By age six, our daughters have internalized the belief that they are not as smart as boys. Boys think so, too. That works well for the bipartisan coalition of Men Who Like Things The Way They Are, but makes for “a pathological system that rewards men for their incompetence while punishing women for their competence to the detriment of everybody.”
TED-talker and professor of business psychology Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains that “anywhere in the world, men tend to think they are much smarter than women.” By the time they’re out of high school, they have a well-practiced knack for hiding insecurity in a cloak of hubris decorated with charisma and charm that is easily, and wrongly, confused with leadership potential.
We can’t discern between confidence and competence, Prof. Premuzic argues, no matter how many times our male leaders fail us. There is “compelling scientific evidence” that women are more likely to adopt strategies that work, but they lack the talent for bragging, bloviating, bullying and beer-drinking required to get themselves into positions of real power.
Let’s not blame men for what they learned from their mothers and mostly female kindergarten teachers. Let’s not blame women, either. You can’t change 200,000 years of evolutionary biology overnight.
Feminists have been around since biblical times, making a difference here and there by whispering in the ears of their fathers, sons, husbands, and bosses who put them on the payroll to pretend they care what women think about anything. Ivanka Trump knows the drill. She might be the President’s favorite child, but the President’s advisers on “women in the workplace” are the 50-something male CEOs of Wal-Mart, and Ernst & Young.
Criss Jami, a writer and millennial wise beyond his years, observed that “Creative people are often found either disagreeable or intimidating by mediocrities.” That’s not likely to change in Dr. Premuzic’s lifetime, no matter how much peer-reviewed and beautifully expressed research he produces. You can’t take human nature out of human nature. But you can call things by their right name.