Imagine the early hunter-gathering tribe. In a culture of warriors that frequently fight amongst neighboring tribes, the highest value men were those who could prove that they were the best fighters. Younger teenagers were prevented from joining warring parties until they could prove their tolerance to a threshold of pain,( ritual torture by suspension from hooks skewered through the skin), ability to hunt and operate while hungry ( by ritual fasting), and cunning on the battlefield (by stealing enemy horses).A brave earned more respect by quietly invading an enemy encampment and stealing his enemy’s horses. And of course the ultimate proof, the more enemies killed in battle, the higher the stature. The chief’s social proof came from some combination of enemies killed /horses stolen and his age; if he was old, but had more kills/ stolen more horses than other men, he had to have been the best to have survived so long.
As you can no doubt imagine, the highest value women were the most beautiful. Closely tied to that was their virginity (close your ears, feminists). The men tended to buy and sell wives frequently based on some combination of age and number of husbands. If she were exceptionally pretty, chances are she was purchased by the highest ranking man and kept until her beauty had expired with age, then sold off to another. The older women ended up impoverished and beggars within their own tribe. Women did all the heavy labor; men did all the fighting and hunting. To get an idea of what an ugly woman had to look forward to, women often chewed on buckskin to soften it, having to chew every square inch of a tanned animal hide.
There is a unique feature that existed in their time that does not exist today. When our species evolves to value women as the more valuable sex due to scarcity, but modern medicine allays that scarcity, we have a conundrum on our hands.
Deaths from starvation, exposure, disease, and other environmental factors tended to randomly reduce the number of reproducible men and women. Deaths from warfare and childbirth tended to predictably diminish the number of reproductive men and women.
Today, medicine has eliminated most of the deaths due to environmental conditions. Very rarely does someone die of exposure to cold. Death to infection still tends to occur, but many illnesses are curable.
To a lesser extent, men still die of value-demonstrating activities like rock climbing, fighting, warfare, and so on. Women die from childbirth complications less frequently.
How has this change translated to what our society looks like?
Beautiful women simply do not die off like they used to. Even with their first boyfriend/husband, the demands of having children has been alleviated. Because our culture shuns polygamy or open relationships, the potential for women to have children with other men and die while birthing the other mens’ children is greatly diminished. Added to that, women tend to avoid risks. Our surplus of beauty is growing. How, then, are women more valuable when the majority of women are Cleopatra? What good is the more valuable sex when they are a dime a dozen? How do women retain value when feminism has liberated them from the traditional values of femininity and virginity?
To be continued….