International women’s day is on March 8 a time to celebrate such wonderful people.
At what point did the males on the planet become dominant and the females submissive? It is the same in virtually all mammal species. Generally it is men who take on the appearance of being dominant. It has never seemed that way to me. In the human species I think that women have always run the world but have cleverly allowed men to believe that they are in charge.
I am not denying that men have been grossly unfair to women and have abused and suppressed them and created great inequality on virtually every level and in many societies continue to do so. Also I am aware that women had to fight and some societies still fight, to get the rites of equality and even the vote. It was not that long ago that women in the UK were legally the property of men, initially their father and then their husband.
I want to suggest a different way of looking at the male female assertiveness and dominance.
First our nearest relative is not, as many believe, chimpanzees, it is Bonobos. These are a smaller form of Chimpanzee often termed the ‘pygmy chimpanzee’. The striking thing is that Bonobo society is a matriarchy run by the alpha female. The females are assertive and dominant including sexually. This is not simply a change of roles where the females are the unreasonable dominant for just like men. Bonobo society is calmer, more peaceful and has less conflicts than their chimpanzee cousins. This would indicate that female equality and even dominance is perfectly possible in primate and human society.
The second is normally termed ‘The Sex Contract’ that has existed in human societies from way back in evolution. The contract goes something like this. The female give herself exclusively to a male in return for food and protection. The deal was that she would stay at home in the cave looking after the home, the kids and the in-laws and going down the bush to pick nuts and berries while he was out there bringing back the food, in this case meat, to feed the family. he would also have the role of protecting her and the children from any threat from other males or groups of hominids.
Now the woman needed to multitask to get all her jobs done and the man needed to be a mono-tasker to ensure that he focussed on his hunting without becoming distracted. So we now have the idea that men and woman have different brains. From what I read in neuroscience it would suggest that the brains are pretty much the same it is how they are used that is different. A bit like a computer where the hardware is the same but the programme that is being run is different. Latest research suggests the female brain passes information from one hemisphere to the other, multitasking, while the male brain passes information from the back to the front, mono-tasking.
The sexual part works like this. The woman wants a man who is strong, can be dominant and aggressive to get food and provide protection. However, she needs to be able to control this potentially dangerous male. When couples have sex and both orgasm the woman is energised and able to get up, get on and do things. The male, on the other hand, following ejaculation creates the chemistry that makes him fall asleep. The assumption is that the female managed to control this aggressive male through her sexuality.
The last thing that, to me, makes the dominance of females obvious is caring. In that I include all the positive skills of nurture, caring, love, social cohesion, listening, understanding and so on. When men decide to go to war and beat the crap out of each other it is the women that go onto the battle field and nurse, heal and cure the injured. If there is a peace movement it is normally the women who are running it. When I work with couples, nine times out of ten, it is the woman who is the driver that brought them to therapy.
Over all I think that women have always been dominant in ways that men do not realise from home making to healing. Had it not been for females humanity would have died out generations ago.
Take care and embrace our equality