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studiodekadent

The "Gender Role" argument. My Position

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Thanks for the list of gender roles.

FOR MEN

1. Boys shalt not wear makeup

2. Boys shalt not care about how they look or display vanity

3. Boys shalt not display emotions

4. Boys shalt prove themselves by demonstrating they are impervious to pain

5. Boys shalt generally act as a pack of wolves, especially in relation to the above commandment

6. When young, boys shalt hate girls, then when growing up will want to constantly fuck them, yet still not like them as company

7. Boys shalt not have a single female that is actually a friend

8. Boys shalt not like art

FOR WOMEN

1. Girls shalt not be sexual creatures

2. Girls shalt be the image of the submissive 50's housewife

3. Girls shalt not have deep and meaningful discussions unless they pertain to the latest issue of Cosmo

4. Girls shalt not show much interest in anything beyond being a mother

5. Girls shalt love pink obsessively

6. Girls shalt avoid logical thought at all costs

7. Girls shalt not display competence at integral calculus

8. Girls shalt be vapid, naive social metaphysicians (and yet not be able to spell it).

The roles for women have luckily been exposed as a demented fraud. The situation for men is much less liberated.

This is a pretty decent list (though I think that some of the roles you've listed are more a rant against some roles than actual roles in themselves). Rather than nitpick the list, I'd like to move the discussion to how such roles/rules are determined and enforced, and to the benefits in general of roles.

In Western democracies, gender roles are only weakly, if at all, enforced by government. Yes, in the USA, only men get drafted and women are unduly enriched in marriage and divorce, but these are exceptional and avoidable inequities. In general, the West protects your right to reject social roles and rules far moe than it enforces them. I even know people who were raised Muslim who've successfully rejected their religion and roles because the West is so good at protecting and supporting people who wish to do so.

I would count a rule/role as socially enforced if there is a high everyday likelihood that when you are expressing or violating it in public, you are going to receive overt or tacit approval or disapproval from random strangers.

If you're a boy growing up in BFE, Louisiana, who wants to wear makeup, it may be easier for you if your parents move to San Francisco, where one day you may grow up to be police commissioner. But even in BFE, LA, you're likely to be allowed to grow up without being put in a white bag, buried to the waist and then stoned to death. So what I have to say below applies only to first world societies where we've mostly gotten the government out of the business of enforcing gender roles.

There are far too many people who are ideologically-inclined who fail to keep context when comparing what is with what they think should be. They end up primarily expressing deep contempt for Western society's failings and neglecting appropriate gratitude--and even reverence--for how wonderful the West is compared to everything else. There are many Libertarians I've known who feel like they're being raped when they have to pay sales tax. I was one of them, when I was an adolescent. My take is that if you still feel this way past age 22, you're still an adolescent.

I'm not saying this teenager shoe fits you, Studiodekadent, but it does fit the list of roles you cited. There are many other gender rules/roles you could have cited that are positive: Men should protect women from physical threats; women should be nurturing and loving to children, etc. There are also a large number of Western roles that apply to both sexes and that neutralize the power of the roles you've cited: Thou shalt grow up to fulfill your full potential; thou shalt be tolerant of other races and lifestyles, Thou shalt say Please and Thank You, for examples.

There is a free market in gender roles in the USA today. There are many competing roles and expectations, and people are free to pick and choose which ones fit--and whose approval they are going to care about. In any big city, or even in a small town, a boy wearing makeup is likely to receive both approval and disapproval, though the ratios of approval to disapproval are likely to be different in different places. No, it's not perfect. It's sad for the little gay boy born to homophobic parents, but, keeping context again, not all that sad and no worse than the plight of the artistic kid born to dullards or the natural jock born to effete intellectuals.

There is a widespread--nearly universal--assumption shared by feminist intellectuals that enforcing gender-neutral roles would be a wonderful thing. This assumption reminds me of the Marxist assumption that free markets are inherently exploitative and that supplanting them would lead naturally to utopian freedom and prosperity for everyone. I'm reminded, because the intellectual narcissism and failure to understand what they critique is exactly same in both feminism and Marxism. (And the totalitarian style displayed by feminists when they get control of a university is similar to that of Marxists when they get control of a country.)

The great majority of people demanding gender-blindness aren't demanding that women be drafted or that women volunteer for the military and qualify for half the Navy SEAL spots. Or even that women drive half the trucks or be half the crew on every oil rig. Where is the feminist gender role expectation that women should start doing their equal share of the dirty, dangerous work that makes their mini-vans possible?

In practice, this demand for gender-neutral roles has so far resulted in two things:

First, the feminization of gender roles for men. For example, consider the momentum toward banning scorekeeping in children's sports. Or how boys aren't allowed out to play out of mommy's sight anymore, despite the fact that the dangers aren't really significantly greater than 50 years ago, just seen through a fear-filled feminized lens now.

Secondly, there has been a devaluing and delegitimization of male virtues and roles. For example, women tend to undervalue or are often oblivious to the fact that all that stands between them and living in a state of perpetual rape is good, strong men ready to do violence to anyone who tries it. Only in comic books, science fiction and video games are women willing and able to handle such jobs. But rather than appreciate and defend what their lives depend upon, feminists instead scorn martial virtues as immature and outmoded.

(By the way, women who disdain male competition and aggression are inviting the same rude shock that Marie Antoinette got. Women who shelter their sons from male roles are making it more likely that's exactly what their daughters are going to get. Marie Antoinette is archetypal as a pampered woman in denial about the barbarians at the gates, and thus an actual, if not ideal, role model for many upper-class American women.)

Gender-neutrality has not been about liberation and choice, but about sewing a new straight jacket outlawing either sex from doing or valuing anything that is not within the reach or interests of the other. Its about the lowest common denominator.

There is a strong case to be made that this feminization of our society is not an unqualified good or something that is even survivable.

The bottom line here (what a male way of putting things!) is that women need to think much harder about the consequences of getting what they want when it comes to converging gender roles. Or they may end up standing shoulder to shoulder with their men--on the same chair squealing Eek! a mouse.

Mike Lee

Why can't a woman be more like a man? That's not a rhetorical question.

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All this means is that there will be MORE women housewives and nurses and LESS women cops and athletes. Vice-versa for men. This is not a problem as long as the freedom is there.

I've tried to avoid this topic, but Mike Lee's belly laff about science fiction ticked me off. I have long held that men and women are different, indeed, have different political purposes. The first consequence is that we should amend the U.S. Constitution to grant women a co-equal voice in legislation, limiting membership of the House of Representatives to women only. Men can keep the Senate. Second, I argued that women should be exempt from the criminal law and responsible for law enforcement, and that a female judiciary is implied, to make it the law of the land.

Why do such a thing, contra nature? Because that's the only way we can end crime. Male cops can't do it and haven't done it. Men are the criminals, child molesters, rapists, drunk drivers, and wife beaters.

W.

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This is a pretty decent list (though I think that some of the roles you've listed are more a rant against some roles than actual roles in themselves). Rather than nitpick the list, I'd like to move the discussion to how such roles/rules are determined and enforced, and to the benefits in general of roles.

I am not talking about legal enforcement here. Of course law should be gender-blind. Im refferring to the roles themselves in the moral sense. The question is: is it immoral for any of the examples of gender roles to be violated? My answer is no, it is not immoral. In addition, violating these gender roles does not ipso facto imply a mental disorder or anything.

There are far too many people who are ideologically-inclined who fail to keep context when comparing what is with what they think should be. They end up primarily expressing deep contempt for Western society's failings and neglecting appropriate gratitude--and even reverence--for how wonderful the West is compared to everything else.

It is also helpful to keep context when discussing relative goodness. The west is good in the relative sense, i.e. it is better than the middle east. That does not imply the west is good in the absolute sense. And lets be honest, it is far from perfect.

There are also a large number of Western roles that apply to both sexes and that neutralize the power of the roles you've cited: Thou shalt grow up to fulfill your full potential; thou shalt be tolerant of other races and lifestyles, Thou shalt say Please and Thank You, for examples.

Thats out of context. Im talking about gender roles specifically, not all social expectations. Social expectations are not ipso facto wrong, but a great many of them are wrong.

There is a widespread--nearly universal--assumption shared by feminist intellectuals that enforcing gender-neutral roles would be a wonderful thing. This assumption reminds me of the Marxist assumption that free markets are inherently exploitative and that supplanting them would lead naturally to utopian freedom and prosperity for everyone. I'm reminded, because the intellectual narcissism and failure to understand what they critique is exactly same in both feminism and Marxism.

As stated, I am against enforcing any form of regulations on gender. However, as stated, this is a moral rather than political discussion.

To clarify, I am arguing that 1) The psychological characteristics of individual X are not determined by said individual's biological sex and hence it follows that "masculine" and "feminine" are Platonic floating abstractions, and 2) the violation of traditional 'masculinity' by males or traditional 'femininity' by females is not intrinsically immoral, irrational, unnatural or a 'disease.'

As for political considerations, the state should be sex-blind and gender-blind, as opposed to a tool for social engineering.

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Objectivism and Gender Roles

GOAL: To prove that the Objectivist philosophy logically entails rejection of gender roles.

DEFINITIONS:

Sex: Biological features that designate someone as male, female or other

Gender: The psychological counterpart to sex, i.e. personality traits, etc.

Gender Role: How someone is meant to express their gender (i.e. how a man/woman SHOULD be

owing to their man-ness or woman-ness).

Overview: Gender roles are, in essence, moral precscriptions. The concept refers to a set

of 'dos' and 'do nots' that are applied to individuals of one sex only, with another set

being applied to the other sex (assuming a two-sex situation). If gender roles are valid,

then there are objectively proper expressions of maleness and femaleness that are to be

followed.

Gender roles (among other prejudices and inequalities) are something I have been frustrated with for at least the last ten years (I'm now 24). When I heard about Objectivism I was thrilled because it seemed like I had finally found a philosophy that consistently integrated everything I believed. Then I found out about some of Miss Rand's views on women and I was puzzled. It seemed contrary to the rest of Objectivism. At first I thought, I must be wrong and must not understand her, who am I to question her consistency in thought. But then I realized that not only do I have the right to question what seems flawed, but every reason to. I still respect and admire her very much on most issues. But on this one I think she was wrong.

As a new Objectivist I have been struggling with this for a few months now. Your post offered some clarity. Thank you for that.

Do you have a link or a source for that information about the orthodoxy denouncing/criticizing her on this?

Thanks,

Robert

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Mr. Struble,

Welcome.

There is an essay on this topic in my philosophy journal Objectivity. The title of the essay is "Who Is Dagny Taggart?" Its author is Charles Wieder.

You can read this essay by going to www.objectivity-archive.com. Click on Volume 2, Number 6.

I bet you a coke you will find the perspective in this essay original and very interesting.

Stephen

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Mr. Struble,

Welcome.

There is an essay on this topic in my philosophy journal Objectivity. The title of the essay is "Who Is Dagny Taggart?" Its author is Charles Wieder.

You can read this essay by going to www.objectivity-archive.com. Click on Volume 2, Number 6.

I bet you a coke you will find the perspective in this essay original and very interesting.

Stephen

Stephen,

Thanks for the welcome and referring that article.

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I am not talking about legal enforcement here. Of course law should be gender-blind.

I went to great lengths to point out that I was not speaking of legal enforcement.

However, it is not patently obvious that law should be gender-blind. In fact, it would be nearly as remarkable for the law to make no distinctions between men and women as to make no distinctions between adults and children.

Legal sex-based distinctions are far more the norm than sex-neutrality. I think the Hayekian burden of proof is on you to look at each of these distinctions and explain why they are irrational rather than to discard all of them out of hand.

The question is: is it immoral for any of the examples of gender roles to be violated? My answer is no, it is not immoral. In addition, violating these gender roles does not ipso facto imply a mental disorder or anything.

Your list of gender roles is, I'm sure you'd admit, incomplete. You might also admit it is biased toward the negative. I'd say it's also tendentious and that several of the roles you cite are actually rants against guys you've known. I added more roles to the list, and it's not at all clear that violating the roles I added isn't morally significant.

It's not prima facie that there is a unisex list of equal moral obligations on both sexes. Women who abandon their children are viewed more harshly than men who do. Men who chicken out and run away from danger are viewed more harshly than women in the same circumstance. Why is that wrong?

It is also helpful to keep context when discussing relative goodness. The west is good in the relative sense, i.e. it is better than the middle east. That does not imply the west is good in the absolute sense. And lets be honest, it is far from perfect.

Along with being honest, let's be serious. The modern West is the best. Human beings in general have never before come close to the freedom, opportunity, achievement and security that Western civilization provides. In comparing the middle east (excluding the Western values state of Israel) to the West, you're comparing shit to ice cream, as if swirliness were the fundamental attribute.

There are also a large number of Western roles that apply to both sexes and that neutralize the power of the roles you've cited: Thou shalt grow up to fulfill your full potential; thou shalt be tolerant of other races and lifestyles, Thou shalt say Please and Thank You, for examples.

Thats out of context. Im talking about gender roles specifically, not all social expectations. Social expectations are not ipso facto wrong, but a great many of them are wrong.

It's not out of context. It's pointing out how the amazing amazingness of Western civilization nurtures the individual of any sex, and reduces the harms of legacy expectations of all kinds. If you think that your life and potential is primarily determined by gender roles that says a lot more about you than it does about the power of gender roles.

To clarify, I am arguing that 1) The psychological characteristics of individual X are not determined by said individual's biological sex and hence it follows that "masculine" and "feminine" are Platonic floating abstractions, and 2) the violation of traditional 'masculinity' by males or traditional 'femininity' by females is not intrinsically immoral, irrational, unnatural or a 'disease.'

To clarify, you're arguing for a straw man (or woman).

"Strongly influenced" is a lot different than "determined." Yes, there are girls who are better at basketball than boys, but if you take any 10 boys at random and any 10 girls at random, and make basketball teams, the girls will get whipped, unless they play naked.

And you'd better start thinking more about what happens to women when men fail in their traditional roles. You have strong self-interest in this, even if men have done such a good job of guarding your borders that you don't get it.

By coincidence, I'm reading Tom Clancy's "Without Remorse" which shows this way better than I could say it. And it's fun as hell.

As for political considerations, the state should be sex-blind and gender-blind, as opposed to a tool for social engineering.

Being sex/gender-blind is the social engineering position. Think carefully: the burden of proof is on you.

Mike Lee

Hot chicks can say anything they want

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Gender roles (among other prejudices and inequalities) are something I have been frustrated with for at least the last ten years (I'm now 24). When I heard about Objectivism I was thrilled because it seemed like I had finally found a philosophy that consistently integrated everything I believed. Then I found out about some of Miss Rand's views on women and I was puzzled. It seemed contrary to the rest of Objectivism. At first I thought, I must be wrong and must not understand her, who am I to question her consistency in thought. But then I realized that not only do I have the right to question what seems flawed, but every reason to. I still respect and admire her very much on most issues. But on this one I think she was wrong.

First, it's Ms. Rand to you, not Miss Rand, Mister. That's a joke.

Second, Rand may have been a total beeyotch, but she wasn't an idiot.

She understood the uncomfortable fact that genitalia matter. A lot.

Especially to people who think that genitalia shouldn't matter.

For purposes of this discussion, I don't care a tinker's dam for lesbians, gays, transsexuals and people who may have been dealt other ambiguous or mixed biological cards. Their peepees are as determinative to them as anyone's, even if they are getting multiple radio signals.

I think it's nice that we, as an enlightened Western society, accommodate those who aren't biologically in the middle of the bell curve, and we should take advantage of their ability to decorate dinner parties, fix cars, arrange furniture, and look like Marilyn Monroe, but they're not the point of this discussion, ok?

The truth is that men and women have different capabilities. The question is, do any of these capabilities have moral corollaries?

I say yes, and because I have to go eat dinner, I will leave it at that.

Mike Lee

Am I the Only One Who Gets It?

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~ Wow!

~ Goth-living (if that's not an oxymoron) style (not mere 'fashion') is nihilistic. Ok; I say, as the James Bond movie/song goes: "Live and let die." Why argue? --- End of story.

~ In effect, 'The good die young', ergo the 'universe' has no facts from which to determine a useable morality, hence the latter is an arbitrary construct whatever it consists of. Ok; ignore finding facts that fit one's needs, physical and/or psychological: "Exist while you do, then Die"

~ Females are morally required (imperatored?) to avoid being CiC's. Ok; while only Homer Simpson wannabees vie for 'leader', ignore all potential Joan D'Arcs since they MUST be Andrea Dworkins in disguise.

"Live with the consequences" (voted for, or passively allowed)...of Homer's finger on 'The Button.'

~ Now, about 'gender roles'...THAT's an arbitrary idea/concept to begin with. There are none beyond 'prescriptive' ones. The problem term is...'roles.'

LLAP

J:D

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So, there's a girl on my football team. Made me think of this thread. She blows, but props if she'll stick it out.

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~ Goth-living (if that's not an oxymoron) style (not mere 'fashion') is nihilistic. Ok; I say, as the James Bond movie/song goes: "Live and let die." Why argue? --- End of story.

~ In effect, 'The good die young', ergo the 'universe' has no facts from which to determine a useable morality, hence the latter is an arbitrary construct whatever it consists of. Ok; ignore finding facts that fit one's needs, physical and/or psychological: "Exist while you do, then Die"

I never thought someone would accuse me of being a nihilist on the grounds of my clothing and musical tastes, but I have now been proven wrong on that regard.

First, you obviously have no idea what goth actually is about! Your summary of it as a form of moral nihilism is a charictature and seems derived from Jenny Jones goth makeover shows as opposed to any actual contact or interaction. I have stated before that goth as such holds no philosophical position in and of itself apart from valuing independent thought (and its corrolary, individuality). This automatically implies a lack of moral nihilism, because valuing anything presupposes a value judgement, i.e. a standard of value.

Second, I have never met a goth in my life that would honestly subscribe to moral nihilism. There is no empirical basis for your statement, unless you count the South Park goths as empirical evidence.

Third, to allege that I am not an Objectivist on the grounds of my preferences in music (which Rand herself declared "epistemologically subjective" in the Romantic Manifesto) or appearance requires much more proof than character assassination. I could allege that you are a leftist for having a Mr Spock avatar, implying moral sanction for Gene Rodenberry and his political leanings, however I do not because I dont find "More Objective than thou" games to be conducive to achieving my happiness. Certainly if I were to make that allegation, I would have just as much justification as you have for labelling me a moral nihilist.

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I think the Hayekian burden of proof is on you to look at each of these distinctions and explain why they are irrational rather than to discard all of them out of hand.

That would take a lot of time. However I think that it is fair to say that the law should be sex-blind merely on the fact that men and women are both equally human, hence they have the same human rights. Since the law's proper role is the protection of those rights, it follows that the law should not distinguish between men and women for legal purposes.

It's not prima facie that there is a unisex list of equal moral obligations on both sexes. Women who abandon their children are viewed more harshly than men who do.

So a deadbeat Dad is less evil than a deadbeat Mother? Also, even if women who abandon their children are "viewed more harshly" that does not imply that they are IN FACT more immoral than men who do.

Men who chicken out and run away from danger are viewed more harshly than women in the same circumstance. Why is that wrong?

Do men have an extra obligation, by their birth as men (i.e. an unchosen duty), to fight danger rather than avoid it? Men or women, in that situation, should choose that which is in their rational self-interest, regardless of what their friends say or social standards dictate (assuming of course no one violates anyone else's rights).

Along with being honest, let's be serious. The modern West is the best.

Of course its the best. That simply means it is the most good. That doesnt mean it is perfect.

It's not out of context. It's pointing out how the amazing amazingness of Western civilization nurtures the individual of any sex, and reduces the harms of legacy expectations of all kinds. If you think that your life and potential is primarily determined by gender roles that says a lot more about you than it does about the power of gender roles.

Again, being better than the rest does not mean something is perfect. Western civilization is the most good humanity has accomplished so far. That doesnt imply perfection. If there is a problem, it should be fixed.

"Strongly influenced" is a lot different than "determined." Yes, there are girls who are better at basketball than boys, but if you take any 10 boys at random and any 10 girls at random, and make basketball teams, the girls will get whipped, unless they play naked.

I never argued that the sexes where biologically identical. What I am saying is that if a girl DOES beat a boy at basketball, said girl is NOT immoral, defective or in need of a therapist. IF you concede that then I have won the debate.

Being sex/gender-blind is the social engineering position. Think carefully: the burden of proof is on you.

No, the social engineering position is that individual people should be forced to change their thinking into one where the latest trend in postmodern radical feminism is accepted.

My position is that individual people, if they are as rational as they should be, will realize eventually that there is no morally relevant biological difference between men and women, and hence differring ethical codes on each is irrational (again, with exceptions for things like pregnancy, etc).

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"You can act like a man! What's the matter with you. Is this how you turned out? A Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman?!? 'Godfather, what can I do? What can I do?'"

-- Don Vito Corleone

No winking smileys, just buck up and act like a fucking man over here, all right?

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Do men have an extra obligation, by their birth as men (i.e. an unchosen duty), to fight danger rather than avoid it? Men or women, in that situation, should choose that which is in their rational self-interest, regardless of what their friends say or social standards dictate (assuming of course no one violates anyone else's rights).

Do you think that it is always equally in average Joe and average Jane's best interest to do the same thing when faced with danger? If you concede that men and women are biologically different, you say no. Do you think that a woman that chooses the same as a man (assuming no relation between the two and in exact same circumstances when one option is clearly more beneficial to one and the other is clearly more beneficial to the other) has a psychological problem?

Example:Pack of wolves is attacking, you have two options, climb a tree where the nearest limb is 9 feet 6 inches high, or run as fast as you can to some other form of safety dependent completely on foot speed that is attainable not easily but not extremely hard either. I'd jump for the limb, I know I can get my hand on it. I think the girls in their right mind out there (even the ones on the basketball team) would make a run for it.

For what it's worth, I consider anyone running for president to have some sort of psychological disorder. Too much bullshit in politics.

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For what it's worth, I consider anyone running for president to have some sort of psychological disorder. Too much bullshit in politics.

Would that generalize to anyone running for public office? If so, how do you propose we choose those who govern us? Or should be give up on government altogether?

I propose that we choose our government by lottery, the same way a jury is chosen. We can't do much worse that way than we are doing now.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Do you think that it is always equally in average Joe and average Jane's best interest to do the same thing when faced with danger? If you concede that men and women are biologically different, you say no. Do you think that a woman that chooses the same as a man (assuming no relation between the two and in exact same circumstances when one option is clearly more beneficial to one and the other is clearly more beneficial to the other) has a psychological problem?

No, not always. I am referring to principles here, naturally there will be contextual elements that apply when applying the principles. What I am saying is that the principles for both sexes are identical.

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Would that generalize to anyone running for public office? If so, how do you propose we choose those who govern us? Or should be give up on government altogether?
No, because most if not all other races for office don't have the attention and drilling and all the other stuff that the presidential one does.
No, not always. I am referring to principles here, naturally there will be contextual elements that apply when applying the principles. What I am saying is that the principles for both sexes are identical.
I think/am pretty sure that I am arguing pretty much what Rand was on a different level, although I definitely could be wrong. If you're arguing about something different that may be your problem.

(Haven't read the essay about why a woman president would be bad, so I'm not sure I'm arguing the same case.)

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I think the Hayekian burden of proof is on you to look at each of these distinctions and explain why they are irrational rather than to discard all of them out of hand.
That would take a lot of time.

And it's time you should take if you're going to address these issues and be taken seriously.

However I think that it is fair to say that the law should be sex-blind merely on the fact that men and women are both equally human, hence they have the same human rights. Since the law's proper role is the protection of those rights, it follows that the law should not distinguish between men and women for legal purposes.

Should the law distinguish between adults and children? After all they are equally human. There are many other criteria besides whether your human or not that make a difference in how the law treats you.

So a deadbeat Dad is less evil than a deadbeat Mother? Also, even if women who abandon their children are "viewed more harshly" that does not imply that they are IN FACT more immoral than men who do.

Yes, in the majority of cases, a woman who abandons her children is worse than a man who does. Again, I'll point out that I'm not talking here merely about what's legal or illegal. I'm talking about taking the measure of a person who would do such a thing, and examining their reasons, looking at the context. Women are, merely by the nature of pregnancy and birth, more intimately connected to their children than are men. Women typically have a bigger moral obligation to a child because they got pregnant and decided to deliver the child.

Do men have an extra obligation, by their birth as men (i.e. an unchosen duty), to fight danger rather than avoid it?

Once again, keeping in mind that I am not limiting my comments to what should be legal or illegal, but to judgments about what is right and wrong, more or less valuable morally--

Yes, men have an extra obligation, by virtue of being bigger and stronger, to deal more effectively with physical threats than women do. In the same sense that someone who is more intelligent has an obligation to achieve more. Your life depends on the majority of men in your society accepting a role in protecting you. You are just so well-protected that not only don't you realize it, but I wouldn't be surprised if you think American men create more violence than they suppress.

I never argued that the sexes where biologically identical. What I am saying is that if a girl DOES beat a boy at basketball, said girl is NOT immoral, defective or in need of a therapist. IF you concede that then I have won the debate.

If you can find anywhere that I said a girl who's good at basketball is a bad girl, then you've at least won the point, since I agree with you. I typically do agree with blindingly obvious statements.

I have no problem with girls playing basketball. I have no problem with girls competing with men and winning. I do have a problem with girls constantly trying to rig games they're not good at. That's very bad for society, honesty and the long term future of the human race.

Case in point--the new Nike commercial with the bitchy women pretending to be fierce going on about their "skills." Name one sport the women mentioned in that commercial when talking about their "skillz" where women compete, much less dominate.

My position is that individual people, if they are as rational as they should be, will realize eventually that there is no morally relevant biological difference between men and women, and hence differring ethical codes on each is irrational (again, with exceptions for things like pregnancy, etc).

We know what your position is--I'm asking you to defend it instead of just repeating it. And, the truth is that you just lost this debate by allowing an exception for "things like pregnancy."

Mike Lee

I hope that penguin doesn't fall behind the tellyvision set

Edited by mikelee999

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Should the law distinguish between adults and children? After all they are equally human. There are many other criteria besides whether your human or not that make a difference in how the law treats you.

There is another criteria: being capable of recognizing reality (i.e. legal sanity). Many children are capable of it, and the age criterion is more or less an arbitrary line drawn to simplify things. I am not a rationalist, nor am I experienced in the field of jurisprudence. However, I think that at least ethically speaking that many people younger than the drinking age are responsible. I certainly was.

Women are, merely by the nature of pregnancy and birth, more intimately connected to their children than are men. Women typically have a bigger moral obligation to a child because they got pregnant and decided to deliver the child.

After the umbilical cord is cut, there is no biological connection, and I dont see how this NECESSITATES emotional closeness.

Do men have an extra obligation, by their birth as men (i.e. an unchosen duty), to fight danger rather than avoid it?

Yes, men have an extra obligation, by virtue of being bigger and stronger, to deal more effectively with physical threats than women do.

Again, some women are physically stronger than some men. There is a range of levels of physical strength within each sex and those ranges overlap. As such, you have to look at each person, in context, rather than ram a collective duty onto the heads of people by virtue of their sex. In addition, no one chooses their sex or level of strength, so demanding they practice an unchosen duty is very much at variance with Objectivism.

In the same sense that someone who is more intelligent has an obligation to achieve more.

Really? Being able to do something better than other people demands that you use this ability? For whom? What if your values, and hence individual happiness, does not require exercising this level of skill? Do you still have to achieve more?

It sounds to me like you are advocating a morality of duty and service rather than one of rational self-interest.

I am more intelligent than the average. I dont have any obligation to prove this or demonstrate this. My happiness is my moral purpose, and my happiness requires me achieving my values. My values mean those things that secure my life lived on a level proper to my nature. None of this NECESSITATES having to use my intellect at a level above other people in my life. The moral standard here is absolute for an individual, i.e. that which produces outcome x, not a relative moral standard like "better than others." True selfishness requires principles that are not based on other people, either for or against them.

Your life depends on the majority of men in your society accepting a role in protecting you.

If they want to join the armed services I have no problem with that. I simply do not believe that the fact they have a Y-chromosome means they have a moral duty to accept that role.

You are just so well-protected that not only don't you realize it, but I wouldn't be surprised if you think American men create more violence than they suppress.

Dont ascribe to me positions I do not take. Individual men may be violent, but there is no collective responsibility for it, nor is this violence inherent in the nature of being a man. Im a man, and Im not violent.

We know what your position is--I'm asking you to defend it instead of just repeating it. And, the truth is that you just lost this debate by allowing an exception for "things like pregnancy."

So allowing for context is wrong? I never denied biological differences either. What I denied was that these biological differences do not (in normal contexts) prescribe anything along the lines of "girls must like pink." I am not a rationalist, so please do not expect me to lay down acontextual principles and categorical imperatives. Indeed, if anyone is imposing duties and categorical imperatives in this debate, it is not me.

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