Here’s a neat bit of doublethink I’ve never been able to comprehend. I live in a culture which informs me:
- Men are natural leaders, and therefore should run countries, corporations and households. Women in charge would just do whatever their PMSing hormones made them want to do, and
- Men are ruled by their hormones, can’t help themselves, so it’s the job of women to avoid provoking men into raping us, cheating on us, or hitting us.
How does that work? Let’s follow the logic. If men are actually controlled by their animalistic urges, then doesn’t putting men in charge of nations equate to putting a chimpanzee in the capitol with his hand next to the Weapons of Mass Destruction button? And even though us gals are incapable of controlling our own hormones (sarcasm), women are responsible for controlling men via their hormones. So aren’t we really the ones who should be in charge, since we are the only people who can control the all-powerful male hormones?
The logic shoots itself in the ass.
Humans have this structure in the brain that’s much less developed in other species: a prefrontal cortex. It allows us to review the decisions our hormones are urging us to make and veto them when we see fit. That’s what it does. If men have them, then they must be accountable for their actions. And they do have them.
But here’s something to ponder. Studies have indicated that at least one type of human has a less developed prefrontal cortex than the norm. Guess which type? It’s not women. It’s not them black drug dealers. Nope – it’s “unsuccessful psychopaths,” meaning those psychopaths who lack the impulse control required to evade capture for their crimes. The psychopaths who do evade capture have slightly smaller prefrontal cortices than the norm, but more than their unsuccessful counterparts.
What are we really saying when we say men can’t be held accountable for their misdeeds? Are we equating them with shit-flinging monkeys, or psychopaths? What a disservice to the men who do engage their prefrontal cortices when their hormones make suggestions that might be physically gratifying for the moment but would ultimately lead to trouble. And I think that is the vast majority of men.