Tagged gender

Men, Women, and Iran: An Exchange

My friend and colleague Prof. David Blumenthal wrote this comment on my last posting, and I try to answer it below.

Dear Mel,

I’m not sure I agree that educating women is the way to go. As long as Islamic
men have the following cluster of problems, no amount of women’s education
will work:

(1) Islamic men have no empowerment – not economic, not religious, not
political, etc. This is also why Arabs can’t negotiate a peace; they have to
be empowered, to win. (2) Islamic men believe that submission is the
ultimate value – for themselves and especially for those who defy them. Read more

“… and By the Way, Led By Women”

iran10616091This was the remark of a TV journalist about the movement to defeat Ahmadinejad at the ballot box-and that was before the protests began. As the weeks wore on, women became even more prominent. They were in the forefront of many demonstrations, exercising leadership, twittering and facebooking tips about police positions and protest meeting places. Read more

Insatiable Widows: More Gender & Sex

In response to my last posting, “Sex Lives, Male and Female,” reader Clare wrote this thoughtful comment:

“I’m curious what you make of the ethnographic accounts from cultures where widows are considered to be insatiable sex fiends? Is this how fear of women expresses itself, that they become more interested in sex than is considered usual? Or is there some truth to the folklore? Is there any evidence that sexual interest waxes and wanes (so to speak) over the life course of men and women?”

I thought it well worth answering at length: Read more

Sex Lives, Male and Female

Sex is something that women have and men want. Or is it?

I caused a bit of comment in a blog on another website when I wrote, “Your mother told you men only want one thing, and you may have rolled your eyes, but she had a piece of the truth. Biology and common sense both tell us sex is something women have and men want. We can try as hard as we want to talk our way around this, but we can’t make it any less true…”

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Educate Girls!

If you want to go forward send girls to school; to regress, try sending them home again.

For many years now, a growing number of authorities on aid to the developing world have come to the conclusion that there is no better way to spend an aid dollar than in underwriting schools for girls.
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Sarah Palin: Evolutionary Psychology and Cultural Anthropology

McCain’s VP Pick Makes Darwinian and Boasian Sense

Sarah Palin takes aimShock and awe. That had to be one thought in McCain’s mind when he picked a little-known governor of Alaska–the state one pundit called an overgrown igloo–to stand a heartbeat away from his seat in the Oval Office, his age and cancer history be damned.
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“Evil Genes”

Evil is real, and so are evil genes.

Today I stumbled on a C-SPAN presentation by Barbara Oakley about her book Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend. I haven’t read the book, but it evidently overlaps with many things I’ve long thought and written myself, in The Tangled Wing and elsewhere.
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The Long View

Prejudices change slowly, but they change.

Anthropologists take the long view. Fads come and go–hula hoops, Heavy Metal–but where it counts, culture change–cultural evolution, really–is slow.

Take racial equality for instance. I am always amazed by people who say that affirmative action has gone on long enough.
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