Female solidarity or lack thereof decided the fate different chimp species
Bonobos and ordinary chimps are very different. Ordinary chimps are highly sexist, "racist" (so to speak), xenophobic, patriarchal and are the only species to regularly engage in organized murder against neighboring groups- like us. Bonobos are the opposite; they are matriarchal, are peaceful and engage in sex instead of war.
Watch this short video on evolution of chimps.
The video suggests that chimps and bonobos took these extremely different evolutionary paths for one reason: female solidarity. In this PBS video, the narrator states that bonobos have better access to food because of the absence of gorillas in their habitat which makes food on the ground accessible.
The video says that ordinary chimps are forced to compete for fruit trees because gorillas consume the food on the ground. The narrator says this dependency on fruit trees for food isolates and scatters regular chimp females, who are encumbered by their infants who move much slower through the trees. The video says that chimp males invariably get to the fruit trees first and forcing the females to scavenge elsewhere for fruit. This scatters them and prevents them from bonding. The absence of female bonding leaves them divided and conquered by the males.
Before anyone goes reciting anything about how we are only descended from bonobos and therefore assume this article to be useless, you are incorrect. In all likelihood, we are directly descended from NEITHER chimp group but instead share an ancestor common to both types of chimp.
The recent discovery of Ardi- a bipedal ape who is far, far older than Lucy, throws the hominid divergence from the ape family tree farther back than anyone thought possible.
The finding of Ardi moves the date of bipedal hominids from 3.2 million years farther back to 4.4 million years, reframing the discussion of human evolution. This implies that humans did not directly descend from chimpanzees but from an older, extinct ape. This ape would be the ancestor of bonobos, chimps and humyn beings.
In a strange way, this makes perfect sense. Just concrete observation shows a likelihood we carry traits common to BOTH bonobos and chimps. We have good and bad traits as human beings.
Worse, the "negative traits" of our species like war and imperialism are placing the entire planet in peril. We need to think hard about how we have become such a destructive species. We need to learn how to find a better way. If a bunch of chimpanzees can find a better way, than so can we.
Many writers have said that the ruthless acquisition of territory and social dominance based in strategy for genetic expansion by males. Killing competing groups of males opens up access to more fruit trees, and more capacity to raise young.
In a positive contrast, this video shows that our closest relatives don't always live by this rule. Bonobos do things differently. Bonobos don't engage in organized killings of other chimps or even infanticide like the Gombi chimps in the video.
The PBS evolution video said that it is female solidarity in bonobo groups which allows this different lifestyle to take place. It says that our fate as violent or peaceful creatures depends upon female cooperation in non human primates.
Human beings can easily behave like either bonobos or chimps, depending on the circumstances. Groups of people might have tendencies which are bonobo-esque or like regular chimps. Activists seem to orient to each other like bonobos, the "hippie chimp." The highly patriarchal, male oriented, homophobic, racist thug types in the world mimic ordinary chimps.
Lets look at the basics. Male ordinary chimps are patriarchal, oriented to attack chimps with alien DNA and force chimp females to live in a state of fear. These chimps control females so they can ensure they mate, and kill alien males to secure territory for their genes.
In contrast, bonobos are playful, peaceful, matriarchal and will mate to settle disputes.
Maybe the problems of racism, misogyny and war date back much further than written history. These tendencies occur no matter how intelligent we say we are as a species. We return to them like a bad habit. Only chimpanzees, our nearest animal relatives act like us in all our bad habits- and our good habits, as we see in bonobos.
We clearly share the traits of two very different types of chimpanzees. Understanding that we share the traits of both gives us idea human animals have a choice on which path to follow. The video suggested this different way in chimps started in bonobos because of female solidarity.
To know we probably don't directly descend from either chimp is important. Thuggish males in our culture abuse women, gays, and peaceful males. This is a problem. Why are they doing it? Are they doing it to prevent a resurfacing of power in these groups? Why would they do that? Maybe that it is their genes which get passed on and are willing to abuse and cheat to do it.
The short term gains for these people bring an incalculable price on the rest of humanity and the planet. It is a sick game that is getting old really fast. The defenders of morbid patriarchy are aways the first to predict gloom and doom if females and minorities get any form of power. The reasons they use have no basis in reality and the motive for their bullshit is always personal gain.
We assume humyn males had power forever and can easily steal it. Subsequently, we treat men like gods and the social structures and systems they create as natural and therefore sacred. Yet, we live with war, genocide, rape and violence and this is a dear price to pay. Most of us cope by glibly blaming victims and thereby keeping the pain of this human flaw far from their thoughts.
The reality that our nearest cousins can and do live in matriarchal, peaceful societies contests the "natural" mandate of repressive male violence.
Richard Dawkin's idea of the "selfish gene," states that we are unselfish animals with selfish genes. The idea states that our genes want only to make as many copies of themselves as possible. Animals become attached to behavior which maximizes their capacity to spread their genes. Even negative behaviors like dominating females is a means for chimp males to ensure no barriers to having offspring. Rape is a form of genetic robbery, where a female is attacked to ensure a rogue animal his fill of the genetic pool. This is maybe why female dominance is feared because then if females are easily coerced, the males may have to beg or miss out on the genetic shopping spree.
Genetic warfare by primate males also includes murdering rival groups of males to clear territory for their own babies. While some chimp males resort to violent tactics, chimps in other species don't.
Bonobos are matriarchal and yet their society is more sex centered than patriarchal chimp groups. All the violence found in other chimps aren't found in bonobos.
Keeping in mind that "power concedes nothing without a demand" maybe its time we womyn strengthened our own alliances and doubt that male power is as natural as they say it is.
The results to make it worth it. In reality we can change how we evolve. Even the idea of women being "weak" is false. Sexual dimorphism only occurs in primates where the males are aggressive towards females. In species where females are allowed to walk freely and serve purposes other than mating, the females grow in sizes more proportionate to males. The idea of nature is "use it or lose it." Womyn are bred to be weak and designed for only reproduction. Our bodies have become manifestations of male expectations instead of our expectations. We should too be free from rape, abuse and sexual violence. Will men who want our genes give us the permission to do so?
We have so many traditions which encourage women to stay inactive. We ask a male to do physical tasks from taking out garbage to opening a door. We are told from day one that we are weak and that we can't do certain things. Who does this serve? Them or us? Are they afraid we won't NEED them? Just maybe.
As womyn, our access to jobs and equal pay ensure that we grow healthy and can start selecting from males as opposed to being controlled by them. Our steps towards self determination are seen as a threat to many men. Are they afraid we will escape from their reproductive whims? I think so.
Dominating males seem to have some instinctual fear that women and even gays could dominate. If our inherent weakness and inferiority were true, there'd be nothing to be afraid of.
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