Friday, March 30, 2012

Connecting the dots, In-group bias and gender roles

Like the headline said, borrowed from Girlwriteswhat:

This is the most common path to a positive male identity BECAUSE MEN LACK A MECHANISM FOR AUTOMATIC OWN-GROUP PREFERENCE. Simply put, they do not relate to other men automatically, just because they're men.

Women have this bias, which provides them a natural ability to form cooperatives, relate to other women, and seek consensus though their strong mechanism for own-group preference based on gender alone. Given their gender roles through most of human history, this mechanism makes sense. Their individual value as, to put it bluntly, breeders, meant that in a survivalist environment, you didn't throw a woman on the trash pile without a pressing reason. Adjustments were made when possible to keep as many women as you could within the sisterhood. This is where you find a ton of attention in female spaces given to things like "tone" and "being nice" and "getting along" even when there are disagreements. It's all about comfort level and feelings of acceptance.

Men, however, lack the hardwiring to form a preference for maleness based merely on maleness. And that only makes sense when you think about men's roles for the last couple million years or so--roles that involved things like beating the guys down the valley to a pulp when they threatened his women and children, and competing against other males within his community for a shot at the mating game. Given those roles, automatically siding with one's own gender over the other is...well, it just doesn't work.[...]

The myth among feminists that men will insult each other for displaying feminine traits because they see women as inferior is just that--a myth. Men do this because women have a trump card that bestows intrinsic value on them--their uteruses--and they retain that value even when they gender-bend a little. A woman who acts like a woman is not seen as inferior. A man who acts like a woman has always been seen not as a woman, but as a "woman without a womb". He has no female value, and he has no male value. Therefore, he has NO value at all. And unlike women, men who were not "useful" did--and still do--get thrown on the trash heap of society.

In the currency of reproduction, an ovum goes for a thousand bucks, a uterus is worth a cool mill, and an ejaculation about 10 cents. To be acceptable mating material, and worth keeping around, a man had to do more than generate sperm. And when the only thing keeping you from becoming completely disposable as an individual lies in differentiating yourself from the feminine, well, guys gonna enforce that shit.

This is why men have always tended to define themselves by their roles. Father, husband, working man, soldier, career man, family man, middle class man, politician, activist, etc...in other words, roles to exist in which allow them to relate to other men who also occupy those roles, and to derive a positive and meaningful identity from performing their masculinity through those roles.




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