TED Conversations

Gisela McKay

President and Co-Founder, pixcode


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Are there any merits to the idea that Communism is "feminine"?

Evolving out of another TED conversation where the discussion turned toward the idea that women mostly want people to "share" whereas men mostly want to watch people get defeated, in a manner where there is a clear victor. (Technically, the phrasing was that most women are secretly communists.)

Now if you know me, you probably realize I don't actually agree with the premise, but it is an interesting topic of discussion. First off, I would replace communism with socialism, followed by pointing out that there is a greater range of difference within a sex than between them.

I'm willing to be swayed, though, if you have a persuasive argument that supports the idea, please feel free to share it.

I am going to ask the mods to let this thread stand as a thought experiment rather than as a definitive description of the world around us.

So, go for it - persuade away!

EDIT: Definitely communism in theory, not in the way we have seen it implemented.


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    Feb 3 2012: First problem I see with the idea? Unlike the masculine/feminine, yin/yang dichotomies, there is an entire pantheon of economic (or political) ideologies that in no way can be sorted and assigned to the categories.

    Even were we to expand the categories and tease out states and behaviours such as Two-spiritedness, male-to-female transgenderedness, etc. (and there is possibly an argument that could be made that in terms of social constructs those would differ from the standard two) where do we go with these unrelated constructs?

    Mercantilism: masculine. Trickle-down economics: ? (That one belongs to the asexual unicorns.)

    Second: At their core the Forms of 'masculine' and 'feminine' are untenable and undesirable states not something to pursue. The ultimate 'masculine' cannot exist within a society, and the ultimate 'feminine', as we have assigned it, would be passive to the point of immobile.

    These social constructs are posited as opposite ends of a spectrum, when even as described, they are more likely parallel dials on a mixing board. If they weren't, you couldn't achieve "passive aggressiveness".

    "Telling someone to share (with ones' self)" is actually "asking for more" is it not? Sitting and waiting quietly would be passive. Enforcing sharing, while maybe traditionally the role of the mother in a family, not particularly passive/receptive. In taking the role of enforcer, women (mothers, specifically) are often into 'masculine' territory.

    I suspect that the resentment that builds up toward someone with the power but is unlike the male child is part of why we get this odd need to differentiate - and more so, create hierarchies - about work/tasks.

    EDIT: Head cold. Forgot to a word.
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      Feb 4 2012: Did you just say the idea for trickle down economics came from asexual unicorns?... That's awesome.

      I would only suggest that the ultimate male... is not a good thing under modern cultural constructs... But to me, Tesla was a bit of an ultimate male. Newton for his time... etc. They were visciously competitive, and trying to advance humanity the best way possible... It would have been nice if they had met a woman who could have simply been a phenomenal mother, and a great engineer to bounce ideas off of. So I agree, that at different ends of the spectrum, men and women find balance, but I think there is room, and still a bit of necessity for some of the old cultural contructs in their epitome.
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        Feb 4 2012: I reserve the right to change that when I am no longer high on cold medication. ;-)
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      Feb 4 2012: Yeah, I wanted to give her a thumbs up for that one too...

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