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DarthMetaKnight
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04 Apr 2018, 6:55 pm

Hi all. Let's talk about prehistoric humans. As you all know, that's one of my favorite things to talk about, since it bridges the gap between animal prehistory and human history.

Here's something that I've noticed. Most people seem to think that all prehistoric men were brutal misogynists who liked to beat up women. Were prehistoric men actually like this? Let's look at the facts.

The Case For:

- A lot of people assume that us men are naturally misogynistic, and that we will naturally abuse women unless we are taught not to. Could it be that sexism has always been a product of propaganda? Umm...
- Men were brutal towards women in Ancient Rome ... so men must have been even more brutal even further in the past. Right?
- You are naïve! Humans are naturally bad! REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The Case Against:

- Why do women desire freedom now? If women had been oppressed during prehistory, they probably would have lost their desire for liberty. Evolutionary psychology 101.
- How did the human species even survive the prehistoric era? If cavemen had been beating up women for thousands of years, they would have died. The human species would have gone extinct.
- Women generally don't need men to protect them nowadays, but the prehistoric era was different. Back in those days, a woman without male protection would not have survived pregnancy. She would have been eaten by animals.
- Many statues dating back to the prehistoric era are mother goddess statues.
- Men who treat women as sex objects during their twenties and thirties usually become depressed when they enter their forties, implying that this is not natural behavior.
- Why do men have beards? Some women are attracted to them, but they don't seem to serve any other purpose. This implies that men have beards for the same reason peacocks have big tails. This, of course, means that prehistoric woman selected men with larger beards, meaning that most sex during the prehistoric era was consentual.
- During the Roman imperial period, the "barbarian" tribes had more female leaders than the Roman Empire did.
- There were more female leaders in the Americas prior to colonialization than after colonialization.
- The Pirahã people have a society in which everyone is equal and there is no coercion.

Perhaps we need to give cavemen more credit. They must have been gentlemen, or else we wouldn't be here today.

Never give up on human progress. Progress isn't about creating totally new behavioral patterns. It's about restoring natural human behavior and making it - for the first time ever - work within a technological framework.

Peace out.


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kraftiekortie
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05 Apr 2018, 12:08 am

I guess it depends on the individual caveman.

Most men in the Pleistocene didn’t actually live in caves.



Closet Genious
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05 Apr 2018, 12:43 am

I think the idea that human history has been nothing but an evil patriarchy is bollocks.



Wolfram87
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05 Apr 2018, 1:29 am

Closet Genious wrote:
I think the idea that human history has been nothing but an evil patriarchy is bollocks.


Pretty much. A species that hates its own females does not survive for long. Especially a social species such as us.


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05 Apr 2018, 1:41 am

DarthMetaKnight wrote:
Hi all. Let's talk about prehistoric humans. As you all know, that's one of my favorite things to talk about, since it bridges the gap between animal prehistory and human history.

Here's something that I've noticed. Most people seem to think that all prehistoric men were brutal misogynists who liked to beat up women. Were prehistoric men actually like this? Let's look at the facts.

The Case For:

- A lot of people assume that us men are naturally misogynistic, and that we will naturally abuse women unless we are taught not to. Could it be that sexism has always been a product of propaganda? Umm...
- Men were brutal towards women in Ancient Rome ... so men must have been even more brutal even further in the past. Right?
- You are naïve! Humans are naturally bad! REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The Case Against:

- Why do women desire freedom now? If women had been oppressed during prehistory, they probably would have lost their desire for liberty. Evolutionary psychology 101.
- How did the human species even survive the prehistoric era? If cavemen had been beating up women for thousands of years, they would have died. The human species would have gone extinct.
- Women generally don't need men to protect them nowadays, but the prehistoric era was different. Back in those days, a woman without male protection would not have survived pregnancy. She would have been eaten by animals.
- Many statues dating back to the prehistoric era are mother goddess statues.
- Men who treat women as sex objects during their twenties and thirties usually become depressed when they enter their forties, implying that this is not natural behavior.
- Why do men have beards? Some women are attracted to them, but they don't seem to serve any other purpose. This implies that men have beards for the same reason peacocks have big tails. This, of course, means that prehistoric woman selected men with larger beards, meaning that most sex during the prehistoric era was consentual.
- During the Roman imperial period, the "barbarian" tribes had more female leaders than the Roman Empire did.
- There were more female leaders in the Americas prior to colonialization than after colonialization.
- The Pirahã people have a society in which everyone is equal and there is no coercion.

Perhaps we need to give cavemen more credit. They must have been gentlemen, or else we wouldn't be here today.

Never give up on human progress. Progress isn't about creating totally new behavioral patterns. It's about restoring natural human behavior and making it - for the first time ever - work within a technological framework.

Peace out.


Note: For the sake of this reply, I will be neglecting aspects of patriarchy that is oppressive towards men and be focusing my thoughts on it's effect on women. However bear in mind that men are not all winners in a patriarchal system either.

Humans are inherently patriarchal and probably were from the beginning. I believe most prehistoric human tribes were probably at least somewhat misogynistic but how much so is difficult to determine.

The Yanomami, many tribes of Papua New Guinea, the Maasai and the Afar tribes are all misogynistic, with the Yanomami being extremely misogynistic.

Merely because a culture worships goddesses does not mean it holds women in high regard or views them in a respectful or egalitarian manner.

Ancient Athenian culture, the people of which were the inhabitants of Athens, named after their goddess Athena, was extremely patriarchal and misogynistic. Athenian women lived much like Afghani women under the taliban, and were also regarded as defective, inferior humans. Despite often being bound to their houses, and required to veil when they went out, women held important religious roles and participated in important religious ceremonies. But this was done all under the domain of the patriarchy and is part of the concept of men using women as they saw fit.

This can also be seen in the Catholic church. The most venerated figure in the Catholic church is a female, Mary, the mother of Jesus, also referred to as "The Blessed Mother" or "The Virgin Mary". Mary, according to Catholic beliefs, was born free of original sin. The Vatican, a patriarchal institution, is perfectly happy using a woman for their religious purposes, but they refuse to allow women to occupy positions of power within the church, despite no biblical prohibitions, and refuse to recognize Mary Magdalen as an apostle, despite most theologists noting that there is no reason to think she wouldn't have been if she had been a male. Some theologists suspect that Mary Madalene was not just a disciple of Jesus, but the financier of his travels. The Catholic church is perfectly happy with women as long as they remain quiet, out of positions of power, and they can use them as they see fit. I have not even discussed the issue of their role in female deaths due to lack of access to birth control and health care at their hospitals, or their treatment of women who fell pregnant out of wedlock.

Concerning women and spirituality though, one thing can be said for certain. Menstruation, and the ability of women to birth another human out of their bodies, freaked men out. It both horrified, and left them awestuck, and being the inner workings of the woman concerning these issues eluded them, they often attributed these things to either divine punishment or supernatural powers, the later of which terrified men and made them view women as potential threats. This is why witches are often depicted as women, rather than as men.
The connection it was believed that women had to the world of the divine and supernatural is why Joan of Arc was taken seriously and the ancient Greeks consulted with female Oracles.

Most primate species are patriarchal. Bonobos, gorillas and orangutans are the exception with bonobos being matriarchal and gorillas being neither matriarchal or patriarchal, but by no means egalitarian. Female gorillas seek out silverbacks and accumulate around him in a harem. Female gorillas generally do not get along with each other, and the silverback maintains the peace between them, and prevents the other males in the group from mating with them. Occasionally females leave the group and have flings with other males. Male gorillas will, however, occasionally kill infant gorillas that are not their own.

Orangutans don't live in groups, but the males are known to engage in what appears to be forced sex (rape) of females.

But what of human males? Does the fact that our species seems to have an inherent patriarchal bent mean that men are doomed to be oppressive jerks towards women? No, in fact most aren't. Our species is blessed with a robust frontal lobe which allows us to override the emotions and more primitive impulses that arise from the more archaic parts of our brain, and allows a high degree of plasticity in our perspectives and beliefs.
Even if a man, at some level, feels threatened by his wife socializing with other men, or women smarter than him, or the thought of his wife out earning him, or women who are more successful than them (when they are not similarly threatened by men more successful than them) most have the capacity to mitigate these feelings with their reasoning abilities.

The ones who don't attack women when they can do so with impunity, because the women represent a threat to their status, which, at some level, they seem to hold should be higher than that of a woman (patriarchal system).

That is one way patriarchy turns into misogyny. The man starts to perceive a woman as a threat or a potential threat to his status.



The_Face_of_Boo
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05 Apr 2018, 3:27 am

^^ Good reply, as I said before.....humans were always a patriarchal species- the idea that prehistoric humans were egalitarians and that we are naturally like bonobos rather than chimps was a fantasy in some feminist literature that got so popular , I remember our psychology teacher back in school told us of this story as if it's a fact.

Yet in the same session, she contradicted herself when she told us how most ancient civilizations associated snakes to women, which was a very misogynistic idea indeed.

All evidences on primitive tribes show that humans have a very strong patriarchal bias, they are much closer to chimps socially than to bonobos (even the wolves are far more naturally egalitarian).

Quote:
Merely because a culture worships goddesses does not mean it holds women in high regard or views them in a respectful or egalitarian manner.


True, they worships mostly the 'beauty' and 'fertility' but not the women themselves.


Quote:
The Yanomami, many tribes of Papua New Guinea, the Maasai and the Afar tribes are all misogynistic, with the Yanomami being extremely misogynistic.


You forgot the Māori tribes, these were a Warrior society, so I imagine they were not egalitarian per se at all.



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05 Apr 2018, 4:31 am

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
You forgot the Māori tribes, these were a Warrior society, so I imagine they were not egalitarian per se at all.


I'd wager that societies that can amass wealth (nomadic pastoralists and farmers) cease to be egalitarian. Even societies that don't still have 'big men', but once wealth accumulates, so does power and between the two egalitarianism ceases to exist within that society. Just a guess though.


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08 Apr 2018, 10:47 am

funeralxempire wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
You forgot the Māori tribes, these were a Warrior society, so I imagine they were not egalitarian per se at all.


I'd wager that societies that can amass wealth (nomadic pastoralists and farmers) cease to be egalitarian. Even societies that don't still have 'big men', but once wealth accumulates, so does power and between the two egalitarianism ceases to exist within that society. Just a guess though.



But who said that ‘cavemen’ weren’t a wealth-amassing culture? If they were territorial about their caves and hunted food; then that’s equivalent to wealth.



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08 Apr 2018, 11:33 am

Going on purely borrowed knowledge (if anyone knows more about this can can say more or correct any of it please feel free to jump in):

- Our species is one of the few where females don't show outward signs of cyclical fertility.
- Ours is also one of the only where lacteal capacity in females stays relatively constant or at least enlargement at pregnancy is usually within 20% rather than the converse, as it might be among other species, where all non-pregnant women would be A-cups.

There seems to be some suggestion floating out there that these changes may have been socially driven and that the first case, .ie females not showing cyclical fertility, may be do to some rather heinous causes. If that's true I'd prefer it happened before we reached Homo Sapiens Sapiens but unfortunately a large part of our history is still closed to us and about all we can hope for is that we find enough DNA from across human evolution to get a grasp of what happened when as well as what our mental and emotional capacities were and weren't at those given points.


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08 Apr 2018, 11:39 am

Maybe not actual cyclical fertility—but pretty close.

I’ve known women who could care less about me physically—until around the time of ovulation.

I find that females, in general, experience horniness in a more “cyclical” pattern than males. It’s a more “constant” thing with males.



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08 Apr 2018, 12:03 pm

That's a different thing though than them having glands that visually enlarge, breaking out in specialized kinds of hives, or things of that nature. That's more the angle of what I meant in the first point.


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08 Apr 2018, 1:18 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
You forgot the Māori tribes, these were a Warrior society, so I imagine they were not egalitarian per se at all.


I'd wager that societies that can amass wealth (nomadic pastoralists and farmers) cease to be egalitarian. Even societies that don't still have 'big men', but once wealth accumulates, so does power and between the two egalitarianism ceases to exist within that society. Just a guess though.



But who said that ‘cavemen’ weren’t a wealth-amassing culture? If they were territorial about their caves and hunted food; then that’s equivalent to wealth.


Examination of similar societies we have had contact with and been able to examine. People who live semi-nomadically aren't able to amass wealth because they're limited in how much they can bring with them when moving between camps, this is inherently a limiting fact.

Pastoralists like I mention amass wealth primarily in the form of herds, but if their society lacked domesticated animals to herd they'd be in the same boat I've described above. Herds are both beasts of burden (allowing more stuff to be carried) and movable wealth on their own.

As for hunted food, food spoils and thus has a limited shelf life. There's no sense in amassing 'food wealth' if you're unable to store it long term, which is why those societies tend to encourage distributing food wealth, the idea being others will do the same and everyone will owe everyone else and gain social prestige through their ability to provide. This is the basis of the gift economy that defines economic interactions in these societies.


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08 Apr 2018, 1:25 pm

Wouldn't that limiting factor just increase the value of everything they can bring with them?


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09 Apr 2018, 7:14 pm

Wolfram87 wrote:
Wouldn't that limiting factor just increase the value of everything they can bring with them?


Items would be as valuable as they are useful. It would increase the need to prioritize what's brought and it would (likely) create an incentive to make all goods that can't be transported disposable since they'd only be used for awhile before the group needs to relocate and abandon them.


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11 Apr 2018, 4:32 am

funeralxempire wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
You forgot the Māori tribes, these were a Warrior society, so I imagine they were not egalitarian per se at all.


I'd wager that societies that can amass wealth (nomadic pastoralists and farmers) cease to be egalitarian. Even societies that don't still have 'big men', but once wealth accumulates, so does power and between the two egalitarianism ceases to exist within that society. Just a guess though.



But who said that ‘cavemen’ weren’t a wealth-amassing culture? If they were territorial about their caves and hunted food; then that’s equivalent to wealth.


Examination of similar societies we have had contact with and been able to examine. People who live semi-nomadically aren't able to amass wealth because they're limited in how much they can bring with them when moving between camps, this is inherently a limiting fact.

Pastoralists like I mention amass wealth primarily in the form of herds, but if their society lacked domesticated animals to herd they'd be in the same boat I've described above. Herds are both beasts of burden (allowing more stuff to be carried) and movable wealth on their own.

As for hunted food, food spoils and thus has a limited shelf life. There's no sense in amassing 'food wealth' if you're unable to store it long term, which is why those societies tend to encourage distributing food wealth, the idea being others will do the same and everyone will owe everyone else and gain social prestige through their ability to provide. This is the basis of the gift economy that defines economic interactions in these societies.


But most of these 'similar societies' are not egalitarian at all.