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Semiformalishmaybe

Reverse Study of Gender

I thought this was an interesting data point from which to think about gender; it claims that Meghalaya (a small state of India bordering Bangladesh) has a female-dominated society and examines a small men's suffrage movement there.

How should we judge this? What should we see as a way forward for the region? I do claim that everyone is qualified to judge everyone else using whatever they prefer, and to advocate whatever they prefer; there is no question in my mind that we are as right to suggest a way forward for them as they are for us. Looking at specifics, from my gender-role abolitionist and western-enlightenment-liberal perspective:

  • On surnames, I see that as being a personal choice, both in the west and in Meghalaya. I would prefer that cultures not take a strong stance on the matter either way, but so long as people are free to break with whatever tradition is established without too much difficulty, I think it's basically okay.
  • On gender-preferences and language, the claim that the gendering of nouns to privilege female pronouns might be troubling, but language often embodies old biases and I am generally loathe to engage in linguistic revisionism to aid with dignity (or at least to do so very quickly)
  • If and to the extent that men feel or are limited in that society, changes should be made to create more equality of opportunity
  • I find it curious that women stay out of politics in such a society; it's a provocative exception (and should also be corrected)
  • That the youngest daughter lives with the parents until they inherit the family house is very different than traditional western societies, where I believe the eldest usually inherited it. It might make more sense if there's a big age difference between siblings though
  • It doesn't look like a very open society if the behaviour of men in the region is typical; people of both genders should ideally be able to talk to outsiders rather than relying on a united front put forth by the privileged

It's like a thought-experiment made real.

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