A question for liberals and feminists
There is something I’ve always wanted to say to a liberal, but somehow the right opportunity has never come up. So I’ll share it with readers. Perhaps some will find it useful or even have a chance to try it out in practice.
Let’s say you are talking to a liberal or a feminist who keeps insisting or implying that men and women are the same and that their outcomes ought to be the same.
First say to your interlocutor:
Let me ask you this. Do you believe that men and women have fundamental psychological commonalities as human beings?Of course your interlocutor will say yes.
Then say to her (I am assuming that your interlocutor is a woman):
Ok. Now do you also believe that men and women have fundamental psychological differences as men and women?(Note: I stuck in the word “psychological” so that the question about differences could not be reduced to a difference of sex organs and secondary sex characteristics.)
Having agreed that men and women have fundamental commonalities as human beings, how can the liberal/feminist deny that men and women have fundamental differences as men and women? I think she would find it hard to do this with a straight face.
The deeper idea at work here is that existence is multileveled. We have a nature as human beings. We also have a nature as male or female. Every Western human being instinctively knows this to be true, even though it is rarely articulated in plain terms as I am doing here. So, once you get your feminist conversation partner to agree with one part of this larger truth, it will be difficult for her to disagree with the other part of it. You will have led her, at least by one step, away from feminist ideology and toward the truth of existence.
If you ask a feminist or a liberal, “Do you also believe that men and women have fundamental psychological differences as men and women?”, most likely they will say no. They think such differences are not fundamental but “socially constructed” and thus can be eliminated with proper indoctrination. As someone who is raising male and female children, I think this is total nonsense. I have observed that male and female infants display recognizably male and female psychological characteristics from the very earliest age. I can only conclude that liberal ideology blinds feminists to these fundamental psychological differences, which one would think they surely observed in their own children.Timothy A. writes:
As soon as I read your proposed question, “social construct” popped into mind and I see that James P. had the same reaction. In fact, liberals have devised a whole bag of tricks to defend their views from empirical evidence which contradicts those views. Observed differences in the psychology of males and females? Social construct. Differences in outcomes of racial and ethnic groups? Discrimination.Kristor writes:
I have witnessed liberals coping with the undeniable psychological differences between their boys and girls, even at very young ages. They admit the differences are present, but argue that the differences are unimportant in one or both of two different ways:LA replies:
Readers’ responses so far in this thread all suggest that I was being unrealistically hopeful in thinking that a liberal might be brought up short by my question.Kristor continues:
Yet despite experiences of the type I recounted in my previous comment, I do think that the innate, undeniable differences between young boys and girls may be one of the most vulnerable holes in the liberal ideological armor. Such responses as I have limned came from hard-core leftists and feminists. Most run of the mill liberals, on the other hand—the sort of folks who’ve never really thought about politics much, but rather have been immersed in a liberal milieu for their entire lives, and so take it for granted—treat these events (boys playing war with fingers for guns; girls having tea parties with Lego people) as unaccountable mysteries. They shrug, as if to say, “What can you do? They’ll grow out of it.” If upon witnessing such moments we could ask them simply where they think such tendencies come from, most of them would shrug again and say, “genetics.”LA replies:
Your imaginary Socratic dialog with a contemporary liberal is first rate.LA adds:
It’s ironic that in your dialog you are using the very anti-Platonic Darwinian theory of evolution to drive home your point about innate differences between men and women. But that may as close as our age allows people to come to the idea of an innate nature.Gintas writes:
“Your imaginary Socratic dialog with a contemporary liberal is first rate.”LA replies:
But hasn’t the discussion already dealt with that point? It depends on the kind of liberal one is dealing with, on how dogmatic he is in his liberalism. Yes, hard-core liberals would short-circuit any Socratic dialog.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 13, 2011 02:02 PM | Send