Why Is A Woman Like A Tornado?

Lionel Tiger, the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, says that modern men are being excluded from family bonds, so much so that we are reverting to what he calls “mammalian default mode” – the family equals a mother and her offspring. Much of this is due to the role of the state, which is becoming far more aggressive in enforcing women’s demands on the men who are increasingly being expelled from the home. In other words, he says, the state is giving women financial incentives to break up families; he calls this “bureaugamy”.

Apart from the cute neologisms, this is pretty much what “reactionary” men have been saying for decades. In my country, we have long had what looks very like a pre-planned life-cycle: the woman throws the man out of their house (or his house) just precisely when the youngest child begins at school.

If it is now the case that modern biology is reinforcing perceptions traditionally branded as patriarchal or misogynist, then science must inevitably find itself fighting for its very survival on two fronts: it will be marked for destruction by both creationists and political progressives. And indeed, much concern over this unholy alliance has already been expressed in the US. We might go further, and ask what prospects there are for an enterprise that finds itself in the opposite corner from the economic interests of half the population as well as the superstitions of another, overlapping half?

Throughout the animal world, the greater the male contribution to the rearing of the young, the smaller is the difference in reproductive strategies between the sexes, and the lower is male aggressiveness. From this point of view, those feminists who promote a convergence of roles are doing precisely the right thing to achieve their stated goals of social harmony; but the feminists who wish to combine female participation in the workforce with an old-fashioned (or default mammalian) concept of the woman as sole proprietor of the children are doing precisely the wrong thing.

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 10:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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