The Billy Graham Rule and Self-Preservation

This puff-piece appeared on the Harvard Business Review website by Drs. W. Brad Johnson and David G. Smith, professors of psychology (mind-fucking) and sociology (Socialism) respectively. The article’s primary purpose to shill their new book, “Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women” (HA!), by excoriating who have enough wisdom to avoid putting themselves in compromising positions.

When U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that he would never have a meal alone with a woman who was not his wife, he was invoking the well-worn “Billy Graham rule”; the evangelical leader has famously urged male leaders to “avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion.” Translation: Men should avoid spending time alone with women to whom they are not married. Graham has been known to avoid not only meals but also car and even elevator rides alone with a woman. The reason? To avoid tarnishing his reputation by either falling prey to sexual temptation or inviting gossip about impropriety.

Billy Graham also avoided handling the money of his ministry for the same reason. And guess what?

IT WORKED.

Have you heard of any scandals involving Billy Graham? Have you heard of Billy Graham doing meth or banging hookers? Have you heard of Billy Graham appropriating any unseemly amounts money from the ministry a la Creflo Dollar?

No, you have not because Billy Graham’s rule is successful.

Think Pence’s quarantine of women is unique? Consider a recent survey by National Journal in which multiple women employed as congressional staffers reported (and male colleagues confirmed) the existence of an implicit policy that only male staffers could spend time one-on-one or at after-hours events with their (male) congressmen. Cut out of key conversations, networking opportunities, professional exposure, and face time with career influencers, female staffers naturally are underrepresented in leadership positions and — not surprisingly — earn about $6,000 less annually than their male peers.

The Billy Graham — and now Mike Pence — rule is wrong on nearly every level. Lauded by some as an act of male chivalry, it is merely a 20th-century American iteration of sex segregation. When women are, in effect, quarantined, banned from solitary meetings with male leaders, including prospective sponsors and career champions, their options for advancement, let alone professional flourishing, shrink. The more that men quarantine women, excluding them from key meetings, after-hours networking events, and one-on-one coaching and mentoring, the more that men alone will be the ones securing C-suite jobs. The preservation of men and the exclusion of women from leadership roles will be perpetuated everywhere that the Billy Graham rule is practiced. Score another one for the old boys’ club.

Chivalry is not the issue. The issue is self-preservation, for your career and your mission. Billy Graham and his associates imposed the rule on themselves to protect the ministry they were building because they understood that they could not build a Christian ministry without the confidence of their parishoners that they were morally upright. And why? Because once a woman puts the mouth on a man, “He touched me/spoke to me/looked at me/paid me/etc.” that shadow hangs over him forever. See Casey Affleck, who can win an Oscar, but the rumor mill still churns up an eight-year old unproven accusation against him.

Let me put it even more plainly: If men do not choose to associate with women professionally, it is because women have become a professional hazard to men.

Whether codified or informal, sex quarantines are rooted in fear. At the heart of it, policies curbing contact between men and women at work serve to perpetuate the notions that women are toxic temptresses, who want to either seduce powerful men or falsely accuse them of sexual harassment. This framing allows men to justify their anxiety about feeling attracted to women at work, and, sometimes, their own sexual boundary violations. It also undermines the perceived validity of claims by women who have been harassed or assaulted. Although thoughtful professional boundaries create the bedrock for trust, collegiality, and the kind of nonsexual intimacy that undergirds the best mentoring relationships, fear-based boundaries are different. By reducing or even eliminating cross-sex social contact, sex segregation prevents the very exposure that reduces anxiety and builds trust.

A claim is not valid that is not supported by evidence or reason. But one has to love how the authors snuck that little attempt at creating an unjustifiable obligation. “A woman you don’t know what done wrong by a man who isn’t you; therefore you are obligated to give women you don’t know access to what you have, despite it being against your interests to do so.”

To build closer, anxiety-free working relationships with members of the opposite sex, thoughtful men will be well-served by having more, not less, interaction with women at work. In a classic series of studies, psychologist Robert Zajonc discovered that repeated exposure to a stimulus (such as a gender group) that previously elicited discomfort and anxiety helped reduce anxiety, and actually increased the probability of fondness and positive interaction. Termed the mere exposure effect in social psychology, the principle has been particularly useful in changing negative attitudes about previously stigmatized groups. Excellent leaders initiate positive developmental and collegial interactions with as many types of people as they can — deliberately, frequently, and transparently.

Can the “mere exposure effect” be applied to “rape” porn or even porn in general? Seems to being working in Japan.

Perhaps the most disingenuous and deceptive quality of the Billy Graham rule and other forms of sex segregation at work may be their superficially honorable and chivalrous nature. This “benevolent sexism” includes evaluations of women that appear subjectively positive but are quite damaging to gender equity. In their pioneering research on the topic, psychologists Peter Glick and Susan Fiske discovered that women often endorse many benevolent forms of sexism (e.g., that women are delicate and require protection, or that sex quarantines at work help preserve women’s reputations), despite the fact that the sexism inhibits real gender equality. This may explain why many women applauded Pence’s stance as evidence of his character and commitment to his marriage. But sexism always diminishes and disadvantages women at work; even benevolent sexist policies, which lack transparent hostility and appear “nice” on the surface, lead to lower rates of pay and promotion, regardless of how many women support them.

As pointed out above, the Billy Graham rule has little to do with “chivalry” and more to do with “CYA” (Cover Your Ass).

Here is something most men fail to consider when invoking sex quarantines at work: What does their unwillingness to be seen alone with a woman say about them and males more generally? When a man refuses to be alone with a female colleague on a car trip or in a restaurant, owing to fear of something untoward happening, we must ask: Dude, do you, or do you not, have a functioning frontal lobe? Sex quarantines reinforce notions that men are barely evolved sex maniacs, scarcely capable of muting, let alone controlling, their evolved neurological radar for fertile mates of the opposite sex. Sex quarantines paint men as impulsive, sexually preoccupied, and unable to refrain from consummating romantic interest or sexual feelings if they occur in cross-sex relationships. The “sex-crazed” male stereotype is often reinforced in the process of male socialization, and there are plenty of men who, at least on some level, fear breaking rank and violating these expectations of male behavior. This is where moral courage comes in. The fact is, many men choose not to fulfill this stereotype; many men have close, mutual, collegial relationships with women and never once violate a relational boundary.

This whole paragraph is a stunning piece of academic shaming language, the trust of which is “we will call you names (sex maniacs, sex-crazed) if you do not give us what we want. But if you show ‘moral courage’ (give us what we want), we will not carry out the threat that we claim you should fear.” This is emotional blackmailing with excess verbiage.

The frontal lobe, as my “dudes” referred to it, is where problem solving takes place. Women accusing men of bad acts is a hazard. The most cost-effective solution to a hazard is to go around it. Some men have chosen to bypass the hazard of a false accusation by bypassing the typical false accuser (a woman).

Simple, logical, and practical.

Of course, the Billy Graham rule and other efforts at quarantining women suffer from a number of logical inconsistencies. For instance, there is the efficacy problem: Rigid efforts to eliminate cross-sex interaction in the workplace have not proven effective. Even in the most conservative religious denominations, nearly one-third of pastors have crossed sexual boundaries with parishioners. Then there is the uncomfortable truth that the Billy Graham rule denies the reality of LGBT people and that sexual and romantic feelings are not limited to cross-sex relationships. The logic of sex quarantine thinking would dictate that a bisexual leader could never meet alone with anyone! Finally, the truth is that sex-excluding policies are rooted in deeply erroneous dichotomous thinking: Either I engage with women at work and risk egregious, career-threatening boundary violations or I avoid all unchaperoned interaction with women.

Sirs, did these pastors accept the Billy Graham rule? Did they practice it? If the answer to one or both of those questions is “no” then they cannot be held as examples of its inefficacy.

Thanks.

So what’s an evolved male leader to do? In the simplest terms, become what we call a thoughtful caveman. Healthy, mature, self-aware men understand and accept their distinctly male neural architecture. If they happen to be heterosexual, this means they own the real potential for cross-sex attraction without catastrophizing this possibility or acting out feelings of attraction, to the detriment of female colleagues. Thoughtful cavemen employ their frontal cortex to ensure prudence and wise judgment in relationships with women and men.

Is “thoughtful caveman” the latest colloquiallism for New Soviet Man New Feminist Man?

Translation: Give females things, don’t ask females for things you want (sex), and don’t worry about females accusing you of things because…why would a woman ever lie about sex?

Here is a final reason why even devoutly Christian men like Mike Pence and Billy Graham should be dubious about isolating and excluding women at work: Jesus himself was known to meet alone with women (e.g., the Samaritan woman at the well). It seems that showing kind hospitality and elevating the dignity of women was more important than any threat of gossip.

That’s funny.

The Samaritan woman attempted to trickle-truth Jesus (lie by omission). It is only after Jesus calls her out on her bullshit (You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.) that she SUBMITS to his authority as a Rabbi and as the Messiah.

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Stephen Marche Tries to Shame Men into Being Feminists and Fails Miserably…AGAIN

I gave Stephen Marche some treatment last year after he took a swipe at the Manosphere in general and TRP in particular. Much as I dislike having to defend TRP, I will do it when confronted with Feminist acolytes clucking their tongues and wagging their fingers at men.

But Marche is back and like most of the Progressives, he is struggling through early-onset Trump Derangement Syndrome. Combined with his pre-existing Feminist sickness results in a very aggressive and likely untreatable form of TDS. He wants to shame men into his particular brand of politics.

Let me knock down a beer and get to business.

The situation has, in one sense, simplified enormously. The elaborate labyrinths of identity politics have crumbled and left behind basic questions of fundamental human decency. Trump’s actions as president, more than his demeaning behavior on the campaign trail, are deliberately keeping women from power and attacking programs that promote their health, both in the US and globally. Feminism as humanism – the very basic idea that women are people – is now under threat. Any man who claims to possess a shared sense of humanity with women must stand with them.

Demeaning behavior on the campaign trail, including calling one-quarter of the electorate “deplorable”? Demeaning behavior like firing up a rumor that the front-runner in your party’s primary isn’t a natural-born American citizen in order to undermine his entire campaign? Or circulating a photo of Obama in a turban to emphasize the point? Demeaning behavior on the campaign trail like using party apparatus to limit debate and sandbag Bernie Sanders’ efforts? Spare me the disingenous gasping and clutching of pearls. Hillary Clinton is one of the dirtiest, most hardball campaigners in American history.

The Mexico City Policy is much simpler: He who pays the piper calls the tune. If you want Big Daddy Government’s money, guess what? You dance to the tune he calls. Don’t like it? Get your private money donation game up so that you don’t have to live and eat off of federal grants. Simple, yes? I guess it’s not simple for Progressives. They have this peculiar idea that they are entitled to spend other’s money on things they don’t support (Americans are split on abortion), to say nothing of the propriety of taking money from Americans and sending it abroad.

The evidence has become too glaringly obvious. Who could embody more perfectly “rape culture” than a man who was elected president of the United States while boasting about sexual predation?

Let’s see: A choice between a guy who said that “And when you’re a star they LET you do it. You can do anything.”

Notice the words of permission, there.

On the other side, we have a woman who brags about destabilizing foreign nations (Libya), resulting in the deaths of thousands, and exacerbated the “refugee crisis” by adding Libya to the mix.

President Warmonger vs. President Consensual Pussy-Grabber.

Not even a close choice.

What more proof do you need that women face structural disadvantages in their work lives than Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and still losing?

Today I learned that Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden, Grover Cleveland, and Al Gore were women who faced “structural disadvantages.”

Two contradictory processes are at work. One is the rise of women to dominance of the middle class; the other is the intractable continuation of male power at the top. Since 2000, women have increased their workplace participation in most countries in the world. Across the OECD, the pay gap declined significantly between 2000 and 2011. In the United States, the number of households led by women has been increasing since the 60s and currently stands at around 40%.

“Dominance”?

But I thought dominance was a bad thing? I thought “Feminism means equality”?

Oh that’s right, dominance is only bad when men do it.

Got it.

At the same time, women are kept from the top positions. There are any number of ways to register this fact, from a comparison of the salaries of male and female movie stars, to the number of women who are full professors, to the scandalously few women who are equity partners in law firms.

Women are kept from the bottom positions. There are any number of ways to register this fact, from a comparison of the sex-ratio of workplace fatalities, to the number of women in dangerous or high-risk occupations, to the scandalously few women who are loggers.

But what am I saying? “Feminism means equality” and “equality” only matters in the C-suite, not on the back of a garbage truck.

We cannot shape men until we have some kind of critical understanding of the mechanisms of masculinity. And simply put, we do not have that understanding. The first graduate program devoted to masculinity studies in the US began in 2015.

Here’s the money quote, right here. For the last 50 years, Feminists have raised a mighty howl, that no man should even dare to entertain the idea of telling a woman what she ought to do. Meanwhile, Feminists have waged a campaign by which they not only have the privilege, but the duty to alter, shape, mold and change men into something that suits their purposes: New Soviet Man…I mean, NEW FEMINIST MAN.

There have been calls for men to join in the feminist movement from its beginning, with two main difficulties: the first is that feminism is inherently about women. And so feminism’s message to men has always been pretty simple: behave better to women.

While creating no similar obligation of women to behave better to men.

The other problem is that men do not talk explicitly about their own gender.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Is this guy for real?

Men talk about their sex. We talk about it and matters pertaining to it. The problem that Feminists like Marche have is that when we talk about it, we proceed down lines of thinking towards conclusions are in no way useful to Feminism.

See Men’s Rights.

See MGTOW.

See The Red Pill.

And to Feminists, men discussing manhood in the absence of Feminist supervision is not acceptable. Can’t have the proles engaging in Wrongthink or the slaves discussing freedom.

Those facts, in themselves, reveal how far the way we talk about gender has deviated from its reality in American life. During a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton early in 2016, Madeleine Albright declared: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” – a line that has appeared on Starbucks cups. Forty-two percent of American women felt otherwise, as did 62% of non-college educated women.

A comment for which Albright was roundly and rightly blistered. Albright reserved her own seat in hell by sponsoring a war that led to thousands of deaths and the raping of hundreds of women.

Gloria Steinem famously declared that women’s liberation will be men’s liberation, too. Trump has clarified that the opposite – women’s bondage, men’s bondage – is also true. It is men who need to say “this is not us.” But then we would have to think about who we are.

“Liberation” from what?

Women don’t owe men anything. Conversely, men don’t owe women anything. Not time, not attention, not labor, not blood, and not happiness. Consequently, I don’t “need” to do anything on the behalf of any woman.

They are our equals. Let them do for themselves.

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