Women needing men needing women

A new book by Dr Melvin Konner, entitled “Women After All”, makes a compelling case from his study of biology and evolution that the days of male supremacy are numbered. Insofar as humanity’s evolution was always going to proceed through a period that granted primacy to brute strength, men were always going to have a headstart over women. While the tide has yet to turn in company boardrooms and in engineering school class intakes, it does appear that women have caught up.

Nowadays, the thinking goes, we can afford to rely less upon smacking people and more on consensual problem-solving and emotional intelligence, with the result that while men might continue to commit more acts of violence, have more traffic accidents, and brag a whole lot more, women can get on with running the place. And authors like this one from this morning’s BAM! feed speculate on the consequences of men’s increasingly irrelevant biology: society may be better off without men’s having a place at the table at all.

Let’s pause and re-set here. Speaking not as a man speaking up for men, but mindful of the emerging potential of intelligences that are not human, I would ask if the biological determinism which has increasingly side-lined the significance of the male contribution to procreation could evolve further to rendering females redundant too.

Women of the world: beware the spectre of the petri dish. Science will pursue conception so immaculate as to render all the traditional agents redundant: the divine and the male certainly and almost already, and the female too in their turn – and not from any impulse to find a cure for morning sickness.

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