Well, Virginia, I think I can safely say I’ve heard it all. Not only is feminism the cause of every bad thing in our society (decline of the American family, war, famine, pestilence, etc.), but now it’s responsible for the extinction of the Neanderthals.
The Neanderthal extinction some 30,000 years ago remains one of the great riddles of evolution, with rival theories blaming everything from genocide committed by “real” humans to prehistoric climate change.
But a recent study introduces another explanation: Stone Age feminism. Among Neanderthals, hunting big beasts was women’s work as well as men’s, so it’s a safe bet that female hunters got stomped, gored, and worse with appalling frequency. And a high casualty rate among fertile women – the vital “reproductive core” of a tiny population – could well have meant demographic disaster for a species already struggling to survive among monster bears, yellow-fanged hyenas, and cunning Homo sapien newcomers.
That’s right, it’s because the Neanderthals didn’t differentiate among the sexes when it came down to hunting game that they are extinct. And because they didn’t protect those precious reproductive systems, they were unable to perpetuate their species. How do we know that all of the fertile women were killed off? How do we know it wasn’t the males who were all stomped and gored to oblivion? Last time I checked, a population needed male and female members to reproduce, so designating the women as the Neanderthals’ “reproductive core” seems a bit disingenuous to me.
It’s dangerous, dangerous business to label the death of a species, the cause of which we’ll never really know, the result of “feminism.” Equal opportunity stomping and goring is not on par with women demanding the right to work (with maternity leave and equal pay), vote, and be protected from sexual harassment, rape, and domestic violence. At best, this is sloppy writing by Colin Nickerson; at worst, it is evidence of an offensive agenda on the part of the writer or perhaps the researchers of Harvard who have published these findings.
And, as A pointed out, many Native American tribes had female warriors/hunters, and they survived just fine until the white folks came along with their poisoned blankets and thirst for Westward expansion. And, what about primates that hunt? Surely it’s not just the males who put themselves at risk in the quest for grub. To label such survival-centric behaviors as feminism is wrong-headed and, frankly, ignorant and assholish.