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d180586

About a Woman President

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Yes. this is an excellent way to describe my argument against the concept of 'Masculinity'.

What argument? You have never made one.

As to "d180586," all she did was form a non-essential definition of her own. The only thing that can be reasonably said at this point, is that her definition is rather poor. But, why blame others for her poor definition?

When defining 'Masculinity', the concept of 'Man' is not essential to it;
Why? Instead of pronouncements, offer arguments. Maybe you are right, or maybe you are wrong, but without actual arguments no one, including yourself, will ever know.

when considering the concept of 'Man', masculinity is not its exclusive atribute (although each and every man posesses that atribute).

Do you mean "Man" as in "all members of the human species, male and female?" If so, then what you say is true, but completely unrelated to the issue being discussed. "Masculine" and "feminine" are meant to apply to the male and female genders respectively, and to characteristics associated with each.

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If gender (note, not sex) is a social construct, meaning that society tells you in what capacity you can act in regards to your sex, then wouldn't one's own concept of how much of a valuer or someone who was being valued also be determined by society? Could not a female become such a valuer and therefore qualify for the attributes you say are necessary to a president?

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Why couldn't a woman who was the political leader of a country still look up to a man in a different field--say, a great businessman or philosopher (or both, like a John Galt type)?

It could be done, but it is psychologically difficult for a woman to be existentially superior to, or directing the actions of, a man she is romantically involved with.

I realize that this is hard to explain to men, who face all their choices in terms of values to be gained or kept. That is a woman's orientation too, in all but her romantic life. In that realm she is the value a man seeks to gain and keep and her mental set, value-wise, is very different.

Sometimes a woman's human, existential value orientation and her romantic value orientation are in conflict, and Ayn Rand often puts her heroines in such difficult value conflicts. It makes for great drama. In real life, however, such a profound conflict will make a woman's life miserable by tearing her apart, psychologically.

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If gender (note, not sex) is a social construct, meaning that society tells you in what capacity you can act in regards to your sex, then wouldn't one's own concept of how much of a valuer or someone who was being valued also be determined by society?  Could not a female become such a valuer and therefore qualify for the attributes you say are necessary to a president?

Gender isn't a "social construct." It is based on demonstrable physical and psychological differences.

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If gender (note, not sex) is a social construct, meaning that society tells you in what capacity you can act in regards to your sex, then wouldn't one's own concept of how much of a valuer or someone who was being valued also be determined by society?  Could not a female become such a valuer and therefore qualify for the attributes you say are necessary to a president?

Wow. It sounds like you've swallowed every premise here hook, line and sinker from a Feminist textbook.

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It could be done, but it is psychologically difficult for a woman to be existentially superior to, or directing the actions of, a man she is romantically involved with.

I realize that this is hard to explain to men, who face all their choices in terms of values to be gained or kept.  That is a woman's orientation too, in all but her romantic life.  In that realm she is the value a man seeks to gain and keep and her mental set, value-wise, is very different. 

Sometimes a woman's human, existential value orientation and her romantic value orientation are in conflict, and Ayn Rand often puts her heroines in such difficult value conflicts.  It makes for great drama.  In real life, however, such a profound conflict will make a woman's life miserable by tearing her apart, psychologically.

But in what way would she be existentially superior to or directing the actions of the man in the scenario I presented? If he is in the private sphere, she should not be directing his actions (if she is a proper president) but only making sure that the government functions to protect the rights of the citizens. Is it the idea that the woman would in some capacity or sense be the man's "protector" that is the problem?

I guess it may be hard for me to understand since I am not a woman, but if I were president, I would still look up to the great producers of the nation and the world. It wouldn't be in a romantic context, but why couldn't a woman president still have a feminine value orientation just in a romantic context? I'm not sure I understand why her position would necessarily change her ability to be the value sought in that delimited context, any more than would the position of being the CEO of the most successful business in the world, for a rational woman--or for that matter, being the greatest novelist/philosopher in the world ;) (which didn't keep Ayn Rand from looking up to Frank O'Connor in a romantic context). (To me, in that last case the woman is more existentially superior than "merely" being the president would make her.) I guess I don't really see the conflict.

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Stephen,

I do not want you to respond to any of my posts again.

What you "want" is of no concern to me. I will say to you exactly what I said to your friend Tomer:

"... if you continue to make unsupported remarks about Ayn Rand and her philosophy, or, for that matter, remarks absent of rational argument about anyone or anything that I value, I reserve the right to identify your remarks for what they are, if I choose to do so. You do not get to choose for me what I will respond to, nor do you get to prescribe my actual reasons for doing so."

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I realize that this is hard to explain to men, who face all their choices in terms of values to be gained or kept.  That is a woman's orientation too, in all but her romantic life.  In that realm she is the value a man seeks to gain and keep and her mental set, value-wise, is very different. 

What do you mean by "Mental set"?

Also, why do you think that a woman, who is the value to be gained and kept, can't feel the same about a man? Is it not mutual? I'm aware of the romantic apeall of where you're coming from, I used to agree with you. That untill I realized that everything you can say about a man, you can say about a woman as well(except physical differences), and everything you can say about a man's relation to women, is applicable vise versa.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if not speaking in strict definitions, I think what you see as the men-women relation is the strong handsome man, the hero with the penetrating eyes and bold look on his face carring in his strong arms the tender, beautiful, delicate woman. Or some romantic scene such as this(you know what I mean :P . About every romantic encounter between Rearden and Dagny is a good example).

It doesn't contradict what I'm saying. A woman can be delicate and well groomed(like a gentle flower, if you wish...) and her man can be, well, he can be Franciso(saving the trouble of describing a hero in length ;) ). It can be a victory to him, having such a woman. It is a great value gained and kept. The thing is that it is a victory to her too, she too has gained a value. They are a hero and a heroine, for each one of them it's a triumph- being worthy of the other person, being good enough to earn his/hers love and sexual affection. Do you understand what I'm saying?

It doesn't cancle all the wonderful little gestures that you probably get from your husbend. My boyfriend is a wonderful gentleman too and he loves to pamper me, he is a heroic figure to me and I love all his gestures. This does not mean that men and women are essentially different in a since other than the physical. It is true that he has to conquer me, he has to be worthy of me, he must be a hero. It is also true that I have to conquer him as well, I have to work very hard to earn his love and affection.

I have in this point, two excerpts from the article that I would like to refer to.

It means an intense kind of admiration; and admiration is an emotion that can be exprerienced only by a person of strong character and independent value judgments.
Why can this not be true in both directions of the two gendres?

Hero worship is a demanding virtue: a woman has to be worthy of it and of the hero she worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, she has to be his equal; then the object of her worship is specifically his masculinity, not any human virtue she might lack.
Now tell me what you think of the next paragraph:

Heroine worship is a demanding virtue: a man has to be worthy of it and of the heroine he worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, he has to be her equal; then the object of his worship is specifically her Femininity, not any human virtue he might lack.

Do you object it?

Excerpts from "About a Woman President" by AR, VOR pg. 268

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Is it the idea that the woman would in some capacity or sense be the man's "protector" that is the problem?

That's part of it.

I guess it may be hard for me to understand since I am not a woman, but if I were president, I would still look up to the great producers of the nation and the world.

It wouldn't be in a romantic context, but why couldn't a woman president still have a feminine value orientation just in a romantic context? 

A woman's sexual response requires giving up control. After a day of running all the important things in her life, it takes a mental re-orientation to get in the mood for love.

When a woman becomes a mother and is responsible for another life, it often affects her sexual responsiveness because part of her is always listening for the baby and she may find it harder to let go and give up control. Now multiply that by a couple of hundred million lives the President is responsible for, including her lover's, and I can't imagine a bigger inhibitor to letting go.

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There are two genders -- male and female. What, pray tell, is the "problem" with forming two concepts, masculine and feminine, which designate their respective genders and identify characteristics and attributes associated with each?

Women have muscles too and they could get fairly strong. Because of this fact, 'Masculinity' is not a concept that can distinguish man. 'Manliness' is a concept to distinguish men.

Perhaps that is what you "would get," but not me. Nor, dare I say, would the Oxford English Dictionary form such a definition.

Oxford English Dictionary is not a reliable source since it was not composed according to the definition rules of concept formation. One example is that a 'Female' according to Oxford is "Of the sex that can give birth". A woman that cannot give birth is still associated to that sex, but by what chracteristics? This is a definition by non-essentials. Giving birth isn't a distinguishing characteristic.

Please do not blame us for your poor definition.

AM I BLAMING YOU?

All you have demonstrated is that your definition is "wrong and non essential," not the one used by Ayn Rand.

That is an assertion, not an argument. Unsupported assertions carry no intellectual weight. all you say is that I'm wrong.

I read this three times, and I simply cannot make it sensible. I have no idea at all what you mean.

What I mean is that according to the definition I'v built(guided by the definition rules of concept formation), 'Musculinity' is not the opposite of 'Femininity', 'Musclinity' cannot be used to describe exclusivly men, the correct concept to describe the the men qualities is 'Manliness' and that 'Musculinity' is irrelevant to our discussion.

Are we clear?

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A woman's sexual response requires giving up control.  After a day of running all the important things in her life, it takes a mental re-orientation to get in the mood for love.

When a woman becomes a mother and is responsible for another life, it often affects her sexual responsiveness because part of her is always listening for the baby and she may find it harder to let go and give up control.  Now multiply that by a couple of hundred million lives the President is responsible for, including her lover's, and I can't imagine a bigger inhibitor to letting go.

Hmm...that's certainly interesting, from a psychological perspective. I'll have to think on it.

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What do you mean by "Mental set"?

I mean the value context of being either the valuer or the valued, the initiator or the responder, the controller or the controlled.

Also, why do you think that a woman, who is the value to be gained and kept, can't feel the same about a man? Is it not mutual? I'm aware of the romantic apeall of where you're coming from, I used to agree with you. That untill I realized that everything you can say about a man, you can say about a woman as well(except physical differences), and everything you can say about a man's relation to women, is applicable vise versa.

To some degree, but a woman, in her capacity as the responder and the controlled, requires a much greater sense of trust in her partner than a man does. It is one thing to admire someone enough to want to be with him and quite another to be so totally sold on his worth that you will let him take your body and do what he wants with it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if not speaking in strict definitions, I think what you see as the men-women relation is the strong handsome man, the hero with the penetrating eyes and bold look on his face carring in his strong arms the tender, beautiful, delicate woman. Or some romantic scene such as this
PLEASE don't psychologize. You're way off base.

Why can this not be true in both directions of the two gendres?

Now tell me what you think of the next paragraph:

Heroine worship is a demanding virtue: a man has to be worthy of it and of the heroine he worships. Intellectually and morally, i.e., as a human being, he has to be her equal; then the object of his worship is specifically her Femininity, not any human virtue he might lack.

That hardly describes it. A woman gives her whole self romantically. quite literally. She gives her body and she gives up conscious control of the interaction. The man doesn't. The kind of admiration, respect, and trust she needs to have for her man is orders of magnitude more than he needs from her.

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Why couldn't a woman who was the political leader of a country still look up to a man in a different field--say, a great businessman or philosopher (or both, like a John Galt type)?

I don't understand this either. It seems like a president or the leader of a country has a very specific role. He, or, in this case, she is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and has numerous other powers of government. This doesn't make everyone in the country her subordinate and doesn't even imply that she is the best or most capable person in the country. What prevents her from having people to look up to that are not in government service?

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To some degree, but a woman, in her capacity as the responder and the controlled, requires a much greater sense of trust in her partner than a man does. It is one thing to admire someone enough to want to be with him and quite another to be so totally sold on his worth that you will let him take your body and do what he wants with it.
Whatever he wants? NEVER! How can you let him do what he wants? What if you don't like it?

-----

I don't understand why you're saying she needs such a great trust, respect and admiration towords her man in order to have sex with him. The only thing I can think of is that it is required since he hase the ability to make it violant and traumatic for her, and she needs to trust him in order to let him get this close. Am I right? If not, please explain.

PLEASE don't psychologize.

I don't understand. It was not an attempt to diagnose anything about you.

-----

You wrote in this thread to someone:

A woman can be taken by force. That fact gives rise to feminine vulnerability which has important effects on the dynamics of male-female relationships.

You know, a man can be taken by force by other men too... It's true that he can put up a fight- so can a woman.

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Guest jrshep
Whatever he wants? NEVER! How can you let him do what he wants? What if you don't like it?

I think (correct me if I'm wrong, Betsy), that she means that the woman is willing to surrender control, permitting the man to do as he wants with her, in such a way because she knows, has already gained the confidence, that her man would not do anything to harm her. If in the course of his having his way with her were he to do something that she did not like, she would let him know and, again, know that he would stop doing that. She trusts him completely.

Perhaps this is analogous to a child's relationship to good parents. It takes good parents to create the context in which a child can be a child, can enjoy being a child.

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I'll rephrase:

Now think of your bodyguard- You want him/her to be strong, intelligent, brave, rational, HE/SHE SHOULD DEFINITLY NOT BE A PERSON YOU LOOK DOWN ON. After you hire him/her, you don't bother him/her with his/her work(perhaps, after giving him/her the guid lines). You know he's/she's trained and you trust him/her  to come up with the best defense tactics and you leave to him/her  the professional considerations(and of course, if he/she slacks at the job, you replace him/her ). But he/she is not your leader. He/she does not lead you just like a president does not lead you.

LOL But HE/SHE is still a man! ;)

Face it, bodyguard is about as male a profession as professions get.

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I think (correct me if I'm wrong, Betsy), that she means that the woman is willing to surrender control, permitting the man to do as he wants with her, in such a way because she knows, has already gained the confidence, that her man would not do anything to harm her. If in the course of his having his way with her were he to do something that she did not like, she would let him know and, again, know that he would stop doing that. She trusts him completely.

This is an interesting point. Another aspect of my argument to which I'm only now aware of: Can't you see that "surrendering control" and "premitting the man to do as he wants" requires the woman to be omniscience (knowing beyoned any doubt what her man will do) and, at the same time, demanding of the man to be infallible (incapable of making mistakes in his sexual relationship)?

Some of the users here see that there is NO rational basis for psychological differences between men and women, or at least begining to see this (I reffer anyone to my prior posts here). My suggestion to you is to analyze this issue from the beginning, Not Rand's but your's and reach your own conclusions, your's not HER'S. I see Ayn Rand as the greatest human to ever lived. That is why I understand the difficulty that some of you are facing. I faced it too once. Reason has to be absolute, not Rand, not anyone. Think for yourself.

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Guest jrshep
Can't you see that "surrendering control" and "premitting the man to do as he wants" requires the woman to be omniscience (knowing beyoned any doubt what her man will do) and, at the same time, demanding of the man to be infallible (incapable of making mistakes in his sexual relationship)?

Nothing about man requires that he be omniscient. Quite the opposite.

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LOL But HE/SHE is still a man!  ;)

Face it, bodyguard is about as male a profession as professions get.

Try to look at what you said beyond the social norms you are used to and grew-up on. Women CAN DO WHATEVER MEN CAN. Look around you, for instance, in the military women are located in many sorts of possitions which they had'nt been for ages like snipers, combat soldier etc.

The mere fact (which I doubt that it is) that up until now there were no female bodyguards doesn't say that women cannot be.

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This is an interesting point. Another aspect of my argument to which I'm only now aware of: Can't you see that "surrendering control" and "premitting the man to do as he wants" requires the woman to be omniscience (knowing beyoned any doubt what her man will do) and, at the same time, demanding of the man to be infallible (incapable of making mistakes in his sexual relationship)?

Have you forgotten the concept "trust"? "Surrendering control" and "premitting the man to do as he wants" requires the woman NOT to be omniscient, but to trust her man.

My suggestion to you is to analyze this issue from the beginning, Not Rand's but your's and reach your own conclusions, your's not HER'S. I see Ayn Rand as the greatest human to ever lived. That is why I understand the difficulty that some of you are facing. I faced it too once. Reason has to be absolute, not Rand, not anyone. Think for yourself.

I'd be wary of making such sweeping accusations: the people in this forum certainly think for themselves and do not "blindly worship" Ayn Rand. That some may support Ayn Rand's position on this view does NOT in any way imply that they did not reach such conclusion through their own rational judgements.

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That some may support Ayn Rand's position on this view does NOT in any way imply that they did not reach such conclusion through their own rational judgements.

Correct. I was a "sexist" long before I heard of Ayn Rand.

(Definition: A "sexist" is a person who thinks that a man ought to act like a man, and a lady ought to act like a lady.)

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Some of the users here see that there is NO rational basis for psychological differences between men and women, or at least begining to see this (I reffer anyone to my prior posts here). My suggestion to you is to analyze this issue from the beginning, Not Rand's but your's and reach your own conclusions, your's not HER'S. I see Ayn Rand as the greatest human to ever lived. That is why I understand the difficulty that some of you are facing. I faced it too once. Reason has to be absolute, not Rand, not anyone. Think for yourself.

Can we (and by "we" I mean "you") try giving arguments against positions with which we disagree, rather than psychologizing and assuming that everyone who agrees with Ayn Rand did not come to the same conclusion independently? Thanks.

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As a woman, I personnally really enjoy Ayn Rand's view of women, and I totally understand what she is saying in this particular essay. But I also think that she is speaking from the sense of life of a woman, vs. speaking of the values a woman can have. I am also in agreement that a woman seeks to look up to a man that she admires that she might be valued by him, thus reinforcing her own sense of self-esteem. I also think that feminism has really confused this kind of thing (the relationship between a man and a woman) so that I, being young, have a harder time understanding what is right. Anyhow, just thought I might add, that I also read an essay by Nathaniel Branden, who, as a psychologist, claims that Rand's essay on the matter was ludicrous, and that she self-admittingly knew nothing of psychology. Yet I can't help but side with her on this one.

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