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Mr. K View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 19:13
Why men are and always were the leaders of most societys in the world (with a few exceptions) while women usually had a minor role in history? Can anyone explain this phenomenon? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 19:46

Cleopathra, Queen Isabella, Queen Elizabeth I, Cathaline the great, Queen Victoria, Margaret Tatcher, Golda Mayer, Indira Ghandi, are not preciselly examples of "minor roles" in history.

Please explain me why in some of the most important times of history women take the control.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 20:04
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Cleopathra, Queen Isabella, Queen Elizabeth I, Cathaline the great, Queen Victoria, Margaret Tatcher, Golda Mayer, Indira Ghandi, are not preciselly examples of "minor roles" in history.

Please explain me why in some of the most important times of history women take the control.


The list of men who ruled is far more longer, and he said with few exceptions.

Perhaps because men are more willing to risk?


Edited by Illirac - 08-Jun-2008 at 20:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 21:08
Physical strength is one reason. For most of history, the one who ruled was the one who could enforce that rule personally.
 
Convention is another. Once you have a society in which boys learn to fight at a young age, an girls do not, the reason mentioned above is increasingly hard to break, and only few individuals ever only overcame it and became warrior queens. (Although I do believe that a few women with PMS and big swords will defeat any army of berserks anytime)
 
Leadership was also for a long time bound by religion. When you believe putting a woman in power will make your gods angry enough to destroy your people, there is a good possibility you will not try it for the heck of it, just to see what happens if you do it anyway. Even today, there are modern states in which women can, by law, not succeed to power, like Japan.
 
Childbearing is another. It is hard to lead an army while you are waggling like a beached whale, and not very healthy for the number of heirs you will produce either. Moreover, childbearth is dangerous, and dying along with your firstborn heir is, again, not really doing your dynasty any good. Whereas a man can remarry and try again.
 
 
Most women who ever did come to power could do so because above reasons were absent. They had enough trustworthy people around them to do the fighting for them, they did either not marry, or lived in an age when childbearing became less of a danger or burden, or they were married to a man in power who allowed them to wield some of it on their own. And even then, for most women mentioned above, it was a long hard fight to get accepted as a ruler, against the conventions and prejudices of their time.
 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr. K Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 00:05
Really nice explanation Aelfgifu Clap But what about today? Now none of the reasons you mentioned exist but still most rulers are men, and I'm talking about developed countrys with equal rights and all that democratic stuff (I can't think of one parliament that has 50% women in it... usually 10%-15% is considered a lot). Seems weird doesnt it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 07:10
Originally posted by Aelfgifu Aelfgifu wrote:

 Even today, there are modern states in which women can, by law, not succeed to power, like Japan.
 
Minor nitpick. Women can succeed to power in Japan. They can't be the monarch. But the monarch has no power.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 07:33
There is another, more thorough explanation:

Women have a limited number of potential offspring. Men on the other hand can have potentially millions of descendants.

In this perspective, what a woman should do is to carefully pick her mate and in particular pick one that will be able to feed her and her children. It explains why harems appear, one man can sustain several families at once.

Thus, from an evolutionary perspective, men should try to increase their resources (power, money, bananas) so as to be as desirable as possible and have as many children as possible. Of course, as there is a limited number of female (and even more limited number of desirable ones), competition arise between males.

Competition between males requires a winner and a loser whereas two female can conceivably share a male. Hence, males must have a more competitive mind and the physical traits necessary to acquire and protect resources.

This natural fitness for competition of course turns out to be quite advantageous in a political or economic  environment. But this is only the base, institutions may grow from this framework and make male domination more acute. Similarly, changes may occur that will (or have) make the whole thing evolve and make males and females equals or even create "genocracies" around the world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 15:10

Another biological or evolutionary reason to protect women is that women are the only child bearers. If a group loses 95% of its adult male population, it can survive and still recover. On the other hand even reletivly few female losses will place its future in doubt.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 19:08
All these factors can be put in place and assumed one way or another but I think the most accurate answer really has to be "just cause." If you take a bag with 100 marbles. 50 blue 50 red and you stick your hand in, in theory you will pick out an equal number of either color. But there are also possible chances that you simply pick more blue then the red "just cause."
 
As for physical strength, beyond stereo types does it really seem to be a large difference? And when it comes to fighting "strength" really is just weight. We only use 10 percent of our muscle potential at any time, be you a 10 year old or a 25 year old that benches 350 pounds. Structure is more important then strength concerning combat.
 
Consider how strength works. If someone shoves you and you shove them back, and you went back further then they did you think they are stronger. If they weigh more their footing is simply better, simple physics will tell you, you'll go back further.
 
Say you both throw punches. The other person puts all of their weight, really "falls" into the punch, alot of their weight is used to send his fist flying. Will it cause damage? Sure. But it will be inefficient and not to its full potential. Say the smaller person gets proper alignment, stretches the spine, relaxes in the hips and turns on a central body axis while extending the fist from the center line among other things, I can promise you that strike will be much better.
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Originally posted by Carpathian Wolf Carpathian Wolf wrote:

All these factors can be put in place and assumed one way or another but I think the most accurate answer really has to be "just cause." If you take a bag with 100 marbles. 50 blue 50 red and you stick your hand in, in theory you will pick out an equal number of either color. But there are also possible chances that you simply pick more blue then the red "just cause."
 
As for physical strength, beyond stereo types does it really seem to be a large difference? And when it comes to fighting "strength" really is just weight. We only use 10 percent of our muscle potential at any time, be you a 10 year old or a 25 year old that benches 350 pounds. Structure is more important then strength concerning combat.


Confused
1. In statistics when you get a large amount of results it has a much larger chance to be as the statistics says it would be. When you take 1 marble and its red and then put it back you sure can get another red "just cause". When you do it 1000 times you will get results that are closer to the theory. If you do it 10000 times the results would be even closer to the theory. When you see that the amount of men in power throughout history is so much larger than women there is no way you can say its "just cause".

2. When you get punched in the face by a guy that benches 350 you go down. On the other hand, I don't know many women that can knock a guy out with one punch (nor with more).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jun-2008 at 22:07
I didn't say the sole reason was "just cause" i'm sure there are other factors such as some that have been discussed but "just cause" sure is a factor as well.
 
With proper alignment you can strike just as hard as the 350 benching guy or even stand up to that punch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 15:41
By which you mean that more men in power is simply thre result of women not putting enough effort into their punches? LOL Oh, if only all women had been proficient in martial arts, history would have been so different.
 
Much as I regret it, your dismissal of physical strength is just a bit too naive. Besides, it is already countered by another reason I posted: in most societies, men learned to fight, women did not.


Edited by Aelfgifu - 10-Jun-2008 at 15:43

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 17:10
You mean it's not random chance that men tend to rule the world? Darn! And I thought we males came a long way fighting for women's rights. Just goes to show that might still makes right, as the saying goes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 19:44
Religion has always reinforced male supremacy (With a few exceptions). Even now, Christianity views women as equal, but different. In Catholicism the official world view is that women take care of the home and men do the 'real' work. Islam is a whollely different kettle of fish, but some women have proven to be powerful in the Islamic world. 
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"By which you mean that more men in power is simply thre result of women not putting enough effort into their punches? LOL"
 
Sometimes yes sometimes no. Everything is a factor to consider. What I am trying to get away is from the silly notion that somehow it was a premeditated plan by men and their male parts to rule the world by opressing women. People are people, I don't think there would have been a difference either way.
 
"Much as I regret it, your dismissal of physical strength is just a bit too naive. Besides, it is already countered by another reason I posted: in most societies, men learned to fight, women did not."
 
I was dismissing it, I was explaining how it works. Again most humans only use 10 percent of their muscle capacity. So you can get someone that has been taught how to use more of their muscle and be just as strong as someone who has been lifting.
 
Women learned to fight in other societies too. There have been nations lead by women in the past, kingdoms, clans etc. What happened to those?
 
We have 3 conclusions to assume.
 
1. Women are inferior at least in this sense and simply lost out. They lost the challenges of a nation due to their inability to do whatever. I personally don't follow this conclusion.
 
2. Men got together and concluded to work together to put down women and to never let them excell. I honestly think that option 1 is alot more plausible than this one. This one is mostly touted by femenists with an inferiority complex.
 
3. That's simply how the coin flipped. I'm not ignoring factors, but men vs women factors are just silly to me. I personally ascribe to this conclusion. Were there situations where women were discriminated against? Sure, but get in line, every single group has been discriminated in one way or another. Women, men, koreans, mongols, persians, jews, greeks, romans etc.
 
I don't think that before the modern era, when there is this mass aculturization, that we had such a "gender rift" and to me personally it's a very sad thing to see.
 
Seko i don't get your comment and don't know if it was implied toward me or just the general topic. Also I hope you have taken the time to read my PM. Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 19:56
Perhaps you are refering to western variant of Christianity but in Orthodox Christianity we're equal. We aren't considered different as far as I know, but we have different roles. For example women can't be priests but a priest's wife is often seen as his helper, an Eve to an Adam if you will. If the priest is the father then undoubtly the priest's wife is the mother. You don't consider your mother inferior to your father do you? I certainly don't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 22:02
I really do not see how anything I said gave rise to your self-admitted unlikely conclusions. And personally, I think your third one is as unlikely as the other two.
 
Male dominancy can have been reached in the past through other factors than intent, which makes your first two conclusions invalid. And although I do believe in coincidence a lot, I do not buy it in this case.
 
All of your conclusions are based on two factors: male dominance was reached through a pre-set plan made up on purpose, and if not it must be an coincidence. I myself believe that this way of thinking leaves out the most likely factor. The one where things slowly grow, not out of intent, but out of convention, opportunity and/or the occasional specific event.
 
There have been nations ruled by women, but as I already adressed in my previous posts, these can be explained with reason without overthrowing the general theory. All of these nations had in common that they were ruled by rules, laws or conventions, and not by brute force, as many others have.
 
(edited to iron out hesitant and/or wildly out of hand punctuation)


Edited by Aelfgifu - 10-Jun-2008 at 22:04

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 22:09

Risking the rise of a tidal wave of dissaproval, from both sexes, I would also gently try to hazard a guess that on average, exeptions naturally excluded etc. etc. women might also be less interested in ruling. As far as the having power side of it goes. Wanting power for the sake of power is *hides behind bullet-proof glass* a bit more of a male thing, I'd say.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carpathian Wolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2008 at 22:49

So the nations ruled by rules, laws and conventions had women leaders according to you, while the nations that were just knuckle dragging neantherdalic patriarchies reliant on brute strength.

Dare I venture out and say your assumption is a bit skewed? Maybe unobjective due to some personal factors?

 

Women might be less interesting then men and that getting power for the sake of power is a male thing? Come on, how is this even an actual discussion? These is no reason for anyone to believe that other then sexism. Much like the other statement you made, it is skewed, unobjective and i assume (pardon me) based on something personal.

 
And now we see that the mentality of "peace loving matriarchal nations that were law abiding and beautiful were beathen down by the power hungry male patriarchy of brute strength." has long reaching fingers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Balaam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2008 at 00:11
PMS ...well actually its sort of point as to why more men ruled. Men tend to be more in control of there emotions over women and so it wouldn't have been good for your leader to have random mood swings in some situations an all...
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