Sunday, November 18, 2012

Petraeus Was a Remarkable Leader, and a Man. America Loses Again Due to "Knee-jerk Conservatism"

Here's what Stephanie Coontz had to say in a CNN article about recent extramarital affairs in the news:
"I believe the frequency of these sexual scandals reflects the fact that many men and women have still not fully incorporated into their daily emotional lives the new ideals about gender equity and mutuality that have emerged in the past 40 years." 
OK, so Stephanie is 'Director of Research at the Council on Contemporary Families' and so has a Conservative agenda to worry about, but what a load of unadulterated bullshit!  What we have to 'incorporate' is a European-style level of acceptance of human nature and smile and have a giggle when it shows up, then either forgive or move on to our next monogamous relationship and get on with the adventure that is life.
There's an antique and totally unhealthy notion that continues to persist in America today.  It's roots are historical, certainly, but for a society to evolve and improve, it has to learn from history, not cling to it.  Some 'traditions' are beneficial, and some are damaging.  It is up to people in positions like Stephanie's to challenge our human tendency to want to avoid change and cling to traditions.  Yes, she points to survey's that SHOUT that in America today:
"Tolerance for male adultery is certainly at a new low. "
But I think it's important to ask just what demographic is influencing this supposed 'intolerance' and  whether or not a survey that was done six years ago is really still relevant today outside of the 'New Republican Party' and it's enormous influence over what happens in Washington due to 'the new normal' and fueled by artificial, trumped-up outrage that is virtually identical to that of Muslim's being rounded up and employed to 'protest' a ridiculous little 'hate film' made by a nut-job.  What Amercians answer to a very 'loaded' survey question: "Do you agree or disagree that adultery is immoral." does NOT necessarily reflect what they'd be happy to forgive as a nation guided by big-picture Christian values of forgiveness and tolerance.  By definition adultery is an immoral act, so OF COURSE 88% would agree with the statement.

Rather than ask whether the value that General David Petraeus offers to America is worth far more than the momentary satisfaction some change-averse individuals get from the President sanctimoniously accepting his resignation, everyone just goes along with it.  Last time I checked, the vast majority of American golfers, of either sex, would be tickled pink to have a golf lesson from Tiger Woods.  The value that his expertise offers us has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fun he had with some women, despite being married at the time.

Just because several hundred years ago some folks from overseas, who happened to belong to very conservative Christian sect, set up camp on the shores of Native American's land, DOESN'T mean that today highly valuable people have to abandon their important jobs and no longer contribute to society because they've 'done what comes naturally' and fooled around.  Yes, there's a large group of wealthy (and therefore politically influencial), old folks who resist change in America, but 'thank God' that their grandkids are swiftly having a major influence on American policies (see: Obama Takes ALL The 'Swing' States!).

Petraeus's resignation, NOT his affair, is a huge loss to America and is evidence of some really disturbing 'societal mores' that the youth of America are going to reject in the coming decades (yes, they grew up on a diet of free, instantly available, high definition, hard-core porn -- think about what that has done to their view of their grandparents' morals).  What is accepted as today's 'majority opinion' is not going to be tomorrow's.  Here's my comment to Ms. Coontz's article in reply to a comment from a fellow reader who challenged her diehard feminist view:
Thank you, Hal 9000. Our species is programmed for one single thing: passing on our genes. A few thousand years of urban life have no effect on millions of years spent living in small nomadic tribes. This author says "As someone who has studied the evolution of love, sexuality, and marriage over the centuries...", then proves that she hasn't understood ANY of the fundamentals of the evolutionary roots of our behavior. We have over-populated the planet for one singular reason -- men of every age are instinctively and intractably driven to try to have sex with as many women of healthy childbearing age (which, looking at the volume of the release of ova, is between 18 and 28) as possible in their lives.

I lived through the age of feminism, when female scholars completely erroneously argued that ANY gender-specific behavior could be explained by nurture, not accepted as instinctively natural. Patently ridiculous. Evolutionary behaviorists now know how wrong that notion was, yet this author is going right back there, AND stating that she is one of their colleagues!

We stopped evolving the moment our technological skills rose to the point that were no longer subject to the selective pressure of the environment. Homo Sapiens Sapiens moved into a state of not 'punctuated equilibrium', but a state of 'ongoing equilibrium'. Our entire species is inter-mixing our genes genetically now on a global level -- there is no natural selective pressure anymore, and never will be until the disaster movies become real. Helicopter mom's who's kids have nut allergies are getting school boards to cut down oak trees to remove the risk of acorns to their little genetic copies!

No amount of societal/cultural pressure, through religion or more recently through other forms of social regulation, is going to stop women from wanting, 'genetically speaking', to be desired for nothing more than their 'hotness' (something that begins to diminish in their early 30's), then to lock-down a man to provide for them and their offspring until they're ready to leave the nest.  No cultural mores are ever going to stop men of every age from being driven to try to have sex with as many women of healthy childbearing age as they can, as long as they can still 'perform'.

Wag your finger and spout philosophically, Stephanie Coontz, but at the end of the day what evolutionary behaviorists know beyond any shadow of a doubt is that all the members of our species do what we do because life wants to propagate.  No amount of 'civilization' is going to change that. Besides, why should we?   Sex is fun and is some fooling around or broken relationships are ultimately inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things. 
(Breaking up over an extra-marital affair is EXACTLY like sending your dog to the pound because he/she had sex with the neighbor's dog -- that's just what dogs do.  Attempt to control your massive ego, forgive each other for being human, and carry on.  Recent studies have proven that women naturally gradually lose interest in sex in ongoing relationships, they can't do much about it, just as most men gradually lose testosterone.  Focus on the value of companionship, not your ego.  'Trust' is about your partner not wanting to leave you for someone new, NOT about whether or not he/she needed a bit of sexual variety for a while.)

The natural human state, viewed on a bell curve, is one of SERIAL MONOGAMY, with some rare couples mating for life and a few rare others being single and promiscuous (or not) for life. The 'new normal' that we all 'accept' of nuclear families living in single-family dwellings and attempting to 'stay married for the sake of the kids' is a VERY modern invention that only came about in the past few thousand years due to the invention of agriculture and animal husbandry. For millions of years children were raised by the tribe, NOT by helicopter parents, and their parents partnered with different people for varying periods of time.

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