Coded gray. Perhaps a bit yellow because of the picture.

Thursday 13 April 2006

Small screenshot Oblivion

Pic of the day: The male/female relationship as seen by Swedish feminists. OK, perhaps not, but you have to wonder.

"Men are animals"

I'm sure women sometimes say this to one another when some particularly horrible story is exchanged. But most don't say it on TV. A leading Swedish feminist did however, a year or so ago. Since I don't live in Sweden (but in neighboring Norway) and don't watch TV (but the Internet), I only got to know it now. Evidently there has been a backlash against radical feminism in Sweden after this, and after some of the methods of feminist science have been revealed to the public.

But of course there is something in it. Men are animals, at least some of the time. And so are women. Men and women are not always the same kind of animal, though. As I seem to say every few months: A woman who cannot control her impulses get fat; a man gets jailed. That's not to say that there are no women in jail, not to mention fat men of which there are a lot. But what I mean is that there are obvious natural differences between the sexes due to their different role in reproduction. This is so for pretty near all mammals, which makes sense since they reproduce in the same way.

Women can only have a very limited number of offspring in their lifetime. Quite apart from raising the children, which both parents and other relatives can do, it is the woman who has the biological cost of pregnancy and lactation. This takes a lot of energy and also reduces her ability to move around freely to forage or hunt. Men are not so restricted. It is therefore imperative for a woman to have enough fat on her body, since food is scarce in most parts of the world. Therefore women tend to obsess over food in a way most men cannot even imagine. (I can partly imagine it because after I lost nearly 15% of my body mass, sheer self-preservation kicked in and made me look at pretty much any food with desire.)

In contrast, men have an unlimited capacity for reproduction, with only one weakness: It requires a woman to get done at all. Therefore the man is attracted to women with single-minded dedication. Also because men can initiate many simultaneous pregnancies (unlike women, obviously) another woman is still tempting even if he already has one. (Women cheat too, but far more selectively. Most women are not particularly inclined to cheat except in the very few days around ovulation, and then only with men who are genetically superior to their current husband. This is measured by general health, symmetry and having an immune system different from her own. As in, for instance, a different "race". Most of the month these don't interest her at all, and especially not during pregnancy.

(Of course psychological factors complicate this picture greatly, but individual factors tend to cancel out in statistics, which is where these effects show up.)

While getting the best genes possible is a woman's main concern, men are less picky. On the other hand it is important for them to get some, at any cost, which can cause men to rape women, while the opposite is very rare. Intriguingly, it seems that date rape is far more likely to happen when the woman is actually fertile. The random rape which is a form of violence rather than of reproduction is much less common, and is not limited by fertility at all. Some men will rape children, the elderly, and even other men. It is not really a sexual act but a kind of violence. Date rape, however, is generally a form of reproduction and actually a very efficient one. It is more likely to cause conception than a voluntary intercourse during the same time of the month. The reason for this is still debated, but the most common theory seems to be that the rapist produces more sperm-dense semen. How they do this is also uncertain, it is kinda hard to arrange tests. But other tests show that married men who have been out of sight from their wives for a long time will also produce semen with far more sperm than those who have spent the latest weeks together. The purpose is probably to crowd out the sperm from any other men who may have had access to the woman in the meantime.

Another way of ensuring fatherhood is to not go away, but instead beat the snot out of nearby males that might possibly find one's mate interesting. For this purpose men are born more violent and muscular than the women. (Yes, it is also useful when chasing away cave lions. But women could have benefited from that too. If there is a gender difference, you can bet it has to do with sexual behavior. In the relatively few monogamous primates, there is barely any difference in size between males and females. The size difference is directly related to the size of the harem. Statistically the minor difference in our species corresponds to bigamy or perhaps trigamy.) Male violence is NOT just culture. Most common barnyard animals display the same picture, and their culture is definitely not much to write home about. Culture can modify the behavior, and so we have a goodly number of men who don't attack their neighbors to fight for mating rights. But on average they are far more likely to do so than women. This will surprise very few farmers.

So yes, men and women are animals, and as such do what it takes to bring their genes on to the next generation. I guess we are lucky to be descended from apes, who generally don't fight to the death over mating rights. And in particular we are lucky to not descend from one of several types of insects, where the female habitually bites the male's head off during mating, and later devours the rest of the body as nourishment for her eggs. When women bite the men's head off, it is purely metaphorical. Still, it's a good idea to not do it on TV...

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Yes, yes, eating!
Two years ago: Aishiteru ze Baby
Three years ago: Meanwhile, in Camelot ...
Four years ago: SimCountry lessons
Five years ago: Power days
Six years ago: Whining
Seven years ago: Starting at

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