“It Is Not Enough To Succeed. Others Must Fail”

It may legitimately be doubted whether there is, ever has been, or ever can be, a human society that lacks some kind of ritual or test that a man must pass through in order to obtain reproductive opportunities. As feminists have rightly pointed out, there is no absolute requirement that such a test involve fighting; on St. Kilda it used to be the ability to stand on one leg on the edge of the abyss, since a society that lived from collecting eggs and down from birds nesting on sea-cliffs could not afford genes for poor coordination and balance. The girls had to take the test too.

It is not even universal that the mating test involve physical prowess, for I once heard of a Pacific island where the boys courted the girls by proficiency in drawing. Just what the survival advantage or genetic desirability of that skill was can only be guessed; perhaps the community in question was so idyllic that it could afford to mess about. The vast majority of societies, of course, cannot afford to mess about, and obscure tribes living in isolated paradises prove very little about the exigencies facing the rest of the human race, especially peoples living on continents with too many hungry neighbours.

Selection of males, and any pre-qualification rituals, will always, therefore, involve some combination of rude health, grooming, combat skills, courage, acquisition of economic resources, aggression and low cunning. Our own cultures are no exception to this. To insist that it is really somehow otherwise, for some strange value of “is” possibly referring to the really neat universe next door, and that men ought instead to be selected for undefined “spiritual” or “emotional” qualities, is both ignorant and pointless.

Posted on October 14, 2009 at 09:01 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: AGAINST NATURE, Distrust Of Sex -- The Better Reasons

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