Sexual Dimorphism is especially pronounced in seals, the genitalia of the sea. Photo by Peter Vermont
I’m about as productive as the government so I took a seven hour lunch and drove Electra around. She’s chasing some kite for the Bacon Lettuce and Tomato and we ended up at this lesbian’s house. I can’t remember names cause I initially didn’t care, but it turned out to be innaresting. There weren’t dildos under the cushions or anything, but they are organizing a Pride week sometime and there’ll be rainbow kite flying thing. More interesting was what she said about women in SL (and Greater Pakiland) having to deal with harassment daily. Like catcalls, car horning, getting flashed, jerked off on, and at the worst, molested and raped. And married to people they don’t like, getting beaten, etc. I normally wouldn’t think about it, but it’s getting so that I can’t get drunk without raising money for battered women, or have a glass of wine on Tuesday without ending up at random houses. Anyways, I’ve been watching a lot of zombie movies and I have a theory.
One of my favorite classes in Uni was Human Evolution. The first thing about Human Evolution is that it’s a bunch of fucking monkeys and about two weeks of humans, but whatever. They had a room full of bones and we learned to tell them apart by sex, among other things. Some species aren’t very Sexually Dimorphic, meaning that the male and female of the species are pretty much the same size. Humans, however, are. Males are, on average, 36 pounds heavier than females, and that is 36 pounds of ass-beating bulk. Or, as the book puts it,
A high degree of sexual dimorphism (difference in size between the sexes) has been strongly correlated with male-male combat over access to females… In male-male competition, selection generally favors individuals with larger body size, physical weaponry (such as the large canine teeth of baboons), and other characteristics that expedite the male’s control over access to females (How Humans Evolved
Basically, men have evolved to be bigger than women mainly to beat the shit out of each other and rape the women that are left over. An example from antiquity is Achilles simply taking that captured girl as a love/sex slave (the one him and Agammemnon fought over). A more modern example is the Janjaweed in Sudan, simply raping and pillaging at will. I’d say that the natural state of gender relations is more violence and rape than anything else. I mean, periods of peace and farming and family are only possible with the protection of some warlord or government or somebody.
It’s hard to conceptualize this today, which is where the zombie movies come in. I was watching ‘28 Days Later‘ and there’s this weird point where the protagonists (one boy and two girls) find refuge in a military base. The base is manned, predictably, by men. They make the cook wear a dress. They’re all fairly normal guys, I mean, they’re British. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the men need sex and they intend to take the women as communal whores. Then the men begin fighting over the women and they all die.
Jim, Selena, and Hannah eat an uncomfortable meal with the brash, crude soldiers (with the exception of the sergeant, Farrell, a solemn and conscientious man), who are called to defend the house against an attack by the Infected. After the attack (when the corporal, highly charged with adrenaline after the battle, attempts to force himself on Selena), Major West takes Jim aside, and explains that he cannot let him, Selena, and Hannah leave; he has promised his lonely, suicidal and rebellious soldiers sexual access to women as a means of giving them hope, and of ‘rebuilding’ the world. The ‘answer’ to Infection is nothing more than rape
That is to say, when society breaks down, that’s the model you’re left with. Violence, rape and possession of women. I’d go so far as to say that women, being physically weaker in a violent species, have almost no natural, biological ‘rights’. Regardless of whatever human rights they certainly do have in a moral sense, they’re not going to get them without superior or at least equal access to violence. Any rights women have are necessarily given by society – other men, armies, police, etc.
For some reason I was reading the Wikipedia article on Babylonian Law and the Code of Hammurabi. First codified law or whatever. That treated marriage (and women) as a property transaction (between men). That is, in fact, the traditional and semi-modern legal structure of marriage. I’d say that it flows naturally out of a violence/rape culture except that intitutionalized violence is substituted for sheer anarchy. If someone broke the marriage contract and cuckolded the groom, then Hammurabi’s men would drown both cheating parties. So, rather than having to kill to protect your woman, the state does it for you.
That makes for a more stable society, but it is not fundamentally different from the biological model. Men still controlled women, in many cases to the point of legalized rape, and violence is still the mechanism for maintaining control. For an example of a legal code and institutions that haven’t really advanced past this stage, just look at Saudi Arabia.
Institutionalized Violence Part Deux
As societies progress or whatever, then you get things like free speech and free time, and this odd idea of women’s rights. You get more sophisticated laws which recognize woman as full citizens, with equal rights to safety and freedom. Human rights, if you will. This also means that women can choose who they marry, buy rather than be property, etc.
This system, however, still relies on the same mechanism of violence to make things work. If you rape a woman the police come and forcibly seize you, and physically hold you in jail. In this case they’re protecting ‘human’ rights rather than ‘male’ rights, but the mechanism is still the same. It is still an idealistic veneer pasted on top of an anarchic, naturally misogynstic reality. The reality is rape and violence, and all the small violations on the street and bus are just that reality peeking through. If half the population went zombie you could see it plain and clear.
Women are physically weaker and without institutionalized violence to protect them they will be abused. People approach the issue of women’s rights as ‘how could men behave this way?’ or ‘this is so unnatural’, but I think that’s fundamentally flawed from an evolutionary psych perspective. Men acting like dicks is pretty much the standard for a sexually dymorphic species. As crap as it is, the natural state of things is not very good from women. Institutionalized violence began by entrenching that reality, but it is slowly enabling a new (more artificial) reality where women have equal rights of their own. Of course, where the institutions are weak, those rights will disappear. More importantly, until women have some control of the institutions of violence they will never truly be secure.