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View Diary: Feminisms: One Is Too Many (Updated) (308 comments)

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  •  I think I get your point (1+ / 0-)
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    but I'm not sure.  If I do get it, I sure wish we could change that.  I would argue that the selfish gene is value neutral.  Women are about thinking of others because that behavior maximizes their chances of reproducing, in the sense first, that commitment to survival of their limited number of children is their optimal strategy, and second in the sense that they do not select for the best mates through physical competition with other women but rather by displaying the traits most likely to have their offspring survive, one factor in which is the nurturing of the children.  Men will select women on the basis of their nurturing qualities, which can be interpreted as selecting those who think of others first, while women will select men on the basis of their ability to provide protection first, and nurturing qualities second.  (Arguing only about the genetic influence here, ignoring the very significant effects of culture on these equations.)  I think the value judgments are put on by society, not by the gene.  I think you are not disagreeing with that.

    To respond more directly to what I think you are saying, 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.  And that's my two cents about that.

    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 10:47:13 PM PDT

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    •  My problem with all of that... (1+ / 0-)
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      ...she wrote, up past her bedtime, is that it is damn hard to prove differential survival rates in a given population based on any of it.  I loves me my (nonsexist portions of lol) EO Wilson, and it's all a rich, bracing and productive field for speculation...but there are so many alternative hypotheses, and so little real data, that it becomes difficult for me to take it seriously more than a step or two out.  The theoretical basis for attraction and control could all be based on facial symmetry or hip width or a particular smell related to ovulation or sperm count -- we really haven't a clue, just interesting and sometimes compelling hypotheses.  I'll easily grant there is far more instinctive shit going on than any ten people on the street will admit.  I think there is tremendous value, in terms of public policy not to mention self awareness, in realizing how much of the iceberg is under water -- but the exact shape is just not that well understood, much less the relationship to reproductive success.  Long ago I spent several years of my life on one -- just one -- behavior, and it's relationship to survival.  Since then the math has gotten a lot more sophisticated, and we're learning a lot about this, but it doesn't seem...quite...mature enough to provide detailed explainations of great solidity  (I wish I were still doing that instead of software lol, but so it goes).  

      Anyway, it's late and I'll be quiet now :)

      •  I would argue with you if (2+ / 0-)
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        tryptamine, jessical

        I didn't think you're a lot more well-informed than I.  I was hoping just to fake it for a little while, have a few people fall for it, then move on quickly to something else.

        But seriously, great minds and all that.  I appreciate your understanding that abstract argument is always suspect--that experiments prove only what they prove.  One area I did think was well studied is attraction--symmetrical faces appeal, faces that are averages of many faces appeal, quite specific breast to waist to hip ratios appeal, etc.  For what it's worth.  My favorite is the rooster going into his full-fledged "let's do it" dance in front of the strung up head of his beloved.  That's right, no body, just a head on a string.  I tried to use that one to impress on my daughters that there was really no need to worry about impressing the boys.  I think they resented these intrusions on their normal adolescent fantasies (destined to bring only heartache and pain).  Other than that, I salute your principled commitment to knowing only what we know.  That's a difficult, and truly scientific, stance that I try to hold as well.

        I just accused someone else of keeping me up way past when I wanted, but it's more your fault than hers (his?)  Fun, stimulating discussion.  I hope to run into you again soon.

        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 11:36:09 PM PDT

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