Posts Tagged ‘agency’

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.


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