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In my previous video, I talked about the specific details of Michael Moore’s recent Tweet claiming that “No women ever invented an atomic bomb, built a smoke stack, initiated a Holocaust, melted the polar ice caps or organized a school shooting.” Now that we know that each of those points is wrong, let’s move on to the larger problem: the idea that women are biologically predisposed to be more ethical, more compassionate, or less violent than men.
I should clarify that Moore didn’t come out and say that — he may have meant a variety of things by his dumbshit Tweet. But this is the idea that his Tweet reinforces, whether he meant for it to do that or not. Of particular note is the modifier I’ve added, “biologically predisposed.” Men are more violent than women, and that simply cannot be dismissed. Men are responsible for 9 out of 10 of the world’s murders despite only composing about half the population. That’s pretty violent! And yep, they’re also responsible for most of the world’s wars throughout history. Yikes.
But is that because men are just more violent than women? Is Hillary Clinton going to be a more peaceful president than Donald Trump, or Barack Obama, or George W. Bush, because she’s a woman?
No. Come on.
There’s nothing in women’s genes, brains, or hormones that makes them more likely to avoid violent solutions to problems. Vaginas don’t spontaneously emit morality. They emit uterine lining and babies, neither of which is really a pillar of goodness. Seriously, babies can be downright assholes.
Why are men more violent? Well, like everything else in life, it’s complicated! In our society, we tend to reward boys for sublimating their emotions and solving problems through physical violence. We also punish boys in violent ways and in ways that don’t actually solve violence, like incarceration.
Also, men have historically been running the world. When most world leaders have been and are men, and when humans have a predilection for war, of course more men are going to start wars. When women weren’t even allowed to study science for most of human history, of course more men are going to have worked on the atomic bomb. You may as well say that no men have ever given birth to dictators. It’s a pointless fact given that they haven’t exactly had the opportunity.
The belief that women are naturally superior to men is a form of benevolent sexism. It ultimately ends up hurting both men and women — men, by reinforcing the belief that they’re monsters who can’t control themselves; and women, by forcing all women to live up to a perfect ideal that we can never actually reach and by erasing women’s complicated humanity. If you look at our past media, male characters (at least white ones) have long been allowed to be complex anti-heroes because we can accept that a man can be both good and evil. For the most part women and minorities have been forced to be magical angels, manic pixie dream girls, or side characters with no internal dialogue or motivation at all.
And so we have women like Hillary Clinton who have to demonstrate an outward image of perfection in order to gain power. She can’t champion the radical progressive politics of Bernie Sanders, and she certainly can’t demonstrate the blatant bigotry, lack of knowledge, lack of any kind of experience, or deep corruption of Donald Trump. She has to be middle of the road, never smiling too much or too little, and the perfect level of competence without seeming bitchy or weak. It’s a nearly impossible tightrope to balance on, and it’s bad enough with conservatives bashing her constantly. She doesn’t also need ignorant progressives like Michael Moore being just as sexist.