Thursday, February 20, 2014

Discriminatory for men to be taller than women?

Liberalism is in some ways in conflict with heterosexuality.

Heterosexuality is the attraction of complementary opposites: of the masculine and feminine. Therefore, heterosexuals generally celebrate sex distinctions.

Liberals want individuals to be autonomous in the sense of leading self-defining and self-determining lives. But this means that qualities that we don't get to self-define or self-determine are taken to be negative restrictions on the individual. One of these predetermined qualities is our sex - the fact of being male or female. Therefore, a liberal society comes eventually to the idea that sex distinctions, rather than being celebrated, ought to be made not to matter.

So the political aims of liberalism will collide at times with our personal desires as heterosexuals.

Here's an example. Men are generally taller than women. There are radical moderns who don't like this, as they see it as an embodiment of sex distinctions. A Swedish newspaper, for instance, in reviewing a television documentary on the issue, told its readers that men ought not to be taller than women and that the only reason they were so was due to discrimination:
But researchers have increasingly begun to explore the role sex discrimination plays in injustice and health risks that particularly affects girls and women around the world

The anthropologist Françoise Heritier conducted research in Burkina Faso for many years before she caught the eye of sex discrimination and the different conditions that gave girls and boys during infancy

The mothers did not feed all the children immediately if they cried. It was the boy who was fed the children directly, while the girls' children had to wait, says Françoise Heritier.

According to several anthropologists, it could be thousands of years of discrimination that underlies the difference in size between males and females.

That reminded me of the views of the radical feminist Alexandra Kollontai in the early 1900s. In her public lectures she longed:
for the female body itself to become less soft and curvy and more muscular ... She argues that prehistoric women were physiologically less distinct from men ... Accordingly, sexual dimorphism may (and should) again become less visible in a communist society.

So that's what the political philosophy aims at. It longs for men and women to become the same, even bodily.

But the heterosexual longings of women are the exact opposite:
Is height important in matters of the heart? For women it seems the answer is a definite yes.

And, much to the dismay of those holding feminist ideals, it seems that women want a man who towers over them because it conforms to gender stereotypes and makes them feel protected, secure, feminine and delicate.

According to the study data, the dominant reasons females cited for preferring a tall partner are matters of protection and femininity.

"As the girl, I like to feel delicate and secure at the same time."

So how do people manage to combine both liberal beliefs and heterosexuality? They compartmentalise the two. They assent at a formal level to the liberal principle by which sex distinctions aren't meant to matter, whilst unofficially doing what works for them as heterosexuals (this is Lawrence Auster's idea of the unprincipled exception at work). Possibly too it is an example of doublethink.


  1. The left is at odds with biology. Biology cannot be tailor made for political correctness.

  2. People may have different delusions. Biology works despite anyone's beliefs or policies. Any society cannot be led by fanciful ideas for a long time. Sooner or later biology will put an end either to such a society or to such beliefs. Nothing to worry about.

  3. Are women's breasts a result of sex discrimination too? What about men's lack of ability to born a new child?

  4. It's important to distinguish between the findings of researchers and the spin that journalists may give to those findings. Françoise Héritier was arguing that tallness had been favoured in men but not in women. Since a large part of variability in stature is genetic, there would have been selection for men to be taller than women, and this selection would have produced a visible sex difference over many generations.

    Many journalists have trouble understanding the word "selection," so they replace it with a word they more readily understand, like "discrimination."

  5. It's only a matter if time before some radical modern proposes that men have their feet cut off to make them the average height of women.

  6. I don't even know what to say to this. Feminist ideas in the West have truly run their course.

  7. This is absolutely ridiculous. But why am I not surprised?