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  •  It is my impression that I anticipated (2+ / 0-)
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    CSI Bentonville, crose

    and addressed your argument.  

    One misunderstanding I want to anticipate is that this is NOT determinism.  This is a respectful acknowledgment of some forces of our nature, not to the exclusion of our more civilized development, such as the much more developed brain areas of impulse control.  My hope is that by better understanding our more primal instincts, we will become less likely to be driven by them blindly.

    How is this not a direct acknowledgment of what you argue so correctly and clearly:

    These things DON'T happen,and that shows that we are doing a pretty good job of overcoming those ancient genetic pulls.

    We have higher brain functions. MOST of use them mos tof the time. I also note that you didn't bother to address any of MY arguments that this atavism doesn't really have much to do with present day AMerica.

    Since the oneupmanship has taken this particular form, I'll throw the ball back to you by saying, yes, I've just repeated myself.  But only because it seems that what I had already stated is a direct response to, and substantive agreement with, what you are arguing with me about.  I'm willing to hear how it is now a direct response, but I'm definitely not interested in repeating my self a third time.

    Finally, jessical's comment above states better than I ever have why I think it is important to allow these factors to play a part in the discussion.  She says

    If we acknowledge our chimphood, whether in social dominance games or murdering women who engage in reproductive behavior outside our ingroup, we can act to change it.  If we pretend we're "better" than that, all we do is stuff it away until it comes back again to say hello, in a new social context...because we can't talk about it.  We've banished it to a nature we've disowned.

    I called you closed because that's how your argument seems.  I could care less what you have between your legs, being one of those feministic type men and all.

    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

    by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:41:54 PM PDT

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    •  Gee, you'd never gues it. (1+ / 0-)
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      Rippen Kitten

      I read your post. I diagre. I didn't call you names. I merely pointed out wehat the reaction to the average woman who has read this crap for 30 years would likley do.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:44:31 PM PDT

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      •  you called it bullshit, laughed in my face by (0+ / 0-)

        proxy, and advised me to duck.  Perhaps I took it all too seriously.  What I most object to is feeling that you ignored my meaning.  Perhaps you didn't understand it.  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.  All I can say is that I don't disagree with you about what you are arguing with me about, and I think I have said something not in the least contradicted by your claims.  I would be interested to argue the substance of what I said.  I don't find your disagreement responsive to my argument.  So, can we just leave it at that?  Maybe I'm wrong.  I know I am becoming too tired to count on being civil.  I'll read a response, if you care to leave one, then I must retire.

        I can do nothing beyond assuring you that your gender is not coming into play in my response, unless subconsciously, in which case perhaps I'm subconsciously a male chauvinist pig.  But I wouldn't know that, would I?

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:56:48 PM PDT

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        •  Ii called the book's premise BULLSHIT. (1+ / 0-)
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          I understood it--but yuou seemed far too enthusiastic with the premise to  come across as a feminist male to me.  I've been fighting this sort of stuff since the 70s, and it isn't new at all.  

          Did you knwo that one of the newer theories in anthropology and among socio-biologists is that Dawkins is wrong? That what actually  kept humanity alive in its early days is the ability to empathize and cooperate?  It may very well be the altruistic gene that assured our survival--because  we weren't the fastest or the strongest, even with tool-using capability. What we had was the ability to take care of each other and to work together for the good of the group.  WHich is probably why as soon as we developed laws, we banned rape and  violence againat other members of our species: we need each other to survive.  The atavistic primal instincts are towards cooperation, not violence. Freminiost anthropologists were saying this back int he 70s--male sociobiologists finally caught uyp.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 01:07:29 PM PDT

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          •  I'm so glad to hear from you (0+ / 0-)

            I didn't know about the interesting theories you describe, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that Dawkins is wrong about a lot.  He'll always get credit with me, though, for being one of the original thinkers on this and for communicating his ideas in interesting prose to all who were interested.

            Your talk of altruism makes me think of a development which bothers me--since we started out fighting, maybe I can start another.  Seriously though, I want to say that here I am bringing up an issue that it is clearly up to women to decide--I claim no rights of authority.  I'm just expressing my feelings and wondering what you have to say. I would be interested in your reaction to this, which I wrote above:

            I have seen a tendency, among women especially, to downgrade thinking of others and service, as obligations forced on them by society.  I find this disturbing in that I think it is a reflection of our society's lack of respect for these qualities and our fear of being vulnerable.  I would much rather see nurturing and thinking of others be raised to a level of honor, while selfishness is looked down upon, with men cultivating more vulnerability and concern for others.

             I fear the, at least theoretical, rejection of nurturing roles I have sensed in my women friends is some kind of identification with the aggressor, an unskillful response to the dominant male meme which somehow buys into the notion that open-heartedness is weak and that caring is naive.  I'd really like to hear what you have to say about that.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 01:36:38 PM PDT

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            •  I haven't seen any rejection of nurturing. (0+ / 0-)

              Most women DO marry and have children,and their style of management ends to be much more nurturing than the men I've worked for.  What HAS happened is that women have learned to stand up for themselves and take less crap.  When I was 24, I got coffee.  I went across the street to the coffee shop because the boss didn't like the office coffee--in the pouring rain.  I doubt most women would do that now, 30 years later. What men see is a lessening of willingness to be pushed around or bullied into taking care of someone. Int he workplace, you're supposed to be an employee, not a Mom. I think a lot of men in their late 40s and 50s really still expect that--they want June Cleaver, and hope women will behave that ay.

              Most women still work in female jobs--most elelmentary teachers are still women, and most nurses.

              it's not a rejection of nurturing, just a refusal to take crap and to behave like the mother to an adult office mate. Most women work because the second income is necessary. If they want to get promotions and raises they have to play the game the way men do. I'd love to see the world become more nurturing and family-friendly--but men still make the rules, and they seem to reject that idea.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 08:22:11 PM PDT

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              •  Yeah, I'm with you on all of that (0+ / 0-)

                Let me be more specific in what I experienced.  I was way too vague and it sounded really like what you are talking about.  I agree with what you say furthermore I think it's one of the coolest changes to happen in my lifetime.  That and the improvements for African Americans (I grew up in Georgia).

                Here's what happened to me.  I was in a kind of group that's hard to explain, but we discussed things from a very personal space--kind of a cross between a therapy session and a political discussion.  So, in this group I began talking about the importance of service, and waxing positive about the beauty of giving one's life to service for others.  Every woman in the group but one, and these are spiritual women I have a lot of respect for, seemed almost allergic to the word, even in the general context of service.  I was taken quite aback by that.  So since then, I've kept my antenna up around it and noticed a much more subtle thing than what you were describing.  This is a thing that I feel coming from women, not men's expectations.  It feels like a resistance to giving their lives to service, a resistance to celebrating the beauty of service.  You are right, women nurture at home, but it seems like more of an obligation of doing well at it than a celebration of being so good at nurturing.

                I lay these impressions out there as something I think I've noticed, not something I am insisting is true.  I'm interested in your impressions of women's attitude toward service and nurturing, how much they value it, how they feel in relation to it, etc.  It is possible also that this are some generational differences here.  The women I refer to are all in my age group, late 50's.

                Okay, I hope that's clear.  I'm glad I feel less argumentative on this one.  I wish I had responded to this one first.

                If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 10:03:04 PM PDT

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                •  There's a good reason why they hated the word (0+ / 0-)

                  "service." Women were expected to serve others, to defer their dreams in favor of their husband's, to spend their time in unpaid labor as volunteers. As a Navy Wife, I saw this happening  at the higher ranks (in 1989,  a couple of AF  O wives got fed up and refused and were told they'd harm their husband's chances of making general; they took it to the press) The problem is, if hubby dies or is disabled or trades you in on someone younger, blonder, and thinner--you were screwed: no job experience, no credit,  etc.

                  My husband was an E, so the pressure wasn't on me--but I REFUSED to work for free for the Navy (and when they say "volunteer" they ALWAYS mean on base). I'd have been happy to work for Planned parenthood or the rape hotline (but that hotline was run by a group of lesbians who expected you to give up several months worth of weekends--the only time I could hope to spend with my husband-- to train,and I wasn't willing to do so--also, as I learned from someone who DID go through but not for the military in a position that SHOULD be a fulltime job.. I am 57 myself.  

                  Service is great--IF you can afford it. Try using the word "volunteer" instead. Many women still volunteer. But it isn't their career as it used to be. And the word "service" is from the same root as "servitude".


                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Fri May 25, 2007 at 12:04:17 PM PDT

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                  •  Very interesting (0+ / 0-)

                    You paint a clear picture.  I was in the Navy and either we didn't run into that or my ex-wife was oblivious.  Believe me, the only service you would have caught her performing on the base would have been protesting the war in Viet Nam.

                    You inspired me to look up the word.  The root is the latin "servicium," which means "slavery," so point well made.

                    I need a new word I guess, but volunteer isn't it.  I'm thinking of a willingness to set one's personal desires aside in support of something outside oneself, whether being paid or not.  "Selflessness" maybe.

                    Thanks for the taking the time.  I hope you're not mad at me.  I'm glad we ended up having a good discussion.

                    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                    by geomoo on Fri May 25, 2007 at 12:29:23 PM PDT

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                    •  If you weren't an O (0+ / 0-)

                      the pressure is less until you hit E7.  I simply refused to go to Wives Club meetings after I saw they were gonna be play dates for the kids, and that everything was oriented around kids, with NO interest in non-Mommy wives.

                      "Selflessness" isn't an improvement.  Women have been EXPECTED to be selfless and give up everything for others. We're flatout tired of society's expectations.   It took along fight for women to realize they had a  RIGHT to ME time--men would go bowling while WIfe watched the kids, but the favor was seldom returned for a Girls' Night out. We have learned the hard way that our female friends tend to last if we make time for them--and often they are the ones who pick us up when Hubby trades us in. I frankly think selflessness is trait valued only in nuns or saints--and generally only in FEMALE ones.

                      Basically when women didn't work,  society regarded their time as worth as much as they were paid: nothing.  All the volunteer work really doesn't count much when you apply for a job, and you get little respect for it. WOmen mostly know that ajob is a necessity to day.

                      I'd suggest you talk about volunteering a few hours a month--many of us already do that--and preach selflessness to men, who never HAVE practiced it.  A lot of the men Iknow could use a dose of it.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 01:47:06 PM PDT

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                      •  I was an officer alright (0+ / 0-)

                        I graduated from the Naval Academy.  It was very strange when I became a conscientious objector.  That was a tough time in my life.  The vibe today is so similar to during Viet Nam, don't you think?

                        As I said, we'll probably fight a lot.  I find your views of men way too stereotyped.  Selflessness among men is strongly represented by Jesus, Gandhi, many of my wonderful teaching colleagues, countless yogis, and on and on.  I really don't know how to respond to what seems like diffuse anger at men in general.  I know the social history is much as you describe it, but to me that in no way lessens the power of selflessness to lift the spirit of the individual and to contribute to the well-being of humanity.  I would call it throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  The problem lies not in the selflessness of women, but in the abuse of that selflessness.

                        Just to be clear, you seriously misunderstand me if you think I'm just talking to women when I attempt to lift selflessness as a virtue.  If anything, my inherent sexism (of which I am not proud) causes me to picture men more than women when I think of this.

                        I know it's completely up to you what you do.  I know that.  I'm asking permission to reflect to you a reaction I have to all this for your consideration.  It strikes me as identification with the aggressor for women to angrily insist on their right to be as selfish as men, rather than to celebrate and hone their strengths in this area as a model for their brothers to emulate.  I'm not defending the selfishness of men.  Far from it.  I'm asking that women help me in making it clear that selfless is more satisfying to the individual and more useful for society.  But you may disagree with me on this premise.  If so, we can agree to disagree.  This is a deeply spiritual matter to me, so it is difficult for me to hear selflessness discounted for any reason.

                        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                        by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:08:10 PM PDT

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                        •  Than your wife (0+ / 0-)

                          had a spine of pure steel to ignore the pressures--even my best pal  Navy Wife who was O Wife, couldn't. I fit in badly with E wives whoa re young,  have at most an A.S., are politically conservative from small towns and fundy churches.  It was NOT fun.

                          Selflessness is a nice idea--but women have to learn to be SELFISH first, honestly, tactually give themselves some value. You've never lived as a woman so your eally don't GET the pressures--just as I haven'tlived with the pressures on men to be dumbass jerks ( and that somany escape it and the pressure to shove women down amazes me; I LIKE men,  but not the  conservative  women-hating type).

                          ANd I don't care for the way society treats women--and, like it orn not, men still hold the purse strigns and the pwoer,a nd there is still glass ceiling. NOT ot be angry over that-=-which isnot the same as being angry at men in gneneral, just the way the  oens iwth poer cling to it-- would be to be braindead.

                          Look at your time in the military.  Granted, women weren't admitted to Annapolis back then.  But even now, it is the WIFE who makes the sacrifices for the husband's career, hardly ever the other way around. She may be as well-educated as her husband, or more so--I was--but she basically gives up a career and a pension  and a decent social security benefit for him. ANd if, as happens all too often, he ditches her mid-career (or when he retires--seen a lot of that--she is left starting over at 35 or 40 with no current refs and a resume of entry level jobs. THAT is reality for a lot of women.

                          WOmenhave to learn tto take care of themselves FIRST, before they can sacrifice for others--or it can taint a marriage and kill love.  No one should be making all the sacrifices (I agreed to follow him, but where we went, what orders he took, was as much my choice as his--he turned down a  great set of orders because it meant living in TX and he knew how much I'd hate Waco, home of David Koresh and Baylor, fundy hell).   Marriage should be partnership, not one person giving it all.

                          And in life--a touch of sacrifice,. sure. But I think you're askign too much.  When you work a job and ahve little time for your family because you put in 60 horu weeks--it's damend ard to find time and strength to keep the marriage going, let alone volunteer. We'll save that for when we cna afford it--and I can guarantee that I actual;ly have a car that runs. I'dd put in time at Planned Parenthood or a rape crisis center or run for school board.

                          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                          by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

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                          •  I hear you very well here (0+ / 0-)

                            That makes a lot of sense.  I have no trouble with it.

                            I think we are talking past one another a bit over different definitions of selflessness.  I'm afraid I have to go now, but I need to work up a clear definition of what I mean by that.  I'm not really talking about volunteering at all--more of an attitude in life in whatever one is doing.  And it is definitely NOT the same as lying down and getting walked on.  Thanks for the good response.

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:54:18 PM PDT

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                        •  What I am trying to say (0+ / 0-)

                          is that women need to learn how to say "No." We aren't taught it by our mothers--or at least my generation wasn't. We are raised to be concerned with other people's feelings--and studies show that as one of the few real differences even among babies--and we hate to hurt them. So we often find ourselves over-extended with time for everything but ourselves. It is  really, really hard to tell a friend you can't help them out.

                          Classic example: When we lived in ME, we were SCA. I was battling the tail end of clinical depression, which still left me easily fatigues, along with the Mystery Virus that would send my temp skyrocketing to a 102 in ten minutes, or leave me shivering from the cold. I was prtty sick. But I had offered to handle the Cavalier Olympics (silly games) before dinner,a long with the Best Fop contest.  Someone else was supposed to make the prizes. They caved.  I ended up  calligraphing a scroll we had xeroxed on parchment (and it was a large scroll and took several days to design and write). I then hand-colored each scroll with a large gilded medieval capital, and made little ribbon and flower favors (very Cav) to go along, and a fleur-de-lys strewn sash with  matching touch of ribbons.  I spent three weeks on them because no one else would do them.

                          The day before we cooked the lunch meal--chicken pieces--and provided bread and cheese as well.  

                          Know what we got? NOTHING. Instead the woman running the event complained we hadn't put in nay time in the kitchen helping her prepare the dinner feast. Like we hadn't spent the night before baking chicken? Mind you, I DID help at check-in, but I was too exhausted to really do anything more.

                          This has happened to me so many times. I stopped volunteering for that reason for anything large. I'll give an hour chopping veggies, but I refuse to be in charge any longer.

                          I learned to say "NO"  effectively. I have a lot more fun. I give the time I am willing to give, and don't feel guilty about it.

                          THAT is a hard lesson to learn for most women, who tend to put their family,their job, their causes ahead of themselves. We end up worn out and unhappy and resenting people we love beacuse it never occurs to them to say "Here, let me help." I've watched WAY too many men (NOT my husband who cooks as well or better than I do) watch football games Xmas Day while their wives slave in the kitchen. Sure, they might not be able to cook like Emeril--but anyone over age 10 can chop veggies and set a table. They sure as heck can help  carry the food out and  wash dishes. Most don't, hwoever.  WOmena re to blame, relaly--we never asked or demande their help, and it doesn't occur to them to give it.

                          Selflessness starts at HOME. Give to your family first.. DO something nice for your wife (fathers are usually pretty good with the kids).  Cook dinner once a week (or oder it in).  DO the dishes. When she cooks.  According studies, women STILL do something like 65-70% of ALL the household chores and childcare (Dads tend to do the fun stuff like taking the kids to the park, not the chore stuff like shopping for clothes), even when adjusted for traditional male jobs like fixing broken appliances or mowing the lawn or other yard work. THAT is what I'd tell men.  

                          Frankly, it is women's own damned fault. We raise them to expect someone to wash their clothes and fix their meals. If I'd had kids, my sons would have been a taught young how to sort laundry, put it in the washer, and turn it on., Ditto Dryer.  When I baked cookies, they'd have learned the recipe--and when they needed cookies for the class, I'd have supervised while they made them. They would have been expected to help with dinner- making a salad requires no expertise, nor does chopping veggies. As they got older, I'd have given them recipes, and they'd have been taught to prepare a full meal.NO MAN  (or WOMAN)should hit 18 or at max 21 without being able to prepare a basic meal--not Cordon Bleu, not Julia Child quality, but a basic simple meal (mind you the NIECE couldn't do this but her mother burns water).

                          When I was in college, I saw girls doing their boyfriend's laundry.  No way, I swore, was that gonna be ME. In my first marriage, mny hsuband did laundry, but didn't know how to cook, so we split the jobs. And he was very good at asssistingby chopping veggies or getting bagels or donuts for Sat. morning breakfast. This husband does more cleaning because I can't vaccuum, and we split cooking duties. Whenhe's workign full time i'll take back laundry duties.

                          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                          by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:48:14 PM PDT

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                          •  Sorry, no time to read the whole thing now (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll just say that I have heard this from so many women I respect, that I accept it completely as true:

                            women need to learn how to say "No."

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:56:12 PM PDT

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        •  Here's a link to the article I read (0+ / 0-)

          I've read several on brain devt. that indicate this.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 01:35:26 PM PDT

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          •  Awesome article (0+ / 0-)

            I hadn't heard of that.  It makes a lot of sense, and is somehow comforting.  I read a funny anecdote from an anthopologist a few years ago that had made me wonder.  He was going hunting with a primitive tribe.  After much ceremony and show, they began the hunt.  Several hours into it, he heard an excited uproar and ran to see what beast had been subdued.  The hunters were expressing great excitement at the capture of a small rodent.  That fits the picture Sussman paints.

            One little aspect didn't quite sit right, but that may be just a species difference.  Men have been shown to have better geographical sense, that is, ability to abstract relationships in space, than women, so the bit about the water holes seems odd.  Other than that, it's easy to picture, isn't it?

            I like to think we're closer to the bonobos.  Make love, not war.

            Thanks a lot.  I'm glad to know about that.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:23:59 PM PDT

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            •  There's research that shows (0+ / 0-)

              women navigate as well as men, but do it differently. Men  actually do well with directions involving east or west--women use landmarks.  There 's also  a male tendency to do better on spatial visualization.  However, having taken some of the tests involving rotating geometric objects in space--I think they are unintentionally slanted to activities boys pursue, like model building.  An equally good test would involve looking at pieces and asking someone to choose which garment they'd make--girls SEW.  I hadn't realized that until I took some career counselign tests and they topld me I scored high on mechanical ability and spatial visualization. Since I ALWAYS do badly ont he geometric tests, I was shocked to lean that being able to create a pattern from looking at a garment (I do historical costuming) and vice versa, is both.  

              I think what we'll learn is that men and women use different parts of the brain to get to the same place--and that really there aren't so much differences in talents (though one sex may do better overall, you're likely not gonna be able to predict if an individual will be good or bad at something),  we're actually very similar, even if we take different routes to get there.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 06:48:12 PM PDT

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              •  I have a feeling we will argue a lot (0+ / 0-)

                If so, I hope we can have some fun doing it.  The details of everything you say may be right--I don't know, but I have a general reaction.  But let me say the question of patterns vs. 3D modeling--that is quite interesting.  I definitely see how you probably have something there.  (I added this sentence because I have a bad habit of not showing the extent of my interest in and appreciation of what the other person has said. I kind of unrealistically assume that that is a given.)

                My argument here (complaint?) (whine?) is based on past experience, so I may be reading you wrong.  If that is so, I hope we can sort that out.  I'll try to make myself clear.

                I have often, in conversations such as this, experienced women resisting there being any differences between men and women.  Are women worse drivers than me?  I can only imagine your anger that I posed the question. (did I guess right? :-))  Are men stronger than women?  Well, that one's pretty obvious, but it has something to do with nurture and men being encouraged in sports over a long period of time, or some other logic which qualifies and discounts the differences.  (I have no idea what you would say on that one.)  Anyway, that is one form of conversation.

                Now let me go to another kind of conversation, one that was exemplified in this very diary.  In this one, men are characterized in a certain way that is very, very different than women would ever be.  (This is one of the reasons I object to being classified as some kind of "exceptional" man, one who is not really one of the type.)  In the case of these purely male traits, they are all bad--violent, unfeeling, selfish, etc.  So, I have a hard time believing that every positive trait is shared equally by men and women, yet all men's negative traits are somehow theirs alone.  I hope you understand what I am saying here.

                Another form of this is when I argue something general from my experiences of men and women.  If the woman I am discussing this with doesn't like the conclusions I draw, she dismisses my evidence as anecdotal, stresses the problems with generalizing and talks about how individuals are all so different.  Yet that same woman, when speaking of men, will freely generalize from her own experience about how men are.  I am frustrated by these imbalances.

                In summary, if I have to be in the gender responsible for all the violence in the world, don't I at least get to be able to read maps better?  Or something?  I can tell you a study:  on entrance ramps to freeways, men drive several mph faster than women and keep one foot closer to the edge.  There is some difference there, isn't there?

                As to me, I think men and women are very different in a lot of ways.  If you've had children, you must have noticed right away, perhaps like me with some dismay, that gender differences are stunningly pronounced from the very beginning.  Before you get too mad at me, let me hasten to say that inherent differences is no excuse for limited expectations or imposed roles.

                I probably should have kept my mouth shut.  Be nice.

                If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 09:49:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I hate to say this, but you are (0+ / 0-)

                  So typical of our generation. You grew up with feminism but aren't really comfortable with it and deep down long for the good Old Days. This is why I married  younger men both times.

                  Frankly, what most of the brain studies show is that women and men get to the same answer by different means using different parts of the brain. Slightly MORE men excel at math and spatial visualization than men--=but slightly more men also fall into the lowest  percents, too. And, as I said, the test is SLANTED toward men.

                  Ther's also soemthign  male researchers ignroe: the strong effect of societal expectations: that girls WON'T do as well as boys.   I took some classes at Hopkins where Julian Stanley reigns supreme inthe gifted  Research arena.  Back around 81, he and his female resercher announde d positively that there was a  definiie tendency for men to excle oiver women at math and it was biologically based. Except that a different finding by a different (and much smarter--I read BOTH their research)  researcher foudn that until junior high, girls excel boys. ANd the reson is societal pressure--girls becoem aware of bioys and knwo that boys do NOT like to be bested, and start playig gduumb or refusing to take thehard math classes. Theyweren't encoruaged by their famileis either.  Poly High school was male only--started taking girls in the late 60s, and was msotly still male because girls werebn't encourage to apply.

                  I se ethsi in Thing 2, the niece i hate. SHe's not dumb.  She got Bs inmath withotu ever doignher homework or paying much attnetion. DItto science.  She COULDhave done OK in a pharmacyprogram but dumped out becaue the science 9msotly chem and bio) was "too ahrd' and she didn't ant to do the word--an dshe was one ofthe few girls in the program.

                  Biologyu accoutns for SOME, but not all differences, and generally  the differences are damned sma;lll.

                  As for driiving--depend son the pERSON,not te sex.

                  Women who psot here ar pretty well-read as wellas well-experienced--they've read the studies,and they knwo the findins.  YYou really need to go to a Men's Rights or Father's RIghts page--there is nasty masculinity exposed inall its radiant glory.  REALLY nasty. Or visit Gender Issues on ABout com. The men ther are either very good or very bad--mostly  very bad.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 01:57:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have no idea who I am (0+ / 0-)

                    and your speculation couldn't be more wrong.  But first, to the studies.   As a math teacher, I familiarized myself with the studies.  You may have trouble believing it, but I don't have an ax to grind.  It made complete sense to me that boys dominate answers in classrooms, that teachers call on girls less than boys, and the other cultural influences you mention.  Every study of this nature I ever came across seemed intuitively correct.  But these don't cancel out other studies.  You don't dismiss those studies by making the sweeping statement that you really can't generalize anything because individuals differ.  Quite the contrary, you point to them as gospel truth.  You are ready to believe (I think correctly) that boys are called on more often than girls.  Yet you reject an equally scientific study which demonstrates something as simple as that men stay a foot closer to the side when driving on on-ramps.  That is a double standard pure and simple.  It is not sexism which makes me bristle at this attitude, it is my belief in honoring science wherever it takes us.  (I am a scientist by training.)

                    Now to your characterizations of me as a person.  I can give you quite personal reasons that I have every right to be furious at feminism, even though I am not.  In my first marriage, I was proud and supportive of my wife's fierce feminism.  I appreciated that she opened my eyes to my need to keep the house clean right along with her, to cook, to wash dishes, wherever she noticed inequality, I was ready to learn.  When our two daughters were young, I changed as many diapers as she, even though I was working full time while she was dabbling in hobbies which made no money.  I was equally involved in every way in raising our girls, and I loved it.  Then we got divorced and whaddya know, it seems Vermont's divorce laws are quite sexist.  But suddenly my wife was no feminist:  she wanted to get as much money from me as possible and she insisted on a typical sexist arrangement in which the girls lived with her and I got to have them a few weekends and holidays.  I don't know if you can imagine how painful it is to feel your children are being taken from you.  And that happens a lot.  My proposal was that we split both childcare and monetary responsiblity equally.  BTW, she had just as much money-earning potential as I.  It seems that when push came to shove, I was more feminist than she.  My lawyer advised me that in the end,she would tire of so much childcare, so he advised me to go along.  He was right.  Within six months, we switched to the arrangement I wanted, even though we never made it legal.  We had one more nasty fight, which I'll spare you, but I'll say that in that one as well she tried turned to sexism.  When my daughter, who was now old enough, moved in with me and said she would not longer live with her mother if she continued the lawsuit, my ex-wife dropped the matter.

                    I'll just mention one other thing.  I have two grown daughters who are as self-empowered as you would ever want to see.  My eldest, who is in med school, is actively and intelligently involved in women's health issues.  I am so proud of her, and I assure you either one of them would set you straight in an instant with respect to your mischaracterizations of me as just not quite getting it about women's rights.

                    I'll take your word for it with respect to those angry sites.  It is upsetting to be around ignorance and anger, and I try to avoid that.  But I have to say, your anger at men in general strikes me as quite symmetrical to their nastiness, and a part of the problem as well.  Just as we Americans need to get wise to our exceptionalism, in which we assume ourselves to be inherently virtuous, women like you need to take a look at your exceptionalism, which turns a blind eye to stereotyping and angry blaming.

                    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                    by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Missed my points. (0+ / 0-)

                      The studies that get the press are the ones that PROVE differences., The one i mentioned got no press because it showed societal  influence. Julian Stanley made a big deal of the later study (which was really NOT methodologically sound because it IGNORED societal aspects while the other one  worked with t hem). Larry Summers is another classic example. I stand by what I say: that the studies DO show differences in what parts of the brain we use--but we get the same answers by different routes. The ANSWER is what matters, nto the route.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 03:07:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Should say "not a direct response" (0+ / 0-)

      If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

      by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:46:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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