Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Evolution of Women and the Revelation of Change

This is a eukaryote: artist's rendering found browsing my art files for this blog post about Women After All: Sex, Evolution and the End of Male Supremacy by Melvin Konner, M.D. He demonstrated how to pronounce it. You-carry-oats. My review on goodreads covers the basic info about how this book came home with me. This is about how glad I am. Dr. Konner steps on many toes covering biology, mating habits, leadership research–major tootsie squishing with the title alone. I loved it, mostly because I felt delighted to be reading. I am a feminist. Too much of the time I'm a discouraged, angry feminist, primarily because there is a lot of rage just in the discussion of what feminism is, who started it, whether 1st, 2nd or 19th wave, how inclusive feminism is regarding race, gender, age – it is daunting. Women After All is an opportunity to feel good. About our brains (bigger), our leadership skills (superior across domains and statistically significant female>male) and our opportunities in the near future. This book changed my body chemistry. I hope I can now bump into a discussion dumped into discord, and know that women's ascendancy will happen no matter if I get mad about it, if I push on it, or if I die tomorrow without seeing the outcome. While some of Dr. Konner's writing is densely academic, much is relieved with comedic reporting. Witness foreplay of the hemaphrodite red-tipped flatworm which lasts up to an hour and involves fencing (yeah, it's called that) with 2 - count 'em two penises each. Object: stab without getting stuck yourself. This behavior could be witnessed at any management meeting in any company anywhere in the USA in the 20th century. Or most episodes of Mad Men. I laughed, which maybe a red-tipped flatworm wouldn't appreciate, but I sure enjoyed the imagery. Flatworms in suits and ties. Snicker. Konner covers brain chemistry, history, the animal world today, and proposes that major change is happening right now, and an upheaval coming within 50 years. I like to think of it as a rebalancing. Weak yang for strong and equal yin:yang. How grand for our daughters, sons, granddaughters, grandsons! Hallelujah!


  1. I'm not a feminist. Love your blog. I appreciate good writing.

  2. After reading your review (and others) along with your blog, I had to read this book for myself. I found it fascinating as well. As a man, that for the most part, has learned to be honest about myself and others and ditched the fragile male ego, I honestly agree with a lot of what the author has to say and I think most men would if they were honest with themselves. I honestly believe patriarchy, the oppression of women came about, not because men believed they were superior to women, but because of just the opposite! That men were actually threatened by them. It's encouraging to see how women are succeeding, are showing how they can not only keep up with the men, but surpass them. I think more and more, women, particularly young women, are really starting to realize this for themselves. I believe that if we have any hope to save humanity, and create a more just and equitable society, it's going to take women, a lot of women! to do just that. Because of our aggressiveness, our poor social skills, our overall lack of empathy, and our insecurities, us men have created this polluted, unjust society. It's going to take well educated, evolved, strong women to change it!