You are here
THE PATRIARCHY MYTH
In anthropology, it is a basic principle that the anthropologist must divest herself of her cultural biases in order to fully immerse herself in the society she is studying. Yet, when it comes to the study of women, the same anthropologists who espouse this principle seem congenitally incapable of removing their feminist blinkers.
But consider what an alien anthropologist studying the Earth would see. His first discovery would be that homo sapiens evolved by natural selection, sexual selection and genetic drift. He would then note that the species reproduced sexually and, when he checked our DNA, he would find that 80 per cent of the females had left descendants, as compared to just 40 per cent of the males. By this most primal measure, then, the alien anthropologist would conclude that female humans are the dominant sex on the planet. This would be confirmed when he studied life expectancy, since in all but the poorest societies he would find that most women outlived most men.
But what would the alien anthropologist make of the observation that men occupy the highest positions of power in all societies on the Earth? At first blush, he might think this contradicts his biological data. But on closer look he would find some confuffling data: in the richest nation on the planet among the wealthiest 1.6 per cent, women’s assets are worth more than men’s. And when he analysed the structures where humans buy consumer goods, the alien anthropologist would find that seven times as much floor space is devoted to women’s personal items as to men’s. And, searching through the literature, he would find The Myth of Male Power by Dr Warren Farrell noting that “The key to wealth is not what someone earns; it is what is spent on ourselves, at our discretion - or in what is spent on us, at our hint.”
He would also highlight Dr Farrell’s assertion that: “Women are the only ‘oppressed’ group to share the same parents as the ‘oppressor’’ to be born into the middle-class and upper-class as frequently as the ‘oppressor’ to own more of the culture’s luxury items as the ‘oppressor’; the only ‘oppressed’ group whose ‘unpaid labour’ enables them to buy most of the fifty billion dollars’ worth of cosmetics sold each year; the only ‘oppressed’ group that spend more on high fashion, brand-name clothing than their ‘oppressors’; the only ‘oppressed’ group that watches more TV during every time category than their ‘oppressors’.”
As the alien anthropologist observed the planet’s media, he would also note that women are typically portrayed as dominant. He would observe that, in the 1990s, television series like Xena Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer portrayed female heroes whose physical abilities were based on special powers, but just a decade later TV shows like Agents of SHIELD and Quantico had normal female characters who were better fighters and could even do more pull-ups than men. This absurd departure from reality, the alien anthropologist would have concluded, was based on an ideology that, precisely because it was so deluded, could only have been pushed by a dominant sex.
But what about the fact that men kill women far more often than women kill men? Surely this is a fundamental measure of which sex is dominant, the alien anthropologist would note. But he would note that men kill men at 20 times the rate they kill women and, most of the time, men kill men in order to get the approval of women. Moreover, as he looked into the structures where the humans lived, the alien anthropologist would find that the females were often the aggressors in mating relationships and note that, since males are bigger than females, the same lack of control evinced by both parties was more likely to result in death to the female. The alien anthropologist would also find that serious injuries to men from this kind of violence was under-reported.
He would thus concur with Dr Farrell’s assertion that “What is consistent among men is not violence but men’s willingness to protect. When they can protect by killing enemies, they kill enemies; when men can protect by ‘making a killing’ on Wall Street, they do that. Men’s underlying motivator is neither swords nor ploughshares...it’s adapting to love and adapting to approval.” Indeed, the alien anthropologist would note that feminists’ insistence that women do not want men’s protection constitutes contempt of the male’s most primal virtue: and he would further record that the most authoritative feminists explicitly reject any possibility of fulfilling relationships between a man and a woman.
The alien anthropologist would also be forced to agree with historian Martin van Creveld in The Privileged Sex, who writes: “Many feminist claims concerning the alleged oppression of women by men at various times and places are unfounded. Now as ever, both biologically and socially, becoming and being a man is in many ways harder than becoming and being a woman. Now, as ever, men work longer hours, performing harder, dirtier and more dangerous work than women and suffering proportionally far more industrial accidents.”
And the alien anthropologist would leave the solar system and file a report noting that a physically weaker sex under-represented in all positions requiring ambition, hard work and mathematics had, nonetheless, come to dominate its planet.
Email: [email protected]
Kevin Baldeosingh is a professional writer, author of three novels, and co-author of a History textbook.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff.
Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments.
Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.
User profiles registered through fake social media accounts may be deleted without notice.