Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Civilization and the Triumph of the Feminine

Human beings are symbol-using animals. They have found it more economical to think in symbols and to plan with symbols than to move real objects in the world.

Why use combat to develop military strategy when you can use war games? Of course, you will at some point have to engage in armed combat, but war gaming or preplanning is surely more economical.

Many people believe that the advent of symbols—be they tokens or words—made humans human.

Now, under the aegis of evolutionary science we learn that the decisive shift, the founding moment of human civilization occurred when our ancestors became feminized.

Adam Gopnik reports on the scientific research. By the new account, when humans discovered symbols they took a great leap forward, from the old aggressive chest-thumping testosterone-filled male behavior into a world of cooperating and chattering.

Before the advent of civilizing symbols men would threaten and intimidate each other. After, a newly feminized humanity discovered the value of “social tolerance.” Then, human communities began to resemble afternoon talk shows.

Gopnik has his doubts, but the hypothesis is plausible. Or better, it is plausible if you buy into the narrative of the stereotypical division of the sexes. In truth, these versions of male and female human behavior are contemporary caricatures.

Since no one much questions them, they have been allowed to infect the culture, unmolested.

You will note, of course that this version of male behavior is not only a caricature. It is slanderous. I represents an effort to transvalue values, to diminish and demean masculine behavior and to exalt and glorify feminine behavior.

Without the superior virtue of women we would all be uncivilized brutes.

Such is the party line. It has become so engrained that no one seems to question it any more.

And yet, the caricatures of male individuality and female cooperation are far from being self-evident. Open up the sports pages one day. How many team sports will be reported on? How many of those team sports are male-dominant?

By the evidence of the sports pages, to say nothing of the military, men to do better than women at functioning in teams.

Let’s accept that human beings embraced symbols because symbols allowed them to cooperate? Why would we not believe that our ancestors embraced cooperation because it made them stronger, more efficient and more effective… in war and in hunting?

Didn’t Benjamin Franklin say, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence:

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.    

Call it strength in numbers. Call it the power of a group that is well-coordinated. If human beings learned how to work together to achieve a larger goal, there seems little doubt that this served the interests of the male of the species… or better, that it enhanced the group’s chance to survive and to prosper.


Anonymous said...

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12 Part essay that exposes psychiatry as a bogus science

Inventor of ADHD: “ADHD is a fictitious disease”

Co-Founder of DSM admits there is no way to scientifically prove that mentall illness is real

One year old babies and younger being put on psychiatric drugs

Psychiatric Drugs Shorten Life Span by 15 years on average

Psychiatry is based on lies and falsehoods

Psychiatry is a fake science


Every human emotion is now a "mental illness"

Ten Myths about Psychiatric Drugs

Studies show psychiatric drugs have no benefits and are dangerous

Psychiatry is now giving 3 year old children drugs

Psychiatric drugs make you sicker

A few free eBooks talking about how psychiatry is a massive hoax

A list of THOUSANDS of psychiatrists who have committed crimes against their patients

Anonymous said...

Yes, when we work together to pursue a goal, we do come out ahead. However, a civilized society creates ways for inventors and innovators to succeed as individuals, and these advances are folded into team endeavors. This is a bright leap forward, though it doesn't necessarily "feminize" society. Rather, it allows us to economically allow more people to participate.

We become "feminized" when women gain power to use law to tell men how to behave... like women. And lo, they start to behave like women. And, in the wider view, women don't like it, do they?

This is the negative impact of what Gopnik is talking about, and it is counterintuitively uncivilized. Today, a man may say most anything he wants to or about another man, and doesn't have to back it up because of "zero tolerance" policies in places like schools. So the most wretched of men (and boys) are shielded from the consequences of their words and actions. This is not progress. Some men need to face some chin music to keep things in line, lest the realities of social life become bureaucratized. This is why bullying has become all the rage as a social worker's area of expertise. When I was a kid, you settled this stuff after school by the bike racks. Even if you lost the fight, you retained your honor, and people respected you for standing up for yourself or someone else. Now manhood is proscribed and you go to the school counselor's office and the school does... nothing.

Is not justice a part of a truly civilized society? The thing that's always struck me in listening to the way catty women work unmolested in women's circles is that there is no standard of justice or workable way to achieve justice. The "Queen Bee" rules the roost until she is replaced by another. This creates a lot of drama, followed by a lot of chatty Kathys agreeing amongst friends, with great verve and angst, while little changes. The goal seems to be stronger relationships, but who wins? Men want to compete and win. Men are looking for desired outcomes/results, not better friends! Most men go nuts such environments, which is why most men check out. Why? Because it's ridiculous. Why play the game? Could this be why young men are checked out?


Ares Olympus said...

For context, the article says male testosterone decreased 50,000 freakin' years ago, while agriculture was only invented maybe 8000 years ago, and empire civilization and its written language less than 5000 years ago. So this says NOTHING about modern humanity at all, only where we came from.

So you can say the masculine moved closer towards the feminine, but testosterone is only one aspect of masculine express.

You could call the expanding human brain in our ancestors as feminizing as well, if you associate masculine with brute strength, then sure, Feminine won, but that doesn't even mean that feminine is about women, but our whole species, even the whole of the great apes, and primates and mammals are "feminized" compared to our cold-blooded reptilian cousins.

In short, its all relative, and language in this case doesn't seem to be illuminating.

The question is whether such scientific questions of our origins is helping with modern propaganda about the superiority of feminine values over masculine, and perhaps that's hard to avoid.

Steven Picken wrote a book in 2011 about the decline of violence in the world, in contrast to our assumptions from news reports.

So that would suggest high testosterone has even less of a value in the modern world than in the past.

An interesting study might see if violent cultures, even in our softer world, tend to progagate more men with higher testosterone? That might actually tell you something more real.

I remember an original star trek episode where Captain Kirk gets his atoms doubled in a transporter accident, and materializes as two people, one side containing apparently his empathetic mammalian brain, and one his aggressive reptilian brain, and the first self couldn't carry the burden of leadership, of making decisions, and of course they are remerged together in the end.

You can also read Brave New World for Aldous Huxley's projection of humanity's perhaps feminized future with empathetic leadership plus a little Skinner behaviorism corrections, although you could also call it hypermasculinized from a different view of intellect as masculine, a complete neocortex dominated, rational, and all bodily variables are controlled. So there's lots of ways to see things, even opposite interpretations might be true in their own way.

Sam L. said...

Oh NOOOOoeeees! Cis-gender thinking! My brain hurts! (Slap!)

Thanks, I needed that. I'm OK now, well as much as I'm likely to be