At first glance, protecting our life support system, the biosphere, may not have anything to do with gender and sexuality. But, for those who explore connections, assumptions and the “norm”, there are actually many points to consider. In our world today, the biggest threat to all life is the idea that some, whether they be Mexican, Muslim, or even forests and streams, must be dominated and exploited for the gain of a few. This is the instilled basis in almost everything Trump trumpets: “I alone can rid you of all these undesirables and also control women who should be punished for wanting reproductive rights.”
Our Tweeter in chief shrieks into the chaos demanding those who are ‘weak’, LGBTQ people, foreigners, and women, and the world itself, should be dominated by only the ‘strong.’
Earth is in trouble because we evolved a kind of binary and abstract thinking that see outsiders, or even nature, as ‘other than.’ We became programmed to react to real threats in a binary fashion. Maybe we can’t help it, but we can become aware of it.
The binary part goes like this: “Og ate plant. Og dead now. That plant not good. Eat this grass, it good.” Aside from being a possibly politically incorrect or appropriated stereo type of Paleo human (Sorry Og), there is truth in this binary good/ bad judgement system.
Also aiding our early tribal communities to survive, was was what is known in Sociobiology as group selection, or altruistic selection. This is altruistic selection that favors the novel, giving rise to resistant biology that selects for healthier — and therefore more — offspring.
On the other end of the spectrum is selfish selection, which avoids the unfamiliar. Most of the time, the early tribe looked out for the other, and came to find that ‘the other’ or non-conforming individual, was not worth the risk. Say, those individuals evolved completely different techniques for avoiding the smiledon, or bringing down the mammoth. It is reasonable, for the sake of tribal protection, to avoid the unfamiliar ways.
As humans, and as organisms, every living thing adapts some combined aspects of seeking both the altruistic, and the selfish behavior.
Then comes a critical aspect of our larger human brains. Over time, Og and his surviving kin, adapted a consciousness that is very reliant upon abstract thinking. Let’s look into Og getting very sick, rather than dying from “bad plant.”
“Og see in head dream that plant very bad. Og tell everybody plant bad. Do not eat. Og have magic dream of see bad plant in head and warn us.”
Okay, so Og and the plucky clan learn abstract thinking, the ability to not only visualize, but to project into the future a risk to be avoided. Eventually, they see that these beneficial head dreams give them cohesion, expectation and finally, religion.
Religion serves to provide explanations for how and why some plants, and some people, are “good” and some are “bad.” It also centers existentially, the realization that something larger than ourselves must exist as creator. At first, this was nature and her many animated beings and systems. But after the advent of agriculture, tribes settling into the first cities found they wanted bigger tribes, requiring rules, regulations, and hierarchy. What comes right after hierarchy? Corruption and abuse of power.
All animals, as we know, posture and struggle to win the most food, mates, resources and power. However, only human primates, with large, complex brains, learned to use extreme abstraction and binary simplicity to drive forward a system that, on a daily basis, either is inclusive, or exclusive of the “other.”
We should thank Og for her many lessons. You probably assumed Og was a man, that’s part of our programming too.Og, whose survival of the bad plant made her a wise sage, becomes a kind of shaman. Not all priests or warrior chieftains are bad, of course, but enough come to see power and influence in a corrupted manner. Then scapegoating and blame run rampant.
This is where gender comes in. Over time larger city groups came to depend so much upon hierarchy, that a whole group, — the females — came to be seen as prizes or objects of desire with too much power due to their human sexuality and ability to reproduce. These aspects soon came under the influence of the most powerful. Control over them was widely demanded.
Misogyny, as well as loss of the feminine sacred, which encompasses nature and biosphere, came to be objects to conquer and dominate. And when the female lost sacred status, she came to stand for sin, degradation, temptation, and even weakness, because powerful males project their insecurity onto all marginalized groups. This is clear when we look at someone like Donald Trump with his phallic towers and admiration of authoritarian leaders, his demand for praise and loyalty, and his blaming ‘the other’ — any people — who display any kind of divergence from his world view.
Gender issues are now at the forefront of civilized progress into an accepting and equality based future. Those nations where misogyny and control of women still is the ‘norm’ are also the ones where the human rights of transgender people, gay and lesbian people, and anyone of ‘suspect’ power become scapegoats.
There is only one way to protect and save our disappearing sustainability. It demands that we, not just women, or LBGTQ, foreigners, but science itself, has influence. HRC was not the perfect candidate, but in one aspect at least, she had a very good idea: We truly are stronger together.