Misunderstanding of anisogamy and anti-women bigotry in evolutionary psychology support the devaluation of women’s lives relative to men’s lives. The psychology of devaluing women’s lives doesn’t depend on failures in modern evolutionary thought. The medieval evolutionary analysis also devalued women.
Consider a widely disseminated medieval story of a queen and her husband. They discovered under the wall of their castle two snakes, one male and one female. The queen interrogated her wise women about the significance of those snakes. The wise women declared that if the female snake were killed, a woman would die. If the male snake were killed, a man would die. The queen then displayed her false consciousness about women’s subordinate class status:
“If this is so,” said the queen, “kill the female snake, and let the male snake live. A woman ought to be more willing to die herself than to permit the death of her husband.” She gave the reason for this: “If my husband lives, he may bring forth many daughters who may succeed to my throne. But if he should die, the kingdom would lack an heir.”
That’s faulty reasoning. If the queen died, a new ruler would be promptly selected. That wouldn’t necessarily be the queen’s widower. If another woman were named queen, children that the queen’s widower had with another woman probably wouldn’t have a good claim to the throne. If on the other hand, the queen’s husband died, the queen could just remarry. Daughters that the queen had with another husband would be heirs to the throne. The queen’s decision and reason reflect the rule and rationalization of gynocentrism.
From reporting on the Costa Concordia’s sinking to the United Nations’ biased index of gender equality in expected lifespans, women’s lives are devalued relative to men’s lives. Efforts over the past four decades to promote gender equality have largely promoted lies and anti-women gender bigotry. Let’s get serious about valuing equally men’s and women’s lives.
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The above quote is from Gesta Romanorum, Tale 92, from Latin trans. Swan & Hooper (1876) p. 165. The tale’s application explains:
My beloved, the Queen is Christ, and the husband, our human nature, for which She gave herself to death.
That application summarizes one-half of Ephesians 5:22-9.
[image] Intertwined snakes medical symbol, cropped. Thanks to Pixabay for Public Domain image.
Swan, Charles, and Wynnard Hooper, trans. 1876. Gesta romanorum: entertaining moral stories. New York: Dover Publications Inc. (reprint edition of 1969).
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