The Bonobo Factor: Sisterhood

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Read the introduction to this series of posts here.

Bonobo Love Secret 03 - Sisterhood is Powerful

“Sex At Dawn” co-author Christopher Ryan writes:

Although female bonobos are about 20% smaller than males—roughly the same ratio as in chimps and humans—they dominate males by sticking together. If a male gets out of line and harasses a female, ALL the other females will gang up on him. This sisterly solidarity, combined with lots of sex, tends to keep the males behaving politely.

What does this mean for us?

Our centuries of patriarchal culture have disempowered women and to some degree ‘separated’ them from each other. The result? A mess.

But wait a minute, you might cry. What mess? Look at our much better quality of life in modern human society. Really? Perhaps we don’t have to work so hard for ‘survival’ in this heady Oil Age, but at what cost to our planet and our longevity as a species? And what about the billions of people who still suffer below the poverty line?

If males had behaved more politely, would our world likely be a better place? Yes.

‘Sister solidarity’ was much easier to sustain in a tribal world. Today, our species is so numerous and so spread out that any kind of global solidarity is a challenge. Perhaps impossible. But that doesn’t mean the principle isn’t worth giving attention to and encouraging within smaller social contexts.

Given the right environment to bond together, women can be a powerful force for interpersonal connection, creative community life, inspiring leadership, more sustainable economics and better attitudes toward our planet. I believe men today need to encourage women to ‘stick’ together and lead. And if the women need to “gang up” on one of us men for getting out of line, like the bonobo females do, so be it. I have no doubt it would work. : ))

Read Part Five HERE