Men and Women: Their Contributions to the World

There are various criteria to judge contribution of an individual to the society and civilization. However, Prizes awarded each year in different disciplines by the Swedish Nobel Committee may be considered indisputably as the most prestigious, impartial and comprehensive yardstick. It is given each year since 1901 in areas of natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine), Economics, Literature and Peace. As the Chart shows that in each area, especially in Sciences and Economics, it is completely dominated by men. Even in Peace and Literature (often considered “soft” discipline and women being master of the domain), women received only 15% and 11% of the total Nobel Prizes presented since 1901. The same is true for the Pulitzer Prizes given in prose, poetry, letters, music and drama each year. They are overwhelmingly represented by men.

Nobel Laureates (1901-2011)

Nobel Laureates (1901-2011)

Even in cooking, which has traditionally been women territory, men excel. All famous Chief and for each variety of cooking (French, Italian, American, Mexican Chinese, Indian, Thai, Korean — list goes on) without question are ruled by men.

What are with “men”: why do they dominate all significant progress in human history hands down? Whether it is art, science, literature, painting, music, drama or technology – you just name it. Or in the opposite spectrum: inflicting terror, war, murder, plunder and rape. Such as war criminals like Genghis Khan and Hitler, serial killer like Jack the Ripper, just to name a few — were all men.

I believe that most women are similar in thinking and action — very little deviation from the average. Men, on the other hand, have high proportion of “aberration” — deviation from the norm. Geniuses or Noble Laureates are abnormal and exceptional people. You may consider them wild, crazy, obsessive or any other name you may coin, but they don’t fit in the strait jacket of the society norm. And they are the one who make revolutionary contributions to civilization. Actually, most women may be better than men for all practical purposes. But for a breakthrough and a revolutionary idea and creation, you have to be exceptional with no or little precedence. And men possess those characteristics decisively.

Without these contributions, society would have been mediaeval. The luxurious lifestyle, material possession and living standard that most of us are accustomed today, could not have been even dreamt. It would be basically a “static” society, which in many ways may have been better: slow, peaceful and less stressful. Not today’s rat race of “go and get going! Non-stop”. (See my post on this blog)

Working mom ©

Working mom ©

It is not that women are not smart or even as numerate as men in higher learning. But as Larry Summers, past President of the Harvard University once said “They don’t have the killer instinct, they don’t want to fight, they won’t go for the jugular.” Actually, proportion of women in university enrolment is higher than men. And at least for the last two generations in the Western world, they were having complete freedom to pursue any education and career. But they are far behind in the level of scholarship and contributions to science, art and literature as proven clearly in the number of Nobel Prize winners.

Today’s women are proud of their economic freedom and achievements. They are no longer subject to men subjugation and dictation. The number of women as bread winner of the family is exponentially increasing in many Western countries and in fact it already exceeded men in a few countries. But along with it goes stress, depression, pressure, tension of the working world that women have to experience now.

Women failed to realize grand scheme of things planned by men. In old days, men were hunter, gatherer and bread winner. Women were basically to take care of home, family and children. These were the days when outside work (especially, hunting) was extremely risky, uncertain and could be fatal. Domestic chores were routine, well defined and known, though challenging.

Home dad: ©

Home dad: ©

Then men developed the technology, appliances and a work environment where gender became immaterial. In fact, in many jobs, women can be more efficient than men. But these outside jobs are demanding, taxing and stressful. Now women have started experiencing diseases (like heart attack and depression), which once was predominantly men prerogative.

In return, more and more men started taking refuge at home. The place where work is routine and well defined. Men do not need to toil and lose their comfort. They got machines (which they invented) like cooking range, washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner which can easily and very efficiently perform their daily chores.

Think about the smartness of men. When outside job became extremely challenging and stressful, women themselves ventured out in drove thinking as real success of their feminine movement. When homework, on the other hand, became so relaxed and stress-free due to convenience of modern appliances and time scheduling, more and more men took control of home.

Even in the area of warfare, for which men had been paying price in terms of loss of life and limbs in thousands and millions since the dawn of civilization, they have smartened. They developed matured political system and technological advancements. Most differences of nations are now sorted out by diplomacy and political means. War machines have become precise and sophisticated to hit the enemy target with minimal harm to fighting force and causing little collateral damages.

© Mahmood Iqbal and 2012

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About Mahmood Iqbal

An Economist (PhD) and a Professor (Part-time) at the Carleton University, Canada. The author of "No PhDs Please: This is Canada." Besides doing research on serious economic and policy issues for the last 25 years, like to write journalistic pieces on subjects of interest. An amateur Photographer. ... Blog appears to be appropriate venue to post my wondering thoughts without any peer pressure and academic review process.
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2 Responses to Men and Women: Their Contributions to the World

  1. Kristina says:

    First, you include Nobel prize winners from time when women been not allowed to pursue higher education or had extreme difficulties to do so. Second, two decades are relatively short time. Third, you didn’t even look up who invented what, for example washer is a female invention (you automatically gave credits to men, smh), so is programming. You are a bit obnoxious about women’s achievements and ignore fact that for long time women had to give credits to make co-founders, husbands, face great obstacles, pretended to be male to get access to education. It’s crazy what women achieved by given conditions. Lastly, you realize that males (and females) who discredit women’s role as mother and care giver is the reason why women don’t want to marry anymore.

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