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Helen Smith

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.

Maybe They Weren’t That Sensible?

Christina Hoff Sommers emails: “Latest episode of the Factual Feminist. Topic:The UVA gang-rape story–Why did so many otherwise sensible people take it seriously?”

Posted at 4:51 am on December 16th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Black Knighting at Work

As I reflected over the previous post and readers’ comments on how men are expected to babysit and help women in the workplace, it got me thinking about how to deal with the expectations that men are there to white knight for women at work. White knighting, according to this article at, is as follows:

White knights are traditionalists, and heroes, and within western culture, they are a toxin. These are men who practice chivalry. White knights are males who defend women, but not because women are people — which might be noble. Rather, they defend women only because they are women. This almost always encompasses a willful blindness to the behavior and utterance of the women so defended.

So, if most men defend women at work or make your job more difficult there by acting as the male feminist in the office, it’s time to take action. Why let white knights and angry feminists at work ruin your day when you can ruin theirs instead?

Vox Day at the Alpha Game blog has a good post on black knights in which he says:

To counteract the deleterious influence of these white knights, black knights are needed. By which I mean men who are capable of mastering the bureaucratic force to which women readily resort in the dark art of corporate ninjitsu.

What does that mean? It means acting exactly like a woman would every single time a female coworker does something that would result in a complaint to the employment authority if a male coworker did it. The purpose is not to get the female coworker fired, but rather, work towards shutting down the abusive system by utilizing it to its full extent. When faced with absurdity, the correct response is to push the pedal to the metal and aucto ad absurdum….

Be sure to document every complaint and meeting. That way, if the women in HR try to turn things around on the black knight, he will have a case for going directly after HR lest the corporation find itself facing an obvious wrongful termination situation in which the victim has been blamed. Remember, the black knight doesn’t make the rules, he merely masters them and apply them to his maximal benefit in every situation.

The various white knights will attempt to belittle and minimize every female violation of company policy, of course, that is what white knights do. But it is the duty, to say nothing of the pleasure, of every black knight to subvert and defeat their best efforts.

There’s a guy on Twitter whose current handle is “Male Feminist” who seems to be doing some serious black knighting. He takes every feminist issue to its extreme — and not only is it funny, it’s absurd. Here, he calls out mistletoe as a rape vegetable:

Black knighting on Twitter, at work and in society is another tactic that might work to combat the war against men. As Saul Alinsky, our country’s leading left-wing hell-raiser, once said in Rules for Radicals: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.” If you have to live by these absurd rules, so should they.

If you have some other examples of black knighting, particularly in the workplace, drop it in the comments.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage created using a modified image.)
Posted at 11:43 am on December 15th, 2014 by Helen Smith

At Least Women Have Jobs

Now that men have vanished from the workforce and are unemployed in droves, those that are left are now expected to play mentor and babysitter to women, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. A reader kindly sent me this piece  titled “Women at Work: A Guide for Men.” Just as you would expect, it’s a condescending piece about how dumb men are when it comes to understanding women at work:

Now don’t get me wrong. I love men. I’ve spent my career as a journalist at publications read primarily by men. All my mentors were men. And most professional men I’ve encountered truly believe that they are unbiased.

That said, they are often clueless about the myriad ways in which they misread women in the workplace every day. Not intentionally. But wow. They misunderstand us, they unwittingly belittle us, they do something that they think is nice that instead just makes us mad. And those are the good ones.

In short, men could use a career guide—about women.

Apparently, rather than focusing on their own jobs, men are supposed to spend their time playing therapist to how women think and feel. And of course the author has no understanding of how hard it is for men to even interact with women at work, given all the rules and regulations. One “tip” in the article tells men not to be afraid of tears:

When Paul Gotti of Cardinal Health gave performance reviews, he says that, without even realizing it, he was easier on female directors: “I didn’t want them to cry, to feel bad.” He recognizes now that this was no favor. They should have the feedback “so that they can grow too.”

Ms. Flynn of Flynn Heath Holt says that her firm has found that men aren’t only afraid of tears but of getting in trouble with “the diversity police” for speaking harshly, or of women being “too high maintenance, or [that] she’ll ask a million questions.” As a result, “men are scared to death to give us feedback…. They’ll let women run astray and off course and be fired before they’ll take the chance to give them feedback.”

Her advice: Be honest. That doesn’t mean you have to be blunt, adds Mr. Schwartz of the Energy Project, which is more than 60% female: “I’ve learned it’s a balance between honesty and empathy. Honesty without empathy is cruelty.”

Posted at 5:45 am on December 13th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Just in Time for the Holidays

Amy Alkon shares her tips on how to teach kids empathy.

Posted at 5:50 am on December 11th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Will You Get Dumped Because of Your Gift?

Apparently so, according to this article at

One of this year’s hot Christmas sellers will almost certainly be the Samsung Galaxy S5. Forty-two percent of shoppers think stores will have shortages of the popular smartphone this Christmas, according to a survey released Wednesday by big data firm 1010data. But before you run out to buy one for your significant other, you’d better be sure it’s what she wants.

The nationwide survey also found that most Americans have gotten the cold shoulder, silent treatment, or worse from their significant others as a result of giving an unwanted holiday gift (even if it was because the ideal gift they wanted was unavailable or out of stock).
The Samsung Galaxy S5 will likely be one of the year’s top gifts. But before you buy it for your significant other, make sure it’s what he or she want…

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will likely be one of the year’s top gifts. But before you buy it for your significant other, make sure it’s what he or she wants.

Just over half of the 1,004 respondents said the recipient argued, cried, complained—or even ended the relationship—after getting the gift. The remaining 48 percent listed “other” open-ended negative responses, including: “demanded a refund,” “slight disappointment they try not to show outwardly,” and “took it back and exchanged it for what she wanted.”

…..Still, you may want to not wait any longer if you’re looking for a popular product. Or you may risk spending New Year’s alone.

Note the “horrible” ending to purchasing the wrong gift: YOU MAY RISK SPENDING NEW YEAR’S ALONE. Really? Wouldn’t it be better to be alone than stuck with the ingrate who would dump you or cry over a gift? Maybe gifts should be used as a weeding process, if your partner cries over the gift or argues with you about it, it’s time to move on and if she dumps you, count your blessings and find someone who prizes you more than a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Posted at 11:30 am on December 10th, 2014 by Helen Smith

A Voice for Male Students: On strike! Interview with Helen Smith about men “going Galt.”

Posted at 10:24 am on December 10th, 2014 by Helen Smith

The New Sexodus

Milo Yiannopoulos at explores (in a second segment) why men are on strike:

But although the sexodus, a new retreat into solitude by Western males, has a different flavour to it and dramatically different aetiology from previously observed social crises, many characteristics are identical. And what’s troubling about men throwing in the towel in both East and West is the rapidity with which the malaise is spreading across entire generations, fuelled not just by sexual dissatisfaction but also the economic and educational pressures felt by so many young boys.

He makes some good points, someone should write a book about this.

Posted at 12:59 pm on December 9th, 2014 by Helen Smith

“This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; it’s a moral one,”

So a “moral” argument is all that is needed in cases of rape?. Yes, according to Zerlina Maxwell at the Washington Post:

We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist. Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation. This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; it’s a moral one, about what happens outside the legal system.

The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might defriend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching his shows, consuming his books or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.

The cost of disbelieving women, on the other hand, is far steeper. It signals that that women don’t matter and that they are disposable — not only to frat boys and Bill Cosby, but to us.

…The time we spend picking apart a traumatized survivor’s narration on the hunt for discrepancies is time that should be spent punishing serial rapists.

This argument is so wrong on so many levels, it is hard to know where to start. Men don’t suffer from being called a rapist all that much? False rape charges are “rare”? Not true.

I am reading a new book by William Gairdner called The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree that sums it up pretty well. For the modern liberal, “morality is relative and changes according to cultures and situations.” “For conservatives, morality is rooted in universal principles, minor moral habits may change. But basic moral principles are constant and universal.” In other words, in rape cases morality is whatever a woman says using the fluid, modern liberal definition of morality.

This is sick reasoning for privileged women using the system to stack the decks against men. The law is following suit. The legal argument matters, we are supposed to be a nation of laws, we cannot give into the liberal definition that all that matters is a privileged protected group “feels wronged” and is entitled to special treatment or is given rights over other unprotected groups. This is unfair, unjust and goes against all that America stands for. But I guess this is the new America. Guilty unless proven innocent if male.

Posted at 5:45 am on December 8th, 2014 by Helen Smith

The Fight for Male Space

The latest headlines involving the UVA case is just another example of how sorry and biased the media is in covering any issue having to do with male space. It just so happened that  Rolling Stone got caught and is now trying to backtrack. Just like in the Duke case, there are many people who say that it doesn’t matter if the facts are true or not — some (male) is going to have to pay the price. If there are males out in society or even playing video games in the privacy of their own basement, the totalitarians are there in full force to make sure that they have nowhere to hide (Gamergate makes this clear).

Brett McKay wrote a great article about male space a while back that I discussed in Men on Strike, and it is important in understanding what is happening to men who dare to create a space for themselves anywhere in the country. Here is what Mckay says about male space:

Thankfully, we’ve made progress in the area of gender equality and women have brought their influence to bear in both the home and the workplace. However, as with many other areas of modern life, the pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other; instead of creating a world that’s friendly to both male and female space, we’ve created one that benefits female space at the expense of male space.

Here is what I had to say in the book:

Now, men are discouraged and actively made fun of or denied the ability to be in all-male groups by the law and by the disapproval of certain segments of the culture. For example, look at how colleges treat fraternity guys; they are all looked at with suspicion and treated like they are one step away from gang-raping the next girl that walks by their frat house. If you don’t believe me, mention frat guys and watch the reaction of any woman over the age of about 30. Most look at them with fear and disdain and want a stop put to any fun they might be having. And as men get older, the isolation and denigration get worse…

Many guys I talk to tell me “they don’t care about politics” or that it doesn’t affect them. Bull. Politics cares about you. It affects every man walking around who desires to be left alone or who simply wants to watch a football game in peace, or attend college without the fear of being branded a perpetrator of some type.

Posted at 7:08 am on December 6th, 2014 by Helen Smith

Will My Geek Son Be a Sexist Jerk?

No, probably not, but it is good to know that the author of this story (thanks, Terry), who is about to have a boy baby, has already shown herself to be a sexist jerk:

As I’m writing this, I’m eight months pregnant with my first child—it’s a boy. Huzzah!

Funnily enough, I was convinced I was having a girl, and was mentally preparing to raise the most kick-ass, geeky girl imaginable. Her room would be vintage sci-fi, fixed with all the geeky baby gear I could get my hands on…..

A daughter would need to know how to protect herself from sexism and fight injustice. But a son does not require this protection, and his privilege allows him to ignore injustice—or think that he can ignore it. But sexism is still a threat to him, in that he could very well become a perpetrator of it.

How, I’m wondering, can I protect him?

As commenters to the article are already pointing out, Terra Clarke Olsen, the author of this piece, is already pre-judging her unborn child and has him pegged as a potential perp before he is even born — and she thinks it is girls who suffer from sexism.

Maybe this horrible woman has to make a living or something and writes terrible things about a little baby that can’t fight back and probably won’t fight back against women like this due to cultural conditioning. She ends the piece with a quote from another parent saying about his five- year-old son: “I see this age as the perfect opportunity to (for better or worse) influence his worldview. That’s my job. If he grows up to be an a**hole, that’s on me. I’ve failed him.” Wow, if he has a daughter, does he say, “Hope she doesn’t grow up to be a slut!”? I really doubt it. Is this the way to treat any five year old–to think of him as a potential a**hole just for being male?

I hope I am wrong and this author’s poor kid will see mom for the terrible man-hating person that she is, but that is unlikely to happen. Kids naturally love mom, no matter what; it must be biological.

Posted at 10:21 am on December 3rd, 2014 by Helen Smith