Our prehistoric forebears are often portrayed as spear-wielding savages, but the earliest human societies are likely to have been founded on enlightened egalitarian principles, according to scientists.
A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their group lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history.
Sexual inequality, in the sense that men entirely dominate women, isn’t really something that anyone really believes, is it? Other than the nuttier feminists that is. That women spend 80% of the money in a modern society doesn’t really show that men determine all that much, does it?
The argument is instead that there’s equality but difference:
In the Philippines population, women are involved in hunting and honey collecting and while there is still a division of labour, overall men and women contribute a similar number of calories to the camp.
Which is what they found.
In other words, they’re playing with the meaning of the word “equality”. All too often these days it means “the same” instead of the meaning they’re using here “of equal importance even if different”. And do note that lovely finding: a division of labour is normal, a division of labour based upon gender that is.