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Monday Watercooler


Tonight’s video is “How To Find an Exoplanet” from Minute Physics.

Closeup of a colorful peacock's head with its plumage arrayed beyond it on display

The only peacocking that works in Denmark.

Pick Up Artists, or PUA’s, are rather unfortunate men who are convinced — against all reason — that there’s a magic script to getting women to have sex with you, and charge still-more desperate men high sums of money to teach them their creepy, hopeless magic. But Dissent magazine reveals that one PUA named Roosh found Denmark’s social services and egalitarian culture were an impenetrable wall against his “charms:”

‘A Danish person has no idea what it feels like to not have medical care or free access to university education,’ an awed Roosh reports. ‘They have no fear of becoming homeless or permanently jobless. The government’s soothing hand will catch everyone as they fall. To an American like myself, brainwashed to believe that you need to earn things like basic health care or education by working your ass off, it was quite a shock.’ […] He concludes that the typical fetching Nordic lady doesn’t need a man ‘because the government will take care of her and her cats, whether she is successful at dating or not.’

He’s not wrong. Several of Denmark’s social services are intended to reduce gender inequality by supporting women, a sort of state feminism that he can’t accept. Denmark provides eighteen weeks of maternity pay (usually at about two-thirds pay) as well as separate parental leave options that couples may provide to the mother if they wish. The country has also offered incentives to fathers since the 1990s to encourage them to take up paternity benefits. In Denmark, shareable family leaves are two weeks longer if the father pitches in; if he doesn’t, the family loses out on the additional time. This small ‘daddy quota’ may not sound like much, but it indicates a state interest in rectifying unequal historical norms of caretaking.

Denmark also offers one of the best universal child care systems in the world; as a result, the maternal employment rate in Denmark exceeds 80 percent. The country’s mothers accrue 34 to 38 percent of the earnings taken home by couples with children; compare that to American mothers, who only take home 28 percent of parental earnings.

[…] PUAs’ Darwinian assumptions about women’s desires run up against Roosh’s Nordic bête noire: Jante Law. The term is derived from Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose’s 1933 novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks, in which a small, fictitious working-class town champions solidarity over personal achievement. It describes a set of social norms such as self-deprecation that discourage individual preening. Jante Law is technically fictional, but like many stereotypes, it contains a degree of truth … Roosh comes to the conclusion that women who aren’t as dependent on men for financial support are not susceptible to [his] narcissistic salesmanship.

And we’re supposed to be afraid of more socialist societies because … why again?

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Photo by Ducklover Bonnie released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and