(Re: Rachel Hodes, Hoboken Democratic Committee, on sexual harassment of women, Dec. 10) Remember Time magazine’s annual Man Of The Year? In those days, only men made history. But in 2017 Time has a “Person of the Year”, and that “person”?. women, who are “The Silence Breakers, the Voices that Launched a Movement.” The movement began when a woman, groped and nearly raped by powerful movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, spoke out. Wow shock after her lonely voice, the deluge.
Women all over the country began speaking out, naming names, and nearly every day since, some powerful man, his reputation and career ruined, retires in guilty disgrace. Observers of our national scene are wondering if the time isn’t approaching when men, who have made a mess of things, are about to be shouldered aside by women, and Time does report that more women are running for political office about time. When women ruled, the world was a happier place. Women ruled?
The two great apes that we humans most resemble, that we share 98% of our genes with, are the chimpanzees and the bonobos. Both these apes live in south central Africa, the chimps north of the Congo River, bonobos to the south. But the difference between them is like night and day. Chimpanzees are violent and warlike and patriarchal, males always fighting for dominance. Female chimps are only ready for sex in estrus, a fact highly frustrating for the testosterone-laden males, who relieve their frustration through aggression and fighting neighboring tribes of chimps.
Bonobo females are receptive at any time, and not only receptive, which implies passivity, they are also givers, initiators, in fact all bonobos seem ready for sexual encounters all day long, shocking the missionary wives (habituated to only one, supine, position) who first beheld them in their little Eden. Their society is matriarchal. Females rule the roost. When arguments arise, fighting is avoided by sex and kissing. If that doesn’t work, and if some knucklehead male does get out of hand, several sisters will beat him up. But males in bonobo society are content. Why wouldn’t they be? What else can a sane male desire but enough fruit to eat and sexually active and inventive females all around him?
The reason our world is in such a violent, chaotic mess is that those of us who carry chimpanzee genes have become our rulers. There is historical evidence that human society was once matriarchal, ruled by bonobos, but, according to Merlin Stone (When God Was a Woman), there appeared in the Middle East a chimpanzee god who ordered his followers to destroy all the bonobo-inhabited towns in Canaan, to “utterly destroy all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword, you shall save alive nothing that breathes”, and his followers did so, installing patriarchal rule where female sexuality was strictly controlled by males, as it is to this day among Jews, Muslims and Christians.
Proof of the difference between warlike chimps and peaceful bonobos is this: When the Brits and Americans were bombing civilians and destroying ancient cities of defenseless Germany in the final days of WW2, the bonobos in the Munich zoo died of heart attacks when bombs fell nearby, the chimps survived.