Cloister the Men!

I was pondering the other day about biological differences between men and women.  While I am certain there are average differences in many categories, as I explained previously, a difference in mean does not imply that we can make any a priori assumptions about the individual nature of any woman or man we might meet.

But it is often been a common argument from men who aren’t interested in gender equality to say that a patriarchy is simply because of the difference in the nature of men and women.  The world is as it should be at the women must accept their place and not interfere with the nature of things.  In thinking about history and the state of the world today, I thought, if this were in fact true, the conclusion one must arrive at if we are to at least acknowledge the humanity of women is that men are a serious threat to safety and well-being.

From a purely statistical view point, the damage done by men in this world is astounding.  Let’s look at political leadership. In 2017 only 8 women held the highest political office in their country.  This is a drop from the highest number which was 17.  That’s less than 10%, at our best, of all the countries in the world.  Only 22.8% of elected offices are held by women.  This is up from 11.3% in 1995.  The picture gets bleaker the further back you go.  Through war and bloodshed, throughout human history there is one commonality among these stories.  Men.  Male leaders, male generals, male soldiers.  Now I am not saying you won’t find some women scattered in there, but the percentage is overwhelmingly low.

The picture doesn’t get much better when you look at religions.  Most deities are men, most males play prominent roles in religious stories, and women are usually the troublemakers, tempting men to their end and punishing us all in kind.  Clergy are largely men from Brahmans to Pastors. And yes things have got a bit better, but research shows that currently in the U.S. only 10% of congregations are led by a female.  And again it gets worse if you go back into the past.  So if you’re looking at a history of religious persecution and oppression, the cloistering of education and literacy which typically only happened at religious institutions where women weren’t allowed, the common denominator is once again men.

Let’s now go down in scale, away from the level of nations and large institutions.  About 90% of murders are committed by men.  Like all those stories about mass shooters?  You know what they have in common?  It isn’t jihad or domestic terrorism…it’s…you guessed it.  Men.  About 75 percent of all legal felonies are committed by men and 96% of domestic violence convictions are of men.  Before you say that there are men being physically abused too by spouses and aren’t being believed, let’s just call it a wash with other women who are being physically abused in similar situations and can’t report because they are too afraid, are not being believed, or lived in a culture that supports men’s right to beat their wives.  When it comes to rape, 1 and 6 women report being a victim of rape.  Compare that to about 1 in 33 of men report being a victim of rape.  And at least half of those rape victims are being raped by other men.

And it doesn’t get any better for child molestation.   Ninety-six percent of the child molestation incidences reported to police were perpetrated by males.

Now if any MRA members are reading all this, I’m sure you are getting ready to weaponize yourself with facts on the under-reporting of the bad women out there.  Again, I don’t doubt that there are, but any claim that the proportions are anywhere close to equal, you are simply going to lose that battle.  Once again, the proportion of under-reporting for violence committed against females is still very high.  From a percentage standpoint, you aren’t going to gain much ground.

Based on history and present day, it would seem the best thing to do, for the protection of all people is to cloister men.  Keep them at home, doing house chores to occupy their time.  Their obsession with power mixed with apparently too much free time seems to have terribly violent ends.  Perhaps spending more time with children will help them understand why all the excessive killing is harmful.  I have no doubt there are some good men out there and this seems really unfair to them but I think when you really look at the violence that has been perpetrated by men to women and even other men, leaving the house is something you should probably ask permission for from a female. And you should probably only be out with a female so they can keep an eye on you to make sure you don’t pull out any weapons, or try to rape somebody.  I’d say you’d need a female boss or foreman at work, but the jobs men should get are very limited owing that having too many men in public seems to be extremely dangerous.  When out, men should stay in well lit areas, and perhaps some sort of secure undergarment so you don’t whip it out casually in hopes that a random woman on the street will want to see it.  Curfews and modesty are the key I think.  If it’s true that we recognize women as humans this seems like sensible policy.  I suspect that the long history of dehumanizing women is the reason why this hasn’t happened.

Is it true that given equal education a woman could have just as easily come up with the First Law of Thermodynamics or the Universal Law of Gravitation?  This seems likely, but I’m not sure that our world of violence isn’t largely the cause of men.  You may say this isn’t true, and you may be right, but I for one am happy to give women the reins (and reigns) for awhile and give them a chance to see if they can do it as badly as men.  Only then can we have an honest conversation about the true nature of men and women and who is fit for power, rather than just who has power.

“Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, “They are afraid women will laugh at them.” When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, “We’re afraid of being killed.”

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16 thoughts on “Cloister the Men!

  1. Totally agree. Men are more predisposed to aggressive behavior, which explains the shape we’re in, while women are likely to consider the long term consequences, particularly on children, before taking any action. I’m for female leaders all the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I do think the proportion should be higher, but I do think that there is value at times of being aggressive and also risk taking which also tends to be an on average male quality. I think leadership ultimately does require a diversity of attitudes to work in concert with each other and find compromise, On average I would the proportion of women in leadership should be greater. That’s just my feeling…but I think it should be more like 60-50, or 65-35. A far cry from where we are now.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Edit: a difference in mean does not mean

    Women can behave just as badly as men.

    When thinking about women in science my mind is always drawn to Cecilia Payne, the doctoral student to Eddington who never ‘graduated’ because of her sex. What a mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Also it’s amazing how stuck up the UK was back in the day. I recently watched the movie Infinity about Ramanujan and how resistant Cambridge was to promoting an Indian to the rank of Fellow, not to mention many of them resistant to his ideas simply because he was an Indian. I read a bit more about him after the movie. He seems a truly remarkable fellow. Shame he died so young.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Agreeing with John! I like your post here, Swarn, and can also sense and appreciate the humorous side of your post, even though much of the subject matter is also quite serious.

      I would like to remind that men have long been expected to behave in certain ways and by certain standards, and would like to add that men, not just women, have been oppressed by themselves (and by women to some extent) for very long, at the very least, in dress codes, hair style, fashion and jewellery, in how, what, when and where they can wear and show.

      Perhaps instead of cloistering men, they can and should be rendered more feminine insofar as some anthropologists, human behaviourists and (developmental) psychologists have come to recognize through extensive research that androgyny (in which an individual can exhibit, learn, exercise, interact and/or experience in/via both masculine and feminine ways) allows any human beings to be most adaptive, communicative and empathetic, whilst being able to tap into a wider range of emotions, activities, spheres and influences with greater ease, understanding and commitment. Androgynous parents also tend to have the healthiest (in all the meanings of the word) children.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for this great comment SE. That’s very interesting research about androgyny, but that makes a lot of sense. I certainly would like to live in a world where the expression of one’s feminine or masculine side was simply seen as natural and accepted. I would imagine, given a world of absolute freedom of expression and without the judgment we would all be on a spectrum to a certain degree of masculine and feminine, and this would have little bearing on what sex we might be attracted to. Although I also think even that attraction exists very much on a spectrum.

        And I completely agree with you that the hyper-masculine values are also dehumanizing to men as well. My mom lives in Pakistan where it is quite patriarchal and many men mistreat their wives terribly…but such men also miss out on many essential human experiences. Both husband and wife don’t get to experience real love. So many boys grow up thinking emotional expression is not manly and are discouraged from being the humans that they really are. It is a tragedy on both sides for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pretty sure I would start beating my kids if I was forced to stay home with them all day…

    On a somewhat related note: Evelyn (my 6 year old daughter) current future career is to be an engineer (she’s off astronaut since she found out they drink recycled pee). A few weeks ago we were waiting in the van and she asked me why there weren’t more girls at my work (we have one woman out of seven employees). I said that there aren’t as many women as men in physics and engineering, so when we need to hire someone new, we don’t have very many female candidates (or none at all). In fact we recently offered a job to a woman who is a technologist, but she accepted an offer from another company. I was taken off guard when Evelyn responded, “Does that mean I shouldn’t be an engineer?” I hope that I was able to convey she should do what she wants regardless of what other people are doing, but I was somewhat speechless at the time.

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    1. You would not beat your kids. Shut up! lol

      That is sort of alarming, but I think maybe normal in terms of social development in that she is starting to identify with the gender she self-identifies with. But it does speak to how the world we grow up in defines our normal. Even if it was the case that women were on average less likely to be engineers it still wouldn’t be cause of course to assume any woman who wanted to be engineer wouldn’t make a good one. And it’s alarming to find out how much the human mind is looking essentially at the data of the number of female engineers and then thinking well I don’t fit because of my gender. It’s hard to argue though how much of nature it is and how much it is because of more patriarchal societal values. I doubt that any man feels the same way when he sees a dominance of females in the biological sciences. Hell I wished I was interested in pharmacy because there were like 80% females in that program at U of A and I couldn’t have been surrounded by scores of intelligent women to choose from. Meteorology was also very dominated by men when I want to school. But this has changed over the years and the new normal has allowed a fairly even distribution of men and women to continue enrolling in meteorology programs. Perhaps that’s the way to sell it to Evelyn (provided her career interests don’t change again in a year lol) that boundaries are meant to be broken and that engineering needs great female engineers so that more women can do the things that they love to do.

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      1. I would say that I was being half facetious when I said I would beat my kids. I wouldn’t beat them, but my desire to be cruel increases with prolonged exposure, especially when confined to being indoors. It’s the crying. There’s so much crying.

        Evelyn’s off being an engineer. She told me she wanted to work with animals and when they’re hurt she wants to go find them and help them get better. I asked her if she wanted to be an animal rescuer. She said that was it, so I told her that’s not a real job. It’s just made up. That’s when the crying started. Again. I never realized how insensitive I was until I became a dad.

        I find the situation around women in engineering quite interesting. When I entered university in 1995 there was about 20% female enrollment. It turns out that was a peak. Enrollment dropped for approximately 10 years following and then started increasing again until reaching about 20% again in the last couple years. Given the deviation from enrollment in biology and medicine, for example, it would seem that women just aren’t as interested in engineering. Is that driven by social influences or biology? Does it matter? I watched a TED talk by Debbie Sterling, the found of GoldieBlox, an engineering toy marketed towards girls. She talked about the struggles she had as an engineering student and had a desire to give girls a better opportunity to play with toys that would better prepare them for future engineering related careers. The toys are pretty good. (Although they always come with some goofy book to help build an emotional attachment with the toy. Who needs that? Some of my best friends are gears and sprockets!) But what stands out to me is that in her desire to help girls become engineers, she never worked as an engineer herself. So, she’s much more of an entrepreneurial success story than an engineering success story. So, in conclusion, I realize that I no longer remember what my original point was, if I even had one, so I’ll stop here. Also, I think I’ve commented along these lines before, so I apologize for not being fresh.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m a proponent of tough love myself…but I don’t get that annoyed by the crying…but I do get surprised by what kids cry at sometimes. Often I’m thinking to myself “really? That’s why you’re going to cry? lol

          I do think that whether it’s biological or not matters though, if we want to live in a world where people can flourish in accordance to their talents, which requires nurturing along the way regardless of what genetic disposition you might have.

          For instance there is very little representation of black people in the Earth Sciences (and hard sciences in general). Is this because of some ability deficiency? This clearly isn’t the case, but I’m often told by black people who look at these things that a lot of time black people choose professions which they feel are more prescient to their community needs. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but when a community doesn’t have the freedom to diversify in career paths then it does tell us something is wrong with how that community is being treated in a society, and it gives us more information about what we need to do. I believe there might be some biological factors that might impact what people choose to do, but I can certainly say that we are not a place in society where all groups are equally free to follow any sort of biological inclination. I can think of plenty of reasons why women might not choose engineering which are issues we might address. But I do agree that it is reasonable to expect some differences in career choice among genders, but I am not sure it should be quite as disparate as it is now.

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