Showing posts from April, 2013

Women's Retreat.

Stereotypes and Grains of Truth?

I gather that in hunter-gatherer societies from diverse places around the globe, work frequently is "gendered". Men work together in groups to hunt, and may also fight against neighboring tribes to defend their patch. Women work together in groups to look after young children, to gather fruits, nuts, roots, bulbs etc. and (often) to prepare these items for eating. They often develop some separate cultural rituals for men and women.

I wonder whether some stereotypes about men might have some kind of genetic or cultural origin from hunter-gatherer societies? The stereotypes that men are good at navigation (traversing long distances) problem solving (creating weapons and tactics for the hunt and for war) aggressive (courage in a hunt would be an advantage) and less verbal than women (I imagine yabbering away might scare off your prey)... all of these might be helpful if your community role involved hunting and fighting.

I wonder whether some stereotypes about women may have som…

Slippery Slope Silliness

One of the most annoying things about online discussions is when "the slippery slope" is evoked to "prove" a point.

Slippery slopes often end up with the Nazis! Here is one recent example which circulated on the internet when gun control was discussed in the USA: "Any attempt to restrict access to semiautomatic weapons is a slippery slope toward a totalitarian government... the Nazi's began their reign of terror by taking guns off the populace!" (Indeed, democratic countries with the rule of law and a free press that have introduced tight gun controls in the past, like the UK and Australia, are now totalitarian states... NOT.)

When a "slippery slope" is evoked, nothing can be evaluated on its own merits: an imagined diabolical end point "proves" an idea is bad. Cory Bernardi's "gay marriage will lead to bestiality" comments were rather prominent on the news last year as an Australian parliamentarian was tripped up by…