dilbert.jpgScott Adams is the author of the very popular workplace comic strip Dilbert. Although its humor is very accurate for those trapped in cubicle hell, it has also been held up over the years as an example of, er, declining standards in comic strip art. Still, it is very popular, a frequent object of refrigerator adornment and the books sell very well.

Scott Adams also has a blog. And one day he was asking what he should write about, and some men’s rights activists suggested that as a topic. (Do these guys have a name, like Man Firsters?) So he wrote about men’s rights.

After he’d posted his little piece, he didn’t much like the comments he was getting, so he took it down. For some reason.

Or as James Urbaniak tweeted,

Shorter Scott Adams: I deleted my post on the emotional superiority of men because I couldn’t handle the criticism.

Maybe Adams was trying that kind of reverse-Colbert humor where you become such a strong proponent of a viewpoint that you hold it up to scorn.

In that case, it didn’t work — comparing a woman asking for equal pay to a child asking for candy, or a mentally handicapped person, doesn’t work as well when you can’t cock an eyebrow like Stephen Colbert — so maybe taking it down was a good idea.

Adams is currently repped by the same company that handles woman friendly brands like Candies and Ed Hardy, so that’s kind of funny.

Since we tweeted a link to a blog that posted the blog entry that Scott Adams deleted a few hours ago, the link has been hit nearly 8000 times. And Scott Adams is trending on Twitter.

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Read it for yourself. And have a nice weekend.


Oops: Someone PURPORTING to be Adams has responded to the criticism over on Feministe with this gem:

That’s the reason the original blog was pulled down. All writing is designed for specific readers. This piece was designed for regular readers of The Scott Adams blog. That group has an unusually high reading comprehension level.
In this case, the content of the piece inspires so much emotion in some readers that they literally can’t understand it. The same would be true if the topic were about gun ownership or a dozen other topics. As emotion increases, reading comprehension decreases. This would be true of anyone, but regular readers of the Dilbert blog are pretty far along the bell curve toward rational thought, and relatively immune to emotional distortion.

Here’s the original. And a response.

The topic my readers most want me to address is something called men’s rights. (See previous post.) This is a surprisingly good topic. It’s dangerous. It’s relevant. It isn’t overdone. And apparently you care.

 Let’s start with the laundry list.

 According to my readers, examples of unfair treatment of men include many elements of the legal system, the military draft in some cases, the lower life expectancies of men, the higher suicide rates for men, circumcision, and the growing number of government agencies that are primarily for women. 

You might add to this list the entire area of manners. We take for granted that men should hold doors for women, and women should be served first in restaurants. Can you even imagine that situation in reverse? 

Generally speaking, society discourages male behavior whereas female behavior is celebrated. Exceptions are the fields of sports, humor, and war. Men are allowed to do what they want in those areas. 

Add to our list of inequities the fact that women have overtaken men in college attendance. If the situation were reversed it would be considered a national emergency.

How about the higher rates for car insurance that young men pay compared to young women? Statistics support this inequity, but I don’t think anyone believes the situation would be legal if women were charged more for car insurance, no matter what the statistics said.

Women will counter with their own list of wrongs, starting with the well-known statistic that women earn only 80 cents on the dollar, on average, compared to what men earn for the same jobs. My readers will argue that if any two groups of people act differently, on average, one group is likely to get better results. On average, men negotiate pay differently and approach risk differently than women.

Women will point out that few females are in top management jobs. Men will argue that if you ask a sample group of young men and young women if they would be willing to take the personal sacrifices needed to someday achieve such power, men are far more likely to say yes. In my personal non-scientific polling, men are about ten times more likely than women to trade family time for the highest level of career success. 

Now I would like to speak directly to my male readers who feel unjustly treated by the widespread suppression of men’s rights: 

Get over it, you bunch of pussies.

The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.

How many times do we men suppress our natural instincts for sex and aggression just to get something better in the long run? It’s called a strategy. Sometimes you sacrifice a pawn to nail the queen. If you’re still crying about your pawn when you’re having your way with the queen, there’s something wrong with you and it isn’t men’s rights.

Fairness is an illusion. It’s unobtainable in the real world. I’m happy that I can open jars with my bare hands. I like being able to lift heavy objects. And I don’t mind that women get served first in restaurants because I don’t like staring at food that I can’t yet eat. 

If you’re feeling unfairly treated because women outlive men, try visiting an Assisted Living facility and see how delighted the old ladies are about the extra ten years of pushing the walker around. It makes dying look like a bargain.

I don’t like the fact that the legal system treats men more harshly than women. But part of being male is the automatic feeling of team. If someone on the team screws up, we all take the hit. Don’t kid yourself that men haven’t earned some harsh treatment from the legal system. On the plus side, if I’m trapped in a burning car someday, a man will be the one pulling me out. That’s the team I want to be on. 

I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I’m not saying women are similar to either group. I’m saying that a man’s best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar. If he’s smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people. A man only digs in for a good fight on the few issues that matter to him, and for which he has some chance of winning. This is a strategy that men are uniquely suited for because, on average, we genuinely don’t care about 90% of what is happening around us.


  1. I’m no fan of Scott Adams, but there are an awful lot of typos in just the first two sentences for a post about how sloppy and incoherent someone else is.

  2. Ehh…I dunno. Seems kinda silly to care about. I mean, there’s just no meat on that bone. It’s not John Byrne level incendiary. It’s either a joke gone awry or just kinda stupid, but there’s not much of an opinion there. He’s just making dumb arguments and dumb counter arguments.

  3. “asking what he should right about…”?

    Oof. I’m sure you were in a hurry to get this posted, Heidi but as a writer, I’m sure you’d want at least that particular typo corrected.

    (And feel free to delete this comment after you correct it–I just wanted to bring it to your attention.)

  4. This is probably how women felt in the 60s and 70s. You may or may not agree with whole lot that is said, but at least someone is raising the issue.
    Laura in her response does give at least the guys some credit that, hey, there are Men’s Right’s issues that need to be addressed.
    And Heidi makes a good point, too: what the hell do you call it…”menninism”?
    But it’s not their job and hell maybe Scott is right maybe men just don’t care -which would be sad indeed.

  5. “Adams is currently repped by the same company that handles woman friendly brands like Candies and Ed Hardy, so that’s kind of funny.”

    I thought Ed Hardy was a brand for the blind but I digress…

  6. Does anyone out there have a sense of humor? It’a joke. For men. Of course everyone else is going to be upset by it. Scott’s mistake was forgetting how small the world has become. Trying to speak to a specific group on the Internet is like trying to kill a cockroach with a cruise missle. There’s going to be some collateral damage.

  7. “Maybe Adams was trying that kind of reverse-Colbert humor where you become such a strong proponent of a viewpoint that you hold it up to scorn.

    In that case, it didn’t work — comparing a woman asking for equal pay to a child asking for candy, or a mentally handicapped person, doesn’t work as well when you can’t cock an eyebrow like Stephen Colbert…”

    I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head.

  8. This makes no sense to me at all. My wife is always being smarter than me. I wish every day that shell get a raise at her job and make more money than me.
    Anyway, of course, I see good and REALLY BAD points on both sides. Seriously, I think we all could have had EQUAL rights (gender, race, religion, orientation) a long time ago, if we could only stop baiting each other.

  9. It reads to me like he was going for irony. Not very successfully, and to be honest I’m left unsure what he actually believes, but unless he’s got a track record for this kind of thing, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

  10. A few years ago Adams posted some nonsense about intelligent design on his blog. When some elitist reality-based types called him on it he and his fans pulled the same “it’s just a joke and anyway you’re not smart enough to get it” shtick.

  11. There’s no benefit of the doubt for him especially if he doesn’t defend or acknowledge it his post. Scott Adams wrote a lazy, lame blog post saying a bunch of offensive things and then deleted it. If his opinions were honest, I find them offensive. If he wanted to start a clever or constructive debate, he failed. If the whole thing was a joke, I find it bad comedy.
    Of course he has the right to write that. As I do to respond to his thinking about “men’s rights” by thinking he’s an ass.

    And agreeing with the following:

  12. Adams actually makes some valid points in the first part of his rant — about men’s lower life expectancy, lower numbers in college, higher suicide rates, the fact that military drafts are always reserved for males, and so on.

    And he’s right that it would be considered a “national emergency” if females were falling behind in education. That was exactly how it was treated several years ago. In reality, there was no such crisis. Women were increasing their presence on college campuses, while male students were dwindling.

    Where Adams goes over the top, and into sheer nonsense, is the “child asking for candy” stuff. Maybe that was intended as a joke. It obviously didn’t work in print.

  13. If he deleted it he must have realized it was a bad response, talk about turning an anthill into a mountain.

    Just wondering is being labeled a mysogynist the comics career killer or something? I never rly got the Dave Sim shunning thing.

  14. Dave Sim didn’t get shunned because he’s a little bit misogynist. He got shunned because he thinks that women are evil sorcereses out to steal men’s creative dicks.

  15. @ Aacro
    I think the reason some people obsess on it is because Sim won’t agree that he is. If self-proclaimed mysogenists like Crumb or Larry David fought the label they might find themselves in a similar “war”/shunning or whatever you call it.
    And are they? Maybe not but they were smart to just agree:)And is Sim? I mean he does think men should sacrifice their lives for women in times war -he believes in old fashioned chivalry. So it’s not all that black and white.
    and I thought Sim was supposed to be the crazy one.

  16. George Bernard Shaw, when he was in his 80s, said something like, “If I’m considered intelligent, I pity those who are considered stupid.” I was reminded of this by Adams’ deleted post. If Adams is considered funny, I pity those humorists who aren’t.

  17. You know… by the time anyone actually got around to reading the original post they had probably already made up their minds as to his motivation, humor or lack thereof, and almost everything else.

    You see what you want to see.

    Taken as a whole, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. And I don’t really care for Scott Adams or find him funny.

    It’s to the point where every statement finds its detractors and turns into some boycott/crusade/inquisition/flame-war. And similarly, I wonder how many people understand what they read anymore. One thing’s for sure–you can’t argue with stupid, and the internet was very much a giant x-mas present to stupid.

  18. Scott was right.

    But it’s taboo to talk about this double standard… unless, of course, you’re saying it’s unfair to women, which is considered vogue.

  19. This is a wonderful commentary on the double standard that exists today. Anytime a man stands and mentions these double standards, he’s immediately labeled a misogynist, no matter how true the statement is. Then, people apparently don’t bother to take the time to comprehend what’s being said and assume it’s an attack on women. A great example of how feminized our society has become and how conditioned we’ve all become to immediately see women victims. To answer a common question here. We’re called MRAs (Men’s Rights Advocates/Activists. We’re not so pretentious as to call ourselves masculinists. We’re only interested in maintaining true gender equality.

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