Sorry for the delay, folks, I am finding this thread quite a challenge.
, I honestly thing we are not very good at controlling ourselves: we know far better how others ought to behave than how to behave ourselves (we get away with what we can, when no-one’s looking). I think this is true whatever the sex, but I think men are particularly good at controlling women, and women are particularly good at controlling men. This is why marriage is so important, as is a balance between the sexes in public life.
, sorry you’ve got bored. Yes, I am proud of my partially created masterpiece, and, yes, I do feel my difficult marriage gives me special insight. It’s not just that I feel beaten down by women, I claim that all men are being beaten down by most women -- a bit like patriarchy in reverse, only for much longer. So yes, I desperately yearn to put women in their place, both in public and private.
As for using flowery language I hope I’m getting better. I am trying to use the most direct words, even though they are taboo. Dominate, control, judge, discipline, shame, punish, sorry, submit … I’m trying to revive them all. I don’t think I’m particularly clever, but I do have a particular advantage: most people are going around with their eyes closed to these sex differences. No, I don’t want to “talk about [my] own pain” - that’s the female way -- I want to talk about how to fix things. Thanks for your stimulating criticism.
, no, I'm not becoming a Salafist anytime soon. Being an evangelical atheist, I am somewhat sceptical of all religions. Anyway, we in the West should stop trying to advise Saudi men how to treat their women. We treat our women far worse. We have watered down the limits on their behaviour -- speech, fashion, divorce, feminist outpourings, claims to equality -- and as a result their rate of depression keeps on climbing. The Saudis appear to being draconian in public with the burqa (I have voted against it here in the UK), but in the home the husband is even more beleaguered than in the West. Few men prefer pornography to the real thing, and yet Saudi porn viewing back in the 80s was the highest in the world. God only knows what it is now. I think this is because they are denied sex -- frigidity is a real crime. No, I would not want to live there -- in some ways men are more bullied there than in the West.
, ah, I think I’m getting a glimpse of the distinction you are trying to draw. We cannot choose our relations (except our spouses, in the West), so we are liking them and preferring them for biological reasons, not rationally or out of choice. But we can choose to shun them (or divorce), can't we?, and that is rational behaviour, if not good behaviour.
, so many good points! I think I agree with you that individual characteristics should generally override sex stereotypes when choosing roles within the family -- even to the point of choosing who is dominant (though I would be very aware of the validity of the stereotype you mention: “the man is biologically hardwired to want to be in control and therefore it's emasculating and dysfunctional for a relationship where he's not”). But I insist on extending that judgement to the public sphere where -- even if it were true, which it is not -- it is quite wrong to force the equality stereotype over individual qualifications in careers. It is pernicious that companies and governments the world over have initiated 50% quotas for women under the guise of ‘diversity’. Merit should be the criteria for selection, not sex, and 10% would probably be about right for women in STEM, the boardroom and parliament.
Some stereotypes, however, are strong enough to need recognising in our rituals. Here’s a marriage vow I’d like to institute: “A husband should contradict his wife at least once a day; she can contradict him all she wants. A wife should encourage her husband at least once a day; he can encourage her all he wants”.
Currently, sexual harassment is very strongly stereotyped by feminists (and the #MeToo movement) as men’s responsibility, but they’ve got it the wrong way round. When man and woman meet, the woman is in charge: she displays, he proposes, she manages his behaviour. If a man persists after she has told him to stop it is sexual assault -- not harassment -- and her judgement should leave no room for doubt. All he's got to do is to keep trying. Dressed to signal her intentions, she remains in control by always drinking less than him -- under her supervision they can go ahead. If she loses confidence she must stop him right away. If they both drink too much and have sex without her formal permission it is her fault — she has shirked her responsibility. If he rapes her he should go to jail.
, I am delighted you see some of the differences I see between male and female logic -- not so thrilled that you think I’ve got most of them exaggerated or the wrong way round! First of all, we are strongly in agreement here:
There is a healthy tension in this as long as men are men and women are women. The push for a kind of interchangeability is what screwed the pooch. Further muddying the water is all this gender fluidity/trans nonsense.
Thank you for putting it so clearly. I also agree that women are better at pretending to find holes in arguments -- I just think they are better at finding real holes as well. Now I will try to cover the main points of contention.
: certainly in their published literature, the feminists, in thousands of books, break the rules all the time (“Delusions of Gender” by Cordelia Fine being a particularly egregious example), whereas the only book in the last 60 years truly to support men, “Why Men Rule” by Steven Goldberg, is excruciatingly meticulous in its logic. Again, the output from Women’s Studies dwarfs that from Men’s Studies (and even that is feminised), and all that output is of such little value that 80% is never cited at all. So, as far as cheating in print is concerned, I’d say the ladies have it several thousand to one! No two individuals vary that much.
Our opposite opinions
. I see men (you see women) as: communitarian, change-resistant, prone to guilt, rule-making, poor fault-finders, civilisers. In my support I say that it is precisely because women are so focussed on the family that they are less concerned with the community. Women have know who their children are for hundreds of millions of years, whereas men are still not quite sure. Thus women can support their own offspring while men have to keep an eye out for the whole community. Precisely because she puts more emphasis on the family, she can put less emphasis on the importance of the community.
As far as change is concerned, women’s fashions certainly supports me, as does their stereotype of fickleness. And surely you agree that men are more disciplinarian? The feminists strongly agree: not only would we like to control our wives overtly, they say, but we are generally more strict with the children as well. Women are excellent at getting men to do their bidding, but they don’t do it so much by making rules for him directly, and then overtly punishing him for infractions -- they do it by stealth. Men build hierarchies, classes, categorisations, and sex differences … women question them and undermine them.
There are obviously many arguments for and against, but that’s some argumentation in support of my side.