[Coral-List] Sea Angels

David M. Lawrence dave at fuzzo.com
Mon Nov 23 09:09:37 EST 2009

I would be VERY careful in making sweeping generalizations on the 
differing NATURE of men and women.  Culture plays a significant role. 
Where I grew up -- in Louisiana -- girls whose fathers (or mothers) took 
them hunting and fishing grew up into women who enjoyed hunting and 
fishing as much as any boy who had the same opportunity.

And remember that in some (not all) Native American groups, the men 
might have been the warriors, but the women had the honor of torturing 
any captives.

There are enough exceptions to the women = nuturing nature/men = 
dominating nature to call the NATURE part of it in question.  (And 
frankly, if it is NATURE, there is little hope of improving conditions 
on the planet we live in.

Now, if the difference has more to do with CULTURE, I see hope in 
changing things for the better through education and persuasion.

As for Ruthven's original question, there was a time not so long ago 
that women had no place in science.  My late, great, and sorely missed 
friend Marie Tharp, for example, was put to work as drafting maps and 
graphics for male graduate students who were working on their master's 
degree when she already had two -- she was forbidden time on ship, for 
that was allegedly no place for a woman.  Funny, though, that she 
discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge when plotting sounding data and 
touched off what became the plate tectonic revolution.

Girls -- even today -- are discouraged from pursuing courses, much less 
careers, in science and math.  Too many parents are content to have some 
jackass teacher or school administrator tell them that girls have no 
aptitude for such weighty stuff.  And too many men still have the Abbie 
Hoffman attitude: when asked what was the position of women in the 
Yippie (60s protest) movement, he answered "Horizontal."

Things are much, much better, but the legacy of the generation that felt 
women had no place in science, or at sea, still has a strong influence.


P.S. My wife got her biology degree from Clarkson in 1983.  Back then, 
Clarkson was referred to as a place "Where the men are men and the women 
are, too."  I don't know how much, if any, that attitude has changed...

Monika Franck wrote:
> Hi John
> Perhaps its because most women have a conscientious,caring and conserving nature while most men have a destructive and conquering nature.  
> Interesting that you mention this now too as one of my lecturers recently also pointed out something similar to your observation. He said that women are conspicuous by their absence in participation in hunting/fishing expeditions, hunting photographs and hunting competitions.  You find men in these hunting expeditions and photographs absolutely beaming with pride of having killed often not just one for the pot but an entire wasteful heap of whatever creature was unfortunate enough to cross the path of the thrill of the kill that day. Often creatures that are not even good to eat are wastefully killed or exploited for fun without thought of how this affects the rest of nature and our future as humans on this planet.
> The ocean is one of the last natural frontiers that we still understand little of with regards to how it regulates our climate, and from which humans still catch tons of wild food, fast getting depleted though as per other natural resource on this planet stressing under over populatain by humans. The ocean is at great risk and conserving and studying it perhaps appeals to the caring and conserving nature of women more than the destructive and conquering nature of men.
> Perhaps you should call your series "Mermaids"?
> best wishes
> Monika  

  David M. Lawrence        | Home:  (804) 559-9786
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