Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Compares Women Asking for Equal Pay to Children Demanding Candy
Yes, he really did, though he deleted his blog post, complaining that women had too poor reading comprehension skills to get his point. The blog post was preserved by Tinysprout
The whole post is offensive, but this part has caught the most flack:
The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.
He attempts to explain himself:
I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I’m not saying women are similar to either group. I’m saying that a man’s best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar. If he’s smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people. A man only digs in for a good fight on the few issues that matter to him, and for which he has some chance of winning. This is a strategy that men are uniquely suited for because, on average, we genuinely don’t care about 90% of what is happening around us.
So, pay discrimination is just an emotional reality, so men ought to take the path of least resistance, not argue with women about it? One fact Mr. Adams eludes is that men do not have to fight about this issue, because the cards have always been stacked in their favor. So by ducking the issue, they win by default. There is no way to win the argument, not because of emotional realities, but because there is no justifying the discrimination, though Mr. Adams thinks otherwise. In the business world, where women were not so long ago a barely tolerated anomaly, and still routinely sexually harassed and otherwise disrespected, the rules have been created by men to facilitate their ways of running a business. Naturally most men are inclined to perceive other men to be better qualified than women to have positions of authority and prestige in such a system. This is why discrimination persists, not because “men negotiate pay differently and approach risk differently than women,” or “men are about ten times more likely than women to trade family time for the highest level of career success,” or “Fairness is an illusion. It’s unobtainable in the real world.”
The system men have created rewards the way men negotiate as opposed to women, and expects women to place a higher priority on “family time.” Is the willingness of men to sacrifice that time a good thing? Why is it necessary? Answer, it is not, but the system men have created makes it seem so. Childless women experience less discrimination, as a rule, also as a result of that system.
Mr. Adams makes other ridiculous assertions.
Generally speaking, society discourages male behavior whereas female behavior is celebrated. Exceptions are the fields of sports, humor, and war. Men are allowed to do what they want in those areas.
Add to our list of inequities the fact that women have overtaken men in college attendance. If the situation were reversed it would be considered a national emergency.
How about the higher rates for car insurance that young men pay compared to young women? Statistics support this inequity, but I don’t think anyone believes the situation would be legal if women were charged more for car insurance, no matter what the statistics said.
Female behavior is celebrated by society? Since when, and by whom? Has Mr. Adams noticed the pattern of sexist scrutiny and putdowns of female politicians? The situation in college attendance is a recent development. Was the predominance of men in college ever considered abnormal, let alone a national emergency? Hardly. Women pay more than men for health insurance. Older women pay more than men for car insurance in the UK, a consumer watchdog group found last year. These situations are legal, believe it or not, Mr. Adams, and the insurance industry claims these practices are based on the statistics. Mr. Adams has been considered a thoughtful satirist. People will perceive in a way to justify their biases, but when a man attempts to justify his biases by claiming his critics have poor reading comprehension, perhaps he ought to take a look in the mirror.
Is this an entire website dedicated to poor reading comprehension? I don’t think one of you understood the writing. You’re all hopping mad about your own misinterpretations.
That’s the reason the original blog was pulled down. All writing is designed for specific readers. This piece was designed for regular readers of The Scott Adams blog. That group has an unusually high reading comprehension level.
In this case, the content of the piece inspires so much emotion in some readers that they literally can’t understand it. The same would be true if the topic were about gun ownership or a dozen other topics. As emotion increases, reading comprehension decreases. This would be true of anyone, but regular readers of the Dilbert blog are pretty far along the bell curve toward rational thought, and relatively immune to emotional distortion.
Talk about adding insult to injury! Mr. Adams has amply demonstrated he is hardly a paragon of rational thought! I doubt those who took offense had any trouble comprehending the piece, but he apparently has great difficulty comprehending why it is offensive! Hint, it is not about emotion! But dismissing women as emotional creatures has always been the easy way men take out of dealing honestly with feminism.