April 26, 2008

If Women Ran The World

Mankind would still be living in caves, albeit with really, really fancy curtains;

Women have surpassed men in most areas of education, but men continue to be more numerous in fields like math, physics, and engineering. For more than a decade, feminist groups have been lobbying Congress to address the problem of gender “injustice” in the laboratory. Their efforts are finally bearing fruit. Federal agencies are now poised to begin aggressive gender-equity reviews of math, science, and engineering programs. Groups like the National Organization for Women must be celebrating — but American scientists should brace themselves for the destructive tsunami headed their way.

It's an epiphany I had some years ago, while pondering the engineering behind the luggage carousel at Minneapolis airport, as I waited for my bags. If women ran the world, we would not have the jet engine. It has nothing to do with intellect. It just isn't in our nature to want one.

Posted by Kate at April 26, 2008 12:16 AM

Feminists are also under-represented in the Islamic clergy. Go for it gurls!

Posted by: Shaken at April 26, 2008 1:06 AM

You've got a point there, Kate. Men tend to be the dreamers. The ones that'll spend ridiculous amounts of money and thousand of hours in the pursuit of something cool just to say they did it. Women generally don't seem to have that same drive. It has nothing to do with intelligence... it's just that guys tend to always be on the look out for the next bigger, badder, better thing.

Posted by: Bob at April 26, 2008 1:09 AM

Of course... that being said you're also not likely to hear a woman call out from the bathroom saying "Hey honey! Come in here and look at this before I flush it".

Posted by: bob at April 26, 2008 1:13 AM

Look at computer games, 90% are shoot 'em up, kill the bad guy games, which appeal to boys, what do girls get? Barbie riding a horse. As a female, I like the shoot 'em up games, and think Barbie is lame.

Can women compete in math and science? Absolutely, but they should NOT be given any special consideration.

My first impression was, great, more bridges falling into the river. Not because it was a woman building the bridge, because some women who like sociology think they SHOULD be engineers. Now that is scary!

Posted by: Hunter at April 26, 2008 1:18 AM

Enough already with the male v. female, black v. white, blah, blah, blah, the only interesting questions are: If you want to do math, do you have an aptitude for math? If you want to do science, do you have an aptitude for science? If you want to do engineering, do you have an aptitude for engineering? And the same for every other skilled trade, from basket-weaver to chief executive officer.

It should be purely a matter of merit. And to the degree that there have historically been some a-meritous constraints based on irrelevant collective taxonomizations, well, good, let's get rid of those. People have natural abilities that are related to the structure of the brains and bodies they find themselves with. Fine, let's celebrate that. But only an idiot demands to be something they are not capable of being.

Right, that gets the formalities out of the way. Now if I may return to Kate's critical (in my opinion) point: It just isn't in our nature to want one. Having made allowances for those who deviate with respect to normative aptitude variance as compared to putative taxonomical collectivization, it remains the case that the normative variance between males and females vastly surpasses any putative normative variance between any so-called races.

And so it is in this latter regard that I invite to you celebrate this classic performance of It's a Man's World, by James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti, which if you listen carefully, you will note is a celebration of the normative relationships between the genders, not a denial of any individual's particular merit. The executive summary is: males make things for females and children because males are lost without females and children.

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 26, 2008 1:25 AM

Can women compete in math and science? Absolutely, but they should NOT be given any special consideration.

I've worked with and for many female engineers over the past 25 years and have absolutely no problem (often they're better than their male counterparts, IMO). I probably would have a problem working with/for a woman engineer who got into the business to fill a quota or to "prove a point" cause you just KNOW a certain type would gravitate towards such a thing.

Posted by: PiperPaul at April 26, 2008 1:32 AM

look, here's how I sum it up.

If two women show up a party wearing the same clothes it's a bloody tragedy.

If two guys show up at a party wearing the same clothes, we just figure we got it right.

There is a lot to be said about that difference.

That is why men can work together to get things done and women need a committee to decide how they will study all the possibilities of how they they can pursue and develop the concepts of how they can form the appropriate sub committees to advise them on what needs to be done get the various work groups within the sub committees to vote for the right women to do the polling to produce a consensus with with which they can report their findings to the others so they can recommend what options are available in the area of ideas.

And that is also why women need fifty pairs of shoes and men need two.

Posted by: John V at April 26, 2008 1:56 AM

This is obviously sexist.

On the other hand, look at free software. People doing for free what they enjoy attracts overwhelmingly males (I hesitate to say men). There are a few women, but the exceptions prove the rule.

Most conversations regarding equality in the workplace center around changing the work so women would or could do it.

I wouldn't call women stupid for this. Consider what men have put up with at their workplaces . It takes a woman to bring some sanity (and safety).


Posted by: D Kite at April 26, 2008 2:17 AM

there'd be more of them

Posted by: brian at April 26, 2008 2:17 AM

Government workers are offered free sex changes, so it's not like any of those guys have to lose their jobs.

Posted by: philanthropist at April 26, 2008 2:54 AM

A potential disaster for us in the making. I worked at a firm that had a policy of hiring the best person for the job. It made good decisions, thrived and prospered. Then it adopted a policy of hiring women and first nations individuals who were good enough for the job, leaving the best qualified individuals (WASMPs in most cases)in the sidelines. Aside from being a breach of the unwritten contract of employment at the firm which caused morale to plumet, it has resulted in the firm being less adaptable to market changes it is facing. It has caused some of the best talent to leave. And the firm is being carried more by the best talent than the good enough talent. There have been many missed opportunities and many opporunities pursued but not delivered.
The fear about mandating equal representation of females in any environment, is that they are not the same as men and they are not a good as men at some things. Just as men are not as good as women at others. We should let the best qualified and apt people work where they want to. To interfere with that will change the current equilibrium (not for the better) and retard our progress.
And it will add significant overhead in the form of bureacracy run by ideologues bent on ensuring equal representation, not bent on ensuring quantity and quality of output. Woe is us.

Posted by: rroe at April 26, 2008 3:38 AM

I submit men do great things to impress women, or get the dough to impress women.

But testosterone sometimes works in perverse ways. Why are the jails full of men primarily? Could it be that some men want money to impress women, but are too stupid and lazy to offer anything in return?

If only these greedy men were smarter, they could legally steal money from productive folks ... just by becoming liberal government bureaucrats or product liability lawyers.

Posted by: Freedom Fan at April 26, 2008 3:50 AM

Another consideration might be the safety one.

Males tend to take more risks than females (cue for the anthropologists to chime in), which, if controlled, can result in neat stuff happening. 'Course, there's also that runaway testosterone enthusiasm thing to deal with.

Most females, by nature (am I in "uh-oh" territory here?) generally tend to be more safety-oriented, which, if uncontrolled, can result in 14 airbags in Volvos, government-mandated equal sex representation in JTF2 and no more running with scissors (even the blunt rounded ones they let me use on days out).

Posted by: PiperPaul at April 26, 2008 5:31 AM

I have worked for female supervisors before and all I can say is this: NEVER AGAIN.

Women in the workplace are consumed with pecking orders and petty feuds and dramas. They will gang up like shoolchildren on people they don't like. Put a woman in a management role and often her IQ will drop 50 points. Yes, I know there are exceptions - but they are the exception. And yes, men will do this crap too, but not with the fury and malice that women do.

Contrary to the man-hating lesbians with flat chests and bad haircuts, the sexes are not equal. They are different.

I am trying to turn that one around. What would typify the 'female invention' the way the jet engine does for men?

Posted by: Jim at April 26, 2008 6:32 AM

vitruvius, a liberal progressive will never let a little thing like aptitude get in the way of social engineering. look at the civil service.

Posted by: old white guy at April 26, 2008 7:17 AM

Unfortunately the world will have more Belindas,Hillarys and Rosies with less Margret Thatchers.

Posted by: 1215 at April 26, 2008 7:34 AM

These hypothetical studies about "if only women did things differently that men" are but pointless exercises in self esteem boosting.Where is the science?

Posted by: Howie Meeker at April 26, 2008 8:18 AM

I agree with Vitruvius...women can do anything a man can do (within the limits of their normal physical traits, obviously) AND vice versa, I must add.

A point to make is that (unnamed) studies have shown that the male and female brains work differently. GENERALLY, men have a better handle on spatial, 3D relationships than women, amongst other characteristics. This is the influence of NATURE.

There is also the influence of NURTURE. Men in this culture have historically been the mechanical tinkerers and manual labourers and little boys will follow them around. Women in this culture have been the homemaker and little girls have followed them around.

A combination of NATURE and cultural NURTURE molds men and women into the lines of work that we see them now.

I have NO problem working with or for long as they are competent. I will say EXACTLY the same thing about men, too...I have no problems working with or for them as long as they are competent.

We CAN (and should) do a little bit more about NURTURE, but I posit that there is little we can do about NATURE.

Posted by: Eeyore at April 26, 2008 8:24 AM

Speaking of "good enough" and "significant overhead in the form of bureaucracy", the "diversity" industry is alive and well in our federal public service. Hiring will now be based on a "good enough" criterion and the winning candidates will be chosen in order to reflect the proportion of visible minorities in the general population. So, you, the taxpayer, are no longer entitled to hiring based solely on the merit principle and, furthermore, have the dubious distinction of supporting a diversity industry.

Posted by: :-D at April 26, 2008 8:26 AM

Right on, Kate. I'm a woman, I am strong, I am capable, but I don't have the compulsion to do what a lot of men do: like math, science, engineering, setting out, like Abraham (with his Sarah by his side) to discover new worlds and settle new lands, let alone invent and master computer programs.

The reality is, our biology (a gift, IMHO, as opposed to the feminists' moaning and groaning that it's a limitation, thus the "need" for abortion) determines a great deal of what we are good at and what comes naturally to us. The truth is, men have stronger muscles and lifting power--which doesn't make them "better" than women, just more able to lift tree trunks and other heavy detritus that might be in the way. Men, also, tend to focus on the next five, ten, twenty years and then move tenaciously forward towards that goal, whereas women tend (emphasis on "tend"; there are always exceptions) to pay attention to small, but important, details, often domestic, and excel at multi-tasking. (When my husband used to let me sleep in on Saturday mornings when we had two young children, I'd come downstairs hours later to a total disaster area: nothing put away in the kitchen, dirty dishes everywhere, while he was on the living room floor helping the girls build a LEGO castle. When I'd object, "Couldn't you have at least put the milk away and done a dish or two?" he'd look at me, aghast, and protest, "I'm taking care of the kids," task at a time. Playing's hard work!)

On the other hand, men don't carry babies or nurse them--rather indispensible assets when it comes to having kids. Women multi-task, very successfully, all of the time and are far better at "making a home" than most men (emphasis on "most"; there are always exceptions). That's the way it's been for millennia.

I'm thoroughly sick and tired of the radical feminists' attempts in the past 40 or so years to gender bend us all like pretzels as they press their delusional agenda of an illusory and destructive "equality."

Equality between men and women is a given--women can do most things men can do, and often better--however our priorities are most often very different, and that should be OK. The fembos will use--and have used--the jackboots of the state to insist on eqality of outcome for men and women--a destructive fantasy--and what it has resulted in is a societal disaster, for men, women, and especially children.

Enough said, for now! IMO, when it comes to men and women, Viva la difference!

Posted by: batb at April 26, 2008 8:29 AM

Well...VIVE la difference!

Posted by: batb at April 26, 2008 8:37 AM

Yes, we get it. Most women are lazy and lack ambition. I honestly doubt its most, but if this board is representative, then all women are lazy.

I say most, not all, because some of the worlds most powerful leaders have been women. Ambitious women. Women who have been subjected to intimidation tactics by men whose grip on power has been challenged, and women like yourself, who are happier "making a home". And yes I say that in a derisory way. If you were out working you could pay someone to do your household chores. But its so much easier doing mundane unchallenging work like vaccuuming, than it is to do Math, right.

The irony is that some of you women will insist that you want to spend time with your children, but will bark at the notion that working women should get extended maternity leave. Its kind of like a job envy.

Thankfully, some women have made their presence known. And how. Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Catherine the Great, and of course, Victoria. These are women who were not lazy, who did not lack ambition, and who, without being feminists, would tell you that your "priorities" are a smokeshield for laziness.

For what its worth, the Jet engine was an exigiency of war. And women are not afraid of fighting wars and seeking out the best technologies to win it. Margaret Thatcher comes to mind.

Posted by: bert at April 26, 2008 9:00 AM

Some friends of mine decided they were going to raise their little boy without any gender bias. So when he was a toddler they gave him a doll to play with. Within a few hours he had ripped the head off the doll and was using it as a hockey ball.

They soon gave up their little experiment and realized that boys and girls really are different.

Posted by: Belisarius at April 26, 2008 9:07 AM

bert: "...if this board is representative, then all women are lazy."

EXCUSE ME? What planet do you live on? Or are you just a moron who happens to live on this planet?

Being a full-time mother requires a heck of a lot more than vacuuming, doing the dishes, and wiping kids' noses and bums. When I CHOSE to stay home with my children, I was Mrs. Volunteer in my community and children's school--in fact, one of the few, seeing as so many of the other mothers worked outside the home and had no time to volunteer. For those few years, when I was chief domestic engineer and bottle washer, I've never worked so hard in my life--for no pay and even less esteem in the eyes of the more "enlightened" members of society, like bert.

In fact, in the past 40 years, as women have been Hell-bent-for-leather to hand their domestic chores over to others, including the raising of their children, they've lost considerably in the "power" game. Have you ever heard the old adage, true BTW, that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?

When you hand the reigns of your home over to strangers--who will never, I repeat never, no matter how involved, kind, concerned, or competent they are, have the same heart a mother has for her hearth, home, and kin--you've given over a great deal of your "power" and you often discover, years later, that you've lost any influence you might have had on your children--heck, you've often lost them--and you can't rewind the tape.

It's utter hogwash to jump to the unwarranted conclusion that because women's aptitudes seem to be different from men's that that makes them lazy--or that those of us who believe that men and women happen to be different also think that women are lazy.

bert's the lazy one. His logic is seriously bent. Do a little more work on this, bert. You've got a lot to learn.

Posted by: batb at April 26, 2008 9:24 AM

But if they force fit lots of women into Math, Science and Engineering, won't there be a devastating shortage of students in Women's Victim Studies, Sociology and Feminist English Lit faculties ??

Might have to close some down :)

Posted by: Fred at April 26, 2008 9:37 AM

I'm a woman who works for an engineering company (as an artist! No math for me!) I *hate* what women do in that company. The personnel deparment is all women, of course (first thing they did: change the name to Human Resources). They're forever trying to feminize really straightforward things like performance evaluations. Now, instead of "you did good, here's what I want you to do next" it's a list of goals and growth activities and womany crap like that.

The men try gamely to go along, but they clearly don't feel it. I'm apologetic all the time.

Posted by: S. Weasel at April 26, 2008 9:50 AM

Anecdotal evidence I know,

but pretty much every woman who has ever sat in one of the cars I have owned along the years ( I'm 48 now ) was perplexed as the reason to have a dial indicating engine speed ( tachometer),
their would usually say more or less,

" Why do you need to know the engine speed?
All you need to know is how fast you are going! "

Posted by: Friend of USA at April 26, 2008 10:09 AM

I have worked for female supervisors before and all I can say is this: NEVER AGAIN.

My experience has been different. The women, as a group, have been neither better nor worse as managers than the men. I've had good managers, terrible managers, and average managers of both sexes, and the percentages aren't a whole lot different by sex. That, of course, doesn't mean that the women for whom you worked weren't worse than the men.

Two other observations:

First, in my experience, men, in general, are quite willing to work for women. A substantial minority of women, however, are reluctant to work for other women.

Second, when I was in graduate school (1973 - 1975), approximately 15% of my class was female. Approximately 0% of the elective classes that I took involving any sort of quantitative work was female.

Posted by: Silicon Valley Jim at April 26, 2008 10:16 AM

batb: Bert's just a jerk trolling the site for reactions. Ignore him.

I wanted to say something else in response to Jim's statement of "never again" to work for a woman.

Jim, in my experience, it depends on the industry or job. Women in a historically male career SEEM to try harder to justify their position and can then be b****es to work for...women in other historically "open" careers seem to be more comfortable in their roles.

Another anecdotal observation...women seem to have a hard time working for other women. Instinctive territorial competitiveness, perhaps?

Posted by: Eeyore at April 26, 2008 10:19 AM

I'm betting Bert is either (a) single and never married (or in a co-habiting relationship), (b) currently single after yet another failed relationship (one of many - and can't figure out what's wrong with these women), or (c) is married to some wimp who allows him to derride her and call her "lazy" (or allows him to push her into a job she hates, simply because he sees it as prestigious and makes him a whole lot of money).

My money is on "b" - though "a" is a strong possibility.

P.S. Bert, don't be afraid of the apostrophe; it can be your friend.

Posted by: sjt at April 26, 2008 10:21 AM

The answer is we're wired by God differently -- end of story.
What I've been wondering about is why my wife needs to have 15 different (I've counted them) solutions, soaps, rinses, razors etc. in the shower stall when I need two: shampoo and soap. And if I run out of shampoo, I'll make do with our (common) bar of soap. Answer that one and you'll be my hero!

Posted by: Orlin at April 26, 2008 10:22 AM

This little foray into equalizing the sexes will be unsuccessful. It is not that girls and women are being denied access into these fields. It is that girls and women are (generally) not interested in this type of work. In fact, industries actively recruit female employees to attempt to fill their HR diversity goals.

While working in a non trad field, our company formed a women's group. One of the goals was to increase recruitment and retention of women into trades, technology and engineering etc. One of the problems identified was that girls tend to drop unrequited maths and science at the high school level, closing the door on post secondary education in these fields. Members of our group went to talk at schools to encourage girls to get their high school math and science classes. Even after describing the high wages and opportunities, the general consensus from the girls was that math and sciences are too hard and those types of jobs are too dirty anyway. All the quotas is the world will not change this reality.

So a lot of time and money will be spent by business and bureaucrats to fix a problem that no one is complaining about - except a few feminist agencies.

Posted by: lynnh at April 26, 2008 10:36 AM

The first thing many of my male friends do when they acquire something new is either open it up to look at how it is made and how it works or they test it or compare it to the old one it is replacing.

Most men have the need to observe, measure, calculate, monitor, compare etc...because they need to know how things work, and that is why they tend to come up with improvements or new inventions.

Although most women can understand how things work, they do not usually care.

They care about other things that may be as important but very different.

If the average woman is not fascinated by how - for example - the internal combustion engine produces energy and how much is lost due to friction and so on and so forth,
how can the average woman either come up with improvements on the internal combustion engine or new inventions to replace it?

If one does not care about something how can one can become good at it?

It is not in the nature of most women to need to understand how things work.

Posted by: Friend of USA at April 26, 2008 10:50 AM

I realize that was a simple typo, Lynn, but I love the idea of "unrequited math and sciences." Because that's just how it feels.

I'm enough of a geek to be sorry I'm not good at math and sciences, but there it is. Make brain hurt so ouch.

Posted by: S. Weasel at April 26, 2008 10:51 AM

EQUALITY - the concept that women who choose to pursue careers as (for example) engineers should be treated no better or worse on the basis of their sex than their male counterparts - is fine idea.

EQUITY - the concept that 50% of engineers "must" be women by some sort of legislative fiat - is a ludicrous idea.

Posted by: JJM at April 26, 2008 10:54 AM

If there is really gender injustice in the lab, why would anyone try to fix the inequity by instituting alternate inequities like quotas?

Posted by: glasnost at April 26, 2008 10:58 AM

I guess my question would be,why would women want to compete with men?
The opposing factors in the mental/emotional makeup of the two genders is in my opinion a highly calibrated and delicate mechanism meant to compliment each other.
Women since the beginning of time have held men to account by the very nature of having birthed them and nurtured them from infancy forward to (in my opinion...the grave).
Man comes from the womb, and spends most of his life trying to get back there in some form or other hence the continuation of the renewal of life process.
In this capacity,woman has always held the real power in the scheme of I don't mean in the sense of wielding that power as a club upon man's head but as a subtle means of directing and tempering man's often blind and possibly destructive ambitions.
Simply said the two opposing forces compliment each other and provide a harmonious balance when applied in an intelligent and generous manner.
Why the latter day women's movement looks upon equality of sexes in the light they do,which is to say wrest control from men is a mystery to me in that they never seem satisfied with what they believe they have gained and proceed to want more at the expence of male identity.
One could expand on this 'till tomorrow and not be able to cover all the points but suffice to say that I've seen far to many "sucessful" women who drive a new car,come home to an empty house,have no real family and are competing with a biological clock that is quickly ticking down.
In the end I guess its really all about choosing one's lifestyle...I just don't relish being the victim of somebody's blind zeal.

Posted by: simon at April 26, 2008 11:00 AM

At the time I studied engineering, there were about 1000 students across the 4 undergraduate years at my university. 50 of those students were female and the female failure/drop-out was significantly higher than the corresponding male rate. My own general industry experience confirms this ratio. If one were to choose a ratio of qualified men over women to engineering related job functions, I would place the ratio somewhere between 40-100:1 rather than, say, a more conservative 10:1 even though the lower ratio still presents a problem to politically-correct thinkers.

Within that 40-100:1 ratio, I find it tends to the lower side for less technical issues (less technical from an engineering perspective) and toward the higher number for the more challenging problems. I will elaborate.

I work as a Java Architect. In object oriented software analysis/design/development, tasks are often assigned to different members of the team. Good design is considered the area where the most senior members of a team are assigned. In my experience, the number tends to a lower ratio for tasks such as coding/development and to the higher ratio for design. I suggest the writing of technical books is something the market place assigns to senior people. As one simply peruses the IT section of any bookstore, the authors are overwhelmingly male. (Is the 100:1 ratio too low for this partiular subject?) This phenomenon extends across the IT book-writing space: networks, OS, database, n-tier systems, languages, etc. The ratio only becomes smaller when one moves into less technical territory - such as when the subject crosses the Web middleware space into the Web-site design space.

I think the PC people regard this as the problem itself. However, if they have their way, things will not change fundamentally. In the IT world, the drive to equate the gender ratio within corporations will simply shift the workload to IT consultants. The ratio will be maintained within the consultant domain. I suspect there is a similar story for other disciplines of engineering.

Posted by: Brent Weston at April 26, 2008 11:05 AM

The thing I've hated about working for women is that they always want to have birthday parties and going away parties etc instead of ACTUALLY WORKING.

They also talk about food all day: what they did and didn't eat for breakfast, what they did and didn't eat for lunch, what they will or won't eat for dinner.

I believe most women ARE 'lazy' if you mean staying at home, being supported by a man or the state, rather than going out to work.

That's why they try to make work as much like "home" as possible, with its tea parties, gossip and endless chatter.

I only survived my last office job of three years, surrounded by yacking young women, by buying an iPod and filling my ears with the voices of Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager and other _men_ for 8 hours straight.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 26, 2008 11:11 AM

Glad you enjoyed the error. Alas, typing has never been my strong point and I'm too lazy to proof read. Maybe it is evidence of that lazy woman thing that some poster was babbling about.

Posted by: lynnh at April 26, 2008 11:11 AM

Every so often in history and pretty much in every place on the planet, the shit eventually hits the fan. When that happens it goes down like this ...

Women go and hide with this kids while the men go out and beat the crap out of each other until there is peace in the valley once again. Then the women come out of hiding and start complaining about he mess the have to clean up.

The point is that indeed, men and women are different and are here to play different roles. To try to merge them is an abomination and it will never work. If it ever does, they the next bunch of tough men who show up in your androgynous community will have no problem what-so-ever!

Posted by: John V at April 26, 2008 11:30 AM

I agree with JM v.v. equality vrs equity. The social engineers snuck in this equity thing, and we end up with equality of objective when we only have a "right" to equality of opportunity.

There is an inherent bias in equity application. Everyone can agree that men and women are under represented in many fields (physicists, but also librarians and nurses), but the redress is never aimed at the fields where men are under represented. The bias is that, well there is "unfair" discrination where women are the "victims," but for men it cannot be so.

There are many reasons certain fields do not follow demographic male/female breakdown. Social engineers want to impute some sinister motive, and when they can't produce evidence, they come up with ludicrous terms like "systemic discrimination." If something is systemic, it should be easy to detect.

Discrimination can only be fairly dealt with on a case by case basis. To do otherwise is to unfairly discriminate.

Posted by: Shamrock at April 26, 2008 11:37 AM

Interesting comments.

I would concede that to some extent, aptitudes of men and women vary. Research tends to support this. What has always interested me about gender roles, aptitudes etc. is the historical differences between how these were rewarded. If one agreed that work traditionally taken on by women was just as important to the economy of a society as the work traditionally done by men, there would be no need to engage in a discussion of who is more suited to what work. But because the traditional roles of men and women have created situations of power and economic imbalances in the past, it was natural for women to aspire to roles where the rewards were greater (pay equal to men). It wasn't just the money. It was the autonomy conferred by economic independence. When women found themselves competing with men for jobs that were considered their bailiwick, all sorts of absurdities occurred. First of all, it was very hard for a woman to get hired. The "boys' network" operated very well to exclude women whether they were capable or not. Then, once some of the concepts of feminism took hold, some people took things ridiculously far, claiming that all women could do "all" work, regardless of whether they had the physique or the ability for it. I'm not entirely opposed to affirmative action, but I will admit that, for a time, some inferior women were hired over superior men in the attempt to "redress the wrongs" of the past and to even out the playing field. The problem is that the pendulum has swung too far and it might be time to abandon those practices. Women outnumber men in universities. Boys in school do worse than girls. I think men feel disenfranchised and as a result, many boys are refusing to "play". They see no advantage to pursue an education, or plan for a future with a family because, boys (particularly white males) are now at the bottom of the heap. Every other identifiable group gets first crack at the goodies now. It's unfortunate and is contributing to many problems in our society. We need men to be as healthy, productive and happy as women have tried to claim for themselves through various political pushes and personal effort. You cannot have a successful society by marginalizing any group. Feminists used to mourn the talent that was wasted when intelligent and talented women were afforded no opportunities other than house slaves. Well now, I think we are wasting and losing out on the energy, brilliance and drive in men.

All this discussion is an attempt to respond to the usual troglodytes who would have women aspire to nothing more than doing the laundry, or who would put down the occupations that are still somehow linked to a "proper" woman's role. There's a reason why affirmative action was introduced. Social change does not occur easily. Those in power will never yield power voluntarily. But such practices eventually become obsolete or even counter-productive. There should be a limit.

My final point is that if we had a world where true talent was recognized and rewarded, despite gender, or political correctness or social engineering...where it didn't matter how "connected" you were...where higher education and jobs of every kind--trades, business, professions--were available to everyone with the gumption and the talent to qualify for them, then we wouldn't need to discuss whether a woman should be an engineer or not. Perhaps the time has come where preferential hiring of any kind should be phased out. But if we're still saying that someone would be a poorer engineer (or manager) just because she happens to be female, we maybe haven't come quite far enough yet.

Posted by: rita at April 26, 2008 11:47 AM

As I recall from my advanced theoretical physics courses we had one female in the class. She was of Asian extraction, if that is relevant.

Once, we started giving the prof a little bit of good natured teasing and he returned the fire.

The result was a 47 page derivation calculation by hand. Some of our 'homework' assignments became a pure pursuit of the challenge of solving the equations.

For advanced mind bending it is highly recommended. It does however limit the folk who can appreciate your schtick on the cocktail circuit.

I would agree with the previous posters that women are natural multi-tasking operating systems.

Before Bill Gates and other operating systems the firstand multi-task operating systems were women!!


Hans-Christian Georg Rupprecht BGS, PDP, CFP

Commander in Chief

Frankenstein Battalion

2nd Squadron: Ulanen-(Lancers) Regiment Großherzog Friedrich von Baden(Rheinisches) Nr.7(Saarbrucken)

Knecht Rupprecht Division

Hans Corps

1st Saint Nicolaas Army

Army Group “True North”

Posted by: Hans Rupprecht at April 26, 2008 11:49 AM

Friend of USA; you're absolutely right and it starts young. If you aren't already yourself, any parent can tell you that little boys are far more inclined to rip something apart to see what's in it, or to simply destroy something for no more than the hellish good fun of it.

My brother and I used to do that by pointing our toy racing cars straight at the wall and letting em fly. Mom was p*ssed to be out buying a new set of cars less than a week after Christmas, dad because of the dents in the drywall, and my sister, who kept immaculate care of her toys, thought we were completely insane. When none of them were around, my brother and I of course would have a real good giggle. That was after all the whole point of the exercise.

Posted by: Bob C at April 26, 2008 11:55 AM

"The feminist reformers acknowledge that few science departments are guilty of overt discrimination. They claim, however, that subtle, invisible “unconscious bias” is discouraging talented aspiring women. Therefore, the major focus of the equity movement is to transform the academic culture itself — to make it more attractive to women by rendering science less stressful, less competitive, and less time consuming."
And how, exactly, is this supposed to promote a vibrant, driven and resourceful R&D department in any facet of science? By diverting the attention of those most dedicated to the pursuit of thier research? Or perhaps by loading those who already "give %100" to picking up the slack of those who like the idea of the title but don't feel the stress, competitive nature or time involved is justified?
Just asking, is all.

Posted by: Jan in Alberta at April 26, 2008 12:06 PM

I believe men and women are equivalent but not necessary equal in every field.

Women generally have higher EQ while men higher IQ.

Women have better memory while men better analysis skills.

Men do better at the extreme.. most nobel prizes are men and 95% of jail population are also men.

There is a new book that came out 2 months ago about that: The Sexual Paradox: Extreme Men, Gifted Women and the Real Gender Gap.

Posted by: atheist quebecois separatiste at April 26, 2008 12:46 PM

Hmmm ... in Canada we have the fairly aggressive WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) program. I wouldn't say it has made much difference - in physics anyway - in particular because the number of women going in for the subject was rising before it was instituted.

There are a few capable, indeed very capable, women in physics and mathematics. Whether any amount of government action can increase the number is, in my mind, doubtful, because these subjects are torture to those who don't have well marked ability in them, and enthusiasm for them.

Something like the infantry.

Posted by: John Lewis at April 26, 2008 1:20 PM


Please forgive me if I misinterpret your words, but I get the sense that by your use of "to some extent" and "tends to support this" you're minimizing some profound differences that scientific research has revealed in the last 20 years or so.

As but one example, men and women use completely different parts of their brains to do math. While we don't yet understand fully how that plays out in the real world, if you think of the brain as a computer, we're talking differnces at the level of wiring and base code. It just doesn't get any more fundamental than that.

Posted by: Bob C at April 26, 2008 1:31 PM

Most men have the need to observe, measure, calculate, monitor, compare etc...because they need to know how things work, and that is why they tend to come up with improvements or new inventions.

I switched careers recently after 25 years in engineering, now I'm a "junior" computer (CAD) person working with two younger women more knowledgeable than myself WRT computer modeling.

Guess who's pointing out things like, "well, if you did it this way, we could save a lot of work" and "just because that's the way it was when you got here doesn't mean we can't improve it".

Posted by: PiperPaul at April 26, 2008 1:36 PM

Lemme see if I understand this correctly: we should hire based on the shape of container rather than the contents?

Posted by: Tenebris at April 26, 2008 1:37 PM

Brent, you lost me at: I work as a Java Architect

That's not "real" engineering. I'm talking refinery, hard-hat engineering where the girls can talk sh*t with operators, stare down morons and tell you why a 150# flange can take more than 150 lbs of pressure depending on the operating temperature.

Excuse me, I'm getting excited now.

Posted by: PiperPaul at April 26, 2008 1:46 PM

Bob, I use words like "tend" and "to some extent" because I don't know that the conclusions are yet sufficiently clear. We've only begun looking at genetic configurations and how they might affect such things as behavior and thinking. When you say that men and women use completely different parts of their brains to do math, I can't respond because I haven't seen research to support (or refute) your assertion. And even if it is true, it leads to other questions such as: do all men use the same area of the brain to do math? Or are there variances even within the same gender? And what, if anything, is the significance of that? Does it matter if the location of brain activity varies? And if so, how? Are there similarities in the way brilliant students of both genders reason, or do the difference in the areas of the brain persist?

I taught math for 30 years. Did I notice gender differences? Some--but nothing conclusive. I'll go out on a limb here and say that girls tended to succeed more because they were willing to work harder. However, the similarities between brilliant students of either gender were more pronounced than any differences. They had something extra--an intuition and the ability to draw from all the bits of knowledge to come up with a solution to a problem.

Does the fact that I made mistakes while cutting the laminate for my floor (reversing left and right) mean that I'm genetically incapable? Or that I just need more practice with measuring and using tools--especially because, as a little girl I never messed around with building things or taking things apart. (It just wasn't expected. My brothers got a tool kit for Christmas and I got a doll. I put the doll out in the snow to "die" because I hated her, and coveted my brothers' tools. Is there perhaps something deeply Freudian about that?) I will add though, that there's nothing like wasting a plank (at about $15.00 a pop) to teach you how to do better.

I would be happy to read any references you have on the subject.

Posted by: rita at April 26, 2008 2:02 PM

This topic came up a couple of days ago while a group of us were vacationing in Mexico. We were watching four Mayan Indian men do this cultural act where they climbed a large pole and attached their feet to the end of a rope and while one plays a flute they hang upside down and gradually unwind down to the ground.

I said it must have really impressed their wives ages ago when they excitedly got them away from feeding the kids, getting water, making clothes and all the other myriad tasks that women did and proudly showed them what THEY had accomplished. Some comments must have included, "That's it, that's what you have done all day! What's next, you are going to walk on the moon, yeah, right!" before they wandered away while the guys mumbled, "Still needs a little work, lets make it higher next time with a bigger band."

Later we flew home with our female captain piloting the plane and we didn't get lost as some of the guys warned as I am sure she would ask for directions if she needed them unlike us.

Posted by: Dave at April 26, 2008 2:23 PM


Some friends of mine decided they were going to raise their little boy without any gender bias. So when he was a toddler they gave him a doll to play with. Within a few hours he had ripped the head off the doll and was using it as a hockey ball.

Same thing happend to me one Christmas but I just didn't want to hurt my mom's feelings and stuffed the stupid thing in the closet -- never saw it again.

Posted by: Orlin at April 26, 2008 2:36 PM

It seems to me that the femiNazis have overactive imaginations. They provided no proof of discrimination.

Yet the US gov't is acting as if there is, and is likely to conclude as much even if it finds no evidence whatsoever of discrimination.

Next thing we know, men will be having trouble finding employment in the math, physics and engineering professions and will even find roadblocks to getting into programs of study in such disciplines. This is what will happen once the aggressive, discriminatory "affirmative action" stuff happens as an inevitable result of this push. Imagine... many more women getting into these professions, perhaps many whose hearts probably aren't in it at all. What then? Will our innovations decline in frequency?

Will "affirmative action" end up just placing a lot of women where they really just want to make oodles of money without really doing anything other than going through some motions, etc.?

I'm all for men and women to become all kinds of scientists. But to encourage anyone who really could care less about science to "get into a career in science" just because they belong to a "target group" isn't going to advance science. It's best if we simply make sure it's easy enough for all, without discrimination in any way towards anyone, to get into the profession... if they really, really want to.

Posted by: The Canadian Sentinel at April 26, 2008 2:38 PM

Women have failed as 'mothers' ... and they are failing as 'men' ... so now their demand for 'equality' is confusing.

What do 'women' really want .... because they certainly are not very accomplished in bed ...???!!!!

Posted by: Observant at April 26, 2008 2:41 PM

But to respond to the original point "If women ran the world, we would not have the jet engine. It has nothing to do with intellect. It just isn't in our nature to want one." My nature is such that I appreciate rapid, long distance travel when I can get it. So if women ran the world, is the point of that statement that we would simply not have air transportation? Or that we would have different (and perhaps even better) ways of hopping from one continent to another?

Posted by: rita at April 26, 2008 2:46 PM

The statistical distribution of mathematical ability (and general intelligence)of women is the same as men at the MEAN, but the 'tails' are different; there are many more men at both ends. That is why most geniuses in the pure sciences are men, and why most idiots are male also. Just the way it is.

Posted by: tomdslm at April 26, 2008 2:54 PM

My hideously sexist comment for the day is that Danica Patrick just won her first Indy car race in Japan recently. She is the first woman to ever win one.

This means two things.

1) Danica Patrick whupped every single super-duper Speed Racer dude on the course. They all got beat by a giiiiirrrrrllllll! hee hee! Grrrrls rule!

2) In all the world there is exactly one (1) chick with what it takes to win an Indy race.

She's about five sigmas off the girlie bell curve for racing. Dead center in that curve is the girls in the stands because their boyfriend dragged them there.

Personally I say thank God for that, I hate getting beat at cars by a girl. Guns too.

This concludes The Phantom's sexist comment du jour. Tune in tomorrow when The Phantom says guys can usually lift more weight than girls!

Posted by: The Phantom at April 26, 2008 3:05 PM

One area in which men are greatly under represented is nursing. Yet I haven't seen a massive blitz by feminists to remove the "blatant institutionalized discrimination" which we all know must therefore be rampant in the nursing profession.
From what I've seen, men actually make very good nurses, and I've often said that we should have more of them. It's hard to put a finger on the differences but, particularly in the operating room and critical care environments I'd say that the men who are there are definitely among the stronger performing workers.

Posted by: DrD at April 26, 2008 3:19 PM

I speak from a position of authority about men, because I am one, and about women, because I have lived with one for 25 years.

Men and women are wired differently, in a fundamentally and deeply important way. It is in our root programming that the the important differences exist. Unfortunately, it is considered sexist and demeaning to even express this belief.

Posted by: Woodporter at April 26, 2008 3:30 PM

Women are terrorists!
My dearly beloved wife (35 years -- smartest decision I ever made -- maybe the ONLY smart decision, come to think of it) is coming home after a month away.
I'm throwing out the pizza boxes, the empty beer cans, making the bed, re-arranging all the PILLOWS (what's the story with women and pillows/cushions - whatever they call them?) doing laundry, and generally preparing myself for the accusation that I am inadequate.
And don't ask me about window treatments.
We men would perfectly happy (because we're too stupid to know what happiness really is) living in caves, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and beer cans (are there any other really necessary food groups?) surrounded by useless high-tech gizmos without women.
But, alas, God in His infinite wisdom, knew better.

Posted by: Blodget at April 26, 2008 4:25 PM

tomdslm at April 26, 2008 2:54 PM

What are you a moron? What a stupid thing to say, you ...

Oh wait, I think I see your point.

Posted by: PiperPaul at April 26, 2008 5:21 PM

One area in which men are greatly under represented is nursing.

But not wet ones.

Posted by: PiperPaul at April 26, 2008 5:27 PM

"For those few years, when I was chief domestic engineer and bottle washer, I've never worked so hard in my life"

And a janitor is a sanitary engineer. Heres the deal. Some of the most physically demanding jobs are the zero-low skills ones. You train. You get skills. You get skills, you get a job. Engineers undergo vigorous training. Then they make huge sums of money. If you drop out of school because "Math, science etc" is not for you, then you are plain lazy. And you deserve the correspondingly low salary.

Its great that you are/were a stay at home mom. But when your children grow up, will you go out and get a job and work your way up, or will you sit at home and commend yourself. I am sure you know which one is indicative of ambition and which of laziness.

"It's utter hogwash to jump to the unwarranted conclusion that because women's aptitudes seem to be different from men's that that makes them lazy--or that those of us who believe that men and women happen to be different also think that women are lazy."

The next time you pick up a bottle of Pepsi, just remember that the CEO of that company is a woman. With two children.

How did she do it? By sacrificing time with her children or figuring out a way to make it work? Does it have to be one or the other. Couldnt you get a job that would pay for somebody to do the house maintenance (vacuuming and other such brain numbing chores), giving you more than enough time to spend with your children after work?

If you could afford a maid to come and clean your house, you would have had one.

Women are not inherently lazy and they seem to exhibit the same aptitude as men quite often - the list of such women is immense. Women who claim that they dont have the aptitude on the other hand, are just trying to disguise the reality of their laziness.

Men and women are wired differently? It reminds me of that joke about Margaret Thatcher being the only one with a set of cojones in the British Cabinet.

Angels in the Attic is no longer valid. Train a man or train a woman and they can do the same job. The difference lies in the expectations - men are expected to undergo training and do so more willingly. Women, thanks to your "men and women are different" jargon, tend to see it as an option, and it is laziness, yes, plain laziness, that stops them from doing so.

Posted by: bert at April 26, 2008 5:37 PM

oops. Just scrolled down and saw some wonderful attempts at name-calling. How could I resist?

"I'm betting Bert is either (a) single and never married (or in a co-habiting relationship), (b) currently single after yet another failed relationship (one of many - and can't figure out what's wrong with these women), or (c) is married to some wimp who allows him to derride her and call her "lazy" (or allows him to push her into a job she hates, simply because he sees it as prestigious and makes him a whole lot of money)."

That is just plain funny. Yeah thats what it is. I think women are lazy not because I am surrounded by ambitious women who are go-getters and doing wonderfully well, but because I like deriding lazy women, by whom I am apparently surrounded. What I see has influenced me, and if it was the latter, then I would have agreed with your "wired differently" (with laziness in that wiring) approach. Unfortunately for you, its the former. Not just the ones I am dating. Almost all of them. Diminutive angels in the attic - they are not my style. But thats my opinion. I am quite happy being around women who can hold their own. Not a big fan of the kind who cough up excuses and make up half-baked theories like your own.

Posted by: bert at April 26, 2008 5:54 PM

Kate posted a climate change story a while back about how measurements of deep ocean temperature indicated that the earth was in fact *not* heating up; in response to the data, one of the prominent employees of the global warming narrative asked -- straight faced, apparently, and in the spirit of inquiry -- "where'd all the extra heat go?"

You can see that same feckless illogic that insists, for emotional/professional reasons, on a certain outcome, and then rejects all hard evidence to the contrary, among those who promote gender-parity initiatives in all areas of the hard sciences.

Men aren't smarter than women, or vice versa; that's been settled for all practical purposes, and to the extent that any discussion gets shoehorned into that personal-politics dispute, it's a complete dead end. But the use of Title IX by Congress to force this understanding where it doesn't fit is idiotic. It's simply the case that at the *extreme* tail ends of one particular skill's -- math/spatial ability -- distribution there's more men than women, i.e. more uber-genius men (as opposed to self-described geniuses -- there's millions of those), and, concomitantly, more dummies.

Harvard President Larry Summers was drummed out of his post a few years ago by angry individuals with a purely emotional point to make -- the insisted-upon point being that their emotional point had to be publicly acknowledged by all who disagreed with them, and in the name of social justice, as being the epitome of applied logic. But all Summers did was point out factually in the middle of a long, dry speech that "...if one is talking about physicists at a top twenty-five research university, one is not even talking about people who are two standard deviations from the's talking about people who are three and a half, four standard deviations from the mean, in the one in 5,000, one in 12,000 class. Even small differences will translate into very large differences in the available pool..."

Imagine the sort of people who would shake their heads -- "No. No." -- at such a statement, and then gear up for a decades long institutional war agains such outrageous attempts as Summers' to be, how you say, "reasonable".

It needs to be pointed out, repeatedly if necessary, that the differences at the extreme ends of distributions of a narrow, particular attribute have absolutely nothing to do with toy trucks vs. Barbie, or who's king chimp, or who does the chores; we're talking about minute, Asperger-y tailing ponds trickling out from the production from millions of years of evolution.

Let's hope that emotion and political resentment aren't considered legitimate trump cards to be used against plain old facts.

Posted by: EBD at April 26, 2008 5:58 PM

I have never believed in quotas for anyone, women or "people of colour". It is ruining any country which mandates it. We no longer have the best person for the job, we have whover fits the quota. Feminists are one of the most deadly threats in the western world and,as a woman, I am totally ashamed of them.They don't want equality, they want power and will step on anyone to get it.

Posted by: jo at April 26, 2008 6:07 PM

It is indeed interesting, EBD, that the ratio between the genders regarding what might be called Aspergian personality types, which are known to be related to structural variations in the brain, is of the same order of magnitude as the ratio between the genders regarding aptitudes in areas such as mathematics, physics, and engineering.

I think this raises an interesting question. To what degree are those fields an abstract notion that can possibly be subject to social manipulation, versus to what degree are those fields actually the result of the natural proclivities of those who possess the sort of brain structures which produce those results?

If the fields are more a matter of the result of the efforts of brains of some type, then what sense does it make to push people whose brains aren't of that type into those fields. Wouldn't that just destroy those fields?

Or maybe that's what the extreme genderists want: to destroy
the fields that produce the evidence that prove them wrong.

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 26, 2008 6:17 PM

Hey, Orlin (@10:22 a.m.): I thought you were going to ask why your wife has so many SHOES... ;-)

Why is it that I can't pass a shoe store (all the better if it's discount) without having to have a look-in? Why is it that I have, probably ten times the number of shoes (make that twenty, if we're counting shoes, not pairs) my husband does?

Mystery...even to me!

Posted by: batb at April 26, 2008 6:18 PM

bert- To assume that women stay at home to raise children due to laziness is just plain wrong. To assume that sacrificing time with your children for status in the working world makes one a superior woman is profoundly shallow theory. Both require sacrifice and both require personal commitment. But perhaps you are too intellectually lazy to look beyond your oversimplification of the issue.

Posted by: lynnh at April 26, 2008 6:35 PM

Gotta jump in here with my two cents. Humanity is not an exact thing. Yes, for the most part men and women are "wired" different and the thought processes are different. They are also different physically and I'd personally like to thank God for that too. Saying different does not equate to being better (or worse).

I agree with DrD in the nursing field. It is also the same in the radiation therapist field and I have not seen any reason why men are in the minority.

I guess the bottom line is "Vive la difference".

Posted by: Texas Canuck at April 26, 2008 7:09 PM

Y'know Bert, not all women need to work outside the home to feel fulfilled, or to live up to YOUR expectations. Since I was making a decent living while our kids were at home, we decided that her being home with our kids was a great idea. Of course we could have used more income, but we didn't NEED more income.

Now that the kids are gone, we are fine with her staying at home, traveling with me on trips, and generally keeping our tax bite down. Because we still don't NEED more income. This leaves her to volunteer her time freely with whatever cause she feels can use her not inconsiderable skills.

And by staying out of the work force Bert, after 21 years out, she helps ensure that people of your obvious intellect are free to ask every day "Would you like fries with that?"

Posted by: Sober2ndThought at April 26, 2008 7:11 PM

What, by definition, can a male do that a female can't? Produce sperm. What can a female do that a male can't, by definition? Produce eggs, yes, but more than that. Only chicks have wombs, guys. And since, historically speaking and at least for now, wombs are required for the propagation of the species, one can see how they get special dispensation.

Other than that, the genders are interchangeable upon principle. Even men can nurse a baby (using a cow-tool, though there is some interesting evidence that babys who get no female human milk in the first weeks tend to a higher incidence of certain kinds of problems later in life).

Nevertheless, independent of the principle, it turns out that statistically, even when not constrained by artificial social limitations, there are natural variations between personality types and skill aptitudes, and there are correlations between genders and personality types.

To demand that humans behave a-statistically is folly. Yes we should let everyone roll the dice equally, fair and square. And then we should let the chips fall where they may. But to say that because one doesn't like the natural outcome, thus the game must be fradulently rigged? English has a two word phrase for that: "organized crime".

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 26, 2008 7:55 PM

"To assume that women stay at home to raise children due to laziness is just plain wrong. To assume that sacrificing time with your children for status in the working world makes one a superior woman is profoundly shallow theory. Both require sacrifice and both require personal commitment."

Children remain children till what 17? Then they go off to college. In fact by the time they are 15, they are capable of helping with most chores. There is nothing to stop you from working after that. But to avoid studying math on the basis that you will one day have children and will want to raise them - that is merely an excuse for laziness. There is nothing to stop you from getting trained, taking two decades to raise a child, and getting a job after the child leaves. Instead we have a lot of women who sit back and pat themselves on the back and do absolutely nothing. And attribute it to the fact that they are women and therefore different to men.

The laziness lies not in the raising kids, it lies in the fact that having kids can be used to deflect any criticism about not undergoing training. Training that would later benefit them. I dont doubt that raising kids is difficult. But I do believe that avoiding intensive training is. And not doing anything after they leave home is equally lazy.

"Y'know Bert, not all women need to work outside the home to feel fulfilled, or to live up to YOUR expectations."

Nobody does, frankly speaking. Not men. Not women. You can do nothing all your life and be absolutely content with it. But at the end of the day, the only thing separating you and the man on the moon is the latters ambition and your laziness.

The difference lies in the skills. Technical skills are harder to attain. And laziness is the culprit here.

I like the way you played the "NEED" Angle. Well most men and women who go out and make millions dont NEED more than a certain amout of money. Doesnt stop them though.

Posted by: bert at April 26, 2008 8:55 PM

Vitruvius, statistics mean nothing. Theres a gazillion behavioral pattern problems the moment you try to generate statistics - Hawthorne affects and whatnot. Humans do believe a-statistically. Unless they are dead.

Reminds me of that joke - Statistics are like skirts, they show you everything but do not reveal the important parts.

Posted by: bert at April 26, 2008 8:59 PM

Laziness is not a behavioural trait that I see as correlated to gender.

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 26, 2008 9:01 PM

atheist quebecois separatiste at 12:46 PM

"""""Women generally have higher EQ while men higher IQ."""""

mr queerbeck, you don't appear t understand the difference between EQ & IQ

and no, men do not have higher IQ's, the bell curve for both sexes is the same and appexes at 100

Posted by: GYM at April 26, 2008 9:05 PM


"""" Or that we would have different (and perhaps even better) ways of hopping from one continent to another? """""

thee exact point I'v made many a time:-))))))

Posted by: GYM at April 26, 2008 9:15 PM

No, actually, person who can't rise above the cheap slur of queerbeck and who has no aesthetic sense of how to format comments, the curves are not the same, and it's not the center that's interesting, it's the tails, which are the regions in which individuals with exceptional aptitudes or the lack there of are notable. That these tails may or may not be correlated to gender is essentially irrelevant, unless we are faced with those who would attempt to push those who don't belong in these tails into said space, or to pull those who do belong there out from that space, in the name of some fradulent agenda based on their own personal advancement.

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 26, 2008 9:18 PM

"The difference lies in the skills. Technical skills are harder to attain."

No they aren't. They are hard to attain for those that don't have an aptitude and/or interest. I went technical because it is easier for me "problem solve" than to regurgitate. I'm lazy.

Posted by: ural at April 26, 2008 9:42 PM

Bert, I worked as a technologists for many years so your lecture is misplaced.

Your definition and logic is still wrong. Your definition of lazy is overly simplistic. You are taking one subject (math) and making it the lack if it as the main requirement in your personal opinion of laziness. You then compounding the error by attributing it to only one gender. Do you really not understand how obtuse this makes you sound? There is no consensus on why females are less successful in math and science. It may be teaching methods, social factors or brain wiring. I too would encourage girls to take math and science to keep all future opportunities available but to berate them for not doing so is exceedingly arrogant.

Posted by: lynnh at April 26, 2008 10:06 PM

Here, here, Ural! It's all about an aptitude followed up by decades of study, practice, and hard work, whether or not one is a flautist, historian, or zoologist. One of the keys to happiness is the insight to be lazy enough to work hardest at the things one has an aptitude for and a love of. If one is pulling when one should be pushing, or vice versa, one tends to harvest lesser results.

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 26, 2008 10:07 PM


I can't prove it, but I suspect:

1) In touring a shoe factory, guys would be more interested in the machinery than the shoes coming off the line.

2) Guys have an interest of what's coming off the line at a tool plant ... women don't care to tour one.

3) Neither really care about the line in a winery tour.

Posted by: ural at April 26, 2008 11:26 PM

Gym :-)

This discussion makes me think of my grandmother. When you talk about 3D visualizing, I recall how I could point to a picture of a dress in the Eaton's catalogue, and in a few days, my grandmother would produce the dress, perfectly sized for me. She had no pattern. She just measured and made it. I don't see that much difference between constructing a garment or a cupboard. Except perhaps, you can't insert a dart if the door doesn't hang quite right.

Posted by: rita at April 27, 2008 12:10 AM

That's because when one inserts a dart in a door-frame it's called a shim ;-)

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 27, 2008 1:05 AM


Yes. The enablers were the invention of the printing press and

Just funning.

Do you seriously think that, after almost 70 years after the invention of the jet engine, nothing better has been invented for intercontinental travel because "men ruled the world"?

Posted by: ural at April 27, 2008 1:15 AM


Here's a link to an article that deals with what I was talking about. There's lots more. I got a lot of hits when I googled it.

Since scientists still can't give answers to some of the questions you ask, I hope you'll forgive me for not making an attempt. As far as I read it though, the right left difference is gender specific.

I can only assume that there has to be a reason for this difference, and that both men and women gained some advantage from it. Perhaps the spatial calculations necessary for a hunter to successfully throw a spear at a moving target are more efficiently processed in a specific part of the brain.

If it's to be seen as an advantage, perhaps men gave up something for it, something that works to the mental advantage of women. Why is it that they are generally far better at organizing things than men? Why do so many guys have trouble getting out of the house with a matching pair of socks?

I'm no scientist, but as I see it, there is only one world out there, yet pollsters have recorded ad infinitum how differently men and women see it, think about it, and react to it.

To use a computer analogy, if two computers react differently to the same data feed, the answer as to why lies within the computers.

Posted by: bob c at April 27, 2008 2:04 AM

"I don't see that much difference between constructing a garment or a cupboard."

I believe you - since you have done neither. For me ... it's impossible to do what your Granny did. A cupboard - no problem. When Granddad or Dad were alive my role wasn't to point out things in catalogs - it was to help (if you can call it that) with what ever they were doing ... including cupboards.

Posted by: ural at April 27, 2008 2:08 AM

Wait a minute, Bob, you mean my socks are supposed to match? Look, I've already agreed to trim my beard so as not to frighten the children, but really what do you people want from me?

And on that note ;-) thanks for interlocution folks, as always, great discussion this one, and as always thanks to our lovely and gracious hostess Miss Kate, without whom these exercises would not be possible. Thus so it is that I wish y'all the best, and good night.

Posted by: Vitruvius at April 27, 2008 2:19 AM

Not sure how this adds to the debate but thought I'd throw it in anyways.

A year or so ago I was doing my rescue certification for scuba diving. One exercise required me to drag an "unconscious" person from the water to shore and perform artificial respiration from the water to shore.

As I exited the water, a number of people raced to assist me (assuming there was a real problem). My unconscious diver held his head up and told everyone to back off as he wanted me to do this myself. I did, but had he really been in difficulty, he'd have probably died by the time I hauled his ass to shore.

The next time I did the exercise, as I approached shore, I called to people on the shore and said "I need help. You, take his left arm and you, take his right. I want him up there where I can work on him and I want you to call for an ambulance." I had to beat helpers off with a stick and ended up assigning others to legs. Of course I corrected them quickly that this wasn't a real emergency but I got what I neede done. And I passed the exercise. The instructor noted that I was really good at telling others what to do and getting them to do just that.

There is more than one way to skin a cat...

Posted by: mmm at April 27, 2008 2:57 AM

Thanks to Kate, too, for allowing a free range of discussion on a topic the fembos have declared closed. It is, as we can see, far from closed.

I'm with Orlin on this one: "The answer is we're wired by God differently -- end of story."

From the millennia-old Judeo-Christian Scriptures, whose God, and inspired writers, were no slouches: "Male and female, He created them."

If men and women were intended for the same roles and were supposed to do all the same things in the same way, God--Nature for those who don't believe in the Deity--would have created an androgenous version of humanity. He didn't. He created us male and female to complement one another (go ahead: we can compliment each other, too!).

Until the fembos came along with the idea--emphasis on IDEA as opposed to reality--of an androgenous human (I guess they'd call it huwoman), humankind was moving along quite nicely, thank you. I'd say they've set us back. 'So much for "progress."

Posted by: batb at April 27, 2008 8:05 AM

Correction to above post:

androgynous human (I guess they'd call it huwomyn)

That "y" is all-important. It turns a gender-specific female into a gender-neutral android.

No thanks, Gloria Steinem, Judy Rebick, et al.

Posted by: batb at April 27, 2008 8:19 AM

I am only taking that one subject because batb mentioned it as something she did not like BECAUSE she was a woman.

"There is no consensus on why females are less successful in math and science."

And here I disagree. Women are NOT less successful at any subject. The ones who take these subjects do well in them. Most women don't. They avoid these subjects not because they are incapable of doing them but because of people like batb who will no doubt leave her daughter under the impression that studying these subjects is for boys. That is very different from not doing the subject because you do not have the intellectual capacity for it.

The former provides a readymade excuse for not doing anything and there will be no motivation to find somehting she is good at. The latter will more likely result in the girl establishing what she is good at and continuing. It is the setting of ambition at a very early stage that counts here. Successful women are the ones in whom drive is encouraged at a young age. They are told "you can achieve anything", not "its okay, most girls dont understand that".

Obtuse or not, I think its fair to say that when men and women are exposed to the same opportunities and have the same drive and training, the outcome is largely the same.

Hiding behind the "I am a woman, therefore I cannot do (math/science etc)" - that is just plain laziness. If you are a techie, as you claim, and I am sure you have female friends who are as smart/smarter than you who are doing absolutely nothing, try and figure out what the difference between you and them is. When did they stop and why?

And I suspect you will find a lot of "God wired me differently" talk amongst them. But that doesnt take away the fact that they are smart and capable, and would probably succeed. Unfortunately being surrounded by readymade excuses is just that much easier, especially when you don't NEED more money.

Posted by: bert at April 27, 2008 9:04 AM


Posted by: batb at April 27, 2008 9:48 AM

bert: do the world a favor and just stay away from women.Please do not propigate and make any more idiots like yourself.

Posted by: eliza at April 27, 2008 10:47 AM

Thanks Bob. I did look up the article you mentioned and other related articles. It seems that although brain activity occurred in different areas for men and women doing the same tasks (thus suggesting that male and female brains are wired differently) both genders seemed able to accomplish the tasks. The study was done with 30 adults which is not a huge sample but certainly interesting. Looks like we're not at the point of analyzing or explaining these differences, but I agree that this is important knowledge and points the way to further study. When more boys than girls have problems with autism or ADHD, and when more women than men are subject to depressive illness, understanding these differences might offer some clues to treatment and prevention.

It has never concerned me that research should show differences between genders or among races. There have been efforts at times, to suppress such information in the interests of political correctness but merely saying "it ain't so" doesn't change the facts. Problems occur when this research is used to justify placing people in "lesser" categories and thereby excusing repressive or discriminatory practices. To be told I couldn't be promoted to a management position because I was doing so well as a secretary (my boss didn't want to have to train another one) and that women were so "good at repetition and detail work" and so "poor" at seeing the big picture, was no longer just a matter of so-called research. It was a career limiting myth. (Fortunately, it propelled me out of that career path into a better one.) So, while it doesn't bother me to discover that men might be better at spatial relationships than women, it would bother me if that information were used to deny a woman access to training or a job that she would be quite capable of doing--and doing well. Or even worse, determining that the jobs that women might be capable of doing better than men are not worth as much in terms of pay because they are considered "women's" work--not because of the skills required or their value to the employer.

Posted by: rita at April 27, 2008 11:02 AM

Ural, while I have never built a cupboard, I took a brief woodworking course and built one of those step stools that first year shop class students make. I still have it and am intensely proud of it. It's solid. It's level. And because I'm short, I use it nearly every day. This activity gave me profound respect for anyone who can build something--from framing a room in the basement to cabinets (which is surely an art form). For years, I made most of my clothes but I used patterns. Unlike my grandmother, there was no way I could have proceeded without.

I am proud of my ancestral women who spun, knitted, sewed and generally kept their families clothed and looking decent--all while growing gardens and canning produce to keep them fed. Equally, I admire my ancestral men who built houses and barns, grew crops and took care of large animals. They all managed to make a lot from not much. If circumstances had been different, I expect those men and women could have adapted to roles that were different from the usual. My grandfather assembled harnesses for his horses and my grandmother built a chicken coop. Obviously men can be good tailors and women can be good carpenters. It just happens that I'm not particularly good at either. ;-)

Posted by: rita at April 27, 2008 11:18 AM

No, bert, not taking math/science because you do not enjoy it is not a sign of laziness. No more so than not taking music classes. Regardless of whether I am wired as tone deaf or just do not enjoy music - not pursuing music does not make me lazy. It is just a preference that shows the uniqueness of individuals. I could be trained to play music but I would still show no fondness for it so those careers are best left to people who have a passion for it.

Posted by: lynnh at April 27, 2008 11:33 AM

I'm not sure if women ran the world we wouldn't have jet engines. I do wonder, though, if women ran the world, would the pickup truck have been invented?

Posted by: Shamrock at April 27, 2008 12:43 PM

Lemme see if I understand this correctly: we should hire based on the shape of container rather than the contents?


Yes that is exactly what feminists (and many leftists) want but isn't it funny that is exactly how a lot of women ( not ALL women ) chose what they buy?

They do not read the content/ingredient,
they buy the product because it has a nice packaging/shape/color/smell that appeals to them.

And if it appeals to them, then they do not care about the price, and that is why a lot of women stuff is overpriced!

I pay $6.99 for 750 ml of first cold press pure olive oil - the best olive oil - in the big ugly square bottle.

and most women I know go for the 4 times more expensive oils which are not even of first cold press quality but come in cute little bottles with either a shinny and romantic label or a fancy little ribbon!

Content versus container!

Posted by: Friend of USA at April 27, 2008 1:24 PM

Someone mentioned their grand mother could make a dress just by looking at the photo in a catalog and then compared this to men building cupboards...


Was the grand mother fascinated by the internal workings of the sewing machine?

Could she have replaced a broken part herself inside the sewing machine or would she have called a man to do it?

Who designs, builds and repairs sewing machines, men or women?

Posted by: Friend of USA at April 27, 2008 1:37 PM

"I could be trained to play music but I would still show no fondness for it so those careers are best left to people who have a passion for it."

Agreed, but passion comes through exposure. You will never know if you like playing the violin until you play it. Herein lies the difference. I contend that both boys and girls have to make that initial attempt. Granted boys are more likely to because they know they are expected to become breadwinners at some point, while girls may imitate their stay at home moms, but what it really boils down to is that willingness to make an initial effort. And that is laziness.

There is a difference between you not becoming a musician because you dont like it, and you not becoming a musician because you were never bothered enough to try it. That latter failure can be attributed to only a few things, chief amongst them laziness. This is not to suggest that everyone should undergo musical training, but one must encourage youngsters to try whatever they wish to, rather than encourage apathy by pointedly telling them that as girls, they are not likely to succeed because they are wired differently.

The point being that women are as capable of inventing jet engines as men.

But dont hold your breath waiting for batb or Kate to achieve anything more worthwhile than make clean things. Apparently that is all women are wired to do.

Posted by: bert at April 27, 2008 2:11 PM

The point being that women are as capable of inventing jet engines as men.

Capable? yes...

Interested? NO.

Posted by: Friend of USA at April 27, 2008 2:23 PM

We would probibly end up with pink as our national colors and with a chicken as our national emblem and with AGE OF AQUARIUS as our national anthem

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at April 27, 2008 6:14 PM

"Capable? yes...

Interested? NO."

Moot point. The same can apply to any number of men. Has nothing to do with being a woman.

"We would probibly end up with pink as our national colors and with a chicken as our national emblem and with AGE OF AQUARIUS as our national anthem"

I think you have mistaken women for hippies.

Posted by: bert at April 28, 2008 8:01 AM

"Blah, blah...blah, blah, blah."

More meaningless hypotheticals and generalizations. Ability doesn't matter one whit if nothing gets accomplished. In the real grown-up world, you make your name based on what you do. Male, female, whatever (LGBT, pick your label) are all worthless if their abilities aren't employed toward acheivement.

Especially apparent in the western world where virtually every career field is open competition to both genders, the continued disparity in the workforce demonstrates that there is a fundamental difference between men and women. The nature of that difference has not yet been quantified to my satisfaction by any "research", but it is empirically verifiable nonetheless. Perhaps conventional wisdom (gasp!) is once again the most correct.

Posted by: Dr. Feelgood at April 28, 2008 10:28 AM

Let's not forget "Equal pay for work of EQUAL VALUE", now that one is a true gem....


Posted by: jcl at April 28, 2008 11:15 AM

Posted by: Newdow at April 28, 2008 2:01 PM

Conservatives r dopes.

Posted by: Newdow at April 28, 2008 2:03 PM

I actually have a post written up and post-dated for tonight on the very same subject. I've been reading Camille Paglia's essay on "Homosexuality at the Fin de Siecle" and she argues that it is "aggressive male lust" which has built civilization. Women separated from men stagnate spiritually and intellectually. Feminists despise her, but Paglia is always an entertaining read. :)

I'll link this post up with mine tonight when I publish it.

Posted by: J. Wesley at April 28, 2008 3:09 PM

I'll believe feminists are honest and objective when they demand that women comprise 50 percent of all roofers, long-haul truckers, electrical powerline installers, oil rig workers, welders, crane operators, miners, bomb technicians, hazmat divers, auto mechanics, ....well, you get the idea.

Amazing how these same feminists demand that women comprise 50 percent of all the air-conditioned office jobs in various kinds of management.

I've presented this picture of 'full equality' to several adament feminists who without exception looked perplexed. Odd how they could miss something so obvious.

Posted by: Zimmy at April 28, 2008 11:19 PM

If ALEXANDRA Fleming had found that moldy orange on HER desk, we would never have had pennicillin, because she would have exclaimed, "EEEWWWWWW! ! !" and tossed the orange in the trash.

Posted by: Roderick Reilly at April 29, 2008 5:23 PM

The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think.

Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women.

They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

Posted by: harry flashman at April 30, 2008 4:47 AM

"Although most women can understand how things work, they do not usually care."

Days late here but I couldn't resist. The quote above here is precisily why women vote NDP and Liberal.

Posted by: Play'nWitYoMomma at April 30, 2008 4:24 PM