Is it possible that we are second best?

(195 Posts)
Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 17:29:43

Is it conceivable that the reason women are STILL struggling for equal recognition for their achievements, equal pay, equal respect etc etc is that we are just not as good at a lot of things as men are??
This is a pretty horrifying thought that´s been niggling at the back of my mind for a little while and I REALLY want you lot to convince me otherwise!!

Here´s the deal: I´ve ALWAYS had feminist leanings, stood up for myself, been OUTRAGED whenever anyone has suggested I am in any way inferior or less able to do something based on gender. I was the lone voice at my rather conservative university questioning the status quo, whilst my very intelligent female colleagues (academically, at any rate) would prepare sandwiches for their boyfriends on a Saturday night so they´d have something to stave off the munchies when they staggered back from their drunken boys´nights out. eyeroll
BUT........lately I´m thinking that equality isn´t that straight forward and most of the time it seems we females are out to self-sabotage! Look at all these ridiculous sex-kitten role models that so many girls aspire to be like- one after the other of these female pop stars sells out her integrity and talent to become over-sexed and under-dressed. "Rah rah...girl-power"...my ass! (or rather, HER barely-covered ass!) Their one and only aim seems to be to lay it all out there for men to "come and get it". (Oh gawd...I sound like some prudish Mother Grundy...haha...but SERIOUSLY...can somebody please shut Rihanna and her gurlfriends up??!!)
Yes women are safer drivers as in they have fewer accidents, but my God, I´ve seen some cringey moments with women who just cannot for the love of all things holy park their OWN cars.
And in the work place....we definitely lack the confidence that men have. (I include myself here) I´m in the medical field and I have to be honest....sometimes feminine self-doubt is not at all helpful when it comes to the big decisions. Men are still the top surgeons and it isn´t lack of opportunity as I see it....it´s because they believe in themselves and are prepared to take chances.
And yes, you might say it´s down to conditioning, blah blah...but I think it´s fundamentally testosterone that gives them the edge in so many ways. No matter how much we like to think otherwise, we are sabotaged by our hormones! They make us focus on having babies, being submissive, under-confident and lacking in ambition in our otherwise most productive years.
I´m all ears to hear as many opinions as possible on this!

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 21:22:53

Hey Annieg.. I saw that list of female inventors which was pretty cool and computer programmer was listed but back in the 1800´s.......eh?? Queen Vic had a laptop? Was that a mistake or are we talking some very rudimentary type? Lol

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 21:23:08

Here it is: http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0768070.html

tribpot Wed 02-Jan-13 21:25:39

Computer programming / computation has its origins in the dim and distant past. They didn't tend to use it for Tweeting and watching the iPlayer, mind you. (More fool them).

Anniegetyourgun Wed 02-Jan-13 21:26:46

What women are given credit for being better at, and what they're actually better at, aren't necessarily the same things.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 02-Jan-13 21:27:17

The 'first computer programmer' unfortunately didn't have an actual computer to work on.

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 21:30:31

I base my hormone argument (loosely) on a documentary I saw regarding male/female brains and the effects of hormones and especially testosterone.....it is undeniable that it plays a big role in competitiveness, drive, ambition and ruthlessness which, yes in today´s capitalist world, is what gets us ahead. A women´s testosterone stays pretty low during her main fertile tears but starts to rise around menopause....*Hello facial hair, me old friend!*...and THAT is when many women, freed of child rearing responsibilities, etc find a new drive and will even become entrepeneural, etc etc

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 21:31:35

Oops...fertile years that is grin

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 21:33:05

Lol....*Grimma*...so what was she programming? An abacus?

Anniegetyourgun Wed 02-Jan-13 21:36:29

Babbage's Difference Engine, an automated calculating machine. I believe it resides in the Science Museum to this day.

AbigailAdams Wed 02-Jan-13 21:36:48

OP do you believe women are oppressed? And where does male violence fit into your neat little view of how women bring inequality upon themselves and if only we didn't make it "them and us" men would graciously allow us to be equal and give up their privilege?

Oh and being "befuddled" had f all to do with hormones and everything to do with sleep deprivation and tiredness.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 02-Jan-13 21:38:12

Ada Lovelace wrote what might have been the first 'computer algorithm' but Babbage never finished building his mechanical 'computer'.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 02-Jan-13 21:41:51

A woman also wrote (the basis of) COBOL, a computing language used extremely widely in business applications (I learned it for a government system I worked on in the 1980s). And I think another one co-wrote FORTRAN. A lot of the code-breakers at Bletchley Park during WW2 were also women. Women are good at this analytical brain stuff.

PurityBrown Wed 02-Jan-13 21:48:00

She wrote algorithms for Babbage's theoretical Analytical Engine

Babbage developed his Analytical and Difference engines as early punchcard calculating machines. Ada extrapolated this from mere number crunching to a program generating Bernoulli numbers

HandbagCrab Wed 02-Jan-13 21:56:18

Do you honestly think women aren't very good at computer games because of hormones and pregnancy? Have men been the dominant sex in society for many years because some women are frightened of spiders? Your stream of conciousness rants are hard to follow, what are you trying to say? Who are you trying to be devils advocate for?

I think you have been very fortunate with your responses here and that people are being very kind and patient to explain things to you. I hope that you are taking some of this on board.

AbigailAdams Wed 02-Jan-13 22:00:13

I agree HandbagCrab. I thought you were taking the piss Pinky tbh.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 02-Jan-13 22:04:39

My brother's frightened of spiders. His wife has to put them outside for him.

FamilyGuy22 Wed 02-Jan-13 22:21:22

Pinkypoops

But FamilyGuy22, don´t you think that a lot of the stuff that women are given credit for, for being better at are often things that society sees as of lesser importance? (we´ll exclude childbirth here...haha)

LOL @ childbirth grin

I don't know. Off the top of my head (and also to loosely answer GrimmaTheNome's question) I have the following:

HR/recruitment/employment
PR
Healthcare
Education
Social care

These are definitely not jobs of lesser importance. Last time I checked my dentist was female, as was my solicitor, recruitment consultant, hairdresser (salon owner), mortgage adviser and GP. The head of my daughters school is a woman and has led the school to consistent outstanding status by Ofsted. The manager of my gym is also female, as was the VC of my uni. These are real women in decent jobs that have all had a positive impact on my life and deserve credit.

blueshoes Wed 02-Jan-13 22:30:51

Men generally have the advantage of an uninterrupted career. Women often have to make stark choices around the time they have children whether to continue to work ft, pt or drop out completely. It is the latter 2 choices which sabotage women's visible success in the capitalist economy IMO.

That and confidence which means a ft time working woman may end up not achieving as much as a ft working man, particularly since she is outnumbered and does not have the support networks that men do. I do believe testosterone has a role to play in men's success.

qumquat Wed 02-Jan-13 22:41:09

Family guy - not jobs of lower importance but definitely jobs of lower status and pay to male dominated professions.

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 22:42:14

Actually, AbigailA it has a WHOLE lot to do with hormones, prolactin in particular to name one, but yes, sleep depro too.
And is it really necessary to adopt an aggressive tone here? Just because I may express some ideas that may not sit comfortably with you, doesn´t mean you have to go on the attack shock
And of course I most certainly do not feel that ANY behaviour on the part of women justifies male violence (again- a whole other subject)....however when one of the world´s biggest female role-models is beaten black and blue by her partner and then is seen to be possibly reconciling with him along with singing lyrics that could possibly be seen to be inviting more violence against herself, one does kind of despair of the message that sends out to would-be abusers.
I´m just saying that women must also assume some responsibility for being in a position of weakness in some cases. Those of us who try to take a stand and prove that we are equal members of the species are quite often let down by others who seem to want to stay in a position of weakness and powerlessness.
And Handbag, it´s a huge subject, so if I seem to be jumping about from one example to the next, it´s that I am trying to respond to various people´s ideas and comments all at once. Sorry if it doesn´t make sense to you but if you honestly understand from my posts that I think it´s all down to a feminine fear of spiders then ...well... perhaps read no further- you´ll just get more annoyed, I fear!

blueshoes Wed 02-Jan-13 22:48:18

Handbagcrab, what a patronising post to the OP. Is that how you win people over to your views?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 02-Jan-13 22:51:52

I think if we were to judge the sexes by the examples set by rock/pop stars the blokes wouldn't be doing too well either. Is Rhianna really a 'role model' to many women? confused

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 22:54:04

Good point. Grimma....sadly I fear she is to some...eeek....and to teenage girls shudder

Pinkypoops Wed 02-Jan-13 22:55:25

Ta, Blueshoes smile

kim147 Wed 02-Jan-13 23:02:54

I'll just say at this point that my highly successful, confident, outgoing sister told me "that feminism has gone too far with this equality thing" and she still likes being treated like a lady and having men buy her meals and open doors for her.

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