ethel’s words

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RESIDUAL MALE DOMINANCE

In a country largely run by old men, we perhaps should not be surprised to find some antipathy towards young men.

We have shuddered at the recently publicised practice of the Mormon polygynists (or as they call themselves, polygamists--leaving out the “gyn” reference to female) who expel maturing boys/men from the colony.

In that extreme case, where girls as young as 12 are “given” to old men, it is easy to see male dominance/competitiveness in practice. This leads to consideration of the hostility of old males to young males in families of our cousin primates.

We are, after all, little different from them. Our brains are clothed in language, and our vulnerable bodies, more often than not, in protective covering. (Historically, in many or most human societies, the raiment of our bodies, like feathers, enhanced, rather than hid, our gender identity.)

We should at least wonder whether some vestige of dominant male hostility might help explain the millions of virile young men in our prisons, and the persistent and usually illogical scorn towards maturing boys (the nonsense of teen-age gangs, for example). In a less-clear way, these kids are being “expelled”. It is not a new thought that old men seem to like to send the kids off to war. Would the chance of peace be enhanced if we sent only Amazon women (pardon the redundancy) to war?

Ethel C. Hale