Jordan Peterson, who admits he is now living in a state of terror, so suddenly is he a target, explains something that has puzzled me for a long long long time. Why are many of the women I know either miserable or crazy at least some of the time? This is so true as to be never mentioned in common congress but accepted as a truism. A shared misery is the accepted temperature of many intimate friendships. Not all by any means, but enough to be concerning.
Trait neuroticism is one of the big five personality markers and used in the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. According to Wikipedia, “individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than average to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, guilt, depressed mood, and loneliness.”
Women consistently score higher. OK, but why?
Peterson explains it this way. Womens’ nervous systems have been hard-wired to that of an infant since the year dot. We evolved to be primary caretakers of the child, especially in its initial time on earth. We had to fend off all dangers, deal with the hunter male, taste food, respond to every cry or whimper or illness. In order to do that job, women developed intricate sensing perceptions, aware of every fillibration of the environment, every personal danger, and always always counting themselves secondary in that primary relationship.
SO MUCH SENSE! It explains the hysteria present in our politics I think, especially that which is taking place around Trump. High-pitched calls of danger rocketing from one women’s group to another, obviating any reason or calm. Prior to that, it was the environment. When I came home from the big show in the big cities, the environment was the story where I lived, and given that I needed to write to eat, I reported on it. This meant thousands of interviews, hundreds of thousands of policy and scientific pages read and 20,000 miles driven through the backroads of the US and Canada. And what became crystal clear, was that nearly ALL the catastrophes predicted by the movement were based on either bad or really bad science. Not that there isn’t cause for concern. Several issues still worry me. But the fixes are both obvious and in many cases, easy. But somehow, because it was the environment women were driven to panic. Most enviro orgs are staffed (but not headed) primarily by women. Women’s concerns drive the movement. And women have been fooled.
We better evolve to handle public life fast.