November 12, 2007

Andrea Dworkin and Other Neanderthals

A correspondent from our Danvers (MA) office recently sent us an interesting story from the November 10 number of the inimitable Boston Globe. Instead of offering the usual anti-Bush, anti-Romney carping, said piece presents a curious report on pre-history.

The article is question bears the intriguing title “Stone Age Feminism?” To which the proper response is: Gee, is there any other kind?

But never mind our (rather unfunny) high jinks. Here are the key points in the article:

The Neanderthal extinction some 30,000 years ago remains one of the great riddles of evolution, with rival theories blaming everything from genocide committed by “real” humans to prehistoric climate change.

But a recent study introduces another explanation: Stone Age feminism. Among Neanderthals, hunting big beasts was women’s work as well as men’s, so it’s a safe bet that female hunters got stomped, gored, and worse with appalling frequency. And a high casualty rate among fertile women—the vital “reproductive core” of a tiny population—could well have meant demographic disaster for a species already struggling to survive among monster bears, yellow-fanged hyenas, and cunning Homo sapiens newcomers.

Curious, is it not? Let us leave to one side the question of whether there is something “worse” than being “gored” (quayled?), and get to the matter at hand. As far as Colin Nickerson, the Globe staff member who wrote this story, reports, pre-historic feminism may have done in the Neanderthal.

Naturally, we must take this journalist’s report of academic work with a grain of salt. Our friends in newspaper land love to sensationalize, and thus Mr. Nickerson likely did a number to the real story about Neanderthal decline.

Still, we must say that it is rather delicious to contemplate a Neanderthal extinction caused by feminism. Just picture it: An irascible, bra-burning Neanderthal gal eagerly taking in a dog-eared copy of a Mary Daly book. As she puts the screed down atop a work by the Neanderthal Marilyn French, she angrily shouts to her husband: “I should be able to join the hunt, you sexist bastard. What kind of Neanderthal are you?”

To be sure, many will doubt the Neanderthal feminism theory. But we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think it makes perfect sense.

After all, radical feminism is aiding our own civilization’s eclipse. Why shouldn’t it have been the same in pre-history? (Excuse us: Pre-herstory.)

Posted at November 12, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack