Women are better than Men?

Several weeks ago I was watching a round-table political debate on television when one of the members of the discussion casually stated that, ‘It is becoming increasingly clear that women are better than men’.

Waiting for someone to challenge this statement I was amazed to see the entire panel, including the men, nodding in agreement or otherwise voicing their assent.

This is a belief that I have seen elsewhere and although I consider it nothing more than the opposite version of the same sexist rubbish that women have had to traditionally deal with (and still do in many parts of the world) I found it disturbing that such a statement could pass unchallenged on a public television program and that it seems to be becomingly increasingly common elsewhere. It’s regular for men to be presented in the media and other material as simplistic creatures ruled by simple animal desires such as food, beer and sex while women are the truly three-dimensional, complex and emotionally mature sex.

I was wondering if anyone believes the above assertion to be true, and why.

Sorry, no cites, just going from memory here.

Can you give us some idea of the context of that statement? Were they discussing something specific, or just making broad generalizations?

Is that “better at cooking” or “better at house cleaning” or “better at sucking cock”?

This particular show obviously debates at a shallow level. :smack:

How ‘much clearer’ is it ‘becoming’? :confused:
Did a poll last year show 27% agreement with the sentiment ‘women are better than men’, and now it’s 31%?

‘Better’ at what? :confused:
Child bearing? (Yup)
Chess (nope)
Calligraphy (insufficient data)

It reminds me of a kid at School who said his football team were the best in the World. When I asked him why, he stated “because they are the best in the World!”
Now he’d fit right in to that discussion…

It was discussing American foreign policy in the Middle-East and the problem of the rise of Islamic fundementalism after the overthrow of Saddam with the subsequent loss of rights for Iraqi woman. But from the way it was said and the reaction of the panel members the statment was intended to encompass men and women in general.

Rune: ‘Better’ as in ‘Superior’ to men in a general sense, as in the traditional and contemporary attributes and other things that are currently believed to define men and women mean that of the two sexes women are the more worthy. As I said its just the opposite of the old attitudes and beliefs which defined men and women, eg: that women were fickle-headed silly creatures who couldn’t be trusted to vote, unlike the calm, thoughtful and rationale men. Now we have it that women are emotionally complex and deep and individual while men are an amorphous mass of simple creatures driven by primal urges and with no self-control.
Note I also believe there are plenty of current negative stereotypes and beliefs about women with as little basis in fact but thats not what I intended to cover in this thread. The quote in the discussion I mentioned above and another similar statement by the reviewer of a book who waxed lyrical about how the world would be a paradise if only women were in charge sparked something I’ve been thinking and wondering about for some time. That also reminds me, I bought the ‘Superman: Red Son’ graphic novel a few weeks ago (I’m not a big comic fan but have an interest in the Cold War and wondered how they’d approach the interesting premise) and it had as a major plot-point Wonderwoman and her background which is from a paradise island composed only of women with one of the characters stating that its a paradise because there are no men. Yeah…that’s a really nice message to promote to children…

I have to point out that I think the differences between men and women are commonly massively overstated and that we are far more alike than we are different and also that the differences that do exist are complementary and not antagonistic.

I think my beliefs in this area were well put by another poster here in another thread (I’ve been lurking for a while before signing up). She stated that all people are a mixture of traditionally feminine and traditionally masculine aspects to different degrees and that a truly 100% feminine woman or 100% masculine man would be nothing more than a horribly one-dimensional stereotype of a human being.

I think this antagonism between men and women that I percieve in the current media and come across in common conversation is unhelpful and mostly baseless.

Heck, Bill Maher dedicates several minutes of his Victory Begins at Home routine criticizing the pussificiation of American society. He also takes a shot at women for still being impressed by diamonds and other shiny rocks. I highly recommend it.

As for Paradise Island, it’s been men-free since the character was created in the forties. The social order got disrupted when handsome American pilot Steve Trevor crashed there, inspiring their princess, Diana, to venture forth into “men’s world.” Even before he showed up, though, the babes had spears and swords and armor and whatnot. No soft idyllic utopia, there.

I’ve heard this argument before, but usually it’s phrased like:
Fact: Men hold much more political power than women
Fact: History and current events are rife with warfare, atrocities, and suffering
Therefore: Women are better and the world would be better off if they were in charge.

Which doesn’t follow at all. We don’t know what a female-dominated world would look like, because we’ve never seen one. The women who have gained power aren’t always exemplars of enlightened government.

Interesting you state that you think the sexes are far more alike, in the context of your OP. So are women really ‘better’ or are men and women so alike that it doesn’t really matter.

FWIM’s I believe that men and women are far more different, and those differences are played down, creating the illusion that they are ‘interchangable’. I do agree with you that those differences are complementrary.

As for one being better, perhaps. My personal belief is that for some reason the man has evolved to be the ‘brute’, to take care of the basic needs of day to day living, while women have evolved to take care of more mind/body/soul aspect of humanity. Becomming the healers, and care givers, not just to children but also to other members of society who are hurt, disabled. And also, in general (and again IMHO) closer to the spirtual world and/or God.

Now this complementry relationship got a bit out of whack as men are naturally stronger then women, and had the power to oppress women. This oppression may have been advantagious for women, as oppression = protection, but the ‘demoting’ of women from a complementry ‘co-equal’ to a subordinate seems to have cost the advantage having the differences in the genders. Men have historically taken over stuff they were really not good at ( again mind, body soul stuff), which (again IMHO) have set back society.

A lot of religion has used that religion as a source of that oppression of women, I do believe most of that is a misinterpertation, and women should have way more power then they are historically given, actually more power then men in aspects where they naturally excell.

I’ll give a fuller answer later but I just have to reply quickly that I think men and women are entirely equal in worth. Neither is better than the other and I think that the men and women brackets are so large as to be almost meaningless for any definitions other than the purely physical.

One of the kindest, most gentle and loving people I ever knew was a man who physically looked like he could crush boulders in his bare hands and eat break telegraph posts in half. In that sense he was very far from what is thought of as traditionally masculine. I am extremely uncomfortable in placing people in neatly definied categories in general, apart from the physical, what it is thought men and women should be is another one.

It’s a very complex subject and I’m not explaining myself clearly.

Borderfox, the reason why the “women are better than men” type of comments can be said and not be ferociously torn apart is because, IMO at least, no one really believes that to be true. With the exception of folks on the fringes, no one takes that sentiment seriously.

Just curious: was it a man who said that comment? Or was it woman? Either way, I have a feeling that it was probably clearly said tongue-in-cheek, a throwaway line not to be taken at face value. But if it had been a man saying it, I can imagine him encountering less backlash than if a woman had said it. Why? Because it would be especially obvious that a man would not seriously believe women are superior, so no one would feel it was necessary to counter such an idea. Even if he said it with a straight face.

I see it this way…if you look at it from a biological or evolutionary POV, male & female are basically complementary. In reproduction as well as social roles, each provides a necessary function to the species. You can’t just declare that the traits that are more “masculine” somehow cause more problems in the modern world, and therefore, males are “inferior.” Males evolved the way they did for a reason…maybe modern sensibilities are not in step with this, but evolution is a much more powerful and long-lasting force than society, which changes constantly. It’s ridiculous to claim that we know so much that we can declare thousands of years of evolution to be “wrong.”

That pretty much sums up my attitude. IMHO, the correct answer to the question “Who’s better, men or women ?” is “Unanswerable; define your terms”. Men are stronger, women more flexible. Men are heat resistant, women cold resistant. Women have a longer lifepan, men stronger joints. Women have a stronger immune system, men a more tolerent one ( less prone to allergies and autoimmune disorders, more vulnerable to parasites and disease ). Men are better at mathematics and ballistics, women at social skills and color discrimination. Men can’t get pregnant/don’t need to worry about it, women can bear children/need to worry about pregnancy. Men are more prone to produce geniuses, women less prone to mental retardation and insanity.

Which is more desirable ? Lacking a Standard Reference Human, there’s no way to judge.

Then there’s Fact : quite a few men will do whatever their wives or mothers tell them. Men have had a higher social position, but that’s not always the same as power. Can we really tell for sure that some King a thousand years ago didn’t invade his neighbors because his wife came up with the idea ?

I do think that men and women are very different.

It was a woman who said it and she was 100% serious, as were the people who agreed with her. I found the whole thing eyebrow-raising in the extreme and would have simply passed it off as an anomoly if I hadn’t come across similar sentiments elsewhere.

I find it disappointing and disturbing that these gender stereotypes are still so common, as a wise man once said, ‘Can’t we all just get along?’. :wink:

Its not uncommon for people to mistake the gender of the person they’re talking to on the internet, even if they’ve known each other for some time, unless they make a clear reference to something gender-specific.

For me at least that suggests that mentally at least we aren’t that different, in mind to mind communication it can be difficult to know whether you’re talking to a man or a woman.

I don’t find it at all surprising. Some fairly senior female politicians over here have come up with some doozies over the last few years, such as claiming in all seriousness that women are “more highly evolved” than men (or a variant of this, saying that men were 20th century people while women were 21st century people).

I suppose the reason why we tolerate it has something to do with why we tolerate poster adverts showing a man’s hands cupped protectively round his groin and the slogan: “The <crap car>. Ask before you borrow it.”

It seems to me that at this point it’s impossible to really seperate out which of the commonly seen differences between men and women are culturally imposed and which are biological. There seems to be a belief that biological differences are more “real” than the culturally imposed ones, though it seems to me that there isn’t much difference from the point of view of the person experiencing both cultural and biological pressures–neither is immune to the influence of hte other, and neither can be easily shrugged off.

I do know that the differences that do exisit on the macro level collapse when it comes to dealing with individuals, and that anyone who tries to deal with a representitive either gender based on their understanding of that gender as a whole instead of paying attention to the individual in front of them is not being efficient and will likely make mistakes.

All of that is true…pretty much nothing that is generally true of a given group will necessarily apply to any given individual in that group. But, that’s not really the point of the OP. I think that the person stated that women are better than men, they were probably talking about men & women in general, and therefore the REAL underlying thing they were referring to was what we generally think of as “masculine” vs. “feminine” traits.

Brain studies disagree; our brains just don’t work the same way. IMHO, you’re looking at the result of evolution; we need to cooperate to hold society together, so we have a similar facade we present to the world. If our behavior were as different as our minds, we would find it difficult to communicate. Besides, both genders grow up in the same society, and therefore have much in common.

This was essentially the conclusion that my male Biology 101 professor gave us. He said that the Y chromosome was essentially an X chromosome with one of the legs broken off. Therefore, women are superior creatures genetically.

If that was the least absurd statement that went unchallenged on that particular program, then they must have been having a good night. A typical debate segment these days consists of immature name-calling, death threats, accusing opponents of siding with the terrorists, comparing opponents to Hitler, etc…

News shows are a lot like comedy shows: you only get to appear if you’re rude, crass, and aggressive. That encourages individual pundits to become shrill, ranting lunatics–that’s how you get noticed. Like all venues of lower-class mass entertainment, cable news becomes a race to the bottom in terms of taste and intelligence. The point is that the person you’re referring to would have no interest in philosophically debating the statement “Women are better than men.” It was just an attention-grabbing device in the first place.

In short, if you don’t want to be offended, don’t watch TV.