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12-12-2003, 03:45 PM

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Some replies to Fukuyama's article (Re: osama elkhawad)

    MEN HATE WAR TOO
    By Barbara Ehrenreich
    Francis Fukuyama marshals the familiar evidence suggesting that males, in our species and others, are more prone to violence than females ("Women and the Evolution of World Politics," September/October 199. Despite the current academic bias against "essentialist" or genetic explanations of behavior, this evidence shows that males are indeed more likely to fight, murder, loot, pillage, and, of course, rape than females. The question remains, however, whether this apparently innate male predilection has much to do with the subjects that concern Fukuyama -- war, international relations, and politics.
    If Fukuyama had read just a bit further in the anthropology of war, even in the works of some scholars he cites approvingly, he would have discovered that there is little basis for locating the wellspring of war in aggressive male instincts -- or in any instincts, for that matter. Wars are not barroom brawls writ large, but, as social theorist Robin Fox puts it, "complicated, orchestrated, highly organized" collective undertakings that cannot be explained by any individual impulse. No plausible instinct would impel a man to leave his home, cut his hair short, and drill for hours under the hot sun. As anthropologists Clifton B. Kroeber and Bernard L. Fontana have pointed out, "It is a large step from what may be biologically innate leanings toward individual aggression to ritualized, socially sanctioned, institutionalized group warfare." Or as a 1989 conference on the anthropology of war concluded, "The hypothesis of a killer instinct is . . . not so much irrelevant as wrong."
    In fact, the male appetite for battle has always been far less voracious than either biologically inclined theorists of war or army commanders might like. In traditional societies, warriors often had to be taunted, intoxicated, or ritually "transformed" into animal form before battle. Throughout Western history, individual men have gone to near-suicidal lengths to avoid participating in wars -- cutting off limbs or fingers or risking execution by deserting. Prior to the advent of the nationalist armies of the nineteenth century, desertion rates in European armies were so high that, according to historian Geoffrey Parker, "at certain times, almost an entire army would vanish into thin air." So unreliable was the rank and file of the famed eighteenth-century Prussian army that military manuals forbade camping near wooded areas. Even in the supposedly highly motivated armies of the twentieth-century democracies, few men can bring themselves to shoot directly at individual enemies -- a fact, as Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman writes in On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, that has posed a persistent challenge to the Pentagon.
    MALE RITES
    Fortunately, we need not resort to instinctual male aggressiveness to explain the male near-monopoly on warfare. One reason is clearly biological, resting on men's advantage in upper body strength -- an undeniable plus when the weapons of war are heavy swords, spears, pikes, maces, or clubs. Another explanation is cultural, or at least as purely cultural as one can be: In many, if not most, human societies, male initiation rites feature acts of violence committed by or on the initiates, and one of the most common of these rites has been participation in battle. Through "blooding his spear" a boy proved his manhood (or through ordering the bombing of some smaller nation, in the case of recent American presidents). For an activity to be a male initiatory rite, it cannot, of course, be open to women and girls. Hence the widespread taboos on female handling of weapons and, in many cases, the tools of peaceable male-dominated crafts.
    But there is no reason to think that such initiatory activities derive from instinctual male proclivities. In some cultural settings, the young male's initiation to the adult world may be entirely bloodless, featuring the receipt of a diploma or admission into a guild. In others it may be violent in ways not related to war, involving circumcision, homosexual rape, or nose-bleeding induced with sharp sticks -- activities few would claim are instinctually driven. In fact, the very purpose of male initiation rites is to distinguish biological maleness, which undoubtedly includes a healthy desire for self-preservation, from cultural manhood, which requires a certain amount of self-discipline and even self-sacrifice for the group (as does cultural womanhood).
    WOMEN WARRIORS
    Nor can it be assumed that the male monopoly on warfare has been as eternal and universal as Fukuyama imagines. Gravesites recently excavated in Russia contain the remains of women warriors from the second millennium B.C. -- female skeletons buried with weapons and bearing wounds inflicted by similar weapons. The victims of the Neolithic massacre at Jebel Sahaba, mentioned by Fukuyama, included both women and men, and there is no evidence that the perpetrators were exclusively male. Moving back into the Paleolithic Age, when hunting was probably the principal form of human violence, growing archaeological evidence suggests that it was a communal enterprise in which women and children joined men in driving herds over cliffs or into nets or culs-de-sac. Thus, Fukuyama overstates the case when he says that "men [unlike women] have clearly evolved as cooperative hunters and fighters." The male-centered hunting strategy that figured so prominently in the writings of sociobiologists in the 1960s and 1970s -- in which a small band of men stalks an individual animal -- may be a rather recent innovation, necessitated by declining game populations in the Mesolithic Age.
    Myths of ancient civilizations also throw doubt on Fukuyama's assertions. Some of the earliest deities worshipped by humans were female, but they were hardly the nurturing earth mothers imagined by many scholars. The archaic goddesses unearthed from Mediterranean and Mesopotamian ruins or recalled in Mesoamerican mythology were huntresses and avid consumers of blood sacrifices, often accompanied or represented by predators such as lions and leopards. Only later were these terrifying deities "tamed" through marriage to patriarchal male gods and reassigned to agricultural duties. Although the characteristics of the archaic goddesses tell us nothing about the roles of actual women, they do suggest a time when the association of manhood with violence and femininity with gentleness was not as self-evident as it has seemed in the modern age.
    MACHO MAN
    Whatever our genetic and prehistoric cultural legacies, women in the past two centuries have more than adequately demonstrated a capacity for collective violence. They have played a leading role in nonmilitary violence such as eighteenth- and nineteenth-century bread riots and revolutionary uprisings, in which they were often reputed to be "foremost in violence and ferocity." In World War II, the Soviet military deployed them as fighter pilots and in ground combat. Since then, women have served as terrorists and guerrilla fighters in wars of national liberation. More to the point, women have proved themselves no less susceptible than men to the passions of militaristic nationalism: witness feminist leader Sylvia Pankhurst, who set aside the struggle for suffrage to mobilize English support for World War I by, for example, publicly shaming men into enlisting. Fukuyama concedes that, among ######### of government, Margaret Thatcher is an exception to his gender dichotomy but ignores the many exceptions on the male side of the ledger -- such as the antimilitaristic, social-democratic Olaf Palme and Willy Brandt. Nor does he mention the gender of the greatest pacifist leaders of the twentieth century, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mohandas K. Gandhi.
    But perhaps Fukuyama would concede all of the above, for in the end he has little use for his own dubious claims about the inherent aggressiveness of men and niceness of women. Up until the last three pages of his essay, one might assume that he was gearing up to demand solely masculine leadership, if not participation, in the arenas of politics and war. But no. Women in the military? His only objection has to do with ####### as an activity rather than a category, which leads him to the mild suggestion that men and women should be segregated into separate combat units. As for political leadership, he worries a little that the female, and hence over-kindly, ######### of state who arise in the northern democracies will be a poor match for the macho young males whom he expects to dominate the south. But even here he quickly backtracks, admitting, "Masculine policies will be still be required, though not necessarily masculine leaders."
    If, as Fukuyama concludes, either ####### can be "masculine" in both admirable and execrable ways, what is the point of his essay, with its lengthy excursion into the supposedly murderous habits of cavemen and chimps? Perhaps Fukuyama is right about one thing: Whatever the innate psychological differences between the sexes, a certain male propensity for chest-thumping persists, and can be found among desk-dwelling American scholars as well as alpha apes.
    Barbara Ehrenreich is an author and lecturer whose essays have appeared frequently in Time, The Nation, and The Guardian. Her most recent book is Blood Rites.
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العنوان الكاتب Date
تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح osama elkhawad12-12-03, 11:07 AM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح ابراهيم حموده12-12-03, 12:00 PM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح نصار12-12-03, 12:06 PM
    Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح فتحي البحيري12-12-03, 12:29 PM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح Alsawi12-12-03, 12:13 PM
    Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح Hussein Mallasi12-12-03, 01:05 PM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح nada ali12-12-03, 03:34 PM
  اجزاء من مقال فوكوياما nada ali12-12-03, 03:43 PM
  Some replies to Fukuyama's article nada ali12-12-03, 03:45 PM
  Another reply nada ali12-12-03, 03:47 PM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح Nada Amin12-12-03, 03:49 PM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح nada ali12-12-03, 03:57 PM
    Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح bunbun12-12-03, 05:26 PM
      Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح تراث12-12-03, 11:20 PM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح نصار13-12-03, 00:00 AM
    Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح الجندرية13-12-03, 09:04 AM
  Re: تأنيث أجهزة الأمن السودانية-ما رأيكم\ن في هذا الاقتراح osama elkhawad13-12-03, 06:59 PM


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