Women and Philosophy

For several days now I’ve been chewing on a remark in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. Rivka Galchen had her first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances (about a man who suspects his wife has been replaced by a doppelganger), favorably reviewed on the cover. A philosophical first novel by a woman is “extremely rare,” says Liesl Schillinger.

When women do certain things it can be a surprise worth noting. Recently there’s been a flurry of articles about the increase in female terrorism lately. Yes, that’s odd. But is it odd for women to be thinking about philosophical questions? It can’t be that odd, when something like a third of philosophy PhDs are awarded to women, and some of the leading philosophers in the world are or have been female (Hannah Arendt, Martha Nussbaum, Judith Jarvis Thompson, Philippa Foot… to name a few).

Never fear, the authoress (herself an MD, not a philosopher) is not suffering too greatly from gender disturbances. The reviewer notes the “feminine perception” in evidence when Galchen describes a character’s hair as smelling like grass, and such like. Groan. But what about the supposed disconnect between women and philosophy? You do have to wonder why there are fewer women than men in the field.

The reviewer says the novel is brainy, clinical, and objective, and thus not feminine. Now, by itself, this is simply stupid. Half of law school students and half of medical students today are female. To get where they are, these women must have done very well at brainy, clinical, objective things. But there’s a difference. Female lawyers and doctors are brainy in the service of helping people or making a tangible difference in the world. Maybe the extra nurturing urge in women (yes, it’s a reality, why deny it? and isn’t that what makes female terrorism so surprising?) draws them to want a people-connection in their work, some sense of doing good for others. There may be fewer female philosophers not because philosophy is brainy, but because it’s not that easy to see how philosophical braininess helps people or makes a tangible difference.

But maybe there’s hope. Philosophy has the potential to be therapeutic in a very broad sense. Many of the Hellenistic philosophers thought of philosophy as medicine for the soul, as Martha Nussbaum writes in The Therapy of Desire. There may even be a helping element when philosophers teach and write about topics that are not at all practical—as it certainly is worrisome and befuddling to try to understand what we can know, what exists in the world, whether there’s a god, and the like.

The helping element is not immediately obvious, because philosophers spend a lot of their time either in solitary confinement or in bloody combat with each other, but I think it’s a reality. The image of philosophy as helping us sort things out and live our lives might entice women to become closer to half of all philosophers instead of a third. Still, at the moment there are plenty of philosophically-inclined women and it really isn’t a big surprise when one of them writes a philosophical novel.

Hey, the book sounds interesting.

Leave a comment ?


  1. michael reidy

    From agnostic to agnosia or prosopagnosia to the recognition of women philosophers. Almost seamless. I notice that none of the mostly male commentors have yet offered a thought. Not many of us know what a pearline fastener is. It’s a minefield chaps.

  2. I interviewed Rivka over on The Book Depository site recently — http://tinyurl.com/4wrzfc … Not much mention of philosophy though, I’m afraid!

  3. “The image of philosophy as helping us sort things out and live our lives might entice women to become closer to half of all philosophers instead of a third.”

    And why do we need more women in Philosophy ? I hope it’s not for the sake of the obsolete feministic ideal of a 50 % quote ! Everybody should be able to choose the field that interests him to her the most and apparently women are less interested than men in Philosophy: http://tinyurl.com/6bkg3g

    But let’s assume that we do wish more women engaged in Philosophy. The question now is: Where should they be less ?

  4. Is there an extra-nurturing urge in women? I’ve never found it to be the case. Most, but certainly not all, mothers have a nurturing urge towards their children, but women can be ruthless towards the children of others, as can men. In governing positions, women have proved to be as power-hungry as men: Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, etc., and to say that women lawyers nurture, well, they nurture their clients as long as they are paying and screw the other side, just as male lawyers do. It is a sociological fact that women fill the so-called caring professions (nursing,
    social work, primary school teaching), but they doesn’t make them especially caring as people, as anyone who has had a problem with their child’s school-teacher can testify. It’s a cliché and a sexist stereotype that women are more caring than men.

  5. notify me

  6. Michael, OK, but neither do I. In any case, I don’t think you’d have any trouble noticing that hair smells like grass. [whoops–I mean, hair that smells like grass smells like grass. Not all hair. You know what I mean.]

    All, Thanks for links above…all very interesting. I’m trying to figure out where women should be less, if they should be more in philosophy. So far I’ve come up with–less in advertising, gun manufacturing, and drug trafficking. Right, women are less interested in philosophy, but I want to know why–and I’m suggesting it’s not actually because they don’t like “brainy, objective, clinical, detached”–they just want it to have a “human” point.

    Amos, Mothers are more reliable caregivers of their own kids than fathers (massive evidence of this…I’ll assume it) and I don’t see how this character trait can fail to have lots of ramifications. It doesn’t follow everyone woman is caring, or every woman is caring to everyone, or no men are caring, or anything like that, but there are implications.

  7. From the fact that women tend to be more reliable caregivers of their own kids than fathers I draw no implications. A mother’s care of her own children is almost a narcissistic thing: her kids become an extension of herself. Towards others, women can and often are much less caring than men. Now, women’s socialization teaches them to act as if they were caring (to say the right thing, to send a card, etc.), but from saying the right thing to being caring there is a long long march. We all have to learn to care. It’s a long process.

  8. Female lawyers and doctors are brainy in the service of helping people or making a tangible difference in the world.

    Did you mean to put it that strongly? Or perhaps I’ve misread it – it’s not that women do those jobs because they want to nurture but that those jobs do in fact have that aspect? Anyway I would say that those jobs are compatible with wanting to help people or make a tangible difference in the world, but they are also compatible with not really caring about either of those.

  9. I think I put it too strongly. Some number of women couldn’t care less about helping and making a tangible difference. But many do, so the number of women isn’t going to be half in a field that is perceived as making no difference. In law and medicine those who want “people connection” can certainly find it there. My point is that maybe we can find a bit more of that in philosophy than it seems at first glance.

  10. As a Women’s Studies minor I feel that I am eminently qualified to speak intelligently on this matter. You see, from what I’ve learned gender is merely a social construction. A baby is born and if it’s a “he” then the parents will say, “Look at how handsome he is.” If it is a girl the parents will say, “Look at how beautiful she is.” Before long the little boy will be given toys to play with such as tanks, G.I. Joes and other stereotypically macho things. The girl, on the other hand, is given dolls, cookware—in toy form—and other such “feminine” products. The boy will be encouraged to play outside and do as boys do while the girl, who is becoming more aware of what it means to be a woman, is taught how to act in a delicate fashion. Soon enough she will be made aware of how her hair ought to look and how to readjust her dress accordingly.

    In short, the girl—even in this day and age—is being fashioned to stay in the home and make it her job to make sure that those around her are satisfied at her expense. Hence, she is nurturing not in it for itself, but as a product of her upbringing; she couldn’t be any other way. It follows that women wouldn’t be too interested in philosophy as it wouldn’t make sense to concern themselves with philosophical matters: abstract reasoning has little practicality for their lives.

    So yeah, that’s what I’ve learned so far. Oh, and white men are the devil and porn silences women.

  11. Ack. I indented the paragraphs but I guess it wouldn’t let me. Sorry for the blocky text there.

  12. I don’t know why more women don’t study philosophy.
    I suspect that women don’t enter fields where they feel there are subtle (or not so subtle) forms of discrimination: for example, male bonding networks. A woman friend of mine was getting a doctorate in artificial intelligence in a well-known university, and the atmosphere in the computer working space was like a male locker room. She felt very uncomfortable there, as the guys competed at war computer games, laughing when they destroyed the enemy target. She finally got her degree, but those type of things put some women off, I imagine.

  13. I wrote a column for the next issue of TPM (The Philos Mag, you know, host of this here blog) which touches on this subject. There is a view that the aggressive argumentation expected in philosophy is a turn-off for a lot of women. On the other hand there is also a view (which is compatible with the first) that to some women that is just why philosophy is so appealing: women don’t have to be girly and nurturing and ‘nice.’

  14. Justin, Sounds like you will be getting “honors” in Women’s Studies. But….why is this really a genes vs environment issue? However it happens, women wind up being people-oriented by the time they are choosing careers. Not that it isn’t interesting..

    My 2 cents on the nature/nurture thing is “some of each.” A little anecdotal evidence…. I have boy/girl twins, raised quite similarly. They are in fact quite similar in interests, as we did not push the dolls for girls, guns for boys kind of thing. Still, there are some undeniable differences. My son has always had a fondness for explosions, my daughter not at all. Etc etc etc I think most parents see these small differences and then fan them up into big differences, because culturally we love girlish girls and boyish boys. We didn’t do that much, and wound up with kids not very dramatically different, but still different.

    Amos–one issue in philosophy is the bloody combat I mentioned. Some women find that not good.

  15. I think that we’ve discussed the bloody combat issue before. One point that we ( a collective “we”) agreed on is that bloody combat is easier for women (and wimps like me) online than face to face, that aggressive male body language or an angry voice may frighten women into yielding in a face to face verbal combat, while online those factors don’t have much weight. Many women associate male verbal aggressivity with physical aggression, and that association (formed in the situation of being hit by fathers, brothers, boy-friends or husbands) may make women reticient to engage in face to face philosophical bloody combat.

  16. Ophelia, Whoops, yours just came up…after I posted mine. Yes, the bloody combat issue! Very interesting how women feel about that. One thing I get out of philosophy is a chance to argue, so no, I’m not in the girly, nice, “let’s share” camp myself. I have never been repelled by philosophy because of the aggression. (Which is not to say I see no problem at all with it…it’s just that I fit in fairly well.) But I know there are women who are repelled. Probably quite a lot of them. A male-dominated philosophy seminar room is not a place where people are nurturing each other’s ideas. At least, not that I’ve seen.

    I’m focusing on “weak people-connection” as a reason women aren’t 1/2 of all philosophers because (well, honestly) it’s an issue for me and I’ve seen it become an issue for other women (in other abstract fields, too). It’s also true that a disproportionate number of women in philosophy do ethics (the most people-connected area of philosophy).

    Lookin’ forward to your piece about philosophy combat–I know female philosophers who have a lot to say about that.

  17. Amos, Where? When? I don’t remember that.

  18. Jean: It was a long time ago, and it wasn’t the main topic of the post, but a theme that came up. I recall that Ophelia and I (and some others) talked about it. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

  19. “My 2 cents on the nature/nurture thing is “some of each.” A little anecdotal evidence…. I have boy/girl twins, raised quite similarly. They are in fact quite similar in interests, as we did not push the dolls for girls, guns for boys kind of thing. Still, there are some undeniable differences. My son has always had a fondness for explosions, my daughter not at all. Etc etc etc I think most parents see these small differences and then fan them up into big differences, because culturally we love girlish girls and boyish boys. We didn’t do that much, and wound up with kids not very dramatically different, but still different.”

    Whenever I hear the nature/nurture discussion I always think of an anecdote my old ethics professor gave about a study. A couple is in a hospital around newborns, and they are given a newborn to hold onto for the moment while a nurse does something. The child either has a blue or pink outfit. As we’d expect, the couple react according to the perceived gender based on the color of the clothes. The first point to be made is that what happened was immediate and consistent. Once the gender was determined, the treatment of the child changed. Boys were lifted up and down and generally ‘moved’ more. Girls were talked to softer and treated as one would expect.

    Here’s where things get interesting. Some couples were given a child in a brown (i.e. genderless) outfit. Every time the couple would try to determine the gender, to the point of checking the ‘personal’ way. Those in charge of the study tried to change the outfits so that they couldn’t be opened. The couples would actually struggle to get those things open, and then give up, look at the kid, and say, “Oh, you look like a boy/girl,” and act accordingly. It was like they couldn’t figure out to do until a gender was assigned.

    I should put a disclaimer that I don’t remember anything more specific than this and I couldn’t tell you what the study actually was or where to find it (it was told as an anecdote, after all). But it makes one wonder just how deep the gender role is given societally. I think we’ll get a better idea in the upcoming generation, as they seem less ‘tied down’ culturally. Now that I’ve got that out, back to the actual discussion at hand.

  20. Eric MacDonald

    I was just speaking with a woman studying philosophy at a Canadian university. Her take on this – and Ophelia and Jean can correct me if I’m wrong – is that there is a difference in how philosophy is done in different places. Americans, I was told, tend to think of philosophy as a ‘blood sport’, whereas her own take on philosophy is, while certainly about clarifying ideas and supporting one’s own take on things, more importantly seen as trying to find the truth.

    Some of the stuff I think of off hand – like the exchanges between Dennett and Ruse, for instance – is simply bristling with quills. Is this really the best way to get at the truth? I appreciate the kind of Socratic irony that probes incisively and profoundly. I guess what surprises me is the bitterness of many contemporary disagreements. Was my intro to philosophy – the rather gentlemanly (you can read that as girly if you like too; it’s much the same) give and take of analysis and argument just a temporary glitch in the real life of philosophical warfare?

    She said she didn’t find the ‘blood sport atmosphere’ of American philosophy particularly helpful, and that it was slowly eroding what she thought had been the more – and ‘nurturing’ is not the word she used (a word which I can’t recall right now, and the conversation took place before I had looked at this thread) – restrained and cooperative approach that she had become accustomed to.

  21. This might be simply a US vs. Canada thing, since generally it seems like the US is a more competitive, violent place. Which puts kind of a negative spin on philosophical combat, doesn’t it? As much as I do like a good argument, I think it tends to be too much, especially among very analytic, technical types. There is a lot of slicing and dicing. But really, I don’t think that’s why there aren’t as many women. Surely law school is nasty and combative too, but the field is 50-50.

  22. Eric MacDonald

    Jean, I was mulling this over on my walk this morning, and a question occurred to me. Are women as highly represented in jurisprudence as they are in the law generally? This might give us one fix on the relationship of women and philosophy.

  23. Good point, Eric. In Chile there are a lot of women lawyers, but they tend to work for government agencies, in the public prosecutor’s or the public defender’s office or even as low-level judges. There seem to be few women lawyers in blood sports areas of law: corporate law, defense for white collar (that is, big money) crime, etc.

  24. As far as the U.S. vs. Canada topic I’m actually a U.S. citizen who goes to Canada for college. Let me tell you that from my experience it is just as competitive there. Whenever I go to the philosophy club meetings people duke it out and verbally thrash each other at times. And the few women who are philosophy majors aren’t afraid to get right into the mix. However, I find that Canadians on the whole tend to be a bit more laid back than people in the States. (Although they can be a bit quirky, I guess that’s what happens when you put your milk in bags and vinegar on your fries.)

  25. Justin R M, between the theory and the fact is a load of exasperation. The little girl is indeed dolled up in pink bows and lace and sent out to play, but out of sight grabs the bat and ball and returns home happy and in tatters. Also indeed, the little boy is dressed in his pre-bleached jeans and team tee but can’t be coaxed out of his room where he in immersed in volume 3 of Harry Potter. So much for parents’ nurturing.
    On the subject of arguing, it has been brought to my attention on many occasions that in some circles it is impolite to disagree. I’d argue with that. In my household Leonard Stein (brother of Gertrude) was frequently quoted as having said in so many words that no subject was so small that it wasn’t worth arguing about. It would be difficult to argue about that .
    On the subject of Are boys and girls genetically programmed to be girlish and boyish (whatever that may be). I gave a little boy a tricycle; he turned it upside down and made a wheel whirl with much vocal accompaniment. I gave a little girl a tricycle; she rode off into the sunset. I gave another little boy a tricycle; he turned it upside down and made a wheel whirl with much vocal accompaniment. My conclusion: men invented the wheel. I also handed those three children baby dolls and stuffed animals. Guess which two dangled them upside down and which one cuddled them. Draw your own profound conclusion. In fact, I do believe both conclusions.
    On the subject of brain types, I’ve never found a consistent difference between men and women. Analytic, mechanical, techie – I have not seen those styles of thinking more in either men or women. Intuitive, images, sounds, words, or measures I’ve encountered as frequently in both sexes. It is a subject for physiology and perhaps it has been studied at length.

  26. What will the Canadians think of next. Milk in bags? Good heavens.

    Eric, Don’t know about the distribution of women in law and whether they wind up more in the less abstract areas, the less combative areas, etc etc. After they enter law school (50/50) there’s definitely attrition, fewer women make partner, they go in different directions…all stuff that someone has presumably studied. I imagine the field of philosophy hasn’t been studied so closely. But there’s also attrition, fewer women getting tenure, women going into some fields more than others. It would be interesting to compare these two patterns and figure out what the key factors are…and especially what abstractness, people-orientedness, and combat avoidance all have to do with these things.

  27. Perhaps another tack would be to investigate how many women study continental philosophy or critical theory, etc. (generally not taught in the the philosophy department in Anglo-Saxon countries, as far as I know). That is, equally abstract and brainy disciplines which generally are not blood sports.

  28. The thing is, in continental philosophy people can’t savage each other, because it’s never really possible to fully understand what anyone’s said. Very nasty thing to say, I know, but I spent many years in hotbeds of continental philosophy (suffering and plotting my escape). That’s how I saw things. It was such a relief to get into analytic philosophy, where you really do have clear, straightforward debate.

  29. Continental philosophy, let’s say, from Hegel and Schopenhauer to Heidegger or Sartre, tries to say what, according to Wittgenstein, should be passed over in silence. You can agree with Ludwig or not.
    At some point continental philosophy got smart and realized that if it was vague enough and hard to understand, it could say absolutely nothing and still get paid very well.

  30. There are philosophies of just about everything: language, biology, math – you name it. I think that the job of those philosophies is to investigate every aspect of the subject: its assumptions, methods, working practices, and so on. But “Philosophy”, philosophy by itself – what is it the philosophy of?

    It used to be the investigation, in the above sense, of living; of course, branching into thousands of areas but each area, or rather, its approach to each area, having a directly or unequivocally traceable human connection.

    If, as the reviewer says, women are just as brainy as men but prefer to engage their minds in study that could be socially helpful, then it’s not surprising that they not so attracted to philosophy as now practised.

  31. Eric MacDonald

    Can you still buy milk in bags in Canada? I haven’t seen any for ages. Possibly because I buy the lactose free variety. But for a long time milk was sold in plastic bags. You put it in a plastic jug and cut off the corner and poured!

  32. Yes, you can still buy milk in bags in Canada. I still prefer them in the gallon jug even if it isn’t as environmentally friendly. Milk in bags tastes, well, different. Not a bad kind of a different, just that you’d-have-to-grow-up-with-this-taste kind of different. My American friends when they come up to visit me are always amazed at the milk bag, cut with a slit at the top corner—like you mentioned—and the inefficiency of having to put the bag itself into a container. I suppose efficiency is a very American thing to worry about.

    In case anyone else is wondering what we’re talking about here’s an image to give you an idea:


  33. Almost unhilariously (and vaguely on the topic of expectations and women philosophers) the translator’s preface an edition of The Second Sex says this: ‘A serious, all inclusive, and uninhibited work on a woman by a woman of wit and learning! What, I had often thougth, could be more desirable and yet less to be expected?’

  34. First the flaccid milk bag, then the horrifying quote. What is the world coming to? And from the translator!

  35. Jean: I hate to add to your disillusion with humanity, but in Chile they still sell milk in plastic bags, although increasingly, milk is sold in cartons and in multiple flavors. What’s more, when I lived in Brazil, all milk was sold in plastic bags. To confuse matters more, cheap wine is generally sold in cartons in Chile. As to Simone de Beauvoir, I imagine that comments like that of the translator led her to write the Second Sex.

  36. One thing you hear more often from women than from men, at least here in Norway, is that they want to “work with people” – which I think can explain why you’ll see more women in nurturing professions – and less women in professions that involve spending a lot of time alone in an office.

    As for girls and boys playing with baby dolls versus action figures – under the age of… say, three, I don’t think that there’s any big difference in that respect – above that, I think it’s more about peers than parents or other adults. Give your boy all the dolls you want, he’ll still learn what he’s supposed to play with from his friends.

  37. Probably one is best to eschew sweeping claims about gender tendencies unless one has the relevant data. These are, after all, empirical matters, as far as I can see.

    But I did once hear an interesting comment from a professor regarding why he believed that fewer women pursue philosophy as a discipline than men. He believed, he said, that it wasn’t the case that women weren’t interested in philosophical issues, but rather in spite of the philosophical predilections they have, they have just historically wanted to pursue more practical interests. I think, appropriately understood, this explanation isn’t derogatory toward women or philosophy. Just a plain old causal explanation. Of course, I would wait on the statistics to see whether or not I ought to believe the claim.

  38. I’m not at a university anymore, so I can’t check the actual study, but:

    “In general, Rosenbloom’s study found, men and women who enjoyed the explicit manipulation of tools or machines were more likely to choose IT careers – and it was mostly men who scored high in this area. Meanwhile, people who enjoyed working with others were less likely to choose IT careers. Women, on average, were more likely to score high in this arena.”

    I have a Norwegian study saying the same is true here. Neither say anything about whether it’s because of ‘socialization or “more basic differences,”‘, though.

  39. That certainly was an interesting comment from that professor – especially considering that the typical “manly man” professions – like repairing machinery, moving heavy stuff around, cutting down trees and so on – are all very practical.

  40. Chris:

    That is an interesting study. Thank you for posting it.

  41. I am Canadian. I live on the west coast. I have not seen milk-in-a-bag since I was a child living in rural Alberta…

    Philosophy is intoxicating to anyone who has the patience to think without utilizing preconceived judgements based on currently held ideas (science, religion, etc). I can have meaningful debate with any of my friends, male or female, on philosophical issues, providing they have a willingness to wade through the muck of language while abandoning the lifeboat of everything they thought they knew…

    That said, last semester, I was one of only 4 females in a Metaphysics class with over 20 students.

    Can women, often left with the task of raising the children alone (me included), afford to choose philosophy as a profession, considering the lack of jobs to be had after the years of schooling? Maybe it’s not about whether or not women are attracted to philosophy, but whether or not they can afford the luxury of philosophy as a profession.

  42. “I am Canadian. I live on the west coast. I have not seen milk-in-a-bag since I was a child living in rural Alberta…”

    I’m living in Toronto. I checked this morning in my local Dominion store. Yup, they had milk-in-a-bag!

  43. There may be so few women in philosophy because women are more practical than men, and less prone to fantasy as a rule.

    Women daily face the practical nature of humans, their development, and their interaction with the world on a scale that is nothing but practical, in a human sense.

    Humans are at best animals with animal natures except for their abilty to think, and their use of tools.

    Constraints lie along the fault line of religious tradition that prevents them from elevating themselves as a subclass of human. If women are taken seriously, they excel at forming the cognitive associations that must be made to make the practical into the ideal, and the ideal into the practical, something philosophy has yet to achieve under men.

    What good is “what if, if one can’t?”

  44. Late to this story (like 18 months) but would like to add to Chris’s comment about IT. I work in software development and some of my coworkers recently re-enforced my own observation that women (and gay men) in this business tend to gravitate toward software testing as opposed to design and development. Though I must also note that a couple of the best designers/developers that I have worked with were women. Women also seem to be more concentrated in the more business oriented areas of requirements gathering and “project management”.

  45. ok so philosophy = Love of knopwledge. Why do we love knowledge?… To attain a deeper understanding of our lives and ourselves perhaps?
    What if women, who create life within their own bodies for 9 months (not to mention the biological pull of nursing) have by the nature/science of reproduction an intrinsic understanding of life purpose and thereby feel less need to explore it on an objective basis? Just a question folks….

  46. Philosophy is philo – love and sophia – wisdom

    The reasons for desiring to love knowledge are actually manyfold, the teleological reason of trying to obtain a deeper understanding, to me is less satisfying as the intrinsic drive of curiosity.

    Its not that women are less curious then men. Its more that women are less curious than men within the social constraints of a sedentary life style. As a hunter gather group, everyone explored the world around them because everyone was foraging and killing on a daily basis. In terms of creative pondering about the big questions, everyone probably did it, because its a natural extension of human anxieties about insignificance and death.

    In sedentary societies, women were often dead much more often then men because men didn’t have to go through childbirth, which without modern medicine and in the presence of new large scale diseases imported from domesticated animals, was very lethal.

    The only comparably devestating assault on the male population was warmaking, and there were no wars of large enough size to equal the demographic burden of childbirth until at least the 19th century in the West.

    However, as medicine got better, and warcraft got more lethal, the demographics changed and as a result, despite millenia of cultural norms serving to hold the women lucky enough to live for an extended amount of time back, women started rather quickly to take positions in all fields that had previously been male only.

    In countrys where this is not the case? Demographics play a key role.

    Whats left in this country are millenia of norms that are vestigal and probably aren’t going to go away. I’ve seen countless times how men start to talk about philosophy or history, and women sort of back away.

    My thought is that its chiefly normative. History of civilization is really the same as the history of male hegomity. Its not interesting, because all the gender norms associate the behaviors of ruling men with males today. Those women who act as rulers today, tend to take on masculine traits because the normative system associates masculinity with leadership, not because leadership is masculine.

    In reality, human beings are all conditioned to be attracted to strong, confident, muscular partners who look like they’re going to produce good offspring and seem to be capable of living the lifestyle of a hunter-gatherer, one that is largely nomadic, usually fraught with scarcity, and usually quite labor intensive. Therefore the universal traits, like good posture, good bodies, tenacity, assertiveness etc. are always going to appeal to our unconditioned minds.

  47. *Its not interesting to women, because

    *all naturally attracted to strong, confident

    I’m a man by the way lol.

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