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Thread: Gender Issues: Biological and Cultural Origins

  1. #1
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    The Sexual Politics of Men and Women

    What is the first question most people ask when they hear of someone who's had a new baby? Seven words - "Is it a boy or a girl?" Why are we so eager to know this, above questions like: "How is the mother doing?" or, "Were there any complications?" If the newborn is of the same gender as ourselves, we can't wait to indoctrinate that new life with the same outlook we were brainwashed with. And if the baby is of the other gender, we say, "Oh, that's nice".

    My intention here isn't to dwell on what difference in treatment there is between boys and girls. We are all familiar with the stereotypical competitive sports curriculum given to boys and the cooperative doll curriculum given to girls. Rather, my interest in this thread is to tease out what the sum total of all that differential socialization is. What does it amount to, and what assumptions are reflected by it? What is the identity and philosophy of a human being that we refer to as being that of either a man, or that of a woman in our culture? What are the sexual politics that each parent seeks to imbue their same-sex offspring with? What of these gender catechisms are universal amonst all human cultures? In short, what do fathers teach their sons that they don't want mom to know about, and what do mothers teach their daughters that they don't want dad to know about?

    The basic facts of life for each sex are unchanging but the relations between them are always defined by a cultural context that is ever-evolving. By analyzing this context in which the sexes choose to mate and or reproduce, we can infer what sexual politics they each held that made them desirable to the other. So given our current state of culture, here is my opinion of what appear to be the sexual politics of each gender at this time in the U.S.:

    The Sexual Politics of Women:
    Underlying Assumption: Females are biologically motivated to maximize the likelyhood of survival of their offspring and therefore tend to prefer only mates whose wealth and status exceeds that of their own.

    - roughly 25 years on your biological clock (from mid teens to about age 40)
    - your XX chromosomes are the default gender for humans
    - estrogen and other hormones give you soft skin and a more attractive face and body but increased vulnerability to osteoporosis in late life
    - able to conceal sexual arousal
    - pain from large pendulous breasts can hamper rapid movement
    - possess inherent value to males, regardless of economic or social status
    - sex appeal to most men decreases with age
    - (under current abortion laws) have sole discretion to terminate a pregnancy or bring it to term thus extracting 18 years of economic liability from men
    - initiate divorce 2/3 of the time
    - retain custody of offspring 86% of the time following a divorce
    - hardly ever have to pay alimony to males
    - can expect men to move heavy things for them
    - can extract free things from men merely for showing a willingness to talk
    - are vulnerable to rape and assualt from males
    - study a subject in school that interests you especially if you are homely and thus unable to use a man for his money or for when your looks fade
    - childbirth is likely to setback your career opportunities because men are socialized into thinking nurturance of the young is unmanly and because the state and corporations under industrial capitalism care little for the personal lives of workers
    - life expectancy is about 79.8 years

    The Sexual Politics of Men:
    Underlying Assumption: Males are biologically motivated to maximize their quantity of sexual partners, but consciously attempt to thwart the reproductive outcome through some form of contraception, due to the economic consequences that society imposes upon parents.

    - biological clock is virtually unlimited (from mid teens to death)
    - your XY chromosomes are vulnerable to congenital defects
    - testosterone makes you stronger but also less attractive and more awkward
    - has difficulty concealing sexual arousal
    - testicles are extremely vulnerable to injury
    - possess little if any inherent value to females apart from the obtainment of high economic or social status
    - sex appeal to most females tends to increase with the accumulation of wealth and status
    - at the mercy of female discretion for whether to be compelled to 18 years of economic liability for a pregnancy or not
    - initiate divorce only 1/3 of the time
    - retain custody of offspring just 14% of the time
    - hardly ever receive alimony from females
    - can expect women to ask for their help in moving heavy things
    - can expect more sexual opportunities if they buy things for females
    - are vulnerable to false accusations of rape or assault of females
    - study a subject in school that is likely to earn you enough income to attract a female
    - parenthood is likely to incur even more economic pressure from females
    - life expectancy is about 74.4 years

    What do you think? Please be temperate and show personal courtesy in your comments - not because hostile sounding remarks rile me (I can take them ), but because I don't want the mods to extinguish this on account of flames . We talk all the time about political differences between republicans and democrats, and do so with civility. We should be able to do the same thing with men and women. I really want to know the answers to these questions because I really think there is a cult aspect to each gender. So much so, that many of us don't really want to even admit it to ourselves . If you disagree that there is a cult aspect to each gender, then why do little boys and girls play apart in seperate groups in all denial of their sexual instincts? I think it has a lot to do with what mummy and daddy inculcate in them.
    Last edited by dobopoq; 11 Jul 2006 at 3:56 PM.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    What would you rather one ask? "Does it look like a shrivled red prune or doesn't it?" "Has it been crying constantly?" Gender is a safe thing to ask that makes you sound interested without being offensive. Plus it leads into other questions, "Oh really, what's her name?"

    Banter is a huge part of interpersonal relations. I get the sense that you might be a bit lacking in that department.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    A couple of suggestions, dob. There is evidently an earnest desire on your part to explore gender-personality related issues and that's perfectly cool. As a frustrated anthropologist I agree It IS an interesting area. There are lots of folks here, I'm sure, willing to discuss these sorts of issues that have all sorts of insightful, contrary, and/or similar opinions. However, I think #1 your subject focus is far too broad to elicit helpful responses or relevant information. If you were perhaps to limit the scope of the discussion to a few specific examples I think you'd get many more helpful/insightful responses. #2 based on your remarks about 'not wanting the mods to extinguish this on account of flames', we may assume you are quite deliberately playing provacateur (aka trolling) - particularly in light of value-laden/loaded remarks like
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Females are biologically motivated to maximize the likelyhood of survival of their offspring and therefore essentially choose to prostitute themselves to the highest bidder.
    It is one thing to recognize that subject matter is likely to draw impassioned responses because it is known to be controversial it is another thing to intentionally employ language purely to provoke an emotional response. Using the above quote for example the term 'prostitute' in that context denotes a moral judgement and is indiscriminantly applied to all women. Yes, it will piss off lots of women and probably lose a number of potentially insightful responses.

    Tell you what, I'm going to start a similar thread, and deal with the subject matter a little differently. Why don't you read some of the responses and if someone makes an interesting remark perhaps you may wish to respond specifically to that. We have great confidence that you are both capable and willing to engage in these sorts of discussions in a positive and respectful manner.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    A couple of suggestions, dob. There is evidently an earnest desire on your part to explore gender-personality related issues and that's perfectly cool. As a frustrated anthropologist I agree It IS an interesting area. There are lots of folks here, I'm sure, willing to discuss these sorts of issues that have all sorts of insightful, contrary, and/or similar opinions. However, I think #1 your subject focus is far too broad to elicit helpful responses or relevant information. If you were perhaps to limit the scope of the discussion to a few specific examples I think you'd get many more helpful/insightful responses. #2 based on your remarks about 'not wanting the mods to extinguish this on account of flames', we may assume you are quite deliberately playing provacateur (aka trolling) - particularly in light of value-laden/loaded remarks like It is one thing to recognize that subject matter is likely to draw impassioned responses because it is known to be controversial it is another thing to intentionally employ language purely to provoke an emotional response. Using the above quote for example the term 'prostitute' in that context denotes a moral judgement and is indiscriminantly applied to all women. Yes, it will piss off lots of women and probably lose a number of potentially insightful responses.

    Tell you what, I'm going to start a similar thread, and deal with the subject matter a little differently. Why don't you read some of the responses and if someone makes an interesting remark perhaps you may wish to respond specifically to that. We have great confidence that you are both capable and willing to engage in these sorts of discussions in a positive and respectful manner.
    Thanks for the advice, I see your point. Where I think the word "prostitute" conveys the meaning I'm looking for, is to summarize the concept that: "How much money a man has is more important to a woman, than how much money a woman has is to a man". The more troublesome associations of the word "prostitute" is as someone who is paid to sexually service someone. Perhaps I need to invent a word or term that summerizes the former concept, bereft of the latter. I have duly noted your suggestion by editing it to say: "therefore tend to prefer only mates whose wealth and status exceeds that of their own." Is this less provocative?

    I look forward to your thread.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Politics of Women
    For the most part do what ever you want, as long as you think that it might be the right thing to do, or if it is something that you really want to do.

    Politics of Men
    For the most part, do what ever you want, as long as you think that it might be the right thing to do, or if it is something that you really want to do, and your woman says it is ok. If a woman is too demanding, you’re screwed.

    Stick by those rules and life will not rain on you.

    Off-topic:
    I think that this would be a good time to get a bag of popcorn, turn on the auto refresh, and watch the bloodshed begin.
    Last edited by michaelskis; 11 Jul 2006 at 4:21 PM.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    dob, I echo Maisters comments.. I sense a lot of bitterness in your word choices. That may be an incorrect sense, but nonetheless...will not allow the discussion to continue without flames/attacks.

    That being said. In my experience, *most* women are not more attracted to monentarily successful males. In my experience most women want to be charmed, "swept off their feet" and feel protected and secure. Money helps to achieve this in our society, but to say women go for the cash may be missing the biological drive that causes the phenomenon.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    What would you rather one ask? "Does it look like a shrivled red prune or doesn't it?" "Has it been crying constantly?" Gender is a safe thing to ask that makes you sound interested without being offensive. Plus it leads into other questions, "Oh really, what's her name?"

    Banter is a huge part of interpersonal relations. I get the sense that you might be a bit lacking in that department.
    I don't deny asking the gender, is a useful question. I'm just trying to show an example of the pink and blue forces of culture that immediately descend upon the newborn, ready to graft a set of differential expectations.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I think dobopog's list is deliberately skewed in listing the "bad" things women supposedly do. Here's a few more:

    Yes, you can expect the man to move heavy furniture, but you will be expected to spend many more hours doing housework than he does, cook most of the meals, take care of the kids and drive them wherever they need to go, be the one to leave work when they get sick, and sit docilely in the passenger seat whenever you go anywhere together because he'll insist on driving (even if it's your car).

    The man will be insecure if you make more money than he does.

    The man will likely take a mistress by the time you are 40; at this time, you will become one of the women in that two-thirds who initiate divorce.

    The man only wants you because you have big boobs and blonde hair. Your personality and intelligence means nothing to him. If you are homely, he must be after your family's money. If he is good-looking, he's a cad.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most women were not schooled by mom in how to "trap a man", although I am sure it still happens. And yes, it turns men into an object defined by what they have, not what they are. I have a son, so I really can't say if there is anything "secret" that I would pass along to a daughter.

    On the other hand, I am sure some fathers pass along the treatment of women as "objects" to their sons. There are too many men my age who want younger, very attractive women so they can be envied by their peers.

  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Gender Issues: Biological and Cultural Origins

    Nature has assigned certain gender roles based on biology. Some have very obvious biological origins (e.g. females of our species bear the young and feed them, or males have traditionally been the 'protectors' based on superior upper body strength and higher testosterone/aggression levels), other roles, however, have more obvious cultural origins than biological (e.g. why are there far more male than female rock guitarists).

    Given that technology has provided such incredibly potent tools is there a compelling reason that, say, a woman couldn't be an awesome warrior (how much strength does it require to pull a trigger or ride a vehicle to a combat zone?). Or while not a technological issue, why don't we see more males working as elementary ed teachers (women don't have a monopoly on nurturing behavior after all)?

    There are many such examples of behavior which could be argued to have either some biological or social origins. Feel free to list/discuss your own.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I can tell this is going to get ugly. You make so many sweeping generalizations, it's a little silly.

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Politics of Men
    For the most part, do what ever you want, as long as you think that it might be the right thing to do, or if it is something that you really want to do, and your woman says it is ok. If a woman is too demanding, you’re screwed.
    That sounds familiar. Oh yeah....
    Quote Originally posted by Benjamin Franklin
    He would thrive must ask his wive
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    why don't we see more males working as elementary ed teachers
    Sex abuse witchhunts. I've known of a number of men who've gotten out of the education field because of them.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Nature has assigned certain gender roles based on biology. Some have very obvious biological origins (e.g. females of our species bear the young and feed them, or males have traditionally been the 'protectors' based on superior upper body strength and higher testosterone/aggression levels), other roles, however, have more obvious cultural origins than biological (e.g. why are there far more male than female rock guitarists).
    This well frames a lot of what I was trying to get at here: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25480

    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Given that technology has provided such incredibly potent tools is there a compelling reason that, say, a woman couldn't be an awesome warrior (how much strength does it require to pull a trigger or ride a vehicle to a combat zone?). Or while not a technological issue, why don't we see more males working as elementary ed teachers (women don't have a monopoly on nurturing behavior after all)?
    I think as technology has increased (exponentially since the early 1800's), the greater strength of males has become increasingly less of a factor. However, barring a huge investment in renewable energy, I question whether we will not eventually return to a more agricultural way of life toward the end of this century, in which the physical strength differential between the sexes would no longer be as insignificant as it is today.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    You know, now that you mention it, we don’t see too many guys working at daycares.

    As for women worriers, what about Joan of Ark? If you two got in a fight, my money would be on her.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    ^-- I've never thought of Joan of Arc as doing mucy worrying.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    I think dobopog's list is deliberately skewed in listing the "bad" things women supposedly do. Here's a few more:

    Yes, you can expect the man to move heavy furniture, but you will be expected to spend many more hours doing housework than he does, cook most of the meals, take care of the kids and drive them wherever they need to go, be the one to leave work when they get sick, and sit docilely in the passenger seat whenever you go anywhere together because he'll insist on driving (even if it's your car).

    The man will be insecure if you make more money than he does.

    The man will likely take a mistress by the time you are 40; at this time, you will become one of the women in that two-thirds who initiate divorce.

    The man only wants you because you have big boobs and blonde hair. Your personality and intelligence means nothing to him. If you are homely, he must be after your family's money. If he is good-looking, he's a cad.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most women were not schooled by mom in how to "trap a man", although I am sure it still happens. And yes, it turns men into an object defined by what they have, not what they are. I have a son, so I really can't say if there is anything "secret" that I would pass along to a daughter.

    On the other hand, I am sure some fathers pass along the treatment of women as "objects" to their sons. There are too many men my age who want younger, very attractive women so they can be envied by their peers.
    Well feminists have said "for women, marriage is slavery". Clearly, your comments address these issues. It is also said that "for men, divorce is slavery". My comments were certainly more concerned with this.

    What might change politically between the sexes if a fertility drug allowed women to become pregnant and give birth into old age? I cannot help but feel that a lot of the angst I feel for the way women regard men, stems from the unfair contraints of biology that force a woman to make a decision about reproduction in a couple of decades. This must constrain a woman's every thought about the future. To me, this explains why men on average, are more into history, politics and the future than women are. Women's interest in the future IMO tends to be more limited to their offspring and their personal relationships. But, I think women tend to be more helpful to people on an individual basis, while men are prone to merely talk about collective political issues.

    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Sex abuse witchhunts. I've known of a number of men who've gotten out of the education field because of them.
    Good point. Beyond the age of consent, at least a charge of teacher-student sex is only career threatening rather than criminal. Men are constantly on guard for accussations of aggression. In a sense, the more hysteria there is about pedophilia, the more reason we give men to avoid children.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 12 Jul 2006 at 9:42 AM.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  17. #17
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    As for women worriers.....


    Quote Originally posted by Michaelskis
    You know, now that you mention it, we don’t see too many guys working at daycares.
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Sex abuse witchhunts. I've known of a number of men who've gotten out of the education field because of them
    There's definitely suspicion cast on any male who wishes to work in a traditionally female dominated field. Think about it nursing, childcare, elementary ed., secretarial, and many other jobs. Since the assumption is that one could provide much better subsistance for oneself or family by working in a traditional male job (yep, guys still make more $$$ than women and still dominate the upper management positions in most fields), it begs the question 'what is motivating a male to want to work in this field?' Is he a fan of Michael Jackson? Does he hum showtunes to himself? Thanks to the womens lib movement of the 60's/70's women working in tradtionally male dominated fields don't raise eyebrows in that way (but certainly continue to deal with a host of other gender-bias related issues)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  18. #18
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    What might change politically between the sexes if a fertility drug allowed women to become pregnant and give birth into old age? I cannot help but feel that a lot of the angst I feel for the way women regard men, stems from the unfair contraints of biology that force a woman to make a decision about reproduction in a couple of decades.
    As one of the resident fertility experts on the board, I feel qualified to tackle this.

    There are severeal reproductive technologies available to women to extend their fertility possibly into their 60s. However, as women typically bear the brunt of childcare, most would prefer to do it while they're younger (20's - 30's) and still have the massive amounts of energy it takes to perform most childrearing tasks.

    As for the rest of your posting, I think you would do well to heed Maister's advice.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Just curious to know where you get your facts and figures from that you state. I have to agree with some others here that your approach is inflammatory although I understand your curiousity about the issue. It was interesting that not one truly positive thing was said about either gender in your lists. Why are biological characteristics political?

    I have a daughter, but I don't think there are any "secrets" to share with her that her father or her step father should not be aware of. I'm just busy trying to raise a well-adjusted kid who has a good sense of self and will be a positive force in society.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  20. #20
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    There's definitely suspicion cast on any male who wishes to work in a traditionally female dominated field. Think about it nursing, childcare, elementary ed., secretarial, and many other jobs. Since the assumption is that one could provide much better subsistance for oneself or family by working in a traditional male job (yep, guys still make more $$$ than women and still dominate the upper management positions in most fields), it begs the question 'what is motivating a male to want to work in this field?' Is he a fan of Michael Jackson? Does he hum showtunes to himself? Thanks to the womens lib movement of the 60's/70's women working in tradtionally male dominated fields don't raise eyebrows in that way (but certainly continue to deal with a host of other gender-bias related issues)
    Along the same lines that tomboy girls are much more acceptable to society than, well, I don't think we have an acceptable term for the male equivalent.

    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    I think as technology has increased (exponentially since the early 1800's), the greater strength of males has become increasingly less of a factor. However, barring a huge investment in renewable energy, I question whether we will not eventually return to a more agricultural way of life toward the end of this century, in which the physical strength differential between the sexes would no longer be as insignificant as it is today.
    technology has been catching up in agriculture as well - women can operate a combine just as well as men. and now that square bales are going the way of the dodo, baling hay is become more gender neutral as well.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    [QUOTE=[U]The Sexual Politics of Women[/U]:
    Underlying Assumption: Females are biologically motivated to maximize the likelyhood of survival of their offspring and therefore tend to prefer only mates whose wealth and status exceeds that of their own.

    The Sexual Politics of Men:
    Underlying Assumption: Males are biologically motivated to maximize their quantity of sexual partners, but consciously attempt to thwart the reproductive outcome through some form of contraception, due to the economic consequences that society imposes upon parents.

    I have truthfully never been more at a loss for words, but here goes anyways.

    Your sweeping generalizations may be true to some extent. However, human beings have something that no other animal or creature can claim. This one thing allows them the opportunity to resist biological or societal pressure. Its called an advanced conscience. I know that some claim that certain mammals have a conscience, but it is in know way as advanced as a human's. This conscience allows me the ability to say "Hey, you know what, even if I have a vasectomy, I could still get a woman pregnant. And since it costs money to have children, I realize that I am still taking a risk."

    Now, let me get this straight. You recognize biological differences in males and females, but do not believe that the differences should be played out in society? If I'm mistaken, I apologize. But this seems a little hypocritical.

    By the way, I do like your thread.

    Is it wrong that more women are nurses, teachers, day care workers.

    Doesn't it make sense that the more nurturing of the sexes would be drawn to these professions. I don't see why this is such a problem with people.

    I know that some men are great nurturers, and some women shouldn't be allowed near children, but I truly believe that women are more nurturing than men. I'm still captivated by watching the way my wife handles our two daughters. That doesn't mean that I'm not a nurturer, just not in the way my wife is.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 12 Jul 2006 at 9:43 AM.
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  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage
    Is it wrong that more women are nurses, teachers, day care workers.

    Doesn't it make sense that the more nurturing of the sexes would be drawn to these professions. I don't see why this is such a problem with people.

    I know that some men are great nurturers, and some women shouldn't be allowed near children, but I truly believe that women are more nurturing than men. I'm still captivated by watching the way my wife handles our two daughters. That doesn't mean that I'm not a nurturer, just not in the way my wife is.
    I happen to think there is both a biological basis (womens propensity to nurture is at least partly hormonal) and a cultural basis. Would you agree, though, that it's wrong to persecute the males who do choose to work in these fields?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  23. #23
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Thanks to Downtown for the info on fertility drugs. Perhaps it has contributed to women being more career oriented, and delaying childbirth.
    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek
    Just curious to know where you get your facts and figures from that you state. I have to agree with some others here that your approach is inflammatory although I understand your curiousity about the issue. It was interesting that not one truly positive thing was said about either gender in your lists. Why are biological characteristics political?

    I have a daughter, but I don't think there are any "secrets" to share with her that her father or her step father should not be aware of. I'm just busy trying to raise a well-adjusted kid who has a good sense of self and will be a positive force in society.
    I find it rather tedious to reference data sources. Please let me know if any of the numbers I mentioned are significantly off. I couldn't find any specific data on ratio of male to female alimony payments. The sources I saw seemed to indicate minimal alimony from females. The divorce, child custody and life expectancy stats can easily be found in the first page of google links on each of those subjects.

    I have plenty of antipathy towards expectations of both sexes. I feel like men are either vilified as aggressors, or they are laughed at as sissies. Biological characteristics are political because culture is always redefining how they should be dealt with. Persian/Arabian cultures deal with the power of estrogen by covering women up. Our culture deals with estrogen such that wealthy men are frequently seen with attractive scantilly clad women. Birth control pills, and Playboy magazine loosened sexuals mores in the 1950's but then they tightened again somewhat in the 1980's in response to AIDS. I suspect that as the natives of Easter Island decimated their tree population, which their economy depended on, mores probably became a bit less sanguine about procreation.

    IMO, our nearing of the peak of world fossil fuel consumption should cause us to reevaluate our expectations of males and females. I see the world as entering a dark age - dark not because we may have to learn to make do with less energy, but because we are slow to recognize the need for change. Thus, I get ticked off by females who continue to evaluate me based on my economic status as if the Earth can easily support billions and billions more people. Furthermore, I believe that many of the activities that yield wealth and thus can better attract females to males, are also activities that are accelerating the pace of destruction and plunder of the ecosystem upon which we all depend - planet earth.
    Last edited by dobopoq; 11 Jul 2006 at 6:08 PM.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Downtown
    Along the same lines that tomboy girls are much more acceptable to society than, well, I don't think we have an acceptable term for the male equivalent.
    I think they get loving nicknames like "sissy boy" or "pansy".

    Historically, teachers were almost all male. Then women began teaching, it became a pink collar ghetto job and you can't find too many male teachers elementary school although you still find them in more status-y (and probably better paid) teaching positions, like universities.

    A book that throws some light on why some jobs get filled predominantly by women is "The Second Shift". In essence, women go home after work and do laundry, cook meals, take care of the kids. Thus they choose jobs which do not use up all they have to give so that there is energy left over for their domestic responsibilities. Men often choose higher paying jobs which really exhaust them, then come home and say to the little woman "bring me a beer hon" while she cooks dinner. The cultural assumption that women should and will take care of the kids and household duties directly undermines the ability of women to compete with men career-wise.

    As for the military: my husband has told me that Canada did an experiment where they let something like 100 women train for the infantry on the condition that they do the training the men had to do, pass the tests the men had to pass, etc -- no "girly push-ups" etc. Only two women completed the course. One requested to not be assigned to an infantry unit because "it's too hard". The other took the assignment but a few weeks later requested to be transferred out because she thought the day-to-day job would be easier than the training but it wasn't and she couldn't hack it.

    Last: the military is a young man's job -- most soldiers are 18 to 45 years old. Co-incidentally, that same age range is prime child-bearing years for women. Anecdotally, during The Gulf War, lots of female military personally showed up pregnant. Women can still do the old fashioned "plead my belly" if they really just don't want to get their hands dirty. I don't see the federal government requiring women to become sterile permanently or for the duration of their military service. Women would scream "discrimination!" and the government would be sued. So I see no easy fix for this conundrum.

  25. #25
          Downtown's avatar
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    Excuse me if I'm oversimplifying the issue here -

    If a woman is rejecting you because you don't have enough money or earning power the she simply isn't worth lamenting. With my next promotion, my salary will surpass my husband's. I don't expect him to support me, but i do expect him to financially contribute to our family, and to our shared lifestyle expectations.

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