I have recently come across the book Inferior written by Angela Siani. It was advertised by one of my friends, Mafalda, who I connected through Instagram and had the pleasure to meet in person in London. The book isn’t enjoyable but a must a read for every woman who doesn’t want to accept the rules that society imposed on women. The book is highly recommended.
Women have been long mistreated by the scientific community and society. The idea that women are biologically inferior and subjected to men dates back to Darwin. He was a man of his time and tried to find biological and evolutionary evidence on why women are better suited for family and house things whereas men are better suited for more technical jobs including science. The biological difference between man and women carried forward and loads of research has been done to find a rational explanation on how and why women and men are different.
Some facts shocked me profoundly: for example, women are considered inferior because their brain is smaller than the average man’s brain. How can we possible jump to such a statement? It’s kind of a big leap. Nowadays, this hypothesis has been totally rejected and we know that a woman’s brain is smaller in size because we have smaller bodies.
The only scientific fact here is that the brain size is proportional to the body size.
Studies on sex differences on toddlers aimed at understanding why boys prefer the colour blue or some toys such as Legos or cars, whereas little girls prefer the colour pink and dolls. Additional studies focused on the tendency of women of being monogamous and faithful whereas men tend to be polygamous and unfaithful. The initial outcome of this research was that there was a sex difference in the brain of male and female.
Nowadays, this kind of research wouldn’t be published in any respectable journal. Trying to find sex difference in the brain of males and females is similar to try to find differences in the brain of white people and people of colour. IT IS JUST BULLSHIT. Men and women are the same, and for the first year of life, there is no biological difference in the brain of male and female babies.
Female and male grow up differently as an outcome of society, upbringing and experience. Society imposes rules on how males and females should behave, wear, say. Statements such as “As a woman, you should take care of the house, and as a man, you should make money and find a decent job” have no scientific fundation.
Society imposed the rules and told men and women what was appropriate for them to do, and even worse, don’t do!
The only scientific evidence here is that women are better survivors than men and tend to live longer and this is mostly due to pregnancy.
A few chapters of the book were very hard to swallow: chapters 2 and 7. The first one is about the way some Asian cultures treat women. In India, for example, giving birth to a female baby is totally unacceptable. Women keep giving birth until a male baby comes and some little girls are killed at birth. Recent excavations found loads of baby female skulls buried underground and nowadays the Indian population aged under 20 has more boys than girls.
The chapter I found hardest to read was about the genital mutilation, a savage and brutal practice that it’s been devasting women’s genitalia for centuries in some countries in Africa. I found hard to believe that women are hostile to each other and this practise has nothing to do with men. Why do we still believe that women have to suffer and their only role in society is giving birth and finding a husband?
Please do take the time to read a book and if you have female kids tell them that we are in charge to create a new society free from prejudices and stereotypes. Bigotry doesn’t help nor science or society!