Are men and women inherently different? (Feminism debate)

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Koalifications
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So men and women are treated very differently by society as a result of gender roles. My question is whether you guys think this is because they are inherently different, or whether this is how society has sculpted them to be. For example, whereas men can be charged with raping a woman, women cannot be charged with raping a man legally, even if they have (in society's eyes) done so - only sexual assault (check online if you don't believe me).

In cases where male pedophiles prey on young, teenage girls, there is far more furore than if females did it to young, teenage boys. This can be shown in the way, whereas the female victim would be seen as having been exploited and abused (as she unfortunately has been), people often say the teenage male victim wanted it and was lucky - not realising the long-lasting implications it could psychologically, sub-consciously have on him. My question is whether you think this is because how society wrongly treat men and women in sculpting their roles, or whether they are inherently different as genders and thus we should treat, for example, male rapists more harshly than female ones, even though it's the same crime, just because of how men can be seen in some ways as more exploitative/superior?

PS: This isn't me trying to start a fight, I'm genuinely interested. I do believe in gender equality, but I'm interested in whether any feminists would say consistently that men are equal to women on every level, even though, for example, men tend to be on average more muscular/stronger naturally than women, or women being more motherly than men. Thoughts/feelings on this topic of gender? And are you a feminist - why/why not?
Last edited by Koalifications; 1 year ago
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londonmyst
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I'm female and not a feminist.
I think that biology, national history, widespread societal attitudes, laws, family tradition and personal religious preferences- all play a role.
Mix of nature, nurture, socio-culture landscape and personal preference.
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bimbibap
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(Original post by Koalifications)
So men and women are treated very differently by society as a result of gender roles. My question is whether you guys think this is because they are inherently different, or whether this is how society has sculpted them to be. For example, whereas men can be charged with raping a woman, women cannot be charged with raping a man legally, even if they have (in society's eyes) done so - only sexual assault (check online if you don't believe me).

In cases where male pedophiles prey on young, teenage girls, there is far more furore than if females did it to young, teenage boys. This can be shown in the way, whereas the female victim would be seen as having been exploited and abused (as she unfortunately has been), people often say the teenage male victim wanted it and was lucky - not realising the long-lasting implications it could psychologically, sub-consciously have on him. My question is whether you think this is because how society wrongly treat men and women in sculpting their roles, or whether they are inherently different as genders and thus we should treat, for example, male rapists more harshly than female ones, even though it's the same crime, just because of how men can be seen in some ways as more exploitative/superior?

PS: This isn't me trying to start a fight, I'm genuinely interested. I do believe in gender equality, but I'm interested in whether any feminists would say consistently that men are equal to women on every level, even though, for example, men tend to be on average more muscular/stronger naturally than women, or women being more motherly than men. Thoughts/feelings on this topic of gender? And are you a feminist - why/why not?
I think dichotomies such as this are futile as it’s usually more complex. All this does is divide the argument by a line that is impossible to defend. In life you will rarely find a thing that can be boiled down to have been caused by one thing. But instead many different things put together.

Also are woman are more motherly than men? Well I would say as much as men are more fatherly than woman.
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goggleyed
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obviously

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Ascend
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There are many different feminisms, none of which makes the claim that men and women are exactly alike and not biologically different.

Liberal feminism started with the opposition to "any approach to politics that turns morally irrelevant differences into systematic sources of social hierarchy" (Martha Nussbaum, my emphasis). In other words, however we identify inherent differences the point is to question just how relevant they are in granting the sexes fair treatment.

Later feminisms started looking more deeply into those social hierarchies ( 'the personal is political' ) but have kept the same basic principle. Your example here...

(Original post by Koalifications)
In cases where male pedophiles prey on young, teenage girls, there is far more furore than if females did it to young, teenage boys. This can be shown in the way, whereas the female victim would be seen as having been exploited and abused (as she unfortunately has been), people often say the teenage male victim wanted it and was lucky - not realising the long-lasting implications it could psychologically, sub-consciously have on him.
... is explained by modern feminists through the lens of patriarchal attitudes. In this case, the notion that males are supposed to be dominant in their masculinity while females are submissive in their femininity.

Whether this is down to some generally embedded biological differences or is purely a social construct or a mixture of both, it really doesn't matter because - going back to the point made above - it's a morally irrelevant difference; in this case, both male and female victims will suffer.

(Original post by Koalifications)
For example, whereas men can be charged with raping a woman, women cannot be charged with raping a man legally, even if they have (in society's eyes) done so - only sexual assault (check online if you don't believe me).
This attitude is shifting along with the language. In America, feminists have led the effort to change such antiquated laws and the FBI have now redefined rape to include male rape (including "envelopment" - being forced to penetrate). In the UK, while the language is still inconsistent, the 2003 Sexual Offenses Act has all but ensured fairer legal measures.
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Pinkisk
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Points of interest: The technical term that you are looking for is social construction. This is one of the fundamental principles of feminism. It rests on the idea that men and women are not products of biology but rather socialisation. Feminism claims that we are all born androgynous (without sex) and that there is no such thing as man or woman. This is their ideal. This is one of the many reasons why many of them have the bowel and bald haircuts...to appear androgynous.

Is this feminist ideal true? No. Of course not. Women and men are patently different in billions of ways that render them unique. They have different needs, strengths and limitations that complement each other. Women and men are highly dependent on each other. This dependency draws us to each other. Our differences and our dependencies are essential to the survival of the human race...feminism also argues that women are independent of men, a narrative which does not only go against our nature, but also pushes men and women apart.
(Original post by Koalifications)
For example, whereas men can be charged with raping a woman, women cannot be charged with raping a man legally, even if they have (in society's eyes) done so - only sexual assault (check online if you don't believe me).
Believe it or not back a few years ago on this forum when this issue was first exposed all the feminists attacked the person that first exposed it, denying and dismissing it. It's unbelievable isn't it? Thanks to sexist rape laws, women in this country cannot be charged with rape. A short while back, I uploaded a thread about a woman who raped underage girls. A feminist reported my thread and the mods changed the title from rape to sexual assault. Feminism protects female rapists. It has played a very significant role in maintaining and protecting these sexist rape laws.
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Ascend
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
Points of interest: The technical term that you are looking for is social construction. This is one of the fundamental principles of feminism. It rests on the idea that men and women are not products of biology but rather socialisation. Feminism claims that we are all born androgynous (without sex) and that there is no such thing as man or woman. This is their ideal. This is one of the many reasons why many of them have the bowel and bald haircuts...to appear androgynous.

Is this feminist ideal true? No. Of course not. Women and men are patently different in billions of ways that render them unique. They have different needs, strengths and limitations that complement each other. Women and men are highly dependent on each other. This dependency draws us to each other. Our differences and our dependencies are essential to the survival of the human race.



Believe it or not back a few years ago on this forum when this issue was first exposed all the feminists attacked the person that first exposed it, denying and dismissing it. It's unbelievable isn't it? Thanks to sexist rape laws, women in this country cannot be charged with rape. A shot while back, I uploaded a thread about a woman who raped underage girls. A feminist reported my thread and they changed the title form rape to sexual assault. Feminism protects female rapists. It has played a very significant role in maintaining and protecting these sexist rape laws.
I'm interested in how you would answer the OP's question here:

My question is whether you think this is because how society wrongly treat men and women in sculpting their roles, or whether they are inherently different as genders and thus we should treat, for example, male rapists more harshly than female ones, even though it's the same crime, just because of how men can be seen in some ways as more exploitative/superior?
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z-hog
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The most significant differences are men's superior physical power and women's unique child-bearing ability, had those two characteristics been apportioned the other way around by nature and the sex war would be a mirror image of what we have. Men's status wasn't even an invention, it was handed down by the evolutionary line where males were always stronger. Our social construct flies all the way back to the time women stayed in the cave with the children and men went out chasing food, that was never a conspiracy. Of course men went on to pursue all physical tasks and labour for millenia until relatively recently mechanised times, that and that alone is how the construct was constructed. They built this world with their hands and women had an equally relevant role in the process, there's no need to turn it all into a war of the sexes.
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Greywolf.
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Men and women are different, doesn’t mean they aren’t equal. Men and women can compliment each other through different roles within society but that doesn’t make them unequal.
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Ascend
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(Original post by z-hog)
The most significant differences are men's superior physical power and women's unique child-bearing ability, had those two characteristics been apportioned the other way around by nature and the sex war would be a mirror image of what we have. Men's status wasn't even an invention, it was handed down by the evolutionary line where males were always stronger. Our social construct flies all the way back to the time women stayed in the cave with the children and men went out chasing food, that was never a conspiracy. Of course men went on to pursue all physical tasks and labour for millenia until relatively recently mechanised times, that and that alone is how the construct was constructed. They built this world with their hands and women had an equally relevant role in the process, there's no need to turn it all into a war of the sexes.
The idea that humanity has always followed a patriarchal pattern is actually disputed:

https://www.newscientist.com/article...000-years-ago/

For most of our history, we have been hunter-gatherers, and patrilocal residence is not the norm among modern hunter-gatherer societies. Instead, either partner may move to live with the “in-laws”, or a couple may relocate away from both their families. According to Hrdy, a degree of egalitarianism is built into these systems. If they reflect what prehistoric hunter-gatherers did, women in those early societies would have had the choice of support from the group they grew up with, or the option to move away from oppression.

According to one school of thought, things changed around 12,000 years ago. With the advent of agriculture and homesteading, people began settling down. They acquired resources to defend, and power shifted to the physically stronger males. Fathers, sons, uncles and grandfathers began living near each other, property was passed down the male line, and female autonomy was eroded. As a result, the argument goes, patriarchy emerged.

This origin story is supported by a study published in 2004. Researchers at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, studied mitochondrial DNA (inherited from mothers) and genetic markers on the Y chromosome (inherited from fathers) in 40 populations from sub-Saharan Africa. This suggested that women in hunter-gatherer populations, such as the !Kung and Hadza, were more likely to remain with their mothers after marriage than women from food-producing populations. It was the reverse for men, suggesting that agriculture is indeed correlated with patrilocal societies.
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Pinkisk
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(Original post by z-hog)
The most significant differences are men's superior physical power and women's unique child-bearing ability, had those two characteristics been apportioned the other way around by nature and the sex war would be a mirror image of what we have. Men's status wasn't even an invention, it was handed down by the evolutionary line where males were always stronger. Our social construct flies all the way back to the time women stayed in the cave with the children and men went out chasing food, that was never a conspiracy. Of course men went on to pursue all physical tasks and labour for millenia until relatively recently mechanised times, that and that alone is how the construct was constructed. They built this world with their hands and women had an equally relevant role in the process, there's no need to turn it all into a war of the sexes.
Feminists often claim that men have all the status, all the power and control. In support of this narrative, they argue that in many religions and cultures women are required to obey their husbands, but this narrative can be easily refuted. One, men get to exercise this form of authority only when women allow them to exercise it by entering into contractual relationships with them. As in, women get to deicide whether a man has this authority or not. Two, in these same religions and cultures men are forced to provide for and protect women, at the cost of their wellbeing and sometimes their life. This is an example of immense female power and authority.

Women weald tons of power and authority, but the feminist narrative has so much control over what we think that nobody ever considers the arguments that I have mentioned above.
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Ascend
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(Original post by Pinkisk)
In these same religions and cultures men are forced to provide for and protect women, at the cost of their wellbeing and their life. This is an example of the authority that women weald in cultures and religions across the globe.
It's actually an example of a typical patriarchal trope: men are dominant and therefore responsible for the women, including providing for and protecting them. In those same patriarchies where "men are forced to provide for and protect women", it is the men who are given the power to make virtually all the decisions.

Since you brought up religion, here's a perfect example:

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. [Quran 4:34]
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z-hog
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(Original post by Ascend)
The idea that humanity has always followed a patriarchal pattern is actually disputed:
Apparently.

According to Hrdy, a degree of egalitarianism is built into these systems. If they reflect what prehistoric hunter-gatherers did, women in those early societies would have had the choice of support from the group they grew up with, or the option to move away from oppression.
Opression,huh? So if we all had remained as pre-historic hunter-gatherers there would have never been any of it, that's it for short. Bah...
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Greywolf.
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(Original post by Ascend)
It's actually an example of a typical patriarchal trope: men are dominant and therefore responsible for the women, including providing for and protecting them. In those same patriarchies where "men are forced to provide for and protect women", it is the men who are given the power to make virtually all the decisions.

Since you brought up religion, here's a perfect example:

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand. [Quran 4:34]
As a Christian; women are definitely equal, they have different roles but together men and women can compliment each other and help one another. A women doesn’t need a man to protect her, in the sense of controlling her in modern day society; but I would definitely protect my wife if she were in trouble of course. I’d always make a decision with my wife because I can’t do it all on my own.
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Ascend
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(Original post by z-hog)
Apparently.



Opression,huh? So if we all had remained as pre-historic hunter-gatherers there would have never been any of it, that's it for short. Bah...
No, that's not it. The option to move away from oppression = there was still oppression. By virtue of the male's generally superior strength, violence against females would still exist (as is observed throughout history). This particular theory relies on the shift to patrilocality during the advent of agriculture to explain how patriarchies became entrenched.

There is no grand conspiracy.
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z-hog
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(Original post by Ascend)
No, that's not it. The option to move away from oppression = there was still oppression. By virtue of the male's generally superior strength, violence against females would still exist (as is observed throughout history). This particular theory relies on the shift to patrilocality during the advent of agriculture to explain how patriarchies became entrenched.

There is no grand conspiracy.
Women's reproductive matters were the other half of the story and this is too 'feminist' like for my taste, with all the talk about violence and oppression. So dude has a theory that nobody could possibly verify, we agree that physical characteristics made all the difference.
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NonIndigenous
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(Original post by Koalifications)
So men and women are treated very differently by society as a result of gender roles. My question is whether you guys think this is because they are inherently different, or whether this is how society has sculpted them to be. For example, whereas men can be charged with raping a woman, women cannot be charged with raping a man legally, even if they have (in society's eyes) done so - only sexual assault (check online if you don't believe me).

In cases where male pedophiles prey on young, teenage girls, there is far more furore than if females did it to young, teenage boys. This can be shown in the way, whereas the female victim would be seen as having been exploited and abused (as she unfortunately has been), people often say the teenage male victim wanted it and was lucky - not realising the long-lasting implications it could psychologically, sub-consciously have on him. My question is whether you think this is because how society wrongly treat men and women in sculpting their roles, or whether they are inherently different as genders and thus we should treat, for example, male rapists more harshly than female ones, even though it's the same crime, just because of how men can be seen in some ways as more exploitative/superior?

PS: This isn't me trying to start a fight, I'm genuinely interested. I do believe in gender equality, but I'm interested in whether any feminists would say consistently that men are equal to women on every level, even though, for example, men tend to be on average more muscular/stronger naturally than women, or women being more motherly than men. Thoughts/feelings on this topic of gender? And are you a feminist - why/why not?
Nope. Literally no difference. Like 99.99% of our DNA is identical, and 100% of the atoms and subatomic particles that comprise our DNA are identical.

So, literally no different. We're all just balls of matter and chemically-stored energy really.
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Ascend
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(Original post by Greywolftwo)
As a Christian; women are definitely equal, they have different roles but together men and women can compliment each other and help one another. A women doesn’t need a man to protect her, in the sense of controlling her in modern day society; but I would definitely protect my wife if she were in trouble of course. I’d always make a decision with my wife because I can’t do it all on my own.
As a Christian, you'll probably dismiss much of the Old Testament but you'll also probably find a way to dismiss the NT's literal authority when presented with such passages:

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. [Ephesians 5:22-24]
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Greywolf.
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(Original post by Ascend)
As a Christian, you'll probably dismiss much of the Old Testament but you'll also probably find a way to dismiss the NT's literal authority when presented with such passages:

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. [Ephesians 5:22-24]
That doesn’t mean that wives are not equal to their husbands, you only need to look at Christian marriages to see that. When I’m married I wouldn’t dismiss my wife and get rid of her autonomy.

Plus that verse is the one that atheists always use to try to prove a point but it always backfires
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Ascend
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(Original post by z-hog)
Women's reproductive matters were the other half of the story and this is too 'feminist' like for my taste, with all the talk about violence and oppression. So dude has a theory that nobody could possibly verify, we agree that physical characteristics made all the difference.
I don't know what you're trying to say here. Do you believe that violence against women is not oppression?
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