Re: RARA-AVIS: Macdonald: another smoke screen

From: Kerry Schooley (
Date: 04 Sep 2002

At 10:21 AM 04/09/2002 +0100, you wrote:

>Sorry, Kerry, but I must live on a different planet. I see the difference
>between the sexes as vast (incidentally, I see the main difference as
>biological, rather than cultural). For example: women give birth, men
>don't. You could write a book with the repercussions of that single
>difference (and somebody undoubtedly has). For instance, a child asking a
>priest what the difference between knowledge and faith was might receive the
>following reply: "Child, your mother knows that you're her daughter. Your
>father, well, he has faith that you're his."

I'm sorry myself. I should have been clearer. The biological differences are apparent (though often subsequently modified.) As for sexual fidelity, the issue behind your example, that's an issue of faith for both sexes. Narrowly defined, your example illustrates a difference between the sexes in regards to parentage, but in a broader application parentage can be a question for either sex. Suppose the woman had a number of sexual partners, for instance? And the issue of parentage is very important to both sexes, which I'd argue goes back to the underlying motivator of power, common to humans regardless of sex.

>In terms of women writing male characters, I think the key point to remember
>is that our instincts are different. For example, a woman with a problem:
>male instinct is to help her solve it. A man with a problem: female
>instinct is to offer sympathy and support.

That's cultural, relating to the traditional exclusion of women from most authoritative roles in western society. In fact, it's an example of my argument. Women have had to exercise power through men, by offering support and sympathy. That may be changing, of course.

>I'm going to shut up now before this descends into John Gray territory.

Sorry Al. I think you were one paragraph too late.

Best Kerry

------------------------------------------------------ Literary events Calendar (South Ont.) The evil men do lives after them

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