Poll: With reference to feminism, I believe in:
Poll Options
View poll results: With reference to feminism, I believe in:
Essentialism
90 40%
Constructionism
27 12%
A mix of the two theories, the post-modern approach...
93 42%
Other (please specify)
13 6%
Voters: 223.
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#1
So, in reference to feminism, does the pit believe in:

A) Essentialism. Women are born different from men, there are distinct biological differences which cause women to act and behave differently within our society, including the taking on of gender specific roles.

Or

B) Constructionism. Women and men are born with the same instinctive behavioural patterns, however society conditions women to act in a certain way, or possess a tendency to like certain things (e.g. the colour pink).

Or

C) A combination of the above theories.

Please note these definitions of constructionism and essentialism are my own (not the terms themselves), so please, if you feel I've misrepresented them then feel free to correct me. I am by no means some sort of feminist expert, it is merely a topic I take an interest in.

Personally, I believe in a mix of the two theories, with neither taking particular precedent over the other.
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Last edited by GHJ at Apr 4, 2008,
#3
I believe in someone making me a sandwich right now.

Edit: I believe in essentialism btw. But what I believe doesn't make any difference to what is actually true.
Last edited by SmarterChild at Apr 4, 2008,
#4
It could go either way. I guess we'll never know....

EDIT: SmarterChild is reported for spam.

Have a nice day.

DoubleEDIT: After seeing you poll, I go with the post modern approach.

Last edited by redh0tchilip3pp at Apr 4, 2008,
#5
Essentialism just seems like it really is.
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#8
Im not sure here, im a fence sitter

Based on the research of Skinner i am inclined tro say that the differences between boy and girl are more related to conditioning or constructionism as you call it.

But then, males and females are born very different. eg, I have read a story on a person, born a girl, but right through their child life was never interested in girly things no matter how hard her parents tried, enjoyed male company over female and always went for the trucks in the play ground over the dolls. Turns out she is technically a male but had female parts, so explain that one with conditioning???

But i guess i am more inclined towards conditioning theories, mainly because they are, to date, far more researched.

EDIT: question? how the hell can you combine the two theories. Either you believe we are born to act like men or women. Or you believe that in the early stages of life we are shown how to act as men or women. Its just one of those times where it really is one or the other.
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Last edited by Chadicus at Apr 4, 2008,
#10
I believe that we are born different because we are supposed to mate. That's it. Women can physical do the same things if they want to. I have no problems with that.
#11
There have been studies done with young children, which suggest even young females have a different sense of spatial awareness than young males. However, even though these children are young (can't remember precisely, 3yrs old perhaps), they have still been exposed to plenty of societal conditioning from the very moment they were born. Which I would argue completely negates the findings of the study.

Edit:
Quote by Chadicus

EDIT: question? how the hell can you combine the two theories. Either you believe we are born to act like men or women. Or you believe that in the early stages of life we are shown how to act as men or women. Its just one of those times where it really is one or the other.


By combining the two, I mean that you believe that differences between male and female behaviour exist because of both biological differences and the conditioning effects of societies treatment. Rather than purely one or the other.

You don't always have to believe in simply one theory or the other, talking in general. To disregard large, grand, structural explanations (meta-narratives), one is taking the post-modern approach. i.e. I can believe in both Marxism and Actor agency, as processes and structures which run side by side, rather than the absolute 'truth' of one theory, and absence of 'truth' from another.
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Last edited by GHJ at Apr 4, 2008,
#12
Quote by GHJ
There have been studies done with young children, which suggest even young females have a different sense of spatial awareness than young males. However, even though these children are young (can't remember precisely, 3yrs old perhaps), they have still been exposed to plenty of societal conditioning from the very moment they were born. Which I would argue completely negates the findings of the study.


Agreed. A major problem is that childen are actually exposed to up to about 6 months of conditioning before they are even born. And even then by the time they are old enough to get involved in a survey they will have already been shown how to act as a male or female. Wearing pink vs blue, shorts vs skirts, dolls vs trucks etc
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#13
It has been shown through brain scans that men's brains work differently than women's, mainly that a man's brain is more specialized (a smaller part of the brain is used to accomplish a single task), whereas a woman's brain is more likely to use both hemispheres in the accomplishment of a single task, and that more tasks are linked to the emotive and linguistic centers of the brain than in a man. This physiology is why a man is more likely to suffer catastrophic injury from a stroke, whereas a woman is more likely to suffer from dementia in old age.

Now what does this mean? Physically, men and women are different. However, that should have no bearing on social opportunity for a man or woman to choose their own life path. As far as social norms, I think it's a combination of biology and society; well, to put it differently, it was society adapting to biology in the beginning, and then society exacerbating biological differences as society "progressed."
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#14
Well, biologically men & women are different right? not an expert, but different hormones and different characteristics in men n woman which were beneficial would make a species more prevelant & succesful?

In the wild different gendered animals act very differently, lions especially, make me an antelope b*tch?

But the pink thing is very true, i guess people take a good natural thing and **** with it.
#15
Quote by Dirk Gently
It has been shown through brain scans that men's brains work differently than women's, mainly that a man's brain is more specialized (a smaller part of the brain is used to accomplish a single task), whereas a woman's brain is more likely to use both hemispheres in the accomplishment of a single task, and that more tasks are linked to the emotive and linguistic centers of the brain than in a man. This physiology is why a man is more likely to suffer catastrophic injury from a stroke, whereas a woman is more likely to suffer from dementia in old age.

Now what does this mean? Physically, men and women are different. However, that should have no bearing on social opportunity for a man or woman to choose their own life path. As far as social norms, I think it's a combination of biology and society; well, to put it differently, it was society adapting to biology in the beginning, and then society exacerbating biological differences as society "progressed."

This man says it all.

#17
So for the sake if discussion, do the people who voted essentialist believe that women are genetically predisposed to wear skirts and dresses? Or that because of their genes women are predisposed towards cooking?
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#18
Quote by GHJ
So for the sake if discussion, do the people who voted essentialist believe that women are genetically predisposed to wear skirts and dresses? Or that because of their genes women are predisposed towards cooking?

Not at all. I believe that men and women are different in some areas, but not to the point where they were always meant to be conditioned to be a housewife or something.

Just look at the animal kingdom. It's easy to observe the differences between genders there.
#19
^Are we to assume then that animals do not operate within some form of society? I would argue that they do, and that control of behaviour is bound up as a part of society.
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#22
i think dudes and girls are born equal and act different cause of our minds. no science really
#23
It's a mix of the two, but mostly essentialism.
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#24
If I were to say that I felt one theory took precedence over the other, I would plump for constructionism. Interestingly, I'm in the minority here.
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#25
Quote by hippieboy444
i think dudes and girls are born equal and act different cause of our minds. no science really


No science?

It's proven that we are anatomically different...that's science.
#26
It has always been assumed that women are natural mothers, as they are provided with the necessary maternal equipment. However recent trends (the past few decades) suggest greater numbers of mothers are choosing to work, and focus on a career, rather than stay at home and take on the traditional mother role. Instead, delegating the traditional mother role to a paid nanny/child minder, even in the richer parts of society where economic necessity can often be ruled out of the equation. Conversely, the numbers of house husbands is on the rise.

To the essentialists, mainly, does this then represent a change in our genetic make-up, thus manifesting itself in traditional role reversal? Or is it a change in the types of behaviour deemed acceptable by society that has brought on this trend (constructionism)?

Edit: Not trying to pick apart anyone's beliefs, simply provoke some thought, or discussion.
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#27
I have this argument with my gf all the time. She thinks women are as good as men. I disagree.

We're stronger, quicker, more intelligent, funnier, there's a huge list I'm sure! Our one big weakness is hot women.
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#28
A combination of both, obviously women are going to have a different drive from men relating to reproduction, however I think a lot of the gender roles we see currently are at least partially a product of society.
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#30
Essentialism, I hate it how people are trying to ignore biology and the nature of mankind for the sake of equality. Women are different in many vast ways to men and it shouldn't really be changed. I mean, yes, they should be able to get jobs and have equal wages to men, but I hate how femenazis reject any sense of tradition. For instance, some are trying to make sure that men can get pregnant, that is sick, disturbing and just wrong.
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#31
there are things that make women different naturally like hormones that cause them to be more sensitive to things and mothers are naturally more nurturing. conditioning does play a role. just look at the last twenty years with homosexuality. people used to criticize their sons for being to girly and not playing football. now its becoming a generally accepted thing, just like women in the workplace. because people have grown to accept equality, theres a bit more diversity.
#32
Quote by freddaahh
Essentialism, I hate it how people are trying to ignore biology and the nature of mankind for the sake of equality. Women are different in many vast ways to men and it shouldn't really be changed. I mean, yes, they should be able to get jobs and have equal wages to men, but I hate how femenazis reject any sense of tradition. For instance, some are trying to make sure that men can get pregnant, that is sick, disturbing and just wrong.

But if it was completely natural, then those "femenazis" wouldn't have the impulses to make those changes, would they? You can't ignore that society plays an important role in how people think/behave/etc. Take a look at the differences between America in the early 1940s and then America in the 1950s. Because of social necessity, we introduced Rosie the Riveter into our social nomenclature, encouraging women to feel empowered and go into the work place and build ships and tanks and do "men's jobs." After the war, though, they were all given cookbooks and kitchen gadgets and told how wonderful it was to be a thankless housewife. Your "tradition" argument also kind of shoots your essentialism notion in the foot.
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#33
Constructionism.


And fredaah, 'tradition' involves the oppressive roles forced onto women. Now women can legally do more than that, how is it wrong that they want to be equal? women acting as slaves and baby machines to men isn't traditional, it's retarded.
#34
I think we are (I mean...we just are) built in certain ways, but the things that are socially important about sex stem frmo society, not from gender.
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#36
It's also proven that the population of Men ranges from stupid people to Genius' while Women's population only ranges in the middle of those too, therefore the majority of women aren't stupid while men can be stupid, but there are no traces of "genius" women or highly intelligent while traces of very Intelligent Men are found.

And on topic: I believe in a mix of those 2 theories as women clearly have diffrent behaviours but some behaviours are modified by society, like the liking of colour pink.
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#37
Quote by XxLloydxX
It's also proven that the population of Men ranges from stupid people to Genius' while Women's population only ranges in the middle of those too, therefore the majority of women aren't stupid while men can be stupid, but there are no traces of "genius" women or highly intelligent while traces of very Intelligent Men are found.

And on topic: I believe in a mix of those 2 theories as women clearly have diffrent behaviours but some behaviours are modified by society, like the liking of colour pink.



I bet that's utter bollocks. Especially considering the number of male 'geniuses' in the past who have simply been mouthpieces for intelligent wives.

...

And not to mention the countless incredibly intelligent women that are around today.
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#38
Imo,


Joking aside, I voted essentialism.

I believe by nature females are designed to nurse their children. While men are designed to only think about sex and dominance. I think this is the only logical answer, since all you need to do is look at animals to prove it. However, we don't live in nature anymore. And the effects of society can completely oppress these natural ''instincts'' allowing both genders to be what they want.

I think it's simply a scientific fact, and people shouldn't get offended by it.
#39
depends, some feminists i know just equal treatment... while other femenists are just total nut jobs ... The core at tx A&M for awhile was an all boys program, but girls finally got in, and after awhile they demanded it be easier for girls... so nowadays there is little respect for female core members because they never get smoked by the higher ranks.
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#40
Girls rock and we are superior. We make up half the population and were responsible for the other half. Lol
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