‘It was all a dream,’ explains Scott Adams, re: patriarchy

Scott Adams and Dilbert.
Scott Adams and Dilbert.

Creator of the Dilbert comic strip and self-appointed Expert On Things Like Gender Inequality And Dates, Scott Adams, has yet another valuable opinion on Systems of Power That Have Existed For Centuries But Are Really Just Made Up.

He writes,

“I wonder if the discussion of so-called radical Islam is disguising the fact that male-dominated societies are at war with female-dominated countries. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Islam doesn’t look so dangerous in countries where women can vote.”

So first, Adams would like us to believe is that countries that allow women to vote are “female dominated.” That’s a good place to start because, as we know, there is also no such thing as racism, or say, the ongoing marginalization of Indigenous people in, say, Canada, for example, because Indigenous people not only are allowed to vote but are also permitted to enter universities and other such things. Indigenous women are being murdered and disappearing across the country for who knows what reason! All we know for sure is that the vote wholly erases systemic oppression, instantaneously.

But it’s not just our voting-privilege that proves patriarchy is all just wishful thinking on our parts, because what about dates!

Adams doesn’t go on dates (sorry ladies!) but if he did, he has all sorts of expectations that have absolutely nothing to do with systemic gender inequality, such as the expectation that he will pay the check (now why do you think that tradition might exist, Scotty?) and the expectation that he not drink and drive on these imaginary dates.

Now, if I were a thinking person, I might consider the fact of “chivalry” (men opening doors for women, pulling out chairs, catching us when we faint, etc.) to have something to do with that old “weaker sex” thing. I mean, are we really to believe that all these heterosexist courtship rituals, including the fact that men are expected to pay for dates and to get down on one knee and propose (something Adams considers to be some kind of sign of submission, “set[ting] the tone for the rest of the marriage”) have nothing to do with living in a male dominated society, wherein we expect men to have more money and power than women? Men court women because women are meant to be the passive, submissive ones in society and because men are meant to be the dominant actors (a thing we like to call “sexist”).

Chivalry is commonly brought up by MRAs as “proof” that we live in a matriarchy, not a patriarchy, which is amusing because the entire point of chivalry is to “provide for and protect” women, who are much like children in this scenario, but more fuckable. It also sets us up so that we end up “owing” men for said “chivalry” (but how can we possibly return the favour without social, economic, or political power???). I’m sure most women have been on dates wherein the man feels “ripped off” after having performed masculinity all night by throwing his money around and opening doors and whatnot, only to not be provided with the sex-gift they are now owed. While I’m not against manners or even a man paying for dinner from time to time, the fact that there are gendered expectations around who has what to offer, on a date, is proof of patriarchy, not female-dominance.

But according to Adams, the fact that he needs consent from a woman before proceeding to have sex with her (also known as, “Not Raping”) means that we live in a matriarchy. True equality, one supposes, is when men get to rape women without calling it “rape.” (Oooh I just can’t wait for the revolution!)

He goes on to explain (I’m unclear as to how this relates to his previous argument about Dates and Matriarchy, so just smile and nod, ladies) that all of our feminist complaining about men taking up space in the workplace (and other public spaces), by talking over us and dominating the conversation and whatnot, only happens because women talk too much. Adams explains:

“I interrupt anyone who talks too long without adding enough value. If most of my victims turn out to be women, I am still assumed to be the problem in this situation, not the talkers. The alternative interpretation of the situation — that women are more verbal than men — is never discussed as a contributing factor to interruptions.”

Dilbert

Ah yes. Women are just naturally “more verbal.” This is why women are always telling men to “just smile and look pretty” and why boys are told they should be “seen and not heard.” This also provides a rational explanation as to why men have long dominated politics, all important discussions, the newsroom, and are still quoted in the media far more than women are. “Worldwide, women make up about 50 per cent of the general population but only 24 per cent of the persons heard, read about or seen in newspaper, television and radio news,” a recent report by the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) explains. “Pshaw,” thinks Adams. “My turn, Chatty Cathy!” (Anyone else get the feeling Dilbert and Cathy would have really gotten along? She could complain about diets and shopping, he could feel dejected and plot her death in his cubicle, angered at having to tolerate such a lesser being with little return?)

Dilbert

One could assume that the issue is that women are blabbing on all the time but simply have nothing of importance to say, but in order to believe that one would have to believe that women are innately stupider than men, which is kind of what that whole “patriarchy” thing is based on. That is, the idea that women are inherently inferior to men.

But now back to terrorism! Adams says boys and men kill themselves because they don’t get laid enough, which begs the question: why do johns kill so many of the women they pay for sex? If Adams’ theory were true, johns would be the gentlest, happiest men on earth! Instead, they have an awful habit of abusing, raping, beating, and murdering prostituted women they pay for sex…

Adams concludes by telling us that if you take away his access to women’s bodies, he’ll start killing. And you know what? I kind of believe him. After all, men learn, from the day they are born, that they are entitled to everything their hearts’ and dicks’ desire. Of course, that has nothing at all to do with patriarchy, silly girl. Shush now, the men are talking.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Cassandra

    Great piece, Meghan.

    This guy is a museum-quality asshat.

  • marv

    Wonderfully cheeky and bright!

  • tinfoil hattie

    I fucking hate Scott Adams. And I want him to tell us where these female-dominated societies are, so I can go live there. Asshole.

    • Cassandra

      I would leave in a skinny minute for a female-dominated society. Alas, no such thing exists. As we all know, the minute we try to make anything about women only, it cannot stand. They would never let us leave or truly separate from them to form our own thing. They absolutely cannot/will not leave us alone or let us have any space of our own.

  • therealcie

    I always liked Dilbert for the fact that it made fun of working in a corporate hell-hole, a place that I’m eternally glad that I don’t work. However, I will use my gift for understatement here and say that Scott Adams seems like kind of a misogynistic douche weasel. It’s not his fault, though. He’s probably been friendzoned a lot by those damn misandrists. They just don’t know a good man when they’re blessed with his presence, you know.

  • Tesla Livia

    “I interrupt anyone who talks too long without adding enough value.”

    There is another option in that situation. Leave the conversation. Go away. Somewhere else. You would think this would actually be the preferred option for someone who is supposedly less ‘verbal’. But I suppose Scott feels it his duty to do otherwise.

    • Laura

      in my experience men like this really do feel it’s their duty to speak on behalf of like, reason and logic and justice…which of course align with their own personal opiniions

  • Tesla Livia

    “Adams concludes by telling us that if you take away his access to women’s bodies, he’ll start killing.”

    I so wish that Adams would think of hooking up with another man who feels similarly. You both reckon you need to fuck someone else or there will be consequences? Fuck each other – consensually of course. Good solution.

  • Tired feminist

    Gosh, what a loser. Good thing I never liked his cartoon anyway.

  • will

    Wow. Just… wow.

    I always thought Dilbert cartoons were just inane, unfunny and insignificant – sort of like powered “instant tea” (yes, the latter is a product that exists). Now I see that they are a vehicle for a sick, twisted, hateful bigot. I hope some appropriate fate meets this hyper-privileged ass-wipe very soon.

  • Sally

    I also love how supposedly countries where women can vote are “matriarchies”…. because having an equal right to vote is somehow… unequal? the logic, it hurts.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Right? Like, “THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR, NOW.”

    • Tired feminist

      Yes, I thought the same! Even the expression he used, “allowed to vote” – as if the vote were some chivalrous concession from a bunch of oh-so-kind-to-women gentlemen, rather than a basic right women fought fiercely for – makes me cringe. And now those bitches are abusing those gentlemen’s kindness! They’re going too far! They even want to be treated like humans and be asked for permission before sex! How outrageous!

      Now grab your popcorn and wait for Adams to defend himself by claiming he “helps” his wife with housework.

      • Sally

        yeah, i bet his doing the dishes once a week totally negates all the institutionalized sexism his wife faces on a daily basis lol so kind of him. so conscientious.

  • asialita

    I had no idea this dude was like this until I saw that We Hunted the Mammoth posts about him. Very disturbing. I was never a big Dilbert fan, but I didn’t hate the comic. Now I’ll never look at it the same way again.

    I’ve never understood the stereotype that women love to talk and talk too much. Having had mainly male friends and acquaintances in my life, I’ve observed that men talk as much as or more than women, and also gossip as much. In patriarchy, women talking at all is seen as “too much” because we are expected to shut up and listen to the menfolks and their infinite wisdom, to be seen and not heard. A recent study (I couldn’t find the article) found that men do the vast majority of talking in groups, and yet when women talked something like 30% of the time (I don’t remember the exact number) we were perceived as talking too much and dominating the conversation. That’s how threatened they feel by our thoughts and opinions. It seems like many stereotypes about women are pure projection – a typical abuser tactic because patriarchy is just one giant global system of mass abuse.

    https://bitchmedia.org/post/seven-studies-proving-mansplaining-exists

    • cynicalleftist

      Yes! I’ve never been a big fan of Dilbert…never paid much attention this way or that to it. But I find it super frightening that a man who makes widely read comics loved by many holds such misogynist beliefs.

      You are right-on re men actually talking much more than women. There was a excellent feminist, Dale Spender, who has studied and written quite a bit about language use and it’s impacts on women. She used to actually record all her conversations with men to see how much time she was speaking compared to them. She tried REALLY hard to get up to 50% but was never able to do that! Even when she thought she had, the record of the conversation showed differently.

      Interrupting people is nothing to be proud of. So Adams just happens to be interrupting women in a culture where women are overwhelmingly interrupted by men more than men interrupt one another or women interrupt either sex. And Adams honestly wants us to believe the culture has nothing to do with it? Psh..

      • Sally

        ive experienced men just walking into the room and completely co-opting a conversation or debate that they had no prior knowledge of. LIke they just walk in and think by virtue of being male they are the expert and can therefore insert themselves into any and every topic. its ridiculous. I mean… we could be discussing childbirth and periods, and these imbeciles will prbably try to co-opt those conversations too, or just dismiss them as “disgusting”. pick your poison.

        “But I find it super frightening that a man who makes widely read comics loved by many holds such misogynist beliefs.”

        frightening, yes, but sadly, the norm 🙁

  • stella

    WTF is this guy smoking? I read the stupid thing twice and I still can’t figure out if he’d rather live under Daesh or in the alleged matriarchal West. Like, he blames men not getting laid for violence and suicide bombing, but also complains that it’s hard to get laid in the Western world…how the hell does any of this make sense?

    • Sally

      It’s not logical because it doesn’t have to be. He’s a man, so even if he holds two contradictory opinions, it’s still valid because his reality can be whatever he wants to be at any given moment. This is the type of attitude a person can hold when they are never challenged in any meaningful way in life (i.e. his privilege shields him from having to reassess his beliefs in any significant way).

  • oh the hue manatee

    I love you, Meghan Murphy.

  • Rachel

    Tell me where these female dominated societies are – please! I’d give up my life here,ever everything behind, just so that I could live in peace. And what’s a bet that the magical ‘female dominated society’ actually has nothing to do with domination at all. Domination to men, is taking away their right to talk shit, fuck whoever and however they want, and blame women for their own bad behaviour and shortcomings.

  • Tired feminist

    Okay. Now tell me more about how exactly you expect to convince anyone here that your name is Rose Martin and you’re a woman.

  • Ivy Shoots

    Spot on. I just have to quote this from his blog post: “But if you take away my access to hugging, I will probably start killing, just to feel something. I’m designed that way. I’m a normal boy. And I make no apology for it.”

    That’s the chilling part, he’s arguing that male violence is innate and normal, and murder is nothing to apologize for. Scary stuff.