Biology as Destiny
By Rod Van Mechelen
Woman was being left behind. Anatomy was her destiny ... - The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - In their quest for equality, feminists forgot there are fundamental differences between the genders. Although most of us know what the most obvious of these differences are, I had to laugh at one comment a female doctor made on CNN during a "women in combat" debate: "We have found no biological differences between men and women."
Given the context of the debate, it would be reasonable to assume she meant this in some figurative sense because, last time I checked, women were still having babies and men were still trying to figure out when they can hold the door open for women without being charged with sexual harassment.
As most of us know, there are biological differences between women and men, and these differences impose an agenda over which we have little control. We can pass laws to try to make women and men the same. We can even go so far as to require all husbands of pregnant wives to wear the empathy belly. (A device designed to share the misery of pregnancy with men so we will empathize more with women.) But none of this will change that our behaviors are subject to different hormones. In this respect, biology is destiny.
Men don't have PMS, and few women ever experience the tremendous libidinal rush of testosterone. (Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, Anne Moir, Ph.D. & David Jessel p 103) But those who do quickly realize why men are the way they are: "The chief male hormone, testosterone, is very powerful, and small amounts of it given to a woman greatly stimulate her sex drive (her natural libidinal hormone is an androgen produced in the adrenal glands)." (Gilder: Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 23)
Recognizing the special burdens these differences impose on women, pop feminists demand laws to compensate women for these by legally handicapping men both economically and socially. (A Lesser Life: The Myth of Women's Liberation in America, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, p 78) They do not, however, acknowledge the burdens our biology imposes on men, and for two obvious reasons.
First, in the pop feminist paradigm, it's a "man's world." By definition, therefore, all men are oppressors and all women are victims. Thus, they believe the burdens of male biology are irrelevant. Second, it would not be to their advantage to admit men carry burdens unique to the male biology. To do so would be either to concede men are victims, or to accede women are not victims.
Hence, any burdens of male biology that they do recognize fall only into the category of those which imperil women. So they rely on the virile nature of testosterone to argue for imposing strict constraints and harsh penalties upon men. But they would never favor constraining women's behavior to mitigate the potentially destructive behaviors plunging necklines and short skirts might provoke. Regardless, in every case the only acknowledged burdens belong to women, and men are to blame.
We should not, however, ignore a third reason why they do not acknowledge the burdens of male biology: men don't want what women have. We're supposed to like the burdens our biology imposes, and since neither women nor men are supposed to want the burdens of women, there's no reason to compensate men for what they believe amount to the non-burdens of male biology. This is the unspoken assumption underlying the pop feminist agenda, and it's wrong. (Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, Anne Moir, Ph.D. & David Jessel, p 150)
Many men would like to have the option of being a "housewife." Millions of men would sometimes enjoy being made into sex objects, and millions more would not mind if women did their own lifting and carrying, answered their own questions, and learned how to take responsibility for their own lives instead of blaming all their problems on men.
Decades ago, feminists railed against the bigotry inherent in the precept that holds "anatomy is destiny." Most people agreed with their appeal for equality. Today, however, pop feminists have again raised a supremacist banner to demand special status for women because, in many ways, biology is destiny.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.