The quality of the debates on blogs—or even Facebook—is much better than the quality of the debates in the mainstream media. This is true even of the debates among non-academics. Today’s pick:
Maureen Smith I’m starting to think the men I know are actually far more sensitive, and idealistic, than women I know and that they are less likely to admit it out of fear of seeming ‘weak’.
Spence Aaron Of course we are. Why do you think so many of us are so easily duped into throwing away our lives in wars over ideologies?
Scott Bowers Actually, you are hanging out with boys……not men.
Shanu Athiparambath That is evolutionary.
Eli Harman I think men are certainly more idealistic. Women might be better at appealing to idealism to get what they want, which would make sense considering who they’re usually trying to get it from, and qualify as a sort of pragmatism.
Freya Wilde I don’t find either more sensitive than the other. But I’ve noticed individuals differ.
Wil Stewart Abrams Evolutionarily Men can afford to be. We produce a billion sperm a day with no real stake in where they end up. Women produce one egg once a month and if it’s fertilized its a life time commitment. We have the evolutionary leisure time to be sensitive and idealistic. Evolutionarily woman have had to be selective, realistic and able to make the tough choices man are not required to make.
Ryan Underhill It may be not one’s underlying philosophy, Maureen, but rather the projection thereof.
“Oh Rational Thought,
Which Are In My Brain,
Lead Me Not Into Anecdote,
And Guide Us Away From
In Lao Tzu’s Name,
Eli Harman I think part of the explanation has got to be the relative certainty of maternity compared to paternity.
In our deep evolutionary history, when men and women alike were promiscuous, women knew for certain who their children were, while men knew only that some of the tribe’s children could be theirs.
Consequently, women were free to develop a more perfect egoism. While men had to rely on abstract proxies like “the good of the tribe.”
Some people have noted a stronger tendency, among women, towards socialism and collectivism.
Given women’s risk aversion and security seeking, this is explicable purely in terms of rational self-interest.
Conversely, men support relatively more individual initiative and responsibility not only because it *may* prove more beneficial for them (emphasis on the uncertainty), but because it’s ascertainably certain that a certain amount is necessary to make the tribe competitive with others, whatever the individual cost.
Eli Harman Ayn Rand was wrong, her individualism is a form of altruism and egoism leads to communism.
Eli Harman How many states have been built by women?
The whole issue is riddled with contradictions. History and literature are permeated with the trope of men going off to war, and women pleading with them not to. This has been offered as evidence of women’s moral superiority. I think the explanation is rather more simple. War, even at its most necessary and just, represents paying a personal cost, for a collective benefit. Women, the ultimate selfish pragmatists, are less likely to see this as a worthwhile trade.
Shanu Athiparambath Individuals differ. But, does that mean that groups do not differ? The people who do not judge others by their group affiliations will not react so hysterically to true generalizations.
Mike Green Manalishi You may be confusing “sensitivity” and “idealism” with “Don Juanism”.
Eli Harman Also, the vast majority of divorces are initiated by women. Women frequently give voice to the fear that men – being shallow – might “trade them in” for a younger model, or whatever. But the evidence would seem to suggest that they’re projecting.