August 18, 2009
Few could imagine how tired I am of reading mindless repetition of the party line “subordinated the female to the male,” as Mahin Hassibi did in his (her?) editorial “Bogus Beliefs ….” This axiom would be laughable were it not for it’s wide acceptance, reminiscent of the phrase I heard about half a century ago, “negroes are inferior to Homo Sapiens.” The simple fact is that some people dominate other people. The perception Hassibi uses as foundation is fed by our putting domination of a person who happens to be female by one who happens to be male on the front burner while putting the reverse on the back burner. We also have a cultural expectation that domestic or sexual violence is shameful if the woman is hurt, but cometic with the shoe on the other foot.
If we were to restrict the discussion to Western Civilization and set aside non-social activities such as work or the sciences, a naive observer would see something completely different from the expectations expressed here. Take the beach, for example. Look at what the men are wearing and take away color and pattern. The result is a virtual uniform, short trousers. In formal wear, essentially all we have is the Tux. In the social world, where we spend our most important personal time, the domination is the reverse of what Hassibi presents.
Further, it isn’t even about sex, in my opinion. Sex in social situations is more kin to money in poker; it’s a way of keeping score. The underlying need is for validation. In particular, it is validation with respect to sexuality, sensuality, desirability, vulnerability and innocence. In these aspects of the human condition, women are the gatekeepers of validation for men. While we men might well be a validator to a certain extent for women, we shower with praise even while receiving virtually nothing back. We men are buyers in a sellers’ market; concentrating on the supposed domination of men over women leads to a blissful ignorance of the concerns of half our population. If you prick us, do we not bleed?
Posted by: Jim Nibblett