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About a Woman President

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Well, seeing as how it seems to be a psychological issue, couldn't it well be the case that different women have (legitimately) different psychological approaches to the matter (within a certain range)? That is, maybe Ayn Rand didn't feel psychologically capable of being the president, and maybe many women would agree with her, but perhaps there are some for whom it would not be such a problem. Perhaps she was mistaken to have made such a broad generalization on a point of psychology.

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

So what? You are the one who defined masculinity in terms of "possessing strong muscles," not Ayn Rand. That is your own peculiar definition of masculinity. If you cannot use your concept of masculinity to "distinguish man," then that is a reflection on your concept of masculinity, not on Miss Rand.

'Manliness' is a concept to distinguish men.
I hesitate to ask, but, curious guy that I am, please enlighten us on your view of "Manliness" versus "maculinity."

Oxford English Dictionary is not a reliable source since it was not composed according to the definition rules of concept formation.

Pardon me for remaining underwhelmed by your judgment of the OED here, considering that you think of your definition of masculinity as being composed "according to the concept formation rules of definitions."

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.
So then, do you also think that a man ( a rational animal) is not a man when he is sleeping? You might want to study a bit about what is meant by the nature of an entity.

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

Parroting back my words of criticism towards Tomer, absent of understanding, will not magically make those words apply here. What I said above is factually true, and it puts the onus of proof on you, where it belongs. Trying to shift that burden to me will not work. If you think that Ayn Rand's view of masculinity is "wrong and non essential" the you need to first display her view of masculinity and then demonstrate why it is "wrong and non essential." All you have done is create your own definition of masculinity, and then claim that that view is "wrong and non essential."

Do you really not understand the difference?

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?

I know that I am clear about what I say, but I find what you say to be extrremely imprecise and muddled.

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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.

There is a trailer for an upcoming movie, Shall We Dance, an Americam version of the Japanese original.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ShallWeDan...22/trailers.php

In that trailer, about mid-way, Jennifer Lopez demonstrates how the man should act in a particular dance, and she says "You have to hold her ... like you are going to have your way with her ... right here on the dance floor." The responses to what she says, and how she says it, are precious. I'd be willing to bet money that those words, and that context, were written by a woman.

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.

Although some might react to the difference in maturity between child and parent, I think this is a near-perfect expression of the sense that many struggle to get across about the man-woman relationship. Thanks so much for those words, and I hope you will permit me to use them, as needed, sometime in the future.

p.s. I do not mean to pry, and of course you are free to just ignore this, but I cannot help asking: Are you a woman?

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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?

In my opinion, the main problem lies in how most people seem to go about forming their concepts of 'man' and 'woman'. It's hardly a controversial fact that gender roles tend to vary across cultures, and it seems to me that a lot of people have had a look around Western society over a very small period of time (maybe ~300 years or so), made a couple of observations about how men and women act, and decided to universalise what they noticed into some kind of 'essential nature of Womanhood/Manhood'.

In reality, any genuine attempt to claim that there are specific 'essential biological difference' between men and women would have to be based on evidence that goes significantly beyond "how people acted in the West between the years of X and Y". Not only this, it would have to involve psychological evidence gathered in laboratories, in addition to the purely historical claims. Basing your argument on one particular era of history misses the point, as in doing so you have lost the ability to distinguish between biological differences, and differences imposed by the structure of society. I have yet to encounter any real examples of universal evidence for significant 'innate' gender differences, and I seriously doubt that the majority of those making the claims have either. If there is one thing that the events of the 20th century should have taught us, it is to be immediately sceptical of those who claim that two groups of people are 'essentially different' without providing significant evidence for these assertions other than a flippant "you can notice it all around you".

I dont particularly like using the race comparasion for several reasons, but I shall use it anyway since it seems to be vaguely relevant here. If I were to look over the last 2000 years of history, I could probably find just as much 'evidence' that Negroids are 'essentially different' from Caucasians as you could that women are 'essentially different' from men. I could probably also find evidence to support the claim that one of these races is naturally 'dominant', while the other is 'submissive', and I could conclude from this that these two races should play differing roles in today's society. Would this make my claim true, or my conclusions justified? I certainly hope not, but to me this appears to be very similar to what the "men are intrinsically different from women" crowd seem to have done.

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Guest jrshep
In reality, any genuine attempt to claim that there are specific 'essential biological difference' between men and women would have to be based on evidence that goes significantly beyond "how people acted in the West between the years of X and Y".

The essential, biological, differences that are at the root of these claims about the relationship between men and women romantically are obvious even to very young children the first time that they see an image of the opposite sex naked. This is not rocket science.

I could probably also find evidence to support the claim that one of these races is naturally 'dominant', and one is 'submissive', and I could use it to justify differing roles for these races in today's society. Would this make my claim true? I certainly hope not.

The "dominant" and "submissive" aspects of this issue are not a matter of ethical or political dominance and submissiveness as in the moral condemnation of someone or the oppression of some race of people. The male knocks at the woman's door; the woman opens it if she chooses, if she trust him, wants him to enter. He enters if he wants to. She lets him do so if she wants to.

There are differences between the genders that no amount of psycho babble can ever dismiss.

In many ways, I think that a man is more a man when with a woman, and a woman is more a woman when with a man, than any other experiences in life can provide. We identify ourselves by our contrasts too.

Viva la differance!

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The essential, biological, differences that are at the root of these claims about the relationship between men and women romantically are obvious even to very young children the first time that they see an image of the opposite sex naked. This is not rocket science.

Yeah, one has a penis the other doesn't. Some people have white skin, some don't. Physical differences alone do not constitute strong evidence for differing underlying 'natures'.

You still haven't shown any non-anecdotal evidence that couldn't equally be used to justify the different treatment of almost any other group throughout history, be they Negroids, Jews, French people, or redheads. I'm fully aware of the fact that men and women play different roles in today's society, however it does not follow that this is due to biological differences rather than social factors.

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You still haven't shown any non-anecdotal evidence that couldn't equally be used to justify the different treatment of almost any other group throughout history, be they Negroids, Jews, French people, or redheads. I'm fully aware of the fact that men and women play different roles in today's society, however it does not follow that this is due to biological differences rather than social factors.

Instead of asking him to show you an essential difference, understand that such is not possible. As you interestingly concluded, it is just another case of RACISM. (for further clarification, read Racism by Ayn Rand).

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Well, seeing as how it seems to be a psychological issue, couldn't it well be the case that different women have (legitimately) different psychological approaches to the matter (within a certain range)?  That is, maybe Ayn Rand didn't feel psychologically capable of being the president, and maybe many women would agree with her, but perhaps there are some for whom it would not be such a problem.  Perhaps she was mistaken to have made such a broad generalization on a point of psychology.

Are you confused or cynical? I honestly can't say. what do you think is right in this issue? seriously.

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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.)

I have no argumant to offer you. You have just admitted that it is not possible. I am sorry for that, but it is your choice and your right.

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Guest jrshep
You still haven't shown any non-anecdotal evidence that couldn't equally be used to justify the different treatment of almost any other group throughout history....

I am not attempting to justify the violation of rights of one gender or the other on the basis of the differences between the genders, the factual, not anecdotal, differences.

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Instead of asking him to show you an essential difference, understand that such is not possible. As you interestingly concluded, it is just another case of RACISM.     (for further clarification, read Racism by Ayn Rand).

Well, I think that its certainly possible for there to be a difference, there just doesnt seem to be any real evidence to suggest so. I think the people claiming that there is definitely no difference whatsoever are every bit as deluded as those screaming that there is a difference (the hysteria surrounding the Bell Curve thing highlights this nicely; the majority of people seem to have decided that this report was either definitely valid or definitely invalid, before they had actually read it). Dogmatic belief without supporting evidence is irrational, regardless of whether this belief happens to be for something or against it.

I think a pertinent questin would be to ask WHY people feel the need to believe so strongly that there is or isnt a difference between the sexes/races. If it were proven tomorrow that a difference does (or doesnt) exist, how would this affect you in any way whatsoever? As Ayn Rand said in the essay you mention, the fact that a race has a tendancy to possess a property does not mean that a _specific_ member of that race should be assumed to have it. Even if women DID tend to be more submissive as a sex, this doesnt mean that a particular woman who has chosen to be dominant is somehow 'acting against her inner nature', whatever that is. It would be like arguing that Caucasian people having a lower average IQ than Asians meant that all Caucasians were stupid. If you want a partner who is submissive/dominant/masculine/feminine then there is nothing wrong with that, but claiming that all females who do not follow your expections are somehow 'in denial' is ludicrous.

I'm not even saying that I _disagree_ with Rand's views of masculinity/femininity in terms of what I personally want from a relationship (I certainly wouldnt say I'm in full agreement, but I'm probably closer to Rand than I am to the neo-feminists), I just take issue to the idea that this somehow represents a deep law of objective human nature, rather than "what Ayn Rand thought about men and women", especially when it is used to condemn others who take a different view of sexuality (homosexuals would be the textbook example here).

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I am not attempting to justify the violation of rights of one gender or the other on the basis of the differences between the genders, the factual, not anecdotal, differences.

I didnt say you were, I'm saying that you have no basis on which to make the claim, regardless of the conclusions you wish to draw from it. Hitler's belief that Jews are significantly genetically different from Aryans would not have been less irrational if he hadn't advocated genocide against them. My problem is purely with your belief, not what you are using that belief to justify.

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Well, I think that its certainly possible for there to be a difference, there just doesnt seem to be any real evidence to suggest so.

Now you lost me... the first part of your sentence suggest that you understand that there are differences (which are, of course, the self evidental, physical differences). The seconed part reffers to other differences to which you have no proof. You realize that such an assertion is not considered knowledge, right?

I think the people claiming that there is definitely no difference whatsoever are every bit as deluded as those screaming that there is a difference
Define your terms. No difference at all? When did you read that on this thread? As I said, some are self evident.

the hysteria surrounding the Bell Curve thing highlights this nicely

What exactly do you mean?

Dogmatic belief without supporting evidence is irrational, regardless of whether this belief happens to be for something or against it.
Couldn't agree more!

I think a pertinent questin would be to ask WHY people feel the need to believe so strongly that there is or isnt a difference between the sexes/races.

I can think of some reasons:

1. A mentality that acccept non-axioms as axioms - For instance, a person that reads a lot of Rand's writings for a long period, than suddenly reads "About A Woman President" and decides first to accept her notions and seconed to try and prove it by any means he can (because it has to be true) and last, he accepts it by not identifing the problem and it's absurdity. (I'm using the term 'Axiom' in a sense of a truth, not to be questioned)

2. A terrible inferiority complex - MAN - Compensating for lack of self - esteem by thinking - 'at least I'm superior to women in a fundamental sense.'

WOMEN - 'I am inferior and here is my proof of that. I can't help it, it is beyond me, I'm fundametally inferior.'

3. Favouring feelings over facts - Choosing not to understand because they will be "better Objectivists".

4. A missleaded over confidence - 'There is no possible way that I'll be wrong about it.'

Even if women DID tend to be more submissive as a sex, this doesnt mean that a particular woman who has chosen to be dominant is somehow 'acting against her inner nature'
Exactly.

I'm not even saying that I _disagree_ with Rand's views of masculinity/femininity in terms of what I personally want from a relationship

I reffer you to my prior posts here....

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In reality, any genuine attempt to claim that there are specific 'essential biological difference' between men and women would have to be based on evidence that goes significantly beyond "how people acted in the West between the years of X and Y".

And, in another post, Spearmint wrote:

Yeah, one has a penis the other doesn't.

With all due respect, these are the sort of ignorant utterances one so often hears from the staunch feminists who have injected themselves with the intellectual equivalent of male hormones. I study the neurophysiology of the brain and the biochemical mechanisms which influence both the structure and its operation. I am up-to-date on the scientific literature but, unlike other areas of science which I study, I am not familiar with the popular literature in this field. However, I am sure that there must be a wealth of popularized information available on this subject for those who want to educate themselves.

There are signifcant structural differences between the male and female brain, differing sizes in the cortex and differing symmetries and asymmetries which lead to functional differences in brain operation. The hormonal structure between male and female is fundamentally different, and it is a scientific fact that estrogen plays a fundamental role in regulating both the neural structure and functional processing in the brain. The effect of testosterone on protein synthesis throughout a large portion of brain regions is thoroughly documented.

There is an enormous amount of scientific literature on chemical interactions and behavior. Males and females treated with differing hormonal balances exhibit a wide range of changed behavior. Even preoptic tissue from a male mammalian brain has been transplanted into the female counterpart and adult changes in behavior, associated with the male, have been observed. This is not behaviorism -- the consciousness of a human being remains volitional -- but physical brain structures and biochemical interactions set the physical context within which a consciousness acts. We are neither flesh alone nor disconnected consciousness, and those who would obliterate the male-female difference, both physically and psychologically, are simply denying their very nature.

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Instead of asking him to show you an essential difference, understand that such is not possible. As you interestingly concluded, it is just another case of RACISM. (for further clarification, read Racism by Ayn Rand).

This is, at best, misleading, and, at worst, dishonest. In her article Ayn Rand correctly argues that the content of a person's mind, "a man's convictions, values, and character" are not predetermined by any physical means. She does not deny nor does she argue against physical differences which can give rise to differerences in male and female psychologies. In fact, as we all should be well-aware, she strongly argues for those differences in a multitude of writings, including the article which gave rise to this thread.

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I think a pertinent questin would be to ask WHY people feel the need to believe so strongly that there is or isnt a difference between the sexes/races.

Leaving out the "races" part, that is a good question. I for one base my conclusions on the scientific evidence of which I am very well-aware of. Based on what I have seen, those here who argue to the contrary are ignorant of the scientific facts, so it would be interesting to understand the "why" of the strength of their feelings.

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Hitler's belief that Jews are significantly genetically different from Aryans ...

I find it rather revolting to interject Hitler into a discussion about physiological and psychological differences in women. I'm sure you could have made your point in a more reasonable way.

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What belief?

I think this "discussion" left the Hall of Rationality a while ago, if it ever even had a rational base to begin with. I see nothing but ignorance and unwarranted assumptions, an intellectual vacuum, so to speak.

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I can think of some reasons:

1. A mentality that acccept non-axioms as axioms - For instance, a person that reads a lot of Rand's writings for a long period, than suddenly reads "About A Woman President" and decides first to accept her notions and seconed to try and prove it by any means he can (because it has to be true) and last, he accepts it by not identifing the problem and it's absurdity. (I'm using the term 'Axiom' in a sense of a truth, not to be questioned)

2. A terrible inferiority complex - ...

3. Favouring feelings over facts - Choosing not to understand because they will be "better Objectivists".

4. A missleaded over confidence - 'There is no possible way that I'll be wrong about it.'

Thank you for so openly explaining yourself.

I reffer you to my prior posts here....

Yes, exactly.

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

If a woman doesn't know a man well enough to trust him to protect her and never hurt her, physically or psychologically, she will be on guard. She won't relax and let go and she will miss the joys of surrender.

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.

She doesn't need trust and respect if a trustworthy, respectable man does not express her sense of life and if she values herself and sex so little that she is not greedily seeking all the pleasure sex has to offer. If so, sex can be like the encounter between James Taggart and Lillian Rearden.

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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.

Exactly.

I don't know if you have a wife or girlfriend, but if you do, she's a lucky lady.

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She doesn't need trust and respect if a trustworthy, respectable man does not express her sense of life and if she values herself and sex so little that she is not greedily seeking all the pleasure sex has to offer. If so, sex can be like the encounter between James Taggart and Lillian Rearden.

You didn't understand my question. Maybe I wasn't clear. I'll rephrase- I want to know if what you mean is that the great trust needed in order that she can let go is because she has to be sure that he won't hurt her. Am I correct?

That's all for now.

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I want to know if what you mean is that the great trust needed in order that she can let go is because she has to be sure that he won't hurt her. Am I correct?

That's a big part of it. She also needs to know that he has the self-confidence and ability to take her where she wants to go, romantically.

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Stephen wrote:

the consciousness of a human being remains volitional
Try to keep this in mind for the rest of this post (this, at least, is clear. Or is it?).

d180586 wrote a while ago, reffering to the differences between men and women:

you will discover that the differences are strictly physical, and that all else is due to individual personalities

I agreed then and I agree now...

Stephen wrote:

I study the neurophysiology of the brain and the biochemical mechanisms...

There are signifcant structural differences between the male and female brain, differing sizes in the cortex and differing symmetries and asymmetries which lead to functional differences in brain operation.

All of which proves that physical differences exist. Well... I already said they were self evident. Nothing new here.

At the time, Natzis thought that "differing sizes in the cortex" and other physical differences can prove something about an individual's personality, claiming that a hierarchical order exists between races. A notion like the one I've just quoted reflects the same thinking with one execption: claiming that an hierarchical order between human genders exist.

Stephen continues:

  The hormonal structure between male and female is fundamentally different, and it is a scientific fact that estrogen plays a fundamental role in regulating both the neural structure and functional processing in the brain.

Is he suggesting that those differences control our process of thinking?? That the process of consciousness is controled by "the hormonal structure"??

Let's define our terms:

CONSIOUSNESS

Consciousness is the faculty of awareness - the faculty of percieiving that which exist.
(IOE, 29)

Directly or indirectly, every phenomenon of consciousness is derived from one's awareness of the external world.

(IOE, 29)

REASON

Reason is the faculty that idetifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses
(VOS, 22)

It is reason (and only reason) that gives us information about reality. Values, as a corollary are determined by the reality in which we live, but is guided by our volitional consciousness.

Claiming that there is a fundamental difference between a man's values (which are derived from a volitional process) and a woman's (which is, in the same manner, also derived from a volitional process), would have to mean that there is a fundamental difference in regard to their nature.

Ayn Rand devides the categories in the following way:

we first distinguish between existant and non-existant. Then, between living entities and inanimate matter. Then by the type of consiousness, i.e, between perceptual awarness and conceptual awarness. There is no necessity for farther distinguishing between the genders for any conclusion regarding those who possess a conceptual awareness, apart from physiological differences. The reason is that only among those possessing the conceptual awareness, volition is possible. POSSESSING VOLITION ENTAILS THE USE OF IT ON ANY PROCCESS OF THINKING AND EVALUATION, ANY ISSUE AND ANY VALUE JUDGMENT.

Sexual desires are derived from value judgements which are derived from a process of thinking which derives from a volitional, conceptual consiousness.

Volitional counsciousness, not any physiological similarities or differences between those possesing it.

Are you still keeping in mind what Stephen wrote? just to remind you:

the consciousness of a human being remains volitional

Now, Stephen actually says that:

Males and females treated with differing hormonal balances exhibit a wide range of changed behavior. Even preoptic tissue from a male mammalian brain has been transplanted into the female counterpart and adult changes in behavior, associated with the male, have been observed.
(!)

To soften the blow, Stephen returns again to what is actually, scientifically proveable, which is, that physical differences exist.

At the end, Stephen resorts to the old 'mind-body dichotomy':

We are neither flesh alone nor disconnected consciousness, and those who would obliterate the male-female difference, both physically and psychologically, are simply denying their very nature.

No one is suggesting otherwise. We are neither flesh alone nor disconnected consciousness. putting this notion (despite its irrelevance) here was not an innocent mistake. It was done intentionally.

why? - Stephen writes in his following post that:

This is, at best, misleading, and, at worst, dishonest.

I will end this post by paraphrasing him:

This is, at best, dishonest to one's self, and, at worst, misleading to others.

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