Thursday, 13 February 2014

Each healthy young woman has been gifted with significant social power

*

Young, healthy women are, on average, much more powerful than young men: powerful in the social arena, powerful in the sexual arena.

Indeed all young healthy women are valued, all have significant power - because all are significantly desirable and desired.

*

(The situation is very different for young men. To be a man is to be part of a zero-sum game. If a man does not have valued qualities then he is not valued - is indeed despised - and is indeed regarded as, is treated as, disposable. Which, biologically and economically - although certainly not religiously - he is.)

*

This difference between young men and women is probably mostly for biological reasons described by Robert Trivers in relation to investment of resources in offspring. Over many generations of our ancestors women invested differentially vastly more resources into children than men (9 months pregnancy, a few years of feeding, and several years of total care); and this deeply shaped human psychology. By contrast, one man could provide all the necessary investment to make as many babies as required, and only economically-valuable men were necessary for their upbringing.

*

Young healthy women have the greatest reproductive potential - they can expect to have the most babies and stay well to look after them until the offspring have ceased to be dependent.

That is why visual and behavioural cues signalling 'young and healthy' in a woman = what we term beautiful, desirable, sexy.

*

Anyway, this means that the attractiveness of young healthy women is a gift; it is not something earned or striven-for.

And since attractiveness is the basis of their interpersonal and social influence, the power of young healthy women is also a gift.

Therefore one primary moral challenge for young healthy women concerns how they bestow this gift.

*

Almost all women face this challenge, almost all women have this power - almost all women have (for a while) the power to shape their own social arena by their choices concerning the bestowal of their gift of youth and health.

Such decisions have personal consequences (on the woman who bestows, and the man upon whom the gift is bestowed); but the decisions also have social consequences, as others observe and learn-from the choices of each young healthy woman: at what age she chooses, whom she chooses, how often she chooses, upon what grounds she chooses, upon what conditions she chooses etc.

Therefore, as a gift - not earned - each and every young healthy woman has some significant power to shape not just her own condition, but also the condition of society.

*

Indeed, each and every young healthy woman does - whether wittingly or unwittingly, whether knowingly or denyingly, and to some significant extent, actually shape her society by her choices of when (if ever), where, how, upon-whom to bestow her gift of youth and beauty.

This is, and ought to be regarded, as an awesome responsibility for each and every young and healthy woman.

Each woman is, as in the Princess fantasy, suddenly propelled-into this situation of being a focus of attention and a source of power - simply by virtue of her normal development.

So there she is, quite suddenly - yet temporarily - a ruler of some domain: What will she do?

**


As so often, reality is reflected in Nursery Rhymes!

Men must prove themselves:

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick!
Jack jump-over the candlestick!

Whereas for an exceptionally beautiful, healthy young woman...

Goldilocks, Goldilocks wilt thou be mine?
Thou shalt not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine.
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam. 
And feed-upon strawberries, sugar and cream. 

*