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And the We Hunted the Mammoth Award goes to …

Ow! Guys, quit it!

 I didn’t bother to watch the VMAs last night, but something in the air has led me to want to give out some awards of my own. So: the coveted Man Boobz “We Hunted the Mammoth” Award this month goes to some comments from MRA oddball Uncle Elmer on women in the workplace that were recently highlighted on the Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Technology blog. They are, of course, magnificently stupid.

Without further ado, here are some of the choicer bits of Elmer’s rant.

Women are competing for jobs but are not creating them. Other than providing a mass market for their vanity products, they are not forging new industries or technologies. …

Though men shank me and insult me, only men provide me with opportunity. … Only men, and only a small fraction of them, take the risks that create industry and opportunity. Women can only serve as mere functionaries in man-created structures. When an organization becomes feminized, priority shifts from efficient and profitable production of goods and services to development of labarynthine rules for the comfort and security of women. …

No woman can or will provide me or any man employment, yet all western women feel entitled to help and opportunities from men, even as they drive men out of the workplace.

[W]orkplace women are your enemy. They cannot help you but can and will hurt you. Do not look at them, do not talk to them.

And now the “we hunted the mammoth” moment:

Females want to inhabit man-created business structures as if those structures existed before man appeared on the veldt. … When you have pushed the last man out of the corporation it will collapse under its own dead weight.

And while I’m handing out awards, I’d like to give the Man Boobz Whaaaa?! Award for the strangest, dumbest and least true thing said about me in the past week to Wytchfinde (presumably the same guy who used to comment here as Wytchfinde555), who posted this strange and not-altogether-grammatical comment on my latest YouTube video (which you should all go watch if you haven’t already).

David Futrelle is an opportunist that pretends to worship white women (which is true to a certain extent) helps just fuel more fire for hating men.

Whaaaa?!

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Anthony Zarat
9 years ago

“David Futrelle is an opportunist …”

I was a mangina for the first 40 years of my life. I actively participated in the oppression of my gender, because I thought it was the right thing to do.

I have no doubt that most feminists do the same. If feminists were evil people, there would be no point in communicating with them and I would not be here.

The comment is misguided and unhelpful.

xtra
9 years ago

David Futrelle is an opportunist that pretends to worship white women (which is true to a certain extent) helps just fuel more fire for hating men.

Even if it were true that David worshiped white women, worshiping white women is not the same as hating men. This is an example of how messed up these men are, you cannot like women and men at the same time, it’s either/or with them. I now has teh sads.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

So, Anthony is a Reformed Mangina ™? Is mangina synonymous with feminist here, or was it something else? Anyway, I’ll ask you the same question I ask people who claim they were “devout atheists” before they saw the light.

What was the argument that ultimately convinced you that feminism is wrong? Keep in mind that “feminism is wrong because it oppresses men!” is not a good argument, as first you would need to be convinced that feminism actually does oppress men.

schism
schism
9 years ago

David Futrelle is an opportunist that pretends to worship white women (which is true to a certain extent) helps just fuel more fire for hating men.

He’s saying that, because all white women hate men, and that you (David) also wish to hate men, you ingratiate yourself to white women in order to fuel your hatred. Sort of like how flamingos turn pink as they eat plankton, David turns hateful as he eats highly strained similes.

It’s simple, really.

blitzgal
9 years ago

Mangina is just their way of saying “pussy,” which as an insult is as old as dirt. Get a new shtick, guys.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Kirby: I don’t think he, quite, means he was a feminist. I think he means to say he accepted the idea that women are not equal, and that they are treated unjustly by society (as a class).

He accepted (or at least didn’t deny) the idea of privilege.

Then something (I too should like to know what) convinced him this wasn’t so, and he realised that all of it was a sham, a way to control men with the power of the pussy and so get all the preference, and special treatment which has let them rule the world, and turn it into the female controlled hell for men which it so plainly is.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
9 years ago

Dave, no love for women of color? You disappoint me. All women deserve our worship!

Joanna
9 years ago

“I actively participated in the oppression of my gender, because I thought it was the right thing to do.”

Let me fix that for you: “I led a normal life because it was the right thing to do”.

Where did it go wrong Zarat???

clairedammit
clairedammit
9 years ago

Other than providing a mass market for their vanity products, they are not forging new industries or technologies. …

He thinks that the only things that women do are the things that men (in his view) don’t. So, makeup. That’s all we do. Put on makeup.

I hate, hate, hate this kind of sloppy attempt at logic.

Pecunium
9 years ago

No woman has provided jobs for men.

Martha Stewart…

Mrs. Fields…

No men ever worked for them, nope.

Pecunium
9 years ago

and, of course, no Man ever had a job writing in COBOL.

Joanna
9 years ago

“and, of course, no Man ever had a job writing in COBOL”

C++ is just a penis extension.

blitzgal
9 years ago

I’ve got two names for all the MRA liars who continue to pretend that women have never contributed anything to industry, technology and the like. There are more, but here are two to easily refute your universal rule. Catherine Littlefield Greene and Rosalind Franklin.

Eli Whitney would never have successfully invented the cotton gin had Catherine Littlefield Greene not only funded his research but also fixed his fundamental design flaw. In return, Whitney gave her zero public recognition or credit.

Watson and Crick used data that was collected by Rosalind Franklin in their work to discover the double helix formation of DNA, but because they managed to publish first and again, declined to provide her with the appropriate recognition, her fundamental contribution to this research is often overlooked.

It reminds me of the recent example in which an Orthodox Jewish newspaper erased Hilary Clinton and a female staffer from the photo of the Situation Room during the bin Laden operation. You erase women from history and then after the fact you get to pretend that they were never there, and they never contributed anything.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

“Only men, and only a small fraction of them, take the risks that create industry and opportunity. Women can only serve as mere functionaries in man-created structures.”

In two short sentences, Elmer asserts that an entire group can take credit for what only a small percentage of them do, and then the exact opposite. Why do MRAs say that fringe extremists that David quotes don’t represent the whole? And why is it that when you provide a short list of women who do/have done the things they say women cannot do, those women are called outliers and exceptions? And why do those same people say that the extremist minority within feminism does represent the whole?

It’s not just a double standard, and not just special pleading. They’re basically just accepting any argument that makes men look good and women look bad. You could probably give them any syllogism that ends with “therefore men are awesome” or “therefore women suck,” and they’d happily repeat it.

blitzgal
9 years ago

Confirmation bias, baby!

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

There are fewer great woman inventors. There are fewer women creating jobs.

That’s kinda what happens when women have been systematically denied education, publication, political influence, business connections, and in many cases the chance to have any career at all. (This is extra-true if you’re talking history, but definitely not gone today.)

Women are less likely to create jobs because they’re less likely to be in positions with the power to create jobs.

Anthony Zarat
9 years ago

“Watson and Crick used data that was collected by Rosalind Franklin in their work to discover the double helix formation of DNA, but because they managed to publish first and again, declined to provide her with the appropriate recognition, her fundamental contribution to this research is often overlooked.”

Franklin’s work was published in the same issue of Nature as Watson and Crick. The story of Franklin is the story of what feminism should have been. I made a post on “The Spearhead” asking for fellow MRA’s to come to the defence of Franklin when she was cruelly vilified. Although I received a significant number of down-votes (25, vs 21 up-votes), I think that on balance the response was positive.

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/03/03/proposed-reforms-will-make-it-easier-to-convict-your-son-of-rape-even-if-hes-innocent/#comment-76461

Here is my post:

———–

Laura Vosejpka just made a cruel post mocking the appearance of the most successful woman in the history of Biology, Rosalind Franklin:

“…..apparently the only women able to be recognized for their scientific success back then had to be considered unattractive…..Rosalind Franklin is another example of this….”

Don’t let her get away with this. Franklin’s work was responsible for the discovery of the structure of DNA, which ignited the modern age of Biology, and made possible virtually every modern medication that extended the average human lifespan from 50 years to 70 years.

Franklin did not need feminist privilege to do her work, and she deserves better than to be disparaged by a modern day “princesses of privilege” whose accomplishments are irrelevant.

Tell MS. Vosejpka that the MRM respects women who fight, and win, without the help of “big daddy” government.”

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

Antz:

“Although I received a significant number of down-votes (25, vs 21 up-votes), I think that on balance the response was positive.”

See, I learned in math class way back when that if you have a bigger negative number than a positive number, the balance is negative. 😛

But pointing out a woman who was successful despite the odds and then using her to say that the odds don’t matter is… well… wrong. If women are accepted only when it is extremely unreasonable not to do so, that isn’t equality.

Amused
Amused
9 years ago

Oh, I see. So good for Franklin that she didn’t need feminism to do her work. It’s too bad about Watson and Creek, though, who apparently needed the privilege of patriarchy and took advantage of it.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

AntZ, do you think women and men have fundamentally equal abilities?

If yes, then why are fewer women in prominent political and business positions?

If not, do you have any fascinating theories why not?

Molly Ren
9 years ago

I just can’t get over “Though men shank me and insult me, only men provide me with opportunity. … ”

SHANK you? Dude, are you in prison?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

@Molly Ren:

You obviously haven’t applied for a job as a guy…

“Well, Mr. X, your application looks very good, and you seem to be a perfect *STAB STAB STAB* match for this company. We’re prepared to offer you the job! Congratulations, dipshit!”

Pecunium
9 years ago

And Antz shows his lack of knowledge about modern biolody. He could have chosen to use Rosalyn Yallow, who actually got a Nobel for her work in the discovery of human immunologic response causing Type II diabetes. Since her research partner had died he wasn’t mentioned in the Nobel.

Her story is much better if one wants to whitewash the hurdles women faced trying to actually do work that wasn’t clerical.

But that would require analysis.

Anthony Zarat
9 years ago

“AntZ, do you think women and men have fundamentally equal abilities?”

Yes.

“If yes, then why are fewer women in prominent political and business positions?”

Because of bigotry. There are two ways of seeing the bigotry:

1) “Women are better than men at supporting/nurturing roles” (how MRAs see it)
2) “Women have a moral responsibility to support/nurture” (how equity feminists see it — if there are any equity feminists left)

The two are the same object, seen from a different point of view.

This bigoted view lies behind the MRM experience of “presumption of child custody to mothers.” Often the law is explicitly sexist. Even when the law is gender neutral, the practice is not. It takes a remarkably good father AND a remarkably poor mother for there to be any question of custody.

This bigoted view also explains the wage/power gap. Women who put career ahead of family are viewed as selfish and greedy. Men who do the same thing are seen as successful and ambitious. So, women consistently choose careers that are flexible, hours that are flexible, etc. to conform to the social expectation. Even if a woman DOES NOT do this, her employer will think that (on average) she is likely to do this. So the employer is likely to push her into a non-critical and (more importantly) non-competitive position where the limits on time commitment are unlikely to result in loss of revenue.

Anthony Zarat
9 years ago

“And Antz shows his lack of knowledge about modern biolody. He could have chosen to use Rosalyn Yallow, who actually got a Nobel for her work in the discovery of human immunologic response causing Type II diabetes. Since her research partner had died he wasn’t mentioned in the Nobel.”

The accomplishments of the two are not comparable. Franklin’s work was responsible for two Nobel awards (1982 Chemistry and 1962 P&M), even though she died at the age of 38. Also, Franklin was the leading contributor to her science, which is not the case with Yallow.

Anthony Zarat
9 years ago

I just realized that this could be understood in the reverse of the intended way:

1) “Women are better than men at supporting/nurturing roles” (how MRAs see it)
2) “Women have a moral responsibility to support/nurture” (how equity feminists see it — if there are any equity feminists left)

Here is what I intended to say:

MRAs think that the predominant bigoted (wrong) social perception is “Women are better than men at supporting/nurturing roles.”

Equity feminists (if there are any left) think that the predominant bigoted (wrong) social perception is “Women have a moral responsibility to support/nurture.”

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

I forget her name, but it was the wife of a scientist that invented and mixed up the first batch of agar — ie. the stuff that bacteria is grown on in the lab. She came up with the idea of the gelatinous media and chose all the components herself. So if you tried to list which biology Nobel’s she contributed to, I’d start with “all of them.”

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

MRAs think that the predominant bigoted (wrong) social perception is “Women are better than men at supporting/nurturing roles.”

Equity feminists (if there are any left) think that the predominant bigoted (wrong) social perception is “Women have a moral responsibility to support/nurture.”

I think a lot of feminists believe both those statements are wrong. Men are able to (and should) nurture and support just as much as women. (Aside from a few biological realities, such as the fact that predominantly women have uteri and can lactate.)

blitzgal
9 years ago

You’re still missing my point, AntZ. I didn’t learn about Rosalind Franklin until college….a women’s studies course, to be exact. But I did know the names Watson and Crick from junior high science class. Same thing with Eli Whitney. Everyone knows he invented the cotton gin. Most people do not know that without the patronage and ingenuity of a woman, his invention never would have been completed.

The issue is not whether women are capable of these feats of ingenuity, because there is ample evidence to prove that when given the opportunity to excel, they do. The issue is that their work is ignored and marginalized which allows people like you to pretend that they are incapable.

And Kirby brought up an excellent point that bears repeating. MRAs will point to the accomplishments of a tiny minority of men and lay claim to them as if the male gender as a whole is responsible when in reality they personally have done none of the amazing things they attribute to being male in our culture.

shesaidwut
shesaidwut
9 years ago

AntZ,

That’s um…and interesting theory on the wage gap. Not remotely in touch with reality, of course. Women are not paid less because they are taking different/easier jobs or less hours. They are being paid less for doing the exact same jobs, for the exact same hours, as men.

It’s not like support for this is hard to find, either. Google gender wage gap and there’s a ton of it.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

One of the weirder things that happened with this last Presidential election is the fact that Sarah Palin showed other women that you do not have to be an overachiever like Secretary Clinton or Minority Leader Pelosi to achieve office.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

Just to touch on the whole “hunted the mammoth” thing — quite literally all early people depended on the food provided by women to survive. The vast majority of calories in the early diet was provided by the labor of women, not men, because hunting success was extremely sporadic but gathering (and, later, agriculture) was more reliable. Women also managed the population size, increasing it as food became more plentiful with the advent of crops, and decreasing it in times of food scarcity by controlling the number of babies born and raised. So hunting mammoths is cool and all, but pretty much everything else was the actually vital-to-humanity stuff, and was done by the women and girls.

Moewicus
Moewicus
9 years ago

We created corporations on the savanna to feed you.

No girlz alloud.

On the topic of women scientists, here’s a whole gaggle of them from the sexist days of yore:

http://simostronomy.blogspot.com/2010/06/pickerings-women.html

Women created modern astronomy to feed you, no boyz aloud!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

AntZ:

“This bigoted view also explains the wage/power gap. Women who put career ahead of family are viewed as selfish and greedy. Men who do the same thing are seen as successful and ambitious. … where the limits on time commitment are unlikely to result in loss of revenue.”

See, this is a pretty good description of hiring/promotion bias. Congrats. However…

“This bigoted view lies behind the MRM experience of “presumption of child custody to mothers.” Often the law is explicitly sexist. Even when the law is gender neutral, the practice is not. It takes a remarkably good father AND a remarkably poor mother for there to be any question of custody.”

This is one of the many falsehoods that the MRM promotes. There are actually biased judges out there who presume the mother should get the children in a divorce, but statistics paint a different picture. Most cases are resolved by joint custody. Of those that are not, fathers usually don’t pursue custody. When they do, and barring the possibility of either parent being unfit in some way, custody cases seem to resolve equally either way.

The problem lies in two parts: one is that fathers don’t pursue custody in the majority of cases that don’t result in joint custody. This means that a flat look at the numbers would show mothers gaining children more often than fathers. The other is the issue of whether the father (or the mother) are actually fit to raise kids (as determined by the court). It’s notoriously difficult to find stats on this, but MRAs simply present the numbers without accounting for stuff like abuse. I can’t find good stats myself, maybe someone else can.

qwert666
qwert666
9 years ago

@ shesaidwut

“Women are not paid less because they are taking different/easier jobs or less hours. They are being paid less for doing the exact same jobs, for the exact same hours, as men.”

I don’t think this statement is true.

At my workplace, for example, there are set wage salaries for job roles, irrespective of gender. It is the job role, and length of service (the cap being three years) that determines salaries not gender. A woman doing the exact same job as me, for the same hours, gets the same pay. As far as I’m aware this is the same across the whole of the UK.

We have legislation here (the equal pay act 1970 and the equality act 2010) which makes it illegal for employers to pay women less than men for doing the same job. I don’t deny that there is a wage gap in the west but, for the UK at least, your statement above is untrue

qwert666
qwert666
9 years ago

Addendum to the above post.

I’m not sure what the state of affairs regarding equal pay in the US is and, as I assume that’s what you are in fact talking about, then I’d make the point of saying that: In the context of the US your statement might well be true for all I know. In the context of the UK, it’s not.

Amused
Amused
9 years ago

Seconding what Bagelsan said — mammoth-hunting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Anthropologists now know that prehistoric humans did not depend on hunting as much as was previously thought. Most hunting was done for ritual purposes, not food, and although people did eat meat and used animal bones to make tools, they mostly got that by scavenging for carcasses. (Eww, I know, but evidence does seem to suggest that early humans were predominantly scavengers in the meat department and did not hunt particularly often.) Hunting with neolithic tools on a regular basis would have been a very inefficient way to get food. It is dangerous for hunters, time-consuming, uncertain, and preserving meat, particularly in a society that did not yet use salt, is a laborious and tricky process. You also overhunt much sooner than you overgather or overfarm. Depending on regular hunting would not have been a good long-term survival strategy for a neolithic community.

The fact that humans were not, in fact, heavily dependent on meat is now thought to be the reason why our species survived the same bout of climate change that killed the neanderthals. Neanderthals hunted far more than humans and needed a more protein-rich diet. Humans lived on a much greater variety of food and could survive on an all-plant diet indefinitely. So between overhunting and large game migrating north, neanderthals found themselves doomed.

I think when MRA’s think “gathering”, they think “nuts and berries” — which is to say that women provided the midday snack, whereas men obtained real food. But in fact, “gathering” was actually focused on wild cereals — forruners of today’s wheat, barley and flax. They — not mammoth meat — were the staple both for food and clothing. Grains — that’s what “women” gathered all day, for the most part.

I put “women” in quotes because MRA’s are also wrong in their claim that prehistoric people assigned tasks on the basis of gender. In fact, neolithic communities were too small and too imperiled by nature and starvation to pursue something as silly as gender roles. Rather, what they had was far more practical: when there was game to be hunted, the biggest, strongest and quickest, including women, hunted. When wild grains needed to be picked to make an adequate winter’s supply, again, the whole community worked at it.

shesaidwut
shesaidwut
9 years ago

Qwert:

If that’s the case in the UK, great. But it is very much not the case in the States, and there’s plenty of evidence of that. There’s a big difference between “not true” and “not true in the UK”.

However, if there is a wage gap in the UK, I’m afraid your word that your workplace does not behave that way is not enough to prove that the wage gap is not a consequence of discrimination. Even when it’s illegal to pay women less than men for doing the same job, that won’t necessarily stop it from happening.

ithiliana
9 years ago

@Anthony: I actively participated in the oppression of my gender,

I would be interested in what specifically you did to oppress your gender during your first forty years especially since I doubt anybody is able to actively oppress anybody much during the first five years or so.

I’ll be glad list some of the ways that girls/women were discriminated against during my 55 years of life in return, and we can compare them.

qwert666
qwert666
9 years ago

@ shesaidwut

“There’s a big difference between “not true” and “not true in the UK”.”

I know, that’s why I put that addendum there.

“Even when it’s illegal to pay women less than men for doing the same job, that won’t necessarily stop it from happening.”

I don’t agree, not when talking about reputable employers, at least: I think this would be most employers, maybe not smaller businesses, shops etc. etc.. Employers are not likely to take the risk of being sued over such discrimination. I’m not sure about the US but over here companies take all kinds of discrimination VERY seriously. I’ve had first hand experience of it, and could point you to many cases where courts have ruled in favour of employees discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, age, sexual orientation etc. etc.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

I am amused by how close AntZ comes to a sensible explanation of the gender wage gap. Guys, I think he might be a feminist in disguise. 😛

Amused: Do you have a citation about gender roles during the Neolithic period? I could use it in a couple of constantly recurring arguments I get in. 🙂

Amused
Amused
9 years ago

Ozymandias42: Not off the top of my head, I took an audio course on prehistory and earliest civilizations several years ago. If I find my notes, I’ll post the sources.

Pam
Pam
9 years ago

It’s notoriously difficult to find stats on this, but MRAs simply present the numbers without accounting for stuff like abuse

They do a similar thing with stats of divorce filings… a higher percentage of women than men file for divorce, so this is conflated with who “initiated” the divorce, not taking into account women who file after being abandoned by their spouse, couples who agree (amicably or not) to separate and agree that the wife should do the filing paperwork/leave it for the wife to do the filing paperwork, etc. MRAs expound that these stats are indicative that a high percentage of women unilaterally divorce their spouses with no provocation for their actions.

shesaidwut
shesaidwut
9 years ago

Qwert:

Sorry, but…no. My mom worked at Christmas Tree Shoppes for a while, and that’s a pretty big chain in the States. She worked night shift, and both she and a man held the same position, but she’d been in the job quite a bit longer than him.

One day she found out how much he was paid — which was more than her. Technically she wasn’t even supposed to know; one employee might tell another employee what they’re paid, but an employer can’t share that information. She just happened to see paperwork on it on someone’s desk.

She called corporate and pointed out the um…”mistake”. She was given a raise, but even then, she still wasn’t paid as much as him.

It’s all good and well to talk about companies getting in trouble for discrimination, but first the affected party needs to know it’s happening. A person can’t file a discrimination suit when they’re unaware they’re being discriminated against, and you can damn well believe a company isn’t going to share that information. My mom was lucky that she got someone on the phone who was jumpy, because technically, she didn’t have much proof of discrimination.

And further more, there’s the risk, when you file such a suit, that you won’t win and then you’ll get a chunk taken out of your own flesh. A lot of people, most especially women, will end up keeping their mouths shut because they don’t want to risk their jobs. I know it seems cut and dry — it’s illegal, therefore companies don’t do it — but I’m afraid it’s not. And even in countries that are otherwise diligent about it, it can still happen.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

Amused: Do you have a citation about gender roles during the Neolithic period? I could use it in a couple of constantly recurring arguments I get in. 🙂

I got a bit of my info from “A People’s History of the World” but that was from skimming my sister’s textbook, not anything official. For what that’s worth. 🙂

qwert666
qwert666
9 years ago

@ shesaidwut

I guess things are different in the US then.

It might be a similar situation over here for the smaller businesses, employers, I can’t prove otherwise.

To talk a bit more about the company I work for, for example, (the company employs about 4,000 people) every employee has access to the companies intranet which I have personally read quite a bit of (during slow days ;)). On there is a spreadsheet detailing the exact salaries for every job in the company up to board level (to find out board members salaries I have to look elsewhere, but I’ve seen them also) these salaries are fixed salaries.

Now it could be the case that the company I work for has a particularly stringent adherence to the legislation I mentioned earlier and others don’t, but any answer to this would be purely speculation.

Indecently, I’m also aware that amongst the ENTIRE HR department at my employer (about 20-30 people) only TWO are men! And these are the people responsible for making sure that there is no discrimination at the company. I’d think it odd that these women would knowingly allow discrimination against women. If this was happening, then it would have to be the case also, that the information on salaries that I’ve seen would have to be bogus. I think a more likely explanation is that men and women, at my place of work, are paid on an equal basis.

(side note: the CEO of the company is also a woman!)

I appreciate that I haven’t actually provided any evidence to support any of this, and I’ll understand if you choose to dismiss it as evidence of anything, but I can assure you that I am not lying here.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” talks a lot about hunter-gatherer societies. And yeah:

A) They’re heavy on the “gathering”; he gives the example of New Guinean men knowing every edible mushroom in the forest
B) Most “hunting” is either fishing, shellfish collecting, or trapping; sportsman-style hunting of big game is no way to get your daily meal.
C) The distinguishing feature of hunter-gatherer society is that there isn’t much specialization of roles–everyone’s job is “getting us enough food to last the week”–and thus there’s not much in the way of gender roles. Hunter-gatherers couldn’t afford to not have women contributing as much as they’re able.

When everyone in a society is living literally hand-to-mouth every day, you bet your ass there aren’t any idle housewives.

Pecunium
9 years ago

vitamin C leached from boiling bird and seal flesh is recoverable in the stock, which is Kutuervik was always consumed as part of the meal. The broth in this case would have provided an additional 2 to 37 mg of the vitamin.

Certain foods which are not abundant but are eaten when available can augment vitamin C intake. This is particularly true of such items as licorice root, mountain sorrel and “muktuk.” Muktuk is undoubtedly the most prized delicacy. It consists of the skin of the beluga whale, with about 2-4 cm of attached blubber. The,thin epidermis contains 38 mg/100 g of vitamin C, and is one of the richest sources of the vitamin in the Inuit diet; its antiscorbutic properties were first recognized early in this century (Bertelsen, 1911). During the study period, muktuk was consumed for seven days, at an adult average of 1 kg/day, thus providing a variably high quantity of vitamin, depending on the proportion of skin and blubber in the serving.

Vitamin C in the Diet of Inuit Hunters From Holman, Northwest Territories JOSEPH R. GERACI and THOMAS G. SMITH

A modern elephant dresses out with, approx, 1,300 lbs of meat. In an arctic environment one need not hunt all that many to make it through the winter, because preservation is pretty easy, if one gets the pieces down to 10-15 lbs.

Which isn’t to say that women were essential. The evidence is they did most of the leather treating (from wear patterns on teeth, as a result of chewing leather to make it easier to work), and we don’t have any way to evaluate the division of labor more than to be certain it did happen.

Modern hunting/gathering societies are more egalitarian in decisions, if fairly segregated in roles. It’s not clear, from the burial customs of the tribal peoples who were located in the same area (albeit thousands of years later) how much in the way of what we tend to think of as being the roles limited to women actually were.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Amused: I think when MRA’s think “gathering”, they think “nuts and berries” — which is to say that women provided the midday snack, whereas men obtained real food. But in fact, “gathering” was actually focused on wild cereals — forruners of today’s wheat, barley and flax. They — not mammoth meat — were the staple both for food and clothing. Grains — that’s what “women” gathered all day, for the most part.

I don’t think this is true for the mammoth hunting cultures. I don’t know that a sudden influx of evidence for cereal crops being 1: abundant and 2: collected is, and I do know that, prior to settlements, the ability of a travelling group to stockpile/keep with them, an adequate supply of the incredibly seasonal crops of grains (even with the more difficult to remove husks of most wild cereals) made them that abundant a foodstuff.

Since organic material was so scarce that mammoth dung, and bones, were the primary supply of fuel for fires, the evidentiary indication is for a meat dominant diet (else there would have been more plant materials, even in the form of woody shrubs, in the ashpits)

For the reasons I gave above, in non-arctic environments, is those, “nuts and berries” weren’t snacks, they were the sole source of a number of essential nutrients, most notably vitamin C.

The other thing which is (as I recall) the case is that, prior to about 6,000 years ago the available foodstuffs, in the form of herd, and migratory animals, made it possible to obtain a pretty large amount of flesh for a fairly low amount of work.

When those herds were reduced to the point of being below the carrying capacity of the people in the area (which seems consistent in Europe, Mesopotamia and the Americas) the people turned to a greater reliance on the more labor intensive cereal crops.

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