• ButyDude
    45
    I am looking for criticism on my argument and arguments against this one.

    I have no idea if I am waffling or if I make sense at all. Please tell me.

    The women’s studies and historical women’s studies are mostly concerned with the idea of “power.” From the gender perspective, or basically the women’s feminist perspective, society is interpreted as a hierarchy of “power structures,” ranging from government to gender roles. I will offer a rebuttal to this interpretation of society.

    In a class like World History, most of the societies under our study will be large societies, such as the Han, Tang, and Song, or the Seljuk Turks, or the Byzantine Empire. This is critical and absolutely key to understanding why gender roles arise in this situation naturally, and it is not some cruel exercise of male dominance over women. Large societies require cooperation an organization of a massive hierarchical structure. It must be hierarchical, as every society needs to have a leader. Egalitarian societies of hunter-gatherers didn’t have a leader for the entire tribe, but the hunting group was structured just as our modern societies are today. The hunting, and also war, group had one leader, who also had his advisers or trusted ones surrounding him, and then the rest of the hunters. This structure is necessary for functioning correctly, and it has been drilled into the biology of males because of the necessity of hunting, and not into females, who traditionally gathered and cared for children. As green revolutions came, and societies began to organize themselves into large units, across multiple peoples and cultures, it became necessary for a hierarchical structure to organize the functions of society. Simply put, the necessity for governors, administrators, military, and more for a society to function calls upon the male biology of a hierarchical structure. The female biology of gathering and caring for children is not expandable to society as a whole. So, gender roles arise naturally from society, and women are meant to be the homemakers and child caretakers, while men are meant to be the organizers and functionality of said society.

    The interpretation of “power” both reduces the complex gender interactions to the “oppressor and oppressed,” and overlooks completely the fundamental reason why this gender structure has risen in every single society ever. First, it attacks this idea simply by saying men are the oppressors, and women are the oppressed. This is absolutely ridiculous. Men are the ones who have to organize society. Their biology calls them to provide, just as they did hundreds of thousands of years ago in hunting parties. The male effort to build society is not a grasp at power; it is an effort to provide. Also assuming the traditional belief that to each man is a woman, and marriage is between one man and one woman, this is clearly a collaborative effort between genders for the most efficient society possible. Women are much better at taking care of children, and at being the one to teach, be patient with, and see to the development of the child into a grown adult. Most women are simply not capable, by biology, to be the providers, builders, and organizers of society at large, because they do not fit cleanly into hierarchical structures. By having the male provide for the women, at least one parent of the child will be able to stay with the child during its most important a years of its life, in its development. Today in our society, we see the devastating effects of divorce, trauma, and parent neglect on our children, and it is becoming increasingly clear that young children must be protected in order to grow into capable adults. That protection can only be provided by a mother at home, and a father who protects the community at large. It is not a grasp at power, or an evil manipulation of women for the benefit of men. It is the natural structure of society that allows for children to be protected, raised, and properly taught by their mothers, for mothers to be able to have children and care for them, and for fathers to be able to protect their families and provide by organizing society.
  • Tom Storm
    8.1k
    Welcome.

    It would help if you used more paragraphs to separate your ideas for clarity.

    This argument you put is a standard argument, frequently put by conservatives like Stephen Hicks and Jordan Peterson. Nothing new is arguing that the power trope (which seems to originate with Foucault) is incomplete.

    But above and beyond the conservative professors mentioned above, this kind of argument was commonly being put by detractors of feminism decades ago. Especially these kinds of points -

    Women are much better at taking care of children, and at being the one to teach, be patient with, and see to the development of the child into a grown adult. Most women are simply not capable, by biology, to be the providers, builders, and organizers of society at large, because they do not fit cleanly into hierarchical structures.ButyDude

    What you have done here is not provide an argument. You have simply made a claim. Can you demonstrate these claims?

    To do justice to these kinds of arguments one needs to have expertise in anthropology and history. Personally, I eschew these kinds of arguments, as they often end up being about as useful as debates over the meaning of Bible verses.
  • Echarmion
    2.5k
    The women’s studies and historical women’s studies are mostly concerned with the idea of “power.” From the gender perspective, or basically the women’s feminist perspective, society is interpreted as a hierarchy of “power structures,” ranging from government to gender roles. I will offer a rebuttal to this interpretation of society.ButyDude

    But it doesn't claim to be the only possible way to look at society.

    This is critical and absolutely key to understanding why gender roles arise in this situation naturally, and it is not some cruel exercise of male dominance over women.ButyDude

    Cruel domination can easily be natural, but that's not a moral argument.

    This structure is necessary for functioning correctly, and it has been drilled into the biology of males because of the necessity of hunting, and not into females, who traditionally gathered and cared for children.ButyDude

    If there is one thing we know about human social arrangements it's that they're very flexible, often changing between different contexts.

    It's not at all clear that one such arrangement is fixed biologically.

    So, gender roles arise naturally from society, and women are meant to be the homemakers and child caretakers, while men are meant to be the organizers and functionality of said society.ButyDude

    Meant by whom?

    The interpretation of “power” both reduces the complex gender interactions to the “oppressor and oppressed,” and overlooks completely the fundamental reason why this gender structure has risen in every single society ever.ButyDude

    How do you know it's "every single society ever"?

    Anyways overlooking it is the entire point. It's meant to strip the context so the bare power relation is visible.

    Men are the ones who have to organize society.ButyDude

    Do they? Why?

    The male effort to build society is not a grasp at power; it is an effort to provide.ButyDude

    Why isn't it both?

    Also assuming the traditional belief that to each man is a woman, and marriage is between one man and one woman, this is clearly a collaborative effort between genders for the most efficient society possible.ButyDude

    Where did you get the idea that marriage is about efficiency? Also how would you know what the most efficient society possible even is?

    Most women are simply not capable, by biology, to be the providers, builders, and organizers of society at large, because they do not fit cleanly into hierarchical structures.ButyDude

    So how do you explain all those women who operate successfully within hierarchical structures?

    By having the male provide for the women, at least one parent of the child will be able to stay with the child during its most important a years of its life, in its development.ButyDude

    A single parent for a child or children is not at all what's biologically appropriate for humans.

    Today in our society, we see the devastating effects of divorce, trauma, and parent neglect on our children, and it is becoming increasingly clear that young children must be protected in order to grow into capable adults.ButyDude

    Are we? Like what?

    That protection can only be provided by a mother at home, and a father who protects the community at large.ButyDude

    Homes weren't part of the ancestral environment, so how could that be true?

    It is the natural structure of society that allows for children to be protected, raised, and properly taught by their mothers, for mothers to be able to have children and care for them, and for fathers to be able to protect their families and provide by organizing society.ButyDude

    The natural structure of society is bands of hunter gatherers, who do some farming, living in various kinds of communities, often with vastly different structures according to season. In such a "natural" society child rearing is a communal effort that everyone takes part in. The "atomic family" is not natural, it's a product of the last 200 years.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    The anthropology in this is dreadful. But I'm guessing mere facts are not as important to you as maintaining the rage.

    Laugh and walk away.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    WelcomeTom Storm

    I admire your civility.
  • ButyDude
    45
    I went through these backwards. Thank you for responding. I appreciate it. These responses are not well thought through at all, just keeping track of some of my thoughts.

    The atomic family is not natural, true. But likewise, American society, with its broad range of cultures and peoples living in it, is incompatible with a communal effort to raise children anymore. Nuclear family is the best solution for this that I can see.

    Homes were part of the ancestral environment. They weren’t always in the same place, but even a teepee is a home. They moved seasonally, not every day.

    Yes, we are seeing the effects of divorce and fatherlessness on children.

    Not single parent. Mother stays home with the children, father goes to work and comes home. Both parents.

    Are they operating successfully? Women paid 77 cents less than men for the same work, and one of the largest contributors to that is that women, on average across the board, underestimate the value of their work and don’t ask for raises? Women having to work jobs and pick up children from school, take care of them when sick, etc., it is no wonder the average family only has two kids now. On top of that, childless women report feeling depression, regret, and a strong desire to have children at around age 30. Women want to have children, but the economic demands on them are to have full careers. It is incredibly difficult, and I don’t see the state of motherhood now as more successful than it was with the nuclear family.

    Marriage is not just efficient, although it is, but it is naturally how we are organized. It’s so fundamental I can’t even explain it with my own thoughts, though I am sure there is an argument out there. One man and one woman, across all cultures and societies.

    I guess it could be both. Good point. When i say grasping for power, I am mostly talking about the way a feminist argument would say that men are inherently oppressing women by taking positions of power in society.

    Men are the ones who build large, expansive structures. Look at the military, the church, the government. Historically that is how it has happened, I guess you could say it couldn’t be women because they were not in a position of power to do so so I should find a better argument for this.

    Most societies.

    Meant by the biological calling of each gender. We are more alike than different, but we have our differences, hence the vast majority male prison population and such.

    It may not be fixed biologically completely, but heavily influenced at least.

    Cruel domination can be natural. I am claiming that men being in power and exercising it is not inherently cruel. Men exercising power can be extraordinarily cruel and evil, like Stalin or Kim Jong-Un. It’s not inherently cruel.

    No it doesn’t, but just want to refute this interpretation.
  • ButyDude
    45
    Wow I just wanted genuine feedback. Please, at least entertain my argument. If it is that bad, it should be easy to disprove.
  • ButyDude
    45
    Tom, I appreciate the genuine response.

    I will look at the evidence on this claim and get back to you.

    I don’t think this debate is useless. The post-modernist influence on society is extremely important. There are many people who believe that the study of these power structures is the correct way to analyze society, and I would argue that it is incorrect. You’re right, there are probably tons of errors in my argument that I am not aware of because I am not an anthropologist or historian.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    If it is that bad, it should be easy to disprove.ButyDude

    When an argument so badly misrepresent a whole field of knowledge, a short reply will not suffice. And I'm not too happy about drawing attention to this particular patriarchal self-absolution. Read an introductory anthropology text that is less than fifty years old.
  • ButyDude
    45
    When an argument so badly misrepresent a whole field of knowledgeBanno

    Tell me why. I am here to learn.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    Tell me why.ButyDude
    Read an introductory anthropology text that is less than fifty years old.Banno

    I am here to learn.ButyDude
    I very much doubt it.
  • ButyDude
    45
    What is one anthropology text I should read?
  • Banno
    22.9k
    What is one anthropology text I should read?ButyDude
    Apocryphal has it that there was a debate in the House of Lords during a famine in Bangladesh, in which one Lord lamented the thousands who were starving. Another particularly obtuse Lord challenged him, saying "If, as you say, there are thousands starving, then you should have no trouble naming one".

    You might start here;
  • wonderer1
    1.5k
    If it is that bad, it should be easy to disprove.ButyDude

    Why would you think that? Showing you the problems would require you learning a lot.

    The naturalistic fallacy would be one place to start.
  • ButyDude
    45
    nice witty quote, I see your point

    I’ll get back to you on this piece
  • ButyDude
    45
    From an academic article referenced in your article: “A broadly parallel picture emerges with regard to gathering and collecting wild foodstuff. There are two aspects to this: firstly, it has been pointed out that in terms of food quantity, nutrition, and food security, gathering undomesticated plant food is much more important to hunter-gatherers than the hunt, even though ideologically there is commonly an emphasis on game meat. Scholarly preoccupation with the hunting aspect of the hunter-gatherer way of life may therefore be biased, since at least in terms of quantity, gathering is in many settings the main means of survival. Since it is mostly women who concentrate on gathering, the old picture of ‘man the hunter’ (Lee & DeVore 1986) began to be complemented by that of ‘woman the gatherer’ (Dahlberg 1981). This is an oversimplification, since even men who go out hunting often return with gathered fruits (rather than meat) while women’s gathering may include capturing small animals such as lizards and birds. The line between what constitutes ‘hunting’, and who is involved in it, thereby becomes more blurred than anticipated (Kästner 2012). Without the keen observations of women reading animal tracks and movements, many hunts would not be successful. Moreover, collective hunts in forest areas often involve the whole camp, regardless of gender. Despite cases in which some of the meat may be reserved for men (or to particular relatives of the hunter), women in many hunter-gatherer societies enjoy equality that compares favourably with most other societies (see Leacock 1998). This includes their access to resources, but also their social standing and status, their autonomy in making decisions (for instance, in cases of infanticide) and their room for agency. Men, on the other hand, often engage in what may be considered ‘female’ activities, not just gathering but also looking after children (see Hewlett 1991). Despite a frequently observed division of labour, women and men are often equally involved in relevant practices, including economic decisions, politics, healing, and ritual affairs.”

    One thing this article says is that the line between “hunter” and “gatherer” is blurred. Women can hunt, as it says, and men can gather, as it says. My specific point about gender relations in society is that men construct the hierarchical structures that are necessary for large, functional societies.

    From your article: “ In another example, Gilbert Herdt (1996) describes boy-to-man ritual practices among the Sambia of New Guinea in which boys as young as seven years old are taught and compelled to perform fellatio on older boys. When these same boys become adolescents themselves, they are fellated by younger boys. When they are a few years older, they marry young women and, according to Herdt, never resume sexual relations with boys or men. Among the Sambia, the belief was at the time of study widespread that this practice enabled boys to develop their adult sense of masculinity.”

    This is clearly an example of a male hierarchical structure, in which the senior males are of a higher status than the junior males. These rituals of manhood found throughout hunter-gatherer societies are an example of male hierarchical structure.

    Here is a scholarly article providing evidence for my claim, men are more associated with hierarchy than women are: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marianne-Mast/publication/232548102_Men_Are_Hierarchical_Women_Are_Egalitarian_An_Implicit_Gender_Stereotype/links/02e7e5165b23b0e6b4000000/Men-Are-Hierarchical-Women-Are-Egalitarian-An-Implicit-Gender-Stereotype.pdf

    “The present investigation sought to provide evidence for the existence of an implicit hierarchy gender stereotype. Results showed that indeed such a stereotype exists. Men were associated with hierarchies and women were associated with egalitarian structures more than vice versa… Men, for instance, prefer inequality in status/power among social groups… and men are more motivated to lead in hierarchical organizations than women.”
  • Banno
    22.9k
    Wonderful stuff. How to respond to someone who quotes material that contradicts his view, as if it were in support of his view?
    Despite a frequently observed division of labour, women and men are often equally involved in relevant practices, including economic decisions, politics, healing, and ritual affairs.” — OEA
    Nothing to support your view that hierarchies are necessary, let alone that they are a genetic result of masculinity. But keep digging, you may find something.

    Google is a wonderful thing, but a study of a bit over a hundred undergrads from a Western University hardly leads to results that we might readily apply to all of human culture and history.

    It's perhaps better in this context to stick with reliable tertiary sources, since the information comes pre-digested. For example, the OEA article on hunting and gathering offers several differing accounts of how hierarchies, while mostly absent or nascent, might arise, pointing out that
    The primate heritage seems to be characterised by widespread hierarchy... from which human foragers managed to break away.
    This appears to directly contradict your view of a male genetic disposition, which is certainly not offered as one of the options.

    I remain unconvinced.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    Good point, that even if we grant it, a predisposition for hierarchies might well be something that males ought overcome.
  • ButyDude
    45
    Thank you for the response.

    First, you should make your position clearer. Do you believe that the interpretation of society as a hierarchy of power structures, with men as oppressors and women as oppressed, is correct? Do you believe that the power structures are inherently oppressing women?

    Second, hierarchies are absolutely necessary to a functional society. This is simply too fundamental to argue. “Importantly, the organization of social groups into a hierarchy serves an adaptive function that benefits the group as a whole. When essential resources are limited, individual skills vary, and reproductive fitness determines survival, hierarchies are an efficient way to divide goods and labor among group members. Thus, an important function of the hierarchy may be to define social roles (Halevy et al., 2011) and allocate limited resources (Sapolsky, 2005).” - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494206/#:~:text=Importantly%2C%20the%20organization%20of%20social,and%20labor%20among%20group%20members.

    Societies must be organized in order to be functional. The hierarchy is the social organization of humans. Hierarchy is especially important in large societies, as there are more members of society to manage, more resources to distribute, and more social roles to be defined.

    Furthermore, hierarchies are less stable among women: “Same-sex female hierarchies are somewhat less stable, showing more frequent fluctuations in rank among mid-ranking and top-ranking members compared to male groups, yet the salience and function of the hierarchy is comparable across genders.” - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494206/#:~:text=Importantly%2C%20the%20organization%20of%20social,and%20labor%20among%20group%20members.

    I don’t believe that “more frequent fluctuations” refers to mobility within the hierarchy, such as an soldier being promoted. I believe it refers to more drastic changes in the hierarchy not based on an explicitly defined systematic order.

    (Those are from the same article, which is a tertiary source.)

    Looking further into the cited source for this claim, I find that, “Three findings point to the greater instability of the female hierarchy: the greater frequency of fluctuations in dyadic interactions, the disagreement on relative rank among girls on the dominance sociometrics, and the lack of a temporal decrease in the frequency of observed dominance encounters.” - https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/15901917/Child_Dev_1979-libre.pdf?1390864551=&response-content-disposition=inline%3B+filename%3DDominance_hierarchies_in_groups_of_early.pdf&Expires=1696994183&Signature=c1ksksgQnblzucOyaf0XGvMRYoGchP7Vt~ujpjUg2b~7DC~JZ~hatrAczpvuqnQstXjAyzpqlD4gVf1zl9D441E~HRhfSIsEnACDYlQHld3ea4a1Ui-XCEj4FU6HdUY0CGvZ~QpyFuYl-yK4yXXXyS5u7iSv4bGjaraC~uLBx-hL3MjLRVOy6FzRV0GzSAKFKFU~fSlep4M~HBxTvsbgkTOyylyfDJDv18rrmCytyA3Q2xFqQ0PNZ4iNBAiBs6768ULwdGfm-tJpwrK7ZvXdPLX6qSZefcRZ64ZcFLgL4jLvzTGD-2qNAIXftBWNaHBX18cDdInQG-a1GE-LVBIzUg__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA.

    This may show why men tend to be the organizers and participants of hierarchies that structure society. A stable hierarchy is necessary for a stable society. Another quote from a Stanford website says, “Hierarchy is inevitable. As our Stanford colleagues Deb Gruenfeld and Lara Tiedens show in a detailed review of research on hierarchy, although the forms it takes vary wildly, it is impossible to find groups or organizations where all members have roughly equal status and power. Whether researchers study people, dogs, or baboons, hierarchies are evident after just minutes of observation. And when strangers meet for the first time, a hierarchy of leaders and followers begins to emerge immediately. This rapid development of pecking orders is seen, for example, in groups of college students who meet in psychology experiments and when strangers start chatting on the street corner — leaders, followers and other signs of status differences nearly always emerge (along with more subtle roles such as “joker,” “hero” and even “scapegoat”). Gruenfeld and Tiedens conclude: “When scholars attempt to find an organization that is not characterized by hierarchy, they cannot.” - https://ecorner.stanford.edu/articles/hierarchy-is-good-hierarchy-is-essential-and-less-isnt-always-better/.

    This appears to directly contradict your view of a male genetic disposition, which is certainly not offered as one of the options.Banno

    Third, I am sure that there is a male disposition, but I am not sure if it is genetic, social, or some other factor. While it is important to understand why the male hierarchy would be more stable than the female hierarchy, it does not specifically pertain to my original argument: men are the members of human society that organize society into a functional state.
  • L'éléphant
    1.4k
    @baker should be coming to this thread soon.
  • Tom Storm
    8.1k
    Nothing to support your view that hierarchies are necessary, let alone that they are a genetic result of masculinity. But keep digging, you may find something.Banno

    Hierarchies are necessary because Jordan Peterson has said so. :wink:
  • Banno
    22.9k
    First, you should make your position clearer.ButyDude
    Well, no. Showing that your suggestion is questionable does not require the presentation of an alternative. Further, your aim is off since feminist theory tends at least as much if not more, towards Marxist and Hegelian critique as towards post modern. Your analysis of power structures is somewhat blunt.

    Second, hierarchies are absolutely necessary to a functional society.ButyDude
    Hmm. Another primary source. In other material folk point out that human culture is astonishingly varied, that there have been successful egalitarian societies, with organisational structures that are not hierarchic, often by explicit choice. There's an ambiguity in "necessary" that allows you to dither between whether social hierarchies do emerge or whether they ought emerge; it may be that we have an obligation to resist your supposed causes of hierarchy. After all, humans can choose how to behave. So, for example, that female social hierarchies are unstable may indicate that matriarchy ought be preferred, in the interests of equality. That is, you are cherry picking.

    Third, I am sure that there is a male dispositionButyDude
    Your certainty is of little interest here.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    How is young Jordan, I wonder? Still persecuting his colon, I presume. Too much hunt, not enough gather. Needs some greens to keep him regular.
  • Tom Storm
    8.1k
    How is young Jordan, I wonder?Banno

    Nicely done.

    I expect he is still making profitable use of the vacuum in many people's lives, like L Ron Hubbard, Ayn Rand and many others before him. With his strangulated voice and perpetual strained visage, he's more than merely constipated, he's hard to listen to or watch, and seems to be somewhat at war with himself.
  • Echarmion
    2.5k
    The atomic family is not natural, true. But likewise, American society, with its broad range of cultures and peoples living in it, is incompatible with a communal effort to raise children anymore. Nuclear family is the best solution for this that I can see.ButyDude

    Maybe. But maybe we also need to strengthen care providers. In any event the argument wasn't about what was currently feasible in the US specifically.

    Homes were part of the ancestral environment. They weren’t always in the same place, but even a teepee is a home. They moved seasonally, not every day.ButyDude

    The point was that the main social structure was the band or village, not an individual family dwelling.

    Yes, we are seeing the effects of divorce and fatherlessness on children.ButyDude

    But aren't you arguing for a form of "fatherlessness"? Two generations ago, when the "atomic family" was in full swing, many fathers were essentially absent from child rearing tasks, which were entirely optional for them. It was certainly not expected of fathers to form emotional bonds with their children.

    It seems to me the specific model you have in mind is the victorian family model. But nothing particularly tells us that this was ever a great idea. So I'm wondering why you're what the cause of the problems is.

    Are they operating successfully?ButyDude

    In terms of outcomes for society it seems so.

    Marriage is not just efficient, although it is, but it is naturally how we are organized. It’s so fundamental I can’t even explain it with my own thoughts, though I am sure there is an argument out there. One man and one woman, across all cultures and societies.ButyDude

    Perhaps if you can not put it into words, it would be useful to think on it some more. It's certainly not true that marriage is as universal as you claim.

    I guess it could be both. Good point. When i say grasping for power, I am mostly talking about the way a feminist argument would say that men are inherently oppressing women by taking positions of power in society.ButyDude

    Well not all power is necessarily oppressive, I agree. But you do need to consider that the two centuries leading up the the world wars were some of the worst times, in terms of freedom, for women in western society. We're coming out of a deep valley in that sense.
  • ButyDude
    45
    that there have been successful egalitarian societiesBanno

    Yes, mainly hunter-gatherer societies, which still held an implicit hierarchical structure among its members. Read the Stanford article. Read the tertiary source, that is not a primary source, but is a tertiary source. You obviously did not read either of them.

    I have to “cherry pick”, I can’t copy and paste the entire article!

    It’s clear that you are responding to my arguments but not my evidence. I know well enough that my sources back me up.

    Your certainty is of little interest here.Banno

    Haha thanks. The evidence is certain of a male disposition.

    It is acceptable if you don’t want to argue this point with me. But it is unacceptable to ignore the evidence as a whole.

    there have been successful egalitarian societies, with organisational structures that are not hierarchic, often by explicit choice. There's an ambiguity in "necessary" that allows you to dither between whether social hierarchies do emerge or whether they ought emerge; it may be that we have an obligation to resist your supposed causes of hierarchy.Banno

    I don’t see any evidence backing this claim. My evidence refutes this, see the Stanford Article: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/articles/hierarchy-is-good-hierarchy-is-essential-and-less-isnt-always-better/

    Hmm. Another primary source.Banno

    This is a tertiary source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494206/#:~:text=Importantly%2C%20the%20organization%20of%20social,and%20labor%20among%20group%20members

    How is young Jordan, I wonder? Still persecuting his colon, I presume. Too much hunt, not enough gather. Needs some greens to keep him regular.Banno

    I would prefer you keep off-topic conversations out of the public thread, thank you.
  • ButyDude
    45
    there have been successful egalitarian societies, with organisational structures that are not hierarchic, often by explicit choice. There's an ambiguity in "necessary" that allows you to dither between whether social hierarchies do emerge or whether they ought emerge; it may be that we have an obligation to resist your supposed causes of hierarchy.Banno

    I don’t see any evidence backing this claim. My evidence refutes this, see the Stanford Article: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/articles/hierarchy-is-good-hierarchy-is-essential-and-less-isnt-always-better/
  • unenlightened
    8.7k
    Let us consider agriculture for a moment and give the hunter-gatherers a break. Whether it consists of domesticated livestock controlled by nomads, or land controlled improved and cultivated for crops or for livestock, agriculture involves an investment of labour that creates 'property'. And as soon as there is substantial property, the inheritance of property becomes an issue.

    Now the obvious "natural" system of inheritance would be matrilineal, since there is rarely any question as to who the mother of a child is. By contrast, paternity is very dubious. Paternity can only be assured by the strictest regulation of female sexual contacts.

    So in order for a patrilineal system of inheritance to exist, male control of female sexuality is essential. At this point systematic gendered power has to arise, and one of the major ways such power can be maintained is by representing itself as 'natural', 'God's will', the only possibility, and 'good'. The op covers all of these points of representation, and amounts to a standard defence of the subjugation of women.
  • LuckyR
    374
    Their biology calls them to provide, just as they did hundreds of thousands of years ago in hunting parties


    Your post hoc analysis suffers from a fundamental misunderstanding of statistics when trying to use biological and mostly psychological differences between men and women to rationalize what has happened and more importantly what should happen moving forward.

    Specifically I am referring to the exaggeration of the differences between the psychological or biological averages of the genders while ignoring the much wider differences within each gender.

    Thus, when describing populations, it makes more sense to divide them along the descriptors you are studying, say leadership or aggressiveness or nurturing and including those of both genders with those skills, than by gender. When viewed that way, it is easy to calculate that say women are underrepresented in powerful and wealth generating positions beyond what you would expect based on their innate skillset. That is accounted for by feminist scholars (logically) by the effect of power dynamics and gender bias.
  • ButyDude
    45
    Thank you for the quite well-written response.

    That is definitely a shortcoming of my argument. Although across the averages, there is evidence for a more stable hierarchical structure for men than women, thus explaining the early exclusive use of men in government and authority positions, it does not touch upon the extreme differences within gender that actually applies to leaders and the true organizers of society.

    My claims about gender differences were quite flat and blanketing.

    So it would be correct to say that, at the extremes of males, there are the leaders of society who will organize hierarchies under them, and the average male biology supports that hierarchical structure? And the similar line of logic for women?
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