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.
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.
Although you and other respondents make an interesting point (i.e., for every woman of note in history you can probably name 20 men of equal note)... even if true it does not matter.
All that should matter is that some individual achieved whatever it was that they achieved. Radioactivity got investigated. Does it really matter that it was investigated by a woman? Does it really matter that the best science popularizer alive today is black? Or that the President of the United States had a black parent?
What mattersis what's in your head and what you have accomplished, not what plumbing you have or how much melanin you had while doing it.
That having been said any present barriers to achievement on the basis of these non-essential characteristics should be torn down. They are racist/sexist and disgusting. But trumpeting the accomplishments of people specifically because of these non-essential characteristics is just as racist or sexist.
Does it matter that the 100m sprint has been done quicker than a man, or should the sexist division of gender in the olympics be scuttled?
And to step off my dissent, of course there should be no societal hindrances against accomplishment. But that's kicking in open doors, isn't it?
In athletics, the differences are not non-essential. In more intellectual pursuits like science, they are.
But in male dominated society wouldn't you suppress works and rewrite history to show that a man did it anyway if possible?
But in a christian dominated society wouldn't you suppress works and rewrite history to show that a christian did it anyway if possible?
Of course a christian man did everything great. If your point is that woman have far underperformed in history (herstory) than are you saying that performance demands the will to cheat?
I think women are equal to men in every way except physically. Men TEND to be more muscular and capable of more sudden and effective outbursts of energy. However, I think it's clear there are hardwired differences and hormonal differences that make women different in ways that reflect themselves in the different histories of men and women.
One can assert that the fact that pyramids, giant corporations, political coups, symphonies, etc., tend to be the product of male efforts, not female, is due to the oppression of women, and no doubt that's part of the truth. Yet, I don't think most women in history have aspired to such accomplishments. The few exceptions (Cleopatra, Madame Curie, and Georgie O'Keefe for example) are conspicuous by their rarity.
I'm not saying it's due to a lack of talent or ability, but that most women have person-centered lives and rarely have found in themselves an overwhelming desire to master power, be it political power, intellectual power, or artistic power. And most of the women who have competed head to head with mean have produced journeymanly results rather than earthshaking or revolutionary results.
Consider the impressionist movement in art. It produced only several woman painters of note, Mary Cassatt being the most well-known. However, I don't think anyone considers their art quite the equal of the top male impressionists, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Toulousse-Lautrec, or Manet.
More than social conditioning or sexual politics, I think what has kept women from excelling in fields competing with men is a difference in the balance between the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Men and women have both hormones but in a different balance. That and some of the hard-wired behaviors and tendencies accounts in a very large way for the difference.
The ability to be aggressive and ruthless and obsessively single-minded about things is more of a mail characteristic and that accounts for how Arcus could even frame such a question, designed as I'm sure it was to be provocative and perhaps even insulting.
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?
We call your "putting things at the point" being a troll just for negative attention. You have succeeded at pissing people off, now what are you going to do to repair your reputation or do you even care?
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.