My title is slightly tongue in cheek. While I do intend to show that genderism portrays men as absolutely incapable of leadership, my main objective here is to present the genderist framework in general and try to figure out how it works.
Now, I don’t want to suggest that genderism is always the same everywhere. Gender changes depending on the time and place, so we can’t expect genderism to stay the same either.
It is also expressed in completely different social institutions. One extreme example is the Guayaki people of South America, as described by Pierre Clastres in Society Against the State, who hold that men and women exist in two completely separate spheres which must never touch, under the threat of dire social repercussions. The concept of gender domains is not only conceptual but absolutely literal: men and women are not even allowed to touch the tools of each other’s trade. A man whose bow was touched by a woman must thereby become a woman and be integrated in the sphere of women’s activities.
Our societies are obviously nowhere near this stringent. Yet the genderism of the Guayaki and that of Western societies have a number of common principles. The genderism of Western societies specifically share a much greater number of common principles.
1. Man is active, woman is passive. In hunter-gatherer societies, the distinction is simple: men hunt and women gather, so women may be protected for their reproductive abilities (in more extreme cases, men both hunt and gather). In more modern kinds of genderism, it is assumed that men work and women remain at home, that men are the drivers of progress and that women are merely in charge of maintaining society.
This is a big driver in the belief that men want sex and to sleep around, while women want monogamous relationships based on love.
2. Women are sin, nature, emotion. Men are virtue, technology (as mastery of nature), reason. These comparisons both establish men and women as fundamentally different and men as being superior to women. They are all corollaries of the principle that man is active (active in reasoning, active in controlling nature) and that woman is passive (controlled by her emotions, by her nature, by the laws of nature).
3. Man’s behavior is instinctual, women’s behavior is chosen. When men do something wrong, in general, it is assumed that they “can’t help it.” When women are victimized, it is naturally assumed that they are at fault. This seems to contradict the first principle, but it serves the role of confirming that manhood, and the violence that stems from it, is inherently superior.
The male rapist and the female rape victim, the male abuser and his abused wife, the male soldier and the dead female bombing target, are all in the same relationship to each other, that of expressing manhood and receiving manhood. The former is assumed to be part and parcel of being a man, and not to be questioned; the latter is assumed to be the duty of a woman, and equally not to be questioned, as questioning one means questioning the other.
Based on this principle, I think we can convincingly argue that, based on genderism, women are in possession of the faculty of reason, while men are in a constant state of unreason. If men “can’t help” performing manhood, and a man is always a man, then men are therefore slaves to their nature. If women choose to be victims, then this gives them decision-making power which men allegedly do not, and cannot, have.
4. Men and women have complementary roles: men are the leaders and women must support men. This is a Christian doctrine known as complementarianism. Proponents claim that such a doctrine does not demean women because both genders are still equally important, in a different way. This is of course absolute nonsense: two groups, one of which is “made” to lead and the other “made” to follow, cannot be equal and cannot lead to respect.
5. Men are independent, women are dependent. Women are pushed to enter in relationships and in relations of dependence (such as when having children) much more strongly than men are. Men are supposed to be the providers, although this belief depends on a specific and fragile economic context. In general, a woman without a man is said to be incomplete, while the same is not true of a man without a woman.
6. Men are the default humans, women are secondary. This is a very pervasive, mostly implicit, belief which can be found in anyone’s writings. When talking about a population (whether our own or some other), men’s behavior and beliefs are stated while women’s generally remain unstated; if the latter are stated, it is only as a peculiarity.
It is hard to distinguish the difference between this and woman-hating. Take for instance Dworkin’s Woman Hating or Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology, both of which discuss instances of mass assault against women in history such as the witch burnings and foot-binding. They point out how flippantly historians and other academics have dismissed these atrocities as mere tradition.
So the question is, do these academics refuse to acknowledge that these mass assaults against women are atrocities because they hate women, or because they simply do not see the victims as human and that therefore their opinion is irrelevant? It seems to me that there isn’t really any good way to know the answer (of course there’s also another question: who cares?).
You can get different versions of these principles from a wide variety of sources, such as Quiverfull Christians (e.g. Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin, So Much More, by the Botkin sisters) and relationship genderists (e.g. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, by John Gray, and popular book series such as Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey). Most sources will only give you part of the story, but it doesn’t take too long to get a wider view.
How does genderism prove that men are unfit for leadership? Think about the most commonly listed attributes of men. Men are aggressive, violent, coldly logical, uncaring, have a fragile ego, are not in touch with their emotions and are controlled by them, less intuitive, led by their sexuality.
Furthermore, we are constantly told that men are incompetent and need to exploit women’s labor:
Men are basically uncivilized animals. Ask any man who has been in a war zone for a year. Most won’t talk about it, but they know. Ask someone who has been in a state penitentiary for ten years. The presence of women in the house, especially one whom we value, has a most amazing civilizing effect upon men. They keep us from being too crude. They cause us to build houses and decorate them, to cut the grass and clean up after ourselves. If the world had no females, men would live in the most basic shelters. They would not maintain regular employment and would be lawless. We institute law as a means of protecting our wives and culture…
Obviously God put the civil side of his nature in the female gender.
Michael Pearl, Created to Need a Help Meet, pp. 43-44
This is a pretty typical passage, if more forthright than most. The basic premise here is that the woman is the civilizing influence, or as Pearl puts it, the “civil side.” This hardly speaks to men’s capacity to lead society, if they are inherently uncivilized.
To add one related point, it seems that men, given that they are the shapers of Patriarchy, are pedophilic in nature. When we look at societies in history, the less rights women have, the younger they are made to marry. Women in Ancient Greece were married off at 14. Ages were variable but revolved around puberty during the middle and late Middle Ages (older during the early Middle Ages). In today’s Western societies, the average marriage age is around 27 years old. Hunter-gatherer societies are extremely varied but tend to dwell between these two ranges. If it is true that men are pedophilic, then it would seem to be rather dangerous to let them lead younger women.
If women are the counterpoint of men, then they are: less aggressive and violent, more caring, have a stronger ego, are in touch with their emotions and not controlled by them, more intuitive, and less led by their sexuality. Furthermore, women are civilized and don’t depend on men to lead normal lives. If we follow this line of reasoning, then it must be women who are made (by nature or by God) to lead society. Women are inherently superior to men, and should rule, not men.
The male is completely egocentric, trapped inside himself, incapable of empathizing or identifying with others, or love, friendship, affection of tenderness. He is a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone. His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; his intelligence is a mere tool in the services of his drives and needs; he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; he can’t relate to anything other than his own physical sensations. He is a half-dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, he is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming. He is trapped in a twilight zone halfway between humans and apes, and is far worse off than the apes because, unlike the apes, he is capable of a large array of negative feelings — hate, jealousy, contempt, disgust, guilt, shame, doubt — and moreover, he is aware of what he is and what he isn’t.
Valeria Solanas, SCUM Manifesto, pp. 1-2
Now, I do want to point out that I don’t believe in gender, and so I don’t actually believe that women are superior to men, outside of the genderist framework. But within the genderist framework, it’s the only conclusion that makes any sense.
This brings me again to the distinction between sex and gender. As I’ve explained before, sex is the biological given (external and internal reproductive organs, chromosomes, hormone levels, and so on) and gender is the social construct (“being a man” and “being a woman”).
It’s important to keep in mind that the objective of these principles is to rationalize the existence of gender-as-hierarchy. All of the proponents naturally assume that gender exists and only seek to describe and justify its hierarchical nature. In no way can the existence of gender be questioned, especially since sex and gender are usually equivocated (esp. as being both natural). Genderism, like any other faith, cannot co-exist with doubt about itself.