Even the most ardent historian, male or female—citing Amazons and tribal matriarchies and Cleopatra—can’t conceal that women have basically done fuck all for the last 100,000 years. Come on—let’s admit it. Let’s stop exhaustingly pretending that there is a parallel history of women being victorious and creative, on an equal with men, that’s just been comprehensively covered up by The Man. There isn’t. Our empires, armies, cities, artworks, philosophers, philanthropists, inventors, scientists, astronauts, explorers, politicians and icons could all fit, comfortably into one of the private karaoke booths in SingStar. We have no Mozart; no Einstein; no Galileo; no Ghandi. No Beatles, no Churchill, no Hawking, no Columbus. It just didn’t happen.

Nearly everything so far has been the creation of men—and a liberal, right-on denial of it makes everything more awkward and difficult in the long run. Pretending that women have had a pop at all this before but ultimately didn’t do as well as the men, that the experiment of female liberation has already happened but floundered gives strength to the belief that women simply aren’t as good as men, full stop. That things should just carry on as they are—with the world shaped around, and honouring, the priorities, needs, whims, and successes of men. Women are over, without having even begun. When the truth is that we haven’t even begun at all. Of course we haven’t. We’ll know it when we have.

~Caitlin Moran

Do you agree or disagree with the above sentiment and statements, and why or why not?


NOTE: I'll be contrarian in the discussion, both because I find it fun, and also because echo chambers are boring.

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Good points, though my mail characteristics are limited to picking it up from the box after work. :)

I actually didn't design too much at all, I formulated a controversial statement/question in a way we call i Norwegian to "put things at the point". However, it was merely a formulation two paragraphs from a book which isn't actually viewed as all that controversial and has received good reviews. That it's perceived as provocative - even insulting - is perhaps a better measure of the debate in the US than the question itself?


I do know the difference between "mail" and "male," but as I get older, homonyms and alternative spellings of same tend to take over my fingers.

Hypatia, Jane Goodall, Marie Curie, Emma Goldman, Rosalind Franklin, Grace Murray Hopper, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Sophie Germain, Amalie Emmy Noether, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Sanger, and on and on.

Enough said.

Is this really a serious question?  I just don't buy into the premise.

The arguement dismisses the active support role that women played in nearly every male victory. The Wright Brothers could not have achieved anything and would be in the dustbin of history if it were not for their sister Katharine Wright handling their business while they went out trying to invent a flying machine. It could be argued that the US would not have won WWII if Mary Feik had not invented a way to train pilots without killing them in the process. 

In almost all instances, going back into the 100,000 years the author cites, virtually every man you could list was fed by a woman, he was also likely advised by a woman as they gained more access to education. What would he have achieved if he had not been fed or advised? Women's roles have been behind the scenes, but are 0% less important. We are symbiotic creatures, and one could not exist without the other. Mozart, Einstein, Galileo, et. al. are nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing without the women in their lives starting of course with their mothers.

We are 40 years into widespread use of birth control in the US, which is nearly insignificant in historical terms, however these past 40 years have set the stage for all of the future of an equality we have yet to fully realize. Our understanding, or at least my understanding of gender roles has been challenged many times. And as time moves forward, it will be very interesting to see where these roles will turn into a new version of normalcy. 

The author's "Women are over, without having even begun." comment is at best speculative, and at its worst is flat offensive.

Speaking for myself, I'm not interested in the past. Oppression of women explains a lot of it.

I'm more interested in why changes in gender attitudes haven't borne the expected fruit to the expected degree, and I believe it comes down to inherent differences in the sexes based on hormones and hard wiring. Men and women have different interests and inclinations as well as different degrees of aggressiveness. Yes, social conditioning enters in some. However, I think we need to accept that men and women are different, want different things out of life, derive their pleasures from different sorts of things, and that social conditioning doesn't account for all of it.

And I'm speaking in general statistical terms. There's nothing preventing a particular woman from excelling in a male-dominated field or vice versa, but in the aggregate don't expect huge changes. I think the women who do compete with men in male-dominated fields feel that they are somehow different from other women. Likewise for the male going into nursing or elementary education, for example.

Here's a woman who excelling in a male-dominated field, Hedy Lamarr co-invented an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication in the present day. She looks pretty smart to me ;)

Maybe Arcus won't grant that women have done anything of note, but that isn't my position. My position is that men and women tend to apply themselves differently, to have different interests, and so on. This is coming into focus more and more as the lot of women improves and less and less can be blamed on that bad old bugaboo oppression. Let's celebrate the differences between the sexes. Women and men are just different. That's all.

Let me give you a concrete example of my point from my own life. I've been a photographer of women. One model seemed to have a chip on her shoulder over the fact that by far most photographers are male. "You know, we could take the photos and make the money you make," she said. I said, "Where are all the women photographers, then? All it takes is to buy a camera and learn to use it and start taking pictures people want to buy." The fact is, given the choice of being a model or a photographer, a lot more women dream of being models than of being photographers.

Yes, the cell phone either wouldn't have been developed at all, or would have been developed much later without the contribution of Miss Lamarr. Her contribution is to communications security as well. In fact, that was the purpose of her original invention: to make communication and control secure by constantly changing frequencies so the enemy couldn't listen in or interfere, but the American government didn't listen, probably because she was just an actor, and a female actor as well.

Women surpass men in IQ tests for first time ever.

Just saw this article and thought it might be relevant :)

That's great, but IQ is only one factor among quite a few contributing to success. Great mathematicians, for example, don't have a great record of success outside their field, and often not even within their field. Bobby Fischer might have had a higher IQ than Einstein, but that didn't keep him from being a jerk who never achieved much success outside the chess world. Traits that tend to adhere more to males than females, like egoism and single-minded (even obsessive) adherence to a task or goal can contribute to success and achieving goals others might find unreachable. Unfortunately, many of the objectively negative traits of men may actually contribute to their success.

Yes I agree, but it is a factor, nonetheless.  However, I was really looking more at the inference of "first time ever", indicatining that hitherto, men always surpassed women in such testings.

The article had follow-on links that I didn't chase down, but reference was made to the finding challenging previously held beliefs.

As regards the ability to focus completely one one thing for an extended period of time, I think men are far better at it than women.  I think women tend to think of many things at once.  It enables them to make connections and of course, multi-task.  On the down side, they don't compartmentalise mentally very well, and don't find it so natural to focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else.

Having said that, it's a total generalisation, and there will be lots of people who buck the trend.  I think it is a trend, not a rule.

I find that whenever one makes a general statement with some truth to it, some people will start saying "Well not all (fill in the blank) are like that," and I want to say "I SAID it was generally true which implies that sometimes it's not," but why bother? Some people are meant to be thinkers and some aren't.

The women who succeed competing against men are usually those who adopt what might otherwise be described as male values and a masculine single-mindedness. Men are more likely to do what benefits them whereas women are more likely to take friends and family into account, which holds them back in many ways. This is why most of the most successful women are either single or are absentee moms whose kids are brought up by mommy surrogates (her own mother, a nanny, a day care, etc.). It's very hard to be a corporate CEO or write a symphony while caring for one's child(ren).


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