Men Vs Women, the philosophical race
I find myself wondering if Women have a harder time coming to terms with themselves than Men do. I wonder why that is and although I can only guess I believe it is our culture that is holding women back. I do not believe they are different enough physically from men to warrent sex being a reason for this.
I realise this is a potentially hazardous topic so I will try and keep it impartial, and I would like to say upfront that I have no shovanist tendencies, nor am I a woman hater, oh and for completeness, i'm not gay either, anyway...
In today's western society, I would say that women are under a different form of pressure to men. I think that 75% of all advertising is aimed at women. I would have said more but in recent years the balance has started to move, with weekly mens magazines, hair dye for men and such.
Despite the sexual equality movements since the 60's, things still aren't equal for women, infact recently they appear to have regressed. It is unfortunate that women are still likely to spend more time at home, more time watching TV, more time shopping. I feel they are the subject, context, and audience for the mass media machine (which is mostly driven by men).
It's a neat trick actually, equality for women is not actually being driven by women. Men are deciding what is equal, and of course the equality they see will never actually be equal. So despite years of fighting, and despite women outperforming men at school and at university, around me I see women who are married off young, turned into baby factories and never achieve their potential.
On the flip side, men generally do badly at school, swan through uni, and then through "old boy" networks end up, incompetent but in the best jobs. If women do return to work, they generally go into the stereotypical industries; teaching or nursing (children, disabled, old people)
So advertising in general, and men at large are keeping women down, stopping them from competing on a level paying field with men while trying to convince women that they are getting a fair share. I feel that advertising, media, and commercial stereotypes make women more materialistic than men, and provide them with countless excuses for for their sex.
Women are of course physically different to men, but The differences in the brain are negligable. They have to be only small or women would not be able to compete in the same world as men, running the same operating system and programs, to take a computer analogy.
It is often said that women are at the beckon call of their hormones, however they are still humans, and we are largely beings that exist in our thoughts rather than at the mercy of our physical state. Hormones play a big part in both male and female anatomies, and while it can be said that women have more to gain/and lose from abiding by their bodily cycles, their brains still sit as a layer above all of this.
In my experience I find that women do not compare to men when we are looking at the understanding of the self, to me women seem trapped by their egos to an extent that is far greater than in men. I also feel that Women would find it more difficult to transcend the ego then men do because of pressures on them for their looks, their weight, and their material possesions.
Why is this?
I believe in the idea of thoughts/motivations being passed through genes to a new generation. If we are subject to both the nature and nurture influences, then your parents are responsible in more than one way for your samskaras (sandbanks in the mind) which govern your actions, thoughts and influences according to yoga. So a child with open minded parents will have an open mind and vise versa, but there is a definate sex difference here.
The way you are brought up is paramount in the way your adult life will develop, and if your parents look to their parents for clues on how to bring up children, then stereotypes will be enforced in the kids. These will typically be how you were brought up yourself less your experiences in the world. In the western world today then we should be seeing that women are a percentage less like their parents every generation, and as equality only really started to be taken up on a large scale about 30 years ago, we are at about the right place now to observe the status of equality that we see.
It is my experience that women are less likely to turn to philosophy and enlightenment than men. It feels like it is a subject that they have no interest in. This in itself is a puzzle, but may also be to do with the way we are brought up, boys on the whole are encorraged to ask questions, and to solve problems, girls are not. In adulthood, men see this subject as a challenge, and many tackle it. I think women on the other hand tend to see it as a subject for men, and a subject that does not help them in their lives. Conversely women are encorraged to use there feelings and emotions as a primary guide in life, and men are are not.
If you look at a philosophy, any will do, emotion is largely a factor to be removed and is seen as a negative influence in our lives, but this is what women are taught to trust over logic! I find that because of this belief that emotion rules over logic that women can seem to men, to be hypocrytical, selfish, and illogical. That is not to say emotion is the enemy, but the belief that emotion is right is a mistake.
Now most philosophies have been written by men, and we as a race have never had a female messiah, and I of course am a man. So i am probably weighing to much on the bloke side of things without realising it, if you are a female reader, and you are offended or upset, i appologise to you.
I feel men are way ahead in the philosophy race, and always have been; sadly. I think women have a lot of catching up to do and I sincerely hope they do, and fast. I know their inputs would be as valuable as any mans, and possibly more so as they would bring new insight to the table, and insight from a different perspective.
On a world stage, we all need to develop in so many ways, equality of the sexes is just one item in a long list, but quite a crucial one I think. Society must change to accomodate women more, and change to the benefit of all mankind, I am fast turning against capitalism as a side note, It is responsible for keeping women down as well.
Is there anything us men can do to to help individually? I don't know, I have tried to encorrage my girlfriend to get interested, and it has pushed her futher away.
My final word here is that I want everyone to be a philosopher, I want everyone to marvel at the question why? I want us to move on as individuals, as a society in the west/east/north/south, and as a race. A race that at the moment has potential but refuses to see it.