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Thread: Male dominance

  1. #1
    Senior Member WildCard's Avatar
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    Default Male dominance

    This was a conversation that has cropped up repeatedly among the female cadets at my local MROTC battalion. More so that we are covering the history of war, tactics, etc. So of course, rape came up. To answer their question, I found it was actually a rather long dig into the past that has yet to yield any satisfactory answer to me.

    During a lot of my digging, I found some of the most famous philosophers as well as Thomas Aquinas viewed women as little more than animals. In fact, in 584 AD, the Catholic church took a vote on "Are Women Human?" 32 votes against 31. Women were proclaimed human by one vote.

    Where did this idea come from? And why have women allowed it to persist? Not to say that we are still viewed as unorganized pieces of amphibian waste, but there is defiantely a double standard. A guy can make twelve "mistakes" but a woman who does the same is considered a tramp.

    I could go on and on, but I have never understood the male need to dominate not only other males, but go so far as to rape their wives and claim their daughters as "war booty." I briefly looked into the Viking way of life before becoming disgusted. Just look at the ethnic cleansing going on in Africa.

    Seriously. Are women so sexually objectified that any invading army is going to abuse them?

    It's like I told my fiancee. If anyone ever invaded the US, I certainly wasn't going to let myself get captured, or caught alone. That is one indignity that I'd save one bullet from my .45 for.

    Thoughts? Theories on this?
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    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildCard View Post
    And why have women allowed it to persist?
    I think if men and women were different races, we would have had a big war by now. But we need each other to reproduce. And since women have a stronger urge to reproduce than men do, they are willing to put up with more shit in order to do so. Plus there's the whole pesky Might is Right problem, and assholes like to lord that over us.

    So, I guess this is what happens when people are too willing to sacrifice themselves in order to keep the peace.

    (A good lesson for my Enneagram 9 ass.)

    But having said all that, I think we're in a much better position now than we were in the past. And healthy relationships show that we can get past all that.

  3. #3
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    You're basically asking why there is patriarchy and misogyny at all. That happens to be one of the biggest questions in the history of sociology and anthropology.

    So, like anyone, I'm not all that well equipped to explain this. The rough guess I'm content to go by is that way back, in the long-long-ago, when everyone was a hunter-gatherer, physiological differences that seem kind of unproblematic today were profound obstacles back then. In those days women were either pregnant or nursing for a huge part of their lives, which would be an obstacle now, but back then when child rearing was much harder it was an especially big obstacle. Then consider that as hunters humans really depended on our great form for efficient running. As it happens, probably the biggest discrepancy in male and female capabilities is running due to womens' child-bearing hips (anatomical engineering experiments show that a woman's pelvis is about as splayed as it can be while still being able to support upright walking). Now, we have real potential for a snowball effect here, me thinks. Foraging peoples' were simple, mostly egalitarian, and remained pretty consistent for a very long time. What that actually means is that little disadvantages like the ones I described could be the difference between dominance and submission. Take particular note of the fact that the roles open to males in this situation are ones presumably more conducive to political dominance.

    Old habits die hard. It's a well known fact that abstract culture hangs on much longer than material culture. Also, the more, shall we say, fundamental the source of an abstract cultural artifact, the longer it will hang on. I believe that significant, practical impacts on the part of these physiological differences between men and women faded out a long time ago. It doesn't matter, the abstract culture remains, though it has been fading too, just much, much slower, as would be predicted.
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    Senior Member redcheerio's Avatar
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    Great summary, Magic, I agree.

    It's amazing how slow social evolution can be, considering how quick it could be if people were a bit smarter and more aware of dumb subconscious behaviours that hold us back.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think that its a consequence of differentiated attachment styles and experiences, these exert the greatest deterministic influence upon people, so psychologically and sociologically I think men are expected to develop a different attachment style and deal with seperation anxiety differently.

    In some sense this is as simple as Magic's men being hunters and fighters leaving the home and women being home makers, that earliest divison of labour, although for different reasons I'm a little uncomfortable with vague theorising about such a long time ago which little is known about. I've read good studies to suggest that earlier societies were matriarchies, how did they get overthrown or are those just golden age idylic idealisations, like the idea of early "primitive communism"? I dont know.

    I've come to think that the stories about either the past and future only have any worth in so far as they influence peoples performance in the present.

    I would say that as big an issue as male dominance may be the issue of female submissiveness is the other side of the coin, I've known plenty of "good guys" or "nice guys" who become embittered when they see themselves how women wont date them but will prefer partners who almost bully them and are constantly putting them down, then the same men can become rude, obnoxious and domineering in a nightmarish fashion, throwing over and out any good conditioning they've had about expecting equality or acting as though it is an objective fact.

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    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Perhaps it has something to do with the concept of "rape culture"?
    Last edited by Viridian; 10-07-2011 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Forgot a word.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Definition of "rape culture":

    A rape culture is a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.

    In a rape culture both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable as death or taxes. This violence, however, is neither biologically nor divinely ordained. Much of what we accept as inevitable is in fact the expression of values and attitudes that can change.
    Can anyone tell me of an actual existing culture which fits this description?

    Even the societies which I can think of which are archetypes of a certain sort of vicious male dominance, for instance those which practice Sharia Law, or those communities in which honour killings or mutilations either have happened or could happen dont fit that description.

    I'm sorry but a lot of this reminds me of radical feminism in the US, the all sex (or at least all heterosex) is rape school of thought, that is a particularly unique cultural scene and often the product of some pretty unique life histories which are bound to have had an impact on the lives of the key authors and opinion formers involved, they generalise their personal experiences as representative.

  8. #8
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildCard View Post
    This was a conversation that has cropped up repeatedly among the female cadets at my local MROTC battalion. More so that we are covering the history of war, tactics, etc. So of course, rape came up. To answer their question, I found it was actually a rather long dig into the past that has yet to yield any satisfactory answer to me.

    During a lot of my digging, I found some of the most famous philosophers as well as Thomas Aquinas viewed women as little more than animals. In fact, in 584 AD, the Catholic church took a vote on "Are Women Human?" 32 votes against 31. Women were proclaimed human by one vote.

    Where did this idea come from? And why have women allowed it to persist? Not to say that we are still viewed as unorganized pieces of amphibian waste, but there is defiantely a double standard. A guy can make twelve "mistakes" but a woman who does the same is considered a tramp.

    I could go on and on, but I have never understood the male need to dominate not only other males, but go so far as to rape their wives and claim their daughters as "war booty." I briefly looked into the Viking way of life before becoming disgusted. Just look at the ethnic cleansing going on in Africa.

    Seriously. Are women so sexually objectified that any invading army is going to abuse them?

    It's like I told my fiancee. If anyone ever invaded the US, I certainly wasn't going to let myself get captured, or caught alone. That is one indignity that I'd save one bullet from my .45 for.

    Thoughts? Theories on this?
    • Testosterone.
    • Evil Group Mentality (it's easier to commit evil acts if one is not acting alone, i.e. militias, gangs, cartels, mafias, etc.)
    • Higher incidence of polygamous versus polyandrous societies, therefore women have less leverage, and therefore, rights.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    • Evil Group Mentality (it's easier to commit evil acts if one is not acting alone, i.e. militias, gangs, cartels, mafias, etc.)
    Taking us off topic for just one second, is the converse true too? Can there be such a thing as Good Group Mentality?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Even the societies which I can think of which are archetypes of a certain sort of vicious male dominance, for instance those which practice Sharia Law, or those communities in which honour killings or mutilations either have happened or could happen dont fit that description..
    Can you explain how they don't fit? Even in the most developed countries, there's lots of sexual violence, lots of rape or aggressive porn, pressure on women to avoid rape but not on men to not rape, media articles trying to blame the victim, the legal system blaming the victim, mainstream art featuring victimised women as the norm, high rates of violence against female prostitutes etc.

    In countries where rape victims are humiliated far beyond how they are in Western countries, in some cases being violently punished, the rape culture is rather obvious and enforced by the government.

    Rape culture is specifically referring to how it is all seen as normal. So, for example, yet another woman on the typec vent server mentions a past abusive relationship they had, and no one bats an eye.

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