I wish I had thought of that very obvious example. I wish I had remembered Sarah Palin. I have no excuse for tis oversight.

  • Ginkgo

    But seriously, Eagle, we are looking forward to your stuff. Send it to the email address in the email I sent you.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Eagle, your comment is there… it might be like it was when I complained about Feministe, they might have seen your complaint here and then reinstated your comment.

    And let me respectfully disagree with you… I doubt you have listened to Glenn Beck much. (he is far more misandrist than Rush; likes to make fun of men who are “touchy feely” and specifically targets men who show too much emotion). Demagogues are always the worst thing for the body politic. It is always frightening when they garner enormous amounts of power and money. I guess we could make the point that Rush and Howard Stern DO
    make men look especially bad, but I admit that I also find Beck to be in a whole nother category altogether. The made-up history, the weird Mormon apocalyptic stuff, the antisemitism, etc. Rush and Stern usually don’t go there, while Beck dives in with aplomb.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Gingko, its really amazing how little Haley has done, and how much attention she has received for it.

    We are wondering whether she forced the hubby to go to Afghanistan for her political career, or is he so fed up with her, he really did volunteer of his own accord? 😉

    Now Haley can call herself a “military wife”(!) –just as Sarah Palin forced her poor son to enlist 4 years ago, all so she could brag about it at the Republican convention. Sarah obviously passed the script to Haley.

    Its too nauseating for words.

  • Eagle34

    Daisy: “Eagle, your comment is there… it might be like it was when I complained about Feministe, they might have seen your complaint here and then reinstated your comment.”

    I don’t know, Daisy. If it takes complaining every single time before they put it back up, it deludes the sense of trust built up from the early days. I’m sorry but I’ll just wish them well at this point.

    Although I’m skeptical about whether they even view comments about them here.

    Daisy: “I doubt you have listened to Glenn Beck much. (he is far more misandrist than Rush; likes to make fun of men who are “touchy feely” and specifically targets men who show too much emotion). Demagogues are always the worst thing for the body politic. It is always frightening when they garner enormous amounts of power and money. I guess we could make the point that Rush and Howard Stern DO
    make men look especially bad, but I admit that I also find Beck to be in a whole nother category altogether. The made-up history, the weird Mormon apocalyptic stuff, the antisemitism, etc. Rush and Stern usually don’t go there, while Beck dives in with aplomb.”

    But what do you do? Just call him out?

    A ton of people have called him out yet he continues to make money and garner a loyal following. Those with the level of power, and their affiliates, look at the bottom line. They could care less about complaints and concerns.

    I don’t agree with Glenn Beck at all and what he peddles on his shows. Not one bit.

    Yet, there are tons of others who do as well. Again, that hasn’t made a dent in Glenn’s listenership or income.

    So what do you do?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUv02VxAcNU MaMu1977

    This isn’t news to me at all. You can compare boys’ cliques to girls cliques and come to that conclusion.

    Boys’ cliques, such as gangs, sports teams or “that group of kids” at school are usually hierarchal. There’s “the smart one”, “the tough one”, “the ‘cute’ one”, “the rich(est) one”, “the big (or talented) one”, etc. However, the leader is almost always “the generic one”, the guy who’s either really good at a few things and neutral at the rest, or the guy who’s decent to good at everything. Barring overwhelming physical need (hunting parties, criminal-drug dealing gangs, do-or-die sports teams, businessmen, etc. IOW, groups in which the defined goal is life or death), a male-led group centers around the “jack of all trades”. And even in those defined-goal group, the leaders will (at the very least) take and use advice from the smart guy, or the tough guy, etc.

    Girl cliques, however, always have a “queen bee”. It doesn’t matter how trivial their objective may be, there’s always a struggle for power. The “queen bee” is almost always the prettiest or richest/most connected girl (main exception: study groups or sales groups *may* show some level of deference to the most successful member.) If you’re talking about a group of schoolmates, activity mates, drinking buddies, neighbourhood pals, etc., the group will *always* be lead by the prettiest/richest one, and the rest of the girls will *always* defer to her (likewise, the queen bee will rarely take advice from the other girls, even in situations in which they’d all benefit.)

    Boy cliques tend to be stable, once everyone in the group figures out their “role”. As long as their role garners some level of respect from the others, you don’t see a lot of dissention in the ranks. Girl cliques, OTOH, can be broken by a guy who treats a non-QB like a QB (Eg. The QB is blond, but “new cute guy” only likes redheads, and he’s “Like, all over Sandy like she’s cute or something.”) Boy cliques, barring inherent racism, can be diverse. If a group of Chinese kids play Street Fighter 4 and a black or white guy can keep up with them (and he isn’t an asshole), then they’ll fold him in (strength in numbers, you know.) Girl cliques tend to either look or act *exactly alike* (unless they accept a member of a different race. *That* girl is allowed to buck the mores of the group as long as the main threads aren’t snagged. A black girl in a girl clique can be sarcastic, but she can’t use ebonics. An Asian guy in a boy clique, conversely, won’t receive more than slight ribbing for his accent.) Boy groups can be made by authority(“We *have to* take in that guy, Mom? OK, we’ll see what he’s good at. Grumble x 3”), girl groups will differentiate themselves from “undesirables” (“Tandy? Oh yeah, her… We don’t hang with Tandy any more. Why? Well, she didn’t know her place.”) Boy cliques will reject people if they don’t “act right”, even if the the leader disagrees with the opinion (he will be the hatchet man.) Girl groups will deal with all sorts of foolishness from the members if the QB is happy (if “Bobby” is always getting the other guys in serious trouble, he’s out. If “Tammy” is always convincing the other girls to stay out “1 hour longer!”, even if the girls’ parents are complaining/”Tammy” gets violent when she’s drunk/the closing time guys at the bar are always too grabby/etc., the girls will drag themselves out until one of them gets assaulted or worse. None of them, however, will *ever* blame Tammy if she’s the QB.

    There’s a reason why movies such as “The Goonies”, “Heathers”, “The Bad News Bears”, “The Craft” and “The Hangover” receive rave reviews, while “Sex and the City” and “The Covenant” had plenty of detractors. There’s a reason why tv shows such as “The Facts of Life” and “Living Single” had plenty of male fans and women can’t get enough of shows like “Supernatural” and “Torchwood”.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Eagle, I analyze and criticize… I consider that my job. I try to come at it from different angles than the mass media does. For instance, when Beck refers to his Mormon apocalypse stuff, I point it out: http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2010/10/hanging-by-thread.html (Most people don’t catch the dog-whistles)

    You can’t give up, or they win. Besides, that just isn’t in my DNA. I come from a long line of hell-raisers. :)

    The journey counts too, not just the destination.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    MaMu, good description, but “alt-girls” tended to reverse this .. e.g. hippie and punk rock girls, would literally reverse this order. The most bedraggled, crazy girl would be in charge, the most borderline personality disorder, the more in charge she was. The only recent movie that made this clear was “Girl, Interrupted”… even though Angelina is/was also the hottest girl, it was an all-girl environment so “appearances” didn’t pack the same punch. She was obviously the craziest one, and that was the draw for the others, why they followed her.

    Ever see the 70s movie, “Foxes”? (Jodie Foster) I recommend it for cultural/historic reference…

    Also “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains”… funny that Laura Dern (as a girl) was in both.

    Check them out, I found them very realistic for their time. I’d be curious to know what you think. Neither were big hits, probably because they were about subcultures.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Also, the movie “Times Square”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square_(film)

    They cut the lesbian references, unfortunately… you can tell they are supposed to be there. (One of the few place you can hear Roxy Music’s “Same Old Scene” which is played over the end credits)

  • Eagle34

    Daisy: “You can’t give up, or they win. Besides, that just isn’t in my DNA. I come from a long line of hell-raisers. :)”

    Then blaze your trail, Daisy. :)

    I’ll make one of my own.

  • http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com Danny

    If you’ll give me just a moment to go off topic a bit.

    Well, I just submitted a comment about the article highlighting Glenn Beck topping the 80$ million list on Forbes and the dumbfounded reaction from the author at The Good Men Project.

    No insults, no attacks, no elusions to my past. I was civil.

    The comment was put under moderation then deleted.

    I had the urge to write a message to them saying they’ve lost a reader and contributor but decided against it. It’s not worth it. Besides, I want all my articles to remain.

    As far as the rest are concerned? Screw them.

    Here’s the article in question but you won’t find my comment there. It’s gone:

    http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/glenn-beck-80-million-forshawnel/

    So long, Good Men Project. Thanks for the mirage. Much appreciated.
    The reason it takes comments so long to show up at GMP now is because there are only 3 people handling comment moderation there right now.

    They’ve asked in the comment sections of numerous posts if people want to be moderators to send in an email and ask but no one offers. So as a result you have 3 people versus hundreds of comments a day.

  • Eagle34

    Danny: “They’ve asked in the comment sections of numerous posts if people want to be moderators to send in an email and ask but no one offers. So as a result you have 3 people versus hundreds of comments a day.”

    I get it, I get it now Danny.

    Thing is I’ve been burned too many times to trust them.

  • Tamen

    Eagle34: Although your comment on TGMP does not contain anything offensive which should put in on moderation I notice that you used the name of the author of the article. Lisa once revealed in a comment that among the words they moderate for are the name of her, TGMP itself and so on. This to be able to respond to any attacks and not letting attacks stay up unnoticed and un-countered. I suspect this also extends to the name of the author of the article. I try to avoid this moderation by not addressing the author of the article by name when I write comments, I use OP or “the article author”. I don’t know if it works though…

    I’ve also noticed that whether I can see my own comment when it’s in moderation is very variable. I think the name and e-mail address fields need to be filled out and cookies needs to be enabled. Even so I sometimes don’t see my comments in moderation on the computer where I made them, but I am at a later time able to see them (while they’re still in moderation) on a completely different PC.
    So a comment marked “Awaiting moderation” may disappear for me, but still pop up again as “Awaiting moderation” later or pop up as an approved comment without me having to ask why it was “removed”.

  • http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com Danny

    Eagle:
    Thing is I’ve been burned too many times to trust them.
    I can understand that as there are sites that I refuse to give a chance after being burned as well.

    I just wanted to give you some piece of mind by explaining why comments that go into moderation can take a really long time to come out even if they are not offensive. With only 3 moderators the moderation queue can become a purgatory real quick where even a legit comment can linger for hours before someone can get to it.

  • Ginkgo

    Has anyone got anything to say about apexuality, or is it ready so obvious that it requires no comment, or so wrong that it can’t even be answered?

  • Clarence

    Invite some Feministe commenters over here.
    You’ll get plenty of comments.
    To me this is obvious and “old hat” but I’ve been doing this gender stuff for 15 years, so I’m surprised that I’m still surprised at times :)

  • Ginkgo

    “Invite some Feministe commenters over here.”

    Funny…they are on our blogroll, but somehow we are not on theirs……

    Actually it would not surprise me to find a lot of them agreeing with at least some parts of this.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Funny you should say that Gingko…Check out Ruth Marcus’s analysis of Ann Romney’s pandering-to-the-ladies Republican convention speech.

    Particularly this part:

    Then there was the unsubtlety of Ann Romney’s we-moms-get-it pander. “You’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it?” she said. “It’s the moms who have always had to work a little harder to make everything right. It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, and we are the daughters. You know it’s true, don’t you? . . . You are the ones who always have to do a little more. . . . I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!”

    This is kind of insulting to the guys, don’t you think? Surely there were some dads out there who “know the fastest route to the local emergency room” or spend a long day at work and then “come home at night and help with the book report, just because it has to be done.” Surely some dads also “know what it’s like to sit in that graduation ceremony and wonder how it was that so many long days turned into years that went by so quickly.”

    Surely some dads share “that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.” Surely a few of them were out there bristling. Maybe even a few of their wives.

    From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-ann-romneys-ham-handed-message/2012/08/29/60a60b40-f200-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_story.html

    Is it now up to feminists like Marcus to point out this stuff? And how ironic is that? 😉

    And speaking of which, here’s my Nikki Haley follow-up:
    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2012/08/haley-watch-governors-star-turn.html

  • Ginkgo

    “This is kind of insulting to the guys, don’t you think? ”

    It’s tradcon sexist bullshit. I can’t wait to see her choke on a batch of cookies.

    She’s just basically denying Mitt’s parenthood. That might make sense in a lot of actual women’s actual experience, but Mormonism is pretty uncompromising about putting family and especially kids before just about everything else. So she’s full of shit in her own particular case.

  • Ginkgo

    “Is it now up to feminists like Marcus to point out this stuff? And how ironic is that? ;)”

    I must be missing something. When did a feminist insisting on gender equality and a respect for the people’s dignity as fuly human become ironic? Rare as shit, neck-snappingly surprising, okay – but it should not be ironic.

    Hell, Daisy, I think of you as a feminst, and yet here you are making the same argument. Not ironic at all.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    I hadn’t thought of the Mormon angle, but you are right about that.

    I can’t believe she had the gall to talk about how she and Mitt sympathize with parents who worry about mortgages and feeding their kids, etc… ohhhh sure they do.

    Obviously she didn’t write the speech herself.

    Speaking of Apexuality, David Koch is at the convention, as a regular delegate from NY. The .00000001 %! Just another guy worth $400 million:
    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/david-koch-blend-in-republican-convention-tampa

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    OOooops, my mistake.

    $400 million is what Koch plans to contribute to anti-Obama SuperPACs, not what HE IS WORTH. Obviously that is only a fraction of his wealth.

  • Ginkgo

    “I can’t believe she had the gall to talk about how she and Mitt sympathize with parents who worry about mortgages and feeding their kids, etc… ohhhh sure they do. ”

    I have gotten to where I cannot stand to watch or listen to this crap. It makes me fidgety and snappish. I get up and pace around.

    You know those Vonage commercials where the preppy looking couple is looking in the window of the couple that has just moved into the neighborhood, and then they run around the end of the house to the front door introduce themselves and talk about bundling, and how “We ALL bundle here….” all creepy dystopia-like? Mormons can come across that way, it’s a feature of the culture (which can be highly adaptive at times) and that’s what these two particular Mormons feel like.Not just false, but creepy false.

  • Paul

    Waitasec

    Just to play devil’s advocate here for a minute, but how is what Ann Romney said any different than what dozens of feminist articles have said whenever they complain that “men don’t do enough around the house”?

    Because it’s coming from a conservative mouth, now they decide they see how insulting those words are? If it had been Hilary Clinton, for example, she would have been hailed as a feminist hero

  • dungone

    @Paul, funny I was just thinking the same thing.

    It reminded me of ballgame’s critique of Melissa McEwan’s sneering mockery of stay at home dads http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2012/08/14/gynocentrist-sneers-at-sahd-article-noh/ Because the New York Times dared to mention that, you know, guys can know about all of that kind of stuff, too. McEwan just couldn’t seem to wrap her head around just why anyone would want to point that out.

  • Skidd

    “She’s just basically denying Mitt’s parenthood. That might make sense in a lot of actual women’s actual experience, but Mormonism is pretty uncompromising about putting family and especially kids before just about everything else. So she’s full of shit in her own particular case.”

    Ex-mo checking in here. It’s funny to me, you have to realize that all that power invested into men with priesthood things? Yeah, they say that only exists to counterbalance motherhood. Motherhood is the BIGGEST thing a woman can achieve in the church, and they should be popping out babies ASAP. Childless-by-choice Mormons are unheard of. Children is the most important thing women can do and the church itself states that women are so much better at parenting than men. SAHM-ism is highly highly encouraged.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUv02VxAcNU MaMu1977

    @DaisyDeadhead

    Re:alt-girls & apexuality

    It’s the extremism, not the actual “quality” that decides who the QB will be. If the girls in question value beauty, the QB will be the hottest of the group. If its brains, then the smartest will be the leader. If its overall fuckedupitude, then the looniest one will be the leader. Apexuality in real life.

  • Eagle34

    To continue on with what I said earlier, it’s not just the broken moderation system over at The Good Men Project that’s turned me off them.

    It’s the fact that it’s less about “Good men being good men” and more about “Men fitting the standards of women and gynocentric feminism”. With the majority articles peddling “Men having it easier than any gender” (Hey, it’s Ozy’s word, not mine), Tom Matlack musing on the time for a female president because “Men have screwed it up”, yet another feminist male talking about “Violence against women and children” only, there’s just no place for genuine stories about Good Men anymore independant of such bias. Or they’re being drowned out by the idealogues yet again (not surprising since Noah’s the head editor and Lisa’s been ill).

    I go over there, and the place resembles more and more a gynocentric feminist affiliate arm than something unique. But it has brought them success in ad revenues and mainstream media attention. Sad that it still sells so easily and even The Good Men Project ideal can be tempted by bias and money.

  • Ginkgo

    They try but their ideological orientation cripples them from being a true men’s issues site. And that’s about it for feminism and men’s issues. It doesn’t much better than the failure that that site represents.

    As for ad revenues and such – looking at it from that angle, the episode with Hugo Schwyzer and Amanda Marcotte makes more sense to me than before. Those are big-time, mainstream feminist names, even if they have both managed to alienate huge numbers of feminists. They can still draw a very large audience. Notice how they both left sudenly and without much noise? I think they were invited in and didn’t find quite the congenial setting they expected. They were never deeply invested in the place, ever.