Interesting article critical of women. Basically makes the case that women are crazy and inferior to men (and written by a woman to boot). I find it interesting not because of the central argument of the article, but some of the evidence she provides and what implications it has for youth rights.
Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true. Women really are worse drivers than men, for example. A study published in 1998 by the Johns Hopkins schools of medicine and public health revealed that women clocked 5.7 auto accidents per million miles driven, in contrast to men’s 5.1, even though men drive about 74 percent more miles a year than women. The only good news was that women tended to take fewer driving risks than men, so their crashes were only a third as likely to be fatal. Those statistics were reinforced by a study released by the University of London in January showing that women and gay men perform more poorly than heterosexual men at tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness, both crucial to good driving.
She prefers to focus on the fact that women get into more accidents, but I think the more important gender imbalance is the riskier driving habits of men and the fact they are far more likely to be in a fatal auto accident than women. This is exactly the claim made against teen drivers. Why don’t we ban men from driving? Or require restrictions on their licenses? Maybe men should have a limit on how many people they have in the car while driving. Or we should limit what hours they are permitted to drive.
The theory that women are the dumber sex — or at least the sex that gets into more car accidents — is amply supported by neurological and standardized-testing evidence. Men’s and women’s brains not only look different, but men’s brains are bigger than women’s (even adjusting for men’s generally bigger body size). The important difference is in the parietal cortex, which is associated with space perception. Visuospatial skills, the capacity to rotate three-dimensional objects in the mind, at which men tend to excel over women, are in turn related to a capacity for abstract thinking and reasoning, the grounding for mathematics, science and philosophy. While the two sexes seem to have the same IQ on average (although even here, at least one recent study gives males a slight edge), there are proportionally more men than women at the extremes of very, very smart and very, very stupid.
So men’s brains are more advanced than women’s. Men have a higher capacity for abstract thinking and reasoning. Why then are women allowed to vote? Or do many other tasks in society? Arguments about youth’s deficient brains have spurred the passage of many anti-youth laws. Why don’t we as a society care about those same brain inequities between men and women?
Clearly the arguments for anti-youth rights laws are hollow. They are after-the-fact justifications for people’s anti-youth bias. If their arguments are to be believed then we must turn the clock back 200 years and deny rights to a whole host of other groups in society.
The real answer though is that none of this matters. Women were not granted rights because their brains were determined to be sufficiently advanced enough to warrant suffrage. Curfews on blacks were not repealed because they proved they could handle the responsibility of being out after dark without committing crimes.
These laws changed because we are all human and fundamentally equal before the law. No one “deserves rights” we have them innately. They are common to us all and are inalienable. To deny rights to youth is as unjust as denying them to women.