Human Paleopsychology

MensNewsDailey Columns 6-7.

     California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent comments about "girly men" have caused a virtual epidemic of hissy fits among liberals, Democrats, and feminists.  Gay and lesbian advocates are absolutely beside themselves, and the leftist media is aghast that Arnold's audience lustily applauded his colorful rhetoric and that most of America applauded him as well.  Many see his refusal to apologize for such a mighty breach of PC etiquette to be a modern profile in courage.  In fact, a large-sample poll by MSNBC revealed that Americans supported his non-apology by a margin of 3-to-1.
     Most will see this humorous non-event as a mere blip in the ongoing drama of American politics, but I infer a much deeper meaning.  Schwarzenegger's comments implicitly touches upon one of the grand questions of the new millennium- that is, what have been the effects of girlish thinking, or fem-think, on American culture and even Western society over the past fifty years?  We all agree that the past three generations or so has been the era of the female, and perhaps now is the time to ponder the assets and liabilities that come with distaff incursions into all areas of American life.
     My approach is to first look back into the primeval mist of the evolutionary process that gave rise to the quite different but complementary entities of human maleness and femaleness.  Sex differences were already heavily shaped and extensive by the time of mammals and primates, but the finishing touches for human beings came during the one to two million years our ancestors spent as hunters and gatherers. 
     In my 1987 book on Human Paleopsychology, I emphasized the ancient psychology of the hunter male who was naturally inclined toward male bonding, problem solving in male groups, intense competition with other males (especially regarding females), intense and often violent competition with male strangers from other bands and tribes, exceptional lust for attractive females, extreme possessiveness regarding "his" females, and a weak capacity for parenting and domestication. 
     This is not a particularly pretty picture overall, but primeval man was a good leader and provider for the group, an inventor of complex hunting and food-processing technology (e. g., stone tools), and the preponderance of evidence suggests that he was the inventor and maintainer of culture in the broadest sense. He was also the definer and enforcer of moral principles, which centered on behaving appropriately within his particular "cultural" group.  The thinking processes associated with these various activities we might call man-think.
     The gatherer female led a rather restricted life compared to the leisurely off-time of the adult male between hunts and the adventurous, dangerous, and group-focused experience of the hunter in the field.  Not only was she restricted by the reproductive demands of menstruation, pregnancy, child-bearing, and child-rearing, but the role of the gatherer was repetitive, geographically delimited, and less cognitively challenging than the technological demands of hunting.  Nevertheless, the gatherer probably contributed quantitatively more to the tribe's food provision and social stability than the mercurial hunter who might return after weeks with little more than a smidgen of protein.
     Now, if the experience of hunting helped to condition the qualities of man-think, then what were the analogous qualities of fem-think associated with the process of gathering?  First, females were highly dependent on male support, protection, protein provision, and political leadership.  Historically, there are very few instances where females have exerted political leadership over males- in either pre-modern or modern social groupings- except where males themselves imbue "goddesses" with supernatural powers (e. g., the Stone Ages Venus's.)  Even, then, however, there is little to suggest that women ruled over men in everyday political affairs in the natural world.
     Second, the gathering female rarely- if ever- competed against males, but she competed vigorously against other females for the best males, the best provisions, and status within the group.  In this competition, the tongue was the weapon used to gather support to one's side, to denigrate, peripheralize, and demoralize the opposing side, and, in general, control one's destiny.  In the immediate and socially intense gathering environment, we might assume that gossip literally filled the air.
     Third, the experience of pregnancy and motherhood greatly augmented the dependency of females on the hunting males, on other females in the group, and on tribal resources in general.  The Paleolithic mother was exquisitely dependent on others, but she was bringing new life to the group.  Ancestrally, the role of motherhood was a bitter sweet syndrome involving the inconveniences of pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, and the demands of child-rearing balanced against the cosmic social significance of being the life giver.
     Fourth and most important was the process of forming reproductive pair bonds, mateships, or "marriages" in ancestral hunting and gathering environments.  In most primate species, males leave their home group in search of mates and then establish residence within the "bride's" family.  In humans and chimpanzees, however, it is the female who must leave the safe home environment and then integrate herself into the "groom's" often strange and threatening family and tribal configuration. 
     I suggest that this phenomenon goes to the very heart of female psychology and the dynamics of fem-think.  Upon entering a new, strange, and possibly dangerous new social environment, the female gave up her old culture for a new one and her survival was predicated upon doing so quickly and skillfully.  Under duress, she was required to give up her family culture partially or completely, and to essentially "become one of them."  We see that the Stockholm syndrome, cultural relativism, and "going with the cultural flow" have ancient roots indeed on the distaff side.  The survival credo of fem-think throughout history has been, "Tell me what to do and I will do it if you promise to be nice." 
     In the world of fem-think, one does not develop, defend, or maintain a pre-existing culture, but one, instead one relies upon the three "A's" of survival in a strange camp- appeasement, adjustment, and adaptation.  I am not aware of women, as a group, ever going to war to repel invaders, to protect the integrity of a pre-existing culture, or over matters of moral or theological abstraction.  All of that is men's work premised upon the principles of man-think.
     I suggest that a small cadre of the intellectual left intuitively understood this over fifty years ago and they brilliantly conspired to co-opt the feminist movement and its girly girls and girly boys into the war against men, man-think, religion, and the Western way of life.  As in ancestral times, females readily integrated themselves into this new "culture" and embraced it as their own.  Feminized males jumped on the band wagon as well.  There was never a thought of defending four thousand years of Judaic-Christian history or the grand traditions of Western civilization.  In my view the results have been devastating culturally, and a mighty victory for the cultural left.   More on this in Part II.
 Kent G. Bailey.  Girly Girls and Girly Boys: THE EFFECTS OF FEM-THINK ON THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE (Part II).  MND, June 22, 2004.
     In an MND column on Politically Correct Psychosis (November 17, 2003), I described an incident in the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, where a group of young black thugs brutally attacked and injured several white college students.  The community responded by designating the black thugs as the real victims, and local women held several bake sales to raise money for their legal defense. Little was said about the injured students.  Only in the unreal, upside-down world of fem-think could such monumental contradictions exist where a victim class bakes cookies for its victimizers.  Recall from Part I (MND, June 21, 2004) that the natural inclination of women- when faced with dangerous and threatening males- is to on rely the three "A"s of fem-think: appease, adjust, and adapt.  That is, bake them cookies and hope they will go away.
     Let me summarize a personal example.  The Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 was enacted to prohibit discrimination in housing transactions based on religion, national origin, gender, disability, and especially race.  That is all well and good.  However, the Fair Housing Act was extended in 1988 to allow for the establishment of transitional homes for the mentally and emotionally disabled in residential neighborhoods.  This means that the government can buy a home in any neighborhood, and then transform it into an "institution" without consulting local authorities, neighborhood civic associations, or homeowners in the immediate vicinity.
     A local youth services company recently acquired a large home in my very quiet and established neighborhood with the intention of housing a maximum of eight emotionally disturbed young men in the 18-21 age range.  The company's website describes various admissions criteria based on diagnostic categories listed in the official manual of the American Psychiatric Association.    Some of the diagnoses included psychoses, sociopathy, ADHD, and the like.  At the company's discretion, it could place a young man with virtually any kind of psychiatric disorder in the home, and the only option of homeowners was to "trust" that placements would be prudent and safe
     The community civic association held a meeting to "allay fears" that included county and state representatives, youth services personnel, and neighborhood homeowners.  The youth services personnel included a married couple and a young man, all with master's degrees in social work.  The meeting began with the government representatives and the social workers firmly informing everyone "that the law is behind us and the community will have to adjust to these laudable and desirable social changes."  Moreover, the homeowners were exhorted to "be prepared to do your part to help hurting people out there."
     The two male social workers initially provoked anger with their social preachiness, but right on cue, the female took over and it was a veritable extravaganza of fem-think from then on.  She assured one and all that her company would put the needs of the community first and foremost in staffing the facility and selecting residents, and all we had to do was to "trust her."  Of the 40 or so people there, only one gray-haired man put up any fight at all, and he was quickly shouted down by the women.  In a few brief moments of appeasement, adjustment, and adaptation, the women had given the farm away and PC had won the day.  And you guessed woman passionately intoned that we should welcome these "hurting young boys and bake them a nice batch of cookies."     
     Please note that what I call fem-think is feminine thinking in the extreme without any semblance of balance by man-think.  I suggest that the healthiest and most effective women and men are those who incorporate a goodly portion of the other gender into their self identities in a context of mutual love, respect, and empathic understanding.  This occurs through good mother-son and father-daughter relations, good brother-sister relations, marriage between a man and a woman, effective teacher-student relationships and mentorships, and a host of other avenues. 
     Man-think in its purest and rawest form gave us Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun, the Marquis de Sade,  Adolph Hitler, and, more recently, Osama Bin Laden, and beheading as a means of expressing displeasure.  Indeed, testosterone is the fuel that literally drives the Islamic Jihadists and al Qaeda.  Any society of men bereft of feminine influence is apt to be brutal, violent, and uncentered, as in prisons, among soldiers away from home, and among men who simply lack the complex and refined skills necessary for cross-gender interaction.  An excellent book on this topic is historian David Courtwright's Violent Land: Single Men and Social Disorder from the Frontier to the Inner City.
    A preponderance of my most admired people are feminine women who are skilled in man-think and comfortable in the world of men.  Among my favorites are the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher in the realm of politics, Kathleen Parker and Michelle Malkin in column writing, Camille Paglia in social criticism, Christine Hoff Sommers in philosophy, Ann Coulter in the culture wars, Annika Sorenstam, Marion Jones, and Justine Henin-Hardenne in sports, and I have a grudging respect for Martha Stewart in the business arena.  Moreover, I consider Jane Goodall- hands down- to be the greatest social scientist of this century by virtue of her nurturant approach to chimps, on the one hand, and her capacity for creative discovery, objective analysis and thoughtful theory on the other.
    In sum, my approach is premised on three fundamental assumptions: first, that civilization was invented, refined, maintained, and defended by man-thinking males of the species; second,  that excesses in man-think typically lead to brutality, violence, and social emptiness; and third, that excesses in fem-think typically lead to the rapid degradation and loss of the traditional social structures and institutions that men originally put in place.  The rapidly degrading institution of marriage is a perfect example.  To quote Camille Paglia from her famous book Sexual Personae, "If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts."

Study these pages and become a paleopsychologist!
Kent G. Bailey [email protected]