Monday, September 5, 2011

'Lookism' as the New Racisim

I recently, reported on the concept of ugliness as a disability. The mad belief is gaining traction. The UK's The Mail informs:
Some might consider it an ugly truth that attractive people are often more successful than those less blessed with looks.

But now our appearance is emerging in legal disputes as a new kind of discrimination.
‘Lookism’, it is claimed, is the new racism, and should be banished from civilised societies.

It is currently the subject of several court actions in America, and some experts say similar cases should be considered here too... ‘Logically there’s no less reason to protect the ugly than the disabled, African Americans, other racial minorities or religious minorities, as we do. We could even have affirmative action for the ugly,’[argue some.] 

Part of this madness is pure jealousy, and beyond that an attack on hetero-sex. Murray Rothbard spotted the thought process developing in the Women's Liberation Movement, way back in 1970:

And so, at the hard inner core of the Women’s Liberation Movement lies a bitter, extremely neurotic if not psychotic, man-hating lesbianism. The quintessence of the New Feminism is revealed.

Is this spirit confined to a few extremists? Is it unfair to tar the whole movement with the brush of the Lesbian Rampant? I’m afraid not. For example, one motif now permeating the entire movement is a strident opposition to men treating women as "sex objects." This supposedly demeaning, debasing, and exploitative treatment extends from pornography to beauty contests, to advertisements of pretty models using a product, all the way to wolf whistles and admiring glances at girls in miniskirts. But surely the attack on women as "sex objects" is simply an attack on sex, period, or rather, on hetero-sex. These new monsters of the female gender are out to destroy the lovely and age-old custom-delighted in by normal women the world over-of women dressing to attract men and succeeding at this pleasant task. What a dull and dreary world these termagants would impose upon us! A world where all girls look like unkempt wrestlers, where beauty and attractiveness have been replaced by ugliness and "unisex," where delightful femininity has been abolished on behalf of raucous, aggressive, and masculine feminism.

Jealousy of pretty and attractive girls does, in fact, lie close to the heart of this ugly movement. One point that should be noted, for example, in the alleged economic discrimination against women: the fantastic upward mobility, as well as high incomes, available to the strikingly pretty girl. The Women’s Libs may claim that models are exploited, but if we consider the enormous pay that the models enjoy-as well as their access to the glamorous life-and compare it with their opportunity cost foregone in other occupations such as waitress or typist-the charge of exploitation is laughable indeed. Male models, whose income and opportunities are far lower than that of females, might well envy the privileged female position! Furthermore, the potential for upward mobility for pretty, lowerclass girls is enormous, infinitely more so than for lower-class men: We might cite Bobo Rockefeller and Gregg Sherwood Dodge (a former pin-up model who married the multimillionaire scion of the Dodge family) as merely conspicuous examples. But these cases, far from counting as an argument against them, arouse the female liberationists to still greater fury, since one of their real complaints is against those more attractive girls who by virtue of their attractiveness, have been more successful in the inevitable competition for men-a competition that must exist whatever the form of government or society (provided, of course, that it remains heterosexual).
The majority of women are attractive because they take the time to dress well and apply the right make up. There are only a very few "natural beauties". Those that are "ugly" tend to be so because they choose not to spend the time to do the make-up that will make them attractive to most men. But, further, ugliness is mostly a state of mind. Rothbard has an important point here, this coddling of ugliness is about creating an environment where women stop putting out the effort to look attractive. It is anti-heterosex. It is an attempted takeover of societal norms by the freaks on the mad edges of society, couched in egalitarian gibberish.


  1. Ugly people's ugliness often comes from the inside.

  2. There was a similar article in New York Times about a week ago or so.

    Reading that article made me so angry that I had to meditate for the next 45 minutes. I can't stand this stupidity any more. It's getting to me. :-)

  3. Mr. Wenzel- If you ever run for office, this is going to be that one post we're all going to have to explain away. "Um he had a ghost writer, didn't know what he was writing.. he had inhaled too much nitrous oxide while putting whipping cream on his waffles. We SWEAR he's not a sexist homophobe, well not one you have to worry about anyway."

  4. Rothbard is both factually and analytically wrong on this point.

    The factual errors would need an essay, not a comment. The analytical error? You might as well argue that Austrian economics is the defense of rich, entitled white males, because it was created by them.

    (Which of course some people do.)

    That is why confusing Rothbardianism with libertarianism is mistaken.

  5. @Lila Rajiva

    You are facually wrong here, but the factual errors would need an essay, not a comment.

  6. @Anonymous.

    I wasn't trying to be either funny or trivial. You are being the second, while aiming for the first.

    I wasn't disputing Rothbard's assessment of his experience. How could I? I wasn't there. I am disputing his factual assertions about women, not just here, but in many other places. They are sometimes very funny. But that doesn't make them thoughtful.

    As for Rothbardianism (or Randism or any other ism) hero-worship is a part of the human condition, and we should revere our great thinkers, but blind reverence in all things doesn't make for good thinking.

  7. @Lila Rajiva

    What factual assertions??

  8. @Danny

    Just to be clear. I think this notion that "lookism" needs to be corrected by the government stuff is nonsense.

    Now Rothbard. (But I'm going to be brief, because I really, really don't like internecine libertarian fights and don't want to perceived as provoking one).

    Women's lib is a very broad term, but if Rothbard is conflating that with feminism or the fight for women's rights in general, he is factually wrong.

    One of the 19th century's most prominent (if not, most prominent) women's rights advocate Annie Besant, for example, was very beautiful, charismatic, highly intelligent, married, and had religious inclinations. She wasn't alone, by any means.

    The 1970s movement was co-opted, apparently, by US intelligence. So was practically everything else in the US. That shouldn't be confused with the broader area of women's rights.
    (Gloria Steinem worked for the CIA at some point, I read. BTW, Gloria Steinem was hardly ugly).

    There's more I could say....but there are many smart people who've already made my points quite effectively, and I'm tired of internet controversy. I suggest you google.

    I'll leave it at that.

  9. "Rothbard has an important point here, this coddling of ugliness is about creating an environment where women stop putting out the effort to look attractive."

    Interesting point. The suggestion in effect is that feminism, particularly where enforced by the state, is akin to unionization or the formation of a cartel in that it attempts to coordinate an agreement amongst members of a collective not to compete or to compete less. Sweet. Thank God that lots of cheating on the cartel is taking place.

  10. @Lila

    If you and I were talking to Einstein about his Special Theory of Relativity, I would be inclined to adjudicate any disagreements between you and he in his favor.

    Similarly, in discussing any aspect of Human Action with you and Rothbard (or Mises himself), I would be inclined to take their side against you. This isn't to say that Rothbard was always right, but--as they say--that's the way to bet. I think that you need to write your essay, if you want to be considered seriously.

  11. My dear man, I am totally aghast at the ingorance of your post. I agree that "ugly" should not be taken to the courts. I agree that we each should make the best of what we are given, using whatever tools are on hand. However, YOUR post is completely one-sided and makes your bias against women obvious. Ugly is not only limited to the female gender, my most misinformed Misogynist. Ugly is also something that the male population shares in full measure. However, you make it a point to only speak about females, and in the most deameaning way. Shame on you. Mr Wenzel, you need professional help. God bless you.

  12. Here's a link to a book by one of the man hating feminists Rothbard was talking about.


  14. Should be a part of the ADA Act...Ugly people get to steal from the working people via ugly guberment-costumed goons with badges, guns, and jails.

  15. It's beyond stupidity...It's insanity.

    The natural progression in a Democrazy.

    Democrazy finally end when the entire population become retarded children. The NYT caters to them.

  16. Lila, you are wrong.

    Rothbard is correct in all of his assertions in this excerpt, as we have seen over the last forty years of feminism.

    One of the main goals of feminism is to lower the standards of beauty (or destroy them altogether by claiming them as social construct) in order to make the ugly among them (about 95% of them to tell the truth) look better.

    In general, women dress nicely to attract men and status-jockey among other women.

    These are both unarguably true. At least they are outside of feminist epistemology in which whatever a woman happens to believe to be true is considered truth (as seen here:

    He was, in fact, very prescient in this particular writing.

  17. As for women's liberation outside of mainstream feminism, it hasn't existed since the before the 60's.

    There is no liberation to be had. The only obstacles for women to overcome are their own, since any legal obstacles are long gone. And now that they've proven unable to overcome these obstacles to as great a degree as men in general (don't try bringing up some n=1 anecdotal evidence), they seek state aid in order to raise themselves to the heights that only affirmative action and the welfare state can provide.

  18. Lila Rajiva:

    @Cptn anarchy

    I said MR's assertions about the motivations behind women's rights are wrong. I stand by it, bookless and all (although I'll warrant I've written more research papers, page for page, on the subject than Rothbard ever did).

    If he is conflating, as he seems to, women's rights, with the specific variety of activism he ran into in the 1970s, he is, on the face of it, wrong. The political movement for women's rights far precedes the 1970s, as you well know.

    If he is extrapolating from the intelligence co-option of women's rights, then he is also analytically wrong. Such an extrapolation is meretricious, as the substitution of other terms into it would immediately make clear.

    If he is merely making a funny observation in a literary sense, terrific. I laughed when I read his essays too. He's a funny guy. No question.

    I don't take him seriously on this point, though.

    I was asked to make my points, and I did. And now I am asked for a book, before I can say anything further.

    So, can you refute any of my points or do you just want to fall back on "anyone who criticizes any part of anything ever said by Rothbard should write a book on the subject devoted to that point before they can make a blog comment or be taken seriously"?

    And does that standard apply to everyone who demurs from ANYTHING on this blog?

    I'm searching for the books on Keynesianism, Krugman, Bernanke, the financial crisis, libertarian theory, or anything else from most of the commentators?

    Indeed, I am in the minority of 2-3 on this blog who have written ANY book at all.
    (And I at least have published articles related to the subject at hand).

    As for the general thesis that amicable relations between the sexes needs women to want to "please men," I quite agree with it.
    Wanting to please might, in some cultures, include putting on lipstick and pretty frocks.

    Agreed. No quarrel.

    But that angle is more like Bob's GLOSS of Rothbard. And a fine gloss it is too, because MR's passage as a serious proposition is laughable without.

    It asserts baldly that feminism and the defense of women's rights is an expression of ugly women's jealousy. If that is MR's general thesis, I submit it is he, not I, who needs to have written a book to prove his point, because the conclusions of credible scholars who have studied the matter, including impeccable libertarians like Roderick Long, are overwhelmingly against it, and the burden of proof for an assertion so far from the consensus of credible scholarship must rest with the one who proposes it, not those who deny it.

    Lila Rajiva

  19. @A different anonymous:

    "If you and I were talking to Einstein about his Special Theory of Relativity, I would be inclined to adjudicate any disagreements between you and he in his favor.

    Similarly, in discussing any aspect of Human Action with you and Rothbard (or Mises himself),"

    Did I part ways with Human Action?

    Nonplussed. (And intrigued).

    Is Rothbard inveighing against some women activists the definitive commentary on Human Action?

    This is news to me.

  20. In lieu of a book, I submit a poem, written (you will be happy to know) a man:

    "Who is Silvia? what is she,
    That all our swains commend her?
    Holy, fair, and wise is she;
    The heaven such grace did lend her,
    That she might admir├Ęd be.
    Is she kind as she is fair?
    For beauty lives with kindness.
    Love doth to her eyes repair,
    To help him of his blindness,
    And, being helped, inhabits there."

    The rest of my thoughts I'll keep for that book...

  21. @Anonymous 12.54

    Someone can be mistaken about something without necessarily being a misogynist or a homophobe or some such thing.

    They might not have thought out the implications of everything they're saying, or they may be making erroneous, if initially plausible, generalizations from selective facts...

    That's why we have debates, right? To thrash it out and see who's got the better argument and more evidence to back them up.

  22. Lila said, "Women's lib is a very broad term, but if Rothbard is conflating that with feminism or the fight for women's rights in general, he is factually wrong."

    It is pretty obvious from the opening paragraph (and, subsequent sentences) of Rothbard's article that he is talking about a then current trend in the Woman's Lib movement. In fact, the short part that Wenzel quoted was actually in response to the 3 quotes (by Rita Mae Brown, A Weatherwoman and Robin Morgan, respectively) stated immediately prior in the article.

    I think that it is great that you write about this topic, and that you have been published in this regard, but you certainly didn't read the entire article in order to gain some context. That in itself kind of makes your arguments fall on deaf ears. I am not trying to get into a pissing match, I am just pointing out the obvious.

  23. @Jaffi Joe

    Actually, I did read the post. And I have read MR's other writing on this too. Which is I why I wrote what I did.

    BTW, you seem to have overlooked this part:

    "Is it unfair to tar the whole movement with the brush of the Lesbian Rampant? I’m afraid not."

    So, "obviously" he IS conflating several things...

    Calm down, children. I like Rothbard. I just don't light a candle in front of him and pray to him.

  24. @Lila,

    I knew you were going to pounce on Rothbard's passage.

    Obviously, many women who started and worked in the women's liberation movement were ugly lesbians. That is clear on its face if one engages in an even cursory study of the movement. Now, were ALL women involved in this movement ugly lesbians? No. Nowhere does Rothbard say that everyone in the women's lib. movement were ugly lesbians. It would be the same as if I said that FDR's administration was communist and you said, "No it wasn't! Many people in FDR's administration were not communists!" Well, yes, but that doesn't change the fact that many in the administration were. Get over yourself.

  25. @Nathan,

    Are you just stamping your foot too?
    "Get over yourself", like "pissing contest" and "write a book" is simply another way of saying you don't have an argument.

    I never denied anywhere there were ugly women among the activists. I said Rothbard can be funny on the subject.

    But you now say Rothbard was just pointing out some ugly women in the movement. Oh really? Take another look.

    Let me apply what he said to libertarianism:

    "There are racists among libertarians. And there are also stock frauds. AT ITS CORE, thus, libertarianism is all about racism and white collar fraud."

    That is just what Wenzel himself took to be Rothbard's meaning.

    BTW, I wasn't going to "jump in" at all, since I knew that this was most probably a male-bonding session session more than libertarian theory. That's OK. There's a place for that.

    (Just like those ugly activists were probably female-bonding more than anything else)...

    And here I was thinking libertarians were all atheists who scorned religion. Mea culpa.
    They just worship different gods..

  26. @Nathan

    I see you have no arguments either, just ad hominem.

    I never said there were no ugly women in libertarianism. That is a pure straw man. And Rothbard was NOT just saying that.

    Here is the piece. Read what he wrote, not what you claim he wrote:

    "at the hard inner core of the Women’s Liberation Movement lies a bitter, extremely neurotic if not psychotic, man-hating lesbianism. The quintessence of the New Feminism is revealed.

    Is this spirit confined to a few extremists? Is it unfair to tar the whole movement with the brush of the Lesbian Rampant? I’m afraid not."

    Let me paraphrase:

    "At the heart of the libertarian movement
    lies a bitter, extremely neurotic if not psychotic, WOMAN-hating WHITE MALES. The quintessence of ANARCHO-CAPITALISM is reveal

    Is this spirit confined to a few extremists? Is it unfair to tar the whole movement with the brush of the WHITE MALE Rampant?"

    Now how does it sound?

  27. Lila,

    Yes, I read that part, as well. Did the example that he cites immediately afterward not "permeate" the entire movement at that time? I don't know, I wasn't even alive then.

    You see, I think that you and I are reading the article entirely differently (maybe gender plays into this). I don't think he is saying that all WL people are bitter, man-hating lesbians, or that all WL movements were influenced by them, rather I think that he is saying that the ideas of the man-hating lesbian sect of WL completely permeated the entire movement at that time. Thus, you could then paint it with that brush.

    Now, I will concede that I do not agree that it was necessarily jealousy of prettier people that drove the ideology (many things could be behind it), but it certainly does logically conclude that the implications of the "sex object" concept, if taken into action, would result in a "unisex" world. In that context, I think Murray is really saying, "only a truly ugly person would want this".

  28. @Jaffi Joe

    Hey, that's a nice twist!

    It's OK. MR was just venting here and that's fine too. Nothing wrong with a bit of venting.

    I was adding my bit mainly so that anyone else reading wouldn't be turned off from ALL libertarianism thinking its unfriendly to women.

    I've hung around enough right-wingers to get used to the rhetoric and attitudes. They don't bother me.

    But just remember, one half of your potential audience is female, and even the dumbest bimbo isn't going to take kindly to a philosophy that suggests that women are idiots who get paid more than their worth because they're pretty (Block) or harridans who destroy men because they're too ugly to attract them, or, if the women are pretty, because they're too selfish to appreciate them (Rothbard).

    I don't think Rothbard clearly thought out the implications of his remarks. And that is fine too.

    But it means, when we quote him, we need to tease out what's right and what's not so right in his writing.

    Bob did that quite well...
    That's that old Jesuitical mind...

  29. @Jaffe Joe

    I went back and reread that part. It's not clear to me entirely. But I see what you're saying. He is characterizing the post-1963 feminists as being poisoned by the lesbian vanguard.

    OK. That makes more sense.

    But then the "ugly bit" is wrong there too. Because while Betty Friedan mightn't have been beautiful, I have read that the radical elements at Wellesley were often the babes.

    But then here's another piece from the time, which depicts what MR is referring to - a radical lesbian separatist movement.

    However, Ms. Friedan, far from recognizing this "lesbian rampart" as the essence of her movement, rejects it as CIA infiltration.

    And far from hating men, the lesbian "avengers" seemed to want to REPLACE men, in the lives of their female lovers.

    I don't see how this has much to do with heterosexual relations and I doubt very much it could subvert such relations.

    Last I looked, lipstick, facelifts, stilettos and stockings are still bigger seller.

    But now, we have strayed too far from economicpolicyjournal's mandate...

  30. I always found this controversy to be very confusing. Especially that why are people who call themselves conservatives or religious defending these 'social norms'? I thought conservatives believed in modesty, and not displaying your sexual beauty for all to see, except your spouse? yet now we have liberals defending the 'ugly' and conservatives defending these 'norms'? maybe i missed something, but that's how it seems to me.

  31. @Anonymous

    9.47. Exactly. You took the words out of my mouth.

    That is why I quoted the poem.