Man Made

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Civilization as we know it was imagined and constructed largely by males. Arks and supertankers, lynching ropes and gas chambers, cave drawings and renaissance paintings, hovels and skyscrapers, kites and jets, Olympian gods and celestial monarchs, arithmetic and calculus, battering rams and ballistic missiles, on and on, are almost exclusively artifacts of – indeed, reflections of – the male psyche.

In other words, most of what we experience as civilization is ‘man’ made. Which begs the question: What might the world look like today if it had been imagined and constructed over the millennia by men and women in roughly equal measure?

Can we know this? To be sure, we cannot know it in any detail. However, we can at least speculate, here and there, on the basis of our understanding of how the female psyche fundamentally differs from its male counterpart. Take, for example, the institution of the Catholic Church. If the female psyche had been allowed to be as influential in the Catholic Church’s founding and development over the past 2000+ years as has been the male psyche,

  • Would the Church be as hierarchical as it is today?
  • As dogmatic and rule-bound?
  • As judgmental?
  • As exclusionary?
  • As inflexible?
  • As misogynous?
  • As homophobic?

Alas, what if women alone, instead of men alone, had invented religion? How many tomes of rules and dogma would have been amassed over the centuries? How much convoluted theology would have been invented? How many excommunications would there have been? How many Inquisitions? How many burnings at the stake? How many calls for eternal damnation?

2018-11-29T16:21:30+00:00November 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|8 Comments


  1. TomF November 29, 2018 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    What a GREAT discussion! You people make this old Irishman weep.

  2. Barry Cook November 29, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    The “men” who devised civilization with its wows and warts were generally civilized by their mothers. So watch who you credit or blame or where you place your hope. We’re all just folks.
    Alas, we are in the twilight of gender, because machine intelligence is neuter.
    Yes, we can build macho computers or dainty robots – but as yet, they don’t mate or reproduce. Cloning is the future, genetic modified organisms without limit. Thoughts such as these make my mortality more palatable.
    As for fundamental, innate and immutable cognitive differences between the genders – I think it is more cultural than biological. And culture is just a fad that is slow to change.
    “Progress is our most important product” was GE’s motto – yet they continue to divest. Corporate hubris; civilization and its malcontents.

    • TomF November 30, 2018 at 12:38 am - Reply

      Only Jewish mothers civilized their sons ;>) Mine had no clue.

  3. Matt Fitzgerald November 29, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    For the first 130 years of America’s existence, only men were allowed to vote. I would be totally on board with only women being allowed to vote for the next 130 years. I think things would get a lot better.

  4. Barnaby November 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    Whether or not there is an essential character to “feminine” versus “masculine” thinking is not a question that has been resolved, and I would not put forth an opinion on the character of a gender-equal civilization without settling the underlying questions.

    • Josh Sandeman November 29, 2018 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      I would add that having attended a nearly-all-female nursing school for three years, I lost much of my naively optimistic beliefs about the “fairer sex”. While no doubt there are some staitsical separations between the two genders which are a mess of genetic and cultural interactions, we’re all human, and we’re all deeply flawed. I think it’s interesting that in Genesis both Adam and Eve played a role in their fall from grace with the Almighty

      • TomF November 30, 2018 at 12:40 am - Reply

        Yeah, but only one of them picked the forbidden fruit.

        Woman’s work.

    • TomF November 30, 2018 at 12:46 am - Reply

      Magic happens, I think, when male and female are viewed as complements rather than as equals. The same is true, I think, of conservatives and liberals.

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