[DEBATE] : Re: Male/female inequality
grinker at mweb.co.za
Thu Jun 1 14:53:50 BST 2006
Why is it that some men automatically assume that any attempt to
discuss the realities of male/female inequality around the world amounts to
hatred of men or an assumption that men are inherently pathological?
I never intended to suggest such a thing. I posted a reference to an article
(which nobody so far appears to have bothered to read in full) because I
thought it was particularly useful. Actually, the key point it made was that
changing gender relations don't mean a loss of status by men relative to
women but rather a reduction in the status of both sexes.
It would be nice if we could actually try to discuss this without such
assumptions and generalizations.
I thought that this was what I was in fact trying to do: asking for more
specificity when trying to understand women's position in different periods
and contexts. This was taken to mean that I believe that all is well for
women under capitalism - far from it.
"...male sexual behaviour, male violence, patterns of male solidarity,
unequal attitudes towards childcare, the attitudes that dominate in the
press, and yes - sometimes among 'radicals', too."
Judging by what he wrote (some of it above) I do think David Renton has a
pretty misanthropic outlook and little faith that conscious human beings can
change things for the better.
I agree that the oppression of women is a fundamental problem. We merely
differ on who and what to blame for this. Putting it crudely, one option is
to point to the current forms of social relations. Another is to look to
hard-wired gender differences. The latter seems to me to revert to
naturalised explanations of the way we are (pretty much in the same league
as Peter M's understanding of women's nurturing role) and rule out the
potential for conscious change. The only alternative in this case would seem
to be more state interference to regulate relations between the sexes.
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