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Men and women

2

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    I don't think it's at all the case on here that when men (or women, as the case tellingly may often be) "defend" themselves or the actions of men are "defended" (against what exactly I'm not entirely clear) there are sarcastic follow-up comments or pooh-poohing of the fact that men have issues too. But I credit the overwhelming majority of people on here - and especially those with interest and input in such conversation - with more sophisticated opinions and debating skills than that kind of shit.

    In fact, the only jarring male/female (it seems wrong to contextualise it in that way but since that's the context of the thread) issue I've come across repeatedly on here is when someone wishes to celebrate something concerning women and women only (the Women's day thread that I thought was pretty shameful), or discuss a subject which is relevant to women in the vast majority of cases (rape, and in a different sense abortion) and people spring in with "what about men?". Well WHAT ABOUT MEN? WHAT ABOUT MEN? What about women, too? It is impossible to discuss an issue in the sole context of its effect on women on these boards and in many facets of life. It shouldn't be. It is impossible to discuss women's rights on here and in many facets of life without being branded a feminist as if it is a disgusting, dirty word, and without having to adhere to some irrelevant, possibly PC bollocks where we have to discuss its effect on men too in the name of fairness. Oftentimes they are different issues for men and women within the same broad issue. It's fine to discuss them both in one topic, but sometimes it truly is JUST about men or women in relation to the topic. But then I would say that because - as the lovely Stargalaxy puts it - I am a militant feminist. It's got to be common knowledge that I burn effigies of men as a nightly ritual.

    As for this comment...



    It is not the "exact same way", by any stretch of the imagination.

    I'm intruiged by the use of the phrase "beat[ing] down". Scary concept? Are women really "beating down" men? Are we talking about domestic violence then? Another topic which it is nigh-on impossible to discuss without the crowing of "it happens to men too" which on here often seems to be considered a salve to the entire problem or a justification. More often than not, though, it seems to be shoehorned in as a petty way to detract from serious problems effecting women. Or a knee-jerk reaction from certain people who seem to feel like they are being personally targeted when we discuss [male] rapists, abusers, menaces etc. It's possible that it's because a lot of the men on here are sensitive and broad-minded and they find it hard to recognise in their sex a remaining and staunch undercurrent of people who do NOT yet believe in or support the idea of women as [equal] people. That could very well be it, but it's still quite sad. Another thing worth mentioning is that a lot of the most negative and upsetting anti-women comments come from females, who either don't truly understand feminist concepts and thought... or who are so terrified of being painted as hairy-legged, braless Gretchen from central casting that they denounce all that is feminist and that should (imo) be inherently felt with huge passion and drive by all women. There are women in other countries, on other continents who would walk over hot coals for the rights that we have - it's poor form not to keep fighting for them to have the self-same rights and for ours to keep evolving along with men's. Anyway I'm a bit OT there... ;)

    Men still have the upper hand and the lion's share of success and assumed right in almost any given area of life in any given part of the world today. Just because we are vaguely approaching levels of gender equality in British life doesn't mean that we can rest on our laurels, there are women in the rest of the world who are still second (and that's being generous) class citizens. To still feel that these issues both home and abroad are pressing and important puts a person into the category of a militant aggressor for the agenda of women as supremacists when that's not the truth - or case - at all.

    The comment about waiting until some 'feminists' get ahold of this post speaks volumes about the attitude of anyone who has an interest in women's rights and their true equality. I find that really upsetting as someone who feels incredibly strongly about all aspects of women's rights and equality the world over, that to voice that feeling automatically pegs you as someone who wants to denigrate men's rights. That's the crux of the issue. It's feminists who are attacked on here because they aren't interested in furthering the cause of men over women - why should they be? Once we are truly equal then I'll be interested in that. Until then I'll be interested in obtaining equal status and complete respect for every woman in the world. If that ever happens then I'll surely devote myself to ensuring that it all stays nicely balanced, but until that becomes the issue I don't see why we should have to pretend that it is in the name of all that is PC and "polite".

    The issue with Germaine Greer is different to the other points raised, completely different. I admire and respect Germaine Greer, it's no secret. I don't follow her blindly, she is a polemicist and I haven't agreed with all her critical thought. Only extremists are going to agree with her views in full and to the letter. The entire point is that it's food for thought -- whether what it makes you think is that she is right or wrong (and, of course, to what degree). If she has drawn you into a discussion on the issues she is raising then she's done what she set out to do - if you're discussing what a pointless, vile, cruel, useless, up-herself specimen she is (as in the Steve Irwin thread that related to her) then it's way off the mark, pretty fruitless debate. Some people [the majority, really] are never going to like or respect GG. I consider it their loss as amid her most controversial statements she is an absolutely brilliant, strong women who uses her brain to form thought that is just out of this world to me. But we all glean our informed thought and opinion from different fonts of wisdom and that's the way it'll always be. I think a lot of people who read her work would find a lot of her thought is cohesive with their own, it's just not "controversial" or "vox-pop" enough to generate huge attention and focus completely out of context - as with some of her more... interesting assertions.

    If youwere gay, I'd marry you. :heart:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was flicking through a girl's mag today (think it's my 15 yr old cousin's) while on the loo, and was amazed that even though it was aimed at young girls, about 50% of the pages were of stick thin (literally, verging on anorexic) girls with different fashionwear.

    I wonder whether the reason girls feel they need to look pretty is to impress guys and become sexually desirable? I think it's wrong to have that kind of thinking being pushed into young girls - for the sake of commercial gain, no less. A designer dress isn't cheap these days.

    As for the natural roles argument, I think agree to some extent. There are always going to be more women wanting to be full time parents, because naturally bearing a child for 9 months and having that maternal instinct will make them want to be. Whether they should want to get pregnant or not is another matter, but I don't think a man will ever feel a bond as close as a mother and child. (not that they're inferior or lesser, just that pregnancy, birth, motherhood is a special and unique bond).

    I wonder why there isn't legislation against advertising (brainwashing, imo) young children.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But these roles are socially constructed, right from the get go. While these things may have a basis in biology, they're reified, concretised, and established through cultural and social norms of construction. There's no real relationship between having a penis and providing a family any more than having a womb automatically makes a woman want to have children and look after them. There are correlations, but correlations don't mean causation.
    So you're claiming that things such as maternal instinct and attractiveness are entirely social constructs? Where do you think social norms come from? Do you think someone just made them up one day? No-one in the world denies that their are specific biological differences between men or women. Why do people then deny that these biological differences can often mean differences in desires and needs? Seriously, claiming that a prominance of men and women in certain careers is entirely down to the influence of society is one step away from claiming that television can turn you gay.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So you're claiming that things such as maternal instinct and attractiveness are entirely social constructs? Where do you think social norms come from? Do you think someone just made them up one day?
    Like I said, correlations don't mean casuation. To a great extent, maternal instinct and attractiveness are social constructs. Look around you and you'll see a society which promotes the role of women in child caring more than it does men. The role of the mother is reifed, given substance, and solidified more through the promotion of particular images and concepts by a given society than it is through biology. If these kinds of things were biological constructs, then we wouldn't have human diversity because everyone would be exactly the same. Society places an interpretation on gender and biology. Maybe I'm just not a biological determinist.

    As for social norms, these develop, grow, and are modified by society, not through arbitrary biological interaction, but through human interaction. Norms are not natural, they are socially constructed by humans. If norms were natural, again, every major culture would have the same concepts as each other. Take birthdays for example. To celebrate a birthday isn't 'natural', it's a social gloss and interpretation on a liminal moment in an individual's life.
    No-one in the world denies that their are specific biological differences between men or women. Why do people then deny that these biological differences can often mean differences in desires and needs?
    I'm not saying that there are no differences. I recognise the differences in individual's biology, desires and needs. What I am saying is that these desires and needs are more often a product of socialisation and cultural norms than they are of biology. Having XX or XY doesn't mean an individual is destined to be a particular individual. Society gives them roles, images, and constructs society deems appropriate or suitable for XX and XY, not biology.
    Seriously, claiming that a prominance of men and women in certain careers is entirely down to the influence of society is one step away from claiming that television can turn you gay.
    Two things to discuss here:

    First, if you say that a prominance of men and women in certain careers is down to biology, then the reason that so many women were excluded from higher education, politics, religion, philosophy, engineering, science, physics, chemistry, etc wasn't down to society restricting their access to these domains, but because they had a womb? I'm really interested in your response here.

    Second, it's an absolute non sequiter to go from this stance to 'television can turn you gay', but I'll go with it. You reckon that the reason adolescent girls rates of anorexia, bulemia, self harming, low self-confidence, interest in the lastest fashion, interest in particular hobbies and so on isn't down to societal or media pressures, but just because they're girls? Or that the rising incidence of 'happy slapping' is just a natural things for young adolescent males to do? Or that males' growing interest in keep-fit, looking good, self-presentation is due to something in the water rather than a societal bombardment of clean-cut, well-sculpted alpha males on television, magazines, movies, and video games? You reckon that there is a biological reason for all of this? That society has nothing to do with any of it, and it's just spontaneous biological determinism? I'd be really interested to hear your views on this.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Like I said, correlations don't mean casuation. To a great extent, maternal instinct and attractiveness are social constructs. Look around you and you'll see a society which promotes the role of women in child caring more than it does men. The role of the mother is reifed, given substance, and solidified more through the promotion of particular images and concepts by a given society than it is through biology. If these kinds of things were biological constructs, then we wouldn't have human diversity because everyone would be exactly the same. Society places an interpretation on gender and biology. Maybe I'm just not a biological determinist.


    As for social norms, these develop, grow, and are modified by society, not through arbitrary biological interaction, but through human interaction. Norms are not natural, they are socially constructed by humans. If norms were natural, again, every major culture would have the same concepts as each other. Take birthdays for example. To celebrate a birthday isn't 'natural', it's a social gloss and interpretation on a liminal moment in an individual's life.


    If biology does not determine gender roles, how else can you explain the universal non-existence of feminist organisation of society in the past? And how can you disregard the evident biological determinism of the animal kingdom - you think gender roles in nature are culturally determined?!

    Obviously not - they are inherent. What then gives you reason to suspect humans are any different, other than having the ability for thought which provides a means for denial?

    You argue that if difference was natural, all cultures would be the same - but in respect of man and woman, they are! The same patterns and gender roles can be observed universally - there never has, and never will be, anything other than "patriarchy". To suggest otherwise is demonstrably false.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    If biology does not determine gender roles, how else can you explain the universal non-existence of feminist organisation of society in the past?
    What on earth does non-existence of feminist organisations in the past have anything to do with gender roles? They have nothing to do with it.
    And how can you disregard the evident biological determinism of the animal kingdom - you think gender roles in nature are culturally determined?!
    The two are not mutally compatible. Humans and animals have fundamental differences, the main being meta-awareness of their place in the world. Animals don't have gender, they have biological sex. The two are not the same. One is biological, the other is social. Animals don't have jobs, roles, ideas of what it is to be male or female. Humans are different from animals for the very fact they have the ability of conscious thought. It's a major aspect of being human. And the fact humans have thought allows us to socially construct gender differences based on ideas of what it is to be a man or a woman, rather than on the biological basis of owning a penis or a vagina.
    You argue that if difference was natural, all cultures would be the same - but in respect of man and woman, they are! The same patterns and gender roles can be observed universally - there never has, and never will be, anything other than "patriarchy". To suggest otherwise is demonstrably false.
    Patriarchy is not universal. Gender roles are not universal. They're are cultures which are matriarchal (native american indian tribes for example). The same patterns of gender roles have more to do with socialisation than they do with biology. Having a penis does not automatically make you want to go and kill things. Having a womb doesn not automatically make you want to care for children. These things are all socially constructed. Biology plays a part, but it's a correlation, not a cause in the creation of gender roles.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Second, it's an absolute non sequiter to go from this stance to 'television can turn you gay', but I'll go with it. You reckon that the reason adolescent girls rates of anorexia, bulemia, self harming, low self-confidence, interest in the lastest fashion, interest in particular hobbies and so on isn't down to societal or media pressures, but just because they're girls? Or that the rising incidence of 'happy slapping' is just a natural things for young adolescent males to do? Or that males' growing interest in keep-fit, looking good, self-presentation is due to something in the water rather than a societal bombardment of clean-cut, well-sculpted alpha males on television, magazines, movies, and video games? You reckon that there is a biological reason for all of this? That society has nothing to do with any of it, and it's just spontaneous biological determinism? I'd be really interested to hear your views on this.
    I did quite a bit of audience and reception studies at uni, and one of the key things I learned was that the term "the influence of television" is banded around quite a lot without a whole lot of credible studies supporting the idea that it has a huge effect. By your logic, we should be able to sell anything to anyone if we bombard them with enough adverts telling them that they need something. But in reality, the media is only capable of channelling people's attention to something which naturally interests them, and is only capable of playing on peoples natural hopes, asperations, desires, fears, insecurities, etc. People with self esteem issues for example, may have those issues compounded by things in the media, but the media can't create them. And similarly, the media can reinforce social ideals and gender roles, but it can't create them.

    You keep saying that society promotes certain gender roles, but ask yourself, where did these ideas of what society should be come from? And if they were greatly out of line with what the majority of peoples natural instincts are, would someone not have said something by now? I mean there are a few female dominated societies in the world, where women are in power. However, I think you'll find that the women in charge still retain what you might call natural feminine qualities. The traditional gender roles remain intact, only the power has switched hands.

    What I consider equality to be, is that where societies norms are against someone's natural instincts, they are entitled to fuck them off as far as their own life goes, and not be judged for it. What I consider feminism to be is that, plus the idea that "feminine attributes" are given equal worth in society as "masculine attributes". Currently, in order to succeed in society, women often have to be seen to have quite masculine qualities. I think that's what need addressing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did quite a bit of audience and reception studies at uni, and one of the key things I learned was that the term "the influence of television" is banded around quite a lot without a whole lot of credible studies supporting the idea that it has a huge effect. By your logic, we should be able to sell anything to anyone if we bombard them with enough adverts telling them that they need something. But in reality, the media is only capable of channelling people's attention to something which naturally interests them, and is only capable of playing on peoples natural hopes, asperations, desires, fears, insecurities, etc.

    You're selectively quoting me. It's not just television. It's the whole slew of societal influence and pressure. And while television studies have banded about the idea of 'television influence', there is a lot of studies which say it might not have a huge affect, but it can be a contributing factor. There are studies at the moment (e.g. Jane Stuart-Smith at Glasgow Uni) which are looking at if television is an influencing factor in language variation. Television does have a low level subconscious affect. And as for selling anything to anybody, advertising does exactly that. It makes you want things you don't need. But this is besides the point.
    People with self esteem issues for example, may have those issues compounded by things in the media, but the media can't create them. And similarly, the media can reinforce social ideals and gender roles, but it can't create them.
    You think? Look at the sun's hate race against gypsies (or paedophiles for that matter). Look at the anti-gun campaigns. Look at the promotion of equal rights for gay marriages. Look at representation of women in the media in the 40s and 50s. Look at how men are paying more attention to how they look than they did in earlier years. The media have had a massive part to play in this. These are not naturally occuring states of being, or natural concepts. They are made by humans.
    You keep saying that society promotes certain gender roles, but ask yourself, where did these ideas of what society should be come from?

    If they came from anywhere, they came from humankinds' ability to think about themselves as gendered beings. Like I keep saying, having a penis doesn't automatically make you do 'male' things, and having a womb doesn't automatically make you do 'female' things. If that were the case, where would gay men and women, transexuals, transvestites, etc fit in? Are these natural categories? These only became 'recognised' when people labelled them as such. And in that labelling is where the construction of those categories come from.
    And if they were greatly out of line with what the majority of peoples natural instincts are, would someone not have said something by now?
    Why would they? The gender roles that exist today have a correlation with biological sex. This means that the majority of men will be providers, and the majority of women will be carers because of a biological correlation. But there is no scientific reason to say that penis = provider, womb = carer. There is no causation. I'm not saying that gender roles today are out of line with what biology 'determines' (and I'm uneasy about using that term), but that society is far more important in these roles than biology is.
    I mean there are a few female dominated societies in the world, where women are in power. However, I think you'll find that the women in charge still retain what you might call natural feminine qualities. The traditional gender roles remain intact, only the power has switched hands.
    Does that not suggest then, that the power is socially created rather than biologically created? Darwin says survival of the fittest, but by this argument if men are the biologically strongest then there wouldn't be any cultural differences. You're confusing sex (biological) with gender (social) as well I think.
    What I consider equality to be, is that where societies norms are against someone's natural instincts, they are entitled to fuck them off as far as their own life goes, and not be judged for it. What I consider feminism to be is that, plus the idea that "feminine attributes" are given equal worth in society as "masculine attributes". Currently, in order to succeed in society, women often have to be seen to have quite masculine qualities. I think that's what need addressing.
    I'm not disputing that. But can't you see what you're saying supports my argument? 'Women often have to be seen to have quite masculine qualities'. For women to have masculine qualities, according to you, is something women have to do, i.e. it's something they have to create. It's not natural for women to have masculine qualities (it seems like you're saying this).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    One's arguing that it's all to do with socialisation, the other naturalisation. Ever thought that it's a mixture of both?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    One's arguing that it's all to do with socialisation, the other naturalisation. Ever thought that it's a mixture of both?
    I'm not arguing it's one or the other. It is a mixture of both, and there's no disputing that. But even though it's a mixture of both, both can't be equally important. And it's there I'm saying socialisation and constructionism is more important.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yerascrote wrote: »
    One's arguing that it's all to do with socialisation, the other naturalisation. Ever thought that it's a mixture of both?

    No, we're arguing a chicken and egg argument. I believe that you can't blame "society" for anything, since society is only a product of people's natural instincts anyway, and all it does is perpetuate things that are already in the natural human consciousness.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, we're arguing a chicken and egg argument. I believe that you can't blame "society" for anything, since society is only a product of people's natural instincts anyway, and all it does is perpetuate things that are already in the natural human consciousness.
    How is a job based on a person's natural instinct (or consciousness)? How is the creation of an economic state based on a person's natural instinct? How is the development of a workforce people's natural instinct? How is being a mother or a father a person's natural instinct? All of these things are created by a society. Even parenting differs from culture to culture. Familial relations differ from culture to culture.

    I'm not 'blaming' society for anything. I'm saying that society is implicated in the idea of gender roles far more than biology is. You reckon that if society aregued that women shouldn't work in construction sites because they're not strong enough, women wouldn't work in construction. Look at how women were excluded from all the various arenas of employment because they weren't thought to be suited to that kind of employment. That kind of argument doesn't work in modern day society.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And as for selling anything to anybody, advertising does exactly that. It makes you want things you don't need. But this is besides the point.
    Whether you need them or not is besides the point. The fact remains that advertising has never caused someone to purchase something that they didn't explicitly want at the moment that they bought it. And it did that by appealing to their natural desires, not creating a new one. It might be a small point, but it's central to the whole argument as to whether or not society can "create" feelings that are against people's natural instincts.
    You think? Look at the sun's hate race against gypsies (or paedophiles for that matter). Look at the anti-gun campaigns. Look at the promotion of equal rights for gay marriages. Look at representation of women in the media in the 40s and 50s. Look at how men are paying more attention to how they look than they did in earlier years. The media have had a massive part to play in this. These are not naturally occuring states of being, or natural concepts. They are made by humans.
    Racism and fear of those different to you is infinitely older than the media, or our current social constructs. Does than not suggest that it might be a natural state for some people?

    If they came from anywhere, they came from humankinds' ability to think about themselves as gendered beings. Like I keep saying, having a penis doesn't automatically make you do 'male' things, and having a womb doesn't automatically make you do 'female' things. If that were the case, where would gay men and women, transexuals, transvestites, etc fit in? Are these natural categories? These only became 'recognised' when people labelled them as such. And in that labelling is where the construction of those categories come from.
    See that's the difference between assuming that because someone is one gender, they will have certain characteristics, and pointing out that certain characteristics are more prominant within certain genders. It's a pattern, not a rule.
    Why would they? The gender roles that exist today have a correlation with biological sex. This means that the majority of men will be providers, and the majority of women will be carers because of a biological correlation. But there is no scientific reason to say that penis = provider, womb = carer. There is no causation. I'm not saying that gender roles today are out of line with what biology 'determines' (and I'm uneasy about using that term), but that society is far more important in these roles than biology is.
    Well I can't really argue with that except to say, I don't agree with you. :)
    Does that not suggest then, that the power is socially created rather than biologically created? Darwin says survival of the fittest, but by this argument if men are the biologically strongest then there wouldn't be any cultural differences. You're confusing sex (biological) with gender (social) as well I think.
    I use them as interchangable terms tbh. But yes, power is socially created. That was what I said. We live in a society where masculine qualities are more valued that feminine qualities, and as a result, people with masculine qualities are more likely to gain power. The power is socially created, the differences between the sexes and the roles that individuals tend to take as a result of them, aren't.
    I'm not disputing that. But can't you see what you're saying supports my argument? 'Women often have to be seen to have quite masculine qualities'. For women to have masculine qualities, according to you, is something women have to do, i.e. it's something they have to create. It's not natural for women to have masculine qualities (it seems like you're saying this).
    Well I'm saying that masculine qualities are less prominant or less likely in women (which is not without exception, and vice versa). So yes, women that don't possess these qualities, probably would be required to fake them in order to succeed in our current society (which is my main gripe). And the fact that most women don't do this, suggests to me that their natural instincts (i.e. being themselves) will win out over social influences that don't corrospond to their nature. Surely if society were as big an influence as you claim, every girl and her dog would be emphasising their masculine qualities, since this is what would be required to raise their social status? (and I think this is a desire that is no more prominent in men than it is in women - I think the whole "marry a footballer/become famous" attitude demonstrates this quite well)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How is a job based on a person's natural instinct (or consciousness)?
    You don't pick a job based on what you are naturally good at? Or what you naturally enjoy? Or what allows you the money to do the things that you naturally like to do in your spare time?
    How is the creation of an economic state based on a person's natural instinct? How is the development of a workforce people's natural instinct?
    They are based on the natural instinct of the few people in power. In fact, isn't one of the key points of capitalism that it's based on human's natural greed and desire to increase their social status and wealth?
    How is being a mother or a father a person's natural instinct?
    Are you kidding me? Is that not the most natural desire in the world? The species would die out if it wasn't.
    All of these things are created by a society. Even parenting differs from culture to culture. Familial relations differ from culture to culture.
    The solutions that certain societies come up with differ (parenting, for example). The fears of parents are identical in every country. Society might create emphasis for one over another at any given time in any particular culture, but the fears (along with any other instincts) are entirely natural.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whether you need them or not is besides the point. The fact remains that advertising has never caused someone to purchase something that they didn't explicitly want at the moment that they bought it. And it did that by appealing to their natural desires, not creating a new one. It might be a small point, but it's central to the whole argument as to whether or not society can "create" feelings that are against people's natural instincts.
    How can you say this? If you never knew the wii existed, would you want one? If you never knew about the mach 3 turbo charged super duper gillete razor, would you want one? It's not 'natural' to want a games system, or a new car specifically. These are all indoctrinated into individuals through media and through society.

    And society can create feelings against 'natural' instincts. Look at the growth and impact of P.C. language. Now it's virtually unheard of to hear someone say 'spastic' or 'nigger'. Society has changed the valuation of these words, rather than biological changes in brain function.

    If the media started doing adverts which used normal sized women instead of super-models, or where men weren't always portrayed as sexual studs, do you really think this wouldn't have an impact on sections of society as a whole? Homosexuality wasn't a problem in classical Rome, or in Greece, but it was banned by many western governments until recently. And this isn't creating a social climate where many gay men didn't come out, regardless of the fact that's what they 'naturally' felt?

    Racism and fear of those different to you is infinitely older than the media, or our current social constructs. Does than not suggest that it might be a natural state for some people?
    But things don't acquire a label until people (society) recognises them as different. Racism didn't exist as an entity until people called it racism. Homosexuals didn't exist until people called them homosexuals. And even if racism (for example) is older than widespread media (and I doubt this cause race didn't become a widespread construct until about the 17th century when slavery and colonialism was happening), gossip, rumours, tales and myths were still created by humans.
    See that's the difference between assuming that because someone is one gender, they will have certain characteristics, and pointing out that certain characteristics are more prominant within certain genders. It's a pattern, not a rule.
    I can't argue with you here because you fundamentally refuse to recognise the differences between sex (biological) and gender (social). Read some work on sex and gender theory (Kim & Nazfiger, Eckert & McConnell-Ginet, Butler, Hall & Bucholtz etc) to find out what the difference between the two are.
    Well I can't really argue with that except to say, I don't agree with you. :)
    Ok, so you reckon penis = provider, womb = carer? Yes? Right. What about all the women who want to have an abortion. What about all the men who don't want to be dads? What about the men who want to be fashion designers? What about tomboys and boys who wear make up? What about cross-dressers? What about drag-queens and drag-kings? What about the women who want to fight on the front line, but aren't allowed to? What about the men who want to be primary school teachers? Having a certain combination of chromosones does not automatically make you want to move along certain paths. I'll agree, there are correlations. Most men become providers, most women become mothers, but you're still missing out a massive part of the story. It's not all accounted for by saying 'you're a guy, go kill something for us to eat'.
    I use them as interchangable terms tbh.
    But they're not. See my point above.
    But yes, power is socially created. That was what I said.
    No you didn't say this. You didn't say anything about power being socially constructed.
    We live in a society where masculine qualities are more valued that feminine qualities, and as a result, people with masculine qualities are more likely to gain power.
    The very fact you say that masculine and feminine qualities can be appropriated by other sexes gives credence to what I'm saying re: constructionism.
    The power is socially created, the differences between the sexes and the roles that individuals tend to take as a result of them, aren't.
    Again, you're conflating sex with gender. They are not interchangable. Sex isn't socially constructed (even though some anthropologists would argue against this). The term 'role' is defined as 'the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation'. Even the wording you use supports the idea that gender roles are socially constructed. You haven't dealt with anything I've had to say on how women were excluded from major areas of employment yet. You seem to argue that this exclusion is based on the fact that they're women rather than anything to do with how society decided not to let them have access.
    Well I'm saying that masculine qualities are less prominant or less likely in women (which is not without exception, and vice versa)
    But how would you define masculine and feminine qualities? Is a man aggressive? How many women have you met that are aggressive? That women preen? How many guys do you know take ages over getting ready? This approach is so essentialist. And what about tomboys etc from my previous post?
    So yes, women that don't possess these qualities, probably would be required to fake them in order to succeed in our current society (which is my main gripe).
    I totally agree with you that it's shit this situation occurs. But who do you think has made the situation the way it is? Is it a natural state? Is there any reason to value 'masculine' qualities over 'feminine' qualities? I don't think there is, but it's society which has determined 'traditional male' gender qualities is more valuable than 'traditional female' gender qualities. There is no a priori reason to put 'male' over 'female'. Society does that.
    And the fact that most women don't do this, suggests to me that their natural instincts (i.e. being themselves) will win out over social influences that don't corrospond to their nature.
    The idea of what a women is 'supposed' to be like is created from within a society which says women are supposed to be caring, loving, look after themselves, not get drunk, be demure when sex is mentioned etc etc. It's got very little to do with them having a womb. If you look at the explosion of 'ladette' culture, it's not women trying to be men, it's women using alternative ways of being women which are outside the canonical concept of femininity.
    Surely if society were as big an influence as you claim, every girl and her dog would be emphasising their masculine qualities, since this is what would be required to raise their social status?
    Why do you have to assume that women want to be men? Women have qualities that enable them to get on in the world without resorting to 'being like men'. And what about the women who enjoy being women? In any event, due to societal pressures many women do appropriate 'male' resources in the workplace. Look at the way women dress when they go to work. Suits. Look at school girls. They wear ties. The idea that gender is socially constructed is all around us, from little girls playing with dolls and wearing pink, to little boys wearing blue and playing with guns.

    Wow, I don't know if I can keep this up, cause it's like arguing black is white.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You don't pick a job based on what you are naturally good at? Or what you naturally enjoy? Or what allows you the money to do the things that you naturally like to do in your spare time?
    Not always. You pick the best job you get offered. The one that gives you most money. The best holidays. Closer to your family.
    They are based on the natural instinct of the few people in power. In fact, isn't one of the key points of capitalism that it's based on human's natural greed and desire to increase their social status and wealth?
    Capitalism is a human construct though! In any case, now we're really going off the beaten track and moving into emotional and psychological realms.
    Are you kidding me? Is that not the most natural desire in the world? The species would die out if it wasn't.
    How many families have had kids for the sake of having kids, to 'keep the family together'? How much is it indoctrinated by parents into their children, especially girls?
    The solutions that certain societies come up with differ (parenting, for example). The fears of parents are identical in every country. Society might create emphasis for one over another at any given time in any particular culture, but the fears (along with any other instincts) are entirely natural.
    And if the solutions differ, then surely that suggests it's constructed? And I think you're moving off into instincts and emotions rather than roles and concepts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What on earth does non-existence of feminist organisations in the past have anything to do with gender roles? They have nothing to do with it.

    The point is, certain roles have always been dominated by one sex or the other; the fact that a feminist organisation of society has never occured in the past is clear empirical evidence of such an organisation being against nature.
    The two are not mutally compatible. Humans and animals have fundamental differences, the main being meta-awareness of their place in the world. Animals don't have gender, they have biological sex. The two are not the same. One is biological, the other is social. Animals don't have jobs, roles, ideas of what it is to be male or female. Humans are different from animals for the very fact they have the ability of conscious thought. It's a major aspect of being human. And the fact humans have thought allows us to socially construct gender differences based on ideas of what it is to be a man or a woman, rather than on the biological basis of owning a penis or a vagina.

    I have already made the distinction of conscious thought. You still can't answer the point - polarity of the sexes in nature is undeniable, and the same general replication of that polarity can be observed universally throughout all of human society.
    Patriarchy is not universal. Gender roles are not universal. They're are cultures which are matriarchal (native american indian tribes for example).

    Not according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which describes matriarchy purely as a "theoretical construct".
    The same patterns of gender roles have more to do with socialisation than they do with biology. Having a penis does not automatically make you want to go and kill things. Having a womb doesn not automatically make you want to care for children. These things are all socially constructed. Biology plays a part, but it's a correlation, not a cause in the creation of gender roles.

    Of course your sex doesn't automatically make you violent, or automatically make you want to care for children, but a strong inclination towards sex-orientated activity is linked undeniably to biology (eg, production of testosterone and oxytocin). This can't be denied.

    To go back to the example of nature - if there is no relation between sex and say, propensity for violence and propensity for nurturing the young, why is the correlation observed throughout the natural kingdom? As I have said - these things are instinctual and the animal world proves this beyond doubt.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    The point is, certain roles have always been dominated by one sex or the other; the fact that a feminist organisation of society has never occured in the past is clear empirical evidence of such an organisation being against nature

    Is that right? No matriarcal societies?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    To go back to the example of nature - if there is no relation between sex and say, propensity for violence and propensity for nurturing the young, why is the correlation observed throughout the natural kingdom? As I have said - these things are instinctual and the animal world proves this beyond doubt.


    There are no examples of males rearing young in nature? You sure about that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blagsta wrote: »
    Is that right? No matriarcal societies?

    If you want to claim otherwise, cut to the chase and let's have some evidence. :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blagsta wrote: »
    There are no examples of males rearing young in nature? You sure about that?

    Of course there are, with some species. The point is - within a species, the extent to which either sex plays a part in nurturing the young is generally defined; and in the case of our own species, this is a predominantly female domain (as can be universally observed).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The Mosuo

    Saharawis


    Guinea-bissau

    I think Malinowski stated that the Trobriand Islanders were matriarchal, but I think they were more matrilineal (idenitity of children through their mother than their father).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »

    The point is, certain roles have always been dominated by one sex or the other; the fact that a feminist organisation of society has never occured in the past is clear empirical evidence of such an organisation being against nature.
    And the lack of a feminist organisation of society has got nothing to do with the structural inequalities which are created by men, and maintained by societies?
    I have already made the distinction of conscious thought. You still can't answer the point - polarity of the sexes in nature is undeniable, and the same general replication of that polarity can be observed universally throughout all of human society.
    You can't compare humans and animals. The fundamental difference is the fact of conscious thought. I'm not disputing there is a polarity of sex, but gender is socially constructed, and that it is this construction which makes people men and women, not their chromosones. The very fact that women's role in society has changed throughout human should be proof enough that gender roles are socially constructed.
    Not according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which describes matriarchy purely as a "theoretical construct".
    Well, the Encylopaedia is wrong then. While such a construct is controversial, examples have already been put forward on matriarchal societies.
    Of course your sex doesn't automatically make you violent, or automatically make you want to care for children, but a strong inclination towards sex-orientated activity is linked undeniably to biology (eg, production of testosterone and oxytocin). This can't be denied.
    It can be denied. A strong inclination isn't causation, it's showing correlation. I produce testosterone, doesn't mean I want to go and hurt something. Where's the causation for my orientation towards a 'male activity'? How do you explain the huge preponderance of people who don't move towards 'sex-oriented activities'? They're just 'weird'?
    To go back to the example of nature - if there is no relation between sex and say, propensity for violence and propensity for nurturing the young, why is the correlation observed throughout the natural kingdom? As I have said - these things are instinctual and the animal world proves this beyond doubt.
    Like I said, you can't compare the animal kingdom with human kind. Humans have developed a massive amount of imagery, concepts, and ideals which allows us to reflect on what our role in society is. Norms of behaviours are guidelines. They tell us what not to do. Humans don't instinctively become lawyers because they are men, or primary school teachers because they're women. These things are the products of life experience, socialisation, normalisation, and societal pressures. And like IWS, you're conflating sex with gender, and the two are distinct.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've been having a think and were women oppressed as such? At the time, it was just the status quo I think. I mean, in many cultures even today where women have a lesser social standing than men (can't vote etc.), sometimes they seem contented with that, and just wish to fulfill their 'duty'.

    I don't know, often strong language is used that implies men stopped women being independent through force, but I think then it was just naturally assumed there were different roles - a woman would stay home and look after the children, and a man would provide for and protect his family.

    Nowadays it's all too easy to look back and say how barbaric it was, but how many women were really oppressed? Freedom is all relative, in a way. We've come a long way, but it's hard to work out where we're headed when we're sailing into the unknown. Is ultimate freedom, the freedom from everything? Or do we need some freedoms in moderation?

    And I've observed that there is a 'them vs. us' mentality, and I think it's really wrong, it's not a battle of men vs. women. Why men attack feminists, and feminists attack men (generalisations on both parts ;)).

    And I was also thinking about the comments that men are afraid of women gaining the upper hand. Automatically, my typically male reaction is 'I'm not scared' - perhaps a bit too much ego. Then I think about it, I am scared, but not of women taking over. I'm scared of being attacked or suffering prejudice because I'm a guy. Of course, expressing radical feminist views seems to ease any fear of this, but every time I say something moderate, I also have to wonder whether I'm going to be pounced on. Not here necessarily, anywhere in real life.

    Is there a prejudice against men in society, that they're trying to oppress women and given half the chance they will snatch back all the rights women have fought hard for? Although the media is subtle, if you look at many advertising campaigns and films these days, the 'good guy' (protaganist? I'm no english genius) is often a young woman, and the 'bad guy' is a rugged, mature, sexy man, who in the end loses out to the women's superior wits. Because I'm a man, is there a suspicion now that I'm a sexual predator and see women as just sex objects? I mean, I've never once in my life heard someone chastise a woman for seeing men as sex objects - but plenty do - I think seeing other people as things for sex, one night of pleasure, is fairly common in today's society... but in the media it's just men who are portrayed as sexual predators.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    If you want to claim otherwise, cut to the chase and let's have some evidence. :yes:

    I'm not claiming anything. I'm asking you to back up your assertions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote: »
    Of course there are, with some species. The point is - within a species, the extent to which either sex plays a part in nurturing the young is generally defined; and in the case of our own species, this is a predominantly female domain (as can be universally observed).

    You sure about that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blagsta wrote: »
    You sure about that?

    I'd have to say on a whim I agree with him... 'most children have more contact time (and thus; nurturing etc.) with their mothers' is a statement I can't flaw, and that supports his assertion to an extent that women are the main upbringers of children.

    The notable exceptions I can think of is where sons are guided through adolescence by their fathers (I watched a documentary on I think it was baka pigmies - the teenage boys are taken hunting and taught 'man skills' by their father / other male in position of authority).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How can you say this? If you never knew the wii existed, would you want one? If you never knew about the mach 3 turbo charged super duper gillete razor, would you want one? It's not 'natural' to want a games system, or a new car specifically. These are all indoctrinated into individuals through media and through society.
    Jesus Christ, you think I'm arguing that it's a natural instinct to want a Mach 3? No wonder you're not getting my argument. They pitch their product as a solution to a pre-existing natural instinct (in this case, the natural instinct of straight men to appear attractive to the opposite sex). If they do it well, people buy the product, if they don't the product fails.
    And society can create feelings against 'natural' instincts. Look at the growth and impact of P.C. language. Now it's virtually unheard of to hear someone say 'spastic' or 'nigger'. Society has changed the valuation of these words, rather than biological changes in brain function.
    Language is a social solution to the natural instinct to socialise with other human beings. So yes, people will change their language to fulfill their natural instinct to be able to fit in and communicate more effectively with those around them.
    If the media started doing adverts which used normal sized women instead of super-models, or where men weren't always portrayed as sexual studs, do you really think this wouldn't have an impact on sections of society as a whole? Homosexuality wasn't a problem in classical Rome, or in Greece, but it was banned by many western governments until recently. And this isn't creating a social climate where many gay men didn't come out, regardless of the fact that's what they 'naturally' felt?
    On the models, that is a typical example of society channelling one particular idea of what is attractive. Like I said, that is entirely possible, creating a whole new idea of what is attractive, that goes against people's natural instincts isn't. So yes I'm saying that if the media decided to attempt to indoctrinate us into finding obese people physically attractive, then it would fail, because that is against people's nature. If they attempted to indoctronate us into thinking that long legs were the most important thing on an attractive woman, then yes, that would work, because it is a pre-existing natural instinct for men to find that feature on a woman attractive.

    On the gay men issue, yes they did repress their natural instincts, but only as a result of another natural instinct being stronger (the natural instinct to be accepted by other human beings/not be executed for being gay - I'd say that's a pretty strong instinct). And incidentally, if as you claim, society does have such a strong effect, then surely these people would've been able to successfully repress these feelings? As it is, throughout history, we have millions of people still acting on their homosexual urges, only in secret. If society told them is was unacceptable, and not normal, why were they not affected by that?
    But things don't acquire a label until people (society) recognises them as different. Racism didn't exist as an entity until people called it racism. Homosexuals didn't exist until people called them homosexuals. And even if racism (for example) is older than widespread media (and I doubt this cause race didn't become a widespread construct until about the 17th century when slavery and colonialism was happening), gossip, rumours, tales and myths were still created by humans.
    The bold comment is simply not true. You're mistaking homosexuals not existing, with simply the label "homosexual" not existing. By that logic, a spoon doesn't exist in France because they call it something different over there. But anyway, are you seriously denying the natural existance of tension, fear and fighting between different "tribes" because that's all racism is.
    I can't argue with you here because you fundamentally refuse to recognise the differences between sex (biological) and gender (social). Read some work on sex and gender theory (Kim & Nazfiger, Eckert & McConnell-Ginet, Butler, Hall & Bucholtz etc) to find out what the difference between the two are.
    Yes, because I'm not convinced there is a difference. You know those books are just someone's opinion of what the difference is. They not pieces of factual infomation, you know?

    Ok, so you reckon penis = provider, womb = carer? Yes? Right. What about all the women who want to have an abortion. What about all the men who don't want to be dads? What about the men who want to be fashion designers? What about tomboys and boys who wear make up? What about cross-dressers? What about drag-queens and drag-kings? What about the women who want to fight on the front line, but aren't allowed to? What about the men who want to be primary school teachers? Having a certain combination of chromosones does not automatically make you want to move along certain paths. I'll agree, there are correlations. Most men become providers, most women become mothers, but you're still missing out a massive part of the story. It's not all accounted for by saying 'you're a guy, go kill something for us to eat'.
    Because, again, you are failing to recognise the difference between patterns, and absolute truths. Like I've said a million times, certain attributes and instincts are more common in men than women and vice versa. It doesn't mean they never appear in the opposite sex. As for women who have abortions, that could either be the above explination, or other natural instincts overriding the instinct to mother a child.
    But they're not. See my point above.
    Try not to represent your opinion as fact.
    Again, you're conflating sex with gender. They are not interchangable. Sex isn't socially constructed (even though some anthropologists would argue against this). The term 'role' is defined as 'the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation'. Even the wording you use supports the idea that gender roles are socially constructed. You haven't dealt with anything I've had to say on how women were excluded from major areas of employment yet. You seem to argue that this exclusion is based on the fact that they're women rather than anything to do with how society decided not to let them have access.
    Women being excluded from certain areas of employment is entirely down to some men's (not surprisingly, the men in power) natural instinct to have power over other people. The fact that a large number of women who didn't agree with this going along with it, probably had something to do with their natural instinct not to want their head kicking in.

    I totally agree with you that it's shit this situation occurs. But who do you think has made the situation the way it is? Is it a natural state? Is there any reason to value 'masculine' qualities over 'feminine' qualities? I don't think there is, but it's society which has determined 'traditional male' gender qualities is more valuable than 'traditional female' gender qualities. There is no a priori reason to put 'male' over 'female'. Society does that.
    I agree with you. Like I said, society is quite capable of prioritising, but not capable of creating these attributes.
    The idea of what a women is 'supposed' to be like is created from within a society which says women are supposed to be caring, loving, look after themselves, not get drunk, be demure when sex is mentioned etc etc. It's got very little to do with them having a womb. If you look at the explosion of 'ladette' culture, it's not women trying to be men, it's women using alternative ways of being women which are outside the canonical concept of femininity.
    Yes, as is the instinct of those particular women.
    Why do you have to assume that women want to be men? Women have qualities that enable them to get on in the world without resorting to 'being like men'. And what about the women who enjoy being women? In any event, due to societal pressures many women do appropriate 'male' resources in the workplace. Look at the way women dress when they go to work. Suits. Look at school girls. They wear ties. The idea that gender is socially constructed is all around us, from little girls playing with dolls and wearing pink, to little boys wearing blue and playing with guns.
    Who said women want to be like men? I said that as many women as men have the desire to raise their social status, and in order to do this in our current society, they must emphasise any masculine qualities that they have. And naturally, more men are likely to possess and be able to display these particular qualities, and are more likely to succeed.
    Wow, I don't know if I can keep this up, cause it's like arguing black is white.
    Yeah, I can't be arsed either, since you seem to be misunderstanding the points I'm making. You haven't provided a single conclusive example of an instinct or desire being created by society, only examples of society bringing out instincts that already exist. That's the whole point of my argument. You seem to be arguing that the majority of the things we feel and think are defined by society. I think that is utter bullshit without one shred of evidence to support it. But you seem to be misunderstanding my argument, and think that I believe that everything we think and feel exists in a complete vacuum, which isn't my argument at all.

    To use another analogy, your position would be that religion created morality. Mine would be that morality created religion, which then had an influence on which aspects of morality became "most important" in the eyes of most people.

    But anyway, these posts are getting longer and longer, so if I have understood your position correctly, then we can agree to disagree. If not, then just summarise it for me in a small post, rather than going through all the points again. Then we can agree to disagree. :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, I think we're arguing different points here. I'm not saying anything about instincts or desires. I'm talking about the ideas about what makes a man a man and what makes a woman a woman. Honestly, sex has nothing to do with what your gender is. Read up on some anthropologists before you dismiss widely received anthropological and sociological theorising on exactly this issue. I can wear a dress and act like a woman, even though I've got cock and balls. A woman can wear a suit and act like a man, even though she's got a vagina. The fact that biologically we own particular sets of anatomy has nothing to do with how we construct ourselves as gendered human beings. Sure, there are correlations to how men and women act as a result of their biological sex, but nearly everything you do, how you dress, speak, walk, act around friends, is part of the construction of yourself as a gendered individual. It's how transvestites and drag-queens are so effective in their acts because they appropriate aspects of gender which are central in the creation of 'man' and 'woman' categories. These ideas about instincts etc have some basis in biological concepts, but oftentimes it's about how other people want you to behave, act, dress, talk etc that determines how you do what you do.

    One last example, peer pressure.

    Society causes you to do something you really don't want to do because of a (what you'd argue to be) a 'natural' desire to be liked and accepted. Or, you're forced to do something because a higher authority tells you to. So, society creates a situation, a context, and environment, for you to do this act, even though your other 'natural' instincts are telling you not to do it. Your choice here isn't determined by biology, but by your creation of a particular social identity.

    And I know my argument about 'homosexuals not existing until they were called so' so kind of counterintuitive, and it took me a while to get my head around it. It's got nothing to do with 'in France a spoon doesn't exist cause it's got another name'. They call it something else, so in French it exists. It's kind of like saying it exists, but it's not recognised as existing until it has a label. You can't refer to something (unless it's 'thingy') until it has a label.

    So yeah, agree to disagree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So yeah, agree to disagree.
    I think that's best. Although I do think we're arguing about a few small details of what is essentially a pretty similar opinion.
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