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Happiness

Happiness is somewhat difficult to define. It’s state of well being and contentment according to at least one dictionary. When comparing happiness with pleasure the main differences are that happiness is more long term and less extreme, while pleasure is more short term.

You can have pleasure by seeking out all sorts of sensory experiences, but pleasure is not a guarantee for happiness. You can still be deeply unhappy, because of all the gaps between the moments of pleasure. You can be stuck in a circle forever if you think that pleasure will bring happiness by default. It simply impossible to have pleasure all the time, pleasure exists because there is also non-pleasure, without it, it would have no meaning.

At some point in my life I came across the following quote:

“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness” (Zhuang-Zi)

This person was amongst the earliest interpreters of philosophical Daoism, which is not to be confused with the religion known as Daoism. Daoism is full of seemingly opposite paradoxes, but in this case it’s fairly obvious what it’s about. Striving for happiness means setting a goal, goals come with expectations and with expectations comes disappointment when those expectations are not met. You can never have everything you want, the key is to be happy with what the moment brings. Enjoy the sunshine, but also enjoy the rain.

There are real sources of pain and suffering that can’t be avoided, but a lot of our suffering is simply due to making the choice not to be happy. Think about, there are plenty of people who are happy without being extremely rich, it’s all relative to your expectations.

Simply enjoying the moment is not always easy, but it’s the only way I see if you want to be truly happy. That is not to say that you don’t try to steer your life, it means not to worry about the outcome of your choices once the choices have been made, as well as not lingering on the mistakes made in the past.

I expect to make more posts on this in the future, in the meantime you are welcome to comment.

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Agency is the capacity to act in a world. Agents possess agency, objects do not posses agency.

I’ve already talked about the female tendency to let a male act on her behalf, something which originates from a time where our survival as a species was constantly at stake. In those days it was beneficial that females avoided high risk actions as much as possible.

The question is, how do you get another human being to do tasks that the person in question is capable of performing. The answer is quite simple, you make it seem as if the person is not capable of performing these tasks. In essence you reduce their perceived agency at the cost of increasing the agency of others. This is what has led to male hyper agency and female hypo agency.

I’m not ignoring the fact that on average human males are physically stronger than females, but this does not make females helpless or incapable of acting on her own.

Children, certainly when they’re very young, don’t have a lot of agency. They are legitimately in need of protection and care until they become adults. But once they are adults, they should in principle be able to act on their own behalf. Some ways of reducing perceived agency include imitating a childlike youthful appearance, pretending to be vulnerable and acting submissive.

Today, with all our modern technology, the physical advantages males have over females are becoming less relevant. It has become obvious females are capable of acting on their own, but still there females who at one point or another pull the reduced agency trick out of the hat in order to avoid or reduce the consequences of their actions. This sometimes means that a male automatically gets the role of hyper agent, making him responsible for actions that should be a shared responsibility of all parties involved.

I’m not ignoring the likely-hood that humans have evolved in such a way that supports this shift in agency. Long ago it was probably very useful in allowing our survive. But when you claim to be civilized, to have grown beyond the phase of mere animals, it is important to consider all aspects of life and not only the things that are convenient to you.

Realize that what I’m saying here implies that instinctual feelings are not by definition true, it takes sincere honesty to look at reality as we have it today and admit that a lot of things don’t match up to the reality of our evolutionary past. Becoming aware of your biological tendencies is a first step in achieving genuine personal growth.

It is time we as species end this lie of female hypo agency and start treating everyone like human beings. The current state of affairs is unhealthy for both females, who are treated like objects sometimes, and males, who are sometimes forced to be responsible for the actions of females when in fact they are only partially responsible.

This is all for now, if you have any comments, you are more than welcome to participate in the discussion.

Humans, much like other species of animals have something built in that ensures survival of the species, but humans have chosen to idealize it. They’ve created an illusion that it something far more than it really is. That it is somehow far more than a biologically driven mechanism to ensure that people have sex.

For all that we have achieved, we seem to be investing a whole lot of energy and resources into something that isn’t real. It’s time to wake up and be honest to ourselves.

Gender vs Sex

Some of you may have noticed that I used only the terms male and female in my previous post. These two represent most of the humans found on this planet. It should be noted that it’s possible to have a mix of reproductive organs, which makes them fit in neither category. Within those two groups there are bound to be variations, especially when it concerns the more subtle differences such as brain structure, but at the end of the day sex remains purely biological.

The terms man and woman on the other hand are two forms of gender. Gender is a socially constructed set of expectations with respect to appearance and behaviour. Because gender is the way we choose or are forced to express ourselves it is a spectrum. Traditionally there have been only 2 genders. It is open for debate whether having 2 genders is too little or whether gender labels should be eliminated all together.

If you have any thoughts to share, please comment.

At the core of who we are, of how we perceive life, lies our biology. The differences between males and females goes beyond the obvious difference of reproductive organs. Evolution simply ensures that the genes with the biggest chance of surviving are those who allow the most children to be born and to survive to reproduce again.

Male reproduction has a very low cost, probably in the order of hours or days. Female reproduction on the other hand costs years, 9 months of pregnancy and much more time to get the child to a stage where it isn’t entirely helpless.

Female reproductive systems are the scarce resource in a species that is struggling to survive. It is therefore in the best interest of the species as a whole to migrate as much risk as possible to the males of the species, whose death would be less of a problem.

The females most likely to survive and procreate are those who manage to acquire a powerful male with sufficient resources and manipulating those men into taking over risky activities. The males who are most likely to survive and procreate are those who are powerful and have sufficient resources to mate and protect as many healthy and fertile females as possible.

This process of evolution has produced females who are relatively capable manipulators with a belief that they are entitled to a male protector and provider. The males however are more susceptible to manipulation and are expected to work and compete for the scarce female reproductive resources.

While I won’t pretend this all there is or even that is 100% correct, it does serve as a basis for understanding the situation we have today. This is all for now. I look forward to any comments you might have.

Hello world!

This is my first post where I will outline my plans for this blog.  I’m personally in favour of equality between the sexes, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are differences between males and females of our species that must be understood and addressed before there can be true equality.

This blog won’t be a one sided view on the world, but my ability to extrapolate and gain some understanding of the experiences of the other sex is limited, because it is not how I experience life.

Perhaps (at a later stage) I will also address the differences between sex and gender, how it impacts our lives and to what extent it is impacts the quest for equality.

Some random posts on random topics is to be expected as well, but obviously can’t predict that.