So yesterday, we talked about the fact that men invent and produce almost all of the really useful things that make our modern lives so very pleasant. All of the major revolutions in human history have been dreamt up and accomplished by men: the printing press, the textile loom, antibiotics, anaesthetic, cars and computers.
Throughout history, women have contributed very little to the great leaps forward in human achievement. Oh come on, that’s not even controversial. Even Caitlin Moran (I can’t help it – she’s so cute!) acknowledges that women really haven’t done a whole lot in terms of building bridges and discovering nuclear fusion. She’s worth quoting at length.
Even the most ardent historian, male or female—citing Amazons and tribal matriarchies and Cleopatra—can’t conceal that women have basically done fuck all for the last 100,000 years. Come on—let’s admit it. Let’s stop exhaustingly pretending that there is a parallel history of women being victorious and creative, on an equal with men, that’s just been comprehensively covered up by The Man. There isn’t. Our empires, armies, cities, artworks, philosophers, philanthropists, inventors, scientists, astronauts, explorers, politicians and icons could all fit, comfortably into one of the private karaoke booths in SingStar. We have no Mozart; no Einstein; no Galileo; no Ghandi. No Beatles, no Churchill, no Hawking, no Columbus. It just didn’t happen.
Nearly everything so far has been the creation of men—and a liberal, right-on denial of it makes everything more awkward and difficult in the long run. Pretending that women have had a pop at all this before but ultimately didn’t do as well as the men, that the experiment of female liberation has already happened but floundered gives strength to the belief that women simply aren’t as good as men, full stop. That things should just carry on as they are—with the world shaped around, and honouring, the priorities, needs, whims, and successes of men. Women are over, without having even begun. When the truth is that we haven’t even begun at all. Of course we haven’t. We’ll know it when we have.
How To Be A Woman
This is where we disagree. We haven’t begun? On the contrary. We began a long time ago. What we are doing now is failing. We are sacrificing our genius on the altar of an ideology that explicitly and gleefully denies women the opportunity to achieve our greatest possible success: to be the mother of a person (likely a man) who will take a leap of faith that benefits all of humankind.
This is a human infant:
We have no gender neutral pronoun in English, and I hate “they” and absolutely REFUSE to call a baby “it”, so I’m going to call this baby “him”. Get over it.
This little baby is born helpless, but his entire anatomy and psychology is a set of expectations. His skin is alive with receptors that will trigger the release of hormones making him feel safe and content. His skin is an expectation of touch. His brain is wired to detect the smell and sound and presence of his mother. He knows her heartbeat and the sound of her breathing. His brain is an expectation that he will be with her. He has reflexes that cause his hands and feet to grip, and he will suck anything you put in his mouth. His reflexes are an expectation that he will cling to his mother and he will feed from her breasts.
Everything about this little guy demands the presence of his mother. He will benefit from an extended family and his father will become a person of critical importance, but when he is born, he expects and needs his mother. He cannot live easily without her.
And he knows it. He will cry when they are separated. He will use all of his resources to summon her back. And she will respond to his cries. Her breasts will leak milk and her heart will pound and she will feel frantic to get to him. Her body is also wired to care for him.
Working outside the home and leaving a baby in the care of others for long periods of time (most of an infant’s waking life) is a disaster not just for the baby, but for the woman and all of humanity by extension. Those babies are being denied what they NEED to grow into fully functioning, stable, loving human beings capable of caring for others and themselves. Modern ideas about keeping babies isolated in cages in dark rooms and leaving them to sob until they collapse with despair are not just disgusting and cruel and stupid, they are violently inhumane. A human infant is not designed to be treated like a pariah, left alone for long periods or separated from his mother.
A baby left alone on the savannah, wailing inconsolably, would be a dead baby very quickly.
Genius begins and ends with a loving mother. And loving mothers create daughters capable of becoming loving mothers themselves. That is our genius.
Not every woman wants, or is capable of being a affectionate mother, and natural selection usually weeds those women out quite nicely. A woman who would rather be out hunting should be free to do that, and whatever quirk in her neurology that makes her uninterested in reproducing will die with her. Those genes will not spread. The genes for loving, attentive, invested mothering WILL spread, since those are the women most likely to succeed in bringing their children to adulthood.
And that, too, is genius.
Modern feminism started by explicitly stating that women should not be allowed to care for their own children.
“No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction.”
Simone de Beauvoir
What Simone wanted is to FORCE women to give up their own genius, and start competing with men. Try to match them, Nobel Prize for Nobel Prize.
Well, that worked. Less than 2% of prizes awarded to women. Way to go, ladies.
When female genius, defined in male terms, rears up, it has usually found expression and recognition. One can find women in every area of human achievement, but there are very few of them. The canon of great writers, for example contains only a few women, because only a few women have matched the talents of male writers. But when they do, they are acknowledged and celebrated and that’s a good thing.
But for most women, genius comes in the form of a tiny human being who needs to learn to be human, and in being human, achieves greatness that benefits us all.
The hand that rocks the cradle is indeed the hand that rules the world. Men create the world, and women create the men. It’s really quite ingenious.
It’s completely amazing how many women are starting to realize that being at home and raising children is a LUXURY, and one that an older generation of women has simply thrown away. Being at home full time is not drudgery or unfulfiling or stultifying or oppressive.
The times, they are a-changin’
Now let’s hope the younger generation of women realize that the privilege of being at home, supported by a man, comes with a price. Personally, I think Suzanne Venker nails it: be nice, cook and have sex.
Yep. That pretty much sums it up.
Lots of love,