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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I disagree, because psychology indicates that there is no difference in cognitive capacity between men and women.

Plus there were famous women, like Marie Curie, Ayn Rand (not a fan, but still), Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Victoria. And of course for bands there was Heart.  Okay that was a local band, but there are many famous female musicians.  

I think this has to be looked at from a systems perspective.  There were systems that discouraged extraordinary female figures from arising, yet any time the systems had a glitch, there were great women. 

"psychology indicates that there is no difference in cognitive capacity between men and women."

Yet the genders systematically choose differently. 

"Plus there were famous women"

Yes, but on no similar level as that of famous men.

"There were systems that discouraged extraordinary female figures from arising"

To be fair, up until around ~100 years ago, there were systems that discouraged anyone from arising, hence everything from slavery, serfdom, and the robot. For instance, in Victorian England women were expected to play instruments, yet few or none great female musicians arose at the same time as Bach and Beethoven revolutionized the genre.   

I am interested how Marie Curie and Ayn Rand are not on the same level.  I contend that I see no reason for them not to be.

"Yet the genders systematically choose differently."  This is something I am going to need to hear more about.

I get that there were system that discouraged many from arising, but many of the arisen already came as a result of what the privileged classes desired, and they were largely in control of who could provide it for them.  I think that is a dynamic to consider.  And even with those systems oppressing women, like I said, every time that the oppression had a glitch, women rose to greatness.

I'll help play contrarian.

I am interested how Marie Curie and Ayn Rand are not on the same level.  I contend that I see no reason for them not to be.

I think his point was less that these women aren't as impressive as their male counterparts, and more that for every extraordinary woman you name, he could name 20 extraordinary men.

Of each of those 20, I can run something like Pamela Hays ADDRESSING model on them and most of them will score as highly privileged.

But I need to understand, are you saying Marie Curie accomplished less?  I don't think we can say that.  I would say that impression is subjective, and not helpful to figuring this out.  What matters is the weight of the accomplishment.

Women were oppressed.  Still every once in a while despite the oppression, women who made it through the barrier rose to greatness when given the chance.

Consider out of the sample of how many female leaders there have been in history, how many of those females rose to greatness?  But if you look at the sample of how many male leaders there have been there have been many less men who rose to greatness.  Not to say women are better than men, but I see that as a better argument than this one.

In essence, in order to fairly measure this, we need to only use male examples of severely underprivileged individuals, such as George Washington Carver.

But I need to understand, are you saying Marie Curie accomplished less?  I don't think we can say that.

Obviously not. I specifically said the point was NOT that they are less impressive than men, but that there are fewer of them than there are men.

Nobody is saying women aren't talented, even to a great degree. But women who revolutionized their fields, composed jaw dropping masterworks (Beethoven's 9th, Bartok's quartets) are not just few and far between but almost entirely absent.  And yet, women do often excel at performing in ways that prove them equal to and often better than men. This is as true today as in yesteryear.  Different sexes, different talents. 

Men seem more drawn to grand projects than women. Architecture, symphonies, grand theories of science or mathematics. Men go for more macho activities than women. Men more than women want to set the world on its ear. I think it's the testosterone.

Or ego.

Unseen, I think you have brought up some good points about biology in some of the other posts on this thread about factors that contribute toward male dominance.

But this grand project thing falls into my issue about the the grand projects largely being desired by the wealthy privileged class.  This is almost like a supply and demand issue, but the wealthy class controlled who was allowed to complete the projects they demanded. In this sense I think the revolutionizing of the fields by women has been hindered due to their exclusion by the wealthy. 

But that would fall back on the point I made about how many times (i ought never to have said something as specific as any, so I will change any to many) many times when there was a glitch in privilege, and a woman made it through there were women who rose to greatness.   And if we took the amount of chances where women had similar privilege to men and rose to greatness, the amount of women who did rise to greatness compared to men is a lot higher.

Why would the wealthy want to misspend their money. They didn't become rich by wasting their money. Whatever they want, they want the best, irrespective, I would think, of the sex of the person producing it for them.

Suppose I'm some multibillionaire and I put a large-scale high rise apartment project up for competitive bids. I get three bids from male architects but the best one is from a female architect. Would I be crazy enough to go for an inferior design simply because it's the best one by a male? I don't think so.

Women have been hindered as you describe on the one hand, and yet also by being women who are in some ways different from men. 

When men want to do something, they become possessed by the idea and see it through almost by an act of will. One doesn't find women doing this very often.

I'm not saying anything about ALL women or ALL men. That would be idiotic. I'm talking about a statistical reality. 

Did you know that gay men, on average, make more money than straight men. How can that be with all the obstacles and oppression facing them? The oppression argument doesn't hold water, especially when it comes to the arts. There's nothing stopping a woman from writing a four movements symphony, and when people hear that symphony, they will judge it on its musical merits, not on the sex of the composer. But symphonies are not something most female classical composers seem to be interested in. Not to the degree men are.

Lets face it, those famous guys were probably just trying to impress a lady. Plus they kept their mothers busy when they where young. The most famous painting in the world may not be by a woman, but it is of a woman.

"Lets face it, those famous guys were probably just trying to impress a lady."

Undoubtably, why do we guys do anything anyway? :)

"Plus they kept their mothers busy when they where young."

As a son, I specialized in teaching my mother cooking and baking, so I believe you have a strong point.

"The most famous painting in the world may not be by a woman, but it is of a woman."

Indeed we appreciate beauty, of which I, and most other males - David notwithstanding -, are not supreme examples of. 

To me the Mona Lisa is not about female "physical" beauty. Behind those eyes there is a different world that even all the for-mentioned great men do not understand. The act of actually "listening" to a five-year old kid. The ability to have female empathy. The incubation and feeding of a another human inside of your own body.

Somehow these things are just expected and not revered.


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