"united we stand"

Gary Lawrence Murphy garym@canada.com
08 Apr 2002 20:29:15 -0400


>>>>> "c" == carey  <carey@tstonramp.com> writes:

    c> What about the concept of repetition?  

For one thing, the repetition of the concept has been dominant /and/
acceptable in the mainstream media for two decades (at least since
Suzy Quattro) and in the 'avant guard' media for two further decades
before, yet ... has it broken the loop?  No.

Now consider drinking and driving, tobacco addition, and other social
mis-habits where the very same repetition engine _has_ broken the loop
over that same period.  

You're avoiding the basic issue: Despite the efforts of our
governments, media and educators, despite it being feasible,
profitable and desirable to have equal access, and despite there being
no real logical argument not to (short of tali-christian), we still
have _predominantly_ the primate group dynamic.

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

Why aren't all men gay?  Why don't we all wear blue every day?
Sociology deals in group dynamics, not in individuals (that's left for
the $120/50-min-hr coke-heads to sort out).

The question is, since, under casual observation, office dynamics
closely resembles primate social order, could it actually _be_ a
primate social order?  Could our attempts to legislate/educate be
barking up the wrong tree? (so to speak)

    >> 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.

    c> Still relatively minimal.  

A second question: How many of those same people smoke?

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

My point _exactly_.  13% _despite_ nearly a century of "enlightenment".
There are many countries with internet access greater than 13%.

    c> The Nordic countries continue to lead in the proportion of
    c> women in parliaments, averaging 36.4 per cent. 

See?  Even in the extreme, it's one in three.  How many of those women
head parliamentary committees?  How many are in the cabinet?

    c> Sweden had the highest share of women in the lower or single
    c> house - 40.4 per cent, according to a recent UN report.

"women in the /lower/ house" but not in the executive offices?  Look
at the idiots who too often get elected: We can't honestly say the
women are excluded for lack of skill or experience, or even how well
they handle themselves in front of a TV news camera.

    c> Over 40% in Sweden.  Women are making huge inroads.  It just
    c> takes time.

I suppose to say this we need to know what it was in Sweden 10, 20 and
40 years ago to see if it is a trend or if it has always been that
way.

    c> Two partners -- one male, one female, same power.  Six lawyers,
    c> three male, three female.  Most of the support staff is female,
    c> but in terms of power positions, we're all equitable.

Casual observation supports higher-than-cultural-average numbers of
lawyers and doctors, although I don't know about senior positions.
The only female partner I've ever encountered was one of four, and the
only female partner in that building.

The Supreme Court also tends to a higher percent so perhaps this has
something to do with the meritocracy systems in the legal and medical
professions.

    >> ...  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"

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

So basically we're now saying that it is /easier/ to become a supreme
court judge or a brain surgeon than it is to become a successful
senior politician or bank executive (thus the reason why those
professions appear to have higher rates of alpha-females) -- after
all, the figures show there's more per-capita women in there, and the
obstacles are only elbowgrease and fair play.

I've watched businesses go under rather than give up the visible
workplace, so strong and irrational is their attachment to it.  I've
seen successful telecommute programs cancelled because productivity
went way up and absenteeism went way down.

    >> .. 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.

    c> I doubt that most folks even think about it, much less that it
    c> harms them on some deep psychic level.

_exactly_ -- there's nothing _to_ think about if it operates at a
primate level. Even those who /do/ think about it, are they able to
articulate something based in their primate behaviour patterns?

    c> ... that while there are some institutional barriers, and
    c> phermones that might play a part, that isn't the -only-
    c> motivator behind the inequality.

Absolutely agreed, but the curio is that no one has looked.

    >> Maybe these gender comments imply the exec successfully fooled
    >> the pre-verbal primate minds into accepting them, not as
    >> "equals" but as "virtually male".

    c> By that logic, don't you think the chicks who go through the
    c> fullon surgery to become honchos should be 'fooling' the
    c> pre-primate minds even more?

Or is this proof that the surgery is not fooling anyone?  This is
speculation, though, since we don't know that those neo-honchos
/don't/ find their opportunities improved by the operation -- they
must have had some reason to go for it.

    >> This could be big!  It could lead to new lines of perfumes!

    c> Bad fashion, for any motivation, is not a good thing.  

And cat urine is good fashion?  Sorry, change of topic.  Forget I said
that.

So, bad fashion is out even if it is effective?  What if it is the
difference between an order of magnitude in annual income?  When asked
why he left the Small Faces to become a pop idol, Rod Stewart said
"They offered me a million just to prance about in a silk gym suit."

I don't own a suit any more, and yes, I'd probably make more money if
I used one.  It amuses me to watch clients place more trust in suited
idiots than in rational arguments from people who won't play that
game. Don't talk to guys about not wanting to play "bad fashion": What
on earth is the draw of an un-warm coat with only three buttons
of which only two are fashionably used?

    c> sorry, I'd rather work my way up in the boardroom sans the
    c> stupid puffy shoulder pads and the unbelievably corny fem-ties

Wouldn't we all, my friend, wouldn't we all.  Sadly, though, the world
ain't like that.  

Still, your examples are good examples of bad ideas: If any of those
actually worked, we wouldn't be having this conversation.  But I will
wager that Ermani suits and Gucci shoes send completely different
signals which may actually work in some circles.

But I wonder if they are all grabbing at something, searching for an
intangible, simply questioning if perhaps there really /is/ a
design-answer to the gender/power gap.  That we try at all is curious,
especially if in actual fact only rational thought and effort are
required.

What I wonder is if, once we look at the problem the in this
bio/cultural way, if we might not find better solutions -- the
'solutions' we have now, by the stats you present after 80 years of
sufferage, show it is not working.

    c> Please, PLEASE shoot the self help industry.  Now.

I went to the book store and asked where I could find the self help
books.  The clerk said, "If I told you, it would defeat the purpose"

  sorry, old joke, and a bad one the first time.

-- 
Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)