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Offline Jaynek

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Are men superior to women
« on: February 09, 2016, 06:35:02 AM »
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  • I am aware of Catholic teaching that shows a husband is superior to his wife.  He has authority over her and she is obliged to obey him.  Even though they are equal in dignity before God, he is the superior in position.

    Is there any teaching about men being superior to women aside from marriage?  Is there any justification for a man to say that he, simply because he is a man, is superior to all women?  

    Obviously there are certain areas, such as upper body strength, in which men in general tend to be superior to women in general.  Nevertheless, it is possible for an individual woman to have superior upper body strength to an individual man.  (For example, my father is 88 years old and in failing health.  I am physically stronger than he is.) Is there any sense in which it could be said that men are superior to women such that it would be true of all men as individuals?

    Offline MrsJohnson

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #1 on: February 09, 2016, 07:58:00 AM »
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  • Uh-oh, here we go again... :popcorn:


    Offline Traditional Guy 20

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 09:41:27 AM »
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  • There is a mutual respect between the genders but not equal rights. Now women especially have to be safeguarded more than men to harmful doctrines and ideas.

    Offline Desmond

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 02:48:45 PM »
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  • Quote from: Jaynek

    Obviously there are certain areas, such as upper body strength, in which men in general tend to be superior to women in general.  Nevertheless, it is possible for an individual woman to have superior upper body strength to an individual man.  (For example, my father is 88 years old and in failing health.  I am physically stronger than he is.) Is there any sense in which it could be said that men are superior to women such that it would be true of all men as individuals?


    This is fallacious reasoning.. it's the male form, in the Platonic sense, that is inherently superior as intended by God.

    Of course individual material cases, for whatever accident, may vary.





    PS: you answered your own question: no there isn't, as there are a myriad of reasons for a single woman to surpass a single man in virtually every area.

    In fact, by your twisted perverted logic, one couldn't even say that Man is superior to Cats: there can be instances in which a cat is more intelligent even (some cases of mental retardation/vegetative states/degenerative neural diseases).

    Assuming you were honest and not just disingenuously presenting a rhetorical argument..

    Offline clare

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 03:47:22 PM »
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  • Quote from: Desmond
    ... there can be instances in which a cat is more intelligent even ....

    That goes without saying!


    Offline Jaynek

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 05:21:42 PM »
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  • Quote from: Desmond
    Quote from: Jaynek

    Obviously there are certain areas, such as upper body strength, in which men in general tend to be superior to women in general.  Nevertheless, it is possible for an individual woman to have superior upper body strength to an individual man.  (For example, my father is 88 years old and in failing health.  I am physically stronger than he is.) Is there any sense in which it could be said that men are superior to women such that it would be true of all men as individuals?


    This is fallacious reasoning.. it's the male form, in the Platonic sense, that is inherently superior as intended by God.

    Of course individual material cases, for whatever accident, may vary.


    Could you explain this more or tell me where I could learn more about it?  Is this like saying that man is ontologically superior to woman?  I am especially interested in finding Church teachings about this.

    Quote from: Desmond

    PS: you answered your own question: no there isn't, as there are a myriad of reasons for a single woman to surpass a single man in virtually every area.

    In fact, by your twisted perverted logic, one couldn't even say that Man is superior to Cats: there can be instances in which a cat is more intelligent even (some cases of mental retardation/vegetative states/degenerative neural diseases).

    Assuming you were honest and not just disingenuously presenting a rhetorical argument..


    This part really confused me.  You seem to be saying that I am right about superiority of men not being at the level of individuals  but also that I used twisted and perverted logic.  I do not understand how I would be right if my logic were twisted, perverted, and fallacious.

    This is a sincere question.  Although I have a lot of "higher education" it was all infested
    with feminism so I cannot trust anything I learned about this.  I did not mean to be presenting anything as an argument.

    Offline Jaynek

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 08:57:09 AM »
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  • Following up on the lead from Desmond, I did some research on my own and found this article.  I found it very helpful. Somebody collected up all St. Thomas Aquinas's comments on women from various writings and showed how they form a comprehensive philosophy of woman.  

    It is pretty complicated because, in some ways, men and women are equal, but in other ways, men are superior.  So I will need to read this carefully and think about it.

    It seems to me that St. Thomas should be my starting point for looking at this question.  I suspect that if I had had a proper intellectual formation, I would have thought of this without needing to be reminded by Desmond's post.  But I have been exposed to far too much modern writing which assumes "Enlightenment" principles and judges St. Thomas against them.  He tends to be dismissed as a misogynist or, at best, limited by his time.

    But this is backwards.  I think I should use him as the standard and see how modern ideas match up to his.  St. Thomas might not be infallible, but he is a lot smarter and holier than I am so I should be guided by him.

    Offline Graham

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 08:58:41 AM »
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  • Quote from: Jaynek
    Is there any sense in which it could be said that men are superior to women such that it would be true of all men as individuals?


    Quote from: ST I-I.92.1
    Reply to Objection 1. As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence; such as that of a south wind, which is moist, as the Philosopher observes (De Gener. Animal. iv, 2). On the other hand, as regards human nature in general, woman is not misbegotten, but is included in nature's intention as directed to the work of generation. Now the general intention of nature depends on God, Who is the universal Author of nature. Therefore, in producing nature, God formed not only the male but also the female.


    I assume we are agreed that while men and women are of equal dignity and share the same nature (pace Desmond), in the order of creation man (as such) is a greater perfection than woman (as such), who was taken from him.

    Since there's necessarily a sufficient reason why each individual man is born as a man and not a woman, there's necessarily a sense in which each and every individual man is of greater perfection than each and every individual woman. St. Thomas identifies a few possible reasons, we aren't obliged to agree with him.

    The particular difference between men and women isn't in the reason or in physical strength, because both sexes have reason and strength - although men typically more - but in the generative functions. Authorities of the middle ages and of antiquity agreed that men have the formative and activating function in procreation, women the receptive and maturing. (Note that this idea never meant that women don't contribute genetically to the child.) Every man, then, even the weakest and stupidest, has by virtue of being a man that potency to give life.

    This is not intended to demean, and personally I don't believe it demeans the woman's function in procreation, which is worthy of immense respect. Her procreative function, however, really is a secondary one, a "help" to the man:

    Quote from: ST I-I.92.1
    I answer that, It was necessary for woman to be made, as the Scripture says, as a "helper" to man; not, indeed, as a helpmate in other works, as some say, since man can be more efficiently helped by another man in other works; but as a helper in the work of generation.


    Even so it will be possible to find men who are mutilated or congenitally deformed or otherwise hampered in a way that obscures this innate superiority. This is why I call it a potency. It is something necessarily present, but in some cases goes unrealized.


    Offline Jaynek

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 02:29:06 PM »
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  • Thank you very much, Graham, for the quotes and clear explanation.  This helped me a lot.

    Offline Graham

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #9 on: February 11, 2016, 07:58:48 AM »
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  • Quote from: Jaynek
    Thank you very much, Graham, for the quotes and clear explanation.  This helped me a lot.


    Glad it made sense. I want to add to one thing I said, for clarity and just because the scholastic philosophy is so interesting.

    Quote from: Graham
    Every man, then, even the weakest and stupidest, has by virtue of being a man that potency to give life.


    As you know, we distinguish between the vegetative, animal, and rational souls, man having all three. What St. Thomas teaches is that the man's seed actually transmits the vegetative and animal life of the child. The rational soul transcends nature and is created by God - as we know from later teaching, at the moment of conception.

    While we call these three powers "souls," in strict terms man has only one soul, a unity of these various powers. Not the kind of unity where three separate things are glued together, but a simple, spiritual unity. So the man's seed both transmits and does not transmit the human soul - it transmits some "parts," but not others, of a simple unity. St. Thomas, in his way, resolves this paradox by stipulating that the rational soul is 'virtually' transmitted in the man's seed. That word 'virtually' contains and sort of disguises an immense miracle and a mystery of human and divine cooperation.

    Offline Tiffany

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #10 on: February 11, 2016, 08:13:06 AM »
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  • Quote from: Jaynek
    Following up on the lead from Desmond, I did some research on my own and found this article.  I found it very helpful. Somebody collected up all St. Thomas Aquinas's comments on women from various writings and showed how they form a comprehensive philosophy of woman.  

    It is pretty complicated because, in some ways, men and women are equal, but in other ways, men are superior.  So I will need to read this carefully and think about it.

    It seems to me that St. Thomas should be my starting point for looking at this question.  I suspect that if I had had a proper intellectual formation, I would have thought of this without needing to be reminded by Desmond's post.  But I have been exposed to far too much modern writing which assumes "Enlightenment" principles and judges St. Thomas against them.  He tends to be dismissed as a misogynist or, at best, limited by his time.

    But this is backwards.  I think I should use him as the standard and see how modern ideas match up to his.  St. Thomas might not be infallible, but he is a lot smarter and holier than I am so I should be guided by him.


    Jaynek if you want to understand St Thomas then study Aristotle.


    Offline TheRealMcCoy

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #11 on: February 11, 2016, 09:30:17 AM »
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  • If a married man undergoes sex reassignment does he still have dominion over his wife?

    Offline Jaynek

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #12 on: February 11, 2016, 10:27:54 AM »
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  • Quote from: Tiffany

    Jaynek if you want to understand St Thomas then study Aristotle.


    I have studied Aristotle a bit and also St. Thomas, but I am still at the stage where it is easier for me to understand Graham's explanations of St. Thomas than the original.  But I do find scholastic philosophy very interesting, so I hope to improve.

    Offline Graham

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    Are men superior to women
    « Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 12:05:50 PM »
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  • Quote from: Jaynek
    Quote from: Tiffany

    Jaynek if you want to understand St Thomas then study Aristotle.


    I have studied Aristotle a bit and also St. Thomas, but I am still at the stage where it is easier for me to understand Graham's explanations of St. Thomas than the original.  But I do find scholastic philosophy very interesting, so I hope to improve.


    Well, parts of my explanations may be inaccurate. For instance, that the man's seed "actually transmits" the lower powers may be a false inference since in another passage he says that the vegetative power is dormant in the fetal matter before fertilization. It isn't important for your question, but there is such a close analogy between procreation and the physics of form and matter that an inadvertent mistake could skew the bigger picture.

     

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