Are Women Too Emotional to Make the “Tough” Decisions?

010Are Women Too Emotional to Make the “Tough” Decisions?

Michael Hayden thinks that torture thinking requires unemotional detachment. Quite right, when you are performing illegal acts only appealing to those with the most deviate of sexual perversions, you probably want to keep emotions out of it as much as possible. Nevertheless, the implication that women are just too soft to make the tough decisions is a relic of a bygone era.

Both women as “too emotional” and torture are business ethics issues. The “too emotional” label is used like a club against women who want to promote or move into male dominated professions. It is the most simple of business ethics to hire the most qualified person from the job. As for torture, private contractors were used in many parts of the program. This makes torture a lucrative business opportunity and there were businesses that participated wholeheartedly in the program.

James Pilant


Michael Hayden accuses Dianna Feinstein of being too “emotional” to judge the CIA’s secretive interrogation programs.

Is sexism playing a role in efforts to keep hidden the details of the CIA’s secretive and harsh interrogation programs? That’s the conclusion of the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson, who denounces Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA, for trying to discredit Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s criticisms of the programs by saying the senator is too “emotional.” Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said that she wants to declassify a Senate report on the CIA’s secretive interrogation programs to “ensure that an un-American, brutal program of detention and interrogation will never again be considered or permitted.” Hayden scoffed at this to Chris Wallace on Fox News this weekend, saying:

Now, that sentence, that motivation for the report, Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on part of the senator. But I don’t think it leads you to an objective report.

Contrasting thoughtless lady emotions with hardened male objectivity: It’s not just a trick your ex-boyfriend used to win arguments. As Davidson points out, this notion that emotions are a bad thing or that they cloud judgment is applied very selectively and quite unfairly. She writes:

There are really two issues here: One is the reflexive tendency to disparage or dismiss a woman in politics (or in business, or anywhere) with a remark about her supposed susceptibility to emotion. The other is the way a certain femininity—the wilting kind—is ascribed to those who doubt that torture is good for America.

via Michael Hayden accuses Dianna Feinstein of being too “emotional” to judge the CIA’s secretive interrogation programs..

From around the web.

From the web site, Matrignosis: A Blog about Inner Wisdom.

In my recent posts about the role of feelings and emotions in gender relationships, I raised the questions, What do women mean when they say men are out of touch with their feelings? What do men mean when they say women are too emotional?

In the last post, “Falling Through: One Man’s Fear of Feeling,” author and poet Rick Belden shared a powerful poem about emotions. He wrote “fear is much too mild a word for what I feel when I get close to my grief, sadness, and pain. A far more accurate word would be terror. The source of this terror is not a mystery. I clearly remember the words I heard countless times as a child: Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” For Rick, “Any open expression of grief, sadness, and pain was a potential threat to my very existence, and over time I learned to hold those feelings tight, deep inside myself, to survive.” This reinforces Episcopal priest Matthew Fox’s observation that men are rarely rewarded, and often mocked, for openly expressing their deepest feelings of joy, sensitivity, and pain.

My question, “What do men mean when they say women are too emotional?” elicited the observation from katsoutar that between men and women, “the term ‘emotional’ seems most used to describe weepy, passive emotion, i.e. women cry too much, men, not enough.” In response, Amy Campion shared the research finding that, “women’s tears contain a chemical substance that though undetectable consciously, has the power to reduce a man’s testosterone when inhaled.” Lorrie Beauchamp added that this dampening effect reduces men’s sexual attraction and increases their empathic response. As she said, “a true-to-stereotype male would not want his testosterone messed with in this way, which might explain why men get annoyed by tears, and why tears become part of manipulative behavior in children and women.”

4 thoughts on “Are Women Too Emotional to Make the “Tough” Decisions?

  1. Hi James,
    Thanks for adding a link to my blog on this timely post. Differences in and stereotypes about the emotional makeup of males and females is a thorny issue that I believe needs to be addressed more openly and honestly. As long as gender stereotypes prevail in collective thinking they obstruct efforts to build greater respect and understanding. To that end, may I suggest that some of your readers might enjoy my latest post about a very real kind of feminine strength that tends to be underrated and ignored.


  2. Karen Magreevy

    Obviously they don’t know much about women. In the days before the Native American’s were “Tamed” in the US, if the men took captives while they were raiding….. they turned them over to the women. There was MUCH MUCH torture going on there!!!


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