Tuesday 28 November 2023

Analyzing "what women do" is... what *women* do: Hospital Society signs of maladaptive mutation accumulation?

In the weird online world, the masculine reaction against feminism and feminization, has often taken the form of men analyzing what women do (in order, supposedly, for men to be able better to understand and manipulate women). 

So, men who purport to desire to re-establish patriarchy, are expending their time and efforts in discussing the opposite sex.

And yet... this kind of thing is exactly what women do!

Back in the day "when men were men", men would never dream of getting together to analyze women - they were just not interested in such gossip. 

Men, instead, wanted to talk about things that interested them - work, sports, politics, theology... 

That was even the case just 20-plus years ago, when Robin Dunbar was researching his book "Grooming, gossip, and the evolution of language". In his studies, eavesdropping on single sex groups chatting; men talked about their interests; while women talked about social stuff: mostly about... men*.

There was, indeed, a whole evolutionary rationale for this difference in subject matter (to which I made a small contribution). 

Indirectly, the biological evidence was that such different interests were broadly adaptive. That is: such differences led to enhanced reproductive success throughout past evolutionary history. 

In traditional societies, it was a better reproductive strategy (overall, on average) for men to focus their social interactions on 'the world', and women to focus on people - especially men. 

Therefore, I would regard men analyzing women as a Hospital Society phenomenon, consistent with de-differentiation (loss of sexual differentiation) and maladaptation (loss of social and sexual adaptations) - which are plausibly caused by mutation accumulation. 

Of course, this does not mean that it is wrong for groups of men to want to analyze women in their online gossip (or IRL), esepcially considering that The West 2023 is not our "environment of evolutionary adaptedness"...

Just that such behaviour is rather... effeminate!

Thus paradoxically; the modern pro-masculine reaction is in this, as in other respects, un-masculine. 

*Briefly to summarize and caricature: men spontaneously talk about men, and so do women.


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

There's an old country song from the eighties that uses "As long as old men sit and talk about the weather / As long as old women sit and talk about old men" to mean "forever." No one would have dreamt of reversing the genders in that last clause.

There's also the so-called Bechdel test: To be acceptable to feminists, a movie must have (1) at least two female characters (2) who talk to each other (3) about something other than a man. According to Wikipedia, roughly half of all movies pass, but "about half of the films that do pass the test only do so because the women talk about marriage or babies."

Luke said...

When I look at the faces of professional footballers in the 1950s and 60s, and the faces of male actors and singers, the contemporary equivalent have more baby faces, less adult male.

I think this is because humans are culture dependent for their proper development and the old schools of manhood and boyhood - the workplace, the military, the pub, sports clubs, marriage culture, free range play - have drastically faded to almost disappearance.

Males can no longer find the apprenticeship of masculinity their biology once found in these spheres.

Therefore I don't think this is the majority, at present, mutation accumulation. I think this is majority, at present, environmental, in that males are failing to reach mature, male adulthood by the loss of culture.

I hear even the culture of the military has drastically changed, therefore the only schools of masculinity I see today are rugby clubs where certain ideals of work, play, physicality, fraternity, and being a family man exist to a still significant extent. And of course for Muslims, over sixty per cent of mosques are male only so they have that.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - I would comment on your comment, except that might be construed as me talking about women...

@Luke - I think you should consider whether the top-down feminizing influences on modern men would have had such success, had they not also been met by at least some significant degree of changes among men themselves.

This applies more generally. While our society has undoubtedly been corrupted, and values inverted, by long term strategies from The Establishment; "the masses" have put up very little resistance either externally or (apparently) inwardly.

In other words, extreme top-down corruption has been met by a lesser but still significant bottom-up disposition to-be-corrupted.

Ron Tomlinson said...

Aren't there problems to discuss? Many men have been injured through divorce, divorce settlements and so on. Hard to find a wife if you're a young man nowadays. Etc.

Women who analyse/gossip together about men are talking about specific men they know (I think!) and not about men in general. Whereas men online are discussing women in general. They're trying to *problem-solve* which is a quintessentially male activity.

WJT said...

Too late for that, Bruce! You’ve already said that talking about what women do is what women do. Hoist on your own petard, just as surely as if you’d written a screed about how horrible it is to be “judgmental.”

Bruce Charlton said...

@WJT - I am not claiming to be exempt from the general problem I describe...

@RT - "Aren't there problems to discuss?"

Haven't there always been? And yet in past generations apparently they *weren't* much discussed.

Mia said...

Not proof I suppose but Anna Karenina comes to mind: the entire novel is a jilted young man achieving reproductive success by going to extremes of not thinking about it.

No Longer Reading said...

At least one thing that has happened is that as society has grown more artificial, it has grown more social and then more artificially social.

I don't think you have to go back even all that far to when many women talked about the non-social world (even though of course they were still highly interested in the social). At least as far back as home industry, when women were spinning or weaving or working on farms. Those kind of jobs aren't merely social; they force you to think about the work itself.

It's been a gradual process, it's been going on for many decades now, and it's not easy to see how to get out of it, but I would say the increasing artificialization of human life was neither good nor inevitable: it was a wrong turn.

gary z said...

Its necessary because women are competing and taking men's jobs which was not the case before so now men have to analyze women so they can be more like them because employers want to hire feminized persons.

Bruce Charlton said...

@gz - That sounds a bit like a masculine pseudo-functional rationalization! - my impression is that men nowadays talk about women because they *enjoy* talking about women.

@NLR - As in the previous comment - I'd say that the focus would need to be on what people did spontaneously by choice, rather than things they may be compelled to do by current necessity.

Luke said...

Reminds me of that Goethe quote:

'Speaking for myself, I too believe that humanity will win in the long run; I am only afraid that at the same time the world will have turned into one huge hospital where everyone is everybody else's humane nurse.'

Jack said...


I am sure your analysis applies to the vast majority of men in male spaces. It is my belief that some discussion is necessary to make men aware of some uncomfortable truths about the nature of women -- truths that are hidden from men, or that men are inclined to ignore, often to their own detriment. This lack of awareness is, in part, why society is as broken as it is. But just like any other subject in school, once the ideas are digested, it is time to move on to other things.

BTW, in a couple recent posts, one of our authors, Arch Angel, has addressed the nature and place of Positivism in modern society. I know you have written about this before. We would appreciate it very much if you could give us some feedback.

Thank you in advance.

Bruce Charlton said...


What I'm talking about is (what I infer to be) a motivation among men to talk (and talk!) "about women" - which is, I think (as a generalization) something new; and probably itself a consequence of dysfunctionality (with, no doubt, multiple causes - I'm just emphasizing that biology/ genetics is probably one of them).

Yes, I have written a lot about Positivism (aka reductionism, scientism, materialism)


Much of the best insights I have encountered come from Owen Barfield - https://owenbarfieldblog.blogspot.com/ - but Barfield is not easy to "get" - it took me quite a few years of trying to engage with his work before I suddenly "got" him.

In passing; the way in which Sigma Frame blog is structured is itself highly positivistic - more so than any other blog I have encountered; and it may be that this innate positivism of form, impairs any deep critical engagement with the metaphysical assumptions of positivism.