October 2005 Notebook Entries

Notebook entry, October 5,. 2005

An interesting piece by the traveling philosopher journalist, Tomas L. Friedman on the "clash of cultures" revolving the situation in Iraq and an American Navy ship. The article's title: "Sinbad Vs. the Mermaids," dated, October 5, 2005. "Iraq is a multiethnic society that had to be held together by a dictator's iron fist...Every Arab state today is a mix of religions and ethnicities held together by a hard or soft fist...In trying to bring some democracy to Iraq, we are not just challenging the dictatorial-tribal political order here, but the male-dominated culture as well. In effect, we are promoting two revolutionas at once: Jefferson versus Saddam and Sinbad versus the Little Mermaids -- who turn out to be captains of ships."

So the questions that beg being answered: Will the Arab men see that there is an advantage in more female freedoms? or will the Arab women, hearing about the freedoms that American women enjoy and participate in, begin to demand their own revolution? Those of us who consider themselves as evolutionary feminists understand that it is the women who choose what is best for their future children, not the males who dictate it. Men will do what is neccessary to pass on their genes, and within local customs, both sexes dance to the tune of their logitude and latitudes, and it usually is the female that has what males desire more. But more progress is needed diverting more resources to females.

Notebook entry, October 4, 2005

As I slow down my activities in both writings and study, (I'm preparing for retirement, taxes, travel, kids, and grand kids) I have drifted toward journaling about feminism and keeping things current. Or, any subject that I consider important enough to journal that fits my busy, but casual schedule.

A New York Times online edition article: Women in China Embrace Divorce as Stigma Eases, by Jim Yardly, October 4, 2005. "Divorce was once a dreaded fate for women in China. Now, many younger urban women like Ms. Cai view it almost as a civil right, which has helped drive up divorce rates...For women, and for men as well, changing social mores have brought changing expectations of marriage...Divorce then, has become yet another barometer of how Western influences introduced by two decades of economic change have rippled through Chinese society...To a degree, China's rising divorce rate is typical for a developing country that is rapidly modernizing and becoming more affluent...Divorce is much more common in the more prosperous cities than in poorer rural areas."

Once again, this is very solid evidence that the combination of increased resources that are available to women give them more options. And one of those options is always "what is the best for my future child." And given the freedom to choose, it becomes more and more apparent that "love" is secondary to resources that are available to the future child. Women in rural areas, still highly dependent on males for assistance in child rearing will still stick with conservative culture when the male is totally dominant. That is the way that the "system" evolved from the harsh jungle as the "best" way. But new ideas are emerging.

It is also solid evidence, that in our own American culture in 2005, where the conservatives control the political process, that male dominance, with the support of conservative females, helps to prop up the dominant hierarchy to their advantage. As America races to the bottom away from the middle-class society that made this country great, many of us look the other way and pretend that things are going smoothly in our lives. New Orleans tore away the myth that the "trickle down society" is best for America. What we witnessing is the Social Dominance theories of Pratto and Sadanius come to life in living color and in real time.

Human behavior is about hierarchical ranking and what resources are available -- and then that translates into an evolutionary advantage for that group or groups. It is so simple that it stuns me over its simplicity.

We will always have a hierarchical society of groups -- but what brings stability in our societies is how large the gap between those that have resources and those that do not have resources causes "struggle" or "class warfare." What is the "tipping point" in civil unrest?

Read my old essay written on January 5, 2002: The Resource Differential Intolerance Ratio Theory: The gap between the very rich and the poor; do we see the evolutionary connection?