childhood

[Repost] Hold my Beer and Watch This

Part of my effort to dig up some of the old posts that became unlinked when I switched hosts. And because I have no time before work this morning. It’s a topic worth revisiting for discussion, though.

Spices and Beer
Cooking supplies: tower o’ spices and beverages.

There is some debate over what jobs men and women are best at. In the current cultural push to make women fit into slots previously held mostly by men, some inconvenient truths are overlooked, ignored, denied, and finally, outright lied about. Because the honest truth is that if we discard outliers on the data set, there are some jobs in which a man is better suited than a woman.

Let’s take for instance a snow-shoveling job. Yes, if it involves automation, or climbing into a sturdy truck with a plow on, the playing field is leveled. Doesn’t matter the sex of the person behind the machine. But there are still many places where it needs to be done by hand, and if you’re doing it hour after hour… the average teenage boy is more capable than a grown woman. Upper body strength is not the forte of most females.

Note that ‘most’ there. Look, I am acutely aware that not every person fits neatly into a labeled box. However, when you’re talking biology, you’re going to have an observable, quantifiable trend. Men are better at lifting and toting. Women are better at having babies. It just is. One of the biggest problems in our society today is the deliberate overlooking of that fact, and the desire to push everyone into the same mold.

When little boys are expected to sit still in class at age 6-7 just the same as little girls, you’re going to suddenly see a difference in the sexes. Unless you refuse to admit it exists, so there must be something wrong with those little boys. They need to be medicated, and have special remedial reading classes, because they aren’t learning the same way the girls are. Or, you know, we could stop treating children like widgets in a factory and serve their individual needs. Which includes acknowledging that boys don’t belong in a classroom setting as soon as girls do.

Only… only then you get some Umbridge-style female elevating her nose so high it’s a miracle she doesn’t drown when it rains, sniffing, and proclaiming “boys are not as smart as girls.” You’re wondering at this point what I’m getting at, other than our society being effed up.

  • Boys and girls are different.
  • They have comparable levels of intelligence
  • Their Physical strength is unequal
  • Their temperament is different
  • Ergo, they will be better at different jobs.

Look, it’s not rocket science. It’s pure biology. The reason women have historically not been found in some jobs isn’t that they were being kept out – and no, I’m not denying that some were indeed kept out, or forced out – it’s that they were ill-suited for those jobs.

Which brings me back to the title of the essay.

Men are far more likely to take risks that your average woman would consider insane. For far less reward than she would do a similar action in. This isn’t about intelligence, folks. We can all think of some bright men who have done things that ought to have won them a Darwin award. Not all men, no, same thing as above. I’m not poking you into a box labeled ‘Male: handle with care’ and leaving you there. Some men learn caution early. Others never learn it at all.

But without this sense of valor, where would we as a human race be? Cowering in caves, no doubt. Not that we’re all come down from cavemen, but that’s where we’d have wound up without men who wanted to see what was over the next hill, and then, to the Far Blue Hills.

Where were the women? Some went with their men, sure. But mostly, the women stayed home. I read a book some time ago about William Dampier, who circumnavigated the globe not once, but twice. His legacy lived on until modern times in the charts of currents he mapped. But his wife was at home in England, managing a home, family, and business on her own. At one point, he was gone for eleven years before returning to her. Was she any less strong than he? Certainly not. Here was a man addicted to the adrenaline of exploration, while she had to keep the family going. He wasn’t sending money home – in fact, I believe he was considered dead at one point. I’m talking about an era three hundred years ago, which isn’t precisely ancient history.

This is still an observable trend. The modern woman wants to have security, to take care of her family. The modern man wants to work hard and provide for that family (I’m talking ideals, here, folks.) But our society, in forcing both sexes into roles they don’t fit well, has been warping those desires for so long that boys and girls are no longer sure what is acceptable for them. The girl of today is told that she is to want a career, something big and splashy like doctor, or President. She’s supposed to go through 8-12 years of school after highschool to work toward this, and then, well, it’s a career, so twenty years? That makes her 18, 28, 48… and motherhood is going to have to happen in there somewhere, because if she waits until after all that, it’s too late.

Now, I was told recently by my precocious 15 yo daughter that she intends to get her doctorate, and I applauded that. She also told me that she was going to have babies and do it, while keeping straight A’s. I did my best to keep a straight face. Babies are not the same as kittens or puppies, but… If you have a baby, and put it straight into daycare, and see that child perhaps 2-3 waking hours a day while you work full-time, and then school when the child is 5-6 years old and daycare after school, and camps in summer, and…. You get where I’m going? Is it any wonder we’re raising feral, confused children? Their parents treat them like pets… or trophies. Or something, but certainly not as the loved products of a happy family.

Am I suggesting that women today should return to the kitchen and stay there, barefoot and pregnant? Listen, you dummy, I don’t think that’s where women ever were, unless they wanted to be. I wanted to be, at one point, because I love my kids, and I love cooking, and I grew up hating shoes which carried over into adulthood. But I was also running a successful small business from our home, and managing the kids, and would have homeschooled them had I the opportunity. I’m not, by any means, something special there. Women through the ages – go read Proverbs 31! – have been doing just that. Being in the house does not mean doing nothing and stagnating.

Sure, there were times I felt like the walls were closing in and I would have given much for an adult conversation. Fortunately, the modern woman has some advantages there, like cheap transportation and the internet. She can get out of the house, and she can talk to anyone at any hour of the day or night.

And men? Men are being treated like second-class citizens, because they are blamed for things they never did. Men who were born to an era where girls are hired first, simply because quotas dictate, are hurt and confused as they are punished for things that they were likely only taught in school from a tilted perspective, and for things that were made up wholecloth.

Equality does not mean standing on the backs of men and grinding them into the mud for sins they did not commit. It ought to mean standing side by side in partnership, working as a team, and acknowledging that while females have strengths, so do males. More, I would say, is to acknowledge that women have weaknesses. Because the title of this essay was not intended to mock men for their foolhardiness. We need that spirit of look what I can do, if we are ever to free our feet from where we stand now, and take that next step off into… the frontier. Wherever it may be. Men have ever been the explorer, and the women who loved them kept the homefires burning.

“Watch this” isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.

2 thoughts on “[Repost] Hold my Beer and Watch This

  1. It takes the combined effort of MEN and WOMEN to feed a family and take care of everything.

    When one spouse has an easy life based on the work of the other being assumed, things can get unbalanced.

    When one spouse has all the fun, and the other all the drudgery, something’s wrong.

    Other than that, people can do many jobs – and it’s hard enough managing life and kids without society nattering at you, and making it difficult to do work you’re well suited for. That’s what women object to – and having to do the whole ‘woman thing’ expected by society at the same time.

    I’m fine with it being about the ability to do work, and my husband and I deciding the divisions, as we have all along, but it is not the case for many couples, and those kids have to be taken care of.

    We had the enviable start: both of us had NOT finished our dissertations in hard science when we BOTH started at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab with identical salaries.

    It’s been a rollercoaster since, and I homeschooled because of chronic illness (not the best way to do anything), but I had to fight for things he was able to take for granted – and he worked his little tail off when I got sick.

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