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.
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.
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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