The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Men, Honor, and Competition

One of the key differences between men and women seems to be that women do not have an innate sense of honor in the way men do.  This is not to say that men are innately more virtuous, moral, or decent than women.  But simply that honor seems to be a part of them in a way that it is not with women.  To explain what I mean, I should point out that if I were to list the most dishonorable people I’ve ever met, at least the top 5 would be men.  But here is the difference.  The men I know who are such, are in general weak and lacking virtue.  They don’t have a great deal of self control, fortitude, or prudence.  And when they are caught in their dishonor, they show shame.  

Most women I know, on the other hand, have engaged in some act I found shockingly dishonorable, but did so without the slightest bit of shame.  And what’s more, they are otherwise not lacking in self control, fortitude, or prudence.  I’m sure most male readers here can think of at least one such example themselves.

So why is that?  Why is there this difference between men and women?  After thinking about it, I believe that I have at least a partial answer.  And it lies in competition.

One of the reasons men compete is to sort themselves into hierarchies.  That way, even as kids, they all know who’s the fastest, who can lift the most, etc.  Within the context of group action, this knowledge is important.  If you need someone to run fast, it’s best to know who the fastest runner is.  And of course this scales to normal adult activity as well, i.e. it’s important to know who the best guy is on a construction crew at putting up sheet rock, and who is the best database designer at a software development company, etc.  

This relates to the subject of honor because part of honor is finding your place in the hierarchy correctly.  To either cheat or purposely underperform is dishonorable.  And that is because doing so robs the world of accurate information, and thus makes the world a worse place.  So if you win a race by putting glue on the starting blocks of the other racers, you’ll get the accolades of being the best, but if the world actually needs the best runner for something they’ll wrongly think it’s you, when they could do better.  

So dishonor is to make the world a worse place in order to secure a better place in it.  

And this all comes back to women, because they don’t particularly seem to compete and sort themselves into hierarchies the way men do.  They may simulate the way men compete, but you only have to watch any WNBA highlight reel to see that they aren’t REALLY trying.  They simply are not built for fighting and building.  So when it comes to honor, at least the part of it that is tied up in competition, it’s simply not something that applies.

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