For ten hours on a recent day, Shoshana Roberts simply walked around New York City. She was wearing jeans and a crewneck T-shirt. She was silent as she walked and received over 100 catcalls. The actress involved has now received the rape threats that are the inevitable consequence of the contributory negligence of being female and doing something.
Journalists have picked up on this and written hundreds of indignant articles decrying the behaviour of her street antagonists. They have given much coverage about what happened in those 10 New York hours but little as to why. No wonder little has changed. I have no doubt that what happened to this young woman is true and also no doubts that we should address this issue for the benefit of women and civilisation in general. But until we understand why this happened we have no chance of changing it.
Let’s recap. Despite decades of feminist lobbying; criminalisation of laddish behaviour; relentless, exaggerated and surreal political correctness from our media; personal-freedom sapping sexual equality legislation and extensive re-education of boys in our schools men still make unsolicited and unwanted comments about women’s bodies.
It is about now that intelligent commentators on these issues should start to question whether their basic premise as to why this is happening may in fact be wrong, or at least incomplete.
The basic premise is that our environment creates human nature. i.e. we are solely the product of our upbringing, parenting, education, environment and experiences. This is called the “Blank Slate Hypothesis”. This is a very seductive philosophy for feminists and socialists because it offers hope that we can create the socially and sexually equal nirvana we all crave just by changing our environment. It is also a convenient philosophy for feminists and socialists because it justifies the anti-libertarian State meddling into the lives of individuals via their social engineering experiments.
The Blank Slate Hypothesis is fundamentally flawed and what is more we have known it is flawed for decades. We now have a much better understanding of genetics and its role in moulding the behaviour of all animals, including the human variety. We don’t just behave in ways we have been conditioned to behave but also in ways we are genetically programmed to behave. Until we understand and accept this we cannot have a fighting chance of doing anything about it.
All living things are basically survival machines built by our genes to propel themselves into future generations. We die, they don’t. Genes are insentient molecules that by a freak of nature became self-replicating. Any behaviour they confer on their host (i.e. us) that increases our chance of reproducing will inevitable mean that those molecules (and the behaviours they encode) will be more common in future generations. Evolution in a nutshell.
Our male and female ancestors have had very different evolutionary pressure over the previous millions of years.
Human females have a pathetic ability to reproduce, having no more than a dozen pregnancies in their lifetime. Each pregnancy is life threatening and she will often only produce offspring one-at-a-time. Human children are unusually vulnerable in infancy and take many years to reach maturity. Women therefore engage in a long, energy sapping and life threatening investment in their children to ensure these (few) offspring reach childbearing age. She must choose her mate with great care to ensure her offspring receive beneficial genes from the father, which in turn maximises the chance of her own genes prospering in the next generation. It also means she must carefully and selflessly look after the few offspring she manages to produce. Women therefore evolved to be highly nurturing towards their young. She (i.e. her genes) has no other choice.
Human males produce 250,000 sperm every second and their number of offspring is limited only by their opportunity to impregnate willing (or unwilling) females. Two strategies would work to increase the number of their genes in the next generation. 1. Look after their offspring, nurture them and ensure they reach child-bearing age (i.e. copy the only strategy available to women). 2. Spread their sperm as far and wide as possible, have thousands of offspring and hope that some reach childbearing age. A third alternative is the best. Do both. Men invest almost nothing in child rearing so it makes sense for them to take huge risks to have the opportunity to reproduce. This would include propositioning as many women as possible on the off chance a few will accept. What have they to lose?
Women will choose high social status men (a proxy for good genes) to ensure their own genes have a good chance of survival in future generations. To prove high social status takes a bit longer so women tend to go for successful, older men (4 years older in the UK on average).
Men are programmed to advertise their success and achievements in order to attract a high social status mate. Men will choose young, healthy, fertile (“attractive”) women because their chosen mate primarily needs to be fit to survive 9 months of pregnancy and the years of childcare that follows. Men have evolved to visually select a mate on this basis. Women have evolved for millions of years with this pressure. Women are therefore programmed to try to look young and attractive in order to find a suitable mate. Much of this behaviour is hard wired, as is our sexuality and our urge to have sex with attractive members of the opposite sex. Women also need to recognise these traits in their competition (other women). Women easily know if another woman is attractive.
So it makes sense for men’s genes to take risks in order to reproduce. This includes a good war that kills off much of the competition and assertive / aggressive behaviour towards unaccompanied women.
What is good for our genes also explains why human societies dislike female promiscuity.
Throughout human history men have needed to control women’s sexuality. When women have a baby they are 100% sure that it is theirs. For nearly all of the 200,000 years of their existence, human males have never really known if their child is truly their biological heir. This is despite the reassuring knee jerk exclamations we hear from midwives, mothers and female relatives as soon as they clap eyes on the newborn infant: “oh, he / she has his father’s eyes!”
For good evolutionary reasons no man will want to spend time and resources inadvertently bringing up another man’s child. A child that contains another man’s genes. This is particularly important when title, wealth and inheritance are involved. Consequently, to make sure that they knew who was the father, human civilizations created intricate ways to ensure female sexuality was monitored and controlled – doubly so when title, wealth and inheritance was involved. Promiscuity in women was brutally discouraged and religion became the vehicle to achieve this.
The senior female members of these societies would also connive and reinforce this controlling behaviour. No mother or grandmother wants to be duped by the women of their male heirs.
Women also have a vested interest in ensuring that sex is relatively rare in their society, as it increases their bargaining power with men. Promiscuous women lower the price.
And this is how an unaccompanied, attractive young woman walking the streets of a city can be “criticised for being frigid and unresponsive by some street antagonists, declared a slut and a whore by others, all in the course of a few magical metres ” – to quote the words and experience of Hannah Bett’s writing in The Times.
You see this is not about us (humans) it is all about the survival of our genes – a process that has been slowly exerting its influence for the last 3,500,000,000 years. 50 years of feminism will not undo this.