Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Chapter Eleven - The Aquatic Ape

Recent Video of Elaine Morgan talking to university students.

Scientists have for a long time puzzled over why humans are so different from other animals. In the early 20th century it was simple, it was because humans developed larger brains than any other animal. So because men had bigger brains, they could figure out how to walk on two legs, how to speak and make tools. The problem with this theory is that the elephant, and most species of dolphins and whales have larger brains than us. So a theory was developed that intelligence relied on a brain v body weight ratio. There was no scientific proof that this theory was correct, but then you can’t have another allow another animal to be more intelligent than man, can you? More so, if you are the one making up the rules.
It was the same when I.Q. tests were invented, also in the early 20th century. The first time they tried it out they discovered according to the tests, women were smarter than men. So of course the tests must be wrong. They had to fiddle about with I.Q. tests until they came up with the “correct” results that made men smarter then women. After all women had smaller brains than men and were too emotionally unstable to vote. So they couldn’t possibly be smarter than men.
These men also decided that it was hunting skills that made man so intelligent. It must be this, because hunting is very much a “macho” pursuit. It couldn’t possibly be anything to do with gathering because that is a female thing. As in the Stone-Age communities that have survived into modern times it was observed that men do the hunting and women gathered food. So it must be hunting skills that made men so intelligent. It also made man number one on the food chain. (In no way does man what to be number two, that is to say a plant eater and have carnivores feed off him). And it confirmed he was always ruthless and aggressive as well as the superior sex. So from this, the Great White Hunter theory was created.
Then in the 1960s a scientist called Alistair Hardy noticed that the blubber around a seal was very similar the fat around a human. Now fat is commonplace in all aquatic animals but rare in land mammals. This is because fat is a better protector against the cold in water than fur, while fur is a far better insulator for a land animal than fat. From this Hardy began to wonder if we were once an aquatic creature. (Hardy as it turns out wasn’t the first scientist to make this observation, but he was the first scientist to publicise it). He also wondered if it would make sense of why we are also the only primate that is hairless. He notes that other hairless creatures like dolphins, hippos, pigs and manatees are aquatic or semi-aquatic animals. Being hairless only makes sense if you spend a large amount of time in water or swamps, where hair can get wet and drag you down.
This theory immediately received the thumbs down by the scientific community. A typical reaction came from Prof. Emeritus Phillip Tobias FRS, -
“Ever since Sir Alister Hardy put it forward in 1960, it has been scorned, derided, made fun of. Nobody has really taken it seriously. You either burst into guffaws of uncontrollable laughter or you tap your head in respect of the person speaking it.”
With reactions like this, Hardy dropped it like a hot potato. (He was street wise enough to know that to advocate an unpopular theory would ruin his scientific career). Fortunately it was taken up by the Feminist, Elaine Morgan, who has since developed it further. As she is a journalist and screenplay writer, she had to intellectual freedom to write about the theory without fear of jeopardising her career. If she had an academic career it would of been ruined by the hostility of other academics to this theory.
The beauty of the Aquatic Ape theory is that it explains so much about how humans evolved from being so much different than any other ape.
For instance bipedalism, the great white hunter theory claims that man walked on two legs to see above the high African grass on the savannah. The problem with this theory is that you also have large numbers of grazing animals eating this grass. So these conditions don’t last for very long and would only be a temporary situation every year.
Yet in the past there was another ape, which was biped like us. This was the long-extinct Oreopithecus, known as the swamp ape, which means it was also probably a aquatic ape. Scientists have found it had a pelvis like ours, making suitable for bipedalism. In modern times the two primates that are able to walk upright are the proboscis monkey who lives in the mangrove swamps of Borneo. (This is a real swimming primate and some have been found by fishermen swimming in the ocean.) Also the bonobo who lives in forests that are seasonally flooded every year. Both species wade through the water in a similar way to human beings, so this suggests that bipedalism in primates come from living in flooded or swampy areas.
Although there is another primate that stands on two legs and that is the sifaka or leaping lemur of Madagascar. Unlike some species of ape like gibbons or chimpanzees who use long powerful arms to swing among the trees. These lemurs are leapers and will use long powerful legs to leap from branch to branch or even from tree to tree. Some have been observed to leap as far as 30 feet from one tree to another. The problem for these Lemurs is that when they come to the ground their legs are so long that they are unable to walk on four legs. This means they are forced to stand upright and jump or skip along the ground, so why couldn’t of this happened to humans? Because like Sifakas our legs are too long of us to comfortably walk on all fours.
The bonobo like many primates have almost the same length of arms and legs. The chimpanzee developed from a bonobo like ancestor to become a swinger, resulting in long powerful arms, to swing through the trees. So it would be logical that humans evolved from the same ancestor to become a leaper. To leap through the trees which resulted in the development of long powerful legs. Which would force humans to walk upright when they had to walk on the ground. This could happen simply because of the types of trees these apes lived in. Some found themselves in trees where it was easier to swing through them, developing the chimpanzee. Others found themselves in trees where it was easier to leap from tree to tree, developing the hominid type ape. While others were living in trees where there was no advantage in becoming a specialist leaper or swinger, resulting in the bonobo. This would then give a great advantage to the hominid ape when they came to ground. Because walking on two legs it would have its hands free to pick up things it might need to carry, or develop tool-making skills. Bonobos and chimpanzees have been observed to use tools but are restricted by the fact they also use their hands for locomotion either on the ground or in trees.
This occurred to me years ago when I saw a picture of a sifaka and read why it could only stand upright on the ground. Being young and very naïve I couldn’t understand why scientists had overlooked a obvious reason why humans had become bipeds. It is only now being much older and wiser, I realise that scientists are not going to be interested in such a explanation, because it doesn’t in any way support the Great White Hunter theory. Anyway lemurs are highly suspect because the males as so wimpy that they give way to female in all disputes. Clearly male lemurs lack moral fibre, and so not “real men”, so the least said about these creatures the better. We wouldn’t want yellow belly male lemurs contaminating the “macho” Great White Hunter theory, would we? So hopefully they will go away, if we forget about them. Which is what they might do, as some species of lemurs in Madagascar are considered the most endangered of all species of primates.
The Aquatic ape camp also wouldn’t be interested in the leaper idea because again it doesn’t in any way help their theory. So anyway, to continue to explain this theory. Human being have voluntary breath control, which is unusual for land animals but commonplace for aquatic mammals. Voluntary breathing is need for aquatic mammals because they need to hold their breath to stay underwater for long lengths of time. The adaptations resulting in this has also allowed humans to speak.
At one time scientist believed that only humans had language. (Because man is so much smarter than any other animal, right?) Then a maverick scientist Dr John C. Lilly put forward the research that showed that both dolphins and whale also can communicate through sound. Not something that egoist male scientists wanted to hear, so he was either ignored or savagely criticised. Then up popped a husband a wife scientific team, the Gardners. Who also wasn’t a team player either and badly let the side down by training a chimpanzee to speak using deaf and dumb sign language. Again they were savagely criticised by other scientists who had to redefined speech to “prove” that this chimpanzee wasn’t really using language. Perhaps the Gardners were a bit naïve in choosing a female chimpanzee. Had they of trained a male chimpanzee instead, mentioning just how violent and “macho” he was, they may of got more acceptance. It is true that working with adult male chimpanzees is dangerous because of their great strength and aggression. Yet if you want scientific acceptance you have got to do things like this. If they had paired a male with a female chimp this would of established pair bonding, which would of gone down well. Then mention the violence that the male chimpanzee dishes out to the female. Perhaps even have the male chimp sign, “I like bashing females”. Now this would of been very popular, as it establishes he is an O.K. guy. There would be no talk about him not really using language if he said intelligent and sensible things like that.
So it seems that language is not exclusive to humans. Apes don’t speak, simply because they don’t have the vocal ability to do so, not because they are stupid. This is not true of dolphins and whales whom like humans have a large brain and the ability to take conscious control of our breathing. So it seems our ability to take conscious control of our breathing has also resulted in a far greater variety of the sounds we can make, compared with other apes. It is this greater variety of noises we can make, which has resulted in the formation of speech.
Other human characteristics that support the Aquatic Ape theory is that we sweat salt and water from our skin glands. Which for a land animal is a waste, more so in a hot country like Africa, as water is very scarce at certain times of the years. So sweating water is a very inefficient method of keeping cool for a tropical animal. Salt, is also scarce for land animals who will travel a long way to find salt licks. Yet sweating salt makes a lot of sense to aquatic animals that need a way to get rid of an excess of salt in their bodies when swimming in the ocean. Humans can also get rid of excess salt through their tear glands, again something common to aquatic animals but not land animals.
Also being naked is not a good idea in the hot African sun. (Even black people can get sun burnt, or skin cancer from too much sun). Fur protects the skin from the deadly effects of the sun and is also a far better insulator than fat for land animals. This is because a land animal can shed fur in the summer and grow it again in the winter. It can also fluff up fur in the heat, to allow the air to get to its skin to cool down. Or bring the hairs closer to the body, trapping the air in the fur to allow better insulation, in the cold. Fur also makes it far easier for animals to adapt to very cold conditions. In the 19th century when the first zoos were created in Europe they attempted to house tropical animals in heated rooms, but the animals quickly died. So they tried leaving the tropical animals outside and they quickly adapted to the cold by growing thicker fur. It was found that even Russian zoos have no problems in caging tropical animals out in the open, as they grow fur thick enough to adapt to the Russian weather.
It is true that some animals like bears, grow a layers of fat around them for the winter when they hibernate. The trouble is that humans don’t hibernate, not even the Eskimos, who for thousands of years endured dark arctic winters living in Igloos.
So it begs the question: what is a tropical animal like human beings walking around using a layer of fat as insulation? Because another disadvantage is that it is unnecessary weight for us to carry around. If you want to stay alive either as a predator or a plant eater on the African plains, speed is a big advantage. So lightness and strength is very important for most animals the size of humans. It seems the only advantage of the fat we have around our bodies is that fat is a better insulator in water and it gives us buoyancy. This then makes it easier for us to float and swim in the water.
We also have large oil glands in our skin. Again this is of little use to a land animal in that they only need enough oil in their skin to keep out the rain. Aquatic animals on the other hand have very large oil glands to make their fur or skin, waterproof. Our oil glands are as large as that of a aquatic animal, rather than a land animal.
There is an old saying that oysters make you brainy. There is some truth in this as brain tissue needs an adequate supply of Omega-3 fatty acids. Which is found in abundance in fish oil but is very scarce in the food found on land. So living on food from the sea would be a big advantage in helping humans to develop a large brain. Some people also have vestigial webbing between their fingers and toes. Which suggests that at one time the webbing was more pronounced giving us an advantage in swimming.
Just how aquatic humans are, can be seen in the very modern sport of “free-diving”, that is to say diving without the use of oxygen tanks. When scientist observed people doing very deep free-diving they found that there heart beats would go right down until is was barely beating. The lungs were crushed until they had little more space than a drink can. While what little oxygen left in the body is used to just keep the heart and brain going. In other words human body behaves in exactly the same way in a deep dive without diving gear as a whale or dolphin. Free divers now go deeper than the rescue divers that tried to save the crew of the doomed Russian Kursk submarine. The Norwegian divers in this rescue bid had to spent five days recovering in a decompression chamber. While a free diver do not suffer from bends at all. It seems that the first moment cold water hits the face of a human diving in the water the human body starts to behave like a aquatic animal.
Which makes it more than capable of dealing with the problems of deep diving. On August 17, 2002- a new Freediving World Record has been set by Tanya Streeter, at a depth of 160m/525ft in a total dive time of 3 minutes and 26 seconds. This dive shatters the previous women's No Limits World Record held by Canadian, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank (136m/446ft) and even surpasses the men's No Limits World Record of 154m/505ft held by Frenchman, Loic LeFerme.
There is a lot of other points that have been put forward by Elaine Morgan like the fact that human legs are very similar in shape and mechanic function to that of a frog. Which is adapted to make it easier for both frogs and humans to swim better. Some mothers today have, water births where the mother gives birth in a tub of water. Apparently birth like this is made a lot easier for mothers suggesting that at one time in our evolution this was commonplace. Also it has been found that newborn babies can float and swim straight away after birth. Whereas with other apes, like a new born chimpanzee or gorilla, it will quickly sink and drown, if not rescued. Water births are not just some new-age fad. There is a tribe in Indonesian called the Suku laut, or the "Sea People", who live a semi-aquatic existence. The Sea People spend up to 10 hours every day in the water, they give birth in the water, and the children dive before they walk and the people harvest all their food from the sea.
So how did our ape ancestors become aquatic? It seems that for a ape that can use it’s hands to pick up things from the ground and wade through water, shell fish and edible seaweed would be a very easy way to obtain food. Unfortunately if too many apes take advantage of this, the shallows will quickly become over fished. Forcing them either to mover further along the coast, or to start to dive under water further out. Clearly at first it they would just quickly duck their heads under the water, to collect shellfish deeper than a arms length. Then in time becoming specialist feeders their bodies would adapt to going further and further out to sea.
So you can see there is a very strong arguments for the Aquatic Ape theory. Yet most male scientists still resist this theory. To quote the Anthropologist Prof. Leslie Aiello
“Until there is actual evidence to support a serious aquatic involvement, I don't think that we're going to be able to say that that's at all a contender for a theory for human evolution.”
There is no actual evidence of the man the hunter theory, but this hasn’t stop scientists presenting it to the public as fact. In recent times they are backtracking they now call it the savannah theory and acceptance that early humans might of scavenged for food instead of hunting. There is even a acceptance nowadays, that the mighty hunter might be black! Elaine Morgan now has the confidence to declare that the Man The Hunter theory is defunct. Yet she is clearly puzzled that with all the weight of evidence she can present for her theory, it is still not widely accepted in the scientific community. As we can see from the quotes from two other scientists.
"It is difficult to see how all the points assembled to back the Aquatic Theory can be explained away." - Dr. Desmond Morris, author of 'The Naked Ape'
"The aquatic hypothesis... cannot be eliminated yet." - Prof. Glyn Isaac
Now this begs the question: Why does this theory need to be, explained away or eliminated? Or for that matter why is the Aquatic Ape theory so popular among Feminists but extremely unpopular among male scientists? Is it because of a very strong gender bias in comparing the Man The Hunter theory with the Aquatic Ape theory?
Apart from the fact that the Aquatic Ape theory doesn’t in any way support the ideal of man the mighty hunter, another big problem with this theory is that women are more adaptable to water than men. Because women have less body hair than men, and have more body fat. So what is the problem with that? The trouble is that when we look at modern day communities that still dive for shellfish we find that women have a distinct advantage.
There is a group of islands between southern Japan and southern Korea where before the tourist trade got going, the main source of food and income on these islands was shellfish and edible seaweed. Which is harvested by female divers.
To quote, a Korean travel guide:
Women have dominated this profession because they are physically better suited for it than men, women possess a higher percentage of subcutaneous fat, which insulates them from cold, allowing a longer stay in the water. Thus, it has long been customary for Cheju-do's men to mind the children at home while the women work, culling shellfish, seaweed, and sea urchins from the seabed, on which many of the island's inhabitants depend for subsistence and livelihood. Ranging in age from 10 to 60, these women divers can plunge as deep as 45 to 60 feet and stay underwater for as long as three to five minutes without the aid of breathing equipment. The average dive, however, lasts about 30 seconds at a depth of 15 or 20 feet.”
The Cheju-do women are referred to by some Korean commentators as Amazons, because they are far more assertive than ordinary Korean women. In the extremely “macho” society of Korea, these women and their “weak” husbands are an embarrassment, and for this reason knowledge about Cheju-do customs were once kept quiet.
The Japanese islands have a similar story to quote, the late Jacques Cousteau.
For 1500 years in ancient Japan, as well as neighbouring Korea, these women have traditionally dived for pearls. At least 30,000 of their kind remain. Today they mostly dive for food. Wearing only a loincloth, they have begun to wear masks and snorkels within the 20th century. They dive both during the warm summers and the cooler winter months when temperatures can reach 50º F. They plunge to depths of 20 to 80 feet – sometimes 100 – to gather food, in the form of shellfish and seaweed, which they place in a net around their waists. They learn to dive around puberty and do not stop till they are about 60 years old. They are known to dive right up to the point of childbirth and having given birth, resume shortly after, nursing their infants between dives! A similar group of women once dived in the wave tossed waters off Tierra del Fuego. (Islands at the most southern point of South America). They descended completely naked, through waters averaging 42º F to collect clams and crabs for food.
The Japanese and Korean women divers did experiment with modern equipment like scuba gear, but it was soon found that using such equipment would quickly over fish the area, so scuba equipment was banned by the authorities.
There is also some reports of women divers in other parts of the world. In Barents Sea, palaeontologists and archaeologists have for a long time been puzzled why such large amounts of shellfish shells have been found in Palaeolithic sites without any evidence of fishing gear and boats. This would only be a puzzle for male scientists who are blind to the role women play in ancient communities. Before the 1920s when the Russian authorities began to use modern diving gear and motorboats equipped with dredges, there was still a local tradition of using professional women-divers similar to that in Japan and Korea. Even in these cold waters on the coast of Siberia these divers would continue diving in the cold autumn months. (Needless to say when they adopted modern equipment the area was soon over fished and fishing in the area was banned in 1960).
If male divers had been doing this job these scientists wouldn’t of had no problems in putting two and two together. They would of praised the male divers about how tough and macho they were, given it wide coverage, but because they were women, the fact was ignored.
It is perfectly possible for women to swim in these waters without a wet suit. In the sporting world we are used to men outperforming women, yet there is one sport where women are now outperforming men, which is the sport of marathon open water swimming. In the 21 miles across the English Channel, the first women to do this was Gertrude Caroline Ederle of USA. In 1926 she broke the record of the fastest man by one hour and fifty-nine minutes. In spite of having to battle through heavy seas in the second half of her swim. Since then the record for the fast channel swim has been held at different times by both men and women. In 1987 Lynne Cox of USA, (who also held the fastest time for swimming the English Channel for awhile), swam the across the Bering Strait, from the U.S. to Soviet Union with water temperatures at 38-42 degrees Fahrenheit, without wearing a wet suit. She done it wearing only a normal swim suit, cap and goggles. At this temperature most normal men will freeze to death in the water within 20 minutes.
The censorship by patriarchal authorities of women divers many be responsible for the mermaid legend. Once a Dutch ship was wrecked on Cheju island's coast. Subsequently, its crew was detained for 13 years. One of the seamen, Hamel, published a record of their experiences upon his return to Europe, describing the 'haenyo' (women divers) as mermaids. Which is interesting because being on the island for 13 years he must of known they were ordinary women. So why did he write that they were mermaids? In may be because in those days a story of mermaids was more acceptable to people than female divers. After all, the Korean authorities at one time forbade and written record of these divers.
The official version of the mermaid story is the sailors have mistaken animals like seals and dugongs as mermaids. Which is a typical patronising attitude from academics towards uneducated working class people, in assuming they are stupid. I personally find it hard to believe that experienced sailors couldn’t tell the difference between a seal and a women swimming in the sea or sitting on rocks. Korea and Japan the authorities have tended to keep quiet about women divers up until recent times. Because it undermines patriarchal beliefs, to have assertive women doing a physical job better than men. So the same was probably true in other parts of the world. The patriarchal Jews went as far as to ban shellfish as a taboo food. Was this because in those days women divers were still collecting them from the sea? Had not female divers in Japan and Korea survived up until modern time we today wouldn’t know nothing about them. There is other evidence that women divers were still commonplace all over the world in the recent past. For instance in the 19th century peal industry, some of the European traders were horrified to find the locals using women peal diving. To the degree that in the Torres Strait islands they banned women divers.
Because of the patriarchal conspiracy of silence, sailors would be shocked suddenly coming across women divers. To these very patriarchal sailors used to their own women being very submissive, shy, retiring and modest. To suddenly see naked, (They probably were naked as the bathing suit was only invented at the end of the 19th century and clothing is a hindrance in the water), athletic and confident women going about their work would be something completely outside of their personal experience. As we can see from this following sighting in Britain.
“A SCHOOL MASTER OF THURSO IN CAITHNESS, William Munro, wrote in a report in THE TIMES on September 8, 1809 that twelve years earlier he had been walking along Sandside Bay shore when he saw what he first thought was a naked woman, sitting on a rock and combing her light brown hair. The face was plump, with ruddy cheeks and blue eyes. If the rock where the woman sat had not been so dangerous for swimmers, Munro would have assumed it was human. After a few minutes it dropped into the sea and swam away. Others had seen it too. .”
He clearly states is that he saw a naked woman, sitting on a rock. Yet it is reported as a mermaid sighting. Probably in isolated fishing villages all over the world women divers may of been used up to fairly recent times. Because people living on the edge of survival couldn’t afford to ignore a important food resource like shell fish and edible seaweed. In traditional mermaid stories from Europe there is stories of fishermen marrying mermaids. Now, if it was to a women with a fishes tail this would virtually impossible, so in some of the stories the mermaid obtains legs by magical means. Yet if we take a more sensible view, that mermaids are women divers then there is no problem with this. Most women divers were probably married to fishermen anyway.
They would also have to keep this tradition secret because of patriarchal condemnation of women doing men’s work. There would be a even more deadly reason to do this, churchmen in the past have condemned mermaids as pagan. Now this is a real threat, because the Church in the middle ages had murder millions of women as Witches. It seems that country people in the times still had many pre-Christian beliefs, which was stamped out as pagan during the witch-hunts. (The word pagan comes from the word peasant). This includes women healers who practised the ancient art of herbal medicine. (There was no problem about educated men giving out herbal medicine, they were called doctors, so that was all right, but a women doing this was condemned as a witch). To protect themselves, one of the ways of keeping the tradition of women divers secret, would be to invent stories of mermaids. Then to tell strangers who did see them, that it was a mermaid that they saw.

You can find out more on my playlist of seven mermaid videos on Youtube.
So why was it that women become more aquatic than men? A possible explanation is that wading in the water was also a protection from predators, who are unlikely to try and swim out to catch a ape who can stand upright in the water and can walk out as far as it’s neck. To this ape the water will come a safe haven in much the same way a tree is, so instead of climbing a tree to escape from a predator it can run into the ocean instead. In fact a beach is a difficult hunting ground for predators as there is not much cover a large cat can hide behind to stalk their prey. This then would make shell hunting more popular among females if she is pregnant or breast feeding a child as she is protected by the water she is wading through. Even when the child is too big to carry, the mother can leave the child on the water’s edge and then quickly snatch it and take it out to deeper water if she sees a predator coming down the beach. So there is a lot of advantages of female apes becoming marine food gathers. Though not so much for male apes, who would be bigger and stronger anyway and don’t have the burden of trying to save a helpless baby from a predator as well. So it would cause a division of labour of men gathering on land while women gathered in the sea.
So the Aquatic Ape theory seems to be very much appeal to women, and this also may be why many male scientists don’t like it. Instead of having a great white hunter, coming home from a hard day of hunting to be greeted by his adoring wife, who will submissively wait on her lord and master hand and foot. We now have women who are the breadwinners and it is the men who have to look after the home and children! Well, we can’t possibly have that can we? More so if you realise that it is claimed by Elaine Morgan that it took a 6.5 million year for humans to evolve into a semi-aquatic animal. Does this mean that men were under the women’s thumb all this time? It couldn’t be possible be that our male ancestors were a bunch of yellow belly wimps, can it?
Large deposits of shellfish shells have been found in South Africa in early human sites. Proving that shellfish was being eaten by early humans. Also very early hominids like Homo erectus had very thick tooth enamel and powerful jaws. Which it is speculated that they were needed, to break open nuts and shellfish with their teeth. Later on they would of used stones or clubs to do this, which may of been the first use of tools for hominids. Yet most male scientists still do not accept the Aquatic Ape theory and still cling desperately to very watered down versions of the Great Hunter theory, or prefer to have no theory at all.
This then means that it is possible to make out a case that human society was dominated by women from the time when we were still a ape to the end of the Neolithic Age. We can briefly summarise this in the following points.
1. The skeleton of the bonobo ape is very similar to the australopithecines oldest discovered is 3 million year old and the australopithecus ramidus which dates back to 4,4 million years old. The teeth of these primates show that they were vegetarians, which is another blow to the man the hunter theory. So as the bonobo ape lives in female dominated communities can we also assume that the australopithecines was the same? Now I am sure that male chauvinists scientists will correctly claim that you cannot make such a assumption on such slender evidence. Yet we know that if these skeletons were more like that of a chimpanzee than a bonobo. These same scientists would be very quick to claim that humans then had exactly the same social structure as male dominated chimpanzee communities.
2. Then we have the Aquatic Ape theory that shows that humans went through a Aquatic period in their evolution. The bones of the australopithecines were found at the edge of ancient sea, which means the this ancient human could of used this sea as a means of obtaining food. It is true that many bones of ancient humans have also been found inland, but what we don’t really know is whether any of these hominids were our direct ancestors. There has been many species of hominids in the past yet only one species, the modern human, has survived into modern times. It seems that because of the aquatic adaptations to our bodies it was only the aquatic species that survived. If we accept that Aquatic Ape theory then we also have to accept that “macho” hunting had little to do with our evolution. Also that because women’s bodies are more adaptable to aquatic life it was women and not men who became the main, “bread winners”.
3. As we move forward in time to the more modern humans that came into existence about 200,000 years ago. What we find compared with other animals of a similar size is that we are incredibility weak. In fact far weaker that apes like chimpanzees and gorillas and other hominids like the Neanderthals. As evolutionist point out one of the main reasons why a animal becomes very powerful and strong is the competition between males who have a test of strength and aggression for the right to mate. The fact that the modern human is so weak compared with its nearest species except the bonobo, is probably because there was very little male competition for the right to mate with females, among our ancestors. This points to women selecting which males she wants to mate with instead of men. Suggesting a situation where women were either equal to men in status or the dominant sex.
4. Of the many species of hominids it was only the modern human that has survived. This was because of periods of rapid changing weather conditions during the last ice age. When many large species of animals became extinct. Even we were probably nearly wiped out because genetically it seems that all humans today had only one female ancestor about 200,000 years ago. In the survival of any species, women are far more important than men. This is because one man can father hundreds of children, while a women is very limited on how many children she can have. More so in the state of stress and starvation, it is important that a women is reasonably well fed to nourish a baby. So like the lemurs in the island of Madagascar, communities that give preference to alpha males are less likely to survive than communities that give preference to females.
5. Then in the Neolithic age we find evidence of people worshipping Goddesses and no evidence of war or violence. Which changed dramatically when in the bronze and iron ages where the use of weapons of war, fortifications and the worship of male warrior gods became commonplace.
Taking all the evidence from above it would seem that women have always dominated human society up until five thousand years ago. I have to say that is unlikely. The point is that what you read in this book readdress the balance of sexual bias scholarship, archaeology, zoology, biology, anthropology and palaeontology, which claims that man was always the dominant sex.
Ever since I went to school in the 1950s to now all I have ever read in mainstream science is that we have always lived in male dominated societies. It was only by reading a book called, “The First Sex, by Elizabeth Gould Davis in the 1970s that opened my eyes to different possibility. Since then I have taken a interest in this subject and soon found that to get any information on anything that suggests human beings were once dominated by females, very difficult to find. The truth is that the general public is only given one very sexual biased point of view.
This is because of very egocentric academic males who very much want to believe that men have always been the dominant sex. The problem is that the censorship about the possibility of women rule or even sexual equality, gives the general public the illusion they only have one choice and that is patriarchy. Which wouldn’t be a problem if men were doing a wonderful job in ruling our world. The trouble is that men do a really terrible job of doing this. I would even go as far as saying that, it would be difficult to do a worse job of ruling our world, than what men do.
If we accept that in the past we didn’t always live in brutal and violent patriarchal communities. It means we can if we choose create a more peaceful and caring world ruled by women.

More youtube videos of Elaine Morgan
Aquatic Ape  - Documentary (Discovery Channel/BBC 1998), 5 videos


Monday, 30 August 2010

Chapter Twelve - Masculine and Feminine Cycles

We live in a sick, sad world, which needs to be healed. The first thing needed in process of healing is an acknowledgement that there is an illness. For instance with alcoholics or drug addicts attempts to cure them are a waste of time until they acknowledges they have a real problem. Then the healer needs to convince them that they have a workable method that will bring genuine healing.

So the first hurdle is the universal admission that we do actually live in a sick world. The problem is that we are taught from childhood that the world we live in is “normal”. We have all been brought up from childhood to believe war, crime, violence and hatred is customary for human beings. If we think about it a bit deeper we find that all the major religions of the world has failed to make our world a better place. Communism and Socialism with the ideal of equality also seems to have completely failed. The only thing that seems to have worked is Democracy, which it is clearly a step in the right direction. Yet even Democracy is being undermined by corrupt, two faced politicians who seem to be incapable of telling the truth.

So the message that comes to us from history and the media, is that the world of conflict, hatred and violence we live in is simply human nature and there is nothing we can do about it. The reason why we seem to be incapable of making our world a better place is because we are caught in the trap of a masculine cycle of fear and violence.

We stand on the brink of two possible futures, either a masculine or feminine destiny. These two possibilities come through two very different cycles. The masculine cycle began with the end of the Neolithic age. Somehow women lost control of a handful of men who became very violent. The male cycle probably began with men who find they can obtain power over other people through violence and aggression. Probably at first they were simply outcasts who survived by robbing people moving between towns and villages. Then in time some of these men formed groups and become bandits. They would be joined by other men who would be drawn by the attraction of power over others, through violence. In time these groups would become so large that they were able to take over towns and villages and impose on the people a protection racket. “you give us what we want and we leave you alone”. This would be in effect the first taxation. Then different bandit gangs would then start to fight each other for territory. Until one bandit leader got on top and conquered other bandit gang and he would become a king.

The bandits would exploit their power over the people and probably would steal whatever they wanted. As well as rape and kidnap women and use them as sex slaves. Understandably the people would get angry with this behaviour and perhaps rise up and against the bandits. Some of these revolutions would fail and the people would find themselves receiving even worse treatment than before. Other revolutions would succeed but the people will find that even getting rid of the bandits, will not allow them to return to their previous life of peace. If the revolution is led by men they will become as violent as the bandits and will end up behaving the same, once in power. If the revolution is led by women they will become Amazons and still have to learn warfare to defend themselves from attack from other bandits. In the end the Amazons died away probably because violence is not as natural for women as it is for men. So in the end women will be subdued by male violence.

This violence is very similar to what we observe in apes like chimpanzees and the male hamadryas baboons.

As female chimps come into season males start to become attractive to them, but many females can be choosy and only prefer certain males. Males who are not chosen by females counter the females right to choose by aggression and violence, by repetitively attacking the females he wants to mate with. Jane Goodall who has observed this behaviour claims that alpha males train the females he wants to mate with through intimidation and fear. So she will be too frighten to refuse him when he wants to mate with her.

A graphic account of this was observed by the Japanese primatologist Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa. She was observing two chimp communities she called M and K group. One day she discovered the alpha male of M group called Ntologi with four of his side kicks attacking a lone female from K group and her three year old child. With the help of a companion Hiraiwa-Hasegawa attempted to beat the male chimps off by beating them with canes, but the powerful males ignored them. Then her companion threw a rock at the males and this had the effect of making them backing off. (Had the male chimps had instead attacked the two humans they wouldn’t of stood a chance against the powerful chimpanzees). The life of the female was saved although she and her child were covered in blood and badly injured. A year later the same female had another child and was again attacked by the Nitologi and his henchmen. This time her baby was eaten alive by them. After this the female defected to M group and mated with her baby’s murder. Probably because she couldn’t no longer find safety in F group for herself and her children. A post script to this, was that Ntologi himself was later murdered by his second in command, so he could take over the position of the alpha male. While Hiraiwa Hasegawa herself have given up observing chimpanzees because she was so appalled by their behaviour, that she learnt to hate them.

Male hamadryas baboons are also very aggressive. They kidnap females to become part of their harems from a young age and maintain it through continuous threats and intimidation. Usually by biting the back of the necks of his females. Which is a real threat as hamadryas baboons have large razor-sharp canines. So he is capable of killing or bad injure the female if was to bite hard. The males frighten the females so much that they will not stray too far from them, so that even a stare by the male will so frighten the females they will run back to the male. They are so under the control of the male that they will never refuse sex when they are into estrus.

The behaviour of humans in extremely patriarchal societies is very similar. It use to be that the alpha male, the king or local lord, could have as many wives he wanted. Even when Christianity come into force and man were suppose to have only one wife. Many lords still had conjugal rights to all the peasant women working on his land. In places like Sicily, Ethiopia and Eastern Europe it was commonplace up until recently that if a young man wants to marry a girl, with some of his friends he would kidnap her and then raped her. After that there would be social pressure put on the girl to marry her rapist. This was only stopped in Sicily, when one young women in the 1960s was brave enough to take her rapist to court and have him charged with rape. In doing so she had to not only resist social traditions but also the Mafia. So we can see that this behaviour is not far removed from that of the hamadryas baboon.

We can see a contrast in the behaviour of the bonobo. Milwaukee County Zoo had a group of bonobos and they attempted to train them in the same way they train chimpanzees and other animals. The bonobos reacted by becoming extremely non co-operative. They would scream loudly at the zoo keepers and urinate on them if they come into the pen. Then a female keeper took over and she adopted a system of kindness and positive reward. The behaviour of the bonobos changed and they became very co-operative and easy to work with. So it seems that bonobo females will not accept force and intimidation. Yet this is not the attitude of the male bonobos.

In zoos it was found that bonobo males were frequently assaulted by females who would gang up on a single male. To the degree of having fingers and toes bitten off and in one case a female bit off male’s penis! It seems that this is normal behaviour in the wild but the differences is that the male can run away, but in a zoo he has no form of escape. So it seems to be normal behaviour for female bonobos gang up and assault lone males to show them, who is the boss. (They also assault male zoo keepers who come into their pen).

Scientists have not been slow to compare primate behaviour with human behaviour. Where domestic violence between men and women is commonplace. In the past in the Western world it was once “normal” for a husband to beat his wife with a stick. In the Islamic world even today a man is “dishonoured” if he cannot dominate his wife by beating her up. In China as late as the 20th century was the tradition of foot binding which left women nearly crippled. Which is very similar to the behaviour of some male chimps who will not only beat up the female he wants to mate with, but cripple her as well, so she is unable to run away.

So sadomasochism is part of the primate sex war between males and females. Males dominate through violence and the female have to become masochistic to be able to stay sane in a life of brutal beatings and rape. Patriarchal societies also enforce the custom of marriage that forces a women stay with a man and breaks up any chance of women creating a powerful sisterhood. Bonobos and other female dominated primates re-enforce the sisterhood through lesbian sex. Which even today is discouraged by patriarchal custom. Female macaque and rhesus monkeys also mount males and rub themselves against them as a sign of dominance over the male. Which is again similar to human behaviour, it seems some men will go to a dominatrix to pay them to bugger them with strap on dildos. Is this a unconscious desire by these men to want women to dominate them once more?

One of the reasons why male chimpanzees and humans continue to use violence and intimidation against females and other males, is because it works. If people and female chimps adopted the attitude of, “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death” (Patrick Henry, 1775). Then this behaviour wouldn’t be able to continue. Though admittedly his is a lot to ask of any person or creature. Yet again some women have done this. In certain parts of Pakistan and India some mothers will murder their female babies. Some feminists have seen this as a sign of extreme patriarchal brainwashing on women. But other feminists have pointed out that another reason for this could be that these mothers do not want to bring up daughters in the very brutal patriarchal world they live in.

Feminists have point out that a women to gives in to a violent husband and cares for him and has his children is betraying the next generation of women. This is because her sons will think it “normal” to beat up their girlfriends or wives while her daughters will think it “normal” to beaten up by men. Also she is allowing his violent genes to be passed on as well. This then allows this behaviour to continue generation after generation. So like the female chimpanzee or hamadryas baboon if she gives into male violence it encourages males to continue to use it. Though it has to be admitted that very few women are able to stand up to male violence on their own. It was only by Feminists setting up Women’s Refuses where women subjected to violence could go to, that allowed women to tackle male violence in recent times. This then is the advantage human females have over female chimpanzees, they are better able to communicate with each other and organise resistance to this behaviour.

In extremely patriarchal countries male dominance is enforced by male violence. Not only against women but men also fight each other for supremacy with violence as well. It seems to be the more violent a society becomes the more men dominate it. A example of this is Afghanistan. Up until the 1970s it was a country that had lived in peace for nearly a hundred years. In that time it began to become slowly Westernised, in that the women were allowed education and all the Islamic restrictions against women were slowly eroding away. Then it was invaded by the Soviet Union. Even after the Soviet Union left in the 1980s war still continued between various warlords. The result of over 20 years of war has been that women’s rights have been taken away and Afghanistan has now one of the most harshest laws and customs against women. Even the recent invasion by USA hasn’t changed the attitudes of brutalised men towards women, and is still a country mostly ruled by violent warlords.

So the masculine cycle is created by male violence. The effect of male violence is to brutalised men and increasing their testosterone levels. While women become more submissive, to counter male violence by appeasing men. Which undermines women’s confidence and self-respect.

The antidote for male violence is peace. Like with capitalism the end result of companies competing with each other is a monopoly where one company comes out on top and competition comes to a end. The end results of competition between warring warlords and states is empire. Where one leader ends up coming out on top and imposes peace, by force. This brings about a time of peace where the testosterone levels of men go down as they become less brutalised by the decreasing violence. Unfortunately peaceful countries then become open to invasion by other states who are still fighting among themselves. This is not a problem while they continue to do this but when they become united under one strong leader, this leader becomes a conqueror. Because finding he has a united army of battle harden fighters he will invade peaceful states on its border. This is what happened to China when it was invaded by the Mongols.

In 1206 Genghis Khan united the warring Mongols under one ruler. These men used to fighting among themselves found it easy to conquer other surrounding countries, who had been at peace for many years. The Mongols invaded not only China, but India and Europe as well and ended up with the largest empire known in recorded history. Then Mongols in turn became less aggressive through years of peace. This resulted in them being driven back to their homeland and finally conquered in turn by the Chinese.

It is noticeable that women began to become liberated in Europe and Northern America during the 19th and 20th century during a time of relative peace and stability, after the Napoleonic wars. It is true in this period we did have the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian war and the First and Second wars all fought on European and North American soil. Yet between these wars we did have years of peace, with generations of people not knowing what it was like to fight in a war. While Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world which hasn’t had a war on its soil for over a hundred years. In the USA the high rate of crime has been blamed on the freely availability of guns available. Yet in Switzerland shooting is a main national sport encouraged by all men having to do national service. In fact Switzerland has one of the most heavily armed populations in the world. Yet it also has one of the lowest crime rates.

So is it a coincide that Switzerland has also managed not to be involved in any wars for the whole of the 20th century? Also at one time Switzerland boasted that they had eliminated poverty in their country. Recently this has returned through the influx of immigrant workers doing low paid work, but it still remains low. So it means that people in Switzerland have not been brutalised by either war or poverty for a long time, which makes it possible for the male population to be armed with guns without the problem of gun crime.

This means that peace can create a feminine cycle. In times of peace men become less aggressive, their testosterone levels go down and are less likely to commit violence against women. As they are no longer being battered by men, women begin the gain confidence and self respect. This is the danger patriarchal religions understood thousands of years ago. This is why the Christian and Islamic religions made laws and customs to restrict female freedoms and encouraged men to assault women. Christian priests encourage men to dominate their wives by beating them. While in the Islamic world even today, a man is “dishonoured” if fails to beat his wife to make her obedient.

In the 19th century many wealthy women in USA campaigned against slavery. Then as they began to understand the legal position of slaves, they were shocked to find that black slaves had more legal rights than did the average women. This started the women’s movement in America. Because men were becoming less aggressive and women more confident, men have little resistance to women’s demands for equal rights over the next 150 years. What has been striking in the West is that the Feminist movement has been met with very little male violence. Unlike what happens in Islam countries where women who have been brave enough to fight for equal rights, have been murdered, arrested and assaulted.

As women become more free, so do men. A despotic dictatorship is only possible if the dictator can rely on a army of ruthless young men who will obey him and commit violence, murder and torture against anyone who opposes his rule. A leader who cannot find enough young men to commit violence against the people, then has to rule by consent and not violence. This means that the level of male violence in the general population has to decrease to make democracies and women’s liberation possible.

So men and women have two very different strategies to gain dominance over the other sex.

The Masculine method is through violence. men simply using their superior size and strength to batter women into submission. On top of this, patriarchal institutions have created laws and customs to keep women in a condition of slavery. As well as creating competitive masculine societies that favours men and not women.

The Feminine method is through co-operation. We can see this clearly with the female bonobo ape whom have created a powerful sisterhood. This has also been the battle cry of many Feminists that, THE SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL. Unfortunately up until now, women haven’t been able to put this into practise to make a noticeable difference.

Many Feminists have criticised their own sex for not making most of the opportunities that at equal opportunities legalisation gives them. This has also been a similar problem for African Americans. People like Malcolm X have complained bitterly that most black Americans have what he called, “A slave mentality”. That is to say although slavery was abolished in 1863 nearly a 150 years later African Americans still find themselves the most poorest and deprived group in USA. Although one of the reasons for this, is discrimination by other ethic groups, like white people. The culture of Black people is not very helpful either. For instance there is a real problem of a anti-academic culture among young black men. Where in schools black men who try to study hard are ridiculed and physically attacked by other black men. It seems that for a black man to get ahead he has to be very secretive or very big, strong and violent, to resist bullying by other black young men.

Women have had the same problem. They also had a “slave mentality” but there are signs that they are now overcoming this. Up until the 1980s, young men were always ahead of young women academically. Girls would be ahead of boys up to about the age of puberty, then girls academic performances would drop away and boys would overtake girls in getting more places in college and universities. Yet in more recent times there has been a slow change where girls are now studying harder than boys at school right through to university. The result is that in school leaving exams in 2002 in Britain there is now a 9% gap in favour of girls and this gap is slowly growing every year.

It also seems that boys are now having problems. The anti academic culture of young black men is spreading to young white boys as well. Where anti-learning laddish culture is being blamed for the poor academic results of all young men.

The result of this is that some commentators are claiming that, “the future is female”. The idea is that if more women have better academic qualifications than men, they will have more of the top jobs in the future. This assumes that women will also be able to cope with the very “macho” and aggressive culture of politics and business. For this reason many women who want careers go to assertiveness classes. Which is probably what many women do need, but to go down this road too far can be self defeating for women. This can be seen in the case of the hyena. It seems that females as they develop in their mother’s womb they are bathed in male hormones resulting that when they are born the young females have clitorises as large as a male penis and are even more aggressive than males. This aggression allows female hyenas to dominate the males.

The dominance by females benefits their offspring in that Hyena cubs have a far lower starvation rate than other carnivores. So it is a big help in allowing the hyena to survive difficult times.

Some modern sportswomen have taken steroids to boost strength and the side effect has been to become very aggressive as well. So women don’t really have to go to assertiveness classes to survive in the patriarchal market place, all they have to do is take steroids. Like female hyenas they can become as aggressive and as assertive as men. The only problem with this, is that do we want to live in a world where everyone is so aggressive? The normal patriarchal society is bad enough with 50% of the population behaving like irresponsible idiots. To have a full 100% would be even worse. Yet this doesn’t have to be the only way, there is another choice.

In business there is talk about co-operation rather than competition. Business studies have shown that competition within a company can make it very inefficient. This is because if you have staff competing with each other for power and status, they are unlikely to co-operate with each other. This will result in office politics where people with attempt to undermine other members of the staff and even sabotage their efforts. So some businesses want to try to eliminate all this, and get people to co-operate rather than compete. I don’t have to tell you that, it has been found that female staffs are far better at this than men.

Another quantum leap could be made in politics as we can see through the leadership of Princess Diana. The genius of Princess Diana was that she was able to portray herself in the media as a genuine caring and loving person. Something any politician or spin-doctor would give their right arm to have. Although she didn’t have any political power, in the way she was able to use and manipulate the media made her a very powerful person. Which she used to further her own agenda, to create a more caring and loving world, where possible.

From the very beginning when she became a royal she responded to people in a very caring way. Now this is not unusual with famous people in the media, but she put it across in a way that no one doubted that it was genuine. To the degree not even her critics doubted this. So this made her from the start the most popular royal, and gave her worldwide fame. At first she was just content with this, but then she was to learn a trick from another royal, Princess Ann.

In the early 1980s there was a great famine in the Sudan, but the media ignored this famine so the people in the West were unaware of the millions of people dying of starvation in the Sahara desert region. Princess Ann as president of the Save The Children Fund visited Sudan and of course the media went with her, because they wanted a story on her failing marriage. Then reporters personally saw the great suffering going on in the area, and as the result of this visit the media all over the world began to report on the famine. This in turn got the Band-Aid movement off the ground. Resulting in millions of pounds being donated to try and save these people.

So likewise, Princess Diana began use her celebrity status to highlight causes she believed in. One of the most important acts she done was change people’s opinions on Aids epidemic. When Aids first started to spread in the West, people greatly feared it and believed that they could catch this disease by touching people with this disease. Also as it was mostly homosexual men who got Aids, this increased homophobia, and some extreme Christians were suggesting that Aids was the way God was punishing deviant acts like homosexuality. The media in Britain encouraged these stories and I can remember reading one scare story in the British newspaper, The Sun, suggesting that people could catch Aids from public toilet seats, if a homosexual man sat there previously.

At the height of the homophobia frenzy whipped up by the British press, Princess Diana fearlessly met this hysteria head on. She visited a hospital with Aids patients inside and talked to and shook hands with patients dying of Aids. Pictures of her doing his was in the newspapers and on the TV and in one stroke she had given homosexual men Royal approval and destroyed the myth that you could catch Aids by touching someone with this disease.

She was later to do the same with leprosy as in many part of the world people still believe it is possible to catch leprosy but touching a leper. She again appeared on TV touching shaking the hand of a leper and helped overcome prejudice against lepers. Charitable organisations were finding that if Princess Diana publicly gave them support of them, she was able to generate large amounts of contributions for their cause. So they became very aware of her power to help the causes she believed in.

She also started to move into politics. In the 1980s in Britain there was high unemployment as well and an increasing number of homeless people living on the streets. The right-wing press in Britain was whipping up a hate campaign against unemployed people, claiming that they were scroungers and work-shy. Princess Diana showed the world clearly where her sympathies laid by again visiting and talking to homeless people. Though by this time the media was now wise to her tactics and wasn’t so keen on reporting her doing this. So she didn’t get the media coverage in this that she normally expects. The British media also tried to start a hate campaign against Princess Diana but the newspapers that attempted to attack her found that they were unable to dent her popularity with the common people.

She was to move more into politics towards the end of her life. Charitable organisations had for years campaigned again the production and use of land mines, but had never got anywhere with this. In all conflicts all over the world countless land mines were buried indiscriminately, then after the war the land mines would be left in the ground with no one knowing were they were. So the civil population living in the area would continue to be killed and maimed by treading on these mines. Princess Diana then decided to get involved, and simply by visiting a area where land mines had been buried she focused the world’s media on this problem and got governments all over the world to take notice.

She was warned by conservative politicians not to get involved in politics. She herself was to claim before she died, that she feared she would be killed, and when it did happen the circumstances of her death was very suspicious, suggested a government cover up.

The great emotional effect of her death on people was immense, which was to surprise everyone. The reason for this is I believe is that in a uncaring world, where selfish and corrupt industrial and political leaders are commonplace. Princess Diana was one of the few people in establishment who showed that she genuinely cared and loved people. So in the very large numbers of people that mourned the death of Princess Diana gave a clear message to the politicians that the people wanted to live in a more caring world. This was picked up by the British Prime Minster who stated that people loved Diana because she genuinely cared. But he didn’t learn from this himself and his actions have since shown he is a normal selfish and uncaring politician.

Another women was the have the same effect before Princess Diana and this was Evita Peron. It would be easy to be cynical and say that she was only a the mistress and later wife of a South American dictator. But the emotion effect she was to have on Argentina, the country where she was the first lady, shows she was more than this.

Like Princess Diana the political influence she had was very limited. Yet unlike any other Argentina politician, before or since, she was able to show to the people that she genuinely cared. The people respond greatly to her and although she was unable to do a lot for the people of Argentina she came across and a person who really believed in what she said. With her early death, people showed clearly how they felt about her at her funeral, and this gave a message to the politicians that people do want to live in a caring society. Something I’m afraid the Argentina politicians ignored.

The story of Evita Peron was given publicity by the stage musical Evita written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The genius of this musical was it portrayed clearly the emotion effect Evita had on the people of Argentina. Unfortunately when it was also make into a film the producers and directors had little understanding of what the story was about. They put a pop star in the title role who didn’t have either the singing voice or acting ability to do justice to the music and lyrics.

To a lesser degree the same thing happened with Mary Robertson the first women President of Southern Ireland. Although the Irish Presidency has little political power Mary Robertson was able to present herself as a caring person. She became so popular that when she retired, nearly all the candidates to replace her were women. After Mary Robertson’s performance few people were interested in voting for a male.

With the rise of Feminism in the 20th century some female politicians have risen to become leaders of countries like Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi. Both of these politicians have shown clearly to the world that a woman can successfully rule a country. Unfortunately both women more or less behaved like a male ruler and didn’t show the caring side of women. Though to be fair to both women, they came leaders of very patriarchal parties and had they behaved like caring women it is unlikely they would of became leaders of their parties and country.

I believe the next step for powerful women is to have a female leader of a country with the political skill of a Margaret Thatcher or Indira Gandhi. Yet also with the ability to express there caring nature in the same way Princess Diana had. So that by becoming very popular through her caring nature she is able to push forward widespread reforms to the patriarchal system.

Once we start to have compassionate and powerful women leaders of countries, very few people will want to vote for male politicians. Male political leaders have had thousands of years to demonstrate they can be compassionate and responsible leaders. Yet very few in all that time can be said to be like this. (Apart from Nelson Mandela I can’t think of any genuinely caring male politician). They had their chance and completely blew it.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Chapter Thirteen - Hostage To Forture

What is very apparent in a patriarchal society is the lack of love of love and compassion. The prototype of the patriarchal society comes instincts of primates like the chimpanzee or hamadryas baboon where the males threaten and batter females into submission. This is not the action of animals that are capable of loving others. The same is true for men who will rape and assault women to keep them submissive.
This attitude permeates the whole of patriarchal societies. The ruler who decides to conquer neighbouring states clearly has no love for the people in country he wants to conquer, and in fact he probably hates them. He also has no love for this own people, as he must know a war will inflict death and hardship on them as well. Likewise the rich, who exploit the poor and force people to work in sweatshops for poor wages, have no love for the people they employ.
For centuries we have been ruled by uncaring leaders who have shown very little compassion for the people they rule. It is true in the west their has been a improvement where welfare reforms have allowed unemployment pay, state pensions and free hospital care for the poor. Yet these are something the workers have had to fight for and we can see today many politician are looking for ways to do away with these benefits. Because their masters, the rich and wealthy, are complaining they are not getting enough!
Patriarchy is hell for both women and men. We can see this by the number of people who are addicted to alcohol, drugs, (both legal in illegal), gambling and even food and work. Somehow most of us are looking for ways to blot out the reality of our lives. This is because patriarchy only benefits the alpha men and even they have to watch their backs, for fear of others who want their power and wealth. Men have coped with this hell by becoming totally selfish, so he doesn’t have to care for anyone but himself. This makes it possible for him to protect himself by being aggressive and even violent towards others. Women on the other hand cannot use this method because they have a maternal instinct, which makes them care for children. So many women to cope with the hell of patriarchy go to the opposite extreme and care for everyone except themselves. By not caring for themselves they are not hurt and can put up with all the physical and mental abuse metered out by men. Which means most women have had to become harden masochists to stay sane in a traditional patriarchal society.
In Jean Liedloff’s Book The Continuum Concept, she describes living among a South American jungle with a tribe where conflict, anger, hatred and violence was unknown. She contrasted this “Garden of Eden” existence with our modern world of stress, where many people need alcohol, nicotine, anti-depression tablets, as well as illegal drugs just to get them through the day. But she didn’t explain fully the reason for how this “Garden of Eden” existence came into being.
She said more in a workshop she conducted in London as she explained to us that there were other tribes in the same area who did frequently have wars with other tribes. She implicated that these wars were conducted in the same spirit as we have football games, except that people did get killed. This is also confirmed in studies done on Stone-Age tribes in New Guinea. In one incident in the 1960s, anthropologists observed a battle between two tribes that was called off because it started to rain! It seems that the warriors were worried that the rain might make their war paint run! Yet this violence was enough to change the nature of the tribe so unlike the non-violent tribes they did have, hierarchical customs, laws and taboos. While the women were made second-class citizens because they weren’t warriors.
This then presents a mystery. If we as human beings did once live in a stress free world of non violence that is not only shown in Jean Liedloff’s book but also in the archaeology of Neolithic cities and towns. Why did we voluntary move from a stress free world of peace to that of violence and stress?
In our modern world we are unaware that it is possible to create a stress free communities where conflict and violence are unknown. But the same cannot be said of the Indian tribes studied by Jean Liedloff, where non-violence tribes live alongside violent tribes. So the people of these tribes do have a choice of living a free, non-violent and stress free existence or living in a oppressive and violent community. So why would anyone voluntary choose the latter?
The purpose of any competitive game whether it is just a game of football or a tribal war, is to be a winner. It seems that the fleeting ego boost of becoming a winner is enough for men to want to risk their lives in a tribal war. Also in this system there are other ways of gaining an ego gratification. The chief has the ego satisfaction of knowing he has power over all other members of his tribe. While all the members of the tribe align themselves in a hierarchical system where although they know other members of the tribe are above them in the pecking order. They still have the ego satisfaction of knowing others are below them. As women and children are the lowest in this system even the lowest ranking man has the ego satisfaction that he is still above them.
So it seems that the rewards of ego satisfaction is enough for men to want to move from a non-violent, stress free world to that of a stressful and violent patriarchal system. As this system developed, men began to capture other men in war and forced them to become slaves. This became another way of gain ego satisfaction because the victors had the power of life and death over their slaves and so can force them do whatever they want. Sometimes this went to the extreme and developed into sadism where the victors enjoyed the power of being able to inflict fear, pain and suffering onto their captives.
This then becomes a problem for the male slaves because they were now at the very bottom of the pecking order with no obvious way of gaining ego satisfaction. The slave then has a choice of either hating his master and seeks ways to escape. So he looks for ways to get even with those who oppress them. Sometimes this was possible like in the case of Spartacus who led the most successful slave uprising in the history of Rome, (71-73 BC), but this was only a rare success for most slaves. The other option was for the slave to identify themselves with their masters so they could bask in the reflected glory of the success of their owners. Also the identification with their masters also encouraged the slaves to compete with each other to become the master’s favourite. (Something a sensible master would encourage). So it is from slavery that masochistic behaviour starts to appear, because it was only from masochism that a slave could gain any ego gratification. This then means that the master had a even greater ego boost in that he has forced men into slavery through violence. Yet in return he receives from many of them great loyalty and devotion. While the men who don’t give him this, he has the sadistic pleasure of being able to torture and murder. So the invention of slavery also created sadomasochist desires within people as the only way to stay sane in such a barbaric system.
The path of the women into sadomasochism is different because she has a maternal instinct. Nature has designed women to give unconditional love and devotion to their children, because without the commitment of females, to care and protect their offspring, most animal species would become extinct. This is very true of the human species where the newborn baby is completely helpless and can take up to 20 years before it is fully-grown. This means that the maternal instinct in human mothers has to be very strong for the human race to survive. Because of this, it is commonplace that most women find themselves spending their whole lives caring for their children, grandchildren, their aged parents and their husbands.
When men began to move out of paradise into violent competitive games like war. Women would have resisted this move because they wouldn’t want their sons or lovers being injured or killed. So this would of started a battle of the sexes that for a long time women seemed to have won. We can see this in Neolithic sites all over the world. Then this changed about 5,000 years ago when suddenly in the Bronze age archaeologists were finding cities and town full of weapons of war, fortifications and images of violence and conquest.
In the Neolithic sites archaeologists have found a predominance of feminine imagery. To the degree that it is accepted that people then worshipped female deities. Which also suggests that women then were then the dominant sex. They perhaps had to be if they were resisting men’s desire for competition and war. To do this they had to find ways to control and dominate men and this was probably done through mothers brainwashing their sons. Yet in the end this failed and men began to compete with each other creating wars and dominating women through violence. Women still continued to resist and even fought back as we can see in the case of the Amazons, but in the end men won and began to dominate the world.
Women then found themselves at the bottom of the hierarchical system in a situation of slavery. So like male slaves, women they had no option but to but to adapt and become masochistic. Though the feminine masochism was different to male masochism in one important factor. Masculine masochism was a way a man could gain ego satisfaction by identifying himself with his oppressor. While feminine masochism was simply an extension of women’s maternal instinct. Through her maternal feelings she could love her children unconditionally so she leant to extend this to love all men in the same way, even if men were now taking sadistic pleasure in hurting and humiliating women.
This then meant that men were gaining a even greater ego boost because they now could abuse women as much as they liked and yet only receive unconditional love in return.
This seems to be the case over the last two thousand years where it became commonplace in all relationships between men and women, the husband became the dominant sadistic bully while the woman became the submissive and masochistic wife. While any person that didn’t fit this stereotype was considered to be “unnatural”. Even up to the 1960s psychologists were claiming that all women were masochists. (Something no psychologist would dare claim today).
Yet if it was hell for both men and women to begin to live in a patriarchal world, it also can be hell to come back out of patriarchy.
There is a story that the great German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche became insane when he saw a donkey being beaten by a man. On a superficial level this story sounds silly and is used by Nietzsche's detractors to make him look foolish. Yet on a deeper level it shows a problem that all men have: Most normal men, if suddenly faced with feelings that give him real distress, like seeing a animal suffer, may start to worry that he is going "soft". But someone like Nietzsche being highly intelligent, self-aware and imaginative clearly saw the implication of this. He understood that once a man begins to feel empathy with others, he is at the mercy of a bottomless pit of human suffering.
Another famous philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre had the same problem because he once commented that,
The other is hell.
Indicating that he also had difficulty with his feelings of empathy for others. The problems with empathy is brought out in the poem, No Man Is An Island by John Donne,(1571-1631) with his famous line,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.
The bells were tolling for a man who was about to be executed. Now we can react to a scene of execution in two ways. We can watch it as a spectator sport, which many people have done when we had public executions, and be very glad it is happening to someone else. The understanding of why people like to witness suffering comes from a scientific theory on why people enjoy slapstick humour. It is because watching people who are foolish or have misfortune makes us feel better, to know someone else is more foolish than ourselves, or has had greater misfortune. So these people can feel better about themselves by watching another person being hanged because they know someone else is worse off than themselves. The alternative is to feel empathy with the person who has suffered misfortune and that can be very painful. Which is what John Donne wrote about in his famous poem. This is supported by a saying on love by Francis Bacon. (1561-1626) Philosophers don’t normally talk much about love, but his remark about love goes to the heart of the matter.-
He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
In other words if you care nothing for others you are free to do as you like, because if you care then that freedom is gone, because you have to think about the needs of others. This is something modern women know a lot about. It they have children, the family takes priority over her career and anything else, she may want to do. The other is not hell for a man who cares only for himself, or for a woman who cares for everyone, except herself. The other can only become hell, when people begin to feel love for both themselves and others at the same time. Because the needs what you want for yourself clashes with the needs of what others want of you. This then will create inner conflict.
A man who is totally selfish and cares nothing for others can be very strong and “macho”. This allows great conquerors like Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and Hitler to start wars with other countries and be unconcerned and even unaware of the suffering they inflicting on thousands or even millions of other people. In the second world war the Germans had no problem in recruiting young men to be concentration camp guards, while the allies had no problems in recruiting airmen to bomb German cities day and night, killing millions of women and children. This behaviour is only possible by men who are not in contact with the feelings and suffering of others. I remember once reading about a famous pilot in the Battle of Britain. He had shot down many German planes and had been excited whenever he had done this. Yet in one instance he had shot down a German fighter and had got close to it while it was going down in flames and could see clearly the pilot struggling to get out of the burning plane. He was then shocked to realise there were real human beings like himself in the planes he had shot down. It may sound crazy that a man who is fighting a war didn't realise that in the process he was killing other people. Yet the reason for this would be that when men start to be aware of the feelings of others they have to go into denial to continue to enjoy “macho” pursuits like fighting wars. Once a man realises he is killing and hurting other people like himself. Then war and violence become very difficult for him. Men who enjoy watching violent films are doing exactly the same thing. The pleasure of watching say a very violent James Bond film is only possible why you don’t connect this in terms of the horrendous suffering going on, if is was played out in real life. In this way the spectators in the Ancient Roman games were more honest than people today who watch violent films. At least the Roman people were not divorced from the violence they saw. Where real people were being killed and maimed. Today we watch fake violent film, yet the enjoyment of violence is still the same.
Women are less protected by the reality of the suffering around her because of her maternal instinct, which teaches her to care for others. This can make it automatic that other people's feelings become her feelings. The masculine on the other hand is individual and in its purest form. So the truly “macho” man is only aware of his own feeling and totally unaware of the feelings of others. This is why it is possible for patriarchal leaders to declare war on other countries and be unaffected by the great suffering that a war will cause.
But many men find they can learn to love and care for others and find this so difficult that they will cut off their feelings for others. Resulting in some caring and loving man suddenly turn into a cold and uncaring monster These men, in learning how to have empathy with others, discovered that empathy was very joyful and easy when they have empathy with someone who was very happy. Their happiness became his happiness. Then when they find that the person they are in love with were also able to be very unhappy then they have a problem. The other person’s unhappiness immediately became their unhappiness. So the solution to this problem was is to run away from other until they have got over it.
I know personally of a young woman who became convinced that her father hated her as a child because whenever she cried he would immediately become very angry and sarcastic with her. Yet in many other ways he did show he was a caring man. Again it was clear to me the father couldn't cope with his daughter when she become distressed.
What many women are discovering today is that they find men who are a real "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". These men seem to be very caring and loving and then suddenly will turn on them and become uncaring monsters. Men who begin to learn how to have empathy with others will naturally only want the joyful part of empathy. Where it becomes a nightmare is when the person he has empathy with becomes unhappy and has no control over the situation because it is another person's unhappiness. Some husbands in this situation then can become very angry with their wives and children. He is telling himself, "why should I have to be unhappy because they are unhappy". This can result in many men physically attacking wives and children simply because they express unhappiness. Certainly there have been many court cases where a man has killed his own baby because the baby was crying too much. While the wife or girlfriend protests that she cannot understand it because he is normally a very kind and caring man.
Women themselves have a similar problem. It was easy in the patriarchal age for a woman to have empathy with everyone else while she didn't care for herself. Now in recent years women are beginning to find they have real problems in empathy with others, when they begin to be aware of their own feelings. It can be wonderful for women when they become aware of their own happiness as well that of others. Before they were always happy when their husbands and children were happy. Now by being aware of their own happiness, they can become even more happy and joyful. Unfortunately when things go wrong they can also be aware of their own misery.
In the past if a woman had a husband who wanted to spend all his money on drink and gambling, she might fight him for enough money to feed and cloth their children. But if she ended up with nothing it wasn't a problem for her, because the needs of her husband and children came first. But women today find that if they end up with nothing it is a real problem for them, because they are aware of their own needs as well. So they find themselves in a "no-win" position if they live with a irresponsible man. They are able to be strong enough to say clearly to their husbands: "No, you cannot spend all our money on drink, gambling, cars and computer games". Yet she can be still be unhappy and feel guilty about denying her husband what he wants. However if she were to give in to these feeling and give him what he wants and deny herself, she would also feel unhappy. It is no wonder that heterosexual women complain today that with men, "you can't live with them and you can't live without them".
It can get even more difficult than this: What women find wonderful about having a caring husband is that she finds she can make him happy by being happy herself. So a virtuous cycle can be created, she can feed off his happiness and he can feed off her happiness. Unfortunately the opposite can be true. Also with a caring man she might find that if she is unhappy it makes him unhappy, so she can feel guilty about being unhappy. This can then create a vicious cycle where both partners feed off each other's unhappiness, making the situation worse and worse.
For this reason many women having had a relationship with a caring man, will leave him to go back to a more selfish man. She knows that with a "strong" “macho” and selfish man he will not be concerned about her unhappiness. So the relationship cannot go into a vicious cycle where the unhappiness of both partners will strongly affect the other. Unfortunately what she will find is that it is impossible to change a very selfish man. If he has a behaviour pattern that makes her unhappy, like spending all the money they have on himself or treating the children badly. She is totally unable to influence him in any way, because he doesn't care if what he wants to do will make others unhappy. But a man, who is able to feel empathy with her, knows full well that if his partner is unhappy he will be unhappy. He then has a powerful reason to do all he can to make his wife or girlfriend happy.
So heterosexual women have two choices: They can have a man who is able to love and empathy with them. But they find he has real problems if they become unhappy. Or women stick to very selfish men, who are able to cope with women becoming unhappy, and will probably be more helpful in this situation. The downside is that there is nothing a woman can do, if he wants to behave in a way that makes her unhappy. She cannot appeal to his better nature because it is unlikely that he has one.
It would be very easy if we could give a quick and easy solution, as you see with many of these "self help" books, but real life is not like this. Even today if a woman gives birth to say a mentally retarded child, it is fairly normal for that woman to devote her whole life to caring for it, even into adulthood. On the other hand it would be very unusual for a man to do this. He might help his wife look after a mentally retarded child, but he would be very unlikely to take full responsibility and back off when the going gets too tough.
So we can see that compared with women men are just beginners at learning how to love and care for others. They haven't been exposed to thousands if not millions of years of a powerful maternal instinct that makes women want to care for children, animals and men. Many men today may have strong desires to love and care for others. But when they have to put these feelings into practice and face the misery, unhappiness and sacrifice these feelings cause, they often back off.
For this reason many men have become very frightened of empathy with others. They do not want to be at the mercy of other people's feelings, so they practice being very hard “macho” men. The same time women are finding it hard to learn to love themselves while loving others. A woman who is learning to love herself finds that she is always betraying herself by putting the needs of children and men before her own. She might then choose to learn to hate men and even learn to hate children, seeing it as a way to prevent her from sacrificing herself for others.
We as a human race are standing at a crossroads. We have before us two choices; one is of a far better future than we could dream is possible for the human race. The other is a far worse future, if that is possible. In the patriarchal age we only had one half of the human race behaving totally selfishly with no regard for the feelings of others. If in the future men continue to resist empathy because they do not wish to feel the suffering of others. While at the same time women continue to learn how to love themselves by hating other people. Then it means that all men and women will be fearing and hating each other. In the patriarchal age men mostly killed each other as well as women and children in wars because they feared and hated each other. But at least it was only 50% of the population doing this. It women were to join in and learn hate and violence from men then the whole of human kind would be behaving in this insane way. In such a situation the human race would quickly become extinct.
The alternative to this is that men stop resisting their desires to give empathy with others, and women do not go down the path of learning to love themselves by hating others. That is to say they stick to learning how to love themselves and love others at the same time. The positive thing about this all is that it gives human kind a far better future. The suffering caused in the patriarchal age was caused by the dominant sex, (men) being unable to care and empathize with others. With men in the future learning how to empathize, and women not suppressing their ability to do this. It means both sexes will be motivated to create a far more loving and caring world.