Fighting Like Girls
Sit back and take a deep breath, people, because I’m going to say something that once got me branded various kinds of nasty and which is very controversial.
Are you ready? Take a deep breath.
Men and women are different. They’re different beyond the fun vive la difference. They’re different in the head, different in how they react to things. Hormones shape them from the womb, shape them even more so after puberty.
And they’re particularly different in aggregate, which is to say in groups.This is because individuals vary a great deal but how each sex behaves in groups tends towards the mean. No pun intended, but how each side behaves as a mob is different, too.
Note all this is apparently very controversial. Which is utter nonsense. I realize the fear of saying the sexes are different because it might mean one is better than the other (it means no such thing.) or that an individual always fits perfectly into the median definition for that sex (which is nonsense. We’re humans. Our variety infinite.) But last time I said something like this the mean girl side of my field was agog with how “transphobic” I was. Which is plain idiocy (see, crowds are stupid) because if the sexes are entirely the same inside the head, you just nullified the concept of a man trapped in a woman’s body or vice versa.
Anyway…. Moving right along and ignoring people who couldn’t follow an argument if it came with a tracking dog.
So if you get a bunch of guys seriously riled up, you might get punched, or they might gang up on you and punch/kick you to death. That’s because guys are the NICE ones.
Anyone who has ever been ganged on by girls knows that. Because girls don’t usually hit you (if they do they aim to disfigure, though), instead they start a campaign of lies, rumors, innuendo and mind games, until they strip you to the bone.
If you survive a beating by guys, you will eventually heal. If you survive severe bullying by girls you might also, but it will take longer, and it might leave you permanently crippled in a way other people don’t see, and you don’t see either which means you can’t fix.
See, this is because humans are great apes (or at least pretty good apes) and as such we have a social nature. And as social animals we enforce pack cohesion. Also like all social animals, our pack hierarchy is dual and divided by sex. Males enforce pack unity physically, but females having lower upper body strength (yes, I know, I’m just full of heresy today. I should make the featured image one of the heresy memes, I guess) are more likely to enforce it psychologically. Apparently in great ape packs, the lower wrung females can get bullied so strongly they stop ovulating. In human packs, too.
Why does this matter? Beyond ragging on women?
Well, I am not ragging on women. I’m noting that the different sexes have different ways of enforcing pack cohesion, that both (heresy! Yeah, I said sex not gender, didn’t I? Because that’s not a discussion for THIS blog) can turn bad (toxic!) in ways that permanently hurt or maim someone. Or even kill them.
What is the problem with this? The problem is that we’ve been focusing too hard on the ways masculinity can go wrong, while giving femininity a total pass.
This is wrong in many ways, though I’d speculate it had its roots in the cold war and the idea rule by women wouldn’t have brought us to the brink of total war. The people who thought that were wrong (they were mostly men, who tend to idealize women) but that is not the point. Women are actually more likely to loose a nuke in the night, they’re less likely to march in ranks. Both sexes can do both, yes, it’s just a matter of likelihood.
Because women were physically weaker and that mattered when our minds were formed (since there were no guns and even bows need body strength) our fights tend to be stealthy, deadly, often psychological, but if physical less… for lack of a better word “honorable.” Which makes perfect sense since honorable is a word men invented, to rein themselves in and not outright kill rivals. Women have no such compunction. In fights between girls, (note noun) it tends to be a disfiguring attempt. In fights between women, or between a woman and a man (which is worse) the woman will kill you horribly if she can, the minute you blink.
We have to. We know about being weaker. We can’t give an attacker a second chance.
Which brings us to why this matters: the internet has weaponized “female ways of fighting.” The twitter mob, regardless of who does it, is a pack of women. Worse, because the internet shaves maturity off humans, so twitter mobs are howling packs of middle school girls.
Why this is a problem: any business that has a strong imbalance of one sex over the other adopts the mode of behavior of that sex.
And a lot of our professional fields — except most of STEM — are becoming dominated by women. This has several reasons, not relevant here. It’s not because women are better, no. But the fact women are better at social maneuvering and establishing social connections, both peer to peer and above. Far from women being disadvantage in the modern world, we were made for it.
The problem is this: because men’s danger was obvious, way back in pre-history, an entire code of chivalry and honor was devised to keep them from dying unnecessarily or stupidly (and sometimes it rebounded. The code duello was honor forcing them to die stupidly. I didn’t say that humans are rational, particularly in groups.)
A lot of business as early established relied on this UNSPOKEN code. Men who broke it were considered “not quite the thing.”
Women don’t fit that code. We don’t even understand it. It doesn’t work well with our head systems. The idea of holding back when you can annihilate a competitor would never occur to us. Because women are weaker, remember. When we fight, we fight with all we have.
The problem, as I said, is that the internet weaponizes female ways of fighting. And a lot of fields, particularly artistic fields where we’re not, let us say, the most stable people around, are dominated by women now. Certainly, contra the legend, publishing is, at least since I came in twenty years ago. Most editors, and under editors and most publishing house staff are women, as are, frankly, most writers, because by the time I came in writing was poorly-paid work done indoors, so “woman’s work.”
And being isolated, we’re more dependent on the net for advertising and contact with our peers, both vital to social apes.
So writers are particularly vulnerable to toxic femininity.
It is in the nature of it, that it always attacks the most promising right off the gate. And it picks and it pecks like a bunch of feral chickens, until you’re nothing but a bloody lump o the floor.
I’m here to tell you this can’t go on. Toxic femininity will destroy individuals (yes, even with indie, you can still be mobbed.) and businesses and productivity.
Because the really bad women, the ones who like to fight? They’ll neglect work for a chance at just one more swipe at “that b*tch” who might have done nothing more than stand out.
This is not good for any business and it’s death on creativity.
And in this case, yes, sure, it’s time women police their own and devise boundaries. It’s time to say “We don’t do that!” to the bullies and “That’s beneath contempt.”
It might even work.
Yes, men can do it too, but these women have INSULATED themselves from male rebuke, and decided whatever men say doesn’t count.
So, it’s time we stick our necks out.
Because the females who go toxic (and the males who join them and act like them online) are always the least creative and the most destructive. And those they pick are always people who threaten them with their creativity.
There’s little enough creativity on average. The species needs all of it. Let’s push back.