Read Part 1 here
Nurture versus Nature
One school of thought about submissive and dominant personality traits is rooted in the nurture versus nature debate.
The “nature” advocates assert that it is all about basic male/female dynamics; men are larger, stronger, the warriors, the protectors and (in my opinion) the berserkers! The females, smaller, weaker, more vulnerable – needing protection and help when bringing up young. To me that is just not a valid argument.
To begin with, there are MANY examples of larger, stronger females in nature so it is not a legitimate argument to make a blanket statement that the male is naturally dominant. Then again, even in many apparently dominant species, it is actually the ‘smaller’, ‘weaker’ female who directs the relationships (again, google if you want to confirm this).
Also, pure muscle power aside, from a physiological perspective, this “nature” argument is seriously flawed. Females are the ‘original’ sex and continue to remain the ‘stronger’ sex in terms of genetics so in that sense we ARE the stronger sex. We are more hardy in the womb; more premature girls survive than premature boys; boys have FAR more genetic defects than girls, and women, while `carriers`of many other genetic problems, do not actally get the disease which will show up in the males in their genetic pool.
Therefore, arguing "nature" as the basis for the dominant/submission dynamic IS seriously flawed from both an academic and scientific perspective.
So what about nurture?
We live in a very male-dominated society – both in the Western and Eastern hemispheres. Largely the construct of artificially imposed religious doctrine, a trickle effect into almost every stratum of society has ensured there is a continued emphasis on the secondary stature of females and a persistent belief entrenched in law, more and belief, that females are less capable.
As pointed out above, we are inundated with pressures and strictures in our society that perceive women as the nurturer, the mothers, the caregivers and the helper. Conversely, the male is “naturally” the head of the home, the ‘do-er’, the powerhouse, the mover and shaker.
Little girls and little boys are moulded and influenced from birth about their roles, what acceptable behaviours encompass, career choices, even the types of toys they play with. for god's sake, childrne are even segregated according to the COLOUR of their clothing! As if pink will somehow emasculate or blue create a masculine mindset!
The resultant individuals are sometimes fine and sometimes not. Certainly, there are MANY individuals out there who end up with a lot of confused thoughts, heartache and self-hate when they find their natures war against artificially constructed societal imperatives.
In short, throughout our entire lives, each of us is innundiated with imperatives inextricably caught in our concept of our femininity and masculinity. Sadly, even the lexicon in which we commnicate is rife with negative and positive words, many of which have masculine or feminine constructs (calling someone a "cunt' outside of a scene is pretty well universally considered an insult, for instance).
Based on the "nurture" concept therefore, all women should be naturally submissive and all men naturally dominant ... which just isn't the case! Because people WILL be people and invididual characteristics, no matter how fiercely denied or fought, will eventually come out.
Basically, the entire "nurture" debate tries to bring female and male down to simplistic terms and people are just too unique, too individualistic for that to be successfully accomplished.
Keep in mind also, that for a dynamic to work, there is a very individualistic spark that occurs between TWO people - submissive feelings are not engendered by someone merely because they happen to have a penis!
Part Three to follow