Posts Tagged ‘primates’

I’ve been trying to figure out a way forward for Paradise Preoccupied … and for much else in my life at the moment … and have been finding it hard to even compose a follow-up to my last post.

I do not want to turn this into a litany of Mark’s almost daily screw-ups and petty cruelties, no matter how much of my energy is sucked away in the process of him being the “new” him, nor do I want to compete for the title of “Queen Whine of the blog world”.

I’ve considered composing long diatribes on my misanthropic tendencies … life-long and only getting stronger as man proves time after time his weaknesses and base nature … and have even thought of writing on just why it is that humans are my least favorite primate species.

That could be quite an interesting topic, actually, and I may put some time into it. The facts being that non-human primates, in all their various versions of societal behaviors, have worked out how to demand the most of the males in their species before they’re allowed to have sex. 

Unlike in humans, subadult males … the teens and twenties types … inhabit the bottom rung of other primate societies. They get no respect from anyone and are ignored as often as they are chastised for obnoxious behavior. 

The thought of a gang of young chimps or baboons starting wars, raping and pillaging is totally negated by the fact that everyone else in their groups, from adult males to their own mothers and aunties, would nip any such tendencies in the bud, and slap the shit out of them in the process, gives their cultures an advantage ours has lost.

Males in other primate groups have to prove themselves, and much of that proof involves developing into the type of grownups that have the power, grace and fortitude to make damned sure their children reach adulthood under the safest circumstances possible. Females base their choices on granting sexual favors on these factors and wouldn’t touch a flakey good-for-nothing, no matter how pretty or smooth, with a ten-foot length of bamboo.

Gibbons are monogamous. Marmoset fathers are primary caregivers, handing what is usually twins over to mom only at feeding time. Gorillas live in harem groups with the Silverback, having earned every one of his rights of reproduction the hard way, having his way with all the females in his group and taking care of everyone everyday in every way, including providing a vast and hairy playground for his youngsters.

Orang utans are solitary dwelling creatures and tend to mate with whoever they happen to run across in their foraging … they are also the only other primate species that rapes … and little but the genetic contribution is expected from fathers, but at least those rules are clear from the outset.

Chimps are the closest relatives we have in the non-human primate group and the most likely to experience violence and confusion in the social grouping. Multi-male is the standard, and although Top Dog usually gets some sexual action, females aren’t as picky as other primates are, and this causes friction, but usually only among the males competing for some action.

We humans are the only ones whose females will fall for any old line and with males who invest nothing but a few minutes of what is often copious amounts of spare time spent doing nothing else to experience the act of reproduction. We are also the only ones who are rejected out of hand once a relationship has developed, especially when there are children involved.

Loyalties are vital in primate communities, and although the width and depth of those loyalties vary from species to species, they are ignored at the peril of all.

Can we imagine a human world where young men are kept in line, children and women are valued for their very being, and where only men who have earned the right can not only breed, but have any sex at all?

Perhaps monogamy isn’t meant for humans at all, but it would be easier on all of us if we could figure out a system that doesn’t so often end up causing so much damage to so many.


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