Inter-sexual "arms race"?
- In the High Jump, competitors have to jump over a bar that is set
successively higher and higher until the winner alone can clear it.
Although the competitors are competing against each other, something
analogous to an "arms race" exists between them and the judges, who
keeping raising the height of the bar. The bar goes as high as it can
go for some but not all of the competitors to clear it. The "race"
occurs between the height of the jumps and the height of the bar.
There is a sort of "arms race" in sexual selection too. The peacock's
tail is as long as it can be given that it is such a liability to its
owner. If it were any longer, it would be too much of a liability, and
too few peacocks would survive into adulthood. If it were any shorter,
its owner wouldn't be selected by a peahen. So the tail gets as long
as it can get for some but not all of the peacocks to clear the
hurdles of survival and selection. The "race" occurs between the
length of the tail and the "height" of these "hurdles".
If you look at human life, you will see that although men are
competing with men, and women are competing with women, they are
competing in events for which the opposite sex "sets the height of the
bar". It goes as high as it can go for some but not all to manage it.
In that sense there is an "arms race" between the sexes.
Stereotypically, Japanese men work till they die of exhaustion, and
Chinese women bind their feet so they can hardly walk. Less extreme
cases of self-harm and gross inconvenience are found all over the
world, in both sexes. Men put themselves into debt to display their
wealth, women put themselves under the knife to display their youth
and beauty, and so on.
Although all of the competitors in these "races" are willing
participants, I can see why they feel frustrated and annoyed at the
opposite sex for "calling the tune" and making it "such a hard tune to
play". There are SOME cases of one sex actively "oppressing" the
other, and genuine injustices that ought to be tackled politically,
but much of what we hear both feminists and "masculinists" complaining
about is the result of their own refusal to step off the treadmill.
- Edgar Owen:
No doubt there has been plenty of bad poetry and song lyrics throughout history,
and your point is valid about the ease of access to it today, but the larger
question is where are our Whitmans and Shakespeares today? Or if they are there
they are being drowned in a sea of (c)rap. I don't think modern poetry lovers
are getting their words worth!
It would have been even more difficult at the end of the 16th century to get
hold of Shakespeare's works than it is today to find great art. There is plenty
of greatness out there - an astonishing amount of brilliant creativity. But it
does take a bit of interest and effort to find it. The role of the internet is
profound - the internet has changed life as we knew it.