|Folks, I take a few hours' break, and you swamp me with comments and challenges. I'd hoped to put in the first words on this topic, not the last, so after this one, I trust you'll continue on without me for a bit, as I've provided a gadzillion replies on this thread already.|
I of course generally agree with Jennifer (Post 58), mainly because she has the excellent taste to generally agree with me.
Chris (#59) offers a lot of interesting scholarly perspectives worth my chewing over. My own views on this topic were inspired by several fertile scholarly sources already noted, but drawn most heavily from private observation and experience over many years in a number of arenas.
Incidentally, my goal in this is not to score debating points or win authorship title for some grand psychological theory, but simply to address some practical problems of relationships, communication and organizations with promising observations that merit "field testing." Fully proving the points and implications I suggested in the essay would take a vast amount of investigation (and probably still wouldn't be believed by some). I suggest that for the practical purposes I intended, interested individuals simply should test these ideas on their own as working hypotheses in social situations, and see if they stand up.
To Judy (#60) -- hi there, "Oyster." (She's a regular commentator on my blog, folks.) I appreciate your input. In your noting that you are "not your typical, touch/feelie female all the time," you actually affirm my point -- that there is validity to the "typical" cultural stereotypes. Laure acknowledges much the same thing (#67) in saying, "I think Robert's point is that if we look at the Thinking vs. Feeling dimension, women tend to be feelers. Which is why I don't like many of them." However I don't agree with Laure that the actual distinction is "thinking" vs. "feeling," as I stressed in the essay, but two different styles of thinking.
To Phil (#65), you are right in your point (1). I don't mean to reduce everything to two cognitive styles, it's much more complicated than that. But note the difficulty I'm having here in getting many people even to accept the fact of "thinking styles" (well acknowledged by psychologists), let alone multiplying these styles beyond the number two! For reasons both of space, and simplicity for absorbing the basic idea, I necessarily had to oversimplify. (2a): I didn't mean to imply that women "don't want to grasp chains of logic" -- only that they tend not to like formal, highly abstract, theoretical presentations of logic, but preferred less academic ways of communicating and perceiving truths. (2b): Rand is a superior communicator in nonfiction forms; note my essay wasn't addressed at her style of presentation, but at typical presentations by other Objectivists. (2c): Negative encounters with Objectivists can confuse things in isolating what it is that females don't find appealing about the "ism." However, part of that aversion is surely the prevalent tendency among too many Objectivists to turn almost any casual social encounter into an abstract discussion or debate -- a tendency I've witnessed about 2 billion times at social events and forums since I first got involved with the philosophy nearly 40 years ago. Women tend to "live in their heads" far less than men. And that's a virtue, not a vice.
Finally, I am pleased that George Cordero (#62) has assumed the much-coveted role of being my Boswell, faithfully following my every post, keeping score for you as to how many I've written, even determining for Sciabarra which ones he might not like. That kind of devoted attention to every nuance of my utterances merits my completing forgiving him for his moral repudiation.
(Edited by Robert Bidinotto
on 4/07, 8:18pm)