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Archbishop Cordileone Uses Anti-Marriage Tactics to Argue Against Gay Marriage

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In an interview with USA Today‘s Richard Wolf, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who chairs the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, starts right off the bat by not answering the first question he’s asked: “What is the greatest threat posed by allowing gays and lesbians to marry?” His response: “The better question is: What is the great good in protecting the public understanding that to make a marriage you need a husband and a wife?”

He rephrased the question to his own liking rather than answer the question he was asked. This sets the tone for the entire interview: Catch me if you can. In a marriage (and in any relationship, whether with a child, a co-worker or a neighbor), we call this deflection. It is a hallmark of passive-aggressiveness; it’s a distance-creating strategy; and its use stonewalls any attempt at honest and effective communication. Every counselor worth his or her weight in wedding rings will tell you that using the Archbishop’s method to talk with your spouse is acid to your marriage.

Let’s look at how he answered his own question: To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.

Are there any single parents out there who take issue with this assertion? You should. He’s calling all of you out. If you’ve remarried, you’re treating the idea of a spouse as “interchangeable.” If you’ve not remarried (or married at all), you’re treating the idea of a spouse as “irrelevant.” He further states, “[…] a child’s heart longs for the love of both his or her mother and father. Even if the Supreme Court rules against this truth, the controversy will not die out…” If however, one of the parents dies, what then? He doesn’t say. He skirts the issue entirely.

Alas, single parents, you’re not alone in his scolding. He’s also calling out those who, for whatever reason, don’t have children. Being childless is treating marriage as “an institution about adults.” You should be having kids by whatever Church-sanctioned means you can muster. This includes all of you childless married folk and married folk who never had kids and are past childbearing age. You could adopt to keep your marriage from becoming adult-focused.

Those couples in heterosexual unions who regard their marriage as the foundation of the family and their children as an extension of their bond: You’re wrong, too. Get child-centric already. (And someone really should talk to the folks at the Catholic Church’s marriage restoration programs, Retrouvaille and Marriage Encounter, because they clearly aren’t on board with the whole idea of a marriage being child-centric.)

The more the Archbishop talks, the more apparent it becomes he’s not just against gay marriage; he is rigidly anti-marriage. He is only pro-child and this, in direct reflection of the Catholic Church’s teaching, can and must only take place within the confines of a Church-blessed union between a man and a woman – a union so narrowly defined by the Church that it excludes many devout Catholic couples who are married.

In direct reflection of the Catholic Church’s teaching, he makes the distinction between heterosexual married couples who can and can’t have children by saying the latter are an exception to the rule. However, When a husband and wife adopt, they are mirroring the pattern set in nature itself.” (No pressure?) And the reason same-sex couples are not part of the exception or acceptable adoptive parents: “Treating same-sex relationships as marriage is the final severing by government of the natural link between marriage and the great task of bringing together male and female to make and raise the next generation together in love.” To repeat a key phrase here: “final severing.” He doesn’t say what natural links were severed prior to this “final severing,” and in those states and countries where gay marriage is allowed, he offers no proof of it having severed anything.

All this, ladies and gentlemen, is from someone who has never married a human being and has never had children. Additionally, when he received the sacrament of Holy Orders, he entered into a marriage with Christ – a man. Not only is he one of many, many (male and female) spouses of Christ, his union with Christ has borne no children. (I was raised Catholic and was told by the priests and nuns serving my school within my parish that they were married to Christ, so anyone seeking to correct me on this point would be better served by talking to every priest and nun who told me as much.)

The Archbishop has failed to do his homework and/or simply does not believe what he has been told or read when answering the question, “If the Supreme Court opens the floodgates to gay marriage in California (or beyond), what will be the result?” His prophecy is that We will have a bitterly polarized country divided on the marriage issue for years if not generations to come. He is already wrong and has been for some time.

He further compares the defense of marriage as a man/woman only gig to the civil rights movement, which is at best incongruous. The civil rights movement resulted in rights being made law. If the Defense of Marriage camp gets its way, a denial of rights will be law.

The Archbishop again deflects the need to answer when asked, “Why is this of such importance to children?” Instead he responds with his own question: “Why has virtually every known civilization across time and history recognized the need to bring together men and women to make and raise the next generation together?”

His answer to his own carefully crafted question? “Clearly something important is at stake, or human beings of such different cultures, histories and religions would not come up with the basic idea of marriage as a male-female union over and over again.” Wait a minute. As early as Genesis 2:22-24, the Bible clearly states marriage is a divinely-inspired idea; not a human idea. It doesn’t even matter what other “cultures, histories and religions” have to say on the matter. It’s right there in the Bible: Marriage is God’s idea. Way to violate copyright law on the grandest scale ever, Archbishop.

He says, We all know heroic single mothers who do a great job raising their kids (just as there are gay people who take good care of their children). But the question of the definition of marriage is not about success or failure in parenting in any particular case. He then explains, in detail, the nature of the very failure he just denied is part of the equation: The job of single mothers is hard precisely because we aren’t as a society raising boys to believe they need to become faithful husbands and fathers, men who care for and protect their children, and the mother of their children, in marriage. And we aren’t raising girls to be the kind of young women with the high standards and the self-worth to expect and appreciate such men, and not to settle for less.

I personally take great offense to what the Archbishop has said because my sister is a Catholic single mother who has done an exceptional job of raising her child and has done so within a community of both fellow Catholics and non-Catholics that includes single parents. She has succeeded in teaching her child all that the Archbishop strongly insinuates can’t be taught by just one parent and is instead a built-in failure of single parenting. My sister doesn’t take issue with what the Archbishop has said, and that’s her choice. His choice, however, to use people like my sister as an example of why gay marriage is wrong and to further do so by lambasting people’s circumstances and decisions, like my sister’s, is beyond the pale.

I’ll leave it to you to read (or re-read) and decide if the rest of what the Archbishop has to say holds any holy water. I give you one final quote from him, a George Bush-esque comment about heterosexual and homosexual marriage: “Whoever is for one, is opposed to the other.”

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • Justbein Honest

    You’re article was incredibly negative. I read the Archbishops article and felt he offered superior points with refreshing honesty. His points seemed to invite dialogue and constructive discussion….it was like you didn’t hear any of it. You’re article is offensive and felt like the product of reverse prejudice. Sad attempt to fan the flames.

  • Dr Dreadful

    If Diana’s argument was negative it was because she took away from it a quite different impression than you did. Far from exhibiting “refreshing honesty”, she felt that the Archbishop was trying to paper over the glaring feebleness of the case against allowing same-sex couples to marry by refashioning a series of straightforward questions into a few convenient strawmen.

    The only forceful argument the anti-gay marriage lobby has is the religious one. They know, however, that they can’t use it in a federal court. Some of the consequent logical contortions they get into are quite extraordinary.

  • Baronius

    I’m with the first commenter. I hope that people do read the article, because it’s very different from Diana’s depiction of it.

  • Baronius

    Q: What is the greatest threat posed by allowing gays and lesbians to marry?

    A:The better question is: What is the great good in protecting the public understanding that to make a marriage you need a husband and a wife?
    .
    .
    .
    To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship.

    How can we do this to our children?

    You may not agree with his position. You may find his reworking of the question offensive, or not like the 2nd paragraph (which I cut for space). But you’ve got to admit that paragraph I included answers the initial question.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I’m frankly confused by this bloke’s rephrasing of the initial question; it appears to make no sense.

    Furthermore, it simply isn’t true that to legalise same sex marriage would “enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant” and it IS true that marriage is essentially about adults, not children.

    To try and make it about children is corrosive, corrupt and ultimately dishonest.

    Baronius, the para you included does not answer either the question asked or his own.

  • Dr Dreadful

    To be fair to Baronius, Chris, the paragraph he included does answer the initial question. It just doesn’t do so in a way that holds water. The Archbishop doesn’t explain how legalizing same-sex marriage would in fact make mothers and fathers “interchangeable or irrelevant”, nor does he explain why it’s important that they’re not. In other words, as I said in my previous comment, it’s a strawman.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Doc, bending over backwards to be fair like that you are going to break your back one of these days!

    I don’t think responses that don’t hold water can actually be taken as answers, at least not if concepts like honesty, integrity or even relevance still matter…

  • Dr Dreadful

    Some more cardboard points from the Archbishop’s argument:

    “…a ruling that tries to import same-sex marriage into our Constitution is not going to end the marriage debate, but intensify it. We will have a bitterly polarized country divided on the marriage issue for years if not generations to come.”

    It’s hard to see exactly why His Excellency thinks that the debate will end or the country will somehow no longer be bitterly polarized and divided if the Supreme Court upholds Prop 8 and DOMA.

    “Why has virtually every known civilization across time and history recognized the need to bring together men and women to make and raise the next generation together? Clearly something important is at stake, or human beings of such different cultures, histories and religions would not come up with the basic idea of marriage as a male-female union over and over again.”

    Virtually every civilization across time and history has also come up with the idea that the Earth is the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies revolve around it. That doesn’t mean they were right.

    “We all know heroic single mothers who do a great job raising their kids (just as there are gay people who take good care of their children). But the question of the definition of marriage is not about success or failure in parenting in any particular case.”

    If the criterion is that some non-traditional parenting arrangements result in fucked-up kids, we also all know straight married couples who have done a terrible job of raising their children. By Cordileone’s logic, then, no-one should be allowed to get married.

    “Notice the first right being taken away: the right of 7 million Californians who devoted time and treasure to the democratic process, to vote for our shared vision of marriage. Taking away people’s right to vote on marriage is not in itself a small thing.”

    But the people of California did vote on marriage. What Cordileone overlooks is that having the right to vote on something doesn’t mean that what you vote for can’t negate someone else’s rights. For example, let’s say that a referendum is held in a certain state in which people vote to euthanize all babies born with disabilities. Or, to put the ball back deeper into the Archbishop’s court, suppose they were to vote to abolish the Roman Catholic Church in that state. I hardly think His Excellency would argue against striking down those laws on the grounds that to do so would be impinging on citizens’ voting rights.

    “When people say that opposition to gay marriage is discriminatory, like opposition to interracial marriage, they cannot also say their views won’t hurt anybody else.”

    Discrimination is not the same as hurting someone’s feelings. This is really basically stupid stuff the Archbishop is regurgitating here.

    “So there are really two different ideas of marriage being debated in our society right now, and they cannot coexist: Marriage is either a conjugal union of a man and a woman designed to unite husband and wife to each other and to any children who may come from their union, or it is a relationship for the mutual benefit of adults which the state recognizes and to which it grants certain benefits. Whoever is for one, is opposed to the other.”

    But it’s precisely this duality which is enshrined in DOMA, which His Excellency is so keen to defend. For practical purposes, all marriage is as far as the state is concerned is an arrangement that qualifies its participants to receive certain benefits and tax advantages. There’s absolutely no reason to constrain that definition legally by gender.

    “Draw a contrast here [between the civil rights movement and] the pro-life movement: After the Roe decision, it was commonly thought that our society would soon easily accept the legitimacy of abortion. But what has happened? The pro-life movement is stronger now, 40 years later, than it ever has been. This is because of the truth: Abortion is the killing of an innocent human life.”

    Exactly. Whatever the other issues surrounding abortion, the bottom line is that there is necessarily harm done to a living being by the procedure, which is why the debate hasn’t gone away. But no-one is harmed (though some are still offended) by black people having the same access as everyone else to public amenities. (By the way, the civil rights debate hasn’t entirely gone away, but that’s another kettle of fish.) In the same way, just because some children of gay relationships might be at a developmental disadvantage, it doesn’t follow that they necessarily are, any more than it follows that the children of a traditional male-female couple necessarily aren’t.

    Not to mention that His Excellency doesn’t seem to have considered the influence that the absence of access gay parents have to the rights enjoyed by heterosexual parents might have on their children’s upbringing and development…

  • roger nowosielski

    @ 4 through 7

    An argument could be made that marriage was, from a cultural standpoint, an economic institution and, further, that yes, children, especially the male offspring, were important, again, from the economic standpoint, especially in agrarian economies. I suppose one could argue further that it was important, from more than one standpoint, “to sanctify” the idea of marriage, to institutionalize it, as it were (so as to endow it with meaning/significance beyond what’s “merely” practical): e.g., in the interest of preserving the authority of the ruling class (and a priestly class was part of the ruling class), in the interest of “social stability,” etc., etc. So that’s a kind of sociological analysis.

  • roger nowosielski

    cont’d

    As to Dreadful’s question, “Why is it important that mothers and fathers should not be regarded as interchangeable?” — of course he’s right from the standpoint of human rights, which apply to all persons, be they females, males, or whatever. And yet …

    Even from the standpoint of evolutionary biology, is it not also the case that it’s the procreation which keeps the ball rolling, so to speak, and that for some of us, at least, this is important. And in most cases, excepting the simplest of organisms which multiply through mitosis, it takes two sexes, doesn’t it? So even from the standpoint of evolutionary biology, sex-differentiation is an important aspect of … shall we say “nature”?

  • Baronius

    Dread, I don’t think he’s saying that we need to have a particular ruling about gay marriage in order to end the debate. He’s saying that a different particular ruling won’t end the debate. Likewise – well, I was going to choose another of the points that you or Diana made, but pretty much all of them could be examples. It’s a matter of a charitable reading of Cordileone’s comments.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Roger:

    @ #9: Probably as good a theory as any for why marriage has been repeatedly invented. It was basically a public declaration that “we intend to establish a household together and raise children”. The concept of getting married with no intention of having children is, as far as I’m aware, fairly new.

    Then again, until recently there was also only one method of obtaining children to raise.

    Just because a practice is established on a lot of past precedent doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t change.

  • Dr Dreadful

    ..And @ #10: As a species we haven’t been “in” nature for many thousands of years. Appealing to it on behalf of our artificial social institutions just because it happens to be convenient for our argument is disingenuous.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Baronius @ #11: I hope, then, you at least acknowledge that Diana’s article can be read as charitably as the Archbishop’s interview.

  • Baronius

    #14 – Not easily. She calls him passive-aggressive, a scold, a stonewaller. She mischaracterizes his arguments at least twice: that he’s condemning the efforts of single moms, and that he’s contradicting Church teachings. She says or implies that he has no right to his opinion because he hasn’t had children.

  • roger nowosielski

    @13

    In what sense are some of our institutions “artificial” whether others are not? And if we can’t make that distinction, shouldn’t we drop the adjective?

    And who is being disingenuous here? The archbishop? He doesn’t make this claim, or does he? Certainly not I, since I’m far from being a rabid proponent of the evolutionary theory to the exclusion of any other narrative! All I was saying that from the standpoint of evolutionary biology, it’s consistent to regard sexual differentiation as important. Not to regard it as important is inconsistent! Whether it’s also disingenuous, well, that may vary from speaker to speaker, I suppose.

  • Baronius

    But rather than gripe, let me say one thing that the archbishop didn’t say that I wish he had, something that I think addresses a lot of Diana’s article. He’s talking about heterosexual marriage as *normative*.

    He’s not saying that particular single parents don’t do a good job, or even particular gay couples don’t do a good job. He’s not saying that particular straight parents don’t to a lousy job. He’s saying that there is a benefit to society in having heterosexual marriage be the normative environment for raising children. And you can’t be in favor of two contradictory ideal models, or in favor of one model but just not as a model.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Roger, all of our social institutions are artificial. I used the adjective as a clarifier rather than a qualifier.

  • Dr Dreadful

    He’s saying that there is a benefit to society in having heterosexual marriage be the normative environment for raising children.

    Yes, I know that’s what he’s saying, but he doesn’t provide an iota of evidence that such a benefit exists.

    And you can’t be in favor of two contradictory ideal models, or in favor of one model but just not as a model.

    Not sure what you’re saying here, unless you’re disputing my point that DOMA enshrines just such a dual model as the Archbishop claims to be impossible. Where His Excellency errs, of course, is that the two models are not contradictory. He’s painting a false dilemma.

  • roger nowosielski

    @ 18

    I understand, of course; artifact, meaning “man-made” (as opposed to what — made by Nature?) Even so, you don’t want to argue that human societies and/or individual lives are “artificial” (though you may point to some “counterexamples”). And what’s wrong with the idea that some of our institutions may be modeled after, or happen to reflect, Nature. An argument to the effect that something is “natural” as opposed to “unnatural” is as old, probably, as the history of humankind (which isn’t to say it is therefore (always?) rightheaded, fair, correct, etc.) Ancient Greeks used to refer to all kinds of anomalies as “freaks of nature.”

    In any case, I’d still argue that from the standpoint of evolutionary biology, to regard the fact of sex-differentiation as important one is more consistent than to deny it. And the same goes, one could argue, from the standpoint of human propagation, if that’s one of our values (and I presume that for most of us it is).

  • Dr Dreadful

    No, Roger, of course I don’t contend that human society is itself artificial (although there are, as you allude to, examples of artificial societies). We are naturally inclined to band together in small groups for mutual support and defense. It’s anything beyond that which is to some degree artificial. I would say the test is that anything other animals don’t do in comparable situations is artificial, or invented if you prefer. For example, you don’t see wolves getting married, iguanas legislating or starlings using a monetary system. (Some of the more highly intelligent species, particularly primates and cetaceans, have been observed to invent things and utilize abstract concepts, but that doesn’t invalidate the point.)

    I’m not denying that sex differentiation is crucial for propagation, but it doesn’t follow that marriage, an artificial construct, is essential to accomplish propagation, and therefore it doesn’t follow that denying marriage to certain types of partnership jeopardizes the continuation of the species.

    And in the context that the Archbishop is arguing it, even if you allow negative consequences to the redefinition of marriage, it seems to me that they would be so trivially small as to be not worth worrying about.

  • roger nowosielski

    OK, Dreadful, you’re making some fine distinctions, as between what comes “most naturally” and beyond, or what you may call “refined.” In that vein, clans and tribes, and eventually an extended family were surely more fundamental groupings, chronologically and functionally speaking, than a nuclear family, which is a rather later-day development.

  • roger nowosielski

    cont’d

    Having said that, I think the concept of marriage is a sophisticated and functional concept, again, in more ways than one — again, a refinement of sorts, shall we say? And you know, of course, that I wasn’t arguing against same sex unions (justifiable from the civic, social, human rights standpoints) — and whether one wants to call it “marriage” or something else. Again, to call it something else would mean a lesser status which, again, from the standpoint of a civil society, would also be unacceptable. Still, I can see Baronius’s point of not wanting to give up the sanctification aspect (it is one of the sacraments), especially given the view he expressed on other threads (e.g., in replying to zing) as regards the function of sex and sexual activity.

  • roger nowosielski

    “and therefore it doesn’t follow that denying marriage to certain types of partnership jeopardizes the continuation of the species.”

    again, excluding same-sex unions, surely, but I do get your general point.

  • roger nowosielski

    Still, we don’t want to call “civilization,” or “acquisition of culture,” “artificial.”

    Don’t we also speak of the above as a replacement of instinct (or even as “second nature”)?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Still, I can see Baronius’s point of not wanting to give up the sanctification aspect (it is one of the sacraments)

    All he has to do, then, is to not recognize as a marriage any union not solemnized by a religious minister.

    again, excluding same-sex unions, surely

    Same-sex unions don’t jeopardize the continuation of the species. They have about as much effect on the population replacement and growth rate as as a single pebble has on the flow of a river.

    In this respect they’re no different than unions in which one or more of the partners is infertile, or sexless marriages, or marriages between couples who have decided not to have children. Why single them out?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    FYI all, I thought it humorous that a Catholic aggregator picked up this article. It doesn’t belong there (per the tone of the site and other article content), but there it is.

    I politely alerted the site owner to this and suggested a software update, but I haven’t heard back.

  • John Lake

    There was a news story on March 1 about a child named Coy Mathis. The media defined the child as “a 6 year old born with a boy’s body.” His parents decided to raise him as a girl, “Boo hoo, I wanted a girl!” taken to extremes. The only problem was that the school insisted he use the boy’s bathroom. A few years ago, Family Services would have arrived in droves, and arrests may have been made. The child’s welfare is my only concern. I hope he survives. This treatment of that situation is a direct result of the movement of American society toward gay acceptance. Archbishop Cordileone may have been a little nervous. Any politician is going to steer the questions to fit with what he had planned to say.
    I personally think that gay unions are just fine. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t swing to the left, and swing to the right (myself excluded). But why must we use the word “marriage?” What we need here is a new and universally accepted word to describe the bond. And gay couples shouldn’t be allowed to have children that weren’t parented by one or the other of them. It is obvious to me that a child, whose rights exceed EVERYONE ELSES, needs male and female input. His mother loves him; his father teaches him the ins and outs of football.
    Marriage all my life has not been a government entity, but a combination of legal principles and religious ideology. Marriage is best performed in a religious setting, by a man of the proverbial cloth. God is asked to bless the marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. In this I agree with the Catholic Church.
    I think the Supreme Court, and the States, should delay until we see where the pendulum is going to rest. It is already moving away from the new liberality.

  • cindy

    So, you prefer the traditional gender indoctrination, John. Though I am not comfortable with orchestrating gender crossovers for toddlers, I am also not very comfortable with the current brainwashing. I think if you wish to indoctrinate children with mom and apple pie and dad and football tosses, then other people have an equal right to do whatever it is that they want. The consequences of raising a boy as a girl, though selfish, imo, can hardly be worse than the current outcomes of gender conditioning.

  • roger nowosielski

    “The consequences of raising a boy as a girl, though selfish, imo, can hardly be worse than the current outcomes of gender conditioning.”

    It all depends on how far you want to carry out the program, no? By all means, a boy should be raised to be equally comfortable with both male and female kind of sensibilities — each of us is or ought to be a person — but must we insist that he also wears a skirt or play with dolls (if the child is not inclined to do any of those things of its own accord), just to satisfy our egos or to pat ourselves on the back for how modern we’ve become?

  • John Lake

    Ms. cindy: Libertarians continue to study the area between “as long as it doesn’t interfere with my rights” and the need to have some limited protection. Since children need and deserve protection, the student or philosopher must ponder where those issues merge. In the twenty first century, there may not be a requirement of football, or even for apple pie. But the concerned citizen must determine the factors that provide a child with hope for the future. We may wish to believe that this or that won’t hurt a child, but we must take into consideration established principles of parenting and psychology; we must consider them, not ignore them.

  • c i n d y

    Roger,

    By raising a boy as a girl, I meant the little “girl” who was born male that John commented on. Her parents claimed that he decided to be female at 18 months old. I think that is not very likely since gender is learned. They are raising him, not to partake in activities that sexism holds are female, but with the self-image of being female. I have to guess they thrust that upon him. I think it is selfish, if it is so.

    I reserve the right to be wrong.

    Please give boys baby dolls and have them wear skirts*. It’s all good. But none of it requires identifying as a female genderwise.

    *My favorite memory is my nephew dressed in his sister’s tutu @ 3 years old, for one of those performances kids like to put on for an audience. He also had a lisp which made him sound like Elmer Fudd. When he took a drink of soda he spiled some on his tutu and proclaimed, “Oh no! I wooned my new dwess!”

    (He also was shocked to find he was not invited to the nail salon with my sister and my niece. He always enjoyed having my niece polish his nails.)

  • roger nowosielski

    Interesting story, Of course genders are learned. Mustn’t have gotten John’s example right. Came across as though the parents were trying to force sexual identity on the kid.

  • John Lake

    Lets see. “Gender is learned…” There’s something I didn’t know. So if I start early and try hard, I get koochie and boobs, is that right? Freud would love the options to overcome penis envy; just learn one until it appears.
    A child who is prevented from learning to speak by a parent who thinks lisps are cute is a cruel and abusive parent. They won’t be there when the child gets laughed at in school, and ostracized because while the others are learning to make friends, he struggles to communicate.
    Parents think because they brought the child into the world, they are free to do whatever they like.
    A boy learns to be a boy, a girl learns to be a girl. Nothing difficult about it.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    John, sex and gender are not the same thing.

  • John Lake

    Oh, I get it. Gender is determined at some age — like maybe during the high-school years. Sex is not ordinarily subject to options.
    I must be too far from the street. I didn’t see that at all.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    There are the biological sexes, of which there are two (though some people are born with elements of both), and then there are genders, of which there are many.

    Transgender people, for instance, are born one biological sex but are psychologically another, for example Chaz Bono.

    Then there are people who are not transgender but are comfortable dressing in the style of the opposite sex, for example Eddie Izzard.

    There are even people whose gender identity involves more than one gender, for example Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O’Brien, who regards himself as 70% male and 30% female.

    And the idea of more than two genders isn’t restricted to modern Western culture either, for example the Native American berdache and the Middle Eastern xanith.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    As for myself, though I am male both biologically and by gender identity, I don’t recall our parents particularly emphasizing our maleness as they raised my brother and me.

    We didn’t have much money and got a lot of stuff from flea markets and jumble sales (what you’d call rummage sales in the US). My mother was just as likely to bring home a doll for us to play with as a toy gun (although she was somewhat eccentric like that), and there were books about ponies as well as books about sports in our house.

  • cindy

    John,

    Gender is a social construct. It is embedded by conditioning and enforced by cultural norms. (Those bullies you spoke of who hate lisps–they are the keepers of the culture you admire.) The greatest instigator of norms functioning in our culture is the boob tube. (Followed by those who repeat what they see on the boob tube and reinforce its religion.)

    The TV tells children all they need to know about gender norms–what they should look like, what they should crave, and how they should act as a member of a gender.

    Boys should be tough and like sports, girls should like pink and make themselves up into the best sex objects they can or be powerless and unlovable.

    I am in Florida, closely watching a 3 year old over the past month. He is no different from any other child I have watched. I look directly over his shoulder and watch him as he watches messages about “how boys should act” and then copies them. He gets these messages, about what boys should be like, repeatedly from every single game he plays to every commercial and TV show he sees.

    This provides a nice backdrop from which to make him feel insecure about his masculinity–enabling the market to later sell him whatever those in power need to sell–everything from entertainment and sports, to bodywash and muscle drinks, to enlisting as a soldier.

    Watch a very small child closely and how they react to and copy what information their culture provides them regarding their gender roles.

    Football is not an activity coded into human biology.

    (As to the rest of your comment–school is an indoctrination facility. It is full of conditioning to obedience and bullies. Why would you send a child to one?

    You will be pleased, I’m sure, to know that my nephew, now 19, has lost his cute lisp–despite what I thought. I am now working on making bully fodder out of the currently available cute 3 year old, who has a penchant for “fr” as in framma, frampa, and frasagna.)

  • cindy

    Gender is determined at some age — like maybe during the high-school years?

    How would that work?

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, I freed your comment from the spam trap but noticed you are using a wide range of different IP addresses.

    Not sure how you are doing that but it may be that seeing identical comments from multiple IPs is one of the factors the tool takes into consideration.

    I beleve you know how to contact me directly (or my deputy when I’m not around) so please feel free to let us know if you need any comments related assistance.

  • llort

    tor

  • c

    Thanks Christopher.

    I have a VPN (virtual private network). It allows me to enter over 30 servers in 11 countries and have them pull my requests to their server using their IP, while having my own IP remain anonymous.

    I only use it here if my initial comment is rejected. At times it has helped me get past the spam catcher. Not lately though.

  • llort

    the use of “gender” outside of its context in grammar must be relatively new – when I consult my 1937 oed I find no other uses

  • llort

    except #1 – “kind, sort”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #20: […]from the standpoint of evolutionary biology, to regard the fact of sex-differentiation as important one is more consistent than to deny it. And the same goes, one could argue, from the standpoint of human propagation, if that’s one of our values[…]

    Human beings don’t get to value or not value the formula for procreation. Per evolutionary biology, that’s simply the way it is. Even in the Petri dish it takes one of these from him and one of those from her to make a baby.

    Evolutionary biology doesn’t care what gender one parent identifies with or if the two are married. In startling contrast to the lovey-dovey biology argument, biology is actually a relentless bitch when you consider that pregnancy is often the result of a rapist assaulting a girl or woman. Biology doesn’t even care about consent or relation or age. When the impregnated is 11 years old and the rapist is a relative, where’s the biological or divine justice in that? There isn’t any. Biology doesn’t freaking care and the fact that it runs rampant no matter how many religious texts we put in its way tells me divinity is impotent. Biology, therefore, has nothing to do with whether or not gay persons should/should not marry and/or raise children.

    Marriage isn’t modeled after nature. Coupling is modeled after nature. And procreation is nature. Those who’d suggest the coupling of any two consenting adults isn’t “modeled after nature” should watch less TLC and more BBC Earth.

    There is evidence to suggest infants look most like their biological fathers in their infancy; and many think this is nature’s way of making sure the infant has two opposite-sex parents. It’s just as likely that nature is trying to make sure the father doesn’t kill the infant for not resembling him before he leaves the area and procreates with someone else. Too, this particular biological protective measure does nothing for the mother’s survival during birth. If the father has already hot-footed it out of there and the mother dies, then what? Biology doesn’t care who finds and cares for the baby. We can only hope a kindly gay couple doesn’t wander down the infant’s path because there’ll surely be an Archbishop jumping out of the bushes yelling, “Hands off that fair fiend, you foul damsels!” (Babies hate yelling.)

    Evolutionary biology insures the propagation of the species. That’s it – no more and no less. Everything after that is man-made, from marriages and baby showers to adoptions and divorces. To use biology as justification for denying marital rights is to travel backward through the maze. You’re just going to end up at the beginning where evolutionary biology doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass about who did what to whom with or without anyone’s blessing.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I know what a VPN is Cindy, but it might be the fact that you are using it that is setting off the spam trap, that’s all.

  • Joseph S Maresca

    I think that Jesus Christ paved the way for an answer to this question when He stated:
    “Give to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God’s.”

    I take this to mean that a civil union which is legalized by federal or state law is the resolution of this conflict. A civil union is within Caesar’s realm.

  • llort

    …so Joseph – marriage should be possible only within a religious context?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #48
    Nope.
    The words “marry,” “marrying,” “married” and “marriage” are owned by no one and no group in the United States. My husband and I were married in city hall by a judge. We have a marriage certificate. I’m not about to use different terminology to describe and/or characterize the nature of our relationship just so the stick up someone else’s ass isn’t so painful – nor should any other couple in consenting and adult relationship be legally forced to do so.

  • The Impressive Clergyman

    Mawwiage.

    Mawwiage is what bwings us togever today.

    Mawwiage: that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wivin a dweam…

  • llort

    …”civil union” is an unfortunate alternative – how could a conservative not rankle at the question ‘single or unionized?’

  • Dr Dreadful

    LOL @ troll.

  • Dr Dreadful

    @ #44: IIRC Shakespeare used it in his own rather cynical context in one of the songs in The Merchant of Venice – Act 3, Scene 2.

  • llort

    …interesting that the Don’s would fail to mention His use

  • John Lake

    I just reread your article, Diana, and see some points to be made. It seems to annoy you that a marriage is child centric, should be, and has been that way through history. You seem to think the Archbishop is challenging your sister. You were taught that nuns and priests are “married to Christ (a man)” I was told, while I still defended that religion, that nuns are married to Christ (with a ring), but priests are similar to apostles, or brothers of Christ. I was taught some other things that might curl your blood; some of these guilt provoking things still haunt me. They are a large part of why I (an ex-marine) have “no-preference” inscribed upon my dog tags. Archbishop Cordileone goes into detail as to what the Roman church feels should be transmitted to children. I found that interesting. Your article produced thinking and insights; good, I had some.
    I notice that you increase your anger in #46 (a trap woman writers fall into) to include victims of forcible sex. Biology is actually a relentless bitch when you consider that pregnancy is often the result of a rapist assaulting a girl or woman. then you go into bridal showers, and whether the infant looks like his father. Mercy, that should about cover the range of issues.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #56
    It seems to annoy you that a marriage is child centric, should be, and has been that way through history.

    It annoys me that people think that’s true. Parenting is, should be and has always been child-centric. Marriage is a commitment between two consenting adults to each other – except in those places where it’s legal to marry a non-consenting person or where it’s illegal for two consenting adults to marry because

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    (insert a given generation’s opposition here).

    Archbishop Cordileone goes into detail as to what the Roman church feels should be transmitted to children.

    Your use of the word is correct, but in light of what many in the Church have done to children, I personally would’ve gone with something other than “transmitted.”

    I notice that you increase your anger in #46 (a trap woman writers fall into) to include victims of forcible sex.

    Anger, as a secondary emotion, is most commonly used by people who are barely listening (reading). This surprises me since you mention “annoyed” right away. If anger is indeed all you got out of that, you missed a lot.

    Male writers fall into the trap of eventually mentioning their penis. What’s your point?

    Sorry about the comment break in the middle of a sentence. The whole thing showed up in preview.

  • John Lake

    Marriage is a commitment between two consenting adults to each other ; that’s a good point and I am in awe.
    I stand behind my “trap that females fall into” concept, and my use of “transmitted.”
    As long as we’re apologizing, I haven’t heard the words “blood curling” before; must be a hard-nail gym.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    I apologized for the break in comment; nothing else. You’ve apologized for nothing.

    It’s “blood curdling,” not curling.

    Standing by your point that generalized women writers doesn’t explain your point.

  • John Lake

    Sometimes when we use a single “dash” in a comment, the material after that punctuation doesn’t appear. I know it’s blood curdling; that was the point of the apology. Woman find it hard to exchange ideas and propose counter-ideas in a discussion. They become frustrated, and angry, and soon its “cuss, cuss, cuss.”
    If you like I might apologize for some aspects of my response to your article. I should keep to the substance.

  • John Lake

    I’m still pondering your vehement outburst toward (vile) biology. But since gay couples don’t produce children bearing their genes, evolution works against gay marriage. If we view evolution as a function of God, then God clearly prefers the multiple gender arrangement.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    Yes, you should keep to the substance so you don’t come off as the troll you’ve established yourself to be.

    You made no apology, evidenced by your lack of “I’m sorry/apologize for what I’ve said.”

    If you prefer a discussion that does not involve emotion or cuss words, might I suggest a return to the arms of your mother – unless that’s where you acquired your distaste for emotion and cussing, in which case a therapist’s couch might be more appropriate.

    “We” don’t view evolution as a function of God. You do.

    Gay couples produce as many children as infertile and elderly couples. Adoptive parents don’t produce children bearing their genes. Your God’s preference, then, is only with coupling, not marriage – which is, not coincidentally, the same as biology’s.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    John, your #62 is as absurd an argument as it is possible to post.

    As evolution produces gay people that want to get married, it can’t be working against gay marriage.

    Why on earth would we view evolution as a function of some mystical empty headed notion?

  • c

    #61

    I am somehow not very shocked that that is your experience with women.

  • John Lake

    Technically, c, that is my experience with women who write for the www.

  • John Lake

    Chris,
    Diana Hartman went into a rant against cruel biology.
    Evolutionary biology doesn’t care what gender one parent identifies with or if the two are married. In startling contrast to the lovey-dovey biology argument, biology is actually a relentless bitch when you consider that pregnancy is often the result of a rapist assaulting a girl or woman. Biology doesn’t even care about consent or relation or age. When the impregnated is 11 years old and the rapist is a relative, where’s the biological or divine justice in that? There isn’t any. Biology doesn’t freaking care and the fact that it runs rampant no matter how many religious texts we put in its way tells me divinity is impotent
    She later went on to make an argument that seems to support the parents of Coy Mathis in their selfish thinking. Ms. Hartman say’s that children will still learn masculine behavior from television, and the kids in the playground. At that point I had already pointed out that if a child has a mother-imposed lisp, or is a boy in a dress, with ribbons in his hair, he is going to have some difficulty in that playground.
    I sidestepped her rage at biology, as we men will do, but discussed the philosophical view of God (as opposed to the view of some specific religion.) God is reality. God is cause and effect. God is a present in the love that parents feel, and that lovers feel. God is evolution. While some say they must choose between creationism and science —Science today supports “a billions-of-years development of the universe, leading to the planet, leading to animal life, and leading to human life — some will say that these scientific principals are the pallet on which God does his creating. Is God not capable of using such extreme ways?
    I went on a little tongue in cheek to say that if biology is part and parcel of God, and biology in evolution favors male/female parenting (must be favored, because gay couples don’t produce offspring), then God must prefer two-sex marriage. I still think that history is thousands of years, and todays fads and leanings aren’t sufficient to re-write the book of normalcy.
    The only thing I apologized for was this; some of my commenting may have leaned slightly toward editing, rather than discussion of the idea. For example, I pointed out that while men discuss, women rant. I mentioned that I would keep to the point in the future. Upon my review, I didn’t see any evidence of my transgression as clearly as I thought I would.
    I also pointed out that she was a little tough on the good Archbishop. He bent the questions of the interviewer to work with what he intended to say. Any politician would have done the same. I wondered why she felt so antagonistic toward this man of the cloth. There, that’s another example where I might have remarked out of turn.
    I still feel hers was an exceptional article, and look forward to her continuing input.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I also pointed out that she was a little tough on the good Archbishop. He bent the questions of the interviewer to work with what he intended to say. Any politician would have done the same.

    Why does that excuse his tactics?

  • John Lake

    The poor man isn’t on the media daily. He has considered what he intends to say, and when someone comes out of right field, it presents some discomfort. Any debater would have done the same.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    John, I don’t know if I would describe Diana’s words as a rant but they are actually accurate.

    I don’t really understand your point, which seemed to start off as a fairly confused rebuttal and then veered off into some odd remarks about “god is reality” and other such entirely unsubstantiated notions.

  • John Lake

    God is an old fellow with a long white beard. Lions, tigers, eagles, and scrolls fill the room. He enjoys harp music.
    Muslims do better than that; a Muslim, I’m told, who dies for his religion, enjoys the company of 72 virgins. Tempting offer.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Any debater would have done the same.

    Not one with integrity.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    And as for your own debate tactics, John, you can hardly expect us to take you seriously when you dive into a pool of ad hominems in an apparent effort to discount anything Diana and Cindy say for no better reason than that they are female.

  • roger nowosielski

    You ought to know better, Dreadful — namely that the kinds of questions we ask contain implicit answers. So a tactic it may be, but to accuse someone of lack of integrity on account of resorting to that kind of tactic?

    Not fair, really. Stupid questions don’t deserve an answer, because the answers to stupid questions would themselves be . . . at least partly stupid.

    I’m not saying, of course, that the questions asked by the interviewer were stupid, only that the interviewee thought, whether rightly or wrongly, they were and turned the tables, so to speak, and suggested a “more enlightened” kind of question. Quite a legitimate “tactic,” if that’s what you want to call it, especially on part of someone who no doubt views himself/herself am educator besides. And in that context, I’d rather call it a heuristic/didactic device.

    Yes, you oughtto know better.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Perhaps so, Roger. I, and no doubt the interviewer, should have known better than to think that being forced to consider a direct question would have changed the Archbishop’s mind.

    I don’t think His Excellency did think the question was stupid, though: only that he knew that if he answered it, he would look stupid. In other words, it was a “gotcha” question.

    I’ve been known, in the course of debates, to refuse to answer such questions myself, but this is because they’re usually not legitimate in the hands of the people who like to use them as a debate tactic. I think this particular question was legitimate, though, since a keystone point of the anti-gay marriage lobby’s case is that severe consequences will result from legalization.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #67 Ms. Hartman say’s that children will still learn masculine behavior from television, and the kids in the playground. At that point I had already pointed out that if a child has a mother-imposed lisp, or is a boy in a dress, with ribbons in his hair, he is going to have some difficulty in that playground.

    John, this exchange didn’t happen between you and I. Try again.

    God is reality. God is cause and effect. God is a present in the love that parents feel, and that lovers feel. God is evolution.

    This doesn’t translate into justification for denying gay rights. Try again.

    Science today supports “a billions-of-years development of the universe, leading to the planet, leading to animal life, and leading to human life — some will say that these scientific principals are the pallet on which God does his creating.

    You’ve provided no source or substantiation. Try again.

    The only thing I apologized for was this; some of my commenting may have leaned slightly toward editing, rather than discussion of the idea.

    You haven’t apologized for anything. Try again.

  • John Lake

    IN WHICH I TRY AGAIN
    OMG! I really do owe you an apology. The remarks that I ascribed to you, Diana, as to television and schoolyards being a source for social culturing, came not from you, but cindy, in her # 39: Gender is a social construct. It is embedded by conditioning and enforced by cultural norms. (Those bullies you spoke of who hate lisps–they are the keepers of the culture you admire.) The greatest instigator of norms functioning in our culture is the boob tube. (Followed by those who repeat what they see on the boob tube and reinforce its religion.)
    The TV tells children all they need to know about gender norms–what they should look like, what they should crave, and how they should act as a member of a gender.
    Those remarks I interpreted as a suggestion that even with extreme parenting, a child has other sources of input on which to build.
    Looking at that comment provides some interest. cindy writes,
    Boys should be tough and like sports, girls should like pink and make themselves up into the best sex objects they can or be powerless and unlovable. Obviously cindy is being sarcastic.
    The overriding question is whether woman should be raised to run corporations and industry (which they can do, with a cluster of good men — fathers, teachers, men they have known — behind them, or should they be satisfied with the more common role of nature’s gift to please men.
    I can’t imagine how I could have gotten my women mixed up. As it happens, I am a lover of women.
    Also: The “unsupported philosophizing comes directly from me. Persons of a philosophical nature may consider my insights; deem them valid, invalid —whatever. They speak for themselves.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #77 IN WHICH I TRY AGAIN

    To do what?

    The overriding question is …

    …not related to the article under which your comment was posted.

    I can’t imagine how I could have gotten my women mixed up. As it happens, I am a lover of women.

    I can’t tell if you’re being redundant or overcompensating.

  • John Lake

    Gee, Diana, I just thought I might expand the topic to consider your input. At one point I had written that a new article might be suggested, but I removed that for brevity.
    I am being neither redundant (did I mention my regards for the fairer sex earlier?) nor overcompensating (for what?) I’m being polite and friendly.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #79 did I mention my regards for the fairer sex earlier?

    Yes, you did:
    1) #56 […](a trap woman writers fall into)[…]
    2) #59 I stand behind my “trap that females fall into” concept […]
    3) #61 Woman find it hard to exchange ideas and propose counter-ideas in a discussion. They become frustrated, and angry, and soon its “cuss, cuss, cuss.”
    4) #67 I sidestepped her rage at biology, as we men will do […]
    5) #67 I pointed out that while men discuss, women rant.
    6) #77 I can’t imagine how I could have gotten my women mixed up.

    I’m being polite and friendly.

    There is nothing polite or friendly about your regard for women or your continuing disregard for the topic of the article under which you are commenting.

    At one point I had written that a new article might be suggested, but I removed that for brevity.

    It doesn’t look removed. It looks like “a new article might be suggested” is right there in your sentence.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I can’t imagine how I could have gotten my women mixed up.

    I can.

  • roger nowosielski

    my women?

  • John Lake

    “The,” Roger. “the women”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ Diana

    #83 John, you’ve corrected Roger with “the women.” In what # comment did you say, “the women”?

  • John Lake

    This foolishness (i.e. my handwriting, the handwriting) hardly rates a response. Lets move on.

  • John Lake

    I should take nothing for granted; a stitch in time saves nine.
    Little kid comes home from school, with a note from his teacher. His mother asks,
    “Johnny, why did you say Lincoln was the first president, and George Washington freed the slaves?”
    “Oh — I just got my presidents mixed up.”
    So she shot him.

  • c

    Obviously cindy is being sarcastic.

    Nope, I wasn’t. But I wonder why you think that was sarcasm.

  • BaulPlair

    Mr. Lake, your joke was hilarious because it really exposes the sad fact of history: Little boys have always felt possessive toward Presidents, and this, along with other factors, has led to systematic discrimination against Presidents.
    In some societies, Presidents were — and sometimes still are — treated as little more than property, exchanged for “dowries” and such, and sometimes killed or raped when they didn’t go along with it.
    So the boy’s use of “my” in relation to Presidents HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW reflects his unconscious ownership feelings toward ALL Presidents, which leads to his violent death, a rich vein of humor indeed. Hahahhahaaha.
    Unlike so many jokes, this one is even funnier when you explain it.

  • roger nowosielski

    Cindy, you might want to look at this, a rather novel approach to feminism, Lean In.

    Although there are many things in there one might disagree with, it’s definitely a novel approach in more than one way and one, besides, which cuts across more than one platform.

    For context, see remark #61 by Bruce Wilder in the following Crooked Timber article, “Socialism without a Map.”

  • c

    Roger,

    I reject feminisms which aim themselves at equality based on more effectively competing with men, and which define success as the very same thing that the sexist patriarchy calls success–getting a higher paying more powerful job. For me this is anti-feminist.

    I want the voice to determine how the culture operates. At the moment it is based on patriarchal values. I reject patriarchal values. I want a culture based on mutual aid, compassion, abundance, love, and all the other elements that are best about people. The values of patriarchy (competition, hierarchical constructions of power, slavery, objectification, manipulation, and using people, etc) have no place in my feminism. becoming better at them has no place in my feminism.

  • roger nowosielski

    As I noted there are problems here which run deeper than I originally suspected, now that I’m almost done with the article. The context in which this article arose, as I referenced earlier, had to do with the slogan, “companies, not countries,” which, precisely because it’s right under our noses, we fail to see as one possible and effective solution to minimizing the authority of nation-states so as to render them less and less relevant. Of course, we have to revamp here the idea of “company” to better correspond to jointly owned co-operative enterprises which aim first and foremost at creating real value (rather than merely maximizing the bottom line. But, in any case, this is one possible line of attack to dis-empower nation-states (which are already being dis-empowered by the multinationals).

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    You’re only aiming to restructure the product of about 10,000 years of human history, then, Cindy. Just a modest goal. :-)

    I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that modern society isn’t the way it is because men built it that way, and that women aren’t therefore at an inherent disadvantage when they try to navigate within it.

    Nevertheless, as the songwriter (probably a man) observed, it takes two to tango. Couldn’t things be the way they are because, over time, women realized that if their menfolk were kept busy devising ever more elaborate ways of determining who had the biggest willy, it left them free to quietly get on with doing their own thing?

    I’m not saying this is how things went down: just wondering if you’d considered the possibility.

  • roger nowosielski

    Further, as a backdrop to this discussion, see some of the comments there in the comments space where some of the commenters look at such enterprises as Wikipedia and the distribution of the contributors along the gender line, along with some of the reasoning they provide to account for the rather skewed distribution.

  • c

    Dr.D,

    I am of the opinion that men and women are brainwashed by culture and they replicate whatever they are indoctrinated with, pretty much–unless they question it–which they mostly don’t being we are all embedded in it, and mostly taught to obey and not question and to think inside our cultural boxes.

    Thus, a culture could change as soon as the next infant is raised within a differing cultural context, regardless of length of history.

    As far as who tangos, both male and female gender constructions support the patriarchy and its values and social relational constructions.

    Men are not inherently “bad”, they’re just drawn that way. ;-) (and so are women)

  • roger nowosielski

    An interesting view on “patriarchy” as per one of the commenters on Crooked Timber:

    “When you get the patriarchs of different clans cooperating together to form a Senate, then you have a male coalition of non-kin social cooperators” (#20)

    A response (#23):

    “As long as they play backgammon together, this is true. But when they actually legiferate [legislate, I presume] and govern, they act as the organ of a bigger community, that is, in this case, “people of Rome”. This community clearly includes females, but most notable roles are attributed to males, because, patriarchy.
    Patriarchy, by definition, is not an all male form of cooperation (since it is family-based), and it isn’t even non-kin.”

  • c

    Interesting conversation on crooked timber, Roger.

  • roger nowosielski

    Yes, Cindy, most of these people are sharp. I really have to be careful about what I post there lest I embarrass myself.