The Combined Effects Of AS And A Toxic Fundamentalist Religious Upbringing
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Kate Manne and many other authors point out the outrage of unfair and unjust treatment of defined groups of humans. One such topic is the harmful impact of misogyny on women. The focus of the authors can be from the perspective of philosophy, social or political science. In all these perspectives the basic explanation considers cognition - modified by circumstances - as the determinant of the inappropriate treatment. The animal part of human nature is overlooked or underestimated.
Circumstances, External Influences
Cognition → Behavior
Chimpanzees and Homo Sapiens have evolved separately for about 6 million years and they differ genetically only by a tiny fraction. The behavior of chimpanzees is determined by the instincts of Darwinian fitness. Suffering is unpredictable and therefore unavoidable.
Instincts → Behavior
But between the chimpanzees and humans there are some very fundamental cognitive differences which determine some core parts of what motivates behavior.
Only the rational human brain:
• is able to comprehend causality
• has a memory enabling to recognize causality with a delay between cause and effect
• is able to predict future causalities from memorized experiences.
This leads to an awareness for suffering that is different from what animals experience.
The human brain
• can recognize the causes of suffering
• can decide to avoid suffering and to choose between different methods
• is able to have a theory of mind which allows also to recognize that the own actions can cause suffering to others.
This leads to an unsolvable inner conflict about what motivates behavior. A human is at the same time a bearer of genes driven by the instincts forming Darwinian fitness to ruthless and self-harming behaviors. The same human is at the same time also a rational individual guided by cognition. This is also the conflict between submitting to suffering as a necessity and avoiding suffering.
Motivation → Behavior
Of course there are wide individual variations in the strength of the instincts and in the cognitive abilities. The relative power of both determines the motivation.
Now back to the topic of misogyny. Depending on the individual predisposition, a man’s motivation can be anything between crude misogyny and being an egalitarian respectful partner.
Misogyny harms women more than men. But when taking into account evolutionary explanation of how Darwinian fitness differs in its impact upon each sex, then many women unknowingly invite and encourage misogyny.
Darwinian fitness leads to healthy offspring. But the method differs. For men it means to copulate with as many different woman and as often as possible. Women want to merge their own genes only with high quality male genes. The method is selection by physically attracting many men and rejecting them until they settle for one.
But today this merely physical mating system is obsolete. People’s motivation how to choose a mate is a result of a combination of instincts and cognition. But the instinct of physically attracting men continues to dominate many women in a very counterproductive way. As absurd as it is, when considering the abilities of female brains, the instinctive urge to physically attract men still has hold over women’s behavior and self-concept. Vanity over looks is too often much stronger than pride and self-confidence derived from intelligent achievements.
When a woman has a fulfilling career and a happy relationship, any other man’s drooling over the sight of her body would rationally be an annoyance to be avoided. Yet even such a woman usually wears more or less sexy, appealing closes, high heeled shoes, make-up and jewelry. She does not do this specially for her husband as would make sense, but even when she is not with him.
This attire does certainly not cause the misogynous thinking in men, but it certainly does invite and trigger manifestations of misogynous behavior. Misogynous thinking is an affliction of misguided, delusional and instinct driven men. But unfortunately they are prone to get false reinforcement for their misogyny by strong misleading signals from women who are not aware of how their own instincts are counterproductive to their needs and interests.
To avoid misinterpretations: My explanation of how instincts contribute to misogyny is in no way any excuse or condoning of violence, assaults or harassment. But I do see clearly that the kind of attire is a non-verbal way of putting emphasis on a verbal NO.