The ownership society: men own the womb

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5 comments posted
Extreme dualism

Women reproduce through biology. Men through culture. You say.

Humans are but one of hundreds of thousands of species of animals, most of which have both females and males. And in many, many of these species females give birth not males. Fertilization is internal.

Following your logic males in those species does not reproduce - since they do not give birth and animals does no transmit culture (with a few exceptions).

I think that both males and females reproduce biologically. And both men and women "reproduce" culturally.

You use the word 'meme'. This term was coined by Richard Dawkins, I assume therefore that you are also aware of the concept of genes, which might be usefull in understanding why also males reproduce biologically. Sure enough in our species, much of the process is internal, inside womens wombs. They have, so to speak, the necessary "plumbing".

But to say that men does not reproduce biologically just foster the esoteric dualism that men are somehow closer to the Heavens and women closer to Earth.

Lion's picture
Posted by Lion (not verified) on 19 May 2005 - 9:21am
Don't misunderestimate culture

I did not come up with the theory. Nor did I assert that men had no role in reproduction. You also assume that there is no culture in the animal world. I wonder about that. Do they not learn from each other?

Nevertheless, there's no doubting that the main institutions of power in the world are patriarchies where men assert some sort of lasting legacy on the world. The womb-like structures of the Church, for example -- an institution where controlling and restricting women seems to be a primary concern. Historically the female impact upon culture goes unnoticed. Perhaps it is largely unnoticeable.

Few women have ruled kingdoms. Until recently, the men made history and the men wrote history. We look at the founding of the United States, for example, and the only woman mentioned is Betsy Ross.

As for more on men's cultural reproduction, I leave that to the anthropologists who've been writing about this. What's at issue here is men's attempt to control the woman's biology. That is the agenda of the conservatives and their "strict father" view of the world. Chalk it up to control through culture, or simply to the male insecurity of not knowing if they really sired their children. It's a problem, based in male psychology and male culture, that flies in the face of women's equality that our society supposedly celebrates and honors.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 19 May 2005 - 11:44am
Makes more sense now

The way you wrote it first was quite different and, in my opinion, very oversimplified.

Of course, your are right that a man has an evolutionary interest in making sure he sires his offspring. That is his way of passing on his genes. Maybe you could even say that it is his genes that "have this interest" since they go on, but when the man is dead - he is dead, and, from an existentialist point of view, does not need to care.

The good thing for a woman is that she is always sure that she is the biological mother, the trade-off is, and in nature there are always trade-offs, that she has to do a disproportionally big part of the work. Of course, women as well as men have evolutionary interests. Sometimes the interests are aligned already in nature, indeed most of the time.

Sometimes the interests conflict, and cultural constructs, such as marriage can be seen as trying to remedy this situation.

To simply reduce this to a problem of male psychology, is to overlook, I think, our long evolutionary history.

Lion's picture
Posted by Lion (not verified) on 20 May 2005 - 8:42am
Makes more sense now

The way you wrote it first was quite different and, in my opinion, very oversimplified.

Of course, your are right that a man has an evolutionary interest in making sure he sires his offspring. That is his way of passing on his genes. Maybe you could even say that it is his genes that "have this interest" since they go on, but when the man is dead - he is dead, and, from an existentialist point of view, does not need to care.

The good thing for a woman is that she is always sure that she is the biological mother, the trade-off is, and in nature there are always trade-offs, that she has to do a disproportionally big part of the work. Of course, women as well as men have evolutionary interests. Sometimes the interests are aligned already in nature, indeed most of the time.

Sometimes the interests conflict, and cultural constructs, such as marriage can be seen as trying to remedy this situation.

To simply reduce this to a problem of male psychology, is to overlook, I think, our long evolutionary history.

Lion's picture
Posted by Lion (not verified) on 20 May 2005 - 8:45am
Trapped in the spam filter

Sorry your comment was caught.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 20 May 2005 - 10:46am