Friday, April 25, 2008

Comment on "What are men for?"

Anonymous has left this comment on my post "What are men for?":

Let's face it, in modern times a man doesn't necessarily need a woman to survive. Do we need women for housekeeping (the main purpose of women in the past)? No - with the advent of modern machines, housekeeping has become a breeze. Sex? Maybe...but sometimes not even for this. What about giving birth? Yeah, I suppose we still need women for this...but rest assured, scientists are working on this one -

Once pregnancy is overcome, will women be needed for anything at all:

a) They're useless for building anything (houses, bridges, skyscrapers, roads, etc. - anything involving construction, skilled trades and most of the manufacturing industry).

b) They're not needed for science (check history), inventions (check history), or discoveries (check Nobel Laureates).

The lesbian feminist Camille Paglia summed it up like this - "If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts."

c) They're not needed for art, fashion design, hairstyling, or most things creative (gay men fill this role).

d) Men don't need them for cooking (all the best chefs in the world are men).

Yes, I know women possess a lot of the abilities modern society demands of us (like being good at cushy clerical office jobs). That's mostly because today our society is no longer based on "strength", but on "knowledge" and "ability" instead (and without affirmative action, women will never rise to the top of this new "knowledge" & "ability" society given there is a 8:1 ratio of male to female geniuses.)

But of course, just like a computer or television, women are still nice to have around (as long as they don't whine, talk too much, and do a host of other annoying things).

So, what are women really for? They're here to share this world and this life with us. We're not supreme to them and they are not supreme to us. We're all created equal ... and there's no-one 'more equal' than the others.

If it weren’t for the last paragraph, I’d be completely disagreeing with this comment, but as it is, he (I presume “Anonymous” is a man) is right about one thing: We’re all created equal, although in different genders and colours and with different talents and abilities. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a man or a woman, we all should have the same rights ... but that’s where equality ends these days - because when it comes to the chances at work or in certain areas of society, men still are ‘more equal’ than women.

But let’s get over this list again, shall we?

First of all, for most in history, women weren’t merely needed for housekeeping. On farms, men and women worked together, during harvest, for example, every hand on the farm was needed, no matter what kind of body it was attached to. In the cities of medieval Europe, most craftsmen worked together with their wives, too (and after the death of a man, his widow could take over the business on her own, including all positions in a guild). There are even scientists who doubt women did not take an active role in hunting. And I’d really like seeing men doing all the housework in addition to an eight-hour day and taking care of a lot of kids. Some manage (usually because they have to), but most are just too happy with letting someone else doing it. (And about modern machines: The Secretary as we know it today evolved from the Secretary of the past - a man who took care of another, wealthier man’s business, dates and so on - when the typewriter was invented. Men did think it below them to use one of those ... women didn’t.)

There also have been quite some important women in history. Hatshepsut did rule Ancient Egypt for quite a while, she enhanced the kingdom quite a bit through war and diplomacy, too. Elisabeth I. led England (and quite a bit of the rest of the world) throughout a rough time in history; after the early death of her husband, Queen Victoria ruled the largest Empire of that time for a long while, keeping it all together. Boudicca and her daughters fought the Romans (although in vain) and at least dared to oppose the strongest army of that time. (And how many women dictated history behind the backs of their useful decoys - otherwise known as husbands/lovers - is quite unclear. “The Pope-Maker of Rome”, a woman who was lover to at least two popes and mother to another one and used them like chessmen on a board, comes to mind.)

Most of Germany was, in fact, rebuild by women after World War II. If we’re so useless at it, why are the buildings, bridges, roads etc. still standing? Women usually are not found in professions associated with building (although that’s changing, more and more women go for architecture), but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of doing it.

As far as science, history and discoveries are concerned: there are more men than women noted there, right, but not always those named are necessarily those who “did something first”. The Nobel Committee was for quite some time made up of men. Whom would they choose? A fellow man or a woman (who was not supposed to be in science at all)? And what about women like Mme. Curie? There might be more geniuses among men, yes, but, unfortunately for men, there are more idiots (speaking in terms of IQ) among men, too. The curve is farther spread in both directions.

When it comes to giving birth: It’s just as likely women could one day be able to do without men, too. It might be possible to fuse two eggs, then one of the two ‘mothers’ could carry the baby and no sperm would be needed - whereas men will always need machines or suchlike for all of the process.

Well, I think gay men would be the only ones not missing women at all ... but that doesn’t mean they’re more creative than women. Again, judging the abilities from the past won’t work: Some women who were in arts, music, design or literature disguised themselves as men just to be allowed to do it. They didn’t do so because they wanted to be men, but because women were kept away from those areas.

And yes, the best chefs are men, but that doesn’t mean all men are better at cooking. If they are, then what’s keeping them from doing it today? I’m sure a lot of women would be happy if their husband/boyfriend did the cooking after a long workday on which both have been quite stressed.

I could end this with remarking women don’t really need man that much, either, but I won’t. We’re sharing this world and we’d all be better off if we just lived together well, without one gender claiming it was ‘supreme’. (That, of course, also goes for race and various other fractions of humanity.) As it is, we still are not - and thus arguments like those of Anonymous aren’t useful for either of us.

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