I already covered this topic when Christiane Amanpour held an unrestrained “males are inferior managers because all the blood rushes to their penises” session on ABC’s “This Week” a few Sundays ago, but since it is becoming clear that the outbreak of gender bigotry in the media is more widespread than ABC, a second alarm is warranted.
This week’s Time magazine has a column by Meredith Melnick entitled “Why Women Are Better at Everything.” Among its contents:
• “Recently in the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch columnist David Weidner noted that women ‘do almost everything better’ than men — from politics to corporate management to investing.”
• “What’s the problem with men? ‘There’s been a lot of academic research suggesting that men think they know what they’re doing, even when they really don’t know what they’re doing,’ John Ameriks, the author of the Vanguard study, told the New York Times.”
• “Women, who have only 10% of the testosterone that men have, seem inured to the phenomenon, according to Coates.”
• “So, basically, the more women around, the better, as the Journal’s Wiedner said. His column referred to a recent book by Dan Abrams called Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.”
• “…women are better soldiers because they complain about pain less. They’re less likely to be hit by lightning because they’re not stupid enough to stand outside in a storm. They remember words and faces better. They’re better spies because they’re better at getting people to talk candidly.”
• “Of course, to most women none of this is much of a revelation.”
It’s funny, isn’t it? For most of the last five decades, our culture has been bombarded with the wisdom acquired from the ugly centuries before, that had taught us the dangers of making gross generalizations about the special characteristics of groups and, by extension, the individual members of those groups. During those years, supposedly scientific and observational data was used to “prove” the blacks were not competent to vote, not smart enough to play quarterback or manage baseball teams (but great at basketball, because they can really jump, and wonderful at jazz, because of that natural rhythm); women couldn’t possibly be allowed to serve as soldiers, because they were weak; or business executives, because they were emotional; or trusted to hold vital positions in government or the professions, because they really just wanted to run off and have babies. They certainly couldn’t play sports: they were just too…you know, delicate. Anyone could see that! And the Jews…well, sure, they’re smart…but also clannish and greedy, and they manipulate the financial markets to make themselves rich and everyone else poor. Gays..they are all just trying to molest our children, and of course, they are sissies.
It tool a long time, and millions of murders, gassings, lynchings, rapes and abuse, but we began to reject these gross stereotypes because of the terrible harm the bigotry and hate they generated caused in the world, because this kind of tribal reasoning inevitably tears communities and nations apart, but mostly because it is unfair and wrong. Each of us has the right to be judged on our own abilities, and not pre-judged as being inferior and fatally flawed—or superior and specially endowed—because of our membership in a particular racial, ethnic or gender group.
But now, as the collapse of trust in our institutions resulting from the cataclysmic collision between bad management, bad choices and bad luck has caused us to look for new and better ways to run our companies, communities and nations, we are also looking for someone to blame. (We’ve seen this before, haven’t we?) And the easy answer is men.
Is this really the way it is going to be? America is going to now accept gender stereotyping as a leadership model, and every man or boy who applies for a job is going to be presumed to be a risky hire, because of studies that prove that women are better at “just about everything”? I realize there might be some rough justice in that, since men applied the opposite standards of bigotry for thousands of years. Nevertheless, the principle of group preference and bias, once embraced as logical, reasonable, useful, and by all means, scientific, cannot be restricted to just one group. Do we really want to go down this road again? Have we forgotten so quickly the terrible consequences—the deaths, the abuse, the wasted talent and broken lives—that such thinking brought with it before?
I hope not. I hope the irresponsible pundits and journalists who have latched onto this poisonous fad will receive the public condemnation they deserve, and I hope that women lead the way. If they don’t—if women prove that they learned nothing from the experience of their own gender through the ages—then they will have proved one thing for sure.
They’re not so smart either.