I've been thinking (dangerous territory!). Specifically about bonobo chimps and other chimps. Evolution according to Pat's limited learning:
Once upon a time, the bonobos and chimps branched off from each other in the evolutionary tree. The chimps took to the trees and the bonobos stayed aground. The difference was caused by food supplies.
Over time, each group developed different social structures.
The regular chimps are violent, male-dominated, and the males beat up the females and fight a lot amongst themselves. They rape, plunder, and even kidnap.
Conversely, the bonobos rarely have any violent disputes. They solve almost everything by sexual encounters and have sex maybe a dozen times a day.
A major difference that may account for this violent vs. non-violent societies is explained by the fact that the land-based bonobos have a chance for the females to bond together. This prevents brutality by the males. The males get along fine too. The tree-based chimp troops do not have bonding of females since they are largely separated logistically. They are dominated by the males.
Now, my point is, can this be extrapolated to humans? If so, it would seem a very good thing that the trend has been for women to exercise more power than they have traditionally. This possibly makes for a more peaceable societal arrangement. Groups like the League of Women Voters, etc. have maybe a powerful beneficial unseen evolutionary value.
Another point in this vein is what Joseph Campbell (a scholar of ancient people) has stated. He said on a Bill Moyers program on public TV that nations that were settled in the past and agriculturally based were much more peaceable and worshipped female goddesses along with male gods in their religion. Like the bonobos.
He said that the Hebrews, however, were herders, nomadic and it was very significant that their religion had only a male god. The Hebrews were unique in getting rid of all goddesses. They had a "manly god of war" and go to war they did! The fact that they were originally nomadic herders made them always bump into other peoples negatively and agressively.
So, the absence of women in their religion reflected, and at the same time caused, their very warlike nature, according to Mr. Campbell. The women had no power politically. Same as the regular chimps.
So, what do you think? Just my thoughts for the week.
Edited by - Patio34 on 31 August 2002 18:15:50