I read this and it was pretty interesting

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I read this and it was pretty interesting

Postby ntw3001 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:38 am

It's not amusing and it's not news. Best quote: 'There is usually a penile surplus.'

Let's have some threads that are about a single discrete subject! For too many years we have suffered under the tyranny of an agglutinative topic-creation structure (I am advocating this radical change because it is what men do).
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Re: I read this and it was pretty interesting

Postby EvilJekyll » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:11 pm

It's got some interesting points. It definitely more of a Western point of view, but I think most of us here are Westerners. I would've liked some citations or sources for some of the things though.
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Re: I read this and it was pretty interesting

Postby ntw3001 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:05 am

Yeah, I think it's a transcript of a presentation rather than a properly-written essay.
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Re: I read this and it was pretty interesting

Postby jvcc » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:23 am

I shall suggest, instead, that most often men and women have been partners, supporting each other rather than exploiting or manipulating each other.

I'm not sure, but I think it's in her introduction to The Second Sex that Simone de Beauvoir argues that the reason the feminist movement has been so different from other movements concerned with social change and equality (e.g. the Civil Rights movement or working class movements), is because women and men need to interact out of biological necessity. The bourgeois need not see the proletariat with much frequency if they don't want to, and the same goes for a member of a racial/ethnic majority when it comes to members of a racial/ethnic minority. Working towards the common goal of biological reproduction does not mean that women have not still been exploited or manipulated in other areas. In fact, marriage and children have often been used as a means of entrapping women (think A Doll's House). I can flesh out this last premise more if necessary.

But rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g., a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause.

Why are understanding culture as a patriarchy and as an abstract system mutually exclusive? Surely the structure of patriarchy can exist within the confines of the larger structure of society. Also, that's a very unique definition of "patriarchy", and I fear that the word "conspiracy" is working to downplay the very real, well-documented ways in which women have been exploited within patriarchal systems throughout history.

I'm not intentionally trying to be combative with the author, but I see some things in his reasoning that concern me. I made it up to "Trading Off" right now, and I'm tired. I'll get back to this later.
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Re: I read this and it was pretty interesting

Postby ntw3001 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:39 am

I didn't see him as arguing that women aren't exploited by society, rather that men are equally exploited. The only view he seems to be directly disagreeing with is that a patriarchal system has been deliberately designed and upheld. His conclusion is that different traits are necessary to improve reproductive chances in both sexes, and male domination in positions of power is due to the particular traits passed down through successful reproductive strategies. Broadly, men's historically low individual chance to reproduce causes them to operate on a more high-risk/high reward basis, leading to a tendency towards male overrepresentation at the highest (and lowest) levels of success; for women, with a high chance of reproducing anyway, the same kind of risk-taking isn't necessarily a useful strategy. Risk-taking men are more likely to pass on their genes (or die trying), whereas risk-taking women are less likely to (because they die trying).

I found the part about average grades versus average pay interesting. I don't know how close to the truth it is, but it was interesting to think about. He also touches on it later, making the point that unusually high earners typically work exceptional hours, something far more men than women are inclined to take on.
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