Monday, April 09, 2007

This is the kind of thing that really grinds me to a halt...

So, the Illinois State Gendarmerie has put up a web page full of, erm... "helpful" advice for women in case we are attacked. Guns, of course, are a no-no because apparently (at least according to them) we're so flighty that half of the time we try to use a gun for self-defense, we wind up busting a cap in the wrong individual. I'd really love to see their data on that one. (Yeah, you're all the time reading about how some woman in a parking lot somewhere ran her Glock to slidelock in some guy because he pulled a wallet on her. This is me rolling my eyes.)

Instead of a handy, portable weapon that requires no great amount of strength to operate, we are instead advised to attempt to take on a 250lb rapist with a teasing brush or a handful of keys. Brilliant plan, that. "Well, sir, we couldn't revive her, but her assailant should be easy to spot in a lineup. Judging by what she had clenched in her hand in her last moments, his hair should look fantastic."

The worst part, the part that makes me want to scream and throw things at the monitor, is when they drag out the old primate appeasement behavior: "It may sound disgusting, but putting your fingers into you throat and making yourself vomit usually gets results." No. No way. Why should I worry about getting vomit stains out of my clothes when I have the means available to make my attacker worry about getting blood stains out of his? Sorry, ISP, but I'm sticking with the gun.

Anyone who wants more reasonable and realistic self-defense tips for women should go here, rather than listen to the distorted garbage on the ISP web site.

(UPDATE: More cool discussion going on here.)

(H/T to David, via Unc.)

113 comments:

Oleg said...

http://a-human-right.com/staysafe.html

HollyB said...

Paxton Quigley is another great resource.

Erik said...

I'd like to see the people that peddle those "advices" to prove their effectiveness.

Be it in a ring, a mat, a lawn, or an alley, all you need is a camera to document it. Then someone attacking using any force they choose, and the "expert" can use the "advice" to try and defend themselves.

This can then be repeated with the "expert" being the attacker, and the defender then being allowed to use a handgun. Since the "expert" claim guns are dangerous for the user, there should be nothing to stop the "expert" from trying it.

That should give a pretty good view in what works as personal defense.

B&N said...

I find the following particularly abhorant;

"The above methods are particularly important if your assailant has a gun or knife, or there is more than one attacker. (Fighting would probably be futile.)"

Fighting back is futile. Futile.

How dare they. Towering rage over here. Blagojevich and Daley should be hung by their toenails, and anyone else who openly insists, through government coercion, to do same.

D.W. Drang said...

I'm surprised they didn't say "relax and enjoy it."
It's offical, I now despise Illinois more than California.
I'm thinking of a new boycott, "Gun companies that stay in Illinois..."

NeoNietzsche: said...

[Quoting the endorsed and linked material:]

"This is part of our continuing series on what it is like to be a gun nut in today's world. Most of the series is applicable to everyone. This episode in our continuing saga applies to about half of the human race, women.

"Women are supposedly more nurturing. They are the caretakers of the hearth, the sensitive ones, and all those other clichés. Even ardent feminists tend to sketch women as more pacifistic and better able to guide the world in peace and harmony. So, female gun nuts get caught between two stereotypes: the domestic goddess who stays home and lets her man protect her, and the hippie goddess who embraces the world in loving arms.

"Neither stereotype allows much room for a woman to be a gun nut. The domestic goddess defers to her man to hunt, clean guns, and shoot rapists. She generally must not worry her pretty little head about such manly things as guns.

"The hippie goddess believes guns are evil and exist only to kill people and animals. For her, a rapist is just a misunderstood little boy crying for compassion. If a woman uses a gun to defend her life, our hippie goddess would condemn the woman and claim the poor, misunderstood criminal did not deserve the death penalty meted out by his armed would-be victim.

"Both of these stereotypes are unmitigated bullshit.

"Women are simply people who look a little different than men. We have curves and an extra layer of body fat. We have less upper body strength on the whole than men, but we have more than enough to shoot guns well. We have the same number of arms, legs, eyes, hands, and fingers."

[To which I respond:]

The last paragraph is unexceptionable - but for its first sentence - with which I disagree for reasons intellectual, and which I resist due to biases emotional.

Since I believe and hope that the women with whom I have been involved were not merely mis-shapen and genitally-inverted little men.

(Though I concede that apparently *some* females approximate this configuration, temperamentally as well as physically.)

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
al said...

CCW is illegal here, hence the ISP's advice on their website.

Unless you're a Chicago Alderman...

I live here. I know. :(

Me too. For 3 more years...

BobG said...

The tone of the article is definitely condescending and somewhat insulting to women, in my opinion. They act as if women don't have the brains or the temperament to defend themselves without screwing up. You'd think they were talking about third graders.

NeoNietzsche: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NeoNietzsche: said...

"They act as if women don't have the brains or the temperament to defend themselves without screwing up."

And some women (and men) *don't* have what it takes. So the question regarding advice given in terms of generalizations is what, indeed, is the general case.

Are women, in general, really just little men adhering to inappropriate stereotypes impressed upon them? Or are the feminine and effeminate ones amongst us authentically hormonally disinclined to responding with coordinated force to an assault?

Perhaps I mistake the case, but it strikes me that Tamara, for example, is a 99.999+ percentile female, in terms of her all-around ability to handle herself in any physical confrontation. She has the temperament and the physical equipment in spades. But she seems, to judge by her remarks, to think herself representative of womanhood in general. I think I am not indulging my fear (that the submissive femininity that I find so appealing in women, in general, is merely an act) in accounting Tamara and some others of the same profile as relatively rare exceptions to the general applicability of gender stereotypes.

It seems to me that good general advice for personal security is to carry as much force as you can effectively apply, man or woman, no matter what the so-called law says you are allowed to do. Personally, I carry openly in "public buildings" - where it is illegal to do so, according to unconstitutional state code, and endure the harassment from security personnel and the police when some weenie objects and drops a dime on me or I get spotted by the in-house enforcers.

Anonymous said...

All nature, no nurture?

Women are doomed to passive victimhood by biology?

T.Stahl said...

Tam, I'm glad that there's at least one woman in the world I don't have to worry about.

NeoNietzsche: said...

In general, healthy cultures encourage or enforce the reinforcement of given aptitudes.

Thus, the naturally strong are encouraged to nuture what nature has given them.

And the naturally weak are likewise efficiently guided into the cultivation of those activites in which they show themselves capable and inclined.

Some of us are natural-born gunmen and killers. Others regard a firearm as if it were a poisonous snake ready to strike them, or a bomb ready to explode.

Nature can be opposed to a certain extent by counter-conditioning, but it is societally inefficient and competitively dangerous to do so.

Anonymous said...

" But she seems, to judge by her remarks, to think herself representative of womanhood in general."



What, you think she was magically born programmed the way that she is?

I don't mean to be indelicate, Tam, but I'm guessing that girl in the bikini had to be scared at some point before transitioning into the woman that properly takes care of herself, yes? Point being, yes, she is indeed representative of womanhood in general. Even being the Tamazon that she is she's still at a disadvantage with even a slight man, just like a pixie of a woman. She's got the brain of a woman, too. In other words, she started off at the same point as all women. The results might not be typical, but the potential is.

It's too bad that more aren't encouraged to follow her path, rather than thinking whistles, keys, and "I saw it in a movie, and movie stuff always works in real life rather than just pissing them off thanks to their adrenaline" knees to the sack are going to do any good.

LabRat said...

If you want a look at nature, check out what female primates do to each other. As with female dogs, while males fight much more often and usually just to make a point, when females decide to fight they're usually looking to maim or kill if they can.

And anyone who says that humans are different has never been a little girl, or else has forgotten what it was like.

Hormonally speaking, testosterone amplifies aggressive impulses, it doesn't create them. Biologically women have less hormonal pushing to act on aggressive impulses, but that doesn't mean they don't have them- it means the decision to act on them or not is motivated a lot more by social conditioning and other factors. (Speaking of other factors, it's logical that we be disinclined to act violently against a man, who are almost always physically stronger and will win the confrontation- that's a "no other option" thing.)

Hell, there are plenty of wussy men who, despite what nature may have designed them for, are convinced they are helpless and act accordingly. Why should it be so different for women?

NeoNietzsche: said...

"What, you think she was magically born programmed the way that she is?"

That is my impression, drawn from her own statements, one of which has the high-school Tamara avenging the toilet-training of her D&D playmates by football players amusing themselves at the expense of the nerds. She felt called upon to "beat the crap" out of the offending parties, as evidently the victims could not of their own efforts.

And she writes of being 5'12" by that time, if I continue to recall correctly - so unless she misinforms us, or I have misread, she has been an Amazon from her early years, whom I would have put up against any average adult male and placed my money on her.

Oleg said...

Car driving used to be a "masculine pursuit", too. Cars improved and so women can handle them without undue physical strain. Same with guns: an AR15 is a lot easier to heft than a ten-bore musket on a forked rest.

Tam maybe atypical, but that's because she is so much brighter than most. If any other woman wished, she could gain much the same fighting competence by training. The decision to learn (and to commit time and resources to that) is the main stop -- and it helps to be in a supportive environment. Then again, shooters I know would more readily help a woman learn than a man.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"Hell, there are plenty of wussy men who, despite what nature may have designed them for, are convinced they are helpless and act accordingly. Why should it be so different for women?"

Who convinced "wussy men" that they are helpless? Given what seems to be a slight cultural residue of the expectation that men have *some* measure of physical capability, I suspect that our wussies are born that way, and have, by native inclination, *resisted* attempts to condition them toward physical confidence.

LabRat said...

I don't think so. I've seen way too many BIG men with no real physical confidence outside a sport setting to believe that- and way too many dangerous little bantams. Why? The big men were raised to believe Violence Is Bad and that predatory people are like some kind of other species. With rabies. The bantams figured out violence freaked enough other people out that they could get what they wanted with physical force. (Or, conversely, defend themselves and others from predatory people.)

I'm 5'3" and I responded as an adolescent to being physically picked on with physical force too. Why? I'd been raised to believe I could and should defend myself, and had realized that the kids picking on me were depending on me to be helpless when I wasn't really. It had nothing to do with my build (at the time, I bore some resemblance to Tinkerbell), and everything to do with my mindset.

Nature does plenty, but nurture does a lot more. Otherwise there would be no such thing as advanced civilization in the first place.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"Tam maybe atypical, but that's because she is so much brighter than most. If any other woman wished, she could gain much the same fighting competence by training."

Tamara is impressively well-read and intelligent. Combined with what - according to her own accounts and the tone and substance of her comments - is extraordinary physical capability, she is something of a living uberfraulein.

I find her tremendously admirable, by virtue of her being not merely what *any* woman could be, but by virtue of her having cultivated extraordinary gifts of mind *and* body that few person of either gender have been granted.

So, I find her atypical and exceptional in all respects, and do not, yet, take a lesson regarding women in general from the example of Tamara of the Amazons and selected others of the same sentiments.

Anonymous said...

There's a big damned difference between a determined rapist and some swirly issuers who aren't going to pop a girl.

Anonymous said...

NeoNietzsche, I'm curious...what do any of your comments about Tam have to do with a women learning how to shoot to defend herself?

Anonymous said...

Err...woman.

Dear God, it's only Monday...

NeoNietzsche: said...

"I don't think so. I've seen way too many BIG men with no real physical confidence outside a sport setting to believe that- and way too many dangerous little bantams. Why? The big men were raised to believe Violence Is Bad and that predatory people are like some kind of other species. With rabies. The bantams figured out violence freaked enough other people out that they could get what they wanted with physical force. (Or, conversely, defend themselves and others from predatory people.)"

Thank you for illustrating that we no longer have a "healthy culture". I resist taking a tangent off the immediate subject in order to reinforce the point.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"Nature does plenty, but nurture does a lot more."

Do you then recommend that the State impose firearms training upon even the most disinclined and natively incapable until such indefinite time as all are brought up to an approved level of proficiency - relying upon the powers of nuture you allege extant to make this do-able?

(As opposed to more realistically recommending that all persons equip and train themselves as they themselves feel inclined and capable.)

NeoNietzsche: said...

"NeoNietzsche, I'm curious...what do any of your comments about Tam have to do with a women learning how to shoot to defend herself?"

They have to do with whether *she* is a representative female for the sake of generalizing about her gender with regard to public policy (as in that of the ISP, now under discussion) on self-defense. Thanks for prompting me to that clarification.

Anonymous said...

But most of what you've covered in regards to Tam is the physical. That's the whole point of the self-defense gun; the physical doesn't matter so much any more.

Tam is wired up like a woman, because she is one. That's where she's representative.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"I'm 5'3" and I responded as an adolescent to being physically picked on with physical force too. Why? I'd been raised to believe I could and should defend myself, and had realized that the kids picking on me were depending on me to be helpless when I wasn't really. It had nothing to do with my build (at the time, I bore some resemblance to Tinkerbell), and everything to do with my mindset."

Indeed. "Strength" is that of body *and* mind. Most women of my height that I've come across in my life (I'm 6'1" and over five decades old) are obviously physically/sexually submissive and want to be dominated and feel feminine thereby. The short ones tend to compensate for their lack of height. We live in a perversely egalitarian culture where everyone is forced, for one reason or another, to compensatorially move themselves toward the median.

But in a healthy culture, 5'3" tinkerbells do not have to, or are incapable of, defending themselves - so someone else of the appropriate aptitude and training does it for them, if it is done at all.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"But most of what you've covered in regards to Tam is the physical. That's the whole point of the self-defense gun; the physical doesn't matter so much any more."

A woman, who visited my house recently, "physically" shrank from the firearms placed around my home.

A male neighbor with whom I have done business was literally traumatized by a policewoman's mere mention of the pistol in her car. He required professional help.

I've taken several *average* women shooting - they don't have the strength to cleanly clear an automatic pistol.

"Tam is wired up like a woman, because she is one. That's where she's representative."

I'd say she's wired up like a Superwoman. I think that's exceptional.

LabRat said...

You seem to have some rather odd theories about nature, nurture, and evolution, so I'm going to see if I can't use a flashlight and a map to figure out what we're actually arguing about. For reference, I'm talking biology- not Neitzsche. The two bear little resemblance to each other post-Modern Synthesis.

Incidentally, I STRONGLY resent the implication that the fact that I believe in nurture's having a strong influence must necessarily mean I would support any form of state coercion in individual choice, in self-defense or elsewhere. I think people who are convinced they are helpless are SAD, not in need of forced correction.

1. The biggest cause of both juvenile and female mortality in virtually all primate societies is male aggression. Male primates are not defused by helplessness, as dogs usually are; it usually encourages them. It makes NO evolutionary sense for females to be naturally disinclined to refuse to defend themselves or their babies from an aggressive male. Prefer flight if that's an option? Sure. Seek help? Absolutely. Give up rather than fight, and fight hard? No. Talk about selective pressure.

2. You acknowledge strong men who are convinced they are helpless as a symptom of a "sick culture", so obviously you DO acknowledge the strong effect of nurture. Yet you seem to think a woman who is convinced she is helpless is the norm and women who know they aren't are some kind of aberration, albiet a positive one. What is "correct"? A society in which all know their own strength, or a society in which only the men do? If I'm reading your last comment correctly, you are saying that my attitude should not exist and only does because of the general failure of the men around me. Why on earth shouldn't it? Should I live under armed guard in a "healthy" culture instead of do-it-yourself? Why on earth complicate it that way?

3. You are still confusing mental and physical strength (with your reference to the "average" woman not being able to rack the slide on a handgun- that's what "exercise" is for), as well as natural fearfulness with the specific hoplophobia that infests our society. I hang out in doggy circles. I know more than a few expert trainers, male and female alike, who have absolutely no problems achieving complete psychological mastery over a large, assertive dog to the point where it will attack or break off on command but never think to lay a tooth on its master or anyone else the master hasn't deemed a threat. They are mentally and often physically very strong- but still fear guns, because THAT'S HOW THEY WERE CONDITIONED. It has nothing to do with strength.

Anyway, if your actual argument is that a "healthy" society is run by men (mostly "supermen") and women feel feminine only through being dominated (wtf, mate!), then I don't think there's anything to argue about anymore- too much fundamental disagreement. (Plus, on a more personal note, if that's the case then I think you're nuts!)

Anonymous said...

Are you folks really arguing that guns only belong in the hands of physically competent, intelligent, capable women -- whereas the wimpy, shrinking violets you perceive most women to be are better "armed" with stupidly ineffectual tools such as rat-tailed combs and hatpins??

Wow.

It sure seems to me that if the "women are all wimps" school of thought is correct, that would sure argue FOR women carrying guns, and AGAINST women defending themselves with ineffectual, non-weapon items which require a great deal of energy, strength, and emotional fortitude to use as weapons.

A eyeball gouge performed with a rat-tail comb, for instance, would require a very personal committment to violence. It requires the user to get in close, strike aggressively, and physically overpower the assailant's attempts to fight back at close range. That takes both muscle and a degree of personally-invested emotional energy that most normal people simply could not muster up under normal circumstances.

Plus, you'll probably break a nail. Icky.

Nor is it any good as a threat:

Attacker approaches.

Defender yells out: "Stop! Or I'll ... I'll ... [*rummages through purse*] I'll use this on you!" [*pulls out a rat-tail comb*]

Attacker: "You're going to comb my hair??"


So the comb is not effective either as a threat or as an actual defensive tool, requiring a great deal of physical capability and emotional resolve to use, and gaining nothing whatever from its (non-existent) frightfulness.

A gun, on the other hand, requires no physical strength whatsoever to use, so even a girl can use it. It can be wielded at a distance great enough to avoid unpleasant physical contact with a stinky, aggressive male. And merely displaying it can make the faint-hearted attacker decide to go elsewhere.

You might even manage to solve the whole crisis without messing up your manicure.

Homer said...

Saw a local news report this afternoon (Orlando, FL) stating that a local road was closed for eleven hours because of a "box of bullets" lying in the roadway.

Police and Haz-Mat crews responded because there was concern about a "box of bullets" in the roadway might be run over by a motorist and "cause an explosion." I'm sure they meant "cartridges" because "bullets" are not associated with propellants, but this was the drive-by media.

Back in the "old days" - which was just a couple of years ago - someone would have walked over, picked up the free box of ammo, tossed it in their car, and fired it off at the range that weekend. End of story. Now, we have Haz-Mat crews and eleven hours of road closure.

Given that, it's not at all surprising the ISP decides projectile expellers are beyond the ability of females to handle.

I give up. I'm moving to Utah or the Ozarks or someplace. Anybody want to buy a really nice house in Orlando?

NeoNietzsche: said...

Dear Labrat,

"You seem to have some rather odd theories about nature, nurture, and evolution, so I'm going to see if I can't use a flashlight and a map to figure out what we're actually arguing about. For reference, I'm talking biology- not Neitzsche. The two bear little resemblance to each other post-Modern Synthesis."

Thank you for the delightful remarks that follow this introductory paragraph. Please excuse me in delaying a response, due to an obligation this evening. I look forward with pleasure to answering you on the point, and I hope you will return to this thread in Tamara's blog later this evening or early tomorrow morning. Some of what I intend to write might further surprise and provoke you. NN

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite quotes (details here):

Nothing says, "Please don't rape me." like multiple jacketed hollowpoints.

Joe Huffman

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Are you folks really arguing..."

Given there's only a singular that can't get out of the way of his own intellect arguing it, I'd have to say "no".

LabRat said...

Mmm. I'm not particularly exercised about what other people theorize about my female nature or whatever, since what they think doesn't change it.

Just don't call me a state-fellatin' socialist again!

I'll keep it up if I think it will be productive. And, of course, if Tam's had enough of us cow-dogging each other it's her blog.

Fudgie Ghost said...

Uh. . . what about. . . a girl in a bikini?

Don Gwinn said...

I sent this to the ISP's "Ask ISP" address (askisp@isp.state.il.us):


Dear Sir or Madam:
http://www.isp.state.il.us/crime/saconfronted.cfm

The question has recently been raised at http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2007/04/this-is-kind-of-thing-that-really.html as to what exactly the ISP is trying to achieve with the page of advice on "self defense" for women. I confess I was unable to explain it, although I am a citizen of Illinois.
Therefore, I thought I'd ask the ISP.

Please reply with the citation for the research that showed that half of women who fire guns in self-defense shoot the wrong person? The actual published rate of shooting an innocent person when attempting to stop a criminal was two percent for private citizens in 1993. For police officers on duty, it was 11 percent. If the rate for women is 50 percent, then both police and civilian shootings must involve almost exclusively women . . . or the men must be near perfect. Or perhaps women have only become incompetent in the last ten years or so?
( George F. Will, "Are We ‘a Nation of Cowards’?," Newsweek (15 November 1993):93. ) (The actual source is "A Nation of Cowards" by Jeffrey Snyder; Will was reviewing that work in his Newsweek piece.)

The advice to fight back by throwing up on yourself, or using some kind of hairbrush, is utterly ridiculous. Would it have been too much to ask, as a bare minimum, that you include something besides old myths about putting keys between a woman's fingers? Even pepper spray makes a lot more sense than what the ISP is foisting off on women. If you click the link I provided, you'll find that women are not enjoying being talked down to as if they were slow children.

My wife, my mother, my sister and my grandmothers have to live in this state. It's bad enough that the ISP lobbies against their right to keep and bear arms in the capitol building, but this page of "advice" is an insult, pure and simple. My sister was very nearly abducted from the Freedom gas station on North Dirksen in Springfield several years ago, and for the ISP to offer her this kind of blissful fantasy thinking makes my blood boil. Thanks for nothing.

Don Gwinn

Don Gwinn said...

Probably would have made more sense to say that the ISP "lobbies in the capitol building against their right to keep and bear arms in Illinois" but oh well.

Marko said...

Whoa, whoa whoa....somebody pull over that particular bus on the Pretentiousness Turnpike.

"neonietzsche": Verbosity does not equal relevance. Put down the Thesaurus; the person whose blog you're littering is extremely literate, and unlikely to be impressed by your profligate use of SAT words.

Abby said...

You know, I HAD the classes on how to kill man with a tent peg, rock, car key or credit card. Or one's bare hands.

Nice classes.

When it comes down to it, though, I'd rather have the pistol.

comatus said...

Labrat, keep it up. I (for one) am really enjoying this.

I'm shocked decade after decade at how much of our supposition of the "original state" of womankind is based on the fantasies of some Regency-era gay dandies who fancied themselves proto-anthropologists. There is precious little skeletal evidence that pre-historic hunting parties were exclusively male, or that women did not participate in the defense of couple, brood, or clan. And this point, laid down in the early 19th cent., is seldom brought up again; we've swallowed it whole. My theory of evolution, easily fleshed out by mythic and biblical anecdote, is that our race did not originate with some hippy-dippy commune-in-a-cave, but with a woman and a man, hunting together. I highly recommend both the theory and the practice, and will be calling on your school boards to make it mandatory soon.

Tam said...

"I'll keep it up if I think it will be productive. And, of course, if Tam's had enough of us cow-dogging each other it's her blog."


Are you kidding?!?

If my every hundredth post stirred up debate this lively, I'd be the happiest blogger on the intarw3b!

Mark@C said...

Stunning hypocrisy on the part of the ISP.
Struggling to maintain the illusion of monopoly of force, the uniformed scum that posted that propaganda ought to be forced to trade in their sidearms (or bodyguards) for nail files - or tarred and feathered.
I submit that a 'buy a girl a gun' day would be a fitting response.

Xavier said...

I'm speechless.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the non comatose gun owners of the peoples republik of Illinois, I apologize for the stupidity my fellow Illinoians elect into office. I had no part in Gov Blowjoblips or Dick Daily getting into office.
Since the ISP academy taught my better half to shoot, does that mean she is in the half that DOESN'T shoot their friend or neighbor????

DesertRat said...

When I first moved here from The People's Republik of Czheckoslofornia it was a virtual gun owner's paradise. Yeah you still needed a F.O.I.D. card and CCW was verboten, but that was better than I had.

Now I'm ALMOST considering moving back to California as I can get a CCW there. If only I could get a job offer in a state not run by hoplophobes.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Dear LabRat

>"You seem to have some rather odd theories about nature, nurture, and evolution, so I'm going to see if I can't use a flashlight and a map to figure out what we're actually arguing about. For reference, I'm talking biology- not Neitzsche. The two bear little resemblance to each other post-Modern Synthesis."<

The syntax of your last sentence seems to be ill-formed. And you also seem to be ill-informed regarding Nietzsche's own remarks regarding biology - to which I have not had reference here. Perhaps you are under the influence of someone's mere and misguided *interpretation* of Nietzsche, to judge by your having trucked the phrase "post-Modern Synthesis" into the arena.

>"Incidentally, I STRONGLY resent..."<

Thank you for illustrating the point with which I made my first objection to Tamara's linked material. You are obviously not merely a little man, as that source would have it. A little man would not want to give expression to his mere sentiment, as you, a woman, have done here - knowing that the other man would inform him that he has him confused with someone who gives a **** about his wounded feelings. As it is, you *are*, rather pleasingly, a woman - and I apologize, beg your forgiveness, and promise not to do it again. As regards the *substance* of your objection to my *question* put to you:

>"...the implication that the fact that I believe in nurture's having a strong influence must necessarily mean I would support any form of state coercion in individual choice, in self-defense or elsewhere."<

That is the *familiar* implication, given certain widely-shared further premises, but it is not, as you say, the *necessary* implication. That's why I put a *question*, rather than an accusation, to you in this regard, since the rugged-individualist/gun-proponent orientation is almost invariably toward an emphasis on nature as opposed to nurture. Unsurprisingly, I found your combination of attitudes worthy of examination for their coherence.

>"I think people who are convinced they are helpless are SAD, not in need of forced correction."<

A charitable sentiment - which leaves the issue of your recommendations/objections as to self-defense advice in abeyance.

>"1. The biggest cause of both juvenile and female mortality in virtually all primate societies is male aggression. Male primates are not defused by helplessness, as dogs usually are; it usually encourages them. It makes NO evolutionary sense for females to be naturally disinclined to refuse to defend themselves or their babies from an aggressive male."<

It makes evolutionary sense for a *human* female primate to be incapable of resisting rape, thus surviving and reproducing herself - as opposed to being capable of resisting rape but not death, and thus being terminated in the attempt to repell a capable and heavily-armed combatant such as has been her *human* male primate assailant(s) for several tens of thousands of years amidst tribal and national pillaging and rapine. We can argue that, for the most recent tiny fraction of that period, the *firearm* that a woman can competently wield has somewhat "equalized" the situation, but we remain amidst the genetic legacy of the general inability of women to as effectively wield the more primitive weapons that male humans monopolized for the balance of human existence on the planet.

>"Prefer flight if that's an option? Sure. Seek help? Absolutely. Give up rather than fight, and fight hard? No. Talk about selective pressure."<

A choice of course of action not unreasonable in the modern day, where your assailant is very rarely a hardened and combat-proven soldier or warrior, as he was for your ancestors, and where your chances of survival through effectively resisting rape are thus no longer virtually zero.

>"2. You acknowledge strong men who are convinced they are helpless as a symptom of a "sick culture", so obviously you DO acknowledge the strong effect of nurture."<

Of course, and as said. The point I wish to repeat is that healthy cultures nurture the biases of nature as to virtues, and that counter-conditioning is appropriate only as to vices. In our modern day of perversity and "diversity," *inequality* is considered the great vice, and so men are now made into women, and vice versa, contrary to the wisdom and pattern of history.

>"Yet you seem to think a woman who is convinced she is helpless is the norm and women who know they aren't are some kind of aberration, albiet a positive one. What is "correct"?"<

The former.

>"A society in which all know their own strength, or a society in which only the men do?"<

The latter.

>"If I'm reading your last comment correctly, you are saying that my attitude should not exist and only does because of the general failure of the men around me."<

Correct.

>"Why on earth shouldn't it? Should I live under armed guard in a "healthy" culture instead of do-it-yourself? Why on earth complicate it that way?"<

Do-it-yourself is (proto-)anarchic. Specialization is productive of civilization.

>"3. You are still confusing mental and physical strength (with your reference to the "average" woman not being able to rack the slide on a handgun- that's what "exercise" is for),..."<

I was responding to the allegation that the issue was no longer "physical," with an illustration to the contrary that represents general experience. If I'm not mistaken, "exercise" is also a physical issue.

>"...as well as natural fearfulness with the specific hoplophobia that infests our society. I hang out in doggy circles. I know more than a few expert trainers, male and female alike, who have absolutely no problems achieving complete psychological mastery over a large, assertive dog to the point where it will attack or break off on command but never think to lay a tooth on its master or anyone else the master hasn't deemed a threat. They are mentally and often physically very strong- but still fear guns, because THAT'S HOW THEY WERE CONDITIONED. It has nothing to do with strength."<

I think you confuse "conditioning" with propaganda, unless you believe that your doggy trainers have been pistol-whipped at some point. Otherwise the issue is simply one of information as to the reality of guns and their use, to which information individuals may variably respond in overcoming their induced fears, based upon their relative strengths of mind and body.

>"Anyway, if your actual argument is that a "healthy" society is run by men (mostly "supermen")..."<

Correct

>"...and women feel feminine only through being dominated (wtf, mate!),..."<

Please recall that my remark characterized most women of my own height and acquaintance (a very select group), I did not write, nor do I believe, that this is characteristic of women in general.

>"...then I don't think there's anything to argue about anymore - too much fundamental disagreement."<

Then you retire from the discussion at this level with my thanks for your delightful contribution.

>"(Plus, on a more personal note, if that's the case then I think you're nuts!)"<

(But if I'm tall, strong, handsome, charming, highly intelligent, extremely well-educated, heavily-armed, and wealthy, does that make you feel better about me?)

NeoNietzsche: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

They don't pronounce the name of that state "ill annoy" for nothing...

Desertrat, move east a bit. Here in Hoosier land, we take a different view of guns from the modern city-state to our west. Easiest shall-issue carry permit you'll get. For $125 and some fingerprints ($100 for a renewal), you can now get a lifetime carry permit. No need to renew ever! No permit of any sort needed to buy any gun or any sort of ammo.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"Marko said...

Whoa, whoa whoa....somebody pull over that particular bus on the Pretentiousness Turnpike.

"neonietzsche": Verbosity does not equal relevance. Put down the Thesaurus; the person whose blog you're littering is extremely literate, and unlikely to be impressed by your profligate use of SAT words."

Hello, Marko,

If the persons whose remarks I address would like to follow the links to my own blog, I would then be happy to confine my multiply-offensive littering to my own space, with my apologies for past misbehavior to Tamara and to her champion, whom I take to be yourself. Otherwise, I'm tempted to continue to offend hereabouts, despite my apologies, for the sake of enjoying and responding to the contributions of Tamara's admirers, of whom I am one.

May I anticipate being excluded from contributions in the latter event?

NeoNietzsche: said...

And, BTW, Marko,

I find the subtext of your message fascinating and sympathetic.

NN

Anonymous said...

Appropos of nothing much, I liked pdb's blog this morning.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"If my every hundredth post stirred up debate this lively, I'd be the happiest blogger on the intarw3b!"

Well, Tamara, keep introducing material that deals with the battle of the sexes, and you will want for little by way of controversy.

Trafficing in this subject is a bit like drug-dealing. People will kill and cast away wealth in order to have that drug - the intoxicating infatuation and exhilaration that come with winning someone of the opposition.

NN

Babs RN said...

Wait just a damned minute here:

Be aware of those times and places where there is a potential for attack and be prepared to defend yourself....
othersyou will learn to recognize


WTF???

And as one trained in PPCT, they left out the shin which is a wonderfully disabling hit if you get it right.

But yeah, I'd go for the gun.

Remind me not to move to Illinois.

Anonymous said...

"And as one trained in PPCT, they left out the shin which is a wonderfully disabling hit if you get it right."

I have no idea what "PPCT" is, but I suspect it's tarted up fluffy self-defense training that no doubt features a guy in a protective suit that curls up any time he's hit. All of that "disabling" bulldink is hooey when you factor adrenaline into the equation. Plenty of attackers have been able to soldier on through getting shot (placement, placement, placement) thanks to that perky little hormone. A stomping scrape to the shins isn't really diddle compared to being shot. And for the record, knees to the groin are easily blocked with a slight move of the leg. No sense in pissing an attacker off with ineffective crap, he's likely to take it out on your ass (quite literally, in some cases). Good thing you'd go for the gun.

It pretty much all comes down to practicing with a gun and learning to stay out of moderate/high risk areas/situations.

Ulises from CA said...

MEN:
Give your girlfriends/wives a gun & some training. Do the same for your daughters.They'll thank you for it later when they're burying would-be muggers & serial rapists. And you'll know who's good backup in case of a catastrophe.

Plus: boyfriends will approach an armed household much more respectfully. ;^)

Those who would disarm you ARE the enemy.

NeoNietzsche: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NeoNietzsche: said...

[From a self-defense forum:]

"Hey xxxx, good luck with your new thread. I'll be watching with interest, lurking more than posting these days. Do you have any experience with PPCT? I was a PPCT instructor and a shift response team leader in a correctional facility. As such I have a lot of real world experience with use of force encounters. I like the PPCT pressure points, when they work. When they don't, which is often in my experience, well I also have a lot of years training in TKD/hapkido/yudo, for a fall back position. Now I'm in the private sector as a bodyguard, it looks like I'll be relying a lot more on pressure points, the alternatives being a little too extreme for most encounters."

LabRat said...

My eyebrows just about shot off my forehead when I got done with more pressing stuff, sat down with a glass of iced tea, and checked this thread and saw sixty comments.

I think I will finish business elsewhere for the day before sitting down to craft a riposte.

*hold music*

LabRat said...

This is long as freaking hell, which is why I left it till now...

You're right, I don't know all that much about Nietzsche. I phrased what I said the way I did because it's become clear that while we both keep using the term "natural", we have different ideas about what that means. The Modern Syntheis has absolutely nothing to do with Nietzsche, about which I know little, and everything to do with what I know about evolutionary biology, which is my field of expertise. The Modern Synthesis was the union of naturalism and genetics into a unified (and much better) concept of the study of evolution, occurred well after his death, and put to rest a lot of the misunderstandings regarding evolution that led to nonsense like eugenics. Given the sayings he's most famous for, I had assumed Nietzsche's position was based more on a naturalistic approach than some other moral philosophers.

Secondly, I was never "wounded". There's a difference between having your feelings hurt and having your sensibilities insulted. I truly DON'T give a good goddamn what you think of me, but when someone has got me wrong in a way that casts what I view as major aspersions on my character, I generally let them know about it.

I am never any more pleased about it when some man thinks he's paying me a compliment by saying I'm just like one, but that doesn't mean I appreciate having mildly irritated interpreted as wounded either.

Rape is actually quite rare in nature; the vast majority of "male aggression" that I mention that goes on among social primates isn't sexual in nature, it's frustrated males taking their rage out on lower-ranking members of their group. They're just as happy to pick on a weak male as on a female, but either way the *millions* of years of that compared to a few thousand years of recent human history is a much greater force- and you speak as if the only violence committed by men against women were of the survivable type since. A woman, be she monkey or hominid, has always had much more to worry about from murder than rape. Incidentally, did you know a woman is usually in just as much danger if she doesn't resist? Most of the time in murder-rapes the woman is killed because the rapist didn't get the satisfaction from raping her he thought he would and he's- again- taking it out on her. Whereas if she resists, there's a chance he'll decide she's not worth the bother and look for a weaker victim- as most criminals do faced with a troublesome target.

The concept of a professional soldier is also a fairly new one- Spartans were the first. Before them, most "warriors" were basically large gangs of hugely varying experience and "hardened" qualities. The ruthless rapine-and-pillage machines we typically see in historical dramatizations are largely the product of media representation. They certainly weren't nice men who'd shrink away from a slap, but they weren't necessarily any more efficient in their brutality than the average criminal either.

Setting aside the more pedantic issues we've gotten into as not particularly relevant to the main discussion (I will concede your point re the proper use of the term "conditioning", by the way), we get back to the real heart of our philosophical disagreement.

Human predators have always existed and I think always will; the discovery that a)You can't always get your way, and b)Sometimes you can get it anyway by breaking social rules is the first and most fundamental moral dilemma of mankind, and I think there will always be some who succumb to the temptation of option two. Even in highly patriarchal and martial societies crime still exists, and most of it is still against the easy targets.

Given that, and that in my opinion the balance of the evidence leads one to the conclusion that violence is something women are naturally quite capable of, "specialization" in the matter of self-defense to the point where women should not be taught and encouraged in it just as a man would be makes no sense. It's unweildly, highly restrictive to her freedom as in order to be safe she must be accompanied by a man at all times, and puts the burden of a purely necessary individual social task on one half the people when both halves are capable.

"But if I'm tall, strong, handsome, charming, highly intelligent, extremely well-educated, heavily-armed, and wealthy, does that make you feel better about me?"

Why should it? You're the person I'm arguing with on the internet, not a prospective mate. Besides, I'm more than satisfied with my husband.

I'll bow out on my own now exceedingly windy post on this note: in American history, the first places to give women the vote were the Western territories. The West was not by any stretch of the imagination more progressive or liberal than the East; the West was a place where an ornamental woman who could not use a gun, defend herself and her family when her mate was away or not close at hand, or any of a number of other tough jobs was a luxury that simply could not be afforded. Proven capability changed some attitudes about women's suffrage long before protests did.

Trevor said...

I feel weakened by having read all 62 replies. I'm not even able to find a starting point for arguing with the misguided morons in the thread, or congratulating those who are correct on having brought light to the debate.

So, to wrap up, without entering into any debate with those who already should know I think they're wrong -

You creepy people have creeped me right the fuck out. You know who you are.

ColtCCO

Bonnie said...

I have posted this info on my blog. Hopefully I can help some of the women I know realize that guns aren't just man-toys, and that, if used properly, they can help provide a level of safety that is simply unattainable any other way.

VOMIT on an attacker? Not all of us are bulemics-in-training, kthx. Let's just pee on him while we're at it.

And what if he has an STD, and isn't fazed when you say, "I have gonorrhea"? Well, you just earned yourself a case of genital warts, didn't you?

This is why Gun Control has got to stop. Criminals obtain illegal weapons 99% of the time in places other than a person's home. I wish to God people would realize that and start protecting themselves.

/rant

Renn said...

Ok, I applaud labrat for her patience.

That said, I agree with Heinlein "specialization is for insects." I heartily disagree with the current trend toward 'letting the experts do it'. In fact I feel that an attitude like that is conducive to our society reverting to a caste system, or even back to the good old days of the guilds.

BTW anarchy means 'without government' NOT without civilization.

To the best of my knowledge in the animal kingdom, rapists who rape to pass on genetic material tend to be smaller less succesful males for whom rape is the only manner in which they can reproduce. So, females who are able to fight such intruders off, or even die in the attempt would have a higher darwinian score by not assisting in the reproduction of the faulty genetic material.

Regardless, we are humans and labrat's comments regarding the realities of rape among primates is valid. The women in my life are trained in self defense. They are the weapons, whatever items they utilise are only tools. While I am perfectly capable of protecting the women in my life, I am bright enough to realise that I am not always going to be present when they need protection. In fact, most predators will wait until their chosen prey is alone before attacking. Therefore, unless one locks up the women in harems there will be times when they will be in danger.

So, neo-nietzsche, DO you want all women to be locked up and chaperoned at all times? Should they wear concealing garments to keep them safe? Whyever does this sound familiar? Perhaps some of our fellow readers have recently been somewhere that this is common...

NeoNietzsche: said...

Dear Labrat,

You continue to delight with your thoughtful remarks:

>"You're right, I don't know all that much about Nietzsche...Given the sayings he's most famous for, I had assumed Nietzsche's position was based more on a naturalistic approach than some other moral philosophers."<

Indeed, his was - but it is not evident what, specifically, you think his was, or what of his you think I was urging in this discussion. To what "sayings" do you refer? Perhaps I can add something to your grasp of his ideas.

>"Secondly, I was never "wounded". There's a difference between having your feelings hurt and having your sensibilities insulted...I am never any more pleased about it when some man thinks he's paying me a compliment by saying I'm just like one, but that doesn't mean I appreciate having mildly irritated interpreted as wounded either."<

Perhaps I may be forgiven for taking "STRONGLY resent" for something more than "mild irritation". The point stands, however, that you are *not* merely a little man, to judge by your reaction.

>"...but either way the *millions* of years of that [pattern of primate behavior] compared to a few thousand years of recent human history is a much greater force..."<

Your remarks in that paragraph depict activities primarily *within* a familial primate group and do not suggest the selective process as to the submissiveness of women, to which I pointed, involved in inter-tribal and inter-national warfare as well as the inter-tribal kidnapping and rape celebrated in the marriage ceremony.

>"- and you speak as if the only violence committed by men against women were of the survivable type..."<

I wrote, rather, of the enhanced chances of survival and reproduction of (hence selective evolutionary variation toward) non-resistant women in the context of warfare and pillage. I do not suggest that such women were invariably spared by their rapists.

>"The concept of a professional soldier is also a fairly new one- Spartans were the first. Before them, most "warriors" were basically large gangs of hugely varying experience and "hardened" qualities. The ruthless rapine-and-pillage machines we typically see in historical dramatizations are largely the product of media representation. They certainly weren't nice men who'd shrink away from a slap, but they weren't necessarily any more efficient in their brutality than the average criminal either."<

Regimented soldiery and systematic pillage began millenia before the Spartans, and the depredations involved in inter-tribal warfare and bride-taking, even earlier, by a multiple. For soldiers and warriors, rape and pillage are the taking of pleasure and treasure, since the preliminaries thereto give them all they need of the mere venting of aggression. It is not clear why you think criminal gangs and their predecessor warrior bands much differ from soldiers let loose to rape and pillage, in some fashion supportive of your position. To the contrary, where the "criminal" rapist has an incentive to kill his victim in order to eliminate an incriminating element, conquering warriors and soldiers have no such motive and indeed may elect or be ordered to take slaves and wives.

>"...Even in highly patriarchal and martial societies crime still exists, and most of it is still against the easy targets."<

But I am suggesting that human female characteristics are the product of selection for behavior in the context of activities that are *not*, properly-speaking, criminal. And this submissive behavior makes the defense of women more complicated than the proto-anarchic practice of handing everyone a deadly device and cheering them on with "I (a gun-nut who is no more or less than a ball-less little man) know what to do with *my* gun - and so can you (the average female, who typically cannot, as she needs to, visualize the locking mechanism of her pistol so as to always be aware of its state, for safety's sake, absent someone who is maintaining it for her.)"

>"Given that, and that in my opinion the balance of the evidence leads one to the conclusion that violence is something women are naturally quite capable of, "specialization" in the matter of self-defense to the point where women should not be taught and encouraged in it just as a man would be makes no sense. It's unweildly, highly restrictive to her freedom as in order to be safe she must be accompanied by a man at all times, and puts the burden of a purely necessary individual social task on one half the people when both halves are capable."<

The circumstance you disparage is characteristic of societies in the ascendant. Your democratic and egalitarian formulation of society characterizes one that shortly awaits catastrophe. But that's another, and highly involved, discussion.

>" 'But if I'm tall, strong, handsome, charming, highly intelligent, extremely well-educated, heavily-armed, and wealthy, does that make you feel better about me?' Why should it? You're the person I'm arguing with on the internet, not a prospective mate..."<

It shouldn't - I was patronizing you.

>"I'll bow out on my own now exceedingly windy post on this note: in American history, the first places to give women the vote were the Western territories. The West was not by any stretch of the imagination more progressive or liberal than the East;..."<

Because the promotion of "Progress" is, likewise, inadvertently and fatuously the promotion of that anarchic circumstance one finds on the frontiers of society.

>"...the West was a place where an ornamental woman who could not use a gun, defend herself and her family when her mate was away or not close at hand, or any of a number of other tough jobs was a luxury that simply could not be afforded. Proven capability changed some attitudes about women's suffrage long before protests did."<

Do you suspect, as do I, that those women (and men) who chose the frontier life might have been a select and thus unrepresentative group?

NeoNietzsche: said...

"So, neo-nietzsche, DO you want all women to be locked up and chaperoned at all times? Should they wear concealing garments to keep them safe? Whyever does this sound familiar? Perhaps some of our fellow readers have recently been somewhere that this is common..."

I want everyone, in the present circumstance, to arm themselves as powerfully as they are capable of doing so safely, whatever the law.

For those so inclined, I would recommend becoming a survivalist.

BTW, Renn, when you've completely and coherently formulated that plan for the maintenance of civilization without government, I'll be happy to provide an endorsement for your world-historic achievement and unprecedented award of the Nobel Prize, both for Peace and for Economics. Keep in touch regarding your progress, eh.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"So, neo-nietzsche, DO you want all women to be locked up and chaperoned at all times? Should they wear concealing garments to keep them safe? Whyever does this sound familiar? Perhaps some of our fellow readers have recently been somewhere that this is common..."

If, on the other hand, you ask regarding an historic example of the estate of women in a relatively "healthy" - if not untroubled - society, I would point to ancient Rome. Which was, I grant, an estate that women of today would reject as compared to their own, but which was not Islamic in its restriction and protection of women.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Labrat,

I see where I earlier failed to see what you intended by this remark:

>" Before them, most "warriors" were basically large gangs of hugely varying experience and "hardened" qualities...They certainly weren't nice men who'd shrink away from a slap, but they weren't necessarily any more efficient in their brutality than the average criminal either."<

I will suggest that they were, in fact, more efficient.

A warrior is always a country boy. The criminal with which we are concerned is typically a city boy.

During the War of Northern Agression, the Southern troops were qualitatively superior to the greater numbers of Northern troops drawn from urban areas. The quality of Northern troops was only brought to parity with those of the South when Lincoln was driven to conscription of mid-Western farm boys who could march and shoot like the farmwork-hardened, rifle-shootin', so-called Rebels.

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like someone around here has certainly glommed on to the "vomit profusely in defense" approach.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Sensing that I've aroused some resistance around her, let me get something off my mind, in summary, so that I can go meet a professional deadline today without my thoughts being here rather than there:

I am completely pro-gun - I'm a 2nd Amendment absolutist - every adult has the Constitutional *right* to carry anywhere, anytime. I carry openly (and illegally in some venues) where I live. But some of what I've written here is to the effect that not everyone *should* carry, unless and until capable - and that some of us will *never* be capable for reasons mental and physical.

Part of this qualification of my endorsement of use and carrying involves gender stereotypes, as has been discussed here. I think that there would be relatively little argument hereabouts concerning my *general* principle as to firearms policy, but the modern ladies in the arena naturally feel called upon to resist any prejudice in this regard with respect to their gender.

So the most immediate point, then, is that I sense that I am being mistaken if they think that I wish to deny them their weapons in the context of our present society. To the contrary, I want them armed, as are *my* women, under the circumstances. At another time and place, my wishes for the commonweal would be different.

My fundamental concern, with which I began contributing to this thread, was and is with a larger cultural and psychological issue - that of whether women are basically just little men, as alleged by Tamara's recommended reference.

Since I expose myself to cultural influences in the media and elsewhere, out of curiosity and the desire to be equipped to understand and deal with the world around me, I and we are constantly exposed to the expression of feminist and general egalitarian attitudes, which basically have it that men and women, and people in general, are indistinct from one another as genders, races, and individuals.

So, am I, as a contrarian, kidding myself when I believe that wives and lovers of mine have *not* been just little men? My skin crawls at the thought, otherwise. Is it just romance - projected illusions - that make me see something complementary to myself behind beautiful eyes, rather than just a smaller version of myself? I think not, and my gut tells me not - but now I'm not so sure, on an intellectual level. I came across Tamara a few days ago and started to become infatuated with her pictures (which makes me, what, the 100,000th guy to do so?) - but the firearms in hand and her swaggering auto-bio material made me wonder, as I said, what's behind the lovely eyes (of someone who makes any male I can remember since basic training seem outwardly more or less temperamentally effeminate, by comparison).

So that's the issue that bugs me, intellectually, and, in prospect, emotionally. By all means, have all the guns you want, and spread them around, ladies. But please consider carefully your endorsement of assertions about gender identity. You contribute to the (further) declension of gentle society when men, in general, are persuaded that you warrant no special regard. Perhaps that is simply the regrettable case, and I will acknowledge the truth of it if my contrary personal experience of women can be shown to be an exceptional one in the sense of their having been distinctively and unrepresentatively non-masculine, as I would have them.

NeoNietzsche: said...

"Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like someone around here has certainly glommed on to the "vomit profusely in defense" approach."

But I regurgitate so eloquently, don't you think? Try it sometime.

Leaves a good taste in your mouth.

Bonnie said...

Well, it looks like someone around here has certainly glommed on to the "vomit profusely in defense" approach.

Okay, you have to admit. That was funny.

LabRat said...

Once again I'm not going to sit down and really tackle this until later- I'm bushed and I need some books-and-blues time before I have to walk the dog- but I will say this much, which might actually end the whole bloody debate right here.

I don't think women are just little men. I think it makes complete biological, cultural, and historical sense that they are not. I have never suffered the slightest bit of confusion about my gender identity nor its rigidity no matter how many supposedly "masculine" things I did, and I suspect neither has Tam.

I just don't think "nonviolent" is a naturally female trait, nor should it be culturally induced.

(Just because I'm going to take credit even if he's not, the "vomit profusely" anon is my dear little love cashew, Mr. LabRat. Ain't he a charmer?)

BobG said...

Damn, this thread by itself is bigger than most blogs...

NeoNietzsche: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NeoNietzsche: said...

LabRat said...

>"I don't think women are just little men. I think it makes complete biological, cultural, and historical sense that they are not."<

Then we are as one in this overall assessment, and your dispute would be with Tamara's source (to the extent that she does not merely exaggerate for effect). We might discuss the specifics as to why you think that sexual dimorphism in humans makes sense.

>"I have never suffered the slightest bit of confusion about my gender identity nor its rigidity no matter how many supposedly "masculine" things I did, and I suspect neither has Tam.<"

"We are not what we do" would be your thesis, I take it. This raises some questions such as:

1) Is gender a matter of degree? Are persons more or less masculine or feminine - more or less a "man" or "woman"? Do you understand, for example, that heterosexual males regard a male - who interacts, sexually with other males as does a woman (to put it politely) - not as a "man" but rather as some strange form of female? And that we do not believe that such a creature can legitmately claim to subjectively, inwardly, identify itself with the world of men in their experience of it?

2) How does one identify with one's gender otherwise than by recognizing oneself in the way others of a gender look and act, (i.e, by what they do)? If you were raised among none but transvestites and drag queens, wouldn't you think of yourself as a male with a serious birth defect?

>"I just don't think "nonviolent" is a naturally female trait, nor should it be culturally induced."<

Again, I think a question of *degree* arises in this regard. Extremely passive women may tend to pass that unfortunate characteristic on to offspring. And very aggressive women may have difficulty reproducing and caring for children.

>"(Just because I'm going to take credit even if he's not, the "vomit profusely" anon is my dear little love cashew, Mr. LabRat. Ain't he a charmer?)"<

Pass along my compliments on his fortunate choice of partners.

LabRat said...

Hoboy.

Okay, your previous riposte would have been a twenty-minute affair to reply to, but with your most recent set of questions, I find I suddenly have a lot to say. As in, I'm about to make your reputation for verbosity look paltry, because you've touched on the cores of some lifetime interests. (Also? I really wish I hadn't spilled a can of Coke on that excellent book about specifically what primatology has learned about female apes and monkeys, because right now I could really use the ready reference.)

So, since things have gone a bit nonlinear here at Casa LabRat today and have only stopped moving now, I'm getting to this first good-sized chunk of free time I get tomorrow.

(And Tam? I mean it about the verbose. If you want me to just take this to e-mail I will.)

NeoNietzsche: said...

Ms. Labrat,

I'm pleased to have provoked you to thought, as you have myself.

I look forward to your exploration of your interests.

Since I am new to blogging, and in view of the complaints and remarks about "verbosity," I wouldn't mind some instruction in the etiquette of blogging, where it seems that one confines oneself to quips, in comments, but where it is not evident why someone objects to messages that can well be ignored.

Also in this regard, I repeat that I welcome conducting otherwise objectionable exchanges on my own blog at:

http://neonietzsche.blogspot.com/

entitled The Bird of Prey and Nietzsche, (in hopes, however, that I'm not violating accepted practice by mentioning one's own venue).

LabRat said...

As I understand it? The usual commenter etiquette as I understand it (and I've been a junkie for blogs since 2002 or so- but only as a commenter), is to be brief because it's the soapbox of whoever owns the blog, not yours. I've seen more than a few blowhards who wanted to expound to a bigger audience try and hijack comment threads at popular blogs for their own agendas, so I understand why this unstated rule of etiquette exists.

And I will indeed take it to your blog if that's the owner/readership consensus.

And now I really am gone till tomorrow- it is seriously time to unwind.

Tam said...

"And I will indeed take it to your blog if that's the owner/readership consensus."

Are you kidding?

My only worry here is that I'm going to run out of popcorn.

I keep meaning to jump in, but my work schedule would mean that by the time I got home, I could simplify my commentary by typing "Yeah, what she said!" ;)

NeoNietzsche: said...

Hi, Tamara,

"I keep meaning to jump in,..."

I wish you would, because it was my curiosity about you that got me started here.

And it would be nice to have Marko contribute more substantively, since he has subtextually betrayed a possessive and protective relationship with you that might enable him, above all, to give us more insight into your personality.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Also, Tamara,

Labrat wrote:

"(And Tam? I mean it about the verbose. If you want me to just take this to e-mail I will.)"

How does one confidentially exchange email addresses? I might want to ask you a question (if it would please you to correspond), at some point in the future, that has to do with an aspect of my curiosity about you.

LabRat said...

Okay. I've got some time and some mental clarity. (Have you ever noticed that when you're bored no one wants to talk to you, but if you have something you need to concentrate on everybody does? Me too!)

"Indeed, his was - but it is not evident what, specifically, you think his was, or what of his you think I was urging in this discussion. To what "sayings" do you refer? Perhaps I can add something to your grasp of his ideas."

Perhaps later? You kept mentioning supermen and women, so I was trying to figure out if there were any misunderstandings based on this that were impeding discussion. You answered my questions much more directly later, so I don't think this is germane to the discussion anymore.

"Perhaps I may be forgiven for taking "STRONGLY resent" for something more than "mild irritation"."

I learned a long time ago after an incident that ended in me clocking someone (that I regretted deeply) that it was best to let someone know they were getting on my nerves with something long before I started to feel worked up about it. I have an extremely long fuse, but there isn't a lot of intervening middle territory between "really mad" and "fighting mad". It can cause people to mistake me for more passive than I am and keep pushing... and if they don't let me leave, then...

Well, I was a teenager and it hasn't happened since. And thus ends the completely tangential long digression on why I sometimes use stronger emotional language than I'm actually feeling.

"Your remarks in that paragraph depict activities primarily *within* a familial primate group and do not suggest the selective process as to the submissiveness of women, to which I pointed, involved in inter-tribal and inter-national warfare as well as the inter-tribal kidnapping and rape celebrated in the marriage ceremony."

Bear in mind that research suggests this ancestral primate social group contained over a hundred members. Pretty big "family", and not everyone is related thanks to the primate patterns of diaspora that prevent too much inbreeding (which I will go into more later). Also, just how common an experience being kidnapped and raped would be for women throughout the whole of human territory is certainly a debatable point- perhaps you can elaborate on your source?

"I wrote, rather, of the enhanced chances of survival and reproduction of (hence selective evolutionary variation toward) non-resistant women in the context of warfare and pillage. I do not suggest that such women were invariably spared by their rapists."

That wasn't entirely the point I was trying to make; perhaps I shouldn't have spent as much time as I did on the particulars of rape. What I really meant to drive home was that rape was far from the only experience of violence from males that a woman would historically experience, and in most cases- especially child abuse, which most researchers now believe was always prevalent- resistance would be better than passivity. An abusive man might kill his battered mate if she resisted (as well as just as a culimination of his violence), but sometimes it goes the other way around, and in those cases both the woman and the child survive- surviving and protecting your offspring is strong selective pressure.

Add in other causes of assault- like the ever-historically-popular angry male looking for a weak target- and passivity isn't looking like the best historical position for a woman, fitnesswise.

"To the contrary, where the "criminal" rapist has an incentive to kill his victim in order to eliminate an incriminating element, conquering warriors and soldiers have no such motive and indeed may elect or be ordered to take slaves and wives."

While you're right about the extra motive, most rapist-murderers interviewed say they killed her in a fit of rage, not to hide a witness.

You're right about them being psychologically different cases though, so I'll back away from this aspect of the argument and return it to the question of how common kidnap and rape in inter-tribal warfare really were over the range of human territory big enough to shape behavior so dramatically after all those millions of years of selective pressure against passivity. Remember, we're talking about a period of history long before writing.

"And this submissive behavior makes the defense of women more complicated than the proto-anarchic practice of handing everyone a deadly device and cheering them on"

I advocate no such thing. No one should carry a weapon they are not willing or able to use. EVER.

What I advocate is the cultural opposite of what you do- treat women like men *in that* they are taught that they must sometimes defend themselves and how to go about it. Eliminate the fear and ignorance of her own capabilities.

"The circumstance you disparage is characteristic of societies in the ascendant. Your democratic and egalitarian formulation of society characterizes one that shortly awaits catastrophe."

Well, we've already clarified the point of confusion that partly led to this statement- whether women are just little men- so I'll just talk a little more history.

Speaking of Sparta, during its strongest period- that of ascendancy- there was perhaps no other society in ancient Greece that drew sharper lines between the genders. You're right about that bit. However, Spartan girls were taught to fight and given tests of strength as they grew much as the boys were, because when they became women they were expected to defend the city while the male soldiers were off having the summer wars with other city-states that characterized the pattern of life in Greece at that time. They were, in effect, Sparta's National Guard. (The Athenians, whose citizens wrote much of what we know about about this period, were absolutely disgusted by this practice, as well as that of teaching women to read and write so they could also conduct business while the men were gone.)

Spartan marriage was also conducted by a ritual much like some of what you describe- her suitor would abduct her and she'd spend some time in a cell with her hair shorn. However, it was ceremonial- if she liked him she didn't resist. If she didn't Spartan society fully expected her to do her absolute level best to kick his ass and thought somewhat less of her if she failed.

"It shouldn't - I was patronizing you."

Oh, I know. Ever heard of "dumb insolence"? After all, wouldn't want you to think I was upset... ;)

"Do you suspect, as do I, that those women (and men) who chose the frontier life might have been a select and thus unrepresentative group?"

Unrepresentative of what? Most of the people who settled the West were homesteaders from a wide variety of genetic backgrounds who wanted nothing more than opportunity, which until recent history necessarily meant "land". Some of them were certainly heroic and brave, but most were more greedy or desperate- and since news didn't travel well in those days, they would often not have heard of the level of conflict between the settlers and the natives, or of (later) range wars.

Anyway, my point was that you can't get a product (a capably violent woman) without potential; add together the frontier women, the Spartan women, the legendary female generals of Vietnam who led the Vietnamese to expel the Chinese on one occasion... for a British example we have the queens Boadicea, Elizabeth, and Victoria (the latter two who were more than happy to lead England into war and win) and what we have is this: in a situation where the culture encourages women to be violent when needed (be it en masse as in Sparta or the frontier or individually as girls raised to be royalty), they respond by becoming so.

"During the War of Northern Agression, the Southern troops were qualitatively superior to the greater numbers of Northern troops drawn from urban areas. The quality of Northern troops was only brought to parity with those of the South when Lincoln was driven to conscription of mid-Western farm boys who could march and shoot like the farmwork-hardened, rifle-shootin', so-called Rebels."

Poor comparison, I think. The amateur warriors of ancient and medieval times didn't spend their entire daily lives effectively practicing for warfare as the American country boys did with their rifles; there's nothing about primitive agriculture that involves rushing people and sticking them with swords. One of the reasons the Spartans did well enough at Thermopylae to merit a flashy motion picture was that they HAD been trained their whole lives- their opposition was mostly badly fed and badly trained "recruits" from conquered nations. This army quality was about the norm in the ancient world. Another big difference is that in a civil war, both sides see themselves psychologically as the defending force rather than the invaders' headset.

Anyway, if you wanna talk about the Civil War, I can give you another example out of history: the siege of Natchez. During it, many of the city's belles banded together and invited as many Yankee officers as would come to tea, where they poisoned them with oleander leaves. They didn't know what they were doing- Southern ladies were not encouraged to learn or practice violence- but it was, all the same, calculated violence in self-defense in response to a threat. They may have been unusually brave, but it's just another example of latent potential. I've already talked about potential that's been groomed in history.

And now to start in on part two...

LabRat said...

" Is gender a matter of degree? Are persons more or less masculine or feminine - more or less a "man" or "woman"?"

Actually? This point I'm not really all that sure about. Research is rather fuzzy on this at the moment. I think it depends on in what sense how much someone is a man or a woman you're talking about; all I can say definitively is that I think there's a lot of overlap in behavior between the sexes, that there is definitely a continuum (most of biology, it sometimes seems, is some sort of continuum), but it's one with set boundaries so that one cannot really be a man or a woman in all but genitals unless something else fundamental has changed, which I'm about to get into.

"How does one identify with one's gender otherwise than by recognizing oneself in the way others of a gender look and act, (i.e, by what they do)?"

I think our brains tell us what we are on a basic level, much as they tell us that we're supposed to have a full set of arms and legs.

Bear with me for a moment here.

All animals have a sense called proprioception that tells them where their limbs are in space; it's how we're able to move around. It's because of proprioception that phantom limb pain in amputees exist; their nerves don't just report in the truth- that the limb is gone- merely that there has been some massive trauma. Since the brain has a map that tells it the proper arrangement of limbs, all it knows is that something awful has happened to the limb, therefore it must hurt- and thus, the experience that the limb is still there and hurting like hell. There are even a small number of people who seek amputation because all their lives they've had a horrible sense that whatever limb it is (it never changes) is not supposed to be there. Granted I'm going out on a major theoretical limb here, but I think what may be happening there is a genetic or traumatic failure of the proprioceptive brain map.

If you think I'm leading up to say I think this is why transsexuals exist, you're right. I don't think everybody who claims to be a transsexual actually is one- some are just horribly confused ("broken" in a different way), which is why hospitals that do sex reassignment surgery have such a thick battery of psychological testing- but I think true transsexuals are probably people whose brain's map of which gender they are is inverted.

A couple of other things that make me think like this...

1. It used to be common practice, when a baby was born hermaphroditic to some degree to do on-site sex assignment and make the baby physically a girl. They were, for obvious reasons, not told. This is no longer done in most societies with advanced medical establishments, because there were too many cases of the "girl" growing up knowing and believing on a basic level that she was actually a boy- and being REALLY PISSED OFF when they learned what was done to them at birth. Enough cases that it's now standard to leave the child physically intersexed until s/he is old enough (and mature enough to be clear on the concepts) to decide which gender they are.

2. Transvestites. Not transsexuals who are trying to live as a member of the opposite sex, transvestites with a fetish for dressing and (for periods) passing as the opposite sex. Statistically, they are usually heterosexual- and all true transvestites have NO desire to actually become a member of the opposite sex. (As opposed to transsexuals "trying it on" without coming out with their true desires.) Given that until very recently all of them were men and only recently has a scene for female-to-male transvestites developed (mostly in the lesbian community or in communities with an established drag queen tradition where the girls want to play too), I'm betting transvestitism is a cultural phenomenon and transsexualism a mostly biological one, but I'm really speculating here again.

Anyway, the fact that a distinction exists at all leads me to thinking there is a strong boundary along the continuum.

"Do you understand, for example, that heterosexual males regard a male - who interacts, sexually with other males as does a woman (to put it politely) - not as a "man" but rather as some strange form of female?"

What I just wrote might hint that I don't believe you speak for all heterosexual men, or for all times and cultures, and I'll leave it at that for now. I think it's too tangential to the current discussion to go into now- this is already long enough! Rain check?

"Again, I think a question of *degree* arises in this regard. Extremely passive women may tend to pass that unfortunate characteristic on to offspring. And very aggressive women may have difficulty reproducing and caring for children."

Ah, the point of real agreement! We're now in precise consensus of how we think the process of biology shaping behavior works. Our point of contention now becomes, when you superimpose an "aggressive-passive" scale for women in general over one for men, how much overlap there is.

Would it interest you to know that also in the primate world, there's a clear dynamic of conflicting pressures for aggressiveness in males?

In many social primate societies, especially the more intelligent (and more violent) ones, primatologists are learning that there are actually two basic strategies for mating success for the males. The first one is the obvious one that's been known about forever- be an aggressive asshole alpha male and hoard the females for yourself- but because alpha males are distractingly flashy and researchers were suffering from confirmation bias, strategy number two went unsuspected until recent years.

Number two: be a nice guy. Make long-term friendships with the girls. Groom them when they're not in season and maintain the relationships. Share food with them. The females then will go to lengths to mate with them- sometimes being creatively sneaky about it if the resident alpha is particularly possessive. (It depends on the society- the alpha doesn't work hard to prevent lesser ranking males from mating with ANY female in all species.) For her, aside from the obvious benefits of the extra affection and food, she has another evolutionary interest- the nice guy is less likely to hurt her or her children, going back to that whole male-aggression-mortality thing. This is the "good daddy and provider" strategy, and now that people are looking for it, it's turning up in more and more species. Given that this kind of behavior is also what you see in a humans when a couple is working well, it's even possible that its use and refinement may even have led to the (unique) evolution of pair-bonding in hominids as opposed to the harem system almost all other primates use. (Gibbons are also monogamous, but the reasons why are much clearer than they are for humans.)

It turns out the "nice guy" vs. the "alpha male" isn't a choice invented by recent Western culture, it's older than our species is.

"We might discuss the specifics as to why you think that sexual dimorphism in humans makes sense."

Let's talk about testosterone. This is going to be another long appears-to-be-a-tangent, but it will eventually lead back to my point!

As I said before, study by neurobiologists has confirmed that testosterone does not cause aggressive impulses, it amplifies them. This was discovered after the Testosterone Is The Enemy contingent pushed for lots of studies on it and its effects- and naturally, when science concluded that outside huge variations of normal ranges (having ten times less of it, as in women, or ten times too much, as in steroid-abusing bodybuilders who find themselves with a hugely disproportionate aggressive response), it had no direct relationship to aggression, they suddenly stopped being at all interested in the science of testosterone's effects on behavior.

The monkeywrench in the ten-times-too-little end of the effect- and the reason you should take any application of animal studies in hormones and their influence on behavior to humans with a grain of salt- is that the more intelligent and emotionally complex a species is, the more their behavior will uncouple from simple hormonally-driven impulse.

Take the pacifying effects of castration. A steer is MILES away in behavior from a bull; they barely seem the same animal. Well, cows are stupid.

A neutered dog behaves noticeably differently than an intact male, but now the overlap is much bigger; there are lots of calm, unaggressive intact males out there and a lot of aggressive neuters. The dogs certainly know the difference- their noses tell them- but they don't know they're not supposed to do the aggressive dog jobs their instincts tell them to (like territorial and familial guarding, both of which female dogs also do just fine) anymore just because they now have barely any circulating testosterone. My dog is neutered, and he's still a dedicated property and family defender and at the top of the social totem pole in any group of dogs he's in. It doesn't matter if his challenger is intact- he believes he's rightfully King of Dogs and that's that.

And now we come to the eunuch. Eunuchs were created in a fair number of different cultures at times in history for varying reasons, but what stands out that NONE of them did it to make passive males. In fact, the ones who did it to remove the man's family loyalties and ensure highest loyalty to the crown or lord often made military commanders and bodyguards of them, so certainly there was no expectation that the eunuch would be nonviolent. (Due to their being somewhat wrong about the loyalty thing, there are also a fair number of eunuchs who were also murderers.)

So, we've now covered "No testosterone != nonviolent".

Which leads me into female serial killers. They are much rarer than the men, but a healthy number of them exist, and the sharp way they differ from their male counterparts tells us something else about female violence.

Male serial killers are almost all in a violent, aroused state of rage and usually also lust, and do extremely violent things to their victims. Their drive to kill seems to be mostly some huge perversion of sexual drive.

Female serial killers, when they are not hugely broken and psychotic (like Aileen Wournous, and it is EXTREMELY rare), or killing as part of a team with a man, almost always kill for gain. They are usually poisoners, and they kill in cold blood. Those that aren't in it for gain seem to be acting out some inversion of the nurturing instinct, and prey on children or the eldery- again with usually poison or something else that doesn't draw blood or crush, and again in cold blood.

I'm going to divert from this for a minute, but get right back to it.

Remember way back when I said something about primate patterns of diaspora? Social primates avoid incest by one sex or the other getting a sudden urge to leave sometime during adolescence. It's likely that hominids originated from a species where it was the boys who left, since that's the most common pattern and we have the glaring historical fact that virtually all explorers and first frontier colonizers in history have been men.

So, what do we get when we take a female hominid with the mental and physical capacity for violence, but no hormonal drumbeat amplifying her aggressive thoughts and no drive to go out and colonize and conquer new territory?

I think we get what I've been using as my historical examples- women who are perfectly capable of some stunning acts of violence, but if they are healthy are almost always acting in defense. Hence, the Amazons in any conquering role were probably a myth- likely there have never been more than a few aberrant women with any natural inclination to go forth and conquer.

When only one sex is ever naturally inclined to take the fight abroad, it's easy to see how cultural concepts that women shouldn't fight at all get started, especially when you add in the gratification of dominating women- the only real power many ancient, medieval (and in the Middle East, modern) men would ever know at all.

Babs RN said...

Anonymous, PPCT is Pressure-Point Control Tactics, taught to law enforcement personnel. I used to work in a maximum security men's prison so as one with inmate contact I was taught right along with the officers PPCT and edged-weapons defense. Guns couldn't be used in there so that's what we had.

NeoNietzsche: said...

LabRat said...

>" 'Your remarks in that paragraph depict activities primarily *within* a familial primate group and do not suggest the selective process as to the submissiveness of women, to which I pointed, involved in inter-tribal and inter-national warfare as well as the inter-tribal kidnapping and rape celebrated in the marriage ceremony.'

Bear in mind that research suggests this ancestral primate social group contained over a hundred members. Pretty big "family", and not everyone is related thanks to the primate patterns of diaspora that prevent too much inbreeding (which I will go into more later)."<

This, however, does not depict the equivalent of the circumstance I've described in human experience. You do, however, refer to a conceptual intersection in the matter of inbreeding avoidance, where humans are believed to have avoided this by inter-tribal bride-taking. The practice thereof is thought to be memorialized in the marriage ceremony, wherein the "best man" was once the groom's invaluable assistant in a kidnapping and rape, and the ceremony itself an attempt to "legitimize" a taking by force.

>"Also, just how common an experience being kidnapped and raped would be for women throughout the whole of human territory is certainly a debatable point- perhaps you can elaborate on your source?"<

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bride_kidnapping

"Marriage by capture was practiced in ancient cultures throughout the Mediterranean area".

"According to some sources, the honeymoon is a relic of marriage by capture, based on the practice of the husband going into hiding with his wife to avoid reprisals from her relatives, with the intention that the woman would be pregnant by the end of the month."

"Bride kidnapping, also known as marriage by abduction or marriage by capture, is a form of marriage practiced in a few traditional cultures, in countries spanning Central Asia, the Caucasus region, parts of Africa, and among the Hmong in southeast Asia."

http://www.limarriages.com/customs.html

"Marriage by force or capture goes back to primitive culture when tribal groups were routinely hostile to each other. At that time marriages were 'consummated' as the groom captured a desirable woman in the process of conquering and pillaging a rival tribe. The custom of having a 'best man' in attendance at the wedding is a holdover from the days in which the grooms best man served as a fellow-warrior. When a man sought to capture a woman from another tribe, he would often bring along his 'best' man to assist him in the ensuing battle, thus helping the bridegroom capture and carry away the bride-to-be. In better times and if tribes were on good terms, women could be exchanged easily; if not, they were simply abducted and raped (in Latin, 'rape' means 'to carry off'.) The maid of honor and bride’s maids, on the other hand, were the women who helped the bride get away from her protective family and from other suitors so that she could be captured by the groom she wanted. When such quaint methods of getting the bride and groom together faded in popularity, the honor rules survived.

"The honeymoon is a relic of the days of marriage by capture. Frequently the tribe from which a warrior stole a bride would come looking for her, and it was necessary for the warrior and his new wife to go into hiding to avoid being discovered. The honeymoon of today, therefore, evolved as symbolic of the period of time that the bridegroom hid until bride’s kinsmen grew tired of looking for her -- and him as well. According to an old French custom, as the moon went through all its phases the couple drank a wine made with honey called metheglin; hence the honeymoon. Many couples still keep their honeymoon plans a secret even if they are not afraid of being pursued by relatives."

>"What I really meant to drive home was that rape was far from the only experience of violence from males that a woman would historically experience, and in most cases- especially child abuse, which most researchers now believe was always prevalent - resistance would be better than passivity. An abusive man might kill his battered mate if she resisted (as well as just as a culimination of his violence), but sometimes it goes the other way around, and in those cases both the woman and the child survive- surviving and protecting your offspring is strong selective pressure."<

The requirement for having a child to defend in the first place takes priority. One first has to have been unsuccessful in resisting a marriage-by-capture or conquering rapists.

>"Add in other causes of assault- like the ever-historically-popular angry male looking for a weak target- and passivity isn't looking like the best historical position for a woman, fitnesswise."<

Time for you to provide sources for the pre-and historic prevalence and significance of this phenomenon.

>"You're right about them being psychologically different cases [criminal vs. conquest rape] though, so I'll back away from this aspect of the argument and return it to the question of how common kidnap and rape in inter-tribal warfare really were over the range of human territory big enough to shape behavior so dramatically after all those millions of years of selective pressure against passivity. Remember, we're talking about a period of history long before writing.<"

Human pre-history is a story of little else than inter-tribal warfare. Records of the "barbarians" outside the lines of civilized peoples all over the world portray this pattern of behavior. Native Americans, Nahua in Mexico, Germans in Europe, Scythians in the Middle East, Hsing-Pi and Hsing-Nu in China, et al.

>"I advocate no such thing. No one should carry a weapon they are not willing or able to use. EVER."<

Should female gun-nuts try to persuade average women that the latter are no less capable than the former?

>"What I advocate is the cultural opposite of what you do- treat women like men *in that* they are taught that they must sometimes defend themselves and how to go about it. Eliminate the fear and ignorance of her own capabilities."<

I would endorse this policy as well - as long it is not in the spirit of the infomercial sales pitch that holds out the prospect that "you can get rich in real estate - because *I* did it - and *you* can, too". Which is what I'm hearing from the attempt, by physically aggressive women (and you know who you are ;-) ), to empower their reluctant sisters amidst the failure of males to govern as men.

>"Speaking of Sparta, during its strongest period- that of ascendancy- there was perhaps no other society in ancient Greece that drew sharper lines between the genders. You're right about that bit. However, Spartan girls were taught to fight and given tests of strength as they grew much as the boys were, because when they became women they were expected to defend the city while the male soldiers were off having the summer wars with other city-states that characterized the pattern of life in Greece at that time. They were, in effect, Sparta's National Guard."<

And my question, of course, is how representative of human history was Sparta, admirable as it was? And has the history of Spartan National Guard victories over invading armies been suppressed by the Patriarchy? I don't recall reading of any.

>"Spartan marriage was also conducted by a ritual much like some of what you describe- her suitor would abduct her and she'd spend some time in a cell with her hair shorn. However, it was ceremonial- if she liked him she didn't resist. If she didn't Spartan society fully expected her to do her absolute level best to kick his ass and thought somewhat less of her if she failed."<

Since the procedure had evolved to the ceremonial level, a Spartan male obviously did not use violence as would a conquering intruder in the attempt, thus sparing the resistant Spartan female from death. You wrote, above, of enraged males killing their victims, and I believe that the Spartans put their males onto the threatened fields of battle as the more capable gender of the Spartans at killing people.

Note also that the empowerment of women, then as now, means the eventual disappearance of a population, due to reproductive failure. Note the empending demographic victory of the Muslims. The submission of women has always meant survival and evolutionary success. The freedom that you enjoy for the moment is very dearly purchased.

>" 'Do you suspect, as do I, that those women (and men) who chose the frontier life might have been a select and thus unrepresentative group?'

Unrepresentative of what? Most of the people who settled the West were homesteaders from a wide variety of genetic backgrounds who wanted nothing more than opportunity, which until recent history necessarily meant "land". Some of them were certainly heroic and brave, but most were more greedy or desperate- and since news didn't travel well in those days, they would often not have heard of the level of conflict between the settlers and the natives, or of (later) range wars."<

"Wanting opportunity" did not mean that one was *capable* of exploiting it. *Most* frontier settlers failed at the attempt and died prematurely or returned to civilization, leaving the survivors as a select group of exceptionally hardy and resourceful individuals.

>"Anyway, my point was that you can't get a product (a capably violent woman) without potential; add together the frontier women, the Spartan women, the legendary female generals of Vietnam who led the Vietnamese to expel the Chinese on one occasion... for a British example we have the queens Boadicea, Elizabeth, and Victoria (the latter two who were more than happy to lead England into war and win) and what we have is this: in a situation where the culture encourages women to be violent when needed (be it en masse as in Sparta or the frontier or individually as girls raised to be royalty), they respond by becoming so."<

You hope to make a rule of the exceptions, as do the cultural anthropologists of the Boaz school.

>" 'During the War of Northern Agression, the Southern troops were qualitatively superior to the greater numbers of Northern troops drawn from urban areas. The quality of Northern troops was only brought to parity with those of the South when Lincoln was driven to conscription of mid-Western farm boys who could march and shoot like the farmwork-hardened, rifle-shootin', so-called Rebels.'

Poor comparison, I think. The amateur warriors of ancient and medieval times didn't spend their entire daily lives effectively practicing for warfare as the American country boys did with their rifles;..."<

To the contrary, warriors typically were hunters rather than agriculturalists. Some peoples, such as the Franks and Aztecs, dominated or enslaved an agricultural class. The Vikings, Huns, and Mongols simply lived on booty. The Goths, Vandals, Lombards, etc. were part-timers, having been forced into motion by the Huns.

>"...One of the reasons the Spartans did well enough at Thermopylae to merit a flashy motion picture was that they HAD been trained their whole lives- their opposition was mostly badly fed and badly trained "recruits" from conquered nations. This army quality was about the norm in the ancient world."<

I believe that I know otherwise, from having specialized in World and Comparative History. Granted that the Spartans were superb, please name another ancient army of poor quality levies such as was the Persian monstrosity.

>"Anyway, if you wanna talk about the Civil War, I can give you another example out of history: the siege of Natchez. During it, many of the city's belles banded together and invited as many Yankee officers as would come to tea, where they poisoned them with oleander leaves. They didn't know what they were doing- Southern ladies were not encouraged to learn or practice violence- but it was, all the same, calculated violence in self-defense in response to a threat. They may have been unusually brave, but it's just another example of latent potential. I've already talked about potential that's been groomed in history."<

I think you make my point when you have to speak of violence in terms of poisoning. If we were capable of psycho-kinetically and secretly injuring our opponents, I suppose women would be as "violent" as men. But since other means than these involve the employment of force - true violence - women are historically notorious as poisoners rather than as standup killers.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Labrat wrote:

>"So, what do we get when we take a female hominid with the mental and physical capacity for violence, but no hormonal drumbeat amplifying her aggressive thoughts and no drive to go out and colonize and conquer new territory?

I think we get what I've been using as my historical examples- women who are perfectly capable of some stunning acts of violence, but if they are healthy are almost always acting in defense. Hence, the Amazons in any conquering role were probably a myth- likely there have never been more than a few aberrant women with any natural inclination to go forth and conquer.

When only one sex is ever naturally inclined to take the fight abroad, it's easy to see how cultural concepts that women shouldn't fight at all get started, especially when you add in the gratification of dominating women- the only real power many ancient, medieval (and in the Middle East, modern) men would ever know at all."<

This the best thing you've written on the subject. I have one qualification however:

Women seem to be constructed so as not to be able to resist rape, whatever their capability in defense otherwise. I have performed an experiment on several women who think themselves physically capable, and have had a uniform result. I have very small hands for an adult male but nevertheless am able to pin together both wrists of a woman, over her head or behind her back, with one hand, and use the other hand to do whatever I wish, while my "victim" struggles with all her might until she's reduced to tears of frustration in the attempt to prove that she's not so vulnerable. Believe me that they are not initially pleased with this discovery, whatever pleasure they may take from eventually discovering the excitement of inescapable submission.

Why do you think that women have this weakness if not for obvious reproductive reasons?

NeoNietzsche: said...

>"Would it interest you to know that also in the primate world, there's a clear dynamic of conflicting pressures for aggressiveness in males?"<

I'm acutely aware of it - that's why this alpha asshole is extremely nice to his hoard of women.

LabRat said...

Weekends are my busy time where the busy is away from the computer, so I will probably not be back until Monday.

Anyone else feel free to jump in.

Diamond Mair said...

Tam, you have my undying respect, for your tolerance of some rather .................... gaseous individuals ............... seems someone is working on his/her doctoral dissertation, and finding it impossible to believe that others have one good eye & a grain of sense .................. ;-)
Semper Fi'
DM

NeoNietzsche: said...

Hello, Diamond Mair,

Welcome to the discussion.

I apologize for what evidently is my failure to contribute thereto, in style and substance, so as to avoid your displeasure.

Perhaps you might be comforted by a listing of your misapprehensions of the facts regarding the exchange to this point:

1) Rather than having to "tolerate" the discussion, Tamara has indicated her lively interest, in refusing offers, by myself and LabRat, to take it elsewhere.

2) Given the length of both my and LabRat's contributions, it is not clear whether the reference to "gaseousness" is fairly directed only at my participation, as I suspect you intend.

3) Likewise, regarding your writing of someone's "dissertation," where, in fact, it is *LabRat* who seems to be offering the product of her own academic work. My industry last involved working on a Doctorate in the History of Science, and concerned problems in Relavistic physics - about 25 years ago.

4) As to whether any others "have a good eye and a grain of sense," you appear not to have grasped the point of the dispute. You might trouble yourself to carefully review what has been written, if you care to enhance your knowledge of the subject.

In any case, it's good to hear from you.

NN

NeoNietzsche: said...

Taking my own advice, and re-reading the exchange, I note LabRat's emphasis on Spartan females in illustrating the human female potential for violence.

In this regard, it must be born in mind that Spartans became the product of a eugenics program exercised at birth and marriage. So Spartans of both genders were not merely *trained* to combat - they were literally *bred* for it.

Thus to take Spartan women as illustrative of *general* human female potential for training is not warranted.

NeoNietzsche: said...

But the aspiration to be a Spartan woman and perhaps to be the mother of men is most admirable, whatever one's potential.

LabRat said...

Um. Uh.

I just popped by earlier for a brief skimmage to gauge my next angle of attack without the Reading Of The Whole Thing.

Sorry, dude, but as much as I love to argue, and as much as I believe in the soundness of my own position- and as much as I believe that emotion has little place in valuable argument- I have officially passed my personal creepometer limit.

The little person who lives in my hindbrain- the one that tells me when my intellect has run away with me and I need a drink of common sense- has informed me that we are not seriously going to argue with anyone proposing that the female figure has evolved for ease of rape. (Seriously? What the fuck, man? Are you next going to propose that it's easy to armlock somebody because little brothers evolved for ease of humiliation?)

Adieu.

NeoNietzsche: said...

LabRat said...

>"Sorry, dude, but as much as I love to argue, and as much as I believe in the soundness of my own position - and as much as I believe that emotion has little place in valuable argument - I have officially passed my personal creepometer limit."<

Sorry to hear that, Dudette. I seem to have inadvertently arranged a face-saving pretext for your exit from the arena.

>"The little person who lives in my hindbrain...has informed me that we are not seriously going to argue with anyone proposing that the female figure has evolved for ease of rape."<

But that has been an aspect of the point at issue for many paragraphs past. Given the ubiquity of pre-historic marriage as kidnap and rape (did you read the source material you requested?), this obviously could not have been reproductively efficient if the captured female had been physically and emotionally inclined to, and capable of, effective resistance. She even had to fear the physical and emotional repercussions of killing her new husband, when he was vulnerable, post-rape, as would not an enraged and aggressive male who displays an inclination to fight and kill potential rapists sharing his prison confinement.

>"(Seriously? What the fuck, man? Are you next going to propose that it's easy to armlock somebody because little brothers evolved for ease of humiliation?)<"

That had not occurred to me - never having abused one of my younger brothers in that fashion. But if your experience with armlocking and humiliating little brothers suggests some evolutionary direction thereto, I have the discipline to indulge your examination of that thesis.

>"Adieu."<

Via con Dios, little one.

NeoNietzsche: said...

An afterthought, Dudette:

My experience of a long life has been that aggressive heterosexual women (the type that I find irresistible) want to meet a man who is stronger and smarter than they are.

They get off on being made to submit to gentle but irresistible force, physically and intellectually.

So, if Mr. LabRat doesn't instinctively know how to one-handedly wristlock you, I can supply instructions.

TBeck said...

That which does not kill her makes her horny?

Wow, it's a weird amalgamation of Ted Kaczynski, John Norman, and Comic Book Guy.

Well. I'm in the mood for some gentle intellectual domination of my wife. It's a tough job, but that's what I get for kidnapping her from that tribal village all those many moons ago.

NeoNietzsche: said...
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NeoNietzsche: said...

tbeck said...

>"That which does not kill her makes her horny?"<

More true than you might imagine for the one whose favorite film was Night Porter.

>"Wow, it's a weird amalgamation of Ted Kaczynski, John Norman, and Comic Book Guy."<

Well, one does want a hint of color in one's persona. Do you think I could use a touch more Ted in there? Less CBG?

>"Well. I'm in the mood for some gentle intellectual domination of my wife."<

And regarding which topic would you say that you have yet to master your wife, TB, so as not to tire her with repetition thereof?

>"It's a tough job, but that's what I get for kidnapping her from that tribal village all those many moons ago."<

[Note: Subject husband confesses to trouble with intellectual mastery of tribal-villager wife.

Prescription: remedial education for husband until wife can get off.]

Anonymous said...

NN - You're not a moron, but you are an idiot.

NeoNietzsche: said...

The implication of which I take to be that you, Anon, are not (an idiot).

Given your greater gifts of intellect, then, might you be so good as to assist me with becoming A non-idiot such as yourself?

Anonymous said...

NeoNietzsche,

ןפונ צומינג הומe ףרומןפונ צומינג הומe ףרומןeןeר ףורגeת תהאת ית יס שרונג תו האתe. Iת יס שרונג תו שיסה ילל שילל ןפונ ותהeרס. Jןסת בeצאןסe תהינגס ארe נות שהאת yון שיסה תהeמ תו בe, תהאת גיןeס yון נו רeאסונ תו הןרת ותהeרס.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Evidently there are some things for the writing of which only something resembling Yiddish is appropriate.

At the risk of losing what presumably is the exquisite flavor and texture of our latest anonymous message, would someone like to translate/decode, since the online machine translators are uncooperative, and I don't have any more time to play games if some sort of cryptoanalytical test is involved.

Don Gwinn said...

Playing games is all you've been doing so far. Frankly you've derailed an important discussion by doing so.

Also, this:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I have performed an experiment on several women who think themselves physically capable, and have had a uniform result. I have very small hands for an adult male but nevertheless am able to pin together both wrists of a woman, over her head or behind her back, with one hand, and use the other hand to do whatever I wish, while my "victim" struggles with all her might until she's reduced to tears of frustration in the attempt to prove that she's not so vulnerable. Believe me that they are not initially pleased with this discovery, whatever pleasure they may take from eventually discovering the excitement of inescapable submission.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Is excessively and persuasively creepy. If it was your intention to derail the discussion and center it on yourself by talking like a rapist with serious psychological issues, it's a pretty decent attempt.
If you were serious, seek help before it's too late.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Dear Don,

Perhaps Tamara might ease your evident discomfort with the unfortunate dislocation of the discussion, by eliminating the offending posts and by inviting you to initiate a resumption of the postings with the proper direction thereof in mind.

I myself am curious as to what you might have to contribute. Your present analysis of my own efforts is so acute that one must lament your failure to intervene at an earlier point and thus spare the readers of the thread its misdirection into the pathological realms you detected therein.

I assure you that I am quite serious in my remarks about my informal experiment. But I think that I will ignore your thoughtful advice.

Sincerely,

NN

NeoNietzsche: said...

Oh, BTW, Don,

While we are waiting for Tamara to comfort you, and since we've already gone down this sidetrack into a dangerous and forbidden wilderness of psychopathology, I thought I might give you a little background to the wristlock-as-rape-foreplay affair.

I was once involved with a woman who wanted to be raped for real. She had experienced multiple rapes in her past, and, in the last instance, according to her account, she had experienced the most powerful climaxes of her life, pinned under the body of her attacker. She wanted to explore this further.

Since I was madly in love with her, I wanted to please her. So I started thinking about how you do this for real without hurting a woman. I realized that I knew how to do it instinctively. This made me wonder if this, my capability, and the incapacity of multiple women of my acquaintance since then, were not reflective of evolutionary developments that facilitate reproduction.

My apologies for this exploration if your sensibilities have proved too delicate to accommodate the calm contemplation of such a thesis.

NN

NeoNietzsche: said...
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NeoNietzsche: said...

Also - had a discussion, earlier this week, with a female friend from the West Coast:

The sister of her ex-boyfriend is a strength athlete who competes in weight-lifting competitions and tackle football. She was recently busted for steroid use.

I asked what impression the sister made in person as to masculinity or femininity. My friend indicated that she seemed conventionally feminine, to judge by her appearance and social behavior.

This strikes me as the counter-part of transvestism in males, where an otherwise gender-appropriate person engages in a select gender- inappropriate activity.

And thus my impression of a female's interest in firearms beyond the merely utilitarian is something of the same as that of female interest in steroid-enhanced body-building/weight-lifting and of a transvestite's attraction to inappropriate dress. Makes for an interesting personality.

I would be interested in whatever explanation can be offered as to why this phenomenon occurs. Though I would have to report that my own interests seem simply to be inborn appetities that I cannot rationalize, as perhaps I am asking others to do with theirs.

NeoNietzsche: said...

[Wikipedia:] Kaffeeklatsch is a German phrase translating literally as "coffee chat". This is the type of casual conversation, small talk and especially gossip enjoyed by housewives who meet in the afternoon for a cup of coffee.********

Just discovered that the girls of all genders just had one such gossip fest a few days ago, hosted by "ColtCCO" - regarding this discussion, my blog, endangered damsel Tamara, and my various personal characteristics.

Tried to respond to all who contributed, in that venue - but it appears, as I am new to blogging, that one Comment at a time is how it works with CCCO's choice of machinery.

And it further appears that only little "LabRat" had the character to voice her (negative) reaction in this venue, as well as in that one, as it was appropriate and admirable not to have done otherwise.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Also, it would redress a particulary flagrant impropriety, were literateur manque', hostess "ColtCCO," to put in an appearance here, in order to correct my alleged errors of style and substance, supposed to number in the hundreds.

Perhaps she would argue that "Labrat's" contributions served adequately to this end. But this would be to confess her incompetence as to the substance of the issue - Labrat having retired with excuses - her argument, at that point, having been rebutted.

And I do not put it past such as Colt to colorfully argue that my alleged "abuses" and "maltreatment" of terminology amounted to no argument at all. Far be it from me to argue that multiple university professors who graded my graduate work on fellowship at an elite institution were paragons of scholarship with whom I did not have issues - but I can report that none of this element registered a complaint about any of my work reflecting the apparently singular discovery of its defects alleged by madam Colt.

So, if Tamara, or others of her ad hoc personal security squad, would be so good as to alert her coworker to this message, I would be obliged.

NeoNietzsche: said...

[And a Note to Queen Tamara's comitata:]

Stand down - the matriarch is in no danger.

I am merely an initially-infatuated admirer who was alarmingly clumsy in giving expression to that admiration.

My apologies - though I seem to have compensated somewhat for my offense by providing a pretext for general amusement and abuse at my expense.

NeoNietzsche: said...

Finally, in regard to Marko and Colt, and the subtext of exchanges with them, I think I detect an air of anxious jealousy.

They have my empathy and sympathy.

I was initally trying, as charged by Marko, to attract Tamara's attention, which charming attention her two associates seem hopeful of retaining in present or enhanced measure, on the theory that she is attracted to a combination of strength and intellect.

And Marko and Colt amusingly and pathetically responded to this "threat" (if my intuituion does not fail me) by belittling my most evident virtue.

But, given the recent exposure of my "insane" ideological and philosophical orientation, there is no need for further such ludicrous displays. If Tamara has yet to find happiness in the fullest measure with Marko and/or Colt, perhaps a little extra maturation, boys-to-men, would be just the thing.