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 6 2012: "men mostly want to watch people get defeated, in a manner where there is a clear victor." = sexist.

    I think an argument like that shows that the arguer has no understanding of economics.

    Entrepreneurs (even men entrepreneurs) understand that the economy is not a zero sum game, if we play by the rules of free trade then everyone is better off. Win-Win's are the norm.

    So, no the argument is fallacious, most men want to win, but they want others to win too.
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      Feb 6 2012: I think the entire industry of sporting events, would disagree with you on the whole "men mostly want to watch people get defeated, in a manner where there is a clear victor", being sexist. Women haven't been as quick to get on board the boxing, or ufc, or football, or futbol bandwagon.

      What is a sporting event, if not clear victory, and clear defeat... pure competition. Of course some women love sports, and some men hate them, no generallization can be applied to the individual... but, statistically... Men like to watch victory and defeat, seems like common sense to me. I would happily be persuaded otherwise by evidence...
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        Feb 7 2012: Communism is not a sport. We are discussing economics, business. He who thinks the only way to win in economics is to make someone else loose is not someone I want to do business with.

        You say men are more competitive than women and you site sports as evidence. Sports are one realm of life. I'm sure we could find another realm where women are just as competitive. Perhaps I'm wrong but I have a hunch we are both generally equal in attributes but different in expression.

        But my main point was not about men vs women, that was just a side note. I mean to bring to light the fact that the argument is fallacious because that statement shows a lack of understanding about the economy.
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          Feb 7 2012: Fair point... I would only suggest, that Communism is not a sport. Capitalism is. In capitalism, there are winners, and losers... decided by objective reallity. In Communism... Everyone's a winner : p

          You don't have to be visciously competitive in a Capitalist market... but it certainly doesn't hurt.
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        Feb 7 2012: Oh please. Capitalism is a profit and loss system, you are right about that but the losses are feedback. If you are losing money in capitalism change what you are doing.

        Communism is not a system in which everyone wins its a system in which everyone loses. Competition is what gives us efficiency and a continually increasing standard of living making everyone a winner.
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          Feb 7 2012: I was joking about everybody wins... That's the theory they try to convince us of with in communism though. In practice, it's a dystopian nightmare... The theory is "everyone will get a trophy". The practice is "we can't afford pizza again this week kids".

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