Premature Education - Men and Women

It is said:
When you look into an abyss,
 The abyss glares back at you(Winking diabolically)
The nastiness of the abyss you’re looking into is yesterdays man. My father’s generation sought to sire only sons to underline their manliness, whereas their rural equivalents used lathis and lots of attitude to emphasize their machoism. Centuries old chutney of patriarchal power cannot help but bring a wistful taste to frequently spouted notions of fairness and gender equality.
For well over 2000 years, man has silenced and repressed half of the world’s population for a variety of reasons.  While patriarchy may have originated at a time when typically male qualities seemed more valuable for survival of the species, it possibly gained such dominance because they  were better suited for the empire-building that made the world we know today.  Perhaps it was either a lesson to Humanity about balance and the pitfalls of pursuing only outer rather than inner power, or quite simply an inevitability based on the natures of the two sexes.  Primitive man was physically stronger, more aggressive, with jolts of testosterone his society did not demand he control, while conveniently woman was physically weaker, bound to home and children, and perhaps comfortably resigned to play a supportive role.
The focus here is predominantly on women; while it is encouraging to see women changing and growing, especially to see girls in third-world countries take such motivated first steps as attending school, this will never be enough to achieve true equality or balance until men are motivated sufficiently to gracefully give space to their female counterparts in all key roles of empire building. Why is the primary focus of male driven society restricting itself to issues such as domestic abuse and teen sex (areas in which education is advocated for girls and women rather than boys and men), whereas comprehensive de-reservation for the male bastion is the paramount issue ? What do they think Woman is – a Man with Woe ?


More by :  Nikhil Sharda

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Comment Empowerment of women is a boon for Society. The question posed by the author is- 'how can men be motivated sufficiently to gracefully give space to their female counterparts in all key roles of empire building?'
It is interesting that in Europe and America a new type of male has emerged from the so-called 'slacker generation'- one who is unmotivated, unfocused, earns less than his father, is afraid of 'commitment' to the opposite sex, is in debt to credit card companies, considers recreational drug use and masturbatory porn to be 'life-style' attributes rather than a matter for shame- and that only the greatly expanded work load on women, as well as reliance on immigrants- has kept their economies going.

Still, it is alarming to consider that- for the U.K and soon the U.S- the average twenty something man- even if a college graduate in steady employment- will not own his first house till he is in his forties, that too only if his partner is also working.
People now in their forties or fifties are wondering whose savings out of productive labor- (i.e. surplus value) will enable them to enjoy retirement. Empire-building- i.e. widening the economic base- is needed if the dependent population are to sustain their life-style. But can this new type of emasculated man, with horizons narrower than that of his father's, generate that widening of the base? Yes, if his dispirited efforts and more than compensated for by his female peers- but will that really happen?

If both men and women have the same biological pre-disposition to pile up surpluses, the answer is yes. It makes no difference whether it is the women or the men who are dispirited and infantile. However, evolutionary biology provides a reason to doubt this notion. Women have a narrower reproductive window then men. A sixty year old woman with a lot of money in the bank can marry a 'toy-boy'- but can't have babies by him. An eighty year old man, hitching up with a 'gold-digger' can have babies. Men enjoy a far greater reproductive success multiplier effect, from wealth, than women do.

A second point relates to the far steeper trade-off between maternal, as opposed to paternal, time investment in child rearing with respect to work, enterprise and asset accumulation. Typically, a father's time spent with his family increases rather than decreases his fitness for work and appetite for enterprise an asset creation. This is because it comes at the cost of time spent drinking with his buddies or chasing skirt. For mothers, family time competes with social and professional advancement. Increasing current consumption of things like child care and consumer durables, at the expense of long term asset creation, offers a higher pay-off.

Women's empowerment will tend to reduce the demographic, and therefore political, weightage of those who embrace it (Patriarchy wasn't imposed by the sword; it out-bred Matriarchy). That is why there will always be a growing constituency to oppose it- one moreover women will find it individually rational to align themselves with.

26-Oct-2010 11:38 AM

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