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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And yet, there seem to be fields where even in today's less bigoted climate women don't seem to show much originality. Talent, yes, but originality no. Architecture, philosophy, symphony composition. No client is going to turn down a major architectural design and choose an inferior one because the better one was done by a woman. Off the top of my head, I am unaware of much groundbreaking philosophy done by women. Ditto for symphonies, though there are several excellent female conductors. Let's stop pretending the sexes are more the same than they actually are. Women aren't inferior, but they show their talent in different areas. 

Perceptual psychologists have discovered rather strong differences between the way men and women perceive and process perceptions. For example, men are better at creating and maintaining a mental map of an area and navigate by that map. A woman will tend to remember her way by landmarks. "To get to the school I drive up Main St and turn left at the Sunoco station, right at Mimi's Diner and then the school is two blocks up on the left." The male counterpart is driving through a map in his head. Of course, these are tendencies, not hard and fast totally discrete differences.

So don't create discussion around a somewhat controversial issue. Gotcha. And having read through the thread I haven't really seen any hostility. In general debates on this site may get heated, but I haven't come across much hostility - unless you define disagreeing as hostility.

The quote itself is lifted from the book "How to be a Woman", written by a highly regarded woman, and the title reflects it target audience being women. Saying that it's insulting reflects more on you, apparently those poor and weak women need to be sheltered from uncomfortable statements in your world.

I unfortunately have to head off to work, so my weekend of being a contrarian just became a lot more difficult. You can have your wish in that regards. :) 

Women's history?! That's fairly innane, history is a science and that is akin to "Women's physics". I dare you to tell my sisters that women don't have normal history...

While special pleading is cute, you may wish to stack one side against the other, which is what Moran did and offered you her conclusion. 

A strawman would be me putting words in your mouth that you didn't say. You went in to defend women, I made the statement that it wasn't necessary or asked for, and quite insulting in my view. Women can defend themselves quite well without your help, and they are much more likely to attack the argument than the man, as evidenced elsewhere in this thread.

Yeah, I think I'm done with this thread. Feeding a barking dog only stops the barking long enough for it to swallow.

The conversation reminds me of the ugly, in class, harrangs offered to the male students in a Feminist Theory class I took years ago. Guys were labled 'bastards' in the class, all eight of us, and were dared to 'prove' otherwise! 

Again, someone's shit stinks. Watching my father abuse family and friends because 'he was a MAN, and women were second class citizens', gave me a deep incentive to look at my own life and beliefs. Forcing anyone to measure up, or making them feel worthless, is ugly. Taking some obvious ugly position, just to see how much heat can be generated, just more of the same.     

Okay, go find discussions that don't make you uncomfortable. Meaningful discussions generally do make some people uncomfortable, however, or they would have been discussed out long ago.

Sadly, Unseen, this is not one of thoughs conversations. This is a fool useing the Strawman fallacy, and you falling for it!

Jehanne de'Arc (Joan of Arc) is certainly a woman of the past whose convictions and abilities cannot be denied. It is ironic though that her faith in jesus was unable to prevent her demise by men of jesus.

In the 21st century the contributions of women to all fields of study will become increasingly prominent. The Bronze Age shackles of misogyny are rapidly falling away. You go, girl!

I don't think the argument was made that no woman had contributed to history, but rather that women have underperformed in history, with an addenda that we'll take note of it when it happens.

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.


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