A term that once evoked and image of the suffragettes and maybe your vaguely butch cousin and her Thanksgiving dinner ramblings is today more closely associated with hysterical keyboard warriors to whom Western civilization is little more than exploitative rape factory, like some phallic interpretation of dialectical materialism. Feminism as we once knew it advocated that women be afforded the same political and social opportunities as men.
To its credit, I believe no reasonable man could argue this has been to society’s detriment (and if you really believe that 50% of the human race should be relegated to kinder, küche, and kirche then I can probably also guess your thoughts about smartphones and “kids these days.”)
But today’s feminists aren’t satisfied with equality of opportunity. Modern feminism is founded on the same fetishization of oppression that underlies all social justice mythology.
Indeed, nearly every grievance of the shrill genderist zombie that has clawed its way out of Susan B. Anthony’s grave is based on a failure to recognize that, broadly speaking, men and women have similar yet distinct neurological wiring.
For example, the bellyaching mandarins of fairness insist that the relative lack of women in science, technology, and mathematics careers is the result of rampant misogyny within the economy’s equivalent of the high school A.V. Club. Such an argument might be plausible if not for the fact that the average male possesses a larger inferior-parietal lobule, the portion of the brain that computes quantitative data. The male brain also possesses seven times more “gray matter” than women. Gray matter is used for logical processes and focusing on singular tasks (imagine a man engrossed for hours on a single project in his garage.) This partly explains why men generally demonstrate more mathematical aptitude than women.
Women’s brains, conversely, have ten times more “white matter” than men’s do. If gray matter is the individual computers, white matter is the network that links them together. This white matter advantage enables women to better integrate and synthesize of information. Women also tend to utilize both brain hemispheres whereas men tend to use only one. Accordingly, female brains tend to process information more holistically than male brains, and thus women often possess better interpersonal, conflict resolution, and language skills than men. Notably, women’s tendency to integrate information rather than compartmentalize it like men lends itself to superior empathy and understanding, skills whose applications are better found in, say…teaching or counseling. The implications of this are plainly evident if one is inclined to trust science.
But the misogyny brain-train doesn’t stop at divergences of professional aptitude. How often do we hear bleating about the sexual objectification of women at the hands (or eyes, really) of men? This is arguably feminism’s most persistent blood libel against men. We should first acknowledge that it is quite true. The visual sexual idealization of women by men simply has no corollary if we reverse the equation. However, once again, the cognitive failure here is to overlook neuroscience. Male arousal is primarily visually-based whereas women rely on all five senses.
The amygdala and hypothalamus, which control sexual impulses in the brain, both experience much higher levels of activation in men than in women when exposed to visual sexual stimuli (consider how broad the term “sexual stimuli” is. Boobs? Yes. A single boob? Great. A mailbox that looks like a boob? Good enough.) Experiments involving both genders show that, even when both groups reported equal sexual arousal at a given image, the images induce markedly higher brain activity in men. The daily production of testosterone- the primary determinant of the male sexual appetite- is between twelve and sixteen times higher in men than women, and the amygdala contains high concentrations of testosterone receptors.
Violent crimes such as rape also have gender-based neurological explanations.
The male propensity for violence, and competitiveness in general, stems from higher testosterone levels coupled with a smaller prefrontal cortex- the region of the brain which keeps the amygdala’s animalistic impulses in check. These are compounded by evolutionarily-programmed inclination towards territoriality. A man’s ability to empathize- to think of someone as a “he” or “she” rather than as an “it”- is thus far more likely to fail than a woman’s. If this happens, the male gray matter tendency toward emotional detachment coupled with testosterone’s magnifying effect on aggression can lead men of lesser moral fiber to commit violent crimes like rape. Many a marginally employable misandrist claims that men are inherently morally compromised, and they are right insofar as we are inherently aggressive. This in no way relieves any man of his obligation to heed the better angels of his nature, but note that these angels do not have blue hair and Tumblr accounts.
Modern feminism is just a single serpent of the ever-metastasizing hydra of oppression-mongering whose various slithering avatars share one commonality: a reflexive aversion to any fact doesn’t support their claim for victimhood status. Today’s feminists aren’t Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls, they’re William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom insisting the earth is 6,000 years old.
Unfortunately, their failure to understand men and women’s innate neurological differences ensures they will remain perpetually aggrieved. But perhaps I just lack sufficient white matter to grasp the wisdom of their argument. Oh well.