Nope, that’s a socialized thing — part and parcel of a dominance hierarchy. Just because it is now ubiquitous in most of the world doesn’t mean it is “human nature.” For most of human history, there was no such thing as status — not even into proto-agricultural societies. It was only with the advent of patriarchy 6–9 thousand years ago that wealth disparity and social class/standing became a thing. Prior to that time, enforced egalitarianism was used as a survival strategy. Here’s an example of what happens in a culture that is not a dominance hierarchy:

When (anthropologist Richard) Lee asked one of the elders of the group about this practice (of insulting the meat from a kill), the response he received was the following: ‘When a young man kills much meat, he comes to think of himself as a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his inferiors. We can’t accept this. We refuse one who boasts, for someday his pride will make him kill somebody. So we always speak of his meat as worthless. In this way we cool his heart and make him gentle.’ How Hunter-Gatherers Maintained Their Egalitarian Ways

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

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