What are the things that set women apart from men, at least according to social indoctrination? Emotion vs. Reason, Collaboration vs. Competition, Soft vs. Hard. And our cultural biases slip through as we collectively value each of those words. It is better to be strong than to be weak. Better to be rational than emotional. Better to win outright than to bring everyone along with you.
But I call bullshit. In The Why Axis, the authors identify competitiveness as the thing that stands between women and equal pay. Women don’t go for those jobs that explicitly require competition. They don’t negotiate pay up front. They play nice instead of playing to win. And the author’s answer to this is to teach young girls that it is okay to be competitive.
Maybe that’s part of it. But what about letting boys know that they are allowed to collaborate? Why is the answer to push feminine social conditioning towards the masculine? Looking around, it seems like there is already more than enough zero-sum game thinking out there and that we’d be better off with more collaboration, not more competition.