Harry

Especially For Young Women

 
   

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Science Does Not
Help Very Much

When it comes to many important gender issues, science is not very helpful.

Let us assume for the moment that the following statement is a fact - a scientific fact. An undisputed scientific fact. Everybody on the planet agrees that the following statement is a scientific fact. Everybody!

Here is the statement.

FACT: Men are better at maths than women because of their genes.

How does this fact help in any way to determine how much extra help women should be given (compared to men) when it comes to studying Maths or to climbing the career ladder in Maths?

Indeed, should we help men more - because they are more talented - or should we help women more - because they need more help?

How does the above fact help us to decide this issue?

It does not help us at all.

Other considerations might help us to figure out the best solution, but the above scientific fact does not.

Now, I am not suggesting - and have never suggested - that Science is not important when it comes to gender issues, but it has severe limitations.

At best, Science can explain why things often are the way that they are, but, on its own, it can never provide a solution.

And so, for example, while the above fact could most certainly help men to counter the notion that women were being discriminated against in Maths - their poorer performance being down to their genes rather than to discrimination - the fact itself does not provide a 'satisfactory' solution to the problem of there being more men than women doing well in Maths.

For example, the feminists would simply argue on the basis of this fact that the poorer genes of women when it comes to Maths demonstrates the need for women to be compensated in some way when compared to men.

And if they are not compensated enough, then this is very definitely discrimination!

And, generally speaking, whenever women are perceived to be at a disadvantage in some way (whether it is being less able in Maths or less able in terms of, say, muscle power, or whatever) the issue will always be expressed in terms of how much extra help or 'protection' needs to be given to women. And this is just another way of expressing how much discrimination needs to be levelled against men in order to bring about 'equality'.

But if you need to discriminate against men in order to bring about (so-called) 'equality', then you do not have equality, do you?

The men were discriminated against!

Furthermore, of course, the men could quite legitimately argue that because their genes give them greater ability in Maths, then resources should be diverted in favour of the men, so that these resources are not 'wasted'.

And no scientific fact can ever solve this conundrum; e.g. see AH's Equality: Forever Going Round In Circles.

It is politics and psychology, not science, that will end up producing a 'solution' to this problem.

Here is another fact.

FACT: The outcomes for the children of single mothers are worse than are the outcomes of children who have two parents.

This fact does not tell us what to do. Do we provide more and more resources to single mothers to counter their disadvantages - hence encouraging more single motherhood - or do we do the opposite and penalise single mothers - hence making the outcomes for their children even worse - to encourage them to get married?

Well. Whatever your own answer to this question might be, the fact above does not help you reach it.

Now, I am not suggesting that Science and data and facts etc etc etc are not useful in the fight for men's rights. But the oft-expressed idea that it is the Science, the data and the facts that are the most important weapons in the armoury is just not true.

It is politics and psychology that will carry the most sway.

Furthermore, in practice, the Science, the data and the facts are exceedingly trivial when it comes to gender issues. And the main reason for this, I suppose, is that most people are not swayed by facts, they are swayed by their emotions and by a huge plethora of social and personal complications that Science will never be able to touch.

Furthermore, people are different.

Here are some other facts.

FACT: Nuclear weapons are extremely dangerous.

But they are still here!

FACT: People do not rise up from the dead.

But 3 billion people on the planet believe that they do.

These are very simple facts. They are very easy to grasp. And yet still 'the people' seem to ignore them.

So how on Earth can activists ever believe that they are going to be able to use hugely complicated social 'scientific facts' to persuade 'the people' of a particular point of view?

Furthermore, of course, these social scientific 'facts' are statistical rather than absolute in nature, and this not only makes them more difficult to grasp, but it also means that they cannot accurately be applied to individual cases.

And then, of course, there is the question of 'feelings'.

For example, it can always be argued that men and women differ when it comes to how they feel about something. But it is not scientifically possible to measure such a thing - e.g. see my piece Depressed Females.

And so, for example again, how does one answer the question concerning the just sentence for a particular 'rape' incident?

Did the rape "ruin her life", as she claims, or is she just lying in order to get more compensation - in some way - from the incident? 

And, even more interestingly, how does she, herself, know? (People can easily fool themselves and they can also hype themselves up to feel worse.)

Here is another question.

Are prostitutes 'victims'?

How on Earth does one answer this question using Science?

Well, my guess is that one good answer to this question would be, "Well, it partially depends on how much they are getting paid for whatever it is that they do."

If they are getting paid $1 an hour then, Yes, perhaps they are victims. On the other hand, if they are getting paid $1000, then they are not.

Science does not really help us very much.

In a nutshell: 'Science' does not get you very far when it comes to the gender issues that are typically discussed most often.

And then, of course, there is the question of the media. And this, in fact, is the most important question of all; because whoever, or whatever, dominates the media - or, more accurately, gets the most attention - will be calling the shots.

And they will be calling the shots almost regardless of what they say.

Indeed, many populations have spent centuries being dominated by various religious screeds which cannot possibly be true from a scientific point of view.

In summary; Science does not count for very much when it comes to people's beliefs about certain important matters..

Furthermore, if Science was, ever, to become the master of our social and personal lives then we would need to be turned into emotionless robots in order to comply with its various dictates.

There would be no 'escape'. And there would be no liberty.

None.

Because every deviation from the calculated optimum would be deemed to be an affront to the 'master' - the Science.

Finally, let me remind you all of some of the sentiments expressed by one well-known and influential professor of genetics who reckons that the world would be better off without males.

...  like all parasites, and we all know that males are parasites on females because they force females to copy their genes, males like all parasites in the end degenerate into another kind of decaying structure, a sac of guts and genitals like tapeworms. Steve Jones - Correspondents Report ABC Australia, 22/9/02. 

As such, I can assure men that Science - or, more accurately, what is alleged to be Science - is unlikely to be their friend when it comes to gender issues.

 



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