The Natural Superiority of Women
goddess or a being of fertility, and probably involving a religious concept which Homo sapiens has retained ever since: a pregnant goddess or mother of man (or mother of god) in whom he exalted the mystery of his own creation. 17
From the very beginnings of art it is likely that women and men participated equally. Out of these, in later stages of cultural development, such designs had magical and religious significance. And in still later stages of cultural development, such designs were elaborated and put into nonobjective, abstract forms, or into purely representational forms. Whatever the facts,

     

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it cannot be doubted that where pottery decorating, weaving, and, later, basketmaking are concerned, women made their own indispensable contributions to society.
We may conclude, then, that the evidence drawn from many different sources indicates that early societies were in most cases egalitarian, that this is also true of most indigenous societies that exist today, that the subjection of women has not always been the rule, but constitutes a late social phenomenon, and that it was roughshod invaders who conquered the egalitarian societies and imposed upon them government and rule by males, together with the subjugation of women.
It should be clear that it is not in our genes for one sex to establish supremacy over the other. Our biology does not decree that one sex shall rule over the other. What determines that sort of thing is, tradition, culture. The forms of behavior that characterize us as human beings are determined by the socialization process we undergo, the cultural conditioning in which we are molded, the customs by which we are all made. And there's the rub, for we are the most educable of all the creatures on this earth. And since we possess no instincts, everything we come to be, to know, and to do as human beings we have to learn from other human beings. Indeed, educability is our species' trait. And that is why to be human is to be in danger, for we can easily be taught many wrong and unsound things, or right and sound ones. And when the sound and the unsound are combined, the result is not intelligence but confusion. And that is the state in which the greater part of humanity has lived for a very long time. This has been particularly true of the traditional views relating to the status and roles of the sexes. And especially of the appeal to biology as the justification for the subjection of women. For that reason let us turn now to an examination of those views in light of the facts.
Males have a metabolic rate that is between 5 and 6 percent higher than that of females, and from the earliest ages males are more active than females. Red blood cells are more numerous in the male: The average red-cell count per cubic millimeter is 5,200,000 in the male and 4,900,000 in the female. The red blood cells carry oxygen on their surface membranes, the hemoglobin, which ranges from about 90 to 100 percent in the male and from 85 to 90 percent in the female. Since the oxygen carried by the

     

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hemoglobin to the tissues of the body is the main supplier of energy, it will be readily understood why the female requires fewer red blood cells than the male: She doesn't need as much fuel. Furthermore, because of her lower metabolic rate, the female doesn't have to eat as much as the male and is also able to adjust more efficiently to extremes and changes in temperature, and perspire less than males in hot weather.
Socially observed differences in activity between the sexes, it cannot be doubted, are to a large extent acquired rather than inherited. In short, activity differences do not represent first nature, though they may become second nature. First nature is the biological equipment of potentialities with which one is born; second nature is what one's culture and society make of one's first nature, the habits and ways of life one acquires. Culture, the human-made part of the environment, is

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