Male and female ability differences down to socialisation, not genetics … Behavioural differences between the sexes are not hard-wired at birth but are the result of society's expectations, say scientists … It is the mainstay of countless magazine and newspaper features. Differences between male and female abilities – from map reading to multi-tasking and from parking to expressing emotion – can be traced to variations in the hard-wiring of their brains at birth, it is claimed. … In fact, there are no major neurological differences between the sexes, says Cordelia Fine in her book Delusions of Gender, which will be published by Icon next month. … There may be slight variations in the brains of women and men, added Fine, a researcher at Melbourne University, but the wiring is soft, not hard. "It is flexible, malleable and changeable," she said. – UK Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: The problems between men and women are entirely the result of backwards thinking which produces gender role-play. It is up to the state, collectively, to rectify these sorts of beliefs.
Free-Market Analysis: We have written previously about feminism, stating that it was a kind of elite dominant social theme to induce women to compensate for the loss of family income due to central banking. It was not going to be enough by the mid 20th century for women to work hard at home. In order to continue to debase the currency without sparking a social backlash, the power elite had to find a way to induce women to step into the workplace; feminism was the chosen promotion.
This is not merely idle speculation. Many feminist icons had radical (leveling) political views. Feminists like Betty Friedan were out-and-out Marxists, though they hid their doctrinaire beliefs in order to better promote feminism as an anodyne to a male "bourgeoise" culture that oppressed women. This sort of rhetoric went over better than socialist rhetoric. But the radicalism of feminism was undeniable. Feminists like Catharine MacKinnon have even attempted to criminalize male sexual behavior. Here is a little more on MacKinnon from Answers.com:
Between 1979 and 1989, MacKinnon was a visiting professor at a number of prominent law schools, including her alma mater, Yale. Though she was a prolific writer and a popular teacher, her views and her actions concerning pornography made her a controversial public figure. Her radical feminist theories challenged the legitimacy of the legal system and mainstream liberal thought. She argued that men, as a class, have dominated women, creating gender inequality. This inequality is the consequence of a systematic subordination rather than a product of irrational discrimination. Thus, heterosexuality is a social arrangement with men dominant and women submissive. Gender, for radical feminists, is a question of power.
In MacKinnon's view, pornography is a powerful tool of the dominant male class, subordinating women and exposing them to rape and other abusive behavior. In 1982 she and feminist author Andrea Dworkin convinced the Indianapolis city council to enact a pornography ordinance that expressed their theory of sexual subordination. The ordinance described pornography as "a discriminatory practice based on sex which denies women equal opportunity in society," and defined it as "the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women, whether in pictures or words," especially in a violent or degrading context. The ordinance made unlawful the production, sale, exhibition, and distribution of pornography and gave anyone injured by a person who has seen or read pornography the right to bring a civil suit against the maker or seller.
MacKinnon's point of view – in our view – is a classical example of the divide between men and women, generally speaking. It is absolutely evident and obvious that men, more than women (as a whole) respond visually to women. Women are likely not immediately as attracted to physical attributes as men are. Women are more likely, as a rule it seems, to respond to financial cues – an expensive suit or car – because such presentations indicate the male may be a good provider.
Women certainly seek good providers because there is a significant investment in raising children, and it is difficult to do it alone. First there is a nine-month gestation period and even afterwards, for numerous years, the child is relatively helpless and demands the fairly intensive attention of the mother, if not the father. To deny such fundamental facts of gender would be folly one would think and yet the "feminist" movement in its most radical incarnations is all about this sort of denial.
Men are likely more prone to visual stimuli than women in terms of sexual attractiveness because men are most concerned, from a genetic standpoint, with the health of the female. Women are concerned that men prove to be good providers after the birth of a child. Men, at an instinctive level, are probably concerned with ensuring that the woman is able to bear a healthy child. Often these genetic calculations are not easily verbalized. They are simply part of the logical calculation of reproduction and exist not just for humans but for many animals.
Yet someone like MacKinnon may be seen as denying all this. Although there are probably relatively few healthy, heterosexual males in the world that would not willingly look at pictures of naked women, MacKinnon, in her heyday, attracted considerable attention by attempting to criminalize this kind of behavior. While there do not seem to be studies that show a definitive linkage between pornography and violence, MacKinnon attempted to make one anyway. The singular and substantive legacy of her efforts (and of others who espouse similar ideas) is that increasingly authoritarian Western cultures have tended to utilize such flawed and subjective assertions about pornography as a way of justifying various kinds of repressions and censorship.
But radical feminism has other ramifications as well, that make it most useful to the power elite. The dominant social theme that sexual differences are merely behavioral plays right into the hands of those who wish to use the state to mold malleable humans. If it is culture and prejudice that produces sexual differences, then it only stands to reason the state itself can rectify these differences and thus, in the process, build a more equitable and just world.
This argument goes back at least to Rousseau and his idea of the human "blank slate" or tabula rasa which had a good deal of influence on the larger Age of Reason. The Age of Reason was in some sense a deformed excrescence of the Renaissance, which had rediscovered the art and science of the Greek and Roman classical period. From these discoveries eventually arose the idea that humans could, through the exercise of rationality alone, reshape their environments and themselves. The logical instrument to wield was the state.
And thus we arrive at humankind's various, recent "revolutions" – in Russia, China and indeed across the world. The idea was that the state itself would build a new man without the limitations of the old one. It didn't work of course and resulted instead in the deaths of millions. But nonetheless the meme remains attractive and continually finds root in the fertile soil of grand human ambitions. Much feminist literature is unfortunately based on this approach, which seems to have as its postulate that society itself (the state) needs to find a way to raise men and women with less sexual variability and more equality.
This is obviously the premise of Ms. Cordelia Fine's new book and we have no idea why this particular meme is re-emerging now. But we would guess (just a shot in the dark) that Ms. Fine is not a parent, for anyone who has had children knows that there are usually differences between sexes almost from infancy and that these sexual differences probably have absolutely nothing to do with "culture." Little boys are likely to play in a mechanical way, often emphasizing building, while little girls are apt to turn almost any object, including eggs, rocks or sticks, into a kind of family unit.
Generalizations are inevitably just that: Human behavior is infinitely variable, but on the whole there are differences between the sexes, behaviorally, and these are evident and obvious to anyone who chooses to look. The question then becomes, given that sexual behaviorism is a reality, why does the kind of radical feminism that Cordelia Fine is apparently offering, reoccur. It is a fair question to ask because these sorts of speculations are inordinately divisive; they tend to pit the sexes against one another and provide the state itself with the opportunity to further criminalize (male) sexual behavior based on faulty feminist analyses.
Is the feminist meme really re-emerging? Is there going to be another bout of mainstream speculation as to how and why men are repressing women and causing them to mislay their "potential?" If there is, we would speculate that such rhetoric would be the result of the current financial crisis and an elite perception that even more women need to be encouraged to work outside the home.
Of course this kind of cause-and-effect speculation can rightfully be seen as kind of puerile because the larger dominant social themes of the elite tend to be ongoing, not necessarily timed to specific societal events. Still one cannot help wondering. One elite theme presumably has to do with feminizing men via social pressures; the idea being that the more feminized man is not such a threat to an established order. But to solidify this speculation one must begin to speculate on whether such individuals are indeed less dangerous to the powers-that-be than any other type.
The reemergence of the feminist theme of a sexual tabula rasa is a discouraging occurrence and one hopefully that will not find fertile soil in the 21st century. Certainly women should be "equal" to men, but that does not necessarily mean they should be the same. In the best of all possible worlds, women and men would have the options to find their paths as they chose to, and without blaming each other, generically, for personal failures.