Monday, January 25, 2010

Yet another discussion over Mars and Venus

In my younger years any argument with even a slight hint of gender bias carried a high potential to agitate me. I would vehemently argue as if the sole responsibility of saving the position of womankind rested on me. I still feel that the status of women in many regions of the world ranges from miserably bad to tolerably bad (of course, these definitions are purely my own). However, I take the discussions to disprove the superiority of men or prove the capabilities of women more as a pass time now. In true sense, I feel they are baseless. Men and women are different based on their natural roles in the process of evolution - Men being the bread earner and women the child bearer/nurturer.

Most people, with observation and statistical data, would agree that men are physically stronger than women in general. In my opinion this has been the primary reason why men have been able to suppress women and come up with various theories about the inferior nature of women through out history (more so in the olden times when physical strength was considered much more significant in the society). Some ancient philosophers claimed that women are less evolved form of human species; many were of the opinion that women should be kept under the surveillance and guidance of men. Some of the "enlightened" leaders of the past said that women are incapable of attaining the state of "nirvana" in their present lives. Although in modern society such thoughts are not openly expressed. In fact it is fashionable to project oneself to be gender neutral if not pro-women.

There are some theories and researches that also claim that women are intellectually inferior to men. It is scientifically observed that the average size of the brain of a woman is smaller or weigh less than the average size of the brain of a man (although it may not have a direct correlation with IQ). There are other differences observed between the male and female brains of humans as well. It is also statistically seen that substantially lesser number of women excel in higher education as compared to men and most of the high profile jobs are held by men. The reasons could be ascribed to social discrimination and the additional natural responsibilities taken by women. I leave the mental abilities of men and women open for a debate.

The differences between the two sexes (which I would like to believe is restricted to physical strength) have led to various gender discrimination and oppression of women. Although times are changing and men are taught to be more chivalrous (However modern society has its own biases. For example a "modern" woman frowns if a man chooses to go dutch on a date or eyebrows are raised when a woman picks up a glass full of whiskey instead of wine or campaign) My query is - Are the inequalities and suppression of women healthy for the society?

Considering a woman's well being, it most definitely will not be favored by the majority. What about the other half of the society? Let us consider what the men gain or loose from such an arrangement

A. Men gain more control over things as half the population looses its say. In turn they loose the support of the other half in decision making and many other productive activities by not equipping/educating them for such tasks.

B. Men gain more significance in the society and their lives are considered of higher value. This may ultimately result in imbalance in population and unhealthy competition to find a mate.

C. Men gain more power over women (or wives) which would result in their decisions being obeyed without any objection. And more importantly it would give them the power to fulfill their sexual needs even without the consent of the woman. They gain a sex object at the expense of a friend/companion with whom they can also share a mutually enjoyable physical intimacy.

Of course it is up to each to decide what would make a happy society that they may want to be a part of.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Narcissus and Goldmund - By Hermann Hesse

A story about the two extremes that life can offer....A life of self control and a life of indulgence...However, the ultimate goal remains the same - to find the answers to the unanswered dig deeper into the mysteries of life....To find a way to live life (And that brings one to the question - is there any difference whatsoever?).

Narcissus, the ideal man....confident, strong willed, determined. Aware of the futility of the pursuits of life. Ready to give up everything to reach the very peak.

Goldmund on the other hand, following his heart (his instincts), doing exactly what he wishes to do , that his circumstances permit. Experiencing every bit of pleasure... ecstasy and misery that comes his way. He is no less capable of finding his way to the peak....or is he not?

One seems to be trapped between the two extremes....oscillating between the two, unable to reach any final destination.