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Re: sexism

Dec 13, 1996 01:32 PM
by Tom Robertson

At 08:19 PM 12/13/96 +0000, Liesel wrote:

>I happen to have several books & magazine articles here, in praise of the
>fact that women, rather than compete, and trying to stamp out or best, each
>other's ideas, work together, are supportive of what colleagues are doing,
>use a colleague's findings to help their own research along (and give credit
>to the colleague) and get more accomplished as a group. I've also seen a
>writeup of Lyn Margulies, who fiddles with bacteria, I think, (and recently
>was part of a science panel on C-span). She found indications that among
>bacteria, rather than survival of the fittest, those entities survive(d) who
>learn to adapt to new environments. The book passage describes especially
>the arrival of oxygen on planet earth, which caused a regular holocaust
>among bacteria. Eventually, some of the bacteria learned how to live with
>oxygen, and perhaps utilize it, or mix with it, and those survive to the
>present day.

Competition is masculine, and cooperation is feminine.  There is a time and
place for both of them.  In the ways that cooperation is appropriate, women
excel.  I remember when Pat Buchanan said that he thought men were more
competitive than women, and Alan Dershowitz labelled him "anti-women."  I
agree with Mr. Buchanan, and I disagree that his statement is "anti-women."
There may be nothing so obvious as the downside of competition.  War may
have some benefits in generally arranging for the fittest to survive, but it
would be hard to defend it in any given case as being a better solution than
cooperation would have been.  The virtues of cooperation, as you have
pointed out, are also obvious, even in predominantly competitive activities.
It is no accident that the "Allies" won World War 2.  It is hardly only
"rugged individualism" that accounts for the greatness of the "United"
States.  As I believe with masculine and feminine, I believe that
cooperation and competition are equal opposites.

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