Feminism for Dummies.

(210 Posts)
Ilovemyself Mon 20-May-13 20:45:45

Ok. Here goes.

Apologies if I have offended anyone with my posts since I started using the site. I certainly didn't mean to.

I am all for equality, be it based on sex, race, sexuality, or whatever subculture you area member of.

I have been surprised at the level of vitriol aimed at me because of my (rather poorly worded )comments.

I understand that in every fight for equality there will be those for who the fight is an ever consuming thing. And there will also be those who have been down trodden for so long they will snap at the slightest thing against them. And that there will be those who feel that because they have been oppressed for so long it is their right to be in a dominant position.

For those that want to tip the balance in the opposite direction, I will always disagree. Equality is what we should aim for in all walks of life. These are those who I referred to when I said taking things too far - for promoting something other than equality.

But for the other groups, should I walk on eggshells for fear of offending them, or should say my piece, apologise if I offend, and carry on.

Or am I completely wrong in viewing feminism as a fight for equality when it is actually a fight for women to be in a dominant position over men.

I hope I get some answers here - I certainly don't want a repeat of the last 24 hours. Thanks all.

PromQueenWithin Tue 28-May-13 21:46:29

I suppose I should be more careful about citing one paper to try and prove a point, because its never as simple as that.

My sole point is this: arsenaltilidie you seem to imply that there is some sort of scientific consensus about evolutionary psychology and mate selection having an influence upon gender equality, and will refuse to back down until we show "studies" that disprove your point.

This recent paper in a very well regarded journal shows that no such scientific consensus exists, so I'd consider your certainty misplaced.

Dervel Wed 29-May-13 08:20:19

Am I being supremely dense, but does it fundamentally not matter which exact combination of nature/nurture we are dealing with? If its nurture maybe we can get this gender issue resolved in a few generations of raising children properly. If it it's nature it will take several thousands of years worth of evolution to catch up. Either way and no matter how long it takes gender balance is a worthwhile destination.

arsenaltilidie Wed 29-May-13 12:20:33

^will not necessarily benefit from
a discourse based on the language of genetics or biology more
generally^
Basically from what I understand he is basically saying we should be careful when discuss genetics biology.
He also goes on to recommend doctors should not 'stereotype' some patients, ie. Mexican patient passing urine a lot - investigate diabetes.

Natural selection and mate selection are 2 similar but distinct choices.
The professor above discusses about genetics on a more natural selection bases, ie. they maybe some differences between groups, but they are so minute we shouldn't discriminate. Whole heartedly agree.

Mate selection on the other hand has a lot to do with testosterone.

the docto smell, eyes and physical attraction is what creates the spark.
Everything else is secondary. I suppose that's what separates a man you get along with to a man you want to shag.
Dervel probably doesn't matter. Its just an understanding how societies are formed. The more we understand the better chance there is to come up with a solution.

arsenaltilidie Wed 29-May-13 12:26:05

grimble I just didnt want to get into a debate about what men find attractive.

PromQueenWithin Wed 29-May-13 12:49:43

But arsenal, natural selection works through mate selection (i.e. only the 'fittest' survive to breed and thus to pass down those characteristics that enabled them to survive in their environment). One can't mate with someone who has died because they don't possess very good survival characteristics, no?

Your whole argument (as I understand it) is that men and women are naturally different, and those differences arose through natural selection because women (who you assume are the choosers in most circumstances) actively chose 'manly men' with high levels of testosterone.

You may well be correct (if we sweep under the carpet that for most of history, most women weren't allowed to choose who they bore children with).

My argument is that it doesn't matter whether you are correct or not, but that the 'biology' argument is used to justify oppression of women into certain roles that are less valued by society, purely upon this biological argument that we do not know for certain is correct but has come to be accepted as true in our culture (that's the social conditioning part, by the way) and further, that respected academics in peer reviewed papers in good journals warn us about using these biological arguments as though they were simple facts that can predict behaviour.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 29-May-13 13:16:43

Wanting to shag someone and wanting to reproduce with them are separable thanks to societal developments.

I might want to shag George Clooney. I wouldn't want to reproduce with him because he's considerably older than me, lives in another country, is famous and I don't want to be etc. The society I live in gives me that kind of choice. If it didn't, the spark could be as big as anything and I would make a decision not to risk conceiving with him because of the societal factors.

I'm sure you too have been attracted to women that you didn't want to have children with - Carol Vorderman, mentioned by you, is almost certainly not going to be bearing any (more) children.

It's impossible to ignore that humans have a different set of decision processes to animals because they operate within social structures.

grimbletart Wed 29-May-13 13:18:51

OK Arsenal: I was just trying to establish whether you were thinking in stereotypes or whether you actually had some hard evidence that defines the terms you used. smile

It feeds into what PromQueen is saying in her last post. Nature or nurture it doesn't really matter. If we (i.e. everyone) cannot escape thinking in simplistic stereotypes we will never escape the you Tarzan me Jane type of thinking. And that is bad because it induces a mindset that limits the range of life possibilities for both men and women.

Dervel Wed 29-May-13 15:06:11

We could be debating all this until the cows come home, and nowhere nearer the truth (although several have made some very educated guesses that have made interesting reading). Before I got into feminism I had distilled the issue down to one primary observation. I realise it is an oversimplification, but often I like to go back to basics in my own mind to recapture how I feel about an issue.

As a man I was raised to grow up, be myself and make my mark on the world. Feminism aside for a moment, I don't think I can think of a time in my life where enough women have been given the same, and in this instance I mean in society's attitude via education and media. Several generations ago most women were in a very immediate and real way controlled by men, and told what to be, how to dress etc etc.

Ok hopefully in day to day life fewer women are directly controlled and subjugated to the will of individual males (although certainly that is still a very real concern). Yet in the wider spectrum I don't see anywhere near enough messages directed at little girls cherishing the individual identity they possess, that from which the strength and drive flows to do be all they want in life.

Consider the whole Disney Princess line, why just Princess and not Queen? It is almost as if society wants to keep women retarded in some sort of bizarre childlike/adolescent state. Obsession over youth which is quite the reverse amongst men as society often praises and celebrates attractiveness in older males.

My guess at a solution? A celebration of the individual, women have to be stopped being told what to do. Period. All I see are how women are supposed to be mothers, supposed to be career minded, supposed in short to be anything that society needs them to be in a way men simply aren't.

Can I ask, might be a totally wrong thing so apologies, but ages ago I remember hearing about bears and how they had evolved smaller females for the purpose of feeding baby bears. Easier to find food for self and baby bear if self does not need to eat masses to grow really big. I have tried looking but can't find this argument so wonder if it is true. It's only bearing (to me) on the subject of the oppression of women is that if true it kind of shows we look at the 'condition' of bigger males and smaller females and assume it must be about the male, where as if this is true it is about the females.

Just a thought.

If you want to inspire girls, and be inspired by them, try....

towardthestars.com/AboutUs.html

and

https://www.facebook.com/TowardTheStars?hc_location=stream

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