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Misreading the signs of the past

Here's what I love about science: they're always finding out new things.

Here's what I hate about science: their interpretations suffer from the same prejudices that have restricted our cultural progression for too long.

I'm speaking, of course, of the constant (and seemingly irrevocable) desire to see women as the inferior gender. And by inferior I mean, less innovative, less powerful, less provocative, less organized, less productive, and of course, less valuable.

Here we see it yet again: An article and story from NPR entitled "For Cave Women, Farmers Had Extra Sex Appeal" claims that when men developed the revolutionary technology of farming (and the tools to go with it), the women of their time welcomed them "with open arms".

While the science is good, and the trends they've observed most definitely rational and most certainly accurate, their reading of these circumstances is frighteningly biased.

According to this interpretation, it was - of course - the men who invented the technology and were responsible for its' adoption across what is now the Middle East and Europe.

But I would make another argument. Since it was women who were primarily responsible for food gathering and what little cultivation could be accomplished without a methodical technique, AND it was also women who were more likely to need a permanent location, AND it was also women whose children would stay in that place learning and implementing new technologies and techniques, it makes MUCH more sense that it was the women who were responsible for the spread - and more importantly, the widespread adoption - of this technology. And, while adopting the tools and learning the techniques the men (raised in the farming tradition by their mothers) brought with them, they probably wanted to get a little action (since, presumably, all the local men were off hunting).

But of course, that doesn't make good sense, because we women just sit around doing what the men tell us to do, hoping that one of them will honor us with the passing of a sperm or two, praying to our (male) deity that we might just be lucky enough to provide a fertile home for that divine piece of man-seed.


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In the past...