The lack of the ability to think is one of my biggest problems with feminism. It claims to empower women, yet this empowerment is followed through with emphasis on following one’s feelings. Yet, too often, these feelings are based on falsehoods and we do not posses the skills to even realize it. While emphasizing feelings the teaching of how to think has been nearly eradicated from our schools and it is doing much harm to men and women.
I am not free from this either. It has become painfully clear in the past couple years my inability to think through a problem and then logically be able to address it. I remember getting looks from Maritus and others like the tilting of the head that a dog might do when trying to understand what his master is saying. I spoke from feelings that made absolutely no sense and it was incredibly difficult to make any progress. I have been trying to remedy this and have made some progress. Homeschooling my children has helped a great deal as I am being exposed to things that I never have before. Reading around the sphere and a couple political blogs has helped a lot as well. However, if this is something I wish to get serious about it is time to go back to the great thinkers, those timeless thinkers who have been inspiring men for generations. So I would like to leave you with the following passage from The Great Conversation. This is Book I of the Great Books of the Western World (which I am still reading. I let it get away from me for too long). There are some wonderful passages in this essay with regards to thinking and the lack of it in modern times (and this essay was written in 1954, it’s only gotten exceedingly worse). It’s not that people aren’t capable of it, it’s that we are no longer taught how.
As the business of earning a living has become easier and simpler, it has also become less interesting and significant; all personal problems have become more perplexing. This fact, plus the fact of the disappearance of any education adequate to deal with it, has led to the development of all kinds of cults, through which the baffled worker seeks some meaning for his life [Please note: he he is using the assembly line as an example here.] and to the extension on an unprecedented scale of the most trivial recreations, through which he may hope to forget that his human problems are unresolved.
Adam Smith stated the case long ago: ‘A man without the proper use of the intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, more contemptible than even a coward, and seems to be mutilated and deformed in a still more essential part of the character of human nature.’ He points out that this is the condition of ‘the great body of the people,’ who, by the division of labor are confined in their employment ‘to a few very simple operations’ in which the worker ‘has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur.’ The result, according to Smith, is that ‘the torpor of his mind renders him, not only incapable of relishing or bearing part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgement concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life.
Maybe it is unfair of me to apply this line of thinking to women. Adam Smith was talking about men and might have only given women an afterthought when he said “the great body of people”. However, women have been fighting to prove they are as intelligent as men and are currently going to university at a higher percentage than men. If they wish to prove their actual intelligence, this idea of wallowing in emotions must die. Emotions do serve a purpose and an important one, I think, for women. However, we have completely failed in proving our ability to think beyond what we feel. For all of our higher education and accomplishments, for all of the empowerment and womanly strength, those things are utterly nullified by our collective inability to stand off to the side and ask “What if?” What if what I am feeling is wrong? What if women and our society are, in fact, better off when we are not promiscuous? What if my children and my family are better served and will have a better life if I give up a nice car and a career to care for them? What if men were more masculine and we not only accept that but thoroughly encourage it?
There are a thousand “what if’s” that require so much more than emotion to discover the truth of the answer. We are capable of it, so why is it not encouraged? As women have perceived themselves to be making so much forward motion, they have ended up generations behind.
Hutchins, Robert M. The Great Conversation. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952