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Women After All: End of Male Supremacy

August 17, 2016

It’s a fond topic around our house: the demise of men outside of sperm donors. Actually, the book, “Women After All” details ways in which women can reproduce using DNA from other women’s eggs, upping the ante from men as merely sperm donors to extinguishing men altogether, outside of DNA remnants. The argument goes something like this: if the mammalian body is intrinsically female, “maleness is a syndrome,” (as phrased in Nature, 481) then all humans are female and therefore capable of reproducing without the syndrome’s input.

How is that possible? It’s described well, here:

There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression.

It is called maleness.

Maleness as “human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common.” Intriguing theory, and another book reviewer, male, is quick to point out that this genetic defect exists through no “fault of their own.”

Here is a stunning fact: There is a single chunk of DNA, known as SRY, that dooms its carriers to shorter life spans and a greater probability of death due to accidents, as well as increased risk of being not only violent but also a victim of violence. More than 90% of people who run afoul of the law and are currently incarcerated carry this gene—although, to be fair, nearly one-half of non-felons are similarly afflicted. It’s a tough road for those unfortunates who are forced, through no fault of their own, to deal with such defective genetics: There is no cure. The SRY gene is located on the Y chromosome, and if you haven’t already guessed, it’s the one that makes its carrier male. SRY comes from “Sex determining Region of the Y chromosome.”

For all of those people who claim that women can’t be effective leaders or scientists (we’re looking at you, Tim Hunt), the author or “Women After All” explains that tears have nothing to do with the ravages of man:

Let’s face it: Men are responsible for much more than their share of the world’s wars, drug abuse and sexual misbehavior. To be sure, men have also been responsible for many of the good—even great—aspects of civilization, but this may be because they grant themselves more influence and opportunity in this regard. “Life on this planet isn’t threatened by women’s tears; nor does that brimming salty fluid cause poverty, drain public coffers, ruin reputations, impose forced intimacies, slay children, torture helpless people, or reduce cities to rubble. These disasters are literally man-made.” Indeed, if we were to magically do away with male-initiated violence, we would pretty much do away with violence altogether. (Of 80 mass killings in the U.S. involving guns between 1984 and 2014, men perpetrated 78.)

A world without men would mean an 80% reduction in violence, immediately. Pretty compelling argument. The author of the last review then looses me when he says, unsurprisingly, that this book of feminism was most convincingly written, of course, by a man. The author of the review, above, David Brash, extolls on women’s virtues as genetic nurturers, because we have wombs, you know, and states that men are more violent because they have less investment in pregnancy than women:

Men—like males of most mammals—are thus more sexually competitive, as well as violence-prone. Women—like females of all mammals—are more nurturant. These widely confirmed biological facts have bothered many feminists, in part because the latter in particular has sometimes been used as a stick with which to beat women, arguing that nurturance is all they are good at—but the reality is that nurturance is a marvelous, wholly admirable trait, and one in terribly short supply.

Blah, blah, blah, perhaps Barash hasn’t seen how many young die in the wild due to mothers who can’t take care of their young, nurturing being left to someone else. Or perhaps Barash just loves the idea that parenthood is a zero sum game, women take all. But the strength of the argument in “Women After All” stems from genetics as just genetics, not as subjective genetics. Why assign a right or wrong to a genetic predisposition of being female? Isn’t it enough that humans begin female? The genetic defect is the male syndrome? There is no need to get into nature vs. nurture when all of the argument is nature: it’s human nature to be female, a genetic defect to be male. Said genetic male defect results in anomalies related to crime and violence. Who cares about nurture? Nature is female, all of nature.

Konner argues that hunter-gatherers are more egalitarian when it comes to gender and only agriculturally based societies become imbalanced. It reminds of a book worth reading, “When God Was A Woman,” by Merlin Stoen, and that book makes the argument that the imbalance of the world is the imbalance of patriarchal power taken by force.

Both books are worth reading, and while men don’t need to be replaced with genetic manipulation, it seems they have been paving the way with that for some time with plants and animals already. Male demise may well be a function of their own success.

 

 

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