"united we stand"

carey carey@tstonramp.com
Mon, 8 Apr 2002 13:52:54 -0700


> No, because it is politically incorrect to presume that human behaviour
> has any basis other than the rational.
>

I thought it was politically incorrect to assume the rational, especially if
it offends someone
:))


>     c> I dont' think its pheremones.
>
> Maybe not pheremones per-se, but after searching google for an hour
> (hardly a thesis, I know) I am unable to locate any anthropological
> studies which speculate on _where_ primates might store cultural
> information.  Memory is only one candidate of many.

What about the concept of repetition?  Now, I'm jogging way back in the
social science repitoire, but repetition and learning do work together as a
form of importing cultural information.  For some reason, I'm remembering a
book edited by Elliot Aaronson, which I don't have with me atm,  called The
Social Animal.  He had at least one or two studies in it dealing with the
concepts of repitition.  So sure, while memory can't be the only thing,
constantly seeing such things acted out in your environment might stimulate
opinions or beliefs.  I'm not being politically correct here, just trying to
argue a point (albiet badly and sadly without much bits)

  We also know that
> human beings do have fixed action patterns that have their basis in
> pre-cultural times, for a trivial but universal example, raising your
> eyebrows when you first see someone you know.

So is misogyny a fixed action pattern?

If it is, why aren't all men misogynists?

> No amount of
> "deprogramming" can completely remove that behaviour, and we were
> never taught that behaviour, although, if we can stay aware of it (for
> example, undercover operatives) we can over-ride it, but it's a
> struggle.
>
> I have no doubt a lot of our cultural behaviour is learned, but all we
> have to do is look around to see that the Taliban and Christian
> Coallition are not your only macho orgs.
>

Didn't say they were.  But they are good examples of the archetypal alpha
male centered orgs.

> How about the Oval Office?  What is the percentage of advisors to the
> US President who are female?  How about the military?  What is the
> percentage of senior Washington-based policy-making officers who are
> female.  The supreme court?  The Senate?  And that's just the
> "Enlightened" nation.

Still relatively minimal.  I can't grab state figures right now, but her'es
a rather interesting set of results from the Beijing Women's conference that
has the number of women represented worldwide in politics  -- about 13%.

It also divides up the representation for most countries (EXCEPT the US.
Grr)
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/followup/session/presskit/fs7.htm


  What about in other countries, even progressive
> liberated countries like Holland and Sweden?
>
>From that very site :

The Nordic countries continue to lead in the proportion of women in
parliaments, averaging 36.4 per cent. Sweden had the highest share of women
in the lower or single house - 40.4 per cent, according to a recent UN
report. The high proportion of women in parliament in the Nordic countries
can be explained by many factors, such as the equality of educational
opportunity, the recognition by women of the importance of voting and
helping to determine election results, and the establishment of
comprehensive national state policies aimed at the reconciliation of family
and professional responsibilities for women and men.


Over 40% in Sweeden.  Women are making huge inroads.  It just takes time.


> How about where you work?  Being a consultant, I see a lot of
> different corporate workplaces, and while most do have a few women in
> senior positions, I've never encountered any that have parity
> opportunities, although they'd be first to deny it: "We can't find any
> women with suitable skills" yet put the dolt ex-football hero as the
> VP of Marketing.
>
Where I work (in the law field, which BTW is one of the MOST equitable
fields between the sexes (women comprised the majority of graduating law
students in either 2001 or 2000, I can't remember)  we have exact parity.
Two partners -- one male, one female, same power.  Six lawyers,  three male,
three female.  Most of the support staff is female, but in terms of power
positions, we're all equitable.

And incidentally 2 out of 9 on the Supreme court is damn good :)  3 more and
we have a majority.

> At least it is an excuse.  Our "enlightened" culture won't offer /any/
> excuses.  We just say "Oh, you already /have/ complete rights as a
> person, so if you're not in positions of power, it's your own fault,
> not ours"

That isn't an excuse?  While I agree that part of the reason women aren't in
more positions of power is because of their own damn doings (women bashing
on other women being a prime example of a way to bring the whole gender
down), its not the =only= reason, any more than men wanting all their
employees visible at the workplace is soley determined by some alpha-male
sexual dominance scenario.


 and all I am wondering is if both the Taliban and the Oval
> Office (and your local bank, and your municipal governments and ...)
> are really just trying to cope with a deep-seated discomfort trying to
> break from pre-historic primate behaviour patterns.
>
I doubt that most folks even think about it, much less that it harms them on
some deep psychic level.


> Also, as any hunter knows, the prey's instincts can be fooled to your
> advantage: If there is some primate social-programming dynamic at work
> in the office, women who grasp a bio/anthropological model for their
> social interactions may actually do better than those who wait for the
> male world to be 'rational' or rail against injustice.
>

I don't really know where you got the idea that I am implying to 'wait for
the male world to rally against injustice'.  I merely brought up the point
that having kick ass dominatrix sex goddesses in power isnt' such a bad
deal, and that while there are some institutional barriers, and phermones
that might play a part, that isn't the -only- motivator behind the
inequality.


> How many times have we heard successful women say they had to be "more
> male" than those they competed against?  How often have we heard
> senior female execs described as "having balls"?  Maybe these gender
> comments imply the exec successfully fooled the pre-verbal primate
> minds into accepting them, not as "equals" but as "virtually male".
>
By that logic, don't you think the chickas who go through the fullon surgery
to become honchos should be 'fooling' the pre-primate minds even more?



> This could be big!  It could lead to new lines of perfumes!  (instead
> of a cat urine base, they should use chimp saliva?) New styles of
> office wear (remember the 40's shoulder pads ladies?)

Bad fashion, for any motivation, is not a good thing.  I'm sorry, I'd rather
work my way up in the boardroom sans the stupid puffy shoulder pads and the
unbelievably corny fem-ties, thankyouverymuch.   Boxers are good, poofy man
suits that do nothing but dwarf my figure, bad.



 and whole new
> genre of self-help "career councelling" books!

Please, PLEASE shoot the self help industry.
Now.