Features

The unfair sex - how feminism created a new class divide

The rise of working women has created a new – and far less equal – world

27 April 2013

9:00 AM

27 April 2013

9:00 AM

James is 15 years old, coming up to his GCSEs; and the researcher he is talking to is clueless about girls. Yes, he tells her, girls at his school, underage girls, do indeed have sex. With guys in their class, like him. The researcher is surprised. Haven’t girls gone studious; aren’t they collecting the top grades, leaving the boys behind?

James states the obvious. ‘It’s not girls with As or A*s,’ he explains. ‘Girls with As are virgins.’

Today, almost a quarter of girls report having underage sex. But there are almost as many girls waiting till they’re 20 or more. This isn’t random, a question of whether and when the right boy appears. Instead, it’s a parting of the ways. One group of girls is setting off along an alpha track, leaving their contemporaries behind; and teenage sex lives are a very good predictor of who they are.

A* girls stay virgin because they have more important things on their minds. It’s not just peer pressure, or social class: it’s also ambition. These girls have realistic, achievable and life-altering goals for which it’s well worth postponing sex. Others don’t. In the years since the Pill made teenage sex a safe activity, a gulf has emerged. In America, high-school dropouts now report becoming sexually active almost three years earlier than girls with law school in their sights.

In England, by the age of 16, girls are dividing into two distinct groups. The top sixth set off along a well-signed route: more hard work at A-level, and then a good university (where they can lose their virginity to an alpha-track boy). A full bachelor’s degree and, increasingly often, a postgraduate one as well; and a well-paid ‘Class 1’ alpha job, professional or managerial.

It’s the same all over Europe and North America, where half of ‘Class 1’ jobs are held by women. Professional men work with and for them, just as they work with and for men. It may not be half-and-half at the very top, but in these integrated workplaces, an all-male meeting is a curious sight. These alpha women are the subject of my new book, The XX Factor, and there are lots of them: 20 million in Europe alone, and -rising.

And the other five-sixths of British women? They lead lives that are essentially female and surprisingly -traditional. Most women enter a very different labour market from the alpha females, one where most jobs are either dominated by women or dominated by men. Here gender still rules: hotel maids are female and street cleaners male; care assistants female and lorry drivers male; registered nurses female, electricians male.

Not only do most women work in occupations dominated by women, and in work groups that often lack a single male. They also do the most traditional of female tasks — but outsourced from the home to the workplace. This hollowing out of the home is one of the most striking features of modern life. People are being paid, in formal jobs, to do things that were once organised in our houses. The process went furthest, fastest, in Scandinavia: as a result, these pin-up countries for female equality have the most traditional–looking, sexually segregated labour markets in the western world.

But not at all levels. It is Scandinavian women who care for children, the sick, the old, as state employees. Meanwhile, at the top of the pyramid, like everywhere else in Europe, Scandinavian life is gender-mixed: alpha women, alpha men.

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All this feeds our societies’ growing economic inequality. A lot of women now make big money. Moreover, inequality among women is growing very fast indeed. In both the UK and the US, the percentage of total female earnings that goes to the top female 1 per cent has doubled since the 1980s. In America, almost 200,000 women are earning a quarter of a million dollars a year, or more: and the average income, within that group, is a breathtaking $475,000. This is the world for which our virgin swots are heading.

That growing inequality reflects the diverging paths of the most recent generations. Many graduate women don’t have children. Among mothers, graduates are far more likely to work full time, far less likely to drop out of work for years than other mothers. That is the way you keep your career on track; and if your career is on track, so is your income.

This isn’t about the ‘mummy wars’. The women who can enjoy years at home in full-time motherhood are mostly at the very top, where it’s still possible to live well on one salary; or they’re single and at the bottom, where the state plays breadwinner husband. In between, couples’ lives today assume two earners. It’s more about dropping out when children are very small, or not; and about whether and when to work part-time.

And alpha-path women decide differently. For them, dropping out completely can do serious harm to their career, and so most don’t. But if the job you’re quitting is at a checkout, or in a restaurant or call centre or care home, it will still be there, much the same, when you come back. And nurseries, besides being expensive, follow regular office hours: the hours of civil servants and bank managers, rather than shift workers in coffee shops or office cleaners.

Thirty years ago, mothers of all classes spent much the same amount of time out of, and in, work. Not any more. It is another parting of the ways.

Alpha women tend to love their jobs: they are part of their identities, not just a way to make money. They also work hard — not just in the office, but out of it, on themselves. They go to the gym. They spend serious money at the hairdresser. They use Botox. Some of this is true of alpha men as well, but less. Because it is the women who most need a peacock’s tail.

Peacocks’ tails are glorious things, but seem crazy in a world of hungry predators. They have therefore fascinated evolutionary biologists. Darwin deduced that, way back, peahens started to prefer males with large showy tails. The larger the tail, the more offspring a peacock was likely to have, and so over time tails got bigger and bigger still. But why would dowdy, sensibly camouflaged peahens prefer this to a lean, mean fast-flying bird? ‘Costly signalling’ is the answer; and costly signals are what successful women need to make — especially as they get older. Costly signalling is behaviour which is both very costly in terms of resources — time, energy, money — and commands potentially big returns. A peacock with a fine tail proclaims that he is physically so strong and fit that he can easily cope with the extra demands a tail imposes, and is therefore a desirable mate. Among humans, young people’s looks also signal fecundity or strength, sexual attractiveness and availability, albeit in less eccentric ways. But human society isn’t just about mating and breeding. It is about power, influence, respect, and money.

That is why there isn’t a grey hair to be seen among America’s female senators, and why top female lawyers tread their carpeted corridors in Manolos and Louboutins. They aren’t in search of a toy boy but they are signalling sexual fitness. And far from being retrogrades of whom any true feminist should be ashamed, these women are engaged in successful competition.

First impressions matter in society, and are largely subconscious. To do well, we need to convey to other people, at first meeting, that we are competent, trustworthy and, indeed, superior. One way we do that is by signalling that we are sexually desirable; not because we want sex, but because other people respond to these signals automatically, for good evolutionary reason. Good-looking lawyers of both sexes consistently earn more.

But as women get older, they find signalling tougher and more expensive than do men. Grey hair and a certain amount of bulk in a man signal wealth and success — both desirable in a potential father for one’s children. For women, grey hair signals infertility and irrelevance; bulk, the disappearance of a sexy (read fertile) figure. Obese women suffer in the job stakes far more than obese men.

And so, if you’re a successful woman, your appearance goes on mattering. Mrs Thatcher’s heated rollers were a central weapon in her armoury. Expensive clothes signal power: look at Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, and prominent in the ‘best dressed’ lists. And yes, these women are indeed dressing for women as much as for men; because women, as well as men, are their competitors.

Among young women, class isn’t easy to spot from dress, hair or make-up. Among the middle-aged and old, it is. Partly, it’s money. A good hairdresser and colourist, let alone a plastic surgeon, costs money. But it’s more than that. Alpha women have to stay seriously ‘fit-looking’ or people think — subconsciously — that they aren’t alphas any more. If you’re working part-time at B&Q to top up the household’s earnings, there’s no such motivation.

 

But there are worse fates in life than shopping for good clothes, or passing on the chocolate cake. And among the new elites, successful women are not just drawing away financially. They also catch up on the sex.

Ambitious professional women missed out in their studious teens; it was worth it for the prizes that follow. But they also stay single later, and have children late or not at all. By their thirties, they are averaging as many sexual partners, in their lifetime to date, as their contemporaries. More importantly, they’re still enjoying sex.

Among adult British women under 45, in every education-based female group bar one, at least 80 per cent — four in five — register high satisfaction with sex. The exception is the youngest, non-graduate group, the under-25-year-olds, the group which started having sex youngest. (And men are the same: young non-graduate men are the dissatisfied outliers.)

Most graduate British women would also like more sex, please — and not because they’re having less than their peers. By their twenties or thirties, they’re not. Men (of all types) predictably want more; but graduate women say they would like ‘more’ or ‘much more’ sex pretty much as often. Non-graduate women, in contrast, give very different answers. Most of these less-educated women think they are having quite enough already — or indeed would like a break. The figures don’t tell us why; it may be because of their earlier sexual histories, it may be because of other things in their lives. But the difference is significant and sizeable.

It’s a new world, and a new set of inequalities. We agonise over the 1 per cent, but extreme financial privilege is nothing new. What is new, the seismic shift, involves a far larger group: the female elites, the top sixth. They are pulling away, and are leaving the rest of the ‘sisterhood’ behind.

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Show comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-Johnson/100000961744046 Samuel Johnson

    This reads like Juvenal’s sixth satire transposed to the 21st century. Frightening but plaudits to the aptly named Mrs Wolf.

  • Guest

    MS. Wolf is clearly pulling ahead herself as according to the publish date its apparently it’s 27 April 2013.

    • thisisGilb

      Ah, a proofreading expert. Perhaps you should proofread your posts? Or maybe not post at all? Yeah, maybe the latter.

  • Eddie

    No mention of ethnicity in girls who lose their virginity later? This writer clearly hasn’t worked with teenagers in a college; if she had, she would know that mostly the Asian girls and lots of other ethnicities tend not to go in for getting drunk and letting boys have them.
    Also, care workers all female? Nonsense! Go and visit a care home to see how many care workers are male.
    But the author is right abour rich women getting richer and poor men and women staying poor. Easy to solve. Get rid of maternity pay linked to income; means test all benefits including property wealth and not just incomes. Use the money saved to help the least well off – men and women.

    • Karla’s Man

      I wouldn’t really call them “Asians”, but “old foreigners (who can speak English, but with funny accents)”. Their antics at Rochdale are quite exemplary indeed!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You want to tear this clown apart, Eddie? Or shall I rip Jock a new asshole?

        • Karla’s Man

          How very graphic! Well, go on, then, my foreigner friend!

          • PurbeckPashmina

            Time you two got a room …

          • Karla’s Man

            Quite; but what are you doing in the Spectator, anyway? You and him are both lefties!

          • PurbeckPashmina

            Dorchester is another country, Charlie boy is rebuilding it nearby. His Waitrose is not as other Waitrose, believe me!
            Disqus goes everywhere, old Top! And idiots deserve pillory. The Speccie promised me a free issue which never turned up, I may sue .. or post until they cough up.

          • Guest

            “Another Country”, or “foreign parts”?

          • PurbeckPashmina

            Sort of Narnia for the doddery. DiR land …

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Or pistols at dawn. Now that’s what I call prime time television.

          • PurbeckPashmina

            You come from nether wallop?

      • Eddie

        No idea what you are going on about really. But the reality as years of teaching experience taught me was:

        1) south Asians and Chinese girls guard their virginity – I am expecting the 13 year old Pakistanis forced into marriage (often sent back to Pakistan or Bangladesh – something ignored by pc teachers).
        2) Black girls on the other hand develop sooner (its innate and biological; the Chinese hit puberty later than whites) and many black girls are getting jiggy with mr biggy by 13.
        3) white girls vary; the no-hopers in the sink comprehensives from the estates are often active by 15; but the more middle class girls tend not to be. And even for the ones who are, their boyfriends tend not to be be their own age but older. I have taught enough 17/18 year old virgins to know that – especially the boys.

        • Karla’s Man

          The Rochdale Grooming Gangs, in which the local [South] Asian hypocrites found some “alternative sources of meat”. Where have you been?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “The Far East”
            I should have know that your world begins at Greenwich.

          • Karla’s Man

            Well, homo sapiens did originate from the Rift Valley of the Upper East Africa. Whoever mentioned Greenwich?

          • PurbeckPashmina

            Recalls Klee’s Two men approach each other each believing the other to be of higher caste. But in reverse. Foolishly.

          • Mark Parton

            Those Orientals from the Far East… they work like dogs. And they’re good at math and terrible drivers. Unlike women/men (white people obviously), they are all the same… no possibility that one of them is a person who has their own feelings & ideas that are not expressed by generalizations of their culture as seen by a very observant outsider.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You know Jock. I’ve got the feeling that your English is anything but “standard”. Face it, if you speak anything like you write you must be borderline unintelligible.
        Rochdale, a great place to be from: A long way from.

        • Karla’s Man

          Very droll! And you are still a Japanese Walter Mitty and a jumped-up foreigner!

    • disqus_dTWNp1JUqJ

      Are you not concerned about rich men getting richer? Or is it just rich women that bother you.
      ALL rich people are getting richer as the poor get poorer and your suggestion that penalising middle class women will help is nonsense.
      The women this article is talking about are not beneficiaries of maternity leave, as the article STATES, most of them are childless or older.

  • thisisGilb

    This addresses some good points, but doesn’t seem to elaborate. I feel like I’ve just read a fact sheet.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    When both members of a sexually active couple are under 16, the law winks at the obvious criminality. When one of the partners reaches 16 while the other is still under 16, they’d be well advised to “cool it” until they’re both over 16, or membership of the “Sex Offender’s Register” beckons. Face it, if everyone that had had sex with an under-16-year-old were prosecuted for “carnal knowledge of a minor” half the kids in Britain would have a criminal record.
    Isn’t “screwed up Britain” the expression I’m reaching for?

    • hdb

      There is no criminality in two people under 16 having sex! ‘Underage’ does not mean it is illegal for you to have sex. It means it is illegal for someone over the age of 16 to have sex with you. It is a legal protection not a criminalisation. Bizarrely, the matter is different with pornography where if a seventeen year old boy photographs his penis he becomes guilty of making and possessing child pornoraphy.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        More fieldwork.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    As the response to last week’s article on Bangkok bargirls indicated, there is serious dissatisfaction on the part of British men with respect to British women. An article on “Fathers for Justice” would offer an alternative approach to the same subject. Feminism British style is driving British men into the arms of women of a different race and nationality. Because, “becoming sexually active at age 13” is not what most British men are looking for in a future spouse.

    • Karla’s Man

      Should we introduce virginity tests, then, my foreigner friend? I want my woman (or women) to know what she (or they) are doing. No time-wasters. No frigids. What is wrong with that?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “my women”
        Clue there.

        • Karla’s Man

          There is no such a thing as a “Japan Alps Brit”. You are still not getting away with posting lyrics of Provo songs!

      • http://www.facebook.com/Feral.9.Hex Carla Clark

        Sorry, but calling women frigid is just as dismissive of them as Jack is being.

        • Eddie

          So, you think no women are frigid?
          I bet you’re frigid.
          Men get called similar things all the time – all the mocking about size and performance, being a wimp, firing blanks etc.
          Gosh, you women are such whingers – all you’ve gotta do is lie there, wait a couple of years, divorce your husband and get a free house (and plenty do, innit).
          But it’s still moan moan moan no matter what men do. Yawn…

          • nfrancis

            Ah. Now I see there was no point giving you a considered answer above; you’re obviously a moron. Ever considered that all women are not the same, just as you aren’t the same as every other man? Idiot.

          • Eddie

            Ah the voice of feminism speaks. And lo, it is as uncouth, abusive, rude, dumb, arrogant, simplistic, sexist and intolerant as it always has been.
            And you have not given any ‘considered answer’; you just spouted a simplistic view based on a shallow reading of now-discredited feminist texts.
            Still, good luck with your A levels. But guess what, all of the top marks at level and degree level are achieved by the boys (well 95% of those in the top IQ groups are male). Facts, dear girl, facts. Based on evolution and biology – not the opinion of a spoilt public schoolgirl stuck-up snobby moronic miinger.

          • swatbot

            LOL, the most vocally abusive person in this forum cries about ‘feminism’ being abusive. Play the victim much?

          • Mark Parton

            Some men are rational. No need to turn this into a men vs women thing… This creature you’re replying to is no man.

          • swatbot

            Point taken. And yes, absolutely, some men are very rational.

          • Eddie

            You aren’t, thicko. You are no man. A wimp, yes. No doubt your only way to get any action with any female was to pander to feminist nuttery. I have known guys like you before. Often you are closet peedofiles. Tsss.!

          • Eddie

            Oh do belt up you silly femi-nutsy. Haven’t you got a child to abuse or something?

          • swatbot

            LOL. This from the person who was a ‘teacher’ who doesn’t grasp basic science.. Your words ring hollow and I pity your students. It must be so frustrating to be you. Feminazi stole my ice cream!
            http://i.imgur.com/YraZLcE.gif

          • Mark Parton

            Quite frankly, it’s not uncouth to respond to someone who is trolling a forum and insulting everyone who’s viewpoints the don’t agree with.

          • Eddie

            Know the difference between ‘whose’ and who’s, do we, sonny?
            Back to school with dimbo dumbo Mark Parton – obviously no relation to the very intelligent Dolly.

          • Mark Parton

            I love that this is how you widdle away your hours. I’m sure you’re just as manly in real-life as you try to make yourself appear, anonymously, on the internet.

          • disqus_dTWNp1JUqJ

            95% of those in the top IQ are not male. I don’t know were you got that information from, but it’s wrong.

            There’s no gender disparity in IQ.

            The only real factors proven to affect IQ are nutrition and parental IQ.

        • disqus_dTWNp1JUqJ

          There are no frigid women, there are damaged women and inadequate men. Frigidity is a myth.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “my foreigner friend”
        You mean you’re not British, Karla?
        That would explain a lot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Feral.9.Hex Carla Clark

      Yet, men who have sex at that age are still supposed to be considered what British WOMEN are looking for in a future spouse. See, that’s why your supply and demand conclusion has no fin basis whatsoever.

      • Mudz

        What are you talking about? Since when? Aren’t they the sort of chaps that fathers warn their daughters about?

      • Eddie

        Males and females are not equal or the same; nature has its own double standards, and for very good reasons. When you grow up and accept that men and women are not the same, maybe you’ll get it. Until then, your feminutsy rantings have no basis in anything but your own pudding chops, love.

        • StephanieJCW

          The men will be presumably having sex with women? So if it’s ok for them to have sex with multiple women, it follows it’s ok for women to have sex with multiple men.

          There really is no reason why there should be a double standard. No sensible logical reason apart from old-fashioned sexism. There is no “good reason” for the sexual double standard. Not at any time in history and certainly not now.

        • disqus_dTWNp1JUqJ

          Eddie, speak to a psychiatrist.
          For your own sake. Before you do something criminal.

    • Eddie

      Indeed – I always thing of it like this, and think the question should be put to teenage girls: would you be happy when you become a mother to admit to your children that you had it off with 50 men before getting pregnant with them?

      The great fallacy here is that men and women are the same and equal, which biologically, in terms of instincts, behaviour, aptitudes and intellect, is not true. Men tend to have some strengths; women others.

      And it really does not matter is a mad has 50 hores before marriage – but oh it does matter if mummy was the village bicycle, and almost all women who were like this when young are later deeply ashamed of their behaviour (which is often rooted in a desperate need for love – often because they lack a father).

      And just in terms of physical health, girls starting boinking when so young with many partners is not good (and not something most adults would see as a good think). The diseases and cancers girls can get from such behaviour are never mentioned. And most girls who are promiscuous are deeply damaged and unhappy. Read some reseach, all femi-nutsies who are so keen to defend all female behaviour.

      • Mark Parton

        You stand out as the least intelligent person posting on this article. That is all.

        • Tim Toddles

          Idiot.

          • StephanieJCW

            He has made no reasonable points. He’s just spectacularly failed to explain why, when two people have sex, it’s fine for the man to have sex with the woman, but wrong for the woman to have sex with the man.

        • Eddie

          And in that analysis is displayed blatant bigotry, utter ignorance and startling stupidity. Well done. Are you American perhaps?

          • swatbot

            New definition of bigotry: someone taking a rimshot at Eddie’s armchair ‘science,’ which is matched only by feeble attempts at really transparent “I’m a victim!” comebacks, and insults.

            http://i.imgur.com/YraZLcE.gif

            Seriously, don’t worry about ignorance. Some of us get paid to work in the sciences, where logic is the vocation, and a teeny bit of real, actual statistical analysis or ‘gasp’ scary latin words, is not a far-off high-falutin’ concept you might only see on TV now and then or a reallly hard exam.

            So don’t sweat it. We’ll do the real work for you so that your computer ‘just works’, and you can continue rambling on the inter-webs unabated. This is why I went to school myself. The world, it be an entertaining place!

            (Oh yes, on further reflection, your definition of bigotry makes more sense, if I analyse it in the lens of your ontology of ‘I’m a victim!’ Which brings to mind the animated GIF above. Sorry if ‘ontology’ is a difficult latin-esque word, it’s actually really common, well at least in computer sciences.)

      • StephanieJCW

        “would you be happy when you become a mother to admit to your children that you had it off with 50 men before getting pregnant with them?'”

        Really wouldn’t care.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexWynick Alex Wynick

    This is absolute nonsense. Sex, underage or otherwise, cannot possibly be blamed for the academic and career decisions of young women.

    I am 21 and have had sex on a regular basis since the age of 15. I went to a top university, and am currently studying at the top journalism course in Europe, set on a great career in the media industry. I would definitely be considered an “alpha female” of my generation.

    My sex life has absolutely nothing to do with it. I don’t know a single girl who thought: “I won’t have sex because I want to get a good job.”

    If these girls do not go on to higher education or flying careers it is for other reasons than the age they lost their virginity. Economics, class culture and social expectations all play far more vital roles in a young girl’s career decisions than prescription rates for the pill.

    I am so sick of sex being seen as something threatening and shameful for women. It’s just sex. Get over it.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      With regard to any negative impact of a sexually active life style on the female student in higher education, as you’ve been so frank, perhaps you could comment on the following conjecture: In your opinion, is the amount of time, effort, mental energy, distraction and fund expenditure greater for male students than female? Don’t you ever think: “Men, you do them this one little favour and they’re your absolute slave.” But then you are competing with other women and pornography.
      The reality is that men have an on-going physical need for women, but hate themselves for this dependence. Which is why problems can arise when you want to terminate the relationship. Give them the old, “It would never have worked between us” and they do tend to cut up rough.
      It really all comes down to supply and demand, which as “the only Brit in the village”, I am only too aware. Like going to Muslim heaven while bypassing that distasteful process of dying.
      Jack, Japan Alps

    • Eddie

      ‘I would definitely be considered an “alpha female” of my generation.’
      I can think of some other names…

      • nfrancis

        Don’t be silly. Sex is only a part of someone’s life, not the whole and, providing adequate contraception is used, no more consequential for women than men. Oh, except when people like you judge them for it. Becoming sexually active earlier is usually a symptom of socio-economic disadvantage, which would – with associated cultural factors – account for all of these differences pretty much. And how about this for a control sample: at the private school I went to for a while, which I think we can agree is an environment of pretty much zero socio-economic disadvantage, girls’ sexual activity ranged from losing their virginity at age 12 to never having been on a date. Almost every girl from that year is now at a good university and would be considered an “alpha female”. Sex? Nothing to do with it.

        • Mudz

          Mmm, judgment, the feminist anti-Christ.

          • StephanieJCW

            I have no problem with judgment. I have a problem with illogical judgment.

          • Mudz

            You could have just clicked ‘vote up’. Saves time.

          • Motoflou

            My god you’re a douche. You must be so lonely.

          • Mudz

            Easy, man. I ain’t that easy. Buy me some flowers first.

          • nfrancis

            Eh?

        • Eddie

          You private school girls all seem to think you are aphha females and superior to other women; whereas the truth is that you are stuck-up, arrogant, selfish, inconsiderate, greedy, rude, bullying, spoilt, over-praised, and more often than not, mediocre of mind and often rather thick (though you think you are utter geniuses because you have been coaches to get a bunch of monkey bananas (as GCSEs and A levels and known these days).
          The bar has been lowered. Therefore the middling and mediocre who would have failed in the past, now get A grades and go to ‘good’ (ahem) universities.
          I used to teach girls like you. Posh fodder no different from your twinset and pearls grannies and your eco-greenie hypocrite yummy mummies. This country really doesn’t need you, not matter what you think.

          • swatbot

            Wow, what a transparent dodge/diversion from the poster’s points, that were in response to some really bad a priori, posteriori confusion and ecological/individual correlation failure. I assume that you taught your students to how to lose at debates and fail scientiflc methodology. Well done.

          • Eddie

            Your post is a great big mass debate, sonny.
            Good luck with your GCSEs. Shame they don’t do one in winking really, or you might be able to seem clever.

          • swatbot

            -Yawn- yet another dodge/diversion. I’m disappointed. I guess as they say some folks are better suited for repetitive tasks learned by rote. The world needs intellectual dishwashers, so this is a good thing. It’s just embarrassing for the rest of us men when they pretend to understand statistics, and make grandiose proclamations.

          • Eddie

            ‘There are doers in this world and there are those who have nothing useful to add.’
            Yes, deary, and you my little American hotdogm and one of the latter. Best stick with your ‘folks’ then, love, and I’ll stick with mine.
            Why should I be angry at women who really achieve a lot. I’m not. I am bored and irritated by mediocre women like you who, because of over-praise and feminist drivel and group hugs, and a feminised school system which is anti-male, think they are geniuses when they are rather mediocre of mind. I mean look at your silly posts! You display an adolescent mindset and an excitement ate using a few Latin phrases you learnt last week (some of us know Latin as one of our languages, honey!).
            It is the intellectual equivalent on the X factor and some tuneless binnt thinking she is Whitney.

          • swatbot

            Nah, I prefer dating women, and the company of intelligent men. As far as flame wars go, kind of disappointed by really obvious words like ‘honey’ (-1 for originality) intelect, (-1 for spelling), bonus marks for binnt though. 6 out of 10. You pass, so I mod your post up one point. Not bad for an intellectual dishwasher who claims to know latin but can’t respond to an assertion made in latin (and here I thought you were a science expert, what a letdown..) without changing the subject. Keep em coming.

          • nfrancis

            You have no idea how ridiculous you look right now.

          • justejudexultionis

            Private schools are an immoral disgrace, period.

          • nfrancis

            Agreed. But I bet you upvoted his comment against me.

          • nfrancis

            I’m actually incredibly upset at how many upvotes that received. You know nothing about me. If you’d care to look again, I was not endorsing private education (it was not my choice to be there and on principle I would not send my children to a private school) and I was not claiming that these young women were in any way superior to their state-educated counterparts, non-university-going counterparts, or anybody else. I was not claiming that there was any merit in being an “alpha female”, let alone it being superior to other ways of life. I was just trying to illustrate my point, which you chose to ignore.

            I am no longer friends with anybody from that school and, while I have chosen to go to university, the friend whose wisdom I trust the most is a school drop-out with no qualifications who was living on JSA before getting a job as a whelk-farmer. (No doubt you’ll have a whole load of prejudiced vitriol to spout about him as well.)

            Seriously, take your prejudices and shove them up your a**e. Both good people and assholes come from all walks of life, and you’d do well to realise that before attacking somebody like that.

      • Karla’s Man

        Folks had always been “at it” at a fairly young age until Victorian times, until women start wearing corsets and all that. Why else would the age of consent in the Old Papal States (supposedly inherited by the Vatican City) was 12?

      • cbinTH

        What crap. There’e no significant health risk from a woman having sex with multiple healthy partners. And what relevance does pregnancy have to it?

        You ass.

    • Simon Semere

      I don’t mind a promiscuous chikita, well-educated or not, but one that talks and talks (especially about claiming to be some sort of sex goddess) spare us! No doubt all those likes are from a harem of covert jezebels..

    • OldSlaughter

      So you’re basically saying: “This trend cannot be real because it doesn’t conform precisely to me”

      I’d give up the ‘top’ journalism course, Doesn’t sound like you have much to offer.

      • nfrancis

        No, it’s just a way of illustrating how sex is a really spurious link to highlight. Sex, in and of itself, is completely irrelevant. Or rather, it’s relevant in the same way that going to the gym regularly might be relevant – you might assume that people who go to the gym are motivated, healthy, positive etc. etc., but it would be these traits rather than the gym-going that would get them ahead. Just like you might assume that women who have underage sex are spending less time on their studies, care less about what people think of them and are looking for alternative measures of success to the university->career path. Those things are relevant; the sex, while perhaps correlating, is not.

    • Eamonn O Leary

      I think you missed the point there.

      The article is not suggesting that having sex is what causes one group to do well and another to do badly (as attested to by the fact that alpha females have plenty of sex later on), it is simply using underage sex as a proxy for a whole lot of other factors.

      In any case even if it were suggesting that having sex would cause poorer grades etc, the important unwritten words in that sentence are “on average” – one variable does not, thankfully, explain all outcomes in life – perhaps the way gender would have in the past.

    • StephanieJCW

      “I am so sick of sex being seen as something threatening and shameful for women. It’s just sex. Get over it.”

      Hear hear!

    • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

      Oooh you rebel you! Scandalous! Pass the smelling salts Petunia!

  • hdb

    I think I can asnwer the question in the penultimate paragraph. It has been long observed that working class women have, on average, fewer sexual partners than educated and middle class women. Partly this comes down to more liberal attitude. Partly it is the opportunites brought by going away to university, more travelling and the greater ability to be a bit hypocritical about the number of sexual partners. The disatisfaction of the group mentioned can be explained because they haven’t had the opportunities to be promiscious othes have. And perhaps also that their partners are more likely to have laddish attitudes and less likely to be thoughtful and creative about sex.

    • cbinTH

      In my subjective experience, young working class women are not particularly virginal. There are probably other reasons for their dissatisfaction.

  • Daenerys_Targaryen

    What happens through this is that women, by being encouraged to postpone motherhood, became quasi-men. Whilst men, who in nature would be encouraged to penetrate since their early teens, are emasculated by delayed onset life experiences.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Seems “Guest” comes in a range of intellects. From racist lunatics like Jock McNutter to the considered comment from the wolf man.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    For British men disenchanted by the out-of-control behaviour young British women and thus considering taking the foreign-born spouse option, let me offer this piece of advice: On no account bring her back to live with you in UK, as corrosive and corrupting influence of UK feminism will rapidly turn her into the type of person you went international to avoid. 

So with HMG Immigration running interference by making it difficult and very expensive for a non-EU foreign-born spouse to settle in UK, why not take the hint and relocate to her country, or even a third country. HMG may well have discouragement of “international marriage” in the back of their racist mind, with subsumption of the UK branch of the Caucasian race as a worst nightmare. However, HMG’s blinkered policy may backfire by driving the most adventurous spirits out of Britain for good.
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • Karla’s Man

      Except that you are never really a true Briton in the first place, are you? “[T]he UK branch of the Caucasian race”? “HMG Immigration”? “NI Pension”?

      What really drives you to write about a Country that you know not very much about?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You still persist in this ultra-nationalist, racist fantasy? Must be all of five years ago when you first told me I wasn’t British. It was a lie then and it’s a lie now. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

        • Karla’s Man

          Unlike you, who posts lyrics of Provo songs on British sites!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            But you are a liar, Jock. Your best move would be to plead diminished responsibility.

          • Karla’s Man

            Kindly keep quiet, you Walter Mitty!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Pardon me, boy
            Is that the Trans-Siberia choo choo?
            I got my fare
            With just a little to spare”

          • Karla’s Man

            Wrong article, my Japanese Walter Mitty.

    • nfrancis

      So young British men doing exactly the same thing isn’t out-of-control or distasteful to women. Nice. Perhaps I should get a mail-order husband and move somewhere where he has no legal rights too, so he can’t be poisoned by the scent of autonomy.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        You must do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. The future happiness of British women is not my problem. While Japanese young women try to look their best on the assumption that you never know when you’ll meet “Mr. Right”, British women make a conscious effort to look and behave as repulsive as possible. You’d better get used to holding each other’s hand.
        Jack, Japan Alps

        • nfrancis

          …and now British women are all the same and all disgusting. Okay, misogynist. And don’t go saying your record on foreign women is any better; according to your original post, they’re obviously such silly and impressionable creatures that they’ll instantly abandon every speck of their identity and become monsters the second they set foot on British soil. Or, y’know, perhaps they’ll just decide they’d rather be with someone capable of a real relationship than someone who can only handle subservience. I would refer you to this: http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-penny/2012/12/note-nice-guys-ok-cupid

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Misogynist means to hate all women. It’s just out-of-control, drunken, immodest young British women that I have a problem with, and this is a completely understandable reaction. Obviously “foreign women” covers a multitude, but I can tell you this: Third world Asian *hores in say downtown Vientiane, are far more modest in both appearance and behavior than western women tourists, who show far too much bare skin in a modest Buddhist country.
            Face it, Brit chicks are the pits.

    • cbinTH

      Just get lost. Go somewhere else and stop insulting our mothers, sisters, neighbours, and fellow citizens. Even leaving aside the whole issue of essentialising all women by a few stereotypes, stop being rude about fat drunk women. Being fat is not a crime, morally or otherwise. Nor is being drunk.

      You’re just incredibly nasty. Fuck the hell off, basically.

  • DorothyP

    Underachieving women are stuck with men who don’t have much education, money or skills, therefore, they’re not going to have men who want to please them, tease them or really, make much of an effort, in the sack or elsewhere.

    • Eddie

      And lots of ‘underachieving’ and overachieving men are stuck with women who don’t have much education, money or skills, and who will thise never please them, tease them or make much effor in the sack or elsewhere. That’s why secretaries and affairs were invented, of course…

  • Robert Mason

    Have you noticed that middle class girls hardly ever have babies before marriage? I think it is because they have aspirations not just for a career but to have lifestyles like their parents or friends parents; to marry men with good careers too and the competition for them is hot so there is little chance of landing on of them with someone else’s child in tow. For my two daughters and their friends having a baby now would be a disaster. If they got pregnant they would have abortions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yan.cabral.16 Yan Kelevra

    The top alpha males has a wider range of options than their less successful brethren, and most often choose feminine women who more oriented towards family life, which leaves many careerist women single, childless, and complaining about life. Those men who choose among the masculinized careerists, do so on matters such as increasing the standard of living and social proof. But since the career oriented woman does not provide enough conviviality and intimacy, inevitably these men will seek in the street what they lack at home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/femininemystiquetwra Edita Twra

    You are confused as to what an alpha woman is. A woman cannot be an alpha if she emulates male characteristics. An alpha woman is the feminine traditional woman. http://modernfemininemystique.wordpress.com/frequently-used-terms/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tahni-Danielle/100001811068244 Tahni Danielle

    I’m an alpha female and I’m not even close to being a callus bull-dyke. This article is stupid. My grades were not poor because I’m not alpha, they were poor because people made a point not to be good teachers.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    “Costly signalling is behaviour which is both very costly in terms of resources — time, energy, money — and commands potentially big returns.”

    What? Like ” high -maintenance hair do’s”?

    But what’s so big about spending all that time in the hairdressers? Who is there to impress in the hairdressers?

    I don’t think it’s a new world. There’s nothing new in this world that hasn’t been sold and re-sold over and over again. It’s boring.. a bit like this article really.

  • justejudexultionis

    Instead of giving in to your every whim, physical desire, bodily function, lust etc., why not just learn some self-control and gain some self-respect?

    Oh, and this ‘feminism’ thing is really just a rather cynical extension of ordinary capitalist exploitation – making the whole of society subservient to the Diktat of the so-called ‘free market’.

    • StephanieJCW

      There is no lack of self-respect in having sex.

      Maybe if you are religious, but for many of use sex is an enjoyable past time to be indulged.

  • StephanieJCW

    Is there anything feminism is not responsible for? The War in Iraq maybe?

    Can people just accept that the days of the little woman being happy to just busy herself with the house and no more, be pure and virginal until her wedding night and to forego higher education for marriage and babies are no more and not coming back?

    Women now now have the same opportunities as men (rightly) and there really is nothing wrong with that.

  • StephanieJCW

    As for A* girls staying virgins due to study reasons – what utter rot! High performing girls are just as capable of having boyfriends and sex. Many of them do.

  • StephanieJCW

    In fact – really what is the point of this article! It’s just so weird.

  • Sarka

    Strange piece (must be a strange book). A tiny bit of sociology – interesting but not developed, a sudden dive into trendy cod evpsych (Alphas, fitness bla bla), loads about actual sex (well, it sells books), and a sort of moralising about inequality as a dollop on the top, all spiced with scary tabloid folk archetypes – botoxed unnatural selfish alpha females…. It’s like some bizarre failed fusion dish. Or a dog’s dinner.

    • cbinTH

      I think it does contain significant relevance, in terms of continuing to debunk conventional feminism, and in pointing out another aspect of the widening class divides which are inherently unpleasant. If it is something of a dog’s dinner, at least the ingredients are sound – the observations aren’t obviously inaccurate or misleading and there are no spurious “solutions” to simplify the cpmplexity of life.

      • Sarka

        Hi cbinTHE (do you come here often???)
        Well, if youre mainly interested in debunking conventional feminism, you will find scattered ammo here, but it’s all rather ragtag.

        I’m certainly having trouble with the thesis that greater participation of women in upper-echelon occupations is much of a factor in widening class divides.
        – when fewer women worked, their living standard was determined by husband’s income (plus assets where relevant). So (setting aside the greater vulnerability of all non-working women in case of divorce or widowhood or whatever), the class and living-standard differentials between them was the same as for men. Women tended not to have much in the way of private assets, so I am not sure whether trying to abstract out a women’s class hierarchy from the men’s (or aggregate) is very conceptually useful.

        – I understand that when many more women entered paid occupation one corollary was the increasing necessity for households to have two salaries rather than one to maintain (let alone increase) living standard (BTW, this happened in communist Czecho too, where for other reasons class differences were narrowed). On the other hand, as Wolf says, this has not had as much effect on the super-rich as furher down the scale – the super-rich can finance their lifestyle without a second income. For this reason Wolff talks about top 16%, a broader category, which she seems to define purely as a category of women high earners (so it’s not the top 16% of women altogether as to wealth). She finds that these earn a huge amount more, personally, than women in low paid jobs or not earning. Well, er…yes, and a nurse earns more personally than the stay-at-home wife of a top investment banker. And today a top investment banker earns humungously more than train driver than was the case deveral decades ago. Suitably educated and motivated women can today have high personal earned incomes, and the highest earned incomes of either men or women are now proportionately much higher than the lowest incomes. Yes, I can see that more income potential both partners have, the proportionately greater the advantage of the actual double-income, but I am not persuaded that this effect is a principal cause of growing social inequalities (cherchez the unnatural feminist influenced career femme!) – at best it only amplifies existing trends, and is softened by the fact that professional women’s earnings tend to drop steeply when they have children and that a disproportionate number of consistintly high earning females are single. Furthermore, the UK is distinctive in Europe for its disproportionately very rich apex, but not specially distinctive in percentages of very high-earning females. And yet another point: detailed studes of social mobility show the lowest income category of men (but also women) still relatively stuck, but in the lower-middling- to upper-middling categories there has been increasing mobility of women. This makes some men angry, claiming that the mobility of women is what is screwing chances for men, but if they believe this is a zero-sum game (I don’t think this is), they do not explain why male mobility – or even greater equality between males – should take priority over the rights and life chances of the other half of the population. Wolf claims to be neutral and descriptive, but she is implicitly invoking stereotypes.

        I’d also say that liberal feminism ís a perfectly conventional kind of feminism ‘- and unlike the more problematic, ambitious, and in some ways contradictory socialist feminism, does not have to defend a belief that any gains for potential or actual professional women have to be shown to be of material benefit to all women equally to be legitimate.

        • cbinTH

          Wow, thanks Sarka! That’s a meaty reply.

          No, to your first question, I don’t come here that often, although I used to regularly buy the print copy, and occasionally pop into the website. To be honest, the comment threads are not so strong, and the articles in the Spectator are too often teeth grindingly misleading, stupid, empty, or hateful. You say that feminism is not a primary cause of growing class inequalities, and this is undoubtedly true. Feminist rhetoric, though, tends to claim universal benefits, yet in reality to focus on the celebration of women at the top. As the article points out, at the bottom, many occupations are still effectively divided by gender. Many feminist policies don’t benefit women in part time jobs, or working for small business’ – I was reminded of this article while watching David Starkey Question Time last night. Although I have to admit that much of what he said was wrong, he did upset the apple cart. Harriet Harman perhaps should have quoted yourself- that “it doesn’t matter that liberal feminism doesn’t benefit all women, so long as it benefits some ” – but of course she would never say that. It’s a staple of the political class that feminism lifts all women, which is only partially true.

          But, yeah, beyond a few interesting observations this article doesn’t say much.

  • disqus_dTWNp1JUqJ

    What is the point of this article?

  • http://twitter.com/JessJaneE Jessica E

    I strongly disagree with this article – here’s why: http://www.wecanalwaysdancetomorrow.wordpress.com

    Opinion of a young woman, currently at university.

  • http://religionconfidencetrick.blogspot.com/ jonny

    First impressions matter in society, and are largely subconscious. To do well, we need to convey to other people, at first meeting, that we are competent, trustworthy and, indeed, superior. One way we do that is by signalling that we are sexually desirable; not because we want sex, but because other people respond to these signals automatically, for good evolutionary reason. Good-looking lawyers of both sexes consistently earn more.

    But as women get older, they find signalling tougher and more expensive than do men. Grey hair and a certain amount of bulk in a man signal wealth and success — both desirable in a potential father for one’s children. For women, grey hair signals infertility and irrelevance; bulk, the disappearance of a sexy (read fertile) figure. Obese women suffer in the job stakes far more than obese men.

    And so, if you’re a successful woman, your appearance goes on mattering.

    When I need legal advice, I’m supposed to believe a sexy, fertile lawyer will do a better job than a competent, confident, experience, senior lawyer? This is the most ridiculous nonsense…why would appearance matter? Unless..

    “In male dominated fields like law, skirts and dresses are rewarded….”

    Her performance is flagging because she was never a competent lawyer. And no one wants to sleep with her anymore?

  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html Jeffrey Dowling

    Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

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  • Bora Bosna

    This is what feminists wanted all along: to create their own elite class of women, to get the top positions in government and business to themselves. They never cared about ordinary women to begin with! They have always been a special interest group. Even back at 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, the attendees were mostly middle or upper class white women some of which, or whose husbands, owned slaves; and they opposed black women’s rights.

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