Why I never get invited to anything

I was recently invited to “a unique evening contributing towards uplifting women and children” and the keynote speaker works “for greater diversity in tech”. Tickets were $300 per person. Due to our resolution to stay home every evening until our youngest child turns 18, I wouldn’t have been able to go. However, I couldn’t resist a question:

If the mission is “uplifting women and children,” why invite men? If women and children need to be “uplifted” then presumably it is men who have kept them down? Why have members of an oppressive class at a meeting devoted to ending oppression?

The organizer’s response:

Because sadly those oppressors still make 20 cents more on the dollar than the women…..

(This reminded me of the guy in the documentary who said “women may be seen as ‘sex objects,’ but men are often seen as ‘success objects'”. Would it be okay if someone ran an event devoted to “uplifting men” after noting how many are destined to come up short in our polygamous society? Also okay if the organizers decided to invite selected women on the grounds that “sadly these (female) oppressors are a lot more attractive and fun to look at than most guys”?)

11 Comments »

  1. Rajeev Surati

    August 7, 2018 @ 12:35 pm

    1

    Dr. Greenspun,
    I formally invite you to my place for the 100th time. I find discourse with you highly motivating to my ego and hilarious. I enjoy watching other guests bemoan your wit afterwards if not awkwardly accept whatever comments you are making without making a scene. Even my daughter aleena answers your attempts to demean me with the candor of a child and makes you look silly. There is nothing more fun then having Dr. Greenspun over.

    I am not sure why others won’t invite you. Perhaps they are oppressed and lack your intelligence.

    -raj

  2. anon

    August 7, 2018 @ 1:34 pm

    2

    Why weren’t the tickets priced 20% less for women? Are the event organizers oppressing women by not taking into account their lower earnings?

  3. Vince

    August 7, 2018 @ 1:55 pm

    3

    If the mission is “uplifting women and children,” why invite men? If women and children need to be “uplifted” then presumably it is men who have kept them down? Why have members of an oppressive class at a meeting devoted to ending oppression?

    That’s a silly question. It’s usually the case that not every member of a class that is involved in oppressing some other group approves of the oppression. Some members of the more powerful class will work to end the oppression. Perhaps heard the names Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and Viola Liuzzo. If not, you could learn something by reading about them.

  4. Jack

    August 7, 2018 @ 5:35 pm

    4

    A little off point but a sign at the New York farmers’ market says that 10% of the revenues from something or other will go to support women’s advancement in culinary fields. But i thought women were trying to get out of culinary fields and into computer science and mixed martial arts? Are these people oppressing women by trying to perpetuate gender stereotypes? Where’s the outrage i ask?

  5. philg

    August 7, 2018 @ 5:43 pm

    5

    Vince: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Goodman certainly does seem like a hero for fighting against the legal oppression of African-Americans in Mississippi circa 1964 and risking his own life while doing so. Are you suggesting that women today suffer from the same type of oppression and that today’s social justice warriors face a similar risk of death? The folks who show up at this $300/plate dinner, for example, might be killed by one of America’s 3,000 current KKK members?

  6. Vince

    August 7, 2018 @ 5:57 pm

    6

    No, I didn’t mean to say that risk of death was involved. It’s just that the organizers of the event could easily understand that not every guy wants to hold women back even if they happen to think that women suffer form employment discrimination.

  7. philg

    August 7, 2018 @ 6:01 pm

    7

    Dr. Surati: Thank you for the vote of confidence. I’ll keep coming over so that Aleena can continue to highlight all of the flaws in my logic!

  8. Rajeev Surati

    August 7, 2018 @ 6:05 pm

    8

    Thanks it is very helpful to aleena.

  9. Mclionhead

    August 7, 2018 @ 11:02 pm

    9

    Would think you’d be happy with men being selected only for success if you’re in a domestic partnership. Most of us went the confirmed bachelor way because of distaste for the social order, as well as being luckier in fitness than finances.

  10. philg

    August 8, 2018 @ 9:24 am

    10

    Mclionhead: Good point. I wouldn’t have gotten the email in the first place if she’d doubted my ability to pay $300/person. But on the other hand, maybe I would have been better off without this and similar invites! My truly rich friends are nagged constantly by non-profit profiteers.

    My main goal, though, is to understand how the world works rather than judge it so that I am either happy or unhappy about the systems we’ve set up. Look how unhappy Bernie Sanders sounded talking about how rich people and corporations are able to buy members of Congress. That has been the American system going back to 1787 so I don’t see the point in being unhappy about it even if I could imagine a theoretical perfect world in which some other system prevailed.

  11. ScarletNumber

    August 9, 2018 @ 10:01 pm

    11

    > Due to our resolution to stay home every evening until our youngest child turns 18, I wouldn’t have been able to go.

    What do you mean “our”, Kemosabe?

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