Evolution in the gender debate. 

Evolution is a slow process but unlike revolution, evolution always comes up with the right answer. The evolution of everything is so slow as to be almost imperceptible but it's there and it is as far as I can see relentless.
Human evolution may have been slow at first, 50,000 years getting to grips with fire then 20,000 fashioning stone tools. 10,000 getting to grips with agriculture and 10 getting to grips with the internet. The development of technology is speeding up and we are no longer waiting decades or millennia for the next big breakthrough. In fact new technologies are making old technologies obsolete long before the old technologies have been fully embraced or understood. In the region of evolution that is the human mind things are however, still a little slow. People make there minds up (quite literally) and that is how a fixed non evolving position is formed. Why is this? Why is it that in some areas of life we think that some points are fixed and not evolving. Why do so many of us fail to see the evolutionary process that's happening in the world around us?

Mainly I'm talking of the Modern/Postmodern fight that's taking place on my, if not your, news feed. It's happening all over but on campus (and you tube) in the form of gender politics is for me the most crucial. Why? Because gender strikes at the heart of what it is to be human and what it is to be human is also, subject to evolution.

Hunter gatherer societies where women are the main providers of food (gathering being a more fruitful activity than hunting, I guess) we find that the deities and figures of worship are female. With the invention (evolution) of the plough there's a change. A woman cannot operate a plough without seriously endangering her ability to bear children so men took over as the main providers of food. So the deities become male too. Now the economic base is changing again. The technologies of today mean that niether women nor men have the upper hand in being the major providers of food and security. Our society (I mean westernised industrialised society) is on a different and new evolutionary edge that calls for new and evolutionary approaches to how we organise ourselves.

The old order of men (xy chromosomes) equals masculine (singular, driven, outward looking, aggressive) and women (xx chromosomes) equals feminine (multitudinous, feeling, inward looking, caring) is no longer so relavant. The evolutionary advantages of this model for men and women were many and necessary for our survival as a species but evolution moves on.

Now something different is required. To survive we must adapt and right or wrong we have created a world of such abundance and security that women no longer need a man around to provide so the idea of man has evolved to include more and more of the supportive emotional (feminine) side of life. As has the idea of woman evolved to include more of the agentic, driven, masculine side of life. Some will say that men and women naturally occupy certain positions and that testosterone and oestrogen govern our traits and tendencies. In the nature/nurture debate I always come down squarely in the middle. We are a product of both our genetics AND! our environment.

Evolution always moves forward, never back. Women aren't going to give up the rights they have gained and go back to the kitchen. Postmodernism isn't going to go away either, nor is it the final answer . We aren't going to go back to a modern viewpoint. Modernism is as much a steppingstone to postmodernism as postmodernism is a stepping stone to what's next.

I believe the next step needs to be a conscious one. And it needs to be forward.

Men need to embrace the feminine, not fight it, and for me right now this involves wearing skirts. For other men it might involve joining a men's group and sharing there emotional life, or looking after the children, or any one of a million other ways that bring balance to our lives. How you achieve balance is up to you. Who you achieve it with is up to you. What you wear while achieving it, is up to you although looking in the shops and on the high street the seeming fashion 'lockdown' looks to be holding strong.

Best of luck with your continued and continuous evolution.

A man in a skirt.