You don’t need to look at
all the cars, guns and enormous phallic spires with bells on the end around the
place to realise the world is pretty cock-heavy at the moment.
So much of the world today
is made to fit male requirements and public debate seems to be mainly made
among men. On top of this there is mounting pressure on everyone, especially
women, to look flawless.
Many women are scared to
poke their head over the parapet in serious debate lest they get shot down for
wearing the wrong lipstick. Along with fluffing their chance there’s the worry
they’ve now ruined it for any other woman to have a go. The men humour the
silly dear and then get back to the ‘real decisions.’
Even putting old farty
gender discrimination aside, should someone be attractive in order for us to
listen to them? Let alone reasonable, is that even rational? If school taught
me one thing, it was that the prettier the girl, the less you remember about
what she said.
Much worse than making women
feel undervalued, or even unvalued, the biggest crime in this imbalance is that
we so often fail to benefit from women’s wisdom; the wisdom of stoicism, of
oppression and the wisdom of maternity.
A remarkable woman, who manages to
be a patient and generous mother to four people, dedicated and respected in her
workplace as well as managing to find time to keep one step ahead of the mob in
two of her passions; fashion and music; my mother, although she’d never feel
like this, is a woman who somehow gets it right.
Although I’m sure it’s natural to
believe that your mum is the greatest, she’s the most intelligent person I
That’s not to say that my father
isn’t also an extremely canny, quick-witted and organised man but his realm is
more facts and figures, science and geography. This was what I was always led
to believe was a ‘masculine’ intelligence
There are many associations
made about types of intelligence, if you can’t take apart a Rolls Royce Merlin
engine and name every Premiership goalkeeper since 92 then you’re not a real
man. Equally if you can’t feed ten from scratch while knitting jumpers for them
all (looking effortlessly fuckable the whole time) then you’re not a proper
woman. We pin unwieldy expectations on both sexes.
These assumptions are made
based on outdated models of intelligence. Learning is not just remembering
facts, as our archaic school system seems to dictate. The ‘emotional’
intelligence, which always seems to be portrayed as feminine and unsure, is
very often lacking from our collective judgements.
Another great woman I know
is constantly berating herself for changing her mind as if this makes her less
intelligent. Being flexible and adapting is what proper intelligence is. There
is nothing stupider than thinking that you know it all. Unwillingness to learn
is the opposite of intelligence.
Even if we look at our
biology there are further clues that we are not as clever as we think we are
with men in the driving seat. The different ways that we have sex hold clues
that a woman’s perspective might be worth considering a little deeper. Men
traditionally always impart something whereas women take something on board,
isn’t that interesting?
Fast isn’t always better
than slow and getting there first won’t always make you a winner, eh lads?
Competition is great, indeed
survival requires it, but I think we might be a little more evolved than
settling for that. It isn’t everything.
Business is a big part of
life, but it is not life, just like men aren’t the only humans. The capitalist
model is based on this old-fashioned ‘masculine’ model. If more value was
placed in the work that women do than they could perhaps gain better economical
recognition and we would see more women in positions of power.
The off-the-shelf excuse for
the disparity in how the sexes are treated in employment is always that women
‘go off and have babies.’ Indeed many do. I fear we might be looking at this
the wrong way though.
Perhaps women aren’t ‘going
off’ and having babies. Perhaps nurturing and educating people is the main
event and all that other stuff is ‘going off’.
Perhaps if the bearing and
upbringing of human beings was not seen as a distraction from the real work
then our lives might be in a better place.