Friday, March 21, 2014

Beginning ~ with the female, not the male

The Women's History of the World ~ by Rosalind Miles, 1988 (the later US edition is entitled Who Cooked The Last Supper?)
The story of the human race begins with the female.  Woman carried the original human chromosome as she does to this day; her evolutionary adaptation ensured the survival and success of the species; her work of mothering provided the cerebral spur for human communication aned social organization.  Yet for generations of historians, archaeologistsz, anthropologists and biologists, the sole star of the dawn story has been man.  Man the Hunter, man the tool-maker, man the lord of creation stalks the primeval savannah in solitary splendor through every known version of the origin of our species.  In reality, however, woman was quietly getting on with the task of securing a future for humanity -- for it was her labor, her skills, her biology that held the key to the destiny of the race.

For, as scientists acknowledge, "women are the race itself, the strong primary sex, and man the biological afterthought" [quoting Elizabeth Gould Davis, The First Sex (1970), pp. 34-35].  In human cell structure, woman's is the basic "X" chromosome; a female baby simply collects another "X" at the moment of conception, while the creation of a male requires the branching off of the divergent "Y" chromosome seen by some as a genetic error, a "deformed and broken X."  The woman's egg, several hundred times bigger than the sperm that fertilizes it, carries all the genetic messages the child will ever receive.  Women therefore are the original, the first sex, the biological norm from which males are only a deviation.
Interesting.  So why do men dominate history?  Because they're the ones who wrote history.  I'm curious about what Rosalind Miles has to say.  The first three chapters of the dozen in this book are (1) "The First Women," (2) "The Great Goddess," and (3) "The Rise of the Phallus."  Sounds like fun to me.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Juli Rahel said...

This does sound really interesting, although I'd hope it doesn't move into hating on men, because that's not what feminism is about! But definitely an interesting book! Thanks for sharing :) Hope you have a great weekend!
My Friday post
Juli @ Universe in Words

gautami tripathy said...

This I am going to pick up. Gotta read about women!!

Here is my Book Beginning post!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Juli, I have NEVER seen a feminist book focus on hating men. And I've read a lot of books about feminism over the last 35 years, when I started doing management training about sexism, racism, and EEO compliance (Equal Employment Opportunity), basically teaching managers what they could and could not legally ask when hiring or firing. Being FOR women's equality doesn't mean being AGAINST men.

JC Jones said...

I love the entire idea. Great choice. Here is my post: Mixed Book Bag

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Sounds like an interesting focus on mankind's (womankind's!!) history.
My Friday excerpts are from a short story this week: INTERCEPTION.