SJWs · Society · Women

The Link between Prosperity and Women’s Liberation

The other day I listened to Joe Rogan’s most recent interview with Jordan Peterson while doing some chores. I did not find it overly interesting, but one remark stood out. Peterson claims that the link between women’s liberation and prosperity “seems causal”, i.e. the more a society “liberates” women from their child-bearing duties, the more prosperous a society gets.

Being a social scientist, Peterson can be forgiven for confusing causation with correlations. On that metric alone you can invalidate essentially all of the social sciences, psychology included. Sure, Jordan Peterson can’t offend the mainstream too much. He’s basically controlled opposition. He says a few mildly controversial things, at least that is what you would think if you are a shitlib. If you have a more conservative bent, then Jordan Peterson strikes you as rather left-leaning. View him from this angle, and a lot of his statements make a lot more sense.

So, let’s talk about economic prosperity and women’s liberation, and why it absolutely cannot be causal. This issue is so clear-cut that it is laughable to suggest the opposite. Go back in history and look at the societies that have liberated their women. I’ll give you a hint: the most prosperous societies were first. Thus, women’s liberation happened after prosperity was achieved, not the other way round. At this point, we are already done, but let’s just keep going for a little bit.

In order to claim that women’s liberation causes economic prosperity, you would have to observe countries that become prosperous after liberating their women. Ideally, you should have two sets of countries of comparable economic capabilities: one does not “liberate” their women, while the other does. If the former outpaces the latter, you would have supported your claim.

It would also be misleading to look at GDP indicators and point out to figures of GDP growth after women’s “liberation” because it is quite likely that economic growth would be even higher without forced diversity hiring and gender quotas in industry. I’m tempted to believe that this is indeed the case. Anybody who does work of a quantitative nature should be familiar with that kind of reasoning. If you are not, then you’ve been poorly trained. Also, if you come across work in which people happily postulate causalities without providing convincing proof, feel free to dismiss it outright. You’ll be justified in doing so much more often than not.

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14 thoughts on “The Link between Prosperity and Women’s Liberation

  1. Confusing correlation and causality is so common it’s unbelievable.
    A few weeks ago, during lunch, I had to listen to a local TV star (Talkshow rounds) we met. The old fart was claiming that “wherever there are lots of guns easily available, there’s lots of crime, that’s the case, like, everywhere.” I got carried away and just said “naw bullshit”. I should’ve just pointed out that whenever ice cream sales go up, deaths by drowning go up as well, hence we should ban ice cream to prevent deaths from drowning.
    It’s incredible – Even one single counter example would turn their whole narrative upside down. But even that doesn’t help. I went “what about Czech Republic?” He just went on “but muuhh America has mass shotings”.
    I don’t know, sometimes I really get very pissed with such people. It’s always the same: When somebody says something wrong, either they are dumb or they have an agenda. It’s the same with politicians, like… there’s no middle ground. Man, sometimes I feel like such people don’t deserve to live, let alone reproduce, no matter which one of the two.

  2. Yes social sciences are very sloppy in that regard but on the other hand if epistemic rigor was to be made mandatory in such podcasts then our professor wouldn’t have much to talk about.

    Prosperous countries started with women’s liberation first and today low female labor participation is basically a sign that country hasn’t westernized. Westernization carries whole hoist of other social reforms so it is hard to disentangle the effects.

    However having said that it does seem intuitive to me that having half of the doctors, nurses, lawyers, clerks and teachers stop working would negatively impact national prosperity. For one I’m pretty sure that health sector in my country would collapse.

    1. Female doctors work a lot fewer hours than male doctors, so the effect would be a lot less than you’d imagine. Also, you have to take into account that medical schools use “alternative assessment criteria” to get the number of female students up. Thus, with more objective criteria, there would be barely any female doctors around. You should also look up sick days of men versus women. Hint: women are absent a lot more often.

  3. I think Peterson is choosing what to say in a given discussion so as to achieve a goal. And it depends on who he’s debating on what.

    In other debates he was the one to argue that prosperity came first and that gave women more freedoms. And that to claim anything else is crazy.

    He was mocking an interviewer for suggesting that “liberation” came first. So he doesn’t believe it, I don’t think.

    1. Yes he might have been using it as a disclaimer for one of his less palatable claims, such as that women shouldn’t hold positions of power because they have to sacrifice their family life.

      I don’t think he is entirely wrong. There is a difference between women’s liberation causing prosperity by itself and adding to it once more important conditions are satisfied.

    2. @Skepdic

      Sure thing, adding more labor to the market will (generally) make the economy grow as a whole, but costs and benefits may not be distributed equally.

      Its the same with immigrants – the only way they can benefit an economy is if:
      1 – they add more value than what they substract in government spending (welfare)
      2 – they cheapen de labor costs for local companies. But this means some native workers will suffer the new competition and see their wages go down, the costs are very unevenly distributed between economic sectors.

      Prolong this for a couple decades, and you get Trump and Yellow Vests.
      (In the interest of brevity am glossing over a lot of nuance here but you get the idea)

  4. It’s only in times of prosperity that women become more demanding for sure. You cant have women in control of the resources in times of need because they are wasteful. To be fair, there is a short economic boom when women enter the workforce. This will only last one generation however. Because they will have less children. So the next generation will be smaller in numbers. They will have to take care of a larger group of old people. And this generation will be less capable than the previous generation. Because they didn’t get the environment that they needed as children. But it’s this short economic boom that makes it so attractive to political leaders in democratic countries. They dont need to deal with the long-term fallout. They are only praised for giving people more stuff. The same as socialist and communist leaders are in the beginning. The beginning is always great. It just doesn’t last. Socialist and communist will run out of other people’s money sooner or later. And feminist countries are the same.

  5. Yeah, seen this before – like every time lefties claim that prosperous countries (typically Scandinavia) got rich and prosperous by being social welfare states. Its not the first time I have heard Peterson utter that particular idea, but as far as I can tell he has not supplied a plausible cause-effect chain to support it.

    There are untold numbers of confounders and their effects are near impossible to disentangle. Off the top of my head, the most important one-time changes I see that support the reverse cause-effect relationship:

    – western societies underwent an industrial revolution (I would say the 3rd Industrial Revolution, but thats depending on how the author you are reading is counting them) where the economies went from industrial to post-industrial, meaning the workplace was suddenly a lot friendlier to humans generally, less physically demanding (think office buildings vs industrial era factories), opening up a lot of jobs where women could enter the workforce on more equal footing than men (notice that professions with less rough workplaces like nursing or teaching had long been dominated by women before these changes took place).

    – electric appliances like the washing machine or vacuum cleaner greatly simplified household maintenance, freeing up more womens time.

    – the introduction of effective birth control (the pill) which allowed women to delay the lifetime burden of child rearing (or avoid it altogether)

    all these were a consequence of modernization and concurrent with rising prosperity, and the direction of causality seems pretty evident to me here. Have I left anything out? Increasing % and density of urban population perhaps?

  6. Men are programmed to hunt and fight for resources. Patrol their territory and expand it. Women are programmed to stay in the village with the children. Redistribute the resources the men bring back to the village and those they can gather directly around the village. They will endlessly demand more and more resources. They are not programmed to weigh risks and rewards within the hunting environment. It’s the men who had to deal with scarcity problems. Scarcity would force them to take greater risks. Women never had that problem. They just had to redistribute and consume. Their demands on men for more resources are endless. They will be nagging the men to make them work harder and take more risks. This can lead to them providing more resources. Men demanding more animals to hunt from nature doesn’t do much for them. They will have to work with what’s available. The only way to expend the resources is by taking more risks. By either hunting bigger more dangerous animals. Or expand his territory.

  7. Jordan Peterson is gynocentric. He wants men to keep sacrificing themselves for women and society. He just understands men need something in return. He believes it’s men’s jobs to take all the responsibility. While women should have choices. He just sees that the great feminist plan doesn’t work. But he only opposes 3th wave feminism. He’s totally on board with the equality agenda. He just want us to save the hoes. And he understands we are not going to do that within this anti male environment. He understands Western society is crumbling because men are opting out. But he doesn’t offer much of a solution for men. He still thinks we should except the shit end of the stick. It’s the same man-up story.

  8. I will just point out that male doctors work more because they work overtime and both genders still have to work at least 8 hours a day. You are implying that men can add 6-8 hours of additional overtime which would make female doctors redundant.

    Medical school isn’t a cakewalk and both genders have to satisfy same requirements in order to graduate. Exam is an exam and last I checked threshold for passing it didn’t depend on whether you have a vagina or penis. There is also the issue of lawsuits and damages caused by incompetency (although specialists are more affected by this than GP) so I’m not quite sure what you mean by “with more objective criteria, there would be barely any female doctors around”.

    1. 1) Female doctors tend to work part-time a lot more than male doctors.
      2) Lowering of entry standards leads to a lowering of graduation standards, meaning an exam in year x may very well be a lot less difficult as an exam in the same subject was in the year x – 20.
      3) With objective standards for entrance where we admit students based on merit alone, we would have a surplus of male students, which leads to a surplus of male doctors. Furthermore, since female doctors have a tendency to work part-time if not drop out of the workforce altogether — for some, medical school is just a dating pool in which to find their future husband — the ultimate outcome would be a large majority of male doctors.

  9. Even if we showed that women’s entry into the job market increased prosperity, it would not necessarily mean that it does so long-term. Short-term it probably does. More workers become available, and women are superior to men in some areas such as fine dexterity, while men are superior in areas like spatial intelligence and physical strength. Women can then improve the quality in the jobs where they have innate abilities.

    This is because when women first enter the marketplace, there’s unlikely to be the whole diversity/affirmative action framework that we see today. As that grows, and it seems to have done in every western country, it starts to skew people away from the jobs they are best at toward the jobs they are probably least naturally suited for (since there are so few of them to begin with in the job they need to be “affirmative action-ed” into). Then it can quickly become a negative rather than a positive.

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