I don’t expect that you would have read all my articles. That was my attempt at a lighthearted way to make it plain that I’ve researched and written about this topic in depth — about 20 stories over the past year based in research from a wide variety of books and scholarly articles.

Why is feminism a part of this equation at all? I’ve never seen any scholarship that equates early egalitarian history and sociology with feminism. That’s you making that assumption unless you can provide a citation.

You’ve referenced a book written by a psychologist and a historian. Neither are anthropologists. My references are to anthropologists and scientific publications. As you’ve pointed out yourself, the Yanomamö are not hunter-gatherers. It has no bearing on this conversation. Looking at the way that modern h-gs live who have until recently had little contact with the modern world is the scientifically accepted way to understand their ancient ancestors. You, who has no training in that field, have no standing to say that it doesn’t count.

Here’s what the History Channel says: “Studies of modern-day hunter-gatherers offer a glimpse into the lifestyle of small, nomadic tribes dating back almost 2 million years ago.”

We do also have cave paintings and other artifacts that tell us a lot. Look at the History Channel link for photos and further descriptions of Paleolithic tools and what we know about the use of fire, etc. Just because you don’t understand how anthropology and archeology work, doesn’t mean they aren’t real scientific disciplines. In fact, you’ve alluded to something that supposedly happened 70,000 years ago. By your standards, how could anyone possibly know about that?

I did apparently misread on the polyandry/polygyny aspect.

There is no evidence of widespread violence before 12K years ago. Several people, all men, have tried to make that same assertion to me, that history shows pervasive warfare and violence, but not a single one of them has ever produced anything that was for later than 12K years ago. That’s about 4% of human history.

Some feminists want to tie gender equality, non-monogamy and non-violence. Who is doing that? I don’t consider myself a feminist, so I hope you aren’t referring to me. I consider myself a researcher and a sociologist. The one link I provided to you was from a book published by the University of California Press. The article was written by a noted anthropologist who was citing the work of other anthropologists. most of them men (as if that matters, but it seems to matter to you). Here’s yet another scholarly article, written by men, that says the same things.

Christopher Boehm is a noted anthropologist and primatologist. He is the Director of the Jane Goodall Research Center at University of Southern California. In the article that I cited, written by Dr. Peter Gray, he cites Boehm’s work, as well as that of several other anthropologists.

“According to Boehm, hunter-gatherers are continuously vigilant to transgressions against the egalitarian ethos. Someone who boasts, or fails to share, or in any way seems to think that he (or she, but usually it’s a he) is better than others is put in his place through teasing, which stops once the person stops the offensive behavior. If teasing doesn’t work, the next step is shunning. The band acts as if the offending person doesn’t exist. That almost always works. Imagine what it is like to be completely ignored by the very people on whom your life depends. No human being can live for long alone. The person either comes around, or he moves away and joins another band, where he’d better shape up or the same thing will happen again. In his 1999 book, Hierarchy in the Forest, Boehm presents very compelling evidence for his reverse dominance theory.”

Boehm, speaking of contemporary h-g tribes further says this: Both sexes contribute to the process by which a group decides that an individual is socially deviant and in need of sanctioning. Both sexes engage in ridicule or other forms of direct social pressure — and in ostracism, for this work is done by a well-catalyzed group that must be in broad agreement if it is to act effectively. These are the sanctions that keep most potential upstarts in their places. If ultimate sanctions are called for, it is almost always the males who act as executioners.”

Boehm, Christopher (1999–11–30T22:58:59). Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior . Harvard University Press. Kindle Edition.:

The most widely studied and excavated proto-agriculturalist enclave is Çatalhöyük, which existed between approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC in what is present-day Turkey. By way of reference, Egypt and Sumeria were not yet settled by humans at this time. They too were avidly egalitarian, sanctioning those who did not keep with the ethos of the community.

“Çatalhöyük has strong evidence of an egalitarian society, as no houses with distinctive features (belonging to royalty or religious hierarchy, for example) have been found so far. The most recent investigations also reveal little social distinction based on gender, with men and women receiving equivalent nutrition and seeming to have equal social status, as typically found in Paleolithic cultures.”

This is how we know about human behavior of ancient peoples, by making logical calculations based on the artifacts that are left behind.

You’ve made sweeping assertions based on disprovably incorrect assumptions and I’ve made scientifically verified statements based in scholarly consensus. I’m not going to spend any more of my time feeding you research conclusions. If you are actually interested in knowing the truth, go do your own research about ancient anthropology and archeology from before 10K BCA.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store