A popular notion is that women are more socially harmonious than men, more peaceful, loving and gentle - attributes associated with their biological role as mothers and life-givers - more civil than men, and that the attributes of civilization are largely feminine attributes. I disagree. I think the attributes of civilization stem from the balanced combination of the mythos (the irrational, mythological, spiritual, verbal, story-telling part of our consciousness) with the logos (the rational word, calculating knowledge) in our midst, transmitted through time, and that over time males have demonstrated their forte in both these areas. Perhaps I am wrong about what constitutes or characterizes civilization, but I do not think I am wrong that males have demonstrated their facility over time more than females have. I do not think that I am a misogynist sexist because I am not denying that females possess an equal capacity for excellence in the invention and manipulation of mythos and logos. But my remarks might very well be taken that way by some.
When women are elected to positions as heads of governments or heads of state, their countries are not more peaceful or demonstrably better off than when those offices are held by men. And, conditions within their countries remain the same, by and large, as they are under male leaders. As leaders women prove themselves just as aggressive, even bellicose, as male leaders. Now it might be said that they only appear that way as a result of successfully competing in a profession long dominated by men, compromising their (softer) feminine virtues by necessity of being forced to play by men’s rules. Again I disagree. Consider the premiership of Margaret Thatcher in the U.K., Indira Gandhi of India, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, or the presidencies of Corazon Aquino or Gloria Arroyo in The Philippines. Having women as heads of government or heads of states did those countries no discernable good at all. Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi took their countries to war just as smartly as any man, and Benazir Bhutto was not only unable to tame her wild country but she was an actively wild player in it herself. The same is true of the Filipinas. So although we have heard it said that the civilizing qualities that tamed our primitive brute natures are largely feminine qualities, that remains a demonstrably false assertion. First, because there is no evidence that our pre-agrarian (pre-civilization) ancestors were “brutes” or brutish; and, second, because ideas of a softer feminine character are not only myths, but outright falsehoods to start with. Civilization is a masculine virtue more than a feminine one.
Like all female creatures, human women are more frightening, dangerous and unpredictable than men. They are more extreme in their emotions. They are more violent, comparatively speaking and vicious. They are more grudging, unforgiving and vengeful. So my conclusion is that civilization can only possibly be a male invention, attributable more to male virtues. What are male virtues? Let’s consider. No woman would ever invent the idea of brotherly love, treating ones foes with love and forgiveness, turning the other cheek and treating others as you yourself want to be treated. These are all male inventions. Monotheism and universal ethics are masculine inventions.
Only men are romantic. I do not mean romanticism as an affective emotion. I mean Romanticism as a philosophy. The Romantic movement (in the arts, literature, etc.) is a male invention alien to the female nature. Frankly, women cannot really afford to be romantic about love, sex and relationships since they alone are the ones who bear the children. Being free of that physical burden gives men the freedom that women do not enjoy to wax poetic and sentimental about it. So when I say that women cannot afford romanticism, I mean that by necessity they must be cold heartedly practical about such matters.
Although there have been and are great women writers, researchers and academics, women by nature are not prone to the rather
nerdish habits of writing ideas down on paper, collecting the paper into books, and collecting the books in libraries, repositories of culture and learning. Would they? Okay, maybe some do, but for the most part men are sentimentalists and collectors more than women are. Men collect and accumulate more than women, who so often are framed by anthropologists as the gatherers of society.
Peacemakers? Women are not peacemakers. Men are. And in any event, only war making gives one the credibility for peace making afterwards. So if males are the more belligerent of the two genders then the role of peace maker more fittingly falls upon us.
But I could be wrong.