Wednesday 30 January 2019

Women, men and task-functionality

(Note: What follows are generalisations based-upon biological differences - there are exceptions; but exceptions are exceptional, and should be regarded as such. Social arrangements may reshape or distort the generalisations; but such arrangements need to be purposive, powerful and permanent - since they are trying to re-mould what happens spontaneously. If you dispute what it said below; bear in mind that this is almost-certainly not because of evidence, but because you have different assumptions by-which you are interpreting the evidence.)

Women react very badly to being told they can't (or even shouldn't) do any particular thing; even when they don't actually want to do it.

So (evil) feminism seems to work by telling women that they are being excluded from this or that - by a conspiracy of men.

This is termed the 'patriarchy' - and is supposedly an omnipresent-yet-occult peer-group conspiracy of a kind that does not spontaneously exist among men (who mostly compete with each other - or cooperate in hierarchies); but is normal among women (who spontaneously conspire for social goals, and punish other women by social exclusion).

So women can get very angry about being excluded from horrendous situations, like frontline combat situations in wars; despite that it is only very rare and unusual women who actually want to take part in such activities (and indeed, the majority of men would certainly prefer Not to be in such situations!).

This is why women (in general) feel, or can easily be made to feel, that being excluded from things they would actually hate to do is equivalent to being shunned. 

Another example is professional mathematics, physics and engineering. Only a small minority of men, but a much smaller minority of women, actually want to do these things as a first choice in life (even when they are good at them). But even women who would loathe to do this work can get very angry if they are brought to believe they are being kept-out of it... which, of course, they aren't; quite the opposite for the past several decades.

Women project female motivations onto men; just as men project male motivations onto women; and this is quite natural and spontaneous because it is how we understand other people: we use our own emotions to model those of others. And this is why it is so easy to fool so many women into assuming that men operate in the ways that women do.

And it goes further than this; because men and women perceive Life in different ways - I mean the whole business of the human condition is seen differently: Women see life more socially, men see life more functionally.

Therefore, by a kind-of paradox... From a task-functional perspective, the fact that only few and exceptional women want to be in a situation (or are able to do it, due to sex differentials in ability) is sometimes exactly why women actually ought to be 'kept-out'! ( a generalisation, with exceptional exceptions...)

As the adverse (and increasingly-adverse) experience of recent generations suggests; the mixed sex situation has intrinsically so many dys-functional aspects, that it is generally to be avoided when functionality is the priority. There are, of course, exceptions - usually time-limited - such as when functionality is so strong or urgent a priority that it psychologically overwhelms the problems of mixed-sex groups. For example in acute emergencies, or during war.

Task-functionality is a mainly masculine ideal - and in a pure form is pretty rare even among men, and easily corrupted by short-termism and selfishness. Nonetheless, most men see an 'ideal' world in terms of functions, and how best to accomplish them. The difference is not in the ideal, but in whether it can be lived-up-to.

(Perhaps this is why talking-about sports is so popular among men, since sports are about 'how to' accomplish tasks: how to win. Men often enjoy spending hours talking about how their team might play better, might win more... task-functionality in action.)

But even if at lower levels men are mainly motivated by selfish-short-termism; task-functionality must dominate the leadership group; if performing a function is genuinely intended.

Men who are genuinely interested in functionality, and who have gathered in self-selected groups of other such men, nearly always experience the presence of women as disruptive to functionality.

This is not-at-all surprising; since adult mixed-sex functional groups are an extreme evolutionary novelty - just a handful of generations even in The West. We are not evolutionarily-equipped to task-function in mixed sex groups - we not being assisted, but rather thwarted, by our 'instincts'.

From the male perspective of task-functionality, 'women' (in general, and as a group especially) tend to hijack task-functionality into 'social dynamics'; since men see the world in functional terms, and women in social terms.

A single exceptional women, in exceptional circumstances, may share task-functional goals with self-selected men (history provides several examples). But because task functionality is so extremely rare among women (especially in some particular areas such as maths, physics, engineering and the like); any group of women will not be composed of such rare exceptional types; and therefore any group of women will almost-certainly tend to (try to) hijack task-functionality into social dynamics; because that is simply how groups of women experience reality.   

Thus women reshape the externally-orientated functional male environment into a social female environment of networks - with its focus on dynamics... bonding rituals, a kind of peer-group-norm 'egalitarianism'; and psychodramas of favouritism, exclusion, shunning.

And this is precisely the nature of modern bureaucracy, and therefore of all modern social systems.

Modern organisations have no real external task-function (what they have is a mere badge, a fake rationale, an excuse) - and have mostly given-up on task-functionality. All large organisations are bureaucracies, and all bureaucracies have become mostly, qualitatively the same: their main activity is inwardly-directed 'office politics'.

The female ideal of work-life as social dynamics has displaced the male ideal of task-functionality: the workplace has been remodelled around group dynamics, instead of accomplishing some role. 

Of course - none of these 'public space', organisational activities really satisfy women - because what is really most-wanted by most women (spontaneously, naturally, deeply) is a family.  

Being a unit of human resources in a bureaucracy can hardly be expected to substitute for being a mother to children. Yet this is indeed what is expected - and the superiority of the workplace to the family is massively-pervasive propaganda, explicit and implicit, in the mass media and officialdom directed at women.

Women increasingly build failed lives on the false motivation of resentment-at-exclusion.  

Thus we wreck the effectiveness of the entire public realm in The West, in trying and failing to provide a idealised female-friendly environment; in a misguided and destructive (and ultimately evil-motivated) attempt to substitute work for family for the majority of women - when this is only valid for rare and exceptional women.

And the motivation that drives this is resentment, based on false projection of female-onto-male psychology.


William Wildblood said...

The problem is that men, in general, seek excellence or truth while women seek consensus. When public life is orientated towards the latter, as it increasingly is, you have the seeds of decline.

Lucinda said...

"This is why women (in general) feel, or can easily be made to feel, that being excluded from things they would actually hate to do is equivalent to being shunned."

This hits the nail on the head. I had been wondering why on earth women would be so innately defiant about being told there are things they can't or shouldn't do. Even in my own mind I had grappled with why I didn't feel like accepting the explanation about women being cherished and men being expendable. But for a woman, being shunned is a fate worse than death.

The heights of modern civilization are part of the problem then, because it's built upon male-achievement, which must be taught about to be maintained, but in the historical lesson, women see an exclusive club.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

That's a very insightful point, that the "patriarchy" is a projection of typical female behavior onto men.

Bruce Charlton said...

@lucinda - Some of your comments on this blog (and at The NCPs) have, as you probably recognise, helped to crystallise this post - thanks!

Lucinda said...

You're welcome.

I wanted to say I almost totally agree with the post, except I would call it fear-of-exclusion rather than resentment-at-exclusion, since I think women are experiencing something more like Stockholm Syndrome, rather than the frustration of any good for themselves, or even their group.

Lucinda said...

This may be beyond this post. But this is my favorite topic to explore, I mean sex differentiation, because I feel understanding it is key to success as a mother.

I’m thinking that a corollary to the idea of the problems of female social networking in the office would be their appropriateness in a family setting, ‘office politics' at home. But I have tended to think that it would be better if members of a family could approach things more 'professionally', less emotionally affectedly, less psychodrama.

So reconsidering that, maybe mothers should not strive to be more masculine in their approach to motherhood. Maybe part of the role of mothering can be compared to the egg shell, initially an essential protection, eventually necessary for the growing chick to break out, in the process strengthening itself. The mother’s ‘office politics' should maybe feel oppressive eventually and be a difficulty to cast off, lest the emerging adult be left no first challenge to entering adulthood. I mean the first challenge of individuation, taking on responsibility for yourself and your own life and decisions, involves breaking through the strong protective structures put up by a mother and her cult-like orientation toward social cohesion above all else.

But this means inevitable heartbreak for a mother if the child is to develop healthily, though I think she can learn the wisdom of it.

I seem to recall a quote about the good mother ultimately failing, but I can't find it. Anyway, there is a tendency, at least I've had it, to try to figure out some less traumatic way to be a mom, where no one needs to feel bad, and the child still develops healthily. But this is more of the same 'office politics' that must be broken to pieces for the child to succeed at growing up. Maybe this is part of why direct task-functionality tends to be more masculine, because the feminine functionality is indirect, or rather involves the thwarting of what she thinks she is supposed to be accomplishing.

This leads back into one of the ideas of this blog, Heavenly Father's design that we should become free agents, recognizing the limits of reality, but ultimately changing out the blind obedience mentality for a more mature recognition of our real desires that are actually possible. Maybe Heavenly Mother's part is something like spiritual things that ultimately give way so we can take responsibility for ourselves, whereas Heavenly Father's part is more the unchanging and direct task-functioning aspects of eternity?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lucinda - I suppose that in an ideal situation (and in Heaven), many/ most families would simply become more and more 'extended' - and link-up through marriages - so that there would not be the routine modern heartbreak of successfully-reared children leaving home, moving away, seldom seen. (Also, in eternity, there is plenty of time for everything - so seeing your child at considerable intervals would not really matter, since it would all be addition.)

Lucinda said...

Further thoughts on the subject of the primacy of the social for women. Women don't necessarily differentiate between a natural orientation toward pleasing others and good morality, possibly because of the lesser interest in task-function. Morality teachers who stress 'unselfishness' simply make things worse, because women catagorize concerns for husband and children as selfish concerns. The necessary and sufficient stress should be on individual responsibility/accountability, standing before God as an individual. In my own experience, this was enough to shake me loose from indiscriminate groupish mentality to being more careful about which group (my family) I gave priority, and it takes effort to keep this perspective.

Even committed Christian women are going along with, and committing, a lot of evil because of their belief that they will have the excuse of being 'other-oriented'. There is no problem with giving of self to help others, as long as a woman stays mindful of personal accountability and that results DO matter. Once well-intended decisions have been revealed to make things worse, true good-intention demands course-correction, not a doubling-down justification of the original intention.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lucinda - After reading the Fourth Gospel so intensively, I have to regard this frequent Christian instruction to be unselfish as a doctrinal error, that has nothing to do with Christianity proper.

'Unselfishness' is only meant to be a natural by-product of love, and love to be familial - detached from genuine love, 'other orientation' is malignantly pathological, consuming everything up to self-annihilation.

"Once well-intended decisions have been revealed to make things worse, true good-intention demands course-correction, not a doubling-down justification of the original intention." - How true, and how rare. Modern fake female friendships are all about reassuring peers that they did nothing really wrong, supporting them emotionally; and anyone who says otherwise is a judging hater. Hence erros and sins are nearly-always amplified.

Lucinda said...

I've been thinking about this interaction you describe in the last comment. It's a very important thing with women. Contrary to the whole dont-judge surface, women very much crave the ability to disclose their inner-selves and be found acceptable to the group. The fake supportiveness is more like a ritual of group acceptance, maybe something like a call and response.

So women in the context of their group experience a drive toward self-disclosure to reaffirm their standing in the group, which is then accepted by a show of supportiveness, supposed non-judgment, but deep down the point is that the woman has asked to be judged (though not on principles) and the other women either oblige by fake supportiveness, or else awkwardness ensues, and the woman knows she is not accepted by the group.

What I find so interesting is how convinced everyone is that women are primarily interested in affirmation from men. It’s not true. They are mostly interested in male approval as a means to obtaining standing in a group of women. The body-image problem is a women-to-woman operation.

This is why a man can get the feeling of being deceived by a woman in an otherwise honest relationship. He thinks she really is trying to please him, and she seems really hurt by his disapproval. But always in the background she is concerned about how his behavior is helping or hurting her 'friendships' with other women.

Another confusing element is what you point out in the OP, that women have difficulty understanding the different motivations of men. Women notice something out of sorts about the men they are most involved with, but conclude that there is just something defective about those particular men, and that the top spot men operate differently, more like women.

All of this is to say that women who feel oppressed are mostly oppressed by social things, which is the domain of women. Women oppress women. And so the more 'power' you give women, the more women will feel oppressed. The more 'female-friendly', the more hostility you enable toward women.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lucinda - "What I find so interesting is how convinced everyone is that women are primarily interested in affirmation from men. It’s not true. They are mostly interested in male approval as a means to obtaining standing in a group of women. The body-image problem is a women-to-woman operation. "

I agree this is a serious misconception. My understanding is that men are not interested in fashion, quite the opposite. Men tend to have fixed ideas (usually very obvious ones!) about what constitutes sexually attractive and what is behaviourally appropriate (and these two are different for men - at least they are for men who are serious about marriage).

(Women don't realise that being attractive to 'men' is almost, but not quite, the opposite of being attractive to 'one' - i.e. a potential husband, or should I say 'the' potential husband. i.e. By dress and behaviour a woman could be attractive to nearly all men generically, but repel the one man who might become her husband.)

Fashion, body image etc is devised by homosexual-men (mostly) and enforced by women on women; men just get 'blamed' for it! - inthe sense that women use 'being attractive to men' as an 'excuse' for doing what other women demand.

Of course, within a marriage all these things can (and should) change very substantially - but to get to that point, the meeting, getting to know and courtship must be negotiated, and that can be difficult.