It is the twenty first century and humans have evolved so and spread all over the planet Earth within the last 100,000 or so years. We have managed to build hi-tech cities, send probes into space, conquer a certain death and even make new life out of scratch. Yet, why in the name of the little goodness that exists in this world is there this huge gender divide in the minds of people?? Isn’t it high time that we left petty old beliefs and traditions and just started caring for each other and for the world rather than segregating people as men, women, trans, pan or cis? Or spreading hatred by checking out peoples sexual orientation, color, race, caste or creed? We boast about technological advancements and development and economic growth, when our minds are still stuck in some archaic era when individuals on one coast of the sea did not know about the existence of another coast for the same sea and believed that the Earth is flat and ended in the sea!!
I am right now having another episode of chronic insomnia and can’t help wondering what the hell is wrong with humans. In the deathly silence of my room at 2.30 in the morning I’m musing to myself about what exactly might be the problem with humankind. One answer that immediately pops up in my head is ‘PATRIARCHY’, that system of society that makes ‘man’ the all knowing, all powerful fella who has all the authority to lead, control and rule all that doesn’t have the appendage, that presumably makes that fella a ‘man’! But patriarchy is a system of society and we have had its opposite in many societies, there were societies which followed matriarchy and matrilinear hierarchy etc. Unfortunately, these are now mostly extinct because of the spread of patriarchy via imperial colonisation ( I guess so). I am a very poor historian and an even poorer politician, so don’t ask me about history or politics that was involved in it……
A more convincing reason that I am currently ruminating on is a little anthropological (Oh! I so love science and behaviour and evolution). The first seeds of this explanation was sowed into my mind when I read the book ‘From Volga to Ganga’ by the Indian nationalist, Father of Hindi Travel Literature, philosopher, Rahul Sankrityayan. And after reading it, I started on my reading of evolution and development of early human societies, which gave me a profound insight into certain very interesting aspects of human societies. If I may try and put it all into succinct points:
1. Early human societies, during their nomadic phases were mostly led or managed by females or a matriarch, and father figures were of little consequence.
2. As these nomadic societies settled in places, but continued with their hunter gatherer ways, men took over the hunting and outdoorsy work. Now, I think a possible explanation to this is not because men were stronger, but because men were expendable. If the mother dies in an attack by a wild animal, the baby wouldn’t be fed or cared for. But it’ll still be safe even if the father is gone and the mother can always find another mate.
3. Early humans weren’t essentially monogamous. the females were definitely polyandrous.
4. Early human females began choosing males who were stronger and able to bring home food more consistently without themselves ending up dead and eaten- Sexual Selection
5. The above resulted in stronger males.
6. The stronger males who also had brains that were bigger than all other mammals started taking advantage of the females, and the females allowed them so they get stronger babies and so plenty of food and less starvation in the coming generations.
And then as time passed, the brains evolved more and language and culture developed and so did the crooked minds of men who now started staking a claim not just as the providers of meat and sperm but also as the providers of freedom and order and direction! Now ain’t that absolutely mean? And thus patriarchy was born…..
Now, we can all lament about the oppressing patriarchy and all that crap but I think its high time to let bygones be bygones and consider patriarchy as an outdated system and start living as the intelligent mammals we are supposed to be. A rather sad fact that I noticed recently is regarding feminism. I am a feminist and I am not ashamed to say so, but what so many current feminists claim to be feminism sounds more like a sort of compromise and they rant about the need for more justice and not exactly equality and end up being so ambiguous about what they really want. Its almost as if they too are conforming with the male order!!
The pressing need of the hour is Equality to all and not just between men and women, but everyone. Today’s world is made of people who are strictly more aware of their beings more than the individuals of yesteryears and it is high time that the society stopped perceiving someone as male, female, trans or cis!! I dream of a time when all humans would be equal rather than bickering about the presence or absence of extra appendages, which incidentally can be easily destroyed with nothing more than a sharp pen knife held even in a child’s hand…….