In The Myth of Male Power, Warren Farrell remarked, “feminism suggested that God might be a ‘She,’ but never suggested that the devil might also be a ‘she.’”
In a revealing Pew survey, both men and women thought women are better people than men — more compassionate, honest, intelligent, outgoing and creative. The sexes were tied when it came to perceptions of their work ethic and ambitiousness. The only thing men were thought to be better at was decisiveness. Men were also rated as more arrogant and stubborn while women were rated as more manipulative and emotional.
Why do we believe men are of lower moral caliber than women? There are many factors, no doubt, but I want to focus on a couple ideas not often discussed: men may appear to be less moral than women because they often take on more responsibility — which increases the chances of mishandling responsibility and putting others in harm’s way; and because of how men and women reward each other, men have to do more to impress the opposite sex and therefore have to take more risks — which means breaking some rules, making some rules, and then enforcing those rules.
Throughout history, there have been great male leaders, good male leaders, bad male leaders, and some downright evil male leaders. But women in positions of power haven’t exactly been benevolent saints, as unassuming as their pantsuits (or equivalent) might have been.
In King of the Mountain, which analyzes the nature of political leadership, Arnold M. Ludwig writes that of the small percentage of 20th century leaders that were women, “most seemed just as willing to risk their lives and personal freedom for their political convictions,” yet most spent less than a year in office. “What attests even more to their being the equal of their male counterparts is that several had administrations that were just as corrupt.” One prime example is Dilma Rouseff.
On an individual level, women are about as likely as men to be aggressors in intimate partner violence, yet there are little to no resources available to male victims of domestic violence (see here, here and here). Boys are also more likely than girls to experience “completed sexual abuse” and are later more likely to commit suicide after sexual abuse (see here and here). And women get shorter…