Gender Wars: Causes and Solutions
Male and Female
The errors involved in this matter are age-long. There are many who believe such things as that men are of God and women of Satan, that women are amoral or evil, or that women are meant to be subservient to men. There are others who believe that men are abusers, that male sexuality is rape, and that male perspective is by its nature destructive. Neither of these is a prescription for a livable world.
Men and women are, first and foremost, people. This means: The natural aspect and the uniquely human aspect. There is the natural aspect to both masculinity and femininity; there is also the uniquely human aspect of choice that is possessed by both men and women. The first makes the two different by nature; the second is common to both women and men and is the place of their similarity. Both must be seen and respected for what they are.
As with all things of nature, both the male and the female physical aspect are morally neutral and capable of both right and wrong, but in ways that, being based on different natures, are different from one another. And as with all things of choice, both the men and the women are capable of both good and bad. There is no reason to see one as being superior and the other inferior, any more than there is reason to see one as good and the other as bad. Both are capable of both good and bad. In the physical nature, they differ, with the difference being natural, hence value-neutral. In the volitional aspect, they are equal and must be regarded as such.
One constant error of women who stress equality is that of negating the physical aspect and the associated differences between men and women. They work from the position of the volitional aspect, where the two are equal, and see the physical aspect as a hindrance to that equality. This leads them to militate against women’s physicality, sexuality, and other natural aspects, denying it to themselves and other women. But the natural aspect is inherent to all who live, both men and women, and no good can come from denying it.
The interaction to work between men and women is the one that recognizes both the natural and the volitional aspect. On matters in which the volitional aspect is in charge, the logical way is full equality. On matters pertaining to physical aspect, the logical way is seeing the natures involved and working to optimize their interaction, the effects of their interaction and the benefit of male and female physical natures toward one another and what they affect, while checking for negative effects of each and of the interaction.
Physically, the man and the woman are different and will always be different. That does not mean that one is by nature the ruler and the other by nature the slave, and it most certainly does not mean that one is good and the other is bad. We are dealing here with aspects of nature, which being aspects of nature are morally neutral. We are dealing with a non-valued duality, which being non-valued must be approached as all non-valued dualities are to be approached: from the position of optimization of benefit for each component, each other, and their interaction and its effects on the rest of the world.
For both men and women to be complete and integrated beings, in both cases both the physical, natural aspect and the human, volitional and intellectual, aspect, must be valued, cultivated and affirmed. Within each person, whether the person be male or female, both aspects should be respected, developed and learn to work with one another in a manner that is suitable for all non-valued dualities, with eye toward optimization of the effects of both and of their interaction with one another. In this will be developed complete human beingness, both for people male and female, and people will become more integrated beings possessing familiarity with both their natural and the volitional aspect and able to enjoy the fruits of both as well as of their interaction, and likewise to impart of their fruits.
The gender relations must therefore be seen from this dual standpoint. On matters of volitional consciousness, men and women must be seen and regarded from the position of absolute equality as both possessing the same capacity – of volitional choice. On matters of nature, men and women must be seen and regarded according to the natures involved, with eye toward optimization of the experience for each other, for themselves, for their interaction and its effects on the world. Both the volitional and the natural aspect must be seen for what they are and treated accordingly. The first must be dealt with according to its nature, and the second dealt likewise according to its, with the eye toward fulfillment of both; making the most of their interaction; protecting each other from harm by the other; and minimizing negative interaction between the two.
This means, among other things, confronting and ending violence against women as much as abuses by women of ill will toward men. It means doing away with necrophilic beliefs that see women as stupid or evil as much as with other necrophilic beliefs that claim romance to be rape, love to be a patriarchal myth, or beauty to be a mythological construct that robs women of self-esteem. It means making it possible for men and women to fully enjoy their physical existence and to come together to produce and raise new life. And it also means allowing women equal voice in all matters involving choice and intelligence, from science and media to business, government and art.
True Reasons for Domestic Violence
To effectively fight domestic violence one must know the causes of domestic violence. And the first step toward knowing that is knowing what they are not.
It is not love, beauty, romance or sexuality. The sexless Puritans are highly violent toward their wives; the unattractive women are just as subject to violence as the attractive ones; and in cultures, such as India and Middle East, that have forbidden romantic love and where marriages are arranged by families, the violence is worse.
It is not low self-esteem. There are plenty of self-confident football types who are brutal toward their wives and plenty of shy guys who aren't.
It is not personality disorders. Not only are there many cultures in the world where violence against wives is the social norm, but there are in fact cultures in the world that think there's something wrong with the man if he is not violent toward his wife.
It is not thinking oneself a victim. There are plenty of take-charge business and military types who are severely violent toward their wives.
So what are the causes of domestic violence? The best way to ascertain that is to look at cultures in which it is the norm and compare them to cultures in which it isn't. And again and again, the answer one gets is this:
The beliefs that encourage domestic violence.
Beliefs such as:
That women are evil;
That man must be head of the family;
That masculinity means controlling the woman;
That women are "sluts," "bitches" or "whores";
That women are exploiters of men;
That women are responsible for the world's suffering;
That women should be second-class citizens and put up and shut up.
Unlike what many in psychology believe, the way one treats the other person is based, not on what one thinks about oneself, but of what one thinks about the other person. So if one has good self-esteem and thinks well about oneself but thinks badly about the other person, then one would not be good to the other person. So men's treatment of women is a result, not of what they believe about themselves, but of what they believe about the women - whether about women in general or about the particular woman with whom they have partnered.
Furthermore, unlike what many in psychology believe, it is people's conscious convictions that determine a vast chunk of their decisions. Looking at history we see the vast extent to which people's conscious convictions charted the course of history. And now, as ugly misogynistic beliefs have become more and more prevalent, surprise surprise - we are seeing a vast rise in violence against women, even though we have not seen noticeable changes in men's self-esteem or in the number of people with personality disorders.
And it is only by addressing and changing these ugly beliefs that actually do cause domestic violence, instead of wasting everyone's time on things that don't, that it will become possible to do anything effective about domestic violence.