Study On Ancient Monogamy Proves Women Are Gold Diggers, Ass-Backward Columnist Argues
1:28 pm, May 31st | by Amy Tennery
Ancient male-female pairings show that women sought “providers” during the dawn of mankind, according to new research. Oddly, Daily Mail columnist Sandra Parsons can’t understand why we’ve strayed from this model. The caveman model. She wants to know why women aren’t acting like cavewomen.
In the past, Parsons has brought us such gems as “Women Like Being Single. Oh, really?” (coupled with a photo of Bridget Jones, if you weren’t yet unconscious from being beaten over the head with her point) and “We Modern Women Have NEVER Been Better Dressed.” (NEVER.) So, needless to say, you know you’re in for a fun ride here.
And her latest column takes it to a whole other level. Here’s a quick excerpt from her piece, “Sorry Sisters — Women DO Want Men To Be Providers:”
Well, I could have saved them the trouble, but research from America claims that most women instinctively want a man who will provide for them.
Evolutionary biologists have discovered, it seems, that the nuclear family evolved when men discovered women preferred males who provided for them and their children to those who were constantly clubbing each other in a battle for supremacy.
Hear that, ladies?
Frankly, I’m relieved that someone has finally told me what I “DO” want. Whew! My ladybrain was getting exhausted making all those gosh dernned decisions.
But let’s just pick apart this for a second anyway, shall we?
First of all, I believe this was the research Parsons was referring to. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, this staggeringly heteronormative report argues that women are “hardwired to prefer meeker and gentler men,” because they tended to be the better providers in the cave man era. Or, in more scientific terms, the “ancient sexual revolution.” This, researchers suggested, was the foundation for the nuclear family as we know it. Women picked guys who stuck around.
Of course, a lot’s changed since things looked like The Flintstones. For starters, my boyfriend generally doesn’t physically assault people for a lamb shank. Nor would I deem him a delightful provider if he did. (Disappointing, I know.) Which leads us to the key problems with these “natural instinct” studies: They operate on the assumption that we haven’t overcome out basest instincts — which is patently untrue.
Sure, the caveman mentality might have formed some major themes in civilized society. We’re jealous, compassionate, striving and all kinds of other touchy-feely things, largely due to “primal instincts.” But you’ll have to excuse me when I get rankled over the notion that people — for instance — cheat on their partners because it’s their “basic instinct.” Most of you don’t murder, pillage or rob, because the point of this “we’re in it together” crap is that we’re all happier when we suppress those instincts. We build things that way. It’s nice. And, after all, The Jersey Shore has showed us that non-meek, non-provider guys most certainly do attract plenty of women. Moving on.
But what’s worse than this study is the way that some people (like Parsons) interpret it. To her, the study isn’t a look at how our family units started, before splintering into unique, lovely variations of equal efficacy and stability. Parsons looks at this study and says, that’s how it was with the cavemen — so that’s how it should be:
For thousands of years, this model of two parents, with the male looking after the female, proved successful — but new figures released by the Office of National Statistics to mark the Diamond Jubilee reveal that husband-providers have become an endangered species. [Ed. Note: Kind of like the spotted owl.]… In 2012, a third of Britons live alone and the traditional nuclear family seems set to become almost as outdated as the Morris Minor (1952’s most popular car).
So what is going wrong?
“What is going wrong?” At what point did we establish the ‘traditional’ family was always the ‘right’ one?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lunch date across town and my wooly mammoth just pulled up.