I saw an article titled “Men are living almost as long as women” and I suspected that this is because men are living longer rather than women living shorter and (b) was mock-surprised that they didn’t title it something like “Women losing ground on aging compared to men” because… you know… that’s how articles like this are so often framed. Sure enough, I get to the third paragraph:
So the guys are catching up to us. This trend is partly due to the advent of Lipitor, bypass surgery, and other medical advances that are helping to keep men from dying early of heart attacks. Yet even as their lifespans are getting longer, ours are not keeping up at our historic pace. Researchers say this is because women are so stressed out these days that they’re resorting to unhealthy habits such as skimping on sleep, grabbing fast food, and relying on meds, alcohol, and cigarettes to cope. Ouch! Here’s hoping we can learn to mend our ways and stop literally killing ourselves slowly.
So the moral of the story, as when we hear sob stories about how tough it is for women when men lose their jobs en masse, is that women are being cheated.
Not long after, I read this article about how you can wipe out the male spacial skill advantage with a female-empowered culture. So it’s the patriarchy that is preventing equality! Indeed, this new study “suggests that spatial reasoning differences may also be the product of society.”
Quite interesting! So what did they do? They looked at two societies, one which favors men and another which favors women. The result? In the society that favors men, men did better. In the society that favors women… it was a tie. What do I mean by “favors women”?:
Among other differences, the Karbi are patrilineal; women do not typically own land, and the oldest son inherits the family’s property after the death of the parents. The Khasi could not be more different in this regard. Men are not allowed to own land at all, any money or goods earned by a male are handed over to his wife or sister, and inheritances go to the youngest daughter in the family.
So, if we want parity in this specific arena, all we have to do is strip men of all of their rights. Yay! This is going with the long theory that where women outpace men, it is earned and we should not concern ourselves with it. But when the inverse is true, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed. Here, apparently, lies the solution.
Less snarkily, if the study reveals anything, it’s this: If you give men every conceivable advantage, they unsurprisingly outperform women in this arena. But there is apparently no social order (short of just killing the men or refusing to educate them) where women can outperform men. This suggests the opposite of what the article says it suggests: there is something innate going on here.
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