‘Dilbert’ Creator Scott Adams Compares Women Asking for Equal Pay to Children Demanding Candy

From Comics Alliance:

Mostly, though, I haven’t really paid attention to it at all, at least until today, when the internet discovered a post where Dilbert creator Scott Adams gave us all a piece of his mind in a post (since deleted) about men’s rights, and the fact that he thinks men suffer a level of social injustice equal to women.

After all, women might get paid less for the exact same amount of work as men in our society, but men die earlier, teen boys have to pay higher car insurance, and sometimes women want men to open doors for them, so it all comes out in the wash, right? I’m not making those examples up, either; those are his examples.

And then there’s this:

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. -Scott Adams


Today I Learned that Dilbert’s creator is a creationist.


    1. No joke. I think there are so many creationist engineers because they like to imagine a god in their own image. Why so many are misogynists, I can’t explain.

    2. Hey! Lady engineering student, here! (although I totally agree, I do have to spend the first half of every semester listening to stupid jokes about how retarded I am, when I will bring in brownies, and if I am simply my boyfriend’s note-taker.)

  1. I love the Dilbert strip but I had to stop reading Adam’s blog a couple years ago when it became impossible to ignore his insanity. He like to think he is a realist/libertarian but really he is a wealthy ‘every man for himself I got mine fuck you’ guy.

    I know he had some strange condition that made him unable to speak for a few years but I think it also caused brain damage.

  2. “Engineering is not a profession most people associate with religion. The concrete trade of buildings and bridges seems grounded in the secular principles of science. But the failed attack this Christmas by mechanical engineer Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a reminder that the combination has a long history of producing violent radicals.

    The anecdotal evidence has always been strong. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Mohamed Atta, was an architectural engineer. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed got his degree in mechanical engineering. Two of the three founders of Lashkar-e-Taibi, the group believed to be behind the Mumbai attacks, were professors at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore.”

    More at slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2240157/

    1. Aren’t atheists supposed to be smarter than most people? Great atheists are promoting scientific thought, but I can’t see any of that here.
      Correlation does not imply causation. This “study” is just another “social science” hokum.
      Reading popcultural pseudo-scientific articles on the internet does not make you an expert on anything.

  3. Wow. A douchebag AND a creationist?!? This is worse than when I find out someone I previously respected is a scientologist. My love of Dilbert is forever tarnished.

      1. From the Pharyngula link:

        Oh, and those of you complaining that Adams is not a creationist: look up David Berlinski. There is a lot in common there: the same supercilious and inflated sense of intellectual self-worth, the same mocking tone, the same knee-jerk rejection of anyone else’s expertise, as if the fact that some people know much more in some discipline than he does is a personal insult. He’s an anti-science hack who probably also rejects authorities on the creationist side because they do not defer to his superior intelligence, either.

        But then, covering for one’s own misogyny by screaming “political correctness” has always been the forte of the douchebag brigades.

  4. He’s right. and all the knee-jerk posts on this site are examples of why it’s easier not to talk about it.

    The stat of women making less than men has nothing to do with discrimination. But people who don’t understand statistics make that leap every time.

    and most people are too stupid to really understand whey this statistic is bunk…therefore it’s easier not to even address it.

    1. Yes. Explain yourself. Why is a statistic that shows one gender makes less than the other not a demonstration that the first gender suffers discrimination.

  5. It does make you wonder though: if in this day and age in America when any woman can start her own business and pay women whatever she wants, why is this statistic still true?

    1. It doesn’t make me wonder, and I am a woman. No matter who is in charge, they are naturally going to want to pay less than more if they can. They are not inclined to even things out if it makes their business suffer financially compared to a business owned by a man. Also, some men are not turds and can also pay women the same as men they hire if they wanted to. It’s all about the bottom line for everyone. I’m not saying it’s fair, either, I’m just saying it doesn’t make me wonder.

  6. haven’t read his blog or any of his other statements for that matter, so I’m going only by the quotes in the article, but it sounds like the writer is totally twisting Adams’ words. It sounds to me like Adams is saying, “don’t bother arguing, because both sides get shorted in different ways, and in the end, you’ll never reach an agreement anyway. If you’re going to argue, do it about something where a difference will be made instead of going in circles and getting no where.” I think of a Christian and an Atheist arguing about their beliefs. They’ll both be blue in the face, and nothing will change.
    In the second quoted paragraph Adams even states, “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.

    On a different note, I’ve always been puzzled by the injustice of male teens paying more for car insurance even with a clean record. Statistically, they do have more accidents, but statistically you’d also find that there’s one race, one religion, and one hair color that have more accidents than others in each of those groups. Imagine the uproar if people were charged more based on those demographics.

      1. I did read the article, as well as the deleted post. By “other statements” I was referring to other statements outside of the article, i.e., the things he has said elsewhere that other posters above have mentioned.
        Like I said, I’m only commenting on the thread topic – the statements in the article.

  7. On the equal pay thing: I’ve found the complaint is that women leave jobs to raise families, get married or move when the partners’ job requires; therefore they don’t deserve to earn the same as men (because why invest in someone who runs off to have babies?). My experience is quite different; men leave jobs all the time (to raise families, get married or because their partners’ job has moved, etc.) and are still offered better wages from the get go.

  8. with regards to the “women are paid less” stat, that has not been addressed.

    the surveys never do a side by side comparison. men and women IN EXACTLY THE SAME JOB are paid the same. women are paid less because they are in lower paid jobs. simple. when doing the comparison, it should be an equal comparison, of men and women in the same job.

    1. Oh, so your point is that it’s not fair to say that women are paid less, because it is actually a situation where “. . . women are paid less because they are in lower paid jobs.” It’s not that women are paid less, it’s that the jobs for which they are hired are paid less. How does that not demonstrate discrimination? Seems clear to me. Women do not get the same opportunities, or pay, as men.

      1. Correlation doesn’t equal causation. There’s a multitude of reasons why women might be in lower-paid roles in general that have absolutely zero relation to their gender. We can’t fill in the role of an educated statistician with conjecture and presumption.

  9. As easy as it is to jerk our knees and dismiss this as regressive, when comparable jobs are compared comparably in a comparable fashion, men and women are actually paid or compensated otherwise quite equally. There are discrepancies in pay that are due to the hundreds of variables to be taken into account – women might earn less over a year but be awarded greater periods of time for paid maternity leave wherein they contribute zero the to company’s profitability, for example.

    The “women get paid less” line used to be the case, but in contemporary society is no longer the case when all factors are taken into consideration.

    1. And I’m going to follow that comment with this disclaimer: I have no interest in Dilbert or its writer, and am not standing in defence of anything he’s written. I’m just sticking my oar in with regards to the comments I’m reading here and elsewhere on topics like this because I find these discussions interesting.

    2. I am very interested in your statement “There’s a multitude of reasons why women might be in lower-paid roles in general that have absolutely zero relation to their gender.” Do you not see the circularity? Since the only pieces of information in the statement are A) they occupy lower-paying roles, and B) they are women, the how can you possibly say that C) it has zero to do with their gender?

      1. It’s like saying there are a multitude of reasons why homosexual boys are regularly beaten up in the school yard that have nothing to do with them being homosexual. Since there are only two pieces of information in the statement, how can you claim there’s no causal relationship?

    3. Women earning less yearly income, due to the taking of maternity leave, does not “have absolutely zero relation to their gender.” The company does not exist within a vacuum. The company contributes to, and exists within, a stable society. The woman’s maternity leave does not reduce the profitability of the company. She’s not out on vacation. (Actually, vacation time does not reduce profitability either.) Stable nuclear families contribute to the success of society, and therefore, stable nuclear families contribute to the success of the company (in countless ways). Women don’t just go off and have babies on their own time for fun and leisure. Neither to they (generally) get pregnant all by themselves. Stable nuclear families contribute to the stability of the society which allows the company to exist and to flourish. Are you saying you think it’s right to penalize women (just the women) for participating in the nuclear family?

      1. From what I understand, not being in charge of a company myself, it does impact the running of a company significantly. You’re paying an employee who is entirely absent for huge periods of time, and contributing nothing to the running of the company. You have to retain their position at the company even though in a lot of cases you have to hire additional employees on a temporary basis who then have to look for work elsewhere when the original employee returns.

        This is just one example I chose to illustrate the fact that he might be onto something with the assertion that there are discrepancies that’re just or based in logic. In much the same way that men are charged higher insurance premiums since statistically they’re found to claim on their car insurance more frequently or for higher amounts, there is a disparity in rates of pay or charges that might be due to gender or might simply trend with gender for other societal reasons.

        Women indeed don’t go out and get pregnant on their own or for leisure, but despite being 50% of the child’s genetic makeup and upbringing a man won’t be awarded comparable paid paternity leave or have his job guaranteed in his absence. This is probably the sort of discrepancy he’s on about; there is absolutely no reason to award one sex more time with the child than the other, even if you elect to breastfeed rather than bottle feed.

        The problem with discussions like this is that people tend to sway towards chauvinism and a perception of persecution. We need to stop acting like sexual equality is a competition and recognise the fact that both genders suffer discrimination in myriad ways and award equal legitimacy to both. That’s the only way things like this can be addressed – if we try to outdo each other by bickering about who has it harder we’re going to end up regressing rather than progressing. The fact of the matter is that people are attributing their own meaning to a lot of what’s said. If you take the final paragraph of that excerpt for example, the author isn’t comparing women to handicapped people or children in terms of dependency, he’s illustrating the point that there are tangible differences in the way different demographics are treated and there are reasons for this – there are legitimate differences in the way different demographics are. He’s saying that some things simply aren’t done, like arguing against this wage myth, because it’s an unwise investment of effort. People too readily play the misogyny/misandry card because we’re often too emotionally invested in the argument to be able to detach ourselves and talk about it objectively and constructively. That’s my interpretation of it, anyway.

      2. @CRABS
        Frankly this is lazy – you’re telling Just So stories as though there has been no meaningful research into the gender pay gap at all, when actually a massive number of closely focused issues have been explored in depth. But what they hey – have fun with that.

      3. I am in no way saying that fathers shouldn’t get exactly the same rights as mothers. But, participation in a stable home life, producing stable nuclear families, HAVING KIDS, is not the same as higher insurance premiums for males. insurance is based on stats. Males have more accidents. Giving employees “life” leaves, personal days, vacation time, and recognizing the fact that healthy, stable employees, men and women, need time off to have kids (or tend dying parents, or whatever) is not the same cut-and-dried example of a detriment to the bottom line. Neither is having babies all about women (as you pointed out). Allowing employees to take educational leaves, and personal days, and maternity HELPS the company. Just think about if we are talking about a company that sells ANYTHING to the American nuclear family. A society of stable nuclear families are their best customers. Even if we are not talking about a company that sell baby strollers (or one of the millions of other things families regularly buy), operating in a stable, tax-paying society full of nuclear families gives the company a stable environment full of middle class customers for WHATEVER it is they ARE selling. It’s a two way street. Middle class parents work at the companies, and they buy stuff, and they pay taxes. Companies employ men AND women, and they sell stuff, and they pay taxes. It is in everyone’s best interest that they support each other. It’s very short-sighted of a company to see “women being of maternity leave” as being unprofitable. As you said, it’s not just women. It’s both men AND women. Supporting the existence of the middle class, the very people who spend the majority of their time working for your company, and the very people who, combined with all the middle class families just like them, are your main customer base, and all together, the company and the middle class represent the VAST majority of our total tax base. Allowing parents time off to keep the whole cycle moving and producing more income for everyone DOES NOT negatively affect the company’s bottom line. It SUPPORTS it. My only point was that the excuse that there is some justification for paying women less, because they “run out and have babies” is bogus. They don’t have babies alone, and the notion that having babies reduced profitability is short-sighted. Men and women should have equal access to parenting leaves, equal pay, and many other things. Equal insurance premiums is TOTALLY different. Men (especially young men) have more accidents. (Accidents don’t help the economy.) Insurance is purely about profit. Supporting the men AND the women of the middle class (equally) in their efforts to form nuclear families does NOT reduce profit. There’s much more to it than that.

    4. “women might earn less over a year but be awarded greater periods of time for paid maternity leave wherein they contribute zero the to company’s profitability, for example.”

      There! Right there! Stop telling us we’re running off to have babies every five minutes! Christ on a bike! I’ve been on this planet 28 years and not once have I dropped a sprog. But no, I get lumped in with all those who choose to flex their wombs, like I’m a fucking ticking time bomb. If I apply for a job you want done, I will do the job you want done and you will pay me for it. End of!

  10. You know what, Scott Adams? I’d happily take the higher car insurance & open doors for EVERYONE for my entire life (although I’m not solid on the life expectancy thing…) if I didn’t have to spend a huge portion of my life from the age of 12 onwards in such pain that painkillers just don’t cut it (even passing out during classes as a preteen from lack of blood or the pain), bleeding from a bodily orifice, and suffering the increased risk of female breast, ovarian, uterine/endometrial & other cancers that come along with female organs (which together far outstrip the extra risk a man carries by having a prostate)
    By the way, Mr. Adams, you should be glad that somehow your mother decided to act enough like a four year old demanding candy to ensure your childhood safety & happiness and to make sure you grew up in enough comfort to live the life you lead now. But maybe I’m wrong and her efforts to secure you enough comfort & safety that you could eventually make a living drawing pictures instead of engaging in dangerous physical labour or worse were a foolish and invalid choice.
    Ughh.. he has a 14 year old stepdaughter to harass (and a stepson to “parent”).
    His charming 2006 quote to People magazine about his marriage: “”I will be ranked seventh in the line of importance” (as the family would then have his wife’s 2 kids, 3 cats, his wife and himself). Yep, THAT’s not a warning sign that something’s amiss. Run, Mrs. Adams! Run!

  11. Having now read his original post and his response, I’ve decided I have better things to do than try to figure out if Scott Adams is a misogynist jerk or simply not funny.

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