Michael Moore, misandrist, and a note on sex differences in behavior

October 31, 2016 • 11:30 am

Michael Moore has taken out after men on his Twi**er feed; here’s a sample of three in order of posting:

I don’t know what to make of this. Certainly men have been dominant over history, denying women the opportunity to melt the ice caps, build smokestacks or start the Holocaust (though there were plenty of women guards who abused women in the women’s camps). And the reason men have been dominant is largely sexual selection, which happened to make women the childbearers and the men larger and stronger. This is NOT to say that socialization and sexism have played no role in the oppression of women, for a group with higher status and dominance will culturally try to maintain that privilege. But the inequality between the sexes had to start somewhere, and that start is sexual selection. (Again, I’m not justifying the inequality, just explaining its inception.)

But I have a feeling that Moore means something more here: that women are by nature less aggressive and competitive, and more conciliatory.  That is, some part of these differences are inborn—genetic. And I suspect he’s right. But evolutionary biology also helps explain that, since men must compete for women and status, and the hormones that promote that behavior can have all sorts of bad side effects. I have little doubt, in fact, that a world in which women had power equal to that of men would be a world we’d like better. But to say that is to admit that the differences in behavior between men and women are not purely cultural. They must be at least partly based on evolved genetic differences. (Of course men and women have almost the same sets of genes, except for those on the Y chromosome, but evolution has caused them to be expressed differently in the sexes.) If there were no genetic differences, and women gained full equality of power and opportunity (i.e., experienced the same cultural environment), then culturally-based differences would disappear, and women and men would behave the same. (What that behavior would be is of course unpredictable.)

Moore’s tweets, then, while expressing a social reality, are also a tacit admission of biological differences in behavior between the sexes, something that to most evolutionary biologists is palpably true, but is anathema to many liberals and feminists—especially gender feminists. If you maintain that women are by nature the kinder, gentler, sex, and will always be so, then you’re usually admitting that the behavioral differences between men and women are based on part on genes.

I have to add a sardonic tw**t by one of my hosts here in Singapore, Melissa Chen:

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-1-22-20-am

 

185 thoughts on “Michael Moore, misandrist, and a note on sex differences in behavior

  1. No women ever invented an atomic bomb, built a smoke stack, initiated a Holocaust, melted the polar ice caps or organized a school shooting.

    That’s because women aren’t given the chance – there is unfair hiring practices in the atomic bomb, smoke stack, holocaust, polar ice cap melting and school shooting businesses.

    And how can you say women didn’t melt the polar ice caps? How rude! We used aerosol sprays prior to the late 80s too!

    Seriously though – I do see this as misogyny more than misandry — women, the tender dears, aren’t capable of the same things as men. They are care givers and lovers. Good grief, do you KNOW any women? It’s the same old isolation of the “other” and the putting on a pedastal. It’s exactly like saying you shouldn’t rape women because you should treat them like queens or some such.

      1. In fact the bomb couldn’t have been built without rooms full of “human computers” — mostly women — who crunched the numbers that guided its design.

    1. And, as several female acquaintances has stated quite forcefully… all female workplaces, with female leadership – is a living hell.

      I am not so certain that a shift from men to women necessarily would mean an improvement.

      Change, in all probability, but not necessarily for the better.

      I think there lies a dangerous cognitive trap here for the unwary…

      1. I think the best option is where we all get equal opportunities. Men and women bring different qualities to any job, and both are valuable.

        Equal representation on boards etc would improve the quality of decision making, but domination by either sex can be a problem. Look what domination by women has done to HuffPo, and by men to several right-wing media organizations.

        My current home help is a man. In fifteen years he’s the first male home help I’ve had. And there are definitely differences, but he does just as good a job as any of the women, and better than several.

        1. Agree completely re equal opportunities, and in general spirit, but, since, as you seem to imply in your last paragraph, there exist huge overlaps between the sexes in most areas, there will be many men and women that will match each other along any relevant dimension.

          Which makes demands for equal representation based on arguments like quality of decisions, not a viable one (to my eyes), since you will be able to find many men with matching female qualities, and vice versa.

          Boards must be allowed to be appointed by suitability, not circumscribed by such rules.

          I think the fact that feminists are actively pushing this actually weakens (and harms) their position and credibility in the long run.

          The same way you should not lower the criteria for positions in for example the Army or firefighters for women, which is done now in the name of equality…

          1. I agree – I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I think there is an argument for forcing minimum numbers of women in some cases simply because women don’t get equal consideration whatever their abilities. But criteria should not be lowered to get women in and I agree that it is harmful to do that.

    2. “Good grief, do you KNOW any women?”

      This, like a thousand times in a row. A person who claims that women never do bad things, including catastrophically bad things, is either disingenuous or delusional.

      Your point about lurking sexism is also well taken. When we do bad things, we should be held accountable. Women aren’t non-agents, to be excused because we just don’t know any better, like the mentally ill, or children, or housepets.

    3. “Seriously though – I do see this as misogyny more than misandry — women, the tender dears, aren’t capable of the same things as men.”

      Can’t agree with that. It might be indirect belittling of women, but it is _straight_up_ demonization of men.

      1. Most of the girls I know were held up to these same low standards. It was ok (and sometimes cute) to make silly mistakes or do something stupid. They weren’t even expected to solve problems, the little dears. Their brothers were challenged to find answers, behave smartly. Guess how successful those girls are today? Guess how much more successful their brothers are! Indeed most of these girls, now women, are the Trump supporting, climate denying, science haters on my FB.

        You may think it’s “only” belittling but when girls are belittled all their lives, their lives become little and that’s a big deal.

  2. Fortunately, his virtue signaling backfired and most of the rebuttals Moore got on that thread were from feminists pissed off by his mischaracterization of women and “putting women on a pedestal”.

  3. I have, quite oddly, met a few women who would love to have a nuclear weapon used on their enemies….mostly for religious purposes or athletic competitiveness. And despite the fact that I am a male, if the human race were like me there would be nuclear power, but no nuclear weapons and there would be no religion, which serves as the greatest impediment to the equality, I think, Moore is trying to push (but he does not have cojones to say it).

  4. “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays” written by Bob Geldof and a song I remember well from my youth, was about Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children in a school playground at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on 29 January 1979, killing two adults and injuring eight children and one police officer……

        1. I was impressed by the case of Amy Bishop Anderson. My colleagues joked that my haircut resembles hers, and I warned them not to play nasty with me about tenures.

  5. Michael Moore has always managed to turn me off. He always has some very good points, as he does here, and he always carries things too far, as he does here. He becomes a caricature of the classic hard right wing conception of a liberal “commie pinko scumbag.” Which is a shame because his causes are usually justified and, being a liberal, I usually agree with him on the basics.

    I fully agree that there is a genetic component to differences in behavior between men and women. I can’t conceive of any valid argument against that claim. I can understand why people would want to downplay or even deny that in favor of environmental causes, but I don’t agree that it is useful to do so.

    1. That is kind of my reaction, too. Mostly I like his stuff because it happens to coincide with my political perspective. But then he goes too far and says dumb things. His religious blind spots annoy me, too.

    2. Michael Moore’s treatment of Charlton Heston (ailing with Alzeimer’s at the time) in “Bowling for Columbine” was despicable, and his “Fahrenheit 911′ was loaded with dubious conspiracy theories.

      1. Not seen either, but you raise an interesting ethical point about responsibility, where it lies, how far it extends. Heston was not a criminal, but he presumably made statements about guns – “from my cold dead hands” I recall for example – which might – MIGHT – make one feel that he had a responsibility that he should be held to account over. Probably he is not a good example of that. In the UK Spitting Image made fun of Reagan – by having the President’s brain run away – as it turns out he MAY have had early stages of Alzheimer’s, a son claims –
        http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/01/14/reagan-son-claims-dad-had-alzheimers-as-president

        1. My guess is the complaint about Heston has to do with how Moore conducted the interview (with Heston), it doesn’t have to do with whether Moore think’s Heston’s position is bad, wrong, or stupid.

          1. Yes, that’s it. I’ve never been a Heston fan, regarding acting or activism, but I don’t have to like some one in order to recognize that they have been treated poorly.

              1. I’ve never heard of that version of Treasure Island before. Most of the movies he is best known for I dislike in no small part because of his performance.

                Like Ben-Hur. Never did understand the acclaim for that movie, but I am okay with being in the minority.

                Planet of The Apes is another one. And I’ve been a science fiction fan since about 5 years old.

              2. All I can say is that it is an anomaly in his work and well worth a watch. The production is pretty respectful of Stevenson’s book and his portrayal of Silver is very good.

              3. Thanks GBJames, you’ve made it sound interesting enough that I’ve put it on my to-watch-with-kids list.

        2. Of course Charlton Heston “made statements about guns.” There is no ambiguity whatsoever that he supported the right of Americans to own guns and use to them.

          I wouldn’t say concerning his statements “he had a responsibility that he should be held to account over.” I would put it: all honor and respect to a man who stood up strongly for a fundamental American liberty.

          1. ‘I wouldn’t say concerning his statements “he had a responsibility that he should be held to account over.” ‘

            Wikipedia: “Heston’s most famous role in politics came as the five-term president of the National Rifle Association, from 1998 to 2003.”

            – and you don’t think Heston should be criticised for his public pro-gun statements?

            cr

            1. If it wasn’t clear from the post you are responding to: No, “I don’t think he should be criticized for is public pro-gun statements” – I agree with him.

              You seem to be aghast that anyone reading this site would not be of the anti-gun persuasion. I, for one, cherish the second amendment and partake of the liberty it explicitly protects.

              1. No, I’m not aghast, and it’s obvious you’re a gun-lover and I’m not. That’s not the point I was making.

                My point is, the guy (CH) made prominent public statements. Are you suggesting that anyone who makes well-publicised arguments on a matter of public policy should be immune from criticism of them? Even if – maybe especially if – he’s gaga at the time.

                cr

              1. “Self defense is golden. Wanting to take away a person’s means and ability to do that is misguided.”
                No, I want to take away people’s ability to easilly kill themselves without consideration. I want to take away people’s, including children’s ability to accidentally shoot themselves, or others. I want to take away people’s ability to easilly kill a family member or friend in the heat of the moment. If you can make a gun that will only, or is at least more likely to save your life than any of the aforementioned, I’m all for it.

              2. Yes, there are large negatives to guns, just as there are from many liberties Americans enjoy. We disagree on whether the tradeoff is worth it, but primarily on the right of the majority to take rights from individuals.

                Some people would argue that indeed, the guns made now are at least as likely to save a life (or prevent a rape or beating), as the items you list occurring. I don’t know, the data to establish this is not available pro or con. That is beside the point. Being of sound mind and conscientious about gun safety, my guns will not be a problem, only a solution. So I will insist on my right.

                As a practical matter, the confiscation of guns is probably as remote as the technological dream of an equally effective, non-lethal alternative. One real effect of threatening gun rights is to add votes in the Trump column (though not mine).

              3. “Being of sound mind and conscientious about gun safety, my guns will not be a problem, only a solution.”
                That’s what almost every legal gun owner who’s gun shot them, or a family member, or neighbor, or friend, accidently or intentionally once believed.

              4. No doubt. That some people are irresponsible, ignorant, careless, or just plain dumb is beyond dispute.

                Your irrational fear is no justification for treating everyone like like a child.

              5. 2/3 of those gun deaths are suicides. Of the remaining, some number are self defense. I would call such fear irrational, when it accounts for such a tiny fraction of 2.5 million American deaths each year.

                Whether a rational fear or not, it still does not justify taking away a basic right. If the death toll is the major concern, far more lives will be saved by banning alcohol, tobacco, sugar, cell phones (?), and heroin. Oh, wait, heroin is already banned and the consequences of that are arguably worse than it being legal. Alcohol prohibition was tried and found disastrous. If the death toll from texting while driving keeps growing, should cell phones be banned? How do you see a gun ban playing out?

              6. Your “basic right” fetish is not impressive.

                I, like Mike Paps, has no problem with your precious right as long as the victims of your fetish stop being killed.

                It says it all that you can live comfortably with 34,000 deaths as long as a majority of them are suicide.

              7. Good comeback: Put an insulting label on what you disagree with, then follow up with a non sequitur to insult me personally. That’s not a good tactic, it only shows your inability to supply actual arguments for your case.

              8. “That’s not a good tactic”

                Labeling 34,000 deaths as an irrational fear, and then arguing that 2/3 of them don’t matter because they are suicides gives you zero credibility in terms of judging tactics. What is actually irrational is the idea that the average Joe needs a gun to protect himself, and that it’s more likely that a life will be saved than taken by one.

              9. Try to be honest. I said 2/3 of gun deaths were suicides, not that they didn’t matter. Perhaps some didn’t really want to die, and might have gone on to happier lives. However many wanted to escape excruciating pain with a clean death on their own terms. It’s one of the best reasons to own a gun.

                Fortunately, you don’t get to decide what the rest of us “need.” Thanks to our constitution, you, your fellow travelers, or even a majority of citizens can’t do anything about me owning guns or carrying one at all times. I expect you don’t see yourself aligned with the regressive left, but your cavalier desire to step on other people’s rights puts you there in my book.

              10. No, Carl, I won’t be shamed for pointing out that you clearly don’t care about the many thousands of people killed by guns in the US every year as long as two thirds of them are pointing the guns at themselves.

                Your dearly held “basic right” takes precedence.

                Which leads me to wonder what number of dead would be high enough for you to consider your “basic right” subject to any sort of restriction.

                I’m sure you are the epitome of responsible gun ownership. I’m concerned about the other people, the ones responsible for killing and maiming thousands of their fellow citizens. Those maimed and dead citizens have a right even more precious than your “basic right”. They have the right to life. Your fetish doesn’t hold a candle to that.

              11. Just like Mike above, you can’t make a point without twisting my words. I gave no indication of not caring about firearms deaths. In fact, I bet I do a lot more than you to prevent unintended firearms deaths by teaching people how to safely and effectively use their guns.

                I have a suggestion for the anti-gun crowd if you really want to do something about gun deaths. Learn as much as you can about firearms. If you have actual knowledge and experience with guns, you can better communicate with the other side and maybe even agree on legislation that might do some good. But there are tons of laws already – if you really want to bring down the death toll, put your efforts into public gun safety education. Forget the pipe dream of confiscating guns, it only hardens the opposition and increases sales of guns and ammunition.

              12. “In fact, I bet I do a lot more than you to prevent unintended firearms deaths by teaching people how to safely and effectively use their guns.”

                I would suggest that I do by explaining to rational people that in most cases (outside of inner city gang ridden areas) they are far more likely to be killed, or injured by their own gun than anyone else’s.

              13. “However many wanted to escape excruciating pain with a clean death on their own terms. It’s one of the best reasons to own a gun.”

                That reason is absurd.

                I’m absolutely in favour of peoples’ right to die, when they want, and painlessly. However there are highly reliable drugs that can do the necessary, with absolutely minimal risk of their being stolen and used in drive-by poisonings or being forcibly administered in the heat of the moment to some person who has just infuriated you. And they don’t leave your brains splattered all over the furniture for the edification of family members. (‘Clean’ death?).

                If that’s one of the best reasons I’d hate to see the less good ones.

                cr

              14. “If that’s one of the best reasons I’d hate to see the less good ones.”

                Indeed, and like you I support a person’s right to die. That being said I don’t think it should be as quick, and easy as taking an aspirin. Ending your life should require some degree of consideration, and planning so that it’s not done on the spur of the moment because you’re having a bad day.

              15. Mike, GB, and infinite,
                Thanks for reinforcing the joy I feel at being an American – of living under a Constitution that guarantees rights to individuals and limits government and majorities, where well-meaning busybodies can’t make certain decisions for their fellows. You feel the dictatorial urge when it comes to the second amendment. Others do with the first. I rejoice in your impotence.

              16. “Try to be honest.”

                Yes, lets. The only reason to bring up the relative percentage of suicides is to trivialize the carnage inflicted on your fellow citizens by the gun violence. All those suicides are supporting the case for easy access to high powered weaponry! Who knew?

                I expect I already know the answer, but I do wonder if there is any number of deaths from gunshot (to say nothing of maiming from non-fatal shots) that you would consider sufficient to limit easy access to guns. Is there a number high enough?

              17. “…dictatorial urge…”

                I’ll conclude by noting that you are unable or unwilling to answer whether there is any level of gun violence that would make you think that controlling access to high powered weapons would be a good thing.

                And that explains exactly the problem with fetishes.

              18. Oh, I think some controls are warranted and legal right now, even though gun deaths have declined more or less for quite some time.

              19. “I think some controls are warranted and legal right now”

                Then I suggest you stop painting folk like me as having “irrational fear”. What we want are reasonable controls that result in a significant reduction in carnage. There is a very broad range of possibilities between what we have now, pathetically weak restrictions, and a complete ban on gun ownership.

                I own a gun. It happens to be an 1848 model Garibaldi rifle and bayonets from the Civil War. Not that it could easily be used to harm anyone unless you climbed high on the wall, took it down, and stabbed someone. But is isn’t a fetish. If turning melting it down could save any lives I’d do it in a heartbeat. That’s the value I associate with this “basic right”.

              20. I called your fear irrational there are other, much more numerically significant causes of death. For every gun death in the U.S., including legitimate self defense and reasoned suicides, there are 70+ from other causes. By contrast, 1 in 5 deaths are caused by tobacco use, and for every one of those, 30 people live with serious, debilitating disease. But fair enough, I won’t mention irrationality further.

                If it has not been clear, my main complaint is your illiberalism. I’m glad you can do no more than mock my rights. You can’t do anything real, only make ineffective arguments and stew in your frustration.

              21. I can do more than mock gun fetishes. I can advocate for stronger gun control laws, something which you have just admitted are possible even in a world where you have a “basic right” to own a gun. Because “basic rights” can be constrained, as they are to a very limited extent now. And since I presume you’re on board with the basic right to advocate for legislation, I can reasonably conclude you are fine with that after all.

                Regarding “illiberal”… I don’t think the word means what you think it means. It is no more illiberal to advocate for stronger gun control laws than it is to advocate for legislation holding tobacco companies responsible for misleading their customers.

              22. We can have a conversation about gun control specifics after you answer the question I asked earlier that you have studiously avoided.

                How many deaths from gunshots would there need to be for you would consider sufficient justify stronger gun control laws reasonable?

                If you won’t answer that question then there’s really no reason to discuss details. Because your position is faith-based and not subject to reason.

              23. I did answer the question. Which you could hardly have missed, since you quoted it in a previous post.

                I’ll repeat here, and if you want to read “additional” or “stronger” after “some” that is my intent:

                Oh, I think some controls are warranted and legal right now, even though gun deaths have declined more or less for quite some time.

    3. Not only is it not useful to downplay or deny the truth, it’s ultimately destructive.

      “That guy supports his points with ignorant ideas or lies, and so it seems best to disregard everything he says, including his ideas.”

    4. He’s from Flint, Michigan, a small town with big headlines for all the wrong reasons, which to my mind typifies the problems of the USA… 🙁

    5. You nailed it darelle. You summarized my feelings on MM very well.

      The first one of his films I saw was “Bowling for Columbine” and I thought he over-played his hand quite badly.

      1. No way. Bowling for Columbine has the best argument against gun control I’ve ever heard. To wit, that Canada has about the same rate of gun ownership, but comparatively little violence.

        That said, it was a little rambling, to say the least.

          1. OK, let me revise that to: had its premise been true, it would have been the best argument against gun control I’d heard. Point is, it was presented in Bowling for Columbine. It wasn’t blaming guns for all ills. MM may be wrong (e.g. about Canada) but he isn’t as simplistic as he’s being painted by some.

    6. My feelings about Moore are largely in accord with those of the other commenters in this thread. He’s engaged in some cringe-inducing stunts and rhetoric. It’s analogous to how some black musicians today feel about their counterparts from the first half of the last century — admiration for their virtuoso performances, embarrassment over their audience-ingratiating minstrelsy.

      Still, Moore brought attention to important issues when others were unable or unwilling to do so, and the folks in Flint are no doubt glad to call him their own. His career is full of pluses and minuses, but if you check on his ledger’s bottom, you’ll find a net positive.

      1. Yes, Moore has certainly done some good. He has also had some negative affects. On balance I think I agree with you that he has been a net positive.

        But I can imagine how much more positive he could have been if he didn’t misrepresent data (for example gun ownership statistics as mentioned above), curb the hyperbole a bit and avoid the conspiracy nut vibe.

        1. If he curbed the hyperbole, would many people notice him? Maybe the career he’s had is precisely because of the hyperbole.

          cr

          1. It certainly has I’d say. The question is has his penchant for hyperbole had a net positive or negative influence on society? And, all else being equal (his talents and passions), could he have had a more positive influence if he had been less hyperbolic? Messy questions, largely subjective. I don’t pretend to know but I think it is possible that the answer to that one could be yes.

            Isn’t criticism one of the ways we inspire each other to do better?

            1. I agree, it’s hard to answer those questions. ‘What if’s are always debatable.

              I also agree with your last sentence.

              cr

    1. That was on in the UK a couple of days ago (I think under the title “Michael Moore in Trumpland”, or something like that.
      It was MM doing a sort of stand-up skit which he presented as being to an audience of Trumpers in a Trump-supporting town … but it sounded like he’d still got a lot of [whatever GOP-like acronym refers to Hilary’s party] people in his audience. I may have missed something there because I was cooking while listening. But the rest of those tw**ts were from his monologue/ diatribe.
      I can’t go back to it, because I deleted the recording after listening to it once.

      1. At the beginning of Trumpland, he stated that even though they were in Trump territory, there were about an equal amount of Trump and likely Hillary voters there. There was no deception.

  6. The nightmarish Empresses Wu Zetian and Lü Zhi beg to differ regarding the innate goodness of women. (I strongly discourage reading their biographies just before bed; especially Lü Zhi.)

    Of course one might argue that the women who rise to the top *have* to compete on male terms… but those are not “male” terms; those are the terms of power.

    1. Because of their lower testosterone content, women have less physical aggression. But I do not think that physical aggression and evil are equivalent. My impression is that females are more inclined to hurt by words. I had in my childhood a period when I sought the company of boys because I was perplexed by other girls lying to me (and to each other) all the time for no apparent reason except to mislead the other girl and then laugh at her humiliation. To this day, I cannot fully appreciate speech as a tool of deception.

      1. “But I do not think that physical aggression and evil are equivalent.”

        The insight we seem to have lost (somewhere along the way), is that aggression is an integral part of what makes us what we are.

        And, the part where boys are taught to control and harness their aggression, and channel it (when it is needed) and in constructive ways, i.e. to mature and grow up…

        As far as I understand it, females compete in many ways as intensely, but, through other means, with less risk for physical injury.

        I don’t think these patterns are the result of socialization, but has deep evolutionary roots.

  7. There are humans who virtue signal by degrading humans. The “us humans suck” crowd.

    Then there are the humans who virtue signal by degrading their own gender. the “us men suck” crowd.

    Then there are the humans who virtue signal by degrading their own race. The “us white people suck” crowd.

    Then there are the humans who virtue signs by degrading their own country. The “us Americans suck” crowd.

    If you tell everyone that the group you are in sucks, then you appear to be the only one in that group who doesn’t suck. It makes you super duper awesome. At least in your own mind.

    1. Then there are the humans who signal their virtue by degrading virtue-signaling. The “us virtue-signalers suck” crowd. 🙂

  8. No women ever invented an atomic bomb, built a smoke stack, initiated a Holocaust, melted the polar ice caps or organized a school shooting.

    Only because men denied them the opportunity.

    I’m sure there’s a whole Well of Horror that lies untapped.

  9. I would suspect that Moore is doing this for political hay. That is his thing. So lets all think about this while deciding which lever to pull or dot to fill in. But Moore goes off the deep end for the wrong reasons and really, isn’t that Trump’s Job.

    He should promote the candidate for the right reasons and there are many. Also many reasons to not go for the other one. This female/male crap is not the argument to make. Besides, all the old white guys voting for trump — what would they say to all of this from Moore? So?

    1. Moore’s “Trumpland” was filmed in the very-red town of Wilmington, Ohio, and was an appeal to Trump supporters. No idea yet if it was effective, but at least Moore was willing to try.

      1. Trump himself apparently thought the film was pro-Trump, and urged people to see it. I’m surprised I haven’t seen this story anywhere but on FOX – including an interview with Moore detailing Trump’s bungled understanding of the film.

        1. Of course Trump would like it. Moore used a clip from 20 yrs ago that made *me* sympathetic towards Trump. Some reporter was trying to goad him into saying that Hillary should leave Bill over the sex scandal but Trump responded diplomatically and said that he hoped they would stay together and work it out. He sounded sincere.

          The movie was called Trumpland, but it was mostly about promoting Hillary and getting Trump supporters to hate her just a little less.

        2. Same here.

          Trump promoted the film to his followers on the basis of a short clip, not recognizing what it was really about. I saw him being interviewed about it by Megyn Kelly also.

          I suspect Moore is too controversial for mainstream liberals to want him to be too closely associated with Clinton. He takes very strong positions on controversial issues, and although his stance is mostly correct, he always takes it too far.

            1. But, in this election, what exactly constitutes “too far”?

              What will constitute “too far” in the next election campaign?
              Or … maybe the question won’t arise.

        3. Trump likes anything that keeps the Trump brand out there in the public eye. He knows that in modern America — where one can, for example, ride a sex scandal to one’s own reality-TV show — there’s no such thing as bad publicity (except for really, really bad publicity).

          I seriously doubt he’s ever read H.L. Mencken (or any other author of distinction), but Trump has a bone-deep understanding that he’ll never go permanently broke by underestimating the taste and intelligence of the American public.

          1. While all that is accurate, I think Heather Hastie’s take is on the money: Trump was too careless and ignorant to know what he was doing.

    1. Nine famous female serial killers, and 10 famous female assassins. Ok. But that’s only about a week’s worth of high-profile male murderers.

  10. Last I checked, women used coal-generated electricity and gasoline for their cars, so yeah, they’re doing their part to melt the ice caps. And as for violent, criminal women, there is no shortage of them where I live or in the neighborhood in which I work. What a complete jackass.

    1. I think Moore’s point must be that it’s men, by and large, who’ve run the multinational corporations that have set anti-environmental policies — and that it’s men, by and large, who’ve spiked the treaties and legislation that would have helped curb those policies.

      1. Well, yes, but not because they are men.

        There are fewer small blue furry creatures from Alpha Centauri in these positions as well, but that does not imply they would do a better job.

  11. What many from the far left will say is that the debate is ALL about whether differences between the sexes is genetic, or its all developed by culture. The error there is the fallacy of false dichotomy. The third, and more likely truth is that it is a bit of both.

        1. Yet Michael Moore championed the right of Flint, Michigan people, to bring attention to them during their (continuing) water crisis. Which most people did not give one damn about. And money he makes is recycled back into his liberal projects. Which bring him very little power, attention OR money!

          1. He gets a lot of attention. People of my obscure South-Eastern European country know him and circulate pirate copies of his movies. (Of course, this has a lot to do with anti-Americanism.)

    1. That’s the clip, also spread by Alex Jones, that had Trump promoting Moore’s film ‘Trumpland’ erroneously. It stops part way through a sentence, and Moore goes on to explain why a vote for Trump is the wrong thing to do and why it will make things worse, not better.

    2. You could hardly be anymore wrong.

      Michael Moore has courted controversy for political ends throughout his career. His public life has been an unceasing string of propaganda by the word and propaganda by the deed.

      The Clintons, on the other hand, while scandal has dogged them, have never purposefully engendered controversy for political ends. Quite to the opposite, they have achieved political power and financial success by hewing ever-so-carefully to the middle of the road. Scandal, for them, has been solely an unsought side-effect, brought about by the unwanted disclosure of matters they wished to keep private.

      1. Ken Kukec writes:
        Scandal, for them [the Clintons], has been solely an unsought side-effect, brought about by the unwanted disclosure of matters they wished to keep private.

        If you mean they never wanted to get caught, I can go along. However, they were caught – many times, and for things far more serious than an affair with Monica Lewinsky.

        1. I’m no fan of the Clintons, as I’ve made plain in these spaces before. Neither of them is a paragon of honest public discourse, and they’ve not been above playing fast-and-loose with ethical rules in order to make a financial score (or to attempt to do so, as with “Whitewater”).

          But the Right grossly exaggerates the case when it goes on and on about how corrupt and venal they are. If cupidity were their primary concern, the two of them could’ve taken their fancy Ivy-League law degrees straight to Wall Street and achieved economic security much more rapidly.

          1. You may not be a fan of the Clintons, but your image of their faults is quite incomplete. You are praising with too faint damnation.

            You don’t have to look on the right for a compelling indictment of the Clintons that goes far beyond mere cupidity. Check out “No One Left To Lie To” (1999) by Christopher Hitchens. Or Sam Harris’s most recent podcast with Andrew Sullivan.

            There is a list of truly dirty deeds, betrayals of constituencies, and serious crimes, all having nothing to do with money. Self aggrandizing hunger for power at any cost is the Clinton specialty. If it were only money, I would barely care.

              1. Rape, using the IRS against political opponents, launching a cruise missile strike and destroying Sudan’s only pharmaceutical factory to distract from Monica Lewinsky’s grand jury appearance, obstruction of justice, perjury.

              2. The only rape allegation against Bill Clinton is the one made by Juanita Broaddrick concerning what she contends occurred in a Little Rock hotel room in 1978. There are crucial problems with her allegations. (That’s not to say that Bill Clinton hasn’t acted boorishly with women; he has, and I hold that against him strongly.)

                The wag-the-dog allegation regarding Sudan is speculative and circumstantial, as are the allegations concerning misuse of the IRS. In any event, when it comes to abuse of governmental power and obstruction of justice, if you take everything the Clintons are accused of doing over their 40-year public careers, it still wouldn’t amount to a slow morning in Nixonland. (The allegations also pale in comparison to the trail of frauds and swindles and busted deals Donald Trump has left in his wake.)

                To accuse politicians like the Clintons of a “self-aggrandizing hunger for power” is like accusing NBA players of being tall. It’s the sine qua non of their being in the game in the first place. What drives the conservative loathing of the Clintons is that they’ve played that game so much more successfully, beating the Republicans at nearly every turn.

                Anyway, you’ve left off of your indictment the most disreputable public act ever performed by anyone named Clinton: the execution of a profoundly retarded Arkansas inmate named Ricky Ray Rector. Bill Clinton made a big show of leaving the primary campaign trail in 1992 to return to the Arkansas governor’s mansion to preside over Ray’s execution as a means of burnishing his tenuous law-and-order credentials and to divert attention from the then-burgeoning Gennifer Flowers scandal. That was more reprehensible (to my thinking, at least) than all the perfervid dreams emanating from the right-wing fever swamp.

              3. Ken, there is no “conservative loathing” driving this. I am not a conservative and the references I gave are from people on the left celebrated for their integrity. You appear to have consulted those references, and I salute you for that. If you don’t find them compelling, we just have to disagree.

                Diane asked about crimes, and the list given was off the top of my head. It wasn’t meant to be exhaustive. Ricky Ray Rector, however would go under the “truly dirty deeds” heading, not legally a crime.

              4. Thank you, Ken. What I would have replied but said much better, as always, by you.

                Carl should know that throwing accusations of crime around should require proof (as in evidence, conviction, etc.). Accusation is not guilt.

                Consider this–the Clintons have been so doggedly pursued by the ravenous right that had there been any incontrovertible evidence of anything they’d have already been tried and convicted.

              5. Diane, I’ll agree accusations are not proof of guilt in a legal sense, but the case Hitchens lays out against Bill Clinton is convincing to me. I see no moral obligation not to repeat it. The opposite in fact. I’m sure you could make a long list of people never convicted in a law court who are guilty and deserve censure nonetheless. Nixon, O.J. Simpson, Dillinger, Mao, Stalin, Bin Laden, etc.

                Bill Clinton has been assessed fines (perjury and contempt), been disbarred, and paid settlements to victims.

                I would never claim Clinton isn’t smart. He used his intelligence (and power) to elude justice – so far. I would also note that what has animated his pursuers probably has more to do with the fact they think he’s guilty, than his politics, which were fairly centrist, and sometimes even right of center. Clinton sold out the left to appease the right many times. It’s a shame this isn’t more widely recognized.

    3. Just what (besides the music) did you have a problem with there? This is classic Moore, trying to understand people he cares about. He laments the demise of the era when working class folks made living wages. He saw what happened to Flint when the corporations went global and no longer believed in Ford’s dictum that the people who make the cars should be able to afford them.

      This is Moore telling the lily-livered, smug current leftists that WE created the conditions that resulted in Trump supporters. Because the left nowadays is good at lip service be what have they really accomplished? The Democrats are more conservative than Nixon.

      Moore cares. What other voices like his do we have today?

  12. I doubt full equality will produce as many women killers or rapists. Violence seems to be partially hard-wired. But I’m also skeptical of Moore’s claims that it will produce less bad environmental or policy decisions. I doubt very much that ones’ opinion on CO2 regulation or the right balance of free trade vs. trade barriers with Mexico has much to do with testosterone levels. Doesn’t Moore remember that the Reagan era was also the Thatcher era?

    1. If you look at US political preferences by sex, the environmental leanings of women are “greener” than men. Seems to me that some people are reading an awful lot into 140 characters. OK, 140 x 3. Some things are exaggerated, but what little Moore said is mostly correct.

      If this is about Hillary (I don’t know the context, not being a Moore follower) then it’s all irrelevant as Hillary’s track record should speak for itself. Certainly she’s no peacenik.

  13. I have heard this referred to as the “Althouse Rule” after Ann Althouse’s observation that you can pretty much get away with saying there are gender differences, even innate differences, provided women come out sounding better.

    So you can talk about men being more prone to taking risks in the context of the Darwin Awards, or how female fund managers don’t take bad risks. And indeed articles of this sort come out from time to time. But you shouldn’t invoke that same factor in explaining why men are more likely to make money in startups, or else you may face a Summers style outcome.

    It is completely idiotic of course. It is likely that there are some genetically influenced behavioral differences between men and women, but it is at least possible that there are none. The idea that only differences that reflect well on women exist is too silly to take seriously. And yet this is the socially enlightened pose.

    1. I once mentioned in a forum that men are stronger than women, and some other females attacked me for this and said me that if I am a “weakling”, this is due to my lifestyle and my wrong ideas and not to my sex. And, to cap it all, it was a disability forum.

  14. Women have shot up workplaces in the USA

    and women have been suicide bombers

    in terms of serial killers, women are fewer, but tend to have longer careers than male counterparts

    In Canada this year, there’s a woman nurse charged with 8 murders

  15. Interesting that Moore lists “building a smoke stack” as one of the cardinal sins of the male gender. “Smoke stacks” are of course emblematic of the Industrial Revolution, the still-continuing process that liberated the vast majority of human beings from the brutish existence of peasant agriculture, generated the cornucopia of goods, services and amenities that we all take for granted today, and enables many of us to spend our time making leisurely comments on websites rather than toiling in the fields as generation upon generation of our ancestors did.

  16. Recognizing that this may be a sexist observation on my part, I have always preferred female bosses to male bosses (my immediate supervisors); and I have had roughly equal numbers of both. My sense has been that my female bosses had more awareness and concern for the well-being and advancement of their employees.

    1. I have had a few that are as tone deaf as any man. If you are in an Aspie field, your coworkers & bosses will be both male & female Aspies.

    2. And I prefer the company of men. I always have which got me teased in elementary school. I think for me it’s that I tend to have what some might call “masculine characteristics” (speak my mind, logical over feeling, ambitious, not afraid to ask questions — how sad that these are qualities people don’t associate with females) and I have to wonder if I’m this way because my parents consciously decided to raise me in a gender neutral way. So maybe my characteristics are just me being who I want to be.

      It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I understood that men see me differently. After all, I am different in that I’m a woman. I got so used to working with men, however, often being the only woman in meetings, that now that I work with a lot of women, I find it disconcerting.

    3. I’ve had some brilliant female team leaders and some highly abusive ones that went out of their way to inflict serious harm on others.

      My experience of female executives so far is that they are little different from their male counterparts in terms of personality disorders, except that they change the polarisation setting of the glass ceiling by 90 degrees rather than remove it altogether.

      Seems the problem isn’t maleness, but more the sort of personality that rises to positions of power.

  17. I agree with Jerry that there are likely hardwired genetic differences between men and women, other than those that determine their respective reproductive plumbing (although how those genetic difference play out behaviorally is confounded by millennia of enculturation). This is, I think, a middle course between sexual essentialism and the claim that all behavioral differences are the product of socialization — although, unlike many middle courses, it’s based not on political considerations, but upon that being what the evidence seems to suggest.

    1. Thankfully, many of us can control our evolutionary instinct let’s and biological impulses. If i had bigger teeth I swear there would be a crowd of sullen, bitten people wherever I went. Also, they’d be more polite &a less stupid next time. 😀

  18. I started reading this and was immediately reminded of a comedian’s routine where he stated how much better the world would be with women leaders, because no woman leader had ever started a war.

    To which someone yelled out “Margaret Thatcher.”

    Then another added, “Evita Peron”.

    And another yelled…

    To which the comedian responded, that’s right, they ALL have. (This was before Kim Campbell was PM of Canada)

  19. As a woman I have almost no doubt that I would have willingly participated in the creation of nukes and smoke stacks if given the chance. I can see such tasks being quite engrossing and, well, thrilling at the time. I am also sure that seeing and dealing with the consequences would have left me just as emotional as any of the men involved. They might have called me hysterical instead of passionate, though.

  20. Male aggression is common in most species and is the result of natural selection. Males that were aggressive and succeeded had FAR more offspring than males who were not aggressive, or who lost out. By comparison, female genetic success is limited by lifespan and health, so the female’s best strategy is to play it safe. Aggression (other than protecting the young) is a major disadvantage.

    It’s NOT just about violence (usually a negative) but about push, and drive. If he’s just going to enumerate the bad things that men have done, he should also look at the other side… the majority of exploration (especially the risky stuff) has been done by men, something like 94% of commercial patents, many scientific discoveries. This is NOT a matter of intelligence, but of drive. (it’s probably no coincidence that there were no female crews like Frankin’s searching for the Northwest Passage). The very same mammalian aggression that results in wars and crime also drives many constructive activities. Sensible women stayed safe while the males took the risks (a tribal society cannot afford to lose too many females)

    Camille Paglia once commented that if women ruled the world, we’d probably be in straw huts (and I might add my speculation that an all male society would probably wipe itself out). She certainly was not putting down women, but was suggesting that men and women bring different things to a society.

  21. Golda Meir would disagree and so would Indira Gandhi and Angela Merkel. They all did and do stand their “man”. What you don’t get with them is this testosterone driven male attitude. And that would be progress in my opinion.

  22. In my 30+ years of working in corporations, I’ve had an almost equal number of male and female supervisors. It’s been a mixed bag for both genders, and I’ve seen little difference in the amount of attention/interest/caring paid to subordinates between the two groups. Most of these supervisors fell in the mid-range of capabilities. The most incompetent supervisor was a male. I’ve had two that I felt had personality disorders, one male and one female. There have been three who I believe were sociopaths, one male and two female. The one with the most business acumen and best people skills was female, who also was a keen judge of subordinates’ abilities. The next best one was male. And so on.

    1. I think we may have worked at the same places!! My experiences are similar. I’ve had great female leaders and horrid ones. Excellent male leaders and sociopathic ones (well sometimes the sociopaths are on your side and that’s an interesting ride).

  23. I did my mail in ballot here in Oregon, and voted for 7 women and 8 men. It’s the first time the split has been that close.

    I think that is actually what Moore is advocating, despite all the rhetoric. Some balance between the sexes in government is a good thing, if there are reasonable candidates.

  24. Agree its a stupid blanket statement that also gives Moore added creds in the circles he moves in. There are of course genetic diffs and women are Less involved in hostilities but thats as a generalisation – there are imdivid differences and a cultural component. For those who say all female workplaces are awful. Huey. Some are. Some all male workplaces are awful too. – in fact workplaces usually benefit from being mixed gender.

  25. My favorite quote directly on this issue: “Women ought to run things, as we are friendlier than men, but alas, that is only because we are not allowed to run things.” (Joanna Russ)

  26. Michael Moore’s ‘white American men are the global problem’ virtue signaling is sickening. MM can self-deprecate all he wants, just don’t drag me into it.

    By this logic, virtually every peace agreement and accord ever enacted has been the product of men. So?

  27. Obviously he has never heard of the Witch that was Thatcher, a women without an empathic bone in her body and the nastiest Prime Minister I can remember.,

  28. The aggressive meddling of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, the constant sabre-rattling and threats of Samantha Power and the malicious and tragic meddling of Victoria Nuland’s efforts at regime change all do nothing whatever to support Moore’s claims.

  29. A lot of the behavioral differences between men and women are hormonally mediated as much as societally created. Estrogen and prolactin tend to promote nurturing; testosterone tends to promote aggression and competitiveness. While it is true that both men and women have some of each type of hormone, (and varying levels between individuals), because of our genetic makeup (X and Y chromosomes), each sex has a predominance of one or the other. So, “equal opportunity” probably would not necessarily cause women to act in the same manner as men, especially during peak hormone production years. As we age, we make less of the dominant hormone, which, plus life experience, is probably why more mature people often act much more differently than than they would have when they were younger. (e.g.: grandparents’ more lenient approaches to grandchildren’s behavior than to their own children’s behavior; older parents’ more tolerant approaches to subsequent offspring; women becoming more assertive in midlife than as young women; men seeming to “mellow” as they get older, reacting less aggressively to situations, etc.)

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