When biological differences are exaggerated to justify limiting a population of people, it doesn't surprise me that one response is to just flat out deny biology, when it is exaggerated and weaponized to justify limiting others (see historical arguments on why women shouldn't participate in running marathons, why women wouldn't make good medical doctors, how women have inferior/emotional reasoning, why women shouldn't be allowed into combat roles, why women don't like physics).
I think the question is, how do we as a society acknowledge these differences without being mentally lazy and applying "averages" to individual people? Until very recently women were denied combat roles because of biological arguments about the "average woman". Society used a "biology" argument to deny ALL women the opportunity, even to the ones who excel in these roles. Individual women demonstrated their biological abilities to excel in combat roles and were STILL denied the opportunity because of the "women on average...." and "men and women are biologically different...." arguments. Their very real abilities were "averaged out" and their opportunities to make the most of themselves were denied.
Of course men and women are different. The question is, when will we as a society be able to acknowledge those differences without unnecessarily screwing people over? People will stop denying biological truths when it isn't weaponized against them.
Reminds me of the discovery that pilots were incapable of safely flying a fast jet intended for the "average man", and each specific role - flying this particular fast jet - had to be finely tuned to each individual pilot . None of us will ever meet an average person and any role designed for being filled by "the average" is asking for trouble.
Of course there's the most important social role of all: parenting. Stay at home dads do not receive the support and admiration mothers do.
It's like when politicians say, "being a mother is the most important and difficult job", but then no one actually backs and elects women whose primary identity is being a mother. Isn't it strange that we don't want people with supposedly "the most difficult and important job" to represent us? It's because we as a society don't actually value it, we just pretend to. That leaves women economically poor and underrepresented in political decision-making.
Being economically and politically poor doesn't translate into happiness for women.
Fathers also influence and shape the trajectory of their offspring, and we don't have the notion that fathers should be preoccupied with "fathering" and wait around and see if their offspring influence society at large.
Just today there was an article on HN about the lack of jobs for STEM graduates:
There's more to life than money. In fact the quest to make everyone an office drone has lowered salaries for all workers. It's also lowered women's happiness, eventhough their earning potential has greatly increased:
> Yes! Patriarchy harms us all.
Please don't do this here. No need to bring in gendered insults. Labeling something that harms men the "patriarchy" is nonsensical.
I see this argument a lot, yet the same people making the argument don't typically think that women should be included in the draft. And that makes sense, because women are biologically different than men.
However, I agree than women should be allowed to take combat roles if they're qualified, and men should be denied if they're not. I just don't think the ratio needs to be the same between the sexes.
The question is, when will we go far enough to prove that we've "solved" bigotry well enough that we can have the discussion about what the rules should be? There are very clear differences between men and women, but it feels like making that point is automatically considered bigoted.
On the topic of the draft. Actually, the same people complaining about women being denied combat roles are the same people who think women should be included in the draft. There was a HackerNews thread on this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19242191
To summarize, in 2016 an amendment to include women in the draft had broad support among Democrat and Republican leaders and women in both parties. However, it was fiercely opposed by conservative law makers, and ended up being stripped from the final bill in a procedural move.
2018 was also the year that Tokyo Medical School admitted changing exam results to exclude women.
2019 is the first year that Augusta National Golf Club held a Women's Amateur event. It wasn't that long ago that the club chairman said that the club would not be pressured into inviting women members “at the point of a bayonet.”
All of these examples are less than a year old. Do you really think that discrimination against women is all past tense? The combat role and golf club examples were all public policies of discrimination. As that becomes less common, we learn more about the private policies of discrimination like the Tokyo medical school example. Publicly changing policies doesn't make discrimination go away, it's just the first step in a years long process of socially accepting and integrating people whose denied membership was once accepted by members as good policy.
No. It will probably never be past tense. That doesn't mean the fewer and fewer remaining examples should be used to paint entire societies.
That brings me to my second point - societies, plural. Japan is not the same society as the US or Europe (Eastern or Western). See for example the much higher representation of women in medicine in Eastern Europe compared to the rest of the world: http://www.oecd.org/gender/data/women-make-up-most-of-the-he...
I certainly celebrate the fewer and fewer examples of public policies of discrimination. I hope over time there are fewer and fewer private policies of discrimination, but that takes time. It also takes an honest conversation about how "biological averages" are applied to individuals.
until very recently physical strength was the definitive factor in war, and few brave women endeavored it. it's not just the attitudes that have changed