Saturday, May 15, 2010

Vox Day has a question for gender equalitarians

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All different, all equal

The unrepentantly and self-avowedly anti-feminist Vox Day, renown for his many revolting attacks against women and equal rights (including claiming women crave male domination, mocking and blaming rape victims, asserting that women are obligated to sexually submit to their husbands, and that women are so utterly incompetent that giving them executive power can only lead to total ruin), now asks those who value men and women equally to “educate him”: what reason do we have for believing that women are just as intelligent and capable as men on average?

I have to admit, I have never, ever understood any aspect of equalitarianism, except of course as a rhetorical and ideological device or legal pretense. There are so many differences between two individuals of identical genetic inheritage[sic] that I marvel at the notion that there is even any possibility of material equality between two individuals or two groups of individuals. So, if you do genuinely believe in the intellectual equality of the sexes, here is your opportunity to educate me.

It’s nice of Vox to actually admit that he doesn’t even understand anything about equalitarianism, despite how strongly and frequently he rails against it. It isn’t anything particularly difficult to grasp: equalitarianism is the ideal that men and women are regarded as fundamental equals, regardless of any and all differences that arise as part of being two separate genders. The thing about equalitarians is that they understand and accept that given the genetic and physiological distinctions between males and females, there are indeed many differences, some more obvious than others, that affect how members of opposing genders think and act. They’re just also able to understand that these differences essentially complete each other on the whole, and thus, they value the two halves of humanity as equally important parts of the whole of the species.

See? Simple.

However, Vox asked what was the evidence that equalitarians use to support their beliefs and ideals that men and women are of equal intelligence. Now, there’s naturally been a vast amount of research conducted on this subject, and also naturally, no-one seems to be able to arrive at any exact conclusions regarding the results. First of all, men and women think differently; that much is a given. Even their very brains are wired differently, showing different distributions of areas responsible for intelligent reasoning. It’s well known that men tend to be stronger, on average, in fields based on logic and the concrete, such as mathematics, sciences, and so on. Women, on the other hand, tend to think more abstractly and emotionally, and tend to surpass men in areas such as interpretations of emotions, socializing and anything else that relies more upon intuition. However, some of the results seem to indicate that on average, men are more intelligent across a broader field of subjects, but this is still debatable.

The thing is, as I noted earlier, that even if men truly are more intelligent than women (on average), this simply doesn’t matter. Intelligence is only one virtue, one attribute, amongst all the other abilities and advantages that a species can possess. From a biological and evolutionary standpoint, it’s almost meaningless if one half is slightly more intelligent than the other. (Speaking of which: the largest discrepancy shown in IQ scores between the sexes is only 5 points, which I contend is well within any possible margin of error; and even if it isn’t, it’s too small to make any discernible difference whatsoever.) It’s no more relevant than being stronger, taller, faster, more talented in artistry, or richer, for Pete’s sake. It’s one attribute amongst countless others. What one side may lack in intelligence, the other can more than make up for in other attributes.

The thing that anti-equalitarians like Vox Day always miss, and that equalitarians comprehend, is that slightly lower intelligence – if such is the case – wouldn’t make womankind inferior to mankind in any real way. Women in general have strengths and talents that men do not; does that make men inferior to them? Same reasoning, and same answer: no. Differences in characteristics and attributes does not change a gender’s overall “worth”, so to speak. And that is the idea that is the core of equalitarianism. The fact that people like Vox seem to believe that a supposed lesser intelligence is a good enough reason to subjugate women and strip them of their equal socio-legal rights is quite telling in a number of ways, none of which reflect very beneficially on them.