Friday, August 19, 2005

Closet Cousins

Our forgotten cousins Posted by Picasa

Well, back from vacation with Mom & Dad Athana, and I'm having a wee bit of a problem getting serious again.

I'm blog-locked. Can't get anything "down on paper" (out on screen?). Part of the problem is I've done a bit of the reading y'all've been suggesting and it's blowing me away! It's all rolling biliously around in my brain like a bunch of crazed-colored marbles: Angels in America, the play andygrrl recommended (fabulous). Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists, the book Morgaine from The_Goddess recommended (also fabulous). And "Bonobo Sex and Society: The Behavior of a Close Relative Challenges Assumptions about Male Supremacy in Human Evolution," an article by the famous primatologist Frans de Waal. Recommended by Anonymous.

On top of all this, I have to drive down to Kennebunkport for my once-every-two-months haircut, and I hate to get that close to anything that smacks of Bush, but the only woman in the world who can cut my hair locates her shop down there, so what can I do?

My basic mood seems to be, "Wanna end war? Then give women half the power. What's to argue?!?"

It's almost too simple. And where's the fun in simple?

Take the bonobos, for example. Unlike chimps, our female bonobo cousins refuse to let their male counterparts push them around. Unlike chimps, bonobos countenance neither war, violence, nor female domination by males.

Also, I'm peeved. Why haven't I heard about bonobos before? In grad school I had to read about baboons and chimps til my eyeballs popped. But never a peep about bonobos from anyone. Why? Because bonobos are so sexually avant garde? (Oh! My!) Or because male bonobos don't dominate females? (Egad! How frightening!!!) Or because bonobos are a non-violent species sharing 98% of our (human) genes? (Booooor - ing....)

Come on, now. Which is it?

Thnx to the Zoological Society of San Diego for the foto


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Andygrrl said...

Glad you liked "Angels." I love the bit where Harper imagines the souls of the dead rising and turning into oxygen molecules to repair the ozone layer. That's an afterlife I can believe in.
And aren't bonobos fantastic? I never learned about them either in school (thank you, National Geographic; I owe them so much); probably because nobody wants to point out that matrifocal pansexual peaceful primate societies occur in nature. Because we're "naturally" violent, greedy, sexist, etc.

Andygrrl said...

Oh, and I just read Carol Christ's The Rebirth of the Goddess, and WOW. I wanted to jump on a plane to Greece and just kiss her for articulating so much of what I couldn't express myself. I've been meaning to blog about it forever....

Marianne said...

Natalie Angier introduced me to the lovely Bonobos in her book "Woman: An Intimate Geography" which has since become one of my favorite books. You might want to check it out if you are so inclined.

Athana said...

andygrrl, did you know Carol Christ gives spiritual/goddess tours of Crete? Two women in my former Goddess circle did her tour and loved it. They did rituals at the ancient Minoan holy sites (when they could; the govt. frowns on this) and spent time with some of the Cretan women, in their homes -- women Carol's gotten to know over the years.

Andygrrl said...

Yes, I'd heard of her tours! I can't possibly afford them for like...ever, but maybe I can swing by Greece this spring and just surrepititiously tag along one of them...

Athana said...

I hear you, andygrrl. The only reason I got to Crete was that someone smashed into and totaled my car a few years ago, and I used the insurance money to buy a plane ticket to Crete and back!

I like your "surreptitiously tagging along idea"!