Differences Between Masculinized and Feminized Cultures

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Inspired by Joyce Benenson, about her book, Warriers and Worriers, the author Arnold Kling compares the changes in organizational cultures after a female influx.

MB: In my opinion, he compares the best scenario for the male culture, with the worst scenario for female cultures, but his view of the latter is consistent with organizations influenced by 'wokism'.

Arnold Kling:

"One of her ideas is that men have a social strategy that works well in war: organize unrelated males, fight other groups overtly according to rules, then reconcile after battle. Women have a social strategy that works well for protecting their individual health and the health of their children: emphasize safety, covertly undermine the status of unrelated females, and exclude rivals rather than reconcile with them.

This leads me to speculate on the consequences of adding a lot of women to formerly male domains. Over the past several decades, a number of important institutions that were formerly almost exclusively male now include many women: academia, journalism, politics, and management positions in organizations. These institutions increasingly are discarding the values that sustained them when the female presence was less.

1. The older culture saw differential rewards as just when based on performance. The newer culture sees differential rewards as unjust.

2. The older culture sought people who demonstrate the most competence. The newer culture seeks to nurture those who are at a disadvantage.

3. The older culture admires those who seek to stand out. The newer culture disdains such people.

4. The older culture uses proportional punishment that is predictable based on known rules. The newer culture suddenly turns against a target and permanently banishes the alleged violator, based on the latest moral fashions.

5. The older culture valued open debate. The newer culture seeks to curtail speech it regards as dangerous.

6. The older culture saw liberty as essential to a good society. The newer culture sees conformity as essential to a good society.

7. The older culture was oriented toward achievement. The newer culture is oriented toward safety. Hence, we cannot complete major construction projects, like bridges, as efficiently as we used to.

I think that in each case, the older culture was consistent with male tendencies (what Benenson calls “warriors”); the newer culture is consistent with female tendencies (what she calls “worriers”). Keep in mind that men can have worrier personalities and women can have warrior personalities, but those are not the norm.

Overall, we have made institutions harder for warriors to navigate. College no longer helps men to make the transition to adulthood. It keeps them sheltered and controlled, and after graduation they end up living with their parents.

Why did opening up opportunities for women lead to this outcome? One can imagine other outcomes. Perhaps women would have assimilated into the male culture, adopting some male tendencies in the process. Perhaps women and men would have retained their different behavioral tendencies but agreed to accommodate one another.

Instead, both men and women seem to have agreed that a purge of male tendencies is in order."