06 June 2013

Whence Ruin?

Vox asks a simple question:

Why do women ruin everything, even for themselves?
This isn't a rhetorical question.  I'm genuinely curious to hear what reasons both men and women would posit to explain the oft-observed phenomenon of women actively ruining things, not only male-dominated organizations and pursuits, but even, as VP commenter AmyJ noted, female-dominated ones:
Women even ruin things meant for women. I've noticed on Pinterest, if someone makes even the slightest negative comment, there are calls for not just banning the commenter, but negative comments all together. The mantra seems to be "I shall not be offended or you will pay"
Is it jealousy combined with solipsism?  That doesn't seem to explain why most women who enjoy diverse interests pursue them in the first place.  Is it simply shortsightedness combined with illogic leading to a failure to grasp obvious consequences?  Is it some sort of Groucho Marx syndrome and being discontent with any club willing to accept them?

Personally, I think the better question is:  why is humanity in general so self-destructive?  The tendency towards “ruining everything” isn’t found strictly, or necessarily predominately, in women.  Men have a very healthy dose of self-destructive policies, as would be evidenced by the general behavior of predominately male-run democratic states from the beginning of the 20th century onward.  A good portion of the current path of self-destruction that the united states are currently on can be attributed to a remarkably large number of men (like Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelts, Greenspan, Bernanke, and Nixon, to get the list started).  Many companies and businesses have been driven to ruin by stupid and short-sighted men (think: Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay, eg.)  Women are far from have a monopoly on ruinous and self-destructive behavior.

More to the point, the stupidest decision-making behavior I have ever been privy to observe occurred among a group of men who were the nominal leaders of a church I once attended.  Even though I was barely 20 at the time I placed membership with the church, I participated in the business meetings of the congregation (the church was small, having roughly 40 members, of which 7 were adult Christian males).  As can probably be guessed, the church had serious budget issues, and was constantly trying to find ways to avoid bankruptcy.  Within a couple of months of placing membership, I went through the budget item by item to figure out ways to reduce costs, increase savings, and have a more sustainable budget.  All but two of my 20+ proposals were voted down in meetings, and each of my proposals led to a lot of heated debates.  When drawing up my proposed budgets, I included projected balance sheets, and compared them to projections of the current budget.  As time went on, it became clear that my projections were correct, and that my proposals would have prevented a lot of problems.  A good number of my proposals ended up being implemented, but only after it was too late.  My last budgetary proposal, delivered nearly a year ago, of selling the church building remains currently rejected, but it will, I suspect, ultimately come to pass.

Worse yet, I was the youngest man of the whole bunch.  The men I dealt with, with the exception of the Minister, Kevin, whom I still hold in high regard, were all a bunch of spineless fools.  They destroyed the finances of the congregation they claimed to serve, reneged on their employment contract with the minister, and largely refused to deal with any sort of problem, both financial and spiritual, until it had metastasized.  Their old age did not bring them to wisdom, but to a paralyzing fear of change and the unknown.  They were completely incapable of dealing with the problems before them, and had no business considering or calling themselves church leaders, or taking on the role thereof.

Thus, it should be clear why I think the question as to why women ruin everything is misguided.  The problem, ultimately, is not female nature, but human nature.  Ultimately, mankind is generally a self-destructive lot, which is why mankind never achieves a permanent plateau of success.  There is a lot of ruin in a nation, among both its males and females alike, and only God truly knows why this is yet the case.