Rhett wrote:I debated whether or not to respond to this rubbish about "natural" tendencies of men and women. First of all, we are beginning to scientifically understand that gender and the expression thereof are not concrete and innate, but rather learned through socialization starting when we are born, and even before this.
Actually, no. This was we thought we were beginning to understand in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Since then, we have begun to understand that there is a clear limit to this 'tabula rasa' idea and that socialization is clearly NOT the only cause of behavioral sex differences.
If you give a male toddler a pink toy before you tell him that pink is for girls, he will never know the difference and will not associate pink with femininity.
Actually, no. I read of research that seemed to prove that girls, on average do seem to have an innate preference for some colors that differs somewhat from boys. Maybe not pink, but... lighter, softer colors. At least, this seems to be the case across cultures (which isn't hard proof because all cultures are 'contaminated' with influences, of course).
More significantly, there has been a heap of research done into children of different genders playing with toys in general. And sorry, but, on average, the boys will leave the dolls and tiny clothes alone and go for the little soldiers, toy pistols, flashy space-ships, and the girls show the expected 'sexist' behavior the other way around (on average). They have done their best to rule out the influence of socialization in various ways, but the pattern remains. Because we don't experiment with children up to the point of letting them grow up without any socialization, this cannot be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, but really... Those that insist that it is all the product of socialization (that it is all nurture and non of it is nature) to close their eyes to observable facts. As people that cling to an ideology tend to do.
We are also socialized to understand masculinity and femininity on deeper levels than this. Your post, Morgus, and the philosophy that you seem to base your entire world around is innately flawed. There is nothing "natural" about the way we are socialized. It is "artificial" in the sense that it is based on societal norms, culture, and other socialization processes rather than on some hard wired thing in our brains.
Actually, it would be odd for us to be socialized in a way that would be completely opposite to our nature. The 'artificial' element of socialization has to start with the 'natural' element of what humans are, biologically. If you have clay, you cannot build an Eifel Tower.
If it was so natural, and we were so hardwired to be dominant men or submissive women, then everyone would fall into those categories.
No, that is not a logical conclusion. One sex could be hard-wired to display certain behavior, but the deviations from the average for each sex could well be such that one man might display far less of something than a woman, even if it was a typically 'male' characteristic. Something being a (partial) product of nature doesn't mean that everyone has to have it equally.
If you are going to take the books as some sort of canonical anthology that guides your life philosophy, then it would be wise to also understand the context in which they were written, no?
I think Morgus understands that context. My guess is he pretty much fits into that context, himself. The books are not that old, some were written very recently.
Our very language is even tainted with this gendered socialization process.
'Tainted'? Let me put it this way: There is no evidence of any culture anywhere in history that did not have at least some clear element of male 'dominance', which no doubt got reflected in the local language, including cultures with languages not at all influenced by each other. So, this 'taint' seems to go together with being human. Historically and anthropologically, we are the unique culture, in insisting on equality between the sexes (which I am all for). And, being human, we allow our recently created ideals to turn into an ideology that prompts many of us to want to rewrite our past. If the facts don't fit the ideals, change the facts (which I am NOT all for).
As you can see, that is a flaw of our language and our overall socialization process that sees everything through a gender binary.
This 'flaw' (it may be a flaw for all I know) is clearly a human universal. If some weird aliens were to abduct humans and displace them to another planet (say, on the other side of the sun) and brainwash them so at to forget all culture, this 'flaw' would emerge again, soon enough.
There is also something else at play in your post which Nazira touched upon....If one person believes it is real, then it becomes something really creepy. SL Gor, for many of us, is simply a playground to explore our more seedy and inappropriate or even dangerous desires. It should not be some extension of reality unless all parties are consenting to such.
I am fairly sure that Morgus (and other life-stylers) understand that we are not actually on Gor. Norman himself understands that as well. That doesn't stop him from having the opinions he expresses in the books, opinions Morgus seems to share to a degree. It has little to do with mixing fantasy and reality.
What your are missing is that, as Nazira pointed out, Gor is about misogyny.
No, he is not missing that. He is disagreeing with it. Just as Norman doesn't feel Gor is about misogyny. Personally, I feel there is a clear misogynistic element to Norman's books. But then again, I am not a life-styler. As I read Norman (and as his followers seem to read him), the male-female relationships on his fictional planet are more 'natural' and therefore better and more satisfying for those concerned (well, for the lucky ones that aren't fed to sleen, atc. at least) than the male-female relationships in our modern world (something about them is better, somehow).
You are engaging in a misogyny when you relegate the "natural order" of the world on women.
That would make me a misogynist as well, then. I think humans probably resemble apes like gorilla's and chimpanzees (and most mammals) quite a bit, and among those, the 'male species' is 'dominant'. Add to that the fact that men have been dominant throughout recorded history and (as far as we can tell) prehistory. So, yeah... that pretty much makes men being dominant in that sense 'the natural order', if you want to use that dated phrase. Sorry.
(Personally, I don't really think that 'following the natural' order is a moral prerogative. Cleaning your bum after taking a dump is not part of the natural order either, but I am happy that most people do it anyway.)