THE MYTHOLOGY MODEL
Venus (Roman Goddess of Love)THE TEMPTATION TO PROJECT
Venus (mythology), in Roman mythology, originally a goddess of gardens and fields but later identified with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty; mother of Cupid, god of love.
Mars (Roman God of War)
Mars (mythology), in Roman mythology, god of war. Although his original nature and functions are obscure, Mars was identified by the Romans with the Greek god of war, Ares.
I can still remember the first time I understood, REALLY understood, that men and women are different. I was in my early twenties. I was reading And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts. At one point in the book, a straight man expresses shock at the gay "bathhouse" scene, much to the amusement of his colleague. The colleague (a very insightful person), asks him how he thought he might behave, were he in a room surrounded by beautiful women who wanted to have sex with him, as much as he wanted to have sex with them, with no strings attached.BY DEFINITION...
You get the idea.
The book went on to explain that women have generally acted as the "brake" when it comes to our society's sexual behavior, and men as the "accelerator". I wondered if it was true. So, I talked to My Consort about it -- got the male perspective.
From then on, I stopped thinking of men as "women with penises", and began to realize that there are very fundamental differences in the way the sexes see the world. I began to realize that I had been projecting my femaleness onto everyone -- men and women alike -- and that is why male behavior had made no sense to me.
I had exactly the same problem with politics.
Liberals, empathic beings that we are, tend to project our own values onto conservatives. Liberals say things like, "they're just ignorant," "they were brought up to believe that," or "they just don't know any better." We imagine that if we could just present the facts to them, if they could just see the truth, then they would change their minds, and be just like us.
Don't kid yourself. The fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives aren't based on access to information (not every conservative is living in a trailer park, with no TV, and with rightwing radio blasting all day. Many have cable.) No, the fundamental difference is that we are open-minded; we are open to new ideas, open to change and to progress:
1 : the quality or state of being liberal
2 a often capitalized: (religion) a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity
b: (economics) a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard
c: (politics) a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties
d: (when capitalized) : the principles and policies of a Liberal party
Whereas conservatives... well... aren't:
a: the principles and policies of a Conservative party
b : the Conservative party
2 (common noun)
a: disposition in politics to preserve what is established
b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change
3: the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change
By definition, our Founding Fathers were liberals. They didn't like the status quo, and they weren't the least bit interested in gradual change. By definition, the civil rights and social justice movements, were liberal. Black rights, workers' rights, gay rights, women's rights -- these movements weren't agitating for gradual change. When liberals see a problem (and the point is that WE ARE OPEN to seeing a problem), we want to fix it. NOW.NEXT: MORE "REPUBLICANS ARE FROM MARS..."
The people who stood in opposition to these movements -- who wanted to keep things the way they were -- were conservatives. By definition, liberals see a problem, an injustice, and think, "Let's solve this. Let's make this better." Conservatives see the same thing and think, "What we have isn't so bad. Leave it alone." It isn't that conservatives don't see the problem -- it's just that they prefer to let things well enough alone. "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know..."