Is society making people more androgynous?

Is society making people more androgynous?
jsawvel
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Posted Sep 2, 2009 - 12:59 PM:
Subject: Is society making people more androgynous?
It seems to me that communities used to be more independent. This is the age of corporations and assembly lines and people acting as cogs in an industrial wheel. It seems to me that the skills and attributes needed in most jobs today tend to be more of the feminine quality - communication skills, nice skills, soft skills.

In the past, the work place has been more a place for men, but now it is mixed. So, in my opinion, men are not able to express all the qualities that men have in the past. The work place and perhaps society in general is becoming more "androgynous." Women are becoming more masculine and men are becoming more feminine.

I have also heard that in places like New York City about 30% of the men are gay (I associate being gay with increased feminity, which is accurate at least in pop-culture). I see this increase as being due to the fact that men are cutting out an essential part of their psychi, their masculine side. This side is less acceptable to society. And in many ways, working for a coorporation can have an emasculating effect on a man. The person becomes like a worker by serving the queen bee.

I see society as it is right now as being more socialistic than it has in the past. I see socialism as being a feminin instituition, as if society is mother and the members of the group are its children. I think this perspective doesn't really allow people to grow up and take care of themselves and create their own life plan. People are always leaning on mother society. So, effectively people never come into true adult-hood.

People are becoming what society wants them to be, not what they naturally are.
BitterCrank
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Posted Sep 3, 2009 - 11:32 PM:

jsawvel wrote:
It seems to me that communities used to be more independent. This is the age of corporations and assembly lines and people acting as cogs in an industrial wheel. It seems to me that the skills and attributes needed in most jobs today tend to be more of the feminine quality - communication skills, nice skills, soft skills.

In the past, the work place has been more a place for men, but now it is mixed. So, in my opinion, men are not able to express all the qualities that men have in the past. The work place and perhaps society in general is becoming more "androgynous." Women are becoming more masculine and men are becoming more feminine.


Naturally, a change in the sex ratio of workers is going to change the atmosphere at work. I'm not sure whether women are responsible for 'feminization', or that the people running The Machine (usually men) have been successful in taming male workers. Women are socialized to be more cooperative and submissive. So more females = a tamer work atmosphere.

jsawvel wrote:
I have also heard that in places like New York City about 30% of the men are gay (I associate being gay with increased feminity, which is accurate at least in pop-culture). I see this increase as being due to the fact that men are cutting out an essential part of their psychi, their masculine side. This side is less acceptable to society. And in many ways, working for a coorporation can have an emasculating effect on a man. The person becomes like a worker by serving the queen bee.


30% of the men in New York City are not gay. At most, I would think, 15% You understand, of course, that New York has a lot of gay men because they chose to go there. They weren't all born there. Most of the men in NYC are straight. And a lot of the gay guys anywhere are as macho as you could possibly want in a man. Working for corporations or having a mortgage to pay off tends to curb rebel behavior, something I associate more with men than women, whether the guys are straight or gay.

jsawvel wrote:
I see society as it is right now as being more socialistic than it has in the past. I see socialism as being a feminin instituition, as if society is mother and the members of the group are its children. I think this perspective doesn't really allow people to grow up and take care of themselves and create their own life plan. People are always leaning on mother society. So, effectively people never come into true adult-hood.

People are becoming what society wants them to be, not what they naturally are.


I don't know where you live, but I don't see the slightest evidence in the United States that socialism is making any progress whatsoever.

There is no 'natural' human behavior. Without society or culture, we wouldn't be human.
wuliheron
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Posted Sep 5, 2009 - 1:21 PM:

I have to agree with Bittercrank, whose picture and prose do not seem bitter at all.

Anyway, your argument reminds me of a cuniform tablet discovered that was dated to a hundred years after the invention of writing. On it the author complained thay the new invention of writing was ruining their children because they no longer had to rely upon memorizing everything.

Expanding upon your argument you could claim that men have become more effeminent since cave man days. Instead of hunting BIG game they learned how to plant seeds, specialize in crafts, etc. However the reality is always a mixed bag. Cave men worked roughly 30 hours a week and spent a significant amount of their "free" time watching the kids and telling them stories. Likewise, one of the most macho culture in history was the Spartans who are also considered among the most socialist ever to exist.

What I can see happening, just as the Babylonian author saw, is that technology is changing exactly how we work and express ourselves. Instead of men telling stories to their children around the campfire, we send them off to school or turn on the boob tube. Instead of spending 30 hours a week bringing home the bacon, we spend 70 hours a week, etc. Ironically, the Spartans are widely considered to have been among the most macho and the most socialist of all cultures and the accumulation of wealth by the Spartans is thought to be what triggered their demise. Certainly I would not describe the murder of tens of millions by Stalin and Mao as an act of "feminine" socialist nurturing.

mutemaler
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Posted Sep 5, 2009 - 3:13 PM:

I think jsawvel, that most things get tried out if you just look around enough, and that applies to pretty much anything, including societies. Like there are patriarchal and matriarchal societies (not that these two come anywhere close to describing all possible societies). People in the societies have more or less prescribed roles no matter what kind of society it is, and in ways which might surprise you. Like the one somewhere in Japan (and I assume I am embellishing this a bit), the males are literally there to do manual labor and for their sperm, they own nothing, have no rights, I don't even think they are considered the fathers, the children have only mothers. Pretty dang cool, huh? Wouldn't you just love to live there? Or I think we with our long tradition of prescribed sex roles have been very creative as regards our own written history, we tend to delete those sections (or not so casually change beyond recognition) which mention sexual practices which do not conform with our prescribed picture of what is "good and right". Think of it as kind of a variation of "don't ask, don't tell", except in this case its more a matter of "don't rewrite, won't sell". Or we don't quite grasp that our categories are prescriptive, that others are obviously possible, and that earlier traditions might not even quite know what the hell we are talking about with them, be rather mystified.

"People are becoming what society wants them to be, not what they naturally are."

I think I agree with that "old" cranky guy (you know, the cute one). Without society we are not human. And it makes this sentence above somewhat strange to me, I am not sure what this "naturally" is supposed to then be without the society.

Edited by mutemaler on Sep 5, 2009 - 3:20 PM
linear_occurance
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Posted Sep 5, 2009 - 3:25 PM:

Perhaps its more of putting a muzzle on our more animalistic nature, and giving way to our herd like tendancies? That the flock like progression of humanity is only inevitable in a growing population? Seems like rather than the blossom of the Effemenite Era, its more like the sheer size of our population is inherently stimulating social activity, rather than the butchery of moose.

Although if networking is viewed as a femenine institution, then I suppose we are moving that direction. But I don't think it is a direct result of the increased influence women have.
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Posted Sep 5, 2009 - 3:53 PM:

Here's me thinking the shrinking was just old age.... sad
Phillip Nero
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Posted Sep 5, 2009 - 6:06 PM:

I am not certain whether or not it is our society as such that is the cause of it; certainly there is functional interdependence in a society, but not that a society causes fashionable elements within its culture. I would say it is the other way around i.e. a culture brings about changes in a society etc. When sweeping cultural changes occur, the society changes, which in turn brings about alterations in the civilization and so on.

The declaration 'People are becoming what society wants them to be, not what they naturally are.' is lavishly elegant; as a matter of fact and not of fiction, the statement stirs up the waters if we take a glance beneath it. It makes a heavy claim about our psychology and how weak we have become; we are open to anything, susceptible to anything, and so we are prone to do or accept anything if it is advertised or we advertise it in a congenial way. We have open boundaries, ready to be irritable with any stress, and we have lost character. Anger and anxiety are predominant, and thorough education both in school and at home is almost extinct.

The other aspect of the claim above is that members of a group make up the culture of their society and not the other way around; if the members are aggressively masculine, the result would be obvious; or if the members adhere to highly feminine qualities, then the culture will follow suit. Also, we can take both and the result would be easy to imagine e.g. like the Amazon culture in classical Greek mythology. But the Amazons had character (and serious sex appeal- I wonder why?). So what would occur if we leave our psyche completely open and never cultivate mature character, just a character that is a function of commercial demand and style? It would seem as if we become what "society" dictates- not what the members of the group express from their character.

I do not presume to know what ails our society as such, though I am of the opinion that we have lost that essential character that makes us men and women and (thus) makes us attracted to real men and women. Think Steve McQueen in Bullitt or Paul Newman in The Hustler or The Towering Inferno. What of Bo Derek, Raquel Welch, or Ursula Andress in Dr No? Which reminds me, what of Sean Connery? Even now in his eighties the man screams cool and high character. Love it.

[Just having turned thirty, I still know that long gone are the days when young men would join other men for his initiation (to kill the boy inside and bring out the man); moreover, female modesty and finesse (style) are practically out the window (uh oh, I hear them coming). For certain I do not mean that young men should be taken to the woods and beaten to death, or women should be more humble and feminine for the most part. But something is up, and it is not real character; it is something between Vogue and fat checking accounts. Even the modern versions of muscle cars are not muscle cars- watch Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. It expresses all the above.]

Cheers.
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Posted Sep 5, 2009 - 6:34 PM:

"There is no 'natural' human behavior. Without society or culture, we wouldn't be human."

Mr BitterCrank, this would be true if the relation 'human = society' was valid with no qualification whatsoever. Humans are social animals to be sure- they exist interdependently in groups- though it is not the case that a human is no more than his group. If there were no natural human behaviours, then humans would surely fall into that identity above. Fortunately, they do not fall under that relation. We are more than that, sir. We are born with a core style or temperament (i.e. genetic disposition), and we become cognizant of this or that group later on in life because we become cognizant of how the group responds to that temperament. Since no one trains us to look inside of us early on, we come to look inside by looking at the group. What is more, we have the ability to far-surpass any group whatsoever.

To say that without society we would not be human is to say that a human- all of his heart, mind, and will- is a direct function of his group.
mutemaler
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Posted Sep 6, 2009 - 11:44 AM:

Phillip Nero wrote:
...To say that without society we would not be human is to say that a human- all of his heart, mind, and will- is a direct function of his group.


It simply means that we could not be this all of what you call our heart, mind, and will without the culture, without the society.
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Posted Sep 6, 2009 - 12:45 PM:

Phillip Nero wrote:
We are more than that, sir. We are born with a core style or temperament (i.e. genetic disposition), and we become cognizant of this or that group later on in life because we become cognizant of how the group responds to that temperament. Since no one trains us to look inside of us early on, we come to look inside by looking at the group. What is more, we have the ability to far-surpass any group whatsoever.

Genes have expressions only through their interaction with an environment. Humans evolved within social structures and hence our genes find their expression, naturally, within an environment that includes a social structure.
To say that without society we would not be human is to say that a human- all of his heart, mind, and will- is a direct function of his group.

And indeed it is, for any human male or female. That doesn't make individual perspective invalid, but it does put it in its place.
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