As mentioned in our last post, the human being shares much in common with his insect friends. But at a certain point he must deviate to tread the path of “irrationality” that is his destiny. How might this deviation come about? What roles do the male and female play? Our esteemed author asks:
In the insect kingdom subordination of all else to survival of the species leads to enthronement and enslavement of the female while manhood becomes a mockery, as with the social bees where the queen must murder if necessary to secure her throne, killing her mate in the act of fertilization. What biological turn could work to set both sexes free of an insects life by “making a man” of the male?
Harold wonders if it might be Cro-Magnon man that reveals the deviation. Why? Because in Cro-Magnon the female was physically much smaller than the male, which meant her brain was probably not quite as efficient. He ruminates:
Upon her shoulders the whole responsibility for the social order and survival of the species could not rest, as it does upon the queen bee and her like in the insect’s world. Perhaps by evolving away from equality in physical stature ancestral female induced ancestral male to participate directly and share the responsibility that knowledge imposes, even as Eve did in Eden – Adam’s participation and shared responsibility are points upon which the drama turns.
So in Harold’s view, the female decreases so the male may increase. Some may reflect that history shows the male may have “increased” beyond a reasonable balance to the point where females have often been viewed and/or treated as second class, subjugated citizens. Absolutely. And yet the image of God is male/female equally. With that in mind, Preston Harold reassesses something he said in the previous quote and sees the female now rising to take her appropriate place at the table:
Certainly, woman lost her physical and social equality long ago, but now the female is gaining in stature and she bids fair to gain equal status on the social level. It is difficult to believe that there has ever been a time when in actuality the female’s brain was not as efficient as the male’s, because woman carries the heaviest part of the load of bearing life, as the legend states Eve must do, and this responsibility must tend to sharpen her wits. The Eden legend indicates that Eve’s was the questing mind.
So where does this leave us?
The quality of the female mind versus the male mind always has been and no doubt will be for some time to come debatable: there is the question of ways and means of opportunity for expression, the question of the female mind bringing to bear upon the male mind, and the part woman has played in bringing to life the reward of mental effort, civilization… Homo sapiens cultural development allowed him to adapt to widely varying environments, but this serves only to present the deeper mystery of the human mind, male and female, which led mankind in time to state the Golden Rule. Man’s ability to learn returns one to the mystery of his brain which, in Arthur Koestler’s words, is an “evolutionary novelty…quite out of proportion with the demands of his natural environment.”
A mystery indeed. Until next time, peace…