Women Don’t Belong in the Public Sphere
Women are better than men socially. They read social cues better than men, are more attentive to the strengths and weaknesses of others, are better at managing relationships, and better at caring for people’s needs. It is impossible to imagine human society without women’s contributions to the private sphere.
Women’s attention to relationships means that women tend to avoid saying or doing things that might cause awkwardness or offense. (On the other hand, women are also capable of much greater cruelty than men, as most of us learned in elementary school.) An implication is that women tend not to care very much whether something is true or right. What they care about is how people will feel if someone says or does it.
This is the source of much inter-gender misunderstanding, but, in itself, it’s neither good nor bad. In public life, however, it’s mainly a problem. For example, the observation that not everyone is capable of the same level of accomplishment since half of people have an IQ under 100, though an obvious and incontrovertible truth, is shocking to a woman’s conscience. Women are constitutionally incapable of giving up on people in that way. That someone is ineducable is for them a motive to invest more time in their teaching. This is exactly the approach you want your wife to take with your children, but applied to public policy it entails all manner of disastrous misallocation of resources: in education, immigration, hiring practices, and so on and on. And women’s participation in public life also degrades the quality of men’s participation. When women are a large part of the public discussion, many men seek to appeal to women, and become less honest themselves.
How ought men really to respond? Let’s consider an example. Last week on In Mala Fide, Simon Grey dismantled a Feministing post which claimed that all women are equally beautiful. Grey’s argument was perfectly sound, but in a sense his engagement with Feministing is pointless. The author of the original post is a woman. Of course she’s going to say absurd things in order to ensure that no one feels bad. We should accept that. Often we ought to praise women for their sensitivities while ignoring their so-called arguments.
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Update: Read Skarphedin’s comments.