Friday, August 20, 2010

On Men, Women, and Generalities

A comment by a woman on FaceBook prompted a reply that turned into this little exposition:

The differences between men and women are insignificant compared to the power of the Force. Ooops. I mean, compared to the differences between TYPES of people.

My rule is this: Generalities may be true AS generalities, but generalities will FAIL before specific realities - and in regard to specific, individual people. Not all men are gamers, not all men are sports-niks, etc., and yet so many are. Quite a few women in fact ARE gamers, ARE sports-niks, etc., but not all of them by any means.

But I would insist that the "Men=Mars, Women=Venus" things have actually been very good for a lot of people. These recapitulations of old and valid rules of thumb, suppressed and ignored from the 60s on, correspond to what people in fact still find to be true in their lives - in general ways, or for specfic people. Even feminists trying to raise feminized boys have remarked on how, in the end, their boys often showed classic boy-behaviors despite their pro-feminine/ gender-less upbringings. And new research on contrasts in brain-activity between men and women tends to suuport these notions. Generation brings forth patterns, and at the same time brings forth endless variations on those patterns.

The relentless generalities do keep asserting themselves, but they are not the whole story. So to be able to aknowledge reality again and accept it, despite the cant from the Left, is a great stress-reducer. For years and years there was a de facto media campaign going on that seemed to be aimed at convincing people that there was NO difference, that men were simply defective women, as it were. Admittedly, that was a corrective against the monolithic old male-centric biases that had been generally in force, but it was the exception masquerading as the principle.

To say that no, all woman-talk is not about "relationships" is to say truly - but someone only needs to say so because the contrary generality is being asserted as an absolute, threatening to become a moral or political straitjacket in defiance of reason and reality.

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