You don’t need to look at all the cars, guns and enormous phallic spires with bells on the end around the place to realise the world is pretty cock-heavy at the moment.
So much of the world today is made to fit male requirements and public debate seems to be mainly made among men. On top of this there is mounting pressure on everyone, especially women, to look flawless.
Many women are scared to poke their head over the parapet in serious debate lest they get shot down for wearing the wrong lipstick. Along with fluffing their chance there’s the worry they’ve now ruined it for any other woman to have a go. The men humour the silly dear and then get back to the ‘real decisions.’
Even putting old farty gender discrimination aside, should someone be attractive in order for us to listen to them? Let alone reasonable, is that even rational? If school taught me one thing, it was that the prettier the girl, the less you remember about what she said.
Much worse than making women feel undervalued, or even unvalued, the biggest crime in this imbalance is that we so often fail to benefit from women’s wisdom; the wisdom of stoicism, of oppression and the wisdom of maternity.
A remarkable woman, who manages to be a patient and generous mother to four people, dedicated and respected in her workplace as well as managing to find time to keep one step ahead of the mob in two of her passions; fashion and music; my mother, although she’d never feel like this, is a woman who somehow gets it right.
Although I’m sure it’s natural to believe that your mum is the greatest, she’s the most intelligent person I know.
That’s not to say that my father isn’t also an extremely canny, quick-witted and organised man but his realm is more facts and figures, science and geography. This was what I was always led to believe was a ‘masculine’ intelligence
There are many associations made about types of intelligence, if you can’t take apart a Rolls Royce Merlin engine and name every Premiership goalkeeper since 92 then you’re not a real man. Equally if you can’t feed ten from scratch while knitting jumpers for them all (looking effortlessly fuckable the whole time) then you’re not a proper woman. We pin unwieldy expectations on both sexes.
These assumptions are made based on outdated models of intelligence. Learning is not just remembering facts, as our archaic school system seems to dictate. The ‘emotional’ intelligence, which always seems to be portrayed as feminine and unsure, is very often lacking from our collective judgements.
Another great woman I know is constantly berating herself for changing her mind as if this makes her less intelligent. Being flexible and adapting is what proper intelligence is. There is nothing stupider than thinking that you know it all. Unwillingness to learn is the opposite of intelligence.
Even if we look at our biology there are further clues that we are not as clever as we think we are with men in the driving seat. The different ways that we have sex hold clues that a woman’s perspective might be worth considering a little deeper. Men traditionally always impart something whereas women take something on board, isn’t that interesting?
Fast isn’t always better than slow and getting there first won’t always make you a winner, eh lads?
Competition is great, indeed survival requires it, but I think we might be a little more evolved than settling for that. It isn’t everything.
Business is a big part of life, but it is not life, just like men aren’t the only humans. The capitalist model is based on this old-fashioned ‘masculine’ model. If more value was placed in the work that women do than they could perhaps gain better economical recognition and we would see more women in positions of power.
The off-the-shelf excuse for the disparity in how the sexes are treated in employment is always that women ‘go off and have babies.’ Indeed many do. I fear we might be looking at this the wrong way though.
Perhaps women aren’t ‘going off’ and having babies. Perhaps nurturing and educating people is the main event and all that other stuff is ‘going off’.
Perhaps if the bearing and upbringing of human beings was not seen as a distraction from the real work then our lives might be in a better place.
- Will Conway