Sunday, 28 April 2013

Gender Differences in Society

"What are (or should be) the differences between Men and Women? And why ... " This is the topic proposed for discussion at our meeting on 9 May.

When we talk about Humanity we mean both men and women and there is no doubt that both sexes are vital to our common survival.  But what actually are the differences between us. This is a subject that has pre-occupied philosophers and  theologians down the ages, but now we are also getting some answers  from science. So we will start with the genetic differences, the contrasting roles of each in our survival and how Darwinian forces of selection mould us all. Then we will see if we can  understand the debate between the powers of nature and nurture in creating these differences – and just why is so much humour based on this subject?

This is something where we all have opinions. I am sure we will enjoy sharing them. What exact subjects come up for discussion will clearly depend on those who come along, since gender issues cover a wide range.

The current issue of the New Humanist for example has a four-page spread on Feminism, instigated by the publication of 50 Shades of Feminism published  by Virago and Lean In: Women Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, published by Knopf.

On another track there is Fitnah a protest movement demanding freedom, equality, and secularism and calling for an end to misogynist cultural, religious and moral laws and customs, compulsory veiling, sex apartheid, sex trafficking, and violence against women, particularly in Islamic countries.

From One Law for All: "This week’s BBC Panorama programme “Secrets of Britain’s Sharia Councils” confirms why One Law for All has been campaigning against the discriminatory parallel legal system running counter to British law for nearly five years. As has been repeatedly stated, women are being held to ransom, told to remain in violent situations, blamed for the violence they face, refused divorces over many years, and placed under undue pressure including with regards child access and welfare. The programme confirms this."

What do you think are the most important issues?