To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and the friends

Recently, IRL, I’ve seen — and tried to blow the whistle on — some crazy sexist shit that I can’t talk about here, but that’s deeply shaken me. And, like mistermix, I’m surprised at the level of misogyny among the glibertarian dudebros at Ezra Klein’s new place. I’m not surprised that Vox is turning out to be a glibertarian dudebro enterprise, that much I expected, but I’m surprised by the anti-woman attitudes the glibertarian dudebros have.

I’ve never felt like I had much intuitive understanding of gender issues, and I’m not close to any serious bros. I’d like to know your thoughts about a few things. Number one, is hating women as important politically as hating black people? I’m guessing that it’s a little different at least, since race merges with class in a complicated way and misogyny is less connected with class.

Number two, is the rise of dudebro culture a new thing or not? I know some amount of it’s always been present, but when I was younger, if you were in grad school or something like that, you were supposed to at least pretend not to be a bro-type. That seems to have changed. On the other hand, all the older male Mad Men type stuff (which is very real and continues to this day) is very broish or proto-broish.

Number three, how big is the overlap between tech world Randians and dudebros? I kind of thought that tech world Randians sat around by themselves playing video games and writing Python and feeling superior, not doing shots of Patron with their bros. Is that wrong?

Sorry if this all sounds ignorant and clueless.






208 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Sorry if this all sounds ignorant and clueless.

    Never apologize for admitting the truth.

  2. 2
    ruemara says:

    I called it the rise of the neo-pig. Backlash against the perceived domination of shrieking harpy feminists that causes what seem to be normal males to practically celebrate being utter douches, especially when they don’t have any icky wimmens around or when they have the anonymity of the internets. Racists can bond with the race they hate if the representative of that race says something sufficiently anti-woman. Not sure if it’s important politically, but it is like being in the club, like when someone drops an n-bomb when it’s just us persons of beige. Is it new? I came up with the neo-pig thing when my disgust with the popularity of assholes like Tucker Max overwhelmed me. Guys have been doing it for decades, but around the 2000’s, it seemed like it became an angry, confrontational misogyny that was determined to be horrible because women have dared seek equality and that was… bad for men somehow? There’s some overlap, not because of what they drink or do in their spare time, but because the resentful attitude, the sooper sekret klub of things we guys like are all producing the same attitudes towards women. So hedge fund douches, effete liberal douches, mama’s basement gamers, sports douches-they can seem similar despite very obvious dissimilarities because the chick-hate is what’s standardized, not the haters. Kinda disappointed that Klein and Silver have shown themselves to be the “I love me some white guys” brand of thinkers. Once they get the chance to do something, they only reach out to people who look an awful lot like them. Oh well, we all have blind spots, they’re just not that public.

  3. 3
    nalbar says:

    The Dudebro culture is as old as the planet. There is no doubt it’s been brought out more with Clinton running for POTUS, and I expect the whole glibitarian movement is anticipating a Rand/Clinton matchup, and they want first punch. Their main meme is that she looks ill, and the post pics of her after 14 hour flights as proof. It’s no surprise to me they have a home with Klein.

    .

  4. 4
    nalbar says:

    @ruemara:

    They do seem to pick people who they share characteristics with, don’t they?

    Hipsters, even though they don’t know it.

    .

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @nalbar: Hipsters? Really? Says the guy listening to Lotte Lenya in German.

  6. 6
    Suzanne says:

    1) Yes. The only reason it hasn’t seemed like as much of A Thing is because it’s still so rare for women to reach the upper echelons.

    2) No. The specific subtype of bro has changed, but the essentials have not.

    3) Larger than you think. I only know a couple of Silicon Valley dudes; they are both glibertarians, tech-oriented, and very much into drugs and drinking. And they both assure me that everything they achieved came through hard work and their own innate superiority.

  7. 7
    dollared says:

    IMHO opinion the merger of dudebro and tech libertarian is because the Hahvahd boys have now moved into the tech world. Bill Gates had to leave Harvard to make his product, Zuckerberg had a whole coder community right there.

    Remember, coders used to be outcasts. Now they are the children of privilege whose parents sent them to coding camp and entrepreneur camp. That combination used to only be from Stanford, but now it’s all over.

    So now you merge the insane privilege of Harvard (um, will somebody please tell me how Matt Yglesias became a 24 year old national economics writer?) with the “I’m going to change the world and get paid nine figures for it” egotism of the Silicon Valley coder, and you get one particularly toxic brand of dudebro.

    However, there are many dudebros. This is just one kind.

  8. 8
    Jordan Rules says:

    Dudbros can’t fire and they hate that. Sucks being a dud.

  9. 9
    cokane says:

    if dudebro culture means misogyny and homophobia, well that use just be mainstream culture

  10. 10
    Suzanne says:

    I would also note that there is a specific pattern that happens whenever women (IRL or online) say that sexism/misogyny abound: we are called hysterical or overreacting. This, of course, is one of the bigger tropes. So it’s a vicious circle, and there is no winning. If we take it seriously, we are unfunny, humorless feminists.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Now, now, you’re just a bit emotional right now. I am sure that if you wait three or four days, everything will seem better if you know what I mean.

  12. 12
    🍀 Martin says:

    Number one, is hating women as important politically as hating black people?

    I don’t think it used to be. I think it is now. Culturally, I don’t think all that much has changed. Hating on women has a long history, but I think Democrats have gotten fairly decent on the issue while Republicans haven’t and sides have been taken up. Politics is about differentiation, and this is a point of differentiation.

    Number two, is the rise of dudebro culture a new thing or not?

    No. I think identifying it as such is new, however. But there’s always been a large douchebag subtype. Blame Jersey Shore for elevating it to acceptable cultural status.

    Number three, how big is the overlap between tech world Randians and dudebros?

    I don’t think it’s very big, but it might differ regionally. But because tech is seriously male dominated, tech cultures can be pretty sexist, so the end result may not look much different. I think tech sexism tends to be more about diminishing the capabilities of women where dudebros are more about women as a sexual object on top of the other stuff.

    Sorry about the experience, but thanks for blowing the whistle on it. I’ve been there a few times. It does rattle you. If you’re in a position to talk about it, consider going to the head of your institution and ask for some larger action to take place. I just did this last week on a similar type of issue, was very well received and this week should be forming a group to work on the problem. We won’t solve it, but we will make it better.

  13. 13
    Pete Mack says:

    You are totally correct: tech dudebros don’t drink Patron. They drink (Expensive Scotch) whiskey and micro-brewed beer.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suzanne:

    And they both assure me that everything they achieved came through hard work and their own innate superiority.

    And at this point I pull for my revolver.

    Seriously, though, the dudebro culture is narcissistic to the xtreme. So, naturally, there is a streak of misogyny in it, because, duh, they are not women. They are boys (I refuse to classifiy them as “men”). And they all are members of the he-man girl hating club.

  15. 15
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Suzanne: Actual conversation I had on Friday night:

    Prof of history from very good UK uni: I also did my doctorate at Oxford. What did you think of your experience?

    Me: I really didn’t like it there – both for academic and personal reasons.

    Prof: oh really? Is it because you’re american?

    Me: No, it’s because I’m a woman. I thought Oxford was one of the most toxic, sexist environments I’ve ever worked.

    Prof: That can’t be true! No one ever told me Oxford was a sexist place before.

    Me: I just did. Plus here are examples [they are awful, I won’t repeat them]

    Prof: Well. None of MY female friends ever told ME they had problems like that at Oxford. Obviously this is just you being over-sensitive. Probably because you are American.

    Me: [bangs head on wall repeatedly]

  16. 16
    Jordan Rules says:

    @Suzanne: sounds very familiar to me ala race cardism and totally agree with the proliferation of this pattern too

  17. 17
    ultraviolet thunder says:

    As noted above, white male dominated culture used to be the mainstream. And white males derived numerous valuable advantages therefrom. When there’s unearned value to be had by oppressing someone there will always be a large number of people willing to oppress. Weak people who feel they can’t succeed in a meritocracy. Whether it’s guns and flags, anti-immigration, sexism or government sponsored Christianism there will be someone using that agenda to get themselves and their group ahead.

  18. 18
    David Koch says:

    I’m surprised by the anti-woman attitudes the glibertarian dudebros have.

    Dougie, you can’t be surprised an outfit being managed by Matt “who cares if sweatshop workers die” Yglesias would be callous.

  19. 19
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Calvin’s no girls allowed club.
    Our culture is undergoing massive changes, it has been for 80 yrs or so. Women, blacks(ETA actually all people of color) and now LGBT, they all want their fair share. White men have dominated most of the workforce, culture and politics for a very long time. With our history of oppression, and puritanical views which reenforce that domination, change is not happening easily. Are the tech/dudbros a leading group in slowing the change? Maybe, because they are generally work powerful and not poor as their first description. But they don’t represent anything new.

  20. 20
    Thymezone says:

    Stupid assholes: How do they work?

  21. 21
    J.Ty says:

    “I kind of thought that tech world Randians sat around by themselves playing video games and writing Python and feeling superior, not doing shots of Patron with their bros. Is that wrong?”

    No they mostly sit around writing Ruby and feeling superior, while doing shots of Patron with their fellow brogrammers.

    Python folks tend to be Google- or research-facing, in my experience.

    ETA: Oh, right, and the massive racism and sexism in the tech community is a HUGE problem. And the bay area gays aren’t exactly known for being the most enlightened creatures when it comes to race and gender, either…

  22. 22
    J.Ty says:

    But yeah, I don’t know why anybody would be surprised that an overwhelmingly white, straight, well-educated, and male cohort would think they were hot shit that earned all of their status in life. It’s what American culture tells them, for forever and a day.

    Also there’s the part where starting a couple-few years ago, the college kids who would’ve gone into finance decided to go into tech instead, so now the industry has that crowd, too.

  23. 23
    🍀 Martin says:

    Little reminder of how deeply engrained these problems are.

    A new analysis of test-taking data finds that in Mississippi and Montana, no female, African American, or Hispanic students took the Advanced Placement exam in computer science.

    In fact, no African-American students took the exam in a total of 11 states, and no Hispanic students took it in eight states, according to state comparisons of College Board data compiled by Barbara Ericson, the director of computing outreach and a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech.

    Lots of people are (often unknowingly) contributing to this problem – teachers, parents, etc.

  24. 24
    J.Ty says:

    @🍀 Martin: Even in the more ‘pure’ world of science (study from a couple years ago), even female scientists rank female applicants with the same resume otherwise as less deserving of hiring and of deserving a lower pay:

    Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    Aren’t dudebros simply the today’s yuppies?

  26. 26
    duck-billed placelot says:

    1) Hating women is definitely on par with race issues. Watch the reactions of right wing people you know when a(n upper middle class) white woman they know dates a person of color. “Our women” etc. Or, for a more national topic, see an entire multi-year freak out about women having unauthorized sex that they don’t get punished for.

    2) You know those 80s movies? Where the outcast kids’ clubhouse was getting razed to make way for another set of ski-in, ski-out condos by Chip’s dad’s development company? And how even though Chip was the hottest skier on the mountain, eventually his mean, condescending, slight-to-middlingly-rapey attitude made the hottest girl (no other character traits) decide to band with the rakish outcast leader? Yeah. The DudeBro abounded. There was a media slacking of dudebro culture, I think, in the mid-to late 80s through the early 90s, but generally in the real world, Chips were still the norm. Now we’re having a resurgence of the ideas that traditionally made up that mindset – losers are weak, girls are icky and also desirable property (not people), and look at the length of my penis/bank account/computer code.

    3) HUGE overlap. See Nice Guy(tm), any number of “smart” techie “outsiders” who will try to coerce women into sex, a zillion entitled young men who just really want to discuss the “interesting logical fallacies of abortion/ equal pay/ affirmative action/ feminism” until they make women cry from fury and a desperate desire to be anywhere else. Basically if any dude at a social gathering says the words, “devil’s advocate”, most of my cohorts make as hasty an exit as possible. Generally horrible misogyny, argumentative, bad-faith discussion, and usually a nice helping of racism follow. Traditional Dudebros (as opposed to techies) will just laugh and say gross things, rather than try to bore/argue you into agreeing that you’re not a full human being. Bonus points for getting super offended at being called out: “I was bullied as a child! No one ever picked me for dodgeball, I can’t possibly be a bigot.”

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    Have you ever seen a squonk’s tears? Well, look at mine
    The people on the street have all seen better times

    Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you my friend
    Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again
    When the demon is at your door
    In the morning it won’t be there no more
    Any major dude will tell you

       – Steely Dan

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @NotMax:

    Now your patrons have all left you in the red
    Your low rent friends are dead
    This life can be very strange
    All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
    They’ve joined the human race
    Some things will never change
    Son you were mistaken
    You are obsolete
    Look at all the white men on the street

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sorry if this all sounds ignorant and clueless.

    Doug? I don’t have a clue of what you are talking about.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This ain’t for workin people.

  31. 31
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Here’s my problem. I subscribe to Garden and Gun and now they have an iPad version. It seems they want to charge separately for the e-version. WTF-K?

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    What is?

  33. 33
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @raven: I’m not sure that using a shotgun to till your garden will be that effective.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    @Baud: The topic of this thread.

  35. 35
    tokyo expat says:

    Sorry to be clueless here, too, but can anyone give me a definition of dudebro and is this term used pretty commonly? Having lived my adult life abroad, I’m often behind on a lot of this culture stuff. I’m picking up on a lot of misogyny and general assholishness. Is that the definition?

    I have three sons. I get that you don’t have complete control over how your kids will develop, but where do these guys pick up these attitudes? Don’t they have wives, mothers or girlfriends who call them on it? It all sounds horrible.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    Oh Jeebus, Doug. Go read Jezebel or Pandagon. The Venn diagram of techies and your average frat boy appears as a perfect circle when diagramming for sexism. Both Jezebel and Pandagon (with some articles from Salon thrown in) have been documenting the culture of “nice guys” and MRAs and the horrific online harassment of women who are prominent feminists. Threats of rape and violence, threats against their families, stalking, you name it. It’s unbelievable. They are so threatened by women, especially smart independent women that you have to wonder how they got so damaged. They are despicable and very very angry but also very sad and obviously scared to death that someone will find out how inadequate they are. They are everywhere but especially, in my experience, clustered in the sciences, engineering, computer science, and finance. Don’t come across many in other fields, probably because women outnumber them in other fields. I avoid them like the plague and if I can’t, I tend to bait them until they get infuriated and walk away or they lose it completely and are shunned by everyone who witnesses it. Which probably makes them hate women all the more, but fuck ’em.

  37. 37
    raven says:

    @tokyo expat: “If you want to see correct usage of the term, check out the post by Kathleen Geier that I linked to earlier today. My point in this post was that it’s become meaningless namecalling used by Snowden/Greenwald haters.”

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @tokyo expat:

    I don’t know what the original meaning is, but when used in political contexts, I think it means white male libertarians and the white male liberals who love them, as well as any aspect of that subculture.

  39. 39
    Alien Radio says:

    Yeah Brogrammers are a thing, I think once it looked like tech was a way to get hookers and blow, and the machismo of perpetual crunch became a tribal marker the bros decided they want in, not that there aren’t mysogynistic geeks, but they tend to be loners, whereas Bros are pretty tribal.

  40. 40
    tokyo expat says:

    @raven: Thanks. I can’t find it at the moment, but I recall reading that article and being as lost by the dudebro references then as I am now. It’s funny how you see a word you are not familiar with and suddenly it’s all over the place.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    @tokyo expat

    You’re certainly not alone. The more I read people attempting to define the pigeonhole, the less I comprehend what is being described.

    Kind of hoping it is a linguistic fad and will be relegated to the dusty shelf in the same closet that holds macaroni as a male descriptor.

  42. 42
    Rob says:

    @geg6:
    Yeah, all it takes to see this is to follow the Anita Sarkeesian story where a woman dares to offer a point of view some find uncomfortable.

  43. 43
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @raven: But is there gas in the car?

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    It’s nothing new. The insecurity’s always been there, but what’s changed is that these clowns now feel free to express their sentiments.

  45. 45
    Marc says:

    Number one, is hating women as important politically as hating black people?

    It will be once the 2016 primaries start.

  46. 46
    sharl says:

    @tokyo expat: Yeah, I don’t think the term was never really well defined, and now its meaning is all over the map – though I’ve never seen such a bizarre use of “dudebro” as mistermix’s in his post yesterday; not that it’s all that important an issue.

    “Dudebro” conjures up an image in my mind of a clueless, sexist dude who doesn’t think he’s either, wearing a baseball cap backward – and/or whatever is hip at the moment – and carrying an air of supreme self-confidence while mostly lacking in socio-situational awareness (lack of empathy). The character featured in the Cake song “Comfort Eagle” comes to mind for me:

    His hat is on backword,
    He can show you his tattoo,
    He’s in the music business,
    He is calling you DUDE!

    I tried Google just to see what images came up when searching on “dudebro” – those results seemed to be all over the map.

    The special case of dudebros in Silicon Valley and other IT bastions is the “brogrammer”. For me Gawker’s Valleywag site can be a fun read for cases of that, as long as senior reporter Sam Biddle’s bombastic style doesn’t grate too much. His colleague Nitasha Tiku mellows out that testosterone-fueled coverage a bit, fortunately – a couple of her posts here and here.

  47. 47
    Marc says:

    I can believe that there is an argument to be made here. I can’t stand the cutesy nicknames (dudebro) and the baby talk, however. This is a terrible habit that started with Duncan Black, and it needed to go away about 5 minutes after it started.

    Come back, use grown-up words to decribe who these people are, and then maybe it’ll be worth a conversation.

  48. 48
    Marc says:

    @tokyo expat:

    Some bloggers grab onto names to call their opponents. It’s an obnoxious habit; the word has the same meaning as the word “socialist” does when coming from a Republican. In other words, it’s someone that the writer doesn’t like. Similiarly, misogny (hatred of women) has been stretched so far that it basically encompasses virtually anything objectionable from a broadly concieved feminist view.

    If you don’t spend a lot of time reading blogs things like this aren’t cute: they come across as the rough equivalent of listening to middle school children gossiping.

  49. 49
    IowaOldLady says:

    Sexism is at least as important in politics as racism is, though I suspect it’s not quite the same as “hating women.” Sexism is complicated because men and women live together, and sexism may be tied up with things like the need to break away from your mother.

    Things will get ugly if Hillary is the candidate.

  50. 50
    Wayne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Yeah, I was going to ask for a translation.

  51. 51

    Number one, is hating women as important politically as hating black people?

    Separate topics. Dudebro can get by with or without people of color, but Gaia help him he still wants to get laid once in awhile.

    Number two, is the rise of dudebro culture a new thing or not?

    Acknowledging it to elevate it and giving it its own category is new, the faux-libertarian techie dipshits were around when I got into the business in the mid 90’s. Hasn’t changed much since.

    I kind of thought that tech world Randians sat around by themselves playing video games and writing Python and feeling superior, not doing shots of Patron with their bros.

    That behavior pattern changed when TWR realized he actually *could* go to the bar and participate and be accepted for his dipshittedness, rather than being shunned and ridiculed. Birds of a feather and so forth.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    aimai says:

    I don’t have a problem with the word dudebro. Its just another shorthand. It is certainly not like “socialist” which has an objective, historical, meaning. I think its wrong to think that it doesn’t have anything to do with class or class privilege–being an upper class, educated, white boy is a class position which needs to be defended not only against the lower classes but against white women (and non white women) who are in your class and will otherwise outcompete you for the jobs you used to find were yours to own or lose. There is a circling of the wagons thing going on here. These guys feel besieged and they know they are losing out and the only thing they have left to use as a weapon is hostility and clubbiness.

  54. 54
    Lymie says:

    @Marc: And again we divide color from sex and forget that there are black women.

  55. 55
    EconWatcher says:

    I’m sure this is the wrong way to look at it, but I can’t help thinking that if the Dems nominate a woman, and the anti-woman freakout is similar to the near freakout over Obama, we’re going to end up with an electoral blow-out in 2016 such as has not been seen since 1964 (or 1972, if we analogize to the other guys).

    But I’m kinda opportunistic that way.

  56. 56
    aimai says:

    This dudebro thing is more of a spoiler attitude towards democrats and democratic political actors like women. It doesn’t conduce to full on Republicanism because Republicans are still old and smell of old people stuff. It tends libertarian because libertarian is a refusenik, hipster, stance in which the actor can take any position he wants so long as it is assholish and solipsistic. So we will see a bunch of these guys lash out at the democratic voter (if its a woman), and HRC if she’s the nominee, but we won’t see them actually vote Republican publicly. They’ll just bitch and moan about “political correctness” and how only hot women get raped and democrats aren’t hot so why are they bicthing about this stuff anyway?

  57. 57
    EconWatcher says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Or, to put it another way: Let a thousand Todd Akins bloom.

  58. 58
    Lurking Canadian says:

    What I find strange about “dudebro” is that it seems to unnecessarily couple the cultural signifiers with the politics. It may be true that every polo shirt, backwards-cap, board shorts douchebag in Northern California is a racist and a misogynist. But there are a lot of racist, misogynists who don’t wear polo shirts or baseball caps or call each other Dude. I don’t see the value in conflating the two phenomena.

  59. 59
    Tokyokie says:

    Until I read this thread, I had no idea what this dudebro term meant. But now I realize it’s the audience for all those gross-out “comedies” I stay the hell away from.

  60. 60
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Suzanne:

    3) Larger than you think. I only know a couple of Silicon Valley dudes; they are both glibertarians, tech-oriented, and very much into drugs and drinking. And they both assure me that everything they achieved came through hard work and their own innate superiority.

    even when their bosses say they suck and only hired them because they were the only one they could get. Worked with a few.

  61. 61
    Marc says:

    @aimai:

    If you have a lot of people who don’t understand your term it serves more as an in-joke; a marker of being in the club. I have a reflexive dislike of that. In addition, this one is nebulous – look at all of the attempts to define it.

  62. 62
    Splitting Image says:

    @raven:

    My point in this post was that it’s become meaningless namecalling used by Snowden/Greenwald haters.

    Glenn Greenwald, the Greatest Living Defender of a Constitutional Right to Privacy, has publicly supported Rand Paul, who is in favour of a nationwide ban on abortion. To achieve that, Paul would have to overturn both Roe vs. Wade and Griswold vs. Connecticut, the latter of which is the basis for the idea that a constitutional right to privacy in the U.S.A. even exists.

    The fact of the matter is that icky girls and their longstanding crusade to be able to deal with their own junk have done more for civil liberties than the entire “libertarian” movement, especially grandstanding abortion-banners like Ron and Rand Paul. Failing to appreciate that a court decision that mainly dealt with women’s girlie parts could have anything to do with them is what makes their supporters dudebros. This also applies to Greenwald and Snowden, notwithstanding the merits of the case against the NSA. Either of them could have done more for the right to privacy simply by supporting politicians who were committed to upholding Griswold.

  63. 63
    Sly says:

    I’m not surprised that Vox is turning out to be a glibertarian dudebro enterprise, that much I expected, but I’m surprised by the anti-woman attitudes the glibertarian dudebros have.

    According to Pew, Libertarians are the “malest” of all ideological/partisan groups: 67% of self-identified libertarians are men, compared to 49% of the total population. It is also the third most disproportionately white.

    It makes sense if you accept the following intellectual premises:

    1) Conservatism fundamentally concerns itself with the maintenance and protection of existing hierarchies of social rank, while leftism fundamentally concerns itself with the destruction of those hierarchies.

    2) American Libertarianism is a type of post-Depression conservatism, and primarily concerns itself with being a criticism of New Deal liberalism.

    In other words, Libertarianism is an ideological attack on the liberalism of the 30s, 40s, and 50s; the central state as an agent of equality through technocratic planning. But liberalism has expanded since then; having incorporated the hierarchy-busting goals of the both the 60s Civil Rights Movement and 70s Second Wave Feminism, and has fully adopted the position that the central state is the primary guarantor of individual liberty and dignity. Libertarianism is basically blind to those arguments, because the circumstances of its intellectual founding didn’t necessitate a well-thought response to the challenges of white supremacy and male supremacy. They’re still fighting John Maynard Keynes, so they haven’t had time to practice for the fight against James Baldwin and Bella Abzug.

    There’s a larger problem for Libertarianism as well. A good working definition of “privileged” as its found in the political rhetoric of the left is “any group of people for whom circumstance has allowed them to be oblivious to the political realities of people outside the group.” The realities of American non-whites and women, if they’re seen at all by white men, typically come to us as second or third-order effects. We either see deprivations put upon people we care about who are not like us, or we experience tangential deprivations that aren’t easily traceable to their white supremacist or male supremacist roots.

    Race and sex discrimination are never within our circle of primary experience, and the systems that promote and maintain systems of white and male superiority have the effect of normalizing our primary experiences. We think our concerns are the concerns of everyone else. Not that they should be or ought to be, but that they just are. When concerns relating to political realities outside of our experience intrude, the tendency is to dismiss them as irrelevant; this puts the “glib” in “glibertarian.” The politics surrounding the political realities of women and non-whites are routinely castigated as “identity politics,” and, as everyone surely knows, white men have no discernible political identity that we are impelled to protect. Our concerns are everyone’s concerns, because We are the cosmos.

  64. 64
    cckids says:

    @🍀 Martin:

    Lots of people are (often unknowingly) contributing to this problem – teachers, parents, etc.

    I can’t find a link to it, but I’ve heard Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about how he was treated/taught in elementary school, and it is just a devastating comment on the state of education, and the mindset of way too many teachers and administrators. He had become fascinated by the stars at the age of 9, independently learned a tremendous amount about astronomy; found out what it would take to become an astrophysicist. And his teachers kept telling him to be realistic, to get a good union job, or “what about sports? You’re tall, you’re strong.” Just amazing and infuriating. Tyson was asked to return to his elementary school to give a talk to the kids about how important his education there had been, and he refused, telling them: “you wouldn’t like what I have to say”. He did say he’d be happy to talk to the teachers, give them some pointers, but that offer wasn’t accepted.

  65. 65
    jamick says:

    Doug I love you but can we all stop using “dudebro?” A) it’s ghastly aesthetically B) I notice a lot of nerdy men are getting called dudebros even though nerds and bros are generally opposites in real life. Also I’ve known a fair number of bros and they generally do not care at all about politics.

  66. 66
    Pharniel says:

    It’s important to note that ‘Bro’ is a self-selecting tribal term – Much like ‘teabagger’ these guys chose it for themselves.

    DudeBro is simply taking their preferred tribal name and appending something to it to let the reader/listener know that the speaker/writer is not part of the tribe but talking about it.

    And it’s common as fuck. It’s been common as fuck for years – from the guy in the gaming store who was finger-fondling a picture of a woman in an RPG book in the middle of the store (The ‘druid’ from Rifts for those curious) when I was 14 (22 years ago) to the more recent “you should be grateful employed men find you attractive” freakout from convention harassment policies to rpg.net having to institute entire special rules for sexism threads because event talking about gender issues in elfgames causes people to flip the fuck out.

    When you combine this with the general “Self-made man” attitude of the Tech World you come out with the only ‘appropriate’ and ‘self-evident’ answer – “Those who are failing are failed and they simply are not worth as much as me.”

    Logic goes something like this:
    I succeeded of my own power and determination
    Success is only derived from talent and hard work
    Those that are not successful do not have talent or hard work, or both
    Those that routinely are not successful must have neither
    the Blahs (Women/Minorities/whoever) are not as successful in my niche of the world, thus they must lack talent or the ability to work hard
    QED – They are worthless as peers and only valuable as objects.

    It’s a nice little toxic sludge of Randian Objectivisim (people who are not as successful as me are objectively inferior) and classic tribal identification.

  67. 67
    tokyo expat says:

    @Tokyokie: A definition I think I can finally get behind!

  68. 68
    jamick says:

    It’s important to note that ‘Bro’ is a self-selecting tribal term – Much like ‘teabagger’ these guys chose it for themselves.

    DudeBro is simply taking their preferred tribal name and appending something to it to let the reader/listener know that the speaker/writer is not part of the tribe but talking about it.

    *rolls eyes*

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    You’re overthinking it. Most of these people want to imagine they’re Vince Vaughn and have the ability to sit in a sports bar, drink scotch, and have witty banter all while knowing what’s going on on the tv screen. It’s an image, successfully sold by movies and television, and lapped up because men don’t want to think of themselves as boring.

  70. 70
    Spankyslappybottom says:

    With rape illegal (albeit under-reported and -enforced), straight men will always feel disadvantaged and bitter. Always.

    Dudebroism is the constellation of social and behavioral markers that identify the leading edge of the defenders of the disadvantage outrage.

  71. 71
    Jack the Second says:

    I think a lot of the recent misogyny is a sign of winning.

    A couple hundred years ago, there would be no need to express your misogyny, because there was no one to disagree with you. Johnny Appleseed adopted an orphan to raise as his wife, for crying out loud. Now, most people think it’s quite reasonable that Hilary Clinton could be a good and electable President. A couple of hundred years ago, it might have seemed as absurd as Caligula’s horse, so it’d never come up, but now that it does we get to hear from all the folks who still feel that way.

    I kind of get the impression that it was really the same way with racism fifty years before the Civil War. I honestly think we got pretty lucky in that we don’t really know how big of assholes our founding fathers were. They most all owned slaves, and there wasn’t a woman among them, and a few of them said an awful thing once or twice in their letters. But because they weren’t really challenged, for the most part they didn’t spend a historically notable amount of time defending their racist, misogynistic status quo. So we can all pretend that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would have been totally cool with our current President, and his former Secretary of State, who may be our future President.

  72. 72
    kc says:

    The word “dudebro” has been so over used in the comments to this blog that it has no meaning to me.

    It’s like hearing Limbaugh say “femi-nazi;” I just can’t take anything that follows seriously.

  73. 73
    EconWatcher says:

    @Spankyslappybottom:

    “With rape illegal (albeit under-reported and -enforced), straight men will always feel disadvantaged and bitter. Always.”

    Is that some kind of parody?

  74. 74
    kc says:

    @kc:

    Likewise, “glibertarian.”

  75. 75
    aimai says:

    I don’t understand all the complaining about the term. Speaking as a non dudebro, married to a straight white male, I don’t see any problem with a term which refers to a subset of straight, white, males (and possibly some gay males) as having a recognizable style, affect, aesthetic, and politics. I recognize it instantly as a thing out there in the world. People seem absurdly touchy about it. Like its some kind of unfair generalization. Its not any worse than “soccer mom” or “hands off my medicare” senior citizen. Its an attempt to grapple with a recognizable social phenomenon.

  76. 76
    aimai says:

    @kc: I love “glibertarian.” It seems completely accurate to me since it reflects the fact that a subset of libertarians are, in fact, extremely glib thinkers whose logic is faulty and whose historical reasoning is scanty. What else should we call them? Why shouldn’t we make fun of them?

  77. 77
    pharniel says:

    @EconWatcher: Not familiar with “Men Going Their Own Way” or “Men’s Rights Activism” eh?

    Yes it’s a parody…but not by much.

    @jamick
    Shall we call them Neckbeards then? Again – even in Elfgames (and not PC/Console gaming either, old school pen & paper table top) you can play Sexism Bingo any time someone even mentiones how maybe, just maybe, the Strong Female Character could not have a bare midriff platemail. Or that perphaps a boob-window isn’t a great idea for armor?

    General sillyness at the MRA/Bro ‘movement’ ‘s expense

  78. 78
    A non mouse says:

    I’m in my 40s. I have been told to my face that women shouldn’t be operating. I have been told the only reason I did well on the math test was that the T.A. thought I was cute (95% on the test). I have many more tales like that, being in a science field. Sexism has never gone away. I worry for my daughter.

  79. 79
    kc says:

    @aimai:

    a subset of libertarians are, in fact, extremely glib thinkers whose logic is faulty and whose historical reasoning is scanty

    That’s true. But the insult is so overused that it’s just lost any punch, in my opinion anyway.

  80. 80
    Kropadope says:

    Now, most people think it’s quite reasonable that Hilary Clinton could be a good and electable President.

    Let’s not go overboard. Hillary hasn’t seen a proposed war she doesn’t like in all her time in public life. She’s the Dems’ W or at least grampa McCain.

  81. 81
    jamick says:

    another problem with “dudebro” is it lumps together groups of men that mistreat women for different reasons:

    1. Bros usually interact with a lot of women and have sex but view women as sexual objects.

    2. then you have the reddit/men’s rights/atheist fedora-wearing gamer/neckbeard/bitcoin crowd. they are the ones who complain about the “friendzone” and how they are nice guys but don’t get sexual attention from women.

    so they resent the ladies for not having sex with them despite their skill at Gaming and being “nice”

  82. 82
    Starfish says:

    Thank you for using the term dudebro correctly.

    Mississippi and Montana do not have many places that offer an AP Computer Science class, and these classes where they do exist are slanted to invite the people who have had early access to computers and probably already know how to program. Anyone who has not had prior exposure due to their own families is behind the curve. Some people have fixed their intro level college level computer science classes by teaching them in obscure languages so no one has a head start from previous exposure. Read _Unlocking the Clubhouse_ if you are interested in this topic.

    When my sister and I were discussing the 2008 election, she was sure that Obama would beat Clinton because in the constitutional amendments, blacks technically had the right to vote before women did (despite all the Jim Crow that happened later.)

    Why is anyone reading Jezebel? Jezebel is stupid. Go read feministing.com or feministe.us.

  83. 83
    pharniel says:

    @jamick – Functionally indistinguishable sub-sets can usually be grouped under the same overall category without causing issues.

    “Nice Guys” are still treating women as objects – in this case Sex Venders.

    They think getting sexual access is simply a Rep/Faction Grind – put enough Kindness in and eventually you can unlock ‘blowjob’ (Requires Honored) instead of treating women like they are also fellow intelligent beings with free will. Women are just NPCs and they’re the player – and when the world doesn’t respond to that paradigm they get all upset tantrumy and just assume that the game is ‘rigged’ or ‘bugged’ and not that base assumptions are incorrect.

    To continue to add to the lulz however – The wire reports that PUAs are setting their sights on the ‘ultimate’ challenge: North Korea
    Jezebel’s take

  84. 84
    different-church-lady says:

    @Sly: That’s the most insightful writing I’ve read on any blog in ages.

  85. 85
    Cassidy says:

    I’m curious if there is an intersection between dudebros and CrossFit.

  86. 86
    Marc says:

    Language does have power, and words like “dudebro” are gender-based insults (like “mansplaining”). It’s not surprising that people react negatively to them, nor should it be a surprise that it’s so difficult to explain exactly what they mean. If your movement includes an explicit sensitivity to language you have to be thoughtful about the language that you use.

  87. 87
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    I can’t tell if you can chalk it up to dudebro-ism or not, but I’ve just seen a despairing amount of folks I know, nominally liberal and rarely dipping into the GOP or Libertarian pool, rise up with a rash of shit that seems plugged straight from MRA handbooks. Wrangling about what is and isn’t rape and how women have it just too damn good when it comes to accusations of the ‘r’ word, as well as constant “stop dressing like a slut and you won’t get attacked’ shit, usually couched in more gentle words but still carrying the exact same meaning.

    It’s just…fucking godawful and the way it seemed to rise out of guys who previously showed no inclination toward this kind of blind misogyny is just fucking mindboggling.

  88. 88
    Marc says:

    @Sly:

    This is on the point and I think there is a lot in what you identify. I’d add in the current economic anxiety and casting about for explanations; it’s pretty powerful historically to think that the “other” are the real reason for your troubles, as opposed to structural issues.

  89. 89
  90. 90
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Sly: thank you for the link to the Pew poll. interesting numbers..

  91. 91
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Pharniel:
    Let us not forget the other logic string-
    1. I/my job is special and I get paid accordingly,
    2. Women work in ordinary jobs because (insert stereotype),
    3 If women work in my field, my field is no longer special,
    4. I will get paid less.

  92. 92
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Ain’t your imagination, Doug. It’s real and it’s everywhere, and while the viciousness of it is something that I haven’t seen in a long time – the men are just flat-out being mean and rude as shit – the presence of it is not. The late twenties/most of the thirties crowd seems to have the worst of it. The Gen-Xers are in general OK at this point in history unless they’re single. A divorced/single mid-40s GenX male is almost always a toxic black hole of misogyny and hate. As others above have stated, I think there are some economic reasons for a lot of this behavior, especially with the older crowd.

  93. 93
    Starfish says:

    @Marc: Men react negatively to these terms because they do not like being analyzed in this way and do not want to take the time to understand what the words mean. If men are in charge of the language, they will take away words that others use to discuss them.

    Mansplaining and dudebro can go away when bitch and whore go away.

  94. 94
    Kropadope says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t know what the original meaning is, but when used in political contexts, I think it means white male libertarians and the white male liberals who love them, as well as any aspect of that subculture.

    Sounds like my living arrangement.

  95. 95
    Jado says:

    I think there is still some debate among the dudebros about race, as there are (limited) examples of dudebros of other races. Opinions can vary sometimes, although less often than you would expect from people living in this century. So there is some controversy, and dudebros are terrified of debate based on facts, so the discussion can be virulent and loud.

    But the one thing dudebros of ALL races can be sure of is that “Sluts are for f***ing, and ALL women are sluts.” So the discussion is a lot less involved – it’s a given, like debating about the significance of pro football.

  96. 96
    dubo says:

    I’m pretty sure the rise of glibertarian dudebro culture is directly traceable to Neil Strauss’s The Game and all its associated horrors in 2005-2007

  97. 97
    aimai says:

    @Kropadope: Thats not what the polls show. The polls show people think she’d be both electable and pretty good. Certainly no worse than a male politician. That’s progress for women. Its progress for any rising minority when they don’t have to be twice or four times as good as the average white male in order to be considered half as good.

  98. 98
    PIGL says:

    @geg6: “I tend to bait them until they get infuriated and walk away or they lose it completely and are shunned by everyone who witnesses it. Which probably makes them hate women all the more, but fuck ‘em.”

    Seriously, does this work? The goading , exploding and shunning, I mean? In real life? Because that would be brilliant.

  99. 99
    aimai says:

    @Marc: No, really, its ok. You can stop explaining to us how we need to be more tolerant of the dudebro’s intolerance or be thought sexist and mean.

  100. 100
    pharniel says:

    @dubo: Funny story – rpg.net disallows group attacks or personal attacks.
    This includes a range from the Westbourgh Baptist Church clear through to Alquida.

    You know who’s not covered? Nazis and PUAs. And yah “The Game” made things noticeably terrible. Systematic brain hacking for the purpose of exploiting people under the guise of “Getting what you deserve!”

    Everything about PUAs I needed to know was summed up in a video from Niel “Are these techniques legal? Well….no one can prove you are using them so there’s no need to worry.”

  101. 101
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Marc:
    Dudebro is taken from a group’s self-selected preferred title and so you really need to talk to that group to find out why they find it to be derogatory when other groups appropriate the term. Mansplaining is descriptive of a specific type of behaviour that has negative impacts so it will, by necessity, always have a negative edge to it. Neither is so egregious or culturally inappropriate that it merits elimination from the dialogue.

  102. 102
    VitaminC says:

    Interesting to read a blog with this and massive rape apology both on the front page. At least nobody can say liberals don’t have a big tent.

  103. 103
    Kropadope says:

    @aimai: Electable and better than other known options, perhaps. I don’t look forward to a Clinton/Paul matchup, however, for myriad reasons, the primary reason being that I don’t feel like having Democrats suddenly branded as the war party. You know that branding will stick in our media environment, too.

    I think it’s awesome that a woman is considered a viable contender for the presidency, but it’s kind of sending the wrong message if that’s the primary consideration over her policies.

  104. 104
    Tata says:

    @aimai: You know why they’re picking at the term. Upthread, we see the classic dudebro move by Marc, trying to reframe the conversation:

    Come back, use grown-up words to decribe who these people are, and then maybe it’ll be worth a conversation.

    Yes, dudebro, you always think you make the rules.

  105. 105
    Paul in KY says:

    @A non mouse: I hope you laughed at the assholes who made those comments.

  106. 106
    opium4themasses says:

    I actually find misogyny more common in tech than in the general population. Who knew that when you get a disproportionately white, male, and rich population that entitlementwould be found?

    I love reading another blog that mocks the Mens’ Rights Activists (MRA), the Pick Up Artists (PUA), and the Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW). These same guys also tend to be homophobic and racist. Check out http://www.manboobz.com

    However, this isn’t just a left/right thing. Brogressives buy into a lot of the sexist bullshit or try to minimize women’s problems by saying they are a distraction from economic (or insert hobby horse here) issues which are the real problems.

  107. 107
    Marc says:

    @aimai:

    Or you can rethink the idea of using vague insults. You see, I’m totally in agreement that birth control should be fully covered by insurance. This should, in some ideal world, make me not an enemy. Tactics that make gratuitous enemies out of allies are stupid tactics.

  108. 108
    VitaminC says:

    @Marc:

    Concern trolling duly noted. Can we move on now?

  109. 109
    kindness says:

    Living in N. Cal and working in the Bay Area I know several tech types. Most of them are liberals but they aren’t the ones getting the press. Now the media only wants quasi libertarian types who if you read between the lines support Republican policies essentially. Now, being that this media is the MSM/CW color me not shocked that they are priming the airwaves with the simple message that even the liberal – fill in the gap – support Republican policies.

    It’s a facade. I think Admiral Ackbar said it properly – ‘It’s a trap!’.

  110. 110
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @pharniel: This is … brilliant.

    I’m a little surprised at the huffiness of some of the objections to the term ‘dudebro.’ They seem a little defensive.

    ETA: Starfish (comment 93) said this better.

  111. 111
    jamick says:

    @pharniel:

    Functionally indistinguishable sub-sets can usually be grouped under the same overall category without causing issues.

    i totally disagree that two groups are functionally indistinguishable — your men’s rights/reddit crowd is WAY more likely to be anti birth control than your typical “bro.”

    both stem from objectifying, but racism, homophobia, and the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo stem from otherizing. but that doesn’t mean we can’t/shouldn’t distinguish between Fred Phelps, Charles Murray and Eli Lake.

    All that aside, can we agree that the “combine two words to make a new word” thing is generally dumb and bad? It’s clunky and adds nothing

  112. 112
    Kropadope says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): The term may be being used a little overly broadly here.

  113. 113
    jamick says:

    @pharniel: lol i’m fine with “neckbeards.”

  114. 114
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jamick: Isn’t that just a clunky combination of two words?

  115. 115
    Chris says:

    @Tokyokie:

    Until I read this thread, I had no idea what this dudebro term meant. But now I realize it’s the audience for all those gross-out “comedies” I stay the hell away from.

    South Park Republicans?

  116. 116
    Chris says:

    @Sly:

    American Libertarianism is a type of post-Depression conservatism, and primarily concerns itself with being a criticism of New Deal liberalism.

    Just wondering, who do you trace American Libertarianism back to?

    Ayn Rand? The John Birch Society? Buckley’s National Review? All of the above?

  117. 117
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @aimai:

    Its progress for any rising minority when they don’t have to be twice or four times as good as the average white male in order to be considered half as good.

    I think the concern is that HRC feels she has to be twice or four times as hawkish to be considered half as good (in this case ‘good’ is defined as ‘appropriately hawkish’).

    I have my concerns about Hillary Clinton, but Iwill support and work for her wholeheartedly. I would like to see her be a little more unconventional and outside-the-box however.

  118. 118
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Tactics that make gratuitous enemies out of allies are stupid tactics.

    @Marc: But you are not an ally.

    Nothing of value was lost.

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @jamick:

    Also I’ve known a fair number of bros and they generally do not care at all about politics.

    What I’m getting from a lot of posters is that it’s a cultural phenomenon as much as a political one. The people that’re being called “dudebros” don’t necessarily vote, but voting isn’t the only way to affect society.

    Actually… for the last few threads I’ve skimmed I’ve been wondering, why “dudebro” – don’t we have perfectly good shorthand already? What’s wrong with “glibertarian?” But when you look at it that way, they actually are two different things – “glibertarian” being a word for a specifically political phenomenon and “dudebro” being the word for the equivalent phenomenon in culture in general. If I have that right, then there actually is a value in the word.

  120. 120
    Paul in KY says:

    @Chris: I thik it started back in late 40s, after war was over & when basically all of US was ‘civilized’ to the degree that you could pretend to be a loner, do it without the government, Randist without the 19th Century reality of someone coming along & killing you & taking your stuff intruding into your fantasy.

  121. 121
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): I think she over-compensates too. I don’t think she needs to pay up her toughness. She projects toughness (IMO) & I think needs to show her commitment to non-military Democratic issues (unions, fair minimum wage, etc.).

  122. 122
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I’m a little surprised at the huffiness of some of the objections to the term ‘dudebro.’ They seem a little defensive.

    @Kay (not the front-pager): You’re talking about a group of folks that is deadly serious; the slightest whiff of disrespect or even a hint that someone is having a laugh at their expense will produce an explosion of impotent rage. They know exactly what “dudebro” means, and the baggage and failures that earned them the term, and they don’t like it one bit.

  123. 123
    tBone says:

    @Chris:

    Actually… for the last few threads I’ve skimmed I’ve been wondering, why “dudebro” – don’t we have perfectly good shorthand already? What’s wrong with “glibertarian?” But when you look at it that way, they actually are two different things – “glibertarian” being a word for a specifically political phenomenon and “dudebro” being the word for the equivalent phenomenon in culture in general. If I have that right, then there actually is a value in the word.

    I think you might be on to something there. People are just thinking too narrowly when it comes to dudebros.

    I would submit that dudebroism, as an overarching term, refers to any self-reinforcing solipsistic culture of young men marinating in a toxic stew of testosterone and unexamined, unacknowledged privilege. It often curdles later in life into libertarianism or outright Teabaggerism.

    Dudebroism may encompass many overlapping subfactions, with a wide spectrum of signifiers, behaviors and belief systems. However, there is one defining characteristic shared by all dudebros: intense, unselfconscious douchebaggery.

  124. 124
    Chris says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    I can’t tell if you can chalk it up to dudebro-ism or not, but I’ve just seen a despairing amount of folks I know, nominally liberal and rarely dipping into the GOP or Libertarian pool, rise up with a rash of shit that seems plugged straight from MRA handbooks

    One of the defining things about this whole subculture, it seems, is that it’s all the prejudices that we stereotypically associate with the religious right/Confederate flag waving crowd… coming from white men outside of that crowd who, indeed, we might assume would be liberal.

    As an aside on a non-cultural issue – I’ve similarly seen a despairing amount of “nominally liberal” folk completely dismissing working class issues and swallowing the GOP line on unions (“they destroy jobs,” “they’re all corrupt special interests,” “they only benefit their members,” “look at Detroit!” “maybe they played a role once, but now they’re the problem”) hook line and sinker. “If you’re not white, male, and at least middle class, your issues aren’t real” is sadly not limited to the GOP.

  125. 125
    El Cid says:

    I am sick and tired of the attempt to invent this ‘dudebro’ category. I don’t know, maybe this folksy-jokey term sits better with peoples’ feelings than the harsher ‘sexist’ or ‘ignorant’ type labels which accurately describe this behavior.

    The subject of sexism among male-led publications, activist groups, and similar projects is neither a new nor resolved situation.

    There is no excuse for it. There wasn’t any excuse for it 10 or 20 or 30 years ago — this is 2014 not 1950-something — and there’s no excuse for it now.

    Likewise I don’t give the slightest shit how comfortable somebody like Nate Silver feels around a bullshitter like Roger Pielke or whatever bullshit notion of branding he thinks this will help.

    You either aid or worsen public discourse if you intend to alter public discussion.

    The sorts of moves it appears that 538 is taking are overwhelmingly likely to continue worsening public discourse. Good work.

  126. 126
    mr. 6 says:

    The only thing I can think of is that at some point, the Valley replaced Wall Street as the most likely get-rich-quick scheme. This industry has become a materially less pleasant place in the last 2-3 years alone, and I’m a freakin’ 40 year old white guy in tech since 1997. You see it in the move to the city instead of boring places like Sunnyvale or Mountain View, in the proliferation of lookalike app businesses that seem to all be based on finding the best way to get that sweet young thing to send you topless selfies, and in the fact that the IPO has gone by the boards and that the exit strategy is to get Google or Facebook to pay billions of dollars for your amazing product/service/idea before you have to cough up a viable business model around it.

    Nothing’s more annoying than a bunch of clowns living at the corner of Ayn Rand and Asperger’s.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:

    @Marc:

    Or you can rethink the idea of using vague insults.

    Speaking of which, having no idea what the term meant, either, I asked around and was sent the following: The Ballad of Dudebro. Fifteen minutes later, having understood perhaps three out of every twenty sentences spoken therein, I still had no idea. Amen.

  128. 128
    aimai says:

    @Marc: Why do you identify as a dudebro? None of the men I know in computing identify that way and none of them are entitled assholes. It wouldn’t even occur to them that the word references them because it doesn’t.

    And why do you demand that a brief concession to recognizing the human rights of women in your own society makes you a hero?

    You should get out more, maybe read a little manboobz or a few more comments from Sly, Pharniel and the others here and realize that everything isn’t about you and what you would like to see happen. No one made you the hall monitor of oppression.

  129. 129
    aimai says:

    @Chris: Exactly this. “Dudebro” culture is not about voting or not voting–as I said way upthread–but its toxic because of
    1) its “both sides do it” anti political activism tinge
    2) its “the one who dies with the most toys wins” side
    3) its hostility towards working and older or non-sexually available women
    4) its determined refusal to admit to structural inequalities, racism, and issues of poverty other than through a narrow “angry white male” lens.
    5) its popularity due to the desirability of this audience as a customer base–this leads it to be overrepresented in media/tv/movies because white mean ages 17-35 are still seen as having money to be extracted.

  130. 130
    The Pale Scot says:

    @duck-billed placelot: Tri-Lambs Forever!

  131. 131
    Elizabelle says:

    I love the word “glibertarian.”

    It’s both descriptive and clever.

    No surprise that style of thinking applies mainly to males.

  132. 132
    smith says:

    I am an old woman who has lived through the Mad Men era, Second Wave feminism, and all the subsequent attempts to find a cultural accommodation to the idea that women are autonomous human beings. In the 50s and 60s sexism was deeply condescending and limiting, but not nearly as angry and violent as it is now. One thing that I believe has changed is the willingness of women to show their anger. There has long been a cultural expectation that men may be angry/aggressive/violent but women may not. I am in awe of people like Amanda Marcotte who can throw it back to the sexists every damn day. If dudebros feel insulted by mocking language, then that’s just too bad. It’s a sign that the privilege of taking out your frustrations on the less privileged without consequence is coming to an end.

  133. 133
    aimai says:

    @smith: One of the things that has changed over this period you are describing is that the willingness of women to be divided into “good girls” and “bad girls” has declined. I guess what I’m getting at here is that I think there’s more solidarity among women and less agreement that the hostility directed at some women as targets of convenience isn’t directed at all of us.

    There was (and is) plenty of misogyny and hate directed at 1) non white women, 2) prostitutes, 3) bad girls, 4) divorced women, 5) single mothers, 6) bitches/working women but it used to be that women in your own social circle or family were immune or at least semi-protected from the hostility. But with the rise of divorce, of the two income working family, of near parity in education (for both white and black women) you get the rise of a backlash against the very women who used to be willing to “belong” or be subordinate to (some) guys.

    Susan Faludi’s “Stiffed” is a truly great book about the battering that masculinity took, and the forms of its backlash against women, over the last 50 years. Her section on what happened when a woman finally enrolled at VMI is eye opening.**

    ETA to add that Lawyer’s Guns and Money has a link up today about a recent domestic violence murder in MA–the murderer is from a priviliged background, has been beating up and attacking women and men all his life, gets involved with a beautiful and successful girl and ends up killing her. One of the reasons he attacks her, as given in the article, is that she is a self made woman, working her way up and studying at night to change careers, and she sees nothing wrong with equal marriage while he is stuck in angry white male resentment, hostility towards gays, and a host of retro socio-political angers.

  134. 134
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Marc:

    use grown-up words to decribe who these people are

    Farking asshole becomes repetitive much quicker than dudebro, lets just call them Mooks.

  135. 135
    jamick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m sure your neckbeard is one of the good ones

  136. 136
    RSA says:

    @Starfish:

    Some people have fixed their intro level college level computer science classes by teaching them in obscure languages so no one has a head start from previous exposure.

    I’ve heard of this as a side effect of using some less familiar languages. Maybe I’m reading too much into this sentence, but I’ve never heard of an introductory programming language being adopted with the main goal of leveling the playing field. The faculty in my department and a few others where I know people are generally thinking of other issues, in particular how easy it is to bring across specific concepts with instruction based on a given programming language and whether that language will be useful to students once they graduate. The latter is something of a pain, in that programming languages are full of tradeoffs, and those that make sense for an industrial strength language may make it less appropriate for an introduction to programming.

  137. 137

    @geg6: “The Venn diagram of techies and your average frat boy appears as a perfect circle when diagramming for sexism.”

    That’s sad. For a time, high-tech was one of the places where women could find their way with, at least, less static than other engineering disciplines. The dudebros seems to have taken over and that’s a shame.

  138. 138
    geg6 says:

    @PIGL:

    It’s pretty easy to goad them. All you have to do is either laugh at them when they aren’t doing or saying anything they think is funny or best them in a battle of the mind (which is usually quite easy since, if they know anything at all well, it’s only one narrow thing) or both and do it in public. Humiliate them. If you can do that and you’re a woman, heads will explode. And when they explode, their toxic misogyny cannot be hidden and everyone in the vicinity with any sort of empathy toward women will avoid them like the plague forever more. I’ve had one guy who, in the middle of a Fourth of July party, screamed at me about how I should be tied up and raped over and over and then I’d know what rape really was when the topic of discussion had turned to the Steubenville rape case. I laughed in in his face and then patiently explained that I’d already been raped when I was 15, so I didn’t need his lessons on rape or rape culture. He left shortly after. I didn’t.

  139. 139

    From the Urban Dictionary definition of “dudebro:” “White suburban males, usually 16-25 years of age, hailing from anywhere, USA.…Dude bro’s are incredibly insecure in their manhood, which makes them: insanely jealous of their girl friends, overly macho, and laughably homophobic…”

  140. 140
    aimai says:

    Now might be a good time to repost a link to “Silent Technical Privilige”–an excellent essay by an Asian American computer guy about all the places that he wasn’t stopped along his career trajectory to being a professor of computing. The point that he makes in the essay is that being free to make mistakes, being accepted as part of the culture of computing, was as big a part of getting to think of himself as a programmer as anything he actually knew, or learned, prior to college level computing. And again afterwards and all through college.

  141. 141
    Cassidy says:

    I’m not sure where the intersection of dudebros and hipsters is, but I’ve found that anyone wearing a fedora and drinking a PBR in a cocktail bar is going to an asshole regardless.

  142. 142
    aimai says:

    @geg6: The topic of rape and what they think of as false rape accusations really seems to get some guys going. To me its the masculinist version of the generalized American anxiety about sharks–statistically any given man is incredibly unlikely to be the victim of a false rape accusation. Most women are statistically quite likely to have been raped or to know someone who was raped and most of those rapes will never be reported to the police at all. And yet this is often the dudebro’s hill to die on. Its an injustice he is sure is being done to someone just like him, all the time.

  143. 143
    PIGL says:

    @smith:

    I appreciated your comment a lot. But your opening four words made me think of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhe3vb0z7mY

  144. 144
    Cassidy says:

    @aimai: That and it takes away the sexual environment of the insecure dudebro. When you have to accept that sex with inebriated partners, who may or may not be underage, who cannot give consent may very well be rape, then you’ve taken away the only environment of sexual conquest.So, we have to debate what is rape and what is “rape rape”.

  145. 145

    Doug, I’m sorry. I believe that dudebro-ism has come to the fore in our time because of the successes of feminism. Unfortunately, there are very few things in recent political history (I’ve been saying this for years) that cannot be explained, at least in part, as an expression of masculinity doubts and, as 2008 showed us, sexism trumps racism.

    Women are often founding political activists, and are also often marginalized as the the political movement becomes successful. Libertarianism follows that pattern: libertarian founders Rose Wilder Lane and Isabella Patterson both come to mind, as well as Virginia Heinlein. Ayn Rand, of course, claimed gender-neutrality for her ideology, but, so far as I know, saw other women as enemies.

    So there are some pieces for you to work with.

  146. 146
    tBone says:

    @Cassidy:

    You could leave out “in a cocktail bar” and it reads the same. Actually, you could leave out either “wearing a fedora” or “drinking PBR” too.

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jamick: Given that it is nonexistent, it is the best kind.

  148. 148
    aimai says:

    Also, lets not forget another important concept “Hostile work environment.” A lot of what people are objecting to in the hypothetical dudebro grouping is that it creates a hostile experience for women in public spaces and work spaces–they are implicitly and explicitly being told where they don’t belong. One of the recent incidents with Ezra Klein’s new Vox hire was specifically that he lashed out on twitter to criticize and rebuke women who were writing/discussing the Hobby Lobby situation. The Hobby Lobby legal case is one of incredible importance not just for the women affected (the workers) but for all women working for any employer who is planning on offering health insurance as part of the compensation package. It is also a very signifcant legal case in its own right since it is pushign several serious legal theories into the mainstream. Instead of acknowledging the right of the women to discuss this and to criticize Hobby Lobby the guy basically told the women to STFU and simply “buy their own contraception.” Its not a very serious thing to be told to STFU by some random guy–happens all the time–but its important to realize that its a form of policing speech–in this case specifically liberal women’s speech about important political events, trivializing it, and shutting it down.

  149. 149
    tBone says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    as 2008 showed us, sexism trumps racism.

    While I’m sure some of Obama’s success could be attributed to girl-cootie-phobia, I think the real takeaway from 2008 should be that running a tight, disciplined campaign is likely to trump an undisciplined shitshow staffed with the likes of Lanny Davis and Mark Penn. I hope HRC agrees.

  150. 150
    Cassidy says:

    @tBone: To be fair, it’s hard to find a good Old Fashioned in my neck of the woods, so I occasionally have to go somewhere that does craft cocktails which I’ve taken to mean “We’re gonna use better liquor, but charge you 4x’s as much for a couple of signature drinks. Oh, and we’re edgy because we make fruity drinks with Jack Daniels.”.

  151. 151
    Sly says:

    @Chris:
    Murray Rothbard is the probably the first American libertarian as we understand the present context of the word. Not all libertarians are Rothbardians, but they were the ones who got the ball rolling in the 50s and 60s by combining the core philosophical assumptions of European anarchism and anti-populism as a critique of the emerging liberal state. It’s Ludvig von Mises meets Sacco and Vanzetti. The bastard love child of H.L. Mencken and Herbert Spencer.

  152. 152
    mack says:

    Dang, every time I wade into these waters I get bit…but I can’t help myself. I love reading the comments here. I have learned so much, though many times after reading a comment and thinking I now have my head around a particular topic, another comment makes equal sense to me and I am right back where I was. Except not really, since I have come to appreciate both sides, and that has to be a good thing.

    I have trouble with certain catch-words, for lack of a better term. Femi-nazi is certainly one of them, dudebro seems harmless by comparison, but I have to say, if I were reading this in an article, it’s usage might well have me dismissing the bulk of the writers assertions or his/her perspective. I think because it feels lazy because, typically, these terms have a short shelf life, so future readers lack a reference. Just my take.

    Here is one thing that still gets me a bit peeved. I guess I’m a Liberal lite…I believe in everyone’s right to equal everything, but I object to having my entire belief system questioned (at worst) or being called a concern troll (at best) when I take issue with a small part of an argument being presented. I often get lambasted for using the term “shrill.” It’s a word. Yes I know it has been used by to demean women by inferring that their voices are hard to take, but it doesn’t always mean to do that. Shrill is what it is, regardless of gender. I have had brutal arguments with women friends who know my positions mirror their own, but can’t get past the fact that I used the word as a descriptor.

    And I think Marc makes a valid point with respect to tactics. I’m old school I guess, educate don’t alienate comes to mind.

  153. 153

    @Sly: “Murray Rothbard is the probably the first American libertarian as we understand the present context of the word.”

    A-hem! Rose Wilder Lane, Isabella Patterson, Ayn Rand.

    Not at all coincidentally, the founding women are thought to have lesser roles.

  154. 154
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    That might actually be the single most fucked up manifestation of their privilege. Their outrage at rape-related issues reminds one of their white hot rage at being told by black people that they can’t say That Word. But at least that’s just a word, even if it’s probably the worst one in the English language. Getting mad at being told you can’t assault people is a leap beyond that.

  155. 155

    @tBone: perhaps. Certainly the Obama campaign was well-run. But Clinton’s feminism also cost her support, perhaps cost her the nomination and the election.

  156. 156
    Chris says:

    @Sly:

    One other question – do you distinguish between American Libertarianism, the post-New Deal phenomenon you’re describing, and just the modern right wing as a whole (what Krugman calls “movement conservatism?”) If yes, what’s the difference?

  157. 157
    tBone says:

    @Cassidy:

    I hear you. I just meant that a fedora and/or ironic PBR consumption are enough of an asshole signifier on their own; they don’t have to be in a cocktail bar. (That just raises the Asshole Certitude Factor to near 100%.)

  158. 158
    nellcote says:

    @aimai:

    5) its popularity due to the desirability of this audience as a customer base–this leads it to be overrepresented in media/tv/movies because white mean ages 17-35 are still seen as having money to be extracted.

    worth repeating.

  159. 159
    RSA says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    A-hem! Rose Wilder Lane, Isabella Patterson, Ayn Rand.

    Funnily enough, Ayn Rand didn’t think much of libertarians:

    Q: Why don’t you approve of libertarians, thousands of whom are loyal readers of your works?
    AR: Because libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people: they plagiarize my ideas when that fits their purpose, and denounce me in a more vicious manner than any communist publication when that fits their purpose. They’re lower than any pragmatists, and what they hold against Objectivism is morality. They want an amoral political program. [Ford Hall Forum, 1981]

  160. 160
    vitaminC says:

    @aimai:

    The Hobby Lobby legal case is one of incredible importance not just for the women affected (the workers) but for all women working…

    For all working people. How long until a Jehovah’s Witness CEO decides you can’t have a blood transfusion? Even if you pay for it out of your own earnings?

  161. 161
    Mike D. says:

    Don’t say bro or dudebro. That’s not a thing. I’m pretty sure you all aren’t even clear among you what it is you’re talking about. Describe the actual thing.

  162. 162
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    In the 50s and 60s sexism was deeply condescending and limiting, but not nearly as angry and violent as it is now.

    @smith: A lot of white male prerogatives are coming to an end. That the tone of the “discussion” has gone from condescending to violent is a sure sign that the “discussion” is just about over and the losers – white males who will no longer be able to beat, rape, belittle, and profit from the exploitation women and minorities – well, those losers are done for. Those of us who have been acting like decent human beings all along will see no changes.

  163. 163
    aimai says:

    @mack: But why is he alienated by the word? A normal white guy isn’t. Dudebro isn’t an attack on maleness at all–its a classification of a pretty well known subset of a much larger group. I don’t think these guys will ever be “gettable” as a vote or as an “ally” (the absurd word Marc used to describe himself. They are what they are. If you have a princpal that you are willing to defend, like women’s right to be in the public sphere without being hasselled by sexist assholes, why on earth would people calling sexist assholes “sexist asshole and/or dudebro” be a problem for you? And you really might want to get over your hysteria
    about being called out over your use of the word shrill.

    Basically when people who have historically been oppressed and shut out of the discussion call you on your use of a particular word you might want to listen to them if you want them as your allies. But the situation is not parallel with the use of dudebro–it just isn’t. When outsiders try to describe the power situation they see and the structures that they see preventing them from accessing power, then you might also want to listen to them and find out how they see the world. Example: I’m white, and a woman. Women of color frequently criticize people like me, using terms like “white” and “white feminist” and argue that the perspective of such a person is limited by class position and race privilige. That hurts my feelings! But its also true. And when they point out my privilige to me I need to listen and think about that rather than stamping my feet and saying “now I can’t be an ally because you pointed out something I prefer not to think about.” Sometimes I don’t think the blanket condemnation fits me or my outlook and I say so–but I don’t say “the description is invalid for all cases of white feminist women. “

  164. 164
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Mike D.: “Don’t say bitch or cunt. That’s not a thing. I’m pretty sure you all aren’t even clear among you what it is you’re talking about. Describe the actual thing. ” Does that help you any?

  165. 165
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Q: Why don’t you approve of libertarians, thousands of whom are loyal readers of your works?
    AR: Because libertarians are a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people

    @RSA: Huh. For once I am totally in agreement with the unlamented Ms. Rand.

  166. 166
    ruemara says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Agreed. I had to share that.

  167. 167

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: “For once I am totally in agreement with the unlamented Ms. Rand.”

    Rand objected to libertarians because they opposed intervention in the Middle East, because Rothbard was critical of her, and because she opposed something she called “anarchism.” It seems she was very big on law, as long as it was her law.

    Rothbard was critical of her as a <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/contr....."cult leader, and it is hard to disagree.

  168. 168
    JaneE says:

    I can’t help thinking that these people would have been right at home in classical Sparta. As Spartans, of course, not Helots. Not that Athens was much better. But that was 2500 years ago or more. Still the golden age of Dudebro.

  169. 169
    Starfish says:

    @RSA: If you get a chance, read the book Unlocking the Clubhouse. It is fairly short. Basically, CMU noticed that the percentage of women who graduated from their computer science program was much smaller than the number who started the program, and they tried to see why women were dropping out and if they could change it. I think they used Miranda as their programming language.

  170. 170

    And, oh, fergawdssake, here is Rothbard, scathingly and correctly criticizing Rand as a cult leader.

  171. 171

    @JaneE: “I can’t help thinking that these people would have been right at home in classical Sparta”

    They’d never have survived the physical training.

  172. 172
    RSA says:

    @Starfish:

    If you get a chance, read the book Unlocking the Clubhouse.

    I’ll do that. The number of women in computer science is shamefully low, and given the history of the field, I believe a lot of it is culture.

  173. 173
    JaneE says:

    Interesting that Spartan women had relative freedom. Relative being the important word.

  174. 174
    Chris says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    I must agree wholeheartedly with the assessment of Ayn Rand as a cult leader.

  175. 175
    Cervantes says:

    @Mike D.:

    Don’t say bro or dudebro. That’s not a thing. I’m pretty sure you all aren’t even clear among you what it is you’re talking about. Describe the actual thing.

    @Cynthia Dudley:

    “Don’t say bitch or cunt. That’s not a thing. I’m pretty sure you all aren’t even clear among you what it is you’re talking about. Describe the actual thing. ” Does that help you any?

    I don’t use the highlighted words as criticisms or put-downs because I’ve never found a need for them in reality. Is it your point that I should also not use the word “dudebro”?

    If not, what is the parallel you are urging?

  176. 176
    Sly says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    A-hem! Rose Wilder Lane, Isabella Patterson, Ayn Rand.

    All three are influential in the development of a coherent (such as it is) libertarian ideology, but only Lane was an American (quite the peripatetic, but that doesn’t really matter) and she was never, to my knowledge, even in her most vituperative anarcho-capitalist mindset, an anti-populist.

  177. 177
    Turgidson says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    I can’t think of a better “root for injuries” scenario than a confrontation between those two assholes.

  178. 178
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Cervantes: Since I recently had a lengthy discussion with a dudebro about how cunt is a totally acceptable usage since it has been used in Britain, New Zealand and Australia, I think that I can assert that it is a “thing” as you put it. Usage of derogatory, expressive and defamatory language has its adherents and it can be very useful to highlight a point. It is usually used poorly and for all the wrong reasons and certain terms have been over-used to the point of incoherence, however to tell people not to use certain terms on a thread specifically calling for the discussion of those terms is beyond incoherent. I was hoping that you would notice that but obviously I misjudged you.

  179. 179
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Cervantes: My point to Mike D. was hopefully to illustrate that his comment was incoherent as it applies to the conversation on the usage of the terms bro and dudebro. I do not advocate the use of derogatory or inflammatory terms in general as it should be a decision made by an individual. Usage of derogatory, expressive and defamatory language has its adherents and it can be very useful to highlight a point. It is usually used poorly and for all the wrong reasons and certain terms have been over-used to the point of incoherence, however to tell people not to use certain terms on a thread specifically calling for the discussion of those terms is beyond incoherent.

  180. 180
    Paul Reber says:

    I think it’s just an expression of clueless glibertarianism.

    Take the specific “you are still free to buy your own contraception” example. On the surface, it looks like a standard “why do I have to pay for something I don’t need?” But if you reflect for just a minute, it’s clear that it betrays a deep failure to understand what the whole concept of insurance is entirely about. The whole point of spreading the risk is that lots of people pay a little bit for something that doesn’t happen to them and they will never need. Maybe you want to go down the sex-specific road and start dis-including oral contraception, viagra, vasectomies, etc, but what about a kid with type-1 diabetes? Are you going to refuse to share those costs because you happen not to have type-1 diabetes? At that point, it’s not insurance any longer.

    Ezra ought to fire that guy for being too stupid to be trusted, not just for misogyny. I’d never trust anything he wrote at this point, even on his main area of technology, because he has demonstrated than he can’t think through important ideas clearly.

    As for broader dudebro culture, a lot of it is a similarly thoughtless claim to want freedom to express their thoughts, even if they are inappropriate, while pretending there is no cultural context or history of real threats of violence. So go ahead and call a woman a bitch if you don’t like something she did, or express desire to have sex at inappropriate times, and pretend there are no real predators around to make those words sound like real threats.

    And the side effect is that you make women feel consistently vaguely uncomfortable or unsafe in that environment and that turns into a competitive advantage for the dudebros. Then the workplace drifts into being an all-male office or department and nobody is quite sure how it happened and why aren’t there more women in this line of work? Maybe they just aren’t cut out for it, or aren’t suited to it — men and women are different, you know.

    I have a hunch DougJ has run into something I’ve been somewhat surprised to run into in academic environments recently, which is this culture leading to a belittling of sexual harassment claims and victim-blaming in complicated cases. I’ve seen this attitude come from both men and women, sadly, and it’s quite disheartening. But no, I don’t really know what to do about it either.

  181. 181
    Bruce Baugh says:

    Dad worked at NASA and was a Caltech alumnus, and we lived fairly close to the campus all the years I was growing up, so my mental baseline for tech culture is the academic/scientific hacking scene of the ’70s and ’80s. I’m not out to be insulting in what follows. I know that people often make the fantasy comparison in a derogatory sense, but I have a bunch of friends who matured in the old scene and a sense of the real joys in the life they chose, and a happy respect for its returns.

    As the (generally implicit) biases of surviving records like the Hacker’s Dictionary/Jargon File suggest, there was a general recognition among the guys and the few women in that scene that you were making a tradeoff: you’d never get a lot of social or political power doing this stuff, but in return you’d get to be the modern-day version of a wizard. The satisfactions were a mix of behind-the-scenes heroism, where the people in your scene know that your work saved the day for whoever, and the intellectual thrills of discovering and applying new insights.

    This could of course be very toxic in terms of bias, and often was. It could be sort of obliviously welcoming, and sometimes was. But either way, the implicit bargain – low overall social status for high in-group reward – got constantly reinforced with ritualized distancing from more conventional male subcultures like the bros.

    Things changed in the ’80s and ’90s with the emergence of technical competence as part of a major path to social power. With that came the growing understanding that you could be a wizard and do a bunch of things that the socially powerful did, too. You no longer had to make the choice! Some people took the opportunity to become wizards for good. Many more became Sauruman-wannabes. And some got in on the chance to be powerful, or aim for it, while having no interest in the wizardry at all and no longer having to pretend that they liked it.

    It’s certainly still possible to live the life of a hacker wizard. But now you’re surrounded by a bunch of people who no longer want it, or never did, and many of them are trying very hard to be things you were happy to move away from.

  182. 182
    Cervantes says:

    @The Raven on the Hill:

    Women are often founding political activists, and are also often marginalized as the the political movement becomes successful. Libertarianism follows that pattern: libertarian founders Rose Wilder Lane and Isabella Patterson both come to mind, as well as Virginia Heinlein.

    Rose Wilder Lane is an interesting example. You can see her impulses in the Little House on the Prairie books that she helped her mother produce. I always admired (and to some degree adopted) her rejection of “race” as an organizing tool. She was also very short with J. Edgar Hoover when the FBI decided to investigate her “subversive” attitudes. That was amusing.

    But I think the years she spent advising African-Americans to be self-reliant and not to depend on the federal government were, at best, redundant — many leaders in the community had long propounded the same advice.

    As for her opposition to the New Deal: her insistence that “free mutual associations” and simple “neighborliness” could suffice … well, if anything, it’s less convincing now than it was even then.

    And over the things she wrote in the ’60s about the invasion of Vietnam I will simply draw a veil for now.

  183. 183
    Cervantes says:

    @Cynthia Dudley: Thanks for explaining.

    [1] Usage of derogatory, expressive and defamatory language has its adherents and it can be very useful to highlight a point. [2] It is usually used poorly and for all the wrong reasons and certain terms have been over-used to the point of incoherence, [3] however to tell people not to use certain terms on a thread specifically calling for the discussion of those terms is beyond incoherent.

    Agree with [1] and [2].

    Re [3], as you point out, one can take part in “a thread specifically calling for the discussion” of, say, the word “bitch” and still advise therein that the word not be used in common parlance to refer to a woman — yes?

    (And no, I’m not arguing that these words are equally offensive.)

    (I see you replied twice. I assume the first time you thought you were replying to someone else.)

  184. 184
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Whatever Hillary Clinton’s strengths and weaknesses are as a candidate or officeholder, the volcanic eruption of sexist bullshit we’ll see if she wins the presidency is going to be at least as bad as the racist outpouring stirred up by Obama’s election. I’m guessing it’ll be even worse.

  185. 185
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Cervantes: I have frequently had discussions on assorted words that I don’t use with any frequency in common speech. In fact I recently had an on-line discussion about the word “cunt” which came down to the other person defending it because people had used it, specifically in Britain, New Zealand and Australia. I called him a wanker and surprisingly he ended the conversation even though wanker is commonly used in the same countries.

    I have asked to have the first reply withdrawn as I was responding to the wrong person. I shouldn’t comment with a headache..

  186. 186
    Cervantes says:

    @Cynthia Dudley:

    I called him a wanker and surprisingly he ended the conversation even though wanker is commonly used in the same countries.

    Sounds like a real prince.

    I have asked to have the first reply withdrawn as I was responding to the wrong person. I shouldn’t comment with a headache..

    No problem.

    Feel better.

  187. 187
    gorram says:

    @jamick:

    I notice a lot of nerdy men are getting called dudebros even though nerds and bros are generally opposites in real life.

    I mean. That’s the thing that everyone’s been criticizing in this thread though. That there’s a lot of men who make misogynistic arguments and provide cover for other men who are assholes (that’s the bro) while expounding on how they’re the Nice Guys and are oppressed for supposedly being inadequately alpha male, and therefore don’t have a girlfriend (that’s the nerdiness). Often times that sense of being more than ill-treated but wronged isn’t just a close cousin to narratives about growing up a nerdy guy, but is actually all about that – about being the guy who was good at math and that not being “manly” enough or whatever.

    Not that that behavior is entirely new but, to answer one of the OP questions, that’s why I see as having changed in the past two decades or so. Nerdy subcultures in the US that are dominated by men (don’t forget the lovely lady nerds! Y’all are awesome) have seriously skewed from hating dudebros to wanting to be them. It’s become a Thing, that there’s guys out there who chase women out of “their” comic book stores and events and everything but when asked to leave (even by other men! because of that sort of behavior!) flip to talking about how they’re marginalized nerds and that everyone needs to be accepted into those places where nerds can be nerds.

    EDIT: And now that I think about it, I should clarify – chased women out of those spaces both by being rude and dismissive and telling them they don’t belong there AND by being skeevey and inappropriate and treating them like they’re not there to buy comics or take part in a con or whatever but for those guys to hit on with no concern for signals or outright saying no. Those are both aggressive, exclusionary behaviors.

  188. 188
    gorram says:

    @Marc: So mansplaining (ie: the identification that a guy is doing something insulting to women or a woman) is an insulting term?

    Your argument seems to be that identifying sexist insults is in and of itself insulting to men.

    Have fun with that persecution complex.

  189. 189
    Keith G says:

    @Cervantes: Derogatory wording has to have a certain zip, or head-turning ouch factor to make it worth saying. Adding in a bit of a taint of “forbidden” can be a force multiplier.
    Nonetheless, I have scrubbed

    bitch or cunt

    from my usage except in exceptional circumstance – and then only when I am not with others.

    That is leaving me a bit adrift since I am a gay man and calling someone a ‘dick’ or an ‘asshole’ has never conveyed a sense of aimed outrage.

    I might as well call them a puppy.

    What to do?

  190. 190
    Mack says:

    @aimai: hysteria LOL. I see what you did there. And it’s clever and all, but I guess it feels like claiming ownership of a word, (shrill) and where on earth does it stop? I am a minority, (maybe not for long, according to the last census) and so my experiences have taught me to be open-minded and fair to others. However, I often pass for white, so maybe there is sometimes an assumption that I have enjoyed said privilege.

    On the other point, I have no stake in the whole dudebro business, I’m far too old to be one if I wanted, and like I said, it’s a mild insult if it’s an insult at all. I have no male friend that is offended by the word, I think I may have confused you when I brought up the whole “shrill” debate.

    Lastly, as I said, I’m rather old school. I come from a background of grass roots political volunteerism, and now I am paid for the same work, and I never believe that everyone we lump into a group is unreachable. Using sweeping generalizations seems politically myopic, but maybe I’m a dinosaur. Appreciate being schooled.

  191. 191
    Chris says:

    @gorram:

    Nerdy subcultures in the US that are dominated by men (don’t forget the lovely lady nerds! Y’all are awesome) have seriously skewed from hating dudebros to wanting to be them.

    In recentish times, didn’t “nerd” also stop being a synonym for “freaks and outcasts that no one wants to be with” and become much more mainstream, not something to point and laugh at anymore? That might also explain the lack of resentment for dudebros – they don’t feel “persecuted” by them anymore.

  192. 192
    Cynthia Dudley says:

    @Keith G: Call them a puppy- it might just catch on.

  193. 193
    slag says:

    As re #3: Why no one should want their daughter to work in Silicon Valley: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/.....042,00.asp. It’s awful in so many ways. On the plus side, it’s sensitizing some men way more than a year’s worth of Women’s Studies classes ever could. So, there’s that.

    But yeah, I think all the -isms stand together in many ways. When racism comes a-roaring, sexism eventually comes right along with it. Just world fallacy, latent prejudices, all that stuff. Good times!

  194. 194
    Jesse Back says:

    I keep one of those glibs on my facebook feed just to keep up with whatever they’re up to these days and to troll occasionally because it’s fun to watch them all go nuts. Most of his posts are Ukraine and Putin related, a lot of links to the mattwalshblog, how bitcoin will save us all from ourselves, and not infrequently there are posts about how women are second to men in everything. Most recently a link to a post about why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote with a quip from my glib ‘friend’ “interesting eh?” Also, gays are the worst and no they weren’t born that way.

  195. 195
    Cervantes says:

    @mack:

    I have trouble with certain catch-words, for lack of a better term. Femi-nazi is certainly one of them, dudebro seems harmless by comparison

    Same here.

    typically, these terms have a short shelf life, so future readers lack a reference. Just my take.

    Yes, like any slang term, you have to out-live it if you don’t like it.

    Not always difficult to do — especially in this case, I suspect.

    Here is one thing that still gets me a bit peeved. I guess I’m a Liberal lite…I believe in everyone’s right to equal everything, but I object to having my entire belief system questioned (at worst) or being called a concern troll (at best) when I take issue with a small part of an argument being presented.

    I think you just have to ignore that kind of thing.

    I often get lambasted for using the term “shrill.” It’s a word. Yes I know it has been used by to demean women by inferring that their voices are hard to take, but it doesn’t always mean to do that.

    Paul Krugman is, famously, shrill.

    And I think Marc makes a valid point with respect to tactics.

    He objected to the use of the term “dudebro” on aesthetic grounds and expressed a dislike of nebulous “in jokes.” He may have tried to say that applying the term to him was a silly tactic (I’m not entirely sure that’s what he meant). Anyhow, for his trouble he was, naturally, dismissed as a “dudebro” — and so far as I can tell, he has, sensibly, ignored this.

  196. 196
    mack says:

    @Cervantes: Appreciate the response. Had to laugh at the Krugman thing, but it clearly demonstrates my argument. I have just come to dislike certain phrases….teachable moment tops my list right now. It has it’s place I suppose, but rarely when addressing someone much older than you, if ever. It strikes me as a very arrogant thing to say. Not tearing my hair out about it or anything, and most certainly not being hysterical..maybe just a tad shrill.

  197. 197
    Sly says:

    @Chris:

    One other question – do you distinguish between American Libertarianism, the post-New Deal phenomenon you’re describing, and just the modern right wing as a whole (what Krugman calls “movement conservatism?”) If yes, what’s the difference?

    The short answer is no. Any distinguishing features of various branches of leftism or rightism are contingent on context. At the end of the day, all members of the left and all members of the right give the same basic answer to the foundational question of modernity: “Are there people who ought to have power over others?” Broadly speaking, the left says “no” and the right says “yes.” They reasons why they give those answers may differ, and what implications they see about those answers may also differ, but a libertarian will say “yes” just as fast as a theocrat, a white supremacist, or a neoconservative. Making distinctions based on those questions is useful in a tactical sense, but that still implies that they’re all the enemy, and to my mind that’s the most important bit.

  198. 198
    Cervantes says:

    @Sly: If you define:

    American Libertarianism [as] a type of post-Depression conservatism, and primarily concerns itself with being a criticism of New Deal liberalism.

    … then I can see why you side-step please to recognize Rose Wilder Lane et al.! — and say instead that:

    Murray Rothbard is the probably the first American libertarian as we understand the present context of the word.

    But where does all this leave left-libertarians?

  199. 199
    A non mouse says:

    @Paul in KY:

    In terms of “Women can’t operate” remark, the only other female in the room was asleep on the table. I remember my senior resident telling me to hold my tongue.

    I still have files on my computer because we were considering a class action sexual harrassment suit. Me and my fellow female residents ultimately decided against it.

  200. 200
    Sly says:

    @Cervantes:

    But where does all this leave left-libertarians?

    Dead?

    I kid, but not really. It’s difficult to understate the damage that the First Red Scare and the New Deal Era did to left-libertarianism in the United States. There are still left-libertarians around – like Noam Chomsky and that guy who developed the first 3D Printed gun – but as an organized force in American leftist politics its basically kaput.

  201. 201
    Cervantes says:

    @Sly:

    Dead?

    I protest, in the strongest possible terms (that a corpse can manage).

    I kid, but not really. It’s difficult to understate the damage that the First Red Scare and the New Deal Era did to left-libertarianism in the United States. There are still left-libertarians around – like Noam Chomsky and that guy who developed the first 3D Printed gun – but as an organized force in American leftist politics its basically kaput.

    Oh, I know, especially electorally (although there are tiny overlaps with some Green factions). There are a few groups doing interesting work in left-libertarian economics, but they are small groups, not very influential.

    My question to you really stemmed from #116, i.e., how would you trace the historical roots of American libertarianism on the left?

  202. 202
    Edith says:

    @Cervantes:

    It seems like this thread is winding down, but I did want to comment on your #195. Marc isn’t being called a sexist dudebro because he expressed a mild aesthetic preference. If he had stopped there, there might have been a little back-and-forth, but nothing near the pushback he received. It was what followed, and I quote “and then maybe it will be worth a conversation.” In other words, I don’t care that you’re targets of hatred, violent threats and harassment because I don’t care for the way you talk about it? And I (the man) am going to infantilize you and talk to you (all the ladies) like you’re children and I’m the adult. You really don’t see how condescending and belittling that statement was?

    The next post (#48) was basically the standard “you’re blowing everything out of proportion,” comment which we hear all the time.

    Followed by posts #86 and #107, in which we are admonished that we need to be careful about hurting his poor, precious feelings or he might cease to support our right to contraception. Pretty rich for someone who just said that we’re blowing the levels of misogyny out of proportion. Women are supposed to blow off sexist shit all the time as a matter of no importance, but he can’t take even the mildest of comments aimed not a him, but a particular sub-set of men, without turning into a little whiny ass titty baby.

    Just a suggestion, in the future, when a bunch of women are all saying the same thing, instead of assuming that we’re mis-interpreting things or blowing them out of porportion, you might want to consider the possibility that not being on the receiving end of a bunch of sexist shit on a regular basis means that you’re not picking up on something that’s blindingly obvious to most women.

  203. 203
    Cervantes says:

    @Edith:

    It seems like this thread is winding down, but I did want to comment on your #195.

    Thanks.

    I respond below but please bear in mind that I have no idea who Marc is, and am only referring to comments he made in this one thread. (He may have made comments elsewhere that invalidate my response — I have no idea.)

    Marc isn’t being called a sexist dudebro because he expressed a mild aesthetic preference. If he had stopped there, there might have been a little back-and-forth, but nothing near the pushback he received. It was what followed, and I quote “and then maybe it will be worth a conversation.” In other words, I don’t care that you’re targets of hatred, violent threats and harassment because I don’t care for the way you talk about it? And I (the man) am going to infantilize you and talk to you (all the ladies) like you’re children and I’m the adult. You really don’t see how condescending and belittling that statement was?

    Here’s what he said:

    I can believe that there is an argument to be made here. I can’t stand the cutesy nicknames (dudebro) and the baby talk, however. This is a terrible habit that started with Duncan Black, and it needed to go away about 5 minutes after it started. Come back, use grown-up words to decribe who these people are, and then maybe it’ll be worth a conversation.

    What I hear him saying here is that the language is getting in the way of his ability to comprehend. His first line suggests to me a desire to comprehend. If he is blaming anyone for the use of such language, it’s Duncan, not women at large. Notice also that his comment is not a particular response to anyone (male or female). So, where you pick up on gender-based condescension, I see instead gender-neutral frustration and maybe disgust (with the language used).

    Incidentally, are you saying above that the term “dudebro” is applied to men who subject women to “hatred, violent threats and harassment”? And only to such men? (I’m trying to understand your ostensible paraphrase of Marc’s words. I should note that I don’t think other people use the term in this limited way.)

    You proceed:

    The next post (#48) was basically the standard “you’re blowing everything out of proportion,” comment which we hear all the time.

    “Blowing everything out of proportion”? Maybe. His comment #48 was a specific response to someone’s question. Here’s that question:

    Sorry to be clueless here, too, but can anyone give me a definition of dudebro and is this term used pretty commonly? Having lived my adult life abroad, I’m often behind on a lot of this culture stuff. I’m picking up on a lot of misogyny and general assholishness. Is that the definition?

    And here’s the bulk of Marc’s #48, addressed to that person:

    Some bloggers grab onto names to call their opponents. It’s an obnoxious habit; the word has the same meaning as the word “socialist” does when coming from a Republican. In other words, it’s someone that the writer doesn’t like. Similiarly, misogny (hatred of women) has been stretched so far that it basically encompasses virtually anything objectionable from a broadly concieved feminist view.

    He’s complaining about the language used, i.e., about name-calling (“dudebro,” “socialist,” “misogynist”), which apparently he finds too often meaningless. He may be incorrect about the lack of meaning in any given instance; but that’s what his complaint is — not just that some small thing is being blown out of proportion.

    Followed by posts #86 and #107

    No, you missed his comment #61:

    If you have a lot of people who don’t understand your term it serves more as an in-joke; a marker of being in the club. I have a reflexive dislike of that. In addition, this one is nebulous – look at all of the attempts to define it.

    You may also have missed my alluding to all this in my #195 (which drew your response).

    Incidentally, I agree with him here in #61.

    Back to your comment:

    Followed by posts #86 and #107, in which we are admonished that we need to be careful about hurting his poor, precious feelings or he might cease to support our right to contraception.

    Here’s his #86:

    Language does have power, and words like “dudebro” are gender-based insults (like “mansplaining”). It’s not surprising that people react negatively to them, nor should it be a surprise that it’s so difficult to explain exactly what they mean. If your movement includes an explicit sensitivity to language you have to be thoughtful about the language that you use.

    He says nothing here about contraception or about his own feelings having been hurt. He points out that gender-based insults raise hackles. This seems obvious to me. Note: I happen not to think that “mansplaining” is simply an insult; I don’t use the term but I do see it can be a useful shorthand that describes a particular male behavior that is unnecessary and obnoxious (at best).

    Here’s his #107:

    Or you can rethink the idea of using vague insults. You see, I’m totally in agreement that birth control should be fully covered by insurance. This should, in some ideal world, make me not an enemy. Tactics that make gratuitous enemies out of allies are stupid tactics.

    Do you see here a threat to withdraw support? Perhaps you’re right. As I said in #195, I am not sure what Marc’s point is here.

    You continue:

    [1] Women are supposed to blow off sexist shit all the time as a matter of no importance, but [2] he can’t take even the mildest of comments aimed not a him, but a particular sub-set of men, without turning into a little whiny ass titty baby.

    I do not agree with [1]; I don’t think sexism is unimportant or should be quietly tolerated; I doubt Marc does, either. Re [2], I agree it’s possible that what you call “even the mildest of comments” were not aimed at Marc, but I disagree that he therefore can’t have any legitimate objection.

    You conclude:

    Just a suggestion, in the future, when a bunch of women are all saying the same thing, instead of assuming that we’re mis-interpreting things or blowing them out of porportion, you might want to consider the possibility that not being on the receiving end of a bunch of sexist shit on a regular basis means that you’re not picking up on something that’s blindingly obvious to most women.

    Thanks for the suggestion about what to do in the presence of “a bunch of women [all] saying the same thing.”

    Meanwhile, DougJ, who started the discussion, is not female, as far as I know, and neither are most of the commenters here who throw around the term “dudebro” (not only in this thread, and not always ironically). Objections raised against the use of the term aren’t necessarily rejecting any universal female reality (assuming such a thing exists).

    Thanks again.

  204. 204
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    Derogatory wording has to have a certain zip, or head-turning ouch factor to make it worth saying. Adding in a bit of a taint of “forbidden” can be a force multiplier.

    Catharsis has its merits. I understand the argument. But as Cynthia Dudley put it:

    [Derogatory wording] is usually used poorly and for all the wrong reasons and certain terms have been over-used to the point of incoherence.

    You continue:

    Nonetheless, I have scrubbed [“bitch” or “cunt”] from my usage except in exceptional circumstance – and then only when I am not with others.

    I’ve never understood the use of terms for male or female genitalia as abuse. My associations with genitalia are … largely positive. “Puppy,” as you say (although, um, felines are beautiful as well).

    That is leaving me a bit adrift since I am a gay man and calling someone a ‘dick’ or an ‘asshole’ has never conveyed a sense of aimed outrage. I might as well call them a puppy. What to do?

    I’m quite certain you’ll find your way through the thicket.

    Cheers.

  205. 205
    Paul in KY says:

    @A non mouse: I’m sure you are out there every day showing those idiots how wrong they were/are.

    Best wishes!

  206. 206
    MaximusNYC says:

    Straight white non-dudebro male here. I don’t understand the objection to “dudebro”. Once I understood what the term referred to, I recognized the type immediately. These guys have been a pain in my neck since grade school. Of course they’ve made the lives of various other less privileged folks even more miserable. But I feel no particular solidarity with them.

  207. 207
    Thursday says:

    I took a bunch of time off blogging, but started back up after seeing the reaction to a woman who, returning home from a gaming/comics convention, suggested that “Hey, maybe following a single woman onto an empty elevator to express your affection for her might not be the best way to do it.”

    The utterly misguided outrage from Nerddom(tm) drove one of the bloggers I like away from her computer. I dug a little deeper and quickly saw just how widespread misogyny was in those worlds (I’m a nerd, but too anti-social to be a con-goer). The more interesting aspect was the huge amount of crossover between the pointlessly ‘outraged’ and the number who frequently brought up the plaintive ‘girls don’t like nice guys’ whine.

    Anyhow, thoughts here: http://politecompany.blogspot......thing.html

    (Normally I don’t link to myself because that’s crass, but it was a year and a half ago and I don’t want to copy/paste a couple dozen paragraphs here. Delete if desired.)

  208. 208
    Cervantes says:

    @MaximusNYC:
    @Thursday:

    Just wanted to thank you both for your comments. I found them helpful.

Comments are closed.