Are there dangerous ideas?
September 24, 2020 at 11:01 pm #33316
I would think that primitive cultures would be instructive. Or is that a bias on my part to assume that modern cultural overlays will be missing?
No doubt there are innate differences but what may truly complicate matters is neuroplasticity. And that means that what may appear as an innate difference is a response to the environment that at once reflects environmental factors and innate differences.September 24, 2020 at 11:04 pm #33317
Why would nature create just one mammal whose gender behavior differences are not encoded and not primarily influenced hormonally? What evolutionary path would lead that species there? Don’t make this about equality. We can be different and equal and we don’t need a Handicapper General to enforce equality.
Taking gender out of it for purposes of making a parallel case, if you’re five feet tall you’re better off trying to excel at something like fencing than basketball. If your arms are so long that your hands hang down next to your knees, you’re probably better off competing in swimming than the long jump.
I don’t buy that testosterone and estrogen are largely irrelevant and the proof may not always be obvious, but sometimes is there if you want to look. For example, the women who compete in body building—a field where high testosterone levels definitely help—often have clitorises almost the size of their thumb, whereas more average women (I won’t say “normal” because it’s a loaded term) have ones that are of far more modest size. Vary the level of testosterone and you get more or less “masculine” and aggressive results.September 25, 2020 at 2:02 am #33318
I would think that primitive cultures would be instructive. Or is that a bias on my part to assume that modern cultural overlays will be missing? No doubt there are innate differences but what may truly complicate matters is neuroplasticity. And that means that what may appear as an innate difference is a response to the environment that at once reflects environmental factors and innate differences.
Most or, really, all matriarchal societies are primitive. I wonder why. And it’s been pointed out that where you find a matriarchal society, it seems to be because the males have things they’d rather be doing, like fishing.September 25, 2020 at 5:44 am #33319
Most or, really, all matriarchal societies are primitive. I wonder why.
Karen Lampell Endicott, writing in 1981, said that “simple” (i.e., nomadic, non-materialistic) societies (of which there aren’t many left) are egalitarian in general, and have egalitarianism between the sexes. She also says that as soon as power structures appear in society, males take advantage of them to dominate females.
It’s well established in evolutionary anthroplogy, that dominance hierarchies in general have a U-shaped history: primates have dominance hierarchies (presumably like our ancestors); we believe that early humans (for most of the past 2 million years) were egalitarian; modern humans have dominance hierarchies again.
This U-shaped history may also apply to the history of male dominance of females. I’d like to know more about the proposed mechanism of this. If matriarchal societies are “primitive”, then this fits this picture.September 25, 2020 at 5:25 pm #33320
Simon, what is a “non-materialistic society”? I can’t imagine. Is having a nice dwelling to live in materialistic? Having a sharp spear? Having a field of corn or a green garden with edible plants? Having warm clothes? Those are all material things.
In prehistory (cave man days), it was my impression that mating was more like what we today would call rape, not romance. How egalitarian was that? I would say that today’s society is more egalitarian than it’s ever been. But men and women, like members of most if not all mammalian species have instincts that drive their choices, which is why women tend toward jobs like teaching, social work, or nursing, rather than policing, high-pressure sales, or even becoming medical doctors. In other words, jobs where being aggressive behavior pays dividends generally fall to a testosteronic individual whereas those requiring empathy and patience tend to fall to the more estrogenic individual. But no, or at least very few, jobs are absolutely closed to the determined person of either sex who wants to gain entry, so there are female cops and doctors as well as male teachers and nurses.
In a nutshell, then, both sexes tend to end up in jobs they have chosen, not jobs “society” forced them into. And that is certainly one way to define egalitarianism.
September 26, 2020 at 3:43 am #33322
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by Unseen.
Those differences, unseen, become trivial once we’ve overcome the need to spend all our day surviving from predators and feeding ourselves and most especially once we are self-aware and able to use reason. The physical differences are obvious but irrelevant. Our psychological differences are easily overcome if there is a willingness to do it. It’s the 21st century unseen, not 100,000 years ago. Not even 100 years ago.September 26, 2020 at 3:55 am #33323
Those differences, unseen, become trivial once we’ve overcome the need to spend all our day surviving from predators and feeding ourselves and most especially once we are self-aware and able to use reason. The physical differences are obvious but irrelevant. Our psychological differences are easily overcome if there is a willingness to do it. It’s the 21st century unseen, not 100,000 years ago. Not even 100 years ago.
Has it occurred to you, Davis, that we get the society we want, the one most people feel most at home in, that women prefer to be teachers and nurses rather than CEO’s or commandos, that the few who do want to go outside those boxes can do so if they are determined and are persistent (and have the obvious talent), and finally that if upending the way things have become has some societal benefit in terms of prosperity or survivability, it will happen anyway?September 26, 2020 at 6:26 am #33324
Simon, what is a “non-materialistic society”?
The kind of society without permanent possessions apart from the bare minimum, without agriculture, and nomadic.
In prehistory (cave man days), it was my impression that mating was more like what we today would call rape, not romance. How egalitarian was that?
It seems like you’ve got your information from The Flintstones. Have a look at the article by Karen Lampell Endicott (above), who describes egalitarianism between the sexes in simple societies.
I would say that today’s society is more egalitarian than it’s ever been.
This is probably true if you look at the past 10,000 years. But compared with the previous 2 million, according to the best evidence we have, it’s not very egalitarian.
Has it occurred to you, Davis, that we get the society we want, the one most people feel most at home in,
This is justification for complacency, and not warranted. How about Afghanistan? Is everyone happy with that society?September 26, 2020 at 5:47 pm #33325
This is justification for complacency, and not warranted. How about Afghanistan? Is everyone happy with that society?
I looked at the date on the article you referred me to, and it seems to be a product of days gone by 50 years ago), at a time when Ms. Magazine had burst on the scene and feminism was seen as just one thing, whereas today it comes in wildly different packages (see the video below).
Hidden behind your rhetoric is the assumption that sex roles are somehow bad. My claim is that they are natural and are founded in baked in physical differences, inclinations, and instincts. If I get my attitudes about stone age society from the Flintstones (a series, BTW, which I never watched), you get yours from one minority segment of womankind which you happen to agree with because it’s congruent with your personal politics.
As long as a woman can become a CEO and a man can become a nurse—and it’s easy to find examples of both—that proves to me that our society is egalitarian to the degree required to satisfy the definition of the term.
If stone age women hunted, they no doubt pitched in out of a necessity which no longer exists, because that system was no longer necessary. What evidence can you offer that stone age men were eager to watch the children while their women were eager to go out to kill game?
Men and women have different interests. Why are there relatively few women in the STEM fields whereas they are well represented in other, often quite technical disciplines? Few women in math, lots of women in veterinary science, for example. While, yes, there have been shameful episodes where talented women were ignored because they were women, in this day of scientific journals and peer review, it’s hard to ignore a woman who’s come up with a groundbreaking procedure or a theory supported by facts. Their fates are no longer decided by cigar-smoking men sipping scotch whiskey in male-only clubs.
So, why aren’t women equally represented in all fields?
Also, contrary to what you may think, women do tend toward an equal distribution with men as the pay scale goes up:
The same theory being used to imply discrimination against women in areas like STEM could be used to claim racial discrimination against Caucasian men in mathematics or basketball. Of course, that’s absurd, but just as absurd as the claims of discrimination against women in certain fields.September 26, 2020 at 8:58 pm #33330
This gender argument is a vicious game of tit for tat. Had an uncle who was tit-smart and denied the perceived equality in tit and tit. Told me how he’d give tit for tat but not tat for tit. That reminds me of a time we walked into the forest to fish in an idyllic trout pond. As we arrived a few skinny dippers were just finishing. I commented that the brunette had a weird face and he countered how he had not noticed her face. That damn tit monger!
So maybe we need to examine other mammals or at least primates. How about those macaques who bathe in the hot springs like entitled nudists at the nudist colony for da beaches? Or those fruit washers-whatever their species. Do gender roles change? And does it mean anything that bonobos are sex fiends and are matriarchal. If the power is in sex instead of money or physical dominance does that suggest that ya get the power ya get the….?
I suspect that when we climbed out of the trees onto the savannah and made or preserved fire that our innate neuroplasticity changed the otherwise universal roles. And it leaves the issue open and amenable to change. And yet their is something undeniable to the male v. female innate differences. Women are on balance more caring.September 27, 2020 at 1:31 am #33333
The social engineers never say it but it’s behind their words: Let’s force women to want to be mathematicians and commandos and men to want to become veterinarians or kindergarten teachers. Until we get an absolutely or largely approximate even distribution of the genders in every field, we have failed as a society.
That’s horseshit.September 27, 2020 at 6:31 am #33336
I looked at the date on the article you referred me to, and it seems to be a product of days gone by 50 years ago), at a time when Ms. Magazine had burst on the scene
Karen Lampell Endicott is an ethnographer and an anthropologist: a scientist. As such, she’s there to report the facts as she finds them. As am I. Neither of us is interested in distorting facts with an ulterior motive of trying to prove a prior position. We both go where the apparent facts lead us.
Hidden behind your rhetoric is the assumption that sex roles are somehow bad.
You’re wrong. I don’t think anything about sex roles – they’re neither good nor bad, they just are.
I think that the control of women’s sexuality, and placing them in a lower status than men, by society, violates norms of fairness and human rights.
This is different from gender roles.
From this book by Kirk and Karen Endicott: “The Headman was a Woman – the gender egalitarian Batek of Malaysia”:
Explaining the Division of Labour
… When we asked why women or men were more active in particular activities, Batek often explained it in terms of presumed physiological differences between the sexes. For example, … one reason they gave for the predominance of men in blowpipe hunting was that men had stronger breath than women. Tanyogn, one of the fittest women we knew, told us that she could not blow a dart hard enough to pierce the skin of an animal. People also explained some men’s specialties in terms of their supposed greater strength, especially in the upper body and arms. This was given as the reason wy men did most of the more challenging tree climbing, why they chopped down most large trees, and why they carried bigger loads of rattan than women. Men’s greater strength was also cited as the reason why men more often than women did the jobs, such as blowpipe hunting and seraching for gaharu wood, that might bring them into contact with tigers and elephants. Supposedly men could fight off or get away from dangerous animals better than women.
On the other hand, Batek believed that women were physiologically better equipped than men to care for small children, presumably because only women could nurse them. People explained women’s lack of participation in some jobs in terms of incompatibility with child care. …
We see no reason to doubt the Batek’s own explanations of the influence of physiological differences on the gender division of labout.September 27, 2020 at 4:53 pm #33346
Simon, even scientists are engaged with their times. Scientists were there to apply science to their racial beliefs, for example. I’m talking about the eugenics movement. Those were real scientists. Add in feminism, which is a political movement today, and the possibility of unconscious confirmation bias raises its head.
You talk about “society” as if it’s a conscious being, deciding what’s possible for women, as if women are not conscious social participants or agents in it. Politicians are voted in by women as well as men. Women over and over prefer male candidates often enough that our governance is largely male. While you stand on your head to deny that men and women simply ARE different, science tells us that women as well as men prefer lower-pitched voices in our leaders.
We have a largely egalitarian society. Women prefer to work with animals and children and plants over mathematical formulas, engineering problems, and even pounding nails on a construction site, and it can’t all be put down to society.
Women are better at some things, naturally, and men at others, equally naturally. Why are there no truly great female painters? Yes, you have Cassat and O’Keefe, but Cassat is a minor impressionist at best and O’Keefe’s art is obviously decorative. Female painters, free to paint whatever they want, simply don’t paint with the psychological depth of a Rembrandt, Vermeer, or Picasso.
The situation is even more extreme in music, not a field that we normally think of as sexist, since if you look at almost any classical orchestra, sometimes it seems there are more female players than male. I can’t think of even one major female composer of large-scale works, can you? If you go to Wikipedia and search on “List of female composers by birth date,” go down the list and if you can find a famous or important female composer on the list, you’re a better man than I am.
Is this all because of a societal prejudice against women so strong that we wouldn’t want to see a great painting or hear a great symphony merely because they were done by a female? Don’t make me laugh.
Now as to that lengthy quote, it provides a quite plausible practical explanation for some of the differences between gender roles, many of them still at least somewhat applicable today (men can’t nurse babies, women ain’t good at rasslin’ bears, LOL). It explains why it’s not sexist to have sports teams separated by gender or even a pay differential in various fields.
I find it weird that so many of those seeking justice for women can so easily write off biology. I’m referring to testosterone vs. estrogen, which largely differentiate men from women. Women can excel at bodybuilding, but those who do either have naturally high testosterone or unnaturally high testosterone, and along with more testosterone comes higher aggression levels, a characteristic of males I think is hard to deny.
So, you guys go on with your silly contrary to common sense theory that women have been duped by a sinister “society” (in which they are full participants, BTW) into preferring biology, teaching, child care, and veterinary science to male dominated fields like math, physics, engineering, and composing symphonies. I’ll continue to see it as just following from the fact that men and women are different…naturally.
September 27, 2020 at 5:58 pm #33351
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Unseen.
in which they are full participants
That’s the nature of social norms: they apply to everyone, and everyone tends to buy into them. Patriarchy is a set of social norms aimed at the oppression of women (among some probable benefits for women and children, such as male chivalry).
After all, as I’m informed by a very “woke” feminist, women are the ones who carry out FGM.
The quote from the book that I gave, shows that your position that Karen Endicott is biased in favour of feminism as you see it, is inconsistent.September 27, 2020 at 6:21 pm #33352
in which they are full participants
That’s the nature of social norms: they apply to everyone, and everyone tends to buy into them. Patriarchy is a set of social norms aimed at the oppression of women (among some probable benefits for women and children, such as male chivalry). After all, as I’m informed by a very “woke” feminist, women are the ones who carry out FGM.
Your view, as with so much of “woke” feminism, implies that un-woke women are just not as smart as woke women, otherwise they’d be woke, right? I mean, apparently men and woke women “get it” more than un-woke women do. Because…?
Now, your contingent is at pains to make men and women primarily different due to socialization. You continue to hold that biology and physiology play at best a minor or incidental role. Yet, when it comes to our brains, men and women are vastly different. To wit…
1. Men and women use different parts of the brain to handle the same task.
2. A woman’s brain is 10% smaller than a man’s brain, according to overall brain volume. However, it does not affect the levels of intelligence, and scientists are unsure of which regions hold the volume differences.
3. With age, the male brain shrinks faster than the female.
4. Women are more capable of managing multiple tasks, flowing simultaneously, while men tend to get irritated when they have to do several things at the same time. However, scientists have emphasized that it’s just a general tendency and not conclusive evidence.
5. But… Men are faster to absorb information, so they are more responsive.
6. Women tend to remember all the details, while men usually keep the main point in mind.
7. If a man is lost, he will remember the direction and the traveled distance, and a woman will remember reference points on the road.
8. Similarly, a male driver remembers the numeric value of the distance, while a woman driver usually remembers different road signs and shop windows.
9. Yes, everyone was waiting for this topic, so here it is: men think about sex more often than women. A study found that in a one-week period, the average number of sex-related thoughts in men was 18.6 and for women, it was 9. Of course, it’s not true for nymphomaniacs or people with various mental disorders.
10. Men tend to be more analytic and, therefore, excel at exact sciences, and women have higher empathy and are thus better at social sciences.
11. Men and women respond differently to harsh and irritating sounds.
12. Women also tend to be more talkative. The pleasure center of the female brain could have to do with their sociability. So, in general, conversation brings more pleasure to women. Women seem to use nearly three times as many words a day as men do. (Of course, if we don’t consider introverted women)
13. When a loved one hugs a woman, it improves her happiness and self-confidence.
14. Men and women have a different perception of humor. Men are more focused on a funny outcome of a story or a show, while women are more likely to enjoy the subtleties of humor and the used language.
15. Women are, by nature, more sociable as they find social interaction more rewarding, as we have said above. At the same time, men are more aggressively competitive. That is why men are more likely to engage in a fight. For the same reason, women may get irritated by the fact that men refuse to support long conversations with them.
16. The male ear is weaker than its female counterpart. That is why women can hear subtle intonations and men – not always so. Also, in terms of tactile perception, men lose.
17. Women tend to have more fully developed organizational skills.
18. If a man sees a ball on the road, he will probably hit it, while a woman is likely to pick it up.
19. Female brains heat up more, as more glucose is “burnt”.
20. Men perceive speech with logic so that they hear exactly what is said, while women use their intuition and emotion. This helps women easier see hints and hidden meanings behind other people’s words.
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