Chicago Humanities Festival: Men are Animals

The presentation Men Are Animals was very interesting. Though the presenter, Matthew Gutmann, had technological difficulties and we couldn’t view his slides, his information and message was still clear. He gave lots of personal views and insights, including his unique experiences living in a small community in Mexico. The main message that I got from the presentation was that though people, not just men, may be animals, they have the ability to resist that and act in appropriate ways. The example that he used that I really liked it the statistics of killers. Though 9 out 10 killers may be men, those killers make up a tiny percentage of the total population. That shows that the people that can’t resist themselves are the very small minority, not the majority. The presenter says that when people blame things on biology, it is usually not actually hereditary, just something they can blame it on.

This notion that men are animals relates to the U.S. revolution in many ways. A large part of the revolution was based on how people felt about events, and then how they reacted to those feelings. If the colonists had been complacent, then the separation of the United might not have happened. A good example of a reaction to an event being based mostly on feelings is when the British were able to sell tea at a lower price including taxes than the colonists could sell it after being smuggled. Though the prices were lower, the colonists did not like buying the British tea because it involved paying taxes to the King.

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