Children Of A Lesser Goddess

One of the dirtiest phrases in the progressive vocabulary is “biological essentialism”, the crime of thinking that men and women are hardwired for different suites of skills and interests. Paradoxically, however, it is permitted to assume the existence of such biological drives whenever the purpose is to express contempt for the men who follow their particular alleged instincts and admiration for the women who follow theirs. For example, progressives are unable to speak of men without voluble hostility to outdoor sports, hunting and the desire to be provider for a wife and children, while at the same time they treat it as axiomatic that women are superior because they are hardwired for empathy and nurture.

There seems here to be a certain incoherence about whether men and women are indeed created differently, and if so, what follows ethically from that. To what extent is it legitimate to condemn somebody for their biological nature, and from what standpoint? Without some gender-neutral basis for value judgments about human behaviour, such condemnation amounts to no more than “You are different from me and therefore bad”.

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