Saturday, January 07, 2012

Brainwashing Norway

See, documentaries can be fun. I've just watched one called Brainwashing Norway. It's brilliant. The Norwegian who made it, Harald Eia, seems to be a genial sort of guy, but alert, intellectually curious and quick-witted (caveat: all I really know about him is that he's a comedian with a sociology degree).

Unfortunately, the video takes a while to load on the internet. So I'll give a quick rundown of what happens.

It goes like this. Harald Eia has been brought up in a society which prides itself on "gender equality" which is understood to mean that sex distinctions shouldn't matter anymore. He himself has largely accepted this view; he tells us at one point that he doesn't treat his daughters as girls but as people (his daughters roll their eyes).

But he can't help but notice that sex distinctions do still matter in Norway, even though his country is ranked as the most gender equal in the world. For instance, Norwegian men and women are more likely, rather than less likely, to choose distinct occupations: 90% of nurses are female and 90% of engineers are men.

The Norwegian government has implemented programmes to make the balance more even, but they have had only a small and temporary influence on what men and women choose to do. So Eia starts to wonder if there might be innate differences between men and women.

He decides to interview some Norwegian academics to see what they think about this possibility. This is where the fun starts. These academics dress as if they are student radicals, but they are, in reality, staunch defenders of the state ideology. When he asks about the idea of innate differences, it's as if he's put a grenade into them.

This starts at 7.25 with an academic called Cathrine Egeland. She looks perplexed when asked if there might be biological differences between men and women that explain different occupational choices and she declares herself uninterested. Another academic, Joergen Lorenzten, then claims that research showing differences in the male and female brain is old-fashioned and that modern research shows that everything about men and women apart from the genitalia, hair and breasts is the same. He states that the interests, feelings, capacities and intelligence of men and women are identical.

So why then are men more interested in technical fields than women? The Norwegian academics give the stock answer that it has to do with the way that girls and boys are treated (i.e. that it is a social construct). A couple of strikingly female Norwegian women then try to persuade us that sex distinctions are produced by the different way that people address baby boys and girls.

Eia asks the academic Joergen Lorenzten if people are so "mouldable" that there are societies where men and women have the same interests (12:57). Lorenzten replies,

I feel that this is almost the basic theorem. We are, as you say, mouldable. There are no limits to what humans can do - in relation to what's important. And that is behaviour and emotionality.

To his credit, Eia decides to get some more information - this time from outside Norway. He travels to meet Professor Richard Lippa who has done a large-scale survey comparing occupational choices of men and women across 53 different countries. The Norwegian academic Lorenzten laughs when he hears of this plan to meet Lippa; he tells Eia that Americans are poor at doing academic research.

But Eia flies off to America regardless. Professor Lippa tells him that across the world there are the same differences in occupational choices. Professor Lippa does allow that culture might play a role in these choices, but believes that the differences are too consistent across all nations to be entirely a product of culture.

Next stop is Professor Trond Diseth, a child psychiatrist. Professor Diseth states that boys and girls show a preference for masculine or feminine toys from the age of 9 months. The professor believes that gender behaviour is a product of a biological disposition which is then influenced by culture. He strongly rejects the claims of Lorenzten that the research showing biological differences is old-fashioned.

Then we're off to England to meet Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. He has done research on newborn babies and found differences in what holds the gaze of boys and girls, i.e. before any cultural influence is possible. Baron-Cohen has also researched the effects of exposure to testosterone in the womb and found that this correlates to language and social development; also, that girls who are exposed to unusually high amounts of testosterone exhibit a preference for masculine toys; and that children aged 8 who were exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb have a higher level of interest in systems - in understanding how things work.

Eia returns to Norway to confront the Norwegian academics with this information (33.10). He asks Cathrine Egeland (who looks a bit like Ellen deGeneres) "What is your scientific basis to say that biology plays no part in the two genders' choice of work?" She replies,

My scientific basis? I have what you would call a theoretical basis. There's no room for biology in there for me. I feel that the social sciences should challenge thinking that is based on the differences between humans being biological. (34.50)

That's a bit like saying "I'm not interested in the truth, I'm interested in getting an outcome that I consider to be the moral one." Note too that liberals like to claim that they are the ones who are for science, but in this case it's the liberal Cathrine Egeland who is rejecting the way that science challenges her political beliefs ("there is no room for biology in there for me").

Lorenzten takes a different approach. He queries why scientists would be interested in finding biological differences:

The fascinating thing with this science is why they are so concerned with the biological origin to gender. Why this frenetic concern?

Lorenzten clearly thinks it's a bit beyond the pale to be researching biological distinctions between men and women. Eia's response is that he didn't think the overseas researchers did have a "frenetic concern" as they all recognised a mixed origin to sex distinctions: part cultural, part biological. Eia believes that it's the Norwegians who are frenetic in seeing everything as cultural.

It's interesting to see the liberal academics in Norway so discomfited when they are challenged in their views. You can tell that it doesn't happen to them often, that they inhabit an intellectual world where their own views are the orthodox ones.


  1. I watched this to and thought it was very good.

    There is one scene to look out for when he is interviewing an African immigrant in norway. He breaks down when the African tells him his sob story.
    Hes asking the right questions but he is still obviously brainwashed himself to have this uncontrollable psychological response to Africans guilt trips.
    He even asks the guy why does he stay in Norway if its so "hostile" to blacks.
    The African responds he will die in Norway. The gravy train is too good obviously to give up.

  2. I recently had a Humanities lecturer at La Trobe who simply refused to take biology into account for ANYTHING.

    When the issue was raised it was almost like throwing a dead rat at him. His instant response was that Hard Science Academics and students should be made to take a short humanities course before gaining their degree.

    This man has four degrees including a doctorate and is in charge of his own department.

    He lives in a massive house in Kew and is one of the most erudite propodents of "Whiteness theory" I have ever met, it is a religion to him.

    Of course he could have chosen to live in West Heidelberg just down the road from his work, but I guess it was slightly too "diverse" for him.

  3. Previous anon
    I'm not sure if you knew but this is a multi-part series the part im refering to is the final episode on "race"

  4. I have what you would call a theoretical basis.

    There speaks a true leftist. If reality and theory conflict, ignore reality.

  5. Note too that liberals like to claim that they are the ones who are for science, but in this case it's the liberal Cathrine Egeland who is rejecting the way that science challenges her political beliefs

    Which rather neatly exposes the fact that leftists aren't merely deluded, they're actively and consciously dishonest.

  6. -"Which rather neatly exposes the fact that leftists aren't merely deluded, they're actively and consciously dishonest."

    I don't think so. It is more a matter of having subordinated all thought to the pursuit of a higher "Good".

    Since the "Good" being chased is so pure and noble, mere reality must either be an evil conspiracy or just ignored.

  7. The liberal dishonesty and rejection of science gets worse in latter episodes.
    Again referring to the Race episode he enters an Anti-racist organisations office in Norway and amusingly says there are only white people working in this office.

    One guy interviewed wont even aknowledge biology having any effect on a persons life its all environmental. Eia then after showing actual scientists confirming that biology does matter and have a big influence on who we are manages to make the guy completely change is position on camera about it and concede biology matters.
    Its really amazing how Leftists beliefs and opinions just collapse like cards when given very simple questioning.

  8. continued.
    Just had a thought on why their arguements are so weak under questioning is because liberal censorship and name calling shaming and avoiding debate has meant they really are not prepared for counter arguments at all.
    They have become complacent. This should be exploited.

  9. I wasn't going to comment on this specific topic because I don't believe I know enough about the effect of gender on personality to make a meaningful comment, but then I came across a research paper that may be worth looking at.

    The authors of the study come to the conclusion that the effect of gender on personality has been underestimated in other studies (gender has more effect on personality than has been acknowledged in the past).

    This study appears to be very recent, it references other studies published as recently as 2011 in it's footnotes (and many of those studies appear to be hotlinked in the footnotes of the study I linked above).

  10. Cathrine Egeland probably has been exposed to a greater than average amount of testerone in utero. So it is probably true that there is not much difference between her brain and a male's brain. It's funny eternal irony that the biggest boosters of the female cause are often the most male-like.

  11. I've spent a lot of time in Sweden and have travelled the length of Norway.

    Norway and Sweden are cult-like states. They have found the One True Way! The truths are self-evident. The truths go unchallenged. Anyone challenging the orthodoxy is a pariah.

  12. Great documentary. Wish there was more of these.

  13. Funny that so many dogmatic liberals simultaneously believe that homosexuality and heterosexuality are immutable, such that one can not raise a homosexual child to be heterosexual or vice versa. They openly mock "pray away the gay" while seriously subscribing to "make boys play with dolls and girls play with legos, because we need more male nurses and female engineers".

  14. You write about liberals and autonomy a lot (and I agree with what you write). Sometimes it seems like liberals are the least interested in autonomy. Any difference between groups can never be explained by the autonomous decisions of individuals. If blacks commit more crime than whites, it is due to white racism. If men outnumber women in the hard sciences or in athletic programs, it is due to sexism. Criminals are criminals because they were born into poverty. The mentally ill have neuroses because they were abandoned by their fathers or abused as children. Certain children have lower academic performance because they had lower quality teachers. Modern differences between nations are due to historical exploitation. People are who they are because they were raised that way; it is out of their conscious control. The differences between the Japanese response to the 2011 tsunami and Haiti's earthquake/Hurricane Katrina is due to culture and economics.

    In many ways liberals seek to explain almost everything humans and groups of humans do as the result of something other than personal autonomy. Maybe it boggles them that people can make choices that result in unequal outcomes? I am reminded of the variety of literature that links personal choices to life outcome, such as Theodore Dalrymple's (Anthony Daniels) "Life at the Bottom".

    As an aside, why do they so ardently believe that differences in sex amount to little more than a difference in physical sexual characteristics? They also continually claim differences between races as "different skin color", dismissing biological differences are arbitrary. Do they not realize they are referring to an entire genome, and not simply a particular phenotype? Liberals appeal to their ideology more often than reality, and often showcase extremely limited knowledge of genetics, biology, psychology, history, etc.

  15. Guy its very true. I've had some debates with radical liberals in their online dens. They do not believe in Autonomy at all for certain groups.
    A good example is homosexuals they can not tolerate at all the idea of a self defining heterosexual.
    To them all men are gay. If a man says he is completely straight he is a homophobe and then thus a closet gay repressing his true sexuality.
    They won't even allow you to have a personal preference on your own sexuality. If homosexual acts repulse you then you are one of the top most evil type of people in the liberal mind, you are uneducated, intolerant (even though its your own personal preference) and most frightening people who violate liberals opinions are deserving of violence directed against for their views.
    And what are your views? You view yourself as a straight man.

  16. Maybe it boggles them that people can make choices that result in unequal outcomes?

    Guy, you make a good point, which is similar to the one made in the Eia documentary - that if you give people more autonomy that the differences between groups will increase rather than decrease. So in theory liberals ought to celebrate group differences as reflecting the existence of autonomous choice.

    But as we know they don't do this. That's because they don't want differences based on predetermined life circumstances (the colour of one's skin etc) to matter. They see this as a limitation on autonomy.

    So many liberals (though not all - there have been some historical exceptions) prefer to cling to the belief that such group differences are social constructs created for the purposes of domination and subordination.

    That way the liberals get the full programme - they can believe that there are no predetermined influences on individuals as well as believing that liberal society is providing maximum autonomy.

  17. "Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the world of angry white men"

    This might be interesting to you Mark.
    I like how the writer Tory Shepherd particularly singles out white men in her criticism of mens rights movements.
    Can liberals make it any clearer that they are racist.
    They are saying its impossible for a non-white male to be critical of liberal Feminist society.

    Then she concludes her crap article with
    "those males facing the biggest obstacles - Aboriginal men, immigrants, refugees and gay men - most of whom are not even mentioned by MREs."
    Well no shit they are all liberal obsessions.

    They can not make it any clearer that they hate white males.

    Feel free to censor this out but what a bitch.

  18. "To them all men are gay."

    I have heard this before. They place sexuality on a spectrum from totally gay to totally straight, implying that most men have some vague homosexual tendencies. This is not established in scientific research, but allows homosexuals to make a further claim to normalcy, and place themselves in the majority (everyone is a little gay).

    I would not mind radical autonomy so much if someone could be free to define themselves as a masculine man or a heterosexual, but it seems everywhere (Norway is a big one) they try to force the opposite through social engineering. Any results of all of this will inevitably be used to prove that it is all culture and raising boys in dresses is good for them, etc...

    Mark, you are absolutely correct. I am an engineer (nuclear) and there is one female (Japanese, 50-ish) at the plant I work at. I have been interested in why there are not more women in my field for a long time, and now am much more realistic about why. When I was in my twenties I studied under the US Navy nuclear power school, and they told us that the dearth of women was because enlisted females could not serve on submarines. I, sadly, believed them, even as I noticed females concentrate themselves in a few occupations. I could write a book about my experiences in the Navy with regards to liberalism.

    What I hate most about liberalism are all of these contrary assertions. I frequently heard about the need to get more females into the military and into the science fields in particular, because women "bring their unique talents and abilities" to the table. But if men and women are essentially the same, why do we need male nurses and female engineers? And if the genders have unique perspectives and talents, maybe this is why they make different career choices?

    It seems like they are never consistent, which is infuriating.

  19. But if men and women are essentially the same, why do we need male nurses and female engineers? And if the genders have unique perspectives and talents, maybe this is why they make different career choices?

    Excellent point.

  20. If you go here you can see the rest of the series (Parental II, Gay/Straight III, Violence IV, Sex V, Race VI, and Nature vs. Nurture VII). Scroll down a bit and see the side bar on the right.


  21. Is your objective to get the true answers or bash liberals thru your propaganda. You seem to like to place labels on peaple. whats the opposite of liberals, you! You must be right. You have it all figured out before you do the science, thats an agenda. I understand what you say about norway having its own agenda, I agree with that.Its propaganda so commen in Norway. I know I live in norway. Google search norways janta law, to understand their no disention in the ranks sheep mentality. Norway is overflowing with propagandic agendas that steer the sheep, and the sheep buy it, from the elite while waving their flag.They dont question authority. By the way, Im a liberal, whats the definition. You and your liberal hating commenters seem to draw a very narrow picture of a liberal. In my oppinion we are a much broader spectrum of peaple, not just the so called CALIFORNIA HIPPY. Hippies are very good intelligent forward thinking peaple. Free your mind.

  22. What a poor documentary, what a poor article.
    The entire approach is based on a fallacy: the theory of gender is based on social constructionism, so you can't intellectually debunk a theory unless you reject social constructionism entirely, which you can't. As much as you can't reject biology.
    Everyone here is using terms without defining them. Some people seem to equal science with truth (biology with truth), well science is also steeped in ideology. One historical look at 19th century "biology" (hierarchy between races for ex), which were then held as ultimate truth, were simply rooted in racism.
    To go back to the documentary, the maker is mixing everything and has not obviously understood the theory of gender at all. So how could you claim that you would criticize a theory you don't understand?
    Once again, it is just some political agenda, and it's pathetic.

  23. Anonymous.

    The video debunks the notion that men and women are the same but for social conditioning. Neither the video nor the article makes ANY explicit claim about 'The Theory of Gender'.

    You come here with your ire, pouring scorn indiscriminately. If your position was so strong you would educate us with explanations and proof. Instead you contributed nothing but assertions and insults.

    'Once again, it is just some political agenda, and it's pathetic.'
    Unfortunately, you're the only one who's pathetic.