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Cavemen and Economists
The sexes have two basic criteria. For women it is the attempt to find the most decent man possible who is loaded with cash.
For men the criteria is finding a woman that is such a sexual bombshell that she will cause the top of his head to explode.
This is it, folks. Everything else is frosting on the cake.
Anthropologists have speculated on the merits of both objectives, and found them both advantageous on an evolutionary scale.
Of course, 25,000 years ago, cash had no meaning, but being an alpha provider did. It didn't really matter if the partner resembled King Kong as long as he could bring home fresh fish, antelope, deer, rabbits or other game on a regular basis. With a guy like this, you could even give a whirl at having a few King Kong juniors.
For men in this time period, it was just a matter of hump, hump, hump.
Men haven't changed much either - except now they feel entitled to have mistresses. Not a great thing, admittedly, but it doesn't diverge much from the hump, hump, hump requirement. Now, this main engagement of men to have sex with as many women as possible seems wrought with shame on the surface of our religious structure. However, it does serve an evolutionary plus. As we can see with male lions in Africa, the whole objective is to carry their seed onto the next generation -- even if that means killing the cubs that had been born earlier. Lions use both strength and intelligence to ensure that their seed is passed on. It's an ingenious design - one that doesn't always work but often does.
If primitive man can impregnate as many women as possible, the chances of his DNA passing on to the next generation increase exponentially.
Women regard all of this as a lack of faithfulness, while it is nothing of the kind. Men are designed to breed -- as often and as possible as opportunity affords him. There is nothing moral about this instinct. Coded into their genome is the instruction to hump, hump, hump.
So, bringing all of this into more modern times, we still see women asking a man whether he is economically solvent (i.e., can he afford a non-working wife and a family. If he can't, he's eliminated from the gene pool. For better or worse. I can't help but wonder how many artists, composers, sculptors, writers, poets and scientific geniuses were turned down because they lived in shabby apartments. What did we as a society lose by not being recipients of their prodigy?
From this I've extrapolated that men are romantics and women are economists. Men can love to a depth that no woman can aspire. Is this real love? (I use this term as an experience of the transcendent.) Good question. In the beginning SOME men take love as an existential experience. For women, the sense of elation may be as great because they believe they have finally found their caveman. Or maybe women experience their own form of the transcendent through lovemaking. Women experience orgasms, so might they also experience flights of fancy? I'd acccept this but there is so little real world experience that women know anything about REAL romance. They write their tawdry tales, adhere to their daily soap operas, but this is a pale shadow of the depths of soul that men experience with women as their subjects. So, I cannot say with any certainty.
I tend to think that the male psyche has a greater focus on the transcendent aspect of women -- using them as objects of heavenly objects whereas women are more earth-bound and focus their attentions on practical matters -- such as how to maintain a home and keep their children fed and happy. It would be an error to suggest that men have no vested interest in their home lives -- in their livestock, in their crops, in the happiness of their children. But, I think much of this is generated by the ethereal feelings they harbor toward their wives.
Now, discounting the social norms of the day, why have there been no female equivalents to Bach, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Shubert, Shumann, Grieg, Wagner, Mahler, Bruckner, and all the rest? I'm a great admirer of Clara Shumann, but come on. Certainly women were not encourage toward artistic expression, but this cannot explain their dearth of productivity.
My hypothesis is that women cannot experience the ecstasy of the transcendent -- which in one example men experience in the act of making love to a woman.
You can also look at literature -- men have dominated the media for centuries. Simply put, men experience something that women can only imagine. So, I would surmise, that for SOME men each sexual encounter leads him into a realm outside himself. He may be too stupid to realize it, but he nevertheless feels it.
So, for the inevitable backlash, I can only say that I'm not trying to place one sex as superior to the other. I think the instincts of each sex serve their purpose, and one purpose is not superior to the other. Each sex provides an essential ingredient in what has made us what we are today and continues to play out where we may be headed in the future.
While a man wrote "Romeo and Juliet," we have to give due credit for women who work slavishly to hold their families together. For the men out there who have had one or more infants, you know what I am saying. Childrearing is probably the most difficult task assigned to the human species, and that task is normally assigned to our impossibly patient women. Yes, going out and hunting and gathering is no easy task, but it doesn't seem to require the same degree of devotion and caretaking that women place over their offspring.
Secondly, women have to adopt/assume the transcendent emotions of their husbands, and this is no easy task either. It is not easy to placate a male who equates his woman with a goddess. Although this may be flattering in a certain way, it is also a tremendous burden. No woman (or person) can live up to this misplaced characterization. Not only does it mean having sex on nights when you really loath the idea, but there is the constant worry that your brute will one day weary of you -- that the magic will just suddenly vanish.