The Reason Men Are In Charge.

By every conceivable metric, men and women can score equally well on standardized tests.  With education, sex and gender don’t matter.  Everything else is a set of obvesrse traits that cancel each other out.  Men are physically stronger, we get what we want through strength more often than not.  Women rely on subtle manipulation, achieving their success through cunning, a stalemate. 

The answer isn’t found in the interactions that men and women have with each other, its found through analyzing the interactions that men have with men, and women have with women. In the spaces, in between the spaces of intra-gender conflict or cooperation. This is where I put you to the question.

Genderbread-2.1

A lighthearted illustration of a serious topic.

When was the last time you saw, or read about a group of men all doing something stupid together?

You didn’t even need Google.  Your mind flooded with images of us doing stupid things.  I’ll use myself as an example.  I did the Running of the Bulls in Spain, and saw other men die doing the same thing before I even tried it myself.  I could go on, but I’m sure we’re on the same page.

Next question.

When was the last time you saw, or read about a group of women all doing something stupid together?

I’ll wait…

I don’t believe that there aren’t a few cases, but those cases pale in comparison to the sheer volume of stupid things men do.

The big reveal is this, we men are not stupid.

Men carry a trait that keeps us together, loyalty.  Loyalty does not mean that we men are right, wrong, just, unjust, good, or bad.  Loyalty just means that we stick together.

The Captain goes down with the ship.

All for one and one for all.

A stand up guy.

Bro’s before hoe’s.

Never leave a man behind.

I don’t even have to source those sayings, odds are that you know at least four by heart and can infer the meaning of the one you don’t. They range from noble to crass, but they all express an Esprit de corps, a bond that men can develop among themselves that form the core of a group.  Those bonds allow us to focus on external enemies and goals.

Women lack this cohesion.

Please feel fee to refute my claim with 5 3 (I’ll lower the standard) clever phrases that women have come up with to illustrate their loyalty to each other.

I’ll wait…

We men have things that we bond through that allow us to bolster our ties and reinforce our loyalty with each other.  They are almost all a proxy for war.  We use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, tests of physical prowess and martial arts.  We use chess, academic accolades, and strategic games. We even compare our conquests of women.  All in an effort not only to prove what we are he best at, but to demonstrate why we should lead and teach other men what we know.  Men take a particular pride in seeing his apprentice or protege’ not only learn what he’s taught, but surpass his predecessor in his accomplishment.  We take pride in being part of a chain that began before we were born, and that will continue long after our bones are dust.

I’ll re-state the point to bring us back to the issue I just spent 500 words bolstering the case for.

The Reason Men Are In Charge.

The reason men are in charge is because we can focus our efforts outward, against any group that we identify as “other”.  Other men, women, people of differing political ideology, followers of a different faith all count as “other”.  Win, lose, or draw, most men have a core group of other men to support them.  Each woman is an independently owned and operated unit, like The Terminator.  Women, just like men, have a mission, but no support to carry it out.  They also have the added weight of understanding that every other operative, man or woman has the default setting of wanting to see her lose.

Men, as a general rule want to see anyone lose to them if they are not part of his Team.  Even then, we usually only want direct conflict with someone who stands in the way of something we want, has offended us, or tried to hurt someone who is on our Team.

What I know of women has been through observation only.

What I’ve seen is that women, as a general rule, dislike each other.  They have some group affiliations with women they dislike and mistrust slightly less than others, but rarely have a group of women or a woman that they are willing to swear allegiance to and follow into harms way.  I define “harm” as anything that may cause discomfort or inconvenience.  Harm can be real, perceived, or social, not necessarily physical harm.  I am not sure if they lack cohesion because they don’t have any activities they use to bond, or they don’t have activities that help them bond because they lack cohesion.

I don’t have a clean, neat, socially correct word or twist of prose to end this with.

~Watt

To read more about Philosophy, click here.

18 comments

  1. justjage

    Sisters before Misters
    And the lovely, Hoes before Bros.

    I don’t believe that women lack cohesion or the ability to be loyal and ban together. I believe that the focus of these traits in women is entirely different.

    Women are protectors and nurturers. By nature, women protect and nurture. Who? Their families. Rather than naturally focused on other women, women are focused on their family, children, their partner life. They don’t lack the ability, but the focus is different. A woman is made to protect what is hers.

    If a woman has friends she considers as “family,” regardless of their gender, she will fight and die for them. It is not about having this unquestioning bond with people of her same sex, it is about an unbreakable bond with those she loves.

    We do not “dislike” each other as much as we are cautious about anyone, man or woman, that we allow to have influence on the things we protect (ourselves and our loved ones). we are not going to blindly pledge allegiance to someone just because we share the same reproductive organs. Generally speaking, we do not act irrationally or without reason. We may throw caution to the wind at times, but even then I bet if you talk to a woman sky diver she can give you a reasonable explanation of why she chooses to engage in a risky behavior. Women, I have observed, seem to have a heavy sense of responsibility – to make sure everything and everyone in their world are well-taken care of and maintained. Some men many times can’t even manage this for themselves. :/

    Men are naturally inclined to band together with other men. Why? Because they are hunters, gathers and providers. What was the best way to succeed at these tasks? Teamwork. So while the women stayed home, focused on the tasks of maintaining their homes and protecting their families, men were learning to bond and work together as a team. Women can work together in a team, but it isn’t as necessary for the things they were required to do. Women know how to supervise and direct, most of the time as a solo project.

    Rather than define the traits women use to “get what they want” in negative terms (subtle manipulation, cunning), how about terms such as emotional intelligence, empathy, persuasion, relatability…?

    I also believe that men are in charge largely due to the societal norms asserted on us by social structures that have been largely influenced by religion. The pervading idea in most cultures (not all because there are matriarchal cultures) was that the man was in charge, head of the household, the king, the one who wore the pants… These idea spread from the church, to the familial structure, to the work place, to politics, and on and on. This has nothing to do with their ability to like each other as much as it has to do with the ability of ideas to be misinterpreted and spread like wildfire. (I wrote an exegetical paper on Ephesians 5:22-33 in college. The verse is most times interrupted incorrectly so I’m not attacking it, but it is the most prevalent example of where this idea that men should be in charge came from.)

    As a shift in gender roles continues to change, we see women fighting for their place in the sphere of control. Making many missteps and over-reaching at times, but our ability to balance “being in charge” and being a woman in a “man’s world” continues to become a better fit. We’ve gone from relying on pencil skirts and cleavage enhancing tops to powersuits lined with football player-sized shoulder pads, from burning bras to wearing “girl power” babydoll dresses. We are Goldilocks trying to find that place that feels “just right” without getting eaten by bears in the process.

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    • YusefWateef

      justjage,
      Thanks for the well thought out reply. I always appreciate your willingness to engage in verbal Jiu-Jitsu. Because I’m in a benevolent mood I’m even going to give you full credit for both of your clever slogans; even though one was just a re-wording of what I wrote. Technically you still fall short of the mark, I asked for 3.

      The religious component certainly has a direct influence on the way men and woman relate in the Abrahamic faiths, but it doesn’t account for all of the various cultures and religions that have developed independently of the religions that you and I see everyday. Most are cultures that consistently observe and report the same behavior.

      Men are just as protecting and nurturing as women. The nurturing that a father, uncle, or brother provides is best summed up thusly, “Mothers teach children what they want to know, fathers teach children what they need to know.” I have no idea who first penned that statement, I’ve read it and seen it paraphrased in various pieces of literature.

      The allegiance that men pledge to each other is not blind, that’s one of the points you keep missing. It’s a very focused, purposeful allegiance. It comes from sharing a common set of goals. More often, it comes from sharing a common threat.

      You said “Women can work together in a team, but it isn’t as necessary for the things they were required to do.”

      I agree, women don’t see things that benefit other women, with no benefit to themselves as necessary. Men do.

      I never couched women “getting what they want” in a negative context, at least no more negative than the ways men do. Although I do agree, your character traits of emotional intelligence, empathy, persuasion, and reliability are just as much a part of it.

      You went on to say “As a shift in gender roles continues to change, we see women fighting for their place in the sphere of control.”

      This is where things fall apart, women “fighting” comes off as stilted, and a poor proxy for war at best. By emulating what are arguing the more aggressive and offensive traits of men, you do more harm to the cause than good.

      Pencil skirts and cleavage tend to pry open doors for women faster and with more brutal effect than football player-sized shoulder pads ever have or will.
      ~Watt

      PS
      JustJage penned an article that is definitely worth reading -> “Marriage Equality has Nothing to do with God.”

      Like

      • justjage

        I have to disagree with your use of the word “nurturing” in relation to a man’s natural behavior. Yes, men can father and foster, but it has taken years of evolving their perceived roles in the familial structure to develop the traits of nurturing. For many generations (very close generations, i.e. our grandparents) men were aloof and unresponsive when it came to child-rearing and household management. This is a new development of their roles at home.

        “You went on to say “As a shift in gender roles continues to change, we see women fighting for their place in the sphere of control.”
        This is where things fall apart, women “fighting” comes off as stilted, and a poor proxy for war at best. By emulating what are arguing the more aggressive and offensive traits of men, you do more harm to the cause than good.
        Pencil skirts and cleavage tend to pry open doors for women faster and with more brutal effect than football player-sized shoulder pads ever have or will.”

        However, I think we agree on this point, but you missed the purpose of my juxtapositioning women’s “emulation of the more aggressive and offensive traits of men” (powersuits and shoulder pads) and our over-embracing of the feminine (glitter and babydoll dresses). When I speak of the missteps of women, I am talking about the “fighting” and the harm we have done. That is my point. We are trying to find that “just right” place and in the process have done harm. However, harm is unavoidable in revolution and progress. The important part is what we learn after committing the mistakes, and we have learned a lot.

        Pencil skirts and cleavage should not have to be used to pry open doors. We should be able to find a balance to embrace our femininity, all of it, without the need to flaunting our sexuality to open doors.

        I still contend that religion… (most religions, even if they aren’t Western, have the same basic tenets. Many of them even have the exact same tales and proverbs from the same time periods but told in different ways – ways to relate to the culture they were presented to. But that is a completely different subject for a completely different time.) and culture… not this perceived and culturally perpetuated hate between women that is the reason men are “in control.” In fact, I would even further argue that men wouldn’t even be in control if it wasn’t for the support system created by women (Who are most of your executive assistants, secretaries, bookkeepers, office managers, household managers?). After all, you can’t go to work if you can’t even find a clean pair of pants. (But that statement also means I’m stooping to your level of stereotype perpetuating by making men into overgrown children.)

        It is what it is.

        Like

  2. alicetamani

    why don’t you do some research like you do for your other topics? i love your blog, but this one has made me angry. your observations are shallow. you have got it all wrong. women don’t distrust each other, they actually distrust men. women seem to be manipulative to men, as they don’t bother to tell men the full strategic plan of attack for anything as men are so self absorbed they don’t want to listen and understand, and have such a short attention span for anything long range. even if a woman bothers to explain something, after the conversation the man will normally say “and why are you wearing a blue dress?”. women actually don’t distrust men, they more disrespect them as a group. we view men as one trick ponies who can only concentrate on one thing at a time, and can’t string things together for long enough to actually get a result. men do not evaluate their progress towards a goal (what women are doing when they “gossip” or “chat”) – if they don’t make progress, or it is a disaster they simply distance themselves from the original project, and move on to make a balls up of another project. for the power of women, why don’t you check out mombloggersforsocialgood.

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    • YusefWateef

      Alice, I read your spirited response twice just to be sure I understood. We do not disagree on many things.
      – Women distrusting men.
      – Men being concerned with the dress a woman is wearing more than anything else.
      – Male self absorption.
      You made several relevant and accurate points. The point I raised is that even after all of the revelations you mentioned, you never refuted my claim that women refuse to work together.

      I did a cursory read of http://mombloggersforsocialgood.com, thank you. At first glance they seem to be the exception that proved one of my unwritten rules on women’s social circles. I need to to get writing on that subject.

      Thanks for the inspiration,
      -Watt

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      • alicetamani

        Thanks Watt, actually I didn’t realise until I read your response that I didn’t refute your claim that women refuse to work together. I realise that I didn’t do this, as that is the lynchpin of your argument, which is why your argument fails. The sole premise you base your argument on is incorrect. I am not sure what kind of women you have been observing? Could you please shed some light on this?
        Your argument is like a car with a broken chassis, it just doesn’t have any wheels to move forward. Perhaps Australian women are different from your control mice? I was frankly shocked when I read your blog, as I just simply could not believe that you have observed what you say you have. That belief forced me to respond to you, as it seemed to me that you either a) did make the observations – which I can’t believe or b) didn’t make the observations and just wanted to write something sensationalist and a fly paper for online comment – which you achieved.
        Anyway, I still enjoy reading your blog as it does make me think. I just had a sinking feeling though that it might make me think that you are either a chauvinist or a hypocrite. Your blog post reminded me of a teenage boy who is sulking because he had to be asked to do the dishes, and then obstinately but quietly refuses – there are only two options – deaf or disobedient! I hope that my foreboding is not played out.

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  3. diosadelcaribe75

    I’ve always thought if women stopped competing with each other we would be ruling the world.
    It’s in our nature to compete with each other for the best resources for our families. That includes trying to find the best provider/mate/protector. The competitiveness is obtained in our DNA/psyche… My two cents

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  4. Kerrie

    Women constantly work together. My female friends are my greatest support. We don’t compete with each other, but nurture eqch other. We would love to get together to do silly things, but between work and family there is very little time to do anything fun or silly. We band together to help each other when there’s a crisis or a problem. We just get on with it together and don’t make a fuss. I recently went through a terrible period, and my friends were there to help me every step of the way. I also work with mostly females and as a team we help each other to achieve our common goal. Everyone’s experiences are different, so lets not tar everyone with the same brush as you have in your observations.
    I don’t have any clever phrases. The things we say to each other are: ‘we can do this’, ‘lets all get stuck into solving this problem’ and ‘we are here for you and together we can work things out’.

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    • YusefWateef

      Your experience sounds better than most Kerrie. I’m glad you spoke up. I wonder if what’s different with your social group is you. You seem to be the common denominator of what holds both groups of women together, the work group and your social group. What you said is in direct contradiction to almost all of what I’ve seen. Between what you and Alicetamani said, I need to spend some time talking to a few women I know about their social circles to observe how their groups are formed. I’ll talk to them about it.

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  5. MStabby

    Women dont lack loyalty or the ability to stick together, we lack the need to come up with corny and/offensive sayings in order to crow about it.

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    • YusefWateef

      The corny and offensive sayings men have are part of the cement that holds us together. From vulgar military cadence down to the gut wrenching, sorrowful songs of men shackled to a chain gang. We use our words as a salient, nearly tangible evidence of our camaraderie.

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  6. Dame Frost

    Watt,
    It’s not often that I disagree with you but my experience of the world has been more akin to Karries than the dystopian female experience you describe. I can’t think of a single female that I actively hate. There is one that I dislike because of behavior specifically and intentionally done by that person. My history is such that I would not be where I am or who I am with out the support of my female friends. They are the ones that come to my aide, who assist in planning adventures, who close ranks if there is a need. They are the ones that trade recipes and share resources with me and I them. For example, when my son was born I was *gifted* a very expensive set of NEW reusable diapers and I passed them to another woman when my son grew out of them.. So far they have been through two other children. We keep each other sane, bounce ideas off each other, do design, art and construction projects. This isn’t even a small group of women. This is, at a conservative estimate, at least 200 individuals across seven states…actually more states than that now that I am thinking of it. I’ve know most of these ladies for 5 or more years. We definitely do laugh at the antics of our men, but I have not experienced this derisive environment except in specific situations outside of our group. As Karrie said, maybe it’s just the women you find yourself around.

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  7. IllimitableMan

    This piece is interesting and there is an element of something you’re getting at there that is quite true. It is not that men cannot be duplicitous, it is that on the whole, they are less talented in the arts of duplicity than woman having evolved to use physical strength and the co-operation of other men (and their proxy strength) to ascertain their desires rather than duplicity. On the other hand, women have evolved to use duplicity and co-opt men rather than co-operate with others. This is why in contemporary society where the pendulum has swung in such a way that we live in a female dominated society, violence is strictly regulated whilst duplicity is not, and man is being forced to adapt to employ duplicity in order to achieve his ends.

    Hilariously in spite of all this, women have a stronger gender in-group preference than men (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15491274 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%80%9CWomen_are_wonderful%E2%80%9D_effect) Men will see all men as “other” until said said man is in his circle. Forced to choose between an “other” man and an “other” woman, he will side with the woman. You’ve heard the term white knighting, this term is a label applied to this tendency. Man’s tendency to choose “other” women over “other” men. But women will only see other women as “other” when said woman is construed as a threat. Women see men they haven’t co-opted or who otherwise do not bring them benefit (Briffault’s Law) as “other” and thus when they must choose between an other that is female and an other that is male, they choose to align with the female every time. Perhaps intimidated by the “other” man, but who knows for certain. So you see, although men have a type of loyalty that women do not have, it must be earnt, when all genders must choose between “other” who are male or female, both genders tend to side with the female. Loyalty or at least, momentary loyalty seems to be a provision of the female. Something that stems from the female to whoever serves her best, and something that stems from the male to the random female when she designates a strange male as an enemy and extends a cry of distress. Bros before hoes simply does not extend to men who are not considered bros by the man making the decision to act within the moment.

    The instinct is to step in on behalf of the strange woman rather than the strange man, although I believe with a conscious awareness of this and the paradigm we live in, such an instinct may be overridden. I am somewhat rambling as this is all incredibly nuanced and requires more deliberation and fleshing out to be presented completely coherently, but nevertheless it an interesting philosophical discourse to entertain on the difference between genders, their loyalties, their methods of power acquisition and how they interact between and among each other.

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  8. curiouscece

    I agree with many of these comments, especially those written by Just Jage and Alice Tamani.

    To be honest, I was hoping that this article would be clickbait.

    This article really came off as very sexist, chauvinistic and shallow. Also, perhaps written from an emotional point-of-view. I’m surprised and disappointed to learn that these are the conclusions that you’ve gathered from your observations of women; especially with your international experience!

    I think that (some) women (and maybe even some men out there) don’t have to have an adrenaline rush like you claim men do to prove their loyalty to one another. Why must you have to do “stupid” things to prove your loyalty? I currently live in South Korea and see lots of instances of female bonding which starts at a young age here – hand holding amongst friends of the same sex (In Korea, hand-holding among the same sex is socially acceptable.), making sure peers (of the same sex) aren’t left out of group activities or working together to give the correct answers during games (if it’s a boy, the girls could care less and vice versa). And also the jimbiljang (spa/bathouse) culture amongst adult women which provides many bonding opportunities (especially with the lack of personal space and nudity involved).

    Other than that, I’ve seen plenty of instances where women get together and talk about their men (aka “locker room” talk), and as far as locker rooms go, ladies who play sports on teams can bond with their team-mates over their love of the game and achieving their goal of winning. On the other hand, I’ve been witness to a situation where three long-term “loyal” (according to your definition of proving their friendship via adrenaline-inducing activities) broke their (strong) brotherly bond over a woman. (That’s a “tea sipping” story for another time.) I wasn’t involved in the situation, but after hearing each side of the story, it hurt to learn that they were so quick to throw away the brotherly friendship that they each “worked” so hard on over the years. I was shocked and definitely wondered, “Where’s the loyalty?”

    As far as clever sayings, to promote loyalty between girls and women, how about:
    1. Girl power.
    2. You go girl!
    3. Soul sisters.
    4. My girlfriends.
    5. No boys allowed.

    And I just wanted to end this by saying that I hope that you will eventually surround yourself with a different circle of women. They’re out there!

    Like

    • YusefWateef

      The problem is, I came to these conclusions only after surrounding myself with a diverse, global group of women, over the course of decades. That’s why what I have found, through experience, is so frightening.

      Like

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