This comment to Dalrock’s article discussing the behaviors of the typical Christian woman explains much as to why women behave as they do regardless of their religious beliefs. The comment introduces why and when our “traditional” value occurred and touches on some interesting theories as to where our society may be going. In the future I would like to delve deeper into some of the many topics that were touched upon. However this comment discusses a theory that Evolutionary Biology seems to explain about cuckolding and how it was dealt with in the past. An interesting note should be made as to how birth control, which is primarily controlled by women, will affect our future generations.
I have recently discovered your blog and was quite fascinated by it. I fully agree with you on most points. Moreover, I often engage in debates on feminism with my friends, always trying to point out its harmful effects to society. I basically was arguing many of your points without knowing it. I am still quite surprised about widespread obliviousness to this situation even among smart educated people.
I couldn’t find a way to contact you directly other than posting a comment. This short essay is not directed at the topic at hand, rather it is an expression of the opinion on big picture origins of feminism. Some of it was taken from a number of popular science books, and some of it is my own speculation. May be it was already covered in earlier posts, or in other blogs, I didn’t happen to run across it yet. I would like to engage in a debate and/or be proven wrong, so please don’t hesitate to comment. I hope everyone finds it interesting.
To begin with, I and pretty much all scientific community agree with you on human female evolutionary needs:
“1. Sex from the most attractive, powerful, highest status man they can get.
2. Maximum investment and commitment from a man (love, courtship, romance, his lifetime commitment to her).
In fact, evolutionary biologists logically explain these desires. Firstly, the male attractiveness strongly implies good genes therefore the offspring has much better chance of surviving. A lot of research has been done on that, e.g. it was recently shown that “Physical attractiveness as a phenotypic marker of health: an assessment using a nationally representative sample of American adults” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513814000749. Secondly, due to large size of the human brain babies have to be born quite helpless, and a woman could not raise the children on her own for at least few first years. That’s why such unique features as constant availability for sex and concealed ovulation had evolved, so as to keep a man loyal and committed. And finally, I don’t think I need to comment on how evolutionary biologists explain a desire to have children.
This means that a woman that followed up on those desires had higher chance of leaving more descendants in the primitive hunter gatherer environment. This is a very important caveat because in all the blogs and modern literature we use such terms as “traditional”, “old-fashioned”, “for thousands of years”, or “for generations”. All these terms typically imply the environment humans lived after the onset of the agriculture: from few thousand years to about couple of hundred years ago. This period is blink of an eye with very limited impact on humans as a species. The vast majority of time was spent in so called primitive hunter gatherer setting. Our behaviors and instincts have evolved to adapt to that environment, which in fact has very little similarity to what we would call traditional.
How family arrangement and human sexuality worked in primitive societies is hard to figure out for certain. However, such methods as observation of modern primitive societies, records of observations in the past, archeological evidence, details of human anatomy, observations of our close relatives – apes, and other species give some clues for our current understanding (Matt Ridley in “Red Queen” and Jared Diamond in ”The day before yesterday” elaborate on that). The answer turns out to be that throughout most of their history humans lived in predominantly monogamous families (at least serially monogamous) with a widespread cuckoldry. This implied that in a given tribe/village there was one or few dominant men who were in fact biological fathers of about 10-20% of all children. These alphas typically had their own wives and children, while the adulteresses were conning hapless betas into providing for the kids, whose true father was unknown even to the mother herself. Yes, women always wanted to “have their cake and eat it too”. Women went for their #1 desire, despite the fact that in all societies, it was a very risky activity. Adulterers were almost universally severely punished if caught. But there is not much the majority of man could do under such conditions, hence women were moderately successful in pursuing all three of their desires.
That is until the onset of agriculture. More people were now able to crowd together so laws and norms enforcement institutions had to be created. This part is somewhat related to the current topic in this post, it may sound a bit blasphemous for some readers, and I apologize for it in advance. After the onset of agriculture a bunch of men got together and developed a set of rules so that strangers could live next to each other without conflict, it is often overlooked that the important part of these laws was aimed at curbing the adultery (just read Ten Commandments).
Provided much more resources (available manpower) the institutions were quite efficient at enforcing the rules and achieving their goals. These developments created what we call now “traditional” family arrangement. This typically involved patriarchic structure, where women’s chastity was highly valued. A monetary transaction typically took place between patriarchs, whenever a daughter changed household in an arranged marriage. The virginity of the daughter in such situation was of paramount importance. It was often argued, and rightly so, that men ended up on a winning side of this arrangement. I like to think about it as “Revenge of the nerds 1.0” – ordinary men stuck it to women hard for all those hundreds of thousands years of cuckoldry.
A side note: another interesting side effect of agriculture is the appearance of harems. In a primitive society rarely could a man afford to take care of even two wives. But with agriculture and division of labor, some men accumulated insane amount of resources. Obviously, they created themselves a heavily guarded breeding machines comprised of up to thousands of fertile women. This summarizes human male’s evolutionary needs pretty well.
The “traditional” arrangement with some variations lasted for several thousands of years. Women were not completely powerless during this time on both individual level and as a whole. There are multiple examples of societies where many women appear everywhere in societal hierarchy having successful careers. We all know examples of powerful queens in European nations. It’s hard to say, however, whether those women could or ever considered instituting feminism reforms. Some feministic propositions, or rather pieces of work that pointed fingers at the unfairness of women’s situation appeared here and there in western literature long before the onset of feminism. You could check out “Madame Bovary” or “Anna Karenina” for example, and you will find some resemblance to “Eat Pray Love”, safe for eventual outcome.
I speculate that there is one good reason why feminism never took hold or became popular before recent times. One big difference is that throughout all human history except may be last 50-60 years women lacked a remarkable technological invention: reliable and painless method for birth control. Indeed, the one thing women could never do, even now, albeit to a lesser extent, is to raise a child on their own. Children of single mothers are and have always been at a great disadvantage from the start, more so in the past than recently. Yes a woman could engage in her #1 desire and hook up with the alpha, but if she gets knocked up her life was ruined. That’s why they needed men, and needed “traditional” arrangement to help raise the children. And about 50 years ago it all changed, now women had means not to get knocked up. Obviously a set of propositions that appeal to basic subconscious instincts was bound to become widespread and popular. There are certainly other important developments such as democracy and freedom of speech that had an impact. But I’m strongly convinced that the “carousel” and “hookup culture” wouldn’t be possible without a means of birth control.
Now we find ourselves in a truly unprecedented situation: women bunch together and successfully pressure to legitimize their sexual promiscuity. Adultery is no longer a crime in civilized world, for the first time in history. And nobody knows how it will affect subsequent generations. One consequence is already experienced by both men and women, your blog devotes a lot of attention it: Achieving desire #1 by means of utilizing birth control, fundamentally contradicts achieving desires #2 and #3. It’s obvious that’s it hard to get kids with birth control, but the absence romance in hookup culture is trickier, such that most feminists still don’t get it. In this blog you explained it remarkably well, I learned a lot reading it.
This is probably a simplistic view. I would like to learn more and be contradicted. Please ask questions, I omitted many interesting details for the sake of brevity and clarity.
There are many more important issues brought up not only in the original article but in the comment section that I am working on addressing.