‘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.”


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?)


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

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.