SECTION TWO. PROBLEMS WITH THE ARGUMENT THAT WOMEN ARE INFERIOR TO MEN.
1. The argument is not valid. We all know that buildings without substantial foundations fall apart; the structure will not hold the weight of the facade. The same is true with arguments. The logical form of the main argument presented above is flawed. It commits the fallacy of affirming the consequent to demonstrate the antecedent. I know that the jargon is hard to follow, so let me give an example to show what I mean. Suppose I presented an argument: “If the tide of the ocean comes in, my sand castle will be destroyed. My sand castle has been destroyed. Therefore, the tide has come in.” Sounds good until I find out that some kids had run through my sand castle for fun. Now the argument works (it is valid) in the following form: “If the tide of the ocean comes in, my sand castle will be destroyed. The tide comes in. Therefore, my sand castle has been destroyed.” We know that the tide will destroy my sand castle. So, given that the tide has come in, we can be sure that the castle is gone.
The argument that men are naturally superior was : “If men are naturally superior, then we will find that men will occupy most of the positions of dominance in societies. Men do occupy most of the positions of dominance in societies. Therefore, men are superior to women.” Well, no. It could be that just as the kids ran over my sand castles, men throughout history have run over women. So, the argument is fallacious; logically, it does not hold water.
2. Testosterone may not be such a good thing to have. Another problem to be noted is the “testosterone factor.” Is testosterone the factor which could produce the conditions of women in the world? Well. in one sense, yes. And that sense is that if testosterone is combined with other factors such as bigotry, unfairness and violence, the oppression of women could be forthcoming. Testosterone is linked to aggressiveness. If this aggressiveness is conjoined to vices, then harmful effects could result. The old complaint that men are uncaring brutes who are concerned with their own well-being first may be true; testosterone caused aggressive actions may very well have produced the plight of women today. Testosterone produced violence may have caused men to lose their lives, which lives would have been ongoing but for aggressiveness which tipped the balance of moderation. Having, at inappropriate times, a hormone driven psychic state of aggressiveness may not be in a man’s best interest. In fact, there is a good reason to believe that even if testosterone helped in “the old way of dog-eat-dog” business, it is counter-productive in the upcoming future. The future businesses will be smaller companies which rely on communication to take immediate advantage of market conditions. Inasmuch as women are better at communication and networking, the obvious prediction is that the future CEOs of the world will be women, for they are naturally equipped for such conditions. Men will be left to handle the “grunt work.”
But even glossing over the testosterone factor, there could be countless other causes besides testosterone which could explain why women have ended up on the lean side of society’s goods. Let me mention one.
3. Religion may cause women to bear unfair burdens in society. To a great extent, most religions favor males. And not in a small way. It is not clear that Christianity promotes the equal treatment or consideration of women. In fact, that Eve takes such a fall in Genesis is evidence that makes Christianity suspect. Just consider, if there is really an attitude of equality and equal consideration, why do most religions not allow women to be ministers of the faith? If religion promotes the concept of male superiority, then it may be that the groundwork for many marriages is doomed to failure, for marriage presumes two autonomous persons entering into a relationship in which the autonomy of both is respected.
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