Men are not like women. Men don't gripe about toilet seats.

Feminism

We are born men and women, not made

Women are not like men. Women are more beautiful. I prefer women because I was born that way. I was born a physical man with a man's gender identity and a man's customary sexual orientation. As long as I have known about male and female, I have known I am male; as long as I have cared about male and female, I have cared about females.

Men are different from women. Men are different from other men, women from other women. We are big and small, we are strong and weak. Some of us laugh more, some less. We are more or less active, we are more or less egoistic. From very early, children have different personalities.

We are different. There is always a spread; most of us are near some sort of mean value, some of us differ a lot. Often there is a difference between men and women, but this is a difference between mean values. There is always an overlap, often a big overlap.

Most of us are raised according to our physical identity, according to our genitalia; we are raised as boys or girls. And most of us are comfortable with this. Some of us are not.
Were we all comfortable with our physical identity, it would not be possible to say if we were born so. It could be that we act differently because we are treated differently. It could be that we act differently because we are born different; we are treated differently but this could be because we are born different. To pick one explanation would be just as scientific as picking the other; there is no absolute way to tell innate and acquired differences apart.
In spite of all external influence, there are children who feel they are born in the wrong body. When behavior goes against upbringing, it is not the result of upbringing. It is innate. We do have hardwired mental differences.

We have inclinations set from birth; often we are hetero. Sometimes we are homo, bi, whatever. Maybe it is the environment in the womb, some hormone level was higher or lower than usual. Maybe there is some gay gene. Maybe there is some quirk combination of standard genes at the moment of conception. Maybe it can be seen as just a case of statistical spread and overlap (the spread not necessarily that smooth curve you see in books on statistics); just as some men are shorter than the average woman, some men might be more attracted to men than the average woman is.
And let us not forget we are malleable. It is possible that upbringing can strengthen or weaken our inclinations; maybe in some cases even revert them, in one or another direction.

A muscle gets bigger if it is regularly exercised. Men are more physically active then women. Because they are born so or because that's how they are brought up; or it's a combination. Men have bigger muscles than women. Because they are born so or because they are more physically active; or it's a combination. It is the same thing with the brain. A brain that is regularly exercised changes; we do mentally adapt to the environment. A man's brain is different from that of a woman. Because he is born so or because he is brought up differently; or it's a combination.

When small children play, there is a big overlap; many boys play with girl's toys, many girls play with boy's toys. Still, if the children are given toys of the "wrong" type, the innate inclination can show. Two twin girls, two and a half year old, were given toy trucks instead of dolls. They were found saying to each other, "look, daddy truck is carrying baby truck". Sometimes the gender inclination shows, even if the home environment is actively against. A lesbian mother complains about her daughter "pushing that Barbie stuff", against the mothers will.
Inclinations are set from birth. Maybe not always so strongly. Sometimes so strongly it goes against both physical gender and upbringing. When a boy insisted on getting a Barbie doll, the grudging father made a compromise and bought him a NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Racing) Barbie.

When we get older, our bodies change. Because we are born to grow but also because of external factors: like how much we move, how much we eat. We get bigger; our primary and secondary sex characteristics develop. The brain also develops. Because it is made to grow but also because of external factors like what we are taught. As we grow we get other interests; often we get interested in the opposite gender.

Parents can make excuses about not being able to keep the traditional world away but many can. The first years, most children spend their time almost exclusively with family, an environment almost completely controlled by the parents. Those parents who want a gender-neutral upbringing will try to find a preschool with the same ideals. Maybe they even push opposite-gender toys to counteract a presumed strong influence from the traditional society; a "gender-neutral" environment is not necessarily gender-neutral. When a child turns traditional in spite of just a little traditional influence and a lot of "gender-neutral", then it is not because of traditional influence.

The mating game

Most evident are the gender differences in the mating game. There are exceptions, role reversals are not that unusual, but mostly humans follow the same established male/female pattern as most other animals. Male birds dance, they bring gifts, they build nests. So do human males. But most of all it is about power.

Females are attracted by males with power, by alpha-males. You can find lots of modern Darwinists out there eager to explain why, let it suffice to say that a woman who chooses a powerful mate has a better chance to get grown up children who can propagate her genes. Like the former American diplomat Henry Kissinger said, power is a great aphrodisiac. As a man, you should have power. Or at least behave like you have power; it can be enough that you walk with a certain swagger.

There are different ways to demonstrate that you have power. Violence. Physical prowess. Riches. Women prefer tall men. Somebody even calculated how much more money a man got to have to compensate for being one inch shorter; whether seriously or not I do not know; the amount I do not remember. If you have money, you do not have to use violence to show who's the boss; when women are attracted to rich men, it is not necessarily because they are only interested in money, not in the man. Like someone said, money is sexy.

Bad treatment is not always a deterrent. To demonstrate that they have power, some men (rarely women) are controlling and abusive; still women choose to stay with them. They leave them and some return to them. Women who want men that treat them well choose men that treat them well. Women who want men who do not treat them well choose men who do not treat them well; they reward bad behavior, even rape. To say that rape is not about sex, it's about power, is nonsense. Power is sex.

Rock and rap artists, almost to a man (and woman) make a gimmick of acting violently, on and off scene. Waving their arms. Staring you down. Glorifying the gangster. Attracting women. Like somebody said: rock is pure sex. Gang leaders are surrounded by beautiful women. Serial murderers get love letters in the prison; even child murderers get love letters.

If the only victims were women who choose abusive men, it would be bad enough. But women not only reward bad behavior. They beget children, spreading men who think abusive behavior is natural; maybe spreading abusive genes. We live in a world where not only those women who choose abusive men suffer. Also those women who prefer kind and considerate men can become victims; by men who trick them and by unknown or unwanted men who attack them.
As long as women reward bad behavior, there will be men treating them badly. It almost looks like hypocrisy; women choosing men who treat them badly and then complaining over being badly treated. Well, maybe it's not the same women. Or maybe it is. Like a female Swedish feminist said about feminist men: Cute but you don't want to sleep with them (De är gulliga men dem vill man inte ligga med). It's Darwinism in action.

Us humans are complicated. We are versatile. Not all women are attracted to all powerful men; not all men are attracted to all beautiful women. We are born as sexual beings but sexuality is not something that is isolated. As humans we all contain multitudes; sexuality is influencing and is being influenced by the rest of our personality. We are sexual objects but we are more than that. To only see one aspect is demeaning; to see a beautiful athlete only as an athlete, not also as a sexual object, is demeaning.

Professionals

According to a Swiss report, companies with female board representation are clearly outperforming those without.

You can speculate in why women make companies go better. The Swiss report has a list of several possible reasons. The first one is that maybe it is the other way around; maybe women do not make companies do better; maybe companies do include women because they are doing well and think they can afford it.
Before the 2008 financial crisis, women made little difference. So maybe it is the last reason: maybe women are less risk prone. Maybe it's a combination of these and other reasons. That you should not have women on boards is superstition.

Women on company boards can give better performance. This does not prove that 50 (or 25 or 75 or 100) percent women would give the best performance. Companies differ. Women differ. Men differ. Maybe women give better performance because they are different. Maybe they give better performance because they are not different; maybe they are like the men they replace, only better. Although some women outperform most men, qualified women could be in short supply. Or in long supply.

Women on company boards can even give worse performance. In Norway, they have a law requesting female participation: for publicly owned companies at least 40 percent. A study of the result indicates that gender quota imposed substantial costs on shareholders. Maybe that is the difference between Norwegian companies and the companies in the Swiss study: in Norway, women were appointed because they were women; maybe in the Swiss study women were appointed because they were good.
The study does not indicate that women on company boards perform worse than men because they are women. It indicates that experience can affect performance; on average the new board members were not as experienced as the old members they replaced.

Many tests demonstrate that both genders have the same or almost the same ability for many tasks that are traditionally gender segregated.
In technology tests (math, computers, mentally manipulating 3-dimensional objects), women often perform as well as men. Sometimes, with a little psychological prompting, even better.
In psychology tests, men perform as well as women when it comes to interpreting feelings. When it comes to caring for others, tests give women a slight, questionable advantage.

Performance is not only about ability. You might perform well on tests; if you are not interested you will perform worse at work. In spite of similar abilities, men and women make different choices. Boys have the ability to play with dolls but many don't want to. Girls have the ability to play with toy cars but many don't want to. It's the same with grownups. People can have the ability. It doesn't help if they don't have the inclination. In many professions, the gender distribution has changed dramatically; in some professions the gender distribution was and still is strongly uneven.

In rich, developed countries there is more, not less, occupational segregation than in developing or transitional ones. As prosperity increases, women are turning away from engineering and natural science to humanities and health.
One theory is that this is not because of innate preferences, it is because of cultural preferences. This theory does not consider the possibility that cultural preferences are influenced by innate preferences. Things interact. Would more or less women become nurses if we had no cultural influence? It is impossible to say because you can't remove cultural influence; a society without cultural influence is impossible. To get equal gender distribution in nursing, you have to control the distribution; you have to impose cultural preferences. And you have to supervise them continuously to be sure the distribution does not veer from the established course.

There are occupations where you can be sure that one gender performs better than the other. Physical demanding occupations like blacksmith and fireman. For occupations that are not physically demanding, the difference in ability might be small or non-existent. Performance can still differ because of different inclination, innate or acquired.
Although male firemen perform better than female, this is on average; a strong woman is better than a weak man. It is unfair that men perform better than women. If you find fairness more important than performance, you can strive for equal number of male and female firemen.

Some feminists want the same pay for the same performance. Some feminists want the same pay in spite of worse performance. They want it for firemen. And in sports.
Male athletes do perform better than female athletes; that's why sports is divided into male and female. Male athletes do draw bigger crowds then female athletes; that's why male athletes are better paid. It's unfair that male athletes perform better than female. It's unfair that male athletes perform better than me but I am not like some women, I don't ask for the same pay. It's unfair that female athletes perform better than me but I do not ask for the same pay as female athletes.
Maybe men and women ought to have the same innate abilities. Maybe they ought to have the same innate inclinations and the same physical strength. If they don't, it is unfair. But sometimes life is unfair.

Feminism

I don't like people telling me what to do. I wouldn't like them telling me to pursue a career dominated by women. I wouldn't like them telling me to pursue a career dominated by men. I wouldn't even like them telling me to pursue a career, should that career be the career I want to pursue; my career is up to me.

Maybe men and women are born with the same abilities, maybe with different. Maybe they are born with the same inclinations, maybe with different. I can't see why it should matter. If you want to do something, that's up to you.

Once women were not permitted to vote. They were excluded from higher education. They might still be discriminated against although less obviously. If there is a gender imbalance, it could be because of discrimination; it could be innate or acquired differences. If there is no gender imbalance, it is an imposed rule or a fluke.

I am not sure about those who strive for 50/50 allocation. Do they want it because they think women (it's mostly about women) are just as good as men? Then be consistent and demand equal numbers in the olympic finals. Do they want it because they think it is more important to be fair than to be good at something? Then be consistent and demand equal numbers in the olympic finals.
But who knows. Maybe men vie for status more than women. Maybe women think more of others. Maybe a mostly women government would do better than a mostly men. I find this far from impossible.

I do not like the word feminist. It covers too much. Some of them are rational and reasonable. Some are nuts. Like saying everything is upbringing. Like saying everything is innate.
I think men and women should have the same rights, the same duties and the same possibilities, no matter if the characteristics are innate or acquired. When it comes to women I am a classical liberal. I can't see the need for different rules for men and women; should I get pregnant I would want the same benefits as a pregnant woman. If women are treated differently, it is OK to take corrective action. If men and women perform differently in different professions, it does not prove that they are treated differently; if men perform better in sports, it does not prove that they are treated differently. If being a feminist is the same thing as being a liberal, then I am a feminist.

Sources

Cordelia Fine: Delusions of Gender, ISBN: 9780393340242
Credit Suisse Research Institute, Report August 2012: Gender diversity and corporate ...
Ahern, Dittmar: The changing of the boards ... Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2012, vol. 127(1)

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